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Left Archive: The Struggle for Socialism Today: A 1999 document by the Socialist Party in Ireland June 18, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Uncategorized.
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left_unity

To download the above please click on the following link. left_unity.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive. It is available online in other places including the SP itself but this is a useful format to have the document in.

This is a fascinating document issued by the Socialist Party which includes an exchange between it and the Socialist Workers Party on the issue of electoral cooperation. As the document makes clear, this was at the instigation of the SWP in December 1998.

The introduction notes that:

The Socialist Party welcomes the opportunity to debate publicly the differences between the Socialist Workers Party and us. This is not a matter of sterile point scoring or dogmatic hair splitting.
Our objective is first of all to clarify the points of difference and, by doing so, hopefully to resolve them. The existence of a number of organisations on the left complicates the task of building a Marxist party. Where differences are not fundamental, the needs of the class struggle must override secondary and sometimes petty divisions that may have built up through years of separate existence.

And although somewhat sceptical about the proposals it concludes:

Even if we do not end with agreement, the exercise will not have been wasted.
A public setting out of differences in method and in ideas will be of benefit to our own members and to activists on the left generally. We have to justify to working class people, who instinctively seek the maximum unity of organisation, why there exists more than one organisation which lays claim to the Marxist tradition. If there is no basis for fusion we have to be able to demonstrate that these differences are both serious and irreconcilable, and that a fusion would merely blunt the revolutionary instrument, not strengthen it.

The document outlines its analysis of the SWP and its activities from the perspective of the SP across a range of issues including the development of the SWP, its orientation in regard to Northern Ireland and so on. One of the most interesting aspects is an Appendix which contains correspondence between the SWP and the SP.

Left Archive: Capital – The Ripening of Time No. 9, December 1977 – March 1978 June 4, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. ripening_of_time_9_sml.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who scanned this document.

As noted before with the Ripening of Time series the sheer volume of the publication is beyond providing an clear précis. The topic of this edition is Capital and follows on from previous editions already in the Archive – most notably No. 7 of which some articles are direct successors. The contents includes a piece on The Break-Up of Capital part II, On the Problem of Democratic Unity by Roy Johnston, further Reflections on Agriculture and Book Reviews.

As the introduction ‘to the reader’ notes:

This issue of The Ripening of Time concentrates on identifying the major elements for an examination of the bourgeois class and its origins in Ireland.

And the Editorial from the Ripening of Time Collective argues that:

These last few issues have examined the historical co-existence of different modes of production in Ireland. The complex and contradictory class structure which has resulted from that history will be the object of study for the next few issues. We have started this work and will continue to analyse the Irish social formation from the standpoint that the Capitalist Mode of Prodcution is the dominant mode in the 32 cos. – and thus the fundamental contradiction between capital and labour is the main motor force of class struggle.

The piece by Roy Johnston is particularly interesting in that it covers efforts for left unity in the mid to late 1970s including the Communist Party of Ireland, the Liaison Committee of the Labour Left and Sinn Féin the Workers Party.

Irish Left Archive Subject Headings May 7, 2018

Posted by Aonrud ⚘ in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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We’ve recently added subject headings into the Irish Left Archive website to try and make it easier to find documents on a particular topic. They’re still a bit limited, but we plan to build them up over time.

You can view a list of subjects in the index, grouped by different types – elections, referendums, events or areas of policy.

On individual items in the archive, subjects are listed near the top, along with the organisation, year of publication, and so on. You’ll also see a ‘Suggest a Subject’ button, which you can use to suggest a subject heading – existing or new – that should be included on a particular document.

Subject headings on a document page

Hopefully this will make the archive materials easier to find. As ever, feedback, corrections and suggestions are always welcome.

Left Archive: Capital in Ireland: The Ripening of Time No. 7, May – July 1977 February 19, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. ripeningoftimeno-7.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who scanned this document and forwarded it to the Archive and thanks to Jim Lane for the cover photograph.

As always with the Ripening of Time the sheer volume of the publication is beyond providing an clear précis. The topic of this edition is Capital in Ireland. The contents includes a piece on The Break-Up of Capital, Reflections on Agriculture including a Reappraisal of the Irish Industrial Revolution and the issue of Ground Rent. There’s an overview of the Fishing Market and another on The Bourgeois Class in Ireland.

