Scouting For Boys

Anthony McIntyre looks at the latest child sex abuse scandal to come to light.

Irish society, the non-British run part of it anyway, has been rated the fifteenth wealthiest country in the world. How long that endures is another matter. The vagaries of the disastrous Brexit, driven by the Tory right & rich with copious amounts of racist fuel in the tank, does little for enhanced optimism. Nevertheless, given our state of prosperity, it is hardly an expectation exclusively associated with some unyielding revolutionary, that more public finance should be sighted on addressing the matter of how this society has protected, or failed to, its citizen children.

In matters of institutional child sex abuse, it is standard fare to blame the priests. Polemical hyperbole and artistic licence have often combined to caricature the hyper-inflated claims of the men of god. The fallacious assertions of the Church to be a divinely inspired global moral guardian, while patently lacking the slightest inkling of how to protect children, has provoked a full throttle attack on the haughty hubris of clerical authority. While good value for it, the Church's 9/11 alone does not account for the extent of the malaise.

Underscoring this is an ongoing review identifying serious abuse having been perpetrated within a much less prominent institution. “Scouting Ireland has become only the latest organisation to have to face up to a sickening catalogue of abuse allegations within its ranks.” Minister for Children  Katherine Zappone reported on the discoveries thus far made by Ian Elliot to the Oireachtas Committee for Children and Youth Affairs.

Elliot had amassed considerable experience in pursuing the priests.
He knows of which he speaks. As the former head of the independent watchdog supervising the Church's handling of abuse allegations, Mr Elliott has worked with countless survivors. He has also led reviews into how the Church is adhering to its own policies.  
Elliot found that the instances of abuse in the scout world, most of which occurred over three decades into the 1980s, were not confined to this state but happened in the North as well, even abroad. With 71 alleged abusers and 108 victims the numbers are expected to rise.

Without knowing in any way well anybody in the scouting world I would have imagined that without proper structures in place the abuse of children was as inevitable as it is heinous. The experience of the Catholic Church worldwide demonstrates that easy access to children in the absence of mechanisms for monitoring and accountability, will invariably draw people who wish to abuse them. And when an institution is prepared to prioritise cover up over child protection, then every spread on the table is fruit for the monkey.

The entire governing board of Scouting Ireland confirmed in June "their decision to resign effective October 31st” as a result of emerging accusations. The new chair of the board, Aishling Kelly, said “evidence from past cases had shown neither the offenders nor the victims were always dealt with appropriately". Former senator Jillian van Turnhout, appointed by Zappone to assess the implementation of Scouting Ireland’s governance reforms, had spoken of her father's attempts in the scouting world to bring attention to the abuse:
He was trying to use the arms of the State, but there were people trying to hinder or block him. There were rings of people who protected one another.
Again, as was the case with the Church, the inference to be drawn is that covering up abuse was somehow more important than tackling it. Same old story when the institutional instinct for self preservation kicks in. So outlandish have been some of the attempts to explain away institutional abuse, we might even find some in the scouting movement drawing solace from the PH Pearse poem Little Lad of the Tricks in which the fiercely nationalist poet entreats a young boy:

Raise your comely head 
Till I kiss your mouth
If either of us is the better of that 
I am the better of it.
There is a fragrance in your kiss
That I have not found yet 
In the kisses of women 
Or in the honey of their bodies.

If so, regardless of what Pearse actually meant or the time or context that was in it, no better example of patriotism being the last refuge of the scoundrel.

If vigilance is the key then perhaps money should be redirected from the losing war on drugs in a bid to make the war on abuse much more effective.

Anthony McIntyre blogs @ The Pensive Quill.

