Duly Noted: From Bankruptcy to Bureaucracy


George Handlery about the week that was. Cursed: from immediate bankruptcy to immediate bureaucracy. The dictatorial uses of democracy. Which rights to protect? Why government is worse than the governed. Who is assimilating whom? The careful choice of the conqueror.
1. Baling out Detroit. “Bankruptcy now” has been avoided. However, the measure might bring only temporary relief. As so often, support is likely to finance the continued manufacture of products that not enough people want. Avoiding immediate bankruptcy also means that this ruin’s place will be taken by “immediate bureaucracy”. The control of automobile manufacture will be made the co-responsibility of a state appointed “Car Czar”. This person will in theory know more about car-making than the CEO’s of the Big Three. Might pastry shops be next?
2. If his voter will, as he might, ultimately conclude that Obama has misled him then he will be unfair. Obama did not mislead anyone: he did not have to. It is the voter who substituted his fears and hopes with the facts. Having done so he has, defying these particulars, empowered the candidate.
3. There is something inconsistent about the stance the EU prefers to take regarding minority problems. The scale of sensitivity tends to kick in if the complaint is situated on the left side of the middle of the political spectrum. The more left, respectively the more anti-Western a group, the greater the publicity given and the support extended.
4. Switzerland is unusual because it practices direct democracy. If it so wishes, her people can govern itself against the will of the legislative and the executive. A measure forbidding the construction of more minarets (not of places of Moslem worship) is to be submitted to a vote. The political class, the press – forcefully seconded by preachers – predict dictatorship in case of passage. Passing the initiative will also be the end of religious freedom. Whatever the merits of these concerns, another argument could be injected into the debate. Even if minaret building is stopped, the law will not violate an important standard. It is the one set in Moslem countries for the construction of the edifices serving other religions.
5. Scroll the list of advanced modern industrialized societies. In doing so note the quality of their governors. The process might lead to a shocking conclusion. It is that individuals and parties govern us whose performance is well under the potential that the governed demonstrate in the non-political areas of life. Actually, one wonders whether the customer would tolerate, in whatever he pays for in the store, the quality he accepts from his government. Naturally, government we do not purchase directly. We just vote for it and then pay for it. It is a sign of falling expectations that government, whose standards match the ethics of the Blagojeviches, is tolerated as an unavoidable “act of nature”. Besides this disillusionment, strong societies might be tacitly supporting bad politics because they assume that its blunders can be overcome. This, however, might prove to be an optimistic assessment that chooses to ignore the calamities inferior politics had caused. Meanwhile, one is left wondering when a “revolution of expectations” will dawn to bring an attitude that refuses to mindlessly elect the liar, the weakling, the corrupt and the tainted.
6. Hard to believe. Democratic procedures are easily deprived of their intended and assumed content. Just think of elections in places such as Zimbabwe. This often succeeds and mostly with the connivance of democratic countries that do not wish to be bothered by the problems of a far-away people about which one knows nearly nothing. The ably erected shell of disemboweled democracy can serve to protect abusive dictatorship. Today, only the stupidest systems are willing to admit that they are a tyranny. In name, democracy has won globally. The same is true with the rule of law, the protection of the week, the guarantees of basic rights. The following case illustrates how, in this instance the protection of the rights of minors and women can be used to uphold inequity. An eight-year-old has been married to a man aged 56. The divorced mother has started action to have the marriage, which represents the sale of the daughter by the child’s father, annulled. The court refused to hear the case. The bride, the injured party, must bring the complaint. Being a minor and as such lacking legal status, the girl cannot sue until she is 18. Case closed. We are left with a great example how formal legality is construed to protect an abuse.
7. Often it is asserted that, the evolvement to a politically democratic, economically advanced society with general prosperity has taken from about “1776” till our own days. If so, why do “we” expect from societies that are shaped by Islam to accomplish the same result in half a century? Granted, institutions function as mirrors that reflect the way of thinking dominating the context in which they operate. This is the reason why systems – being cultural products – are not transferable across cultural divides. On the other hand, having to pioneer and build an economic-political system from scratch – as was done in the countries originally influenced by the Enlightenment – takes more time than in later cases when a developed model’s essentials can be copied. If you have to build a bike, it is of advantage if you have access to the inventor of the wheel. Once Japan decided to do so, she became industrialized in the generation of the Meiji Restoration. Following her defeat in 1945, she set her mind to imitate the political ways of the victor. Within a generation, Japan became a functioning democracy. (Had she chosen to absorb the ways of her Eastern vanquisher, she would have made it into a Socialist state even faster.) By these standards, the cause of concern is not that Moslem societies do not produce instant success. The problem is that, given the culture’s reaction to change, especially the political aspects of their growth point backwards and not forward. In short: the gap in political development is not only not closing but it is widening.
8. History is in some ways the history of migrations. Regardless of nationalistic propaganda (“we have always been here”) only the Neanderthal can claim exclusive possession by getting there first. Historic migration tended to differ from some of the phenomenon we register nowadays. For one thing, by current standards sparsely populated areas were involved. While differences between cultures were present, the developmental level of the peoples that met was generally comparable. (Not so, and with catastrophic consequences to civilization, in the case of the Romans and their assorted settlers. These forced themselves upon their host as squatters and were the stock from which the military conquerors of the empire were recruited. Today we have densely populated immigration areas. Furthermore, those entering do so as individual immigrants claiming to be refugees. At the same time they possess the reserves to become new majorities. Most problematic, however, is that the modern migrant is attracted because of the material advantages that can be extended to him thanks to the host ‘s development. Regardless of the systemic advantages, the new migrant does not understand and often consciously rejects, the “Godless” values that makes the system benefiting him rotate. In doing so this element brings with it the order it claims to have fled and threaten to impose it via majority rule on the host country.
9. A sizeable portion of the new immigration that claimed asylum from alleged persecution at home has a quarrel with its protector. As a minority, it is unable to dominate and change its host and so it feels offended, persecuted and deprived of its rights. This being the case, this element feels justified resorting to any measure to assert what it considers being a just order.
10. One more thing. This serves the cause of a smile to interrupt the nervous hurry of the holiday season. Tongue-in-cheek a petition has been launched in Latvia. The signatories turn with a request to Sweden. What the Swedes are asked to do is to declare war. After the defeat, they are requesting annexation by the subjugator. Since something similar – but with malign consequences – has already happened in WW2, you can rest assured that the Latvians are wise in picking their conquerors if they are allowed to designate them. (Check this out: petitiononline.com/lugums18/petition.html) The last bit connects to item 9. The petitioners promise expressly to respect Sweden’s laws and values.

