This book explores the issue of a collective representation of Ireland after the sudden death of the 'Celtic Tiger' and introduces the aesthetic idea that runs throughout. The focus is on the idea articulated by W. B. Yeats in his famous poem 'The Second Coming'. The book also explores the symbolic order and imaginative structure, the meanings and values associated with house and home, the haunted houses of Ireland's 'ghost estates' and the fiscal and moral foundations of the collective household. It examines the sophisticated financial instruments derived from mortgage-backed securities that were a lynchpin of global financialization and the epicentre of the crash, the question of the fiscal and moral foundations of the collective household of Europe. A story about fundamental values and principles of fairness and justice is discussed, in particular, the contemporary conflict that reiterates the ancient Irish mythic story of the Tain. The book suggests correspondences between Plato's Republic and the Irish republic in the deformations and devolution of democracy into tyranny. It traces a red thread from the predicament of the ancient Athenians to contemporary Ireland in terms of the need to govern pleonexia, appetites without limits. The political and economic policies and practices of Irish development, the designation of Ireland's 'tax free zones', are also discussed. Finally, the ideal type of person who has been emerging under the auspices of the neoliberal revolution is imagined.
that was centred around the communal hearth, the sacred space of the home,
the household economy of familial communism ruled by the goddess Hestia
as the maternal archetype, constituted and reproduced through the gift
relation. Her power has waned. Her fire has been quenched, her pot has gone,
and now instead of the fireplace we have an empty place, the free space of the
marketplace, ruled by Hermes (Gr.) Mercury (Rm). Hermes is a Trickster
archetype, the youthful, homeless, wheeling-dealing deity of the market,
sophistry and thievery. CelticTigerIreland
underwriting of their losses by taxpayers; provision of infrastructure, public services,
defence and security to shore up and protect their private interests.
Ireland and the new barbarism
Throughout the years of the CelticTiger, Ireland, like Judea, was one of the
EU’s non-committal provinces. St. Patrick came to Ireland as booty, abducted
like the Sabine women in a slave raid to Hadrian’s England by Irish barbarians.
The Romans had come to Ireland several times, but thought it not worth the
trouble of conquest. Patricus escaped, returned and through Christianity he
‘What rough beast?’ Monsters of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland
Kieran Keohane and Carmen Kuhling
Introduction: ‘What rough beast?’
Monsters of post-CelticTigerIreland
What rough beast is coming in the wake of the sudden death of the Celtic
Tiger? Our hypothesis, formulated in the spirit of Yeats and Joyce, sees repetition and reiteration: that what will appear to us in the guise of the new is better
understood in terms of recurrence.1 For Joyce and for Yeats recurrence represents a philosophy of history, taken from the Greeks through Vico (1999) and
Nietzsche (1995), attuned and oriented to the politics of the present. For Yeats
(1920a) recurrence is
Political theologies in the wake of the
In the wake of the sudden death of the CelticTigerIrish business leaders called
for the suspension of normal partisan democratic politics and the formation
of a one-party government with the will to make crucial decisions necessary to
deal with the ‘exceptional circumstances’ occasioned by this ‘national
emergency’. The government, they charged, was drifting aimlessly, unable to
clarify what needed to be done and unwilling to rule. What was needed,
Ireland’s businessmen claimed, was ‘an all party
events and experiences that belong none the less to mundane reality are fused
with magical tropes. In this next instance the agency of global power appears
in the guise of the wish-granting genie:
Lookat! Have you seen Belmullet? It’s pre-CelticTigerIreland! Sure there’s
nothin’ there, you’d think. But there’s lads flying around in new Imprezas [a
powerful car favoured by ‘boy racers’]. This place never saw a boom before, and
even now there’s no recession either. Every house is rented. You couldn’t get a
place! There’s about six hundred there in town with Shell one
In Ireland all of the ancient forms of settlement - dun, rath/lios, cranog, clogheen/clachan are round, and they are the prefixes of geographical placenames which are also the names of ancestral households. A related etymological cluster is found in 'comharsa', which may be translated as 'neighbour'. Vesta's temple in Rome was round, like the huts of the aboriginal inhabitants of the Tiber valley and surrounding hills. The value of the house can be understood in terms of what Georg Simmel formulates as The Conflict in Modern Culture between the hypertrophy of objective culture and the relative underdevelopment of subjective culture. The value of real estate resonates with deep-seated needs of the household's domestic economy of emotional and material asymmetrical reciprocal relations of interdependency.
The construction of any human dwelling requires an anamnesis, a 'naming', the calling of a divine power instituting a centre of the world. In cargo cults world events and new ideas are assimilated into natives' traditional Holy Dreams. This anthropological tale of a cargo cult from the South Pacific seems at first to be exotic and bizarre, and to have nothing remotely of relevance to an understanding of the development of modern Ireland. One person who understood the strange ways in which the cargo cult dreams of modern visionaries can turn into nightmares was Brian O'Nolan/ O'Nuallain. O'Nolan's At Swim-Two-Birds is a modernist-surrealist proto-postmodernist representation of the Irish idiomatic and idiosyncratic phantasmagoria of Progress. In his 'Cruiskeen Lawn' column in the Irish Times, Myles reports a typical moment from his contemporary surreal Ireland.
Omen of a post-republic: the demon child of neoliberalism
Kieran Keohane and Carmen Kuhling
The omen of the demon child as ideal-type subject associated with the divinity of the market and neoliberal culture has already been prognosticated by deSade as the Libertine 'isolist'. This demon child is the incarnation of the rough beast of neoliberalism. DeSade is precisely on the same page as Herbert Spencer, Adam Smith and neoliberalism: 'survival of the fittest'; 'you eat what you kill'; the 'savage god' of Yeats's 'Second Coming'; 'a monstrous ideal of abstract animal power'. Yeats was a pre-Holocaust fascist sympathizer who diagnosed the social pathologies of modern civilization very well and favoured a Platonic restoration of sober, self-disciplined aristocratic Guardians. The Kantian-Sadean principles embodied by Kurtz and Juliette are the very hallmarks of how the financial crisis is managed by the Troika and by their local Auxiliaries, those who oversee the city on behalf of the Guardians.
Love is an entirely private individualistic, psychologistic matter for the subject as existential monad pursuing his/her individual self-interested actions in an unlimited market of possible partners. In the Aristophanes' formulation anticipates the mass psychology of neoliberalism, the utilitarianism of the 'present circumstances'. P. Sorokin's thesis in The Crisis of Our Age and The Ways and Power of Love is remarkably similar to Taylor's A Secular Age. In the immediate aftermath of World War II Sorokin established at Harvard the Research Centre in Creative Altruism. Stephen's method of the artist/priest is that of cultivating abilities for apprehending the integratis, harmonia and claritas of the radiant ideal. Radiant ideal appears in epiphanic beautiful moments of immanent transcendence, a method that he systematically applies in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.