many European countries, the political differences
between parties of the Left and parties of the Right
have tended to narrow down over the last two decades.
There is an implicit consensus that there are no solutions
to the current social and economic problems, only
good or bad management of those problems.
with the Good Friday Agreement, local politicians
have recognised that there are no "solutions"
to the Irish question, only good or bad management
of sectarian tensions and related problems. There
is a crisis of political imagination as the very idea
of the possibility of a qualitatively different form
of social organisation is fundamentally questioned.
generally, there is a general crisis of confidence
in human beings' capacity to change themselves and
and change the society they live in. The media and
various "experts" are constantly warning
us of the "dangers" and "risks"
if we try to do anything. From GM food and genetic
engineering to questioning the GFA and neoliberalism
it is easy to understand the prevailing political
paralysis given the existing culture of "fear"
and avoidance of "risks".
risks and dangers are inherent in any political project
worthy of that name. The result is that "culture"
and "ethical humanitarianism" have effectively
displaced politics. A bogus humanitarian ideology
of victimage and of "parity of esteem" for
cultural otherness thrusts aside collective political
projects of social transformation.
GFA is about "diversity", and respecting
"cultural differences" - it celebrates things
such as "Orange culture", as "pluralism"
is a good thing in itself. Sectarian marches are tolerable,
because after all they are a "cultural thing".
Any questioning of this Agreement is dangerous as
it potentially leads to Omagh bomb type tragedies.
from the ideology of "parity of esteem"
between Orange and Green, it also encourages vanity
and self-satisfaction in being a perpetual victim
rather than an agency of social transformation. Never
since 1998 have there been so many contests in who
sings louder "We are more victims than you are",
because the more victimised you are the bigger Peace
money you are likely to receive.
this prevailing ideological mood, Republican Socialism
offers the best alternative to the ideology of "equality"
and "parity of esteem". From Fintan Lalor
to James Connolly and from Liam Mellows to Seamus
Costello, it is the current within Republicanism that
expressed best the interests of the men and women
of no property. It has confidence in the necessity
and ability of people organising themselves and changing
the society they live in. It is Democratic, it is
Republican, it is Socialist. It has the resources
to renew political imagination - far more than this
current liberal multiculturalism.
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