Ireland in Crisis

Fr. Hank Tree

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Forgive the alarmist title but I believe it is fair to say that Ireland is experiencing a Crisis.

When I say Crisis, I don't mean in the ordinary everyday meaning of that word, but in the particular sense as defined by Antonio Gramsci — 'The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born'

Thus, I speak of a crisis of political authority and it's fair to say that we are having such a crisis now. We have had such crises before:

- 1912-1923; our state was born out of a crisis whereby the British authority in Ireland collapsed in the wake of the home rule crisis and the first world war but before Irish republicans could fully establish a new political order.

- 1950s; when protectionist economic policies had run their course, we experienced a depression/borderline existential crises, characterised by emigration and political instability. It wasn't until Lemass charted a new course in the 60s that this crisis was resolved.

- 1980s; another economic crisis like the 50s, with its origin in the Keynesian exuberance and oil shock of the late 70s, but with a nasty culture war dimension to it aswell. Only really resolved in the 90s with the Celtic Tiger.

- Current crisis; Yes we've been in crisis since 2008 in terms of the economy and public finances but it's only now that we are experiencing a full blown Gramscian political Crisis. Fianna Fail, despite a modest resurgence, is still half-dead but there is no clear successor to their throne. Fine Gael and Labour blew their chances after 2011. As with the other periods, there is political instability and this in turn is accompanied by the usual cultural anxiety. This is why debates like the 8th amendment are popping up. The current industrial unrest is symptomatic of the lack of authority.

The big question is how will this current crisis be resolved? You will notice that the periods of stability above co-incided with FF hegemony. The 30s and 40s (Dev), the 60s (Lemass and Lynch), the 90s and 00s (Bertie). I am not arguing that these were good or bad, just that there was stability and clarity of rule. Contrast this with the chaos of the present.

Is the best we can hope for a FF revival, as bad as they may be? Or is there something else in prospect. SF are too small and the rest of the left don't inspire any sort of confidence. Seems to me that a FF/FG merger is the only option.
 
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Eire1976

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Let me correct you, Irish republicans weren't allowed to found a new political order.
 
D

Deleted member 45466

Everything's grand. Lots of job, healthy GDP and all that malarkey.

What could go wrong...
 

Fr. Hank Tree

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We have a minority government propped up by independents that is at the mercy of the main opposition party and beholden to sectional interests. It's muddling through but it's simply not stable enough to meet challenges going forward.

I am asking if there is a stable government in prospect in the medium to long term and the only thing I can think of is a FF/FG coalition or merger.
 
D

Deleted member 45466

We have a minority government propped up by independents that is at the mercy of the main opposition party and beholden to sectional interests. It's muddling through but it's simply not stable enough to meet challenges going forward.

I am asking if there is a stable government in prospect in the medium to long term and the only thing I can think of is a FF/FG coalition or merger.
Brussels will look after that.
 

ON THE ONE ROAD

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We have a minority government propped up by independents that is at the mercy of the main opposition party and beholden to sectional interests. It's muddling through but it's simply not stable enough to meet challenges going forward.

I am asking if there is a stable government in prospect in the medium to long term and the only thing I can think of is a FF/FG coalition or merger.
We have a FF/FG coalition.

Each one of the periods of stability you identified had an idea. What is the idea waiting to be born.
 

talkingshop

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Forgive the alarmist title but I believe it is fair to say that Ireland is experiencing a Crisis.

When I say Crisis, I don't mean in the ordinary everyday meaning of that word, but in the particular sense as defined by Antonio Gramsci — 'The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born'

Thus, I speak of a crisis of political authority and it's fair to say that we are having such a crisis now. We have had such crises before:

- 1912-1923; our state was born out of a crisis whereby the British authority in Ireland collapsed in the wake of the home rule crisis and the first world war but before Irish republicans could fully establish a new political order.

- 1950s; when protectionist economic policies had run their course, we experienced a depression/borderline existential crises, characterised by emigration and political instability. It wasn't until Lemass charted a new course in the 60s that this crisis was resolved.

- 1980s; another economic crisis like the 50s, with its origin in the Keynesian exuberance and oil shock of the late 70s, but with a nasty culture war dimension to it aswell. Only really resolved in the 90s with the Celtic Tiger.

- Current crisis; Yes we've been in crisis since 2008 in terms of the economy and public finances but it's only now that we are experiencing a full blown Gramscian political Crisis. Fianna Fail, despite a modest resurgence, is still half-dead but there is no clear successor to their thrown. Fine Gael and Labour blew their chances after 2011. As with the other periods, there is political instability and this in turn is accompanied by the usual cultural anxiety. This is why debates like the 8th amendment are popping up. The current industrial unrest is symptomatic of the lack of authority.

