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Neutral? October 22, 2020

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.
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Here’s a genuinely troubling report of the vicious abuse one person received after expressing their disagreement with a certain figure on the far-right in Ireland who retweeted a photograph of school children which included that persons. The encounter was caught on film and this was later shown more widely, and subsequent to that there was a wave of online abusive comments, unsolicited calls (from a former journalist no less in one case), then threats, attacks on her address, attacks on those who supported her, culminating in physical attacks on her herself.

Consider the following from the papers this weekend written by Brenda Power in relation to the protests outside the Dáil two weekends back.

At least, so it might appear to a disinterested observer, perhaps a news reporter: peaceable group versus violent thugs. No problem figuring out the bad guys in that equation, right? Well, wrong, actually — at least not from the perspective favoured by the majority of the liberal Irish media. Because the peaceable protesters, led by the National Party, have been filed under the all-purpose heading “far right” and so, as far as the prevailing narrative has it, they are always, always going to be the ones in the wrong.

Amazing that the nature of the NP wasn’t considered in the following:

Even when they’re being physically attacked for expressing their views. Even when a Dublin hotel is forced, as in 2016, to cancel the National Party launch because of “public safety fears”….the only danger to public safety, then and last Saturday week, came from the people assailing them. But because this shower style themselves “left wing”, then they are always, always going to be the good guys.

And here’s where you end up with such analyses…

The centre of Ireland’s political gravity has moved steadily to the left over the past 20 years…the media is dominated by socialists with typewriters who are acutely attuned to the dog whistles of the right but entirely deaf to the growing rumble of left-leaning menace.

And rife with contradiction…

The violence at that Dail fracas came almost entirely from the self-styled protectors of liberty, equality and harmony on the militant far left, but most such clashes illustrate an obvious flaw in the left-versus-right model. It is not a straight line from the good guys on the far left to the bad guys on the far right, but rather a tight horseshoe, with the two extremes separated only by the width of a riot shield.

But if that were so, with two equidistant extremes, then why take such pains to paint only one side as utilising violence and to ignore entirely the reality of attacks emanating from the far-right on non-violent protests in previous months? Or the reality of a far-right that in the instance cited at the start of this post was willing to verbally abuse and worse someone who was literally just standing up for their child.

So perhaps Power, and Clifford before her, might reflect on the difference between people who do this sort of thing and those who do not.

Comments»

1. EWI - October 22, 2020

Horsedung from the off – Izzy Kamikaze, and elderly woman, didn’t assault herself under the eatchong noses of the Guards (who did nothing about it).

And we need to realise that the IT chooses to publish stuff along these lines. In contrast, it’s now more than a week since the IT choise to publish that stupid and offensive article on Kevin Barry, and they’re clearly spiking all letters in reply.

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EWI - October 22, 2020

*’an elderly’, ‘watching noses’

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Mick 2 - October 23, 2020

It’s besides the point, but I’m not sure she’d take too kindly to being classed as elderly! I don’t know her personally but I thought I heard her described on the wireless as ‘a woman in her 50s’?

Good to see the guards making themselves useful anyhoo, albeit a bit late to the chase.

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alanmyler - October 23, 2020

+1 about the “elderly”. I was going to respond to that when the comment first went up but I forgot as I couldn’t find my slippers and hard boiled sweets and then the moment has passed…

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WorldbyStorm - October 23, 2020

😉 I turned mid middle age recently. I’m older… 🙂

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WorldbyStorm - October 22, 2020

It was offensive, agreed. And you’re spot on re those assaults. For journalists to either not know or ignore them says a lot.

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GearóidGaillimh - October 23, 2020
gypsybhoy69 - October 26, 2020

The great thing about being left wing and believing in free speech is knowing that I can say that I wouldn’t have much time for Izzy as I think she pays lip service to free speech but I truly believe she didn’t deserve to be treated in the way she was.

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2. tafkaGW - October 22, 2020

Neoliberal meeja working in tandem with the racist right. Now Ireland is getting a taste of it.

The neolibs know then need the fascist spectrum to protect their ‘property rights’, when push comes to shove.

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WorldbyStorm - October 22, 2020

It is quite something to see the appearance of actual far-right groups on Irish streets who are willing to use unprovoked violence against those who would protest against them being given this free pass by some in the media, particularly self-styled liberals.

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lcox - October 22, 2020

As the late great Ursula le Guin wrote, a liberal is someone for whom the means justifies the ends.

