‘Hold on to your rifles’ and ‘Let no shot be fired in Ulster’: notes on two remarks attributed to Connolly

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09/08/2018 by socialistfight

Useful article and very good blog on Irish matters

the irish revolution

by Liam O Ruairc

indexA problem with Desmond Greaves’s well-known biography of James Connolly is the reliability of some of his quotes. For example Greaves ascribed to Connolly a ‘stages’ theory of revolution in which the national democratic revolution is “the first stage of revolution” and this “recalls the approach of Lenin” in Two Tactics (C.Desmond Greaves (1961), The Life and Times of James Connolly, London: Lawrence & Wishart, 425).  To substantiate his claim, Greaves quotes an article from Connolly entitled ‘Economic Conscription’ published in the Workers’ Republic of 15 January 1916, where he argues that as the “propertied classes have so shamelessly sold themselves to the enemy, the economic conscription of their property will cause few qualms to whomsoever shall administer the Irish government in the first stage of freedom” (Ibid, 384).  Greaves stresses this phrase -but it isn’t there; what Connolly wrote was in fact “whomsoever will administer…

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