Strategy for Unity?

The republican dream of Irish unification by 2016 is well-known but now the Sunday Independent claims (registration required) it has a copy of Sinn Fein’s 10 year plan discussed at a meeting in Gulladuff last February.

The document outlines the somewhat unoriginal approach of trying to create a mass movement with a network of sympathisers in key bodies. In the short term the claims that the demonisation of the PSNI is due to increase this year is the most interesting. This would cast doubt on the rumours Sinn Fein are preparing to take their seats on the Board (unless they intend to wage such a campaign from their Board seats) and possibly not a good omen for a quieter parading season too.

“…it stressed that, in the North this year, its main strategic move would be a campaign against the PSNI, on the grounds that it is regarded by the Provisional movement as a “political police force”. “

  • Busty Brenda

    I can’t believe the way these people speak of the hunger strikes!!! At least now we can see how hungry for power these people are. God save us from a country where they are in control.

  • The Devil

    United Ireland by 2016…. exellent story, wonderful, brilliant… er um should this not have been posted yesterday because my calendar shows it a day late.

  • El Macho

    I always enjoy the Indo’s in-depth analyses of Sinn Fein’s actions and intentions. Superbly presented and in terms that the ordinary reader can understand. Not at all like those highbrow articles in the Beano …

  • godsdog

    OMG, the secret is out! There is a political party in Ireland that wants to recruit talented, dynamic young people and take political power in the country.
    Absolutely shocking

  • circles

    I always thought of myself as a republican but am a little miffed – it appears that I have been left out of the loop of the well-known “republican dream of Irish unification by 2016”. Hmmmmmmm. Those dastardly Sinn Feiners have been and gone and done it again – setting dates and not telling the grass roots. Thank you Sunday Independent for this exposé.

    Could they not come up with something better than this? At least they could have re-printed that old duff Sinn Fein oath thing for added spice. God save us from a country where this is considered journalism.

  • Karl Marx

    I am suing Declan Kearney/SF/IRA for plagiarising my ideas in the ‘Gulladuff’ strategy document. (GSD)

    Well done Sunday Independent for revealing this unsanctioned Marxist look-alike plot.

    I can also confirm that the former ‘Soviet Russia’ will be suing over language theft.

  • George

    What is scary here is that this is put forward by the Sunday Independent as a “secret plan to sweep to power within 10 years -and implement a range of Marxist republican policies”.

    The Irish people are supposed to be afraid of Sinn Fein because it “hopes to create a “mass party” to “mobilise even greater numbers of Irish people around our vision”.”

    “Alterative community-based structures” are somehow construed as sinister.

    “Radicalised and mobilised communities are the seed bed from which the new republic will be built.”

    God forbid that communities give a damn rather than wallowing in apathy.

    “indoctrination of young people into Sinn Fein”.
    Would this mean organising on the ground?

    “What is called a “counter strategy” against the party’s opponents is also planned, as well as the infiltration of “outside bodies” and the creation of a “network of facilitators”.”

    Would this be backers and lobbyists or perhaps journalists to demonise the opposition? No other party in the world is involved in that?

    I mean the key positions in trade unions, media, education, community, arts and language and even Government are all filled by apolitical people.

    Obviously we should now be afraid of Sinn Fein playing the system for fear of them being better at it than the rest.

    If that’s the case then it’s not SF I’m scared of but those in power who seem to be unwilling to engage with the Irish people in their battle with SF and instead feel that the have an automatic right to rule and be obeyed.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Sindo exclusive, political party in politics shocker!!!!

  • Dessertspoon

    Looking at Ireland (North and South) right now it’s hard to see how it could be united in 10 years and certainly not peacefully united. Look at the Slugger poll 37% of voters think we’ll never have the ability to have an Assembly never mind find a way to unity. But hey everyone has to have a dream………

  • Glen Taisie

    Sinn Fein are about as Marxist as the A.O.H.

  • fair_deal

    Circles

    “I have been left out of the loop of the well-known “republican dream of Irish unification by 2016”.

    I am afraid you just haven’t been keeping up;)

    Gerry Adams first muted it in 2016

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/601115.stm

    Joe Cahill talked about it at his “testimonial” dinner.

    http://www.talfanzine.com/talissue3837.htm
    (about a third of the way down)

    It came into particular focus before the 2003 Assembly election

    http://archives.tcm.ie/breakingnews/2003/11/17/story121794.asp

    http://inacmidatlantic.org/reunification.htm
    (As you will see in the speech McLaughlin predicts the DUP wouldn’t overtake the UUP so his powers of political prediction are questionable)

    And recently revived by Gerry Adams

    http://www.irishecho.com/newspaper/story.cfm?id=15491

  • shhh

    Muted? Mooted?

