Template talk:Trotskyism

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I'm sure this has been debated before, but if the internationals list has contemporary relevance (rather than historic) some of the ones listed need to be changed. My main concern in the inclusion of the ICFI when its number of sections is significantly lower than other Internationals, including but not limited to Fraction Trotskyista and International Communist Union, both of which have very large national groups which is not the case with the ICFI. If however this is included for purely historic reasons then I can understand why. incka (talk) 22:21, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Link disambiguation[edit]

I've changed the Russian Revolution link to Russian Revolution as the former is a dab page. Linking to October Revolution seems most logical. --Squiddy | (squirt ink?) 10:11, 7 May 2006 (UTC)


Peter Taffe? Are we getting a little low on the list now? Sad that there are no women on the list still. --Duncan 11:48, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Who is the most prominent woman Trotskyist? There are a few (and only a few) women on the list of Trotskyists; of them, Raya Dunayevskaya seems the best placed to join this list. Warofdreams talk 00:17, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Arlette, of course. I think she beats Natalia Sedova, Mary-Alice Waters, Catherine Samary and Jeanette Habel are veteran leaders of the LCR.
  • Best known today, but has she actually contributed anything theoretically (genuine question)? Sedova is another possibility; Clara Fraser perhaps. Warofdreams talk 01:12, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
LO is so secretive, who would know? Fraser is a good suggestion. --Duncan 16:53, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Branches of Trotskyism[edit]

I have cut this.

