The following is a two part personal opinion piece by Irish Socialist Republican, Seán Doyle, on the roll of electoralism in revolutionary struggle. The first piece was written on polling day 2019, while the second was written following the declaration of the election results.

Part 1- 24/05/2019.

 I’m not going to mention the escalating depravity or the deteriorating human standards that continue to prevail with no end or solution in sight which forms the basis of part one.

Today is polling day an appropriate time to focus minds on its irrevelance.

Asking the questions without fear of not knowing all the answers and discounting fear of failure.

Recognising respectfully the efforts of those passed, who applied in their time with the knowledge available. This is in no way a criticism but it is a necessary appraisal.

With hindsight we are in a position to make our own evaluation and change course as long as our revolutionary objectives are not compromised.


Let’s continue our journey towards our destiny and reclaim our 32 county republic.

My firm belief electoralism, polls and spin is completely irrelevant and a distraction.

There is no stepping stone from reform to revolution, two utterly incompatible positions.

The former is predicated on dependency. The latter is independence.

While I recognise there are well meaning individuals amongst the elected, unfortunately other than than grandstanding on issues it only gives false hope to people. They are powerless but sadly people think if we only had more of them. Unfortunately the whole exercise is only perpetuating false hope which is part of the grand plan aided and abetted by a compliant media.

I too must admit I shared a belief that we could further our objectives at council level, but I now believe that was a mistake with hindsight. It only gives credibility in the mindset of our people that equality,justice and equal distribution of wealth is obtainable by the 26 county committee in Leinster House.

The thinking previously before modern technology was based on having our rep in the chamber and people in the public gallery to witness first hand who was highlighting their needs the theory was to expose and undermine confidence in the system in the council or Leinster House.

This has been tried and is an abysmal failure and has had the opposite effect,a complete emphasis on electoralism and dependency.

But is not to dismiss the intentions of some well meaning people who believed it was the way forward. We have the benefit of time passed.

We must build alternative structures in our communities, citizens rights etc,break the mould of subservient thinking and values of the ruling class subconsciously indoctrinated in us.

We must endeavour to develop our own principles and fight for our rights by our own rules and standards. This is not a sport queensberry rules or cricket for the elite as was their utterings in our modest first step in changing our strategy in our struggle.


This is open class war.

Part 2- 30/05/2019.

 I’m not going to mention the escalating depravity or the deteriorating human standards that continue to prevail with no end or solution in sight.

 Now that the charade election is over do you think anything is better? For example will the next man or woman inevitably to die on our streets or the homeless children be saved a misery?

 Will the burden of future evictions and mortgage debt reduce the number of bodies taken from our rivers or whatever method a distraught people may use?

Unfortunately not. The election result in the most part says go back doing business as usual.

 If there was a more vigorous boycott campaign and reduced the national poll from 50/52 % to 30%, I’m being extremely generous, it would have been a more respectful outcome to the thousands that have had to endure.

 The degree of detachment must be addressed. Their loyalty is not to serve us, which is obvious, but the ruling 1%.

Metaphorically speaking we have for years now hit the wall. The question we must ask ourselves is why we haven’t overcome this situation, a complete mental block, a fear of the unknown and untried.

Daunted to the extent of the challenge facing us we have tried to convince ourselves that there is merit in the electoral system which is bad enough, but worse still, we have given false hope to people.

We don’t have much time.

 People are suffering and dying on our streets and not even reported in the news.

Our failings to address this will be responsible for the next generation by and large because of the lack of a home for children and basic stability necessary for normal development of values, empathy and formulation of character will cause larger numbers of dysfunctionality in our communities.

Unfortunately for others they will assume because of what we have allowed through our lack of courage daunted by fear of new ways to stop this cycle of greed driven depravity.

Unfortunately unless corrected our legacy will be responsible for the normalisation of the aforementioned.

