[Marxism] From Idris of Dungiven

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Aug 8 11:31:58 MDT 2007

An interesting comment from "Idris of Dungiven" on my blog:

With regard to Ireland being England's Mexico. . . someone once told me 
that well within living memory (though certainly today) state schools in 
Northern Ireland (which had a largely Protestant intake, Catholic 
children being educated in church schools) were taught a model of Irish 
history in which we Catholic celts were simply too carefree and, well, 
shiftless to do well at the economic development game.

Then in the 1980s, the British Journal of Sociology had a debate over 
the existence of discrimination in employment against the Catholic 
minority in Northern Ireland in which one fine fellow argued that 
perhaps these Catholics were simply not up to it. His opponent had 
merely to point to the advance of the Irish catholic diaspora in the 
United States to refute that one.

More recently, the Ireland of economic decline and backwardness 
(approaching 20% unemployment in the 1980s) has been replaced by the new 
Celtic Tiger Ireland. This has not been without its own economic and 
social distortions (gross exploitation of immigrant workers and a much 
increased suicide rate, for example) but believe me, it is not the 
result of some sudden mutation amongst myself or my fellow countrymen.

Finally, about sickle cell anaemia - it's recent, but not that recent. 
If memory serves it goes well back to the opening up of the West African 
forest circa 2000 years ago. This produced pools of stagnant water 
exposed to light, ideal for the breeding of mosquitoes which spread 
malaria. This in turn created an opportunity for sickle cell mutation to 
spread, because even though it produces anaemia it does give protection 
against malaria (and not all West African people have it, by the way, 
and East African people don't have it at all). 2000 years ago, I'd 
submit, is a rather longer time frame than the mere couple of centuries 
in which the Industrial revolution happened, or the two decades which 
saw Ireland's transition to Tiger status.

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