Category Archives: Natural resources
From the republican newspaper The Irish Felon, June 24, 1848. This appeared in the original as one paragraph, but I have broken it up into several paras to assist 21st century readers.
Although written 170 years ago as a condemnation of the main property-owning class in Ireland then (the landlords) it sounds very modern, like a condemnation of the main property-owning class in Ireland today (the capitalists). It is not hard to see why Connolly – and Pearse – admired Lalor so much. The article represents a step forward in republican political thinking from the time of Tone and Emmet, as over four decades of class development and conflict had taken place and Ireland was in the midst of the horrors of a massive famine created by the capitalist property system.
The bit about “strangers” is also apt as a description of the Dublin4 and WestBrit set of today.
by James Fintan Lalor
They or we must quit this island. It is a people to be saved or lost; it is the island to be kept or surrendered. They have served us with a general writ of ejectment. Wherefore I say, let them get a notice to quit at once; or we shall oust possession under the law of nature.
There are men who claim protection for them, and for all their tyrannous rights and powers, being “as one class of the Irish people”. I deny the claim. They form no class of the Irish people, or any other people. Strangers they are in this land they call theirs – strangers here and strangers Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 1840s, Famine, Young Ireland & Irish Confederation, 21st century republicanism and socialism, Anti-social activity, British strategy, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Famine, Fintan Lalor, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Ireland in 1800s, Natural resources, Political education and theory, Prisoners - past, Republicanism pre-1900, Revolutionary figures, Social conditions, Workers rights, Young Ireland
In the later 1920s and early 1930s, with Moss Twomey as chief-of-staff and figures such as Peader O’Donnell, Frank Ryan, Michael Price, David Fitzgerald and George Gilmore in the leadership, and in the context of the Great Depression and the ruthless right-wing economics of the ruling Free State party Cumann na nGaedheal, the IRA developed clearly leftwards. It initiated a left-wing party, Saor Eire in 1931. It was viciously denounced as “communist” by the Catholic hierarchy and banned by the repressive Free State regime. There were also differences in the IRA, as the rightist elements were uncomfortable at SE’s radical social programme and did not like the idea of standing up to the Catholic hierarchy on social issues. SE lasted only a matter of months.
The IRA then abandoned trying to build a political formation and simply continued as a military-political organisation. In 1933 it adopted the programme below.
We have within our own nation all the resources which are required to provide every citizen not only with the essentials of life but with comfort. Luxuries may not be yet be available, but the first stage is to provide an adequate standard for all.
The resources and wealth of the nation are very largely in the possession and under the control of those sections who are hostile to national freedom , and who have allied themselves with british imperialism. The immediate task is to rescue from them the heritage which they have robbed and plundered from the mass of the people. The powerful interests which dominate Irish life at present were built up on the basis of the conquest.
The machinery of the state was devised and has been developed to serve these interests. The powers of this state machine must be smashed. The machinery of the state of the republic of Ireland will be devised to serve, not any privileged sections, but the needs of the whole people.
Members of the Irish Republican Army must accept the responsibility which the organisation has shouldered and which history and tradition has imposed on it; that is the leadership of the struggle for national freedom and for the economic liberation of the people. They must make themselves Read the rest of this entry →
The following article appeared in The Irish Felon, July 1848. It was titled “To the Irish Confederate and Repeal Clubs”. The sentences in brackets were Lalor’s introduction to the piece. In this lengthy feature Lalor criticises the Young Ireland movement for the partial nature of its break with Daniel O’Connell and his Repeal Association; argues that the goal of the struggle has to be a social revolution and not simply repeal of the 1801 Act of Union; outlines different forms of insurrection; identifies the landlord class as a garrison class; notes the socio-economic impact of Famine on Irish society; and how a plan of action is needed to fight immediately to save the country from ruin.
I must admit I was sorely tempted to break up the more massive paragraphs! However, I decided to resist the temptation.
by James Fintan Lalor
[The paper that follows was written in the last week of January, 1847 – just one year and five months ago and was forwarded to one of the leading members of the Confederation for private circulation among the council of that body. I now address it to you just as it was written.]
I see no reason to prevent me mentioning that, in about a month from the date and delivery of my paper, I received a letter from John Mitchel stating that, on perusal and consideration of its contents, he had fully adopted my views, and that he meant to act on them so soon as occasion should fit and serve. – January 25, 1847
My sole wish or attention is to suggest. Any attempt to convert or convince would be useless. Individuals are never converted; they must convert themselves. Men are moved only in masses; and it is easier to convert a million of men than a single man. But neither is the attempt necessary. To you, or any of those whom this paper is intended, the end of the clue-line is enough. You will be able, if you choose, to follow it out yourself. To lead you on, link by link, would be needless and absurd.
