You and I are so very similar, aren’t we? We share the same space, it’s not perfect but sure nothing is, we accept this and carry on with our work. There are mouths to feed and bills to pay that’s what is motivating our existence, not to be underestimated either!
In our shared space I look around and see something different to you. Why is this? The answer I believe is conditioning. For one reason or another it didn’t work on me and I’m not alone but I must be aware that I’m in a minority in this politically correct place and sadly you’d better watch who’s listening.
You see what they allow you to see, it’s what they print in their broadsheets and broadcast on their State approved media outlets. They are clever enough to give you just a hint of reality but quick enough to explain your interest away with some editorial from one of their chosen commentaries. This is your conditioning, your understanding your adopted point of view.
My conditioning failed because I undertook some fundamental understandings which have not been satisfied and yet the narrative has. I look around in disbelief, these people forget the economic crash already, they forget the proven corruption all around them in the forces of law and government and in business. They really don’t care once the shekels are in the pocket.
Being politically aware, being socially aware these are in fact burdens because conditioning and corruption is something which is endemic in public and private and even charitable old Ireland. How did it get like this?
So the difference between you and me is you have become the model of what they can control. You don’t ask questions because you trust your government and your States institutions are regulated by checks and balances that protect you: you think. I don’t. You and I work and pay tax, you think you should also have health insurance, income protection, you accept household tax, and you actually tell me we need to pay for water. You are oblivious unfortunately. You’re a sound lad but you’re a fool.
As we chat at lunch the topic from the paper comes up but I shut it down with a remark. Free State Propaganda! He barks back. You’re paranoid. I’m not - I’m afraid mate. Open your eyes to what’s going on around you and what’s gone on for 100 years. We have moved on he says. Yes your right we have, we have moved on away from aspiring to be a Republic that protects its people with their basic rights and we have built up a border in people’s minds. Ah here we go he says. Why would we even want a United Ireland anyway? Well I gasp at this.
How have you been manufactured Pal? Are you Irish? I ask. Yes of course. Do you realize that if people hadn’t died fighting for your freedom you’d be British now? Yes of course I do but that was 100 years ago and there is peace now. So what about Irish people living in the North East of Ireland I ask, what about people from Derry and Tyrone, Antrim and Down, Armagh and Fermanagh, do you know they also fought in the era that gave you your freedom. What was their reward? Partition? 2nd Class status in an orange state? Sectarianism? State murder? Civil war? I can only apologize for this mindset but it’s not his fault.
You see he is a product of Conditioned Capitalism in that once he has a good wage and prospects of climbing some ladder and a good credit rating he doesn’t really mind being crippled with a lifetime of debt and paying publicly and privately for the same services just as long as the news he reads comforts him that he is right and his masters are pleased.
It’s not what people gave their lives for is it? Six counties still held in John Bull's pocket and those who have their “freedom” are prisoners to a system which doesn’t allow them to think but does allow them to pay and with this attitude prevent people in more difficult circumstances much hope of improvement.
Once the working class are charmed by money they can become a hybrid repeater which reinforces the State's ideology to others, all oblivious to them. Meanwhile, the ruling class you serve (which will never let you in by the way) are safely buffered away to continue their corrupt practices and teach them to their next generation, perpetuating the class divide if not increasing it.
Paddy Mooney is an Independent Socialist Republican Activist.