Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics

Working Class Revolutionaries? What Working Class Revolutionaries?

Posted by Jason O on Aug 18, 2010 in Irish Politics

I'll stand outside the GPO posing whilst you actually pass legislation!

I'll stand outside the GPO posing whilst you actually pass legislation!

“The vast majiority (sic) of MIDDLE CLASS southerners dont want to end partition….But as James Connolly said it is the Irish working class that is the incorruptible heirs of Irish Freedom. The southern middle class and indeed if we are truthful the upper layers off the working class have been bought off by Imperialism and become utterly decadent.”

The above quote was posted on Politics.ie on a thread about whether the republic actually wants a united Ireland or not. I love this quote, because it is absolutely chock-a-block full of the stuff that makes me laugh. Exhibit A: Middle class in capitals, pointing out that a political view held by middle class people is not quite as legitimate as the lower orders. Then the reference to James Connolly, the shake-and-vac of political legitimacy. If James Connolly said it, it must be true! Then, to cap it off, a good go at not only the middle class but working class people who have good jobs. The bastards! And finally my favourite: The use of the word decadent, the ultimate slur, as if basically the middle classes spend all their time at orgies and getting gout.

This quote caught my eye because it reminded me of a row I had once with a councillor from the Socialist Party on Newstalk about the legacy of Margaret Thatcher. She could not accept that MT had actually done anything for working class people, and that, more importantly, that very large numbers of working class people voted for her. The quote above is loitering around the same territory, because here’s the reality: The rise of the new right, the Thatchers and the Reagans, is caused by working class voters. Biggest group of reactionary voters who voted against President Obama? White working class male voters. Biggest group opposed to civil rights in the 1960s in the US? White working class male voters. When middle class British voters were voting for the moderate SDP in 1983, working class voters were salivating over Mrs Thatcher blowing the shit out of (working class) Argies.

The fact is, the working class are the most reactionary voters out there. Just talk to Sinn Fein voters about immigration. Which class of voters will remain most loyal to FF TDs for their local graft? Working class voters. In the north of Ireland, what class produced the most psychos, republican or loyalist, willing to blow another working class person away because he prayed the wrong way? I’ll give you a clue: They weren’t shopping at Marks and Spencer.

Who was it who pushed civil rights, ended slavery, brought in gay rights and equality for women? Fact: Revolutions are led by the middle class.   

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