Left Archive: Objective Idealism is Fascism – A denunciation of Northrop Frye’s “Literary Criticism” – Internationalists (CPI (M-L) precursor) c.1969 July 29, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive, The Internationalists.
To download the above document please click on the following link: INTERNATIONALISTS
This is an unusual document issued by the Internationalists, the precursor group of the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist). In 35 pages it critically examines theories of knowledge and literary theory and literary interpretation. In a preface under the heading ‘Ideological Forum’ it argues that:
There are two most general, wide-spread, and universal lines prevalent in the world about the role of the intellectual in society. one line treats intellectuals as experts in society and bribes them in accordance with their merit. This policy is supported by the imperialists, modern Soviet Revisionists, various liberal bourgeois, and the counter revolutionary Trotskyists. In opposition to this, the second line considers intellectuals as an essential part of society without divorcing them from the masses; they are one with the masses, and are fully integrated with the struggle for production, class struggle and scientific experimentation. Here they are not a privileged class and work wholly for the masses. This line is called mass-line.
The mass-line is followed in the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Albania. The vast masses are conducting the Great Cultural Revolution to make sure that the expert line does not rise again. The mass-line builds initiative of the mass and liberates them from the bureaucracy of the experts; the expert line deprives people of their initiative and puts their destiny in the hands of experts who cannot be held responsible for their crimes against the masses.
The following reference is of interest:
The expert-line, coming from [the Cultural Congress] Havana, the counter-revolutionary line, advocates what in essence is the old, moribund, bankrupt and bourgeois line, and is supported by intellectuals like Noam Chomsky.
The main body of the text is concerned with Professor Northrop Frye, then of the University of Toronto. Frye was a very significant voice in 20th century criticism, and the document is unstinting in its criticism of him:
Professor Northrop Frye … is a well-known reactionary and idealist, the fascist aspect of whose scholarship needs to be laid bare. Who is a fascist intellectual? Fascism springs from a person’s social and intellectual attitudes and it is essential to go into its genesis. When idealists talk of fascism they usually refer to the murderous crusades carried out asa result of social, political or religious dogmas: they picture dismembered bodies and recall all kinds of physical killing and persecution. idealist historians suggests that all fox sudden somebody, some class of people, or some society went berserk and started kiling people. This isa simplistic definition of fascism, a comfortable rationalisation which ignores the reality of the human situation.
Do people become murderers all of a sudden? No. The moment people believe something without undertaking the act-of-finding out they are manifesting a fascist tendency; to accept without questioning the premise involved in a statement, an analysis or a concept is to create the basis of fascism. Cold war slogans operate precisely in this manner. Beliefs devoid of experiential validity and made up of the accumulate prejudices of the society give rise to over fascism. Northrop Frye is a fascist for he bases his literary criticism on the Bible and the Great Chain of Being, on idealist philosophy and clerical obscurantism without undertaking the act-of-finding out.
And the introduction concludes:
To understand the world one must want to change it, not mentally but through mass struggles.
There is considerably more, far too much for a short overview like this, but all told this is an interesting and unusual document.
Left Archive: Voice of Revolution, Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), 1984 April 8, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
To download the above please click on the following link:vor84
This is a personal overview of the following document by Joe, often times commentor on the CLR, for which many thanks.
I was 24 in 1984. I was paid, permanent and pensionable as a library assistant with Dublin Corporation libraries. Me and my three best friends used to drink in town at the weekends. Often in the Palace Bar. My three mates were apolitical, centrist voters. I always made a point of buying the socialist and republican papers which sellers would offer to the Palace drinkers of a Friday or Saturday night.
Around that time there was a campaign called the Campaign against the Criminal Justice Bill. This Bill was giving new powers to the Gardaí to detain suspects for longer without charge and I think also would allow a court to take an inference from the fact that a suspect remained silent or didn’t answer particular questions while in custody. We thought it was a draconian attack on civil liberties. There have been quite a few more criminal justice bills since then. And my attitudes to some of the issues around that have changed too. More of that anon.
