Book Reviews: ‘Who’s Afraid of the Easter Rising?,’ & ‘Slavoj Žižek – A Žižekian Gaze at Education’

June 2024 Forums Comments Book Reviews: ‘Who’s Afraid of the Easter Rising?,’ & ‘Slavoj Žižek – A Žižekian Gaze at Education’

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  • #118168
    Quote:
    We can agree with the revisionist historians that the myth of the Easter Rising needs debunking. The Irish Republican tradition has been harmful and anti-working class but then so has Unionism. However,  those who argue that a peaceful transition to Home Rule and an independent state was likely had it not been for the Easter Rising are assuming that the Unionists in the North would have accepted this without resorting to violence (as they had done before the war, introducing more guns into politics than the Nationalists).

    Arguably, though, partition could have happened relatively bloodlessly.  That much was almost certainly inevitable.  Although the Home Rule Act was parked for the duration of the war, some version of home rule would certainlty have come about (maybe something that would have looked much like Scotland today).

    #84661
    PJShannon
    Keymaster

    Following is a discussion on the page titled: Book Reviews: 'Who’s Afraid of the Easter Rising?,' & 'Slavoj Žižek – A Žižekian Gaze at Education'.
    Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

    #118169

    Indeed:

    Quote:
    Also for a variety of reasons all the Ulster Unionist MPs at Westminster voted against the Act. They preferred that all or most of Ulster would remain fully within the United Kingdom, accepting the proposed northern Home Rule state only as the second best option.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_Ireland_Act_1920Pretty much a wholly unecessary war, fought largely over who would rule the independent Ireland.

    #118170
    moderator1
    Participant

    jon brownOfflineJoined:07/04/2013Send PM In the current Socialist Standard in the Book Review section Adam Buick revirews "Who's Afriad of the Easter Rising?". He states people who are prepared to die for their beliefs deserve some respect. Cannot and do not agree with this. I am sure Adam didn't this to intend support for suicide bombers etc. I think we should reserve our respect for those who are conscripted against their will or even more so for the really courageous who refuse to be conscripted and take all the consequences for refusing. 

    #118171
    Giuseppe-Joe
    Participant

    I think the words of James Connolly seconds before his execution encapsulate both positions:'I will say a prayer for all brave men who do their duty'.His utterence was in response to Father Aloysius, a Capuchian monk ,who asked Connolly 'Will you say a prayer for those men who are about to shoot you?'(Rebels: The Irish Rising of 1916(p.635)by Peter De Rosa 1990). One does not have to believe in a deity to empathise with the sentiment. Nonetheless the Rising is a good example of the irony of history: a revolution that ushers in what was in effect a theocracy.

    #118172
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Yes, Home Rule did turn out to be Rome Rule for forty or so years though, another irony, literal Home Rule, in the sense of devolution within the UK as opposed to political separation, would have mitigated perhaps even avoided this (certainly its worst excesses).On the other hand, the presence of a bloc of non-Tory, Catholic Nationalist MPs in Wesminster would have changed the course of British politics too.It's all changed now of course. Ireland is just another more or less secular and socially liberal capitalist state. You can't hold back progress for ever, just delay it.

    #118173
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    "Yes, Home Rule did turn out to be Rome Rule for forty or so years" Our blog made a similar point about the "Free State"

    Quote:
    Eamon de Valera’s later smothered the labour movement in the embrace of Fianna Fáil. He talked the language of social democracy with enough rhetoric to rob labour of a distinctive voice, while never delivering the goods and transforming the new republic into a quasi-theocracy where the important social issues were placed under the tutelage of [the]Catholic Church.

    http://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-free-state.html

    #118174
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I don't think you can just blame De Valera for Rome Rule. The other lot who ruled before him (he came to power only in 1932) started the process. He didn't "transform" the new  Irish State into a theocracy, though he could be said to have consolidated it with the Irish Constitution of 1937. It was never anything else.  After all, one of the first acts of the independent Irish State was to abolish divorce (with only WB Yates voting against).

    #118175
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    I was listening to RTE on Friday and there was talk of the government intervening to ban the proposed strike by workers on the Luas tram system because it will interfere with the celebrations of the Easter Rising! Connolly would be proud, the government he helped to set up, with the Citizen's Army, intervening to ban a strike because it interferes with celebrations of his actions!!!

    #118176
    Giuseppe-Joe
    Participant

    As grandaddy Marx would say:History repeating.First as tragedy,secondly as farce.'

    #118177

    Email received from Comrade KC of Cork who is not on this forum:Dear EditorsWell done to the various comrades for a range of good articles about the Easter Rising in last month’s Standard. For a socialist living in Ireland it’s good to read an alternative perspective on this matter and to have some of the well-known shibboleths that surround it debunked (not for the first time of course!). As I write in the week prior to Easter, things are gearing up here for the major commemorations scheduled for Easter Sunday and Easter Monday; 27th and 28th March. As the articles in the Standard suggests, in spite of all the rhetoric of the state and media, there really is very little tangible to see in the day to day lives of the citizens of the Republic of Ireland that is connected to the Rising apart from the fact that most major railway stations in Irish cities are named after some of the leading participants. It’s interesting to compare this centenary celebration with the commemoration that occurred in 1966 on the half centenary. The centrepiece on that occasion was a traditional old style military parade of the Irish Army down O Connell Street whilst being reviewed by De Valera and other elderly survivors of the Rising. Now it’s much more ‘inclusive’ with family events, educational lectures, historical re-enactments, street festivals, etc. Of course the underlying nationalist message is still present though in a more muted form with the Proclamation being read out in all school playgrounds under the Tricolour.The correct attitude to adopt to the Rising has always been somewhat problematical for Irish Governments. While Irish Independence is nominally taken to have begun with the rebellion, in fact the origins of the state really date from the unplanned and erratic series of events that occurred from the Conscription crisis of 1918 to the end of the Civil War in 1923. The undemocratic and vanguardist nature of the military operation of Easter 1916 has unpalatable parallels with the more recent campaign of the Provisional IRA. Furthermore the participation of James Connolly in the Rising has always given it left-wing appeal even though he was a clear minority in terms of his political outlook compared to the other leaders. A well-known phrase from the Proclamation ‘cherishing all the children of the nation equally’ has been used to justify the claim that it was a progressive event even though that wording was placed there more for grandiose political purposes rather than a call to any specific programme of action.What’s the view from today? You can debate over and back whether the 26 counties that eventually went on to form the Republic of Ireland would have been better or worse off if they had remained as part of the UK. To an extent it’s similar to the current debate in the UK about its own membership of the larger European political union. The delineation of national boundaries within a system of world capitalism is just a reflection of the nationalist consciousness that currently prevails amongst the people of this planet.

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