Tag Archives: Capitalism

How RIGHT is the Irish Establishment?

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I’ve been thinking long and hard “How do I start this article?, How do I start to explain what I see as a deep rooted cronyist arrogant, ignorant, insular, conservative, right wing domination of not only the Irish media class but the political, social and economic class.

How do I tell the self-important power elite in Irish society that they are so immersed in their own selfish rush for self-enrichment that they either; haven’t the intelligence or don’t want to comprehend the bigger global socio-economic and political picture. How can I say it all in the least insulting way possible? In an article that’ll get published?”

Then it hit me; there is no real, non-confrontational way to serve the truth to people unwilling to hear it, there’s no easy way to tell a privileged elite that their whole world is an illusion created off the exploitation of the masses, they see life as nothing more than an opportunity to indulge in our individualistic material wealth, the live in a bubble where they can’t look beyond the box of right-wing capitalism and where proven facts of socio and political philosophy is non-existent, and should be scorned upon, they have this almost religious view that god created capitalism and then created man to serve it. So how do I tell them of a world view that calls into question the whole concept of material wealth therefore calling in to question all meaning and purpose that currently consumes their materialist dominated lifestyle?

Allow me to explain why I finally decided to write this article, with the Local and European elections taking over every outlet the past week I have been active on twitter engaging in a few civil and educated exchanges, mostly with right wing members of Ireland’s political, media and academic world, such as Constantin Gurdgiev, RTE Deputy Director-General Kevin Bakhurst, Sunday Independent hatchet woman Eilis O’Hanlon and Thatcherite and political bigamist John McGuirk and others.

The best by far was Constantin as he engaged in a civil educated exchange before blocking me once I got the upper hand, RTE Deputy DG Kevin Bakhurst also blocked me on twitter for expressing my disapproval at his running of RTE and in particular his running of the Prime Time Debates, which he is director, and which have been the centre of recent controversy regarding political bias, especially in regards to their almost complete coverage blackout afforded to the campaigns of left leaning parties such as the Socialist Party, People Before Profit, many independents and others, a public expression of RTE’s contempt for the views of ordinary working people in Ireland who live outside the middle/upper class Dublincentric bubble and instead live in the flats of the capital, the wild west of the neglected housing estates of Tallaght and the neglected and demonised estates of Limerick and Cork.

Also Mr. Bakhurst is the deputy DG of our country’s state broadcaster, paid for, and employed by and on behalf of, the people. In my opinion this kind of censorship is completely unacceptable from a man in such a position of power, the state media is a very very important tool in the democratic functioning of a just and fair society, and to put himself in a position of such power means he must be prepared to accept some harsh public criticism.

Another couple of spats that I had which publicly exposes the astonishing arrogance and ignorance of the Irish established right was with Ireland’s smearing, patronising, Denis O’Brien mouthpiece Eilis O’Hanlon, who done her well known tactic of lowering a debate to nothing more that patronising childish petulance.

More importantly I had a spat with Ireland’s former right-wing neo-con golden boy and Political PR consultant John McGuirk

To those of you who do not know Mr. McGuirk he is an ex Trinity student who engaged in student politics before moving on to right-wing politics with Fianna Fail, before being expelled from FF and then joining Fine Gael, before leaving FG and joining the Greens, before leaving the Greens and joining Libertas  before leaving Libertas and having a very public and legal dispute with the former Libertas candidate whose campaign he was in charge of, In short he is a self-confessed right-wing Reagan conservative who supports privatising everything in the public sector except for “the police and army”.

In normal everyday life I wouldn’t give arrogant, egotistic, pompous, self-promoters like McGuirk the time of day but when someone as incompetent and as politically and socially misinformed as John McGuirk is taking as a serious authoritative political figure who we, the Irish public, should listen to, and watch on Vincent Brown, and allow influence our abortion and EU policy by his sleazy email smears, McCarthyist lists and involvement at the top of Irish politics, then something serious has gone wrong in our collective social judgement, we have misinterpreted the meaning of a rational, educated, open, caring, cultured, civilised and modern people.

