Marxism vs. Revisionism

Alan Woods, editor of www.marxist.com and author of many books including Reason in Revolt and The Venezuelan Revolution: A Marxist Perspective, talks to the Oxford Brookes Socialist Society on the relevance of socialism in the 21st century.

The ideas of the International Marxist Tendency are very clear. We stand for the genuine ideas of Marxism and base ourselves on the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. You may agree or disagree with these ideas. Occasionally however, we encounter opponents who are prepared to go to incredible lengths to distort and falsify what we stand for. Just such a case came up earlier this year when the French language journal, La Vérité, published by the Lambertist group launched a vicious and dishonest attack on our positions. Here we explain what we really stand for.

Ted Grant remembers the day the news of Trotsky's murder came over the radio as he lay in bed in hospital. First published in Militant 17 August 1990.

An article by Israel Shamir, La saga de Woods, appeared on October 15, on the Spanish language web site Rebelión. Shamir brings out all his Stalinist venom against genuine Marxism – i.e. Trotskyism – but he also adds some of his own novel ideas. Alan Woods, basing himself on the classical writings of Marx, Engels and in particular Lenin, shows how Stalinism and Marxism are opposites.

Today is the 64th anniversary of the brutal assassination of Leon Trotsky by a Stalinist agent. We commemorate this event by publishing an article by his grandson, Esteban Volkov, which was a preface to the recent reissuing of Trotsky’s My Life. It is a fitting tribute to this great revolutionary who remains an inspiration to all those fighting for the emancipation of the proletariat.

In the three articles that Luis Oviedo has written in answer to my article published on January 7 (Marxism versus Sectarianism - Reply to Luis Oviedo) a number of very important issues are raised. These questions deserve the most careful consideration by Marxists in Britain, Argentina and internationally. However, in order to clarify the issues raised and to educate the cadres (which ought to be the aim of every polemic) it is necessary to avoid heated language, distortions and personal attacks that only serve to divert attention away from the political questions. Such an approach will only confuse matters

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My attention was recently drawn to an article signed by Luis Oviedo, entitled The Counterrevolutionary Position of Socialist Appeal(in Prensa Obrera nº 826).Having read the article, I could not decide whether it was the product of bad faith or simple ignorance. Certainly, the method used is contrary to every basic principle of Marxism and above all Trotskyism, which comrade Oviedo and the Partido Obrero (PO) claim to defend.

One hundred and twenty years ago - on March 14 1883 to be precise - Karl Marx, one of the greatest figures in human history, died. Despite over a century of attacks, distortions and attempts to belittle Marx's contribution, no-one can doubt that he dramatically altered the course of human history.

Marxists study history not for the smugness of 20/20 hindsight, but in order to learn its lessons. Trotsky's insistent call for a united front of workers' organisations to defeat fascism in Germany went tragically unheeded.

This Socialist Appeal pamphlet was written by Ted Grant and Alan Woods in March 1994 as an introduction to to Marxism in Our Time by Leon Trotsky. It is a powerful defence of the relevance of Marxist ideas at a time when the forces of socialism appeared to be on the back foot. The subsequent decades proved the validity of these lines: "The next period will see big battles between the classes that will put the struggles of the past in the shade."

In June 1948, Tony Cliff, an RCP member, published a lengthy document entitled The Nature of Stalinist Russia. This work has been extended over the years, and the arguments partly modified, but its essence has always been the idea that Russia, under Stalin, became 'state capitalist'. It followed from this that the other states of the Eastern bloc were also 'state capitalist'. Taken as a whole, the reply to this by Ted Grant is itself a modern 'classic', a major contribution to the theoretical arsenal of Marxism. It is to this day the most definitive defence, and a deepening, of the original arguments of Leon Trotsky, that Russia was a degenerated workers' state, and in

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This book is correctly regarded as one of Trotsky's finest classics. It is a product of a sharp polemic within the American Trotskyist movement during the period 1939-40. This was a dispute which touched on the very fundamentals of Marxism. It was for this reason that Trotsky himself participated in this struggle in the form of a series of articles and letters that are brought together in this volume.

We republish Leon Trotsky's 1938 pamphlet, Their Morals and Ours. Written while Trotsky was in exile in Mexico, the pamphlet answers critics of the Russian Revolution, who smeared the Bolsheviks as "amoral". Trotsky argues that morality is not fixed but reflects class interests in society. So-called common sense and "elementary moral precepts" against violence, for example, in reality serve the interests of the ruling class. Revolutionary morality – including the use of violence in class struggle – is determined by whatever advances the cause of the proletariat, and thus the liberation of humanity.

A transcription of Leon Trotsky's address to the N.Y. Hippodrome Meeting. The speech "I Stake My Life!" was delivered by telephone from Mexico City for the opening event of the Dewey Commission on the Moscow Trials.

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