  • Fair_Deal

    you have inspired me.

  • páid

    More ‘Gerry Adams will eat your hamster’ stuff from Jim Cusack, whom, I suspect, writes this stuff reluctantly. It is morbidly fascinating to watch the sindo’s increasingly ridiculous posturing on the shinners. Reassuring the readers that the North is a faraway, distant land but at the same time ready to strangle a naive south; ridiculing all authentic Irish culture whilst giving out yards about rival ‘Brit’ competition. I think they might find themselves in a conservative Munster laager if they’re not careful. I like reading Harris though.

  • This fixation on the significance of anniversaries is damaging to the body politic. The fifty year anniversary activated that bunch of dynamiting loyalists posing as the RA and even poor old Nelson went to pieces because of the real deal. The turn of the century started all that Y2K hokum which in turn sparked a run on survival equipment and freeze-dried food here.

    The date is meaningless, Sluggiepoos. History is not a Gant Chart.

    It does sell crap papers, though.

  • aquifer

    “The Sinn Fein policy paper makes it clear that it intends to stir up unrest with agitation and street politics to achieve its aims.
    “Radicalised and mobilised communities are the seed bed from which the new republic will be built,” it says. ”

    So there is not necessarily anything wrong with the PSNI or NIHE, they are just getting in the way of their destabilisation and ghettoisation tactics?

    At least SF have a goal, a strategy, and a counterstrategy for their opponents.

    They even have the DUP to make it all easier.

  • Jim

    I wonder do the DUP have a strategy to maintain or strengthen the Union by 2016.. Let me see will they promote greater tolerance, cultural identity, equality, greater cross border cooperation.. common. There is only one way Unionism is going and that is East.

    As for an UI it will happen and probably before 2016. Most likely not as we would measure it in today’s terms and most likely it will not be delivered by SF.

    Step up Reg, Step up Peter, Step up Mark

  • BogExile

    ‘I believe that unionists working with nationalists and republicans on a whole range of issues through the all-Ireland bodies will come to see that they have a lot in common with us.”

    It’s the same old, same old rhetoric. An oul’ hoor dressed up for the day. And Gerry gives himself away every time.

    Unionists and Nationalists ‘will come to see.’ In plain-speak this is and always has been the underlying deformed mindset of militant republicanism. It is inconceivable to them that any other aspiration has the same legitimacy as theirs drawn as it is from the pure, undiluted waters of Lake Implacable.

    Despite the sexy modern drawers she wears, militant republicanism and all it espouses still cannot reconcile itself with any notion other than its own narrow, anarchronistic, narcissistic world view. The politics is managed in this way, the agit prop is produced in this way, the useful idiots are mobilised in this way, the victimhood is rehearsed in this way.

    The cheering thing is that the 10 year plan with all the unintentionally hilarious soviet connotations is simply ludicrous. If we’re in for a summer of discontent which in part is predicated by this frontal assault on the PSNI and the legitimacy of the state, the only losers will be Republicans who will be exposed as Primary School bullies in suits. The world really has moved on, regardless of what they’re saying in Cullyhanna.

    And, what’s more, my Dad IS bigger than your Dad.

  • Fenian Bastard

    When I saw this headline yesterday I presumed that Cusack and co had something juicy……eh I was wrong, as i understand it was based on a speech by a shinner backroom policy wonk at their recent agm! hardly a secret document poured over at a smoke filled kitchen in deepest south armagh.

    IIRC this is the third consecutive Sinn Fein non stories on the cover on the sindo. there was the “Adams humiliated by Bush”, “Mc Dowell says FF will go into power with SF” and now this one.

    Surely these non-stories just undermine the Sindo’s credibility. I noticed that a poster above questioned whether Cusack may not be very happy having to write these stories, that is an interesting idea as I recall Cusack being a Irish Times writer for many years an producing serious stuff as well as penning a couple of books.