a] Marxist humanism isn't a form of Trotskyism or rooted in it: consider that the best known Marxist humanist was Althuser.
b] Having done so, it seems odd to suggest that there is one branch of Trotskyism.
c] "Third camp" is a slogan, rather than a coherent school: I also think it's unclear that it's a form of Trotskyism. Third Camp politics are distinctly pre-Leninist, having deeper roots in the thinking of William Morris and Eugene Debs than of Leninism and Trotskyism, which put a huge emphasis on the role and crisis of leadership. In constrast the Third Camp puts an emphasis on majority action.
d] The best way to show the branching of Trotskyism is really in relationship to the mainstream, and that is also predicted by the length of time since each group split from the mainstream: CWI and CMI much closer; Shachtmanites and LO much further. --Duncan 07:29, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
a/b] Fair enough, I was thinking of Dunayevskaya's formulations, but they were largely a rejection of Trotskyism, so I agree it is best left out.
c] I disagree. Third camp represents a clear school of thought. The large majority of those describing their politics as third camp also describe themselves as Trotskyists. The only way to get a sensible definition of Trotskyism is to use self-definitions. As I've said before, I can't see what Posadas had in common with Trotsky, but someone could make a similar argument for almost any group. I'm interested in your theory associating the third camp with the thinking of Debs and Morris as opposed to Lenin and Trotsky (while, unsurprisingly, tending to disagree), but this seems to be original research and so of little use in deciding what should appear in this template.
d] The difficulty here is in deciding what the mainstream is. Ever since the '53 split, more than one group has claimed to represent the continuity of the Fourth International, and LO and the WP both see/saw themselves as holding to a firm Trotskyist analysis. Were we to look at time since the split from the FI/USFI group, it would suggest that the Posadists and the SWP(US) are closer to the mainstream than the Lambertists or the CWI - this seems counter-intuitive.
An alternative proposal: an article on Orthodox Trotskyism might be beneficial; both as a description claimed by groups descended from the ICFI split, and as a critical term applied by the IST. Perhaps we should include this with Third camp under "branches of Trotskyism" or a similar term ("related ideologies"?) Warofdreams talk 01:31, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
What are the major branches of Trotskyism? I would say that they are the international organisations, since those organisations differences reflect the political ones. An extra layer of compexity like 'branches' adds nothing, especially if we need to invent new articles to justify mirages like Orthodox Trotskyism. Does anyone other than the MiniMorenos call themselves 'Orthodox Trotskyist' today? This was simply a positive way of saying 'anti-Pabloite'. For the IST, this term refers to the USFI, but the USFI never placed this label on itself. On the notion of mainstream: most major political questions, most Trotskyists have the same position: that is the mainstream. The mainstream need not be right, or reflected by only one tendency, but it exists and it is useful and really reflects something. One can measure each tendency's distance from that mainsteam. Its clearly correlated with the length of time in the International: not law of physics, but a strong connection. Since the IC and IS were factions before 63, the correct order of departure is FI(P); FI(ICR); CWI/CMI; Pathfinder tendency. In terms of mean difference from the mainstream, its arguable that the earlier, the further from the mainstream: just consider the major questions of the colonial revolution and the eastern bloc. --Duncan 16:52, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
What I'm interested in are branches which go beyond one particular international organisation. Clearly, for many purposes the international groupings are useful differences. However, the third camp and possibly "orthodox Trotskyism" are found in several international or national groups. With regard to orthodox Trotskyism, the ICFI, ITO and I strongly suspect the ISL all call themselves "orthodox Trotskyists". The mainstream seems an awkward concept here - particularly as it seems that Cannon did not initially regard the ISFI as a faction. But if we do use the FI/USFI concept, isn't what you are saying that on average, the longer ago a group split from the tendency which became known as the USFI, the more its politics tend to differ from that group? This would only be useful if we could unambiguously say that they are the international closest to the politics of Trotsky, or at least that they represent the majority of Trotskyists. Warofdreams talk 22:06, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
I just can't see it. Third campism, in the grand scale of things, is less numerous than Posadism or, perhaps, Christian Trotskyists. It's marginal. Branch is not the right metaphor. On the other hand, 'orthodox trotskyism' and 'mainstream trotskyism' are simply not very helpful [remember, I am not suggesting we introduce 'mainstream trotskyism' as a classification]. Clearly, it would be POV to say the reunified FI is closest to Trotsky (the reunified FI doesn't play that orthodox position anyhow) and, since membership numbers are not audited, we can only say that none of the international tendencies claims to be larger than the reunified FI. Until the 1980s, one could confidently have said that the majority of those claiming to be Trotskyist were in the reunified FI. --Duncan July 2006 (UTC)
Hmm - I can't believe that third campism is less numerous than Posadism. Today, Posadism is almost dead as a movement, and while it was more substantial in the 60s and 70s, third campism represented probably a quarter of Trotskyists in the early 40s. But besides, numbers alone are not the key indicator - I would say that distinctiveness is, provided it is a genuine movement with a clear link to Trotskyism. I've never heard of Christian Trotskyism - it'd be interesting to have an article on it. Perhaps re: orthodox Trotskyism, it'd be best if I create an article, and then we can better discuss its relevance to this template. I agree with you on the reunified FI. Warofdreams talk 09:19, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Don't project time backwards. Remember that the slogan "third camp" did not exist until April 1940, the content of it was unclear (recall that 'neither Wall Street nor the Kremlin' was the FI's slogan, and most of those who split in 1940 were out of activity within months. If we average out the numbers adhering to Trotskyist third campism and to Posadism during the years of their lives, then Posadism would be in three figures and third campism in two. I am sure there will have been more church-going Trotskyists; even the CPGB has a vicar. But it would be bizarre to classify it as a distinct position. My general point is this: we would be mistaken to invent dimensions of Trotskyism simply to to raise up the position of third campism as if it represented a major current in Trotskyism. --Duncan 19:45, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Of course, there have been long periods where the third camp was tiny - it isn't large now - but this is missing the point. I'd ask: is it a distinct point of view? (yes, say its adherents and most of its critics) and is it associated with Trotskyism (ditto). When you mentioned Christian Trotskyism, I assumed that it was some obscure school of thought, possibly associated with Reg Groves. As it isn't, it fails point one - it isn't a distinct school of thought. The question of whether it's a major current doesn't arise - left communism is included in Template:Communism sidebar, but how many adherents has that averaged? As such, I can't see any reason for excluding the third camp from the template. If you'd be happier with a different heading, that's fine - I'm not entirely happy with "Branches" anyway. Warofdreams talk 00:23, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
Does every distinct point of view belong in the template? Considering the very large number of those, I think the template would be overlarge if we did that. --Duncan 11:45, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
What other distinct points of view could potentially be added? If we end up with a very long list, we could remove those with fewer adherents, but similar reasoning does not prevent us from having links to individuals or groups. Warofdreams talk 02:52, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Every separate current has a distinct point of view, and some have more: Barnes from Percy; Frank from Lambert; Mandel from Moreno; Grant from Taaffe; Hansen from Maitain; Cliff from Draper; Abern from Shachtman; Fifth Internationalism from Spartacism; Healyism from Northism; and there are some currents who are too clumsy to be given an adjective. If you use old self-definition, the self-defined categories conceal as much as they reveal. --Duncan 06:09, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
But very few of those people claim to have a distinct school of thought in this manner. The adjectives are mostly used by their opponents. In so far as they make positive claims for their schools of thought, they would say they are "Trotskyist", "Orthodox Trotskyist", "anti-Pablo", "third camp" or in the case of Cliff perhaps just "revolutionary socialist". If we remove Trotskyist as already included, anti-Pablo as a synonym for their strand of orthodox Trotskyism and "revolutionary socialist" as not being a distinct school of Trotskyism, then we're left with the third camp and perhaps orthodox Trotskyism - a conveniently short list! If you feel these points of view should be covered, then they largely are by the list of internationals - but this isn't useful for the third camp or orthodox Trotskyism, which are associated with more than one international, parts of internationals, and groups without official international links. Warofdreams talk 11:54, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I remain unimpressed. [Orthodox Trotskyism] does not exist. Contrary to what you have written on that page, even the ICFI do not use this phrase (search for it at wsws.org). Those few people who do self-identify using that term are hardly a branch. Honestly, what you have done here is simply invent the notion of 'branches' so that you can give greater prominance to your third camp. --Duncan 15:40, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
As this discussion is getting very long and moving away from the topic of the template, I've replied to you at Talk:International Committee of the Fourth International. Warofdreams talk 14:13, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
The phrase "orthodox Trotskyism" is used on the ICFI website. Google "ICFI+orthodox Trotskyism" and "WSWS+orthodox Trotskyism" and relevant articles from 2001, 2002, and 2004 turn up. -- Memovolt 17:35, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I still disagree with is, but am a long way from winning agreement. I think there's a difference between the term appearing on WSWS and it being used aby the ICFI as a was of defining its 'branch' of trotskyism. The ICFI just does not use this to describe itself, not in the way that Workers' Liberty use 'third camp'. I just think that 'Orthodox Trotskyism' is used as a straw man by critics of either the IC or the IS. Look at how, and how often, this term is used [1] It is very infrequent if you think about the sheer volume of materials. It's used in a purely historical sense, as the inverse of Pabloism. I think it's as meaningless as 'pabloism'. --Duncan 22:30, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Criteria for this template[edit]

