No 1610 1st June 2022
Revolutionary theory more urgently needed to comprehend the crisis failure of imperialism and its shattering impact on ruling class confidence. Tories split and slump plans panicked but ruthless class war goes on. RMT fightback hampered by reformist class collaborating delusions. Only revolution can stop the Slump and war. NATO setbacks in Ukraine to be welcomed but no support for Putinism
The inflationary explosion ripping through the world economy driving millions into foodbank penury, coming unemployment, homelessness, desperation and fear of the future confirms the central tenet of Marxist understanding – the Catastrophic breakdown of the profit making system as the driving force of history.
It is the vital perspective without which nothing can be understood clearly.
It underlies the astonishing Budget windfall-tax reversal last week, a (very) temporary sticking-plaster to buy time for a ruling class fearful of inevitable social revolt and upheaval as it imposes the full burden of the collapse: the continuing nervous Tory splits and backstabbing argument over Boris Johnson’s “Partygate” sleaze; the anti-EU Brexit protocol belligerence after the Irish election (see next story); and most of all the horrific and vicious warmongering set going in Ukraine against Russia by CIA-NATO manipulation and instigation (on top of half a dozen even more brutal imperialist-initiated wars since 1999, steadily dragging the world towards unstoppable World War Three, capitalism’s “way out” of its collapse).
It even underlies the teargassed turnstile turmoil at the Paris Liverpool-Real Madrid Champions League football final, riddled with growing chauvinist hostility between France and Britain at both the match and in subsequent “diplomatic” finger pointing, symptoms of intensifying trade war hostility.
The nastiness of capitalism seeps into everything and poisons all human relations.
All the antagonisms and alienations in the modern world, large and small, have their origins in the contradictions of this class based exploitation system, its hire-and-fire rat-race setting everyone against everyone else in the battle to win and keep employment and not go under, or keep a toehold for a petty bourgeois small business in the “free market” dominated by giant monopoly combines, all the way from individual face-treading daily survival to village against village, city against city, region against region; from company against company to multinational against monopoly corporation, up to entire countries and blocs of countries in trade war conflict.
Permanently souring life even in the best of times, the tensions reach fever pitch once the inevitable and unstoppable collapse of the economy ripens, caused by the inbuilt contradictions of a system guided by the ultimately insane principles of forever maximising profit for constant accumulation by an ever dwindling number of ultra-rich “private” owners, rather than on planning and coordinating production in common ownership for the rational and reasonable needs of the entire community leaving no-one behind (as opposed to the advertising and “influencer” hyper-activated false “needs” of a demented “celeb”-fashion consumerist world).
Trade war inevitably becomes shooting war as the ruling class seeks both to cover up its disastrous failures, and to destroy the capital “surplus” choking the capacity of the system to make profit (because so many goods cannot be sold to an ever more impoverished majority - see box).
Only ending monopoly capitalist rule by class-war overturning of its entire system will such a world and its wasteful, chaotic, polluting and resource plundering production be brought to an end, to allow a human society to develop in harmony with nature and with humanity’s best interests and scientific reason.
As Marx explained the relentless forward pressure which anarchic capitalist competition produces, and which six or seven centuries ago drove its revolutionary transformation of stultifying mystical feudal society into the innovative (but one-sided) development and technological progress of the modern world, also becomes its downfall as here in the Communist Manifesto, 170 years old but still relevant:
Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed; and why? Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much, industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them.
The lower strata of the middle class—the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants—all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists, partly because their specialised skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production. Thus the proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population.
But with the development of industry the proletariat not only increases in number; it becomes concentrated in greater masses, its strength grows, and it feels that strength more. The various interests and conditions of life within the ranks of the proletariat are more and more equalised, in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labour, and nearly everywhere reduces wages to the same low level: The growing competition among the bourgeois, and the resulting commercial crises, make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating. The unceasing improvement of machinery, ever more rapidly developing, makes their livelihood more and more precarious; the collisions between individual workmen and individual bourgeois take more and more the character of collisions between two classes.
Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battles lies, not in the immediate result, but in the ever-expanding union of the workers. This union is helped on by the improved means of communication that are created by modern industry and that place the workers of different localities in contact with one another. It was just this contact that was needed to centralise the numerous local struggles, all of the same character, into one national struggle between classes.
Altogether collisions between the classes of the old society further, in many ways, the course of development of the proletariat. The bourgeoisie finds itself involved in a constant battle. At first with the aristocracy; later on, with those portions of the bourgeoisie itself, whose interests have become antagonistic to the progress of industry; at all times, with the bourgeoisie of foreign countries. In all these battles it sees itself compelled to appeal to the proletariat, to ask for its help, and thus, to drag it into the political arena. The bourgeoisie itself, therefore, supplies the proletariat with its own elements of political and general education, in other words, it furnishes the proletariat with weapons for fighting the bourgeoisie.
Further, as we have already seen, entire sections of the ruling classes are, by the advance of industry, precipitated into the proletariat, or are at least threatened in their conditions of existence. These also supply the proletariat with fresh elements of enlightenment and progress.
Finally, in times when the class-struggle nears the decisive hour, the process of dissolution going on within the ruling-class,, in fact within the whole range of old society, assumes such a violent, glaring character, that a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joins the revolutionary class, the class that holds the future in its hands. Just as, therefore, at an earlier period, a section of the nobility went over to the bourgeoisie, so now a portion of the bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat, and in particular, a portion of the bourgeois ideologists, who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movement as a whole.
The lower middle class the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all these fight against the bourgeoisie, to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class. They are therefore not revolutionary, but conservative. Nay more, they are reactionary, for they try to roll back the wheel of history. If by chance they are revolutionary, they are so only in view of their impending transfer into the proletariat, they thus defend not their present, but their future interests, they desert their own standpoint to place themselves at that of the proletariat.
And here it becomes evident, that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an over-riding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state, that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him. Society, can no longer live under this bourgeoisie, in other words, its existence is no longer compatible with society.
As was clear even then, the “ever expanding union of workers” could only be a beginning and the crucial question was to “comprehend theoretically the historical movement as a whole”.
Begun with Marx and Engels’ First and Second Internationals, it was a task which Lenin’s Bolsheviks fully developed with the creation of the revolutionary party of non-stop struggle to constantly battle to take theory forwards, through party polemics internally and with external forces, winning recruits with the argument or exposing false, mistaken or rank opportunist lines (and correcting its own errors).