To anyone who considers their speeches, resolutions, and proceedings, it will, I think, appear manifest and marked, as it does to me, that the “seceders” have gone into organized action upon mere vague impulse and general feeling; with their objects undefined, their principles unsettled, their course unmarked; without any determinate plan, or, consequently, any fixed purpose – for no purpose can long remain fixed, but must be ever veering and wavering, without a plan to guide, control, and sustain it; and a purpose without a plan to confine and confirm it, is no purpose at all. Such a plan, too, is wanting as a warrant and guarantee to yourselves and to others that your object is feasible and your means adequate ; that you have gauged your enterprise and measured your means; and that the work you call on us to do will not be wasted. There are few worse things, even in the ethics or economy of private life, than labour misdirected; but what should be said of those who would, for want of a full and exact survey and calculation, mislead and exhaust the labour and means and strength of a people? It is not Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 1840s, Famine, Young Ireland & Irish Confederation, British strategy, Economy and workers' resistance, Famine, Fintan Lalor, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Natural resources, Political education and theory, Prisoners - past, Republicanism pre-1900, Revolutionary figures, Social conditions
Not satisfied with the blow given to them by the Irish public, ‘Irish Water’ are again pushing for the commodification of Ireland’s water resources. This time they are doing it under the ruse of needing an extra two billion euro of tax-payers’ money to guarantee the greater Dublin areas water supply, by building a 170-kilometre pipeline to bring 330 million litres per day from the River Shannon to the area. This is all very convenient coming a few days after the announcement that Irish Water have plans in place to introduce excess water charges from next year.
According to Irish Water, excess use charges will not begin until January 1st, 2019, “at the earliest” while bills for excess use charges will not be issued until July 1st next year “at the earliest”. In order to make up for its losses and to fund these huge infrastructural projects Irish Water will be charging huge amounts on what it considers to be Read the rest of this entry →
As 2018 begins, Éirígí acknowledges and commends the significant political activism of our members and supporters during 2017. Your work, alongside the work of other progressive forces, offers hope to the Irish people in a time of global turmoil and widespread despair. For this you should be immensely proud.
In the coming year Éirígí will continue to work within our communities to fan the flames of hope and to provide a credible, coherent alternative to the failed politics of the past.
2018 will mark the centenary of the seminal 1918 General Election, the last occasion where the people of Ireland collectively voted as one Nation.
The subsequent formation of the First Dáil Éireann and adoption of the Declaration of Independence and Democratic Programme of the First Dáil on January 21st, 1919, represented the high point of the 1913-1923 revolutionary period.
The divided, unequal Ireland of 2018 bears little resemblance to the Republic envisioned by that First Dáil a century ago.
On January 20th, 2018, Éirígí will publicly launch ‘A Democratic Programme For The New Republic’, a major new policy document which will map out our vision for a future new all-Ireland Republic. Below we publish, for the first time, the opening section of that document.
The public launch of A Democratic Programme for the New Republic will take place at 4pm, Saturday, January 20th, Wynns Hotel, Abbey Street, Dublin. It’s free of charge and open to all. Bígí linn.
“To the people of Ireland,
In the words of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic, Éirígí declares the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies to be sovereign and indefeasible.
We assert that partition, the domination of private capital and the interference of foreign powers are collectively preventing the social, cultural, political and economic advancement of the Irish Nation.
The failings of the Six and Twenty-Six County states can be measured in the emigration of millions of citizens, in the escalating exploitation of workers, in the deepening levels of inequality, in the crippling levels of national and personal debt, in the destruction of our natural environment, in the collapse of gaelteacht communities, in the slavish obedience to the diktats of foreign governments and in the endemic corruption of the gombeen ruling class.
We reject these two failed states and commit ourselves to building a Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 21st century republicanism and socialism, éirígí, British state repression (general), Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, EU, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Housing, Imperialism (generally), Irish politics today, Natural resources, Partition, Public events - Ireland, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism, Women, Women's rights, Workers rights, Youth and youth rights
Scott is one of the people accused of “kidnapping” Labour Party leader and tanaiste Joan Burton at an anti-Water Tax protest in Jobstown early last year (see here).
