Normality or Insanity

In the society we live in, economic power is concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority. This minority in turn controls the legislative apparatuses that form political and economic structures around the rest of us. Sometimes when opting for in-depth analysis on this we forget that these social relations between the ruling class and us have re-created themselves on almost every level going down. Every workplace is a microcosm of the relations fostered by capitalism.

 

What is the most horrific aspect to this? Besides the actual reality of these conditions, the normality of it all. We do not stop to consider the psycophatic nature of the fact that agencies can collective raise rent prices and we can do nothing about it. Or the fact that thousands of children are homeless in Ireland because the State is disinterested in addressing the question of housing in any real way. On a smaller way, is it not insane that in small business or large your time is micromanaged as if you’re owned? That you can be effectively set to work any time at any day? That you relinquish control over yourself as soon as you step foot into the workplace and the relationship you have, personally with your manager or business owner virtually characterizes your entire time in the workplace.

 

The fact that we are subjugated to the rule of capital via other workers is sinister itself. Consider your manager in a customer service center: they are probably not even earning all that much more but their responsibilities include suppressing you. Some professions and workplaces are deliberately established to ensure workplaces and workers are disunited. The owners individualize the work and reward workers individually. They speak to them in the HR office on a one by one basis and isolate their issues as something ‘they’ might be facing, rather than the collective and systemic nature of these issues.

 

The entire relationship between employer-employee is brutal. It is disgusting, it is horrific. You are subject to the will of another person and the wage you are paid is the maximum wage they are willing to pay while they can carve out the profit from your labour. They are effectively riding your back and once you are useless or develop a differing opinion you are let go. This happens in Cork, Ireland and the world all the time. Workers that are productive are rewarded, a little bit while those who do not meet the rigid criteria of certain workplaces are eliminated from the place. What happens to them after? Rent, life, family? Fuck em’ all is the motto of the employer, they’ve used them and they can now move on.

 

Given the nature of these relationships, or microrelations though, the workers are pitted against each other virtually involuntarily. They are all wage slaves who’s relationship to their labour and surplus value is the same, they just perform slightly different roles for capital. It’s worth noting here that they also differ from the police or armed forces of a capitalist state but I won’t be going into that here.

 

There are certain professions, such as property agents, bankers, stockbrokers, real estate agents and a few others which contain a different demographic. These professions are taken up voluntarily and they rely on the manipulation of working people for success. They rely on exploiting people in the most vicious of ways. Everything is about the raising of income and profit on a personal and company level for them so they will utilize every tactic and strategy to do so. They will despoil you of what minor wealth you have so that they can enrich themselves.

 

Let me bring this to it’s final point though: under capitalist, we are encouraged to turn into exploiters. We are encouraged to adopt new personas and rob others of their wealth. We are even rewarded for it. Ironically this runs into parallel with all the happy-go-lucky supposed societal norms we’re indoctrinated with. We’re told not to be greedy, when the economic circumstances of our reality are saturated with greed. We’re told not to be selfish, when everything about capitalism and bourgeois culture revolves around the cult of the individual.

 

We live in a paradox and as we begin to unravel it and it’s contradictions, the deceitful nature of capitalism becomes clearer and clearer.

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Thought of the day

Marxism is not just a political outlook, it’s a counter-culture to the hegemonic basis on which the bourgeois have built themselves up. It’s a challenge to the culture, to the ideals, to the societal structures and to the goals. It is a synthesis to these things and an alternative. It is not enough to simply say “I am a Marxist and therefore progressive”, you must also reject the foundations of capitalist society alongside with it and struggle for a complete re-orientation of¬†society.

I find leftists who meander about political positions as if it’s a pick and mix bag of jelly beans to be repulsive. Marxism demands consistent analysis to function and make sense. You cannot for instance advocate war in Syria by imperialist proxies while be an ‘anti-capitalist’ at home. You cannot for instance claim to be a Marxist but then utilize the historiography of bourgeois culture, this is an eternal contradiction. We are working for a better world but in order to start doing that we must question every pillar that upholds bourgeois-capitalist society and ask ourselves:

What would these look like as working class pillars?

9th July


 

When we deal with the question of parliamentary politics, I find it best to think of it simply. Imagine for a moment that it is a board game. Every board game has a set of rules.

