Category Archives: Czechoslovakia

“Democratic Capitalism in the Last Stages? Capital as Agency in Wolfgang Streeck’s Analysis of the Crisis,” by Kees van der Pijl

This is an excellent paper discussing Wolfgang Streek’s latest and popular book, Buying Time. People like to bash Marxism, but as a tool for analysis of capitalism it is unsurpassed. But no capitalist will ever admit that. Everything in this paper is 100% true (except for the suggesting that the Charlie Hebdo attack was a false flag) but no US newspaper, newsmagazine, TV News or radio news will ever tell you this true story. Instead they will recycle an endless series of lies from the capitalists.

The capitalists do not want you to know what they are doing, and this is why they operate in secret, lie constantly and use codewords and memes. This is because the capitalist project is not good for the vast majority of Americans. Only perhaps the top 20% benefit from the capitalist project in the US. As the paper shows, Western capitalists have been trying to get out from under the Social Contract that they made with labor and society as a whole after World War 2 as a measure to head off Communism.

This project hays been operating in stages since  the 1960’s, and we are now near the final stage. Every one of these stages has been good for the capitalists and bad for wage labor, society, and I would argue democracy.

This is because the capitalist project lately is a profoundly antidemocratic one. Any project that redistributes wealth from the bottom 80% to the top 20% is hardly democratic.

Further if your project is to redistribute wealth from the bottom 80% to the top 20%, it would make sense to lie about your project and not admit that you are doing that. Instead of harming the bottom 80%, you say you are helping them. The capitalists also argue that those who seek to redistribute wealth from the top 20% to the bottom 80% (the Left) are actually harming the bottom 80%! As the capitalists own all the media in the West, there is no contrary narrative to this wild lie.

Any project that seeks to harm the majority at the expense of a minority must disguise its aims. As this is generally the project of capitalists and conservatives in general, both capitalist and conservative discourse is typically profoundly dishonest as they both seek to convince the bottom 80% that an elite project to harm them is actually going to help them.

What would happen if the capitalists and conservatives were simply honest about their redistributive aims? They would have to say that they were pushing a project to redistribute wealth upwards from the bottom 80% to the top 20%. Further they would have to say that their project is going to harm wage labor every step of the say.

What is the likelihood that such an elite reverse Robin Hood Project would fly? Never estimate the American voter’s tendency towards conservative masochism and supporting their class enemies economically. Nevertheless, I doubt that even the hyper-masochistic American working and middle classes would go along with a project to take from the bottom 80% and give to the top 20%.

Since conservative and capitalist projects are always designed to take harm the masses and help an elite through upward wealth redistribution, conservatism all down through history has typically been extremely dishonest. If you are running an elitist project, you can’t exactly come out and say so.

This is perhaps my biggest beef against conservatives – their extreme and continuous dishonesty in public discourse. The extreme and near continuous lying of conservatives only confuses the masses and poisons the well of public discourse.

Talking with a conservative is like trying to have a conversation with a psychopath. How can you possibly have a productive conversation with a pathologically lying sociopath? This is what political discourse in the West has boiled down to in he last 35 years.

Furthermore, when one side is lying constantly, this makes a mockery out of claims of freedom of the press and freedom of speech. What good is freedom of the press if the press is all owned by pathologically lying sociopathic capitalists? How can alternative or dissident voices even make themselves heard if the only way to talk to the public is to be rich enough to own a printing press, TV station or radio station?

Democratic Capitalism in the Last Stages?
Capital as Agency in Wolfgang Streeck’s Analysis of the Crisis

Paper for the 5th EU experts’ Discussion, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Berlin, 11-13 December 2015

Kees van der Pijl
Centre for Global Political Economy
University of Sussex

Abstract

Wolfgang Streeck’s Gekaufte Zeit/ Buying Time contains a compelling analysis that points to the origins of the current crisis in the wave of strikes of 1968-69. It caused the capitalist class to try and wrest free from the post-war social (-democratic) contract forced on it by labor.

However, not only does Streeck not pay attention to imperialism and war, he also tends to assume that capital-as-agency governed the entire period since, attempting to postpone the full social impact of the crisis in three different ways, restricting democracy as it went along. However, the three periods he distinguishes (inflation, state debt and private debt) were directed by changing coalitions of capitalist interests uniting behind a different concept of control – corporate liberalization and two versions of neoliberalism.

This highlights that in 2008, when these remedies all had exhausted themselves, capital-as-agency in command was the bloc of forces led by speculative money-dealing capital, which in the 1990’s had captured the states of the West and steered them onto a path of high-risk, high-reward policies both in the economy proper and in international affairs. This explains why after 2008, solutions to the crisis followed this particular political-economic orientation, with more risk-taking in all areas on the agenda.

The debate on the crisis of 2008 continues to produce significant works, often concentrating on the fact that although the crisis was caused by neoliberalism, tackling it has not included a clean-up of the worst features of that particular form of capitalism such as off-shore, financialization, or the flexibilization of labor(e.g. Mirowski 2013).

Wolfgang Streeck’s Buying Time (here cited from the German original, Gekaufte Zeit, Streeck 2013) in this connection claims that the options for a democratic capitalism to find a way out of the crisis after three attempts to postpone its effects have been exhausted. It is the argument of Buying Time that will serve as a framework for organizing my reflections here.

Streeck’s conversions, first from and then back to a historical material position, are best left for the gossip column. Yet whilst it is a laudable step to pick up where he left off as a Marxist, the readings back from his earlier days are not sufficient to cover all aspects of the current situation.

More particularly, his argument that we must conceive of capital as agency, a self-conscious social force, remains incomplete. It misses the dimension of capital/class fractions as moments/components in the process of class formation, their different abilities to weld class compromises with forces outside their own ranks, and the successive concepts of control (German, Herrschaftskonzepte) that guide them and society at large along a path of a certain necessarily limited rationality.

Corporate liberalism and neoliberalism are such concepts. Since these different concepts have very different implications in the sphere of, say, whether or not violence plays a role in the formulation of policy, we must pinpoint their precise composition in terms of ruling blocs. That this shortcoming is not immediately evident in Buying Time is also because Streeck does not really deal with imperialism, war and repression as aspects of a capitalism in crisis.

Fractions, Class Compromises, Concepts of Control

Streeck begins by taking his distance from the structuralist premise of Theodor Adorno (in whose honor the lectures brought together in Buying Time were delivered) and the Frankfurt School theorists. They employed a notion of capital as apparatus, not as agency; as means of production instead of class.

Thus difficult class-theoretical questions, e.g., concerning the difference between managers and property-owning capitalists, small and large capital, and so on, could be avoided. But a theory of capitalism from which capital as agency is absent, remains anemic (Streeck 2013: 43-4, 44 n., 47).

This is indeed the beginning of all wisdom, but it is not enough. To understand capital as agency we must realize that capital as such, as a totality, is never a given. When we look at it in class terms, we will see different axes of capitalist class formation, contesting the terrain among each other as they seek to build coalitions of interest casting their nets beyond the immediate concerns of firms/sectors from the process emanates – fractions of capital.

Forming from vantage points such as productive versus money capital, international, national, or sub-national/regional, and the like, fractions of capital in the process of class formation seek to transcend the initial principles which they must uphold to survive by developing a tentative, broader concept of control, a program for managing a broad range of political-economic terrains.

Such a program requires the political-ideological talents of organic intellectuals who arise in the same process and who earn the patronage of powerful interests expecting to gain from it.

These ‘intellectuals’ (professional politicians, corporate executives, participants in private planning groups, writers) may in fact be the first to see an opportunity and start the process. But they always are the ones who take the initial project forward into the sphere of politics, where it either blossoms out into a comprehensive concept of control, or not.

For as Gramsci writes, politics is an immediate impulse to action which is born on the “permanent and organic” terrain of economic life but which transcends it, bringing into play emotions and aspirations in whose incandescent atmosphere even calculations involving the individual human life itself obey different laws from those of individual profit, etc. (Gramsci 1971: 140).

Hence groups that do not obtain any material reward, but only symbolic concessions, may yet become part of the constellation of forces supporting a particular concept of control: say, an armaments policy that benefits the military-industrial complex in real terms also satisfies the chauvinism of people who stand to lose from a warlike stance in terms of income, life-chances etc.

In that sense, a political-economic fraction profiting from a specific conjuncture will succeed in making their particular interests appear as the interest of the entire capitalist class or even society at large (Hickel 1975). We can think of export-oriented capital when foreign trade opportunities are on the rise, finance in a period of restructuring when fixed capital is being liquidated, and so on.

A successful process of class formation culminates in a stage where so many real and symbolic concessions have been made (‘symbolic’ generally referring to political aesthetics, often by conjuring up a threat that feeds into bellicose chauvinism) that no rival concept of control can hope to cover all these fields.

One concept of control thus becomes truly comprehensive in that all political efficiency and success is premised on it and all social forces, even those from whom the whole process emanated to begin with, must subordinate their immediate, short-term interests to this program (Bode 1979).

At the heart of each such constellation of forces, then, we must assume there are key class compromises that lend coherence to the starting point from which a concept of control can be developed before it merges with the conjunctural conditions under which other interests will be inclined to sign on – at a diminishing rate of actually inflecting the final result (which by the way, as a formula of the general interest, is never spelled out but is experienced as self-evident ‘common sense’).

Only when a concept loses its comprehensiveness and unravels will it be recognized as the particular project of special interests and lose this common sense quality.
So when Streeck proposes to enlarge the notion of a legitimization crisis (originally formulated by Adorno’s student, Jürgen Habermas) by substituting the two actors identified in that theory, the state and the citizen (Habermas 1973) by three (the state, capital, and the wage-dependent population), what is still lacking is which fraction is providing the capitalist class interest with a specific thrust.

Also, closely related, we must know whether or not and to which extent the ‘wage-dependent population’ is either part of the initial class compromise, a later entrant, or not rewarded at all except perhaps with symbolic gestures or sentiment.

Why is this important? Streeck’s argument is that the crisis of a capitalism seeking to liberate itself from the democracy imposed on it after 1945 really dates from 1968-69. Since then, ‘capital’ (acting through the state) has tried three methods of postponing its full impact – inflation, state debt, and private debt – until in 2008, the entire edifice came crashing down.

That suggests four crises of restructuring in which ‘capital as agency’ acted under different concepts of control, reflecting different fractional vantage points based on entirely different class compromises, a different balance between material and symbolic rewards, etc.

Thus in the last crisis of 2008, ‘capital’ was the capitalist coalition formed (as I will explain) by speculative, money-dealing capital, immersed in high-risk operations both economically and politically, connected to the apparatuses of covert action and violent power projection that must compensate for the fact that it hardly makes any real concessions any longer outside the oligarchies in command.

