Newton Emerson argues that too much store is set on historical experience in Ireland, which he believes leads people to ignore the fact that north and south now belong firmly within what Robert Cooper would identify as the post-modern world of Europe. Indeed he finishes the piece with speculation that there are three levels of historical consciousness:
“Finally, there is level three, the black belt of historical awareness, possessed by those who realise that every useful acre of the earth’s surface has been won and lost 100 times over since the dawn of mankind… so analysing the last few rolls of the dice for some moral victory in the here and now is pointless.
“A universal and perfect understanding of the past would be a wonderful thing. But in the real world, the best way to get on with it is surely for all of us, British and Irish, to simply get over it”.
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