Upcoming Events

Dublin | Elections / Politics

no events match your query!

User Preferences

  • Language - en | ga
  • text size >>
  • make this your indymedia front page make this your indymedia front page

Blog Feeds

Irish Left Review
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left

offsite link New Books Worth Reading Mon Sep 19, 2016 23:25 | Seán Sheehan

offsite link 13 Billion ? Lucky for some? Mon Sep 05, 2016 13:04 | Tony Phillips

offsite link Rebuilding Ireland: Long on Promise, Short on Detail Mon Aug 29, 2016 22:20 | Eoin O'Mahony

offsite link Brexit and Other Issues: Comments on the Current Situation Mon Aug 29, 2016 21:52 | Brendan Young

offsite link Bin Charges: From Private Circus to Public Service Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:38 | Michael Taft

Irish Left Review >>

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

offsite link Fake News: The Epistemology of Media Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:52 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

offsite link Officials and Provisionals Sat Apr 01, 2017 22:54 | James O'Brien

offsite link Interview with Cathal Goulding Mon Dec 26, 2016 17:11 | Cathal Goulding

offsite link Trump, Russia and the CIA Sat Dec 10, 2016 18:23 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

offsite link Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017

offsite link IRISH COMMONWEALTH: TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14:06 Sat Nov 18, 2017

offsite link Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016

offsite link The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015

offsite link Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015

Dublin Opinion >>

NAMA Wine Lake

offsite link Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake

offsite link Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake

offsite link Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake

NAMA Wine Lake >>

The Election Candidates on Prime Time

category dublin | elections / politics | opinion/analysis author Wednesday October 08, 2014 17:50author by Paddy Hackettauthor email paraichackett at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

The Socialist Party And The Socialist Workers Party like Capitalism!

The rhetoric by the Sinn Fein, the Anti Austerity Alliance and the People Before Profit Alliance featuring on RTE's Prime Time programme amounts to nothing but illusion. Their election candidates showed no understanding of the need for revolution. Their rhetoric suggested that capitalism can be managed or reformed to the benefit of the working class by effectively taxing the rich and not the working class. Indeed the entire show confined itself to suggestions as to how to reform capitalism in one way or another. In that way the participants sought to effectively defend the capitalist system. Essentially all contributors were essentially advocating bourgeois politics. If the Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party were genuinely revolutionary they would have challenged RTE and its other contributors by advocating the need for revolution.



Capitalism cannot solve the problems of the working class.This why a social revolution is historically necessary.The working class must achieve communist revolution.No amount of tinkering with the system can convert it into a system that satisfies the class interests of the working class. Reformism can never serve the class interests of the working class.Consequently the realisation of radical demands to the benefit the working class is impossible under capitalism. The claim that a programme of such demands is realisable under capitalism is a utopian claim. It constitutes an idealisation of capitalism and thereby its defence. It,therefore, promotes the sowing or reinforcing of illusions in capitalism. If such a programme is realisable then the struggle for communism is unnecessary.

The reason the recent austerity offensive against the working class has been mounted in Ireland and elsewhere by the capitalist class is because capitalism cannot meet the class needs of the modern worker. The recent global recession was an objective, not a subjective, event.

This means that it was not caused by capitalist greed, a nasty government or any other such subjective factor. It was due to the objective characteristics of the capitalist economic system that it broke out. This being so it follows that capitalism as an inherently obsolescent system must be replaced by a new objective system --communism. It is only by this dramatic revolutionary transformation of objectivity that the needs of the masses can be met. The only way that the inevitable problems manifested by the recession can be solved within capitalism (provisionally) is by an attack on the working class through strategies involving austerity. Radical demands advanced by the radical left, if realisable, would only deepen recessionary conditions thereby rendering working class conditions even more severe. In that sense these radical demands, instead of benefiting the working class,would tend to worsen for the latter. This is because, as I have been arguing, capitalism cannot solve the problems of the working class.

Whats more the solutions to the problems of the working class cannot be solved within a nationalist framework.The solution,social revolution,is only achievable on a global basis beginning in the most advanced capitalist countries such as the U.S. Given this there can be no social revolution on the island of Ireland independently of Western Europe.

Even if the working class achieved concessions prior to the global recession, that broke out in 2007/8, they would have contributed to the emergence of the economic and financial upheaval itself. This, as I have been arguing,is because capitalism cannot solve the problems of the working class.

In view of this the rhetoric by the Sinn Fein, the Anti Austerity Alliance and the People Before Profit Alliance featuring on RTE's Prime Time programme amounts to nothing but illusion. Their election candidates showed no understanding of the need for revolution. Their rhetoric suggested that capitalism can be managed or reformed to the benefit of the working class by effectively taxing the rich and not the working class. Indeed the entire show confined itself to suggestions as to how to reform capitalism in one way or another. In that way the participants sought to effectively defend the capitalist system. Essentially all contributors were essentially advocating bourgeois politics. If the Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party were genuinely revolutionary they would have challenged RTE and its other contributors by advocating the need for revolution.