The environment too is only seen as an object of speculative gain, with an emissions exchange the typical (and useless) form of dealing with the crisis of the biosphere. Other ‘solutions’ too will carry the stamp of this particular coalition and the concept it operates under, and it was the same for the previous crises of restructuring. In each case, a different ‘anthropology’ is involved as well – from the responsible, ‘embedded’ citizen-worker of the 1950’s to the atomized, ‘elementary human particle’ of today.

From this perspective, the immediate future, bar a political landslide away from capitalism altogether, may be much bleaker than Streeck envisages. Even his (already bleak) prediction that democracy may be abolished altogether under the factual directorate of high-risk, covert operators will exclude any negotiated reduction of democracy and instead involve provocation and war, covert action-induced emergencies and a suspension of rights.

This is what is happening before our eyes. So whilst for capital as a whole we cannot be sure where it will be heading in seeking a way out of certain profitability constraints from a fractional viewpoint in combination with the tendency in the conjuncture of profit distribution, the degree of probability in fact increases.

Even if we follow Streeck’s understanding of a legitimization crisis as arising from the dissatisfaction of capital with democracy and the obligations imposed by it and his thesis that the functioning of the capitalist economy is not a technical but a political issue as are growth and full employment, we should again specify this for the separate, fraction-to-‘imagined totality’ trajectories of each post-war concept of control.

Crises indeed are not technical malfunctions but follow from legitimization crises of a special kind (Streeck 2013: 49), but these can be understood in a much more specific sense. In fact he says a lot that enriches our understanding of a concept of control and its inherent class compromises, as when he writes about capitalism presuming a social contract in which legitimate mutual expectations are laid down formally or informally (Streeck 2013: 51).

Again a differentiation in terms of fractions works to enhance this understanding of capitalism as a time-bound, historically specific social order in need of legitimization, which crystallizes in different forms in space and time; forms that are negotiable and are negotiated anew once the malfunction of a particular format of the social contract, that is, the comprehensive concept of control, becomes evident.

I begin with the post-war concept of corporate liberalism (my terminology) because it was the crisis of this form of capitalism in 1968-69 of which the full impact according to Streeck was postponed several times until it exploded in 2008.

Corporate Liberalism after the War

Corporate liberalism is the liberalism governing relations between bodies internally organized along their own principles, so ‘sovereign’ in their own domains. It was based on the class compromise forced on capital by organized labor with the strengthened Soviet bloc adding its weight to the balance of forces and decolonization announcing potential further shifts to the detriment of the West’s pre-eminence in the global political economy.

Economically it rested on Keynesian countercyclical state intervention, capital controls (allowing the Bretton Woods system of a gold-dollar standard with fixed exchange rates to function), and the spread of demand-led, Fordist mass production.

This was what Streeck calls the ‘very specific settlement’ in which capital had to make an effort to prolong and renew its social license, whilst allowing politically determined social goals to govern the profit economy and yet avoid a spillback to fascism or yield to the temptations of the Soviet-type planned economy (Streeck 2013: 51).

In the terms introduced above, the fraction of capital positioned centrally in this set of intersecting influences and lending substance to the original New Deal and post-war Marshall Plan projections of a corporate liberal capitalist social contract was productive capital.

The class compromise at the heart of the corporate liberal concept of control was that between capital and organized labor in production. In this sense we can speak of an epoch of democratic capitalism, at least for the North Atlantic political economy – not for Vietnam, or Indonesia, and other areas for which no parallel Yalta compromise (which in Europe included the legitimate presence of large communist parties outside the Soviet bloc) had been agreed.

As such it is the strongest corroboration of the thesis that in capitalism, democracy does not depend on the bourgeoisie but on the presence in force (including, in the state apparatus) of organized labor (Rueschemeyer et al. 1992). Streeck notes that in the course of the 1950’s and 60’s, election turnout increased everywhere (2013: 87).

The global wave of wildcat strikes in 1968 and ’69 then signaled to the capitalist class that social protection and countercyclical crisis management had lasted too long, and capital found that its maneuvering space for further concessions had been closed (Streeck 2013: 53). As full employment was undermining workplace discipline, managers were reminded of Kalecki’s 1943 thesis concerning the need to maintain a certain level of unemployment to cushion labor militancy.

Capitalists now began to prepare for evacuating the post-war social contract, abandoning their erstwhile passivity and restoring their capacity to act and actively shape social relations instead of being ‘planned in’ by democratic politics (Streeck 2013: 54). As noted, the capitalist crisis that we are experiencing today according to Streeck has its origins at that juncture.

For since that time, the state postponed the full social impact of the crisis by throwing money into the breaches in order to neutralize and defuse potential social conflicts – inflation, state indebtedness, expansion of private credit markets and finally, in 2008, buying up state and bank debt by central banks; through these phases, capital has wrested free from the post-war democratic compact with labor by steadily reducing democracy and citizen’s rights.

Thus a phased unfolding of the fundamental tension between capitalism and democracy through a progressive liberation of the capitalist economy from democratic intervention, indeed a removal of democracy from capitalism by removing the economy from the sphere of democracy. What awaits us now is possibly the suspension of the remaining democracy itself.

This is the Streeck thesis. I will now go through these different phases, beginning with inflation. Like the New Deal prefiguring comprehensive, North Atlantic corporate liberalism, all these changes were initiated by the United States, although sometimes the rise to pre-eminence of different fractions occurred in or via other component parts of the English-speaking West, or as I call it, the ‘Lockean heartland’.

‘Europe’, that is, the expanding Franco-West German compromise out of which today’s European Union evolved, followed the trend. It also necessarily suffered from the successive crises/transitions, because the continental European economies are structurally far less amenable to the neoliberal departure(s) from corporate liberalism – the further to the south (beginning with France relative to Germany), the less.

The Decade of Inflation and Its Architects

The first instance of ‘buying time’ following the crisis of 1968-’69, the decade of inflation, was not neoliberal, it was charted by productive capital under its compromise with labor – indeed deepening the compromises on which post-war capitalism had been built in the first place. ‘The inflationary money policy of the decade following the strike wave around 1968 secured social peace in the context of a rapidly expanding consumer society’ (Streeck 2013: 62).

Inflation enlarged, at least seemingly, the ‘cake’ to be distributed without really making it larger. Inflation not only prolonged the class compromise with organized labor but also brought out the underlying compromise on which the stand-off with the Soviet bloc, agreed at Yalta in 1944 (again, the division of Europe), had been based.

Détente resulted from the eroding bloc discipline in the two zones of limited sovereignty. The Atlantic ruling class had to deal with a Gaullist rebellion leading elements of the European capitalist class to explore economic opportunities in the east, and with Greek pressures for democracy (which were only kept in check by a NATO-supported military dictatorship from 1967 to ’74).

In the 1970’s the West also came up against a ‘Eurocommunist’ challenge, respectful of Yalta but not necessarily of corporate liberal capitalism. The Soviet state class in turn faced the 1968 Czechoslovak ‘spring’, likewise a politically hybrid development it feared it might not control, Romania’s explorations beyond the Yalta divide, and so on. The United States also ran up large deficits in order to continue its doomed war in Vietnam, a costly disaster that in August 1971 forced it to cut the dollar from gold.

The point here is that this decision, which opened the decade of inflation, was essentially an action following the logic of the corporate liberal concept of control and its core class compromise with labor. So it was not just ‘capital’ which ‘bought time’ but to a particular fraction of capital and its organic intellectuals (politicians, economists, and so on) doing it for capital, in this case, productive capital first.

The decision to end the (already restricted) exchange of dollars for gold had mercantilist overtones, with the ten percent import duty the clearest sign of the interests of productive capital dictating it. Likewise, abandoning the fixed exchange rates of Bretton Woods was not originally conceived as a step towards a liberalized financial regime, on the contrary.

In the Nixon administration only George Shultz, and at a further remove, Charles Kindleberger among economists, thought along the lines of making US deficits a foreign investment proposition. The others were still corporate liberals focused on Keynesian deficit spending having to be recouped later in the business cycle (Bassosi 2006: 34).

Productive capital concerns also expressed themselves in the incomes policy advocated by the head of the Federal Reserve, Arthur Burns, a hard Rightist no doubt, who was irate about the wave of strikes and who, to quote the New York Fed’s own report, was strongly opposed to any attempt ‘to “buy” low levels of unemployment by tolerating inflation’ (cited in Panitch and Gindin 2012: 141 – note the terminology, the opposite of the Streeck thesis).

Even so, the authoritarian undertow of the incomes policy was aimed at enforcing the corporate liberal class compromise on the terms prior to the 1971 turnabout. Even more ominously for the still marginal neoliberal tendency, the productive perspective was echoed in the 1975 proposal for a national economic planning body (Panitch and Gindin 2012: 143).

Elsewhere I have documented the autonomization of the managerial cadre in the context of the crisis of the 1970’s, and their role in the ‘planned interdependence’ of the period – the credit-financing of the industrialization aspirations of the Third World coalition for a New International Economic Order as well as Soviet bloc modernization with inflationary dollars accumulated in the London Eurodollar and Eurocapital markets.

In Europe, too, the productive capital perspective and its inbuilt class compromise with organized labor were still guiding policy, not only via the rise of the Left in southern European and Social Democratic governments or majority coalitions in the north. Even in Britain, a Tory prime minister, Edward Heath, after a visit to West Germany returned with the idea of fostering ‘finance capital’ combinations modeled on the continental model whilst attempting to rein in labor militancy by (mildly) authoritarian legislation.

Yet this drew the fire of the employers’ organization CBI for …spoiling the relations with organized labor (cited in Overbeek 1990: 160; on Heath and capital groups, Ramsay 2002: 12-13). The key step was of course British entry into the European Community in 1973, a step again motivated by Heath’s expectation it would stimulate Britain’s industrial modernization (Overbeek 1990 157).

In sum, Stephen Gill writes, ‘the dangers in Nixon’s policies… were the way they nurtured “domestic” forces, and, by undercutting the welfare of key allies, undermined the international consensus which was needed to manage the system effectively’ (Gill 1990: 136, emphasis added).

In the second half of the 1970’s when the capitalist economies were hit by a marked decline in the growth rate in spite of rising inflation, a period of stagflation set in that eventually, in 1979, led the US Federal Reserve to intervene and raise interest rates to around 20 percent, thus terminating inflation until the present day (Streeck 2013: 63; see the statistics in Panitch and Gindin 2012: 142, table 6.2).

Thus the proliferation of the class and international compromises of the corporate liberal epoch, bolstering the forces opposed to the operation of liberal capitalism nationally and internationally, provoked a counteroffensive, not from capital per se but specifically from money capital. This explains why such a sharp turn was made after the inflationary prolongation of the post-war compromises.

The Turn to Systemic Neoliberalism

From Wolfgang Streeck’s perspective, capital in the late 1970’s ‘withdrew its consent from the postwar social contract by denying it the necessary investment funds,’ and the history of the system since the 1970’s can be understood as the struggle to free capital from social regulation forced on it after the war.

