Category Archives: France

The Myth of Haiti as a Paradise under French Colonial Rule

Superb comment by Judith Mirville. This is one myth that so needs to die.

First of all, please never say again that platitude as to Haiti (or rather, Santo Domingo as it was then called) having been so prosperous and so sweet to live in under French rule, just before the revolted slaves turned it over into the hell-hole we know of nowadays.

Please keep in mind that Santo Domingo was definitely the harshest place for any black slave (and also for any white servant or prostitute) to end up in throughout all Middle Passage, it was the island with the shortest survival span for Negroes. It was actually a kind of extermination camp though accelerated exhaustion where negroes judged to non-docile to be sold to English American planters or to Portuguese Jews (Jews were indeed involved in slave trade and utilization in the Portuguese colonies — contrary to English American where they kept content with the financing of the antebellum Southern enterprises — but were also known to be more humane masters) were sold to a kind of buyer of last resort.

When the slave masters of Early Dixieland really wanted to scare recalcitrant manpower into submission and productivity, they threatened to sell them to Santo Domingo and made an example out of two or three. It was called the “Pearl of the Indies” not because of its enchanting setting, charming though it was then, but because of the highest and surest return shareholders in Europe expected from there, the best contemporary translation would be Blue Chip.

The revolution took place because those slaves knew they were in that Island to die anyway.

It took exactly twelve years and a quarter to unfold, from 14 August 1791 to 18 November 1803, and as it unfolded the Napoleonic regime ordered Final Solution (as it was called) through 100% extermination. About one twentieth survived. Among the favorite methods were the “pontoons” : decommissioned ships used as gas chambers : the hulks were filled up to the brim with prisoners to be killed with fumes emanating from burning sulfur and thrown into the sea so as to make room for another cargo.

France sacrificed her whole colonial empire in America, selling Louisiana to the Jefferson’s US among others, just to devote all the necessary logistical resources to that grisly enterprise as if it were her most sacred duty (Napoleon wanted to make his empire renowned for yet another thousand years repeating Crassus’ exploit against the revolt of Spartacus), and it failed.

The extermination camp had run so well that all tropical diseases and pests brought about by the authorities to make the place mortal for any fugitive or guerrilla ended up killing all the precious seaworthy French troops that were sent there too, and that would have been badly needed at Trafalgar (the voodoo legend also speaks of black magic used to that effect: given the fact that most of Haitian black magic is about poisons, this comes to no contradiction).

Lamenting the French regime in Haiti as a kind of prosperity never to dream on any more is tantamount to lamenting the good old days when Warsaw, Krakow and Auschwitz were German and under sound industrial management before entering the doldrums of East European post-war Communism.

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Filed under Americas, Blacks, Caribbean, Colonialism, Europe, France, Haiti, Haitians, Health, History, Illness, Jews, Labor, Latin America, Louisiana, North America, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Revolution, South, The Americas, USA, Whites

Only Whites Are Expats?

Trash: White are COLONISTS essentially. We do not have the same primitive tribal link to the land that Mestizos or Africans do. So you move to Sydney and write your parents every day on e mail. Maybe a once a year trip.

I know many whites who moved to Australia from California. They did it simply to get away from NAM’s and be in a White individualist country. They were happy to do so…like I was happy to leave Greater Detroit.

First of all, residents of Europe are not colonists at all. They have all lived right where they are. The only White colonists are in South Africa, the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

And what makes you think Australia is individualist? Last time I checked, it was quite socialist.

And for exactly the same reason that you say Whites leave the US, many people all over the world leave their lousy countries to move to a better country. There is an economic element of course, but there is also the notion that their own country is a Hellhole.

Bottom line is people all over the world move all over the place all the time.

Inside Latin America, there is huge migration. Costa Rica is now full of Nicaraguans. Cuba is full of Jamaicans and Haitians. The Dominican Republic is full of Haitians. Argentina is filling up with Bolivians and Peruvians. Plenty of Colombians have moved to Venezuela. Central Americans move to Mexico. And many Latin Americans have moved to Spain now due to the common language. The Whiter ruling class of Latin America seems to live about half their lives in Spain.

Many Latinos have come to the US and even Canada now. People from all over Latin America come to the US. Most are from Mexico and Central America – mostly from Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica. From the Caribbean, we have many Cubans, Dominicans, and Haitians. Many South Americans such as Colombians, Brazilians, Venezuelans, Ecuadorians, Chileans, Peruvians, Argentines, Uruguayans, and Bolivians. I have met South Americans from all of these countries in the US.

South Asians pour into the UK, US, Canada and the Gulf states.

Europe is filling up with Black Africans. Many North Africans moved to France and the Netherlands. All of Europe is filling up with Syrians. There are a lot of Iranians in the Nordic states. Turkey is full of Syrians, Crimean Tatars and Kirghiz.

