who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin
"All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
1. €300bn Jean-Claude Juncker
sounds too good to be true
should cash-bomb the people - not the banks
3. It’s a fantasy to see the
working class as an intolerant
4. Firms invested £17bn in companies making cluster
bombs, report says
Launches to Lead Global Fight For Open Internet
and Digital Democracy
6. Assange and Chomsky Appear Arm-In-Arm at Ecuadorian
Is Slowly Winning
This is a Nederlog of Thursday, November 27. It is a crisis log.
There are 7 items with 13 dotted links: Item 1 is
about a plan of Juncker's that is very unlikely to succeed or help; item 2 is about who should get the money that
the very rich are receiving now: everybody who is not very rich; item 3 is about the working class and stupidity; item 4 is about banks investing in (mostly quite
illegal) cluster bombs; item 5 is about a new
coalition for net neutrality (and is Good News, which is rare in this
crisis series); item 6 is about Assange and
Chomsky; and item 7 is about Keynes.
Juncker eurozone kickstarter sounds too good to be true
item today is an article by Larry Elliott on The Guardian:
This starts as follows
(with a minor correction - an inserted space - by me):
I think I agree with the
critics, especially in view of the facts that (1) only
A €300bn (£240bn) plan to
revive the eurozone economy. A blueprint that will use investment in
infrastructure projects to kickstart growth. A Brussels fightback
against the austerity obsession that has left Europe in the slow lane
of the global economy. It all sounds too good to be true. And it is.
That’s not to decry the
efforts of Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European
commission, who deserves credit for trying. But his plan is more likely
to prove a damp squib than a magic bullet.
The first drawback with
the Juncker plan is that there is only €20bn of new money, with the
rest coming from the private sector. Brussels will provide guarantees
should any of the investments in roads, railways, energy projects or a
speedier internet go pear-shaped. Some critics have already dubbed this
highly leveraged scheme as Juncker’s version of subprime mortgage debt.
€20bn is new money, and the
rest is supposed to come from "the private sector", while (2) as the
article also says:
Given that the
eurozone is a €13tn economy, what’s on offer is pretty small beer.
Yes, indeed: A little
over a promille (a thousandth part).
should cash-bomb the people - not the banks
item is an article by Simon Jenkins on The Guardian:
This starts as follows, and
takes a rather different view of Juncker than the previous article did.
I think this one is more justified:
Quite so, at least in my
Abandon helicopters. Use bombers. Bomb Germany, France, Italy,
Greece, the entire eurozone. Bomb them with banknotes, cash, anything to boost demand. The money must go straight
to households, not to banks. Banks have had their day and
miserably failed to spend. From now on they get nothing.
Five years after the
financial crash it is nearly unbelievable that the eurozone’s
lords and masters now confront renewed recession. They seem inert
before deflation, subflation, lowflation or whatever lets them avoid
the word “scandal”. An ever more dominant Germany is unmoved. Its
finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble, is set on “black zero” or a
balanced German budget.
The European Central Bank
(ECB) murmurs about “quantitative easing” but is up against Germany’s
furious protests. Ten per cent of the eurozone’s workforce is
unemployed and one in five of its young. Greece has lost a quarter
of its national product. The waste of resources is staggering.
At the heart of this tragedy
stands the absurd figure of the new EU president, Jean-Claude Juncker,
impresario of Luxembourg’s outrageous tax-evasion oasis. Yesterday he
proposed a €21bn European fund which, he claimed implausibly, would
entice private backers to invest “up to” 15 times the sum. Who will
invest when there is no demand? The pope rightly called the EU “elderly
and haggard”, mistrusted, insensitive and bureaucratic.
Also, although the first paragraph may seem over the top, the
rest of the article gives rather a lot of evidence that it is not,
and indeed has been practised in quite a few countries (Japan,
China, Vietnam, Taiwan); that it is currently supported by quite a few
academics; that it was supported by both Keynes and
Friedman; and indeed also differs from handing over billions to the
very rich, as happens now, in one detail only: the receivers
are supposed to be many poor or middle class people rather than the few
And then there is this "little detail" on the (possible) effects:
Anatole Kaletsky points out that if the £375bn of QE had gone to
private bank accounts rather than to buying bonds from banks, it would have meant £24,000 per British family. This
would have transformed the demand economy.
Yes indeed. I do not
know how much difference it would have made - except that this would
have been much fairer than the actual schema that was adopted
by "the democratically elected politicians", who chose for the banks,
the very rich bankmanagers, and the grossly obscene bonuses for the few
- and who lied a lot.
And after over 5 years of not working, it is quite fair to say it was a
obscene schema to benefit the few rich at the cost of the many poor
(but yes: That part worked - what did not work
was an improvement of the economy).
