Archive for anti-capitalism

Chris Hedges – Socialist, Presbyterian Minister, Anti-Imperialist & Pro Palestine Activist

Posted in Socialism, Solidaity, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2017 by The Plough & The Stars

 

Easily Grasped Introductions To Marxist Dialectics

Posted in Karl Marx, Mao, Maoism, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

 

 

The videos above and the opinions within are solely the work of the creators and go some way to explaining Marxist Dialectics in the means for which it was intended, ie, for the benefit of ordinary working class people…

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Why Jeremy Corbyn Should Be The English Labour Party Leader

Posted in Class Solidarity with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

High Street Kensington, London, UK. 26th July 2014. Jeremy Corbyn MP and comedian Jeremy Hardy at the front as the Solidarity for Palestine march fills the High Street Kensington near the Israel Embassy as they march towards Whitehall © Matthew Chattle/AlFirstly it should be stressed that Jeremy Corbyn is not a Revolutionary by any means nor to be fair does he pose as one.  He is a Democratic Socialist and MP for Islington since 1983, previously having worked on Tony Benn’s campaign for Deputy Labour leader in 1981 which was unfortunately unsuccessful.  However, it is well documented that he is a person of principle, holding the record for defying the ‘New Labour’ Three Line whip in parliamentary debates.  During the 2005-2010 Parliament he defied the Labour whip 238 times based on principle, almost 25% of entire votes during this period.

Just Some Reasons why Jeremy Corbyn Should be Labour Party leader:

  • He has consistently supported the cause of Irish National Liberation
  • He is a declared English Republican stating England should be a Republic
  • He is an animal rights campaigner
  • An anti-poverty campaigner
  • Supports and actively advocates ‘Peoples Assemblies’
  • Campaigned for former Chilean dictator and ally of Thatcher to face trial for genocide
  • He is a member of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign
  • A member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign
  • He has called for an end to sanctions against Iran
  • During the height of the parliamentary expenses scandal, he was revealed to be the Westminster MP who claimed the LEAST expenses
  • A member of CND
  • National Chair of the Stop The War Coalition
  • He is chairperson of the anti-imperialist and anti-racist group ‘Liberation’
  • He has the support of the two largest Trade Unions in his country: Unite and Unison
  • A supporter of disability rights

The positive list could go on ad infinitum but Jeremy Corbyn would be a much needed breath of fresh air to a party that for decades has been led by politicians like War-Criminal, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Ed Milliband who out-Toryied the Tories in their right wing policies.  Jeremy Corbyn has recently been the subject of predictable scathing attacks from charlatans such as John Prescott and Neil Kinnock – a vote of confidence by any progressive political barometer!  The Plough and the Stars supports Corbyn’s candidacy for the leadership of his country’s Labour Party, although with the proviso that there can be no parliamentary road to Socialism in any Liberal Democracy.

Alex Mcguigan

A Tribute To Seamus Costello

Posted in Amherst, Imperialism, INLA, Ireland, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSCNA, IRSM, IRSP, Noel Browne, Seamus Costello with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

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Every October, IRSP members, Republicans,, Socialists, Trades Unionists, relatives and friends remember the late, Seamus Costello, in his home town of Bray, County Wicklow.  Many of Seamus Costello’s old comrades, co-founders and younger members of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, gather in Bray annually, to remember with pride their slain comrade. Seamus Costello was the co-founder of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) and the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).

Seamus Costello was the INLA’s first Chief of Staff.  Tragically, he was murdered in the prime of his political life, by an Official IRA gunman on the 5th of October 1977, in the North Strand, Dublin.  Seamus Costello left behind a grieving wife, Maeliosa and his four children, Caoilfionn, Fionan, Aoibbin and Ronan, were traumatically deprived of a loving father. The Irish Republican Socialist Movement was devastatingly robbed of it’s first leader and co-founder.

Much has been written about Seamus Costello, his political dynamism and personal charisma.  As a guerrilla fighter during the IRA’s ‘Border Campaign’ of the 1950’s known officially as Operation Harvest, Seamus Costello earned the nickname, ‘The Boy General’.  He operated in the South Derry area, was wounded and subsequently interned. His highly respected antecedents, were partly responsible for South Derry eventually becoming a strong IRSP area, over a decade later, when the Official IRA’s most revolutionary activists rejected Goulding’s reformist politics to join the Republican Socialist Movement.

 

 Politician and Soldier

Seamus Costello was first and foremost a Republican Socialist, a revolutionary who broke with and rejected the reformist political chicanery and Stalinist stage-ist, ‘two-nations’ ideology of the Official Republican Movement.  Born into an agricultural family background, he was well placed to advocate on behalf of small farmers and he was as well versed on issues effecting the rural working-class, as he was on urban proletarian issues. Prior to Seamus Costello’s murder in 1977, he was appointed, or elected to

 

  • Wicklow County Council
  • County Wicklow Committee of Agriculture
  • General Council of Committees of Agriculture
  • Eastern Regional Development Organisation
  • National Museum Development Committee
  • Bray Urban District Council
  • Bray Branch of the ITGWU
  • Pesident Bray and District Trade Unions Council
  • Cualann Historical Society
  • Chairperson of the IRSP/Chief of Staff INLA

 

Seamus Costello’s politics in his own words can be gauged by the following quotations,

On a New Ireland:

“We want to build a society where our children can live in peace and prosperity, a society where they will control the wealth of this country.” (Crossbarry, Cork, in March 1976)

