Thursday, December 30, 2004
Better Late than Never (30.12.2004)

Here is a link to James Bennett's latest article on the Anglosphere and his views on the future of Europe, residing in the National Interest. Whilst I do not fully share the political conclusions that Bennett extends from his work, his recognition of the contribution that MacFarlane brought to the study of English individualism is a rarity amongst historians and the social sciences:

Macfarlane's body of work represents a momentous intellectual revolution. The implications of this revolution have not yet been fully realized, or even generally understood. It suggests that modernity and its consequences came particularly easily for the already-individualistic English. Conversely, it came particularly hard for the Continental Europeans, whose societies were characterized by all the non-individualistic features England lacked. It was to these Continentals that the intrusion of individualist, market-oriented relations was particularly disruptive and shocking. With medieval traditions of representative government moribund or long vanished, it is not surprising that Continental states had a particularly difficult time adjusting to parliamentary government, experiencing instead frequent coups, revolutions and periods of authoritarian rule, spiraling down to the abyss of fascism and communism.

An enjoyable and thought-provoking read.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Current British Tsunami Aid

Private effort is preferable to public aid but only the heartless would baulk at providing aid through whatever sources following this catastrophe. According to the DFID, the total amount sent is 677,000 pounds sterling. However, most of this aid is concentrated on plastic sheeting and tents for Sri Lanka (what they had in store) and is channelled through the European Union/United Nations or the World Health Organisation.

Given the history of these organisations, will this aid, provided by the British taxpayer, be wasted? Better that it was channelled through charities and bloggers. In an ideal world...

Tuesday, December 28, 2004
The Autonomous TransDonbass Republic?

As the Ukraine shifts towards the American sphere of influence, the lesser stars of the Kuchma regime have realised that their best hope is to maintain regional power bases like Donetsk. Ukrainian Canadians have reported that ballot rigging and intimidation still took place in this region, although the scale was less blatant than in November. Yanukovych received more than 90% of the vote in this region in the Boxing Day election.

In the Donbass, Yushchenko is seen as a radical Ukrainian nationalist, not as a Westerner:

While Mr. Yushchenko is often portrayed as a pro-Western reformer, Ms. Fetisova sees him as a radical Ukrainian nationalist who is likely to cut ties with neighbouring Russia and cripple the economy of the coal-producing Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, which is centred around Donetsk, a city of 1.1 million.

Such fears are common here in Ukraine's Russianized south and east, where many look more to the Kremlin than to Kiev, and demonstrate the scale of the challenge that Mr. Yushchenko faces.

The referendum on autonomy that was scheduled to take place on January 9th has been cancelled but, as Yanukovych battles the result in court, we can see that this issue may form part of a package of concessions for these areas. More than anything, Ukraine wishes to avoid the shadow of the Transdniester Republic and Abkhazia, Russian satellites carved out of Moldova and Georgia.

This may yet be the result despite the crowing of many over 'people power', a calculation that the Kremlin siloviki do not merit. If they wished to up the ante, they have the power:

And despite Mr. Putin's conciliatory words, met by a promise from Mr. Yushchenko to make Moscow his first foreign trip after being sworn in, relations with Russia promise to be difficult. Vyacheslav Nikonov, a Kremlin-connected political analyst, told the Interfax news agency yesterday that many in Russia feared that Ukraine would now be invited to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and speculated that a "gas war" between Russia and Ukraine -- which is almost entirely reliant on its big neighbour for energy -- could follow.

Expect Ukraine to continue its soft shoe shuffle westwards.

Monday, December 27, 2004
Silent and Witless

Peter Mandelson's ties to the Equatorial Guinea plot were strengthened by a 'sighting' of the appointee Eurocommissar with Ely Calil and Greg Wales, two businessmen associated with Simon Mann, the alleged leader of the coup.

South African police wish to interview Mandelson as a witness but the circumstantial evidence favours the argument that both the UK and the US governments turned a 'blind eye' to these public school machinations
Sunday, December 26, 2004
Out of the Blue

With a natural catastrophe of this proportion, it is clear that the whole region will be picking up the pieces for the foreseeable future. Death toll is now 10,000 and rising, depending upon your news site. The number of deaths has also risen due to the natural clustering of human habitation along the coasts and increasing tourist development.

