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international | gender and sexuality | opinion/analysis Tuesday October 21, 2014 22:43 by john throne - Facts For Working People
It is institutions. And ideas.
The degrees of violence against women and children and the slave labor inflicted on Irish women in the laundries are not caused by some flaw in the Irish character but by the nature of Irish capitalism and its relationship to the anti women dictatorial Catholic church.
Irish capitalism had the misfortune to be situated close to one of the most powerful capitalist powers in the world. In fact for a century the most powerful. I am talking about British capitalism and then British imperialism. The result was that Irish capitalism was not able to develop as a healthy and strong entity. It could not carry out its tasks. (See Trotsky on the Theory of the Permanent Revolution). But events transpired that led again and again to uprisings and struggles of sections of the Irish masses. In the 1916/1920 period this led to a truncated form of independence for the 26 counties. The struggle that had led to this was fought by Irish workers, small farmers and intellectuals. Irish capitalism was missing in action. As the struggle developed and negotiations to end the struggle developed the attitude of the capitalist class was summed up in the phrase: "Labor must wait." To their shame the labor leaders adopted this position and sabotaged the workers movement. The result was that Irish capitalism in spite of its role came to preside over the new 26 county state. However in doing so it was in a very weak and vulnerable position. It needed allies. The result was it reached out to the Catholic church and made a deal. This deal was that Irish capitalism would have its way with the economy and the Catholic church would run the schools, the hospitals, be allowed to "discipline" the youth, and decide on all the moral issues. It would also get the state declared a Catholic state. This fueled the fires of Loyalism in the North but that is another story.