Ted Grant

A 4 part document by Alan Woods and Ted Grant. The question of nationalities has always occupied a central position in Marxist theory. In particular, the writings of Lenin deal with this important issue in great detail. It is true to say that, without a correct appraisal of the national question, the Bolsheviks would never have succeeded in coming to power in 1917. This document reviews the rich Marxist literature on this issue and applies it to today's conditions.

"At the dawn of the New Millennium, the possibility of a new vista of human advancement or the most horrific of calamities lay before us. The potential for mankind, which the new technologies open up, could allow us to establish a classless society built on co-operation, harmony and superabundance, a true paradise on earth. However the capitalist system based upon private ownership and the nation state still stands in our way. If allowed to continue, it will mean economic depression, chaos and terrible "local" wars."

In this new, 25,000 word document, Alan Woods and Ted Grant analyse the world relations that have emerged after the collapse of Stalinism in the East. It looks at the effects of NATO's bombing campaign over Yugoslavia and Russia's war in Chechnya. It also looks at how the balance of forces between the major power blocs have been affected. The document analyses this new world (dis)order in which the US have emerged as the dominant imperialist power among growing tensions and instability, and draws the lessons for Marxists today.

"Something must be done" is the understandable feeling of workers watching the harrowing scenes on our TV screens every evening. The sight of thousands of people herded into giant camps, the pictures of the displaced, the dispossessed and the dead, the screaming children, the helpless pensioners, the hungry and the diseased cannot but stir our emotions.

It is nearly seven years since George Bush, the then president of the US, made his famous "New World Order" speech. This was in 1991. In the build-up to the Gulf War the main imperialist power on earth promised a world without wars, without dictatorships and, of course, a world firmly under the control of a single all-powerful world policeman--the US. After the fall of Stalinism, US imperialism really thought that the world would be firmly under their command and they would be able to dictate the destiny of each and every country. Now all these dreams have been reduced to rubble. In this document Ted Grant and Alan Woods make an in-depth analysis of the history of the imperialist

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Ted Grant has been the foremost figure of Trotskyism in Britain and internationally. In the post-war period, the effects of world boom, the policies of right wing Labour Party reformism and the degeneracy of Stalinism combined to make a massive onslaught against the ideas of Marxism. While Grant's contemporaries now stand on the right of the movement, in dusty academic circles or have sunk into obscurity, the articles in this collection show the clarity of Grant's understanding and his ability to deepen and expand the ideas of Leon Trotsky.

Just before the collapse of the Berlin Wall and later the Soviet Union, Ted Grant delivered this speech on the crisis in the USSR. To deflect any blame, Gorbachev and co. heaped blame on Stalin and Brezhnev, even going so far as to rehabilitate some of the victims of the purge trials – including those accused of “Trotskyism”. But Trotsky was not rehabilitated: he was still hated by the bureaucracy because they feared the ideas he represented.

50 years ago on this day, after four years of revolutionary struggle against British colonialism, what was later known as the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen was born. This event, which is consciously hidden by the bourgeoisie today, marked one of the peaks in the revolutionary wave that swept through the Middle East in the post-war period.

The arms race between the USA and the USSR escalated in the 1980s because of Reagan’s “Star wars” programme. Ted Grant outlined the real reasons for the antagonism and the factors that ruled out an open war between US capitalism and the USSR, and explained that only the conscious mobilisation of the working class could put an end to this criminal “Cannons instead of butter” policy.

The coup in Algiers by General Massu paved the way in France for the rise of General de Gaulle to power without shooting a bullet. Ted Grant exposed the role of the Socialist and Communist leaders who appealed to the capitalist state to take action against the insurgents instead of mobilising and arming the workers, and tail-ended Pfimlin to "defend the democratic institutions", thus politically disarming the French workers in the face of the shameful capitulation of Pfimlin to the Generals.

The hated regime of the Shah was overthrown by a workers' revolution in Iran in 1979. This article was written by Ted Grant in that same year. We are republishing it because we believe it is essential reading for any active worker or youth who wishes to understand both how the Shah was toppled by the masses and how, unfortunately, the revolution was hijacked by the fundamentalist mullahs.

In 1978, a radical faction of the Afghan Communist Party seized power in a military coup. The 'Saur Revolution' carried out a whole series of progressive measures. The government passed decrees abolishing the selling of brides and giving equality to women. It announced a land reform and the cancellation of farmers’ debts. These measures met with the ferocious opposition of the powerful land owners and moneylenders. This article by Ted Grant, published in 1978, contains an analysis of the revolution, as well as the phenomena of colonial revolutions and proletarian bonapartism more generally.

In this internal discussion document Ted Grant analysed the process of the Syrian revolution in the 1960s and outlined the causes of its peculiar development, which gave rise to a regime of proletarian Bonapartism, where capitalism was abolished and the vast bulk of the economy was nationalised. The Syrian working class, however, needed to go through a political revolution in order to establish a genuine workers' democracy.

Originally published in 1974 in a period when there was a discussion on the question of workers’ control and what it meant. The right-wing leaders in the British labour movement (and internationally) interpreted it as “workers’ participation”, which meant the workers would be consulted on minor questions, but real control remained in the hands of the bosses. Today, thirty years later, this article maintains all its validity, in explaining the real Marxist approach to this question.

In 1973, as the situation in Spain moved towards revolution and final overthrow of the hated Franco regime, Ted Grant wrote this document drawing all the lessons from those tumultuous events.

Class polarisation and radicalisation of the Spanish workers, youth and middle class showed at the end of 1972 that the days of the Franco regime were numbered. Ted Grant examined the paramount importance of the coming revolution in Spain for the international working class and criticised the Spanish CP leaders who appeared to have learnt nothing from the defeat in the Civil War.

In 1972 Ted Grant highlighted the fact that the war in Vietnam was unwinnable by US imperialism. The US army was demoralised and could not fight a people struggling for national and social liberation. While Marxists supported the Vietnamese people, the regime that would come to power would be modelled on Stalinist Russia and China and therefore would require political revolution for the masses to move towards genuine socialism.

In 1972 Nixon, the US president, visited China for talks, the contents of which were kept secret. Ted Grant exposed the shameless behaviour of Stalinist China and Russia who engaged in power politics with imperialism and at the same time launching bitter attacks against each other. What a change in comparison to the approach to diplomacy defended by Lenin and Trotsky.

War between Pakistan and India was eventually to be sparked off by the Pakistani air attack of December 3, 1971, after escalating tension and India's interference in the West Pakistani suppression of East Bengal (now Bangladesh). On the verge of war, Ted Grant analysed the class interests of the different parties involved in this article in the Militant.

In 1971 in Britain the Tory government's the Industrial Relations Bill brought the country close to a general strike with many militants calling for concrete action. The Communist Party first called for such a strike and then light-mindedly dropped it without any explanation. Ted Grant pointed out that in the conditions of the time the call for a general strike had to go hand in hand with systematic preparation for power; otherwise it would be a frivolous and dangerous approach.

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