Category Archives: France

“Russia in Ukraine: Enemy or Friend?” by Eric Walberg

My good friend Eric Walberg sets the record straight on the Ukraine War. Bottom line is every single thing you are being told in the Western media is propaganda of some sort. It’s either a distortion, misleading or out and out false. The number of Western media outlets offering the truth of what is going on over there is zero. This is what I mean by our controlled media and why I say that there is no dissident press in the West.

Russia in Ukraine: Enemy or Friend?

Eric Walberg

Putin is either an aggressive schemer, to be opposed and vilified at all costs, or a wise, restrained real-politician, balanced irreconcilable forces next door. Which is it?

The 2014 coup in Ukraine succeeded due to the fierce campaign led by neo-fascists, heirs to the Banderistas of 1940–50’s, now lauded as freedom fighters, but seen at the time as terrorists, murdering Ukrainians and Jews, and sabotaging a Ukraine in shambles after the war. They had almost zero support then, having collaborated with the Nazis to kill tens of thousands, but their hero, Stepan, was honored with a statue in 2011, erected by the godfather of the current anti-Russian coupmakers, the (disastrous) former President Viktor Yushchenko. Ukraine’s Soviet war veterans were outraged and the statue was torn down in 2013, just months before the coup, bringing the Bandera-lovers back to power.

The eastern Ukrainians, mostly native Russians, centered in Donetsk and Lugansk, saw the coup as a surreal rerun of WWII, this time with Banderistas triumphant. They had no real plan, but panicked at the thought of what was to come, and seized government buildings and declared themselves mini-republics, calling on Russia to come and rescue them, as was happening in Crimea.

A tall order. Putin empathized with his fellow Russians, now being bombed and boycotted by the Ukrainian forces, with a death toll of 10,000 so far. Between 22 and 25 August 2014, Russian artillery, personnel, and what Russia called a “humanitarian convoy”, crossed the border into Ukrainian territory without the permission of the Ukrainian government.

This state of stalemate led the war to be labelled by some a war of aggression against poor Ukraine, a “frozen conflict”. The area has stayed a war zone, with dozens of soldiers and civilians killed each month. Close to 4,000 rebel fighters and the same number of ‘loyalists’ have been killed, along with 3,000 civilians. 1.5 million have been internally displaced; and a million have fled abroad, mostly to Russia.

A deal to establish a ceasefire, called the Minsk Protocol, was signed on 5 September 2014 but immediately collapsed. It called for reincorporation of the rebel territories under a federal system, with full rights of the Russian-speakers and open relations with the Russian Federation. Russia stands by the principles of the protocol, calling for Ukrainian borders to stay as they are, despite the pleas of the rebels. This restraint pleases neither side. The Russians clearly will not abandon their fellow Russians, but at the same time, refuse to invade and start a war with their unpredictable, basket-case of a neighbor. Russians are surely thinking: Ukrainians — you can’t get along with them or without them.

The Russian position is clear and firm: give Russian Ukrainian their rights, make our borders porous for locals and their relatives, revive shattered economic links among common peoples with a thousand years of common history. Get on with it.

The Ukrainian position is mostly hysterical, calling for NATO and Europe to fight off the Russkies, salvage the bankrupt economy, and ignore the creepy fascists. WWIII if necessary. The coupmakers are unrepentant as Ukraine slides deeper into insolvency, and corruption is getting worse (if that’s possible). Poroshenko is as unpopular as a leader can get, and only the threat of a Ukraine shattered in pieces gives him a life preserver among his citizens.

WWII replay

The West incited the coup and quickly embraced it, ignoring its unsavory origins in nostalgia for fascism. While it feigns shock and anger at Russian actions, it certainly can’t ignore that the Russians really had no choice, that their actions were/are both necessary and measured.

It looks suspiciously like the West is sitting back and enjoying the fisticuffs, reminding one of how the West sat back and let the Russians do the dirty work in WWII, defeating the Nazis, with the ‘Allies’ joining in the last year to warrant their claims (now the official story) that the US won the war — with a little help from its friends and even the nefarious Russians.

A messy conclusion to that war, the ultimate ‘frozen conflict’, the Cold War, that spawned the current many mini-frozen conflicts (Trans-Dniester, Abkhazia, Ossetia, Kosovo, not to mention ones farther afield, like Taiwan and Somaliland — all legacies of the Cold War).

‘No Pasaran!’

The plan is evolving, depending on what the Russians do. Putin’s red line is that Ukraine cannot – will not — join NATO. The NATO creep eastward, a violation from 1991 on of the implicit understanding with Gorbachev and Yeltsin, will not be tolerated.

The Ukrainian coup created a new scenario. If Russia had moved to support the rebel territories, form a customs union with open borders, aimed at eventual incorporation in the Russian Federation, that would have given the NATOphiles their trump card, and NATO and the EU would be hard pressed not to move in and try to salvage a bankrupt dysfunctional state, with the final coup as its prize: NATO now lined up surrounding Russia, the last real holdout against US world domination.

