The Workers Solidarity Movement is very pleased to announce the second issue of The Irish Anarchist Review. This magazine is dedicated to understanding the contemporary political, economic and social situation that confronts us, and finding ways to advance alternatives.
Our first issue was released in the aftermath of major strikes across the public sector. Despite decades of partnership, a deflated union movement and an intense barrage of media bile, Irish workers showed their willingness to take to picket lines to fight the Government.
Now, however, we can see that the union leadership were not willing to fight - they quickly demobilised strike action to return to the bargaining table, squeezing out a disgraceful deal in Croke Park negotiations. Now, without opposition, the Government calmly talks of four-years of ‘hair-shirt’ budgets to restore the national finances.
As we noted in the previous issue, the weakness of the Left had much to do with the failure of opposition. It is clear that the Left will need to be much clearer in its strategy if it is to be able to achieve any positions of strength in future. It is in this spirit that we welcome a guest contribution from Alan Davis, arguing for a concerted and serious approach to union and workplace organising. We recognise the continued need for non-sectarian debate among the Left and are open to more contributions.
The surrender of the unions has left the dominant logic of ‘sharing the pain’ unchallenged. Gregor Kerr’s discussion of the housing crisis shows that even in ‘the good old days’ of the Celtic Tiger, the housing bubble was at its heart a scam, a gamble that enriched the few at the expense of the many.
As Ireland is cast to the mercy of international bond investors and other cavaliers of credit, Paul Bowman assesses the origins of the money market, and its role in contemporary capitalism. He argues against any comfortable return to soft-Keynesian dogma and stresses that the global system is a class-system, it cannot be understood, nor confronted without this analysis.
Our reviews take a more hopeful tone, looking at the continuing usefulness of the historical tradition of anarchism and the increasing evidence for its viability. Both of these will be useful as we seem to face a crisis of ideas and hope in parallel to our economic woes.
While we are confronted with an historic crisis and uncertainty about our future, we would do well to remember that another world is possible, but it will not come of its own accord. We need to understand the present, we need to understand the futures open to us, and we must find the way to the one we want.
The Irish Anarchist review issue 2 was published in the Autumn of 2010
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