Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Trotskyism’ Category

Transgender Rights – “Scotland is now ahead of the rest of the UK – though still behind Ireland” – Michael Farrell

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Veteran human rights activist Michael Farrell has campaigned in favour of transgender people for many decades. He publicly posted this comment in support of a recent Scottish Parliament Law reform:

Congratulations to the Scottish Parliament for taking a big step to protect transgender rights and resisting a bitter campaign by anti-trans groups to prevent them from making it easier for trans persons to get legal recognition. The new law, passed by 86 votes to 39, means trans people won’t have to get a medical diagnosis and wait for two yeas to register their gender. Scotland is now ahead of the rest of the UK – though still behind Ireland. A good day for a small community of people who have been abused and discriminated against for generations.

Michael Farrell, a founding member of People’s Democracy, was a revolutionary socialist activist in the six counties of Northern Ireland during the 1960’s and 1970’s.

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France : Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA -New Anticapitalist Party) Divides Down the Middle

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The congress of the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (New Anticapitalist Party) took place on 9-10-11 December. It resulted in a separation of the party. The first statement published was adopted by the platform winning 48.5% of the votes. The second by the platform obtaining 45.5% of the votes.

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Socialist Democracy (Ireland) Leaves the Fourth International

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This reader of the Fourth International site noticed today (December 8 2022) there is no entry for Ireland. Up to a few days ago Socialist Democracy(SD) was on the list, but that entry has now been removed. https://fourth.international/en/organisations

SD left the Fourth International on November 8 2022.

SD has expressed strong public disagreements with the policies adopted by the Fourth International since the mid 1990’s.

Today the organization’s site is a nest of transphobic articles. It promotes a campist policy on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Socialist Democracy & Evangelical Christianity – bet you never thought you would see that coalition !!”

A comrade recently asked me “Socialist Democracy & Evangelical Christianity – bet you never thought you would see that coalition !!” The organization defended the far-right teacher Enoch Burke, who is currently in an Irish jail.

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Solidarity With Palestine, Solidarity With Ukraine – Sotsialniy Rukh (Ukraine) Compared With People Before Profit (Ireland)

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If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African Anti-Apartheid Activist

Sotsialniy Rukh Statement on Palestine and Ukraine (in English and Ukrainian)

📣 November 29 since 1978 has been celebrated as the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. For 44 years, the world officially talks about the Palestinian tragedy that has no end.

This day reminds us of Palestine’s ongoing struggle for life and freedom. Despite condemnation of Israel’s policy, which leading human rights organizations say fits the crime of apartheid under the Roman Statute, the de facto Palestinians and Palestinians still have neither protection nor independence. Their homes are being taken, cities bombed, and their lives are totally in vain.

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On Ukraine, 8 Months, 4 Weeks – A post published first on the Cedar Lounge Blog

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This article is strongly recommended.

Source : https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2022/11/24/on-ukraine-8-months-4-weeks/

Ukraine news continues to arrive – in some ways so rapidly changing as to make posts redundant by the time they are published. Tomás Ó Flaharta carries a very interesting piece here. Consider though the numbers above. 8 months, 4 weeks and 3 or so days since the start of the war. 

An excellent analysis of the flaws in the ‘realist’ analysis in international political science here from Fred Kaplan in Slate. One aspect of that analysis, along with others, is how incoherent it all is, and contradictory too. Russia acted because it was exercised over NATO expansion, but as Kaplan notes:

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A 1936 Obituary : The first known Irish Supporter of Trotsky’s Left Opposition – TJ O’Flaherty (Tomás Ó Flatharta) – passed away on Inis Mór ( one of the Aran Islands)

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Gort na gCapall, Inishmore, Aran. Home of the Ó Flaithearta family.

Des Derwin drew our attention to this fascinating obituary.

