Mar 24 2002

Emancipation & Liberation, Issue 1, Spring 2002

Category: Issue 01RCN @ 8:27 pm
Issue 1 Cover

Issue 1 Cover

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Mar 24 2002

Boycott Any Euro Referendum

Category: Issue 01RCN @ 8:23 pm

Matthew Jones on an independent working class response to the bosses’ referendum

Neither the European ruling classes, which have created the Euro nor the British capitalist supporters of the pound sterling are friends of the working class. Both are our sworn enemies. The choice being offered to us in this referendum is – a yes vote in support of the Euro or a no vote in support of the pound – not as some would put it Yes in support of Blair and New Labour or No against them.

The nature of money

To understand the class forces at work and where the working class should stand on the Euro it is first necessary to look at the nature of money. Originally precious metals – particularly gold – served as money. Karl Marx pointed out that the high value of gold relative to other commodities was due to the large quantity of labour time taken to produce gold. Historically the value of gold in the modern world market has changed slowly, falling only with the development of new extraction techniques or the discovery of major new deposits with easier workings.

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Mar 24 2002

National Workers’ Assembly meeting – a big step forward

Category: Issue 01RCN @ 8:11 pm

The following article by Jordi Martorell is from the website of Socialist Appeal. Despite our many political differences with this grouping we thought that the piece was full of useful information concerning recent revolutionary events in Argentina. Of particular importance is the growing ability of the Argentinian working class to find new democratic, organisational forms in order to advance their struggle. Whatever the outcome, and we must do all in our power to ensure that it is a positive one for our class, there are already many lessons to be learnt from this titanic struggle.

On Saturday, February 16, thousands of workers, unemployed and members of the popular assemblies, met in the Plaza de Mayo square in the Argentinean capital Buenos Aires. This was the beginning of the National Assembly of Workers (employed and unemployed). The day after, two thousand elected delegates met at the Avellaneda Colonial Theatre, representing unemployed workers’ organisations from all over the country, but also local trade union branches, groups of workers’ in struggle, neighbourhood popular assemblies, etc.

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Mar 24 2002

Working class opposition to UDA murder

Category: Issue 01RCN @ 8:07 pm

John McAnulty reports on the wave of working class opposition to Danny McColgan’s killing

On the rare occasions that the Irish trade union leadership organise a demonstration against sectarianism in the North the standard left-wing leaflet calls for it to be the beginning of a new movement. Yet the lessons of the last thirty years is that the role of the trade union leadership is to make sure that such demonstrations bring closure to any nascent movement that might give an independent voice to the working class.

Working class opposition to UDA murder

So it proved following the murder of postal worker, Danny McColgan. A movement that began with strike action to proclaim working class opposition to sectarian murder by the UDA, ended with a series of rallies that no longer involved strike action and, indeed, were no longer in the hands of the working class. By working flat-out in a whole series of secret meetings the trade union bureaucracy had managed to construct a unity with the British government and the local employers.

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Mar 24 2002

For A Republican Socialist Party

Category: Issue 01RCN @ 8:05 pm

The Revolutionary Democratic Group give their analysis of the Socialist Alliance of England’s conference in December 2001

The Socialist Alliance conference on December 1st 2001 was an important moment to gauge the development of the new left emerging in England and throughout Britain. The SA movement has provided the greatest advance for left unity for many years. In Scotland it led to the SSP. In England and Wales it has not gone as far but much has been achieved.

This rapprochement on the left was reflected at the SA (England) conference in the six stem constitutions put forward by the SWP, Socialist Party, CPGB, Workers Power, the RDG and Pete McLaren. In addition to these options, the AWL and the ISG and many Indies (independent socialists) were also fully involved in the process.

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Mar 24 2002

James Connolly’s appeal on the occassion of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee In 1897

Category: Issue 01RCN @ 7:57 pm

The great appear great to us, only because we are on our knees: let us rise.

Fellow Workers,

The loyal subjects of Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, etc., celebrate this year the longest reign on record. Already the air is laden with rumours of preparations for a wholesale manufacture of sham popular rejoicings at this glorious commemoration.

Home-Rule orators and nationalist lord mayors, Whig politicians and Parnellite pressmen, have ere now lent their prestige and influence to the attempt to arouse public interest in the sickening details of this feast of flunkeyism.

It is time then that some organised party in Ireland – other than those in whose mouths patriotism means compromise, and freedom, high dividends – should speak out bravely and honestly the sentiments awakened in the heart of every lover of freedom by this ghastly farce now being played out before our eyes. Hence the Irish Socialist Republican Party – which from its inception, has never hesitated to proclaim its hostility to the British Crown, and to the political and social order of which in these islands the Crown is but the symbol – takes the opportunity of hurling at the heads of all the courtly mummers who grovel at the shrine of royalty the contempt and hatred of the Irish revolutionary democracy. We, at least, are not loyal men; we confess to having more respect and honour for the raggedest child of the poorest labourer in Ireland today than for any, even the most virtuous, descendent of the long array of murderers, adulterers and madmen who have sat upon the throne of England.

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Mar 24 2002

Red Republicans or just Red Reformers?

Category: Emancipation & Liberation,Issue 01RCN @ 7:52 pm

As Elizabeth Windsor’s Golden Jubilee approaches, Mary Ward argues why all democrats should be republicans

If, like me, you view the events of the coming Jubilee with a mixture of revulsion and anger, then you may well be assuming that the republican left has gone to sleep or all been deported such has been the lack of activity from our side. The palace spin-doctors have done what they always do and couched the event in such reasonable and philanthropic terms that only mad extremists could possibly have room for complaint.

The Labour Party left (what remains of it) has been warned to be at best mildly supportive at worst silent. The media looks forward to a photo bonanza while we in the SSP can look forward to a conference battle on whether or not we, as an anti monarchy party, should just close our eyes and hope the Jubilee goes away or whether we actually organise democratic events in opposition to the parasitic rule of the unelected monarch and her family.

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Mar 23 2002

International Working Women’s Day – Some thoughts

Category: Issue 01RCN @ 7:50 pm

As communists and progressives around the world celebrate International Working Women’s Day, Linda Gibson argues that, under capitalism, gender roles lead to an artificial division in emotional development.

As International Women’s Day comes around articles will again be written about how women are still not achieving parity with men. And of course that’s true but I want to look at things from a slightly different angle. I don’t want to be equal with men if that means having the right [and being expected] to work full time; if that means developing a male emotional psyche – or even if it means fighting to have a female emotional psyche validated in the workplace. The fight to be equally exploited and dehumanised by the needs of modern capitalist society is the wrong fight. [And, increasingly, we are facing a capitalism that has to squeeze more and more out of us to maintain itself.] Of course we, as communists, should be fighting to abolish all wage slavery; but even within the present system we can and should challenge the notion that what women need is to be equal with men, as men currently are. Because men aren’t brought up to be fully human – neither are women. We are socialised into our respective gender roles, each of which prepares us to operate in our given sphere. Of course this is a massive simplification and generalisation; people are much more complex than that. I also acknowledge the complications and contradictions of the class versus gender debate. However there is still enough of a socialised and internalised division between men and women to be able to use that as a starting point to look at what kind of change we really want to fight for.

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Mar 23 2002

Dedicated to Gung-ho George…(The Texaco Kid)

Category: Issue 01RCN @ 7:49 pm

Wanted:- Dead or Alive

Wars about wars
Wars about hate
Talk peace & listen
Before it’s too late

But peace is so boring
Let’s go have some fun
Nuke a few gooks
And let the blood run

Saw a swallow nesting today

Wars of attrition,
Some won & some lost
Why try it again?
Think of the cost

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Mar 23 2002

Lords of the Rings

Category: Issue 01RCN @ 7:43 pm

Nick Clarke describes how the USA has used the Salt Lake City Olympics as war propaganda

Nationalism has always been a central and integral part of the Olympics – both winter and summer varieties. However, it seems as if the recent events in Salt Lake City have seen jingoism hit new heights. So much so that it has upset the guardians of the rings – the International Olympic Committee.

Pawn in the Crusade against terrorism

The explicit American patriotism and chauvinism that has enveloped most events at the Winter Olympics has the official blessing of George W. Bush and his White House lieutenants. These games are another pawn in his crusade against terrorism. Their overt use as propaganda in support of the USA’s war has even embarrassed some of the IOC’s senior officials. This is a show designed to send a message to Osama bin Laden, said one IOC member. President Bush is saying: Look at us: you bombed us but you can’t stop us going about our normal lives. But that is not what the Olympic Games are supposed to be about. In opening the Games, Bush broke with protocol by ad-libbing the Olympic Charter. Instead of declaring them open with the line I declare open the Games of Salt Lake City he preceded them with On behalf of a proud, determined and grateful nation. The IOC is concerned that this has set a precedent that could be followed by other heads of state, including the Chinese President at the start of the Beijing Games in 2008. How will the Americans react to that?

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