Category Archives: Netherlands

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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Flynn Effect in North Africans/Turks Migrated To West Europe By Robert Lindsay

This is from one of my papers on Academia. It is getting linked around all over the place right now, so I thought you folks might want to take a look at it if you have not done so already. Pretty interesting paper documents an 8-13.5 rise in the 2nd generation of immigrants coming from the less developed world to the West, in this case to Europe. The usual hereditarian rejoinders to this argument are dealt with.

Flynn Effect in North Africans/Turks Migrated To West Europe

By Robert Lindsay

From an article by Philippe Rushton, hereditarian, a revelation about yet another instance of skyrocketing IQ increases in the second generation born in the West after migrating from the less developed areas.

Previously, we noted that the children Jamaican immigrants to the UK (IQ = 71) have IQ’s of 85-86, typically within a single generation. That is a gain of 14.5 IQ points merely by being raised in the West. Hereditarians have offered many rationales for this. The usual one is that the Jamaican immigrants were already very bright anyway (as we will see with Moroccans and Turks in Netherlands, this is not true).

Another is that Jamaicans in the UK are very heavily bred in with Whites to the point where they may be only 1/2 White. This is not true – UK Jamaicans are only 12% White (Jamaicans in Jamaica are 9% White).

The children of Indian and Pakistani immigrants to the UK (IQ = 81.5) have IQ’s ranging from 92 (Rushton) to 96 (a figure I prefer). Call it 94. This is a gain of 12.5 IQ points merely by being raised in the West. The counter-argument here once again is that this group is self-selected.

Taken together, the children of Jamaican and East Indian immigrants see rises of 13.5 IQ points merely by being raised in the West. It is true that beyond the initial jump, we are not seeing more rises.

However, a strong initial jump is perfectly consonant with being raised in an area with a higher standard of living. Higher standards of living seem to be somehow translating into long-term rises in IQ. The mechanisms can be debated.

Education, a massively stimulating environment (computers, cell phones, TV, movies), proper nutrition, good medical care, and myriad other things have been suggested, but the mechanisms for the rises are still somewhat mysterious.

Now, via Rushton, we have yet more evidence of a Flynn Effect in immigrants to the West. First generation Moroccans and Turks in Netherlands had IQ’s of 81. This is low. The Moroccan norm IQ is 84, and the Turkish norm IQ is 90. So, contrary to the argument that only the very brightest immigrants are going to the West, it seems instead that the less bright immigrants are arriving instead.

The second generation has IQ’s of 89. 89 is around the Turkish average, but it is 5 points above the Moroccan average of 84. Both the Turkish and the Moroccan figures also shows a Flynn gain of 8 points between generations. Rushton tries to explain this away somehow, but he doesn’t do a good job of it.

The evidence for massive IQ gains in second-generation immigrants to the West is now becoming overwhelming, and it is going to be harder and harder for hereditarians to explain away.

Comparison of 1st and 2nd generation immigrants to the West and the resulting Flynn Effect gains, apparently solely by being born and raised in the West. The common factor behind rising IQ’s in the West may be related to rising standards of living.

                   1st   2nd   Gain

UK Jamaicans       71    85.5  14.5
UK East Indians    81.5  94    12.5
ND Moroccans/Turks 81    88     7

Average            78    89    11.5

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Western Europe: What Native Languages Are Spoken in the Netherlands?

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 the Netherlands, regional lects of Dutch Low Saxon, Limburgs, Dutch, Frisian, Low Dietsch and Southeast Limburgs are spoken.

Dutch is spoken in a bewildering variety of lects. There is nearly a separate lect in every village or city.

Limburgs is spoken a bit in the far south and there is a different lect in every town here too.

Dutch Low Saxon is spoken in the north and center of the country, once again as a different lect in every town. Whether this is really Macro-German or Macro-Dutch is not certain, but I would call it more Dutch than German.

Frisian is less dialectally diverse.

There are also very strange languages like Low Dietsch and Southeast Limburgs spoken in the far south. These are classification nightmares. After a lot of study, I concluded that these are neither German nor Dutch but actually something completely in between. With Southeast Limburgs and Low Dietsch, you also run into a the dialect in every town situation.

There area number of separate languages within Dutch in the Netherlands, probably over a dozen. There are three Dutch Low Saxon languages, but the situation is very confused and is almost a classification nightmare. There are probably 3-4 languages inside Frisian, though the vast majority speak the standard lect. There are probably two lects inside Limburgs. Southeast Limburgs and Low Dietsch are separate languages, though each seems to have a few languages inside of it.

