The Workers’ Liberty website contains a long article, dated 3 March 2013 entitled “The Seven Ages of the Socialist Workers Party (UK) and its predecessors, Socialist Review and IS”. This presents a long account of the history of the SWP and its predecessors which in many ways differs radically from the account I gave in my Cliff biography. I do not have time to go through all the points of disagreement. However, there is one bibliographical point which corrects a mistake in my bibliography.
On page 591 under the heading “Miscellaneous Articles” I listed an article appearing in New Politics (US), No 2: Winter 1962 entitled “The 22nd Congress of the Russian Communist Party”. I had not seen that issue of New Politics, and thought it was simply a reprint of the article “The 22nd Congress of the CPSU” published in Socialist Review November 1961. (page 571).
As the Workers’ Liberty piece points out, I was wrong; the New Politics article was significantly different:
Again, at the 22nd Congress of the ruling party in the USSR, in 1961, Khrushchev returned to his anti-Stalin theme, and gave a lot more detail. Cliff wrote an article on the 22nd Congress which was published in three variants — one in the US magazine New Politics, one in SR, and one in IS journal.
In the New Politics version, the longest of the three, he developed the perspective of “welfare state” state capitalism in the USSR. “The programme, in sum, is one of ‘Welfare State Capitalism’.” Cliff warned that “the transition from poor, aspiring state capitalism to mature ‘welfare’ state capitalism… will, at best, take decades… Communist Russia will probably never succeed in becoming a full fledged ‘welfare” state capitalist society”; but he didn’t question the direction of development, or see any reason why Khrushchev couldn’t continue to make concessions until there would be in existence, under state-capitalist totalitarianism, a welfare system as there was in the West.