Forget Israeli, US and Imperialist propaganda – make up your own mind….
Forget Israeli, US and Imperialist propaganda – make up your own mind….
Source: IRSP News 18/10/2014
The Irish Republican Socialist Party in the Belfast joined with over a thousand fellow Socialists and Trades Unionists at a Congress organised rally against austerity measures at Writers’ Square in the city before marching through the city centre, around City Hall then finishing off at Donegal Street. The very positive march was well received by the general public in Belfast City Centre on a busy shopping day. The only minor incident was when right-wing Loyalist ‘flag protesters’ from the safety of the gated grounds of City Hall shouted sectarian comments at the march in general and the IRSP in particular. However, they were roundly ignored by all. Needless to say none of the pro-establishment parties or their ginger groups, who are facilitating and rubber stamping cuts and austerity measures, saw fit to join with the organised working-class today..
It is a goes without saying that the IRSP whose politics are anti-capitalist, pro-working-class and anti-imperialist will continue to fight against Westminster’s, Stormont’s and Leinster House’s draconian offensives against ordinary working people. The IRSP concurs with Republican Socialism’s ideological forefather, James Connolly, when he stated over a century ago, words that are are as applicable in today’s unequal society,that,
TJ O’Connor‘s ‘The Command Economy’ is a well presented and educational introduction to central planning and Marxist economics. The author successfully manages to present the fairly dry discipline of Marxist economics in a manner that is readable and understandable to the non-academic.
The Command Economy’s introduction section gives an overview of the benefits of a planned economy:
“A central planner can achieve an economy that is more efficient, more just and with faster growth than the free market with the correct information and computation ”
Without going into the often confusing competing interpretations of the Soviet system within wider Marxism, the author simplifies the subject for the reader by pointing out that that the Command Economy has been the only real alternative to the Capitalist economic system:
“An important and defining feature of the USSR that has often been neglected in favour of political critiques and sectarian point scoring, is the command economy that it operated on. This remains the only alternative economic model to the market to be practised on a large-scale and for much of its history was remarkably effective”
The author then analyses the workings of the command economy and its flaws, notably inadequate politicisation and information. Concrete examples of logistical flaws in the production of commodities within the Soviet system and how they therefore were unable to develop high tech industries, are given in a highly readable, understandable manner. With examples of central planning difficulties that effected both Cuba and the USSR:
“The biggest failure of the command economy has been in farming. Even after largely phasing out small peasant plots, and collectivizing much of Soviet agriculture, the economy continued to depend on those small private plots for much of the country’s food. This was partially because of the ham-handed and crude way collectivization was implemented from above, also because the peasants who were the most successful tended to often (but not always, of course) resist collectivization, and also because infrastructure to deliver goods to market often lagged behind..”
TJ O’Connor in the third section of ‘The Planned Economy’ accurately specifies examples of a state-controlled economy’s multiple benefits using the Cuban, the Peoples Republic of China and the USSR. Included in this section is a quote from Che Guevara’s speech to the Inter-American Economic and Social Council in 1961. Guevara outlined the immediate benefits from the nationalisation of the economy as the starting point in building a Socialist society in Cuba, where previously it had been the international brothel of imperialism:
“In all these areas we carried out a revolution, and we also carried out a true revolution in education, culture, and health care. This year illiteracy will be eliminated in Cuba.”
Quite clearly, the command economy addresses human need in a way that would be impossible in a free market economy. In essence, the command economy utilising the current advances in technology etc has more chance of succeeding now than previously.
TJ O’Connor’s final section in The Planned Economy acknowledges the limitations of previous attempts at implementing a Socialist economy in the likes of the USSR where circumstances beyond their control frustrated their success. The stark choices faced by the USSR following the unsuccessful Socialist revolutions elsewhere, the zero option of ‘Socialism in one country’ and the massive economic leap that the fledgling Socialist state had to make from Feudalism are explored. The author makes the final point that a planned economy in this era, harnessing all the resources of previous Capitalist production can and will succeed.
