Return to Recent Articles menu

We urge Socialists and trade unionists to indicate support for the following statement and to contact us for further discussion.

Socialist Democracy statement on neutrality

July 2023

A protestor outside the Security Forum held at Dublin Castle.

Neutrality is not enough!
No to imperialism!
Down with the NATO war machine!

The headline rush by the Irish government into the ranks of NATO, the clumsy duplicity of the fake consultation process and the evidence of impunity in asking a conservative pro-NATO academic, a Dame of the British Empire, to oversee the process has caused outrage across Ireland.

Irish President Michael D Higgins is right to protest this stitch-up. The vast majority of the Irish working class are right to support him. Political groups are right to petition for the retention of neutrality and we support these campaigns and petitions.

However, that's not enough. Ireland is not a neutral country. It is a satrap of imperialism. The current drive to militarisation is not a spontaneous decision by the Irish government, but is the result of demands by the US.

Simply setting the bar around the issue of neutrality is to chase a chimaera. A successful battle must assert our opposition to imperialist rule and for self-determination for the Irish people.

We know that a call to neutrality is not sufficient because we have had such calls before, yet Shannon airport remains a major staging post for forces, the Irish army is deployed with European and NATO bodies while the RAF exercises jurisdiction over Irish airspace.

But the issue is not just our experience of past campaigns. The truth is that imperialism dominates not just military policy, but every aspect of Irish society. The Irish ruling class, acting as a tax haven for surplus capital, enforces a low wage regime, starves public services and provides a feeding trough for transnational capital that ensures a housing catastrophe.

The fight against military adventures is also a fight for our own self-determination. How can we mobilise around claims for self-determination in other lands while ignoring the continued British military presence in Ireland, no matter how it is dressed up in the language of peace?

No to war!
No to imperialist adventures!

Return to top of page