No apology, just an explanation



My Forbes post on the threat to democracy in the EU touched a nerve. Well, several nerves, actually. Some people regarded my invocation of the Prague Spring as insulting to the people who suffered under Soviet oppression: others objected to my comparison of the benevolent EU with the evil USSR: and a few complained that I had presented the Syriza government as "martyrs", when they are nothing of the kind. And lots of Portuguese called me out for misrepresenting how their parliamentary democracy works.

First, let me deal with the Portuguese. I'm not going to discuss the Portuguese semi-presidential political system, here or anywhere else. I don't claim to be an expert on the political system of my own country, let alone someone else's. In the Forbes post, I was careful not to suggest that the Portuguese President had exceeded his constitutional authority. I criticised his words, not his actions.

Unfortunately it appears that my post, like others on similar lines, was used in support of the "Portugal Coup" protests. I wasn't immediately aware of this. But when I found out, I put a comment on the post making it clear that I do not think describing the President's actions as in any sense a "coup" is remotely accurate or helpful.

Nor does my post support the "Portugal Coup" idea. I interpreted the President's remarks as intended to ward off a possible "coup" from Brussels/Frankfurt along the lines of that experienced by Greece. That was the WHOLE POINT of the post.

Now for the rest. Some people were clearly upset by my comparison of the EU and the USSR. I am genuinely sorry if what I wrote caused offence. But we cannot have taboos in history, if we are to learn from it.

On the BBC's Sunday Politics programme yesterday, Ken Livingstone pointed out that the USSR under Stalin grew faster than any country in history. Andrew Neil riposted with "But what about the 25m people who died?" That is not a counter-argument. It is possible both to pursue policies that create fast growth and full employment, and to commit genocide. Both Hitler and Stalin did this. It is incumbent upon us to learn from what they did RIGHT, as well as the terrible wrongs they committed. We are the poorer if we refuse to look, unflinchingly, at the whole picture.

I visited the Soviet Union towards the end of Brezhnev's reign, when the USSR was beginning to open up to outsiders much as China has done recently. This was the early 1980s, when UK adult unemployment was over 3m and unemployment among young people (including graduates like me) considerably higher. At that time, visiting the USSR still had significant restrictions: you had to travel with Intourist, fly with Aeroflot (which was scary), and be escorted by an Intourist guide. But my Intourist guide encouraged us to go off on our own, explore and meet people. So I did. I spent quite a lot of time talking to people of about my age. It's disturbing to discover how people from a very different culture, view yours....

"Why is unemployment so high in your country?" my young Soviet friends asked. To them, unemployment was a terrible evil. But to me, child of the West, who hadn't yet realised what such high unemployment would come to mean for me, the restrictions on free movement of people, the shortages of goods in Soviet shops, and the very existence of "beriozka shops" that only those with access to Western currency could use, were the real evil.

In the years after my visit to the USSR, I learned - the hard way - that my Soviet friends were right. Widespread involuntary unemployment, particularly among the young, IS a terrible evil. It is an evil every bit as great as the inflation that we in the West have learned to fear. Young people never recover from unemployment at the very start of their working lives. It wrecks their careers, and destroys their hope and their self-esteem.

But the EU does not seem to know this. Despite unemployment across the EU averaging over 10%, and youth unemployment double that (and far higher in some countries), it remains fixated on the goal of "fiscal responsibility", believing that if governments balance their budgets and get out of the way of capitalist enterprise, employment will magically return. In time, it probably will.....but by then an entire generation will have been scarred for life.

So, what of the crushing of the Prague Spring? It was brutal, yes. As was Tiananmen Square in China. For sure, the EU has not descended to those depths. Indeed it cannot. It does not have an army, and neither does its largest and most dominant member state. Nor would there be support from other member states for use of military force against a member state. Memories of events like the Prague Spring, the Hungarian uprising and similar episodes involving countries that have since become EU member states, help to make it very unlikely that military force would be used to coerce a government into toeing the EU party line. We do not wish to be seen to behave like those we regard as unremittingly evil.

