My name is Marc Mulholland. I am a Fellow (lecturer and tutor) in the History Faculty of Oxford University. My College is St Catherine's. I come from Ireland.

This is a blog relating to my book published in 2012 by Oxford University Press, Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear: From Absolutism to Neo-Conservativism.
Now on sale here and here. If you want 20 per cent off the price, I can arrange that! Send me a message or leave a comment, and I'll tell you how.

The thesis my book is examining was rather pithily summarised by Leon Trotsky in 1939: "Wherever the proletariat appeared as an independent force, the bourgeoisie shifted to the camp of the counter-revolution. The bolder the struggle of the masses, the quicker the reactionary transformation of liberalism." [Context is here]

However, my book isn't a defence of Trotskyism, or indeed any particular ideology. It's a study of an idea that took shape in Left, Right, and Centre variations.

This blog has tid-bits not included in the book, and other thoughts that occur.

You can see book details at the
OUP website.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Bismarck, Ireland and Dykes

Here's Bismarck's neat solution to the Irish problem:

"You've got to exchange the populations of Holland and Ireland. Then the Dutch will turn Ireland into a beautiful garden and the Irish will forget to mend the dykes and will all be drowned."

Bismarck had a thing about dykes. In his young Junker manhood had been a dyke reeve (Deichhauptmann) on the Elbe: "it depends on the managers of this office whether from time to time we come under water or not" he wrote.

When Chancellor he would often moan about Liberals, Catholics, Socialists and so on, repeating a saying in rhyme: "Was nicht will deichen, das muss weichen." (Those who won't help with the dykes should clear off).

This was a man who sensed that there were tides out there that could drown a constitution. He mis-identified the flood-tide, however.

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