November 21, 2011

A prisoner of its own history

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 219 comments ·
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The foyer of Berlin’s swanky Adlon Kempinski Hotel at the bottom of Unter den Linden is bustling on Thursday morning. With all the to-ing and fro-ing, checking out and checking in, most of the throng fail to notice the frail old man with the walking stick as he shuffles past the piano bar. He hesitates – without looking up – and negotiates his way methodically, one step at a time, past two laughing hotel porters who are eyeing up the guests to see who is a tipper and who is a Scrooge.

Here at the Ground Zero of European political history, hemmed in by the Reichstag on the right and the Brandenburg Gate on the left, it seems somehow apt that the fiercest of all the Cold War warriors – the now ancient Henry Kissinger – should be making a cameo appearance as he moves slowly towards the lifts.

And why shouldn’t he be here? After all this is his birthplace. As a child, Kissinger was one of the last of the 270,000 German Jews – just under half the German Jewish population – who managed to get out of Germany between 1933 and 1941, when, so cruelly, the doors were finally sealed on one of Europe’s most remarkable tribes. Very few of them survived the next four diabolical years. Europe and Germany are much the weaker for their absence.

And absence is one of the feelings you get in Berlin. Even though this is my umpteenth visit to the German capital – I first ventured through Checkpoint Charlie on a Dalkey United schoolboys’ football trip more than 30 years ago with none other than the great Paul Mc Grath – I still get the feeling that the place is not complete. Something is missing and can never be put back.

Maybe it’s the sense that this city can never again be the legitimate capital of Europe.

Granted, a huge European flag flies beside the flag of the Bundesrepublik from the renovated Reichstag. But something tells you it doesn’t fly proudly beside the German flag as an equal.

It flies as much as a counter-balance to the German flag, to hold in check the German flag, to police the German flag, to give the Germans the permission to fly their own flag in their own capital.
It is there to make sure the German flag at the heart of Europe doesn’t fly alone, because there is still too much history here.
This angst-ridden self-consciousness continues to dominate and ultimately undermine German thinking about Europe. This feeling comes from Germans themselves.

It is nearly 50 years since the wonderful post-war chancellor, Willy Brandt, described West Germany as “an economic giant but a political pygmy”. Now 20 years after unification, not a huge amount has changed. Germany remains Europe’s reluctant leader. It is the natural leader of the EU, but is a superpower which remains hostage to its past.
In the past two days here, I have been speaking to many German financial managers – the people who manage the money of this huge economic superpower.

All of them realise that at this time of Europe’s crisis, Germany must lead. Yet all agree that Germany is still wary of this. Most of these people are young professionals who were not born when Brandt made his famous speech.

Few of their parents were alive during the war and fewer still have anything other than a folk memory of the 1920s and 1930s. Yet they all remain hostages to history.

This is the absence you feel in Berlin; it is an absence of political leadership.

For the German people I have been speaking to, there only seem to be two forms of German politics when it comes to Europe – one is reasonably benign, yet ineffectual compromise, the other is full-blooded apocalypse, with the historical echoes of the jackboots.

They know the latter will never happen but are afraid to admit it, as if admitting that Germany has changed for good is tantamount to trying to erase the memory. Thus, rather than acceptance being the prerequisite for moving on, the very act of acceptance becomes the stumbling block in itself.

As long as the average German feels that Germany has only two gears – forward or reverse – Europe is stuck.

For those who have spent any time in the Bundesrepublik with German people, this unwillingness to accept European leadership because of what their grandparents or great grandparents did 70 years ago verges on a sort of neurotic self-loathing. It also bears no relation to the evident aspirations of modern Germany. But it is as it is.
And yet this German self-loathing is a disaster because only Germany can save the eurozone from a messy break-up – or prolonged stagnation which will lead to a messy break-up.

Unless Germany leans on the ECB to buy up more and more European government bonds, the present crisis will continue and end in chaos. The reason the Germans won’t mandate the ECB to do so is because they are worried about hyperinflation if the ECB prints too much money to buy all these bonds. It has seeped into German folk memory that the economic cause for the rise of Nazism was hyperinflation. This has been parroted again and again by those who don’t know their history. The opposite is in fact the case.

The hyperinflation was over by 1924. Hitler came to power almost a decade later and what propelled him into power was the response to the 1929 crash: fiscal tightening. In 1930, the German chancellor, responding to the fall in German output in the 1930-1932 period, inflicted too much austerity. Unemployment soared and Hitler rode to power.

So Hitler came to power not because of inflation but because of deflation. If there is any lesson from German history, it is to loosen policy – both budgetary and monetary policy – in a downturn, not the opposite.
As I watch the old Jewish German, Kissinger, enter the lift, I am riffling through the German papers in the foyer, to see how they reported Enda Kenny’s visit on Wednesday.

It was big news in Ireland. Here there is nothing. Not in the Berliner Morgenpost, Berliner Zeitung, Die Welt, Süddeutsche Zeitung or Die Zeit.
There are one or two secondary stories about Italy and the new government, but nothing, not even a footnote about us.
So what was the headline in all the German papers on Thursday, November 17, 2011?

It’s a story about an obscure neo-Nazi group, which was broken up by police in the poor province of Mecklenburg. Germany’s future plays out in front of us, yet its past still dominates.
The lift closes and Kissinger is gone.


  1. Adam Byrne

    subscribe.

  2. Dorothy Jones

    Wie Bitte?…Ehrlich gesagt laesst dieses Stieck manxhes zu wuenschen uebrig.
    David, I am surprised to read this by you because of the sentiment yuou express and your representation of the facts.
    You seem surprised that ‘some obscure neo-nazi group’ made front page news? However, the following facts are omitted:
    - Group was known to authorities since 1997
    - They committed 10 brutal racially motivated murders. Victims included Turkish and Greek immigrants.
    - In the main, victims were shot in the face at point blank range, and photographs kept as ‘trophies
    - A police issue revolver was found in their possession, raising the possibility of Authorities complicity
    That this group was only ‘discovered’ recently although they were under surveillance for some considerable time is a huge shock to the German public. Failing to understand why this should make front page news, demonstrates a lack of understanding about how the ‘average German’ feels.
    May be best to head away from Adlon [Adlon!!! for heaven's sake, the furthest one can get from real 'Germany' in Berlin] and make a pitstop in one of the cafes on Stuttgarter Platz. Talk to Derek [Scally, Berlin correspondent of the Irish Times]. He’ll put you right, he really does understand how abovementioned ‘average German’ feels.
    I have worked the guts of 20 years through German for German clients; 10 of which were spent in Berlin where I now work part time. None of my colleagues and friends hold the two-gear opinion as you outline. Who did you ask?

    • Dorothy Jones

      manches not mankhes….

    • Irish PI

      HerrGott Nochmal Dorothy.Sowas von penebligen kleinigkeiten!! Es is doch vollkommen wursht zu diesen artikel was die sogenannten Doner morde damit zu tun haben!!David will nur zeigen das Irland nicht grade so ein grosses tier im gedanken des Deutschen ist wie wir in Irland denken.
      Mann merkt das Sie mit Deutschen gearbeitet haben.Denn jeden kleine fehler und kornchen dreck wird herauf gearbeitet in einen berg.Danke fuer den leherhaften korrigern von zwei worten.Wenn das alles ist fuer ein problem das Sie mit den artikel haben,dann sind die probleme klein.
      Gruss.

    • CitizenWhy

      Yes, murder and solving of a murder are the front page news everywhere in the world. Nothing odd there about Germany.

      • Dorothy Jones

        @Citizenwhy
        Yes. Contrary to David’s comment about no reporting in the media, the FAZ [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung] published an interview with Enda Kenny. Only Arthur Beesley
        “We have, it’s true, lost our economic sovereignty as we cannot [alone] form government policy without co-ordinating it with the EU, the IMF and the ECB,” Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper last week.
        This is an extraordinary admission. The irony of it….compare to previous EK staement re.’not Frankfurt’s way’…..here we have the exact opposite published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

  3. Irish PI

    Lost in Translation

    Man’s God Over again Dorothy. Something like that from penebligen kleinigkeiten!! It is, nevertheless, completely wursht to these artikel what the so-called Doner murders with it have to act!! David only wants to point Ireland just thus big tier in gedanken of the German is not like we think in Ireland.
    Man notices you with Germans have worked. Since everybody small fehler and kornchen dreck is worked way up in berg. Thanks for leherhaften korrigern from two worten. If all that is for problem you with artikel have, then are small probleme.

    • Peter R.

      Verdammt – die Denglische Sprache lebt!

      Not sure if I completely agree with this article, but it is driving at one very interesting point – it is time Germany emerged from the shadow of it’s past (even Putin has said this).

    • Theresia G

      excellent translation!!!!

      and certainly interesting ‘artickel’… will forward to my dad who at 79 might shed some light on ‘the past’!!!!

    • Steaf35

      Please forward the following to taoiseach@taoiseach.gov.ie for what its worth;

      Mr Kenny why do you persist to mortgage the future of Ireland to bail out banks and unsecured investors? This is an issue of national importance which requires a Referendum.

      Rgds,

      11/2011 € 11,280,000 Snr Unsec’rd IL&P COEF1133356 EUR 7/11/2005
      .
      25/11/2011 € 197,000 Snr Unsec’rd IL&P COEH5513450 EUR 25/11/2005
      .
      5/12/2011 € 43,275,094 Snr Unsec’rd BoI COEI1913025 JPY 5/12/2006
      .
      14/12/2011 € 24,200,000 Snr Unsec’rd Anglo COEF7999842 EUR 14/12/2006
      .
      16/12/2011 € 22,190,202 Snr Unsec’rd EBS COEF1663030 GBP 16/12/2005
      .
      16/12/2011 € 2,305,476 Snr Unsec’rd EBS COEF2836106 GBP 15/06/2007
      .
      16/12/2011 € 10,086,455 Snr Unsec’rd EBS COED3403687 GBP 27/11/2006
      .
      16/12/2011 € 9,221,902 Snr Unsec’rd EBS COED5273575 GBP 14/07/2006
      .
      16/12/2011 € 8,069,164 Snr Unsec’rd EBS COEF0527954 GBP 26/05/2006
      .
      20/12/2011 € 20,000,000 Snr Unsec’rd BoI COEI4847097 EUR 20/12/2006
      .
      20/12/2011 € 43,000,000 Covered BoI COEF6981007 EUR 18/08/2006
      .
      21/12/2011 € 16,440,000 Snr Unsec’rd IL&P COEF7535133 EUR 7/12/2005
      .

      • molly66

        David we need stronger information to get through to this thick government, look what’s going on with government backed pensions where irish people have been wiped out through no fault of there own and people who bought bank shares wiped out as well.and what does this government do they reward the bankers/developers and don’t for get the governments own croney pensions. It make me sick to see all our money be it borrow or not being shoved into the anglow ect black hole. I have said this before we need to change this puppet government before they destroy what’s left of this country.
        When the budget comes out it won’t be a happy Xmas it will be black Xmas .
        The government in response says our hands are tied by the last shower ,my response to this is we don’t have to believe or except this we the people need to take action no and stand up for ourselves ,
        The government need to heed the people the fact is alot of people can’t take any more cuts of any Shape or form, call it what you like vat should not be touched unless its reduced the fact is there is just to many on the bread line’how many people who are out there who are working who are struggling.
        I use to think that people worked so they would not have to struggle .

        • rebean

          Do you think the politicans in this country from the traditional parties care about anyone but themselves and the senior civil servants.Not a chance. Fine Gael and Labour were going to do the divil and all when they came to power.We need a political party for the private sector. Its now a two tear system. Highly paid Public sector versus private . Not the people in the public sector who are badly paid. They are being used to hide behind by the top brass and their pay increases. Out with the lot.Pensions for all people . No more pay increases for civil servants on high wages.A new political party that stands on these principles . No coalitions with other parties untill all pre election promises are implimented.

        • Kof

          The crap government is a symptom, not the root cause.

          It’s the electorate that votes them in. The ignorant, thick, conservative, tribes of Ireland.

          People will say that’s terrible, we had no choice, who else could we vote for, there are no good political parties.

          Well there was at least one independant running in every constituency and we could have all voted for one of them to signal a change. Not perfect, but it would have signalled a change.

          No, instead we vote for Fiana Fail lite. Lovelly.

          I lost faith in the Irish electorate after the 2007 general election.

          Gobshites deserve to be lead by gobshites. We deserve all we’ve got comming to us. Maybe some day we’ll learn, but I’d be doubtful.

          Limiting the powers of our gobshite government and outsourcing the real power to Berlin/Frankfurt sounds like it might make a real difference.

          Time to brush up on my German, methinks.

  4. martino

    Berlin’s a kip of a city.