Related Link: http://paddy-hackett.blogspot.com
author by fredpublication date Wed Oct 08, 2014 20:07Report this post to the editors

Paddy, you talk of capitalism in the general sense, but yet your specific attacks seem to be levelled at the only left leaning alternative candidates there are to the main dyed in the wool capitalist parties i.e. FF / FG / LAB which, oddly, you don't actually attack directly at all in your article.
Most surprising.

It smacks of sectarianism designed to widen faultlines in an already weak and fragile left, rather than a genuine revolutionary position.

That makes me very suspicious of your motives. When you publish a piece directly attacking our real class enemies in the pro capitalist neoliberal parties, FF / FG / LAB instead of just continually attacking our only practical left leaning alternatives within the current political structure such as PBP / Socialist party / sinn fein / AAA then I'll consider taking you seriously instead of my current view on your articles which is that you are not really interested in changing the status quo at all, but rather wish to deliberately try to undermine and do damage to any parties on the left daring to challenge the current right wing neoliberal government parties and hence do the work of FG / FF / LAB for them. Coming, as it does close to elections, it's all the more suspicious.

In practice both you and I know that the Irish people are a long way off from true revolutionary consciousness and the best we can hope for at present is that they kick out the neoliberals and at least give the left parties a chance. Your attacks, while to a degree, theoretically valid perhaps, seem aimed at undermining even that faint hope of change, rather than fostering it.

Ok we've had your revolutionary critique of every single party on the left.
So where's your direct scathing critique of our real class enemies, FF/FG/LAB who are currently in power and imposing a very real neoliberal agenda on the Irish people. What have you to say about them Paddy?? Or are you just going to let them off scott free as usual, while continuing to undermine the left?

author by Asconipublication date Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:12Report this post to the editors

Seems pretty well studied in left theory Fred maybe a former lefty with a chip on the shoulder name rhymes with 'Cohen Farris'?.

author by Paddy Hackettpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2014 13:11Report this post to the editors

Fred you miss the entire point of my piece. The theme of my piece is that there is essentially no political difference between the mainstream parties and SF,SP and the SWP. Consequently it makes no essential difference as to which party is voted for. They all fit well within the same bourgeois paradigm. Given this it is these so called Left parties that want to maintain what you call the status quo. It is I that seeks a break from the status quo by advocating a communist platform. These Left parties merely seek to expand the capitalist state further than do the mainstream parties. Enlarging the capitalist state is not the way to abolish capitalism. Surely the point is to smash the capitalist state not enlarge it.

Your piece is very superficial and fails to even attempt to subject to examination the substance of my piece. You dont endeavour to show how my argument is flawed. Such an exercise would perhaps have made your piece interesting. As to your suspicions about me. That is neither here nor there especially coming from a source not prepared to even use a real name.

One of the reasons why the working class "are a long way off from true revolutionary consciousness" is because of the influence of these capitalist parties including the SP and SWP on the working class.

Stalin was viewed as a socialist yet he was responsible for the suffering and deaths of millions of people.Trotsky was responsible for the slaughter of the heroic Kronstadt sailors. Lenin engaged in a programme, a la Robespierre, against figures to his Right and Left. And then there was Mao and the enormous number of deaths he was responsible for.

"...but yet your specific attacks seem to be levelled at the only left leaning alternative candidates.."

Withe regard to the above: Bernstein, the father of revisionism, was subjected to scathing and continuous criticism by the "principled" Marxists as was Economism by Lenin and others. Even the SP and the SWP dont see eye to eye which is why they compete with each other even to the advantage of the mainstream parties. This is partly because both parties cannot resist the smell of the gravy train.

Incidentally I am not a former Leftie. I am a communist. Whether I have "a chip on the shoulder" is irrelevant. The strength of my argument is what matters.

Related Link: http://paddy-hackett.blogspot.com
author by fredpublication date Thu Oct 09, 2014 19:27Report this post to the editors

Fred, you miss the entire point of my piece. The theme of my piece is that there is essentially no political difference between the mainstream parties and SF,SP and the SWP. Consequently it makes no essential difference as to which party is voted for. They all fit well within the same bourgeois paradigm. Given this it is these so called Left parties that want to maintain what you call the status quo. It is I that seeks a break from the status quo by advocating a communist platform. These Left parties merely seek to expand the capitalist state further than do the mainstream parties. Enlarging the capitalist state is not the way to abolish capitalism. Surely the point is to smash the capitalist state not enlarge it.

