International Marxist Tendency

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International Marxist Tendency
IMT-international marxist tendency.jpg
Banner
IMT Sections of the World.svg
Map of sections by country
Abbreviation IMT
Formation 1998
Founder Ted Grant
Type Association of Trotskyist political parties and groups
Region served
Worldwide
Membership
Over 30 sections
Website www.marxist.com

The International Marxist Tendency (IMT) is an international Trotskyist tendency founded by Ted Grant and his followers following their break with the Committee for a Workers International in the early 1990s. Their website, Marxist.com, is edited by Alan Woods. The site is multilingual, and publishes international current affairs articles written from a Marxist perspective, as well as a large number of historical and theoretical articles. The IMT is active in over 30 countries worldwide.[1]

History[edit]

Militant (also known as the Militant tendency) was an entryist group within the British Labour Party based around the Militant newspaper which was founded in 1964. In 1974, Militant and its allies in Sweden, Ireland and other countries formed the Committee for a Workers' International. At the time it was the largest Trotskyist organization in Europe. The organisation acquired more members during the 1970s and early 1980s and dominated the Labour Party in Liverpool. In 1983, the five members of the Militant newspaper's editorial board were expelled for contravening the Labour Party constitution and expulsions of Militant members continued throughout the rest of the decade.[2][3][4]

Ted Grant was a long time leader of Militant until it split in early 1992 over a number of issues, primarily whether to continue working within the Labour Party. The majority, rejecting entryism, formed Militant Labour, which subsequently became the Socialist Party of England and Wales. Grant argued that leaving Labour would amount to throwing away many decades of patient work and maintained that Marxists should remain within the party. However, he and his supporters were expelled from the tendency and together with Alan Woods they formed Socialist Appeal in Britain.[5][6][7]

The factional fight within Militant that led to the expulsion of Grant and Woods also played itself out within the CWI with supporters of the Grant faction leaving to form the Committee for a Marxist International in several countries, particularly Spain.

At its World Congress in 2006, the organisation was renamed the International Marxist Tendency (IMT).[8]

Woods is editor of the British section's journal Socialist Appeal and of the IMT website, In Defence of Marxism (Marxist.com).[9]

Theory and tactics[edit]

The International Marxist Tendency adheres to Orthodox Trotskyism, emphasising the education of cadres of workers and youth.[10]

The IMT manifesto makes demands such as "the end to privatisation and the abandonment of market economics", "the nationalisation of privatised companies without compensation" and "the reintroduction of the state monopoly of foreign trade".[11]

National sections[edit]

The IMT claims sections in many countries worldwide, including Esquerda Marxista in Brazil, Sinistra classe rivoluzione[12] in Italy, Vonk in the Netherlands, Fightback in Canada, and Socialist Appeal in Britain.

Its section in France, Révolution (formerly La Riposte), practiced entryism in the French Communist Party; in 2008, La Riposte supported an alternative platform at the PCF party conference which received the support of 15% of voters.[13][14] Then, Révolution left the French Communist Party and have become member of La France Insoumise while La Riposte are staying to the party and are no longer a section of the International Marxist Tendency.

The IMT's Brazilian section, Esquerda Marxista (Marxist Left) was formerly a recognized tendency within the ruling Workers' Party and has a majority in the Movimento Negro Socialista (Socialist Black Movement, MNS).[15][16] On 5 May 2015, the Brazilian section announced its withdrawal from the Workers' Party, citing the failure of this party to stand up to austerity and its support for police repression of protest movements.[17]

Two members of the Greek Section (Communist Platform of SYRIZA) were elected to the Central Committee of SYRIZA during its founding congress in July 2013. This faction has since pushed within SYRIZA for the rejection of austerity, and for the party to carry out socialist policies.[18][19] This organization's positions have gained the attention of the Wall Street Journal, which interviewed some members as part of an article on 23 June 2015.[20] The Communist Tendency joined the newly founded Popular Unity following its split from SYRIZA.[21]

The Mexican section, La Izquierda Socialista, has been active in the National Regeneration Movement.[22] Several members of the Mexican section were mentioned by name in articles by the Conservative newspaper La Razón. These articles took note of these members large role in student struggles at Instituto Politécnico Nacional, and accused them of being outside agitators linked to the left-wing writer and politician Paco Ignacio Taibo II.[23][24] On August 26, 2015 members of La Izquerda Socialista were injured in a confrontation with riot police after leaving an "Ayotzinapa" protest in Mexico city. Among the injured was Ubaldo Meneses, editor of the organization's newspaper, and a member of the national council of MORENA.[25]

In preparation for the Italian general election in 2018, the IMT's section (Left, Class, Revolution) launched the For a Revolutionary Left electoral alliance with the Workers' Communist Party, the Italian section of the Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International (CRFI).[26][27] The alliance received 0.08% of the vote.[28]