McGuirk told me he supported Thatcherite privatisation so I began to question him in-depth about social effects etc.- as is the way in an intelligent meaningful debate of political and philosophical ideas- but McGuirk backed by 12-14 twitter followers quickly resorted to the ignorance and arrogance that I have come to expect from supporters of the mainstream Irish political consensus, resorting to childish uncivilised unintelligent patronising of not only myself but all people from working class communities, and all people who subscribe to alternative views.

This arrogance that exists in Irish political culture is highly insulting to people across Ireland who work daily on a grassroots level to help and advance the living standards of the most vulnerable, but unlike John McGuirk and many others they don’t go in search of the spotlight, they aren’t craving attention and political power- however irrelevant that power may be- they just do their work to help others and are given no credit or recognition and do not ask for it.

The thousands of youth workers around the country or the PBP councillors in inner city Dublin first hand witness the daily struggles of the most vulnerable in the country, and they don’t need some right-wing, self-serving, opportunistic careerist mouthpiece who knows nothing of working peoples struggles to come along with a cushy Trinity College degree and tell them that they’re all completely wrong and that thatcherite economic/social policies is their gateway to heaven, what has John McGuirk or people like him got to offer to the poorest of Ireland’s communities? These communities have spent decades learning and mastering community activism, a well-documented activism, so I don’t think the right wing Irish establishment has any credible right to lecture these ordinary people on how politics and society works, using spin-doctors like McGuirk and others to make it look like one big ball of confusion that takes seven masters degrees and €100,000 a year salary to figure out..

The Irish media as a whole is no different. The vast majority of the main media outlets in the country knowingly toe the established conservative right-wing view, all rushing to report the daily increase and fall in house prices but unable to report on the growing homeless situation, or the growing lack of adequate social housing or youth facilities, and those who dare try mention such topics are either ignored, can’t get published or called mad, and even the established left in Ireland’s media are at times patronising to those they claim to represent, for example Vincent Brown is a well-known and appreciated voice of the most vulnerable but he also frequently dismisses the views and alternative ideas of people he considers too left wing, the same people that usually spend their day to day life’s working and living directly within the most vulnerable areas and fighting community battles at a grassroots level.

This rot in the Irish journalistic world that forces independent thinkers to conform to an established status-quo is a result of a few things but the two main reasons are firstly the cronyism of Irish society in general, because we’re such a small population and everyone knows everyone we are too frightened to step on toes and speak some honest home truths to those in offices of social, economic and political power, mainly in fear of damaging future prospects.

The second main reason for the lack of journalistic dissent is, the education system! Most journalists come through colleges and I can first hand testify to the incompetent ways we teach the field of journalism, in college we were always thought one basic conformist house style “find your story, get your OBJECTIVE angle and write it” we’re never told to analyse it in-depth, never told to critically and subjectively review power and its effects on society through a wider philosophical social context. That in my journalistic opinion is a complete failure of the Irish media to uphold our commitment to society and the cause of truth and justice.

It’s about time Irish journalism grew a set and spoke out, it’s time working class Irish society demands more representation in the mass media, it’s time alternative views and ideas are giving the same relevance as accepted views, otherwise we’ll be nothing but tools engulfed by our arrogant idea that everything in Irish society is all rosy and that we’re some kind of haven of equality, justice and tolerance.

Most importantly it’s time we stopped hiding behind the long held lie that class does not exist in this country, class is as relevant in Ireland today as it has always been and neglecting the reality for the past century hasn’t cured the problem.

To finish on what I see as the origins of the establishment arrogance, in my view its origins lie in the Irish political classes core characteristic- the incapability to comprehend that social class exists, and their failure to recognise this results in them failing to recognise that beyond their middle and upper class Fianna Fail/Fine Gael bubble is a vast section of less privileged, less heard Irish people who are, quietly and without the help of the government, acting for themselves, whether the authorities, media and Irish right-wing like it or not.

