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Irish Left Archive: Unity and Freedom to the Irish People! Against the Fascist Divide and Rule Anglo-Irish Agreement – Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), September 1986 May 2, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. CPI ML ANGLO IRISH

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

This document adds to the collection of materials engaging with the Anglo-Irish Agreement in the Archive. At 132 pages it is remarkably comprehensive. The contents are divided into four sections. Part One considers ‘Fascist terror in north to conjure up bogey of ‘civil war’. Part Two engages with ‘The Promotion of the illusions and the taboos of bourgeois ‘democracy’. Part Three is ‘The Anglo-Irish Agreement – its ‘Irish dimension’ and its ‘International dimension’. Part Four is ‘the Necessity facing our generation – revolution’.

The Introduction gives a good sense of the overall approach of the document. It argues that the publication…

…is being released… to expose the savage and all-sided ideological, political and military offensive being waged against the Irish people by the foreign aggressor, British imperialism, under the current Anglo-Irish Agreement. This is a criminal attempt to snuff out our rights as a nation to national independence and re-unification by crushing the ongoing heroic patriotic resurgence against the illegal British colonial occupation of the northern 6 counties of Ireland.

It suggests:

This offensive of British imperialism is being waged with the active connivance of the national traitors of the Irish monopoly bourgeoisie, and with the sinister backing of US imperialism, one of the two superpowers, and the EEC powers, members of the warmongering US-led NATO bloc (and partners in crime of our national enemy, British imperialism) in contention with the Warsaw Pact bloc led by the other superpower warmonger, Soviet social imperialism.

It argues that:

The exposure of this sinister conspiracy against the Irish nation, posed by the Anglo-Irish Agreement, is an integral part of the work of the proletarian Party to politically organise the working class and unite and mobilise the masses of the people of Ireland for the revolution, which is the necessity facing our generation, the necessity which we face as Irish people to achieve our nation’s ancient and just cause of national freedom and the necessity which we face in common with the working class and all the nations and people of the world to avert world war by making our contribution to the overthrow of the system of world imperialism, headed towny by the two superpowers, US imperialism and Soviet social imperialism which is the only basis for such wars.

The conclusion is that:

The necessity facing our generation is to bring to fruition the centuries of struggle and the sacrifices of generation of the Irish people, in particular the heroic sacrifices and struggles of the people of the north over the last 18 years, in the final conflict – the insurrection of the entire Irish nation for the complete military defeat and wholesale expulsion of the foreign aggressor, British imperialism, from the northern 6 counties and from Ireland as a whole, achieving national liberation and establish the new Ireland, the IRISH REPUBLIC, in which the masses of the Irish people hold state power as laid down in the solemn and binding declaration, the historic PROCLAMATION OF 1916 OF POBLACHT NA H EIREANN, and thereby for the first time are in a position to decide their own destiny, including the form of their society and government, freed of foreign interference and its internal agencies of native betrayal.

Comments»

1. Claire Marie O'Brien - May 2, 2016

Fascism is a word that must be used very specifically. It loses its meaning when thrown about to refer to all oppression. As a revolutionary and an internationalist, I feel manipulated when the gross evils of capitalism’s excesses are let off the hook under the umbrella of fascism.

Claire O’Brien
Irish-American

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Gerryboy - May 2, 2016

+ 1 The Maoists in Trinity College during the late 1960s (calling themselves the Internationalists) tended to call anybody who disagreed with their ideological position fascists. A milder rebuke was to be described as petty bourgeois. That’s what they called the poetry of Brendan Kennelly, who took the trouble during a period of agitation to chat civilly to them in an attempt to understand where they were coming from. The CPI-Marxist Leninist was a later spinoff from the Internationalists, after they had left Trinity and gone among the masses in Limerick, Cork and Belfast in order to “learn from the people”, as the red guards were supposed to be doing during the Chinese cultural revolution. Some of them learnt that the plain people of Ireland didn’t warm to English public school accents.

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Dr. X - May 2, 2016

” in an attempt to understand where they were coming from”

Mars, I believe.

Nowadays, the sort of social type who would have been a Public School Maoist in the old days is more likely to be a “libertarian”, or into bitcoin or similar eejitry. Or such is my impression, at least.

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Gewerkschaftler - May 2, 2016

You’re absolutely right there, Claire.

Calling someone a ‘fascist’ really doesn’t get one very far.

And it needs to be recognised that there have been different forms of fascism, if you’re interested in fighting the various strains. The Blue Shirts were different from the Italian Fascists who were again significantly different from the German Nazis.

Nice to have someone from the anarchist tradition commenting, also.

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Claire Marie O'Brien - May 2, 2016

Thanks. Here in the US, everyone’s a”fascist” these days, which is quite chilling when one considers the political opportunity this creates for real fascists.
Do you consider the far right French nationalists to be fascists? I tend to, but am not certain.
They have maintained a historical presence strong enough to make significant moves every time the political climate provides the opportunity.
Nice to hear from you.