I don't miss the point. I just think the population are not ready for revolution. Thats just an impractical fantasy at present. They're not even ready to vote for a slightly centre left leaning party over a rabid right wing neoliberal one. What hope is there of people taking to the streets in an act of revolution when you can't even get them to give up shopping for an hour to protest against water charges?

Yeah sure, I agree, we need to replace the ugly edifice of capitalism with something saner. But first you need to build a revolutionary consciousness in the population at large. Revolution is unlikely to happen without it.

And you won't build that with FG/FF/Lab controlling the message from a position of power. Your message merely serves to undermine an already fractured and weak left, thus leaving the way open for a further term of neoliberal governance and a consolidation of their power and dominance of their message, and the even greater resignation of the population to the notion that there is no credible alternative. Seems a rather counter productive approach for a revolutionary no? Unless of course your real purpose is to maintain the status quo.


Your piece is very superficial and fails to even attempt to subject to examination the substance of my piece. You dont endeavour to show how my argument is flawed. Such an exercise would perhaps have made your piece interesting. As to your suspicions about me. That is neither here nor there especially coming from a source not prepared to even use a real name.

Your argument has some "theoretical merit" as I acknowledged in my post, but it completely falls down on the basis that it does not allow for current conditions on the ground. Expecting a communist revolution to just arise from an ever dumbed down consumerist population whose minds have been colonised for years by TV and who are daily immersed in a systematic bath of lies and propaganda from a captive media is just insane optimism.

Your argument is old fashioned and flawed because for example, it does not allow for the rapid advance of various technologies controlled largely by elites and their corporate partners and the consolidation of media into fewer and fewer hands and the use of financial terrorism to control governments and states and the current set of circumstances that have evolved on the ground as a result of this. Also, whatever tiny hope there might be of such a "fantasy" revolution occurring in Ireland, if it did occur, it would likely fail if other EU countries did not rise up at the same time.

I think if, in the days when marxist revolutionary texts were being written, they had realised how all pervasive the influences of television, internet and media and the control of these by an ever smaller number of entities would be, and how powerful financial institutions would become, and the insidious nature of globalisation, then the tactics for building a revolution might have had to be amended somewhat.

The left are still trying to adjust to these new realities on the ground.

Yes yes ideally we should all just rise up and destroy the edifice of rapacious capitalism and replace it with something that better serves the longer term needs of human beings, other earthlings and the environment sustainably and fairly. But the majority of people have to see the current system for what it is first. Then they need to decide whether they prefer having mobile phones and skinny lattes and looking at the womb of miley Cyrus' on tv, or living in a cramped smelly but ecologically friendly eco commune with nothing but a guitar and a campfire in the evening, after a long backbreaking day weeding in the vegetable fields. It's truly a hard sell if you can't see the long term bigger picture and have continuously absorbed from birth a barrage of "every rat for himself" "there is no such thing as society" "look at all the shiny things" "being famous is everything" memes continually pumped into you 24/7 from all media sources.


One of the reasons why the working class "are a long way off from true revolutionary consciousness" is because of the influence of these capitalist parties including the SP and SWP on the working class.

But another, perhaps more important one is that FG / FF / Lab are in power largely controlling the message in the media. And if the tiny voting percentage gained by SP / SWP is any indication of their influence on the working class then your thesis falls on its ass right there :-)


Stalin was viewed as a socialist yet he was responsible for the suffering and deaths of millions of people.Trotsky was responsible for the slaughter of the heroic Kronstadt sailors. Lenin engaged in a programme, a la Robespierre, against figures to his Right and Left. And then there was Mao and the enormous number of deaths he was responsible for.

ah here, if you have to wheel out the likes of insane authoritarians like Stalin and mao to justify why you attack a rather powerless and fractured irish left while leaving the true mainstream neoliberal enemies of the working class (who are in lockstep) completely unmolested, then you have lost the argument.

And If we are comparing deaths, please do at least give a passing mention the countless millions of lives lost to imperial wars, 26 million russian deaths fighting fascism, the carpet bombing of north korea killing 25% of the population, the unnecessary use of atomic weapons on hiroshima and nagasaki, etc etc. right up to the wars in libya, afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq today.


"...but yet your specific attacks seem to be levelled at the only left leaning alternative candidates.."

Withe regard to the above: Bernstein, the father of revisionism, was subjected to scathing and continuous criticism by the "principled" Marxists as was Economism by Lenin and others. Even the SP and the SWP dont see eye to eye which is why they compete with each other even to the advantage of the mainstream parties. This is partly because both parties cannot resist the smell of the gravy train.

I agree that the stupid infighting on the left has only served the interests of mainstream parties. And no doubt a certain amount of this has been deliberately fomented by provocateurs.
However in light of the complete absence of a revolutionary consciousness in the population at large, I see little alternative but to work with the current lot to try and gradually introduce more left leaning ideas into public consciousness with a view to building up that revolutionary consciousness needed to truly reject capitalism


Incidentally I am not a former Leftie. I am a communist. Whether I have "a chip on the shoulder" is irrelevant. The strength of my argument is what matters.