Follow Anthony McIntyre on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

44 comments to ''Scouting For Boys"

  1. Me thinks you'll find abusers find protection from certain quarters of society that are otherwise are viewed as beyond reproach for eg from the police,judiciary and medical professionals. How many times have abusers been treated leniently due to a generous doctors report being presented?
    There are numerous investigations/inquiries all over England/Wales at the minute looking into systematic child abuse by those tasked with 'caring' for them. I.e senior mental health doctors and other health staff either facilitated,ignored or participated in exploiting vulnerable kids. Not only that the same people bullied,threatened and smeared those health workers who dared blow the whistle. In some cases the whistleblower was found to be genuine but the GMC/authorities still engineered a way for them to lose their job.

    So if this dirt is rampant in Blighty it should comes as no surprise that ireland is a mirror image.

  2. Saddening stuff AM, it seems a worldwide phenomena that those positions in charge of kids away from their parents supervision has attracted an abnormally high number of abusers. Also demonstrated worldwide is the mismatch between what the public claim in polls to wish the punishment for abuse to be and what lawmakers will legislate for. It’s curious too as these same lawmakers are typically in competition to proclaim how cruel they will punish transgressions for other, perhaps less heinous crimes, like carrying a knife, if they get elected to power. I wonder whether they are planning ahead (for once), incase they themselves are caught.

    I myself oscillate between two courses of action : we either need a deterrent level punishment for those convicted (e.g chemical castrations for lone abusers, death for pimps/profiteers) , or we try and make it is easy and beneficial as possible for those who feel attracted to kids to get help. As reflexively nauseating as the latter may be to most, It could be examined from a similar ethical framework of state drug treatment, mitigation of an illegal act is not endorsing it.

  3. This will also take a long time to unearth the truth for it will involve a lot of people from all professions....the other one I am waiting on to break is the Irish dancing that will be something!
    The crime of paedophilia is now nearly as widespread and common as petty theft!

  4. Anthony,

    If vigilance is the key then perhaps money should be redirected from the losing war on drugs in a bid to make the war on abuse much more effective.

    My reading of things is there is too much money to be made for the powers that be to stamp out all forms of child abuse.

    Another thing I noticed is when anyone says their elected politicians are child abusers people are called a conspiracy theorist. But when the same charges are leveled at Religious Institutions, youth leaders or school teachers people shrug their shoulders and say "No big surprise there"...

    I struggle to not equate transgenerism with child abuse. I can't understand how a child at 9,10, 11...can make their mind up about what sex they want to be when most of them can just about wipe their own arses. But because some teacher or politically correct social worker with a degree in psychology or with a Doctorate in Permanent Head Damage says it is best for the child to be allowed to explore their sexuality, they must be obeyed.

    How do we prevent child abuse...No idea. History tells me that child sacrifice and abuse has been around since monkeys wallked up right.

    Maybe a mass screening of the world to find out why some people are predisposed to raping kids. If I went to a genetists and said I would like a blue eyed, male child with blonde hair and when he grows up , he must be 6ft 2inches. All they will do is tweak a few genes and hey presto...

    Surely paedophile's must all carry some fucked up common gene that can be modified at birth to prevent kids turning into monsters...

  5. Frankie - there is too much money to be made for the powers that be to stamp out all forms of child abuse.

    Possibly but one difference between a plausible theory and a conspiracy theory is the first demonstrates while the second assumes.

    I think people will believe just about anything of politicians, particularly the politicians they oppose. Many of us do not really want to believe that Heath was not a paedophile, even though in order to want to believe it we also want victims to exist: no victims, no abuser.

    Transgenderism is probably harder to deal with the older we are and more rooted in our prejudices. I don't know how to relate to it. We were in a bar in Hamburg one night about twenty years ago and this person came in and joined the company - about a week's growth on the face and wearing a dress. The Germans and Turks knew the person and one of them said "let her sit in there", alongside myself and Tommy McKearney. We had no problem letting her sit but were absolutely confused by the her It was our first experience of it. They later explained the person had just undergone the first part of a sex change operation.

