It looks like Socialist Francois Hollande has won the French presidency. His platform: raise taxes on business to fund a lower retirement age and more spending. Things dont look good for poor old France. Either Hollande will stick to his promises and ruin the economy or hell u-turn and reveal himself to be a reckless opportunist. Whether he's a fool or a knave, this election cycle has exposed just how broken the French political system is. The kind of economic reforms that are necessary to put the country back to work simply cant be enacted under the present arrangement. France needs to change. She needs another Napoleon.
Ever since the French Revolution of 1789, the French have struggled to keep a constitution going beyond two or three generations (theres a reason why la grande dame is on her fifth republic). The cause is the imbalance between government rooted in law and the free expression of mass democracy. On the one hand, the French revolutionaries wanted to create a government that limited powers and liberated the economy (one of the first things they did was abolish serfdom and end regulation of the grain market). On the other hand, to give the new government legitimacy they acknowledged the political authority of the Parisian mob. What was the point of democracy if children starved? The policies passed by elected delegates had to be rubber-stamped by the sans-culottes.
The result was that within a few years of the revolution, the constitution (by far the most admirably liberal in the world) was suspended and terror was the order of the day. Food prices were set by the government and paper money was printed to keep the mob happy. A consensus was reached that veered between moments of chaos and stultifying bureaucratic corruption. Eventually the rotten system was brought to an end by Napoleon, on 9 November 1799. Napoleon kept what was best about the republic and established an empire in its place. This is the pattern of French history: revolution, chaos, consensus, breakdown and a coup led by a strong man who embodies the nation. Charles de Gaulle did it twice: first as the leader of the Free French in the 1940s and second in 1958, when he formed the current Fifth Republic.
As the mighty P.J.O'Rourke said: 6. Whenever youre unsure about what course to take in life, ask yourself, What would France do?You see, France is a treasure to mankind. French ideas, French beliefs, and French actions form a sort of loadstone for humanity. Because a moral compass needle needs a butt end. Whatever direction France is pointing intoward Nazi collaboration, Communism, existentialism, Jerry Lewis movies, or President Sarkozys personal lifeyou can go the other way with a clear conscience.
To argue in favor of a new Napoleon is to advocate a future for the French and Europeans both disenfranchised and filled with organized mass slaughter; death on an industrial scale that the Islamofascists could neither imagine nor create. All civilized people recoil from such a vision.
The thesis is anything but insane. The new Napolean is already in place and gaining strength. It is called the EU it is the anti-democracy with nary a demos in sight.
IF, and that's a big if, Hollande tries to buck the EU elites with his economic policies he will be brought down quickly through whatever mechanism is at hand. If he proves a liar and elite toady than France will just become one more vassal state of the EUSSR.
He is not charismatic enough to buck the EU and survive even if he wanted to try and regain a sovereign France.
Equating the EU with Bonapartist France is ignorant and dangerous.
In the EU protesters military service is essentially voluntary, and rioters protesting government policies are mollycoddled by the police.
In Bonapartist France millions of people were compelled into military service leading to vast death and destruction, and rioters protesting government policies were met with a "whiff of the grape".
The ability of the vaunted EU to do anything is based on the willingness of the people there to tolerate it. People may not like it, but they tolerate it. The ability of the French Empire to do anything was based on its willingness to kill anyone who disagreed.
For comparison, I guarantee that if Spain exited the EU tomorrow not one EU soldier would invade Spain to change its policy. Napoleon sent over 300,000.
Posted by: Barbara ||
05/06/2012 21:50 Comments ||
IRRC, see also FREEREPUBLIC > FRANCOIS HOLLANDE HAS TEN MONTHS TO AVOID/PREVENT FRANCE BOND CRISIS.
FYI, apparently a large number of anti-Sarkozy = pro-Hollande Supporters really wanted to do bad thingys to Sarkey, e.g....
> Force Sarkey to wear a Burqua.
> Demanded that Sarkey be put in prison.
> Shoot him just because they want to.