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Gewerkschaftler - May 2, 2016

The Front National – do you mean? They are certainly fairly well down the road from far-right ultra-nationalism towards displaying many of the traits of fascists movements.

IMO they are the most dangerous of the Western European far right parties because they are relatively adaptable and best able to occupy political territory that should be occupied by the left – or least have become so under Marine Le Pen.

However the far right achieves power without being part of a government in Europe by setting the agenda, and framing the portrayal of the current crisis of legitimacy of European governments as one of immigration and cultural swamping by ‘the others’ – usually Muslims these days.

In Germany we have seen many attempts by mainstream technocratic ‘facade-democracy’ parties to appease / attract far right voters by adopting their policies. Here in Germany the soi-disant Social Democrats are planning to out-Cameron Cameron by refusing social security to EU immigrants without a job for a period of five years after arrival.

This appeasement, far from reducing the popularity of the far-right, increases it. Why? Because people see parties like the AfD and Front National as being effective in achieving policy change by governments of the ‘extreme middle’. An effective party / movement is an attractive one.

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CL - May 2, 2016

And in the U.S. the Republican ‘establishment’,-at least a portion of it.-is moving towards acceptance of Trump.

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Gewerkschaftler - May 2, 2016

While we’re on the topic of fascists – both the AfD and Front National are flanked on the front by real fascists, many of whom flow in and out of the far-right parties ranks.

One of the elements of fascism is the cult of action and violence against the outsiders and the left.

Here in Germany we are experiencing a wave of burnings of refugee accommodation along with attacks on politicians and offices of the left.

The state-for-capitalism still devotes more resources to watching disrupting the peaceful left than it does to investigating and preventing these attacks.

I’m sure you can work out why!

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Claire Marie O'Brien - May 2, 2016

Hmm..I’ve focused so intensely on Central and South America that I’ve neglected my knowledge of contemporary Europe. Events of the last few years have been mind-blowing. I’ve got a lot to learn and I appreciate your input. I have to rush now, but hope its okay if I respond further later.

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2. Claire Marie O'Brien - May 2, 2016

I don’t understand what upper class English Maoists from Trinity College half a century ago have to do with my very general and respectful enough comment. I used “internationalist” with a small i and never knew of a party so named.
Were you disagreeing with me, or just adding to my storehouse of information? (It WAS interesting to know). Either way, I don’t feel that my point was addressed.
P.S. I’m closer to an anarchist than anything else and don’t belong to a party.Also, I’d give my life right now to free Ireland, as described in your conclusion above.

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Gerryboy - May 2, 2016

Just adding to your storehouse of information. The Trinity loonies of 50 years ago described themselves as Internationalists with a capital I. Their verbal and other behaviour gave the word ‘internationalism’ (lower case i) a bad reputation in Trinity and other circles. Their catchall use of ‘fascist’ to dismiss any ideas they disagreed with made a nonsense of political nomenclature. You call yourself an anarchist and an internationalist (with lower case letters) and people will respect you for your ability to argue your causes rationally and to campaign for them with fellow travellers on terms of mutual respect.

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Claire Marie O'Brien - May 2, 2016

I don’t see where we disagree.
Somehow, though, I’m left with two conclusions:
1) My tone was respectful.
2) Yours is not.
Yours in solidarity,
Claire O’Brien

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Liberius - May 2, 2016

Also, I’d give my life right now to free Ireland, as described in your conclusion above.

Can I ask what the point of that bit of superfluous heroism is? Are we to assume you’ll be on the next flight from Texas to Ireland to join the glorious anti-imperialist struggle of RIRA et al.?

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Claire Marie O'Brien - May 2, 2016

No. I became disabled and live on what you call the dole. I have trouble buying enough groceries, never mind a plane ticket to Ireland.
It’s so disrespectful of you to mock what another person says is deeply meaningful to them.
Fuck off, as we say in Texas.

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Liberius - May 2, 2016

It may be deeply meaningful to you to say that in some hypothetical scenario you’re willing to die for Ireland, but do remember that several thousand people were killed during the troubles by people with a similar martyrdom complex to yourself. I suggest you consult CAIN to get a good overview of the deaths, particularly the civilian casualties.

http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/sutton/tables/Status_Summary.html

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Claire Marie O'Brien - May 3, 2016

First you characterized as a hypothetical scenerio the very specific context within which I said I would give my life to free Ireland. I wrote “as described in Conclusion above”, not “as assumed by Liberius re the troubles”
What you term ‘hypothetical’ you have already conflated with the troubles – what’s hypothetical about that? You instantly assigned it an identity.
Yours is a baseless, knee jerk response. What does “die for Ireland ” mean anyway? What’s Ireland? A place, an idea, some rebel songs sung in a South Boston pub?
No, it’s a people, colonized for longer than any other in human history. I wrote that I would give my life to free those people, not throw it away with a pipe bomb at an Orange football match.You DIAGNOSE me with a martyrdom complex shared by people who killed several thousand – all on the basis of a few sentences?

