As establishment politicians and the media fawn over US President Joe Biden during his visit to Ireland, the Workers’ Party seeks to make clear our rejection of American domination over our economic, cultural and military affairs, as well as the general foreign policy of Biden’s presidency.
Due to the failure of the Irish state to create native industry, Ireland’s economy is completely dependent on American corporations (including Intel, Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM and more,) namely through their corporation tax. It is no wonder, then, that the Irish political establishment and media find themselves fawning over Biden. The visit is not one where Biden will feel any diplomatic pressure from establishment politicians or face any tough questions from the media, it is simply a show of allegiance designed to declare beyond any doubt that they are happy for Ireland to be part of the American empire so long as they are thrown a few crumbs.
Given the current housing and cost of living crises facing working people in Ireland, it is not as if we could not benefit from having a native industrial economy upon which a higher corporation tax could be effectively imposed, but our government will not pursue this as it would mean becoming less reliant on the US.
The United States, through their status as the dominant hegemonic power, dominates modern culture, and, by the nature of globalisation, this includes modern culture in Ireland. It is virtually impossible not to consume American media, and this is increasingly evident in our young people. Unsurprisingly, this has led to the importation of, as examples, individualist attitudes and American political issues into an Irish context. This is not a natural occurrence, but one tied directly to the unwillingness of the Irish state to develop our national culture in favour of looking to America from the 1960s onwards as a cultural beacon. With the rapid increase in globalisation in recent years, this process has accelerated and become even more evident.
Biden has a record of warmongering on a scale unmatched by any other current global leader. He pushed for the Iraq War as a senator, which is estimated to have led to somewhere between half a million and over one million deaths, supports Israel in their oppression of the Palestinian people, continues the US policy of attempting to strangle Cuba with sanctions, has escalated tensions with China and Russia, and supports neo-Nazis operating in Ukraine. The Irish political establishment do not simply ignore the foreign policy of Biden and the US, but they are complicit in it, as they offer the use of Shannon Airport to the US Army and the CIA, the latter of which is documented to have used the airport during operations to kidnap and torture people.
This complicity is designed to undermine Irish neutrality, despite the clear support our neutral status enjoys amongst the Irish people. It is clear that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil wish to see Ireland join NATO, pulling us into wars that will no doubt see working class Irish people die to serve the interests of the American empire.
In other words, our political establishment is content enough with Ireland lacking any real or meaningful sovereignty in favour of acting as a vassal of the United States. The Irish capitalist class, in typical gombeen fashion, are happy to skim what crumbs they can from contracts and subcontracts that rely on American multinationals, with even fewer crumbs again being given to the Irish worker. The type of welcome extended to Biden is an effort on the part of the political establishment to have the Irish people internalise and accept this vassal status.
Such policies are designed to undermine Irish neutrality, despite the clear support our neutral status enjoys amongst the Irish people and in time pull us into wars that will no doubt see working class Irish people die to serve the interests of the American empire.
As the visit occurs so close to the 107th anniversary of the Easter Rising, it seems fitting to declare the fact that the men and women of Easter week 1916 did not die simply to swap British imperialism for American imperialism. We must recognise US domination over our affairs for what it is: imperialism. We also recognise the politicians who are currently falling over themselves to welcome Biden for what they are: the facilitators of that relationship.
Only an Ireland that can become less economically reliant on American corporations, less culturally reliant on American media and stronger in defence of our neutrality will be able to sufficiently serve the interests of the Irish working class.