This is getting silly now. Woods and Taafe are just not "up there", surely. Consider the fame of the people who are not on this list: Michel Pablo, Pierre Frank, Daniel Bensaid, Catherine Samary, Janette Habel, Jim Percy, George Breitman, Tom Kerry, Tariq Ali... It's just silly. I will leave it a week and then cut Woods and Taafe unless there are other suggestions. --Duncan 11:25, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Maitan and Krivine also stand out as less prominent figures - particularly given that Pablo and Frank aren't included. Posadas is also a rather marginal inclusion. I'd definitely support adding Frank and Pablo and perhaps Ali and Hal Draper. I wonder if we could agree some sort of guideline for who to include? Warofdreams talk 12:31, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
I think their inclusion reflects the fact that in the present day they lead sizable tendencies (at least relative to other Trotskyist groups). Pablo should be on the list, Frank possibly, but not the others you've listed there - in my opinion. Trious 23:47, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Maitan certainly should be there: he played a central role in the IS, especially while Pablo was in prison/Algeria; the key disputes on China and Latin America were really around him; he also played a day-to-day role in running the USFI right up to his death. Taffe, Woods and Ali and Hal Draper just don't count as prominent if Krivine does not. I suggest we remove Woods and Taffee and swap Krivine for Pablo. I also think we need to control the size of the template generally. --Duncan 12:03, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Proposal: we could first divide the whole set (everybody having been quoted until now) into different "levels", find an agreement on the levels divide and after that decide until which level we want to show the guys in the template. Example:
  1. Dead historical leaders of big branches (eg: Cannon)
  2. Dead secondary leaders of very big branches, well-known dead theoreticians (eg: Maitan)
  3. Dead leaders of small branches (eg: Posadas)
  4. Living leaders of big and not-too-small branches (eg: Taaffe)
I think that death is an important component of fame. :-) Let's find a comradely way to solve this issue (I feel that everybody reading this page is a Trot, am I wrong?). --MauroVan 13:47, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Very elegant. Thanks for this. I suggest the line is after 2. Small branches, after all, are not prominent. --Duncan 20:34, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
This looks promising. If we use this, who will be included? My thoughts:
  1. Cannon, Mandel, Pablo, perhaps Cliff and Grant?
  2. Shachtman, Healy, Lambert, Frank, perhaps Moreno, Maitan, Hansen, Abern, van Heijenoort, even James?
  3. Posadas, Moreno, Draper, Perera, Gunawardena and many others
  4. Laguiller, Taaffe, Woods, Krivine and many others
I'm unsure that death is necessarily an important component of fame - for instance, I would say that Grant has roughly the same level of fame as he did three months ago - but I can't think of any living Trotskyists who are as significant as those I've roughly grouped under #1 and #2. Warofdreams talk 00:59, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
This is good progress. I'd say that Hansen, Frank and Maitan are on a par with Cliff and Grant. The IST and CWI were tiny tendencies outside Britain up until the 1990s. Moreno is certainly in the second tier; his tendency was very significant. Abern should not be here: his role was too limited. While van Heijenoort was secretary during the war, he's not not someone who became prominent [although he is prominent as a mathamatician]. --Duncan 07:52, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
We are approaching... some more effort! What's the leader or founder of a "big branch"? I'm thinking about somebody having its name put in a well-known "SURNAME-ist" or "SURNAME-ite" pattern. I heard of "James P. Cannonism", "Mandelites", "Pabloism", sometimes also "Morenoites", "Cliffites", "Grantists". Maybe there's a 1b level slightly under 1a (Cannon, Mandel, Pablo). However, these guys created recognizable branches and you could even easily explain the distinguishing features of their position. I have a big doubt about Posadas, he's quite famous but more for mocking reasons (I hope nobody gets offended by this, I'm just reporting my personal experience)... PS: Looks like I'm expelling poor dear Alan from the top of the list. Shit... I'm too NPOV recently... --MauroVan 09:53, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
I think Grant and Cliff are above Hansen, Frank and Maitan as they've made theoretical contributions - and they're still influential.Trious 21:41, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Hansen's contributions to theory are certainly above Grant's: deformed workers states, workers and farmers governments, Cuba... Frank also, on Bonapartism. Maitan wrote more than all the others: he wrote they ket works on entrism, against Barnes on Cuba etc, Latin America, China. --Duncan 09:25, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
I think that Maitan can reasonably be considered sort of a Mandel jr and I'd put him in level 2. Listing theoretical contribution of different people is useless in itself in my opinion, because all these guys wrote or write a lot. I write a lot, too, but I'm not a preminent Trotskyist. I think we should just give a few people who can't be considered organizational preminent leaders a "second chance" to pop up in the list as important theoretician when they really added something (irrespective of the quality of what they added, I think Livio's additions where near to vandalism in Wikipedia's slang, :-) nevertheless...), but this proposal can be easily argued against. Let's move faster towards precipitating a solution, please. --MauroVan 08:40, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
I like that. So how about we alphabetise this list:
  1. Cannon, Mandel, Pablo, Cliff and Grant
  2. Shachtman, Healy, Lambert, Frank, Moreno, Maitan, Hansen, CLR James?
--Duncan 22:55, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Seems fair to me. --MauroVan 11:06, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Okay. I have made those changes. I think it's right to go along with Warofdreams' suggestion to add CLR James because of both his distinctive view, and major role, but also because of his real fame. Perhaps without that he would not qualify. It's a pity that more of Pierre Frank's stuff isn't in English. It would be nice to have him there, but this list does need to be manageable. --Duncan 09:33, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Let's add the template everywhere it's needed to be. --MauroVan 09:25, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Someone added in Posadas. We have clear consenus on this page that he need not be added, so I have removed him.--Duncan (talk) 17:16, 9 April 2012 (UTC)


