Guest Post – Mk50: European Fascism Redux

[Update: sdog suggests this post is very similar to an article at the American Thinker. Mk50’s response is here. Several others have provided additional speculation and commentary. In the meantime I have emailed Mk50. Sinc.

Update II: Mk 50 provides a detailed explanation here. Sinc.]

Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. We are seeing this now in Europe. Oh, the media has not twigged yet (they never do until it’s far too late), but the markets have. Capital flight from Italy was already running strongly. This week it became an avalanche.

The Swiss and Singaporeans are doing well.

1922 was a very bad year in Italy. The economy was in free-fall, unemployment was soaring, even the Navy was being shut down to save money. In the south, the mafia was essentially running the place. Benito Mussolini got 25% of the vote in the elections of that year. In 1924 he exceeded 50% of the vote.

We all know the rest.

2012 was a very bad year in Italy. The economy was in free-fall, unemployment was soaring, even the Navy was being shut down to save money. In the south, the mafia was essentially running the place. In the elections of 2013, Beppe Grillo received 24% of the vote. Instead of settling for coalition, and relying on his control of the Senate, he has blocked formation of a coalition government and demanded another election in June. Why won’t he exceed 50% of the vote? 

Here’s how he did it. Beppe Grillo ran as a jokey-blokey comedian in Italy. He used all manner of tricks including conspiracy theories (‘chemtrails” poisoning people for the profit of Jews and the Templars, Jewish fiscal control through the Rothschilds and Rockefellers, with central control via the Illuminati, ‘truther’ conspiracies that 9/11 was a Jewish plot and so-on). These he made more credible by linking them to things every Italian knows is true: massive corruption, the Mafia, corrupt  politicians, EU plots to use the Euro to kill Italian exports and so forth. Anyone seeing a pattern here?

Where is Grillo’s money and some of his ideology from? Look to Tehran. They know and love a fellow anti-Semite and his father-in-law Parvin Tajik runs a major construction business in Iran with its HQ in Tehran. You simply cannot do that unless you have an intimate array of relationships with the Mullahs, who are themselves massively corrupt. It is not possible.

What this all means is just starting to dawn on the self-selected, unelected and unaccountable EU soft-left bureaucratic aristocracy. The pretence of those capering fools is that Grillo is merely a populist. They are making a colossal and lethal strategic blunder if they actually believe that.

 Italians are caught in a situation where they have no capability to vote for good. There is no democracy in Italy. Italians have no say in how their country is run, because fabulist unelected unaccountable left-wing bureaucrats in Brussels run it, not them. No matter what they do, they can now only vote for outcomes which make the situation worse.

  • Government at all levels in Italy is massively corrupt, you cannot survive any other way now.
  • The black economy (run mostly by the mafia) is the size of the official economy and you cannot survive without it.
  • Without control of their own currency, the Germans set its value and Italian manufacturing cannot compete, so exports have collapsed.

Here’s the power-elites ‘solution’ to Italy’s problems, problems created by those self-same bureaucrats in Brussels as they chase the chimera of their own fantasies.

  • they unilaterally appointed a caretaker president  who was seen as their puppet
  • this puppet imposed radical budget cuts Brussels mandated to the welfare state their own policies had created
  • pensions and social security was halved to 700Euro a month
  • health care budgets were halved, hospitals had 6 months pay for their staff
  • the income-sales tax mix were raised to average 50% of everyone’s income (except the power elite, of course)
  • small business taxes soared but unions prevented tax increases for large employers – then demanded double pay for less work (vale Italian manufacturing)
  • the power-elite gave themselves vast pay increases

 In Europe, fifty years of expanding centralised control have entirely disenfranchised the voter. The bureaucrats of the EU power-elite do not have to run for office. And once in office, they cannot be held accountable for their actions. If this sounds like the old USSR, there is a reason for that. Europe has no democracy. People vote for the European Parliament yet it has no legislative power whatsoever, it is a Potemkin Village with no power to pass binding laws and no power to hold the hereditary bureaucracy to account – it is a bright shiny gewgaw to amuse the mob.

The power-elite has gathered all power into the great Commissions. The French call these ‘Grand Corps of the State’ (or Enarques) and they run the state. Germany and the smaller powers have similar systems and it is this Commission structure which has become the self-sustaining mechanism for a new, unelected hereditary power-elite, the Apparat, which controls everything. Obviously, the Apparat has co-opted the major capitalist structures by offering them a place in the power-elite as crony-Allies. If this sounds familiar (and it should to anyone who has read Gotz Aly), it’s because Hitler used exactly the same system and structure.

Meanwhile, the day after Grillo’s ‘Five-Star party’ (with it’s entirely national socialist agenda – and that does not mean ‘Nazi’, it means nationalist and socialist) the Italian Apparat politicians flew to Berlin for meetings with the Commissions and Merkel with the intent of using the old ‘common front’ trick – but he had a new game in mind. It’s called complete power, and the mechanism is another election in June.

The currency market panicked immediately and the capital flight started.

 What happened last week is that someone seized his chance (just as Benito Mussolini did) after Italy hit the brick wall: they ran out of other people’s money and met the reality that wall means. This spells opportunity for fascists.

The people vote fascist because they have nowhere else to go. This is why Five Star is ascendant in Italy, the Pirate Party is rising in Germany, Golden Dawn is expanding in Greece, and the same is happening elsewhere.

 So see Europe now, before the trainwreck gets much worse.

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359 Responses to Guest Post – Mk50: European Fascism Redux

  1. C.L.

    Interesting post, Mark. Thanks.

    The title conveys the cenral truth of the matter: the EU is a literal fascist organistion. No question. The irony and the tragedy of this is epic. A body established – and still sold – as a bulwark against a Fourth Reich (or a second Axis) is itself an organisation that has banned democracy. Most shamefully of all, England has surrendered.

    Re Italy: ac ouple of points…

    1) Part of me actually likes the fact that the Italian state is useless and disempowered. Isn’t the black economy you mention a kind of catallaxy?

    2) Analogy taken on board, but Beppe is no Il Duce, surely.

  2. jupes

    Isn’t the black economy you mention a kind of catallaxy?

    Dunno. Is Catallaxy run by murderous criminals

  3. C.L.

    Lower case, Jupes.

    Have a think.

  4. Fisky

    The title conveys the cenral truth of the matter: the EU is a literal fascist organistion. No question. The irony and the tragedy of this is epic. A body established – and still sold – as a bulwark against a Fourth Reich (or a second Axis) is itself an organisation that has banned democracy. Most shamefully of all, England has surrendered.

    It is already impossible in many EU countries to effect a peaceful transfer of power or a change in policy. What do people do when they cannot change the government peacefully? They overthrow it by force.

  5. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Good point, CL.

    From Wiki – Catallactics is the praxeological theory of the way the free market system reaches exchange ratios and prices. It aims to analyse all actions based on monetary calculation and trace the formation of prices back to the point where an agent makes his or her choices. It explains prices as they are and not as they should be. The laws of catallactics are not value judgments, but aim to be exact, objective and of universal validity. It was first used extensively by the Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises.

    I am not sure that the mafia might agree that they function to ‘explain prices as they are and not as they should be’. Not sure if they work that way…

  6. Edited for my annoyance at the way MS Word vomits <span> elements into everything.

  7. C.L.

    Mark, I was thinking of catallaxy in an Hayekian sense: as spontaneously arisen markets for goods and services – extraneous to and not at all dependent on state fiat or control.

  8. Gab

    catallaxy – the order brought about by the mutual adjustment of many individual economies in a market’. – Hayek.

    Although I’m pretty sure the Mafia doesn’t indulge in “mutual’ adjustments.

  9. Cy

    Perhaps this imminent disaster in Italy and the rest Europe is the only way we will see an end to the EU and the rest of the crazy stuff. Fight fire with fire.

    It’s unfortunate for the Italians in the short term but what else can anyone do in the end with such an entrenched problem.

    I have relatives in Italy and have some sympathy with what they face.

  10. Jim Rose

    crazies get their 15 minutes in troubled times. Richard Posner applied Schumpeter the electoral victory of Hamas

    – The power of the electorate to turn elected officials out of office at the next election gives the officials an incentive to adopt policies that do not outrage public opinion and to administer the policies with some minimum of honesty and competence.

    – It was Fatah’s dramatic failure along these dimensions that opened the way to Hamas’s surprisingly strong electoral showing.

    – Hamas cleverly coupled armed resistance to Israel with the provision of social welfare services managed more efficiently and honestly than the services provided by the notoriously corrupt official Palestinian government, controlled by Fatah.

    – In troubled times, such as afflicted Germany in the early 1930s and Palestine today, democratic elections provide opportunities for radical parties that provide an alternative to discredited policies of incumbents.

    – The worse the incumbent party, the better even an extremist challenger looks.

    – Fatah was corrupt and inefficient; on the other hand, Hamas by its extremism and lethal antagonism to Israel could easily bring disaster.

    – Democracy is a system in which the rulers stand for election at frequent intervals. Such a system tends to align policy with public opinion, but there is no reason why public opinion cannot be exploitive, discriminatory, etc.

  11. C.L.

    Jim, the trouble with most of that is that leftist parties (in particular) led by extremist crazies like Obama and Gillard lavish free stuff on electorates and the leftist media then sells two notions: 1) the other mob will take away ‘your’ free stuff; and 2) debt is OK – no worries. Here is Mayor Bloomberg of New York arguing that America can safely owe “an infinite amount of money.”

    Infinity.

    We’re now beyond trillions.

  12. Token

    Although I’m pretty sure the Mafia doesn’t indulge in “mutual’ adjustments.

    The further the EU goes down the autocratic path, the stronger the black economies will get.

    The Mafia cartel is unfortunately the natural reaction to an EU type structure. It blooms in autocratic states (e.g. Chinese Tongs, Russian Mafia, Hamas, etc.) as the little people look to local warlords to protect their interests from the locusts in the central government structure.

  13. Token

    …lavish free stuff on electorates and the leftist media then sells two notions: 1) the other mob will take away ‘your’ free stuff; and 2) debt is OK – no worries.

    Hate and envy on the rise.

    Pity the Jews as they have historically suffered when the base emotions are allowed run rampant.

  14. Jim Rose

    CL, Obama and Gillard are camped over the middle ground, or are ineptly trying to chase the swinging voter.

  15. sdog

    Very interesting post.

    James Lewis and Justine Aristea made many of the same points in a very similar article yesterday, too.

  16. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Thanks Jacques.

    And sooner or later the ‘black’ economy begins to intrude into the vast personal profits arrogated to themselves from the economy by this form of unaccountable socialist power-elite. They then attack the mafia with the organs of the state, and its goodnight the fox.

    This power-elite is worse than a hereditary aristocracy, they at least have cultural accountability mechanisms, links of fealty to the ruled and noblisse oblige.

    A bureacratic socialist powe-elite not only does not have these, it holds the ruled in active contempt.

  17. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Curses, gazumped. Good article that, Sdog. They look like they’ve missed the capital flight (got that data from Singapore this morning) and they make some good points I had not thought of about relating Italy and the EU to the US political scene.

    Some killer lines there. This summation from the article is a real gem, wish I’d thought of this analogy:

    As long as the Ponzi scheme lasts, the victims loved it. The media churned out neo-imperialist propaganda about how Europe had finally discovered peace and welfare forever, and everybody wanted to believe.

    They got the Iranian connection so I guess they’ve been following the same Italian and French analysts I have. (Isn’t Google translate great? Now if only they can get Japanese translation to work better…)

  18. WhaleHunt Fun

    But will Beppe make the trains run on time?

  19. Token

    The actions of the EU remind me of the Eunuchs of the Middle Kingdom who seemed to take advantage of centralisation by reforming emperors…

  20. Craig Mc

    The power of the electorate to turn elected officials out of office at the next election gives the officials an incentive to adopt policies that do not outrage public opinion and to administer the policies with some minimum of honesty and competence.

    Of course, that assumes the electorate itself is honest and competent. Something I don’t especially believe after last November.

  21. Jim Rose

    Craig mc, Voters are surprisingly forgiving of corrupt politicians that are otherwise competent. Throw the rascals out is not the winning slogan we might all hope.

    Plenty are re-elected despite corruption in the US. Politicians are re-elected after time in prison and even impeachment for judicial corruption.