The big question is how will this current crisis be resolved? You will notice that the periods of stability above co-incided with FF hegemony. The 30s and 40s (Dev), the 60s (Lemass and Lynch), the 90s and 00s (Bertie). I am not arguing that these were good or bad, just that there was stability and clarity of rule. Contrast this with the chaos of the present.

Is the best we can hope for a FF revival, as bad as they may be? Or is there something else in prospect. SF are too small and the rest of the left don't inspire any sort of confidence. Seems to me that a FF/FG merger is the only option.
Yep, I think FF/FG merger, or at least proper coalitions, is the only decent option.
 

farnaby

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- Current crisis; Yes we've been in crisis since 2008 in terms of the economy and public finances but it's only now that we are experiencing a full blown Gramscian political Crisis. Fianna Fail, despite a modest resurgence, is still half-dead but there is no clear successor to their thrown. Fine Gael and Labour blew their chances after 2011. As with the other periods, there is political instability and this in turn is accompanied by the usual cultural anxiety. This is why debates like the 8th amendment are popping up. The current industrial unrest is symptomatic of the lack of authority.
Behind the political stagnation is a lack of talent and vision in any of the parties; and a lack of common cause among the people to start a new movement.

In Irish society becoming more individualistic and outward-looking, potentially great leaders have opted for international business instead of public office. Parties are instead populated with the offspring of political dynasties, local gombeen candidates and shady local businessmen.

For the same reasons no new political movement is likely, as common cause and solidarity are anathema to the new Irish way of life. If I'm doing well I'll flaunt it, if i'm not i'll hide it away and only show the guests the front room.
 

Eire1976

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Nov 20, 2010
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We have a minority government propped up by independents that is at the mercy of the main opposition party and beholden to sectional interests. It's muddling through but it's simply not stable enough to meet challenges going forward.

I am asking if there is a stable government in prospect in the medium to long term and the only thing I can think of is a FF/FG coalition or merger.
It must really upset the guys with the brown envelopes, who do they pay off?
 

Old Mr Grouser

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Forgive the alarmist title but I believe it is fair to say that Ireland is experiencing a Crisis.

When I say Crisis, I don't mean in the ordinary everyday meaning of that word, but in the particular sense as defined by Antonio Gramsci — 'The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born' ...
When you say that, "the old is dying and the new cannot be born", you're wrong.

It's the same as Arthur O'Shaughnessy wrote, "each age is a dream that is dying, or one that is coming to birth".

It may be that you're not very happy with the new Ireland - people these days are less respectful of the Church - but some of us are very glad to see that.
 
D

Deleted member 45466

What do you mean?
Government policies are designed around what Brussels thinks, does and says, right?

The biggest challenge going forward is avoiding another melty. Presumably Brussels will play a part in determining if we can avoid one?

Basically, what I'm saying is, I no longer worry about who gets into government in Ireland. It doesn't matter, because on the important things they'll just do what Brussels tells them to do.
 

Fr. Hank Tree

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We have a FF/FG coalition.

Each one of the periods of stability you identified had an idea. What is the idea waiting to be born.
It's not a coalition though; FF are half in half out and speaking out of both sides of their mouth as usual. At least with a coalition, both parties would be in government and be forced to make things work instead of playing games.

Indeed, what is the idea?
 

talkingshop

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Behind the political stagnation is a lack of talent and vision in any of the parties; and a lack of common cause among the people to start a new movement.

In Irish society becoming more individualistic and outward-looking, potentially great leaders have opted for international business instead of public office. Parties are instead populated with the offspring of political dynasties, local gombeen candidates and shady local businessmen.

For the same reasons no new political movement is likely, as common cause and solidarity are anathema to the new Irish way of life. If I'm doing well I'll flaunt it, if i'm not i'll hide it away and only show the guests the front room.
And everyone keeps saying cut TDs pay more, cut Ministers' pay more...just to make sure to make it as unattractive as possible...
 

Fr. Hank Tree

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Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
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When you say that, "the old is dying and the new cannot be born", you're wrong.

It's the same as Arthur O'Shaughnessy wrote, "each age is a dream that is dying, or one that is coming to birth".

It may be that you're not very happy with the new Ireland - people these days are less respectful of the Church - but some of us are very glad to see that.
Thing about that is, you may be happy that people are less respectful of the church, and that's fair enough. But what are we respectful of in its place? I think your negativity will only get us so far. What are you in favour of, as opposed to simply being against? We need a coherent positive vision going forward to the replace the old. There is a lack of that at the moment, hence the crisis of authority.
 

ger12

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