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Political Ideologies In Action: Socialism: The post-war world

A guide created for John Hultgren's Political Ideologies in Action: Socialism in the United States (POL4241.01)

Quick Description

The Johnson–Forest Tendency, whose supporters are called the Johnsonites, is a radical left tendency in the United States associated with Marxist humanist theorists C. L. R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya, who used the pseudonyms J. R. Johnson and Freddie Forest respectively. They were joined by author/activist Grace Lee Boggs (pseudonym: Ria Stone), who was considered the third founder.

The Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, better known as the Taft–Hartley Act, is a United States federal law that restricts the activities and power of labor unions. It was enacted by the 80th United States Congress over the veto of President Harry S. Truman, becoming law on June 23, 1947.

Taft–Hartley was introduced in the aftermath of a major strike wave in 1945 and 1946. It amended the 1935 National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), prohibiting unions from engaging in several unfair labor practices. Among the practices prohibited by the Taft–Hartley act are jurisdictional strikes, wildcat strikes, solidarity or political strikes, secondary boycotts, secondary and mass picketing, closed shops, and monetary donations by unions to federal political campaigns. The amendments also allowed states to enact right-to-work laws banning union shops. Enacted during the early stages of the Cold War, the law required union officers to sign non-communist affidavits with the government.

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Brief Bios

Cyril Lionel Robert Jameswho sometimes wrote under the pen-name J. R. Johnson, was a Trinidadian historian, journalist and Marxist. His works are influential in various theoretical, social, and historiographical contexts. His work is a staple of Marxism, and he figures as a pioneering and influential voice in postcolonial literature. A tireless political activist, James is the author of the 1937 work World Revolution outlining the history of the Communist International, which stirred debate in Trotskyist circles, and in 1938 he wrote on the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins.

Raya Dunayevskaya, also known by the pseudonym Freddie Forest, was the American founder of the philosophy of Marxist humanism in the United States. At one time Leon Trotsky's secretary, she later split with him and ultimately founded the organization News and Letters Committees and was its leader until her death.

Grace Lee Boggs was an American author, social activist, philosopher, and feminist. She is known for her years of political collaboration with C. L. R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya in the 1940s and 1950s. In the 1960s, she and James Boggs, her husband of some forty years, took their own political direction. By 1998, she had written four books, including an autobiography. In 2011, still active at the age of 95, she wrote a fifth book, The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, with Scott Kurashige and published by the University of California Press. She is regarded as a key figure in the Asian American Movement.

Harry Braverman was an American Marxist, worker, political economist and revolutionary. Born in New York City to a working-class family, Braverman worked in a variety of metal smithing industries before becoming an editor at Grove Press, and later Monthly Review Press, where he worked until his death at the age of 55 in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Braverman is most widely known for his 1974 book Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century, "a text that literally christened the emerging field of labor process studies" and which in turn "reinvigorated intellectual sensibilities and revived the study of the work process in fields such as history, sociology, economics, political science, and human geography."