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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

How you can get involved:

  • Contact us and help us build in countries where we currently have sections.
  • If there is no IMT section in your country or area, why not start a Marxist discussion group as a first step toward forming a group of the IMT? Contact us for more information on how we can work together.
  • Make a financial contribution to support the work of the IMT. We have no rich backers and depend on the contributions of our members and supporters to sustain and further our work. Our financial independence guarantees our political independence.
  • Buy books, booklets, t-shirts, buttons, pins, and more from Wellred Books or Wellred USA. Increase your political understanding, help spread the word, and provide us with much-needed funds.
  • Help us with translations. We always need more material translated to and from English, and every other language. Contact us to offer your help and for more information on which articles we need help with.
  • Send us reports on activities, events, and strikes in your area, to keep us appraised of the situation and for possible publication on Marxist.com.
  • Join us and help us build revolutionary organisations in all countries.

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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.

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)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

MARXIST.COM HOLIDAY BREAK

In Defence of Marxism will be publishing irregularly over the holiday period, and will resume regular output on 1 September.

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