The campaign against the bill was led by Joe Costello of the Prisoners Rights Organisation. Costello was a secondary teacher in the North Inner City. He had seen many of his ex-pupils sent to prison and seen the damage prison had done to them. He’d heard their accounts of prison life and had set up the PRO as a campaign for prison reform and prisoners’ rights. And fair play to him. It was an active campaigning group, speaking on behalf of people who had no voice, the kind of people who were “born for the Joy”. Joe Costello is now Labour TD for Dublin Central and I don’t think the PRO still exists. Is there anything on it or by it in the Left Archive? There should be.
So why was I, a middle-class boy, bothered about the Criminal Justice Bill and extra powers for the Gardaí? It could be down to this incident which happened about 10 years earlier. Me and my young teenage friends used to hang around and do random acts of pretty harmless vandalism in our area. Lighting fires in the field, knick knacking on doors, silly stuff. One evening, bored, one of the lads lit a random bit of paper on the street and we all ran. It was the thrill of running, wasn’t it? A feeling that you were being chased (even though we weren’t!), that little butterfly in the tummy. Anyway me and another Joe rounded the corner of our road into a cul de sac just as a random Garda car did the same. We were caught rapid. The two cops got out. The other Joe was with one Guard on one side of the street. I was with another on the other side. He asked me my name and as I opened my mouth to answer he smacked me hard with his open hand across my face. He then proceeded to ask me something about five times and each time before I could answer I got a very hard smack across the face. I was bawling crying by the end of it. They put us into the car to bring us to the station. At the top of the road, they said something about letting us off this time. And let us out. From that time, through all my teenage years, I hated the Guards with a passion. All coppers were bastards. Hitting me was bad enough but they had shown me up in front of my friend – I’d cried like a little baby.
So if that could happen to middle class Joe in about 1974, what was happening to inner city and suburban kids from the wrong side of the tracks? Fr Peter McVerry was good on this on the telly several years ago. He said that Garda brutality was a fact of life for working class kids in the usual areas. If they were picked up for minor crimes, they could expect a hammering. And many of them would end up in the jails which the PRO wanted reformed. They’d end up as prisoners getting abused inside by the prison system as opposed to getting abused outside by the “justice system”. And they’d probably hate the cops a lot more than I ever did. And many of them would be broken by this treatment and end up as fodder for heroin dealers or end up homeless or suicidal or dead.
So that’s why I opposed the Criminal Justice Bill and bought a badge which said Stop the Criminal Justice Bill and marched against it. And I bought the Voice of Revolution one evening in the Palace, opened it up, and there I was, tall and proud, walking on a demo in front of the banner of the CPI (ML). Yep, that’s me the tall handsome chap with the beard and glasses (Gerry Adams anyone? John Lennon?). So I kept that copy along with other bits in a drawer at home. I found it the other day along with this letter which I had drafted to send to the papers at the time. (There had been a lot of coverage around that time in Magill magazine, if I recall correctly, of instances of alleged Garda brutality, corruption and so on.) I never sent the letter but I think it deserves to be published now!
Over the last year I have joined with hundreds of others in marching and campaigning against the Criminal Justice Bill. We failed in our objective. The Criminal Justice Act is now law.
However, in the light of recent revelations about the behaviour of Gardaí of all ranks – Shercock, Kerry babies, the fingerprint case – it is clear that the need to campaign for civil liberties is as strong as ever. Indeed when the three cases above are looked at together with other past Garda misdemeanours – the cases of Nicky Kelly, Christy Lynch, Eamon Byrne, to name but three – it must be clear to all that the Gardaí are far from perfect.
May I suggest a new campaign with a new objective?
Disband the Gardaí! Now!
Is mise etc
Left Archive: Marxist-Leninist Weekly, Organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), November 1989 January 7, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive, Uncategorized.
To download the above file please click on the following link: CPML 89
This edition of the CPI (M-L) publication, Marxist-Leninist Weekly, is perhaps most notable for the date of publication, and for the lead article on page one which has the headline ‘Groundless euphoria over breaching of Berlin Wall’. The article continues:
Last week the mass media had a field day with the scenes at the Berlin Wall which ensued from the decision of the East German Government to end restrictions on travel by their populations.
