October 30, 2012

About Dutch things and about police states


1.  Dutch subjects (in English)
2.  Quotes and books relevant to police states
PS. My eye problems


The day before yesterday I put On the coming authoritarian police states - 1 on my site,  and yesterday Over terrorisme ("About terrorism", in Dutch) both of which seem to have drawn quite a few readers.

Today t
here are lots of subjects I certainly might and probably would write about if only I could (*), with such eyes as I have, but then there is that last if.

So I will limit myself to a brief summary in English of what I would write about at greater length in Dutch if only my eyes were less sore, and also - if I can get as far - will limit myself to giving a little about the sort of 21st Century I expect, with the help of A.A. Zinoviev's "Yawning Heights" and A. Applebaum's "Gulag", since these seem quite relevant to what may be expected from the 21st Century.

1. Dutch subjects (in English)

So let me in this section indicate the Dutch subjects I will not write about today, except briefly in English:

- Master Moskowicz has been disbarred:

Dutch lawyers have brought it about, quite a long time ago already, that their academic title is not a B.A., M.A. or - as mine is - doctorandus but "master" or "master in law" - "meester in het recht" - no doubt from apish motives, to show the rest of the world their proper place, in those masterly eyes, and indeed most of them are - to the best of my knowledge - quite as moral as the criminals they defend, or the Dutch High Court that always collaborates with the powers that be, also if these are Nazis or Mafia, or political parties defending these.

In Holland, everything is counted as relative, except one's income or status as sports' hero or media celeb, which is probably also why one of the drugsmafia gangsters that  Moskowicz defended recently was offered a tour around Dutch Colleges, and a column in a Dutch monthly, for a mere quarter of a million euros.

As to Master Moskowicz:

Master Moskowicz was one of the best known lawyers in Holland, of the last decade or two, who got well known for defending drugs mafiosi (for which reason he and his kind of lawyers got the nickname "mafia mate") and also the daft right wing extremist with the Marilyn Monroe hairdo Geert Wilders, and for being extra-ordinarily arrogant to almost anyone, in public, including judges and lawyers, and lately also for arranging payments by his clients in cash, and for not declaring his income to the tax authorities, both of which he knows to be forbidden in Dutch law.

Now he has been disbarred, because he owes the Dutch state at least a million euros in unpaid tax, but mostly because his fellow Masters (in law) have had it with his often voiced disdain for them ("abject and infamous" is his favourite choice of words, which he can deliver in the poshest of refined Dutch accents) - or so I suspect, having myself studied the science of psychology.

Master Moskowicz will appeal, he has told the press, but I guess it will not help: He cannot be popular with most of his brethern lawyers. And  there is more that upset the balance of his life:

- Master Moskowicz and Ms Jinek separated

The Master is the  same as above (I say so because there is a whole masterly family of them: all lawyers) and Ms Jinek, until recently, was his concubine -  or at least I must suppose that is the most apt term. Since I do not have a TV, ever since 1970, where Ms Jinek seems to appear frequently, I therefore only know Ms Jinek from the radio, where she also works as a journalist, and until today I had not understood what people see in Ms Jinek, only having heard her, since she has an ugly voice, no talent at all for making a point, and seems to have little relevant knowledge of most of the things she talks about, but having seen her photograph, in an embrace with Master Moskowicz, now I understand why: She has nice eyes, and nicely painted hair, and she is almost 20 years younger than Master Moskowicz, and talent doesn't matter if you have looks.

The Dutch reader can read many stories about
the separation, with many pictures , which do not interest me: my only reasons to mention this topic is that I mentioned Master Moskowicz, who indeed is or was one of Holland's best known lawyers, and that I had been wondering before why anybody would want to put Ms Jinek on the radio. Now I now: Not because of talent, but because of looks and (former) associates.

I must suppose she saw Master Moskowicz's fall coming, so she is perhaps not as brain dead as she normally sounds on the radio. Then again, on the picture I saw, he and she look like grandfather and granddaughter, so that also may have played a role.

- There is a new Dutch government

As regular readers may know, I have not voted since 1971, which was the last time voting was legally enforced in Holland. My reason - to put it diplomatically - is that I believe that Dutch political parties and their leaders are far more likely to be self-selecting groups of psychopathic careerists than what they themselves tell the silent majority with an average IQ of 100, that keep electing them again and again and again; that I have not seen any politician with real intellectual talent or relevant knowledge since 1970 in Holland, at the latest (**); that I dislike being extensively lied to by careerist assholes who are considerably more stupid and ignorant than I am; and that I only live in Holland because I can't escape it and fell ill here, and I do have the Dutch nationality.

