Fianl word to Mr. Cahill was Re: replying to Ivonaldo was Re: Hobsbawmand the Analitic History

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Sat Aug 5 17:47:39 MDT 2000

Dear Mr. Cahill keep the 'meas'.  I do not want it.

If you  believe that the Loyalist Death Squads were autonomous then you are
quite simply naive.  I can think of less polite words, but have no wish to
get into a flame war. The point remains though that there is good evidence
against your position and besides Loyalist Leaders frequently boasted of
their links with the security forces.

Moreover your position on the IRA also flies in the face of facts.  No tiny
elite could fight the British Army alone for 30 years.  They had to have
substantial links to a base.  That is really elementary stuff Mr. Cahill.

In addition your point about the peasantry being a 'doomed class' is simply
teleological nonsense.  It has more to do with Kautsky's vulgar
interpretations of Marxism than the later Marx and Engels.  See Marx's
famous letter to Vera Zasulich.

But finally what I take objection to is your sneering denigration of the
suffering of the  people of Northern Ireland in the struggle against
British Imperialism. Of course they were primarily Catholic but not
exclusively so and there's was never a confessional
struggle.  Republicanism is non-sectarian.

Gary MacLennan

At 02:01  5/08/00 +0100, you wrote:

> > Comrade Xxxxxx is quite correct. The key point for us Marxists is indeed
> > where do we stand on modernity.  This is the 'Living  Marxism'
> > pitfall as well.  They (and even some Maoists when writing about Ireland)
> > take what they see as the side of modernity.
>This last bit threw me a bit. As far as I can recall, the RCP/"Living
>Marxism" took one of the hardest pro-IRA positions around, as far as the
>Irish Question was concerned.
>   They forget the very essence
> > of Marxism.  We are not neo-Nietzscheans.  We do not represent the 'wille
> > zur macht'.  We are always on the side of Spartacus. We seek a
> > non-capitalist modernity.  We do not advocate primitive accumulation as a
> > way of dealing with peasants.
>Nor though, should we advocated the continued status of "peasant" as a way
>of dealing with a doomed class.
> > I tell you now Ivonaldo,
> > the homes of working class Catholics in Belfast have been smashed.  The
> > people have endured torture, imprisonment, and assassinations from death
> > squads.  The full panoply of Imperialistic oppression has been let loose
> > the people.  A powerful nation state has vented its anger against a
> > of working class  housing estates. But Goliath has not prevailed.  The
> > people fought him to a standstill.
>"The people" did no such thing. A tiny self-selecting military elite fought
>the British for 30 years, and then surrendered. Your Provisional Republican
>phraseology is deeply misleading. Calling the Loyalist sectarian butchers
>"death squads" covers over their autonomy from the British. As for "the
>full panopoly of Imerialistic oppression", if such had really been "let
>loose" "the People" (by which I take it you mean "the Catholics") would no
>longer be in Northern Ireland at all.
>Is mise le meas,
>Brian Cahill

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