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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

It's Official: Europe's "Intellectuals" are Bonkers

Sitting in our Wilmington house. The Diplowife finally has run out of projects for me to execute and has gone off on a shopping expedition leaving me alone with the two Diplodogs. I have issued each of them a bully-stick and they are happily chomping away and--for once--making no requests of me. Having some free time, I, therefore, turned to reading pompous, blowhard European intellectuals, as one is wont to do in such circumstances.

It started with one of my rare forays into the New York Times, a now barely readable progo piece of fakery and Democratic Party talking points--same thing? I read a NYT piece of nonsense (here ) about thirty European "intellectuals" signing a letter, written by the once respectable Bernard-Henri Levy, blasting the wave of populism sweeping Europe and bemoaning the collapse of the "idea of Europe."

Figuring the little missive couldn't be as pompous and idiotic as the worshipful NYT puff piece made it out, I went to the original French text (here) to read the thing for myself.

Guess what? It's as stupid in French as in English.

Read the two articles and judge.

The Levy letter sums up everything wrong with the bulk of European (and American) "intellectuals." It positively drips with contempt and condescension for those European hillbillies and rednecks who voted for Brexit, and have taken to the streets in Paris and elsewhere to protest what decades of progressive rule have done to them and their countries. It derides the sense of nationalism and bemoans--oh does it!--the so-called "xenophobia" sweeping Europe and undermining the very concept of Europe. Well, that is, undermining the concept of Europe put forth by the elites and the well-paid EU bureaucrats.

This letter is unmoored from the reality lived by average people. Nowhere does it mention the hollowing out or abandonment of traditional industries in the name of globalism and Gaia worship. It ignores the vast swathe of European people left behind and ignored by the new economy and the new politics of a borderless world. It decries the rise of antisemitism without ever noting from whence it largely comes, to wit, massive Muslim immigration, and leftist hostility towards Israel which quickly morphs into classic antisemitism.

Levy and friends, amazingly, completely ignore Islamic terror in Europe and around the world: no mention of the massacres in Paris, London, Barcelona, Madrid, Brussels, etc. None. The word "Islam" appears nowhere, so, naturally, nowhere is there a hint as to why that feared "xenophobia" might be on the rise.

The letter, of course, accuses Moscow of being behind much of the "anti-Europe" movement, and decries the abandonment of the ideas and the ideals of the great European philosophers. All nonsense, of course. Nowhere does it deal with the bureaucratic, freedom-stifling monster that has arisen as a consequence of the "idea of Europe."

We see here an overt call to put an end to democracy and let the wise ones rule.

Disgusting.

33 comments:

  1. Levy's letter as stupid in French as it is in English? Seems an accomplishment. I read Camus explain Existentialism in English and thought he was stupid and trite. The French thought he was brilliant. I got the impression that French is a language more tolerant of vagueness than English, and maybe stupidity too.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Believe you're onto somethink Doc W!
      I keep a Scientist in residence who minored in French! On those occasions when I need her to provide a translation, she reports: Comme ci, comme ça, but adds coyly, "it sounds nice"! Cara Mia,I loove it when she speaks in tongues, she makes me feel like, Like Gomez!
      Going Off Watch~~~

      Delete
  2. Gulag for you
    and you
    everybody free gulag!

    ReplyDelete
  3. On the other hand, there will be lots of great parades, goose stepping, and snazzy uniforms with peaked caps. Nobody does that shit better than Europeans.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Mandarins are displeased the unruly populace hasn't learned to shut up and listen to their betters. There is the faint rustling of pitchforks and torches in the air.

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  5. I wonder if we're not approaching a July 14th event. I do hope so.

    The French don't get much right, but when they do, they do.

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  6. Uh oh,

    Reckon Mr. Amselem it might be a good idea to put whatever's approximate to a "trigger alert" over your title's header? I worry your one European reader may land here, read, and then find himself snatched up Stone-like, and then before the five of us US readers can get our Congresscritters working on a diplo-protest, our European fellow's gonna find himself boiled in oil (no doubt Brussels stamp of approval oil but, boiling is still pretty damn hot).

