The Blog

Ireland's Return to "Vassal Status"

12:01 PM, Nov 22, 2010 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Ross Douthat provides a synopsis of Ireland's rise and fall today, and he ends with this chilling conclusion:

But it’s the utopians of European integration who should learn the hardest lessons from the Irish story. The continent-wide ripples from Ireland’s banking crisis have vindicated the Euroskeptics who argued that the E.U. was expanded too hastily, and that a single currency couldn’t accommodate such a wide diversity of nations. And the Irish government’s hat-in-hand pilgrimages to Brussels have vindicated every nationalist who feared that economic union would eventually mean political subjugation. The yoke of the European Union is lighter than the yoke of the British Empire, but Ireland has returned to a kind of vassal status all the same.

As for the Irish themselves, their idyllic initiation into global capitalism is over, and now they probably understand the nature of modernity a little better. At times, it can seem to deliver everything you ever wanted, and wealth beyond your dreams. But you always have to pay for it.

Douthat mainly synthesizes and updates what Chris Caldwell (whom he quotes) wrote on Ireland last year in THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 19 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers