Happy St. Patrick’s Day from James Connolly

March 17, 2010 at 12:27 pm (Uncategorized)

Always liked this quotation from James Connolly.

If you remove the English army to-morrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organisation of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain.

England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.

England would still rule you to your ruin, even while your lips offered hypocritical homage at the shrine of that Freedom whose cause you had betrayed.


“Socialism and NationalismShan Van Vocht, January 1897

Now, if you want to write and say that this is not what Connolly actually believed, or that he changed his mind, go ahead, but it doesn’t take away from the idea here.


  1. Schalken said,

    I don’t know much about Connelly, but it seems a damn shame that he threw his life away in some nationalist putsch one year before Red October.

  2. fischerzed said,

    James Connolly was an important socialist leader in Ireland and the US. At his execution he was no more than a day or two from death anyway. He couldn’t stand, so the british tied him to a chair to execute him.

    I’m no expert on Connolly either, but his final actions seem a puzzle to me too. In the quotation I used, Connolly clearly saw that a green Ireland would provide no solution to the Irish working class, but he allowed himself to be part of the Easter rising which he admitted had no chance to success. Worse, he downplayed any socialist content.

    Whether or not it was a putsch, I’ll leave aside. Karl Radek certainly thought it was, and was
    savaged by Lenin for it. Lenin however, was a supporter of the utopian right of nations to self-determination, so perhaps that’s a factor. Of course, the events of November 1917 might have produced a much different outcome in Ireland nad the UK too.

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