Tuesday 31 January 2023

Russia is still what Lenin called it in 1914, the prison of the nations

I did something very unusual for me and bought a newspaper yesterday. It was Adevarul and in it I read a report of an analysis (it didn't say where or when it was published) by one Kamil Galeev, of something unpromisingly named the Wilson Center. He's a Russian apparently. 

Translated by Google Translate:

Russia is the last European colonial empire still intact. Its expansion really began only in the 16th century starting from a relatively small state entity, namely the Princedom of Moscow, and largely coincided with the creation of the first European overseas empires.

Those who doubt the colonial nature of Russia emphasize the differences between it and what is currently interpreted as the epitome of colonialism, the British Empire. In fact, Russian colonialism was very different from Anglo-Saxon colonialism. Instead, it bears strong similarities to Ibero-American colonialism.

Sunday 22 January 2023

Torture and totalitarianism

'Before being deported as a Jew, [Jean] Améry had been tortured as a Resistance fighter in Belgium. After spending one year beside the gas chambers of Auschwitz, he described torture not as an “accidental quality of the Third Reich” but rather as its “essence.” According to Améry, torture was “the apotheosis of National Socialism”:
“It was precisely in torture that the Third Reich materialized in all the density of its being.”'
I came across these words in an article by an Italian Marxist historian called Enzo Traverso. 

They reminded me of something Eugen Serbanescu wrote in his novel 'An Afternoon with a Nymphomaniac', that Romanian Communism was essentially sado-masochistic.

(By the way, like many far left academics, including ones who taught me such as Eric Foner and Jay Winter, Traverso lives in a fantasy world, as this interview with him shows. Yet people like him teach tomorrow's elite. While socialism had become out of date for working class people across Western Europe thanks to the post-war economic miracle intellectuals were embracing Marxism and different forms of Leninism.)

Saturday 21 January 2023

Germany's hunger plan to murder millions

Middle aged men stop reading serious novels and start reading military history.

I always intended to avoid this fate, one I associate with boys who enjoyed games at school, but I have succumbed. 

History is the subject that tells us most about the world, after psychology, and military history, in a sense, is the most essential part of history.

Grahame Greene said thrillers are more like real life than real life. Military history is also more like real life than real life. 

Skipping the war sections in War and Peace is a huge mistake.

Reading about the Second World War in the last few weeks, certain things stand out for me. 

One was the German need for food, caused by the Royal Navy's blockade. 

Another, closely linked, was that perhaps 3.5 million Soviet prisoners of war died in German captivity, most from starvation which is a very cruel way to die. 

From Rolf Dobelli's book "Stop Reading the News: How to cope with the information overload and think more clearly"


General Erich Vlad: 'What are our war aims?' (Answer: 'Defeating Hitler'?)

'Oh! let us never, never doubt 
What nobody is sure about!'

Belloc's words are the best comment on comments about the Ukrainian war.

By reading the media people do not learn much but become convinced that they know a huge amount and, worse, that they know what will happen.

Dear readers, beware of people who think they know what will happen.

Including Sir Laurence Freedman and other experts who think Ukraine can win.

What does winning mean?

I think that the people in power (including Vladimir Putin, the German Greens, most Americans) are more interested in the past than in the present or future. 

Friday 20 January 2023

Girls talk on Twitter


Smartacus - Shadow Banned it
The authoritarianism the past two years had the amazing effect of uniting a lot of people of disparate political beliefs. It has united the free-thinkers and clearly identified the order-followers. Using persuasion, not ridicule we can pull more people out of the matrix.

The Ardern worship comes from the same brain that thinks women are inherently better leaders - and indeed made this claim regarding Covid policy. There's not much point highlighting the counter-factual evidence here. Spoils the warm fuzzy feeling of contented self-righteousnesss.

On every matter, whatever the evidence, people rush to their safe positions. Not only does evidence not count for much anymore, but even when it does, it is very quickly forgotten in favour of the grander narrative of whatever it is. In this case, the Glorious Girlboss

Some friends and I were discussing the demise of the hostess, as in the brilliant and intellectual women who used to lead society and politics. Now everyone is either a “socialite” (implication, braindead), or an influencer (implication, thinks Metternich is a luxury brand).

Wednesday 18 January 2023

Chris Arnade writes about Bucharest in a blog called 'Chris Arnade Walks The World'

"I quickly saw the city was roughly divided into a wealthier, more modern, more American influenced northern half, and a poorer southern half, so I focused on the south, because wealthy neighborhoods, no matter the country, are pretty much the same.

"They are all variations on the same privileged theme. All have upscale shops and malls filled with the same stuff. All have bespoke restaurants serving the same food. And all are filled with residents who are careerists who happen to be where they are because that is where they have the biggest edge, by birth. They are best at making money in Romania since they grew up there, but if they ever get the chance to go elsewhere to make more money, they would happily do so."
I thank my loyal reader Toma for putting me onto this great writer.

Tuesday 17 January 2023

French historian Emmanuel Todd thinks the Third World War has already begun

He said so speaking to Le Figaro last week, as quoted by UnHerd.

“It’s obvious that the conflict, which started as a limited territorial war and escalated to a global economic confrontation between the whole of the West on the one hand and Russia and China on the other hand, has become a world war,” 

“The resistance of the Russian economy [to sanctions] is pushing the American imperial system towards the precipice.” 

[If  Russia] “managed to exhaust the European economy, while maintaining Chinese backing, American monetary and financial controls of the world would collapse, and with them the possibility for the United States to fund their huge trade deficit for nothing.”

Quotations from King Charles III

I was a teenager in the 1960s and remember witnessing what I realise now was a kind of cultural revolution which swept out the poor old baby with the bathwater.
Speech at the Prince of Wales Education summer school, October 4 2002

Do you seriously expect me to be the first Prince of Wales in history not to have a mistress?

Putin seems as indifferent to human life as the Kaiser

Yesterday I quoted the late Paul Johnson saying of Putin that 'though not a mass killer on the Stalin scale, he has the same indifference to human life'. He could have compared his indifference to human life to that of the extraordinarily bloodthirsty Emperor William II of Germany, as described by his Anglo-German biographer John Rohl.

As far as I know, which is not very far at all, the Kaiser's horrible wishes were never put into action. He seems not to be to blame personally for the killing in German South-West Africa of tens of thousands of people from the Herero and Namaqya tribes.