Category Archives: Austria

Judith Mirville on the Perils of Braziliafication for the Jews

Very nice comment from Judith Mirville showing that if Jews are promoting Braziliafication in the hopes that it will be good for the Jews, they may be sorely mistaken.

That will prove to be an especially bad move: in a Brazilified society such as Brazil, the various cultures of that multiculturalism cannot agree together safe onto one point: the Jews are the main responsible for the present state of affairs, even people such as the Japanese of Belo Horizonte, the German of Porto Alegre, the Negroes from Bahia and the White Trash rednecks of the chaparral of Sertão can agree on that.

I am now practicing Portuguese, listening to various videos to study various local accents and slangs, and everybody is inveighing against Jews each one for their different reasons.

The Negroes accuse them of having organized the slave trade, which in the specific case of Northern Brazil was true. The rednecks of Sertão accuse them of having geared the whole musical culture of Brazil towards hedonistic and then gay values.

The well-to-do Portuguese of São Paulo accuse them of having subverted the monarchy to install a de facto British colonialism in the form of a Republic as well destroying the military regime which was the last rampart against the tide of Cultural Leftism everywhere in the intelligentsia. The Germans there are of a type that was never morally bullied into repentance for WWII.

And the Japanese, though not big haters of Jews, all want them to be put back into ghettos for practical reasons and accuse them of having organized the whole of Western colonialism in non-White countries and robbed Asia of its traditional technological superiority and intelligence by programming so many other Whites beyond their real innate capacity to feel inventive and superior.

It comes to no mystery that cultures in an multicultural environment tend identify with their most reactionary elements, and therefore are more inclined to look for a culprit or archetypal symbol of evil from without. And it turns out that in Brazil the most rabid antisemitic movements are decidedly multicultural chic, not White Power, especially since the traditional White racism of Brazil claimed that the core of the nation was made up of mythical Jewish ancestry.

The Extreme Left to Center Left culture that still refuses most the conspiracy-justified antisemitism is monocultural non-Catholic Portuguese (mildly anti-Black de facto, though praising mulatto women for their supernatural beauty but only in their own role of providers of sentimental entertainment), and they are the ones who communicate the least with other cultures in their own country and prefer to communicate with other White nations in the world (France for the culture, the Anglo-Saxon countries for business) than with their own co-nationals of different hues.

All great antisemitic bouts of the past started out in rather multicultural environments. Austria, for instance, used to be the most multicultural part of Europe, and further back in time, you can find Spain and Portugal, which at one time used to be the most diversified countries: in both cases, mythical antisemitism could develop unchecked for being the only political language common to so many diverse groups even though not the ideal one to that many individuals.

How do the Jews let that happen to the point of loving it as it may seem?

That is very simple: first, as you put it, their intelligence is grossly overrated. They are emotion-driven more than many others. It must also be known that Jewish identification with the intellectual superiority of openness of mind is a very recent and atypical thing in the course of history. That identification began only as a byproduct of the Enlightenment culture and only among Jews that wanted to get free of their traditional ghetto culture, which turned out into a majority at a certain point.

Before that point, intellectual curiosity was far more severely repressed in Jewish culture than in Christian culture, the rabbis had far more tolerance of and liking for magic: even the study of too much geography was deemed dangerous. The general morality among them used to be that one must as an individual make plans for the day, as a family for the week, and as a Jewish community for the year, but NEVER beyond, since all promises of the preceding years were to be overridden at each Rosh ha Shanna. What is good for Jewish prosperity this year only is the real good, the rest is goyish daydreaming.

Even if the consequences of what is done this year are evidently ultra-negative for your own descendants, such as destroying the environment or installing a future millennial totalitarian regime just to make sure your tiny few talents are employed and well-paid, that is none of your business as a Jew. You must think of those descendants as of imaginary non-Jewish beings.

When for instance you adopt Communism as a Jew, the important thing is to enjoy a higher life through it and also a good relationship with many non-Jews for a few years’ space at most. You must not inquire too seriously about the ultimate consequences of your ideological choice. It is a fashion among many others to have to dress your own brain and others as well as their bodies according to a taste that sells right now.

If it turns out that by so doing you will progressively install a Nazi-like regime first courting and then turning against you, so be it, que sera sera, that was God’s intention for you to bring it about. It is a culture based on the principle of pure prostitution and on the faith that such an attitude alone can bring about joyful survival to a group: they are actually not so racist towards strangers provided they share that very same mentality.

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Female Rule Doesn’t Work, and Men Are Necessary for Any Societal Achievement

Betty: It’s right that the reaction of these women is exaggerated but to say that they are incapable of running a country is plainly wrong. All war, chaos and problems were and are caused by male presidents like Hitler, Erdogan, Trump, etc. So it’s rather males being drama queens.

Saying that all women would make these memes illegal just because SOME have that point of view is almost equal to saying that all Muslims are terrorists because ISIS members consider themselves Muslims.

On top of that, many years ago when women weren’t allowed to work they were controlling a whole household of like 10 kids while cooking and cleaning every single day without help. So I’d say women are very capable of running a society or country, as for example Maria Theresia reigned Austria instead of her husband, which went perfectly fine.

Women can govern in partnership with men but countries must be ruled by the laws and mores of men. Women are free to help us run countries only as long as those countries are run according to the rules of men.

If you let women govern according to the rules and mores of women, things will fall apart pretty quickly. A lot of Communist groups put women in charge when they took over small rural villages. It was always a catastrophe. The first thing women do when they get in charge is make prostitution, gambling and booze illegal. Those are the three things that men need to make like tolerable enough so they don’t kill themselves, and those are the first things women outlaw. Thanks a lot, ladies. This rule does not work very well. Men are not very happy, but really no one is very happy. Things rapidly become pretty chaotic.

Sweden is currently being ruled by women. It’s under Female Rule – I mean women ruling according to the rules and mores of women along with a bunch of Beta cuck men helping them. It is not going well. The men are leaving in droves to go to Thailand to grab Thai brides because they have had it up to here with Swedish women.

Maria Teresia, many queens, and Thatcher all governed according to the rules, laws and mores of men. That’s not even Female Rule. That’s called Male Rule with Female Rulers – Women governing according to the laws, rules and mores of Male Rule.

Female Rule is when women impose their worldview on society. As long as the male rules of society are kept intact, women are free to take any government position they wish.

There are societies in Africa that are essentially under Female Rule. The men have just said, “The Hell with it, we’re done, here, you ladies take over. Have fun.” Women hold most of the power in these places. There is little violence or crime and actually there are not even a lot of serious disputes. These are sort of peace love dope hippie- type societies.

On the other hand, not much gets done in this places. They tend to stagnate and cruise in stasis. In particular, there is not much education because I suppose most women are just not interested in that. A lot of stuff that needs to get done never gets done, and everything gets put off. So you have societies without a lot of serious conflict, but on the other hand, there is little advancement.

I think women want to find a happy place and just be relaxed and go with the flow there rather than deal with the sturm and drang of continuous progress.

Personally I do not believe women can run societies, or if they do, they have to do so in partnership with good men or according to the rules of good men.

I feel that men are essential for any societal advancement. Women are free to help us men in societal advancement, but if you put them in charge, it’s just not going to work. Women just can’t run societies. There’s nothing wrong with that. Women can’t do everything, you know. So there’s some stuff they can’t do well? So what? There are plenty of things that women are great at. They should focus on those.

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Was Joseph Conrad a Neoliberal? Are We? A Contemporary Reading of Victory

I participated in a session with this fellow on Academia.edu. I believe the author is a professor at a university somewhere in the UK. I really liked this paper a lot. It’s a bit hard to understand, but if you concentrate, you should be able to understand. If I can understand it, at least some of you guys can too. It is an excellent overview of what exactly neoliberalism is and the effects it has on all of us all the way down to the anthropological, sociological and psychological.

Was Joseph Conrad a Neoliberal? Are We? A Contemporary Reading of Victory

by Simon During

Over the past decade or so “neoliberalism” has become a word to conjure with. It is easy to have reservations about its popularity since it seems to name both a general object — roughly, capitalist governmentality as we know it today — and a particular set of ideas that now have a well-researched intellectual history.

It also implies a judgment: few use the term except pejoratively. I myself do not share these worries however, since I think that using the word performs sterling analytic work on its own account even as it probably accentuates its concept’s rather blob-like qualities. Nonetheless in this talk I want somewhat to accede to those who resist neoliberalism’s analytic appeal by thinking about it quite narrowly — that is to say, in literary and intellectual historical terms.

I begin from the position, first, that neoliberalism is an offshoot of liberalism thought more generally; and second, that we in the academic humanities are ourselves inhabited by an occluded or displaced neoliberalism to which we need critically to adjust.1 Thus, writing as a
literary critic in particular, I want to follow one of my own discipline’s original protocols, namely to be sensitive to the ways in which the literary “tradition” changes as the present changes, in this case, as it is reshaped under that neoliberalism which abuts and inhabits us.2

To this end I want to present a reading of Joseph Conrad’s Victory (1916). To do this is not just to help preserve the received literary canon, and as such is, I like to think, a tiny act of resistance to neoliberalism on the grounds that neoliberalism is diminishing our capacity to affirm a canon at all. By maintaining a canon in the act of locating neoliberalism where it is not usually found, I’m trying to operate both inside and outside capitalism’s latest form.

