It is, therefore, from the history of nature and human society that the laws of dialectics are abstracted. For they are nothing but the most general laws of these two aspects of historical development, as well as of thought itself.” (Engels)


The importance of dialectics


marx-engelsMany people do not realise that Marxism began as a philosophy, and Marx and Engels adhered to a definite philosophical standpoint all their lives – the standpoint of dialectical materialism. And although it may seem unlikely to some, it is impossible to understand Marxism without a thorough understanding of this subject.


Many people regard philosophy with a certain distain. It appears as something abstract, academic, dry and utterly remote from real life. This attitude is quite understandable. The “official” bourgeois philosophy that is taught in the universities is of interest only to a handful of academics who have nothing better to do than waste their time in endless and arid discussions on the meaning of words. But Marxist philosophy is not like that. It is a very powerful tool for understanding reality. And in order to change the world, it is first of all necessary to understand it.


Ted Grant - Permanent Revolutionary coverThis is the first chapter of the biography of Ted Grant, written by his friend and collaborator for more than 50 years, Alan Woods. It describes Ted Grant's childhood and early life in South Africa, how he came into contact with the Trotskyists and the background to his emigration to Britain. The book is available for sale from Wellred Books, PO Box 417, Kaikohe for $20 + $2P&P (Cheques payable to Well Red Books or internet banking 38-9007-0527121-00 ref TED Grant please email your delivery address to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )


The childhood shows the man,as morning shows the day. (John Milton)


As the New Year dawns, memories are reawakening of another New Year, exactly a century ago, the dawn of 1914 when millions of people were drifting towards the abyss as if in a dream.

dead-endOn that New Year’s Day few people imagined what lay in store. One hundred years had passed since the Battle of Waterloo and the memory of war had faded – at least in Britain. The war in South Africa had been a mere skirmish and had ended in victory. The British Empire upon which the sun never set seemed assured in its worldwide supremacy.

In France, it is true, things were not quite the same. Memories of the Franco-Prussian war and the German occupation of Alsace-Lorraine still remained. The General Staff longed for revenge, but on the streets of Montmartre the cafes were bustling and war did not seem an imminent prospect.





The world economy has been mired in a deep crisis since 2007. The bourgeois have tried everything to climb out of the crisis, from quantitative easing, to zero interest rates, to the socialisation of banking losses, but all to no avail. Why is it that a modern-day version of Keynesianism cannot work?

The Marxist analysis of history – that is, the dialectical and materialist analysis of history – explains that the main motor force in history is the need for society to develop the productive forces: to increase our knowledge of and mastery over nature; to reduce the socially necessary labour time needed to produce and reproduce the conditions of life; to improve lifestyles and raise the standards of living.

TedGrantCentenary2Today, 9th July, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ted Grant, the founder of the International Marxist Tendency. Rob Sewell, editor of the British Marxist paper Socialist Appeal, outlines the important role played by Ted in building the forces of Marxism during his lifetime and discusses the legacy of Ted for Marxists today.

For those who knew him, Ted Grant was a political giant. He lived and breathed the ideas of Marxism and was, without doubt, the most important Marxist theoretician since the death of Trotsky. This can be gauged by the depth of his writings over some 70 years of political activity, most of which is available at

The ideas of Marx have never been more relevant than they are today and are reflected in the thirst for Marxist theory at the present time. In this article, Alan Woods deals with the main ideas of Karl Marx and their relevance to the crisis we're passing through today.

In 1949, Ted Grant, founder of the Militant Tendency and Socialist Appeal, wrote a polemical response to Tony Cliff on the class nature of the Soviet Union, arguing against Cliff's theory of "State Capitalism". Ted's response provides an in-depth Marxist analysis on a range of questions, from the transition from capitalism to socialism, to the key issues of the state and the nature of Stalinism.

In this third part of the article on Keynes, Hayek and Marx, the author deals with the shortcomings of Hayek's economic analysis and shows the utopian character of modern Keynesianism. Only socialism can provide a positive way out of the present crisis.

A recent BBC documentary series entitled “Masters of Money” examined the ideas of three historical giants in economics: Keynes, Hayek, and Marx. In this article, we compare and contrast their ideas in the context of the current crisis of capitalism, to see if any of these figures and their writings really do have the answers to solve the problems facing society today.

As with the sites of production of other commodities, the sites of media production are simultaneously sites of struggle. Journalists and other media workers can and must struggle against the domination of capital over their professions and over humankind.

Perhaps nothing elicits more disagreement and debate among Marxists and other left activists than a discussion about the media. There is no doubt that the mass media is omnipresent, mediating every aspect of our lives. How one relates to and interprets the world is largely coloured by how the media informs us. The disconnect between what is happening on the ground, and how it is reported in the media becomes even more clear during periods in which workers and youth engage in mass struggle. Excluding those directly participating in the Occupy movement, the public at large was presented with a somewhat distorted picture of what was happening on the ground.

Since ancient times, homosexuality has been documented amongst humans. Despite this, there is considerable debate, even amongst Marxists, as to whether homosexuality is a lifestyle choice or the product of genetics or a combination of both. While many Marxist groups have come out in favour of supporting gay rights, Stalinists condemned homosexuality for decades as a bourgeoisie perversion and in most countries where the Stalinists seized power homosexuality was banned.