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Spaniard Borrell's Fascist Gaffe Us vs Them

by Oui Thu Oct 20th, 2022 at 06:10:42 PM EST


    "Me Tarzan, You Jane." 😂

EU's Josep Borrell says sorry after 'jungle' comments sparked backlash | The National |

Many dismiss `non-apology', rejecting foreign policy chief's claims that remarks were misinterpreted

In his blog, Mr Borrell rejected accusations of racism. "All my life I have been totally opposed to any form of contempt, or racism towards anyone," he wrote.

He also said that the metaphor used was "not [his] invention".

"Some truly dislike it because, among others, it has been used by US neo-conservatives, but I am far from this school of political thought," he wrote.

Mr Borrell argued that the concept had been present in public debates for decades and referred to a "simple question", asking: "Should the international order be based on principles accepted by all, regardless of the strength of its actors, or should it be based on the will of the strongest, which is commonly called 'the law of the jungle?'"

Europe is a "garden" because "the European integration project came from a rejection of power politics", he said.

The "jungle" refers to "force, intimidation and blackmail" and in particular, to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Mr Borrell said.

"Unfortunately, the 'jungle' is everywhere, including in Ukraine. We must take this trend seriously and that was my message to the students. Certainly, we should not retreat behind the false security of walls and isolationism," he said.

Europeans must remain "humble" in their relations with the rest of the world and the global south, argued Mr Borrell.

"I also have enough experience to know that neither Europe nor 'the West' is perfect and that some countries of 'the West' have at times violated international legality," he wrote.

Mr Borrell's apology came a day after he doubled down on his initial comments when questioned during a press conference in Luxembourg on Monday. He told reporters that he was "disappointed to hear some of the interpretations that have been bandied about" and did not apologise.

Many social media users on Wednesday rejected arguments put forward in his blog post, calling it a "non-apology".

"It caused offence because we understood it correctly, @JosepBorrellF. You and your fellow unelected Brussels thugs have always behaved as colonialists but you thought your 'civilisation' hides your racism, hypocrisy and brutality," tweeted Ali Abunimah, director of online publication The Electronic Intifada.

In neocolonial rant, EU says Europe is ’garden’ superior to rest of world’s barbaric ’jungle’

Borrell delivered this overtly racist rant at the inauguration of the European Diplomatic Academy in Brussels on October 13.

According to the official transcript, published at the EU website, Borrell said the following:

    Europe is a garden. We have built a garden. Everything works. It is the best combination of political freedom, economic prosperity and social cohesion that the humankind has been able to build – the three things together. And here, Bruges is maybe a good representation of beautiful things, intellectual life, well-being.

    The rest of the world – and you know this very well, Federica – is not exactly a garden. Most of the rest of the world is a jungle, and the jungle could invade the garden. The gardeners should take care of it, but they will not protect the garden by building walls. A nice small garden surrounded by high walls in order to prevent the jungle from coming in is not going to be a solution. Because the jungle has a strong growth capacity, and the wall will never be high enough in order to protect the garden.

    The gardeners have to go to the jungle. Europeans have to be much more engaged with the rest of the world. Otherwise, the rest of the world will invade us, by different ways and means.

    Yes, this is my most important message: we have to be much more engaged with the rest of the world.

The EU foreign-policy chief failed to mention that, for more than 500 years, European colonialist powers have run the most violent empires in human history, overseeing mass genocides, racialized chattel slavery, ethnic cleansing, and constant wars.

Instead, Borrell continued later in his remarks portraying Europe as a superior “beacon” of civilization:

    Believe me, Europe is a good example for many things. The world needs Europe. My experience of travelling around the world is that people look at us as a beacon.

    Why [do] so many people come to Europe? Are there flows of illegal or irregular migrants going to Russia? Not many. No, they are coming to Europe but for good reasons.

    Keep the garden, be good gardeners. But your duty will not be to take care of the garden itself but [of] the jungle outside.

In the same speech, Borrell claimed Europe is superior because of its “institutions”.

Countries outside of the European Union should be worried about Borrell's nationalistic words.

Could it be that for Josep the jungle in London came to mind ...

Voting Corner Putsch, PM Truss Resigns

My earlier doubt about Josep Borrell and competency to fulfill this key task for the EU.

Josep is an Russophobe ...

Focus On Josep

Finding his diplomatic results deplorable, I figured to look at his credentials ...

