Workers’ Power (WP), British section of the League for the Fifth International (L5I), has recently chosen to adopt an odd position for an ostensibly revolutionary organisation: it has decided to side with the forces of imperialism in the conflict in Libya.
In a piece titled ‘Should socialists support the Libyan revolution?’ WP informs us that there are four choices open to the “international left” regarding the civil war:
1) Uncritically support the Qaddafi regime as some Stalinists (and “minor fragments of Trotskyism”) do.
2) Openly support imperialism like the Alliance for Worker’s Liberty (AWL).
3) Remain neutral.
4) Support the “revolution” like WP despite the fact that it is now subordinated to the interests of imperialism.
WP are forgetting a fifth option: opposition to Qaddafi and imperialism. However, such a principled position has to take into account the fact that the rebel forces who participated in the overthrow of Qaddafi in Tripoli were not, for the most part, acting independently of imperialism; they had agreed to institute “regime change” on imperialism’s terms. Under these conditions, to defend Libya’s independence from imperialism, revolutionary socialists surely had to stand for the defense of what remains of the Libyan state on a military, but not political, basis against NATO and the rebels. WP’s attempts to understate the level of involvement by NATO are bordering on the ridiculous.
Their dishonest misrepresentation of Leon Trotsky’s comments regarding a hypothetical scenario where Italian fascism might have provided material assistance to Algerian resistance to French colonial rule is shameful to say the least. “Learn to Think” indeed.