Jorge: Comrades, I think we can all agree, that this has been the most successful world school of the International Marxist Tendency, ever. The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to hold it online, so we haven’t been able to see each other face to face. That clearly has some disadvantages but clearly it also has some advantages, having a meeting online. It means thousands of workers and youth from all over the world who would have not been able to attend a world school of the IMT, this time have been able to participate in the discussions and in the school. They would not have been able to attend not only in some cases because of the lack of resources to travel, but also because of the racist immigration restrictions on the movement of people imposed by the different capitalist states.
So this time, with this online meeting we have had a more strong feeling of internationalism. The latest figures that I’ve been given say that we have had a total of 6357 people registered to the school from 116 different countries around the world. You should know that when we started with this idea of an online school, we were thinking about a target of attendance of perhaps 2,000, 3,000 and that seemed difficult to achieve, an ambitious target. It has been very impressive, the largest delegation to participate has been from Pakistan, with more than 800 registered. From Brazil, with more than 600 people registered from all over the country. We have had a real international spread of participation. From the United States, the belly of the beast of world imperialism, to Chile. From Norway to Greece. From Morocco to South Africa. From Russia to Sri Lanka. From Canada to Taiwan.
And I’ve been asked to read again the list of countries represented in the school. So here we go. I’ll go slowly and perhaps this doesn’t need translation, or not all of them need translation. But I think it gives a real feeling of the scope of this school.
We’ve had participation from:
Pakistan, Brazil, United Kingdom, Canada, United States, India, Mexico, Italy, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Russia, Spain, Germany, Austria, the former Yugoslavia, El Salvador, Colombia, Greece, Denmark, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Poland, South Africa, Belgium, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Nigeria, Netherlands, Peru, United Arab Emirates, Nepal, Guatemala, Turkey, Honduras, Sri Lanka, Portugal, Australia, Uruguay, Morocco, Algeria, Israel, Ecuador, Ukraine, Sudan, Norway, Liberia, China, Malaysia, Albania, Lebanon, Ireland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Nicaragua, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt, Belarus, Zimbabwe, Taiwan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Japan, Costa Rica, Tunisia, Timor-Leste, Slovakia, Cyprus, Bahrain, Paraguay, Oman, Mauritania, Luxemburg, Latvia, Kuwait, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Jordan, Haiti, Cuba, Burma, Bulgaria, Western Sahara, Vietnam, Thailand, Tanzania, Syria, Romania, Qatar, Puerto Rico, Peru, Panama, New Zealand, Moldova, Madagascar, Lithuania, Iceland, Guyana, Ghana, Georgia, Finland, Fiji, Ethiopia, Chad, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Angola.
The one country we have had no one attending is the Vatican City! Although, you might be surprised to know that when we look at the statistics for the marxist.com website, there is one regular follower from the Vatican City! We don’t know who he is.
The school has taken place in a mood of real enthusiasm. In many countries comrades have gathered together where possible to follow the school in groups. And you have seen some of the images on social media, but I wanted to give you 2 examples. In Chile a building worker who is a member of a trade union contacted us asking for help for how to connect to the school because he wanted to follow the school from his building site with the volume up so that his workmates could listen in! In Toronto a comrade who works as a janitor in a building said electricians and painters at his workplace had asked him to turn the volume up so that they could also follow what he was listening into!
This confirms that the ideas of Marxism are not aimed at academics or intellectuals. The people who can best understand Marxist ideas are workers, working class people. This extraordinary enthusiasm was reflected in the extraordinary collection we had on the first day, which broke all records and targets. So far, we have raised over 225,000 euros. In addition to that, we raised 45,000 euros from the donations that people made when they registered for the school in order to cover the organising costs. That will make a total of donations of 270,000 euro! But we think we can raise a little bit more, if you liked the school and you want to make an additional contribution, you can still go on donate.marxist.com, and we will announce the total final figure at the end of this session.
The reason for holding this Marxist university is clearly the defence of revolutionary Marxist ideas. Lenin once said that “without revolutionary theory there is no revolutionary movement”. For us, and I think we have demonstrated this during the talks this week, the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky are more relevant today than ever.
However, our aim is not simply the study of Marxism for intellectual gratification. Marx said in his Theses on Feuerbach “philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.” We are not bookworms but revolutionary activists. For us, theory must be a guide to action. This is why we are building the International Marxist Tendency all over the world. And I would like to invite all of those of you who are not members yet, to join us in the struggle for socialism. And if you’re not yet convinced, let’s have a discussion and we will undertake to convince you of this.
The International Marxist Tendency is a revolutionary Marxist organisation which currently has sections in 27 different countries: Canada, the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, the former Yugoslavia, France, Britain, Spain, Italy, Greece, Russia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, New Zealand. We also have organised work, that is organized groups of comrades, in another 13 countries: Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Chile, Norway, Morocco, South Africa, India, Taiwan, Australia, Portugal, Czech republic, Slovakia. And we obviously have groups of sympathisers or contacts or individual members in many other countries around the world.
The growing interest in our ideas has been reflected in the visits to the website, which have gone up during the pandemic and the lockdown, when the real character of capitalism was revealed to millions of people. In March and April, the number of page views for the website, In Defence of Marxism, marxist.com, were 40% higher than in the same period, in the same two months in 2019. And if you compare visits in March and April to those in the previous two months, in January and February, the increase was 65%. In those two months we’ve had nearly 1 million page views to our site. If you take the last five months, that is since the pandemic hit Europe, we have had 1.8 million page views. If you take one year from June to July, we have had 3.8 million page views. Every day we get an average of 10,000 page views. That figure went up to a daily average of 17,000 during March, April and May. In the last one year the countries that have had the most visitors to In Defence of Marxism are the following: the United States with 365,000 visitors; Mexico is the 2nd in the list with 185,000 visitors; Britain with 146,000; India with 78,000; Spain, the Spanish state, with 70,000 visitors. This gives you a small idea of the reach of our ideas and the amount of interest that there is for revolutionary Marxism and our analysis.
The website is a massive resource with theory, history, analysis, news, which is translated into 49 different languages. Although, obviously not all of these languages have all of the material, we rely mostly on volunteer translators. We have material in the following languages: in Basque, Esperanto, Japanese, Georgian, Kurdish, Belarusian, Pashto, Hindi, Malay, Albanian, Arabic, Dutch, French, Indonesian, Catalan, Chinese, Danish, German, Persian, Greek, Hebrew, Galician, Italian, Korean, Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Romanian, Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, which is one language despite what the reactionary chauvinists might attempt. Swedish, Turkish, Vietnamese, Urdu, Hungarian, Bengali, Gaelic, Spanish, Nepali, Thai, Czech, Burmese, Finnish, Kyrgyz, Bulgarian, and Tamil.