Black Africans flood into South Africa and also the Arab states of North Africa. Libya and Egypt are full of Black Africans, mostly Nigerians. Right now there are some Nigerians in SE Asia and there are quite a few in China. Nigerians appear to be one of the more mobile groups of Africans.

Filipinos flood into China, the US, Australia, the Gulf and Jordan. Chinese move to Australia, the US and Canada. Koreans move to the US. China is full of Koreans.

Palestinians and now Syrians have been living all over the Arab World for some time now. Lebanese move to Australia.  Quite a few Egyptians, Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Syrians, and Yemenis moved to the US. Many Uighur Chinese have moved to Syria.

Polynesians move to the US and Australia.

Central Asians pour into Europe and the US. Residents of the Stans such as Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, and Uzbekistan and Tajikistan move to Russia.

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One Thing People Keep Forgetting: Alt Leftists ARE Leftists

From Facebook:

Dan Paton: Little do they know that if we starve enough people, we’ll have a Communist utopia.  Yes, of course. First starvation, then the Utopian Star Trek society. Because trade is no longer necessary. It all makes sense now.

Alt Leftists are not supposed to be rightwing anti-Communist fanatics. Even those of us who do not like Communism criticize it from the Left, not the Right, and even they have a certain amount of respect for it even if they think it doesn’t work. The whole “Communism starves the people” nonsense has been proven endlessly to be not true, and it’s just rightwing anti-Communist cant.

We have to keep reminding people forever that Alt Leftists are Leftists. The word “left” is not put in there as some sort of a joke. It’s real. And it says, “left,” not “right.” If you really more on the right, head on over to the Alt Right or the Republican Party, the Libertarian Party or Hell, even the DNC Democratic Party nowadays. But leave us alone please.

People just don’t get this about us, and I have to keep repeating this over and over.

I remember a White nationalist posted an interview of me saying, “Alt Left, these guys are interesting.”

This other WN said, “Meh, it’s just the same old namecalling Left. Racist, sexist, prejudiced, bigoted, homophobic, etc.”

And they other guy said, “Well, what do you expect? I mean, they ARE Leftists. But it’s a step in the right direction.”

I cannot emphasize this too many times. We are Leftists. Now we might be really, really weird Leftists, but we are still Leftists and always will be. People keep forgetting that, and we get called Nazis, fascists, reactionaries, conservatives, Republicans, bla bla constantly, and none of it is true.

As a matter of fact, one of the pillars of the Alt Left from the very earliest days is “Anti-Conservatism.” We dislike conservatism at its very core essence from
Burke to Kirk to Trump and before and beyond, especially the US conservative movement and the Republican Party.*

It’s just that we think that the Cultural Left has gone so far to the Left in their anti-conservatism that they are off in La La Land. We are on the Left, but we are not insane! And this is our main and only beef with the Cultural Left.

We hate conservatism and SJW’s! We think they both suck! We disagree that everyone needs to pick one of these terrible/insane choices. We happen to think there is a middle ground between the leftwing loons and the rightwing malignancies. But that said, we definitely hate conservatives much more than SJW’s. The conservatives are the our deadliest enemies, and there can be no peace with them, ever. The fight goes on until we take them out or they take us out. Zero sum game. I’m serious. Dead serious.

The SJW’s, on the other hand, are mostly just annoying, insect-like creatures similar to mosquitoes or gnats. Now granted, sometimes they are as bad as Alaskan mosquito swarms, but at the end of the day, it’s still just a damned mosquito, and bug spray still works pretty well. I highly recommend bug spray for both mosquitoes, SJW’s and other buzzing, swarming insects.

SJW’s are annoying pests. Conservatives are Enemy #1.

*We might be open to some other types of conservatism such as the Marine Le Pen Right in France. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Marine Le Pen is not even rightwing at all. Instead, she’s straight up Alt Left.

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Filed under Conservatism, Cultural Marxists, Democrats, Europe, France, Left, Libertarianism, Marxism, Political Science, Politics, Regional, Republicans, US Politics

An Overview of Walloon, a Macro-French Language of Belgium

Mountleek: Yes, probably every country is different. France is, as we know, quite aggressive towards other languages, for example.

I still think that the strength of regional lects is overrated. How many people in Belgium actually speak Walloon? Some middle aged and older people in the countryside, and on top of that, only in some situations? Maybe they start using Walloon when they enter middle age? But still, people who move into cities will not speak Walloon, there is no occasion to use it.

I believe that in Switzerland, the local German dialects are strong though.

Walloon has 500,000 speakers among five major lects. The central lect or Central Walloon is understood by all, so it is more or less the koine or standard. Intelligibility among the lects is very controversial, but the eastern and southern lects or Eastern and Southern Walloon are hard to understand.

Walloon is doing pretty well. I have had at least a couple of commenters on here who were native speakers. They seemed to be men in their 30’s-40’s.

