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…
Firstly 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:
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.
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.
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
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)
“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)
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”
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
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.
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!”
2) ” The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point, however, is to change it!”
3) “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory” (F.Engels: Anti-Duhring)
By Alex McGuigan
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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.