James Connolly

James Connolly
James Connolly
  • Born: June 5, 1868
  • Died: May 12, 1916
  • Nationality: Scottish
  • Profession: Politician

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James Connolly was an Irish republican and socialist leader. He was a member of the Industrial Workers of the World and founder of the Irish Socialist Republican Party. With James Larkin, he was centrally involved in the Dublin lock-out of 1913, as a result of which the two men formed the Irish Citizen Army (ICA) that year. He opposed British rule in Ireland, and was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916, when the ICA, along with the larger Irish Volunteers, seized Dublin and held it for six days.

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All systems of political administration or governmental machinery are but the reflex of the economic forms which underlie them Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Capitalism
Apostles of Freedom are ever idolized when dead, but crucified when living. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
During this glorious reign Ireland has seen 1,225,000 of her children die of famine, starved to death whilst the produce of her soil and their labor was eaten up by a vulture aristocracy, enforcing their rents by the bayonets of a hired assassin army in the pay of the –best of the English Queens’ Taxes
Ere we can forecast the future we must understand the present and bring a just sense of proportion to our review of the history of the past. History
Establishment at public expense of rural depots for the most improved agricultural machinery, to be lent out to the agricultural population at a rent covering cost and management alone. Development & Growth
Every false prophet comes in odd moments to believe in the truth of his false doctrine Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
For generations the shamrock was banned as a national emblem of Ireland, but in her extremity England uses the shamrock as a means for exciting in foolish Irishmen loyalty to England. For centuries the green flag of Ireland was a thing accurst and hated by the English garrison in Ireland, as it is still in their inmost hearts. But in India, in Egypt, in Flanders, in Gallipoli, the green flag is used by our rulers to encourage Irish soldiers of England to give up their lives for the power that denies their country the right of nationhood. Flags & National Anthems
For our part we regard all human life as equally sacred, whether it be the life of an Empress or the life of a charwoman, and we have no desire to emulate our contemporaries in their attempt to magnify the horror of a crime because the victim belonged to the former rank of life rather than the latter. Equality & Equal Opportunity
His Imperial Highness, the Czar of All the Russias, has issued a manifesto in favor of universal disarmament …. whatever seriousness there is in his latest pronouncement may be translated into an appeal to his brother despots throughout Europe to cease warring with each other in order that their hands may be free to throttle the infant liberty in their own dominions. Guns & Gun Control
If you remove the English army to-morrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
In all the great wars of England, the war of the American Revolution, the war against the French Revolution, the Crimean War,, there were men who stood out against those ventures, and against a nation lashed to madness by the appeals and lies of its leaders. They were but a miserable minority, but history has triumphantly vindicated them. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
In the past, civilization has been a heritage enjoyed by a few upon a basis of the brutalization of the vast multitude …. nation aims at a civilization of the whole resting upon the whole, and only made possible by the educated co-operation of an educated whole. States. Nations & Nationhood
In what country has it ever happened that the people have profited by foreign conquest? Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
It is well to remember that nations which submit to conquest or races which abandon their language in favor of that of an oppressor do so, not because of the altruistic motives, or because of a love of brotherhood of man, but from a slavish and cringing spirit. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Let us free Ireland! Never mind such base, carnal thoughts as concern work and wages, healthy homes, or lives unclouded by poverty. Let us free Ireland! The rackrenting landlord; is he not also an Irishman, and wherefore should we hate him? Nay, let us not speak harshly of our brother – yea, even when he raises our rent …. “With the Green Flag floating o’er us” and an ever-increasing army of unemployed workers walking about under the Green Flag, wishing they had something to eat. Same as now! Whoop it up for liberty! Freedom & Liberty
Man, as a social animal, has a claim upon the society which gave him birth. This claim is his right to live as long as he is willing to perform his share of the labor necessary to his own maintenance and the maintenance of society at large. This claim involves, in the first place, the right of free access to the means of life; in the second place, the duty of contributing to the support of the weaker members of the community. Citizenship & Patriotism
Nations … robbed each other in English, and fooled each other in French English, Languages & Bilingualism
No agency less potent than the red tide of war on Irish soil will ever enable the Irish race to recover its self respect … Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
No revolutionary movement is complete without its poetical expression. If such a movement has caught hold of the imagination of the masses, they will seek a vent in song for the aspirations, the fears and hopes, the loves and hatreds engendered by the struggle. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
One economic blunder invariably brings in its train a series of blunders, each one more fruitful of disaster than the first. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