The publication includes both reviews and a letter section. The preface notes;

This seventh issue of the Ripening of Time begins the examination of the bourgeois class in Ireland. It is the bourgeois class which owns and controls the means of production, the State and the ruling ideas in the 32 counties. It is this bourgeois class we intend to put under the microscope in this and the coming issues of the journal.

The editorial of this issue is rather unusual. It is a reproduction of a letter written by a group of French workers who are at present occupying their factory. it is a militant appeal for political support and solidarity. It speaks for itself and is a stark condemnation of the other seamy side of capitalism.

Left Archive: Class Struggle, No. 24, April 1991, Irish Workers Group February 12, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Uncategorized.
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To download the above please click on the following link. IWG DOC/a>

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This edition of Class Struggle is of particular interest given it includes a four page supplement on James Connolly and the 1916 Insurrection (this has already been posted in the Archive and can be found here). As always with the IWG it is a well produced publication. Its lead story states ‘Imperialist Hands Off the Middle East Now!’ and argues against the continuation of US military facilities at Shannon. Other articles engage with ‘Irish Workers and the Gulf War’ and critiques the SWP led ‘No to War in the Gulf Campaign’.

The editorial argues that ‘Bombing Downing Street – No Way Forward’ and states that its critique is rooted in ‘the effectiveness or otherwise of the act in advancing the struggle against British imperialism and for socialism in Ireland.’

And it continues:

“only a movement and tradition that remain wedded to he fantasy of ‘pure’ physical force from a few hundred guerrillas can go on believing that British imperialism can be bombed into surrender’.

Left Archive: Northern Star (inc. Workers Weekly), June 1993, BICO February 5, 2018

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To download the above please click on the following link. northern-star-june-1993.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This is an intriguing document issued from the formerly BICO stable – and includes advertising for the Bevin Society publication Labour & Trade Union Review. In a short eight pages it covers considerable ground including a piece on Kate Hoey, BLP MP, who had just been dismissed as a shadow cabinet spokesperson over the Maastricht Treaty. The Northern Star posits an interesting critique – in this instance over Hoey being ‘someone who has done everything to block Labour politics in Northern Ireland’ and quotes a Private Eye article.

This complaint aligns with the broader attitude found in the newsletter where there is strong support for the extension of the British Labour Party to Northern Ireland and considerable interest in and analysis of Council for Labour representation candidates at the then recent Local Government Elections.

Other pieces examine the Conservative and Unionist Party and Alliance. There’s an odd line in a review of a local history project publication on a series of murders by RIC/RUC members in 1922. Noting that ‘this incident still lives in the folk-memory of Catholic Belfast’ it concludes ‘it is hard to understand why this book was written, it myth have been a better idea to concentrate on the housing or industry in North Belfast (the Glenravel in the title refers to an area of the New Lodge not the County Antrim village. It’s an odd name of what must be an overwhelmingly Catholic group. Glenravel used to be the RUC headquarters, and the street led directly to the only British Army barracks in Belfast proper).

Left Archive: The Public Sector & The Profit Makers; Research Section Department of Economic Affairs – Sinn Féin – The Workers’ Party, 1976 January 29, 2018

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Please click here to go the Left Archive.</a>

To download the above please click on the following link. publicsectorpro.pdf

Many thanks to Bobcat who forwarded this to the Archive.

This is a pivotal document as it outlines Sinn Féin – The Workers’ Party policy in relation to the Public Sector. It is a precursor of the Irish Industrial Revolution which would be published some years later.

In the Foreword it notes that:

The purpose of this pamphlet is to show workers in the Public Sector why they must make common cause against the Private Sector.

The Public Sector must fight now or face a Pay Freeze that will never end. Questions of status and snobbery between different grades and categories must be abolished if Civil Service, State and Local Authority workers are not to join the ranks of the badly paid and exploited workers in the Private Sector.

Sinn Féin’s strategy is to support the expansion of the State sector in three areas. The first is to expand existing State bodies in energy, oil, gas and mines. The second is the establishment of a State Construction Co. The third is the expansion of the State into food technology, processing and marketing.

And it concludes:

The basis of these demands is the nationalisation of the Banks.

In subsequent chapters it addresses The Public Sector, Reasons for the Public Sector and The Lack of a Public Sector Ideology.

Left Archive: Workers Republic, LWR Conference Documents 1977, Sept-Oct 1977 January 22, 2018

Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. AP 1970

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This is an important edition of Workers Republic (see here for more issues) from the LWR. Printed in 1977 it came at a time when Fianna Fáil had just returned to power after the Fine Gael/Labour coalition.

