Another fake International … Despite its new coat the Trotskyist IMT remains an enemy of the working class

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“The communists have arrived! Forward to the British revolution! A need to go back to Lenin; Communism is the only solution; The building of a new International!.” These are some of the slogans of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) in the campaign for what it calls “a rebirth, a renaissance!” of its organization “by appealing to people on a directly communist basis”.

Following the example of the section in the UK of the IMT, several national sections have changed the name of their organisation and of their paper: references to “socialism” are replaced by “communism”! At an international conference, between 10 and 15 June, the International Marxist Tendency has been renamed the Revolutionary Communist International (RCI).

The immediate reason for this apparently radical change was the expulsion of the Socialist Appeal group from the British Labour Party in November 2022, followed by the expulsion of the PCB-RR[1] from the Brazilian Communist Party in July-August 2023.

For the IMT, this is a glamorously declared farewell to the historic "entryism" strategy of Trotskyism - the end of the policy advocated by Trotsky in the 1930s, when he suggested that the Trotskyist groups should dissolve themselves and join the Socialist Parties as a faction in order to gain influence in them. Today the IMT, probably one of the last organisations still pursuing until now an entryist policy, boasts with the announcement of “a clean break from the so-called ‘Left’. We aim far higher, in words and in practice”[2].

With the present voluminous campaign, the IMT wants to put itself in the limelight as a genuine political organisation of the working class. But the reverse is true. The IMT is no organization of the working class it will never be, and the same goes for all its predecessors since the Second World War: the WIL, the RCP, the RSL, the Militant Tendency, the CWI and the CMI[3].


The betrayal of proletarian internationalism

Ted Grant, the founding father of the IMT, started his political career in the 1930s. He became a member of the British Workers’ International League, the WIL, “the direct and lineal ancestor of the present-day IMT”[4].  This took place at a moment that the groups related to the Trotsky-inspired opposition were still part of the working class, even if they already increasingly embodied important political confusions. at the end of the 1930s, they decided step by step to give their “critical” support to the democratic bourgeoisies in the imperialist war against the fascist regimes in Europe and betrayed the principle of proletarian internationalism that is cardinal for proletarian organisations.

This happened also with the WIL. After the occupation of France by German military forces, the WIL agreed to adopt Trotsky’s “famous ‘Proletarian Military Policy’ (PMP), which was basically an application of the Transitional Programme to a period of universal war and militarism. (…) It centered around the demand for obligatory military training for the working class, overseen by elected officers, in special training schools run by the state, but under the control of working-class institutions like the trade unions. Obviously, no capitalist state could grant such demands to the working class, since this would deny its own existence as a state”[5].

This policy was actually a kind of a remake of the position defended by Trotsky in the early 1920s in revolutionary Russia: the control of the working class through the militarisation of labour under the direction of the trade unions. But the policy of recruitment for the capitalist war machine on a “proletarian” basis in the imperialist war against “Hitlerism” was only an excuse to mobilise a maximum number of workers who were finally conscripted into the structure of the regular bourgeois army. This policy also implied that the workers should not only defend the western democracies, including the US, which is characterized by the IMT as “the most reactionary force on the planet”, but also the Stalinist Soviet Union. The title of an article of Ted Grant in April 1943: “Aid Red Army with Lenin’s Weapon”, did not mince words about the position of the WIL in this imperialist war.

Thus, like the WIL, Trotskyism definitively positioned itself as a radical leftist faction of the ruling class. And since those years Ted Grant and his fellow militants have consistently supported one or another imperialist camp in all the butcheries that have taken place, be it Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Angola, Iraq, etc.

In the war in the Donbas, in 2014, IMT still took sides with one of the warring camps. It supported the “Peoples’ Republics” against the Ukraine government, claiming that. “The Anti-Maidan movement – the source of popular support for the rebels – had a distinctly more working-class character” and that “the uprising in the Donbas was based largely on the working people of the region “[6]. But in reality, they were only proxies of Russian imperialism, and completely dependent on the military power of the Russian army. Regarding the war that began in February 2022, its position is not as outspoken as with the war in the Donbas. But despite all its internationalist declarations, such as “we cannot support either side in this war, because it is a reactionary war on both sides” and even “a conflict between two groups of imperialists”, its preference is still predominantly for Russia. This can be inferred from an article on the war in Ukraine, which says that communists must fight against

  • “NATO, and against American imperialism - the most counter-revolutionary force on the planet”;
  • “Americans and NATO (…) the most aggressive and reactionary imperialist forces”;
  • “the despicable conduct of the Kiev government, its collaboration with reactionary fascists”[7].