Capital no longer trusted a state which almost everywhere had fallen into the hands of Social Democratic governments or coalitions (Streeck 2013: 54-5, cf. 45). What was in order was to end the inflationary prolongation of the post-war social contract with organized labor, a high-risk operation given the resistance that was to be expected on the part of the trade unions and which had to be broken at all costs (Streeck 2013: 64).

However, it was not capital as such acting here but a different fraction leading capital and imbuing society as a whole with its particular perspective. In other words, the capitalist class and the managerial cadre and all other auxiliary and subordinate social forces switched the pursuit of their interests and expectations to a concept no longer formulated from the vantage point of productive capital.

Instead it was formulated from the vantage point of what ‘was needed to manage the system effectively’ (as above). It is as important to recognize the internal struggles within the capitalist class as to see the struggles with labor, in international relations etc., if we want to be able to predict the shelf-life of a particular format of capitalist development and especially, to see the political crisis moments in the transition phase from one concept of control to another, as the ‘outgoing’ leading fraction continues to pursue solutions typical of the concept unraveling.

So the head of the CBI protesting that anti-strike legislation was spoiling relations with organized labor, cited above, was simply arriving late at the party.

Now the fraction perspective available to ‘manage the system effectively’ can be any one. But in the conditions of capital abrogating the post-war class and international compromises and intent on shifting production to locations outside these compromises and hence, liquidate previous positions including breaking the mold of the national state compartmentalization in order to establish a global political economy, in the circumstances was money capital as the embodiment of capital in general.

For production to take place, the cycle of industrial capital must ‘land’ in what David Harvey calls, ‘human resource complexes… to which capital must, to some degree, adapt’ (Harvey 2006: 399); after which it resumes its ‘circulation’ in the form of commodities for sale.

Under the compulsion of competition, capital in money form is then reinvested, not mechanically in the same type of activity but only after a survey of all productive opportunities, which implies a comparison of all ‘human resource complexes’ in relation to markets, transport costs, and the like.

Under the compromise with organized labor, and various ramifications such as capital controls, state countercyclical policy, etc., the human resource complexes were very much fixed in national spaces, but this was now to be opened up.
If the ‘moment’ of liquidation of fixed assets and the attendant relations of production assumes the quality of a systemic correction, as it did between the crisis of 1974-75 and the early 1980’s, the commanding heights of the cycle as a whole, money capital, must be given the maneuvering space in which it can perform this reordering.

This then was the juncture at which the revocation of the post-war social contract ushered in the epoch of neoliberal capitalism, but with the emphasis (initially) on the systemic aspect, not the predatory neoliberalism that would follow. It was intended, first of all, to bring back the income share of the capitalist class to the pre-war level and everywhere produced rapidly increasing inequalities (Streeck 2013: 58; Piketty 2014).

For the core Lockean heartland, 1979 was the cut-off date in which the entire set of compromises on which the previous era of corporate liberalism had been based, was called into question. Besides the abrogation of the class compromise with organized labor in production, it also was the year of the NATO missile decision, intended to scuttle détente and launch a new round of confrontation with socialist forces as around the globe obstacles to the restructuring production were to be removed.

This time the new Cold War was really ‘waged’, not as a posture on the basis of an (incomplete) international compromise as at Yalta, but as a fight to the end. 1979 was also the year of the Volcker Shock, which squeezed inflation from the system by raising real interest rates to around 20 percent and thus kicked the world into the debt crisis.

This was the crisis of sovereign debt, Streeck’s second instance of ‘buying time’. It worked to cut the classes and states profiting from inflation down to size economically just at the time when a violent crusade (announced already by the fascist coups in Chile, Argentina, and other Latin American countries, as well as the ‘Strategy of Tension’ in Europe) was launched against them.

The new posture of the capitalist class, formulated from the vantage point of systemic money capital, entailed a class compromise with asset-owning middle classes. Propertied middle classes had been mobilizing against the corporate liberal consensus and exploiting its ‘legitimacy crisis’ from the late 1970’s, but they were only a subordinate force in the transition.

At such a juncture alternative concepts are being formulated, all striving for comprehensiveness. Yet only one will triumph in the end – for as long as it lasts. It then also captures and reorganizes the state. Streeck mentions that the taxpayer movement resisting levies, and agitating under the banner of ‘starving the beast’ (the state), no longer trusted as the embodiment of the general interest (Streeck 2013: 103).

One is reminded of the fact that this class compromise and hence the ascendant concept of control is shaped by class struggle as was the case with corporate liberalism in the 1930’s.

However, the neoliberal concept that took the place of corporate liberalism in the transition period necessarily came to rely on ‘the beast’ again (a strong state), because every concept of control finds its ultimate expression in the state/group of states in the sense of the specific format of class relations condensing at that level (Poulantzas 2008: 307). As with changing capitalist fraction roles, we are looking at changing forms and orientations of states.

The tax revolt as a process of class formation fed into a form of state relaxing the tax burden on the upper income groups; governments reduced taxation and then borrowed from those it no longer taxed, obviously aggravating the public debt (Chesnais 2011: 113).

Privatization policies also gave asset-owning middle classes a chance to profit from booming stock markets, whilst rising asset prices, notably of real estate, allowed middle classes to borrow against the value of their (mortgaged) property.
However, as Streeck highlights, after the restrictions on democracy by rolling back trade union power and blunting the ability to strike, the contraction of debt and reduction of public services to pay for it to middle classes no longer taxed at former rates also further reduces democracy.

Democracy, he writes, is about the identity between the population as the principal and government as the agent, which should be sufficiently strong to make the former subscribe to the debt obligations incurred by the latter – irrespective whom they voted for and whether the credit was ever destined for them (Streeck 2013: 138). Of course as public provision withers, the readiness to pay taxes can only further decrease (Ibid.: 176).

In addition to the compromise with asset-owning middle classes, there also evolved a subordinate compromise in production with new groups entering the labor market such as women and the young and other hitherto marginalized categories of workers, in the sense that flexibilization of labor to some extent corresponded to their individualized lifestyles (Streeck 2013: 60).

Here the role of postmodern culture with its rejection of hierarchies and established rights also contributed to shaping a popular base for attacking organized labor in the name of ‘combating rigidities’, a notion spreading with the new volatility of finance (Harvey 1995).

All this of course does not compensate for the momentous loss of influence of labor, ‘the wage-dependent population’, which would double in size once China as well as the Soviet bloc and its outliers were thrown open for investment in the late 1980’s.

In the Anglophone Lockean heartland the systemic neoliberal concept crystallized first; outside it, Streeck argues, the neoliberal orientation of the European integration process too dates from the 1980’s, when the de-democratization of the economy and the bracketing of democracy from the economy began (Streeck 2013: 147-8).

He cites a 1939 article by Hayek which argues that moving decisions to a supranational level already implies a neoliberal tendency (Streeck 2013: 144-5). In Europe, the newly founded European Round Table of Industrialists after a brief flirtation with protectionism reflecting the outgoing corporate liberalism (notably in France under Mitterrand, the 1980-83 period), became the spearhead of making continental Europe conform to the ascendant concept of systemic neoliberalism.

It fell in line with abrogating the class compromise with organized labor as it identified inflexible labor markets as hampering ‘competitiveness’, which in a sense was true, coming after the defeats of the labor movement in the United States and Britain and other Anglophone heartland countries (van Apeldoorn 2002: 67-8).

The transition was accompanied by Delors’ move from the helm of Mitterrand’s failed Keynesian experiment to the European Commission, supposedly for a second try at the appropriate level (the level at which, as Streeck cites Hayek, the odds are against any sort of compromise with labor).
In fact therefore he managed the neoliberal wave by announcing the completion of the European internal market and modeling European policy along the lines of the German high productivity/low inflation export strategy (van der Pijl et al. 2011: 392).

In the course of the 1990’s, governments began to worry about the share of debt service in their budgets whilst creditors starting worrying about the ability of the states to pay back their debts. Once again the United States took the initiative to curtail social spending and restore a balanced budget under Clinton (Streeck 2013: 66).

O’Connor did not yet recognize in 1973 that the growing burden of debt service itself would be a major factor in the fiscal crisis (Streeck 2013: 109; O’Connor 1973). One can look at the debt state in light of ‘buying time,’ but one can also see it as the emergence of a new political formation.
The privatization of state assets in the process reduced the state role in the sphere of social protection, tasks which were now delegated to the market (Streeck 2013: 110). Also states resorted to forms of advanced financing in order to avoid breaking constitutionalized limits on public debt.

Public-Private Partnerships are such a form, in that states ask private firms to provide credit for public works (building hospitals etc.) that are then paid back over decades, usually at very unfavorable rates for the public purse given the relative incompetence of governments faced with international lawyers assisting the companies in drawing up PPP contracts (Streeck 2013: 174n.).

Here I would add the element of criminal complicity given the ease with which ministers move from public office to the private sector they had been dealing with when in office, as in the case of the British NHS (Pollock 2004).

The Final Round: Privatizing Debt under the Auspices of the ‘Financial Services’

As a result of the assault on social spending, a new legitimization deficit threatened, which was responded to by a new round of liberalizing capital markets to provide further means of payment, in this case by creating private debt, or ‘privatized Keynesianism’ (C. Crouch). This is the third way in which the fund of disposable resources is increased and purchasing power is created to try to close the gap with the promises made in the post-war period (Streeck 2013: 68-9).

Again I would argue that we must specify the forces involved in this third phase of buying time in order to know who was in charge when it collapsed in 2008 and who wrote the script for dealing with that collapse and its aftermath.

Here the fact that the restructuring away from nationally compartmentalized, compromise-rich corporate liberalism to a globalizing capitalism under a neoliberal concept required lifting the restrictions imposed on money capital in the 1930’s plays the crucial role.

For if money capital in the sense of quasi-social capital necessarily had to guide this process if it was to bring about a restoration of capitalist class power relative to the forces ranged against it nationally and internationally, all aspects of that regime had to be loosened.

The financial repression achieved by the New Deal’s centerpiece, the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, separated high-risk, speculative international financial operations from low-risk, national deposit banking; only thus was productive capital able to accommodate to the militancy of the labor movement at the time.

The Volcker Shock of 1979 inevitably enabled a resurgence of this commercial form of money operations too. Here the abandoning of the fixed exchange rate regime in 1971 did play a role even if it occurred under the auspices of a productive-capital bloc (interestingly also including Paul Volcker in a key role as a Treasury official).

Inflation expanded the amount of US dollars circulating across the globe and accumulated outside the reach of the US financial authorities notably in the city of London, especially after the OPEC cartel and others demanded an inflation correction beginning in 1973. Their dollar holdings caused the offshore Eurodollar and Eurocapital markets to balloon and served as a key source for borrowing by the Soviet bloc and the Third World coalition (Burn 2006).