    I am very easy with people doing their own thing: they wanna smoke dope, have an abortion, snort cocaine, ride each other six ways to Sunday, climb mountains, swim with sharks opt for assisted dying - up to them. I might not approve but it is not up to me to decide for them. But there is a good piece we hope to be running here which articulates the type of concern you have.

    I have no idea what causes people to abuse but I imagine it is not something people want to do as such but feel urged to do by their make-up.

    Treatment or punishment? Whatever best protects the child, I guess.

    A conspiracy theory is much like the existence of the Devil - made up to explain something or other without any evidence, or very little, upon which to base it. Topped up by a lot of winks, nods, an insistence on you reading or watching what they read or watch, a chosen one delusion of knowing something that the unchosen don't know - and then a lot of abuse hurling at those who don't buy into it.

    Each to their own and people are free to believe whatever they want but I tend to give them a wide berth.

  6. Frankie,

    At the start of the gay rights movement in the 70's pedophiles actually grouped under that umbrella, as a subset of being homosexual. As that movement progressed it rightly saw that pedophiles want to do away with the notion of a child not being able to consent, they then expelled them from their cause and rightly so.

    There's a school of thought I think originating in Canada that pedophilia is a sexual preference rather than deviant behaviour, abhorrent to us though this is pederasts have existed throughout history from Tiberius to Heath and Savile to religious establishments.

    The reason why so many appear in the Catholic Church is that the Church offered them a position of authority, access to children and no pressure to marry. A perfect environment to attract these types, much the same way as the head of the BBC's Children in Need charity gig says the first thing they had to guard against was pedo's trying to get involved...and why he banned Savile from ever appearing on it.

    Germany has taken a more proactive approach. It's realized that the best way to protect children is to offer confidential help to people who find themselves attracted to kids and the results were staggering, around 10 thousand phone calls in the first few months.

    If this stops just one child being abused then it's worth it. I personally think that if a person realizes they have this urge and seeks medical help before acting on it then all help should be freely given. If on the other hand an adult grooms and abuses kids in the full knowledge that what they do is wrong then a good rope has provided centuries of justice throughout Europe and beyond.

  7. Anthony/Stevie

    Possibly but one difference between a plausible theory and a conspiracy theory is the first demonstrates while the second assumes.

    Totally with you. Although the minute someone presents any evidence supporting their theory, it then becomes something that can be tested and the plausibility can be examined. And the more evidence presented makes the theory more possible than not.

    I am convinced some people who want to abuse children will go into professions that allow them to have close contact with kids. And how a small few can conspire together to abuse dozens if not hundreds of children under their care. I have problems getting my head around anyone who covers it up for what ever reason..I can't see any reason to cover up child abuse.

    I don't know if Darwins tree of life theory is in anyway true. But if it is then maybe what modern experts say about Bonobo apes being our closest genetically related anscestor..Maybe a gene got carried over. Bonobo's mate,have sex with very young apes and engage in homosexual sex.

    Transgenderism...maybe Camille Paglia has a point about it being a form of child abuse (I agree with her that it is)...


    At the start of the gay rights movement in the 70's pedophiles actually grouped under that umbrella, as a subset of being homosexual.

    I mentioned about PIE here on TPQ and how people are telling me what to think while on TV and abuse kids in private. I also wrote about the hyprocrisy within the music/entertainment industry here on TPQ.

    I have to listen to people talk about Brexit, black lives, wars and the real lives that matter kids (they are the future) are being abused left, right and center. And most are voiceless and their cries go un-noticed, that is until the next scandal breaks and everyone waves a big stick and calls for the abusers head. And the next day the scandal is like yesterdays wine.....

  8. Steve,
    I think we can over complicate paedophilia. How do you rehabilitate people who carry out sick urges, people who take kids into rooms, rape them, get sexually gratified by the agonising cries of children. Stiff them where you find them as far as am concerned

  9. Barry,

    You are on much surer ground when you talk about child abuse. (What are your opinions on Woody Allen and Roman Polanski?