And the article takes a bleak view of what it regards as two capitalist systems, one in the West and the other in the USSR vying for hegemony. It asserts:
Gorbachev’s policy of ‘glasnost’, openness or ‘democracy, is simply a demagogic enticement to the Soviet working class to accept still greater exploitation to overcome the economic and political crisis of revisionism in their bloc by the open restoration of capitalism (known as perestroika), so that the new Soviet bourgeoisie can the more efficiently finance the sinews of capitalist competition in the world market and also the sinews of war. The events in the Soviet bloc, each more rapidly following the other, do not auger a reduction in international tension and the danger of inter-imperialist war.
(Next week, an article to explain further how the so-called ‘contention between democracy and communism’ cannot be the basis of the treat of world war since these are not opposites in the first place).
Other articles deal with a broad range of issues including the British Government maintaining the Prevention of Terrorism Act powers of detention for 7 days, a subventions cut for places in old people’s homes, the Brazilian election campaign and El Salvador.
As interesting are the advertisements for Progressive Books, the CPI (M-L) bookshop on Essex Quay in Dublin, and for Public Meetings on the Anniversary of National Liberation of Albania in Cork and Dublin.
It is worth noting that the CPI (M-L) managed to put out this publication on a weekly basis for many years.
Left Archive: Special Election Bulletin, Trinity College Dublin: Democratic Student Front [CPI M-L] 1973 October 24, 2011Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive, The Internationalists.
To download the above please click on the following link: CPIMLTCD70s2
Many thanks to Tommy Graham for donating this to the Archive.
This document is a little unusual in respect to much of the Archive, being an election bulletin issued by the Democratic Student Front [established by the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist)] for elections to the Student Representative Council in Trinity College Dublin. The DSF was founded in April 1973 in order to contest those elections.
As it notes:
‘Everyone at the meeting was serious and optimistic about his new development in the progressive struggles of Trinity Students’.
This document presents the Draft Programme of the DSF which as the headline notes ‘Develops the Experience of The Internationalists’ Student Manifesto of 1968′. The use of language is particularly interesting. It argues the introduction that ‘Every clique in power in the SRC, from the Matthewsclique in 1968 which shamelessly collaborated and prostrated itself in front of the authorities and gave theme very encouragement in their plans to mislead and deceive the students, to the present pseudo-progressive Giles-Stephenson clique who have done the same’.
As regards the Draft Programme, this starts with the statement that:|
1. Trinity College is an anti-student, anti-people institution, and always has been.
Through its entire 382 year history, the Trinity College Authorities have done everything to support, first British colonialism, and now neocolonialism, backed mainly by British and US imperialism, nurture fascism and racism, and oppose the just struggles of the people of IReland and the world for emancipation from these evils. It trains the students to be small and big time lackey’s of imperialism. It has consistently developed the university as a breeding ground for colonialist and neocolonialist theories and has become renowned in the world for training colonial and neocolonial agents to execute these policies on behalf of British and US imperialism. It also encourages the use of the college as a platform for all pro-imperialist ideologues and politicians. It enthusiastically promotes and encourages all the research and scientific ‘development’ which can be used against the world’s people, and suppresses all the academic work which can serve the people.
Later it argues that:
All the 31 sets of SRC leaders have lauded it over the masses of the students and refused to be accountable for their actions to anyone. They have treated the organization as their own private property, and refused to admit that the masses of students have any role to play.
The following is of interest too:
16. The DSF candidates will put an immediate end to all corruption, graft, bribery, privileges, nepotism and free under-the-table handouts in the SRC and SRC-supported activities. The DSF candidates will put an immediate end to all squandering of student money through carelessness, laziness, indifference, opportunism and adventurism. The DSF candidates will resolutely oppose, and mobilize, the students against, any attempts by careerists, opportunists and budding bureaucrats to use the SRC to lord it over the masses of students, build their careers, or make personal gains.
