Posts Tagged ‘France’

The Return of the Wall

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Soviet Union Part Deux

After witnessing the fall of the Berlin Wall, and indeed, the collapse of the entire border frontier between East and West firsthand near the end of my military service, I thought those days marked the final death-knell of communism around the world.  In more than two decades since those days of hope, as it seemed the globe might begin to abandon the plots and schemes of the central planners, what I witnessed is that rather than take the hard-learned lessons forward with us from then until now, we’ve forgotten them.  Discredited and defeated, communism should have been dead, but it’s not gone away after all.  In the last several years, it has made a resurgence, as the generational memories of the terror it brought upon the globe fade, and younger generations fall prey to the song of the socialist sirens.  With communism and its more socially acceptable forms, “socialism” and “progressivism” making a comeback, it should be a surprise to read that the French Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, announces in spittle-laden bellicosity that the rich fleeing France for Belgium to escape the high taxes should be considered less than patriotic.  Reading the translation of his remarks, one can only wonder how long it will be before France, like the Soviet Union before it, erects walls to prevent its most successful people, or even people seeking simple freedom from leaving.

When one reads of remarks like this, when armed with even a modicum of historical understanding, one must recognize the frightening threat of a return to the darkest days our world has yet known.  How far from Prime Minister Ayrault’s thinking are the gulags and concentration camps?  Certainly, he’s not proposed such a thing…yet.  Still, in the manner of his speaking, one can see the manifestation of the same old demons being raised up, under the same old guise, and with the same ugly motive. Perhaps worst of all, in castigating those wealthy people leaving France, among them notably the famed French actor Gerard Dépardieu, Ayrault’s accusation is that the wealthy who flee are suffering from a lack of generosity.  This is quite obviously a sick attempt at reversing the guilt onto the innocent, but it’s no surprise from a government now headed by President Francois Hollande, who declared infamously that he didn’t “like the rich.”  The reeking pomposity of socialist dictators-in-waiting has never known more hypocrisy.

In our own country, Barack Obama is continuing that same trend, and the long-time leftist slogan “Eat the Rich” seems near to being implemented in full.  At the rate things are progressing toward a complete worker’s paradise here in the United States, it’s only a matter of time before he decides we need a border fence after all, not to keep illegals out, but to make sure that none may leave. As the Europeans continue to build their coming continental concentration camp, from which only the powerful like Hollande and Ayrault will be afforded the chance to flee, Obama is building another right here, and he’s feeding the lap-dog press the same deceptive and hypocritical banter about the rich, as his family enjoys a multi-million dollar holiday in the state of his [alleged] birth. (Like most Marxists, I suspect he was actually hatched.)

How long will it be before we see the return of the barbed wire and fortifications, complete with machine gun nests, not to defend a country, but to keep its enslaved people from leaving?  With the spreading, grotesque mindset of communism once again spreading like black mold on a too-long neglected basement wall, it seems history is poised to once again repeat itself, because while a people may learn a given lesson by living it, they do a poor job of conveying those lessons to their children.  Worse, they pay for their children to be indoctrinated by the very mindset they overcame, and more is the pity and travesty that the education establishment will  have served not as the instrument of our protection, but the weapon by which the communist sappers undermined our cultural and intellectual fortifications.

You might have come to think it is an exaggeration to suggest that those now in power in France could build a wall, but one ought to consider the words of some of their politicians, as quote in the Telegraph:

“Socialist MP Yann Galut called for the actor to be “stripped of his nationality” if he failed to pay his dues in his mother country, saying the law should be changed to enable such a punishment.”

The idea that a politician is seeking to punish people in this way is not a novelty, but it isn’t lost on most conservatives that the underlying meaning is purely tyrannical.  Meanwhile, another government official had this to say:

“Benoît Hamon, the consumption minister, said the move amounted to giving France “the finger” and was “anti-patriotic”.”

