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Irish Marxism

Palestine and Ukraine – in what way are they the same?

The events in Gaza and Israel have driven home lessons that should have been learned long ago.   The role of the United States and western imperialism, including the EU in joining the suffocation of the Palestinians, has again come to the fore.  Some on the left, who have defended imperialist intervention…

Solidarity with the Palestinian people

“Shock” was the first word in ‘The Economist’ article following the Palestinian armed uprising in Gaza and Israel.  “Hamas must be made to pay for its atrocities” it exclaimed. ‘The Irish Times’ editorialised about the “appalling atrocities committed by Hamas” while stating that…

Irish neutrality and Left confusion

Much of the Irish Left seems to have a strange fascination with the Irish State’s declared policy of neutrality, wanting to defend it while also seeming to deny that it actually exists. A report of a recent meeting in Belfast on the Socialist Democracy website records the confusion.  It was organised…

Trusting the State (4) – Irish ‘neutrality’

The neutrality of the Irish state, that most of its people support, is a myth.  The Irish government has repeatedly stated that the state is militarily neutral but not politically.  Since its armed forces are tiny it might be said that its military neutrality doesn’t matter but its politics does.  It…

An exchange of views on ‘Public Sector’ vs ‘Private Sector’

The comment below to a previous post is almost perfect in illustrating the illusions that exist on the role of the state and for which the series of posts were written.  It is therefore worthwhile bringing greater attention to it along with my response: ===================================== I would…

Trusting the State (3) – giving us the ‘right’ to housing

Queuing to look at one rental property in Dublin; pic Conor Finn, Sky News Ireland suffered effective bankruptcy in 2007-08 through a property boom funded by a massive expansion of credit and crisis of overproduction, illustrated by employment in construction falling from 232,600 in in the last quarter…

Trusting the State (2) – “RTÉ for the people”

PA Images People before Profit (PbP) wants an “RTÉ for the people”, but just as the name ‘People before Profit’ invites the question–what people?– so does this new sort of RTÉ.  The elision of class in the PbP name pops up here again, where ‘the people’ doesn’t actually mean every…

Trusting the State (1) RTÉ and Ryan Tubridy

It’s the subject that dominated the news for weeks in June and July and has now returned.  The RTÉ presenter Ryan Tubridy is not coming back to the state’s radio station.  The broadcaster’s most prominent and highly paid TV and radio presenter has eventually exited following the revelation…

‘Barbie’: the film

Warner Bros. Pictures In the early 1970s it seemed to me that a product suddenly hit the shelves that as a child I spent all my pocket money on – Birds Eye Supermousse.  It was light, airy, sweet and utterly insubstantial.  For some reason it reminded me of ‘Barbie’.  They were a big hit…

War as the continuation of politics by other means – the case of Ukraine 3 of 3

The latest weapons provided to Ukraine, including tanks, missiles and fighter aircraft, are the most recent of red lines previously declared by Western countries but then crossed.  Publications such as ‘The Economist’ and ‘The Guardian’ want to go much further because what is involved apparently…

War as the continuation of politics by other means – the case of Ukraine 2 of 3

Hopes that a new democratic and corruption-free Ukraine will arise out of the ashes of the conflict have been publicised by its supporters on the left by pointing to the popular mobilisation of many Ukrainians in support of the war effort. Once again, however, this is not a new phenomenon and does not…

Opposition to cluster bombs . . . whatever

Source: A Jazeera What are we to make of an article from a left web site that starts like this: ‘The supply of cluster munitions by the US to Ukraine must be opposed. Anti-capitalists and internationalists support unconditionally the people of Ukraine in their armed resistance to liberate their country…

War as the continuation of politics by other means – the case of Ukraine 1 of 2

Marxists do not support or defend the capitalist state because we see it as an instrument that defends bourgeois private property, which exists only in so far as the working class is exploited and oppressed by capital and this capital accumulated to ensure further exploitation.  We do not do so in…

Joint Statement by Sráid Marx and Boffy’s Blog

A Russian soldier walks in the rubble in Mariupol’s eastern side, where fierce fighting takes place between Russian and pro-Russia forces and Ukraine on March 15, 2022. Maximilian Clarke | SOPA Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images This is a joint statement, by the authors of Sráid Marx and Boffy’s…

The war in Ukraine (15) – war as a morality play

In 2013 the President of the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) wrote in the Washington Post that ‘Ukraine is the biggest prize’ and its ‘choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents’, and therefore a critical step toward…

Corteo No CPR. Senza stati né confini nessuno è clandestino

Forse è la prima volta. La prima volta che una manifestazione contro le prigioni per migranti si svolge in centro. In questi ultimi 24 anni, quando, nel giugno del 1999, venne aperto il CPT in corso Brunelleschi, cortei e presidi hanno avuto come fulcro questo carcere dove i reclusi arrivano senza essere…

A reactionary war throws up more reaction

The ‘mutiny’ by Yevgeny Prigozhin and at least some of his mercenary army is a bolt from the blue, at least for those not in security circles in the Russian Federation, and like all bolts from the blue both confuses and illuminates.  As I write it is impossible to determine the precise cause or…

Debating the war (3 of 3) – the analogy with Ireland

A recurring analogy made is with the Irish nationalist struggle against British imperialism and I have addressed this before. Supporters of Ukraine have told us that ‘when internationalists support the Ukrainians right to resist militarily the Russian invasion and obtain arms from NATO countries…

Debating the war (2 of 3) – lessons from the past

The debate on the war on the Tendance Coatesy blog has given rise to lots of references to other past conflicts that the supporters of Ukraine spin to argue that we should now support it today.  A typical one includes the following: ‘The arguments to support Vietnam against the US and the Spanish…

Debating the war (1 of 2) – imperialism defending the workers?

‘We are Making a New World’: The fields of World War I. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: [link] Over on the Tendance Coatesy blog a debate on the war has been taking place.  After over 90 comments Andrew, the host, made a short comment that finished with: ‘The whole thing is simple: they…

The war in Ukraine (14) – for a democratic Ukraine?

The Irish TD Paul Murphy describes Ukraine as ‘a capitalist democracy’ while the Fourth International (FI) declares that ‘Ukraine is an independent country which has preserved a regime of formal democracy. Russia has an authoritarian, repressive parliamentary system with far-right members…

The local elections – another step to a united Ireland?

The local election results in the North of Ireland have given rise to more commentary that another step has been taken towards a referendum on Irish unity and a united Ireland.  The success of Sinn Fein in becoming the largest party at local government level in council seats and votes has provoked…

The war in Ukraine (13) – the unity for democracy

Extraordinary Summit of NATO Heads of State and Government held in Brussels, Belgium on March 24, 2022. (Photo by NATO Pool/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) In the previous post we repeated an earlier review of two of the many indices of democracy in the world and the ranking of Russia and Ukraine.  These…

The war in Ukraine (12) – democracy and authoritarianism?

The war is supported by the Western powers, its media and its pro-war left, and justified as a war of democracy against authoritarianism.  In several Facebook debates I engaged in with this left a version of Godwin’s law kicked in quite quickly as Russia was denounced as fascist, and everyone knows…

The war in Ukraine (11) – the final steps

In the diplomatic engagement two months before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia published its proposals on security guarantees on 17 December 2021. These demanded a formal end to NATO expansion and restrictions on western deployments of troops and weaponry in Eastern Europe.  Putin stated that it was…


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