International Socialist Tendency

The International Socialist Tendency (IST) is an international grouping of unorthodox Trotskyist organisations[1] espousing the ideas of Tony Cliff (1917–2000), founder of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in Britain[2] (not to be confused with the unrelated Socialist Workers Party in the United States). It has sections across 27 countries;[1] however, its strongest presence is in Europe, especially in Britain.

The raised fist in red is the symbol of the International Socialist Tendency.

The politics of the IST are similar to the politics of many Trotskyist Internationals. Where it differs with many is on the question of the Soviet Union, the IST adopting the position that it was a "state capitalist" economy, rather than a "degenerated workers' state"[3] along with their theories of the "permanent arms economy"[4] and "deflected permanent revolution".[5] The IST sees the often referred to "socialist" countries, such as the former Eastern Bloc states, China, Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba as an inverse of classical Marxism, arguing they are "Stalinist" in nature.[6]

Unlike many international tendencies the IST has no formal organisational structures and has only ever made one publicly known decision, which was to expel the US International Socialist Organization (ISO) from its ranks.[7] However, the antecedents of the IST go back to the 1950s when the founders of the British Socialist Review Group (SRG), supporters of Cliff, were expelled from The Club and thus from the Fourth International.[8]