Sections of the IMT[edit]

Section Name of the Publication English Name Connection to mass parties
Argentina Argentina El Militante Militant
Austria Austria Der Funke The Spark Socialist Youth Austria
Belgium Belgium in Wallonia: Unité Socialiste

in Flanders: Vonk

Socialist Unity

The Spark

Socialist Party

Socialist Party Differently

Bolivia Bolivia Lucha de Clases Class Struggle Movement for Socialism
Brazil Brazil Esquerda Marxista Marxist Left Socialism and Liberty Party
Canada Canada Fightback Fightback New Democratic Party
Czech Republic Czech Republic Marxistická Alternativa Marxist Alternative
Denmark Denmark Revolution Revolution
El Salvador El Salvador Bloque Popular Juvenil United Front of the Youth Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front
England WalesEngland and Wales Socialist Appeal Socialist Appeal Labour Party
France France Révolution Revolution La France insoumise
Germany Germany Der Funke – Marxistische Linke The Spark – Marxist Left The Left
Greece Greece Κομμουνιστική Τάση

Kommunistiki Tási

Communist Tendency
Indonesia Indonesia Militan Militant
Iran Iran مبارزه طبقاتی

Mobarezeye Tabagathi

Class Struggle
Republic of Ireland Ireland Fightback Fightback Labour Party
Italy Italy Sinistra classe rivoluzione Left, Class, Revolution For a Revolutionary Left
Malaysia Malaysia Pembebasan Relief
Mexico México La Izquierda Socialista The Socialist Left National Regeneration Movement
Morocco Morocco رابطة العمل الشيوعي

Rabitat Aleamal Alshshuyuei

Communist League
Netherlands Netherlands Revolutie Revolution
New Zealand New Zealand Socialist Appeal Socialist Appeal New Zealand Labour Party
Nigeria Nigeria Workers' Alternative Workers' Alternative
Pakistan Pakistan لال سلام

Lal Salaam

Red Front
Quebec Québec La Riposte Fightback Québec Solidaire
Russia Russia Враг Капитала

Vrag Kapitala

Enemy of the Capital
Scotland Scotland Revolution Revolution
Serbia Croatia Serbia and Croatia Marksistička Organizacija Crveni Marxist Red Organization
South Africa South Africa Revolution Revolution Economic Freedom Fighters
Spain Spain Lucha de Clases Class Struggle Podemos
Sweden Sweden Revolution Revolution Left Party
Switzerland Switzerland in German Switzerland: Der Funke

in Romandy: L'étincelle

The Spark Young Socialists Switzerland
United States United States Socialist Revolution US Section of the IMT
Venezuela Venezuela Lucha de Clases Class Struggle United Socialist Party of Venezuela

Activity[edit]

Leading theoretician of the International Marxist Tendency Alan Woods, in a meeting with Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez.
Logo of the In Defence Of Marxism website

Just as the Committee for a Worker's International pursued a policy of entryism within traditional mass social democratic parties up until the early 1990s,[29] IMT groups across the world pursue this method in their respective Labour Parties (where they exist), some Communist Parties such as those in France and Italy and, in some countries, mass populist parties such as the Pakistan Peoples Party. This work, however, is typically combined with independent work outside these parties and with a strong observance of not liquidating the organisation within them. The IMT's section in the United States does not pursue entryism, instead supporting a campaign for a trade union-backed Labour Party.

The IMT has spread to parts of Latin America, where it now has groups in Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Bolivia, Brazil and El Salvador. At the end of 2002 it promoted the launching of the solidarity campaign at Hands Off Venezuela, which is now active in 30 countries and has had resolutions passed within the trade union movements in Britain, Canada, Italy and other countries.[30] IMT activists also play an important role in FRETECO (Front of Factories Under Workers' Control) movement in Brazil and Venezuela.[31] They have been very active in Venezuela, where their section supports Hugo Chavez while promoting the ideas of Marx, Lenin, and Trotsky.[32] In 2010 Ramon Muchacho, leader of the main Venezuelan opposition party Primero Justicia, claimed that Alan Woods of the IMT was the "principal ideological adviser and personal friend" of Chávez, a claim played down by Alan Woods.[33]

Every year all the sections of tendency take part in a large event that is either a World Congress or a World School of Marxism. The function of the congress is to discuss the progress of IMT in the world, present reports and plan the future activities, whilst the World School is aimed mainly to deepen the knowledge of Marxist theory, history of workers' movement and the actual situation of the struggle for world socialism.[34]

