Better State always; less State never

What shape should concerted left political action in Ireland take? Conor McCabe’s excellent book Sins of The Father presents a very strong thesis about how the history of the Irish Republic should not be thought in terms of a narrative of neoliberalism that might apply in other western democratic states, due to the very specific character of the Irish State and the way its economy was developed in the interests of ruling elites since the State’s foundation.

Mind the trolls under the JobBridge

Here’s an opening question. What do ‘JobBridge’ – the snappy name for FÁS’s National Internship Scheme, presumably because they ran out of inverted commas to put around the word ‘Internship’ – and the Conservative Party’s attitude to the BBC have in common?

The instrumentalisation of Irish education: or, as God moves out, Mammon moves in

With the gap between church and state in Ireland finally beginning to widen, the Catholic Church's control over education will only weaken as time goes by. But, as Mark Cullinane argues, rather than grasp the opportunity to institute something resembling a liberal education, we have chosen merely to swap one dogma for another - the worship of Capital.

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Capitalist rioters don't wear hoodies

The global media has been nervously covering two simultaneous forms of destruction: the obliteration of wealth in the financial markets and the destruction of property in the United Kingdom. This destruction involves different actors, objects, temporalities, and spatial scales. The looting by youths in the UK had a short-term temporality and has been territorially contained to one nation.

Violence at the edge: Tottenham, Athens, Paris

The experience of police harrassment and violence is an everyday one for many people in many communities, and we need to interrogate the idea that such aggression is automatically legitimate. By Illan Rua Wall

The reactionary imagination

In his classic text The Sociological Imagination, C Wright Mills observed that ‘men do not usually define the troubles they endure in terms of historical change and institutional contradiction… the big ups and downs of the societies in which they live.’ [1] He argued that the job of sociologists therefore was to relate personal troubles ‘within the character of the individual and within the range of his immediate relations with others’ to ‘matters that transcend these local environments’. [2] In other words for Mills, sociologists and other public intellectuals should help people t