***

1 Daniel Stedman-Jones, Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics, Princeton: Princeton University Press 2014, p. 17.
2 This argument is made of course in T.S. Eliot’s seminal essay, “Tradition and the Individual Talent” (1921).
Let me begin with a brief and sweeping overview of liberalism’s longue durée.3 For our purposes we can fix on liberalism by noting that it has two central struts, one theoretical, the other historical. As generations of theorists have noted, the first strut is methodological individualism: liberal analysis begins with, and is addressed to, the autonomous individual rather than communities or histories.4

Methodological individualism of this kind is, for instance, what allowed Leo Strauss and J.P Macpherson to call even Thomas Hobbes a founder of liberalism.5 Liberalism’s second strut is the emphasis on freedom as the right to express and enact private beliefs with a minimum of state intervention. This view of freedom emerged in the seventeenth century among those who recommended that the sovereign state “tolerate” religious differences.

It marked a conceptual break in freedom’s history since freedom was now conceived of as an individual possession and right rather than as a condition proper to “civil associations” and bound to obligations.6 We need to remember, however, that methodological individualism does not imply liberal freedom, or vice versa. Indeed neoliberalism exposes the weakness of that association.

Early in the nineteenth century, liberalism became a progressivist political movement linked to enlightened values. But after about 1850, non-progressive or conservative liberalisms also appeared. Thus, as Jeffrey Church has argued, Arthur Schopenhauer, the post-Kantian
philosopher who arguably broke most spectacularly with enlightened humanist progressivism,

3 Among the library of works on liberalism’s history I have found two to be particularly useful for my purposes here: Domenico Losurdo’s Liberalism: a Counter-History, trans. Gregory Elliot. London: Verso 2014, and Amanda Anderson’s forthcoming Bleak Liberalism, Chicago, University of Chicago Press 2016.
4 Milan Zafirovski, Liberal Modernity and Its Adversaries: Freedom, Liberalism and Anti-Liberalism in the 21st Century, Amsterdam: Brill 2007, p. 116.
5 Van Mobley, “Two Liberalisms: the Contrasting Visions of Hobbes and Locke,” Humanitas, IX 1997: 6-34.
6 Quentin Skinner, Liberty before Liberalism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1998, p. 23.

can be associated with liberalism.7

Likewise Schopenhauer’s sometime disciple, Friedrich Nietzsche, no progressivist, was, as Hugo Drochon has recently argued, also an antistatist who prophesied that in the future “private companies” will take over state business so as to protect private persons from one another.8 Liberalism’s conservative turn was, however, largely a result of socialism’s emergence as a political force after 1848, which enabled some left liberal fractions to dilute their individualism by accepting that “a thoroughly consistent individualism can work in harmony with socialism,” as Leonard Hobhouse put it.9

Conrad himself belonged to this moment. As a young man, for instance, he was appalled by the results of the 1885 election, the first in which both the British working class and the socialists participated.10 That election was contested not just by the Marxist Socialist Democratic Federation, but by radical Liberals who had allied themselves to the emergent socialist movement (not least Joseph Chamberlain who, as mayor of Birmingham, was developing so-called “municipal socialism” and who haunts Conrad’s work).11

The election went well for the Liberals who prevented the Tories from securing a clear Parliamentary majority. After learning this, Conrad, himself the son of a famous Polish liberal revolutionary, wrote to a friend, “the International Socialist Association are triumphant, and every
disreputable ragamuffin in Europe, feels that the day of universal brotherhood, despoliation and disorder is coming apace…Socialism must inevitably end in Caesarism.”12 That prophecy will resonate politically for the next century, splitting liberalism in two. As I say: on the one side, a

7 Jeffrey Church, Nietzsche’s Culture of Humanity: Beyond Aristocracy and Democracy in the Early Period, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2015, p. 226.
8 Hugo Drochon, Nietzsche’s Great Politics, Princeton: Princeton University Press 2016, p. 9.
9 L. T. Hobhouse, Liberalism, London: Williams and Norgate, 1911, p. 99.
10 It was at this point that one of neoliberalism’s almost forgotten ur-texts was written,Herbert Spencer’s Man against the State (1884).
11 For instance, he plays an important role in Conrad and Ford Madox Ford’s The Inheritors.
12 Joseph Conrad, The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad, vol 1., ed. Frederick Karl and Laurence Davis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1983, p. 16.

 

progressivist, collectivist liberalism. On the other, an individualist liberalism of which neoliberalism is a continuation.

By around 1900, liberalism’s fusion with socialism was often (although not quite accurately) associated with Bismark’s Germany, which gave anti-socialist liberalism a geographical inflection. Against this, individualistic liberalism was associated with Britain. But this received British liberalism looked back less to Locke’s religiously tolerant Britain than to Richard Cobden’s Britain of maritime/imperial dominance and free trade.

Which is to say that liberalism’s fusion with socialism pushed socialism’s liberal enemies increasingly to think of freedom economically rather than politically — as in Ludwig von Mises influential 1922 book on socialism, which can be understood as a neoliberal urtext.13 By that point, too, individuals were already being positioned to become what Foucault calls “consumers of freedom.” 14

They were now less understood less as possessing a fundamental claim to freedom than as creating and participating in those institutions which enabled freedom in practice. Crucially after the first world war, in the work of von Mises and the so-called “Austrian school”, freedom was increasingly assigned to individual relations with an efficient market as equilibrium theory viewed markets. This turn to the market as freedom’s basis marked another significant historical departure: it is the condition of contemporary neoliberalism’s emergence.

Neoliberalism organized itself internationally as a movement only after world war two, and did so against both Keynesian economics and the welfare state. 15 It was still mainly ideologically motivated by a refusal to discriminate between welfarism and totalitarianism — a line of thought already apparent in Conrad’s equation of socialism with Caesarism of course. As
13 See Ludwig von Mises, Socialism: an Economic and Sociological Analysis, trans. J. Kahane. New Haven: Yale University Press 1951.
14 Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 63. One key sign of this spread of this new freedom is Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous appeal to the “free trade in ideas” in his 1919 dissent in Abrams v. the US, a judgment which joins together the market, intellectual expression and the juridical.
15 See Philip Mirowski and Dieter Plehwe (eds.), The Road from Mont Pèlerin, Cambridge: Harvard University Press 2009.

 

Friedrich Hayek urged: once states begin to intervene on free markets totalitarianism looms because the people’s psychological character changes: they become dependent.16 For thirty years (in part as confined by this argument), neoliberalism remained a minority movement, but
in the 1970s it began its quick ascent to ideological and economic dominance.

Cutting across a complex and unsettled debate, let me suggest that neoliberalism became powerful then because it provided implementable policy settings for Keynesianism’s (perceived) impasse in view the stagnation and instability of post-war, first-world welfarist, full-employment economies after 1) the Vietnam War, 2) the collapse of the Bretton Woods agreement; 3) OPEC’s cartelization, and 4) the postcolonial or “globalizing” opening up of world markets on the back of new transportation and computing technologies.17

In the global north neoliberalism was first implemented governmentally by parties on the left, led by James Callaghan in the UK, Jimmy Carter in the US, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating in Australia, and leading the way, David Lange and Roger Douglas in New Zealand.18 At this time, at the level of policy, it was urged more by economists than by ideologues insofar as these can be separated (and Hayek and Mises were both of course).

As we know, neoliberals then introduced policies to implement competition, deregulation, monetarism, privatization, tax reduction, a relative high level of unemployment, the winding back of the state’s participation in the economy and so on. This agenda quickly became captured by private

 

16 Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, p. 48.
17 This history is open to lively differences of opinion. The major books in the literature are: Michel Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the College de France 1978-1979, London: Picador 2010; Philip Mirowski, Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown, London: Verso 2014; Stedman-Jones, Masters of the Universe; Joseph Vogl, The Spectre of Capital, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2014; David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2007. My own understanding of this moment is informed by Stedman-Jones’s account in particular.
18 It is worth noting in this context that the left had itself long been a hatchery of neoliberal economic ideas just because liberalism’s absorption of socialism was matched by socialism’s absorption of liberalism. See Johanna Brockman, Markets in the name of Socialism: the Left-wing Origins of Neoliberalism, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2011 on the intellectual-historical side of this connection.

