Tomás Ó Flatharta

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Did Lenin Сreate Ukraine? On the Right of Nations to Self-Determination and Marxism

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Why do Marxists defend the right of nations to self-determination? What does the struggle for national liberation have to do with the workers’ struggle? Social researcher Grusha Gilaeva analyzes the positions of Marx and Lenin on the national question and explains why the left movement must support the anti-colonial struggle of Ukraine

Did Lenin Сreate Ukraine? On the Right of Nations to Self-Determination and Marxism

Grusha Gilaveva’s fascinating article comes from the Russian left-wing publication Posle. Gilaveva argues, in a very convincing manner, that Marx and Engels started out in the 1840’s opposing the rights of small nations to self-determination – inspired by a blanket opposition to all nationalism – but changed their policy after 1867. Marx and Engels were heavily influenced by Ireland’s struggle for liberation from the British Empire, and the Phoenix like rise and fall of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), the Fenians. Policy divisions on the question of self-determination for small nations continued within the Marxist second and third internationals in the twentieth century. Bolshevik leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin championed a policy favouring the rights of small nations and nationalities – and was opposed by revolutionary comrades such as Karl Radek and Rosa Luxemburg. Once again Ireland featured strongly in the debate among revolutionary Marxists. The Easter 1916 Rising in Dublin, although it was militarily crushed by British artillery, inspired socialists all over the globe who were fighting against the barbaric World War 1. The impact was brilliantly described by the famous North American feminist revolutionary Louise Bryant in “The Masses”, published in July 1916. “The Masses” can be accessed here : https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/masses/index.htm

Louise Bryant Describes the Global Impact of the 1916 Rising in Ireland

An alliance between the descendants of the IRB (the Irish Volunteers led by Pádraig Pearse) and a brand-new working class actor fighting for Irish Freedom, James Connolly’s Irish Citizen Army (ICA), inflicted devastating wounds on the most powerful empire the world had ever seen in those early years of the 20th century.

The 1917 Russian Bolshevik Revolution began to go badly wrong in the 1920’s. An early sign that all was not well was Great Russian chauvinist suppression of smaller nations such as Ukraine. We live with and suffer from terrible consequences today. We cannot change history, but we can learn from it.

John Meehan January 25 2023

Grusha Gilayeva

Did Lenin Сreate Ukraine? On the Right of Nations to Self-Determination and Marxism

Source : Posle https://posle.media/language/en/was-ukraine-created-by-lenin-once-again-about-marxism-and-the-right-of-nations-to-self-determination%ef%bf%bc/

Why do Marxists defend the right of nations to self-determination? What does the struggle for national liberation have to do with the workers’ struggle? Social researcher Grusha Gilaeva analyzes the positions of Marx and Lenin on the national question and explains why the left movement must support the anti-colonial struggle of Ukraine

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Ukrainian Action on Ireland; Free Russians Ireland; Women Life Freedom (Iran) – Dublin City Protests January 22 2023 – Russian Troops out of Ukraine Now

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Irish Left With Ukraine activists attended two well-supported Dublin city protests on January 22 2023 connected to the genocidal Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Free Russians Ireland event at Stephens Green/Grafton St. was supported by over 80 citizens, including Women-Life-Freedom, an Iranian-led solidarity organization. Similar numbers supported the Ukrainian Action Ireland protest on the Halfpenny Bridge.

 Free Russians Ireland, which regularly works with Women-Life-Freedom, is a striking instance of woman led protests and solidarity.

Gregor Kerr photographed the Ukrainian Action Ireland Protest at the Halfpenny Bridge https://m.facebook.com/FreeRussiansIreland?eav=AfblU6Xlq_0_WZroeEfTwK93iOqoLz-1S7oKFbmqNucT4NYMrng6ZvHGuI90JO1sjgA&paipv=0

Irish Left With Ukraine supports calls for mass action against the Imperialist Genocidal Russian invasion of Ukraine on dates around the first anniversary of the invasion, February 24 2023.

Towards a global week of action for solidarity with Ukraine

Stop the Russian war of aggression! Peace for Ukraine!

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The British Royal Family is “unequal, outdated, and should be consigned to the dustbin of history” – Agree or Disagree?

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Read the news items below and decide for yourself if the statement above – written by West Belfast Stormont Assembly member Gerry Carroll (People Before Profit) – should be supported by everyone on the anti-imperialist left in Ireland.

I think the answer is Yes – and this should not be a controversial opinion, especially in Ireland. Unfortunately, some prominent public figures disagree. Lies about the British Royal Family resemble a mountain of dead dogs, and fresh stinking corpses are added daily.

Reliable news reports tell us that the English Prince Andrew, brother of British King Charles, is getting support from a convicted child abuse criminal.

A courageous woman, Virginia Giuffre, successfully won substantial damages in a USA court from the British Prince, who was a close associate of the convicted child abuse criminals Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

“Maxwell, who paid out millions to Giuffre herself in a separate lawsuit in 2017, was jailed for child sex trafficking in connection with Epstein.

