• Due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software, some users were "banned" when they tried to change their passwords at the end of February. This does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you were affected by this, please contact us.




James Connolly: the anti immigrant?

Mr Aphorisms

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
6,084
Twitter
crimesofbrits
Just going through some of Connolly's writings and came across three articles. In these articles, I was astonished to see Connolly's quite anti-immigrant position on the replacement of Irish workers by English and Scottish workers. Words and phrases such as 'fresh hordes' and 'Brit-Huns' I didn't expect to see from Connolly. I knew he was against the importation of cheap labour during the Lockout, but that was natural as it would have merely been another form of 'scab' labour braking the strike.

Basically, Connolly was saying that English and Scottish men were running away from their own struggles in their countries and refusing to fight against conscription. Connolly suggested that Ireland had fought conscription and the English and Scottish workers were driving down wages and forcing Irish workers out of their jobs to join the British army in WW1 whilst the 'Brit-Huns' replaced them. It's often something we hear and I strongly disagree with regarding the current migrant crisis: that the men 'should be fighting in their own country' rather than leaving for others.

Of course, the current migrant crisis is far different to the conscription issue in Britain and WW1 back in the day, but it does go against contemporary republican thinking; that any form of immigration control is 'fascist' and so on:

Here in Ireland we have another kind of dilution of labour. Everywhere since the conscription act was first mooted there has been a rush of Englishmen and Scotsmen to Ireland to escape the military net. These Englishmen and Scotsmen – let us call them Brit-Huns for short – are appearing as if by magic in every sort of job hitherto held by Irishmen. There is not a week and scarcely a day, that goes by without some unfortunate Irishmen being told by his employer that the firm is going to reduce its staff, and that his services are therefore no longer required. He goes, and in a day or two a Brit-Hun appears in his place ... all up and down the city the loyal capitalists are weeding out Irishmen and slyly substituting English and Scots – Brit-Huns – in their places. The Irish are wanted to fight the battles of the tottering British Empire – to set the ‘glorious example’ of dying for the Empire that denies their country the merest shadow of national freedom – and as the Irish will not go willingly they must be starved into going ... It is a new plantation, this time with the blessing and connivance of the Parliamentary leaders of the Irish race at home and abroad. And as the Brit-Huns come in the Irish boys march out in khaki, puzzled, misled, betrayed, the wonder of the world for stupidity, and the despair of their country ... It is the product of crime and folly – of British crime and Irish folly.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1916/02/slack1.htm

Simultaneously with this invasion by British shirkers we have witnessed a concerted and sustained effort on the part of the Labour Exchanges, and also on the part of firms in England under Government control, to entice able-bodied Irishmen out of Ireland to work in England.
.....the duty of English workers is to stay at home and fight conscription, not to run away from that fight. We here in Ireland have been exempted from conscription for the present because, and only because, the best fighting material in the country have got arms in their hands and would have resisted conscription to the last drop of their blood. We have always admitted that we cannot remain at peace if the British Government wants us to fight.
There are in England and Scotland thousands of young men eligible for military service who have banded themselves together to resist conscription. All honour to them! These men are upholding the sanctity of the individual soul against the tyranny of empires. As rebels ourselves we cannot refuse them our admiration. But what shall we say of the thousands of young, able-bodied English, Scots, and Welsh, now settling down upon Ireland – recreants, runaways, traitors to both sides, who will neither fight under conscription, nor fight against it! Loyalists to a man, jingoes and ‘Rule Britannia’ shouters every last one of them, they form the bulk of the audience at all West British functions, and spore the colours of the British Army on their persons as they parade our streets. But they are here to take our jobs, to take the bread out of the mouths of Irishmen whilst using those same Irishmen to go and fight for the Empire.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1916/03/slack2.htm

For example: Our critic says the people whom he is defending “Don’t sing Rule Britannia, don’t sport the loyal colours”. But the people whom we were attacking do sport the loyal colours, and do sing Rule Britannia, and do shout for the war, and are blatant jingoes to a man; they are not Irish refugees returning to the land of their birth, or the land of their fathers. Oh, no, they are boys of the bull-dog breed, publicly and privately asserting that Irishmen should go out to fight for the Empire they will not shed their own blood to defend.

