This short essay marks the end of the Burke’s Right Minds series, in which many of Ireland’s top Conservative and Libertarian figures explained not just what it is they believe, but why it is that they believe what they believe.
To close out the series this final piece will look at the series itself, and why we think it was important.
Ireland is not usually a place in which the media cares about ideas. We’ve gotten to a point in which the media simply does not discuss anything that could dissent from a prevailing view that is so narrow you could use it as a garotte, and our political parties could now swap positions, or even members, on a weekly basis without the public actually being able to tell the difference.
So this series had two objectives:
Firstly, we often receive messages from the public about how people who have a more Conservative, Libertarian or Nationalist view – or any view outside the narrow, politically correct viewpoint of the Irish cultural elite in fact, feel like they have no representation in either media or politics, and so feel that there’s no one else who shares their views.
People feel that they are alone. So this series aimed to show people that there are still intelligent, reasonable people out there who disagree with the consensus, who think things are going in the wrong direction, and that members of the public who disagree with what they are now told are the new truth are not alone.
Secondly we wanted to show that people like John Waters, David Quinn, Paddy Manning, Gerard Casey, or anyone of the 15 or so writers who took part in the series, (who many people would have certain views of based on what they’ve seen of them on TV), are not cruel or incompetent people who just want to hold back a perfect world.
They have fully formed ideas and personal philosophies of their own, they understand the idea of a common good, and they can talk intelligently about those ideas and why they hold them. By letting people see more of their ideas than one ever would in the mainstream media, we aim to show that these people are reasonable, their positions are reasonable – even if one does not agree with them, and they are a vital part of the debate about modern Irish society.
The various writers we have had over the course of the series disagree with each other massively on many issues. But each cares about this country, and each was willing to give their time to take part in a project that, in some small way, aimed to make it a little better. We are immensely grateful to them for doing so.
If you agree that ideas are important, that Ireland needs to realise the importance of debate and discussion rather than mindlessly chasing after the new shiny ‘social issue’ like a magpie fed a diet of pure meth, we would ask you to donate to, and support, the Edmund Burke Institute and The Burkean. Both are funded entirely through donations, both refuse any money from the State, and neither will exist in the future if the people who know their work is necessary fail to support them.
Director of the Edmund Burke Institute
Michael O’Dwyer Connolly,
Editor & Director of The Burkean