The Baltic ministates and (almost all) the Balkan ministates are now in the NATO fold. There are a few loose ends for the EU in the Balkans, but EU hegemony economically and US hegemony militarily are the new playing fields. Then there’s Turkey as a key NATO ally.

Whether this is an actual conspiracy or not only Russian hackers can tell, but the logic is there. Putin sees this logic and is not biting the bullet. Better a tolerable federated Ukraine where Russians are left in peace or another frozen conflict than NATO breathing fire on Russia’s borders.

The West played the ‘shock and anger’ card over Crimea, ignoring the fact that Crimea has been a key part of Russia since Catherine the Great incorporated it in 1783, the heart of Russian naval power, thoughtlessly given to Ukraine when Soviet internal borders were meaningless, populated by mostly Russians and Tatars.

As Ukrainian nationalism heated up after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia still maintained its bases there, paying rent to Ukraine. But dreams by Ukrainian Russophobes to join NATO and the desire of NATO forces to occupy Crimea or that somehow Russia and NATO could share Crimean bases are nonsensical. Russia’s only option was to accede to Crimeans’ pleas.

‘Remember 1856!’

As if to taunt the Russians on Crimea, a British missile destroyer and a Turkish frigate docked at the port of Odessa in July for a joint NATO maritime exercise , several days after the US, Ukraine and 14 other nations deployed warships, combat aircraft and special operations teams for the ‘Sea Breeze 2017’ exercise off the Ukrainian coast.

It looks like a reenactment of western policy following the Crimean War in 1856, when Russia was denied its naval presence in the Black Sea, as Britain and France were preparing to take the Ottoman territories for themselves and keep Russia out in the cold. Combined with the NATO creep in the Baltics and Balkans, it also looks like a replay of the build up to WWII but without the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. To Stalin’s (sorry, Putin’s) discomfort, there is no split among the imperialists anymore. Germany et al are postmodern nations, nations without a foreign policy, beholden to the world hegemon, the US. There is only one thousand-year Reich (sorry, Pax Americana) on the table these days. History may repeat itself but in its own ways.

Frozen conflicts have a bad reputation, but peace is always better than war. Tempers cool over time, and past wrongs can be ironed out with reason and compromise. Donetsk and Lugansk will not hoist a white flag to Kiev given the bad blood. They will continue to get electricity and gas from Russia and revive their economies by reviving trade and industry with their real ally. Kiev should be careful in its game of trying to starve the rebels into submission. Russians as a people have never backed down when faced with a hostile enemy.

The longer the freeze continues, the more willy-nilly integration with the Russian economic sphere will proceed. Or rather the Eurasian Customs Union (EACU) that Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan formed in 2010, eliminating obstacles to trade and investment that went up after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Moscow stands to benefit as a natural hub for regional finance and trade, and Ukraine is welcome. Win-win. A free trade pact as an economic strategy elevates the prospects of the entire region where Russia is a natural center of gravity. In 2015 the EACU was enlarged to include Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. Russia imports labor from the ‘Stans’ and could well help Ukraine by inviting Ukrainians to work as well.

Sensible realpolitik by the West would take NATO away from Russian borders and push Ukraine to make an acceptable deal on a federal state structure to keep its own Russians and its neighbor happy. Sensible realpolitik by Ukraine would be to join the EACU, bringing ‘Little Russians’, ‘White Russians,’ and plain old Russians back together. This would be welcomed with relief by EU officials who have no military ax to grind and are not happy about the billions it would take to get Ukraine off life support.

More here and here.

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The US Government Always Tells Massive Lies about the Military Capabilities and Deeds of “Enemy States”

You must understand that the government always lies to us about the capabilities of the states it deems enemies.

They lied and vastly exaggerated the USSR’s military strength through much of the Cold War. They knew they were lying too. The project was led by Jews such as Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz. They deliberately exaggerated the danger posed by the Soviet military to keep Cold War panic levels high and keep US military spending high. Many people knew that they were exaggerating but the entire US media and multiple administrations winked and treated it like the Truth.

We lied about Saddam’s capabilities in order to justify a war of aggression to take him out. We lied about an upcoming genocide in the eastern Libya town of Benghazi in order to justify a war of aggression against Ghaddafi. We lied about Assad’s use of chemical weapons many times. In fact, Assad has apparently never used chemical weapons even one time in this entire war and he has certainly never used Sarin. All of the Assad chemical attacks the West has been screaming about were false flags designed by Al Qaeda, Turkey, the US (the DIA), the UK and France. The Syrian Civil War has sometimes seemed like one endless false flag. The US and its allies are using false flag attacks so often now that we are getting to the point where false flags are almost normal in war.

