[Marxism] Sinn Fein's Capitulation

Jscotlive at aol.com Jscotlive at aol.com
Mon Feb 5 03:29:27 MST 2007

With their recent decision to endorse and support the  colonial police in the 
occupied Six Counties of Ireland, Sinn Fein have  announced their de facto 
surrender to the British state in return for a piece of  the same neoliberal pie 
which has already condemned workers in the Irish  Republic to deepening 
social and economic injustice.  The Blair government, surely the most  corrupt, 
venal and immoral British government in a long line of such  governments, has 
succeeded in defeating the Provisional IRA through a steady and  sustained 
process of detaching the head which is the leadership from the body  comprising the 
hundreds of volunteers who sacrificed life and liberty for the  legitimate 
cause of a united Ireland. Seduced by the elevated status accorded  them by the 
oppressors of their people, by the proximity to power and influence,  they have 
by turns beguiled, bullied and intimidated their community into either  
supporting the abandonment of the struggle, or remaining quiescent as that  
abandonment took place. 
At a  time when the world is on fire, when resistance to that juggernaut of 
death and  destruction otherwise known as US-led imperialism and neoliberalism 
in the  Middle East has never been fiercer, when a second front against that 
same  juggernaut continues to grow in Latin America, Sinn Fein’s removal from 
the  stage as a European outpost of the global anti-imperialist struggle takes 
on  added and even more bitter significance.  
Malcolm X once said: “Revolutions are never based on begging a corrupt  
society or a corrupt system to accept us into  it.” 
Yet  this is precisely what Sinn Fein began doing when they signed up to the 
GFA,  entering a political cul de sac which, in their latest decision to 
support the  PSNI, has brought an end to the rising in this current generation 
against the  colonial occupation of six counties of Ireland by a foreign power.   
There  is a school of thought, prevalent among sections of the UK Left, which 
continues  to maintain that the British government is eager to withdraw from  
Ireland at the earliest conceivable  opportunity, due, they maintain, to it 
being an economic and military drain. It  is a dangerous school of thought, one 
which has led to a lack of engagement in  the Irish struggle on the part of 
the Left, testament to an astounding lack of  understanding of the role of any 
ruling  class. 
Britain’s role as a junior partner to US imperialism means that the  break-up 
of the British state would have consequences on a global scale,  delivering 
both a material and psychological blow to Washington in its ongoing  project to 
secure US global economic hegemony whether through US control of  
international institutions like the IMF, WTO and World Bank, or through overt  military 
operations such as is currently taking place in the Middle East. By  retaining 
possession of the Six Counties, the British ruling class maintain  their place 
at the table as a junior partner, thus gaining the crumbs from that  table in 
the form of access to raw materials, markets, and status (and status  should 
never be underestimated in its importance to a class consumed with being  
lauded and respected on an individual and collective  basis). 
Britain’s is nothing more than a US policeman on the beat in the North  
Atlantic, a bastion of free market fundamentalism and a Hessian state charged  with 
looking after US strategic and military interests in this part of the  globe. 
It is the same role played by Israel in the Middle East, South Korea in 
Southeast Asia and  Colombia in Latin America. It is much too important a role in 
the eyes  of both the British and US imperialist class to be risked or 
compromised in any  way, which explains the efforts of ex-US president, Bill Clinton, 
in the  appointment of US special envoys to Northern Ireland under both the 
Clinton and  Bush administrations in order to push the ‘peace’ process through 
to its logical  conclusion – namely the complete defeat of mainstream 
republicanism both  militarily and politically.  
Without recourse to military action, Sinn Fein will never be more than  
another tepid, social democratic formation occupying the centre left of the  
political landscape, formations the like of which have spread throughout Western  
Europe in line with the prerogatives of the so-called Washington consensus. New  
Labour has set the standard for those formations and the existing leadership 
of  Sinn Fein are set on reaching it, allowing the rise of a Catholic middle 
class  without effecting any qualitative change in social relations – in so 
doing  following the template of South Africa under the ANC, another 
ex-revolutionary  organisation which has embraced neoliberalism at the expense of its  
Go into  Belfast city  centre today and you will see a city seemingly reborn. 
The abundance of cafes,  restaurants, bars and upmarket shops speak of a 
burgeoning economy in which  everybody wins. But scratch the surface and you come 
to the reality in the shape  of spiralling debt on the back of easily 
available consumer credit, rising  crime, drug abuse, and the individuation of working 
class communities on both  sides of the sectarian divide. For in any society 
predicated on the separation  of winners and losers, it is the working class 
that loses, if not in the short  term then most assuredly in the long term. 
Bobby Sands famously once wrote that “our revenge will be the laughter of  
our children” 
Sadly, that laughter will have to be put on hold for another generation.  For 
the present generation of Irish children theirs will be a future of  
exploitation, inequality, indignity and alienation at the hands of an occupying  
power, aided and abetted by former revolutionaries who’ve willingly offered  their 
people up for sale to multinational corporations in return for status,  power 
and individual gain.  
Ultimately, the existing SF leadership’s short term reward for sending  their 
organisation into the night as a national liberation movement has  guaranteed 
in the long term their calumny in the court of history, a court in  which the 
intellectual gymnastics employed by Adams, McGuinness, et al. in order  to 
justify such an egregious act are  inadmissible. 

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