Don’t do it again!

There’s nothing glorious, romantic or suicidal about defining oneself as a revolutionary. It’s not martyrdom to understand that ones life is bound up with a deep responsibility to others.

I would also give my life to help free the one million African-American men held in U.S prisons, and to defend the hundreds of Black youth who are shot down in the street by the state every year.

Wouldn’t you? Why not?

Don’t reply to insult me further. I don’t consider it sport, and shall not reply.

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Jolly Red Giant - May 3, 2016

Claire – welcome on here – and your contributions are valued. You will find that debate on here can be robust and sometimes abrasive. There are times when some contributors do sail a little close to the wind in terms of ‘respect’ but that is usually the result of the history of their political traditions and the political conflict that results.

Some on here would regard your statement that you would ‘give your life’ as a bit flippant and off the cuff and coming from someone that does not understand the reality of Irish history.

For me, your statement lacks clarity – what for example do you mean by ‘freedom’ ? – and who exactly do you want to ‘free’?

Liked by 1 person

Liberius - May 3, 2016

I diagnosed you Claire with a martyrdom complex not only because of your declared, flippantly as JRG notes, desire to die for Ireland but also because you agreed with the sentiments of the CPI-ML conclusion. That conclusion doesn’t even bother to mention the cross-community divide that underpins the situation in the north, giving the false impression that everything would be nice and dandy if the British armed forces were to be removed from the north, something that is completely detached from the reality. The thing is you characterise my response as knee-jerk, but that is exactly what I think you are displaying, knee-jerk ‘anti-imperialism’ that resolutely fails to understand that the kind of violent nationalism aggrandised by the CPI-ML does nothing other than reinforce cross-community divisions rather than alleviate them.

I’m not really sure I can take you seriously on the ‘die for something’ stuff, you don’t have to make hyperbolic statements about dying for things, personally I want to live to see a socialist society around me, of course there might be some sort of circumstance that sees me die for that, but I’m not actively wishing for it; I can’t understand why anyone would.

Just one last thing, you may see yourself as being insulted, but I don’t believe anyone has the right to air pompous declarations of want to ‘die for something’ without being mocked for the outright hyperbole of it. Nobody here needed to know that you’ll ‘die for Ireland’ (hypothetically or not), and nor do they need the pious platitudes you’re using to defend what was a ridiculous sentence that you should have owned up to as ridiculous.

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3. Gerryboy - May 2, 2016

My personal blog posting policy is not to make personal attacks on posters who give their real names. Sorry if my comments gave you an impression that I was belittling you. People visiting CLR from other countries, and from newer generations in Ireland, may be unaware of the context in which documents placed in the Irish Left Archive were originally written and published. My view is that the writings of the Trinity Maoists/Internationalists of 50 years ago are not to be read uncritically. In London last year a Maoist guru who abused some female acolytes in an urban commune over a number of decades since the 1970s was sentenced to jail. I consider Maoism in the Chinese “great proletarian cultural revolution” between 1966 and 1976 to have been a frenzied cult of personality that led to the death of millions and the destruction of China’s educational and economic infrastructure.

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Claire Marie O'Brien - May 3, 2016

It was truly horrifying.The unbearable scope of suffering AND the annihilation of reality.
Do you think Chou en Lai made all the efforts to rein it in that he insisted on in his autobiography?

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4. Claire Marie O'Brien - May 2, 2016

I agree with everything you say. Thanks for explaining.

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Jolly Red Giant - May 3, 2016

The CPI-ML were a bunch of nut jobs that were predominantly made up of middle class snobs who were playing ‘revolutionary’ in their student days and engaging in Hoxha hero-worship. I skirted around the fringes of this very small groups in the early 1980s and they bounce from pillar to post as the whim took them.

Their analysis of the Anglo-Irish Agreement posted above is about as insightful as their analysis of power-sharing after the Sunningdale Agreement – and that analysis led to the CPI-ML openly praising the reactionary, sectarian, loyalist Ulster Workers Council strike in May 1974.

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Claire Marie O'Brien - May 4, 2016

Liberius. I can see now why your response revealed such a disproportionate investment in not just correcting me, but in squelching me – and with a nasty twist.
You had to use language dishonestly in order to do that – to the point where you lied. In fact you distorted my comments to the extent that you impeded my discussions and violated this blog’s carefully written rules re insult and disrespect. It makes a big point of being inclusive, and in fact seems to anticipate obstacles to that goal. I was really interested in getting some feedback on fascism and I’m complaining now to whomever’s monitoring (um, that was the complaint).