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interests, and from the eighties on, it was woven into new, highly surveilled and privatized, computing and media ecologies, indeed into what some optimists today call “cognitive capitalism”.19

In this situation, more or less unintended consequences proliferated, most obviously a rapid increase in economic inequality and the enforced insertion of internal markets and corporate structures in non-commercial institutions from hospitals to universities. Indeed, in winding back the welfare state, renouncing Keynesian and redistributionist economic policies, it lost its classical liberal flavor and was firmly absorbed into conservatism — a transformation which had been prepared for by Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.20

But two more concrete conceptual shifts also helped animate this particular fusion of conservatism and liberalism. First, postwar neoliberalism was aimed more at the enterprise than at the individual.21

Largely on the basis of van Mises’s Human Action (1940) as popularized by Gary Becker, the free, independent individual was refigured as “human capital” and thereby exposed instead to management and “leadership.” At the same time, via Peter Drucker’s concept of “knowledge worker,” which emphasized the importance of conceptual and communication skills to
economic production, postsecular management theories for which corporations were hierarchical but organic communities also gained entry into many neoliberal mindsets.22 At that

 

19 Yann Moulier Boutang, Cognitive Capitalism, trans. Ed Emery. Cambridge: Polity Press 2012.
20 Nietzsche and Schopenhauer’s influence is no doubt part of why neoliberalism emerged in Austria. Indeed the Austrian context in which contemporary neoliberalism emerged is worth understanding in more detail. In their early work, Hayek and Mises in particular were responding to “red Vienna” not just in relation to Otto Bauer’s Austromarxism but also in relation to its version of guild socialism associated with Hungarians like Karl Polanyi, with whom both Hayek and Mises entered into debate. See Lee Congdon, “The Sovereignty of Society: Karl Polanyi in Vienna,” in The Life and Work of Karl Polanyi, ed. Kari Polanyi-Levitt. Montreal: Black Rose Books 1990, 78-85.
21 Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 225.
22 Drucker was another Austrian refugee who turned to capitalism against totalitarianism in the late thirties and his profoundly influential work on corporate management shadows neoliberal theory up until the 1970s.

 

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point, neoliberalism also became a quest to reshape as many institutions as possible as corporations.

At this point too Foucault’s consumers of freedom were becoming consumers full stop. To state this more carefully: at the level of ideology, to be free was now first and foremost deemed to be capable of enacting one’s preferences in consumer and labour markets. It would seem that preferences of this kind increasingly determined social status too, and, more invasively, they now increasingly shaped personalities just because practices of self were bound less and less to filiations and affiliations than to acts of choice.

This helped the market to subsume older gradated social and cultural structures of identity-formation, class difference and cultural capital. At this juncture, we encounter another significant unexpected consequence
within liberalism’s longue durée: i.e. the sixties cultural revolution’s reinforcement of neoliberalism.

This is a complex and controversial topic so let me just say here that, from the late seventies, neoliberal subjects who were individualized via their entrepreneurial disposition and economic and labour choices, encounters the subject of post-68 identity politics who had been emancipated from received social hierarchies and prejudices, and was now attached to a particular ethnicity, gender or sexuality as chosen or embraced by themselves as individuals. These two subject formations animated each other to the degree that both had, in their different ways, sloughed off older communal forms, hierarchies and values.

Governing this ménage of hedonism, productivity, insecurity and corporatization, neoliberalism today seems to have become insurmountable, and is, as I say, blob-like, merging out into institutions and practices generally, including those of our discipline. And it has done
this as a turn within liberal modernity’s longer political, intellectual and social genealogies and structures rather than as a break from them.

Nonetheless, three core, somewhat technical, propositions distinguish neoliberalism from liberalism more generally:

  1. First the claim, which belongs to the sociology of knowledge, that no individual or group can know the true value of anything at all.23 For neoliberals, that value — true or not — can only be assessed, where it can be assessed at all, under particular conditions: namely when it is available in a competitive and free market open to all individuals in a society based on private property. This is an argument against all elite and expert claims to superior knowledge and judgment: without prices, all assessments of value are mere opinion. In that way, market justice (i.e. the effects of competing in the market) can trump social justice. And in that way, for instance, neoliberalism finds an echo not just in negations of cultural authority and canonicity but in the idea that literary and aesthetic judgments are matters of private choice and opinion. In short, neoliberalism inhabits cultural democracy and vice versa. By the same stroke, it posits an absence — a mere structure of exchange—at society’s normative center.
  2. There is a direct relationship between the competitive market and freedom. Any attempt to limit free markets reduces freedom because it imposes upon all individuals a partial opinion about what is valuable. This particular understanding of freedom rests on the notion of the market as a spontaneous order — its being resistant to control and planning, its being embedded in a society which “no individual can completely survey” as Hayek put it.24 Not that this notion is itself original to neoliberalism: Foucault’s historiography of liberalism shows that, in the mid eighteenth century, this property of markets was thought of as “natural” and therefore needed to be protected
    from sovereign authority’s interference.25 But as Foucault and others have argued, neoliberalism emerges after World War 2 when the spontaneous market conditions of freedom are no longer viewed as natural (even if they remain immanently lawbound) but as governmentally produced.26
  3. Neoliberalism has specific ethical dimensions too. While it generally insists that individuals should be free to “follow their own values and preferences” (as Hayek put it) at least within the limits set by those rules and institutions which secure market stability, in fact individuals’ independence as well as their relation to market risk, provides the necessary condition for specific virtues and capacities. Most notably, in Hayek’s formulation, a neoliberal regime secures individuals’ self-sufficiency, honor and dignity and does so by the willingness of some to accept “material sacrifice,” or to “live dangerously” as Foucault put it, in a phrase he declared to be liberalism’s “motto”.27 This mix of risk-seeking existentialism and civic republicanism not only rebukes and prevents the kind of de-individualization supposedly associated with socialisms of the left and right, it is where neoliberalism and an older “Nietzschean” liberalism meet—with Michael Oakeshott’s work bearing special weight in this context.28 But as soon as neoliberalism itself becomes hegemonic in part by fusing with the spirit of 1968, this original ascetic, masculinist neoliberal ethic of freedom and risk comes to be supplemented and displaced by one based more on creativity, consumerist hedonism and entrepreneurialism aimed at augmenting choice.29

***

23 See Mirowski, Never Let a Serious Crisis, p. 55.
24 Friedrich von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom: Texts and Documents. The Definitive Edition, ed. Bruce Caldwell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007, p. 212.

25 Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 19.
26 This is argued in Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval’s The New Way of the World: on Neoliberal Society, London: Verso 2014. For the immanent lawboundedness in Hayek, see Miguel Vatter, The Republic of the Living: Biopolitics and the Critique of Civil Society, New York: Fordham University Press 2014: pps. 195-220. Vatter’s chapter “Free Markets and Republican
Constitutions in Hayek and Foucault” is excellent on how law is treated in neoliberal thought.
27 Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, p. 130. Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 66.
28 See Andrew Norris’s forthcoming essay in Political Theory, “Michael Oakeshott’s Postulates of Individuality” for this. We might recall, too, that Foucault argues for similarities between the Frankfurt school and the early neoliberals on the grounds of their resistance to standardization, spectacle and so on. See The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 105.

 

I have indicated that Conrad belongs to the moment when socialist parties first contested democratic elections and which thus split liberalism, allowing one, then beleaguered, liberal fraction to begin to attach to conservatism. In this way then, he belongs to neoliberalism’s deep past (which is not to say, of course, that he should be understand as a proto-neoliberal himself). Let us now think about his novel Victory in this light.

The novel is set in late nineteenth-century Indonesia mainly among European settlers and entrepreneurs. Indonesia was then a Dutch colony itself undergoing a formal economic deregulation program, which would increase not just Dutch imperial profits but, among indigenous peoples, also trigger what was arguably human history’s most explosive population growth to date.30

Victory belongs to this world where imperialism encountered vibrant commercial activity driven by entrepreneurial interests, competition and risk. Thus, for instance, its central character, the nomadic, cosmopolitan, aristocratic Swedish intellectual, Axel Heyst, establishes a business— a coal mine — along with a ship-owning partner, while other characters manage hotels, orchestras and trading vessels. Victory is a novel about enterprises as well as about individuals.

But Conrad’s Indonesia is other to Europe as a realm of freedom. Importantly, however, its freedom is not quite liberal or neoliberal: it is also the freedom of a particular space. More precisely, it is the freedom of the sea: here, in effect Indonesia is oceanic. This formulation draws on Carl Schmitt’s post-war work on international law, which was implicitly

 

29 The history of that displacement is explored in Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello’s The New Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Gregory Elliott. London: Verso 2005.
30 Bram Peper, “Population Growth in Java in the 19th Century”, Population Studies, 24/1 (1970): 71-84.

 

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positioned against liberal and neoliberal theory. In his monograph The Nomos of the Earth (1950), Schmitt drew attention to the sea as a space of freedom just because national sovereignties and laws did not hold there.

But Schmitt’s implicit point was that liberal freedom needs to be thought about not just in terms of tolerance, recognition, rights or markets, but
geographically and historically inside the long history of violent sovereign appropriation of the globe’s land masses so that elemental freedom was enacted on the oceans where law and sovereignty had no reach. From this perspective, piracy, for instance, plays an important role in freedom’s history. And from this perspective the claim to reconcile radical freedom to the lawbound state is false: such freedom exists only where laws do not.

The sea, thought Schmitt’s way, is key to Conrad’s work. But, for him, the sea is also the home of economic liberalism, free-trade and the merchant marines by whom he had, of course, once been employed, and whose values he admired.31 Victory is a maritime tale set on waters which harbor such free trade at the same time as they form a Schmittean realm of freedom — and violence and risk — which effectively remains beyond the reach of sovereign law.