The war in Eastern Ukraine also saw many false flag attacks. Every atrocity committed by Ukrainian artillery was immediately blamed on the Novorussians. The M-17 passenger jet was actually shot down by a Ukrainian Air Force jet and it appears that the DIA was directly involved. That was one of many false flag attacks in that war. Every single one of them was uncritically reported by every news outlet in the West, none of which even bothered to do the slightest examination of the truth. The OECD, associated with the EU (currently occupied by the NATO military regime) send observers and the observers committed deliberate fraud in every investigation they undertook, always blaming the Novorussians and Russians in every false flag attack they looked at.

The war in Grenada was started by a deliberate lie that US medical students at a university there were under immediate threat. They were never under any threat at all. The invasion of Panama was preceded by countless fake reports of Noriega’s troops firing on US bases in Panama. Few if any of these reports were true.

The Vietnam War was started by a fake attack at the Gulf of Tonkin when North Vietnamese forces were said to have fired on a US ship. Actually the attack never even happened! They made up the whole thing.

Every time America goes to war for any reason, the buildup is preceded by a nearly unfathomable level of lying by the government and the controlled media. The American people, gullible suckers and fools that they are, fall for it every single time. Americans must be the dumbest people on Earth.

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Possible Origin of the Black Plague

Here.

The standard view is that twelve ships from Florence docked at Messina in 1347, bringing the Plague to Europe. It would later kill 1/3 of all Europeans and an incredible 20% of all humans. It would be as if 1.6 billion people died in only seven years or as if 66 million Americans died over a seven year period. Can you imagine? In my city alone, 12,000 people would be dead. Of every five people you knew at the start of the period, one would be dead after seven years. Can you imagine? That would not have left one person unscathed.

A new view though is that the Plague, which had already been active in Asia for a while, came to Europe via a biological warfare attack by Genghis Khan’s raiders on the city of Caffa in the Crimea. The Caffans were probably Turkic speakers at this time, but it is hard to say what Turkic lect they may have spoken. Perhaps a dead language called Cuman.

Khan’s raiders besieged the city and a number of people died of the Black Plague in the conflict. Khan’s men suspected a thing or two about biological warfare, so they loaded up the bodies that had died of the plague and catapulted them over the walls of the city into the population. Can you  imagine the horror of looking out your window and see a dead, bubonic plague ridden corpse fly by in the air at rapid speed to splatter nearby. Good Lord. In due time, this biological warfare killed a lot of the people in  the city.

Khan knew nothing of the  germ theory of disease, but experience with the plague showed that those who came in contact with victims tended to sicken and die. No one knew what was causing it. One European physician posited that plague victims radiated some sort of death vapors or essence out of their very eyes. Without medical science, people had to fall back on spiritual theories.

But people caught on quickly that being around plague victims could quickly make you a victim yourself. Physicians refused to treat plague patients and patients were often abandoned wherever they sickened. Family members even fled from their own sickened members, leaving them to die in the home while countless people fled to the countryside. But even there they were not safe. Even farm animals, cows, pigs, goats and sheep, caught the plague. So many sheep died that there was an acute wool shortage all over Europe for years afterwards. There was no solace or respite anywhere. The epidemic ended almost as fast as it began in 1354, but Europe was ruined. Entire cities had been abandoned as thousands of residents fled to the false safety of the countryside.

Many people escaped from Khan”s raid on Caffa, and survivors fled all over the Mediterranean. This people soon sickened and died. It was possibly from some of this group, fled to Florence, that the ill-fated death ships docked in Messina on that warm October night. The disease was in Southern France the next year and Germany soon after that. Not long afterwards, it hit Paris. And despite the primitive conditions of the day, it was not long in  Paris before London was also hit. People did have ships in those days you know.

Despite the enticing new theory, the medical journal concludes that the entrance of the Plague to Europe was multifactorial and the infection of the Caffa population did not play an important role in the European pandemic.

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“Iran: Socialism’s Ignored Success Story,” by Ramin Mazaheri

Iran: Socialism’s Ignored Success Story

May 23, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri

Iran just completed their presidential election, but this article will not discuss the candidates, the result or the political consequences.

I work for Iran’s Press TV, which essentially makes me a civil servant, and I think it is correct for me to not reveal who I voted for in order to preserve my independence within the government. I’m quite happy to work for “the people” instead of “a person” – as in private media – and I will support which ever candidate the people choose.

Why will I support Iran’s government, whoever is in charge? Truly, it is not for my paycheck.

I support Iran because I support socialism where ever I can find it, and Iran has socialism in abundance.

Iranian Socialism has been so successful at redistributing wealth to the average person; has safeguarded the nation’s security despite being ringed by US military bases and repeated threats; has grown the economy despite an international blockade; has produced a foreign policy motivated on political principles; and has fought against the divisive identity politics which undermine human solidarity.

I have actually seen Iran over the decades, unlike 99% of the journalists who claim to understand Iran, so you can’t dissuade me.

And I’m not even going to try to persuade you. This is not that article, either.

