Left Archive: Marxist Leninist Weekly, December 19th, 1985, Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) – 20th Anniversary of the founding of the Internationalists in Ireland March 23, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.
This is a fascinating document from the CPI (M-L), issued on 20th Anniversary of the foundation of the Internationalists in Ireland. This saw an Internationalist Rally of Marxist Leninist Parties to celebrate the anniversary. This combined celebration over that fact with protests against the then recently signed Anglo-Irish Agreement. Both the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) and that of Canada were in attendance.
As it notes:
[The Internationalists] was the forerunner organisation which made the immortal contribution in preparing the conditions for the re-establishment of the genuine Marxist-Leninist Communist Party for the working class and people of Ireland – CI (M-L).
The advance of the genuine Marxist-Leninist Communist Party means the advance of the working class itself, whose sole genuine political organisation and whose true class leadership this party represents.
Later in discussing the annual demonstration by ‘Spirit of Freedom’ Committee and the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) ‘have been to expose these fascist deceptions and the total violation of the democratic rights of our single and all-Ireland nation to our unity and independent and to a call on the asses of the people to coin tune the just patriotic struggle (in ongoing resurgence over the last 16 years) and the intensity and accelerate this national liberation movement, which is spear-headed against British colonial occupation of the north, as the central task and the greatest priority of the revolutionary movement of the Irish people as a whole, led by the proletariat.
It argues that:
The call of the Party has been for today’s generation to put the seal of final victory on the self-sacrifice of the countless previous generations of patriotic martyrs by finally achieving the goal they fought for so heroically – UNITY AND FREEDOM TO THE IRSH PEOPLE!
It notes that:
The street meetings and the massive postering campaign for the demonstration attracted the attention of the masses of people and the comrades of CPI (M0L) and SPirit of Freedom engaged hundred inn discussion with a most favourable reception. At one of the meetings, the ‘Free’ State organised their Gardai to launch a vicious attack in an attempt to clear the campaign against the Anglo-Irish Agreement for the streets so as to protect the monopoly of the bourgeoisie and British imperialism on the political questions in the country.
And it suggests that:
By Saturday December 7th, a great deal of public interest had been aroused in the demonstration and the bourgeoisie had decided to temporarily abandon the tactic of open attack to suppress the campaign, and fall back, instead on the ‘wall of silence’ tactic. The ‘Spirit of Freedom’ and CPI (M-L) contingent wheeled round with banners flying to take possession of the street in front of the GPO and a large crowd of several hundred people together to participate in the meeting in the street to denounce the Anglo Irish Treaty of 1921 and the current Anglo-Irish Agreement, whilst the gardai ceded to stand their distance and devote most of their resources, in the form of numerous plain clothes ‘special brand’ detectives to surveillance. Their single fitful attempt to disrupt the meeting by means of a provocation by an ‘ordinary bystander’ (i.e. plainsclothespoliceman) shouting anti-communist slanders met with total opposition from the people gathered at the GPO, and this individual having been exposed, had to absent himself instead.
For the next hour and a half, the whole of one side of O’Connnell Street was blocked for traffic, whilst representative of the ‘Spirit of Freedom Committee, the Voice of the Youth Preparatory Committee for the Communist Youth Union of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), Irish Student Movement, the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (our fraternal party who sent a delegation to participate..) and the CPI(M-L) made their speeches to the large and most attentive crowd who stayed throughout the whole rally. Despite the fact that this demonstration must have been witnessed by literally thousands of people in Dublin, as well as the subsequent march to the Garden of Remembrance, back down O’Connell Street to College Green beside Trinity Colelge and the Bank of Ireland, not a single word let alone a photograph, appeared in any of the bourgeois media, in recognition of the fact that such a large political manifestation had actually taken place against the Anglo-Irish Agreement.
The Rally itself was held in the Junior Common Room of Trinityc College and comprised of book stalls, a photographic exhibition ‘of the activities of the Marxist-Leninists right from the early days of the Internationalists to Saturday’s demonstration against the Anglo-Irish Agreement’ and banners ‘saluting the Party of Labour of Albania and Socialist Albania, welcoming the delegations of the fraternal Marxist-Leninists parties, hailing CPI (M-L), proletarian internationalism and Marxist-Leninism. About 120 people were in attendance.
