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Thread: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?

  1. #16
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    Default Re: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?

    As to whether the Shinners are fascists as opposed to FG . . . . phew well . . that depends on what interpretation of fascism you are using.

    When I levelled the accusation of Blueshirts in this thread at this new think-tank I was being funny (admittedly not to a FG supporter, but I can live with that) but I was closer to the truth then arguably FG people might like to admit.

    One cannot look at O’Duffy and the paramilitary group the Blueshirts - that dark chapter in Fine Gael’s past - without taking into account the class conflicts of the 1930s in the RoI as exacerbated by the Treaty split. Dressing up a FG entity today with references to the mythical Just Society à la the Compassionate Conservatism of Declan Costello won’t cut it for many people.

    Fascism is and why it is relevant and not just a slur
    There are as many definitions in Europe of Fascism as there are Eskimo words for snow. I think of it as a pathological reaction against the myriad problems of modernity. I find myself agreeing with Georgi Dimitrov that fascism was the dictatorship of the most reactionary elements of financial capitalism. But let’s get a broader definition that is suitable to the point I want to make. Let’s take the maverick Tory historian Trevor-Roper. War-time Historian Hugh Trevor-Roper (1914 – 2003) stated: “Fascism is born out of fear, it might have independent intellectual roots, it might owe its form here and there to independent national or personal freaks but its force, its dynamism sprang from a new and this time a proletarian revolution. Each stage in the rise of European Fascism can be related to a moment of middle class panic caused either by economic crisis or by consequences of the threat of socialist revolution.” (Hitler's Place in History, 1965).

    It’s not simply a fear of socialist revolution that defines fascism but a belief by a well-insulated elite that they know best! It is the antithesis of democracy. Let me give you one example in recent times – not the 30s – of the execution of elitist rule: The rejection of the results of a democratic vote. Nice Treaty in Ireland, EU Constitution in Netherlands and France, and Lisbon Treaty here. There is all manner of examples of the practice of un-democratic and quite frankly fascist practices in the EU from start to finish. I would be here for the year typing if I went thru everything.

    How only a conditional support of democracy reminds me of the 30s is this. The pro-Treaty elements of the political system got in a strop when the “plebs” had the audacity to not vote for them in 1932. This ingratefulness on the part of the massess was then confirmed in the snap election less than 12 months later. The blue-coloured shirts of the ACA were not important in my mind as the attitude that Cumman na nGaedhael people adopted.

    Time and again I see this. Democracy is very good, as long as it works for the dominant vested interests. I don’t want to digress but just to quickly make the point but this is visible in the West’s mission of “bringing democracy to the wild savages”. In Gaza city Johnny Arab exercised this democracy thing. However he seemingly got it wrong, because what did he do but vote in Hamas. It seems that someone didn’t explain the rules of the game properly!
    Last edited by Pearse Monnet; 09-01-2015 at 12:51 PM.
    Sss-hh. Don’t mention the lack of sovereignty in the Irish state.
    The acknowledgement of the 1916 Rising by the Establishment and its nauseating, craven lackeys is simply a political convenience devoid of any real meaning!

  2. #17
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    Default Re: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?

    Democratic concerns of FG supporters (!?)
    I have heard Fine Gael lament the fact that subversive groups are small, politically unaccountable groups – and that therefore are unrepresentative of Irish public opinion. This concern seems to be a movable feast – you can’t cherry-pick and be taken seriously. There is little in the way of concern for the IMF or the EU Commission, despite the fact that these bodies are highly subversive groups and are small, politically unaccountable groups – and are unrepresentative of Irish public opinion. This is explainable only as some craven forelock-tugging nonsense to our betters

    The democratic concerns of supporters of either of the dominant gangs in Irish politics have as much creditability for me as the aule Iraqi weapons of mass destruction canard.

    The good IRA of the dear ol’ days versus the bad IRA of today??
    It is no small coincidence that Fine Gael started to celebrate Collins again since the Northern Troubles stopped. It’s safe now for Fine Gaelers (or the Gaolers party, as I heard them called onetime).

    There is an irony to Collin’s legacy that too few Fine Gaolers appreciate, or rather are in denial about.

    Having something like the Beal-na-Bláth speeches would have been simply too embarrassing in the middle of the 70’s or 80’s.

    Michael Collins launched a secret cross-border campaign, having IRA members (of both sides in the emerging Treaty divide) smuggle in guns.

    There is little difference in the offensive being planned between Collins and IRA Chief of Staff Liam Lynch in May–June 1922, and the activities of successive generations of other Irish Republicans ever since.

    Btw, one of these soldiers who worked to undermine the gerry-mandered state being the father of this moral degenerate.


    . . . . which simply reinforces the idea for me that a state’s citizens must continue to remind the politicians where their power comes from. Us, not a family entitlement.

    Romantic images of Collins
    The romanticisation of Mick Collins is second to none other. This is courtesy of Tim Pat Coogan – always a journalist not a historian – and latterly Neil Jordan, with his absurdly inaccurate film.

    Thanks to the power of the silver screen, Collins has been immortalised as a charismatic freedom fighter and juxtaposed to a joyless reactionary DeV. It feeds into our latter-day mythology, a dashing figure with the heart of a warrior and the soul of a poet, and a cheeky grin to boot. Michael Collins was the first of that 20th century phenomenon, the celebrity freedom fighter! He was a man’s man, great craic to be who could break out into song o’er a few drinks. But who could dally with the female aristocracy in London and still get a love-letter off to his sweetheart in the Emerald Isle. And if the mood took him he dispatched a couple of Brits to hell and then go and have a big meaty dinner. And all in glorious Technicolor – not aule crackly footage here. Jaysus, ya couldn’t sit around on a Saturday night with your mates, and their mates, watching Mise Eire; phkuc no, are ya mad?! But with this flick you could!


    COLLINS pictured starting the 1922 All-Ireland Hurling Final between Tipperary and Kilkenny

    That the image Fine Gael are looking to milk. The message is all Fine Gael are Michael Collinses. There is a Mick Collins inside every Blueshirt just waiting to get out; just give him a chance, will ya?
    Sss-hh. Don’t mention the lack of sovereignty in the Irish state.
    The acknowledgement of the 1916 Rising by the Establishment and its nauseating, craven lackeys is simply a political convenience devoid of any real meaning!

  3. #18
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    Default Re: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?

    The loss of a military strongman is no loss at all
    On another certain forum, there is nearly a constantly running thread over YEARS about what a loss Collins’ death was . . . . There is one guy who makes the same point again and again on every thread and every couple of pages, stating “But he was Europe’s youngest Prime Minister” ! It’s like he heard this fact in a table quiz one time and is determined to point this out again and again in case he himself forgets! To be honest, it’s hard to have sympathy for a man who died carrying a gun.

    Collins was never a politician and always a militarist; a shrewd strategist who only knew force. Collins was on record as having little time for officialdom and was untested as a parliamentarian. I have come to see him as an army power monger rather on the lines of Piłsudski in Poland at the same time. It has always proved to be difficult in the establishment of a parliamentary democracy the task of firmly bring a military force under civilian oversight. There is one quote that stick in my mind from the memoir “Allegiance” of Robert Brennan (Director of the Sinn Féin Department of Publicity and subsequently the same role for anti-Treatyites and eventually a co-founder of THE IRISH PRESS) “Mick Collins had great faith in the secret conclaves of the few, he
    despised the intelligence of the many”.

    At this time throughout Europe political elites were following through on an impetuousness they felt with parliamentary procedure. It’s not that big a leap of imagination to see the real possibility of a figure in the infant state in Dublin “rearranging” government. Although, when you see the present FG-led government riding roughshod over democracy with their so-called Economic Management Council, maybe this speculative fascist Collins is a person they do really want to emulate and not just simply use his name in vain for marketing purposes.

    In the leadership of the Provisional Government, Michael Collins did not seem to be in a hurry to relinquish his seniority in the IRB. As President of the IRB he was in the eyes of IRB members the President of the Irish Republic.

    Independent of the IRA and of Dáil Éireann during the War of Independence, the Irish Republican Brotherhood still continued intact with the establishment of the new state – a new state that the IRB largely supported. What was Collins’ plan after the Treaty? We will never know but it has been speculated that the IRB would have had a greater role than happened after he was shot dead. When the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed on 6 December 1921, it was debated by the Supreme Council, which voted to accept it by eleven votes to four. Many of the leaders acquired senior positions in the newly founded Free State Army. Friction between IRB figures and IRA figures in the National Army leadership led to the Army mutiny in 1924.

    In a piece wrote by Collins called “Path To Freedom” in “Path To Freedom and other writings” (1996) he maintained that if the army hadn't split he would have a republic “within two years.” What did he mean by that?

    Michael Collins was cut off ahead of maturity . . . . . Arguably just as well when one looks at his chosen successor: Eoin O’Duffy.

    Eoin O’Duffy
    Eoin O’Duffy, the most famous (though by no means the only) specimen in Ireland of fascist ideology was considered by Collins to be coming man in the early 1920’s. His activities were oriented towards saving the people from themselves. This included there being a greater role for sport than had hitherto been the case. Eoin O’Duffy was, among many things, President of the Irish Olympic Council, heading the Irish team in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.

    He didn’t turn into some monster in the 1930’s after Collins had left to meet his ancestors. The personality set out in Fearghall McGarry’s Eoin O’Duffy A Self-Made Hero (2005) is as equally as unpalatable in every period of his life as he was when wearing that blue shirt. O’Duffy revelled in Monaghan’s sectarian undercurrents in his rhetoric as a Sinn Fein political figure. Given his puritanical, moralistic philosophy O’Duffy can be seen indulging - with a particular zeal - his distaste for poitín makers.

    O’Duffy came to the attention of Collins, who enrolled him in the Irish Republican Brotherhood and supported his advancement to the position of Executive Officer from the Ulster Region of the IRB, and seconded him in his place when Collins couldn’t make IRB meetings.

    Ernest Blythe in his voluptuous journalism throughout the 1930s showed that very impetuousness with parliamentary procedure I referred to above. He detailed his frustrations going back to the first days of the new Oireachtas in 1922. (Ernest Blythe’s papers)

    There is no hiding the confrontation to the concept of parliament in those heady days when one thinks of Desmond FitzGerald sitting in his Dail seat wearing his Blueshirt. The boogie man for Fine Gaelers of subversives wouldn’t be allowed to sit in a paramilitary uniform in the Dail today.

