At the end of January, the international leadership of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) met in Italy. This was the leading body’s first in-person meeting in exactly three years, the last having taken place in January 2020, just as COVID-19 was spreading across the globe. Now, at last, comrades from every continent – 27 countries in total – could meet to reflect and discuss.
The meeting reflected on the lessons of the last three years and on the tremendous strides the IMT has taken in that time. Comrades discussed the turbulent processes that have shaped the world and are preparing revolutionary explosions in the period to come. Above all, comrades discussed preparations for new advances, and for the landmark World Congress that will bring hundreds of comrades together from across the globe this summer.
The past few years have seen an enormous leap forward in the forces of the IMT. From 2019 to today, the number of comrades adhering to this International have grown by 85 percent, with a 34 percent growth over 2020 alone.
In some parts of the world, that growth has been even faster: 165 percent in Britain; 125 percent in the United States, and over 100 percent in Austria and Denmark. In many countries, a process of rejuvenation has taken place, laying the ground for new leaps forward. Meanwhile, new groups of the IMT have been formed in over ten countries that are working towards becoming fully-fledged sections of the IMT, including in South Africa, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Ireland, Portugal, Sri Lanka and India.
These are the quantitative measures of our advance, but they paint only half the picture. They do not give a proper measure of the qualitative advances of the International.
The last three years have seen the launch of the publication In Defence of Marxism-América Socialista magazine, a theoretical journal of unsurpassed quality, over 4,000 copies of which are sold per issue. They have seen two remarkable International Marxist Universities held in 2020 and 2022, with 6,600 registrations and 7,700 registrations at each respectively. And the international fundraising collection held by the IMT each year has increased by 700 percent since 2018! These facts and figures attest to the increasing commitment, energy and professionalism of the IMT.
What has been the secret (if it can be called a secret) to our success? As comrade Hamid Alizadeh explained in the organisational report:
“[Many] on the left cannot understand how we do it. We have built a very impressive organisation. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. All of these successes can be boiled down to one thing: the power of ideas. Our ideas are the only justification for our existence, and they are our most important tool.
“Young people today feel lost; they feel that life is empty and claustrophobic under this system. They are instinctively groping for something more. They want to soar above the trivialities of life under capitalism; they want something real to aspire to. Only revolutionary Marxism can provide that.”
This seeking after radical, revolutionary ideas among the youth can be found everywhere. A most interesting report was given by the Spanish comrades on the emergence of the ‘Socialist Movement’ in the Basque Country. Beginning as a left-wing split of the youth section of the nationalist party, Bildu, the young members of the ‘Socialist Movement’ have declared themselves in favour of communism, internationalism and the dictatorship of the proletariat. They have attracted thousands of young people to their demonstrations under these advanced slogans.
But the same mood exists across the whole Spanish State. As such, the ‘Socialist Movement’ quickly spread from the Basque Country to Catalonia, Valencia, Madrid and beyond. The same layer is growing all over the globe. More and more young people are seeking out genuine communism. The main barrier they encounter is that the genuine communists as yet represent a small group. Meanwhile, the ruling class has sought to bury these ideas – and especially the ideas of Lenin – under a heap of lies and distortions. The Stalinists have played their own infamous part in spreading lies and confusion too.
As an antidote to these lies, next year the IMT will launch a campaign to coincide with the centenary of Lenin’s death in 1924. Its aim will be precisely to go on the offensive; to reclaim the real ideas of Lenin and of Bolshevism; to clear away a path for the ever-growing layer of young people seeking out genuine Bolshevik ideas.
A world on fire
The discussion on the world situation impressed upon all comrades present the urgency of our work: to grow, educate, and again to grow the forces of Marxism.
The world situation is becoming ever-more turbulent. Around the world there has been an explosion of inequality. Even in the advanced capitalist countries, hunger is on the rise. One crisis is compounding another: health crises, cost of living and inflation crises, the war in Ukraine, energy crises, etc., etc. The capitalist class has run out of the ammunition it used to get out of past crises, and is now stricken by panic and divisions. And class struggle is on the rise.
Precisely in the week that comrades met to discuss the world situation, fresh outbursts of the class struggle were erupting. In France, almost 3 million workers came out on strike against Macron’s pension reform. A few days earlier, the slogan, “the workers’ revenge: socialist revolution!” could be heard on a 7,000-strong demonstration of Basque youth. And a few days later, half a million workers were on strike in Britain – the biggest single day of strike action in Britain in over a decade.
This is the beginning of an awakening of the working class. In the words of Alan Woods, “Fresh layers of the class are coming into action. A fresh breeze is blowing.”
But as these layers are entering into struggle, they are meeting one primary obstacle – the conservatism of their own leadership.
“The old leaders have become mentally paralysed, useless, hypnotised by past defeats. They are unable to see past the end of their own noses,” Alan explained.
In contrast to these old, tired out layers, by way of example, Alan described the mood among striking nurses in Britain:
“You can see the fire, the revolutionary instinct, in the eyes of these young nurses, who are on strike for the first time. The IMT will stand or fall on our ability to reach that layer… We must turn towards the picket lines, towards the factories, towards the strikers.”
From among this advanced layer and from the revolutionary youth, the IMT is building the forces of Marxism – initially small, but growing each day – in order to intervene in these stormy events. Our aim is to assist in building an alternative, revolutionary leadership of the working class that can lead the latter to complete its historic mission, putting an end to capitalism once and for all and building a society worthy of human beings. Join us in this task.