  • BogExile
    I’m for the UI project, seems eminently sensible all round, but have to admit to cringing when I read this report.
    This is NOT the way to go about it.
    Notice how on this thread, Jim Cusack and the Sindo are attacked ad hominem, whereas the content is swept aside.
    There’s alot worth discussing in the report, not least your attempt to dissect it:
    “The politics is managed in this way, the agit prop is produced in this way, the useful ***** are mobilised in this way, the victimhood is rehearsed in this way.

  • BogExile

    spirit-level,

    Thanks and the depressingly obvious things is that people like me COULD be for the UI project. But it is completely inconceivable to me with these clowns driving the process. At least in this latest ‘Spides of West Belfast Unite’ document they are becoming as ridiculous internationally as they always seemed to unionists locally.

  • aquifer

    This is all very simple. Are Sinn Fein’s actions consistent with this script? If so, then this is likely to be the plan.

    Look at your new committee member. He/ she may not know what they are there for, but SF/IRA (for it is they) sure do.

  • Keith M

    “United Ireland by 2016”, was the document published on April 1st?

  • Brian Boru

    “As for an UI it will happen and probably before 2016. Most likely not as we would measure it in today’s terms and most likely it will not be delivered by SF.”

    I hope it happens but 2016? Only 10 years from now? That is far too optimistic. How do you expect this to happen? We have agreed in the GFA that consent in both parts of the island is a precondition, and I do not see that happening in the North within that timespan. For one thing, 18-30% of NI Catholics say they don’t want it (may change) but even if 100% of NI Catholics voted Yes, they would need at least a sixth of Protestants to vote Yes too to get it passed. Now we don’t know how immigrants would vote on this issue and we don’t know how many there are, but they will be a factor too if they do because some of them would have British citizenship by then and would have the vote. So they are a factor that also needs to be taken into account.

    I am doubtful of a UI in my lifetime (I am 26). But the earliest I could see it possibly happening would be 2050. By then though, NCB stockbrokers expects 33% of the population of the Republic to be immigrant (out of 6 million). Some other predictions have suggested they will be a majority by then. Who knows how they will vote. I want a UI but I personally am very pessimistic about it actually happening.

  • BogExile
    Too right. I welcome your comments, you COULD be persuaded. Not this way though.
    Take FB’s comment for example, a total disregard for Slugger’s rules. Designed to spread muck on the Sindo and discredit the author. Not a single comment on the content.
    Its cringeworthy indeed. There’s a report in the sunday life about reactions in South Armagh to the Slab investigation which I’ve asked peteb to blog.
    I’m shocked that SF think the best way forward is to attack the police, that’s really going to help swing unionists like yourself ( NOT )
    I went to University with Hugh Orde at Canterbury, was a year above him.
    Definitely a public spirited thoroughly decent bloke, whose constant refrain is:
    “I am answerable to the people of norn iron”.

    The truth is these back-room IRA old geezers are feeling the heat, so SF lickspittles are going to up the anti this summer.
    MADNESS.
    The majority of nationalists want a visible, police presence, who they can turn to for help when in need. ( see McCartney’s )
    SF ought to be producing documents about how to establish trust with the PSNI.
    Inviting them to hardline areas, and asking their help in tackling social disorder and crime, instead they are pandering to the old-IRA men’s worries/paranoi’s about being spotted for their scams. Anf haven’t the guts to face them down.
    Oh all this under the cover of sectarian policing.
    Makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes you sick.

    I think I’ll go with United Irelander’s phrase of old: The single biggest obstacle to a united Ireland is Sinn Fein.
    Leave it to me BogExile 😉

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Notice how on this thread, Jim Cusack and the Sindo are attacked ad hominem, whereas the content is swept aside.’

    spirit-level you yourself have made no attempt to dissect what is in the document. On another thread you have went off on a tangent about kids attacking the cops this summer with petrol bombs. The basis of which seems to be your own lurid fantasies.
    As stated previously, this is the third week running the Sindo has ran with a SF main story. The first week was the Adams visit and it was comprehensively proven that there was not an iota of truth in that story. Given that is the case it is right to question the credibilty and spin of a story that seems merely to be the latest instalment in a strategy being employed by this paper.

    On the question of the PSNI the overwhelming majority of nationalists endorse the SF position on this organisation. They endorse the belief that the PSNI does indulge in political policing and that this organisation does direct it’s raids at politically sensitive times. I am unaware, other than Orde’s propaganda, that the PSNI have made any attempt to persuade the nationalist community of anything different.
    coupled with the fact that the UDA and UVF have little to fear from the PSNI, in the way they carry out their business, then it could be a while before SF recommend the supporting of the PSNI to the nationalist community.