    The Boston Mayor re-elected while in prison was James Curley. Truman gave Curley a full pardon in 1950 for both his 1904 and 1947 convictions.

    There is a website listing the felony convictions of members of congress.

    Australians do not know how good they have it. At least convicted criminals cannot run for office.

  22. thefrollickingmole

    Ive been reading a few books set before the second world war written by concerned individuals. 9I got a heap when my grandfather died)

    (Ive mentioned them previously)..

    You know what? A lot of sensible people were saying very much the same sort of things about that comical Mr hitler and that fairly sensible fellow Musolini (he was seenas sensible and the more senior of the 2 for a long time).

    There is one thing which might crash the cart first though. The national socialists/fascists were crap economies.

    Germany was on track to go broke right up until the eve of WW2, and thats after confiscating the wealth of the jewish miniority.

    But think of the tragedy of being someone in 1933 who was alredy warning of the rise of fascist Germany? To sit through 5 more years of buck passing, compromise and wishful thinking before the inevitable?

    I sincerely hope we arent in that situation now, the unheralded Cassandras of a new shitstorm.

  23. sdog

    Some killer lines there.

    Quite so.

    You might enjoy their other pieces on the same subject, if you haven’t read them yet.

  24. Token

    One would’ve trout someone in Italy would’ve learned that the history of Poland outlines clearly the dangers of allowing hostile foreign powers to meddle in your electoral process.

  25. thefrollickingmole

    sdog…

    Heres the near identical bits in your article link, and the 1933 warning book..

    “and abolish interest rates, “just like the Islamic Development Bank.””

    Yeah, one of Hitlers crank theories was to charge a “social” intrest on debt…

    “Therefore the UN unilaterally appoints a caretaker president for the US named Monti, who imposes radical budget cuts on our dependent welfare state.”

    Swap the UN for for Hindenburg… Deposing a government and killing Weimar Republic.

    “Small business taxes are increased — but big businesses taxes are lowered, “because big business is more efficient.”

    Yes, similar in pre WW2 germany, the big producers were favoured as long as they toed the party line.

    “Government at all levels is corrupt.”

    Absolutely, but in pre WW2 germany it was more a matter of patronage than outright theft.

    “The mafia controls half the country”

    Change that to Brownshirts and you are almost there.

    And i never knew that italian nutjob was a truther, islamic banking fan, Jew hater and all round nutjob.

  26. Rabz

    FFS – how depressing is the situation in Europe?

    Broke, muslim, in a demographic death spiral and lorded over by unelected, unaccountable fascist bureaucrats.

    As someone who is racially and culturally European (with an Italian surname, BTW) the situation there both depresses and infuriates.

    I have relatives living in Rome who are desperate to get out – but of course there are impediments to them doing so.

    One of my cousins is actually based in Brussels and ‘works’ for the commission. I speak regularly with him on Skype – he is tragically cognitively dissonant.

    Whenever I suggest solutions to the problems there, his command of english inevitably, mysteriously deserts him.

    Mk, I won’t be going back – unless it’s in a B52. In that eventuality, the UK will be the first port of call.

    P.S. I look forward to the semenblogger posting a typically petulant, whiny and insulting comment about your post.

  27. C.L.

    DRUDGE:

    NO JOKE: Comedian holds balance of power in Italy…

    Who are we to judge, though, really?

  28. C.L.

    demographic death spiral

    Which they were explicitly warned about in 1969 by another Italian – Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini. Also known as Pope Paul VI.

  29. sdfc

    What solutions Rabz. More austerity? Italy, like the rest of the PIIG brethren, is being strangled by the euro.

  30. Jc

    Broke, muslim, in a demographic death spiral and lorded over by unelected, unaccountable fascist bureaucrats.

    Rabz

    the demo isn’t as bad as made out. You can’t make predictions like this without an estimate of the back end… ie are oldies going to continue to work long past present standards. My feeling is that a lot of this is manufactured by the governments there by having such generous pensions schemes.

  31. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Good articles, Sdog. Quite a bit of repitition n them, but I can’t argue against the conclusions.

  32. I think an enarque is someone who went to ENA, Ecole Nationale d’Administration, one of the Grande Ecoles.

  33. Jc

    I think an enarque is someone who went to ENA, Ecole Nationale d’Administration, one of the Grande Ecoles.

    Yes.

  34. Rabz

    What solutions Rabz.

    Getting out of the fucking EU for starters.

    Deporting illegal and/or unproductive immigrants, of which there are literally millions in Italy.

    Cracking down on il fucking cosa nostra.

    Reducing the size of the bureaucracy, lowering taxes, etc, etc, etc.

    That’s when he never seems to understand what I’m saying.

    ______________________________

    JC – the demographic death spiral is a reality. Italian women have been the least fertile in Europe for decades.

    And as for ‘working’ past present standards – how many fucking useless, senile bureaucrats can a state support?

  35. Jc

    I’m actually not that pessimistic about Italy. Their real economy is actually quite solid and flexible. 35% of GDP is making stuff for both the domestic and international markets.

    The grey market isn’t run by the the Mafia… at least the great proportion isn’t. These a small firms or retailers hiring people off the books.

    What’s the worst that can happen? Italy defaults. Big deal. Seeing around 70% of the debt is owned domestically it would mean Italians defaulting on Italians.

    And for the last point…. everyone ignores the central government because it thoroughly deserves to be ignored.

    Lets not not the kettle black considering what we have as a government.

  36. Rabz

    JC – Fair enough. I love Italy and would love to go back – an early hours scoot around Rome on a Vespa remains on my bucket list.

  37. Jc

    JC – the demographic death spiral is a reality. Italian women have been the least fertile in Europe for decades.

    Yes true, but longevity is also rising and the fact that “work” is no longer as back breaking as it used to be oldies can work longer too.

    The problem as I see it is the collapsing birth rate. The real problem is that pensions are far too generous and cut in far too early.

    And as for ‘working’ past present standards – how many fucking useless, senile bureaucrats can a state support?

    True. They will default on themselves and go bust. It’s not a bad thing and a lesson learning experience.

  38. sdfc

    Rabz

    Their problem is the govermnent is sucking money out of a depressed economy. There is no provision for cutting taxes unless they cut spending. That’s fine if the tax cuts are greater than the expenditure cuts, but then they have the ECB to deal with.

  39. Jc

    JC – Fair enough. I love Italy and would love to go back – an early hours scoot around Rome on a Vespa remains on my bucket list.

    Lol… yea… we’re planning a trip there next next for a few months. The gals dress a lot more sluttier than the frogs which is a good thing in my mind.

    I’m looking forward to going back to a restaurant I went to years ago in Florence which had this truly delicious chestnut desert which I ordered twice over.

  40. Jc

    SDFC

    The problem is that the ECB is the moat pathetically run, stupid central banking institution on earth.

    They experienced a collapse in NGDP and are still fucking around. Ask yourself what the fuck is the Euro still doing at 1.3 when it ought to be closer to 1.1 or parity with the US.

    Of course Germany frightens the shit out of those beta-boys at the ECB and they are consequently too afraid to move a muscle without Berlin’s say so.

  41. Rabz

    sdfc, with respect, I’m an economist by profession.

    I’ll make up my own mind on these matters, thanks very much.

    There’s no shortage of good news stories in Europe where da ‘austerity’ has been tried. See krugman and Estonia, for example.

    Even that stinking feminayzee hellhole sweden has implemented some freeing up of its economy, with positive results.

  42. Jim Rose

    THE EU is undergoing a standard war of attrition before a fiscal stabilisation.

    The delay in the stabilisation is the result of a struggle between political groups supporting reform plans with different distributional implications.

    Political conflicts over the allocation of the budget cuts or tax increases lead to a stalemate that requires time to be resolve.

    Postponing an adjustment may be costly but all sides hope to shield themselves from such costs and the war of attrition continues until one side gives in.

    The stabilisation package may be similar to what were proposed 6 or 12 months ago with a few tweaks.

    The passage of time and the accumulation of costs leads one group to give in and make a previously rejected program economically and politically feasible.

    When fiscal stabilization occurs it coincides with a political consolidation. Often, one side becomes politically dominant.

    A political consolidation of a stable and secure cohesive majority may be a precondition for a fiscal consolidation.

    A sharp deterioration of the economic situation may lead to reforms simply because it becomes too costly to continue to postpone and not agree.

    The Greeks have done a fine job in gambling for redemption. Squeezing huge subsidies and debt write-offs! The far left party is their latest prop in this war of attrition. The new loony party in Rome has the same role

  43. Splatacrobat

    Italy has had more elections than Hugh Hefner has had erections. Political stability in countries where they have multiple left/right/center and special interest parties has always been a problem.

  44. sdfc

    The ECB has expanded their balance sheet an enormous amount and have taken on all manner of crap in doing so.

    It’s a wonder they have been able to inject as much cash into the system as they have given the attitude of the Germans, who let’s face it are themseelves benfiting from an under-valued exchange rate.

    The euro is a disaster.

    Rabz

    Estonia has in recent years has been the beneficiary of large fiscal transfers from the EU. Government spending remains around 10ppts of GDP higher than it was in 2006. It is not the austerity success story that has been touted.

  45. sdfc

    Sweden has its own currency.

  46. Rabz

    Sweden has its own currency.

    The central point remains unchanged. Italy needs to leave the EU.

  47. sdfc

    I think you’re right. I had thought earlier that they were the least likely country to leave.

  48. Jc

    The ECB has expanded their balance sheet an enormous amount and have taken on all manner of crap in doing so.

    Enormous? Their latest inflation rate was 1.8% and I bet that if you strip away government imposed price rises, which is bigger over there because of the size of the public sector economy, the true rate would be closer to zero.

    So the ECB is really not doing enough to raise expectations and therefore NGDP.

    It’s a wonder they have been able to inject as much cash into the system as they have given the attitude of the Germans, who let’s face it are themseelves benfiting from an under-valued exchange rate.

    As always the Germans a dicks. 68 years later and they are still trying to fuck the rest of Europe.

  49. Rabz

    The poms need to get out as well. It’s been an absolute disaster for them.

  50. sdfc

    I misread your comment I thought you said euro. The euro is a bigger problem than the EU.

  51. Tintarella di Luna

    I love Italy and would love to go back – an early hours scoot around Rome on a Vespa remains on my bucket list.

    Rabz I’ve only been to Rome once about three years ago in August great weather — Rome, no wonder the call it la citta eterna – the most amazing place on earth but then again I’m somewhat biased — We only had about 3 days in Rome walked my little white legs off — We stayed in one of the oldest parts of Rome not far from the Colosseo- I used to get up at about 5am and walk around the cobbled streets – just amazing to watch the city wake – don’t know that I’d do it again but glad I did.

    .

  52. sdfc

    Assigning a target to NGDP would be a step in teh right direction, but it won’t solve Europe’s problems.

    In any case there is no way the Germans are going to subscribe to a policy abandoning price stability.

  53. Jc

    The central point remains unchanged. Italy needs to leave the EU.

    I don’t think it has to if the ECB did the right thing. However out of all the PIIGS Italy would be in a far better position to withstand the exit as the debt is mostly in domestic hands.

    Part of me says they should leave so as to fuck the Germans good and hard. The frogs need a lesson too.

    Italy’s debt is quite high but it’s finances are actually not that bad as it runs a primary surplus.

    Bunga bunga kid did do some okay things like move the budget to a more manageable setting. It was 10 out of 10, but it wasn’t zero either. His performance was around 5.

  54. Tintarella di Luna

    Dan Hannan has been advocating the three Ds for a long time now — Didn’t Iceland try default therapy?

  55. sdfc

    Italy routinely runs primary surpluses.

  56. Chris M

    I’ve noticed countries with a large persentage of Roman Catholics are generally marked by corruption and often social perversion. (No not an anti-Catholic rant, just a factual observation.).

  57. sdfc

    Nice way to derail a perfectly good thread.

  58. Jc

    Assigning a target to NGDP would be a step in teh right direction, but it won’t solve Europe’s problems.

    It would go a long way toward stabilizing things.

    In any case there is no way the Germans are going to subscribe to a policy abandoning price stability

    I don’t quite get the fear over Germany and what they think. Let them leave and see how they handle a currency which on equivalent terms would end up trading at 1.60 to 1.70 German Euros.