Will this change? I think not, at least not until the crisis bites
harder, and destroys the banks - as may very well happen, though I do
not know when.
a fantasy to see the working class as an intolerant blob
item is an article by Suzanne Moore on The Guardian:
This is not quite what I
want to write about (some, not much - and I will take up the theme
later), but it does contain the following piece, which also was
written, it is said quite explicitly, by someone who does come
from the working class:
people are horrible. Vile, racist, proud of their ignorance. They live
perpetually trapped in their own stupidity. There, I said it. I can say
it because I am not in the Labour party and I come from the working
class, and therefore simply cannot regard it as a homogenous group. Yes
some working-class folk are salt-of-the-earth, decent and have even
read a book.
First about Suzanne
Moore's article, that also is definitely British and about Great
Britain: I agree with the title (although: who looks upon "the working
class" as "an intolerant blob" - isn't that just too stupid to
treat seriously?) and I also agree with the quotation. The rest is too
British for me, but I do not want to talk about that, for I want to
talk - briefly - about human stupidity.
To start with, here is a recent video of Bill Maher:
I agree with Maher. He
says, in the video, about an MIT professor called Jonathan Gruber of
whom there is a tape on which he calls Americans stupid (and I quote
I agree. And
I have heard nobody else in America say that. Everybody on the left and
the right "Oh how could he call Americans stupid?!". Show the clip of
the one man in America who agrees with him.
After which Bill Maher
is shown, saying and affirming in various ways that most Americans are
stupid, not bright, etc.
I quite agree - and I am from a very poor working class
background, not with a Tory mother and an American father as Suzanne
Moore, but with parents who both were revolutionary and sincere
communists  for more than 40 years; with working
class grandparents who were communists or anarchists; while I have an
IQ well over 150 and two excellent degrees, with only As, all made
while I and my ex were ill (and I was much opposed by students and
staff because I did not have "the normal ideas" - while the
students had, on average, in 1984, an IQ of 115, which 30 years later
is probably 105 now, given that everything educational was made a lot
simpler in Holland since then).
But no: I am not allowed to say most people are stupid,
while that - the degree of stupidity that marks most men and women - is
clearly (as I put it in 2010) the tragi-comical fundamental human
problem: See here, with many links:
And there is also this
from June 10, 2010:
Most links still work,
though especially in the second quite a few don't. In any case, from my
own - no doubt: "fascist, terrorist, elitarian, sick, degenerate",
according to the stupid (and I have been called all that, in
the University of Amsterdam: thank you very much, idiots!) - point of
view it really is the most important problem humans
have, and if you doubt this, you should look at some of the videos in
the above links.
But OK... I will return to this, if only because it is both very unfair
and very stupid (though I agree it will not help much:
people just are too stupid and/or ignorant, on average, alas - and that
is the main problem).
4. Firms invested £17bn in companies making
item is an article by Ewan MacAskill on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
I say. There is
considerably more in the article, and I should add that (1) it doesn't
amaze me that "financial institutions" go for profit, while (2) the
Dutch in this case don't, because the Dutch government has forbidden it
(as is indeed quite justified).
More than 150 financial
institutions worldwide invested £17bn in companies producing cluster
munitions in spite of an international ban, according to a report.
The report from the
Netherlands-based peace organisation PAX lists in its “hall of shame”
banks, pension funds and other financial institutions that have
contributed to production of the munitions between June 2011 and
Most of the investors are
from the US (76), South Korea (22) and China (21), but there are also
three from Germany and seven from the UK. One of the biggest investors
is a Singapore-based company.
Cluster munitions were
banned in a 2008 Oslo convention that came into force in 2010 and has
been signed by 115 countries. The convention followed years of
campaigning against the weapon, which kills a disproportionate number
of civilians, particularly children.
Among countries still to
sign the convention are the US, China and Russia. The US insists that
the weapon is legal.
Launches to Lead Global Fight For Open Internet and Digital Democracy
item is an article by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
I say - but this is quite good
news. Also, they use a sensible definition:
As a movement
crystallizes around the future of the Internet, more than 35 human
rights and technology organizations from 19 countries have come
together as a new coalition to define and protect the idea of 'net
neutrality' as they lead what they say is a global battle to protect
the Open Internet and online freedom.
The numerous and diverse
groups—coming together as the 'This
Is Net Neutrality' coalition—released a joint statement (made
available in eleven languages) expressing their shared purpose:
The open Internet has
fostered unprecedented creativity, innovation and access to knowledge
and to other kinds of social, economic, cultural, and political
opportunities across the globe.