I am thinking of expanding the material in a section of Michel Pablo into a new page on Pabloism, and then to add Pabloism into the Branches of Trotskyism. Good idea? --Duncan 09:45, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I think the term "Pabloism" should not be used, as I don't think supporters of Pablo used this term to describe themselves. (If they did, then of course use it.) Trious 20:59, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Structure of 'Branches' articles[edit]

I'm staring to think that these 'branches' articles might also benefit from a similar structure: nutshell; founders; history; views on the seven big issues [the nature of Eastern bloc; relations to Stalinist parties; the colonial revolution; the post-war overturns; the leninist party; approaches to permanent revolution; the nature of the International]; distinctive issues. Any thoughts? I realise it's a little odd to raise the point here, but the Template is where the branches came from and where ther are dreawn together --Duncan 09:47, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes there needs to be a section on Theory for each group. There's not enough info about this stuff. Trious 21:01, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I basically agree, although the list of seven big issues may not always be appropriate - some "branches" have little to say on some of these topics, and much to say about other "distinctive" issues. Now that Posadas has (correctly) been removed from the section of notable Trotskyists, should Posadism be added to the list of "branches"? It is small, but certainly distinctive and unlike other personality-driven "-isms", it accepts and uses the term itself. Warofdreams talk 22:08, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
It's useful to go over these principal facets; it shows where the divergences were and were not. But Warofdreams is right; there are other differentiators as well. However, it give us a easy way to start to summarise their theoretical stances. Poasdism seems more like a twig to me. Pabloism is a term only used by their opponents; similarly, most people who are called 'Orthodox Trotskyists' would not use that term themselves, but it gives us an opportunity to explain it. There's a big myth of what the Pablo current did and did not say, and we should assess that somewhere, somehow. --Duncan 19:21, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

