Connolly and 1916
1916 was premature. read of the July days in Russia.
Sean Throne Anybody seriously considering whether or not the 1916 rising was premature should read about the July days in Russia. There large sections of the working class wanted to rise but the Bolsheviks seeing the broader masses were not at that stage held them back. In Ireland it was absolutely clear that not only were the broader masses not pushing for a rising in 1916 but even the most advanced section in the Citizens army had to be pushed into the rising by Connolly. He knew he was wrong. He told them to hold onto their arms as they might need to use them against those they were fighting alongside later. I have the greatest admiration for Connolly. But it is to do him the greatest disservice not to see his weaknesses, his mistakes as well as his positive contribution. If this issue had been widely discussed and the conclusion that I draw been drawn maybe the catastrophe of the past 40 years in the North and the wasting of a generation could have been avoided. Instead events enraged thousands of Catholic workers and youth and the Republican movement both wings drew them in and launched their offensive wars. The Officials called their campaign off sooner than the Provos but in principle there was no difference. If the correct conclusion had been drawn about 1916 it could have been explained to the angry youth that the lesson of 1916 was its premature nature, its lack of a revolutionary socialist program, its ignoring of the attitude of the Protestant working class and instead of launching an offensive military campaign what was necessary was to draw the lessons, build a mass revolutionary united working class movement, spread this North and South and to Britain and prepare for when the crisis of capitalism would make ripe the consciousness of the advanced workers and wider layers of workers for revolution. This is what I did and what the then Militant did. Sean O'Torain.
Like · Reply · Just now