Once more the document, like others from CPI (M-L) speaks of the renunciation of “Mao Zedong Thought” ‘which had effected our party like other of the new Marxist-Leninist parties, as well as two attempts to liquidate the Party from within’. Indeed it goes further and notes in reference to ‘important assistance which our party received from the RCPB(M-L)at the time of our most serious liquidationist attack to destroy the CPI (M-L) in the period 1978-81’. Again, the Archive would be very grateful for any documents which mention those events in greater detail, or indeed any reminiscences on that topic.
As always with CPI (M-L) publications there is a clear and identifiable style. Notable is the fact all the faces in photographs have been scratched out, presumably to make identifying them more difficult.
Left Archive: Revolutionary v Reactionary Line (Mass-Line in Education), Issue 3, Words and Comment Pamphlet Series, Internationalists (precursor of CPI (M-L), 1968 August 18, 2014Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Internationalists (forerunner of CPI (M-L)), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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This document published by the Internationalists, the forerunner of the Communist Party of Ireland Marxist Leninist, was published in 1968. It notes that ‘Words and Comments material [is] researched by the Necessity for Change Ideological Institute’. At 30 or so pages it is a densely argued text which posits that ‘Reactionary Ideas and Practices Do Not Die of Their Own Accord, They are overthrown by the new, progressive ideas and practices’.
There is too much material here to consider in a brief overview, suffice it to say that the document engages with a range of areas, including ‘Comment on Lenin’s Empiro-Criticism’, the ‘Monist Concept of History’, ‘Das Kapital: the contradiction in commodities’, ‘German Ideology’, ‘Family State and Private Property’, ‘Science for Whom? – Evolution’ (which takes up a view often put forward by the Internationalists as regards Darwinian evolution) and ‘The Two Lines’ by Hardial Bains.
There’s also a reprint of an Internationalists ‘Letter of Protest to the Junior Dean’ and an Invitation to an Internationalists meeting.
The Editorial notes a recent confrontation at an event (presumably in Trinity College Dublin, where the Internationalists had some support):
…the reactionaries have come out openly against knowledge, understanding the act-of-finding- out. They have responded to the challenge of Words and Comment.
It notes that:
Words and Comment open[ed] its new year with attacks on reactionary ideas and people and challenged them to bring into the open their sordid and decadent, retrogressive policies and ways of organising societies. The response to this challenge, in accordance to our historical expectations, was cowardly like the impotent frenzy of a person at the tether-end of his life. Reactionaries are the most ignorant and unproductive segment of the human society. They do not read, this their virtue. They do not discuss, this is their privilege. They do not participate in the production of real life because they are the parasites. But they have lots of bourgeois arrogance which, from time to time erupts into open violence; the frantic attack of the arch-reactionary, right-wing elements last Friday (Jan. 26 1968) on Words and Comment, and the Selected Readings of Mao Tse-tung was just the sort of behaviour one would expect from such types.
And it suggests in answer to the question as to ‘Why are the arch-reactionary and right-wing element in such a violent mood?’ that:
1. We represent the majority progressive view and our paper has been, and is instrumental in exposing there reactionary ideas and practices. 2. We stand for the act-of-finding-out which reactionaries thoroughly oppose because they believe in containment of all progressive ideas and practices and maintaining the status quo.
And it concludes by saying that:
Words and Comment rigorously condemn the actions of these person who participated in the most outrageous performance ie. of attempting to burn and mutilate political literature which is opposed to their thinking and ideas. REACTIONARY VIOLENCE SHALL BE MET BY REVOLUTIONARY VIOLENCE.
Inside there is a small notice for the Dublin Housing Action Committee and a Public Meeting being held by that group.
There appears to be a pagination problem with the original document. Pages numbers 22/23 are apparently missing, although the text flows from page 21 to 24.
Left Archive: Campaign Against Reagan Visit – Documents from the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) on the visit of Ronald Reagan in 1984 March 31, 2014Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
To download the above documents please click on the following links:
These documents from the CPI (M-L) are in some respects curious. They lack the clear newsletter format used by that party for much of its other documentation and instead are very text heavy. They are also in a four page A4 format with an additional double sided A4 leaflet.
