Andrew Price, Cardiff Socialist Party
This Christmas, one of my presents was the book Marxism in Today’s World by Peter Taaffe. This is an extended interview originally given in 2003 to an Italian Marxist, on the politics of the Socialist Party, the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) and the Socialist’s forerunner, ‘Militant’, with additional comments from Bob Labi of the CWI.
Peter Taaffe, Bob Labi and I all became Trotskyists in the 1960s; I first joined Militant in 1968. In fact, a decisive factor in my joining was Peter’s capacity to explain some of the complex ideas of Marxism in a way working class men and women could understand.
In 1969, I was elected as Welsh representative on the National Committee of the Labour Party Young Socialists, and later, when Marxists became a majority of the Committee, I became National Vice-chairperson of the organisation while Bob Labi (the London representative) became editor of the LPYS newspaper (then known as ‘Left’).
‘Marxism in Today’s World’ is divided into the following sections: 9/11 and after; the world situation; the Middle East; Ireland and the National Question; the Permanent Revolution today; Russia, Eastern Europe and State Capitalism; China; the history of the Militant and the CWI.
I am unable to make detailed comments on most of these sections except to say that there is important commentary on a difficult period from roughly 1985 to 1995, a period that saw the defeat of the miners’ strike of 1984-85, the collapse of Stalinism across Eastern Europe, and the Labour Party’s shift to the right.
Some chose to deny social reality and remained within the Labour Party, deluding themselves and a few others that things had not fundamentally changed.
Some of these went on to pursue Parliamentary ambitions that some of them probably had when they described themselves as Marxists.
Some, including Peter, me and many others, were expelled from the Labour Party, helped to establish Militant Labour and remain today as members of the Socialist Party and the CWI.
I hope every member of the Socialist Party and the CWI reads Marxism in Today’s World, including young comrades not even born when many of the events analysed took place.
To work properly as a party member in today’s world you need to understand how we have cherished and defended at each stage our most important legacy: the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky.
Buy this book, read it, organise branch meetings around it and help develop your own political understanding to the point where you can play a decisive role in ridding the world of the scourge of capitalism.
Marxism in Today’s World
by Peter Taaffe
Just £8 plus P&P
Available from Socialist Books
PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD
020 8988 8789
Please make cheques payable to Socialist Books