    Arguably the only time that a political revolution was seriously threatened in the Irish state resulted from the actions of the Blueshirts. In August 1933 a parade was planned by the Blueshirts in Dublin to commemorate Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith. The Fianna Fáil government felt it could not rely on the loyalty of the officer corps of the Free State Army considering that the new government ministers had been on the opposite side to them in the Civil War. Fearing a coup d'état in clear imitation of Mussolini's March on Rome the FF government banned the parade.
    Last edited by Pearse Monnet; 09-01-2015 at 01:05 PM.
    Sss-hh. Don’t mention the lack of sovereignty in the Irish state.
    The acknowledgement of the 1916 Rising by the Establishment and its nauseating, craven lackeys is simply a political convenience devoid of any real meaning!

  4. #19
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    Default Re: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?

    A conservative personality reflective of a conservative society
    Reflecting the rural and agrarian nature of Irish society historically, Irish society is politically conservative, not exclusively but largely. We’re a cautious, stubborn shower. I know most people reading here know of the tribalist and conservative nature of Irish politics, I’m just providing a bit of context for anyone unfamiliar.

    Kevin O'Higgins once famously referred to himself as one of "the most conservative-minded revolutionaries that ever put through a successful revolution." Really, that description could be applied to many of them in the Irish Ireland movement. I don’t see Mick Collins as leftwing, simply because he made occasional rhetorical references to “ordinary people”; it would be a mistake to confuse populist tub-thumbing with political convictions. Two books correctly captures the thinking of the Independence movement – including both sides in the Civil War divide. John Regan’s “The Irish Counter-Revolution, 1921-1936: Treatyite Politics and Settlement in Independent Ireland” (2001) and Senia Pašeta's "Before the Revolution: Nationalism, Social Change and Ireland's Catholic Elite, 1879-1922" (1999)

    The clientelism that sees these political representatives perpetuate their hold on power (over many generations of the same family in some cases) simply further embeds inequality. Drug addiction, domestic violence and low life expectancy soars in areas where deprivation is ignored. The underlying attitudes in the Establishment towards people in the lower end of the social hierarchy indirectly feeds the criminal problems that will not go away in Irish society. I don’t see the new think tank looking to understand any of the endemic inequality in Irish society. A lot of hot air, and photo shots.

    “You cut your cloth according to your measure”, this philosophy determines far too many Irish people’s attitude to access to basic services. That there is a huge range in varying living standards across society is not considered to be a problem for party apparatchiks of either rival political Mafiosi. You can see this in the casual way the political class deal out the cuts in education and health since the arse fell out of the capitalist economic system AGAIN.

    Due to particular historical circumstances, there did not develop in Irish society the sort of political culture that characterises most of Western Europe. There exists in urbanised, industrialised, advanced countries an expectation of universal access to basic services, like healthcare and education. Working people make a connection between their taxation and the effectiveness of the services provided by the state. This is not the case in the Republic of Ireland; we have a small state and a traditionalist society where there is strong emphasis on the family unit. Healthcare and education services historically were provided by the Church, and people were encouraged to be grateful for receiving these lifelines.

    One main reason that FG is shaking the bones, voodoo-like, of Collins is that he was the last charming leading figure mildly-associated with the party (he’s not really FG, I’ll come to that point next). So, we are to be led to believe that because he was a bit gregarious of a fellow, this translates into being a man of the people, and somehow that is gonna rub off on to today’s lot. Wha!!? He was as much a Law and Order ideologue as any of them since.

    Michael Collins was a Castle Catholic, pure and simply, and his political actions were determined by his class identity. His family muintir Uí Choileáin had been the minor nobility in the Chiefdom Ui Chonaill, near Limerick city of today. While the Gaelic nobility were dispossessed in the defeat of Gaelic Ireland in 1601 they nonetheless retained their aspirations for grandeur. Collins’ family farm of 145 acres at the turn of the 20th century would have seen them enjoy a considerably higher standard of living than most of their peers. It was into that relatively well-to-do farming background that this “man of the people” was born into.

    The bourgeois mentality of Michael Collins is evident in his writings and musings (“Michael Collins In His Own Words”, edited by Francis Costello, 1997; and “Path To Freedom and other writings”; 1996), as well as in his contributions to Dáil proceedings. As Minister for Finance, Collins is on record clearly outlining a view that would not be out of step in any FG utterance ever since, regarding public interest versus personal interest in society. He stated: “We are starting what is a new order in Ireland and one of the duties of the National Government is to secure that thrifty people shall not be deprived of their savings by any kind of scheme, or any kind of society, or any group of individuals” (Dáil Debates; 2/7/1921) Far from wanting a just society!

    Also interestingly, after the Treaty established the Irish Free State Michael Collins espoused a strict law ‘n’ order sentiment that came to be associated with Cumann na nGaedheal and its successor party Fine Gael. “The first duty of the new government is to maintain public order, security of life, personal liberty and property.”

    The lite, lite, lite gas-and-water socialist rhetoric that Collins occasionally came out with was wholly in line with Catholic social teaching. The best example of this can found in a speech included as an appendix at the back of the book “Michael Collins and the Brotherhood” by Vincent MacDowell (Ashfield Press, 1997) Incidentally, MacDowell is an interesting character in his own right. Another IRA man like Collins, one of many things he did was involved in the setting up of the Green Party after the popular movement against the plan to install a nuclear plant in Carnsore Point, he was the father of Green MEP Nuala Ahearn. But I’m done typing for now.

    Conclusion
    Some critics of Provisional Sinn Féin on the Left and in anti-GFA Republican circles sneeringly refer to their head office as Michael Collins House. Personally I think it is more ridiculous for FG to suggest a link between Mick Collins’ patriotism on one hand and Declan Costello’s concern for social justice on the other in the past AND Fine Gael today. That the utterly vacuous Edna is some sort of synthesis of Collins and Costello is so laughable, I don’t know how much lower FG can go.

    Collins was long dead when Fine Gael was founded. The party’s parent, the nasal-sounding Cumann na nGaedheal, came into being in the year after his death. What right does Fine Gael have to claim Collins as one of their own?

    The current Sinn Féin party could make legitimate claims on Collins. He was a member of a party called Sinn Féin when he was killed.

    Not that this is the case – as Provisional Sinn Fein are perpetuating their own mythology – but if there were a case that a claim was made by Gerry Adams to carry on the Collins flame, it would be more legitimate than the implication made by the allying of Fine Gael to this new Collins Institute. It wouldn’t be the first time that Adams has been likened as "the Collins of our time".

    Trying to make out that this new think tank is gonna examine how best to implement the vision of Collins is simply rhetoric. And obvious to all but Second level students. The state that developed was reflective of the ideas of Michael Collins and most of his generation. That the bourgeois nationalist vision was limited and the logical step from that limited perspective was to join a trans-national politico-trade alliance will not be examined by the Collins Institute.

    For people who felt the product of the struggle for independence didn’t live up to the effort involved should look to Peadar O Donnell, Seán Ó Faoláin, Liam Ó Flaithearta, and Frank O'Connor; all IRA men, and all who wrote about the anti-climax they felt looking at the state that developed. There is no greater indictment of the Saorstait than Kavanagh’s bitter critique of the chauvinism inherent in the Catholic nationalist political synthesis in the 1930s.

    As for references to a just society . . . . . I will return to the validity of drawing on the legacy of Declan Costello, maybe next week.

    In a piece wrote by Collins called “Building Up Ireland - Resources to be Developed”, Chapter 5 of “Path To Freedom and other writings” (1996) Collins states: “The development of mines and minerals will be on national lines, and under national direction. This will prevent the monopoly by private individuals of what are purely national resources belonging to all the people of the nation. The profits from all these national enterprises – the working of mines, development of water-power, etc. – will belong to the nation for the advantage of the whole nation.” Maybe the new think tank could recommend that suggestion to the FG party. Throw out Shell and take Irish gas resources back into the ownership of the people.

    In terms of Irish foreign policy, Fine Gael is nothing like the separatism espoused by Collins. As such they should either "**** or get off the pot" and embrace John Redmond, the Home Rule Party’s leader. Redmond is on record as favouring Ireland remaining in the British Empire as long as a parliament was established in Dublin to control domestic affairs, and that is exactly the level of sovereignty a state in this country exercises today. But they won’t fully embrace John Redmond as their patron – FG is trying to out-Fianna Fáil Fianna Fáil.

    FF adopting a veneer of Irish Republicanism, seems to successfully trick huge numbers of people. This is despite the fact that FF is clearly a neo-Redmondite party, being content to govern an Irish state completely emasculated within American and European dominated political, military and economic structures. Fine Gael are trying their hand at guilefully using a culture of patriotic commemoration and nativist populism. They are doing this to offset a well-earned reputation of being on every body’s side except that of the Irish people.

    It would be great if the new think tank will engage in critical analysis – that’s what scholarship is. However it’s highly unlikely, I fear. It will merely be a propaganda machine for the abomination that is the EU; guest speakers will be invited amidst great plomp to extol the virtues of “integration”. (*palm face*)


    As for your "missing Solidarity", look at the coming together that occurs during a world cup or the Olympics.
    Last edited by Pearse Monnet; 09-01-2015 at 01:15 PM. Reason: "phreaq" apparently is a swear word to WordPress
    Sss-hh. Don’t mention the lack of sovereignty in the Irish state.
    The acknowledgement of the 1916 Rising by the Establishment and its nauseating, craven lackeys is simply a political convenience devoid of any real meaning!

  5. #20
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    Default Re: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Hi Thom, I don’t believe we’ve corresponded before.

    I would like to make a few points in relation to what you said . . .see what you think

    Comments like “this CI paper containing some Social Democratic ideals which are plainly coming from the Labour Party´s background

    And “the fact that Michael Collins himself has often been depicted as more left-wing than right-wing

    As well as that, as you appear to have some interest in the new think tank, I can’t very well lash out the term fascist and not back it up.

    I don’t know for sure if you are referring to me in the below comments. Possible not. But for the moment I will take that are, so firstly I want to respond to the charge of being a shinner !

    Frankly, some comments on FG which I´ve come across for many times (not just on this forum) seem to be more outdated because I can´t find anything in modern FG that is related to fascism, but I have noticed a rather fierce Nationalism among the Shinners themselves. Now who are the real "fashos" there?

    I’ve few points (jeez, 6 postings!) to make, so, bare with me if you would.

    Who says we don’t deal with serious matter on this site!?
    The points I will hit on are complex – the validity of slinging the “f” word, the accuracy of the claims by the Fine Gael party to Michael Collins and Declan Costello (and the two of them! in one foul swoop. Why stop there? Why not the Tuatha de Danann while they’re at it?), think tanks in Ireland . . .and on and on.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    A shinner ?! Moi?

    No I am not. I am not a supporter, a voter or a member of Provisional Sinn Féin. Not now or in the past. Surely Irish politics is richer than simply “in the blue corner – ding, ding – Fine Gael . . . . . and in the red corner – ding, ding – the Shinners”??!

