June 25, 2016

"When asked 'Where are you from?' almost no one would answer 'Europe,' because after 50 years of assiduous labor by the eurocrats, Europe remains a continent, not an identity."

Writes Megan McArdle:
As Matthew Yglesias points out, an EU-wide soccer team would be invincible — but who would root for it? These sorts of tribal affiliations cause problems, obviously, which is why elites were so eager to tamp them down. Unfortunately, they are also what glues polities together, and makes people willing to sacrifice for them. Trying to build the state without the nation has led to the mess that is the current EU. And to Thursday's election results. Elites missed this because they're the exception — the one group that has a transnational identity. And in fact the arguments for the EU look a lot like the old arguments for national states: a project that will empower people like us against the scary people who aren’t.
And it makes the argument against xenophobia seem like xenophobia.

89 comments:

rcocean said...

The English People have been around for over a thousand years. And they've been fighting the Euros for 90% of that time. Why would anyone expect they'd drop all that, destroy all that, and become Europeans?

Hagar said...

The most populous country in Europe is Russia, as near as I can figure out - approximately 120 million west of the Urals, or half again as many as Germany's 80 million or so.

So, do you really want a United States of Europe?
I do not think so.

Sebastian said...

No. Sorry. An EU soccer team would team would not be invincible. (And to his credit, Matt Y didn't say that.) Now, if it were, if you could really make that case, then nothing would be better for the "European idea" than UEFA proposing interregional competition.

Clyde said...

You may not be able to trust your countrymen to act in your interest or even your nation's interest (see Clinton, Hillary), but you damn sure can't count on foreigners to do so. Language and culture are what define nations. People who don't share your language and culture may be perfectly nice people, and they may have interests in common with yours, but they cannot truly understand at a gut level what it means to be a member of your nationality, just as you cannot for theirs.

David said...

"And it makes the argument against xenophobia seem like xenophobia."

Complicated, isn't it?

Underneath it all, humans are tribal and familial. They will make sacrifices for the tribe and family that would be otherwise unthinkable. Tribal identities can shift and new tribes can emerge. But it requires emotional connection. It's hard to connect emotionally with the faceless entity which exists to make rules for your life.

Might make a good Star Trek episode, or Twilight Zone, if anyone had the wit to explore it.

buwaya puti said...

Nationalism is pretty new. In the 18th century I think you certainly could have has a European team. The Habsburg military, for instance, 16th-19th century, was a pan-European side. Their star all-time hall of fame player was a Franco-Italian aristocrat raised at the court of Versailles.
Ref, a very interesting work, Duffy's "Instrument of War";the multinational nature of this and most other armies, and government services too.
This was true for every European state at the time.

Virgil Hilts said...

Reading Vox in the context of what is happening is kind of surreal. Vox, deeming itself the elite, the better thinkers, screaming down at the Brexit voters -- you stuuuupid unwashed masses - xenophopic, xenophobic, xenophobic, xenophobic, xenophobic, xenophopic!
Sounds like that screaming campus garbage baby from Yale got a summer job writing for Vox.

buwaya puti said...

People finding an expat foreigner as a leader was not strange or rare. It was typical of Europe. Examples abound. Prussias armies, 1813-1815, were in the hands of Blucher, born a Swedish subject, an ex-POW who switched sides. Kings, princes, prime ministers of foreign birth - Necker the Swiss for Louis XVI, Mazarin the Italian for Louis XIV, heck, Napoleon Bonaparte was Italian (family was Genoese) and had to learn French as a foreign language. The last armies of France in 1870 were led by Bourbaki, a Greek. Russias armies were often led by a UN committee of Germans, Scots, Georgians (Stalin wasnt the first), Frenchmen, and all other sorts. John Paul Jones, US Naval hero, was at one time a Russian admiral.
Its so common that, I think, people just glaze over it, not realizing just how different the mindset was.

Gahrie said...

The English People have been around for over a thousand years. And they've been fighting the Euros for 90% of that time. Why would anyone expect they'd drop all that, destroy all that, and become Europeans?

I was flabbergasted when they built the Chunnel. The England I grew up in and loved would never have done so.

n.n said...

Thinly veiled [class] diversity. The transnationals are well armed and isolated from the consequences of anti-native policies.

JCC said...

Isn't Obama the perfect example of this, with Reverend Wright's "GD America", his themes of universalism and his friends Mr & Mrs Ayers history of setting bombs and trying to replace our nationalist government with a Communist style dictatorship? Obama is really about re-engineering the United States as a transnational, multicultural something.

And, of course, as McArdle points out, trying to jigger people into countries that ignore national identities hasn't worked very well over the 20th Century and beyond, and it didn't in this case either.

The EU is effectively DOA. They're just waiting to see who is going to bali next, and whether there will be a physical fight involved when, say, France's population gets tired of being blown up and shot by refugees, or Germany's workers get tired of paying for everyone else's profligate ways, but the respective governements decide to stay. That could be interesting in a very bad way.

Anglelyne said...

Pretty good piece.

Unfortunately, it’s not clear that transnationalism is any more capable of tempering its own excesses than the nationalism that preceded it.

