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on nationalism, then and now

Article worth a quick scan.

"Thus we're starting to see why Richelieu, flaws and all, is relevant to today: in his time, he saw himself as the upholder of united French sovereignty against multinationalism—the multinationalism of both the Protestants and the Catholics. And now, four centuries later, Marine Le Pen is similarly seeking to uphold French sovereignty against the multinational EU, as well as, more broadly, the myriad powers of globalism."

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socialism in france - between the wars

"Suppose that during the Armistice you bought a spool of thread in a French department store. Not that it is a spool; the thread is wound on a scrap of paper, for the thrifty French do not waste wood.

"It takes a few seconds to say, "A reel of cotton thread, please; white, size sixty." With leisurely grace, the clerk takes the thread in her hand, comes from behind the counter, and courteously asks you to accompany her.

"She escorts you across the store, perhaps half a block, and indicates your place at the end of a waiting line. In twenty minutes or so, you reach the cashier's grating. He sits behind the bars on a high stool, a wide ledger open before him, ink bottle uncorked, and pen in hand.

"He asks you, and he writes in the ledger, your name, your address, and — to your dictation — one reel of thread, cotton, white, size sixty. Will you take it, madame, or have it delivered? You will take it. He writes that. And the price? Forty centimes. You offer in payment, madame? One franc. He writes these amounts, and the date, hour, and minute.

"You give the franc to the clerk, who gives it to the cashier, who gives you the change, looks at the thread, and asks if you are satisfied. You are. A stroke of his pen checks that fact.

"The clerk then wraps the thread, beautifully, at a near-by wrapping counter, and gives you the package. You have spent thirty minutes; so has she; the cashier has spent perhaps five. An hour and five minutes, to buy a reel of thread

"French department stores were as good as the best in the world. The French are expert merchandisers. They knew pneumatic-tube systems; the Paris government owned one that carried special-delivery notes more quickly than anyone could get a telephone number. Department store owners admired the cash-systems in American stores. But if they had installed them, they would still have been obliged to keep the cashier, his ledger, and his pen and ink.

"Why? Because in the markets of Napoleon's time, sellers cheated buyers. Napoleon protected the buyers. He decreed that the details of every sale must be written in a book, with pen and ink, in the presence of both seller and buyer, by a third person who must see the article and the transfer of money; the buyer must declare himself satisfied, and the record must be kept, permanently, to verify the facts if there were any future complaint.

"During this past century, French merchandising had grown enormously. It had completely changed; but not this method of protecting buyers.

"I asked an owner of the largest French department store why Napoleon's decree was not repealed. He said, But, madame, it has been in operation for more than a hundred years! It cannot be repealed; think of the sales girls, the cashiers, the filing clerks, the watchmen who guard the warehouses of ledgers. They would lose their jobs.

"He was shocked. He saw me as the materialist American, thinking only of profit, caring nothing for all those human beings.

I thought they were unemployed. They did not appear as unemployed on any record, but the actual unemployment in France and throughout Europe, was enormous. For every purchase in a French department store, something like an hour's time was unemployed; millions of hours a day. And the cashiers, the filing clerks, the watchers of those records, never did a stroke of productive work. [The discovery of freedom, 1943, p.45 onward]

"...An American visitor, after trying for half an hour to get a Paris telephone number, asked me, "What on earth do you do here, when you want to telephone someone?" And I replied truthfully, "I take a taxi." [The discovery of freedom, 1943, p.44]

And then there is fascist (new) politics Labour in all its glory.

Introduction - socialism & sociology

The discovery of freedom: man's struggle against authority
by Rose Wilder Lane , first published in 1943

The discovery of freedom

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform,
2014, pbk

ISBN-10: 1503117553
ISBN-13: 978-1503117556

£12.98 [amazon.co.uk] {advert}
$13.95 [amazon.com] {advert}

Kindle edition

Laissez Faire Books, 2012


$7.79 [amazon.com] {advert}
£5.56 [amazon.co.uk] {advert}

image credit: amazon.com

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Hitler was not 'wildly popular'

6th November, 1932
Hitler received a fraction over 33% of the vote. This was the last free election in National Socialist Germany.
This result was about 4% lower than the 31st July, 1932 election.

5th March, 1933
Hitler held another election after taking power, in an attempt to consolidate his power.
"Despite achieving a better result than in the November 1932 election, the Nazis did not do as well as Hitler had hoped. In spite of massive violence and intimidation, the Nazis won only 43.9% of the vote, rather than the majority that he had expected."

By 1934, Hitler had so cowed the population that he was able to achieve 90%, or 80% of the eligible vote

19th August, 1934, New York Times
"A feature of the election was that former Marxists cast a far heavier vote for Chancellor Hitler than the so-called bourgeoisie. In Berlin especially, judging by their vote, former Communists still are Leader Hitler's most loyal followers. In one voting district in Wedding, where a few years ago Communists fought from behind barricades against the police, the "yes" votes amounted to 949; the "no" votes and invalid ballots totaled 237."

"In all Bavaria Chancellor Hitler received the largest vote in his favor in the concentration camp at Dachau where 1,554 persons voted "Yes" and only eight "No" and there were only ten spoiled ballots."

"Nevertheless 10 per cent of the voters have admittedly braved possible consequences by answering "No"..."
[Quoted from nytimes.com]

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on the balance of power in europe

On trying to keep the oafish Mussolini out of the war.

25th March 1940: M. Paul Reynaud ('the Churchill of France'), to the Italian ambassador.
M. Reynaud began by explaining to his visitor, Signor Guarilia, his complete faith in the final victory of France and Britain. He compared the struggle in progress to a boxing match between a heavy-weight, representing the two Western empires with all their wealth and slowness, and a light-weight, skillful and trained for the fight but whose only hope in winning was at the start of the contest, and who would be lost if he did not gain victory in the first few months. The war had now become a long drawn-out affair; thus, there could be no doubt about its result.

There could be no conceivable balance of power in Europe if France were beaten. The result would be none the less very serious for Italy if France were defeated.

Ciano's diary for 27th May 1940:
"What he [Mussolini]) wants is war, and even if he were to obtain by peaceful means double what he claims, he would refuse."
[Ciano was Mussolini's son-in-law and 'right-hand' man.]

Ciano to M François-Poncet (French ambassador to Italy),
"Don't waste your time in propaganda efforts. Your only propaganda is victories! If you win victories, we shall be on your side. If you don't, we shall be against you."

[Quoted from pp. 398-400, In the thick of the fight by Paul Reyaud]
Marker at abelard.org
The fall of France was on 22nd June, 1940.
Italy attacked France on 10th June, 1940. The French repelled the attacks.

You should make no mistake how important Britain is to the calm of Europe.

Does Germany actually want Britain out of Europe, so to leave the field open to mercantilist conquest after their other bullying and killing has failed?

In the thick of the fight, 1930-1945
by Paul Reynaud, translated by James D. Lambert
from Au coeur de la mêlée, 1951 five GoldenYak (tm) award

Cassell and Co. Ltd, hbk, 1955
684 pages

amazon.com / amazon.co.uk
shipping weight: 1.8 lb

In the thick of the fight, 1930-1945 by Paul Reynaud

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on advantages of remaining or leaving: brexit issues

The accretion principle is when those in, or with, power accumulate (or accrete) ever more power and advantage.

"EC President Mr Juncker: "We decide on something, leave it lying around, and wait and see what happens. If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people don't understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back." " [Quoted from http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

[Claude Juncker is a member of the Christian Social People's Party, and the European People's Party The latter is a party wanting a social market economy in which state intervention should be practiced in order to ensure fair competition, guarantee good working conditions, social welfare, the well-being of the family and low levels of unemployment whilst maintaining a high rate of economic growth.]

Here's another fellow who seems to agree.

"All that concerns me is never to take a step that I might later have to retrace and never to take a step which could damage us in any way. You must understand that I always go as far as I dare and never further. It is vital to have a sixth sense which tells you broadly what you can and cannot do."
(That is, 'I do what ever I can get away with'.)
Speech, April 1937 Noakes and Pridham, p.550

He ran the National Socialist Workers Party. I always distrust politicians who claim their parties belong to the 'people or the 'workers', let alone when the include 'social'.

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Introduction - socialism & sociology

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