Most or all of this will not hold for my readers, nearly everything being relative in Holland, so let me just say that I commisserate with you if you have been stupid enough to put any trust in the Dutch Labour leader Samson, who really looks the part: Straight out of a horror movie. Even so, he managed to impress many Dutchmen with his lies and postures, so all I can say to my fellow Dutchmen is: I told you so.

- The Dutch writer - "The Face Of Dutch Literature" - Bernlef died

If you are not Dutch, you never heard of Bernlef, and rightly so, because he was the acme of talentlessness. The reason he got "famous" in Holland is mostly because he was a part of the socalled Hoornik clan, which was an association of families and friends that controlled much of literary publishing in Holland for decades, making it virtual certainties that their manner of totally untalented author did get literary prizes, subsidies, perks, and books published, basically by recommending each others' books and excellencies, and taking care the members of the clan were elected in places where Dutch literary things were decided. (This is well explained by something W.F. Hermans quotes in one of his books, that I presently don't have the energy to find.)

Having mentioned the external aspects of the current Dutch Labour leader, I should also mention that I have always regarded Mr Bernlef, ever since reading some of his prose in the 1960ies and seeing his picture, as "The Face Of Dutch Literature": He looks like much of Dutch literature appears to me. (No, he couldn't help that - I know. What he could have helped was not being a careerist while having no talent whatsoever.)

- Geert Mak vs the Nieuwe Rolex Courant

I have written about both Geert Mak - here and here, for example (both in Dutch, from 3 years ago) - and the Nieuwe Rolex Courant in Nederlog, and will quote the last, since that was the last time I mentioned it, and it was written in English, on May 11, 2011:
The Nieuwe Rolex Courant has turned into a sickening mess for pomo-educated posturers

There once was a fairly decent daily paper that addressed itself mostly to the academically and higher educated, called the NRC-Handelsblad, that I read for 40 years. I stopped doing so in December, when it was dumbed down in several major ways, got a new editor who excels in lying and misleading, and a new format that looks cheap and horrible, while the paper still is as expensive as it ever was (1 1/2 times the price of the other Dutch dailies).

I call it the Nieuwe Rolex Courant because the new editor runs it for the money, with all manner of extremely ugly advertisements for Rolex watches - for pimps, bankmanagers and idiots - and Louis Vuitton snob shit, and runs it with a mostly new staff of major dumbos with a pomo education.

So that's one source of information gone for good: I am not willing to pay for this manner of bullshit, directed at the new generation of pomo 'academically' and 'higher educated', who for the most part would never have made English O-levels or a classic Dutch grammar school, but now are doctors in journalism or philosophy, and spout their bullshit, personalized with their picture and their own opinions, in the Nieuwe Rolex Courant.
Meanwhile, the Dutch Public Intellectual Geert Mak (<- English Wikipedia link) - who probably made his quite pleasant and wellpaid career by serving the Amsterdam fraction of Dutch Labour for decades as personal propagandist - also, in late October 2012, has (well... almost) arrived at the conclusion I reached in December 2010: If you pay for this manner of shit, you are brain dead.

Having mentioned that category of the (near) brain dead twice now, let me clarify:

In fact, since it is very difficult to tell whether most academically educated Dutchmen escape that category, because they never have anything interesting, funny or worth reading to say, the NRC is still a profitable company, and it also still is a paper with great snob appeal, apart from Rolex, Vuitton, and Mercedes-Benz, I mean.

To read the NRC in public - in Holland - is to announce to the world that one is highly educated, even though that is not possible anymore since the 1970ies, what with the moronification of the Dutch universities. (In case you worry or fume: There still are intelligent Dutchmen. Native intelligence does not disappear when good universities have been destroyed. But if Dutchmen younger than 60 are erudite, as some of them are, it is because of their own private initiative, and not because of what they had to learn in university or in school. For that is half or a quarter of what used to be the case, between 1865 and 1965.)

Back to professor Mak: He wrote about his disillusionment with the Nieuwe Rolex Courant - thus called by me, because in 2010 they started serving the supposedly "quality paper" for academics between thick brochures by Rolex or Mercedes Benz, recommending their readers to buy Rolex (the most pimped and pimpish watch ever) and drive Mercedes, then at a monthly lease price well above my total monthly income - and Mak did so in the Dutch weekly De Groene: Haalt NRC Handelsblad 2014?