Capital in money form, ‘finance’ thus got back in its stride across a broad front, step by step undermining the separation between speculation and deposit money (Glass-Steagall was formally revoked in 1999). This is best understood by looking once again at how money functions as a means of market exchange first, symbolized as the M (money) in between two forms of goods or services, C (commodities), so C – M – C.
This includes what Marx calls ‘money-dealing capital’, say, trade in currencies or commercial paper. The profit that is made here is commercial profit, buying cheap and selling dear. Once money becomes capital, and is invested in production, the cycle assumes a different form, M – C (..P..) C’ – M’, and profit is based on surplus value obtained as unpaid labor in production (..P.. , and denoted by ’, the value increment).

In developed capitalism, money-dealing capital, ‘trade in financial services’, remains operative. Unlike investment money with its ‘systemic’ view of the whole cycle, it is only marginally connected to the production of surplus value; it preys on it from the outside, via the profit distribution process, not directly (in the Institutionalist tradition of Thorstein Veblen, all forms of capital prey on production in this sense).

Peter Gowan captures the shift with finance that occurred in the 1990’s when he writes about the rise of proprietary trading and financial arbitrage that ‘trading activity here does not mean long-term investment…in this or that security, but buying and selling financial and real assets to exploit – not least by generating- price differences and price shifts’ (‘speculative arbitrage’, Gowan 2009: 9, emphasis added).

Here we are looking at money capital with a completely different, in fact ‘irresponsible,’ attitude even from a capitalist point of view, hence the label ‘predatory’ neoliberalism. The financial operators driving it forward by exploiting new accounting rules and legal loopholes after the definitive collapse of state socialism in 1989-91 assembled allies among politicians and (‘micro’-)economists into a rapidly widening array of forces eager to share in the bonanza.

Streeck highlights how this frenzy was underpinned by a new theory of capital markets; which were now considered able to self-regulate rather than remain under state supervision (the ‘efficient market hypothesis’) (Streeck 2013: 69). Amidst the high-velocity movement of funds flowing through offshore jurisdictions, asset bubbles became a regular feature of 1990’s capitalism, culminating the predatory raid on Asian economies in 1997-98.

Just as corporate liberalism had produced the responsible citizen-worker and systemic neoliberalism the heroic late-20th-century bourgeois, predatory neoliberalism shaped an anthropology of its own in the form of the postmodern homo economicus, nervously finding his/her way in a jungle of potentially fatal choices in which all certainties have been suspended.

Across the spectrum, predatory neoliberalism fueled an attitude of anti-politics, since as Streeck emphasizes, its ideological mantra is that markets distribute wealth through general rules, whereas politics brings into play power and connections.

Once the idea has settled that the market is natural condition, its ‘decisions’ can be presented as falling from the sky and all politics dismissed as driven by ‘interests’ (Streeck 2013: 97). Organizing for anything becomes suspect as interest-driven power-play, ultimately entailing new Auschwitzes or gulags.

The language of the epoch, still widely spoken today, is replete with demagogy, in which ‘our side’ is endowed with an inherent goodness in the confrontation with successive incarnations of evil – from Milosevic to Saddam and on to Putin. This aesthetics of politics takes the place of material compromises for which the space is closing down. Speculators in fact gambled away many of the assets the middle classes had counted on to bolster their wealth and even their social security.

The aesthetics of politics, the invocation of highly emotive themes such as the ‘tsunami’ of foreigners invading our land, civilization in danger, the threat of terrorism and war, thus substitutes for real material concessions, although pockets of compromise, carried over from the earlier phases, remain, both with organized labor and with asset-owning middle classes.

The thrust, then, especially after the turn of the millennium, has been in the direction of unrestrained predatory neoliberalism with no barriers against risk-taking and with demagogy riding high. This is not a general condition of capital as such, but the operation of the system from the vantage point of money-dealing capital, immersed in risk and (often exorbitant) reward and relying on deceit to obtain social consensus.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, and with the international posture both of China and of post-Soviet Russia not able to really challenge the pretensions of the US to lead the ‘international community’, promote ‘good governance’, etc., the risk-taking inherent in predatory neoliberalism has also spilled over into adventurous, high-risk foreign policy maneuvers with an enhanced role for covert action.

At this juncture the European project too switched to predatory neoliberalism with the establishment of the Eurozone. As majorities for social protection became less and less possible as a consequence due to the adhesion of eastern European countries, the European Commission in the 1990’s forced through the privatization of large slices of the public sectors of member states in the name of competition law.

Under EU Commissioner Mario Monti, the German public banking system’s competition rules, long an irritant to the private banks, were finally eliminated (Streeck 2013: 150, 150n.).

Streeck provides some important pointers such as the fact that in the first decade of the 21st century the European Court of Justice became the chief executor of the ‘Hayekization’ of the EU, or the ‘European Union as a liberalization machinery’ (Streeck 2013: 148).

The Court’s rulings concerning the right to strike and codetermination in the name of untrammelled service provision and capital movements turned the EU into a machinery for liberalization. Its high point was the Eurozone, in which the freeing of the capitalist economy from democratic constraints reached its pinnacle (Streeck 2013: 151; an earlier, positive analysis of the Court’s role is in Cohen-Tanugi 1987).

Streeck calls the Eurozone a frivolous experiment as it removed the possibility of highly heterogeneous economies to defend themselves without simultaneously abolishing the national states and national democracy (Streeck 2013: 250).
The euro was indeed a project of and for money-dealing capital. The committee consisting mainly of central bankers that worked out the euro project in 1988-89 could not miss the pre-eminence of this form of capital even if it had wanted to – certainly after the European Exchange Rate Mechanism collapsed under the attacks of speculators in the early 1990’s.

Hence it recommended that the Euro’s role as a means of exchange would remain confined to the Eurozone, making the euro an investment object first of all. To attract short-term money flows, its interest rate (the sole monetary policy instrument of the European Central Bank at the outset), was set just above the US rate (Chesnais 2011: 90, 120; Varoufakis 2013: 198-9).

The mistaken but widely-held assumption that after the crisis of 2008 there existed a sort of pure capitalist vantage point with its anchorage in the states of the West which would be able to see that speculation had gone too far, etc. overlooks that capital as agency only comes about as a result of a build-up of a class coalition around a certain fraction, which thus is able to generalize its particular interest as the general capitalist interest and even the general interest altogether.

The collapse of 2008 happened when the formula of the general interest was predatory neoliberalism advanced by money-dealing capital. There was no other capitalist or popular force that had been able to contest its hegemony.

The idea that a crisis of this magnitude produces a rethink again abstracts from real power relations; the bail-out may briefly have looked like a return to Keynesianism but in fact was about saving the banks with public money and consolidating the capture of the state by a bloc of forces operating under the auspices and with the world-view of high risk/reward money-dealing capital.

This socially irresponsible fraction, relying for social consensus on political aesthetics and demagogy, will not be able to find solutions that are rational even for capital as a whole because its rationality is far narrower. There is no other form of capital waiting in the wings, and this is in fact also argued by Streeck (as when he writes that it has become practically impossible to determine what is state and what is market and whether the states have nationalized the banks or the banks have privatized the state, 2013: 71-2).

However he also appears to assume a sort of commanding heights from which successive episodes of ‘buying time’ have been tried by capital as such, whereas in fact we are looking at never-ending struggles in which money-dealing capital has been able to reap the fruits of privatization, liberalization and flexibilization of labor on a global scale.

A Terminal Crisis of Democracy?

As with capitalism, Streeck also tends to assume that there is a hypothesized ‘democracy’ which ‘failed to recognize’ the counterrevolution against the social capitalism of the post-war era, just as it ‘failed to regulate’ the financial sector in the 1990’s (Streeck 2013: 111-2). Just as he tends to turn capitalism into a spectator witnessing its own corruption by speculation, he presents democracy a witness of its own demise.

I should add immediately that this tendency in Streeck’s argument is contradicted by his own often acute observations concerning the real relations of force (as when he describes the creditors of the indebted states as a second constituency, a sort of shadow citizenry far outstripping the power of the original constituency, the people (Streeck 2013: 118-9).

In fact capitalism, as I have argued above, never exists outside its own momentary constellation of social forces, so it cannot by definition ‘correct’ any supposed aberrations in how it functions. That instance, a sort of independent regulator within the bounds of the system does not exist. The same with democracy: democracy denotes the degree to which the population at large can influence the operation of the forces that govern it, both the formal government and the relations of production.

Here the claim of the Communist Manifesto that all history is the history of class struggle should guide our understanding or Gramsci’s argument about Marxism as absolute historicism, an absolute humanism of history, for that matter (Gramsci 1971: 465).

Only in the context of the real relations of force, in all their complexity, can we discover the ability for change; not by appealing intuitively to the good conscience of a social order. Because ultimately capital as agency appears to stand outside its own field of operation and thus retains an ability to ‘try’ different solutions, the notion of class struggle remains underdeveloped in this otherwise important book.

More particularly absent is how class struggle reverberates in and is relayed through the fraction structure of capital as it strives to establish itself as agency embodying the general interest of capital. Hence the struggles within the capitalist class (nationally and internationally) remain in the dark, and democracy merely registers how in the development of class and fraction struggles, class compromises crystallize.

Here an echo from an earlier period appears to take the place of a developed class analysis when Streeck writes about Marx’s idea of countertendencies as in the case of the falling rate of profit, a familiar trope for the readers of Capital Volume III (Streeck 2013: 15, 15 n.).

The succession of instances of buying time seem to arise from one fundamental malfunction due to the operation of these countertendencies which are conjunctural and necessarily temporary as the incorporation of more spheres of life by capital clashes with the logic of the social life-world (Streeck 2013: 16).

Yet here the author tends to overlook that the analysis of Capital volume III takes the analysis of class struggle of Vol. I and the analysis of fraction struggles in Vol. II to an even more concrete level, and without taking these prior struggles into account more explicitly, the tendencies/countertendencies argument remains superficial, not identifying the real dynamics animating successive constellations of forces.

This again affects the understanding of what awaits us after 2008. Again Streeck’s analysis is highly relevant in its main conclusion. Each of the instances of ‘buying time’ was accompanied by a defeat of the wage dependent population that made it possible to introduce and deepen neoliberalization (Streeck 2013: 76).

The end of inflation, by a secular weakening of the trade unions and the termination of their ability to strike in conditions of durable unemployment; the consolidation of the state budget by cuts in and privatization of social provision and curtailment of social citizenship and a commercialization of many aspects of social security, granting new opportunities to insurance companies stepping in as guarantors of social security. The crash of 2008 then also robbed many of their savings, whilst entailing further cuts and job losses (Streeck 2013: 77).