That's the problem with looking for an "ism" that will fix the mess caused by the last "ism" people became enthused about. Whatever you do, the ranks of your new "fix" are still staffed by...people.

Insisting that "nationalism" per se is the cause of all the bloody-mindedness in the world, and one-worldism its cure, is analogous to those tedious arguments between the less thoughtful varieties of secularists and religious believers. Each points to the bad behavior of the other, when in possession of power, as "proof" that religion or lack of religion makes people behave badly, rather than noticing the common factor: human beings seeking, gaining, losing, and abusing power.

tim in vermont said...

EU migrants are less likely to claim out-of-work benefits, such as Jobseekers’ Allowance and incapacity benefit, compared to their UK counterparts," the Oxford scholars write. "In February 2015, people who were EU nationals when they registered for a National Insurance Number made up 2.2% of the total [Department for Work and Pensions] working-age benefits caseload, but were about 6% of the working-age population." - Vox

These seem like carefully and narrowly chosen statistics. Benefits associated with holding jobs. Why not tell us about all benefits? Omission is one of the most powerful tools of rhetoric.

Jupiter said...

buwaya puti said ...

"John Paul Jones, US Naval hero, was at one time a Russian admiral.
Its so common that, I think, people just glaze over it, not realizing just how different the mindset was."

While I hesitate to disagree with anyone who is right as often as buwaya puti, I believe he has hold of the wrong end of this one. In 1941, the Army of the Phillipines was headed by Doug MacArthur. Which proves what? The question is who is willing to fight and die for a nation, not who is willing to draw lines on a map for it.

It is true that, before the rise of nationalism, wars between "nations" were really between kings, and they often had to rent their armies, which were tiny by modern standards. The armies that fought WWI and WWII could not have been raised without powerful national sentiment.

Gahrie said...

People finding an expat foreigner as a leader was not strange or rare.

True. look at the English monarchy. After the last Tudor monarch died (Elizabeth I), the crown went to a Scot raised in the French court (James I). His family ruled England until Anne I died childless (with a brief gap called the Commonwealth)...and then the Crown went to a German prince from the House of Hanover. This German dynasty ruled England until Victoria married another German prince, and the Crown passed to the Saxe-Coburg Gothas. This family still rules England, but they changed their name during WW I to Windsor, out of a sense of nationalism.

buwaya puti said...

Ethnic nationalism is a new thing in the world, not organic or inevitable. It was invented, arguably, at the time of the French Revolution, which may have been its first major manifestation - and even that was not in as closed, exclusivist form as later developed. The revolutionaries did let pretty much anyone be Frenchmen.

Paul Zrimsek said...

As any good tranzi will tell you, it's not the lines on the map that really matter; the essence of xenophobia is disliking people who aren't like you and your friends, for not being like you and your friends. No shortage of xenophobia at Vox.

buwaya puti said...

Napoleon led 500,000 men into Russia in 1812, of which only 2/5 or so were Frenchmen.
MacArthur was leading the army of a client-state, much like a British officer often led the troops of an Indian maharajah - look up Imperial Service Troops.
And, note, there are enormous numbers of examples of expat civilians serving in civil government posts, its not just the military. Mazarin and Necker are just prominent examples.

Jupiter said...

There is substantial evidence for a genetic component in national identity. Which is to say, you can't make a sled team using poodles. In this, as in everything else, the program of the Left is the obstinate denial of elementary biology. Women are identical to men, and people will cheerfully make the same sacrifices for total strangers as they would for a close family member. And blacks do poorly in school because whites are racist (although that's not genetic, it's merely skin-color-related), and Pakistan and Afghanistan are shit-holes because -- uh, colonialism! Or something ...

You can inject cousin-marrying, stranger-raping Muslims from countries where continual sectarian warfare is the norm into Paris, but they do not suddenly become French. They just have fewer cousins to marry, and more strangers to rape and make war on. So, they import their cousins, and rape and kill the French. They like this much better than trying to rape and kill the hard cases back where they came from, so as long as there are some French left to rape and kill, they will be effective shock troops for the European Union. Once the genetically French are gone, the place will be Libya with grapes.

Browndog said...

Humans are tribal by nature. For a reason.

From the smallest of clans (the family) to the largest (the nation), we will always fight and die to protect it.

Creating the latest pejorative of "Nationalism" will not change human nature.

Though, they will never stop trying...

Michael K said...

"In this, as in everything else, the program of the Left is the obstinate denial of elementary biology"

Yes and this is the origin of "Black Lives Matter."

These AA students are failing and demanding courses that fit their skill set.

Also interrupting white students studying for finals.

The Ivy League restricts Asians while recruiting black students with 100 IQs. This is cultural suicide in any man's book.

buwaya puti said...

I dobt think the behavior of, say, Pakistanis is so biologically determined. Consider that these people are identical genetically and even linguistically with their Punjabi-origin cousins the Sikhs and Punjabi Hindus. These Sikhs and Hindus also have migrated in large numbers, but have not aquired the reputation of their Muslim cousins.

buwaya puti said...