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WorldbyStorm - October 22, 2020

Such a great line.

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3. sonofstan - October 22, 2020

Left leaning menace? Where do I join?

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4. sonofstan - October 22, 2020

This, meanwhile, is truly frightening:

While 6% of those polled claimed to support QAnon, larger percentages supported broader, linked conspiracies. A quarter (25%) agreed that “secret satanic cults exist and include influential elites”. This rose to 35% among people aged 18-24. A similar proportion (26%) agreed that “elites in Hollywood, politics, the media and other powerful positions” are secretly engaging in large-scale child trafficking and abuse

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/22/one-in-four-britons-believe-in-qanon-linked-theories-survey

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WorldbyStorm - October 22, 2020

Social media. That’s who I blame having seen how it functions on younger people first hand. Half of it may not be serious in the sense that the ‘beliefs’ about these are perhaps quite shallow, but the very fact they’d say this sort of stuff is dismal.

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CL - October 22, 2020

“Trump has winked at QAnon followers on multiple occasions — most notably with his refusal to condemn the conspiracy theory when asked directly….
Nearly a dozen QAnon supporters are running for Congress. And of Republicans who know about QAnon, 41% said it is a somewhat or very good thing for the country, according to Pew Research Center.”
https://www.axios.com/qanon-grows-2020-election-0f2d7be2-4ae8-4fc1-b5d1-727b77498165.html

‘QAnon .. has elements of a support group, a political party, a lifestyle brand, a collective delusion, a religion, a cult, a huge multiplayer game and an extremist network…..
Donovan compares QAnon to the Rev. Charles Coughlin, the priest whose radio show spread anti-Semitism in the Depression-era United States. Stopping Coughlin’s hate took a concerted effort, involving new regulations for radio broadcasters and condemnation of Coughlin by the Catholic Church.
Stopping QAnon will be harder; Coughlin was one hatemonger with a big microphone, while QAnon is a complex, decentralized, deceptive network of hate.’

QAnon’s conspiracy theory is a rebranded version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
https://www.justsecurity.org/72339/qanon-is-a-nazi-cult-rebranded/

“The QAnon conspiracy theory has been linked to several violent acts since 2018,…
The conspiracy theory’s claims have put ordinary people at risk. The FBI identified QAnon in 2019 as a potential domestic terror threat and the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point described it as a “novel challenge to public security”.-Lois Beckett, Guardian Oct 16.

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WorldbyStorm - October 22, 2020

That subhead on the NYT is spot on… everything keeps getting more dishonest.

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lcox - October 22, 2020

Has to be said that the article too is … not dishonest, but disingenuous.

“Media manipulation is a fairly novel area of research”… “it was only when Donald Trump won the White House … that serious scholars began to take notice” – and then namechecking the Elders of Zion and Charles Coughlin as though nobody had ever done research on these, or as if Norman Cohn hadn’t written Pursuit of the Millennium half a century back.

More self-awareness in the next paragraph: “In the 2016 election, tech companies and the mainstream media were often blind”… Not for lack of decades of anti-fascist research into this kind of thing. Not for lack of activist techies. Not for lack of Cory Doctorows, William Gibsons, even Umberto Ecos writing novels so that even mainstream journalists can get it.

And not of course for lack of academic research on anti-semitism, fascism, McCarthyism, new religious movements or religion full stop (“how can people actually believe this?”, whatever it is) and genocide.

Just because that stuff wasn’t real and serious to the kinds of people who write for the NYT. But of course they are the people we should be listening to on this. Because they always know what really matters.

And somehow, even after realising there is a bit of a history to this stuff, it doesn’t matter – because there is a recent Golden Age in which US politics was rational, everyone believed in evolution, evangelicals had no interest in politics, and nobody could *imagine* voting for a stone-obvious liar like Richard Nixon or a faded actor like Ronald Reagan. Within living memory, it must have been.

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WorldbyStorm - October 22, 2020

That’s a very fair point. There’s a real blindness in it, isn’t there? And in a way positioned in a liberalism that the Powers et al are the opposite side of but not much better informed.

