Category Archives: Spain

A Look at the Cooperative Mode of Development

Juanny Boy: Robert – I have a question about this.

What’s the benefit of Centrally planning industries that are largely not predatory like clothing, computers, etc.?

It seems they are produced less efficiently under Marxism.

But in industries like health care, water, it is a necessity because of the potential for abuse.

One thing we could do is to have firms owned by their workers. This is called the Cooperative Mode of Development and I think this is a great model. Many say it is a non-capitalist mode of development. For instance, in this model there is no exploitation of workers, no labor theory of value, etc.

In capitalist firms, workers and management and ownership are enemies. The management and owners are always trying to abuse the workers more and more because the worse they abuse the workers, the more money they make.

But when workers own enterprises, there is no incentive to reduce worker pay and benefits, force longer work hours, skip on regulations, disallow sick and vacation time or to abuse workers at all. Why would the workers who own firm vote to lower their salaries, reduce their benefits, make their working conditions worse, deregulate the firm, disallow vacation and sick time, or raid worker pensions. There is no incentive to do any of these things.

Further in capitalism, there is a tremendous incentive to replace workers with machines. But if workers owned the company, why would workers vote to replace themselves with machines? Which workers would be so stupid as to say, “Please fire me and replace me with a machine. I will just gladly become poor, broke and unemployed?” No one will say that.

One problem is that workers cannot be counted on to run their own plants. They tried this in Yugoslavia and it did not work. The revenue from the firm could either be taken home as profit or reinvested in  the firm. Workers generally chose to give themselves large paychecks and to underinvest in the firm. This eventually caused the collapse of the enterprise because if you stop sinking money back into your firm, eventually your enterprise falls apart from lack of internal investment.

The Mondragon cooperatives in the Basque Country of Spain have solved this. All the plants are worker owned and controlled, however the workers do not have the right to decide how much of the revenue to take home as pay and how much to reinvest in the firm. These decisions are made at the highest level. All of the co-ops are ultimately owned by several large regional banks. It is here that the decisions about how to allocate revenues are made. Workers cannot be relied upon to make these decisions because they consistently choose to take home too much as pay and to not reinvest enough in the firm.

In addition, at Mondragon, the workers hire and fire their own management. You would think that workers would abuse this also as they would hire the managers that let them slack off the most and did not force them to work hard or be responsible. However, there has been no such abuse. Workers make good choices for management – firm but fair managers. The important point is if the management becomes abusive, they can be fired by the workers.

This Cooperative Mode of Development works very well in  my opinion.

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Filed under Capitalism, Economics, Europe, Labor, Left, Regional, Socialism, Spain, Yugoslavia

What Sort of Fascist Is Trump? A Berlusconist, a Francoist, or a Latin American Right type?

amspirational: Trump would be the first fascist without a core of street activists which even Oswald Moseley had. Why, he’s not even as authoritarian as Putin, who indeed has NASHI and other fascist-like groups.

He’s a fascist. And his supporters are thugs. But he doesn’t have a Brownshirt army running around doing his will. But did Franco? I am thinking that at the very least Trump is a Berlusconi fascist, and he may be as bad as a Francoist fascist. He is clearly not as bad as Moseley, who was a real deal fascist all right. I do think comparisons to Hitler and Nazis are not good and a comparison to Franco feels a lot better to me.

He may not have all of the accouterments of fascism to be a 100% pure fascist, but he sure has a lot of fascist tendencies. So maybe he’s Fascism-Lite. Trump is the most fascist President in US history. That’s so obvious. We have never had a President with so many fascist tendencies as this man.

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Filed under Eurasia, Europe, European, Fascism, History, Italy, Political Science, Politics, Regional, Republicans, Russia, Spain, US Politics, USA

Problems with Newly Created Standard Languages and Speakers of Traditional Varieties: Evidence from France In Occitan and Breton

Mountleek: And it’s quite problematic that there are five Breton languages. The official written version is probably quite alien to actual speakers. Then they don’t use the written form, and extinction will probably speed up. Or maybe not. It depends on how people speak among themselves. I wonder how much it is possible nowadays to maintain a spoken language through generations where the written language is different.

