Eric Chester (born 6 August 1943) is a retired college professor and author who has been an active member of the Socialist Party USA since 1980 and is also a member of the national board of the Industrial Workers of the World radical labor union. He was a student activist in the 1960s, being arrested for civil disobedience protests over the Vietnam war. He is a socialist anarchist on the far-left within the Socialist Party USA as can be seen from this statement made on the Socialist National Committee website,
- Socialism begins with worker and community control of the means of production, decentralized planning, grass-roots democracy and total equality of income. Yet this can only provide a starting point. A democratic socialist society would have to challenge every form of oppression and hierarchy, in particular gender inequality, homophobia and ethnic bigotry. Ultimately, to succeed, socialism would have to rapidly move beyond the creation of a genuine workers' state to a society where the state fades away and social classes no longer exist. None of this can be done within national boundaries. Socialism is inherently international.
Socialist Party USA Involvement
Chester was the Socialist Party USA nominee for Vice President in 1996 and an unsuccessful candidate for the party's Presidential nomination in 2000. In 2002, he was the party's write-in nominee and "peace candidate" for Congress in a Massachusetts district. He was also an unsuccessful candidate in 2004 for President -- finishing second place -- at the national nominating convention.
Socialist Party USA 2007 National Convention
The Socialist Party USA 2007 National Convention, was held at Gateway Hilton St. Louis, Missouri October 19-21, 2007.
Socialist Party USA at Glasgow Socialism 2010
Eric Chester from the Socialist Party of the United States addressed an international rally at Socialism 2010 organized as part of the SSP's annual Socialism events. Frances Curran introducing said "He has stood out against the stream with the Socialist Party. He has also campaigned for support for Cuba and against the blockade of Cuba, not an easy thing to do in America." After conveying socialist greetings from his party Eric describes the US Socialist party as a pluralist, multi-tendency party like the SSP. It is a socialist feminist party which stands firmly outside the two party system.