    • bonbon

      De-industrialized by the Red-Green Schroeder Gov’t. The mother of all bailouts occurred already in 2002, Euro 20 billion (milliarden). 300,000 industrial jobs lost. What do you expect, a green paradise? Something from Avatar?

  5. franta

    The fact that nobody can find any note about Kenny’s visit in any German newspaper shows us that Germany won’t lead us from this crisis and if does it won’t be for our benefit but for its own benefit. After all they invested their pensions and savings in Greek, Irish … banks. On the other hand the leader who will take us from this crisis could be any state or any person who will show that they are fighting for every single member state as well as for every single citizen in EU when in the same time they are fighting for democracy and personal freedom. I can’t see anybody like this in the moment which means Irish government has to watch closely what‘s going on and defend the interest of Irish citizens itself. Also until the guy from Wolfsburg or Bordeaux will care about a job prospect in Cork the further centralization of EU in any area is wrong way to go. Actually here in Ireland I can’t even see Irish elite or different Irish interest groups to be fighting for anybody else but themselves.
    Also the financial crisis is only a symptom and by fixing it we won’t fix the core problem. Thanks to new technologies we do not need so many people in real production to produce what we need and what we want but never less this core economy has to be cherished and supported. Only when it is healthy, only then, we might look for a mechanism how to share their fruits. Example: China is virtually manufacturing all cloth we wear. Questions are: How are we paying for it? Don’t do they give us a credit to buy it? Why do they do it? How many more years will they do it? (Technically it can stay like this forever but socially?). So we have to be producing something useful. There is no other way.

    • bonbon

      That’s Tiger thinking, what caused the mess. Time to dump that stuff, and find out what physical economy is all about.

      And build that tunnel to the UK via Ulster. High tech products need high speed transport.

      How to pay for it? Funny question – look how much was sucked out of the economy. DMcW says Euro128 billion has flown in a run just recently.

  6. kissane

    This could be that one that you will be remembered by.
    I hope the lift keeps going up.
    Jk

  7. bonbon

    DMcW,
    First. some respect for the ageing gentleman, Sir Henry Kissinger, knighted by the Queen as he said at Chatham House, for serving the Crown in 3 US Administrations.
    See Kissinger’s Public Confession as an Agent of British Influence in he prepared text of Henry Kissinger’s May 10, 1982 speech to the Royal Institute of International Affairs, in commemoration of the Bicentenary of the Office of the Foreign Secretary. The speech was entitled, “Reflections on a Partnership: British and American Attitudes To Postwar Foreign Policy.”
    Also the knight is the author of National Security Study Memorandum 200, a recipe for genocide on a massive scale, which became US policy for decades.
    Besides that he made sure Pinochet was put in power in Chile.
    -
    The hyperinflation of 1923 was caused by Versailles and destruction of the physical economy. The EFSF etc are clearly a Versailles II. These debts can never be paid, and are toxic anyway. So it is not just the horror of the 1 billion Reichsmark loaf of bread, but the entire 20th century from WWI that is whispered about.
    -
    Hitler was groomed from the 1920′s on, until 1932, after Brunning’s disastrous policies, when the NSDAP campaign was financed by Bank of England Norman Montague and Prescott Bush (granpa). This is all well documented now. Elections cost money even then.

    Now BRD has a democratic Basic Law, and British allied banksters want to break that law. Merkel has the Constitutional Court watching – what you propose is illegal. To dump the Basic Law, is 1933 all over again, with Hitler’s Exception Powers, like Obama and Bush’s Signing Orders after 9/11. BRD had the DM and was forced to dump it for re-unification. How could that ever work?

    And Kenny’s comments were reported, at least online in various major press outlets, and on tv. What you said is flatly not true.

    With respect, I am beginning to believe either you have not the slightest idea of what this means in Berlin, or you are doing a Sir Conor Cruise O’Brien parody.

  8. [...] of decisions on cuts Alarm over ?10 child benefit cut report France, Spain struggle to raise debt A prisoner of its own history Asian powers spurn German debt on EMU chaos MF Global clients see $3 billion still stuck [...]

  9. Philip

    Franta makes 2 good points.

    1) Is Europe governable? Has it a sense of representation for people on the ground? For practical reasons, I think not. As a voter, I look to the local yokels becasue there is no other option. That said, I am encouraged to see Germany be involved in bringing our budget into the daylight. Sounds more democratic than all that media speculation and cloak and dagger nonsense that goes on here.

    2) All manufacturing gone to China…we all are beholding to them. Judging by commodity prices, I suspect that game is slowing down kind of rapidly. Manufacturing is becoming more and more localised with robotics and 3D printing. The cheap human is about to be undercut by the dirt cheap exascale chip.

    Even oil as a commodity will come under threat – not becasue it is running out – but becasue we will not need as much.

    This is a time of massive change. Not even sure leadership or employment will have the same meaning. More than ever, I believe we are entering a world of highly inter-linked communities each highly attached to their own physical localities. The mindsets that know how to build the laws and governance around these structures will become the most advanced in the world. The notion of a bank is coming to an end. This is what is causing all the fuss. And it’ll be a be fuss.

    • bonbon

      Amazing how the shadow of the Tiger still lurks. Governance, a fovorite of the banksters, not government by consent, communities not states. Sounds like Communitarianism, Mussolini’s medieval update.

      • Philip

        Good point. Down to definition. For me, Community is government by consent. States are the remnants of bygone aristocracies or dictatorships. Governance makes no statement as to style of government.

        • bonbon

          We have governance in Greece, Italy now. Kenny is getting a taste of governance, a favorite of Blair’s vocabulary.

          That’s feudalism, the medieval dream of G.K. Chesterton, applied by Mussolini. Fabian School.

          • coldblow

            Hi bonbon

            You seem to have it in for Chesterton. He’s anti-Semite and a feudalist and an inspiration for Mussolini? And the Fabians too – apparently combining fascism with an admiration of the Soviet Union (though it’s not you saying the latter). All a little confusing.

            I have to admit that I admire Chesterton and hope to read a bit more by him.

            Just a couple of questions

            1 Have you ever seen Dale Ahlquist’s progs about Chesterton on EWTN?
            2 Have you ever read Kipps by H.G. Wells?

            Enjoy your posts, though.

          • bonbon

            H.G. Wells, British spook chief, author, Fabian, a whole subject itself.

            I have had lots of discussions about the Time Machine.

            The only fire-using people are Morlochs, cannibals, degenerate, and the Eloi, a tiny population, uses the hero to destroy the last vestige of power tools on the planet.

            The favored Eloi are allowed to survive with no writing, fire, technology, in small numbers.

            Notice this played out today all over the place?

            This the oligarchical anti-Promethean principle dramatized for all to see. Its Zeus all over again, an ancient 3000+ year old cultural disease.

            Chesterton is mild, maybe a servant of Wells. The only one surpassing Wells in this satanic evil is Bertrand Russell, another story in itself.

  10. hibernian56

    Henry Kissinger may have survived four diabolical years by leaving Germany, but countless thousand, hundreds of thousands died at his hands in Asia. A true war criminal if ever there was one. Why show this animal (he is not a human being) any compassion or sympathy?
    Anyway, the opening sentiment surprised me, the rest of the article startled me!! Germans with only two gears, forward and reverse!! nonsense. Most Germans I know want this to be over, want to burn the bankers, want freedoms returned to citizens, less power to bureaucrats and not the circus act we are witnessing today.
    Also, most Germans I know regard Ireland people as being good, but ruled by the corrupt and self interest groups. The laugh every time they are over here, “how can it be so inefficient? It’s so expensive?”

    • Deco

      Kissinger states that when Nixon became PotUS in 1969, that he and Nixon wanted out of “Johnson’s War” in Vietnam. But they had to project the veneer of the US being impregnable and invulnerable – so they carried on for another few years – while cursing Johnson and Robert McNamara.

      In retrospect, it would have been more courageous to simply pull out from day one.

      This is problem with war. Wars when they start are difficult to stop. Much easier to not start one in the first place. (Just look at the Iraq mess as proof).

      • bonbon

        Long wars, on the 7 year war recipe of Britain, are not meant to be stopped. WWII took only a very few years, a clear objective, to win the peace. Vietnam only continued because JFK and Robert were murdered.

        How long has Iraq, Afghanistan gone on? More long wasting wars to deplete, demoralize, destroy the USA.

        Now Obama wants war with China/Russia. Pulling troops out of Iraq, and stationing them within firing distance or Iran fools no-one. This time it means nuclear and billions of casualties.

        • Adam Byrne

          Do you really think Obama wants war bonbon?

          Personally I think he’s an absolute muppet and a fraud but I can’t see him being the one drawing up the plans.

          Other interests are driving that with gusto, I would say.

          • bonbon

            Of course “other interests” are using him. But is the psychopthy that is key. He does not need to be given instructions.
            And the danger after the Libya test-run, is Congress, the constitutionally single arm that can declare war, has abrogated its duty.

            Even Cheney praises Obama!

            Bush Jr. was also played, but reconciled with Putin on the missile affair.

            This is the end-game of the British Empire and they know it. Their man must be impeached for crimes already committed before this.

          • redriversix

            agreed

  11. Blow_In

    David is right. Nobody cares about Ireland. This is just a tiny island caught between n America and Europe. There is no reason for it to be dependent on either.

    Ireland has the resources and the talent to be self sustaining and an exporter of finished products.

    • bonbon

      A community of sovereign nation states, with development and industry as policy number 1, will include Eire, and even the UK.
      Nation states respect each other, and work for the best of the other – the UN Charter based on the Treaty of Westphalia.
      Sir Henry Kissinger and Mr. Blair both say we live in a post Westphalian epoch – i.e. no nation states working for the good of the other. Sounds like the Euro?

      That treaty ended 100 years of European bloodletting.

  12. wills

    David,

    Germany are holding the line on reality.

    Germany are listening to their past memories of hyperinflation and this time making the right choice and NOT green lighting free fiat paper money to bail out a criminal finance system which has through a derivative con creamed the euro and the real economy.

    If germany buckles under insider pressure, media pressure and criminal banking pressure and greeen lights ECB free money bailout for criminal banking then Germany will be traveling down the same path of free money for criminal banking and we all know where that path ended up.

  13. rebean

    Hitler came to power because of a few key issues that effected Germany after World War 1. The first I seem to remember was the fact that Germany got the shit kicked out of them in WW1 which was basically caused by their stupid intransigent foreign policy. If Bismark wasnt such a good leader Germany would never have been a superpower.Anyway Hitler gave Germany hope after WW1 and he saw the injustice of the ruling classes who had all the money. Also he was a great orator and this can not be underestimated. He was a great nationalist and he was highly intelligent.He served his time in the trenches where he felt soldiers were abandoned and forgotten by the leaders.He obviously never forgot the experiences and decided to change and unite Germany.We live in a different era. Life is a real doddle these days in Europe. Everyone is so politically correct and Germany wants to run Europe but not interfere with the internal affairs of individual countries. It can never really work.We need a common charter for government. It will not effect me much I dont care. It will effect those people in Dail Eireann and those in the civil service who really serve their own interests and lets face it we would be better off without.

    • wills

      Germany wants to run Europe.

      Roll around the floor laughing my ass off.

      • rebean

        So you think Greece might want to run Europe . Maybe Portugal might run Europe. Who do you think is running Europe anyway. Is it not France and Germany presently. Lets hear what you think. Who do you think wants to run Europe?

      • rebean

        oh Now I have finally figured it out. Ireland is actually running Europe. We love poverty, hunger and paying interest on bail out money and living in an economic abyss run by backward cronies. Its our catholic heritage. We wish to suffer so we can go straight to heaven and bypass purgatory. We have ordered the Germans to treat us mean so we can reach salvation.When the ECB finally gets fed up bailing us out and you are finished laughing your ass off You can cry your eyes out rolling around on the boat to England.Do you get seasick lad?

    • bonbon

      Versaille, imposed and impossible to pay. FDR made sure that was not done again in 1944, opposing the British Morganthau Plan for a green Germany – so the greens are doing that now.
      Bismark was fired in 1899, and his last speech clearly said Britain was planning a new 7 years war. The feeble minded Wilhelm made sure it happened as planned by Uncle Bertie King Edward VII. It is now called WWI.

      Your rant on Hitler is simply rubbish too, an insult to any European including citizen of the BRD.

      • Peter R.

        +1 – Rebean, I think you need to equip youself with a good history book of the Third Reich.

        • rebean

          Lets hear why you think Hitler came to power. I suppose you are mixing up the fact that Hitler was a nasty bastard rather than the facts. what has the third reich got to do with why Hitler came to power. The third reich is after he came to power. I was pointing out the reasons he assumed power not the abberated third reich. You should read my points and check their truth.

          • Peter R.

            I don’t see the point in competing with ignorance.

