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Dublin Riot: No to orange and green sectarians

category national | miscellaneous | press release author Friday March 03, 2006 16:41author by Cian - Socialist Partyauthor email ComradeCian at eircom dot netauthor address Limerickauthor phone 085-7077919 Report this post to the editors

Joe Higgins TD's statement in the Dail on Saturday's riot in Dublin - Dail Debate, 1st March 2006

The Socialist Party condemns those who orchestrated Saturday's violence. It was a sectarian riot to prevent the Love Ulster group marching through Dublin. My party believes that the Love Ulster campaign is based on sectarianism and that its activities heighten sectarian divisions and encourage disunity among working class people, especially in Northern Ireland. We strongly oppose the political agenda and the activities of Love Ulster, but we recognise its right to march and protest in the centre of Dublin. The Socialist Party equally recognises the rights of others to indicate peaceful opposition to Love Ulster through disciplined protest, but they have no right to stop others marching as happened on Saturday in Dublin. My party strongly opposes the political agenda of both orange and green sectarians, whether in the North or on the streets of Dublin.

Let us contrast Saturday's disgusting scenes with those of a few weeks ago, when striking postal workers in Belfast, Protestant and Catholic, marched together up the Shankill Road and down the Falls Road in a united working class demonstration. With the many groups and individuals subjected to disgraceful violence on Saturday, I highlight violent assaults against workers, including migrant workers, in their workplaces, particularly shops, by the thugs who participated. Clearly, the Good Friday Agreement is not providing a solution. It could not do so, since it is the institutionalisation of sectarian division. Therefore, I register my dissent and formally oppose that section of the motion before us.
The key task remaining is forging unity among working class people within Northern Ireland and North and South and, in so doing, ensuring all communities and individuals can live free from sectarian conflict. However, the British and Irish Governments which push new liberal and right-wing economic agendas at the expense of those working class communities are not the ones to show the way forward in this respect.

I wish to issue a strong, loud and clear warning to senior Dublin City Council officials and anyone in the Government who echoes the call made yesterday by the Dublin city manager. Effectively, he called for the right to democratically organise, protest and march in Dublin city centre to be curbed and restricted. Disgracefully, the Taoiseach echoed that call today. It is disgraceful that the hooliganism of a tiny few, who sought to curb the freedom to march on Saturday, should be seized on by city council bureaucrats to curb our freedom to march peacefully and express ourselves on a whole range of issues that concern ordinary people, workers and working class communities. All, whether it be the farming community, trade unions, community organisations or political organisations, have the democratic right to come to the centre of their capital city and show their cause.

Just as working class people of Dublin, with one of their great leaders, Jim Larkin, exerted their right to bring their movement, grievances and cause on to O'Connell Street in the time leading up to and during the monumental events and struggle for justice by workers in 1913, we will not tolerate any attempts by bureaucrats or anyone else to prevent our right to demonstrate peacefully and democratically in the centre of this city of Dublin

Related Link: http://www.SocialistParty.net
author by Nepasaranpublication date Fri Mar 03, 2006 16:50Report this post to the editors

I think it would be fair to say then that you would have condemned the battle of Cable Street in the thirties.
Ne pasaran.

author by isaacpublication date Fri Mar 03, 2006 17:09Report this post to the editors

I don't recall reading about the Cable Street people rampaging through the centre of London City smashing windows, looting, attacking passer-bys (lots of hatred reserved for ethnic minorities).

The Dublin rioters were all too recognisable to anyone who's gotten a beating or a near miss in Dublin late at night.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Mar 03, 2006 17:16Report this post to the editors

i think you will find that there was no ethnic hatred displayed by the rioters. over in westmoreland street someonr tried to shoplift a bottle. a shopworker foolishly pursued him. what followed would have happened regardless of the colour of the shopworkers. i condemn it, but it was not racist. probably would have happened regardless of whether or not a riot was going on.

i cable streetbarricades were built using whatever material came to hand. it was not a tea party.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Mar 03, 2006 17:28Report this post to the editors

Those who fought to prevent love Ulster from marching through O'Connell Street were not green sectarians. Love Ulster are far more than a sectarian organisation. They have organic links with loyalist paramilitaries and with fascists. In Britain their parades have been stewarded by Combat 18 & the BNP.

The people who fought back on Saturday were overwhelmingly young celtic supporters, including Celtic Fans Against Fascism. I think the SP should look at this again. You are (imho) misinterpeting both the nature of the events and the composition of the crowd.

Love Ulster is an extreme loyalist organisation with fascist links. On Saturday they had a poster of one of the Dublin/Monaghan bombers with them. there was no way they were going to be allowed to carry that down O'Connell Street.

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Fri Mar 03, 2006 18:11Report this post to the editors

I know I shouldn't bother but just in case anyone reading this is misled by the above comment:

The Socialist Party doesn't support British rule in Ireland in any way, shape or form. Nor does it call for a "socialist British Ireland". What we do call for is a socialist Ireland, which would include the all Ireland, and which would enter into a free and voluntary federations with socialist states in England, Wales, Scotland, Europe and finally the world. What James Connolly called a "free federation of peoples", in other words.

Cue bile, lies, smears, outrage etc...

author by hs - sp (per cap)publication date Fri Mar 03, 2006 18:34Report this post to the editors

I think at least one part of the riot, especially those who turned up long after the orngemen had gone home was an expression of youthful alienation. It seemed like many were more out to get the guards than the orangemen. I think our analysis should take everything into effect. One element, blatant sectarians, one element organised republicans (many of whom are pretty sectarian in themselves in my own opinion) , one element of hooligans (My bohs supporting mates are blaming rovers! but thats probably just bias), And a large section an expression of youthful alienation and a non political angry riot such as that in Paris. And of course a large element of the cops being caught on the hop, and all that handy ammunition being around. But at the end of the day most watching from over the border will probably see it as an attack on unionists/loyalists or prodestants . And it's pretty justified in as it was the first organised unionist/loyalist march in dublin since partition. The republican movement with all its links to paramilitaries (including i'm sure with actual or ex paramilitaries) regularly parade or protest in the centre of belfast, dublin and london.

BTW Shop workers being attacked is a bad thing whether it was rascist or not.

Chekov has an excellent analysis on the alienation element on the front page.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Mar 03, 2006 18:54Report this post to the editors

well there were quite a few bohs fans out as well (who double as celtic fans). we're not going to agree about whether its the same as a republican march through the centre of belfast. i reckon an equivalent would be a republican march down the shankill past frizzels carrying a picture of the bomber. (we could oh yes it is/ oh no its not about this. but i doubt if its worth it.)

"BTW Shop workers being attacked is a bad thing whether it was rascist or not."

i havent seen anyone suggest that it was a good idea. i condemned it. i dont think the looting was a good idea but i wasnt going to intervene. connolly in 1916 issued strict instructions that volunteers were not to interfere with the looters. who am i to ignore his example.

i'm just reading a book on 1916 (joe stanley priner to the rising by tom reilly), it refers to breaking windows in o'connell st., by the ica & volunteers once they had occupied the gpo. michael collins broke a window and frightened a passing shawlie: "she immediately berated the vandals in typical dublin fashion for 'smashing all the lovely windas'". plus ca change.

author by hspublication date Fri Mar 03, 2006 19:06Report this post to the editors

..it's hard to blame a few kids from liberating a few pairs of runners. But I think that is more of the alienated element again, celtic jerseys or not.

Funny that you mention Bohs, I always though it was funny how the casuals while supposed to be republicans or nationalists carbon copy down to the chants and clothes english nationalist football hooligans, they're pretty much a mirror image of each other. Do you think there was an element of football holliganism there? i know some of the mainstream press have tried to put it down to that.

Incidently anyone who hasn't seen it, chekovs article is at http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74528
Although I think his analysis while the best i've seen yet, glosses over any sectarian element.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Mar 03, 2006 19:44Report this post to the editors

well i dont think there was as much sectarianism as you suggest so i dont think chekov glosses over anything.

as for bohs, an element of their fans have always been decidedly left. remember their starry plough banner (beautiful, made by jer o'leary) a few years ago which was robbed and burned by rovers fans? and the bohs punks just held a fundraiser for AFA a few weeks back. a lot of football fans turned out. not unusual. in london in 1992, 1,200 football supporters turned out at waterloo station to stop a blood n honour event.

football fans can be mobilised for radical causes. as i already pointed out the celtic fans against fasccism were also out on saturday.

you see saturdays uprising as sectarian. i dont.

author by hspublication date Fri Mar 03, 2006 21:10Report this post to the editors

I was just talking about the crowd that used to call themselves the casuals, if they're even around any more I don't know. I wouldn't tar a supporter of any club sectarian just because they follow football, especially bohs. (they even have a bohs supporters cricket team!).

About the protest/riot like I said before I think there was alot more than a single element too it. I agree with most of what chekov writes but I do think there was a sectarian element and that shouldn't be denied any more than we should say it was all sectarianism. Although I do contend it is the meassage it will send. As a poster on another thread said, how would we feel if dissaffected youth in the north rioted and shouted uvf/uda slogans. Wouldn't we see that as sectarian. But I suppose that's down to whether you see the continunity IRA as a sectarian organisation. I know that some of the marchers have loyalist links, but again all republicans have paramilitary links too. On your point on it being the same as the shankill (i know we're going back and forth on this but) O'Connell Street is the capital street of the capital city, it's not a housing estate if it was you might have a point (and being near a housing estate doesn't count). it is the equivelent to the centre of belfast not the shankhill. Plenty of IRA bombs hit the centre of Belfast, Sinn fein are allowed march there.

