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Any Links Between The Fall Of Communism In E. Europe And The RCC Here?


General Urko

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I remember Neil Jordan saying that when he was growing up the only countries that resembled Ireland in the 50s were the Stallinist countries of Eastern Europe, who were ironically considered by the Catholic church and the Irish state as enemies. He said there was one great difference in E. Europe the built walls to keep you in whereas they couldn't wait to get rid of you here!
There were other parallels also e.g. the amount of feisty women and children we locked up and the amount of relatively normal people committed to lunatic asylums!
Are there any links between the demise of Communism/Stallinism in Eastern Europe and the sharp decline of Catholicism here (well Casey let the cat out of the bag in the early 90s and they haven't gone away, you know)!
Can we actually proclaim an end to the theocratic state here yet in any case (the plight of that unfortunate Indian woman in my local hospital would actually indicate it's still there!).
 

SideysGhost

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Yes, in a sense. The link is authoritarian hierarchical societies built on gatekeeper models of the tightly-controlled flow of information to an ill-educated and poor populace.

As I discussed here a few hours ago.
 

irelandmearsedotcom

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John Banville recently made a similar analogy. Making the point that we even had our own gulags in the form of reform schools and the Magdalene Laundries. The crime wasn't straying from the imposed political norms but from the sexual ones.
 

General Urko

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John Banville recently made a similar analogy. Making the point that we even had our own gulags in the form of reform schools and the Magdalene Laundries. The crime wasn't straying from the imposed political norms but from the sexual ones.
And the burden in our nation fell disproportionately on women and children of course!
 

Analyzer

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When they fell they were replaced by a collection of gangsters who called themselves businessmen, who broke the law, bought and sold politicians, blew money all over the place, and behaved with massive arrogance, etc...

And then when they got to power they were able to get favourable media coverage, and make threats to critics who stated their opinions in public.

The only difference being that in Russia, some of the said gangsters ended up in jail.
 

Toland

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John Banville recently made a similar analogy. Making the point that we even had our own gulags in the form of reform schools and the Magdalene Laundries. The crime wasn't straying from the imposed political norms but from the sexual ones.


I dunno, but my conversation with German ossies (including my wife) gives me the strong impression that religion class as I experienced it was extremely similar to East German "citizenship" classes.

It was sort of a doss class in which the teacher maintained the pretence that you could ask any questions you liked and were free to make any comment. There were clear unspoken rules though on where the boundaries lay, and what happened to people who consistently crossed those boundaries was not dissimilar.
 

General Urko

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I dunno, but my conversation with German ossies (including my wife) gives me the strong impression that religion class as I experienced it was extremely similar to East German "citizenship" classes.

It was sort of a doss class in which the teacher maintained the pretence that you could ask any questions you liked and were free to make any comment. There were clear unspoken rules though on where the boundaries lay, and what happened to people who consistently crossed those boundaries was not dissimilar.
Ironically, having gone to an insane Catholic second level school in the 80s and its even more insane feeder primary school mid-late 70s, religion was always treated as a doss subject, R and R from the psychological terror that was generally pervasive there and the threat of physical abuse when you were under 13 at primary level from nutters of so called teachers and brothers!
There was no corporal punishment in GDR schools ironically as well!
 

True Republican

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Where I went to secondary school religion was a doss subject and that was in the mid to late 90's. As for this thread I read something a few months ago where there was a survey done in Ireland where weekly mass attendance was at a massive 82% down from 91% in 1973.
 

harry_w

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Well, this is a daft analogy. The communist system was authoritarian and totalitarian, the Catholic influence in Ireland was exercised by popular belief and institutional power delegated to them by the state.

Originally that was the British state, inherited by the Free State. That lacked republican legitimacy, making it all the more reliant on support from the Catholic hierarchy in control of most semi-state institutions. e.g. After the Fine Gail/Lab/Clan coalition balked at the Mother & Child scheme, it was implemented just a couple of years later by a new Fianna Fail government.

People seem to forget Magdelene Laundries started in Britain as Protestant missions, they existed in the north and were all run along denominational lines. They spread to Ireland and British Imperial colonies. I don't know of any inquiries about them there, perhaps they were phased out earlier for secular state institutions used for much the same purposes. The Catholic church assumed control over them in the wake of Catholic emancipation.

Comparing the social climate of Ireland in the 50s to the totalitarian structures of Soviet-dominated eastern Europe of time, which operated against popular will at every level of society, is just silly. By contrast, Irish politicians have been quite willing to legislate to diminish Catholic influence, but popular opinion was for many years sufficiently Catholic in outlook to obstruct them, e.g.

Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland - Wikipedia
a constitutional ban on abortion. It was effected by the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1983, which was approved by referendum

Choice Votes Percentage
Yes 841,233 66.90%
No 416,136 33.10%
Voter turnout 53.67%
Tenth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1986 (Ireland) - Wikipedia
proposal to amend the Constitution of Ireland to remove the prohibition on divorce. The proposal was rejected in the 1986 referendum

Choice Votes Percentage
No 935,843 63.48%
Yes 538,279 36.52%
Voter turnout 60.84%
That's probably no longer the case:

Twelfth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1992 (Ireland) - Wikipedia
a failed proposal to amend the Constitution of Ireland, to state that suicide should not be considered a sufficient reason to legally allow an abortion. It was rejected in the 1992 referendum on abortion and the risk of suicide.