    ReplyDelete
  7. Bruce Bawer at PJ Media comments on this as well: https://pjmedia.com/trending/highbrows-vs-deplorables/

    ReplyDelete
  8. As a friend of mine was wont to say, "It is to weep."

    TO me an intellectual has always meant someone who can't hold down a real job. But that's the backwards peasant in me, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The prophet Isaiah said "woe unto those who call evil good and good evil". Unhappily, for too long, Yurruppeen Innaleckchools have been poisoning the minds of their civilization and leading it along a path to suicide.

    When in Thailand, one job was to visit and report on Cambodian DP camps. Under UN escort, I got to see one where Democratic Kampuchea people were on R&R (Pol Pot's gang: Hun Sen and crew were also technically "Khmers Rouge"), and came to believe there really are zombies and the demon-possessed. But I am also very much aware that those utterly thuggish creeps learned their Marx not from the Russians or Chinese, but from good, enlightened Eurocommunists whom I was once taught to see as an integral and morally enlightened part of Western progressivism.


    Oh, for the day when someone mentions Marx, and people ask only "Do you mean Groucho, Chico, or Harpo?"


    As for Karl's Marxism--Ecrassez l'infame! (along with all of its evil spawn).

    ReplyDelete
  10. Diesel cars good... Oh no, let's all shift paddles; diesel cars very bad.
    The North American press wants to make these domos as surfacely bad as they can so... They tell us that this is all about a minimal gas tax increase.
    The roots of this revolt are much deeper than a gas tax (although that might be a reasonable reason to revolt. Last I read, France motorists were paying $7.06/gallon and the gov't wanted to raise it another $.30 cents/gallon.)
    That isn't even it. Driving the middle class out of the cities and suburbs to accommodate the extremely wealthy and abject poor is what this is really about. No amount of snoot from Levy or his well healed followers will change that.

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  11. Very "off topic" with this comment but it was here on Mr. Amselem's site where I became acutely aware of the danger, changing the terms, poses to even the most basic meaning to such things as "the general welfare."

    Y'all recall back an election cycle or so [Obamacare debate?] wherein the Progons were inciting terror with the term "death panels"?

    Hear that term even once during the debate the New York legislature presumably had in the days leading up to their 'new & improved' abortion statutes?

    In Virginia's now?

    I wish I were capable of constructing a sentence expressive of ... "the disgust" ... among other such limited terms as I'm experiencing now. But I'm incapable.

    JK

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    Replies
    1. Agree JK, 'Disgust' comes in nauseous rogue waves, to such ‘final solutions’ for unwanted populations! I’ve just attempted reading through another exhausting article, it's linked over at our neighbor Instapundits’s blog: January 31, 2019 -- "DESTRUCTIVE LIES: Population Panic and the Reverse “Handmaid’s Tale.” How many people would be alive today if it weren’t for Paul Ehrlich? His toll may be worse than Mao and Stalin’s."

      As I slogged through the author’s redux of the 20th century +, of mans inhumanity to man. Out of the mist of my WWII generation mind, came the haunting if not the wise words of Captain John Smith -- 'He who does not work, neither shall he eat' -- those words shaped and reshaped by many Captains, in between the advent of Apostle Paul and Comrade Lenin!

      Right behind and close aboard to my Cap’n Smith reading recollection, was the memory of a revelation I received from a client in crisis I was counseling. He was another young draftee Veteran, back from Nam with a bad attitude masquerading as PTSD, resulting in a successful 70% disability claim and all the mood altering drugs he wanted. He loved talk therapy, a bit of a narcissist, but thought I was worthy of knowing the plight, and revenge of the 70’s era Black Man. Said he, in many more words, his sole objective in life was to create an "Empire". To accomplish this goal, his simple plan was to impregnate as many women as he possibly could, adding that he already had 12 children, and 2 other women pregnant, and the government was paying welfare on all the children and most of the women. He assured me that most of his male friends practiced the same MO.

