The article that we are republishing here first appeared in World Revolution 21 in 1978. In the first paragraph it establishes the framework in which ‘national liberation’ struggles should be seen. “The 'small nations' like Ireland, which wanted to grab something for themselves, would have to try and exploit for their own interests the conflict between the big imperialist powers.”
How the failure to understand that changing conditions invalidated the Second International's stand on democracy and the national question led the internationalist James Connolly into support for the Irish nationalist uprising in Dublin, 1916.
Much has changed in the nearly forty years since 1978 when this article was first published. But one thing has not changed: nationalism in all its forms remains the working class’ mortal enemy. The positions set forward in this article thus remain essentially valid: and, one hundred years after the Dublin Easter Rising, it still stands as an answer to all those who would hijack the memory of James Connolly, an Irish revolutionary socialist shot down by the British army, for the cause of Irish nationalism.