Since the 1960’s voter participation in elections has fallen substantially; the lower the income group, the steeper this decline has been. It is not a sign of satisfaction but of resignation: ‘The political resignation of the lower strata protects capitalism from democracy and stabilizes the neoliberal turn that is at its origin’ (Streeck 2013: 90, cf. 87-8).

Democracy is slowly being replaced by a pure spectator sport, a form of entertainment for the middle classes, in which emaciated, essentially similar political parties temporarily play as if they are enemies only to conclude Grand Coalitions between them – a strategy that Streeck rightly argues is probably the most appropriate form of government anyway in the era of states having to answer to creditors’ demands first (Streeck 2013: 127-8).

Politics as entertainment and theatre reminds one of the thesis of Guy Debord in one of the signal texts of the 1968 movement (Debord 1967).

Here too a fraction analysis would work to deepen the argument. For the lingering assumption that there remains a conscientious democracy that can intervene as such tends to also assume that this theatre will obey the laws of the theatre in that it is orderly staged, the audience knows its place etc., whereas if predatory neoliberalism runs the show as it does today, there is nothing orderly about the response to the crisis in this respect either.

Indeed whilst economically the system is running aground amidst rampant speculation, the abolition of democracy too obeys the laws of high risk policies, involving covert action and provocation, terror scares to bolster the forces calling for a state of emergency, and military adventures, today in the Middle East and North Africa as well as on the borders of Russia, soon to be enlarged with a more pugnacious policy towards China.

Under such circumstances, the abolition of democracy will not take the form of a peaceful spectacle fooling and entertaining the audience but of repression and war.

Of course in the EU the abolition of democracy has already passed through a phase of high-handed demagogy of which the handling of the Greek Spring and the prevention of a Portuguese one are the key instances (in Portugal the Left was not even allowed to translate its election victory into forming a government).

After all the president of the Bundesbank in mid 2012 already declared that if a country does not meet its EU budget obligations, national sovereignty should be automatically transferred to the European level and consolidation measures will be adopted for which in the national parliament may not exist a majority (Streeck 2013: 155).

After Greece and Portugal, France’s subjection to limited democracy was not a matter of enforcing budget constraints any longer but obtained by a terror scare, the declaration of the state of emergency and the suspension of civil rights.

As the consequences of the wars in the Middle East and North Africa are spreading to Europe via the refugee crisis, fragments from the warring parties in these regions (Turks vs. Kurds, jihadists fighting secular regimes) inevitably link up with destitute, marginalized groups in societies here. In that sense the attacks in Paris in November 2015 (perhaps unlike the Charlie Hebdo attack which still had a strong whiff of a double-agent operation) are certainly a sign of things to come.

In this situation we should certainly heed Streeck’s exhortation that critical intellectuals have a duty not to be primarily concerned with their reputation by repeating the mantra that there is no alternative and not be intimidated by the ruling technique of dismissing opposition as populism (Streeck 2013: 219). At the same time, we need a sharper eye for the actual forces the critics are up against if they want to be effective.

References

Bassosi, Duccio. 2006. Il governo del dollaro. Interdipendenza economica e potere statunitense negli anni di Richard Nixon (1969-1973). Firenze: Edizioni Polistampa.

Bode, Ries. 1979. ‘De Nederlandse bourgeoisie tussen de twee wereldoorlogen’, Cahiers voor de Politieke en Sociale Wetenschappen, 2 (4) 9-50.

Burn, Gary. 2006. The Re-emergence of Global Finance. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Chesnais, François. 2011. Les Dettes Illégitimes. Quand les Banques font Main Basse sur les Politiques Publiques. Paris: Raisons D’agir.

Cohen-Tanugi, Laurent. 1987 [1985]. Le Droit sans L’état. Sur la Démocratie en France et en Amérique, 3rd ed [preface S. Hoffmann]. Paris : Presses Universitaires de France.

Debord, Guy. 1967. La Société du Spectacle. Paris: Buchet/Chastel.

Gill, Stephen. 1990. American Hegemony and the Trilateral Commission. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gowan, Peter. 2009. Crisis in the Heartland: Consequences of the New Wall Street System. New Left Review, 2nd series (55) 5-29.

Gramsci, Antonio. 1971. Selections from the Prison Notebooks [trans. and ed. Q. Hoare and G.N. Smith]. New York: International Publishers [written 1929-’35].

Habermas, Jürgen. 1973. Legitimizationsprobleme im Spätkapitalismus. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.

Harvey, David. 1995 [1990]. The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

Harvey, David. 2006 [1982]. The Limits to Capital, rev. ed. London: Verso.

Hickel, Rudolf. 1975. ‘Kapitalfraktionen. Thesen zur Analyse der herrschenden Klasse’. Kursbuch, no. 42 (December), pp. 141-154.

Kalecki, Michal. 1972 [1943]. ‘Political Aspects of Full Employment’, in E.K. Hunt and J.G. Schwartz, eds., A Critique of Economic Theory. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Mirowski, Philip. 2013. Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste. How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown. London: Verso.

O’Connor, James. 1973. The Fiscal Crisis of the State. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Overbeek, Henk. 1990. Global Capitalism and National Decline. The Thatcher Decade in Perspective. London: Unwin Hyman.

Panitch, Leo and Gindin, Sam. 2012. The Making of Global Capitalism. The Political Economy of American Empire. London: Verso.

Piketty, Thomas. 2014. Capital in the Twenty-First Century [trans. A. Goldhammer]. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Pollock, Allyson M. 2004. NHS plc. The Privatization of Our Health Care [with C. Leys, D. Price D. Rowland and S. Gnani]. London: Verso.

Poulantzas, Nikos. 2008 [1976]. ‘The Political Crisis and the Crisis of the State’ [trans. J.W. Freiburg], in The Poulantzas Reader. Marxism, Law and the State [ed. J. Martin]. London: Verso.

Ramsay, Robin. 2002. The Rise of New Labor. Harpenden: Pocket Essentials.

Rueschemeyer, Dietrich, Stephens, Evelyne H., and Stephens, John D. 1992. Capitalist Development and Democracy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Streeck, Wolfgang. 2013. Gekaufte Zeit. Die vertagte Krise des demokratischen Kapitalismus [Frankfurter Adorno-Vorlesungen 2012]. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.

Van Apeldoorn, Bastiaan. 2002. Transnational Capitalism and the Struggle over European Integration. London: Routledge.

Van der Pijl, Kees. 1984. The Making of an Atlantic Ruling Class. London: Verso.

Van der Pijl, Kees. 1998. Transnational Classes and International Relations. London: Routledge.

Van der Pijl, Kees. 2006. Global Rivalries from the Cold War to Iraq. London: Pluto; New Delhi: Sage Vistaar.

Van der Pijl, Kees; Holman, Otto; and Raviv, Or. 2011. The Resurgence of German Capital in Europe: EU Integration and the Restructuring of Atlantic Networks of Interlocking Directorates After 1991. Review of International Political Economy, 18 (3) 384-408.

Varoufakis, Yanis. 2013 [2011]. The Global Minotaur. America, Europe and the Future of the Global Economy [rev. ed]. London: Zed Books.

5 Comments

Filed under Africa, Asia, Britain, Capitalism, Capitalists, China, Cold War, Conservatism, Culture, Czechoslovakia, Economics, Europe, Fascism, France, Germany, Government, Greece, History, Journalism, Labor, Latin American Right, Left, Liberalism, Marxism, Middle East, Modern, Neoliberalism, North Africa, Political Science, Politics, Portugal, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Republicans, Scum, Terrorism, US Politics, USA, USSR, Vietnam War, War

Kevin Hannan Wrote for This Site

Wikipedia entry here.

Interesting. This man was quite famous, and incredibly enough, he wrote for my blog for some time. But he did so under a pseudonym, so I never had any idea of who he was. He used to write me from time to time to send me his new stuff. He said he was an academic who had left the US and fled to Eastern Europe.

From Wikipedia:

After resuming his research near the end of the 20th century, Hannan widely travelled in Ukraine, Poland, Russia, and the Balkans. He came to the conclusion that civic cosmopolitanism, divorced from localized ethnic values as embodied in long-lasting ethnic groups (often imagined as nations), failed people, leaving them to the anonymous and dehumanizing economic forces of supply and demand. An epitome of such a situation he saw in his native United States, which, according to him, explained a constant increase in genealogical research in the country, observed since the 1970s. In this line of thinking, a person can find one’s identity only in one’s ethnolinguistic ancestry, not in the technical rationalism of law and economy. Hence, the United States or any other settler state could never become a ‘real ethnic country’. Hannan blovated on this in Why I Left America: Reflections on History, Culture and Religion / Dlaczego wyjechałem z Ameryki, which he published under a pseudonym in 2003, fearful of possible backlash that would bar him permanently from obtaining a position at a Western university.

As a positive alternative to the de-ethnicized United States he posed the ethnic values of Poland in his My Poland: Essays on Polish Identity / Moja Polska. Eseje o polskości from 2005. He did, on occasion, make note of the failings of Polish nationalism and national statehood such as the long-lasting preservation of serfdom and the never-ending quest for ethnolinguistic purity, which led to vast ethnic cleansing in the communist period (1944–1989). He was especially critical of the relentless Polonization of Belarusians, Rusyns (Lemkos), and Ukrainians, who, in his eyes, preserved ‘real Slavic spirituality,’ as encapsulated in Greek Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, and the liturgical language of Church Slavonic.[1]

Hannan chose Poland as his adopted homeland in preference to the Czech Republic, which he perceived as an example of an overexclusive ethnic nationalism, which led to the 1993 breakup of Czechoslovakia, producing this nation-state and another, Slovakia. He qualified any strong-Polonist sentiments by saying that ‘his Poland’ was the southern half of the country skirted by the multilingual, multiethnic, and multiconfessional Carpathians.

Hannan was a character. He absolutely hated Communism and didn’t think much of Jews either. I had a hard time publishing him because, honestly, Hannan was an anti-Semite, though not a particularly virulent one. He opposed the Jews of Poland because during and after the Communist era, Polish Jews had gone on the warpath against the Polish people and the Polish nation.

What I found fascinating was that after 1989, there were perhaps 10,000 Polish Jews left in the whole country, yet one of them owned one of Poland’s largest newspapers. Hannan absolutely hated this man, and indeed this Polish Jewish media magnate spent much of his time dragging the Polish people and their nation and identity through the mud. Hannan felt that since 1945, the Polish Jews had been waging a campaign that could be summed up as “Poles are evil.” Note the similarities to the Jewish War on Whites in the US.

Hannan was very much a traditionalist, and in his favor, I will say that he told me that he was a socialist, but he was not a Communist. I suppose his position could best be summed as a socialist nationalist. He felt that the globalized McWorld had destroyed everything of value that humans had created, and he thought that the only antidote to corporate globalized atomization was local cultures, traditions, religions and strong ethnic identities.