In the first days of March 2009 the International Marxist Tendency organised a Marxist School in Mexico, where revolutionaries from all over North, South and Central America gathered in order to discuss the work done in each country, as well as Marxist ideas and perspectives for the movement. Notably present at one of the Meetings was Esteban Volkov, grandson of Trotsky[35] who described Alan Woods as one of Trotsky's best followers. Also in this event, a new theoretical magazine was launched, called America Socialista, currently published in Spanish, but which is intended to eventually also be published in Portuguese, English and French.[36]

In 2012 the IMT published an article denouncing the attempted assassination of Malala Yousafzai, claiming she is an IMT sympathizer and showing a picture of her speaking at an IMT school in Swat, Pakistan.[37] Woods's statement has been used to interpret Yousafzai's politics[38][39] and to speculate on whether she has a communist or anti-religious agenda.[40][41] Yousafzai sent greetings to the 9 March 2013 congress of the Pakistani section of the IMT, in which she said, "I am convinced Socialism is the only answer and I urge all comrades to take this struggle to a victorious conclusion. Only this will free us from the chains of bigotry and exploitation."[42][43][44]

2009–2010-2016-2017 splits[edit]

In late 2009 a dispute developed between the IMT leadership and the leaderships of its sections in Spain (El Militante), Venezuela (Corriente Marxista Revolucionaria) and Mexico. In January 2010, these organisations, together with the group in Colombia and part of the section in Mexico, broke with the IMT and established a new international body, the Izquierda Revolucionaria (Revolutionary Left).[45][46] Minorities in Venezuela and Spain chose to remain with the IMT and set up new sections.[47] The new IMT Venezuelan section launched their newspaper, Lucha de Clases, in April 2010.[48] In 2016, the Corriente Marxista Revolucionaria issued a joint declaration with the Committee for a Workers International announcing that the organizations are conducting joint work.[49]

In the same year, another smaller split occurred. The majority of the Swedish section, factions in Poland and Britain and individuals from several other sections left the IMT to form a new group called Towards a New International Tendency.[50] The Iranian section of the IMT also split away over the international's position on Venezuela's friendly relations with the Iranian government and in 2011 launched Marxist Revival[51] with co-thinkers in Britain.

In 2016 the Pakistani section split, with the majority leaving, while the minority reorganized as "Lal Salaam" (Red Salute).

In April 2017, the IMT suffered a split in its Brazilian section.

Publications[edit]

In addition to the international website, each national section has its own website in that country's respective language(s). There is also a quantity of audio and video material on the site. The IMT operates a publisher, Wellred Books which publishes a number of books by Trotsky, Alan Woods and other authors and sells them through its online bookstore and supplies IMT sections with material for their book stalls. The IMT regularly publishes international theoretical periodicals, such as In Defence of Marxism, "America Socialista" and Asian Marxist Review.

The site's name, In Defence of Marxism, is derived from the title given to a collection of letters and articles by Trotsky.[52]