But we do not see our own evils. Nor do we see the good in those we regard as wholly evil. Our view is polarised: "we" are all good, "they" are all evil. Yet both "we" and "they"are human, and humans are capable of both good and evil. Indeed, what one human regards as "evil", another may regard as "good". We may regard the rape of Yazidi girls by ISIS soldiers as evil: we may be horrified by reports of ISIS fighters praying before committing rape: but in the ISIS ideology, raping an infidel girl is a good action. Brutality is not necessarily regarded as evil.

Unemployment is brutal, and youth unemployment particularly so. But in the EU, even very high unemployment - while perhaps not seen as a good thing - is regarded as preferable to inflation and debt default. There is no objective justification for such a view. It is entirely ideological.

All humans have the propensity to be dazzled by ideology and unable to see the evil that it brings. All of us are capable of mistreating other humans in pursuit of ideological goals. When the preservation of an ideal, or adherence to a set of rules, becomes more important than the welfare of people, brutality towards those who challenge the ideal or break the rules - or simply are not "one of us" - becomes inevitable. It matters not whether the goal is a socialist one-party state, a capitalist free market economy or an Islamic Caliphate: if the price for achieving it is the lives, hopes and wellbeing of others, it is a price too high to pay.

So although I regret that some people were upset by it, I will not apologise for comparing the breaking of Greece to the Prague Spring. For me, the similarities are significant. There is more than one way of forcing people to toe the party line. Brutality takes many forms.

The Syriza government made many mistakes, but then so did the government of Alexander Dubcek: it is a measure of how polarised our view has become that we see Dubcek as some kind of saint, martyred by the evil Warsaw Pact for daring to step out of line. This is entirely wrong: Dubcek was no saint, and he remained in power for some time after the Prague Spring. Similarly, it is wrong to regard Alexis Tsipras as an innocent victim. But that does not excuse the behaviour of the EU.

I would not want to see anyone choose a path that leads to debt default and economic collapse. But I defend absolutely the democratic right of the people of a country to make that disastrous choice. Today, that right is being systematically denied in the Eurozone, through the enforcement of tight fiscal rules backed up by threat of sanctions and fines. In some countries, governments now have little freedom to determine even fine details of tax and spending plans: everything is "overseen" by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. This is not democracy.

The EU claims to be "democratic", but claiming democracy does not make it reality. After all, every Marxist-Leninist totalitarian state in history has claimed to be democratic. When the democratic right of people to choose their own path is denied through fear of retribution if they make the "wrong" choice, we are on the road to totalitarianism. That is the road down which the EU is now travelling.

Related reading:

The fallout from the Greek crisis threatens European democracy - Forbes
The dangers of historical taboos
Structural destruction
A worse crime?
The truth about evil - John Gray

Image: Red Square, Moscow, in 1982 - the year I went there. 



Comments

  1. Having visited Prague in early August 1968, a couple of weeks before the Soviet invasion, and spending now a good portion of each year in Greece (4 months this year), I can only say this: I am flabbergasted by your comparison!!!

    The Czechoslovaks opted for something which they desired and which they could accomplish on their own (if not prevented by outsiders). The Greeks opted for something which they desired but which they could not accomplish on their own (only if outsiders gave them the money for it). The Chechoslovaks were violently forced to toe the party line, sacrificing a better life they might have had without it. The Greeks accepted the party line. You can say 'forcefully accepted'; I accept that. But they eventually toed the party line because they did not want to take the sacrifices which would have come along, at least for some time, had they not 'toed the party line'. Toeing the party line made life worse for the Czechoslovaks and better for the Greeks.

    And speaking of democracy: I can't think of any leader who had a 61% mandate from his people to do certain things (or rather not to do them) and who, within a week, did exactly the opposite because he got cold feet. You defend absolutely the democratic right of the people of a country to make a diastrous choice. The Greek people, at least 61% of the voters, wanted to make a choice which in my opinion would have been disastrous, at least in the short term. That right was not denied to them by the Eurozone (in fact, I am sure a lot of EZ-leaders would have been quite happy if the Greeks had made that disastrous choice). That right was denied to them by their leader who did not have the nerve to follow-through on a mandate which he had asked his voters to give him.