For professor Mak - I say it like it is - it is well done and courageous. I neither agree with all of it, nor believe all of it (professor Mak is much better informed about the NRC and its staff, having worked for it, than I am, but I don't think NRC was as idyllic as he paints it, for example), but that is no reason not to appreciate it, and no reason to disagree with - what seems to be - his recommendation:

If you want to read a somewhat decent Dutch paper, presently both the site and the paper edition of the Volkskrant are considerably better - or less bad - than what the NRC produces these days, and the last two years. And Mak makes several of the same points I made (also in 2008: here, here and here), notably that those who complained to him are often people like me, who are highly educated, and who have read the NRC for decades, just like I did, from 1970-2010, probably precisely because they can still mentally compare the NRC of, say, the 1980ies with the Nieuwe Rolex Courant of 2011: As if its public and staff lost 40 IQ-points, and got a wild taste for trivia and bullshit in the decades that passed. (**)

Also, it would be very nice if the present investors and editors of the NRC got kicked back to where they belong (Moscow and Belgium, it seems), but I do not see this happen until the NRC starts to make losses. Hence my recommendation: If you want to have a paper like the NRC once was, the only way to get it back is by leaving the major mess it is now. (It probably won't work, but then the current Volkskrant really is better.)

2.  Quotes and books relevant to police states

I have written about 
Anne Applebaum's "Gulag - A history" and A.A. Zinoviev's "Yawning Heights" before, in Nederlog, resp. in 2006 and 2009. The links are in the previous statement, and the first is in Dutch while the second is in English.

Both books are highly relevant for proper understanding of authoritarian police states, as my texts explain. As Anne Applebaum wrote about her book, that was first piblished in 2003 and received much well deserved praise:
"This book was not written 'so that it will not happen again', as the cliché would have it. This book was written because it almost certainly will happen again.Totalitarian philosophies have had, and will continue to have, a profound appeal to many millions of people. Destruction of the 'objective enemy', as Hannah Arendt once put it, remains a fundamental object of many dictatorships." (p. 514)
And not only dictatorships, as the policies unfolding in Western rich nations since 9/11/2001 have shown:

Many - quite possibly most - ordinary men (and women) consider it both moral and meritorious to force others to behave according to what the dominant social ideology says "how things ought to be". And here the main point is that
"how things ought to be", in the minds of such men and women, trumps facts and trumps other values: Even if it is ludicrous or insane the appearances of "how things ought to be" have to be kept up and maintained. For man is an ideological ape rather than a rational animal: Prejudice, ignorance, and acquired ideology or religion will crowd out facts, knowledge, experience and logic in most, especially if this serves their self-interest, social rule, or emotional state.

As Anne Applebaum also quite correctly wrote and repeatedly stressed:
"By concentratiom camps, I mean camps constructed to incarcerate people not for what they had done, but for who they were."
Indeed just like the Dutch are doing these days with foreigners: Stoning human beings the Dutch way - style 2012 - and mind you: I will probably be called "a fascist" again for getting angry or for writing about it, all according to what I just wrote out - I don't have the values or beliefs of "the democratic majority" - as also happened in the University of Amsterdam many times, because I insisted that truth exists and not all people are the equivalents of Adolf Hitler, which were both vehemently denied in that university from 1971-1995. (The local teaching - upheld by the Board of Directors and most professors - was not quite that the  Board of Directors of the university consisted of the equivalents of Adolf Hitler, but that every human being is the equivalent of every human being, whence the sis follows. But then it may need an IQ over 150 to see this with any degree of clarity or conviction. In any case, I was removed from the university, because I was "a fascist", or the equivalent of one, as I have been many times assured I was, and I met very few students who were not satsified with the belief that they must personally be the equivalents of Newton and Einstein.)

Now what is an authoritarian police state like? Here is a bit of Zinoviev:
"And then a special kind of society is brought into being, in which hypocrisy, oppression,  corruption, waste, irresponsiblity (individual and collective), shoddy work, boorishness, idleness, disinformation, deceitfulness, drabness, bureaucratic privilege, all flourish. These societies betray a distorted evaluation of the personality - nonentities are elevated to great heights, exceptional people are debased. The most moral citizens are subjected to persecution, the most talented and effiicient are reduced to the lowest common denominator of mediocrity and muddle. It is not necessarily the authorities who achieve this. A person's own colleagues, friends, work-mates and neighbours bend all their efforts to deny a man of talents of developing his own individuality, or an industrious man the chance of advancement. All this takes on a universal character embracing every sphere of activity. Society is threatened with being turned into barracks. This threat determines the psychological state of the citizens. Boredom and anxiety prevail, and a constant fear of worse to come. A society of this kind is condemned to stagnation and to a chronic putrefaction if it cannot find within itself the strength to resist these tendencies. And this condition can last for centuries."
-- op cit p. 56

In case you cry out "Just like here!": Zinoviev was describing the Soviet Union - but yes: wherever there is little civilization, something on the above pattern will emerge naturally, as the lowest common denominator will level all.


Maarten Maartensz

P.S. My eye problems

                  PS: Any necessary corrections have to be made later.