The editorial ascribes the 13% achieved by the latter party and the loss of seats by Labour Ministers as a result of ‘coalitionist’. It argues that Fianna Fáil won because it ran ‘on a programme of concessions to the working class and middle class’. it also criticise the Liaison of the Left Committee for refusing to ‘organise a broad left opposition to coalition within the LP’ which ‘caused the LP left to be totally unprepared to meet the ruthlessness of the apparatus in blocking all candidates who might pose the slightest threat to the coalition’ and it further criticises the Browne/Merrigan ‘ill-prepared and politically confused independent labour campaign’.

Other parts of the publication include the main document adopted at the LWR conference in May 1977. These, as the introduction notes ‘first advance the new tactical turn of the LWR, where we turned from the sectarian attempt to build revolutionary party outside of the mass organisations of the working class to an orientation to those mass organisations’.

These documents address both international and national issues and provide a compelling insight into the thinking of the LWR during this particularly eventful political period.

The Environment – A Position Paper Presented by the Administrative Council to the 1978 Annual Conference of the Labour Party, 1978 January 15, 2018

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ENVIRO LP PM GO

To download the above please click on the following link. enviro-lp-pm-go.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

Many thanks to Peter Mooney for donating this document to the Archive – one of many from his collection that are being reproduced here.

This document published by the Labour Party in 1978 focuses on the environment. It argues in the Introduction that…

The environment is important. It is a primary resource for tourism, for agriculture and for some industries. It si the base of our rural and urban settlements. The environment and what happens within it effects every one of us, both collectively and as individuals. The environment under our present social system is neither owned or controlled by us. Instead individuals be they land owners or single private industries have exploited the environment for their gain at our expense.

It also notes:

A socialist society can and will create a socially just environment. Such an environment would be base upon the principles of democratic socialism involving communal ownership, public participation, equal mobility, freedom and the positive encouragement for the personal development of every individual. The socialist perspective of the environment extends from the nature of land ownership to the fostering and development of our culture and the arts within society.

Divided into various sections, including Land, Planning, Environmental Management, Transportation, Housing, Culture and Recreation, Tourism and Local Government. As an Appendix it contains Submissions to the Plic8y Committee on Environmental Policy from various party branches. There are some, at this remove, interesting attitudes expressed amongst those submissions. The one from Cavan-Monaghan Constituency Council on ‘The Itinerant Problem’ is particularly notable.

In conclusion the document notes that ‘The environment is a vast and complex area which affects every aspect of our lives. It can oppress or liberate our potential for human development. In transferring responsibility for tourism and transportation to the Dept. of the Environment, Labou will make logical and comprehensive sense of our socialist approach’.

Jail Journal, The Womens Prison and other articles, Vol 1, No. 2 – Prisoners Rights Organisation, c.1973 January 8, 2018

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To download the above please click on the following link. womens-prison.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This document from the Prisoners Rights Organisation was published around 1973. As a journal it is quite comprehensive with articles on a range of areas including Prison Reform, The Women’s Prison, the Offences Against the State Act and advice for those arrested. There are accounts from Portlaoise Prisoners Union.

The piece on the Womens Prison notes that:

There is rarely more than 50 women prisoners at any given time in Mountjoy and Limerick prisons. This figure is for the adult prisons but of course many girls between 14 and 18 are imprisoned in the adult female prison, whatever the Children’s Act may stipulate to the contrary. With such a small number of female prisoners to cater for it would be natural to imagine that their rehabilitation would be a comparatively easy job. This is not so fro the simple reason that their rehabilitation is not even attempted.

A woman is a second class citizen in Ireland generally, in prison this discrimination is intensified. Women get no exercise at all while in prison. Quite recently they were granted the vast privilege of an hour walking up and down a gravel path but they cannot play games, have a football or basketball or simply run about to keep themselves wawrm.

The work that women perform within the prison does not and is not intended to fit them for gainful employment on release… illiterate women prisoners get no education, a teas half of all women prisoners cannot read even the puerile books provided in the library… they look at comic books or simply sit and smoke, staring at the walls and breaking out into odd crying fits to break the monotony.

The account continues by describing yet more repressive and grim conditions.

The piece on Abuses of Offences Against the State Act outlines the account of someone arrested under the act with others ‘none of whom have or ever did have any political affiliations whatsoever, arrested and detained for 3 hours without pretext’.

An important document.

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