[Marxism] Ireland and Marxmail

Philip Ferguson philip.ferguson at canterbury.ac.nz
Wed Dec 13 14:33:26 MST 2006

George wrote:
>Read the Irish Democrat to keep up with the pace
Desmond Greaves advised the Provo's not to launch their armed campaign,
they could never win against the Britsh army and NATO. 40 years on they
his  advice


The people around the 'Irish Democrat' were partly responsible for the
near-demise of republicanism in the late 1960s!  

Their strategy was hopeless.

Greaves wrote a good bio of Connolly and a good bio of Mellows, but he
was a disaster when it came to practical politics.  He and the 'Irish
Democrat' people actually believed you could have a peaceful civil
rights movement in the north that would not be met with an armed
response from loyalists and the state.

The reason the Provos became the big force was because they were right
on two things: the need for armed defence in the concrete context of
1969-70 and the centrality of the national question.

In tactical stuff the Provos and People's Democracy were much better
than Greaves.  Greaves and co. would have had the civil rights movement
suspended at the end of 1969, but PD understood the need to keep going
and to break NICRA's truce with O'Neill.

Of course, a militaristic armed struggle would never succeed against the
British Army.  But a revolutionary political struggle, with an armed
component, could.


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