James Connolly

Why public ownership?

Labour has pledged to bring energy, rail, water, and mail into public ownership and to “put democratic management at the heart of how those industries are run”. These are some reasons for doing this: • Those industries are central to economic life. To make a real socialist Green New Deal, to reshape economic life to cut carbon emissions adequately, requires public control of those industries rather than just nudging and coaxing their private owners. • They are, to one degree, or another, monopolies or semi-monopolies. Private-profit companies running such industries acquire big chances to make...

“He was also for something. He was for socialism”

Shaun Harkin has produced a timely and useful addition to the profuse and growing literature on James Connolly, the Irish revolutionary Marxist and socialist republican leader. Published in May 2018 to mark the 150th anniversary of Connolly’s birth in dire poverty to working-class Irish parents in Edinburgh, the book begins with a long introduction by Harkin, which sets out the context in which Connolly operated, how his politics were shaped by both his lifelong attachment to his class and his serious commitment to Marxist ideas. Harkin highlights how Connolly, as a ceaseless fighter against...

James Connolly: An Spailpin Fanach

An Spailpin Fanach (Phrases in italics are James Connolly's) Young nightsoil man who shovels human shit Left in the streets for such as you to lift, Half-starved Hiberno-Scot untouchable Who sign yourself in print 'R. Ascal', Here in the crumbling 'Labour Chronicle' Of Edinburgh and Leith, I find your tracks: A young man's anger stains the page like blood; A thoughtful, humorous, loving, bitter man, In hasty, driven, sometimes muddled work, Still rages, jokes, is fervent: - Hope, and fight! A full free happy life for all, or none! Rage, for a father's useless, broken bones, For childhood in a...

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