My original point is that there is more than one element to it. And any analysis should include everything, including dissaffection, republicanism and yes sectarianism. I foind it hard to see how anyone who wants to see a united Ireland which as a precondition needs accomodation with northern prodestants (unless you want civil war). Could see see this as anyway of a good thing or see it sending out anything but a partitionist message.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Mar 03, 2006 21:29Report this post to the editors

trotsky saw a differencw berween republicans and loyalists. in the last piece that he wrote about ireland, in 1936, he clearly took the republican side. please spare me "marxism opposes individual terrorism" . trotsky never intended this to apply to national liberation struggles. that is clear from all of his subsequent writings on imperialism and colonialism.

i'll leave it at this. there arent any places in belfast city centre where the ira left no warning bombs that killed over 20 people.

author by hspublication date Fri Mar 03, 2006 22:04Report this post to the editors

I didn't say a word about "marxism opposes individual terror" or mention trotsky, or say there was no difference between the loyalists and the IRA. Don't know where you got all that from.
I don't believe in throwing slogans at people like that, i'll argue my own ideas and points without reverting back to "scripture" : )

here was a war both sides killed innocent people, and the republicans their fair share. I don't wnat to get into who killed the most why and where. But the IRA and its off shoots certainly killed more than 20 people in Belfast, and I would defend SFs right to march there.

On the bigger question it was the first time since partition any section of unionism, not only recognised dublin, but went down there on a march to lobby the government and protest against what it said was the killing of prodestants. It wasn't the prettiest side of unionism, it's a pretty bigoted side which seems to believe only prodestant victims count. But none the less it was an element of unionist/loyalist opinion. And it showed a shift in some ways to what the shinners call "the all ireland agenda" unionists marching in dublin, not belfast or london. Us saying loyalists can't march in dublin because of bombings here must sound pretty hypocritical to anyone living in northern ireland. And like it or lump it it sends what I see as a partitionist message, Whatever the intention of the counter protest (i am sure you didn't intend to send a sectarian or partitionist meassage) I believe thats what will be read from it.

As for the troubles, I think it was as much a civil war as a national liberation struggle. I don't know what trotsky or anybody said about bombings in a communal civil war, but i'd be against it on principle. And I think history proved the armed campaign didn't work, so apart from the moral problem people may have had with the armed struggle, on the practical side it didn't work either.

author by pat cpublication date Sat Mar 04, 2006 19:59Report this post to the editors

you certainly implied that there was no difference between the ira and the loyalists. i ceretainly picked that up from what you wrote. i'm not trying to misrepresent you. if you didnt mean that then ok, i accept it. its just that the usual sp line is that the ira are terrorists.

i mentioned cde trotsky because you would say that you stand in his tradition. anything trotsky ever wrote about ireland is anti-imperialiost and quite clearly supported the republican side. that is why the cwi had to use a much older text by trotsky "marxism opposes individual terrorism" against republicans. trotsky never intended this text to refer to national liberation struggles this is obvious from all his writings on ireland.

the same is true of lenins writings on nationalism, colonialism and imperialism. indeed the comintern supported the ira during the civil war and urged them on to conquer the six counties by military means. perhaps lenin, trotsky and the comintern were all sectarian in the religious sense.

as for trotsky on bombings. as a military man he would have realised that war is not a teaparty. i'm sure he would have criticised individual actions but he would have defended the violence of anti-imperialists against the imperialiost masters. now thats only my opinion and i only base it on trotskys actions and writings during his lifetime.

author by Levpublication date Sat Mar 04, 2006 23:57Report this post to the editors

Why Marxists Oppose Individual Terrorism By Leon Trotsky, written 1909

"A strike, even of modest size, has social consequences: strengthening of the workers' self-confidence, growth of the trade union, and not infrequently even an improvement in productive technology. The murder of a factory owner produces effects of a police nature only, or a change of proprietors devoid of any social significance. Whether a terrorist attempt, even a 'successful' one, throws the ruling class into confusion depends on the concrete political circumstances. In any case, the confusion can only be short-lived; the capitalist state does not base itself on government ministers and cannot be eliminated with them. The classes it serves will always find new people; the mechanism remains intact and continues to function.

But the disarray introduced into the ranks of the working masses themselves by a terrorist attempt is much deeper. If it is enough to arm oneself with a pistol in order to achieve one's goal, why the efforts of the class struggle? If a thimbleful of gunpowder and a little chunk of lead is enough to shoot the enemy through the neck, what need is there for a class organisation? If it makes sense to terrify highly placed personages with the roar of explosions, where is the need for the party? Why meetings, mass agitation and elections if one can so easily take aim at the ministerial bench from the gallery of parliament?

In our eyes, individual terror is inadmissible precisely because it belittles the role of the masses in their own consciousness, reconciles them to their powerlessness, and turns their eyes and hopes towards a great avenger and liberator who some day will come and accomplish his mission. The anarchist prophets of the 'propaganda of the deed' can argue all they want about the elevating and stimulating influence of terrorist acts on the masses.

Theoretical considerations and political experience prove otherwise. The more 'effective' the terrorist acts, the greater their impact, the more they reduce the interest of the masses in self-organisation and self-education. But the smoke from the confusion clears away, the panic disappears, the successor of the murdered minister makes his appearance, life again settles into the old rut, the wheel of capitalist exploitation turns as before; only the police repression grows more savage and brazen. And as a result, in place of the kindled hopes and artificially aroused excitement comes disillusionment and apathy.

The efforts of reaction to put an end to strikes and to the mass workers' movement in general have always, everywhere, ended in failure. Capitalist society needs an active, mobile and intelligent proletariat; it cannot, therefore, bind the proletariat hand and foot for very long. On the other hand, the anarchist 'propaganda of the deed' has shown every time that the state is much richer in the means of physical destruction and mechanical repression than are the terrorist groups."

I think this extract from Trotsky makes it crystal clear what his views were on individual terrorism, and the onus is on your PAT C to provide proof that he thought otherwise.

author by an individual - but not a terroristpublication date Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:19Report this post to the editors

'individual terrorism'??

Seems that old Leon is just saying he doesn't support terrorism that he doesn't support - not that he doesn't support terrorism.

the whole quote reeks of the logic of the Neo-Cons - and, emmm, their intellectual hero was a Troskyist, no?

author by observerpublication date Sun Mar 05, 2006 13:42Report this post to the editors

Most trotskyites deform their guru's stance on 'individual terrorism'. For example, this comes from a critical review of Alan Woods' recent book:

"Woods reduces the Republican armed struggle to acts of ‘individual terrorism’. (pp.117ff) For all his opposition to the 'individual terrorism' of the IRA, Woods should take note that Trotsky said that "under conditions of civil war, the assassination of individual oppressors ceases to be an act of individual terror". (Leon Trotsky, Their Moral and Ours, New Park, 1968, p.46) The conditions in the six counties were those of open conflict. In that context, the armed struggle is qualitatively different from individual acts of terrorism. As Connolly put it: “we believe that in times of war we should act as in war”."

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Sun Mar 05, 2006 14:40Report this post to the editors

1) "An individual", what Trotsky meant by individual terrorism was the use by conspiratorial groups of the methods of assassination, bombings and so on. It is a technical term covering pretty much anything which is nowadays described as terrorism.

2) "Observer", if you are really interested in discovering what Trotsky thought of terrorist methods you would do better to go directly to his own writings rather than to a piece of self-serving quote chopping by an IRSP leader. If you actually take the time to read "Their Morals and Ours" you will find that the out-of-context quote our republican friend produced referred to circumstances like the Russian or Spanish Civil Wars. Trotsky was making the fairly obvious point that in a situation where massive conventional warfare is taking place a bomb in the generals headquarters is every bit as legitimate and effective as a bomb in enemy trenches (in fact more so). That point had nothing whatsoever to do with situations like Northern Ireland or the Basque country where there was no civil war in that sense and the "warfare" consisted of the various terror campaigns and state repression.

In fact that point self-evidently could have nothing to do with situations like Northern Ireland. The notion that the existence of a terror campaign (or "armed struggle" to use the republican euphemism) means that conditions of warfare in the above sense exist, and that conditions of warfare justify the existence of a terror campaign, is a ludicrous example of a circular argument. Trotsky wrote a number of articles and essays on terrorism. Without exception they oppose the idea that assassinations, bombings and the like can help working class struggle or the struggle for socialism. He argued that such methods reduce the working class from active shapers of their own destiny to passive spectators. He also argued that such methods never work and in fact strengthen the state apparatus and divide the working class. The extract someone quoted from above is a good example but there are many more.

