replying to Ivonaldo was Re: Hobsbawm and the Analitic History

Russell Grinker grinker at
Sun Aug 6 08:53:45 MDT 2000

Gary MacLennan:
>The key point for us Marxists is indeed where do we stand on modernity.
This is the 'Living  Marxism' tradition's pitfall as well.  They (and even
some Maoists when writing about Ireland)
take what they see as the side of modernity.  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.

This is just plain wrong.  For what it's worth, the old RCP/LM position was
for unconditional support for the Irish struggle for national
self-determination against Britain. The "petit-bourgeois" nature of the
politics of the RM leadership was not used as an excuse for non-support -
particularly at times of so-called terrorist outrages on the mainland - as
was the case with almost all the British left. The position we took was well
put in a famous Trotsky quote (sue me if I get it slightly wrong, it's a
long time ago): "The British Marxist who fails by all means to support the
Irish struggle against Britain, deserves to be branded with infamy, if not
with a bullet". Of course now that the Provos have made their peace with
imperialism, there's certainly no obligation to give them any sort of

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