“Revolutionary Communist Party” name to be revived

February 2024 Forums General discussion “Revolutionary Communist Party” name to be revived

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  • #248572
    ALB
    Keymaster

    According to this, “Socialist Appeal”, the part of the Militant Tendency that stayed
    in the Labour Party when it split, has decided to relaunch itself as they “Revolutionary Communist Party”:

    Revolution Festival 2023: The communists are coming!

    Can anybody identify the 5th face on the “banner of Marxism” after Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky? It can’t be Ted Grant, can it?

    They seem to be repeating the behaviour of the Revolutionary Workers Party and its predecessor the Socialist Labour League of the 60s and 70s of preaching that capitalism is collapsing (“dying on its feet”) in order to motivate its members to sacrifice themselves to urgently built the vanguard party to take advantage of this.

    It is odd though that, judging by the photos (and by seeing them on demonstrations), they have managed to attract so many young people for this delusionary project.

    #248576
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-ted-grant-109130745.html?imageid=6C991CB1-5DB2-4E3B-BD7A-A557034722E6&p=308342&pn=1&searchId=059754c833e567ba08cfc423b8c54f8a&searchtype=0

    That’s the photo in question.

    Seems strange they would use the “Revolutionary Communist Party” title, considering the general view of the old 1980’s RCP aka “The Ray Chadburn Party”. Is Martha Lane Fox and all of the now right wing “heed the balls” going to rejoin?

    This change might be a result of the large number of ex Grant Trots that have been thrown out of Starmer’s New, New Labour Party.

    #248577
    Lizzie45
    Participant

    Is Martha Lane Fox and all of the now right wing “heed the balls” going to rejoin?

    I think you mean Claire Fox.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claire_Fox

    #248578
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I can’t believe it. It is Ted Grant. This is carrying the leader-worship and cultism that is a feature some Trotskyist sects to an extreme. Not even the followers of Gerry Healey elevated him to that status. I wouldn’t have thought Grant would have wanted it either, but you never know.

    He did a very good impression of being a leftwing Labourite. He didn’t appear to know all that much about Marxism though. I remember tackling him ages ago at a meeting of Newport Young Socialists about whether there would be wages and money in socialism. He defended the view that there would be but then of course, like all Trotskyists, by “socialism” he meant “state capitalism”. I didn’t realise that I had been arguing with a future demi-god.

    Incidentally, at first I too thought of that RCP (the one that published Living Marxism but which we called “Dead Leninism”) but I think it more likely that’s it’s an attempted reincarnation of a previous RCP that united most Trotskyists in the 1940s.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutionary_Communist_Party_(UK,_1944)

    #248579
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    They seem to have capitlised on the on going fracture of the SWP. They seem to have picked up a few of the SWP members in Newcastle who resigned a few years ago and have been wandering around like sheep without a shepherd to tell them what to think. To be fair they seem to have a rump of the more well read members of what was the Militant Group, in comparison to the ones who SPEWed out.

    #248580
    Moo
    Participant

    “I remember tackling him ages ago at a meeting of Newport Young Socialists about whether there would be wages and money in socialism.”

    You may have knocked some sense into him, ALB, if you had literally tackled him.

    #248581
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    ALB – “I didn’t realise that I had been arguing with a future demi-god.”

    Neither did he

    #248594
    ALB
    Keymaster

    This review of a collection of Grant’s writings in the March 1990 Socialist Standard by DAP brings out that he was well aware of us. Also that, in the debate within the Trotskyist movement about the nature of the USSR, he scored a good point against Tony Cliff theory that Russia only became state capitalism in 1928 (after Trotsky was expelled from Russia) when he pointed out that the economy in Russia was exactly the same pre and post 1928 and that Cliff, if he had been consistent, should have said that Russia had been state capitalist since 1917 (which of course we did).

    Here are some of the things he said about us:

    “If all that was required of revolutionaries was to repeat ad nauseam a few phrases and slogans taken from the great teachers of Marxism, the problem of the revolution would be simple indeed. The SPGB would be super-Marxists instead of incurable sectarians. As Trotsky remarked of the ultra-lefts, every sectarian would be a master strategist.”

    And again,

    “Unfortunately, the movement of the working class does not proceed in a straight line. Otherwise, all that would be necessary would be to proclaim from the street corners the need for a revolutionary party – as the SPGB has proclaimed for 50 years the superiority of Socialism over capitalism – but with completely barren results.” (https://www.marxists.org/archive/grant/1959/03/entrism.htm)

    Perhaps, when the members of the new RCP study the works of Grant they will be intrigued to find out more about us. Who knows?

    Book Review: ‘The Unbroken Thread’, by Ted Grant

    #248595
    Lizzie45
    Participant

    “Unfortunately, the movement of the working class does not proceed in a straight line. Otherwise, all that would be necessary would be to proclaim from the street corners the need for a revolutionary party – as the SPGB has proclaimed for 50 years the superiority of Socialism over capitalism – but with completely barren results.”

    Can’t argue with that – except that it’s now 120 years!

    #248596
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    “Can’t argue with that – except that it’s now 120 years!”

    So by definition you can argue with that, because you just did.

    #248597
    Lizzie45
    Participant

    “Can’t argue with that – except that it’s now 120 years!”

    So by definition you can argue with that, because you just did.

    It’s the completely barren results I can’t argue with, hammerhead.

    #248599
    imposs1904
    Participant

    Interesting that as well as changing the name of the organisation, they are also changing the name of their journal from ‘Socialist Appeal’ to ‘The Communist’.

    I guess changing the name of their organisation has forced their hand in having to also change the name of the journal but it is interesting that their choice of title is a call back to the CPGB’s original journal of the same name which existed from 1920-1923. (Succeeded by Workers’ Weekly.)

    https://www.marxists.org/history/international/comintern/sections/britain/periodicals/communist/index.htm

    Of course, Trotsky was still front and centre in the Third International during that period, so it’s not that weird that Socialist Appeal see some sort of lineage between the early CPGB and their own tradition.

    #248602
    Moo
    Participant

    Trots criticise us for not having achieved socialism by now, when they haven’t, either! Can you imagine!

    #248620
    twc
    Participant

    ————Julius Cæsar I.2
    SOOTHSAYER
    ——Beware the ides of March.
    CÆSAR
    ——He is a dreamer. Let us leave him. Pass.

    ————Julius Cæsar III.1
    CÆSAR
    ——The ides of March are come.
    SOOTHSAYER
    ——Ay, Cæsar, but not gone.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by twc.
    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by twc.
    #248627
    ALB
    Keymaster

    They haven’t even achieved their aim. Fortunately, otherwise we’d be living in a a state-capitalist economy ruled by a vanguard party.

    But the really odd thing about Grant’s successors setting up an independent “revolutionary” party is that this goes against everything he advocated for over 50 years till his death in 2006 — that Trotskyists should stay in the Labour Party as it was the mass party of the working class and that when the working class began to move towards becoming revolutionary this would initially express itself inside the Labour Party; hence Trotskyists should be there to lead them.

    It is quite clear that the new RCP will end up no different from the WRP, SWP and SPEW, another would-be mass Trotskyist party with not much more support amongst the working class generally than us. It will also leave a niche for any Trotskyist group that stays in the Labour Party to take advantage of the inevitable failure of a future Labour government.

    I imagine that Grant’s successors. having built up some support amongst students, has thought this — and that capitalism is supposedly “dying on its feet” — up as something to keep these recruits occupied and motivated in order to retain them.

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