EU's Top Diplomat ... Worst Choice Possible

During his visit to Kiev, Josep Borrell said for the first time in the history of the European Union that the conflict "will be won on the battlefield," but not through diplomatic efforts.

EU leaders never made any statements about the priority of the military victory over the political solution during the wars in Yugoslavia, or in Libya, or in Afghanistan, where most of the EU nations were involved as NATO members. Nor were any such statements voiced during the US-led invasion of Iraq, which the leading EU countries condemned as based on disinformation and lies about Baghdad's possession of weapons of mass destruction.

Where Blinken Truss, Borrell failed in Moscow, a last ditch effort was made by France president Macron ... he arrived in Moscow with empty hands, no mandate and failed too.


Display:


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 02:24:31 AM EST


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 03:10:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 02:59:08 AM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 03:00:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 03:01:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 03:24:07 AM EST

Translation:
Series of embarrassments - Critics recommend Josep Borrell to think "less loud".

The EU foreign policy chief repeatedly attracts attention with thoughtless statements. Most recently, Borrell overshot the target against Russia.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 03:33:06 AM EST
The Republic has succeeded far beyond the dreams of the avaricious oligarchs who founded it in order to prevent democracy and retain all real power in their own trustworthy hands.

See my The USA is an Oligarchy at the Greanville Post and Chomsky, Noam. Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky (pp. 132-133) cited in my footnotes (ibid.)

The principles of the Founding Fathers were rather nicely expressed by John Jay, the head of the Constitutional Convention and the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. His favorite maxim was, "The people who own the country ought to govern it"--that's the principle on which the United States was founded.

The major framer of the Constitution, James Madison, emphasized very clearly in the debates at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 that the whole system must be designed, as he put it, "to protect the minority of the opulent from the majority"--that's the primary purpose of the government, he said. Now, Madison had kind of a theory behind that, which was that the "minority of the opulent" would be elevated Enlightenment gentlemen, who would act like some kind of ancient Roman republicans of his imagination--benevolent philosophers who would use their opulence to benefit everybody in the country.

But he himself quickly recognized that that was a serious delusion, and within about ten years he was bitterly denouncing what he called the "daring depravity of the times" as "the minority of the opulent" were using their power to smash everyone else in the face."

h/t MofA -- Hermit | Oct 21 2022 4:24 utc | 126



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 12:27:46 PM EST
Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the Federalist Papers

In 1779, Jay was appointed Minister to Spain and traveled across the Atlantic to seek assistance and international recognition for the American Colonies. Unfortunately, Spain wanted nothing to do with Jay or the American Colonies, so Jay changed course and headed to Paris, where the end-of-war negotiations were scheduled to take place. While there, he signed the Treaty of Paris, thus helping the United States receive its independence from Britain.

Jay served as the second Secretary of Foreign Affairs, until the office was changed to "Secretary of State." During this time in office, Jay, along with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, began working on a series of periodicals which would eventually be known as The Federalist Papers. Jay wrote the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and sixty-fourth articles.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 12:29:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Slaves are property, not persons: Dred Scott, Plaintiff In Error, v. John F. A. Sandford

On March 6, 1857, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney read the majority opinion of the Court, which stated that enslaved people were not citizens of the United States and, therefore, could not expect any protection from the federal government or the courts. The opinion also stated that Congress had no authority to ban slavery from a federal territory. This decision moved the nation a step closer to the Civil War.

The decision of Scott v. Sandford, considered by many legal scholars to be the worst ever rendered by the Supreme Court, was overturned by the 13th and 14th amendments to the Constitution, which abolished slavery and declared all persons born in the United States to be citizens of the United States.

The right of a woman to make autonomous decisions about her own body and reproductive functions is at the very core of her fundamental right of liberty under the Constitution. Women's rights of Roe vs Wade should have been embellished in a constitutional amendment.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 12:42:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South

ICYM either of the US Constitutional conventions' debates on taxable personalty, contemporaneous "slave" biographical literature, the lurid, rhetorical convegence of suffrage and emancipation in the Reconstruction era, and the 20th century US "feminist" defense of capitalist hierarchy.

by Cat on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 03:44:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Biden says 'yes, there should be' abortion restrictions after pledge to codify Roe
amid comical innerboob chatter recalling campaign "priorities" delayed by several of his predecessors

archived public property

by Cat on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 03:51:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
News from Josep's Garden ...