    Everything is "overseen" by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, which is not democracy? I totally agree. Greece has had for quite some time now the possibility to return to democracy. Greece has had 5 years to assume ownership of its problems and to work on them in such a way that it generates trust on behalf of foreign lenders and investors. Others have managed to leave the shackles of the Brussels bureaucrats. If Greece has not, it's not because of the Brussels bureaucrats.

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  2. In the present euro soviet there is a massive shortage of purchasing power

    This is in reality a rationing process required to service the consumer war economy.
    So in this sense the shortage observations are no different fron the previous Soviet war economy.
    In Ireland during 2014 a net 21 billion euro of taxes were not respent into the state.....
    Ireland is a small country.....
    This is much larger then the Nasa current budget.
    In Ireland domestic war production was expressed via house construction.
    No shortages of houses existed throughout the 1990s other then purchasing power to buy the existing stock.
    Houses and cars became our T 72s and Mig 21s for partially cultural reasons.
    Pos


    Irish workers rebuilt real house shortages in post war Uk and returned to the bog as that is what it said on their little tins.
    But no matter.
    Houses in Ireland or T72s in the USSR are merely the mechanism and not the trigger.

    The widening of the waste gap is a result of purchasing power being stolen.

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  3. The EU has always been an act of faith. No-one really knows where it will take us. It a business union, but one that benefits us all, with higher environmental and work standards than our own governments would have enacted. The redistribution for convergence has been a big help for many. But the Euro.... ?

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    1. "No-one really knows where it will takes"
      This prediction from 1992 seems to have been pretty accurate:
      http://www.lrb.co.uk/v14/n19/wynne-godley/maastricht-and-all-that

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    2. It is indeed astonishingly prescient.

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    3. Ha
      We know where strong national governments lead ........to the euro superstate.
      These chosen critics of the rotten heart of Europe do not question the need for larger and larger banking states , their criticism is reserved for its mechanics rather then form.

      Europe mimics the 19th century British state perfectly.
      It needs famine on the periphery to sustain itself
      Without famine its structure would collapse.

      There was no perfect 20th century state.
      Irish national distributionists such as Corkery were very aware of the capitalistic vortice forming in the 20s and 30s.
      The state chose censorship to silence its more vocal and incisive malcontents.

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  4. We can see the only difference between the UK and the EU 28 is the UKs ability to currently absorb a descent part of the Eus consumer war surplus.
    It's trade deficit with the EU has doubled since 2011.
    Austerity can be simply defined as the rationing process required as the surplus is transfered toward the consumer war economy.
    The premise of a talk advertised on the Irish economy blog is completely false.

    That is one of a Keynesian lack of mobilisation / lack of employment crisis solved via fiscal expansion.
    We can indeed see the UK has employed a sort if bastartized / hybrid social credit type of policy (wage slavery was preserved for the masses) since mercantile austerity in Europe began to kick in during the 70s and 80s
    Leading to the big bang and beyond.
    This finscialisation was in a direct consequence of unabsorbed chiefly european production.

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  5. Success in the Irish soviet Island is expressed in a widening of the waste gap via Gdp expansion.
    However reality for most is expressed via net national product.
    The 2012 Irish energy balance represented a return of sorts toward domestic purchasing power albeit extremely unbalanced as transport energy consumption reached its nadir during this year.
    In 2013 and 2014 and most certainly 2015 we have seen massive growth again in conduit transport activity.
    During these years residential energy consumption decreased.
    These observations almost mirror each other.

    The evidence is conclusive.
    Productions function is the Eurozone is not human consumption....
    Domestic family formation is now virtually impossible in Europe given inflated costs and associated lack of time tokens.
    The capitalists must ship in 20 and 30 somethingsen masse to keep their waste enterprise on the road.