19. The DSF candidates will abolish all arbitrary rules and regulations in the SRC affairs, they will guarantee all students (who are not openly racist, fascist or imperialist) equal access to all their facilities (duplicating etc.).
All in all it’s a polemical, well produced, document that clearly carries its message and perhaps illustrates how the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) was able to maintain a continuing presence in Trinity subsequently and is a useful addition to the Left Archive CPI (M-L) materials.
Left Archive: Marxist-Leninist Journal – Organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), December 1988. April 18, 2011Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
To download the file please click on the following link: CPIMLMAGGO
Many thanks to Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland, for making this document available to the Archive.
This document, issued by the Central Committee of the CPI (M-L) in December 1988 is a good overview of where that party stood in the late 1980s.
It has a range of articles, from a consideration of the Anglo-Irish Agreement three years on, an analysis of Perestroika, subheaded ‘a programme and strategy for strengthening Soviet social-imperialism and a piece on Socialist Albania entitled ‘Socialism the most advanced social order’.
The introduction is clear that the publication is intended ‘to explain its political line and its analysis of national and world issues in greater detail’.
At this stage the working class and revolutionary movement in Ireland need not only the frequency of at least a weekly paper covering current events, but also more substantial treatment of the critical questions facing the movement and the people in Ireland and the world today. This is the task which the Marxist-Leninist Journal is to undertake.
Finally, the Marxist Leninist Journal is a fighting and partisan weapon of the working class and the Irish people, not a liberal forum for debate. This does not mean wwe are not concerned with the truth or refuse to discuss issues seriously. Quite the opposite, we are concerned with the truth, but we know that the truth lies stands on the side of progress and the force of progress lies precisely with the working class, with the cause of the people.
One feature of the document, typical of many CPI (M-L) publications is the lack of reference to any party members by name. For example, in the course of a four page article on the party’s activities in 1988 – entitled ’1988 – A Year of Advance For the Party of the Irish Working Class’ there is no mention of a single party member. This leads to a degree of detachment, even anonymity, to the text.
Consider the following:
Thus it was with the lessons of 1968 in mind that the CPI(M-L) framed its programmes of activities this year, with the priorities amongst the Party’s all-sided work being devoted to mobilising the generation of today, the youth of today who are the children of those who were the youth of the 1960s. The Party has worked to support with every means possible the task which ‘Voice of the Youth’, the Prepatory Committee, had undertaken at their Conference of December, 1987, to found the Communist Youth Union of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) in December, 1988.
This sense of anonymity is added to by the photographs in the advertisement for the party bookshop, Progressive Books on Essex Quay on the back page, which depict members of the party with their faces scratched out.
On a slight tangent the Archive would be very interested in any Red Patriots from 1978 to 1979. If anyone has copies of same and is willing to allow us to digitize them that would be very welcome. Please contact worldbystorm at the usual email address on the right hand column.
Left Archive: ‘Words’ from the Trinity Internationalists (later the CPI(M-L), c.1967 August 23, 2010Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive, The Internationalists.
To access downloadable PDF please click on the following link: INT’L WORDS
Many thanks to Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland, for making this document available to the Archive.
‘Words’ dates from close to the earliest phase of the Internationalists, the organisation that would subsequently develop into the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist). As noted here…
When The Internationalists were first set up in Trinity College Dublin in November 1965, it was not as a fully-formed Marxist-Leninist party, but ‘as an exercise in better staff-student relations.’
This loose discussion group held meetings with titles such as “Academic Freedom” and “The Function of a University”, and continued until October 1966, when the decision was taken, presumably by Bains and his supporters, to establish a more disciplined organisation which would focus on ‘which theory we are going to follow, which motivation we should have, which class we are going to favour’ (2).