Polemical battles fought over decades saw the Bolsheviks triumph over the endless generation and regeneration of limited, hostile petty bourgeois politics; its subjective idealism fooling and setting back the working class, particularly through illusions in bourgeois democracy (parliament) and class-collaboration and “deal making” while abandoning revolutionary perspectives.
More than 100 volumes of those collected experiences from Marx, Engels, Lenin and some others, are available to grasp and explain all the battles gone through – a rich and vital foundation to develop theory, without which there can be no revolution as Lenin said.
Multiple complexities are piled on top since 1847 – including relentless anti-communist brainwashing to deliberately fragment and disillusion the working class and the retreat from revolution which saw the first great development in communism, the titanic Soviet Union and the Soviet camp, liquidated by complacent revisionism (and pushed by the fake-“left” poison of anti-Soviet Trotskyism).
The EPSR has added to those works in its four decades of struggle, including analysing the philosophical retreats which saw Moscow abandon the great 73 year progress of the USSR and the dictatorship of the proletariat which defended it (see eg EPSR book Unanswered Polemics).
Developing a cadre party that will master all of that Marxist-Leninist science – and develop it – continues to be the crucial issue for the working class, especially in Britain with a long record of hostility or indifference to theory, played to by a slew of petty bourgeois fake-“left” groups filling the air with philistine shallowness and complacency, workerist nostrums and anti-communism which blocks off such struggle.
That is particularly pertinent at present as the crisis collapse (begun in 2008 and accelerated now by the inflationary rebound from QE) forces workers into more struggles, such as notably right now the mass walkout of the railwaymen, the RMT union which voted with 80% support for strike action.
Workers are being led into this fight without the tiniest scrap of perspective about the Catastrophic scale of the crisis.
Their determination and willingness to fight the draconian austerity cuts and now the pressures of the inflationary surge are not in doubt.
But being fed a class-collaborating line by the union leaderships about “defending trade union rights” in a “free and democratic society” in order to win a “fair balance” of conditions “between employers and workers” is misleadership garbage.
It belongs to a past epoch of narrow craft interests which pay no attention to the wider class struggle and which at any point in the last century and a half was divisive and opportunist, demanding a “fairer share” of the imperialist plunder (for a section of workers only) and heading off the critical issue of ending capitalism.
In this epoch of crisis collapse its fostering of yet further faith in bourgeois “democracy” is nonsense, leading workers up the garden path.
Capitalism is hurtling into the greatest disaster in history and has to be overturned by class war to build disciplined workers states.
The ruling class is desperate, ready to tear up all “fairness” and principles, including against any industrial action which starts to challenge its existence.
The behaviour of the Johnson Tories makes the point, ducking and weaving every moment and tearing up “democratic” principles and “standards” – from the “soft coup” parliamentary shenanigans it used in 2019 (lying to the Queen etc) to push out even the useless soft “left” opportunism of Corbyn (already undermined by the outrageous establishment/Zionist hatchet job of the “left-anti-semitism” demonisation falsehoods), to the latest tearing up of ministerial codes to head off “partygate”.
And while the bluster and sleaze exposés (caused by and reflecting the economic disaster) have shaken the fearful Tory middle-class to the core, far more ruthless measures will come, if not from Boris Johnson, then other sections of the ruling class (or if needed, the B-team bourgeois stoogery of the Labour party, kept on the back burner to run imperialism when needed, including sections ready to turn outright fascist, like the former Labour minister Oswald Mosley preparing the Blackshirt British movement in the 1930s. Social-democrats (German Labourites) Noske and Scheidermann in Germany were the ones who assassinated revolutionary workers leaders Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebnicht in 1918; the “left” Attlee government was the one which set up NATO and waged anti-communist war in Greece, Malaysia and Africa post-war; Blairism set the now constant crisis warmongering going with Serbia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and most of all, the Goebbels WMD-lie invasion of Iraq).
The crisis leaves the ruling class “no choice” (if it is to keep its sweet power and wealth) but to tear up all the reformism of the past because it can no longer be afforded in the cutthroat conditions now prevailing and about to get far, far worse.
The lesson was there in the great and heroic miners strike of 1984-85 that the ruling class would use no restraint, waging a dirty militarised police civil war.
Even then the old Labour/TUC tradition would not only provide no answers – the crisis was already too deep for any reformist “Plan for Coal” subsidies which the Scargill leadership was holding out as the aim – but would treacherously stab the whole fight in the back, deliberately failing to mobilise the whole working class in support – which would have required a much broader perspective of what workers are is really up against. That is, the historic and unstoppable disintegration of the world into utter chaos which only revolution can end.
And while the debate can go on about how far such a perspective would have changed things at that time, the fight could have developed much deeper understanding among the best of those vanguard workers for the coming crisis, now rotten ripe.
Whatever brings any workers into the fight initially (wages, “right to strike”, working conditions etc) they vitally need such understanding – for themselves and for the understanding of the working class around them of all kinds building the solidarity of the wider class struggle which alone can end capitalism (an easier task than restoring past imperial class collaboration).
A critical issue to grasp at present is the war in Ukraine, a great lurch in the world class struggle causing maximum confusion as an absolute tide of one-sided Goebbels big-lie propaganda of unprecedented intensity, its upside-down accusations, emotive “sympathy” pieces, and pretend concern for “the rule of law” all dressed up as “impartial reporting”, has swept public opinion along behind the Kiev Nazi regime.
The issue is directly linked to the railwaymen’s action – the billionaire bourgeois press like the Daily Mail using it to demonise and isolate leading figures in the union for their “communist” links because they refuse to accept the distortions, exaggerations and dissembling, and – astoundingly for a paper which cheered on Mosley in the 1930s, – even accusing them of backing “fascists”.
The class instincts of these RMT leaders are perhaps to support the fight against NATO - and by straight line logic to back Russia.
Now, as explained in past issues and below, the Marxist position on Moscow does not support Putinism, any more than it supported Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, Saddam Hussein in Iraq or Assad in Syria; it recognises only that there is an overwhelmingly dominant imperialist power in the world, namely the US empire and its stooges (like the UK), which is the main warmongering enemy of mankind, the defeat of which by any force, is in the interests of the working class and world proletarian masses.
Defeat for the monstrous NATO and its puppet east European fascist regimes (Ukraine, the Baltics, clerical-reactionary Catholic Poland, Bulgaria etc) is the call, but support for Putin is an unnecessary and confusing step too far – Putin’s god-fearing oligarch-friendly semi-imperialist overt anti-Leninism needs bringing down too, once the immediate imperialist threat is out of the way.
