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SOCIALIST VOICE – April Edition April 3, 2020

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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The April addition of Socialist Voice can be viewed online here.

Contents:
Nationalise all private hospitals – One all-Ireland public health service

The covid crisis demands a new beginning: Tommy Mc Kearney

The capitalist mode of destruction by Eoghan O’Neill

Covid-19 and the global economy by Ewan MacDonald

Class solidarity, not social partnership by Jimmy Doran

The world we all knew is gone, a new one has yet to be born by Dónal Ó Coisdealbha

Cuba’s medical internationalism by Graham Harrington

Dictatorship: Who decides? by Seán Ó Maoltuile

Who said that?by Declan McKenna

A time that called for giants by Jenny Farrell

Ireland without her people by Dónall Ó Briain

Working people’s stories in contemporary Ireland by Culture Matters

Comments»

1. Colm B - April 3, 2020

In North Korea the economy is democratically planned for the public good eh? (See article on Dictatorship)
I’m all for a thousand flowers but why is this Stalinist nonsense posted up regularly? We can access the website if we want but why give it credibility by the regular posting?

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stillradical - April 3, 2020

And you can ignore and engage with here as you see fit.

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WorldbyStorm - April 3, 2020

Yeah, I saw that Colm and frankly I felt it was like stuff that was debated a hundred thousand fold back in the day and proven to be not fit for purpose by the historical record – no mention needless to say about the wonderful democracy in the DDR, or wherever or how stunningly successful that was. But that said this site has always been willing to post up anything from any corner of the left and it is up to people to make their own judgements on it. It’s certainly not an endorsement.

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2. Joe - April 3, 2020

Mealy-mouthed hush puppy liberal request / suggestion:
If CLR is going to continue to post up these links to Socialist Voice whenever it comes out, could the title NOT BE CAPITALIZED please?

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Pangurbán - April 3, 2020

On the bright side at least they have stopped channeling Nigel farage in this issue

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3. Colm B - April 3, 2020

I’m not objecting to a link being put up, its the fact that Socialist Voice is the only one that gets not just linked but its own slot and list of articles. I’m questioning the prominence.

On an ideological level, which is different, I would add that such a virulently anti-worker publication that lauds regimes that oppress and exploit millions of working people is totally out of place on a socialist blog.

China a socialist state? What nonsense: is that when workers who try to strike or form trade unions are beaten by the state backed company goons and and imprisoned or the thousands of Uighur people locked up in concentration camps etc. etc..?

North Korea, FFS, a God-king state, ruled by a paranoid dynasty that cant feed its own people not to mention the absence of the most basic social, economic and political rights. Jesus wept.

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WorldbyStorm - April 3, 2020

Here’s the thing, in a way it’s a legacy of a different time. Back in the day the site used to have the contents of An Phoblacht, LookLeft and SV sent to us each month, with accompanying links. Of course AP is now online, LL is infrequent at best and only SV continues in a more regular form. We’ve always welcomed people sending links to publications or whatever, whatever their provenance. So with all the above and others we’d throw up the list online as a post. The prominence is simply a product of the others tending to vanish. On the other hand we also very prominently carry links and reproduced full articles from Independent Left who would come from a very very different political position. And we’ve had RISE material too. And so on.

I share your ideological critique of those positions you outline above (and I’m intrigued about how attitudes inside the CPI seem to wax and wane on these issues, like they did in the WP too at various points) but I’m kind of leery to take it down simply because I think on certain issues their approach is incorrect. Any more than I’d want to take down SF or WP or SP or RISE or Ind Left stuff even if I had some issues with any or all of their positions. It’s also no harm to be reminded they do hold some of these positions even if on other issues many of us would be in varying degrees of agreement.

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Colm B - April 3, 2020

WBS I take your point about it being a legacy thing but that has left us with SV as the only one.

I guess my position is that it’s not just a difference of position. IMO Stalinism is based on principles that are inherently anthitical to what I consider to be the fundamentals of socialism. Their allegiance to totalitarianism, state capitalism, reactionary nationalism, suppression of workers rights etc etc are the polar opposite to workers control, total democracy, national self-determination and all the others principles of revolutionary democratic socialist. So the ideas of Stalinism for me are as distant from socialism as those of US republicans or Blairite’s.