You have whole cities in some places where everyone speaks Walloon, especially over by the French border. Everyone in Tournai speaks Walloon, even teenagers. I know that from reports on the Net. Tournai actually speaks Picardian Walloon or Western Walloon. There’s Picardian Walloon, and then right across the border in France by Valenciennes there’s Walloonian PicardOne’s Picard, and one’s Walloon. Oh, and they can’t understand each other.

By the way, Picard is very heavily spoken in Valenciennes in France on the border. Of all of the langues d’oil, Picard is maybe in the best shape. The Picardian region is a hardscrabble rural area with a  lot of miners and a very traditional way of life, and they don’t want to give up Picard.  Furthermore, Picard has reasonably good intelligibility with Parisien at 65%. Picard has all sorts of dialects within it.

I think Charleroi is also heavy Walloon speaking. I know that Namur is Walloon-speaking also.

Really, the whole of French Flanders speaks either Walloon or Belgian French, and Belgian French is quite different from Parisien French. The differences are at least like British and American English and maybe even worse. I am sure that all Belgian French speakers can understand Parisien French. The question would be if the Parisien speakers can understand Belgian French, and there are some reports of difficult intelligibility in that direction.

From what I can see there are whole cities where everyone down to teenagers heavily speaks Walloon, so I figure it will be around til the end of the century. I found a French messageboard where everyone was writing in French. It was for regional languages. There were certainly a lot of angry people on there, but they were all French people or French speakers, they all spoke the various minority languages of France and the surrounding areas, and most importantly, most people on the board were teenagers and young adults in their 20’s! The Walloon section was very active, full of Walloon-speaking teenagers from all over the area, and many of them were writing in Walloon, so apparently there is a written standard.

Belgium has not been real evil about regional languages like France. I doubt if it has been real great either. It’s probably somewhere in the middle. These countries do not wish to recognize any minority lect that is related the official languages, which is another matter altogether.

For sure a lot to most middle aged people speak Walloon in a lot of places, and no doubt majorities of the old people speak it also in other places.

The lects are Western Walloon, Northern Walloon, Central Walloon, Eastern Walloon and Southern Walloon. Eastern for sure and Southern probably are separate languages. Central of course is the standard language, so that gives us two or probably three Walloons. Next comes the question of whether it is reasonable to split off Western and Northern Walloon, and I have no answer to that. I think all of the lects are in good shape.

In a small village in Belgium on the French border, Meuse, a dialect of Lorrain, a langue d’oil, was formerly spoken, but it may be extinct by now. Lorrain has many lects within it, and the language as a whole is in very bad shape. There are some middle aged and older speakers in places like Lille and Nancy. Some Lorrain lects which still have a few speakers have seen declines of up to 98% in the number of speakers. Lorrain is surely an endangered language. Some French speakers say they can understand maybe 1% of Lorrain.

The langues d’oil are really separate languages. The French state has even admitted that, but it still won’t give them any rights due to “progressive” Jacobinism which has said for 200 years that Parisien is the only language in France, and there can be no other official languages. For a supposedly progressive ideology, Jacobinism is awfully nationalistic and ugly. Laicite secularism seems to go a bit to far too if you ask me.

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Western Europe: What Native Languages Are Spoken in France?

Montleek: Robert, is it possible that in Western Europe, the regional lects have been preserved better, while in eastern Europe are preserved worse? There was communism/socialism in Eastern Europe, therefore more tendency not to continue speaking with regional lect.

In France, the regional lects are the langues d’ oil (still spoken, believe it or not!), Occitan, Breton, Alsatian, Franconian, Arpitan, and Flemish.

With Arpitan, Alsatian, Occitan and the langues d’oil, you can definitely get to the point of having a different lect in every major city if not every town in some cases.

There are a number of languages split through these regional lects. There are probably at least 10 full languages in the langues d’oil, ~20 in Occitan and Arpitan, five in Breton and more than one in Alsatian. The Flemish spoken in France is a separate language from that spoken in Belgium, hardly intelligible to a Belgian.

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Open Borders, Free Trade, Globalization, and the End of Democracy

From Ian Welsh‘s fantastic site. Check it out if you never have. He’s just about Alternative Left himself I believe.

Ever get tired of reading media lies all the time? Well then, come on over to Beyond Highbrow, where our motto is “We will never lie to you.” And if you want a dose of honesty as anti-venom for the lies you are force-fed every day, just read the piece below. Everything you will in that piece is 100% true. There is not a single false sentence in there. Read it and digest it.

Bottom line is you can either have open borders, free trade and globalization or you can have democracy, but you can’t have both. In other words, open borders, free trade and globalization will always be voted down by any sane populace and any attempt to implement these projects will involve not only massive amounts of lying and propaganda and but also probably some sort of authoritarian, anti-democratic or even dictatorial rule.