@Armor RE: "Celtic genes"

Determining Celtic genetics is a difficult task that is still ongoing. It is undisputed that the original inhabitants of the British Isles were of Mediterranean – specifically Iberian – extraction from the Franco–Cantabric region, a Paleolithic refuge during the last glacial period.


However, the focal points of the Proto–Celtic and Celtic peoples were the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures based in the Alps, and an area to the immediate north between the Rhine and the Danube.


It is unclear if significant numbers of Celts crossed into the British Isles, or if only their culture and language did.  In addition, various Roman sources regard the Celtic and Germanic peoples similar – particularly where aesthetics was concerned – albeit distinct. Yet the Welsh tribes, for instance, bore little resemblance to the Teutons.


There are two possible answers. One – the Celts were a relatively small migratory group that made little genetic impact on the indigenous populations they encountered, but rendered major changes in culture and linguistics. Two – in addition to civilization, the Celts were responsible for substantial gene flow, but across groups of varying genetics (i.e. races/sub–races). The first hypothesis is comparable to that of the Seljuk Turks in Anatolia; the second to the Uralic peoples, who supposedly once constituted a distinct sub–race.


Nor is the physical anthropology of either the Germanic tribes or the Romans exacting. The Germanic tribes took on gene flow from the populations south of Jutland during their migratory period, distancing them somewhat from their Scandinavian origins. The Italic peoples were not fully Mediterranean, being nearly half of Alpine stock, not including Semitic admixture from contacts with the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, et al. For instance, the Etruscans remain even more mysterious than the Celts.


In the final analysis, possible Neanderthal/Cro–Magnon mixing, the question of the “Indo–European” migration or invasion, and glaciation – which prevented the areas currently associated with blondism to be inhabited (even when such traits existed e.g. Tarim mummies), complicates matters.

@ marcfrans RE: Armorica

It is often difficult to distinguish the cultural from the genetic in this instance. From 300 to 900 A.D., Europe underwent substantial migrations of Germanic and Slavic tribes, which effectively crushed Celtic and Mediterranean civilization. Although Iranic and Turkic invasions severely compromised the integrity of the Imperium Romanum – in addition to displacing Germanic tribes and spurring their own invasions – their genetic impact was negligible.