The International Communist League Should be Included as a Trotskyist Organization[edit]

I think the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) should be included as a Trotskyist group. Since this encyclopedia is supposed to be neutral, any group that calls itself Trotskyist should be included in the Trotskyist section. Leon Trotsky 11:48, 2 November 2006

The template isn't where we list all the Trotskyist groups. That's only for major groups and leaders, as you might have noticed above. The ICL is listed many, many times, in actual articles. --Duncan 08:53, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

C.L.R. James[edit]

James should not be on the template, given that the work he is most notable for was only after he broke with Trotskyism. I'll be bold and take him off the template if there are no major objections. --Dialecticas 03:23, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree. --Duncan 12:15, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't agree with this rationale. While it may be true that "the work he is most notable for was only after he broke with Trotskyism", but his valuable contribution to American Trotskyism—his theoretical work in helping develop the historic SWP position on the "Black Question"—earns him a place forever in this pantheon. —cargohook 08:00, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Let's get that into perspective. Think of all the people who are not on this list: Pierre Frank, George Novack, Alain Krivine, George Breitman, Arlette Laguillier, Paul Le Blanc, and so on. The SWP's position on the Black Question isn't shared across Trotskyism and, as the debate in the CP and the FI shows, has roots elsewhere. --Duncan 10:46, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

International Currents [was Prominent Trotskyists: Warofdreams reverts][edit]

All my contributions were entirely legitimate, except possibly C.L.R. James, which is debatable. (It is alleged that his most important intellectual contributions were after he left the Trotskyist movement, but this ignores the important contribution to Trotskyism he made when, as a member of the SWP and with Trotsky, he helped to develop the position on Black self-determination.) All the rest—Maurice Spector, George Breitman, Frank Lovell, and the FI (ICR)—are indisputable.

It bothers me that Warofdreams seems to be intolerant of other perspectives. Moreover, Warofdreams has reverted my good-faith edits, against Wikipedia guidelines. My contributions were not factual inaccuracies, vandalism, or material not compatible with the GFDL. I am going to revert this back until Warofdreams fulfills the obligation of engaging me on why he thinks my contributions are not legitimate. His rationale of "keeping it short" does not hold water for me. cargohook 07:37, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