The same was true with Slobodan Milosevic, as spelt out at the time of the NATO blitzkrieg on Serbia, the central remnant of the Yugoslavian workers state. Defeat for the Western belligerence and skulduggery but no support for the revisionist nationalist degeneracy and confusion in Belgrade (see issue No 1006 14-07-99).
And by fostering such confusion today’s revisionists play into the hands of the majority of the fake-“left” which has completely capitulated to the imperialist propaganda war onslaught (as they have more or less since the 9/11 WTO New York attack in 2001, pitching in behind the “war on terror” by condemning every crude outburst of attempted anti-imperialist fightback which does not fit their neat idealist moralising formulas about the “proper” way to struggle).
The CPGB guru figure Jack Conrad makes this explicit in the latest regurgitation of virtually same Weekly Worker article he has produced at least four times since the war began, which ostensibly denounces and mocks the social-pacifist “Stop the war”-ites (CPB, SWP, Left Unity etc) for their de facto siding with NATO (by calling for Russian withdrawal) and attacking the outright social-imperialist supporters of NATO and the Ukrainian reactionaries (the Labour Representation Committee, Alliance for Workers Liberty, Ukraine Solidarity Campaign, Paul Mason and John McDonnell (among others).
But despite much wordy - and correct enough - shooting of these fish-in-barrels the real target he aims at is what he calls the “pro-Kremlin left” including several of the usual-suspect contributors in articles and to its letters page.
Like rumoured dissidents in the CPB Young Communist wing, or the resignation of journalist Steve Sweeney from the Morning Star, the war crisis has thrown up new political splits (a major phenomenon in itself) and these have made life difficult for the usual bilious Trot-style anti-Sovietism that the WW has increasingly espoused over the decades, despite its early revisionist roots.
So Conrad piles on the insults and contempt for Putin’s oligarch-collusion and Church Orthodoxy in order to rubbish any glimmer of siding against NATO, hoping to coral these anti-imperialist stirrings behind formalistic and purely cosmetic sloganising about “the main enemy is at home” – a sly parody of Lenin’s World War One “defeatism” call for turning the inter-imperialist war into a class-war civil war to topple Tsarist autocracy.
But it is a hollow joke with no content whatsoever and certainly no indication of a framework of revolutionary struggle and consciousness, and no indication of how that might be achieved (just as the Spart Trots have ventured in fact - a coincidence of position reflecting the petty bourgeois class outlook of all of them).
Only the usual posturing about “calling for workers militias to be set up” (presumably by voting for them!!!) is more vacuous.
More. As already described, the main imperialist power and influence in the world is US imperialism and its stooge institutions (IMF, UN, World Bank, USAID etc as well as dozens of provenance-less “democracy and freedom” NGO fronts for the CIA or billionaire reactionaries).
Any defeatist line, as Conrad claims to espouse, has to focus on that great dominating world power and influence and its humiliation and setback.
Since that implies no support for Moscow it is entirely irrelevant what barmy or philistine notions Putin or his entourage have in their heads.
But the Weekly Worker is trying to stamp out these glowing embers of a potentially correct position in case the great shifts in world class forces should set them alight.
The great bulk of the article is certainly defeatist therefore – the defeatist gloom of the petty bourgeois in thrall to the ruling class pouring cold water on any hopes that imperialism is seeing, or will see, setbacks.
It not only sneers out almost unquestioningly the deliberate lies of the Western psyops war propaganda about the alleged failures of the Russians but embellishes it, so that the military is “astoundingly” incompetent etc. It swallows the much repeated nonsense that the Russian “failed to take Kiev,” or Kharkiv, when it was clear from the beginning these attacks were controlled military feints to pin down Ukrainian forces, preventing their aid going to the east – it accepts unquestioningly “thousands of civilians” killed figures which are entirely unsubstantiated (ie made-up) numbers from the axe-grinding Nazis to hype up demands for Western aid and weaponry; it equally swallows the lie that there is “no support for the Russians” when thousands of the oppressed Russian speakers have cheered them on (and been shot dead for their trouble by “cleansing squads” of Ukrainian nationalists).
Getting into its stride is says
for the vast majority of Ukrainian-Ukrainians (and some Russian speakers) Putin’s invasion represents death destruction robbery and rape.
a foul repetition of the Western lie machine output. This Conrad will be testifying at a Western lie-propaganda warcrimes tribunal next!!!!
The base for all this poison is the Trot hatred of the Soviet workers state.
It leaves unmentioned the shattering defeat of the fanatical Azov brigade in Mariupol.
But the true defeat must be for fake-“left” poison.
Build Leninism. Lee Tubbs
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Discussion: Stunning Sinn Féin electoral victory in once-partitioned north of Ireland richly confirms long-running EPSR Marxist analysis of the triumph of the national-liberation struggle against declining imperialist power of Britain. Sulking colonist disruption over Brexit protocol delivers further lesson in the lie of bourgeois democracy. But nationalist limitations show on Ukraine
Renewed Tory threats to “tear up” the Brexit Irish border protocol further demonstrate the ever-deepening perfidy, duplicity, sleazy dishonesty and sheer nastiness of the ruling class as its crisis system crumbles.
Its bigoted bluster and crude belligerence reflects the fears and uncertainties of a ruling class that is on the ropes, not knowing which way to turn in the teeth of the economic Catastrophe of monopoly capitalism and desperate to cover up its defeats and failures, specifically over Ireland, as well as to distract attention from the general chaos, sleaze and bankruptcy of the government.
It also, incidentally, shows up yet again the miserable defeatism and subjective-idealist posturing of the fake-“left” revisionists and Trots, still denying that the Irish nationalist struggle has ever made anything more than token headway, if that, and that imperialism remains “firmly in charge” in suppressing such a “hotspot” of revolt.
The May election shows exactly the opposite as the EPSR has explained all along during the long unbeatable national-liberation struggle.
For the first time ever the Sinn Féin, party of the Irish nationalists, and the political voice of the national liberation struggle for 50 years took an outright electoral majority for the Stormont government in the northern part of Ireland.
The unstoppable momentum of the reunification cause, effectively settled 25 years ago by the 1998 admission of defeat by British imperialism and its colonist stooges at the hands of the 30 year-long IRA/Sinn Féin struggle, is confirmed incontravertibly despite all the hoops the nationalists have been forced jump through by the “rules” of the bent bourgeois democratic system.
Together with equal success in the south, where Sinn Féin is now the largest party too after the hundred year domination of the reactionary Green Tories and certain to rout all of them in the next election, it constitutes the major political party on the whole island and the only one crossing the border at that, obviously on the road to a not-so-distant full and formal reunification of Ireland and its long delayed complete independence.
