This term refers to a current that has been active since the beginning of the Second World War, primarily within North American Trotskyism.
The essential difference between this and other currents is its rejection of the line envisaged by Trotsky in a case of war (consistent revolutionary defeatism and the defence of the Soviet Union, even if it were a “degenerated workers’ state”). In contrast, Third Camp Trotskyists argued that the Soviet Union had long joined one of the two imperialist camps in world politics. Therefore, it was necessary to pursue a form of revolutionary class politics that was independent of both imperialist camps. This position was represented by James Burnham and Max Shachtman, among others. In 1940, the US Socialist Workers Party split during the course of these debates.