The consensus on the contents of this template was agreed by other participants as well. Please do not personalise the discussion. Maurice Spector, George Breitman, Frank Lovell are prominant Cannonites, but have a less prominant place that others who are not on this list. There is already a list of Trotskyists. The selection in the Template has to be short. If you want to add someone in, plkease say who should be removed. Similarly, there is not space to list every International: one in, one out has to be our rule of thumb. I have also reverted your changes. Please win consesus on this page before changing the template. --Duncan 10:56, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Please explain to me why this infobox needs to be only so many pixels tall; and who has set up the people who have come to "consensus" on this page about what individuals and international currents to include or exclude from a guide to Trotskyism to make such decisions? You people seem like pompous asses to me. —cargohook 12:41, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Wikpedia works by consensus. That's how things work here, as you know. You've been here a long time. In the first place, that's the consensus that unfolds between volunteers on this Talk page. If you think we should go in a different direction, then explain by and make the suggestion in a discussion. I realise that your comment about pompous asses is an affectionate joke, but do realise that others, who don't know you, might think you're being abusive and personal. What's not how Wikipedia works, and you need to be careful about that. In terms of the content, I'm listening. --Duncan 16:55, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
OK, Duncan, of course you are right with regard to my feeble attempt at humor. On the content issues, I think that maybe I have made my overall point, but I'll try to do so more clearly and objectively this time. That is, I find this approach around international tendencies ('one in, one out') to be limiting and overly mechanical. Yes, it is true I'm favorable to the "Lambertists", in case that were not already clear. But I don't think I have the right to say, for example, that the "Grantite" or "Cliffite" currents don't belong here, but the "Lambertists" do. The first and foremost problem I'm having is that others have taken that position vis-à-vis the "Lambertist" Fourth International; but they don't seem to want to own up to that, instead they hide behind the purely logistical and mechanical argument that the size of the template has to be very short in its dimensions.
I am also concerned that the "Pabloites" are listed as "reunified FI". Many Trotskyists and "Trotskyologists" around the world do not agree with that formulation; and being an American, where there are no less than three "sympathizing U.S. sections" of the USec who are (to varying degrees) at each other's throats (e.g., Socialist Action, Labor Standard and Solidarity—or a wing of it), it is especially difficult to understand what exactly they might mean by "reunified". I understand that the rationale is that that is how the United Secretariat describes itself. But at the very same time, "by consensus", we ended up with the title "Fourth International (ICR)" for the article on the so-called "Lambertist" FI, but they refer to themselves not by that designation (and haven't for over 14 years!), but as the "reproclaimed Fourth International". I'm trying to work with this consensus method, BTW; I had suggested several alternatives, if you recall, like FI (La Vérité), FI (Lambertist) and FI (reproclaimed); but I was out-voted or "out-consensed", and I did not raise hell about it. So I can't help but feel that there is some bias or favoritism going on here.
I refuse to say that any of the international tendencies listed here should be deleted so that the one I am partial to could be included. That's not fair, it's a mechanical and totally artificial basis for inclusion, and it's bound to start up uncomradely "pissing matches", and I for one don't want to "be a dick". Just give the "Lambertist" FI a listing, for Pete's sake. And I do think that fair is fair. If you are going to call the USec by their preferred name, then let's be consistent and do that with all tendencies.
Yes, I hope we can come to consensus. This means you comrades must take my concerns under consideration, no? Sorry about the "asses" comment, it was intended as a humorous take on my frustration with this process: I thought I was making positive contributions. I apologise for not just taking a deep breath and trying to express myself better. —cargohook 15:23, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
I've indented your comments for clarity. Again, I know that your comments are well-intentioned, but others might think that your assertion that the wish to limit the size of the template reflects factions standpoints -- before we've even really exchanged options -- could suggest you are not assuming good faith. Anyway...
  • On the number of tendencies. How many do you suggest? There already is a page to list every tendency. How many should we list here? Let's not just say 'add in these people because I want it', but instead let's see if the number is correct, and then we can see which the most significant are.
  • On the listing of "Pabloites". I think you are referring to another page. Raise that issue there.
  • On other pages generally, raise that on other Talk pages, not here. This page is only about the template. The names given to the tendencies are those agreed on their pages: we are not going be able to have that discussion here. We simply follow their useage.
--Duncan 20:19, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Given that the real issue here seems to be which international tendencies should be linked to, I think the best approach might be to decide what criteria they have to meet for inclusion. Ideally, the criteria we pick might place a similar number of tendencies on the template to what we currently have. Personally, I find it hard to think of any criteria which would include the ICU but exclude the FI(ICR).
On the naming of groups - the best place for a discussion on the best name for the reunified Fourth International article is on its talk page. If you'd like to see its name changed, then suggesting something there would be the best approach.
On the people to list; it looks like last time we discussed this, there was a consensus not to include James, but then previously there was a consensus to put him in. I'd tend towards including him, but there are good arguments on both sides. We also agreed to put Frank in, but it looks like we never actually got around to doing it. Unless there are any objections, I'll do that soon. Warofdreams talk 03:25, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
How how about this: Exchange the ICU for the FI (ICR), on the basis that it is less notable as an international; and add in James and Frank. --Duncan 11:56, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

There is[edit]

Not a single Prominent Trotskyist alive in this tag. Shouldn't we include some? --Againme (talk) 21:42, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

I think the point is to include the personalities that represent the different historical tendencies of Trotskyism. I do not see any need to include present personalities. Who would that be? --Soman (talk) 06:38, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Hi!, I wasn´t advocating for anyone in particular to be included... but the fact that they're all dead gives the tag an historical, not current flavour...--Againme (talk) 18:48, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
There are no living Trotskyists who are more prominent in the history of Trotskyism than the people listed. There is already a category for Trotskyists. However, this template aims, amongst other things, to only give an introduction to the main figures and tendencies. If we included living people, it would be too long - and it's already over-long for a template. --Duncan (talk) 08:14, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

OK.--Againme (talk) 17:01, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Removal of Burnham and Darling[edit]

