Common sense myths of capitalist consciousness
A problem for socialists today is that in everyday life the majority of workers accept imperialist rule at home in Ireland.
The colonial, sectarian and partitionist settlement in the North has general support, despite the right-wing austerity administration, everyday corruption and sectarianism and the growing triumphalism of unionism, sponsored by the state forces
In the South the rule of the Troika goes largely unchallenged as he austerity grinds on. A quisling local capitalism grinds down wages and services, arranges to privatise anything not nailed down and establishes a tax haven for transnational companies while workers go to the wall.
One major reason for the collapse of the opposition is that the pressure of the capitalist offensive, decades of capitalist victories has led to the collapse of traditional leaderships.
Sinn Fein, once an anti-imperialist organization, sits in the colonial administration welcoming the G8. Labour leads the austerity offensive from within the Dublin government. The Trade Union leadership, while calling for a fairer way for workers to pay for the bankers, push through Croke Park I, II, III...
So at one level things are simple. The pro-imperialist platform of the old leadership has to be countered with a socialist and anti-imperialist platform from the socialists.
That's difficult because, after decades of defeat, most people unthinkingly accept capitalist ideology as the only reality and many sections of the small socialist movement have adapted to the lower levels of consciousness.
Accepting the rule of the troika, accepting that we have to pay every red cent of the bailout for decades to come, these ideas rest on the belief that all the classes are in this together as a nation and that the nation is utterly dependent on the support of the imperialist powers. One of the gifts that imperialism has given us is peace in the North, and that requires a repudiation of old ideas of Irish unity which are now seen to be inherently sectarian because the unionists reject them.
In this framework there can be no revolt, only jostling about which sector is paying its fair share and the idea that marginal bookeeping in partnership with the quisling government can lead to "investment for jobs" and recovery. Revelations that transnational corporations pay only a fraction of the very low corporation tax, accusations from senior US politicians that Ireland is a tax haven laundering dirty money, all meet with silence. In the North peace can be rescued by giving loyalist bigots what they want and accepting the permanent division of the Irish working class. As the austerity discredits the coalition opinion polls swing to the equally discredited Fianna Fail. There is no outside to the system.
Itís the job of socialists to provide a real alternative - to argue for a repudiation of debt, the expulsion of the Troika, the ousting of the quisling coalition. A socialist alternative would call for workers to take control of resources no longer in productive use by capital, for example the billions of tax dodge money hidden in Ireland by Apple!
And that is the central task, for the workers
to mobilize on their own account. These risings have happened before and
we confidently await the resurgence of the workers as a revolutionary class,
no longer bamboozled by the dogma of capitalism.