Ireland

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Fri Sep 6 22:45:41 MDT 2002


> So it's to be a 'current' bun fight.
> Philip Ferguson's current has apologised for certain
> activities in 'taking the war to Britain',
> decommissioned weapons and supports the GFA.
> He is no longer a member of SF and I am no longer a
> member of the WP, therefore blaming me on a killing
> that took place in 1978 (when I was 8) is a bit like
> jumping to the conclusion that he supports the
> apologies, the decommissioning GFA (all things which
> he disagrees with). Time moves on and certainly has
> done from the 70's and mid 80's.


The difference I guess Paul is that you joined *after* the WP had done
stuff like killing Costello, so that's part of the political baggage you
signed up to.  I left SF *before* the GFA, the decommissioning, the
apologies etc, so clearly I can hardly be assigned any responsibility
for them.  I never signed up for them.

Having said that, I've no desire to have a bun fight with you over
events in the 1970s.  I would, however, suggest you pay bit more
attention to what I actually say and not misrepresent me in the future -
as when you suggested I was saying the CIRA, RIRA and IRSP should all
get together in one party.



> It wasn't the impression I got.
> Is the objective to build popular support for armed
> struggle or socialism?


Are you seriously counterposing armed struggle and socialism?  Do you
think that in any country oppressed by imperialism, especially when
there is an imperialist army in occupation of part of the national
territory, it is possible to win socialism without an armed struggle?

Clearly, if all there is is armed struggle, then it isn't going to go
far.  But a purely political movement without any armed struggle is a
dead end too.




> Do you really believe taking into consideration once
> more the statement below that it will be possible to
> get to positon where there will be popular support for
> it again.


I guess this was addressed as a reply to Danielle, but applies to both
of us anyway, so here's my opinion.

It all depends on a number of factors.  It depends, for instance, on
wheter a powerful socialist-republican movement can be built and mass
struggle in the political arena takes place.  In that situation, the
British and their Irish underlings would be forced to try to repress it
off the streets and armed actions would again be on the agenda.
Hopefully, the forms of armed actions would take into account all kinds
of problems with *some forms* of armed actions from the 1970s and 1980s.

I certainly think, however, that it would be naive to assume the Brits
would respond to a mass radical political movement by merely giving in
to its demands and walking away.

If a peaceful transition to a united Ireland is going to come about, it
is more likely to be a transition managed by the imperialists in the
absence of a revolutionary opposition - ie the imperialists may decide
their interests are best served by a capitalist united Ireland and they
might bring it about by 'constitutional' means.  If I was a US, British
or Irish capitalist, I think I would decide that reunification was in my
best interests right now.

The chief reason for partition in 1920/1, on the part of the British,
was to defeat the Irish revolutionary movement (ie the republicans) and
thereby also dampen down the class ferment in Ireland (and Britain).
Since the British have now bought off the major component of
republicanism, by incorporating them in the institutions of the
capitalist state - and the same is happening in the south - it is
difficult to see why they would still want to keep Ireland divided.
They're certainly not making any money out of it.  Quite the contrary.

So the 'logical' capitalist policy, and one the US would have a special
interest in helping oversee, is reunification.  On the other hand, since
the Brits now have SF in the fly-trap, perhaps partition is
copper-fastened (which is what people like Bernadette seem to argue).

Philip Ferguson

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