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  6. Reading Steve from Virgina he blames the middle classes for destroying the planet.
    They are indeed trapped by consumerism but this is a social consequence of a lack of purchasing power rather then purchasing power itself as human needs are not infinite

    Who is subtracting 21 billion euros from the Irish economy forcing the Irish to get on a plane to Spain and/or further.....
    To shop in Lidl or buy a pint in wetherspoons

    Current resource burn characteristics in Europe a result of people desperately trying to escape inflation and its associated lack of time tokens.

    The banks plan in Europe is to force a increase in your resource burn (via money Scarcity) and then scold / tax you for your sins.
    It's a diabolical system of control.

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  7. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3CAHjEjcVwU

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  8. http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2015/10/the-bbc-writing-christianity-out-of-history.html

    The UK/EU soviet are symbiotic in nature.
    Liberals have now shown their fascistic teeth.
    It wonderfully ironic on the surface.
    It is however the inner reality of the world in which we live.

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  9. "In the years after my visit to the USSR, I learned - the hard way - that my Soviet friends were right. Widespread involuntary unemployment, particularly among the young, IS a terrible evil"
    And we can solve it via a government job guaranteed at the living wage open to all. No need to abolish capitalism.
    Many of us "young" do not want communism.

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  10. 1) Having had several relatives killed by the Soviet Union (as well as family exiled, property stolen/destroyed, lives ruined) you will forgive me for not-very-politely telling you to f*** off with this silly comparison. How many of your relatives were killed by the Soviets? How many of your relatives have been killed by the EU?

    2) You write that "I would not want to see anyone choose a path that leads to debt default and economic collapse. But I defend absolutely the democratic right of the people of a country to make that disastrous choice. Today, that right is being systematically denied in the Eurozone, through the enforcement of tight fiscal rules backed up by threat of sanctions and fines."

    These sentences are both contradictory, and silly. No one "denies" the Greeks (or the Portuguese, or anyone else) the "right" to default on their debts or leave the Euro. They can do so any time. It would involve massive economic dislocation, unless either markets suddenly step in to finance domestic shortfalls, or other countries step in with generous funding (free money). Surprisingly, neither markets nor other countries are willing to do so. But feel free to start a campaign for Britain to begin sending large cheques to Greece or Portugal. But there is nothing to stop Greece, or any other country, from choosing Euro exit, certainly not "tight fiscal rules" or even "fines". Surprisingly, however, very few voters (!) who actually live in these countries have much interest in choosing massive immediate economic dislocation. We know that they have no interest in doing so, because in all southern countries there are parties that promise to leave the Euro (e.g. Panagiotis' outfit). It's just that people don't vote for them. Instead, they continue voting for parties that commit to adhering to a set of rules that foregoing democratically-elected governments have given themselves, about how to manage their common currency. Annoying thing, democracy, isn't it?

    3) Your "absolute" avowl of people's democratic right to choose "economic collapse" sits very oddly with your demand in your Forbes column for the Euro to be wound down. Surely that is up to the people who are Eurozone citizens, living in Eurozone countries, to decide? And not up to you, since you are not a Eurozone citizen and live in a non-Eurozone country? Forgive me, but where do you take this arrogance from, to pretend to have the right to tell us what to do and how to run our affairs? Every Eurozone country is run by democratically elected governments, and every aspect of the Eurozone architecture was decided and agreed by democratically-elected governments. You may believe that the way our governments -- which we chose -- run our affairs is stupid and misguided, but surely it is our right to run our affairs in stupid and misguided ways, if we so choose? To me, the claim that we are giving up democracy in the Eurozone is laughable, but surely if we choose to give up democracy -- which we are not, but assuming for the sake of argument -- we have that right?

    4) Again, where do you take this arrogance from? Do you see legions of Eurozone commentators telling Britain how to run its domestic affairs? If you want to offer your time to try to understand our affairs and -- politely -- offer us advice, we should be very grateful for your time (if perhaps a bit bemused by the intensity of your attention to what is, ultimately, Not Your Business) - but whether we take your advice is really up to us.

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    1. Firstly, I would like to remind you of the rules of this site. You are welcome to comment here, but please observe the following:

      - be polite, to me and to other commenters
      - stay on topic.

