Where to for republicans?

Paddy Browne is 4th from right

Paddy Browne is 4th from right

by Paddy Browne (1916 Societies, writing in personal capacity; I took this from The Pensive Quill, here)

It was a campaign that sent shivers through the British establishment and rocked it to its foundation. The commitment and ingenuity of the Óglaigh in the IRA and INLA – and the price paid by both organisations and the community in general – will never be forgotten. And while they may not have achieved the ultimate goal they most certainly advanced it.

People have been trying to mimic the campaign from 1997 without major success. They need to realise it is not enough to profess to fight a war when it is far from a reality – when your greatest contribution is to send our young men and women to gaol.

I believe the success of republicanism will come from the trust of the community in which we previously relied – heavily – in the past. It is through them that we must present our argument, for approval, and it is them that we need to support in their time of need.

Before we have unity in Ireland, with substance, we need a social revolution that will empower the people. The most important component of that, and towards establishing the Republic, is the right of the people to self-determination. Capitalism and corporations need also to become a thing of the past. They suck the life out of progress and have no place in the Republic.

If it is to survive, the mindset of republicanism needs to adapt to suit the changing environment that is modern society. In order to do that, we must examine our alternatives and options accordingly, developing our options – and with it the republican alternative – through critical engagement with our communities.

Unfortunately the tide of conformism is not over and there still are those willing to pursue that journey, who will become more and more financially dependent on those they once held up as the enemy. For our efforts to achieve success, people must understand that this direction is dirty and will crush republicanism – as opposed to advancing it.

Let’s be under no illusions. The Brits are still at war with the Irish people and fully opposed to what remains our fundamental birthright: the establishment of the Irish Republic. But what republicans need realise is that the battlefield has changed – and so has theirs. They will fight you military or political, depending on what the circumstance demands.

People need to realise that fighting the system from within has never worked. In every case, those with the best intentions have eventually been absorbed into the system they once proclaimed it their intent to destroy. In every case, it is the system that instead destroys them, churning them out as system-serving, law-abiding robots, to paraphrase the great Bobby Sands.

What the struggle requires are issues – not institutions – to mobilise around. I for one believe the time has never been more right, with water charges in one part of our divided country and welfare cuts in the other. These two issues, with others, could mobilise people around the national question and the formation of the All-Ireland Republic, wherein lies the true solution to the ills we face in our everyday lives as a community.

Posted on January 12, 2017, in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Anti-household and anti-water tax, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, General revolutionary history, Hunger strikes, Irish politics today, Partition, Political education and theory, Prisoners - past, Public sector/cuts, Repression and resistance in the six counties today, Repression in 26-county state, Social conditions. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Where to for republicans?.

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