Communism in Ireland
Date:October 1977
Organisation: British and Irish Communist Organisation
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Subjects: Communist Party of Ireland

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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

31st July 2017

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

This is an interesting addition to the collection of publications from BICO in the Left Archive. Sixteen pages long, it provides an overview of the history of the Communist Party of Ireland from the perspective of the British and Irish Communist Organisation.

It is reasonable to argue that this perspective is deeply critical. Some flavour of this is evident from the opening words of the introduction:

The Communist Party of Ireland has constantly placed itself in a rearguard position, fighting at every stage of the development of Irish society to prevent the society form abandoning ideals which it was outgrowing…

The effect of this ideology has been to shackle the small section of the Irish working class that fell under community influence to the reactionary and unreliable ideals of national self-sufficiency, ‘national’ unification and defence of the small producer. Basically the CPI has been powerless to retard social development. Realising its impotence the CPI has sought alliances in strange quarters. These have included the republican movement and the most reactionary sections of the Catholic Church.

The remainder of the work is divided into various chapters addressing the development of the CPI.

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  • By: NollaigO Mon, 31 Jul 2017 08:52:06

    As always with BICO publications much of interest here e.g. their description of the emigre Irish left in London; the highlighting of the CPI claim that the ” The Irish Industrial Revolution” was pro Common Market (The first remainers?)
    I would suggest that the document was written in the late 1970s rather than c1974

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  • By: Aonrud ⚘ Mon, 31 Jul 2017 09:40:09

    In reply to NollaigO.

    The imprint after the introduction puts it from October 1977. Thanks for pointing that out – I’ve updated it on the archive site.

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  • By: NollaigO Tue, 01 Aug 2017 17:00:16

    I wish some of the bloggers who have shared this document had acknowledged the CLR.
    The reference in my above post to the emigre Irish left in London was to London in the 1960s.

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Tue, 01 Aug 2017 17:36:15

    In reply to NollaigO.

    Thanks NollaigO!

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  • By: Geraldus Galwensis Tue, 01 Aug 2017 23:56:55

    B&ICO and its publishing offshoots for more than 50 years have been prodigious in output. One thinks of Athol Books, the Aubane history society, Irish Political Review, Church & State, Irish Foreign Affairs, and the Heidegger Review. Authors in different decades hae taken contrary attitudes towards Irish nationalism, Catholic social thought, Fianna Fail, the GAA, the provos, the British Labour Party, Gaelic culture and a range of other cultural and political matters. One wonders how many core members these organizations/publishing enterprises have had at varying times. 50? 30? 15? or less than ten?

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Wed, 02 Aug 2017 08:24:01

    In reply to Geraldus Galwensis.

    In all seriousness I’ve assumed over the years that you’ve some connection to them. I do agree that it’s a remarkable output for a group that can’t be very large.

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  • By: Geraldus Galwensis Wed, 02 Aug 2017 10:46:14

    In reply to WorldbyStorm.

    Not Guilty m’lud! And it’s no crime to be a small group with a remarkable output. I envy their mental energy, while wondering what they represent.

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