Sort of like what Milton Friedman said about how the masses will never vote for his radical Libertarian neoliberal ultra-laissez faire project, hence the need to for a dictatorship to impose Friedmanism. This is why Friedman loved Pinochet so much. Friedman freely admitted that a dicatorship was necessary to implement his own project, as no self-aware population would ever vote for it. If you have ever wondered why the US is always overthrowing democratic governments and fomenting rightwing military and legislative coups to overthrow anti-neoliberal governments, there’s your answer. We’ve always loved rightwing dictatorships. Anyone knows rightwing dictatorships are great for business. None of that messy democracy stuff to fool around with.

I like this guy. He’s really got a way with words.

My problem with the EU’s Four Freedoms and the Euro project, as with NAFTA and its successor treaties, now being debated, is that they enshrine the democratic deficit at the core of the legal order of the nations party to the relevant agreements.

One may argue over the details of the legislative procedures by which all of the agreements were adopted, ratified, whatever – and the respective statuses of different agreements and mechanisms – but it seems intuitively obvious to me that, had proponents of these treaties openly discussed both what they entailed as a matter of law and what was likely to ensue, practically, upon their implementation, public disapproval would have been overwhelming.

Such agreements have always been sold to the public as reforms that will bring about a state of comity between nations, increase general prosperity, and basically result in every child having both a puppy and a pony. The realities of hot, speculative capital flows, regulatory arbitrage in some areas, convergence in others, mass immigration, the destruction of whole sectors of national economies, and the resultant marginalization of whole classes – even generations, in some societies – were not only not mentioned, even as possible consequences, but denied, either openly or implicitly.

To make matters still worse, when folks began to voice their objections to the new regime and its consequences for their lives, they were first dismissed as rubes and bigots (and sometimes, they were), and eventually informed that their objections were misplaced because the immiseration of one section of the population, by the destruction of its employment, had made possible X% gains in well-being for Y millions in countries A-G, thus returning through the back door the very “zero-sum”, some will have to sacrifice argument that was explicitly rejected by the initial apologetic for the reforms. So, in the end, it is Who? Whom? Just as the critics alleged in the early 90s, say.

In fine, the reason for the rancor and distrust is not merely that there is bigotry rife within the masses of mankind, but that whole swathes of the populace were betrayed, rooked, and then mocked and degraded for the amusement of those who did they betraying and rooking.

If one extends the benefit of the doubt to the constructors of the European project, and of NAFTA, etc., and assumes that they were all enlightened social democrats of the most impeccable convictions and intentions (which is, of course, far too generous by several orders of magnitude), it still remains that what they proposed was a multi-step process, with immense possibilities for slippage as one negotiated each transition.

There never was a guarantee that, when the reforms were implemented, and whole communities and economic sectors were obliterated, the political system would bestir itself to redress the dislocations in precisely the correct manner. There are always too many contingencies in politics for that, even granting the best of intentions.

However, the projects of globalization have always had a clear class valence: they are clearly in the interests of the elites and the professional classes who simultaneously serve elite interests and operations and aspire to ascend to the elite plane in the social hierarchy.

Once one accounts for objective class interests in the unfolding of political ‘reform’ movements, it becomes rather difficult to assume as possible, to say nothing of probable, that the classes benefiting from the reforms will, having increased their wealth and power precisely by disempowering and immiserating the working classes, will immediately turn round and say, “Well, boys, now we have free trade and freedom of capital movement, what do say we tax ourselves a lot more to provide for the sort of social democracy that will cushion the lives of the workers?” The entire logic of the projects is the gradual attenuation of social democracy.

And thus, the democratic deficit. It’s not that one could have expected the advocates of these policies to be honest with their electorates, admitting to them that most of them would suffer stagnant or declining living standards, all so that the professional classes could grab larger shares of a larger pie. No, it’s that the very proposal of such reforms, absent any binding mechanism to build social democracy concurrently with them, was a case of the elite hiving itself off from the rest of society, no longer professing to represent the people and their interests, at best implicitly claiming an identity of their class interests with the national/continental/international interest, and in practice governing strictly in their own interests.

As the US could not – and still cannot, really – claim the mantle of democracy while maintaining Jim Crow, so the neoliberal elite cannot claim that mantle while deliberately, knowingly marginalizing and rubbishing large swathes of the societies they (mis)rule. Unless, of course, democracy is nothing more than the bare formalism of the ritual plebiscite, one of the formal freedoms of bourgeois society.

In closing, since I have droned on a bit, I am dubious that integration can proceed beyond any horizon, wholly without limit – to take but one of the issues raised by the populist discontentments. The most tolerant and generous societies we’ve yet known, in Northern Europe, are now experiencing some of the same discontents that we witness in France, Germany, and the UK.

While the ideational structures and symbols that transcend discrete tribes can mediate a common culture to diverse groups, or mediate multiple cultures to each other, it is not obvious that this process can or will continue indefinitely, either temporally or in terms of effectuating the union of cultures and tribes. There are always potential sources of friction and resistance. In fact, I’m not certain that wholly open labor/migration flows could ever be managed save by a combination of undemocratic policy-making and illiberal tutelary policies. People can be more tolerant than they are, this is certain. I don’t believe that large groups will ever be as tolerant as neoliberalism requires that they be.