          • rebean

            Lets hear why you think he came to power . I cannot read the reasons in your reply.
            which of the reasons do you not agree with. Its a lame argument that someone who came up with a view of history is ignorant. Can you make a few useful comments there or are you just going to call me ignorant because I made some observations.Have you any opinion yourself why Hitler came to power or does the whole subject upset you too much.

        • rebean

          I have been checking up on the facts why Hitler came to power. Apparently he was a right gobshite with a low IQ who hated Austria and the Germanic tradition ie not a fervent nationalist.He had no interest in German mythology,the occult,mass manipulation and never read anything. He wanted to leave Germany so he headed west and stumbled across the war.They would not let him join the army so he got a job in the officers mess and licked their arses untill the end of the war.he returned to Berlin where he attended small parties in opilent cafes where they discussed Knitting and crochet.He never spoke in public since he was a bad and nervous speaker.He was asked to become channcellor of Germany because he was a lovely guy and friendly with some guy his Daddy played golf with.Thats the reason why he came to power.Thank God I am now enlightened. I hope I wont be ignorant about the facts again

      • rebean

        I did not set out to rant on about Hitler only to share why i think he came to power.Why do you think he came to power. Lets hear the reasons why you think he came to power and stick to the facts and dont be gettin all emotional

        • bonbon

          O.K I understand the surprise – I lay out here in detail above and following the reasons Hitler got actually into power and immediately enacted the Enabling Laws. After that there was no election or way to remove him. The key thing to remember was the refusal to adopt von Lautenbach’s or the WTB Plan, created the vacuum, which only needed funding from B.of.E and Wall Street to pull off the election. He had the full backing of the King of England, and even Churchill to 1936! Add in the Reichstagsbrandt, the fully choreographed burning of government buildings to usurp popular sentiment.

          Now look at 9/11, a Reichstagsbrandt, a failure, as a {strategic} war did not start. Rule by Exception, exactly Hitler’s Enabling Powers are in effect. Judge Carl Schmitt is the author of this method. This is the TINA approach, There Is No Alternative.

          Maybe when you look at 9/11, and the rest you can get a much better idea of what Hitler really was.

          Then the real shock hits hard – we have it again.

          Then it gets emotional, as guess who now plays that role?

    • Mick W

      No.. in fact they didn’t get the shit kicked out of them in WWI .. in fact they defeated the Russians and turned to face the Allies on the Western Front … however the people of Germany had had enough of the war and overthrew the Kaiser at home and brought about the armistice.

      The German army was undefeated … one of the main reasons that Hitler came to power was by building upon the resentment over Versailles when the German army actually and remained undefeated in the field. Its important to understand the real reasons why Hitler came to power … David is quite right to point out that deflation rather than hyperinflation was another factor.

      • bonbon

        Again misinformation. Teddy Roosevelt, the great safari hunter sent the American Army into an imperial war. Teddy only got the job because of an assassination. Sounds like a recipe for Vietnam : JFK wanted to stop it, is killed, and VP Johnson allows it for almost 10 years. The 20th century went to hell.

        During Brunning’s reign, the Friedrich List society presented the Lautenbach Plan, and the WTB plan of the trade unions, to deal with the economy. Exactly this was the basis for the Marshall Plan later. The SPD refused to adopt it. This is the reason along with British and Wall Street money Hitler got power.

        If we refuse Glass-Steagall and massive rebuilding of the physical economy today, we are doing EXACTLY the same thing.

        Today we have Obama!

      • rebean

        Yes but Hitler was the leader of the populist nationalist party in Germany. He had the machinary of a ruling party in place when he assumed power by force and bullyboy tactics. There was a political vacuam in Germany at the time. There were economic reasons which David talks about but their were many other factors. I just dont think its all about economics. Thats the point I was making

  14. wills

    David,

    The criminal banking system and its crony politico network can press the delete button on their computer screens and delete the credit money debt in a second.

    So, don’t you think it is strange why the klepotcrats want ECB fiat paper money. I know why. Its further extending the corrupt ponzi criminal finance plunder machine.

    You want the debt printed away, press the delete button. Its just credit money anyway.

    The debt was accrued into existence so like proper old fashion book keeping write the debt off, press delete.

  15. wills

    David,

    The more one looks at this the more it is becoming apparently clear the criminal finance pressgang on Germany / ECB to print free paper money is the FINAL ACT in their plans to pillage the real economy.

    The ECB printing free paper money is the one thing the criminal finance system is banking on to see their mad ponzi pillage machine robbery through to its happy ever after conclusion.

    I am praying every second to the gods to ensure Germany tell the kelptocrats across europe and UK to get stuffed and refuse them the ECB free money they are now rabid like trying to get their vampire squid fangs into.

    • bonbon

      If Merkel caves in it would most likely bring the government down, but as we see in Spain, Italy, Greece, Slovakia, that is exactly how they pillage. The new gov’t of GS technocrats simply go ahead.

      This can be stopped only by impeaching Obama, then Glass-Steagall will go through. Cowardly Democrats are the cause of the delay, and the absolute chaos. Obama is extremely dangerous, now, if emboldened he will go for WWIII.

      It is obvious there is no isolated European solution possible. Its a transatlantic disaster.

      David mentions above “leadership in Berlin”. Hey, the leadership vacuum in D.C. is the problem!

      • wills

        Most points I agree on.

        But the technology is a problem too.

        The technology is a tool and a weapon.

        Its weapon use is in control so far.

        • bonbon

          Germany has no indigenous nuclear weapons, and its Atoms for Peace program has been just killed by the greener than green CDU – Merkel.
          Germany is a leader in reactor design, cannot build one at home.
          If all the tools are buried by greens, the weapons remain.
          Anyway Prince Philip, green Duke, WWF founder, has very publicly attacked Wind Power in the UK. Funny how this follows a Buckingham favorite Dalai Lama praising nuclear power at Fukoshima last week, after Germany of course had a nervous breakdown.

          I suppose the greens like wind turbines because its hard to use them like swords? Tossing the caber could get a whole new audience!

          • wills

            I am speaking on technology in relation to moving money around and engineering financial instruments etc. Computer tech etc.

  16. Global security requires urgent reformation of UN!- The European Union’s political landscape too!

    It was Franklin D. Roosevelt who came up with the name during World war II, The United Nations, and it marked the end of Fascism in Europe when the original 51 states ratified the Charter on October 24th 1945. Today the UN counts 193 member states.

    The Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia were members from day one, Ireland joined 10 years later in 1955, Israel in 1949, Germany in 1973 and Viet Nam in 1977.

    The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights was ratified 1948 in Paris.

    In 1979 the UN adopted the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

    China joined the UN in 1971 and it should take a long 18 years until finally Canada and Holland were the first governments to raise the Tibet question in 1989.

    The first UN resolution concerning the situation of the Tibetan people goes back to October 1959, Resolution 1353 (XIV) called on respect for human rights.

    To date Tibet and Palestine remain occupied territories.

    According to the criteria, only sovereign states can become UN members. – On that ground, perhaps Gilmore should have made an application to rest the Irish membership instead of closing the Irish Embassy in Teheran? –

    Vatican City is the only sovereign state with international recognition that is not a UN member, the Holy See is UN permanent observer.

    UN’s official languages are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, working languages are English and French. – So sorry Údarás na Gaeltachta! – Headquarters are in New York, Geneva and Vienna.

    The end of fascism in Europe was the beginning of the first global representation of the diverse cultures, political systems and their people on this planet.

    X X X X

    Europe today, and I do not say this carelessly, shows ‘quasi fascist’ tendencies evolving throughout.

    Secret behind closed door arrangements are only one aspect of a centralized EU hard core that emerged on the sidelines of the G20 in form of the Frankfurt Group of Eight, most of them are unelected authoritarian figures that have no democratic legitimation.

    Tight control over planning and execution is at the center of their activities, Lagarde, Draghi, van Rompuy, Juncker, Rehn, Barrosso, Merkel, and Sarkozy are deciding the direction Europe takes.

    Let me be clear, they are the core of an unelected force that was instrumental for the substitution of governments by Goldman Sachs Bankers, they are the very reason for austerity, increasing debt enforcements, and protracted defaults throughout Europe. They are the architects of doom for the European periphery that is sacrificed to protect the core European countries. Docile and submissive countries like Ireland wag their tails and are stretching all four legs up into the air, hoping someone pets their belly, other countries like Greece and Italy will not lay down in a state of submission that easily.

    There is a great misconception in the public perception when people say that all of the EU programs failed, they did not fail at all, not from their position, they are on track very much so.

    With the Colonel gone in Libya, I suggest to have a closer look at the activities of FRONTEX, the armed EU border enforcement agency. Border security and the refugee tragedies in Italy are issues hidden from the public perception, blanked out by the establishment media.

    One of the many results of the disastrous Lisbon Treaty is the undemocratic and ridiculous positioning of Catherine Ashton as the Union’s High Representative.

    X X X X

    No sane person wants Iran to have nuclear weapons. At the same time you have to ask yourself, what sane person would want Israel to have nuclear weapons?

    In my opinion, the only credible way forward to solve this situation is what Iran already had agreed to years ago, a nuclear DMZ in the entire Middle East, no nukes in the area, but of course, American and Israeli policies sabotaged a nuclear free area from the beginning.

    Resolution GC(53)/RES/17 that was adopted on 18th September 2009 by the IAEA General conference called upon Israel to accede the NPT, non proliferation treaty, and place all nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards.

    In July 2010, the unelected Lisbon Treaty installment, the High Representative of the European Union, Catherine Ashton answered to a letter from the IAEA’s Director General asking all member states of the IAEA to express their respective government views. – Source Link is at the bottom of the article -

    Catherine Ashton wrote on behalf of the European Union: With regard to the resolution “Israeli Nuclear Capabilities” (GC(53)/ReS/17) adopted by last year’s General Conference, I would like to recall that EU Member states voted against this resolution. What do you think, should we make Jackie Healy-Rae become the next EU High Representative? He could hardly be more risible than this unelected appointment.

    Early November 2011 an explosion close to Teheran killed 17 people, one of them was a high ranking missile expert, General Hassan Moghaddam was responsible for the Logistic of R&D and died in the explosion. The event remained somewhat a mystery and lead to speculations.

    Last Friday, on the 18th of November 2011 the IAEA adopted a resolution on Iran, this time supported by Russia and China. Iran has until March 2012 to declare their nuclear program, and clarify all open questions. The resolution was adopted by 32 of 35 member states, Cuba and Ecuador voted against the text, Indonesia, did not vote.

    Teheran’s reaction is a military maneuver, simulating an Israeli attack.

    X X X X

    The global strategic military movements of U.S. forces are creating greater frictions in the world. I posted U.S. naval update maps earlier on this blog.

    At not point in history more firepower was pointed at Iran, hence this is a ‘credible threat’ scenario! Credible because the threat is real and recent US fleet movements and the build up in the area emphasize this threat.

    Palestine now is full member of UNESCO, against threats of USA and Israel to apply, they put forward their application and succeeded.

    A full United Nation membership however is a different cattle of fish, here the U.S. Veto power comes into play, and it is exactly this veto power that should be abolished. UN global efforts should be favored, contrast to enforced American Foreign policies. In deed, most Americans believe that the US should follow the will of a UN majority to lead efforts in an international crisis.

    The United Nations always was a thorn in the eye of hawkish American hardliners, and we saw many attempts to get rid of the UN altogether, undermining powers and sabotaging their efforts.

    A serious reformation of the UN needs to address the permanent domination of policies by the U.S.

    In March this year, the U.S. vetoed a Security Council resolution calling for UN observers in Israeli occupied territory. Catherine Ashton was taken a back by this veto, which tells me more about Catherine Ashton than anything else. It took her more than a month to make any statement at all, let aside a statement of support, on the uprising of the people in Tunisia against their dictator. When the people started to take to the streets to protest against their oppressors from the Magreb to the Southern Arabian Peninsula, the spectrum of European reactions went from total indifference to strong support, and of course the unforgettable French suggestions to send weapons help Ben Ali in putting down the uprising. This is the reality of the one voice of Europe, of course this one voice does not exist.

    In a humorous line of thought, perhaps it was the intoxicated and cynical idea of a high ranking EU technocrat to place a British aristocrat that does not speak a single foreign language, was not even well known as a active politician by the British themselves, and had absolutely no foreign political experience on the chair of the High Representative? Seriously though, her appointment was very much inline with the overall caliber, experience, intellectual capacities and political excellence that the rest of the EU political landscape is made of, starting with the obscure Herman van Rompuy.

    When the Palestine membership application to UNESCO was accepted, the U.S. immediately announced to withdraw their entire financial support to UNESCO, a major part of total funding of course.

    The notion that the United Nations as an organization is acceptable only as long as it follows U.S. orders, it is here that the UN needs to urgently start a reformation process to be in a better position to truly represent all it’s members.