Let me step back at this point to sketch the novel’s plot. Victory’s central character Heyst is the son of an intellectual who late in life was converted from progressivism to a mode of weak Schopenhauerianism or what was then call pessimism.32 Heyst lives his father’s pessimism out: he is a disabused conservative liberal: “he claimed for mankind that right to
absolute moral and intellectual liberty of which he no longer believed them worthy.”33

Believing this, Heyst leaves Europe to “drift”— circulating through Burma, New Guinea, Timor and the Indonesian archipelagoes, simply gathering facts and observing. But, on an

 

31 For Conrad and trade in this region, see Andrew Francis, Culture and Commerce in Conrad’s Asian Fiction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2015. For Conrad’s affiliations to free trade proper see my unpublished paper, “Democracy, Empire and the Politics of the Future in
Conrad’s Heart of Darkness”. This is available on this url.
32 Joseph Conrad, Victory, London: Methuen 1916, p. 197.
33 Conrad, Victory, pps. 92-93

 

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impulse, while drifting through Timor he rescues a shipowner, Morrison, whose ship has been impounded by unscrupulous Portuguese authorities, and through that act of spontaneous generosity, becomes obligated to Morrison.

The two men end up establishing a coalmine in the remote Indonesian island of Samburan, backed by local Chinese as well as by European capital. The company soon collapses. Morison dies. And, living out his Schopenhauerian renunciation of the world, Heyst, the detached man, decides to stay on at the island alone except for one Chinese servant.

He does, however, sometimes visit the nearest Indonesian town, Surabaya, and it is while staying there in a hotel owned by Schomberg, a malicious, gossipy German, that he makes another spontaneous rescue. This time he saves a young woman, Lena, a member of a traveling “ladies orchestra,” who is being bullied by her bosses and in danger of abduction by Schomberg himself.

Heyst and Lena secretly escape back to his island, causing Schomberg to harbor a venomous resentment against Heyst. At this point Schomberg’s hotel is visited by a trio of sinister criminals: Jones, Ricardo and their servant Pedro. Taking advantage of Schomberg’s rage, they establish an illegal casino in his hotel. To rid himself of this risky enterprise, Schomberg advises them to go after Heyst in his island, falsely telling them that Heyst has hidden a fortune there. Jones and his gang take Schomberg’s advice but disaster awaits them.

The novel ends with Jones, Ricardo, Heyst, Lena all dead on Heyst’s island.
The novel, which hovers between commercial adventure romance and experimental modernism, is bound to neoliberalism’s trajectory in two main ways. First, it adheres to neoliberalism’s sociology of knowledge: here too there is no knowing center, no hierarchy of expertise, no possibility of detached holistic survey and calculation through which truth might command action. Heyst’s drifting, inconsequential fact-gathering, itself appears to illustrate that absence. As do the gossip and rumors which circulate in the place of informed knowledge, and which lead to disaster. Individuals and enterprises are, as it were, on their
13
own, beyond any centralized and delimited social body that might secure stability and grounded understandings. They are bound, rather, to self-interest and spontaneity.

This matters formally not simply because, in an approximately Jamesian mode, the narrative involves a series of points of view in which various characters’ perceptions, moods and interests intersect, but because the narration itself is told in a first person voice without being enunciated by a diegetical character.

That first person, then, functions as the shadow representative of a decentered community, largely focused on money, that is barely able to confer identity at all, a community, too, without known geographical or ideological limits just because the narrator, its implicit representative, has no location or substance. This narratorial indeterminacy can be understood as an index of liberalism at this globalizing historical juncture: a liberalism divesting itself of its own progressive histories, emancipatory hopes and institutions. A bare liberalism about to become neoliberalism, as we can proleptically say.

More importantly, the novel speaks to contemporary neoliberalism because it is about freedom. As we have begun to see, Heyst is committed to a freedom which is both the freedom of the sea, and a metaphysical condition which has detached itself, as far as is possible, from connections, obligations, determinations. This structures the remarkable formal
relationship around which the novel turns — i.e. Heyst’s being positioned as Jones’s double.

The generous Schopenhauerian is not just the demonic criminal’s opposite: he is also his twin. Both men are wandering, residual “gentlemen” detached from the European order, and thrown into, or committed to, a radical freedom which, on the one side, is a function of free trade, on the other, a condition of life lived beyond the legal and political institutions that order European societies, but also, importantly, are philosophical and ethical — a renunciation of the established ideological order for independence, courage and nomadism.

To put this rather differently: Heyst and Jones’s efforts to live in freedom — to comport themselves as free individuals — combines economic freedom — a freedom of exchange, competition and

 

14
entrepreneurial possibilities— with a state of nature as a line of flight (or emancipation) from received continental laws, values and social structures. Freedom, that is, which combines that which Carl Schmitt and the early neoliberals imagined, each in their own way.

The novel’s main point is that there is, in fact, nothing in this freedom to sustain true ethical substance. It is as if Schmittean freedom has smashed both liberal freedom and pessimistic asceticism, along with their ethical groundings. Or to come at the novel’s basic point from another direction: it is as if the absence at the heart of a free society has transmigrated into these characters’ selves. It is at that level that individual freedom cannot be separated from violence and risk and good from evil.

Without an instituted social structure, Heyst cannot stay true to himself: his commitment to freedom and renunciation is compromised because of his spontaneous acts of generosity and sympathy which lead to his and Lena’s death. On the other side, Jones, a homosexual shunned by respectable society, is afflicted by those key nineteenth-century affects, resentment and boredom as well as a quasi-Nietzschean contempt for “tameness”, which drive him towards living outside of society, at contigency’s mercy, and towards reckless, malevolent violence.

Heyst and Jones die together almost by accident, in deaths that reveal them not just as entangled with one another at existence’s threshold, but as both attuned to death, even in life. It now look as if while they lived they wanted to die. In that way, the novel makes it clear that the risk, disorder and emptiness which inhabit their striving for a radically liberal practice of life corrode distinctions not just between violence and renunciation, not just between good and evil, but also between life and death.

We can put it like this: the freedom that these characters claim and the risks that it entails and which bind them together are inclined more towards death than towards life, just on account of freedom’s own conditions of possibility, namely radical autonomy, absence of sovereign power, and maximum choice.

***

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As I say, this is a reading of the novel which, at least in principle, helps to canonize Victory just because it claims that its form, plot and characters address versions of our current neoliberal social condition, and does so in metaphysically ambitious terms. Victory is a critique of freedom, I think.

Conrad is insisting that even in a liberal society devoted to free trade,
enterprises and markets, the law — and the sovereign state — comes first. It is, if one likes, beginning the work of detaching liberalism from freedom. To say this, however, is to ignore the most pressing question that this reading raises: to what degree should we today actually accede to Conrad’s ambivalent, pessimistic and conservative imagination of radical freedom?

How to judge that freedom’s renunciation of established hierarchies, collectivities and values whether for adventure, risk and spontaneity or for violence and death? It is a condition of the discipline’s neoliberal state that the only answer we can give to that question is that we can, each of us, answer that question any way that we choose.

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“Western Moral Decline or Capitalist Decadence?,” by John Kovas

This is a good piece. You can find it at Kofas’ website, or I got it off of Academia.edu. Looking at his website, it appears that the rest of his stuff is pretty good too. I need to read this guy more.

I actually think he is onto something here, and you need to be hip to this argument because the Right is always trotting out this “moral decline” argument that I think needs to be countered.

Western Moral Decline or Capitalist Decadence?

by John Kofas

Historically, during periods of economic contraction, the intelligentsia, politicians, business, academic, community and church leaders invariably try to steer the debate away from what has gone wrong with the political economy to the subject of values.

This was certainly the case during the 19th century when the depressions of the 1840’s, 1870’s and 1890’s took place. Well-meaning individuals as well as opportunistic propagandists questioned society’s values, despite the fact that structural causes in the political economy accounted for the economic contraction and social ills.

A somewhat similar situation existed during the Great Depression of the 1930’s when novelists, philosophers, politicians and others decried the values of the 1920’s. There are similarities between those historical periods and the economic contraction and diminishing of the Western middle class that started during the Reagan-Thatcher era and continues to the present.

The universal topic of values served its purpose when the Industrial Revolution was causing socioeconomic problems, and it serves its purpose today when Western Civilization is captive to banks and corporate capital that are concentrating capital while weakening the social fabric and democratic institutions.

The very elites suggesting to the masses redirection toward reexamination of values are the same ones that:

1. do not practice the values that they preach;

2. are responsible for the widening socioeconomic gap and sociopolitical instability that ensues;

3. benefit by deflecting the focus of the masses from the essential problem in the systemic flaws of the political economy to values.

Naturally, there is the salient question of the vast differences in value systems between societies and individuals; differences between religious and secular values within a pluralistic society, or the differences/nuances of values within a community whether it is predominantly religious or secular.

That scholars, politicians, businesspeople, priests, and the laity have been concerned about western civilization’s decline is a story as old as Oswald Spengler who wrote about the topic after the German Empire lost the First World War, and Europe as the world’s global power center began to give ground to the US and USSR.

But are the values of Bismarck and his generation of imperialist politicians and business titans the ones that Spengler’s generation lamented against the background of the Bolshevik Revolution and its global impact? Is it the Western values of imperialism, nationalism and militarism that led to global war in 1914 that were lost along with the decline of Western Europe?

Spengler focused on Western decadence, but the question is one of the underlying assumptions of what constituted decadence and what constituted ascendancy, the degree to which humane and communitarian principles rested behind assumptions. Was it dreadful that imperialist Europe of the old elites began to decline as a result of militarist confrontation, or was it tragic that millions of people died, injured, displaced, impoverished as a result? If one values power, then one laments the decline of Europe’s power. But what if the value system is human-centered, instead of power-based?

