Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

22 May 2018. Another View of “Royals”, “Aristos”, and Their Milieu

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Let’s not forget the sordid side of “royalty” and “aristocracy”. There was a reason that there was a Revolution in Russia… the aristos went off the deep end and the royals didn’t stop them. Many monarchists are simply displaced aristos who want their old power, privileges, and money back; to be frank. outside of a small fringe element, there’s no mass movement for a monarchy. There’ll be no Romanov Restoration in Russia and the world is better for that.

BMD

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

11 July 2017. A Point to Ponder from James Connolly

1936 CPUSA election poster

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In the long run, the freedom of a nation is measured by the freedom of its lowest class. Every upward step of that class, to the possibility of possessing higher things, raises that nation in the scale of civilisation.

James Connolly

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Sinn Fein’s Breakthrough Brings a United Ireland Closer Than It’s Ever Been

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It’d be fair to say that Sinn Fein’s historic electoral breakthrough in the recent elections to Northern Ireland’s devolved Assembly legislature took almost everyone by surprise, including them. With this breakthrough, Sinn Fein (English: “We Ourselves”) just shattered the veto of the ruling Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) for the first time since the inception of the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998, along with the province’s power-sharing government, as part of the Good Friday Agreement, which brought an end to three decades of conflict known as the Troubles. The new Assembly elections were held after Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness resigned from his post as Deputy First Minister in protest at the refusal of the Assembly’s First Minister, the DUP’s Arlene Foster, to step down over a financial scandal surrounding a botched renewable energy scheme that she helped to set up and which is set to cost taxpayers in Northern Ireland up to 480 million UK Pounds (34.48 billion Roubles. 4.04 billion Renminbi. 38.84 billion INR. 584.06 million USD. 786.76 million CAD. 774.31 million AUD. 547.21 million Euros).

Yet though this particular scandal and Foster’s intransigence may be the proximate cause of the bad feeling between Sinn Fein and the DUP, various unresolved political and sectarian issues emanating from the Troubles also lie at its heart. For many unionists both inside and outside the DUP, political parity with Sinn Fein (and the Irish Republicans and the Catholic communities they represent) has always been anathema. It has been this way ever since the partitioned British statelet of Northern Ireland began in 1921, out of the negotiations that ended the Anglo-Irish War of 1919-21. Northern Ireland’s Catholic minority, cut off from the Catholic-majority Irish Republic south of the border, saw succeeding generations denied the same civil rights as the Protestant majority in the province.

The modern conflict, the Troubles, erupted in the late 1960s when a mass civil rights movement… non-violent, non-sectarian, and peaceful… emerged in Northern Ireland to demand those civil rights for Catholics still denied justice and equality when it came to housing, employment, and political representation. When the movement began to win concessions from the British government, the Protestant majority began to feel their dominant position and status under threat, resulting in a wave of sectarian-inspired attacks on Catholic communities in Belfast. The need to defend Catholics from this campaign of terror saw the birth of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA), colloquially known as the Provos, in 1969. Attacks on the civil rights movement continued into the 1970s, culminating in Bloody Sunday in January 1972, when soldiers belonging to the élite British Parachute Regiment shot and killed 17 unarmed protesters in Derry during a mass march for civil rights. This event effectively destroyed the province’s non-violent movement for civil rights, while at the same time increasing support and recruitment to the PIRA.

Roughly 3,600 people died during the Troubles, with thousands more maimed and injured. All sides in this conflict committed atrocities. It’s high point, its apogee, was the 1981 Hunger Strikes, in which ten Republican prisoners at the specially-built prison facility just outside Belfast, the H-Blocks, starved themselves to death in protest at the British government’s removal of their status as political prisoners. The man who led the Hunger Strike and was first to die, Bobby Sands, achieved international fame and recognition. The likes of Fidel Castro and Nelson Mandela (and others like them around the world) lauded Sands for his courage and stance in the cause of national liberation. His detractors dismissed and continue to dismiss Bobby Sands as a terrorist, however, along with his comrades. This polarisation is still entrenched in Northern Irish politics up to the present day, one evident in the current spat between Sinn Fein and the DUP over the position of Arlene Foster.

Another important factor in Sinn Fein’s remarkable electoral breakthrough is the party’s opposition to Brexit. A majority of people in Northern Ireland voted to Remain in the EU during the UK-wide referendum on the issue, held in June 2016. This was no surprise considering that the province has benefited significantly from the UK’s membership of the EU in the form of agricultural and various other subsidies. Brexit throws up the issue of the border between British-controlled Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, which remains part of the EU. The prospect of what is currently an open border being changed to a hard border as a result of Brexit gave rise to serious concerns north and south of the border over a peace process that is far from impervious to such significant political and social shocks. Ultimately, Sinn Fein’s growing political success and influence in Northern Ireland is a testament to the party’s strong opposition to Brexit and a political vision that is far more progressive and compelling than any offered by their unionist opponents and counterparts. It also places the question of a united Ireland firmly back on the table.

John Wright

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201703071051337394-sinn-fein-electoral-breakthrough/

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Vox Pop on the Green Party and Socialism, With an Excursus on James Connelly

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo. Socialism is GOOD! 2012

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Editor:

A friend wrote this. I have nothing to add to it. Its read n’ heed from top to bottom.

BMD

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I find the Green Party in the USA muted, a bit afraid to be fully socialist. However, that might just be me. James Connelly said:

Religion and race goes straight out the door when it comes to the struggle. If you advocate expelling one poor worker over another, no Christian are you.

I’ll add that the first Irish Socialists were often Protestant, so keep that in mind as well as Connelly’s influence on labour in Britain as a whole but, hopefully, in the USA as well. I’ll add this additional Connelly quote because it’s a wise one:

The day has passed for patching up the capitalist system; it must go. In the work of abolishing it, the Catholic and the Protestant, the Catholic and the Jew, the Catholic and the Freethinker, the Catholic and the Buddhist, the Catholic and the Mahometan will coöperate together, knowing no rivalry but the rivalry of endeavour toward an end beneficial to all. For, as we have said elsewhere, socialism is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Freethinker, Buddhist, Mahometan, nor Jew; it’s only Human. We of the socialist working class realise that as we suffer together we must work together that we may enjoy together. We reject the firebrand of capitalist warfare and offer you the olive leaf of brotherhood and justice to and for all.

Labour, Nationality and Religion, in response to Fr Robert Kane’s lectures denouncing socialism, Catholicism and Socialism

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