Continuing on the question of Marxist theory, we also have a very successful publishing house in English, which is called Wellred Books. In the last year we have published a number of new books: The Great Betrayal, which is a book by Alan Woods on the Spanish revolution in the 1970s; The Permanent Revolution and Results and Prospects by Trotsky; State and Revolution by Lenin with a new introduction; The First Five Years of the Comintern in 1 volume. In reality, if you think about it, the sales of our online bookshop have multiplied during the lockdown by more than 4 times over.
It is clear that there is a growing interest in our ideas, which in the last few months has led to the establishment of new groups and nuclei of the IMT in several countries. Just in the last few months we have set up a group in Guatemala and Chile in the American continent. There is widespread interest in the IMT in India, where we have already established groups in Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Kashmir, who are working towards the establishing of a section of the IMT in that country. We are also in discussions with a group of comrades in Sri Lanka who want to join the IMT. A first nucleus has also been established in Taiwan. In the last few weeks the work of the IMT has been put on a very sound footing in South Africa.
The IMT is both a relatively new but also a very old organisation. As Fred Weston explained in the session about the history of the IMT, the International Marxist Tendency was established in 1992 after we were bureaucratically expelled by the CWI. But our traditions go much further back. Our tradition is that of Ted Grant, who was the main leader of the Workers’ International League in Britain in the 1930s. He used to say that there was a member in the organization at that time who had been a member of the 1st, the 2nd and the 3rd Internationals. That is our tradition, that is our heritage and we are proud of it.
In the last few months, obviously the lockdown has affected our work. We have had to change the methods, but not the ideas. Most of our meetings have had to take place online, but we have maintained our organization together, and we have given a sharp political response to the crisis of capitalism. The different sections have moved to producing their papers online to a digital edition. Increasing the regularity of the production of political material, making full use of the possibilities of technique, with the production of video broadcasts, discussion meetings, and online Marxist schools, which was very successful. And this has attracted 100s of new comrades to the organization, to the IMT in different countries, including many people who have approached us from countries where the IMT was not present before this time. We had a very successful online May Day rally, which has had 15,000 views online.
The IMT has a section in the United States, which as you understand is perhaps the most important country from the point of view of world revolution. In 2 and a half years the comrades have doubled their numbers. In the last year alone they have grown by 58%. We have 25 branches across the country, from New York to Las Angeles, and from Minneapolis to Houston. The comrades maintained a principled position during the Sanders movement in 2016 and in this year’s primaries. We did not endorse Sanders as he was standing as a candidate of a capitalist party. But the comrades made an excellent campaign in connecting with all those who were attracted by Sanders because he was calling himself a socialist, and at the same time explaining the dead end of the Democratic Party and the need for a mass socialist party. So when Sanders announced that he was stepping down from the primaries, the comrades received hundreds of requests of people who wanted to join the organization. There are members of the IMT in 60 different cities and towns in the United States, and the comrades are intervening energetically in the Black Lives Matter uprising.
In Canada the organisation has also grown very rapidly, spreading across the country. In less than three years the comrades have doubled their numbers. We now have a very strong position in Toronto, where we have over 150 members. The comrades organise a very successful Winter Marxist School every year in Montreal, which this year had 250 people attending. That was surpassed in May when they had 300 attend a national online Marxist School. The Canadian section of the IMT, which is called Fightback / La Riposte Socialiste, is now really the largest organisation on the Left. Their regular schools and education meetings are the biggest Marxist meetings in Canada probably going back to the 1980s.
The IMT has also a very important section in Brazil, Esquerda Marxista, Marxist Left, which for a period of time they were the only ones raising the slogan of “Bolsonaro Out”, “Fora Bolsonaro”. While everyone else on the left was saying, “Oh no, there is a fascist regime in Brazil! We can’t do anything, it’s not possible!” But in fact, our comrades explained, “yes Bolsonaro is a dangerous reactionary right wing demagogue, but in fact his government is very weak.” There have already been several mass movements against him by workers and youth. Our section has grown significantly this year, 35% since the 1st of January, 33% since March, when the beginning of the pandemic hit Brazil. They have organized 100s of people in Bolsonaro OUT committees during the pandemic, and the comrades have a number of very important trade union positions which they have won over years of work. It has to be said that when the Brazilian comrades joined the IMT, the reason that we met, the reason that we started discussion was the fact that they were leading the occupied factories movement, about 15 years ago. So this is a youthful organization, but one which has deep roots in the working class movement and a very proud tradition.
The work of the British comrades of the IMT has also seen substantial progress. In the last one year we have grown by 48%. Our university work is very developed and we now have presence in 38 different university campuses across the whole country. With these forces we intervened energetically in the Corbyn movement over the last 5 years. Of course, we defended and campaigned for Corbyn against the right wing, while at the same time we argued the need for a clear socialist program. We criticised the shortcomings of Corbyn’s approach, insisting that there was a need to launch an all-out offensive against the right wing, particularly on the question of democratic selection of MPs, members of parliament. Last October the comrades organised a national education school called the Revolution School with 250 in attendance.
The Italian section of the IMT is called Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione, which means left working class revolution. It is an organization with modest numbers, but over the years the comrades have built an important trade union presence. We have 6 comrades who are members of the national committee of the trade union federations, and in each one of the industries, and we have 1 comrade in the national council of CGIL trade union, which is the confederation. This means that in some of the factories, when there was that wave of strikes at the beginning of the lockdown, it was our comrades and our shop stewards that played a key role. This was the case for instance at the FIAT Pomigliano plant and at the Alfa Romeo factory, amongst others. The Italian comrades organised a national appeal under the name of “workers are not cannon fodder”, developing a program of demands in response to the pandemic. And this appeal, initiated by our comrades was signed by hundreds of shop stewards and trade union activists in the most important workplaces across the country. As a continuation of this appeal, the comrades organized a national online meeting of trade unionists with the participation of 200 people from all over the country and all different sectors of industry. You could say this was the largest trade union worker activist meeting to take place in the lockdown. This kind of work shows that under certain conditions, a small group, with the correct ideas, having done the necessary preparatory work over a period of time, can have an impact which is much larger than its numbers.