Posted in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Anti-household and anti-water tax, éirígí, Economy and workers' resistance, Irish politics today, Natural resources, Political education and theory, Public events - Ireland, Repression in 26-county state, six counties, Social conditions, twenty-six counties
If you are opposed to the Water Tax you need to be at this meeting, as it sets the backdrop for the attempt to introduce the tax and the future privatisation of our water resources. The presentation will be delivered by Brian Leeson, starting at 7.30pm.
Please spread the word and come along. All welcome. Bígí linn.
Newtown Community Centre
Chair: John Davis
Brian Leeson (éirígí ) on the Great Natural Resources Robbery
Erika Brennan (community activist) on the Housing Crisis
Sean Doyle (co-worker of Seamus Costello) on the Politics of Seamus Costello in Today’s Struggle
Pádraig Ó Fearghaíl (Wicklow Remembers 1916 Committee)
Ruan O’Donnell (historian, University of Limerick)
Posted in Anti-household and anti-water tax, éirígí, Border Campaign/Operation Harvest, British state repression (general), Censorship, Civil rights movement, Commemorations, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Irish politics today, IRSP, national, Natural resources, Officials, Partition, Prisoners - past, Public events - Ireland, Public sector/cuts, Repression and resistance in 1970s and 1980s, Repression in 26-county state, Republicanism 1960s, Revolutionary figures, Seamus Costello, sectarianism, six counties, Social conditions, twenty-six counties, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism, Workers rights
Main Speaker: Brian Leeson (Cathaoirleach éirígí)
Through a detailed breakdown of the multi-billion euro industries that are based on Irish minerals, building materials, natural gas, fisheries, farming, forestry, renewable energies and other resources this presentation will expose the myth of Ireland being a country with very limited natural resources.
But this presentation doesn’t just doesn’t just list Ireland’s natural resources, it explores who actually benefits from the Read the rest of this entry →
Maurice Coakley, Ireland in the World Order: a history of uneven development, London, Pluto Press, 2012
I read this book a couple of years ago and meant to review it then, but other things got in the way. To make up for the delay, I’ve done something bigger – basically a mix of summary and review:
Coakley begins with a brief survey of bourgeois and anti-capitalist attempts to explain uneven development, from Weber and Durkheim to Gramsci, Jack goody, Immanuel Wallerstein and Robert Brenner. Coakley is concerend, in particular, with the different patterns of growth exhibited in Britain (especially England but also Scotland and Wales) and does so by exploring the unequal relations between them from the medieval era onwards.
Imposition of feudalism
He notes that the Anglo-Norman conquest resulted in the division of Ireland into Gaelic and Anglo-Norman regions. While the boundaries and interactions were fluid, they possessed different social structures. In the Anglo-Norman areas, a manorial/feudal economy was developed, with the local nobility owing allegiance to the English monarch. The peasantry which worked the land for the new elite included a layer of free peasants (largely transplanted from England) and a larger layer of unfree peasants (serfs) of Irish stock. This latter group was less free than the unfree peasants (villeins) in England itself. For instance, they had no legal rights at all.
The crisis of feudalism throughout the 1300s in Europe, including Ireland, explains the decline of Anglo-Norman power and the English language. It also reduced free tenants to labourers. This produced a significant return to England by peasants wishing to avoid greater subjection. The lords in Ireland were then forced to make concessions to Irish peasants. This combined with the impact of the plague largely finished off serfdom by about 1500.
The economy, moreover, had shifted in the 1300s back largely to pasture. This meant a different form of social organisation to tillage, where peasants laboured for a lord. Pasture involved a more kindred pattern of social organisation. The Anglo-Normans were also becoming Gaelicised. But Anglo-Norman-Gaelic Ireland was a hybrid social formation because as well as the kindred social organisation the major feudal lords were more powerful than their counterparts in England who were checked by the king from above and a large lower aristocratic layer and yeomanry below. Even in the Pale there was no yeomanry.
In the distinctly Gaelic and predominantly pastoral areas of Ireland, land and cattle denoted power. Access to land was dependent on kinship, with collective inheritance. While cattle were individually owned they were also dispersed; for instance, through being loaned to poor members of a clan. There was no significant surplus product which might create and sustain a Gaelic ruling class and state comprised of bodies of armed men; rather, “the principle of reciprocity permeated every aspect of Gaelic society”, although this did not mean equality. Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 1798 - 1803, 1930s and 1940s, Culture, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Fianna Fail, Free State in 1920s, General revolutionary history, Historiography and historical texts, Irish politics today, Natural resources, Partition, Political education and theory, Republicanism post-1900, Republicanism pre-1900, sectarianism, Social conditions, Toadyism, Trade unions, Unionism, Workers rights