TJ O’Connor is a senior member of the Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America (IRSCNA), the Irish Republican Socialist Movement’s representative body in the USA and Canada. TJ has been a lifelong political activist, not limited to Irish/American issues but to revolutionary socialist campaigns and issues effecting the working-class in North America The Planned Economy by TJ O’Connor is available to read in it’s entirety on Google Documents or by contacting the author directly via the IRSCNA website contact form. The Command Economy is an excellent and educational introduction to the dynamics of Socialist economics.
Joan Mas Autonell, a reporter from the Catalan publication ‘Diagonal’ visited Costello House to conduct an interview with the Irish Republican Socialist Party. After formal introductions and meeting some of the Teach na Failte full time staff, the interview got underway.
The IRSP PRO outlined the politics of the party stressing the Marxist and Connollyite ideology of the party, that national liberation and the struggle for Socialism were of equal importance and at the core of the party’s raison d’etre.
Other issues covered during the interview were:
. The failure and counterproductive nature of the Good Friday & St Andrews Agreements
. The current economic situation
. The current ‘austerity’ measures designed to screw working-class people to despair
. The fact that over 5000 British troops are still stationed in the north of Ireland
. The continued repression of Irish Republicans and the use of selective internment of those who challenged the status quo
. The IRSP’s recent involvement in electoral politics after a 30 year gap from fielding candidates
Other issues relating to the proud history of the Republican Socialist Movement were discussed and in the room the interview took place where framed pictures of Gino Gallagher, Seamus Costello, Ronnie Bunting are displayed amongst others, it was explained to Joan Mas Autonell that at every juncture in our movement’s history out most able and articulate leaders have been assassinated by pro-British death-squads, which is a fair indication that our politics have always been a serious threat to the ruling classes in both the 6 counties and indeed the Leinster House regime.
It is hoped that yet another link of solidarity will have been forged and that Diagonal will have a much clearer understanding of the politics of the Irish Republican Socialist Party.
Here is a link to the Diagonal website, there is an option to translate the content to English or any other language:
The Plough and the Stars is an on-line publication that is steadfastly supportive of the founding principles of the Irish Republican Socialist Party. However, the views expressed within are solely those of the various authors/
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Saoirse go deo!
Let us free Ireland! Never mind such base, carnal thoughts as concern work and wages, healthy homes, or lives unclouded by poverty.
Let us free Ireland! The rackrenting landlord; is he not also an Irishman, and wherefore should we hate him? Nay, let us not speak harshly of our brother – yea, even when he raises our rent.
Let us free Ireland! The profit-grinding capitalist, who robs us of three-fourths of the fruits of our labour, who sucks the very marrow of our bones when we are young, and then throws us out in the street, like a worn-out tool when we are grown prematurely old in his service, is he not an Irishman, and mayhap a patriot, and wherefore should we think harshly of him?
Let us free Ireland! “The land that bred and bore us.” And the landlord who makes us pay for permission to live upon it. Whoop it up for liberty!
“Let us free Ireland,” says the patriot who won’t touch Socialism. Let us all join together and cr-r-rush the br-r-rutal Saxon. Let us all join together, says he, all classes and creeds. And, says the town worker, after we have crushed the Saxon and freed Ireland, what will we do? Oh, then you can go back to your slums, same as before. Whoop it up for liberty!
And, says the agricultural workers, after we have freed Ireland, what then? Oh, then you can go scraping around for the landlord’s rent or the money-lenders’ interest same as before. Whoop it up for liberty!
After Ireland is free, says the patriot who won’t touch socialism, we will protect all classes, and if you won’t pay your rent you will be evicted same as now. But the evicting party, under command of the sheriff, will wear green uniforms and the Harp without the Crown, and the warrant turning you out on the roadside will be stamped with the arms of the Irish Republic. Now, isn’t that worth fighting for?