As a result of this self-instigated community activism working people are quietly starting to vote more for the far left in the form of candidates from parties such as People Before Profit, The United Left Alliance, The Socialist Party and others, parties who work constantly on a grassroots level and understand the concerns of the people who live beyond the establishment Dublin bubble. The job these councillors and TD’s such as Brid Smith, Joan Collins, Joe Higgins, Ming Flanagan etc. do is being seen and judged positively by their constituents and it is the right-wings incapability to accept this political activism of working people that shows their complete arrogance when it comes to how they view their own positions in society and how they view the people in which they serve, the ordinary Irish people.

These local elections are just the start, if my experience of working class communities is correct then there will be a big surge in support for the Irish far left come the next general election and because of the right wings incapability to realise this and understand the people they are sure to lose big time as their cosy façade comes crashing down.

Global Leaders Must Tackle Inequality!

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According to a recently published report by Oxfam, 85 of the world’s richest people own as much wealth as almost half the world’s population.

The same report which details a widening wealth gap around the world also states that the richest 1% of Irish people own at least 10.5% of the wealth in Ireland. Although this figure for Ireland is extremely high it is nonetheless down 2.1% from a record high of 12.6% back in 2006.

However according to the Oxfam report and a graph recently published in The Irish Times, Ireland is still second on the list of “how much is owned by the 1%”, second only to Singapore.  This news should not come as a surprise as it follows Ireland’s eleven year reign as one of the top three nations with the most wealth concentrated in the hands of the 1%.

With this news in hand The Eagle contacted Oxfam Ireland to ask what can be done to tackle such inequality and whether it not it is justified in a world where extreme poverty still reigns.

Oxfam told the Eagle “It’s a travesty that just 85 people now own the same wealth as half the world’s population. This is unsustainable and a recipe for social and economic disaster.”

In regards of whether there should be a cap on personal wealth as a way to tackle such inequality Oxfam the BCFE Eagle “Tackling inequality means that everyone pays their fair share. We are not advocating for a cap on personal wealth – instead we want a fairer, stronger and more transparent tax system that ensures the wealthy are not paying less than the poor” Oxfam continued “Also, inequality isn’t just about money. It’s about opportunity and power and decision-making too. It’s this “big picture” inequality that cements privilege and disadvantage down the generations and across countries,,,,, We acknowledge that some economic inequality is essential to drive growth and progress, rewarding those with talent, hard earned skills and ambition, but the extreme levels of wealth concentration occurring today threaten to exclude hundreds of millions of people from realising the benefits of their hard work.”. .

Oxfam continued to tell out reporter that more initiatives must be taken to tackle the widening wealth gap because, as of now, the government and governments around the world have failed to tackle the issue “Those with the most money often use that money to influence policy makers – this can be done either through illegal activities such as bribes or legal activities such as funding politicians or organisations that campaign for policies that benefit the wealthiest. This can undermine political institutions and means that governments serve the interest of the richest, at the expense of ordinary people. When rules are bent in favour of the rich, such as unfair global tax rules that allow wealthy people to hide their money in tax havens instead of paying the taxes they should, it is harmful to the rest of society”. When it comes to tackling wealth divisions Oxfam stated rules must be put in place to tackle tax evasion and they gave a conservative figure of 120 billion lost each year by governments around the world, on the topic of Irelands tax evasion problem Oxfam stated “On Ireland, our research last year showed that as much as €707 billion owned by wealthy individuals from overseas may be shielded from tax authorities around the world in Irish financial institutions”

Oxfam added that although cuts in Ireland effect the poorest in society to an unfair degree in poor continents like Africa the problem of wealth inequality is amplified At the same time cuts to public services and support disproportionately harm the poorest people, This problem is amplified in poor countries, especially those in Africa that are rich in natural resources. Global extractive companies (e.g. big corporations mining oil, gas or minerals) are able to use their influence to get generous subsidies and avoid paying taxes and royalties”.

