Republican Anarchism and the Coming Revolution
"A chairde, agus a Phoblachtanaigh, I wish to suggest some possible developments on the excellent Éire Nua and Saol Nua documents. As these proposals are set out now, they are a blue print for a future Irish Republic. They assume that the Republic will have been re-established when they are put into effect. To my mind, this is to ignore the full potential of these documents. The Community Councils they propose could and, to my mind, should be the engines of Revolution today, and in the very teeth of the enemy. For this to become a reality, the size of the Community Council needs to be greatly reduced to a maximum of 200 citizens. Community Councils could be set up right now with as little as five to ten citizens, providing goods and services that the community needs and providing employment. Funding would be provided by the Army, after an extensive campaign of capital recovery from the 1% of the Irish population who have expropriated 50% of Ireland’s capital. (Most Republicans still have very little idea of the colossal scale of the wealth of these individuals. In 2006 Irish citizens held 2.3 trillion euro in foreign property and stocks, I know it is less now, but it still amounts to almost unimaginable wealth. Getting a billion euro of this, the Republic’s rightful property, would be far less risky than the noble deeds the Volunteers carried out last weekend, and would be equally noble in its conclusion.) Expropriate the expropriators, as Marx put it. These Community Councils would then become institutions of the really existing 32 County Irish Republic. Nobody could then ask where is the Republic – it would exist before their eyes in Irish working class communities building a new life for themselves and their children. We already have communities organising themselves around the drugs issue – this would be just one small step further from the excellent work they are already doing, but a step over the Rubicon of actual Revolution.
The great mistake of the Republican Movement in the 20th Century has been to follow DeVelera’s injunction: Labour must wait. The idea seems to be that when we have pushed out the Brits, we can, in peace, sort out the economic oppression of our people. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is far more chance of sorting out the National Struggle in peace than the Economic Struggle. If, next week, we managed to push out the Brits, Im very sorry to say that many of us who wanted to move on to the Economic Revolution would find ourselves staring down the rifles of former comrades. Don’t say it couldn’t happen – it already has, over and over again.
No, a chairde, the Economic Revolution comes first. It is the Economic Revolution that powers and drives the National Revolution. We have been putting the cart before the ass. Michael Davitt realised this in the 19th century, but the middle class Catholic Nationalists shafted him because they wanted the spoils all for themselves.
This is where Anarchism comes in. I believe that Éire Nua needs to take one step forward, away from the Anglo-Saxon representational parliamentary system, and fully embrace Direct Democracy. We don’t need leaders. What we need is self empowered Community Councils, organised along the Federal basis set out in Éire Nua. In a Revolutionary situation, where the enemy is using their armies and paramilitary police forces to try and crush the Revolution, representational democracy is a non starter anyway. What we need is Community Councils that can function in themselves, even when isolated by enemy offensive. Every Community Council is a microcosm of the whole Republic. The enemy cannot destroy the Republic until it has destroyed each and every Community Council. The Community Council, as stated in Éire Nua, is the basic democratic unit of the Republic. All elements of the Republic are contained within the structure of the Community Council. Sounds fragmented? Certainly. Too fragmented for the enemy to defeat, but held together by the great ideals of the Irish Republic and the dignity of Labour, which are, in fact, one and the same ideal.
We have to stop worrying about offending the property conscious small farmers, who have often, its true, given so much to our struggle. It should be easy enough to convince Republican minded small farmers that they are not our targets.
And if they can’t be convinced, then so be it. We work without them.
The Irish people may not be quite ready for this proposal right now, but the free state is falling apart, as is the British state. Even now, working class youth is in revolt, but only the drugs gangs are harnessing their energy and righteous anger – when it should be the Republican Movement.
There is a wonderful scene in the film Doctor Zhivago, where two Revolutionaries have been ordered to join the Tsarist Army marching to meet the Germans, an older man and a young man. The young man sets out straight away to convince the troops to revolt, but the older man holds him back. He points to the boots on the soldier’s feet, and says: Wait till they have no boots.
As I’ve said in another thread, spreading the Revolution to Britain is an essential component of success. We have to start looking on the British working class as our potential allies and comrades. They are fine people and good fighters. I tell you it made my blood boil to see old age pensioners in England, who had fought the Nazis, cutting back on cups of tea because they can’t afford the water and electricity charges the bastard privateers are inflicting on them.
A chairde, our time has come, if we have the sense to see it. The mis-ruling class are reeling, they only need a push."