Category Archives: History

German Reunification


This week on Facebook: Mainly for the benefit of my children, I should like to point out that German reunification refers to that of 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall,which led to Tag der Deutschen Einheit. This is not the same as Bismarck’s German Unification of 1850 to 1871 nor is it the 1938 AnschlussRead more of this post

Victor Hugo, Europe United, “Mais Non”


This week on Facebook: Having began the year on the topic of the EU I was attracted to an article published in Europe’s Journal of Psychology  (EJOP) — Vol 1, No 4 (2005) with the title ‘The French Vision of Europe from Victor Hugo’s United States of Europe to the No to the Constitution’ from which this week’s extracts have been taken. The EJOP contribution by Michel Viegnes offers an insight into the French psyche and the influence that Victor Hugo continues to have on it.

This EJOP article is rather long, which I have made it more readable by breaking down the paragraphs, some editorial arrangements and adding a number of links. However, despite these modifications, the paper is still intended to represent the views as written by the author. Should you wish to read the published article in EJOP, a link to it is also included below. Read more of this post

Mais Non!


Finally, the French NO at the 2005 referendum that was a serious drawback for the construction of a real political Europe, if not a lethal strike. It brought together distinct political forces and even conflicting ones, in the shared fear that the identity of Europe (from the French perspective) would be subsumed in a world that is always growing more and more globalised. For those who said NO, whether they came from the right or the left, the constitutional model led to an American globalisation that is simultaneously fascinating and detested, religious and mercantile it is seen as the driving force of this internationalism. One where historical identities seem to be brought into a global culture that is consumerist and technological and in which, former powers of the old continent can no longer play a major role by themselves. Read more of this post

United States of Europe


It is startling to see that Hugo has a rather singular view on the European issue when compared with great authors and intellectuals of the 19th century. It is not until the next century and primarily not until the great catastrophe of the 1914/18 war that one could hear in France important figures giving their opinion on the European idea. Whether we should regret it or not, the perspectives on this are very dissimilar. Read more of this post

Liberté Égalité Fraternité


For Hugo, the single guarantee of inviolable peace was the normal state of work, that is the exchange, the offer and the demand, the production and the consumption, the vast common effort, the attraction of industries, the circulation of ideas, the human flux and reflux. Indeed, this confidence in the rationality of the market, in what Adam Smith called the invisible hand, this certainty that economic freedom engenders or consolidates civic freedoms are typically Anglo-Saxon. They are not part of the French tradition, although France had its own brilliant defenders, especially in the encyclopaedic movement of the 18th century with Quesnay and Turgot. But we should remember that the Former Regime was extremely directive: today, each time the French State launches great initiatives in order to stimulate the economy, we speak of Colbertism. Read more of this post

Hugo’s Dream of Unification


We can notice these days, following the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, that Hugo primarily justifies the idea of a Union of European states by the need to preserve peace, as the ONU Charter did in 1946; Europe should first be a space without war, its genius should imagine nonviolent solutions for unavoidable litigation. Read more of this post

The Peace Congress of Paris, August 1849


This great idea of Europe, Hugo publicly expressed for the first time in the opening discourse at the first Peace Congress, held in Paris, 21st of August 1849. These Peace Congresses were a privileged context for Hugo’s reflection on Europe; he will have the occasion to come back to this theme in his speeches for the Peace Congress of Lausanne (1869) and that of Lugano (1872). Read more of this post

All that glisters…


All that glisters is not gold… [The merchant of Venice — Act 2 Scene 7]

Finding an article that included a simple link to cryptocurrency in support of my linking sixteenth century Spanish bullion to modern mercantilism and the desire of a sovereign power to maintain authority over what is now its fiat money was difficult. I eventually concluded that I had write my own. Debasement of the currency is the inevitable result of abandoning a monetary standard¹ that limits the money supply (or commodity money), giving credence to Keynesian economics and Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)². Read more of this post

Cryptocurrency bubbles and money


This week on Facebook: Debasement of the coinage was rare in Greek history with the notable exception of Dionysius of Syracuse. The Byzantine economy was assumed to have a sound fiscal policy but in the eleventh century emperor Michael VII earned the nickname “Parapinaces” or “minus a quarter”, because the gold nomisma was debased by that amount but little is made of the continuous debasement of the Roman denarius, The enforced sale of the monasteries failed to solve King Henry VIII’s  financial problems, earning him the nickname ‘old copper nose’ during his great debasement. In a fiat money world debasement by fiscal policy is the norm and has perhaps in part (if not entirely) accounting for the intended use of cryptocurrency as fiat. Read more of this post

In Praise of Forgetting


This week on Facebook: I was going to use an article on David Rieff’s book/essay In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies in my post on forgetfulness but decided against its inclusion. What I did find interesting though were the reviews of Rieff’s short work received (it is clearly an essay rather than a book). There is — to my mind — a significance in the references to historic memories that the authors selectively chose to include in their reviews and in those that they did not mention. Particularly the impact that their education had in fostering historical memory and the contemporary ironies it creates. Read more of this post

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The Land Is Ours

a Landrights campaign for Britain

The Bulletin

This site was created for members and friends of My Telegraph blog site, but anyone is welcome to comment, and thereafter apply to become an author.

TCWG Short Stories

Join our monthly competition and share story ideas...

The Real Economy

Blogs and stuff from Ed Conway

Public Law for Everyone

Professor Mark Elliott

Bleda

Am I my Brothers keeper?

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