I'm not a big fan of the "reach for scripture" method of argument which can be quite common on the left, but if we are going to discuss the attitude of dead revolutionaries to terrorism, I do think we should do so accurately rather than by engaging in the kind of dishonest quote gathering the author of the review quoted above seems to go in for. The Socialist Party's attitude towards terrorism may or may not be correct. I'd certainly argue that the dismal and bloody failure of the republican campaigns, as we predicted from the start, is fairly persuasive evidence that we are correct. What can hardly be up for discussion though is whether the Socialist Party's attitude is consistent with that of Trotsky, something which even the briefest perusal of Trotsky's own writings bears out.

author by sp observerpublication date Sun Mar 05, 2006 17:42Report this post to the editors

I would agree with Mark that the persistent failure of every version of armed republicanism to achieve its goals, particularly the last military campaign, is pretty good evidence that such an approach is inherently incapable of achieving success. However, there is a corollary that has esaped him. The SP has been active in the North since the late 60s, and is now pretty much no further forward than it was 30 years ago. Trotskyism can be dated back to at least 1938 - and has achieved zero. Evidence perhaps that Trotskyism is also a busted flush? Time for some all round rethinking......

author by grouchy marxistpublication date Sun Mar 05, 2006 19:13Report this post to the editors

Let's not forget that Marx and Engels were on the side of the Fenians:

The Orange Order is described in the following terms in a footnote to an Article published in the New-York Daily Tribune, January 11, 1859:
72. Orange Lodges or Orangemen (the Orangeist Order), named after William Ill, Prince of Orange — a terrorist organisation, set up by the landlords and Protestant clergy in Ireland in 1795 to fight against the national liberation movement of the Irish people. The Order united ultra-reactionary English and Irish elements from all layers of society and systematically incited Protestants against the Irish Catholics. The Orangemen had a particularly great influence in Northern Ireland, where the majority of the population were Protestants.

author by Levpublication date Sun Mar 05, 2006 20:15Report this post to the editors

Its pathetic to say that quoting from Trotsky is reaching for scripture that is the typical nonsense you get from those who believe theory is irrelevant and are normally people who consistently make political mistakes.
When Lenin's brother was executed for assasination attempt on the Tzar, Lenin said about individual terrorism:
"We shall go another road. Only the road of the struggle of the masses under the leadership of the party of the working class can secure victory. Lonely heroes can die beautifully, but they are not in a position to change the social-political order, nor to achieve victory in revolution."
Tzarism and capitalism were not overthrown by individual terrorists but by a revolutionary Marxist party leading the mass struggle of the working class. Never in history has any individual terrorist organisation ever overthrow capitalism or defeated imperialism.
In Ireland the individual terrorist organisations have played a reactionary and sectarian role by causing increased divisions amongst the working class and through their actions they have allowed British Imperialism and the Irish government to introduce repressive legislation.

author by hspublication date Sun Mar 05, 2006 20:15Report this post to the editors

I think as well we should differenciate between guerrillaism and bombing campaigns, In guerrilla wars insurgents can create liberated sections of territory and set up new forms of governence, with bombing campaigns this isn't usually the case, But even as far as gurrellia campaigns go we would see that as a secondary front, the most important being that of the organised workers in the ciities.

The IRAs campaign was in effect after the intial outbreak of violence a bombing campaign, apart from the moral quandry I don't know of many examples of that type of campaign suceeding, (and remember the provos were the most developed in this type of warfare in the world) For one it alienates those who have been bombed and their families and communities and secondly doesn't actually offer or give the example of a different way of running society. It alienates the very community it at least on paper seeks to unite with. The IRAs campaign was based on driving the British out by bombing them out, but their analysis left out the prodestant populations opinion,. That type of campaign while it may and I say may work in a national liberation struggle its very unlikely to work in a civil war situation which is what in part the Northern Irish troubles are. As far as one half of the population was concerned the IRA planned to drive out the british and then oppress them in a reversal situation. And It's difficult to see how a united Ireland could be brought about without unionist consent without using severe oppression.

The IRA up till recently ignored the fact of the majority population that didn't want to become part of a united Ireland. They seemed to think the unionists would be forced into an accomodation if the british left, which I think was completely untrue. In my opinion the bombing campaign with all its collateral damage to use the american term led to a greater entrenchment of unionist views, In hindsight I think it can only be seen as a mistake. Thats not to say it was all republicans fault, the loyalists and british forces left plenty of innocent dead behind them too, and the british governments failures and the unionist hegemony led to the outbreak of the troubles. And I won't moralise against people who were probably pushed into the ira by the actions of the governments. But at the same time the leaderships of the IRA do have to acknowledge their part in the war (which they have) Both the officials and now the provisionals have both moved away from this type of struggle and the only ones who support the idea in any way are a very small group of dissidents who don't have the means or support to carry out any military campaign. So even if people don't want to take the socialist partys view on it, the vast majority of republicanism themselves (including the people who did the fighting) have moved from the tactic of bombing campaigns.

PS I don't know if trotsky wrote anything about bombing campaigns in situations of imperialism mixed with elements of civil war but i'm sure someone can enlighten me, but if he did and said a bombing campaign is the way forward in that situation he was wrong.

author by hspublication date Sun Mar 05, 2006 20:19Report this post to the editors

One last point, when the IRA killed an off duty RUC man or UDR man they saw a uniform and a soldier, But the prodestant community saw prodestants and they recorded it as a sectarian attack rightly or wrongly. (thats not to excuse the UDR or RUC, but to say how their deaths were seen)

author by Barrypublication date Mon Mar 06, 2006 01:39Report this post to the editors

It needs to be pointed out , yet again , Trotsky wasnt analyzing an anti colonial struggle . So his critique is irrelevant in this instance . Franz Fanon points out very clearly that the urban dwellers in a colonial socirty are inevitably those who have been culturally and mentally colonised to the greatest degree and most likely to make an accomodation with the colonial power whom they are more ready to identify with as a human being rather than an enemy , a monster who must be completely defeated and annihilated within the national territory .. They will inevitably compromise with the coloniser , yet there can be no compromise in an anti colonial struggle . The colonised subject has only one clear choice - between sovereignty or servitude . He can bend to a foreign will or break that will . There is no inbetween .

While those leftists are certainly entitled to their opinion and analysis , they and their opinions are sadly useless in any anti colonial truggle . They identify with the colonist to the extent they recognise his right to colonise and occupy and berate republican separatists for not staying within the colonists boundaries , rule and analysis . They accept the fact of the occupation , they merely quibble with the manner of it . And they attack those who reject the colonialists right to ocupy in the first place . Their dogma , handed down by a long dead Russian who had a dispute with his government , not a foreign occupier is all that matters to them .

author by Dr.Nightdubpublication date Mon Mar 06, 2006 02:02Report this post to the editors

If that's what Franz Fanon said, he has about as much relevance as Franz Ferdinand - at least you can dance to them though. Writing off all urban dwellers per se as spineless collaborationists with colonialism is just pure daft - what are us townies supposed to do, wait for some culchie Che Guevara to sweep down from the Sally Gap at the head of a convoy of heavily-armed Massey Fergusons? The revolution will not be tractorised.

author by Barrypublication date Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:02Report this post to the editors

Fanon said no such thing . What he observed was that an anti colonial struggle led by and overly reliant upon the urban proletariat was doomed to failure . He did not call them collaborationist or spineless ( and they certainly arent), merely pointed out like Connolly that the colonialist would continue to exert influence through its urban institutions . He observed the tendency in urban areas to retain the colonialsts system .Urban proletariat movements have a tendency to seek to take over the institutions of the state as opposed to eradicating them in full and replacing them with something very different throughout the country , not just the capital.The situation in Ireland particularly has been a marked failure by successive nationalist parties to develop rural areas or to concern themselves with much else than the affairs of the capital , and with a determination to centralise power in the capital .

Much of the standard marxist analysis concentrates upon mobilising mass action in the industrial sphere , stages theories etc while ignoring to varying degrees the rural areas . In Russia the bolsheviks seemed actively anti-peasantry . Of course it is fully necessary to mobilise the urban proletariat , they are indispensable . But so are the rural population and in a mostly non-industrialised country like Ireland an analysis which concentrates solely on mobilising factory workers etc is ultimately irrelevant to many throughout the country .

And again the main point of what I said is that these marxist analyses do not concern the issue of an anti-colonial struggle but purely class struggle . They argue one cannot set out to confront colonial forces and colonial institutions on the grounds it makes you sectarian . Again such an analysis is irrelevant to an anti colonial struggle .

author by Historianpublication date Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:27Report this post to the editors

You are putting forward a theoretical construct not dissimilar to that of the Khmer Rouge. Hopefully I will get a bit of forewarning before the rural insurrectionists get there and bring me off to cut turf in Offaly.

author by Barrypublication date Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:53Report this post to the editors

Fanons theories call for the revolutionary government to be decentralised and brought directly into the rural hinterlands as well as the urban areas ( much like the Eire Nua concept) , not for one second does it demand destruction of or the evacuation of the urban areas like that lunatic Pol Pot.

However had the Dublin rioters been flinging dead sheep at the riot squad and stampeding catlle into them theyd have won for sure .

author by pat cpublication date Mon Mar 06, 2006 14:20Report this post to the editors

lev everything trotsky wrote about ireland runs counter to the sp/cwi position. thats why you donr quote hi. samr goes for lenin & the comintern. the tract you qoute from has nothing to do with ireland and trotsky never intended it to be used to analyse national liberation struggles.

"One last point, when the IRA killed an off duty RUC man or UDR man they saw a uniform and a soldier, But the prodestant community saw prodestants and they recorded it as a sectarian attack rightly or wrongly. (thats not to excuse the UDR or RUC, but to say how their deaths were seen)"

when the french resistance killed a german soldier they saw a uniform and a soldier. i'm sure that the german relatives back home saw it differently.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Mar 06, 2006 15:44Report this post to the editors

i think i'll let these pieces speak for themselves:

"The revolutionary tradition of the national struggle is a precious good."
Leon Trotsky, 6 June 1936. (From his letter to Nora Connolly O'Brien)

"The British Socialist who fails to support by all positive means the uprising in Ireland, Egypt and India against the London plutocracy - such a Socialist deserves to be branded with infamy if not with a bullet, but in no case merits either a mandate or the confidence of the proletariat."
Leon Trotsky 7 August 1920.