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Filed under Britain, Conservatism, Economics, Europe, France, Geopolitics, Germany, Government, Immigration, Journalism, Labor, Left, Libertarianism, Neoliberalism, Open Borders, Political Science, Politics, Regional, Sociology, Traitors

“Working Musicians,” by Alpha Unit

One of the most recognized and beloved mandolin solos in popular music is in the final minute-and-a-half of the song that propelled Rod Stewart to fame as a solo artist – “Maggie May.” The mandolin part adds a touch of charm to a song about lust, love, and regret. But the musician who played it didn’t even get a proper credit in the notes on the album cover. Stewart had written:

The mandolin was played by the mandolin player in Lindisfarne. The name slips my mind.

His name is Ray Jackson. Stewart had asked him for a creative contribution to the song, and Jackson crafted the part on his Columbus acoustic-electric mandolin. He was paid £15 for his work, the standard Musicians’ Union session fee at the time. The song, and Rod Stewart, went on to make rock music history.

The standard session fee for a non-classical recording today is £120, a standard session running three hours. For 15 minutes of overtime, a musician is paid an additional £30.

Over here in the United States, a side musician gets $397 for a standard three-hour recording session. For 15 minutes of overtime, he or she gets an additional $66.

Naturally we think of musicians as artists, as do many musicians themselves. But musicians are very practical people. Since the late 19th century especially, musicians have made it known that they are ordinary working people with some of the same concerns as any other group of laborers.

Angèle David-Guillou writes of a seminal event in the history of musicians’ unions. It took place in 1893 in New York. A dispute had arisen between the conductor Walter Damrosch and the American National League of Musicians, which had been founded seven years earlier.

Against the union’s persistent demands, the conductor was employing a non-unionist Danish cellist in his orchestra. Damrosch was himself a member of the union and knew its rules all too well, as he had already been fined for a similar offense.

Spectacularly, during a representation at Carnegie Hall on the seventeenth of December 1893, as Damrosch raised his baton to signal the start of the concert, not one musician moved, leaving the room filled with an uncomfortable silence.

That was all the entertainment the audience got that night, as the concert was effectively canceled. The conductor was fined ultimately, and the Danish musician was dismissed. The power of the union had been established.

Whether it was praised or criticized, this act of resistance on the part of American artists had a resounding effect on professional musicians around the world. After all, it was the first time that musicians had so publicly stepped out of their artistic roles to become for a moment simple workers.

Historically, says David-Guillou, music didn’t have a commercial value. Court musicians would receive a pension to allow them to create freely. There was never a payment in exchange for production. “Only the vulgar street musician was paid for his song,” she writes. It was the industrialization of music that shook those conventions and forced musicians not only to put a value on their work but to fight for it.

The life of a musician had always been marked by struggle – and sometimes destitution. Competition only got worse as popular music grew more successful. Previously, traditional musical associations were able to control access to the profession. But amateurs now saw musicianship as an easy way to make money in a booming industry.

The entry of unqualified newcomers created competition between skilled and unskilled musicians, and wages, predictably, went down. Tavern owners figured that they could increase their clientele by providing music and other types of entertainment. But the welfare of their employees wasn’t a priority. As David-Guillou writes:

Musicians who were absent through illness often returned to work to find that someone else had replaced them for good. Amongst other things, rehearsals, which took several hours of the day, went for a long time unpaid. Of course, if musicians dared to protest against their treatment they were happily shown the door where many anxious candidates were waiting to replace them.

Because of their meager salaries, musicians would often have multiple simultaneous contracts inside and outside the trade. Engagements were mostly short-term, ranging from weekly to seasonal. Musicians were perpetually unemployed, and those who registered with agencies could end up owing the agent up to 25 percent of their earnings.

It was in this context that travel became an essential feature of a musician’s life. As they changed employers and colleagues on a regular basis, musicians saw that others were going through the same difficulties. This helped spread the unionist word.

Whether in Europe or the United States, musicians faced similar problems: the absence of a minimum wage, the way agencies operated, the absence of a standard contract, the difficult relationship with conductors and theater directors, competition from foreign musicians, and the treatment of “amateur” musicians. The concern about amateurs was especially divisive.

Untrained musicians were flooding the music market, which the most highly qualified musicians objected to. Some of their fellow unionists felt that the best solution was to include amateurs and semi-professionals, which would increase membership and actually enforce the establishment of a minimum wage, one of the principal demands of unions. The Amalgamated Musicians’ Union in Britain was the first union to specify clearly that “anyone practicing the art of music” could join, its General Secretary stating, “Good music does not mean classical music.” The Fédération des Artistes Musiciens followed suit.

American unionists had long seen musicians primarily as workers. The formation of the American Federation of Musicians in 1896 settled the issue of whether or not musicians should be able to go on strike. The 1893 Damrosch incident had been the turning point.

The American Federation of Musicians is the largest union of musicians in the world, with 80,000 members in the United States and Canada. Wherever music is performed, you’ll find their members. They work in orchestras and bands. They perform at clubs and festivals and in theater, whether on Broadway or on tour. You hear them on movie soundtracks, TV shows, and commercials. Of course they make a lot of the music we purchase or otherwise listen to.

The AFM’s Sound Recording Agreement sets minimum wages and working conditions for musicians who work on audio recordings both in the studio and in live performances that are recorded. Musicians also receive “new use” payments when their product is used in another medium – for example, when recordings are later used in films, TV, or commercials.

The AFM still has plenty of work to do to secure the rights of musicians to be compensated for their work. The union is deeply concerned about what it calls greed and profiteering in the music industry, which comes at the expense of those who create music. There are ongoing disputes over licensing agreements between record labels and streaming services like Pandora and Spotify, where everyone seems to be making money except musicians.

In Austin, Texas, the music industry generates almost $2 billion a year for the local economy, according to Veronica Zaragovia, but some musicians say they’re lucky if they leave a gig with $5 in their pockets. Local musicians are going without necessities like health insurance and are wondering how Austin will keep musicians in town if they can’t afford basic expenses.

Kalu James has been working as a musician in Austin for several years now and says that when he’s not at the club, he’s hustling to pay his bills. As he said:

Being a full-time musician means you have three other side jobs.

That’s one thing about the business that hasn’t changed.

References

David-Guillou, Angèle. 2009. Early Musicians’ Unions in Britain, France, and the United States: On the Possibilities and Impossibilities of Transnational Militant Transfers in an International Industry. Labour History Review, 74 (3). pp. 288-304.

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Filed under Alpha Unit, Britain, Canada, Europe, France, Guest Posts, History, Labor, Left, Modern, Music, North America, Regional, Rock, Texas, USA, West

Alt Left Manifesto

From the Alt Left Manifesto group on Facebook, a post by Ryan England.

If I personally had to decide upon one single definitive statement of what the Alt-Left is, I’d go with this entry in the Beyond Highbrow blog – Dealbreakers: What the Alternative Left Is Not. Firstly, I think this movement owes Robert Lindsay a hat tip for blazing this trail for us. Agree with him or not on any given issue, respect is owed the first (to my knowledge) blogger and online presence to use the Alt-Left label.

I don’t think we have to agree with every last qualification Lindsay lists in the post. But he does state with perfect succinctness what I think the overarching defining principle is:

The Alternative Left should be for people who are mostly liberal, Left or progressive in their characters, souls, politics and voting. However, we are disenchanted with some aspects of Left, especially the Cultural Left in the US. On those issues, we feel that the Left has gone too far. So while we are more conservative than the Cultural Left, we are not all the way to the social conservatism of the US Right, which mostly appalls us. So Alt Left types would be more centrist on cultural issues, not as leftwing as the Cultural Left but at the same time repulsed by the cultural reaction of the Right.

However, on economics, most Alt Left types would feel that the Western liberal/Left has not gone far enough. The Democratic Party in the US, Labor in the UK, the “Socialist” Party in France, and the “Social Democratic” PASOK in Greece have all sold the workers out badly for the rich, the corporations and capital in general. They claim to represent the working people, but instead they are traitors to the working class.

So the Alt Left would be for people who feel that the Western Liberal-Left in governments of the West is too rightwing on economic issues but too leftwing on social issues.

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Repost: The Smallpox-infected Blankets

Repost from the old site. This is actually one of the most popular posts on this site and it has been linked to from all over, including Takimag. This is one of the best pieces on the Smallpox Blankets story that you will find on the Net. As an aside, there is a lot about an utterly brutal war called The Pontiac War that most have never even heard of. Bottom line is that the Smallpox Blankets story is pretty much bullshit, but it’s bullshit that gets repeated endlessly mostly because it shows how evil we Whites are and hence fits the current anti-White narrative very well.

Oh, how the American Indians love this story! I’ve heard it endlessly.

Did you know that the US gave these evil blankets to Indians all over the country, even here in California? Or Hudson Bay traders gave them to Indians in Canada? That those blankets wiped out “generations” of Indians? That the US gave them out to reservation Indians in the 1800’s? That Puritans gave out the blankets to Massachusetts Indians?

Neither did I.

Ward Churchill said the US Army gave Indians them diseased blankets. He lied, and he should have known better.

It’s always nice to track down a myth, or is it really a myth?

So let’s track it down.

Turns out, Americans never gave smallpox blankets to any Indians anywhere at anytime. Not the government, not the Army, not anyone. So we are absolved on that one. The incident in question occurred in 1763, before there even was a USA, before there even were Americans. And American colonists (pre-Americans) didn’t do it either. It was the British that done the deed, and the one man who is always accused of doing it never even did it.

