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Waiting for the RevolutionThe British Far Left from 1956$
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Evan Smith and Matthew Worley

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526113658

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526113658.001.0001

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The point is to change it

The point is to change it

A short account of the Revolutionary Communist Party

(p.218) 12 The point is to change it
Waiting for the Revolution

Michael Fitzpatrick

Manchester University Press

Like most organisations of the far left in Britain in the years after 1968, the RCP was small in size and marginal in influence. Starting out with only a few dozen supporters in the mid-1970s, membership peaked at around 200 before its demise in the mid-1990s. Though it emerged out of the left, in many ways it was not of the left and it developed in a struggle against it. In contrast with the spirit of amenable coexistence that prevailed among other factions, the RCP maintained a high level of polemical engagement with the left. Though other far left groups discreetly accepted the RCP’s characterisation of the official labour movement as ‘reformist’, the RCP pointed out that in practice these groups adapted to the reformism of the official movement, reinforcing rather than loosening its grip on militants and activists. The RCP aimed to promote an independent anti-capitalist outlook, thereby to give voice and effect to the interests of the working class and humanity as a whole. It engaged in workplace and trade union struggles and campaigns for women’s rights, and against racism and imperialism, seeking to develop and sustain a creative balance between activities around issues of exploitation and those of oppression.

Keywords:   Socialism, Left, RCP, Marxism, Communism

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