[Marxism] Replying to Phil
donaloc at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 29 05:45:10 MST 2004
>Your leadership is in a coalition government with the loyalists,
administering neo-colonial rule for British imperialism in Ireland and
you claim this in no way contradicts Connolly.
Again, as I said, you are in a timewarp. SF aren't in Govt at all. Moreover,
there's no hope of any analysis of why we're not. You seem totally incapable
of dialectical analysis.
>Connolly was *totally opposed* to the Irish bourgeoisie and never
entered any political alliances with them. He advocated independent
working class politics, as *opposed to* pan-nationalism.
Indeed he was totally opposed to the Irish bourgeoisie - so is SF. SF, btw,
is an indept party composed generally of the working class and small farmer
types who have taken the war to the Brits over their continued occupation of
our country. A little bit better than your own self-styled revolution group
>Your 'strategy' is pan-nationalism. Indeed it even involves working
with the loyalists and British imperialism.
SF's strategy is about building coalitions - shifting and changing with
time. It doesn't need to cut off any avenue for struggle. When you're in a
position like the Republican Movement - and just look across the globe on
this - you don't want to paint yourself into a corner. SF will meet the
Tories of Britain or Bush himself - if it serves our agenda of countering
their attempts to isolate us. That doesn't mean that we've adopted some of
their thinking or approach. That's just tactical engagement. You're getting
all worked up about words. If we meet FF (which is a party led by bourgeois
nationalists - and composed of petit-bourgeois and supported by the working
class) - then that's just meeting them. We don't somehow sign up to their
politics. Pan-Nationalism in my mind is the concept of building a coalition
in support of national-liberation objectives. Of course, that means taking
on board bourgeois nationalists but of course that doesn't mean that we
compromise on the rest of our programme. The thing is whether they're
signing up to support our initiatives or whether we're limiting ourselves to
theirs. The lesson of the last 3 years is that building such an alliance has
actually served to reduce support for the bourgeois nationalists and
increased that for our radical nationalism. This has meant that the
pan-Nationalist 'front' has collapsed with FF and the SDLP playing politics
ahead of our greater national good.
We're more than happy to engage with others - so long as it doesn't
prejudice our nations future independence (in the big sense). But the logic
of the process is that SF should be central to a future United Ireland. Our
political opponents will then be forced to choose between neocolonialism and
allying with the Brits and their supporters here - or behind our banner for
equality and justice.
>The naive assumption here is that you can "work with" the national
bourgeoisie. Connolly was under no such illusion.
Not whether you can work with them but whether you can use them. Big
>Connolly and Pearse and their comrades fought and died not only to
overthrow British rule in Ireland but to break the Irish Nationalist
Party. They didn't form an alliance with Redmond, let alone go into
government with loyalist Carson, they attacked them full-on.
So, you're suggesting that Republicans go out and barracade ourselves in
Belfast City Hall - otherwise, we're not 'Connollyist'? That's pretty much
as dishonest as what you're saying about the Republican movement. Its not in
any alliance with anybody right now - I don't see how you could say they
are. It's engaged in building different types of coalition for different
purposes - of course, right now no such coalition is possible - as they
can't accept SF in on the principle of equality. Instead, the movement is
building political strength at all levels of this society. Pretty soon, they
won't be able to ignore or exclude SF. It was 15,000 votes away from being
the biggest party in the Six Counties. It's now the third largest party in
Ireland and is growing at the fastest rate. SF is its own bosses. The party
will compromise its objectives for no-one.
>These 'left-wing' policies have you helping administer partition. Very
Partition is here whether or not we're engaged in a political process. At
some stage, most political activists come up against reality. Perhaps not in
your mind though. Besides, our policies were sufficiently radical that they
forced the unionists to bring the Brits in to collapse the institutions. The
main thing is to understand that the Six Counties cannot withstand equality.
It just cannot. There is no hope of any future dispensation living if their
was true equality. That means, and to gain the widest level of political
support, all we have to do is fight for equality. That will be sufficient to
bring the state tumbling down. That's why they had to bring down the elected
assembly and removed 211,000 people from the electoral register. It's also
why these measures didn't stop our growth.