    What would they do then? They would of course have to expand the money supply which is QE. Either in or out the fucking Germans would need to see higher money supply stats.

    I would be fucking ruthless with the Krauts. Either accept much more QE or fuck off out and end up doing it yourself when your currency appreciates to the point that it chokes off the economy.

    We’ve seen the Germans scream like stuck pigs with the Japanese QE.

    Fuck the Germans.

  59. Jc

    I’ve noticed countries with a large persentage of Roman Catholics are generally marked by corruption and often social perversion.

    Really? How do you explain Catholic Ireland being basically equal to Britain on the annual corruption scale?

    Shut up Chris, you fucking idiot. Stop ruining a thread again.

  60. sdfc

    I agreeJC, the prospect of the euro breaking in two has been put before. Perhaps that has come a little closer to fruition. I can’t see the other Northern Europeans not going with Germany if that is what happens. Though France would be a good contender to join a southern euro.

  61. jupes

    Mole:

    Change that to Brownshirts and you are almost there.

    Not really. The Brownshirts were a political movement with the aim of getting the Nazis into power. Sure they used criminal methods, but for a different reason than the Mafia.

  62. manalive

    Italy will always be an important destination for people interested in history and culture.
    I visited a number of times as a fresh graduate in the mid-late 60s (at the end of the ‘sweet life’ era) and remember it as brilliantly stylish and vital, particularly in contrast to drab UK.

  63. 2dogs

    If you treat Euroland as a black box, the overall figures are not that bad, e.g. the overall Euroland NIIP is fairly well balanced.

    Europe’s problems are mainly constitutional, and need to be reviewed.

    The answer in this case is not further centralisation, and therein lies the real problem. Those in power at Brussels are mentally incapable of conceiving any solution that does not involve more centralisation.

  64. sdfc

    That’s right 2Dogs the current accoount balance they basically run is a major reason the currency remains relatively strong.

    The EZ major problem does not lay in Brussels, it lays in Frankfurt.

  65. Jc

    That’s right 2Dogs the current accoount balance they basically run is a major reason the currency remains relatively strong.

    Bullshit. The balance of payments is always balanced. They are running a very tight monetary policy which is why the Euro is holding on to the other large currencies.

    The EZ major problem does not lay in Brussels, it lays in Frankfurt.

    It’s both.

  66. thefrollickingmole

    Heres a link to Bepes blog…

    http://www.beppegrillo.it/en/2013/02/beppe_grillos_letter_to_the_it.html

    Heres his sort of policy.

    “There’s no other way. We will come out of the darkness and once more we will see the stars. The State must protect the citizens, or it’s not a State. This is why we need a citizen’s income. I am the State, you are the State, we are the State. Let’s claim back Italy for us.” Beppe Grillo”

    20 points to come out of the darkness:

    1.Citizen’s income

    2.Immediate measures to reinvigorate small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)

    3.Anti-corruption Law

    4.Computerisation and simplification of the State

    5.Abolition of public contributions to the parties

    6.Creation of a “politometro” {politician-o-meter} to measure illicit enrichment of the political class in the last twenty years

    7.Introduction of the possibility of having a referendum that puts forward a proposal and doesn’t need a quorum

    8.Referendum about staying in the euro

    9.Obligation for Parliament to discuss every popular initiative law and have an open vote on it

    10.A single public TV channel without advertising and independent of the parties

    11.Direct elections of candidates to the Lower House and to the Upper House

    12.Maximum of two terms of office as an elected representative

    13.Law on conflict of interests

    14.Restore the funds that have been cut from Health and Public Education

    15.Immediate abolition of direct and indirect financing of newspapers

    16.Free access to the internet for citizens

    17.Abolition of the IMU property tax on primary residences

    18.Primary residences not subject to distraint

    19.Elimination of provinces

    20.Abolition of Equitalia

  67. thefrollickingmole

    jupes

    Not prior to night of the long knives it wast. The brownshirts became political AFTER gaining control of the streets through violence and intimidation.

    So i was so much going for the criminal extortion side as the violence gaining acceptance of their “view”.

  68. sdfc

    No bullshit JC. If there is a balanced current account, the financing requirement is basically zero. Saying the BOP is balanced says nothing.

    Euro-area cash is about 0.1%. Policy is not tight. Sumner is foolish for putting those thoughts in impressionable minds.

  69. jupes

    The brownshirts became political AFTER gaining control of the streets through violence and intimidation.

    No. The Brownshirts were political from the start. Sure they were always thugs but they were also always political. The Mafia not so much.

  70. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Mole, there are parallels with grillo’s 20 points and the NSDAP party platforms of the 1920s.

    Worrying.

    if you look at his list one of teh things it does is abolish alternative power structures to the state. And he is the state. For sure that his definition of the role of the citizen as the state has a very different meaning to that applied to him.

  71. thefrollickingmole

    Mk50 of Brisbane

    “Elimination of provinces’ looks a lot like centralising rulership doest it?

    “16.Free access to the internet for citizens” FFS dont let red underpants man see this or julia will be all over it.

    “I am the State, you are the State, we are the State”
    That one worries me.

  72. Driftforge

    Looks like Beppe copied that list from the LDP web page…

  73. Tel

    No. The Brownshirts were political from the start. Sure they were always thugs but they were also always political. The Mafia not so much.

    I rather think the Mafia would not sully themselves by getting closely involved in Italian politics. They probably do a bit of arms-length prodding but every big business does that. Remember that the State and the Mafia are in the same game — taking protection money.

    And sooner or later the ‘black’ economy begins to intrude into the vast personal profits arrogated to themselves from the economy by this form of unaccountable socialist power-elite. They then attack the mafia with the organs of the state, and its goodnight the fox.

    Southern Italy was crooked during the empire of Rome, and neither Caesar nor any of the Popes could clean it up. I think you could say the tradition is well established… Stalin failed to stamp out the Vor for that matter.

  74. thefrollickingmole

    sdfc

    Interesting idea. The book claims weimar saw a pretty big stripping of assets/wealth from the middle classes prior to Hitler, so i wonder how that fits in with that chart?

    Thanks for that one.

  75. sdfc

    I’m on the lookout for a cheaper copy of the book than the Amazon price.

  76. mareeS

    Europe’s no different to how messy it has been throught history. It wrote the book on Decline and Fall.

    In 2015 we’ll be observing the centenary of Gallipoli, but more importantly the bicentenary of Waterloo, which directly led to the opening of Australia as a migration and wealth-creating destination for cashed up British second sons, having received good instruction from the Rum Corps.

    And let’s not forget that in 2017 we will be observing the centenary of the Russian revolution, where snouts in the trough and institutionalised murder came into their own as aparatus of state well before Mussolini and Hitler were on the go.

    These massive social upheavals tell us plus ca change, etc, in the present day.

    It’s all really business as usual, if you take the longer view.

  77. jupes

    It’s all really business as usual, if you take the longer view.

    Very sad. But true.

    Just like the war to end all wars, the naive thought it couldn’t happen again.

  78. thefrollickingmole

    sdfc

    Maybe ring a couple of old 2nd hand book shops, they might have one?

  79. Rabz

    “Elimination of provinces”

    The Northern Provinces will love that idea…

  80. mareeS

    sdfc, try bibliofind. I’ve had some success with out-of-print books there, and through their links.

  81. sdfc

    Thanks maree will do. Mole, having done some googling since you mentioned it last week I am surprised it is not more well known.

  82. mareeS

    sdfc, apart from bibliofind, one place that I find excellent 2nd hand books is in Hobart, as that’s about the only thing they have left to sell since all industry is defunct.

    Not kidding, the USBs in Hobart,especially in Battery Point, have wonderful stuff if you happen to be a reader or collector.

  83. Steve D

    booko.com.au is always a good place to search for a book, covering new and used with delivery to Australia included. It often works on older titles.

  84. Well well well.

    This must be proof of Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic resonance theory. How else could you explain:

    MK50 3 Mar:

    Beppe Grillo ran as a jokey-blokey comedian in Italy. He used all manner of tricks including conspiracy theories (‘chemtrails” poisoning people for the profit of Jews and the Templars, Jewish fiscal control through the Rothschilds and Rockefellers, with central control via the Illuminati, ‘truther’ conspiracies that 9/11 was a Jewish plot and so-on). These he made more credible by linking them to things every Italian knows is true: massive corruption, the Mafia, corrupt politicians, EU plots to use the Euro to kill Italian exports and so forth. Anyone seeing a pattern here?

    And American Thinker 2 Mar:

    In Italy Beppe Grillo ran as a sly comedian, spinning off conspiracy theories about ‘chemtrails” (jet contrails) that poison the Italian people, the Rockefellers, Rothschilds and Illuminati who run the world to oppress the poor, and all the usual paranoid fantasies. But he also attacked massive corruption (which is true) and self-serving politicians (also true), and the euro currency that killed Italian exports (also true). Grillo voiced criticisms that other politicians avoided. Everybody knows about massive corruption, for example. Grillo said it.

    And then American Thinker, imagining what could happen in the US:

    Therefore the UN unilaterally appoints a caretaker president for the US named Monti, who imposes radical budget cuts on our dependent welfare state.

    1. Social Security is cut by half. People have to live on 700 euros per month.

    2. ObamaCare is cut by half. Two hospitals in Rome do not pay their medical staffs for six months.

    3. Taxes on income and sales are raised to an average of 50%.

    4. Small business taxes are increased — but big businesses taxes are lowered, “because big business is more efficient.” (Meaning it has bigger unions).

    5. Politicians and bureaucrats get major pay raises. The figurehead President of the US doubles his salary.

    And Mk50:

    Here’s the power-elites ‘solution’ to Italy’s problems, problems created by those self-same bureaucrats in Brussels as they chase the chimera of their own fantasies.

    * they unilaterally appointed a caretaker president who was seen as their puppet
    * this puppet imposed radical budget cuts Brussels mandated to the welfare state their own policies had created
    * pensions and social security was halved to 700Euro a month
    * health care budgets were halved, hospitals had 6 months pay for their staff
    * the income-sales tax mix were raised to average 50% of everyone’s income (except the power elite, of course)
    * small business taxes soared but unions prevented tax increases for large employers – then demanded double pay for less work (vale Italian manufacturing)
    * the power-elite gave themselves vast pay increases

    We know it couldn’t be anything else, because when sdog (very politely) pointed out the very similar article, Mk50 merely claimed to have been “gazumped”, and managed to sound all the world like he hadn’t read it before, and incorporated significant chunks of it.

    Rupert will be ever so pleased that his theory has had such definitive proof.

  85. Gab

    I look forward to the semenblogger posting a typically petulant, whiny and insulting comment about your post.

    Well, I hope you’re happy!

  86. sdog deserves the credit, Gab, and Mk50 for then seeking to bluff his way out of admitting what he did.

  87. Gab

    Huh? Sorry, I only read your first line SFB, rolled my eyes and moved on elsewhere.

  88. Actually, you only had to scan the words for about 5 seconds to understand what the comment was showing. Mk50 made it that easy.

  89. wreckage

    It’s almost like two bloggers commented on the same thing, after reading the same article elsewhere.

    I have my suspicions.

  90. Jc

    No bullshit JC. If there is a balanced current account, the financing requirement is basically zero.

    Okay, Japan is basically at death’s door and ran current account surpluses for 25+ years.

    Saying the BOP is balanced says nothing.

    Umm yes it does. The balance of payments has to always balance. I wouldn’t get too worked up about it as it’s basically an accounting entry.

    Euro-area cash is about 0.1%. Policy is not tight.

    Yes it is.

    Sumner is foolish for putting those thoughts in impressionable minds

    Nope. He’s not.

  91. Samuel J

    I’m sorry Mk50 I don’t agree with these conclusions. Italy is not in as bad shape as implied in the article. Sure, southern Italy is run by the mob (always has been), and the black economy keeps people in some form of work. But northern Italy (Milan, Turin etc) is still the powerhouse of Italy and arguably Milan remains the most prosperous city in Europe. The efficiency and productivity of northern Italian workers is similar to those in Germany, if not slightly higher.

    Italy is effectively two countries.

