Tuesday, March 24, 2009


On Monday the 23rd of March, 2009, the bourgeois media could triumphantly inform us that one of the states largest trade unions, IMPACT, had failed to secure the required two thirds majority to take part in strike action on Mondy 30th March organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) . The strike which is schedueled for one day only, not really long enough to have any major impact, is to demonstrate workers anger at government and employers cuts in public spending resulting in even more inferiour public services, job losses, pension levies, pay cuts and freezes etc. etc . IMPACT received a 65% majority in favour of taking part in the strike which was a mere 1% short of the two thirds needed which is ridiculous.

This rule is a liability to any form of organised fight back and, noticibaly, is undemocratic. It is a liability because it is weighted towards the benefit of the employers who only need a 35% minority to vote against strike action thus cancelling out the will of the majority who are in favour. Could anybody imagine this rule reversed. Let us say that 35% voted for strike action and 65% against and the union went ahead with the action there would be cries of undemocratic, communist dictators, union barons holding the country and their own members to ransom and may more reactionary orations. This liability rule not only applies to this particular day of action it applies, unless there is a rule change, to all strikes in the future. ICTU and the IMPACT leadership should ignore the fact that a two thirds majority was not achieved and concentrate on the democratic will of the majority and go ahead with taking part in the strike. When the time comes that a 35% minority can dictate to the 65% majority then even by the limited democratic machinery of liberal democracy the word, democracy and its workings, must be called into question. Let us not forget the present capitalist system only pays lip service to democracy and only then when it suits the ruling class and their governmental puppets. Remember 65% is a far larger majority and therefore mandate than those who masquerade as government in the Dail have ever received.

Finally those unions who operate this ridiculous one sided two thirds rule should seriously consider revising their rule books. A simple majority of 50.5% should be adequate to call strike action, though this it could be argued is too close to call so let us say 53%. This would give clear daylight between those in favour of strike action and those oppossed. This rule amendment should apply to all unions, ICTU affiliated or not and whether the employers and government like it or not.

Joe Hill

Monday, March 23, 2009


I was interested to read in the March edition of the Catholic church magazine "alive" about a twelve year old girl supporting the pro-life stance on abortion using the youtube. The headline on page 16 read '12-yea-old Lia's oro-life talk a big hit on youtube'. The article went on to inform us triumphantly, 'Lia a twelve year old girl in Toronto, Canada, caused ructions in her school and has become a youtube sensation with a five minute pro-life talk'. The talk was part of a school topic which the school tried to talk the child out of on the grounds that it was 'too mature and controvercial', and that if she stuck to it she would be disqualified'. Her mother tried to talk her out of it but to no avail. In the end she relented saying "I really believe it's something that God put in her heart", does not sound much like talking her out of it . Much to the delight of the church Lia won the competition, after a great deal of comotion including one pro-life judge stepping down after she was initially disqualified. The rest of the panel then reversed their decision and declared her the winner.

What I can not understand is why a girl of twelve would choose such a subject without some form of brainwashing. Accepting that she is very academically advanced for her age, and this advancement should not be stifled, and given the state of the global economy would it not have been more appropriate to speak on something more topical, like the state of the world economy, which she could still have brought her religion into, after all did Jesus not kick out all the capitalists from the temple?, the very people who have caused the global economic crisis we are now witnessing. Of course this would not have gone down too well with the Catholic hierarchy, themselves pro-capitalist, and would perhaps not have been allowed to go out as her topic. A twelve year old girl, scientifically barely able to concieve, giving a talk on the de-merits of abortion does not ring true unless somebody, not divine intervention, was pulling the strings. In todays world it would have been expected that a twelve year old girl of such mental development would be more likely to speak about a womans right to choose, which would make more sense. One problem with this and that is the church would not approve but since when has this mattered to the planets twelve year olds?, unless some form of brainwashing has taken place.

It is perhaps time that the church, all religions and denominations, were stopped from filling childrens heads with something which may or may not have happened. It must be very confusing for children of impressionable ages coming out of one lesson on religion and then going into a class on Darwinism. You can not believe in both it is a total paradox and all the scientific evidence points to the correctness of Darwin.

There are other denominations of Christianity all equally guilty of the same system of brainwashing. The Protestant religion, for example decided to re-write the rules to suit the needs of a King who wanted a divorce and, more importantly, the new aspiring class in society the mercantile capitalists. If the original Bible was true how then can the re-written one with a few alterations be also true? Why, before the industrial revolution, was the Bible written in Latin which only the priests could understand? When it was decided that people needed to learn the basics of literacy they were tought to read selected pieces from the Bible, now written in English and other relavent languages. The reason for the need to read and write, very basic at that, was so they could understand how to operate the new machinery owned by the new industrialists. While learning to read and write they could brainwash themselves by learning from the Bible. The only day they got away from the eternal slavery of work was Sunday and guess what, to enable them to go to church. While at church these early proleterians, like their predecessors from feudalism, could learn how to be a poor man on this earth but be rich in the kingdom of heaven. If this was not programming not to question and accept their lot down here, that being poverty, what was?

Then we have our overpaid clergymen and in certain denominations women, who get paid a fortune to ensure this state of ignorance continues. However when the capitalist class found they could increase profits by making Sunday to all intents and purposes a "normal" day the fact that this was suppossed to be Gods day is conviniently forgotten, similar to all the other inconvinient things attached to religion which affects profits.

Marx was right with his description of "religion being the opiate of the masses" and the day it ceases to be is the day the capitalist system will disgard it.



Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Permanent Crisis of Capitalism

As the world economic system staggers from crisis to crisis and the politicians try to tamper and reform the irreformable and come up with new words such as"recapitalisation" reffering to the banks it becomes increasingly more clear that they have not got a clue what to do. Workers are once again being asked to bail out a system by accepting pay reductions, pension levy's, another word for pay cuts, a system which in times of what passes for normality exploits them, denies them a sizable chunk of the wealth they have created under the name of profit, simply because the bourgeoisie have not got a clue what to do. The irony is the level of workers anger goes from mild indignation to radical protest, though still short at the moment of revolutionary fervour. Some workers have been heard to say we don't mind "paying our share" as long as everybody else does. This of course is the wrong argument and other workers take a more militant stance by stating the more radical view "why should we pay" which is somewhat more correct. Why should an already exploited proletariat bail out the ever hungry bourgeoisie out of the mess them and their imbecile system have got us all into? The answer is the working class should not bail the system out and our advice is don't. Instead of the ICTU unions calling one day strikes serious consideration should be given to calling an all out indefinate general stoppage. If the union leadership are unable, unwilling or both to give this lead then the proletariat should set up their own shop stewards committees over the heads of their collaborating leadership. Don't moan organise.

We are told there is going to be a "mini budget" in Ireland during April when those who masquerade as politicians will tamper with the system again, pretending to have some idea what they are dioing and fooling nobody. There is one thing they will not do, either through pretentions or reality, and that is question the validity of the capitalist economic system itself. They will never put it up to the exploiters of labour that it is their greed and constant pursuit of ever greater profits which are largely to blame for this mess. They will never critisise the theory of "perfect competition" of which there is very little if anything perfect about,just look around you. They certainly will not advocate complete nationalisation of the banks leading to one state controlled central bank, after all who needs all these small private banks? During the days of the Soviet Union, despite its grotesque distortions, did the State Bank of Moscow ever go bust? No it did not.

In the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown keeps reliably informing us that the economy is in a problematic state because the problem is "global". If the British economy is in a state it may well be affected by the condition of international idiocity, capitalism, but this does not stop them spending millions of pounds per day waging war in other countries, Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting organisations they helped to put there in the first place. The United States are even more guilty of this crime, after all was it not them and, to a slightly lesser extent Britain, who supplied the mujaheddin when they were fighting the Soviet Union who, incidentally were there through invitation of the then socialist (of sorts) President of Afghanistan, and it was a CIA backed coup in Iraq 1978 which placed Saddam Hussein at the helm in that country. These operations and ventures tend to make a mockery of statements such as "there is no money" which we are now more than used to hearing.

What the 26 county government should be doing, but rest assured will not, is advocating a strong hands on economic policy based on planning. Drop the myth of perfect competition which sets firm against firm and therefore worker against worker, which it is designed to do and nationalise all large industry including the multinationals US or otherwise as well as indigenous companioes. It should be remembered that the profits of these multinationals are not calculated into the GDP of Ireland but the GNP of the sending country. This is money, like all wealth, is created through labour in Ireland and now Ireland needs that money therefore take it.

The Irish state are very good when it suits at remembering the 1916 leaders one of whom was a revolutionary marxist, James Connolly, yet they do everything which would have been an atithesis to everything Connolly stood for. After nationalisation all the means of production should be put under workers control and a system of production for the needs of the people as oppossed to the profit of the few adopted. Once again rest assured we will hear non of these sentiments from Brian Cowen (Biffo) in the budget, such a system will have to come from below, from the disspossesed working class through popular revolution the question is are we ready for such revolutionary change?


IRSP Dublin