Rob Sewell examines the origins of Trotskyism in Britain.
Rob Sewell examines the origins of Trotskyism in Britain.
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 “New Economic Paradigm” was theorised, according to which the boom-bust cycle of capitalism was abolished, and markets and economies would only go in only one direction: up.
The labour leaders and reformists buckled under this pressure and moved far to the right, openly embracing capitalism, adapting themselves to it and abandoning even the pretence of fighting for socialism. The ideas of Marxism, communism or socialism were vilified, caricatured, and dragged through the mud.
Against this endless stream of lies and distortions, the International Marxist Tendency have stood firmly in defence of Marxist theory and the traditions of the October Revolution, led by Lenin and Trotsky. Ted Grant, leading theoretician in the Trotskyist movement since the 1930s and founder of the IMT, explained that, on the contrary, the collapse of the USSR was only the prelude to the greatest economic and social crisis in the history of capitalism.
With the world capitalist crisis of 2008, our analysis was proven a thousand times correct. Capitalism has since become a failed system in the eyes of millions of workers and youth. Who now, can doubt or deny that capitalism means extreme polarisation and inequality; with enormous wealth at one pole, and war, misery, austerity, cuts, discrimination, and repression at the other? We live in an epoch of war, revolution, and counterrevolution.
The capitalist crisis has destabilised the entire planet, and any measures by the ruling class to re-establish any semblance of economic equilibrium can only further aggravate the political and social instability. But the working masses will not take these vicious attacks lying down, and a wave of revolutions is sweeping the planet. In one country after another, there have been uprisings, general strikes, mass mobilisations, and protests on a scale not seen in decades. The credibility of the bourgeois institutions, the establishment and the ruling class is crumbling even in the core imperialist countries.
The objective conditions for a socialist world exist today. The technology, productivity and knowledge are present for a radical reorganization of society. By pooling the world’s resources into a rational and democratic plan of production, distribution, and exchange, in harmony with the environment, we can feed, clothe, house, educate, and provide high quality healthcare to everyone on the planet.
10 years after the 2008 crisis, polarisation of wealth has reached unprecedented peaks. At the beginning of 2018 just 42 individuals possessed more wealth than the poorest 3.7 billion people on the planet. This is an absurd and criminal contradiction.
The working class is the majority of the world’s population and is desperately seeking a way out of the impasse of the system, along with the other layers of the oppressed masses. However, the will to struggle and sacrifice is not sufficient for the successful completion of the socialist revolution. As Leon Trotsky explained, what is missing is the revolutionary leadership, which cannot be improvised once a revolution breaks out. The International Marxist Tendency has been patiently and persistently building the revolutionary organisation in a growing number of countries. We have set ourselves the target of playing a key part in resolving the biggest question of our epoch, that of a revolutionary leadership for the working class.
For Marxists, theory is an indispensable guide to action. That is why we launched in 1995 Wellred Books and in 1998 the In Defence of Marxism website, which have made available a wealth of Marxist theory and analysis of all the major political developments on a world scale.
However, as Karl Marx explained, the point of Marxist philosophy is not merely to interpret or explain the world – but to change it.
Marxist.com is not just a news and analysis website, it is the public face of the IMT, an organisation you can join and build.
Young people around the world are thirsty for Marxist ideas and are stepping up to extend the work of the IMT in one country after another. New members are joining daily and new areas of work and sections are developing, based on sound understanding of Marxist theory and the methods developed through the lessons and experience of the revolutionary struggle of the working class. From providing political education to intervening in youth and workers’ struggles and revolutionary mass movements, the comrades of the IMT are on the front lines of the class struggle.
Marxism is international or it is nothing. And the international is first and foremost its ideas, methods, perspectives, banner, and traditions. The work of the IMT is laying the indispensable foundations of a theoretically trained and far-sighted cadre organisation, steeped in the ideas of Marxism and steeled in the class struggle. But there is much more to be done – and we need your help.
Capitalism and all its institutions are being discredited in the eyes of an ever-growing number of people by their own experience on a daily basis. It has nothing to offer the workers and youth. Now is the time for the Marxists to press forward boldly and with confidence: we ask you to join the IMT and the struggle for a socialist future!
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