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Responding to my previous post on Jean-Luc Picard, commenter Divine Right has given us a very interesting and detailed essay on the degeneration of Star Trek. The destiny of the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises is instructive. Whatever one thinks, and beyond politics, there used to be some heart and even philosophical or mythical elements in these shows/films. Today, one has superb special effects and technical prowess, absolutely no substance, considerable vulgarity, and utterly empty melodrama and hyperemotionality over nothing. This is a good mirror to our civilization as a whole today.

My take on modern Star Trek compared to the old:

Star Trek very much embodied what liberal American white males of the 1980s and 1990s thought the future would (or should) look like: secular, sexually liberated, humanistic, meritocratic, equitable, and technological – a man’s world, basically. In this world, religion plays practically no role in public life. Problems are solved with diplomacy instead of violence. Money doesn’t exist, so there is no capitalism, greed, or want. People spend their lives bettering humanity and doing other such noble things like negotiating peace with aliens or exploring the universe in one of Starfleet’s advanced starships, each equipped with a plethora of miraculous technologies. In their leisure time, the crews of these starships visit a holographic room, the holodeck, which can conjure any fantasy into a photorealistic facsimile of the real thing.

Probably the only place in the Western world where this mentality can still be found is California’s Silicon Valley. As in the fictional world of Star Trek, men do most of the work; they advance through meritocracy; and there is something akin to a fraternal culture, irrespective of the prevailing progressive ideology. Silicon Valley is also still largely free of the odious diversity requirements imposed on the rest of society.

That was also once true of Hollywood itself, and it showed in the television they produced — Star Trek, for example. That franchise, spanning hundreds of television hours and a number of theatrical releases, was mostly helmed by men who got their jobs through merit – actors, writers, ship designers, show runners. The main characters of each of the television series were also men. The Original Series (TOS) featured a lead triangle of male actors – Kelley, Shatner, and Nemoy. The sequel, The Next Generation (TNG), featured mostly male characters, certainly all the most popular ones. These characters often featured something educated men are interested in: the second officer is an android; the chief engineer has a technology-supplemented vision; the executive officer is a ladies man and a master strategist who plays games of skill underpinned by mathematical rules; the captain is a wise and cultured authority figure who reads Shakespeare; the security chief is a noble warrior from an alien species whose culture is based around rules of honor.

Spinoffs like Deep Space Nine (DS9) and Voyager were more diverse, but still roughly comported to what the male audience desired. DS9 featured a male captain, and the most popular characters were all men. Voyager had a female captain who mostly avoided gender politics outside of a few instances in the earlier seasons (written by a woman) – a rarity these days. In that show, one of the two most popular characters was a male and the other was a sexy Borg chick, Seven of Nine.

The high point of the franchise, The Next Generation, featured a mostly white liberal cast and various things white liberals liked at the time – sex appeal, food, pseudointellectualism (although handled capably by talented male writers), cutting edge tech, meritocracy, optimism, exploration, and the white man’s moralism.

Starfleet, the Federation’s military and scientific branch, was a rigorous meritocracy, just as Silicon Valley is today. Members were admitted only through a combination of senior officer recommendations, high scholastic achievement, and phenomenally high standardized test scores. Character was also paramount. Crew evaluations feature prominently in several episodes of TNG, and it was made clear to underperforming members that the starship Enterprise cuts a standard above the rest; perform or hit the road.

In the diverse world of Star Trek, the white writers imagined meritocracy would ensure whites like themselves would still have a position at the top of society (just as in Hollywood then and Silicon Valley now) despite soon becoming a minority in real life America. You’ll notice progressive humans are at the center of the Federation in Star Trek despite being a small minority in that fictional universe as well. That’s by design, conscious or not.

You can tell the creators desperately wanted to believe this sweet little lie about diverse societies. I’m sure they imagined their tolerance would be reciprocated when they were on the receiving end; we now know that’s not true, unfortunately. Remember, this was the generation that famously cheered President Bill Clinton’s college commencement speech where he lauded the idea of America soon becoming majority minority. The primarily white crowd roared in approval.

White Male Star Trek Alum Denied Directing Job on Discovery Because He’s . . . White Male

Source 1

Source 2

In this imagined future, white liberals would still get to feel morally superior to contemporary white conservatives, just as they often strive to in today’s world. In TNG, this is accomplished through various means – cooperation with hostile aliens (demonstrating philosophical supremacy, superiority of intellect and temperament), bravery, tolerance of differences in others, multiculturalism (the show almost never celebrates an earth holiday like Christmas but often supports alien cultures, including breaking Starfleet’s rules of dress for aliens), standing up to corrupt superiors (usually white conservative caricatures).

In the TNG episode The Drumhead, Picard faces down a witch hunting admiral — a woman, no less. The plot revolves around an incident that occurred on the starship Enterprise. Sabotage is suspected, and the situation is tense. The initial evidence points to a low ranking crewman who is later discovered to be of mixed race, one-quarter of the Federation’s most feared enemy. This all but convicts him in the eyes of the admiral’s tribunal. The admiral mercilessly presses her case, threatening to destroy anyone who gets in her way. She’s meant to be a caricature of conservative jingoists of the era – always scared of the Russians, racist against minorities, emotional. In Hollywood’s view of history, those were the people behind the McCarthy hearings, which this episode obviously pulls from.

 
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In an address to the nation and the wider francophone world on Thursday (April 16), the Franco-Cameroonian[1] comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala called for peace and reconciliation in these anxious times of confinement and coronavirus.

Opening his video with his customary “may peace be with you and with your spirit,” Dieudonné recalled the many world leaders who have compared the current coronavirus crisis with the darkest events of the Twentieth Century. French President Emmanuel Macron has told his countrymen that “we are at war,” while U.S. Vice Admirable Jerome Adams has warned that coronavirus is “our Pearl Harbor.”

Dieudonné warned that such talk was increasing fear among the people:

What could be more traumatizing for the descendants of the great defeat of 1940 [turns to framed photo of Marshal Philippe Pétain on his wall] than to find themselves plunged today in the horrors of barbarism and butchery. Don’t you realize? Hitler and the coronavirus: the same struggle! What an extravagant analogy.

He added that such historical comparison led to the risk of inappropriate comparisons and to relativizing the events of the Second World War.

The fêted Dieudonné fell from grace from the French politico-media system in 2003, when he performed a comedy sketch on national television comparing Israeli settlers to Nazis. This was considered “anti-Semitic” and led to his blacklisting, as well as legal harassment by the Jewish-Zionist organizations.

Dieudonné went on to explain:

The conclusions of [the] Nuremberg [Military Tribunal] were supposed to have definitively closed the door to any kind of metaphor on the events between 1939 and 1945. In France, a law has even been passed which imposes this total submission on everyone – not a total submission to the official history, but to the legal history . . . an obligatory version of history. . . .