Unfortunately Editor Warofdreams has removed both James Burnham and Alastair Darling from the list of prominent Trotskyists on this. Very insultingly he has called this revert silliness. I would suggest rereading Wikipedia:Assume good faith could be helpful here. I think there are goo arguments for including both here:

James Burnham has this on his page:
As a member of the U.S. Workers Party Burnham was a leading Trotskyist in the 1930s, forming the Socialist Workers Party, which was a Communist and anti-Stalinist party. He allied with Max Shachtman in a faction fight with the majority in the party led by James P. Cannon over the question of the nature of the Soviet Union. Cannon, backed by Leon Trotsky held that the USSR was a degenerated workers state while Shachtman and Burnham contended that the Soviet Union was bureaucratic collectivist and thus not worthy of being supported even critically. The specific event which led to the dispute was the Soviet invasion of Finland in November 1939.
Alastair Darling, however, did achieve much prominence whilst active in the IMG, however he has nationalised more banks more than the rest of the IMG put together.

Editor Warofdreams may disagree with this reasoning, and these talk pages are provided here precisely to discuss differing views in a search for compromise. I hope they take the trouble to use this facility, rather than assuming the role of a vandal.Harrypotter (talk) 08:36, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Warofdreams is correct. This template does not list all people who were at some point leading members of Trotskist groups. There is already a list of Trotskists. All this template can do is list people who were the most prominent Trotskyists. The policy we have agreed on this page is that we will add a person only on removing another. Burnham, in fact, was never famous for being a Trotskyist. Nor did he play a leading role in the world Trotskyist movement. Darling was at no point a prominent number of the IMG. Nationalising makes does not make someone a prominent Trotskyist. --Duncan (talk) 14:42, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, Duncan, for explaining your reasons, which I accept. As to whether Warofdreams was correct or not we may have to disagree. You may have access to off site material which leads you to that opinion. However, I can only go by their behaviour as evinced on this page, which I am sorry to say fell short of the standards required. Hopefully they have learnt from this experience.Harrypotter (talk) 20:55, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
You are clearly familiar with the basic workings of Wikipedia, and given your contributions, are familiar with politics. I cannot believe that you seriously thought that Alistair Darling was a useful contribution to this template. If you did, then I urge you, before adding to a template, to read the talk page to get an idea of the inclusion criteria. If you wish to discuss something, then please start a discussion, rather than reverting with the comment "Restore: please expalin reasons before removing". Warofdreams talk 23:43, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
It may be useful for both of you to recall that on Wikipedia we assume good faith. By the way, I asked about Darling on a list for people familiar with the IMG. Folk do remember him, but he didn't seem to have played any notable role. --Duncan (talk) 14:53, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
P.S. I have corrected the entry on James Burnham. --Duncan (talk) 14:54, 13

October 2008 (UTC)

Alan Woods[edit]

I added Alan Woods, I feel he is important enough Trotskyistmaniac (talk) 07:00, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

We haven't properly discussed inclusion criteria in more than three years but, last time there was a wideranging discussion, consensus was not to include Woods. Perhaps it is time that we looked at the list of names again? Either way, we should discuss here before making changes to the template. Warofdreams talk 16:59, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, we should always be open. I think it's important that we stick to the policy of one-in, one-out - otherwise the list will get too long. I also think it's important to note that this list is, so far, of people who are dead and who played a major role in the leadership, building, theoretical-development and inter-relationship between world tendencies. Perhaps the people who are weakest in this regard are Lora, whose role was really heavily focussed on one country, and CLR James. In terms of people who are missing, I think that Michel Pablo's absence is striking. If we think about the central leadership teams of the main international tendencies over the last few decades, the people who stand our are from the IST (Harman, Callinicos and Rees), and the FI (Lowy, Bensaid and Sabado). Woods, unlike those six, has a much more modest figure in theoretical development: No-one could say that Bensaid or Lowy are just deepening Mandel, or that Callinicos or Rees just deepened Cliff, but one can say that Woods follows Grant very closely. So if we do swap one or two people in, I'd be much more likely to support adding in Harman (who died recently) and Bensaid (who will probably die this year) rather than Woods. --Duncan (talk) 15:39, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not sure when Lora was added - I don't remember his inclusion ever being discussed, and he does seem rather less notable than the other people on the template. I still feel that James does merit inclusion, and would suggest that he was at least as influential as Maitan, for instance, although in a different way. Sadly, Bensaid died today. I'm a big fan of his work, so I may not be the best judge of whether he should be included or not. Lowy and Sabado are much less significant - I don't think we even have an article on Sabado. John Rees seems of little more than national significance; Harman and Callinicos are more notable, but I'd hesitate to compare their influence with the names already on the list. Warofdreams talk 21:36, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I will remove Lora. If anyone else supports adding Bensaid, then I think we should add him. --Duncan (talk) 11:14, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Carl Skoglund[edit]

