Once held up as a 'poster child' for untrammeled capitalist globalisation, the Irish Republic has more recently come to represent a cautionary tale for those tempted to tread the same neoliberal path. The crash in the world economy had especially grave repercussions for Ireland, and a series of austerity measures has seen the country endure the most substantial 'adjustment' ever experienced in a developed society during peacetime. This book delineates the reactionary course that Ireland has followed since the ignominious demise of the Celtic Tiger. It argues that the forces of neoliberalism have employed the economic crisis they caused to advance policies that are in their own narrow interests, and that the host of regressive measures imposed since the onset of global recession has fundamentally restructured Irish society. The book discusses the mechanisms by which finance in Ireland sustains and reproduces itself, in particular how it was able to protect itself during the 2008 crisis. Property was at the centre of the second phase of the Celtic Tiger boom after US investment in manufacturing began to decline, leading to the Irish economic crash. The years since the onset of the recession in Ireland in 2008 have been characterised not by passivity and quietism but by extreme violence. In December 2009 as part of the first wave of austerity, the Community Development Project was informed that the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs proposed not to continue funding the project beyond the end of 2009.
Europe open to a world that resists capitalistglobalisation and open to the world … a democratic Europe’ being more akin to slogans that real policies (European Left, 2004 ).
In a similar spirit, the 2004 manifesto was a very broad, aspirational and detail-free document. It argued that ‘new hope’ and a ‘new option for a change’ were emerging in Europe, which was ‘a space for the rebirth of struggles for another society’. This new hope would be based on the ‘values and traditions of socialism, communism and the labour movement, of feminism, the feminist movement and
of globalisation,2 these factors also force us to rethink many key aspects
of radical political theory. This refers not only to the fact that radical political
struggles can no longer be confined to national spaces and concerns, but also to
the new forms of identification and activism central to these struggles. I will
explore this in greater detail later; however, it is clear that capitalistglobalisation
increasingly forms the horizon of radical politics today. So far in the book, I
have touched on a number of different aspects of this horizon: the emergence of
than a mere historical curiosity, for the movement seems to prefigure
some of the preoccupations and interests of a new generation of young
activists, who have risen up around the world in protest against such
issues as capitalistglobalisation, the threat of ecological catastrophe,
and resurgent tendencies towards war and militarism. Some of the cultural and political means through which contemporary youth demonstrate their discontents bear a family resemblance to those employed by
RAR between 1976 and 1981. With this in mind, we might like to consider how RAR
states like the United States, as architects of globalisation. The marketplace, the logic of capital accumulation as stipulated by Marx, is the
architect. In fact, it was suggested on more than one occasion by Rees that,
from the perspective of nation-states, globalisation has happened by accident.
States are fundamentally reactive to the interests of capital. In general, then, the
SWP did not look to nation-states to reverse capitalistglobalisation. While this
approach was obviously coloured by the perceived undesirability of reversing
globalisation, Rees also argued
transfer of power in knowledge creation from lay practitioners to experts through
the industrialisation of agriculture has, according to Fonte (2008), interrupted the evolution of Europe’s rich stock of lay knowledge in recent decades.
Neoliberal, capitalistglobalisation has strongly influenced the sector with farm
development trajectories focusing on achieving economies of scale to input
cheap commodities to food processing and retailing multinationals. As Massey
(2005) opines, this logic turns geography into history; places unsuited to the
dominant model of
bankruptcy of the Fortress Europe approach; in favour of a European peace policy; and for the abolition of NATO’ (Hudson, 2012 : 50). The Athens Congress also specifically targeted the Bolkestein Directive (on the liberalisation and privatisation of public services and the lengthening of the working week) as the fruit of ‘capitalistglobalisation’ and contrasted these measures with the goals of full employment, reduction in working hours and the importance of collective labour contracts (Calossi, 2011 : 201).
The theses for the second Congress
economic times. Kirby (2006: 636–40) argues that capitalistglobalisation
has generated new threats to human and social well being, while simultaneously eroding our ‘coping mechanisms’. Volatile financial systems, insecure
employment, credit enslavement, environmental hazards, social atomisation,
withdrawal of the welfare net (Kirby, 2006) and other characteristics of our
neo-liberal present not only condemn individuals to life on the perpetual
brink but also mean that if and when their fortunes decline they are less
able to obviate the consequences. Concepts of
incorporates the injuries inflicted by capitalism and
the insults of cultural domination, together with the harms of political subordination, points to the ongoing project for the left of re-examining what
count as genuine injustices, not to mention how to overcome them.
The stalling of capitalistglobalisation in recent years due to a crisis of
overaccumulation (Bello, 2006) has undermined celebrations and declarations of the inevitability of neo-liberalism, prompting a more widespread
acknowledgement of the need for an alternative order. In the context of
ideological conservatism which is pervading
Western societies, where any form of political dissent is now in danger of being
branded with the convenient term ‘terrorism’.
However, a glimpse of a new form of radical political universality might be
seen in what is generally referred to as the ‘anti-globalisation’ movement. In
recent years, notwithstanding the current climate of repression, we have seen
the emergence of an entirely new political and social movement that calls into
question the neo-liberal vision of capitalistglobalisation which seems to form