Sometime towards the end of 1966 the group renamed itself the Trinity Internationalists, and began to issue a periodical entitled Words and Comment. There were at least eleven issues produced between 1966 and 1968, and Trinity’s library has at least seven of them for those privileged enough to have access. (3)
It’s a striking document which clearly is positioned within the much less formal context of a staff student discussion vehicle. From the four page essay by Hardial S. Bains on ‘The Phenomena of Time Consciousness’ to the concentration on Vietnam to the ‘Straight Facts: Radio Telefis Eireann’ it is very much of its time, although there is a telling piece on the back page about the slogan ‘Make Love Not War’ which takes that formulation to task. In some respects that and the tone of the Bains article are the only significant hints of the ideological rigour which would later be manifested in the CPI(M-L). Tied into that is a much less rhetorical use of language throughout.
A useful indication of a transitional stage in the political origins of one of our better known further left formations.
Left Archive: Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), Red Patriot, August 1982 including Communiqué of the Central Committee of the CPI (M-L) on the Occasion of the Party’s 12th Anniversary June 21, 2010Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
Many thanks to Tommy Graham, editor of ‘History
Ireland’, for this donation.
This addition to the Archive actually comprises of two documents. The first is a neatly presented and reworked Red Patriot which was restarted after an hiatus of two years or so as the Organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist). The second is a lengthy Communiqué of the Central Committee of the CPI (M-L) on the Occasion of the Party’s 12 Anniversary.
Both provide useful insights into the nature of the CPI (M-L) at this point in time, a period where it had shifted from support for Mao Zedong Thought, which had characterised its position during the 1970s, to support for the Party of Labour of Albania.
Red Patriot contains a varied selection of articles, leading with commemorations of the H-Block hunger strikes, one year on from the deaths of the hunger strikers. The article notes that “No one who fights for Irish freedom can be called a criminal!” and that:
…the immediate cause for which Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty and Thomas McElwee and the other martyrs fought – the prisoners five demands – have still not been fully achieved; the patriotic prisoners of the H-Blocks, as well as Armagh, Crumlin Road, and not forgetting the Irish prisoners subjected to inhuman conditions in jails in Britain : – all these are still fighting in various ways for the recognition of their rights to be treated as political prisoner, out of their just refusal to be treated as criminals.
This strong identification with national struggle continues throughout. A short ‘Report: Recent H-Block Commemoration’ notes:
… the events of this commemoration serve to illustrate the role of the Irish bourgeoisie and the Free State apparatus, gardai etc., as national traitors and native sell-outs to British imperialism.
The Editorial is written beside the slogans ‘Bolshevise the Party! Disseminate the Marxist-Leninist Line! Prepare the Conditions for Revolution!’
It notes the publication of the Communiqué and continues:
The restatement of CPI(ML)’s Marxist Leninist political line and the thorough repudiation and public condemnation of the revisionists, who came up internally to try to destroy our Party over the last three years or so, open up great prospects for CPI (ML) to advance its work and influence over the next period.
It also argues that:
The existence of the genuine Communist Party of the working class, based on Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, is the most crucial subjective factor in developing the conditions for revolution, when it comes, is carried through to a successful conclusion…
Other pieces deal with the struggle in Palestine, health workers in Northern Ireland ‘alongside their class brothers and sister in Britain’ and information on the Second International Sports and Cultural Festival Britain 1982. Included on the list of events are performances of Cornelius Cardew’s Instrumental Compositions and a Memorial Competition for Musical Composition. There is a page devoted to the Centenary of the birth of Georgi Dimitrov. Also included are a number of Albanian centred reports.
This latter feature is part of the shift in the ideological positioning of the CPI(M-L) where, as noted in the Communiqué:
The work of the Party was a great achievement, made in the teeth of complex and adverse conditions — attacks by British imperialism and the Irish bourgeoisie and their state powers, as well as from the social-democrats and the revisionists, not least from Chinese revisionism. It was this last achievement which stood the Party in great stead and ensured that CPI(M-L) has been able to overcome both the adverse effects of Maoism and the concerted attempts by revisionist cliques amongst the former leaders of the CPI(M-L) to subvert and liquidate our Party over the last three years or so, and turn CPI(M-L) into yet another revisionist Party, to wipe out once again the essential Marxist-Leninist headquarters of the Irish working class.