The largest section of the IMT is in Pakistan, it is called Lal Salaam, Red Salute. This is an organization that is spread across the whole country, with presence in all the different regions and amongst the many different national groups in Pakistan. About a month ago they held their national conference, which had to be held online, but in some areas the comrades were able to gather locally to participate in the congress. They had a total of 420 registered delegates. They also had international visitors participating in the congress from the region, from Afghanistan, from Nepal, and from Bangladesh, as well as from India. The comrades are conducting systematic trade union work through the Red Workers’ Front and they have a presence in many different industries, in textile, energy, in the private sector, in multinational companies like Cocacola, Unilever, in the public sector amongst transport workers, amongst doctors. They also conduct very widespread youth work through the Progressive Youth Alliance. In the last 1 year, the section has grown by 42%.
The Russian section of the IMT is called the Marxist Tendency. This organization in Russia took a very important step forward last year when there was a fusion congress between the Russian section of the IMT and the Revolutionary Workers’ Party. This was the result of a period of political discussion. It means that we now have an organisation which spreads across this huge country, all the way from Brest-Litovsk in Belarus to Vladivostok in the Far East, in the border with China and North Korea.
As you’ve seen from these few examples that I’ve given, we are experiencing a general growth of the organization. The membership figures from all sections and groups reveal an unprecedented growth of the IMT, an acceleration of growth over the last 6 months. And in reality, most of this growth has taken place since March, really since the beginning of the pandemic, and the shock that this has meant. Compared with 1 year ago, the membership of the IMT has grown by 27% overall. But growth has been particularly intense in the past 3 months with 13% since April, between April and the 1st of July.
The IMT, as you have seen in this school, is based firmly on revolutionary Marxist ideas. Currently, there is a growing questioning of the capitalist system everywhere. Many, particularly amongst the youth, are turning towards socialist and communist ideas. Since we have done the preparatory work of training and educating cadres, we are now in a unique position to grow amongst these layers. But this is not an automatic thing. This growth of the IMT is taking place when many other organizations are in crisis, have disbanded themselves, or have suffered massive splits. I would say that the difference that makes the IMT different from all of this is our emphasis on Marxist theory and our comradely, non-sectarian approach to the workers movement.
As part of this, the emphasis on Marxist theory, we do claim the heritage of the great Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky. As Rob has explained, on August 20, it will be the 80th anniversary of his assassination, his assassination in Mexico by a Stalinist agent. We want to mark this 80th anniversary with an international online rally. You are all invited. We will put the details on the screen, at some point. We will have the presence of Esteban Volkov, who is Trotsky’s grandson and who has dedicated his whole life to defending and preserving the legacy of Trotsky.
On this basis, what I have already explained, and in the revolutionary events which have already opened up, we are certain that we will build the International Marxist Tendency. Our forces are still modest, but I would say it is already a very important beginning. Gathered around the IMT, as members of the IMT, we have already a few thousand of the best working class and youth activists across the world, and many others will join us and take their place. Our aim, the aim of the organization, is to take the ideas of Marxism to the working class so that we can build a revolutionary leadership which is up to the tasks ahead.
Comrades, we will make sure that this time our class wins and that we put an end to this rotten crisis ridden capitalist system.
Long live the IMT, workers of the world unite. Thank you.
Paras: First of all, I congratulate all of the participants for the success of this incredible school. It will definitely change and further accelerate the momentum of our growth. Jordi named all of the countries from where we have participation in this school, I specifically want to mention one country, India, where we don’t have a regular section. More than 350 comrades were registered for this school from India. It is a huge success no doubt.
From Pakistan, we have registration from double of our membership. Recently in Pakistan we established a branch in the beautiful mountain area on the border of China, we didn’t have a branch there in the past, and now we are present everywhere, in every region, in every municipality of Pakistan. It shows the increasing interest in the whole region for the understanding of Marxist ideas and the struggle to overthrow this rotten capitalist system. And it also shows enormous potential for growth in the future and it represents a significant change in the objective situation.
The global recession of capitalism has sharpened and accelerated the crisis of the Pakistani regime. Life has never been easy for the vast majority of people in this country, but now it has literally become a living hell for the poor people of Pakistan. On the other hand, for the handful of capitalists, landlords, military and civil bureaucrats, this conveys not less than heaven, full of all the luxuries of life. Because of the ineffectiveness and disintegration of the so-called democratic structures, there are no checks and balances on the loot and plunder of these parasites in Pakistan.
Recently, this rotten ruling class of Pakistan made a huge sum on the Corona crisis, even. They received aid of billions to fight COVID-19 and all the money went to the bank accounts of the ruling class. No relief given to the masses, people are burning in the fire of unemployment, inflation, especially food inflation, price hikes. Transparency International recently reported a huge, unprecedented increase in corruption in the recent period. Ironically, the grand government came into power on a program of accountability and elimination of corruption.
The euphoria of so-called right wing populism has ended now, this government is in fact now running not only on its own power, but on the weakness of the opposition parties. All the state institutions and the mainstream parties are bankrupt, and people have no confidence and no hope in them. And all of the social and political indicators suggest that we are inching toward a revolutionary situation in Pakistan.
But the tragedy is that we are still too small to be the reference point for the large layers of the masses. This is the most critical phase of the building of the revolutionary party in Pakistan. Keeping the sense of proportion, we are trying hard to intervene in each and every protest, mobilization, movement, from South to North of the country. Red Workers Front is trying to combine all of the separate movements onto one platform to make a movement against privatization and all economic warfare imposed by the ruling class. Railway workers for a very long time are protesting and they are going on strike on the 5th of August.
We are collecting solidarity for the railway workers and yesterday we organized a solidarity meeting in which professors and lecturers, young doctors and telecommunications workers, and workers from different sectors were gathered and manifested solidarity for the railway workers strike.
In Balochistan we are already part of the Workers Alliance of more than 30 active trade unions. Universities and colleges are closed due to the corona crisis but we are organizing our study circles online. We recently launched an online TV named [MAztu?] TV and we already have gathered a very youthful response, and we organized, we broadcasted many programs on women’s issues, and workers issues, on that online TV channel.
We are facing state repression of different types, continuously for the last 3 to 4 years. When we intervene in the Pashtun movement, we spread Marxist perspective. 7 of our comrades were abducted in Karachi. After mobilizing an international solidarity campaign, they were released within a week. But since then the state has continued to create logistical problems for us. We were refused hall for our congress meetings, and we were refused in several cities’ press clubs and art council halls, and other official buildings for our meetings. In some cities our offices were closed, like in Karachi we weren’t able to reopen our office for 3 years. We had to organize our central committee meetings also secretly. It was a continuous intimidation and harassment going on for our organization.
Now, once again they abducted one of our comrades. He is a 26 year old young man, joined IMT 2 years ago. He is from a poor background and because of his economic situation he was not continuously actively participating in all of the events organized by our organization. But he is very enthusiastic about revolutionary ideas and overthrowing this rotten capitalist system. In the past he had been working for a mainstream, reactionary, nationalist local party in Karachi. But then he realized that all the leaders of that party are corrupt and tools of oppression, and he himself contacted us along with his sister and they joined the IMT. I had long discussions with him, and never saw any negative tendency in him.
Even then in our campaign, we are demanding that if there are allegations against him he must be produced before court. But the third week started now and we have no clue of his whereabouts. And now, they have even started harassing the sister of that comrade, Saina Bano, who is an elected member of our regional committee in Karachi. We strongly believe that with the help of the International, with the international solidarity and protest campaign, we will very soon get our comrade back alive.
Four years back, there was the rebirth of Pakistani section of IMT. We had lost most of the quantity in the split. We were left a handful of comrades. No offices, no logistics, no money, but we had the most valuable and most powerful thing on this planet: the ideas. The ideas of scientific Marxism, revolutionary Marxism. Not the so-called new Marxism, the old ideas of Marxism of the 19th century. We had the magnificent strength of being part of this international, IMT. And we have built on the ideas of this international very strong base in Pakistan in the last 4 years. And we are resolute to building in the future a very strong mass base for the revolutionary party on these ideas, and to revive the golden days of the Comintern in our generation on the whole planet. Long live socialist revolution, long live IMT. Thank you, comrades.
Lucy: Hi comrades, my name’s Lucy, I am responsible for our youth work in the Brazilian section.
So first, the capitalist crisis is international and hits Brazil. Like in other countries this crisis also has been intensified by the pandemic. Now we have almost 90,000 deaths and just if you count the official cases, the number of confirmed cases is almost 2,500,000 people, and despite that Bolsonaro says things like “this is just a little flu” or “How can I decrease the deaths?” showing a complete contempt for working-class lives.
In this situation the worker’s anger is growing and it is expressed by the government’s rejection. Now, just 30% support him. So, we saw in Brazil different kinds of demonstrations against him, from the people hitting pots on the windows to street demonstrations in early June, which we attended.
Our section in Brazil was the first organization to put out the slogan “Bolsonaro Out “ in March last year and until now we are the only organization to really organize the fightback against the Bolsonaro government with the action committees for “Bolsonaro Out “.
All the other organizations led by the most important parties in Brazil, the Workers Party and the Communist Party were struggling against our slogan since the beginning. Despite that, our slogan was taken by the mass movements and these organizations had to kneel in front of that. Now they say “Bolsonaro Out “, but they are not really organizing the workers to defeat him and his government. They are signing manifestos to reconcile the workers movement and the bourgeoisie, standing for the law, democracy, state and the market to the ruling class, the bourgeoisie.
We keep on organizing workers and students in these action committees, now we have 31 of them with almost 500 people meeting online. We did a successful National Youth Meeting in the end of May, with 242 attending. Now we have the goal to have 1,000 subscribers in our manifesto for “Bolsonaro Out” till September.
Now we are preparing 10 regional meetings like this to boost the youth work in the five regions of the country. It is important to say that we are also concerned about the revolutionary education of our comrades and contacts. Because we know that only with the correct ideas, we can defeat Bolsonaro and capitalist society as we have been learning at this amazing University. So, we have national activities to discuss theory and tactics, for example, we had a discussion about United Front with 180 people attending, a Seminary for the public education, free and for all with 333 attending, a discussion about world perspectives with 303 attending and finally, a great result in attendance for this International Marxist University, more than 600 Brazilians are here.
Our agenda will keep on going till October and the next event will happen on 8th of August. And we will continue to boost the campaign in defence of the life of Professor Mara. So, since the beginning of the pandemic we have grown 33% and since the beginning of this year we have grown 35%. Of course, with new comrades we are also concerned with their education, so we have changed the basic education which has now 12 points, like class struggle and Marxism, the capitalist mode of production, bolshevism and Stalinism, and so on.
And we are also preparing the cadres to prepare new leaders for the new branches we will soon have to build. So, we have now monthly discussion in the Central Committee, and we have recruited new members to it. Our newspaper keeps during the pandemic in virtual version with new issues each second week and we started a campaign for new signatures in early July.
Our website also has access records, more than 76 thousand in June accessed and more than 70 thousand in July. Before the pandemic we had more than 800 views each day on our website, now we have on average 2653 in July each day. We launched new initiatives on social media, like podcasts and Sunday lives on YouTube Channel and Facebook, we now have 14 podcast episodes and about 300 listeners on average and our activities on YouTube have been watched by over 3000 people on average in each episode.
We had a record in this year’s collection and our theoretical magazine Socialist America was a sales success. All this shows to us that it is possible to build the revolutionary organization and that it is for wars and revolutionary moments that the Marxists are made for.
And we will keep on fight for a revolutionary international for the working class, moving forward in the building of our section in Brazil!
Confidence in our Marxist ideas, Confidence in the working-class power and Confidence in ourselves! Long life to IMT, comrades!
Fiona: I’m pleased to say the Marxists in Britain are doing very well.
We have seen significant growth in the last period, as people are drawing radical conclusions from the defeat of Corbyn in the General Election in December. We’ve also had the election of the Blairite Keir Starmer as Labour leader, and on top of this the general impact of the pandemic and the Tory government’s handling of it.
We now have groups of supporters in over 50 towns and cities around the country, who organise regular political discussion and coordinate our work of taking Marxist ideas into the labour and youth movements.
One of our biggest strengths is our large and expanding base in the student field. We are probably the biggest and best-known Left group among students in the UK. We organise among students under the banner of the Marxist Student Federation which has Marxist societies on 38 campuses across the country. All these societies run weekly or fortnightly meetings and reading groups discussing Marxist theory, history and current events. Over the last couple of months hundreds of university students have attended weekly national meetings online where we’ve discussed revolutionary theory and history.
This foothold we have in the universities, based on a serious approach to Marxist theory, is the base from which we plan to go on the offensive against the ideas of postmodernism which infect all UK universities. This Marxist University marks the beginning of this campaign for us.
We also plan to build on the links we have built with the organised labour movement through the Marxist Student Federation. Last year we helped organise student - staff solidarity during the strike of the university lecturers. In some places such as Cambridge we played a leading role in university occupations in support of the union’s demands.
We also ran a campaign during the General Election to get students organised in the fight for a socialist Labour government, in many cases linking up with local Labour student groups as well. We have built points of support in this way which we can now develop.
We are also now beginning to use the strength of the Marxist Student Federation banner to organise among school students, who are some of the most radicalised layers of youth. We are planning to hold regular online meetings from September onwards to discuss these ideas.
Most recently we have been involved in the Black Lives Matter protests in over a dozen cities. In places such as Norwich we played a leading role organising the local demonstrations. And in Bristol and North East London we have been a driving force in coordinating local groups of anti-racist youth for political discussion and organisation. We intend to strengthen our work in this movement in the future.
We are now in a position to make some serious gains in our industrial work. Last year we ran a big campaign in the Labour party to reinstate Clause 4 into the Labour Party constitution, which was the Party’s original commitment to socialism. In the course of this campaign we won the support of the Postal Workers’ Union, the Bakers and Food workers union, and the general secretary of the civil servants’ union. We will now be able to build on this position.
That campaign won 62% of the votes from delegates at the Labour party constitution, and forced the Labour Party’s national executive committee to agree to scrap Tony Blair’s right-wing Clause 4, in favour of a new one. This campaign showed the growing authority we are building in the labour movement.
We have plans to turn our paper, which is currently fortnightly - into a weekly publication by the end of next year. This will be an enormous step forward for us. But one which is absolutely necessary to keep up with the pace of events. And continue to provide the best Marxist analysis in the country.
Our comrades in Scotland, who produce a paper called Revolution, have also made great progress and are planning a significant expansion of their resources within the next month or two.
In Britain we remain a relatively small force compared to the task we set ourselves. It has taken us a long time to get to this position, but now we are beginning to see what we will be capable of in the coming period. We are building on the unshakeable foundation of Marxist theory. Our confidence in those ideas gives us the confidence that we will be able to build and organise ourselves sufficiently to be able to change the world.
Oleg: First of all, I want to say, building a revolutionary Marxist organization in Russia has its obvious significance and at the same time it has its obvious complex difficulty. The importance of Russia for the future process of the world revolution is contained within a number of factors. Here we have the fact that today, Russia is one of the biggest militaristic powers in the world. That it still contains a very vast amount of industrial potential. That Russian capitalism is the biggest provider of the energy resources for the biggest European capitalists. And of course, the geographical factor, which stands in the fact that Russia is standing on the border between Europe and Asia, and in Russia we have crosslines between the different groups of the world proletariat in a direct manner.
Also, I think concerning Russia, there is one very important problem that still exists. Many, not only anti-communists propagandists but also many on the left are still trying to depict Russia as in some way kind of a left-wing state or anti-imperialist state or some would call it “quasi-soviet state” but it is completely false. And I think that also a problematic aspect concerning Russia, on the other hand when we talk about the difficulties of building a revolutionary Marxist organization in Russia, we have to take into consideration that the years of the Stalinism and the violence and the breakdown of the workers movement after the 1991 collapse of the soviet union have created the conditions which almost all the workers organizations have degenerated including the political organizations of the workers. A vast amount of practical and theoretical traditions of the workers movement and the Marxist movement was basically lost. And today, I may say we have to restore those traditions and practices almost from this crap.
Also, concerning the historical specifics of Russia, the Stalinist moods after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and for many decades after that still had their significant influence within the society and in many times they were mixed with the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois nationalists. This kind of tendency I think is a blight that we must decisively fight. The remains of the old Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which was strong just a few decades ago, right now are completely going away from the historic scene. Right now the very basis of the left wing scene in Russia is formed by many people who were never members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and have never experienced living in the USSR.
But still, for us as a small group within a combination of those complex issues, conquering a significant political influence is still not an easy task. But still, we were able to achieve some successes, which i would say were pretty good successes. Within the year of the unity conference of the party of RWP with the Russian section of the IMT, we executed a big work of reorganizing our methods of work in our organization, propaganda and so on. To be precise, within this period, first of all we created systematic and programmatic lectures on the question of the history of Russian revolution, the Bolshevik party, and Marxist theory. We’ve organized a systematic work within the student organizations, as far as we can reach those. We’ve rebuilt our YouTube system, which has within I think half a year reached a number of 824 subscribers and I think within this year it will reach 1000 subscribers.
And this was due to the more professionalized and quality approach to our work and I think it’s a good indication that also our media influences are also gradually growing. Also, within this here of course we had some fluctuations within the numbers of the membership. There was also a problematic aspect to the unification of the organizations because as a former part of the revolutionary party which was led by Sergei Bietz in the past, we had some problematic “heritage”. I recall Alan once compared Sergei to the late 19th century Bakunist leader, anarchist leader. And I think it’s a pretty just comparison so you can imagine what the problems were there.
Right now we have much more strict discipline, much improved manner of work and I think that creates a basis for us, although we are still a small and relatively weak group, it creates a basis for building an embryo for future mass workers’ revolutionary organization. Which will be able to revive the best revolutionary traditions of the Russian working class. And it is important to build this kind of organization right now, because the latest years are showing more and more the bankruptcy of the existing regime in Russia. Because the growing strike wave shows the economic part of this bankruptcy and the recent political process, they show the political side of this bankruptcy. Although many sectarians are ignoring this and can’t see how the conditions for a revolutionary situation are brewing here, I have no time to go deep into that.
Anyway, also I want to say that within the field of the work among the striking organizations and the workers directly, we were able to achieve some significant goals. We were very active in the strike committee of the recent delivery workers strike, we were able to find contacts on the main plant in Norilsk city, which is a city with one big plant which creates the whole economy of the city, and so on and so on. And also, as comrades already said, the crisis of capitalism also means the crisis of reformism and I may say that this also applies for post-Stalinist parties, in our case, the Communist Party of the Russian federation. Although, in the coming elections one of our comrades will be nominating from the part of the Communist Party in one of the regions, still I have to say that there are obvious signs that there is a crisis or a purge brewing in the Communist Party of the Russian federation, but certainly I don’t have time to go into details on that.
But before I now finish, I just want to say that right now it is a perfect time and good conditions for building up a genuine, Marxist revolutionary organization in Russia, although there are some forces that still try to provide a very reformist politics for the working class and try to still convince the working class to believe in Putin’s regime, and for those I want to answer with the great lines of the great communist poet from Germany, Bertolt Brecht. In advance, I will beg pardon from our German and Austrian comrades for my awful German pronunciation. “I have no deal and no common interests with my class enemies, there are no words that can find common ground for us. As long as the rain falls down from the sky, you are my class enemy.” And that is what I can answer to all the reformists in this period. And I just want to finish with the simple idea. Today, the International Marxist Tendency is the one international organization that has all the characteristics and abilities to become a worldwide revolutionary workers’ party. And I’m very glad to be a part of it, and I want to say only two things: workers of the world unite, long live the international tendency. Red salute.
Alessio: As you know, Italy was among the first countries to be affected by the pandemic. This resulted in an unprecedented change in workers’ consciousness. The bosses and the government have kept open the activities where there was the virus allowing the infection. The only force that opposed it was the workers, with the spontaneous strikes of March. We are not talking about union leaders, who did nothing at all but of people who in many cases were not politically active.
What happened was explained by a worker who contacted the organization in March. He was from an industrial area in the northern part of Italy. He told, “When they called me back to work, my whole world fell apart”. And that was repeated, a thousand and a thousand times.
Our organization in Italy does not yet have the dimensions to direct these struggles but we found ourselves in the midst of these strikes, in contact with a new vanguard that is forming among the workers. We promoted the appeal “workers are not cannon fodder”, calling an online meeting, with the participation of 200 workers. After the assembly, we held commissions of workers from different sectors: health, public education, trade and distribution, transport. We analysed the situation and put forward a program, emphasizing the need for workers’ control to defend workers’ health.
In early July we held our National Workers’ Conference, attended physically by around 100 workers, the first face-to-face meeting after the lockdown. We approved a document that had been discussed and voted in 19 local conferences by 225 workers. And we launched a left-wing trade union tendency within the main Italian union. This assembly was broadcasted on Facebook and collected around 4000 views. The comrades intervened on the spontaneous strike at the Pomigliano fiat factory, one of the factories where we played a role in promoting the strikes. Comrades spoke on the battle for health security measures for supermarket workers, on how in UPS delivery company embryonic discussions on workers control on distribution started during the pandemic.
An Intensive care nurse from Milan explained how in the midst of the pandemic, workers received confused and often contradictory directives and they had to use all their determination to solve day by day the problems caused by the emergency and by decades of cuts. A comrade told of a worker who for the first time gave up the break to breastfeed the baby for a union meeting at the factory. I can’t mention them all, but this gives you an idea of the deep feeling in the Italian working class.
And the IMT in Italy has in its rank and file a selection of the best elements of the working class. It was a discussion that filled with pride all the comrades who could hear it. In general, the organization reacted promptly to the new situation. We moved to online activity, reaching a record participation for presences in our meetings. We have developed a huge effort to spread ideas online with videos published regularly on YouTube and social networks. We published 55 videos in 4 months. Especially on Marxist theory, but also on the world crisis, the political situation, and the organization’s campaigns. The access data to the site and social networks have skyrocketed in the months of lockdown. Our main website passed from 13,000 visits in February to 45,000 in March and April. This is true also for the social networks.
We organized an online assembly on the movement in the USA, with a live connection with comrade Erika from Minneapolis. More generally, we held weekly “Marxist study groups” online, with a leadoff and open debate. We estimate that around 500 people in total attended at least one of these meetings, many young people but also many of the workers I told you before. And this shows the relevance and also the search for Marxist ideas today to change society. Speaking of the theory, we have launched a new online bookstore.
In recent months, schools have been closed, with online teaching denying the right to education to thousands of students. We developed a campaign and held a national student meeting. Public education system is in total confusion, they don’t know how to open schools in September. There will be an explosive situation, and we are ready to take action.
We have already come into contact with these young people in demonstrations in solidarity with the black lives matters movement, the first serious mobilization after the lockdown. All this provoked a consistent increase in the authority of the section, of those who follow our business and also of the militants.
Militancy has grown by 10% from April to now. We have 25 local sections and we are present with groups or comrades in 15 of the 20 biggest cities in Italy. And we have created two new online regional branches, in Tuscany and Veneto, which are the areas of Florence and Venice. All that was possible from the patient construction, renewal, training of new cadres that we have carried out for years. Thanks to this, today we are in the best position to take advantage of the new situation.
I will end by telling you in the last meeting of the online group 3 young comrades intervened saying basically the same thing: I was going politically active, looking around, but when I started attending IMT meetings I was enlightened by these ideas. They are high school students. These words not only fill us with confidence, but this tells us that there are thousands and thousands of young people who are looking for these ideas, and probably attending this marvellous Marxist university. Our task is to make them find these ideas and with them build an organization that at a certain point can play a role in the events of the future
Laura: There’s never been a better time for revolutionary socialists in the US.
Jorge gave some numbers which highlight that we’ve experienced rapid growth and that we’ve increased our influence in the last period. Since the start of the pandemic in mid-March, over 600 people reached out asking to join through our website. The volume of sales for our bookstore marxistbooks.com has tripled, and our Socialist Revolution website audience also tripled compared to last year.
We have comrades in 60 different cities and towns, meaning that 1/3 of the US population lives in an area with an active IMT presence. We have established branches, student clubs, and public reading groups in NYC, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Boston, and so on.
But we’re also making progress in a lot of new important places, such as the San Francisco Bay, Phoenix, Arizona, Denver, Colorado, Chicago, Washington DC; And many more. We now even have a comrade in Alaska!
The South is an area of the US that is usually considered to be very conservative. It has the lowest unionization rates in the country. But it is not immune to the crisis of capitalism. On the contrary, it is a region with huge potential for the growth of socialist ideas. And we’re establishing branches in important metro areas there, such as Atlanta, Georgia and Raleigh, North Carolina.
So we now have the framework of a truly national Marxist organization, which is overwhelmingly proletarian, mostly made up of young workers or student workers. But the work to build this up over the last 20+ years was not easy. We started from a small rural town, at a time when on the mention of socialism you’d be shouted down, told to go back to Russia, to go back to Venezuela.
The situation now has been completely transformed. Socialism, communism, Marxism are increasingly popular. It certainly helps that Trump and others go around saying that wearing masks or social distancing is communism, and that Black Lives Matter is Marxist.
There is an immense audience for the ideas of revolutionary socialism. But the only reason we are now in a position to reach this audience is thanks to that early patient work of building the initial network of Marxist cadre. We put an emphasis on quality to build a solid foundation, knowing that quality would eventually turn into quantity.
For instance, last year we published a new book called The Revolutionary Philosophy of Marxism, which was discussed collectively by the whole organization. This emphasis on political education wasn’t an academic exercise. It prepared the comrades to navigate the social and political turmoil of the events that we are seeing now of Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Coronavirus, BLM. This theoretical grounding allowed us to remain flexible in tactics, while uncompromisingly using the Marxist method to analyse the situation as it unfolds.
