Sunday, March 08, 2009

Comments on Belmont Club
"Are the Troubles returning?"

The Brits should respond by rebranding the PSNI back to the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

Most people with Irish ancestry in America are protestants. The IRA was sustained for years by money raised among the Irish Catholics in America through NORAID, and against the wishes of the Irish government.

The IRA are not in any way shape or form a Catholic organization.
They are bloody racists seeking to subjugate and expel descendants of the Scots primarily who migrated to Ireland over 500 years ago. This is analogous to the Arab war against the Jews. That is why there is such a close ideological and operational connection between the IRA and Islamic terrorism. Insofar as the IRA has any larger ideology it is Marxism.

will the rider on that white horse by Jean D’Arc or Adolph Hitler
Just to be difficult for the fun of it, your question relies on an assumption. The lady in question died very young. She may have been an inspiring liberating character who would have made the world an even better place if she had lived but we don’t know. Maybe the Burgundians sold her to the English because they feared she would turn out to be option B. Your basic point is correct. By demonizing and rejecting opposition voices that desired to operate within the Liberal pattern of western democracy, voices like Pym Fortuyn and Geert Wilders, the European governing elites have opened a door for violent mystics and true outsiders.

The argument against your proposition or Professor Hansen’s is that the post war settlement and the European Project may have succeeded all to well. The purpose of European multiculturalism was not to increase brie sales in Mendocino or PBS memberships in Manhattan or even to encourage moslem migrations to the First World. Those are all by products. The purpose was to stop Europeans from killing each other and everybody else. The performance of the obese and alcohol dependent Bundeswehr in Afghanistan indicates that they may well have succeeded beyond our wildest expectations. Even the French, while ill equipped and suffering from a terrible political leadership have fought, but the German example is what will be remembered in Tehran and Moscow and Beijing. The French may act like Lawrence’s Emir Feisel, not for gold or for weapons but because it pleases them, but it will probably be to late. The persistence and revival of tribal movements, as indicated on this thread, are another result of the deconstruction of the Westphalian settlement.

If the money had gone into tax relief, that is to say stayed in people's pockets rather than getting cycled through Washington's sticky fingers in the first place, it would have been better for Wall Street. Now there is no confidence in normal business processes to entice borrowing or investment. Everyone is just waiting to see how the pork will flow and who has to be bribed to get at the trough. If the government had spent less and left the people their own money then they would have either spent it or saved it. Realistically now everyone wants to save. The Democrats and the Press are bleating that saving is suddenly bad and Bush's rebates didn't work because people saved. At the same time they are screaming that the government has to print money and use it to buy equity in the banks because there is a shortage of capital. The ability to hold these two incompatible concepts at the same time (savings bad but banks need cash infusion) is the best evidence that the Democrats are human, idiots but human. If people had saved their money instead of sending it to Washington then most of it would have guess where? Into the banks! Some would probably get into mattresses but Congress patronizes enough prostitutes so that part of the economy probably is a wash either way. What would the banks do with all this money? Some of it would undoubtedly go to management retreats in Aruba, with Congressmen in tow, some to shiny new office furniture, and some to divorce lawyers but most of it would have to be loaned out by the banks. That after all is what banks do, it is their business. Since a cut in taxes would result in more money for the banks to lend the rate of interest would go down. That would lead to more borrowing, more investment, more economic activity, more jobs and more house sales. All without increasing the size of government. Sixty years ago Milton Frieidman proved that the big problem at the start of the Great Depression was that the government allowed the money supply to decrease. Some action by the Fed to maintain liquidity is important. Everything else the government is doing is causing more damage.

There is no disputing that England treated Ireland badly, brutally in fact. The fact is that the grievances of the Irish against the English fall historically between those of Jews against the Egyptians and those of the Jews against the Germans. What happened at the Boyne is important and interesting but should be determinative of nothing in regard to current events. The Irish independence movement was not originally a Catholic activity. The Nationalists of 1792 were Protestants. So for that matter were many of the leaders of the Home Rule movement such as Parnell. In fact the failure of the Church of Ireland to sink roots into the population and the subsequent revival of Catholicism among the peasantry was not a certainty until well into the 18th century. The problem on the religious side was the general enfeeblement of the Established Church after the Glorious Revolution. The present inability of the C of E to compete with Islam is a consequence of the same political settlement. Given that the Irish were benefiting from the same process of enfranchisement and economic liberalization as the Home Counties, and within the same parliament, during the 19th century the failure of British to establish a greater sense of common purpose is tragic. If only the men in Westminister had considered how the Americans had approached Federalism then a union might have been preserved. The explicitly religious nature of the divide is largely a consequence of partition and is more an expression of a conflict between the Irish and the Scots.

Has anyone investigated to see if there were any contacts between the ruling Irish of 1944-49 (who were the surviving IRA of 1916-21) and the Haganah who fought a similar fight in what is now Israel? The Dublin government was neutral but sympathetic to Germany. Still I would think that there were parallels that could have been drawn.

Someone, it might have been John Hume or David Trimble but I won't swear to it, said to me after a campus talk to pump up support for the Good Friday Agreement that crime was low in Ulster because all the usual psychopaths who would be robbing banks and killing old people were organized into the IRA or the UDF. They still kill but in a more controlled manner so it is paradoxically safer.

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