There is an official Breton. It may be used on radio and TV and whatnot. I have no idea if the traditional speakers understand it. Who knows? It would be nice to have a Breton koine.

The problem is that they have created some Neo-Breton that is being taught to the youngsters. Some young people are growing up to speak it quite well. The problem is that it is a fake language, and tragically the Neo-Breton speakers say they cannot understand the speakers of the traditional Breton languages and the traditional speakers say they cannot understand the Neo-Breton speakers either. I do believe that Breton will continue on until the end of the century though if only in the Neo-Breton form . A Breton koine is certainly needed if it does not already exist, but given the gap between traditional and new speakers, it seems a schism has already opened between the two groups.

A somewhat similar situation is developing with the creation of a new Neo-Occitan out of the ~20 Occitan languages and many more dialects. It isn’t a language that anyone ever spoke. There is some sort of problems regarding this Neo-Occitan but I am not sure what they are. The main thing is the traditional speakers are not giving up their native lects in favor of this new fake language.

Occitan also should last until the end of the century if only in the Neo-Occitan form. However, children are still being raised speaking Occitan, especially in the Occitan Valleys of Italy where entire villages speak the local lect which in most cases is actually a separate language. There are still many speakers of the traditional Occitan languages. Most are older, but there are quite a few speakers in their 30’s and 40’s in some areas. Aranese Occitan in Spain seems to be spoken by most everyone, but people worry that even it is in trouble.

A koine for Occitan would also be very nice, or they could just speak French, but that sort of defeats the notion of speaking Occitan in the first place.

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Filed under Celtic, Europe, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Italic, Italo-Celtic, Italo-Celtic-Tocharian, Italy, Language Families, Linguistics, Occitan, Regional, Romance, Sociolinguistics, Spain

Western Europe: What Native Languages Are Spoken in Spain?

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. 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 Spain, there is are several major languages such as Asturian-Leonese, Extremaduran-Cantabrian, Eonavian/Berciano, Basque, Catalan, Aragonese, Benasquesque, Galician and some odd forms of Portuguese. Murcian, Andalucian, Churro and Manchengo are very marginal cases, but are probably better seen as divergent dialects of Castillian.

With Catalan and Asturian-Leonese, you are absolutely in a situation of a different lect in every town or even village.

Eonavian is absolutely a separate language though it is not recognized. Berciano is the southern part of the Eonavian language.

There is definitely more than one language in Galician.

Cantabrian is actually a language and not a Spanish dialect. In fact, it is a part of the recognized language called Extremaduran.

There may be 3-4 languages inside Basque; surely there are at least two.

Benasquesque is actually a separate language between Catalan and Aragonese.

Occitan is only spoken as Aranese, but is probably a separate language.

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Filed under Andalucian, Aragonese, Asturian, Basque, Catalan, Europe, Galician, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Isolates, Italic, Italo-Celtic, Italo-Celtic-Tocharian, Leonese, Occitan, Portuguese, Regional, Romance, Spain

Granny’s Expecting

Here.

MILF alert!

I did not think that was even possible. I thought 58 was the oldest GrandMom out there.

But we men do not have such worries.

A man can still father a child while there is snow on the roof*, but a woman’s time is short…

– Plutarch.

For man, though he be grey-headed when he comes back, soon gets a young wife. But a woman’s time is short

– Aristophanes, Lysistrata.

I suppose you are wondering what’s the youngest girl some pedo knocked up. That award goes to a Peruvian girl who gave birth to a baby at the age of 5 years old back in the 1930’s. What kind of sick bastard would do something like that?**

*”While there is snow on the roof…” – when a man’s hair is white with age, sort of like mine you know.

