Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Though  the Anglo-Disease was largely originally an illness of the Anglo-Saxon mind it has become endemic throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

The EU is infected, in executive, treaty and leadership. More of this EU will not help. It needs to become a different EU and it's hard to see how that's going to happen in the current political environment without serious damage to the institutions.

Did Brussels switch to English as a result of the infection or did it facilitate the disease?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 08:16:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  "an illness of the Anglo-Saxon mind"?--- no, thank you.  I'll pass.

   Let me agree whole-heartedly with you here, before getting back to the just-above:

   "More of this EU will not help. It needs to become a different EU and it's hard to see how that's going to happen in the current political environment without serious damage to the institutions."

    That's quite good, in my opinion.

   But illnesses of 'the Anglo-Saxon mind' don't help or get us anywhere.

   I used my Anglo-Saxon mind to read Bertrand Russell and Robert Heilbroner and--speaking of (linguistically) "German minds," I like "them" as much as any others.  I used the same mind it to reject most of what I was taught about the neo-lib pantheon's belief-system--a pantheon which includes people who spoke German or Italian or French.  Whatever there is to the idea of national minds is much, much over-rated, I contend.  
 

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 08:49:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not so much the Anglo-Saxon mind as missionary work for the Anglo-Saxon class system.

The current crises seem tailored to ensure there is no alternative to this political model.

Since most Anglo-Saxons are either indifferent to the model (if they assume it's part of the political background noise) or hostile to it (if they've been paying attention) it's only a race issue in the sense that one particular tiny caste has been promoting it aggressively across the world for the last couple of centuries.

It's usual to compare it to the Catholic Reformation. I don't think that's a bad analogy at all.

It also explains why certain classe in Germany and France support it uncritically. They're closer to it ideologically than they are to any local tradition of democracy or dissent.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 09:32:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  Funny you mentioned that.  I just read this from you, having posted, meanwhile, the comment here:

   http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2011/5/30/133913/924#111

  so, clearly, we're thinking very much alike about this--unless I've missed your point.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 09:38:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's interesting that none of the PIIGS are protestant states, while the ECB does very much seem to be dominated by Calvin's humourless spiritual heirs.

Max Weber already covered this ground, but it's a surprise to find it taking its current form.

Perhaps the EU should have aimed for religious uniformity before attempting economic, social and political uniformity.

Of course the PIIGS are not only profligate but lazy, so they deserve to be punished - but it seems no one expected the Serious Inquisition.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 12:09:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If ECB doctrines may be characterised as "Austrian"... Austria is overwhelmingly Catholic. Germany has equal proportions of Protestants and Catholics. The Netherlands has more Catholics than Protestants. It has been suggested here that France, if you scratch its secular paint-job, is deeply Catholic - in any case, it isn't Protestant.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 12:45:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Its all the fault of the Anglos again! - except even the Church of England has a large Anglo-Catholic wing - and church going Catholics in England are more numerous that their Church of England equivalents.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 12:50:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Austria was overwhelmingly Catholic numerically, but there's an excellent chance that Hayek's noble ancestors were Lutheran hold-outs rather than fervent Papists.

In any case, most "Austrian" economists are now British and American.

France is somewhat tangential to the ECB. Germany and Protestant Scandinavia are in the driving seat, and Merkel is certainly Protestant.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 03:21:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
France is somewhat tangential to the ECB. Germany and Protestant Scandinavia are in the driving seat, and Merkel is certainly Protestant.

Germany is half Protestant, Denmark and Sweden are not in the Eurozone and Norway is not even in the EU.  So how can Scandinavia be in the driving seat?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 03:28:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

  It's a Pope-mobile?

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge
by proximity1 on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 03:34:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay - I was thinking about Finland's contribution to the debate, while trying to finish four thousand words about servers at the same time.

The point was more that the Finnish outpost certainly is in the EU, is certainly Lutheran, and is part of a shared Scandinavian/Northern culture.

