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Left Archive: Socialist Republic (incorporating The Plough), Paper of the Revolutionary Marxist Group No. 1 c.1975 July 16, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Revolutionary Marxist Group.
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To download the above document please click on the following link: SOCREPRMG1

Many thanks to Jim Monaghan for donating this to the Archive.

As noted previously the Revolutionary Marxist Group was a Trotskyist group in Ireland in the 1970s. With members drawn from an array of groups including the League for a Workers Republic and the Young Socialists it coalesced with similarly minded grouping in Belfast in 1972 to form the RMG. As the wiki page notes the RMG ‘rejected the Éire Nua plan’ put forward by PSF at that time. It later became the Movement for a Socialist Republic and later merged with People’s Democracy. And tellingly the title Socialist Republic was later adopted by People’s Democracy in the late 1970s.

This document, issue number 1 of Socialist Republic, paper of the Revolutionary Marxist Group, is a 12 page magazine format production. As noted on the second page

During 1974 we succeeded in stabilising production of THE PLOUGH as a monthly. We improved our coverage of all fields of revolutionary struggle, and in particular our analysis of the strategy of British imperialism and the tasks freaking revolutionaries in Ireland.
Although THE PLOUGH became better known and gained a wider readership, we have for some time felt that the name had little resonance in the working class. Also, the rise in paper and printing costs meant either raising the price or adopting a new format for the paper.

The contents is varied encompassing news on union organisation against redundancies in Limerick, an analysis of Loyalist assassinations in Belfast – which argues that this is a precursor to a loyalist take-over, reflection on the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill in the South and a critical piece on the role of the Catholic Church in Northern Ireland entitled ‘Shepherd versus Flock’.

The centre page article argues that the SDLP has capitulated to Loyalism.

It notes:

The SDLP has accepted that the Northern Ireland Convention will lead to the re-establishment of a loyalist dominated administration in the North. This has forced the party on to a course of intensified capitulation to Loyalism.

The dilemma of the northern catholic middle class is reflected in the strains and tensions within and around the SDLP…
…The crisis facing catholic middle class politicians in the North springs from the strength of Loyalism as expressed both in electoral and mass action forms which have sent the North on to a path to the restoration of the loyalist forces as the policeman for Britain in the six counties.

And it concludes:

The nature of any formations emerging from the middle-class political re-alignment re-emphasise that there can be no alternative to working class leadership to carry forward the struggle against Imperialism and the restoration of loyalist supremacy. This perspectives highlights a number of tasks of rthe revolutionary movement. The strategy of the SDLP must be combatted and the trend towards fragmentation aided. There must be no credibility given to illusions that cooperation with loyalist organisations can in anyway benefit the anti-unionist working class.

Also included on page 8 are a programme of demands. These include:

Self-determination for Ireland
For the abolition of partition.
For the separation of Church and State.
Against all forms of wage restraint.
No unemployment.
No redundancies.
For the Independence of the Trade Union movement.

Notable also is the strong emphasis on rights of access to contraception and publicity for ‘ad hoc grouping’ Irish Women United whose charter included ‘women and the law, the right to control one’s own body, the family, women in education, the needs of working women and the idea of special women’s centres’. Part of the ultimate goal of IWU was to build towards a new women’s movement in Ireland. Also worth noting is the article on a meeting in Birmingham where ‘a representative’ of the RMG extended ‘revolutionary greetings…to those fighting for free abortion on demand in Britain’.

Perhaps surprisingly the only reference to the situation outside of Ireland and Britain is a piece on the ‘death of Francoism’.

Other documents in the Archive from the RMG include this and this and we have quite a number of other documents scanned and ready to post up.

Comments»

1. Starkadder - July 17, 2012

The RMG used to carry out several public protests in Ireland
against the Pinochet regime in Chile. Also IIRC, several contributors
to RMG publications used to use pseudonyms (I remember
one called “Uther Pendragon”).

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2. The Weekly Archive Worker: La Révolution prolétarienne « Entdinglichung - July 19, 2012

[…] * Socialist Republic (incorporating The Plough), Paper of the Revolutionary Marxist Group No. 1 c.1975 […]

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3. Starkadder - July 19, 2012

General info for the Irish Left History: in the late 1960s
Phil Meyler (later Phil Mailer, best known for his
book on Portugal) and some associates
published a Situationist -influenced Irish magazine called
“The Gurriers”, which ran into serious
trouble with the Gardai.
I can remember “The Gurriers” getting
mentioned in either the IT or the Irish Press at the time.
The Revolt Against Plenty website has a reproduction
of “The Gurriers” here:

http://www.revoltagainstplenty.com/index.php/archive/34-archivelocal/41-lost-ones-around-king-mob.html

Some quotes:

Irish society is founded on all the failed revolutions of the past. From the first murmurings against the plantations right up to the present the might of tyranny has succeeded against the will of the people; or where the masters were ousted, tyranny merely changed hands. The revolutions of 1798, 1803, 1867, 1916, never succeeded in ridding themselves of the ideologies of nationalism and religion. The critique was always partial, and where this critique dominated the struggle, the struggle itself was falsified. It was never that people taking up arms and attempting to rid themselves of their masters was false; but that the motivations and ideologies which their masters imposed on them falsified the end-product…

When the workers in Cleeve’s factory in Limerick in May 1920 declared a soviet, when the miners in Arigna, Leitrim, followed suite, when the workers in Bruree, Limerick took control of the mills, they had grasped a critique of their own everyday lives that was well in advance of their ‘Leaders’ or their Unions. The result showed their leaders once and for all to be on the side of power.

In its history Ireland has produced an incomparable number of exiles. Oscar Wilde whose ‘Soul of man under Socialism’ went way ahead of anything else in its time in its treatment of the creativity that lies in every man looking for a way of releasing it, gave only a partial critique. He remained committed to the spectator’s art without realising, in his own words, that this remedy was part of the disease. He remained aloof over the spectator. Like Yeats, whose heart, sick with desire, awaited the Second Coming, when ‘things fall apart, the centre cannot hold/mere anarchy is loosed upon the world’. Yet both did little to achieve that poetry in the world of everyday living.

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WorldbyStorm - July 19, 2012

Brilliant information. Did you say you can remember that magazine?

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Mark P - July 19, 2012

I wonder if there are any copies of it in TCD, the National Library, the Linenhall Library etc?

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WorldbyStorm - July 19, 2012

Interesting. Had a quick look at the NL. Nothing on the online database though that’s not necessarily conclusive.

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anarchaeologist - September 5, 2012

I remember looking for this in Trinity a few years ago and coming up with nothing. It’s not on their on -line catalogue.

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4. Starkadder - July 19, 2012

“Brilliant information. Did you say you can remember
that magazine?”

Long before my time, but I remember going through old
newspaper articles about Irish student politics and “Gurriers” was mentioned. Seems to have been completely forgotten about
until the Revolt Against Plenty crown mentioned it
in their website.

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WorldbyStorm - July 19, 2012

I was thinking, I was having to radically revise my sense of your age!

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5. irishelectionliterature - September 5, 2012

A few covers of other copies of “Socialist Republic”
http://ephemerajpp.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/socialista-republic/#

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6. pictures of drugs - September 5, 2012

You are so awesome! I don’t believe I’ve read anything like this before.
So nice to discover another person with a few genuine thoughts on this subject.
Really.. thanks for starting this up. This site is something
that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!

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