      So no, I do not "forgive you" for being rude to me. I have the right to express an opinion with which you disagree, without being abused. Please respect that, or do not comment here.

      Now to the substance of your complaint.

      You do not appear to be able to see past the atrocities committed by the Soviet Union. This is understandable, but it is not helpful. The experience of your family was horrible. But there remain a large number of people in former Soviet states who remember the USSR with nostalgia and even affection, not least because of the economic collapses they have lived through since the USSR was dissolved. Are their experiences less important than yours? Are their memories less valid?

      Distorting history by remembering only the bits of it that suit your world view does no-one any favours. I do not in any way endorse the behaviour of the Soviet Union towards its satellite states. I do not endorse the behaviour of the EU towards its weaker member states, either. The two behaviours are very different - I acknowledged that in the post - but that does not make the EU's behaviour "good". It isn't.

      I said that the Euro should be wound up, yes. Unless the Eurozone moves to full fiscal union, the Euro in its present form cannot survive. There is no political will for full fiscal union: Germany is even opposing full banking union, which is essential for financial stability. The Euro is therefore bound to collapse eventually, and the fallout from that will be horrible, not just for Eurozone countries but for all their trading partners. My country is not part of the Eurozone, but it is part of the EU and half our trade is with other countries in the EU, mostly the Eurozone. Disorderly collapse of the Euro would therefore be catastrophic for my country. How DARE you suggest that I have no right to express an opinion on something that so crucially affects my life and that of my children.

      For the record, yes, Eurozone commentators do tell Britain how to run its domestic affairs. Actually, so does the EU, which is currently demanding draconian fiscal austerity. The UK is the only country in the EU that is experiencing reasonable growth. It is also far in breach of the Maastricht treaty limits on debt and deficit - which is, of course, why the EU is trying to impose fiscal austerity. Fortunately, the UK is not obliged to comply.

      You would do well to read the Wynne Godley link posted by a commenter above. He explained in 1992 why the monetary union would not work in its present form.

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    2. Reading this and everything else about the Eurozone crisis, I am still dumbfounded at the purblind stupidity of the Yes campaigns currency plans in the Scottish referendum.

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    3. Frances, I am afraid you don#t get the point. The Czechoslovaks put their life on the line to obtain more freedom and to achieve a better life on their own. The Greeks reacted like spoiled brats, wealthy spoiled brats.

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  11. Reading Steve from Virgina he blames the middle classes for destroying the planet.
    They are indeed trapped by consumerism but this is a social consequence of a lack of purchasing power rather then purchasing power itself as human needs are not infinite

    Who is subtracting 21 billion euros from the Irish economy forcing the Irish to get on a plane to Spain and/or further.....
    To shop in Lidl or buy a pint in wetherspoons

    Current resource burn characteristics in Europe a result of people desperately trying to escape inflation and its associated lack of time tokens.

    The banks plan in Europe is to force a increase in your resource burn (via money Scarcity) and then scold / tax you for your sins.
    It's a diabolical system of control.

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  12. Reading Steve from Virgina he blames the middle classes for destroying the planet.
    They are indeed trapped by consumerism but this is a social consequence of a lack of purchasing power rather then purchasing power itself as human needs are not infinite

    Who is subtracting 21 billion euros from the Irish economy forcing the Irish to get on a plane to Spain and/or further.....
    To shop in Lidl or buy a pint in wetherspoons

    Current resource burn characteristics in Europe a result of people desperately trying to escape inflation and its associated lack of time tokens.

    The banks plan in Europe is to force a increase in your resource burn (via money Scarcity) and then scold / tax you for your sins.
    It's a diabolical system of control.

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  13. An outstanding post which nicely sums up the intricate ethical contours of the issues under discussion. As the timeworn point goes, Hitler built the autobahns. Does that make all motorways evil or Nazi? Personally, I would compare the EU to the old Hapsburg Empire: decadent, sleepy, complacent, overly bureaucratic, deeply corrupt, anti-democratic to the core but not with the obvious brutality of many of the autocratic or tyrannical regimes with which it might be compared, and probably incapable of rejuvenating itself. After all, as one commissioner (I think) said, "Elections don't count."