When asked if such inequalities can be justified in a world where extreme poverty still plights the life of so many, Oxfam stated “Oxfam is concerned by global income inequality because it is hampering, if not exacerbating global poverty. Think of the money being lost by African countries because big multinational corporations are not paying their dues. In countries where children die needlessly from easily curable diseases this money would make a real difference to improve health and education systems. Some countries are actually losing more money in lost taxes than they receive in international aid. Evidence from across the world shows the price of inequality harms not just those at the bottom, but everyone in society. A highly unequal health system ultimately affects everyone’s health. Dismal education opportunities among a large section of the population harm the entire economy”

Although the report is from Oxfam they are not the only ones fighting against inequality as the stated “it’s not just Oxfam that is concerned. Last November the World Economic Forum ranked widening income disparities as the second greatest worldwide risk in the coming year to 18 months (after conflict in the Middle East), while the IMF echoed these concerns in recent days. US President Barack Obama this week pledged to tackle economic inequality in his annual State of the Union address. Also public opinion is increasingly on our side on this one. A survey in six countries (Spain, Brazil, India, South Africa, the UK and the US) showed that a majority of people believe that laws are skewed in favour of the rich – in Spain eight out of 10 people agreed”.

When asked what can be done in their opinion to tackle such inequalities Oxfam finished by stating “Global leaders must pledge to tackle inequality and to stimulate growth and economic progress for the many, not just the elite few. This means no more tax dodging and fairer taxation – the wealthy must never pay less than the poor. Governments can tackle inequality by cracking down on financial secrecy and tax dodging, investing in universal education and healthcare, and agreeing a global goal to end extreme inequality as part of the post-2015 negotiations on a new development framework. We want concrete steps to support progressive taxation on wealth and income so everyone pays their fair share. As billionaire Warren Buffet said, ‘I should not pay less tax than the office cleaner”.

(NOTE: First published in the Ballyfermot College student newspaper, March 2014)

How Centralized Power Obstructs Human Freedom

I will start of by stating clear that I am a passionate Believer in anarchist political philosophy so this post will unashamedly be from an anti-stateist biased perspective!

For centuries the existence of state democracy and the centralization of power to the hands of a small few has completely obliterated the independence of people and their rights, proponents of stateism will argue that central democracy has civilized society and advanced human rights so if we abolish the state then society will crumble, In fact if you look at the reality of stateist politics what you find is that since the western worlds transition around a couple of thousand years ago from a primitive anarchist society to a society of the centralization of power you will see that the individual freedom of humans and society has being destroyed, the human rights that where once the norm back then are now outlawed, or have only recently being made legal , gay relations and individual freedoms being an example something practiced openly in ancient primitive anarchist societies but which under the centralization of political and religious power became outlawed for over centuries and freedoms like full independence over yourself have being completely long forgotten in the passively brainwashed societies of the western state democracy.

“Anarchism…stands for direct action, the open defiance of, and resistance to, all laws and restrictions, economic, social, and moral”Emma Goldman

Central government has a long history of obstructing the rights of it’s populations mostly these days due to political games and voters views, for example most “democratic” societies support the legalization of marijuana but because the centralization of power and to keep getting the votes from a minority of people (generally religious conservatives) the central government refuses to abide by the majority will of society and unnaturally obstructs the legalization of a natural plant like marijuana,  so once again obstructs the individuals right as a human to be fully free mentally and physically to do what they want as long as it only affects him and no other person except a willing partner. (anarchism believes the individual is the only authority to himself and himself only)

“The liberty of man consists solely in this: that he obeys natural laws because he has himself recognized them as such, and not because they have been externally imposed upon him by any extrinsic will whatever, divine or human, collective or individual”- Mikhail Bakunin

Another example of the state obstruction in Human Rights is Same-sex marriage the majority of western societies support the legalization of same-sex marriage and equal rights for gay people but once again this is outlawed because of the game called central politics in which you denounce the rights of others in order to stay in power.

