Defend the Jobstown protesters!

November 17, 2015

Originally posted on revolutionaryprogramme:

Those arrested for their participation in the protest against Tánaiste Joan Burton in Jobstown last November, including Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA) TD Paul Murphy, are now officially going to trial (Irish Times 2 November, most of them facing a potential life sentence for the charge of “false imprisonment”.

It is to be hoped that no jury will decide that delaying Joan Burton in her car for around 3 hours could possibly amount to “false imprisonment” and likewise that the charges of “violent disorder” some are also facing will be thrown out.

Opposing this outrageous attack on the right to protest would seem a fairly straightforward issue for the anti-water charges movement and the wider workers’ movement. However I worry that this elementary solidarity will be neglected in the face of the recent vitriol being heaped on the AAA over their refusal to guarantee support to a government involving any…

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Spoil Your Ballot! Fake Trotskyists & Social Democrats in Canadian Election

November 10, 2015

Originally posted on revolutionaryprogramme:

First published –

The following is an edited excerpt from a presentation on Marxist electoral tactics given by an IBT supporter at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, on 25 September 2015.

In Canada, the parliamentary election on 19 October might possibly produce the first-ever NDP [New Democratic Party] federal government. The reasons for this opening for Canada’s reformist labor party are well known. The Conservative government has been tarred by the Senate corruption scandal, opposition to Bill C51 [draconian security state legislation], the Syrian refugee crisis resulting from imperialist intervention, an economic recession and growing popular sentiment that it is time to be rid of Stephen Harper. All of this has helped the NDP, as has the apparent inability of the Bloc Québécois (once again under Gilles Duceppe) to bolster the sagging sovereigntist movement and win back its former supporters who have gone over to the NDP. Until…

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Proletarian Internationalism and the Struggle against Fortress Europe

October 19, 2015

Originally posted on revolutionaryprogramme:

First published on the web –

Defend refugees against terror and deportation!
Smash racist and fascist mobilizations!

Translation of “Proletarischer Internationalismus und der Kampf gegen die Festung Europa,” first published in German in September 2015

The recent wave of racist violence against refugee shelters and the increase in right-wing anti-refugee mobilizations across Germany require a response by revolutionaries. That police in Heidenau in Saxony stood idly by as a racist mob went on the rampage for days, and only exercised their monopoly of force when anti-racist activists began to demonstrate, says a lot about the role of the capitalist state and police. Revolutionaries have no faith that the capitalist state will protect refugees against witch hunts, harassment and pogroms. The proposals to segregate refugees along ethnic lines made by Bodo Ramelow, Left Party premier of Thuringia, after rioting in overcrowded accommodation, demonstrate the impotence of the Left Party in…

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Anti-DPRK Crowd All but Admits They’re Frauds

October 15, 2015

Originally posted on :

A writer feature in the UK Guardian asks the question: “Why do North Korean defector testimonies so often fall apart?” Its author Jiyoung Song notes that the inconsistencies behind the defector testimonies from the DPRK are most likely due to the fact they’re purchased for cash. According to Song, “[a] government official from the South Korean ministry of

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America Doesn’t Have a Gun Problem, Guns Have an America Problem

August 2, 2015

Originally posted on :

So long as capitalism exists we will always have the gun control debate. On one side the liberals say we must lose our guns because they kill people. On the other we have the conservatives saying they need their guns to protect themselves. As Marxists we understand that the reality of the situation

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Correcting a pseudo-Marxist on use of the phrase “dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry”

July 10, 2015

Originally posted on revolutionaryprogramme:

The July 2 issue of the British leftist paper Weekly Worker included an article by Jack Conrad (central leader of the CPGB) “Truth, not myths, serve our cause” with a sub-head “Why do comrades on the left insist on repeating evident falsehoods about Lenin and the Bolsheviks, not least when it comes to 1917?” (

There is much in this article that I believe is, lets say, a creative interpretation of history but one issue stood out in particular – Conrad’s defence of the phrase “dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry” as being a guide for the Bolsheviks right up to and including the October revolution.

I replied as follows in a letter published in the July 9 issue of WW (

Jack Conrad ends his meandering piece, ‘Truth, not myths, serve our cause’ (July 2), claiming Lenin’s continuity of political perspective in 1917, as follows:

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A Marxist response to the Right2Water “Policy Principles”

May 19, 2015

Originally posted on revolutionaryprogramme:

Trade unions in Right2Water have called for submissions on their document “Policy Principles for a Progressive Irish Government”, expected to be adopted by the full Right2Work organisation at a conference on 13 June. It is likely that this will form the minimal basis for calling for votes to candidates in the upcoming general election and perhaps a platform for community activist candidates standing under the Right2Water umbrella.

While it contains many abstractly supportable demands around the right not only to water, but to employment, housing, healthcare and education, the document is clearly designed to remain within the existing capitalist framework, as shown by the requests that submissions:

“Put forward principles that can create unity among all progressive organisations and individuals and building the widest possible coalition for change.

“Promote principles that will promote policies that are radical, popular and deliverable.”

Given the involvement of Sinn Féin in Right2Water…

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A revolutionary Marxist’s view on the Marriage Equality referendum

May 19, 2015

Originally posted on revolutionaryprogramme:

As I am not an Irish citizen I don’t get to vote in Constitutional referenda but I am fully in support of people voting YES in the upcoming referendum on marriage equality.

The following article was first published in 1917, the journal of the International Bolshevik Tendency ( While it was written by a leading gay rights activist in the context of the successful legalisation of same-sex marriage in New Zealand the article is just as relevant here in Ireland.

Love & Marriage

Capitalism, Queers & Equality

In April 2013, New Zealand finally legalized marriage for same-sex couples. There was considerable discussion among left-wing queer and trans activists about whether marriage equality should be supported as a democratic right, or opposed on the grounds that marriage is a bourgeois institution. In October 2013, the Queer Avengers organized a conference in Wellington entitled “Beyond Marriage” where this issue, among others…

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Debating water charges and Gardai in London: impressions of Socialism 2014

December 10, 2014

Originally posted on revolutionaryprogramme:

Last weekend I was at the Socialism 2014 event in London, working with British comrades from the IBT. Among other issues, this gave me a chance to debate the situation here in Ireland with Paul Murphy and Joe Higgins, as well as their comrades from other sections of the CWI.

According to more regular attendees, the event was larger than usual and there was a definite upbeat mood. This was reflected in the major talk on Saturday by SP leader Peter Taaffe on “Trotskyism in the 21st century”, which was designed to highlight the achievements of the CWI as the genuine Marxists/Trotskyists of our time, without much elaboration on what programmatic issues differentiated the CWI from other groups claiming to be Trotskyist.

Taaffe highlighted positive prospects for the CWI and speculated that the socialist revolution was going to occur in the life-time of the audience and possibly even his own…

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Socialist Party directing anti-water charges campaign down the dead-end of electoralism

December 10, 2014

Originally posted on revolutionaryprogramme:

Paul Murphy was interviewed on the This Week RTE 1 radio programme on Sunday the day after the protest in Tallaght against Joan Burton. Since then he has been vilified in the press for encouraging violent protest. Paul’s militant stance of standing with his constituents is to be commended, and all campaigners against the water tax should defend him and others from attacks in the bourgeois press. This is no reason, however, for holding back on criticising the tactics of others within the movement. There were a few points in Paul’s radio interview that concerned me in terms of the direction the Socialist Party would like to see the anti-water charges movement developing.

Paul’s main argument in defence of a strategy of mass non-payment is that the government would avoid attempted prosecution of non-payers in the courts for fear of losing votes:

“by the time they get around to that…

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