The Foreign Secretary sent out the message of condolences and said "stand by for action". However, there are no links or help on the website for families to telephone or leave messages for loved ones, holidaying in the tropics. Nothing on the State Department for US citizens either, although this may be dealt with at a local level. Australia is far better prepared with a hotline. The BBC, agitprop wing of the government, wishes to hear your experiences of the tsunami, but doesn't provide you with a number if you wish to let your loved ones know that you are still alive.

Especially as it is the holiday period, this is the time when such government departments should place themselves at the service of their citizens. Should, but don't.

So far, the economic consequences cannot be quantified although the insurance industry has taken another hammering (au revoir, soft market!). This is a horrific example of the increasing complexity that political, strategic or environmental risks take and that, sometimes, despite all the precautions, you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Update: The death toll is now 20,000 or 22,000. If you wish to take FCO advice, you have to examine every country in order to get the information such as the emergency telephone number. The telephone number is 0207 008 0000, or visit the 'Travel Advice by Country' on the FCO website.
The Scotsman features the thoughts of James Brandon on the recent conseqences of hostage taking in Iraq. Note the role played by the Arab media in providing the 'oxygen of publicity' as the airing of these snuff videos acts as an incentive for the jihadists.

But I had underestimated the brutality of her kidnappers, and Margaret Hassan was murdered as Iraqi militants, frustrated by their inability to do any real damage to the US army, resorted to attacking vulnerable civilian targets. Now vast political power could be wielded by any gang able to get their hands on a knife and a video camera. In a sense this is nothing new - assassins and terrorists have always had an impact disproportionate to their numbers. But now, as if distant footage of burning buildings and grieving relatives after a typical terrorist attack is no longer enough, we get to know the victims Big Brother-style, and to see them suffer from the comfort of our living-rooms. And, like Big Brother, with every episode the ritualised humiliations become more extreme.

Yet, as Brandon's clarity sets out, the chaotic immigration system and the self-serving short term attitudes of politicians who measure power in terms of communal votes rather than potential threats, brings terror closer to home.

When the Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was murdered last month, allegedly by a man named Mohammed B, who disagreed with his portrayal of domestic violence in the Muslim community, it seemed to bring the horrors of Najaf and Fallujah one step closer to the UK. Van Gogh’s death proved that Europe’s aggrieved Islamists no longer needed to travel to distant war zones to kill infidels; it is just as easy to do so in the heart of Europe. Hearing of Van Gogh’s shooting, which was followed by ritual throat-slitting, I recalled the words of a senior officer on Scotland Yard’s hostage negotiation team, who had debriefed me after my kidnapping in Iraq. "We all know that it’s only a matter of time before this happens here," he said grimly. "We’re just waiting for that call, waiting for the video to pop through the post. And there’s nothing we can do to prevent it." The next few years will surely reveal whether he was being unnecessarily pessimistic.

I don't think so.
Saturday, December 25, 2004
Just a small article on those who feel that the present should not warp the past. Does political correctness encompass calendrical correction? Don't forget that Sir Isaac Newton, the greatest Dead White English Male, was born on December 25th, 1642.

Sir Isaac Newton was born Christmas Day 1642, yet some sites want to place his birthday in January, 1643. The discrepancy comes from some historical sites that want to 'modernize' Sir Isaac's birthday in line with the Gregorian Calendar reform. In 1752 England and the American colonies decided to adopt the Gregorian calendar (implemented by Italy in 1582.) This reform aligned the English calendar to the same calendar used by most of Europe. For this alignment to occur, several days needed to be dropped from the calendar. It must be understood that Sir Isaac Newton did not live through this calendar change. It happened after he died. As far as he was concerned, Isaac celebrated his birthday on Christmas Day. In this instance, we feel it is wrong to modernize his birthday.

A Merry Newtonmas to All!
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
The Independent recently published an article on the prospects for the United States siting a missile defence centre in the United Kingdom. Despite the natural enthusiasm of HMG, the United States strategists are examining locations in the Accession Countries for the silo:

Currently, the US missile defence institution is conducting the "technology assessment" on the possible location of the system to see whether it is appropriate for the construction of missile launching silo and whether the electric facilities and road conditions are feasible. The countries selected by the organization are Poland, Czech and Hungary, but the US Defence Ministry and other foreign affair departments insist on the missile defence base be built in UK.

The source is People's Daily Online, so treat with caution.

A better understanding of the current moves towards co-operation on missile defence, and the cautious steps required to swing public opinion in favour, were set out by Stephen Rademaker, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control:

This is true not only within the United States, but overseas as well. Indeed, when it comes to foreign governments, which are the focus of my remarks today, I would say that, with very few exceptions, they fully accept the need to move forward with missile defense in the current security environment. Foreign publics are often a different matter, however. Not surprisingly, many people in foreign countries pay less attention to these matters than do the officials of their governments, just as is the case in our country. As a result, foreign publics often continue to accept the now disproven contention that we can have either missile defense on the one hand or arms control and strategic stability on the other, but not both. Still thinking that they need to choose between these two options, they instinctively express a preference for arms control and strategic stability.

This provides the current strategy that the United States uses in cooperation with those identified as "friends and allies":

The United States is working jointly with interested friends and allies to analyze each country's unique threat environment and its missile defense requirements for the future. The Department of State has played and continues to play an important diplomatic role in this effort, explaining to allies and friends how missile defense can enhance regional security and stability while encouraging their cooperation and participation.

The details for the United Kingdom are noted:

British Defense Minister Hoon and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld signed a Ballistic Missile Defense Cooperation Framework MoU, on June 12, 2003. This agreement establishes the basis for U.S.-U.K. industrial collaboration in the field of missile defense. An Annex to the Framework MoU regarding the Fylingdales early warning radar was signed on December 18, 2003, authorizing us to upgrade that radar for use in missile defense. These upgrades will allow the radar to generate the information necessary to direct a midcourse missile defense interceptor to the general area of the intercept. This event marked the first time a U.S. ally permitted deployment of a missile defense system component on its territory to assist us in defending U.S. territory.

Another Annex on Missile Defense Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation (RDT&E) cooperation was signed on October 12, 2004. To assist in both government-to-government, and industry-to-industry RDT&E cooperation in missile defense, the U.K. established its Missile Defence Centre in July 2003. The Centre attempts to bring U.K. government and industry expertise together by providing a centralized clearinghouse for the ultimate purpose of establishing closer technical and industrial cooperation.

Cooperation such as the framework of understanding between Lockheed Martin and British Aerospace:

Lockheed Martin, for instance, and BAE Systems in the United Kingdom have signed an MoU to explore partnership opportunities on missile defense programs around the world. This agreement envisions joint investments in key technologies that can significantly enhance the effectiveness of sea-based systems, systems integration, command and control, early warning and sensor networking, interceptors, use of targets, and dealing with countermeasures. This international team is working to expand transatlantic missile defense cooperation for the benefit of both the United States and NATO Allies by leveraging the best technologies and engineering skills each company and each nation has to offer.

It is clear, from the growing governmental and industrial ties that the United States has agreed with certain countries, that missile defence is one of the most important strategies utilised to maintain and forge alliances. There is a strategic benefit from such a relationship, and as Rademaker's speech omits, France remains unprotected. The United States has taken Britain's mantle on the continentals: divide and conquer.

Friday, December 17, 2004
Due to the insurgency in Iraq, forecasts of British commitment in the southern sector have extended from 2006 to 2008. The poor quality of Iraqi security forces has contributed to this:

THOUSANDS of British troops will have to remain in Iraq until at least 2008 - two years later than the government intended, The Scotsman has learned.

Senior military sources say the army has been told to plan to keep a brigade-sized garrison of more than 7,000 troops in Iraq for four more years or more.

The planned extension in deployment has been prompted by the continuing Iraqi insurgency and the inability of local security forces to control the country without US and British troops.

Two days later, the British announced further reforms that would reduce the number of active members of the armed forces. The Conservatives have identified that reductions in infantry units, armoured units, surface ships and the RAF extend the 'overstretch' to very dangerous proportions. Whilst reforms may be required to adapt to changes in warfare, a reduction in the number of troops whilst fighting in Iraq looks foolhardy. Hoon was on hand to provide blather whilst Jackson was supportive, as he would have to be for his political masters:

The changes, which are designed to leave an army of 102,000 men and women, will not lead to cost cuts if, as intended, better equipment is more widely used and soldiers are paid more for their skills in much-needed areas such as communications and intelligence-gathering.

Given the current equipment and procurement scandals, New Labour have just cut the effectiveness of our armed forces. Like NASA, they will find out "faster, better, cheaper" does not work.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
The government announced the closure of 153 sovereign posts as a cost savings measure. Many were located in Europe but other posts were situated in the Pacific, Caribbean, Africa and East Timor. If a British citizen, a rapid response diplomatic unit will be on hand to provide advice at short notice. "Pray?" perhaps...

There is speculation that these cost-cutting measures have taken place so that the government can pay for the European Presidency: sacrificing the long-term diplomatic infrastructure so that Blair and Straw can look good before their peers: the European Politburo. However, new posts will be created to focus upon the pet projects of the Nulab apparatchiks: climate change and international development:

"In Africa, for instance, we plan to create new jobs to cover these issues across the region, with a new post in Nairobi to help support our work on climate change, one in Nigeria to cover energy and one in Pretoria to cover regional issues more generally as well as covering Maseru [Lesotho] and Mbabane [Swaziland]," Mr Straw said. There has been speculation that the money would be needed to pay for Britain's six-month presidency of the G8 group of leading industrialised nations, which begins next month, and its EU presidency in the second half of next year.

One also wonders if these cuts have anticipated the common foreign and security policy or global warming. You won't need representation in Europe since the common arrest warrant provides justice for all Eurocits and the Pacific Islands will all be under water. Sorted!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

More Important Than Blunkett

Anyone who proposes Identity Cards should have their privacy thoroughly violated, so I have no problem with the attention paid to Blunkett's corrupt little power trips. However, there is a far more important story out there, and that is Turkey's seeming slam dunk of acsession to the EU.

Now in the sense of balance I will prepare a score card.

Good Points

Turkey is almost a democracy (about as much as Israel and a bit more than Iran), that is if you don't ask the Kurds, Alevi or Islamicists.

Having a bigger EU will make it more integrated. Why look at the backwards steps for integration we've made sinve the EU went from nine members to 25. The Euro, the constitution, Amsterdam, Maastricht.

It will somehow be racist to say no.

Bad Points

The second (soon to be first) largest population will be a load of poor Muslims.

These poor Muslims sooner or later will be able to come over here and claim on welfare.

These poor Muslims will have fewer border checks just in case blowing yourself up becomes fashionable in Anatolia.

The average IQ is low so they'll always be poorer.

They're on the border with Armenia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan.

Oh and they're in spitting distance of Israel and Russia.

They don't exactly have a tradition of liberty.

More on Kievan Rus

Two apologies are in order. Firstly sorry for the sparse posting, secondly sorry for going on about Ukraine when even the press seems to realise its strategic import (we're really here for when they don't) and thirdly sorry for bringing in American sources. OK, that was three apologies. And here are some more essays. Firstly from Chronicles where it reports on a spat between Andrew Sullivan and Pat Buchanan on the Ukraine thing. Why are the liberals getting so upset about any aspertions on this Yushchenko chap? Honestly they sound like six day creationists when challenged. There are also a couple of links in the article. Cheerful Pat also has a nice little article on the neo-cons if you are interested in what the Yanks are doing.

Exhibit B is also from Chronicles, also with a British ex-pat, this time Srdja Trifkovic asking why exactly are we undermining a bulwark against radical Islam. We could have said the same thing about Saddam of course, but Putin doesn't even have a moustache.

And finally me old china Justin Raimondo claims that Yuschenko wasn't really poisoned, or something. Now I'm not sure, but it is certainly an alternative view.
The Courts have decided that the Human Rights Act is applicable to foreign nationals who may have been victims of the British Army. The relevant articles are 2 and 3: the right to life and freedom from torture.

Since this occurred following the death in custody of an Iraqi hotel worker, there is a need to ensure that the British Army is shown to deal with occupied citizens in a transparent manner, without compromising the safety of our troops. The universal reach of the Human Rights Act and the overweening claims of our own judges are not necessarily the best methods for achieving this, since they may place civilian notions of justice upon military rules of engagement.

It is another failure of this government that they are unable to deal with the consequences of their own badly drafted laws.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
The unnecessary furore over the deployment of the Black Watch by Labour backbenchers has forced Blair and Hoon to take greater account of any announcements on further troop movements to Iraq. During his visit on December 8th to Basra, Hoon stated that the current British force in the southern sector of Iraq would not receive reinforcements unless the security situation were to drastically change. The anticipated rise in violence during the run-up to the elections in January 2005 was factored into this calculation.

There are a number of factors feeding into the status quo: any further announcements on troop deployments will become politicised, following the mishandling of the Black Watch; and, planners may have persuaded their political masters that the consequences of 'overstretch'have arrived. If the latter is true, watch for the British contingent to come home during 2005, as Blair reasons that he has to pay his dues to the EU's Rapid Reaction Force just as he genuflected in Iraq.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Who would trust the government to draft a "simple and straightforward question" in a referendum on the Constitution? The supported draft amongst the politariat is quoted here:

Should the United Kingdom approve the treaty establishing a constitution for the European Union?