BOY-O-BOY, YA'D THINK SARKOZY WAS ONE OF 'CUZIN PARIS "HANG 'EM HIGH" HILTON'S CRIMINAL PENCIL ABUSERS???
The website Buzzfeed announced that the Mitt Romney campaign held a meeting between Mitt Romney and his wife Ann and several conservative bloggers in Washington DC last Wednesday.
The meeting was supposed to be private, but the leftist Huffington Post broke the story. This writer only learned of it first through the website Protein Wisdom and then Robert Stacy McCain just yesterday
What specifically transpired at the meeting is shrouded in mystery. Presumably the Romney campaign, to their credit, wanted to meet with a number of influential writers of the online right and reach out to them, so to speak. For that they should be commended
McCain mentioned in his post about the meeting which he says never happened and he was never there, that in 2008 bloggers were shut out at the Republican convention. Some of them went anyway. The Romney campaign's meeting appears to be a 180 degree change from how establishment Republicans view bloggers.
Once they were viewed as a wild bunch of individuals who could not be herded for a political message, and now they can be. What a difference four years make, I guess.
Erick Erickson, whose Redstate.com blog I read daily, mentioned the issue of bloggers in a post entitled, "Why We Can't Have Nice Things", in which he criticized many former and current co-bloggers for their childishness and insouciance with regard to a united conservative message.
The man has a point. He mentions that starting in 2004, when he joined Redstate, he has come a long way, to being on the radio and even a commentator at CNN. A number of other writers for conservative publications can make the same claim, including Dana Loesch of Breitbart. He contrasted the sudden rising stars he has noticed with any number of others who have not risen as far and as fast as he has due to maturity problems, or as he puts it, who never grew up.
Calling grown men and women childish ought to be the first hint something is terribly wrong with an argument. It is ad hominem, useful to go after your political opponent, but ultimately a betrayal of allies when used against them. Erickson doesn't need a target when he pulls the trigger on both barrels. He can hit a lot by failing to be specific. It's how innuendo works. The left is expert in that tactic and has been for years. Erickson certainly has come a long way.
So, I am pretty sure he has a specific co-blogger or two in mind. I mean they all can't comment at CNN about conservative politics, not certainly expecting to keep their jobs.
Imagine one of the worst cable news channels, suffering from literally decades of decline exacerbated by a well deserved reputation of malaise brought on by their extreme liberal viewpoints and basic disdain for the hoi poloi. And now Erickson crows he's at the top of his game at this network, calling those who have not risen to his haughty heights, immature.
What if, all of a sudden a large coterie of conservative bloggers, undisciplined and immature, start being commentators there. Oh, the humanity! I can well imagine when Andy Jackson's buds from the south walked into the White House.
"I ain't cleaning up this mess!" was probably one of the most uttered statements by the White House staff at the time. I guess CNN wanted to avoid being placed in the position of having to say those immortal words again.
Makes this old man of 58 shed tears of joy, though. Were I even on the radar. Not successful because I never grew up. Makes me want to fire up the old Playstation 3, if I owned one.
Erick Erickson reminds me of a snooty boss who compares his success with others, and declares his path superior. An impressive path it is for Erickson, indeed. Nice work to criticize an amorphous group for their lack of maturity without stating in baldly specific terms why he is so much better, other than the maturity issue.
But, Erickson is a trained lawyer. He could argue rings around me using his logic and his point of view, even though to me arguing with a lawyer with a specific agenda, is fighting a battle his way. I'll lose whatever issue is before me every time.
I think Erickson was finished so allow to to retort, and I have used this argument many times. It is simple math:
Writers are like basketball players. Anyone can write; everyone writes. Not everyone gets to go to college to play basketball, only a small subset of those do. And only an even smaller subset of those get to the elite colleges, then a smaller subset to the pros, followed by the tiny subset of those who actually make it in the NBA, and lastly by the tiniest minority of all, NBA stars.
So it is with writing. Only a tiny minority get to the top of their game, ever. In basketball is is based on drive and talent. According to Erickson it is based on maturity as well.