But she claimed in an interview with CBS that Ms Giuffre’s claims are unfounded, and that she did not introduce her “dear friend” Prince Andrew to the teenager as had been claimed.

Ms Giuffre said: “My goal has been to show the rich and powerful are not above the law and should be held accountable.” Source : https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/prince-andrew-overturn-claim-by-sex-accuser-virginia-giuffre/

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Readers might assume that no self-respecting Irish political leader would risk getting close to the sinister Buckingham House royal parasites.

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Outrage as UK Tories attack Trans Rights and Scottish Devolution

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Unpopular British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – whose Brexit Tory party is around 20 per cent behind the opposition Labour Party in most credible opinion polls – has picked a fight with the Scottish Parliament over a minor administrative reform which improves the human rights of transgender people.

Across the British state, writes Mike Picken, there is a growing opposition to the Conservative UK government’s unprecedented blocking of a Scottish Parliament legislative Bill on transgender rights passed last month – the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.

After weeks of misleading propaganda about what the Bill says and its implications for UK wide legislation, on 17 January the Tory government at Westminster announced they were going for the so-called ‘nuclear’ option of blocking the Bill using a ‘section 35 order’.

The ‘section 35’ mechanism is part of the 1998 legislation that created the Scottish Parliament and was only ever intended to be used as a last resort, if there was a grave threat of the Scottish Parliament trampling over other rights across the UK. During the passage of the 1998 legislation it was dubbed the ‘Governor-General’ clause, a reference to the British Empire’s colonial controllers, as it gives total discretion to a government minister to overrule democratic decisions. It has never been used before now and the legal basis presented by the UK government has been widely described as completely flimsy.

‘Section 35’ is being used to overturn the Scottish Bill as a political move by a reactionary government against progressive legislation, not because of an infringement of rights.

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The Strange Rebirth of Stalinism – Colm Breathnach (Independent Left)

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THE STRANGE REBIRTH OF STALINISM

THE STRANGE REBIRTH OF STALINISM

The editors of this blog offer recommended reading – an article By of the Irish Left-Wing organization Independent Left.

Source : https://independentleft.ie/rebirth-of-stalinism/

A more colourful literary description of this phenomenon was offered by Yuliya Yurchenko at a November 2022 Dublin public meeting organised by Irish Left With Ukraine. The Ukrainian Marxist and Feminist offered us the idea that the USSR is dead – it is not coming back. The worst features of the dead ☠️ USSR have been imported into a new capitalist-imperialist-genocidal monster headed by Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin. The good bits have been discarded and killed off permanently. Think of Stephen King’s horror story Pet Sematary :

A well-tended path leads to a pet cemetery(misspelled “sematary” on the sign) where the children of the town bury their deceased animals.

A cat called Church dies, then :

after Church is run over outside his home around Thanksgiving. Rachel and the kids are visiting Rachel’s parents in Chicago, but Louis frets over breaking the bad news to Ellie. Sympathizing with Louis, Jud takes him to the “sematary”, supposedly to bury Church. But instead of stopping there, Jud leads Louis farther on to “the real cemetery”: an ancient burial ground that was once used by the Miꞌkmaq Tribe. There, Louis buries the cat on Jud’s instruction. The next afternoon, Church returns home; the usually vibrant and lively cat now acts ornery and, in Louis’s words, “a little dead”. Church hunts for mice and birds, ripping them apart without eating them. He also smells so bad that Ellie no longer wants him in her room at night. Jud confirms that Church has been resurrected and that Jud himself once buried his dog there when he was younger. Louis, deeply disturbed, begins to wish that he had not buried Church there.

WHAT IS STALINISM?

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Rishi Sunak’s Westminster Parliament Blocks Scottish Parliament Transgender Law Reform – British Labour Leader Keir Starmer Surrenders to the Union-Jack Far-Right

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Rishi Sunak’s governing Tories at Westminster have blocked a minor administrative human rights reform adopted by the Scottish Parliament which protects the rights of a very small minority, transgender people. It is an easy-peasy issue for all people on the liberal/social-democratic spectrum in Ireland – ranging from the entire left into significant sectors of the big right wing parties Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

In Scotland a similar liberal/social-democratic spectrum includes the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP), the SNP’s government coalition partner the Greens, and the Scottish Labour Party.
The Scottish Parliament voted for this minor reform – which is less favourable to transgender people than the existing law in the 26 county bit of Ireland – by 86 votes to 39. This huge majority followed a very long drawn-out debate.

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Irish Far-Right Threatens Dublin Mid-West TD Gino Kenny (People Before Profit)

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This story was published in the Irish Examiner newspaper.

Gino Kenny says he 'will not be intimidated' by far-right threats to his home
Gino Kenny TD; Picture: Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos

Gino Kenny says he ‘will not be intimidated’ by far-right threats to his home

PAUL HOSFORD, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, Irish Examiner, January 17 2023

The Dublin Mid-West TD says he has received threats after he joined a counter-demonstration at a temporary centre for asylum seekers in Clondalkin.

The far-right has been targeting me and my family,’ says People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny.

People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny says he “will not be intimidated” by members of Ireland’s far-right who have threatened to come to his home.