They consist of a long piece on Reagan entitled ‘Fascist Warmonger, Get out of Ireland!’ with additional articles. These latter encompass a range of issues, including ‘U.S. imperialism’s ‘vital interests’’, ‘Imperialism is the cause of war’, ‘USSR- also an imperialist aggressor and exploiter’ and ‘Oppose Both Superpowers and All Imperialism! Throw British imperialism out of Ireland!’.
A number of quotes from the main article will give a sense of the overall tone of the document:
The visit of Ronald Reagan, President of the Untied States of America, is an insult and a very real threat to the Irish people. It is not, as the government and Dail parties pre tense goes, an ‘honour to welcome a distinguished son of our race’.
First and foremost, Reagan represents U.S. imperialism, which as one of the two superpowers along with the equally dangers Soviet social imperialism, is levying bloody wars against the peoples and nations it holds in servitude for super profits, all around the world, such s the lebanon and Central America. AND at the same time is preparing for another world war to save this rotten system of exploitation, suppress the people and secure unchallenged world monopoly; a world war still worse than the previous ones, with unimaginable devastation whether it is waged by nuclear or conventional weapons.
It argues that:
We in Ireland must rise in protest at Reagan’s visit to condemn this whole system of imperialism, and the ominous threat of both superpowers who are dragging the world to the precipice of another world war. We must demonstrate our solidarity with and support for all those peoples and nations who are justly fighting to throw off the yoke of these imperialists, especially the yoke of U.S. imperialism in this case, such as the people of El Salvador and so many other countries.
The A4 leaflet outlines further objections to Reagan, arguing that “Reagan is the friend of those who preside without the slightest humanity or democratic principle over the unjust and criminal military, fascist-type colonial regime in the north of Ireland, where torture to extort confessions or perjury is the order of the day, where assassinations carried out directly by the British army and their undercover SAS, or by fascist loyalist gangs incited and organised by the British military intelligence are simply normal instruments of colonial government, where political prisoners, genuine Irish patriots are branded as criminal, as they have been branded down through our centuries of struggle for freedom.”
It concludes by asking readers to Join the Campaign and:
…fight to avert the danger of another world war on the following principled basis.
1. Oppose both superpowers…
2. Oppose all imperialist war preparations, both nuclear and conventional…
3 Throw British imperialism out of the north!
Left Archive: Objective Idealism is Fascism – A denunciation of Northrop Frye’s “Literary Criticism” – Internationalists (CPI (M-L) precursor) c.1969 July 29, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive, The Internationalists.
To download the above document please click on the following link: INTERNATIONALISTS
This is an unusual document issued by the Internationalists, the precursor group of the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist). In 35 pages it critically examines theories of knowledge and literary theory and literary interpretation. In a preface under the heading ‘Ideological Forum’ it argues that:
There are two most general, wide-spread, and universal lines prevalent in the world about the role of the intellectual in society. one line treats intellectuals as experts in society and bribes them in accordance with their merit. This policy is supported by the imperialists, modern Soviet Revisionists, various liberal bourgeois, and the counter revolutionary Trotskyists. In opposition to this, the second line considers intellectuals as an essential part of society without divorcing them from the masses; they are one with the masses, and are fully integrated with the struggle for production, class struggle and scientific experimentation. Here they are not a privileged class and work wholly for the masses. This line is called mass-line.
The mass-line is followed in the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Albania. The vast masses are conducting the Great Cultural Revolution to make sure that the expert line does not rise again. The mass-line builds initiative of the mass and liberates them from the bureaucracy of the experts; the expert line deprives people of their initiative and puts their destiny in the hands of experts who cannot be held responsible for their crimes against the masses.
The following reference is of interest:
The expert-line, coming from [the Cultural Congress] Havana, the counter-revolutionary line, advocates what in essence is the old, moribund, bankrupt and bourgeois line, and is supported by intellectuals like Noam Chomsky.
