Attempts to raise the red flag on a workers republic were dealt a potentially mortal blow this week with conflicting stories of a split in the Connolly Youth Movement. Proclaimed by its members to be the greatest hope of overthrowing Irish capitalism since the man himself was lined up against a wall in Kilmainham, the tankies have acted as something of a dark horse in the swollen field of Irish socialism, much to the chagrin of erstwhile trots.

The chatter around the schism emerged from various political personalities online, most notably Paul Murphy TD, with the bitchy switchboard of the Irish left painting the split as being one between the youth branch and the central Communist Party with rumours that proactive party secretary Alex Homits had lost his trade union job in the process.

While some of the more outlandish rumours have been quelled, likely originating from the minds of jealous adversaries, it nevertheless appears the group has undergone more turbulence than it otherwise cares to admit. General rule of thumb is that organisations always try to maintain a brave face especially post-splits or departures.

The alleged picture being reported is that following a rather botched merger with the main party, many of the CYM rank and file up sticks to greener (or redder) pastures. Evidence however for these claims leveled largely by trotskyists is thin on the ground upon examination.

The man at the centre of the kerfuffle is CYM secretary and Jobstown’s one man Seamus Costello tribute band Alex Homits, who has marked himself as a rather highly strung and purianical figure among left ranks.

“Alex finds “Trots” under every bed. Learned well from his Stalinist inheritance, no wonder the CPI are alarmed with the poisonous sectarianism of these adolescent troglodytes in the CYM.” wrote one disgruntled socialist in relation to the alleged schism. 

With the ability to at least not collapse immediately into tantrums, CYM has induced a certain degree of jealously from the general left especially for their denouncations of sexual harassment within rival groups. 

It’s been a rather schismatic year for the radical left in Ireland with the creation of RISE, splits in the Workers Party, Green Party as well as rancour within People Before Profit over many high profile sexual harassment scandals, especially in their notorious Dublin South-West activist scene.

CYM’s Politburo has maintained relative radio silence on matters beyond denying the occurrence of a split, with its party chair challenging Paul Murphy TD online. Nevertheless it would appear they have taken attrition with many members jettisoning themselves. 

This parallels with the commotion in Ógra Shinn Féin of members leaving en masse, something the gleeful media are happy to report, especially in the aftermath of the rather cynical campaign against Brian Stanley. Similarly, the last few months saw the effective implosion of chunks of the Young Greens over the realities of coalition government.

While aiming to be the platform for the workers revolution in the 21st century, CYM like the rest of the left is limited by the invariable quota of crazies, sexual deviants and general weirdos who often come to dominate left groups and push out any real pursuit of socialism.

Perhaps the greatest indictment a reactionary writer can make against the Connolly Youth Movement is the fact they are so unworthy of a red scare. Decades ago at the pulpit, in the Army Council or on the national airwaves, red baiting came into its own in this country, from an era when communism controlled swathes of the globe. Now, communism is sooner to occupy niche discord groups rather than the halls of power entirely integrated within the neoliberal cultural machine.

20th century communism was only a force to the extent to which it played off the vicissitudes of industrial capitalism and quietly made deals with background forces. Irish socialism has only attained what cultural purchase it has by being allowed to occupy a flank in the national struggle. 

While the reality of global economics means under 35s will lean towards radicalism going forward, this will eventuate itself more in the wokeness we have witnessed the past decade rather than old school bolsheviks per the CYM model. 

One interesting phenomenon CYM can be held responsible for generating is an Irish ‘Bread Tube’, i.e. a  left wing youtube scene to rival that of the radical right. 

Led by the gormless Paul Morrin, its content is generally par for the course for anyone acquainted with the general ecosystem of socialist YouTube. Perhaps most interesting is the defence made by Morrin and CYM secretary Homits of the embattled Belarussian regime, currently facing the onslaught of a CIA colour revolution and the Open Society machine.

In justifiably defending Lukashenko as being a paradigm of socially consciously post-Soviet democracy, they defend a man who by any international definitions is of the conservative right on most issues. It may take a lifetime for the two tankies to comprehend why a thinly veiled reactionary regime is the best bulwark against neoliberal capitalism, but don’t hold your breath for the penny to drop.

Suffice to say this publication has had a rather frigid relationship with our budding Stasi jailors, especially after inadvertently hoodwinking some as part of our investigations before. With CYM members making up a respectable percentage of the article, I dare say it’s worth thanking them for their certifiable 6,000 word rambles on this publication and others.

Expect CYM to be tipping over tables for a while more, but the timer is set for the inevitable implosion per the leftist mental modus operandi. Tankies are the last stand for the left wing male machismo in crisis, with the sheer amount of crazies flocking to the red banner. 

Irish kulaks have nothing to fear heading into 2021, however, the same cannot be said for male socialists trying to maintain a modicum of masculine dignity in modern communist movements.

Posted by Ciaran Brennan

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