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The banner of the International Marxist Tendency

The International Marxist Tendency (IMT) is an international Trotskyist tendency based on the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. The late Ted Grant was its chief theoretician and the person who built the organization since its beginning. Currently, Alan Woods and Lal Khan are its main leaders and theoreticians. It was founded as the Committee for a Marxist International, but has referred to itself as the IMT since 2006.[1] The tendency is active in over 30 countries worldwide.

Contents

Origin

Ted Grant, a founding member of the International Marxist Tendency

Ted Grant was a long time leader of the Militant tendency in the British Labour Party until it split in early 1992 over whether to try to continue working in the Labour Party. The majority formed Militant Labour outside the Labour Party, which subsequentially became the Socialist Party. 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 he formed Socialist Appeal in Britain.

In 1974, Militant and its co-thinkers from Sweden, Ireland and elsewhere around the world formed the Committee for a Workers International. The faction fight within the Militant tendency that led to the expulsion of Grant and Woods also played itself out within the CWI with supporters of the Grant minority leaving to form the Committee for a Marxist International in other countries than Britain, which later became known as the "International Marxist Tendency". Since its World Congress 2006, the organisation was renamed the "International Marxist Tendency". The Marxist Tendency claims sections in many countries world wide with its biggest sections being Socialist Appeal, The Struggle in Pakistan, Esquerda Marxista in Brazil, and FalceMartello in Italy.

Theory and Tactics

The IMT adhere to orthodox Marxism, emphasising the education of cadres of workers and youth. One can recognize a strong emphasis on the following issues in their theory:

So-called "Socialist" states born after World War II are defined by Grant as "deformed workers' states", ie "proletarian Bonapartist" regimes. Thus he denies a qualitative difference between Stalin's USSR and such countries. In particular, Ted Grant deepened Trotsky's theory on proletarian Bonapartism: he foresaw the likelihood, in the 1945-1991 world situation, of the establishment of new bureaucratised "workers' states" in backward countries, also on the basis of left-wing military coups and peasant guerrilla wars. According to this premise, variants between such regimes have a minor importance and the clashes counterposing their leaderships are just instrumental in supporting the interests of conflicting bureaucracies.

Differently from most Trotskyist groups, The IMT believes that also Burma and Syria, though their leaders were not delivering Communistic speeches, were to be included in that same category when they had a planned economy. For all these countries, he supported a classic Trotsky's demand: a workers' "political revolution" aimed at restoring or establishing "workers' democracy" while preserving economic planning, as asked by the workers' wing of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

The Tendency developed an original concept of entrism (which was described as being a different concept than the classic entryism and also an opposing vision to Michel Pablo's "deep entrism" or "entrism sui generis"): the revolutionists should have worked "inside, outside and around the mass organisations" for "workers begin to move through their own traditional mass organisations" and therefore "outside the workers' movement, there's nothing". This stance resulted in the Grantist groups on a world scale leaving the Fourth International after 1965, since Grant considered other Fourth Internationalists as having degenerated into sects under the influence of the ideas of the petty bourgeoisie (guerrillaism, left-wing nationalism, studentism, third-worldism, feminism etc.).

IMT supporters are unapologetic about their intellectual evolution and hence are candid and their support for Bolshevism and the legacy of the October revolution.

Activity

Leading theoretician of the International Marxist Tendency Alan Woods, in a meeting with Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez.

Just as the Socialist Appeal tendency pursues a policy of working in the British Labour Party which is the traditional mass organization in Britain, IMT groups outside Britain pursue this method in equivalents of the Labour Party (where they exist), some Communist Parties such as those in France and Italy and, in some countries, mass party such as the Pakistan Peoples Party. This work, however, is always combined with independent work outside these parties and with a strong observance of not liquidating the organization inside these parties.

The Pakistani section, The Struggle is the largest section of the International Marxist Tendency. The IMT had one Member of Parliament in Pakistan from 2002 to 2008.

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. The IMT activists also play an important role in FRETECO (Front of Factories Under Workers' Control) movement in Brazil[2], Venezuela[3] and have been very active in Venezuela, where their section supports the popular revolution and spread the ideas of Marx and Trotsky[4]. Its largest European section was in Spain[5], where IMT youth organised the national student organisation Sindicato de Estudiantes[6], which the autumn of 2008 led a student strike of hundreds of thousands.[7]

Every year all the sections of IMT take part in a large event that is either a World Congress or a World School of Marxism. The difference is that the congresses are held mainly to discuss the progress of IMT in the world, present reports and plan the future activities, while 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.

In the first days of March 2009 the International Marxist Tendency organized 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, Marxist ideas and perspectives for the movement. Notably present at one of the Meetings was Esteban Volkov, Grandson of Trotsky who described Alan Woods as one of Trotsky's best followers. Also in this event, a new theoretical magazine was launched, called "America Socialista", which is now published in Spanish, but will eventually come out in Portuguese, English and French.[8]

In late 2009 a dispute developed between the IMT leadership and the leaderships of its sections in Spain and Venezuela. In January 2010, these organisations, together with elements of the sections in Mexico and Colombia, broke with the IMT and established a new international body, the Corriente Marxista Revolucionaria, the same name as the former IMT section in Venezuela.[9][10] The group in Venezuela also split, with the IMT maintaining a minority group in Venezuela, also called the CMR and operating its own website.[11][12]

In Defence of Marxism

Logo of the In Defence Of Marxism website.

In Defence of Marxism is the website of the International Marxist Tendency, found at http://www.marxist.com. The site is multilingual, with articles chiefly in English or Spanish. The site publishes international current affairs articles written from a marxist perspective, as well as publishing a large number of historical and theoretical articles.

There is also a quantity of audio and video material on the site. In Defence of Marxism has an online socialist book store at http://wellred.marxist.com. Additionally, Wellred publishes a number of books by Leon Trotsky and other authors.

The site's name, In Defence of Marxism, is derived from the title given to a collection of essays by Leon Trotsky.

Affiliates

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Europe

Americas

Asia

Africa

  • Morocco : Communist League of Action[13], website
  • Nigeria : Workers Alternative, website

Oceania

  • Australia : Fightback, website
  • New Zealand : Socialist Appeal, website


Sources:[14],[15]

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.marxist.com/history-international-marxist-tendency.htm
  2. ^ http://www.marxismo.org.br/
  3. ^ http://www.controlobrero.org/
  4. ^ http://www.venezuela.elmilitante.org/
  5. ^ http://www.elmilitante.org/
  6. ^ http://www.sindicatodeestudiantes.org/
  7. ^ Today, November 13th, hundreds of thousands of students in secondary and university education supported the general strike called by the Spanish Students’ Union (Sindicato Estudiantes).http://www.marxist.com/nuevo-exito-en-la-convocatoria-de-huelga-general-english.htm
  8. ^ 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. http://www.marxist.com/pan-american-marxist-school-imt.htm
  9. ^ http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker2/index.php?action=viewarticle&article_id=1002564
  10. ^ http://www.elmilitante.net/content/view/6152/268/
  11. ^ http://venezuela.elmilitante.org/
  12. ^ http://www.elmilitantevenezuela.org/
  13. ^ « Moroccan marxist organisation launched », In Defence of Marxism
  14. ^ http://www.broadleft.org/trotskyi.htm
  15. ^ http://www.marxist.com/links.htm

External links


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