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From: Church & State: Editorials
Date: January, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: The Usury Crisis
The financial crisis threatening to engulf Europe is a usury crisis. Usury is the making of money out of money at several removes from the production of things. An element of usury has always been present in capitalist economy, but it is only in the last twenty or thirty years that it became the controlling element of capitalism as a world system.

Shortly before the usury crisis struck us, the Politics Professor at the National University, Tom Garvin, wrote a very popular book called Preventing The Future. He said that De Valera and the Catholic Church had cheated us out of the future we ought to have had, a future of all-out capitalism. Well, we achieved that future just in time to experience its inevitable crisis, which might be described as the second general usury crisis. The first was 80 years ago.

An Irish Times opinion columnist now offers the thought that nationalist Ireland has been overwhelmed by this crisis because it is Catholic and that Protestantism might have saved it…

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From: Irish Political Review: Articles
Date: December, 2010
By: Editorial
Title: Ireland: The Political Crisis
Politics precedes economics and so it follows that if there is an economic crisis there must be a political cause. Economics might influence human behaviour, but politics is determinant.

Objectively Europe should not have an economic crisis. Its debt is dwarfed by the USA's and yet nobody can deny that Europe is in economic turmoil. Why?

The seeds of the current crisis were sown in 1989. Western Europe was absorbed in its own project when the deck had to reshuffled following the collapse of the Soviet house of cards. Germany was distracted by the prospect of unification and France feared that the European project would be abandoned....

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From: Irish Foreign Affairs: Editorials
Date: December, 2010
By: Editorial
Title: Why is there not a special relationship between Ireland and Germany?
German national development was an influence on Irish development in the 19th century. The religious tolerance of Protestant Prussia was looked on as evidence that the strict Confessionalism of English rule in Ireland—the Penal Law system—was not a necessity of liberal statecraft but a bigoted aberration. The Prussian land reform that was part of the national resurgence against Napoleon after his victories at Jena/Auerstadt stimulated ideas of land reform in Ireland. The greatest influence that any British intellectual ever exercised on Irish national life was exercised by Thomas Carlyle, who seemed to be intent on developing the English language in accordance with its German roots. The Young Ireland leaders gave Carlyle a conducted tour of Ireland in the late 1840s, towards the end of the event that is officially known as The Famine. A generation later Carlyle’s Germanic influence is evident in the writings of Canon Sheehan, along with a wealth of direct influence from Germany. James Connolly went to war as an ally of Germany and his paper, The Workers’ Republic, has a strong German content. And of course Sinn Fein is a German idea.

So how did we become so remote from Germany? Did we cut ourselves off from it as a failure—because it failed to hold itself together in Britain’s “War Upon The German Nation”? (That is Connolly’s description of the Great War launched by Britain in 1914.)...

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: November, 2010
By: Editorial
Title: Like A Virgin!
Witnesses To Mass Murder In The Icy Bann is the headline to an Irish Times article advertising the opening of a Trinity College exhibition of documents written by Protestants who suffered a setback in the English/Scottish ethnic cleansing of Ulster in 1641.

If the word "murder" is to be used about events in a conflict of civilisations over three and a half centuries ago, then so must some other words that are not pleasant.

There was a time—we recall it well: it was not very long ago—when superior people deplored the fact that there were bigots with long memories who carried on about things that happened in the 17th century as if those events had something to do with us. As we understood their position, it was that there was a time in the past beyond which moral standards and moral judgments did not apply That view seemed sensible to us and we were happy to go along with it. But, if the superior people now want to publish sensationalist headlines about "murder" in the mid-16th century, and relate that "murder" to politics in the present day, then we must also discuss ethnic cleansing, colonial displacement, cultural genocide, and perhaps even actual genocide.

The subject is a Pandora's Box, best left unopened....

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: October, 2010
By: Editorial
Title: What's Constitutional?
Fianna Fail Junior Minister Martin Mansergh has been putting himself about. Speaking at the McCluskey Summer School he said that Fianna Fail could not contest elections in the North because it was a party in government in the Republic and to do so would create a conflict of interest and damage the peace process.

Senior Fianna Fail Ministers, Dermot Ahern and Eamon Cuiv, have been encouraging the setting up of Party organisations in the North. The measure is generally supported by Cumainn around the South. The question of contesting elections in the North has not arisen as a practical proposition because party organisation is still in a rudimentary stage. But Mansergh has jumped in to pre-empt it, supported by the new leader of the SDLP, Margaret Ritchie.

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