Actual poll: What do you want?

As is getting a new lease on life, what better time to consult the People on which direction to go? As such I have decided to indulge in a rare exercise of democracy. You get three (3) votes. Use them wisely!

Fine print: Results are non-binding and may be abrogated at any time should the People vote wrongly.

ECB’s Cœuré on the Future of the Eurozone


European Central Bank Executive Board Member Benoît Cœuré has made another highly-interesting speech on the future of the Eurozone (également disponible en français, und auf Deutsch) to the annual assembly of French ambassadors in Paris (see previously his interview with Le Monde). Cœuré covers a lot of the problems, paradoxes, and subtleties of the current situation well, and does not sugarcoat things. (Presumably because, as an unelected expert taking taking almost monarchical sovereign decisions, he doesn’t have to pander or simplify like your average politician, nor, apparently, do ECB speeches require as many OKs and approvals as do Commission speeches.) A few money quotes.

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British Techno-Aristocrat Says Europe Doesn’t Need Immigration, African Fertility the Problem



I am at the very end of my visit to Romania (more on that later), but that is no reason to not blog.

Jonathan Adair Turner, Baron Turner of Ecchinswell, former chairman of Britain’s Financial Services Board, has written a sensible op-ed on immigration. This is highly unusual for a member of any Western Establishment. (More typical is former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer arguing that childless Europeans would be fools to oppose all these illegal African immigrants, because obviously they are going to pay for grandma’s pension. A downright cooky argument given what we know about most non-European immigrant groups’ average intergenerational educational performance and welfare use in Germany, France, and Britain.) Continue reading

A Regularly-Scheduled Interruption


It has been over two weeks since I relaunched the blog and, notwithstanding some technical kinks, things have gone well with an (almost) daily stream of content and an approach which, I hope, will have helped foster debate. I am not sure if I will sustain that rhythm in general.

In any case, I will now take a two-week break as I’ll be traveling for the first time in Romania, where I will discover the peaceful Danube Delta, the inspiration behind Dracula, and communist-era monstrosities.

Posting will then be sporadic at best, although I might put out a weekly update. À bientôt !

On Romania

I wrote the following article [RO] for the Romanian weekly Dilema veche as a kind of introduction for a panel discussion on Europe I will be participating in during the magazine’s summer festival. My two bani before visiting the country!

I cannot hide the fact that I find it amusing how, at a debate on a “New Narrative for Europe” dedicated to “cosmopolitanism,” the question that apparently many would like answered is: “What do you think about our country?”! Of course, it is good to see what others think of us. An accurate self-image can only come from the comparison and contrast of different subjectivities, one’s own, and that of others, and this is one of the great arguments in favor of cultural exchange.

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Brussels Regional Gov’t Wants Girls to Want to Be Engineers, Garbage Collectors

Yesterday I reported that while European women increasingly outnumber men as graduates, they are still largely steering clear of innovation-driving STEM: “There has also been apparently no movement towards equalization in this area despite increasingly-pervasive, guilt-inducing blank-slatist ‘awareness raising.'”

This has not deterred the Brussels Regional Government to use some of my tax money to that very end. As the Brussels expat newspaper The Bulletin reports that big gov’t and big bidness are allying to dissuade young girls from pursuing their spontaneous career choice:

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EU to Promote Gender Social Justice in the Workplace, and also More Babies

The European Commission wants to promote equality-of-outcomes (as opposed to equality-of-opportunity) between men and women in the workplace through increased work-life balance for families (possibly replacing the failed 2008 Maternity Leave Directive). In the fine print, the Commission notes such a policy will likely increase fertility.

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Why the Nazis Promoted Modernist Art in Occupied Paris

Jean Cocteau with Arno Breker

Jean Cocteau with “Hitler’s favorite sculptor,” Arno Breker.

In his fascinating and depressing book Hitler’s Empire, the historian Mark Mazower recounts the interesting case of poet and playwright Jean Cocteau in occupied Paris. The Nazi authorities promoted and protected his modernist work, overruling the censorship of the Vichy Régime and French fascists:

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