[Marxism] Ted Grant: 1913-2006

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jul 20 11:20:07 MDT 2006


Ted Grant: 1913-2006
By Alan Woods
Thursday, 20 July 2006

This morning we heard the tragic news of the death of comrade Ted Grant, 
just a few days after his 93rd birthday. The news was a great shock to all 
of us. Despite his age and the obvious deterioration of his condition in 
the last period, we had grown used to the idea that he would always be 
there, a permanent fixture amidst all the turbulence and change.

Ted himself seemed to be convinced that he would never grow old, never mind 
die. That explains his well-known aversion to birthdays. When I went to 
visit him on his birthday, he was completely indifferent to the decorations 
on the door of his room. He wanted only to hear of politics, the 
revolutionary struggle and the work of the International Marxist Tendency. 
He was a man who only lived for the cause of the working class and the 
socialist revolution. That was true right to the end.

Although he lived most of his life in Britain, Ted Grant was South African 
by birth, and never quite lost his native accent. He was born in 1913 in 
Germiston, just outside Johannesburg. He told me that he was first aroused 
to political life by the treatment of the black workers. From a very early 
age, he was interested in Marxism. He told me he had started to read 
Capital when he was 14. It was the beginning of a lifelong passion for 
Marxist theory.

Inspired by the Russian Revolution, he was won over to Trotskyism by Ralph 
Lee, a member of the South African Communist Party, expelled for supporting 
the Left Opposition. Because of the very difficult conditions in South 
Africa, the comrades decided to move to Britain, where they saw greater 
prospects for building the movement. In 1934, Ted moved to London, where he 
lived ever since.

Shortly before the War, he spearheaded the formation of the Workers 
International League (WIL), which is the original group from which we are 
descended. Later, the WIL fused with other Trotskyists to form the 
Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). Ted was always very proud of the work 
done by the WIL and the RCP. The publications of this period, including the 
Socialist Appeal, contain a wealth of valuable political material that is 
well worth reading today. Some of it can be found in The Unbroken Thread, 
an important anthology of Ted's writings, and we aim to re-issue most of it 
on our web page Tedgrant.org.

full: http://www.marxist.com/ted-grant-obituary.htm

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