Fourth Internationalist Tendency Records
Language of Materials
The Fourth Internationalist Tendency (FIT) was formed in 1983, by a group of individuals who split from the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and who went on to publish the Bulletin in Defense of Marxism. FIT disbanded in 1992, its members merging into another Trotskyist organization, Solidarity. The collection includes internal bulletins, minutes, and correspondence; it also contains some SWP internal documents, bulletins of a British Trotskyist organization, the Socialist League, and materials produced by the Fourth International.
The Fourth Internationalist Tendency (FIT) was a Trotskyist organization formed in 1983 after a factional split within the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). In the period 1981-1983 a number of leading members of the SWP, including George Breitman and Frank Lovell, created dissident factions within the Party and were soon expelled. Among the issues involved were differences over the SWP's turn toward "Castroism" and the question of affiliation and cooperation with the Fourth International. A 1982 speech by SWP leader Jack Barnes, "Their Trotsky and Ours," led to further defections and expulsions. A group of expelled members, led by Breitman and Lovell, went on to form the FIT in 1983. Other founding members of FIT included Paul Le Blanc, Evelyn Sell and Steve Bloom. Although expelled, the group considered itself an "external faction" of the SWP, and continued to try and influence the Party, without noticeable success. In 1990 the SWP, long estranged from the Fourth International, finally withdrew from the international body. This development caused the FIT to reassess its relationship to the SWP. The result was that the FIT disbanded in 1992 and merged with another Trotskyist organization, Solidarity, in 1993.
Folders are arranged alphabetically. The collection is organized in one series:
- Series I: General Files, 1984-1992.
Scope and Content Note
The collection contains correspondence, minutes, reports and internal bulletins produced by the Fourth Internationalist Tendency (FIT) and by other socialist groups working, both U.S. and foreign. Material and ephemera from FIT-sponsored events and projects are also found in the collection. Among these events are a 50th Anniversary celebration for the Fourth International, the "Moscow Trials Campaign," national conferences and speaking tours. In addition to various internal bulletins relating to FIT there is the FIT Information Letter, a short and frequently produced, multi-page newsletter highlighting recent activity within the organization, along with relevant mainstream news stories and announcements of events and demonstrations happening in the cities that the FIT had a presence in. Correspondence files include requests from the public for material about FIT. Paul Le Blanc, Evelyn Sell and Steve Bloom are primarily responsible for correspondence present in the collection, both internal communications and communications with other left groups.
Conditions Governing Access
Materials open without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright (and related rights to publicity and privacy) to materials in this collection created by the Fourth Internationalist Tendency was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.
Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date; Fourth Internationalist Tendency Records; TAM 156; box number; folder number;
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Materials were donated by Paul Le Blanc in 1993. The accession number associated with this gift is 1950.172.