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From Socialist Republican. Vol 1 issue 1. Not dated but most likely spring of 1988.
ONE CLASS – ONE NATION
For Republicans Easter is traditionally a time for honouring Ireland’s dead. In recent weeks we have seen even more of our bravest and best cut down by British and loyalist assassins. It is indeed right and fitting that we should honour and remember our fallen comrades with pride at this time. However, even more importantly we must focus our minds again on the objectives and goals for which the finest of this generation suffer and die in struggle.
Death in war, as in life generally, is inevitable and any notion of a “Normal” life in Ireland under British occupation, particularly in the 6 counties is only a myth. At every stage of Republican resistance since 1798 Irishmen and woman of 1916 have been repeated time and time again. Whether in Gibraltar or Crossmaglen or Milltown cemetery our people have paid with their lives for a future society free from British interference in Irish affairs.
Yet how many of us can be happy or content with the quality of life offered to our people in what now passes for the Brit-less Free State? The 26 county state now rates as a third world economy and one of the poorest regions in Europe.
And although no Republicans would or should accept responsibility for the mess that now exists it was the sacrifices of people like Connolly, Pearse and Mellows amongst countless others that give rise to the corrupt state that even now seeks to pass itself off as an Irish Republic. This fact as much as every death amongst our comrades should be a source of anger to our people.
Even more than anger; we must stop and analyse and ask why this is so? Why was the selfless sacrifice of so many so horribly abused and distorted? Why do our children emigrate and our factories lie idle? At Easter it is these questions which hold most meaning in understanding exactly what is at stake in our struggle. At this time in the Republican calendar we should do well to remember Connolly’s words to the Irish Citizens Army on the eve of the 1916 rising.
“In the event of victory hold on to your rifles. Those with whom we are fighting may cease before our goal is reached. We are for economic and social liberty as well as political liberty.”
With these few words Connolly places socialism at the very core of our struggle for true national and social liberation. With these words Connolly firmly rejects any nominal change in the management of this country.
The SOCIALIST REPUBLICAN, in this its first issue, pledges to give prominence to Connollys vision of an Irish Workers Republic. To this end we feel we must draw attention to the limits and weaknesses of traditional Republicanism. In Connolly’s own words later to be echoed by Mellows and Seamus Costello “The two currents of revolutionary thought in Ireland, the socialist and the national are not antagonistic but complementary” this fact is all to often ignored by the more elitist members of both the Republican and socialist traditions in this country.
If the sacrifice in life and death, of our people are over to be fittingly rewarded then we must all come to understand and share a revolutionary perspective, strategy and set of tactics which recognizes the primacy of the creators of all wealth; the working class, without this we shall be guilty of permitting only a change of management throughout the whole island such as we now see in the 26 counties.
In conclusion then we should do well to remember who and what Connolly was fighting for in Easter 1916 when he said “We are out for Ireland for the Irish”. But who are the Irish? Not the rack-renting, slum-owning landlords, nor the sweat grinding capitalist… but the Irish working class, the only secure foundation upon which a free nation can be reared. Without this sacrifice of our people will be used to build a monument of our oppressors.