For some bizarre reason the modern Irishman is hostile to any state run body of National pride and masculine projection made manifest in physical form.
I could go on with touching upon the hypocrisies of Irish Republicans on the matter but that would give the impression this problem is limited to them in some way.
In truth the modern Irish mind is so dedicated to Neutrality, long instituted since the founding of the Republic, that it forgets both the disservice it has done us in the past and lamenting the memory of why it was instituted in the first place.
When the Republic was young, the Irish army was not vast, we had virtually no navy or fighting aircraft, we were in every essence a fledgling state and proclaiming neutrality was a wise move to protect ourselves until we had the means with which to defend ourselves. Europe was a very dangerous place at the time. The problem with this policy happened early on, when the second world war rolled around our Neutrality cost us the favour of the Allied forces, with whom we were actively, if not admittedly, aiding in the war. Americans refuelled their plans here and their troops did exercises and did bunk here, but because we never actively taken part in the war effort when we were under the best protection to do so (what with England being a good buffer state between us and Hitler), we were penalised by our erstwhile allies with poor trade deals. And got bombed by the occassional Luftwaffe sortie for our troubles regardless. Now, nearly a century onwards pray tell why are we still neutral?
I ask that question earnestly, why are we still neutral? Look across Europe, to Switzerland and Austria, both neutral countries, both with fine military traditions and proud displays of patriotism (in comparison to the Irishman's own at any rate) It is all well and fine for them to remain neutral, being better equipped to fuel their own needs and sharing mostly land borders they need not worry for want of battleships. Neutrality does these countries well because they are fully prepared to go to war should that neutrality fail them. Has it been doing us well? we are on the corner of Europe, who is our enemy? England? They could care less for conquest these days, the Scots or the welsh? Their own grievances with the English they could care less about us, it is no secret the French are jealous of our corporate taxes making us more competitive economically, but they will never go to war with us for such a petty prize, who then? The Americans? Icelanders? Neutrality is doing us nothing but hampering us economically.
Upon talking with friends at University about the Ireland's economic nature and how we are perfectly poised on a trade route between the North Americas and Europe, and lamenting how no one seems to have the will to push us forward to be more prominent in markets we already excel in and to feed a burgeoning trading industry among our coastal cities. Lord knows the poorer regions of Ireland would be grateful for it and the entire nation would benefit from it. But even if in our discussions I find that my compatriots are in agreement with me in this issue, they will ask, 'But will that mean we will have to give up our neutrality?' and I am dumbstruck.
I have argued before that if Ireland did cease upon a greater economic destiny Europe would take note and our rise would upset the market balances in Western Europe and many a man would direct their Ire to Ireland. And yes, this would mean we would have to sacrifice our neutrality. For to become a player on the world stage, however small, we will have to show we are prepared for the consequences of winning over the pot at the poker table. But because of this bizarre and unnecessary neutral mentality we are paralysed with fear of success, for success brings antagonism. Who dares, wins, and it is the Pious, masculine nation who values its honour and integrity in all things, even its approach to material success, that will be smiled upon by God. For if we never play the game because of fear, then we will never win.