6.13.2008

Lisbon Treaty? No Feckin' Way!




No, I'm no expert on Ireland nor am I of what the Irish people are thinking at any given point in time. I mean hell; I only spent a month in the country and not even in one town at that. I was a tourist.

But I’ll say this: in my time spent in pubs and markets across the countryside I heard not a gleeful giddiness at Irelands new found “wealth” (Ireland joined the EU back in 1972 and has “enjoyed” ludicrous economic growth since the mid 90’s) but the skepticism of a people who know what it means to be enslaved (by others, by government, and by debt).

Part of my traveling to Ireland was to see this “Celtic Tiger” for myself. I wanted to not only visit the island where I originate from but also see and hear for myself how the average Irish citizen was supposedly “benefiting” from this great new economy.

What I saw and heard while there not only confirmed many of my theories but also depressed me. As my brother and I left Dublin fields full of houses, subdivisions, and suburbia greeted us. My first real image of rural Ireland wasn’t rural or Irish at all, it was American. I got angry then I got drunk. At least the beer hadn’t been ruined by Capitalism.

Before traveling to Ireland I knew that when the media talked of a “burgeoning Irish economy” what they really meant was that the Irish people were at the beginning of yet another slave state; only this time it would involve debt and consumerism. This slave state would be imposed upon them by the E.U. This slave state would tell families who had lived off of the land that their sons and daughters, the ones who normally would have inherited the family farm, could only make a living by sending their children away to college.

Then those same sons and daughters would “sell the farm” to developers because their shiny new college educations taught them that money, and making lots of it, usurped everything and held all the power you would ever need. Money usurped family ties, usurped “living off of the land” (because come on, we all know that white people don’t farm. That’s an activity that only people in poor countries do because they are to stupid to do anything else, right?), and usurped any ties to sanity that they might have been born with.

So it came as no surprise when I read the latest headline declaring, “Irish voters sign death warrant for E.U.'s Lisbon treaty”. I wont go into the details of the treaty but suffice it to say that the Irish knew exactly what the treaty was really about: taking more power from the many and giving it to the few. Your usual run-of-the-mill “we want to give the people more freedoms by putting restrictions on the ones they already have” crap that governments the world over spew upon whatever people they may be trying to enslave at that point in time.

The Irish are no dummies. They are seeing the trade offs that come from this “great wealth”. They are seeing their social fabric being torn apart for the same reasons the United States has no real social fabric to speak of: the lie of money.

We all know by now that money can buy you houses, cars, educations, t.v.’s, computers, ipods, and more stuff than you will ever need much less find use for. But it cannot buy you a family that loves you, a home that nurtures you, and friends that truly care for you.

You cannot buy enough stuff to replace only that which your family can give.

I don’t know it for sure, and I'm not trying to speak on behalf of an entire culture, but I believe many of the things I just stated are part of why the Irish said “no” to the Lisbon Treaty. Because even though historically the Irish might have been “poor” in material wealth, at least they where tied to one another for survival, not some abstract idea based on exploiting people the world over with the hope that some day all that exploitation might pay off (the idea I spoke of is called Capitalism).

So I’ll raise a glass to a people who say “no” when everyone else is saying “yes”. Those are my kind of people.

1 Comments:

Blogger Andrew Martin said...

Hi. Us Europeans like to sound of about American politics often enough, so it's good to get a taste of an entirely different perspective on what's going on over here. I'd have to agree with you that travelling in Ireland in the last few years puts me in mind of the USA. Everyone seems to be out to make a fast buck (or Euro :-) ).

I don't know that your analysis of the Lisbon Treaty is bang on the money - the UK perspective is different - but there's a whole lot wrong with the European project as it stands, not least in how much it means protectionism for European markets, at the expense of developing countries.

Meanwhile, the Guinness still tastes good :-). cheers.

12:47 PM  

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