James P. Cannon

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James P. Cannon (February 11, 1890August 21, 1974) was an American Trotskyist communist leader. Cannon was the leading founder of the Socialist Workers Party.


  • Trotskyism is not a new movement, a new doctrine, but the restoration, the revival of genuine Marxism as it was expounded and practiced in the Russian revolution and in the early days of the Communist International.
    • History of American Trotskyism
  • The economic prerequisites for the socialist revolution are fully matured in the US. The political premises are likewise far more advanced than might appear on the surface.
    • Theses on the American Revolution
  • The workers of America have power enough to topple the structure of capitalism at home and to lift the whole world with them when they rise.
    • The Struggle for a Proletarian Party
  • The American capitalists are richer and stronger than their counterparts in other lands. They are also younger and more ignorant, and therefore more inclined to seek a rough settlement of difficulties without diplomatic subtlety and finesse. All that does not change the fact that American capitalism operates according to the same laws as the others, is confronted with the same fundamental problems, and is headed toward the same catastrophe.
    • Fascism and the workers' part
  • These monster cities we live in today are blights of modern society. They will certainly give way to planned cities interlinked to the countryside. Everybody will live with the natural advantages of the country and the cultural associations of the town.
    • What socialist America will look like?
  • Recoiling against the cult of Stalin, which caused such devastation in the American radical movement, some people now describe all reference to the Marxist authorities as the cult of Marx, the cult of Lenin, or the cult of Trotsky. Those who used to forbid themselves to say anything until it was first said by Stalin, or even to think any thoughts which had not first been thought for them by Stalin, have suddenly decided that the cure for this mental, moral and political prostration is to listen to nothing that is said and to read nothing that has been written outside the borders of the fifty states.
    • Trotsky on America

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