"The term "putsch", in its scientific sense, may be employed only when the attempt at insurrection has revealed nothing but a circle of conspirators or stupid maniacs, and has aroused no sympathy among the masses. The centuries-old Irish national movement, having passed through various stages and combinations of class interest, manifested itself, in particular, in a mass Irish National Congress in America (Vorwärts, March 20, 1916) which called for Irish independence; it also manifested itself in street fighting conducted by a section of the urban petty bourgeoisie and a section of the workers after a long period of mass agitation, demonstrations, suppression of newspapers, etc. Whoever calls such a rebellion a "putsch" is either a hardened reactionary, or a doctrinaire hopelessly incapable of envisaging a social revolution as a living phenomenon.

To imagine that social revolution is conceivable without revolts by small nations in the colonies and in Europe, without revolutionary outbursts by a section of the petty bourgeoisie with all its prejudices, without a movement of the politically non-conscious proletarian and semi-proletarian masses against oppression by the landowners, the church, and the monarchy, against national oppression, etc. — to imagine all this is to repudiate social revolution. So one army lines up in one place and says, "We are for socialism", and another, somewhere else and says, "We are for imperialism", and that will be a social revolution! Only those who hold such a ridiculously pedantic view could vilify the Irish rebellion by calling it a "putsch".

Whoever expects a "pure" social revolution will never live to see it. Such a person pays lip-service to revolution without understanding what revolution is. "

Lenin, July 1916

"A home rule bill for Ireland is now going through parliament. But in Ireland there is the Northern province of Ulster, which is inhabited partly by protestants as distinct from the catholic Irish. Well then, the British Conservatives, led by Carson, the British version of our Black Hundred landlord Purishkevich, have raised a frightful outcry against Irish home rule. This, they say, means subjecting Ulstermen to an alien people of alien creed! Lord Carson has threatened rebellion, and has organised gangs of reactionary armed thugs for this purpose."

Lenin On Britain.

author by Levpublication date Mon Mar 06, 2006 16:14Report this post to the editors

Nothing you have put here from Lenin and Trotsky suggests in anyway that they supported individual terrorism. And shock horror you have made the amazing revelation that Lenin and Trotsky supported the right of the Irish people to self determination and independence from British imperialism. All Marxists support this. The ball is still in your court provide one quote from Lenin or Trotsky that supports individual terrorism - you will search in vain because none exist.

author by hspublication date Mon Mar 06, 2006 17:57Report this post to the editors

the German soldiers were part of an invading army, the prodestant off duty udr man is born and lived in the area all his life and probably for generations, while the IRA viewed this as a purely military target I think prodestants in general viewed it as a sectarian target. France and German were fighting a war between two nations, in the northern irish troubles there was as much an element of civil war as anything else, the iras campaign will have done little to convince the prodestant community towards a united ireland, if anything from a republican point of view it is counterproductive.

For the trotsky and lenin quotes, maybe so, but then they're analysis didn't do enough to take in the views of the ulster prodestants, or maybe because we hadn't had 70 years of partition the unionists didn't have a border to defend. The fact remains they are here, won't go away and a united ireland will not be won without their consent. Sinn fein even recognise this now, The idea of a civil war just to create some sort of irish national myth is something i wouldn't go along with.

On the quote about british socialists opposing supporting irish revolt in 1920. it is very different to the idea of an Irish socialist supporting the growth of reactionary nationalism and sectarianism in Ireland. Ever socialist should oppose their own nationalisms and chauvinisms in their own country and culture, not just "the other side".

This is a problem of republican analysis, the same goes for any idea of calling the prodestants living in northern ireland colinists as Barry seems to. As for the rural v urban struggle, in modern ireland the vast majority of people live in urban centres, ireland is also a heavily centralised island and finally it's very small. The idea of guerillas founding liberated zones in the mountains (would that be glendalough?) in the 21st centuray is just a bit off.

author by observerpublication date Mon Mar 06, 2006 18:26Report this post to the editors

Some have raised up the question of resistance during WW2. What is interesting is that Trotskyites have a bad record during that period. Whereas the much maligned "stalinists" were fighting the fascists weapons in hands, the trotskyites were trying to win over Nazi soldiers to socialism.
The CPs in France, Italy, Greece, Soviet Union etc have a record of concrete struggle, whereas the Trotskyites done fuck all.

author by observerpublication date Mon Mar 06, 2006 18:29Report this post to the editors

forgot to note that Socialst Party and their predecessors of the Militant tendency called RUC, UDR and British army "workers in uniforms". No wonder they dismiss as individual terror attacks against their mates.

author by hspublication date Mon Mar 06, 2006 18:34Report this post to the editors

Thats interesting, but is that just hearsay or fact is it one faction or was it the official fourth international. also what sort of numbers existed within the trotskyist left, compared to the mass forces of the communist party. Were the non stalinists against armed struggle, or was it as with RSF today, that they were without the means and support, or did they take part in broader armed resistance groups? It would suprise me to hear they opposed it as as the fourth international generally since ww2 have supported guerilla struggles without critisism.

author by SP Member - Socialist Party/ CWIpublication date Mon Mar 06, 2006 18:39Report this post to the editors

Can you please indicate when the SP/CWI ever called the RUC and the UDR 'workers in uniform'?

I would appreciate it if you could provide a reference although I will not hold my breath because it never happened.

author by hspublication date Mon Mar 06, 2006 18:40Report this post to the editors

well see where you're coming from now, more of the same?
The only group I heard use the term workers in uniform was the name of a newspaper published by the il manifesto group in Italy in the sixties aimed at conscript soldiers. What we do though is recognise the class that most soldiers come from which is as it has always been, the bottom rungs of society. T

But tell us observer do you think that the IRA should go back to war and will you be volunteering? Or is it just empty rhetoric?

author by pat cpublication date Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:58Report this post to the editors


i have provided texts in which lenin & trotsky quite clearly support the actions of the ira. trotsky even suggests that british socialists who dont support the ira should be shot, now trotsky wasnr renowned for his sense of humour and as he was a miitary man i suspect he meant it.

now its up to you to show texts by lenin & trotsky on ireland which support the sp/cwi viewpoint. you cant, as none exist. instead you use an outdated document which trotsky never intended to be used regarding ireland. how do i know this? because everything he wrote on ireland runs counter to it.


i think i've said just about everything to you. but if you are going to reject as no longer relevant the writings of trotsky in the 20s & 30s dont you think its possible that some of the other writings of trotsky in that period might be suspect as wel.

and why do you refer people back to "Why Marxists Oppose IndividualTerrorism"? this was written in 1909 and was not intended to refer to national liberation struggles. if a document from 1909 is relevant then why are the writings of trotsky in the 1920s and 1930s
not relevant?

author by Spartacuspublication date Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:33Report this post to the editors

I have found a reference to the SP calling Irish Police and Prison Guards Workers In Uniform.

'The Socialist Party is doubly incapable of offering a real strategy to fight racism because they consider the cops and prison guards who arrest, imprison and deport immigrants to be “workers in uniform” and say they should be in the unions. CPSU President and Socialist Party supporter Denis Keane recently denounced the government’s plans to close two prisons and wrote “prison officers should refuse to accept McDowell’s dictates and begin an immediate campaign of industrial action” (Socialist Voice, February 2004)! Cops and prison guards are key elements of the capitalist state: the armed fist of the capitalist class whose “job” is to defend the capitalists’ wealth and political power against workers and the oppressed. What kind of “socialists” want cops and screws to get paid more to deport immigrants, evict Travellers or attack anti-war and anti-capitalist protesters?! '


author by Spartacuspublication date Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:56Report this post to the editors

Yet more on the sins of the CWI. It comes through another Trot filter, so maybe a grain of salt is advisable.

'Nor is it accidental that Joe Higgins, the Militant candidate in the
Dublin West by-election in April this year, devoted the longest section of his programme to the 'struggle' againstcrime. Their support for the anti-drugs vigilantes leads to dangerous flirtations with extreme right-wing ideology. Militant has never renounced their peaceful, parliamentarist perspective for the overthrow of capitalism, complete with enabling acts and unionised workers in uniform', and no amount of populist community politicking can obscure the fact that it is fundamentally opposed to revolutionary Trotskyism. '

author by Timpublication date Tue Mar 07, 2006 14:14Report this post to the editors

Senor Espartaco, if you're going to expose the CWI, you'll have to find quotes from their own documents, not from Spart diatribes. And the second document you posted is just risible - one minute the SP are supporting "anti-drugs vigilantes", the next they're committing themselves to peaceful parliamentarism? Exactly how keen were mainstream politicians and cops on the anti-drugs movement, would you mind telling us?

author by pat cpublication date Tue Mar 07, 2006 15:54Report this post to the editors

i wouldnt take it too seriously hes just dragging up the dregs to post here and none of it has anything to do with the debate. i dont think its crossing to the other side to oppose the closure of prisons. it doesnt mean that prisoners are being released, it means that other prisons become more crowded. its not just prison officers who have to move. teachers, maintenance staff also will lose their staff if they dont move. its almost a cert with the teachers because they are usually on contracts through the local vec.

author by Barrypublication date Tue Mar 07, 2006 16:09Report this post to the editors

I did not describe northern protestants as " colinists" . I referred to the British governemnt in Ireland as a colonialist apparatus . However its quite clear hs supports the British occupation of this country and its continuing colonial practice , hence his desire to mis represent my position .

