Revolutionary Communists of Ireland hold founding congress!




On 6 and 7 April, communists from across Ireland gathered in Dublin for the founding Congress of the Irish group of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT). We were joined by international visitors from the Revolutionary Communist Party in Britain and the international centre of the IMT.

Across the two days 33 people attended from Dublin, Navan, Belfast, Bangor, Derry and Galway, making this by far the largest meeting of the IMT in Ireland to date.

Having more than doubled in size since our first national meeting in September, the introduction to the Congress celebrated the massive successes we’ve had in building the organisation in the past 8 months. We’ve grown from 8 comrades in one online branch a year ago, to 15 in September, to 37 comrades today, with four branches in Dublin, one in Belfast and one in Galway. This proof that we can grow on the basis of our ideas set a mood of optimism and excitement which lasted the full weekend.

Prior to the Congress, comrades set themselves the ambitious target of raising €1,000 for the fighting fund. Such was the revolutionary fervour among the comrades that we smashed that target, raising a stunning €4,143, including €469 from literature sales, reflecting a deep thirst for theory among all comrades.

On the back of this Congress, we have resolved to reach 50 comrades by the summer, 100 by next year’s Congress, to launch a new website in the coming months, to launch a new newspaper (The Revolutionary Communist), and to tie this together by taking on a full-time revolutionary this year. These are the measures we believe we need to take to become an officially affiliated section of the Revolutionary Communist International, which is being founded this June. These are serious ambitions, and we will achieve them.

The death agony of capitalism

The discussion began with a session on world perspectives. Capitalism today is entering the deepest ever crisis in its history, not just in Ireland but in every country around the world. The global economic system is tearing apart at the seams. The relative decline of American imperialism means that, while still remaining the most cruel and powerful imperialist power on Earth, it is losing the grip on the world it’s held since the collapse of the USSR.

This process is being sped-up by the Ukraine war and the economic sanctions imposed on Russia as a result. The economic consequences in Europe are leading to massive social instability, which has only gone to further undermine their already unpopular political establishments.

The slaughter in Gaza was a key focus of the discussion with comrades speaking on the need to overthrow Israeli imperialism and their imperialist backers in Washington, Brussels and London. 

The working class remains the only force in society with both the power and the interest in ending this brutality once and for all. As Ben Curry highlighted, “This period, the death agony of capitalism will not be resolved automatically, it will either be socialism or barbarism. For socialism, a revolutionary party is needed. As Trotsky explained, in the last analysis, the crisis of humanity can be reduced to the crisis of leadership of the working class.”

Perspectives for the Irish revolution

The following session centred on our Irish perspectives document, the first such document written by the IMT in Ireland. Ireland’s economy is mostly dependent on the world market, so it is acutely vulnerable to the global economic crisis. The peculiar conditions that led to the development of industry in the South in the 1990s, led to the creation of a large working class in Ireland, which has begun to flex its muscles as the economic growth of the past turns into its opposite.

The working class, driven by the general crisis, is becoming increasingly angry at the political establishment, which is undermining the latter’s ability to rule. The resignations of Leo Varadkar and Jeffery Donaldson both reflect the turbulent period we’ve entered. But who is reflecting the anger of the masses? As Andrea Patanè explained in his lead off on Irish perspectives, many people are looking towards Sinn Féin as an alternative, but significant sections of workers and the youth are already looking beyond Sinn Féin.

Meanwhile in the North, unionism is in an intractable crisis. Polarisation within the camp of unionism has strengthened the hardline faction of the DUP. The working class is not sitting back passively amidst these events. In a desperate attempt to get Stormont back up and running, Westminster provoked an enormous public sector worker strike. But now Stormont is on the brink of collapse once more.

With instability North and South of the border, and the working class beginning to reassert themselves, the whole Island has become littered with inflammable material. Revolutionary events are approaching. Only a socialist revolution can burn away the scars of partition, forming a 32-county socialist republic that could spark revolution in Britain, Europe and the world.

The communists are here!

The organisational preparations of this Congress were exemplary, and at the end of the first day, we held a fundraiser for the founding of our organisation, to give us the tools to build a genuine, professional, communist organisation. Comrades from each branch came prepared with pledges to the Congress and some comrades also showed off their skills by making art pieces to raise more funds. In all, we raised €4142.50. It was an incredible collection dwarfing anything we’ve done in the past and showing comrades willingness to sacrifice to build this organisation.

