February 1994

Has Socialism A Future? The Left - Ashes To Phoenix Part 1

Date:

It has become something of a cliché to refer to the death or collapse of the left. What's still missing however is an analysis of what went wrong with the left. One that goes beyond surface manifestations, and reaches into its core politics. This lack of analysis means that much of the 'new left' is not that new at all, merely a repackaging of old ideas in new wrappers.

The left ... Time to be constructive

Date:

The left to-day, demoralised by its collapse is without focus or direction. Anarchism given its anti-authoritarian tradition should be able to offer a way forward. But many are reluctant to take up anarchism, Andrew Flood looks at some of the reasons why this is so and suggests the key organisational ideas needed for a new anarchist movement.

What was the Programme for National Recovery?

Date:

The Programme for National Recovery, launched in October 1987, was the culmination of almost a year of talks between the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the then Fianna Fail government led by Charlie Haughey.

Lessons of Trade Union Fightback

Date:

Following the vote on the Programme for Competitiveness and Work at the end of March 2004, the Trade Union Fightback (TUF) campaign was wound up. Here Gregor Kerr, an INTO member who was secretary of TUF, looks at the history and lessons of the campaign.Following the vote on the Programme for Competitiveness and Work at the end of March 2004, the Trade Union Fightback (TUF) campaign was wound up. Here Gregor Kerr, an INTO member who was secretary of TUF, looks at the history and lessons of the campaign

Freedom and Revolution: The Bolshevik Experience.

Date:

Does the end justify the means? Many on the left believe so. Aileen O'Carroll argues that the means used play a part in creating the end that is achieved. The best example of this is the Russian Revolution of 1917.

In 1922 Emma Goldman complained Soviet Russia, had become the modern socialist Lourdes, to which the blind and the lame, the deaf and the dumb were flocking for miraculous cures(1). The Russian Revolution was the first occasion where decades of revolutionary ideas could be applied to real life. What was theory was now practice. The struggle between the two concepts of revolution - the statist-centralist and the libertarian federalist - moved from the realm of the abstract to the concrete.

The question thrown up by the October revolution is fundamental. Once capitalism has been defeated, how is communism to be achieved? While there are certainly faults to be found with aspects of the anarchist movement, at least it cannot be criticised for getting the basics wrong. Anarchists have consistently argued that freedom and democracy are not optional extras. Rather they form part of the conditions necessary for the growth of communism.

Marx and The State

Date:

Some Marxists claim Marx was a libertarian, and Leninism and social democracy are not really Marxist. But in doing so they ignore the anarchist critique of Marx's political ideas on the state, the party and the organisation of a socialist revolution. Conor Mc Loughlin looks at the contradictions within Marx's political writings.

 

Marx & the State

 


 

Did Bakunin advocate secret dictatorship?

Date:

Bakunin is sometimes accused of being in favour of dictatorship. Indeed he often talks about secret dictatorships. However if you read what he actually said in detail it is quite obvious that what he was talking about was the classic anarchist position of a leadership of ideas.

Direct Action Movement becomes Solidarity Federation

Date:

THE BRITISH section of the International Workers Association, the Direct Action Movement, is no more. In its place stands the Solidarity Federation. This is far more than just a change of name, they see it as the second step on the road to becoming a revolutionary union.

The EZLN rising in Mexico

Date:

On New Years Day of '94 people awoke to the news that four towns in the south-eastern state of Chiapas had been taken over by a group calling itself the Zapatista National Liberation Army. Dermot Sreenan, who recently presented a talk on the EZLN and organised a picket of the Mexican embassy in January '94, looks at the politics and history of the EZLN.

2 years after X and Workers Solidarity format change

Date:

The democratic "will of the people" is not of major concern to the politicians in Leinster House. Two years ago the pregnant 14 year old at the centre of the 'X' case was prevented from going to England for an abortion. The High Court effectively interned her inside the 26 counties. The Dublin Abortion Information Campaign of which the Workers Solidarity Movement were founder members. called a demonstration.

