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Thread: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

    I'm really enjoying Stasia's posts on this subject and I have to say I was aware of James Connolly's excellent eyesight across the real landscape of the levers of control but I'm left admiring him even more for the insights into him provided by Stasia's posts here.

    I wouldn't be a socialist but I recognise a great mind when I see the traces of one. We lost an awful lot when we lost James Connolly.
    Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

    I think you misunderstand Connolly's motivations for going into the Rising Stasia. He did so because he hoped to ignite a socialist revolution across Europe, not to 'salvage something from the rubble'. He was opposed to all Empires and certainly did not hope for a German victory. Moreover, there were serious tensions and differences between Connolly and the other leaders of 1916. If you remember correctly, he told the ICA to hold onto their rifles before going out on Easter Monday because he mistrusted the Volunteers and knew that if they succeeded, the result would not be the socialist republic they were going out for but a capitalist gombeen state. Also, to describe Pilsudski as a 'socialist' is misleading. Once his Legions set up a new state, they quickly became a dictatorial quasi-fascist government who were happy to invade the USSR and take advantage of the chaos there during the Civil War to tack on part of Ukraine to their new state.
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    'Our goal is to conquer state power for the Irish working class'
    Pat Rabitte, 1987

    "Can I ask whether this is what the men of 1916 died for: a bailout from the German chancellor with a few shillings of sympathy from the British chancellor on the side?"
    Michael Noonan, November 2010

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

    Thats interesting because that means that Connolly was well aware that certain people were in the nationalist movement as a way to create that gombeen state.
    Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

    Connolly was a marxist and in his 'Labour in Irish History' he was explicit that there would never be full independence unless that came about as part of a socialist revolution. He was of the opinion that the landed and propertied classes had too much to lose to oppose British rule, and that as a result they would not go all the way to full independence.

    Second, that the result of the long drawn out struggle of Ireland has been, so far, that the old chieftainry has disappeared, or, through its degenerate descendants, has made terms with iniquity, and become part and parcel of the supporters of the established order; the middle class, growing up in the midst of the national struggle, and at one time, as in 1798, through the stress of the economic rivalry of England almost forced into the position of revolutionary leaders against the political despotism of their industrial competitors, have now also bowed the knee to Baal, and have a thousand economic strings in the shape of investments binding them to English capitalism as against every sentimental or historic attachment drawing them toward Irish patriotism; only the Irish working class remain as the incorruptible inheritors of the fight for freedom in Ireland.
    Pretty good summary of why the Free State was doomed to become a priest-ridden backwater utterly subservient politically, economically and legally to the UK.

    ps. I'd recommend reading that pamphlet as well as 'Labour, Nationality and Religion' if you really want to get a grip on Connolly's thoughts and just how profoundly revolutionary a thinker he was. I've linked them below.

    http://www.marxists.org/archive/conn.../lih/index.htm
    http://www.marxists.org/archive/conn.../lnr/index.htm
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    'Our goal is to conquer state power for the Irish working class'
    Pat Rabitte, 1987

    "Can I ask whether this is what the men of 1916 died for: a bailout from the German chancellor with a few shillings of sympathy from the British chancellor on the side?"
    Michael Noonan, November 2010

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

    Second, that the result of the long drawn out struggle of Ireland has been, so far, that the old chieftainry has disappeared, or, through its degenerate descendants, has made terms with iniquity, and become part and parcel of the supporters of the established order; the middle class, growing up in the midst of the national struggle, and at one time, as in 1798, through the stress of the economic rivalry of England almost forced into the position of revolutionary leaders against the political despotism of their industrial competitors, have now also bowed the knee to Baal, and have a thousand economic strings in the shape of investments binding them to English capitalism as against every sentimental or historic attachment drawing them toward Irish patriotism;
    Bang on- and that is exactly what we ended up with. A gombeen state run by Irish rentcollectors.

    that the old chieftainry has disappeared, or, through its degenerate descendants, has made terms with iniquity, and become part and parcel of the supporters of the established order
    The oracle foretelling the birth of Fianna Fail.
    Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I'm just wondering what Connolly would say to Gilmore, if he was there.
    Get the fu.ck out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron von Biffo View Post
    2015. It will be his farewell tour.
    Ahh, we all know how final tours end up going, we'll see him again on the final final tour.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

    Quote Originally Posted by Stasia View Post
    Josef Pilsudski (Polish Socialist Party, and before that, Narodnaya Volya, a Russian revolutionary socialist organisation) organised a Polish army to fight for the Central Powers against the Allies, and after the war became leader of a Poland newly independent after nearly two centuries of rule by Austria/Prussia/Germany as well as Russia.
    Pilsudski was not a socialist by any stretch of the imagination. I would have thought him more in the camp of fascism than anything. He presided over the Polish Forces in the war they launched against revolutionary Russia and ended up the dictator of Poland for well over a decade. I don't see Connolly as having anything in common with him at all.

