Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

The Editor of Class Struggle

Our Coverage of Ireland

First Published: Class Struggle, Vol. 4, No. 22, November 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
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Regular readers of “Class Struggle” will probably have noticed a change in the paper’s coverage of Ireland, both in its approach and in the prominence given to it this year.

“Class Struggle” is a paper which exists to serve the working class. It aims to assist it in its day-to-day struggles against attacks on living standards and democratic rights and to be a strong weapon in the fight to build a genuine revolutionary party of the working class. It tries to put over communist policies and views in a clear and honest way, so that readers can grasp them well, and those who wish to support them can do so on the basis of really understanding them. For these reasons, if our stand on a major issue changes, we will not opportunistically slip and slide round to that position in CS (in the manner which Trotskyite and revisionist publications do while pretending nothing has happened, but will try to explain to our readers why our stand has changed.

Why the change

The changes in our Irish coverage are products of the successful struggle for unity between the Revolutionary Communist League of Britain and the former Communist Workers’ Movement and of the attendant struggles in both organisations, and of our better understanding of the foolishness of idealistically making up policies which are divorced from the concrete reality of the issue involved. We recognize that our understanding of the important and complex questions at issue will develop in the course of the RCL engaging in three fronts of work, namely, lass work in the Ireland solidarity movement, theoretical and programmatic work and developing our, fraternal links with Irish Marxist-Leninists.

The RCL-CWM Unity conference held on May 31st and June 1st this year voted to amend the Manifesto of the RCL to delete the provision that the British revolutionary communist party should be built in Northern Ireland, as well as Britain. It correctly criticised its previous social-chauvinist error. The RCLB was also in error in not attaching sufficient importance to the work of campaigning for the withdrawal of British troops and of building support for the Irish people’s national democratic revolution against British imperialism and for national independence and reunification. Naturally, this weakness was reflected in our paper. Worse than this, on a number of occasions we slandered the liberation fighters as terrorists devoid of real support from the people. That this is not the case was confirmed by those of our comrades who took part in the Troops Out Movement delegation to Belfast in August.

Support the struggle that exists

The Irish people will decide who best represents their hopes and aspirations. We now recognize that communists in Ireland have to organise on a 32 county basis in order to gradually come to play a vanguard role in the national democratic revolution. As the Irish people are fighting “our” bourgeoisie, we have a particular responsibility to support all those who genuinely fight British imperialism. In particular, we will specifically uphold what is correct and progressive in the national liberation movements, whilst not neglecting to give every possible support to the building of a proletarian revolutionary party in Ireland based on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong thought, which alone can lead the struggle to final victory.

The RCLB made serious errors in its line on Ireland in the past, but we are determined to overcome them, continue to improve our work, and fulfil our proletarian internationalist duties – duties which are inseparable from developing our own revolutionary work in Britain.