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…
“Ireland without her people is nothing to me, and the man who is bubbling over with love and enthusiasm for ‘Ireland’, and can yet pass unmoved through our streets and witness all the wrong and the suffering, the shame and the degradation wrought upon the people of Ireland, aye, wrought by Irishmen upon Irishmen and women, without burning to end it, is, in my opinion, a fraud and a liar in his heart, no matter how he loves that combination of chemical elements which he is pleased to call ‘Ireland’.” (James Connolly: The Coming Generation 1900 )
“Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” (Karl Marx)
“To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never failing source of all our political evils, and to assert the independence of my country—these were my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissentions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman, in the place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenter—these were my means.”
“To unite Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter under the common name of Irishmen in order break the connection with England, the never failing source of all our political evils, that was my aim“.
“If the men of property will not support us, they must fall. Our strength shall come from that great and respectable class, the men of no property“. (Theobald Wolfe Tone)
James Connolly’s last public statement:
To the Field General Court Martial, held at Dublin Castle, on May 9th, 1916
I do not wish to make any defence except against charges of wanton cruelty to prisoners. These trifling allegations that have been made, if they record facts that really happened deal only with the almost unavoidable incidents of a hurried uprising against long established authority, and nowhere show evidence of set purpose to wantonly injure unarmed persons.
We went out to break the connection between this country and the British Empire, and to establish an Irish Republic. We believed that the call we then issued to the people of Ireland, was a nobler call, in a holier cause, than any call issued to them during this war, having any connection with the war. We succeeded in proving that Irishmen are ready to die endeavouring to win for Ireland those national rights which the British Government has been asking them to die to win for Belgium. As long as that remains the case, the cause of Irish freedom is safe.
Believing that the British Government has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland, and never can have any right in Ireland, the presence, in any one generation of Irishmen, of even a respectable minority, ready to die to affirm that truth, makes that Government for ever a usurpation and a crime against human progress.
I personally thank God that I have lived to see the day when thousands of Irish men and boys, and hundreds of Irish women and girls, were ready to affirm that truth, and to attest it with their lives if need be.
James Connolly, Marxist Revolutionary
James Connolly is the ideological Father of Irish Republican Socialism. His words are as valid today as they were a Century ago. Even the most casual study of his writings confirm the Irish Republican Socialist vision that the working class can have no real freedom without economic freedom, ie, an Irish Workers’ Republic with the Proletariat in control of the means of production, commodities and exchange. Connolly correctly believed that the cause of national liberation and the class struggle are symbiotic.
Connolly who was originally from the Cowgate in Edinburgh, Scotland was only 5 foot in height but he wielded power that made him a giant amongst those one-dimensional Nationalists, many of whom went on to accept The Treaty,eventually turning borrowed British weaponry against former comrades and out-brutalising the British in their treatment of Irish Republicans. Back then the reformists labelled Republicans as ‘Irregulars’ and ‘Die hards’ today they’d be called ‘dissidents’ by the pro-establishment parties and media
Ireland’s best known Marxist revolutionary whose example of revolutionary Praxis (the combination of theory and action) was courageously tested to the bitter end.
The quote from Karl Marx’s The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, is apt::
“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, secondly as farce.”
The Irish historical dialectic, it’s cyclic nature was identified by Connolly and vindicated tragically. Perhaps James Connolly’s best known quotation acknowledges this this yet only Irish Republican Socialists have learned from it, in fact it should never be forgotten, especially in today’s times where many are being led by the nose by neo-Liberals posing as revolutionaries:
“If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.”
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
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.