But I can promise you that NBA superstar Kevin Durant will never go before cameras and declare the reason he is so good is because his rivals are so immature.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
The conservative viewpoint is an inherently more mature one than the leftist one. The leftist viewpoint, driven as it is by emotional needs and the desire for outcome egalitarianism vs opportunity egalitarianism, unbridled empathy without regard to consequences or cost, and the worst type of envy (that species of envy which pretends to be concern for "The Needy or "Social Justice"), is inherently an immature one. It is the outlook of the perpetual adolescent, of the person whose brain is forever stuck on the "20-year-old pimple faced college sophomore who has figured everything out and doesn't need to grow in wisdom" setting. For pretty much everyone on the center/right except for a very small fraction of individuals, this isn not the case.
So what is the real concern of the Ericksons of the world? Well, folks, even among the mature, there can be those who are motivated by power.
We are now in an age where decentralization is the only way we're going to get to a point where the promise of America can be regained. Enter the bloggers as just one example.
Erickson et al should make note of this. That is, if they have the maturity to do so.
Posted by: no mo uro ||
05/06/2012 6:35 Comments ||
Erick Erickson reminds me of a snooty boss who compares his success with others, and declares his path superior.
Ericksons post started off as what appeared to be a fairly measured response to a charge of selling-out for access. However, his attempt at humble qualifiers quickly dissipated when he made the very telling statement. But there are others who are dragging those folks down and the rest of us too.
Erik youre a friggin political commentator. Get over yourself.
The writer's point, that all Pashtuns who resist the Taliban, whether overtly, covertly, or by insisting on their daily lives, are Pashtun nationalists is trite and a bit silly, but the information she presents to buttress her point is useful for the Rantburg reader, it seems to me.
Let us put faces on the Pashtun nationalists and Taliban in Pakistain and Afghanistan to clearly pin down who is who. Pashtun nationalists both in Pakistain and Afghanistan are those who have suffered atrocities and gross human rights One man's rights are another man's existential threat. violations at the hands of the Taliban who they strongly believe are proxies of the Pak military establishment.
In Pak context, they first and foremost include two political parties - ANP and PMAP. Both parties, especially the ANP, have lost hundreds of workers and middle level leaders in assassinations by the Taliban. The two parties have to function under constant death threats. Pashtun nationalists also include more than 1,000 popular and well respected tribal leaders, many of them linked with the ANP and PMAP, all over FATA who were assassinated due to their stiff resistance, including armed struggle, against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the tribal areas.
The entire Salarzai tribe in Bajaur is Pashtun nationalist, because it has successfully resisted, without any state support, the Taliban infiltration in its area. The tribe has tremendously suffered in terms of human and military losses in their armed anti-Taliban resistance - a resistance that they say is constantly burdened by the direct state backing for the Taliban.
The entire mixed Sunni-Shia Ali Khel tribe in Orakzai is Pashtun nationalist. They evicted the Taliban from their area by force and in response the tribe was punished by a suicide kaboom that eliminated its entire leadership - over 100 tribal leaders who were leading the anti-Taliban lashkar of the tribe. This tribe also accuses the state of backing the Taliban.
The Shia tribes in Kurram are Pashtun nationalists. They have refused to allow safe passages to the Haqqani network, the establishment's favorite Taliban, for attacks inside Afghanistan. Everyone knows how much the Shias have been punished for this defiance of the establishment. There are countless examples that demonstrate how stiffly the local people in FATA and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... resisted the Taliban and how much the state betrayed them by extending support to the Taliban.
Generally, the term 'Pashtun nationalist' can also be loosely applied to include all people who disagree with Taliban's action, conduct, attitude and policy, although they may not have directly suffered any Taliban atrocities for their anti-Taliban views. In other words, these are the people who concur with the anti-Taliban stance adopted by the ANP and PMAP even though many of them may not be directly linked with the parties. By this yardstick, all the people of Malakand who are not shedding tears after the end of Taliban rule in their area are Pashtun nationalists.
