The Irish Recovery and Naughty Children

What will happen: writing a critical assessment of the Irish economy, approaching it in a radical way, assessing also the current Irish situation Irish in a long term perspective, I am wondering if there will be dear Irish readers who ….

Well, I remember one day few years back now. A colleague, I think he originally came from Belgium to Ireland, had been tabling publicly some fundamental critical points concerned with the Irish Universities, the prevailing clientelism and the fact that there are forces within this system claiming to work for smart developments and factually milking the system for their own sake. As said, he did it publicly, using the all-user-exchange e-mail service: mails circulated to all staff. Now, one of those days I had been sitting with colleagues down for a coffee – and this topic, more precise: his mails came up. There had been not much said against his positions. But one remark mad me  …, well one remark had been perhaps even a little bit of a surprise, not being expected amongst members of the claimed intellectually enlightened elite. Somebody asked the question: ‘But if it is all so bad, why doesn’t he go back to from where he comes?’

I don’t mind in one way: I will write and say what I think I have to write and say – and perhaps somebody will ‘send me back’ as well one day [btw., I never saw the colleague from Belgium again. Though I do not want to say that he had been physically pushed out of the way, I have to say that bullying is …, well: not nice]. Why I am writing about it here has another reason – of course, some readers know by now: nothing simple, and just a short straight line.

* Yesterday I posted on facebook:

of course madness: sitting in Finland, writing on Ireland, to be presented in Austria, and talking to colleague in Turkey on project on HR-finding out that we may meet in Germany as by chance we will be there at the same time. May introduce him then to my Irish students – taking them to Munich for study trip.

seems we are safe – Benedetto won’t be around then. Seen from another angle it is a funny idea thinking about different global players and different global games: from the top and from the bottom.

500-limit, otherwise I would have added: getting interesting info from Yu-ze in Taiwan, on Neurosociology and some news on Gramsci, of course from the south of Europe. All a question of hegemony, right?

And got some photos from back in Ireland. Really nice spot, have to go there one day to make holidays rather than hear from the holidays others make there 😉

* Contrast that with what I stated before ….


Reading through the papers that I need for the analysis of the Irish development and situation (and further development from here), looking at documents like budgets, the recovery plan, the ECB-statements, the Taoiseach’s action plan …, I can only find one of the issues confirmed, linking the different positions of “academic-pub talk about opposing colleagues” and governmental analysis together. The confirmation is concerned with one of the governance issues, only linked to the economic policy by allowing the government to proceed in such disgraceful and un-virtuous way of robbing the people, celebrating communities as self-sufficient and self-reliant and serving those who brought us onto the cemetery of the Irish tiger. I am talking about the following:

Of course, much of this can be linked to the following dimensions of ‘insularity’

  • the obvious fact of insularity in geographical terms;
  • the long-lasting  and persisting dominance of agriculture;
  • the persisting parishialisation and communitarianisation

the political ‘segmentation’, welding together what does not belong together – for instance communities and localities, claiming against each other rather than bringing together people whose common interest is based on the social class to which they belong.


This socio-political outline is important in order to understand the lack of ‘expressed demand’ of systematic and structurally sound public welfare and also the lack of public protest on a societal level. Family and community orientation has to be understood as being very much a matter of forbearances and inwardness of protest.

So, what do you do with the small, naughty child? ….

Sure, but there they often face the same situation – and perhaps they actually left there because of it: the readiness to assess situations by looking at a broader spectrum of historical explanations than that offered by misbehaviour of virtue-less governance. Hegemony is about more, it is also about acceptance – the larger brother beating up the smaller, saving the parents from doing a proper job.

– Having said this, may be at least some of the parents are less closed, less narrow-minded than the parochial wolves, wearing a cosmopolitan fur.

My neighbour: farmer’s wife, well educated about and having left her job in favour of marriage and farmer’s-wife existence may be about fifty years ago: she won’t read this – but I cannot recall that she said anything like what I reported above. Sitting for a nice cuppa at the kitchen table there had been some undeniable wisdom coming from her.

(see Herrmann, Peter, forthcoming: Social Policy – Production rather than Distribution. A Rights-Based Approach – as volume XIX of the socialcomparison series)


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