James Larkin: The Marxist Folk Hero

These days, it’s easier to fake heroism. People can fake virtue. They can signal their virtue by showing people how much they are helping people. They can use the merit of contributing to increasing one’s reputation and level of status. Not James Larkin, the Marxist hero who fought for labor rights over the span of his entire life.

The Man Behind The Fight

James Larkin was born on January 28, 1874, to poor parents who raised him in the slums and who can only afford to give him little formal education.

Growing up around the slum area was the fuel to James Larkin’s desire to augment social change for the country, and to effect the kind of change that is lacking today.

He was not able to get the full formal education that could give him all the opportunities in life but did not use that as a reason that he should not fight for his life. So he worked. He worked various jobs so that he could earn money needed to get the education he wanted.

James Larkin worked as a Liverpool dockman and since then committed himself to working for the fight towards getting the socialist system integrated into the political system. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/easterrising/profiles/po08.shtml and http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/

It was this experience that fully shaped James Larkin’s desire to go for the needed changes required to change how the docks got treated in the place he’s working. In 1905, James Larkin became a trade union organizer and since then fought the rights of the marginalized workers.

Personal Life

James Larkin married the dream wife of his in 1903, which was Elizabeth Browning. From their love for each other came out four sons that they raised well and taught the values that James Larkin had been fighting his entire life.

All his life James Larkin got influenced by the Marxist ideology that teaches people what the system is trying to pit people against in the industrial society. To further his studies, he went to the United States and raised enough funding to fight the abuses of the British.

For such fight and travels, he got convicted of criminal anarchy and treason for the communist thoughts that he carried. He was deported to Ireland three years later but found himself still fighting for the rights of the abused after that.

Organized Fight

The desire to fight for socialist change also earned James Larkin the recognition from the Communist International in 1924. His argument impressed the organization because of his continuous support for the same ideology that shaped the organization.

James Larkin was also able to succeed in all his fights against the abuses because of organized demonstrations that often saw the support of many individuals and business owners.

Protests in Dublin saw themselves led by the power of James Larkin for pushing the rights of the weak, too, especially during the outbreak of World War 1.

With all these fights, it’s not that hard to see how the Marxist influence of James Larkin formed the foundation of the vision of his work.