Our demands most moderate are – We only want the earth! Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Socialists do not base their Socialism upon any interpretation of the language or meaning of Scripture, nor upon the real or supposed intentions of a beneficent Deity. They as a party neither affirm or deny those things, but leave it to the individual conscience of each member to determine what beliefs on such questions they shall hold. As a political party they wisely prefer to take their stand upon the actual phenomena of social life as they can be observed in operation amongst us to-day, or as they can be traced in the recorded facts of history. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Some defeats are better than victories. A defeat endured as the result of contest conducted in a fair and honorable manner is a thousand times more creditable to the defeated party than a victory gained by all the mean and unscrupulous arts of the wire pullers. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Tell me how poor Ireland, exhausted and drained of her life-blood at every pore, with a population almost wholly agricultural and unused to mechanical pursuits, is to establish new factories, and where she is to find the customers to keep them going. She cannot create new markets. This world is only limited after all, and the nations of Europe are pushing their way into its remote corners so rapidly that in a few years time, at most, the entire world will have been exhausted as a market ... Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism ;Capitalism
The agricultural and industrial system of a free people, like their political system, ought to be an accurate reflex of the democratic principle by the people for the people, solely in the interests of the people. Business, Commerce & Finance
The Cabinets who rule the destinies of nations from the various capitals of Europe are but the tools of the moneyed interest. Their quarrels are not dictated by sentiments of national pride or honor, but by the avarice and lust of power on the part of the class to which they belong. Lobbying & Special Interests
The diplomat holds all acts honorable which bring him success, all things are righteous which serve his ends. If cheating is necessary, he will cheat; if lying is useful, he will lie; if bribery helps, he will bribe; if murder serves, he will order murder; if burglary, seduction, arson or forgery brings success nearer, all and each of these will be done. Diplomacy & Diplomats
The great appear great to us only because we are on our knees;, LET US RISE! Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
The soldier then is, no matter in what light we examine his position, a ‘hired assassin’ – his first duty, he is told, is to ‘obey’. To obey whom? His superior officers, who in turn must obey the Government. When the mandate goes forth, ‘Kill’, he must kill and dare not ask the reason why. The government under whose orders he serves may have been elected to power on some question of internal administration … but as soon as it is in power it has the right to launch all the military and naval forces … Military & Veterans
The worker is the slave of capitalist society, the female worker is the slave of that slave. Society ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force ;Capitalism ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
To you, workers of Ireland, we address ourselves. AGITATE in the workshop, in the field, in the factory, until you arouse your brothers to hatred of the slavery of which we are all the victims. EDUCATE, that the people may no longer be deluded by illusory hopes of prosperity under any system of society of which monarchs or noblemen, capitalists or landlords form an integral part. ORGANIZE, that a solid, compact and intelligent force, conscious of your historic mission as a class, you may seize the reins of political power whenever possible and, by intelligent application of the working-class ballot, clear the field of action for the revolutionary forces of the future. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance ;Capitalism
We are a fighting race, we are told, and every Irishman is always proud to hear our politicians and journalists tell of our exploits in the fighting line – in other countries, in other climes and in other times. Yes, we are a fighting race. Whether it is under the Stars and Stripes or under the Union Jack; planting the flag of America over the walls of Santiago or helping our own oppressors to extend their hated rule over other unfortunate nations our brave Irish boys are ever to the front. When the Boer has to be robbed of his freedom, the Egyptian has to be hurled back under the heel of his taskmaster, the Zulu to be dynamited in his caves, the Matabele slaughtered beside the ruins of his smoking village or Afridi to be hunted from his desolated homestead, wheresoever, in short, the bloody standard of the oppressors of Ireland is to be found over some unusually atrocious piece of scoundrelism, look then for the sons of our Emerald Isle, and under the red coats of the hired assassin army you will find them. Yes, we are a fighting race. In Africa, India or America, wherever blood is to be spilt, there you will find Irishmen, eager and anxious for a fight, under any flag, in anybody's quarrel, in any cause – except their own Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
We do not think that the old heart of the earth needs to be warmed with the red wine of millions of lives. We think anyone who does is a blithering idiot. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
We went out to break the connection between this country and the British Empire, and to establish an Irish Republic …. We succeeded in proving that Irishmen are ready to die endeavoring to win for Ireland those national rights which the British Government has been asking them to die to win for Belgium. As long as that remains the case, the cause of Irish freedom is safe…. I personally thank God that I have lived to see the day when thousands of Irish men and boys, and hundreds of Irish women and girls, were ready to affirm that truth, and to attest it with their lives if need be. Freedom & Liberty
When the fruits of civilization, created by all, are enjoyed in common by all, then civilization is secure. Not till then. Equality & Equal Opportunity
Whenever the clergy succeeded in conquering political power in any country the result has been disastrous to the interests of religion and inimical to the progress of humanity. Religion & God
Your Irish railways employ thousands of men, whose working hours average twelve per day. Were they restricted to a forty-eight-hour week of labor, employment would he provided for thousands of Irishmen who at present are driven exiles from their native land. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
If you strike at, imprison, or kill us, out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you, and perhaps, raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!
Just as it is true that a stream cannot rise above its source, so it is true that a national literature cannot rise above the moral level of the social conditions of the people from whom it derives its inspiration.
There can be no perfect Europe in which Ireland is denied even the least of its national rights.
Without the power of the Industrial Union behind it, Democracy can only enter the State as the victim enters the gullet of the Serpent. Power

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