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on Irish left - Introduction
Following a recent conference in Dublin the Marxist organisation Socialist Democracy announced a new unity on the left when it formed a common organisation with the Belfast group International Socialists (former members of the Socialist Workers Party).
Neither of the organisations involved in this left regroupment is large, but the members claim that it is significant on a number of levels:
• It is in fact the first left regroupment in 25 years in on the Irish left – hardly surprising when we consider the left’s history of factionalism and organisational sectarianism.
• It runs against the stream. There has been a whole series of discussions in recent years about left unity. What has run through all these debates has been the widespread belief that politics don’t matter and that the price of unity is to ignore and gloss over political difference. The common view is that the less you say the wider will be your appeal. The basis of the Socialist Democracy regroupment has been a common political programme hammered out over months of discussion.
• The new programme asserts the primacy of a revolutionary perspective and the building of a revolutionary party. In a period of sustained offensives by capitalism and imperialism an uprising by the working class is unlikely to be around the corner, yet the demands and methods of the revolutionary Marxist tradition are as significant as ever. The effect of the left abandoning the Marxist programme is simply to make themselves irrelevant to the future growth of the class.
Socialist Democracy has delayed the announcement of the new left unity in order to construct a new united website.