The Mandel – Johnstone Debate

Here we have the 1977 debate between representatives of the International Marxist Group & Fourth International and the Communist Party of Great Britain.

 

Source >> Red Mole Rising

Monty Johnstone

The original video reels have been digitised and cleaned up a little.

The sound and picture quality are good for 1970s video.

In this first 30 minute clip Monty Johnstone opens the discussion for the CPGB. He returns to themes developed in his first debate with Ernest Mandel in 1969 and argues that Mandel’s predictions for the 1970s had not come to pass.

This 30 minute clip is of Ernest Mandel replying to Monty Johnstone and re-iterating some of the themes he had first put forward in a previous debate in 1969…

The first of five short, ten-minute, contributions to the debate was by Sam Aaronovitch of the CPGB.

Sam Aaronovitch (26 December 1919 – 30 May 1998) was a British economist, academic, working class intellectual and senior member of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

Sam Aaronovitch
Sam Aaronovitch

He was born in the East End of London to Jewish immigrants and his early years were devoted to activity as a Communist Party militant and then a party full timer.

Near the age of 50, he became an economist after studying at Balliol College, Cambridge from 1967 to 1971.

Later he aligned himself with the Eurocommunist wing of the CP and was a frequent contributor to Marxism Today.

In 1981, he published The Road from Thatcherism in an attempt to articulate the need for a broad alliance against Thatcherism.

Beatrix Campbell
Beatrix Campbell

Beatrix Campbell needs little introduction.

She joined the CP in her teens in the 1960s and was part of the wing of the CP most engaged with feminism and other social movements.

By the time of this debate she was aligned with the Eurocommunists and here argues from a feminist perspective.

Dodie Weppler
Dodie Weppler

Dodie Weppler the first of the IMG contributions after those from the CPGB.

In this she takes up the CPGB’s industrial record, its activities in the trade unions in the context of the Social Contract and its relationship to left TU leaders.

Peter Gowan
Peter Gowan

Peter Gowan, a member of the editorial committee of New Left Review and one of the founders of Labour Focus on Eastern Europe speaks next for the IMG.

Peter died in 2009 and obituaries and a selection of his writings can be found here: Marxist Internet Archive.

Tariq Ali
Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali makes the third ten minute contribution on behalf of the IMG. He starts by forcefully criticising the contribution of Geoff Roberts for the CPGB on the state and seizure of power.

Unfortunately Comrade Roberts contribution was not recorded on these video reels.

Tariq then takes up a number of points raised in previous contributions- the question of splits within the Communist movement, of proletarian internationalism, defence of the record of the Trotskyist movement in the women’s liberation movement and the internal regimes of western communist parties…

Ernest Mandel
Ernest Mandel

We come now to the penultimate video in which Ernest Mandel sums up on behalf of the Fourth International…

Monty Johnstone
Monty Johnstone

And finally- the last segment in our series on the 1977 debate.

Here is Monty Johnstone’s 20 minute summation for the CPGB.


Art (45) Book Review (95) Books (104) Capitalism (61) China (69) Climate Emergency (95) Conservative Government (81) Conservative Party (42) COVID-19 (38) Economics (33) EcoSocialism (41) Elections (61) Fascism (51) Film (41) Film Review (52) France (50) Gaza (40) Imperialism (94) Israel (79) Italy (33) Keir Starmer (40) Labour Party (89) Long Read (36) Marxism (43) Marxist Theory (31) Palestine (98) pandemic (71) Protest (123) Russia (315) Solidarity (113) Statement (37) Trade Unionism (125) Ukraine (312) United States of America (104) War (325)

Join the discussion

MORE FROM ACR