A bilingual poem inspired by Nie Wieder Krieg (Never Again War) by Karl Wiener Nie Wieder Krieg (c. 1928) UKRAINE  wooden crosses over gravesbeginning to look like daggerssunk with a squelch into the earthto quieten the undeadbut undead and quivering they are notthey are truly deadempire masters of the eastempire […]


In the dark times

“In the dark timesWill there also be singing?Yes, there will also be singing.About the dark times”—Bertolt BrechtThe night is darkI see light across the skyIt is not a light of hopeIt is not the sign of dawnThe heat it radiates does not give warmthIt scorches you to ashesThe place I […]


A valuable addition to O’Casey commentary

■ Paul O’Brien, Seán O’Casey: Political Activist and Writer, Cork University Press, 2023, €39. Paul O’Brien has published a political biography of Seán O’Casey, looking at the dramatist from a broadly left-wing viewpoint. The book is accessibly written and sheds light on details of working-class Dublin and international history. O’Brien’s […]


Hans Holbein the Younger

The painter of Renaissance humanism Hans Holbein the Younger, born in Augsburg in the winter of 1497/98, was one of the foremost German painters of Renaissance humanism. Augsburg was the seat of the Fugger family, trading magnates and bankers. Jakob Fugger “the Rich,” elevated to the nobility of the Holy […]


“Socialism Betrayed” revisited

It is nearly twenty years since the publication of Socialism Betrayed by Keeran and Kenny.¹ They offered an interpretation of the USSR’s collapse that was influential within the communist movement and the CPI. The book highlighted the disintegration of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union as derived from the […]


Treating people like fools

After a number of years off the radar, out of vogue, the bogeyman of online piracy is back on billboards and your television screens. Launched in October, BeStreamWise is the latest awareness campaign to deter people from using illegal internet protocol television (IPTV), also known as dodgy boxes, firesticks, and […]


Indigo girls’ recent Dublin concert

Indigo Girls (Amy Ray and Emily Saliers) opened their recent show in what was without doubt an incredible performance, singing a combination of folk-protest songs and country music in a sold-out National Concert Hall, Dublin. They performed without orchestral accompaniment or flashing lights: just two women with acoustic guitars playing […]


The East is still Red

■ Carlos Martinez, The East Is Still Red (Glasgow: Praxis Press, 2023) The East Is Still Red is a very readable and able defence of the current People’s Republic of China. The basic argument of the book is that China is on the right path with regard to building socialism, […]


Blackshirts & Reds

■ Michael Parenti, Blackshirts and Reds (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1997) In the thirty-two years since the Soviet Union was dissolved and Fukuyama’s “end of history” began, more and more young people are becoming communists. Multiple failures of capitalism—runaway rent and housing costs, and unabated climate disaster—are bringing young […]


For an inverted theatre

Brecht and radically proletarian art The majority of theatre broadly falls under the umbrella of dramatic theatre. It will have a linear plotline, actors who wholly inhabit well-developed characters, structured, thought-out themes, etc. Bertolt Brecht, the German Marxist playwright, would call it escapism. Brecht held that “art is not a […]