When the Great Depression erupted to cripple societies across most of the planet, why was there a sharp turn to a discussion of values, whether by US President Roosevelt who favored a quasi-communitarian orientation that mirrored the New Deal or ultra-nationalist one that Hitler advocated who was interested in ethnic cleansing as a means of restoring the purity of the mythological Aryan race as Alfred Rosenberg conceived it and the NAZI party practiced it.

In a very strange way, the NAZI regime’s populist ethnic collectivist approach intended to achieve the same goal as that of FDR and for that matter Josef Stalin who advocated superimposed collectivism.

The Third Reich manufactured a value system that a large percentage of Germans and Austrians, accepted and lived under with the hope that it would propel them to greatness as the NAZI party defined the concept. Why did millions of people accept an utterly barbaric and inhumane and racist value system under Hitler, and why did they not retain humane principles based on the wider philosophical framework of the Enlightenment that revolutionized European culture in the 18th century?

Is it merely a question of brainwashing – no matter how good German propaganda was – or one that a large segment of the population actually embraced values because they perceived benefits accruing to them – everything from keeping their jobs to feeling great that the ruling party told them they were ‘superior’ to other races.

From the end of World War II that marked the end of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and militarist-imperial Japan until the end of the Vietnam War, Western and non-Western (Communist regime) societies operated on broader values – in theory and certainly not in practice – of communitarian principles as part of an ideological mix.

Certainly in Western societies, led by the US, the value system of individualism, business progress, consumerism, commercialism of culture, and hedonism were prevalent, but the existence of the welfare state entailed tangible evidence that communitarian values mattered. The beginning of the breakdown of that value system comes when the US and the West in general begin to gradually eliminate the communitarian aspect in the societal mix because it interferes with finance capitalism and the neoliberal model of capital accumulation.

More than political trends, material conditions influence evolving value systems, something that is evident in the consumerist values (to which we must add hedonist and atomistic) of much of the world in the last fifty years. After all, values too are class-based. The relative decline of compassion for humanity, and a rise of alienation which many try to cure by going to therapy and with legal and illegal drugs, has been sharply on the increase in the last half century to the degree that we now have a Western culture of therapism thriving.

Ethical ambiguity naturally translates into ambiguity of values, thus reflecting cultural relativism. In a recent public opinion poll, the vast majority of the people in Finland agreed that if their close friend committed murder, they would notify the authorities. In the same poll, the vast majority of Greeks agreed they would not turn in their friend. Not surprisingly, Greek elites, including academics, praised the virtue of honoring friendship, while the people of Finland stressed the virtue of social conscience.

What accounts for the absence of convergence in the values of the two societies? History, tradition, religion, culture, etc., and what does this example teach us about the values of ambiguity? How could any human being with an once of moral fiber not report a case of murder? How could someone betray their friend, even in case of murder?

Beyond values of ambiguity, there is a much clearer case regarding basic values that are time-tested and transcend time and place.

1. Lying is clearly immoral. Not the kind of lying involving little lies that cause no harm but big lies that bring about great harm to a great many people. Yet, lying is at the core of both business and politics, but it is passed on as public relations. Lying to an entire nation about the reason for going to war is acceptable because it is a matter of national security. Lying to consumers about a product is acceptable because it is in the name of peddling a product or service.

2. Stealing is clearly immoral. I was hardly surprised to read stories about people across southern Europe actually stealing food because of the current hard times. However, stealing in the framework of institutionalized ‘appropriation’ of government subsidies to make banks stronger, is morally acceptable. Yet this is a process that forces people to steal food. Are we back in the era of Victor Hugo’s Jean Val Jean?

3. Killing is clearly immoral. However, mass killings of collateral damage victims in time of war is just fine. Why do human beings categorically reject the individual who kills her husband that abuses her but accept mass killings in wars? What does this tell us about our values and how they are molded?

How does a politician, a journalist, an academic, or much less a leading businessperson tell the masses to reexamine their values against the background of austerity economics that benefit those preaching reexamination of values?

For more than half a century, the same elites now preaching reexamination of values were advocating consumerism, commercialization of culture, hedonism, and atomistic proclivities, all in the name of an open society when in reality the only interest was the thriving of the market economy.

Having conditioned citizens as consumers steeped in that frame of mind and value system, how do elites now try to tell them that embracing everything from nature to God, everything from family values to community values, filter down, and even if it did, what exactly does that do for the high structural unemployment and underemployment, low wage structure, lack of opportunities for college graduates, and lack of job security?

When Ronald Reagan was beginning to dismantle the welfare state and strengthen the corporate welfare state, his administration, various think tanks, journalists, academics, clergy and business leaders began to speak of values, namely ‘family values’.

One odd thing about many of the people advocating ‘family values’ is that they themselves were not practicing them. Another odd thing was that these values advocates were interested in pushing society in the direction of conformity to the changing status quo, so value discussion was one tool they used.

Of course, there was a contradiction between ‘family values’ rhetoric and policies – government and business – that were contributing to undermining the family by forcing both parents to work, in some cases at second jobs to make ends meet.

At the same time, reorientation to values discussion did not mean that workers must stop shopping, given that the population remained under the spell of increasingly intrusive advertising that helped shape consumerist and atomistic values. Are we witnessing a Western moral decline or merely a decline of the capitalist system and its apologists trying desperately to distract the masses by shifting the focus to values?

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Mutual Intelligibility in “German”

RL: “Low Franconian is just Dutch.”

Anglo-Saxon Maverick: I would assume that low German, comes from the Northern regions of Germany close to the North Sea, where the elevation is lower?, as opposed to further South where the Alps rise? Holland is topographically lower than France, hence the name?

Yes, the Netherlands is very low in elevation, in fact, I believe it is even below sea level, hence the need for dikes to keep the sea out and polders or reclaimed land formerly flooded by the sea.

Yes, this exactly where Low German comes from of course.

And yes, Upper German comes from the region by the Alps, and Middle German is in between the two. These are actually at least three completely different languages, but Germany will not officially recognize them as such and neither will many German speakers. Even Bavarian and Swiss German are completely separate languages – those are not the same languages as German at all.

A German speaker cannot understand a Swiss German, Low German or even a Bavarian speaker at all. I heard a story about a White man who even learned Munich Bavarian who said he sat in a hot tub with two women who were speaking some Bavarian dialect to the south of Munich near the Austrian border. Over a 2-3 hour period, he said he did not understand one single word that they said, even though all three spoke Bavarian. Bavarian speakers to the south of Munich often cannot understand people even 15 miles away. In these cases, they all communicate via Hochdeutch or Standard German.

In Austria, every region or county speaks its own version of Bavarian and it is said that none of them can understand each other. At least in the 1970’s, people from 3-4 counties in the west of Austria could sit at a table and talk and none of them could really understand each other. Even pure Viennese Bavarian which is very much dying out nowadays simply cannot be understood outside of the Vienna region and nowadays a lot of Viennese themselves cannot even understand it.

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What Is the South Stream Pipeline and Why Is the US So Determined to Kill It?

There is a project to run Russian gas down through Turkey and the Black Sea to eastern Europe and then up to Austria. This project is called the South Stream, and the US has been anxiously trying to kill this project for some time now.

The US is furious that Russia is trying to run a pipeline up to Europe to sell the Europeans gas, and we will walk through Hell and high water to try to stop this project. America’s hatred for the South Stream is twofold.

First, the US is determined to destroy Russia’s economy any way it can. Cutting off a gas pipeline is a good way to do that.

Second, the US hates the idea of Europe getting hooked on Russian gas. This makes the Europeans not want to fight Russia much since they do not want to alienate their gas supplier. The problem is that the Europeans do not have many alternatives when it comes to gas. They either buy gas from Russia, or they buy gas from Russia.

At first the South Stream was scheduled to go through Bulgaria, and the Bulgarians were ready to agree to it until they came under tremendous pressure from the US, and they nixed the deal.

Then the project shifted over to the Balkans. It would go through Greece and up through the Balkans to Austria.

Regime changer Victoria Nuland (R-Tel Aviv) whose husband is neocon brain trust Robert Kagan (R-Tel Aviv), the same Ms. Nuland who plotted the nefarious Nazi coup in the Ukraine that caused so much death and chaos, quickly went to work in Macedonia trying to set off another color revolution to throw out the government there which had agreed to let the South Stream run through its land.

There were some rowdy demonstrations as Nuland tried to do another Maidan overthrow of the government with crowds in the streets or a coup.

This attempt fortunately failed, so the last chance to stop South Stream was to throw a wedge between Russia and Turkey because all South Stream routes have to go through Turkey. By causing a huge rift between Turkey and Russia, the US thinks it is killing South Stream for the third time.

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Muslims Continue to Persecute Christians Even in the West

Here.

I figured this would happen. I think they need to house the refugees separately. Separate the Christians from the Muslims.Separate the unaccompanied women and girls who are being sexually harassed from the men.

So much for the “traditional Muslim tolerance towards non-Muslims.” It pretty much never existed in the past and it certainly does not now. When it comes to non-Muslims, Islam does not play well with others.

Sometimes, “Islamophobia” is a valid concern.

