Irish Stalinists

mmcdon mmcdon at
Tue Nov 7 21:53:37 MST 2000

> >I think you are offering a somewhat distorted picture of what happened.
> >"Republican Movement" shifted to the left in the 1960s after the abject
> >failure of the abortive Border Campaign. The CPs certainly played some
> >in influencing its political direction, but the primary stimulus was a
> >realisation that almost nobody supported their 1950s "armed struggle"
> >(otherwise known as a strategy of individual terrorism).
> It's funny how often this claim is made.  In fact, the year after the
> border campaign commenced, SF won four seats in the southern elections.
> When Fearghal O'Hanlon and another IRA volunteer were killed in one of
> attacks on a British barracks there was a huge outpouring of grief and
> solidarity in the South, involving hundreds of thousands of people.

A fair point with regard to the South. I was guilty of a bit of elementary
partitionism there. Would you care to comment on the results achieved by
Republican candidates in the North?

> Please show me how the 'superior' tactics of Irish Trots have led to
> anything like this kind of mass support!

Wonderful logic. Fianna Fail have many times more support than Sinn Fein,
let me remind you.

> Also, putting quote marks around armed struggle and referring to it as
> individual terrorism simply shows you have a lot to learn about
> revolutionary struggles.

"Armed Struggle" is a deliberately vague propaganda term. It enables the
user to bask in the warm fuzzy glow of association with mass guerilla
movements and more importantly to avoid communicating what the "struggle"
actually entails. A small group carrying out bombings and assassinations.

> >At the time of the split both factions had uncompromisingly anti-British
> >attitudes. Both were waging campaigns of bombings and assassinations.
> Well, that's what the British imperialists said about them.

Which makes it factually incorrect? Were they not carrying out bombings and

> The oppressed masses in the north, however, flocked to join both the
> Officials and, especially, the Provos because they were defending the
> nationalist ghettoes and trying to go on the offensive against the Brits.

Undoubtedly true.

> >The
> >Officials, however, regarded the Provos as little more than a bunch of
> >sectarian killers. In that they were wrong. The Provisionals were and
> >remain a much more complex beast than that. But that their fundamental
> >term strategy has been to unite all Catholics regardless of class and
> >at best, ignore the Protestant working class cannot be doubted.
> Well, that would explain why the programme of the Provos was for a
> 'Democratic Socialist Republic'

Are you suggesting that the Provos were ever fighting for such a thing?

> Your claim that the Provos 'ignored' the Protestant working class and
> this 'cannot be doubted', is yet another piece of your post that sounds
> like it is written in a Fleet Street press office.
> To the contrary, for a long period of time, the Provos were vitally
> interested in the Protestant working class.  They believed, however, that
> it was necessary to force the Brits out in order to achieve the unity of
> the working class of Ireland since partition was the key instrument in
> dividing the class.

Right. So the Provos were actually socialists in disguise, but the majority
of the Northern Irish working class had to be bombed into a united Ireland
before they could be won over to following their own class interests? Your
argument here seems to be that the Provos were idiot socialists rather than
politically sharp nationalists. Were the Protestants just going to accept
being forced into a capitalist united Ireland?

When by the way, did the Provos make their switchover to a right wing creed
not class strategy, in your view, given that you now seem to regard them as
having sold out? 1986?

[snip rant about the IST\SWM\SWP. I am not and never have been etc etc]

Is mise le meas,
Brian Cahill

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