Countless people of FATA who have preferred to suffer in internal displacement rather than joining the Taliban despite the good salaries are Pashtun nationalists. Also, all tribal Sikhs who directly or indirectly suffered Taliban atrocities are Pashtun nationalists. The Shia tribes in Orakzai who gave refuge to some of the internally displaced tribal Sikhs from Khyber and Orakzai are Pashtun nationalists.
Pashtun writers, intellectuals and socio-political activists, such as the people linked with the Amn Tehrik, are Pashtun nationalists. Amn Tehrik passed the Beautiful Downtown Peshawar Declaration in a grand tribal jirga that identifies the Taliban in Pakistain and Afghanistan as the proxies of the Pak generals and underscores that the Pashtun on both sides of the Durand Line are victims of the notion of strategic depth as well as Al Qaeda's pan-Islamism. The Amn Tehrik is the first civil society group in Pakistain that held a public demonstration against the establishment's backed Dafa-e-Pakistain Council. All students and teachers in FATA and Khyber-Pakhtun who have defied the Taliban threats to schools by continuing educational activities one way or the other are Pashtun nationalists. All musicians who have not given up their love of music despite the Taliban threats or have been killed by the Taliban for singing are Pashtun nationalists. Last but not the least, Pashtun nationalists are the countless local human rights activists who continued their activities despite serious Taliban threats to their lives. Many of them were target killed by the Taliban. One such activist is Zarteef Khan Afridi of Khyber Agency, who was killed some months ago.
In Afghanistan, Pashtun nationalists are people linked with the Afghan Millat Party, a Pashtun nationalist party that is more or less like the ANP in Pakistain. Afghan Pashtun nationalists are also the people who subscribe to the ideologies of the former Khalaq and Parcham political parties of Afghanistan. Generally, Pashtun tribal leaders in Afghanistan can be also regarded as Pashtun nationalists. It should be noted that many, if not all, of the tribal leaders could also be seen as the pro-Afghan establishment. This implies that they are likely to back the government of Afghanistan regardless of who is leading the government. This does not automatically imply that they would support any future Taliban power setup in Kabul. One must not forget that one of the first Taliban assaults have always come against the tribal leaders. In addition to that, just like the popular tribal leaders in Pakistain, many leading Afghan Pashtun tribal leaders have also been target killed by the Taliban due to their public anti-Taliban stance. Such leaders include Zahid Zadran and Malik Mudar Khan in Khost, Abdul Rasheed and Meran Gul in Paktia, Zareef Khan, Shaista Khan and Juma Khan in Paktika ...which coincidentally borders South Wazoo... , and Haji Qalander Khan and Ali Ahmad Khan in Qandahar.
The Pashtun people in post 9/11 Afghanistan have organized themselves in many small or large civil society organizations. Almost all of these are anti-Taliban, as can be seen in their public statements and activities. Pashtun MPs in the Afghan parliament have been making anti-Taliban as well as anti-ISI speeches in the parliament. Generally, just like the Pashtun in Pakistain, all Afghan Pashtun who carry on with their routine lives despite constant Taliban threats are Pashtun nationalists.
Two things must be noted here. One, no Pashtun nationalists from Afghanistan or Pakistain are fighting the US, NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions... and Afghan forces in Afghanistan or Pakistain army and also the nationalists are not involved in any attacks on civilians in both countries. Two, the Pashtun nationalists do not see the presence of the US and NATO forces as a foreign occupation of Afghanistan. Instead they see Pakistain and Iran as foreign aggressors and invaders. They believe that both countries, especially Pakistain, have devastated Afghanistan, its people, culture and the Afghan state. Thus the Afghan soil, in their view, needs to be protected from Pakistain and Iran at all costs, including a military cooperation with non-Mohammedan powers, such US, NATO or Indian forces. This view is thoroughly in line with the Pashtun history. In the past, the Pashtun had confronted foreign Mohammedan aggressions. In response they entered into interactive cooperation with foreign non-Mohammedan powers to deal with the Mohammedan invaders.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.