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|From: Irish Political Review: Editorials|
|Date: September, 2018|
Nation States And Ideologies Ireland; Syria; Palestine
It is possible that Sinn Fein will be in the next Government. It has been widely characterised over the past few decades by people in authority as a Fascist party.
In England Dame Margaret Hodge, an upper-class ultra-Leftist for forty years, has discovered that she is a Jew. And she has come to realise that her close political colleague over most of that period, Jeremy Corbyn, is a racist anti-Semite. And, as it is quite possible that the Labour Party will win the next British General Election, she says that she now knows how Jews felt in Germany in 1933 as Hitler was taking over.
Northern Ireland is now a quiet backwater amidst all these excitements. It has no Government to bother its head—only the Government of the state, in whose electoral affairs it is not allowed to play any part.
A year from now the United Kingdom will either be out of the European Union or it won't. And there will either be an economic border between the Six County region of the United Kingdom and the 26 County region of the EU, or there won't. And the Dublin Government will have to relate to Britain as a foreign state, for the first time since its moral collapse of 1970, or it won't
All of these things will be decided within a minority party in the Westminster Parliament, and by the relations of that party with the European Commission.
Sinn Fein is where it is because it is the political party of the War that was fought between the Nationalist community in the North and the Whitehall Government. That War ended twenty years ago. Since the terms of settlement did not include the ending of Partition, we can assume that the purpose of the War was not the ending of Partition.
What fuelled Nationalist energy in the War was the humiliating position in which the Nationalist community was placed in the completely spurious democracy devised by Whitehall in 1920 for the Six County region of its state. The 1998 Agreement swept away that bogus democracy and established in its place an authentic apartheid system with two electorates and two separate groups of devolved Ministers. That arrangement has not led to 'reconciliation' between the two communities because that was not its purpose. Its purpose, as carefully arranged in its structures, was to equalise the terms of the conflict between the two communities. That conflict is taken to be a constant of the Six County situation in its exclusion from the political life of the state that holds them.
The 'Peace Process' achieved peace by giving structured expression to the conflict, thus consolidating it as permanent. All the other peace processes—and there were many—were a waste of breath because they did not face the basic fact of the conflict of nationalities.
Sinn Fein, having made its settlement in the North, set about establishing itself also in the South. Its main point of attraction in the South was that it was the party of the War in the North. This was a piece of reality that stood out amidst the waffle that is always a great part of the discourse of Constitutional democracy. The waffle of the Southern democracy was especially empty because of its refusal to acknowledge Northern realities while maintaining the sovereignty claim.
Sinn Fein was successful in the first instance by almost not having policies. It then put itself at the head of the movement that was breaking up traditional culture—culminating in he abolition of marriage as a social institution designed for reproduction.
It did well with this approach. It was put to it, by rivals, that it would do even better if it disconnected itself from its Northern source and appointed a leadership that had played no part in the North. It has done this. and it now seems to be adrift without a compass or a destination.
It offers to throw the Republic into the melting pot and to rejoin the British Commonwealth because, after all, what did independence lead to but homophobia, paedophilia, misogyny, priestcraft, poverty, etc.
It was necessary for the Northern element, which was fighting the War, to assert itself against Rory O'Brady in order to make a Northern settlement. But Southern Sinn Fein, minus the Northern War and minus the O'Brady Republican spirit, now appears to be threadbare.
The original Sinn Fein movement was founded on a denial of the possibility of cosmopolitan human existence. Arthur Griffith's founding principle was— "Between the Individual and Humanity stands, and must continue to stand, a great fact—the Nation".
The history of the world since 1905 has not proved Griffith wrong. And statements condemning nationalism usually turn out to be condemnations of one nationalism in the interest of another. In Ireland anti-nationalism has the practical meaning of Anglophilia.
Where effective national existence is denied to a populace, the probability is that a sub-national element will take its place—a kind of spontaneous racism. and we are warned that racism is on the increase in Europe.
In the Middle East what has taken the place of nationalism since Europe and the USA began destroying the national states there about thirty years ago is religious fundamentalism.
An effective national state was constructed by the Baath regime from the miscellaneous elements of population in the region of the British Empire called Iraq. Effective Iraqi nationalism held the Iranian revolution in check during the 1980s. In 1990 the US gave Iraq permission to intervene in the glorified British fiefdom of Kuwait, which had been stealing its oil while it was engaged in the war with Iran. Margaret Thatcher insisted that this was a breach of sovereignty that must be punished. The US fell into line. The Iraqi Army was easily driven out of Kuwait and was slaughtered by the unchallenged US/UK air power chicken shoot during its retreat.
The US/UK then called on the Iraqi populace to rise up and overthrow the "regime", which is another name for the State. The populace did not respond. US/UK, with UN approval, then subjected Iraq to a dozen years of severe sanctions, and regular bombing designed to destroy the infrastructure of urban life. When the regime still held secure, the US/UK decided to overthow the regime itself. It invaded and called on the elements oppressed by the regime to assert themselves and take over. The oppressed elements were elements of religious fundamentalism, which had been in decline until then.
The US/UK intervention, legitimised after the event by the UN, brought about a chaos of religious conflict in the space called Iraq: a kind of civil war which could have have led to political stability out of its own conflict only by the triumph of 'Islamic State'. But the Powers that had destroyed the secular, liberal national state would not have that‚ and they set about concocting makeshifts that gave a better appearance but had no substance. The quantity of political killing has declined greatly since 2006, but remains far greater than it was before the invasion.
When Iraq settled down to a level of violence that was acceptable to the sensitivity of the Powers that had destroyed the national state, these Powers decided to do a job on Syria—which was a separate state from Iraq because, when Britain conquered Mesopotamia in its Great War, France, its necessary Ally, insisted on having a piece of it.