  • Pat
    you yourself have made no attempt to dissect what is in the document
    I have I’m adressing the points about the Police.
    On the other thread I referred to the absence of leadership when kids go off petrol bombing the police, and I’m linking this to the attitude SF have to the PSNI.
    Irrespective of your claim that its supported by the vast majority of nationalists, they are being misled and misdirected in a cynical way.
    I am unaware that SF have made any attempt to engage with the policing board in the way you would expect from a democratic party concerned with law and order.
    Its a scandal and the Sindo and any other newspaper have the right to take SF to the cleaners.
    IRA feeling the heat = SF lickspittles PSNI whinge. United Ireland put back 10 years.
    What’s the outreach to unionists.? None!
    BogExile has come across, and maybe persuaded with straight talking, there’s many unionists like him. I want their vote.
    But he won’t enter a UI through the back door, that’s for thieves, and he won’t be fooled.
    Mark 10:7 ” The front gate…. “

  • Fenian Bastard

    Spirit Level, I didn’t comment on the content simply because there is none. I bought and read the paper yesterday, as I do most weeks, and can’t confidently state that the story was meaningless.

    A more accurate headline could have been “Sinn Fein want to win much more seats and get into government”.

    I would be delighted to discuss the content of what was said at this meeting that Cusack found so sinister, however I cant see it. If you can point it out great and I look forward to engaging with you on these sinister words.

    As for Cusack himself, far from being a attack on him, I pointed out that he has a fairly solid background having worked for the most reputable paper on the Island, yet appears to me to have dumbed himself down by attaching his name to these kind of “scoops”. Again if you can point out where I am wrong I would welcome it.

  • mickhall

    In reading the manner the sindo hyped this article, which was clearly designed to panic the middle classes in the RIO. I thought even those dogs in the street we hear so much about on slugger would not let out a whimper let alone a growl over such tosh. Then spirit level proves me wrong with his talk of the SF strategy as proposed in the article leading to riots etc this summer.

    How short memories are, or was I mistaken when I saw Bik McFarlane and Gerry Kelly and other senior republicans calming protesters last year. The only difference between this document; and those which I have no doubt have been produced by the rest of Irelands political party’s, is it is not written in the language of the pro globalisation Think Tanks so in vogue these days.

    Or is the Sindie going to tell us the ILP does not encourage its members to work within Trade Unions or FG and the PD in business associations and professional bodies. That the Shinners are aiming to recruit amongst the youth is commendable imo.

    Fair deal demands we analyze the article, how can one when by calling SF a marxist party it is so far off the wall to be unworthy of serious comment, contempt would be nearer the mark. Im all for the media holding political party’s to account, indeed it is one of the main roles of a free press. but it has to be done within the realms of reality.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    spirit-level

    ‘Irrespective of your claim that its supported by the vast majority of nationalists, they are being misled and misdirected in a cynical way.’

    It is not a claim, it is a fact that is demonstated by the democratic process. To follow on there is a natural arrogance about your claim that people are being misled and misdirected. People can and do ascertain the situation as they find it themselves. They then draw conclusions and make up their own minds. Shit I know, but hey, that’s democracy.

  • Fenian B
    Freudian slip there, can’t confidently state that the story was meaningless.
    Moving on, it was a document, no mention of a meeting Cusack attended.
    Plenty in the document.
    How could I ever have a debate with you, when your fixed position to a Sindo story on SF is to present it as:
    ““Sinn Fein want to win much more seats and get into government”.”
    That’s a line to take, its politics you have you view. But its cardinal and immutable.

    Mickhall
    I do not wish to see any riots, but would like to over-turn a culture of mistrust and suspicion.

    Pat McLarnon, I’ve too much respect for you to get into personals, the arrogance comes from a passion that believes there is a better way.
    My pitch is attractive to unionists, because I’m addressing their concerns. I like simple images like the good shepherd cares for his sheep.
    Intellectuals can take the piss.
    I see SF as the Wolf, and I want to either pull the teeth out, or destroy it, or replace it.
    With good grace and god’s speed, and light up the peace pipe with the good burghers of Ireland Protestant and Catholic United in heroic brotherhood.
    Romantic Ireland is not Dead and Gone 🙂

  • I am being asked to accept the syllogism:
    The Sindo is anti-SF, therefore every story they print about SF is a lie.
    Absurd.
    The Daily Mail is Conservative, but they use their spin to influence their tory readers on news items.
    You are accusing journalists of the worst thing possible, telling lies, and making things up.
    Isn’t that libellous and below the belt?