✊🏻 Demonstration of dissatisfaction of our comrades of the #PJ in Marseille at the passage of the Director General of the National Police #DGPN
#SupportForLawEnforcement


'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 12:58:25 PM EST
Smart guy that Spaniard from the Franco era ending his career in Brussels.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 05:30:55 PM EST


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 05:31:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is life treated as less valuable than the depiction of life?

By George Monbiot

Writing for the Mail on Sunday, the home secretary, Suella Braverman, claimed: "There is widespread agreement that we need to protect our environment, but democracies reach decisions in a civilised manner." Oh yes? So what are the democratic means of contesting the government's decision to award more than one hundred new licenses to drill for oil and gas in the North Sea? Who gave the energy secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg, a democratic mandate to break the government's legal commitments under the Climate Change Act by instructing his officials to extract "every cubic inch of gas"?

Who voted for the investment zones that the prime minister, Liz Truss, has decreed, which will rip down planning laws and trash protected landscapes? Or any of the major policies she has sought to impose on us, after being elected by 81,000 Conservative members - 0.12% of the UK population? By what means is the "widespread agreement" about the need for environmental protection translated into action? What is "civilised" about placing the profits of fossil fuel companies above the survival of life on Earth?



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 05:34:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 21st, 2022 at 08:36:10 PM EST
Shows no wisdom, no leadership ... what does Josep Borrell deliver to the European Union? Nada! The diplomat with no face.

Ukraine war: Russian army will be 'annihilated' if it launches a nuclear attack, warns Josep Borrell | EuroNews |

"There is the nuclear threat, and Putin is saying he is not bluffing. Well, he cannot afford bluffing," Borrell said during a European Diplomatic Academy event in Bruges.

"It has to be clear that the people supporting Ukraine and the European Union and the member states, and the United States and NATO are not bluffing neither." 

"And any nuclear attack against Ukraine will create an answer -- not a nuclear answer but such a powerful answer from the military side -- that the Russian army will be annihilated, and Putin should not be bluffing," he said.

Borrell spoke of a "serious moment of history" and painted a grim picture of profound uncertainty and instability for global politics as a result of Russia's invasion.

The diplomat said the current rules-based system was being "challenged like never before".

"We are definitely out of the Cold War and the post-Cold War. The post-Cold War has ended with the Ukrainian war, with the Russian aggression against Ukraine," he told the audience.

"This war is changing a lot of things, and certainly it is changing the European Union. This war will create a different European Union, from different perspectives."

Reference to a speech by Borrell on first day ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 23rd, 2022 at 08:16:28 AM EST
EU Ambassadors Annual Conference 2022: Opening speech by High Representative Josep Borrell | EEAS - 10.10.2022 |

At this pace, the black swan will be the majority. It will not be white swans - all of them will be black - because one after the other, things have happened that had a very low probability of happening, nevertheless they happened, and they had a strong impact and certainly they happened. 

Let me try to summarise what is happening to us. Maybe I am wrong, but I want to discuss with you about it. I think that we Europeans are facing a situation in which we suffer the consequences of a process that has been lasting for years in which we have decoupled the sources of our prosperity from the sources of our security. This is a sentence to provide the headline, and I am taking that from Olivier Schmitt, who has been developing this thesis - I think - quite well.

Our prosperity has been based on cheap energy coming from Russia. Russian gas - cheap and supposedly affordable, secure, and stable. It has been proved not [to be] the case. And the access to the big China market, for exports and imports, for technological transfers, for investments, for having cheap goods. I think that the Chinese workers with their low salaries have done much better and much more to contain inflation than all the Central Banks together.

So, our prosperity was based on China and Russia - energy and market. Clearly, today, we have to find new ways for energy from inside the European Union, as much as we can, because we should not change one dependency for another. The best energy is the one that you produce at home. That will produce a strong restructuring of our economy - that is for sure. People are not aware of that but the fact that Russia and China are no longer the ones that [they] were for our economic development will require a strong restructuring of our economy.

The access to China is becoming more and more difficult. The adjustment will be tough, and this will create political problems.

On the other hand, we delegated our security to the United States. While the cooperation with the Biden Administration is excellent, and the transatlantic relationship has never been as good as it is today - [including] our cooperation with the United States and my friend Tony [Antony] Blinken [US Secretary of State]: we are in a fantastic relationship and cooperating a lot; who knows what will happen two years from now, or even in November?

