2012 has been a year of great turmoil for the euro. But our common currency is not the only thing that is in crisis. OUr economic theory is too, and even more so. For decades, macro-economic policy has been conducted within a Keynesian framework. And while no Keynesian economist has predicted this crisis, or is even able to explain its causes, we are still listening to them today to get out of the mess they brought us into. I would say that this is a problem of legitimacy.
Invention is a means to overcome non-conforming facts.
We like to ignore the forces that will determine our lives. The prize of shortsightedness is high for those that ignore the discernible trends. Frequently, what the unaware regards as a positive or negative “accident” is only in its minor details accidental. In reality, such mislabeled events are the consequence of earlier choices and are, therefore, foreseeable for those that look beyond appearances. The aware know that behind the confusing scenery, there lurks a decisive truth and that it is the real puppet master that pulls the strings.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is in Istanbul this week to meet with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with a large retinue of Dutch CEOs in tow. The aim is to boost bi-lateral economic ties between the two NATO allies, which are now valued at over €5.5 billion a year.
Highly unlikely to figure in the official talking points is any mention of lawsuits that were brought against a Dutch citizen by two Turkish citizens -- Mustafa Y. and Osman B - in 2008 and 2010, respectively, and which still have not been taken up by Dutch or Turkish prosecutors.
Why the delay in prosecuting the case? Perhaps because the plaintiff -- Mr. Joris Demmink, former Secretary General of the Royal Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice -- was, until his retirement two weeks ago, the Netherlands' highest ranking law enforcement official.
Nothing is beneath the dignity of our attention, so even the municipal elections of Belgium, on Sunday 14 October 2012, can be deemed to have their importance. I cannot discuss every trend that came out of the results, but a few stand out.
On the Walloon side, little remarkable happened. All four established parties (Socialists, Liberals, Christian-Democrats secularized as “Humanists”, and Ecologists) held their own, the Socialists even strengthening their dominant position. Some personal issues are of some interest, e.g. how a coalition managed to oust the 20-year mayor of Molenbeek, Philippe Moureaux; this coalition was engineered by the Christian-Democrats in revenge for their own ousting from the coalition in the city of Brussels, where the Socialist mayor Freddy Thielemans strengthened his position.
There is a saying that civilizations are more often destroyed from within than by armies attacking them from without. And it is in this context that one particular question has been puzzling me for quite some time: Who poses a greater threat to the fabric of Western society and our individual liberties such as freedom of speech, the Islamists or the Political Correctness (PC) brigades? For isn’t there palpable public resistance to sharia law in the West, but scarcely any opposition to the abominations of the sexual revolution? Except when a scandal like that of the late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile surfaces and reminds us of the dire condition of children in 21st century Western society, sparing not even hospitalized quadriplegics from pedophile abuse. Despite all this, the erotocratic PC elites keep dominating universities, governments and the mainstream media with their agenda in favor of LGBTIQ - this never quite complete acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer advocacy groups. However it seems nothing can stop the train of the top-down global sexual revolution. This amounts to nothing less than the left version of colonialism – political dominance via international policy bodies such as UN and EU.
Major trends creep up slowly on the unaware.
The signs might have reached the inattentive only in the form of odd and frequently annoying, news. When added up, the bits prove to be mosaic pieces of a larger, yet incomplete, picture. In themselves, the news could be filed as bizarre but ultimately of little portent. Like in a child’s drawing by numbers, the points need to be connected. With that done, the total image appears.
Two enormously significant milestones in 24 hours for the U.S.A. First, America is no longer a Protestant country. The end of an old song.
I am a Catholic, yet am sad, though I was expecting America, the only industrial country which is intensely religious, to become slowly secular. She will thereby be gravely weakened. The future for America looks European and this means wisdom, sophistication and decline. I am much more saddened by this than by the economic statistics showing America losing ground to China. Economics is in itself unimportant - economics reflects culture which reflects, in the broadest sense of the idea, religion (and genetics). In no country have religion, self-belief and sense of purpose always been as closely linked as in America, founded though she was by Deists, with church and state strictly separated.
Toleration does not moderate radicals: it incites them.
It is a common place that history does not repeat itself. As so often, this shibboleth panders to a partial truth. Indeed, history’s does not condemn us to bear its repeat performance. It is the ignorant that cause the past’s suffering to return to haunt us.
Memoirs, documentations, and grilled acquaintances tell a recurring story about the Holocaust. Survivors had an interesting response to the “but why did you not leave while you could”? Yes, they were well aware of antisemitism. They were also cognizant that, the National Socialists program promised their liquidation. As Islamists put it today, there was then, too, a stated will to “decapitate” the many that they disliked. The Nazi program –unlike that of the Bolsheviks- was not only not a secret but was even advertised to drum up support. There are contemporary movements that act analogously.
Small items to illustrate a big subject.
1. Morality for us and for them. Our guides that yield a moral monopoly like to appeal to our principles regarding unqualified tolerance for diversity. This is done, even if society suffers from the criminal lawlessness of uninvited immigrants and fake refugees. According to the sermon, accepting transgressions tests mature democracy and morals.
Interestingly, when in non-Western countries the indigenous and aliens are subjected to violence by mobs or rulers with a mafia mentality, then censure is said to be inappropriate. The furthest one may go is to express “regret”. Pleas for an appropriate reaction are anathema. Native actions are said to express folkways rooted in culture. “Respect” is due to other cultures. That makes the binding ethical norms for household use here inappropriate abroad for they reflect a cultural bias.
The jihad against modern society reflects the inability to participate in it.
An insight emerges during the perusal of ideas that are marked for posting. Preferred topics land on the back burner because current affairs set new priorities. Once again, “urgencies” go to the front of the queue, and an Islam-related issue gets the nod. The repeated priority given to the theme tells us something. The unscheduled discussions of “Islam and modernity” suggest that in the back of our skull, we know that, albeit reluctantly, we are at war with Islam as represented by its radicals.