This article is to lay out for left-wing readers and supporters of socialism what should be crystal clear: Iran is a socialist nation. Even more than that: Iran is a socialist success story.

Iran, like all nations, has had its unique developmental history; of course we have been reading Marx just as long as anyone else, as well.

But the most convincing and simplest way I can put it to non-Iranians is this: Europe came to socialism through industrialization, theory and war, but Iran came to socialism through its religious and moral beliefs. The ends are the same, and that is all that should matter to anyone who is truly trying to promote socialism for the benefits it brings to the average person.

The Problem Is Not Us, It Is You

I repeat: The problem is not us, it is you…when it comes to looking at Iran’s contributions to socialism.

I believe that around 99% of Westerners have no idea at all what Iran is really like. Unfortunately, this total ignorance about Iran and the Muslim world is the historical norm in the West.

The greatest contribution of Middle East scholar Edward Said was that his book, “Orientalism”, definitively proved through historical scholarship that the West has never, ever, ever been favorable towards the Muslim world.

Not in the 8th century, when Muslims were occupiers of the Iberian Peninsula, not in the following centuries when Islam was an ideological competitor to Christianity; not in the 15th century, when the Ottoman Empire occupied the Balkans; not in the 19th century, when the Europeans occupied the Middle East & North Africa; not in 1916, when they redrew the borders for the West’s benefit; not in 1945, when they bombed countries like Syria which had fought on their side against the Germans and the Italians; not in the 1960’s, when their reaction to independence was neocolonialism; not in 1979, when they created the forerunner of the Taliban; not during 2 wars in Iraq, a war in Syria today, etc.

Said’s point was: Never has the West viewed or treated the Muslim world as equals, much less intellectual equals.

Given this history, why should us Iranians expect the reality of our high-achieving modernity to be accepted and admired?

LOL, believe me, I am over it! I write this to enlighten you, not me! I humbly hope that it works.

I will address the elephant in the room, and quickly: Yes, I assume that a large part of this prejudice is religious. Some Christians cannot accept that Islam promotes the most recent prophet of the monotheism which they both share.

Such religious prejudices are not my problem, and they do not blind my analysis of 2017 Iran.

No socialist believes in a “clash of civilizations” or “religious war”, anyway.

My point is not to criticize Europe for a lack of brotherhood with their fellow Abrahamic religion: My point is to criticize them in 2017 because most Westerners believe that that even the most leftist Iranian cannot even qualify as merely a “conservative social democrat”!

Can There Never Be a Muslim “Democrat” or an Iranian “Republican”?

The proof of this bias is the decades of Western support for the oppression of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Iranian Revolution and any Muslim attempt to allow their religion into their politics. This is even though Christian Democratic parties governed Europe for decades after WWII, and it is absurd to think that the Christian dogma is not upheld and promoted in European politics today.

So, if Iranians cannot even be allowed to fulfill 19th century notions, why would the West accept that 2017 Iran can be even more truly leftist than the merely centrist ideology of European social democracy?

Of course, the average European cannot accept this, and this is why Western Socialists are aghast at my idea that Iran is an “ignored Socialist success story”.

The radical left of European Socialism, which seeks to destroy organized religion, is especially aghast, but they are a tiny minority and on the way out, thankfully. They do not realize that they have already been drastically tempered, if not ousted, in the still-Socialist countries they purportedly admire: Cuba is full of Santeria and Pope pictures, yin-yangy Confucianism is being promoted in China, etc.

But these Western radicals are a minority who simply cannot accept that spirituality cannot be rubbed out, largely because they see it as a choice or a social conditioning instead of a part of many people’s intrinsic nature (if not theirs). A modern Socialist must accept that this fight has already been fought and decided. The capitalists certainly advance as we chase our tails….

Even if leftist detractors can get past religion, they immediately will talk about Iran’s human rights faults.

I respond: Yawn yawn yawn African-Americans fill US jails; Muslims fill France’s jails; this is the centenary of the British-orchestrated Persian Famine, which killed 8-10 million people and actually made Iran the biggest victim of WWI, that is just one Western/capitalist inspired famine/death/human rights violation yawn yawn yawn.

I am not here to say Iran is perfect – only God can be – I am saying that Iran is absolutely no worse than the West. It is an undeniable fact that the current Islamic Republic of Iran has far less blood on its hands than most – and Iran has not invaded a country in 300 years!

Religion, human rights – these are all classic diversions from the facts presented against socialist societies, and Iran certainly is one.

Iran Checks All the Boxes as a Socialist Nation and as Revolutionary Socialist

What are the key components of socialism? Let’s clarify our terms.

The first is leadership by an avant-garde party committed to defending the revolution: Iran certainly has this, and it crosses over Principlist/Reformist party lines.

The second is central planning of the economy: Whoever had won, they would be largely implementing the 6th Five-year plan (2016-2021). And there is also the “Resistance Economy” approach promoted by many, which is certainly anti-globalization.