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The First Six Years of Nazi Rule

Pretty amazing stuff. Keep in mind that they were like this before they even started killing lots of people. And during this period, they were wildly popular, not only in Germany but also in other parts of Europe, especially in Eastern Europe.

1933

January 30, 1933 – Adolf Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany a nation with a Jewish population of 566,000.

February 22, 1933 – 40,000 SA and SS men are sworn in as auxiliary police.

February 27, 1933 – Nazis burn Reichstag building to create crisis atmosphere.

February 28, 1933 – Emergency powers granted to Hitler as a result of the Reichstag fire.

March 22, 1933 – Nazis open Dachau concentration camp near Munich, to be followed by Buchenwald near Weimar in central Germany, Sachsenhausen near Berlin in northern Germany, and Ravensbrück for women.

March 24, 1933 – German Parliament passes Enabling Act giving Hitler dictatorial powers.

April 1, 1933 – Nazis stage boycott of Jewish shops and businesses.

April 11, 1933 – Nazis issue a Decree defining a non-Aryan as “anyone descended from non-Aryan, especially Jewish, parents or grandparents. One parent or grandparent classifies the descendant as non-Aryan…especially if one parent or grandparent was of the Jewish faith.”

April 26, 1933 – The Gestapo is born, created by Hermann Göring in the German state of Prussia.

May 10, 1933 – Burning of books in Berlin and throughout Germany.

July 14, 1933 – Nazi Party is declared the only legal party in Germany; Also, Nazis pass law to strip Jewish immigrants from Poland of their German citizenship.

In July – Nazis pass law allowing for forced sterilization of those found by a Hereditary Health Court to have genetic defects.

In September – Nazis establish Reich Chamber of Culture, then exclude Jews from the Arts.

September 29, 1933 – Nazis prohibit Jews from owning land.

October 4, 1933 – Jews are prohibited from being newspaper editors.

November 24, 1933 – Nazis pass a Law against Habitual and Dangerous Criminals, which allows beggars, the homeless, alcoholics and the unemployed to be sent to concentration camps.

1934

January 24, 1934 – Jews are banned from the German Labor Front.

May 17, 1934 – Jews not allowed national health insurance.

June 30, 1934 – The Night of Long Knives occurs as Hitler, Göring and Himmler conduct a purge of the SA (storm trooper) leadership.

July 20, 1934 – The SS (Schutzstaffel) is made an independent organization from the SA.

July 22, 1934 – Jews are prohibited from getting legal qualifications.

August 2, 1934 – German President von Hindenburg dies. Hitler becomes Führer.

August 19, 1934 – Hitler receives a 90 percent ‘Yes’ vote from German voters approving his new powers.

1935

May 21, 1935 – Nazis ban Jews from serving in the military.

June 26, 1935 – Nazis pass law allowing forced abortions on women to prevent them from passing on hereditary diseases.

August 6, 1935 – Nazis force Jewish performers/artists to join Jewish Cultural Unions.

September 15, 1935 – Nuremberg Race Laws against Jews decreed.

1936

February 10, 1936 – The German Gestapo is placed above the law.

In March – SS Deathshead division is established to guard concentration camps.

March 7, 1936 – Nazis occupy the Rhineland.

June 17, 1936 – Heinrich Himmler is appointed chief of the German Police.

August 1, 1936 – Olympic Games begin in Berlin. Hitler and top Nazis seek to gain legitimacy through favorable public opinion from foreign visitors and thus temporarily refrain from actions against Jews.

In August – Nazis set up an Office for Combating Homosexuality and Abortions (by healthy women).

1937

In January – Jews are banned from many professional occupations, including teaching Germans, and from being accountants or dentists. They are also denied tax reductions and child allowances.

November 8, 1937 – ‘Eternal Jew’ traveling exhibition opens in Munich.

1938

March 12/13, 1938 – Nazi troops enter Austria, which has a population of 200,000 Jews, mainly living in Vienna. Hitler announces Anschluss (union) with Austria.

In March – After the Anschluss, the SS is placed in charge of Jewish affairs in Austria with Adolf Eichmann establishing an Office for Jewish Emigration in Vienna. Himmler then establishes Mauthausen concentration camp near Linz.

April 22, 1938 – Nazis prohibit Aryan ‘front-ownership’ of Jewish businesses.

April 26, 1938 – Nazis order Jews to register wealth and property.

June 14, 1938 – Nazis order Jewish-owned businesses to register.

In July – At Evian, France, the U.S. convenes a League of Nations conference with delegates from 32 countries to consider helping Jews fleeing Hitler but results in inaction as no country will accept them.

July 6, 1938 – Nazis prohibited Jews from trading and providing a variety of specified commercial services.

July 23, 1938 – Nazis order Jews over age 15 to apply for identity cards from the police, to be shown on demand to any police officer.

July 25, 1938 – Jewish doctors prohibited by law from practicing medicine.

August 11, 1938 – Nazis destroy the synagogue in Nuremberg.

August 17, 1938 – Nazis require Jewish women to add Sarah and men to add Israel to their names on all legal documents including passports.

September 27, 1938 – Jews are prohibited from all legal practices.

October 5, 1938 – Law requires Jewish passports to be stamped with a large red “J.”

October 15, 1938 – Nazi troops occupy the Sudetenland.

October 28, 1938 – Nazis arrest 17,000 Jews of Polish nationality living in Germany, then expel them back to Poland which refuses them entry, leaving them in ‘No-Man’s Land’ near the Polish border for several months.

November 7, 1938 – Ernst vom Rath, third secretary in the German Embassy in Paris, is shot and mortally wounded by Herschel Grynszpan, the 17-year-old son of one of the deported Polish Jews. Rath dies on November 9, precipitating Kristallnacht.

November 9/10 – Kristallnacht – The Night of Broken Glass.

November 12, 1938 – Nazis fine Jews one billion marks for damages related to Kristallnacht.

November 15, 1938 – Jewish pupils are expelled from all non-Jewish German schools.

December 3, 1938 – Law for compulsory Aryanization of all Jewish businesses.

December 14, 1938 – Hermann Göring takes charge of resolving the “Jewish Question.”

1939

January 24, 1939 – SS leader Reinhard Heydrich is ordered by Göring to speed up the emigration of Jews.

January 30, 1939 – Hitler threatens Jews during Reichstag speech.

February 21, 1939 – Nazis force Jews to hand over all gold and silver items.

March 15/16 – Nazi troops seize Czechoslovakia (Jewish pop. 350,000).

April 19, 1939 – Slovakia passes its own version of the Nuremberg Laws.

April 30, 1939 – Jews lose rights as tenants and are relocated into Jewish houses.

In May – The St. Louis, a ship crowded with 930 Jewish refugees, is turned away by Cuba, the United States and other countries and returns to Europe.

July 4, 1939 – German Jews denied the right to hold government jobs.

July 21, 1939 – Adolf Eichmann is appointed director of the Prague Office of Jewish Emigration.

September 1, 1939 – Nazis invade Poland (Jewish pop. 3.35 million, the largest in Europe). Beginning of SS activity in Poland.

September 1, 1939 – Jews in Germany are forbidden to be outdoors after 8 p.m. in winter and 9 p.m. in summer.

September 3, 1939 – Great Britain and France declare war on Germany.

September 4, 1939 – Warsaw is cut off by the German Army.

September 17, 1939 – Soviet troops invade eastern Poland.

September 21, 1939 – Heydrich issues instructions to SS Einsatzgruppen (special action squads) in Poland regarding treatment of Jews, stating they are to be gathered into ghettos near railroads for the future “final goal.” He also orders a census and the establishment of Jewish administrative councils within the ghettos to implement Nazi policies and decrees.

September 23, 1939 – German Jews are forbidden to own wireless (radio) sets.

September 27, 1939 – Warsaw surrenders; Heydrich becomes leader of RSHA.

September 29, 1939 – Nazis and Soviets divide up Poland. Over two million Jews reside in Nazi controlled areas, leaving 1.3 million in the Soviet area.

In September – Quote from Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer, published by Julius Streicher – “The Jewish people ought to be exterminated root and branch. Then the plague of pests would have disappeared in Poland at one stroke.”

In October – Nazis begin euthanasia on sick and disabled in Germany.

October 6, 1939 – Proclamation by Hitler on the isolation of Jews.

October 12, 1939 – Evacuation of Jews from Vienna.

October 12, 1939 – Hans Frank appointed Nazi Gauleiter (governor) of Poland.

October 26, 1939 – Forced labor decree issued for Polish Jews aged 14 to 60.

November 23, 1939 – Yellow stars required to be worn by Polish Jews over age 10.

In December – Adolf Eichmann takes over section IV B4 of the Gestapo dealing solely with Jewish affairs and evacuations.

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The “Nazis and Soviets Were Friends” Lie

Wade writes:

The hatred between Nazi and Bolshevik was just a surface conflict. The real underlying conflict was between German and Russian which had been going on for long before WWII. 30 million dead is just a result of more advanced technology and policies based on Nazi race hatred.

In the beginning of WWII the Nazis and communists had actually signed a pact. When Hitler invaded the northern part of Poland, the Soviets went into the south. Hitler eventually turned east not because he didn’t trust Bolshevism, but because he didn’t trust the Soviet Union (the new Russian state).