I DID NOT DECLARE MY DESIRE TO DIE!
What kind of asshole would say that to a group of strangers from another country on the World Wide Web?
You just make stuff up!
JRG DID NOT note that my comment was flippant. That’s so creepy of you. Rather, after a welcome, he wrote that my contributions were valued and added “some on here would regard (my remark) as flippant and off the cuff coming from someone that has no knowledge of Irish history”

That’s how you educate somebody.

I had JUST clarified my use of “my life”, “:giving my life”, as a way of expressing the way I define my view of myself as a revolutionary. Yes, this IS a struggle I would give my life for – I mentioned another one too. Were you waiting to hear what a situationist is?
Although I may have been careless, it’s a view shared by my former comrades and is familiar to me – I didn’t realize it would be such a problem. But my explanation should have been enough – for now. Others appeared to give me the benefit of the doubt.

But not you. I didn’t know it but you weren’t through with me yet, because (to the extent that I qualified for an opinion) you knew I’m a republican. And you’re not ready to be a socialist:
Just listen to yourself below. You call a short comment of belief “airing pompous declarations of wanting to die”…outright hyperbole…pious platitudes…ridiculous”

You’re making shit up! Your speaking to millions of Irish people who do speak in those terms and trying to isolate and diminish me as a whacko, Nice going, Mr. Socialist.

” I don’t believe anyone has the right to air pompous declarations of wanting to ‘die for something’ without being mocked for the outright hyperbole of it. Nobody here needed to know that you’ll ‘die for Ireland’ (hypothetically or not), and nor do they need the pious platitudes you’re using to defend what was a ridiculous sentence that you should have owned up to as ridiculous.”

Who the fuck are you to call me pompous, pious, and ridiculous, hurling insults at a stranger who wrote a few posts, clearly interested in fascism? That’s practically trolling.
Here’s your real point:
You give me a political lecture re, my idiotic fantasy re how fine and dandy Ireland would be if British troops were sent home – “Completely detached from reality”
It’s the kind of political instruction you’d give a 10-year-old.
Funny how SF and other blogs didnt find me hyperbolic

I have news for you. Irish Americans aren’t all idiots. Okay, a lot of us are. But do you think South Boston and Chicago are on the moon? Our boys went back and forth across the Pond throughout the Troubles. Some of our own are sleeping in Boston Harbor, And no, of course it wasn’t like what you went through.
I also know more Irish history than you think, Not a ton – just a ton more than you think.
You guys are actually the first Irish Protestents I’ve ever talked to…wow, that’s weird. Let’s hope the US doesn’t go nuts and we need a united front.

PS Everyone who taught me something – Thank-you!
I promise to never dominate this space like this again.

Oh – and just to make it clear: I’m not a Maoist! I think they’re nuts. And I’d obey party discipline for about five minutes.

Big Mouth O’Brien

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Liberius - May 4, 2016

I was really interested in getting some feedback on fascism and I’m complaining now to whomever’s monitoring (um, that was the complaint).

I’m happy for WbS to give an opinion on whether there is some sort of contravention of the rules should he wish, however I don’t believe anything I’ve written is outside of the limits I’ve previously encountered.

I had JUST clarified my use of “my life”, “:giving my life”, as a way of expressing the way I define my view of myself as a revolutionary. Yes, this IS a struggle I would give my life for

Isn’t that just engaging in daft semantics? I’m open to another interpretation of ‘give my life’, but I don’t see how that can be defined in a manner other than implying that you’re willing to die. I’m not really even sure how it can define you as a revolutionary either.

Who the fuck are you to call me pompous, pious, and ridiculous, hurling insults at a stranger who wrote a few posts, clearly interested in fascism? That’s practically trolling.

I would argue they are words descriptive of the content of your comments rather than insults, and something far removed from trolling. Indeed the specific sentence in question had nothing to do with fascism.

You guys are actually the first Irish Protestants I’ve ever talked to…wow, that’s weird. Let’s hope the US doesn’t go nuts and we need a united front

I find rather disturbing that you’re making assumptions about people’s religious background based on a complete lack of information. I’d hazard a guess that there is a large cohort of atheists (including myself) and agnostics among CLR’s commenters, and more to the point I doubt there is anyone here likely to base their views on what somebody’s religious background is.

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Claire Marie O'Brien - May 4, 2016

OK, just to make this experience complete, now I’ll pretend that Catholic and Protestant are religious identities in Ireland, not political, and that those centuries of conflict and colonialism were really a religious war. In fact, I’ll even pretend that there’s such a thing as a religious war.
Let’s see. Your delicate atheist sensibilities are “disturbed” by any connection between those “religious” social roles and the overarching dynamic animating Ireland’s political history.

