Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Emerging from a Political Mire

After much drunken chatter, two facts about Irish society have become abundantly clear:
1. The pubs need to be shut down.
To mangle Marx, alcohol is the alcohol of the people. Pubs act as an unhealthy safety valve for all righteous anger and effective political will. In a pub we live out in imagination all that should be put into practice. Obviously banning alcohol won't work, but pubs should be curtailed encouraging as they do a detrimental culture that stunts this nation.
2. Being taken over by Europe is no bad thing.
For all that Ireland has shown brilliance in so many areas of human endeavour, politics is not one of them. All creative political thinking seems to have expended itself with the foundation of the state. The past ninety or so years have been a parade of mediocrity with some downright unpleasant embarassments like De Valera and Haughey. We have allowed a closed network of small, dynastic thinking to develop that stifles all brilliance in the political sphere. I do not say that the Irish mind is incapable of political excellence; I just say we have created a culture that prohibits it. Like Italy we learnt the superficial lessons of Machiavelli without seeing the patriotism and pragmatism that underlay his thinking. Despite all the ideas of self-interest that have grown up around Machiavelli's myth, the man was a Republican (I mean in the real sense not the corrupt Irish meaning of the term). His methods were meant to be in the service of a true ideal. Ireland took the lessons and put them to use for self-interested ends (and often without much skill). Maybe we will learn from the Germans, and I hope it is the Germans, for, much as I admire French culture, they are too self-interested nationally to give a shit about Ireland's future. Europe is France in France's eyes. At least with Germany, Europe is just their's. All their bailouts are the cost of ownership.
I sincerely hope we learn from our new masters no matter what their configuration.


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