Hysteria In Europe

The surgical operation for the removal of the ovaries and the uterus of a woman is termed a hysterectomy which is derived from the word Hysteria as applied to excessive emotional outbursts in women.  An operation was sometimes prescribed for women with severe emotional outburst problems, hence the medical term for the operation.  Perhaps that is sufficient reason not to place too much confidence to science, medical or otherwise, to solve complex problems with easy solutions.  But I use the Hysteria advisedly, for Europe has always been the subject of conquest by one group or another.  First the Romans and then groups from the east and north swept in, upsetting local customs and practices.  Europe, rather than having the pedigree of blue bloods, is really a rather mongrelized mash of strangers masquerading their ethnic purities.  But like all lunacy, there is a madness to their reason.

The poor Ukraine, a wide open plain with good river systems fit for being the bread basket for much of Europe.  Since as early as the tenth century it has been fought over, occupied, reoccupied, aligned and realigned so many times it is difficult to understand who and who is not a Ukrainian.  We see now a great engagement, a power struggle over land boundaries that are merged with history and feelings of nationalism. The Poles, the Lithuanians, the Russians (white and red), the Czechs, the Ottomans, and even the Germans had had their hands in the pie, pulling that general geographical area apart in more ways to Sunday than a historian would care to document.  But the present struggle is now one of language groups.  Those who speak only Russian and those who speak Ukrainian and Russian.  From the 1920s under Stalin through the 1950s under Khrushchev several hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have met their fates at the hands of the communist party wither through death from starvation during the great famine, firing squads, or removal to Siberia.  The Ukrainian language was forbidden to be spoken, taught, or used in any official documents since the Polish and Lithuanians, and later the Russians, occupied the general country.  It wasn’t until 1956 that the official ban was lifted but the language was not taught in the public school system.  One learned it from one’s parents and the community.  Russian was pushed as the unifying language and the resentment remains against the Russians.  The current Ukrainian government has been called a right wing totalitarian government but when it comes to claiming and fighting for a national identity it generally is a right wing totalitarian style of government that is needed.  Liberals seldom fight for a national identity.

So now we have those Ukrainians who are of Russian background, first and second generation but not speakers of the Ukrainian language and who claim some sort of allegiance Russia, either the old USSR or the Putin Empire, for that is what modern Russia is today, a throwback to a Czarist type of empire, Putin only needs a crown.  And those in the eastern part of the Ukraine are primarily of Russian decent and so are fighting for their Half of the country, perhaps as much as they can take regardless of the consequences.  The hysteria on both sides and by all parties of varying interest is inflamed to the point that we may need to call in surgeons versed in rooting out the causes of such a national disease.  A cease fire would be nice and something of a start but one feels that this ill feeling will never end and a more permanent solution is needed.  There must be a partition of territory and a collective need to be satisfied with such a division.  But for the moment the backing and obvious help of Russia with equipment, supplies and trained men only makes the matter worse.  Putin would love to expand his empire.  The problem is, should his side succeed in taking over too much territory it will only cause the wounds to fester until they break open again.  His legacy will not endure.  As for Obama and his need to meddle in affairs not our own, his legacy as the worst president in the history if the United States is assured.

Onward to Greece and Germany, the two unhappy souls of western Europe.  The world has never learned that one cannot spend one’s way to wealth by borrowing.  I remember that there was a management book written by some idiot consultant and titled OPM or Other People’s Money.  The idea was that for a top executive to be a successful CEO he or she should use OPM.  The 1960s were a time of what was referred to as the Go-Go Years where CEOs and major investors did great mergers or buyouts often using borrowed funds.  James Ling was one of the first to start that trend, ending with the hostile take over of Chance Vought.  The 70s saw more takeovers and the new doctrine of debt is good for business.  By the 80s, companies that had refrained from indebtedness became take over targets simply for the cash they retained to finance growth.  It soon became fashionable in MBA programs to spread the gospel of high debt discourages hostile take overs and allows one to plunder other corporations.  We have fifty years in the making of bloated indebtedness is the path to wealth and prosperity.  The last twenty five years has see that same meme repeated in the public cant or administration.  The number of debt financed public improvements, social programs, and employee pensions is fantastic.  Our lessons have spread to Europe to the point of a condition of general bankruptcy that no European official or minister can see.  The debt has been piled up far above their collective eyeballs and yet all is well, just ask the socialist and communists in charge of the purse strings.  Greece is now the child crying that the King has no clothes and for that outburst is being beaten savagely about the neck and shoulders.  Yet the truth is that Europe’s collapse is due very soon.  While the ECB and the EMU and the EU has no effective or legal way to drive Greece out of the collective union, the fact is, Greece will leave and be the better for it.  Oh the initial pain will be felt by her people but with the US, Russia, and even China ready to compete for her favor Greece will survive.

In Spain we see the progressive party called Podemos that advocates the rejection of the current bond debt arrangements and a possible withdrawal from the EMU.  Italy has its Five Star movement of the same type. These populist groups are springing up in Europe and even in, of all places, India.  Oh world, look out it that groups takes hold in India as they have apparently pulled some political upsets in the past election.  That is for further study next week, it will take a bit of catch-up reading to start to understand what is happening in India.  Maybe the revolution will be televised.

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