Socialist Republic, No. 1
Date:1975
Organisation:Revolutionary Marxist Group
Publication:Socialist Republic
Issue:Number 1
Contributors:Joe Harrington, James Gallagher
Collection:Abortion and reproductive rights
View: View Document
Discuss:Comments on this document
Subjects: Irish Women United SDLP

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

16th July 2012

Many thanks to Jim Monaghan for donating this to the Archive.

As noted previously the Revolutionary Marxist Group was a Trotskyist group in Ireland in the 1970s. With members drawn from an array of groups including the League for a Workers Republic and the Young Socialists it coalesced with similarly minded grouping in Belfast in 1972 to form the RMG. As the wiki page notes  the RMG ‘rejected the Éire Nua plan’ put forward by PSF at that time. It later became the Movement for a Socialist Republic and later merged with People’s Democracy. And tellingly the title Socialist Republic was later adopted by People’s Democracy in the late 1970s.

This document, issue number 1 of Socialist Republic, paper of the Revolutionary Marxist Group, is a 12 page magazine format production. As noted on the second page

During 1974 we succeeded in stabilising production of THE PLOUGH as a monthly. We improved our coverage of all fields of revolutionary struggle, and in particular our analysis of the strategy of British imperialism and the tasks freaking revolutionaries in Ireland.

Although THE PLOUGH became better known and gained a wider readership, we have for some time felt that the name had little resonance in the working class. Also, the rise in paper and printing costs meant either raising the price or adopting a new format for the paper.

The contents is varied encompassing news on union organisation against redundancies in Limerick, an analysis of Loyalist assassinations in Belfast - which argues that this is a precursor to a loyalist take-over, reflection on the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill in the South and a critical piece on the role of the Catholic Church in Northern Ireland entitled ‘Shepherd versus Flock’.

The centre page article argues that the SDLP has capitulated to Loyalism.

It notes:

The SDLP has accepted that the Northern Ireland Convention will lead to the re-establishment of a loyalist dominated administration in the North. This has forced the party on to a course of intensified capitulation to Loyalism.

The dilemma of the northern catholic middle class is reflected in the strains and tensions within and around the SDLP… …The crisis facing catholic middle class politicians in the North springs from the strength of Loyalism as expressed both in electoral and mass action forms which have sent the North on to a path to the restoration of the loyalist forces as the policeman for Britain in the six counties.

And it concludes:

The nature of any formations emerging from the middle-class political re-alignment re-emphasise that there can be no alternative to working class leadership to carry forward the struggle against Imperialism and the restoration of loyalist supremacy. This perspectives highlights a number of tasks of rthe revolutionary movement. The strategy of the SDLP must be combatted and the trend towards fragmentation aided. There must be no credibility given to illusions that cooperation with loyalist organisations can in anyway benefit the anti-unionist working class.

Also included on page 8 are a programme of demands. These include:

Self-determination for Ireland For the abolition of partition. For the separation of Church and State. Against all forms of wage restraint. No unemployment. No redundancies. For the Independence of the Trade Union movement.

Notable also is the strong emphasis on rights of access to contraception and publicity for ‘ad hoc grouping’ Irish Women United whose charter included ‘women and the law, the right to control one’s own body, the family, women in education, the needs of working women and the idea of special women’s centres’. Part of the ultimate goal of IWU was to build towards a new women’s movement in Ireland. Also worth noting is the article on a meeting in Birmingham where ‘a representative’ of the RMG extended ‘revolutionary greetings…to those fighting for free abortion on demand in Britain’.

Perhaps surprisingly the only reference to the situation outside of Ireland and Britain is a piece on the ‘death of Francoism’.

Other documents in the Archive from the RMG include The Prospects Before Us and Marxist Review and we have quite a number of other documents scanned and ready to post up.

More from Socialist Republic

Socialist Republic in the archive


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  • By: Starkadder Tue, 17 Jul 2012 17:37:36

    The RMG used to carry out several public protests in Ireland
    against the Pinochet regime in Chile. Also IIRC, several contributors
    to RMG publications used to use pseudonyms (I remember
    one called “Uther Pendragon”).

