James Connolly Conversations, 2022

This year’s James Connolly Conversations return as face-to-face meetings. At the same time we will provide an opportunity for others to join in the conversation on line.

The sessions will take place on four consecutive Saturdays, from 28 May to 18 June, at 11 a.m.

The meetings are designed to encourage maximum flexibility and participation. Each one will have a brief introduction to aid discussion. The conversations will cover the following topics:

(1) Class

Saturday 28 May

“The necessary result of our analysis is to discover that the very basis of Society today is a struggle between two classes, the Landlord and Capitalist who own all the means of production, and the propertyless class who are only allowed to use and operate these means of life when it suits the convenience or interest of members of the other class to allow them.”

– James Connolly

This conversation will explore

• the nature of class in Ireland today

• who or what is the working class

• the relationship between class struggle and other struggles.

(2) The state

Saturday 4 June

“Governments in capitalist society are but committees of the rich to manage the affairs of the capitalist class.”

– James Connolly

The ruling classes present their role as a neutral force in society, and the state itself as a benign force, more of an unbiased referee to resolve difference and conflicts within society. But is it?

• How and why did the state emerge?

• Is it as natural as the air we breathe?

• Is it separate from and above class?

• Is it neutral, and are the various institutions of the state neutral?

(3) Imperialism

Saturday 11 June

“This transformation of competition into monopoly is one of the most important—if not the most important—phenomena of modern capitalist economy.”

– V.I. Lenin

In contemporary left politics in Ireland the nature of imperialism causes most confusion and division. Some reduce it to big countries bullying and dominating smaller countries, or narrow it to its military features. But—

• How and why did imperialism emerge?

• What is its material basis?

• Is it more than just militarism?

• How do we understand its role and its power in Ireland?

(4) The history and strategy of the CPI

Saturday 18 June

The final conversation will cover a brief history and a discussion of the strategy of the Communist Party of Ireland.

If you wish to attend, or join the conversations on line, email cpofireland@gmail.com.

The face-to-face conversations will take place in Connolly Books, 43 East Essex Street (between Temple Bar and Capel Street), Dublin.