Or for that matter, of the other major peoples of Pakistan, let us consider the Sindhis. Most are Muslim, but the quarter or so that were Hindu mostly fled, and are now notable "market dominant minorities" as T Sowell would put it, in other lands, and trouble-free. We grew up friends with a Hindu Sindhi family. They are in the US now.

rcocean said...

"In 1941, the Army of the Philippines was headed by Doug MacArthur. Which proves what? The question is who is willing to fight and die for a nation, not who is willing to draw lines on a map for it."

The Philippines weren't a nation in 1941. They were a territory of the USA. FDR called the Philippine army into service in 1941 in exactly the same manner as he called out the National Guard in 1940.

rcocean said...

In 2016, Xenophobe = patriot. I'm proud to be xenophobe. I'm sure TR, Lincoln, Washington, and FDR were all "xenophobes" too.

buwaya puti said...

MacArthur led the Philippine Army from 1936-37, with the non-US rank of Field Marshal. This was at the request of President Quezon. He was not an active service US officer at the time.
In 1941 he was called to US service, and the Philippine Army was placed under US command, and three uncles went into USAFFE service, two Phil Army, one US (Corps of Engineers). None survived the campaign of 41-42.

buwaya puti said...

The Philippines wasnt a territory, it was a Commonwealth, that is, a semi independent entity, where the US had extraterritorial rights and dictated its foreign policy.

Anglelyne said...

buwaya @5:27 PM 5:46 PM:

That's all true, but the attachments and identities of ordinary people were still far more localised, regardless of a the "international" superstructure of transnational Christendom.

The characteristic cosmopolitanism of high culture and elite society, and the sort of cosmopolitanism that naturally develops where trade and commerce thrive, is a different sort of beast than the unnatural "multiculturalism" imposed by fiat. Medieval and early modern Europe was indeed very "internationalized", but also intensely, richly local, for elites and churls alike. People still tended to get pretty stroppy when too many foreigners showed up swaggering around and disrespectin' the local traditions.

I don't think contemporary Europe is really all that different.

Anglelyne said...

rcocean: In 2016, Xenophobe = patriot. I'm proud to be xenophobe. I'm sure TR, Lincoln, Washington, and FDR were all "xenophobes" too.

Ha, but I don't want to abet the vandals while they loot and burn their way through the language. How many roots, suffixes, prefixes, words, and phrases will they have reduced to meaninglessness before they're beaten back?

Screw the phobes-this phobes-that. Love of one's own is not hatred of others.

buwaya puti said...

The Philippine army of 1941 had its own quirks. They too had some multinational officers, Spaniards, Frenchmen, Britons and others, including at least one Japanese, oddly enough, in the 91st Division I think, whose nationality didnt save him when the Japs killed all the officers and NCOs of the 91st at the Pantingan river.
The various mestizos and foreigners were gathered, many of them, including my uncle, a corporal, in Major Zobels provisional battalion of the 41st Regiment PA, the "mestizo battalion". They conducted the last successful counterattack at Bataan, regaining the MLR of the 41st division, but it was too late, the front had collapsed elsewhere. Ultimately very few survived of the 41st.

rcocean said...

"MacArthur led the Philippine Army from 1936-37, with the non-US rank of Field Marshal. This was at the request of President Quezon. He was not an active service US officer at the time."

Wrong. Since you insist on playing the pedant, Big Mac was active US Army officer in the Philippines until he retired in December 1937. And he didn't retire out of choice. If he had his way, he would have kept on as an active army officer and head of the Philippine army.

Anglelyne said...

Ethnic nationalism is a new thing in the world, not organic or inevitable. It was invented, arguably, at the time of the French Revolution...

I don't think that's quite right. "Nationalism" is modern. Ethnic chauvinism in its various permutations, both smaller- and larger-scale, is organic, and therefore inevitable (or rather, not expungeable), though only completely exclusionary in its extremest forms. So ethno-nationalism isn't an entirely arbitrary, political construct, even if it has fuzzy edges, is open to new blood, and inevitably transformed through time. It also isn't on the wane right now.

Hagar said...

But the Scandinavians clearly distinguished between themselves as national entities in the early 13th century when the sagas were written down in Iceland, though the borders were somewhat different then. Most of what is today southern Sweden was Danish territory as were all the islands in the Baltic, and Jemtland, Herjedalen, and Båhuslen were Norwegian. As late as in the 1809-1814 war the residents of those areas thought the Norwegian army was coming to relieve them of the "Swedish yoke," but alas, that idea did not suit the gentlemen in Vienna.

If buwaya was right, any number of nationalities would have been long gone by now, but though they may have been subsumed in one empire or another for a time, they keep popping back up.
The Basques are still there, though they have not had their own country in historic times. Poland comes and goes, etc., etc.

Jupiter said...

buwaya puti said...
"Ethnic nationalism is a new thing in the world, not organic or inevitable. It was invented, arguably, at the time of the French Revolution, which may have been its first major manifestation - and even that was not in as closed, exclusivist form as later developed. The revolutionaries did let pretty much anyone be Frenchmen."

I grant this is a complex issue. But I think nations have long existed as a language, a culture, and a people that reproduced that language and culture. The additional factor that created nationalism as a force in politics was the belief that a nation so defined should also be a political entity. For most of Western history, political entities contained multiple peoples, and a people might be divided among many different political entities. Wars and boundaries were decided among kings, and the people (peasantry) merely went with the territory.