You can’t have it both ways. Fascists and the Left have always been the deadliest of enemies. Sure, there are some crossover 3rd Position type groups like National Bolsheviks, but those are based on a faulty reading of history. You have to pick one or the other. Are you a fascist choosing the Right or an anti-fascist on the Left. You can’t order both.

Fascists and the Left don’t hate each other just because they think alike and are having a lover’s quarrel. They really are polar opposite ideologies in many ways.

Fascism is best seen as a “popular far rightwing authoritarian movement against the Left.”

I’ve spent a lot of time on Left sites. One group they will not abide is the fascists. I’ve also been on a fascist sites. What they hate more than anything else is the Left. They want to kill us.

This is complete nonsense about the Nazis and Soviets being allies. The Nazis raison d etre was the wipe Bolshevism off the face of the Earth. They were an anti-Communist party to the core.

They put people in the camps in this order:

1. Communists
2. Socialists
3. Trade unionists
4. (Last) Jews

If you read Hitler’s writings and those of other top Nazis, it’s all about the danger of Bolshevism to Europe and how it had to be wiped out. The Jews were tied in with Bolshevism, so that is why the Jews were targeted. They were out to wipe Judeo-Bolshevism off the face of the Earth. All the other fascists were like this too. Their deadly enemies were the Communists, socialists and union members everywhere, all through Europe. There was a hot war in Spain. When fascists came to power in Europe everywhere in WW2, they immediately went after the Communists.

Rightwingers the world over supported the fascists, including the Nazis, as the biggest, baddest Commie killers that ever lived.

Stalin knew that Hitler was out to wipe out the USSR from the very start. That was the reason for the breakneck collectivization and industrialization, and frankly for the paranoid purges of the 1937 – Stalin suspected a Nazi plot to overthrow him.

The 1940 pact was just a means of buying time temporarily in the war that Stalin knew was going to happen. The US and UK had been egging Hitler from 1938-1941, trying to get him to attack the USSR and take them out. In 1938 Chamberlain gave Hitler Austria not for peace in our time but as deal for Hitler taking out the Soviets.

For a long time, rightwingers in the US and UK had been hoping to use and control Hitler long enough so that he could be used as a weapon against the USSR. When Hitler first came to power in 1933, the NY Times praised him as an anti-Communist.

If the Left loved fascists so much, why was there a deadly hot war in Spain?

Mussolini came to power as a coup against a resurgent Left in Italy. In the early 1920’s, landless peasants were rioting in the streets and marching in the fields all over Italy.

The rich use fascism as a last ditch effort to save capitalism in the face of an overwhelming threat from the Left.

The postwar fascists of Latin America, the Philippines, Fiji, Ethiopia, Morocco, Indonesia, Turkey, Greece, Zaire, Spain, Portugal, Iran and many other places were admirers of Hitler, Mussolini and all of the other European fascists. The Indian Hindutva fascists hate no one so much as the Left and also admire Hitler.

Fascism is all about “exterminate the Left.”

The conflict is more nationalism versus internationalism than anything else, but it’s also about wealth and priveleges.

Fascists declare the class war dead in the name of class solidarity, but then it goes on nonetheless. All classes are locked into position forever as part of the eternal blood and soil national pact. The rich are rich, the poor are poor, and that’s that.

Especially after WW2, rightwing authoritarianism and fascism has been all about everything for the rich and corporations and screw the people. As the class war grinds the masses into the dirt, the fascists march them off to anti-Communist rallies and have them wave flags. They seek to negate the class struggle but prioritizing nationalism over class. With the cloak of nationalism, they seek to make the class struggle seem to disappear under the flag of the nation.

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The Proto-Indo-Europeans and Their Early Descendants: Proto-Languages and Homelands

The Indo-European languages include most of the languages of Europe, Iran and Northern India. For instance, English, Gaelic, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Romanian, Bulgarian, Russian, Greek, Albanian, Armenian and Kurdish are some of the better-known IE languages of Europe and the Near East.

In Iran, the major language, Farsi, is IE, as is the major language Pashto in Afghanistan. In India and Pakistan, the huge languages Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi are all IE.

They go back to a proto-language called Proto Indo-European, or PIE. In that the languages are all related, the truth is that the peoples are all related to for the greatest part. So Northern Indians, Pashtuns, Iranians, Kurds and Armenians are all closely related to Europeans since they all sprung in part from a common source, in the famous words of Sir William Jones, who discovered the IE languages in the late 1700’s.

Going back 6,500 years, we can reconstruct Proto-Indo-European quite well. One of the best resources is Julius Pokorny‘s Proto-Indo-European Etymological Dictionary (or Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch).

Originally written in German, this incredible 2,500 page masterwork has been translated largely, but not completely, into English. One of my favorite pastimes is wading through this monster. I have a downloadable copy on the blog here (huge file).

The homeland of the Indo-Europeans is the subject of much debate, but the modern consensus centers around putting the homeland at 6500 years before present (YBP) around Southern Russia. I have narrowed it to southern Russia, southeastern Ukraine and southwestern Kazakhstan north of the Caucasus. This is more or less the region in between the Black and Caspian Seas.

An arid region called the Kuma-Manych Depression is in the middle of this region and seems to be a major center of PIE culture. I could not find a map of the Depression, but it separates the North Caucasus from the Russian Plain.

There were also settlements in southeastern Ukraine near the Sea of Azov, about 50 miles north of the Caspian Sea in southwestern Kazakhstan and up around the Lower Volga Region near Samara. A good word for this general region is the Pontic-Caspian Steppe.

The homeland of the Proto Indo Europeans, as of 6,500 YBP. I looked around for good maps of the PIE homeland but I could not find any, so I drew my own. Copyright Oakhurst Technology 2009.

The homeland of the Proto Indo-Europeans, as of 6,500 YBP. I looked around for good maps of the PIE homeland but I could not find any, so I drew my own. Copyright Oakhurst Technology 2009.

From there, it’s not really known how or when the Proto-Indo-Europeans spread out, but they show up in Europe some time later. A good map of their migrations or conquests is here.

The PIE people had several advantages over their neighbors. They were already into the Bronze Age for one, and not only that, but there were horses running around Southern Russia. The PIE had managed to domesticate the horse. That’s quite an advantage, but the PIE people did one better.

They even invented a wheel. Then they logically put the two together and made horse-drawn chariots. With these chariots, the PIE people apparently conquered much of Europe and later parts of Southwest Asia and South Asia.

The people in Europe at this time were pre-PIE folks. We know little about their culture, but the master of PIE culture, the celebrated professor Marija Gimbutas (A woman!) calls it “Old Europe.” Old Europe is very little known or understood. A probable surviving language from Old Europe is Basque. Another, long extinct, is Etruscan.

The very early people of the British Isles, whose descendants are now known as the Black Irish, populated the Isles between 9000-11000 YBP. They had dark hair, dark eyes and very pale skin. Genetically, they seem to resemble the Basques and may have come on boats from Spain.

The Basques themselves and related peoples may have come from the Caucasus long, long ago. Although Basque is said to have no living relatives, I believe it is related to Caucasian languages like Chechen and Ingush. Throughout Europe one finds folks called Black this and Black that.

I had a girlfriend who called herself a Black Swede and later on, a girlfriend named Linda of Polish heritage. Both had very dark, curly hair, dark eyes and very pale skin. As a guess, these types of Europeans may be the remains of Old Europe.

Gimbutas is also the founder of the Kurgan Hypothesis, which is currently the best PIE theory out there. Gimbutas (photo) sort of lost it towards the end when she got into “Goddess worship” and whatnot, but it’s clear that this Lithuanian archeologist was one of the great scholars of our time.

Some time after 6500 YBP, PIE began to break up, but no one knows quite how this occurred. At any rate, by 4200 YBP, a split had occurred in PIE and a separate language had broken off, Indo-Iranian. There are maps out there of the Indo-Iranian homeland, but I don’t like them all that much so I made my own. My best guess was to place it in the far north of Kazakhstan and just over the border into Russia.

From there, after 3500 YBP, the Indo-Aryans moved out and migrated into Afghanistan, Pakistan, North India and Iran. Many people in these regions today speak Indo-Iranian languages descended from these people. These folks are thought to be the source of the famous Aryan Invasion of India at around this time.

A map of the Indo-Iranian Homeland in far northern Kazakhstan around 3,500 YBP. This is where the Iranians, Afghans, North Indians and many Pakistanis came from. Copyright Oakhurst Technology 2009.

A map of the Indo-Iranian Homeland in far northern Kazakhstan around 3500 YBP. This is where the Iranians, Afghans, North Indians and many Pakistanis came from. Copyright Oakhurst Technology 2009.

As I noted, the process whereby these languages split off, other than the Indo-Aryan split, is little known. However, assuming this tree diagram is correct, maybe it can shed some light on the matter.

A very interesting tree diagram of the IE language family.

A very interesting tree diagram of the IE language family. Click to enlarge.

Unfortunately, this chart is hard to read, so I will try to decipher it. The first thing to note is the Anatolian split in the tree, apparently the first split. There are problems with the date for PIE. A glottochronological study recently gave a date of about 8500 YBP for PIE, considerably earlier than the usual date of around 6500 YBP.