The third is control over the media: This is mixed – I would say Iran does not really have this in the traditionally Socialist sense. Cuba has no private media, for example, while Iran has dozens of private newspapers and innumerable TV satellites. But Iran does have limitations, so let’s check this box.

The fourth is support for foreign liberation movements: When the history of Palestinian liberation is finally written, just as a now-free South Africa thanks Cuba for sending troops to Angola, will not Palestinians do the same for Iran’s decades of support? The same with Lebanon and now Syria, correct?

The fifth is democratically devolving as much democracy as possible in order to empower the average person: There is no doubt that Iran is the most vibrant democracy in the Middle East, and by a huge margin. The difference between Iran’s social-democratic procedures and guarantees in 2017 when compared with 1978 is obviously laughable. I write this from Paris, a nation in an 18-month state of emergency with no end in sight….

If your country has these five crucial components: Congratulations! You are in a socialist country!

A little bit more on each for the naysayers….

An Avant-Garde Party

Iran is a one-party system – that party defends the 1979 Revolution. China is a one-party system – promoting Chinese communism. Many would say that the US is a one-party system – promoting imperialist capitalism.

The difference between Iran & China and the US is that in the former their one-party systems are formalized, explicit and well-known; in the US it is informal, but just as strong, and maybe even stronger.

I don’t think this needs much further explanation but, for example, you cannot propose to end the Iranian Revolution and run for office. In France a presidential candidate in their recent election (Jean-Luc Melenchon) won 20% of the first-round vote by proposing to abolish France’s current 5th Republic.

Like all socialist countries, Iran is criticized for not having democracy but they do: it is simply within their own particular structure. Just as in the USSR, there was lively debate about how to advance their own system – should we following the right-wing model of socialism of Bukharin/Khrushchev or the left-wing model socialism of Lenin/Trotsky? – but there was no debate about deviating from their chosen national system, i.e. communism. When they did allow such debates under Gorbachev, Soviet Socialism was almost immediately subverted by capitalist reactionaries and consigned to oblivion.

Again, please examine the repression of communism in the US, South Korea, Greece, Italy, Chile, etc. for historical examples of capitalist “one-party systems”, which are definitely NOT avant-garde and promoting socialism….

The idea that Iran has no avant-garde party but is some sort of totalitarian structure governed by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is only expressed by those who are supremely ignorant about Iran. For the second presidential election in a row Hassan Rouhani won despite not seeming to be Khamenei’s preferred candidate, after all.

Central Planning of the Economy

I think I can illustrate Iran’s state of economic socialism with this anecdote: Back in 2013 all 8 presidential candidates were pushing for more privatization…not to promote capitalism, but because everything has already been nationalized for so long, LOL!

So Iran has already done the nationalizing, and maybe they need to do more? However, socialist countries have increasingly agreed that some revenue-producing businesses are needed to meet some of the basic needs of their people: North Korea has the Kaesong Industrial area, Cuba’s Port Mariel is giving some space to completely foreign-owned businesses, Vietnam and China have plenty of state-run capitalist enterprises, etc. The reality is that even producing things as simple as soap need some expertise, and very often only capitalist corporations can have that expertise.

That’s why the Iranian government went on a spending spree in 2016, but it was decidedly not your typical capitalism. (I do not want to appear to credit only the Rouhani administration because economic policy is produced by the entire government in 5-year development plans, as already noted.)

Iran was feted like a king in places like France and Italy because they were prepared to spend dozens of billions of euros. But what pleased me was how Iran spent: They demanded equal partnerships, joint ventures and technology transfers.

These are the ways in which foreign investment can be mutually beneficial and not exploitative – this was good for France too. I am not a dogmatic person who is absolutely against all capitalism, but I am against all exploitative capitalism.

My point is: It was a socialist spending spree, not a capitalist one. Iran did not just give money away; they did not waste money on vanity projects; this was not one billionaire dealing with another for their own benefit; they invested in Iran via long-term central planning, i.e. the socialist view of economic management.

This is not like France’s ruling “Socialist Party” recently selling off national industrial jewel Alstom to the United States’ General Electric: The French people got nothing for that. That was capitalism; that was globalization

Iran is not in favor of globalization – they are not even a member of the World Trade Organization, unlike 164 other countries. Some will say this is solely due to the opposition of the United States, but it is not: As many in Iran said during the election: membership in the WTO is against Iran’s principles…and these are socialist principles regarding the economy – there is nothing about the WTO in the Koran.

Control over the Media

It’s true you can’t have Charlie Hebdo in Iran – hardly a major loss –but Iran is certainly no Cuba.

Iran’s refusal to crack down on TV satellites which permit reactionary, anti-revolutionary channels like BBC Persian and VOA Persian (UK and US government-funded respectively) appears to be a dangerous fire which Havana will not tolerate. This tolerance does give Iran “human rights” credibility with the West – well it doesn’t, but it should!