Setting aside the fact of this man’s preposterous title, one must wonder at the sheer idiocy of a country that revels in revolution but cannot rise even to defend its own borders.  Being partly of French heritage, I can’t but imagine that my ancestors who came to North America sought the freedoms their countrymen now forsake, and I am mightily grateful that they saw fit to do so, but I am simultaneously disgusted at the fact that so many of their descendants now seem willing to forsake liberty here.  Communism isn’t dead after all, but tempting us to believe it permitted them to make inroads, and I don’t know if they can be stopped.

With darkness and depression enveloping the globe, it is time to remember the wall between East and West, because we may yet see its resurrection on a global scale.  It’s also time to reconsider whether we should have let so much of the wall be destroyed.  Demolishing it meant that the visible scar upon the face of civilization has been removed, and while the wall itself may have gone for a time, the mindset that had built it now thrives around the globe.  If we are to dismantle communism again, it must not be its mere instruments that we remove, but its entire philosophical base. It must be placed and kept on ice like a virus stored as a hedge against the need to redevelop new vaccines in case of a new outbreak.



Is It Inevitable?

Sunday, May 13th, 2012


or This? picked up on a fascinating call Mark Levin took on his show on Friday evening, and what made the call interesting on its surface was the subject matter, and the identity of the caller, Nicholas from Paris, France, and why he thought the world was in trouble given his country’s swing to the hard left in the recent election.  The caller was concerned for the US, and the notion that we are turning into France.  While that’s very important, and certainly bears examination, there’s something else in this call that I found revealing.  I want you to pay attention to what Mark Levin says in response, and what it portends for our future, here in the US. It’s not that it wasn’t clear, but that the context of the call actually serves to hide the worst, most frightening aspect of what was said in the exchange, and if you’re like me, you heard it too:

Levin responds by re-stating the caller’s root question:

“Your question though is “how do you get out of this?”

He then warns the caller that the answer isn’t pleasant:

“I’m going to tell you and you’re not going to like it.”

“The system will have to collapse before it can be rebuilt.”

Think about the context of this remark.  I don’t believe Levin intended it to be taken this way, but everything he tells the caller about France applies to our domestic political situation, including the way we “get out of this.”

I offer this to you because in my few spare moments lately, I’ve been giving some thought to the apparent futility of many of our efforts.  We hear from this caller that in his country, there is only the socialist answer for everything, and I wonder how familiar that this has become to us.  Whether it’s the leftist front and the Democrat Party, or the Republican establishment with their so-called “compassionate conservatism,” all of the answers are big-government, and all are oriented toward socialistic ideas and ideals.

This may come as a shock to a few, but I have long thought that what Levin here admits is true, and that in logic, this system cannot be sustained indefinitely is clear, but the fact that we will likely go through an excruciating collapse is less clear to many people.  The reason is simple, and Levin makes the argument correctly: There are too many people who depend upon this socialist welfare state.  There are too many interests invested in continuing as-is, and virtually none interested in stepping back from it.  The idea behind “austerity” is to try to get back to a sustainable basis, but as you can see from Europe’s results over the last few weeks, austerity simply won’t hold up over the longer run because people are too consumed with short-run comforts, particularly those obtained without effort through the welfare state.

If you believe that same mindset isn’t prevalent here in the US, you’re mistaken.  We are not immune to this thinking, and there is every evidence that we are on the same course, though perhaps a half-step or so behind.  This causes me dread, because what I am coming to believe is that until this country collapses, we will never rebuild it, and I am terrified that those who rebuild it will not be of the same character and temperament as those who established this nation in the first place.   More, I think we may see horrifying conditions erupt along that path, with violence unlike any we have seen or known since the Civil War, and perhaps much worse. In short, collapse seems inevitable, but what that collapse may bring could be even worse, and there is no guarantee that we will emerge as anything even roughly approximating the nation we had known.

or even This?