French, Spanish, German, English and Italian were languages, and cultures, long before France, Spain, Germany, England and Italy were political entities.

rcocean said...

However, you're right & I was wrong to call them a "territory". As a practical matter the Philippine Army in December 1941 was under the command of FDR not President Quezon.

Jupiter said...

While it is certainly true that people could change nations in the past, they did so by moving to a new place, *and learning the language*. The Mexican Revolutionary General and later President Obregon was descended from an O'Brian. But he spoke only Spanish.

The modern Left regards this requirement as atavistic. They suppose that people can be bound into a nation by -- well, by nothing at all, as far as I can tell. They are already declaring that the Constitution is a hoary embarrassment, as is the language it is written in, and the literature of that language. It would appear they suppose people can be united by the identity of the victims they hope to consume. It seems to be working for the Democrats, so far. But they haven't got our guns yet. Who whom, as the Russians say.

buwaya puti said...

There were a great number of Irish-Spaniards indeed, the list of prominent men and families is very long. Among them, notably, Ricardo Wall, aka Richard Devereaux Wall, prime minister to Charles III.

rehajm said...

Humans are tribal. Accept it as true and so much confusing behavior makes sense.

William said...

The American Adam. It used to be that when you immigrated to a new country you left behind a lot of burdensome trash with the unclaimed baggage at the port of embarkation. In the 20the century our Germans were certainly much nicer than Germany' s Germans. Our Anglo-Saxons were a tad less class conscious and snobbish than England's Anglo-Saxons. The Irish who moved here are not quite so encrusted with malarkey and resentment as the Irish on the auld sod........Nowadays the immigrants take the baggage with them and even use it as a weapon against their new neighbors. For example, I'm wary of a woman who wears a hijab. Does this suspicion reflect my xenophobia or is it rather an example of that woman's (or more likely her male relatives') inability to adapt to their new surroundings?

buwaya puti said...

Italy had several languages that were not entirely (or at all) intelligible, and so also Spain. You can argue the same about various parts of Britain and France. Large parts of France even in 1870 preferentially spoke German - that was one strong argument pushing the annexation of Alsace against Bismarcks advice. Many of Napoleons recruits (Languedoc, Bretons, etc.) could not understand their officers.
The modern mono-lingual nation-state is often more than a bit artificial. It came about through the suppression of local differences. Out in Asia we have many cases where the digestion of differences is far from complete.

J. Farmer said...

The EU did make foolish gestures towards nation-building like a flag that was never displayed unofficially and an anthem nobody knew or ever cared to sing. The EU made the common modern mistake of trying to build a nation-state without a nation. And nations cannot be created from the top and disseminated to the people. Nations are born of shared historical experience and cultural identity markers. Even the United States, with its deep nationalism, does not function well at the federal level and is rather ungovernable. Progressive populist politics and demographics transformations have only compounded the problem. You can't have nations without nationalism and nation-states without nations tend towards centralized authoritarian power.

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya puti:

"Italy had several languages that were not entirely (or at all) intelligible, and so also Spain"

Italy is a prime example of a relatively weak nation-state in Europe. It does not function very well at the federal level. It is very regional in its orientation, and there are sharp divisions between the northern and southern halves. Strategically, Italy probably had little choice but to unify in the face of strong centralized powers like Britain, France, and Russia.

J. Farmer said...

Over the course of the 19th and 20th century, dynastic monarchical powers lost legitimacy in favor of some form of national self-determination. And like the French Revolution, they often result in lots of bloodshed. Suspicion of revolution and the unintended forces they can often unleash is the original conservative insight.

buwaya puti said...

Italy unified in an act of conquest by the northern kingdom of Sardinia, actually ancient Savoy. This was an act of aggression upon mostly unwilling peoples.
And the same was true of Germany in 1866.
You can say might makes right, but that would have to be your argument, not any organic identity. There was no "Italian" in any sense but geography until 1860.
And Spain. That is Italy x10, and the unification/nation-state idea has choked badly. Spain was held together by its empire, a shared enterprise. Without it, there have been three civil wars, resurgent local languages and regional autonomy.

Hagar said...

That you travel does not mean you don't know who you are.

Italy never was just one people. Etruscans, Romans, Greeks, Phoenicians, and more.

In 1953 I met an Italian student in Oslo that looked like a cross betwen Burt Lancaster in his prime and perhaps Doug McClure. I remarked that he did not look much like I had thought an Italian would, and he laughed and explained that he came from a back-valley in southern Italy that was occupied by the Goths after the fall of Rome, so he really was an Italian-speaking Swede.

buwaya puti said...

German unification is another thing.
Thats a case where it, the idea of a nation-state, was deliberately created, using every means of propaganda and pressure. Topped off by the Franco-Prussian war, started purposefully as a team-building exercise. Sorry France, this wasnt really about you.

EMD said...

Sometimes, it's okay to be French.

Not often, mind you.

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya puti:

"You can say might makes right, but that would have to be your argument, not any organic identity."