    It’s simply an inaccurate description. You referred to nationalism in the same sentence . . ok that's me in short. So, the belief that the people of this country constitute a separate nation and that as such are entitled to exercise control over their destiny. How would I have expressed such a political opinion before Provisional Sinn Féin came into being in 1970? It’s very possible that PSF will facilitate FF back into government in the next parliamentary term; so, no I’m no Shinner.
    First of all, thanks for your reply. Second, my comments weren´t addressed to your personally in any way. I made my comments specifically in general terms, based on the experiences I´ve made when I´ve been posting on other forums. So to say, I was reflecting the comments I´ve come across over a considerable time and the still ongoing depicting of the FG party as being "a fascist" one which this party isn´t. She probably never really was. Just to make such remarks on a party because they had "absorbed" of the membership which was left from the Blueshirts doesn´t constitute a 100% fascist party. It´s the usual slandering by those who oppose FG and from my observations, much of the slandering comes from people who either frankly or a bit hidden are supporters of SF.

    On the other hand when looking at the "Janus-headed" acting of SF in NI and the RoI, the staunch Nationalism is more openly played in NI. In the RoI, SF likes to present herself as the "Social Democratic alternative" to the Labour Party. I´d like to be frank regarding them, I do not trust them as far as I could "p1ss". SF is in my opinion (that is more based on the behaviour of her members and fellow travellers) a staunch Nationalist and Socialist Party. FG is imo nothing else but a Conservative Party right of the centre and you might loath Enda Kenny, but I do admire his calmness when he has to face the Shinners in the Dáil trying to have a go at him.

    As it is obviously more a common place that no matter who the Taoiseach is, the Irish are never satisfied with the current leader of the Irish government. Kenny is - and that has been proved in the last years (seen from an international perspective) - the one Taoiseach Ireland needed to get out of the mess FF left behind. Kenny is a worker, a calm and more silent one who can´t spark much enthusiasm among the Irish electorate. But he managed to bring Ireland out of the bail out situation and when you look at other EU member states who are in a similar mess, they are still working on it.

    As you said in your first reply to me, we´ve never met before and therefore I´m a more restrained poster when it comes to put labels on other posters. I regard you as an individual in the first place, your political creed comes second and I take into account what you tell me yourself about it. It´s not to judge someone by his opinion, it´s to think about it and see how balanced ones views are. That´s my personal attitude from the outset and that´s how I´m intended to conduct myself on this forum.

    I´ll have to read your other posts now and see how much time is left to me for replying to them until I leave for the weekend.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?



    ok well read them and enjoy your weekend. i'm supposed to be working meself at the moment so, it's not entirely conducive for a debate right now. Think about what I wrote. And more importantly think about what value a body like the Collins Institute can bring to politics. My thoughts may simply be cynicism. Ya can't blaime me, the Irish people have been led down the garden path so many times . . .
    Sss-hh. Don’t mention the lack of sovereignty in the Irish state.
    The acknowledgement of the 1916 Rising by the Establishment and its nauseating, craven lackeys is simply a political convenience devoid of any real meaning!

  7. #22
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    Default Re: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    As to whether the Shinners are fascists as opposed to FG . . . . phew well . . that depends on what interpretation of fascism you are using.

    When I levelled the accusation of Blueshirts in this thread at this new think-tank I was being funny (admittedly not to a FG supporter, but I can live with that) but I was closer to the truth then arguably FG people might like to admit.

    One cannot look at O’Duffy and the paramilitary group the Blueshirts - that dark chapter in Fine Gael’s past - without taking into account the class conflicts of the 1930s in the RoI as exacerbated by the Treaty split. Dressing up a FG entity today with references to the mythical Just Society à la the Compassionate Conservatism of Declan Costello won’t cut it for many people.
    Well, you´ve written some large passages in each of your posts. I´ve to answer some parts of them in rather short terms and highlighting those I like to reply to in bold.

    In contrast to your sentence above, I´d say that "one cannot look at Gerry Adams´ SF without taking the link of that party to the Provisional IRA of the troubles". It´s that sort of thing I was as well refereing to when I spoke about the "lables" put to one or another party. The historical legacy is always there, like a baggage one rather likes to get rid of but can´t because it´s part of the whole story. More to the point concerning SF and her legacy in Irish history and politics is, that it´s been because of the split of that party upon the Anglo-Irish-Treaty of 1921 that caused the Irish Civil War from 1922 to 1923. Their political agandas on their own website aside, what is of the core of SF is a UI. They see themselves (imo) as those who are to bring about Irish Unity because (that´s what I assume lies at the subconciousness of that party) they lost the chance to bring about a UI by peaceful means in a future after consolidating the Irish Free State.

    What DeV and his comerades seeked to achieve by force during the Civil War was not accomplished until 1949 when Ireland became officially and constitutionally a Republic and left the Commonwealth of Nations. What many people like to blind out regarding this is, that one has to see the developments in the brighter context of those decades since 1921. The Anglo-Irish-Treaty, negotiated after the partition of Ireland was sealed by the Ireland Act of 1920that constituted the Northern Ireland government (a unique founding for that time given that the UK was by no means a federal constituted country). There was no way to get more out of the negotiations with the British but this Irish Free State which was, in the words of Collins "the stepping stone towards Irish freedom".

    The Abdication crisis of King Edward VIII in 1936 pathed the way to be used by the Dev govt. to get rid of the "oath of allegiance to the King of England" in 1936 and to establish the first Irish constitution in 1937 (still in force to this day).

    The collaboration of the IRA with the Nazis during WWII has left a somewhat fascist sympathy shadow upon the Irish Republican Movement, the "diplomatic acting" of De Valera in calling on the German Mission in Dublin to convey his condollences after Hitler´s suicide in 1945 is just embarrassing and got himself into trouble with the Americans too.

    When Dáil Eiranne declared Ireland a Republic by parliamentary act in 1948 which came into being on 18th April 1949 and thus leaving the Commonwealth of Nations altogether, it has been at a time when Britain released her biggest colony - India - into independence in 1947.

    This was all done by the man who publicly was as strongest against the Anglo-Irish-Treaty and that man was Eamon de Valera, but as time went on and he was left with no other choice than to accept and to deal with the political realities, he was clever enough to exploit the weakness of the British to get for Ireland what he was seeking to get for decades.

    Some Irish people have referred to his era as "the ruling with the iron fist". The latter is as much a part of fascism than the other things related to that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Fascism is and why it is relevant and not just a slur
    There are as many definitions in Europe of Fascism as there are Eskimo words for snow. I think of it as a pathological reaction against the myriad problems of modernity. I find myself agreeing with Georgi Dimitrov that fascism was the dictatorship of the most reactionary elements of financial capitalism. But let’s get a broader definition that is suitable to the point I want to make. Let’s take the maverick Tory historian Trevor-Roper. War-time Historian Hugh Trevor-Roper (1914 – 2003) stated: “Fascism is born out of fear, it might have independent intellectual roots, it might owe its form here and there to independent national or personal freaks but its force, its dynamism sprang from a new and this time a proletarian revolution. Each stage in the rise of European Fascism can be related to a moment of middle class panic caused either by economic crisis or by consequences of the threat of socialist revolution.” (Hitler's Place in History, 1965).

    It’s not simply a fear of socialist revolution that defines fascism but a belief by a well-insulated elite that they know best! It is the antithesis of democracy. Let me give you one example in recent times – not the 30s – of the execution of elitist rule: The rejection of the results of a democratic vote. Nice Treaty in Ireland, EU Constitution in Netherlands and France, and Lisbon Treaty here. There is all manner of examples of the practice of un-democratic and quite frankly fascist practices in the EU from start to finish. I would be here for the year typing if I went thru everything.
    What you´ve described there is more the problem of the EU itself and how it works but it´s got nothing to do with fascism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    How only a conditional support of democracy reminds me of the 30s is this. The pro-Treaty elements of the political system got in a strop when the “plebs” had the audacity to not vote for them in 1932. This ingratefulness on the part of the massess was then confirmed in the snap election less than 12 months later. The blue-coloured shirts of the ACA were not important in my mind as the attitude that Cumman na nGaedhael people adopted.
    The start of the 16 years of Dev cabinets until 1948.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Time and again I see this. Democracy is very good, as long as it works for the dominant vested interests. I don’t want to digress but just to quickly make the point but this is visible in the West’s mission of “bringing democracy to the wild savages”. In Gaza city Johnny Arab exercised this democracy thing. However he seemingly got it wrong, because what did he do but vote in Hamas. It seems that someone didn’t explain the rules of the game properly!
    Democracy demands the ability to compromise, that´s the essential thing to it, not just the result of majority and minority on a casting vote.

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    Default Re: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post


    ok well read them and enjoy your weekend. i'm supposed to be working meself at the moment so, it's not entirely conducive for a debate right now. Think about what I wrote. And more importantly think about what value a body like the Collins Institute can bring to politics. My thoughts may simply be cynicism. Ya can't blaime me, the Irish people have been led down the garden path so many times . . .
    I´m currently on replying to your posts by now.

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    Default Re: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Democratic concerns of FG supporters (!?)
    I have heard Fine Gael lament the fact that subversive groups are small, politically unaccountable groups – and that therefore are unrepresentative of Irish public opinion. This concern seems to be a movable feast – you can’t cherry-pick and be taken seriously. There is little in the way of concern for the IMF or the EU Commission, despite the fact that these bodies are highly subversive groups and are small, politically unaccountable groups – and are unrepresentative of Irish public opinion. This is explainable only as some craven forelock-tugging nonsense to our betters

    The democratic concerns of supporters of either of the dominant gangs in Irish politics have as much creditability for me as the aule Iraqi weapons of mass destruction canard.
    That´s the problem and there´s no alternative to replace them in sight by now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    The good IRA of the dear ol’ days versus the bad IRA of today??
    It is no small coincidence that Fine Gael started to celebrate Collins again since the Northern Troubles stopped. It’s safe now for Fine Gaelers (or the Gaolers party, as I heard them called onetime).

    There is an irony to Collin’s legacy that too few Fine Gaolers appreciate, or rather are in denial about.

    Having something like the Beal-na-Bláth speeches would have been simply too embarrassing in the middle of the 70’s or 80’s.

    Michael Collins launched a secret cross-border campaign, having IRA members (of both sides in the emerging Treaty divide) smuggle in guns.

    There is little difference in the offensive being planned between Collins and IRA Chief of Staff Liam Lynch in May–June 1922, and the activities of successive generations of other Irish Republicans ever since.

    Btw, one of these soldiers who worked to undermine the gerry-mandered state being the father of this moral degenerate.