That said I do still like the subhead. 🙂

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CL - October 22, 2020

https://www.factcheck.org/2020/10/trumps-long-history-with-conspiracy-theories/

“Americans are now witnessing a new era of conspiracy mongering and fake news via the rise of the fringe “QAnon” movement, among a plethora of paranoid claims that Covid-19 is an elite-fueled hoax and that it was secretly created by powerful people working in the shadows….
Trump’s supposed ally in the depths of the “deep state” – Q – …..is a pig farmer living in Manila.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/10/09/the-case-against-social-media-mass-misinformation-in-the-covid-19-era/

“Whether president Donald Trump wins or loses, some version of QAnon is going to survive the election…..

the machine that moves information through the far-right ecosystem is preparing its audience for the very real chance that Trump will lose. Its goal is simple—to preemptively delegitimize any outcome but a clear victory by the incumbent….QAnon, whose adherents have deep ties to countless other large communities, has become a linchpin in that ecosystem, and the absurdity of its claims in no way reduces its political influence….
Influence is now a function of the brute ability to propel information between broadcast and social-media channels, and across online factions. By that measure, QAnon is remarkably effective…..
algorithmic crossbreeding turned QAnon into a mutant omni–conspiracy theory….
“We are the media now,” Q’s adherents claim, but QAnon is only a symptom of a much larger transformation. If you can make color revolution or some other outlandish narrative trend, you can make it true—or at least true enough for thousands or even millions to believe. QAnon is just the start.”
theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/10/the-rights-disinformation-machine-is-hedging-its-bets/616761/

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lcox - October 22, 2020

The implied age differential is … quite different to what we’ve seen wrt left-right voting in the US and UK these past few years, be that on Sanders and Corbyn or Brexit and Trump. Perhaps to be taken with a pinch of salt for now, or at least not over-interpreted without further details.

Of course a part of me wants to say “the socialism of fools”, or at least that when broadly rational challenges to unaccountable and often invisible power structures are roundly defeated, some people will look for loopy explanations and fake solutions.

Christopher Hill’s wonderful book “The world turned upside down”, and particularly the analysis of what happened after the Levellers were defeated and then later after the Restoration – millennarianism, quietism etc. – is free on libcom and today feels like a much calmer read than Twitter…

Click to access %5BChristopher_Hill%5D_The_World_Turned_Upside_Down_R%28Bookos.org%29.pdf

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terrymdunne - October 22, 2020

If that is the Guardian article you are writing about there lcox, yup, absolutely, I would question the methodology, like if someone says yes when posed with a question about sexual abuse & Hollywood, is QAnon their point of reference or Me Too? Also the article holds up as evidence of conspiracy thinking more or less the idea that elites call the shots irrespective of who you vote for, you could say yes to that thinking of George Soros, or of the anti-Corbyn staff in the Labour Party, or of the beef barons and property developers in this country. It is a viewpoint that sits comfortably in a left populism. It is a partial view, but not altogether an inaccurate one. I met plenty of people, back when we only had e-mail, focused on shady deals, inner circles and corruption, they had read about the Tribunals, I think they would show up in this survey as conspiracy nuts.

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WorldbyStorm - October 22, 2020

I agree to an extent, but… I think there’s a qualitative difference between believing in class networks that function to the benefit of those within them – as with the examples you give, and belief in frankly unlikely/implausible stuff like QAnon which looks like it’s thrown out as chaff to conceal or diminish the importance of those class networks. But I think it’s fair to say that – for example – believing in the implausible stuff doesn’t necessarily mean people believe in QAnon.

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Colm B - October 22, 2020

The point about capitalism is that there is no conspiracy, the way it operates is obvious and far from being a secret, the ruling class is an easily observable social entity not a shadowy elite.

The left need to fight conspiracy theories tooth and nail – they are irrational tosh but worse they are a gateway drug for the far right and once someone heads down that road they rarely come back.

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terrymdunne - October 22, 2020

Sorry I was posting while taking a break from a bunch of tasks there earlier, so I was probably less clear than I should be, I am not saying we should tolerate Qanon style conspiracy theory, or milder versions of the same, or that such things are the same as pointing to planning corruption or whatever, I am saying that if you survey people as to whether or not they agree with this statement – “Regardless of who is officially in charge of governments and other organisations, there is a single group of people who secretly control events and rule the world together”
– then you are gonna catch a lot of left-wing people agreeing with it, or people who are just a bit cynical about how the world works, so for a person to say they are in agreement with that statement in no way means that they are potentially going down a far-right conspiracy rabbit hole.