It mentions the repudiation of “Mao Zedong Thought” which it traces back to the historic Report of the Central Committee of the Party of Labour of Albania of Comrade Enver Hoxha to the Seventh Congress of the PLA, in November 1976. It notes that
…our party militantly denounced the Chinese revisionists as a new aggressive social-imperialist power, when China launched its perfidious and hostile attack on the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania and the PLA, by cutting off all internationalist aide and all trade with socialist Albania in July 1978. Our Party denounced the origins of Chinese revisionism in the anti-Marxist theory of “Mao Zedong Thought” in September 1979.
It also refers to internal struggles where ‘former leading cadres of our Party… formed revisionist factions which both colluded and contended with one another, and which attempted to use the opportunity of the repudiation of ‘Mao Zedong Thought’ as a Trojan horse to smuggle revisionism into the heart of the Party, so as to eliminate everything revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist which had been established in CPI(M-L) since its foundation, on the hoax that this was ‘carrying through the repudiation of Maoism and its effects on CPI(M-L).’
In this struggle, the Central Committee has had the particular, important assistance of our fraternal parties, the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) and the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), as well as the profound inspiration of the growing strength and unity of the International Marxist-Leninist Communist Movement and the heroic example of the struggle of the Party of Labour of Albania, headed by Comrade Enver Hoxha, against revisionism — against the Titoites, Kruschevites, Maoists, Eurocommunists etc. which were brilliantly summed up in Comrade Enver Hoxha’s Books — ‘Imperialism and the Revolution’, ‘Reflections on China’, ‘The Kruschevites’ etc.
The account of the struggles within the CPI(M-L) references the British and Irish Communist Organisation, the Socialist Party of Ireland and others. There is particularly interesting reference to:
The promotion of revisionist lines to conciliate and collaborate with the revisionists, social-democrats and opportunists, and in general, with the labour aristocracy controlling the trade unions, under the hoax that this was ‘repudiating the main error of CPI(M-L)’s past under the Maoist influence, ‘left sectarianism’ which became a trend in articles on the workers’ struggles in ‘Red Patriot’ during 1979, in particular for a short time support for the slogan of the labour aristocracy in the campaign against the burden of PAYE income tax, ‘Tax the Greedy, not the Needy’ which had been developed by the revisionist so-called ‘Sinn Féin the Workers’ Party’.
It would be useful to see copies of Red Patriot from that period. Obviously at this remove it is difficult to assess the accuracy of the charges, but what is striking is how the influence of those other formations, and perhaps as importantly the concepts they promoted, impinged, even rhetorically, on the CPI(M-L). This is not to overstate that dynamic or that influence, but simply to note that on the further left it existed to some limited extent both as a pole of attraction and repulsion.
Also outlined are the ‘Basic Principles and Programme of the CPI(M-L).
All in all a useful addition to the Archive which clarifies the self-perception of CPI(M-L) as it entered the 1980s.
The Left Archive: Voice of the Youth – Communist Youth Union of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) – 1988 January 4, 2010Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
Many thanks to PJ – who has been a tireless support to the Archive – for the following to start off 2010…as he notes the pamphlet, a very interesting one…
[is] from the Communist Youth Union of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) published in August 1988. The CYUI(ML) was the youth section of the CPI(ML).
I picked this one up in Cork city during a public distribution of it. I suppose they must have given out a few hundred?
The pamphlet was distributed by the two Cork CPI(ML) regulars who were always active around the city with public meetings, street speaking and taking ‘ML Weekly’ around the pubs. Cork CPI(ML) had their own newsletter (even one in Gaeilge if memory serves me right?).
The Irish Left Archive: “Public Lecture by Comrade Hardial Bains: On the Occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Internationalists in Ireland” – 1990, Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist) March 9, 2009Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
A fascinating document this week from the CPI-ML, and I’m once more indebted to the donor, which contains the text of a lecture given by Hardial Bains on the 25th Anniversary of the Internationalists in Ireland, later known, of course, as the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist). The lecture was given in TCD on December 9th 1990.
