The first in the series is the Introduction to the 1970s political group “Big Flame”.
"Introduction to Big Flame"
Big Flame were a libertarian Marxist political party in the United Kingdom. They were founded in Liverpool in 1970 and at first grew rapidly in the prevailing climate on the left, developing branches in a number of cities. They have been described as soft Maoist in order to distinguish them from the hard-line Maoist groups which adopted a Stalinist stance. In contrast to this Big Flame was quite libertarian. One of the key sentences in their platform published in every issue was the statement that a revolutionary party was necessary but that "Big Flame is not that party, nor is it the embryo of that party". This had the advantage of distinguishing them from some small groups who saw themselves as much more important than they were, but posed the problem of the 'party's' real reason for existence.
They published a magazine, also entitled Big Flame, and a journal, Revolutionary Socialism. They also devoted a great deal of time to self-analysis and considering their relationship with the larger Trotskyist groups. In time, they came to describe their politics as "libertarian Marxist". In 1978 they joined the Socialist Unity electoral coalition, led by the Trotskyist International Marxist Group.
In 1980, the anarchists of the Libertarian Communist Group joined Big Flame. The Revolutionary Marxist Current also joined at about this time. However, as more members of the group defected to the Labour Party, the journal ceased to appear in 1982, and the group was wound up in about 1983.
1] John Moorhouse, A Historical Glossary of British Marxism (Pauper's Press, 1987)