rkm website: http://cyberjournal.org
I’ve been getting seriously involved in activism here in Ireland. Our ideas for a conference are coming together very nicely.We hooked up with a very good facilitator who will be working with us on a volunteer basis. He helped us develop a vision for a very special weekend event, in a retreat setting, using Art-of-Hosting facilitation, with about 40 participants. That’s the ‘container’ for the event, and I think it will be a very effective one.
The event will be centered around a question, a challenge, something we are gathering together to deal with, to find a solution for. It will be along the lines of, “What is the best way forward for Ireland, and how can we make it happen?” The desired outcome from the event is an agreed action agenda, and a commitment to pursue it in a coherent way. One cannot require such an outcome, or request it in advance. It can only emerge naturally, as the ‘obvious thing’ that ‘needs to be done’, if the group does succeed in identifying a ‘best way forward’ for Ireland, and if it does come up with a viable scheme of how that path can be pursued as an effective activist agenda.
The standard sequence of events, with a conference, is to invite people, get them together, and then begin the conversation. We’re following a different sequence. We’re beginning the conversation by ‘forum hopping’: joining in activist discussions that are going on around various issues and concerns, on facebook, blogs, etc. We can put forward some of our ideas, and see how people respond. We’ll get a picture of the overall activist scene, and we’ll begin to identify groups and individuals that would be good to work with.
When the time comes to invite people to the conference, we’ll basically be saying, “Why don’t we continue our conversation in person? …and we know just the place”. When we get together, the preliminaries will be behind us, and we can get down to work.
In the process of his ‘forum hopping’, I ‘responded’ to some of the threads, and some useful discussion started. I managed to articulate some ideas that had been brewing, and I brought those ideas together in this ‘manifesto’. It’s intended for an Irish audience, and it includes a few local references that may not mean much to outsiders. Nonetheless, I’d like to give the manifesto a test run here on cyberjournal.
A Manifesto for Ireland: A Nation Once Again
The EU, from the very beginning, has been a project to destroy democracy in Europe, and replace it with a bankster-controlled central regime. What is happening now is what was always intended. The collapse-bailout scenario was designed specifically to bring all EU nations/provinces into debt bondage (aka sovereign debt) to the banksters. Germany has been the most difficult target, but it too will fall, as it is dragged into assuming liability for EU sovereign debt generally. Once that happens, then – whenever the ‘markets decide’ – the next bubble will burst, including $600 trillion in worthless derivative instruments. Down will go Germany, EU and all.
The Irish State, via the major party apparatus, has surrendered its loyalty and allegiance totally to the EU project. Those folks see themselves as players in the Big Game of Europe, and their duty as ‘bringing us culchies along’ with the program. Agreeing to bail out the banks was equivalent to signing a treaty, announcing the formal surrender of sovereignty to the financial elites. Our local IMF overseer is not here as part of a temporary repayment program, he’s here permanently as our new Imperial Governor, not from London this time, not even from Brussels, but a personal agent of the bankster dynasty.
In Italy, and in Spain, we also see Imperial Governors, appointed not elected, installed as heads of state, and in the case of Italy the fellow comes to us from Goldman Sachs. The pattern is clear, and Ireland seems to be leading the way in the sovereignty-surrendering process. That’s why we keep getting pats on the back from the EU. If we don’t do something to change things, the future of Ireland is certain. I suppose ‘return to plantation days’ would be a reasonable characterization. Every asset, including our water, will be owned by foreign investors and corporations.
This process of surrender cannot be stopped by fighting single-issue battles. Our energies are dissipated, defending one barricade after another, none of which are strong enough to stop the onslaught. If we want to have any hope of succeeding, we must focus on the one single issue that is of equal importance to every Irish person: we are losing our nation; we are being re-colonized. There is no future for us unless we can regain our sovereignty and install a government that actually represent the people. The loyalty of the major parties is with the EU, and whoever they put forward represents the party, not the people. The only way we can get a government that represents us, is if we select our representatives by some other process.
Imagine, for example, a People’s Convention, where we decide what we want from the next government, and select a slate of folks from the Convention to be our TDs, who are committed to that program, with a focus on the role of their local constituency. In a country with as much social cohesiveness as Ireland, such a Convention is a real possibility. And it would need to be preceded by local and regional conversations, including all voices, so we could develop a bottom-up consensus vision regarding our future.
From an entirely economic perspective, if we think in terms of the self-interest of the Irish people, and given what the EU has become, the best thing that could happen would be for Ireland to withdraw from the EU and the Euro, repudiate the debts as being ‘odious’, issue its own currency on a debt-free basis, and rebuild a resilient national economy. Argentina, Russia, and others have demonstrated that repudiating debts and starting over, declaring bankruptcy, is the best option under the kind circumstances we are facing.
Rather than defending retreating lines of barricades, I think it would make sense for activists to focus on a positive vision for Ireland’s future, based on understanding the economic alternative futures that are possible: one imposed externally, and the other self-determined. Imagine if a national conversation could begin, over our diverse civil society networks, a creative conversation about how we could get things moving on this island, if we were economically liberated to apply our innate creativity and productivity, and to make wise use of our abundant resources.
I think people are ready for a positive conversation. Everywhere there is desperation, cynicism, frustration, resignation, disgust, anger, in various mixtures, and nowhere much positive on offer to think about. Occupy The Future, one might say, makes sense as a movement for Ireland. Sovereignty, I believe, is just below the surface in everyone’s consciousness. It’s just barely ‘outside the box’ of realistic thinking. When the idea pops up, it’s dismissed with a chuckle. But I think a presentation could be put together, that could introduce economic sovereignty as a viable alternative, and to which people would respond, as the idea is liberated from the unthinkable.