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Forum Home > General Discussion > The end of the INLA.

the ploughman
Posts: 8

Hi, I've put this on the forum, this post was taken from the RSM forum, the poster reflects totally my opinion on the matter but it's articulated far better than I ever could, as said on numerous occassions this site is totally commmited only to the rememberance of our fallen comrades, many of who were involved in the birth of the IRSP/INLA and all shared the same viewpoint of working towards a socialist republic. Again I support this posters viewpoint and I'm not speaking for others.



Wow. So it's taken 34 years, but the Irps have finally joined the Stickies... on the road to obscelecance.

First of all, what precisely were the "changes" that led the INLA to make this decision? Loyalist Disarmament? Of course the UDA, UVF, etc. can disarm now, the Provisional IRA has decommissioned , PSF have been successfully entrapped into the quagmire that is Stormont, and as the IRSP has pointed out on so many occasions, are now firmly in the pocket of the British. Furthermore, my understanding always was that the INLA was a REPUBLICAN army. Since when did republicans start taking their queues from Robinson, Paisley, or Carson? If that were the case, then we'd better all go off to join the RIR and take "the struggle" over to Afghanistan, because, hey, if the unionists are doing it, we certainly wouldn't want to be left out now, would we?

Secondly, since when has any major breakthrough or progression in Irish freedom or socialist revolution ever been achieved through "exclusively peaceful means"? Were the massive strikes led by Larkin and Connolly "exclusively peaceful?" No! Nor was the anti-Landlord movement, nor was the Rising, the War of Independence, the Civil Rights Movement, or any subsequent event. Even when Republicans were negotiating with the British to establish what would become the Free State, they did so while AT THE SAME TIME conducting an armed guerrilla campaign against them. And unless my memory is exceptionally fuzzy, the Bolsheviks did not take over Petrograd with stuffed teddy bears and water balloons. According to this new revisionist "exclusively peaceful" version of history, Fidel and Che surely must have ridden into Havana on unicycles, not tanks!

Yes, I am in complete agreement with the analysis that the armed struggle is simply not an effective option in Ireland at this point of time, and that yes, emphasis does need to be placed on political organization and mobilization. But that was precisely the brilliance of Costello's analysis, and what made it so truly revolutionary; that it IS possible to combine armed resistance AND mass mobilization into one movement that avoids simply becoming unthinking gun-fetishist militants (like the Real IRA), whose only answer to everything is armed struggle, while at the same time the dual commitment to transformative violence and the fundamental realization that THERE IS NO, AND NEVER WAS, A PARLIAMENTARY ROAD TO SOCIALISM would keep the IRSP from simply becoming another obscure sectarian clique in the dustbin of the Left, but also prevent it from gradually becoming undermined and co-opted by the establishment (a la New Labour and Provo Sinn Fein).

Seeking to increase the political profile of IRSP, and take part in a new regroupment and remobilization of Republican Socialism in Ireland are entirely laudable goals, but they do not require that armed resistance be totally abandoned. Indeed, the entire point of political mobilization is to play the counterpart to armed resistance, to ensure that not only can the capitalist state be made ungovernable (armed resistance, targeting security forces, creating and expanding zones of liberated territory), but also that there is a politically organized mass of people that can also resist occupation and capitalism politically, culturally, and economically, and provide a viable, participatory, democratic, and socialist alternative to the status quo (agitating through unions, working for mass strikes, organizing within coalitions like the Republican Forum for Unity and the proposed Socialist Forum for Unity, creating working-class education, social services, and cultural groups, resisting imperialist intervention via NATO/EU/US, as well as capitalist institutions like the WTO, G8, etc).

I believe that abandoning the potential for armed resistance will make the IRSM incapable of defending its members and the working class and excluded groups it claims to represent from the ever-increasing attacks from capitalist State Forces (both North and South), loyalism, and even anti-social elements that have been so evident recently (for example: the recent show trials against RSPOWs, security threats against RSM members, harassment of "dissident" republicans).

Furthermore, just look at similar groups that traded away revolutionary legitimacy for political favor ended up. PSF/PIRA, M-19, Fatah, the Tupamoros, the French Communist Party, the German Green Party, only to later become part of the very same systems of oppression and exploitation they claimed to previously oppose, or who, once they let themselves be restricted to areas of political activity totally controlled by the capitalist state, fell by the political roadside. Just because the ballot box may be getting better results than the Armalite at a particular point in time, that doesn't mean you just turn over the Armalites to the ICCD, it means you put the Armalites away (as the INLA correctly did in 1998) until such a point as they become necessary or useful again. Just because the INLA is not presently engaged in armed resistance of course does not mean it has no role to play. Just look at how Seamus Costello used the IRA when he was Chief of Staff for a period during the 1960s. IRA Vols. would be bused in to boost strikers' manpower, evictions of poor tenants or pensioners were forcibly stopped, large farmers who undercut or abused their laborers could find their crops destroyed or burnt, bomb threats were phoned into factories that attempted to bring in scabs or non-union workers. The war against British occupation may have been dealt a temporary setback, but the war against the ruling class has not ceased even for a moment. In this latest crisis of capital, with so many across this island destitute and seemingly without alternatives, I would argue that the INLA, the "army of the people," is needed now more than ever.

In light of this despicable and counter-revolutionary statement, the words of the great Thomas Paine come to mind. When Paine returned from France back to the United States, he was heartbroken to find the conservative and deeply unjust regime that had emerged from the revolution he had so much hope for. In his letter to George Washington, Paine posed the same question I felt when hearing of this sickening news earlier today: "I must ask, Sir, whether you have simply abandoned all of your ideals, or whether indeed you ever actually had any at all!"

I hereby withdraw my support and allegiance to the IRSM, and I will no longer be involved in events or activities to publicize or raise support for the movement. You have taken the same road you once criticized the Officials and the Provisionals for taking, a road that ends in collusion and reactionary irrelevance.

Shame on you. Seamus Costello is rolling in his grave at your treason.

October 11, 2009 at 12:46 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 110

You can tell this article is written from the heart. A great piece of writing..

October 11, 2009 at 12:57 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 67

This is a very strong view, I am sure many others will feel the same way.  The IRSM will get less support so how can they be a strong party to move forwards? 

October 11, 2009 at 3:14 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 59

brilliant piece..thought provoking.

February 24, 2010 at 8:19 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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