Political statement – Communist Party of Ireland – September 2019

The National Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Ireland at its regular meeting in late September discussed and evaluated both the national and the international situation.

There are growing signs of a deepening global economic slowdown. The system may be facing into a new recession, with a combination of the slowdown in manufacturing and a growing level of personal, state and corporate debt.

Workers need to learn from the last global crisis, which resulted in a massive attack on their living standards and savage cuts in public and social spending—a sly and underhand way of making workers pay for the crisis of the system. If the workers’ movement does not prepare to defend itself, then workers will face further attacks and once again will pay a heavy price in job losses and cuts in wages and living standards.

The government of the United States, working on behalf of American monopoly capitalism, continues in its policy of shoring up US global economic hegemony. This has resulted in its increased use of tariffs and in trade wars and sanctions against a growing number of states that it sees as a threat to its global hegemony.

The imperialists’ use of war and threats of war against a growing number of states has the potential to spiral out of control with the constant exacerbation of tension across the globe, resulting in another potential massive loss of life. The party notes the continuing war by the imperialist proxy state of Saudi Arabia in Yemen, and the continued violence and repression inflicted on the Palestinian people by Israel.

The party calls for the stepping up of solidarity by the Irish labour movement and other progressive forces with socialist Cuba and the people of Venezuela, who continue to be in the front line, facing a continuous blockade and the imposition of new sanctions by the United States, its allies, and its client states.

We welcome the mass strike by tens of thousands of students and workers around the country and the millions across the globe over the growing environmental crisis. It is also clear that all the ideological tools of imperialism are now being employed to shape and determine the outcome of these mobilisations and to prevent them becoming a force against the true cause of the environmental crisis: the capitalist system itself.

Under pressure, the political establishment is pretending to take the situation seriously, announcing half measures with long time scales that do not meet the urgency that is needed. They wish to peddle the illusion and the lie that there is some new “green capitalism” that can save our planet. This is a ruse to divert the people’s attention away from challenging the system itself.

While we welcome the mass mobilisation as a necessary first step, the workers’ movement needs to take the lead and bring its anti-capitalist understanding into the heart of the debate. What needs to be done is to bring a class understanding of the system and the economic forces involved to these new, emerging young activists.

There can be no lasting or permanent solution to this growing environmental crisis within the system that has created it: monopoly capitalism. While individual changes in life style play a role, they are ultimately not, and cannot be, the solution. It is only through a fundamental, radical economic transformation to socialist planning and the rational use of the limited global resources that we can begin to slow up and reverse the impending catastrophe.

We need to target institutions, corporations and states that are guilty of preventing or weakening the urgent measures that are needed to confront climate change.

Brexit continues to cause division and uncertainty both within the ruling class in the British state and throughout the EU as well as causing consternation within the Irish ruling class and their subservience to the interests of the EU and global capital, whose interests they serve. This subservient role is in their own class interests, driving them to pursue those class interests, as do all comprador ruling classes.

The CPI again reiterates its opposition to any physical EU or British state border across our country. Ireland’s border with Britain should be down the Irish Sea, giving expression to a united, sovereign state outside the European Union.

The British political establishment, both Conservative and Labour, continues to fracture in its efforts to respond to the crisis created by the decision to leave the EU. It continues to struggle to protect and secure the interests of the ruling class.

Unionism is also experiencing tensions and contradictions from its attempts to grapple with economic pressures now building, brought about by the need to sustain the all-Ireland economic market. The Irish labour movement must respect the decision of the peoples within the British state to leave, and we must act in solidarity with them.

This poses challenges to communists and other progressive forces concerning how we advance our national-democratic demand. In the event of a border poll the CPI will support the unification of the country and will advocate a new and democratic constitution. We will continue to advocate and struggle for an advance towards a socialist, workers’ republic.

The CPI expresses its solidarity with all workers now engaged in struggle to advance their interests and to protect their jobs, including the shipyard workers, school secretaries, and Tesco workers.

The CPI calls for a maximum turn-out for the March for Choice on the 28th of September in Dublin and stresses the need to build upon the successes this movement has garnered throughout the country.

It again reiterates its solidarity and support for the Freedom Walk by the two American peace activists from the organisation Veterans for Peace who have been prevented from returning home through the confiscation of their passports by the Irish state. This happened after they were arrested, charged and imprisoned for taking part in a peaceful protest against the use of Shannon Airport by the US war machine.

We do not doubt that their treatment by the Irish government is in conjunction and collusion with the Trump regime. This is an outrage and in clear opposition to the long-held policy of neutrality supported by the people of Ireland.