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The Hell with the Pentagon

As the agency which enforces US foreign policy at gunpoint, the Pentagon has always blown.

First of all, there is no such thing as the Defense Department. When has the Pentagon ever defended the country? Pearl Harbor? They did a fine job there, huh?

Obviously the task of the Pentagon is not to defend the US mainland, which is all it ever ought to do anyway.

Its task is to running around the world starting wars and killing people in other countries. Leaving aside whether that is sometimes a good idea (and I think it is,) what’s so defensive about that?

The real name of the Pentagon is the War Department.That’s what it was always called until World War 2, which the War Department won. After that in a spate of Orwellian frenzy, we named an army of aggression an army of self-defense and comically renamed its branch the Defense Department.

It’s like calling cops peace officers. You see anything peaceful about what a cop does in a typical day? Neither do I?

There was a brief glimmer of hope there in WW2 when we finally starting killing fascists and rightwingers instead of sleeping with them, but the ink was barely dry on the agreements before we were setting up the Gladio fascists, overthrowing Greek elections and slaughtering Greek peasants like ants.

Meanwhile it was scarcely a year after 1945 when the US once again started a torrid love affair with fascism and rightwing dictators like we have always done. We were smooching it up right quick with Europe’s fascists, in this case the former Nazis of Germany (who became the West German elite), Greek killer colonels, Mussolini’s heirs, actual Nazis in Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, Jew-Nazis in Palestine, Franco (who we never stopped sleeping with anyway), Salazar, the malign Mr. Churchill, the true repulsive Dutch royalty and disgusting European colonists the world over, who we showered with guns and bombs to massacre the colonized.

In 1945, a war against fascism, reaction, Nazism and malign colonialism had ended, and for some reason America had fought against these things instead of supporting them as usual.

1946, and we were back in old style again, hiring Nazis by the busload for the CIA, overthrowing democratic governments and putting in genocidal dictatorships, becoming butt buddies with fascist swine everywhere.

So you see we have always pretty much sucked. World War 1 was fought amidst one of the most dishonest propaganda campaigns the world had ever seen, the Korean War was a Godawful mess where we turned North Korea to flaming rubble with the population cowering in caves while slaughtering 3 million North Koreans.

The horrific catastrophe called the Indochinese Wars, such as the Vietnam War, the Secret War in Laos and the Cambodian Massacre, where we genocided 500,000 Cambodians with bombs, driving the whole place crazy and creating the Khmer Rogue.

Panama and Grenada were pitiful jokes, malign, raw, naked imperialism at its worst.

The Gulf War was a brief return to sanity but turkey shoots are sickening.

Of course that followed on with the most evil war in US history, the Nazi-like war on aggression called The War on the Iraqi People (usually called the Iraq War), the Afghan rabbit hole which started out sensibly enough but turned into another Vietnam style Great Big Mess.

I suppose it is ok that we are killing Al Qaeda guys and I give a shout out to our boys over there fighting ISIS or the Taliban and Al Qaeda in South-Central Asia, Somalia and Yemen. Some people need killing.

But I sure don’t feel that way about their superiors, the US officers who fund and direct ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc. out of an Operations Center in Jordan with Jordanian, Israeli (!), Saudi, UAE, and Qatari officers.

And it was very thoughtful of the Pentagon to cover up the Ukrainian Air Force shootdown of the jetliner which we saw on the radar of our ships in Black Sea.

And it was nice of the US to relay the flight path of the Russian jet to the Turks 24 hours in advance so they could shoot down that Russian jet and kill that pilot.

One hand giveth and the other taketh away. For every good thing we do in Syria and Iraq, we do 10 or 20 bad things. Pretty much the story of the Pentagon.

Sure if you fought in WW2 or one of the few other decent wars, you have something to be proud of, and I can even say, “Thank you for your service,” but the main thing is that you signed up for the rightwing army of the rich that is dead set against the people and popular rule everywhere on Earth. Sure, it’s a great army, professional, super-competent and deadly, but it’s generally tasked with doing lousy things. Why anyone would sign up for that reactionary nightmare of an institution is beyond me. America needs to level the Pentagon and put in a true People’s Army instead. Like that would ever happen.

