Letters to America (Identity) Series

Dedication of the Series

It is said that when God closes a door, He opens a window.

When I became a full-time carer for my wife, I suffered a form of lockdown well before the Corona pandemic restrictions. But in the May 2020 article of this website, I mentioned that I availed of a once-a-week opportunity that the staff of Nolan House of the Alzheimer Society in Rathdrum gave me to go walking in the scenic and historically rich region of Leinster around this town in County Wicklow. The experience became the window that compensated for the door to international work and travel that was closed against me.

Out of my rambles I developed a set of articles that I have grouped into a series under the title Letters to America. The series is being presented in the form of a monthly commentary on identity that will continue for a year (at least) on Thinkspot. The latter is a website that was set up by Jordan Peterson, the controversial professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. I selected his websitewhich itself is not without controversybecause it lauds free speech.

Unfortunately, in today’s western societyincluding Irelandcensorship is rampant, albeit in more subtle ways than under the 1929 Censorship of Publications Board. A politically correct, group-think culture tends to dominate and is leaning increasingly in favour of extending limits on what one can and cannot say. If unchecked it will lead, unwittingly, to dampening free speech.

In my opinion, it matters little what a person thinks. As long as platforms exist on which open discussion is permissible then outlandish or dangerous thinking have a chance of being corrected in public. When such arenas are closed, counter thought goes underground. Healthy societies on the other handthose that support the common good for alladhere to the philosophy: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

In my forthcoming book Irish Identity Today, I deal with highly sensitive issues in the context of the new paradigm of identity. In it I suggest that the real breakthrough will happen when we discover how to accept—openly—opposing and even apparently incompatible perspectives side-by-side in society and not force everyone to conform to a common outlook through censorious mechanisms. For this reason, I will always choose the platform that allows me to express what I think ought to be said.

Without the opportunity of several hours of freedom from the role of carer I would not have been able to produce the Letters to America series. To express my gratitude once again, I dedicate the series to the wonderful staff of Nolan House in Rathdrum and to the Alzheimer’s society.

The first Letter to America entitled Historic Base of America’s Current Disharmony can be read here.

Raymond M. Keogh