The main body of the text is concerned with Professor Northrop Frye, then of the University of Toronto. Frye was a very significant voice in 20th century criticism, and the document is unstinting in its criticism of him:
Professor Northrop Frye … is a well-known reactionary and idealist, the fascist aspect of whose scholarship needs to be laid bare. Who is a fascist intellectual? Fascism springs from a person’s social and intellectual attitudes and it is essential to go into its genesis. When idealists talk of fascism they usually refer to the murderous crusades carried out asa result of social, political or religious dogmas: they picture dismembered bodies and recall all kinds of physical killing and persecution. idealist historians suggests that all fox sudden somebody, some class of people, or some society went berserk and started kiling people. This isa simplistic definition of fascism, a comfortable rationalisation which ignores the reality of the human situation.
Do people become murderers all of a sudden? No. The moment people believe something without undertaking the act-of-finding out they are manifesting a fascist tendency; to accept without questioning the premise involved in a statement, an analysis or a concept is to create the basis of fascism. Cold war slogans operate precisely in this manner. Beliefs devoid of experiential validity and made up of the accumulate prejudices of the society give rise to over fascism. Northrop Frye is a fascist for he bases his literary criticism on the Bible and the Great Chain of Being, on idealist philosophy and clerical obscurantism without undertaking the act-of-finding out.
And the introduction concludes:
To understand the world one must want to change it, not mentally but through mass struggles.
There is considerably more, far too much for a short overview like this, but all told this is an interesting and unusual document.
Left Archive: Voice of Revolution, Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), 1984 April 8, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
To download the above please click on the following link:vor84
This is a personal overview of the following document by Joe, often times commentor on the CLR, for which many thanks.
I was 24 in 1984. I was paid, permanent and pensionable as a library assistant with Dublin Corporation libraries. Me and my three best friends used to drink in town at the weekends. Often in the Palace Bar. My three mates were apolitical, centrist voters. I always made a point of buying the socialist and republican papers which sellers would offer to the Palace drinkers of a Friday or Saturday night.
Around that time there was a campaign called the Campaign against the Criminal Justice Bill. This Bill was giving new powers to the Gardaí to detain suspects for longer without charge and I think also would allow a court to take an inference from the fact that a suspect remained silent or didn’t answer particular questions while in custody. We thought it was a draconian attack on civil liberties. There have been quite a few more criminal justice bills since then. And my attitudes to some of the issues around that have changed too. More of that anon.
The campaign against the bill was led by Joe Costello of the Prisoners Rights Organisation. Costello was a secondary teacher in the North Inner City. He had seen many of his ex-pupils sent to prison and seen the damage prison had done to them. He’d heard their accounts of prison life and had set up the PRO as a campaign for prison reform and prisoners’ rights. And fair play to him. It was an active campaigning group, speaking on behalf of people who had no voice, the kind of people who were “born for the Joy”. Joe Costello is now Labour TD for Dublin Central and I don’t think the PRO still exists. Is there anything on it or by it in the Left Archive? There should be.
So why was I, a middle-class boy, bothered about the Criminal Justice Bill and extra powers for the Gardaí? It could be down to this incident which happened about 10 years earlier. Me and my young teenage friends used to hang around and do random acts of pretty harmless vandalism in our area. Lighting fires in the field, knick knacking on doors, silly stuff. One evening, bored, one of the lads lit a random bit of paper on the street and we all ran. It was the thrill of running, wasn’t it? A feeling that you were being chased (even though we weren’t!), that little butterfly in the tummy. Anyway me and another Joe rounded the corner of our road into a cul de sac just as a random Garda car did the same. We were caught rapid. The two cops got out. The other Joe was with one Guard on one side of the street. I was with another on the other side. He asked me my name and as I opened my mouth to answer he smacked me hard with his open hand across my face. He then proceeded to ask me something about five times and each time before I could answer I got a very hard smack across the face. I was bawling crying by the end of it. They put us into the car to bring us to the station. At the top of the road, they said something about letting us off this time. And let us out. From that time, through all my teenage years, I hated the Guards with a passion. All coppers were bastards. Hitting me was bad enough but they had shown me up in front of my friend – I’d cried like a little baby.
So if that could happen to middle class Joe in about 1974, what was happening to inner city and suburban kids from the wrong side of the tracks? Fr Peter McVerry was good on this on the telly several years ago. He said that Garda brutality was a fact of life for working class kids in the usual areas. If they were picked up for minor crimes, they could expect a hammering. And many of them would end up in the jails which the PRO wanted reformed. They’d end up as prisoners getting abused inside by the prison system as opposed to getting abused outside by the “justice system”. And they’d probably hate the cops a lot more than I ever did. And many of them would be broken by this treatment and end up as fodder for heroin dealers or end up homeless or suicidal or dead.