On Capitalism:

“Against robber-rights I will fight to their destruction or my own.” (Seamus Costello)

On Imperialism and Partition:

“Our attitude, on the other hand, is that the British presence in Ireland is the basic cause of the divisions between the Protestant and Catholic working class in the North.” (Seamus Costello)

On the Official Republican Movement’s Reformist Trajectory:

“They ignored the presence of 15,000 troops on the streets. They ignored the torture and terror perpetrated by the British Army on the Nationalist population and they acted as though there was no change in the situation since 1969.” (Seamus Costello)

On the Provisionals:

The principal difference we would have with them as I see it, is that the Provisionals are not as an organization, dedicated to the establishment of a Socialist Republic….We are not in business to criticize the Provisionals. We have our own policy to pursue and we have our own objectives. To the extent that the Provisional policy runs parallel to ours, we are prepared to co-operate with them.” (Seamus Costello)

On Loyalists and issues effecting Northern working-class Protestants:

“We should certainly co-operate with anybody on any aspect of our policy. But we think that any approach to the Loyalist and Protestant working class in the North, must be on the basis of a principled political approach….We feel that the approach to the Loyalists must be an honest one and that we must explain to them what all aspects of our policy are.” (Seamus Costello)

On the IRSP and the role of the INLA in defending it’s members:

“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.” (Seamus Costello, March 1975.)

On Revolutionary politics, elections and parliaments:

“I favour guerrilla tactics in parliament the same as I do in other respects.I favour them in local elections and local government bodies,they’ve proved successful there. And I see no reason, why, with a few TDs or MPs, of the right calibre, pursuing the right policies, why they cannot destroy the confidence of the people within these institutions and bring them tumbling down in ruins” (Seamus Costello)

 

What People said about Seamus Costello

Noel Browne, on hearing Seamus Costello speak at a conference in Boston, USA, stated:

Seamus Costello spoke for the IRSP and gave a scintillating display of good humour, history, politics and facts…. I’ve never heard his brand of Republicanism before… Is it not a triumph for our radio, TV and newspapers and of the venomous Dublin political denigration machine that none of us has ever read, heard of or seen this man’s remarkable dialectical skill and political ability.”

Noel Browne concluded, by prophetically stating:

“They will have to shoot him, or to jail him, or get out of his way, but they certainly won’t stop him. Costello the revolutionary Marxist Socialist whose ambition is a secular, pluralist united Socialist Republic, won’t go away until he gets it!”

 

Nora Connolly-O’Brien, the daughter of Irish Marxist philosopher and Easter Rising leader, James Connolly, said of Seamus Costello:

“Of all the politicians and political people with whom I have had conversations, and who called themselves followers of Connolly, he was the only one who truly understood what James Connolly meant when he spoke of his vision of the freedom of the Irish people.”

Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey, a founding member of the IRSP and lifelong Republican Socialist, said of Seamus Costello:

“My personal acquaintance and friendship with Seamus Costello began in 1973. Before then I knew him only, as most people in Ireland, by reputation……….On hearing of his death, I could find no words of my own to express the deep sense of loss I felt, both personally and as a revolutionary  socialist committed to the struggle for Irish freedom. I took therefore the words of a fellow revolutionary on the death of Malcolm X, the black revolutionary champion of black liberation and socialism in the U.S.A.: ‘Without him, we feel suddenly vulnerable, small and weak, somewhat frightened, not by the prospect of death, but of life and struggle without his contribution, his strength and inspiration’.”

 

Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey, finished off her appreciation of Seamus Costello, by saying:

” His single greatest attribute was, however, his ability to relate to the mass of the people. His potential as a leader of mass struggle is not easily replaced. He could inspire not only the dream but the confidence of its achievement, and the commitment to work towards that end…..From the ranks of mass struggle, others will come. From the experience of struggle, the political programme, organisation and method of struggle will come. But another Seamus Costello may never come again. When our freedom has been won, let us guard it well,remembering it was paid for in the blood and the lives of those now dead, but whose memory lives forever in the hearts of us who loved them for all that they were and all they might have been, had they been allowed to live.”

 

Thomas ‘Ta’ Power, INLA Guerrilla and Revolutionary theorist wrote:

“the sheer stature of the revolutionary Seamus Costello is too great for what can be expressed in feeble words, yet words are the only (way) to express and convey this stature albeit in a feeble way”

 

Follow In Seamus Costello’s tradition!

The politics of Seamus Costello are perpetuated in the Irish Republican Socialist Party.  October 2013 will be the 36th Anniversary of the tragic murder of Seamus Costello.  However, the IRSP, the revolutionary political vanguard of the movement Costello co-founded, is as relevant in contemporary Ireland as it was in 1974. Irish Republican Socialism is in the unique position today, as it was in Costello’s lifetime, of being the only Irish party to adequately address the crisis of Capitalism and the undemocratic partition of Ireland. In conclusion, there is no doubt that Seamus Costello would be proud to know that the Republican Socialist Movement, despite almost insurmountable obstacles in the past, still fights for, and owes it’s allegiance to the Irish working-class!

 

 

 

Alex McGuigan,
 Belfast

 

An Irish Citizen Army for the 21st Century

Posted in activism, Ireland, Irish Citizen Army, IRSCNA, IRSM, IRSP, James Connolly, Jim Larkin, Trade Unions with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

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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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