Ah, it could be worse. I could have paid money to read this article:
“Böll was writing about the Ireland of half a century ago, but how much, in its mass psychology and deep culture, has the country really changed since? Were we not, in the boom years, still in the grip of a 19th-century land hunger?”
In the past decade leading to the financial crisis of 2008 property bubbles happened in Spain, France, Australia, Denmark, the UK, the USA and Ireland which illustrates that there is nothing unique or 19th century about Ireland’s ‘land hunger’.
In an April 30th 2011 post on Dublin Opinion Conor points to data from the US, the UK and Ireland.
“That asset price speculative bubble takes off globally in the mid-1990s, as shown above, and Ireland’s position and relationship with it is an integral part to the story of what happened in Ireland during the Celtc Tiger Years - it’s wasn’t all Dells and Amazons, you know?”
In the Socialist Register 2012 David Harvey recently suggested that dynamics of the speculative financial system in the 20th and 21st century with it’s inherent volatility have been closely linked to its absorption within successive land speculation and property bubbles across the world:
“Property market booms and busts are inextricably intertwined with speculative financial flows and these booms and busts have serious consequences for the macro-economy in general as well as all manner of externality effects upon resource depletion and environmental degradation.”
In his article he provides a fascinating account of how the reshaping of the New York skyline with a festoon of landmark skyscrapers is the legacy of one such speculative boom and bust.
But in Ireland it has nothing to do with power relations, the development of capitalism or the broader issues of how capitialists make a buck at the expense of everyone else these days. Instead it’s something almost fascist- like with ideas of a coherent, collective ‘Irish’ identity, as if we are all in contemporary Ireland members of the same inter-genenerational family or slightly broader village community, distantly linked by blood, living in Achill. Pure Irish with our in-breed mentality.
Lord save us from poetasters, establishment columnists and drama critics.
Next week, how Playboy of the Western World tells you all you need to know about the dangers of self-aggrandizement, and how best to resolve family desputes and inter-community strife.