    . . . . which simply reinforces the idea for me that a state’s citizens must continue to remind the politicians where their power comes from. Us, not a family entitlement.
    I agree with you on the line in bold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Romantic images of Collins
    The romanticisation of Mick Collins is second to none other. This is courtesy of Tim Pat Coogan – always a journalist not a historian – and latterly Neil Jordan, with his absurdly inaccurate film.

    Thanks to the power of the silver screen, Collins has been immortalised as a charismatic freedom fighter and juxtaposed to a joyless reactionary DeV. It feeds into our latter-day mythology, a dashing figure with the heart of a warrior and the soul of a poet, and a cheeky grin to boot. Michael Collins was the first of that 20th century phenomenon, the celebrity freedom fighter! He was a man’s man, great craic to be who could break out into song o’er a few drinks. But who could dally with the female aristocracy in London and still get a love-letter off to his sweetheart in the Emerald Isle. And if the mood took him he dispatched a couple of Brits to hell and then go and have a big meaty dinner. And all in glorious Technicolor – not aule crackly footage here. Jaysus, ya couldn’t sit around on a Saturday night with your mates, and their mates, watching Mise Eire; phkuc no, are ya mad?! But with this flick you could!


    COLLINS pictured starting the 1922 All-Ireland Hurling Final between Tipperary and Kilkenny

    That the image Fine Gael are looking to milk. The message is all Fine Gael are Michael Collinses. There is a Mick Collins inside every Blueshirt just waiting to get out; just give him a chance, will ya?
    I´ve read the biography of Collins by TPC and I´ve also watched that NJ film countless times. But I´ve other books too dealing with Collins written by Dwyer and they are much better and as far as one can bring it to that, more balanced, less romaticized. So I know what you´re talking about. Still, I don´t regard Collins as a man with fascist tendencies. I see all that in the context of the time when he lived and when "Nationalism" wasn´t discredited by what followed soon after his death by Fascism. From what I´ve read about him, I have a very different and diversive picture about him. My admiration of him comes from him being high intelligent and multi-talented, as well as pragmatic enough to get the best out for Ireland when the time was right. These were his qualities, besides being successful in military operations during the Irish War of Independence and to a lesser extend during the Irish Civil War (up to his death of course). Big Fella - big Shadow (I might recall such is the title of a book I´ve not read, just came across).

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    Default Re: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    The loss of a military strongman is no loss at all
    On another certain forum, there is nearly a constantly running thread over YEARS about what a loss Collins’ death was . . . . There is one guy who makes the same point again and again on every thread and every couple of pages, stating “But he was Europe’s youngest Prime Minister” ! It’s like he heard this fact in a table quiz one time and is determined to point this out again and again in case he himself forgets! To be honest, it’s hard to have sympathy for a man who died carrying a gun.
    I´d be interested to know which forum and poster that is you´re referring to. The sentence "but he was Europe´s youngest Prime Minister" sounds rather of a weak argument. It says nothing about Collins´ qualities.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Collins was never a politician and always a militarist; a shrewd strategist who only knew force. Collins was on record as having little time for officialdom and was untested as a parliamentarian. I have come to see him as an army power monger rather on the lines of Piłsudski in Poland at the same time. It has always proved to be difficult in the establishment of a parliamentary democracy the task of firmly bring a military force under civilian oversight. There is one quote that stick in my mind from the memoir “Allegiance” of Robert Brennan (Director of the Sinn Féin Department of Publicity and subsequently the same role for anti-Treatyites and eventually a co-founder of THE IRISH PRESS) “Mick Collins had great faith in the secret conclaves of the few, he
    despised the intelligence of the many”.
    The part in bold is what he said about himself, but surprisingly he did rather well in negotiating with Lloyd George in 1921. He even got on rather well with Winston S. Churchill at that time (well, after a while). It´s been his pragmatism and the support of Arthur Griffith of whom he had much admirance for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    At this time throughout Europe political elites were following through on an impetuousness they felt with parliamentary procedure. It’s not that big a leap of imagination to see the real possibility of a figure in the infant state in Dublin “rearranging” government. Although, when you see the present FG-led government riding roughshod over democracy with their so-called Economic Management Council, maybe this speculative fascist Collins is a person they do really want to emulate and not just simply use his name in vain for marketing purposes.
    In many parts of post-WWI Europe, especially in those countries emerging from the former broken down Empires, they faced similar problems and had to learn to build and to live in a democracy. Whether they chose to have it within the frame of a Republic, a Free State or converting the old Monarchy into a constitutional parliamentarian and democratic one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    In the leadership of the Provisional Government, Michael Collins did not seem to be in a hurry to relinquish his seniority in the IRB. As President of the IRB he was in the eyes of IRB members the President of the Irish Republic.
    I don´t seen any problem there, just the misinterpretation by this fellows within the IRB.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Independent of the IRA and of Dáil Éireann during the War of Independence, the Irish Republican Brotherhood still continued intact with the establishment of the new state – a new state that the IRB largely supported. What was Collins’ plan after the Treaty? We will never know but it has been speculated that the IRB would have had a greater role than happened after he was shot dead. When the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed on 6 December 1921, it was debated by the Supreme Council, which voted to accept it by eleven votes to four. Many of the leaders acquired senior positions in the newly founded Free State Army. Friction between IRB figures and IRA figures in the National Army leadership led to the Army mutiny in 1924.
    Again, I´ve no problem with the IRB per se. It´s what the people as individuals made out for themselves by "taking sides". The Army mutiny in 1924 may as you said have been related to the frictions between IRB figures, but it´s got more to do with the reducing of the whole force in numbers which caused more unemployment for those not taken into the National Army.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    In a piece wrote by Collins called “Path To Freedom” in “Path To Freedom and other writings” (1996) he maintained that if the army hadn't split he would have a republic “within two years.” What did he mean by that?

    Michael Collins was cut off ahead of maturity . . . . . Arguably just as well when one looks at his chosen successor: Eoin O’Duffy.
    I know that book and I´ve read it with bearing in mind while reading it, that is just a compilation of written fragments by himself. Some other documents are lost and therefore it´s a bit difficult to get the whole and bigger picture of the political views of Collins and given that if he had lived on, some of them might have changed. Due to his pragmatism which set in when there was no other way out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Eoin O’Duffy
    Eoin O’Duffy, the most famous (though by no means the only) specimen in Ireland of fascist ideology was considered by Collins to be coming man in the early 1920’s. His activities were oriented towards saving the people from themselves. This included there being a greater role for sport than had hitherto been the case. Eoin O’Duffy was, among many things, President of the Irish Olympic Council, heading the Irish team in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.

    He didn’t turn into some monster in the 1930’s after Collins had left to meet his ancestors. The personality set out in Fearghall McGarry’s Eoin O’Duffy A Self-Made Hero (2005) is as equally as unpalatable in every period of his life as he was when wearing that blue shirt. O’Duffy revelled in Monaghan’s sectarian undercurrents in his rhetoric as a Sinn Fein political figure. Given his puritanical, moralistic philosophy O’Duffy can be seen indulging - with a particular zeal - his distaste for poitín makers.

    O’Duffy came to the attention of Collins, who enrolled him in the Irish Republican Brotherhood and supported his advancement to the position of Executive Officer from the Ulster Region of the IRB, and seconded him in his place when Collins couldn’t make IRB meetings.

    Ernest Blythe in his voluptuous journalism throughout the 1930s showed that very impetuousness with parliamentary procedure I referred to above. He detailed his frustrations going back to the first days of the new Oireachtas in 1922. (Ernest Blythe’s papers)

    There is no hiding the confrontation to the concept of parliament in those heady days when one thinks of Desmond FitzGerald sitting in his Dail seat wearing his Blueshirt. The boogie man for Fine Gaelers of subversives wouldn’t be allowed to sit in a paramilitary uniform in the Dail today.

    Arguably the only time that a political revolution was seriously threatened in the Irish state resulted from the actions of the Blueshirts. In August 1933 a parade was planned by the Blueshirts in Dublin to commemorate Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith. The Fianna Fáil government felt it could not rely on the loyalty of the officer corps of the Free State Army considering that the new government ministers had been on the opposite side to them in the Civil War. Fearing a coup d'état in clear imitation of Mussolini's March on Rome the FF government banned the parade.
    I admit that my knowledge of O´Duffy is rather brief and therefore I have to thank you for you extended explanations of his background. The last sentence is what many fascist parties liked to follow, the pattern set up by Mussolini in Italy. Still, it is said that O´Duffy was most laughed at in public, more a clown in his appearance than Mussolini (when watching some of the original news reals when the latter was making his speeches).

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    Default Re: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    A conservative personality reflective of a conservative society
    Reflecting the rural and agrarian nature of Irish society historically, Irish society is politically conservative, not exclusively but largely. We’re a cautious, stubborn shower. I know most people reading here know of the tribalist and conservative nature of Irish politics, I’m just providing a bit of context for anyone unfamiliar.

    Kevin O'Higgins once famously referred to himself as one of "the most conservative-minded revolutionaries that ever put through a successful revolution." Really, that description could be applied to many of them in the Irish Ireland movement. I don’t see Mick Collins as leftwing, simply because he made occasional rhetorical references to “ordinary people”; it would be a mistake to confuse populist tub-thumbing with political convictions. Two books correctly captures the thinking of the Independence movement – including both sides in the Civil War divide. John Regan’s “The Irish Counter-Revolution, 1921-1936: Treatyite Politics and Settlement in Independent Ireland” (2001) and Senia Pašeta's "Before the Revolution: Nationalism, Social Change and Ireland's Catholic Elite, 1879-1922" (1999)

    The clientelism that sees these political representatives perpetuate their hold on power (over many generations of the same family in some cases) simply further embeds inequality. Drug addiction, domestic violence and low life expectancy soars in areas where deprivation is ignored. The underlying attitudes in the Establishment towards people in the lower end of the social hierarchy indirectly feeds the criminal problems that will not go away in Irish society. I don’t see the new think tank looking to understand any of the endemic inequality in Irish society. A lot of hot air, and photo shots.

    “You cut your cloth according to your measure”, this philosophy determines far too many Irish people’s attitude to access to basic services. That there is a huge range in varying living standards across society is not considered to be a problem for party apparatchiks of either rival political Mafiosi. You can see this in the casual way the political class deal out the cuts in education and health since the arse fell out of the capitalist economic system AGAIN.

    Due to particular historical circumstances, there did not develop in Irish society the sort of political culture that characterises most of Western Europe. There exists in urbanised, industrialised, advanced countries an expectation of universal access to basic services, like healthcare and education. Working people make a connection between their taxation and the effectiveness of the services provided by the state. This is not the case in the Republic of Ireland; we have a small state and a traditionalist society where there is strong emphasis on the family unit. Healthcare and education services historically were provided by the Church, and people were encouraged to be grateful for receiving these lifelines.