So inspired were the attendees that one comrade used the lunch break to meet a contact and convince them to come to our post-congress social. Another comrade called all of his contacts immediately after the Congress ended and convinced six of them to attend his branch meeting this week after which, one of them agreed to join!

With dedication like this there can be no doubts that our comrades will be able to smash all obstacles in our way in the fight for socialism.

Organising the forces of communism

The second day of the Congress started with our organisational resolution. The objective situation we discussed in our perspectives calls for the creation of a revolutionary communist organisation. Building such an organisation from scratch is no easy task, it requires enormous sacrifices. Comrades were reminded of Trotsky’s words before the war: “If you are looking for a comfortable and peaceful life, you have chosen the wrong time to be born!”

Our comrades are well aware of this, and have set ourselves ambitious targets equal to our task. An organisation of 37 is an amazing feat, but it is only the beginning. We must quickly become a force of hundreds and thousands, and spread further across the country. To this end, we have resolved to reach 50 members by the end of the summer, and 100 by our next Congress.

There are more than enough revolutionaries looking for an organisation like ours for us to smash through these targets. All we have to do is find them. To help us in reaching these layers we are relaunching the Irish Marxists as the Revolutionary Communists of Ireland.

In the same vein, we are relaunching our paper the Marxist Voice as the Revolutionary Communist. These new names combined with our bold methods will serve us in our effort to find and connect with the thousands of communists across Ireland looking to join the fight for socialism. The Revolutionary Communist will be a quarterly with the aim of becoming a bi-monthly and a monthly in the near future. A more regular paper will be essential in all of our work, allowing us to comment on current events and include reports from struggles taking place up and down the country. Alongside this, we will be launching a new website, which will strive to become the foremost source of Marxist analysis, so watch this space!

To achieve all this, we’ve set ourselves the target of taking on a full-time revolutionary this year. This will mean having a comrade freed from working 9-5 for the bourgeoisie so they can dedicate all of their time to fighting for communism. Constructing a professional apparatus will amplify all aspects of our work, meaning we can better educate and train new members, and our paper can be published more frequently. This will be the first time for decades that there has existed in Ireland a genuine Bolshevik organisation, which upholds revolutionary politics and has its own professional apparatus, reliant solely on the sacrifices of our own comrades, giving us political independence from the state and any other source of alien pressures.

Lennie Mc concluded by quoting Ted Grant, “Nobody can break the will of the working class to change society.” We must rise to the task of leading them with revolutionary communist ideas, in order to cast capitalism into the dustbin of history! Knowing that great events are just over the horizon, we are endeavouring to prepare the future leadership the working class will need to secure its final victory.

The Revolutionary Communist International

The IMT hasn’t just been having successes in Ireland. All over the world our comrades are growing with incredible speed. Our British section was the first in the international to surpass 1,000 members, with the US and Canada not far behind them with 700 each, having both nearly doubled in membership over the past year. 

Our Pakistani section has over 600 members. Many other sections have seen important growth in the past year with Italy passing the 500 member mark and several other sections looking to near it in the coming year.

This growth has been based on the objective situation. Millions of people around the world, under the pressure of the capitalist crisis, have begun looking to communism as the only way out. Having recognised this, our comrades began the ‘Are You A Communist?’ campaign, which has been an amazing success in helping us reach these communists.

It’s clear that today, what is needed is a genuine communist force which can lead the workers to victory internationally. In 1915, at the Zimmerwald conference, Lenin declared the need to establish a new communist International. This was at a time when Lenin himself said that all of the internationalists in the world could fit into two stage coaches. This was because in 1915 the world situation was calling out for the creation of such an International. Today, the objective situation calls for the same action. In June, at the World School of Communism, the IMT will be relaunched as the Revolutionary Communist International.

At the closing of our Congress we voted unanimously to seek to officially affiliate as a section of the RCI. In joining the International, we are committing to building the Irish section of a worldwide party of communist revolution, and to fighting for the victory of world socialism. The Revolutionary Communists of Ireland are joining the forward march of the communists worldwide, united under the banner of the soon-to-be-founded Revolutionary Communist International!