IMG – International Marxist Group

April 2024 Forums General discussion IMG – International Marxist Group

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  • #82507
    jondwhite
    Participant

    What were the International Marxist Group (IMG that Tariq Ali belonged to) like?

    #98552
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    jondwhite wrote:
    What were the International Marxist Group (IMG that Tariq Ali belonged to) like?

     Have you googled 'SPGB IMG'? 

    #98553
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I remember them as just another common or garden Trotskyist group which took a particular interest in "anti-imperialist" struggles in the Third World.. They were the official group in Britain of one of the 4th Internationals, the one led by Ernst Mandel and held the orthodox Trotskyist view that Russia was neither a form of capitalism nor a new exploiting society but the absurd  view that it was some sort of "Workers State" even if a "degenerate" one while its satellites and China were "deformed Workers States" (subtle difference only discernable by experienced Trotwatchers: they couldn't be called "degenerate" as in their eyes they'd never been the real thing; they were born "deformed").In the 1979 General Election they put up a number of candidates under the name of "Socialist Unity" (often against other Trot groups such as the SWP and the WRP usually getting more votes than them — so much for "unity").I never knew what happened to them in the end but Tariq Ali and some of the others "entered" the Labour Party for a while in the 1980s. I think that they got overtaken as the biggest orthodox Trotskyist (i.e holding the above silly view of Russia and its satellites) group by Militant..

    #98554
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Just looked up an election address I have of the "Socialist Unity" candidate for Islington North, Michael Simpson, in the May 1979 general election (which brought the Madame Thatcher to power). It says:

    Quote:
    We should all have the right to decent housing, education and health services. An emergency programme of works would provide these and create jobs.This could be done without rocketing rates and taxes. They are rising mainly to pay interest charges on money borrowed. Socialist Unity would pay for more and better services by ending interest payments and nationalising the banks and finance houses without compensation.

    What? Under capitalism? These Trotskyists don't change. They (e.g TUSC) still propose this today as a supposed way out of the crisis. Either they believe this. In which cases they are simple reformists. Or they don't. In which case they are cynical manipulators offering workers empty promises as bait for workers to follow them. Nothing special about the old IMG then. Same old story.

    #98555
    HollyHead
    Participant

    In the February 1974 election the IMG argued that  "… where there is no revolutionary alternative…socialists must argue for a vote for the Labour Party ."(Red Weekly 8 February 1974)

    #98556
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    "I never knew what happened to them in the end"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Marxist_GroupIn Edinburgh, the leading IMG activist became a leading SWP activist. There's the pics of John Lennon with the Red Mole, IMG's magazine, so those who think Russel Brand brandishing a copy of Socialist Standard will boost the circulation, should remember, Lennon's celebrity endorsement did little for it in the long term and he was more popular than Jesus at the time, so they tell me….http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/red-mole-and-john-lennon/ And his Red Mole interview is revealinghttp://www.beatlesinterviews.org/db1971.0121.beatles.html I can't say i am impressed by JL's politics much. Rather uninformed and very naive, our working class hero was, IMHO, but some light peeps through the cracks. I wonder how Russel would answer to some of our questions if we had an opportunity to delve a bit deeper into his politics in an interview? 

    #98557
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I think you are being a little unfair on Lennon. I don't know a single person that has never held reformist views. By the time he wrote Imagine, I imagine he's political views had matured a little.What people have done in the past was done in the past These words could have been written by Karl Marx but certainly not the IRA or Lenin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLgYAHHkPFs There must be some members of the SPGB who were once in a reformist group or held reformist ideas but, hey., I have to say, despite all his faults, I am a bit of a Lennonist  

    #98558
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Just thought, the song was written about the same time as the interview or shortly after. Not much of a lennonist.  

    #98560
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Just realised who the present descendants of the IMG are. They're "Socialist Resistance" who have decided to enter the new Left Unity party. Judging by one of the pamphlets they handed out at the founding conference of the new party today I can see why the other Trotskyist groups say they've abandoned Trotskyism. They say:

    Quote:
    The FI [Fourth International] decided some years ago that it would no longer present itself as the 'world party of revolution'.

    That's a relief.

    #98561
    Pere Duchene
    Participant

    I recall at University in 1984 an  IMG'er was a member of the Labour Club there along with the 'friends of the Militant' newspaper aka Labour Party Young Socialists aka MT Taffe/Grant Trot Party.   My understanding is that the IMG went into the Labour Party in early 1980s. The Labour Club also contained a few members of the 'Socialist Labour Group', who are/were these ?

    #98559
    ALB
    Keymaster
    Père Duchêne wrote:
    The Labour Club also contained a few members of the 'Socialist Labour Group', who are/were these ?

    Personally, I'd never heard of them before, so I looked them up on wikipedia and see that one of those associated with them was Robin Blick. A former hierarch in the SLL/WRP he later abandoned all Leninism and Trotskyism and in 1993 wrote an excellent book The Seeds of Evil. Lenin & the Origins of Bolshevik Elitism.Its content can be seen from the blurb on the back:

    Quote:
    Did Stalin betray or embody Lenin's political legacy?The roots of Stalin's tyranny lay in Lenin's repudiation of the 'classical' Marxist tradition and his unambiguous enthusiasm for Jacobin terrorism and intrigue.

    We bought up copies to re-sell to members and sympathisers. I see it's still available on the internet at a reasonable price. Good stuff well worth reading.

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