The momentum is still growing, and that of the dog-in-the-manger colonists diminishing.
The gigantic and historic victory of the total Irish national independence cause is now unstoppable.
And while the petty bourgeois limits of the nationalists are becoming increasingly obvious (in mistaken calls for Russian withdrawal in Ukraine for example and failure to see the crisis) that is still profoundly significant for socialist revolutionary struggle everywhere.
As Marx and Engels first understood, the “national emancipation of Ireland is not a question of abstract justice” but one which has a shattering effect not just on British imperialist prestige itself but on the working class consciousness within Britain.
For as long as workers went along with the “empire” – taking a class-collaborating share of the super-profits sweated from the masses in the colonies and falling in behind the ruling class’s world plundering – they were forging their own chains they said.
The disintegration and humiliation of British world domination (and eventually all imperialist domination), and most of all in its oldest and most significant colony, helps break the corrupting influence of “great nation” chauvinism which has run particularly deep in the petty bourgeois and much of the working class in Britain due to its once world ascendancy.
It clears the way for crucial revolutionary understanding to be fought for finally rather than the century and a half of class collaboration, reformism, trade union narrowness, philistinism and hostility to theory which has hampered even the best of its struggles like the heroic 1984 miners strike.
The ruling class has every interest in diverting attention from this historic turning point.
It has been using the protocol provocations to do it, colluding with the most diehard of the colonists, hand in hand with the most reactionary Empire-nostalgic elements of the British establishment, in the backwoods section of the Tory party, the security services and the media, especially the BBC.
The all hate the Irish triumph as they have throughout the long fight for independence.
They are the receptive gallery the harridan Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has been playing to, all in full-on sympathy with the hard-core colonist DUP, still – incredibly – trying to reverse history and restore their one time arrogant supremacy in the artificial “Northern Island” statelet, 25 years on from the defeat of their “No surrender” colonialist police state.
That is what the DUP carping and disruptive boycott of the Stormont government is for.
Far from “protecting the Good Friday Agreement” as laughably declared by the throwback DUP leader Sir Geoffrey Donaldson and echoed by Boris Johnson’s “say anything to get out of trouble” chicanery, it is about undermining it.
Using the excuse of a “lack of cross community consensus” for the Brexit protocol the DUP issues blood-curdling warnings of “social breakdown”, trying to disrupt the peace process atmosphere now accepted by the majority, including a large proportion of the former colonist population.
But this is just a ludicrous threat from the increasingly isolated diehards themselves and a hollow one at that.
The only “instability” being caused, is that which they are themselves are trying to whip up, such as issuing non-compliance orders with customs checks in Belfast, and now their sabotaging disruption and refusal to cooperate with the newly elected Stormont government by not taking their seats and stymying the power sharing mechanism using boycott.
But it is all a damp squib – the alleged turmoil and upheaval is not happening.
The much hyped “Loyalist riots” of the last couple of years were pathetic flurries clearly instigated as provocations but succeeding only in cynically taking advantage of a few disadvantaged youths by blaming their deprivation on loss of former colonist privilege, rather than the crisis which is responsible, and inciting them to burn a few buses.
But it turned out more as street theatre than counter-revolution.
Despite obvious behind the scenes efforts to inflame greater turmoil, it was nothing like the vicious brutalities, sectarian beatings and killings and the intimidatory triumphalism of the Troubles.
The summer marching seasons also fizzled past the promised “explosiveness”.
Similar agitation to suspend Brexit border measures has fallen flat too, with most of the lorries leaving and arriving at the Belfast and other docks continuing to do the Brexit protocol paperwork – if they have not already transferred onto half a dozen newly opened Dublin port ferry routes direct to Europe to avoid the bureaucratic hold-ups at Holyhead and Dover on the overland “bridge” through Britain.
As the north’s Sinn Féin leader Michelle O’Neill, waiting to take the position of First Minister, firmly declared in last week’s London visit, it is just untrue anyway that there is not “cross community” consent.
The great majority in the north were against Brexit in 2016 she pointed out, and most of the business and other organisations are content with the protocol, whatever minor gripes or calls for adjustments there might be.
In fact business was doing better than before and better than in the rest of Britain she said, with the protocol acting as a buffer against some of the more deleterious effects of Brexit.
The early May election result confirms her comments, and not simply by default.
Unlike the local and regional elections in the rest of Britain, the vote turnout held up well (see last issue).
That indicates positive support rather than the usual mass cynicism and indifference which increasingly and correctly prevails around “all politicians are the same corrupt crew” sentiment with even the minority of the population still bothering to vote doing so against various parties to punish them, (as elsewhere in imperialism too largely).
The increased vote for the Alliance Party in the middle, professing “non-partisanship”, is more negative but still assertive, representing mostly many in the former colonist-led population (popularly but misleadingly designated as “protestants”) – who can’t quite bring themselves to declare all out for the nationalist cause but who definitely do not support any notions of reviving the hostilities and hatreds of Partition, or supporting the sabotaging truculence of the “unionists”.
As spelt out by O’Neill the customs and trade checking protocol procedures, effectively setting a boundary line in the Irish sea, for goods coming from Britain, were made necessary because of the British withdrawal from the European Union and its single market.
They are entirely the result of that British decision.
The border is imposed by Britain and it has to go somewhere to separate Britain from Europe, where Ireland remains an EU member.
It cannot go on the island itself because that is ruled out by the Good Friday Agreement and by nearly two decades of steady merging of north-south administrative, trade and political interchange which was all part of the GFA arrangements.
No other outcome is possible therefore than a “border in the Irish Sea” to check goods that could pass on into the EU.
The demand that it be removed (or be so heavily modified it is effectively removed) is incompatible with the GFA she stated very clearly, declaring that Sinn Féin had warned it was so from the start of the “Leave” campaign.
It would mean blocking and disrupting the free interactions established between north and south Ireland, effectively re-creating the border.
That could only lead to a return to the past.
O’Neill did not spell it out but that is clearly fraught with the dangers (ultimately) of a return to the upheavals and turmoil of the armed struggle.
It would require a massive re-occupation of the north by the British military, police and security services to even try imposing any reversal, potentially engaging at least half of them in yet another fruitless and barbaric war, and would intensify world wide anti-British and anti-imperialist hostility, including from the rival imperialist powers.
The reality is that it will not happen and there can be no serious abandoning of the protocol or major modification.