  • Fenian Bastard

    Spirit Level, I have no fixed position, just a critical eye.

    What was it that you found sinister in the text of the speech given in derry?

  • Fenian B
    Turning it on its head I’d say I couln’t find much that wasn’t sinister 😉
    SF are making the UI project really hard work, when some straight talking, a little more honesty, humility and so on they’d have it in the bag.
    Martin McGuiness dispatched to a monastery of his choice for repentance and quiet prayer would probably pull in 100,000 swing voters.
    Slainte

  • circles

    Fair-deal:
    Thanks for the major heads up. I guess living in West Africa takes some of the West Belfast edge of whats hip and happening on the rep scene.
    Still, I see the 2016 thing more as some kind of idyllic dream for some republicans.
    As the man with the beard said “Obviously, 2016 is an emotive date for republicans and nationalists, but I’ve never been taken up that much with it — a United Ireland could happen before then,” 😉

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”calling SF a marxist party is so far off the wall to be unworthy of serious comment, contempt would be nearer the mark.”

    So what would you class them as Mick? New Social Democratic & Labour? PD Light?
    This is a party whose military wing have cheerfully slaughtered thousands of Irish citizens over decades, made maximum political hay from men prepared to starve to death (and will continue to do so if this article is to be believed), refuse to regard the abduction and murder of a mother of ten as a crime, support such democrats as Castro and the FARC, tout economic policies which Bertie recently labelled marxist, welcome dissent within their own ranks with a healthy kick in the teeth and regard themselves as the rightful government of Ireland, despite an overwhelming popular vote to the contrary. Now we’re treated to shocking revelations that they think stirring the shit and infiltrating organisations will get them into power. Not exactly a shock to most of us.
    But do by all means give us your definition.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”The Taoiseach’s statement said: “Even a radical overhaul of Sinn Fein economic policy would have little real credibility after 35 years of Marxism.

    “I believe Sinn Fein are agents of poverty and disadvantage. I believe the very notion of Sinn Fein in Government would lead to a flight of investment, which is untenable in a small open economy.”

  • circles

    Very interesting take on what Marxism actually is GlvsC – not very political, but interesting all the same.
    Also interesting that you should quote Taoiseach Bertie on this one – are we supposed to take his comments as some kind of impartial, politically neutral analysis? You better start digging up more credibme references to convince this reader.

  • Mick Fealty

    All:

    I had thought about blogging this piece, then as I was thinking, FD blogged it. What would be interesting would be to see the document itself, then we could judge for ourselves the balance and import of the piece.

    It strikes me that its emphasis is on activism, betokens a pessimistic view of current talks. I’m also not sure that if it continues to pursue the confrontation route that it will achieve what it seems to want to achieve: ie the conversion of new voters.

    The party may feel it’s on course for leaving the ‘chill factor’ of 2005 behind, but it not should lose sight of the obvious lesson from that year: you can lose confrontations with the state just as easily as you can win them.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”you quote Taoiseach Bertie on this one – are we supposed to take his comments as some kind of impartial, politically neutral analysis?”

    Probably not circles, but he was obviously attacking SF from an angle where he knew they were vulnerable. Gerry’s recent foray into the arena of Irish economic realities merely highlighted a deeply anti-capitalist mindset.
    It’s obvious that SF are good at getting their natural constituency vote out and are past masters at playing the victim card, but when it comes to attracting foreign investment, encouraging entrepreneurialism and ‘moving the process forward’ in terms of the Irish economy, they appear so far left as to be over the horizon.
    Their embracing of agit street politics and infiltration of ‘strategic’ organisations certainly smacks of marxist ideals to me, but logically, it’s the only way they’re ever going to ‘take power in Ireland.’
    After all, 30 years of ‘armed struggle’ appears to have acheived absolutely nothing — they’re still staring at six counties which can’t be moved without the consent of it’s majority. They’ve been battling bravely for several years now to get into a Brit-financed Stormont assembly with big Ian as first minister. The best they can hope for electorally in the south is to be a small part of a rainbow coalition if they ask nicely. Faced with those choices and knowing that you’re the rightful government of Ireland, wouldn’t YOU play the marxist card?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    GLC

    Just wondering, what exactly is your understanding of what Marxism actually is? It seems very different to my understanding. It seems – and I’m sure this is not the case, but it SEEMS – as though you think “Marxist” is just some sort of catch-all pejorative.