So that’s why I opposed the Criminal Justice Bill and bought a badge which said Stop the Criminal Justice Bill and marched against it. And I bought the Voice of Revolution one evening in the Palace, opened it up, and there I was, tall and proud, walking on a demo in front of the banner of the CPI (ML). Yep, that’s me the tall handsome chap with the beard and glasses (Gerry Adams anyone? John Lennon?). So I kept that copy along with other bits in a drawer at home. I found it the other day along with this letter which I had drafted to send to the papers at the time. (There had been a lot of coverage around that time in Magill magazine, if I recall correctly, of instances of alleged Garda brutality, corruption and so on.) I never sent the letter but I think it deserves to be published now!
Over the last year I have joined with hundreds of others in marching and campaigning against the Criminal Justice Bill. We failed in our objective. The Criminal Justice Act is now law.
However, in the light of recent revelations about the behaviour of Gardaí of all ranks – Shercock, Kerry babies, the fingerprint case – it is clear that the need to campaign for civil liberties is as strong as ever. Indeed when the three cases above are looked at together with other past Garda misdemeanours – the cases of Nicky Kelly, Christy Lynch, Eamon Byrne, to name but three – it must be clear to all that the Gardaí are far from perfect.
May I suggest a new campaign with a new objective?
Disband the Gardaí! Now!
Is mise etc
Left Archive: Marxist-Leninist Weekly, Organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), November 1989 January 7, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive, Uncategorized.
To download the above file please click on the following link: CPML 89
This edition of the CPI (M-L) publication, Marxist-Leninist Weekly, is perhaps most notable for the date of publication, and for the lead article on page one which has the headline ‘Groundless euphoria over breaching of Berlin Wall’. The article continues:
Last week the mass media had a field day with the scenes at the Berlin Wall which ensued from the decision of the East German Government to end restrictions on travel by their populations.
And the article takes a bleak view of what it regards as two capitalist systems, one in the West and the other in the USSR vying for hegemony. It asserts:
Gorbachev’s policy of ‘glasnost’, openness or ‘democracy, is simply a demagogic enticement to the Soviet working class to accept still greater exploitation to overcome the economic and political crisis of revisionism in their bloc by the open restoration of capitalism (known as perestroika), so that the new Soviet bourgeoisie can the more efficiently finance the sinews of capitalist competition in the world market and also the sinews of war. The events in the Soviet bloc, each more rapidly following the other, do not auger a reduction in international tension and the danger of inter-imperialist war.
(Next week, an article to explain further how the so-called ‘contention between democracy and communism’ cannot be the basis of the treat of world war since these are not opposites in the first place).
Other articles deal with a broad range of issues including the British Government maintaining the Prevention of Terrorism Act powers of detention for 7 days, a subventions cut for places in old people’s homes, the Brazilian election campaign and El Salvador.
As interesting are the advertisements for Progressive Books, the CPI (M-L) bookshop on Essex Quay in Dublin, and for Public Meetings on the Anniversary of National Liberation of Albania in Cork and Dublin.
It is worth noting that the CPI (M-L) managed to put out this publication on a weekly basis for many years.
Left Archive: Special Election Bulletin, Trinity College Dublin: Democratic Student Front [CPI M-L] 1973 October 24, 2011Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive, The Internationalists.
To download the above please click on the following link: CPIMLTCD70s2
Many thanks to Tommy Graham for donating this to the Archive.
This document is a little unusual in respect to much of the Archive, being an election bulletin issued by the Democratic Student Front [established by the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist)] for elections to the Student Representative Council in Trinity College Dublin. The DSF was founded in April 1973 in order to contest those elections.
As it notes:
‘Everyone at the meeting was serious and optimistic about his new development in the progressive struggles of Trinity Students’.
This document presents the Draft Programme of the DSF which as the headline notes ‘Develops the Experience of The Internationalists’ Student Manifesto of 1968′. The use of language is particularly interesting. It argues the introduction that ‘Every clique in power in the SRC, from the Matthewsclique in 1968 which shamelessly collaborated and prostrated itself in front of the authorities and gave theme very encouragement in their plans to mislead and deceive the students, to the present pseudo-progressive Giles-Stephenson clique who have done the same’.
