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International Socialist Review, March-April 1970


The Editors

The ISR Enters a New Stage


From International Socialist Review, Vol.31 No.2, March-April 1970, pp.1-2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


In May 1970 the International Socialist Review will become a monthly theoretical magazine published by members of the Socialist Workers Party and the Young Socialist Alliance in the United States. It will be the first such monthly magazine of revolutionary socialism to be published in the US since 1947, when the narrowing circles of the radical movement were forced to retreat and retrench in the face of a growing reaction. At that time the Fourth International, the predecessor of the International Socialist Review, was forced to revert to a bimonthly schedule. In 1954, at the very height of the cold-war witchhunt and in the heyday of Senator Joseph McCarthy, we were forced to cut back once again and publish on a quarterly schedule. In those years the hard fact is that there was only a relative handful of people interested in learning about Marxism and even fewer who were willing to make the financial and political commitment necessary for a political magazine to be successful.

But the decade of the cold war and reaction led to its own opposite as the process of radicalization – which had been temporarily derailed – picked up again, this time primarily on the campus and within the Black community. A key part of this radicalization was the rejection of the ruling ideology of the bourgeoisie, both in its liberal and its conservative colors. A search for alternative ideas and an interest in engaging in action against the policies and institutions of capitalism became increasingly popular, especially among the youth.

In this context the ideas of Marxism became of interest to growing numbers of people The ISR was able to respond to this opportunity by returning to bimonthly publication in the beginning of 1967. At that time we told our readers that this change was but one step towards our goal of reestablishing a monthly theoretical magazine of genuine Marxism in the heartland of world imperialism. We are now ready to take the next step.

We are doing it with the collaboration and participation of the editors of the Young Socialist. This collaboration in the field of publication will be an example of one of the most important processes that has occurred in the radical movement in the past decade. That is the forging of strong ties between two powerful forces: that section of the new generation of radicals which has, through serious analysis of its experiences in the living struggles, come to the conclusion that Marxism represents the only viable alternative; and the revolutionary party – the conscious storehouse of the experience of the entire history of the revolutionary movement – which has turned towards the youth and won from it fresh forces in the fight for a socialist revolution.

The Young Socialist Alliance, having undergone a rapid growth in the past year, is expanding its publication plan as well. It will stop publishing the monthly Young Socialist. In its place will appear a biweekly newspaper, the Young Socialist Organizer, as well as the expanded jointly-published International Socialist Review. The Young Socialist Organizer will contain the reports, discussions and decisions of the Young Socialist Alliance.

The International Socialist Review will be the magazine of the socialist component of the current radicalization; it will speak for both the youth, just coming to revolutionary politics, and for the veterans of class struggle over the years.

We will not be content with publishing a “little magazine” of the left We are aiming for a mass circulation monthly to guarantee that the perspectives of authentic Marxism are available to the millions who are now in motion against the capitalist system. This will not be an easy task and it won’t be accomplished overnight The ISR will be appealing to you for assistance in this ambitious and exciting new project Present subscribers to the ISR will receive the new magazine for the duration of their subscription. We invite new subscribers. Five dollars will get you a full-year-first-year subscription to the expanded International Socialist Review!

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Last updated on 25 June 2009