So. I’m an anarchist who checks out Kropotkin’s veracity with the Vatican. Right. Got it.

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Liberius - May 4, 2016

Claire you’re the one assuming people’s identities, whether they are political or religious is irrelevant, many would argue that in Ireland’s case there is a complicated mix of both in that. Assuming that the people you are talking to must be protestants (politically or religiously) without any kind of credible information because they might happen to have a different point-of-view to you is disturbing; not only because it’s inaccurate in my case, but also because it completely ignores that people can and do come to conclusions as to what solutions should be used in certain situations based on various political viewpoints that aren’t contingent on their background.

Can I suggest you take a step back from this and consider what you’ve been writing.

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Michael Carley - May 4, 2016

@Liberius just so. I don’t think anyone on the CLR believes that conflict in Ireland reduces to a simple religious difference, even if religious identity comes into it, but I’ve never seen anyone here raise religion in a sectarian or prejudiced manner and I have never seen anyone make assumptions about someone’s religion, or lack thereof, and certainly not seen anyone make the step from there to assuming they know somebody’s politics.

@Claire you have no good reason for making any assumptions about people’s religion on here, nor for making assumptions about their political views based on their (assumed) religion, nor for doing what you seem to have done, which is assuming people’s religion from what they say about politics.

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Michael Carley - May 4, 2016

You guys are actually the first Irish Protestents I’ve ever talked to

How do you know the religion, or otherwise, of anyone here?

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Claire Marie O'Brien - May 4, 2016

The Virgin Mary appeared to me in a vision and told me.

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WorldbyStorm - May 4, 2016

I think it would be fair to say that religion isn’t a bit element of peoples identity in respect of those who comment or post on here (for the most part). I’d have thought most people would be atheist or agnostic and perhaps most from an RC background? I’m from a mixed background myself (RC, CofI and atheist) and while I find religious endlessly fascinating for a variety of reasons it’s not the main focus of the CLR – though I suppose if I follow splinteredsunrise’s footsteps…

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5. Gerryboy - May 3, 2016

They churned stuff out on a cheap printing press, on cheap paper and with the same dead-as-doornails layout. Did this sort of literature appear in British mainland universities too, during the 1970s and 80s? When the Great Leader Kim Il-sung passed away a few years ago it was reported in the newspapers that a memorial meeting was reverently held in a London suburb, attended by maybe a dozen British devotees of the great man. Did those devotees publish stuff similar to what has been posted here on the Left Archive? The Jehovah’s witnesses seem subtle in comparison.

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6. roddy - May 3, 2016

The “British mainland”?!!!!!!!!!

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Jolly Red Giant - May 3, 2016

Come on roddy, – Gerry thinks that Ballymurphy is part of the deep south in the US.

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Michael Carley - May 3, 2016

If Adams used that kind of language in the southern states, he wouldn’t last long, unless he was hanging around the wrong kind of company.

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CL - May 3, 2016

“The Irish Independent, hopeful that it might yet depict Adams as a Grand Imperial Wizard in the Ku Klux Klan, has been quick out of the traps to label the Adams tweet a racist slur…..
It is anything but. Whatever we might think of Adams, he is not a racist and he did not use the horrible racist term as a device for conveying racist connotations.”
http://thepensivequill.am/2016/05/the-n-word.html

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Michael Carley - May 3, 2016

For someone so astute about his use of language, it was a dreadful slip. I don’t think he’s racist but saying he didn’t think of himself as white was stupid.

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CL - May 4, 2016

-The White House said Monday that President Barack Obama wasn’t offended by comedian Larry Wilmore’s use of a racial slur at Saturday night’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.

Wilmore concluded his remarks noting progress on race and how much it meant to him that a black man was president. He concluded: “Yo Barry, you did it, my [n-word]. You did it.”-
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/05/03/obama-not-offended-by-comics-n-word-bomb-at-correspondents-dinner-white-house-says.html

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CL - May 4, 2016

But white folk, including Gerry Adams, should refrain from using this offensive word.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/02/larry-wilmore-n-word-i-felt-black-pride

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Claire Marie O'Brien - May 4, 2016

Oh, he got around over here. Sometimes he WAS the wrong company.

(Not that we ever met him)

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Gerryboy - May 3, 2016

oops. Technically Northern Ireland is a ‘province’ (as Ulster unionists have persistently called it) of the UK (not nowadays soundly United if voting patterns in Scotland persist). Great Britain consists of three nations, Eng, Scot, Wales. NI and Eire could reunite if the majority of voters in ‘the province’ expressed a wish for such. But an alternative prospect seems to be opening. If the UK votes for Brexit in June, then Scotland will vote for independence within two years and will negotiate to stay in the EU. Sinn Fein and Ulster unionists may then be tempted to negotiate a union with independent Scotland, rather than wait until the cows come home for the reunification of Ireland. Northern Ireland would then become an offshore province of an enlarged Scotland, possibly renaming itself as Atlantic Fife. (Fife & drum bands will warm to it.) AtlanticFifians/Fifites may then logically refer to the highlands and lowlands of Scotland as ‘the mainland’.