I would suggest that Iran is simply confident that foreign propaganda cannot overwhelm the obvious successes of the 1979 Revolution. I imagine that Cuba feels that they cannot take chances, being just 100 kilometers from the USA.

Of course, Cubans simply laugh at Western propaganda channels like the US government’s pathetic Radio Marti. Cubans are supremely intelligent politically and, after all, their education programs are decades older than Iran’s.

Iran, like Cuba and China, bans pornography. I note that such respect for sexuality and for women is a very basic tenet of Socialism. If your utopia includes unfettered access to porn I suggest that you are a libertarian, and not a socialist.

I remind again that the media glasnost implemented by Gorbachev was a major driver in the catastrophic implosion of the Russian Revolution. To privatize media means, necessarily, that you are giving those few people rich enough to actually start newspapers the chance to promote their obviously capitalist worldviews.

I, for one, am not about to cry over the lack of published capitalist, imperialist, sexist, racist, regressive anti-revolutionary nonsense, and neither are most Iranians. As sad as the Dutch may be about it – Iran is not Amsterdam!

Support of Foreign Liberation Movements

Some will say that Palestine is just a “distraction” from Iran’s own problems. Nonsense – this is a point of pride to all Iranians. This is a point of admiration for Iran from the entire Muslim world, just as it is a negative point for much of the Western world.

This is another way Iran is revolutionary Socialist country: they support oppressed countries on the basis of ideology. Perhaps Iran is not the “Mecca of Revolutionaries” which Algeria was in the 1960’s, but let’s agree that the rate and scope of revolutionary movements worldwide are at a much lower level today, sadly.

Russia may support Syria, for example, but it appears more for Moscow’s self-interest and the idea of national sovereignty – which is the idea of national self-interest – rather than a moral-based ideology.

Call Iran the same as Russia – no insult there – but you cannot deny that Iran supports Palestine for reasons which are clearly to the detriment of their own success, i.e., they do it out of solidarity and morality. Were Iran to recognize Israel they would surely have the international dogs called off them…but Iran is a revolutionary Socialist society, as you are hopefully agreeing with by now.

Iran is also an anti-racist society, like all modern socialist societies.

They constitutionally protect minorities, with parliamentary seats for Armenians, Assyrians, Christians and Jews, despite their small numbers. Iran may not promote them, but their tolerance of local languages like Azeri and Kurdish far exceeds that of many minorities in Western Europe. Iran accommodates the 5th-largest number of refugees in the world, while French authorities put up gates and even ‘’anti-migrant boulders’’ to deny refugees even the barest shelter.

When it comes to religion they are extremely tolerant of ancient Iranian Zoroastrianism and all of the pre-Prophet Muhammad Abrahamic religions. Any religion after Prophet Muhammad? Well…it is an “Islamic” Revolution, after all.

This is perhaps a pedantic point but an important one on a verbal, Foucauldian level: Has there been any “revolution” in the world since WWI which was not “socialist”? I can’t think of any, because without a socialism component it cannot be a revolution – it can only be a continuation of the capitalist/feudalist/bourgeois status quo, or a military coup.

Empowering People

The two fundamental tenets of socialism are redistribution of wealth and empowering the average person so that they can reach their full potential. Dismantling the social roadblocks thrown up by capitalism against the non-wealthy has clearly been a major goal of the Islamic Revolution, and I can quite easily prove it has been achieved with a tremendous amount of real-world success.

Since 1990 – when the West’s attack dog of Iraq was beaten off – no country’s Human Development Index has improved more than Iran’s, with the lone exception of South Korea.

Everyone should take notice, especially Socialists, as it is we anti-capitalists who prize human development – not economic development – above all.

That’s why I’m going to leave the Human Development Index as the only proof of success. For me, I have so many other econometrics, anecdotes and personal reflections to prove that Iran has succeeded in creating a new, better, modern society that to do so is quite boring.

Bottom line: It is obvious that I do not have to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Despite the tremendous amount of opposition, violence and propaganda, Iran has advanced the most in the past 3+ decades.

I say “the most” because, unlike South Korea, Iran has done this without 30,000 US troops currently on its soil; it was not preceded by decades of brutal dictatorship which slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people (mainly leftists); and they did not collaborate with the Americans in the division of their nation which currently causes the greatest possibility of thermonuclear war.

Iran didn’t get to #1 as many others did: by capitalism and imperialism.

Iran’s recent election had a 73% voter turnout rate, ranking it #12 in the world. Unlike many of these other 11 countries, Iran does not compel citizens to vote. There is obviously tremendous support for the Iranian system from the Iranian people because…they are not blind to success, I would say!

The hardest thing to get people to do when it comes to socialism (or Iran) is to think realistically: Nobody can achieve “perfect” socialism. No country has 100% voter turnout. No country has zero human rights violations.

