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Subject: Re: Famine and Fishing
From: Michael M T Wean <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.
Date:Wed, 3 May 1995 16:07:37 -1000

text/plain (82 lines)

On Wed, 3 May 1995, CONRAD BLADEY wrote:
> Sorry not to have published my extensive resume concerning research
> into the potato famine but I have not written it out yet.
> I have invested substantial time in the matter in recent months.
> I must however re-state the conclusions of many works now read
> that the Irish approach to 19th century industrialism was indeed
> unique and that it was this cultural approach which contributed to
> their inability to do better than they did-even with the English
> dominance-historians describe an in-ability to get along between
> groups of investors (irish) and the absence of "social-cultural"
> safety nets which were employed by peoples in places like Denmark
> to help weather the famine when it came to them.
> I have seen studies which describe this tendancy-especially seen
> in the fishing industry-not to pool resources -as a celtic cultural
> trait.
        Gad, I don't even know where to start with you...before you publish,
you would do well to do a bit of research on the social and cultural
dynamics of colonialism.  European colonization of North America all but
destroyed Native American cultures, and those who remain STILL haven't
responded well to the American version of nineteenth century
industrialization...nor have the Hawai'ians here where I am so lucky to
live: they are currently responding to a century of ENFORCED
Westernization by telling the Euro-American world (and I put this kindly)
to  piss off.
Regardless of the myriad, complex interrelations of social forces
involved in the the relative success of the Irish under British rule,
So what if Celtic culture played a part in problems of integration?
That's the the least one can expect from a culture struggling to survive.
It was the Britain caused the crises, and Britain who is to blame.
Don't come to Hawai'i.  Your not welcome on THIS Island.
> As the quakers came to work with the situation they spent considerable
> time and effort helping the Irish to move toward greater cooperation
> and new industries which would take the burden from the land.
> Generally speaking I find the Irish unable to fully comprehend the
> role their own culture may have played in the tragedy-They seem
> to always hold everyone else fully accountable.
> The fact remains that no one group was "fully" accountable and that
> the famine is a complex interaction of many dimensions.  Actions as
> well as reactions of cultural groups within this complex framework
> were informed by culture through time-the actions and reactions informed
> by the Irish culture were dynamic and were selected by the people from
> a number of alternatives.
    > I am still refining a rather vast bibliography which is not at hand
> now-but-there is a significant body of information describing aid
> comming from England and from the Quakers (quite significant).
> We can all conclude in hindsight that things could have been better.
> managed. That does not take much thought-but ask the average Irish Person
> the facts of the matter and you will only hear how absolutely everyone but
> the Irish were fully accountable.
> I would welcome those with interest in the famine to organize an event
> for the commemoration which would air these interesting issues. The
> Irish as a culture are often over symplified and the cultural dynamics
> of the famine would provide an interesting place to build a greater
> understanding.
> Personal comments not advancing the discussion of the issue directly
> will be welcomed at my e. mail address and should not be posted here.
> I guess it is good to be remembered.
> Conrad
> TOTSNIIC-TellersOfTraditionalTalesNotInterestedInCopyright-SaveTheOralTradition
> Celtic Studies and Teaching-Balto.Md. Region-Classes Available Always
> Perfect Spelling is the Devil's Work-Should this message not be spelled
> according to your taste-use your spell checker on-it.Commemorate the Great
> Famine Ireland 1845+-International Potato Abstinence 9/9/95-feed/educate
> ###########################################################################

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