Here’s the paradox, the few CPI members I’ve known were decent reasonable people who seemed to me to be genuine. But there you are, they and I call ourselves socialist but we adhere to entirely opposite principles.

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WorldbyStorm - April 3, 2020

Well it is many years since I was a Leninist so again I’m broadly on the same page as you in all this right up to and including the belief this isn’t a matter of positions – but then I’d have criticisms of all M-L inflected parties or groups of whatever stripe. That said I do believe they are of the left as a spectrum and like yourself I know many v sound people in all these groups who I admire and respect whatever the differences. Perhaps some rebalancing might be no harm by making an effort to post up stuff from others too in addition to CPI?

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4. Wiki Man Dave - April 3, 2020

I don’t have a problem with this being posted here but I do have to laugh at tankies. For all obsession with geopolitics they are utterly incapable of seeing things with any nuance. Everything is portrayed in such simplistic and binary terms. Whatever China, Cuba, North Korea does is good for their people and the world, and of course they are hyper-competent too. Anything that might contradict this is CIA propaganda and if it can’t be denied, it the US’s fault. They’re like conspiracy theorists in their search for good guys and bad guys and clear cut simplicity.

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Wiki Man Dave - April 3, 2020

Although it could be worse. Tankies in the UK are nearly all socially conservative and nationalist. Unpleasant to say the least.

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Pangurbán - April 3, 2020

Now that we’re locked down and unable to travel we should understand the plight of those in the CPI pre 1989😕they can no longer travel for free throughout the second world as it was then known, where they were feted as if they were of some significance

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WorldbyStorm - April 3, 2020

WMD, that’s kind of my feeling too. It’s amazing how reductionist it all is very reductionist and as someone who went through this in the 80s in the WP the feeling that so much is received wisdom rather than a robust analysis of actually prevailing conditions. So for example there’s the approach that because someone says they’re ‘socialist’ they therefore are socialist as distinct from prodding at the meaning and implementation of the term when used by a state or similar. Or the idea that only Irish ‘liberals’ would have a problem with the very concept of dictatorship full stop.

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Wiki Man Dave - April 3, 2020

Yes, that’s an issue. Taking any chancer at their word because they called themselves socialist or anti-capitalist no matter what they actually do. The only condition is that they take an anti-American/western stance.

Funny you shound mention the WP because I do have a lot of time for them. But then I see them post dodgy foreign policy stuff on social media and it sets me back. Not just that I disagree but that’s it so knee jerk and obvious. Makes me conclude they are not at all serious in wanting to understand what’s going on in the world.

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WorldbyStorm - April 3, 2020

Yep, again it’s a question of nuance – and I’ve always found it difficult to take seriously far from invalid critiques of the US by some that simply wave desperate stuff through by others. That just seems to me to be a fundamental misunderstanding of imperialism where only one actor can be so when in reality many actors larger and smaller function in that way simultaneously and none should get a pass.

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5. alanmyler - April 3, 2020

I’d say this is the biggest discussion of a Socialist Voice post that I’ve seen in my 10+ years following the CLR!

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WorldbyStorm - April 3, 2020

Very true!

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6. roddy - April 3, 2020

Someone here once said they’d rather have lived under Stalin than Dev.Dev’s Ireland was a horrible place but to compare him unfavourably to a mass murdering maniac is going a bit far. And I come from a political tradition,members of which Dev executed.

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WorldbyStorm - April 3, 2020

Wouldn’t disagree roddy at all.

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Starkadder - April 4, 2020

“Someone here once said they’d rather have lived under Stalin than Dev.”

Was that a certain Mr. E. H., by any chance? 😉

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7. makedoanmend - April 4, 2020

There’s some writers and thoughts in the “paper” well worth reading and considering. Others: not so much. I suppose that’s why we are called discriminating readers.