I have removed Carl Skoglund, who certainly was a Trotskyist but didn't play a international role on the leve required by this template. --Duncan (talk) 13:02, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Cheri DiNovo[edit]

I have removed her from the template. I have no idea who she, but she's not a key or notable trotskyist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:32, 6 November 2011 (UTC) Di Novo is leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party in Canada and has nothing to do with Trotskyism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:42, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Proposal to include David North as Key Trotskyist[edit]

He's prominent enough for people to talk about "Northism" and has a substantial body of published work. North played an important role in the split in the ICFI and the campaign he has led against historical slanders of Leon Trotsky is tremendously significant to the continued existence of Trotskyism as a political trend. --Nixin06 (talk)

Do people talk about 'Northism'? How unfortunate. In the history of the IC, he clearly has a less prominent role than Slaughter, Banda, Dobbs, Robertson etc. He's not more of a figure than any of the people on the template at the moment, and we have in past agreed on one-in, one-out to maintain the size of the template. He's also still alive (AFAIK) which is key criterion for the list. --Duncan (talk) 10:28, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
North is almost certainly still alive, as he's currently speaking at meetings for the anniversary of the WSWS. (If he'd suddenly died, one presumes that this would have at least been mentioned.) However, being deceased has not been agreed upon as a key criteria - on the contrary, other editors have lamented the lack of any living figures. --Nixin06 (talk) 11:04, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
It clearly has been agreed: look back to the discussion in 2006. Being agreed doesn't mean that there's no discussion on it: it means that we have consensus on it. --Duncan (talk) 11:11, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
At the time, you had a 2 to 1 on death being an important criteria of fame. In 2008, another user challenged the lack of living Trotskyists. I am challenging it now. There is (to put it politely) no consensus on that score. --Nixin06 (talk) 11:17, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Not quite. There is a consensus which has been established. You disagree with it. No-on else has offered an opinion. In the meanwhile, I still don't think that North is more notable than any of the people we have on the template. --Duncan (talk) 11:53, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Firstly, it's great to see a reasoned discussion on what to include in the template. I disagree that death is an important criteria of fame. We've previously had living people on the template (Grant, Lambert) and I'd like to see living people considered on the same basis as dead ones. But we must also be wary of recentism, and I also disagree with the idea that we should include people who are less notable just because they are alive. I don't see North as being as significant to Trotskyism in general as the names already on the list: he only became prominent in the ICFI when it was a pretty small organisation; while a prolific writer and theoretician, his work hasn't attracted much attention from the movement in general; and I cannot find any biographies, whereas I'd expect at least an article from an independent author profiling someone significant enough to join the short list on this template. Warofdreams talk 14:37, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
I think there are a lot of Trotskyists in opposition to North who read the World Socialist Web Site "just for the arts review!" --Nixin06 (talk) 14:57, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
I have nothing in principle against inserting living people in the list, but this should happen when some living individual gets a prominence so undisputable to sound convincing also to members of different factions within the movement. IMHO this is not currently the case with David North. The death criterion is quite good because at least it helps in looking back at the historical contribution of a theoretician in a more cold-headed way. I guess most of the people listed now are recognised as prominent thanks to the wisdom of hindsight. (BTW, this is sounding a bit macabre: my best wishes of a very good health to comrade North! :-) ) I believe there is also a consensus about the very reasonable "one-in, one-out" rule, and I don't see anyone who should be removed to give an empty slot to David North. --MauroVan (talk) 15:15, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
I googled "Northite" and found this and this. ("Northism" apparently refers to the evil of having North at the top of maps!). I feel this falls short of the sort of notability required to elevate him to the rank of Key Trotskyists. Leutha (talk) 17:32, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Duncan may have had a memory lapse, but you can actually find him talking about "Northism" in the 2006 discussions above. Of course, that's not a verifiable source, but it is rather amusing. Googling for northism along with world socialist web site or wsws.org picks up a couple of other groups using the term. That said, I do see the way the wind is blowing. Same time next year, I guess. ;-) --Nixin06 (talk) 19:06, 19 April 2013 (UTC)