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

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

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

by Simon During

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

can be associated with liberalism.7

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

12
impulse, while drifting through Timor he rescues a shipowner, Morrison, whose ship has been impounded by unscrupulous Portuguese authorities, and through that act of spontaneous generosity, becomes obligated to Morrison.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile,” by Peter Haisenko

Reprint of the great old piece by the German pilot Haisenko. Everything he says is 100% correct.

Malaysia MH17

 

Global Research Editor’s Note

This article  first published on July 30, 2014 contradicts the substance of the recently released Dutch Safety Board Report. We are bringing it to the attention of our readers in view of the soon to be released BBC TV documentary, which suggests that the  MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian jet fighter.  (GR Ed. M.Ch.)

The tragedy of Malaysian MH-017 continues to elude any light of clarity being cast over it.

The flight recorders are in England and are evaluated. What can come of it? Maybe more than you would assume.

Especially the voice recorder will be interesting when you look at the picture of a cockpit fragment. As an expert in aviation I closely looked at the images of the wreckage that are circulating on the Internet.

Peter Haisenko in Cockpit of Condor DC 10

First, I was amazed at how few photos can be found from the wreckage with Google. All are in low resolution, except one: The fragment of the cockpit below the window on the pilots side. This image, however, is shocking. In Washington, you can now hear views expressed of a “potentially tragic error/accident” regarding MH-017. Given this particular cockpit image it does not surprise me at all.

Entry and exit impact holes of projectiles in the cockpit area

Source for all photos: Internet

I recommend to click on the little picture to the left. This is necessary, because that will allow you understand what I am describing here. The facts speak clear and loud and are beyond the realm of speculation: The cockpit shows traces of shelling! You can see the entry and exit holes. The edge of a portion of the holes is bent inwards. These are the smaller holes, round and clean, showing the entry points most likely that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile.

The edge of the other, the larger and slightly frayed exit holes showing shreds of metal pointing produced by the same caliber projectiles. Moreover, it is evident that at these exit holes of the outer layer of the double aluminum reinforced structure are shredded or bent – outwardly! Furthermore, minor cuts can be seen, all bent outward, which indicate that shrapnel had forcefully exited through the outer skin from the inside of the cockpit. The open rivets are are also bent outward.

In sifting through the available images one thing stands out: All wreckage of the sections behind the cockpit are largely intact, except for the fact that only fragments of the aircraft remained . Only the cockpit part shows these peculiar marks of destruction. This leaves the examiner with an important clue. This aircraft was not hit by a missile in the central portion. The destruction is limited to the cockpit area. Now you have to factor in that this part is constructed of specially reinforced material.

This is on account of the nose of any aircraft having to withstand the impact of a large bird at high speeds. You can see in the photo, that in this area significantly stronger aluminum alloys were being installed than in the remainder of the outer skin of the fuselage. One remembers the crash of Pan Am over Lockerbie. It was a large segment of the cockpit that due to the special architecture survived the crash in one piece. In the case of flight MH-017 it becomes abundantly clear that there also an explosion took place inside the aircraft.

Tank destroying mix of ammunition

Bullet holes in the outer skin

 

So what could have happened? Russia recently published radar recordings, that confirm at least one Ukrainian SU-25 in close proximity to MH-017. This corresponds with the statement of the now missing Spanish controller ‘Carlos’ that has seen two Ukrainian fighter aircraft in the immediate vicinity of MH-017.

If we now consider the armament of a typical SU-25 we learn this: It is equipped with a double-barreled 30-mm gun, type GSh-302/ AO-17A, equipped with: a 250-round magazine of anti-tank incendiary shells and splinter-explosive shells (dum-dum), arranged in alternating order. The cockpit of the MH-017 has evidently been fired at from both sides: the entry and exit holes are found on the same fragment of it’s cockpit segment!

Now just consider what happens when a series of anti-tank incendiary shells and splinter-explosive shells hit the cockpit. These are after all designed to destroy a modern tank. The anti-tank incendiary shells partially traversed the cockpit and exited on the other side in a slightly deformed shape. (Aviation forensic experts could possibly find them on the ground presumably controlled by the Kiev Ukrainian military; the translator).

After all, their impact is designed to penetrate the solid armor of a tank. Also, the splinter-explosive shells will, due to their numerous impacts too cause massive explosions inside the cockpit, since they are designed to do this. Given the rapid firing sequence of the GSh-302 cannon, it will cause a rapid succession of explosions within the cockpit area in a very short time. Remember each of these is sufficient to destroy a tank.

What “mistake” was actually being committed – and by whom?