    Easy to answer, if anyone sexually abuses anyone or covers up sexual abuse...30 years in a cell and fed bread and water through a hatch. If they are alive after 30years then shoot them at dawn. If you or anyone else has a better solution, I will listen to it.

  10. David - that solution would lead to a very sick society indeed. Every child would be murdered by the paedophile and probably buried to erase the evidence.

    Frankie, having been in a cell 24/7/365 for a few years with food (better than bread and water) shoved in three times a day, it is not something I would subject anybody to. As a slow learner I have come around to the intellectual wisdom (the emotive dimension is still hard to internalise) in Nietzsche's view: “Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.” I distrust my own thirst for it.

    I think in order to protect children we have to better understand the urge to abuse. That might help us combat even if through redirection. Without this approach I fear we merely punish paedophiles without protecting children.

    For those of us afflicted by only normal sex urges (and it is an affliction that torments the imprisoned), I wonder how we expect paedophiles to overcome their own urges on their own steam. If the level of desire for kids in paedophiles is as strong as we had for women then locking them up is necessary as a means to denying them access to children but at some point society needs to find better ways of dealing with the problem.

    The emphasis has to be children first but we have to hope science can come up with something that can remove the problem without turning us into mullahs who might castrate or cut dicks off.

  11. An insight to the abuse by people in power and to also use it at leverage can be seen in a 3hr long discussion called "after dark british intelligence". a must whatch!

  12. Am,
    What sicker than a society that protects an institution of child rapists? For all your academic pondering how does that change anything? Some people just deserve to die. All the philosophy in the world won't change that

  13. frankie,

    "I don't know if Darwins tree of life theory is in anyway true. (It is) But if it is then maybe what modern experts say about Bonobo apes being our closest genetically related anscestor..Maybe a gene got carried over. Bonobo's mate,have sex with very young apes and engage in homosexual sex."

    All mammals engage in homosexual acts and sex with juveniles, dolphins have even been observed to carry out rapes and murders within their own environment.They are unlikely to be the only ones.

    My own opinion is that Dawkins is probably closer to the mark; our genes strive for immortality thus sex is the prime motivating factor. But mutations occur in every facet of life, which is were all atypical sexual predilections stem from.


    If they seek help before offending then all help should be freely given. If they abuse children knowingly and being compos mentis they should face severe punishment.
    A child who is abused often becomes the abuser. Anything that breaks this cycle is to be considered.

    Most of us here on TPQ I believe are parents. It's not hard to tug on emotions regarding this.


    Ted Heath was probably supplied and blackmailed by the Stasi, Donaldson was caught in flagrante delicto. Not hard to see who was protected.

  14. Anthony,
    I am all for science using all means neccessary to figure out a way to turn off what ever gene makes whoever want to abuse kids. I am convinced it is a genetic problem or some people brains are hot wired different to the majority.

    I find it hard to believe that in the 21st century there isn't enough brain power or will to simply do a mass screening of sexual predators and compare the findings with people who are not sexually attracted to children and go from there.

    I don't buy into the argument that wrapping sexual predators up in cotton wool, hoping they can be rehabilitated is the best way foward.

  15. David - no institution of child abusers should be protected. The said institution should be broken up. It does not follow that its members be killed. a measure of a humane society in my view is how it treats its prisoners. Being opposed to capital punishment, I cannot advocate the death penalty that you favour.

  16. David - why is it academic pondering rather than mere pondering?

  17. Frankie - the argument is not that refraining from mistreating them will lead to rehabilitation. There is no evidence that I am aware of that would support that. I see mistreatment of prisoners as wrong in itself. It seems even more wrong if you are right in your suggestion that their behaviour is genetically shaped and their capacity for agency limited as a consequence.

  18. It is important to remember the crucial distinction between paedophilia and child sexual abuse. Paedophilia is sexual attraction towards children; child abuse is the acting out of this predeliction, often from positions of power (especially institutional power). The latter on its own cannot be criminalised.