    Having said that I am very interested in exploring the view that you have articulated regarding Connolly's attitude to Germany (though I really see no relevance to the situation today) and I am doing some reading. He certainly was capable of "thinking outside the box".

    I have come across an interesting article by Manus O'Riordan in which he articulates your position and I am digesting this.

    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76008
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    I have come across an interesting article by Manus O'Riordan in which he articulates your position and I am digesting this.

    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76008
    I haven't read this article, but will do so. I don't know whether "my position" is the same as Manus O'Riordan's, & wouldn't want anybody else to get the blame for my opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    Pilsudski was not a socialist by any stretch of the imagination. I would have thought him more in the camp of fascism than anything. He presided over the Polish Forces in the war they launched against revolutionary Russia and ended up the dictator of Poland for well over a decade. I don't see Connolly as having anything in common with him at all.
    Pilsudski was a long term member of various socialist parties. Mussolini was one of the most prominent Italian socialists and served jail time for opposing Italy's imperialist aggression against Libya. Like many others, the Great War put paid to his socialism. Pilsudski was dead by 1939 when Germany's former (1933- March 1939) ally Britain declared war on Germany for attacking Germany's former (1934 - March 1939) ally Poland.

    When Bolshevism emerged in 1917 Pilsudski was not a Bolshevik. Connolly couldn't have been a Bolshevik since there was no such thing in his lifetime. Maybe he would have been one if he survived until 1917. I think he was a particularly gifted and capable politician, and would have chosen the most effective way of influencing developments, whether by means of Bolshevism or some other way. Ireland as a state was not likely to come under pressure from Russia in the way Poland and Finland did. Finland had a democratic form of government and fought against Russia, on the same side as Hitler, until 1944.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    Having said that I am very interested in exploring the view that you have articulated regarding Connolly's attitude to Germany (though I really see no relevance to the situation today) and I am doing some reading. He certainly was capable of "thinking outside the box".
    I already undertook, when I get time, to dig out the relevant quotes from his published 1914-16 articles, but will be very happy if you get there before me.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

    I think Connolly saw the German Empire as a counter-weight to the British Empire than as a model to be followed. He wrote an interesting piece in March 1916 about the Reich and Britain. I'm posting it here in its entirety because it was quite short, it was entitled 'The German or the British Empire'

    Nothing warms the cockles of my old heart so much as when some British Socialist kind-heartedly approves of my attitude – approves of it ‘except,’ ‘but,’ and ‘only for.’ Especially am I pleased when I learn from his letter that he has only read one copy of the Workers’ Republic, is only just arrived in Ireland, but nevertheless understands our position thoroughly, and is only filled with pity for the “sweet innocence” that inspires our little mistakes in such matters as a desire to vindicate the character of the enemies of the British capitalist Government.

    Perhaps after he has been here as many years as he has been days he will begin to understand that the instinct of the slave to take sides with whoever is the enemy of his own particular slave-driver is a healthy instinct, and makes for freedom. That every Socialist who knows what he is talking about must be in favour of freedom of the seas, must desire that private property shall be immune from capture at sea during war, must realise that as long as any one nation dominates the water highways of the world neither peace nor free industrial development is possible for the world. If the capitalists of other nations desire the freedom of the seas for selfish reasons of their own that does not affect the matter. Every Socialist anxiously awaits and prays for that full development of the capitalist system which can alone make Socialism possible, but can only come into being by virtue of the efforts of the capitalists inspired by selfish reasons.

    The German Empire is a homogeneous Empire of self-governing peoples; the British Empire is a heterogeneous collection in which a very small number of self-governing communities connive at the subjugation, by force, of a vast number of despotically ruled subject populations.

