For almost a decade Facebook has aggressively set out to acquire a monopoly in the field of social media communications. Popular communications platforms, such as Instagram and Whatsapp, which rivalled Facebook’s own services, were acquired (in 2012 and 2014, respectively), to consolidate the market and ultimately to profit from a captive audience locked behind “walled gardens” and unable to communicate between platforms.
Housing policy in both jurisdictions in Ireland has failed the citizens abysmally. One of the sources of communal revolt in the North was the unfair distribution of housing. As only ratepayers and their spouses had a vote in local elections, priority in housing was given to the unionist community, to allow them to control the councils.
Ireland’s mental health crisis was already in a bad way before covid; now it’s getting even worse. Covid has not caused the crisis, it has only made it even more serious.
As quarantine conditions worsen, it’s becoming more apparent that isolation and alienation are a serious danger to human beings. Yet alienation is a central component of capitalism as a system.
Modern on-line social media are a continuing large-scale social experiment as much as we want to consider them a norm of modern life.
Whenever the debate on the effects, drawbacks or benefits of on-line social media arises, there is always an attempt to draw analogies with physical social spaces, such as a public square or perhaps the village community centre.
The economic crisis facing the Government continues to grow. While economic data paints a much rosier picture of the economy, thanks to the dominance of foreign direct investment (i.e. transnational corporations), the pandemic is having a wider and more lasting impact on the domestic economy, in particular on small and […]
Admittedly we can only ever be certain of death and taxes. With that caution in mind, though, it’s safe to say there is abundant evidence that the once all-powerful Fianna Fáil is sitting on the edge of a political precipice. Over the past decade, its share of the vote at […]
The global coronavirus pandemic has exposed the crass nature of the capitalist system. In the early days, the so-called developed world hijacked, stole and diverted entire shipments of personal protective equipment; America purchased the entire global stock of the important covid-19 drug Remdesivir; more than a thousand people on the […]
Robert Owen, the nineteenth-century philanthropist, was by any standard a decent sort of bloke. He believed workers should be treated compassionately and that they deserved a reasonable standard of living. In fact he went a step further and attempted to build ideal societies in different countries, including one at Ralahine […]
Covid-19 did not cause overcrowding in schools, but it has exposed it. Schools are reopening with up to thirty people in a confined space for extended periods. There are almost a million children, teenagers and teachers in four thousand schools. In the two weeks before reopening, more than a hundred […]
Writing in the Irish Times on 17 April, the Spanish academic Javier Cercas described the EU’s response to the covid-19 pandemic as having been slow, stingy, and fearful. It is a view shared by many, especially those in southern Europe. Indeed the Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, went so far […]
So, after months of shadow-boxing and pretend negotiations, three parties—Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and the Green Party—have eventually tied the knot and will set up house together. They have been leading the public on a merry dance, in the pretence that they had worked hard to “overcome major obstacles,” etc. […]
AMONG OTHER brutal passings, going into May we pay tribute to Marx’s one and only paramour: the Paris Commune. “Its martyrs are enshrined in the great heart of the working class,” declared Marx, while Connolly, thirty years later, argued: “The Commune, if it had been successful, would have inaugurated the reign of real freedom the world over—it would have meant the emancipation of the working class.”
“Today’s media are exponentially worse than they were in the 1980s and 1990s. They no longer provide news. What they provide are stories that are around 80 percent ideology and opinion, 10 percent lies and spin, and 10 percent fact.” Mitchell Feierstein, investor, banker, and author.
“People can’t criticise Maduro and not criticize the blockade. The blockade doesn’t attack soldiers, it doesn’t kill the guilty, the blockade kills innocents.” Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil
The efforts to form a “government of the willing” following the general election earlier this year rumble on. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have had to pretend to dance and engage in a courting ritual to give the impression that there are significant ideological and political differences between them, thereby requiring such a long period to produce a draft programme for government. Fianna Fáil are desperate to get into government at any cost in order to re-establish a presence in urban areas.
But what drives the state and these two main parties of the establishment is the need to thwart the desire of working people for real, meaningful change, as
They told me we couldn’t have a “one-tier health system.” Well we are nearly there. When I was eleven i remember leaving my sister off at the nursing training centre in Belfast, and now at sixty-five she has become my hero, working with covid-19 patients in the Downe Hospital, saving […]
So Fianna Fáil and the Blueshirts are now an item. Having recognised their obvious compatibility, they have agreed to move in together.
Talk of an end to Civil War politics is simply guff. Whatever ideological differences there were ended decades ago. Existing rivalry was competition between similar organisations. More Tesco vying with Supervalu for market share than Free Staters battling dedicated republicans.