Well regarding communism, I have heard good things about it, but sadly it's never really been properly tried. It always seems to get hijacked by authoritarians at the last minute. I do hope we get to see a genuine example of it in action some day. Meanwhile lets keep chipping away at the rotten edifice of capitalism and building that revolutionary consciousness one step at a time, taking the practical realities on the ground into account. Not undermining what little there is of a resistance to right wing neoliberal ideology in what is a very brainwashed and propagandised society.

author by Paddy Hackettpublication date Fri Oct 10, 2014 22:48Report this post to the editors

A revolutionary consciousness cannnot be built by advocating utopian solutions within the framework of capitalism. The reason I focus on the Left in my criticism is because it contains elements that are nearer, so to speak, in consciousness to the grass roots membership of the mainstream parties. There is then generally a greater chance of winning elements from this pool towards communism. There is much less chance of winning FF,FG,Labour and SF elements over to communism. However that does not mean that I never criticise the foregoing.

Revolutionary politics is about the truth. These so called left groups are misleading the public. Creating and perpetuating illusions cannot create a revolutionary consciousness. Consequently principled revolutionaries are obliged to expose these illusions and the left organisations that are their source. They are presenting themselves as anti-capitalist when in fact they are not.This is an illusion that must be scuppered if the working class is to transform itself into a revolutionary movement. In making a modest contribution to exposing illusions, within the Left in capitalism I am assisting the struggle for communism. Admittedly communism is a condition that can take many years to achieve. But there are no short cuts.Lenin and Trotsky sought one and we see what happened.

If I am underming the Left, as you claim, then this is because its solutions to the poroblems of the working class are inherently flawed. You cannot turn the consciousness of the masses by deceiving them as the Left has
been doing. If the Left's existence is based on a utopian illusion then it is open to being undermined. Anyway I am not trying to undermine the Left. I am seeking to transform the Left into a revolutionary communist movement. In a sense I am attempting to strengthen it. It is the existing Left leadership that is weakening it by the illusions it attempts to inculcate into its rank and file.This Left have politically destroyed many enthuasistic young people who have blindly followed it. Consequently the turnover within these organisations has been quite high. It is not the popular base of the Left that I attack. They are the victims of this Left. It is its leadership that I challenge.

I never suggested that communism can leap fully armed out of the head of Zeus. Because communism is so extremely radical the realisation of it is enormously challenging. But if, instead, illusions in capitalism are implanted in popular consciousness then the liklihood of its realisation is even less. Remember it was the misleadership of of much of the German Left that played an enormous role in the coming to power of Hitler. Again much of this Left based itself on illusion too. The role of much of the Left in 1968 in France led to a missed opportunity for developing the class struggle. The defeat of the working class in the 1926 British General Strike was due to the politics of large sections of the Left. The role of the Left in the Northern Ireland civil rights movement was partly responsible to the emergence of reactionary forces such as the Provos and the UDA. Just because a Left establishes itself in a country does not necessarily lead to real progress. In fact it can lead to a reversal.This is just what happened in Allende's Chile.

If what you say is true then your claim defends my argument. The (bourgeois) Left cannot implement its plans to reform capitalism because of "the control of government and states". This is an argument for attempting to initiate a communist movement. I already said in at least one of my pieces addressed to you that communism cannot be national. It must have an international character. But neither can the reforming of capitalism by the bourgeois Left be established on a narrow nationalist basis in the 26 counties. Yet ironically this Left suggest this. Its encirclement by imperialism would lead to the strangulation of a reformist Irish capitalism.

But the bourgeois Left, the SP and SWP etc., are prepared to propose the reforming of an Irish capitalism while the culture that you describe would persist under reformed capitalism -- I assume, for argument's sake, that your anecdotal description is correct.

I never claimed the Left's influence was enormous. Despite this it does exercise influence, however modest, over the working class. But Stalin and Mao originally formed part of a "weak" Left. I cannot agree that the Irish Left is powerless. It has some power.

Hope this hasty reply clarifies your understanding of my politics.

Related Link: http://paddy-hackett.blogspot.com
author by infopublication date Sat Oct 11, 2014 22:40Report this post to the editors

Paul Murphy (Socialist Party) running under the Anti-Austerity Alliance and who failed to get back his seat in the Euro elections earlier this year has won a the seat in the Dublin-West by election. He beat the favourite Cathal King of Sinn Fein by 566 votes

author by Paddy Hackettpublication date Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:29Report this post to the editors

To Info

Thanks for the info info.

Number of comments per page
  
 
© 2001-2018 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy