In the past week or so we have seen a level of hysteria and hypocrisy which is scarcely believable. We have seen Irish people, stir crazy perhaps from lockdown, burst onto the streets to protest police violence in the United States while attacks against young Irish people in Ireland have been ignored. One issue was a cause célèbre and the other was an inconvenient truth. It was clearly a case where violence was topical only in so far as it fit a pre-screened narrative. And things have only become more bizarre. Now the conversation has moved on to inconvenient statues. The monuments to our ancestors are being scrutinised to see which of them will be allowed to remain. The wrecking ball of liberalism is setting its sights on Irish history. How did it come to this?
The extent to which this was an American movement that colonised the minds of liberal Ireland cannot be overstated. This new obsession with racism is itself a symptom of deracination. Irish people don’t know what they are anymore. Indeed their only understanding of what they are is coming from Los Angeles and New York. These protests we saw all over Ireland were not organic civil rights demonstrations rooted in localities, they were international social media trends that overflowed into the real world.
Nationalism or Bust
Decades of mass-immigration, promoted by business, government and media interests, have now made possible a full assault on Irish nationality. The slogan of the lockdown was “We’re all in this together.” But that slogan has never rang as hollow as it does now.
The only ground upon which we can defend ourselves is the ground of our nationality. The claim to our territory and identity. This is what Irish people have always understood. And it is that understanding that we are now losing. Once you introduce racial politics into national life, there is no longer a national life. There is no longer a nation. Just a newsfeed.
Human beings are tribal, and when attacked they defend themselves upon whatever ground they find most defensible. Whether that be family, parish, tribe etc. The strongest, the most durable, the most organic, the simplest units of identification. Irish nationalism is a testament to this principle. Without a simple and well defined sense of “Us”, you have no collective. You have no nationality. And you will be at the mercy of people who do have a collective sense of who they are.
As we see in Ireland today, the State and media apparatus are beginning to view race as more important than Irish nationality. Nationality is merely a piece of paper to be handed out on a whim. But the most trivial racial issue can dominate a whole news-cycle. Nationality is constantly devalued. Race is constantly highlighted. When a conflict of interest occurs between racial identity and national identity, it is the former that is given privilege. It is the racial framing that is played up. And this is what is being inculcated in Irish schoolchildren.
There is a conflict of interest here. What we are seeing, as always, is that you cannot have your cake and eat it. You cannot have this new multicultural Americanised version of Ireland and still have Ireland. Once you introduce racial politics into national life, all conflicts are henceforth settled as racial conflicts. Whether in the legal system or in the schoolyard. That is the lesson of the past two weeks. The Irish child who gets targeted and beaten up for being “white” is just collateral damage.
Top Down Pressure
There is unquestionably a pressure on Irish people today to think of themselves in racial terms; a pressure that did not exist even ten or twenty years ago. But nobody could suggest that this pressure is coming from Irish nationalists. Indeed those who would discredit nationalism would claim that it has no influence or relevance whatsoever. And what’s more, in so far as immigration is an issue that nationalists highlight, it applies to foreigners in general. Most of whom are themselves white. So where is the pressure coming from? Who is really “white-washing” Irish identity?
The pressure is coming from the census bureau and therefore from the government, and from lobby groups, and from supra-national institutions. It is coming from mainstream newspapers like the Irish Times and the Irish Independent. It is coming from dubious academics such as Ronit Lentin who once characterised Ireland as a “racial state”. It is coming from foreign NGOs and think-thanks. But more than anywhere else, it is coming by newsfeed from London and Los Angeles and New York. It is this constant barrage of messaging which provides the context for it to seem normative. Before you know it we have claims that the Irish teaching profession is “too white”, or that Irish public life has too many “white faces”. Much easier than saying “too many Irish faces”. Which is what they actually mean.