    The chaos on the European foreign political front that emerged when Palestine applied is a reminder that the EU is not speaking with one voice, the EU does not have one voice, pretentious press statements are make up. The attempt of a handful of unelected but powerful EU fanatics to force closer political integration under pressure, well, their proven incompetence of crisis management not only disqualifies them, but it is no solution at all, it would be a rather disastrous move to force tighter integration at this time.

    It is important to note that a true political integration is an evolutionary process that requires a) time and b) the will of all it’s members to walk that road, and such deep integration, as it was the case with extending powers through the Lisbon Treaty. Such changes should always be put forward to a European wide referendum, otherwise not only have they very limited chances of survival and will cause major dissent, but represent nothing but a totalitarian act, neglecting the people of the European Union in favor of a vested interest group.

    The history of U.S. veto policies concerning Israel started in 1970. -See second link- If you do a quick research yourself, the history of every veto exercised from 1946 onwards can be found in the United Nations Documentations.

    In February 2011 the U.S. vetoed the UN condemnation of continued Israeli settlement activities, it has to be said, against the overwhelming consensus of the global community, all other members voted in favor!

    Frankly, I am very concerned that the following weeks may bring forward a U.S. lead Sledgehammer approach in the Middle East, the signs for such an attempt are on the maps of naval movements already.

    Five members exercise veto powers in the council, none of them should have this power!

    A full Palestine UN statehood member ship would be confronted with more than only a U.S. veto. Palestine funds are controlled by Israel and the U.S. and their reaction in my view would be very easy to predict should Palestine become a full member. Congress in the U.S. would withdraw all financial support beyond any doubts, and Israel’s reaction would go along the same line.

    By now it should be clear that I favor a United Nations Organization that represents and leads the members not only in times of crisis. However, I am convinced that without deep structural reforms of the UN, they will continue to be a hollow shell that can’t act as it would be required in many ways, global security concerns are just one aspect.

    Don’t get me wrong here, a bucket load of valid criticism is possible when we talk about the UN, however, it’s underlying principles provide much better global guidance and representation than a self appointed global U.S. ‘police force’ guided by motives of a very different kind!

    The urgent and long overdue reforms required in the UN should start with the immediate abolition of veto powers, these powers do not serve the global community of The United Nations but special interests instead, they constitute a distortion of the opinions and the will expressed by the majority of countries represented.

    Best
    Georg

    Links:

    http://www.iaea.org/About/Policy/GC/GC54/GC54Documents/English/gc54-14_en.pdf

    http://www.ifamericaknew.org/us_ints/p-neff-veto.html

    • bonbon

      UN Charter is the Treaty of Westphalia, 1648, openly flouted by Sir Henry Kissinger, Mr. Blair etc. This treaty was already openly buried with the Bosnia wars a few years ago.

      Do we want to live in a Post-Westphalia epoch, la Blair, the Iraq nuclear weapons expert? Pre-emptive war is outlawed, so they have to lie.

      Odd mention of Tibet – Churchill started the “break China” campaign, and was FDR’s deadly foe. Dalai Lama resigned from the Tibet separatist group and seems to have recovered his humanity.

      Russia and China can express clearly their absolute opposition to Obama’s British attacks on Libya, Syria and Iran, leading right to their (nuclear) doors.

      So we need that Treaty. The alternative is nuclear hell.

  17. coldblow

    Great story about Kissinger, David. You’re like Sam in Cheers and we’re living vicariously through your experiences. (must check that for grammar) I’m more Cliff myself (or that could be Diane or Frasier). Nice article too.

    I think Kissinger was a teenager when he arrived in the US – just old enough to learn English as a foreign language whereas his younger brother sounded as American as apple pie. I see some criticism of HK here: he also got a rough ride in Chang and Halliday’s bio of Mao for the way he let Mao run rings around him.

    I was just thinking. If 270k Jews left Germany than slightly more than half would be say 300k, so where did the other victims come from? This table is interesting.

    http://history1900s.about.com/library/holocaust/bldied.htm

    Nearly 30 times more Polish Jews were murdered than German if these figs are right.

    • coldblow

      Well, somewhat less than 30 times, ahem. Maybe I should look for a job in Dept. Finance.

    • bonbon

      Hungary under Eichmann. George Soros only escaped by a christian guise. He got the job then of looting the empty houses of the deported and murdered. He himself states on TV that it was the happiest time of his life.

      Character forming, perfect for his current job. Quantum Fund manager of the Queen’s fortune…

    • hibernian56

      Gotta love the Finns… Ruthlessly efficient and honest, 7 jews killed during WW2, and there names were…

  18. Malcolm McClure

    David; This is an excellent and evocative description of a key time and place in the history of Europe. It reminded me of an earlier, similar event, before you were born.

    As a student in August 1961, I travelled to Berlin en route for a tour of the continent. It was a time when the threat of nuclear war was looming large and it seemed that Berlin was the likely pretext. It had become an exit point for many of the brightest and best from communist east Europe to escape to the west and it had become a running sore on the flank of the Soviet Union.

    Since I was of the age of conscription, my personal mission was to discover whether Berlin was worth fighting for, and whether communism was as bad as it was generally painted in the western press. I had no attraction to communist philosophy, I naiively just wanted to find out for myself.

    I found that West Berlin had been established as an amazing shop window for western values and way of life. I walked across the open border into East Berlin and the contrast was vivid and startling. Even Unter den Linden stood much as it had been left after the war, except for false facades representing the shops that had once been there. The most notable buildings were the State museum, which was magnificently impressive, the Russian War Memorial statue and the state radio tower.

    I bought a postcard and record in a small shop there and paid with western marks. I was arrested shortly afterwards and interrogated by what I now suppose was the Stasi. What was I doing there? How did I cross the border? Where was I going? What means of travel?
    They seemed to accept my naiive student story, but I was followed until I returned west (and I suspect for some days afterwards.)

    I left Berlin on the autobahn to Munich on the 12th August.
    The East Germans began construction of the Wall on 13th August.

    Berlin matters, because it is the cold, beating heart of Europe.

    • I bought a postcard and record in a small shop there and paid with western marks. I was arrested shortly afterwards and interrogated by what I now suppose was the Stasi. What was I doing there? How did I cross the border? Where was I going? What means of travel?

      LOL :)

      You were what? Mid twenties? Certainly not the only one who was interrogated on these grounds.

  19. Afternoon,

    Back in Dublin. Thanks for all the comments. Regarding the German unwillingness/reluctance to lead Europe angle in the article, this was reiterated to me by financial players and taxi-drivers alike. I am no German expert but did spend many years learning the language and travelling in the country, so that I can chat to these taxi-drivers at least, and it does seem to me to be the case that they are still hostage to their past and – not surprisingly in Berlin – yearn American leadership, rather than European/French.

    Their view of Ireland – which in my experience has not changed in the past few years – is that we are nice people and they wish us no harm because we are inconsequential to them.

    Best,

    David

    • wills

      David,

      Perhaps they are learning from their past and know not to make the same mistake twice. So this time they will refuse to buckle and print free paper money for criminal finance.

    • Deco

      The fact that we are inconsequential to others is viewed as an insult to the inner idiot of this country which craves significance.

      Though rational Gunther would be far too sensible too understand.

      Gunther does not get to the best seat by the pool first because he wants everybody to envy him, and to draw attention to himself. He just reckons that if it makes the effort, he will get the best deal, at no extra cost. And then when he gets his seat he contents himself on having got something extra for his effort and organization.

      Paddy is usually too hungover when all of this is going on, and anyway has been “enjoying himself” the night before, while unloading a fortune, and engaging in attention seeking and boisterous noise making in the bar as his holiday.

      Paddy is inconsequential to Gunther’s plans for a vacation. Actually, Paddy is inconsequntial to the others as well, but it is something that we just don’t understand as normal.

    • Dorothy Jones

      Dear David
      With respect, yearning for American leadership is as far removed from reality in Berlin and elsewhere in the country as anything in respect of what German people strive for. [You mention......[[views of]]….financial players and taxi-drivers…recognise a pattern here????]
      It is important at this juncture to publish empirical analysis[es]….the world as we know it may change radically at speed in the forseeable future.
      Angela Merkel [as pointed out by market analyst Louise Cooper, Newstalk 111118]is in an inenviable position because of various reasons including [sic]:
      - German Constitition prohibits the German taxpayer from ‘bailing out’ the rest of Europe
      - ECB laws prevent it from printing money to purchase sovereign debt
      - This is also contrary to the Bundesbank position
      I am puzzled. Why are you in Adlon? You refer to the ‘average German’ who would never darken the threshold of the place. The pieces of the puzzle aren’t to be found there at all.

  20. bonbon

    I must say that most taxi-drivers I have chatted with in Germany are Turkish and Iranian. I have had most interesting discussions on Erdogan’s rush for the Euro.
    When I say anyone who would want this needs a psychiatrist, I get, well stunned silence. Some remember the DM, and the whisper is everywhere – give it back! Even Turks feel sorry for Athens.

    But you have to be direct with the question!

    Inside the Bundestag, its another story…

  21. straboe1

    I have worked on an outline of an organisation aimed at reforming the UN. It can be found at
    http://moylisha.hubpages.com/hub/Outline-of-organisation-dedsigned-to-support-the-United-Nations

  22. transitionman

    The Automatic Earth: Nov 20 2011, Why Germany is right to refuse to bailout Europe http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2011/11/november-20-2011-why-germany-is-right.html

  23. Lord Jimbo

    Maybe the hotel you chose as well as the Germans you spoke narrowed the focus and thus the outcomes. Berlin was and still is something of a ‘Leftist’ city and yes, there is something missing, its heart was ripped out in the war years, it has a very damaged vibe to it and the Germans are doing what they can (maybe a little too well) to bring it back to life. Hitler and his gang knew if they took Berlin they would have a greater chance of taking Germany, their power after all originated in the conservative south, the failed putsch was launched from a Munich beer hall, not a Berlin one.

    The reasons for Hitler’s rise to power were multifactorial. There is no mention in the article of the multiple restructuring efforts of Germany’s preposterous external debt (Young Plan, Dawes Plan) foisted on the country by the hated Versailles Treaty (1919), one of the leading reasons among a plethora for Hitler’s rise to power (and yes 6 million unemployed, the seizure of Alsace and Lorraine, the limitations on the armed forces, the injury to German pride, the perceived lack of internal security and the ‘Red’ threat both real and imaginary all played their role too).

    Germany of all countries should understand bailouts, forgiveness, given the Marshall plan in post WWII era and the huge investment that poured in to get it back on its feet, while it left countries like Greece, Poland and a host of others on their knees with no reparation. So while the Germans may carry some war guilt at elite level, other countries carry the burden of the post-war periods.

    There was an interesting article in Vanity Fair recently about the ‘tightness/anal rectitude’ of the German character, slow to adapt, unwillingness to loosen the belt/policies, to go with the flow, things have to be done ‘properly’, ‘by the rules’, this description is possibly true at official level, while this perceived aspect of the German character is explored in Hanneke’s masterful film ‘The White Ribbon’.

    This financial crisis is not only an exposure of the corrupt, non-existent regulatory systems in various EU countries (and astonishing power of banks and their hold over politicians and national parliaments), it is also a fascinating exploration of the various national characters and how stereotypes have been resurrected after 40-50 years of fine wine, and warm handshakes at EU summits. The post-war situation was never really unresolved and there is nothing like a crisis to bring out underlining tensions, the great unspoken has its time.

    As for that old man you pointed out, well I see no need to celebrate him, the fact he is Jewish is incidental and probably should not have been brought into the article. Noam Chomsky is Jewish, Howard Zinn was Jewish, but they are celebrated because they are in the case of the former and were in the case of the latter, outstanding and truthful academics who fight/fought tirelessly for human rights and justice and the world is richer for them.

    • Lord Jimbo

      Meant: “The post-war situation was never really resolved”, issues were papered over with an economic system which primarily benefitted the French and Germans. With the creation of the EEC out of the Coal and Steel pact, the French gained a lot politically, helped maintain the semblence of French political domination of the European continent, the Germans got ‘rehabilitation’ and increased economic power. Since this crisis, Germany is enjoying both the political dominance and economic power, especially if the reports of the level of French debt are true.

      When I saw the work being done around the Reichstag especially the new chancellery building back in the early 2000s, I thought to myself ‘the Germans are building this because they have something big in mind, Berlin on the axis of Western and Eastern Europe leading right to the gates of Moscow and access to global markets on an unimaginable scale, the pieces are falling slowly into place. Just compare the German and British trade deals with China struck in the last few months.

      Given the situation across the eurozone, they will extract as much as they can from the various governments (who misruled by taking the easy money without a thought for long term consequences) in terms of ‘austerity’, and when they feel they have gone far enough a ‘solution’ will appear on the table, in the meantime we can all lose our heads and shout blue murder but the Germans call the shots and they know it, will the call the right shots is the ultimate question?

