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A Tribute to Mr. Raymond Crotty

A Tribute to Mr. Raymond Crotty
1925-1994
Economics Lecturer
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

Ludwig Von Mises
Quote:
“Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders. No one
is relieved of his share of responsibility by others and no one
can find a safe way for herself if society is sweeping towards
destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own self interest, must
thrust themselves vigorously into the intellectual battle.”

An Irishman whose life was a real example of the moral
imperative exemplified in the above quote was Raymond
Crotty. Through his actions and writings he tried to do the
right thing. He tried to make a difference.

“Our Enemy the State“, so said Raymond, in 1988 in his
book “A Radical’s Response”. In this treatise Mr. Crotty,
former farmer and economics lecturer at Trinity College, tried
to explain how Ireland was being exploited by its domestic
political groupings. Through his efforts the constitution was
correctly used to try to protect the Irish people from what he
saw as abuse of privilege by an immoral political class. This
class, he believed, was using the resources of the Irish people
for their own selfish benefit. In order to take his high court
action to protect the constitution and safe-guard the right

to a free ballot on fundamental legal changes he pledged, as
security, the title of his own family home. In fact he and his
wife faced possible bankruptcy in the event of failure on the
legal front. What would Mr. Crotty be advising us now about
possible solutions to the predicament Ireland now faces? I will
use some quotes below to try to give you some inkling of a
possible answer to that conundrum.

“Sixty years on (1986), the Irish economy is back again to
a position similar to that of 1922, immediately after the
break with Britain…….Joining the EEC seemed, in 1972, the
answer to 50 years of failed self-government. Fifteen years
of membership of a Community comprising all the former
colonial powers has done nothing to alleviate, but much to
aggravate the problems of Ireland……This happened also with
the earlier Union with Britain, which brought untold hardship
on the Irish masses, while, as intended, securing the position
of the elites who engineered the Union. The new EEC Union
likewise has resulted in wholesale loss of jobs, a quadrupling
of unemployment and an increasing extreme dependence on
subsidies from, and credit through, the EEC.”

Thus we can see that all though much has changed since 1986,
unfortunately most remains the same in 2010.

Ireland is now lurching toward financial ruin because
of insolvent banks, fully state guaranteed international
bondholders, high inflation due to a bloated and inefficient
bureaucracy that produces no goods, reckless public sector

borrowing, an unquantified off-balance-sheet derivative
time-bomb, collapsing cash and credit circulation, insolvent
businesses and an incompetent government executive. We
are being lied to with regard to the true nature and extent
of Ireland’s financial afflictions. Many would say that it is
the international financial crisis that caused the problem
however, I believe, it is the failure of our political class to
ethically regulate itself and effectively manage that is the
true source of the current mayhem. This class is working
closely with a golden circle to bail itself out yet will now leave
a “bill of costs” which will cripple the Irish public finances for
decades. This class has sold out the country to a European
Banking elite that forces itself into every aspect of out lives
to the detriment of real freedom. The ongoing erosion of our
liberty is clothed in a veneer of “greater good” but the effect
is social atrophy.

As Crotty predicted, the state is no longer the friend but
the enemy of the average Irish citizen. This situation was
always the case in mainland Europe and throughout the
British Empire. Constitutions were thus developed by
revolutionaries, such as DeValera, to tame the power of the
state. This lesson of history has been forgotten by the “new”
Irish and they have now sold their children’s birthright to
elites but the Irish people are not to blame because they
have been hoodwinked by a privileged social grouping that
protects its dynastic power while ignoring the horrific social
implications of their drastic austerity measures. In other
words they have the income and the assets whilst we and our

children will be left to carry the debt.

Ray Crotty knew in 1986 that borrowing would end in disaster
for Ireland, and we currently who are socially conscious, are
now experiencing a human tragedy unfolding daily as it did
so in 1985. It was not called the “lost decade” for nothing.
However, in 2010 it is much worse because in addition to
unbridled public borrowing there is private debt of nearly half
a trillion Euros. Thus this time the burden is doubly crippling
particularly when you factor in an Irish cost of living which is
now nearly 50% higher than that in mainland Europe. This fact
can be readily verified during any short holiday trip to Spain or
Portugal or Germany.

But Mr. Crotty did not leave it there, he used his considerable
economic intellect to propound a way forward, an analysis
which we know all too well was never followed. His solution
could be applied even now, if only we found the will and the
determination. In 1986 His formula for economic and moral
salvation ran as follows:

“It is not difficult to identify the nature of the change
that is necessary to transform Irish undevelopment into
development. It involves essentially eliminating banking
privilege. In Ireland producers are charged too little for land
and capital and too much for labour. ……All taxes should
be removed from labour (PAYE & PRSI) and the things that
labour buys (VAT). Tax revenue from land and from the
financial system (Banks, Insurance Companies and Building

Societies) should be maximized. In addition, in order to save
revenue and to preclude further borrowing by corrupt and
corrupting politicians, the public (and banking debt should be
renegotiated or) repudiated …..The proposed fiscal changes
would transform Ireland’s undeveloping economy into a
developing one. The state is the enemy of the nation and
has been the cause of its undevelopment this point the Irish
people must comprehend. But even as the nation has been
undeveloped by the state’s actions, the people have looked
more and more to the state to remedy the situation.”

In 2010 The Irish people somehow must start rejecting the
local/international banking system now robbing the national
coffers. Raymond Crotty cries out from the past. He was not
listened to then and we are paying the consequences. This
moral Irishman correctly analysed Ireland economic problems
and history has shown this analysis to be correct. It is not
too late for Ireland to start again but we need this time to
take the right road and choose true national development
not financial bondage. In other words borrowing in not
the answer, productive commercial enterprise is. And the
benefits of this enterprise must flow, as a moral right, to
the average hard working lower and middle class citizen not
financial elites regardless of whether they are of the home-
grown or international variety. This time let us finally listen
and take the right road of hard work, honour and duty not
a phantom dream of lottery wins, quick rich schemes and
reckless speculation. Yes we are in a difficult situation but let
us take the hard choices that lead to real change not cosmetic

As Oscar Wilde, once famously quipped:

“Yes we are all in the gutter but let us chose to look up to the
stars.”

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