Meanwhile, fringe Maoist groups in British and Northern Irish universities will be prompted to publish heaps of literature denouncing moves to form an enlarged independent Scotland as a ‘fascist conspiracy against the workers and peasant farmers’.
Belated happy May Day greetings.

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WorldbyStorm - May 4, 2016

Are there many fringe Maoist groups left? I share your feelings as regards their political approach, the Cultural Revolution was reactionary in the extreme for example, but don’t you think the tide went out for them in a way once it was clear the PRC was engaged on communist party dominance capitalist economic structures.

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Gerryboy - May 4, 2016

I asked if the kind of literature featured in the Left Archive above is still appearing on English (not British mainland, sorry) university campuses. Some lonely surviving cultists are still around and may sell their publications at university gates. Here is a link to a Guardian story following the conviction of Maoist guru Comrade Balakrishnan in a London court last year.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jan/28/aravindan-balakrishnan-supporters-abusive-maoist-cult-leader-speak-out-in-his-favour

The mass murders and near civil war confrontations that prevailed in the PRC during the period 1966-1976 were unknown to Maoists and intellectuals like J P Sartre. The seepage of post-hoc information has undoubtedly sunk the Maoist influence in western Europe. There are supposed to be neo-maoist rebels in hilly parts of India and Nepal, and in Peru during the 1980s the Andean guerillas called Sendero Luminoso claimed to be following Mao’s inspiration. Mao’s thoughts will get recycled anywhere if there are strong willed promoters around. Cult psychology, in politics, religion and self-discovery therapy, is something for students especially to be aware of. Traumatic things have happened to students in Irish and British (?) universities.

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WorldbyStorm - May 4, 2016

Yeah, the Shining Path. Well that didn’t turn out so well. I think there’s very few significant Maoist groups left. One or two parties in Europe that emerged from Maoist roots, is it the Belgian SP that is one?

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Michael Carley - May 4, 2016

The Dutch SP started off Maoist:

The Socialist Party was founded in October 1971 as a Maoist party named the Communist Party of the Netherlands/Marxist–Leninist (KPN/ML). This KPN/ML was formed following a split from the Communist Unity Movement of the Netherlands (Marxist-Leninist).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialist_Party_(Netherlands)

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Michael Carley - May 4, 2016

Aldo Brandirali, the leading thinker of the Italian Maoists (who seem to have been a decent committed bunch by the standards of the Italian far left in the seventies) later became a councillor for Forza Italia …

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WorldbyStorm - May 4, 2016

Sorry, you’re right, the Dutch ones. They wear it lightly these days.

Ouch, that’s a bit of a journey isn’t it, Maoist to FI. Ugh…

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CL - May 4, 2016

“Walking with the Comrades,” Roy’s new book, is a riveting account of the face-off in the forests of central India between the Indian state and the Maoists or Naxalites, a shadowy, revolutionary guerrilla force with tens of thousands of cadres.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/walking-with-the-comrades-by-arundhati-roy/2011/11/07/gIQAIPR2yO_story.html

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7. roddy - May 3, 2016

Aye, Adams the “racist”,the only man from the continent of Europe asked to take part in Mandela’s honour guard and the only TD to stand with the Louth travellers and whose party is the only one on the Island with an African born councillor.

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Jolly Red Giant - May 3, 2016

roddy – can you take a joke or is this now a case of my d*ck is bigger than yours.

Nobody suggested that Adams is a racist – every political party in this country has members that were born in Africa (one of the most prominent members of the Socialist Party in the 1980s was Nimrod Sejake who was one of the defendants in the Treason Trial and shared a cell with Mandela during the trial).

However, SF does contain people who are racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, sexist etc. I know SF members who express all of these views – it is not a surprise given the catch-all nature of a nationalist party like SF.

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fergal - May 3, 2016

jrg- afaik racism etc is not part of sf policy- catch all nationalism or not, don’t all parties have their share of wankers?
I’ve met a good few ‘red fascists’ in my time- it’s my way or the highway types, the party is always right people- sounding like roddy now, that’s a joke roddy!- who keep spouting ideology and are convinced that they know what is best for the working class

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Jolly Red Giant - May 3, 2016

I never claimed it was – I was pointing out that SF can and does tolerate reactionary views across a whole range of issues (often from leading members) because of the political character of that organisation. This was demonstrated a couple of weeks ago when McGuinness claimed that something needed to be done to stop women importing abortion pills into the North that they purchased online (while at the same time Adams spoke out of the other side of SF’s mouth claiming the party wanted the repeal of the 8th).

