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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Is There A Peaceful Way To A Peoples Republic?

If Non Violent Activity Fails- What Then?

Liam O Comain • 10 September, 2004

There are a number of questions that I seek to raise pertaining to the political problem facing the Irish people at this time therefore in sharing them perhaps the response if any may contribute to a further clarification at least in my own mind if not in the mind of others.

As a republican I am influenced by the thought of James Connolly although I would contrary to his position change the name of our shared objective i.e. of a socialist or workers republic to that of a Peoples Republic. No, I have never been influenced by the thought of Mao and as for the concept of a Communist Society I recall arguing with the noted Irish Communist Roy Johnston at a training camp in Leitrim in the sixties of the last century that communism was merely the utopian conception of the socialist objective, that it was pie in the sky and that we should forget such utopianism and pursue the placing of the means of production, distribution and exchange in the hands of practical democracy- the majority of the people.

As one who justifies guerilla warfare and what it entails as a means to free Ireland from foreign control and influence I am however open to using all avenues of possible progress to realizing national liberation and self determination which is the necessary pre- requisital basis for a peoples republic. Therefore those who go down the road of pursuing a free and self determining Ireland by so called peaceful means must be acknowledged and encouraged for they may possess the key to laying to rest once and for all the British problem in Ireland?

This raises the question however if the British occupier is open to peaceful argument or persuasion? Or indeed if those who are mainly descendants of the Planters and conditioned through the evil of racism ( i.e. 'Ulster Britishism') and religious prejudice whose most extreme expression is Orangeism are willing to accept democracy. Here I recall as coming from the Protestant Planter mentality expressed by Ian Paisley, Snr, that they had to drag the native Irish out of the bogs and make them human. Confirming that religious intolerance and racism are bed fellows. If such a mindset can imply that the natives of this island at the time of the Plantations were not human then I pity the Chinese and other nationalities who have or seek to make Ireland their home especially in the loyalist communities of the north under the latters influence.

Of course the Unionists have always maintained that they are champions of civil and religious liberty or champions of democracy but their track record as confirmed by important investigative bodies in relation to the north of Ireland over decades while in control of the statelet is rather wanting in the institution of the latter principles. In fact they have been internationally condemned as the source of religious and racial hatred and its consequences.

Surprisingly from this national source paradoxically a large number stepped forward and gave us republicanism i.e. 'government of the people by the people for the people' as the basis for a better future for the people of Ireland and the need to follow that ideal by uniting Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenter. And it is the emanation from this paradox which faces those who seek progress and a more equitable society in the island of Ireland. On the one hand hatred and division and on the other hand unity and consent. But does the granting of too much consideration to a minority by the nationalist and republican majority as presently constituted help the removal of hatred and division especially if big brother Britain consciously or unconsciously ensures by their presence and support that the minority will not move an inch towards unity and consent.

Thus the problem which we face as stated initially is a British problem not an Irish one and the road of peaceful dialogue especially its actors must place pressure upon the author of the problem for its removal from the political play which has bedevilled the Irish people and indeed the working class of the island of Britain for centuries. This pressure must be internationalized and unceasing. In the process there is no place for an internal northern solution for it is the opposite of what Wolfe Tone decreed and adds to the unionists position in fact strengthens their position and indeed strengthens the vacillation behaviour of elements within the British establishment.

But in the event of dialogue failing should I as a republican be expected to accept the status quo, turn my back on justice for my country i.e. national unity and freedom and the pursuit of a peoples democracy? Thus agreeing to continuing foreign occupation and social inequality coupled with the acceptance that a minority however large can prevent contrary to the opinion of a great Protestant nationalist, Parnell, the onward march of our nation- a march which surely implies national freedom and self determination.

If all that occurs through dialogue fails the national interest with Britain militarily supporting the minority opposed to national unity what then? Is this the 'd-day' moment- the moment in which the only alternative is guerilla warfare because in our pursuit of justice the way of the dove has failed. If such a moment was to occur would those who advocate peaceful means turn to the way of the sword in the national interest based upon justice and if so what would be the reality? Is this the moment according to Christian theological teaching when all else fails i.e. peaceful means has been tried to its limits then violence is definitely justified in the pursuit of authentic justice? Especially if that lack of justice is continually feeding the non existence of peace.

Finally if in the event of dislodging Britain from Irish affairs would the future facing us through the reality of self determination have us experience a repeat of history or at least a similarity pertaining to the means of establishing a Peoples Republic. Is this what James Connolly foresaw when he advised us to hold unto our guns? In other terms would the minority who owns the wealth of a free nation accept the majority right to the means of production, distribution, and exchange without recourse to physical force? Which simply implies or raises the question- is there a peaceful way to a Peoples Republic?


 

 

 

 

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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



 

 

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Index: Current Articles



12 September 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

Standing Down
Mick Hall

Life in the Party
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Is There a Peaceful Way to a Peoples Republic?
Liam O Comain

Rising to the Top of the Hate List
Fred A. Wilcox

Books Not Bombs
Mary La Rosa

Fighting for the Right to be a British Drug Dealer
Anthony McIntyre

Document Stamped 'Secret'
submitted by Fionnbarra Ó Dochartaigh

The Final Insult
Starry Plough Editorial Collective

Tensions Escalate as Loyalists March Through the Ardoyne
Paul Mallon


6 September 2004

Not In Our Name
Fred A Wilcox

Child Murderers
Anthony McIntyre

32 CSM Urges Russian Government: Recognize Chechen Independence
Sean Burns

Who is Really to Blame?
George Young

Resistance, by ANY Means.
David A' Gardner

Reality Check
Patrick Lismore

Fairy Cleansing
Seaghán Ó Murchú

The Culture of Lies and Deceit
Liam O Comain

Labour Steps Up Pressure on IRA to Disband
Paul Mallon

 

 

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