Slaying the Octopus
Brazilians have decided that the Workers Party’s efforts to improve the lives of tens of millions of the poor trump the fact that after twelve years in power it is now as corrupt as the regimes that preceded it. But corruption itself is an obstacle to pursuing the equality agenda.
As corporate profits soar, the working poor are increasingly driven into the hands of unscrupulous ‘payday’ lenders charging extortionate interest. Regulation can have some positive effect but the real solution, for individuals and the economy, is to pay a living wage.
Getting the Sauce Right
The conventional wisdom is that small states have little power in the face of globalisation and must do the bidding of larger states, multinational companies and international organisations. Other evidence, however, suggests that it is small states which perform best in the globalised world.
Irish names crop up with a fair degree of regularity among the promoters of xenophobia in contemporary Britain. A study of the interwar period demonstrates that Irish migrants were then the subject of similar unsound suspicions and fears of being ‘swamped’ by ‘scroungers’.
A Captain among the Pigeons
Invited to run for the Dáil by the Donegal Republican Workers Council, Jack White insisted he would do so only under the etiquette ‘Christian Communist’. A key figure in the formation of the Irish Citizen Army and collaborator of Connolly and Larkin, Captain White is the subject of a new study.
The Uses of Art
Alain de Botton has been the recipient of much sniffy condescension, being characterised as a chiropractor of the soul. But this is somewhat unfair: he is not trying to make us happy but to help us to understand ourselves better, and he sees art and philosophy as allies in this pursuit.
End of an Era
The Ukraine crisis has demonstrated, if further demonstration was required, that Russia will pursue its interests aggressively in what it regards as its legitimate sphere of interests around its borders ‑ and that Europe and the West have no agreed policy on how to react to this.
From Pearse and Connolly, through AE, Sean O’Faolain, John Mulcahy and Vincent Browne, a number of specialist periodicals have set out to write against the grain of mainstream Irish society and provide a space for diversity of opinion not available in national newspapers or the provincial press.
The Great Extermination
In 1810 Alexander Wilson watched, in Kentucky, a ‘prodigious’ procession of wild pigeons which took six hours to pass over him. The column, he estimated, had been 240 miles long. Just over a hundred years later the last passenger pigeon died in captivity, having never laid a fertile egg.
“Becoming Freud” Review Issue 61
Ross Skelton responds to a review of Adam Phillips’s Becoming Freud by Seamus O’Mahony in Issue 61 of the drb.