No, I think you have misunderstood my position. I am agreeing with you that Italian national identity is relatively weak, and this is one of the main reasons Italy's national government operate rather inefficiently and ineffectively. Nation-states tend to operate most effectively when they contain relatively homogenous populations (e.g. Northern Europe, Japan, South Korea, Canada, etc.). Highly tribal central Africa has seen vicious, violent intervened civil and interstate war for the last half century.

Michael K said...

"Many of Napoleons recruits (Languedoc, Bretons, etc.) could not understand their officers.
The modern mono-lingual nation-state is often more than a bit artificial."

There is a book called, Peasants into Frenchmen which is about the language issue and much else in medieval France. I'm afraid it is deadly dull and I left it in a French B&B. The concept is interesting. A better book is Citizens, a Chronicle of the French Revolution, by Schama,

It is quite good and covers some of the same territory in more readable style.

mockturtle said...

A better book is Citizens, a Chronicle of the French Revolution, by Schama,

Sounds interesting and worth a look. A couple of years ago I read Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution: A History. By far the best book I have read on the subject.

buwaya puti said...

Schama -highly recommended, I agree.
Get it, its not just a history, its history + context.

narciso said...

I do recommend the Great Upheaval, which excerpts the best of Citizens, which really did put the Jacobins in the timeline of the other terror states,

buwaya puti said...

Anyway, J. Farmer, I dont think Italy is unique in its variety of local cultures nor in the disparity of its languages, just that, for a European country, it was so recently unified politically. Britain and France had as great or greater linguistic-cultural disparities and they werent weak. Spain was a zoo of peoples and for a while there it was the European champion in spite of the sailors not knowing what the soldiers were talking about. France, Britain, and, almost, at one time, Spain, stamped out their local differences, but they certainly werent nice about it.
Its no fun having a culture and having it occulted, let us say. Being of a recently erased minority ethnic culture I can speak from experience. At one time we were an ethnic group, with a unique (albeit a creole/multiethnic) dialect, accent, literature, newspapers, literary awards, cuisine and customs. This is gone, or nearly so, in the interest of nationalism.
Imperial Europe is the same sort of thing on a larger scale, but the nation states its eating did their own digesting in their day.

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya puti:

From the sound of it, I think we are generally in agreement on this subject. Politics borders that enclose competing nationalisms are a recipe for disaster. Big imperial powers are often characterized by their multicultural character. The political revolutions that began sweeping the globe in the 19th century and that we in part helped to inspire and support upended that tradition in favor of some form of consensual government. Violence was widely justified as a revolutionary tool against what was seen as an oppressive regime. The flashpoint for the First World War, after all, was the work of ethno-nationalist Serbians. Jewish settlers used terrorist tactics against Palestinians and British Mandate personnel in their battle for an ethno-nationalist state.

I contend that we are seeing the exact same dynamic play out in Iraq. Like Yugoslavia, Iraq is a pseudo-nation state carved out of former empire by the victors of the First World War. Both had histories of simmering ethnic and nationalist tensions, and both were held together by authoritarian strongmen. Once the populations were permitted to exercise some degree of democratic participation in their government, the states fell apart. This is why I think it is absurd to believe that some kind of "residual" US military force could've played any significant role in holding that state together. Massive violence, lawlessness, and ethnic cleansing was going on while there were tens of thousands of troops there.

cyrus83 said...

Even in Western Europe, centuries of political unity have not erased old distinctions. Spain still has Catalonia despite being united since 1516, and the island of Great Britain still has 3 fairly distinctive countries despite being united since 1707. Separatist movements are active in both countries at present.

The EU has forgotten that most people everywhere tend to identify with home, and also people like themselves. Even my family, if you asked any of us, are more likely to identify with the nearby city if you ask us where we're from than the state or the country. Sometimes first preference is even for the small locality, where some explanation needs to be given because few will recognize the name of the place.

To build a national or in the case of the EU a trans-national identity, it requires some kind of glue, some kind of purpose or common cultural matter to develop loyalty to it. The problem with the EU is that it blatantly doesn't care what the non-elites living in it think, and is actually hostile to their interests when considering the influx of migrants and refugees. The people on the ground can see that hostility and return it accordingly. And with multiculturalism coupled with a pathological hatred of its own cultural heritage (particularly the Church) it has no glue left with which to compensate (and making new glue isn't a quick process unless an external threat causes unity...say a massive war or invasion).

Bob Loblaw said...

Ethnic nationalism is a new thing in the world, not organic or inevitable. It was invented, arguably, at the time of the French Revolution...

The fact that a country might choose a foreign king to lead them doesn't mean they're not fighting for their land and culture. You can say the modern country didn't exist until 1648 with the Treaty of Westphalia, but ethnic groups have been banding together against other ethnic groups for thousands of years.

MayBee said...

The funny thing is, the transnational elites loooove themselves the common folk of the other cultures. They are the ones who urge you to go see the "real" Rome, not the places where the tourists go. They love Vietnamese street food and Peruvian mountain villages. They don't want Cuba to be changed by American tourists.
And they want Rome to be different than Paris which should be different from Barcelona which should be different from Istanbul.