      Also mentioned in the “Destructive Lies” piece including, all the usual accused Nation States, Dictatorships, and Thugocracies. INDIA received special mention for its handy dandy destruction of some 8 million viable lives, shunted into Hazardous Waste bags, and I suspect, many parts sold for a profit…

      Were those only the Untouchables? There I began to grow soul-weary of reading further in that content area, I didn’t finish the article, but tried to recall the criteria for such a societal designator? I flashed back to my Uncle and tales of his Diplomadic tours of duty in India. I mostly remembered my UncleDip’s stories about trickster house boys trying to make a few extra rupees by sleight of hand, and massaging the household food and booze budget. He always told his stories with humor and respect though --if not with a twinkle of love in his eyes.

      Still I wonder, how much real difference, in English or French, in kind or degree, is there between Untouchables and we Deplorables?

      On Watch~~~

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  12. "We see here an overt call to put an end to democracy and let the wise ones rule."

    I have no problem with letting the "wise ones" rule -- if we can ever find out who they are!

    Thinking the unthinkable -- maybe it is indeed time to end democracy. In my neck of the woods, "democracy" means that a small minority of the population (less that 10%) vote in the Democrat primaries and choose the nuttiest, furthest Left person they can find. That thoroughly unrepresentative personage then usually runs unopposed in the General election. It is the tyranny of the minority. To echo Pyrrhus, if this is democracy, my hands are not big enough to hold it.

    I would happily settle for a society in which a focused form of government did very few things, but did those things extremely well. One of the main ones would be establishing simple laws, and then enforcing them promptly & vigorously, with equal justice for all. (That would be known as the "No Hillarys!" provision). Absolutely no regulations created by bureaucrats -- only laws, properly adopted. The form of that government (democracy, dictatorship, monarchy, etc) is a lot less important to me as a citizen than its scope and competence.

    What we call "democracy" today is not rule by the people, it is rule by the insiders. The Mandate of Heaven has been torn asunder.

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    1. Democracy will always die by its own hands. It can not survive its own defects.

      Delete
    2. I think the "defects" are in human beings. Population density exacerbates the problem, especially with diversity thrown in the mix.

      We are no longer a melting pot, which I think is a far more serious problem than most people think.

      Delete
    3. That's not democracy, that's apathocracy... when 90% of the people are so comfortable, that they let the 10% of the people who are actually interested, run everything. I've been working on un-informing myself. I think even at my worst, I won't be a leftie.

      - reader #1482

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    4. "Democracy will always die by its own hands. It can not survive its own defects."

      Concur ww, therefore, we are a Constitutional Republic, regardless of the nutty majority population votes in Californicateiaa, Illanoise, and the Big Rotten Apple!
      IMO!
      On Watch~~~

      Delete
  13. "We see here an overt call to put an end to democracy and let the wise ones rule."

    And if you want to see how they will manage the economy go here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS9nP-BKa3M

    MMT will work like a charm, only there's a catch (there's always a catch). Someone is going to have to be in charge to allocate the apportionment of goods that the system produces.

    More power in fewer hands. What could possibly go wrong?

    After the final breaking of the capitalist camel's back the people will be screaming for this.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "MMT will work like a charm, only there's a catch (there's always a catch). Someone is going to have to be in charge to allocate the apportionment of goods that the system produces." --another Fred

    MMT Backgrounder~~https://mises.org/library/upside-down-world-mmt

    ||- The Upside-Down World of MMT -||

    01/23/2019•Robert P. Murphy

    [Editor's note: MMT is back in the news, championed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former Bernie Sanders advisor Stephanie Kelton. Economists like Brad DeLong and Paul Krugman are giving MMT at least faint praise, and even National Review has favorable things to say. Ironically, MMT is neither modern nor truly "monetary;" instead it is a combination of tired fiscal and monetary policies. Our Senior Fellow Robert Murphy first wrote this article debunking MMT in 2011, but every word applies today.]

    Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is a hip economic/financial paradigm apparently sweeping a world unsatisfied with mainstream economics. Over the past year, I have been hearing a growing number of people refer to MMT: either fans who think it blows up my Austrian views, or foes who think it deserves a full-scale critique.

    MMT's underground popularity derives from its seeming mathematical rigor, its disagreement with the obviously flawed doctrines of standard neo-Keynesian orthodoxy, and its underlying message of hope that the perceived constraints on government deficit spending are an illusion. The MMT proponents tell us that fiat monetary systems have removed the shackles associated with the gold standard, and that our economic recovery is limited only by our failure to understand how modern money and banking work.