Ill be travelling to mainland Europe shortly and meeting with representatitives of this Marxist group http://www.tayad.de/ to discuss prisoners issues . They certainly dont regard 32csm as green sectarian nationalistic putsch mongers etc etc . Ill be sure to pass along the various thoughts of some of the Irish left and why they continue to support British colonialism in Ireland .

author by hspublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 00:20Report this post to the editors

Hi pat, sorry seemed to have given you the wrong page there, i meant one that written by Peter Taffe a little more recently.

its also a little shorter), but anyway I don't think we need to prove trotsky opposed the methods of terrorism to oppose it ourselves.

On my own political position, like you say I think we've made ourselves both quite clear over the last week and while i see where your coming from will have to disagree with you. No point in endlessly repeating ourselves. I see the armed campaign as counterproduvtive. And I don't see any repeat of it as leading to anything but a sectarian civil war.

On trotsky, while I agree with some things he wrote and have a ot of respect for the guy, it doesn't mean I agree with everything he wrote, in fact neither does he, he changed his mind a few times along the way. I think you have the idea that i am some sort of "trot" who takes everything trotsky wrote as scripture, I'm not. I will read him like any other historical figure, philosopher and take it from there. Some parts I may agree with some parts I may not. I've never read his writings on Ireland apart from your few quotes which is never enough to make a informed decision, so I won't make one. But even at that there was a massive difference between the war of independence with it's democratic mandate in 1918 and the revolutionary Dail and the provisional IRAs campaign, its not really comparing like with like.

Barry, the definition of a colonist, is people moving into a territory pushing out the natives and establishing colonies! The planters were in fact colonists, 300 years ago! The British army are an occupying army, there's a difference. I'm sorry if I misunderstood you but I think any use of the word colinists will be taken to mean the prodestant population as their forefathers were. When you speak of driving out colinists it will be taken as an attack on prodestants. Uless you mean the vikings and in that case i'm right with you all the way : )

author by Levpublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 02:39Report this post to the editors

HS the majority of Scottish people who came to Ireland prior to, during and after the plantation of Ulster were not colonists, as this implies (in the context it is being used here) that they were oppressors of the native Irish. The majority of the Scots were poor peasants, craftsmen and artisans who were forced to move the Ireland by the Lords and Lairds who were given land in Ulster by the English Crown, or who moved to try and make a better life for themselves like the migrants who are coming to our shores today.
I would suggest that before you go on Indymedia and write comments as a member of the Socialist Party that you would firstly attempt to understand the Socialist Party analysis, and programme on the national question in Ireland and on issues such as individual terrorism, civil war and guerrilaism. You obviously don't have a clear understanding of the SPs position on these issues but readers will believe that your comments represent the ideas of the Socialist Party but some of what you have written here is not what the SP says. As a Trotskyist you might also try studying the ideas of Leon Trotsky before you start pontificating about what he may or may not have argued.

author by Barrypublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 08:01Report this post to the editors

I spoke of the need to completely eradicate the colonial system of government and replace it with something completely different , otherwise the colonial power will still exert influence . Absolutely nowhere did I speak of "driving out colonists" . Placing quotation marks around your comment does not mean its an actual quote of anything I said .

Again a deliberate misrepresentation by Hs , because he continues to support British colonialism within his rather dodgy analysis . Opposition to colonial practices = sectarianism , therefore must be condemned . In fact its just support for the colonial status quo .

author by SP Observerpublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 08:14Report this post to the editors

I am no ta supporter of the SP and have criticised it more than once. However, I must defend HS from Barry and others here. To oppose the campaign of the IRA, Barry, is not the same thing as defending colonialism. You appear to believe that the IRA campaign had the potyential to drive the British out of Ireland - a position which HS clearly, and in my view rightly, believes leaves pretty much out of account the position of the Protestant population. You have also singularly failed to give any kind of analysis of why the IRA campaign failed - I believe failure was inevitable; that the strategy could never succed (given that it did not take sufficient account of the position of the protestant population); that some other strategy is required to achieve your objectives. Romanticising the military war of the IRA - which you do on a regular basis - simply encourages people to imagine that by recreating it a way forward will be found, whereas people will end up in the same miserable cul de sac, just with more dead bodies en route.

Now, you can agree with all of this or disagree with it. But to simply say that by querying your methods or those of the IRA in the past one is defending colonialism is a leap of logic that would frighten a trapeze artist.

On another point: HS is quite entitled to argue any position here that he wants. Whether it stands on every dot and comma of the SP's position is another question. But why should membership of a party reduce you to an automoton, capable only of parroting party positions in public?

author by Levpublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 09:50Report this post to the editors

"On another point: HS is quite entitled to argue any position here that he wants." Well SP Observer he isn't, as a member of the SP he is bound by democratic centralism and therefore obliged to argue and defend the position of the SP in public. If he doesn't agree with democratic centralism then he should leave and he can then argue whatever he wants.

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 09:53Report this post to the editors

Pat C - I'm sorry for taking so long to get back to you on the series of quotes you produce from Trotsky, Most of them are interesting and I've seen all of them before. The thing is though that none of them are directly relevant to a discussion of his views of terrorist methods. They establish very clearly that Trotsky was not a pacifist and that Trotsky opposed the presence of British imperialism in Ireland. But neither of those things are in dispute! What we have been discussing is Trotsky's view of a particular set of tactics to achieve political goals - the tactics of bombings and assassinations which Marxists refer to as the tactic of individual terrorism.

None of the quotes you use deal with the issue of individual terrorism, a subject Trotsky wrote at length about on a number of occasions. And in those writings he was entirely consistent: Even where he agreed with the goals of the bomber or the assassin, even though he would support a revolution in support of those goals, he always opposed those tactics because he argued they would prove to be counterproductive. In one of his essays for instance he deals with the case of a Jewish refugee who assassinated a Nazi Minister. There could hardly have been a cause with which Trotsky, sympathised more, yet he still pointed out that the action would prove counterproductive (which in fact it did - it was the excuse used for the launching of Kristallnacht). This was not some unusual position of Trotsky. It was a position shared by all of the Marxists of the period and before, right back to Engels who despite supporting the goals of the Fenians regarded their bombing campaigns as "a very stupid thing".

The Socialist Party's view is entirely consistent with the views of Marxists throughout the last century and a half, which does not of course make our view correct. People can be wrong for a century and a half after all. But at this stage, with the experience of countless failed campaigns of individual terrorism, at home and around the world, without any success whatsoever I think the evidence is fairly strongly on our side.

Lev - I must confess to be a bit baffled by your contribution. As far as I'm aware, the Socialist Party has no agreed position on whether the planters of many centuries ago were "colonists" or not. If there is one that I've somehow missed feel free to point me towards it, but it strikes me as the kind of thing which is so trivial that no organisation needs a "line" on it.

Quite obviously anyone who regards Irish Protestants today as "colonists" (or for that matter "planters") is little more than a sectarian bigot, but the term doesn't seem at all incorrect when we are talking about the first waves of planters who arrived on the island. In particular your assertion that somebody can't have been a colonist because they were motivated chiefly by a desire to make a better life for themselves or by compulsion seems very strange. Do you think that the colonists who moved to America or Australia went their for some other set of reasons? Perhaps some abiding hatred of the Native Americans or the Aborigines?

author by pat cpublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:44Report this post to the editors

thanks for your esponse. i must however disagree with you and i dont want this to go in circles. my basic point is that none of trotskys writings on ireland would provide a theoretical framework for the positions that the sp/cwi have adopted re ireland. instead you use a much older tract by trotsky from 1909 which he never intended to refer to national liberation struggles. if its ok for you to use this 1909 tract to back up your points then it is equally valid for me to use trotskys writings from the 1920s and 1930s to back up mine.

but why depend so much on old writings? why treat them like scripture? you have decided that trotskys writings on ireland are irelevant: dont you think that perhaps other subjects that trotsky wrote on in the 1930s are now open to question? in particular why traet the Transitional Programme as if it was Revealed Scripture.

I have been to some extent acting as the devils advocate here. i think hs made some good point about the protestant community seeing the killing of ruc reserve and udr members as sectarian murder. certainly in the case of teebane and other incidents like it the killing of workers servicing british army & ruc bases could only have been seen as sectarian murder by protestants.

but we get back to the sturday riots. nobody was prepared foe what happened. nobody expected the turnout that occurred. nothing sectarian about it, if it had been an ordinary OO march this would not have occurred. but we should remember that the dublin and wicklow orange lodges were opposeds to this march going ahead. because this march was by an extreme loyalist organisation which has links to the uvf & uda and in britain its marchs are stewarded by Combat 18 and the BNP.

author by Socialistpublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:45Report this post to the editors

I don't understand why whenever the issue of the national question comes the SP are attacked as unionist and pro British. I take these descriptions to mean someone who is in favour of partition and the continuing British Presence in Ireland which is something I don't think they support.

To oppose the methods of the IRA and to say the armed struggle was counter productive does not make someone a unionist. The armed struggle did not move the border one inch and Sinn Fein's line now is to demand full implementation of the Agreement. Despite the fact that the Agreement is a pro union document that calls for the return of Stormont, executive powers for a northern government and support for policing under the PSNI, Sinn Fein have still managed to completely alienate Protestant opinion in the North, which really takes some doing.

To get a united movement of the working class, Protestant and Catholic, will take a lot of work and will be built around social and economic issues not flags or (British or Irish) nationalism. Those of us who want to see an end to partition will have to swallow some of our pride and reach out to the Protestant community because, as has been shown, bullying and bombing them into a united Ireland will not work.

