British and Irish Communist Organisation Literature List
Date:September 1973
Organisation:British and Irish Communist Organisation
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

7th May 2018

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive. It is a two page list of literature from British & Irish Communist Organisation. The list consists of books and publications including policy statements, ones on Ireland, economics and revisionism and those ‘by Stalin’. As can be imagined many of them are titles that would be very useful to have in the Archive.

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British and Irish Communist Organisation in the archive


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  • By: nollaigoj Wed, 09 May 2018 07:50:55

    The above list mentions a document, Was Connolly a Bourgeois Intellectual?: a reply to J. Hoffman
    J.A Hoffman was a London based marxist who had in 1970 written a very interesting document, The Irish Question: Connolly, the I.C.O. and the Irish Bourgeoisie , which gained much interest at the time. During the course of his polemic with the ICO he casts a critical eye on Connolly’s Labour in Irish History and asserted that Connolly wrongly glorified pre capitalist Ireland.
    This document is available in The National Library: http://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000276700

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Wed, 09 May 2018 17:31:14

    Now that’s a document I’d like to see!

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  • By: Gerryboy Wed, 09 May 2018 18:59:35

    If Connolly ‘glorified’ pre-capitalist Ireland it was because he understood the depth of nationalist feeling among all sections of the Irish people in the early 20th century. He pragmatically worked within the cultural climate of the times. That is why in ‘Labour, Nationality and Religion’ he tried to trace elements of primitive socialism in the lives and thoughts of some Celtic saints i.e. he wanted to show that modern socialism was not incompatible with the religious traditions of Catholic Ireland, thus contradicting papal and episcopal teaching on the topic. He was the first socialist writer to assert that the national question and the labour question were intertwined, his famous utterance being: “The cause of Ireland is the cause of labour: the cause of Labour is the cause of Ireland.” [Half of the quote is inscribed on Connolly’s statue opposite Liberty Hall.]
    In the late 20th century, the Vietnamese defeated French and US imperialism because they were motivated by nationalism more than by marxism.
    ICO-BICO-Aubane have churned out an amazing heap of political literature from the 1960s up to the present. They have made a lot of people think, even if most of those people have moved on to other modes of thought.

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  • By: Aonrud ⚘ Wed, 09 May 2018 20:20:54

    I was looking recently at the list of organisations/publishing imprints associated with BICO, and it’s quite a list.

    There’s these in the archive:

    * British and Irish Communist Organisation
    * Northwest Labour Publications
    * Athol Books
    * Aubane Historical Society
    * Workers’ Association

    But there are also these:

    * Belfast Historical and Educational Association
    * Institute for Representative Government in Northern Ireland
    * The Ingram Society
    * Ernest Bevin Society

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Wed, 09 May 2018 20:33:39

    How many were involved in the Institute one has to wonder…

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  • By: Starkadder Wed, 09 May 2018 22:04:17

    “ICO-BICO-Aubane have churned out an amazing heap of political literature from the 1960s up to the present. They have made a lot of people think, even if most of those people have moved on to other modes of thought.”

    Hmm. Let’s see what “Modes of thought” are expressed in the April issue of the Athol Books publication “Irish Political Review”. It has a essay “Es Ahora”, by someone called Julianne Herlihy. Discussing the menaccused of abuse by the #MeToo and #Timesup movements, Herlihy says:

    Most have fled to clinics-Harvey Weinstein is in one in some American states as is Kevin Spacey, others have gone underground and into hiding if they haven’t the funds availible like Weinstein for
    top clinces. There is such fear that there can be no doubt that we are witnessing a totalitarian society emerge.

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  • By: EWI Wed, 09 May 2018 22:05:22

    He was the first socialist writer to assert that the national question and the labour question were intertwined, his famous utterance being: “The cause of Ireland is the cause of labour: the cause of Labour is the cause of Ireland.” [Half of the quote is inscribed on Connolly’s statue opposite Liberty Hall.]

    Along with SIPTU enthusiastically taking a wrecking ball to the original Liberty Hall of Connolly’s ITGWU and Citizen Army, that unintentionally says a lot.

    At tonight’s first night of the Connolly 150 festival in town, there was strong pushback from the panel on the naive notion that Connolly ‘abandoned’ socialism. This accusation most often from people who inevitably can find no fault with British socialism’s embrace of the Great War, or of said ‘comrades’ being wholly in favour of recruitment and then conscription of the Irish working-class into the British war effort.

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  • By: Gerryboy Wed, 09 May 2018 23:13:18

    Not many, I’d guess. A hard core of active writers/theoreticians seems to have hung in there through fluctuating political times. They attracted curious individuals to their meetings and got them to read their publications. Their Two Nations campaign attracted some and repelled others. They have at times been cold then warm about Irish nationalism. In recent years they cultivated interest from Fianna Fail supporters! Aonrud above lists several organisations, publications and publishing enterprises – all established and promoted by a hard core, some of them aimed at thinking unionists, labour activists or disillusioned republicans. Mary Burke-Robinson in her early student days is supposed to have read some of their stuff. In the past few years they have founded The Heidegger Review, for philosophy buffs. I’ve picked up samples of their publications in Books Upstairs from time to time. (I am not connected with them, honest.)

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  • By: Peadar Thu, 10 May 2018 07:10:48

    Cork City Library is a great source for this material, and some of the staff there are quite knowledgeable and helpful.

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  • By: nollaigoj Thu, 10 May 2018 11:34:50

    You’re nearer to The National Library than I am, WbS!
    Interestingly Hoffman’s document is in the Mike Malotte collection.

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  • By: Mike Atkinson Fri, 11 May 2018 16:17:45

    “Mary Burke-Robinson in her early student days is supposed to have read some of their stuff.”

    So did David Trimble, according to the Dean Godson biography. There’s a persistent rumour that Trimble kept a full set of BICO/WA pamphlets in his house.

    Also, if Mrs. Herlihy wants to talk about “such fear”, she should discuss the 80 + women who say that the ratbag threatened, sexually harassed and raped them.

    http://www.newsweek.com/harvey-weinstein-accusers-sexual-assault-harassment-696485

    Also, the 15 people who say Spacey harassed and assaulted them.

    http://www.newsweek.com/harvey-weinstein-accusers-sexual-assault-harassment-696485

    Talk about the IPR puching down, eh?

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  • By: Starkadder Sat, 12 May 2018 12:05:29

    “Cork City Library is a great source for this material, and some of the staff there are quite knowledgeable and helpful.”

    I believe there are also a number of Athol Books publications in the
    Boole Library at UCC.

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