Source : https://revolutionsnewsstand.com/2022/11/23/t-j-oflaherty-dead-from-new-militant-vol-2-no-22-june-6-1936/?fbclid=IwAR08oP2REQBBFNs2tWByO1-U3tWdwtjv7-OXax_0Ljm3ycJkB2IrK67FO-g

‘T.J. O’Flaherty Dead’ from New Militant. Vol. 2 No. 22. June 6, 1936.

The New Militant learns with great sorrow of the sudden death in Ireland of comrade T.J. O’Flaherty, an adherent of “Trotskyism” from the first days of the formation of the Left Opposition in the United States and a firm supporter to his dying day of the movement for the Fourth International. On his deathbed all his thoughts and interests were with his comrades in the United States and to the last he had hopes to recover his health and to return to the States to function actively in the movement. He gave full support to the Workers Party of America upon its formation and viewed it as the first step in the process of unification of the genuine revolutionary elements who based themselves on the teachings of Lenin and Trotsky.

His sister, Anna Johnson, in a letter to comrade Martin Abern, writes from the Aran Isles, Ireland:

Letter from His Sister

“You will be surprised to hear that Tom has passed away. He died on May 19 from heart trouble. He came back here on January 15 after 18 months between Dublin and England. He was ill when he got back and got worse every day. You know he always suffered from heart trouble.

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‘A Workers Republic for Ireland’ by Thomas J. O’Flaherty from The Toiler. December 17, 1921.

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This blog is named after Tomás Ó Flatharta, the first known Irish supporter of the 1920’s Left Opposition which opposed the policies pursued by the Russian Bolshevik government headed by Josef Stalin. Ó Flatharta was a prolific writer, and wrote this fascinating article previewing the partition of Ireland in December 2021. Ó Flatharta looks at “official” Irish-American support for Ireland’s cause, and points out its limitations and hypocrisies. He endorses the policies pursued by the revolutionary marxist James Connolly, a leader of Ireland’s Easter 1916 Rising who was executed by the British imperialists.

Here is a flavour of Ó Flatharta’s analysis, which has a lot of contemporary relevance.

When Connolly led the revolt in Dublin in 1916 some of his comrades in other countries did not understand why he lined up with the Nationalist elements. They claimed that Connolly. lost his original Marxian purity. These elements could not see in the revolutionary opportunism of Connolly the tactic that is today the guiding star of every revolutionary party in the world. Connolly’s idea was to mobilize all the available discontent in Ireland and hurl it at the enemy. Out of the inevitable sacrifice which the Easter Week Revolution entailed would spring a new movement inspired by the example of the martyrs of Easter Week. Connolly knew quite well that national independence alone would never give Ireland independence until the Empire was overthrown, therefore every move made to overthrow the Empire tended to bring about the inevitable revolution. The Citizen Army composed of members of the Trade Unions was pledged not alone to strike for Irish freedom but for the Workers’ Republic. The Nationalist Volunteers had a certain contempt for the men of the citizen army. The former were carried away with their hostility to England into a feeling of sympathy with Germany. The citizen army, however, was just as much opposed to the Kaiser as to King Gorge and hung over its headquarters the banner with the inscription “We serve neither King nor Kaiser.”


When Eoin MacNaill, the leader of the Nationalist Volunteers, issued the countermanding order which kept the full force of the members of that body from participating in the Easter Week revolution, Connolly called out his citizen army. The army of the workers was the backbone of the rising and according to Seamus MacManus in his “Story of the Irish Race,” it was Connolly’s insistence on making a fight that ultimately carried the motion for the insurrection. But since Easter Week Irish labor has been relegated to obscurity and the Irish middle class have been given credit on American platforms and in the Irish journals for the great struggle that has been carried on against British tyranny.

Revolution’s Newsstand

‘A Workers Republic for Ireland’ by Thomas J. O’Flaherty from The Toiler. December 17, 1921.