Adolf Hitler, who is also served up to us loosey-goosey [à toutes les sauces] right up to the present day continues to embody absolute evil. Though it’s true that some consider he had real skill in the area of economic recovery, he got Germany back on its feet in a few years.

Urging “open-mindedness,” he added:

Hitler should no longer have to carry the burden of infamy on his shoulders alone. No more than Judas Iskariot, for that matter. Jesus has forgiven them. Yes, Jesus has forgiven them! And he invites us to do the same. And why not consider that Hitler was a man who thought he was doing good, but was simply mistaken? And he also paid for this with his life. He also made others pay, but has the time not come for the great reconciliation? Or will we, after this confinement, enter a new cycle of conflict? With once again: “The Nazis! Hitler! Hitler willy-nilly! Hitler-Ben Laden! Hitler-Le Pen! Hitler-Saddam! Hitler-Putin! Hitler-Mahmoud [Ahmadinejad]!” Could we not, on the contrary, rehabilitate Hitler? Yes, in order to look ourselves in the face. In order to look humanity in the face. Yes, he belongs to humanity whether you like it or not.

Dieudonné concluded: “Let us leave this [mental] confinement, light, free. How? Through forgiveness.”

The comedian went on to poke fun at Manuel Valls – a Socialist and Zionist Franco-Spanish politician who persecuted Dieudonné in 2013 as Minister of Justice, banning one of his sketches. Since losing office in France, Valls has attempted to penetrate Spanish politics and failed.

Dieudonné also made light of climate change: “Do you remember the ozone layer?” He urged his viewers to put their savings into crypto, notably Dieudonné’s own digital currency, the Sestrel, and to buy face masks from LeeImpex, a company which may or may not be owned by Dieudonné and/or his associates.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65lVbOfgORM

Notes

[1] This of course refers to political citizenship. Ethnically, Dieudonné is a Breton-Ewondo hybrid.

 
• Category: History, Ideology • Tags: France, Hitler 
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The posters and trailers for today’s films and TV series generally look awful to me. I occasionally give them a chance, against my better judgment, and find I have wasted my time. All these pope dramas and even Emir Kusturica’s documentary with Uruguayan President Peje Mujica: meh.[1]

So I look to the past. I’ve recently indulged in watching some Star Trek: The Next Generation. Now there is a homey show. It’s remarkable in a number of ways. Two striking ones for me: the decidedly optimistic cosmopolitan setting, which represents a kind of idealized fruition of the whole liberal-internationalist outlook, and the personality of Jean-Luc Picard, captain of the starship Enterprise, as a rare TV portrayal of a wise commander.

Star Trek is fundamentally a projection of contemporary liberal-internationalist assumptions 300 years into the future. As such, it’s an interesting show to analyze to understand the liberal idealism, for there is such a thing, which has underpinned the world’s basic evolution since the Second World War.

Star Trek portrays humanity the way the writers feel we should be if we could get passed our pettiness and bickering. The technological level is simply fabulous: effortless interstellar travel, materialization of objects from nothing, teleportation, a “holodeck” where any fantastical setting can be realized . . . The travels of a military starship through space work very well as a pretext for an adventure-a-week. The Enterprise encounters mysterious happenings, hostile aliens, and surprisingly common (invariably passionate and unenlightened) demi-gods.

The show’s basic idealism and optimism is, significantly, reflected in the crew’s personalities. Everyone is just so good.

As usual, each member of the diverse crew reflects different aspects of the human personality: the android Data is emotionless and childlike, the Klingon Worf is an impulsive hot-head steeled by discipline, the telepathic psychologist Troi is full of empathy, and so on. However, the crew always fundamentally collaborates as a community under the leadership of Picard.

Picard is a model of philosophical leadership. When there is a problem, he takes his time, hears out every opinion, and remains dispassionate and prudent. When a decision is finally made however, he is firm and decisive.

A typical TNG episode works as a morality play. The antagonist (there are rarely enemies) is not usually destroyed an epic battle of laser blasts in all directions. Rather, he is usually misguided, and can be brought back to reason through dialogue and moral example. This is where Picard excels: Socratic dialectic, explication, compassion, and moral self-control are his weapons of choice.

And you know what? It works. While there is often a soppy element to TNG, Picard’s wise leadership comes across as convincing and plausible. It’s not often we see a wise man in command: a few cameos of Marcus Aurelius here and there, the Gandhi biopic starring Ben Kingsley . . . hard to think of much else. Ned Stark provides an interesting contrast with a fundamentally good, too good, man in a Machiavellian world.

Star Trek’s social organization and politics are rather telling. Inevitably, every series’ idealized setting says a great deal about the social assumptions of the people who made it at the time.

In The Original Series produced in the 1960s, the cast is strikingly multiracial, including a black woman, an East Asian man, as well as a Russian (not to mention the famously ultra-rational Spock, a half-Vulcan). The show is often comically macho and women are basically absent, with Uhura (the black woman) coming across as a sexy secretary.

In TNG, produced in the late 80s and 90s, the cast is much whiter and, as so often in liberal shows, demographically resembles 1950s America, the only minorities in the main cast being two black men (one of them being a non-human Klingon). What’s more, the men are still in charge. After the female chief of security is killed off in the first season (a rarity for a main cast member, the actress wanted out), women star as the ship’s psychologist, doctor, bartender, and love interests.

The Enterprise serves the Federation, a kind of interplanetary United Nations/United States which actually works, with humans making up the core. Again, the Federation is good, working for the harmonious development of all species.

Picard is wholly committed to the Federation and its generous and cosmopolitan guiding philosophy. He affirms “the right of all life to exist” and the ability of “intelligent beings of good will” to get along. The latter is Stoicism 101 (all “rational and social beings” should get along). Picard’s own ship and personal example are a testament to the truth of these claims.

While having a basically “humanitarian” mission, the Enterprise’s crew are animated by a decidedly heroic and even Promethean ethos. The crew are more than willing to risk their lives to, as Picard famously puts it in the intro, explore “Space . . . the final frontier . . . and boldly go where no one has gone before!”

TNG works as a kind of Stoic-cosmopolitan idealization of what humanity could be. There’s something charmingly innocent and elevated to all this and, as I say, it works.

That isn’t to say this is particularly plausible or is the whole story. The cracks and omittances of TNG are quite suggestive of underlying darkness.

Today, we rightly worry about human obsolescence as a result of automation. In TNG, there’s a whole space ship of people busy each working in their little sphere. Scarcely is anything ever said of the Federation’s (presumably democratic) politics and we only know the authoritarian hierarchy of a military vessel under a wise commander (a setting in which, by the way, multiculturalism can indeed work).