Hannan should not be considered a Polish nationalist. In fact, he opposed mainstream Polish nationalism which seeks to obliterate all other ethnicities and languages in Poland, saying they are all Poles speaking dialects of Polish.

The wars the Poles have waged on the Lemkos, Silesians and Kashubians have a tragic history. Most Polish linguists have been overtly politicized for a very long time. Polish textbook, in particular history books, are some of the most wildly politicized and propagandized in all of Europe. Your average Pole gets a pitiful brainwashed version of an education. Polish nationalists are ferocious, and like all ethnic nationalists, they are stupid, belligerent, ignorant and opposed to facts, science and knowledge.

Hannan opposed Polonization efforts of Belarussians, Ukrainians and Lemkos in Poland.

Hannan told me on numerous occasions that he had to write his political pieces under a pseudonym, as he felt that if he wrote under his real name, he would never be able to get a job at a US university. He hinted that he was mainly afraid that Jewish influence would keep him from getting a job due to his Jewish-critical writings.

He died in 2008. I was informed of this by a friend of his sometime after the fact. I actually liked this fellow. He was a very interesting man. I will see if I can find any of his old essays so I can republish them.

26 Comments

Filed under American, Anti-Semitism, Culture, Czechoslovakia, Economics, Ethnic Nationalism, Europe, European, Europeans, History, Jews, Left, Marxism, Nationalism, Poland, Poles, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Regional, Socialism, USA, Vanity

Lousy Idea

Liberland, world’s first Libertarian country. It’s founded by a Czech political party that won zero votes in both the Czech Senate and Chamber of Deputies. Yep, they didn’t even win one single seat in the Czech Congress. They do hold one seat in the European Parliament, 1 out of the 21 assigned to the Czech Republic. In other words, they are losers.

The party is like the US Libertarian Party and promotes Austrian economics, minimal taxation, regulation and government.

On the other hand, maybe it is not such a bad idea. Maybe we can get lots of reactionaries to move there and get them out of our countries.

Liberland presently has zero residents. There is one abandoned home in the country and it is falling apart. The only road is in poor shape. The entire area is covered in forest. Apparently the only freedom lovers there at the moment are the wild animals.

4 Comments

Filed under Czechoslovakia, Economics, Europe, Government, Libertarianism, Losers, Political Science, Politics, Regional

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.

69 Comments

Filed under Anti-Semitism, Austria, Britain, Czechoslovakia, Europe, European, Europeans, France, Germany, History, Jews, Modern, National Socialism, Nazism, Poland, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Regional, USSR, War, World War 2

Support For South Ossetian Secession

Repost from the old site.

A good progressive principle, but one subject to some exceptions, is the principle of self-determination. This leads naturally to support for most if not all separatist movements. In my case, I do support most, but not all separatist movements.

It’s interesting of all the people around the world, that only leftwingers and various seceding nationalities support this principle. It’s also interesting that once nations secede and become their own state, suddenly they do not believe in the right to secede anymore! We on the Left have always upheld this basic principle.

The USSR held that all Russian nationalities had the right to secede. Unfortunately, it was not enforced much, but it was this very principle that allowed Gorbachev to permit the various USSR republics the right of secession in 1991. At that time, on at least that one variable, the USSR was the most civilized nation on Earth.

Its civilized nature was a direct result of the progressive principles that were embodied in the USSR by the first Bolsheviks in 1917. Later, Czechoslovakia split up into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The reason they were able to do this so civilly is, number one, because they are White, and number two, due to the decades of internationalism that had been inculcated into them by Communist rule.

I say that being White is important because I am absolutely convinced that only White nations are capable of breaking up civilly and peacefully without slaughtering each other in the process. In a way, breaking up your country without massacring your countrymen is the ultimate civilized act.

Even Asians, as civilized as they are, would never be able to break up one of their countries without turning it into a mass slaughter. On this metric, they are not that civilized.

What is it about Whites that allows them to break up a country? Is it altruism? Although studies are rare, in the US, Whites have rates of civic participation, volunteerism and donating to charity far above other groups.

Now, it is true that Communist China has not done a good job of living up the progressive principles of self-determination. Clearly, Tibet has a right to go free, and I would argue that East Turkestan does too. And Taiwan is a separate country. Mao never was a true internationalist. He was always a Chinese nationalist first and a Communist second.

Another reason to support secessionism is that the people who hate it most are the fascists. Idiots are always saying that fascism and Communism and fascism and socialism are the same thing. Let us call them on this one at least.

This is a prime difference between fascists and Communists, the Left and the Right. The Left supports self-determination and cultural autonomy for national minorities and the Right has always opposed this, instead choosing to force all national minorities into a single ethnoreligiolinguistic entity.

No one opposes separatist movements more than fascists, and no fascist nation has ever given one national minority an inch of cultural autonomy. Even in China, national minorities have considerable cultural autonomy and have the right to education in their national tongue.

It’s true that the USSR’s commitment to cultural and linguistic freedom varied throughout the lifetime of the state. Its commitment was highest in the 1920’s, wavered seriously in the 1930’s when Stalin murdered many leaders of national minorities and never attained earlier depths with the subsequent promotion of Russification by Stalin and his successors.

The Left nowadays is sleazy and unprincipled on the question of national self-determination. Sadly, the entire world Left refused to support the right of self-determination for the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, all because Yugoslavia was a Communist state. Then they all opposed the right of Kosova to break away from Serbia, I guess because Serbia used to be Communist state!

This leads us to the recent fighting in Georgia.

First of all, Georgia is pretty much of a fake state. Sure, there have been Georgians living in that area for a very long time, but the Soviet republic called Georgia included not only Georgians but other nationalities as well. Other minorities included Abkhazians, Adjarians and South Ossetians.

It is possible that the republic of Georgia was seeded with these minorities as a divide and conquer strategy by the early Soviets, who were not perfect on the national question. Seeding Georgia with non-Georgians would make it more difficult for Georgia to secede from the USSR. Similarly, splitting the poor Ossetians between Russia and Georgia was probably another sleazy divide and conquer game.

Anyway, in 1991, this completely fake state called Georgia (really just a republic of the USSR) gained its independence. If we are to support the principle of self-determination, we need to allow national minorities in fake states newly birthed the right to secede.

On what basis were Abkhazia, Adjaria and South Ossetia an inherent part of some entity called “Georgia”? On no basis whatsoever! On what basis is some new fake country one day or one month old entitled to the bullshit and fascist principle of “inviolability of borders”? On no basis.

So, when the Georgian state (really just a place with lines on the map with a lot of Georgians living in it, but drawn wider than the Georgian nation) got its independence, Abkhazia, Adjaria and South Ossetia surely had the right say, “Screw this, we want no part of this new state. We’re out of here.”

Adjaria, a Muslim region in the southwest, seems to have settled its beef without fighting, but Abkhazia and South Ossetia both waged nasty and ugly separatist wars and managed to secede from the new state of Georgia.

South Ossetia apparently wants to marry with North Ossetia and become a state in Russia called Ossetia. I’m not sure what Abkhazia wants to do. I think they may wish to join Russia also. Abkhazia is located in the northwest and populated mostly by Orthodox Christians.

South Ossetia is located in the north-central part of Georgia and is composed mostly of Ossetians. The Ossetians were formerly called the Alans, an ancient kingdom related ethnically and linguistically to Iranians. They speak a language that is close to Iranian and resemble Iranians physically.

Russia is being cynical about this, as befits an imperialist state. While Russia under Putin has fascist tendencies in the nasty repression on national minorities such as the Mari and the people of the Caucasus, Putin is willing, like all sleazy imperialists, do support secessionism when it benefits imperial goals.

Russia has it in for Georgia, lately because Georgia has lined up heavily on the side of the US. There are US and Israeli advisors working with the Georgian military right now, and Russia is terrified by Georgian threats to join NATO.

We need to note that NATO doesn’t have much right to exist anymore. NATO was set up to deal with the Soviet threat. That’s gone. So why is NATO still there? Apparently to form an imperialist bloc to oppose Russia! The Russians are furious about this, and rightly so. Who can blame them?

Sadly, it is also possible that Russia is using this as a payback to the West for supporting the secession of Kosova. The West, including the US in its extreme cynicism, first of all supported the secession of all of the former states of Yugoslavia (apparently on the cynical grounds that since they were seceding from a Communist nation, therefore the right of self-determination was invoked).

Then, just to stick it to Russia for the most part, the US and most of Europe supported Kosova and Montenegrin independence, just so long as they were pro-West. I supported it too, on the basis of solid principles called the right of self-determination. It is sad that the entire world Left opposed the independence of Kosova. This made Russia furious.

Yet in Abkhazia, in the same sleazy West that championed every micro-state to be cleaved out of the former Yugoslavia, not a single Western state, nor any state anywhere, would support the principled secession of the Abkhazian people from Georgian imperialism.

Does fascist Russia under Putin support the right of self-determination, however limited? Of course not. As a capitalist, and in fact fascist and now imperialist state, Russia clearly has no principles whatsoever. As payback to Kosova secession which hurt their pitiful fascist pan-Slavic feelings, the Russians are now supporting secession in Georgia. Principles? Come now!

This whole conflict is shot through with imperialism all the way. The US is supporting Georgia not out of any principles, because as an imperialist state, the US has zero principles other than profiteering, plunder and subjection of other states and peoples. The US supports secessionism when it benefits imperialist interests, and opposes it when it hinders imperialist interests!

And of course, it never admits this. When it supports secessionism, the US apparently invokes the right of self-determination. When it opposes secessionism, the US invokes the right of inviolability of national borders, as it is doing now in the case of Georgia. Contradictory, no? Sure is!

The sleazy and pro-imperialist US media fails to point out this dissonance, and your average educated American will inconsistently invoke, like a moron, either the right of self-determination of the right of inviolability of borders, depending, as they support the imperial projects that they have been inculcated to support.

This conflict, like all imperialist bullshit wars, boils down to various imperialist nations waging armed conflict over access to markets and natural resources.

As is, oil from Azerbaijan and gas from the Stans goes through Georgia and I believe hooks up with Russian pipelines. The US, Georgia, Israel and Turkey wish to cut Russia out of the deal and cut a new pipeline through Georgia to Turkey. At least some of the oil will then go to Israel and from there, through the Suez and out to the Indian Ocean and various nations in that region, in particular India.

Someone suggested to me that the West is cutting this new pipeline because they are afraid that Russia will cut off the flow of oil to the West. Forget it. They will not do any such thing unless pushed to the wall. The US, Israel, Georgia and probably Turkey are all doing this because they are more or less imperialist states.

This conflict is also shot through with old Cold War “Beware the bear” bullshit. Even after the fall of Communism and the return of capitalism to Russia, US imperialism and anti-Communists everywhere have continued to see Russia through and Cold War and anti-Communist lens. It is as if the fall of the USSR never occurred. Any analysis of the conflict between the US and the West that leaves out this essential element is lacking.

