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The Revolutionary Socialist League was created from the Revolutionary Tendency which was expelled from the International Socialists (IS) in 1973. The Revolutionary Tendency had been unhappy that the IS was working with labor reform groups in unions, but were muted in the call for socialism while doing labor work. The Revolutionary Socialist League (RSL) saw a need to follow the Transitional Program that Leon Trotsky published in 1938. The RSL published a newspaper called The Torch.
In 1976, the Revolutionary Party Tendency is expelled from the RSL. The tendency would go on to form the League for the Revolutionary Party (LRP). One of the disagreements between the tendency and the RSL majority was the RSL majority wanted to create a mass labor party in the United States, which the LRP disagreed with.
In the early 1980s the RSL became more interested in anarchist ideas, and became friendly with groups such as the Workers Solidarity Alliance. The group disbanded in 1989, with many members joining the anarchist group Love and Rage.