It is true to say that Obama and his acolytes will have a hand in driving us over the precipice, and indeed, they already have, but let us be circumspect in our evaluation of our situation:  The establishment wing of the GOP has been right there, guiding us in that same direction, albeit somewhat more slowly, but no less indefatigably leftward.  Mitt Romney might be our next President, but if so, what of it?  He, who established Romneycare in Massachusetts will be no more likely to lead us away from socialism than, for instance, Nikolas Sarkozy in France.  In fact, it’s fair to say that Sarkozy is probably a fair analog to the sort of “conservative” leadership Mitt Romney offers, which is to say: It’s not conservative, and it will not change our general direction, or the long-range result.  It will serve as merely one more delay or postponement.

It’s not my intention to cause you undue worry, but it is important that we remain somewhat clear-headed in our view of what it is we’re out to accomplish.  We may see a complete collapse of our country, and it may get as ugly as ugly gets, but I also believe, like Levin admits here, that it is probably inevitable.  What it means to the greater body of the American people is that if you ever wish to return to a free society, you had better start agitating and educating on behalf of such a society now.  Historically, few of the societal makeovers through which nations proceed are bloodless, never mind painless.  More importantly, however, only one came out as well as our adopted Constitution, but what it has demonstrated is that statism, given any loophole, either in the law, or in the culture, will multiply, magnify, and overpower all the restraints thought to have been place upon it.

Our founders attempted to give us a Constitution that would withstand such turmoil, but in the main, avoid it.  It was an imperfect document, but it offered the best shot at a nation built on the basis of individual liberty the world has yet known.  It’s  restraints upon the aggregation and growth of power in the Federal government were not strong enough, and while they may have been plain in the language of our founders, still the language was not plain enough to prohibit the power hungry from perverting the meaning, not merely of the text, but of the very words that are used throughout.  The academics have taken “the people” to mean a collective body, rather than “all individual citizens,” and in this way, we are slowly having our liberties stripped away and delivered to collective notions of “rights,” all to the detriment of individuals.

Ladies and gentlemen, Levin may indeed be right about this, whether he intended it or not, and it’s another warning you should take care to heed.   We are in desperate trouble, and much of it arises from the very contradictions that are slowly consuming us.  Many Americans claim to be “constitutional conservatives,” but I wonder what commitment there is to that idea in practice. Are you willing to undo all the statism that this characterization should imply?  I am, but for my part, I recognize that I am of some tiny minority that would be considered “extreme” both in France, and in the United States, in “polite” political circles.  I read the US Constitution plainly,  and I am versed in the context and meaning in which our founders wrote it.  I neither wear the rose-colored spectacles by which one might imagine into existence rights that cannot exist in logic, nor do I wear the dark masks of those who wish to conceal their grasp for more power.

Our nation cannot survive on its current course.  Cannot.  Will not.  Whether the election in November provides us another four years of the aggressive, lurching tyranny that is Obama, or the more careful, plodding nanny-statism of the Sarkozy-like Romney, the direction is the same, with only the speed along our course varied by the result.  The fundamental issue that confronts us in our time is the same as that which confronts the French or the Greeks, and what would be required to see the salvation of our nation is that which people across Europe now seem to refuse: Austerity.   Austerity is merely the willingness to tell oneself “no” in the short-run, at pains on behalf of a better long-run, and to date, I have yet to see any evidence that a majority of voters (never mind legislators)anywhere are inclined to such self-imposed discipline.  Knowing this, the end of the story may indeed rest in the sentence uttered by Mark Levin:

“The system will have to collapse before it can be rebuilt.”

If it’s true of France, and one could suppose that it is, one might ask whether it isn’t also true of the United States.  What will we be, as a nation, and as a people, when we have been reduced to a sort of atavistic tribalism in which volitional production is replaced with legalized looting of one’s neighbors?  What will the context of that culture impose on the sort of law and governance that emerges?  Do we dare to hope it might in any way resemble  the masterpiece of 1792, much less exceed it?  My pessimism on the subject may reflect my own recent experiences, but history’s judgment is no less worrisome.  If we are to become again a free people, we must change our course entirely. We must identify our malady, and cure it.  Instead, what we now seem to do is to pretend it away.  Until we learn to say “no” and to mean it, we are merely bringing a birthday cake ablaze in candles and gaiety to a what is instead a terrible funeral, with a dirge as our melody.  For those who have mistakenly thought “it could never happen here,” however one might define “it,” the simple truth may be that we’re already well on our way.

