Hubris and greed threaten political stability


Sir, – In response to the lauding of our unusual political stability as a country by multiple commentators, the classes benefiting from the “recovery”, the people so brilliantly skewered by Oliver Callan in his recent piece “Need proof that materialist excess is back in vogue? Take a look at the political class” (Opinion & Analysis, December 24th), need to realise that if they want to party like the elites of London, New York, San Francisco, and Paris, fine – but this will drive precisely the same political tumult as has happened in the US and Britain.

The electoral phenomenon of “the left behind” has the necessary corollary that someone left them behind – and it’s not technological, demographic or social change, it’s always the powerful elites of their own country who refuse to give up even a fraction of their wealth and power to help bring their fellow citizens along with their “progress”.

The same is true for the other great crisis facing the world, climate change.

Short-term, selfish thinking by elites is going to doom all of us.

The people who hold all the wealth and power need to realise it is their own myopic hoarding of the same that is going to bring the systemic factors that gave it to them crashing down around them.

So please, let the neoliberal classes in Ireland wake up before our famous political stability shatters and we go the way of the rest of the West – don’t let hubris and greed blind you to compromising on your own wealth and lifestyle now, in solidarity with your fellow citizens, to stave off calamity. – Yours, etc,