Issue 3 of Irish Anarchist Review magazine.
Welcome to Issue 3 of The Irish Anarchist Review, produced by the Workers Solidarity Movement. This magazine aims to provide a forum for the exploration and discussion of theories, thoughts and ideas about where we are and where we would like to be in terms of political struggles today.
The task of building a revolutionary movement based on principles of freedom and democracy was never going to be an easy one. As we as a society have faced into probably the greatest ever financial crisis, that challenge appears in many ways to be even bigger. The singular lack of any real fightback by the Irish working class as international capital in the guise of the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund systematically dismantles our social services and slashes our living conditions could well prove dispiriting and demoralising.
But demoralisation or discouragement cannot be options for revolutionaries. What we have to do is to continue to look for sparks of fightback and to continue to try to develop ideas and theories which might give people hope.
In this context, Dermot Sreenan’s article ‘Imagining The Future’ is an attempt to look into a post-revolutionary future and imagine what such a society might look like. It is hoped that this will be the first in a series of articles that will try to sketch out the possibilities in terms of a new world where people’s needs would be placed before the rights of financiers to continue to stockpile wealth.
It is in the context of seeking out hope for the future that Kevin Doyle analyses what has happened in the U.S. since the election of Barrack Obama. He looks at the reality behind the ‘Yes We Can’ slogan and the supposed ‘grassroots mobilisation’ that his election campaign involved and details the litany of broken promises left in its wake.
In an article re-produced from anarkismo.net, José Antonio Gutiérrez D. looks at the fight for democracy that has broken out across the Arab world and asks how these struggles can be “more than a sporadic episode” and how they can be developed into real “alternative social projects”.
Looking back as well as forward is important in terms of building for the future. In ‘Project 2013 – Re-building a Trade Union Movement from Below’ Gregor Kerr issues the challenge that “if trade unions didn’t exist we certainly wouldn’t invent SIPTU”. In asking whether trade unions as they exist are fit for purpose, the article invites us to use the forthcoming centenary of the 1913 lockout to reclaim the spirit of Larkin and seek to re-establish a trade union movement which puts its members’ interests to the fore.
The economic crisis in Ireland has presented us with many challenges, none more so than that of making real links with workers in other countries facing similar difficulties. Paul Bowman’s look at the anarchist and opposition movements across the ‘PIGS’ countries is an attempt to draw those common links.
We also publish a number of reviews which we hope will stimulate our readers to further reading, viewing and discussing.
We don’t simply want the ideas in this magazine to be consumed but would hope that they will challenge their readers to develop on them and react to them – whether positively or negatively. In that way the magazine can make a real contribution to the development of new ideas. So read, enjoy and respond. We welcome contributions to future issues of this magazine and hope that at least some of the content of this issue will stimulate thought and debate among you, the readers.