Political Party/527

Freedom Socialist Party

Website:

socialism.com/

Location:

Seattle, WA, United States

Formation:

1966

Type:

Political Party

The Freedom Socialist Party is an American revolutionary Marxist-Leninist party established in Seattle. It was founded in 1966 by Clara Fraser and other members of the radical-left Socialist Workers Party who broke with the SWP insisting it was not radical enough.

Background

The Freedom Socialist Party is a political party that describes itself as a revolutionary socialist feminist organization. Its goals include the replacement of capitalist rule by a “genuine workers’ democracy” to provide “economic, social, political and legal equality.” It claims most citizens are “exploited, oppressed and repelled” and that capitalism is an “offshoot” of imperialism. [1]

Created in 1966 in Seattle, the party also has branches in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. The Freedom Socialist Party either nominates its own candidates or endorses candidates running in other parties for federal, state, and local elections. [2]

The party endorsed Socialist Action Party write-in presidential candidate Jeff Mackler for President in 2020, asserting that socialists should not settle for voting for the Democratic ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and complaining the Democratic Party contributes to a racist, sexist, capitalist system. [3]

The Freedom Socialist Party is a sister organization to the group Radical Women, which is self-described as the left-wing of the feminist movement and the feminist wing of the socialist movement. [4]

The party sought to capitalize on the often-polarizing presidency of Donald Trump, asserting it is against all things Trump, asserting that “Trump’s agenda threatens nearly everyone who isn’t straight, white, male, and the CEO of a major company.” [5]

Platform

The Freedom Socialist Party platform says it is “a product of the living tradition of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky” as well as James P. Cannon [founder of the U.S. Socialist Workers Party] and Clara Fraser [one of the co-founders of the Freedom Socialist Party] who have followed them.” [6]

The party’s platform calls for “revolutionary internationalism,” which it states as liberating from country boundaries or gender boundaries for “world socialism.” [7]

The platform states, “Because of the multiple oppressions they face, queer women of color are a particularly militant component of social movements.” [8]

The platform insists “all people have the inalienable right to security, care, love, and unhampered opportunity for growth, creativity, and productivity.” [9]

The Freedom Socialist Party’s ten-point program would ban bailouts for bankers and speculators; redirect military spending to train soldiers to provide peacetime social services; increase taxes on the rich and corporations; increase the minimum wage and expand compulsory labor unionism; mandate employer-funded child care; drastically reduce the prison population; expand LGBT protectins; provide universal employment and retirement security; provide universal government-funded housing, health care, and college education; mandate environmentally sustainable energy policy; and uphold “basic rights” by repealing the Patriot Act and dismantling the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. [10]

History

The Freedom Socialist Party was founded in Seattle in 1966. It celebrates that this occurred just a few years after 1959 when “Cuba brought socialist revolution to within 90 miles of the United States.” The founders left the Socialist Workers Party, asserting the SWP failed to support the struggles of black and women civil rights movements. [11]

The FSP founders claimed they also disagreed with the SWP’s assessment that the 1949 communist revolution in China was not a genuine worker’s revolution. The group complained of an “anti-democratic clampdown on internal debate” in the SWP, and thus formed the FSP. [12]

The FSP founders published a 1966 pamphlet called “Why We Left the SWP,” that faulted the party and labor unions for not being adequately involved in black activism, feminist activism, and anti-Vietnam War activity. [13]

The Freedom Socialist Party became all-woman within its first year after two of its founders, Dick and Clara Fraser, divorced. Dick sued for custody of the couple’s son, accusing her of adultery and being an unfit mother. The majority of the party sided with Clara, removed Dick, and became an all-woman party. [14]

The party boasts that it organized for expanded legal abortion years before the Roe v. Wade decision in the Supreme Court. It was also an early advocate for lesbian rights. [15]

Originating in Seattle, by its 10th anniversary in 1976 FSP had expanded to New York, Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco. The Freedom Socialist Party also has a branch in Australia in the 1980s. [16]

Regarding the end of the Cold War, the FSP acknowledges the Soviet Union had become corrupt dictatorships. But the party’s website says, “The fall of the Soviet bloc workers’ states, as corrupted as they were, was still a tragedy for workers worldwide. It again subjected the people of these countries to the untender mercies of the profit system and removed the Stalinist brake, even if an unreliable one, on imperialist aggression around the globe.” [17]

The party complained that President Barack Obama was the “warmaker-in-chief.” During the Obama administration, the party backed the movements of the Arab Spring in the Middle East and the Occupy Wall Street movement and later the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. The party nominated the ticket of Stephen Durham and Christina Lopez for president and vice president in 2012. In subsequent years it has endorsed other socialist party candidates. [18]

References

  1. Freedom Socialist Party. Cause IQ. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://www.idealist.org/en/nonprofit/efa26049d866417e9686a3e09dc3b734-freedom-socialist-party-new-york ^
  2. Freedom Socialist Party. Cause IQ. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://www.idealist.org/en/nonprofit/efa26049d866417e9686a3e09dc3b734-freedom-socialist-party-new-york ^
  3. Press Release. “FSP Endorses Socialist Action Candidate Jeff Mackler for President.” Freedom Socialist Party. October 2020. Accessed December 6, 2020. https://socialism.com/fs-article/the-case-for-voting-socialist/ ^
  4. Freedom Socialist Party. Cause IQ. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://www.idealist.org/en/nonprofit/efa26049d866417e9686a3e09dc3b734-freedom-socialist-party-new-york ^
  5. About. Freedom Socialist Party. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://socialism.com/about-fsp/ ^
  6. Platform. Freedom Socialist Party. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://socialism.com/about-fsp/?target=platform ^
  7. Platform. Freedom Socialist Party. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://socialism.com/about-fsp/?target=platform ^
  8. Platform. Freedom Socialist Party. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://socialism.com/about-fsp/?target=platform ^
  9. Platform. Freedom Socialist Party. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://socialism.com/about-fsp/?target=platform ^
  10. About. Freedom Socialist Party. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://socialism.com/about-fsp/ ^
  11. About. Freedom Socialist Party. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://socialism.com/about-fsp/ ^
  12. About. Freedom Socialist Party. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://socialism.com/about-fsp/ ^
  13. About. Freedom Socialist Party. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://socialism.com/about-fsp/ ^
  14. About. Freedom Socialist Party. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://socialism.com/about-fsp/ ^
  15. About. Freedom Socialist Party. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://socialism.com/about-fsp/ ^
  16. About. Freedom Socialist Party. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://socialism.com/about-fsp/ ^
  17. About. Freedom Socialist Party. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://socialism.com/about-fsp/ ^
  18. About. Freedom Socialist Party. Accessed December 5, 2020. https://socialism.com/about-fsp/ ^
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Freedom Socialist Party


Seattle, WA
United States