Ted Grant

In 1956 there was a concerted attack by France, Britain and Israel against Egypt with the aim of seizing control of the Suez Canal nationalised by Nasser. Ted Grant explained that the outcome of the Suez war marked the downsizing of Britain and France as second-rate imperialist powers and exacerbated the revolt of the Arab masses against imperialist domination, preparing greater revolutionary crises in the future.

The events that unfolded towards the end of 1956 in Hungary shook all the Communist Parties of the world. The official line of the Communist Parties was that what was taking place in Hungary was a Fascist counter-revolution! Not all the ranks of the CPs were fooled. Many could see that the workers of Hungary had risen up against the bureaucratic elite in power. This could be no counter-revolution. 

With the death of Stalin, the Stalinist bureaucracy was not removed from the Soviet state. As Ted Grant explained in 1956: "The present leaders in the Kremlin claim that they are returning to the methods of Lenin. But they are preserving the basic gains and perquisites of the officialdom. If there has been a revulsion against the methods of Stalin, that has been for two reasons, the growing pressure of the masses, and the fear of the bureaucracy of a repetition of the personal and arbitrary rule of Stalin."

The NEC of the Labour Party in 1954 argued in favour of German rearmament against the Soviet "threat". The Labour left argued that a re-armed West Germany, backed by the United States, would be facing a hostile and armed East Germany, backed by Russia, making World War III "inevitable." Ted Grant replied to both, putting forward an internationalist position. Here we provide the full unabridged text.

Ted Grant's criticism of the pamphlet "Problems of Foreign Policy" published by Transport House in 1952 exposes the chauvinistic approach in foreign policy of the Labour leaders and their abandonment of a working class perspective.

In early 1952 fifty-seven Labour MPs voted against the Tory motion of endorsement for the rearmament programme, reflecting the deep dissatisfaction of the rank and file members of the Trade Unions and the Labour Party with the policy of the official Labour Movement. Ted Grant analysed the limits and the potential of this opposition developing around Bevan.

Using the method of Marxism to describe the regime of Tito, and hence explain the split with Stalin, this document by Ted Grant from 1949 takes the argument further and extends it to the example of China. It elaborates further the process by which Mao Tse Tung established his regime, explaining that it was, of necessity, 'deformed' from the very beginning.

In 1949 the new Occupation Statute gave control of the Ruhr region, the powerhouse of Europe, to the British, French and US imperialists. The excuse was to prevent the possibility of German rearmament. Ted Grant exposed the imperialists' interests behind this measure and denounced the chauvinistic policies of both the Stalinist and Labour leaders.

In January 1949 Ted Grant analysed the historical significance of the victory of Mao in China. Key to this victory was Mao's agrarian reform which won over the peasants while the feudal landlords and capitalists clung to the rotten Kuomintang. The Chinese revolution was second in importance only to the Russian October, but with one important difference: from day one the Chinese masses were expropriated of their political power by the Stalinist bureaucracy. 

In 1948 Ted Grant, commenting on the debate at the Tory Conference, argued that the Conservatives were trying to disguise with a thin layer of “social” veneer the class character of their policies in favour of the ruling class and warned against the possibility of a Tory comeback if the Labour leaders failed to deliver decisive social change.

We reprint this article by Ted Grant, first published in the July 1948 edition of Socialist Appeal which analyses the real reasons behind the split between Tito and Stalin.

In this pamphlet, written by Ted Grant, the RCP explained the social basis of fascism, as a mass movement based on the middle-class and set in motion by the capitalist class to smash the labour movement. Faced with the danger of social revolution and the loss of power, the British capitalists, no less than their European counterparts, would be prepared to mobilise and finance fascist gangs to atomise the workers organisations. The pamphlet describes how the British capitalists were sympathetic to Hitler and Mussolini before the war, and how they supported the nascent fascist movement in Britain around Oswald Mosley.

The Italian elections of April 18th, 1948 marked an important turning point in the class struggle in Europe with the defeat of the popular bloc led by the Italian CP and the victory of the Christian Democrats. Ted Grant analysed the role played in this defeat by the Church and the Allies, but pointed out that the imperialists had grabbed the chance to consolidate their control over Italy only thanks to the betrayal of Togliatti and the Stalinist leaders.

In 1947 a group of Russian workers over in Britain on a training programme were banned by the Soviet authorities from joining a British trade union, leading to conflict with the British workers who had fought for a closed shop. The Soviet bureaucracy could not tolerate the fact that these Russian workers might pick up a few ideas about basic trade union rights, which caused harsh debates within the British Communist Party.

After nationalizing Coal, it became evident to workers that conditions were not improving. A number of unofficial strikes broke out in 1947 provoking the threat of retaliatory sackings by the capitalist led Coal Board. Ted Grant vibrantly protested against the lavish acceptance of this measure by the leaders of the Miners' Union and called on them to give voice to the legitimate demands and grievances of the workers and fight for workers' control over the Coal industry.

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