James Connolly, a charismatic Irish socialist and political leader, occupies a significant place in the history of Irish labor movements and the struggle for independence. A fervent advocate for workers' rights, Connolly believed that the liberation of the working class and the pursuit of national sovereignty were intertwined goals. He played a pivotal role in the Easter Rising of 1916, where he led the Irish Citizen Army in an attempt to overthrow British rule. Connolly's thought-provoking writings, including works like "Labour in Irish History," provide insights into his Marxist ideology and his conviction that social and economic justice were crucial components of national liberation. His legacy endures as a symbol of resilience, as his commitment to social equality and his willingness to put his beliefs into action in the face of great adversity continue to inspire those fighting for social justice and self-determination around the world.
James Connolly Quotes
The great appear great to us.
The Irish people will only be free, when they own everything from the plough to the stars
Yes, friends, governments in capitalist society are but committees of the rich to manage the affairs of the capitalist class.
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!
Don't be 'practical' in politics. To be practical in that sense means that you have schooled yourself to think along the lines, and in the grooves that those who rob you would desire you to think.
The British Government has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland, and never can have any right in Ireland.
We believe in constitutional action in normal times; we believe in revolutionary action in exceptional times.
Apostles of Freedom are ever idolised when dead, but crucified when alive.
However it may be for others, for us of the Citizen Army there is but one ideal - an Ireland ruled, and owned, by Irish men and women, sovereign and independent from the centre to the sea, and flying its own flag outward over all the oceans.
We, at least, are not loyal men: we confess to having more respect and honour for the raggedest child of the poorest labourer in Ireland today than for any, even the most virtuous, descendant of the long array of murderers, adulterers and madmen who have sat upon the throne of England.
State ownership and control is not necessarily Socialism - if it were, then the Army, the Navy, the Police, the Judges, the Gaolers, the Informers, and the Hangmen, all would all be Socialist functionaries, as they are State officials.
Yes, ruling by fooling, is a great British art with great Irish fools to practice on.
The Irish Republic must be made a word to conjure with - a rallying point for the disaffected, a haven for the oppressed, a point of departure for the socialist, enthusiastic in the cause of human freedom.
No revolutionary movement is complete without its poetical expression.
Under a socialist system every nation will be the supreme arbiter of its own destinies, national and international; will be forced into no alliance against its will, but will have its independence guaranteed and its freedom respected by the enlightened self-interest of the socialist democracy of the world.
The worker is the slave of capitalist society, the female worker is the slave of that slave.
The cause of Labour is the cause of Ireland, and the cause of Ireland is the cause of Labour
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.
There can be no perfect Europe in which Ireland is denied even the least of its national rights.
Though I have usually posed as a Catholic, I have not done my duty for 15 years, and have not the slightest tincture of faith left.
All these mountains of Irish dead, all these corpses mangled beyond recognition, all these arms, legs, eyes, ears, fingers, toes, hands, all these shivering putrefying bodies and portions of bodies once warm living and tender parts of Irish men and youths - all these horrors in Flanders or the Gallipoli Peninsula, are all items in the price Ireland pays for being part of the British Empire.
Only the Irish working class remains as the incorruptible inheritors of the fight for freedom in Ireland.
Irish tory employers hid[e] their sweatshops behind orange flags, and Irish home rule landlords us[e] the green sunburst of Erin to cloak their rack-renting in the festering slums of our Irish towns.
Without the power of the Industrial Union behind it, Democracy can only enter the State as the victim enters the gullet of the Serpent.
Such a scheme.. the betrayal of the national democracy of Industrial Ulster, would mean a carnival of reaction both North and South, would set back the wheels of progress, would destroy the oncoming unity of the Irish labour movement and paralyse all advanced movements while it lasted.
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.
The Irishman in English literature may be said to have been born with an apology in his mouth.
I can always guarantee that the Irish Citizen Army will fight but I cannot guarantee that it will be on time.
If you remove the English army to-morrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organisation of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain.
― James Connolly Quotes
Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.