By Kieran Allen
The Easter emerging of 1916, during which simply over 1000 Irish rebels seized key destinations in Dublin and proclaimed the independence of the Irish Republic earlier than being brutally suppressed by way of the greatly better and better-equipped British military, is an occasion whose that means is still contested to today. For a few it represents a blood sacrifice with out the hope—or even the intention—of luck. For others, it was once the 1st act in a tumultuous political drama performed out in Dublin streets and London cupboard rooms that ended in the eventual formation of an self sustaining Irish state.
In 1916, Kieran Allen argues that this pivotal second in Irish historical past has been obscured by way of those that see it in simple terms as a prelude for a conflict of independence. Emphasizing a frequently overlooked social and political radicalism on the center of the uprising, he indicates that it gave delivery to a innovative culture that maintains to hang-out the Irish elite. Socialist aspirations combined, and occasionally clashed, with the republican present, yet either have been beaten in a counterrevolution that observed the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921. the end result at the present time is a partitioned eire that acts as a neoliberal tax haven for multinational corporations—a situation rather alien to either Connolly’s and Pearse’s vision.
released to coincide with the Rising’s centennial, 1916: Ireland’s innovative Tradition re-establishes the political position of socialist republican figures, bargains a hugely available heritage of the Easter emerging, and explores the militancy and radicalism that keeps to hang-out the Irish elite 100 years later.
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Extra info for 1916: Ireland's Revolutionary Tradition
3 A few hundred brave men and a few women are supposed to have marched into the GPO, knowing that they were going to their deaths. Their sacrifice was thought to have awakened the Irish nation from its slumbers and let flow its vital energies. This ‘blood sacrifice’ theory was unashamedly trumpeted during the 1966 commemoration. Small wonder then that the state’s elite were worried when the myth they had fostered could be turned against them. However, the ‘blood sacrifice’ image of the Rising was itself an entirely artificial creation.
At the time, the Marxist movement was organised through the Second International, a grouping of different socialist parties mainly in Europe. Formally, the Second International adhered to Marx’s analysis of capitalism but the seeds of a more reformist approach were growing within it. Its outlook was also quite deter- 50 • 1916 ministic, believing that changes in the economic base of society made socialism inevitable. Socialist practice was, therefore, primarily about propaganda and preparation for elections rather than instigating militant working-class action.
Socialist practice was, therefore, primarily about propaganda and preparation for elections rather than instigating militant working-class action. Connolly was an adherent of some of this theoretical framework but he was a rebel who stood on the left of this tradition. He opposed the participation of the French socialist, Alexandre Millerand, in a coalition government with right-wing forces. He also took a more revolutionary attitude towards parliamentary democracy arguing: The democracy of Parliament is in short the democracy of capitalism.
1916: Ireland's Revolutionary Tradition by Kieran Allen