International Socialist Organization

The International Socialist Organization (ISO) was a Trotskyist group active primarily on college campuses in the United States that was founded in 1976 and dissolved in 2019. The organization held Leninist positions on imperialism and the role of a vanguard party. However, it did not believe that necessary conditions for a revolutionary party in the United States were met; ISO believed that it was preparing the ground for such a party. The organization held a Trotskyist critique of nominally socialist states, which it considered class societies. In contrast, the organization advocated the tradition of "socialism from below." as articulated by Hal Draper.[2] Initially founded as a section of the International Socialist Tendency (IST), it was strongly influenced by the perspectives of Draper and Tony Cliff. It broke from the IST in 2001, but continued to exist as an independent organization for the next eighteen years. The organization advocated independence from the U.S. two-party system and sometimes supported electoral strategies by outside parties, especially the Green Party of the United States.

International Socialist Organization
LeaderCollective leadership
(Steering Committee)
NewspaperSocialist Worker
Political positionFar-left
International affiliationFourth International (permanent observer)

The organization emphasized educational work on the socialist tradition. Branches also took part in activism against the Iraq War, against police brutality, against the death penalty, and in labor strikes and other social movements. At its peak in 2013, the group had as many as 1,500 members.[3] The organization argued that it was the largest revolutionary socialist group in the United States at that time.[4] The ISO experienced discord in early 2019, upon exposure that its leadership mishandled an accusation of sexual assault in 2013 and voted to dissolve itself shortly after.

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