Month: May 2020

Current Affairs Narrated Socialism

Is this the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?

AMONG OTHER brutal passings, going into May we pay tribute to Marx’s one and only paramour: the Paris Commune. “Its martyrs are enshrined in the great heart of the working class,” declared Marx, while Connolly, thirty years later, argued: “The Commune, if it had been successful, would have inaugurated the reign of real freedom the world over—it would have meant the emancipation of the working class.”

Current Affairs Political Economy

Who said that?

“Today’s media are exponentially worse than they were in the 1980s and 1990s. They no longer provide news. What they provide are stories that are around 80 percent ideology and opinion, 10 percent lies and spin, and 10 percent fact.” Mitchell Feierstein, investor, banker, and author.

“People can’t criticise Maduro and not criticize the blockade. The blockade doesn’t attack soldiers, it doesn’t kill the guilty, the blockade kills innocents.” Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil

Culture

The management of savagery

Max Blumenthal, The Management of Savagery: How America’s National Security State Fueled the Rise of al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump(London and New York: Verso, 2019).

THIS IS A valuable book, as it charts how the United States, since the late 1970s up until today, has deliberately funded and supported Islamist jihadists to obtain foreign-policy goals.

Current Affairs Letters

Time to wake up

They told me we couldn’t have a “one-tier health system.” Well we are nearly there. When I was eleven i remember leaving my sister off at the nursing training centre in Belfast, and now at sixty-five she has become my hero, working with covid-19 patients in the Downe Hospital, saving […]

Current Affairs Ireland Narrated

“Government of the willing” to hammer workers

The efforts to form a “government of the willing” following the general election earlier this year rumble on. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have had to pretend to dance and engage in a courting ritual to give the impression that there are significant ideological and political differences between them, thereby requiring such a long period to produce a draft programme for government. Fianna Fáil are desperate to get into government at any cost in order to re-establish a presence in urban areas.

But what drives the state and these two main parties of the establishment is the need to thwart the desire of working people for real, meaningful change, as

Trade Unionism

Union leaders need to pick a side

UNION LEADERS should be socially and morally distancing their unions and the movement from any deluded notion of returning to social partnership in any of its bastardised forms. “Social partnership” should really be deader than a Star Trek extra beamed down with Captain Kirk.

Unfortunately, the mood music emanating from some union leaders over recent weeks reeks with the stink of social dialogue and partnership.

Current Affairs Ireland Narrated

Workers cannot afford this new coalition

So Fianna Fáil and the Blueshirts are now an item. Having recognised their obvious compatibility, they have agreed to move in together.

Talk of an end to Civil War politics is simply guff. Whatever ideological differences there were ended decades ago. Existing rivalry was competition between similar organisations. More Tesco vying with Supervalu for market share than Free Staters battling dedicated republicans.

Imperialism International Narrated Political Economy

The old world is dying

WHATEVER WAY one looks at it, the reality is that this crisis, and its four forms— environmental, health, economic, and political—will prove to be worse than 2008. The fact that China’s economy has slowed down, for the first time in decades, only shows that this crisis will be a global affair, rather than a Western financial crisis, as happened in 2008. The 2020 crash will be a

Narrated Socialism

When’s the revolution coming?

HIS QUESTION Is often posed to those who even dare suggest the possibility of a socialist future.

In today’s marketised business world we’ve been conditioned into nihilism, a belief in Man’s inherent evil, and to expect nothing more than what we get; it’s essentially Christianity without Heaven at the end. “Socialism” and “revolution” are merely idealistic dreams from the past. But the cynics do ask a fair question: When will the working class take ownership of the state and society?

Trade Unionism

Workers always bear the brunt

OVER THE course of the covid-19 thousand jobs. The workers only heard pandemic it has become increasingly clear that workers have borne the brunt of employers’ sharp practices. As they always do, employers, both large and small, have attempted to take maximum advantage of the public.

With workers unable to have recourse to the usual methods of dealing with employers and to defend themselves, the giant Debenham’s retail chain announced that it was

Imperialism International Narrated

Venezuela blockaded

JUST AS the coronavirus is wreaking havoc in the United States, and has also begun to affect Venezuela, the Trump regime has decided to step up its aggression against Venezuela, which can only obstruct the country’s efforts to safeguard the health of its population from the threat of the pandemic.

António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, has appealed for an end to all economic sanctions on account of the pandemic.

Imperialism International

Why the West hates Sandinista Nicaragua

NICARAGUA’S SUCCESS in containing the covid-19 virus makes the failure of the United States and its allies look pathetic. The country’s low numbers of nine confirmed cases to date and just two fatalities categorically vindicate the policies of its Sandinista government, led by President Daniel Ortega and Vice-President Rosario Murillo.

The same is true of other revolutionary and socialist governments around the world. Cuba has given a shining example of global leadership and solidarity. Most notably elsewhere, Venezuela, Viet Nam and India’s state of Kerala have also implemented diverse but successful policies containing the pandemic.

Culture Narrated

The wayfarer

THANKS TO the current pandemic, Ireland was unable to publicly remember the Easter Rising of 1916, its aspirations for an independent socialist republic, its heroic leaders. Many of these leaders were poets and writers. Patrick Pearse’s poem “The Wayfarer” was written on the eve of his execution, in Kilmainham Gaol.

The beauty of the world hath made me sad, This beauty that will pass; Sometimes my heart hath shaken with great joy To see a leaping squirrel in a tree,

Or a red lady-bird upon a stalk, Or little rabbits in a field at evening, Lit by a slanting sun,