    Paedophilia is often connected in the more ignorant common mind with homosexuality and transgenderism; paedophilia scare campaigns such as the latter day witchfinding which followed the Sarah Payne murder in 2000 in reality have the effect of coercively policing sexual boundaries and of creating "out group"


    I totally agree with your opposition to the mistreatment of any prisoners even those convicted of the most heinous offences. it is often said that a society is to be judged by the way it treats those it incarcerates.

  19. Am,
    The human rights argument is out for me on this subject, they're scumbags, when you indulge in said behaviour you forfeit any human rights and am quite happy to live with any ramifications. As far as your question goes, i don't know, maybe an insight into my psyche, maybe i have some deep resentment to academics.

  20. David - I think the implications of that are full blown racism. But all of us feel the same way about some sort of group or individuals at times. Why I think it leads to real racism as distinct from the PC defined racism is that it helps promote a view that some people are less than human and are therefore to be denied human rights

  21. Am- how racism? Is racism not an irrational hatred of somebody? What's irrational about hating torturers of kids? Do you think it would have a chain reaction, human nature being what it is if we dehumanise one group not matter how henious it will be a benchmark to full blown tyranny is that what you mean?

  22. David - I see racism as often a rational act rather than an irrational one. Strategically used for the purpose of marginalising and disadvantaging.

    Many years back I argued that the SWP were open to racism by supporting a cultural relativism which held that the human rights their own wives, daughters and sisters enjoyed in the West need not be extended to women in Islamic regimes.

    There is nothing irrational about hating the torturers of kids - there is nothing irrational in hating torturers - there is nothing irrational in hating the Parachute Regiment. That does not mean we then rationalise denying them human rights. If hatred it to determine who is ruled in and out of human rights, the vista is horrendous.

    That is possible what you say about tyranny - but I was not specifically thinking in those terms. But now that you open it up for discussion, I see little that could prevent it going in that direction: all we need to do is marginalise people/prisoners/poor/religious and ethnic groups - mobilise hatred against them. We can see where that goes.

  23. David - I have a lot of deep resentment to academia myself. But that is something for you and academics to work out. Anti-intellectualism should not be confused with anti-academia.

  24. Am- first off i should say when i mentioned ramifications i was talking more personal than societal if i was in the presence of child rapists but since we're on it.
    When it comes to denying human rights is the US guilty of this when they kill/murder, whatever your opinion is, first degree murders? I know you disagree with capital punishment but my point is in some states they have laws where you commit a certain crime you face death as punishment. Rightly or wrongly they manage this without descending into anarchy. My question is if it was state policy to kill convicted peados would that be racist or just if you stiffed them in the streets?
    I don't understand judging character on skin pigmentation, however once i believed all protestants felt superior to me which in turn lead to a feeling of hatred to them. Intellectually is that racism or stupidity?

  25. Anthony,

    That does not mean we then rationalise denying them human rights.

    Why not? If the abuser denies the person they have abused human rights, then an eye for eye.

    911 call after a father beats sons alleged molester (news report)

    Chitwood added that while justice will be served against this serial offender, the father will not face charges. "Dad was acting like a dad," Chitwood said. "I don't see anything we should charge the dad with."

    Could modern science stop sexual abuse of any kind, I believe there is more than enough brain power but the powers that be know there is more money in sex trafficking and child porn than to made from drugs....

  26. Frankie,

    why not?

    Simple - I don't believe a society can or should function with an eye for an eye. It sounds like biblical justice or victim's justice. It would apply to everything, not just child abusers. A society with no law and no eyes will hardly be far seeing.

    Haven't looked at the links.