I'm not suggesting the PIIGS crisis is a literal replay of the Thirty Years' War, and Europe is set to explode because of underlying Christian tensions.

But I do find it interesting that the periphery and the Northerns have distinct religious histories, and I don't think it's a stretch to suggest that contributes to the "they're not like us" rhetoric.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 04:39:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I look forward to your four thousand words... I think your point is a bit of a stretch given the size of Finland (which is not normally considered part of Scandinavia) and the unlikehood of it dominating the ECB.

I think Weber's point about the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism was more applicable at the time when the Catholic Church was more like a feudal construct. In the intervening years the "Catholic ethos" has had no difficulty in transforming its loyalties to a corporate ethos...  The democratic (state) ethos, on the other hand, has been a little more problematic for old style Catholics...and democratic reforms may be a little more associated with the Protestant Ethos and its emphasis on the responsibility of the individual...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 05:16:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thinking about this, I'd see the ECB/IMF and the Austrians as the natural heirs of joyless Calvinist morality blended with dogmatic Catholic Scholasticism.

So you get an unfortunate mix of the crippled seriousness of one with the quaintly anti-rational and hierarchic pseudo-academicism of the other - backed up with inquisitorial economic persecution of heretics and infidels, and painted with a bit of rationalist gloss to make it appear more modern than it really is.

Anything with this kind of pedigree can only be reactionary.

The point isn't that there are explicit Catholic or Calvinist policies, but that historical Catholic and Calvinist attitudes are the root and excuse for modern "serious" values.

As for Finland -

The politico-cultural location of Finland is a moving one. It has shifted from being a province in the Swedish Empire to an autonomous unit in 'Eastern' Europe, then to an independent state in 'Northern' Europe or 'Scandinavia'. After joining the European Union, Finland has recently been included in 'Western Europe'.

Since I'm not talking about very recent history, I think it's fair to include with the other blonde Northerns.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 06:04:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 06:17:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The word these days is 'Nordic', which sometimes also includes the states around the Baltic, other than Scandinavia + Finland. If you want to refer to Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia as a bloc, then it's the Baltics. The long term Nordic grouping is Hanseatic - it includes N. Germany and Russia.

There's obviously a language element to the description of Scandinavia, but culturally I don't see Finland as any less homogenous with Sweden as either Denmark or Norway. There is a cultural gap between Russia and the rest of the Nordics in religion, but I've not seen it manifested in any kind of cultural conflict. There are far more socialistic connections to outweigh that difference.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 02:38:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The religious roots of Socialism, if there are any, is a different - interesting - topic.

In the UK you'd have to name check the Quakers, but I don't know if there are deeper roots or other influences elsewhere, and I've never seen anyone try to follow Weber with a parallel review.

It may exist in academia, but I suspect this kind of analysis isn't very fashionable among the Critical Theory types.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 at 09:48:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Hayek's ancestors are relevant, let me point out that Merkel is quarter-Polish, i.e. Catholic....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 03:35:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We've gone from politics to economics to religion and now genealogy.  Is there any sphere of human knowledge we can't cover in the course of one conversation?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 04:19:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  Yes.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_boxing

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge
by proximity1 on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 04:27:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Wikipedia, Hayek was "nominally catholic but nonpractising". He hailed from Austrian nobility.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 04:38:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  "It's interesting that none of the PIIGS are protestant states, while the ECB does very much seem to be dominated by Calvin's humourless spiritual heirs."

   Actually, I think that there is no paradox here.  We shouldn't "expect the Spanish Inquisition" in Protestant states, should we?  By the same token, there is something ideologically consistent in the PIIGS nations being more Latin, more Catholic, in tenor.  Thus, the Calvinist strictures fall not on those who profess (or pretend to profess) them but on those who not only don't profess them but also see no reason to keep up an other-than-rather flimsy window-dressing.