Further, it was in the midst of a horrible and genocidal war (on both sides) called Pontiac’s Rebellion, which occurred around the Great Lakes area during this time.

This was really a followup to the French and Indian War, with which the rebellion is often incorrectly associated. In the aftermath of that war, the area which had been ruled by the French was now ruled by the British. And the Indians, far from reflexively hating every White man around, had previously adjusted well to French rule and were angry about now being ruled by the British.

The Indians hated the deal they were getting from the British, who were treating the Indians very poorly. There were only a few colonial settlers around at this time.

The Indian goal in the war was to get the French back so they could live under French rule rather than British rule. Towards the end of the war, they may have even wanted freedom.

But freedom for Indians was never going to work out, at least in the short term, because they were stupid. Stupid? Yes, which is why in the mid-1700’s, when the civilized world was starting to get themselves a country or something like a country (monarchical empires), no way could the American Indians have made one.

Why? Because they were so stupid that they had endless deadly blood feuds with most of the surrounding tribes such that they spent way more time fighting and killing each other than they did the White man. Any country they would have gotten would have fallen immediately into mad civil war, with no adults around to sort it out and send one to one room and another to the other.

If you ever find any of those old adolescent novels about the settling of the pre-US Upper Midwest and Appalachia (forget the name), they are a great read. I spent my early adolescence at the library reading those books.

It’s interesting that in the mid-1700’s, these Indians were well-supplied with firearms. They didn’t invent any firearms, but they were smart enough to figure out their great value as weapons quickly, and they even got to the point where they were expert gunsmiths – experts at stocks, barrels and even gunpowder and pellets.

The Whites were selling and giving the Indians good quantities of muskets, pellets and gunpowder in this part of the colonial US at this time, but the stupid Indians were mostly using the firearms to kill their Indian enemies rather than to fight the Whites. This situation went on for decades in the US and seriously hampered the Indians’ anti-colonial wars of national liberation against the White invaders.

In Pontiac’s War, they added firearms to knives, hatchets (not a bad weapon), bow and arrow, flaming bow and arrow and even rocks and clubs. They ingeniously sawed off their muskets into sawed-off shotgun-type muskets so they could hide them under their blankets.

The Indians were horrible and vicious in the course of this war, and the British were too. But it was the British who were really getting pounded. Whole forts were being overwhelmed by 300-strong Indian armies, and after the storming, the Indians would kill everyone in the place, soldiers, women, kids, anyone.

The Indians were raiding towns, settlements and schools and killing every White they could find. These were some of the most hard-ass Indians in the history of the Indian Wars. Further, the Indians actually made an alliance of many tribes living in the area during this war, which is incredible, since the Indians usually hated their neighbors so much they would not even ally with them to fight the Whites.

In the course of the Pontiac Rebellion, a famous British general named Lord Jeffrey Amherst wrote a letter to his subordinate among the besieged British troops in one of the forts suggesting that they give the Indians smallpox-infected blankets. Turns out that this had already been done by that very subordinate. Simeon Ecuyer, the Swiss-born British officer in command of Fort Pitt, was the man who did it.

Although we do not know how the plan worked out, modern medicine suggests that it could not possibly have succeeded. Smallpox dies in several minutes outside of the human body. So obviously if those blankets had smallpox germs in them, they were dead smallpox germs. Dead smallpox germs don’t transmit smallpox.

In addition to the apparent scientific impossibility of disease transmission, there is no evidence that any Indians got sick from the blankets, not that they could have anyway. The two Delaware chiefs who personally received the blankets were in good health later. The smallpox epidemic that was sweeping the attacking Indians during this war started before the incident. The Indians themselves said that they were getting smallpox by attacking settler villages infected with smallpox and then bringing it back to their villages.

So, it’s certain that one British commander (British – not even an American, mind you), and not even the one usually accused, did give Indians what he mistakenly thought were smallpox-infected blankets in the course of a war that was genocidal on both sides.

Keep in mind that the men who did this were in their forts, cut off from all supplies and reinforcements, facing an army of genocidal Indians who were more numerous and better armed than they were, Indians who were given to killing all defenders whether they surrendered or not.

If a fort was overwhelmed, all Whites would be immediately killed, except for a few who were taken prisoner by the Indians so they could take them back to the Indian villages to have some fun with them. The fun consisted of slowly torturing the men to death over a 1-2 day period while the women and children watched, laughed and mocked the helpless captives. So, these guys were facing, if not certain death, something pretty close to that.

And no one knows if any Indians at all died from the smallpox blankets (and modern science apparently says no one could have died anyway). I say the plan probably didn’t even work and almost certainly didn’t kill any of the targeted Indians, much less 50% of them. Yes, the myth says that Amherst’s germ warfare blankets killed 50% of the attacking Indians!

