Not TERFs, but TERFism: Marxism Against Radical Feminism

April 23, 2017

The Curious Communist

It is become common practice among those committed to the great task of combatting all oppression to refer to transphobic feminist icons, such as Germaine Greer, and their less well-known followers as TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) in order to contrast them with Marxists and other feminists who acknowledge the existence of transgender and non-binary individuals and strive for their liberation. However, although speaking in terms of TERFs is undoubtedly useful in terms of identifying specifically transphobic individuals and  groups (such as Greer or the supporters of the Feminist Current website), it is ultimately both insufficient and misleading. The question at issue is not one of a handful of radical feminists succumbing to the transphobia inherent in the hegemonic ideology, as discussions of TERFs would seem to indicate and as could happen to individual supporters of even the most anti-oppressive philosophy, but of transphobia being necessarily woven into the theoretical structure…

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Bernie Sanders – imperialist warmonger

May 22, 2016


As Bernie Sanders’ campaign to be the presidential candidate for the Democrats trundles on towards its inevitable end (when he then endorses Hillary Clinton) there still remain a surprising number of self-describing “socialists” and “revolutionary Marxists” who are politically supporting Sanders and even describing him as some kind of socialist himself.

The truth is that Sanders is a capitalist politician wedded to the Democratic Party and US imperialism. Anyone who doubts this assertion need only look at the following examples for proof:

  • Sanders voted for U.S. intervention in Somalia in 1993.
  • He supported Bill Clinton’s 1999 war on Serbia and when anti-war activists occupied his office because of that support of Clinton’s war policies, he had them arrested.
  • He voted for the 2001 Authorization Unilateral Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), which pretty much allowed Bush to wage war wherever he wanted.
  • In 2001, Sanders did not support the vote in Congress…

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UN Committee calls for Ireland to decriminalise abortion

February 19, 2016


The following is from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child “Concluding observations on the combined third and fourth period reports of Ireland”

Adolescent health

1.    The Committee is concerned about the “The Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act” of 2014 which only allows for abortion when there is a “real and substantial risk” to the life of the mother and criminalises abortion even in instances where the pregnancy results from rape, incest, or in cases of severe foetal impairment. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned that the term “real and substantial risk” prevents doctors from being able to provide services in accordance with objective medical practice. The Committee is also concerned at the severe lack of access to sexual and reproductive health education and emergency contraception for adolescents.

2.    In the light of its general comment No. 4 (2003) on adolescent health, the Committee recommends that the…

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More proof the AAA are willing to join govt with Sinn Féin

February 19, 2016


In response to the “No direction” newspaper advert by the Labour Party leading Socialist Party/Anti-Austerity Alliance member Ruth Coppinger TD confirms my claim that they are willing to enter a government with pro-capitalist Sinn Féin in the following Facebook post:


If there is no way the AAA would ever go into government with three of the political forces represented by the super-imposed heads in this advert it must mean they are open to going into government with pro-capitalist Sinn Féin.

A shameful betrayal of the principle of working class political independence by so-called “revolutionary socialists”.

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Pandering to illusions in Sinn Féin – Election 2016 and working-class independence

February 19, 2016



The fightback against capitalist attacks in the name of “austerity” (or “recovery”) has been at the forefront of the class struggle in Ireland over the past few years. The Campaign Against the Household & Water Taxes formed in late 2011, followed by the anti-water charges movement, involved rudimentary self-organisation in many working-class communities around resistance to the installation of water meters and payment of these hated taxes. The struggle brought many people into political activism who had never been involved before. This level of grassroots organisation was an important component of the immediate successes of these campaigns and begins to point the way towards the kind of organisations we will need to take power away from the capitalist parasites.

The upcoming election brings these political issues onto the national stage and creates a greater audience for a revolutionary perspective and the idea of developing working-class political consciousness to confront the…

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Elections and “ending equality”

February 19, 2016


Don’t get fooled by thinking that the shell-game of the coming Irish elections will make any real difference for working people (see the IBT leaflet on the elections).

All the potential options for a new government are wedded to the capitalist system and will have no answer to the next major crisis of the world economy that is now beginning (and will perhaps be even worse than 2008). Given Ireland’s role in the world capitalist economy it is inconceivable that the effects of this new crisis can be avoided.

Even the so-called “far left” groups standing in the election are unable to present any solution outside the framework of capitalism. They would have us believe in fairytale fantasies that their election platforms offering radical reforms of capitalism can “End inequality” (as every AAA election poster claims)!

The truth is that there is no possible “solution” to the coming economic crisis that will…

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Republican reformism with an abstract socialist veneer – letter to the CPI

January 26, 2016


The following letter was sent to the Communist Party of Ireland (CPI) on 3rd January as part of an exchange of emails on the nature of Right2Change (R2C) and Sinn Féin. Eugene McC did not answer my initial question on whether their support to R2C also involved electoral support to Sinn Féin but instead referred me to their recent major programmatic statement “A Democratic Programme for the Twenty-First Century” as evidence that they are far more revolutionary than their choice of bloc partners would indicate. My critique of that document is reproduced below.

Dear Eugene,
Thank you for your reply. I am a supporter of the International Bolshevik Tendency and earlier this year I attended a series of political discussions in Cork organised by the Connolly Youth Movement (CYM), the youth section of the CPI. These discussions led to the exchange on Facebook with a CYM comrade who warned that Right2Change…

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Cork anti-water charges protest 23 January 2016

January 26, 2016

Right2Water electoralism – no pretence any more

January 8, 2016


Everyone involved in the anti-water charges movement in Ireland will have noticed the plans of Right2Water to launch some kind of electoral bloc (based on a “Platform for Renewal” that will be decided at a conference on 1st & 2nd May) for the upcoming elections.

I can’t help but remember the indignation and denials which greeted the analysis of myself and others about the electoralism driving Right2Water as expressed in their “2015 – The Year We Change Ireland” statement. (…/12/31/2303/)

It seems I was spot on after-all….

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Defend the Jobstown protesters!

November 17, 2015


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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