Personally I think it is better to bend the stick back in the direction of thinking in terms of a social system and less in terms of agents, and I am conscious of the conspiracy theory problem, I still think a ruling class exists though in some sense, so how should I answer that question? You have to read it very carefully as implicitly meaning a secret sect of Satanic owl worshipers with vast powers encompassing the world, as opposed to just normal politics, where y’know you could say Irish governments of various hues have made things good for businesses owned by Larry Goodman or where particular sets of policies and outlooks are advocated for through actual organisations.

So I think it is a poor methodology leading to a very questionable result – the survey question is just too broad and hazy and could easily catch people out and make them seem to be agreeing with something they are actually not, like “secretly control events” – does that mean some events, to some extent, some of the time; does control mean exert influence or completely manipulate like a puppet master; does secret mean receiving little media coverage, or a back-room deal, or does it mean an actual secret society like the Illuminati?

The Hope not Hate report says “Support for the idea of a secret cabal controlling global events is prevalent, especially among young people. 9% claimed they strongly agreed, and 20% claimed they agreed, with the statement: “Regardless of who is officially in charge of governments and other organisations, there is a single group of people who secretly control events and rule the world together”. This rises to 38% and 43% respectively among the 18-24 and 25-34 age groups.”

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WorldbyStorm - October 22, 2020

Yeah that’s a fair point, It would be good to parse that out, re the secret control stuff. Because there are strong and weak versions of that which shade into more sophisticated analyses as to power dynamics and so on. I’m not a great believer even in capitalists consciously controlling the systems overall. But they are able to leverage the maintenance of congenial (for them) contexts, business, socio-political etc in societies where logically if that was fully understood there might be more pushback against them. It’s the difference between influence and control really. That said it’s not difficult to see in a more dystopian future how tech, resource constraints, political degradation etc could combine to see overt control exerted.

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alanmyler - October 23, 2020

I’d agree with the point Terry is making there. It points to the importance of education I think. At different levels. I’m loathe to go the right wing route and to stress the importance of self education but really there’s an onus on people to at least attempt to distinguish between the hate filled nutter conspiracy shite and the more all encompassing worldview and depth of Marxism for example. I can see how a person can fail to distinguish between those, if the person doesn’t have the educational interest or capacity or training or whatever attribute is critical to being able to absorb information which is simultaneously both complex and simple, which leads to further questions, which becomes a lifelong quest for knowledge and comprehension. Some people through no fault of their own aren’t up to that, some just decide they’re not interested, some people are just beyond the pale, and they instead grab the easy answers offered by the peddlers of those conspiracy theories. And then there are the well informed and well educated liberals who adhere to horseshoe theories and proclaim to their audience that in fact there is no difference between the conspiracies of the right and the left. At that point one just stops reading the Irish Times, spends years on social media arguing with people, and as Conor McCabe noted years ago in one of his brilliant pieces on Dublin Opinion, one ends up carrying around a plastic bag of old copies of the Guardian and shouting at people in the rain.

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lcox - October 23, 2020

Brilliant.

It’s true though – the idea that, em, Clifford in the Examiner or Power in the IT are the real alternative to QAnon (or that the age of Blair, Obama and Ahern was a golden age) makes no sense. Or rather only makes sense if your life circs shield you from what’s happening to other people. Of course what drives the horseshoe stuff let alone Power’s dodgier stuff is also the calculation that middle Ireland is more scared of antifa than, say, of Peter Casey or the Iona Institute.

WRT education: self education, and political education, are crucial. There was also no golden age of the Irish education system – which went from violence, abuse and reproducing Catholic Ireland to a blander mix which reproduced good little voters for FG, FF, Labour and the Greens.

Or put another way: the left has to reject the liberal fantasy that the knight coming over the hill to save “us” from the far right will look like a centre-right newspaper funded by property ads, a state broadcaster, a school system whose #1 purpose is to sort people into their future jobs or the endless consumption of sweet nothings from the UK and US liberal media. Much like Biden’s only selling point is “not Trump”…

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WorldbyStorm - October 23, 2020

Just on the media and in a way the Indo is a better bet than the IT for taking the temperature of what supposedly exercises ‘middle Ireland’, though the latter is fascinating in the current crisis in showing how it’s much vaunted liberalism is a cosmetic skin under which there’s some very very ugly attitudes about the vulnerable and so on and how any obstacle to personal fulfilment set up by broader societal needs is anathema. I think there’s a problem I’d perception that the IT is somehow akin to even the Guardian. But it’s not and never has been.

+1 re life circles shield you from what’s happening to other people, the very definition of class structures.

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WorldbyStorm - October 23, 2020

And that quote of Conors is very appropriate Alan. 🙂 I think we all here feel like that a lot of the time.

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sonofstan - October 23, 2020

Replying to AM, in case this doesn’t end up in the right place. Old fashioned communist parties was able to give people the education they needed, over sustained periods of engagement, to understand the structures of capitalist society and the route out of it. It didn’t offer easy answers, twitter sized chunks of ‘analysis’.
They also generally thought that people, ordinary people, were ‘up to that’. Now, in HE, we don’t even think intelligent 18 yos are up to it, and substitute bite size education, exacerbated by the current situation.

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alanmyler - October 23, 2020

SoS, yes the role of political education in the western CPs was central. The provision of thoughtful analysis, the facilitation of collective debate, the encouragement of the membership to engage in education. I find it hilarious whenever I’m talking to non-communist friends about the role of political education that the response is usually “political EDUCATION???” where they imagine that the comrades sit quietly and absorb the sermon from on high as though they’re at mass or something. Anyone who’s been to a political education talk, as a party member or otherwise, will be well aware that there’s nothing mass-like in the process of discussion.

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terrymdunne - October 23, 2020

I think an anti-capitalism approach should stress structure and system not agents. Too much of a focus on agents lends itself to thinking we need a social democrat government instead of a neo-liberal one; or supporting small apparently environmentally-friendly companies against multi-nationals; and it also lends itself to the softer end of the conspiracy theory world getting a hearing among otherwise politically sound people. Also the more efficient a state is at managing capitalism probably relates to the extent of that state’s relative autonomy from particular private interests (like see the spectrum of Covid disaster across the world). If what we are about is wanting to move away from the particular way that the world works then that is what we should say.

But all that said the term ‘ruling class’ is not just another way of saying ‘upper class’ – it actually means organising stuff, often times secretly – a process of moving from being a class-in-itself to a class-for-itself i.e. from being a simple economic category to an organised political/social force. Also if you are just doing the simple job of being a C.E.O., and not lobbying, exerting influence, and building political networks, and so on, then you’ll still be operating in a covert fashion and implementing unpopular socially detrimental policies – like no business is gonna press release the local papers with how they are successfully cutting corners with a detrimental impact in terms of environmental health.

Basically there is enough cover-up and conspiracy in the real world to make totally wrong-headed notions seem plausible i.e. the softer end of the conspiracy theory world.

Also the conventional media has promulgated conspiracy theory for years – it is actually a basic part of the conservative mind-set in understanding protest movements, revolutions, and such like – if everything is basically okay then all these ructions have to be down to outside agitators – to a secret plot – so you don’t have to go back to radio programs from the 1930s – the basic diet of American Cold War propaganda had Moscow secretly directing this, that and the other.

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lcox - October 23, 2020

And, particularly in Ireland, it *is* the case that for many decades there was a conspiracy (though of course it didn’t involve underground lairs and funny clothing only some of the time) around clerical sexual abuse, Magdalen laundries, Mother and Baby homes, industrial schools, sectioning. Involving not only religious figures but various bits of the civil service, police and legal systems turning a blind eye, refusing to act, funding things etc. etc.

When I taught in the old Magdalen laundry in WIT some of our office doors had bolts on the outside. Nobody remarked on it, or even felt embarrassed enough to get them removed.

The tone of liberal disdain with which some people talk about imagining horrendous things happening and being covered up by powerful figures … speaks volumes about how hard it is to genuinely take this on board.

None of which of course excuses the far right weaponising concepts like pedophile, child trafficking, abuse etc., particularly when it comes from people who would like nothing more than to return to those days. But it is sometimes hard to bring the reality that these things happened, continued to happen, were enabled to happen up until very recently – and that the after-effects of inadequate resolution are still very much with us in many people’s lives.

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5. lcox - October 22, 2020

If only the way capitalism operates was truly obvious … there would be a lot less work to be done in terms of agitating, educating, and generally helping people to develop something closer to a class consciousness. And Marx could have spent a bit less time on the economic analysis.

Bear in mind that many of the conspiracy theory people seem to believe that countries like the US and UK are somehow controlled by a left-wing establishment in the media and academia. It is batshit as hell but … things that are obvious and easily observable to socialists turn out not to be so obvious to many other people.

Otherwise we might have won rather more battles in the past and not have such an uphill struggle in many countries today.

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Colm B - October 22, 2020

It’s easily observable but how it’s interpreted is a different matter, that’s where hegemony comes in.

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WorldbyStorm - October 22, 2020

I think you’re both right – it is observable but paradoxically because it’s in plain sight it can be difficult to see. It’s like the first time one recognises class politics as a concept and a reality – isn’t it amazing how it’s in front of us, but we can’t see it clearly for all that. And of course denial is everywhere about it too.

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6. lcox - October 22, 2020

The Hope Not Hate research is here https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/qanon-report-2020-10-FINAL.pdf with the survey data on p 27.

After a discussion of levels of awareness / support for QAnon in the UK they focus on the potential for support to grow. The points about belief in a power elite, along with belief in secret satanic cults, elite child-trafficking and anti-semitic theories, are noted as indicating room to grow for QAnon beliefs, as are virus-linked conspiracy theories.

They don’t give much real detail on the methodology but it doesn’t sound complete rubbish. FWIW the stats they quote do show a substantial age effect. They also mention greater support among non-graduates than graduates – a pretty crude class measurement and one which they don’t give any actual figures for.

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7. Francis Donohoe (@FDonohoe) - October 22, 2020

WP statement on the incident at the Dail, haven’t seen any other statements on it.

The Workers’ Party fully understands the need for a militant response to fascism on our streets and condemns liberal commentators who would allow the virus of the far-right to rise without action being taken.

Workers’ Party spokesperson, Cathie Shiels, said: “It seems to be fashionable among some in the media to condemn the action taken by militant antifascist activists against a meeting of the extreme right-wing National Party outside Dail Eireann on Saturday, 10th October. This position is one which shows extreme ignorance about the threat that fascism on our streets embodies for minority communities and society in general.

“The Republic of Ireland has never had to suffer the boot boys of the extreme right being able to publicly organise and spread their hate purely because they have always been met with a militant and overwhelming response from concerned citizens.

At its core the ideology of the National Party is one of violence against minority groups and left-wing activists. One need only look to the UK, Europe and the US to see the violence and murder which results from the empowerment of the far right when it is allowed to organise openly and publicly expound its hate-filled fantasies.

“Relying on the State to take decisive action against such groups only allows them to grow as they attempt to present their hate filled politics as ‘anti-establishment’. Historically in Ireland and elsewhere the cure for the virus of fascism has always been militant and direct action by determined antifascist activists. Knowing this to be the case the Workers’ Party has a full and complete understanding of the necessity of the action taken by anti-fascist activists against the National Party in order to ensure it is not allowed even the most tentative of foot holds within the public sphere.

“For anyone who would wish to present the National Party as merely a group of sad, harmless and misguided cranks they should firstly inform themselves of the political history of the group’s diminutive leader, Justin Barrett. This is a man who has long established links to powerful fascist movements in Germany and Italy. Among his contacts is the Italian Roberto Fiore, a man linked to a terrorist bombing which claimed over 80 lives and whose hate filled followers openly attack members of minority groups and left activists throughout Italy today.

“Barrett and his motley crew of Irish Fascists have attempted to use abortion, the location of direct provision centres and now Coivid-19 restrictions to gain a foothold for their hateful politics. Once such hate is allowed to emerge publicly it only has one trajectory which ends in violence and fear for often already marginalised people.

“The lesson of history when it comes to fascists is clear, no matter how ridiculous they may seem, nip them in the bud with immediate, hard and decisive action. That was what occurred outside the Dail and it should occur wherever these people attempt to set up a platform.”

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CL - October 22, 2020

“THE anti-abortion European election candidate Justin Barrett is being backed by a convicted IRA gun-runner and former Sinn Fein national executive member.
Gerry McGeough, who has defected from Gerry Adams’s party, joins disaffected former Fianna Fail and Fine Gael supporters who have also switched to the Barrett camp.
Mr McGeough, Sinn Fein’s national organiser during the first Nice referendum, says he is fed up with the party’s current leadership and the prevalence of “ceasefire soldiers”…..
Mr Barrett, a former member of Young Fine Gael with a privileged upbringing, says he can see why people might think it strange that he has joined forces with McGeough.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/ira-man-defects-from-sf-to-euro-hopeful-barrett-26220993.html