The other thing people have to realise is that it is very difficult to make
the transition from a guerrilla movement to a revolutionary one advancing
through politics alone. That requires a huge level of political development.
Just look elsewhere - it's not an easy process. I think it is very much to
the credit of the Irish RM that it has embarked on that in such an open and
self-critical manner. Republicans are big enough to say we've made mistakes.
That's no guarantee for the future but it's the best start we can have.
>Capturing the hearts and minds of the population is done in *opposition*
to the national bourgeoisie, not along the lines of pan-nationalism.
Pan-Nationalism doesn't pre-suppose anything about our criticism of the
position of those with whom we are aligning. To use the example of Connolly
- he had serious criticisms of the IRB/SF in the early 1910s (and before).
They were seriously wrong - they even called for Ireland to have colonies.
But that didn't stop him from joining the Irish volunteers and the IRB in
fighting the Brits when it suited him.
>Connolly understood how to do this. It wasn't along the pan-nationalist
road, which he totally opposed, as did Larkin, as did Pearse.
I don't get where you are finding this. Just because Connolly totally hated
the Redmondites - it didn't mean he didn't have problems with the
bourgeois-nationalist Sinn Fein of the day. It didn't stop him physically
fighting alongside these guys (many of whom would later lead a bourgeois
>The IRB alliance was a perfectly sound one as the IRB was a
revolutionary nationalist organisation.
And were they not gathered around the achievement of bourgeois-nationalist
objectives? People like deValera and Collins? The question for you to answer
is their class composition. The bulk of people fighting in 1916 were working
class - mostly from the ICA. The IRB were often petty-bourgeois intellectual
types or else rural contingents. It was a broad alliance of types - there
were clearly bourgeois nationalists in there (the IRB and SF could probably
be termed revolutionary bourgeois nationalist).
>Entirely different from Fine
Gael and Fianna Fail. Show me where Connolly tried to unite with the
antional bourgeoisie, show me where he collaborated with loyalists in
administering partition, show me where he did deals with British
imperialism and helped run neo-colonialism for them.
Of course, there was no partition at the time of Connolly so that wasn't
appropriate. Neither was there any neocolonialism only British Colonialism.
Fine Gael and Fianna Fail were composed of those people who fought alongside
Connolly in 1916. Their sons (and daughters) and grandsons (and
grand-daughters) lead those two parties until today. Have their genetics
somehow changed? No. Their politics have, but something remains.
They still proclaim to believe in Irish freedom - so let's see just what
that means. Today, we've played this contradiction to antagonism - Bertie
Aherne is merely repeating what Paisley said yesterday. They have jumped
into bed with reactionary Loyalism and Unionism. We had to go into coalition
with them to expose them. Again, you appear to have no inkling of the
dialectics of struggle. Just remember what Castro and the July 26th movement
did - it had bourgeois nationalists in charge of key ministries for a while
- but that was part of a process of transition. The same here. We obviously
don't control the state but the nature of the state itself is under
>More nonsensical abuse. Your attempt to make out that the
pan-nationalism you are mixed up in has anything to do with Connolly's
strategy in 1916 merely shows how little you and the SF leadership have
in common with that strategy.
Perhaps your failure to see the realities of the situation stems from your
own sectarian blindness.
>Connolly united with fellow revolutionaries against imperialism and the
Just how 1916 could be thought of as an explicit rising against the national
bourgeoisie is beyond me. It was a proclamation of independence against
British colonialism. Just re-read it.
>You want to unite with the national bourgeoisie,
with the loyalists and you are helping run the six counties for the
Brits. What is not clear is who you are now fighting against - other
than against the Irish working class, that is.
SF is not helping run anything - the Assembly is in cold-storage for the
foreseeable future. Perhaps Paisley's DUP will change their tack but I
personally don't think that they will. They're talking British Direct-rule
until 2006 at the least. As for uniting with the 'national' (i.e. twenty-six
county) bourgeoisie - I don't think that you probably understand the level
of stuff thrown at the party by that bunch in the last 2 months. SF is
threatening their vote and they know it. You might just remember what a
local election might be like in the 26Cs - well its getting tough out there.
Some unity?? SF is building its own strength behind its independent banner.
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