   Now, I think that the so-called believers in the Calvinist strictures are also phonies; but they have one or more advantages going for their efforts to seem to be respectable up-holders of it. Though, for crying out loud, one would have thought such pretenses would be showing blatant cracks in the foundations or that the cracks, being clearly obvious now, would start to bring the orthodoxy into very dangerous and persistent question.  That this hasn't happened suggests to me that the Left is still smoking dope and not in possession of its faculties--such as they are.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 03:05:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"All A is B" does not imply "All B is A".

"Myxomatosis is a disease of rabbits" does not imply "All rabbits have myxomatosis".  

Fill in the rest yourself as an exercise.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 11:27:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  But "All A is B" doesn't represent the syllogism in dispute.

   What you've seemed to contend is not an identity but rather a relationship.  But maybe you are asserting an identity, as in "the Anglo-Saxon mind <=> "observed economic wackiness".  But if so, how do you account for the Salt-water folks or just any Anglo-Saxon minds' opposition to the Austrian/Chicago-Or-What-Have-You-Schools?

  So, it's represented as

   "illness of the Anglo-Saxon mind" ---> "observed economic wackiness" (by whatever descriptors you may like)

   Then, while it's quite true that "All A is B" does not imply "All B is A", that's beside the point here.

   What we want is examples of, if not "healthy Anglo-Saxon mind" (which should be no great shakes to supply) then, at a minimum, some "uninfected" cases of "observed economic wackiness".  Can't those be demonstrated?  Was the illness of the Anglo-Saxon mind the necessary and sufficient condition of the advent of the Austrian School?

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 03:21:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Colman:
It needs to become a different EU and it's hard to see how that's going to happen in the current political environment without serious damage to the institutions.

Good summary.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 09:03:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the language thing is a red herring.

banksters are multilingual, after all.

the amount of energy saved by being on the same linguistic hymnsheet will grow even more immense, but if the religion of free-predator crapitalism is the raison-d'etre, the choice of lingo is irrelevant. you can fool the voters any which way. one language promotes transparency through transnational criticism.

it's the old 'finger pointing at the moon not being the moon...'

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 07:53:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
   But I think Colman's point was not so much a matter of what language is in predominant daily use as it is that the "illness of the Anglo-Saxon mind" (that wooly-mammoth) is an important source of  TVHTBN-thinking or, TIOTASM --> Protestant Ethic --> TVHTBN.

   When I point out that the so-called Anglo-Saxon mind has taken us lots of varied places, his retort is that Only Rabbits get disease "X", but that doesn't mean that all rabbits get it.   This is pure begging the question:  TIOTASM remains an undefined fancy.  We don't know what it is, what it consists of.  We only "know" it from Colman's claims of the effects it produces--a certain observed economic wackiness.

   Until his paper on the origins and functions of the Illness of the Anglo-Saxon Mind appears in the JEP, I'm just having fun observing the fascinating  mental universe his comments suggest he inhabits: a place where it seems a very great part of humanity are the helpless prisoners of their mind-set, where important reasoning and concepts can't filter in or filter out, leaving people victims of the inescapable traps of their pscho-linguistic "givens."

    He seems to have completely missed the point of my comment concerning my own Anglo-Saxon mind.  I was trying to argue against this static-and-doomed vision of mental equipment--a point of view which he seems to have very strongly rooted in his outlook-- that my Anglo-Saxon mind (and those of many others, too) have somehow been able to import lots of what has to be regarded as non-native furnishings.  In that way, whatever the extent of our mental imprisonment, we can, if we choose, bring in an almost unlimited amount of furnishings to decorate the cell.  As soon as that is admitted, Anglo-Saxon minds can be found to share a lot of intellectual furnishings with any other psycho-linguistic prison camp--leading to non-native and varied modes of thinking.

    If it's a red herring it's one that seems to figure very importantly in the fundamental ways he views common habits of thought and behavior.