Graze on the wing

Because the interior of a commercial aircraft is a hermetically sealed pressurized chamber, the explosions will, in split second, increase the pressure inside the cabin to extreme levels or breaking point. An aircraft is not equipped for this, it will burst like a balloon. This explains a coherent scenario.

The largely intact fragments of the rear sections broke in mid air at the weaker points of construction most likely under extreme internal air pressure. The images of the widely scattered field of debris and the brutally damaged segment of cockpit fit like hand in glove. Furthermore, a wing segment shows traces of a grazing shot, which in direct extension leads to the cockpit. Interestingly, I found that both the high-resolution photo of the fragment of bullet riddled cockpit as well as the segment of grazed wing have in the meantime disappeared from Google Images. One can find virtually no more pictures of the wreckage, except the well known smoking ruins.

If you listen to the voices from Washington now who speak of a “potentially tragic error / accident”, all that remains is the question of what might have been the nature of this “mistake” perpetrated here. I am not given to hover long in the realm of speculation, but would like to invite others to consider the following : The MH-017 looked similar in it’s tricolor design to that that of the Russian President’s plane.

The plane with President Putin on board was at the same time ”near” Malaysia MH-017. In aviation circles “close” would be considered to be anywhere between 150 to 200 miles. Also, in this context we might consider the deposition of Ms. Tymoshenko, who wanted to shoot President Putin with a Kalashnikov.

But that this remains pure speculation. The shelling of the cockpit of air Malaysia MH-017, however, is definitely not speculation. 

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“From Brady to MH-17, Power Defines Reality,” by Robert Parry

Good stuff from Global Research. I have no idea what is going on with the NFL scandal. I assume this guy probably made someone mad. This is how it is in “democratic” America: if you don’t make people mad, you get to do whatever you wish, if you do, they throw the book at you and they even make up 100 things that you never ever did. That’s how it is in the “land of fairness.” Everything Parry writes about M-17 is 100% fact, as usual.

From Brady to MH-17, Power Defines Reality


Power – far more than fact – determines what is defined as true in America, a nation that has become dangerously disconnected from reality in matters both trivial and important.

The way it works now is that, in case after case, the more powerful entity in the equation imposes the answer and the rest of us are invited to join in by throwing stones and jeering at the weaker party. Two current examples make the point:

On the more substantive side, there is the 2014 case of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people – and blamed by U.S. officials and the Western media on ethnic Russian rebels and Russian President Vladimir Putin. (More on that below.)

On the more personal side is the case of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who has been defined by the powerful National Football League as a perjurer for denying under oath the NFL’s scientifically dubious charges that he was part of a scheme to slightly deflate footballs.A Malaysia Airways' Boeing 777 like the one that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

A Malaysia Airways’ Boeing 777 like the one that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

On Monday, a federal appeals court ruled that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had the power to do to Brady or any other player pretty much whatever Goodell wants in acting as judge, jury and executioner.

In the Brady case, the NFL and Goodell were the stronger parties, so they got to define the reality as far as the major U.S. media was concerned, depicting Brady as a liar and cheater although there was no direct evidence that any footballs had actually been deflated.

NFL officials, who launched the brouhaha known as “Deflategate,” admitted that they didn’t know that cold air and moisture reduce a football’s internal air pressure. They simply assumed that the drop in PSI, detected at the halftime of the AFC Championship game more than a year ago, could only come from letting air out of the balls.

A Vendetta on a Roll

Once the vendetta got started, however, it took on a life of its own. In the major U.S. media, the NFL and Goodell controlled the narrative and – with rival NFL owners playing a significant behind-the-scenes role – engineered both a four-game suspension of Brady and the stripping of draft picks from the Patriots.

Despite many scientific experts challenging the NFL’s sloppy scientific claims, the U.S. media – from The New York Times to ESPN – took the NFL’s side while fans of other teams joined in the mocking of Brady and laughing at any attempts to apply science and reason to the case.

New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady.

 

The NFL and Goodell were allowed to decide what was “true” despite their corrupt role in covering up the dangers from concussions to players. In other words, the NFL’s history of lying on a matter as consequential as the safety of all football players – both amateur and professional – was not taken into account when balancing the league’s credibility against the denials of Brady and two locker-room assistants linked to the supposed scheme to intentionally deflate footballs.

And, despite all the time and attention this silly scandal absorbed, there was almost no examination of the science involved and no one in the major U.S. media looked at the conflict of interest in rival NFL owners on the NFL’s Management Council pressing Goodell to impose harsh penalties against Brady and the Patriots.