  27. David - I think it the most natural thing in the world to feel tempted to strangle them. I am not advocating that you like them, merely that you don't lynch them.
    There is no human right not to be killed, but there is one not to be murdered. We have in place a legal system that defines the circumstances in which we may be killed. We do not have one in place (although it is becoming increasingly frayed at the edges) that outlines the circumstances in which we may be tortured, raped, enslaved. So the US is not in my view guilty of murder per se through its policy of capital punishment. Nor is it guilty of racism merely because of the existence of capital punishment (how it is in effect applied is something else). It clearly specifies in advance rather than arbitrarily the circumstances in which people may forfeit their lives. If the US was to introduce capital punishment for all paedophiles it too would be neither murder nor racist, but would be highly objectionable.

    Feeling of hatred towards all people in a group might be both stupid and racist. It might also be one or the either or maybe neither.

    It depends on the conscious make up of the group and its intent. You could hate the group for the views its members hold which you might consider very dangerous. Many people hate the scientology group - it seems neither stupid nor racist to do so.

    There is no one size fits all template on this one.

  28. Anthony,

    Haven't looked at the links.

    The links tell the story of a father walking into his sons bed room to find a neighbour sexually abusing his son, so the father beat the abuser to a pulp then phoned 911 to explain what he done and why... The abuser got charged and the father wasn't charged with anything...

    It is a very natural reaction in my books...

  29. Am- I don't know, that's sounds a bit too much pro state for my liking. So if judges are coerced by a powerful lobby who know key associates are perverts, hypothetically, to give minium sentences to these sumbags, then a father takes the law into his own hands and is dealt with the full force of the law, is that justice?

  30. David - more pro-society than pro-state. Society benefits from an inadequate health system than it does from no health system. Same with the justice system. I am not arguing that it is just - as Alex McCrory once quipped to me: if you want justice go to a brothel. If you want screwed go to a court. The task of republican minded people is to minimise the injustice in society. If we seek to improve we might manage. If we seek to perfect we will become what we oppose.

    Frankie - thanks for the short cut. I tend not to read links. Takes up more time than I have to give.

    I have very sympathy with the father and none with the abuser. But I don't recommend that as a societal template. The shop keeper will then beat to a pulp the hungry kid who steals bread from his shop.

    A natural reaction is not a reasoned reaction. If we think enlightenment values are better than pre-enlightenment ones we opt for the approach of reason. If you think I am all reason and not a bad tempered huffy cunt, you have not seen me play soccer.

  31. David,

    What you said isn't hypothetical but fact because that's how it works at the top level/elites. All anyone has to do is to read about Acosta and Epstein

    Shameful Way That Trump’s New Labour Secretary Pick Protected Podophile Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein

    And Epstein basically got a slap on the wrist

    2008, he pleaded guilty and nominally served 13 months of an 18-month sentence in a county jail: Epstein spent one day a week there, the other six out on “work release.”

    That is justice for the rich and powerful...

    The question is how to stop it. I just don't mean the corruption, today in China they can tweak gens and make designer babies and the ethics are being called into question.

    A Chinese scientist’s claim that he has created the world’s first genetically edited babies has prompted global outcry and an investigation by Chinese health authorities.

    Why can't they tweak genes to prevent someone waking up and raping a two week old baby?

    And what will happen is he will go to prison for a very long time, eat three times a day, have a hot shower and if he ever gets out....he will get a new ID.

    If it was up to me..I wouldn't waste thirty years of bread and water on him...He would be shot at dawn on an empty stomach.

    (I think the father who beat the abuser to a pulp was very reasoned. He did call 911 and if you ever get around to listening to the full 911 call...He was very measured aswell. Once the KO'd the abuser he stayed on the phone and was very calm considering... As for huffy cunts...I lived with the enemy for years in the leafy suburbs of Paris. I know a very huffy cunt...)

  32. Frankie- i've no doubt that level of corruption exists, i said hypothetically for arguments sake.
    am- got to agree with frankie on this fast traveling lead is the way to deal with these fuckers they torture and rape children ffs. I know that's emotional but even if you look at it objectively, the current system protect abusers more than kids, it's everywhere. Sometimes i think you have too much faith in humanity.

