The loss

I was expecting the “pro-life” side to lose the Irish referendum to the slick “pro-death” media campaign, but I was not expecting such a blowout. The losers conceded even before the vote was counted, after looking at media exit polls that showed a “Yes” plurality of more than two to one. Of further interest, to those inclined to desolation and despair, are the rural results. We all knew Dublin had gone to hell decades ago; but even in the countryside it appears that a majority of the Irish unambiguously favour terminating their country’s Catholic heritage, and replacing it with the passing diktats of post-modernity. The whole nation will be as Dublin became.

There was a time when I could, to a point, trust my gut on election campaigns. If the polls said one thing and my gut said another, in any jurisdiction with which I was familiar as a journalist, my gut would usually prove right. As recently as 2016, for instance, I knew Trump was going to win the USA election. But now, I cannot even be sure who is going to win the upcoming election in my native Ontario. The polls swing wildly day to day, between the two socialist parties and the so-called “conservative” one.

Part of the reason for my thread-loss is, living in the big city myself. I fall out of touch with upcountry realities. I assume that what was true of small towns and villages a generation ago, must still be true, in the main. I underestimate the degree of change in social conditions, from many causes.

Not only here, but everywhere, big-city notions have been making their advance, and it shows nowhere better than in the collapse of birth rates and all related social indicators. The glue that held societies together has dried and crumbled. There was no weak point, no single breach, through which The Enemy came pouring. Instead, multiple breaches, and now the whole wall against what Pope Benedict called “the dictatorship of relativism” is become rubble. In a generation or two of cultural upheaval, we have watched many centuries of “social conditioning” on Christian principles disintegrate.

What will replace it?

A good answer may be found by glancing down the index page of the Irish Times, to stories below their huge headline story. There was a feature article about the skyrocketing numbers of the Irish young who seek psychological counselling. Why don’t I just quote:

“Treasa Fox, a spokeswoman for Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education, said most students seek help when they face issues such as social anxiety, panic attacks, acute stress, persistent worrying, phobias, withdrawal and isolation. An inability to problem-solve or cope with normal life challenges, alcohol and substance misuse, acting out in class or with peers, along with self-harm or suicidal thoughts or actions are also common issues. ‘Anxiety issues are showing more in lecture theatres and in practicals, so another substantial part of our work is to provide consultation and guidance to academic staff who encounter this in their daily interface with students’, she said.”

Or let me put this another way. When a social order collapses, and “conventional” ideas are overturned — of what is right and wrong, of what is reasonable and unreasonable, of what is true and false, of what is sane and insane — we do not promptly get an alternative social order. Instead we get a world turned upside down: the tyranny of the mad, under the direction of those drunk on power.

They were celebrating their victory in Dublin last night. They are celebrating everywhere.


I am retreating through the next week, to an obscure location.
I will resume these despatches on the 4th of June.