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Left Archive: Republicanism and the Working Class, People’s Democracy, c. 1993 August 30, 2021

Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Uncategorized.
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Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive

This is an interesting addition to the Archive, a document from People’s Democracy [to see other documents from that source in the Archive please go here] dating from the early 1990s (though we would be very grateful if the date could be clarified) that discusses across six pages aspects of Republicanism and the working class. In essence the document considers different phases from 1798 onwards of Irish history and the position of Republicanism at every point thereafter.

There is a strong critique and criticism of Republicanism arguing that ‘republicans had nowhere to go but down after the 1930s’. It continues:

The sectarian nationalism of the 26 county state – an artificial construction with no historical authenticity – was absorbed almost totally by the republicans leaving little difference with Fianna Fáil other than the gun. When the current phase of political struggle opened up through the civil rights movement the republicans were a fairly anachronistic outfit. That the unreconstructed wing, the provisionals, came to be the dominant force in the struggle is entirely due to failures on the left.

It argues that republicans adopted a ‘more left leaning stance’ at times of particular struggle, but that this ‘never went beyond a radical populism that can be seen with hindsight as being within their traditional politics’. 

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