Despite the total lack of scarcity, the humans are still motivated to do things. The men are still interested in tactfully courting the womenfolk rather than being addicted to sexing virtual babes on the holodeck.

In terms of international politics and war, Star Trek rejects the suggestion of fundamental differences in outlook and competition between species. We can all get along and coexist. This is true, if each species lacks any great difference in their fundamental drive, if no species is basically . . . anti-social . . .

This is particularly striking in the case of one of Stark Trek’s most original principles: the so-called “Prime Directive” under which the Federation is not supposed to interfere with the development of more primitive forms of life. In one episode, a bronze-age race which has come to believe Picard is a god is told the truth and then, despite their equal cognitive abilities, left to flounder on their own.

In another, nanites self-reproduce as a collective intelligence and threaten to turn the ship into gray good. The problem is solved when the exponentionally-developing “nanite civilization” is dropped off on a planet. Everyone can have their safe space, it is implied, and there is no reason even a fundamentally distinct life-form might have a drive, an impulse, a way of life, which could fundamentally clash with that of others.

Liberal-internationalism and multiculturalism work much the same today. Human differences can be manageable if these are reduced to sterile folklore and we all become united by the shopping cart.

 
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In the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Hellenistic culture each ethnic community was self-conscious of its historical traditions and of the way in which these traditions related to those of other groups. . . . The work of most of these historians exists now only in quotations and extracts in the writings of later Christian writers . . . In second century Palestine B.C.E. Palestine a bilingual, upper class Jew named Eupolemus wrote a history entitled Concerning the Kings in Judea, though its scope was actually much broader. Eupolemus, a friend of Judah the Maccabee, was concerned with glorifying Israelite history and he elaborated the biblical narrative with additional legendary details. He presents Moses as a culture-bringer, specifically as the inventor of the alphabet, which was later borrowed by the Phoenicians and the Greeks. The influence and splendor of the Israelite kingdom under David and Solomon was a particular theme of Eupolemus. He describes the lavishness and superb construction of the temple, along with the contributions made by Hiram, king of Tyre, and Vaphres, king of Egypt. According to Eupolemus, Solomon responded to these contributions with extravagant gifts of his own, including a gold pillar for the temple of Zeus in Tyre. . . .

An anonymous writer, probably a Samaritan, wrote a highly legendary history in which various details of Greek and Babylonian mythology are harmonized with biblical traditions. . . . Abraham is presented as the discoverer of astrology, which he taught to the Egyptians during his sojourn there. The correlation of biblical figures with pagan mythological and heroic figures is characteristic of several of these Hellenistic Jewish historians, most notably Artapanus. More a writer of historical romances than a historian, Artapanus recounts the stories of Abraham, Joseph, and Moses. Moses is presented as an inventor of basic technologies, a philosopher, a general in the Egyptian army, the organizer of Egyptian religion (!), and a man regarded as a virtual god by the Egyptians, who identified him with Hermes (the Greek equivalent of the Egyptian god Thoth). . . .

Against Apion [by the Jewish historian Josephus] is a book devoted to refuting slander leveled against Jews by gentile writers. It testifies to the competitive environment in which various ethnic groups interpreted their history and traditions in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. . . .

As early as the second century B.C.E., Alexandria produced a Jewish philosopher in the person of Aristobulus. Although his work survives only in quotations, he apparently wrote an extensive philosophical commentary on the Pentateuch. Aristobulus claimed that the law of Moses already contained what Greek philosophy later expounded. Indeed, he argued that Greek philosophers such as Pythagoras, Socrates, and Plato derived their ideas from Jewish law.

Whether or not there was a tradition of Hellenistic Jewish philosophers, the Egyptian Diaspora produced a truly significant intellectual figure in Philo of Alexandria, who flourished around the turn of the era. . . . Throughout his writings . . . philosophy and biblical interpretation are always closely intertwined as Philo attempts to show that true philosophy is nothing other than the understanding of the Law of Moses.[1]

Given our level of technological innovation and global interconnection, there are no previous historical periods really analogous to our own. The one that comes closest however may be the Alexandrian age, when the peoples of the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East were intermingled under a common Hellenistic culture in the wake of Alexander the Great’s conquests.

This was an age of great cultural syncretism and scholarship. The Library of Alexandria gathered hundreds of thousands of books and undertook biological, chemical, and astronomical research. There were considerable scientific discoveries: the circumference of the Earth, the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, blood circulation . . .

These cosmopolitan periods harness the latent potential of scattered human intellect through interconnection. However, as Emil Cioran endlessly laments, these are also periods of biological decline and relative cultural sterility, the main achievements being compilations of existing cultures. Cosmopolitan eras sustain themselves by inertia and, worse, a kind of vampirism: living at the expense of centuries or even millennia of accumulated cultural and biological capital.

These are not periods of ethnic harmony. As Carol Newsom suggests, the common culture of the Hellenistic world was an ethnic battlefield, in which each tribe and religion sought to narcissistically rationalize and distort “reality” in their favor. This tendency is particularly striking concerning the Jews.

Nietzsche muses that much of the Old Testament was “falsified” history. Russel E. Gmirkin claims that the Torah, the Law attributed to Moses, was in fact inspired by Plato’s Laws and is a kind of implementation of Plato’s ambition of setting an eternal law and constitution for a people. The biblical scholar Denis MacDonald has written numerous works similarly arguing that much of the Gospels and early Christian apocrypha are imitations and parodies of Homer.

The Romans, who ruled and had assimilated all sorts of peoples, considered the ancient Jews to be a minor tribe, remarkable for its fanaticism and ethnocentrism. As such, Jews are rarely mentioned in Roman literature, but when they are – as by the philosopher-statesmen Cicero and Seneca – the comments are very negative and voice complaints which would become widespread in later epochs.

The Jewish historians by contrast attempted to attribute many the great and prestigious accomplishments of the Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Greeks to their own ancestors. Similarly, the leaders of rabbinical Judaism sought to reinterpret their sacred texts according to their own doctrines:

The Talmuds do seek in varying degrees to link Mishnaic [early Jewish legal] teaching to Scripture, but again not in a systematic fashion and not with any sense that rabbinic teaching depends on the Bible for its own validities. This central corpus of rabbinic literature thus makes clear that rabbinic Judaism in its own formative period assigned the sacred canon of Scripture an essentially marginal role in Jewish religious life. . . .

Substantial portions of the Talmud take the form of attempts to associate with Scripture rabbinical teachings about all sorts of topics that have at first glance no particular connection to the passages adduced. . . . Through skillful midrashic [ancient Jewish biblical interpretation] elaboration, virtually all of rabbinic teaching could be presented as interpretation of Scripture and all of Scripture could be understood as conforming to rabbinic teaching. . . .

Midrash was unconcerned in principle with the plausibility of its exegesis or with the original context of its biblical raw materials; any meaning which any interpreter could derive from any detail in the biblical text could at least in theory be offered as midrash on that text.[2]

 
• Category: History • Tags: Ancient Jews, Jews 
Coronavirus Brings Back the Spirit of the Polis
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The coronavirus epidemic has been highly instructive. In the face of a looming early death for millions of citizens, Western States have entered a genuine crisis in which the Schmittian sovereign – who was always there lying in waiting – has reemerged into the open and taken all the measures deemed necessary, liberty and law be damned.

The nations making up the European Union are highly illustrative in this respect. For starters, there was no unified European response. Each nation having its own police and media/consciousness, each one adopted their measures in a haphazard and uncoordinated manner, although all tended towards a gradual escalation.

Jean Quatremer, Libération’s euro-federalist correspondent in Brussels, lamented: “Up to now, it has been every man for himself. Italy, the epicenter of the European epidemic, was abandoned; Germany and France even went so far as to forbid the export of medical equipment, with no regard for solidarity.”

Admittedly that was two weeks ago and since then the Europeans have made some progress in getting their act together.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is perhaps the EU’s only truly federal and sovereign entity, in some respects more powerful that the U.S. Federal Reserve, because there is no pan-European political counterpart to counterbalance it. A few days after making the faux pas of declaring that the Bank’s job did not involve policing interest rate spreads,[1] ECB President Christine Lagarde reversed her position and declared her institution would lend €750 billion to stabilize the European economy.

I am always left in awe of this spectacle: while European officials and lobbyists are locked in a perpetual struggle of niggardly Kuhhandel in Brussels over the pork-laden EU budget, Lagarde can summon up five times the annual budget with a snap of her fingers.

Corona really does work miracles. Things that were declared “impossible” have become the norm. The parks of Western European cities are finally being cleared of migrants, now that these have been declared a sanitary hazard (being a criminal one was apparently not enough).

The European Parliament’s meetings in Strasbourg – a traveling circus which costs taxpayers €100 million per years – have been suspended. The EU’s balanced-budget rulebook, which the Germans fought so hard to impose over the last decades, has been thrown out the window. Each State is to borrow as it pleases to bail out businesses and provide welfare, at least for the duration of the national lockdowns. Individual liberty has been put indefinitely on hold.

In Italy, the number of cases and dead continues to steadily rise. As of 27 March, over 9,000 have died, including almost 1,000 just in the past day. Overwhelmed medical professionals have been forced to institute the grim practice of triage, choosing to concentrate on those individuals who have the best chance of survival and leaving many of the elderly to die.

Mankind only learns the hard way: one funeral at a time. A month ago, the mayor of Florence urged his fellow citizens to “huge a Chinese” in order to fight racism and xenophobia. Now Italian mayors are verbally abusing their residents to stay indoors in classic national style.

European States have adopted genuinely totalitarian levels of social control, affecting all citizens’ daily lives. In France, you cannot go into the street without a written declaration of your particular reason for being outside. Our countries have adopted a basically Mussolinian notion of collection liberty. As the Duce himself argued in his Doctrine of Fascism:

[Fascism] is opposed to classical liberalism which arose as a reaction to absolutism and exhausted its historical function when the State became the expression of the conscience and will of the people. [. . .] And if liberty is to be the attribute of living men and not of abstract dummies invented by individualistic liberalism, then Fascism stands for liberty, and for the only liberty worth having, the liberty of the State and of the individual within the State.

And, in truth, Western Europeans have by and large embraced the new measures. Huge majorities of over 85% support the national lockdowns in Spain, Italy, France, and Britain. With a typical “rally-around-the-flag” effect, leading politicians have also regained in popularity. French President Emmanuel Macron now has a 44% approval rating, a figure not seen since July 2017, while confidence in Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe has jumped by over 10 points since the start of the crisis, reaching 51%.

Our liberal democracies found their legitimacy on the sacrosanct equality and liberty of the individual, that is to say. Such doctrines and practices certainly thrive in peacetime but as soon as there is a real threat of death – an early death for millions of elderly Westerners, in this case – these notions melt away like snow in the morning sun.

In the face of genuine danger, the natural social condition effortlessly reasserts itself. Liberty, equality, and the “rights of man” naturally give way to the imperative of collective survival: Every man at his post!

In truth, collective organization in the face of imminent danger has been the norm throughout human history. Social prescription went far beyond mere politics to being part of something much deeper: custom.

There is a curious contradiction running across Western societies today. Over the last two-and-a-half centuries, we have seen the individual rebel more and more forcefully against the formal strictures of the group, against formal inequalities and restrictions on “private” liberty (for instance, buggery, harlotry, and spinsterdom). Any attempt to take action to reverse Western nations’ decline and save their ethnic and genetic identity is considered a “human rights violation.” At the same time, in practice, our citizens tolerate and often outright expect massive curtailment of their liberties, usually in the name of security.

The fascist critique of liberal-democratic ethics basically boiled down to a denunciation of selfishness and hypocrisy. As Ezra Pound complained in 1938: “In our time the liberal has asked for almost no freedom save freedom to commit acts contrary to the general good.”[2] Indeed, Pound noted that as people had only known “the loose waftiness of demoliberal ideology,” one needed “sharp speech” to open minds.[3]

 
• Category: Foreign Policy, Ideology • Tags: Coronavirus, Disease, EU, Fascism, Nationalism 
The Christian Knight’s Ethos according to Geoffroi de Charny
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Geoffroi de Charny (trans. Elspeth Kennedy), A Knight’s Own Book of Chivalry (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press), 2005.

Geoffroi de Charny was a widely respected French lord of the fourteenth century. A bearer of the royal standard (the Oriflamme) and the first recorded owner of the Turin Shroud, he spent his life fighting in various wars before dying fighting the English and Gascons at the battle of Poitiers in 1356, in his late forties.

Charny was also a writer, producing a number of books, including the Livre de Chevalerie (The Book of Chivalry), one of the few non-fiction descriptions of the knightly ethos that we possess. This book is an exhortation to martial prowess, a spirited defense of the military way life, and a guide to how one should act as a knight.

Charny is unique in combining a downright Homeric competitiveness and spiritedness with a very Christian piety and humility before divine providence. He urges single-minded determination, if necessary unto death:

And no one should give up performing great exploits. For when the body can do no more, the heart and determination should take over; and there are many people who have been more fortunate in the end than they had hoped for at the beginning in relation to the nature of their enterprise. I therefore say: whoever does best is worth most. (10.5-10[1])

One never has an excuse to give up. As in many sections, Charny concludes saying: “qui plus fait, mieux vault” (he who does more is worth more). He says this again and again throughout the work, recurring like a mantra, a kind of final existential statement.