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    1. Allow me, as an Austrian, to state that your description of the Habsburg Empire is quite a bit off target and ignorant of historic realities. I would rather take sides with the late Otto von Habsburg who once told me that he viewed the Habsburg Empire as a possible role model for a United Europe: a United Europe not based on nationalities and/or political entities but, instead, based on values, ideas, etc. Look up the Pan European Movement. Bear in mind that the Habsburgs managed, in their late decades, to keep over a dozen different nationalities under one roof where the loyalties did not run towards their own nations. Vienna, in the late 19th century, was a city which in today's terms would have been called totally 'multi-cultural', 'multi-ethnic' and 'multi-religious'. The same applies to the parliament in Vienna where I don't know how many languages were spoken. Literature suggests that all the dozen+ nationalities, after the initial hype, regretted the collapse of their Empire for many years.

      If you want to inform yourself about this, I recommend reading "The Sleepwalkers" by the Australian historian Christopher Clark. In fact, while he indeed portrays the Habsburgs as 'sleepy' and 'overly bureaucratic', he also points out that among all the war mongers in Europe, the Habsburgs were probably the least war monging ones. They were up against the French who chose an alliance with Russia and whose greatest objective was to make sure that any conflict between Habsburg and the Serbs would lead to a Great War. A Great War just in time to make sure that it happens before Germany gets so strong that it can no longer be defeated. And the poor Brits were outwitted by the French and the Brits then outwitted the Americans. This according to Christopher Clark.

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  14. Actually yes the motorways are evil.
    The objective is to destroy all memory in the land by destroying it's folds and creeks.

    To roll out a gigantic Holland covering the entire globe.
    So yes the construction of these massive concrete structures is very much a psychological operation

    Peter the Greats attempts at modernism / capitalism confronted the peasantry in a manic and destructive manner.
    By the time of his death the population was in a constant state of convulsion
    It was the original Russian shock doctrine
    (reference William Durrant)
    Danial Cookery book of Irish short stories (Stormy Hills) references the introduction of the car to rural Ireland.
    In one story the aged and dying farmer has his own vision of a perfect farm near his childhood home.
    He is immobile and cannot return.
    His talk orbits this perfect farm.
    The local people cannot bear to tell him the farmstead was removed in a road widening scheme.
    By the 1970s a new generation of farmers corrupted by the 70s petro country and western culture could not even relate to these stories.
    The objective is to wipe out memory

    To create the perfect automan.

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  15. Capitalism always are everywhere is a attack on peasantry .
    The creation of new Landscapes is designed to mould their mind into the elites preferences.
    Unless you go on a deep deep pilgrimage of the mind and body in the fashion of Stevenson with his Donkey or Belloc with his Gourd of wine you will never come to understand this.




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  16. http://www.marcdefaoite.com/2012/11/the-sase-apparition-through-abandoned.html

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  17. "All over Aragon, and for the rest of my pilgrimage, I encountered these abandoned villages. Reminders of the impermanence of all things. For hundreds of years people were born and died here, living their entire lives in a universe confined to the few neighbouring valleys.
    In the beginning of the last century, the majority of the world’s population lived in villages and in rural areas. One hundred years later, by far the majority live in cities and towns. The twentieth century phenomenon of rural-urban drift affected Spain just like everywhere else. The young people left the land to work in the cities and towns. Often the few remaining old people, unable to labour the land effectively, joined their children in the high-rise apartment blocks of towns like Sabiñanigo, Huesca and Saragossa.
    The Spanish civil war took many of the healthy young men from the villages, never to return. The self-sufficient pockets of population in the Pyrenees had been one of the heartlands of the resistance movement. Franco knew that an urban population was easier to control and actively encouraged the population to turn from rural agriculture to urbanized industry"

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  18. You can't compare a voluntary union to an involuntary one. Czechoslovakia wanted to leave the eastern block, but the USSR forced it with military action to stay. Nobody is threatening Greece to use force against it if chooses to exit the euro area or even the EU.

