On National Defence

submitted by the Militant Group
The text of this resolution is taken from a bulletin entitled “Resolutions submitted by the Militant Group (R.S.L.)
to the R.S.L.-W.I.L. Fusion Conference,” dated March 1944.

3).  Consequently, we must reject, on grounds of rev­olu­tion­ary principle, all policies stating or im­ply­ing that the British proletariat should resist a foreign imperialist invasion before it, the British proletariat, has obtained state power. We reject such policies, re­gard­less of whether they advocate class-collaboration in an open form, e.g., working-class support for the bourgeois state against invasion, or in a con­cealed form, e.g., “independent” working-class mil­itary struggle against invasion within the bourgeois state, that is, before the proletariat has seized power.

1). This Conference declares that there must be no room for ambiguity in our organisation with regard to our attitude in the event of the invasion of imperialist Britain by the forces of a rival imperialist power. Our attitude is determined by our estimation of the war as an imperialist one. In such a war, “national defence” means defence of colonial booty and imperialist exploitation. Furthermore, defeats of British Imperialism, by weakening it, facilitate its over­throw at the hands of the revolutionary pro­le­tariat.

2). As Lenin put it, “We will not become partisans of national defence until after the seizure of power by the proletariat, until after the offer of peace....Until the moment of the seizure of power by the proletariat, we are for the proletarian revolution, we are against the war, we are against the ‘defencists’.” (August, 1917)