Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Can Ireland have a successful communist revolution?

It is not possible to achieve a communist society in Ireland through social revolution. This is because, if such a society were realized, it would be easily crushed by the imperialist states that surround it. A communist Ireland is sustainable only if communism has been realized in the UK and(or) Western Europe.

So any attempts to set up a revolutionary communist party in Ireland makes no sense. It is utopian to claim that in the Irish Republic the politics of social revolution are realisable and sustainable. Consequently soi disant Marxist groups such as the Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Party are misleading elements within the working class by claiming that a workers republic can be established and consolidated within the 26 counties of Ireland. The setting up of a workers' republic would, every bit as much an Irish communist society, be duly crushed by the forces of imperialism encircling it. This would almost certainly lead to great human suffering including the loss of many Irish lives. In the light of this James Connolly was equally utopian when he fought for a thirty two county Irish workers' republic at the beginning of the 20th century.

The conclusion is that the promotion of Marxist politics in Ireland is a utopian project that misleads the Irish working class filling it with false optimism. Communism can only be an option for the Irish working class within the context of European social revolution that eventually involves world revolution. Generally speaking communism can only be universal in character.

The most that communists in Ireland can do is create a communist organization of intellectuals that contributes to the development of communist theory. In a large country like the UK or France it makes more sense to struggle to build a communist political party within the context of building an international communist political party. The working class of a powerful country like Britain, France or the USA has a much better chance of launching a communist revolution than the weak Irish working class. Revolutions from these individual countries can serve as the basis for the successful launching of social revolution in Ireland. Generally social revolution can never begin in a small weak country such as the Irish Republic.

We now have a situation where people like Kieran Allen present themselves on radio and TV effectively clamouring for a state-capitalist solution to the problem of the Irish debt crisis. Yet the Socialist Workers Party, of which Kieran is a member, have perennially criticized the character of the former Soviet Union because of its alleged state capitalist character. A state capitalist solution is a tautology for a national solution. There is essentially no difference between this SWP position and the ambiguous position being held by ICTU bosses Jack O Connor and David Begg. Indeed there is no significant difference between the position of the SWP, the Socialist Party, the ICTU and the Fianna Fail party in relation to state indebtedness. All want a capitalist solution within a national, thereby bourgeois, framework. Differences between the different parties are rooted in mere modifications as to how wealth is to be distributed. Modifications in wealth distribution fails to render change in class relations. None of the above elements want a revolution in the character of the production process --a communist solution. This is because there cannot be a communist solution to the debt crisis except within an international framework. In short the Irish working class need the revolutionary mobilisation of the British, French and German working class if the debt crisis is to be solved through revolution. In a sense the Iris debt crisis is a problem for the entire European working class. Other than that a capitalist solution is the only solution possible. Kieran Allen and Joe Higgins mislead the Irish citizenry when they claim to have a "socialist" alternative to the policies of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Labour Party. Their differences only exist in a merely distributionist context. The nationalist policies of the SWP and the Socialist Party are not sustainable. Consequently the SWP and the Socialist Party are incapable of implementing bourgeois nationalist policies nor social revolution. The essential nature of their politics dooms them to political bankruptcy which is why their political character is inherently opportunist.