    As a citizen of Slovakia, I feel very sad that someone compares the use of brutal force to the reluctance of a country to "devalue" its overvalued currency to support its employment. Your comparison seems more ideological to me than the preference of mass unemployment to debt default and inflation you mentoned.

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    1. Let me add: having been in Slovakia recently and knowing Greece quite well from my 3-4 months annual stays, I recommend that Slovaks do not visit Greece because, if they did, they would witness a lifestyle which is far and beyond the lifestyle which the Slovaks can afford. Yes, the visitor does not see all those who are suffering. But the visitor does see how those who are not suffereing live and when he sees that, he can only conlude that the 'Greek problem' is purely a domestic problem which the Greks ought to solve on their own.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Suffering has become atomized to a extent ( technological / social. Atomisation)
      But you would still have to be blind not to see it.
      Cork city now again has a victorian feel with borderline madness potentially around every corner.
      Shops in particular small shops without preferential access to credit are boarded up.

      As during victorian times resource burn increases but human consumption tanks.
      The Irish "recovery "model proves this.
      Irish private car energy use is now higher then its 2008 peak!!!!!!!
      The function of production in a finance capital system is not production.
      The goal is concentration
      Leading to sociological collapse.

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  19. Greece is a component of the global banking system
    The banks extract income from these jurisdictions.
    This is now very obvious ........
    And where do you think this ton of flesh ends up ?

    In France they have this fettish for mega structures.....again to wipe out the memory held within the land.
    These dynamics are deeply political rather then economic as people do not have the tokens to use European production.
    The object of the game is to inflict deep psychological damage.

    http://www.decanter.com/wine-news/sauternes-high-speed-rail-11th-hour-bid-to-block-plan-276598/

    Capitalism goal is concentration and nothing else.

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  20. A country need not devalue if it refuses to give its income to the global banks.
    However the global banks control the worlds military.
    War is always a option.
    Watch the original Fail Safe film to get the idea.
    At the realization that New York may be sacrificed the banker ( played by Walter mathauu) is more concerned about the loss of tax records rather then the people.

    Its quite a shock to hear it.

    Needless to say this dialogue is missing from the modern remake.

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  21. "So although I regret that some people were upset by it, I will not apologise for comparing the breaking of Greece to the Prague Spring. For me, the similarities are significant. There is more than one way of forcing people to toe the party line. Brutality takes many forms."

    Amen.

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  22. Major rises are seen in Oecd Americas and Europe jet Kerosene this year.
    Military action takes many forms.
    The Tunisia beech operation started at the start of the summer season.....funny that.

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  23. Anonymous is not a citizen Slovak.
    To become a citizen one must hold a equity stake in your country which is impossible today.

    He sounds very much like a fake European liberal.
    The rise of liberal fascist drones is the defining characteristic of our time.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fjk866Kl_yg

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  24. The thoughts or more likely propaganda speak of a Irish socialist corporatist.
    He gives a totally false impression to the people at the very least.
    Signing off with the necessary Woody Guthrie man of the people nonsense , very sick if I may say so.

    I should have thought it obvious by now.
    There is no commons.
    Only highly destructive growth (yet more stuff produced )may or may not increase living standards ,depending on the whim of the bankers (I.e.how many tons of flash is required)
    http://notesonthefront.typepad.com/politicaleconomy/2015/10/this-wealth-is-your-wealth-this-wealth-is-my-wealth.html

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  25. If the Euro and the EU are *that* bad, why didn't Tsipras bit the bullet and got Greece out of the Eurozone?

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    1. Thank you for pointing out the obvious! And, as I said above, 61% of the voters had told Tsipras to bite the bullet. Tsipras violated democracy; not the others!

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  26. If we plot sum of all Irish transport relative to total Tfc...

