I’m currently reading Robert McGregor’s excellent “The Party” about the Chinese Communist Party, and I’m really struck by the parallels with Fianna Fail. Like the CPC, FF fought in a civil war, although Mao fought Chiang Kai-Shek who was a dictator, whereas FF’s founders attempted to overthrow the democratically elected Dail Eireann and replace it presumably with a military dictatorship. Of course, once in power FF did not murder its opponents and accepted democracy belatedly, leaving office just as Mao came to power in China.
The other interesting comparison is how FF, like the CPC, are obsessed with paying heed to very old stated values even though in government those values were largely set to one side. Finally, the CPC puts loyalty to the party above everything else, and regards the state and the party in power as being the same thing. In every CPC appointee’s office is a special phone connecting that official to the party machine. It is primarily used, apparently, by party officials to get government and semi-state jobs for that official’s family and political cronies. Sound familiar?