Sunday 4 December 2016

1916 Rising was about freedom from servitude, not economics

Published 14/11/2015 | 02:30

Sean Lemass is feted by supporters following his by-election victory in 1924. 'Future Taoiseach Lemass was far from economically illiterate'.
Sean Lemass is feted by supporters following his by-election victory in 1924. 'Future Taoiseach Lemass was far from economically illiterate'.

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl deplored as dangerous the fact "not so much that scientists are specialising, but rather the fact that specialists are generalising" and thus claiming a totality of knowledge and influence completely outside their particular expertise.

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David McWilliams is in danger of falling into this same self- indulgence by evaluating the vision of 1916 merely through the lens of an economist (Irish Independent, November 11). Of course there was no mention of economics in the Proclamation. It was a call to the Irish people to cast off the chains of servitude and to claim the freedom that is the entitlement of all independent peoples.

In the same vein, Charles de Gaulle's clarion call "a tous les Francais" was to strive for "l'honneur" and reject "la servitude". Not a whisper about economics. In contrast, the supporters of the Vichy regime allowed the fear of economic consequences to sully their honour, guiding their preference for servitude rather than freedom.

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