    One main reason that FG is shaking the bones, voodoo-like, of Collins is that he was the last charming leading figure mildly-associated with the party (he’s not really FG, I’ll come to that point next). So, we are to be led to believe that because he was a bit gregarious of a fellow, this translates into being a man of the people, and somehow that is gonna rub off on to today’s lot. Wha!!? He was as much a Law and Order ideologue as any of them since.

    Michael Collins was a Castle Catholic, pure and simply, and his political actions were determined by his class identity. His family muintir Uí Choileáin had been the minor nobility in the Chiefdom Ui Chonaill, near Limerick city of today. While the Gaelic nobility were dispossessed in the defeat of Gaelic Ireland in 1601 they nonetheless retained their aspirations for grandeur. Collins’ family farm of 145 acres at the turn of the 20th century would have seen them enjoy a considerably higher standard of living than most of their peers. It was into that relatively well-to-do farming background that this “man of the people” was born into.

    The bourgeois mentality of Michael Collins is evident in his writings and musings (“Michael Collins In His Own Words”, edited by Francis Costello, 1997; and “Path To Freedom and other writings”; 1996), as well as in his contributions to Dáil proceedings. As Minister for Finance, Collins is on record clearly outlining a view that would not be out of step in any FG utterance ever since, regarding public interest versus personal interest in society. He stated: “We are starting what is a new order in Ireland and one of the duties of the National Government is to secure that thrifty people shall not be deprived of their savings by any kind of scheme, or any kind of society, or any group of individuals” (Dáil Debates; 2/7/1921) Far from wanting a just society!

    Also interestingly, after the Treaty established the Irish Free State Michael Collins espoused a strict law ‘n’ order sentiment that came to be associated with Cumann na nGaedheal and its successor party Fine Gael. “The first duty of the new government is to maintain public order, security of life, personal liberty and property.”

    The lite, lite, lite gas-and-water socialist rhetoric that Collins occasionally came out with was wholly in line with Catholic social teaching. The best example of this can found in a speech included as an appendix at the back of the book “Michael Collins and the Brotherhood” by Vincent MacDowell (Ashfield Press, 1997) Incidentally, MacDowell is an interesting character in his own right. Another IRA man like Collins, one of many things he did was involved in the setting up of the Green Party after the popular movement against the plan to install a nuclear plant in Carnsore Point, he was the father of Green MEP Nuala Ahearn. But I’m done typing for now.

    Conclusion
    Some critics of Provisional Sinn Féin on the Left and in anti-GFA Republican circles sneeringly refer to their head office as Michael Collins House. Personally I think it is more ridiculous for FG to suggest a link between Mick Collins’ patriotism on one hand and Declan Costello’s concern for social justice on the other in the past AND Fine Gael today. That the utterly vacuous Edna is some sort of synthesis of Collins and Costello is so laughable, I don’t know how much lower FG can go.

    Collins was long dead when Fine Gael was founded. The party’s parent, the nasal-sounding Cumann na nGaedheal, came into being in the year after his death. What right does Fine Gael have to claim Collins as one of their own?

    The current Sinn Féin party could make legitimate claims on Collins. He was a member of a party called Sinn Féin when he was killed.

    Not that this is the case – as Provisional Sinn Fein are perpetuating their own mythology – but if there were a case that a claim was made by Gerry Adams to carry on the Collins flame, it would be more legitimate than the implication made by the allying of Fine Gael to this new Collins Institute. It wouldn’t be the first time that Adams has been likened as "the Collins of our time".

    Trying to make out that this new think tank is gonna examine how best to implement the vision of Collins is simply rhetoric. And obvious to all but Second level students. The state that developed was reflective of the ideas of Michael Collins and most of his generation. That the bourgeois nationalist vision was limited and the logical step from that limited perspective was to join a trans-national politico-trade alliance will not be examined by the Collins Institute.

    For people who felt the product of the struggle for independence didn’t live up to the effort involved should look to Peadar O Donnell, Seán Ó Faoláin, Liam Ó Flaithearta, and Frank O'Connor; all IRA men, and all who wrote about the anti-climax they felt looking at the state that developed. There is no greater indictment of the Saorstait than Kavanagh’s bitter critique of the chauvinism inherent in the Catholic nationalist political synthesis in the 1930s.

    As for references to a just society . . . . . I will return to the validity of drawing on the legacy of Declan Costello, maybe next week.

    In a piece wrote by Collins called “Building Up Ireland - Resources to be Developed”, Chapter 5 of “Path To Freedom and other writings” (1996) Collins states: “The development of mines and minerals will be on national lines, and under national direction. This will prevent the monopoly by private individuals of what are purely national resources belonging to all the people of the nation. The profits from all these national enterprises – the working of mines, development of water-power, etc. – will belong to the nation for the advantage of the whole nation.” Maybe the new think tank could recommend that suggestion to the FG party. Throw out Shell and take Irish gas resources back into the ownership of the people.

    In terms of Irish foreign policy, Fine Gael is nothing like the separatism espoused by Collins. As such they should either "**** or get off the pot" and embrace John Redmond, the Home Rule Party’s leader. Redmond is on record as favouring Ireland remaining in the British Empire as long as a parliament was established in Dublin to control domestic affairs, and that is exactly the level of sovereignty a state in this country exercises today. But they won’t fully embrace John Redmond as their patron – FG is trying to out-Fianna Fáil Fianna Fáil.

    FF adopting a veneer of Irish Republicanism, seems to successfully trick huge numbers of people. This is despite the fact that FF is clearly a neo-Redmondite party, being content to govern an Irish state completely emasculated within American and European dominated political, military and economic structures. Fine Gael are trying their hand at guilefully using a culture of patriotic commemoration and nativist populism. They are doing this to offset a well-earned reputation of being on every body’s side except that of the Irish people.

    It would be great if the new think tank will engage in critical analysis – that’s what scholarship is. However it’s highly unlikely, I fear. It will merely be a propaganda machine for the abomination that is the EU; guest speakers will be invited amidst great plomp to extol the virtues of “integration”. (*palm face*)


    As for your "missing Solidarity", look at the coming together that occurs during a world cup or the Olympics.
    It´s time to go for me now and I´ll come back to this piece of post on Monday. Meanwhile, I don´t know what you mean by your last line re a world cup or the Olympics.

    Have a nice weekend and it´s been very interesting to read your posts. Thanks anyway.

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    Default Re: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    A conservative personality reflective of a conservative society
    Reflecting the rural and agrarian nature of Irish society historically, Irish society is politically conservative, not exclusively but largely. We’re a cautious, stubborn shower. I know most people reading here know of the tribalist and conservative nature of Irish politics, I’m just providing a bit of context for anyone unfamiliar.

    Kevin O'Higgins once famously referred to himself as one of "the most conservative-minded revolutionaries that ever put through a successful revolution." Really, that description could be applied to many of them in the Irish Ireland movement. I don’t see Mick Collins as leftwing, simply because he made occasional rhetorical references to “ordinary people”; it would be a mistake to confuse populist tub-thumbing with political convictions. Two books correctly captures the thinking of the Independence movement – including both sides in the Civil War divide. John Regan’s “The Irish Counter-Revolution, 1921-1936: Treatyite Politics and Settlement in Independent Ireland” (2001) and Senia Pašeta's "Before the Revolution: Nationalism, Social Change and Ireland's Catholic Elite, 1879-1922" (1999)
    In the time when Collins wrote about his political views and aims, nationalism was - concerning Ireland in particular - more of a "Socialist" meaning. As far as I remember, those writings were done in the period between 1916 and 1922. Further, I wouldn´t omit the influence Arthur Griffith had on Collins, dating back right to Collins´s youth. Griffith was Collins´s "mentor" trough his writings (among others). Comparing the leadership and the man of the 1916 Easter Rising, the characters changed re the leadership during the Irish War of Independence. In this short period of two to three years after the execution of the signatories of the Irish Republic proclamation, SF rised to the political arm in the struggle for Irish Freedom. When the Easter Rising was majorly carried out by the IRB, with support of the ICA by Connolly, the Irish War of Independence was different to that in the light of a party political leadership, supported by the military branch of the then established IRA.

    You were saying that the Irish society is politically conservative. I think that in the years from 1916 to 1923 the Irish society had but just one aim and that was to gain independence from Britain. That aim united many Irish people of probably more or less different political creed. Some striking point is that of Arthur Griffith who saw himself as well as a man who could live with a double-monarchy (like the Austro-Hungarian model) but this is imo a contrast to SF of which he was the very founder of himself. Again, the top aim was Irish independence and later on Irish unity (during the months of negotiations with Lloyd George from October to December 1921).

    During and after the Irish Civil War, SF lost due to his split, more and more on influence. CnG emerging from SF as the pro-Treaty party and a few years later the establishment of FF sent SF more into political oblivion. It was in this few years after the signing of the Anglo-Irish-Treaty that the political movement in Ireland which was once united to achieve Irish independence split herself into those different political factions which probably already existed under the surface and afterwards got the shape of themselves that remained in Irish politics for decades to come.

    Another striking point is that in the Irish party landscape, every party declares herself to be "Republican". It is this label that stands for this Irish conservatism - imo. No other party dared to say otherwise for fear to get no votes from the electorate. To be "Republican" meant to be "pro-Irish". Even the Irish Labour Party had to appear in such a light (which isn´t necessary at all because from the very outset every Labour Party is based on Republican principles).

    To say whether Michael Collins was more or less left-wing, depends on the way how one views his own writings and convictions in context of the time when they were written.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    The clientelism that sees these political representatives perpetuate their hold on power (over many generations of the same family in some cases) simply further embeds inequality. Drug addiction, domestic violence and low life expectancy soars in areas where deprivation is ignored. The underlying attitudes in the Establishment towards people in the lower end of the social hierarchy indirectly feeds the criminal problems that will not go away in Irish society. I don’t see the new think tank looking to understand any of the endemic inequality in Irish society. A lot of hot air, and photo shots.
    The Irish electorate who voted the same people time and time again into leading poltical positions of the Irish State shares the blame for that "clientelism". What other explanation might there be for having de Valera voted in for continuous 16 years from 1932 to 1948? To put it simple, the majority of the people at that time saw no such alternative to him, despite the fact that he was one of those who were strongly against the Anglo-Irish-Treaty and thus had to carry the responsibility for the Civil War. That contradiction often leads me to the conclusion that the people then saw less or no of an alternative to de Valera.

    As for the other problems in the Irish society, I´d just like to say that one shouldn´t exclude the self-responsibility of the individual to look after oneself. Those who can´t, shall be given help and assistance but there are also people who are simply too lazy to get off their arses even if they have a prospect for themselves. The State is there to work out the frame work and deliver the prospects for its people, but it is also left to the people themselves to take their chances and make the most out of it, according to their talents and abilities.