    We do not wish to be ruled by either empire, but we certainly believe that the first named contains in germ more of the possibilities of freedom and civilisation than the latter.
    http://www.marxists.org/archive/conn...3/germbrit.htm

    As for the question of Bolshevism, I'd be of the opinion that there was a germ of Leninism in Connolly's politics as he advocated formation of a broad trade-union party while remaining a member of a revolutionary party himself, the Socialist Party of Ireland. I contend that he recognised the need for a revolutionary party but not the need for democratic centralism as Lenin put it in 'What is to be done'.
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    'Our goal is to conquer state power for the Irish working class'
    Pat Rabitte, 1987

    "Can I ask whether this is what the men of 1916 died for: a bailout from the German chancellor with a few shillings of sympathy from the British chancellor on the side?"
    Michael Noonan, November 2010

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

    Quote Originally Posted by antiestablishmentarian View Post
    As for the question of Bolshevism, I'd be of the opinion that there was a germ of Leninism in Connolly's politics as he advocated formation of a broad trade-union party while remaining a member of a revolutionary party himself, the Socialist Party of Ireland. I contend that he recognised the need for a revolutionary party but not the need for democratic centralism as Lenin put it in 'What is to be done'.
    O'Riordan has him pegged as a Menshevek in outlook.
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    O'Riordan has him pegged as a Menshevek in outlook.
    He was a great man, and a progressive, with a revolutionary spirit, but his religion was an impediment to have a scientific analysis and understanding of society.

    Basing party programmes on his work in 2011, without dealing with that issue, is imo a political cul-de-sac.

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

    I found his justification of that tenuous to be honest. He called Connolly an evolutionary socialist on one paragraph (the one where he placed Connolly in the Menshevik camp), then in the next he quoted Connolly saying that revolutionary action was needed. It doesn't add up. Alot of Connolly's actions would militate against his being an evolutionary socialist- for instance, the foundation of the Citizen Army was not the act of someone who believed in the parliamentary road to socialism. Also, the idea that he was a Menshevik because of the article linked above (where he advocated allowing all countries to develop as capitalist economies before socialism was necessary) disregards the history of the RSDLP in 1917- Lenin was the only Bolshevik who called for revolution then, Kamenev, Stalin, Zinoviev and others called for support for a bourgeois revolution. Ironically Trotsky was Lenin's greatest supporter at that time, considering he has often been derided for taking the Menshevik side in the split years before that.
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    'Our goal is to conquer state power for the Irish working class'
    Pat Rabitte, 1987

    "Can I ask whether this is what the men of 1916 died for: a bailout from the German chancellor with a few shillings of sympathy from the British chancellor on the side?"
    Michael Noonan, November 2010

  13. #43
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    Default Re: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    He was a great man, and a progressive, with a revolutionary spirit, but his religion was an impediment to have a scientific analysis and understanding of society.

    Basing party programmes on his work in 2011, without dealing with that issue, is imo a political cul-de-sac.
    I'd contend that the impact of religion on his analysis has been greatly over-estimated. You should have a read of his pamphlet 'Labour, Nationality, and Religion'. Connolly was definitely a materialist.
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    'Our goal is to conquer state power for the Irish working class'
    Pat Rabitte, 1987

    "Can I ask whether this is what the men of 1916 died for: a bailout from the German chancellor with a few shillings of sympathy from the British chancellor on the side?"
    Michael Noonan, November 2010

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

    Quote Originally Posted by antiestablishmentarian View Post
    I'd contend that the impact of religion on his analysis has been greatly over-estimated. You should have a read of his pamphlet 'Labour, Nationality, and Religion'. Connolly was definitely a materialist.
    I have read it, and did not conclude that he was a materialist.

    A question that needs its own thread, really.

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Eamon Gilmore to Launch Book on James Connolly

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I have read it, and did not conclude that he was a materialist.

    A question that needs its own thread, really.
    Scientific Socialism is based upon the truth incorporated in this proposition of Karl Marx, that, “the economic dependence of the workers on the monopolists of the means of production is the foundation of slavery in all its forms, the cause of nearly all social misery, modern crime, mental degradation and political dependence”. Thus this false exaggeration of purely political forms which has clothed in Ireland the struggle for liberty, must appear to the Socialist an inexplicable error on the part of a people so strongly crushed down as the Irish.
    http://www.marxists.org/archive/conn...x/scirenat.htm

    He wrote this in 1897.
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    'Our goal is to conquer state power for the Irish working class'
    Pat Rabitte, 1987

    "Can I ask whether this is what the men of 1916 died for: a bailout from the German chancellor with a few shillings of sympathy from the British chancellor on the side?"
    Michael Noonan, November 2010

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