  33. David - because I have a view of humanity that given the wrong circumstances most of us are capable of just about anything, I believe society has to build structures that protect against that happening.

    If you recommend the immediate execution of paedophiles without trial as a better justice system than we have now, your choice. Not one I am going to agree with.

  34. Am- y
    who'd build said structures? We're basically pack animals, we'll naturally concede power to avoid reponsibility. Society will be built by the people who always build it, people who seem quite at ease with paedophilia. Am not saying am right, it's just what i feel.

  35. David - if societal structures were incapable of being built, we would still be in caves. There are either two sets of groups who build and shape such structures: the haves and the have nots and the character of the structures is shaped by the balance of power at any given point between both. Progress like evolution can be painstakingly slow.

    Your view is a state oriented one - it seems not to allow for the fact that the real progress has been forced by pressure from below not something merely devised from om high and then signed off on.

    If the justice system you favour is one where anybody who wants to should take the law into their own hands, then why should the paedophiles refrain from doing likewise? If you grant that type of licence, you may be enabling the abusers rather than restricting them. Be assured, many of those lining up to hang the abusers will be abusers themselves.

  36. Am- I never said structures we're incapable of being biilt rather of being managed. The absence of justice is staggering. I don't know if my view is state oriented one. More like a case of the state has had ample time to administer justice and failed. So should this form of government be accepted just because it gives the illusion of control and accountability?

  37. David - you asked who would build such structures: implicit in the question, in my view, was a belief that they were unlikely to be built.

    Failure is determined by how high we set the success bar. Conservative Christians will continue to say - until there is no money to be made from saying it - that the state failed in justice delivery because of abortion.

    It is an imperfect world with imperfect solutions: The engaged question as distinct from the disengaged answer is: does society benefit more from having the current system of justice than having no system of justice? The answer you come up with should shape your future action. The health system is said to be a failure also but preferable to no health care. I don't see myself subscribing to Sartre's notion of the worse the better.

    The matter you raise of acceptance is perhaps best inverted to the point of asking not whether we accept but does our lack of acceptance extend to rejecting? There is the concept of pragmatic acquiescence rather than normative acceptance to be considered.

  38. Am-not unlikely to be built, unlikely to be just. When does pragmatic acquiescence become turning a blind eye? At what point is it socially acceptable to take matters in to your own hands? I.e were the inhabitants of bombay street justified in retaliation? At what point is enough, enough. Another question, does the state respect or fear civil disobedience or are men of violence only moved by violence?

  39. David - there will never be perfect justice just some justice systems better than others. There is no one point on the continuum where we can say pragmatic acquiescence equates with turning a blind eye. We can only say that it does reach that point eventually. But we die eventually - just try to avoid that moment for as long as we can.

    Bombay Street - depends on what the retaliation was. Justified in defending their homes and fighting back. Not justified in mowing down people at Kingsmill. I am being elastic here.

    State violence leads to street violence. The state can often be advantaged by street violence in that it may present it with the opportunity to crack down on the wider progressive current. We need only look at the utter futility of republican armed actions in the North.

  40. David Higgins, as is his wont, asks thoughtful questions.

    AM delivers thoughtful responses.

    It's been a privilege to follow your Socratic discourse.
    Thank you both.

  41. Here's a thought provoking article by Fintan O'Toole from today's Irish Times.

    I'm well inclined to agree also with this comment following on to it:

    "Yes, we seem to have transposed radical and reactionary, thinking reactionary is radical.

    It, really, isn't! It's brainless and delusional!

    There is no progress in being a Reactionary."

  42. Am- i appreciate you taking the time to answer, I get your point to a certain degree, you made me think from a different angle, which for me is the point of these forums

  43. David - had to think on it myself. These forums should be about knitting ideas not clashing.

    Thanks Henry Joy - Socratic: never thought of it that way now!!


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