International Marxist Tendency - Origin

Origin

The Militant tendency was an entrist group within the British Labour Party based around the Militant newspaper that was first published in 1964. Starting from humble beginnings, in grew rapidly in size in the late 1970s and early 1980s to become a sizeable force in British politics. This caused it to become a concern for the Labour Party leaders, and in 1983, the five members of the 'Editorial Board' of the Militant newspaper were expelled from the Party. In 1986, the journalist Michael Crick argued that the Militant was effectively Britain's fifth biggest party (after Labour, Conservative, Liberal and the SDP) in the early to mid 1980s. In 1974, Militant and its co-thinkers from Sweden, Ireland and elsewhere around the world formed the Committee for a Workers' International.

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

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 in 2006, the organisation was renamed the "International Marxist Tendency" (IMT). The IMT claims sections in many countries world wide with its biggest sections being The Struggle in Pakistan, Esquerda Marxista in Brazil, FalceMartello in Italy, and Socialist Appeal in Britain.

Woods became editor of the journal Socialist Appeal and of the IMT website, In Defence of Marxism (Marxist.com).

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