    After my admittedly brief exploration, I have concluded that the MMT worldview doesn't live up to its promises. However, as an Austrian economist I know how annoying it is when "big guns" in the economics profession reject my own position as nonsense without even taking the time to spell out what is supposedly wrong with the Misesian approach. Therefore, in the present post I'll try to fairly summarize a major plank in MMT thought and show why it is misleading at best, and downright false at worst.

    Background on MMT

    One thing I should make clear upfront is that MMT is not the same thing as neo-Keynesian economics, as expounded by the likes of Paul Krugman. In fact, Krugman has actively criticized the MMTers himself (to which they responded here and here, to list just two instances).

    MMT is linked to the older doctrine of "chartalism," for readers who are more familiar with the latter term. The fascinating aspect of MMT is that it turns standard views on their head. For example, MMTers hold that the sovereign issuer of fiat currency can never become insolvent. For the MMTers, the point of taxation isn't to raise revenue for the government, but rather to regulate aggregate demand.

    It would be foolish for me to try to summarize the MMT position, as I am sure I would offend its proponents by my imprecision. As Morpheus said of the Matrix, I cannot tell you of the worldview of the MMTers; you must see it for yourself. Warren Mosler's website is reputed to be the best one-stop shop, and the comments at my open-ended blog post are filled with suggested readings from actual MMTers."

    On Watch~~~
    Read More here:
    Backgrounder~~https://mises.org/library/upside-down-world-mmt




    ReplyDelete
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    1. When I said "works a charm" I was being sarcastic.

      MMT is basically just fiat money with some mathematical "discipline" added. Fiat money works until those in charge issue too much of it. If they issue too "little" then there is always someone howling about tight money.

      The mathematical "discipline" supposedly based on the "output" and "growth" of the country will allow all sorts of wiggle room for the politicians to lean on the monetary authorities. Basically it will remove the charade of open market operations of the FED from the process of issuing money - which is the main thing that separates a Federal Reserve Note from a pure fiat currency.

      Delete
    2. Yeah.. we've replaced gold with 'the reputation of the federal reserve bank'.
      That's no fiat, it's just a very tremulous piece of collateral.

      - reader #1482

      Delete
    3. another fred February 2, 2019 at 9:45 AM
      When I said "works a charm" I was being sarcastic.

      Yes 'fred, I saw your tongue firmly planted between tooth & gum! Just wanted to shovel some dirt on Bernie's 'Family Time' Bean Counter Babe! She had a sinister odor, that made me want to kick out a window! I'm okay now though - Tks
      On Watch~~~

      Delete
  15. As Rev. Sharpton would say, Resist we much!

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  16. A very wise man once said. "Never listen to the Europeans".

    ReplyDelete
  17. Buckminster Fuller wanted all currencies to e backed by a petroleum, coal (or other)work unit. He called this backing an "energy slave". This way all currencies would be constantly at parity and central bank's not be needed. I think Ron Paul might agree.

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    1. This would be very similar to bitcoin or coin mining at large, which is mainly an indication of electrical power which can be harnessed by various entities. Power converts directly to crypto work per unit time.

      - reader #1482

      Delete
    2. Difference. B. Fuller is potential energy ... Bitcoin is kenetic energy.

      Delete
    3. heh.. we can perhaps agree on 'wasted' energy? :)
      Though perhaps there will be a new market for energy allocation based upon derivative trading for coin mining? Like trading some hydro plant's daily outputs as though it were already converted to cryptocoin units?

      - reader #1482

      Delete
  18. CAIR welcomes the cancellation of Free Speech in America. Look out folks, the USA is just as infected as the European corpse.

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    Replies

    1. Copy That Stewart~~~February 4, 2019 at 3:43 AM
      ..."USA is just as infected as the European corpse."

      app-facebook

      CAIR
      36 minutes ago.
      AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A local woman is speaking out after she says she experienced workplace discrimination for wearing her hijab. The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Georgia is representing her and held a press conference Monday afternoon to discuss what she says happened and explain the steps moving forward.

      Delete