Nigeria: Leon Trotsky Marxist School

To mark the 70th anniversary of the assassination of Leon Trotsky, the Nigerian section of the International Marxist Tendency organised a Marxist weekend school on August 27-28, where they discussed the history of the workers’ internationals and other questions. Comrades were very happy with the school and look forward to more such events.

The first topic discussed on the first day, Saturday, August 27, 2010) was “The History of the International”. The lead off to the discussion was given by Comrade G.O.K, who stressed the fact that capitalism as a system has become an international system, so the system that will replace it must also be organized internationally. He reiterated the need for the International dating back to the days of Marx and Engels who led the First International up to the era of the Second International, which initially had the Bolsheviks as part of its component units, until its degeneration prior to and during the First World War when it degenerated on the lines of social chauvinism and reformism leading to the formation of the Third International (i.e. the Communist International). The degeneration of the Communist International under the Stalinist leadership led to the formation of the Fourth International under the tutelage of Leon Trotsky who unfortunately was murdered by an agent of Stalin in 1940. After the death of Trotsky, the leadership of the International developed a very limited perspective for the post Second World War era which contributed to serious confusion and fragmentation of its ranks, save for the British section who had the likes of Ted Grant within its leadership who put forward a perspective that gave a more scientific and concrete understanding of the post war period. Comrade GOK concluded noting that our International – the International Marxist Tendency - represents the “Unbroken Thread” from the days of Marx and Engel to the genuine Trotskyist movement of the present day. Many comrades enthusiastically contributed to the discussion.

The second topic was on the “Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State”. The lead off was given by comrade CD, who explained the fact that contrary to what the bourgeois apologists want us to believe, the family, private property and the state as presently constituted, have not always been and will not always continue to be . He traced the different family relations that have existed in history and their different characteristics before the advent of private property, and explained that it was the advent of private property of the means of production that brought about the emergence of the state, which has always been an instrument of oppression of the propertied class against the property-less class. Comrades contributed with significant enthusiasm.

The third topic was on our work within the youth and student movement. The lead off was given by comrade AO, who traced the history of all our work in the student movement from the 1980s till date. The comrade also identified some mistakes made so as to learn from them in the future and also tasked the student comrades on the need to work systematically within the student union and in the struggle to reform NANS (National Association of Nigerian Students). Comrades present also shared their experience and many contributed. All comrades collectively agreed that the best thing that had happened to the Workers Alternative was our affiliation to the IMT.

The last topic of the school, which was held on the second day (Sunday, August 28), was on “Nigerian Perspectives”. The lead off was given by comrade KZ, who pointed out the unfortunate state of things in Nigeria presently. He explained that it is only by the overthrow of this present useless Nigerian ruling class, that has become completely incapable of moving the country forward for close to fifty years of their misrule, by the Nigerian workers that the problems confronting millions of Nigerians can be solved. Comrades concluded by saying that the organization should still maintain the orientation to the Labour Party and aggressively campaign within the trade unions for the Trade Union Leadership to mobilize the ranks to join the party. All comrades also enthusiastically contributed.

The school ended at 4pm on the Sunday (August 28, 2010). All the comrades were in a very high spirits and also looking forward to more such schools.

Website of Nigerian Marxists: Workers' Alternative