[Marxism] Three Theories about the Class Nature of Sinn Fein!

Tony Lawless lifesunquietdream at msn.com
Sat Dec 24 16:46:23 MST 2005

The three-paragraph response by Danielle Ni Dhighe to my question about a 
workable left alternative to Sinn Fein (a question that remains unanswered 
since Danielle doesn't have a "magic wand" -- does Marxist analysis now 
require one?) contains three different theories of the class nature of Sinn 
Fein! The first is that Sinn Fein is (implicitly) a bourgeois party similar 
to the Democrats and the Republicans in the US. The second is that Sinn Fein 
"increasingly represents the class interests of the petty bourgeoisie". The 
third is that Sinn Fein "has the support of a large number of working class 
nationalists". Three theories! In three paragraphs!

No wonder no one on the list can outline for me a clear workable strategy 
that can galvanize a mass base to the left of Sinn Fein.


Danielle wrote:

"I reject the argument that since SF has the support of a large number of 
working class nationalists, we must support them.  In the US, the 
Republicans and the Democrats also have the support of a large number of 
workers, yet no one here would seriously suggest we promote those parties as 
the vanguard of anti-imperialist struggle.

A genuinely Marxist alternative would be based around organising, agitating, 
and educating; in short, class struggle.  SF's electoralism achieves nothing 
but disempowering the working class.  Instead of organising to fight for 
their own class interests, they'retold they must vote for candidates of a 
party that is increasingly representing the class interests of the 

It's certainly true that the republican struggle in the North has been 
rooted in working class nationalist areas.  It's also certainly true that 
most of the leadership of SF come from working class
backgrounds.  All of that is irrelevant if the struggle has been channeled 
into strengthening capitalism and imperialism in Ireland."

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