The best lack all conviction

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

18 July 2013

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.


Excerpt from “The Second Coming”, a short poem in two stanzas by the Anglo-Irish poet William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) published in 1921 when the rebellion by Irish patriots, which broke out at Easter 1916, against the 750-year-old yoke of English domination was ending unsatisfactorily with the unprecedented partition of Ireland – hitherto a single country throughout its recorded history – into two parts:  an independent state, a majority of whose citizens were Catholic, in the south of the country and the rump of British Ireland, still controlled by Britain today, in the six of the nine counties of the northern Irish Province of Ulster that were dominated by historically anti-Catholic Protestants culturally oriented towards Britain. The unsatisfactory nature of this compromise, as embodied in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, has been evident ever since. The treaty was presented to the Irish independence negotiators as a take-it-or-leave-it once-and-for-all settlement by the British imperial government of the day –  with precisely the same heavy-handed hauteur as that same government had displayed not so many years earlier when it imposed similar “unequal treaties” on an ailing China.  Today, as we write, Belfast, the capital of British Ulster, is currently the stage for nightly sectarian riots, ostensibly related to religion but in reality connected with the refusal of Ulster Protestants to accept the increasing influence of those citizens of northern Ireland who seek, wisely or otherwise, to restore the historic unity of Ireland as a single polity.


Not that we have any time for the sanctimonious priest-ridden log-rolling mafia that has ruled the roost in southern Ireland since it gained independence following the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. The Ulster Protestants have a good case for not wanting to be dragged into the clutches of the political shysters that call the shots in Dublin.


 You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)

2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)

3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)

4. Capitalism in practice  (4 July 2012) 

5.Ladder  (21 June 2012)

 6. A tale of two cities (1)  (6 June 2012)

 7. A tale of two cities (2)  (7 June 2012)

 8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.


This entry was posted in China, Ireland, Literature, UN and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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