Rich Whitney belonged to he much older -but still existing- Socialist Labor Party founded by Daniel DeLeon back in 1877 . The Socialist Party and IWW eclipsed the SLP in the first decade of the 20th century.
Yet it lingered on. It was a fixture on the new left in the 60s and 70s when elderly members and younger converts like Whitney would show up with copies of The People. The SLP's current National Secretary, Robert Bills, writes to Illinois Times of Whitney's eighteen year history with the SLP.
PARTY OUT OF BOUNDSI've changed my mind on Socialism but I'm proud to have known Frank Zeidler and grateful for the brief time I spent with the SP. So I'm not Yellow about having been Red.
There are two types of lies: lies of commission and lies of omission. Green Party gubernatorial candidate Richard Whitney told little green lies of both types when Terry Martin of the Illinois Channel asked him two direct questions during a recently televised interview: “What is your history? What party have you identified with over your adult life?”
To these questions Whitney replied: “I’ve always been independent-minded. I’ve never been a member of the Democratic or Republican parties. . . . I actually have been a Green for over 10 years now, because I helped found . . . our local in 1996 . . . . I’ve been always very much involved in third-party kind of politics in trying to get us out of this stranglehold of the two party system.” (Watch the video at http://www.whitneyforgov.org)
Fact is that the 51-year-old candidate and 10-year veteran of the Green Party belonged to the Socialist Labor Party for 18 years, from 1975 until 1993. There’s nothing wrong with being a Socialist, at least I don’t think so. There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind about being a Socialist. However, there is something wrong about a candidate asking for your trust while concealing the truth when asked: “What is your history? What party have you identified with over your adult life?”
Green and yellow really do go together.
Socialist Labor Party of America
In fact, Bush's ownership society ideas seem awfully close to the pension fund socialism comrades like Whitney and I argued about back in the 1970s. So maybe I'm still one.