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“On the 1937 Sino-Japanese War” – Leon Trotsky – Parallels to the 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine

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This is simply brilliant. Parallels with the 2022 Russian Ethnic-Cleansing, Imperialist and Racist invasion of Ukraine 🇺🇦 should be obvious to all readers. https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1937/10/sino.htm?fbclid=IwAR0Q41Y8r88mV9n-dpLazaWcnyqnbE1ByhFovRM09yYDn7rTMc9ntAH5lNU. Leon Trotsky wrote a letter to the outstanding Mexican Painter Diego Rivera.

“In my declaration to the bourgeois press, I said that the duty of all the workers’ organizations of China was to participate actively and in the front lines of the present war against Japan, without abandoning, for a single moment, their own program and independent activity. But that is “social patriotism!” the Eiffelites cry. It is capitulation to Chiang Kai-shek! It is the abandonment of the principle of the class struggle! Bolshevism preached revolutionary defeatism in the imperialist war. Now, the war in Spain and the Sino-Japanese War are both imperialist wars. “Our position on the war in China is the same. The only salvation of the workers and peasants of China is to struggle independently against the two armies, against the Chinese army in the same manner as against the Japanese army.” These four lines, taken from an Eiffelite document of September 10, 1937, suffice entirely for us to say: we are concerned here with either real traitors or complete imbeciles. But imbecility, raised to this degree, is equal to treason.

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“The Blitzkrieg Failed – What Next?” – Boris Kagarlitsky

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Challenge yourself in these dark days. Vladimir Putin, a far-right ethnic cleanser who who has his hands on a nuclear button, is threatening Armageddon against Ukraine and his own people – he is not bothered about NATO encirclement of Russia. Putin is NATO’s number one recruiting sergeant. Russian left winger Boris Kagarlitsky explains.

Boris Kagarlitsky PhD is a historian and sociologist who lives in Moscow. He is a prolific author of books on the history and current politics of the Soviet Union and Russia and of books on the rise of globalized capitalism. Fourteen of his books have been translated into English. The most recent book in English is ‘From Empires to Imperialism: The State and the Rise of Bourgeois Civilisation’ (Routledge, 2014). Kagarlitsky is chief editor of the Russian-language online journal Rabkor.ru (The Worker). He is the director of the Institute for Globalization and Social Movements, located in Moscow. Source : https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/04/15/the-blitzkrieg-failed-whats-next/?fbclid=IwAR1cUcoJQiRxcmQX1XexskAs7bnDKsU2p5xji5CpwFEifComiG3y1D71stA

The special operation in Ukraine was conceived by Putin and his entourage as a way to turn the political situation around. The Kremlin strategists weren’t the least bit interested in the fate of the people in Lugansk and Donetsk, or even in the future of Ukraine. At a historical impasse, with no way to revive the economy, cope with the burden of growing problems, or raise the approval ratings now rolling into the abyss, they found no better way to solve all their issues at once but with the help of a small victorious war — a classic mistake that governments make when they are not ready to embark on urgent and inevitable reforms.

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Home Truths About Ukrainian Resistance to the Russian Imperialist Invasion

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“Marine Le Pen’s party is binning its 8-page electoral tract, which features a picture of her shaking hands with Vladimir Putin. Apparently that’s not a vote-winner any more! 1.2 million copies had been printed.”

Hint to Left-Wingers in Anti-War War Movements everywhere :

Russian Troops Out of Ukraine Now!
Solidarity with the Ukrainian Resistance!

Adopt a policy proposed by Noam Chomsky :

Noam Chomsky is the author of more than 150 books on topics such as linguistics, war, politics, and mass media. Ideologically, he aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky?wprov=sfti1

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a major war crime, ranking alongside the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the Hitler-Stalin invasion of Poland in September 1939, to take only two salient examples.

Meanwhile, we should do anything we can to provide meaningful support for those valiantly defending their homeland against cruel aggressors, for those escaping the horrors, and for the thousands of courageous Russians publicly opposing the crime of their state at great personal risk, a lesson to all of us.”

https://truthout.org/articles/noam-chomsky-us-military-escalation-against-russia-would-have-no-victors/.
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