 Let’s face it and be done with electoralism to Leinster House or county councils. It is well overdue and establish revolutionary councils in our communities with our own bill of rights based on our 1919 republic.

Many might think it’s daunting and near impossible. I say it is time to reaffirm and change our struggle and claim our 32 County Socialist Republic.

Surely those who sacrificed their lives taking on the British empire were not swayed in thinking what they might achieve against such a military force.

Their battle was more for the minds of our own people asserting our right as a free nation and to all its wealth and resources.

What is ours by right must never be determined or diminished by our ability to reclaim it from the robber class.

We must break the mindset of subservience through our revolutionary councils, change the way of thinking and define new ways of collective action to assert our right for the day to day requirements necessary to sustain our people while building confidence, unity, restoring dignity and crucially self belief.

Crucially in our councils developing positive thinking with regard to what is ours by right even if it is withheld from us by thieves, sets the battle scene in focus for a future date.

My definition of a revolutionary is a political soldier, all deeds no matter how great or small that advance that objective is his or her obligation.

That is what has been missing and must be corrected. We have come full circle from subjects of a foreign monarchy to ever so briefly citizens of our own republic that was suppressed, crushed and murdered by the alliance of the British and their creation The Free State to become subjects again to the bankers and speculators.

It is time to throw off the shackles and reclaim our Republic once again.


Thats a good assesment of the situation as it stands. I think it was Ken Livingstone who once wrote a book titled, “If Votibg Changed Anything They’d Abolish It”. By they he refers to the one percent you mentioned, the ruling class. The clues in the description, RULING CLASS. These are tge unelected people who amass billions on the backs of working-class labour. They are above governments and dictate international economics by way of their organisations, such as tge Bildernberg Group. Ireland once had a representative on this unelected semi-secret international body, Michael McDowell, who, for all I know, may well still be.
Then we have pretty meaningless rituals every five years called elections. As you correctly pointed out, when this farce has been played out its “business as usual”. The Civil Service Mandarins, an arm of the real government, unelected again, are the same people giving advice to the Minister, whoever that minister may be or whatever party they represent. This is not to say don’t excersise your right to vote, its about the only right you have, but don’t expect anything to change as a result of your efforts. Elections are the tool of liberal democracy emitting the illussion people, via the ballot box, can change things.
When these representatives of the bourgeoisie tell us ” we have decided, or it is in the national interest” they are not taliking of everybody. No, the national interest means the interests of that tiny number who own the means of production, distribution and exchange. No election will change this relationship between labour, the creator of wealth, and employer the benficiaries of said wealth. Some organisations standing in electoons promise a modest plan of nationalisation of certain industries. It is questionable whether any party advocating such policies would be allowed to do so! Even if they did, as did Attlee after WW11, not much would change for tge worker. As James Connolly observed, “nationalisation under workers control” is what we need. This would interfere, of course, with what is often termed the “natural order” of things, meaning private ownership of said means of production and wealth created thereof.
When they use the word “we” it is meant them, the capitalist class. Only at election times or occassions of international conflict does the word “we” become inclusive. All other times it is used it is exclusive to the bourgeoisie. “We need this” means the ruling class “need this”.

Thanks for this Seán, though to some extent I disagree.

There is an important distinction to be made between electoralism and electing someone to do a job. it is useful on a number of occasions to have a representative in the Dáil or local council. Revolutionaries in my opinion should not shy from getting people elected providing they make it clear that this is not the way that socialism will be achieved nor imperialism defeated.

Somewhat parallel is the situation when brought to court. Many Republicans think that the right thing to do is to refuse to recognise the court and not even engage a lawyer. I disagree. The court too can become a battleground and be used to expose the system — quite apart from making it as difficult for the system as possible to remove us from circulation. Revolutionaries should be prepared to use lawyers and laws but at the same time making clear that only after a revolution with power in the hands of the working masses can laws that represent us be enacted.

Sorry, I meant to say that in all cases the primacy must be given to organising working people to take their future into their own hands.

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