    As for the elections, Italy is a good example of how things can work despite the lack of good government. Grillo is amusing, but he is no Duce. I’d be more inclined to the views by Henry Ergas’ excellent article

    The crux of the problem – the European problem – is that the people don’t believe that austerity is needed. They seem to think that they will be bailed out (as they have in the past). Until the time is reached that shows clearly that is not sustainable, the people will continue to vote for candidates who claim that there is no need to tighten the belts. As demonstrated during WW2, Italians are well able to tighten their belts when they really need to.

  92. Jc

    Samuel

    Of all the troubled countries is the EU, Italians seemed to me the most emotionally equipped to take the hit. They didn’t do what the Greeks did on the streets.

  93. Infidel Tiger

    The Mafia are the one social democrat party I would not publicly execute. They are effective and passionate supporters of small business and have proven themselves over the centuries as can do, go getters with a hatred of red tape.

    The western world would be in a solid fiscal position if we embraced their policies.

    P.s can’t believe that hack journo plagiarised Mk50. The mafia would not tolerate that.

  94. Fisky

    P.s can’t believe that hack journo plagiarised Mk50. The mafia would not tolerate that.

    Very droll!

  95. C.L.

    As for the elections, Italy is a good example of how things can work despite the lack of good government.

    Precisely.

    The state passes laws and everybody ignores them.

    Not like obedient little Australians.

  96. Samuel J

    The Mafia are an outgrowth of the Ancient Roman patron-client system.

  97. Infidel Tiger

    As a small business who would you rather deal with? Giovanni Gotti or Clover Moore and her type?

    The Mafia are no enemy of commerce. Fashion maybe.

  98. Fisky

    They got the Iranian connection so I guess they’ve been following the same Italian and French analysts I have. (Isn’t Google translate great? Now if only they can get Japanese translation to work better…)

    If that is your explanation for how your article came to be so similar to theirs, then you still have a duty to provide original references as with any regular scholar or else it’s sloppy citation. At best.

  99. Oh come on

    Just read the American Thinker article sdog linked to. It’s crystal clear that the authors of it are either heavily plagiarising this post, or vice versa.

    Something needs to be done. If this were a university paper, it would be considered an academic crime. In the blogosphere, it’s a direct torpedo hit to the magazine of SS Credibility.

  100. It’s crystal clear that the authors of it are either heavily plagiarising this post, or vice versa.

    No, a third possibility is that both articles are derived from a common source; a fourth possibility is that the similarities are just coincidental, with both being based on the same statistics and the same common notions. It is, after all, quite obvious to think of the fascist clown, Mussolini, when seeing another Italian clown in politics.

  101. Oh come on

    3rd possibility: as unlikely as this is, given it’s a current event and thus the original source can be easily tracked down, let’s just say for argument’s sake this is correct. In both the American Thinker article and this post, the authors have borrowed so heavily from the original that the Cat and AT posts are in many parts incredibly similar to each other. At the very least the source of both articles should have been cited in both articles, given how much has been lifted from the original.

    4th possibility: when you put the paragraphs highlighted side-by-side and compare the similarity, this becomes preposterous in the extreme. We’re talking levels of coincidence not far off room full of chimpanzees, typewriters, infinite amount of time, Collected Works Of Shakespeare stuff here.

  102. Fortunately, we don’t need to hazard guesses or calculate the levels of coincidence; we need only ask Mk50 for his account of his composing this guest post.
    As much as I like footnotes* in papers (and even novels†), I see no necessity for citations in articles, though links to original sources of statistics should have been included in both articles.

    * such as this.
    † see, for instance, the novels of T.L. Peacock or the Foreword to Over Seventy by P.G. Wodehouse.

  103. Look, I probably shouldn’t even have brought it up.

    It’s just, I’d just read Lewis’ piece the night before – it made a big splash in cetain circles of the Twittersphere and on other blogs, he’s a pretty prolific author and not just some unknown – and hoped there’d be a reasonable explanation for the stark similarity in style, structure, content and even phrasing I noticed.

    For instance, being an avid reader with an exceptional memory can be both a blessing and a curse, and you can inadvertently find yourself parroting fine phrases and ideas you’ve come across in your reading journey without even realizing it. It’s still not cool, but it’s understandable that it happens sometimes.

    But anyway. I didn’t intend to initiate a pile-on of someone whose work I almost always enjoy. It’s not really that big of a deal.

  104. Craig Mc

    Imagine the US government being sunk in red ink.

    It’s easy if you try.

  105. johanna

    @ IT

    “The Mafia are the one social democrat party I would not publicly execute. They are effective and passionate supporters of small business and have proven themselves over the centuries as can do, go getters with a hatred of red tape.

    The western world would be in a solid fiscal position if we embraced their policies.”
    ————-
    Have to disagree, IT. As someone above pointed out, Italy is (and has been since before it was unified) two countries – the prosperous north and the impoverished South. The modern (say last 100 years) Mafia is a creature of the South. It doesn’t seem to have done Southerners much good. That’s why so many of them emigrated to places like Australia and the US.

    On the larger topic, I agree with Maree that we have been lulled by recent history into a false notion of what Europe is like. Political instability has been the rule, rather than the exception, for the last thousand years. The ink would barely be dry on the latest map before some of the boundaries would change again. Last century alone, the maps had be be substantially redrawn three times.

    Leave them to it, I say. It’s not as if we can do anything meaningful about it, apart from sacrificing the blood of our young men in one of their chronic military kerfuffles – most recently in Bosnia, which is a lay-down misere for further conflict. It is no surprise that Balkanisation is a noun with a generic meaning.

    The euro has been a catastrophe for the poorer EU members, and hopefully will not survive in its present form, if at all. As a political entity, it is probably better if the EU survives than not from the point of view of minimising inter-country wars. But if history is any guide, sooner or later it will break up like all the other European empires did.

  106. Token

    In both the American Thinker article and this post, the authors have borrowed so heavily from the original that the Cat and AT posts are in many parts incredibly similar to each other. At the very least the source of both articles should have been cited in both articles, given how much has been lifted from the original.

    Let’s test the theory based upon the consequences.

    Ok, what does Mk50 gain by lifting whole sections from AT and posting it at The Cat? Some kudoos from his peers here, but what else?

    I am glad Mk50 put forward the topic for discussion and agree withy our premise OCO that he should note his sources on this article and in the future.

  107. Dan

    It would be helpful if he rocked up and explained himself

  108. MattR

    Great article, shared on my facebook page:

    http://www.facebook.com/FreedomEconomics?ref=hl

    Hope you don’t mind. 🙂

  109. Jarrah

    “The people vote fascist because they have nowhere else to go. This is why Five Star is ascendant in Italy, the Pirate Party is rising in Germany, Golden Dawn is expanding in Greece, and the same is happening elsewhere.”

    The Pirate Party isn’t fascist. They aren’t even close.

    Even the American Thinker article got it wrong, with their slightly more nuanced version:

    The only protest party people can vote for are barely disguised fascists: The Five Star party in Italy, Golden Dawn in Greece, Pirate Party in Germany, and fascist insurgents in Hungary.

    The Golden Dawn aren’t bothering to disguise anything.

  110. Fisky

    As much as I like footnotes* in papers (and even novels†), I see no necessity for citations in articles

    I’m sure Jayson Blair and Johann Hari agree with you. I wonder what they are doing with themselves nowadays?

    It’s not really that big of a deal.

    Of course it is a big deal. It’s intellectually sloppy at best, outright theft at worst.

    Let’s test the theory based upon the consequences.

    Ok, what does Mk50 gain by lifting whole sections from AT and posting it at The Cat? Some kudoos from his peers here, but what else?

    I’ve got a better test. Let Mk50 explain why his article, published a day later than the AT article, came to be almost identical in structure, content and very similar in phrasing. If he can’t, then we’ll form an appropriate judgment.

  111. Fisky, you quote the first half of one of my sentences about footnotes, but neglect to include this bit: “though links to original sources of statistics should have been included in both articles”, misleadingly implying that I condone the plagiarisms and fabrications of Jayson Blair and Johann Hari; I do not condone them.
    You conclude:

    I’ve got a better test. Let Mk50 explain why his article […] came to be almost identical in structure,[.]

    This is not far from my suggestion:

    we need only ask Mk50 for his account of his composing this guest post.

    Allegedly factual reports by Blair or Hari differ from opinions posted on a webblog, and a guest post on a website differs greatly from a learned paper; we may, surely, relax strict academic requirements* for compositions of a less than academic nature without thereby condoning plagiarism therein.

    * I should note, by the way, that the modern, preferred citation methodology and parenthetical referencing (and shoddy scrutiny thereof) in many university faculties these days allows plagiarism rather than preventing it; in the APA method, for example, if you paraphrase a book (even to a great extent) without directly quoting therefrom you need provide only the name of the author and the year of publication without any page number.

  112. JC

    This really sucks .

    Fisk is right on.

  113. Derp

    Both articles of themselves were an interesting and eye opening read.

    As to the other revelations. I see no reason why door #3 is off the table, especially if other languages are involved. I have to admit I’m refreshing this page often and awaiting further developments with interest.

  114. Dan

    Option 5: He wrote both articles?

    Mk50

    Come on dowwwnnnnnn

  115. Curses, gazumped. Good article that, Sdog. They look like they’ve missed the capital flight (got that data from Singapore this morning)

    Not so much. Your article states,

    Oh, the media has not twigged yet (they never do until it’s far too late), but the markets have. Capital flight from Italy was already running strongly. This week it became an avalanche.

    Lewis & Aristea wrote,

    This week Europe blew up. The media haven’t caught up yet, because they are what they are. But the markets are catching up fast.
    […]
    Currency markets are signaling panic. Don’t believe the media. Believe the markets.”

    Y’all’re actually making pretty much similar observations about both the media and the market reactions there, aren’t you?

  116. Fisky

    Fisky, you quote the first half of one of my sentences about footnotes, but neglect to include this bit: “though links to original sources of statistics should have been included in both articles”, misleadingly implying that I condone the plagiarisms and fabrications of Jayson Blair and Johann Hari; I do not condone them.

    I was tired when I read that, thought you were warming up for an interference run, and didn’t read on. My bad.

    As to the other revelations. I see no reason why door #3 is off the table, especially if other languages are involved. I have to admit I’m refreshing this page often and awaiting further developments with interest.

    That would require an awful lot of heavy lifting in both articles. Nearly all in fact.

  117. That’s funny, sdog, I thought earlier today you were busy canvassing creative* excuses that MK50 might avail himself of. Very sporting of you, but your further comment indicates you might have had a reconsideration?

    * highly creative, when the crypto-amnesia relates to a “forgotten” article only published a day or so before the one in question.

  118. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    sdfc, with respect, I’m an economist by profession.

    Rabz, I never knew that. Ya learn something every day, doncha?

    Mk50 – I’m with sdog. Let’s just debate the ideas and thanks for raising them to this forum.

    ps all you academic wolves, I have been an academic and left unimpressed.

  119. Fisky

    ps all you academic wolves, I have been an academic and left unimpressed.

    You don’t seem to have much sympathy for the victims of potential plagiarism and we aren’t just talking about in academia. A very likely scenario here is that Professor Davidson has been deceived, and as the publisher of this blog, made to take responsibility for unethical behaviour through no fault of his own.

  120. Fisky

    BTW –

    Let’s just debate the ideas and thanks for raising them to this forum.

    That’s a great proposition.

    I note there has been a lot of controversy at this blog about my Theory of Relativity, which I discovered very recently and take full credit for, and I would love to leave the floor open should anyone have any questions relating to this exclusive area of my academic expertise.

  121. Gab

    I’m loathe to fire the gun and ask questions later. Shouldn’t we give Mk the benefit of the doubt? Shouldn’t we wait for an explanation before going off all villagers with torches and pitchforks?

  122. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Guess I have to say I’m also with sdog’s latest comment when he points to certain strong similarities in the structuring of the material, though.

    Such ‘over-enthusiasim’ for paraphrasing a source has lost people academic careers – sometimes rather unjustly I have thought, due more to being politically hounded at times. I have also seen much plagiarism slid by as some sort of post-modernist inflection, done by lefties so it doesn’t count. And don’t get me started on ‘peer review’.

    Prof Bunyip btw has been at great pains to show just how much plagiarism some of our ‘significant’ lefty journalists have engaged in. In journalism, as in blogs, ‘reportage’ as summary from sources is often not fully referenced, and the worst of it comes from PR fluff or McTernan talking sheets.

