[Marxism] Re: Baseless smears

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Thu Feb 19 14:33:08 MST 2004

Donal writes:
> Philip, you are an arrogant clift! Ah well, makes me all the more
> worthwhile when I take you down a notch or two. Obviously, you are
> completely out of touch with what's happening here over the last year or
> so.

Donal, no-one would deny that the Brits use agents in republican groups 
in Ireland like the RIRA.  You, however, suggested much more than this. 
  You suggested that RIRA as a whole was run by the Brits.

Actually, the real British agents in the north of Ireland these days are 
the leadership of the Provos, whom you suport.  They aren't undercover 
agents, they are openly helping run the six-county state as part of 
Britain and doing Britain's dirty work.

And these agents of imperialism have your full support.

So if you want to get into a discussion about arrogance, I'd just say 
that it is arrogant in the extreme for anyone who supports Britain's 
chief republican agents to start throwing around claims that RIRA is 
being run by the British state.

Personally, I think RIRA should disband, or at least knock off armed 
actions.  This is not because they are being run by the Brits, but 
because there is simply no base upon which to organise an armed struggle 
in Ireland today, thanks to the Provo sell-out.  It is that lack of a 
social base which could act as a political corrective, and not British 
control, which explains why RIRA has carried out some crazy military 

I think it is also necessary to ask who is responsible for the existence 
of RIRA.  RIRA exists because the Provo leadership did deals with the 
Brits *behind the backs of the mass of activists in the movement 
itself*.  The result was that some people drew the conclusion, as has 
happened plenty of times in Irish republican history, that the 
'politicals' had sold out yet again and that a bit of good old-fashioned 
militarism was the necessary antidote.

Unfortunately, you support those secret deals and the participation of 
the Provo leadership in helping run the colonial statelet in the six 
counties.  This also explains why you have the awful position on Iraq 
and are making excuses for the quisling Iraqi CP and its participation 
in the imperialist 'governing council'.  After all, the logic of being 
part of an imperialist governing council in Belfast, aka the Northern 
Ireland Executive, is that the same kind of participation in Iraq is 
also a good idea.

This kind of collaboration with imperialism is rationalised by a total 
distortion of Gramsci's Marxism - namely, arguing that participating in 
imperialist institutions imposed by occupation forces is some kind of 
clever strategy in pursuit of 'a war of positions' for 'hegemony'.

Gramsci's idea of hegemony, however, was a revolutionary critique of how 
capital develops ideoogical hegemony and social control.  It was not a 
rationalisation of old-style reformism, which is what the 'radical 
democracy' people who have usurped Gramsci are into and which the Provo 
leadership is carrying out.

Philip Ferguson

More information about the Marxism mailing list