It's as if they see all the common people like Disney Cast Members who go back to their dorms when they aren't performing their culturally interesting lives. But the common people of their own countries are ignorant, embarrassing, uneducated. Throw money at them and hope they stop bothering you.

MayBee said...

EU gave up on having a constitution when the French and Dutch people voted against the Constitution. When the EU has been put before the people, it has been rejected. Why should anyone be so surprised the Brits did the same thing (kind of the same thing).

Instead of being a political body that saw itself as unsupported by the people, and therefore one that should do the least necessary for the common good, it spiraled into ever-growing power, bureaucracy, and rule making.

These are democracies. Why would they choose to live under undemocratic control? Answer: Surprise! They don't!

grackle said...

Jewish settlers used terrorist tactics against Palestinians and British Mandate personnel in their battle for an ethno-nationalist state.

I know this is a common belief, especially among Lefties, but I’ve never seen it proven.

Some I’ve seen in the past try to claim the so-called Deir Yassin massacre as such but that account has been credibly disputed.

Others like to cite the bombing of British forces billeted in the King David Hotel but that was an obvious military target, which is not terrorist by definition.

Would it be too much to provide some links for the readers?

Hagar said...

Martin Gilbert: Israel, A History.
Ariel Sharon: Warrior.

Hagar said...

buwaya might be interested in Vanished Kingdoms by Norman Davies.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

@Grackle:

"I know this is a common belief, especially among Lefties, but I’ve never seen it proven."

Read the histories of early Israel by Benny Morris. Lehi and Irgun were both Jewish paramilitary organizations that engaged in terrorist activity. The latter was formally denounced for terrorism by such groups as the World Jewish Congress and the Jewish Agency.

mockturtle said...

The breakup of the USSR was widely deemed a good thing even though there have been economic sacrifices all around. Globalism is only a short slide into world government and I, for one, am happy to see it unravel.

Forbes said...

"an EU-wide soccer team would be invincible — but who would root for it?"

Of more relevance, who would they play? Who would watch? And why is soccer an appropriate metaphor? Would Yglesias dare name something else an EU-wide assemblage would excel at?

Roughcoat said...

buwaya might be interested in Vanished Kingdoms by Norman Davies.

Vanished Kingdoms is very good. Any book by Norman Davies is worth reading.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Good thing Megan McAardvark's such an expert in this sort of thing. Obviously if 66 years hasn't overcome thousands of years of history then nothing will. Better to stop it now.

But the point is that she's a dipshit. If you ask the younger generations in Britain and/or the continent, they would have called themselves "European" if questioned that way. It's all in how the questions are phrased. These people have multiple identities, as many people around the world do, and their national identities didn't make them less European. You can even get subnational identities such as Breton or Cornish... The EU has an entire project devoted to protecting minority languages and cultures. But obviously for Big Dumb Megan it has to be only one thing or the other. No complex identities for you, Mr./Ms. Europea - I mean, NOT European.

This all begs the question of whether we can saw off the South from the U.S. Because obviously all Southerners can have only either an American identity or a Southern/Confederate identity. It has to be either/or. None of this multiple identity stuff.

Seeing Red said...

What does it mean to be European?

Rhythm and Balls said...

What does it mean to be European?

Ask the pope. He used to run the project.

And the Roman Emperor before that.

Seeing Red said...

You said the kids ID as European. What does being European mean?

Seeing Red said...

As to the Roman Emperor, you will have to pardon this product of the US public school system. When Rome was touched on, I seem to remember paying tribute to Rome or the Roman Empire, not the European Empire.

Since I'm not Catholic, I usually don't pay attention to what Popes say, especially long dead or Central or South American Marxists who fell for Soviet propaganda, although I'm glad JPII and Mother Theresa will be saints.

buwaya puti said...

Im extremely well versed in complex identities R&B.
Not only have I two passports and a green card, and not only are my wife and kids of a different nationality, but in one country I vote in an autonomous region, and in the other Im a cultural and linguistic minority. Besides which my relatives have, between them, about seven different nationalities.
We are a clan of professional expats going back at least five generations. There is such a global subculture.
Still, this gives perspective. The problem with things like EU support of minority cultures is that it is itself imposed, permitted, by the top. What you will get out of that is what the top wants, a touristic experience. Costumes and dances.
Contrast with a true resurgence of minority cultures, the Basques say. This truly happened under repression, an us-against them struggle, to revive not just a language but identity and local power, things that such as the EU will not permit, the right to make rules, such as traditional property and use rights and traditional inheritance law.
This truly does require drawing lines, you are this and not that, and it has personal and social consequences.
Real identity is a real thing, and if someone is not truly used to a foreign culture its easy to assume it is less foreign than it is. Its also easy for the young to assume they understand such things, through inexperience.

grackle said...

Read the histories of early Israel by Benny Morris. Lehi and Irgun were both Jewish paramilitary organizations that engaged in terrorist activity. The latter was formally denounced for terrorism by such groups as the World Jewish Congress and the Jewish Agency.

I do not care to read a book as an answer to my request, thanks all the same.

What I asked for was examples of Jewish settlers using terror tactics against Palestinians and/or British Mandate personnel.