What would have happened if, instead of [Joe] Biden, it would have been [Donald] Trump or someone like him in the White House? What would have been the answer of the United States to the war in Ukraine? [Most likely there would not have been an outbreak of war because Joe and Tony never used diplomacy, and still no communication between two enemies, not either with China]

What would have been our answer in a different situation? 

These are some questions that we have to ask ourselves. And the answer for me is clear: we need to shoulder more responsibilities ourselves. We have to take a bigger part of our responsibility in securing security. [NATO already shares responsibility across the globe from Afghanistan to Libya, Syria and Palestine]

You - the United States - take care of our security. You - China and Russia - provided the basis of our prosperity. This is a world that is no longer there. [Thanking Pax Americana after 9/11 -- Washington believes it can remake the world in its image, the fools - chaos and destruction]

Post November Joe Biden will be a lame-duck president with an antagonistic Republican run U.S. Congress who are anti-Russia and leading in AmericaFirst! ... Trump's MAGA. The European Union will never recover from this artificially created energy crisis by the world's biggest fossil fuel producer. Security my a$$ 😡

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 23rd, 2022 at 08:29:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 23rd, 2022 at 08:46:06 AM EST


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 23rd, 2022 at 08:47:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 23rd, 2022 at 11:45:44 AM EST
Interesting read, quite worthwhile ...

American Exception: Hegemony and the Tripartite State | by Aaron Good May 2020 |

Some excerpts:

The tripartite state is comprised of the democratic or public state, the security state, and the deep state. A key contention herein is that the deep state developed alongside postwar US exceptionism--the institutionalized abrogation of the rule of law, ostensibly on the basis of "national security." Theories of hegemony and empire are analyzed and critiqued and refined. To wit: the post-World War II US empire has been sustained by hegemonic institutions which rely on various degrees of consent and coercion--both in a dyadic sense but increasingly through structural dominance following the collapse of Bretton Woods. Rival hypotheses related to the state and US foreign policy are analyzed and critiqued. To explore the concept of a deep state within a nominal democracy, open democratic modes of power are contrasted with top-down or dark power.

[This thesis] is influenced and inspired by works like The Power Elite by C. Wright Mills (1956) and Democracy Incorporated by Sheldon Wolin (2008).

Democracy as a concept has been greatly contested in political science. In a broad normative sense, a country is democratic to the extent that the general public rather than the elite controls the political system. Institutionally, a democracy is characterized by the rule of law, political rights, free and fair elections, and accountability (Linz and Stepan 1996). Within the American social sciences, most seminal 20th century scholars and theorists of American democracy have focused on US domestic politics and US society. This would include political scientists like Dahl and Lindblom (1953) as well as sociologists like C. Wright Mills (1956). One of the central concerns of this dissertation is the relationship between expansive foreign policy and democratic decline. One of the few American political scientists to focus squarely on this issue was Harold D. Lasswell (1941). His neglected "garrison state" construct is worth revisiting and reassessing given the subsequent rise of US global dominance and democratic decline.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Oct 25th, 2022 at 08:19:11 AM EST
From the diaries ...

Lessons from the Veblen Farm

The one I found was also the president of the Association For Evolutionary Economists (AFEE)--an organization dedicated to promoting heterodox economic thinking like Veblen's.  His name was John Adams and had also graduated from that "notorious" school in Texas that had given us C. Wright Mills, Bill Melton, and Rick Tilman--Veblen's most diligent scholar.  By now my book was called "Elegant Technology" and was introduced to the world at the 1993 convention of the American Economics Association in Anaheim. My speech to them can be found here.

These days I try to keep an arms-length distance from the academics who debate the minutia of Veblen's life but otherwise am willing to give tours of the restored farm to nearly anyone who asks.  Because of my role in the restoration of the farmhouse, I have much better relationship with the Veblen family. I did a .PDF of the restoration for the 1995 family reunion which is still the most popular download from my website.  

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Sun Mar 18th, 2007 |

See also my diary ...

NWO: Clash of the Hegemons

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Oct 25th, 2022 at 08:22:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Don't bull$hit us, you either believe in multilateralism and the UN, then get out of #PaxAmerican and #StopNato

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 28th, 2022 at 05:00:38 PM EST
Borrell attempt to whitewash his fascist speech ...