Another example of a big fat myth/legend/historical incident, that, once you cut it open – well, there’s nothing much there.

The tactics in this war were downright terrifying. At one point the city of Detroit itself was surrounded and besieged for weeks on end.

Pontiac was a master tactician, and the history of the war is full of all sorts of evil acts of deception. Fake peace treaties and fake peace delegations. Devious Indian women working as undercover spies for both sides. Indian mistresses tipping off their White lovers to Indian attacks. And the converse, Indian undercover female agents, disguised as workers in the forts, secretly letting the Indians in to massacre the Whites, and Indian mistresses deviously leading their White officer-lovers and the soldiers under them to their deaths.

It took forever for the British to resupply the forts, and many reinforcement missions were ambushed and annihilated by Pontiac’s men. It was not a good time to be White in the Great Lakes region, no sir.

At the end of the day, no one won the war, neither the Indians nor the British.

The Indians had foolishly allowed themselves to become dependent on the fickle Whites for gunpowder and pellets, which the Indians quickly ran out of when the Whites wisely quit supplying them during the hostilities.

Lesson: don’t buy your war supplies from the enemy. When war breaks out, he’ll cut you off.

A little-known aspect of US colonial history.

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Robert Stark Interviews Ann Sterzinger about “In the Sky”

Here.

Ann Sterzinger is a novelist stranded on the Alt Right for God knows what reason. Sort of a a case of, “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like that?

I think a lot of folks, especially hipster and artistic types, are drifting around the Alt Right because they think it’s like the new hip bar in town where everyone goes to be seen. The Alt Right is hip, groovy and edgy and it’s great for the Permanently lost and those with late onset adolescent rebellion. You look at a lot of these hipster early adopter trendies over there and you think, “You’re a decent person. What the Hell are doing hanging around with all these damn Nazis?”

Maybe they don’t know what they’re doing. Maybe they do. Maybe they’re on glue. Maybe they’re camped at the Lost and Found. Maybe it’s all Performance Art. Maybe who the Hell knows.

Sometimes you just have to throw up your hands, shake your head and walk away.

Ann is also part of some weird thing called the Anti-Natalism Movement.

Anyway, this chick is an excellent writer, already having a few novels under her corset. She is also very, very smart. She used to have this shy nerdy girl look which was a bit attractive except it gets lost in a crowd too easily. One of those sorta cute faces that’s always fading into the wall, you know? Now she’s fixed herself up a lot for the dating market I guess, and she looks a lot better.

She seems me one of those super-brainy, (perhaps painfully) shy, introverted young brunettes who is actually kind of hot but usually worries she is ugly and has an inferiority complex about the ditsy blonds. fearfully envies the blonds. In that case, she should have been born Jewish. She’s about 40 years old, except she wishes she was never born. Like most goodlooking youngish intellectual women, I believe she needs to go out with me. You’re welcome, honey.

In the Sky (Dans le Ciel) was written by Octave Mirbeau in France in the 1890’s. Ann Sterzinger translated the first English edition published by Hopeless Books. It’s available on Amazon.

Topics include:

How Ann discovered the book from Pierre Michel, a French literary scholar specializing in the writer Octave Mirbeau.

How Mirbeau is best known for his book Diary of a Chambermaid but In the Sky was little known outside of France.

How Mirbeau was an anarchist and a Dreyfusard.

How Mirbeau was a major influence on Louis-Ferdinand Céline who shared his misanthropic outlook.

How Céline was marginalized for his support of the Vichy Regime, however he influenced many writers such as Jack Kerouac, John Dolan, Charles Bukowski, and Michel Houellebecq.

How the book reflects Mirbeau’s outlook towards life and society.

The main character X who is a depressed, misanthropic artist based on Vincent Van Gogh who Mirbeau knew.

The Narrator who discovers X’s manifesto after his death.

How X struggles to create his artistic vision.

X’s mentor, who loses his mind.

The post-Catholic concept of expressing spirituality through art.

How X struggles with sexual and romantic frustration, and when he finally meets a girl, he dumps her because she did not live up to his romantic ideals.

How the meaning of the title In the Sky involves both where X lives on top of a mountain where you can only see sky and a metaphor for being detached from society.

Mirbeau’s view on the family and how neurosis is passed down from parents to children.

How the book combines tragedy and comedy.

Matt Forney’s review Elliot Rodger Goes to Paris.

The genre “Loser Lit.”

Ann’s article Dead David Bowie, French Nationalists, Antinatalism, and the Meaning of Life.

David Bowie’s art & legacy.

Her article The Magical Bottomless Labor Pool which connects political themes to her book NVSQVAM.

Why I’m Scared of Widows & Orphans.

Applied Dysgenics.

In Defense of Beta Females.

Ann’s upcoming science fiction dystopia novel Lyfe, which needs a publisher that specializes in science fiction.

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