2024 – A Year for Change

Make the new year a year of resistance of hope and of solidarity.

Capitalism is dragging human development backwards. The appalling videos and images of death and suffering coming out of Palestine, in particular from Gaza and the West Bank, have shocked billions of people across the world. Our TV screens and news bulletins have been dominated by mealy-mouthed politicians, psychopathic army generals and various “strategic analysts” telling us that Israel has the right to defend itself, regardless of the fact that over 20,000 people have been murdered by the Israeli occupation army since this current and on-going phase of the genocide of the Palestinian people.

The COP28 ended as a damp squib, as did previous CPO summits. Once again, the western mass media attempted to portray the situation as “we are doing as much as we can: others have to do more”. Of course, they had to get in the obligatory anti-Arab worldview: sure if they weren’t selling the oil, we wouldn’t be able to buy it!

Even Irish global attention-seekers got in on that game, more about personal profiles than raising serious questions or addressing the real cause of the environmental catastrophe that our world faces. One of the biggest producers of carbon gases is the global imperial war machine which hides in the shadows, and no one is allowed to discuss, nor raise its massive impact and total waste of valuable natural and intellectual resources.

The bloody violence and oppression being currently inflicted upon the Palestinian people by the Israeli regime, aided and abetted by western powers, has provoked serious questions in the minds of tens of millions of people about the real nature of our society.

What is the nature of our “democracy”, where we march in our tens of millions calling a for a ceasefire, and are then accused of being antisemitic, while our governments refuse to act on our demands for an immediate ceasefire?

People are asking questions about the nature of the “rules-based international order”. Who decided these rules and to whom do they apply? Who are they for, what are these rules, and can I read them? Did the Dáil vote on these rules?

People want to know what is the International Criminal Court (ICC), what does it do and how do you get war criminals like Netanyahu, the Israeli war cabinet, and its top generals into court to be held to account for their war crimes? Or is the ICC nothing more than an instrument for western powers to control those whom they disagree with?

There are a number of lessons that working people need to learn from the current crisis. First among these is that that our democracy is limited and circumscribed by the needs and interests of private property, by global strategic imperialist interests – political, economic, and military.

People’s wants, needs, and desires are not priorities of the system of capitalism. The overwhelming majority of people want to live in peace, they want to see military expenditure substantially reduced and diverted to spending on homes, schools, and hospitals. Yet these demands fall on deaf ears.

The global role of the US and European Union in this crisis has provoked a crisis of trust between these governments and institutions and the people. What do they stand for and whom do they represent? Whose interests do they serve? What the crisis in Palestine has exposed is that neither the US nor institutional powers like the EU are benign or neutral forces. They are not forces fighting for global justice etc, but rather they are about the global imposition of inequality, oppression, and super-exploitation. They talk about peace but wage war.

The mass media, like the establishment newspapers, RTÉ and other media outlets, do not reflect what people can see and read about on social media. This shift away from the key ideological instruments of control, in particular by young people, has seen a concerted drive by the US state and the EU to introduce greater controls and what you can see and say on social media.

The people must be made to conform at all costs to the dominant narrative. Sure if they don’t then the whole Alice in Wonderland dream-world of capitalism would cease to hold sway.

They talk of human rights but support the brutal suppression of the Palestinian people and millions of other oppressed peoples and nations across the planet, to secure their global sphere of influence and control. Human rights are mere pawns on the imperial chessboards to be sacrificed where necessary. In the meantime, our rights have been dependent on the denial of the rights of billions of others.

As we start a New Year there are many challenges that we face: personal ones but also societal ones. Problems like affordable housing/shelter. If I get sick or am sick, will I get to see a doctor, or a bed in hospital? Will I be able to meet my growing bills? Will my children emigrate because they can’t afford to live in their own country?

For working people of Ireland, we need to begin to take our future in our own hands, not allow others to decide our fate. The future belongs to those who fight for it. A better Ireland from Derry to Kerry will only come about if we come together and fight for it.

The barrier to a better Ireland, to a more just and equal Ireland, lies in the economic system called capitalism, to domination and control by the imperialist powers and institutions like the USA/ EU/ Britain.

Our world is struggling to throw of the fetters of centuries of imperial domination, to assert the values of solidarity, economic justice and to end exploitation to simply live in peace.

We can join in this global struggle for justice by redoubling our efforts at home to ending inequality, providing affordable shelter for all and a health service fit for working people, not just rich individuals and corporate interests.

Our demands most moderate are – we only want the earth.