But for Iran you have add on another layer of misconception: Many of the “restrictions” in Iranian society predate 1979 by centuries: women were largely wearing the hejab before then; unmarried people, especially young women, also lived at home before 1979; alcohol could send you to prison then and now.

My point is: Iran is a culturally conservative nation, and it was like that long, long before 1979. You will have to simply trust me that Iranians don’t need a government to make them want to live in a society which appears conservative to modern Western standards.

Again, Iran is not Amsterdam, LOL! Maybe you can talk about the royal court in Shiraz in the 14th century as being a hotbed of drunken poetic reveling, but this is does not reflect the reality of life for the average person.

Only an Iranian will agree quickly with this statement and move on: Take away the 1979 Revolution and you would still have many of the same rules in place – they would just be enforced informally.

I will, lastly, put it this way: Take away the mullahs, and you still have to deal with my grandmother!!!!!

But to believe that the government has not empowered people since 1979…well, back then the average woman had 7 children, was illiterate 70% of the time, and the UN was not calling its health care system “excellent”.

Today, the birthrate is 1.7 children per woman, the overall literacy rate is 93% and the right-wing Washington DC-based think-tank the Brookings Institution runs dumbfounded articles with headlines like “Are Iranian Women Overeducated?”.

All in 30+ years…and have you thought it was capitalism that did it?!

Socialists Who Ignore Iran Are Not Really Socialists At All

Do you still want to think that Iran is a country solely motivated by religious radicalism and not the ideals of socialism? Well, then I place you on the right and the left, and that is the point of this article.

It is bad enough that the right (capitalists, imperialists) not only co-opt Socialist ideas as their own (social security, Medicare, Medicaid, affirmative action programs, welfare, free schooling, free nurseries, etc.), but it is laughable when the left refuses to see the leftism in Iran because it does not fit with their preconceived, totally inflexible notions.

Any true Socialist/Communist should realize that attacking Iran is doing a capitalist’s job for them.

And how can someone who proclaims to be a “leftist” have the exact same interpretation of Iran as a right-wing capitalist does?

Again, it is simply laughable that Iran is “not” what it really is.

But this is what always happens: Chinese communism “is not really communism”…despite having 1-party rule, a state-run economy, control over the media, support for Vietnam and North Korea, and the 2nd highest HDI improvement from 1970-2010.

North Korean communism is just a “cult of personality”…despite expelling the Japanese, resisting the Americans, maintaining their independence, security and high-level of education. Cuba is just the Castro dictatorship and, again, not communism.

This is all anti-socialist propaganda – for capitalism there can never be ANY “Socialist success story”.

You remain adamant that you do not want to implement all the principles of the Iranian Islamic Revolution in your country?

Fine, it is your country to decide for as you like. Like I wrote, no worries – Iran hasn’t invaded in 300 years and it sure seems like our military is necessarily focused on defense.

But just because you disagree with some aspects of the 1979 Revolution I encourage you not to throw the baby out with the bath water. I remind you that I needed only one fact to prove that Iran has been improving at a rate which is essentially the best in the world over the last 3 decades – how far below Iran does your country rank, hmm?

I write this article because practically no media in the English language will ever pursue the links between Iran and socialism. We leftists know this not just anti-Iran bias, but a much larger anti-Socialist bias.

However, it is truly suicidal to ignore the left-wing successes in Iran because, even if you reject some of them, Iran has clearly found MANY modern solutions to our MANY modern problems: surely some of them can be of use to you, right? Is Iran ALL wrong?

Of course not – only Satan can be all wrong.

Therefore, I advise those fighting against capitalism and imperialism: Please afford Iran a bit more respect and interest than you would afford Satan!

And Now I Take Our Victory lap

I can only laugh at those who say Iran’s revolution has failed!

“Oh really? Who was the puppet that was installed? Who was the king that was restored? What is the name of the popular democratic revolution which replaced the peoples’ one of 1979, because I have not heard of it and I still see many familiar faces from 1979?”

The revolution has succeeded, and I am not sorry to say so.

Not that I care about your opinion – this is for YOUR own benefit: YOU will not win socialism, anti-capitalism or anti-imperialism in your country if you cannot learn from the successes of others.

But sadly, your inability to recognize socialism in Iran imperils all of us, because the people worldwide cannot win in the long term if even like-minded leftists cannot stick together to work against fascism, capitalism and racism.

But Iran, Cuba, China, etc. – we can win enough of these things for ourselves, at least.

We are doing just fine – steady as she goes, eh? All thanks to central planning, as the capitalists veer from crisis to crisis, with the 1% sucking up a greater percentage every time. Our election had huge participation rates, as usual, dwarfing the European cultures who probably want to claim they invented voting, along with everything else. Asia has heard it all before….

For the non-Western readers: I know that the vast majority of you already support Iran. I have talked with too many of you over my life – I know better. I also know that for us “field slaves” we have to give that impression in order to survive, sometimes, or at least to avoid annoyances.