    (Incidentally, I love the idea that the horizon is on the left. No doubt most Marxists would agree!)

    “Their embracing of agit street politics and infiltration of ‘strategic’ organisations certainly smacks of marxist ideals to me”

    How so? What “Marxist ideals” are you talking about? I think you’re mixing up things that happened during the Cold War with “Marxism”. (No doubt there are people at Pravda who’ll tell you the capitalists weren’t any slouches at the agitating and infiltrating game either.

    “Faced with those choices and knowing that you’re the rightful government of Ireland, wouldn’t YOU play the marxist card?”

    What does this mean? What is the “Marxist card”? What does the old IRA claim to be the legitimate government of Ireland have to do with Marxism?

    Seriously man, I really think your analysis is way off-beam here.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Well Billy it’s refreshing to read a post from you that doesn’t brand me a liar or accuse me of libel.
    Unfortunately I’m on a break at work at the moment so I can’t give you an essay on the subject, but I’ll list a few points.

    Marxism advocates the overthrow of free market capitalism to create a classless society dedicated to the worker rather than the big business owner, which in itself is a noble aim.
    Needless to say, Marx had no time for the capitalist system, advocating instead a kind of workers utopia, ‘a nation of equals’ if you will.
    He envisioned that these workers revolutions would take place in large capitalist societies. In effect what happened was that the majority of marxist revolutions occured in relatively small nations, usually with extremely distressing results.
    Although capitalist markets have changed greatly over the years, competition has not devolved into the monopoly by a few huge companies that Marx originally envisaged. Real wages have risen and profit rates have not declined, the Irish economy of recent times being an excellent example.
    In world-wide practice, socialism has failed to create the utopian and fully planned society that Marx advocated. In most cases it merely led to new forms of state domination and abuse of power, as illustrated by the USSR and Cuba.
    One aspect of the Marxism/Communism past that SF appears to advocate is a policy of constant agitation, in an attempt to undermine the state.
    This policy was effective in the north as a demonstration of ‘people power’ through ‘spontaneous’ street rioting, protest marches and so-called ‘concerned residents’ groups, often fronted by SF activists from outside the areas concerned.
    Such tactics have not as yet succeeded in securing British withdrawal, but have succeeded in mobilising the SF electorate and portraying the northern nationalists as the ‘most oppressed people ever.’
    The prevailing theory in SF land appears to be that similar tactics aimed at the shortcomings of society in the republic may be enough to destabilise the state as a whole and somehow allow the party to ‘take power in Ireland’ as the rightful government.

  • mickhall

    Gerry
    Whilst not wishing to get into a theoretical argument with you over Marxism, as I am not equipped to do so. I cannot let a couple of your assumptions pass by unchallenged. You say that the heirs of Marx have only attempted to put his theory into practice in small States.

    Whoops, if the Soviet Union or Chinese Republic are small states I would hate to think what a large State looks like. Although you are correct in that Dr Marx thought that a successfully socialist revolution could only take place in an advanced capitalist society. This was the main reason why most socialists at the time believed Lenin’s coup/October revolution was doomed to failure and dictatorship. Even its more ardent supporters outside of Russia could not see how it could succeed with out revolution breaking out in Germany, for like capitalism itself, Socialism is international or its dead in the water.

    Whilst it is true capitalism has managed since WW2, just about, to reinvent itself in the West and by so doing workers here have been able with struggle to stabilize their living standards. This is simply not true in the Third World, [and post USSR Russia] where living standards have been in free fall. I think [sluggers will need to check] that well over a billion of the worlds citizens live on either less than a dollar a day or way below the UN poverty level, so from where they sit Neo-liberal capitalism is not much of a success story.

    As to monopoly capitalism, Marx was clearly on the right track here as multi national corporations are increasingly having a damaging effect on our daily lives and in industries like petrol chemicals act like a bunch of crooked cartels.

    It seems to me sadly, many liberal minded and well educated people in the West have come to believe there is no alternative to Neo-liberal economics, which in my view is both lazy thought and extremely dangerous. IMO it is one of the reasons why people are turning to religion across the world, for if there is to be no let up or alternative offered for the drudgery which is most peoples daily life’s, then at least they can book a more hopeful place in the next world.

