Imperialism for Slow Learners 

When Barack Obama was elected as the first black president of the United States in 2008, there was jubilation and celebration of this “historic event”. 

The “We are One” concert was held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to celebrate the incoming President Obama where Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen sang The Woody Guthrie classic “This Land Is Your Land”. 

Many believed that this marked a radical change for the people of America and the world the dawn of a new age of equality for everyone no matter what their religion or race. A world of equals and an end of US Imperialist wars. 

Alas, there were ten times more air-strikes in America’s “war on terror” during Obama’s presidency than under his predecessor, George W. Bush. In fact, Obama oversaw more strikes in his first year than Bush carried out during his entire presidency. Despite this, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. 

Yes, a black man was elected president, but this provided a façade for the “Land of the Free” and of American democracy. If Obama had any progressive policies to change America’s view of the world he would not have gotten near the White House. No matter who the American President is or what their background is, imperialism’s interests will be served. 

Here in Ireland, we now in Michelle O’Neill have “the first ever Nationalist First Minister” in the North. Many celebrated and shed tears of joy and disbelief when Michelle finally took office. In homes, bars and community centres around the country, people celebrated and sang all the anthems of the struggle from “The Men Behind the Wire” to “We Shall Overcome”. 

However, as in the case of Obama, she nor her party would get next to near the first minister’s role unless the British ruling class knew that she and her party would obediently implement British Rule in the Stormont Assembly to their satisfaction and provide a democratic façade to the continued denial of democracy and the self-determination of the Irish people. 

“Nationalist First Minister” O’Neill hugged the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak warmly, welcoming him to Stormont and sent get well wishes to the King of England. This at the same time as Sunak safeguards the Union by reaffirming the Act of Union in Westminster, recognises executive power in the North will be vested in King Charles of England and that joint authority is not provided for under the Good Friday Agreement in respect of the British and Irish Governments’.

The pacification process is complete: the Republican movement has come from non-conforming prisoners to a conforming First Minister. What the British couldn’t achieve in Long Kesh they have achieved in the corridors of Stormont. 

Michelle O’Neill says we are entering a decade of opportunity during which a Border Poll will be held. She of course does not get to decide if and when such a poll is held. Similar to her securing the First Minister’s role, there will be no border poll held until such a time as the British Ruling class and their lackeys in Leinster House and beyond are certain that the outcome will serve the needs of British Imperialism and align with their plans for the future of Ireland. 

Irish unity without class struggle is a cabinet reshuffle. 

As James Connolly put it: “If you remove the English army to-morrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic, your efforts will be in vain. England will still rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.” 

We should learn from history, not repeat it.