Eternally passive

After all that has affected Ireland the country is surprisingly peaceful when there were Greek riots, huge Spanish marches as well as the usual French demonstrations.

This passivity and lack of any real public protest has been examined recently, the writer says that “weak infrastructure of dissent explains this moderation/passivity”. He says that “those at the top – be they bankers, bureaucrats or politicians – have paid little if any price for whatever role they played in the disaster”.

He writes to explain this requires historical analysis is needed. He notes how social passivity in Ireland is not new and how the “Civil War, for instance, was a brief and unbloody affair compared with other conflicts of that kind in Europe over the course of the 20th century – from Finland in the 1920s to the Balkans in the 1990s”.

He says that fascism and communism that were sweeping Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, from the UK with Oswald Mosley to Stalin in the USSR, where all but ignored in Ireland, he notes that, “Those (anti-democratic) ideas were almost completely ignored and, more generally, no country in Europe has been so little influenced by new political ideas”. He cites as another example Irish passivity to the economic crisis of the 1980s that affect Ireland.

The reasons for this he says,  Ireland has an “underdeveloped infrastructure of dissent” and the reason for this is chiefly due to the lack of any real divisions within Irish society. Since the 1920s Ireland, at least the 26 counties, have been overwhelmingly Catholic, and collectively have had a perception of historical oppression with further united the country together. The journalist writes importantly how, “Among the most important reasons in explaining the absence of such divisions was the long struggle for statehood, which unified many forces in society that would otherwise have been at loggerheads”.

He cites how the State has a high degree of legitimacy, as there was a clean slate with no past injustices, as a result, “An anecdotal example of this legitimacy and the limited suspicion of how the State exercises power is that political conspiracy theories are far less frequently heard in Ireland than in other European countries”.

Now however Ireland is undergoing huge strain, with great pressure being put on the relationship between what is viewed, rightly or wrongly, as an increasingly out of touch and unrepresentative establishment and the worst off in society suffering most.

Perhaps this passivity is beginning to change?


5 Responses to “Eternally passive”

  1. Best decision of a terrible choice « Order and Tradition Says:

    […] the rising likelihood of a Greek exit from the euro, are creating new uncertainties”. The only reason that the Irish have not been so vocal is that the country is so […]

  2. “Doing too much” « Order and Tradition Says:

    […] Merkel. However, this should not be taken as Ireland being resolutely pro-EU, it is down to their strange society where there is little societal pressure willing to voice the problems being faced. This can turn […]

  3. A hopeless case « Order and Tradition Says:

    […] He concludes “, the truth is that Enda Kenny leads a Vichy government—captive externally to creditors that still insist on loading bank debt onto the sovereign, and internally to a tribe of insiders led by union godfathers in a deal that protects the government’s own excessive pay and pensions while bankers lean over its shoulders to rewrite insolvency laws”. Yet as ever with Ireland nothing will change because the people are too ignorant and too lazy to fix it. […]

  4. Europe’s failed state « Order and Tradition Says:

    […] occur in Greece and mass protests in Spain as the endless euro crisis grinds on the Irish remain passive in spite of all that has happened over the last […]

  5. Making progress? « Order and Tradition Says:

    […] bondholders”. Yet for all their resentment the Irish seem to do nothing about it being as passive as ever in the face of their country being, yet again humiliated but corrupt […]

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