http://www.american.com/archive/2012/november/the-1930s-all-...At the same time, “crime” took ominous “national and racist” meanings in some countries — Germany was the most prominent — with the new theories “justifying” confiscation of capital, be it from “foreigners” or groups made “foreigners” by novel theorizing. Neither the new rationalizations of Greece’s Golden Dawn party, the Catalans’ and Scots’ wishes to secede, nor the many other parties emerging across Europe along its older “tribal” lines should come as a surprise: it has all happened before. Although it might come as a surprise to link them to grave monetary mistakes, drastic expansions of credit, and lack of international cooperation.Intellectuals have always been good at turning real issues into so-called moral ones with religious, racist, and nationalist undertones, rationalizing immediate access to capital and its confiscation with new jargons. In the 1930s, these were “tribal” jargons. In earlier times, they were religious ones. In 1576, when conquering Antwerp, the Spanish troops forced the Augsburg house of Fugger to advance a “loan” of 8 million Rhenish gulden (about $500 to $800 million today, though such comparisons are tenuous). This Spanish paper was never paid back — the King of Spain had no intention to repay it to start with. By 1598, the King gave the highly placed priesthood the role “to deal” with it. The king thought that only the priesthood could rationalize and put a moral stamp on lack of repayment by using theological arguments.What about today? The main jargon rationalizing not paying back debts draws on the vocabulary of “victimhood” that is rationalized in a variety of ways, particularly on economic jargons. Not much new under the sun — except the languages that help disguise what we are talking about. -------------------------------------------------------Just 'cause you ain't paranoid don't mean they ain't out to get ya <g>.
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