    [QUOTE=Pearse Monnet;415483[B]]“You cut your cloth according to your measure”, this philosophy determines far too many Irish people’s attitude to access to basic services.[/B] That there is a huge range in varying living standards across society is not considered to be a problem for party apparatchiks of either rival political Mafiosi. You can see this in the casual way the political class deal out the cuts in education and health since the arse fell out of the capitalist economic system AGAIN.

    A more modest description of a humble attitude (the phrase you quoted). There will always be varying living standards across the society because some people have the talent and abilities to be successful and some don´t have them and according to that, they have a lesser living standard. One that works hard for his living deserves to have a better living standard than one who´s lazy. That is normal, but it doesn´t stops some people from becoming greedy and in the end are never satisfied with anything at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Due to particular historical circumstances, there did not develop in Irish society the sort of political culture that characterises most of Western Europe. There exists in urbanised, industrialised, advanced countries an expectation of universal access to basic services, like healthcare and education. Working people make a connection between their taxation and the effectiveness of the services provided by the state. This is not the case in the Republic of Ireland; we have a small state and a traditionalist society where there is strong emphasis on the family unit. Healthcare and education services historically were provided by the Church, and people were encouraged to be grateful for receiving these lifelines.
    Yes, I know about the particular historical circumstances in Irish history and apart from that, the Irish electorate seems to have been quite comfortably arranged herself with the party political system that prevailed in the Republic of Ireland.

    As for the health service, it´s been the same way in Great Britain until the Attlee govt. introduced the NHS after 1945.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    [One main reason that FG is shaking the bones, voodoo-like, of Collins is that he was the last charming leading figure mildly-associated with the party (he’s not really FG, I’ll come to that point next). So, we are to be led to believe that because he was a bit gregarious of a fellow, this translates into being a man of the people, and somehow that is gonna rub off on to today’s lot. Wha!!? He was as much a Law and Order ideologue as any of them since.
    You might ask yourself why that is as it is. For decades, the name of Collins was rather forgotten in the Irish society and just known and admired by those who either knew himself during his life time or as a historical figure from modern Irish history. SF was barely existing after the 1930s, de Valera wasn´t fond to mention Collins at all (for whatever reason he had). Those Irish politicians who worked through the decades since the establishment of the Irish Free State were more concerned in working on the consolidation of the Irish State and to bring it to the final aim which was full independence from Britain and to end Irelands membership within the Commonwealth of Nations. The partition of Ireland was a realpolitical fact (often ignored by de Valera in his "non-acceptance" of Northern Ireland) and there wasn´t anything the Irish govt. could do about it to reverse the status quo. So the govt. had to focus on the things that mattered for those people who lived within the Irish State.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Michael Collins was a Castle Catholic, pure and simply, and his political actions were determined by his class identity. His family muintir Uí Choileáin had been the minor nobility in the Chiefdom Ui Chonaill, near Limerick city of today. While the Gaelic nobility were dispossessed in the defeat of Gaelic Ireland in 1601 they nonetheless retained their aspirations for grandeur. Collins’ family farm of 145 acres at the turn of the 20th century would have seen them enjoy a considerably higher standard of living than most of their peers. It was into that relatively well-to-do farming background that this “man of the people” was born into.
    Well, Collins being a "Castle Catholic" doesn´t sound that worse than de Valery being the "close friend of the Irish Clergy", doesn´t it?

    Interesting part regarding Collins ancestors in your post. I didn´t know that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    The bourgeois mentality of Michael Collins is evident in his writings and musings (“Michael Collins In His Own Words”, edited by Francis Costello, 1997; and “Path To Freedom and other writings”; 1996), as well as in his contributions to Dáil proceedings. As Minister for Finance, Collins is on record clearly outlining a view that would not be out of step in any FG utterance ever since, regarding public interest versus personal interest in society. He stated: “We are starting what is a new order in Ireland and one of the duties of the National Government is to secure that thrifty people shall not be deprived of their savings by any kind of scheme, or any kind of society, or any group of individuals” (Dáil Debates; 2/7/1921) Far from wanting a just society!
    I´ve read that book with the title put in bold and as I said in some of my previous posts, the book itself is a compilation of written fragments by himself. It´s better than to have nothing at all, but it´s less for judging him on his entire political views which I dare say are still developing at the time when he wrote these.

    I take it from your expressions that what you mean by a "just society" you´re referring to a Socialist society. Well, I´m myself a Social Democrat and I can agree only on particular things regarding a just society when Socialism comes into the considerations of such demands. That means, I´m centre-left myself but I don´t see myself as a Socialist in the old meaning of that word.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    [Also interestingly, after the Treaty established the Irish Free State Michael Collins espoused a strict law ‘n’ order sentiment that came to be associated with Cumann na nGaedheal and its successor party Fine Gael. “The first duty of the new government is to maintain public order, security of life, personal liberty and property.”
    Collins had to run a Civil War beneath his other duties as a member of the Irish govt. Of course to re-establish and to maintain public order, security of life, obeying of the law comes first when it is to consolidate a new established state and fight those you preferred anarchy to that outset.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    The lite, lite, lite gas-and-water socialist rhetoric that Collins occasionally came out with was wholly in line with Catholic social teaching. The best example of this can found in a speech included as an appendix at the back of the book “Michael Collins and the Brotherhood” by Vincent MacDowell (Ashfield Press, 1997) Incidentally, MacDowell is an interesting character in his own right. Another IRA man like Collins, one of many things he did was involved in the setting up of the Green Party after the popular movement against the plan to install a nuclear plant in Carnsore Point, he was the father of Green MEP Nuala Ahearn. But I’m done typing for now.
    Given that nearly the whole of educational section (except the Universities) were run by the Catholic Church, it is no wonder that Collins himself was brought up with this, like all the others of his generation and as well as those of former and later generations. I always found the special relationship of Dev to the Catholic Church more concerning because Dev granted the Clergy more influence through the "back door" than Collins probably ever had conceeded to them. But the latter is more of an assumption from my side.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Conclusion
    Some critics of Provisional Sinn Féin on the Left and in anti-GFA Republican circles sneeringly refer to their head office as Michael Collins House. Personally I think it is more ridiculous for FG to suggest a link between Mick Collins’ patriotism on one hand and Declan Costello’s concern for social justice on the other in the past AND Fine Gael today. That the utterly vacuous Edna is some sort of synthesis of Collins and Costello is so laughable, I don’t know how much lower FG can go.
    Different times demand different people and in particular leading figures. Michael Collins doesn´t belong to any particular political party, he belongs to the Irish Nation as one of her outstanding characters this Island ever brought to life. But some party can have her try to live up in accordance to what is left of his own political views when dressed up to fit the demands of modern times. That´s not an easy undertaking, but the propaganda clue is obvious, like back in the days when FF was using an old Scottish song (originally about Bony Prince Charly) in the same tune but just with amandet lyrics to fit Charly Haughey ("Arise and follow Charly"). Who was complaining about that then? Who´s complaining about the song "the red flag" which the Irish Labour Party has in common with her Sister Party in Great Britain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Collins was long dead when Fine Gael was founded. The party’s parent, the nasal-sounding Cumann na nGaedheal, came into being in the year after his death. What right does Fine Gael have to claim Collins as one of their own?
    Good question. What right do other people have to establish the Michael Collins Society and some other website who worships him?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    The current Sinn Féin party could make legitimate claims on Collins. He was a member of a party called Sinn Féin when he was killed.
    SF was already split in factions when Collins got killed, which faction of that time could make the legitimate claim on Collins?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Not that this is the case – as Provisional Sinn Fein are perpetuating their own mythology – but if there were a case that a claim was made by Gerry Adams to carry on the Collins flame, it would be more legitimate than the implication made by the allying of Fine Gael to this new Collins Institute. It wouldn’t be the first time that Adams has been likened as "the Collins of our time".
    That may come from a "false perception" on Adams. IMO, Martin McGuinness has more of a Collins character than Adams, but when comparing both of them with Collins, none of them fits in. Each person is an individual, just McGuinness is the better politician than Adams.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Trying to make out that this new think tank is gonna examine how best to implement the vision of Collins is simply rhetoric. And obvious to all but Second level students. The state that developed was reflective of the ideas of Michael Collins and most of his generation. That the bourgeois nationalist vision was limited and the logical step from that limited perspective was to join a trans-national politico-trade alliance will not be examined by the Collins Institute.

    For people who felt the product of the struggle for independence didn’t live up to the effort involved should look to Peadar O Donnell, Seán Ó Faoláin, Liam Ó Flaithearta, and Frank O'Connor; all IRA men, and all who wrote about the anti-climax they felt looking at the state that developed. There is no greater indictment of the Saorstait than Kavanagh’s bitter critique of the chauvinism inherent in the Catholic nationalist political synthesis in the 1930s.

    As for references to a just society . . . . . I will return to the validity of drawing on the legacy of Declan Costello, maybe next week.

    In a piece wrote by Collins called “Building Up Ireland - Resources to be Developed”, Chapter 5 of “Path To Freedom and other writings” (1996) Collins states: “The development of mines and minerals will be on national lines, and under national direction. This will prevent the monopoly by private individuals of what are purely national resources belonging to all the people of the nation. The profits from all these national enterprises – the working of mines, development of water-power, etc. – will belong to the nation for the advantage of the whole nation.” Maybe the new think tank could recommend that suggestion to the FG party. Throw out Shell and take Irish gas resources back into the ownership of the people.

    In terms of Irish foreign policy, Fine Gael is nothing like the separatism espoused by Collins. As such they should either "**** or get off the pot" and embrace John Redmond, the Home Rule Party’s leader. Redmond is on record as favouring Ireland remaining in the British Empire as long as a parliament was established in Dublin to control domestic affairs, and that is exactly the level of sovereignty a state in this country exercises today. But they won’t fully embrace John Redmond as their patron – FG is trying to out-Fianna Fáil Fianna Fáil.

    FF adopting a veneer of Irish Republicanism, seems to successfully trick huge numbers of people. This is despite the fact that FF is clearly a neo-Redmondite party, being content to govern an Irish state completely emasculated within American and European dominated political, military and economic structures. Fine Gael are trying their hand at guilefully using a culture of patriotic commemoration and nativist populism. They are doing this to offset a well-earned reputation of being on every body’s side except that of the Irish people.

    It would be great if the new think tank will engage in critical analysis – that’s what scholarship is. However it’s highly unlikely, I fear. It will merely be a propaganda machine for the abomination that is the EU; guest speakers will be invited amidst great plomp to extol the virtues of “integration”. (*palm face*)


    As for your "missing Solidarity", look at the coming together that occurs during a world cup or the Olympics.
    This Collins institute is rather new in its existence and I think for democracys sake, it should be given time to work on it and to see what turns up from them. That it is all just theory in the beginning is no question, that´s usual with politics before they bring their concepts into being and facing reality. The more the work is based on reality, the better.
    Last edited by Thom; 12-01-2015 at 11:13 AM.

