International Marxist Tendency

To find out more about the history of the IMT, visit the section on our history.


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As the 26th congress of The Struggle tendency in Pakistan approaches, the Marxists in Israel send this message of solidarity to the Pakistani comrades.

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In preparing for this year’s congress of The Struggle in Pakistan, the first regional congress was held in Kashmir over the weekend with more than 450 participating. A brief report and some photos of the congress.

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In July the International Marxist Tendency organised its 2006 World Congress, with comrades attending from over 30 countries. Here we provide a report on the main discussions held, in particular World Perspectives, China and Organisational tasks. It was by far the biggest attended and most successful congress of the Tendency. In the coming period we will also be publishing the documents voted by the Congress.

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On the weekend of May 13-14, some 30 members and supporters of the Workers International League gatehered in St. Louis, Missouri for the 2006 National Congress. Guests included former members of Workers Action (who have now joined the WIL), and members of the rank and file UAW "Soldiers of Solidarity" movement.

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This year’s Socialist Appeal conference, which was held in London, showed a significant increase in attendance over last year, particularly of young comrades. Sellers and supporters attended from all over the country to participate in a weekend of debate and discussion.

We provide this report of the book launch meeting of Lal Khan’s book Kashmir’sOrdeal – A Revolutionary Way Out. At the peak of the meeting nearly 1000 people were present, who had come to hear Alan Woods and Lal Khan speak on the question of Kashmir. As one comrade said afterwards, the meeting will turn out to be an important turning point and milestone in the struggle for a socialist Kashmir. Picture gallery available.

We publish here a report on the second day of the 25th Congress of the Struggle. The comrades discussed perspectives for Pakistan and the growth and development of The Struggle over the last year, highlighting the growth in Kashmir, Pukhtunkhawa, and Afghanistan. See also a new picture gallery

Over 1400 comrades participated in the 25th congress of The Struggle in Pakistan. Discussions were held on world perspectives, perspectives for Pakistan, and the situation in Kashmir. 350 comrades from Kashmir travelled for hours to participate in the congress along with comrades from Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. See also the picture gallery.

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The Marxists of the JKNSF organised a series of very successful public activities recently, culminating in a rally and mass meeting in Hajeera of over a thousand people, where they heard the case for a socialist solution to the Kashmiri question being posed.

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The International Marxist Tendency organised an international school in Barcelona this summer. Around 250 comrades gathered from all over the world. There were key discussions on Venezuela, Cuba, China and many other questions. Victor Rios, a veteran of the Spanish communist movement and now an advisor to Chavez spoke. The mood was one of enthusiasm and optimism for the future.

Earlier this month, 80 young, enthusiastic Marxists and members of YFIS from all across Pakistan participated in a three-day youth summer school in Rawlakot, a city in Pakistani held Kashmir. Many of the comrades travelled long distances to get to the city high up in the mountains in order to participate in the school.

When the Stalinist Soviet Union collapsed, the capitalists of the world rejoiced. Socialism and communism were declared dead and buried, and they promised a new era of peace and prosperity, a “New World Order” – all under the watchful eye of US imperialism.

They went so far as to proclaim the “end of history” and expected the workers of the world to meekly accept the idea that “There Is No Alternative” to capitalism. A ...


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Further to our material on the 24th Congress of the Struggle in Pakistan,  we are publishing some interviews and comments made by delegates and others who attended. The Congress had a big effect on those present and  left them enthusiastic and boosted their revolutionary spirit.

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The 24th congress of The Struggle – the Pakistan Marxist Tendency – opened on Wednesday 23rd March in the impressive Alhamra Hall number one in central Lahore. This is the biggest meeting hall in the city with a capacity of one thousand, but more than 1,100 comrades crowded the hall, at times sitting in the aisles or standing at the back.

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 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.

Over the weekend of December 11th and 12th the 2nd National Congress of the Revolutionary Marxist Current (CMR) took place in the premises of the Bolivarian University in Caracas. This congress was held a year after the Founding Congress of the CMR in December 2003 in Barquisimeto which saw the fusion between El Topo Obrero (The Workers’ Mole) and El Militante (The Militant) groups. The Congress demonstrated the qualitative advance of the organisation with a number of new local cells being established and an increase in both the membership and in the political level of the current in general.

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.


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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.

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.


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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.

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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.

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.


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When the Majority of the Militant leadership in 1991 pushed for a break with the Labour Party an intense debate opened up within the ranks of the Tendency (see Forty years ago the Militant was launched – How the Militant was Built – and How it was Destroyed). Here we provide the document presented by the Minority which warned against the consequences of such a turn.

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This is the resolution adopted by the majority of the Militant leadership in 1991 after the Walton by-election. In spite of having received far fewer votes than they had expected (in fact at one stage they even thought they could win), the resolution presents the campaign as a major success. It was supposed to avoid demoralisation of the left. Experience showed that it was the beginning of the decline of the influence of the Militant in Liverpool. (July, 1991)

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After the debacle of the Walton by-election the minority of the Militant leadership attempted to draw a more sober balance sheet of what had been achieved. (July, 1991)

The presence at our Conference of a leading member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) was an event of historic significance. Although this was not the first time a Republican Socialist had attended an international gathering of the tendency, this was the first time the IRSP decided to send an observer in an official capacity.