Instead I get an undocumented op ed on Jewish paramilitary organizations and an exhortation to read a book.

And now the commentor needs to provide additional examples of Lehi and Irgun engaging in “terrorist activity.”

To sum up – the commentor now needs to provide two examples – one about Jewish settlers using “terror tactics” and the other about Lehi and Irgun engaged in “terrorist activity.”

Michael K said...

"The latter was formally denounced for terrorism by such groups as the World Jewish Congress and the Jewish Agency."

The Irgun, I believe, was the nucleus of the Israeli army after 1948. They blew up the King David Hotel which was used by the British as headquarters. My Israeli history is a bit old but, as I recall, the British were trying to keep Holocaust survivors from escaping Europe to Israel. That made them enemies and not neutral which they should have been.

Wiki doesn't like them very much , but the international left fell out of love with Israel once they started to win.

coupe said...

I caught some click-bait from CBS this evening. An article titled "Pope says Gays Deserve Apology".

Whoa. Well, no apology for their pedophile Priests, but hey, go with the flow.

Until I read what he said: ""Someone who has this condition, who has good will and is searching for God, who are we to judge?"

OK, CBS missed that. Yes, a condition. Sort of like Downs Syndrome or born without limbs.

I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in...

mockturtle said...

Not to insult any Catholics out there but I think this Pope is an idiot. Of course, the left loves him.

JCC said...

@ mock turtle -

I'm Catholic by birth and education, and I agree. We overuse the word but this pope is incoherent. He's a socialist, no doubt, a product of the South American libaeration theology movement and a Jesuit, so doubly suspicious. He seems ambivalent on gays, doesn't want to allow married men or women into the priesthood (which seems like the first logical place to go since the ban is not based on theological considerations), makes contradictory statements about marriage and birth control, sticks his ex cathedra nose into global warming, etc.

I'm guess all those Italian and African cardinals have been flogging themselves pretty regularly since electing this fellow. They should have stuck with the Nazi.

I'm lapsed. You can probably tell.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Every Israeli knows that the Irgun was a terrorist organization.

Grackle is more Israeli than the Israelis.

Perhaps he will go over there and teach them a revisionist course in their own history.

J. Farmer said...

@Grackle:

"What I asked for was examples of Jewish settlers using terror tactics against Palestinians and/or British Mandate personnel."

I give you sources, and if it's information you actually care to know, you're free to look them up and inform yourself. I'm not your teacher, and I generally don't take assignments. But I will indulge your bluster briefly.

You already mentioned the Kind David Hotel bombing despite your attempts at wordplay to not make it "terrorism."

The Irgun blew up immigration offices and tax buildings of the British Mandate. Terrorism?

They attacked police stations in Arab settlements. Terrorism?

They bombed the British embassy in Rome. Terrorism?

Members of Lehi assassinated a British diplomat in Cairo. Terrorism?

Lehi also assassinated a Swedish diplomat acting as a UN mediator in Jerusalem. Terrorism?

Actually, you can ignore those questions if you just answer one: when the fledgling Israeli government outlawed both Lehi and Irgun for being terrorist organizations, what exactly did they get wrong in their assessment?

mockturtle said...

While it is true that Menachem Begin killed a lot of civilians in the King David Hotel bombing, the hotel was, I believe, also the British Army HQ so it was not just a 'soft target'. My late husband, a Brit, considered Begin a terrorist.

Rhythm and Balls said...

As many examples as you want to provide, Mr. Farmer, are all good.

What he might actually take as evidence, however, is the following (not that I believe he's open to evidence, but oh well):

Israel has constantly referred to your last example as a demonstration of what they would require the PA to do regarding Hamas, if they were to proceed with a final status settlement that they could trust. Israel is constantly using the fact of their having disbanded/disarmed Lehi/Irgun as an analogy for what they expect the PA to do with Hamas/PIJ, etc., in order for progress to be made.

So there you have it. It's hard to claim the Israelis never used terrorism when they themselves refer to these early paramilitary organizations as Hamas analogs that were dismantled in the same way that they believe should happen to Hamas.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Churchill himself called the Irgun terrorists, as well as "the vilest gangsters."

It's important to not let biases get in the way of standards.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

@Mockturtle:

"While it is true that Menachem Begin killed a lot of civilians in the King David Hotel bombing, the hotel was, I believe, also the British Army HQ so it was not just a 'soft target'."

I take your point but this was not seen as a military operation against a military target. The entire goal of the paramilitary groups like Lehi and Irgun was to deploy violence against British personnel to compel the British to abandon their mandate in Palestinian. That's about as a close to a textbook definition of "terrorism" as you can get. Also, if the hardness or softness of the target was crucial to the question of terrorism then the attack on the Pentagon would not be labeled, and yet I think we all here feel comfortable describing it just as that.

mockturtle said...

I'll buy that. One could also point to acts of terrorism by our colonial Revolutionaries but, then, that's another can of worms.

grackle said...

I give you sources … … etc., etc., ad infinitum.

