Sunday, November 30, 2008

Warlike Europeans and Peaceful Americans

We know, any of us who read David Fromkin’s A Peace to End All Peace, The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East, or Margaret MacMillan’s Paris 1919, that the artificial borders created by France, Britain and America after World War I were a major cause of World War II. People were left where they were but borders were changed by David Lloyd George, Vittorio Orlando, Georges Clemenceau, Woodrow Wilson and their staffs.

Why should the change of borders cause problems? Because you Europeans just don’t like each other – at least not up close. If you are like me you’re okay, but if you’re not, especially if you speak another language, then I just don’t like you. We, some of us, have been trying to fix the border problem that became known as Iraq for some time. Many will be surprised to learn that Bush didn’t cause that problem. It was the aforementioned quartet, most especially Lloyd George in that case, that caused three distinct peoples, the Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites to be artificially grouped together. The Sunni Saddam Hussein beat the Shiites and Kurds into submission. When he began beating and threatening to beat nearby nations into that same sort of submission he was considered a threat by cautious or perhaps paranoid by certain Western nations and removed from power.

But there is a region that has a worse reputation, a region that gets along with each other even worse than the Sunnis and Shiites: Europe. False borders were not just drawn in the Middle east by the WWI quartet, they were drawn in Europe as well. They became part of Hitler’s well known speeches against the conspiracy of the Jews and those who put together the Treaty of Versailles. His first steps toward World War II were to “regain” German enclaves, to bring the Germans back together again – not by taking them back into Germany, but by claiming the lands they presently inhabited, and this seemed reasonable to many diplomats at the time. Who cared whether German combined with Austria. Who cared if it took back the Rhineland and Sudetenland? Weren’t the people who lived there German?

So after World War II, the West thinking it had learned its lesson, drew borders around ethnic populations – or rather it encourage ethnic populations to group up within ethnic borders:

From Tony Judt’s Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945, pp 25-28: “The Soviet authorities in their turn engineered a series of forced population exchanges between Ukraine and Poland; one million Poles fled or were expelled from their homes in what was now western Ukraine, while half a million Ukrainians left Poland for the Soviet Union between October 1944 and June 1946. In the course of a few months what had once been an intermixed region of different faiths, languages and communities became two distinct, mono-ethnic territories.

“Bulgaria transferred 160,000 Turks to Turkey; Czechoslovakia, under a February 1946 agreement with Hungary, exchanged the 120,000 Slovaks living in Hungary for an equivalent number of Hungarians from communities north of the Danube, in Slovakia, Other transfers of this kind took place between Poland and Lithuania and between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union; 400,000 people from southern Yugoslavia were moved to land in the north to take the place of 600,000 departed Germans and Italians. Here as elsewhere, the populations concerned were not consulted. But the largest affected group was the Germans.

“The Germans of eastern Europe would probably have fled west in any case: by 1945 they were not wanted in the countries where their families had been settled for many hundreds of years. Between a genuine popular desire to punish local Germans for the ravages of war and occupation, and the exploitation of this mood by post-war governments, the German-speaking communities of Yugoslavia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, the Baltic region and the western Soviet Union were doomed and they knew it.

“. . . Nearly three million Germans, most of them from the Czech Sudetenland, were then expelled into Germany . . . . Approximately 267,000 died in the course of the expulsions. Whereas Germans had comprised 29 percent of the population of Bohemia and Moravia in 1930, by the census of 1950 they were just 1.8 percent.

“From Hungary a further 623,000 Germans were expelled, from Romania 786,000, from Yugoslavia about half a million came from the former eastern lands of Germany itself;: Silesia, East Prussia, eastern Pomerania and eastern Brandenburg. . . .”

“. . . . With certain exceptions, the outcome was a Europe of nation states more ethnically homogenous than ever before. The Soviet Union of course remained a multi-national empire. Yugoslavia lost none of its ethnic complexity, despite bloody inter-communal fighting during the war. Romania still had a sizeable Hungarian minority in Transylvania and uncounted numbers – millions – of gypsies. But Poland whose population was just 68 percent Polish in 1938, was overwhelmingly populated by Poles in 1946. Germany was nearly all German . . . Czechoslovakia, whose population before Munich was 22 percent German, 5 percent Hungarian, 3 percent Carpathian Ukrainians and 1.5 percent Jewish, was now almost exclusively Czech and Slovak: of the 55,000 Czechoslovak Jews who survived the war, all but 16,000 would leave by 1950. The ancient diasporas of Europe – Greeks and Turks in the south Balkans and around the Black Sea, Italians in Dalmatia, Hungarians in Transylvania and the north Balkans, Poles in Volhynia (Ukraine), Lithuania and the Bukovina, Germans from the Baltic to the Black Sea, from The Rhine to the Volga, and Jews everywhere – shriveled and disappeared. A new, ‘tidier’ Europe was being born.”


