An Teoiric – Theoretical Journal of the Republican Movement (Official Sinn Féin), No 1, Summer 1971. September 26, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
Many thanks to Aine Mannion for forwarding this to the Archive. This 24 page long pamphlet issued in 1971 contains three major pieces – one on ‘Revolutionary Objectives: Strategy and Tactics’, another ‘Leirmheas as ‘Damnaithe an Domahin’ le Frantz Fanon and a third on Imperialism and the Struggle for Irish Freedom. There’s another shorter piece on ‘What Should NICRA Do?’
While noting on the last page that ‘The views contained in this bulletin are not necessarily those of the Republican Movement. They are to form the basis of discussions with the movement on important issues’, the introduction argues that:
In recent decades republicans have had little regard for theory, they were interested mainly in direct action. The great strength of the Republican Movement has always been its willingness to act against the enemies of the Irish people.
For decades it has demonstrated its dedication and willingness to expend all its forces in the struggle against British military occupation of our country. When the struggle was extend some years ago to the social and economic forces oppressing the Irish people the RM displayed the same energy and deviation as it had done against military oppression. No time was spent theorising, problems were isolated and met head-on. A new refreshing force had come on the scene with ‘action’ as its watch word and the various socialist groups who had evolved correct theories but never acted on them were forced from their back rooms on to the streets.
The weakness of the RM has always been its apparent unwillingness or inability to explain its actions or the need for action either to the public or even to its own members. Furthermore there have been many occasions when Republicans took wrong action or took the right action at the wrong time or for the wrong reasons.
It has been obvious for some time that some theoretical work was necessary particularly int eh field of analysis and assessment. it is apparent even in the purely military context that an analysis of the motivation of the enemy is necessary. This was particularly evident in the past few months in Belfast when there was substantial evidence that it was the desire of the British Army to promote conflict.
‘Teoiric’ is a modest effort to fill a gap in contemporary republican thinking. It does not propose to indulge in sterile theorising but in practical analysis and assessment which will be designed to lead to correct action.
And it concludes that:
The activist who scorns theory is like the rifleman who scorns the sights. He can make a lot of noise without even hitting his target.