  123. Fisky

    No, I don’t think that anonymous writers (not even the publisher!) get the benefit of the doubt actually. The person with a reputation at stake is the publisher of the blog, whose reputation has now been risked by a writer’s likely fakery. That publisher is Professor Davidson. Mk50 could be anyone.

  124. SfB, you self-proclaimed “Catholic” “conservative” and “military veteran” you, you’re still a skeevy creep and congenital loser. Nothing Mk50 may or may not have done is ever going to change that, you know. Go steal another loaf of bread.

  125. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    A very likely scenario here is that Professor Davidson has been deceived

    Fisky, like Gab, I’m trying to be fair to Mk50 as well. I’ve enjoyed the discussion so far that has emerged from the ideas. And do not worry – your Theory of Relativity is quite unsafe with me.

    I don’t like plagiarism any more than the next educated person. But it is a sword often drawn unequally in any academic or political battle. I just wanted to point that out.

    Professor Davidson is capable of looking out for his own interests in this I am sure.

  126. sdfc

    So it’s all the left’s fault. Well done Lizzie.

  127. Shouldn’t we wait for an explanation before going off all villagers with torches and pitchforks?

    Yes, Gab. Similar to the admirable restraint you and Mk50 showed when commenting on the Gillard/Wilson matter, I suppose? Your fine example has convinced me…

    Lizzie: the problem has become one of Mk50’s own compounding – he did not avail himself of a “oh, did I forget to add the source which I re-worked?” defence; he’s gone with the full on “what a co-incidence!” defence.

  128. C.L.

    Steve, from now on please give proper attribution to Peter Kennedy – the source of most of ‘your’ religious ‘ideas.’

  129. Gab

    Similar to the admirable restraint you and Mk50 showed when commenting on the Gillard/Wilson matter

    She’s the freaking PM who set up a slush fund for her boyfriend (she has admitted this and called it so) who was known to be of questionable character. I don’t see the parallel, SFB. But good dog you.

  130. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    You don’t seem to have much sympathy for the victims of potential plagiarism

    I had to once take someone’s paws off a dataset I owned, and I’ve seen plenty of instances of people who contributed little or nothing to a publication claiming a high place in the authorial listing for it. Power relationships are often at work here.

    I am not lacking in sympathy for the victims at all.
    Nor for publishers deceived.

    I am just not convinced we are there yet, in this instance, and I won’t join a set of howling lupes on this in any case. These matters deserve a calmer response.

  131. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    So it’s all the left’s fault. Well done Lizzie.

    I am not saying if you can’t beat ’em then join ’em. I have pulled up many students for plagiarism, and explained the nature of the offense to thousands more, and sat on heaps of committees dealing with it.

    Just pointing out the the biggest plagiarism hysteria-mongers are in my experience on the left and they use relatively minor transgressions to attack their enemies. Prof Bunyip gave it back to them, in spades.

  132. Fisky

    Just pointing out the the biggest plagiarism hysteria-mongers are in my experience on the left and they use relatively minor transgressions to attack their enemies.

    They are also the worst transgressors. Most of the big plagiarism scandals have involved Leftist journalists.

  133. Mk50 of Brisbane

    I have been in comms with Sinc over this.

    Much as it might embarrass me, SfB has a point, which I’ll explain below.

    As discussed with Sinc, Firstly, I owe him an apology for unforgivable sloppiness.

    Secondly, I was not aware of the American Thinker site or the article in English until Sdog linked to it. To be honest, had I done so I’d simply have posted a link.

    I note that the thrust of my argument is different from that of Lewis etc. They are doing a comparison to the USA, I was looking at the results of the collapse of the EU welfare states and the effect of voter powerlessness.

    They are independent pieces. When I sent it to Sinc I stated that it thrown together quickly during a break in research. It is now plain that this was far too sloppily done on my part.

    Original interest in the topic came from a Daily Mail article on Austria in 2009 (The-far-right-march-rise-Fascism-Austria.html), and I have been keeping an eye on this ever since.

    My view on Grillo as a proto-fascist comes from here: http://www.vasonline.it/grillo/discorso.htm

    Sources: I looked at material from a number of Italian sites including Grillo’s blog (link removed due to posting limitations), Pierluigi Bersani’s blog (link removed due to posting limitations which is where I think I got a list of Grillo’s ‘bad points’) and sources like the feed at ilmessaggero.it-Roma (link removed due to posting limitations) and AGI (link removed due to posting limitations) politica section, and blogs such as lefoureloaded DOT blogspot DOT com andleonardo DOTblogspot DOT com DOT au I have searched for the original lists of points I found in these sources as I was quite certain that was where I saw them.

    The term ‘apparat’ and description of the EU power-elite comes from brusselsjournal.

    (Sinc has the links above)

    I am still looking for the AGI reporting I based the facts in the post on: the welfare cuts and medical cuts etc have been widely reported.

    As near as I can tell from my history, I did see a list attributed to ‘The Instigator’, here http://wewin-theylose.com/dangerous-times-how-euro-socialism-set-off-a-fascist-bomb-beppe-grillos-italy/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wewin-theylose+(wewin-theylose.com).

    It took me a while to find that and it does indeed come from Lewis. There is a link to the full article there too, which I missed. My history shows no link to American Thinker.

    Therefore this is entirely my fault, far too sloppy for words, and I owe you all a formal and public apology – but most of all I owe Sinc one. You can’t kick me as hard as I am kicking myself, BTW. Still, when I cock up, I admit I cocked up.

    So, well spotted Sdog, I enjoyed all four articles, and well spotted SfB: I imagine you will greatly enjoy ‘crowing rights’ and I look forward to seeing this raised in every second stoush.

    The lesson is obvious (at least to me) and it is ‘don’t write in haste – and double check’

    Cheers: Mk50

  134. Fisky

    So it was very, very sloppy referencing then. Very well.

  135. Thanks for the honesty, Mk50. Good recovery

  136. Fisky

    As Professor Davidson seems to have given MK50 the benefit of the doubt, my interest turns to the thesis of this article. In particular, I cannot find any evidence of Grillo or his party ranting against Jews or engaging in far-right discourse generally. The sources provided are by no means mainstream.

  137. Jarrah

    I’m not sure what listing your sources does, Mk50. It does not explain how your post so closely resembles that of the AT authors’ “style, structure, content and even phrasing” (sdog 2013).

    “I note that the thrust of my argument is different from that of Lewis etc. They are doing a comparison to the USA, I was looking at the results of the collapse of the EU welfare states and the effect of voter powerlessness.”

    Your argument is their argument minus the US comparisons.

  138. So if I have got this right – Mk50 is admitting to reading the start only of the American Thinker article as posted at that “we win – they lose” link, and getting the “list” from there, but not to having read the Lewis article in full at the American Thinker site.

    This means that the paragraphs:

    MK50:

    Beppe Grillo ran as a jokey-blokey comedian in Italy. He used all manner of tricks including conspiracy theories (‘chemtrails” poisoning people for the profit of Jews and the Templars, Jewish fiscal control through the Rothschilds and Rockefellers, with central control via the Illuminati, ‘truther’ conspiracies that 9/11 was a Jewish plot and so-on). These he made more credible by linking them to things every Italian knows is true: massive corruption, the Mafia, corrupt politicians, EU plots to use the Euro to kill Italian exports and so forth. Anyone seeing a pattern here?

    And American Thinker:

    In Italy Beppe Grillo ran as a sly comedian, spinning off conspiracy theories about ‘chemtrails” (jet contrails) that poison the Italian people, the Rockefellers, Rothschilds and Illuminati who run the world to oppress the poor, and all the usual paranoid fantasies. But he also attacked massive corruption (which is true) and self-serving politicians (also true), and the euro currency that killed Italian exports (also true). Grillo voiced criticisms that other politicians avoided. Everybody knows about massive corruption, for example. Grillo said it.

    And this:

    Mk 50

    Where is Grillo’s money and some of his ideology from? Look to Tehran. They know and love a fellow anti-Semite and his father-in-law Parvin Tajik runs a major construction business in Iran with its HQ in Tehran. You simply cannot do that unless you have an intimate array of relationships with the Mullahs, who are themselves massively corrupt. It is not possible.

    American Thinker:

    Now the Clown has his own sources of money and ideology, which lead straight to Tehran, as we have pointed out…

    Beppe tells the world that “Everything I know about the Middle East I’ve learned from my father-in-law” Parvin Tajik, who runs a major construction business in Tehran, and therefore has to be in cahoots with the super-corrupt mullahs.

    American Thinker:

    Over there, fifty years of increasingly centralized control have made it impossible for voters to be heard. The political parties are stuck in GroupThink. Only the fascist “protest” parties agitate for reform. The ruling class doesn’t listen. They don’t have to — they don’t have to run for election.

    Mk 50:

    In Europe, fifty years of expanding centralised control have entirely disenfranchised the voter. The bureaucrats of the EU power-elite do not have to run for office. And once in office, they cannot be held accountable for their actions.

    are meant to be complete co-incidences.

    Sure…

    If Sinclair finds that credible, any of his economic students reading this must be ecstatic that their chances of having an assignment caught out for plagiarism are non existent.

  139. I cannot find any evidence of Grillo or his party […] engaging in far-right discourse

    Whence came this “far-right discourse”? I saw no reference to any in the “thesis of this article”.

  140. Fisky

    Here:

    He used all manner of tricks including conspiracy theories (‘chemtrails” poisoning people for the profit of Jews and the Templars, Jewish fiscal control through the Rothschilds and Rockefellers, with central control via the Illuminati, ‘truther’ conspiracies that 9/11 was a Jewish plot and so-on).

    These are far-right positions, obviously.

  141. Fisky

    Rubbish, Steve. Mk50 has been completely vindicated and in fact has nothing to apologise for. His explanation clearly proves that.

  142. Jarrah

    Fisky, you’re just a trouble-maker. 🙂

  143. Sinclair Davidson

    If Sinclair finds that credible, any of his economic students reading this must be ecstatic that their chances of having an assignment caught out for plagiarism are non existent.

    We use software for that sort of thing. I hope you’re not suggesting that I use my employers resources for my private purposes.

  144. jupes

    ‘Truther’ conspiracies are ‘far right’?

  145. sdfc

    Give it a rest Steve there is no sense on rubbing his nose in it.

    The thrust of the article is of more interest. The longer Europe remains in the mire the more votes populist wackos are likely to receive.

    Let’s not forget the Le Pen picked up around 20% of the vote in the French elections last year.

  146. Fisky

    If Sinclair finds that credible, any of his economic students reading this must be ecstatic that their chances of having an assignment caught out for plagiarism are non existent.

    Drat, Steve. I was just about to hand in my term paper, modestly-titled, “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money“, but now the authorities are on high alert, thanks to you.

  147. Written just like a “Gab”, Fisky.

    How I wish Tillman were here …

  148. Gab

    Ah, the hyenas are out in full force, aren’t you, SFB.

  149. JamesK

    Let’s not forget the Le Pen picked up around 20% of the vote in the French elections last year.

    You make that sound like a bad thing.

    Her policy platform last year was frankly intelligent.

  150. Fisky

    To be fair, Steve, I was not fully satisfied with Mk50’s explanation. He had a golden opportunity to cite heavily from Craig Thomson’s brilliant exculpatory address to the House of Representatives in May 2012, but inexplicably declined to do so. I think it would have been a cracking post.

  151. sdfc

    I make no comment on her policies, but considering she is anti-euro, protectionist and from memory was pretty keen on monetising France’s debt, her platform would certainly make things interesting should she gather strength in the years ahead.

  152. Fisky

    ‘Truther’ conspiracies are ‘far right’?

    Claiming that the Jews are poisoning people for profit is a text-book far right conspiracy.

  153. Jc

    ‘Sactly

    SfB, you self-proclaimed “Catholic” “conservative” and “military veteran” you, you’re still a skeevy creep and congenital loser. Nothing Mk50 may or may not have done is ever going to change that, you know. Go steal another loaf of bread

    You know I’ve been pounding on about supporting NGDP targeting for the best part of a year now, or longer. Up to about Xmas time I always gave academic economic Scott Sumner the plug for the idea. These days I don’t as I think most readers here would be aware that it came from him.

    There’s one dude though, who shall remain nameless that has written extensively on this subject and doesn’t really plug Sumner which more or less means he’s kinda claiming it for his own. I think that’s disgraceful.

