Socialist Worker

James Connolly: 'The mob has humanised the world'

In the early 20th century, revolutionary James Connolly replied to a priest who denounced workers’ politics as the "the rule of the mob":

Issue No. 2265

‘There was a time stretching for more than 1,000 years, when the mob was without power or influence, when the entire power of the world was concentrated in the hands of the kings, the nobles and the hierarchy.

That was the blackest period in human history.

Then the mob started on its upward march to power—a power only to be realised in the socialist republic.

In the course of its upward march the mob has transformed and humanised the world.

It has abolished religious persecution and imposed toleration on bigots of all creeds; it has established the value of human life; softened the horrors of war as a preliminary to abolishing it; compelled trial by jury; abolished the death penalty… and today is fighting to take children from the factory and the mine and put them in school.

In this civilising, humanising work the mob had at all times to meet and master the hatred of kings and nobles. All hail to the mob, the incarnation of progress!’

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Tue 16 Aug 2011, 17:55 BST
Issue No. 2265
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