Sectarianism is the enemy of socialism and if we take the example of the 1905, 1911 and the working class movements in the 1930's, socialist policies can close the gap between the two communities and get them to fight together for their rights and for their class.

On the question of individual terrorism, surely a mass movement that involves working class people in its organisation and execution is of far more benefit than shooting an off duty RUC officer or placing a bomb in an urban area that places ordinary people at risk of injury or death.

author by Tom Shelleypublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:59author address Boulder, CO USAReport this post to the editors

I've read all the comments, although a few I sort of skimmed. I also haven't read Trotsky's piece on this subject. But could someone, preferrably an SPer who is applying it to the IRA, define the term "Individual Terrorism" and explain how it applies to the IRA.

IRA efforts seem to have been fairly coordinated- it was a fairly centralized organization; it was certainly united around the politics of republicanism and most of the time most members were socialists. They were connected to a political organization working on that side of the struggle, and there was at least some mass struggle, sometimes a lot (i.e. the hunger-strikes).

So, I am puzzled how they could be described as an "Individua terrorist" organization.

On the other hand, I will concede one thing to the SPers. The IRA should not have targeted off-duty, part-time locally-recruited security force members. I doubt that more than a few such attacks were motivated by sectarianism, but since these people were not in uniform at the time and were at home or something, it was I'm sure seen as sectarian by many unionists, including those who might normally concede that IRA attacks on the security forces were not sectarian.


author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:53Report this post to the editors

I think you are missing my points somewhat. I am quite specifically not arguing that something is right just because Trotsky, Lenin, Engels etc thought it. I don't ground my opposition to terrorism in the writings of dead revolutionaries. Instead I ground it in the concrete experience of constant and bloody failure in Ireland and abroad. If however we are going to discuss Trotsky's view of the issue, we should at least be accurate about it.

You have produced quotes from later in Trotsky's life which show that he supported the use of violence in some circumstances and that he opposed the presence of British imperialism in Ireland. These two facts are interesting but they were not in dispute. Nor did they represent some late embrace of the tactics of bombings and assassinations, which he opposed throughout his life. You are, it seems to me, confusing his embrace of certain goals with his opposition to certain tactics. To illustrate the point here is a quote from Trotsky in 1934: "Running like a red thread through my 37 years of revolutionary and literary activity is my irreconcilable attitude towards the adventurism of individual terrorism”. In 1938 he was again to point out his opposition to imperialism saying that "Our sympathises are fully on the side of Irish, Russian, Polish or Hindu terrorists in their struggle against national and political oppression", yet a few lines later underlining the difference between support of a goal and support of a tactic he pointed out that: "However, not the question of subjective motives but that of objective expediency has for us the decisive significance. Are the given means really capable of leading to the goal? In relation to individual terror both theory and practice bear witness that such is not the case, To the terrorist we say: It is impossible to replace the masses; only in a mass movement can you find expedient expression for your heroism.”

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 13:00Report this post to the editors

The term "individual terrorism" as Marxists use it does not refer only to the actions of individuals. It includes, and in fact more usually refers to, the conspiratorial actions of groups. In Trotsky's time that included groups as organised or disorganised as the Narodniks, the Fenians and various conspiratorial Anarchists. The central features of individual terrorism are that it places the actions of the small group above those of the working class and its reliance on bombings and assassinations. These are, quite obviously, the central feature of the IRA campaign.

In fact the total and complete failure of the IRA campaign provides further reconfirmation of the Marxist view of terrorism. Marxists argued from the start of the troubles that bombings and assassinations could not defeat a modern capitalist state, and they were right. Marxists argued that such tactics would result in the creation of an enormous apparatus of state repression and again they were right. And vitally Marxists argued that such tactics would serve to increase division in the working class, the key force for changing society. The failure of the IRA, despite the unusually large scale and persistence of their campaign and the existence of significant minority support, should serve as a powerful warning about the futitility of such tactics.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 13:04Report this post to the editors

but thats the very point that our difference turns on. i dont believe that the actions of the ira were individual terrorism. i still say that if its ok for you quote a trotsky text from 1909 then its ok for me to quote trotsky from 1920 & 1936. its not logical for you to say that trotskys writings ON IRELAND in the 1920s & 30s are not relevant but that his writings in 1909 NOT ABOUT IRELAND are.

this is getting circular. perhaps we should agree to disagree on whether or not the ira are individual terrorists. because anyway a lot of people in the 6 counties appear to disagree with you on that. and given the votes achieved by sp candidates in the 6 counties its obviuos that you have failed to convince very many outside of your own ranks.

author by SP Observerpublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 13:07Report this post to the editors


Whether the IRA cmpaign can be described as indivdiaul terrorism (I think it can), the main point remains: the tactics failed, were always doomed to failure, and any resumption in the future would be an act of incredible folly. Now, whatever you call the tactics - were they right or wrong? and do you advocate their resumption? That seems to me a more important point than getting too hung up on terminology.

author by Mark Ppublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 13:34Report this post to the editors

Art V, my interest in the misleading quote chopping of a British Stalinist grouping is limited at best. For future reference the usual procedure here is not to cut and paste some vast article but to provide a synopsis and a link.

Pat, once more you are confusing different issues. I do think that the quotes you take from Trotsky in the 1930s are important it's just that they are not quotes dealing at any stage with terrorist tactics. In fact one of the quotes I gave you above, from 1938, specifically lists the "Irish terrorists" as one of the groups he is talking about. You and I can argue about whether or not the republican campaigns should be described as individual terrorism (although I don't think there's much to argue about to be honest). But what can hardly be up for discussion is that Trotsky regarded the IRA campaigns of the 1930s as individual terrorism because he included them by name in his list of terrorist campaigns.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 13:50Report this post to the editors

i'm not mixing anything up , i'm merely disagreeing with you. accept it. yes trotsky certainly would have disagreed with the the iras 1939/40 british campaign as did many republicans, the campaign did not have mass support. nor was it ever capable of generating such support. there is a difference between that and a campaign which has mass community support. but this did not show any movement on trotskys part towards rejecting support for an anti-imperialist position on ireland.

now i really think we should agree to disagree on this. we are both repeating ourselves.

remember this thread is about the events of the saturday riot and whether or not the riot and the participants were sectarian or not.

author by Historianpublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 14:08Report this post to the editors

Bit of a hard neck the same boy pontificating about terror, don't you think? I'm sure the Krondstadt sailors would have been comforted by his words.

author by Barrypublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 14:45Report this post to the editors

At no time have I "romanticised" the IRA campaign , I have defended it strongly from accusations of cowardice and mindless criminality from both left and right . I have also singled out specific actions committed by republcans as war crimes .
Nor do I wish to see a repeat of of a failed 30 year campaign , a "long war" strategy which was the brainchild of a politician I am firmly convinced was a British agent . Convinced because after sickening the life out of everyone in this country with corruption , personal opportunism , with traitor after traitor at the highest level and with a form of struggle that was often indefensible his next brainwave was to doggedly implement MI5 counter insurgency strategy in its entirety .

The chief reason for the failure of the republican campaign was internal . The republican movement itself was fundamentally undemocratic from its reorganisation in 1969/70 , and it was this undemocratic fog which masked the activities of the Donaldsons , the scaps and the other high ups who were working for the British . The undemocratic nature of the struggle simply meant it was taboo to question or oppose these people . You could be killed . I feared for my life for years simply due to my own opinions . Other feared for my life too and warned me to be quiet . Thats just a very mild example of what happened to others .

Why anyone would want to emulate all that escapes me . Any future revolutionary separatist body must be fully democratic from top to bottom . Similarly demanding an all Ireland democracy may well alienate loyalists - how awful . Lets have an undemocratic society instead to keep them happy . Thatll sort Irelands problems for sure . Fer fecks sake .

I am also firmly of the opinion that the conditions for guerilla warfare in the north dont currently exist and are unlikely to in the immediate forseeable future . However it is the struggle for national sovereignty which holds the key to succesful revolution in this country . If the marxists failed to and continue to fail to see the revolutionary potential in that , my opinion is they simply dont want to see it and theyll struggle for quotes from a long dead russian who never set foot in Ireland to avoid seeing it .

In my opinion the Trotskyist analysis being put forward here remains largely irrelevant to an anti-colonial conflict , as I said Trotsky never set foot in Ireland so youll forgive me for taking his dictates on what form of struggle is suitable with a pinch of salt . Nor was Trotsky even from a colonised country , an outside power did not foster sectaianism in his land for centuries while occupying it , so Trotsky can basically get stuffed on a subject he knew nothing about in a country hed never even been to . The struggle for overall Irish sovereignty is not sectarian . But many of those who oppose that are and conflict between democrats and sectarian bigots while in persuit of Irish sovereignty is inevitable . . To oppose them is not sectarian - the analyses being put forward here making that accusation is deeply flawed.