In the first week of August 2004 a meeting of almost 300 Marxists from 26 countries, including Venezuela and Cuba, met in Spain to discuss the world situation and the tasks of the international revolutionary Marxist tendency. This was for many reasons an historic turning point that registered a qualitative advance of the forces of Marxism on a world scale.


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On the 21, 22 and 23 of May, in the building of the Independent Union of Workers of the Autonomous Metropolitan University (Situam), the 10th National Congress of the Marxist Tendency El Militante was held. The numbers in attendance were the biggest of any congress we have held in the past, with more than 160 present over the three days.

This book by Ted Grant is a unique contribution to the history of British Trotskyism. It begins with the debate on Trotskyism in the British Communist Party in 1924 and ends with the break-up of the Revolutionary Communist Party in 1949 and the beginning of more than thirty years of work within the Labour Party. Ted Grant was the founder and political leader of the “Militant Tendency”, which haunted the Labour leadership, and was eventually expelled along with the Militant editorial board in 1983. A postscript by Rob Sewell, who was the national organiser for the Militant throughout the 1980s, brings this unique history up to date.

We have just received an inspiring report of the congress of The Struggle which was the largest congress of any Marxist, communist, or left party ever held in Pakistan. Esteban Volkov (Trotsky's grandson) was present, who also attended the launching of the Urdu language edition of Trotsky's My Life. In addition there is a report on the March 20 antiwar demonstration in Lahore, and the commemoration of Bhagat Singh, a fighter for independence hanged by the British imperialists in 1924.

The In Defence of Marxism web site is not merely a site where you can find interesting Marxist material. The site is an expression of a political tendency active in many countries. Our aim is to develop a Marxist current within the labour movement of all countries, with the long-term objective of winning the whole of the labour movement and its organisations to the ideas of revolutionary socialism.


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On Monday and Tuesday (March 24 and 25) the 22nd congress of The Struggle, the Marxist tendency in Pakistan, was held. This year saw the largest attendance ever at the congress. Both in terms of numbers and in composition it was unprecedented with 836 comrades filling the Alhambra Art Centre in the heart of Lahore.

As our readers will be aware, comrade Alan Woods, the editor of the In Defence of Marxism web site, was in Argentina for 10 days, from December 1 to 10. The balance sheet of this visit is extraordinarily positive. It has made the ideas and publications of this web site and political tendency better known in Argentina. The main purpose of the visit was to present the Spanish edition of Reason in Revolt (Razon y Revolucion) in Argentina. The interest was so great that all the copies of Reason in Revolt were sold out. In all, over 300 people attended the five different events we organised. And many people left their addresses to be contacted for our future activities.

...

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"I would like through the pages of the journal to express my best wishes to all the comrades. The ideas you represent today have a very long history."

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At 10.45am on August 21, Jimmy Deane died of pneumonia after a long illness in a Liverpool nursing home. He was one of the last in the generation of pre-war Trotskyists, who together with Ted Grant, fought to keep alive the flame of genuine Trotskyism under the most difficult circumstances.
Ajit Roy, Speakers' Corner, 1942

Trotsky's struggle with Stalin was a life or death struggle. It was a struggle to defend the clean banner of Lenin against the growing bureaucratic reaction within the Soviet state and party. Rob Sewell examines the origins of Trotskyism in Britain.

This book by Ted Grant is a unique contribution to the history of British Trotskyism. It begins with the debate on Trotskyism in the British Communist Party in 1924 and ends with the break-up of the Revolutionary Communist Party in 1949 and the beginning of more than thirty years of work within the Labour Party. Ted Grant was the founder and political leader of the “Militant Tendency”, which haunted the Labour leadership, and was eventually expelled along with the Militant editorial board in 1983.


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On Wednesday Alan Woods spoke at the Islamabad-Rawalpindi Press Club to a packed audience about "The Kashmir Issue and Socialism". The event was attended by a large number of revolutionary Kashmiri students, members of the Jammu-Kashmir National Students' Federation (JKNSF), which at its last congress voted overwhelmingly for a Marxist leadership and programme. The meeting was held by The Struggle, the Pakistani Marxist Tendency that has been rapidly advancing in all areas in the recent period.

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On Thursday March 21, over 500 enthusiastic members of The Struggle - the Pakistan Marxist organisation assembled in the Al-Hamra Hall in the centre of Lahore. The first congress took place 21 years ago in Amsterdam, where a tiny group of political exiles who had been imprisoned under the brutal dictatorship of Zia ul-Haq launched the Marxist paper The Struggle with the help of Ted Grant and Alan Woods and the British Marxist tendency. This was the biggest communist congress ever to be held in Pakistan, even bigger than the one held back in 1953 when 226 delegates met.

Much has changed since this document was first produced, and we have continually refined and updated our perspectives and analysis in subsequent books and articles.  However, the historical value of this document, especially those parts concerning the history of the internationals, the rise of proletarian Bonapartism, and the post-WWII period retain their full force and value.