    Of course Neo-liberal economics does not have to be the only way and thankfully millions of people are coming to see the disastrous shortcomings inherent within going down that road. Not least the fact that in the West, 15-20 percent at the top of the economic pile live in luxury, whilst 30 percent get by reasonably well and the bottom 3rd lead a dogs live. What good is such a system when this is the outcome especially as neo-liberal economics means the people of the third well are regarded once again as fair game to plunder. Such usury is shameful and I might add unchristian.

    There is another way and to there credit the Shinners are scrabbling around searching for it, so instead of pouring contempt upon them perhaps we should wish them well. Or is it from where you sit Gerry you are quite happy living on the work and resources of others.

    When Social Democracy first emerged as an important political force in Germany at the end of the 19th century, the capitalists of the day said this will never work. Today life without State run health and education, infrastructure etc would be unthinkable for the majority of Europeans. In South and Central America a region with enormous natural resources yet great poverty, the people are increasing saying to hell with Neo-liberal economics. We have seen the broken eggs such a system has produced yet we are as far from omelets for all as when Thatcher and Regan first came to power, indeed even in the west the gap between rich and poor has increased considerably.

    Another way, thus another world is possibly, it is time to move on.

    Best regards.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Mick you raise some interesting points.

    ”Whoops, if the Soviet Union or Chinese Republic are small states I would hate to think what a large State looks like.”

    If you re-read my post:

    ”In effect what happened was that the MAJORITY of marxist revolutions occured in relatively small nations, usually with extremely distressing results.”

    The important word is majority, China and the Soviet Union being obviously exceptions. The Chinese govt continues to consider itself communist, but increasingly displays the trappings of capitalism, whilst Russia appears to be flailing around in a post-communist wasteland. Their Marxist experiments have demonstrably failed, having in the process resulted in the deaths of millions of their own citizens. As for the smaller nations, several basket-case African nations, Cuba and North Korea can hardly be held up to anything but ridicule at best.

    ”Not least the fact that in the West, 15-20 percent at the top of the economic pile live in luxury, whilst 30 percent get by reasonably well and the bottom 3rd lead a dogs live.”

    This is supposedly in contrast to the examples of Communism mentioned above, where the vast majority lead a dog’s life.
    Can you give an example of even one nation where marxism has given a high standard of living to the majority of it’s citizens rather than to it’s tin-pot rulers?

    ”IMO it is one of the reasons why people are turning to religion across the world”

    You may indeed have a point here, but this doesn’t explain why Christian Fundamentalism is on the march in the affluent USA, or why Islamic countries, most of which have never enjoyed a high standard of living are turning out in droves to support jihad. I suspect that religious belief is hard-wired into humanity as a species and tends to function more as a tribal mechanism than a response to economic conditions.
    Again, Marx idea that religion was the ‘opiate of the people’, however noble and logical, was exposed as false by the failed suppression of religious belief in China and Russia. Whether you or me agree Mick, people need religion, whether they’re living in a hole or a palace.

    ”Such usury is shameful and I might add unchristian.”

    Agree entirely Mick but sadly Christianity and Islam are much more about expediency than literalism. Read the bible one way and women have equal rights and everyone is loving their neighbour, read it a different way and you’re stoning your wife for adultery and gouging people’s eyes out.

    ”Or is it from where you sit Gerry you are quite happy living on the work and resources of others.”

    For the record Mick I’m self-employed, so I’m relying on my own work and resources, whilst helping others through paying my taxes.
    I had the opportunity to visit Bulgaria in the 80s when it was still a communist paradise. I observed people on meagre wages sitting on pavements trying to sell rotten fruit to augment their income, I was privledged to meet a doctor who lived in a drafty flat in a dingy tower block, existing on the wages of a western paperboy and hoping that he would soon be able to buy a new trabant. If this is marxism in action Mick, I’ll stick with good old-fashioned capitalism if it’s all the same to you.

    ”to there credit the Shinners are scrabbling around searching for it”

    They might have been able to earn a little credit if they hadn’t arrived with such appalling baggage Mick. They are a party of equals all right — more than happy to excuse the murder of ‘crown forces’, assorted protestants and selected (and random) members of their ‘own community.’ They have a mental-institution inspired notion of what constitutes a crime and have proved themselves to be serial liars. If I were a citizen of the republic, I’m much prefer the flawed brown-envelope culture to whatever these ghouls have to offer.

