Yet another warning of revolution in today's Irish Independent:
There's a revolution coming, Taoiseach - Letters, Opinion - Independent.ie
"There is a revolution coming, Cowen, Coughlan Hanifan, Lenihan, Kenny and co. And when it does, it will be a proper one. "
Those of you (like myself) who make a note of such things, may have noticed a number of such predictions and warnings over the last 18 months: desperate calls for change, for some new vision. It is clear there is a great disaffection in the population (or at least among the percentage of them that write letters!). Allied to this is the surge in the founding of new parties: a sign of despair in the paltry display offered by all the established parties. People are calling for change, for revolution. And, these calls are becoming more frequent.
However, how realistic is the aspiration for change, for revolution (and do people realise what it would truly entail, are they really willing to pay the possible blood price)? All previous revolutions in Irish history have been based on an underlying philosophy, Irish republicanism. What philosophy could conceivably take its place, in order to foment revolution in an apathetic Ireland? In truth, the likelihood of a revolution in Ireland, at present, must be ranked very low, considering that there is no unifying philosophy or party in place that could provide a revolutionary nucleus. At least none, that has articulated a compelling case for change, as opposed to tinkering at the edges of the present system. Do the many advocating new parties really think that Ireland needs yet another right wing party, devoid of vision, whose only policy is to cut taxes? The offerings of the small pre-existing leftist parties, by contrast, do not offer much, appearing cliched, opportunistic and tokenistic: avid advocates of every 'right-on' cause du jour (the Socialist Workers Party and their off-shoots as classic examples).
Merely calling for revolution will not make it happen. In 1916, an uprising was possible because years of effort had gone in to patiently building up the architecture of the IRB, The Irish Volunteers, etc. Where is the equivalent nowadays? A vague sense of unease with the money being ploughed into Anglo Irish Bank, a despair at the level of unemployment or emigration will not do it. Where, indeed, is the evidence that there is available the calibre of people, the 'shock minority', who would willingly sacrifice themselves in order to awaken others from apathy, as in 1916?
So, I ask, where is the organisation, the people, that would provide the revolution that is so glibly called for? What chance revolution in the post-Celtic Tiger Ireland of 2010?