I was asked by someone to make a video on the constitution of Ireland and the importance of constitutions to Republics, but I’m not a Republican – even in the broadest and most vanilla sense of the term. My family are Republicans in the Irish sense and my extended family Republicans in the militant Irish sense, so I’ll be breaking with tradition and insulting a God-like document when I say: feck the constitution. Why should I care about this document when it’s clear that nobody else does? Sure, we now have a pretty sizable number of Irish who suddenly give a shit about the document, but who’s to say that these people don’t win today’s war, but their progeny go on to ignore its quasi-religious status 100 years from now, in the same way that we did today? In other words, I don’t trust this document to magically protect MY progeny or even myself in old age when the next round of tyrants come looking for their slice of the authoritarian pie. The belief in a constitution is a religious one – the worship of a document as divine when that object isn’t even transcendent in the first place. It has become a purely legal artifact, now that the spell of nationalism has worn off and the Supreme Court has had its way to expand upon and alter the definition of its contents.
Religious Objects Upholding Democracy
Constitution as a religious object is probably the closest description you could apply to it. It requires the unquestioning devotion of the majority to implement and maintain throughout the generations. Yet this isn’t a divine being – it’s a physical object with an unwritten expiry date, evidenced by the fact that every constitution eventually fails its people. Belief in this object must be continually maintenanced through the indoctrination of each new generation, not unlike our indoctrination into Christianity or the Chinese youth into Communism. Without constant recruitment of devotees, the spell inevitably wears off as the notions it contains are replaced in the minds of the youth with a vague notion of “the greater good”, which their governments can then go on to implement laws in the name of. It’s every bit as precarious as a tightrope walk – as long as you’re up there you’re eventually going to fall.
Please don’t take me for a fool – I know that a founding legal document actually has a real-life function of preventing legislation from being passed or enforced which infringe upon the individual. Every day we unknowingly enjoy the sanctity of our homes and our bodily integrity because authorities suspect we might actually know the relevant passages and court decisions and make life hell for them, but this hasn’t been the case for a few decades now as homes have been unconstitutionally seized by banks and today our homes can be entered by Gardai with little excuse and our skin can be pierced by a mystery concoction despite the landmark case, Ryan v Attorney General. All by democratic fiat. The legal document cannot escape its dependency upon its religious status. Old Gods get decapitated by new Gods ALL THE TIME.
The origins of the Irish Constitution, along with every other Constitution, was born from the resistance against tyranny. Particularly, foreign imposition. The chief example of this being Britain, a country without a Constitution, because they’ve never had to distinguish themselves, since their biggest enemies were only ever themselves. Their parliament is the result of a series of reforms to make the Monarchy look less like the Monarchy in order to placate the masses, as well as the small achievements of great statesmen. A constitution, or any binding social contract, is absolutely always the product of a people distinguishing themselves from other people. An intense cultural identity with an extended family structure surrounded by a border. We currently have none of these things, and we definitely don’t have the very particular ingredients that went into the formulation of our current Constitution. We may be able to perform some form of cultural necromancy by injecting this dead horse with adrenalin every few decades, but this will only ever happen in periods of constitutional crisis and the ancient creature will die again very quickly. It’s an exercise in futility.
No Immediate Solutions
So what is my solution? I don’t have one. I’m not a prophet or a visionary, nor am I an idealistic teenager. All I know is that our ancestors were smarter than us and abandoned revolutions when they failed. The revolution that founded the Republic of Ireland is a failed one. Our Founding Fathers, bless them, exchanged British masters for an ultimately failed global ideology – vanilla Socialism and the dream of other oppressed nations shaking off the yoke of colonialism and capitalism. Regardless of your ideological preferences, that revolution objectively failed. Colonialism exchanged its autocracy and guns for banks and espionage. Capitalism made peoples’ lives better and proved itself superior over centralised economies. Ireland stood alone. Arguably, it didn’t stand at all, and really it just sat back down in short order, along with all the other former British colonies and settled for economies and governments run by cronyism while their populations reeled from collective PTSD. Today, the revolution failed and dead – with the cessation of IRA bombings – but it’s now completely decayed out of existence in its casket, paraded around by RTÉ and our occupational government once in a while to win them legitimacy. We waged a war to simply be left alone to practice our imitation of British governance and its legal system – and we couldn’t even accomplish that! No wonder nobody gives a shit about the Constitution or our sovereignty. They’re both a joke. An unfunny joke. Unfunny jokes get forgotten.