The ruling class knows all this, even as they are pandering to the sabotaging paleolithic-diehards among the colonialist reactionaries in the north, still sulking and skulking in a fit of foot-stamping against the long settled peace process and still trying to do everything to block it and make life difficult.
And in practice all the signs are that they will not seriously take up the unionist tantrums.
Firstly despite the all histrionics, nothing much is actually happening with the threatened protocol busting legislation which is timetabled vaguely for the “summer” leaving plenty of time for the bluster to be toned down, compromised on or simply to disappear in “negotiations” with some face-saving “modifications”.
As the EPSR has said in the past, when the original Good Friday Agreement implementation was being stalled and held-up (No 984 02-02-99):
One possible explanation to bear in mind in face of the repeated build-up of renewed tensions over unfulfilled Agreement obligations and provocative threats and speculation such as Trimble frequently plays brinkmanship with, — is a certain style of British imperialist negotiation which makes use of last-minute rushed deals on a mass of details which permit any amount of concessions or compromise to be got away with in all the 11th-hour panicking and all the relief that total breakdown has been avoided.
The final cover-up of British imperialism’s retreat in the face of unbeatable national liberation revolutionary war, registered in the Agreement itself, was hustled through on this basis as months of heavy questioning by the reactionary capitalist press over the prisoners issue, decommissioning, the RUC, the all-Ireland dimensions, etc, etc, were suddenly swept aside in the feverish, detail-rich, last-minute rush of the Agreement’s release itself.
It could be a pattern to be repeated in imperialism’s continued wish to conceal from the world the full significance of Ireland’s national-liberation victory through armed and political revolutionary struggle led by Sinn Féin and the IRA.
Secondly, when it comes to actual practice, the backwardness of the colonists is being dealt with relatively firmly by London on some other issues:
The UK government has announced plans to accelerate the delivery of abortion services in Northern Ireland almost three years after they were legalised in the region.
Brandon Lewis, the secretary of state for Northern Ireland, told parliament on Thursday he was introducing legislation to bypass local authorities who had delayed the rollout of services.
The new regulations will remove the need for Northern Ireland’s Department of Health to seek approval from the Stormont executive to provide services. “Women and girls are still unable to access high-quality abortion and post-abortion care in Northern Ireland. This is entirely unacceptable,” Lewis said in a written ministerial statement.
The regulations are designed to override the Stormont executive, where the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) has led resistance to abortion services, and give the secretary of state the same power as the region’s health minister to deliver the services.
The Department of Health would have no further barriers to commission and fund services and should do so without delay, said Lewis. “If the Department of Health does not commission and fund abortion services as directed, I will intervene further.”
Abortion was legalised in Northern Ireland in October 2019, bringing it into line with the rest of the UK, after a Westminster vote led by the Labour MP Stella Creasy. Access to abortion has been available since April 2020 after the legislation came into force but has been largely restricted to early medical terminations up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.
Most people in Northern Ireland supported decriminalisation, but Robin Swann, the Ulster Unionist health minister, declined to commission services.
Thirdly the EU is making it very clear it is not willing to back down and threatening escalated trade war if the British unilaterally tears up its agreements.
And American imperialism has also stepped in, sending a special delegation over to warn the British ruling class not to disrupt the GFA settlement:
The foreign secretary (Truss) is facing concerted pressure from senior US politicians on the issue. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, has already warned that she could endanger any hopes of a free trade deal with America.
The protocol, which is part of the 2019 divorce treaty with the European Union, was designed to avoid placing a trade and customs border across the island of Ireland, instead placing it in the Irish Sea. Unionists say this undermines Northern Ireland’s position in the UK and Downing Street is threatening to unilaterally change or even dump the protocol.
Truss was confronted yesterday by a delegation led by congressman Richard Neal, a senior Biden ally. There are concerns in Washington about tensions between London and Brussels and the impact on the Good Friday agreement if the British government goes ahead with its threats.
However, it is understood that Truss said she was “defending the Good Friday agreement” rather than endangering it. She is understood to have said the protocol was having a severe impact and she could not let the “situation drag on” if the EU did not produce a reasonable solution.
Business groups in Northern Ireland dispute that there is a problem, and have suggested that while the arrangements did cause disruption early on they are now cushioning the region from the impact of Brexit.
Neal brought a delegation from the powerful congressional ways and means committee to Truss’s country retreat at Chevening in Kent. He had earlier held talks with EU officials in Brussels and had met Keir Starmer, the Labour leader.
The meeting came just days after Truss declared that she had a plan for reworking parts of the protocol if a negotiated solution with the EU failed. The impasse has intensified after the DUP refused to take part in Northern Ireland’s power-sharing administration unless major changes were made to the way the Brexit deal was operating.
Pelosi’s intervention, warning Boris Johnson that the protocol was necessary to maintain the peace agreement in Northern Ireland, was followed by a warning from Derek Chollet, a senior adviser to the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken. He called on Britain to avoid a “big fight” with the EU and urged both sides to “refrain from unilateral acts”.
Some Tory MPs say they have become confused about the government’s position on the Northern Ireland protocol, with suspicions that a divide is opening up between Truss, who wants to take an aggressive approach, and some in Downing Street who are thought to be more wary of causing a major row with the EU, Dublin and Washington. Conor Burns, a Northern Ireland minister, has been appointed a special envoy for the Northern Ireland protocol in the US. He travelled to Washington earlier this month to have “candid” discussions with his American counterparts.
There are hopes in Dublin and Washington that Truss’s threats are simply a negotiating tactic. Her plan includes the introduction of a “green channel” that would allow some goods to pass without checks from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, on the condition that they do not end up in the Republic of Ireland. It would give the UK more powers to change VAT in Northern Ireland. However, the EU believes the arrangement is inherently risky.
The US, home to a giant diaspora of Irish inheritance, from the waves of Irish famine and poverty-forced migration in the nineteenth century, additionally has huge domestic movement supporting the Irish struggle which none of its political leadership can ignore.
Along with the rest of imperialism, it was concerned to get the Irish mess off the agenda because of the appalling damage its foul and brutal police state repression was doing to the “freedom and democracy” pretences of the imperialist world, a mainstay of its Cold War anti-communism.
These were all major factors in pushing the British towards a settlement with the unbeatable IRA/Sinn Féin war as the EPSR has spelled out in detailed analysis following the struggle since the 1980s (See EPSR Books on Ireland vol 1,2,3,4,5 and vol 6 in preparation)
Particular concern was that if it went on longer it would inevitably deepen further into a communist revolutionary movement, rather stopping with the limited petty bourgeois nationalist anti-imperialist perspectives it had and has now (which will be an increasing problem for the working class).