It was, and the lecture references this, momentous times that led, to the expression of perhaps uncharacteristically optimistic thoughts by Bains (who in some respects was a Johnny Appleseed of anti-revisionism, for which read an almost unvarnished support for Stalinist nostrums).
In the sphere of the objective condition in 1990, it is positive that the bipolarisation of the world has ended, that is the division between Soviet and American blocs. It is positive that the democratisation of international life has begun, and that military alliances and the arms race are no longer looked at in a positive fashion.
There are grave dangers too, because while the subjective factor at this time is till very undeveloped, the US, Britain and others continue pushing for solutions of problems between states through force. What Saddam Hussein has done can only be condemned, but what the US has done is equally condemnable. The use of the UN Security Council for the ends of the big powers is also condemnable.
Bains considers the world in light of some intriguing analysis…
The 1960′s were a period of relative expansion of capitalism after a brief period of decline. It began in the 1962-66 period and carried on. Its temporary revival made the new affluence of this period possible. This expansion was based on three main factors: first, the Kruschevite betrayal and the consequent opening up of Eastern Europe for investments by various capitalist countries; second the use of consumer credit and of the state as the instrument of creating money by incurring huge fiscal debts; and third, the intensified neo-colonial exploitation of the rest of the world.
Yet, for all that aspects of that are highly questionable (hard to seriously sustain the thesis that Kruschvite ‘betrayal’ led to opening up of Eastern Europe to investment in such a way as to make a profound difference) he makes some insightful points:
The result of this temporary expansion was a general euphoria, a feeling that capitalism had become young again and invincible.
And curiously, through the analysis weighted down as it is with the particular issues that exercised the approach of the Internationalist and CPI (ML) there appears to be some actually quite serious thinking going on.
Although, for those of us who knew the public face of the CPI (ML) what to make of the following?
The same is true for problems of workers and women [as it is of youth], or for the national question in various Western countries as well as the East, the Soviet Union and so on. These questions cannot be solved by merely expounding some correct views. And force can be helped by preaching some principles at it, by insisting from the sidelines that it reject everything which is evil and embrace everything which is good.
The attitude towards the Irish ‘national question’ is also interesting:
When I say we supported their [Irish] struggle, and continue to do so, without any reservation, I draw a contrast with those who gave it “critical support”. To wage an armed struggle is not a simple matter. There are problems which arise and mistakes which are made. But to carry forward this patriotic struggle has great significance. The British have historically divided many countries. Yet, they made a lot of noise for the re-unification of East and West Germany and shed a lot of crocodile tears. But what about Ireland, which is still divided? The Irish people, by carrying on their struggle, are not recognising this division which is being imposed by imperialism… those who criticise the patriotic movement or the armed struggle from various angles are making a very serious mistake. In my opinion, if you want to criticise them, join them. It is by joining them you can correct them, not by sitting on the sidelines.
There is a discursive piece from page 24 onwards that gives a real insight into the character of Bains, not least in the language which in some respects is as much a product of the campuses of the 1960s as of Marxist Leninism.
This text and these files are a resource for use freely by anyone who wants to for whatever purpose – that’s the whole point of the Archive (well that and the discussions). But if you do happen to use them we’d really appreciate if you mentioned that you found them at the Irish Left Online Document Archive…
The Irish Left Archive: Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist) – ‘Worker & Unemployed News’ from November 1987 January 5, 2009Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
This from a contributor to start of the New Year – and many thanks again.
‘Worker & Unemployed News’ from Nov. 7 1987 – 21 years ago nearly to the day. I bought this for 10p outside the dole office in Cork city. The arguments against the National Plan make for interesting reading in the light of what what was actually achieved with the Celtic Tiger.
And look at the activity – Two meetings to denounce Brian Lenihan, two meetings against extradition and an ‘All-Ireland Youth Conference’ by another CPI(ML) group ‘Voice of the Youth’
I couldn’t say it better myself, other than to add that while low level in terms of production values at least it appeared. Much appreciated.