Dublin, Ireland, is rotten with these carrion; our patriotic jingo employers are continually discharging Irishmen and filling up their jobs with English and Scots and Welsh, and these Brit-Huns are neither socialists, radicals, no conscription fellowship members, nor people who believe with us that it is wrong to join the Army. So why does our “Glasgow Reader” get so excited, and indulge in such unworthy insinuations about our “motives”, and ask “whose applause do we hope to gain”, etc. He may be proud of his deftness in making such insinuations; we are willing he should enjoy all the credit of such literary finesse.
Now, just edging out Malcolm X as the person I cherish the most from a historical standpoint, I disagree with some of Connolly's sentiments, as his name calling and harsh words were a bit too much. He got one thing crucially correct though: wanting to build alliances with people who hate you and not blaming them for the crimes of their government when they do nothing about it and support it is complete folly:

And finally, let us say that we are sick of the canting talk of those who tell us that we must not blame the British people for the crimes of their rulers against Ireland. We do blame them. In so far as they support the system of society which makes it profitable for one nation to connive at the subjection of another nation they are responsible for every crime committed to maintain that subjection
https://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1916/03/slack3.htm
 


rainmaker

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
22,431
I was astonished to see Connolly's quite anti-immigrant position on the replacement of Irish workers by English and Scottish workers. Words and phrases such as 'fresh hordes' and 'Brit-Huns'...

Basically, Connolly was saying that English and Scottish men were running away from their own struggles in their countries
As he was when leaving the Scotland of his birth, or his parents when they 'ran away' from their struggles in Ireland?

Do you think he ever shouted at the Scottish immigrants to go home in his broad Scottish accent?

In short - you're saying he was a hypocrite.
 
Last edited:

making waves

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
19,321
Oh holy bejaysus - another right-wing who reads a few quotes from a Marxist and then thinks they know what the Marxist is talking about. And not surprisingly the same right-wing doesn't even read these quotes properly.

:roll:
 

stopdoingstuff

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
22,904
Why are we constantly amazed that new values that are less than a few decades old and still very contentious were not held by people who lived 100 years ago?
 

rainmaker

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
22,431
Oh holy bejaysus - another right-wing who reads a few quotes from a Marxist and then thinks they know what the Marxist is talking about. And not surprisingly the same right-wing doesn't even read these quotes properly.

:roll:
Why do frothing fanatics like you assume anyone who disagrees with a Marxist simply doesn't understand the Marxist?

Your mid 19th century philosophy really isn't that complex :roll:
 

Strawberry

Moderator
Joined
Jul 13, 2014
Messages
16,497
Person who died a hundred years ago says something politically incorrect shocker. Btw, James Connolly shot and killed people during his lifetime, I believe he even shot an unarmed police man in the face, (or was that Constance Markiewicz?) They lived in violent times.
 

making waves

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
19,321
Why do frothing fanatics like you assume anyone who disagrees with a Marxist simply doesn't understand the Marxist?

Your mid 19th century philosophy really isn't that complex :roll:
'Frothing fanatics' - I love that one - socialists are 'frothing fanatics' - right-wing hacks like you are, of course, 'reasonable' and 'sensible'.

And my criticisms of the OP had nothing to do with understanding Marxism but understanding English.
 

rainmaker

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
22,431
'Frothing fanatics' - I love that one - socialists are 'frothing fanatics' -
No, not all 'socialists'. You - you are a frothing fanatic. As evidenced by your Pavlovian need to label anyone who disagrees with you as 'right wing'.

right-wing hacks like you are
Can you point out how I am 'right wing' - or is anyone who isn't a Marxist 'right wing'? Maybe you can point to some right wing beliefs I have supposedly espoused?
 

Mitsui2

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
33,384
Why are we constantly amazed that new values that are less than a few decades old and still very contentious were not held by people who lived 100 years ago?
To quote one of Tonto's few good lines, who's this "we", paleface?

:)
 

Alan Alda

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
5,520
Lame thread. OP couldnt be arsed, why should anyone else be?
Junior cert level analysis .
 

cyberianpan

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
16,630
Website
www.google.com
Connolly was not an original thinker , quite reactionary in some regards...and there was much confusion /enrapture with Romantic Nationalism ...and hatred of what was seen as Imperial Colonialism

Also much of what passed for Marxism at the time had dangerous tinges of nihilism in it

I'm not sure that Connolly the politician merits any attention

cyp
 

Alan Alda

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
5,520
Also much of what passed for Marxism at the time had dangerous tinges of nihilism in it
Not as nihilistic as child labour and the working classes being slaughtered in Flanders for no good reason , which were also fashionable at the time.
Conditions and context which the OP chose to 'disremember'.:rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

Mr Aphorisms

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
6,084
Twitter
crimesofbrits
As he was when leaving the Scotland of his birth, or his parents when they 'ran away' from their struggles in Ireland?

Do you think he ever shouted at the Scottish immigrants to go home in his broad Scottish accent?

In short - you're saying he was a hypocrite.
Yes, he may have been a hypocrite on this issue, no doubt about it. I actually disagree with what he said, well, some of it.

Oh holy bejaysus - another right-wing who reads a few quotes from a Marxist and then thinks they know what the Marxist is talking about. And not surprisingly the same right-wing doesn't even read these quotes properly.

:roll:
Right-wing? No, this idiotic response is what it is. Very odd because you're normally one of my favorite posters. I'm assuming, you've had a few.

You also didn't offer any 'criticisms' either. 'Right-wing' is not a criticism. Your party sits in a bourgeois parliament and engages in parliamentary cretinism. We can all play this silly game

Why are we constantly amazed that new values that are less than a few decades old and still very contentious were not held by people who lived 100 years ago?
Absolutely correct. Hence, why it's in the history forum. Also, are you aware of the current arguments on immigration in this country and the 'debates' on the internet about how 1916 was for pure open borders, regardless? No background checks, etc? Surprisingly, much like the Founding Fathers of American being mythologized into something they weren't, we see the same with the leaders of 1916. They were all not a homogeneous group. Poster sees an interesting topic for a discussion about history. Poster posts it. Other poster puzzled why someone would bring something up from 100 years ago in a history thread.
 

Seanie Lemass

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2010
Messages
20,159
Not as nihilistic as child labour and the working classes being slaughtered in Flanders for no good reason , which were also fashionable at the time.
Conditions and context which the OP chose to 'disremember'.:rolleyes:

And Marxists of course famously did away with the slaughter and exploitation of the working class, as I recall, and as the people of Russia, China, Kampuchea, Vietnam, Ethipoia, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Laos, Cuba, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, East Germany, Romania, Albania, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and so on.... fondly recall :)
 

Strawberry

Moderator
Joined
Jul 13, 2014
Messages
16,497
Connolly was not an original thinker , quite reactionary in some regards...and there was much confusion /enrapture with Romantic Nationalism ...and hatred of what was seen as Imperial Colonialism

Also much of what passed for Marxism at the time had dangerous tinges of nihilism in it

I'm not sure that Connolly the politician merits any attention

cyp
They lived in a time when 38 million people were sent to their deaths in a war over...er...what, exactly? They were within a generation of pregnant women being sent down coal mines and children being sent up chimneys, and the age of consent was twelve.

How comes we never see threads about the misogyny and paedophilia of men like Gladstone, Peel or Asquith? Perhaps because everybody would recognise it for nonsense. I think its about time we saw these regurgitated smears about long dead Irish nationalists as nonsense too.
 

Mr Aphorisms

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
6,084
Twitter
crimesofbrits
Lame thread. OP couldnt be arsed, why should anyone else be?
Junior cert level analysis .
And yet here you are, at half three in the morning.
 

making waves

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
19,321
Aphorisms - you need to actually read the piece by Connolly - because there is a chasm between what you claim he wrote and what he actually wrote. And I am not talking about 'understanding' here (as the right-wing rainman would claim) - but basic English.
 

Alan Alda

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
5,520
And Marxists of course famously did away with the slaughter and exploitation of the working class, as I recall, and as the people of Russia, China, Kampuchea, Vietnam, Ethipoia, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Laos, Cuba, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, East Germany, Romania, Albania, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and so on.... fondly recall :)
True dat. Its not as black as white as many would claim.
Would you not agree that the opening post is simplistic ,tired , rhetoric?
 

olli rehn

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 19, 2010
Messages
8,531
And Marxists of course famously did away with the slaughter and exploitation of the working class, as I recall, and as the people of Russia, China, Kampuchea, Vietnam, Ethipoia, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Laos, Cuba, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, East Germany, Romania, Albania, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and so on.... fondly recall :)
 

New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top