      • Lord Jimbo

        The Germans play the long game, they do not think in terms of short term profit, long term pain, they’ve certainly learned that from their past, so step by step they build, consolidate, build, consolidate giving them one of the strongest economies in the world. Rents in Berlin are reasonable, tenant rights vigorously defended, although it has changed a little here and there, with the odd foreign property developer appearing in Kreuzberg where I was staying, especially Danish for some reason, which isn’t going down well with locals who see the opportunism.

        The Irish didn’t get past part I: ‘short term profit’, so we get the IMF.

    • Deco

      I seen a documentary about Berlin on the BBC about two years ago. The presenter was a German academic working in an English university. I cannot remember his name, but his English was better than that of man English academics !!!

      Anyway, the topic was Berlin. His point seems to be that Berlin is pschologically unhinged as a place – that it is the personification of the psychological nut in the Germany psyche. He showed examples of this, by explaining the history of Berlin in tandem with an analysis of it’s most noted historical characters ranging from King Frederick the Great to Joseph Goebbels. He proves that there would have been no Nazi movement without the myth of Frederick’s miltarism, or the manner in which Goebbels could control the fears of about two fifths of the population in the Great Depression. That there could have been no First World War were it not for the ebullient arrogance that existed in Berlin in the Prussian Imperial court. And he showed that if the Cold War was to divide any city it would be the city where Marx studied and experimented with social radicalism. And why the stasi age in the DDR, was a re-incarnation of the Prussian state of Frederick the Great.

      Along the way you realise what is wrong. The obsessive need to control and push the people. The obsession with power. The obsession with being number 1 in Germany. The cold bureacratic approach to life, and the overly expressive attempt that fails to express humanity. You get the utter emptiness in the German need for devising a cold mechanical system. You realise the sheer lack of any real meangingful joy, against this backdrop of history being a prison.

      At the end of it all, the viewer was presented with the evidence why many Germans can’t stand the place, and are always sceptical of people who come from there. The history that exists there is the part that caused a lot of the misery inflicted on the people and on her neighbours.

      For Germans, the city that you come from is of great significance. Berliners are proud of their city, but it seems that Germans from other cities regard Berlin as being a city for the obsessively deranged. I have heard Germans say that Berliners have this tendency to arrogantly proceed doing something in a selfish manner without thinking about the others, and of just not being team players. They are seen as arrogant, and unable to listen to others. Even other Ossies regard the place as to be desperately avoided at all costs.

      • Deco

        I got the impression from the documentary, that the real problem for Germans is that Berlin reminds them of a lot of the misery and failure of the past. This sense that responsibility, is something which requires a calm mind to hold. Dresden, Munich, Frankfurt and other cities might have been destroyed and rebuilt, but as centres of power over the local population, they were more moderate, sensible, and never nasty. The problem with Berlin seems to be the history, and the amount of pain in that history.

        • Lord Jimbo

          Think that is a very interesting observation, Berlin may be dragging them back to a past they don’t want to revisit, Bonn and other cities were about the new Germany, Berlin definitely has that old feel about it, maybe they should have left it be, but they do seem eager to eradicate the past, the history by building over it, restoring 19th century buildings in the heart of the city as if to say a certain period didn’t occur or at least, can we overlook it.

          • Deco

            There was one scene in the documentary, where there were cleaning ladies who were assigned to a building – and it was used in the 30s and 40s, for some devious purpose – possibly a centre for interrogation of prominent societal figures who were defiant to some degree of the regime, opponents, and various prisoners of conscience.

            Anyway, one of the cleaning ladies said something to the effect “you clean away the stains, repeatedly, but to be honest, there are ghosts of the past that never go”.

        • coldblow

          As I mentioned here before, the English historian, AJP Taylor, wrote the polemical Course of German History shortly after the end of WW2. He tries to reconcile German actions with the fact they were highly civilized and attributed the former to the eastward-looking Prussian strain in their identity.

          By the way, an unexpected German trait is the quality of (some) of their humour (though most of it seems to be quite broad). The Tin Drum is almost unbearably funny, though you should read it in the German as, well, it’s all down to the timing. There is a fine scene set in the Danzig Head Post Office where Otto’s uncle (a wannabe deserter) is drawn into its defence, which mainly involved endless games of Schat or Skat (I must look up the rule to that card game to see if it really is that absorbing). Lenz also wrote a very amunsing book (Masuriche something or other).

          Admittedly, you occasionally ask yourself if the humour is intentional, but no, that would be too much of a coincidence.

  24. piombo

    David’s latest article, if I have understood correctly, and boiled down to its basics, supports the ECB becoming the lender of last resort (LOLR).
    A perfectly reasonable thesis when applied and compared to all other central banks. There are, however, differentiating factors which negate the efficiacy of such an approach, namely:

    1) Other Central banks lend to/repo from their respective single Treasuries (Federal Reserve – US Treasury; BoE – HM Treasury etc.,). With which Treasury would the ECB counterparty? All seventeen national Treasuries…completely impracticable given the scope for interest rate swap and liquidity swap arbritages:

    2) Even if the ECB assumed the theorectical role of LOLR, how could the various national Treasuries service their debt without a reprofiling of the selfsame debt?

    3) The elephant in the room is the EU’s inability to grow their GDP faster than the US/China/ROW owing to the EU’s cost uncompetitiveness. The only practical way of doing this is through a wholesale devaluation of the Euro toward parity with the US dollar. An ECB backstopping of all government debt, would paradoxically, inhibit such a necessary devaluation and thus stifle the growth with which the EU needs to sort itself out.
    This devaluation will come about through weakened confidence in the Euro as Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Italy commence their defaults. Italy alone has €317 billion of government debt to roll over in 2012!

    4) The fundamental political flaw in such a push to persuade Germany to change its stance is rooted in a somewhat jaundiced view of Germany and it’s people, I believe. I stand corrected, especially by Georg R. Baumann, but let us give the German ruling classes credit for being intelligent, rigorous yet fair.
    They seem to take their laws seriously and they have as a nation an aversion toward monetary financing not just because their Grandmothers told them Weimer-stories, but because they have a governing class which is well qualified and educated enough to understand and apply basic economics and ethics to their governance.
    There are undoubtly domestic interests being protected (DB, savings and landesbanken) by the current German approach, but let us not believe the myth that they are planning to takeover the EU utilities or our countries’ infrastucture!
    Germany needs growth as much as the rest of Europe if only to manage their pension costs accruing due to it’s worsening demograhics. This is shared and felt by most strata in Germany and they certainly won’t be pushed around by the Anglo-Saxon financial community.

  25. Counter Argument

    Hi David,

    The rhetorical ‘Keynesian’ framework of your article does not represent the social political reality of Germany in 2011. Let me share my view.

    The first WW german U-boat captain, later a pacifist Priest, then arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned in Sachsenhausen and Dachau KZ’s, Martin Niemoeller, died in 1984.

    He became known around the world by his coinage on the ethics of protests, or the lack of ethics by the inactivity of a countries intellectuals, his poem is well known and perhaps a good and timely reminder to a docile and submissive Irish public.

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    If you never read that poem before, I would be very astonished if you were not deeply touched by it’s impressive, very clear and powerful statement on our ethical duties as social human beings.

    Of course you are right to state that the visit of Kenny in Berlin is representative of the EU core views on EU peripheral countries, and no red carpet, no military salut and no diplomatic masquerade protocol can deflect from that view.

    The Franco-German core activities of the past three years were designed to redirect the capital flow from the citizens of this periphery to their own Banks, so deceptively and conveniently called, Greece ‘bail outs’, Irish ‘bail outs’. This franco german EU core also established the Frankfurt Group of Eight.

    When FF presented the german snitch, Klaus Regling, now chief of the EFSF, to the Irish public as the one that spear heads the investigation into banking matters, I spilled my coffee and pounded the table, laughing tears This man was granted full access, he had full clearance and headed a three men team, not to investigate banking matters, but to report other matters back to Germany, Anglo Irish Bank matters. I remember that I made a post about that when it happened and linked here to documents in the DoF then under Lenihan. I pointed out the ridiculous and blatant obvious stunt that FF performed here, ‘under orders’ from Germany would be no exaggeration.

    This was a very clever move to have Regling come to Ireland with full clearance, reporting back to Ackermann’s finest, Merkel.

    This crisis is not a financial crisis per se, but a much deeper underlying crisis that has developed since the Euro’s conception, it is political.

    It is a populist view to call on the ghosts of the Nazi history, and while the psychoanalytic explanation of a deep rooted German inflationary fear is valid, I would question the view that it is Germany alone that can solve this debt crisis is misleading, it simply can not do this, neither does it have the financial power, nor the political consensus to safe a Euro concept that was deliberately flawed from it’s conception.

    Of course, the ‘print baby print’ notion is trumpeted by Keynesian economists as the key to the solution of the debt crisis, I beg to differ. It defers the problems that are at the root of this system, it does not address the deep rooted structural political and most of all Banking problems at all.

    What you may, understandably I think, perceive as an unimportant and rather small event, concerning the killing spree of a group of right wing extremists for 10 years, it is a deeply traumatizing event that has gripped the German public since the truth started to emerge, and as always when right wing extremist activities are coming into the public sphere, the call to forbid the political existence of the known as constitutionally hostile NPD, neglecting the wide spread of brown sentiments in Germany at the same time, the latter has caused this blind spot to exist in the first place.

    It is no small event David, not in the least, and if anything, it should trigger a much closer look to the spreading of brown ideas and representation throughout European member states, very present in the new eastern member countries, it is no small thing either, and I am consistently warning on the re-emergence of fascist tendencies in Europe ever since I post on your blog.

    Germany as much as Ireland and other EU member states suffers from a massive democratic deficit. People are constantly bombarded with Merkel-Ackermann propaganda, however, the voices of dissent increased slowly but steadily, and I often like to observe the status quo of comedians, or I should better political cabaret, in the media landscape. – The following will not tell most Irish readers anything, but will be known to German readers. – From Volker Pispers to Jochen Malmsheimer, from Urban Pirol to Georg Schramm, form Hagen Rether to Erwin Pelzig and so many more, there is a new awakening happening in Germany as well, an awakening that gives reason to hope that more people begin to understand the essence of Niemoellers poem.

    At the same time, you have the ‘silent mass’, the very middle class under an engineered economical attack, this grey mass that rather expresses reactionary views and reflects a high level of brainwashed propaganda thinking, not astonishingly, and nothing that would be exclusive to Germany, you find them in France, Italy, Spain, everywhere.

    To a degree and to their defense it can be said that the daily struggles of a somewhat insane competition driven lifestyle in an atmosphere of fear, fear about the future, fear about your job and generally a work climate that developed more and more into an elbow striking society, burdened by a system that does no longer represent their people but special interests, people have very little time to stay informed and come to informed conclusions, the daily pressures never were greater, and it already starts in primary school. Of course, it is no excuse for their intellectual spillage in Jackie Healy-Rae style, but an explanation.

    You were clearly wrong about your recent ‘good room’ analogy, and I am afraid you are wrong to think that the solution for the European problems are to be found in Germany alone.

    Of course, Merkel dragging heals, has not helped, not a bit, but it was not only political ineptitude that cause this to happen, it followed intentions as well, sacrificing without a hesitation the European periphery to satisfy demands of Franco-German Banksters.

    The large part of the undereducated German public however, they believe that they are supporting lazy mediterranean people in their laissez faire life styles, while they have to slave over the hot stone for piss poor wages. Such is the result of propaganda, and again, this is not exclusive to Germany.

    Pointing to Germany as the one that holds the solution in it’s hands but refuses to use it, is a distortion of the European and in deed global reality. The global financial system is on the brink of collapse, and the reasons are to be found in deliberately fraudulent risks and a multiple of Ponzi schemes undertaken by the financial Pol Pots of our times, protected by a captured political class that acts against their own people, and now tries to force political integration against their citizens as well.

    Best
    Georg

    • sorry for typos, in a rush, and you still have no correction function on the blog.

      ;)

    • Dorothy Jones

      Georg
      I agree with many points in your post-it is insightful and informed.
      Best
      Dorothy

    • Deco

      Contrary to media stereotypes Italians and Spaniards both work extremely hard when given a chance.

      Therefore that media stereotype is grossly misleading. The Med stereotype existed from the time when Britannia had 25% of the surface of the global landmass painted pink, and all the major sealanes ended in ports on that portion of the map, or else the American portion. It is actually highly absurd. The real problem on the med belt, is corrupt, nepotistic state systems that waste public money and drain the economic efficiency of the society. And the EU has made this even worse. But the media will not dare say the EU is the problem.

      There is something wrong with the system in both countries when the entreprising, educated, hard working people from both, are forced to other countries in order to achieve their possibilities.