  154. Jc

    As for Stepford.

    Fuck off. Both you and Monster used to show up here each morning regurgitating the day’s leftwing talking points.

    Don’t you fucking dare throw a boomerang, Stepford as you’ll end up getting hit in that stupid fat head of yours.

  155. Jc

    Amazing the scum that shows up here with the smell of blood. How fucking pathetic.

  156. Fisky

    JC, Mk50 deserves 24 hours of mockery after writing that bilge, even from Stepford. I’m sure everything will be back to normal tomorrow.

  157. Fisky

    Mk50 deserves 24 hours of mockery after writing that bilge

    I am referring to the above-the-line post, which will go down as the worst article ever published on this blog, on every score.

  158. Gab

    Amazing the scum that shows up here with the smell of blood. How fucking pathetic.

    Precisely. It really is a measure of a man how he responds to someone who has provided an apology. Some have come up rather lacking by today’s baying for blood display.

    “Know thyself.”

  159. Jc

    JC, Mk50 deserves 24 hours of mockery after writing that bilge, even from Stepford. I’m sure everything will be back to normal tomorrow.

    I’m sorry, but I disagree Fisky. That’s just far too low a point to go. The sanctioning has to come from righties.

    Leftwingers have absolutely nothing to offer any discussion and under the Fisk Doctrine would be muzzled for 10 years … even in cases such as this one.

  160. Jc

    I am referring to the above-the-line post, which will go down as the worst article ever published on this blog, on every score.

    Yes, but the Fisk Doctrine is quite clear on this issue, Fisky. They’re banned from participating while undergoing re-education.

    Sorry to sound so… er doctrinaire.

  161. jupes

    Claiming that the Jews are poisoning people for profit is a text-book far right conspiracy.

    True, however, claiming that Jews flew the airliners on 9/11 is more commonly heard in the west by the far left e.g. Van Jones. If you are claiming Muslims are far right then you have a point.

  162. Fisky

    JC, you may have a very good point. Steve from Brisbane would probably protest that as a former Howard man, he is not Left-wing and thus cannot be censored.

  163. Fisky

    I’m sorry Jupes, I’m not aware of Van Jones having ever promoted anti-semitic conspiracy theories.

  164. jupes

    I’m sorry Jupes, I’m not aware of Van Jones having ever promoted anti-semitic conspiracy theories.

    You’re right.

  165. Jc

    Fisky

    He’s lying of course. Stepford has never voted rightwing in his life. He’s also tried to pass himself off as a conservative and a Catholic here.

    The temerity of him claiming higher ground… There was a groundswell of opinion here at the Cat that he (Stepford) ought to be permanently banned for general lying.

  166. Jc

    And Fisky… take note that CL catches Step lying almost every day.

  167. WhaleHunt Fun

    “Claiming that the Jews are poisoning people for profit is a text-book far right conspiracy.”

    The Greens who support Hamas and the extermination of all Jewes are not right wing by most assessments.

    Anti-semiticism is a joy and a guiding light of the left. It is not solely, or even commonly a rightwing person proposing this nastiness.

  168. WhaleHunt Fun

    “ought to be permanently banned for general lying.”
    Is that why the slapper, nor her staff, never seem to post here?
    Are they banned because they lie all the time?

  169. Jc

    Are they banned because they lie all the time?

    I’d hope so. The lying slapper should be permanently banned if she ever appeared here.

  170. dd

    It really is a measure of a man how he responds to someone who has provided an apology.

    The apology was accompanied by a denial of wrongdoing. It was an apology for ‘sloppiness’, which is a minor infraction, and it was a denial of plagiarism. He copped to the speeding fine but not to the hit and run.

    The two articles are astoundingly similar. In fact if you re-wrote the AT article by shuffling words and substituting synonyms (tricks which fool many copy- detectors), you’d get something which looked rather a lot like the above article.

    Frankly, regardless of the truth of the matter, the article should be removed on the grounds that it gives the appearance of plagiarism. It would be a courtesy to the AT authors, who, for whatever reason, published an almost identical article making all the same points, first. Them’s the breaks. AT came first so you have to defer to them.

    This is a really simple decision.

  171. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Mk50, I found your summary style of article easier to read than the one sdog linked to, which I thought much more jerky in style and different in some of its content and emphases.

    As I said before, I enjoyed the debate your post generated and so, it appears, did others. We should focus on that now.

    Unless we want to tackle Fisky on his great new Theory of Relativity. Or SfB on a multitude of unreferenced claims which most people don’t challenge him on because they couldn’t care less about what he is trying to say. 🙂

  172. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Well, if one doubt’s Grillo’s anti-semitism, look here: http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/02/28/italys-new-political-star-has-anti-israel-and-anti-semitic-history/

    During one of his shows, Grillo once declared: “There is a saying that ‘where Attila has passed through, no grass will grow.’ We can say ‘where the Israelis have passed, no Palestinian will grow.’”

    According to Meotti, the chairman of Milan’s synagogue, Davide Romano, went so far as to recently pronounce that “Grillo has a problem with the Jews.”

    Grillo’s Facebook page and weblog is full of anti-Jewish attacks from Grillo’s readers, fans and supporters: “Israel is like Nazi Germany”, “I hope that someone will use any means to stop this killer state”, “The Jews are God’s cursed people”, “Zyklon B for you, peace and justice in Palestine”, “the Israeli leaders are monsters”, “Hamas is much better than all the Zionist governments.”

    (Double checks to see that link is correct…)

  173. thefrollickingmole

    I think this link here is from a wannabe fascist mob, I cant check, blokcked at work..

    Can someone confirm, it appears to be saying that Pepe will be bad for jews??

    http://vnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=152185

  174. Oh come on

    The trouble I have with recent developments here is that a key element of MK50’s account, which claims complete ignorance of the American Thinker publication, is severely undermined by Jarrah’s post (4 Mar 13 at 5:59 pm and Steve from Brisbane’s post (4 Mar 13 at 6:07 pm). After reading both of the articles in question here, I find it very very difficult to believe that MK50 was not aware of the AT article at the time of publishing. If you have not read the two articles, I suggest you read the two comments I cited above for more information.

    In his explanation, MK50 did not account for the astonishing similarity between his article and the AT publication, so unfortunately I think Mr Occam has to go to work here. If MK50 does have one, I’m all ears and I would actually love him to have one, because I don’t want to see his reputation swing over this. However, I for one am not prepared to accept his defence as it stands presently because it seems obvious to me that his claim that he had no knowledge of the AT article is deceitful, and that the accusation of plagiarism is valid.

    I don’t take any pleasure in writing this, as I’ve enjoyed MK50’s contributions at this blog and others for a long time. But, as JC said, it’s far better that we self-police rather than circle the wagons when ‘one of our own’ transgresses. There still appears to be deception going on here, as well as wagon-circling.

  175. Fisky

    Nonsense, OCO! Mk50 has crushed the opposition with his exculpatory apologetic rationalization and rightly so. In fact, he should be launching a defamation action against all his accusers here, and Tony Abbott for good measure.

  176. Oh come on

    For once I don’t think this is a joking matter, Fisky.

  177. Fisky

    I’m deadly serious, squire. Deadly.

  178. I don’t take any pleasure in writing this, as I’ve enjoyed MK50?s contributions at this blog and others for a long time.

    As readers might guess, I’ve taken immense pleasure from it. It only be bettered if someone could confirm they have seen CL leaving his local Adult Shop with the DVD Bears in Heat – the K9 Adventures peaking out of the brown paper bag.

  179. Oh come on

    As readers might guess, I’ve taken immense pleasure from it. It only be bettered if someone could confirm they have seen CL leaving his local Adult Shop with the DVD Bears in Heat – the K9 Adventures peaking out of the brown paper bag.

    Therein lies the problem of denial and kneejerk defence. It gives the SoB types no end of pleasure to watch the contortions.

    Speaking of watching contortions…

    DVD Bears in Heat – the K9 Adventures

    The fact that Steve knows such a movie title exists (or was able to confect it) undermines his own Cat persona, the conservative Catholic married man.

  180. Fisky

    It only be bettered if someone could confirm they have seen CL leaving his local Adult Shop with the DVD Bears in Heat – the K9 Adventures peaking out of the brown paper bag.

    We are pretty loose with our sources around here, and facts in general, so consider it confirmed!

  181. Jarrah

    This is a blog, not an academic setting. If Mk50 borrowed liberally from others, that’s not actually a problem. It just means he’s unoriginal.

    I also don’t want Sinclair to stop using Mk50 for guest posts. They are about subjects that are interesting but wouldn’t get much of a look-in with the standard contributors, due to the differences in expertise. I’m sure he will be careful in future to put more effort into his writing as a result of this embarrassment, and that’s a good thing.

  182. Sinclair Davidson

    Well said that man.

  183. If Mk50 borrowed liberally from others, that’s not actually a problem.

    Perhaps someone should ask the American Thinker and Lewis & Aristea about what they think about that, in this particular case.

    Incidentally, Googling those authors brings up nothing about them – at least, not for the first few pages of results, as far as I can see. One site thinks “James Lewis” is a “nom de wingnut”, and that may well be right.

    Still, someone wrote that article, and large slabs of it turned up with minor adjustments a day later here with no acknowledgement of the source.

    I can’t credit that Jarrah can’t see that as a problem.

  184. Oh come on

    Jarrah; well, if plagiarism has taken place (and I’m still very willing to hear an explanation from MK50 as to how parts of the two pieces were so uncannily similar), in this case it’s the coverup, not the act. Specifically, the claim not to have known about the AT article, which looks dubious at best.

    And if this claim is not true, it is deceitful to us all. I personally don’t like being lied to. That is a problem.

  185. blogstrop

    We seem to have lost sight of the fact that both American Thinker and Mk50 have some concerns about the direction the Italians are heading in.
    Having recently suffered from a government patched together from so many offcuts, one which we have been at time inclined to refer to as the “clown government”, we should remain alive to the issue that minority parties are not a safe parking space for a vote that wants to curse both majors.
    Samuel j stepped in and said Italy was ok, there was North and South. Great, but like the view of Bloomberg saying they can owe an infinite amount, the country still has a debt problem just as other EU states do. It is not trivial, and history teaches that it’s an opportunity for the bad guys.
    I’m not about to condemn someone who’s been a good contributor to this and other blogs for years. Sdog wasn’t inclined to either. Mark admits he acted in haste and didn’t do the right thing with attribution. I’m sure he’ll be more careful in future.
    I’m not reassured by the assertion that the mafia are not that bad. And any Iranian connection, on info backed by AT, is bad news

  186. blogstrop

    There you go. I hadn’t seen Jarrah’s comment when I wrote similar words. “I’m sure he’ll will be more careful in future”.

  187. Oh come on

    I’m not about to condemn someone who’s been a good contributor to this and other blogs for years.

    Neither am I, unless the transgression justifies it. And this, as it currently stands, looks as though it does. Like I said above, I would be thrilled to see an explanation from MK50 (or from the authors of the AT piece!) as to why parts of the two posts are so similar. Seeing as though MK50 did not at all deal with this fairly important fact in his defence above, I don’t see why it’s unreasonable to pull out the Razor at this point.

  188. dd

    It just means he’s unoriginal.

    Unoriginal would involve stock-standard analysis. Re-writing someone else’s very original analysis without attribution is not the same thing.

  189. jupes

    Never having been to university or had a paper published, I’m not sure about the rules of plagiarism.

    How small does something that has been published before have to be, before the original author should be acknowledged? For example, I quite like a few phrases used by Mark Steyn. If I used the phrase ‘preening buffoon’ in an article for publication in say, a journal, should I acknowledge that as coming from him?

    If a phrase is too small to acknowledge, how about a sentence?

  190. Token

    Its pretty clear that Mk50 will ensure he provides sources for his articles in the future.

    If he does not, serial quote doctors like SoB will lean on their training of a lifetime and use ALP smear tactics on him. He is warned.

    I do hope he continues to provide information on topics that interest him, as only a few would’ve been aware of the nature of Pepe’s party without the post.

  191. dd

    I do hope he continues to provide information on topics that interest him, as only a few would’ve been aware of the nature of Pepe’s party without the post.

    Next time, drop a link in the open forum. It’s that easy.

  192. jumpnmcar

    Unoriginal would involve stock-standard analysis. Re-writing someone else’s very original analysis without attribution is not the same thing.

