What is to be done?

Author: 
Sean Matgamna

V. Credo
Trotsky knew:
I see the bright green strip of grass
Beneath the wall.
And the clear blue sky
Above the wall
And sunlight everywhere
Life is beautiful
Let the future generations cleanse it
Of all evil, oppression
And violence
And enjoy it to the full.

Zbigniew knew:
Go upright among those
Who are on their knees:
Let your anger be like the sea
Whenever you hear the voice
Of the insulted
And beaten.

Marti knew:
With the poor people of the earth
I want to share my fate.

Connolly knew:
Impartiality as between
The strong and the weak
Is the virtue of the slave.

Marx knew, Engels knew:
History is the history
Of class struggles
That each time ended
Either in a revolutionary
Reconstitution of society, or
In the common ruin
Of the contending classes.

Engels knew:
Labour power, wage-slavery,
Produes value greater
Than it costs
The capitalist

Marx knew:
A state of society
In which the process of production
Has the mastery over man
Instead of being controlled by him.
To buy and use.

Rosa knew:
The proletarian revolution
Is at the same time
The death knell
For all servitude
And oppression.

Rosa knew:
When the working class
Seizes the entire power
Of the state
In its calloused fist
And uses it
To smash the head
Of the ruling classes,
That alone is Democracy,
That alone is not
A betrayal of the people

Connolly knew:
To increase the intelligence of the slave
To sow broadcast the seeds
Of that intelligence
That they may take root
And ripen into revolt;
To be the interpreters
Of that revolt, and finally
To help in guiding it to victory
Is the mission we set before ourselves.

Çonnolly knew:
Contemned and despised though he be
Yet, the rebellious docker
Is the sign and symbol to all
That an imperfect civilisation cannot last
For slavery cannot survive
The awakened intelligence of the slave.

Trotsky knew:
A party or a class that rises up
Against every abominable action
Wherever it has occurred,
As vigorously and unhesitatingly
As a living organism reacts
To protect its eyes
When they are threatened
- Such a party or class is sound at heart.

Gramsci knew:
Reality is the result
Of the application of wills
To the society of things:
To put aside
Every voluntary effort
And calculate only
The intervention of other wills
Is to mutilate reality itself.

Trotsky knew:
Face reality squarely;
Do not seek
The line of least resistence;
Call things by their right names;
Speak the truth
No matter how bitter it may be;
Do not fear obstacles

Lenin knew:
To say that socialists cannot
Divert from its path
The labour movement created
By the material elements
And material environment
Whose interaction creates
A certain type of labour movement
And defines its path
Is to ignore the truth
That consciousness
Participates
In this interaction and creation:
With Catholic labour movements
The difference is
It was the consciousness of priests
And not the consciousness of Marxists
That participated.

Connolly knew:
The only true prophets are those
Who carve out the future they announce

Trotsky knew:
Be true in little things
As in big ones;
Steer by the logic of the class struggle
Be bold
When the hour for action arrives.

Lenin knew:
It is necessary to find
The particular link in the chain
Which must be grasped
With all one's strength
In order to keep the whole chain in place
And prepare to move on
Resolutely to the next link.

Marx knew:
For the producer, co-operation,
And the posession in common
Of the land
And the means of production.

Gramsci knew:
The emancipation of the proletariat is not
A labour of small account
And of little men; only he
Who can keep his heart strong
And his will as sharp as a sword
When the general disillusion is at its worst
Can be regarded as a fighter
For the working class
Or called a revolutionary.

Zbigniew knew:
Let your sister scorn
Not leave you;
Be courageous,
Whenever the mind fails you,
Be courageous:
Only that is important.

Tsintsadze knew:
Woe to him who cannot wait!

Tsintsadze knew:
Many others too have died
As I am dying,
In prison or internal Exile:
It will enrich our tradition;
A new generation, learning
From the struggle
Of the Bolshevik Opposition,
Will know
On whose side truth lies.

Marx knew:
The knell
Of capitalist
Private property
Sounds

Marx knew:
The integuement is burst asunder:
The expropriators are expropriated.

Gramsci knew:
Only the one who wills something strongly
Can identify the elements
Which are necessary
To the realisation of his will.

Cannon knew:
The thing that inspires life,
That makes life worth the living
In face of all the dangers,
Uncertainties
Insecurities
Calamities
Disappointments,
Is to have committed ones own self
To the effort to change it.

Rolland knew:
Pessimism of the intellect,
Optimism of the will!

Pearse knew:
Did ye think to conquer the people
Or that law is stronger than life
And than our desire to be free?
We will try it out with you,
Ye that have harried and held,
Ye that have bullied and bribed,
Tyrants, hypocrites, liars!

Connolly knew:
Hope, and fight!

*Aisling is Irish for 'vision': an aisling is a "vision poem"
April, 1989.