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WorldbyStorm - May 4, 2016

That’s certainly socially conservative, but I wonder is that quite in the same league as the claims you made re racist/xenophobic/misogynistic/sexist. Because whatever else SF does have strong views pro and contra abortion provision held within its ranks and voted on etc (and in fairness to them it wouldn’t be the only party left of Labour over the years to have people holding such views. Until relatively recently others held enormously dismissive views of such issues). I would be interested in your examples of racist/xenophobic/misogynistic/sexist etc.

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LeftAtTheCross - May 4, 2016

One example, SF town councillor from Kells at the Jim Connell Festival a few years ago made a speech about “looking after our own” and “Irish jobs for Irish passport holders”. Appalling stuff. Needless to say he was challenged strongly from the floor of the meeting.

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WorldbyStorm - May 4, 2016

That must have made for interesting conversations with his(?) colleague from Fingal Cllr Edmond Lukasa.

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yourcousin - May 4, 2016

Would that statement be any worse than Booker T’s “Cast down your bucket” speech?

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Jolly Red Giant - May 4, 2016

There is a very long list of reactionary attitudes expressed by members of SF – and it is an ongoing occurrance.

The first one that pops into my mind is from a constituency director of elections for SF in the most recent election who said during a discussion with me about the ongoing conflict in Nigeria (can’t remember how it came up) “all that blacks are interested in is shooting one another – we should send them all back so they don’t start it here” – or – from a prominet local member of SF that I once thought as a progressive “abortion is an abomination and the only way to stop it is to make sure that women do what they are told”.

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WorldbyStorm - May 4, 2016

It’s tricky. I don’t really know what to do with anecdotes like that. I’m not disputing that they’re possible I just wonder what they reflect and whether it is a majority or a minority or just one or two individuals with such views. I’ve met a lot of SF members over the years and I’d have to say that my experience would be quite the opposite (bar one).

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Jolly Red Giant - May 4, 2016

WbS – yes these are anecdotes – but they are numerous (particularly outside the Pale – and they get worse the further west you go) and have been consistent since the foundation of PSF.

The issue is not the fact that some members would hold these views but the fact that these views are tolerated because they are being expressed by ‘one of us’. The approach of SF is that as long as they are inside the tent and p*ssing out, as long as they are people who will graft at election time etc., then you can say what you want.

The individual who was expressing the views about Nigeria was a member of SF for about 15 years, left when he wasn’t allowed stand in the local elections, had a brief discussion with me about joining the Socialist Party (and I politely told him that his views would not be compatible with SP membership), stood and got elected as an independent, done all kinds of rotten deals with everyone and anyone, lost his seat, did nothing for three or four years, rejoined SF and was director of elections this year. The views he expressed are not a one off – he has consistently expressed these views for decades now – and continues to do so – and it is tolerated to the degree that this individual can be made director of elections.

Not alone are reactionary views tolerated – elements within SF actively encourage both members, and more manipulatively, supporters to abuse, harass and threaten political opponents (particularly those on the left). This is the result of decades of SF operating with (a) the suppression of dissension (often through the use of violence) (b) the attitude that anyone who disrupts their political agenda must be vilified. It is ‘useful’ to have individuals with a reactionary outlook to use as attack dogs against political opponents.

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WorldbyStorm - May 4, 2016

Well, I do know members the length and breadth of the island and I’d be very surprised if any of them in particular held the views you suggest, but of course it’s a big party and big parties contain multitudes. I know of one example of what you describe, someone whose views would be considered problematic who is tolerated but that seems somewhat atypical. As to the rest I don’t have an axe to grind either pro or contra so by their deeds we shall know them. Certainly in their public pronouncements they appear extremely careful and participation in various campaigns would suggest that they have shied away from anti-immigrant etc approaches and that wouldn’t be sanctioned from the top. As it grows though I can well expect that pressures will increase.

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fergal - May 4, 2016

Abortion rights- Hilary Clinton is pro choice, George Galloway isn’t who would you trust with the big banks, the economy, workers’ rights,union laws, foreign affairs?
We’re the only place in europe that hasn’t legislated for abortion..yet, in other places there is no debate- britian’s 1967 legislation is not up for debate, ditto Holland, France, Italy even the right in Spain failed in its efforts at emasculating abortion rights- we tend to blow it out of all proportion a la the USA nstead of dealing with in in an adult way-a medical procedure predicated on a woman’s right to choose.
I’m not in the least religious but I’ve worked with priests on occasion whose fight for social justice was genuine, imaginative, creative and effective…yet not one of them was pro-choice

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8. roddy - May 3, 2016

When the ANC came looking real practical helpat the height of the struggle,history will record that the only movement in Europe who fought alongside them in South Africa was the movement led by Adams.