At the same time, Charny is thoroughly imbued with Christian piety. “Ah God!” he often says, thinking gratefully of the natural qualities and opportunity to be a knight granted to him by the Lord. Man has a duty to exploit the natural gifts granted to him by God. One must be humble, for uncertainty is the lot of humanity, our fates determined by an inscrutable divine providence. Hence, Charny urges us to not be arrogant in success, nor despairing in failure, but to be detached and reverent in the face of ever-uncertain events. A lifetime’s work and amassed wealth can be lost in an instant, only the honor of good deeds is eternal.[2] Greed, he says, is the enemy of honor and often leads to self-destruction.

Charny is empowered by his closeness to God:

Now he is indeed a poor wretch who leaves this sweet spring at which everyone can quench his thirst and satisfy all his good desires, for he can only find there a good beginning, a better middle, and a very good end. (44.27)

Interestingly, Charny is not particularly pro-clerical however, seemingly leaping over the priests in his martial piety.

We find again that Homeric wisdom which so often resurfaces in Western literature throughout the ages: that it is better to live well and gloriously, however briefly, than long in servility. The Christian Charny writes:

[A] man is happy to die when he finds life pleasing, for God is gracious toward those who find their life of such quality that death is honorable; for the said men of worth teach you that it is better to die than live basely. (22.50)

He urges the soldier, on a philosophical note, to “live with the constant thought of facing death at any hour on any day” (42.85).

In short, much like the Song of Roland in the eleventh century, Charny’s Book of Chivalry represents a fusion of Christian piety and selflessness with native European spiritedness and martial culture.

The French Hagakure

Charny’s Book of Chivalry can be interestingly compared with Jōchō Yamamoto’s samurai handbook, Hagakure (later studied by Yukio Mishima). The two works are very different in terms of form. Jōchō presents a disordered set of fragmentary memoirs, historical anecdotes, and life advice, collected by an acolyte. Charny by contrast apparently dictated his work in a great burst, as a steady and single-minded torrent of exhortation.

In terms of values, Jōchō and Charny perhaps differ mostly in emphasis. Both are warriors relentlessly convinced of the excellence of their profession, of the need to be the best one can be, and to be unshakably determined unto death. While Charny notes the importance of hierarchy, loyalty and speaking well, Jōchō absolutely stresses the need for selflessness and tact in the service of one’s lord.

The biggest difference is perhaps related to piety. Jōchō, apparently retired as a Zen monk, was basically impious: the samurai’s conscience should not be troubled by what gods or Buddha might want, noting as an afterthought that such selfless service could only be pleasing to deities. Charny by contrast has mind only for war and God.

The Glory of Prowess

Charny is unwaveringly proud of his profession. For him, martial pursuits are inherently worthwhile, insofar as these entail expensive investments (weapons, armor, steed, travel), risk to oneself (fighting, travel), hardship, determination, and skill. Thus, simple tournaments as well as wars for honor, for one’s inheritance and land, for one’s rightful lord, for self-defense, for helpless orphans and damsels, and for true religion are all impressive and honorable, though not equally so.

Charny recognizes that arms can be misused: robbery, plunder, or stealing from churches bring only “dishonorable ill fame” (41.98). Whereas monastics like Saint Bernard tended to condemn knights in general, praising only the honorable exception of warrior-monks like the knights-templar, Charny inverses the pattern. For him, warriors in general are worthy of praise, whether rich or poor.

Charny’s treatment of wealth and aristocracy is somewhat nuanced. In a striking passage, he argues that, in ancient times, the nobility were chosen because of their powerful physique and capacity to endure, thus earning the right to rule for the benefit of others. Charny asks: “Were they chosen in order to take pleasure in listening to dissolute conversation or in watching worthless pastimes? Indeed no!” (24.108). He notes that the poor have to invest more of their little wealth to go on military adventures, but ultimately considers the rich more honorable, because they have no need to go on such expeditions, but do so purely for “personal honor” (17.80). He urges us however to recognize the merit of each individual whatever his class: “Be sure that you do not despise poor men or those lesser in rank than you, for there are many poor men who are of greater worth than the rich” (23.32).

Natural gifts and humility before God

Charny is among those writers sensitive to the reality of in-born human nature determining differing qualities among individuals. For him, an individual will be blessed by God with different “natural good qualities,” which will make him more or less suited to being a knight. One must build upon these qualities:

 
• Category: History • Tags: Knighthood, Middle Ages 
The EU interviewed 8,000 Gypsies, the results will shock you!
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I for one am fascinated by Gypsies. I find it remarkable that a people, hailing from the dregs of medieval Indian society, could cross the whole Middle East, arrive in eastern Europe, and maintain their identity among other peoples for 1500 years. The Gypsies did this, furthermore, without maintaining their own sovereign state or religion, the two traditional ways of preserving peoplehood. That is, by any yardstick, a remarkable achievement.

Unfortunately, the realities and remarkable nature of Gypsy society and culture are never a subject of polite conversation. I once asked an eastern European affluent white female liberal for sources on the topic and she unhelpfully pointed to a Soros-funded NGO’s numerous reports on all the discrimination Gypsies face at the hands of nefarious Europeans. That really wasn’t what I was getting at.

Any people who manages to maintain their identity in such a way throughout the centuries can hardly be a merely passive object of the all-powerful majority. Rather, the diaspora people in question must have their own powerful cultural and social mechanisms to make this happen: policing group membership, ensuring endogamous reproduction, and maintaining one’s own social life as a nation within a nation.

Anyway, the European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has produced a massive survey seeking to shed light on this mysterious people: as part of the “Second European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey” (the reflexive pairing of these two themes naturally sets the tone), 8,000 face-to-face interviews with Gypsies were held, collecting information on 34,000 people living in Gypsy households in nine European countries.

The survey covers Gypsies in Bulgaria, Czechia, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, and Slovakia, which host 80% of Europe’s Gypsies. Gypsies that have moved to a different country, very numerous since Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union and armed their Gypsies with EU passports, are not covered.

The results, indeed, are highly revealing.

Gypsies are poor:

[The survey] shows that 80% of Roma continue to live below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold of their country; that every third Roma lives in housing without tap water; one in 10 in housing without electricity; and that every fourth Roma (27%) and every third Roma child (30%) live in a household that faced hunger at least once in the previous month.