As a socialist, I want to ask the supporters of capitalism on this blog some questions.

Show me how advanced capitalism can exist without imperialism. Prove to me that an advanced capitalist state can exist in the modern world without becoming an imperialist power.

It seems to me that large capitalist states are typically mandated to become imperialist states and from there to engage in conflict, often armed, with other imperialist states for markets and natural resources. If this is so (and I think it is) how then can one support capitalism as it now exists, since it seems to be impossible to have large capitalist states that are not also imperialist?

As you might have guessed, I support the right of South Ossetia to self-determination and to secede from Georgia and the right, however sleazy, of Russia to assist them in this principled endeavor.

This conflict is getting real nasty real quick. Russia is threatening Israel and the US over their support for Georgia and the US has incredibly ordered Russia to withdraw its forces from South Ossetia. And the conflict very quickly seems to have expanded to Abkhazia. We have the potential for a really nasty conflict here.

I would like to point out that the neoconservative scum who now pretty much run this country are first and foremost ferocious imperialists. They are some of the most voracious backers of US imperialism out there. In this endeavor, neoconservatives have been picking fights with Russia for a long time now.

Many Jewish neoconservatives are involved in this imperial conflict with Russia, and unfortunately, in this light, they have supported Chechen independence not out of any decent principles, since neocons have no principles, but just to screw Russia.

The fact that elements of imperialism have supported the Chechen separatists rouses Russian nationalism and paranoia and makes Russia all the less likely to give the Chechens and other Caucasian peoples the independence they deserve.

It’s not known why the neocons have such a beef with Russia, but they also backed the Russian Jewish oligarchs in their fleecing of Russia. There seems to be an old beef between Jewish nationalists and Russia.

We can see the outlines of this conflict in the campaign to “free the Soviet Jews”, which was one of the original catalysts for the formation of the Jewish neocons back in the 1970’s. There may also be a “screw the Russians” mindset dating from the hostile history of Russians and Jews in Russia, a history replete with pogroms of Jews.

11 Comments

Filed under Abkhazia, Asia, Asians, Capitalism, Caucasus, Chechens, Chechnya, China, Christianity, Conservatism, Culture, Czechoslovakia, Economics, Eurasia, Europe, Europeans, Fascism, Georgia, Georgians, History, Internationalism, Iranians, Islam, Israel, Jews, Journalism, Kosovo, Left, Linguistics, Marxism, Middle East, Modern, Montenegro, Nationalism, Near East, Near Easterners, Neoconservatism, Orthodox, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Religion, Reposts From The Old Site, Russia, SE Asia, Serbia, Socialism, Sociolinguistics, South Ossetia, Taiwan, The Jewish Question, Tibet, Turkey, US Politics, USSR, Whites

All Politicians are Sociopaths, and All States Are Sociopathic By Nature

AJ asks about the rebellions in the Northeast of India, which have been going on nonstop since the birth of the state.

The imperialist state of India has no right to any of those lands. All of those places refused to join India in 1947. They only joined after India attacked them militarily or threatened to. Most of those states have been in armed rebellion ever since.

How come we never hear about it? Do you think it is because they are brown, so journalists don’t want to paint them as imperialists?

They have no right to Kashmir either.

The imperialist state of the USA, along with almost all other (objectively fascist) states on Earth, is generally opposed to separatism. Only Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and a few other places give support to any separatists.

It’s because all states stick together, and the enemy of all states is the separatists. On this line, I am with the anarchists. Most of these separatist rebellions are justified, and I support them. But no state wants to break up.

Mostly the various imperialist states of the world at best cynically support the separatism of their enemies and the often brutal of separatism of their allies.

There are no good people in politics. Most politicians are sociopathic, and most states are sociopathic by nature.

The only reasonable position is a principled one. Either separatism is generally justified or it is never justified. To support the separatism of your enemies on moral grounds while promoting the brutal suppression of separatists by your allies is the most cynical and disgusting politics. Of course a Jew gave a name to it: Realpolitik. But before Kissinger there was Machiavelli.

I will say that one great thing about Whites is that we are the only race civilized enough to break up our states on civil grounds without committing mass genocides like all the other barbarian races do. Only Whites could have broken up the USSR (one of the greatest acts of emancipation and liberation of the 20th Century), only Whites could have broken up Czechoslovakia, and only Whites are willing to break up the UK and Canada.

Only Whites!

22 Comments

Filed under Americas, Asia, Britain, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Europe, Europeans, Imperialism, India, Kashmir, Latin America, Nationalism, Nicaragua, North America, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, South America, South Asia, USSR, Venezuela, Whites

The Breakup of the USSR as a Major Progressive Milestone

A commenter questions how I can say that the breakup of the USSR was a progressive moment in history. But it was…

Rob, you once wrote that the breakup of the USSR was a progressive moment in 20th century history? How can you call yourself a leftist after such a statement? You do realize what happened in Russia and around the world after 1990, don’t you? Gorbachev was a traitorous, cowardly, slimebag on the CIA payroll.

I don’t think so. The breakup was not a progressive event due to the abandonment of socialism, though many seem to think that the project was not working out very well, so maybe the abandonment of socialism was proper after all.

The real way that it was progressive was in terms of the liberation of the official nationalities of the republics of the USSR. After all, nations want liberation. This is a longstanding Left position and demand from the anti-colonial movement on.

From the very start, the USSR gave the nationalities the right to secession. That was way back around 1920 or so. How many other states allowed such a thing back then? None.

So when those Republics seceded, that was allowed under the Soviet Constitution. How many states will allow their minority regions the right to self-determination in that way? Almost none. Almost all states ban the self-determination of the nations amidst their borders. If these nations decide to secede and exercise that right, the states react with fascist aggression. So almost all states on Earth are fascist in that sense.

Only the USSR and a few other states are or were truly non-fascist or anti-fascist on this most important question.

Other antifa states: Great Britain, Canada, the former Czechoslovakia. That’s about it, right? Can you think of even one more?

It’s unfortunate that the new republics went in a capitalist direction, but that was their choice. Russia also went in a capitalist direction, apparently a choice of the people. This was right and proper, true people’s rule and popular decision-making.

27 Comments

Filed under Americas, Britain, Canada, Capitalism, Czechoslovakia, Economics, Eurasia, Europe, Fascism, History, Left, Modern, Nationalism, North America, Political Science, Regional, Russia, Socialism, USSR

Are Only Euro-Whites Capable of Peaceful Successionism

In this modern era, one of the ultimate litmus tests for extreme liberalism or humanism is the completely selfless permission that a state grants when it allows a part of itself to secede without starting a bloodbath.

Since the Peace of Westphalia, Europe initiated the notion of the nation-state, a brand-new concept. Before, there had only been empires at most, if that in most places. The notion of the nation-state gradually grew until the present moment, when it is unfortunately the status quo. If empires disallowed succession, nevertheless it did occur quite a bit, since empires never had much legitimacy in the first place.

The problem with the nation-state is that it has built up a nonsensical and undeserved legitimacy, even among the most liberal folks. As soon as lines are drawn on a map, they are instantly there for all time, never to be redrawn.

Except that imperialist maggots like the US and the UK, while paying lip service to the inviolability of borders, nevertheless, scumbags that they are, cynically pursue seccessionism and border violability against any states that are deemed enemies.

Look at how quickly the world recognized the states that emerged out of the USSR. While the breakup itself was testament to the USSR’s ultimate morality, its internationalism, a moral spear that split the heavens while the capitalist world wallowed in nationalist mud, the new states were only recognized by the capitalist shits because they were so eager to disaggregate their old socialist foe.

At the moment, the US cynically promotes the breakup of Iran, Venezuela and Bolivia. In the past, the US supported seccessionism in China. Kurdish secessionism in Iraq was promoted by the US and then its suppression funded by the US, depending on the whims of the day. At the moment, the US funds Kurdish secessionism in Iran while funding its crushing by the Turkish state in Turkey.

The truth is that under capitalism, imperialist states like the US have no morals whatsoever, only interests. That 90% of the US public thinks that the US state always operates according to some moral compass is an example of the success of the sickening US capitalist media machine in creating a nation of high-IQ idiots.

Anyway, let us take this as a litmus test of the ultimate in civilized behavior in 2009: a state that will peacefully allow parts of itself to secede, if they so choose.

Most states, being governed by uncivilized animals, react to secessionism with violence, often extreme violence. The legion of the primitives is vast: Russia, France, Spain, Turkey, Russia, India, China, Indonesia, Burma, Georgia, New Guinea.

No non-White state will ever allow peaceful secession. They are simply too primitive and uncivilized to allow such a thing. By White I mean European Caucasians. Caucasians outside of Europe are incapable of peaceful secession either, because they are still relatively uncivilized compared to Europeans.

Asians, despite their high IQ’s, are still primitive in some ways, and even NE Asians are incapable of dealing with peaceful seccessionism. The response of 105 IQ China is instructive. Secessionist movements in Taiwan, Turkestan and Tibet have been dealt with via repression that can only be called fascist, while similar movements in Inner Mongolia are never allowed to see the light of day.

Indonesia’s response to secessionism in East Timor, Aceh and West Papua, areas it has a weak, if any, claim to, have been characterized by horrific violence.

India has behaved criminally, even genocidally, in Kashmir. India has little legitimate claim on the entire Northeast, yet they will never let an inch of it go.

Burma has no legitimate claim on any of its territory at the moment, as a criminal state loses the legitimacy of its governance. Nevertheless it continues to commit genocide against its secessionist movements, as it has since 1947.

For the moment, Pakistan and Iran can be excused their backwardness in violently assaulting secessionism, as imperialism, Indian and US, is conspiring to break up both states.

No Black African nation will ever allow secessionism, though they may as well. Most all of them can’t even govern their own territory responsibly, so they don’t have much right to the land in the borders. Failed states revoke the right to inviolability of borders. Sudan has reacted with typical extreme brutality to the legitimate demands of Darfur and Southern Sudan for secession. The response to secessionism, typical of Arabs, was genocide. Since independence, most Arab states have reacted to secessionist demands with genocides of varying degrees.

Somalia is the ultimate failed state. There is no government, and anarchy has held sway for 15 years. Obviously, in the case of the collapse of the state and the onset of anarchy, the inviolability of borders principle is revoked. After all, a state that no longer exists can hardly invoke inviolability of borders.

Two new states, Puntland, and Somaliland, have emerged, but no one will recognize them due to the inviolability of borders crap. This is sad because these new states seem to have their shit together more than Somalia (whatever that means) does.