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Rishi Sunak’s Westminster Government Blocks the Scottish Parliament’s Gender Recognition Reform legislation – A “constitutional nuclear ☢️ option”

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Rishi Sunak’s Westminster government is using a “constitutional nuclear ☢️ option” (see Financial Times report below) to block a Scottish parliament gender recognition reform.

Financial Times, January 16 2023

This Changes Everything

Mike Small reports on the Scottish Bella Caledonia blog : https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2023/01/16/this-changes-everything-2/

Alister Jack, the Scottish secretary, has confirmed that the British government is using article 35 to block the Scottish government gender recognition reform bill. This is unprecedented and represents a full-on attack on the devolution settlement. It’s a desperate escalation and dramatically ups the stakes for not just the British government but also the Labour and Scottish Labour party. Will Anas Arwar simply over-turn his parties own position? It is billed as an attack on the SNP but it is actually an attack on the Scottish Parliament where the legislation received cross-party support after years of delays, amendments and debate.

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Chaos in the United States of America Congress – We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

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2023 international news coverage began with banana republic scenes from Washington DC, capital city of the United States of America. Establishment Irish media outlets usually look for an excuse to tug the forelock in the direction of prominent North American politicians. Irish broadcaster RTÉ and newspapers such as the Irish Times were presented with a perfect opportunity to roll out the sleeveen carpet – the new Republican Congress Boss is called Kevin McCarthy. For now, the paddywhackery shamrock wavers in Dublin have decided that the Kevin Mccarthy card may not be an attractive PR option.

The “Irish News” of Belfast failed to restrain the natural instincts of Ireland’s forelock-tuggers :

Mr McCarthy has highlighted his Irish roots previously on St Patrick’s Days. In 2015, during the Obama administration, he shared an Irish blessing his father used to recite. In a 2021 St Patrick’s Day message, McCarthy reflected: “My great-grandfather came to America from Ireland back in the 1800s.”

Irish News January 7 2023
Marjorie Taylor Greene is a far-right member of the USA Congress

A North American correspondent, John Reimann, reviews the dark side of Washington DC politics.

Republicans step back from abyss…. for now

Source oaklandsocialist on

Representative Mike Rogers (R-Ala) is restrained from assaulting Matt Gaetz. Chaos ruled the day. That chaos will return in even greater form.

The Republicans stared into the abyss and stepped back…. for now. They watched Matt Gaetz apparently renege on a deal. They watched fellow Representative Mike Rogers (R, Alabama) have to be restrained from assaulting Gaetz. They watched vote after vote with no end in sight. They watched the Democrats thoroughly enjoying themselves. And they convinced Gaetz “not now. Not this time.” Unspoken (amongst themselves) was, “we’ll save the rest for later.”

Republican Party fragmentation
And just as night follows day, “later” will certainly come. Consider what former Republican bomb-thrower Newt Gingrich (of all people) said about Gaetz: “He’s essentially bringing ‘Lord of the Flies’ to the House of Representatives” As far as the Freedom Caucus rebels in general, Gingrich said they’re not interested in “anything that takes longer than waiting for their cappuccino.” The same could be said about those people’s supporters.

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Razem: Building a left alternative in Poland – Federico Fuentes interviews Zofia Malisz

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Polish left-wing party Razem (Together) International Office member Zofia Malisz speaks to Green Left’s Federico Fuentes about the party’s history, Polish politics and Razem’s views on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The source is an Australian website, Greemn Left Weekly https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/razem-building-left-alternative-poland

Razem supports the European Network for Solidarity With Ukraine https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

January 10, 2023

razem zofia malisz

Members of Razem at May Day in Warsaw in 2022. The banner reads: ‘Housing! Jobs! Decent Pay!’. Inset: Zofia Malesz. Photo: @RazemWM/Twitter

Could you tell us about Razem’s history and politics?

Razem was formed in 2015 by a group of leftist activists with years of experience in the Polish green and feminist movements, along with members of the Young Socialists.

The impetus for creating a new party was two-fold.

One was the frustration that emerged under the liberal Donald Tusk government (2007‒14). Whenever voices started to demand the government focus on social spending instead of cuts and privatisations, Tusk’s response was to say Poland was still in its transformation stage [towards a market economy] and that now was not the time to build up a welfare state.

See also

Poland sets up ‘terrifying’ pregnancy register after banning abortion

Poland: Caught between Western and Russian imperialism

Frustration grew as neoliberal policies were implemented at breakneck speed to indulge business elites, while people were denied even modest social benefits and public services were being dismantled.

All this occurred as anti-austerity protests were taking place in Greece, something we supported and that inspired Razem.

The other major factor was the protests against the Iraq war and against Poland’s participation in the occupation of Afghanistan. Several activists who went on to build Razem came from these protest movements.

The revelations of alleged illegal US prisons in Poland used to torture al-Qaeda members created huge outrage. Seeing the Polish government bow down to US imperialism unchallenged — and in fact encouraged by the mainstream, including former Solidarność activists — fuelled frustration on the left.

Razem was formed as an expression of this anger and frustration that had built up during the transformation process.

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