‘Intellectual Cowardice’

Some decent comments by Michael D Higgins in his piece in today’s Irish Times.

Economic debate has not included idea of citizenship – The Irish Times – Sat, Aug 22, 2009

The word “crisis” and the pronoun “we” are thrown around as pieces of language in the manner of snuff at a 19th-century wake. One article after another, whether one begins with the shortfall in the Government’s estimates of receipts necessary to meet current expenditure, the non-availability of liquidity to keep firms in the real economy in business, the excessive rate being paid by the Irish Government for international borrowings as a result of the immense damage of a reputational kind visited in Ireland as a result of a small clique of speculative gamblers who called themselves bankers, the assumption is the same – we have moved into a crisis and we, the Irish public, must regard ourselves as some form of collective “we”, one that is responsible for what has come to pass.


Evasive terms like “the politicians” or “the political class” are as evasive as they are safe for those who use them, but in reality constitute a form of intellectual cowardice.

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August 2009
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