The nation of Georgia had no legitimacy before its birth in 1991. The day it was born, its fake borders were deemed inviolable forevermore. South Ossetia and Abkhazia have already broken away, as was their right. Georgia will never allow this transgression. Abkhazia has been de facto independent since 1991, but almost no one on Earth will recognize it, all because Georgia is a pro-Western state.

In contrast, the moment Kosovo declared independence, the West showered it with recognition, since they were splitting from Serbia, whom the West hates.

As I said earlier, Western capitalist states have no morals.

Yugoslavia did allow itself to be broken up, but violence followed. Slovenia had little violence, and Macedonia and Montenegro had none.  The Turks are not really European Whites, and Turkey’s always been the sick man of Europe. Since Ataturk, it’s been a fascist state. That’s not changing anytime soon.

In Spain, there are secessionist movements, but the Spaniards have always been fascist and backwards, and they will never allow anyone to secede.

So who will? The UK and Canada. Those are the only two states that allow secession based on a simple vote. There are movements in Scotland and Quebec, but they don’t have majority support yet. Yet still it seems by this litmus test, the UK and Canada are the most civilized states on Earth.

Czechoslovakia broke itself up soon after the fall of Communism, a great moment in human progress. Yet this was only possible due to decades of Communist internationalism and anti-nationalist propaganda. Since, then, fascist-like nationalism has set in in both new states.

The USSR allowed itself to break up. In a number of cases, idiot nationalist violence followed the breakup, but most states left peacefully. Anyway, the state did allow itself to be broken up, something almost no other state will allow. This feat of ultimate civilization only occurred in the USSR due to 78 years of internationalism.

Some of the states that broke up were part-Caucasian, part Asian in stock (some of the Stans), so they seem to be an exception to our rule that only Euro Whites will allow a state to break up, but possibly USSR internationalism overrode the racial stock. The only Asiatic or part-Asiatic states that have allowed themselves to dissolve were socialist in character.

Historically, we can see that only Whites seem to be able to secede without massacring each other like wild animals.

For instance, 100 yrs ago, 99.9% of Norwegians voted to secede from Sweden. The Swedes magnanimously accepted that.

In 1920, a plebiscite was held in Schleswig in northern Germany. The area north of Flensburg, 80% voted to go to Denmark. South of Flensburg, 80% voted to stay in Germany even though Danes were 25% of the population of Flensburg. The Allies would have loved to have given all of Schleswig to Denmark just to punish Germany, but the Danes magnanimously accepted the vote of the people.

It’s an open question whether non-Europeans will ever be civilized enough to allow secessionism without committing genocidal massacres in the name of some lines on a map. I don’t think it will happen in my lifetime.

In case you haven’t guessed, this is one more reason I think we European Whites are better than other people. We’re simply more civilized, and this is a prime example.

19 Comments

Filed under Abkhazia, Aceh, Africa, Americas, Asia, Britain, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Darfur, Denmark, East Africa, East Timor, Europe, Georgia, Germany, Imperialism, India, Indonesia, Inner Mongolia, Iran, Kashmir, Kosovo, Kurdistan, Latin America, Macedonia, Middle East, Montenegro, Near East, North Africa, North America, Norway, Pakistan, Political Science, Puntland, Quebec, Regional, Scotland, SE Asia, Serbia, Slovenia, Somalia, Somaliland, South America, South Asia, South Ossetia, Southern Sudan, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Taiwan, Tibet, Turkey, USSR, Venezuela, West Papua, West Turkestan

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.

This research takes a lot of time, and I do not get paid anything for it. If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a a contribution to support more of this valuable research.

50 Comments

Filed under Adygea, Afghanistan, Afghans, Albanian, Anatolian, Ancient Greece, Anthropology, Antiquity, Armenian, Armenians, Austria, Balkan, Baltic, Balto-Slavic, Balto-Slavic-Germanic, Caucasus, Celtic, Chechnya, China, Czechoslovakia, East Indians, Europe, European, Europeans, Genetics, Geography, Germanic, Germany, Greeks, Hellenic, History, Illyrian, Illyro-Venetic, India, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Irano-Armenian, Indo-Irano-Armeno-Hellenic, Ingushetia, Ireland, Italic, Italo-Celtic, Italo-Celtic-Tocharian, Language Families, Linguistics, Maps, Near East, Near Easterners, Physical, Poland, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Roman Empire, Russia, Slavic, South Asia, South Asians, Sweden, Tajikistan, Tajiks, Tocharian, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, West Turkestan

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

Repost from the old site.

Here is a great paper (very factual, academic and hardly biased at all – come on, Morris Dees, find that bias!) on Gypsy crime (or actually, Roma crime, since the proper term for Gypsies is now Roma) in Europe, mostly in Czechoslovakia. It’s obvious English is not the author’s native language, but the paper is still pretty much intelligible.

I always wondered why the East Europeans hate these people so much, to the point of killing them, attacking them, etc.

Now I understand.

Completely.

The Left line on East European Roma, as it is with all criminals nowadays, is appeasement and denial. Are Roma criminals? Well, the Left chortles, they say all Roma are criminals! Surely they are not all criminals? An example of this line are these Wikipedia articles, where Roma crime is barely mentioned, except to say that Roma are arrested at a much higher rate than non-Roma.

The reason given is the usual specious nonsense – Roma are arrested more often due to discrimination! The same nonsense is said about Blacks in the US. Well, gosh, could it be because they commit so many more crimes?

The Left argument is appealing, until you look at some facts. In the case of US Blacks, globally, there is no evidence at all that Blacks are more likely to be arrested for their crimes, or more likely to be prosecuted, or to receive heavier sentences. Recent studies that show Whites more likely than Blacks in the South to receive a capital sentence even question whether they are more likely to get the death penalty.

Another reason given by Wikipedia for Roma crime is that society is mad at Roma for their extreme rate of welfare dependency. Due to the fact that society is hostile towards them, this automagically turns them into criminals! Amazing. Society often seems like it doesn’t like me too much, but the Hell if that is going to turn me into a criminal!

The real problem with the Left is an allergy to facts. According to the report linked above, the majority of Roma in Czechoslovakia are either bums, welfare leeches, petty criminals, pimps, whores, thieves, drug dealers, con artists, loan sharks, or some combination, or, if they do not do these things, they defend them in other Roma, which is almost as bad.

I realize that that’s not a scientific analysis, but that was what the paper stated. Those on the Left who object are asked to produce sociological studies showing that the majority of Roma are not either engaged in or supportive of these activities.

I would still like to see some statistics on how many Roma are actually involved in crime (not how many just get caught), and how these rates compare with non-Roma. As it is, their crime rate seems astronomically high.

Like Ashkenazi Jewish culture in Europe, which Kevin MacDonald points out also had a notion of cleanliness-uncleanness – Roma culture divides the world between the tainted and victimizable and the pure and familial.

Roma are related to people from India. They probably came from Punjab about 950 years ago. East Indians have a low crime rate in general, so it is dubious that the Roma crime rate is genetic. Extremely dubious!

Looking at the individual case histories in the paper, one image flashes over and over: the Black and now Latino underclass in America.

It’s the same: broken families, incompetent parents, chronic unemployment, welfare dependency, thievery, illegitimacy, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, pervasive dishonesty, drug dealing, use and addiction, prostitution and pimping, long arrest records, delinquent peers modeling general thuggery, poor grades, aggressive acting out in and eventual dropout of school, on and on it goes.

Mostly multi-generational.

Both the young and the old appear sociopathic.

People in India seem to have low rates of sociopathy along with a surprisingly low crime rate. Much of this is attributed to the Hindu religion.

Therefore, comparing them with their genetic twins the Roma, one questions just how genetic sociopathy really is, especially since the best scholars in the field – Lykken – now divide sociopathy into psychopathy (mostly genetic) and sociopathy (largely environmental). It is the latter that Lykken 1, etc. are invited to prove that the (Indian) Roma of Eastern Europe are hereditarily tainted. I have a feeling this will be difficult to prove.

What possible selection pressures (great paper, BTW) could have occurred in European Roma populations over 950 years to actually select for criminality, anti-social behavior, con artistry, and general cultural pathology, especially while the most criminal Roma were being slaughtered and imprisoned (thereby thwarting their breeding potential) for centuries?

One can argue for a Roma IQ of 85 as a causative factor, which is a fact, yet Indians have the same IQ and commit comparatively little crime.

There is a very serious Roma crime problem in the US. Common scams are fortune-telling and store diversion thefts. My contacts in the anti-Internet scammer movement tell me that there is a large group of scammers who are devastating eBay auctions through fraudulent buying and selling. Although they were described as “Romanians”, my contact tells me they are actually Roma.

Although Nigerian scammers are now moving into eBay, the majority of eBay scammers continue to be Romanian Roma.

There is also a similar problem to the Roma behaviors described above with a group called Irish Travellers. The race realists are going to have an even harder time explaining this group, who are nothing but White Irishmen who have adopted a “Gypsy” way of life over centuries, all the way down to incorporating Roma phrases in their cant language.

Race realists are asked to prove how Irish Travellers are different genetically than other White people.

The existence of a group like the Irish Travellers, ordinary White Irish who have adopted and mimicked Roma lifestyle and customs all the way down to fine details, is a perfect case of culturally transmitted criminal and social pathological behavior without a trace of genetic influence.

I feel that immigration officials should be extremely judicious in which Roma they allow into the US, and no Irish Travellers should be allowed in period. Only a few carefully selected Roma immigrants should not be allowed to come to this country.

I believe I had an experience with Roma recently. I was outside the Walmart when a family band approached me. The woman appeared Hispanic but spoke in a gang-inflected manner peculiar for a woman of 40 or so.

She and her band of girls were selling cheap plastic flowers for a 13 year old girl named XXX who was tragically killed by a drive-by shooting in Fresno the week before. They got $1 out of me but then tried to bully me for a $5 or more.

As they walked away, they started speaking a strange language. They told me it was Romanian. I then asked if they were Gypsies and the matriarch quickly said no. But Romanians are not as dark-skinned as these people.

Now that I look back on it, there was no 13 yr old girl tragically shot dead in a driveby shooting. The dark skin, the clever con game, the wandering matriarchal clan, the large brood, the Romanian language, the gang speech in an older woman, it all adds up. They could only have been Gypsies.

In the end, I am having a hard time explaining Roma crime and social pathology, though it is clearly cultural and probably not genetic. How did they end up this way, why, and what is the way forward? Is there a shining path to liberation for these people and those they victimize?

Notes

1. Lykken, D.T. (1995). The Antisocial Personalities. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. (Excellent book by the way! Essential reading on sociopathy and psychopathy by one of the world’s pre-eminent scholars on both.)

7 Comments

Filed under Americas, Blacks, Crime, Cultural Marxists, Czechoslovakia, East Indians, Europe, Hispanics, Left, Race Relations, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Roma, Scams, Scum, Sociology, South, South Asians, Urban Decay, USA, Useless Western Left, Whites