As Dirty Harry said in the 1973 movie Magnum Force, “a man’s got to know his limitations.” That applies to nations as well and it would seem that the Europeans learned their limitations after the mistakes of World War I. They just weren’t able to get along with each other and they went about accepting and dealing with that limitation by grouping themselves into ethnically homogenous states.

Without regard to whether the European ethnically cleansing actions after World War II were a good or bad, one must accept that America has been on a different course almost since its beginning. At first we were in ethnically diverse communities. Our thirteen colonies made some claim to diversity, but when one of those colonies which became the state of South Carolina tried to insist upon its diversity, we had a Civil War which established once and for all (at least so far) that the Union shall have precedence over the rights of individual states. Since our Civil War we have been insisting more and more as time went on upon the acceptance of diversity. Homogeneity never really got off the ground in America.

But back in Europe that wasn’t true. Notice that one of the exceptions to the European homogenous-state plan was Yugoslavia. How has that divergent region been working for you Europeans? Has it been an example to you that you should become more like the ethnically diverse Americans? Not at all. Those Yugoslavians, after all were true Europeans and hated each other with typically European passion. Since Europeans fancied they had entered a peaceful paradise during the Cold War when the non-European U.S. and U.S.S.R. belligerently threatened each other, they were not prepared to sort out the Yugoslavian situation by themselves and had to call in the Americans, and that probably wasn’t a good thing for them, because American has the distinctly non-European tendency toward promoting Liberal Democracy. They think “one man (or woman) one vote” will work everywhere and solve all problems; so rather than tidy up Yugoslavia into Ethnic bundles they pushed Democracy. They, the Americans, were answering to a different set of “limitations.” The former Yugoslavia has yet to move away from their World War One-type borders and into an ethnically clean collection of states. Now whether they will or not (without the Old-European type of ethnic cleansing), I don’t know. I’m just observing that this ethnically-clean approach seems to have worked well for the rest of Europe. If you can’t get along with other people then you can either kill them or keep away from them. Europe tried the first approach for centuries, but has since WWII been opting for the second; so keeping away from the ethnically alien seems a viable alternative for Europe.

However, while ethnic conflict may be one of Europe’s oldest problems, it isn’t their only problem. Europe has decided to explore Socialistic experiments. I say “experiments” because none of them have been proved to work thus far, but hope springs eternal I suppose, and Europe is quite convinced that they will hit on some particular Socialistic approach that will eventually work. They seem particularly fond of the Welfare State system. In the Welfare State the people will be cared for from “the cradle to the grave.” Unfortunately for the European planners, the Welfare State has quite a bit in common with a Ponzi Scheme. The people receiving benefits now will think the scheme wonderful. They get their short work weeks, long vacations and generous retirements, but the problem with such schemes is that the next group or generation of people must pay for what you are enjoying now. If you ever run out of people your scheme collapses. You may be okay, but eventually a generation will be born who won’t get those benefits because there is no one left to pay for them.

The Ponzi-scheme downside of the Welfare System is well known; so national planners have kept a sharp eye on their birth-rates. As long as those rates are high enough then the scheme won’t collapse, there will be people born who will grow up to pay for those living today who want to live and retire well. But European birthrates have fallen dramatically. Perhaps if you live too well you don’t want children to mess up your dolce vita. Whatever is going on over there, they don’t think they can fix the problem without messing with ethnic homogeneity; which as we learned from World War II is a very bad thing for the warlike Europeans to do. They seemed to learn their limitations after WWII, but they have forgotten them and have invited in hoards of North Africans to become European citizens.

I have written several notes on this subject and the only responses I’ve received have been denials. These denials consist of accusing me of things like racism rather than dealing with the European reality. I’m not they racist, you Europeans are. I live in the most racially and culturally diverse nation in the world and perhaps the most racially and culturally diverse part of that nation, Southern California. No, I’m not the one with the problem, you Europeans are. You have invited ethnic aliens into your ethnic enclaves and since you can’t accept them as equals, they have formed enclaves of their own. They have been asserting themselves with increasing violence. Good grief, don’t they know where they are? They are in the most violent dangerous land in the world, Europe. They think the Tiger is asleep and they are pulling its tail and its whiskers. There is only one way this can end. Here I would cut to a Quintin Tarantino Dusk Till Dawn Movie if my blog site were more versatile.

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