The Socialist Equality Party is the British section of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), the World Party of Socialist Revolution, which publishes the World Socialist Web Site. The Fourth International was established by Leon Trotsky, the co-leader with Lenin of the Russian revolution, in 1938 to continue the fight for internationalism against the nationalist program advanced by Stalin and his bureaucratic apparatus in the Soviet Union.
The ICFI represents the continuity of the struggle waged by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky to forge an independent revolutionary party of the working class for the overthrow of the capitalist profit system.
The name Socialist Equality Party was adopted in order to reconnect the working class with the essential goal of the socialist movement since its inception—the elimination of class oppression. It sets the International Committee in direct opposition, not only to the terrible inequalities developing within contemporary society, but to all those tendencies that misuse socialist phrases to legitimise support for capitalism and bureaucratic privilege, and who make ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation the axis of politics.
The Socialist Equality Party seeks to build our party in the working class and above all the younger generation. We are committed to the most energetic and active intervention in the struggles that will inevitably be unleashed by the ever more savage imposition of austerity and as a result of the opposition of millions to the escalation of imperialist military violence. But the development of a new socialist and internationalist leadership is possible only through waging the necessary theoretical and political work to educate working people and youth in the fundamental lessons of history and, in this way, free them from the alien influence of the petty-bourgeois defenders of capitalism and the political stranglehold of the Labour and trade union bureaucracy.
Our principles incorporate the essential experiences of the revolutionary upheavals of the twentieth century and the corresponding struggle waged by Marxists for the programme of world socialist revolution.
The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (also available from Mehring Books) reviews and examines the most critical political experiences of the British working class, centring in particular on the post-war history of the Trotskyist movement.
What we stand for
Our programme expresses the interests of the working class, the leading and decisive international revolutionary social force in modern capitalist society. The central task of the SEP is to win the support of British workers for the programme of international socialism.
The Socialist Equality Party held its Third National Congress in Sheffield in October 2016. The Congress unanimously endorsed the February 18, 2016 statement of the International Committee of the Fourth International, “Socialism and the Fight Against War,” and adopted two additional resolutions:
- For a new socialist movement against militarism, austerity and war
- Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party: The strategic lessons
These statements are available as a pamphlet from Mehring Books.
For the United Socialist States of Europe
Workers in Britain must reject all forms of racism and nationalism and link their struggles with workers in Europe and throughout the world. Against the European Union and its pro-business governments, we stand for workers’ rule across the continent.
End militarism and war
No more blood spilled for oil and resources. Withdraw all British military personnel from overseas. Put the war criminals in Westminster and Washington on trial.
Defend democratic rights
The defence of democratic rights requires shutting down the state’s mass spying apparatus and its multiple agencies—MI5, MI6 and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). All anti-terror legislation and other measures that have curtailed individual liberties must be rescinded. Withdraw all anti-trade union and anti-strike legislation.
Redistribute the nation’s wealth
Cancel all debts to the international finance institutions, and transform the banks and major corporations into publicly owned and democratically controlled utilities. Wealth must be taken off the billionaires and used to meet essential social needs.
An emergency public works programme
Reverse all austerity measures and spending cuts. Pour billions into the economy to end unemployment and provide decent paying jobs, free and high quality health, housing, education and social services.