    I’m sure I’ve read that somewhere before, not exactly the same but close.
    If I can’t find the original I it a case of ” tree falling in the forest ” ?

  193. Jarrah

    “Re-writing someone else’s very original analysis”

    So if AT’s analysis wasn’t original, that’s fine? Because it wasn’t. Tough times bring out extremist and populist parties as people’s sphere of empathy shrinks – that’s a well-established sociological phenomenon.

    “If a phrase is too small to acknowledge, how about a sentence?”

    What matters is, whose idea was it? So a nifty turn of phrase that you saw and used in an essay can never be plagiarism. A sentence is rarely plagiarism because ideas need several sentences to be fleshed out, but it’s certainly possible that a long sentence making a key point could be plagiarism. A simple paraphrasing or re-wording will be enough to make it your own, because that’s what your understanding has to be – incorporating other people’s ideas in your own terms.

  194. dd

    If I can’t find the original I it a case of ” tree falling in the forest ” ?

    I challenge you to find the original. Go for it.

  195. jumpnmcar

    I challenge you to find the original. Go for it.

    Challenge not accepted. I’ll leave that to pedantic wankers with no interest in the content of the subject raised.

  196. jupes

    Thanks Sinc and Jarrah.

  197. Oh come on

    So if AT’s analysis wasn’t original, that’s fine?

    I don’t think that’s what DD is saying – not in the slightest.

    Because it wasn’t.

    Well, yes it was – who else has drawn a valid parallel between 1920s Italy and what has started unfolding last week?

    Not that that is relevant in the slightest.

  198. If I used the phrase ‘preening buffoon’ in an article for publication in say, a journal, should I acknowledge that as coming from him?

    Any quotation by another writer, in most sound, academic rules, should be acknowledged* and, even in non-academic writing, it is at least polite to provide a reference for any thought, expression, phrasing, statistic or analysis which is not fully your own. However, if the quotation is from something in general usage or very well known—or, in these semi-literate days, something which ought to be well-known, such as a quote or paraphrase from Shakespeare—, a citation is not required. One approach would be to consider whether any person of sound education might falsely assume some other person’s work, whether in quotation marks or not, to be yours; if there be doubt, provide a citation or acknowledgement, I suggest.
    If I, for instance, were calling someone a preening buffoon (as Mark Steyn puts it) or a fawning spaniel†, I’d recommend a parenthetical reference for the first but no citation for the second.
    Of course, as I’ve shewn here and elsewhere, though I reckon footnotes aren’t a necessity in blogs, they can still be provided without great inconvenience.

    * by “acknowledged”, of course, I mean properly attributed in a citation either in a proper footnote or a parenthetical reference.
    † from “base spaniel fawning”, in Julius Caesar, III, 1.

  199. At the University of Tasmania, by the way, the following information is prominently displayed in guides to courses:

    Plagiarism is a form of cheating. It is taking and using someone else’s thoughts, writings or inventions and representing them as your own; for example, using an author’s words without putting them in quotation marks and citing the source, using an author’s ideas without proper acknowledgment and citation, copying another student’s work.
    If you have any doubts about how to refer to the work of others in your assignments, please consult your lecturer or tutor for relevant referencing guidelines, and the academic integrity resources on the web at http://www.academicintegrity.utas.edu.au/
    The intentional copying of someone else’s work as one’s own is a serious offence punishable by penalties that may range from a fine or deduction/cancellation of marks and, in the most serious of cases, to exclusion from a unit, a course or the University.

  200. Fisky

    I don’t really mind people providing a summary, in a blog post, of something they read elsewhere. But that’s really not cricket if the content was already available for free!

    Me neither. But they need to say where they got it, and say that it is a summary, not pass it off as their own ideas. Mk50 is apparently a serial offender.

  201. wreckage

    Fisky, I find the sentence-from, sentence-on acceptable in a blog post. Should have been attributed properly, but isn’t a straight lift. Perfectly OK in one’s spare time, IMO.

    In future it would work fine to provide summary and commentary with links. This is a common format for bloggers and both avoids plagiarism and broadens your audience’s experience of worthy blogs and news sites.

  202. Fisky

    It is taking and using someone else’s thoughts, writings or inventions and representing them as your own; for example, using an author’s words without putting them in quotation marks and citing the source

    We are seeing a pattern of behaviour where particular angles on particular events are being replicated without attribution. That’s totally unacceptable.

  203. Fisky

    Fisky, I find the sentence-from, sentence-on acceptable in a blog post. Should have been attributed properly, but isn’t a straight lift. Perfectly OK in one’s spare time, IMO.

    I’m glad you think that. Back to the discussion at hand, we have seen specific positions and ideas taken from authors without attribution, presented in the exact order as the original. Absolutely unacceptable.

  204. wreckage

    I agree. And easily avoided with very little additional effort if you just attribute it!

  205. On “preening buffoon”, Mark Steyn is probably not the inventor of that phrase; Millicent Joy Marcus, in Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism (Princeton, 1986; p. 291), writes:

    Indeed, our first reaction to Mangienello is an amused one, not unike the world’s first reaction to Mussolini as a posturing, preening buffoon.

  206. I might add – I suspect a publication like American Thinker might not really care too much about attribution, as long as its political ideas get promulgated.

    Stratfor, would, I expect, be considerably more sensitive about how its material is used.

  207. Louis Hissink

    Mck50 is guilty of being logical. Given the same set of original data, and the limitations of the English language, I’m not sure that I could come up with something radically different.

    After all, it’s like describing our trolls here as idiots, describing them as such elsewhere, and then being pilloried for describing them so, in a third forum, and then, when referring to the first description, being accused of plagiarism.

    Horsehocks.

  208. Jarrah

    dd, Fisky, and SfB… ouch. I never thought it was a pattern. I wonder how much of his blog comments (rather than posts) are similarly derived?

    My prediction – Mk50 lies low for a while, then returns as if nothing happened once we’ve moved on.

    “something which ought to be well-known, such as a quote or paraphrase from Shakespeare—, a citation is not required”

    Yes, for example:

    Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

  209. Fisky

    Getting it yet, Louis?

  210. Louis Hissink

    I might add – I suspect a publication like American Thinker might not really care too much about attribution, as long as its political ideas get promulgated.

    and your side of politics are as disinterested ?

  211. Fisky

    I might add – I suspect a publication like American Thinker might not really care too much about attribution, as long as its political ideas get promulgated.

    There was no attribution!

  212. Jarrah – Mk50 is actually over at the Open Thread, already ignoring this.

  213. Louis Hissink

    Not really Fisky.

  214. Fisky

    My prediction – Mk50 lies low for a while, then returns as if nothing happened once we’ve moved on.

    Also, certain people will be doing the LP “yawn, nothing to see here” tactic and excusing unethical behaviour. Oh wait, that’s already happening!

  215. At this rate, we’ll soon discover that Lizzie is actually a handsome 6′ blond Nordic chef in Stockholm with an Irish wife who ran away from the Riverdance tour when it hit town, but with an interest in writing online fiction.

  216. Louis Hissink

    Fisky,

    You might try using quotations, punctuation and other grammatical tools to emphasise the debating points you want to put here.

    Reading your posts, for the moment, is no more informative than a medical person reading the imprint of your stools on a piece of tissue.

  217. Fisky

    You might try using quotations, punctuation and other grammatical tools to emphasise the debating points you want to put here.

    Not at all, Louis. This thread is an open slather for budding plagiarists like me. I love plagiarism, it’s such fun, and intend to do it more often!

  218. Gab

    Also, certain people will be doing the LP “yawn, nothing to see here” tactic and excusing unethical behaviour. Oh wait, that’s already happening!

    Not really. Some of us have some civility about us and reconise that none of us are angels, in some area. But do go on and on and on and on and on about it. Get it out of your system, should take what, six months?

    Mk50 is actually over at the Open Thread, already ignoring this.

    Quick, SFB, grab your tar and feathers and rush over there. Quickly, like a bunny.

  219. wreckage

    I guess that if we do see any future guest posts from Mk50 that they will be meticulously referenced and attributed…

  220. Gab, as Yoda would say: Strong in you, the forces of blind tribalism are. Herh herh herh.

  221. Gab

    Are you truly trying to tell me that you don’t normally denounce wrongdoing?

    What? There aren’t enough already doing that? You want more? You want a mob?

    I said earlier to give MK the benefit of the doubt. He gave an explanation, gave an apology. That’s not enough for you and others. You made your point very clear, I’m only asking why the same point has to be made over and over ad nauseum? When will it be enough for you? Do you think the first 50 times you made the same point where unclear?

    “let he who has not sinned cast the first stone”

    A very good statement. But of course, that’s not what has happened here today, all day. Rage on then.

  222. Jarrah

    “Mk50 is actually over at the Open Thread, already ignoring this.”

    No, he’s setting up the excuse for the coming absence while the heat dies down:

    off to Mt Isa tomorrow early, I’ll email Kae when I get back Wednesday night.

  223. Gab

    “Yeah, let’s run him out of town”.

  224. wreckage

    But of course, that’s not what has happened here today, all day.

    He needs a good shaming. It will improve him. Or at least his referencing and attribution.

    Incidentally I do, in fact, want him to keep posting. He… transmits… some interesting stuff. I just want him to do so with a bit more… attentiveness.

  225. PS: the Yoda Speak Generator helped made that line for me. Proper attribution being an important matter here, and all.

  226. Infidel Tiger

    We does Mk50 think he is? Phillip Adams?

  227. Fisky

    Louis –

    Reading your posts, for the moment, is no more informative than a medical person reading the imprint of your stools on a piece of tissue.

    Now, it would be dishonest not to point out that many British journalists are guilty of this practice. In America, if a journalist lifts a quote from elsewhere, the custom is to provide a source, i.e. “as Negri said in Negri on Negri …”, but in Britain there’s no hard and fast rule. What’s curious about this case is that, in general, the lower down the professional totem pole, the more likely a journalist is to indulge in these cut-and-paste shortcuts.

  228. wreckage

    That’s Phillip Adams. We expected better from an anonymous blow-in on the internet!

  229. Cato the Elder

    Nice rant, shame about the thread.

    The underlying ideas are interesting, whoever may be the originator. What a pity no one wants to talk about that any more.

  230. Jarrah

    I think it should be noted that I tried to engage with the substance of the post @ 12:03pm. I still want to talk about this aspect. Apart from AT (and possibly Mk50, ha) who else thinks the German Pirate Party is fascist?

    I watched the TPB:AFK documentary, and it turns out one of the key members of the Pirate Bay was a racist arsehole, and one of the monetary backers was involved with those racist right-wingers you get in north Europe. But that’s the only (remote) connection to fascism I can find. Anyone else want to defend AT/MK50’s assertion?

  231. wreckage

    Yes, interesting ideas. I think perhaps it’s not as bad as thought, at least in historical context; there’s simply no chance that Italy is going to successfully invade anyone, and it’s harder these days to sweep genocide under the carpet.

    So I am cautiously optimistic.

  232. wreckage

    Yeah, I’d assume they were slightly racist anti-authoritarians. Very different animal. But they could be a stalking-horse for economic nationalists at a pinch.

  233. squawkbox

    Yes, I think you’re right, Wreckage. Today, not even Mussolini could get Italian trains to run on time 🙂

  234. wreckage

    Mussolini, the contrarian argues, did a good job at keeping Italy out of the war… more or less 😉

  235. Mk50 in his opening paragraph at his first Guest Post:

    One of the hardest things for a young empire to master is the principle that, for the most part, the best option is to do nothing.


    Stratfor:

    One of the hardest things for a young empire to master is the principle that, for the most part, there is nothing to be done.

    Comments that followed Mk50’s post:

    Well said and thought provoking, MK50, thanks

    Love your work.

    Good piece, Mark. Thanks.

    Good read, Mk50, thank you.

    Mk50’s motives are clear enough – to take the credit for other people’s words.

  236. Jarrah

    “Today, not even Mussolini could get Italian trains to run on time”

    That’s a myth. The only train Mussolini got to run on time was the one taking him to his inauguration.

  237. Mk50 of Brisbane

    So I used a chunk of my research notes with the footnoting stripped out. So what? You want the footnoting and a slab of my research notes?

