The conflict that opened up in the Militant in 1991 eventually led to breaking point. The “Majority”, no longer able to tolerate any form of internal debate, decided to expel the Opposition, starting with Ted Grant, the founder of the Tendency. This act put the final seal on the degeneration of the old Militant. From a healthy, vibrant Marxist Tendency, it had been transformed into a bureaucratic, sectarian and undemocratic outfit. The opposition started to draw a balance sheet of the whole experience and this document is part of that.

Forty years ago this month the Militant was launched. Its subsequent evolution has no parallel in the history of left groups in Britain or internationally. From a miniscule group with no resources, it became the most successful Trotskyist tendency in Britain since the founding of Trotsky’s Left Opposition. Unfortunately the majority of its leadership was to take an ultra-left turn that would eventually destroy it. Rob Sewell, who was part of the opposition to that turn, recounts what happened.

On the 40th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of the Militant (October 1964) Fred Weston interviewed Ted Grant, the key theoretician behind the whole project.

The resolution adopted by the International Pre-Conference of the Fourth International in April 1946, was permeated with the false perspective of the impending revolutionary crisis, the impossibility of a general economic recovery of capitalism and therefore it highlighted the excellent possibilities to develop the forces of the Fourth International. All this of course was false and eventually led to one crisis after another of the organization, and to its final collapse.

A comrade who was actively involved in building the Militant in the 1970s and 1980s recounts his experience, how he became disillusioned by the changes in the internal regime, how the tendency he had joined was transformed into something else. He now sees in In Defence of Marxism the genuine traditions of the Militant at its best.

We are publishing a 1945 article by Ted Grant’s which was a contribution to the discussion on the national question in Europe then taking place within the Fourth International. The IKD was the German section of the Fourth International, but some of its members had unfortunately drawn some very reactionary conclusions. Instead of the perspective of the socialist revolution they had been thrown back to the idea of the “national democratic” revolution. Ted explained the disastrous consequences this idea would have on the movement and went on to state the classical Marxist position on this question.

In 1946 the leaders of the Fourth International were predicting imminent revolutonary upheavals, when in reality capitalism was entering the biggest boom in its history. The leadership of the British Trotskyists, in particular Ted Grant, tried to convince the International that their perspective was false. History has proven Ted to be right. No one can doubt it, and we are proud to continue the tradition that he laid down of serious, meticulous analysis of the real processes taking place in society.

In 1946 the perspectives of the then leadership of the Fourth International were that through “the combined economic, political and diplomatic pressure and the military threats of American and British imperialism” the Stalinist regime in the Soviet Union could collapse. The complete opposite was the truth. Ted Grant, together with the leadership of the RCP, attempted to correct this mistaken prognosis. Here we provide the historical 1946 documentation.