Gypsies are much, much less likely to work or study:

[The survey] finds that only one in four Roma aged 16 years or older reports ‘employed’ or ‘self-employed’ as their main activity at the time of the survey. Roma women report much lower employment rates than Roma men – 16 % compared with 34 %. Overall, the survey shows paid work rates for Roma aged 20-64 years to be 43 %, which is well below the EU average of 70 % in 2015. The situation of young people is substantially worse: on average, 63% of Roma aged 16-24 were not employed, in education or training at the time of the survey, compared with the 12 % EU average on the NEET rate for the same age group. For this age group, the results also show a considerable gender gap, with 72 % of young Roma women not employed, in education or training, compared with 55 % of young Roma men.

Arab and Turkish women in Europe are also much less likely to work than their male counterparts, but Gypsies’ idleness really is unique. Forty-four percent of Gypsies live in what the EU diplomatically calls “low work intensity households,” that is to say, households where working-age members work at less than 20% capacity.

Gypsies generally don’t go to school and, when they do, they perform poorly:

[The study’s] results show that Roma children lag behind their non-Roma peers on all education indicators. Only about half (53 %) of Roma children between the age of four and the starting age of compulsory primary education participate in early childhood education. On average, 18 % of Roma between 6 and 24 years of age attend an educational level lower than that corresponding to their age. The proportion of Roma early school-leavers is disproportionately high compared with the general population. School segregation remains a problem in Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary and Slovakia despite the legal prohibition of this practice and recent case law of the European Court of Human Rights.

Two thirds of 18- to 24-year-old Gypsies do not have a high school diploma and have no intention of getting one. Concerning segregation, 13% of 6- to 15-year-old Gypsies attend schools in which all their “schoolmates” are Gypsies, while 33% attend schools where most are Gypsies. A majority, 55%, attend schools in which only “some” or “none” of their schoolmates are Gypsies.

Interestingly, a majority of Gypsies report no recent discrimination against them:

Almost one in two Roma (41 %) felt discriminated against because of their ethnic origin at least once in one of these areas of daily life in the past five years. One in four Roma (26 %) indicates that the last incident of perceived discrimination happened in the 12 months preceding the survey. The highest prevalence of discrimination in the past 12 months is found when using public or private services (19 %) and when looking for work (16 %). However, on average, only 12 % of Roma report their experiences of discrimination to an authority. Moreover, almost a third (27 %) of the Roma surveyed do not know of any law prohibiting discrimination based on ethnic origin, and most Roma (82 %) do not know any organisations offering support to victims of discrimination.

Gypsies in Bulgaria and Romania report the lowest levels of discrimination (22% and 29% in the last 5 years, respectively). At first glance this is rather curious because Bulgarians and Romanians can be quite openly hostile to Gypsies and their anti-social behavior.

Graphs:

 

 

 

 

 

“Early leavers” are defined as people who do not have a upper-secondary school diploma (i.e. high school) and are not in education or training.
“Early leavers” are defined as people who do not have a upper-secondary school diploma (i.e. high school) and are not in education or training.

 

The share of Gypsies in education is rising, often from a very low base:

 

 

 

 

Gypsies say Czechs are most racist:

Concluding Remarks

Gypsy behavior continues to be remarkable. While I am as hostile to mass education as anyone, and contra liberal platitudes, to not send your children to school (which, if nothing else, is a free baby-sitting service) requires considerable effort upon the Gypsies’ part. This is a conscious decision and not the product of “exclusion.” As usual and in highly condescending fashion, egaliterians deny minorities’ share of agency.

 
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Europe is a continent of such heterogeneity – whether in terms of states, languages, nationalities, or geography – that no one has ever really succeeded in organizing it into a coherent geopolitical whole. This is despite the demand among statesmen, businesses, and even many simple inhabitants for a peaceful and rationalized European space.

The nineteenth century saw several attempts in this direction with Napoleon’s Continental System, the German Confederation’s gradual construction of a customs union and monetary system for the German principalities, and the little-known Latin Monetary Union. Since 1945, we have of course seen the emergence of the European Union, with its common currency and customs union, as a serious economic power.

The Third Reich faced similar issues. In May 1940, hot on the heels of Hitler’s conquest of France, there were many different opinions among the Germans as to what they should do with their newfound hegemony in Western Europe. Werner Daitz, an associate of National-Socialist ideologue Alfred Rosenberg and an official in the NSDAP’s foreign policy office, wrote a memorandum advocating for the creation of a Reich Commission charged with the economic unification of Europe:

The present [British] blockade, in particular, has rendered unavoidable the construction of a continental European Greater Economic Space [Grossraumwirtschaft] under German leadership as a measure of economic self-defense on the part of the European mainland. The reorganization of the European continent, this eternal core of the white race, will thereby secure the economic recovery and independence which are essential. This economic cooperation must follow the motto: Europe for the Europeans. . . .

If we wish to secure the economic leadership of the European continent which is absolutely necessary in order to strengthen the economy of the European continent as the core area of the white race, and which will in fact do so, then for understandable reasons we must not publicly proclaim it as a German Greater Economic Space. As a matter of principle, we must always speak of Europe, for German leadership of it will emerge naturally from the political, economic, culture, and technological weight of Germany and from its geographical position.[1]

Besides the racial rationale, one finds much the same arguments that today’s Eurocrats and German officials might make. Indeed, while the Second World War was basically fought to prevent Hitlerian/German hegemony in Europe, Germany’s size and natural gifts have led her to a kind of soft hegemony within the European Union: strip-mining Eastern and Southern Europe of their human capital through brain-drain, securing these as captive markets and low-wage outsourcing destinations, and developing the Eurozone monetary union according to her needs.

Typical infographic in Signal – the Third Reich’s foreign-audience picture magazine – showing a map of Europe superimposed with major areas of warfare throughout successive centuries. The authors argued that German supremacy heralded a new era of peace for the traditionally war-torn continent.
Typical infographic in Signal – the Third Reich’s foreign-audience picture magazine – showing a map of Europe superimposed with major areas of warfare throughout successive centuries. The authors argued that German supremacy heralded a new era of peace for the traditionally war-torn continent.

Indeed, “European unity” and “freedom” from British, American, and Bolshevik imperialism were recurring themes in German wartime propaganda. In France, “collaboration” with the Germans – whether economic or military – was often justified in the name of “Europe,” notably for those French who volunteered to fight on the Eastern Front.

The Germans never had a clear concept of what they wanted Europe to look like after the war however. For the most part, any would-be “European policy” was reduced to immediate military necessity: namely the need to economically exploit the occupied areas and, where applicable, to recruit soldiers for the war effort.