Today, this open Internet is endangered by powerful service providers
seeking to become gatekeepers who decide how users can access parts of
the Internet. We don't want to prevent these companies from using
reasonable and necessary methods to manage their networks, but these
acts cannot be a pretext to eliminate openness nor to police content.
The fundamental openness of this crucial technology must be preserved,
and to this end we offer the resources on this site for activists,
academics, policy makers and technologists who share our vision.
Very good: I am for it.
(And there is more under the last dotted link.)
The coalition, as their
name suggests, also released a shared defintion of the term 'net
neutrality' that all members would use moving forward. It reads:
Net neutrality requires
that the Internet be maintained as an open platform, on which network
providers treat all content, applications and services equally, without
and Chomsky Appear Arm-In-Arm at Ecuadorian Embassy
item is an article by Common Dreams Staff on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows,
under a photograph of Assange and Chomsky on the balcony of the
Ecuadorian Embassy (see the dotted link):
There is some more in
the article, but this is a nice gesture from Chomsky, who is nearly 86,
that indeed also is deserved by Assange.
Julian Assange appeared
on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London arm-in-arm with
American scholar and activist Noam Chomsky on Tuesday.
Assange has remained at
the Embassy since 2012, when he was granted asylum by the Ecuadorian
government. UK authorities have denied Assange passage to Ecuador and
the embassy building has been guarded 24 hours a day by London police.
7. Keynes Is Slowly Winning
item is an article by Paul Krugman on The New York Times:
Basically, this is Paul
Krugman insisting he and Keynes were right all the time. It contains
Three and a half
years ago Businessweek was declaring that expansionary
austerian Alberto Alesina was the new Keynes; now it tells us that Keynes
is the new Keynes. And we have people like Paul
about the “Krugmanization” of the debate.
In fact, I wrote several
articles about Keynes  in 2008, in Dutch (here
they are, though they are in Dutch:
Why does the tide finally seem to be turning?
Partly, I think, it’s just a matter of time; after six years it’s
becoming hard not to notice that the anti-Keynesians have been wrong
about everything. Europe’s slide toward deflation makes it even harder
to deny the realities of liquidity-trap economics. And the refusal of
almost everyone on the anti-Keynesian side to admit any kind of error
has gradually made them look ridiculous.
but then I gave up when
I saw it wasn't Keynes who was winning then, but those policies and
politicians and bank managers who helped the banks and the bank
managers, and that transported billions of dollars to the very
rich, while making the middle class and the poor pay for the banks'
completely ridiculous mistakes or intentional frauds (as I predicted on
September 8, 2008).
As to Krugman: I hope he is right, but I doubt it. At
least so far, few ordinary people protest that their money is taken
from them to pay the debts of the banks
and the many millions of the banks' managers, and indeed one also does
not read, hear or see much about this in the main media.
 Here it is necessary to insist, with
Aristotle, that the governors do not
rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the
if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my
More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn
It is more
that law should govern than any one of the
citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the
supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to
be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file
from is quite pertinent.)
 I insist on their sincerity and intelligence,
though they were not well educated. My father's IQ was above 135, and
my mother's also, and the point about their sincerity is quite
relevant in Holland because I attended the University of Amsterdam
where, in the late 1970ies and early 1980ies, nearly everyone, students
and staff alike, pretended to be "marxists", insisted I was "a
fascist" and "a terrorist" (o yes!) because I was not a
marxist, and indeed also was removed, quite ill also, from the faculty
of philosophy because of my opinions: I was denied the right to
take an M.A. there, by all the quasi-marxistic stupid, degenerate,
conformist careerists who were at least 95% of the students and the
staff of the UvA, in the late 1970ies and early 1980ies, and I was the only
student since WW II who was treated that way in Holland.
Incidentally, the reason for all that quasi-marxism (nearly all
completely false, also) was that the Dutch universities had been handed
over to the students in 1971, who were-or-pretended-to-be mostly
"marxists" till 1985, when they grew into "postmodernists", since when
nearly all of them have changed to "neo-
conservatives" around 2002. As my quote-marks indicated, I think nearly
all of them lied, if only because these were all majority-positions. O,
and the universities were taken from the students in 1995, by another
act of parliament.
Anyway: I may not say people are more stupid than I am,
usually, and certainly
not that this constitutes an enormous problem. No,
what we need is billions and billions more of typical dishonest
Dutchmen with IQs close to 100 and a great knowledge of soccer plus a
taste for racism...
 I have read, already in the 1970ies,
more by Keynes
than most economists seem to have, for I did read "The economic
consequences of the peace", "The general theory of interest and money"
and "A Treatise on Probability" quite closely. (And yes, I know
he wrote considerably more, but these were his main works.)
(that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: