[Marxism] Re a sectarian approach

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 11 13:14:26 MST 2005

Bob Montgomery:
>BTW: This tendency has some siginificant
>sections outside Britain; Pakistan in particular (as does the CWI).
>But in your book the members of those sections are simply clones, it
>would seem. Who's the sectarian?

Ironically, this observation points out the basic problem with this variety 
of British Trotskyism. Does anybody have any idea why Peter Taafe of the 
Committee for a Workers International broke with the International Marxist 
Tendency of Grant-Woods? This is one of more obscure splits in recent 
times, besides that of the WWP in the USA. It seems to have something to do 
with differences over how to respond to the Poll Tax in Scotland in 1991, 
which for me hardly constitutes the kind of struggle that Lenin had to wage 
in 1914.

Here's a birds-eye history of Trotskyism that might help to put all this 
into some kind of perspective:


PHASE ONE: Leon Trotsky's heir apparents immediately after WWII are:

United States: (James P. Cannon)

United Kingdom: (tripartite of Ted Grant, Tony Cliff, Gerry Healy)

Europe: Michel Pablo, nominal head of the Fourth International

Latin America: Juan Posadas

PHASE TWO: Grant, Cliff and Healy split and form their own parties, each 
one convinced that they alone have the solution to the burning question of 
the "crisis of leadership" in the working-class.

Healy retains ties to the Fourth International; the others go their own way.

PHASE THREE: Healy and Cannon have a falling out with Pablo in the 1950's 
and form their own Fourth International. They accuse Pablo of adapting to 
non-Trotskyist currents (well, bully for Pablo!). It is called the 
International Committee. Pablo's outfit is the International Secretariat, 
named after the famous race-horse. One of his co-leaders is the noted 
Belgian economist Ernest Mandel.

Juan Posadas goes bonkers in the 1950s. Argues that UFOs are indication of 
advanced socialist societies in outer space. Advocates preemptive nuclear 
strike against the USA by the USSR, so that socialism can arise out of the 
nuclear ashes. Nahel Moreno replaces him as premier Trotskyist in Latin 

PHASE FOUR: Cannon and Mandel reunite since they reach agreement that a 
socialist revolution took place in Cuba. According to them, this shows that 
Trotsky rather than Castro was correct. Pablo has gone his own way. Healy 
denies that a socialist revolution takes place and declares his own Fourth 
International. In subsequent years, he goes bonkers also and is discovered 
to have been sexually preying on young females in his English group. He 
charges his American follower, Tim Wolforth, with spying for the CIA.

PHASE FIVE: In the 1970s, American followers of Cannon launch factional 
struggle against Mandel and the Europeans because they are supporting a 
guerrilla group in Argentina that is non-Trotskyist. They line up with 
Moreno, whose group appears similar to the American's. Later on they split.

PHASE SIX: In the 1980s, the American group declares it is not Trotskyist 
anymore and states that it is part of a revolutionary current that includes 
them, the Cuban CP and the ANC. They state that this is the only genuine 
international communist movement. The only problem is that the Cuban CP has 
state power, the ANC soon will, but the American group leads nobody and has 
no prospects of doing so.

Meanwhile, somewhere along the line, Moreno has set up his own Fourth 

Mandel continued to run his own Fourth International until his death in 1995.



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