    Here it is, then. The formatting is gone, here (had to copy & Paste the fn at the end of it. Sent it to Sinc, though.

    No, you can’t have the other 250 pages of notes in that flat file, that’s many months of work.

    I can definitely recommend John Darwin for students of Empire.

    Who’d have though that someone researching matters relating to Empire would be taking copius research notes on…. Empires, eh? And yeah, I have access to STRATFOR.
    —————————–

    Naval Reporting Officers. The role of these officers was to feed information into the Naval Intelligence system. All information on the movement of enemy ships and suspicious merchant shipping was to be sent in. They also provided routing information to British and Allied ships and reporting their movements so they could be tracked. This helped in the identification of disguised merchant raiders.

    Naval Control Service. Set up as soon as possible once war was known to be inevitable, this was the critical trade protection organisation. The Naval Control Service organised evasive routing with ship’s Masters and could do that locally on the basis of information known to them regarding raider activity, organised and formed convoys. The NCS was composed of retired regular naval officers and some volunteers with specialist skills.

    Detaining Officers. These men were responsible for preventing the departure of enemy ships at the start of a war and of neutral ships carrying contraband during the war. They required careful training before the war started.

    Contraband Control. Contraband control bases were established at trade focal ports. While supplemented after the start of war, the core expertise was carried in local men, and their supporting small craft also had to be provided locally. This service was also a medium for attacking enemy trade and for this reason Dominions and colonies also had to provide small craft and other support.

    The crisis of September 1938 acted as a test run for global mobilization of the entire trade protection apparatus and beneficial political and procedural lessons were learned from it. Among these were revelation of certain reluctance on the part of Canada and South Africa to follow mobilisation as smoothly as Australia and New Zealand and of a Canadian desire to integrate closely with the USN over matters of trade protection. This was not unexpected as Canada had responsibility for naval control functions in US ports insofar as they could be applied.

    FRIEDMAN, G., The Elections, Gridlock and Foreign Policy, STRATFOR Geopolitical Weekly, November 7, 2012.
    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/elections-gridlock-and-foreign-policy

    there’s an interesting Imperial lesson being learned. One of the hardest things for a young empire to master is the principle that, for the most part, the best option is to do nothing. Empires which are constantly at war become exhausted garrison states which quickly fade away, not long-lived liberal international economic organisations prospering by internal and external trade.[Deepak Lal]

    The USA is an old Empire celebrating two centuries of Imperial progress and expansion. Yet its population quite uncomfortable with the role. So it is this uncomfortable Empire which is coming to terms not so much with the limits of its power as the nature of its Imperial power. Imperial power derives from understanding the difference between those things that matter and those things that do not: and the central point that ‘the the things that don’t matter really don’t matter – and must be met with ruthless indifference’.

    A significant shift from the Victorian era was the move to British reliance on partnership with the Dominions for global economic and military power. Their military, economic, financial and political support during 1914-18 made them crucial Imperial assets. The white Dominions contributed armies on the scale of India – which had twenty times their population. Both Canada and Australia suffered combat casualties as large as the USA, which proved their fidelity and staying power. Australia also made a noteworthy naval contribution. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa conducted local colonial campaigns against German territories. At the end of the war, the scale of these contributions had clearly been a national response. This generated needs for Imperial recognition of Dominion nationhood, an alteration to Imperial status.

    This was clear in 1917 when the Dominion leaders gathered in London, they demanded ‘full recognition of the Dominions as autonomous nations of an Imperial Commonwealth, and of India as an important portion of the same…’ with ‘…the right of the Dominions and of India to an adequate voice in foreign policy…’ This set the scene for change within the empire, but as the Chanak crisis was to show, the Dominions quickly lost their appetite for involvement in a coordinated foreign policy. Instead, they started to act as independent nations not automatically bound by British treaties and able to develop their own. The first was the Canadian-US Halibut Treaty of 1923. In contrast to Canada (with its co-located non-Imperial security guarantor), Australia and New Zealand showed more interest in coordinating with British foreign policy objectives. Both supported the Imperial Singapore Strategy, for example. Despite this, the right of Dominions to the rights of independent nations including their own foreign policies and an implicit right of secession. This was sealed by the Statute of Westminster in 1931, which completed the independence of the Dominions if they chose to avail themselves of it.

    History is teaching this necessity of ruthless indifference to the US Imperium as we watch. The governmental gridlock which the voters have enforced marks the end of the dreams of the post Cold War period (after 1991) where the US Empire had global interests but nothing resembling a global strategy, a finger in every conflict but no demonstrable strategic interest at stake in it. The preferred course has to be what it was during the time of the Second British Empire, avoiding war in favour of political arrangements or by supporting the enemies of enemies politically, economically and with military aid – proxy conflicts. If that did not work then the Sepoy option was used . Only as a last resort and then only when the issue was of major interest would the British would use overwhelming force to crush an enemy quickly and decisively. Often they would then withdraw, as the highly successful ‘butcher and bolt’ strategy of controlling the Tribal Areas showed after 1896. In the end, of course (and as all empires do), the British became exhausted and their Empire collapsed. The USA is a long way from this point, probably two centuries or so.

    The central political fact of the twentieth century was the two-phase collapse of the global array of Empires. Between 1916 and 1989 most of the world’s Empires perished, many around the end of WWI, more between 1939 and 1970, and the last great European Empire in 1989 when the USSR collapsed. Of the classical Empires, by the 21st century only the Chinese Empire remained, albeit under a communist aristocracy. What John Darwin refers to as ‘the great drama of east-West struggle’ was itself a sub-theme in this greater historical event. That gives this work its central proposition – the role played by Australia within the formal Empire during its travails and termination between 1901 and 1961 was critical to the development and maturation of the sovereign state of Australia. 1961 is crucial because this was the year in which Britain decided to join the European Economic Community, leading to the Australian feeling that a relationship they thought uniquely intimate was being abandoned.

    So despite the amusingly superficial wailing about electoral results, the U.S. government gridlock is a good framework for this lesson in Empire. Obama might want to launch major initiatives in domestic policy: but he can’t. Fortunately (given the sheer depth of his administration’s ignorance and blithering incompetence) he seems to lack any appetite for foreign adventures, possibly also attributable to his near-unprecedented ignorance of anything outside the framework of domestic politics Chicago style. Irrespective of the cause, three lessons are emerging for the US:

    1. It is rarely necessary to go to war.
    2. When you do, hold nothing back and win it quickly.
    3. Nation building does not work in chaos-zones.

    There will be profound international unhappiness with the second Obama administration for while US citizens are comfortable with gridlocked governance, centralised European and other states are acutely uncomfortable with it. Worse, US gridlock and disengagement will require them to act on their own, in their own interest-areas where they have previously relied on the USA to do it for them. Paralysed domestically, reality is already limiting Obama’s foreign policy options while (for example) the Europeans have destroyed their ability to act in their own interests and. The US electorate has decided on both, this time. That is good in most ways, for the US Imperial core has some lessons to dwell on.

    Expand
    Dominion of the American Empire

    Link to Darwin and ‘third BE concept’
    RICHMOND, Admiral Sir H.W., Imperial Defence and Capture at Sea, Hutchison & Co., London, 1932.

    Defence of the Empire’s Trade 1932

    In 1902 the Admiralty noted for the Colonial Conference of that year the value of Imperial trade.

    Imperial Seaborne Trade 1902
    UK trade with foreign countries £711,838,000
    UK trade with the Empire £237,098,000
    Total £948,936,000
    Dominion and colonial trade with foreign countries and inside the Empire £254,324,000
    Total trade of the Empire by sea £1,203.278,000

    In 1929 the trade of the Empire by sea was

    Imperial Seaborne Trade 1929
    Dominion trade with the UK £414,000,000
    Dominion and colonial trade with foreign countries and inside the Empire £729,000,000
    Total trade of the Empire by sea £3,022,782,000

    Richmond noted that the issue of Imperial defence had two components, the strategic question as to how Imperial defence could be most efficiently provided, and the cost question of how this burden was to be shared. The fundamental issue related to trade defence in a maritime trading Empire where all components to a smaller or greater part shared the benefits of that trade. That this question was still being asked in 1932 indicates that the issue of “the tragedy of the commons” discussed earlier still had not been fully answered even with local defence by Dominions being guaranteed and the formation of Dominion navies.

    Essentially, Richmond stated that the Dominions were not absorbing protective costs in line with the benefits they accrued from the trade arrangements.

    Memorandum by the Oversea Defence Committee dated 8 June 1938, The Co-operation of the Colonial Empire in Imperial Defence para 8. CID ODC 682-M, CAB 5/8 f.455 (PRO)
    Memorandum by the Oversea Defence Committee dated 8 June 1938, The Co-operation of the Colonial Empire in Imperial Defence para 28. CID ODC 682-M, CAB 5/8 f.455 (PRO)
    Admiralty Memorandum dated 3 November 1938, Co-operation of Dominions in Defence Action Required during Precautionary Period. ADM116/3802 ff.156-161 (PRO)
    Memorandum by the Oversea Defence Committee dated 8 June 1938, The Co-operation of the Colonial Empire in Imperial Defence paras 29-33. CID ODC 682-M, CAB 5/8 f.455 (PRO)
    Message Principal Secretary Military Branch to Under-Secretary of State (Dominions Office) dated 1 February 1939. CAB 104/10 (PRO)
    FRIEDMAN, G., The Elections, Gridlock and Foreign Policy, STRATFOR Geopolitical Weekly, November 7, 2012.
    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/elections-gridlock-and-foreign-policy
    FRIEDMAN, G., The Elections, Gridlock and Foreign Policy, STRATFOR Geopolitical Weekly, November 7, 2012.
    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/elections-gridlock-and-foreign-policy
    DARWIN, J., A Third British Empire? The Dominion Idea in Imperial Politics, in, The Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol.IV, The Twentieth Century, J.M. Brown and W.R.L. Louis (eds), Oxford University Press, 1999, p
    MADDEN, F., and DARWIN, J., (eds), Select Documents on the Constitutional History of the British Empire and Commonwealth, Vol IV, The Dominions and India Since 1900, Westport, 1993, p.42.
    BRUCE, G., Six Battles for India: the Anglo-Sikh Wars, 1845-6, 1848-9, Arthur Barker Ltd., 1969, p.256
    DARWIN, J., Decolonisation and World Politics, p.7, in LOWE, D., (ed) Australia and the End of Empires: The Impact of Decolonisation in Australia’s near North 1945-65, Deakin University Press, Geelong, 1996, pp.7-23.
    In March 1961 Prime Minister Menzies reportedly concluded that Australia no longer counted for ‘a row of beans’ in British eyes. See GOLDSWORTHY, D., Losing the Blanket: Australia and the End of Britain’s Empire, Melbourne University Press, 2002, p.7.
    FRIEDMAN, G., The Elections, Gridlock and Foreign Policy, STRATFOR Geopolitical Weekly, November 7, 2012.
    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/elections-gridlock-and-foreign-policy
    FRIEDMAN, G., The Elections, Gridlock and Foreign Policy, STRATFOR Geopolitical Weekly, November 7, 2012.
    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/elections-gridlock-and-foreign-policy
    FRIEDMAN, G., The Elections, Gridlock and Foreign Policy, STRATFOR Geopolitical Weekly, November 7, 2012.
    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/elections-gridlock-and-foreign-policy
    RICHMOND, Admiral Sir H.W., Imperial Defence and Capture at Sea, Hutchison & Co., London, 1932, p.63.
    RICHMOND, Admiral Sir H.W., Imperial Defence and Capture at Sea, Hutchison & Co., London, 1932, p.64.
    RICHMOND, Admiral Sir H.W., Imperial Defence and Capture at Sea, Hutchison & Co., London, 1932, pp.69-70.

  238. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Anyhoo, have a look at that when it pops out of moderation (too many links). Meanwhile, Shitfer, gambol about the place to everyone’s amusement to your heart’s content.

    I’m off to Mt Isa again. I’ll give the Red Earth your regards.

  239. Louis Hissink

    Sits back, eating his popcorn

  240. John Mc

    What do you do in the Isa, Mk50?

  241. squawkbox

    That’s a myth. The only train Mussolini got to run on time was the one taking him to his inauguration.

    I know, Jarrah – just a figure of speech. In fact, the last time I was in Italy (2005) the trains were quite reliable.

Comments are closed.