Hitler’s broad agenda can be outlined as follows: Europe’s final condition would be determined at the end of the war, presumably with the declaration of a Greater-Germanic Reich and the formal annexation of occupied Germanic nations (Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium), opening up a long period development and ethnic warfare against the Slavs in the East. France and Russia would never be allowed to recover and again threaten Germany. Thus Hitler’s threefold objectives would be achieved: the scattered German people would be united and their security guaranteed, the threat of Bolshevism would be annihilated, and a great autarkic Germanic empire would be founded, able to contest the United States of America’s emerging global hegemony. The details would sort themselves out in due course.

The difficulties of the war in some ways tended to improve Germany’s European policy, making it more realistic and conciliatory, particularly after Stalingrad. This is evident for instance in the loosening of criteria for joining the Waffen-SS, being extended to most European nationalities, and even to racially-questionable Tartars and Muslim Bosniaks. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels issued directives around this time forbidding German media from making disparaging comments about other European nationalities.

In March 1943, Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop proposed the creation of a “European Confederation” including virtually all European states. The draft declaration states:

2. The members of the Confederation are sovereign states and guarantee one another’s freedom and political independence. . . .

4. The states of the Confederation will conclude an alliance for the defense of Europe, the plans for which will be drawn up in due course.

5. The European economy will be organized by the member states on the basis of a uniform plan arrived at by mutual agreement. Customs barriers among them will be progressively abolished.[2]

The possible members of the Confederation would initially include “Germany, Italy, France, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Greece, and Spain (? [sic]). To those would be added any states in the occupied territories which the Führer might wish to grant independence.”[3] Curiously, the Netherlands and Belgium go unmentioned, which perhaps makes sense given that these were unspoken candidates for annexation to the “Greater-Germanic Reich,” but then again so were Denmark and Norway.

In practice, the point of the proposal was that Germany would be committed to not unilaterally annex participating countries after the war, thus reassuring public opinion in allied and neutral European countries. The vague long-term commitments to economic union and military alliance would, perhaps, eventually be hammered out by committees of diplomats, rather like the postwar European Communities.

Ribbentrop assured the Führer:

If we always appoint the right people as our representatives in these states, people who take a hard line and, despite conciliatory appearances, uncompromisingly follow the concrete political goal, we will not prejudice anything be forming such a confederation. In fact, the formation of the Greater German Reich [sic] at the end of the war will then be a matter of course.[4]

In the event, Hitler was uninterested and unwilling to make such a move in the absence of a major Axis victory (otherwise, the concessions of the Confederation would appear, accurately, to be an admission of weakness).[5]

 
• Category: History • Tags: EU, European Right, Germany, Nazi Germany, World War II 
Technological and Psychological Factors for the Rise and Decline of the Nation-State
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All the talk today is of the tensions between globalism and populism, the latter often nationalistic. The globalists have generally been too optimistic in their rhetoric, wishfully thinking that the time of nations and states is simply over. In fact, the nation-state remains an irreducible reality in politics everywhere, even as this entity is undeniably in decline.

The “national” is in decline in two distinct ways. Firstly, Western nations are disintegrating everywhere, their respective core ethnies losing ground to rapidly-expanding Hispanic, Asian, African, and Islamic settlements, notably in the large cities and, in the United States, across all the southernmost states from west to east.

Many of the major cities are simply lost. London can no longer be said to be part of the English nation in any meaningful sense. Indeed, London’s government under Sadiq Khan has been at pains to emphasize this fact, arguing that, I quote, “London is anyone, London is everyone.” In the same way, Paris is no longer really part of the French nation, nor can Los Angeles and New York City be said to be part of the same nation as the American Midwest.

Secondly, Western elites are more and more apatride – nationless – psychologically. The residents of these same “global cities” simply no longer identify with the core of their historic nations and, indeed, are possessed by various degrees of fear and loathing for the rural folk who have the audacity to vote for the (more-or-less insipid) right-wing parties and not be in tune with the metropolitan classes’ latest ideological fashions. Thus, these elites feel no need to defend the economic, cultural, and demographic interests of their own citizens – which is at best considered selfish and at worst “racism,” the gravest of sins. Today, many left-wing parties show open contempt for the very idea of borders and nationhood, let alone national solidarity.

The phenomenon of an apatride elite is part of the reason why many have come to believe the “statal” part of “nation-state” is also in decline today. But this is quite inaccurate. The state shows no signs of decline and indeed has become all-encompassing and outright obese. If the state does not take action today in the face of the winds of globalization – on immigration, on economics – it is not because it no longer has the means, but simply because the elites have lost the desire to defend their constituents.

There is no point getting worked into an impotent rage regarding these trends. Rather, we should reflect on why the nation-state arose and why it is declining.

I think we need to consider the basic facts of human life, namely our psychology, which is more or less fixed, at least in broad makeup, and our technology, which has enabled spectacular changes in day-to-day human life over the past thousands of years.

Psychologically, the key issue seems to me to be that of identification. Ethnic identification appears to be a hard-wired human impulse, much akin to children’s aptitude for adopting languages. This is evident in the fact that even infants instinctively identify different races and accents, and show a preference for the race and accent of their parents. If we look at modern history, we find that again and again societies fail to consolidate into a common ethno-national identity because of the lack of a common language (Austria-Hungary, Canada, Belgium, the Soviet Union . . .) and/or race (United States of America, Brazil, South Africa, Malaysia . . .). Of course, additional cultural and religious factors can further subdivide people into further ethnies but, as a rule, it seems shared language and continental ancestry are the two basic ingredients for forming an ethny.

Identification seems to stem in large part from socialization. An infant, assuming he or she is of the same continental race as their parents, will come to identify ethnically with them through constant contact, seeing their features, and hearing their voices. By contrast, transracial adoptees – a black child raised by white parents or vice versa – is likely to develop highly conflicted feelings and not feel wholly part of his adoptive ethny. This can even be the case for multiracial children, such as one Barack Obama, who despite being exactly half-white and half-black, felt no affinity for Europe. As he explained in his memoirs: “And by the end of the first week or so [in Europe], I realized that I’d made a mistake. It wasn’t that Europe wasn’t beautiful; everything was just as I’d imagined it. It just wasn’t mine.”

The family – especially if the two parents are of the same ethnicity – seems to be a powerful driver of ethnic identity creation. All across Europe, the society may speak one language, the state may prescribe another, but if enough families speak another language at home, then we have an autonomous ethnic group and resulting ethnic tensions. See: Catalonia, Flanders, and indeed most of the Balkans.

Family is obviously one of the chief ways people socialize. But there are others: the street, school, the workplace, church, as well as through mediating technologies, namely books, newspapers, radio, television, and the Internet.

It seems to me that the expression and potency of ethnic and religious identity has fluctuated throughout human history through the emergence of these technologies.

In very ancient times, people seemed to have chiefly identified with their tribe, each one having their own gods, prescribing loyalty only to their own blood.

