I am currently in a process of re-evaluating many aspects of politics that I previously took for granted, mainly due to recently finding myself in the ‘political wilderness’ having resigned from the Socialist Party (CWI Ireland).
At a time in Ireland when class consciousness is still very underdeveloped despite 6 years of rampant austerity, I feel there needs to be some reflection on why this has occurred. Many have blamed the radical Left in Ireland for not having ‘united’ and squandered opportunities, but personally I feel that objective conditions have overwhelmingly been the main protagonist in stemming an organised fightback by the Irish working class. But should the genuine and anti-capitalist Left take stock of its own subjective participation? More importantly, how can activists start re-building such a fractured and embryonic movement? I certainly cannot pretend to have any form of developed answers to these questions, but I would like to see the beginning of a process whereby more debate is initiated around crucially important political questions.
Internationally, a number of authors are beginning to question a whole host of such questions that for many were previously “untouchables”. Academics such as Lars Lih and Paul Le Blanc are shedding new light on revolutionary Russia that should, in my opinion, make us re-evaluate many of our own practices and “untouchables”. This should a be sobering process and an opportunity for all to genuinely vindicate their politics. Some are taking it too far, trying to “re-classify” class and other basic staples of the worker’s movement. However, many words that are bandied around such as ‘liberal’, ‘reformist’, ‘ultra-left’, ‘revolutionary’ etc seem to have duplicitous meaning. They can be used in debates, the same way as a full-stop is used in a sentence. Ending any fruitful debate and never really pushing us to elaborate in much detail on our opinions.
I hope that this blog provides me the opportunity in some way to clarify my own underdeveloped opinions and thoughts. Unlikely, but its worth a try!
These are the ramblings of a Dublin Marxist…