Such was the lack of concern about developing indigenous growth that the country’s natural resources were sold off wholesale with-out a second thought. In Ireland, the handshake did not secure the deal, the handshake was the deal. The middleman: he is the dominant force in modern Irish capitalism. The type of local business interests which expanded on the back of foreign finance were all about making the deal happen
– Conor McCabe, Sins of the Father
Our newest issue of Forward focuses on the economic stagnation that’s occurred after a decade of Fine Gael or right-wing coalition government, and how many of the ostensibly temporary measures of austerity are settling down as a permanent new normal. There are few communities that have not been devastated by cuts and a reduction in public sector services, and the leading parties are already conditioning people to accept a renewed round of austerity measures with COVID-19 and an economic downturn as justifications. Voices of dissent are few and far between as even social democratic parties have softened their demand to account for the movement of the window of accepted discourse to the right.
This issue includes articles in English and Irish looking at how different cultural and community based services have been the first to be pared down, and how the free market capitalism enshrined by the government and developed over many decades fails to provide any alternatives to the breakdown of many of the important collective aspirations we have as a class.
The only answer for the Communist left is to build dual power and organise communities around concrete demands. Through providing a political challenge and an alternative, through united action, we can defeat austerity.