Maybe I do have a solution. But like I said, I’m not an idealistic teenager who thinks he has such an overwhelmingly awesome and convincing idea that it would be adopted by the masses or some powerful group of people, and enacted next week. That’s not how human nature or history unfolds. My solution lies in a few short facts:
- A successful revolution is NEVER waged by a sizeable number of a population. The more accurate number is immortalised in the American/Canadian militia movement known as The Three Percenters – named so after the rough percentage of people in the colonies who stood up to the king of England while the other 97% cowered under their beds afraid to take matters into their own hands. By contrast, unsuccessful revolutions can be seen everywhere. They’re conducted by thousands of angry plebs in the streets, burning buildings, and fighting with military and police. These situations immediately devolve into Socialist hell holes.
Back to the American colonies. We, outside and within the United States and Canada, are sold a watered down fairytale of how the revolution was provoked. These rubbish teachers and historians invoke the imagery of The Boston Tea Party as if the colonists were just upset about a little bit of import/export tax. None of the lessons truly communicate the horrors inflicted upon these people as the King insisted on punishing them for not being as obedient as London, Scotland, and Wales were. The punishment came in the form of taxation upon EVERYTHING, the eviction of colonists from land they rightfully earned, and roving military to police these insane laws. Conditions threatened to become as punitive as Ireland under Cromwell. Almost all these people had guns, by the way, and most of them were afraid to use them in any kind of coordinated defense. You’d think such hardship would inspire more to stand up. Suffice to say, the majority of people had nothing to do with the formation of the United States and Canada or the United States Constitution. Even to the last days of the revolution, few joined the ranks. Yet, when the job was done, everyone was happy to adopt this new mythology and the glory of having thrown the British back into the ocean. The EXACT SAME THING happened in 20th Century Ireland. The historical lesson here being, don’t wait for any more than 3% of Ireland to give a flying fuck about anything. Even now as we face very similar, and perhaps worse, prospects than those faced by the average American colonist or early 20th Century Irishman. If you want a revolution and a constitution, get off your ass and make one, and don’t complain if you’re derided in the process and then only celebrated afterward.
- The times they are a’changin’! Since the formation of the United States and the Republic of Ireland, we have changed the way we do things and how we relate to each other. As certain world powers organise to rearrange the entire planet in preparation for their 4th Industrial Revolution, everyone is asleep and living in a fantasy world. The older folk are stuck in the 70s, 80s, and 90s when you had to walk down the road to call your friends and the young folk are stuck in a virtual reality where reality is chiefly viewed through the lens of a computer screen and there is no objective reality. While we slumber, the power-hungry among us are re-engineering our reality to fit us into a gigantic supercomputer which will quantify our whole lives from our pulse rate all the way up to our major life decisions. They’re doing away with the notions of bodily autonomy, physical cash for the free exchange of goods and services, and ultimately our individuality itself. No Constitution can be successful if it doesn’t first recognise that we’re no longer living in the 1970s and secondly defends these aforementioned notions. Our rights, whether in a Constitution or not, unquestioningly include: the right to roam and travel, the right to possess and use a medium of exchange, the right to protect ourselves with whatever weapons we see fit for our own safety, the right to bodily integrity and to choose our own method of healthcare, the inviolability of our homes, the right to take risks that don’t involve others, the right to die with dignity and on our own terms, the right to speak freely except for direct incitement to violence against a person or persons, the right to not be data mined and quantified, the right to access to wild nature, the right to not be seen/heard/tracked, the right to anonymity online, the right to genetic integrity and protection against DNA patenting. Any constitution which doesn’t contain ALL OF THE ABOVE is a waste of time and bloodshed, and the people will largely reject it.
