In the preface to the new Pathfinder book Cuba and the Coming American Revolution, Mary-Alice Waters describes the international impact of the Algerian Revolution in the early 1960s. After the Militant reprinted the preface in the May 28 issue, a number of readers expressed interest in learning more about the Algerian Revolution. Responding to this request, the Militant ran an article last week on the lessons of the revolution by Waters, reprinted from the September–October 1965 issue of the Young Socialist.
The Algerian Revolution was one of the most powerful of the post-World War II national liberation struggles. The National Liberation Front (FLN--Front de Libération Nationale) led an armed struggle and mobilizations across the country to end the occupation by French imperialism, which had held the country in colonial bondage since 1830. The French government was finally forced to sign accords in 1962 granting Algeria independence, at the cost of 1 million Algerians killed and a country left ravaged by war. The new FLN government, headed by Ahmed Ben Bella, relied on the mobilizations of peasants and workers to carry through a series of anticapitalist measures.
Despite historic gains, the revolution went into retreat. In the 1965 Young Socialist article Waters explains the course taken by the leadership of the workers and farmers government in Algeria and the reasons for the stagnation of the revolution and the overthrow of Ben Bella that year.
This week we are reprinting additional material published by the world communist movement on the Algerian Revolution. Most is from the pages of World Outlook and its predecessor, The Internationalist. Both publications were edited by Joseph Hansen, a leader of the Socialist Workers Party, and provided extensive weekly coverage on the developments of the revolution and its international impact.
The first item is a 1964 resolution prepared by Hansen titled, "On the Character of the Algerian Government," adopted by the United Secretariat of the Fourth International, the international organization of communist parties at the time. The Socialist Workers Party in the United States had fraternal ties to the Fourth International since its founding in 1938. The resolution was published in the Feb. 21, 1964, issue of World Outlook and is available in the Education for Socialists bulletin titled For a Workers and Farmers Government in the United States by Jack Barnes.
Copyright ©1974 by Pathfinder Press and reprinted by permission. Footnotes and material in brackets are by the Militant.