We are still at an incredible point, where in the 21st century and the “freest civilization ever” a minority of people are denied their human rights because they are simply a minority! so why would you support them when there is a majority who will support you for denouncing the minority ? In this case gays but in the 1900s it was Africans and Jews and so on.

See centralized government results in divide and rule! The government trough systems of education, housing, labeling, unequal rights and so on divided the populations up into categories like gays, catholic, Protestant, Jewish, African and so on and they just then simply support the views of the majority group to stay in power, they will throw in a few views that favor the rest just to get their votes but when government has to choose between the groups it will always choose the majority group, in most western societies that happens to be white Christian conservative (who are not the majority but once government divided society into groups they become majority).

Not only in politics but The centralization of power in the workplace and economics has resulted in a system of wage slavery and corporate dictatorship! Workers are simply forced to work for an all mighty all powerful boss that if they disagree with they can simply be fired by the corporate dictator, this wage slave system also has to affect of denying the right of the person to make full profit of his labor, so let’s say for example a salesperson for a big multinational oil company, he alone could be making the company a million or more a year profit but because of the system of wage slavery he only gets a tiny percentage of that profit let’s say $50,000 a year while the boss is making $50 million a year.
In an anarchist system like anarcho-syndicalism he would make full profit or at least the same as every other employee/owner in the company, A-S calls for the dismantling of privately singularly owned companys and instead proposes the ownership and running of the companys would be put in the hands of the workers through a democratic workers council of a sort, (they would own company by owning equal shares in it)

“The essence of all slavery consists in taking the product of another’s labor by force. It is immaterial whether this force be founded upon ownership of the slave or ownership of the money that he must get to live” –Leo Tolstoy

The system of stateist centralized politics has diminished human freedom physically and mentally it continues this day to obstruct the human rights of certain groups and the individual freedom of societies as a whole, it has placed the power over society into the hands of a tiny élite only interested in keeping their own place at the table of power, it cares not for what society thinks or wants(that is of course till they want your vote),
It has resulted in a small amount of people being knee-deep in trillions of dollars while most of the worlds populations are left to starve or be killed by one of the wars launched by this élite power group for their own egotistic and financial reasons.

That is why I believe centralized power obstructs human rights not advances them, there is a lot more reason to why I believe it. just read about anarchism to know more.

Author-Darren M

Mitt Romneys Presidential Addiction

What’s up with Mitt Romney’s craving to be president ? Why does he so desire to such a position? It is funny and sad, to watch Mitt be so obsessed with one thing the last ten years or more that is to become master of masters king of kings the President of the United states.

Is this wanting for such a position of power simply a case of billionaire looking to spend his money on something or is it darker is it a case of an ultra-competitive capitalist billionaire who seeks power satisfy his compulsive need for competition ? There is an old saying “you shouldn’t trust someone who wants power” ! Well Mitt Romney is more Ryan just wanting power he is craving it like a drug addict craves their drug of choice, in 2008 Romney spent millions to get the Republican nomination and failed, but unlike most people who would have given up after months of bitterness, hard work, personal attacks and financial losses, Mitt Romney decided he wanted to run again in 2012 and spend millions more to be elected and drag himself and his family through what will be a bitter campaign , and I ask all this for what ? The answer is so Mitt can satisfy his need for power and be top dog.
And as Mitt gets a step closer to the presidency you can see it in his face the smile gets more real , the craving to please everyone softens and the diplomatic attack ad Mitt comes out to play.

Should a man who strives so hard for power be trusted? Ask yourself come the election is mitt for the people or himself and his Crony-capitalist friends in the business sector and the halls of Washington!

Thanks for reading

Author-Darren M