None of them wanted a new Cuba and on the European doorstep at that.
None of them want it now.
So the main purpose of this impotent raging and provocation against the protocol, playing to the sulking backwardness of the most reactionary rump among the colonists, can surely be no more than to cover up and hide the latest storming victory of the Sinn Féin nationalists.
That so much posturing pretending is felt necessary itself tells a story of astonishing nervousness in a ruling class which can feel itself losing its grip as the crisis deepens.
As Marx said the ruling class understood the power of anti-Irish racist contempt in the mainland working class, helping divide-and-rule, and consciously fostered it.
So it understands the importance of losing that chauvinist weapon too, even now.
As a desperate attempt to take wind out of the sails of the Irish nationalists, diverting attention with yet more jingoistic Brexit hostility (including more general British chauvinist sourness and antagonism in all directions driven by the crisis) it may have temporarily succeeded in distracting public attention from the historic significance of the vote.
But it can only backfire in this period of British imperialist decline by further exposing the lying fraud of its “democracy” pretences both in Ireland and generally.
Outrageously playing up the “demands” of the DUP even though they lost the election underlines the total contempt of the ruling class, also clear from its corrupt pocket-lining during the pandemic and the arrogant contempt of “partygate” among much else.
It is doubly underlined by the hypocritical “justification” for the endless footdragging and prevarications by the reactionaries after they had lost the 30-year long national-liberation war, refusing to implement the agreement for year after year because they claimed the nationalists were “not using democratic methods” (because they refused to disarm separately to the simultaneous disarmament of the British military and the “loyalist” terror gangs).
Constant carping and sabotaging disruption by the Orange losers post-1998 complained that the republicans did not do things “like politicians” which is to say, by parliamentary means (eg see Sir Geoffrey Donaldson the current leader of the DUP complaining in 2003 – EPSR No 1195 29-07-03).
Now it is clear they have used just those “democratic” methods, having won the freedom to do so precisely because of the previous armed revolutionary war to throw off the repression and lack of rights which prevailed for 80 years in the Partitioned statelet and its gerrymandered permanent majority for the colonists, and have still come to a storming victory.
The total outrage of not only not celebrating but completely ignoring the overwhelming democratic majority opinion expressed in both the so-called six counties and the 26 of the rest of Ireland, and all steadily growing towards the formal ending of the monstrous “Northern Ireland” statelet, is glaring when the British ruling class spent 30 years brutally suppressing the IRA/Sinn Féin revolutionary struggle because of its alleged “undemocratic” struggle methods and “violence”.
But it is another lesson in the reality that parliamentary “democracy” is nothing but a cover for the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie – and it is only getting somewhere now in Ireland because of the revolutionary struggle which preceded it.
In fact it is not the election result which is the decisive moment in the shattering the last remnants of British imperialist domination over Ireland, its oldest colony and the last to go from its giant world empire, (save a few scraps in the Caribbean serving its money laundering City interests).
That came in 1998 with the Good Friday Agreement when the “No surrender” colonialist tyranny over the minority Irish nationalist population in the artificial “Northern Ireland” statelet, created by Black and Tan bayonet brutality in the 1921 Partition, and maintained by a gerrymandered permanent majority for the colonialist “unionists”, was forced to give way to the 30 year long dogged and heroic revolutionary struggle by the IRA and its allied political wing of the Sinn Féin.
The GFA, and its later coda in the 2006 St Andrews agreement ended forever the once supposedly guaranteed separate state “in perpetuity” for the strutting landgrabbing colonists.
But the defeat for British imperialism and for the supremacist colonists in the north was deliberately fudged, with all sides accepting there would be a long spun-out process of “democratic” transformation (semi-choreographed) towards final reunification.
The election simply makes the issue clearer after 25 years of deliberate obfuscation and confusion mongering.
As the EPSR explained in detail throughout that long struggle (see EPSR Books op cit), despite British imperialism’s ruling class decision to withdraw from the north of Ireland being taken at least half a century ago (as more recently confirmed by the release of archive minutes from the not-quite-iron Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet meetings for example) because of Britain’s relative declining strength in the world and the ending of its strategic and industrial usefulness (shipbuilding etc and as “backdoor” military defensive position), this retreat was constantly made as obscure and confusing as possible.
The process was deliberately set at snail’s pace from its inception in the 1970s and early 1980s so that the obvious links between the revolutionary armed struggle and the pullout could be hidden, with even the original 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement by the then Tory government, being seen as a “defeat” by the republicans, despite the reality that it conceded state level participation to Dublin for the first time and was a step along the path to the peace process (as the colonists vigorously complained).
It is only that heroic and armed revolutionary fight which finally brought to an end the completely undemocratic domination of the “unionist” colonialists with their fixed and unshakeable gerrymandered “majority” within the northern enclave, artificially declared a “state” in itself after being ripped out of the newly independent Irish state by black & tan bayonet barbarism and gunpoint violence in 1921 (the Partition itself being the end point of a complete trampling over the democratic vote of the 1918 general election in which an overwhelming 80% majority of undivided Ireland voted for the then Sinn Féin and its total independence platform for all Ireland).
For reasons of imperial scleroticism, hubris and caution (to avoid triggering a UDI (unilateral declaration of independence) revolt by the colonist occupation along Rhodesian Ian Smith lines, and particularly to never indicate any concessions to the increasingly unbeatable revolutionary armed struggle), the entire struggle was drawn out for decades.
And even when finally necessarily settling a peace treaty with the nationalist cause in the GFA, the entire agreement was made in such a way as to muddy the waters over just what has been achieved, with all parties accepting, or being obliged to accept, the notional continued existence of the Northern Ireland statelet as part of the United Kingdom as if nothing had changed, and least of all conceding open defeat by Westminster.
In reality however everything had changed – apart from the full and open participation of the nationalists in a power sharing arrangement for the “province”, the integration of the north with the 26 counties was set in train via a slew of cross border cooperation bodies, joint government arrangements and administrative coordination.
“Northern Ireland” effectively ceased to exist as the preserve of the colonists, except in name.
It will steadily resolve into the complete formal reunification once a successful border poll is carried through, which with great maturity the Sinn Fein says it will take steadily and patiently, preparing the ground to “avoid the kind of mistakes seen in other referendums” as O’Neill said.
The imperialist game is to pretend all this was achieved by “parliamentary process” rather than the military struggle of the IRA – something all the imperialist powers are happy to go along with despite their insistence that Britain get the whole issue off the agenda, - since none of them want the working class to draw any conclusions about revolutionary change.
