The International Group (1985)


This post first appeared on RedMoleRising and is re-published here together with a comment from Mike M.

The International Group was a significant split from the International Marxist Group / Socialist League in 1985.

Formerly the largest minority, Faction One, led by Phil Hearse, Dave Packer, Davy Jones, and Bob Pennington, they left after two smaller minorities formed what they regarded as an unprincipled alliance to block them from the leadership of the group.

They published nine issues of “International- A journal of Marxism in the Labour Party” before fusing with the Socialist Group (formerly Workers Socialist League) in 1987 to form the International Socialist Group which then published Socialist Outlook.

The IG / ISG considered itself to be a sympathising section of the Fourth International and became the official section at the 1995 World Congress.

International- A Journal Of Marxism In the Labour Party files can be found here

Mike writes:

The International Group regarded itself as a public faction of the British Section of the Fourth International rather than a split.

The view was that the norms of democratic functioning had broken down inside the Socialist League, due to the fact that two diametrically opposed minorities had joined together in an unprincipled way to deny the largest group in the membership the right to lead the organisation. Therefore the SL had ceased to function as a revolutionary democratic organisation.

The subsequent evolution of the two minorities (who became what are now known as Socialist Action and the Communist League) away from revolutionary marxism and the Fourth International confirms that this was a correct interpretation of events.

The IG saw its role as reconstituting the British Section of the Fourth International on a democratic and revolutionary basis following a breakdown rather than a split. This was achieved by fusion with the forces of the Socialist Group and a number of other groups from the SL and beyond, and following further degeneration of the two minorities, agreement by the FI that the ISG as it became constituted was the only basis for a British Section of the Fourth International. A small group of the remnants of the SL constituted themselves as a “FI Supporters Caucus” and refused to rejoin the section, they too degenerated to being footsoldiers for the stalinoid Scargill leadership of the Socialist Labour Party and became extinct.


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