Nope. Not even one “source,” unless undocumented assertions are counted as “sources.” And this is the best the commentor can do? Babble on and on with nary a link – just a load of standard anti-Israeli bullshit with nothing to back it up? I could go to any number of blogs and get the same unsubstantiated crap.

Readers, I think we will never get those links.

And the commentor has the nerve to pose a question to me at the end of this farce without a link to justify the basis for it. Rich.

You’d think that I was asking for an arm and a leg.

Let’s review what has occurred so far:

A commentor ventured a multitude of opinions; there was one opinion that bothered me:

Jewish settlers used terrorist tactics against Palestinians and British Mandate personnel in their battle for an ethno-nationalist state.

So I asked for the source:

I know this is a common belief, especially among Lefties, but I’ve never seen it proven … Would it be too much to provide some links for the readers?

I usually cite my sources on significant points – always if asked. Why? To show the readers that I don’t pluck opinion out of thin air. I have reasons to believe as I do and do not mind citing the sources.

I asked for sources for that opinion of the commentor’s and one other for a total of two measly links – which should normally take all of … what … 10 minutes? Instead we get all this evasion.

Readers, as we all know, there’s a reason that Wikipedia requires that all material posted on Wikipedia must have the sources cited.

Hint to the commentor: It has to do with credibility.

damikesc said...

People want to have pride in where they live. It's best for culture for people to have pride in their homes. It bugs me, personally, when I see OUR leadership behaving as if the US is not special.

Why the "elites" want to kill this is baffling.

I was flabbergasted when they built the Chunnel. The England I grew up in and loved would never have done so.

And the alleged threats from the mayor of Calais show why it was such a bad idea. You don't want to give the French MORE ways to fuck you over.

The Ivy League restricts Asians while recruiting black students with 100 IQs. This is cultural suicide in any man's book.

Remember when Dems and their voters claimed to be the "Party of Science"? Whatever happened to that? Because given their views on genetic sex, GMO's, etc --- science is the lowest thing on their respective totem poles.

That's the problem with looking for an "ism" that will fix the mess caused by the last "ism" people became enthused about. Whatever you do, the ranks of your new "fix" are still staffed by...people.

It's the near-constant "Well, THIS time, we got it figured out" issue. And it's not even like their flaws are really "unforeseen". Respond to critics who say it's not going to work and then tell you why. I can see ignoring just "This idea is stupid". I don't see why we'd ignore "This is a bad idea because..."

Add into that the reality that our "elites" are a highly-credentialed but unbelievably uneducated bunch. It might be time to ban Ivy League grads from power for a generation or two.

They are the ones who urge you to go see the "real" Rome, not the places where the tourists go.

and the best part is that they'd NEVER go to where the tourists don't go. They just go to where MOST TOURISTS cannot go. It's even further removed from "real" (fill in the country). The "Real" part of a country is, often, dull. Orlando is more fun than most of Florida, after all. The "real" Florida is actually really nice and pleasant, but it takes a while to figure out what there is to do.

The EU has an entire project devoted to protecting minority languages and cultures.

A large, massive, controlling central authority seems to be the single worst possible way to protect minority languages and cultures. It's like expecting Disney to really be good at protecting culture and languages.

This all begs the question of whether we can saw off the South from the U.S. Because obviously all Southerners can have only either an American identity or a Southern/Confederate identity. It has to be either/or. None of this multiple identity stuff.

I know of no Southerners who actually subscribe to a Confederate identity (I argue it was an incredibly stupid mistake for a terrible concept that was going to die anyway --- the most positive thing I've seen is "a noble, but utterly failed, experiment"). But continue pretending you comprehend the South. I know a few more Southerners than you.

Until I read what he said: ""Someone who has this condition, who has good will and is searching for God, who are we to judge?"

OK, CBS missed that. Yes, a condition. Sort of like Downs Syndrome or born without limbs.


Christians are supposed to love the sinner but not the sin. If they continue to act, we should continue to love the sinner and not love the sin. Jesus did command, after forgiving people, to "go and sin no more".

I did note that the Pope discussed punching a guy in the nose who insulted his mother. So he ignored the whole "turn the other cheek" thing. You'd think a POPE would know that shit cold...

J. Farmer said...

@grackle:

"Hint to the commentor: It has to do with credibility."

That's because Wikipedia is attempting to be a refer source, not a blog comments thread. How many posts do you see here with extensive hyperlinks to sources cited. We're not writing research papers here. You're abject ignorance of the subject is not my problem. Of course, if you know absolutely nothing about it, I suppose it's easy to just say you don't believe anything I say. That's fine. I'm certainly no authority on the matter, and you don't have to believe me. But here's the thing, you know that computer thing you use to type these comments in. You can type in "Irgun and Lehi" and spend hours reading about them. But no, no...best to keep your head in the sand.

Jewish Terrorists Admit Bombing Embassy in Rome

grackle said...

I will concede the point – Irgun engaged in “terrorist activity.” I asked for an example and it was provided. Reluctantly, but it WAS finally provided. Fair is fair.

But my other request in regards to the statement below …

Jewish settlers used terrorist tactics against Palestinians and British Mandate personnel in their battle for an ethno-nationalist state.

… remains unfulfilled - or maybe the commentor wanted to skate on this one?