The letter below was given to Class War after issue 69 appeared, in the expectation that they would print it in their paper. They later told us verbally that it was "not the type of thing they put in their paper" or somesuch phrase. This was disappointing, not to say rather pathetic, but we are printing it ourselves instead in the hope that it still might provoke useful debate.
SUBVERSION has always had good relations with Class War, particularly Manchester Class War with whom we have had joint public meetings on occasion. We see the CW members we know as fellow working-class revolutionaries. However, when we read your paper we notice that from time to time the most appalling reactionary shite appears in it.
We think it's about time we took you up on some of these things, and hopefully we can get a useful debate going.
The item that prompted us to write this letter was the review of "The Battle of Algiers" in CW 69, in which you indicate support (to some degree at least) for the FLN (National Liberation Front).
This organisation, after it came to power in Algeria, created a brutal capitalist regime in no way better than the French colonial one it replaced. Three decades later the experience of living under it has driven huge numbers of people into the arms of Islamic Fascism in their desperation for an alternative (which in turn will be just as bad, of course).
Some might object that the review said the FLN were "cool" rather than using the words "we support them". But many people think Nazi uniforms were "cool". You wouldn't print that, would you? Saying something is "cool" is just a somewhat mealy-mouthed way of saying you support them.
You also say that the FLN "didn't have all the answers". On the contrary, we think they DID have all the answers - the answers to how to crush the working class in the interest of capitalism! That was their aim all along.
The FLN are in their class nature the same as every other "national liberation movement", that is, bourgeois. All such movements oppose the existing rulers merely in order to step into their shoes. Class War has a body of opinion within it that is sympathetic to such "oppositional capitalist" movements, in particular the Irish Republicans. It goes without saying (given what we've just said above) that we think the IRA are a nasty bunch of "alternative rulers" just like all other "national liberationists" round the world and that once in power they would create a brutal capitalist state the same as every other one. That is the nature of capitalism.
Some people say that they are "fighting the British State" or that "the Government opposes/fears them" as a reason to support them.
But exactly that argument was used during the Cold War by the supporters of the U.S.S.R. and other State Capitalist regimes as a reason for us to support them (or "defend" them, as the Trots would say).
But genuine revolutionaries don't support something just because this or that government or faction is in conflict with them. It's what they offer the working-class that's important. All capitalist factions (no matter how much they fight each other) have one thing in common: They offer only slavery, misery and war to our class.
These issues are vital for revolutionaries - they can't be ignored for the sake of "unity" or whatever. Supporting independent action by the working-class for its own, independent class interest is a universe away from going around supporting counter-revolutionary bastards. Or even calling them "cool"
Yours in comradeship,