The Celtic Tiger has now died, leaving the Republic of Ireland in dire financial straits. Arguing for a period of real change, Fintan O'Toole demonstrates how the country now needs to become a fully modern republic in fact as well as name....
|Title||:||Enough is Enough: How to Build a New Republic|
|Number of Pages||:||256 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Enough is Enough: How to Build a New Republic Reviews
While not as magnificent as the critical and political tour-de-force that was "Ship of Fools", O'Toole's sequel to that book is still compulsive reading for anyone interested in Irish politics, or socio-political global change in general. Start with "Ship of Fools" first so you understand the problem, then follow with this one where O'Toole tries to supply possible solutions for repairing the damage. I'm far from convinced that he's right in every case, but he certainly makes some good cases for revolutionary and evolutionary changes.
In Enough is Enough Fintan O'Toole turns his attention to what he sees at the core problems at the heart of Ireland’s present woes and what needs to happen to rebuilt a new republic fit for purpose in the twenty-first century. Split into two parts, in the first half of the book he argues that there are five myths that shape how Ireland functions – these are 1) that Ireland operates as a Republic, 2) that people are politically represented, 3) that the Dail functions as a parliamentary democracy, 4) that every decent service was delivered by charity and through the church rather than by the state, 5) that Ireland is a wealthy country. In each chapter, he reveals through polemical argument how each of these supposed truths are in fact self-delusions; that there is in fact deep flaws in the nature of Irish political democracy that require fundamental redress. In the second half of the book, he sets out five ‘decencies’ that should underpin the ideals of new republic. These are the decencies of security, health, education, equality and citizenship. In an appendix he sets out 50 suggestions for immediate actions.Enough is Enough is an engaging read. O’Toole writes with passion and at a level that is easy to follow. The argument is polemical and forceful, and he makes good use of sources and data to back-up his contentions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it does feel a little rushed, but clearly this is a book trying to tap into and react to the zeitgeist. And he makes a convincing case that there are a number of problems with how the Irish political system functions and the ideals that underpin its operation that do need revisiting and revision. However, whilst he sets out the ways in which he would like reform, it is often at a quite conceptual or abstract level. Where there are specific suggestions, these often lack sufficient detail as to what changes would need to happen and their consequences. At a more general level, it is also not clear where the impetus and drive is going to come from to enact the kinds of changes he feels are necessary – it is certainly unlikely to come from the present political classes. In this sense, the book sets out a broad vision that provides a framing for a more detailed debate, but does not quite set out the road map he wishes for in his opening chapter, nor the mechanisms needed to shift citizens from the present map to his new one.More broadly, politics and ideals, only gets us so far. Building a new republic will not simply consist of reconstituting the political base of society and hoping all else flows from that process. It is clear, to me at least, that we also need to rethink the Irish economic model predicated as it is on a form of neoliberalism. In other words, the book would have been more powerful if it had been widened to re-envisioning the broader political economy of the country. Clearly, setting out such a new vision would have been a more challenging task, but one that we undoubtedly need to undertake. That said, the book is nonetheless an important and timely contribution to the on-going debate about Ireland’s future and it deserves to be read and debated.
An excellent assessment of the economic situation (and beyond) in Ireland. Whilst this book is quite damning of a number of things, it is much more focussed on offering a clear and positive message, an instruction, on how to recover and improve governance, health, education and more in Ireland.Fintan O'Toole writes well and with a strong voice of reason. Ireland is not really a republic at all, in the true political sense of the word, but this book lays out ways in which it could earn that title.
Fintan O'Toole gives us clear and concise ways to transform Ireland and to create a second Republic - not that we ever had a real Republic to start with. Although I can't help but wonder if the groundswell of concerned citizens which came together after the crash will effect the constitutional change required or it will become just another talk fest. Either way something needs to be done to make these glorified County Councillors pretending to be TD's accountable and to introduce a long overdue participatory form of democracy.
If this book does not inspire you to make serious changes in your daily life, as well as encourage you to get involved in local politics and challenge the political elite, then we really are in trouble. No waffle, just hard talk on hard issues supported by clear and concise data. Very strongly recommend for anyone looking for an introduction to the current economic climate.
Not until I read this book did I realise what a poor excuse for a republic my country is. The author is optimistic enough to suggest solutions to the problems he identifies. I don't share his optimism but it's interesting to read about possible solutions all the same.I enjoyed this book more than "Ship of Fools."