It is noticeable that the people quickest to adopt the rhetoric of race in Ireland today are liberals, foreigners and generally those who identify as cosmopolitan and post-national. These are conspicuously the same people who accuse nationalists of “white-washing” Irish identity. And while the average left-liberal in Ireland may say “I’m Irish, not white,” the canonical texts of their worldview have already moved on from that. Disavowing the “construct of whiteness” can get you into trouble as easily as embracing it.
That fawning left-liberal is now “white-Irish” by order of the census bureau and they have white privilege by order of the Irish Times. And when affirmative action kicks into play they will most certainly be classified as white. And where they have children, those children will grow up in a society that is hyper racially aware. They will be taught in school to view themselves within a global racial paradigm. Oppressor or oppressed. Bad little boy or good little boy. This is what they are creating. Inevitably the term Irish will become more ambivalent and contested until one day we think nothing of the remark: “Being Irish doesn’t really mean anything.”
At that point Ireland will more or less not exist. Certainly not as a defensible line against invasion or attack.
All this is really an attack on Irish nationality
What does it mean when someone says there are too many “white faces” in Irish public life? The 2016 census tells me that I am “white-Irish”. Evidently, this is the category of Irish against which all others are now to be pitted against, whether they be “non-white Irish”, “white non-Irish”, “non-white non-Irish” or “Irish Travellers” who are not “white” according to the census.
We are adopting the conventions of a debased American culture where the majority group in any society is the oppressor group and the designation as such is broadly contingent on how white, how male and how heterosexual one is. And once this convention is established, one then has the basis for an infinite number of highly profitable lobby groups, each lobbying for its cut.
Most modern democratic societies are dominated by organised minorities who lobby disproportionate influence based either on financial clout or on social leverage or on the rhetoric of grievance. The more politicised a minority is, the more likely to exert pressure on the greater society. The majority culture (in this case Irish people) are likely to be the most de-politicised, the most fractured and most difficult to mobilise. Given that they form the category against which grievance is measured, it follows that they can have no grievance.
The privilege of being an Irish person in an Irish society, feeling at home among Irish people, this is not something we have any right to protect. At least not in this new paradigm. The privilege will soon be characterised in terms of a crime against humanity. This is no exaggeration. This is banal everyday consensus politics.
The Utopia that never comes
How is any of this justified? In public discourse it is usually justified in moral terms. We are told we are building a better society. But are we really? Aren’t we simply retrofitting our culture to meet the requirement of neoliberal excess? Was there really a moral argument behind these titanic migrations to which we are now vainly attempting to adjust? It was money interests that created these problems. The tearing down of statues and the rewriting of history is the inevitable afterthought. The project was built from bad foundations. No moralising can paper over that.
Think about it this way. If we were building a bridge and we used the wrong tools or the wrong measurements or the wrong materials, the bridge would probably fall. That is as true of the society we are currently creating as it is of that bridge. We only have to look at the model of the projected society to see how doomed it is from the outset.
One of the most preposterous myths of liberalism is the “post-racial” utopia. Again, this is an entirely academic construct, coming out of places like London and Los Angeles. It is often framed rather morbidly e.g. “Once the older generation dies off we won’t have this awful racism” or “We need to get past the idea of whiteness”. A glance at most South American countries would suffice to debunk this logic. How difficult is it to understand that a society does not become less racialised as it becomes more ethnically diverse? It becomes more racialised.
What we get is not post-racialism but post-nationalism. It is not racism or racial politics that are being abolished. It is Ireland that is being abolished. The language of racial politics, such as we have seen imported into Ireland, is not transcended in a post-national society. Why? Because it is the very language of post-nationalism. It is the language of confrontation, of diversity, of multiculturalism and global liberalism. The hyper-awareness of who is white or black or brown and who is not, is what you are left with. And this does not diminish over time. It increases in intensity with every generation. This is what is being introduced. This is the paradigm that is being taught in our schools. This is the rationale that is being played out at street level in our towns and cities. Our children will be the first to understand because they are the ones who have been placed in harm’s way.
This article was submitted by a National Party member. If you would like to submit an article for publication on the National Party website, follow this link.