Syria was a liberal, secular national state, as Iraq had been, but, like Iraq, it was not a formal democracy, with the kind of consensual system of party conflict, less than half in earnest, that makes democracy possible. An agitation was launched against "the Assad regime". It was made up of weak liberal, secular elements demanding formal democracy, and substantial and purposeful Islamist forces spreading over from Iraq.
US/UK pretended that what was at issue was the formal democratisation of the liberal secular national regime and, on that basis, they withdrew recognition from "the Assad regime", recognised one of the flimsy democratic groups as the legitimate authority, and fuelled the actual Islamist assault on 'the regime' with great quantities of 'non-humanitarian aid'.
US/UK would probably have made Syria a replica of Iraq but for the fact that a new Power had arisen in the world, and did not see it as being in its interest that the Syrian nation-state should be destroyed. Communist Russia ceased to be in the early 1990s when the decision was taken to destroy Iraq. For more than a decade, Russia was no more than a geographical expression But, when the moment came for US/UK to do a job on Syria, Russia had become a competent capitalist state, able to calculate its interests. It entered an alliance with "the Assad regime", and countered the wrecking influence of "the Free World"—a term which came back into use when Russia made the transition from Communism to Capitalism.
The "Assad regime" never ceased to be the legitimate Government of the Syrian nation-state according to the United Nations. It has now restored its effective authority over the territory of the state, except for a small corner into which both the good terrorists and the bad terrorists have now retreated. US/UK etc. are now faced with the prospect of betraying the seditious groups that they recognised as the legitimate authority in Syria seven years ago, and restoring civilised relations with the Assad regime which they have been demonising.
And the British Government has the problem of what to do with British Muslims who went to Syria under its encouragement to fight the good fight against the Assad regime as part of the only force that could possibly have overthrown the regime: Islamic State, under one name or another.
Anti-Semitism is in the news because the Jews, insofar as they constitute nation, are engaged in the conquest of another people and, in the colonial settlement of the territory of the conquered people, and because the people they are conquering do not like them, and will not submit quietly to them.
To engage in action against Jews is anti-Semitic, regardless of the circumstances in which that action is being undertaken. Palestinians offer as much resistance as they are able to Jewish conquest and colonisation, and that is anti-Semitic. And Jeremy Corbyn—who may be the next Prime Minister of the state which started it all by awarding Palestine to the Jews as a territory for conquest and colonisation—expresses sympathy with the Palestinians as victims of Jewish conquest, and that is anti-Semitic. And it is even anti-Semitic to describe the foundation of the Jewish State, in realistic historical terms, as an act of conquest and colonisation.
The Jewish state had its practical origin in an act of British Imperial policy in 1917, whose purpose was to detach Jewry from Germany and attach them to the British Empire. Britain was destroying the Ottoman Empire (within which the Middle East was a region of profound peace and tolerance) and it decided to make Palestine the site of Jewish political colonisation. Palestinian resistance was put down by British policing in the first instance and, when it outgrew the resources of policing in the late 1930s, by the British Army.
In 1945 a Labour Government was elected in Britain, and a grass-roots Labour man—not a Fabian—became Foreign Secretary: Ernest Bevin. Bevin was a pioneer of the anti-Fascist movement in Britain. He did not see the establishment of a colonialist Jewish State on a non-Jewish population as being in accordance with the principles of the Anti-Fascist War in which he had played a prominent part. He put the project on 'hold' while searching for an alternative. He was denounced as an Anti-Semite.
An all-out terrorist war on the British administration in Palestine was launched, waged largely by an influx of Jews from Russia, supplied with arms from Russia by way of Czechoslovakia. Britain submitted to this terrorism, using the United Nations General Assembly as a face-saver. It would not act on its own authority, or even let the matter be decided by the Security Council. Its concern was to be able to plead innocence to all the Middle Eastern countries with which it needed to maintain good relations. If the matter had gone to the Security Council, Britain, with its Veto, would still have been responsible for a decision to establish a Jewish State. So the issue was referred to the General Assembly—the only major decision it was ever allowed to take—and the Soviet Union and the United States, on the eve of their Cold War, whipped their client states into line and got a majority for the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine.
But the Jewish colonisation, thirty years after the Balfour Declaration, was still inadequate for the maintenance of a Jewish State The problem was solved by a campaign of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population, and by increased immigration.
Objective description of that piece of history is what the "self-definition" of anti-Semitism by a Zionist group now brands as anti-Semitic.
It is remarkable that the name of Ernest Bevin has not been mentioned in the current British Labour furore. Was he not the founder in the Labour Party of what is now called anti-Semitism? Was he not denounced at the time as an anti-Semite? Was there not an attempt to murder him as an anti-Semite? And he was not even a Corbynite, but a rock-solid Labourite anti-Communist.
His problem was that he was of pre-1917 vintage, when it was anti-Semitic to say that Judaism was not a nation but was merely a religion. Bevin, as a Trade Union boss, stamped on anti-Semitism whenever he saw it. Judaism was a religion for him, just like any other. Jews in Britain were British, just as Catholics were, and Baptists, and Presbyterians, and he would stand for no nonsense about them being something else. In 1945, therefore, he saw it as absurd that a Jewish State, a theocracy, should be launched in the modern, liberal, secular world by British power.
But now he was an anti-Semite for the very reason that made him an opponent of anti-Semitism in the past. He denied the separate nationality of Judaism. He fell foul of the reversal of the meaning of anti-Semitism, which had become a very tricky thing.
Nation States And Ideologies. Ireland; Syria; Palestine. Editorial
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