Tough Times at Connolly Barracks
At one time the most spirited outfit on the Irish Left, it would appear that the Connolly Youth Movement (CYM) has entered a period of dormancy on the back of a schismatic year and lockdown induced inaction.
Formerly the youth wing of the perpetually quiescent Communist Party of Ireland (CPI), the Stalinist upstarts had a very public split from their parent organisation, which has seen the group fade from relevance since.
Something of an organisational corpse despite its half century long history, the CYM experienced a burst of life under its feisty chairman Alex Homits, even attempting to create something of an Irish Breadtube with its YouTube affiliate Paul Morrin.
With much publicised occupations, PR stunts, as well as semi-serious approaches to trade unionism, there was a point in 2020 when CYM looked to distinguish itself from the pack, especially as trotskyists waned amid internal rancour. While the very real possibility existed of CYM acting as a political gadfly to influence a future Sinn Féin/Left coalition, by most reports, the group has all but bitten the dust the past 6 months.
The January split centred on what appeared to be a Homits focused coup against Communist Central Command, which resulted in the socialist whippersnapper falling on his own sword and being expelled. Per the general MO with these splits, the inner details have been vomited across the internet for reactionary writers to hoover up.
In short, CPI’s Politburo, fearful of the successes experienced by the bolshevik pipsqueaks in their youth wing, and mindful of entryism, cut ties with the Homits gang. With the Homits faction decrying cliquism and CPI questioning the former’s embrace of socialist republicanism, therein followed a very public splintering for the soldiers of socialism.
A lot of venom for a group that likely numbers less than a hundred activists at most. That being said, what little strength CPI carries is through its sway in key trade union bureaucracies.
What is laughable is the surprise felt by some baby Stalinists at the over centralised policies of CPI when it came to purging dissent. Homits and co. ought to count their lucky stars they weren’t living in their bolshevik utopia, lest they be shipped away to the Gulags of West Clare.
As the blood dried at Connolly Books, the near absence of CYM has been rather striking from a time when it looked set to organisationally overtake the trotskyist left. With sources spying CYM members at George Nkchenko events, and Homits himself more active in Dublin’s antifascist milieu to complement his union day job, the organisation has the hallmarks of entering a protracted period of terminal decline without its highly strung topman.
Sayonara Chairman: Did Egoism Destroy CYM?
A genuinely ghoulish looking creature, Homits, like a Baltic wind, had been sending shivers up the spines of Irish trots for years with his unreconstructed brand of anti-electoral Stalinism. Now seen skulking around Tallaght’s gym scene, the Fettercairn based bolshevik has evidently burnt his political bridges and is pivoting towards freelance trade unionism as he departs the tattered CYM.
An interesting specimen among the contemporary left for his machismo (no homo) and denunciation of the moral ills of the left (pornography, sexual abuse, narcotics anti-republicanism), he was perhaps doomed from the start in a movement antagonistic towards the hint of masculine self assertion.
For that reason, Burkean researchers found it odd his romantic connection with a relation of one of Dublin’s largest heroin kingpins, who herself faced charges for assaulting a bean garda back in 2019. We generally draw an ethical line around mentioning spouses in these polemics, but this factoid around Homits’s love life did raise eyebrows considering his unusual, albeit respectable, anti-drug stance among Marxists.
Prior to the schism, we at the Burkean wagered some sort of metoo or SJW related purity scandal would befall CYM. With near mathematical certainty that these groups crack up under the weight of their own personalities, we were ourselves surprised at how fast relations with the CPI soured.
Fitting for Homtis’s genre of old school bolshevism is that he was ousted in a rather old school palace coup, reminiscent of communists of yore.
As Ireland’s preeminent incel publication, it’s no major secret Burkean HQ keeps tabs on all left factions more than they could ever contemplate, dare I say some jilted socialists have always been forthcoming with information as required, if only to twist the knife on their dear comrade.
In an organisation characterised by an unusual amount of second generation Eastern Europeans mingled with nordie republicans, Homits was swimming against the ideological tide within the left and, to a lesser extent, his own group. Not exactly mournful of their demise, we will monitor the shards of CYM as they filter around the left ecosystem and beyond.
The significance of the implosions of such left micro groups is that the political and cultural runway is being cleared for a radical right the decade ahead. A savvier and less egotistical Homits could have ridden the wave of anti-idpol, with serious discontent building quietly in left wing quarters, but instead leaves behind a defeated looking cargo cult.
The outlook for what remains of the CYM is grim. The brief window of opportunity to make a genuine cultural impact has closed with the group is slowly fading away into the ether.
Certainly they don’t make tankies like they used to….