    Reply on the CLR

  • By: The Weekly Archive Worker: La Révolution prolétarienne « Entdinglichung Thu, 19 Jul 2012 08:37:18

    […] * Socialist Republic (incorporating The Plough), Paper of the Revolutionary Marxist Group No. 1 c.1975 […]

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  • By: Starkadder Thu, 19 Jul 2012 17:39:03

    General info for the Irish Left History: in the late 1960s
    Phil Meyler (later Phil Mailer, best known for his
    book on Portugal) and some associates
    published a Situationist -influenced Irish magazine called
    “The Gurriers”, which ran into serious
    trouble with the Gardai.
    I can remember “The Gurriers” getting
    mentioned in either the IT or the Irish Press at the time.
    The Revolt Against Plenty website has a reproduction
    of “The Gurriers” here:

    http://www.revoltagainstplenty.com/index.php/archive/34-archivelocal/41-lost-ones-around-king-mob.html

    Some quotes:

    Irish society is founded on all the failed revolutions of the past. From the first murmurings against the plantations right up to the present the might of tyranny has succeeded against the will of the people; or where the masters were ousted, tyranny merely changed hands. The revolutions of 1798, 1803, 1867, 1916, never succeeded in ridding themselves of the ideologies of nationalism and religion. The critique was always partial, and where this critique dominated the struggle, the struggle itself was falsified. It was never that people taking up arms and attempting to rid themselves of their masters was false; but that the motivations and ideologies which their masters imposed on them falsified the end-product…

    When the workers in Cleeve’s factory in Limerick in May 1920 declared a soviet, when the miners in Arigna, Leitrim, followed suite, when the workers in Bruree, Limerick took control of the mills, they had grasped a critique of their own everyday lives that was well in advance of their ‘Leaders’ or their Unions. The result showed their leaders once and for all to be on the side of power.

    In its history Ireland has produced an incomparable number of exiles. Oscar Wilde whose ‘Soul of man under Socialism’ went way ahead of anything else in its time in its treatment of the creativity that lies in every man looking for a way of releasing it, gave only a partial critique. He remained committed to the spectator’s art without realising, in his own words, that this remedy was part of the disease. He remained aloof over the spectator. Like Yeats, whose heart, sick with desire, awaited the Second Coming, when ‘things fall apart, the centre cannot hold/mere anarchy is loosed upon the world’. Yet both did little to achieve that poetry in the world of everyday living.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Thu, 19 Jul 2012 17:59:31

    Brilliant information. Did you say you can remember that magazine?

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  • By: Mark P Thu, 19 Jul 2012 18:33:12

    I wonder if there are any copies of it in TCD, the National Library, the Linenhall Library etc?

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  • By: Starkadder Thu, 19 Jul 2012 19:05:45

    “Brilliant information. Did you say you can remember
    that magazine?”

    Long before my time, but I remember going through old
    newspaper articles about Irish student politics and “Gurriers” was mentioned. Seems to have been completely forgotten about
    until the Revolt Against Plenty crown mentioned it
    in their website.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Thu, 19 Jul 2012 20:38:26

    Interesting. Had a quick look at the NL. Nothing on the online database though that’s not necessarily conclusive.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Thu, 19 Jul 2012 20:38:45

    I was thinking, I was having to radically revise my sense of your age!

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  • By: irishelectionliterature Wed, 05 Sep 2012 11:03:45

    A few covers of other copies of “Socialist Republic”
    http://ephemerajpp.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/socialista-republic/#

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  • By: anarchaeologist Wed, 05 Sep 2012 12:27:18

    I remember looking for this in Trinity a few years ago and coming up with nothing. It’s not on their on -line catalogue.

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  • By: pictures of drugs Wed, 05 Sep 2012 13:47:42

    You are so awesome! I don’t believe I’ve read anything like this before.
    So nice to discover another person with a few genuine thoughts on this subject.
    Really.. thanks for starting this up. This site is something
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