History,  Trots

From the Vaults: RCP and the Falklands War

This is my second post in a group of three dealing with the Revolutionary Communist Party in the 1980s. The first gave some background into the hair gel sporting, fashion conscious membership of the RCP, a party with violent aims.

This post deals with a specific policy of the party: their line on the Falklands War.  This line was outlined by “Mike Freeman” (a pseudonym) in a thirty two page pamphlet he wrote for the party. The Falkland Islands, which he insisted should be called the Malvinas, belonged, as far as the RCP were concerned, to Argentina.  In fact, for years after the Falklands War ended, RCP members could be seen on demonstrations carrying a banner saying that the Malvinas are Argentina’s. This banner was carried on demonstrations irrespective of what the demonstration was about.

Below I copy some highlights from that pamphlet.  As can be seen the RCP argued that not only was Argentina not fascist, it would not have mattered if it were fascist as they would have still supported it in any war against Britain. This is important as it is relevant to those Trotskyist groups today who are prepared to support fascism in a war against Britain. It is such ideology that explains why the SWP aligned themselves with the Muslim Brotherhood in the Stop the War Coalition despite the fact that Tony Cliff, the leader of the SWP, had previously denounced the Muslim Brotherhood as “clerical fascists.”

It can also be seen that the RCP blamed Britain and the USA for any crimes of the Argentian junta, crimes, they argued, which pale into insignificance compared to British crimes over the last century. The RCP blamed Britain for “the slaughter of millions” and for conspiring “to turn half the world into a vast concentration camp.”

The pamphlet ends with a rallying cry to “Bring the war to Britain.” The RCP hoped the working class would sabotage British military supplies to harm the war effort.  The author scared readers by declaring that Britain’s “invasion of the South Atlantic” was “merely an opening skirmish in the prelude to the next world war.”

All one can say to this is that the members of the RCP were very lucky that they lived in Britain. Had they lived in fascist Argentina and made such treasonous comments about that regime, they, like other leftists, would surely have been tortured and shot.

Malvinas are Argentina’s

Mike Freeman

Junius Publications, n.d, c1982.

Argentine ‘fascism’ — an old lie

EVERY Labour MP agrees that Argentina is governed by a fascist military junta guilty of unprovoked aggression against Britain. Even left-wing critics of Thatcher’s decision to despatch the fleet echo her condemnations of the totalitarian regime in Buenos Aries. From the far right to the extreme left British politicians identify Argentine fascism as the problem.

The myth of Argentine fascism has a long history….

Argentina is not a fascist country. However, even it were, we would still support it in any war against Britain….

David and Goliath

….Reports of heroic exploits of the British task force are simply the cowardly bragging of a vicious bully who can swagger around the world brutalising those he has long held in subjection.

Viva Argentina!

The myth of British ‘democracy’ has been even more carefully cultivated that that of Argentine ‘fascism’…. We will not dwell here on the increasing restrictions on the democratic rights of trade unionists, blacks and Irish people, women and others in British society. What is of immediate concern is the meaning of British ‘democracy’ for the millions of people in the backward capitalist world who live under imperialist – and particularly British imperialist – domination….

The junta at present in Buenos Aries was installed with American and British backing and it has enjoyed their full support: the primary responsibility for every atrocity it has inflicted on the Argentine people lies squarely in Washington and London. The Generals are corrupt and vicious – they have been trained, equipped and financed by British experts, with long and wide experience in every corner of the world.

In six years Argentina’s junta has supervised the deaths of several thousand people and the imprisonment and torture of many more: in a century of imperial glory the British ruling class has presided over the slaughter of millions and it has conspired with its allies to turn half the world into a vast concentration camp which terror and starvation keep safe for ‘democracy.’ The record of British infamy makes Galtieri’s junta look mild in comparison….

A British victory would mean even tighter imperialist control over Argentina, and more poverty, torture and murder for its people.

On the other hand a defeat for Britain in the South Atlantic would be the best possible result for the masses of Argentina.  It would be a setback to imperialist domination in the region and the create more favourable conditions for the development of the class struggle in Argentina….

‘Self-determination’ – another old lie

Britain invokes the rights of 1800 Falkland Islanders to ‘self-determination to refute the claims of 27 million Argentines to territories which historically, geographically and politically they have every right to claim as their own….

British claims for the Falkland Islanders’ right to national self-determination are an absurdity which should be repudiated.  In fact the Falkanders do not want to become independent: it is their desire to preserve British rule in the area that the British government is so concerned to defend….

Malvinas are Argentina’s

The Malvinas were part of that section of the Spanish American empire then ruled from Buenos Aries. Argentina claimed sovereignty when it became an independent country and it held control until British aggression made it part of its growing empire….

More importantly, however, the Malvinas under British rule are a symbol of imperialist domination in Latin America….

If they won control over the Malvinas and expropriated every penny’s worth of assets of the Falklands Islands Company, the Argentine people would not have claimed back one thousandth of what they are owed by British imperialism.

Bring the war to Britain

THE Revolutionary Communist Party’s approach to the South Atlantic war begins from the understanding that this conflict stems from the determination of the imperialist countries to consolidate their grip over Latin America….

Britain had to go to war against Argentina because it had the temerity, as a Third World country, to use military force against one of the world’s foremost imperialist powers….

If Argentina could seize back what Britain had plundered from it in the past, and get away with it, no British interest in the Third World would be safe….

Our aim must be to mobilise British workers against the war, to use their industrial strength to undermine the war effort and to contribute to the British defeat on the home front. This approach follows a long, if interrupted, tradition of working class opposition to imperialist war. Revolutionaries in Europe before and during the First World War fomented disaffection and mutiny in the bourgeois armed forces and organised tracking union blacking and sabotage of military supplies.

That such a strategy today seems inconceivable is simply a measure of how far anti-imperialist sentiments in the labour movement have been corrupted by the alternative policies of the labour bureaucrats….

Britain’s invasion of the South Atlantic is merely an opening skirmish in the prelude to the next world war….

Our war is not in the South Atlantic, but at home. Let’s force the ruling class to fight its battles on the streets of Britain, not in the pastures of the Malvinas.