Who was Georg Scheuer; what was the Revolutionary Workers League?
In Vol.7/No1 of "Revolutionary History", my friend Fritz Keller and me published an obituary of Georg Scheuer (1915 - 1996). Scheuer was a leading member of the Austrian RKÖ (Revolutionary Communists) and participated, together with another comrade (Karl Fischer) of his organization in the founding Conference of the Fourth Internation at Perigny. The Austrian delegates Scheuer and Fischer voted against the proclamation of the F.I. and developed criticisms towards the position of the FI in defence of the USSR (which they saw as a sort of state-capitalist country). We thought we knew all "secretes" about Georg (who kept up to his death a rather conspirative silence about various activities of the RKÖ), when we learned from a letter by Ernie Rogers, that the RKÖ had formed in August an international faction "Provisional International Contact Commission for the New Communist (Fourth) International" which lastet till 1946. Participants were the RKÖ, a Revolutionary Workers League (USA) and a Leninist League (England). One of the leaders of the RWL is (was?) Carl Cowl, Ernie Rogers is the last living member of the English Leninist League. Just to satisfy my curiosity: Does anyone on this list know something about these organizations? I don´t want to start a discussion about hair-splitting groups in the thirties, I just want to fill a "white spot" on the biographical map of Georg Scheuer. Many thanks in advance to anybody who could contribute some piece of information,
Kurt Lhotzky, Vienna
The RWL was Hugo Oehler's party, which opposed entry into the Socialist Party (U.S. version of the French Turn), and, once in, opposed the Trotskyists' split from the SP a year later. That is, the Oehlerites opposed entry as a tactic, but regarded entrism itself as legitimate under some circumstances, and further regarded factional entrism with the intention of splitting as unprincipled. Sidney Lens, the Chicago labor leader and historian, was probably the best known Oehlerite. When Sid ran for the U.S. Congress as an (Independent) anti-war candidate in the 1960s, the press mercilessly attacked him for his communist (i.e., Oehlerite Trotskyist) past, which he refused to repudiate.
I believe the Communist League of America was in the Fourth International by the time of Oehler's split, but as a practical matter, until its dissolution into the SP, and its subsequent re-emergence as the SWP, it still functioned as the Left Opposition, maneuvering mainly on CP turf.