If we compare the Voice’s lies, if such, in their writings to the MSM, I’d suggest that they are quite similar, or maybe the MSM is worse because they are far more sophisticated in peddling their lies. The Western MSM loves to peddle the big lies like empire is good for the conquered. That war is peace – ie Libya, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq (and god knows where else). That poverty is normal and necessary. That death from poverty is normal and necessary. That there are economic forecasting experts. That there are experts on how to be middle class. And so on.

The lies and propoganda of the Western MSM are so big that the Socialist Voice is rather acquainted in their lies about China and N Korea. The scale of MSM lies is all engulfing. (Cuba is a far more nuanced story.)

So I rather appreciate the Voice. It is what it is. And quite love when the CPI writes a communique – heady stuff that immediately evaporates in the air of daily reality and past historical facts.

And, imo, there is no such things a the real news, or hard-headed news, or news that is apolitical, etc. News is relative. Again, imo anyway.

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WorldbyStorm - April 4, 2020

Agreed re the communique. Again, I’ve a lot of respect for those involved. They take their work seriously and despite my having very different beliefs to theirs (though ironically I’d have started out in a not entirely dissimilar place, frankly I don’t get the Stalinist thing at all. In the WP years I didn’t have any time for that because the USSR had itself moved on etc with the rehabilitation of many of those who were purged and murdered in that period, and a clear change in the approach of the system, and it’s always seemed almost fetishistic in its essence) again I don’t doubt their sincerity. And it’s right as you say to be aware of the – sometimes I think lies is too conscious a term, mistruths, of people. Everyone. And the framing of news is definitely relative.

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Colm B - April 4, 2020

When someone criticises Stalinist propaganda, a common response is to point out the lies, bias and agendas of the bourgeois media. That response is fully valid if the person making the critique of Stalinism is a liberal who claims that MSM is neutral or unbiased. But when a revolutionary socialist makes a critique of Stalinist propaganda, I don’t see how the point is relevant. It’s a given, you wouldn’t be a rev socialist if you didn’t view of the MSM as biased, largely representative of the ruling class etc.

In a way it’s like when you critique the lack of the right to organise/strike in China someone says ‘yeah but what about the murder of trade unionists in Colombia’, as if you can’t be opposed to the oppression of workers everywhere.

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WorldbyStorm - April 4, 2020

Very true. And again that’s a further real problem with Stalinism that it allows/explains away any repression however contradictory to its own supposed narrative by pointing to others as either a reason for it or an excuse.

But in fairness, if one says that Stalinist propaganda is itself a lie or the slightly more tactful term a mistruth as well as the others, that seems to me to be distinctly different from saying the latter outweighs the other. Indeed MDAM’s point that these are lies is quite different to the apologia from those within the Stalinist tradition who argue that they’re actually not lies or mistruths at all!

I think in actuality we’re all on the same page on this.

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WorldbyStorm - April 4, 2020

BTW, I do think this is a very timely discussion.

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8. Starkadder - April 4, 2020

I do think Socialist Voice is basically dominating the printed left press in Ireland. Red Banner is gone, LookLeft hasn’t appeared in ages, I haven’t seen any recent publications by the Irish Trotskyist and anarchist movements…it seems it’s basically An Phoblacht and SV.

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Colm B - April 4, 2020

Yes that is a prob. Just nothing much there.

Looking for brownie points here from WBS; when any in these parts ask me what to read on left in Ireland, I just send them to CLR. Ind Lefts website is good but they don’t have publication.

Speaking of publications, my isolation present to myself was a subscription to NLR. Not a high brow lit.type myself so some of the articles bore me but where else would you read a detailed article about the role of the Finance Ministry in the formation and continuity in the Japanese ruling class?

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WorldbyStorm - April 4, 2020

Hey, no need re brownie points! I’ve been a supporter of your politics from when we both were on a certain DL committee.

Funny isn’t it, just on your latter point, that this does offer an opportunity to throw a few quid the way of publications like the NLR that otherwise we wouldn’t have.

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Starkadder - April 5, 2020

I saw copies of SV being carried in Branch libraries in Cork city, which must be a first. Time was they wouldn’t carry anything more controversial than the Phoenix or Hot Press.

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