  13. #28
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    Default Re: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?

    Point I made on solidarity clarified
    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    I don’t know what you mean by your last line re a world cup or the Olympics.
    just to clarify . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    . . . . . but what is often missing is "Solidarity".
    comment 12 page 1
    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    As for your missing "Solidarity", look at the coming together that occurs during a world cup or the Olympics.
    People naturally come together and celebrate life as long as divisive feelings aren’t manipulated.

    A sense of European solidarity is overrated, anyway. I believe there is no single, homogenous European identity; this is a politically-designed identity – all of the continents are mere geographic units and basing a proto-superstate on such, leads to a contrived entity that is obvious to all. The political elites are pushing an identity that is made up!

    There is no European people. For all the promotion of a sense of “oneness” encouraged by a multi-million Euro mass industry in promotion, it’s amazing how quickly racist stereotypes emerged in Europhiles when cracks started to appear in the euro currency. The very sort of people who said time and again that “nationalism is dead”, “Ireland is part of Europe, we’re all Europeans” started to say things like: “typical, look the Greeks slipped up”, “They’re lazy bastards, everyone knows that”, “it would be justice if Greece was thrown out of Europe!” and so on.

    There is no “European people”, unless there are aliens living on Jupiter’s 6th moon! The concept of “Europeans” is a Construct

    The word “Europe” was used first to encompass what we think of today as the landmass of Europe by Charlemagne, having resurrected the term from Classical Greek geographers. His doing so was as much an attempt to create a link in the minds of his subjects between him and the fabled learned men in the hazy past of Classical times.

    I once heard a quote from Bismarck about Europe that always puts a smile on my face. He said whenever foreign diplomats or politicians made a reference to “Europe” they were usually looking for something!

    I’m all in favour of international fraternal relationships but that’s not what the EU is about. The chickens are coming home to roost. The people of smaller member-states like Ireland have seen the real nature of the EU since the world capitalist system went into the ditch (AGAIN) in 2008/09.

    Fascism is about social relations not coloured shirts
    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    the still ongoing depicting of the FG party as being "a fascist" one which this party isn’t.
    That’s the thing; I’m afraid FG is just that. Fascist. They’re not alone in being fascist. Let me explain.

    This is not me doing the sort of political name-calling that characterised political campaigning in rural Ireland before TV came in and everyone became terribly polished. Before an election there was rival political groupings roaring at each other from the back of a truck. I dunno if these political chatrooms have taken the place of that sort of thing.

    Often people call FG fascist because of its association with the organisation that called itself the Blueshirts in the 30's. Like some sort of reminder of original sin, or something. That’s not what I’m doing. I’m talking about FG in govt right now. Them and their “social democrat” buddies.

    Fascism of the 30s was formed in reaction to the perceived threat of socialist revolution, and was defined by huge fascist popular movements. Right across Europe, these fascist popular movements were organised and funded by Establishment figures, and were used to intimidate and inflict suffering on scapegoated groups. More importantly they were to be used to fight against socialist revolutionaries in the event of a imitation of the socialist revolutions that occurred in various places across Europe during and after WWI. (“. . . economic crisis or by consequences of the threat of socialist revolution”, for the full quote I’m using from Trevor-Roper see comment 16).

    The senior echelons of the social hierachy dreaded the (at that time) real prospect of a socialist revolution. It’s not a threat of being put up against the wall and shot but the end of their social power, that inevitably will happen if popular democracy reaches its logical conclusion. Fascism is not just anti-socialism but the reaction of the privileged against the prospect of the levelling out of economic power.

    Today fascists are found running financial institutions, in the senior levels in the clergy, and the various components of the state apparatus right across the western world. The common roots of the fascists of the 30s and these latter-day fascists lie in class relations. They want to perpetuate the foundations of privilege and power in society.

    Sure, there are still fascist gangs of thugs (C18, that head case in Norway who ran around the Labour Youth summer camp going on a shooting spree, and so on). These Neo-Nazis bathe themselves in the paraphenalia of the Third Reich but they are politically impotent (perhaps sexually impotent also, it would explain a lot).

    If the “good show” of parliamentary democracy ever stopped delivering for the 1%ers in society, make no mistake they would return to the tactics of the 30’s.

    Fascist popular movements were cultivated and used by the Establishment. If they felt these were needed again, it would be the 30’s all over again.

    If the radical socialist Alex Tsipras is elected head of government in Greece, that is when Golden Dawn will come into their own.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    I find myself agreeing with Georgi Dimitrov that fascism was the dictatorship of the most reactionary elements of financial capitalism.
    How else other than as fascism can the actions of the International Monetary Fund be explained??!

    It’s the totalitarianism of the market!
    The International Monetary Fund issues its loans on condition of the implementation of certain policies by the government that the IMF, and its controllers decide. This is the rolling back on any popular mandate the government had, and negating democracy in the process.

    Like Mick Collins was Che Guevara another celebrity freedom fighter; often I’ve found people like either one or the other, that says a lot to me.

    Che Guevara took fascism at the national level in Argentina and developed an analysis with regard to international relations. This explains Transnational corporate power and also neo-imperial power like that held by the superstate USA. Through out his books (“The Motorcycle Diaries”, “Guerrilla Warfare”, “Episodes of the Cuban Revolutionary War”, “Venceremos: The Speeches and Writings of Ernesto Che Guevara”) Guevara writes about how his native Argentina was dominated by the Peronist Movement. Peronismo acquired the loyalty from enough of the country’s huge working class through raising the living standards but Perón’s government maintained the social structures as had existed.

    Juan Perón used socialist rhetoric; the name of his party was the Justicialist Party, which took its name from the Spanish words for "social justice". One of Perón’s "three pillars" was social justice (along with economic independence, and political sovereignty). With draconian police powers, Perón smashed Argentina’s powerful labour unions, whose Anarcho-Syndicalist activities frightened the shíte out of the “power and the money”. Let’s look at Perón’s dinner guests: he gave political asylum to the rats that fled the collapsing Third Reich, among them Adolf Eichmann, and Peron himself lived the last 20 years of his life in exile in Francoist Spain.

    Guevara wrote of Social relations in Argentina and drew analogies with international relations. He wrote about the power the US military-industrial complex enjoyed in an apparent democracy. The authoritarian Cold Warriors in the US may not have shaved heads, wear bomber jackets and raise an arm in Roman salute but these were fascists. No doubt.

    I’ll try get back at the weekend . . . work is the curse of the drinking classes.
    Sss-hh. Don’t mention the lack of sovereignty in the Irish state.
    The acknowledgement of the 1916 Rising by the Establishment and its nauseating, craven lackeys is simply a political convenience devoid of any real meaning!

  14. #29
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    Default Re: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Point I made on solidarity clarified


    just to clarify . . .


    comment 12 page 1


    People naturally come together and celebrate life as long as divisive feelings aren’t manipulated.

    A sense of European solidarity is overrated, anyway. I believe there is no single, homogenous European identity; this is a politically-designed identity – all of the continents are mere geographic units and basing a proto-superstate on such, leads to a contrived entity that is obvious to all. The political elites are pushing an identity that is made up!

    There is no European people. For all the promotion of a sense of “oneness” encouraged by a multi-million Euro mass industry in promotion, it’s amazing how quickly racist stereotypes emerged in Europhiles when cracks started to appear in the euro currency. The very sort of people who said time and again that “nationalism is dead”, “Ireland is part of Europe, we’re all Europeans” started to say things like: “typical, look the Greeks slipped up”, “They’re lazy bastards, everyone knows that”, “it would be justice if Greece was thrown out of Europe!” and so on.
    Well, these are all cliche stereotypes and all. What is a thing that upset many people was how the Greeks were drawing money from pensions of their own relatives who were already dead. Further the "tax-avoiding" by the rich (not that this occured in other EU member states as well). It has been stated that the Greeks tricked the EU to enter the Euro zone. That made them look as the cheating ones and frankly, who would like to pay for the wrong doings of the Greeks by themselves. I would not support such crookery as it happened there, I´d rather like to seem them leave the Euro zone and sort out their own created mess by themselves. I have the same attitude towards the crooks in the banks who created the mess there and which led to the bailout of those banks by the national govts. and the IMF to prevent a totall breakdown of the financial market. There was too much at stake, as it has been told (but who if not an insider knows really what was going on and how serious the situation actually was).

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    There is no “European people”, unless there are aliens living on Jupiter’s 6th moon! The concept of “Europeans” is a Construct

    The word “Europe” was used first to encompass what we think of today as the landmass of Europe by Charlemagne, having resurrected the term from Classical Greek geographers. His doing so was as much an attempt to create a link in the minds of his subjects between him and the fabled learned men in the hazy past of Classical times.

    I once heard a quote from Bismarck about Europe that always puts a smile on my face. He said whenever foreign diplomats or politicians made a reference to “Europe” they were usually looking for something!
    That all depends on the angle from which you look at it. To me, there is a ethnical term of being European, such as there is Asian, African and South-American, as well as Australian etc..

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    I’m all in favour of international fraternal relationships but that’s not what the EU is about. The chickens are coming home to roost. The people of smaller member-states like Ireland have seen the real nature of the EU since the world capitalist system went into the ditch (AGAIN) in 2008/09.
    I´ve never seen the EU as a "fraternal relationship", I´ve always seen her as a club of nations in which they work together for the better of the people (such was the outset of it at least). But I know that there are some people out there dreaming about the United States of Europe. Not the superstate I´d like to have at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Fascism is about social relations not coloured shirts
    I wouldn´t put it that simple. It´s about "special relationship" or in German "Seilschaften" where one favour deserves another (whether you like it or not). You can describe it in other words as "comeradery" which fits more to the term.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    That’s the thing; I’m afraid FG is just that. Fascist. They’re not alone in being fascist. Let me explain.

    This is not me doing the sort of political name-calling that characterised political campaigning in rural Ireland before TV came in and everyone became terribly polished. Before an election there was rival political groupings roaring at each other from the back of a truck. I dunno if these political chatrooms have taken the place of that sort of thing.

    Often people call FG fascist because of its association with the organisation that called itself the Blueshirts in the 30's. Like some sort of reminder of original sin, or something. That’s not what I’m doing. I’m talking about FG in govt right now. Them and their “social democrat” buddies.