Promoters of something called the Anatolian Hypothesis have used this to suggest than an earlier language called Proto-Indo-Hittite was spoken in Anatolia 8500 years ago.

The Anatolian languages split off, and the PIE speakers moved to the Pontic Steppe. The movement of Proto-Indo-Hittite speakers out of Anatolia to the Pontic Steppe to form the PIE people may be related to the Black Sea Deluge Theory which has recently been proven correct.

The Black Sea expanded dramatically according to this theory as, around 7600 YBP, a waterfall 200 times the size of Niagara Falls (!) poured through the Bosporus Straits, transforming the pre-Black Sea freshwater lake into the present-day brackish (part-salt water, part-fresh water) Black Sea. Soon after this event, PIE culture appears in the Pontic Steppe.

This is a very controversial proposal called the Indo-Hittite Theory, but I have long supported it. The late Joseph Greenberg, one of the greatest historical linguists that ever lived, also supported it.

This theory holds that Indo-European has two branches, Indo-European proper and the Hittite branch. The Hittite branch is related to the other branch only in a binary fashion. There is good evidence for this.

The Anatolian languages, all of which are now extinct, are very strange and seem distant from the rest. The appear archaic and have retained many forms which seem to not be present on the rest of IE. My guess is these are archaic forms.

Anatolian lacks grammatical gender – masculine:feminine, an IE innovation spread through the family. Instead, it has an archaic noun class system called animate:inanimate. This is reminiscent of ancient Niger-Congo languages in Africa. In addition, the Anatolian vowel system is reduced (fewer vowels) and the case system is simpler.

Many basic IE vocabulary terms are simply missing in Anatolian. All of this debris tends to add up to the hypothesis of an ancient branch of the language family.

Tocharian is visible on the diagram as Italo-Celtic-Tocharian. This branch is extremely strange, since Tocharian was spoken way over in Asia near East Turkestan and Kyrgyzstan, and Celtic and Italic are spoken in the heart of Europe. This is the area where the mummies with blond hair and blue eyes have been found. Tocharian may have split as early as 6000 YBP.

The Tocharian language is also very ancient and strange and is only distantly related to the rest of IE. If anything, it seems to look somewhat like Anatolian.

A very ancient branch of IE also split off around this time. Known as Balkan or Paleo-Balkan, it may also have split off 6000 YBP. There were two major branches, Thracian and Illyro-Venetic. Thracian is extinct, and all that remains of Illyro-Venetic is Albanian, a very ancient IE tongue that is only distantly related to the rest of IE. Proto-Illyrian and Thracian split around 4200 YBP.

Here is a map of the Illyrian tribes before the Roman conquest. It is from this milieu that the Albanians emerged. The Albanian language is quite strange within IE and seems to have very ancient roots dating back to Proto-Paleo-Balkan from 6000 YBP.

Another very early split you can see in the chart is something called Indo-Irano-Armeno-Hellenic. The Armeno-Hellenic branch probably split off 6000 YBP. The fact that Armenians and Greeks today still possibly retain a PIE appearance is also suggested by this early split. Only the Greek languages and Armenian remain of this family, as most of the family is extinct.

Proto-Hellenic may have split off around 5000 YBP, and Proto-Armenian may have split around 4500 YBP. The proto-Hellenics seem to have been related to the Indo-Iranians. This may be why a number of North Indians look like Greeks, Turks or Armenians.

Armenian and Hellenic are also strange IE branches that are only distantly related to the rest of IE.

The Italo-Celtic branch broke off as early as 5000 YBP. Proto-Celtic split about 2800 YBP; the homeland is in Northern Austria. The Hallstatt Culture is associated with them. The Proto-Italics are dated to around 3500 YBP in Italy. Before that, the Italo-Celtic Homeland is thought to have been in southern and central Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia.

The fact that Italics (Italians and related languages) and Celts share common roots shows how insane and stupid Nordicism is, as Nordicists say that Italians south of the Po are ‘non-Whites.’ It turns out that those greasy dagos and those blond and blue guys in dresses blowing pipes in the Highlands are the same folks after all, as they share common genetic roots in Austria 3500 YBP.

Proto-Germanic also dates far back, with pre-Proto-Germanic possibly being spoken 3800 YBP in northern Germany, Denmark and Southern Scandinavia ( map). The homeland of the pre-proto-Germanics is in Southern Sweden and Jutland. They may have settled this area as early as 5000 YBP. These speakers may have been speaking something called Balto-Slavo-Germanic, a group you can see on the tree above.

Proto-Germanic proper probably dates from the Jasdorf Culture. The homeland of the proto-Germanics was in northern Germany, around Schleswig-Holstein south into the Lower Elbe region in what is now Saxony-Anhalt and the Hanover area.

It also extended along the Baltic coast of Germany to about the Polish border, down into Brandenburg and Mecklenburg. The original center of the homeland was in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony.

Balto-Slavic is also a very ancient branch of IE. Lithuanian is an ancient IE language that is very conservative and has retained many ancient IE reflexes that have been lost in the rest of IE. Proto-Balto-Slavic probably split around 4000 YBP. Proto-Baltic and Proto-Slavic split apart about 3400 YBP. Map of the Balto-Slavic homeland. This homeland encompassed Western Ukraine, Belarus and Eastern Poland.

Proto-Slavic, dating from 3400 YBP, seems to have its homeland in Northern and Western Ukraine and in Southern Belarus.

The proto-Baltic homeland dating from the same time frame is about the southern border region of Belarus around the Pinsk Marshes.

The rest of the splits, of Slavic, Italic, Celtic, Indian, Iranian and Germanic into their branches, are pretty well-documented, and all occur within the past 1500-3000 years.

Let us move to some interesting dilemmas about the Indo-Europeans. One is the distribution of R1a associated with the Indo-Europeans.

The map of the R1a lineage showing high concentrations in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

The map of the R1a lineage showing high concentrations in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

The highest levels of this haplogroup are found in Eastern Europe in a narrow band from the Black Sea in the Ukraine through Poland to the Baltic Sea and in Northern India and areas to the northwest around the Hindu Kush and the Pamirs, but that does not mean that these two groups are particularly closely related. Northern Indians are most closely related to Iranians and relatively distantly to Eastern Europeans.

The truth is that this haplogroup is only a signature of a split from around the Aryan-Greco homeland in the Pontic Steppe region discussed above. This left high levels of R1a in Eastern Europe and in north India. High levels in North India are not particularly notable but exist only due to a founder effect. Actually, the highest levels are not found in North India but in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and north Afghanistan.

The high levels found in North India have led some to assume incorrectly that the homeland of the R1a people was in that area, but this is not the case.

A map of R1b DNA distribution. The homeland of the R1b line is the Maykop Culture, shown in the shaded pink region between the Caspian and Black Seas.

A map of R1b DNA distribution. The homeland of the R1b line is the Maykop Culture, shown in the shaded pink region between the Caspian and Black Seas.

R1b levels are highest in Spain and the Western British Isles. The launching point for the R1b seems to have been the Maykop Culture of 5500 YBP. From there, they spread all over Europe.

The Maykop Culture was an early PIE split that existed between the Taman Peninsula just east of the Crimea east to the Dagestan border in the area that includes part of Southern Russia east of the Crimea, Adygea, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya in the Caucasus.

The center of the culture was around Maykop in Adygea (Circassia). The region is now inhabited by peoples of the Caucasus and is heavily Muslim.

An explanation:

The Proto-Indo-Europeans belonged both R1a and R1b. Their homeland was in the Pontic-Caspian steppe, in what is known as the Kurgan culture (7000-2200 BCE).

The presence of R1b in modern times between the Black Sea and the Caucasus hints at the Maykop culture (3500-2500 BCE) as their most plausible homeland, while the Eurasian steppes to the north were R1a territory. […]

A comparison with the Indo-Iranian invasion of South Asia shows that 40% of the male lineages of northern India are R1a, but only 20% of the female lineages could be of Indo-European origin (H, J, K, T, U).

The impact of the Indo-Europeans was more severe in Europe because European society 4,000 years ago was less developed in terms of agriculture, technology (no bronze weapons) and population density than that of the Indus Valley civilization.

This is particularly true of the native Western European cultures where farming arrived much later than in the Balkans or central Europe. Greece was the most advanced of European societies and was the least affected in terms of haplogroup replacement.

Native European Y-DNA haplogroups (I1, I2a, I2b) also survived better in regions that were more difficult to reach or less hospitable, like Scandinavia, Brittany, Sardinia or the Dinaric Alps[…]

The eastern branch of the R1a steppe people was the Andronovo culture (2300-1000 BCE), around modern Kazakhstan, which correspond to the Indo-Iranian branch of languages. Their migration to the south have resulted in high R1a frequencies in southern Central Asia, Iran and the Indian subcontinent.

The highest frequency of R1a (about 65%) is reached in a cluster around Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and northern Afghanistan. In India, 15 to 45% of the population is R1a, depending on the region and caste. Over 70% of the Brahmins (highest caste in Hinduism) belong to R1a1, due to a founder effect.

References

Pokorny, Julius. 1959, 2007. Proto-Indo-European Etymological Dictionary. A Revised Edition of Julius Pokorny’s Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch. Published on the Internet: Indo-European Language Revival Association.

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