In capitalist society, the capitalist write all the rules. Subsequently the political structures uphold their rules because they are the creators and initiators of said structures. They have developed these rules to benefit themselves. They have manufactured this ‘board game’ with only one goal in mind: to triumph.

As far a Communists should be concerned, electoral victory comes second to the development of the working class as an entity and working class organizations as vehicles to the development of class power.

 12th July

Youth Movements and their obstacles and solutions.

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The establishment, propped up by virtually every political party from the Green Party to the Labour Party has created an environment that’s virtually impossible for young people to live in. These socio-economic conditions are stifling our generation, suffocating our lives and stealing away our energies. That is why youth activists are duty bound to mobilize a fight back. But what sort of fight back should we organize? What can we do in such an anti-young people environment and what obstacles should we overcome? In the immortal words of Lenin, what is to be done?

 

Assessing the obstacles that stand in the way of youth activism we quickly come to the conclusion that it is not just the legislation passed in the Irish parliament that destroys us, it is also other youth movements that are so commonly found off and on campus. Young Fine Gael? Ogra Fianna Fail? Social Democrats Youth? Green Party Youth? Labour Youth? All of these serve the primary purpose of propagating the political positions of their mother parties. Their mother parties in turn wreck havoc at every given opportunity when in parliament. Of course, the more moderate of these have some excellent and terrific sound bites but non of that detracts from their callous struggle for those ever so charming pensions and perks that come with having a seat at the Cabinet.

 

A youth movement without any ties to any parliamentary figures has a much better opportunity to deliver on it’s objectives for the simple reason that it cannot be betrayed. It cannot be betrayed for the objectives of political careerists and opportunists, it is strategically solid. Additionally, if it is not subservient to the interests of a parliamentary party it is not sucked into the time consuming work of canvassing and can organically focus on addressing issues that plague our generation. The youth movement must not exist as a lobby group within a larger party, but as a distinct, unique political entity that exerts political force and pressure in the advancement of it’s own objectives.

 

This youth movement will therefore not be placed in a situation where it must compromise for it does not need to compromise with the forces that enslave and undermine it. The youth movement is focused purely on achieving it’s objectives and the empowerment of other young people around it. In overcoming and either breaking this toxic relationship or simply never getting involved in it, the youth movement has it’s hands free to do what it must, legal or illegal in the struggle for emancipating our generation from capital.

 

What sort of political power do I mean when I mention it in the context of a youth movement? Well I refer to a different sort of pressure that is not reliant on elected office. Primarily a capacity to withdraw labour, or more commonly known as striking. This is the fundamental basis of political power for a strong youth movement for it places us definitively in a place where we can exert pressure and halt economic activity. Additionally there are other forms of political pressure we can exert. Youth activists can identify and then target businesses that practise bad employment habits. This is a method of applying pressure but also engaging with other people outside and on the street. It forms a strong relationship with those who use the business, as they now feel more conscious about the malpractise but also places the employer-business in the position of making a decision or face further pressure.

 

Another prominent example which comes and goes is that when housing crises are manufactured by landlords and their government lackey it is young people that often take the initiative. What sort of initiative do I mean or refer to? Identifying empty buildings and organizing their occupation. We toil and suffer under huge rent and rent increases but almost always abstractly walk on our way to work past empty buildings. A youth movement with this skillset and the passion to drive it forward can on a strategic political program utilize empty buildings not only for the benefit of it’s own members who are under economic pressure but also of other sin need of somewhere to stay.

 

These are but three small examples of what a youth movement can be doing. Of course to be able to carry out an action the correct ideas, theory and direction is required. Very few if any youth movements have a program of objectives which resonates in conjunction to a well thought out and principled theoretical analysis of contemporary issues. Both SFRY and WPY are very much attached to their mother parties and do not really exercise a distinct identity, working mostly on the initiative of their mother parties.

 

That is why a youth movement with a strong anti-capitalist identity and analysis can mobilize young people like no other. Without the chains of interdependence and subservience: What limitations does a youth movement have? We must fan the flames of radicalism of our generation and not hesitate to take as dramatic action as necessary to fight back against the brutal austerity inflicted upon us. We must abandon the liberal minded social norms of fraternizing with members of political organizations who’s legislation murders us and instead treat them for what they are: outcasts and enemies.

