The Communist Party of Ireland sends New Year’s greetings to the Irish working class, to all those struggling against capitalism and imperialism, and to all those engaged in building a socialist alternative to capitalism.
The new year begins with no end in sight to the ongoing Zionist genocide in Palestine and the continued attempts by the Irish ruling class to force the cost of the crisis of capitalism onto the working class.
Despite the attempts of the imperialist “news” media to portray the genocide as justifiable “self-defence” by the Zionists, the peoples of every continent have rallied to the cause of Palestinian self-determination and continue to call for a ceasefire. The US, UK, EU, and their allies, have long praised the moral superiority of their political system and their much-vaunted “democracy”. However, as millions throughout the US, UK, and the EU call for a ceasefire and Palestinian self-determination, they are ignored by their governments which not only offer full support to the Zionist genocide in Palestine, but they have declared the oppressed Palestinians the aggressor. Such is the inverse reality of bourgeois democracy.
Tens of thousands across every county of Ireland have taken to the streets, week after week, demanding a ceasefire. This pressure forced the government in the Republic of Ireland to break slightly with the EU consensus, however it refuses to act independently of the US, UK, or the EU. Minister for Foreign Affairs, Michéal Martin, has cited the UN Security Council vetoes of Russia and the Peoples’ Republic of China as the reason to undermine the triple lock provisions before Irish troops can be sent abroad, however he has been silent as the US employed its veto on the Security Council to prolong the Zionist genocide in Gaza.
The Irish government’s failure to take definitive action against the Zionist entity highlights the lack of independent foreign policy and is another blow to Irish neutrality. The Communist Party of Ireland reiterates our demands for the government to campaign for a ceasefire, end all diplomatic, economic, and cultural links with Israel, and cease all US military use of Shannon Airport.
The deepening crisis within the global imperialist hegemony should be welcomed by all. The genocidal war being pursued by Israel has weakened imperialist ideological influence and may well be a turning point in speeding up the decline of imperialism itself.
Ireland’s anti-imperialist working class forces need to take every opportunity in 2024 to campaign for the defence of Irish neutrality, but to also go further and advance the demand for a ‘Progressive Neutrality’. A progressive neutrality with real substance, one in which the state takes a proactive role in winning world opinion to global demilitarisation, including the abolition of nuclear weapons. A neutrality which will force the state to adopt and pursue strategies to promote clear solutions to long-standing disputes in favour of the people, not the interests of the US, EU, or NATO. We should use the opportunity of the elections to the sham European Parliament to highlight the growing militarisation and pro-war stance of the EU, and to support those candidates that will speak out and oppose the EU imperialist bloc, to further undermine its political influence and controls.
The coming year will see a continuation of the capitalist assault on the working class as they try to resolve the crisis within capitalism. Homelessness, a failing health system, an under-funded education system, environmental destruction and an increase in poverty will remain the reality North and South of the British imposed border. Hunger and evictions are increasing, and a large number of workers are just one unforeseen expense away from homelessness.
This year, or early next year, there will be general elections North and South. Unfortunately, a real alternative to the status quo will not be on the ballot in either election. All that will be on offer in the 26 counties is a change of management. None of the potential governing blocs offer a critique of capitalism much less an alternative to it. Ireland’s position within the imperialist system will not change irrespective of who wins the election. In the 6 counties there will be elections for the Westminster parliament, the seat of colonial power. The historical and continuing British-engineered division in the 6 counties between those who believe their interests lie with the colonial power and those who support Irish sovereignty means that working class interests will not figure in the election.
In fact, the interests of the working class will not figure in either election. However, that does not mean that the working class is powerless. The pro-Palestinian demonstrations have shown once again that an organised movement, with a clear political position can bring about change. The Irish government has been forced into the uncomfortable position of having to criticise EU policy on Palestine. A mass all-Ireland movement for public housing, for a properly funded health system free at the point of use, for an economic policy responsive to the needs of society not the owners of capital, has the potential to bring about real change. It is capitalism that is at the root of all the problems facing Irish society and humanity worldwide. Capitalism has turned all the necessities for life into commodities from which they can make a profit; a system of super-exploitation of people and the planet.
Irish people, like people the world over, are fighting back against the ravages of capitalism. Many of these struggles, from housing to peace, healthcare to the environment, are localised but are objectively anti-capitalist. The task confronting the Irish left is to unite these struggles by clearly identifying capitalism as the common foe and by building links between them. The working class must take the stage as an independent force if we are to overthrow capitalism and build a socialist alternative. We in the Communist Party of Ireland are ready to play our part in building the movement which will lead to the re-conquest of Ireland and the emancipation of all humankind.