The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Giving Political Leadership

Liam O Ruairc 12.12.02

The last few weeks have seen more symptoms of the crisis of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement with Stormont once again being suspended. In the South, the referendum saw the victory of the Nice Treaty, with the promise of more problems for the Irish working class. There is a danger that Republican Socialists end up simply reacting to events. What is important is to have a long term strategic vision that enables us to clearly understand what is to be done. The fundamental task of Republican Socialists is not so much opposing the Good Friday Agreement or the effects of the Nice Treaty, but to give political leadership to the different struggles of the working class that will emerge in the coming weeks, months and years. This cannot be done without building the party, without forming the vanguard.

The working class is compelled by objective circumstances to struggle against various problems: exploitation on building sites, resisting the introduction of water rates, fighting drug dealers, attacks by Loyalists etc. If the working class will certainly engage in those issues, spontaneous actions and reactions to those problems are in themselves not sufficient to transform Irish society. A long term strategy, policies, directions to do so will not emerge spontaneously out of those struggles. This is even more true when one takes into account that there is an uneven level of political consciousness among our people, and that the working class cannot afford to be constantly in struggle 24 hours a day seven days a week. Political leadership can only come from a political party, whose advanced strategic understanding of the concrete situation enables the working class struggle to move forward. This does not mean that it is a group of intellectuals whose “special knowledge” makes them more clever than other people. On the contrary, it is composed of the section of the working class with the highest level of political consciousness and organic link to the real struggles of the masses that makes it the most politically dynamic part of the working class.

This vanguard aims to be a catalyst to the struggle of the people, give it direction and elevate the level of political consciousness among the masses. And it is not enough for one party to proclaim itself “the vanguard of the working class”. To be the genuine vanguard, one needs to recognised as such by the people. During the coming year, the IRSP will increase its efforts in elevating the level of political consciousness of its members, develop policies and strategies to revolutionise Irish society, and build up its presence within mass struggles. As part of this process, the party will publish the Ta Power Document in its entirety. This is not out of some historical curiosity, but as an integral part of the politicisation of our party to help it become the political catalyst and leader of the struggles of the working class, women, immigrants and young people.









Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters + Archives

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. Do you believe in free speech? Then speak freely. Do you love the truth? Then tell it. Do you believe in an open society? Then act in the open. Do you believe in a decent and humane society? Then behave decently and humanely.
- Adam Michnik

Index: Current Articles

13 December 2002


Other Articles From This Issue:


Giving Political Leadership
Liam O Ruairc


The Truth About Turkey
Mags Glennon


Belfast Socialists, Capitalism and War
Davy Carlin


Don't Join the RUC/PSNI

Sean Matthews


The Untouchables
Anthony McIntyre


Chaos Theory: Stickies and Stones Break Bones
Eamon Lynch


8 December 2002


The British State Murder of Pearse Jordan
Anthony McIntyre


The Falls And Shankill March As One
Davy Carlin


Alternatives to the GFA?
Paul Fitzsimmons


Ted Honderich: A Philosopher in the Trenches
Paul de Rooji


Uri Davis and the Battle Against Israeli Apartheid
Anthony McIntyre


Palestinian Children In The Night
Sam Bahour


Solitary Confinement Kills
Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Cephesi




The Blanket




Latest News & Views
Index: Current Articles
Book Reviews
The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
Republican Voices