Take our approach to Bernie Sanders. Many on the Left fully endorsed his campaign in the Democratic Party, which is a capitalist party. Others were ultra-left, they denounced him as a Bourgeois politician, and they wanted nothing to do with the movement. But we participated in his rallies, which were attended by hundreds of thousands of self-identified socialists, and we used this to provide our perspective of what socialism is and how it can be achieved starting with the need to break from the Democratic Party. This allowed us to become a point of reference for those who became disillusioned when Bernie dropped out. We responded quickly with an article and a video appeal to Sanders supporters, which is one of our most popular articles & videos we have ever produced.
The coronavirus pandemic obviously represented another turning point for our work. We published dozens of articles describing the effects of the pandemic in the US. As well as a program of struggle against COVID-19, both written and as a video, we also adapted our work to develop our online reach, as the other sections did. Starting a new podcast and a regular livestream series with thousands of listeners so far.
But the most important development has been the explosion of the BLM movement. The section mobilized energetically. Even though we had moved to a digital publication, we quickly produced a new print issue of Socialist Revolution magazine with the slogan: “Fight police terror with revolution.” Our comrades participated in over 100 demonstrations across the country.
As an example of the mood in the streets, a small handful of comrades in Los Angeles were able to hand out nearly 2,000 leaflets in 10 demonstrations, marching through Beverly Hills which is where all the famous, rich celebrities live while chanting “Eat the rich.” Overall our comrades handed out thousands of pamphlets and sold hundreds of magazines. Which shows that the movement is looking for a programmatic way forward – and this is precisely what the IMT has to bring to the table.
Some of our key demands included: the need for democratic neighbourhood self-defence committees; The need for organized labour to join the movement and call for a general strike; We pointed out that a majority of workers already support the movement, and only a united working class has the power to bring society to a halt.
These points were extremely well received, proving that revolutionary ideas in particular are on the order of the day. People used to think that revolution was impossible in the US, but recent events prove that it’s actually a concrete perspective for this new epoch. On the basis of events, the consciousness of the masses is leaping ahead of the wildest aspirations of the reformist organizations.
“Abolish the Police” has become a mainstream slogan and “zoomers”, generation Z, are calling for “full communism” on TikTok. So we must boldly, unapologetically put forward a political and economic program for socialism in our lifetime. As we continue to build, we’ll eventually be in a position to reach millions with such a program. When that happens, it will be game over for capitalism in the US – and worldwide. So let’s do it, comrades.
Alan: Comrades, I have spoken at many meetings. But for the first time in my life, I feel that I am speaking to the whole world. Over 6000 people from 116 countries have participated in this marvellous event. Now comrade Jorge had a very difficult task, to explain all the countries concerned. I think he performed his task really admirably. But if I’m not mistaken, I think he forgot to mention a small but very significant country. I noticed in the collection we had a donation, a small, but significant donation, from Eritrea, in the horn of Africa.
So, greetings to the revolutionary youth of Eritrea. Comrades, we expect great things of you. As we also expect great things from your brothers and sisters in the neighbouring country of Ethiopia. One of the great terrible crimes of imperialism was the way in which they divided the living body of Africa, in the same way as they divided the living body of Africa, the same bloody consequence. For too long, the peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia have been fighting each other and killing each other, for the sake of a frontier which is a meaningless thing.
It is the duty of the socialist revolution, not only in Africa, but in India and everywhere else, to sweep away all of these reactionary barriers, and to unite as a single united revolutionary class.
We must never forget, the only strength we possess as a class is our unity, we must never forget this. All the time the bourgeoisie is trying to divide us and turn one against the others.
Let us speak with a very clear voice.
The International Marxist Tendency stands unconditionally for the sacred unity of the working class above all distinctions of nationality, of the colour of your skin, of your religion, your language or your gender.
We stand for unity while the others constantly try to divide and weaken the working class.
Comrades and friends, brothers and sisters of all countries, I’d like to embrace you all, and thank every one of you, from the bottom of my heart, who helped make this school into a really historic occasion, which I believe it is, and here we see the real picture of proletarian internationalism at work.
What a marvellous mood we saw in all the events of this school, and the mood was summed up brilliantly by this marvellous collection. Which I have to say, surpassed even our most optimistic expectations. Comrades, for us this is not just money, this is not pounds, shillings and pence as they used to say in this country. Every Euro that is raised here will be put to good use developing and extending the cause of the proletarian revolution. The only cause which is worthwhile, sacrificing and struggling for at this junction in human history.
Oh yes, we are optimistic okay. We’re cheerful. It seems sometimes to be that we are the only optimistic and cheerful people in the world. Every other tendency, from the bourgeoisie to the reformists, to the left reformists, down to the smallest piddling sect, they all have one thing in common: they’re all plunged in the mood of the deepest pessimism. “Oh, what a terrible world we live in, oh it’s all hopeless, oh there’s no future.” HAH. How often have you heard these hymn tunes?
I don’t particularly like hymn tunes, except for 1 or 2 from Wales, they’re okay. I sometimes ask myself, “my God! What miserable buggers. Why so miserable, hot tempered?” Well, for anyone that loves good music as I do, just imagine listening to this terrible rubbish, this horrible, miserable wailing music for 2000 years, I think you’d be pretty miserable as well.
But seriously, I honestly think that when our bourgeois enemies look at our school, and see our optimism and above all our serious attitude to discussing all kinds of what they would consider to be obscure questions, they will probably conclude that we are quite mad! Yes, but they would be quite wrong, we are not mad at all.
You see, it reminds me of a story by the great Russian 19th century writer, Tolstoy. I forgot where he wrote this, it must have been one of his short stories. But one day Leo Tolstoy was passing through a Russian village, and he saw a peasant squatting by the side of the road. Squatting down and waving his arms in the air. And at first he thought this man was a lunatic. But when he got closer, he saw this man was sharpening a knife on the stool.
Comrades that’s what we’ve been doing for the last 4 days, we have been sharpening our weapons in preparation for the class struggle which impedes. At this moment in time, it is true that our principle weapons are precisely ideas. Although Marx pointed out in a marvellous phrase: “ideas become a material force when they grip the minds of the masses.” These are our main weapons and we neglect these weapons at our peril.
I’ve heard many things from the petit bourgeois critics of Marxism but one of the things they say is the Marxists don’t have any morality. What they mean by that is that we certainly reject the hypocritical morality of the bourgeois in the period of its senile decay. We certainly don’t require any moral lessons from those people responsible, that system responsible, for terrible, inhuman cruelty against the human race. Nor do we need any lessons on morality or anything else that arises from the senseless and futile word sopping of the university intellectuals in the university seminar rooms.
But we do have a morality. Oh yes, we have a morality okay. It is a revolutionary morality. And it is based on a very simple rule: That is moral that helps to raise the consciousness of the working class; that is immoral, evil and reactionary that lowers it. You judge all actions and thoughts and speech purely from that point of view you won’t go far wrong.