 ----------

 abbreviations:

  TIOTASM: the illness of the anglo-saxon mind

  TVHTBN : the virgins have to be naked

  JEP : The Journal of Economic Psychoses

   

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 07:33:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could be a diary there somewhere, but my Germanic mind and anglo-Irish conditioning have left me in too confused a state to discern just where the virgins come in...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 07:42:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]

  The virgins don't come in.  They go in (naked).  Into the volcano, of course.  And now that I think of it, this would suggest that Iceland must be naturally suited to have one of the world's best economies because it's never very far to go to throw a naked virgin.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge
by proximity1 on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 08:02:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Assuming that there is a supply of Icelandic virgins - a rare species according to my knowledge of that culture.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 09:10:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The extent of your knowledge of Iceland virgins would, though, make for a rare and interesting diary....

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 09:48:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It'll be in the book ;-)

The thing is, the small fun area of Reykjavik is full of bars that sell concoctions with names like 'The Black Death'. I thought I could hold my booze fairly well (the first sign of alcoholism)*, but I was a total amateur compared to the lads and lasses of Codland. The heady aroma of hormones seeking collision didn't help sobriety either.

*Those days of madness are long gone. A G&T and two large glasses of a nice red on a Friday, are about all I can manage these days. There are better ways of stimulating "emotion recollected in tranquility".

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 11:07:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm toying with the idea of doing my autobiography as a series of podcasts, making up, if you will, a 'talking book'.

I still have to write the damn thing, but I'm attracted to the idea of launch release as free podcasts, using the number of downloads - in negotiations with publishers - as indicative of an audience for a printed commercial version. The printed version would be fully illustrated, so it would be a reason to buy if the stories were liked.

The cost is minimal: I may be a highly paid voiceover artiste, but I'm not going to charge myself ;-) A typical talking book takes 10 - 14 hours of recording studio time, which I get free. So, virtually zero transaction costs and cut out the vanity publisher.

I haven't yet found any informative download info on podcasts as book instalments, but it seems that talk podcasts are growing in popularity. I know quite a few friends who are not into music any more, but like to listen on their smartphones to chat: in the car, on the bus, jogging, walking, relaxing etc.

I'd appreciate it if anyone here has or comes across pertinent information.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 11:26:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't wait!

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 11:45:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
will the book have pictures of the naked virgins?

Seriously, what's the sales pitch - why would it appeal to a more general audience?

Can't help on podcasts I'm afraid - are they not just audio files linked to on your title page?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 11:46:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't really have a pitch outside of Finland,  except amusing stories of 40 years in media of various types, in the mould of Patrick Campbell and other laid back short essayists. Vignettes, if you will, with a Kaurismäki flavour.

In Finland I have a somewhat mysterious reputation for being involved in projects that have been in the public eye and ear. And since I have the dirt on any number of celebrities, there should be some mileage in the gossip.

But the aim, apart from the vanity (or because of it), is just stories that are fun to listen to and maybe have some insights.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 02:11:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have an interesting problem in that you have a potentially viable book project, but you don't currently have what publishers call a platform - which is a recognisable name and following, and/or academic tenure.

Podcasting book chapters would probably be a clumsy way to build a platform, unless you managed to become cult-y and immensely popular through the 'casts. (Possible, but something of a long shot.)

Podcasting other content, becoming a Twitter/Facebook celebrity through that, and then pitching the autobiography might be a more likely route.

World+dog are e-publishing now, and it's easier just to write the damn thing and promote it yourself than it is to wait the two or three years it's going to take to wind its way through an official commissioning, editing, design and promotion cycle.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 01:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite. That's the reason I'm looking for alternatives that will also motivate me to finish the damn thing.

OTOH The Singing D seems set for world domination (wait till you hear her mind-blowing first single that is about to be released), so I may just be able to sneak in on her wake. I know that's pathetic, but why else do we invest so much time and money into our offspring ? ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 02:18:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Impeachment gets real

by ARGeezer - Jan 17
18 comments

A Final Warning

by Oui - Jan 10
111 comments

Environment Anarchists

by Oui - Jan 13
4 comments

More Spanish repression

by IdiotSavant - Jan 6
8 comments

Occasional Series