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Jolly Red Giant - May 3, 2016

Hate to tell you this roddy – but the armalite was about as useful in South Africa as it was in the North in terms of the change it achieved (i.e. diddly-squat).

What is similar is they way the ANC leadership compromised with capitalism and the apartheid regime – and the way SF compromised with British imperialism. Again it is the nature of all nationalist formations to engage in compromise with capitalism and imperialism – even those who engage in left rhetoric and populism.

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WorldbyStorm - May 4, 2016

And this intrigues me. Are you saying that the ANC’s armed struggle had no impact whatsoever? Or are you saying that no change at all (or rather there was no improvement even if less optimal than hoped for) was achieved in South Africa? I think both those claims would be quite contestable.

And would you be arguing here that SF should have continued to what in relation to British imperialism?

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Jolly Red Giant - May 4, 2016

Been through this before WbS – the ANC’s armed struggle had little or no impact on the Apartheid regime (no more than the Provos campaign in the North didn’t impact on British Imperialism). Indeed, in terms of the struggle of the working class it had the impact of removing many of the best militants from the centre of social and political struggle, removing them to training camps and then using them to engage acts of individual terror rather than being on the front line in communities and workplaces.

The Apartheid regime knew that the ANC’s military wing could not be defeated militarily – but they didn’t have a problem with that – Apartheid could engage in widespread repression against the black working class and contain the military campaign of MK, it had the military means to do so.

What terrified the Apartheid regime and the SA ruling class was not the military campaign of MK but the emergence of industrial struggle and the building of COSATU as a vehicle for the focus of this struggle. The ruling class actually removed the ruling group around Botha from the leadership of the NP and installed deKlerk on the basis of trying to do a deal with the populist leadership of the ANC. At the same time the SACP actively encouraged the ANC leadership to compromise with Apartheid (not that big a problem as they would have been pushing an open door with most of the leadership) and the SACP played an active role in pulling the teeth from COSATU and driving the trade union movement down the path of accommodation with the SA ruling class.

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WorldbyStorm - May 4, 2016

Do you genuinely think PIRA had no impact on the British? Simply in terms of forcing a militarisation of the six counties that alone sucked resources, changed the nature of the political landscape, etc, etc and ultimately forced the British to an accommodation (that worked both ways of course since PIRA was unable to break the eventual stalemate). I’m not making a value judgement about that, simply describing a factual situation.

Likewise with MK (albeit arguably in not such a pointed way). And of course as apartheid became ever increasingly repressive, something that it simply couldn’t conceal and this increased its isolation globally. No doubt industrial struggle was important but I’m dubious that it was the most important. Global isolation, the realisation that it was impossible to police millions of people, etc all combined to make the continuation of the status quo impossible. As to an accommodation ultimately it became one person one vote (COSATU itself adopted the Freedom Charter in 1987). I get that from your perspective such struggle is important (and mine too) but there’s a real danger in focusing overly much on it to the exclusion of other factors – for example the regime had been pushing tentatively in a power-sharing direction from the early 1980s onwards in terms of restricted moves in relation to that by 1984 for ‘coloureds’ and Indians. COSATU was founded after that.

What was achieved may not be enough but it was a massive improvement on what came before.

And let’s not forget one of the major impacts which was the Namibian front which caused the apartheid regime serious problems in both short and long terms.

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9. roddy - May 3, 2016

Funny I never hear the SP or whatever they call themselves this week in the North ever mention British imperialism.

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Jolly Red Giant - May 3, 2016

There are none so blind as those who do not read (except through green tinted glasses)

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10. roddy - May 4, 2016

Great selection of anecdotes jrg.Straight out of the Enda “I was talking to a man the other day with two pints in his hand” book of tall tales.!

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11. roddy - May 4, 2016

Funny thing is an actual SP election candidate Thomas Carty was found to have very strong anti choice views and described his ideal job as a “boob adjuster” while SP councillor johnny “the wig” McLaughlin launched an hysterical tirade in which he referred to abortion “killing fields”. On being questioned on the subject SP northern Supremo Peter Hadden said “abortion is not a make or break issue for the party” and that there were several good members involved in building the party who were strongly anti abortion.

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CMK - May 4, 2016

Thomas Carty was never an SP member and was dropped by the AAA as soon as his views, not limited to just abortion, became fully known. Dropped in an open process involving dozens of AAA members. Carty made a big mistake joining the AAA – he should have joined SF, where he probably would be a Councillor now and looking forward to a long political career.

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12. roddy - May 4, 2016

Aye, and “the wig” was never a member of the SP either or the”party builders” Peter whats his name mentioned either!

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13. Gerryboy - May 4, 2016

Dutch Maoists – maybe it’s an example of Double Dutch!

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WorldbyStorm - May 4, 2016

In fairness to them they have moved on. Seem to be fairly level headed.

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