In his “Letter From Cork” (“The Polonization of Ireland,” Correspondence, March), Christie Davies hopefully predicts that recent Polish immigrants will reevangelize postmodern Ireland. From his lips to God’s ears, although I doubt that the Almighty will be listening. I, in turn, predict (but do not hope) that what is now a sizable Polish community will be quickly and thoroughly assimilated into the mores of hedonistic modern Ireland. Think of it as a sociological counterpart to Gresham’s Law—bad social behavior and morality driving out good social behavior and morality. I base this judgment on my experience as a frequent visitor to Ireland who enjoys dual American-Irish citizenship (thanks to the late Rabbi Meir Kahane’s ground-breaking lawsuit, which permitted this abomination).
You have to go to Ireland to appreciate the smugness of the population that is enjoying their Panglossian fantasies that everything is just hunky-dory, while paying no attention to the demographic, cultural, and moral depravities taking place before their very eyes. I am afraid that the newly arrived Poles will quickly become an integral component of the ongoing depravity. Hedonism is fun. As newly minted members of the Me/Materialist Generation, the native-born Irish will attest to it!
Rego Park, NY
Dr. Davies Replies:
It seems to me quite possible that Dan Hayes is right. In my book The Strange Death of Moral Britain, I considered in detail the possibility that the hedonism that has long since overtaken Britain was spreading even faster in today’s Ireland. A change that, in Britain, took 40 years has happened in Ireland in half that time, but no one who knew the old Catholic Ireland would have predicted it; I certainly did not. In 1962, Britain and the Republic of Ireland were very different countries; now, they share the same superficial hedonistic world. The irony of the new accord between the Protestants and the Catholics in Northern Ireland is that it is but a prelude to the drastic secularization of the province, the kind of secularization that has already overwhelmed both the countries to which the two religious factions owe their separate allegiances. It will be the peace of the faithless, in which people cease to fight about religion because it has ceased to be important to them. For a time, the Poles of Ireland, in their continued zeal, will stand out as different, but those who came to Britain during World War II are already absorbed into secular hedonism. Only the Muslims stand apart from these changes, and this will be the source of their power in a secular Europe.