Historical Revisionism – A Blight To The Left, And A Detriment To The Future!

Belfast Marxist is "proud to announce that our first post of 2016 is from the latest addition to the Belfast Marxist team, Iskra."

With 2015 coming to a close, and the approach to the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising edging ever closer, we should all be conscious to the plague of historical revisionism that has been, and will be fed to us by bourgeois spin-doctors and their obedient ‘academics’ in our schools and Universities.

What is historical revisionism comrades? Simplistically; it is the gross distortion of history by the bourgeoisie, perpetuated in order to serve their own class agenda. Ultimately, in the vast arsenal of the ruling class, it is their greatest weapon in subduing the minds of the workers.

How so? Well if I may be so bold as to quote both a tout and a man who himself arguably engaged in historical revisionism. It was George Orwell who most succinctly identified the utility of revisionism in his novel Nineteen Eighty Four when he wrote that “he who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past”. The ability of the bourgeoisie to dictate the hegemonic perception of historical events grants them the ability to pacify the conscious of the workers by denying them the fervour of a revolutionary legacy from which they may receive inspiration and encouragement. They (the bourgeoisie) use it also to mask their atrocities; to conceal their complicity in genocide and imperial war.

Long have we all been taught of the Irish ‘Famine’, or told of the history of ‘the troubles’. The British are masters at concealing the plethora of rebellions they have suppressed through bloody massacres and the systematic annihilation of populations they deemed lesser or sub-human. By dismissing an almost 30 year war by Irish revolutionaries against foreign occupation as merely ‘a bit of trouble’, they not only insult the memory of the lives lost during the war, but also delegitimise what was a justified campaign for liberation from the malignant hand of British imperialism.

By denying what was in reality a genocidal period as an unfortunate natural disaster, we are ignoring the historic reality how the British colonised, dehumanised and criminalized the Irish like they did to the Arabs and Africans. While a potato blight undoubtedly occurred in Ireland during 1845-51, the same blight (which originated in America) existed across Britain, yet it was only the Irish who experienced a ‘famine’. Why? Because the Irish weren’t reaping massive agricultural produce from Britain by gun point in the name of ‘laissez-faire’, or using the ‘Poor Law’ to evict British tenants even in the dead of winter to die in the streets or perish in coffin ships. When we purport the myth of the ‘Great Irish Famine’, we are extinguishing a fire from which we receive the authority to evict the despotic entity of Britain from Ireland.

Let us instead remember the brave women and men of 1916 and beyond for who they truly were, comrades who fought for the liberation of all, ‘catholic, protestant and dissenter’, believing that the British government had “no right in Ireland… and can never have any right in Ireland’ (-James Connolly).

But let us also not forget who forfeited them a right to remain in Ireland through their treaties and negotiations, for it will be them (the pseudo-republicans and elites in power) who will attempt to preach to us what the rising intended and how justified they are as its predecessors. Instead let us decry them as Pearse did: and confess that whoever “in the name of Ireland accepts anything less by one iota than complete separation from England” is guilty of an “Immense crime against the Irish Nation”. Moreover let us deplore those who purport laughable assertions denying the anti-capitalist and anti-monarch credentials of the rising in order to justify the appearance of parasites at commemorations.

Comrades, we must combat the revisionists through our own media, we must organise our own commemorations to celebrate the true meaning of the rising; which was the belief that we the people are justified in striking for our own freedom, and struggling to create an independent and socialist Ireland that is free from occupation and exploitation; in which royal parasites, fascists and plutocratic privilege are not welcomed. Comrades, as we leave behind the year of betrayal that was 2015, let us now stand steadfast in the centenary year of the peoples rising and commit ourselves to continuing the struggle reignited on that Easter Monday in Dublin 1916.

Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh,


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