Cromwell etc

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at
Mon Aug 9 03:00:39 MDT 1999

Jim- I only want to say that after I lash at you, you produce a comment like
this that teaches me something new. Thank you, comrade.

>There was an interesting television documentary on the English Revolution
>introduced by Jeremy Hardy. Hardy`s column in the Guardian is one of the
>most interesting ones available. I believe he is close to the SWP. It
>showed how Cromwell at first extended the revolution but when it
>threatened to go beyond the limits imposed by him he acted to crush the
>Levellers amongst others. It was great to see the precursors of the
>Proletarian revolution to come argue their point of view.They were groping
>towards Babeuf.
>The question of Ireland loomed large. A myth of largescale pogrom of
>Protestant settlers was the excuse for the intervention in Ireland.The
>native Irish were Catholic as were the various waves of settlers from the
>Norman invasion with the exception of the Scottish settlers in the North.
>Irish Catholicism was a synthesis of formal Catholicism and pre Christian
>beliefs. The Irish saints like Brighid were christianised versions of old
>Celtic Goddesses and Gods. The propaganda in England about the Irish truly
>demonised them. The Levellers refused to go and were crushed.The beginning
>of the end of the English revolution was the Cromwellian invasion of
>Ireland. It was a pity that the best of the Irish generals Eoghan Roe
>O`Neill died before he got a chance to face Cromwell.
>There are a number of unpublished notebooks by Marx on Ireland as well as
>his published ones.
>Interesting that Trotskys writings on Britain used the English revolution
>to polemicise against the reformists who believed that violent revolution
>was not in the English character. And Deutscher compared his task of
>rescuing the reputation of Trotsky to Clarendons similar work on Cromwell.
>I, also, feel the the high point of the French revolution passed through a
>similar phase over Haiti and the attempted reconquest of Haiti marked the
>point where the French revolution began it`s retreat. I am influenced here
>by C. L. R. James classic "The Black Jacobins". If only the Napoleonic
>armies had come to Ireland? But Napoleon was not interested in liberation
>but conquest.
>Perhaps Lenins concerns on the national question in his last writings
>especially re the Georgian question was influenced by the parallels.
>The new Model Army was bribed by land robbed in Ireland. Robbed because
>not only were the Anglo-Irish aristocracy dispossessed as well as the
>remnant of the Gaelic aristocracy ( these holding their lands according to
>pre feudal norms in part) but the native Irish were chased to Connacht (
>the poorest of the land.) They of course drifted back.The Irish who
>drifted back saw the level of exploitation increase. In the North a rough
>rule of thumb is that the poor land is nationalist. Along with this
>increased level of exploitation the end of a Gaelic speaking ruling class
>made the language of the people an outlaw language where there was no
>patronage to sustain the Fili a sort of pre modern intelligentsia. This
>began the long death agony of the Irish language which can only be saved
>by the cultural uplift an International Socialist Revolution could give.
>By the time of the 1798 rebellion the Irish peasantry were probably the
>poorest and most exploited in Europe.
>The concept of free land which was part of American history was started in
>Ireland. For the successive plantations of Ireland set the norm for the
>Americas.That which was done to native Americans was tested in Ireland.
>Jim Monaghan

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