The main purpose of this blog is to present analysis and commentary on Irish society from a Marxist perspective.  An ancillary purpose is to look at the transition from capitalism to socialism both in terms of the political programme to be advocated by left and socialist movements and the development of the capitalist system itself.  If the latter is not creating the grounds for its supersession by a new society then political programmes will be idealistic constructs bound for failure.

The blog is written by someone who has been a Marxist for around 40 years.  My maternal grandfather was an Irish emigrant to Glasgow and a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain during the 1930s and during and after the 2nd World War.  He was a union member who lost his job more than once because of his union activities.  My mother was also briefly a member of the Young Communist League.   Both my mother and father were supporters of civil rights in the late 1960s in Belfast and were briefly members of the Northern Ireland Labour Party in the early 1970s. I therefore come from a left-wing background defined by politics and not by nationality or religion.

In 1975, after my family had moved to Scotland I became involved with socialist politics through the International Marxist Group in Glasgow and in 1976 I joined this organisation. I returned to Ireland to go to university and joined the Irish section of the Fourth International, the Movement for a Socialist Republic, in 1978.   I was a member of the MSR and the successor organisations of the Irish section of the Fourth International up until 2012.

I am therefore a Marxist from the Trotskyist tradition.  I hope that this blog will in some small way help inform newer generations of socialists and that a platform will be established in which they will help educate me.  Comments, including full posts on any subject, are always welcomed.  I can be contacted at irishmarxism@hotmail.com.

4 thoughts on “About

  1. An interesting blog, there is much to read here. It is weird to see your history, as while you were in the IMG in Glasgow at the same time I was in the IS. I recall the groups had major divisions on interpretation of Marxism (thank God we we’re members of the WRP, who were nearly Maoists) and I recall those days fondly. Unlike yourself I have drifted away and see only remnants of the idealism of the left remaining in small tucked away corners and now have this nagging doubt that maybe anarchists were right all along and the Second International was a big mistake.

    • I look back on those days fondly myself but a good deal of that is to do with me being young and inevitably more than a bit naive. Nostalgia can cloud a multitude of sins.

      I can’t say I blame you about disenchantment with the left. A few years ago an ex-member of the Workers Party here in Belfast told me he thought a whole generation of the Left would have to die off because they had been brought up in cynical and sectarian politics and would never know any better. I keep going myself because I want to learn what I wished I knew when I was younger and hope I can make some modest contribution to clarifying Marxist politics for a new generation.

  2. Interesting blog. I was in IS (briefly) in 1972, was expelled with others, soon of whom formed the “Discussion Group”, which turned to traditional Trotskyist positions. I remember the debates about Eu/EEC membership in the UK on the left. “We” took an abstentionist position. I am not convinced that big capital has solved the national question as regards the EU, I suspect that we will increasingly see it dominated by the most powerful economy, Germany and that capitalism will still struggle to dissolve national boundaries.

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