**Hint: I did it.

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Filed under Europe, Health, Law, Regional, Spain, Women

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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The Basque-Caucasian Hypothesis

I have gotten a lot of crap from my enemies for being on the Academia.edu site in the first place, but really anyone can join.

The following was posted by one of the reviewers in an Academia session by one of the leading lights of the Basque-Caucasian theory. As you can see, the mythological and multiple lines of genetic evidence are starting to pile up pretty nicely too. This is neat stuff if you are interested in the Basque-Caucasian link in addition to work going on into the remains of the Neolithic Farmers who were subsumed in the Indo-European waves. It turns out there is quite a bit left in different parts of Europe, especially in terms of Neolithic Farmer mythology.

From a discussion among academics and independent scholars on a paper on the Basque-Caucasian Theory in Historical Linguistics during a session in on Academia:

I am not a linguist but interested in the topic as it proposes a linguistic correlation between Caucasic languages and Basque, as it parallels my own current research on reconstructing European Paleolithic mythologies using ethnographic analogies constrained by on archaeogenetics and language macrofamily correlations.

Tuite (2006, 2004, 1998, 1997) has pointed out the hunter-gatherer beliefs and myth motifs shared across a ‘macro-Caucasic’ area to the Hindu Kush and into Western Europe. Basque deities Mari, Sugaar, and Ama Lurra and their associated mythologems have striking similarities to the macro-Caucasic hunter mythologies (not found in Finno-Ugric or Middle Eastern ancient mythologies.)

I am currently writing a paper identifying many examples of Southern/Western Gravettian art in Italy, Spain, southern France that appear to depict imagery only explicable by analogy to Macro-Caucasic religious myth and ritual.

With respect to mtDNA fossil genetics, three skeleton samples are from Paglicci Cave, Italy, ~25 cal BP: one is macro-N-mtDNA (homeland Caucasus/Caspian/Iran; currently highest frequencies Caucasus, Arabia), and two skeletons, RO/HV-mtDNA (homeland northern Middle East; currently highest frequencies, Basque, Syria, Gilaki, Daghestan).

During the later Magdalenian another diffusion occurs apparently by a similar route: HV4-mtDNA emerges in Belarus-Ukraine (~14±2 ka) and under Late Glacial Maximum HV4a (~13.5 ka) moves south and splits in the three refugia: southern Italy, southern Russia (HV4a1, ~10 ka), the Middle East (HV4a2, ~9 ka), and Basque area (HV4a1a, ~5 ka, suggesting full emergence of distinct Basque culture and language), (Gómez-Carballa, Olivieri et al 2012).

These studies further support the existence of a Macro-Basque-Caucasic mythological stratum as well as shared language substrate.

The cutting-edge liberal theory is that Basque (and some other odd far-flung languages) is part of the Caucasian language family. In other words, at one time, the Basques and the peoples of the Caucasus like Chechens were all one people.

What this probably represents is the ancient Neolithic farmers who covered Europe before the Indo-European invasion replaced almost all of the languages of Europe. All that is left is Basque and the peoples of the Caucasus. Everything in between got taken by IE except for some late movements by Uralic and Turkic speakers. Up in the north, the Lapp Uralic speakers are, like Basques, the last remains of the Neolithic farmers. The Sardinians also an ancient remaining group of these people, but their language has been surmounted recently by a Latinate tongue.

As it turns out, the Basques and Caucasians also share a number of cultural similarities. There are also some similar placenames. And there is some good genetic evidence connecting the Basques with the Caucasian speakers.

It’s all there, but the conservatives are balking, to put it mildly, about linking Basque with the Caucasian languages.

I have long believed in this theory.

I read a book over 20 years ago comparing Basque to the Caucasian languages and a few other distant tongues and thought the case was proved even via overkill by the book. And recent work is so super that one wonders why the conservatives are still winning. I feel that the link between Basque and the Caucasus languages is now proven to an obvious and detailed degree.