Those lessons will nevertheless be drawn by more thoughtful workers but would be made a lot easier without the relentless defeatism of the fake-“left” laid like a wet-blanket across all the fifty years of the latest phase of Ireland revolutionary independence struggle (and its even longer history stretching back 800 years to the first brutal invasions by Norman lords, and on through the Tudor and Stuart plantations, and subsequent colonialism and Orange triumphalism.
“Don’t get carried away” these Eeyore depressives were quick to warn workers, “nothing has been won really despite the obvious apparent advance”:
The elections in Northern Ireland – which saw Sinn Féin become the largest party, the Democratic Unionist Party relegated to second place and the Alliance Party emerge as an important political force – have been widely hailed as an historic turning point.
On the face of things this is a momentous shift in Irish and UK politics, representing a critical reversal of what had been the status quo in Northern Ireland since 1921, when a cast-iron unionist majority was contrived to ensure that the Six Counties remained part of the UK. Under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA), Sinn Féin, as the largest party, could potentially take the helm of Northern Ireland’s government. The symbolism is unmistakeable.
However, this election success may not so easily translate into positions in government. Under the rules for power-sharing set out by the GFA, the first minister is nominated by the largest party of the largest designation (meaning unionist or nationalist) and the deputy first minister is nominated by the largest party of the second-largest designation. The GFA further stipulates that the executive cannot function without representatives of both ‘designations’. Since 2007, when the current form of the executive and assembly were established, the DUP has held the first minister position, with Sinn Féin as deputy. Now that SF has 27 seats, as opposed to 25 for the DUP, it is clear those roles have to change. Michelle O’Neill, SF vice-president, should now be nominated as first minister, with her deputy coming from the DUP.
However, such a smooth transition is not going to happen. The DUP’s leader, Sir Geoffrey Donaldson, has made it clear that his party will not enter into the executive with Sinn Féin until his party’s problems with the Northern Ireland protocol are resolved. In February the DUP exercised its veto to collapse the executive in protest over that protocol, which, for trade and customs purposes, leaves Northern Ireland within the European Union’s single market and customs framework. According to unionists, this weakens the Six Counties’ place in the UK, and so scrapping the protocol became the major plank in the DUP’s election campaign. In the post-election manoeuvres this remains the DUP’s position and so it is unlikely, as things stand, that a new executive will be formed any time soon.
“Look’s like rain then”, obviously, according to the Trot orientated revisionist CPGB at the Weekly Worker.
But things are not really going that well for the colonists it seems and they will not be able to get much out of it:
It is clear that the DUP is hoping that the Johnson government will ride to its rescue and unilaterally scrap the protocol. However, far from getting the DUP out of the hole it dug for itself, this solution simply entangles it still further in the internal politics of the Tories, and the growing diplomatic rift between Westminster and the EU. Whether this is sabre-rattling on both sides remains to be seen, but, given the wider geopolitical context of the war in Ukraine, the strategic importance Washington attaches to the EU and the political difficulties facing the Tories, the political priorities of the DUP will not be high on anyone’s agenda.
But the Sinn Féin still should not get its hopes up:
The political and psychological advantage of Sinn Féin’s electoral strength has increased calls for the British secretary of state, Brandon Lewis, to call a border poll on the constitutional status of the north. He has dismissed these calls, but on both sides of the border leading Sinn Féin politicians are continuing to argue that the dynamics for such a transition are now falling into place. The confidence that the party’s leaders exhibit seems initially justified by the election results in the north and SF’s strong position in the opinion polls south of the border. The possibilities of an SF first minster and a dominant role in government in Dublin within the next two years appear to be in reach.
While this optimism might play well for its activists, there are real obstacles in the way of such a gradualist, transitional strategy. In constitutional terms, the British state still holds the whip hand: the institutions and electoral mechanisms of the GFA were designed to manage, not end, conflict, and so the basic underlying conflict of Irish reunification and national democracy remains intact and unresolved.
All the agonies of the two ceasefires in the mid-1990s, the London and Manchester bombings shattering the British ruling class hubris and confidence, the tortured negotiations, the steady retreat of the unionists from their dogged intransigence, the intervention of the American mediation through Senator George Mitchell, the creation of cross-border bodies, the participation of Dublin, and the years of progress through the peace process were all in vain - just an illusion it seems.
This relentless gloominess, is typical of the cowed petty bourgeoisie in thrall to an allegedly overwhelmingly powerful bourgeoisie - which has the “whip hand” says the CPGB hopelessly - which apparently carried through the entire GFA procedure purely to keep things as they were by “managing, not ending the conflict” or as a second piece says in the following issue of the Weekly Worker (19 May) leaving a “stalemate”.
According to this petty bourgeois barminess the GFA simply “reproduces” the sectarian conflict of the past, or in its most deranged expression actually intensifies it (!) though for unexplained reasons -
The political and strategic interests of the US in Ireland as a whole meant that it played a key role in the peace process and the post-Good Friday Agreement dispensation. This has remained the case under the Biden presidency, with the US directly intervening in the current impasse through the visit of a prominent congressman, Richard Neal, to Ireland, Britain and the EU.10
– the unexplained part being why there should have been any “dispensation” at all, be it for American, British or anyone else’s interests.
These petty bourgeois wrote off the GFA as “nothing but a sellout” in 1998 “forced” on the nationalists by imperialism with apparently “no change” effectively to their oppressed condition of the previous 80 years inside the carefully drawn boundary lines of Partitition, where the guaranteed permanent majority for the colonialist population and a guaranteed life of economic and political humiliation, suppression and exclusion for the “minority” was supplemented with violent intimidation, and outright police military suppression for any protest or resistance to this de facto dictatorship.
And once the resistance began organising in earnest with the civil rights movement of the 1960s there followed the ever increasing brutality and savagery of police-military clampdown replete with concentration-camps, no-trial internment, stitch-up Diplock no-jury mechanisms when there were trials, vicious torture (using newly devised stress and psychological techniques - see Ian Cobain’s book on Cruel Britannia), – death-squads, criminalisation of the liberation movement, mass night raid army intimidation of nationalist population areas, mass colonialist thug “loyalist march” intimidation, assassinations, beatings, bombings and outright censorship of the nationalist cause, to the absurd level where interviews with the leaders were silenced, with actors voicing the responses.
Somehow despite “nothing being gained” all this came to an end, despite the “No surrender” intransigence (for all eternity) of the colonists being obliged to climb down and the reversal of Westminster’s declarations that it would “never negotiate” with those using the “bullet and the ballot” etc etc. according to these “theoretical” leaders of the Trot/revisionist swamp.
