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John Molyneux, a revolutionary life (1948-2022)

Carolyn Egan and Michelle Robidoux

December 13, 2022
It was a great shock to learn of the sudden passing of John Molyneux on December 10th. John was a lifelong revolutionary who radicalized in the context of the great movements of the 1960s, and throughout the years he always projected his confidence in the revolutionary potential of the working class and in the explanatory power of Marxist ideas.
Socialists around the world, including in Canada, have drawn inspiration from his writingsincluding Marxism and the Party, Arguments for Revolutionary Socialism, What is the real Marxist traditionand many others. But his activity was no less inspiring, and the two were closely bound together.
John had a remarkable energy, working on many different fronts at any given time. He was genuinely interested and curious about emerging new struggles, not in an abstract or detached way, but with a fusion of theoretical and practical concerns. He followed developments around the world with a sharp eye, allowing himself to be inspired while not shying away from raising sometimes difficult questions and disagreements.
John’s legacy as a revolutionary can be seen in the numerous tributes from his many comrades and friends around the world, and we cannot do justice to it here. But his single-minded focus on the need for socialists to bend every effort to build revolutionary organization stands out to us as one of the most powerful and enduring.
In his important book Marxism and the Party, he wrote: “…running through everything that the party is and does, the thread connecting all its key characteristics and tasks is the striving to unite theory and practice. The party exists to translate the general aims of socialism into concrete practical activities and to link every immediate struggle to the ultimate aim of socialism. Through the party, theory – the materialist interpretation of history, the analysis of capitalism and its contradictions and the understanding of the historical role of the working class – informs practice, and through the party, practice – the struggle to change the world – stimulates, directs, tests and ultimately realises theory.”
John gave every fibre of his being to the revolutionary struggle to overthrow capitalism, to working class self-emancipation, to international socialism – right to the very end of his life. Days before he died, he was part of organizing an anti-fascist protest in Dublin, and was interviewed in local media.
His example and legacy live on in the activity of the many individuals and organizations he collaborated and polemicized with around the world. Our condolences to his partner Mary Smith, his children, and comrades in Ireland, the United Kingdom and around the world.
Rest in power, John Molyneux. La lutte continue.
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