SF's 'new discussions'

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Mon Sep 2 19:17:29 MDT 2002

> The Six-County Assembly, The Six-County policing boards,
> Leinster House and other scenarios are by their nature staging posts.
> Our job is to bring a clearly focused republican approach to this work. We
> need to push all these institutions to their democratic and radical limits

One wonders what the 'democratic and radical limits' of the police board
in the north might be.

Indeed, one wonders what the 'democratic and radical limits' of the
6-county statelet and its parliament might be too.

If anyone opposed to the SF leadership in the early 1990s had've said
that in a decade's time, the leadership would be helping administer the
6-county state and going into the police boards as well, Adams and co.
would have got an incredibly wounded look on their face and ask how
anyone could possibly believe they intended to do, or would veer
consider doing, any such thing.

Unfortunately, once you take a particular political course, it tends to
develop its own logic.

> Our role in the councils, Leinster House and the Assembly are other equally
> important dimensions of this site of struggle. And while these arenas must
> be understood as staging posts, they are also opportunities for republicans
> to build beachheads from which to popularise republicanism, continue growing
> in national strength and learn the craft of efficient government.

Mmm, "learn the craft of efficient government."  Where have we heard
this before?

If the longterm aim of SF is, as Donal in his wild flights of fantasy
believes, the overthrow of capitalism and establishment of socialism,
how would learning how to efficiently run a capitalist government be
useful?  A socialist government operates in a totally different

> In recent years, comrades from the ANC have constantly advised us that the
> revolutionary must always stay ahead of his or her opponents by seizing the
> strategic initiative;

Yes, the ANC stayed ahead of their opponents by implementing neo-liberal
economic policies.  These certainly wrong-footed their right-wing
opponents, by out-right-winging them.

Blair did the same to the Tories.

But what has any of this to do with the interests of the working class
and the struggle for socialism.  It is about maintaining and
strengthening capitalism.

> We need to be concerned with creating the space for the
> activist and support base to take ownership of modern republicanism. . .

> The development of future strategy and definition of activist's work needs
> to come from debate and discussion within our base.

So why has the leadership of SF persistently refused to debate
republicans who disagree with the GFA and the current course?  Why have
they persistently attempted to close off their base from the
publications, meetings and so on of groups like the ex-prisoners of the
Irish Republican Writers Group and people like Bernadette?

> Today in Cuban society, youngsters often proclaim "We will be like Che", so
> enduring is the influence that revolutionary figures such as Guevara have
> had on that country's struggle, even to the present day.

And it was Che who said, "Either socialist revolution - or caricature of
revolution".  Is it hard to figure out which SF represents today?

Philip Ferguson

PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

More information about the Marxism mailing list