Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Short Political Interlude

Oak tree - Santry Wood, September, 2010
I make it a point of virtually never referring to politics as there are so many political blogs out there in the blogosphere, and most of them with deeper and more penetrating political insights that I can give.  Also my preoccupations are essentially in the areas of philosophy, literature, psychology and personal development as my strengths lie there.  However, the sheer volume of negative political and economical news that we are bombarded with on an almost hourly basis from our news media, both broadcast and written, has begun to sicken and depress me.  So much so that I feel I must make a few brief comments here for my own peace of mind and to let off some mounting steam.  This, I believe is the second post out of some 735 posts that I have deigned to make a political statement.

The Mind Boggles and the Soul Sickens:

My mind boggles at how the present Fianna Fáil/Green Government are in absolute denial.  If the truth of our present political, fiscal and banking situations were to suddenly come alive and transform themselves into three evil dragons I doubt if they would be even able to identify these mythical creatures.  Indeed, if these three realities were to transform themselves into very real gnarling wolves, I doubt if they would recognise them either.  Ours is a government in denial and one which, alas, is so economical with the truth, to use a euphemism which is almost too ridiculously pun-like, that it does not know the difference between Truth and Falsehood.    Indeed, they take us mere mortals for fools of the highest order.  In listening to the irate listeners of Joe Duffy's Live Line today one could not but be alarmed at the level of anger, disbelief and sheer incredulity among the Irish people.  It's sad to say, but it is a truism, that we get the politicians we deserve.  It took us too long, far too long, to realize that the empty rhetoric mouthed by our politicians in government was and is just that, empty rhetoric.  However, what's worse is that this empty rhetoric has become sheer denial, gross untruths and blatant lies.  Hence, my mind boggles. 

My soul sickens because in this sheer obsession with the state of our economy we have lost a lot of what makes us truly human, and indeed, truly Irish.  We were, and possibly are still, a very caring nation.  We have traditionally sent our best young men and women to the four corners of the earth educating the poor and nursing the sick.  We are a great literary and musical nation which also inspires many beyond the borders of our little country.  The soul of Ireland is sick.  The tsunami of greed that overtook this little country and into which many of us, alas, bought "hook, line and sinker" as the oft quoted cliché puts it, was the cause of our downfall.  Yes, indeed, there were the few prophetic voices who shouted stop, but our greed knew no greater self-awareness.  Indeed, a lot of us were in denial.  Things were too good and the money too cheap to refuse.  We bought properties with money we could not repay from developers who had borrowed to build them in the first place.  We were a nation strung out on the opium of greed.  Now we are paying the price.  We are all being punished for the grave sins and profligate gambling of the few and the many lesser sins of the masses of us who bought into the false dream of wealth without limit.

I am reminded here of a short lyric of William Blake from his Songs of Experience which runs thus:

(Songs of Experience 1789)

O Rose thou art sick.
The invisible worm
That flies in the night
In the howling storm:
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
A Yellow Rose called "Freedom," St Anne's Park, October 2010
Substitute Ireland, the soul of Ireland, for the rose in this poem and we have a truly fitting allegory.  The invisible worm would be the tsunami of greed that overtook our small nation during the years of heady hubris when we thought were among the richest nations on earth.  Poor Paddy lost his soul betting his very shirt on international markets, the "pie in the sky" of rampant and rapacious capitalism.  What's needed now is a return to the vision of the founders of this small but wonderful state.  We are the proud possessors of a wonderful culture which is priceless.  When we tried to sell that culture for "a mess of potage" we became undone.  Let us re-discover our spiritual - not necessarily religious - and literary roots.  Let us rediscover the power of the Celtic Imagination which will bring economic stability  with it as well as soul-comfort if we realise that small can and is both beautiful and sustaining economically.  We were never afraid of hard work.  Nor were we ever afraid that poverty would kill the growing flower of our nation.  We have come through much worse in our history as an ancient Gaelic people.  Let us not grow dispirited.  Our soul may be battered and bruised at the moment, but she is not broken! Éire abú!

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