 

We shouldn’t establish social relations with members of opposite political parties, this normalizes the idea that we can separate politics and personal feelings. How can you though? Can you stand alongside somebody in earnest if their party impoverishes thousands or forces them to emigrate? What about suicide, can you really look upon them without feeling anger at their conscious decision to remain part of such a movement? These social norms only bolster the capitalist enemy and undermine the development of a strong anti-capitalist youth movement. A revolutionary youth movement will form it’s own social circles, it’s own interests and it’s own cultural norms as it develops and pushes forward, all of which will only ostrasize the minions of capital.

 

As outlined above, it is not just social norms we seek to shatter but also political norms. We must focus, as young Communists on uniting students and young workers into one galvanized force that can flexibly manoeuvre in and out of University-workplaces tackling issues and mobilizing young people behind itself. Neither, exclusively can deliver on revolutionary politics, together, interwoven on the basis of a strong and well nuanced Marxist platform though? A recipe for success.

 

What must a youth movement therefore constitute?

 

First, it must be unattached to a parliamentary party and distinct from electoral politics. This ensures that it’s objectives cannot easily be compromised and that it is almost forced to, out of necessity to develop political power elsewhere.

 

Secondly, a youth movement intent on change must be firmly integrated with Labour. The easiest methodology to this is through trade unions wherever and whenever. Through it’s integration with Labour a youth movement will always be involved in the most important struggle: class versus class.

 

Thirdly, a youth movement must build it’s political power on the basis of what it can do to tackle capital out on the street. Sometimes this will overlap with trade union membership, sometimes it will not. It’s success in praxis will come from solid and well defined theory.

 

Fourthly, a youth movement must not be entrapped within a subservient relationship with any other organization. The revolutionary youth movement does exist to serve the whims of another political party, it is it’s own political organization that’s representative of youth issues and focuses on tackling youth issues.

 

Fifthly, a revolutionary youth movement should not build social relations with political organizations that are waging wars, creating austerity or committing further acts of systemic violence against the working class. The terror they unleash must reflect in their social standing: they are parasites and enemies and must be treated with outright hostility.

 

Finally, a youth movement must not rely exclusively on one demographic of young people. Be it students or young workers, a versatile and flexible approach must be taken. Bring the struggle of working class young people onto the campuses and bring the struggle of students out into the world. Mould the two into one struggle: the struggle against capitalism and the struggle for socialism. Make universities the graduation halls of future unionized and class conscious professionals rather than ivory towers of deluded intelligentsia and through this process make working class young people robust champions of their own class interest.

 

AGITATE

EDUCATE

ORGANIZE

Necessity of Socialism.

Socialism is not a distant dream that cannot be unrecognised. Socialism should not be confused with ‘social democracy’, it is NOT an accommodation of capitalism. It is not a foreign fairy tale that we do not comprehend. It is a very real, concrete solution to the problems stemming from capitalism that are crippling our society. We experience the benefits of living in that part of the world which with advanced weapons, banks and technology intimidates and imposes itself on the smaller and weaker countries. Then, even ironically, we live in a very modern Irish state that is itself subjugated to the same exploitative relationship three times over!

At first, we have the immediate power of British finance capital, which has for long been virtually unchallenged in Ireland. In tandem with the dominating nature of British capital, we have British political and military occupation in six counties in Ireland. Yet as the tide of nationalism shifts for small nations such as Scotland, even the question of continued partition and occupation begins to be heard louder in the parliaments of these island nations.

Secondly, we have the almost overwhelmingly power of American finance capital. Carefully introduced in a series of tax incentive measures, multinationals have flocked to Ireland, either physically or simply to register and avoid the payment of taxation and created economic contradictions all over. It can be plainly said that where the multinationals go, the cost of living explodes. American finance capital characterized by a variety of multinationals has helped wreck the traditionally strong Union membership in Ireland and helped crystallize the entrepreneurial myth in our culture. It is a blemish upon our society and is only here to use us. To think that either the American state, or the dozens of multinationals that settle here have an interest in Ireland or the Irish is to delude oneself. As soon the fundamental goal of obtaining greater earnings and profit is gone, so too is the multinational which we should praise. Packing up and fleeing the country while leaving the locality that it chose to temporarily occupy in a desolated way.

Thirdly we must consider the role of the European Union in the affairs of the Irish economy and therefore society. The liberal will inform you that the European Union has done great deeds for Ireland, promoted positive cultural values and helped workers rights. Yet none of this bears any objective weight in reality. It is true that when Ireland joined the EEC, the infrastructure in Ireland was underdeveloped, lacking and behind other European countries. We have however been lead to believe that this some sort of failure of the Irish people for being too slow, being too far behind or being underdeveloped primitives. This condescending attitude is not too dissimilar from the British Imperial view of the Irish who were, incapable of ruling themselves.

