Three years of Fightback: IMT Ireland

July 1st represented the third anniversary of our website. Three years that have witnessed huge changes in Ireland, an economic catastrophe, mass unemployment and the return of the scourge of emigration. We set out with the aim of commenting on events and developing an analysis of the way that the crisis of capitalism internationally impacts on the whole of the island of Ireland.

We have attempted to do so on a consistent basis concentrating on politics, economics and the industrial struggles of the working class on both sides of the border. We put our faith in the men and women of no property, and for good reason. The political repercusions of the crisis have torn apart one government already and just now the contradictions that we anticipated within the FG/Labour coalition are emerging also.

We have consistently called for Labour to break the coalition and fight for working people on a socialist basis. We have also argued that the United Left Alliance needs a clear socialist programme if it is to become a serious force to the left of Labour.

We explained the process that was taking place on a world sale. Fightback has probably the best coverage of any left site in Ireland on International issues. As Marxists and internationalists we understand that Ireland is part of the world capitalist economy and world politics. Likewise also we believe that Ireland will be part of the world revolution that will sweep away rotten and diseased capitalism from the face of the earth. If you thought St Patrick was a fine man for banishing the snakes from Ireland, imagine what how famous the Irish working class will be for banishing the Troika, the speculators and the Imperialists from Ireland.

Because the task of the social and national liberation of Ireland lies in the hands of the working people of Ireland. The experience of the last 40 years is that without the conscious involvement of the masses not one blade of grass will be liberated from British rule in the North or from the power of the speculators and the multi national boards in London and New York.

The experience of the last years also is that to defend ourselves we need strong, militant and democratic trade unions led by a farsighted leadership armed with a socialist programme and an understanding of the need to fight for a genuine alternative to the misery and despair that capitalism has left us with.

There are thousands of fine young people having to leave Ireland to find work abroad. In every street and in every family the impact is being felt. Emigration is like a safety valve that makes the unemployment figures look less frightening but in fact it only goes to show the weakness of the Irish ruling class. As if the sight of Enda Kenny himself begging for crumbs of comfort from the EU and Angela Merkel was not witness to that on its own.

Capitalism in Ireland is in a terrible state. A genuine Marxist Tendency rooted in the working class and among the youth would be able to play an important role in explaining events and offering a way forward for working people and youth in the struggle for a better future. As Connolly explained:

“An Irish Republic, the only purely political change in Ireland worth crossing the street for, will never be realised except by a revolutionary party that proceeds upon the premise that the capitalist and the landlord classes in town and country in Ireland are criminal accomplices with the British government, in the enslavement and subjection of the nation. Such a revolutionary party must be socialist, and from socialism alone can the salvation of Ireland come.” (James Connolly, The Harp, March 1909)

But first of all a revolutionary party is a set of ideas, perspectives, traditions and a programme. In Ireland Fightback is very much at the beginning of the road. But already we have taken some important steps. The latest figures for our website show that in the last 3 years we have received 270,000 hits. Of these more than 160,000 have been within the last 12 months. In June, for the first time we had over 20,000 hits in one month. The latest edition of our magazine will be printed in a few days time.

As well as receiving thousands of hits from Ireland, particularly Dublin and Belfast, but from Cork, Galway, Derry, Limerick, Portadown, Coleraine, Waterford, Wexford, Athlone and many other places, we have had visits from over 150 countries. Our International coverage has enabled us to make contacts with workers in many other countries, notably in the Middle East as well as Pakistan, India and Haiti.

Please read our material, please consider joining with us in fighting for a socialist alternative in Ireland and internationally. As James Connolly put it:

Some men, faint-hearted, ever seek
Our programme to retouch,
And will insist, whene’er they speak
That we demand too much.
’Tis passing strange, yet I declare
Such statements give me mirth,
For our demands most moderate are,
We only want the earth.

“Be moderate,” the trimmers cry,
Who dread the tyrants’ thunder.
“You ask too much and people By
From you aghast in wonder.”
’Tis passing strange, for I declare
Such statements give me mirth,
For our demands most moderate are,
We only want the earth.

Our masters all a godly crew,
Whose hearts throb for the poor,
Their sympathies assure us, too,
If our demands were fewer.
Most generous souls! But please observe,
What they enjoy from birth
Is all we ever had the nerve
To ask, that is, the earth.

The “labour fakir” full of guile,
Base doctrine ever preaches,
And whilst he bleeds the rank and file
Tame moderation teaches.
Yet, in despite, we’ll see the day
When, with sword in its girth,
Labour shall march in war array
To realize its own, the earth.

For labour long, with sighs and tears,
To its oppressors knelt.
But never yet, to aught save fears,
Did the heart of tyrant melt.
We need not kneel, our cause no dearth
Of loyal soldiers’ needs
And our victorious rallying cry
Shall be we want the earth!