    We see its conduit economys become extremely unstable after 30%....of final Tfc is crossed

    1990: 27.8 %

    1991 27.56% (first gulf War)

    1993:29.77%

    1994: 29.31%

    1995 29.47%

    2002: 39.35%

    2003:38.1% second gulf war wobble

    2007 :42.97% peak

    2010: 38.48% euro nadir

    2011: 39.38% bailout of consumer war economy begins

    2013: 39.44%

    2014: 41.18%

    2015: 43 %????!!!!!!

    Also notice the blip in 94 , the emu crisis.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Post 1990 ~ the soviet war economy became the European consumer war economy.
    Fossil fuel inputs was merely transferred from the Warsaw pact towards peripheral euroland economies.
    Ireland and Spain being extreme examples of this.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thank You Coppola, enough of this mumbling about Europe needs reforms. This euro disaster needs to end. Kaldor predicted all this in 1971.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Overruling an election result to avoid outsiders overruling an election result is a funny kind of democracy. It was the argument of General Jaruzelski in Poland in1981, who quite correctly claimed he was the only alternatIve to a takeover by the USSR. On your logic you should support that. What is the point of holding elections in Portugal if the winners are not to be allowed to take office?
    What has really happened in Portugal is that the Predisent's side lost and he doesn't want to accept that. In France, which has a more Presidential system than Poland, Presidents of both Left and Right accepted defeat of their parties in parliamentary elections and appoint Premiers from the other side.
    The EU level is deeply guilty for their role in all this. But so too are those at national level who collaborate with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great recent interview of Peter Hitchens
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wrwuk6NoMv8

      Delete
  30. There is many layers to the British class structure.
    Hitchens represents the RN officer class who did very well for themselves between the establishment of the BOE and the Great war.
    Their subsequent betrayal by the inner state perhaps made them very bitter individuals who then flirted with communism (as for his neo con brother well…….it was more then a flirtation)

    He is of course correct when he makes the point that the euro communists have brought the final end to European civilization.

    But this strange praise you see for liberal economics that you find throughout the British anti euro establishment (think of Bernard Connolly and the like ) is grossly in error.
    “Liberal free trade” depended on the scouring of the periphery (given the planned and well executed local money shortages in these areas)
    This need for more and more goods and the center of empire (via enforced mercntalism )of the periphery was used to fill a spiritual hole which goes very deep , indeed to the very core
    itself – to the scarcity management policies of the city of London ..
    Victorian England was in fact a hellhole for most……..and its union periphery was located even deeper down.
    British euro sceptics simply cannot bring themselves to accept that the euro is the new union of the dammed .
    Deep down I think they are jealous rather then appalled

    ReplyDelete
  31. The West has a debt problem. It has tried to solve the problem by creating more debt. Those responsible are credited with high intellectual credentials, which casts a cruel light on the value of those academic trophies.
    From Day One the banks should have paid the price for their mismanagement. Toxic npls should have been written down or written off and balance sheets rebalanced by hair cuts to bondholders and probably extinguishing equity. New good banks should have been set up to take over deposits and the bad hulk left to recover as much as it could.
    Instead the gross bank - and finance ministry - mismanagement was socialised and passed to the taxpayer and one of the consequences is the high youth unemployment. And the West still has a debt problem, added to which has been a vast misallocation of capital created by QE which destoyed all proper price signals needed for the optimum allocation of savings and investment.

    ReplyDelete
  32. So according to some comments
    it's to early to describe EU as a western version of USSR we are not there yet don't worry. We shouldn't compare cause any EU country is allowed to leave the Union, expect no retaliation whatsoever, and no hurt feelings of opting to part such a wonderful company, Trade/Brand/IPO rights would be perserved.

    And we Greeks are wealthy spoiled brats, Austrians are Nazi-money capitalists, Dutch are slave traders, the English are worldwide infamous druglords, the Germans insane powercrazed beserkers, The Spaniards Religious freaks, The Italians world class thiefs yada yada. In all we deserve each other lol.
    If only moralizing fixes the economy or democracy. Lets repeat the 30year war cause it seems we haven't yet got over Religious fault lines yet.

    ReplyDelete

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