In truth, the labouring classes of Ireland have never had the opportunity to government themselves and the economic backwardness of Ireland in 1973 falls squarely on the parasitical governments that succeeded one after the other since 1922. In the failures of these governments to address key socio-economic questions while only cementing and reinforcing the imbalance of wealth concentration they could not provide for their own population. In fact, the establishment parties regularly resorted to the same measures the British Empire did during it’s complete domination of Ireland. Measures that the capitalist parties do not shirk away from taking today either.

Decade after decade, the term Socialism has been eradicated from the minds, words and culture of the working class. It has been turned into a dirty word and the very people who need it the most have been taught to hate it. The ruling class have written their own history, their own volumes of education and their own raw and unhindered ideology. We have, as the peasants and serfs of Ireland of old been forcefully subscribed to it without input of our own and generation after generation we have continued to reproduce the values that are alien to us, the values of the capitalist parasitical class.

Much like the word Socialism has been tainted and abandoned by those who once were is advocates. What has been invented to replace it and to create a false elevation is ‘middle class’. As if owning some commodities makes you any more relevant to the great industrialists and bankers! Yet never the less, the term ‘working class’ has faded away as if it does not exist. In spite of this, the majority of the ‘middle class’ still must sell their labour to survive and still have no meaningful impact on the political decision making process of their society.

However I strongly feel that the conditions of Ireland have changed. The debate on independence has stimulated some thought, but it is not enough. Can a servant aspire to more if it is only the life of service they are accustomed to? Here the necessity of Socialism becomes ever greater and ever more demanding. It does not become a simple question of whether we need it or not, but how soon we should begin the struggle for it. The battle for Socialism must take place in the melting places of the future generations, where young workers, school students and university congregate. That is where our battle for Socialism must place, to those who have not already fallen victim to the countless lies and falsehoods given to them. To those who still dare to dream for a better future as idealists, rather than conform to the reality that they will spend the majority of their life, chained in employment and on the rarity enjoying sporadic bursts of freedom that their employer can afford them.

Many conceive a better world they have never experienced and a fairer and more equal society. Yet their dreams and aspirations are cast off as unrealistic or unachievable. I can certainly say that our dreams are everything but unrealistic, for it is the task of every young Marxist in Ireland to be able to solidify their aspirations with concrete material based analysis. We do not just talk about our objective to entice and to lure, we talk about it to create a long lasting flagship for Socialism that will penetrate the generational divide.

We do not have a vision devoid of any practical application in achieving it. We have a vision, cemented by decades of political struggle internationally and domestically and we will pursue it. Our goal is to democratize our society, from root to bulb, where the mechanisms of state power represent only the interests the majority; the worker. As a result of pursuing this dream, worker is inevitably destined for a collision with the capitalist class and the relationship they live off; their right to exploit us all. To rob us of our livelihood, to empty our pockets and to bleed us dry for all we are worth. We challenge the divine right to rule that the capitalist class have anointed upon themselves and develop a movement capable of smashing it!

Thrust upon those struggling for a better world is the necessity to fight for Socialism. This necessity comes about as the poverty that the capitalist class force on it’s own population becomes unbearable and inescapable, grinding down upon every demographic of the population irrespective of gender, race or nationality. It is time we evaluated the practicalities of constructing a Socialist society in Ireland.

Socialism in Ireland will look different to Socialism in many other countries around the world but it will certainly share one thing in common, the ownership of the land, seas, air and industries of Ireland, by the people of Ireland. We have the technological capacity to produce our own food, to manufacture our own goods and to control our own territories. We are not primitive savages and we are not barbarians unlearned in the ways of democracy. In focusing on the ownership of the means of production and industry, we will be able to self-regulate our progress as well as presented programs that would go in tandem with the growth of our population for instance.

A Socialist society is where the key objective is to benefit, empower and enrich the population rather than those who sell on to the rest of the population. We want no middle-men, haggling for the proceeds that they rip out of our ground or harvest from our seas. In our struggle for social, economic and political independence we will build our 32 County Socialist Workers Republic and smash the boundaries and regulations written up by the parasitical exploiting class!