Anyway, many Westerners appear to misunderstand Socialism completely: they don’t realize it is intrinsically a global idea; they think the Franco-German-Russian (European) variety is the only one. More Eurocentrism blinding them to reality, and necessarily limiting them….

But I look across the West and I see nothing but leftist failure after leftist failure: The fall of communism in Russia, the breakup of Yugoslavia, the obvious absorption of “left” parties into the dominant right-wing parties, the rise of austerity, the advance of globalization at the expense of national interests….

So the next time you look at Iran, you should applaud it as a rare socialist success. Iranians will certainly keep living their path of creating modern socialism, Inshallah.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

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No Conservatives Allowed on This Website!

We have had a few conservatives posting here in the past few days. These are US-style conservatives, which are the worst kind of all. US-style conservatives are absolutely banned from posting here in any way, shape or form.

Conservatism means different things in different countries, so conservatives from much of the rest of the world (except Latin America and the UK) can continue to post. Even Canadian conservatives can continue to post, as I do not mind them. It’s not conservatism itself that is so awful. Almost every country on Earth has people who call themselves conservatives, and there are conservative parties in almost every country on Earth. But being a conservative just about anywhere outside of the Americas is more or less an acceptable position for me. I probably won’t like their politics much, but I could at least look at them and say that this is an opposition I could live with.

US conservatives and their brethren in the UK, Latin America, the Philippines, Nepal and and Indonesia are quite a different beast.

I have to think hard about conservatives in Eastern Europe, especially Estonia, Latvia and the Czech Republic. These fools had such a bad experience with Communism that they went 180 degrees in the other direction. I would have to see the positions of these conservative parties in those countries to see whether they would be OK or not.

Just to give you an example, Vladimir Putin is considered to be a right-winger, and his party United Russia advocates a politics called Russian Conservatism. Looking at the party’s platform, this is not only a conservatism that I could live with but one I might even vote for!

Conservatives in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and most other places in Asia are acceptable. The conservatives in the Stans, Georgia, Ukraine, and Armenia can be rather awful, particularly in the nationalist sense, but I will not ban them.

I dislike Indian conservatives, but I will not ban them.

Conservatives from the Muslim World are all acceptable. In the Muslim World, conservatism just means religious and sometimes nationalist. I can live with that. Even the ones in Iran are orders of magnitude better than the US type.

Conservatives in the Arab World are acceptable. They are mostly just religious people.

Turkish conservatives are awful, but I will not ban them. They are just religious and a particularly awful type of nationalist.

African conservatives are OK.

Conservatives in Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany,  the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Italy, the Balkans, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Romania are sometimes good, sometimes pretty bad, but they are all acceptable here. Conservatism in Europe mostly means nationalism. I am actually rather fond of the conservative running Hungary, Orban. LePen conservatives leave something to be desired, but they are acceptable. They’re mostly just nationalists. Hell, I might even vote for Marine LePen! If it was down to LePen versus Macron, I would absolutely support LePen!

Conservatives from Indonesia, Nepal and Philippines are not OK. These are an “everything for the rich elite, nothing for anybody else” type of conservative. Some of them even hide under the labels of Socialist or even Communist.

The word conservative has no real inherent meaning. It means whatever people say it means.

Anyway, the conservatives in the US are pure garbage and recently they have become out and out fascists after moving in that direction for a long time. And a particularly horrible type of fascist at that, a Latin American/Filipino/Indonesian style fascist. I will not allow any US conservatives to post on this board. You all are lucky I even let you lurk here. That’s an idle threat as I can’t ban lurkers, but if they all stopped lurking, I would not mind frankly.

You all really ought to go back to the gutters you crawled out of.

PS This especially applies to Libertarians, the very worst of all the US conservative vermin. We shoot Libertarians on sight here, so you better watch out.

*This applies only to economic conservatives. If you are not an economic conservative, and your conservatism is only of the social variety or you are only conservative on race, religion, guns, law and order, respect for tradition, American nationalism, the military, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity issues, you can stay. I’m not crazy about some social conservatives, but I can live with them. I will probably even let patriotards post as long as they are not economic conservatives.

I am an American nationalist myself. I just don’t like patriotards. Of course, I very much dislike and even hate the country as it is right now, but I sure don’t want to make it worse! I have to live here too you now, and it might as well be as pleasant as possible as long I stay here.

I want what’s best for my country. I don’t want to harm this country or screw it over. That will be bad for me! And believe it or not, most US patriotards do not want what is best for the country! I have dreams of a greater and better America. It’s not impossible, but we will have to undergo some serious cultural changes. One of the reasons I am so against illegal immigration is because it is ruining my country and making this place even worse. Also illegal immigration is terrible for US workers and I am for the workers. I am against H-1B visas for the same reason – they are wrecking my country. IT workers are workers too, so they are my comrades. I want what is best for America and American workers.

I cannot live with economic conservatives. I like cancer way more than I like US conservatives. Cancer is much more decent and respectable.

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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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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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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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