    Fascism of the 30s was formed in reaction to the perceived threat of socialist revolution, and was defined by huge fascist popular movements. Right across Europe, these fascist popular movements were organised and funded by Establishment figures, and were used to intimidate and inflict suffering on scapegoated groups. More importantly they were to be used to fight against socialist revolutionaries in the event of a imitation of the socialist revolutions that occurred in various places across Europe during and after WWI. (“. . . economic crisis or by consequences of the threat of socialist revolution”, for the full quote I’m using from Trevor-Roper see comment 16).

    The senior echelons of the social hierachy dreaded the (at that time) real prospect of a socialist revolution. It’s not a threat of being put up against the wall and shot but the end of their social power, that inevitably will happen if popular democracy reaches its logical conclusion. Fascism is not just anti-socialism but the reaction of the privileged against the prospect of the levelling out of economic power.

    Today fascists are found running financial institutions, in the senior levels in the clergy, and the various components of the state apparatus right across the western world. The common roots of the fascists of the 30s and these latter-day fascists lie in class relations. They want to perpetuate the foundations of privilege and power in society.
    You may call all what went down the road since the collaps of the USSR "neo-liberalism", but your explanation in mixing that up with fascism sounds a bit too far-fetched to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Sure, there are still fascist gangs of thugs (C18, that head case in Norway who ran around the Labour Youth summer camp going on a shooting spree, and so on). These Neo-Nazis bathe themselves in the paraphenalia of the Third Reich but they are politically impotent (perhaps sexually impotent also, it would explain a lot).

    If the “good show” of parliamentary democracy ever stopped delivering for the 1%ers in society, make no mistake they would return to the tactics of the 30’s.

    Fascist popular movements were cultivated and used by the Establishment. If they felt these were needed again, it would be the 30’s all over again.
    That all sounds more like a conspiracy theory to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    If the radical socialist Alex Tsipras is elected head of government in Greece, that is when Golden Dawn will come into their own.
    I don´t know which one of them is worse than the other. One thing is predicted by Mr Tsipras, that Greece will seek her way out of the euro-zone to get rid of the austerity program. Well, they can have it, but the EU won´t give it to them. They have buttered already too much money into Greece to let it go without repayment.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    How else other than as fascism can the actions of the International Monetary Fund be explained??!

    It’s the totalitarianism of the market!
    The International Monetary Fund issues its loans on condition of the implementation of certain policies by the government that the IMF, and its controllers decide. This is the rolling back on any popular mandate the government had, and negating democracy in the process.

    Like Mick Collins was Che Guevara another celebrity freedom fighter; often I’ve found people like either one or the other, that says a lot to me.

    Che Guevara took fascism at the national level in Argentina and developed an analysis with regard to international relations. This explains Transnational corporate power and also neo-imperial power like that held by the superstate USA. Through out his books (“The Motorcycle Diaries”, “Guerrilla Warfare”, “Episodes of the Cuban Revolutionary War”, “Venceremos: The Speeches and Writings of Ernesto Che Guevara”) Guevara writes about how his native Argentina was dominated by the Peronist Movement. Peronismo acquired the loyalty from enough of the country’s huge working class through raising the living standards but Perón’s government maintained the social structures as had existed.

    Juan Perón used socialist rhetoric; the name of his party was the Justicialist Party, which took its name from the Spanish words for "social justice". One of Perón’s "three pillars" was social justice (along with economic independence, and political sovereignty). With draconian police powers, Perón smashed Argentina’s powerful labour unions, whose Anarcho-Syndicalist activities frightened the shíte out of the “power and the money”. Let’s look at Perón’s dinner guests: he gave political asylum to the rats that fled the collapsing Third Reich, among them Adolf Eichmann, and Peron himself lived the last 20 years of his life in exile in Francoist Spain.

    Guevara wrote of Social relations in Argentina and drew analogies with international relations. He wrote about the power the US military-industrial complex enjoyed in an apparent democracy. The authoritarian Cold Warriors in the US may not have shaved heads, wear bomber jackets and raise an arm in Roman salute but these were fascists. No doubt.

    I’ll try get back at the weekend . . . work is the curse of the drinking classes.
    Interesting parts on Che in your post, but in the end he lost in Bolivia because he was the leading figure of the Revolution in that country, in contrast to Cuba where Castro (a native) was the leader.

  15. #30
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    Default Re: The Collins Institute: Fine Gael's just society - just for whom?

    Problems for Greece in the €urozone and SYRIZA
    The Greek people has seen meddling in its country for nearly 200 years ! They have had imposed non-Greek kings, British naval bases, and a Marshall Plan-engineered state, to name but a few of the foreign ingredients the Greeks have to put up with.

    The latest bullying of Greece is nothing new.

    What antagonises Greek people, if you talk to anyone Greek, is the domineering way Germany has dealt with them since the crisis began.

    Germany has a poor record in this, the very tip, of the Balkan Peninsula. From World War II.

    The insistence of the Nazi German puppet-state, “the Greek State”, to adhere to paying the cost of the German military occupation bankrupted the economy. This precipitated a famine which saw the death of 300,000.

    To satisfy their bosses in Berlin the puppet rulers in Athens intended to relocate 80,000 Greeks to Germany for manual labour. But strikes, demonstrations and sabatage halted this.

    These Greek Quislings were successful in the deportation of Greece’s entire Jewish population to Auschwitz; the destruction of a community that dated from the time of Christ. All them little communities of fellas that Paul was writing his letters to . . . . All gone. Not to talk of the wholesale plunder of historical treasures to litter the offices of bloated, heinous Nazi officals scattered across their New Order Europe.

    Greek people have been rightly riled up at the posturing that Germany has taken since 2009. Ill-advised.


    I’m at a loss why the broad mass of the Greek population should suffer economic austerity because they were misled by their political class. The same economic system that enriched a few is now impoverishing the many.

    I think the proposals put forward by SYRIZA have merit as a first stage; namely that the European Central Bank absorb enough outstanding sovereign debt of the Eurozone countries so as reduce the individual national debt levels to 50 percent of their GDP. Such a proposal for this state here in Ireland would see public debt reduced from 108 percent of GDP to 50 percent (even just a glance of the numbers should reveal that a debt of 108% of its capacity to “pay it back” is unviable). The reduction would free up money to be spent by government in the provision of public services.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    “the IMF to prevent a totall breakdown of the financial market”
    its not to my interests that the financial market and the IMF survives . . . .
    or is it to the long-term interests of the planet. The productist, economical-fundamentalist philosophy underpinning the IMF and capitalism is an insane road to a dark destination.

    European identity
    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    To me, there is a ethnical term of being European, such as there is Asian, African and South-American, as well as Australian etc.
    Let me say this much. . What Europe means, and by extension what it is to be a European, keeps changing!

    The terms mean different things in every generation over the last . . . whenever.

    Some time in the 30’s Churchill said Africa starts at the Pyrenees. Today its taken for granted that the people of Spain are quintessentially European; they are seen as representative of some urbane, Moderne, cosmopolitan European image. What changed? Was there some massive tectonic plate activity?! Who gets to decide? Why is it up to the Churchills of this world?

    To Americans, Brits and Paddies, “Europe” in the immediate post-war period would have meant Benelux (a concept that has gone the way of the Ottoman Empire), France, and (West) Germany. The British and Irish Isles on one hand and Scandinavia plus Denmark on the other hand forming 2 other different schemata

    Fast-forward to circa the year 2000, states “east of the Danube” are now members of the EU and their citizens are seen as “European”.

    Chechnya, Dagestan and the surrounding countries are technically in Europe – geographically, they are. But few Prada-wearing beauties sauntering along the boulevards of Milan identify with the people who live there. Or vice-versa.


    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    some people out there dreaming about the United States of Europe
    Well I’ve news for ya, its coming the EU does not stand for European Union. It stands for “the concentration of power in smaller and smaller groups of people”

    “Not the superstate I´d like to have at all.”
    hey! Maybe we have something in common (there is a Peoples Movement membership form in the post this minute for ya.)

    Elitist government in the EU
    Quote Originally Posted by Thom View Post
    You may call all what went down the road since the collaps of the USSR "neo-liberalism", but your explanation in mixing that up with fascism sounds a bit too far-fetched to me.
    let me go back to the point I made earlier about intrinsic elitist thinking at the heart of the EU.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearse Monnet View Post
    Fascism is and why it is relevant and not just a slur
    this is fascism . . . . . Let me give you one example in recent times – not the 30s – of the execution of elitist rule: The rejection of the results of a democratic vote.
    The Power elite within the EU today show the same contempt for democracy that lay at the heart of the fascism of the 1930’s. There aren’t rows of soldiers goose-stepping across the central plaza of yet another central European capital city but that carry-on was idiosyncratic to the 1930’s and 1940’s.

    The similarites between what I referred to above where the Germans installed a puppet-state in wartime Greece to administer the economy to the benefit of Germany and features of the current EU are un-nerving. But obviously without the same brutality that defined the Third Reich.

    Mario Monti had no popular mandate for his government of late 2011 – till mid 2013.

    The unelected technocrat Monti is one of this self-perpetuating political clique that are becoming increasingly more distant from the masses. They see their function in exercising state power to implement an ideologically-driven vision that does not have popular consent (as demonstrated by the French and Dutch rejection of the EU Constitution).

    Monti is a very good example of this Europhile clique. A leading member of the Bilderbergers, he was the European Chairman of the Trilateral Commission, an international advisor to Goldman Sachs – an investment bank who made $13.39 billion profits in 2009, one of the worst years of the crisis.

    A long-time EU Commissioner Mario Monti was appointed to head up a government in Italy, this is despite him or any of his cabinet having any elected positions in parliament!

    The people are either sovereign or they are not. Not some of the time.

    Monti’s main objective in government, by his own admission, was to reform Article 18 of Italy's labour code. It was decided for “the good of the markets” that it should be made easier for companies to lay-off employees. That these proposal and most work of that government brought huge public opposition is immaterial . . . . go back to sleep, the leaders know what they are doing.

    Once Regulations on Employment start to be tampered with, it becomes a slippery slope. Its part of a race to the bottom in living standards. Conservative forces are content now that the infrastructure underpinning workers’ rights are weakened. The only reason the Codice del Lavoro is in place in the first instance was to stave off support among working people for the Communist Party. The shaky years of the mid-1940s carried the risk that Italy might see a repeat of the Biennio Rosso, and ultimately see the establishment of a socialist state allied to the USSR.

    Monti’s government is a taste of the future of the EU. Governance characterised by exclusion, secrecy and arrogance.

    In 2005, Mr Monti founded the Brussels-based Bruegel think tank, aimed at researching economic policy from a Pan-European perspective. Maybe the Collins Institute should invite him to give a talk. I’ll personally welcome him! Me and a reception party.
    Sss-hh. Don’t mention the lack of sovereignty in the Irish state.
    The acknowledgement of the 1916 Rising by the Establishment and its nauseating, craven lackeys is simply a political convenience devoid of any real meaning!

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