And before they accuse others of bysmal failure Id take a long look at their own revolutionary record which seems to have been no more than tut tutting in the midst of revolutionary chaos . Just as they tu tut at the Dublin riots and dismiss them without seeing the opportunities or potential .

author by Levpublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 15:39Report this post to the editors

Marxists support mass terrorism, a mass movement of the working class using and engaging in when neccessary mass armed action against imperialism and capitalism which is completley different to individual terrorism which is a group of self appointed freedom fighters who assume the role of fighting a struggle on behalf of the masses and in the process relegate the masses to the role of spectators.
Kronstadt is an example of mass terrorism, i.e., the Red Army representing the revolutionary masses crushing a counter-revolutionary uprising.
Pat C I think that Mark P has discredited your claims in relation to Trotsky. It is bizarre that someone would say that something written by Trotsky in 1909 was no longer worthy of reference, I don't understand your point, what next should we forget Marx's Capital because it was written in the 19th century. Trotsky's writings (which are an analysis of struggle internationally during his lifetime) should be used as a guide and a reference for today. And everything he wrote on the issue of individual terrorism is very relevant and has been proven correct precisely because of the futility, failure and the sectarian and reactionary nature of the Provos individual terrorist campaign.
My point about describing the majority of the Scots who moved to Ulster as colonists is meant in the context of how some have used the term here i.e., that they were oppressors of the Irish. And like the majority of the people who went to North America and Australia they were not oppressors, the oppressors where the imperialist states that had occupied those lands.
And the point in relation to HS has nothing to do with what he said about colonists it is in relation to his other comments and that HS regularly criticises the SP on Indymedia.

author by E.Bulliancepublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 15:41Report this post to the editors

Ireland's leading Trotskyite (or is it Trotskyist), Eamonn McCann, in his last election campaign denounced British imperialism in Iraq but never mentioned British control in Ireland. And we're supposed to take these people seriously.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 15:49Report this post to the editors

"Pat C I think that Mark P has discredited your claims in relation to Trotsky. It is bizarre that someone would say that something written by Trotsky in 1909 was no longer worthy of reference, I don't understand your point, what next should we forget Marx's Capital because it was written in the 19th century."

i humbly disagree with you, i think mark has done no such thing. i didnt say that something written in 1909 was no longer worthy of reference. i said that if it was logical and reasonable for the sp to cite a tract (not about ireland) that was wriytten in 1909 then by the same standards of logic and reason it was ok for me to cite trotskys writings (about ireland) that were written in the 1920s & 1930s.

now i really want to move the debate on as i stated in my comments above. forget what anyone wrote 100 years ago. they are not power words. you will not be able to smite your enemies down by reciting them.

author by kintamapublication date Wed Mar 08, 2006 23:42Report this post to the editors

Joe Higgins is correct in asserting that bureaucrats should not be allowed to prevent the right to demonstrate peacefully in the centre of Dublin. On that basis Frazer should have been allowed to have his MOPEfest and to return home peacefully with his largely middle class followers. However Joe's hope of forging unity among the working classes in the six counties has some way to go if a contributor to Frazers website guestbook is anything to go by. The son of ulster urged Willie to keep up the good work and not to listen to the taigs (who presumably exclude Charlie Bird). He finished off with the immortal line , 'three popes and the Queen still lives on'. Willie did not see fit to edit .

author by hspublication date Thu Mar 09, 2006 20:28Report this post to the editors

"Well SP Observer he isn't, as a member of the SP he is bound by democratic centralism and therefore obliged to argue and defend the position of the SP in public. If he doesn't agree with democratic centralism then he should leave and he can then argue whatever he wants."

Well lev, you have a very rigid idea of democratic centralism, i think you just see the centralism part and completely miss the democratic bit. This includes debate, open and honest.
You also have little understanding to the reality of political parties and how they work and how their membership thinks. Do you think members can't have an honest and open debate without being expelled for it? Incidently do you believe someone should have read studied and agreed with everything, Lenin, Trotsky and Marx wrote before being allowed to join the Socialist Party? It would be difficult, because as you may have noticed comrade it's all open to interpetation and your own very stalinistic interpetation is something i'd have trouble agreeing with. You should look up the sparts, their autonoman view and rigid interpetations are right up your street.

I stand over and defend the policies of the party, on some tactical matters (on direct action in shannon, being the only one I can think of) I may have disagreed, but I don't believe thats a reason to leave the party. I may have pulled up comrades acting like sectarians on this site which I think is fair enough but it's hardly disagreeing with the party line (incidently there isn't a party line on absolutely every historical fact believe it or not).

author by hspublication date Thu Mar 09, 2006 20:40Report this post to the editors

On your point about the IRA being undemocratic, do you think it is possible to have a democratic underground army such as the IRA, the members by definition cannot be known. It may be possible to have some sort of democracy within the ranks, but amongst people outside the ranks? Also the nature of what the army does, while an illegal political party may have some chance to reach a mass level a small secret army such as the IRA cannot do so as it's at war.
The crux of the matter is any secret militarist group in 21st centuary Ireland will be putting itself ahead of the mass of people as the instrument for change. And your analysis still doesn't mention the mass of people in Northern Ireland opposed to a united Ireland. If it was just a case of everybody wanting the brits out, and their being no opposition to it, they would be gone years.
Soveringty is nothing without the people, otherwise you would have to oppress the majority in the six counties to keep a united Ireland.

author by che livespublication date Fri Mar 10, 2006 14:44Report this post to the editors

pat what an awful analysis of why the IRA's campaign failed, the undemocratic workings of the IRA were definitely a factor in allowing state agents. however the real point is that the campaign was doomed to failure, that the IRA could have ever believed they could force the British government out of NI when their was a real (and still is) social basis for their rule let alone mentioning the real military basis for continued rule is beyond me.

and to clarify guerrilla war did not take place in the north late 60's onwards, elements of it did occur in south armagh for instance where there was little social basis for continued rule but come on south armagh is hardly the industrial heartland of ulster, or an urban centre. An area of great and bitter sacrifice yes but sacrifice alone never beat any oppressor.

last point is I fail to see how critiscising correctly and openly the blind alley the provos and other republicans went down makes a marxist analysis pointless to national liberation. the approach is grounded on connolly's belief in social and national emancipation ' the cause of ireland is labour, the cause of labour is ireland'. The only way to win the working class to national emancipation is on the basis of national self-determination for both communities in ireland and a break with the diktat of the market and capital.

Call it irrelevant, pro-british or whatever crap you want to call it, any other way is a capitulation to the chauvinistic sentiment of the nation. Any other programme puts nationalism/republicanism first, socialism a poor second. The unity of the working class north and south is more important than any '1916 proclamation'

author by peter - NLC(council in scotland)publication date Fri Mar 31, 2006 03:27author phone 07939284773Report this post to the editors

As a Scots prodestant i find the recent riots in Dublin appalling. I always thought that the sectarianism that has always blighted Ulster and the west of Scotland in the past 30 years , ( i know i could add another 600 years but i mean the murders of recent ), had softened in Ireland since the Easter uprising ( sorry don't know the year ). I have visted the city in 3 occassions and always found it lively , vlbrent and friendly. The country as a whole has took on board the european family values a lot more so than us in G. B. and has a continetal(sp?) youth about it that is lacking here. Please do not allow old countries like us and old bigots with old stories hold you back

author by johnpublication date Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:01Report this post to the editors

No to Red imperialists

author by Barrypublication date Fri Mar 31, 2006 17:58Report this post to the editors

for a start " che lives" ( a travesty of a handle if ever there was) dont be berating Pat over my post .

Your " marxist" analysis/dogma , whatever adds up to the following .

British colonialism in Ireland is legitimate because it exist for a " real social basis" ( you dont point out what this is though) and not on the basis of colonialism . An apologia for colonialism , pure and simple . The basis for British rule in Ireland is colonialism . You support colonialism .

Guerilla warfare didnt really take place according to you !"! ( it certainly did and not just in south armagh) .

Ill point out to you that what passed for the industrial heartland of ulster was a hotbed of right wing bigotry . For 1000s of good card carrying trade unionists in ulsters heavy industry a popular weekends entertainment after a hard weeks work was attending the local loyalist shebeen and watching a random abducted catholic getting tortured to death in a public "rompering" . Horrific acts such as these were a regular occurence in virtually every working class loyalist area .They prided themselves on keeping catholics firmly out of their work places , whether Mackies , Shorts , Harland and Woolf or the scirrocco works . Your dogma that these places, the heartland must be the basis for a guerilla campaign is nonsense . Its exactly this dogma that had the sticks calling on the brits to open coalmines in the sperrins to create an industrial proletariat simply to fit in with their ridiculous dogmatic theories !! Rubbish .

You pointedly ignore the urban no go areas of Belfast and Derry , but as these people were unemployed , and well...taigs..we can write that out of your unionist marxist analysis

Whats next..oh yes , " national self determination for both communities" . A religion is now a nation according to you . Religious separation and institutionalised sectarianism will lead to national emancipation . Really . Empire loyalism is the way to get Irish freedom .

And last but not least the struggle for national sovereignty and an end to colonialism according to you is " national chauvinism" . Chauvinism ! British colonialism is legitimate because it is based on a social need while the struggle for sovereignty is no more than bigotry !!

Whatever your definition of socialism , and I honestly shudder at your pro colonial analysis of it ,it doesnt deserve just to come second, it deserves the dustbin of history . Socialism without sovereignty is a nonsense . Socialism that accepts colonialism and a 2 nation theory on this island is a nonsense . A marxist analysis which idismisses the rural nature of Ireland, and Ulster in particular is even more of a nonsense . The basis for sectarianism in this country is British colonialism . Thats the wellspring from which sectarianism flows . You argue that we must keep this well flowing otherwise we are " chauvinistic" . We must wait for the industrial giant to awake, although it doesnt exist . And when it did it operated as no more than the strong arm of right wing imperialism . Its perpetually faithful servant .