The Management Council controls whether Goodell gets to keep his $35 million job and these rival owners made anti-Brady recommendations to Goodell as he was considering Brady’s initial appeal of his suspension, according to Goodell’s own appeals decision.

After Goodell rejected Brady’s appeal – calling Brady’s sworn testimony false – the NFL got to choose which federal court would handle the case, picking one in New York that was known to be heavily pro-management.

Although District Court Judge Richard Berman last year overturned Brady’s four-game suspension on largely technical grounds, the deck was stacked against the player when the NFL appealed.

NFL Commissioner Roger GoodellOn Monday, the NFL got a 2-to-1 favorable ruling from appellate judges who reinstated Brady’s suspension and asserted that Goodell had nearly unlimited authority in disciplinary matters. [For more on the history, see Consortiumnews.com’s A Deflategate Slapdown of NFL and MSM.]

New Claims on MH-17

On a far more serious level, there’s the tragic case of MH-17, which has been thrust back into the news by British press reports about an upcoming BBC documentary that cites seven eyewitnesses in Ukraine who reported seeing a warplane in the vicinity on July 17, 2014, just before MH-17 was shot down – and one witness saying he saw the warplane firing what looked like an air-to-air missile.

That account, if taken seriously, would put another chink in the West’s narrative absolving the U.S.-backed Ukrainian government of any responsibility and blaming ethnic Russian rebels and Putin.

In the MH-17 equation, the rebels and Putin have been the weaker parties, subject of an intense U.S.-led propaganda campaign aimed at getting Europe to impose economic sanctions that serve a larger neoconservative goal of weakening and destabilizing Russia.

So, at the time of the shoot-down, eyewitness reports from Ukraine of people seeing one or two Ukrainian warplanes in the sky – a claim apparently backed up by Russian radar – were dismissed in Western media. The Ukrainian government claimed it had no warplanes in the area and that assertion was widely accepted in the West.

But the regime had turned off its primary radar systems over the area supposedly for reasons of malfunction and maintenance. That left only Ukraine’s secondary radar, which tracked aircraft equipped with transponders such as commercial flights but would not show military aircraft, which don’t identify themselves with transponders for obvious reasons of stealth.

The Russians said their radar, looking into Ukraine, appeared to detect a possible warplane approaching MH-17, but they said their primary radar was not saved because it was outside their jurisdiction. They offered only the visual screen images, which Western investigators discounted.

A Divergent Finding

However, within days of the shoot-down, the official U.S. story blaming Russia and what U.S. intelligence was discovering sharply diverged, a source briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts told me. The source said U.S. spy data revealed what looked like an ambush by a Ukrainian warplane and a ground-to-air missile fired by a rogue element of the Ukrainian military associated with a hardline Ukrainian oligarch.A side-by-side comparison of the Russian presidential jetliner and the Malaysia Airlines plane.

A side-by-side comparison of the Russian presidential jetliner and the Malaysia Airlines plane.

The source said CIA analysts gave serious weight to the possibility that the attack was originally intended to kill President Putin who was returning from a state visit to South America aboard his official plane with markings similar to MH-17.

But this analysis contradicted the out-of-the-gate public statements by Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior U.S. officials and thus, the source said, would “reverse the narrative,” making the pro-U.S. Ukrainians look like the bad guys and the Russians not so much.

So, if the source’s information is correct, the needs of America’s global power took precedence over any mandate for honesty in reporting the facts to the American people and the world’s public, including the families of the MH-17 victims.

Since summer 2014, the MH-17 investigation has moved at a glacial pace with the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) and a Dutch criminal investigation still not issuing any official findings as to who was responsible.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to withhold the data that Secretary Kerry cited shortly after the crash, which he claimed implicated the rebels and Russia.Secretary of State John Kerry speaking about the Ukraine crisis on April 24, 2014. (Screenshot from state.gov)

Secretary of State John Kerry speaking about the Ukraine crisis on April 24, 2014. (Screenshot from state.gov)

While Kerry declared that the U.S. government knew almost immediately where the ground-to-air missile was fired, the Dutch Safety Board report last October could only put the firing location within a 320-square-kilometer area (covering both government and rebel territory) and a Dutch intelligence report stated that the only operational missiles in the area capable of downing a plane at 33,000 feet were controlled by the Ukrainian military.