- Constitutions do not bestow rights – they catalog them. Even if a right isn’t cataloged in a constitution you live under, you still possess it. Maybe it’s okay for the 97% to be under the impression it’s a piece of parchment that gives them rights, but we 3% can never forget that we ultimately live in an anarchist world.
My last statement requires explanation. We live in a world of nations with their own laws, but what restricts the actions between one nation and another? International treaties aside, there is no law above nations. They exist in a state of anarchy with each other. Those international treaties, which have existed since pre-history, are only enforceable through oaths, reputation, and the threat of war. If you’ve lived past the age 30, you can’t be forgiven for not realising that we always live in a state of suspended anarchy. When living under any kind of state we are in a complex social environment held together by a tribal mythology, the threat of violence, and economic dependency. If you accept my premise that constitutions and nationhood are held together by tribal mythology which naturally fades through time, we’re ultimately left in a situation held together by threat of violence and economic dependency. Anarchy under another name. Anarchy under the monopoly of the economy and violence. This is a very primal perspective to live under – it paints a world where your property, rights, and even your life, are under perpetual threat of being taken by someone much stronger than you. But it IS reality. It’s precisely in the moments of history that we forget this that we lose these things to our strongest neighbours.
The State cannot, and usually will not, guarantee your rights whether written on a piece of paper or not. It’s a sad reality that adults cannot accept this responsibility and that, those who do, must take that responsibility for their fellows. Yet, again, it IS reality, and it IS a responsibility. Earlier I suggested that the successful revolutions and constitutions of the past relied on a people distinguishing themselves from others – i.e. colonial imposition. Today there are no such grande wars to be waged against outsiders whom everyone in a country could agree on. Our current enemy is amorphous, doesn’t have a fixed abode, and is talented in deception. To wage a war against them would be confusing and to wage a war against a fellow pawn in their chess game – i.e. Muslims, the Chinese, the LGBTQ+ community etc – would lead to a short-lived victory and would ultimately be to all our detriment. The war that needs to be waged, I propose, is one against everybody. Me against you and everybody else – you against me and everybody else. Not a war of animosity or aggression, but simply a war of the individual against the imposition of everybody else. As history marches on, collectivism becomes more prevalent and lethal toward the individual. Over and over, socialism, state religions, cults, and fascism cause mass death and the suppression of all that’s good about human beings. In 2020 we now face the ultimate form of collectivism: a global control grid managed by technocrats and AI to quantify our lives and actions “for the greater good.” It’s a turning point in our species’ existence – in fact, it’s the death throws, as we and our children will give way to the transhuman – A creature which is nothing like us and more resembles an ant in a colony of ants. Subsumed in a hive mind which it might not even be able to recognise as such, having no concept of individuality to compare its experience to. In the process of this New World Order being put into place, your rights as they’re written on pieces of parchment will be watered down or completely removed if they in any way support the notion of you as a distinct Human Being with your own relationship to Divinity and your own unmolested life path. This is the ground we must stand upon today – you are an individual and no other individual may impede or use force against you unless they’re in the process of defending their own rights. You don’t need this on a piece of paper, because it’s a self-referential fact – You are an individual because you’re an individual.
That “solution” was long-winded because I don’t possess the intelligence to be any more succinct than I was. This is a vital point in our history which I fear may spell the end for us. The individual is the last outpost left to defend. To our enemy, the individual is a frightening creator – not only because it is relatively unpredictably, but because it is a self-referential extant reality. It cannot be logically argued for, because it simply IS. Our enemy fears the unquantifiable and the unknown, and thus wishes to destroy it forever. It’s also why we have such a hard time enlisting our friends and family in the fight to defend it. The natural question being, “Why should we defend the individual?” with the only possible answer being “Because we should defend it.” Sadly, this is not a compelling answer in the age of wall-to-wall mind control, social media, Virtual Reality, Netflix/entertainment, alcohol, drugs, mind-numbing pharmaceutical drugs, and social welfare. Facing this, we all then end up asking the same question – “Why should we defend the individual?” and the answer remains the same: “because we should defend it.”
After writing this I discovered the brilliant essay by University of College Dublin, Gerard Casey – Constitutions of No Authority – Spoonerian Reflections