    ”Another way, thus another world is possibly, it is time to move on.”

    Again Mick you may have a point, but Marxism/Communism has been tried on both a large and small scale and has consistently ended in disaster. By all means, ‘move on’ to another system, but you’ll have to think of one first.

  • mickhall

    Hello Gerry,
    You seem to be implying I am advocating some sort of Leninist/ Stalinist type of political system when I certainly am not. I see the Stalinist USSR and the Chinese Republic as the bastardization of socialism and as much a dead end for socialists as the Neo-liberal end of capitalism is for liberal Democracies. Both are, to steal another’s words the un-exceptable face of capitalism and socialism. Any system which gives central government absolutely power is a no no and must be resisted at all levels, whether it claims to be socialist or capitalist. For me socialism is nothing and is not worth a row of beans let alone a human life if it does not extend individual liberties and freedoms and by so doing lessen economic in-equalities

    I recognize, however regrettable I may find it personally, that government has an important role to play in organizing State infrastructure, education, healthcare etc and yes law and order.
    What you seem to be suggesting Gerry, is we can only opt for one of two alternatives. Neo-Liberalism or Stalinist state capitalism, I reject this completely. Prior to Regan and Thatcher, Keyneism was the common economic doctrine in the West and by and large it worked comparatively well and imo people led far more contented lives. I am not advocating a return to those days, they are in the past, but we must find a way to draw on the best the two main political-economic systems humankind has come up with and discard the worst of the oppressive and exploitative elements inherent within them, I do not give a toss what we call it, capitalism, socialism or common decency. [By the way I feel one of the reasons for the fundamentalist right in the US is people have worked themselves almost to death and trod on friends, neighbors and workmates to get the privileges and goodies they thought would bring them happiness; and they find they are still not happy]

    Finally I believe it is either nieve or subjective to criticizes the shinners in the manner you do without recognizing how and why they came into being. If you do this fairly then few organizations come away saint-like and the main culprit for the past 30 odd years must be the UK State. Which allowed the north since it came into being to degenerate into the sectarian swamp it became.

    All the best.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”Prior to Regan and Thatcher, Keyneism was the common economic doctrine in the West and by and large it worked comparatively well and imo people led far more contented lives.”

    Sadly I’m old enough to remember the 70s Mick, before the Thatcher & Reagan era you mention, and though I was a snuffly teenager at the time, I distinctly remember the madness of wildcat strikes, one out all out, work to rule, flying picket nonsense which made the UK an unworkable laughing stock. Rather like Elvis, Bowie and George Best, Thatcher did some good work in her first few years and then turned into a bloated embaressment long before she should have exited the stage, but curbing the insane socialism of the unions was probably her principal achievement.
    There are many words to describe the UK in the 70s, but ‘contented’ is not one of them.

    ”Finally I believe it is either nieve or subjective to criticizes the shinners in the manner you do without recognizing how and why they came into being.”

    This depends on how far back you wish to go Mick. The original SF was a very different beast to the one of today, so we’ll confine ourselves to ‘Provisional Sinn Fein.’ This bunch purported to represent the northern nationalist community, but demonstrably failed to protect that community from the attentions of the Brits, the loyalists or indeed their own paramiltary wing. They suckered plenty of young men into serving long prison sentences, ten of which ended in voluntary starvation. When they realised that plenty of people were naive enough to vote for them, they adopted the principle of ‘taking power in Ireland with the armalite in one hand and the ballot box in the other’ while conveniently glossing over what their actual ‘all-Ireland’ policies were. When their ‘military campaign’ hit the buffers they portrayed themselves as diplomats and expected to be feted for ending their paramiltary wing’s sectarian murder campaign. Yet only today the savagery of the republican movement continues to surface. When finally cornered into revealing their economic strategy in the south, Gerry treated us to a far-left utopian fantasy which set alarm bells ringing country-wide.
    I’m not claiming that either loyalist paramiltary representatives or stultifying unionist politicans have the moral high ground in this society, but the difference is that they will never have any chance of ‘taking power in Ireland.’ The shinners on the other hand do have a realistic possibility of being in the driving seat and absolutely nothing about them appears to indicate that they have changed their mindsets since the 70s. But perhaps you can convince me otherwise Mick.