Jack Barnes (1940– ) is national secretary of the Socialist Workers Party. He joined the SWP in May 1961 and has been a member of the party’s National Committee since 1963 and a national officer since 1968. Barnes joined the Young Socialist Alliance in December 1960, soon after a trip...
Jack Barnes (1940– ) is national secretary of the Socialist Workers Party. He joined the SWP in May 1961 and has been a member of the party’s National Committee since 1963 and a national officer since 1968.
Barnes joined the Young Socialist Alliance in December 1960, soon after a trip to revolutionary Cuba in July and August that year. On his return, he helped organize at Carleton College in Minnesota one of the largest and most active campus chapters of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Since joining the SWP, he has been a leader of the party’s defense of Cuba’s socialist revolution.
While organizer of the SWP branch in Chicago and YSA Midwest organizer, Barnes was a central leader of the successful four-year campaign to defend three YSA members in Bloomington, Indiana, indicted in 1963 for “assembling” to advocate the overthrow of the State of Indiana by force and violence. In 1965 he was elected YSA national chairman and became director of the SWP and YSA’s work to advance the growing movement against the Vietnam War. In January 1965 Barnes met twice with Malcolm X to conduct an interview published in the Young Socialist magazine.
Since the mid-1970s Barnes has led the political course of the SWP and its sister parties worldwide to build communist parties whose members and leaders in their large majority are workers and unionists organizing workers to forge and strengthen trade unions and lead the working class and its allies toward a successful socialist revolution.
Barnes is a contributing editor of New International magazine and author of numerous books and articles on revolutionary working-class politics and the communist movement. Titles include Are They Rich Because They’re Smart? Class, Privilege, and Learning Under Capitalism; The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record: Why Washington Fears Working People; Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power; Cuba and the Coming American Revolution; Their Trotsky and Ours; “US Imperialism Has Lost the Cold War”; and “The Stewardship of Nature Also Falls to the Working Class: In Defense of Land and Labor.”