Dumb, dumb, dumb ... 🔥🇪🇺

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 28th, 2022 at 05:02:36 PM EST
fail
by Cat on Fri Oct 28th, 2022 at 08:44:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Us vs. Them: On The Meaning Of Fascism

The next step, to full-blown imperialism, requires nationalistic aggression against other states. Whether to acquire loot in whatever form, or to expand control over an ever increasing territory, the drums of war are frequently heard around the land. All of this has become fully institutionalized in the U.S., to the extent that the prevailing national doctrine is now perpetual war (the current Pentagon term is "the long war"). Not that long ago President Calvin Coolidge could say that "the business of America is business."

But times have changed; imperialist war - business by other means to paraphrase Clausewitz - has become our major occupation and economic activity - and, no doubt, will in due time be our undoing, as history so clearly tells us. This pattern of serial aggression, which requires creating enemies when they don't conveniently present themselves, is inherent in the dynamics of fascism. All empires have fallen when they have become fully overextended, militarily, financially, geographically and in every other respect. America now has clearly has opted for this destructive and self-defeating strategy.



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 28th, 2022 at 05:04:33 PM EST
Filosofía 2021: enfrentarse a la maldad

Philosophy 2021: Confront Evil

Another issue that worries us, and judging by the amount of reading it has had, is the relationship we have with the media and how they serve as a loudspeaker for different voices. Roberto R. Aramayo, from the Instituto de Filosofía (IFS-CSIC), looked back to analyze how the precepts by which Nazi propaganda was governed can continue to be valid today.

Aramayo highlighted not only the messages that were transmitted from power but also the context in which those messages arrived to alert us to the danger that lies in wait for us if we do not have a critical thinking and attitude towards the information we receive. The more society and debates become polarized, the easier it is for someone to slip us a slogan with which, deep down, we would not agree.
In the face of black and white or media noise, critical thinking developed thanks to philosophy is our best weapon.

Philosophy and education

Speaking of weapons... We have been dragging the same problem for years: the constant reduction of teaching hours of philosophy and ethics in Secondary and Baccalaureate. Three years ago, the political parties agreed to reinforce the subject of philosophy, but the new Education Law (LOMLOE) does not contemplate it.

Paradoxically, as Ekai Txapartegi, from the University of the Basque Country / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, comments, some of the skills that are required in that same law of students are essentially given by philosophical knowledge. How to combine both realities?

Desinformación y censura, dos herramientas clave de la guerra en Ucrania

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 28th, 2022 at 05:51:09 PM EST


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 28th, 2022 at 05:52:30 PM EST
Wipes Tears, Stop Me Before I Vote Again.
by Cat on Fri Oct 28th, 2022 at 08:49:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Inequality, Red vs Blue, civil war, democracy lost, dilapidated infrastructure, poverty the other side of super wealthy. Forever wars.

After Ukraine, Taiwan is next on Pelosi's list ... pls retire!

Anyone resorting to this sort of personal violence is mentally disturbed and a token of State of American society ... people left behind in cut-throat capitalism. HRC's deplorables ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Oct 29th, 2022 at 11:01:56 AM EST
Our great ally for a NWO, shining example of democracy and our future ...

Joint Statement from Chairman Bill Gates and Recorder Stephen Richer on Drop Box Watchers

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Oct 30th, 2022 at 09:00:18 PM EST


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 2nd, 2022 at 08:55:09 PM EST



'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 2nd, 2022 at 09:28:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bill Clinton and relations with Israel's leaders ... inexplicable pardon of Glencore boss Marc Rich ...

Rusal Aluminum Merger and Swiss Glencore

American/Israeli oligarch Marc Rich ...

  • Business profile: Marc Rich, Glencore's fugitive founder in a merger with Russia's Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg ...
  • August 2006, Russian media reported that SUAL and Rusal were merging, will include the Swiss company Glencore


  • 'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 2nd, 2022 at 09:30:13 PM EST
    [ Parent ]


    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 9th, 2022 at 09:23:35 PM EST

    Roger Moorhouse dominance by Atlantic Council rhetoric and an historian with a bias?

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Nov 17th, 2022 at 03:37:14 PM EST
    .
    "In a free society, it is not always important that individuals
    reason well, it is sufficient that they reason; from their individual
    thought, freedom is born."
    [French philosopher Montesquieu]

    Exactly two centuries later, in his futuristic novel ''1984,'' the English political novelist George Orwell gave a tragic illustration of what the world would be without the freedom to think. Orwell had the intention to call his book ''The Last Man in Europe,'' as a tribute to the essential quality that distinguished man from the world around him, namely his ability to think for himself.

