[Marxism] reply to Luko

Philip Ferguson philip.ferguson at canterbury.ac.nz
Thu Dec 7 17:50:43 MST 2006

Luko to Danielle:
>The re-unification of Ireland is an important democratic, i.e. 
national, goal, whose achievement is worth fighting for, even if this 
struggle does not grow over right away into a socialist revolution; this

is comparable to the abolishment of the Apartheid-system in South 
Africa, which was a big step forward for humanity, even if it did not 
give way to a proletarian revolution without any delay. 

The problem is that in South Africa *much more* was achievable.

A far-reaching revolution, which involved fundamental socio-economic
change, was a possibility, but it was blocked by the ANC-SACP

What you have outlined here is a stages theory.  The goal is *only* to
get rid of apartheid - socialism postponed to the never-never.

>And I think that those who do not value highly the achievement of 
such democratic tasks will not, I dare to day, never, be able to lead a 
proletarian revolution. 

Not true.  The Russian Revolution, the Cuban Revolution and, to a
certain extent, the Chinese Revolution are examples where the democratic
tasks were not artificially separated out into different historical

What is clear, more likely, is that people who don't understand the
*interconnectedness* of the democratic and socialist tasks will never
lead a revolution but end up as managers of a modernised, reformed

>National unification of Ireland would at least enable the proletariat 
in Ireland to form itself into a party by and for itself, removing 
sectarian barriers which prevent our class from uniting its forces until


The declared goal of the IRA (and SF) was the establishment of a
32-County Socialist Republic.  There was, at least, some formal
understanding that the national and socialist tasks were intertwined.
The Provos used to denounce the stages theory of the Officials and the
Officials used to denounce the "Provo-Trots".

Now the Provo leadership have abandoned their earlier more correct
positions and gone over to reformism pure and simple.

A few Provos occupying cabinet posts in the North and South and some
Provo reps sitting on police boards is a poor substitute for the
national liberation of Ireland.

Given the political trajectory of the Provo leadership the disarming of
the IRA was inevitable.  The only way that it is better the Provos
disarmed is that at least, unlike the Officials, they won't be able to
murder their opponents.  However, the IRA disarming was an act of
surrender.  Not so much military surrender as political surrender.

Just because you can't fight a war any longer or you decide it is not a
good tactic for the foreseeable future doesn't mean you destroy your
weaponry.  The IRA disarming was a sign that armed struggle is
permanently off the agenda.  Of course, people who permanently put armed
struggle off the agenda are not likely to lead a revolution either.


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