replying to Ivonaldo was Re: Hobsbawm and the Analitic History

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Sun Aug 6 18:30:55 MDT 2000

I am not wrong at all.  The Maoist position on Ireland was a Two Nations
one.  This had it that there was a Protestant nation that had the right to
self determination and its birth in 1922 signalled the end of the
anti-Imperialist struggle in Ireland.  This is deeply wrong and
anti-Marxist.  But one could expect nothing more from British Maosists.

Unfortunately in my original post I combined this point in the same
sentence about LM pro-modernity. I had hoped that the brackets would
indicate that these were separate points. My fault that I over estimated
the reading capacity of some on this list.

BTW I am quite aware of LM's position on Ireland and the IRA. Of course it
is also factual that LM are pro modernity.

Moreover Russell my point about always being on the side of Spartacus comes
from a late article by Trotsky.  See Deutscher V3. It is here that Trotsky
becomes most intesting because he confronts the possibility that the evil
aspect of modernity will triumph.  His answer is an unconditional
commitment to the slave.

So where am I wrong, pray tell?


At 04:28  6/08/00 +0200, you wrote:

>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

More information about the Marxism mailing list