As regards the Draft Programme, this starts with the statement that:|
1. Trinity College is an anti-student, anti-people institution, and always has been.
Through its entire 382 year history, the Trinity College Authorities have done everything to support, first British colonialism, and now neocolonialism, backed mainly by British and US imperialism, nurture fascism and racism, and oppose the just struggles of the people of IReland and the world for emancipation from these evils. It trains the students to be small and big time lackey’s of imperialism. It has consistently developed the university as a breeding ground for colonialist and neocolonialist theories and has become renowned in the world for training colonial and neocolonial agents to execute these policies on behalf of British and US imperialism. It also encourages the use of the college as a platform for all pro-imperialist ideologues and politicians. It enthusiastically promotes and encourages all the research and scientific ‘development’ which can be used against the world’s people, and suppresses all the academic work which can serve the people.
Later it argues that:
All the 31 sets of SRC leaders have lauded it over the masses of the students and refused to be accountable for their actions to anyone. They have treated the organization as their own private property, and refused to admit that the masses of students have any role to play.
The following is of interest too:
16. The DSF candidates will put an immediate end to all corruption, graft, bribery, privileges, nepotism and free under-the-table handouts in the SRC and SRC-supported activities. The DSF candidates will put an immediate end to all squandering of student money through carelessness, laziness, indifference, opportunism and adventurism. The DSF candidates will resolutely oppose, and mobilize, the students against, any attempts by careerists, opportunists and budding bureaucrats to use the SRC to lord it over the masses of students, build their careers, or make personal gains.
19. The DSF candidates will abolish all arbitrary rules and regulations in the SRC affairs, they will guarantee all students (who are not openly racist, fascist or imperialist) equal access to all their facilities (duplicating etc.).
All in all it’s a polemical, well produced, document that clearly carries its message and perhaps illustrates how the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) was able to maintain a continuing presence in Trinity subsequently and is a useful addition to the Left Archive CPI (M-L) materials.
Left Archive: Marxist-Leninist Journal – Organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), December 1988. April 18, 2011Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
To download the file please click on the following link: CPIMLMAGGO
Many thanks to Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland, for making this document available to the Archive.
This document, issued by the Central Committee of the CPI (M-L) in December 1988 is a good overview of where that party stood in the late 1980s.
It has a range of articles, from a consideration of the Anglo-Irish Agreement three years on, an analysis of Perestroika, subheaded ‘a programme and strategy for strengthening Soviet social-imperialism and a piece on Socialist Albania entitled ‘Socialism the most advanced social order’.
The introduction is clear that the publication is intended ‘to explain its political line and its analysis of national and world issues in greater detail’.
At this stage the working class and revolutionary movement in Ireland need not only the frequency of at least a weekly paper covering current events, but also more substantial treatment of the critical questions facing the movement and the people in Ireland and the world today. This is the task which the Marxist-Leninist Journal is to undertake.
Finally, the Marxist Leninist Journal is a fighting and partisan weapon of the working class and the Irish people, not a liberal forum for debate. This does not mean wwe are not concerned with the truth or refuse to discuss issues seriously. Quite the opposite, we are concerned with the truth, but we know that the truth lies stands on the side of progress and the force of progress lies precisely with the working class, with the cause of the people.
One feature of the document, typical of many CPI (M-L) publications is the lack of reference to any party members by name. For example, in the course of a four page article on the party’s activities in 1988 – entitled ‘1988 – A Year of Advance For the Party of the Irish Working Class’ there is no mention of a single party member. This leads to a degree of detachment, even anonymity, to the text.
Consider the following:
Thus it was with the lessons of 1968 in mind that the CPI(M-L) framed its programmes of activities this year, with the priorities amongst the Party’s all-sided work being devoted to mobilising the generation of today, the youth of today who are the children of those who were the youth of the 1960s. The Party has worked to support with every means possible the task which ‘Voice of the Youth’, the Prepatory Committee, had undertaken at their Conference of December, 1987, to found the Communist Youth Union of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) in December, 1988.
