Ireland is the bloated sow that kills its young. The best little neoliberal country in Europe. From the blood of patriots, alas, a city of tents has bloomed around us.
Strange flowers bloom in our city, folding into doorways at night, spreading through the city and out to the suburbs.
Airy, I suppose, and if you want to look at the stars, you can sleep al fresco in a fashionable street corner on Grafton Street; snug under a sheet of newspaper
Such a fabulous city. The edge to it now. Feral gangs roaming the streets, the glitter of knives after dark, the wretched stench, the rivers of urine. And such sights to behold. A man defecating on the pavement, a girl in her underwear, crazed on drugs, running around O’Connel Street.
Enjoy your trip home from the city, if you have a home. You might not have it for long. A tent awaits you, like some fabulous moth flapping its wings in a cold wind, just for you.
Good thing we got rid of the scourge of England. Our own in charge now: posh, privately educated politicians, owners of multiple properties, unctuously wringing their hands about the crises of homelessness; so hard to maintain all those properties, so very hard.
Are we a failed state then? An outlier in Europe when you examine homelessness, the cost of living, the health service?
A nasty little neoliberal country run as a business model. A human being is reduced to an economic unit to be preyed on, exploited, profited from.
Capitalist pathologies have morphed into neoliberalism. With checks, balances, and democratic norms, it’s cyclical nature could have been sustained, but at its best it exploits and appeals to the very worst in our human nature, creating a society of individuals motivated by little other than self-interest and self-advancement, jostling for status, position, power or wealth, enslaving humans by the ego, itself an absurd societal construct .
Everything has shifted to the right, including basic moral parameters. Democracies are failing, the right and the left are configuring.
Here sadism and cruelty have crept out from under the nun’s mantle and into public discourse. Homeless children, like cockroaches, eat their dinner off the pavement.
But the economy is thriving, and there’s full employment…
The slogan “Keep the recovery going” … was as out of touch with reality as any despot surrounded by yes men. It’s a good thing a disenchanted constituency here will be soaked up by Sinn Fein.
But profits blossom, as does the sale of luxury goods. Now we have the rich, the poor, and the working poor, who are little better than slaves.
Vulgar extensions protrude out of gentrified neighbourhoods, gangs in the shadows waiting to smash through them.
History teaches us again and again that the poor man will come to the rich man’s gate, and the barbarians are on the move. Civic virtues mean nothing, the good life or the practice of virtue is sneered at.
The idea of civic-minded citizens leading a virtuous life is not a religious concept, but about creating a society based on shared collective values. There are ways to organise a society for the greatest common good that don’t require a widespread understanding of rocket science, or a Communist regime. It simply involves valuing wider social responsibilities, and relationships over the narrow morality of self-interest and self-advancement.
Empires come and go, and simple spiritual lessons go unheeded. Monotheistic religions are a disaster, and the religious disposition may well be a pathology, but there are great riches in all spiritual traditions, blithely ignored.
Who, once he had truly seen a flower, not just looked at it, would want temporal power or to run an empire, or would trample on someone else? A fool perhaps. Only a fool who cannot see it.
Survival was never about the survival of the fittest. Darwin was referring to the survival of the fittest to adapt. Atomised humans have no sense of being part of a collective species, no shared sense of a future, or of the future of the planet that sustains them.
And when the nuclear cloud has settled, the earthworm will perhaps continue churning joyfully through the charred ruins of the Earth. Perhaps even a flower might poke it’s head above the rubble when the human grub has gone.
Featured Image: Daniele Idini