An Irish Citizen Army for the 21st Century

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The Irish Republican Socialist Movement has the very real potential of fully taking on the role of an Irish Citizens Army for the 21st Century. Connolly’s ICA was Europe’s first ‘Red Army’ and was intrinsically linked to the nascent militant trade unions of the day, taking direct action against employer abuse of workers, scabs, rack-renters et al. More significant was the clause, moved by Larkin, that,

‘Before being enrolled into the ICA, every applicant must, if eligible, be a member of his trade union.”

100 years later the lot of the Irish working-class is steadily regressing, poverty and housing is a disgrace, racism/fascism is raising it’s ugly head and there are more William martin Murphy clones living it up in 2014 than 1914 while we cravenly are told to tighten our belts by hypocritical politicians who spend more on a meal than many Irish families can afford to spend on the annual bare necessities. At the behest of Foreign bankers, foreign governments and global Capitalism working people are as ruthlessly exploited and cast aside, in even more punitive ways as those that have been the hallmark of the hated homegrown Gombeen variety.   Forced ‘austerity measures’ on workers with ‘zero hour contracts’, the shameful decimation of Ireland’s hospitals, public services, destroying Irish lives and the despicable evictions of families from their homes.

Direct actions by IRSP activists against Zionist products in solidarity with the besieged people of Gaza was praised by our comrades in the PFLP

Connollyite National Liberation and Socialism as opposed to Walkerite ‘Gas & Water Socialism!’

Unlike one-dimensional nationalists, such as Provisonal Sinn Fein, whose leadership backed the employers in the Great Dublin Lock-out of a century ago and in contemporary times continue in a similar modus operandi, Republican Socialists, as a genuine Connollyite movement who, in the words of the IRSM’s co-founder, Seamus Costello, primarily  we owe our allegiance to the working class! Likewise, unlike the Brit-centric  Left or ‘2 nations socialists’, the IRSM do not adopt their myopic approach that ignores the presence and impact of British imperialism and view the class struggle and the national liberation struggle as inseparable, in the same approach as Connolly, Larkin, Mellows, Costello and Ta Power.

Without second-guessing any potential overall strategy or tactical directions, it is suffice that as a Marxist revolutionary party the words of both Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels strongly influence Irish Republican Socialists:

1) “We have nothing to lose but our chains – we have a world to win!”
and:

2) ” The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point, however, is to change it!”
and:

3) “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory” (F.Engels: Anti-Duhring)

Saoirse go deo!

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By Alex McGuigan
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