With the invention of writing, it became possible to create long-lasting and homogeneous imperial and religious bureaucracies that went beyond the individual tribe. Hence, in time the purely particularistic identification of the Greeks and other ancient nations came to be replaced by the “dual citizenship” of the Roman Empire. Cicero is emblematic in expressing both the local patriotism of his hometown and imperial Roman patriotism.

Empires and religions (and languages, for that matter) spread much more easily than did peoples, who tend to be very “viscous” as soon as there is any significant population density. Great emperors like Constantine and Ashoka appear to have seized upon Christianity and Buddhism, in part, as means of giving a common identity to their otherwise very diverse subjects. Throughout the Middle Ages, people had various local identities and a common Christian identity. Publications were chiefly in Latin rather than the local language, also encouraging a Christian identity among intellectuals.

Conditions have dramatically changed since the Middle Ages, notably in Europe, with the steady spread of literacy and of local vernaculars, suddenly promoted to national languages. National identity is evident among the intellectuals as early as the Renaissance (if not earlier in some cases, as in the eleventh-century Song of Roland). Machiavelli’s notorious The Prince concludes with a rousing call to unite Italy and expel the (French and Spanish) barbarians; Luther exhorted the German nobility in German to free themselves from the yoke of a decadent Papacy; and Montaigne in his cheeky Essays is already speaking in stereotyped terms of Frenchmen’s Gaulish ancestors.

 
• Category: Economics, Ideology • Tags: European Right, Immigration, Nationalism 
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The European Commission’s in-house think tank has produced an interesting report on “European common goods” which has a wealth of infographics highlighting the various ways the European Union is declining: the rise China, the rise of euroskeptic populism, weak militaries, poor quality migrants, and weakness on R&D and tech. The paper is worthy of Signal, both in terms of striking visuals and fluffy bureaucratese (which you can read only if you wish to have direct insight into globalists’ minds).

The report’s authors speak of the “polycrisis” (financial, debt, and migrant crises), “megatrends,” and supposed “reinvention” the EU has experienced in recent years . . . but really the document is very frank in highlighting the downward slope Europe is facing. Say what you want about the Eurocrats, they are acutely aware of many of our continent’s problems, even if their supposed solutions are often highly questionable. The infographics follow, with the occasional quote and commentary.

Rise of China

The report notes that “standard-setting power threatens to shift towards Asia, along with economic prowess and technological leadership.” What’s more, partners who have traditionally looked to the EU – namely Africa and the western Balkans – “are diversifying their partnerships” throw growing ties with China, India, and/or Russia.

Military

The EU’s defense capabilities have taken a huge hit with Britain’s departure, leaving France as the only country left with semi-serious power-projection capability.

Energy

On energy, Europe has decoupled economic growth from carbon emissions: GDP per capita has resumed growth, even as emissions are overall declining. However, so far Europe has not led the clean energy industrial revolution, which perhaps make sense given her post-industrial services economy.

While the EU touts elevated climate ambitions, more and more Europeans are unable to pay their utility bills. If, as can be expected, reducing carbon emissions will require lower purchasing power for the people, both big business and yellow-vest protestors will object. The EU’s top diplomat, the elderly Spanish social-democrat Josep Borrel, caused uproar when he suggested Greta Thunberg’s climate protestors would not be willing to pay an economic price for their cause:

The idea that young people are seriously committed to fighting climate change — we could call it the ‘Greta syndrome’ — allow me to doubt that. . . . I would like to know if young people demonstrating in Berlin calling for measures against climate change are aware of what such measures will cost them and if they are willing to lower their living standards to offer compensation to Polish miners, because if we fight against climate change for real they will lose their jobs and will have to be subsidized.

On the positive side, the report notes that new energy technologies could lead to “a new socio-economic paradigm based on local economic activity.” That would certainly improve the prospects for deep and genuine local sovereignty.

Tech

Winner-take-all is winner-take-all…

In theory, the EU has the scale to produce its own homegrown tech giants. In practice, despite the removal of legal trade barriers between states, the nations continue to be the real markets that one wins or loses and none of them is big enough to rival the United States or China. That’s statal-linguistic memetics for you. However, if the EU were to become fully protectionist on digital matters, there’s no doubt we could achieve digital sovereignty.

Migration

And now the most disastrous area: migration. As the report notes, the EU is increasingly:

  • Suffering from brain-drain to the Anglosphere
  • Failing to attract high-quality migrants
  • Attracting low-quality and “non-economic” migrants.

The report is worth quoting, if only to show the state of official thinking (bullet points and bolding in the original):

  • Migration will remain a defining issue for the EU in the years to come as the absolute number of migrants across the world is expected to continue increasing. Economic development in the world’s poorest regions will in the short-term lead to greater migration as people’s ability and willingness to emigrate increases with income. This trend could affect much of the African continent, where the population is not only very young, but also set to double in the next 30 years.
  • Europe will likely remain an attractive destination: It is already home to 15% of the world’s migrants (excluding mobile EU citizens) and, since 2010, EU28 countries have received on average 43% of the world’s new asylum applications.
  • Yet, the EU continues to underachieve on attracting high-skilled talent. Labour migration to the EU27 has fallen by more than half since 2008 and accounts for just 15% of total immigration. More than half of legal migration flows into EU Member States are driven by family reunification – mainly marriage migration – or humanitarian grounds.

The following is drawn from the paper’s “worst case” scenario on migration, called “Destitute fortress Europe”:

  • More EU Member States harden their line over immigration, so that immigration flows are drastically reduced, even as many of Europe’s best brains emigrate to the US and Asia-Pacific region, attracted by strong economic growth, technological leadership and easier access to finance. Economic growth stagnates in these Member States, and public finances prove unable to cope with higher dependency ratios, putting more people at risk of poverty.
  • Because some EU Member States remain more open to migration and refugees, ‘hard-line’ countries close off their borders, withdrawing from the Schengen area. Anti-migrant and xenophobic discourse in these countries drives discrimination against existing migrant communities – including second and third generation migrants – in turn prompting or reinforcing the development of parallel societies and even radicalisation.

We note here the schizophrenia in official thinking which is rampant among the metropolitan classes across the West. On the one hand, opposition to immigration is interpreted as irrational, hateful, and will lead to ethno-religious conflict. On the other, it is discretely acknowledged that mass non-European immigration (African/Islamic, in particular) is leading to “the development of parallel societies and even radicalisation” (a euphemism for the Islamist terrorists who have murdered hundreds of innocent Europeans in recent years, not to mention supposedly unremarkable apolitical petty criminality, rapes, and homicides committed by these groups).

 
• Category: Economics, Foreign Policy • Tags: China, EU 
PastClassics
Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.