But all this is of no significance suggest the WW and heaven forfend there should be any sense of joy, achievement from the stunning transformations wrought in the north over the last two decades.
Nor should there be any drawn from the rest of Ireland they add, heading off at the pass any glimmer of anti-imperialist positivity from that direction:
In Dublin, the Irish bourgeoisie and its state are terrified of the costs and the instability that reunification would entail. Far from welcoming the completion of ‘the national project’, all they want is stability and a modified form of the status quo: they recoil in horror from the possible disruption and threat to their interests that a new all-Ireland state would entail. Any dynamic energy for reunification that SF sees coming from that quarter is purely wishful thinking on its part.
Well certainly the Irish bourgeoisie has shamefully relied on complacency and petty bourgeois indifference to the plight of the northern Irish population throughout the last century, to avoid any struggle and to grow fat pursuing its own narrow interests – and with just as much reluctance to allow any mention of the guerrilla war basis to the nationalist advances.
But perhaps that is why the Sinn Féin is now making such giant strides in the 26 counties as well as the north?????
It takes a particularly detached view of the world to ignore all these real developments, possible only in the subjective idealist world of petty bourgeois fake-“leftism” where their “perfect revolution” notions fail to see (and do not wanting to see) the actual movement of class forces in the world.
In two articles following the election, not once is the staggering crisis of the capitalist system analysed and the huge debilitating effect it is having on the British ruling class, weakening and reducing its ability to impose anything on anybody except by the crudest diktat, grossly contemptuous sleaze and corruption and ever more crude censorship (such as its vicious imprisonment of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange at US imperialism’s vengeful behest).
It seems the “wishes” of the ruling class are what will prevail:
In the Six Counties the electoral arithmetic still favours the unionists. While Sinn Féin is the largest party, the total number of unionist MLAs still outnumbers the combined nationalist representation. There will be no border poll in the immediate future: the British government is under no real pressure to act on that score. Indeed, the pressure is all the other way. Despite the vagaries of the electoral cycle and the tensions over Brexit and the protocol, London and Dublin both want stability and the continuation of the status quo in the Six Counties.
But the ruling class “wanted stability” all through the 100 years of the Partitioned supremacy – and it is the struggle of the nationalist which changed all that.
Of course the huge progress of the nationalists is not yet the end of the story – but it is a giant stride on the road as even these sneery fake-“left”s are obliged to concede between the lines with their “immediate future” caveat (ie unification is coming which is the whole point as frequently spelt out by the EPSR).
But there is much further to go again as the EPSR has also made clear (EPSR No1224 16-03-04) in challenging the Stalinist-revisionists when they were still backing Scargillism for example:
..it remains the case that Sinn Féin is far from the “political perfection” that the SLP groupies like to pretend.
It remains the most outstanding political party of anti-imperialist achievement in the entire Western world, but it has no answer at all to the far more complex socialist revolutionary challenge facing Western civilisation as a whole.
Worse than that, Sinn Féin has no allegiance whatever to building a party of Marxist-Leninist revolutionary theory, and becomes a bad role model at that point of future development.
And those weaknesses have already been showing for years, joining bourgeois confusion in the imperialist countries on a number of international issues, and missing the point and the opportunity for giving an even more severe kicking to the West’s counter-revolutionary skulduggery.
SF has just repeated the error, leaping in to “condemn” the Madrid bombings as “an appalling act” and “an atrocity”, — compounding the shallow opportunist nonsense Sinn Féin slipped into over Sept 11.
On top of all that, the SF role model for revolutionary socialist political struggle in Britain gets several crucial points completely wrong.
Firstly, without revolutionary theory for Britain, the socialist revolution will NEVER take place.
The reformist-‘left’ pressure, advocated by the SLP and SF groupies, is WORSE THAN useless, utterly disarming the working class in Britain, and utterly disarming the international anti-imperialist struggle which can ONLY proceed by stepping things up towards TOTAL CONSCIOUS REVOLUTIONARY MARXIST struggle as rapidly as possible.
Secondly, the correct programme, strategy, and tactics, — the correct theory, — that Sinn Féin did have for its colossal anti-imperialist triumph in Ireland was STRICTLY LIMITED to a national liberation victory.
But national liberation and socialism are two totally different things entirely. In some specific historical circumstances, they have run on to each other. But they won’t be doing it out of the GFA. And they won’t be doing it in Ireland when Sinn Féin becomes the governing party there soon.
Capitalist “reformism” is all that is guaranteed, — such as has temporarily nearly killed off working-class struggle in Britain after 100 years of Labour/TUC class-collaborating lies and treachery in the interests of British imperialism and warmongering.
No, more is needed, — Sinn Féin inspired or otherwise.
Theory is what is primarily needed, — of INTERNATIONAL socialist revolution and the part Britain will have to play within that perspective.
Those errors have been compounded with the plunge of the world into the Ukraine war, the latest phase in the unrolling World War Three which imperialism needs as the “solution” to its devastating crisis, now accelerating into inflationary disaster.
Sinn Féin shared a platform with the fake-“left” social-pacifist Stop the War coalition from the beginning, joining in its “condemnation” of the Russian action by calling for Moscow withdrawal and failing to explain that the war is entirely the result of Western CIA/NATO provocation and aggression (cultivating the fascist nationalism which has already slaughtered thousands in the east of the country since 2014 and viciously repressing the Russian speakers who make up a large minority of the population (in the west as well) .
Its young representative even went so far as to declare that armed intervention was not the way to solve issues – an astonishing comment from a movement which was obliged to pursue the guerrilla war path against imperialism and did so with a heroism and bravery which is one of the greatest examples of determination, clarity and sophisticated political leadership in the entire anti-colonialist history of the 20th century.
It certainly was not seeing and understanding the enemy to be Western imperialism, and calling for its defeat – while at the same time keeping the working class clear that Putinism is no answer at all (the confusion spread by the “defencists” and Putin supporters) and will have to be challenged by revived Leninism.
There is no indication that the nationalism of the Irish struggle will transform spontaneously into the required Marxist leadership – it will have to be built separately.
That will not be done by standing against the reunification success now achieved or decrying it as some of the Trots are doing with the anti-communist People before Profits posturing which took a seat in the election.
And it will not be done by petty bourgeois defeatist gloom.
It needs the conscious effort to build a Leninist party which takes and exposes all fakery, welcoming every challenge to its own line in open polemic struggle, inside and outside in order to clarify and advance understanding.
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