Analysis

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Articles based more around exploring a particular rather than reporting on it

100's of women have medical abortions in Irish republic but what of those who can't?

Anti-choice bigots are going into a frenzy to try and prevent the Irish government legislating for abortion provision in the republic as required by the X and C judgements. But they are ignoring the reality that 1000 plus women are already obtaining abortions in the republic every year and are simply making that decision for themselves. The bigots 'keep Ireland abortion free' crusade was fake even before the opening of Marie Stopes in Belfast, the false slogan is presumably designed to fool the US donors whose donations the bigots salaries and offices depend on. But it is having tragic consequences for women in Ireland as those unable to access abortion pills are left without access to abortion.

 

Political implications of Facebook damaging Pages for advertising revenue

 

 Recent changes Facebook has made to Pages & Events have greatly reduced its usefulness for radical political organising. Here I reject the idea that the reason for these changes is political censorship and examine what the actual reasons & effects are.   In doing this I'm building on my article of last week that argues that Facebook should be a collectively owned public utility and not a private company - in part because of the way it has sabotaged its own usefulness in the search for advertising revenue. 

 

Facebook destroys page & event effectiveness for advertising gain - make it a utility owned by the people

Over the last few months changes made by Facebook have greatly reduced the effectiveness of Events and Pages because it has become much less likely that someone following a page will see made by that page. According to Facebook on average only 12% of followers will see a given post. In 2011 Facebook did the same to events, multiple changes in the way events work saw response rates to event invitations decline from around 80% of those invited responding to this figure often being less than 20%.

 

The experience of the Social Solidarity Network



The Social Solidarity Network came into existence in the Autumn of 2009 in Dublin as an initiative of the Workers Solidarity Movement. It faded out of existence a few short months later and never amounted to all that much in the interim beyond a couple of meetings, a leaflet distribution at a mass ICTU march and a badly organised and executed protest at the Dail on budget day. Nevertheless there are some useful lessons (mostly of the ‘how not to do it variety’) to be taken from its short existence.

 

Revolutionary Organization in the age of Networked Individualism

The revolutions and revolts that swept the world in 2011 took almost everyone by surprise. One of the first strong attempts to explain why they happened is Paul Mason’s ‘Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere.’  He argues that “the materialist explanation for 2011...is as much about individuals versus hierarchies as it is about rich against poor.”    By far the most provocative element of his book is the idea that communications technology, in particular the internet, is transforming the way people behave and that a significant contribution to the revolts of 2011 lie in these changes.  If he’s right it had profound consequences for the form and structure of revolutionary organisations including anarchist ones. 

 

This article also availale on audio & video, see end.

In Ireland Majority refuse to choose flavour of austerity in referendum

With votes still being counted it has become clear that the largest block of potential voters refused to take part in the fiscal compact referendum, rejecting the arguments that they could either vote for 'stability' or against 'austerity'. Quite possibly more people chose to boycott the referendum then the combined Yes and No voters. On top of this some 17% of the population who live and pay tax in Ireland were excluded from voting at all in the referendum. This means as many as 2/3 of the adult population did not vote in the referendum. [Italian translation of this article]

Anarchist Studies: Syndicalism, Anarchism and Marxism

This is the published version of a reply to an article by Marxist Ralph Darlington in Anarchist Studies (vol. 17, no. 2). Darlington's original article appeared in Volume 17, Number 1 of Anarchist Studies and discusses the anarchist origins of syndicalism and refutes attempts to include Marxism as one of its influences. It discusses Bakunin’s syndicalist ideas and shows how Marx and Engels explicitly rejected them. Ralph Darlington declined to reply

AWL Versus Anarchism (part 2)

Last year, I participated in a debate with a Leninist sect, the AWL. I produced a leaflet for the debate, placed a written-up version of my talk notes on line and blogged about it (Leninists are strange).

A cold economy encrusted by a half-baked ideology

Who can dare suggest we are not all in it together? Cuts are being inflicted across all classes – the elite and companies get tax cuts, working class people get wage and benefit cuts. Even better, the Tories in their drive for fairness have given the many the opportunity usually afforded the wealthy few – by waiting until a pasty is lukewarm we can all participate in tax avoidance!

Is the Irish 'austerity referendum' where the real battleground is for the left?

Ireland is to have a referendum after all on the EU austerity treaty and a lot of the left is getting unreasonably excited about this. I say unreasonably because my opinion is that the referendum will not really, as the likes of the ULA claim, be a meaningful ballot on austerity. Austerity is not something simply being imposed on us by Europe through this referendum but something our domestic ruling class are already imposing and have been for a few years. Of course they have used the ECB/IMF as the 'bad cop' to scare us with and when passed will use the EU austerity treaty in the same way. But we need to recognize and organize around the fact that our local politicians and capitalist class are not really a 'good cop' eager to help us avoid the attentions of the 'bad cop' making threatening gestures at us across the room.

 

  


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