Historians and anthropologists tend to focus on the nomadic Germanic tribes due to their aggression, which constrasts sharply with the relatively peaceful yet inexorable advance of Slavic farmers east and south. However, the Slavs reduced the vast territories held by Finno–Ugric/Uralic tribes to contemporary Finland and  Estonia, and encroached on the Mediterranean peoples in the Balkans.


Pseudo–scholars have attempted to exactly correlate cultural and genetic changes; this is pure folly. Although thinly populated and abandoned areas throughout Europe were firmly settled by Germanic and Slavic tribes, the cultural changes far outweighed the demographic ones, especially where the British Isles and central and southern France were concerned.


As regards the Western intellectual and cultural heritage, the Germanic contribution is as equally important as that of Greek and Roman civilization and the advent of Christianity. For well known reasons, Celtic civilization has been in the main a silent partner, whose contributions to culture cannot be extricated from the ramifications of conquest and Germanization by the Anglo–Saxons, Vikings and Normans.

If European culture and genetics correlate, it is in their internal variation and external uniqueness. Takuan Seiyo has labored far more than I care to in illustrating the former. Where genetics are concerned, blondism radiates from the Baltic coastlines and much of modern England, while the former Neanderthal habitat radiates from southwestern Europe. That scholars still cannot provide an adequate answer for the existence of blondism or the impact (if any) of possible Neanderthal admixture is interesting. Draw your own conclusions.

@KA: Celtic genes

KA: "Pseudo–scholars have attempted to exactly correlate cultural and genetic changes; this is pure folly."

If you look at an old Germanic helmet, or a Roman fresco, you know that you are looking at art produced by a particular people. But many books about Celtic art insist that it can only be attributed to a particular culture, not to a particular race. For the authors, the only thing that should matter is whether a decoration on an old piece of pottery belongs to the "Halstatt culture" or the "La Tène culture". Enquiring about the race of the artist is a sin. I think there is something wrong here. The Celts must have had a particular genetic identity, even if their culture and language spread to other peoples. What I describe here was the prevalent attitude in french books written in the recent past, but it is no longer tenable, due to new knowledge about genetics. Very soon, we will have estimates of the proportion of Celtic ancestry in every European country. In fact, it has probably already been done. Truth will out!

"the Anglo–Saxons succeeded in the British Isles where their Roman predecessors had failed: subduing Cymru, Alba and Eire."

They succeeded even better in the South and East of Britain, where we don't even remember the name of the rightful owners of the place.

"I would not characterize the flight of Brythonic Celts to Armorica as an “invasion”, merely because the inhabitants were Gallic."

Indeed, they spoke a similar language on both sides of the Breton sea (what the English call "the channel"). We don't know what proportion of today's Breton language comes from the continent or from the island of Britain.
In France, I wonder if the romanization of the countryside continued after the Germanic invasion. Maybe the Celtic language had not disappeared everywhere. I wonder what history books say on the subject.

@ Armor RE: Roman imperialists

I believe that you’re attributing a great deal more of the extinction of the Celtic languages to Romanization than is warranted. In contemporary Europe, Romance languages are only spoken in France, Iberia, Italy and Romania. Rather, the expansion of Germanic and Slavic tribes – often settling territories abandoned by Celts – were the death knell for Celtic languages.


Out of imperial necessity, Roman occupation usually involved cultural and linguistic syncretism, whereas the Germanic and Slavic expansions wrought lasting demographic changes that rendered the status quo irrelevant. Moreover, the Anglo–Saxons succeeded in the British Isles where their Roman predecessors had failed: subduing Cymru, Alba and Eire.

Lastly, I would not characterize the flight of Brythonic Celts to Armorica as an “invasion”, merely because the inhabitants were Gallic. However, it does invalidate any reference to Armorican continuity, as without the exodus from Cymru, Armorica would have been incorporated into Francia in the same manner as the rest of Gallia.

5. It is a sign of falling

5. It is a sign of falling expectations that government, whose standards match the ethics of the Blagojeviches, is tolerated as an unavoidable “act of nature”.

You have to account for the demographics of Illinois: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois#Demographics

15.1% Black

13.2% Hispanic

3.9% Asian

This leaves Whites as 65.6%

The state is also 30% Catholic. now 30-13.2=16.8% White Catholic.

