Longford Leader Columnist Mattie Fox: Society must learn from past mistakes in order to move forward

Mattie Fox

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Mattie Fox

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Mattie Fox

Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox

I was always a lover of the old westerns - Cowboys & Indians, bad guys & good - and of course the good always won out in the end.

However, on revisiting some of these in more recent years, I am appalled at the level of absolute cruelty and inhumanity that was portrayed in quite a lot of those films, and it got me thinking.

What was acceptable as “normal” when I was growing up has changed radically.

The male dominated society of the time was power driven - power over other men and particularly over women and children - power to make all the decisions, and power to punish those who didn’t agree. Few think about the destruction of the Indian population, hundreds of thousands wiped out, just because the paleface could see fortunes in the land of the Indian.

A horrid repeating war was waged while the Indian, who actually owned the land were forced more and more to become colonies.

The white man was savage.

But, as the old films portray, there were also those, in the minority, who were kinder and fairer than the “norm”.

This had nothing to do with religion.

But, I can see similarities with the abuse of power wielded in the name of religion. I very much doubt any true God would approve.

I suppose however, in order to judge the past we need to have lived in the past.

There is no way of putting right what has become history.

All we can do is acknowledge the faults and failings, and hopefully learn from those terrible mistakes.

Yet, I wonder have we learned anything?

Has the liberalisation of the last decades taught us to make a better world?

I don’t think so.

It is so easy to be critical of the past, few of us have lived long enough to truly remember, but look at the present.

There is such abuse of power in our own country, and neglect of the sick and the homeless. Nowadays we cannot pretend we’re not educated enough to know the difference.

No, nowadays we make deliberate, and deliberated choices.

This is fact.

Where are the thousands who shout for justice?

We need to take a long hard look at the present, before the next generation are forced to seek retribution for what we are overseeing and handing on.

Where is the moral guidance to come from?

God has already been demoted to a dark corner, but nothing has been forwarded to take his place.

Has the baby been thrown out with the bath water by mostly left wing liberals who meanwhile offer no guidance at all to an Irish society that is falling apart, socially and morally.

The human being is secondary to financial gain in decision making, everywhere we look.

Nowhere is more underscoring of this than the ghetto living spaces being created where monetary considerations far outweigh human welfare.

Creating social problems in high density building is hardly a recipe for fairness and opportunity.

At a time when our health service is on its knees, our prisons are bursting at the seams, and rural Ireland is crying out for employment investment, it really does seem very short sighted.

But sure, the animals in the fields will be the cause of Ireland not meeting our anti-pollution targets anyway!

It could never be attributable to gases wafting upwards from a high density commuter belt.

We haven’t changed at all.