[Marxism] RE: Marxism Digest, Vol 4, Issue 91

Calvin Broadbent calvinbroadbent at hotmail.com
Mon Feb 23 05:26:35 MST 2004


Hi Phillip,
I am not really in disagreement with you here. I'm just saying that there is 
no getting around the realities of northern protestant poverty, emiseration, 
joblessness, violence, ciminality, and hopelessness. In this sense, its not 
much use comparing life as a Afrikaaner to life as a lumpenprod. It is 
utterly depressing to live here every year to see loads of w/c prods run and 
march around waving the banners of imperialism and sectarianism. The likely 
response to an attempt to organsie support for a united Ireland at present 
would be murder. The UDA issued statements in the early '70s when they were 
formed saying 'our twin enemies are romanism and communism'. Their politics 
have not of course changed one iota.


Phillip wrote:

>
>
> > I think it is
> > necessary to get at least sections of the w/c protestant people signing 
>up
> > for socialism, or a repeat of the protracted sectarian murder campaign 
>may
> > occur in the future, and protestants left to the mercy of armed thugs, 
>as
> > they are now to some large degree.
>
>
>The key to the struggle in Ireland, in my view, is not the northern
>Prods but the southern population.  If socialist republicans can build a
>sizeable movement in the south, in the nationalist areas of the north
>and win a few Protestant workers in the north, they will be doing very
>well.  The rest of the Protestant population in the north will then get
>a wake-up call and be forced to deal with reality.  South African whites
>did, when apartheid became no longer tenable, and I see no reason to
>think that Northern Irish Protestants are any more thick than their
>Orange brothers and sisters in South Africa.
>
>
>
> > The only parties capable of appealing to
> > w/c protestants on a socialist basis at present are parties such as the 
>SP,
> > the SWP, and the SEA. They would not get such a base by stridently 
>calling
> > for removal of the British government (even though this is, and ought to 
>be,
> > a part of the socialist program).
>
>But this isn't Marxism you are adovcating, is it?
>
>You are saying, forget about imperialism - at least for the minute
>(indeed, for the indefinite future) - and just talk trade unionism.
>
>Take a look at Lenin's 'What is to be Done?' and see what he says about
>this kind of politics.
>
>And take a look at what Connolly said about this kind of (what he
>called) 'gas and water socialism'.  Connolly argued that the idea that
>you could agitate among Protestant workers in the north of Ireland like
>you could amng workers in Britain, was so absurd as to be 'screamingly
>funny'.
>
>The fact is that you simply can't get around the national question, and
>the attempts of groups like SWP to do this via the SEA coalition simply
>have the effect of dragging SWP to the right and to be little more than
>radical trade unionists.
>
>If you are in the north of Ireland, why don't you get in touch with the
>IRSP and go have a talk to them about what they see as the way forward.
>   Or go have a talk to Bernadette (Devlin) McAliskey about the lessons
>of the past 35 years.  I think she's still in Coalisland.
>
>Philip Ferguson
>
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>------------------------------
>
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>
>
>End of Marxism Digest, Vol 4, Issue 91
>**************************************

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