National Sections of the L5I:

Liberation

South Africa: No to a negotiated settlement! Fight ANC betrayal

Resolution adopted by the International Executive Committee of the LRCI, 4 March 1990

The release of Nelson Mandela has focused the attention of the world upon South Africa in a way not seen since the revolutionary situation of 1984-86. But this time we are not faced with workers’ strikes or uprisings in the townships. Rather, we have the spectacle of the ANC preparing to sell a “negotiated settlement” to the black masses. This is nothing short of a betrayal of the South African workers and should be branded as such. The current stage of the struggle in South Africa is dominated by the ANC’s perspective that apartheid can be abolished peacefully through negotiations with the white supremacist South African government. This policy holds grave dangers for the black masses of South Africa. Read more...

Theses on Zionism, Israel, Palestine and Arab nationalism

Passed at the MRCI delegate conference, September 1988

Jews: race, nation or “people-class”?

1. The Jews are clearly not a race. The original Hebrew people and language belonged to the Semitic family but two and a half millenia of residence amongst non-Semitic peoples, widespread proselytism to Judaism in earlier periods and intermarriage has made these communities like most other peoples a “racial mixture”. Read more...

“Left” republicanism in Ireland

Republicanism in Ireland is almost 200 years old. Taking its inspiration from the American Revolution (1776-82) and, more especially, the French Revolution (1789-94) republicanism emerged in Ireland as the doctrine of a developing northern protestant bourgeoisie in its fight against English rule.

The defeat of the 1798 rebellion and the subsequent abolition of the Dublin parliament signaled the end of an Irish republicanism associated with a revolutionary bourgeois class in Ireland. From the mid-nineteenth century on the national struggle passed into the leadership of the petit bourgeoisie based on an overwhelmingly catholic social base. Read more...

Trotskyism versus economism on Ireland

The February 1989 issue of Lutte de Classe / Class Struggle, published by the International Communist Union (ICU), the international grouping run by the French organisation Lutte Ouvrière (LO), carried an article on the armed struggle in Northern Ireland. We print here a reply from our Irish section, the Irish Workers Group. Read more...

The Soviet intervention in Afghanistan

Adopted by the MRCI conference, April 1988

1. In 1978 the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) seized power. It was a party based on the urban intelligentsia and the upper ranks of the armed forces. The party was based on the Stalinist monolithic model but was riven by factional conflicts. The PDPA’s programme consisted of a series of democratic reforms, based on continuing the policy of co-operation with the USSR which had been pursued by the king until 1973, and which Daoud, in conjunction with the CIA and the Shah of Iran, was attempting to stop. The seizure of power had popular support in the towns. It was, however, not a Soviet organised putsch. The Soviet Union had hitherto been content with Afghanistan as a neutral buffer state. In return the Soviet Union pumped in large amounts of aid being concerned only that the Afghan regime was “friendly”. But the effects of Soviet aid (army training, education etc) were to pro-Sovietise the majority of the army officer corps and state bureaucracy. Read more...

Theses on Zionism and Palestine: 1947

We reprint here an English translation of ‘Draft theses on the Jewish Question today’, first published in Fourth International in the January/February 1948 issue. They are dated January 1947 and the available evidence suggests that they were drafted by Ernest Mandel (‘Walter’) and first discussed by the International Secretariat in Paris at its 16 December 1946 meeting. Read more...

SWP: wrong positions on Iran and Iraq

‘The war is no longer just a conflict between two ruling classes fighting for domination of the region . . . The war now is one in which Iran faces the world’s mightiest imperial power (the USA—WP) and its European and Arab allies. Under these circumstances socialists are not neutral... We are with the Iranians—for the defeat of the whole coalition of forces, including Iraq, that is ranged against them.’
(Socialist Worker Review December 1987). Read more...

Sri Lanka and the Tamil question

1. The India Sri Lanka Accord of July 1987 represents the latest attempt at imposing a reactionary settlement on the national struggle of the Tamil people. The accord proposed autonomy which demanded the disarming of the only force enjoying the support of the Tamil people and reliance on Indian troops responsible for the repression of national groups inside India. It proposed a referendum in the Eastern Province in late 1988 to decide whether to continue links with the Northern Province. Read more...