      • CitizenWhy

        They are extremely hard working, talented, good at problem solving, and good company.

        Culturally a big part of their problem is a distrust of strangers, making family companies the preference, and the family companies are avoidant of hiring strangers (the patron/familia system). This cultural quirk was solved when the anrcho-syndicalists owned and ran their companies in Catalonia, but those companies were suppressed by Franco because the workers were anti-church. But in the Basque country, in Mondragon, the worker owned companies continue to thrive. Franco let them develop because the main instigator of the Mondragon Cooperative Society was a priest and the people went to church without coercion.

        Leftists (but not socialists, communists, or social democrats) who favor worker owned companies as the solution to the abuses of capitalism have traditionally been called anarcho-syndicalists or autogestionists.

        Conservatives (like the Basques) who favor worker owned businesses as the best form of a free market system are generally called Distributionists (widely distributing economic and political power, thus shrinking central government as well as eliminating the control of an economy by the top 10% in wealth).

        Interestingly, in the film Munich the Catholic head of the family business is in the conservative Catholic Distributionist/Anarcho-Syndicalist tradition. That’s why he tells the incog Moasad agent that he will help him him track down the Munich murderers of Jews only if the agent is on a personal mission of justice but he will not help him if he is an agent of the Israeli government. The paterfamilias also tells the Israeli that if he is a government agent he’d better get over that illusion and act as an individual because his government, once he has completed his mission of justice, will murder him to cover their asses. Of course that is the truth and the agent comes to realize it.

        In my Catholic education there were two Jesuits with conflicting left wing leanings so we learned about both. One was a worker priest member of the French Communist Party and the other a historian of anarcho-syndicalism, especially within the Catholic tradition. Only later did I learn that my Jewish first cousin (by marriage) in Paris was an editor of the Encyclopedia of Anarchy.

        I am not really an Anarchist who believes that central government is the enemy. But I believe that the only way to make a fair capitalist system work or a social democratic system work well is to have worker-owned businesses and mutually owned businesses thriving alongside privately owned businesses. Competition, but for labor!

        • Malcolm McClure

          A prime example of worker-owned businesses is the John Lewis chain of department stores. Excellent service, fair prices etc. Of course, although they have been trying for years to open a branch in the Sprucefield complex, Lisburn, they met a barrage of opposition from local traders and are still excluded.
          The Cooperative Wholesale Society was founded in England in 1863 and spread to Ireland in various forms–IAWS, Dairygold, Belfast Coop etc. In Donegal, Paddy the Cope established a successful chain of co-operative stores in the 1920s
          A descendant, Pat the Cope Gallagher is an MEP. Make of that what you will.

    • CitizenWhy

      George, great post.

      In the US, QE, or money printing, is our way of continually pumping money into the banks rather than the economy. It stays in the financial sector, keeping the stock market high.

      Your summary below is nice and brisk:

      “The Franco-German core activities of the past three years were designed to redirect the capital flow from the citizens of this periphery to their own Banks, so deceptively and conveniently called, Greece ‘bail outs’, Irish ‘bail outs’. This Franco-German EU core also established the Frankfurt Group of Eight.”

  26. The Dork of Cork

    Maybe if Herr Kenny had shouted the German Equivalent of Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice in that auditorium of the Great & the Good rather then stating that the ECB can just print the stuff he would have got a different reaction.

    Mefo Bills Mefo Bills Mefo Bills………………….

  27. Deco

    I think that the Germans, the Dutch, and the Finns are in collective denial about the scale of the problem affecting the Euro.

    In fact the entire establishment in Europe is in denial.

    We are also seeing the emergence of the Rahm Emmanuel approach to a crisis – “that this is too important a crisis to waste” – with the centralists in Brussels advocating another round of centralization accompanied by the TINA argument. There Is No Alternative.

    Of course there is an alternative. In fact there always is. Ask the Brits. Or the Swedes. Or better still ask the Swiss.

    Maybe the real source of the problem is the intransigence of the ECB with regard to allowing defaults to occur ????

    This leaves the net savers (DE, NL, FI, AT, LUX) with the option that they might some day go to their bank account and find 30 c in the Euro gone forever because of Neary and chums were playing golf with the bankers that they should have been investigating.

    It seems that nobody has the courage to tell people that Seanie Fitz has disappeared some of their money into a big hole the size of the glass bottle works site….

  28. Deco

    Enda Kenny went to Berlin and nobody noticed.

    There was a time when we would send over a boozer from Offaly, and his trusty sidekicks, and they could drink the place dry.

    And before that we had the celebrity Taoiseach in the canary yella suit.

    It is much better to not be noticed, and to just do your business.

    I mean if the Canadian PM went to London or Paris, it would be straightforward, calm, and there woul be no media circus or controversy. If the Swedish PM showed up in Dublin, you would almost expect the group to quietly move from the embassy to Merrion Square with minumum fuss.

    We are better off without leaders who bring a media circus following them everywhere. Much better off to have it done in an understated, sensible and pragmatic manner. No more of the Biffo era nonsense.

    • pablos

      The caricature of Kenny that oliver callan does has more gravitas than the real thing. Better to send Callan, as he could get more done.

      • Deco

        Ah yes, instead of sending Kenny, we should send a clown who imitates Kenny…..because he would less of a clown than the real Kenny.

        Just wondering, can anybody mimic Noonan ?

  29. Deco

    What if the Germans have to decide between scrapping Nuclear power and fixing the Euro.

    Merkel has opted to scrap nuclear power, but the alternatives currently available are extremely expensive.

    At the same time stabilizing the Euro will require another round of subsidized loans to Greece, Potugal, Ireland, possibly Italy, and perhaps even Spain eventually.

    And both these costs are massive. Has anybody acknowledged this yet ?? What about the Greens who seem to think Germany can afford both simultaneously ????

    • bonbon

      The Greens ? The CDU is even greener than the SPD. Let’s inform them of both Dalia Lama’s conversion to nuclear power and Prince Philip’s scating attack on wind power reported in the Telegraph this week.

      You can bet it is fully understood. EON is suing the government for billions lost in the Atomic Exit. That will likely be passed to the taxpayer.

      And it is likely illegal to disposes a private company of its reactor income.

      • Deco

        Merkel is being reckless.

        Here is a rarely known fact. Coal burning power stations emit more radioactivity, over a wider area than nuclear power stations. When you are burning massive volumes of coal, a persistent tiny percentage of uranium is sent out in the fumes, and released.

        Coal is NOT safe.

        • bonbon

          Dr. Schellnhuber, Commander of the British Empire, says we must de-carbonise completely to support 1 billion people. He wants to kill 6 billion in the service of the Crown. Google this advisor to Merkel, the WBGU, Great Transformation.

          Makes Goebels blush.

          So Wind, Solar, no carbon, no nuclear, for a happy graveyard.

          Nein Danke!

  30. goldbug

    RUN BY CORPORATIONS…SICKENING

    FIRST BANKERS -> NOW CEO OF CHEAPSKATE AIRLINES

    VOTE LISBON … FOR JOBS…WHERE ARE THEY?

    IF PEOPLE BOYCOTTED RYANAIR….

    IMAGINE NOBODY USED THEM.

    O’LEARY WOULD BE SACKED WITHIN A MONTH.

    PEOPLE WOULD HAVE TO PAY MORE OR NOT FLY…

    BUT TO SEE THE LOOK ON HIS FACE. HA.

  31. Just a thought…. In Cairo 33 people lost their lives and more than 1,000 are injured within three days. These protestors demand direct democracy, and they put their lives on the line.

    In Ireland and other countries, we just throw it away.

    Amazing.

  32. tony_murphy

    David, have you not realised, the mainstream media don’t really mention the real news. The vast majority are not bothered anyway. Maybe they already figured out the media are only capable of half truths or lies.

    So you want them the Germans to allow the printing presses to be turned on, and print like there is no tomorrow.

    Do like the Americans do with their Dollar. Print, print, print. Pay for their industrial military complex, vast array, weapons, occupations, regime changes etc..

    It’s the economics of the elite bankers and everything they have their bloody hands on

  33. pablos

    Germans are right to be worried, the pride and feelings of superiority are simply introverted as nobody wants to show too much of either because that is associated with the proles. There are many very decent German people, but people here don’t show very much individuality, they tend to fall into step with whoever makes the most noise. The is also a tendency to portray issues as black and white and an eagerness to find a scapegoat. I suspect that there is a basic insecurity and a fear of being outside or be found at the bottom of the group which is justified given the circumstances. By comparison, the Irish are very individualistic. This generation are not guilty for the past, but if there is such a thing as memes, i am of the opinion that these have not changed much in the past 70 years. Putin et al. should be very careful for what they wish for. Merkel is a bureaucrat and Germany is being run like the Hanse of old, politics has almost completely rolled over to big business. This leadership vacumn does not bode well for Europe. In my opinion the rot started with Schröder Nordstrom.

  34. bonbon

    I am amazed how the tone of this blog has descended to stereotyping populist rants in the good old 1930′s golden era of European Fascism.

    David, is this by design, in service of the Crown, like Sir Conor Cruise, nominally Irish, or simply naive?

    Have we a Pale phenomenon here, an echo of old Empire?

    This poison Euro coin, swallowed by all in a pagan act of communion, a Mithra self-emasculation, is doomed. Will the unfortunate victims recover from the orgy?

    David, as a healer, the object should be to lead out of this horrible dungeon. Leadership, lacking in D.C.,
    is absent here, as far as I can see. Describing events of the death of the financial system is not what people need.

    Good worried Irish on the streets may not ask for this directly, it is too painful, but if you provide it you will be amazed at the response, as real experience organizing richly provides.

    • Malcolm McClure

      Easy on, bonbon. The Brits have been more steadfast in opposition to fascism than any other nation. Even much criticised imperial ventures resulted in transformation of the infrastructure in those colonies. The treasure returned helped to establish infrastructure in UK that now benefits immigrants from the selfsame colonies.

      You need to take the longer view.– If it became a choice between participation at Westminster or at a Euro-parliament in Berlin, which would you prefer?

      • it became a choice between participation at Westminster or at a Euro-parliament in Berlin, which would you prefer?

        Blockhouse… 200 miles north of fairbanks.

      • bonbon

        Cameron, now applying Philip Blond’s distributist neo-medieval Progressive Conservatism and Blair applying New Labour from exactly the same Fabian recipe (Demos thinktank) should be an alert.

        If that is not enough look at the funding for the NSDAP in 1932 elections by the Bank of England chief Norman Montague. Look at Lord Halifax, Beaverbrooke’s support of Hitler, even the King on evening radio praising him.

        Sure, when Hitler attacked Churchill THEN went screaming to FDR, who told him “we will fight this war, but colonialism stops now”. All this is very well documented. Churchill did not like German speaking Fascism.

        The entire United States of Europe, Euro Federalism is a massive attack on the nation states of Europe, and has been voted out. The Euro parliament is in Strasbourg and Brussells a.f.a.i.k ? Right now Athens is a Reichsprotektorat of Brussels, Itally much the same, and Dublin heading that way.

        The Irish know what it means to “participate” at Westminster. I think that was discussed in 1921.

        • Deco

          we had far more influence in Westminster in the 1800s than we have now.

          And it is the elite that participates. We had the “Castle Catholics” then. We have the Brutons, the Suds types etc.. now.

  35. [...] David McWilliams: on the Nazi past: For those who have spent any time in the Bundesrepublik with German people, this unwillingness to accept European leadership because of what their grandparents or great grandparents did 70 years ago verges on a sort of neurotic self-loathing. It also bears no relation to the evident aspirations of modern Germany. But it is as it is. And yet this German self-loathing is a disaster because only Germany can save the eurozone from a messy break-up — or prolonged stagnation which will lead to a messy break-up. [...]

    • bonbon

      Ever come across the ’68′er phenomenon, the Stuttgart 21 “Wutbürger”? There lies the problem, also known as the Boomer in the USA.
      This generation, born after the war, ruined by Vietnam and the ’68 chaos is the key issue, a discussion which can become very heated indeed if you point it out!

      This has produced the Atomic Exit, 17 major infrastructure projects on hold including S21, and a total vacuum on physical economy. They liberalized finance to give us the disaster.

      In Ireland, not quite so evident, but the generation that ruined the country are Boomers too.
      The ’68ers, result of brainwashing by the Frankfurt School, has not the slightest idea of what to do, either here or in D.C., hence the chaos. Merkel is DDR, and seems to echo Honecker with planned economy etc.
      Under cover of so called de-Nazification, the C.C.F, and that great Irish-German, B̦ll, took CIA money, to remove any trace of Classical education. Brandt destroyed the world famous Gymnasium with his reforms Рhe was run by a CIA faction (ironic his Guillaume was unmasked as KGB, and Brandt got away with it). The B̦ll Fund is today the major Green source.