In the case of the present war in the Middle-East, they defend the Palestinian bourgeoisie although, as they write, “we have never supported Hamas. We do not share its ideology, nor do we condone the methods it uses. But our differences with Hamas, though fundamental, are not nearly so fundamental as the differences that separate us from US imperialism (…) and its accomplices in crime, the Israeli ruling class”[8].

All these examples, the older and the more recent, show that the internationalism of the IMT is a fraud, and its slogans that claim to express its support for the revolutionary struggle of the working class are a lie! The IMT is, like all other Trotskyist organisations, an instrument of the counter-revolution, destined to sabotage every working class struggle for the overthrow of capitalism.


The defence of the “lesser evil”

Our predecessors in the Gauche Communiste de France (GCF) already made this point in the years after the Second World War, when they wrote that “The whole history of Trotskyism revolves around the ‘defence’ of something’ in the name of the ‘lesser evil’, this something being anything except the interests of the proletariat.” And “It is starting from the eternal choice of the ‘lesser evil’ that the Trotskyists participated in the imperialist war”[9]. The GCF goes on to say that Trotskyist declarations about war usually start “with a general declaration against the war. But once they have correctly quoted from the litany about ‘revolutionary defeatism’, they get onto the concrete issues, and start making distinctions, start with the ifs and buts which, in practice, leads them to join the existing war fronts and to invite the workers to participate in the imperialist butchery”[10]. This shows that for Trotskyism the political practice is more decisive than its political positions and that its practice is relentlessly geared towards the mobilisation for imperialist war


A fake rebirth

In essence Trotskyism is Stalinism without the state bureaucracy and the gulag archipelago. For the rest there is no fundamental political difference with the Stalinist parties. But it camouflages its bourgeois nature behind the figure of Trotsky, who was a true revolutionary until he was assassinated. Needless to say that it is firmly anchored in capitalist relations and that its whole dynamic is determined by the needs of capital.

Since its betrayal during the Second World War, we have witnessed many “rebirths” within this current but, apart from the attempts of a few militants like Munis, Stinas, etc. to break with Trotskyism, they never resulted in organisations joining the camp of the working class. And the recent change in the policy of the IMT will not bring about a fundamental turnaround either. The reason is the impossibility for bourgeois organisations to become part of the working class. And this is also true for all political organisations that were once part of the working class and have passed to the camp of the bourgeoisie.

The IMT can shout a thousand times that it has undergone a “rebirth”, but this “rebirth” does not go much further than changing the names of the organisation, its papers and its sections. It has distanced itself from the “left”, but it still considers itself part of the same political environment and even continues to call the Labour Party in the UK “reformist”, i.e. a kind of sister organisation making mistakes. We agree with the Communist Workers Organisation (ICT) that the new name of the section of the IMT in the UK, the Revolutionary Communist Party means: “Out with the old, in with the old”[11].

But we must not make the mistake of arguing that it has become “a bankrupt political tendency”, as the CWO wrote in the same article. Trotskyism is and remains an important instrument for the bourgeoisie in controlling and derailing minorities in the class who are radicalising under influence of the workers’ struggle or imperialist war. What we see today is a policy of reviving the IMT as a feigned "internationalist International", so that it can better play its role in obstructing the road towards more massive and politicised class confrontations.


Dennis, 2 July 2024



[1] Brazilian Communist Party – Revolutionary Refoundation.

[3] The Revolutionary Communist Party, RCP, the Revolutionary Socialist League, RSL, the Militant Tendency, the Committee for a Workers International CWI and the Committee for a Marxist International, CMI.

[5] 1940: Assassination of TrotskyInternational Review no.103. 

[9] What distinguishes revolutionaries from Trotskyism?International Review no.139. 

[10] Ibidem

[11] Revolutionary Communist Party: Out With the Old, In With the Old, ICT. “Out with the old, in with the new” refers to the domed city in Logan’s Run, which is highly overcrowded. Therefore, citizens that reach the age of 30 are ritually killed, whereupon they will be reincarnated.