Assange on Visa/MasterCard: “When Putin buys a Coke, 30 seconds later the U.S. knows”

Paging NSA: “The latte has landed, repeat, the latte has landed.”

Paging NSA: “The latte has landed, repeat, the latte has landed.”

I remember being struck by this point made in Julian Assange’s 2012 book Cypherpunks - a compilation of discussions with NSA-conscious geeks, PDF here – on the incredible spying power Visa/MasterCard provide to the United States government, particularly relevant given the current conflict with Russia.

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ECB’s Cœuré: The eurozone is like a grueling triathlon

ETU Challenge Kraichgau 2012

ECB Executive Board Member Benoît Cœuré gave an interesting speech to a government audience in Athens recently on “Convergence 2.0.” He says trying to create the eurozone and stop it from collapsing is a lot like a grueling Ironman “triathlon.” He also suggests “convergence” in future will involve not so much peripheral Europe’s standards of living rising to those of the center, but more having centralized economic policies imposed across Europe.

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Poll: “race relations/immigration” overtakes the economy as “most important issue” for Brits

Slightly old news but still noteworthy. According to a June 27 Ipsos MORI poll (bold in the original):

Race/immigration is now seen as the singular most important issue facing Britain today.

The economy moves to second place, for the first time since August 2008

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Multilingual blog splits in telling metaphor

Note pour les francophones : Je n’écrirai plus en français sur ce site. Merci de me rejoindre sur mon blogue de langue française, Vous retrouverez les mêmes analyses et infos de qualité sur le protectionnisme, l’Europe et la Nation !

As you may have noticed, I am gradually phasing out French from this blog and website.

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Is the EU presided by a closet protectionist?

Van Rompuy

In neo-Carolingian mode.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, who chairs the meetings of national presidents and prime ministers, has again criticized the EU’s excessive focus on abolishing economic/financial borders and that instead it should “balance” this with “protection.” The EU has been too much of an open “space” rather than a rooted “place.”

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Raymond Aron on the Nation-State as “Political Masterpiece”

Cocorico“Of course, personally and as an intellectual, the European idea persuaded and fascinated me. It would have been an incomparable historical achievement to create a nation made up of European nations. But to tell the truth, I never believed in it, even if on the whole I campaigned in favor of this goal. I never believed in it because I have always had the feeling that the specificity and uniqueness of Europe was in the plurality of nationalities and State sovereignties. […] Continue reading

What the Front National wants in 12 points

Le Pen First Partz

The FN apparently pre-printed those “First Party of France” posters for enhanced election night gloating.

With the unprecedented victory of the Front National in the France’s European parliamentary elections – winning 24.85% of the vote and a whopping one-out-of-three French seats, sending a cohort of 24 MEPs to Brussels/Strasbourg that will almost certainly lead a new faction of nationalist parties - it is as important as ever to understand what makes French nationalists tick.

With that in mind, here is a 12-point summary of the Front National’s policy program (as drawn from their media appearances and national/local manifestos). I write this post purely as a succinct guide to these nationalists’ stated positions, without getting into inevitably complicated and polemical questions of whether this or that position is opportunistic, ideological, sincere, realistic, desirable, contradictory or whatever. But I may write on that at a future date. Continue reading

Ethnocentrism in contemporary politics

I write this post to sum up my thoughts on ethnocentrism and politics today. Suffice to say that whether you’re pondering why poorer American whites apparently go against their class interests by voting Republican, why Belgium and Canada are each in a process of perpetual disintegration, or why the relative strength and weakness of euroskeptic and anti-immigrant movements varies, by far the most important factor is ethnocentrism. It is today probably the single most important factor in electoral politics on both side of the Atlantic, only class comes anywhere close as a competing factor, as an equal or arguably somewhat less significant factor.

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Clausewitzian Citizenship

“After Jena, as the Prussian patriots asked themselves what reasons they had to live, on their future prospects, the words ‘honor’ and ‘citizen’ are repeated constantly by the pen of Prince Augustus [of Prussia]‘s aide de camp [Carl von Clausewitz], prisoner of the French, first in Germany, then in France. Deprived of his country, the individual is deprived by the same token of his dignity. If the foreigner respects him, it is by generosity, no more by obligation. Clausewitz can only live as the honored citizen of an honored State. The French word citoyen evokes Jacobin echoes, unlike the German Bürger. The citizen that Clausewitz wants to be does not distinguish between loyalty to Prussia and loyalty to the king. The latter’s honor is intertwined with that of the State or of the country he incarnates. This is much more a morality of honor and of devotion to the country than a morality of duty, without this morality drawing its source from religious faith or even a metaphysics. In this respect, the same can be said of Clausewitz as for Machiavelli.” – Raymond Aron, Clausewitz : Penser la guerre, vol. I, p. 369.

We, again, find the equation: citizenship = nationality. And we find that the humiliated, vulnerable Clausewitz in the defeated Prussia of 1806 had a similar sentiment to Alexander Solzhenitsyn in the gulag: The man without a nation is terribly alone, particularly in the face of those who do have a nation.