The tendency has been criticised by some left groups for placing too much emphasis on 'abstract' theoretical topics such as Marxism and art, or the class struggles in the Roman Republic.[53]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Trotskyist Parties and Organizations of the World". Broadleft.org. 27 November 2005. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Who, What, Why: What was Militant?". BBC News. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2018. 
  3. ^ Wintour, Patrick (16 July 2014). "Labour Picks Fight With Militant Tendency". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 January 2018. 
  4. ^ "Kinnock Moves Against Militant". BBC News. 27 November 1985. Retrieved 25 January 2018. 
  5. ^ Wade, Bob (27 July 2006). "Obituary: Ted Grant". The Guardian. 
  6. ^ "Ted Grant: Trotskyist who gave the Labour Party a scare through his leadership of Militant Tendency". The Times. 26 July 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Beckett, Andy (28 April 2016). "Militant by Michael Crick review – Britain's successful leftwing sect". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 January 2018. 
  8. ^ "Report on the 2006 World Congress of the International Marxist Tendency". In Defence of Marxism. 14 September 2006. 
  9. ^ "BBC 2 Interview with Alan Woods". YouTube. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2018. 
  10. ^ "A Brief History of the International Marxist Tendency". In Defence of Marxism. 12 August 2006. 
  11. ^ Boyne, Ian (7 June 2009). "Socialism not the answer". The Gleaner. Jamaica. Archived from the original on 7 December 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  12. ^ Sarti, Roberto. "December 6-8: The Conference of the Italian Marxists". Marxist.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018. 
  13. ^ "And the winner is liquidationism". Weekly Worker. 18 December 2008. 
  14. ^ Oxley, Greg (3 November 2008). "France: Shift to the left and emergence of a Marxist wing in the PCF". In Defence of Marxism. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "Cotas para negros nas universidades - debate entre Miranda do MNS e Gal do Musel Afro-Brasil". YouTube. 4 June 2009. 
  16. ^ "Intervenção de Miranda Audiência Pública STF 5 março 2010 - Parte 1". YouTube. 7 March 2010. 
  17. ^ "Esquerda Marxista (Marxist Left) decides to leave the PT and fight for a left front". In Defense of Marxism. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Communist Tendency of SYRIZA: Stand firm - No concessions to Troika!". In Defense of Marxism. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  19. ^ "Greece: Syriza must adopt radical socialist policies!". In Defense of Marxism. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2018. 
  20. ^ Forelle, Charles (23 June 2015). "Syriza Members Warn Alexis Tsipras Against Betrayal With Greek Bailout Compromise". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  21. ^ "Greece: Snap elections called, Syriza split - statement of the Communist Tendency of Syriza". Marxist.com. 20 August 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2018. 
  22. ^ Oropeza, Ubaldo (30 November 2012). "Mexico: Rank and file sets the tone at the First National Congress of Morena". Marxist.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018. 
  23. ^ "El negociador #1 del IPN es de Morena". La Razón. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2018. 
  24. ^ "Son de Morena tres líderes del IPN". La Razón. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2018. 
  25. ^ "Police repression in Mexico City - IMT members injured". Marxist.com. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2018. 
  26. ^ "Per una sinistra rivoluzionaria". Rivoluzione. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2018. 
  27. ^ "Presentata la lista «Per una sinistra rivoluzionaria»". Partito Comunista dei Lavoratori (in Italian). 8 December 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2018. 
  28. ^ "Risultati elezioni politiche 2018: Camera". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 20 April 2018. 
  29. ^ Webber, Esther; Wheeler, Brian (10 August 2016). "What is a Trotskyist?". BBC News. Retrieved 25 January 2018. 
  30. ^ Kovalik, Dan (2 June 2016). "Human Rights & Civil Society Groups to OAS: Hands off Venezuela!". Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 January 2018. 
  31. ^ "Frente Bicentenario de Empresas bajo Control Obrero - Inicio". Controlobrero.org. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  32. ^ "Index". Venezuela.elmilitante.org. Archived from the original on 11 February 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  33. ^ Turner, Robin (7 December 2010). "The strange tale of Hugo Chavez and the Swansea Marxist". Western Mail. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  34. ^ "International schools and congresses". In Defence of Marxism. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  35. ^ "My Grandfather The Revolutionary". The Guardian. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  36. ^ "First Pan-American Marxist School of the IMT". In Defence of Marxism. 4 March 2009. From February 27 to March 2, more than 100 revolutionaries from the American continent gathered in Mexico City to take part in the first Pan-American Marxist School of the International Marxist Tendency...to launch the first of issue of America Socialista, the magazine of the IMT on the American continent. 
  37. ^ Woods, Alan (10 October 2012). "IMT sympathiser shot in Swat". In Defence of Marxism. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  38. ^ O'Keefe, Derrick. "Sickening attack on 14-year-old Malala used to justify more war and western intervention". Stop the War Coalition. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  39. ^ Naqvi, Jawed (25 October 2012). "A flag and a battle plan". Dawn. 
  40. ^ Afzal, Afshain. "The truth behind attack on Malala Yousafzai". Kashmir Watch. 
  41. ^ Joshua, Anita (31 October 2012). "It is business as usual in Pakistan". The Hindu. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  42. ^ "Socialist City Councilmember on Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai: "Socialism is the Only Answer"". Democracy Now!. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  43. ^ Waraich, Omar (23 December 2014). "Malala, Obama, socialism: Nobel laureate's political views are complex". Al Jazeera America. Retrieved November 4, 2015. 
  44. ^ Nichols, John (10 October 2014). "This Year's Nobel Peace Prize Winners Are Radicals—and That's a Good Thing". The Nation. Retrieved 25 January 2018. 
  45. ^ "Oil-slick divisions". Weekly Worker (804). CPGB PCC. 11 February 2010. Archived from the original on 12 June 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  46. ^ "Revolutionary Marxist Current". Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  47. ^ "Corriente Marxista Internacional - Venezuela". Lucha de Clases. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  48. ^ "New Venezuelan IMT website and paper launched". In Defence of Marxism. 12 April 2010. 
  49. ^ "Committee for a Workers' International". Socialistworld.net. Retrieved 20 April 2018. 
  50. ^ "Towards A New International Tendency". Tanit.co. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  51. ^ "Committee for Marxist Revival". Marxist Revival. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  52. ^ Trotsky, Leon (1939–1940). "In Defense of Marxism". Marxist Internet Archive. Retrieved 25 January 2018. 
  53. ^ Woods, Alan (15 October 2009). "In defence of theory — or Ignorance never yet helped anybody". In Defence of Marxism. 

External links[edit]