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Old 02-28-2010, 12:37 PM
 
1,308 posts, read 1,449,198 times
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Quote:
Why is inquiring about possible societal deficiencies considered hostile?
Because its a hallmark of laisez fair capitalism to justify the behavior or elites and government by asserting poverty is simply caused by a lack of personal responsibility. And to ignore the technical and sociological factors, not to mention policy that creates the problem. The first link I cited explains in detail why "personal responsibility" was not the cause of the famine.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:19 PM
 
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This guy is a republican (Irish) and this is one view:

For the Republic / Jan. 2010 (http://www.irishamericannews.com/index.php/opinion/for-republic/1171-for-the-republic--jan-2010 - broken link)

"THE FOOD REMOVAL is undeniable—nobody even tries to deny my irishholocaust.org map that, for the first time (other than in Britain’s National Archives where I discovered it in 1983), identifies all seventy-five British perpetrating regiments and the Irish district each was assigned to strip of edibles."

He calls it a holocaust.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
...Perhaps the greater preference the Irish had for strong drink versus Sicilians was also responsible since one can make hard liquor from grain but not from fish.
Grain was only a very tiny part of the Irish peasant's food supply. Potato fields required only small plots of land for personal use, and in proportion produce a very large crop. In comparison large fields would be needed to produce an amount of grain to supply an equivalent amount of food.

Grain was raised for landlords as an export crop.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
your insistance that it was pure stupidity is rather short sighted and you come across as someone with some kind of grudge against the Irish.
No grudge. I'm 1/8 (County Cork) in ancestry with a great grandmother who came to CA during that time. It just never made sense to me that one could live on an island no more than 70 miles from the sea and starve.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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The following describes conditions in the area of Strabane, Co. Tyrone in the early 1820's, several decades before the arrival of the potato blight. These are the normal conditions of subsistence living for rural people in "good times."

The North West Agricultural Society surveyed conditions in this part of the country in 1821. James Haslett, the Church of Ireland Curate of Donagheady parish responded concerning his area. [This was the name for the Church of England in Ireland, at this time the established state church supported by tithes levied on the entire Irish population even though Catholics and Non-Conformist Protestants - who formed the overwhelming majority - did not attend it.] Even a few excerpts from his answers to their numbered questions recreate a picture of rural life there that runs a narrow gamut from unpromising to bleak (the numbers in parentheses refer to the original question numbers on the survey):

Farms (5th) Potatoes are the general preparation crop throughout this parish...Draining and enclosing the land would very much contribute to the improvement of the soil throughout this parish. There is very little pasture land here....

Crops (17th) There are no green crops cultivated except on a small scale by me.

Habits of the people. (41) Indifferent as to comforts, well inclined to industry and fond of earning money could they get it to earn. The people [being] poor are consequently unable to procure those cabin comforts as to clothing, food and necessaries.

Food. (44) [Farmers] potatoes, milk and butter. Seldom any animal food [i.e., meat in their diet]. (46) [Labourers and poor] potatoes and buttermilk and often only salt.

Education. (47) A general wish for education prevails through all classes. [He later comments that the available schools are not able to answer to the demand because they have become so crowded.]

Improvements. (53) Want of capital and high rent prevents the people from any turn for improvement.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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Because you are not considering the practical implications of fishing. Very few people feed themself simply by going to the ocean and fishing. You have to go to the deep ocean. That takes boats (which involve capital as well as a distribution network) and the skill and traditions to fish in very dangerous seas. If you had a boat, but no knowledge of the ocean or fishing, you would 1) not catch many fish and 2) be dead in the Atlantic very quickly.

Its sort of like asking why people who have no salt don't simply go to the ocean and get it. Its not that easy. People were not starving for the most part until 1845. They did not magically developing a fishing industry in a few years, particularly with no capital or tradtion to build on.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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From the website irishholocaust.org

"Sister Jean Marie of Haringuey, London, writes: "The Coast Guard also prevented fishermen from fishing. Confiscated their currachs and nets! The landlord of the Falcarragh area of Donegal used to send his agent out to the islands, even during storms, at the risk of the agents life, to ensure that the islanders were not eating any of the rabbits that abounded there. This is recorded in writing by a Tory Islander and has appeared in the book; Toraigh na dTonn."

"An t-Athair Peadar 0 Laoire (Fr. Peter O'Leary) recorded in his autobiography that the landlord used to come into the 0 Laoire house to examine the cooking pots on the fire. Once he took Peadar himself, the baby of the family, to question him whether he had ever eaten meat. Peadar said he remembered having eaten a piece of meat 'a long time ago;' just once. The family resumed breathing - they were saved. This is related in P. 0 Laoire's book; "Mo Sceal Fein." (22Aprl997)"

They were systematically starved on purpose, the nation was occupied by British troops.
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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Personally I think ethnic contempt, protecting property rights, and laisez faire capitalism had more to do with the English behavior than deliberate slaughter. But the results were the same.
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:31 PM
 
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I just got back from a trip to Ireland last week and while I was over there we discussed this very issue. This is what a Irish farmer told me.

During the potatoe blight, the fish stayed further out to sea that year. The macreal usually come in first, the cod chase the macreal and the tuna chase the cod...but during that time the fish stayed much farther out to sea. Since this was in the dory days, the fish were unharvestable because it was farther then the boys could row by hand. Some of the bigger vessels could, but there was not enough of them to sustain a nation.

Then the potato blight hit, so the fishermen, unable to catch fish, sold their boats hoping to get a little cash to buy food which quickly was depleted. It was a catch 22...they had no fish to catch and now no value on their dories. And yes once sold they had nothing...but what was their choices?

Myself I don't care if it is 900 BC or 2010 AD, people do not starve because they are "stupid", people starve because numerous issues of hit them and they can not climb out of a situation. Ask any parent, and they would work their fingers to the bone literally to provide for their children rather then lose a child from starvation. I suggest you read the book, Angela's Ashes to get a feel for what it was like to live in Ireland in what was very tough times.

Today we miss a meal and we say we are "starving". There are a few places on this earth that indeed are starving their populations like in Ireland during the potato blight, but very, very few. In the USA we are so replete with food that our poor people are fat and we have absolutely no concept of what starvation is.
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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Amen. When you say people are "starving" because they are just dumb or lazy you are either unaware of the true situation or just rationalizing it. Very few people do starve that way.
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