16.8+13.2+3.9+15.1=49% of the state.

The Catholics of all races are concentrated in Cook County and specifically in Chicago. Incidentally Chicago is the base of the Democratic Machine that runs state politics. The other 51% of the state's population is fragmented and leaderless. Combined with leftism in the media and a willingness to engage in vote fraud this gives the Democrats a permanent base that never fails. Because the Democrats never have to fear being thrown out of power they can do whatever they want, inlcuding giving away money and city services to cronies.

Also, progress didn't begin in 1776, it began with the Roman Conquest of Britain. Here in Maricopa County, AZ, USA we have Justices of the Peace, Constables and Sherriffs. Clearly our political system comes from Albion, and therefore our prosperity. Our former Protestantism also came from Albion, hence why we were so different from Latin America until recently. Thank you.


@ KA

Your succinct description of developments in the Imperium Romanum was most impressive.  I hope that you can agree that the collapse of the western half of the empire reflected cultural (value) trends rather than genetic ones.  Also, note that Armor refused to see your 'big picture' and focused on the "Western tip of Armorica", as if that had much relevance for the civilisation of "the West".

@ Atlanticist

Given some of Armor's recent pronouncements and favoritism shown to the "Russkies" ( taking over France), chances are that he was already enjoying that particular end-of-year gift from Putinland before you could sent it.  I also got the feeling that he still harbors deep resentments towards imaginary "English and Flemish" invasions of "the West".  But, I am sure that he is wrong to say that the English got "nothing" from the Roman Empire.  I thought the British 'upper classes'  have always had a love affair with Italy (as opposed to France).  At least that is the impression one gets from watching  BBC detective stories and comedies.


Armor: I have reservations about the invasion of the West by English, German, Dutch and Flemish barbarians, but I have no regrets about the departure of the Italians. During the Roman Empire, an Italian occupier of Britain could probably have a hot bath in his Roman villa built in Britain, but I don't think many Latin books were written in Britain during that time. National life was destroyed in exchange for nothing.


The Imperium Romanum was in the main beneficial to the peoples it conquered and absorbed, from a developmental standpoint. Moreover, Rome decimated Celtic power in Albion and Gaul, and contained resistance in Alba and Cymru. This - in addition to unrelated Celtic migrations - enabled the Germanic tribes to pour into Western Europe. Not only did the Romans actively recruit Germanic mercenaries, but they used the neighboring tribes as auxilliaries or foederati. When the Western half of the empire collapsed, it was these foederati already within its now defunct borders that moved to fill the power vacuum and carve out successor states.


Obviously, none of these developments favored Armorica, which exchanged one kind of foreign rule for another, nor the Celtic holdouts in Alba or Cymru, which were later reduced by the Anglo-Saxons or English.

Roman imperialists

"Obviously, none of these developments favored Armorica, which exchanged one kind of foreign rule for another"

Actually, the western tip of Armorica (today's Brittany) did not fall under the rule of the Germanic invaders, but under the rule of invaders from Britain. That's how a celtic language has been maintained in Brittany. What I don't understand is how Latin managed to replace the celtic languages everywhere else. (At least, it did not kill the language of the Basques).

Duly Noted n°8

KA: "It is folly to continue to use the collapse of the Western Roman Empire as ...

I have reservations about the invasion of the West by English, German, Dutch and Flemish barbarians, but I have no regrets about the departure of the Italians. During the Roman Empire, an Italian occupier of Britain could probably have a hot bath in his Roman villa built in Britain, but I don't think many Latin books were written in Britain during that time. National life was destroyed in exchange for nothing.

About point n°10:
It is the same story as in the film The Mouse That Roared.
(hat tip to Atlantic)

RE: Duly Noted

3.  Not being one to have my sensitivity "kick in", I hope that this isn't a veiled reference to the Hungarian minorities of East-Central Europe.


4.  If the name of the game is acceptance and inclusivity, then of course, the Swiss must lead the pack and outdo Islamic countries.


8.  It is folly to continue to use the collapse of the Western Roman Empire as the exemplar of disastrous migration, especially as there are far more recent and useful instances e.g. Fiji. The expansion of Germanic tribes and their successor states were essential to the development of Western civilization. Moreover, the Roman Empire was exactly that - an empire - not the homogenous nation-state that came to define Europe.