And when you cannot find employment, and, giving up the struggle of life in despair, enter the poorhouse, the band of the nearest regiment of the Irish army will escort you to the poorhouse door to the tune of St. Patrick's Day. Oh! It will be nice to live in those days!
“With the Green Flag floating o’er us” and an ever-increasing army of unemployed workers walking about under the Green Flag, wishing they had something to eat. Same as now! Whoop it up for liberty!
Now, my friend, I also am Irish, but I’m a bit more logical. The capitalist, I say, is a parasite on industry; as useless in the present stage of our industrial development as any other parasite in the animal or vegetable world is to the life of the animal or vegetable upon which it feeds.
The working class is the victim of this parasite – this human leech, and it is the duty and interest of the working class to use every means in its power to oust this parasite class from the position which enables it to thus prey upon the vitals of labour.
Therefore, I say, let us organise as a class to meet our masters and destroy their mastership; organise to drive them from their hold upon public life through their political power; organise to wrench from their robber clutch the land and workshops on and in which they enslave us; organise to cleanse our social life from the stain of social cannibalism, from the preying of man upon his fellow man.
Organise for a full, free and happy life FOR ALL OR FOR NONE!
The chief defect of all hitherto existing materialism – that of Feuerbach included – is that the thing, reality, sensuousness, is conceived only in the form of the object or of contemplation, but not as sensuous human activity, practice, not subjectively. Hence, in contradistinction to materialism, the active side was developed abstractly by idealism – which, of course, does not know real, sensuous activity as such.
Feuerbach wants sensuous objects, really distinct from the thought objects, but he does not conceive human activity itself as objective activity. Hence, in The Essence of Christianity, he regards the theoretical attitude as the only genuinely human attitude, while practice is conceived and fixed only in its dirty-judaical manifestation. Hence he does not grasp the significance of “revolutionary”, of “practical-critical”, activity.
The question whether objective truth can be attributed to human thinking is not a question of theory but is a practical question. Man must prove the truth — i.e. the reality and power, the this-sidedness of his thinking in practice. The dispute over the reality or non-reality of thinking that is isolated from practice is a purely scholastic question.
The materialist doctrine concerning the changing of circumstances and upbringing forgets that circumstances are changed by men and that it is essential to educate the educator himself. This doctrine must, therefore, divide society into two parts, one of which is superior to society.
The coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity or self-changing can be conceived and rationally understood only as revolutionary practice.
Feuerbach starts out from the fact of religious self-alienation, of the duplication of the world into a religious world and a secular one. His work consists in resolving the religious world into its secular basis.
But that the secular basis detaches itself from itself and establishes itself as an independent realm in the clouds can only be explained by the cleavages and self-contradictions within this secular basis. The latter must, therefore, in itself be both understood in its contradiction and revolutionized in practice. Thus, for instance, after the earthly family is discovered to be the secret of the holy family, the former must then itself be destroyed in theory and in practice.
Feuerbach, not satisfied with abstract thinking, wants contemplation; but he does not conceive sensuousness as practical, human-sensuous activity.
Feuerbach resolves the religious essence into the human essence. But the human essence is no abstraction inherent in each single individual.
In its reality it is the ensemble of the social relations.
Feuerbach, who does not enter upon a criticism of this real essence, is consequently compelled:
To abstract from the historical process and to fix the religious sentiment as something by itself and to presuppose an abstract – isolated – human individual.
Essence, therefore, can be comprehended only as “genus”, as an internal, dumb generality which naturally unites the many individuals.
Feuerbach, consequently, does not see that the “religious sentiment” is itself a social product, and that the abstract individual whom he analyses belongs to a particular form of society.
All social life is essentially practical. All mysteries which lead theory to mysticism find their rational solution in human practice and in the comprehension of this practice.
The highest point reached by contemplative materialism, that is, materialism which does not comprehend sensuousness as practical activity, is contemplation of single individuals and of civil society.
The standpoint of the old materialism is civil society; the standpoint of the new is human society, or social humanity.
The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.