The Irish Republican Socialist Movement 1974 and Onwards! by Alex McGuigan
Like all truly revolutionary movements, the Irish Republic Socialist Movement are realists, as Marx and Engels stated in the Communist Manifesto:
“this fight is sometime hidden and sometimes open.”
But while tactics change, principles never will. The Irish Workers’ Republic, envisioned and fought for by Connolly a century ago was carried on by Seamus Costello, Ronnie Bunting, Ta Power and Gino Gallagher, to name but a few. Observers of Irish politics over the decades have testified to Seamus Costello, the IRSM’s co-founder, fortitude and brilliance. A little bit of Seamus Costello’s vision has been within the integral psyche of “Irps” past and present. No-one has ever claimed that the road to a Workers’ Republic would be an easy one in any national liberation struggle for a socialist state, as VI Lenin confirmed in his theses “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back” after all to quote Connolly:
“Our demands most moderate are, We only want the earth!”
The imperialists, the super-rich, the corporations, our own native Gombeen Capitalists and the owners of fabulous privilege will not give up their control of the means of production and exchange easily. However, with Capitalism as a socio-economic system in freefall globally, just as Feudalism before it, prior to bourgeois revolutions (which were far from seamless) the parting words of Herr Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto ring as true today in the ears of the unemployed worker as it did in those who worked in the ‘satanic mills’ who felt the first hope of scientific socialism as a means to change the inequities of society:
“The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win! Working Men of All Countries, Unite!”
Costello whose views are well documented also realised that reformists, opportunists and usurpers of the Connollyite vision would, in tandem with the imperialists, seek to silence the exponents of such an aim that threatened the status quo and correctly identified that:
“Any revolutionary movement that cannot defend its own membership, and cannot demonstrate its capability of defending its own membership, goes out of business anyway. We are in business as a serious revolutionary organisation and we are not going to be put out of business by anybody. The IRSP is organised and it is here to stay.”
These prophetic words are as accurate today as when he stated them in 1975. The IRSM’s resilience has proven that for 39 years as we adapt, strategize and grow. Naysayers, begrudgers and opportunists should take note.
Saoirse go deo!