Ted Grant was born in South Africa in 1913. Travelling to Britain in search of broader horizons, he stopped off in Paris to talk with Leon Sedov, Trotsky's son. With Ralph Lee he formed the Workers' International League (WIL), which subsequently fused with the Revolutionary Socialist League (RSL) to become the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) in 1944.
After the war, he defended Trotsky's analysis of the Soviet Union in that it was a deformed workers' state – one in which private property and capitalism had been abolished, yet where the workers did not hold political power. He argued that the so-called 'communist' countries of Eastern Europe were in fact run on the same lines as the Soviet Union, and he used the term Proletarian Bonapartism to describe them.
During the 1960s he extended the analysis to the colonial countries that had become 'communist'. He argued that the intelligentsia of these countries looked towards Stalinism as a way to develop their economies and alleviate the desperate conditions; but since the masses had not been roused on a socialist programme, the bureaucratic nature of these regimes was inevitable.