But the Western media still reports routinely that a “Russian-made” Buk missile was fired from rebel territory, leaving the public impression that the Russians were responsible (although the “Russian-made” element was always misleading because the Ukrainian military also uses “Russian-made” equipment).

What impact the BBC program may have on the West’s dominant storyline blaming the Russian rebels and Putin is hard to know since the U.S. government has invested so heavily in that narrative and would face a serious loss of credibility by reversing its position at this late date. [For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s Kerry Balks at Supplying MH-17 Data.”]

Plus, there is the arrogance of powerful institutions,whether the NFL or the U.S. government, that they can literally define reality for us commoners — and who’s to stop them. [Also, see Consortiumnews.com’s “A Media Unmoored from Facts.”]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon andbBarnesandnoble.com).

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Mutual Intelligibility in “German”

RL: “Low Franconian is just Dutch.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How Is Low German Best Classsified?

So, concerning Low German, is it a sub-classification of North Sea Germanic or Low Saxon-Low Franconian? Glottolog and Wikipedia say the former, Ethnologue says the latter.

I would say that it is Low Saxon – Low Franconian. Low Saxon in Germany anyway for all intents and purposes is Low German. This somewhat includes Dutch Low Saxon, but not so much anymore, as it seems to have merged a lot with Low Franconian. Low Franconian is just Dutch. Middle Franconian is more like Ripaurian and Moselle Franconian Middle German to the south and southeast of the Netherlands in the part of Germany near the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Northeastern France near the Lorraine.

I do not even kn ow what North Sea Germanic even is – is that Ingaevonic? That’s almost English – but Low German is nearly English itself – the Angles, Saxons and especially the Jutes spoke something like English, and South Jutnish, probably a separate language from Danish spoken in southeastern Denmark, is supposedly nearly intelligible with Scots!

At one time there was a “North Sea Fisherman’s Language” which was something like Ingaevonic, and they could all understand each other. Either their own speech was close enough to each other or they all adopted this sort of jargon based on their speech and that of the other North Sea fishermen, but at any rate, when they spoke this Sailor’s or Fisherman’s language, they could understand each other and sailors and fishermen could communicate with each other in all of the ports of the North Sea regardless of where they came from.

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Why “They Have Too Many Kids” Is a Bad Argument against Third World Poverty

EPGAH writes:

You keep saying the Third World “breeds normally”, but that’s not true, otherwise they wouldn’t outnumber us in our own countries–and for that matter, wouldn’t have TENS OF MILLIONS to dump on us, if they weren’t overbreeding!

Pick a country in Europe, and tell me how many MILLIONS they have to spare to dump on the Third World. Then pick a Third World Hell and tell me how many MILLIONS they have to spare to dump on US! Or just count how many MILLIONS they already HAVE dumped on us!

That will help you count how much they’re overbreeding.
Round to the nearest MILLION if it helps your calculations?

They breed too much because they are poor and have shitty governments. When you give women education, health care, housing and work, and you give families security in sickness and old age, the birth rate crashes. The birth rate has crashed in Kerala in India under Communist rule for the last 25 years. Same thing in Cuba. Same thing everywhere you do this. People have kids for security in old age and to have workers to help on family farms. If you give people pensions, support against illness and no reason to use their kids as labor, they stop having so many kids. The main thing is education of women. The less education women have, the more kids they have.

Bolivia is a classic case where people scream that the Bolivians have too many kids, and the place is overpopulated. Yet Bolivia is one of the least populated states on Earth. If you want to talk overpopulated, look at Singapore or the Netherlands.

Mexico is another case where the overpopulation crowd scream that the country is overpopulated and the people have too many kids. Mexico has never been overpopulated. Mexico has the same population density as California. Furthermore, the Mexican birthrate, while not low, has been crashing since the early 1960’s.

Furthermore, in a number of countries in the developing world, for whatever reason, the birth rate has completely crashed and is now at or below replacement. Of course these same overpopulation theorists still scream that these places are overpopulated as long as they are poor even if the women are not even breeding enough to sustain the population. One wonders at what point exactly a 3rd World country’s population is not “having too many kids.” It seems that as long as they are poor, the people are having too many kids. The 3rd Worlders can’t win. No matter what they do, as long as they are poor, they are always having too many kids.

Saying “they have too many kids” has always been a dodge that rightwingers use to justify poverty that is mostly caused by gross maldistribution of resources and money in backwards rightwing developing countries where the rich steal every nickel in the place and leave everyone else holding the bag.

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