      Leadership for Boomers, ’68ers, is equated with Hannah Arendt’s Authoritarian Personality. Hannah Arendt of the Frankfurt School, Martin Heidegger’s lover and translator. Heidegger, taught in all good Irish Universities was the Nazi “philosopher”.

      So adoption of an idea, a concept and a creative way out of this mess is sabotaged causing untold misery.

      So the future lies with the younger generation. The OWS so far is showing the cultural unability to formulate a concept of what the future must be. That is Boomer fallout.

      • I am afraid bonbon, you might overwhelm the average reader on this blog with this kind of specialist knowledge, you can not possible believe that this is comon knowledge, or do you?

        Suggestions: Putting a some meat to the bone adds to credibility and interest. Just my opinion of course.

        X X X X

        Josef Caspar-Witsch comes to mind and in deed it was one of the largest post WWII operations conducted by the CIA, the congress for cultural liberty, located in Paris and under direct control of CIA agents. Even Boell and Grass were unknowingly used and ‘worked’ for the CIA over a decade.

        After three years of painstaking research and directed by Hans-Ruediger Minow, the german documentation ‘Benutzt und gesteuert- Kuenstler im Netz der CIA” was broadcasted on German television ZDF and Arte in 2006.

        CIA Agents like Tom Braden were instrumental in Operation Mockingbird.

        The New York Times wrote about these CIA activities and the congress for cultural liberties on April27th, 1966.

        http://tinyurl.com/83m7fer

      • I am afraid bonbon, you might overwhelm the average reader on this blog with this kind of specialist knowledge, you can not possible believe that this is comon knowledge, or do you?

        Suggestions: Putting a some meat to the bone adds to credibility and interest. Just my opinion of course.

        X X X X

        Josef Caspar-Witsch comes to mind and in deed it was one of the largest post WWII operations conducted by the CIA, the congress for cultural liberty, located in Paris and under direct control of CIA agents. Even Boell and Grass were unknowingly used and ‘worked’ for the CIA over a decade.

        After three years of painstaking research and directed by Hans-Ruediger Minow, the german documentation ‘Benutzt und gesteuert- Kuenstler im Netz der CIA” was broadcasted on German television ZDF and Arte in 2006.

        CIA Agents like Tom Braden were instrumental in Operation Mockingbird.

        The New York Times wrote about these CIA activities and the congress for cultural liberties on April27th, 1966.

        http://tinyurl.com/83m7fer

        • bonbon

          Congress for Cultural Freedom, CCF. Sidney Hook and all the rest. A CIA-funded cultural war. The originators were involved in trying to stop FDR’s election.
          Simply put the CCF, along with Allan Dulles brought back the ostensibly sanitized NAZI-existentialist doctrine back into occupied post-war Germany, and the USA with figures such as Theo Adorno, Margaret Mead, Hannah Arendt.
          The CCF Commentary magazine, an example, shows that the subversion of any form of sovereign nation-state republic to make way for the imperial game “Globalization”.
          CCF gave us Globalization, rightly attacked in this blog, and Bertrand Russell’s doctrine of “world government through preventive nuclear warfare” is back on the agenda with Obama.

          • Disagree profoundly!

            Adorno’s ‘The Meaning of Working Through the Past’ -1959- and his’ Education after Auschwitz’ – 1966 –

            http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?recid=30883

            In deed it was Adorno who warned that the national socialist mindset was not eradicated in post war Germany.

          • bonbon

            The Leo Strauss fraud of equating classical Platonic thought with fascism. Adorno’s and Arendt’s intention to eradicate classical thinking, a Nietzscian hatred for this, is the CCF guiding manifesto. Hitler did not succeed in killing humanist thinking and music.

            So the CCF finished the job. They outdid Goebels!

            The result, a Nietschian Dionystian lunacy, rightly referred to in various places. Just when we need creative solutions, OWS for example refuses or simply cannot formulate what to do, never mind the political elite.

          • Bonbon,

            can I be frank with you?

            To me, and as always, I might be mistaken, but this sound very much to me like the lines of thought proposed by the ‘Schiller Institute’, Zepp/Larouche et al.

            So, am I wrong, or would you share their views?

      • Deco

        At the heart of the 1968 movement is a very dysfunctional reactionary approach to dealing with the chaos in Europe between 1900 and 1945, and an inability to digest the stability in the two decades afterwards.

      • coldblow

        Interesting, bonbon. I don’t get all of the subtelties, but broadly speaking anyone who can spot defects in the ‘Class of 68′ wins my attention. Must check out Margaret Mead – something in the back of my mind there.

  36. Tull McAdoo

    Paddy Jones /Lyndon Jones or whatever he calls himself lately is away on holidays, so I have been asked to fill in for him. Any way here it goes…..

    1. Austerity is good for you, so have it with your cornflakes.
    2. Reduce the deficit to 3% by deporting half the population.
    3. We are all to blame for something or other, so shame on us I think.
    4. Wave my fist at everybody, shouting Bah humbug
    5. There will be no Christmas until we get a balanced budget
    6. Stop whinging and pay all them debts , ye slackers.

    Paddy/ Lyndon will be back next week and will probably cut & paste the above to save time…………..

  37. molly66

    Why do people tell lies before they get elected and then once in power they tell more lies to try and cover up the first set of lies,and so the lies grow and then they say our hands are tied more lies.
    When you tell lies on camera it is a bare faced lie this is what’s running the country,so the example set by the people we should look up to is for us to lie like them.
    We could replace the government with honest people,if this country is so broke then why pay all the fat cat pensions ,why was my pension not protected and government pensions where injustic I say one set of rules for them and it’s just tuff for the likes of me not good enough I say.

    • stiofanc02

      Molly, if you cant beat em , join em. “Michael Noonan”

      • molly66

        I have a feeling that the government will increase car tax on the low rate that they introduced in 2008 when they made an arse of it it was simply to low on big cars, the government I believe did not think so many new cars would be sold.

      • molly66

        It really is heading into don’t do as I do do as I say or who has my back myself.

  38. uchrisn

    The Germans are not supposed to be allowed to ‘lean’ on the ECB. Is the ECB becoming increasingly politicised? If so the set-up of the executive board needs to be changed from country based appiontments to merit based ones.

  39. uchrisn

    Merkel is talking fiscal integration. The sooner they can get on with that the better.

    • Hi CW,
      Very good question!

      Ultimately, MFI motives are, as always, profits and they would do that with a view to take profits form US yield.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/!USYIELD:IND

      Another perspective is that they drawing down their deposits in Europe, hence reducing their exposure to Europe.

      However, there is another view possible:

      http://www.alliancebernstein.com/CmsObjectABD/PDF/EconomicPerspectives/SpecialCommentary_110624.pdf

      There may be other motivations beyond safety. Deposits at the Fed are unusually attractive for foreign banks because of the regulatory landscape. Borrowing money via deposits that don’t exact an FDIC surcharge, and depositing them at the Federal Reserve, earning 25 basis points, is much more attractive to a foreign bank with a US branch than it is to a US bank. That regulatory gap also provides insight into why foreign-related banks have maintained sizable deposits at the Fed.

  40. Irish Export Led Economy Recovery is DOOMED

    Recent Dats indicates

    Fewer Imports so fewer Exports
    Taxation Review by gov of USA thus more repatriation of funds to USA
    No Rise in Exports to BRIC countries and other non EU countries
    Recession in EU forthcoming

    Too high expectation relied on by the Irish Gov on the stellar performance of the Irish Exports Board

  41. Deco

    Richard Doutewaite discusses energy, debt, the future, and the economy.

    http://peakoil.com/consumption/how-peak-oil-will-affect-the-economy/

    Very good discussion.

    Should the government hike the price of fuel even further and pour the money into the DART interconnector to make it possible to travel from Belfast City centre to Dublin City Centre to the SW line to Cork/Limerick ??? In Britain there is a big debate currently about rail transport being speeded up between London and Birminghma/West Mid. I can see road tolls being introduced in state owned motorways here also.

    RD also makes the point about the allocation of capital, and the growth model assumptions that exist in economic investment in our economy.

    I think RD’s previously repeated long term point about the entire system being “addictied to growth” is correct.

    It also reminds me of Wills making the point that the system is a ponzi scheme.

    • Deco

      The modern Western model economy is a ponzi scheme built on cheap hydrocarbons.

      We need to utilize nuclear, and we need to utilize smart grid technologies and energy storage. And even more wind energy projects.

      We also need to fix the spatial strategy issue. Suburban Dublin, and commuter belt Leinster are energy disasters waiting to happen. The settlement pattern in Leinster is going to turn into a massive liability.

      We also need to address our pyschological problems, and the manner in which they result in addiction problems.

      • gerry

        ‘We also need to address our psychological problems, and the manner in which they result in addiction problems’.

        Interesting that, the link between the boom/bust and our psychological problems. As one psychologist said to me recently, Ireland is the Addiction Capital of the World. Just look at the statistics of drug, alcohol and gambling addiction in this country. It’s off the scale compared to nearly every other OECD country in the world. We have a serious problem with not just alcohol but with many other substances such as cocaine and heroine. And these rates have increased over the last few years. It’s interesting that David used the addiction analogy of what happened in Ireland in the last decade. Addicted to cheap credit indeed.

        Personally, I’d be very interested in a documentary series that took a look at the Irish Psyche and how certain ‘deficits’ have led people to behave in such a way to bring about our present predicament.

        Like in the recent series on the Irish Asylums, I think we could start with the Famine and discuss how that has had a major impact on the Irish Psyche and subsequently has led to many problems that we face today. Then there’s the post colonial issues and why we always seem to need someone or something else, like an institution, to take responsibility for very important aspects to our lives. Why can’t we do it for our selves? Why do we so easily hand over power to institutions such as the Church or indeed the IMF to look after us?

        I think that having such a series of documentaries would really open this up to the greater public and promote much needed awareness around these issues.

        • CitizenWhy

          I read somewhere many years ago that Ireland historically has had the highest rate in the world of both manic depression (bi-polar disorder) and schizophrenia.

          Since that time a distinction has been made between manic depression and mania. Those with mania never go into a depressive stage. This diagnosis fits my family much better. I had a great grandfather who was always up, never slept, with endless weird and wacky energy. I think I have some mild touch of mania, if that is possible. I can have gloomy thoughts but inside My feelings are quite cheerful and normally self-mocking. I can weep at a sad song but inside my feelings are cheerful and often self-mocking. I can get angry but inside my feelings are cheerful and , yes, self-mocking. The littlest things can mildly or wildly amuse me. Yet I can give very rational explanations of many things, while inside, yes, I am making fun of what I am saying. Yet I can empathize with the suffering and be helpful and they seem to appreciate my presence. I feel their trouble but inside I am also cheerful. As a child I always laughed when I got hurt physically or someone insulted me. I learned that such laughing out loud is not very acceptable to others so I now laugh mainly on the inside. As a teen/young adult I hung around with many creative people who used many drugs (I never did) because I found them compatible and they assumed I too was on drugs too.

          I really think these are symptoms of some sort of mental chemistry gone wrong, not that I am complaining.

          One of my uncles had a full blown case of the family mania, which he self-medicated with huge amounts of alcohol. He drove a Manhattan bus for thirty years, never absent, never in an accident, his file stuffed with letters from passengers about what a wonderful uplift he gave them. He drank at least one bottle of whiskey each time he drove. Eventually he found himself jumping up and down in bed to drive away the vultures in saw in his DTs. He put his bone though his ankle, lost huge amounts of blood and healed in just two weeks or so. That’s when we discussed his having manic depression (as we thought then). He saw the accuracy of this and ceased self-medicating with alcohol (that is, he started drinking only 2-3 whiskies a day). He was fine after that, at least outwardly.

          My brother also had a full blown case, but managed to live in a daily way that required no real attention once everything he owned was put in his wife’s name so he could not give away the house or gamble away their savings (he continued to gamble but with access only to a certain amount of cash that he earned). He was immensely popular in his small town, a good earner, and a friend to the down and out and the broken-hearted. But quite off in the mind. Great company.

          Because the cases in the family have been so extraverted, I have gone contrary – with my usual weird cheerfulness – and keep myself socially isolated. People do contact me, but only for advice, information or comfort, not for friendship. I can be very insightful about what is really troubling them and what their feelings really are. They never inquire about me. I do have three not close friends with whom I have normal conversations, back and forth. I tend to feel like an alien among another species, not that I am distressed by this. At times other people have asked me if I were an alien. I quite enjoy my retirement, much more than the work life I led.

          In brief, I believe that mental illness is high among the Irish and that many self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. I can certainly see that from my family history. Although self-medication has not ruined the lives of people in my family, I believe that self-medication normally leads to a ruined life, especially for the depressed. Surely mental health services could address these needs.

