Sometimes the best way to combat something is to bring it out into light. One thing the socialist movement in the US suffers heavily from is sectarianism (not the broadly misused form of the word sectarian where people call you sectarian for writing a polemic against a certain group or ideology, or for calling an idea Utopian or liberal). Sectarianism is when someone or a group cause splits in the movement for opportunist reasons rather it be money, members, leader control etc etc etc. A great example is when two groups share the same politics, same political line and yet still do not unite their parties for silly reasons thus keeping divisions over small or petty reasons (members, money, leader control.)
Nothing annoys me more than when I say I disagree with the Trotskyist/anarchist/social-democrats and their tactics and instantly the other person yells; "sectarian!". This is a misuse of the word. If I had said; "don't be a trotskyist/anarchist/social-democrat because they eat babies and want to enslave the working class" with the intention to keep people from joining a Trotskyist/anarchist/social-democrat ORG so they would join mine then that would be sectarian. I just wanted to make that clear before moving on.
I hope to bring light to some sectarian organizations and parties in this post. Not just to attack these groups but to hopefully help them get over this problem and maybe we can create a bigger movement if we can get over sectarian problems.
First I'd like to address the Trotskyist sectarian groups. First of all it is important to point out that the third campist who constantly blame Stalin for everything to the point that they sound like conspiracy theorist are being sectarian (and annoying). They cause the largest split between socialist in this nation. What happened in the thirteen congress is over, Trotsky lost, Stalin won, there was no conspiracy, Trotsky was in the party for only a few years and Stalin's line won get over it and move forward this is the USA 2011 not Russia 19-anything. You will have to work with Stalinist if you want the revolution to happen. (this is just a small example but I don't wanna turn this into a Trot bash but in my opinion the Trotskyist line is almost pure sectarian under fake calls for unity/solidarity)
Now I would like to point out point blank the sectarian Trotskyist parties who's politics differ so little that the fact they do not combine their groups is prof of true sectarianism. Even though I don't view them as real communist and see them as no more than paper boy liberals the ISO (international socialist ORG) is one of the first groups I think of when sectarianism comes to mind. Besides their members being notoriously rude/sectarian and pompous asses they share many political stances with other groups. The ISO could easily merge with the SWP (socialist Workers Party) they could also absorb Socialist Action. If all of these groups joined together they could have a small but considerate amount of influence on the political landscape. But that would mean working together across their international groups which would mean throwing off the chains of sectarianism. I can't speak for the SWP as I have never even met a SWP member but I don't think that the ISO would be capable of building this network between other groups.
Other groups that could be joined in with those same parties are the Socialist Organizer, the International Marxist Tendency's US group, the Workers International League and the Socialist Alternative. Though these groups are much smaller and would have a smaller impact but coupled with the SA, ISO and SWP they could have some political relevance.
Now I am going to address the APL (American Party of Labor) who seem to think only Hoxha and Stalin had any clue what socialism was and how it is to be built and everyone else is a revisionist/reactionary etc etc etc. This is another group who's members are notoriously assholes and are almost irrelevant in every struggle. If the APL got over their selves and focused on ground work and not insulting other groups they could probably grow and become relevant. Although to give credit where credit is due; they are pretty much unique in their political line so their main form of sectarianism is their in-ability to work with anyone who is not a Hoxhaist.
My next group of people I address will be the tankie Marxist Leninist groups. Now seeing as I was in one of these groups I am most knowledgeable in this section and this section breaks my heart the most. Unfortunately the sectarianism in this area is based on recruiting members to their groups and leaders. I think if the tankie/anti-imperialist groups all got together that they could have a large group with a good amount of political sway in the country. You probably know all of these parties if you are from the US left if not; The PSL (Party for Socialism and Liberation) the FRSO-FB (freedom road socialist organization-fight back) and the WWP (workers world party). I think if these groups joined together that the US would have the biggest socialist movement it has had since the 60's. With the PSL's numbers and the FRSO's ability to motivate people into the streets I really think this coalition would be an unmovable force with a great amount of influence.
What is sad that these groups are not very sectarian besides this aspect, in fact I think all these groups are good at working with other parties and groups to achieve their goals.
The differences between these three parties are so minuscule that they are not even worth mentioning. This is the saddest case of sectarianism I see in the US today. When I think of the best opportunity to create a large and relevant movement in the USA this is the number one way I think that it should be done. These three groups should unite and they should unite today!