Yes youre analysis is both pro British and irrelevant . And nothing whatsoever to do with Che Guevara or James Connolly . The nettle of colonialism is too prickly for you to grasp so you support it instead and make your analysis a defence of it and an attack on anyone who opposes it . There is no socialism without sovereignty , yet you oppose the notion of Irish sovereignty . Your analysis is cracked , pro British , irrelevant , tiresome and riddled with dogma contradiction and misrepresentation of the revolutionary ideals of connolly .

God knows what che would think too . Keep your nose in the books anyway , its much safer that way .

author by Barrypublication date Fri Mar 31, 2006 18:51Report this post to the editors

Qoute HS

"the German soldiers were part of an invading army, the prodestant off duty udr man is born and lived in the area all his life and probably for generations, while the IRA viewed this as a purely military target I think prodestants in general viewed it as a sectarian target. France and German were fighting a war between two nations, in the northern irish troubles there was as much an element of civil war as anything else, the iras campaign will have done little to convince the prodestant community towards a united ireland, if anything from a republican point of view it is counterproductive. "

In yugoslavia in WW2 the majority of the " German soldiers" were in fact local muslims and croats who had lived there for centuries and joined the German Armys local divisions . Serb partisans who fought them were therefore sectarian according to this definition . There was no liberation struggle in yugoslavia , more a civil war then ?Nonsense .

The protestant population largely viewed catholics looking housing executive homes and the chance of a job emptying the bins as a sectarian uprising , that was when there was no IRA campaign nor even an IRA worth speaking of . How they view the actions of people theyve been programmed to hate since birth is outside anyones control . Youngsters kicking a ball round a field is unfortunately a sectarian act to a wide cross section of the protestant population in the north . Colonialism has poisoned the body politic of the north . Unionism was deeply entrenched and deeply bigotted well before any IRA campaign . To suggest resisting British rule is counterproductive is incorrect . Until colonialism and British interference in Irish politics is gotten rid off theres no chance of getting rid of sectarianism . A unionist simply cannot be talked into becoming a nationalist no more than I can be talked into becoming a unionist . Britain must be taken out of the equation to bring the conflic to an end . Only then will unionism construct a relationship with the rest of the island not based on religious bigotry and separation .

author by Roswell75 - The froggiespublication date Fri Mar 31, 2006 23:19author email Roswell75 at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address 24 , rue campo-formio 75013 Parisauthor phone 087 456 1823Report this post to the editors

Barry I agree with what you wrote, the problem is Norhern Ireland is ruled by the UK, not religion here.

However, the first step to find a solution to this problem would be in my opinion to let Northern Ireland becomming an independant nation, independant from the UK, independant from Ireland.

Only then and after a few years could these two nations become one.

Why the majority of people living in northern Ireland do not wish to become independant though ? Is it because England is able to provide them with a better quality of life than Ireland would be able to ?

author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Sat Apr 01, 2006 14:49Report this post to the editors

Barry's comparison with the Yugoslavian Partisans is as delusional as ever.

The main thing which distinguishes the various resistance groups against the Nazis from various Republican terror campaigns in strategic (as opposed to moral or political) terms is that those resistance groups were one small facet of a massive continent wide conventional war. It was not a question of those guerilla groups taking on the German state on their own. Even then, it is important to remember that none of the local resistance groups actually succeeded in driving the Germans out. Their utility was simply in terms of tying up German forces and resources which couldn't then go the front. Yugoslavia was a solitary exception. Barry of course wants to draw comparison with the one success rather than the dozens of campaigns which failed to drive the Nazis out.

And even when we look at the one occasion where the local resistance did manage to defeat the Nazis, we find that we were dealing with a mostly rural, peasant based society! Again, Marxists have always acknowledged that in largely peasant societies actual guerilla warfare can be effective. That's been shown repeatedly in various countries. What has equally been shown is that terrorism - which is what guerilla warfare becomes in a developed, urban society - can't work and doesn't work. In all the countless examples of campaigns of bombings and shootings in developed urban capitalist countries - and there have been hundreds - we have never yet seen a success. And we never will.

Take Ireland as an example. The Provisionals were about the most sophisticated and well armed terrorist groups the world has seen. Yet their armed campaign and that of the various other republican groups ended in total failure. People like Barry always end up whining that the defeat was down to betrayal, as if that "betrayal" didn't itself stem from the reality of defeat! As if every other campaign of bombings and assassinations in the world hadn't also failed! As if the grouplet he supports was going to to it better than the Provos did!

Tell us Barry, how many British soldiers or cops have the Real IRA, these people who are apparently capable of doing the job the Provos failed abjectly at, managed to kill since they were founded? Now how many civilians have they managed to kill?

It's completely ridiculous to even be having this argument at this stage in Irish history. Marxists argued from the beginning of the troubles that terrorism - a campaign of bombings and assassinations - could not win and could not drive Britain from Ireland. Thirty five years later, we've been proven about as comprehensively right as you can get.

author by Barrypublication date Sun Apr 02, 2006 01:16Report this post to the editors

the north of ireland is hardly what one would call an urban society . A tour of Irelands graveyards and jails over the last 35 , or even 100 years , years would tell you one thing about Irelands "marxist revolutionaries" - they were highly conspicuous in their absence and will remain so . The support expressed here for unionism , British rule and continuing colonialism in Ireland shows just how revolutionary in character they are . Socialism without sovereignty is simply a contradiction in terms . One cannot exist without the other .
Basically theyve read something in a book , thats it . Dogma . Lectures on guerilla warfare from some middle class bookworm whose never seen the inside of a cell and who supports the denial of national sovereignty and continuing colonialsim on the grounds it has a " social basis" is bizarre never mind ridiculous .
Thankfully the encouragement seperatists continue to get today from genuine marxist/maoist revolutionaries from Turkey to Nepal ( marxists actually engaging in a struggle , and very successfully in Nepal) means we can chortle at Irelands revolutionary lefts pretentions of authority on revolutionary warfare . Theyre a joke .

Demanding national sovereignty does not make you a chauvinist or a sectarian , despite your claims and blind fear of grasping that nettle. Your dogma chains you to support for colonialism and makes you a sad pretentious joke .

author by amused by barrypublication date Sun Apr 02, 2006 10:23Report this post to the editors

barry - waffle can be defined as lots of words bereft of content. In your case, your 'reply' is full of obvious angst and hatred (seldom have I seen such bitterness), but not one word of it actually takes on, let alone, refutes the arguments of your opponents. Your main 'point' seems to be that none of them have been in prison. Well, precisely - they thought that the military campaign of the IRA was a fiasco, so they avoided it. That is their entire point. You evidently thought that it had a high chance of success and offer only the preposterous notion that it failed due to a lack of internal democracy. But you offer not a scintilla of evidence for this position, nor the ghost of a response to those who debate with you. Instead,you berate them for their lack of a prison record. Debate usually implies that you grapple with oipposing points of view. you cannot do this. You can only fall back on abuse.

In my opinion, you demonstrate a core problem with republicanism/nationalism - an inability to learn from experience, or even to grasp the rudiments of a different point of view. Perhaps, given that most people in Ireland have moved on, this is why the 32CSM is a fringe group of - thankfully - no real importance. I hope it remains so.

author by barrypublication date Sun Apr 02, 2006 13:05Report this post to the editors

"given that most people have moved on" ? au contraire .

According to todays poll 80% of them want a united Ireland . All the mainstream political parties in the free state have the objective of a united Ireland in their manifestoes , so they dont seem to have moved on either.
in the north the 2 main nationalist parties obviously do too .

as for the previous posters i have no problem at all with their opposition to armed methods . Their unionist analysis and support for colonialism and British denial of Irish sovereignty is what bugs me . Dressing that up as socialism bugs me even more .

And its nice to have someone get up at half 9 of a sunday morning and type 14 lines trelling me im totally irrelevant .

author by amused by barrypublication date Sun Apr 02, 2006 13:56Report this post to the editors


most people do want a united Ireland - agreed. That however is a little different from supporting the IRA in the past, the 32CSM today, or armed struggle in the future. Most people have moved on from militant Irish Republicanism, recognising its futility. That is my position, and the inability of your organisation to acquire even minimal support would back me up.

Now, branding those who oppose your methods or who think that you have no serious strategy to deal with the Protestant population as supporters of colonialism is simply stupid. Most people do want a united Ireland for example, but they realise that this cannot achieved if Protestants cannot be convinced of it. A full scale civil war would be required, out of which whatever emerged would be nothing like the united Ireland you fantasise about. To say this to recognise reality, not to support colonialism. You simply cannot come to terms with these issues. You have nothging serious to say about teh futuility of the IRA's armed struggle, and no analysis of its failure that would survive scrutiny by a class of seven year olds.

On the subject of the Protestants: I detect two contrary posiotions in your view. On the one hand, you have written here about the hell Protestants inflicted on nationalists in the past - the mass killings in the 1970s etc. People capable of this are a formidable force. On the other hand, you have written in the past that your oul da worked with protestants in 1969, was convinced they would roll over in the event of a declaration of intent, and that all we would be faced with would be a drug dealing rabble. Basing yourself on the extensive evidence of your father's fireside anecdotes you are willing to risk terrible mayhem - on the basis that all will be ok - while simultaneously waxing lyrical about the terrible, armed bigoted Protestant threat in the north. Something here does not compute. You seem seriously incapable of joined up thinking, driven only be the most amazing nationalist prejudices.

Meanwhile, the Irish people have moved on - and long may it remain so.

author by Tonypublication date Sun Apr 02, 2006 13:59Report this post to the editors

I'm hardly a supporter of some things said by Pat C., but in relation to this particular debate he is far more correct than either the sneering right or the SP, which is clearly ultraleft on this issue.

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