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Another modest proposal

written by heather davis on 11-07-2011

In Belfast, Ireland, located in Northern Ireland, the violence was very stirred up after riots began in the streets. Among the rioters were young Roman Catholics and young Protestants, battling against one another. It all began in June after around the end of the month, because on July 12 there is a conflict-ridden sectarian holiday. Catholics want to become united with the rest of the Protestant unionists taking up Ireland. The rioters threw homemade bombs, bricks, gasoline, fireworks, and other sorts of material at one another and through glass windows. The police responded back with water cannons and rubber bullets. One way to avoid riots among the young would be to take the advice of Jonathan Swift in A Modest Proposal. If Catholic King James II would have listened to the idea of using the young as a meal than they would not be in the streets rioting.

The clashes all began after Rory Mcllory won the U.S open, celebrators gathered at a small catholic enclave located in mostly “protestant land” in east Belfast. The sectarian holiday typically causes issue around this time of the season, and these types of marches are normal. Except this time, someone showed up with a gun. The gunman shot off five or six rounds into the crowd of several hundred people. This caused a great deal of chaos as the people ran about. One photographer was shot in the leg and hospitalized. Cops in Northern Ireland have never seen these marches as a threat being they usually involve just a few communities but after this stir of events police are trying to make sure things like this do not happen in the near future. (NPR)

A Modest Proposal was written about Ireland during the early 1700’s. It is a proposal that suggest instead of parents having children that they obviously cannot provide for and unwilling mothers having abortions, that we should keep these unwanted children for about nine months or so than sell them as a feast. The feast would be similar to a turkey on Thanksgiving or a ham on Christmas. “The children would be in season all year around, but more plentiful in March.” The reasoning behind this was that Roman Catholic countries have more babies born in or around March, than in any other time of the season. (Swift p485)

The Catholics in Ireland seem to always cause a ruckus, from having too many kids in the early days, and now parents not properly teaching their young forms of rioting. In the 1700s there was an issue with the children begging, they stole things and did unruly stuff from an early age on. The young adults rioting in Belfast were standing up for what they believed in, in a safe way, until one unruly person decided to pull the trigger. Events like this go on around the world but typically, people do not end up with a battle scar.

Swift tried to establish a way to help out everybody, he wanted to feed the rich with a new sort of delicacy, help advance the trading system for Ireland, providing the poor with money after they sell their babies, and most of all help the countries over population. His form of helping was a way to let everybody succeed in the form of happiness by taking care of everyone’s troubles with one solution. If the protestors in Ireland today could see that, their one solution was simply to live together but separate and not cause a problem. Regardless to religious beliefs, they all live in the same country and should all somewhat have a say so in the countries politics.

If Swifts proposal would have been taking seriously, than Ireland could quite possibly have a better grip on their youth and the violence they cause. Even though these type of marches are usual they do not have to get out of control. They had the idea handed to them in the 1700’s to control situations like this, they did not accept the power of control, therefore the children are still doing things that are just not right. Maybe if the gunman’s parents would have sold him for food early on than he would not have ruined a protest with a firearm. The two events are different but the solution for both is very similar. The young generation needs to be controlled whether by eating them, or just an easier form of discipline.

Author: heather davis
Date Submited: 11-07-2011

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