Rain and 1916

Gary Maclennan g.maclennan at SPAMqut.edu.au
Mon Nov 20 23:50:41 MST 2000


Connolly and Larkin found the Irish Citizens Army during the great strike
of 1913.  It was the world's very first Red army.  So there!



At 19:21 21/11/00 -1000, you wrote:
>David Welch writes:
> >The Irish revolutionaries of 1916 may indeed have been petty-bourgeois but
> >they were fighting (in part) for the liberation of Irish peasants from
> >subsistence agriculture.
>David, I actually agree with you on the anti-GM stuff.  However, the
>revolutionaries of 1916 - both the workers' militia (the Irish Citizen
>Army) and the revolutionary nationalists (Irish Volunteers) - were not
>petty-bourgeois.  1916 was an overwhelmingly working class revolt.  Most of
>the Easter Proclamation signatories - ie apart from Connolly - were
>petty-bourgeois in a sociological sense, but they were revolutionaries
>whose class sympathies were clearly with the working class.  All of them,
>for instance, had suported the working class during the great industrial
>struggle against the Dublin nationalist bourgeoisie in 1913.
>Give me (the 'middle class' revolutionary nationalist) Padraic Pearse over
>the gas-and-water socialists any day.
>In fact, all the republican rebellions in Ireland have been lower-order
>rebellions, right since Wolfe Tone, the founder of republicanism, declared
>as early as the 1790s that only the people of no property would/could carry
>through the struggle.
>And yes, as a modernising movement, republicanism always sought to liberate
>the peasantry from subsistence agriculture.  Connolly himself was an
>advocate, by the way, of land nationalisation, seeing no future in even
>small-scale peasant farming, although I think he was somewhat mistaken
>there - given that Irish peasants had suffered and died for possession of a
>bit of land, it would have made no sense to try to nationalise land after a
>successful revolution.  Better to go for a mixture of some state farms and
>some sub-division of remaining large estates to land-hungry peasants.
>Lord Melchett, on the other hand, sounds like one of those aristocratic
>'reactionary socialists' demounced by Marx and Engels in a section of the
>'Communist Manifesto'.

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