          • CitizenWhy great post.

            I think many people will find empathy in this story and take strength from your honesty and openness and reading your words made a huge difference to my day. You really have done your good deed for the day by sharing such personal insights into your family background and I immediately clicked with a lot of what you said

            Everyday I talk to people about the state of this country and one thing that they all agree on is that life in Ireland has become very depressing

            It saddens me that many people still feel that they can’t talk about their mental health without fear of being stigmatised. This has to change and I think it is changing because more than ever I get a sense that in these surreal times people are beginning to once again care about their neighbours. It’s only human

          • coldblow

            Hi CW

            According to Dorothy Rowe, mania/ manic depression is the extreme form of stress as manifested in the extravert personality. (Schizophrenia is the extreme form for the intravert.)

            Your feelings of anomie strike me as characteristic of the intravert yet I had you marked down as an extravert. Extraverts certainly don’t thrive without company. Well, you’r one or the other. You sound pretty level headed anyway, and I enjoy your posts.

            I wonder if the stats for mental health in Ireland are reliable? Someone posted something hear last year I think and quoted some research. I commented at the time that the assumptions of the research team were dubious (there’s a better word but I won’t come to me).

          • coldblow

            Oh yeah, “tendentious”.

    • coldblow

      I didn’t realize Douthwaite died last week. He gets a good mention in John Water’s piece in the Mail on Sunday, but I can’t find a link. I love the heading given to one of the chapters of The Growth Illusion: “Ned Ludd Was Right”.

  42. Deco

    John Mauldin’s thoughts on the EuroZone.

    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article31651.html

    His conclusion seems to be that “print-baby-print” is the only way out for the ECB. This will be difficult for Guenther to digest.

  43. coldblow

    Never read the Time Machine, but Kipps is a cracker, a great insight into middle class, or rather ‘respectable’, mores of a century ago.

    I had a Saturday job in a department store in S.E. London and Wells was born right next door to another one just down the road in Bromley. The tv comedy Are You Being Served is more realistic than one might expect – the owner even used to come around with a small entourage to inspect the emporium. At one point Kipps is ‘cut’ (snubbed) by a local pillar of society (whose cough is likened to a sheep exploding a quarter of a mile away) who just walks by him in the street. Kipps ends up by opening a bookshop selling socialist tracts – hope I haven’t spoilt the ending for anyone.

  44. Austerity Measures have a Colour from Mayor of Naas

    Economic despair has elected a political and economic choice and all of this has now a colour dimension .Austerity practices is going to a Galaxy where no man has gone before .What will be the economic and political price for the choice elected by the Mayor of Naas ?

    Red hair has had its own history in school- boy antics so has freckles .

    As for skin there is ‘supple’ , ‘thick’,'leathered’ , ‘dry’ , ,hard, etc and they all can burn .The only colours I can remember are cuts and bruises and blushes .

    ~Is the Mayor of Naas a pretender ?

  45. breltub

    As modern Germany is a result by it’s past, so are we.

    We overspent, we created unsupportable social structures, we allowed runaway banker irresponsibility, then guaranteed it.
    You think print-baby-print is a viable solution to the problem. But it isn’t. Print-baby-print merely prolongs the inevitable because the underlying cause of this unsupportable debt addiction is not going to be solved, we will allow the print-baby-print money to go into more huge ponzi schemes of pointless, unproductive products, which upon failure will require more print-baby-print. It’s exactly why there is QE1, QE2, QE3 and there will be QE∞

    Anyway, if we keep going on about the past we will just end up recreating it!

    I was also in Berlin at the weekend, and I didn’t spend too much time up Unter den Linden way. Mostly around Oranien Strasse, having a laugh, and the Germans I know are well aware of things, but like everyone they each have an opinion on what is wrong and where potential solutions lie.

    As a side bet I wagered 100DM v 100E that by 2014 the Deutschmark will be back.

    You advocate Ireland returning to the punt, but having a spineless government we will never try anything approaching self-determination.

    Perhaps the leadership you really want to see is Germany going back to the DM, so we can then go back to the Punt and we can finally get down to revaluing our economies in a currency that is suitable for each.

    Rambling post over…..

    • CitizenWhy

      There have been articles in the US stating that Germany will probably be the first country to exit the Euro. The EU project was a noble idea based on never again isolating Germany so that it would not cause another war. But Germany does not now need the EU to avoid war.

      Germany is the natural center of MittelEuropa or Middle/Eastern Europe. It could form a workable Central/Eastern European economic unity with a common currency and leaving each country’s central bank in place so that currency deflations can occur when needed. A kind of Austro-Hungarian empire without the empire. This union would be far more likely to move Germany beyond its intellectual and social self-absorption.

      Could western Europe, with France in teh lead, from a similar union? With some sort of role for some Latin American and African nations?

      • CitizenWhy

        Whoops! I menat to write “without a common currency.” Sorry.

      • bonbon

        Noble idea? The entire EU-Euro debacle has got every country in europe at each others throats.

        Definite signs of nobility indeed, the Black Nobility such as the Guelphi and Venice. A nobility of a pre-industrial epoch. Maybe even a Crusades Nobility, what?

        American authors pursuing feudal mirages? We had that – it was called the Confederacy, supported only by, surprise, Britain. After all they demanded a Constitutional change, by force, from “pursuit of happiness” to “property”.

        The return of the DM is the only solution, a currency under an elected governments fiscal control. Any attempt at alternative poison “currency union” is a Giftpille!

        • CitizenWhy

          The Confederacy is not dead. The “base” of the Republican party and most of the current candidates for President want to dismantle the federal government in favor of local governments, that is local oligarchies and local and global corporations. They have combined the bloviating hysteria of Ayn Rand with that of the Old Confederacy.

          All the official secession documents and statements of the various states cited the preservation of slavery as their reason for seceding. Their leaders also talked about the absolute rights of property, the same “rights” that lead to the Irish famine and transportation to the torture gulags of Australia.

          I am not sure about a Constitutional Amendment to change pursuit of happiness to property. Maybe they did demand this, but the phrase “pursuit of happiness” appears only in the Declaration of Independence, not in the Constitution. The Declaration was not legally binding on the government under the Constitution. It was merely as atement of historic sentiment.

          And the term “happiness,” to the gentry of England at that time and the gentry of Virginia, meant secure prosperity and the ability to hold on to property without fear of its being confiscated by the king.

          The truly radical statement in the Declaration of Independence was “All men are created equal.” It was this phrase that led the Confederates to despise and reject the Declaration of Independence. They, like current Right wing Republicans, interpreted the Constitution to enshrine state sovereignty over federal power. The old Confederates also pointed out that slavery (so delicately called permanent bondage) was enshrined in the Constitution. The new Confederates hold that those who contract themselves for wages have chosen bondage and should suffer the fate of such a condition, accepting the absolute rights of employers over them. For a while there, in “standing up for the Constitution” (Confederate interpretation) the right wingers claimed that slavery did not appear in the Constitution. They dropped this ignorant claim when they got it that permanent bondage means slavery.

          By the way, some of the colonies, including Virginia, called themselves “Commonwealths,” a good translation of the Latin term Res Publica, which normally would have been translated as Republic, but they could not express their defiance of the monarchy that openly. Republics are normally oligarchies, with or without concern for the welfare of the entire population. These colonies were ruled unapologetically by property owners. The leaders of the US War of Independence came out of the Parlianmentary party in England, the party that wanted to make the squirarchy independent of control by the monarchy. Significantly and progressively the Constitution granted universal make suffrage, but did preserve the Senate as the chamber representing the interests of both the states (the state legislators appointed the Senators) and and the large property holders (who controlled the state governments).

          The US Constitution was designed to evolve, and it has. We needed a special amendment (the 14th) to abolish slavery since the original Constitution allowed for slavery. Lincoln was able to declare the slaves emancipated not out of constitutional right to freedom but because it was established that the slaves were “contraband,” that is, property needed for the pursuit of war. Thus confiscatable, by the rules of war, by the federal government. Lincoln’s Emancipation Declaration did not apply to the two slave states that stayed with the Union. Only the passage of the 14th Amendment freed those slaves.

          By the way you will get a lot out of listening to an album entitled Songs of the Civil War. It is available free on Spotify.

        • bonbon

          Spot on – the Confederacy is still around. That Confederate “property” change is there. After all slaves were property, and pursuit of happiness is not possible if you are property. Britain tried to use the Abolitionist movement to break the new Republic, and Lincoln was heavily criticized for delaying emancipation. His answer was only a strong Union would even be capable of guaranteeing this.

          Interesting you mention Res Publica, the name of British Fabian Philip Blond’s thinktank, author of Cameron’s Progressive Conservatism and Blair’s New Labour.

          I take Frederick Douglass’s famous speech on slavery as the real story. Even the wiki has some of this now. Douglass, born a slave, said Lincoln was America’s greatest President.

          • CitizenWhy

            How can Fabianism be reconciled with New Labour and Progressive Conservatism? Just asking.

            I think the name Res Pubica indicates what these philosophies and policies are all about. On the on ehand it means the recognition of a public good, a common good. But the Roman Republic rules in a way that made the common good of the rich equal to the common good of the plebians. That is, trickle down. oligarchy. As the Senators gorged themselves the “people’ were somehow – never clarified – supposed to benefit.

            The Roman Res Publica also meant rule by the rich (the Senate) with the consent of the people (the tribal Assembly). The Assembly had to approve the laws passed by the Senate, easily accomplished with bribes even when the laws went against the common people.

            The Roman Republic was shameless oligarchy, unsustainable. The US attempts at a Res Republoica were designed to have responsible property holders rule over and mitigate the “passions” of the “mob,” with the consent of the mob. But the idea of property owner extended to what was called in England freehold farmers. The patrician Federalists never conceived of the power of modern corporations, although Lincoln alluded to their danger to the American Republic, which he defined in a more democratic way than the old patricians. Andrew Jackson’s election brought the end to patrician rule in favor of both land-hungry popular poor whites and commercial interests. The old patricians honored the Indian treaties. Jackson ignored them, despite a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court that they were legally binding. Land hungry poor whites and commercial interests were hampered by those treaties so they had to go. The current representative of those land hungry poor whites is the National Rifle Association. In the south and the midwest if you own a small patch of land and a shack or trailer, and you are unemployed or poor, you can still get by through hunting or welfare and hunting.

            Currently in the US Homeland Security acts against first amendment rights without protest from the right wing or action from Obama, who is legally in charge of Homeland Security.

            The US is a non-patrician, corporate oligarchy that values everyone who can develop the skills and hustle or inherited wealth to survive in a rapidly changing economy (the meritocracy). The liberals also value providing a basic safety net for everyone else. The right does not want this safety net or wants to make it so painful that people will “get a job” (even if there are none).

        • bonbon

          The Preamble is not legally binding, rather all law legislated is determined by this Preamble. A Constitution is also not a ‘legal’ document, that’s the whole point. Britain has no constitution, just positive law.
          Hitler’s Judge Carl Schmitt declared the constitution or law is the text it is written in. This was Scalia’s mentor! Textualism.
          The US Preamble is the thing Schmittlerians cannot tolerate.

          • CitizenWhy

            Interesting. The US Preamble to the Constitution lays out broad principles before spelling out the mechanisms of the government. Due to popular demand the first Ten Amendments (the Bill of Rights) were added as binding on all positive law that would be passed. Later amendments also are supposed to bind positive law but have often been ignored. The practice of Jim Crow in the South, along with lynching, was the most widespread violation of the overarching amendments to the US Constitution. Jim Crow and the southern prison system were simply a reintroduction of slavery and openly discussed as such in southern circles.

          • CitizenWhy

            Thanks for the tip on Judge Carl Scmitt and Justice Scalia. I will research that.

        • CitizenWhy

          Well, like many noble ideas that ignore human nature and reality, it went wrong. It was still a noble, if quite inadequate, ideal: make it impossible for Germany to remilitarize and start new wars. A flaky basis for the EU, but the main motivation for its founders.

          The mechanism to make the EU was French bureaucracy. France had used centralized bureaucracy to create France form disparate provinces. Even food was centralized. At one time most food first had to be shipped to Paris before being shipped to the provinces (Les Halles marketplace). The union of the EU bureaucracy and the EU’s big Euro banks has effectively become the ruling mechanism.

          • bonbon

            I quote Thatcher in the next blog theme on exactly why we have the Euro, and the geopolitical schizophrenia. Public statements by Ridley, Conor Cruise O’Brien, are there also. The motivation was economic, and the most blatant example of political criminality, which by the way is the real meaning of “noble”. The unbelievable feudal thinking has created hell in Europe right now. We are seeing the results of that “flaky basis for the EU”.
            To clear this dense fog, some clear truths : If you base economic policy on pre-industrial feudalism, you reap the consequences, except we all get hit with the mess.

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