reply to the Super Revolutionaries was Re: Bombs for Peace/10-10-96
g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Fri Oct 11 01:37:13 MDT 1996
>LIVING MARXISM COMMENTARY
>Bombs for Peace
>The IRA's return to action in Northern Ireland is a cynical ploy, says Mark
What is cynical about it? Comrade Ryan does not make this clear. But his
line would appear to be that the IRA do not really want war and so when they
let of a bomb they are not serious enough about it. Seemingly they should
want endless war.
The truth is that the people of N. Ireland are desperate for the "Troubles"
to end. Maybe that is wrong of them. But sitting here in Brisbane I can't
blame those who just want it to stop. Those sitting in England would do
well to try a little humility here too. It seems fairly immoral IMHO to urge
others to continue the "war for freedom" while all one has to do is to sell
little papers and read internal party bulletins which assure one how pure,
revolutionary & correct one is.
It is worth recalling that Michael Collins,
>currently undergoing beatification in Hollywood and Ireland (fast becoming
>the same place), got 26 of the 32 Counties of Ireland from the British in
>the 1921 Treaty. Six months later he was shot dead for his troubles by the
Ryan here displays his true talent -for pouring out glib rubbish. He should
be writing for Jerry Seinfeld. How to trivialise a civil war in one
sentence. Well done.
Adams on the other hand, despite the fact that he has got nothing at
>all, has not faced even the mildest of criticism. Two years after the
>ceasefire he has not even got himself into anything resembling negotiations
>despite following a 'peace strategy' which is now nearly 10 years old.
>The most extraordinary thing is that this abject failure does not appear to
>be held against him. He certainly does not hold it against himself. Rather
>than hang his head in shame, he seems quite pleased with himself flying
>around the world launching his autobiography as if the peace process is the
>culmination of a lifetime's achievements. The fact that the rest of Sinn
>Fein/IRA is prepared to go along with this shows not only the depth of
>political torpor within the organisation, but also a widespread acceptance
>that the leader should not be held responsible for his actions.
The IRA have failed and there is no doubt that they do deserve criticism.
But there is a fundamental flaw at work in Ryan's methodology and BTW it is
intrinsically non-Marxist. In concentrating on Adams and the IRA he is
motivated by the simple belief that if the IRA had adapted the correct
tactics i.e. followed the RCP line then they would have won the war. What
this fails to take account of is that there was more than the IRA involved.
There was the British State which also played a role me thinks.
I am reminded in this instance of those criticisms of the Sandinistas which
ignored the entire political conjuncture - American power and the collapse
of the Soviet Union etc
>The IRA campaign is likely to continue until such time as Sinn Fein is
>allowed into the talks that even Martin McGuinness now admits are a farce.
>The campaign has nothing to do with ideals of freedom or independence. It
>is a petty, dishonest affair whose only purpose is to save Sinn Fein's
>leaders from the obloquy which is their due.
What is the IRA? Who are their supporters? These are the kind of
questions that we need to ask before we denounce them from the lofty heights
of revolutionary Trotskyism. Basically there are about 500 people in the
IRA in the North of Ireland. Their supports live in about 5 very poor
housing estates in Belfast and Derry. There is also a fair amount of rural
support in South Armagh. Army plus supporters would not amount to more
than 100, 000 people. Yet they have fought the British state for twenty
years. They have made mistakes. They have been wrong, very wrong. But no
stupid, and I say that with considerable force, no stupid idiot writing in
England can even begin to understand that the leaders of the IRA will not
have to hang their head in shame. Adams is loved by the people he lives
among. Why? Because he has put his life on the line. He has not mouthed
platitudes however radical from the safety of England. Wake up fool.
Finally I have been assured that the RCP (the Rev Commies) are the most
fiery and the best dressed communists in England. Much more chic than the
shabby proles of the ISO I hear. But if this is the kind of rubbish that
they put up as revolutionary propaganda I am not surprised that despite
their correctness, despite their political sophistication, despite their
snappy dressing they have actually caused the British State a lot less
trouble than the IRA they despise.
Nevertheless it seems a case that Ryan and his comrades can chant
"Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the most revolutionary of all"
"The RCP of course" the mirror replies.
Musn't life in the RCP be of such a comfort to the members.
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