Read it and then read it again.
Many of the lessons outlined here apply not only to the armed phase of struggle, but also to the times we find ourselves in now. For example:
Saul Alinsky writes in Rules for Radicals that organizers must be masters of “political schizophrenia.” They must sincerely believe in what they are doing, if only to give them the strength of will to carry forward in difficult times. However, they should never become a “true believer” in the sense of fully internalizing their own propaganda. The point of politics is to achieve concrete ends, not simply to remain true to a dream.
The Myth of nationalist (and racial) redemption is True in some platonic sense. That doesn’t mean it has to be a suicide pact. Revolutionaries have to be willing to die for the dream, but idealism does not exempt them from the laws of political reality.
The “movement” can learn from this, as it simultaneously manages to be both too serious/internalizing of its silly dogmas, but, on the other hand, completely non-serious when it comes to practical political work (in all its guises).
It’s unlikely that these Irish revolutionaries were measuring each other’s cephalic indices, or arguing whether they were men above time, beyond time, or unable to tell time. Putting aside the issue that de Valera was a half-Spanish hybrid.
Probably the most serious “movement” folks were the likes of Mathews, Scutari, Lane, etc. – but they misjudged by an order of magnitude their chances of success.