“there are more and more Republicans here in The North, particularly here in East Tyrone, who have come round to our way of thinking that we have basically been sold a pup and the Sinn Féin leadership stands indicted for their betrayal of the sacrifice and the struggle. An they use most of their energy, when they’re not sucking up to the English or the Unionists, most of their energy denigrating old comrades and all of us here on this radio station speaking right now have been through the mill in that regard and it would fit them better if they just moved over and let other politicians and other politically active people take the helm I think at this point in time.”- Gerry McGeough, on Radio Free Eireann, Wbai, Nyc.
https://rfe123.org/gerry-mcgeough-6-august-2016

“Most of the week, John McDonagh can be found patrolling the streets of New York in his yellow Medallion cab. But every Saturday the nearly 60-year-old activist and comedian takes to WBAI’s Radio Free Éireann, a radio show hosted out of a Brooklyn pub, to cover “the Irish freedom struggle from an Irish Republican point of view”.
https://www.vice.com/en/article/5gezq5/radio-free-eireann-irish-republican-john-mcdonagh-179

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WorldbyStorm - October 22, 2020

Good statement from the WP.

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Colm B - October 23, 2020

You won’t find me saying this often but that’s an excellent statement from the WP.
We can’t rely on the state to confront the fascists. That means the only way to deal with them is serious and organised confrontation. I don’t say that in a macho way, it’s not a question of glorifying street fighting, it’s a very serious matter. It can only be undertaken with careful planning and great care.
So fair dues to the anti-fascists who took on the Nazis at the Dail. I don’t know who they are but well done.

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roddy - October 23, 2020

A big element of those confronting the fascists were of a “disso” persuasion .Strange to see the WP praising them.A much larger opposition including mainstream Republicans could be mobilised if it wasnt for covid restrictions.SF are still getting hammered nearly 5 months later over Bobby Storey’s funeral and a big anti fascist mobilisation would be even harder to marshall.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - October 23, 2020

I guess given the nature of the threat people are pitching in.

Liked by 1 person

Johnny No Pasaran - October 24, 2020

SF members were present, as were WP members, and other republicans. What better issue to unite over?

Liked by 3 people

sonofstan - October 22, 2020

“Another frequent guest is Londonderry councillor Gary Donnelly, a leading member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement”

🙂

From the Vice article.

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WorldbyStorm - October 22, 2020

Hehheh…

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alanmyler - October 23, 2020

I like the statement from the party there, it’s in the best tradition of the militant opposition to the far right, noting the international aspect, noting the historical refusal of the state in liberal democracy to act decisively and in a timely manner against the far right. Having said that the GS appeared to act in precisely that way yesterday in Dublin, and fair play to them for that. I’d personally prefer to see the agencies of the state act as required rather than having to rely on the left to stamp out fascism, and for the latter to be a only the measure of last resort. Apart from anything else they have the capacity to be very effective at it, and have a moral authority amongst the middle ground that the left would find difficult to win in the face of liberal opposition and their promotion of those horseshoe theories.

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gypsybhoy69 - October 26, 2020

The WP have moved on from their former Dublin Central candidate so. Credit where it’s due. How did that ever happen and I’m asking as an ex-member.

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8. roddy - October 22, 2020

McGeough is away from SF for nearly 2 decades.As for “more and more Republicans” coming round to his way of thinking,the one and only time he stood for election was in 2007 and he was outpolled by SF by at least 20 to 1.

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WorldbyStorm - October 22, 2020

Yeah, he is kind of yesterday’s man isn’t he?

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9. tafkaGW - October 23, 2020

QAnon is US export, and I can’t help feeling it’s contiguous and cross-pollinated by other US exports from Hollywood and Netflix in constructing the imaginations that can host QAnon views of the world.

Liked by 1 person

CL - October 24, 2020

Drew Harris “said the Irish groups believed in the great replacement theory – a conspiracy suggesting predominantly white populations were being deliberately replaced with people from other ethnic groups by mass migration – which had become very popular with far right groups in America.”
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/irish-far-right-groups-trying-to-disrupt-key-state-institutions-says-garda-commissioner-1.4389300

“The birthrate panic has been bubbling back up for some time. In a 2012 book by the French philosopher Renaud Camus, he argued that all Western countries were reckoning with erasure by birthrate. That has helped fuel nativist campaigns like the one by the Dutch politician Geert Wilders. It became the animating philosophy in the Charlottesville, Va., attack. And Representative Steve King, the Iowa Republican, tweeted in 2017, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

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