Choice Votes Percentage
No 1,079,297 65.35%
Yes 572,177 34.65%
Voter turnout 68.16%
Twenty-fifth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 2002 (Ireland) - Wikipedia
a failed attempt to amend the Constitution of Ireland to tighten the constitutional ban on abortion. It would have removed the threat of suicide as a grounds for legal abortion in the state, as well as introducing new penalties for anyone performing an abortion.[1] It was narrowly rejected in the 2002 abortion referendum.

Choice Votes Percentage
No 629,041 50.42%
Yes 618,485 49.58%
Voter turnout 42.89%
The Most Oppressed Papists Ever? Show me the referendum results from Soviet Europe! :lol:
 

General Urko

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Harry_W
We had a book banning commission that banned books sent en masse to them by rednecks without being read by that commission because the volume was so high!
Methinks, Irish people engaged in self censorship etc which also happened in Stallinist nations because they were so psychologically damaged by their master beaters and terrified of speaking out (you could end up locked up in an institution for life!)!
The cat was let out of the bag in the early 90s by the likes of Casey Casey!
 

harry_w

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Harry_W
We had a book banning commission that banned books sent en masse to them by rednecks without being read by that commission because the volume was so high!
Methinks, Irish people engaged in self censorship etc which also happened in Stallinist nations because they were so psychologically damaged by their master beaters and terrified of speaking out (you could end up locked up in an institution for life!)!
The cat was let out of the bag in the early 90s by the likes of Casey Casey!
Don't most countries regulate what they deem to be obscene publications? You've heard of Lady Chatterley's Lover?

List of books banned by governments - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Orwell's introduction to Animal Farm on political self-censorship in Britain was itself suppressed for 25 years, informally of course, and ironically. :D

Like Britain, Ireland did have political censorship of the media, even of elected representatives. Or are you just talking about censorship of smutty books which many viewed as obscene?

Comparing political or moral censorship to that in other democracies might make sense. Comparing these things to Stalinism over eastern Europe is just silly.

Censored: The 274 books and magazines still banned in Ireland today thejournal.ie, 21/05/12
 

Seanie Lemass

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Comparing this state to the Stalinist states is an insult to the millions murdered by those regimes.
 
S

simeongrimes

Yes it's a stretch. Stalinism was imposed on people. Our grandparents voted overwhelmingly for parties committed to the Church. the ring-kissers and the craw-thumpers ruled. Jack Lynch made sure he was photographed visiting a convent at every election.

What you can say about Ireland is crude democracy worked. An overwhelmingly Catholic people ended up with an overwhelmingly Catholic state. They didn't want it any other way.
 
S

simeongrimes

When Con Lucey was Bishop of Cork he said that it was acceptable for people to have a biscuit (one) on a fast day. A local bakery produced a very large biscuit which became known as a Connie-Dodger. That was the kind of thing that passed for rebellion in those days.
 

Seanie Lemass

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Yes it's a stretch. Stalinism was imposed on people. Our grandparents voted overwhelmingly for parties committed to the Church. the ring-kissers and the craw-thumpers ruled. Jack Lynch made sure he was photographed visiting a convent at every election.

What you can say about Ireland is crude democracy worked. An overwhelmingly Catholic people ended up with an overwhelmingly Catholic state. They didn't want it any other way.

There was no comparison to the situation here and in the Stalinist states. None. As Harry W has said censorship and general prudishness was the order of the day in many democracies after WWII.

As indeed it was in the socialist states. Except there, sexual repression was accompanied by mass political terror. Comparing this place in the 40s and 50s to say Czechoslovakia where several hundred thousand people were killed and a similar number locked up and where people had none of the rights people had here is frankly ludicrous.

The only political executions here were of five or six IRA Volunteers.
 

LamportsEdge

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Just about the difference in tyranny as there is between coca-cola and pepsi-cola. It is the same stuff with a slightly different aftertaste.

The only difference in tyranny was the cultural difference- there was no difference in the origins of some people in a society repressing the rest because it served their purposes to do so.

The packaging makes no difference. And I am reminded that Stalin was the product of a Jesuit seminary school in Tbilisi- a group that inexplicably bought him out of a Tsarist jail at one notable point. Josef Stalin- product of the 'good catholic education':)
 

Seanie Lemass

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Just about the difference in tyranny as there is between coca-cola and pepsi-cola. It is the same stuff with a slightly different aftertaste.

The only difference in tyranny was the cultural difference- there was no difference in the origins of some people in a society repressing the rest because it served their purposes to do so.

The packaging makes no difference. And I am reminded that Stalin was the product of a Jesuit seminary school in Tbilisi- a group that inexplicably bought him out of a Tsarist jail at one notable point. Josef Stalin- product of the 'good catholic education':)
You clearly know absolutely nothing about Stalin or Stalinism ;)
 
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eoghanacht

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No at least there were jobs in the Soviet bloc :)
 
D

Dylan2010

the rise of something is more interesting than the collapse, the soviets had their soviet new man, christians have their new man born again stuff. In the 90's the dot commers were the new men whose feet barely touched the ground and in Ireland we had property developers with the "vision" and if you didnt buy into it you had to commit suicide. Where will the next bunch of spoofers come from?
 

Seanie Lemass

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the rise of something is more interesting than the collapse, the soviets had their soviet new man, christians have their new man born again stuff. In the 90's the dot commers were the new men whose feet barely touched the ground and in Ireland we had property developers with the "vision" and if you didnt buy into it you had to commit suicide. Where will the next bunch of spoofers come from?
I nominate Lamports Edge :)
 
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