We’ve spent the last 4 days discussing fundamental ideas. We’ve comprehensively demolished the false ideas of postmodernism, the reactionary ideas of the so-called identity politics, queer theory, so-called, and all the rest of the theoretical rubbish that is pumped out every day from the universities.
Let us be very clear about this comrades. Let us call things by their proper name. All these so-called theories are counter revolutionary ideas. The sole purpose of which is to disorient the workers and youth, to divide and split them one against another, and turn them away from the class struggle. Now you see, for that reason, these discussions are not of an abstract character, and let me spell it out even clearer, we of the IMT cannot, cannot make even the slightest concession, not one single millimetre of a concession to these false and pernicious ideas which have unfortunately insinuated themselves into the labour movement, through the bureaucracy by the way. It spreads like a poisonous fog that blinds and confuses anybody that is infected by it.
Hard words, oh yes, they’re hard words. Why? One very simple reason. We are at war. Understand it, we are at war. And this is not a pleasant thing, this is not a walk in the park, this is not a picnic, it is a deadly, serious matter, you better understand this. As you can see now with the abduction of comrade Amin by the forces of the state in Pakistan, that is why we have to have absolute clarity on all theoretical and political questions as a prior condition in order to arm the working class and the youth for the serious tasks that await them.
Now it is very important, I think this has been said in this school and I totally agree with this, it is very important that we should always remember who we are and where we come from. Our movement is a great movement only for one reason we stand on the shoulders of giants. Now it’s already been said, 80 years ago, next month, on the 20th of August, 1940, a Stalinist agent, Ramon Mercader managed to succeed in penetrating the Trotsky household in Mexico.
It was a warm day but he was wearing a gabardine. The guards were completely hopeless by the way, failed in their most elementary duty to search him for weapons, which he carried under his gabardine. He entered Trotsky’s study and the two were left alone, again an act of criminal irresponsibility, under the pretext of giving an article which he was supposed to have written for Trotsky to correct. And as Trotsky was bent over the article, going through it, Ramon Mercader stood behind him, produced him from under his gabardine an ice-pick, which he shortened the handle, raised it in the air, and smashed it on the skull of a defenceless man, shattering the brain of the most brilliant Marxist of the 20th century, together with Lenin.
The man who alongside Lenin led the October revolution. The man who formed and led the Russian red army and led it to victory in the civil war, and above all, in the last 10 years of his life, the man who singlehandedly conducted the most struggle against Stalin and the Stalinist bureaucracy.
Just imagine it. One man against the entire world. One man standing up to the most monstrous and efficient and ruthless murder machine in history, ever seen in history. Trotsky fought to the end, very bravely fought to the end, until finally his life was ended by this treacherous and cowardly attack, in the summer of 1940.
And when Stalin heard that his plot had finally succeeded, he must have been very pleased with himself. He imagined that with the murder of Trotsky all his problems were solved. By the way, he was not mistaken on one question, when some of his agents complained, they did complain, why are we spending such enormous sums of money to kill one man? Is it worthwhile? And Stalin said, no you are wrong. He said without Trotsky, there is no fourth international, it is finished. Because, he said, they do not have good leaders, and that’s a fact, he was not wrong on that. They destroyed the fourth international. And I don’t wish to dwell on that subject.
You see, Stalin was mistaken. In reality, it is not difficult to kill a man or a woman it is very easy. We human beings are fragile things. Our lives are suspended by a very slender thread that seems to be broken, anything can kill a woman or a man. A bullet, a knife, an ice-pick. Nothing simpler. But. It is impossible to kill an idea whose time has come. And that is something that the vulgar empiricist Stalin could never understand. He never understood, the whole of his life he never understood the power of ideas. This is the most important thing to grasp.
Our International is, in many respects is not very strong, in its apparatus, that’s why we need the money, many organizations are more powerful in that respect than ours. But in one field, and it is the most important field of all, the IMT is immeasurably stronger than any other tendency in the world today. We have the ideas of Marxism. And it is the power of ideas that can change the world. Yes, Stalin thought everything was solved, he was wrong.
Eight decades after the death of Leon Trotsky, dear comrades and friends, we are still here. We are still here. Still fighting for the ideas of revolutionary Marxism, the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. Ideas which cannot be murdered by a pickaxe or anything else. Imperishable ideas of Marxism, which are the only guarantee for the future success of the world revolution. I agree completely with what comrade Oleg said from Moscow, that the IMT today is the only organization on a world scale that has the right to be regarded as the genuine inheritor of the international that was launched by Leon Trotsky shortly before he was treacherously struck down by a Stalinist assassin.
We have to have confidence in ourselves, comrades, for one very simple reason. Think about it. Look around you. Look at the other possibilities that allegedly exist. And you must come to the following conclusion. If we do not do this work, this necessary work, nobody else will do it for us. Oh yes. Today, the International Marxist Tendency, and I am not given to exaggeration, those that know me, but I’ll say this. In this moment in history, the International Marxist Tendency carries on its shoulders, the fate of the world socialist revolution. That means something.
It means that each and every one of you personally bears a colossal responsibility for what happens. And at this point I wish to make an appeal. For those of you who’ve not yet taken this step of committing to join a revolutionary organization, for those of you that listened to the debates of the last 4 days and are convinced that what we are saying is correct, I am asking you right now, right now, not tomorrow or the day after but right now, to make up your mind, to make that commitment. Because upon that, many things depend. I am certain that each one of you will gladly accept the responsibility that lies with this. And that you understand that it is necessary to finish the capitalist system before it finishes the human race. And that really, there’s nothing more important in life than that. There isn’t anything more important than that.
We are talking about the future of the human race, no more, no less. And therefore I am convinced that you will do the necessary thing and will do everything in your power to help us to carry out this important work.
And we are sure of one thing. Is it difficult? Of course it’s difficult. Nothing worthwhile in life is ever easy, you know. Oh, is it difficult, yes. Impossible? No. Necessary, yes. And be sure of one thing. Once we succeed in gathering sufficient forces, gathering and organizing, educating the forces of the revolutionary party, internationally, then, together, together, we can carry out the struggle that Trotsky dedicated his whole life to, along with countless other martyrs of the revolution, and for which he paid with his life, to carry that struggle to a final victorious conclusion.
I’ve run out of time, and I will close this remarkable school, I can’t think of anything more appropriate to say to you, and I say this to each one of you personally.
The final words of Trotsky pronounced, as he lay dying: “I am sure of the victory of the Fourth International. Go forward.”