The experience of all ages and nations demonstrates that the work done by slaves, though it may appear to cost only their maintenance, is in the end the dearest of any ... [The slave] can have no other interest but to eat as much and to labor as little as possible. Whatever work he does beyond what is sufficient to purchase his own maintenance can be squeezed out of him by violence only, and not by any interest of his own. (Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations)
I propose to give an account of what I saw while in Spain, and of the further developments since my return. The work of economic reconstruction commenced immediately after the various barracks and buildings occupied by the fascists had been retaken by the armed workers, and it is being carried on parallel with the military activities against fascism. There was no question of patching up the capitalist framework — it was realised by the workers at the very outset that capitalism had failed in every respect and that a new social order would have to be established.
The we!l-known author Tim Pat Coogan once remarked that Irish history has the only example of Communists and bourgeois nationalists joining together against imperialism in which it was the Communists who were gobbled up.
He was referring to the 1916 Rising and to what happened afterwards to the hundreds of socialist workersÑmembers of the trade union militia, the Irish Citizen ArmyÑwho took part in it together with the secretary of the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, James Connol!Y, the military leader of the rismg.
The spectacle of Steve Nally and Tommy Sheridan, the Militant leaders of the Anti-Poll-Tax Federation, on television promising to "go public and name names" of anti-poll-tax rioters in Trafalgar Square - that is, to turn their names over to the police - reminded me of the time a few years ago when I began to feel something like warmth for Militant, and how short-lived that was.
History records no greater crime than that of the Stalinist regime in its treatment of the victims in the concentration camps. Hitler's methods were not original. They ran parallel with, if they were not mere copies of those utilized by Stalin. If Hitler sent millions of people, primarily the Jews, into the gas chambers, the Russian camps have crushed, dehumanised and done to death more victims than all other concentration camps combined. For a time the war brought a decrease in the slave labor population of the lagers, as Stalin's hell-holes are called.
Last Sunday I made Thomas, my 12
year old son, the excuse for watching
Inherit the Wind once again, on TV.
Made in 1960, this is a fine movie about the
1925 "Monkey Trial", in America, when a young
school teacher was charged, at the instigation
of Christian fundamentalists, with teaching
Darwin's theory of evolution; and he was
Ireland is one of the most important issues facing the British labour movement. For a quarter of a century the Six Counties of north-east Ulster have been in a state of latent, and sometimes open, civil war.
In all this time, the left in Britain has been able to do nothing to help our working-class brothers and sisters, the majority of the people in both the Catholic and the Protestant communities, find a way out of the bloody cul-de-sac into which sectarianism, the conflict of national identities and an irrational partition have forced them.