It may well be inevitable.



European Union Headed For Collapse?

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Beginning of the End?

In the UK’s Parliament, David Cameron is trying to stave off a revolt of the conservative party, as at least 60 members are aboard with the idea of putting up a referendum on leaving the EU.  As a way to head them off, Cameron is hoping to exact some EU treaty re-writes that will return some autonomy to the UK in the matters of social laws and employment.  At the moment, he doesn’t seem to be making any headway, and a revolt against his proposal seems likely.  At the same time, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has told Cameron that he’s sick of the UK telling the rest of the EU what to do, since the British “hate the Euro.”  If you haven’t figured out what’s at the root of all of this, let me help to explain:  The EU is on the brink of complete and utter destruction, and the Eurozone is likely to fails, since neither Greece(immediately) nor Italy(just over the horizon) seem likely to stave off default on their sovereign debt.  Yesterday, I related to you the story of Angela Merkel of Germany chastising Italy over its debt-to-GDP ratio, as she’s looking over the immediate horizon and can see the trouble brewing in Italy, but now France has joined in the pressuring of Italy.  The EU is in deep trouble just now and it looks like the beginning of the end.

Some see this as empowering the US, but any such bubble will be short-lived, as while power in Europe is likely to become decentralized in the short run, in the US, a collapse of our markets and our banking system may not be too far away as I reported Saturday and Sunday.  Our current state of economic and financial affairs leverages strongly against any lasting leadership role, because we’re in debt very nearly on par with Italy, and if we fold, the rest of the world will follow.  The problem at the moment for the US is that we’ve stuck our necks out on behalf of the Europeans via the Federal Reserve and the International Monetary Fund to an extent that we are now firmly tied to their fate.  If they fall, so will we, but the question remains: How far, and how fast?

If we had wise political leadership, they would demand that we stop sticking our neck out on behalf of the Eurozone.  Yes, if they fail, it will hurt us too, but the more we increase our stake, the greater our eventual losses, and the greater the damage will be here at home.  If the EU winds up dissolving at some future date, it will be a potential boon to American economic might, but in the short run, it will have dire effects on our capital markets.  The point to be understood is that I can’t imagine a way that Europe fetches this one from the fire, as the UK’s reluctance signals.  If the British do not wish to stick their necks out, I can’t imagine a reason on Earth that we should be so-inclined.

Domestically, we have weak leadership in the only House in government that would be able to stop any of our further involvement. John Boehner’s not going to stick his neck out in opposing what’s being done with the European derivatives from the Bank of America and JP Morgan, just as he wouldn’t stick his neck out over the debt ceiling negotiations.  In the end, Boehner will capitulate to the Democrats just as he did in July, and much like David Cameron is having to do with members of Parliament in London, Boehner will be trying to herd his members in Washington DC who can see the elections of 2012 directly in front of them, and know they cannot support these kinds of deals any longer.

What all of this is likely to mean on Wall Street at the open on Monday is anybody’s guess, but one thing’s for certain: The volatility we’ve been seeing these last several months is likely to continue, and one of these days very soon may be the worst day on Wall Street in 80 years.  I’m not trying to instill fear or panic, but I want you to know what’s going on in the world around you.  With Europe on the brink, the Middle East ablaze, and our own nation in a severe downturn, it’s only natural to wonder when the bubble will burst.  Washington has been trying to conceal all of this from you for so long that I think they may have forgotten it’s fake.  You can’t support the markets with direct injections of cash as was done through TARP, the bail-outs, and QE2 without eventually arriving at the day when it all goes belly-up.  Having been linked to Europe so thoroughly, we are more vulnerable than ever. Our political leaders have neither the competence nor the will to extricate our nation from the grip of a global calamity.  In the case of at least one individual, I believe it’s being engineered.  Prepare, ladies and gentlemen, prepare.