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Filed under Anthropology, Antiquity, Art, Asia, Basque, Belarus, Caucasus, Cultural, Eurasia, Europe, France, Genetics, History, Iran, Isolates, Italy, Language Families, Linguistics, Middle East, Near East, Regional, Russia, Spain, Turkic, Ukraine

Mexicans and South Americans and the Influence of Spain

I had an Argentine girlfriend for a while. While she was disappointed that I was not a machista, she really liked the fact that I was an intellectual. She said I was “un hombre de letres,” or “a man of letters.” It is a really cool phrase to describe a writer, but it is seldom used anymore. It seemed that Argentine women liked intellectuals. I also knew a Peruvian woman and she was really jazzed that I was an intellectual too. She really respected an intellectual man, but then she was also a university student.

Whereas Mexicans seem to delight in ignorance and contempt of education, on the other hand, South Americans seem to really respect an intellectual man. I am guessing it is due to more Spanish influence down in Latin America.

I have always felt that South America had much more influence of Spain in their culture. A respect for intellectual men would be a byproduct of Spanish influence since intellectual men are highly respected in Spain.

I knew a woman from Colombia, and she and her associates had strong influence from Spain. She was a member of the upper class, and she spent about half her time in Spain! She had a very Castillian accent, but it was also very sexy and sounded sort of French or Catalan. But a lot of Colombian women have crazy sexy accents. I think it is a rather sensual culture.

She and her family and friends were extremely polite almost to the point of being a parody of politeness. Colombians seem like the nicest, most hyper-polite people on Earth. What I don’t get is how the nicest people on Earth spend so much of their time slaughtering each other.

They were all very much into intellectual culture and arty circles. Her brother was a well known artist, and she was his agent. She hated the FARC and other Colombian guerrillas, but she also implied that there were guerrilla sympathizers in the art circles in which she ran.

I also met a Peruvian upper class woman who also told me that she spent a lot of her time in Spain. It’s almost as if Spain is a 2nd home to a lot of these upper class South Americans.

On the contrary, I do not think the influence of Spain is great in Mexican culture today, but perhaps I am wrong. They seem to have washed a lot of that away in preference for some sort of genuine homegrown Mexican culture.

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Filed under Americas, Argentina, Colombia, Culture, Europe, Latin America, Mexico, Peru, Regional, South America, Spain

Robert Stark Interviews Ray Sawhill

Great interview. A bit too conservative for my tastes, and he is obviously very much into money and moneyed people, which is another major turnoff to me, but besides that, I found this interview very much worth listening to. Very smart guy and talks about a lot of things of relevance to this blog.

Interview here.

Ray Sawhill worked as an arts and culture reporter for Newsweek. He has also written for Salon.com and blogs at Uncouth Reflections as Paleo Retiree. He splits his time between New York and Santa Barbara.

Topics include:

How Robert and Ray both have personal connections to Santa Barbara and how the city is almost too idyllic.
Crime fiction novelist Ross Macdonald whose work captures Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara as a place with strict zoning laws that was modeled after Andalusia in Spain.
The contrast between life in Santa Barbara and New York City.
How New York City has changed in Ray’s time there in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
How cuisine is the one area that has seen increased innovation in New York.
Ray’s cameo in the film Exposed set in New York in 1983 staring Nastassja Kinski.
How films such as Exposed and Taxi Driver are documentaries for New York in that era.
The new peculiarly-shaped skyscrapers going up in New York today.
“See through buildings” where wealthy foreigners are buying up real estate in New York and leaving them empty.
How Ray is drawn to architecture because it is art you can experience and changes the world in a way that regular art doesn’t.
How most of the general public has little input and interest in architecture.
How places without zoning laws tend to lack any aesthetic value.
How the main rule in urbanism is not to do anything that harms the city.
Art Deco and how it succeeds in bringing tradition into one.
Architectural Revivalism which seeks to recreate older forms of architecture
Robert Stark’s Artwork.
Ray’s work at Newsweek as a reporters covering art, culture, literature, film, and theatre.
How Ray’s most significant interviews were with writers Philip Roth and John Updike, filmmakers Francis Coppola and Robert Altman and architect Christopher Alexander.
How conservatives tend to avoid culture and leave that domain to the Left.
English Philosopher Roger Scruton as a model for a cultured conservative.
Front Porch Anarchist Bill Kauffman.
New Urbanism.
The The Retro Cocktail and Locavore movements.
James Howard Kunstler.
Ray’s involvement with Environmentalism and Bioregional Anarchism.
How the environmental movement abandoned the overpopulation issue due to political correctness and mass immigration.
The Alternative Right.
How the real political divide is between globalism and decentralization
Cultural trends and how Ray views himself as a cultural radar.
The trend towards a focus on muscles for young men and men are more self-conscious about their bodies.
The value of pleasure and leisure.
Erotica and the debate about what’s art and what’s pornography.
Controversial nude photographer Jock Sturges, who Ray interviewed.
How society is a taking contradictory paths towards lewdness and prudishness.
Students Still Sweat, They Just Don’t Shower.
How having taste and style has become equated with homosexuality.
Young women moving to New York City because of Sex and the City.
Sex Scenes which is a raunchy, satirical audio entertainment that Ray created with his wife playwright Polly FrostCheck it out.

 

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Filed under Art, California, Cinema, Conservatism, Culture, Environmentalism, Europe, Gender Studies, Homosexuality, Immigration, Left, Literature, Man World, Northeast, Philosophy, Photography, Political Science, Politics, Pornography, Regional, Sex, Sociology, Spain, Urban Studies, USA, West

Race and IQ in Latin America: Time for a Study?

A. B. Prosper writes:

This is an old post but do remember Hispanic also includes White Hispanics.

If you factor it by race say using the old Casta system for simplicity I suspect you’d end up with different result,

White Hispanics (Criollo and Peninsulars, German and other stock lines) with White IQ, Mestizos with lower, Negritos (Blacks) lower and Indios with probably lower than that, though I’m not sure about the latter.

Some Indian admixture if in a Flynn Effected environment doesn’t seem to matter. My guess and I don’t know is that it reduces the likelihood of very high IQ, but this is unlikely in any case.

Argentina is the Whitest Hispanic country and it has an IQ of 93. That’s not broken down racially of course. Argentina is 21% Amerindian when you look at the entire nation’s genome. Chile is about the same IQ-wise, and the estimates for Indian blood may be even higher. At any rate, a fair amount of Indian blood does not appear to be fatal to IQ or even behaviorally for that matter.

Argentina and Chile function more or less like European countries except for the typical “Latin American sickness” which has always enveloped them. But even a lot of Europe was nearly feudal with wild inequality and  polarized and radicalized politics split into fascists versus communists and socialists and a lot of political violence even up until 70 years ago. Latin American style coups followed by Latin American style dictatorships occurred in Greece only 50 years ago. Latin American style fascist dictatorships ruled Portugal and Spain until only 40 years ago. Europe’s no paradise.

The very heavily Indian countries in Latin America do tend to have lower IQ’s, often IQ ~83-85. Mexico is a mestizo country, and it is somewhere in between Argentina/Chile and the more Indian nations at 90.

A racial IQ study in Latin America would be a nice study though.It might be a bit hard to do as things are so mixed down there that it might be hard to sort out valid groups to test.

I am thinking maybe in Mexico:

Whites:   IQ 96
Mestizos: IQ 90
Indians:  IQ 84

What is interesting is that those figures stick in my mind for those races in Mexico, and my mind keeps telling me that I have seen those figures somewhere. But offhand, I can’t dig up the study and it may not even exist. My mind may just be playing tricks on me, or maybe it was someone’s guesstimate.

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