This sense of anonymity is added to by the photographs in the advertisement for the party bookshop, Progressive Books on Essex Quay on the back page, which depict members of the party with their faces scratched out.
On a slight tangent the Archive would be very interested in any Red Patriots from 1978 to 1979. If anyone has copies of same and is willing to allow us to digitize them that would be very welcome. Please contact worldbystorm at the usual email address on the right hand column.
Left Archive: ‘Words’ from the Trinity Internationalists (later the CPI(M-L), c.1967 August 23, 2010Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive, The Internationalists.
To access downloadable PDF please click on the following link: INT’L WORDS
Many thanks to Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland, for making this document available to the Archive.
‘Words’ dates from close to the earliest phase of the Internationalists, the organisation that would subsequently develop into the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist). As noted here…
When The Internationalists were first set up in Trinity College Dublin in November 1965, it was not as a fully-formed Marxist-Leninist party, but ‘as an exercise in better staff-student relations.’
This loose discussion group held meetings with titles such as “Academic Freedom” and “The Function of a University”, and continued until October 1966, when the decision was taken, presumably by Bains and his supporters, to establish a more disciplined organisation which would focus on ‘which theory we are going to follow, which motivation we should have, which class we are going to favour’ (2).
Sometime towards the end of 1966 the group renamed itself the Trinity Internationalists, and began to issue a periodical entitled Words and Comment. There were at least eleven issues produced between 1966 and 1968, and Trinity’s library has at least seven of them for those privileged enough to have access. (3)
It’s a striking document which clearly is positioned within the much less formal context of a staff student discussion vehicle. From the four page essay by Hardial S. Bains on ‘The Phenomena of Time Consciousness’ to the concentration on Vietnam to the ‘Straight Facts: Radio Telefis Eireann’ it is very much of its time, although there is a telling piece on the back page about the slogan ‘Make Love Not War’ which takes that formulation to task. In some respects that and the tone of the Bains article are the only significant hints of the ideological rigour which would later be manifested in the CPI(M-L). Tied into that is a much less rhetorical use of language throughout.
A useful indication of a transitional stage in the political origins of one of our better known further left formations.
Left Archive: Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), Red Patriot, August 1982 including Communiqué of the Central Committee of the CPI (M-L) on the Occasion of the Party’s 12th Anniversary June 21, 2010Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
Many thanks to Tommy Graham, editor of ‘History
Ireland’, for this donation.
This addition to the Archive actually comprises of two documents. The first is a neatly presented and reworked Red Patriot which was restarted after an hiatus of two years or so as the Organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist). The second is a lengthy Communiqué of the Central Committee of the CPI (M-L) on the Occasion of the Party’s 12 Anniversary.
Both provide useful insights into the nature of the CPI (M-L) at this point in time, a period where it had shifted from support for Mao Zedong Thought, which had characterised its position during the 1970s, to support for the Party of Labour of Albania.
Red Patriot contains a varied selection of articles, leading with commemorations of the H-Block hunger strikes, one year on from the deaths of the hunger strikers. The article notes that “No one who fights for Irish freedom can be called a criminal!” and that:
…the immediate cause for which Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty and Thomas McElwee and the other martyrs fought – the prisoners five demands – have still not been fully achieved; the patriotic prisoners of the H-Blocks, as well as Armagh, Crumlin Road, and not forgetting the Irish prisoners subjected to inhuman conditions in jails in Britain : – all these are still fighting in various ways for the recognition of their rights to be treated as political prisoner, out of their just refusal to be treated as criminals.
This strong identification with national struggle continues throughout. A short ‘Report: Recent H-Block Commemoration’ notes:
… the events of this commemoration serve to illustrate the role of the Irish bourgeoisie and the Free State apparatus, gardai etc., as national traitors and native sell-outs to British imperialism.
The Editorial is written beside the slogans ‘Bolshevise the Party! Disseminate the Marxist-Leninist Line! Prepare the Conditions for Revolution!’
It notes the publication of the Communiqué and continues:
The restatement of CPI(ML)’s Marxist Leninist political line and the thorough repudiation and public condemnation of the revisionists, who came up internally to try to destroy our Party over the last three years or so, open up great prospects for CPI (ML) to advance its work and influence over the next period.
