The arms race between the USA and the USSR escalated in the 1980s because of Reagan’s “Star wars” programme. Ted Grant outlined the real reasons for the antagonism and the factors that ruled out an open war between US capitalism and the USSR, and explained that only the conscious mobilisation of the working class could put an end to this criminal “Cannons instead of butter” policy.
In 1972 Ted Grant highlighted the fact that the war in Vietnam was unwinnable by US imperialism. The US army was demoralised and could not fight a people struggling for national and social liberation. While Marxists supported the Vietnamese people, the regime that would come to power would be modelled on Stalinist Russia and China and therefore would require political revolution for the masses to move towards genuine socialism.
In 1971 in Britain the Tory government's the Industrial Relations Bill brought the country close to a general strike with many militants calling for concrete action. The Communist Party first called for such a strike and then light-mindedly dropped it without any explanation. Ted Grant pointed out that in the conditions of the time the call for a general strike had to go hand in hand with systematic preparation for power; otherwise it would be a frivolous and dangerous approach.
A few weeks into the first Wilson government Ted Grant pointed out that, "Labour must either introduce drastic measures against the insurance giants, the big banks and the monopoly concerns that dominate the British economy, or the Labour leaders will become tools in their hands." He warned that if they chose the latter, this would lead to defeat of Labour, which eventually came in 1970.
At the end of the Second World War a polemic
broke out between the British Trotskyists of the RCP and the European
Secretariat of the Fourth International as to whether bourgeois democratic or
Bonapartist regimes had been established in Western Europe.
This bitter exchange of letters between Ted Grant and the leader of the US
Workers’ Party, Max Shachtman, gives a taste of that debate. Ted’s letter was
first published in The New International in February 1947 with a reply
by Max Shachtman.
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
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
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.
1947 the US "liberal" Henry
Wallace visited Britain to
present his views against the policies of Truman, while at the same time
defending the "progressive" character of Roosevelt's
policies. Ted Grant argued that Wallace had nothing to offer the workers but
empty words while glossing over the same imperialist policies.
In March 1947,
Ted Grant welcomed the revolutionary opposition to the reformist
policies of the leadership emerging from within the ranks of the
Communist Party, especially among workers, at that year's Party
conference. Differences were raised on the question of workers'
control on the railways and the CP leaders' lavish support for
Labour government's policies.
the end of 1946 the post-war Labour government issued a Bill for the
nationalization of transport provoking furious criticisms from the Tories. Ted
Grant explained why Marxists opposed compensation to the transport company
shareholders and demanded that workers should take control over the industry
through the election of a Workers' Board.
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.