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Nov 17th, 2022 at 03:40:40 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941 - review | The Guardian - Aug. 6, 2014 |

    Was Stalinism really worse than nazism? Richard J Evans takes issue with Roger Moorhouse's worryingly one-sided account of the consequences of the non-aggression pact

    ....
    These events are hardly "largely unknown", as Roger Moorhouse claims in his new book, nor are they "dismissed as a dubious anomaly" in the standard histories of the second world war. They were a crucial feature of the runup to the outbreak of the war, and they entered literature as part of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, where a sudden switch of alliances causes the hero Winston Smith to work overtime as he carries out the task assigned to him of rewriting the newspapers to make it look as if the new alliance had always been in existence.

    ....
    Shockingly, Stalin also handed back a substantial number of German communists who had taken refuge in the Soviet Union after the Nazi seizure of power; some of them, arrested during the purges, were taken directly from the Soviet Gulag to a German concentration camp.

    Moorhouse tells a good story and, though it has been told before, notably in Anthony Read and David Fisher's The Deadly Embrace (1988), he is able to add interesting new details. His account of the negotiation and signing of the pact, finalised by Ribbentrop and Molotov, two men who had become foreign ministers of their respective countries through fawning sycophancy towards their respective leaders, is masterly.

    Yet for all its virtues this is a deeply problematic book. Page after page is devoted to a detailed description of the horrors inflicted by Stalin and his minions on the territories the pact allowed him to occupy, with mass arrests and deportatations, shootings, torture and expropriation. The shooting of thousands of Polish army officers by the Soviet secret police in Katyn Forest and elsewhere has been well known for decades, like the brutal deportation of over a million Poles to Siberia and Central Asia, but much of the material provided by Moorhouse on the Baltic states is relatively new and makes sobering reading.

    None of this, however, is balanced by any comparable treatment of the atrocities committed by the Nazis in Poland following their occupation of the western part of the country: the expropriation of Polish farms and businesses, the mass confiscation and looting of private property, the deportation of more than a million young Poles to work as slaves in Germany, the brutal displacement of Polish populations, the massacres of Poles carried out by the Germans, and the confinement of the majority of Poland's 3 million Jews in overcrowded, insanitary and deadly ghettoes in the major cities in the Nazi zone, where they were dying in large numbers within a few months.



    'Sapere aude'
    by Oui (Oui) on Thu Nov 17th, 2022 at 03:45:45 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Montesquieu, Rousseau, Diderot : du genre humain au bois d'ébène

    Slavery and the slave trade were declared crimes against humanity  by the French Parliament in May 2000 and by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Intolerance in Durban declaration (August-September 2001). These two historical decisions are based on the materiality of the tragedy of slavery and the slave trade.

    Recognition of the crime against humanity constitutes not only an ethical reparation, the foundation of all other reparations, but also the universal sanction of what the French historian Jean-Michel Deveau called, in his work La France aux temps des négriers ( Éditions France Empire), "the greatest tragedy in human history in terms of its duration and magnitude". In the universal history of slavery, the transatlantic slave trade and slavery have several singularities: centuries --, the racial specificity of their victims -- the child, the woman, the black African man --, their ideological legitimization -- the cultural denigration of Africa and of the Black --, in a word, the intellectual construction of anti-Black racism and its legal organization, the Black Code.

    The major material data that justify the recognition of the crime are beginning to emerge, particularly under the impetus of the UNESCO Slave Route project: the organization, with the slave trade, of the first system of globalization in history; the demographic and human drain on the African continent (several tens of millions of men, women and children); the deep and lasting economic, social and cultural breakdown of the African continent; the total violence of a legal repressive apparatus; the criminalization of all forms of resistance, etc.

    The image that is beginning to take shape and substance, the visible part of an immense iceberg of violence and exploitation, is that of a system whose material and formal structure (commercial circuits, state licenses, large companies, slave ships, forts and parking places, sea crossing conditions, the Middle Passage, working and operating conditions in mines and fields, etc.) only takes on meaning, significance and efficiency through the existence of an ideological system of intellectual and moral legitimization.

    Rights of minorities and failure to address the rights of Palestinians in an apartheid state Israel, in search of its independence. In 2009 a failed review conference was held.

    2009 United Nations World Conference Against Racism or Durban II

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