The Downing street declaration and the republicans - The Price of Peace

Date:

IN THE PAST MONTH or so an alien landing in Dublin would have been amazed at the total rehabilitation of Sinn Féin and the IRA. Up until then the English language had been ransacked for terms of abuse. Dictionaries of medicine and zoology were scoured in the search for more descriptive insults. Terms ranged from the mild sounding "men of violence" (no women in the IRA according to the media) to cynical/callous/brutal/cowardly Godfathers of crime, murderous/senseless/bloodthirsty killers.

Smash the state! - thinking about anarchism

Date:

ONE OF THE best known catch phrases of Anarchism has got to be "Smash the State". It's also one that's easily open to misunderstanding. Particularly in Ireland, where the 26 counties once had the rather humorous title of "Free State", many see state as meaning the geographical area of a country. This slogan has also been misrepresented by anarchism's opponents as meaning opposition to all forms of organisation and decision making. Obviously neither of these is what anarchists mean, but what exactly is the state and how do we smash it?

Fight the introduction of service charges - Lets wreck Irelands poll tax

Date:

JANUARY 1st saw County Dublin divided into three new County Council areas - Fingal, South Dublin and Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown. Residents of all three new Councils now face the imposition of annual service charges of at least £85-£90.

Republican Congress - break the connection with capitalism

Date:

The picture shows some of the Protestant workers from Belfast's Shankill Road who took part in the Wolfe Tone commemoration at Bodenstown in 1934. Linked to the left wing Republican Congress movement, they were attacked by right wing Republicans who were led by Séan McBride.

Causes of Nolan Transport strike, New Ross 1993-94

Date:

WORKERS AT Nolan Transport in New Ross joined SIPTU in January 1993. Working hours averaged 15 per day, six days a week. Pay was £2.00 - £2.50 per hour. It was six years since their last wage increase.

Who was Emiliano Zapata

Date:

ON THE FIRST day of 1994 a group calling itself the Zapatista National Liberation Army [EZLN] launched an uprising in the Chiapas State of Mexico. They are fighting the dictatorship of Carlos Salinas de Gortari and are calling for "free democratic government". The first of January was the date upon which the North American Free Trade Agreement was to come into operation and their is a widespread belief amongst the mainly Indian EZLN that this will only lead to further poverty.

Air France strike shows Aer Lingus Workers how to win

Date:

IT WAS A DEFEAT! 780 jobs are to go in Aer Lingus. The PESP increases for 1990-93 won't be paid. Increments won't be paid. The SIPTU leaders, at both national and local level, didn't want a fight. They agreed to refer the pay issue to a supposedly "impartial' tribunal ...which ruled that there be a pay freeze until 1995.

Hickson chemical plant explosion in Ringaskiddy, Cork 1993

Date:

The explosion and fire at the Hickson chemical plant in Ringaskiddy, Cork, last August, has gone down as one of the most serious industrial accidents in Ireland to date. Though no fatalities resulted, it is now clear that this outcome was only a matter of luck. One worker, the first to notice that something was wrong, left the site of the explosion minutes before it blew up. And the explosion itself, occured shortly before shifts were due to change on that morning of August 6th.

Hicksons chemical spill in Cork - Company pleads guilty Profits came first

Date:

HICKSON PHARMACHEM, the company at the centre of last year's explosion and fire in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork, pleaded guilty in July to three charges of negligence and improper handling of hazardous chemical substances. The result of this negligence was a major industrial accident in the harbour area of Cork, which very nearly caused a major contamination and deaths.

The role of management in workplace accidents

Date:

Accidents rarely happen. They are caused. It is equally the case that workers end up taking more than their fair share of blame when things do go wrong. Such has been the case with a host of rail and air accidents over the years, where drivers and pilots have quickly been targeted by the media. But when management is to blame, as is the case with just as accidents, the same light of media exposure rarely shines as brightly or for as long. It's not difficult to see why.

Like what you're reading?
Find out when we publish more via the
WSM Facebook
& WSM Twitter