Where previously the church was an almost unquestioned authority on moral issues in Ireland, now the positions many Irish people hold on social issues are in direct conflict with the church. The most recent example of this were the abortion referenda held on November 26th, 1992.
Sorting out the vote
It is hard to analyse the most important result from the Referendum, namely the 'substantive issue' or the Abortion Referendum. The Referenda on Travel and Information prove that the 'No, No, No' lobby failed by a decisive amount.
Where were the vanguard?
The Irish Left is very small. However history has shown that it is possible to have influence far out of proportion to your numbers. So what strategy did these highly organised groups committed to fighting for womens' liberation adopt.
"Liberal Interventionism" is the new buzzword for 1993. In every newspaper they are baying for blood. "US intervene in Bosnia", "America sort out Somalia" scream the headlines. People who might have questioned American intervention in Nicaragua, Panama or the Middle East are raging that the marines didn't go into Somalia sooner.
The war in what was Yugoslavia continues to drag on, with an ever increasing toll of people terrorized from their homes, killed or imprisoned. Most ordinary people are disgusted at the failure of the EC to do anything about it. Yet is EC or UN involvement any sort of answer or would it just make the situation worse.
In an upcoming referendum anarchists will oppose the deletion of Article 2. We do so, not because we support the 26 county state over the 6 county one, but because we are opposed to the partition of Ireland.
This book is an easy reading introduction to the main ideas in anarchist thought and the events that have helped to form them.
An event which you may have missed was the eightieth birthday of George Woodcock. To celebrate this, a book was published of Mr Woodcock's collected essays, entitled "Anarchism and Anarchists".
Organisation based on a small leadership telling everyone else what to do is always opposed by anarchists. We have no desire to be ruled, ordered round or dictated to. But is this not an unrealistic position that takes no account of the real world?
The old Eastern European legend says that a vampire must be willingly invited into the house of its victim, and once invited in has its victim in its power. Members of the Teamsters Union (America's largest general trade union) might well ponder this legend.
In a leaked World Bank memo he explained how the economic logic of dumping toxic waste in the less developed countries was impeccable.
Missing articles from this issue (because I don't have them on disk) are
People think of revolutions as buried deep in history. Yet, as little as 25 years ago France was on the verge of a total revolt with 12 million workers on strike, 122 factories occupied, and students fighting against the old moribund system in which they found themselves.
THE GROWTH of the far-right throughout Europe in the last few years has alarmed many who thought fascism died with Hitler. It also has given rise to a debate on the left over the nature of fascism, one that has spilled over into the letters pages of Workers Solidarity. The debate continues with Andrew Flood discussing some of the historical features of fascism and the importance of racism as the central plank of fascism to-day.
'Unfinished Business' is 186 pages of Class War explaining its political outlook. What's more it does seem to represent a real if unacknowledged break with their past. It provides a good, if sometimes flawed, introduction to the topics it covers and even attempts to tackle Class Wars historical problem area, Ireland.
Peace 1993 has started with the analysis we are offered again and again by our rulers and the media. Paramilitaries, especially republican ones, are portrayed as gangsters and psychopaths used and manipulated by cynical "godfather's of crime".
A lot of people who call themselves anarchists will probably be extremely annoyed when I say that the most striking thing is how much we have in common with Marxism. Both anarchists and Marxists are materialists. Both believe that the ideas in peoples' heads are shaped by the social and economic conditions in which we live.
Very few groups or individuals on the left in Ireland understand that the situation of Travellers is the most explicit form of racism in this country. Because Travellers are white, people have difficulty applying the concept of racism to them.
LEAH FELDMAN, who was cremated in London on January 7th, was one of the ordinary men and women who rarely get into history books but have been the backbone of the anarchist movement.
THE IRISH Congress of Trade Unions is to hold a special delegate conference on September 30th. It will decide whether or not to enter into talks on a further agreement to replace the Programme for Economic and Social Development.
Missing articles from this issue (because I don't have them on disk) are
Cuba, about 90 miles off the coast of North America, is the largest of the Caribbean islands. The social services are in a far better condition than they are in other Latin American countries. Virtually every Cuban under the age of 30 can read and write. But the cost of these benefits is high for the working class who have never been in the saddle of power in Cuba.
THE FIGHT between SPUC and the student unions over the provision of abortion information has entered a new phase. SPUC's solicitors, are now seeking costs from the student unions for the earlier stages of the case.
There is a commonly held idea that universities are some sort of "red nucleus", a hotbed of activism and socialism. The fact is that students come from many different backgrounds and classes, although mainly 'middle' and upper class. There is no underlying political or economic interest that unites or could unite all students.
Tagged on to the end of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1993 were further restrictions on prostitution. Under the new act, prostitutes are now liable to fines of up to £1,000 and up to six months in prison.
THE CATHOLIC Church is looking for payment in return for sexually abusing children! Right up to the 1960s young children from Catholic orphanages in Britain and the six counties were shipped out to Australia. There the boys, some as young as eight years, were used as almost slave labour by Catholic farmers and the Church itself.
There is a great potential power in the trade union movement. According to the Department of Industrial Relations in University College Dublin (DUES Data Series on Trade Unions in Ireland) 54.6% of employees in Ireland are trade union members.
The Cahill Plan is a devastating attack on workers' conditions in Aer Lingus and its subsidiaries. Unlike Digital, where £4 million was promised to try and save 800 jobs, the government are offering Aer Lingus £175 million in return for 1,500 redundancies
LAST MARCH twenty five workers at Pat the Baker's Cherry Orchard plant in west Dublin joined SIPTU. They wanted to improve their lousy pay and conditions. The company, owned by Pat Higgins and based in the Longford town of Granard, responded by sacking them.
Interview with a Pat the Baker striker
The 1913 Dublin lockout happened when the bosses got together to try and smash the ITGWU, workers who were members of this union were locked out. The workers held out for a year, fighting the combined forces of the bosses, the church and the cops. In the course of which they set up one of the first armed workers defense forces, the Citizen army.
The United States remained the biggest arms supplier to the third world in 1992, increasing its share of the market to 57% from 49% in 1991, according to the US Congressional study.
As we go to press the 'coup' in Moscow has just ended, although the question of whose coup it was still seems open. In any case it was no more than an argument between two equally undemocratic wings of the ruling class.
According to the European Commission's latest employment report, Ireland has the third lowest manufacturing employment costs for the bosses.