Marxist Bulletin No. 4
Expulsion from the Socialist Workers Party
Letter to the Political Committee
By Jack Wright
For NC and CC Information
November 29, 1963
Socialist Workers Party
In regards to the suspension of the Robertson group: It is my opinion that this action was taken in haste and a somewhat arbitrary manner. It also appears to me that the trial–indeed if they had a trial, was not in the best procedures of democratic centralism. It is my belief that they were denied the privilege of having formal charges preferred against them before the whole party membership. And that they were denied access to internal bulletins and other party channels to defend their position and allegations against them. It is also my belief that the manner and method of their suspension was highly irregular and not in keeping with the best traditions of our party and the principles of proletarian democracy.
The rights of minorities to defend their position through regular party channels is the cornerstone of proletarian democracy. And the right to have formal charges preferred against them before the whole party membership stating their errors of commission and omission is a fundamental principle of democratic centralism.
The best traditions of proletarian democracy demands that all trials, suspensions and disciplinary actions be based squarely on the issues involved under the objective circumstances and that the only partiality shown is a partiality to revolutionary principles, the preservation of the party and the best interests of the working class. Any weakening of laxity in the fulfillment of the requirements of this principle can only tend to damage our party in the eyes of the workers and weaken the morale of all our comrades.
In 1954 I was locked out of the Communist Party. I was denied either a hearing or a trial, which I repeatedly demanded. I was denied any access to any body or organ of the party to defend my position and refute the slanders and accusations hurled at me. Comrades, I do not wish to see any form or degree of this creep into our party. It is precisely the opposite of this that attracted me to the SWP. In the SWP I found a party where even the most erroneous of my ideas and proposals were heard, expounded and corrected. To be a Socialist one must continually grow, both ideologically and politically. Without the clash of divergent views, discussion, study and activity this is impossible.
I respectfully ask the Political Committee to reconsider the suspension of the Robertson group, and to re-examine the evidence and charges against them. And if then, in their considered opinion they find these comrades in violation of party discipline and/or democratic centralism that formal charges be placed against them and that they be allowed access to internal bulletins and all legitimate channels to defend their position and refute or attempt to refute the charges against them.
It has not been made clear to me by the communications from the N.O. or PC that violations of party discipline have been committed.
Nothing in this letter is to be construed as endorsement of the views or policies of the Robertson group.