Forwarded from Michael Gavin (posted from unsubbed address)

Chris Doss itschris13 at
Sat Jun 24 21:13:18 MDT 2000

Washington DC, where I live, is full of them.

The only remotely authentic "Irish" pub in the US I've ever been to is in my
old home town of San Diego.  Run by IRA sympathizers, the walls were covered
with "Screw the Brits" and "They Have Imprisoned Our Heroes" posters.  I've
heard that Englishmen and -women who've gone there have been refused

>From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at>
>Reply-To: marxism at
>To: marxism at
>Subject: Forwarded from Michael Gavin (posted from unsubbed address)
>Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2000 09:09:40 -0400
>Paul Flewers wtote:
> > List members who have not been to Britain for a bit may not know of
> > the 'Irish Pub' phenomenon. Over the last five or so years, many
> > ordinary pubs in London and other British cities have been refurbished
> > as 'Irish Pubs', painted garish colours, covered in junk and old
> > bottles with Irish labels, stocked with foul brews and generally
> > messed up. Friends and colleagues of mine from Ireland say they're
> > nothing like Irish pubs, which (they told me) are either like ordinary
> > British pubs, or bars at the back of shops (British 'Irish Pubs' are
> > pubs trying to look like shops trying to look like pubs), and they
> > hate them with an intensity that has to be seen to be believed. I
> > don't know who started this horrible fashion, but whoever was
> > responsible for them should not be allowed to go unpunished.
>The "Irish" pub phenomenon is not exclusively British. While in Dublin a
>few weeks ago I noticed that one of the more disturbing aspects of the
>"Celtic Tiger" phenomenon is the attempt of so many Dublin pubs in the
>pricier more touristy areas of the city to transform themselves into the
>sort of parody of Irishness that seems to have spread across the globe
>like a plague.
>Here in Germany we also have an "Irish pub" phenomenon (there's also a
>related "English pub" phenomenon), although it's usually not connected
>with transforming old pubs into a travesty of themselves. Some of them
>are run by Irishmen (sometimes, although rarely, even by Irishwomen) and
>function as a sort of informal community centre for Irish immigrants.
>Many of them are however run by Germans and fit with some German fantasy
>of what an Irish pub should be like but never ever was. The phenomenon
>is supported financially by brewers of Irish beer and stout. The most
>important of these are Guinness (which is, of course, now a British-
>based multi-national) and Murphy's (a brewery based in Cork). It's part
>of a multi-national marketing strategy.
>I understand that the phenomenon isn't restricted to Germany but
>international. I know that all over Eastern Europe and in the Far East
>Irish pubs are being promoted with the support of the Irish government.
>There has been an Irish pub in Moscow for a number of years - it was
>opened by the Irish ambassador - and a couple of months ago an Irish pub
>was openend in Beijing - also opened by the Irish ambassador.
>The phenomenon reflects a marketing strategy by breweries with Irish
>connections and links in with the growing confidence of the Irish
>bourgeoisie due to the transformation and relative success of the Irish
>economy since the beginning of the 1990s - the fastest growing economy
>in the EU. The whole "Riverdance" bonanza (an internationalised version
>of traditional Irish culture) is part and parcel of this development.
>Even the traditional poverty of Ireland (due to it's status as an
>agricultural colony of Britain) is now being commercialised, as can be
>seen by the development of the former slums of Limerick as a sort of
>"Angela's Ashes" theme park - not that Frank McCourt, who wrote this
>scathing memoir of his poverty-stricken Irish childhood in the 1930s,
>is to blame for this phenomenon
>Louis Proyect
>Marxism mailing list:

Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

More information about the Marxism mailing list