It also argues that:
The existence of the genuine Communist Party of the working class, based on Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, is the most crucial subjective factor in developing the conditions for revolution, when it comes, is carried through to a successful conclusion…
Other pieces deal with the struggle in Palestine, health workers in Northern Ireland ‘alongside their class brothers and sister in Britain’ and information on the Second International Sports and Cultural Festival Britain 1982. Included on the list of events are performances of Cornelius Cardew’s Instrumental Compositions and a Memorial Competition for Musical Composition. There is a page devoted to the Centenary of the birth of Georgi Dimitrov. Also included are a number of Albanian centred reports.
This latter feature is part of the shift in the ideological positioning of the CPI(M-L) where, as noted in the Communiqué:
The work of the Party was a great achievement, made in the teeth of complex and adverse conditions — attacks by British imperialism and the Irish bourgeoisie and their state powers, as well as from the social-democrats and the revisionists, not least from Chinese revisionism. It was this last achievement which stood the Party in great stead and ensured that CPI(M-L) has been able to overcome both the adverse effects of Maoism and the concerted attempts by revisionist cliques amongst the former leaders of the CPI(M-L) to subvert and liquidate our Party over the last three years or so, and turn CPI(M-L) into yet another revisionist Party, to wipe out once again the essential Marxist-Leninist headquarters of the Irish working class.
It mentions the repudiation of “Mao Zedong Thought” which it traces back to the historic Report of the Central Committee of the Party of Labour of Albania of Comrade Enver Hoxha to the Seventh Congress of the PLA, in November 1976. It notes that
…our party militantly denounced the Chinese revisionists as a new aggressive social-imperialist power, when China launched its perfidious and hostile attack on the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania and the PLA, by cutting off all internationalist aide and all trade with socialist Albania in July 1978. Our Party denounced the origins of Chinese revisionism in the anti-Marxist theory of “Mao Zedong Thought” in September 1979.
It also refers to internal struggles where ‘former leading cadres of our Party… formed revisionist factions which both colluded and contended with one another, and which attempted to use the opportunity of the repudiation of ‘Mao Zedong Thought’ as a Trojan horse to smuggle revisionism into the heart of the Party, so as to eliminate everything revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist which had been established in CPI(M-L) since its foundation, on the hoax that this was ‘carrying through the repudiation of Maoism and its effects on CPI(M-L).’
In this struggle, the Central Committee has had the particular, important assistance of our fraternal parties, the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) and the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), as well as the profound inspiration of the growing strength and unity of the International Marxist-Leninist Communist Movement and the heroic example of the struggle of the Party of Labour of Albania, headed by Comrade Enver Hoxha, against revisionism — against the Titoites, Kruschevites, Maoists, Eurocommunists etc. which were brilliantly summed up in Comrade Enver Hoxha’s Books — ‘Imperialism and the Revolution’, ‘Reflections on China’, ‘The Kruschevites’ etc.
The account of the struggles within the CPI(M-L) references the British and Irish Communist Organisation, the Socialist Party of Ireland and others. There is particularly interesting reference to:
The promotion of revisionist lines to conciliate and collaborate with the revisionists, social-democrats and opportunists, and in general, with the labour aristocracy controlling the trade unions, under the hoax that this was ‘repudiating the main error of CPI(M-L)’s past under the Maoist influence, ‘left sectarianism’ which became a trend in articles on the workers’ struggles in ‘Red Patriot’ during 1979, in particular for a short time support for the slogan of the labour aristocracy in the campaign against the burden of PAYE income tax, ‘Tax the Greedy, not the Needy’ which had been developed by the revisionist so-called ‘Sinn Féin the Workers’ Party’.
It would be useful to see copies of Red Patriot from that period. Obviously at this remove it is difficult to assess the accuracy of the charges, but what is striking is how the influence of those other formations, and perhaps as importantly the concepts they promoted, impinged, even rhetorically, on the CPI(M-L). This is not to overstate that dynamic or that influence, but simply to note that on the further left it existed to some limited extent both as a pole of attraction and repulsion.
Also outlined are the ‘Basic Principles and Programme of the CPI(M-L).
All in all a useful addition to the Archive which clarifies the self-perception of CPI(M-L) as it entered the 1980s.