In the accompanying spin surrounding this question, the Herald has presented the above phrase as a victory for the Plain-Speaking brigade versus the Cabinet Europhiles who wish to draft a more skewed question for the referendum.

Except that this question is also wrong. The United Kingdom would not "approve", it would ratify the new Constitution. This requires a stronger question in order to inform the public that the European Constitution is a change of governance. Even this construction, described as neutral, would serve to confuse as some will vote Yes because they do not fully read or understand the issue, which this adminsitration hopes to neuter.

Any referendum question will be difficult to accept and politically contested. However, spin of Brownite battles with the Europhiles should be rejected, since no government can be trusted with such a vital duty.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004
The French and German governments have been enthusiastic supporters of the Republic of China in its campaign to remove the arms embargo established after the democratic uprising of 1989. This is a policy designed to establish clear divisions between the European Union and the United States of America by enhancing their relationship with the last great communist power.

Given the economic and political problems faced by these two powers, China has recognised their courting may mask an acceleration in their relative economic decline. The tone of the PRC's response to the latest delay was aggressive...

The announcement immediately sparked a complaint from Beijing that it was being discriminated against by the 25 nation bloc.

A joint statement issued by EU leaders and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao after summit talks in The Hague, said the EU had "confirmed its political will to continue to work towards lifting the embargo." China, said the statement, had "reaffirmed that political discrimination on this issue was not acceptable."

Despite the link of the embargo with China's 'human rights' record, the tone of the summit indicated that both sides preferred to terminate this embarrassing moral stain on the Middle Kingdom's record. The communists view the divisions within the former West with some satisfaction. They may note that history has turned away from Fukuyama's Hegelian horizons towards a darker and more authortarian mode, underpinned by culture and technology. Perhaps they savour the ironic flavour brewed by an illiberal Europe providing arms so that communist-nationalists can plan for the destruction of an emerging Taiwanese democracy.
Friday, December 03, 2004

German Lessons

Germany is going to contribute towards the rebuilding of Iraq by training their military. Will this be pre war methods (invade thy neighbour) or the post war method (raise a big army but never fight)?

Oh the irony. De-Baathification means that the Yanks are so desperate they'll even let the Krauts train the new look Iraqi army. Are the de-Baathificationists (to coin a phrase) contrite, or even slightly shamefaced?

If only they'd have listened to us...
Thursday, December 02, 2004


Quelle Surprise

The French Socialists vote to back European Constitution. Now this doesn't mean that the French won't be obstinate, but it does cut down their chances of getting to the right result. There's been a mood among British Eurosceptics that the Constitution will never come to a vote here, but we must not count on it.

Ourselves Alone.

Beware of the Enemy's Enemy

About four times out of five my enemy's enemy usually is my friend in just about any political or strategic tussle. However this general principle should not be taken to be a universal law. The Ukraine imbroglio shows this starkly in two ways.

Firstly there is the case of what America is doing. There is a pro-European Union candidate who favours withdrawing his country's troops from Iraq in short order. Not only is his favourable attitude to Europe not a hindrance for American support (before and after the election) but it is actually more important to America than his attitude on Iraq. (By the way Tories - do you notice how popular withdrawal can be as an election issue - even if you initially supported the war). It should be clear as daylight that supporting America will not automatically loose us from Europe.

The other side are my own side. Yuschenko may not be the angel that the press portray him, however this does not make the other guy squeaky clean. They are both crooks. Yes Western Ukraine stuffed ballot boxes, but so did the Easterners. Yes Nazis like Yuschenko, but Stalinists like Yanukovich. Yes David Aaronovitch is a fool who substitutes Google for actually researching a story, but that doesn't mean that we should jump in to defend Yanukovich. They are both crooks, they are both East Europeans, they are both politicians.

We should not be looking to foreigners to get us out of sticky entanglements. We must rely on Ourselves Alone.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004

In need of heroes

There's a bit of a bitch fight going on between (at the moment) John Laughland and David Aaronovitch and Justin Raimondo has joined in. While I am not too enamoured of John Laughland's urge to counterbalance the undoubted bias towards Yushchenko and other pro-Westerners by overlooking some of the warts of the pro-Moscow Yanukovich, it is fairly clear that Aaronovitch's journalism-lite is out of order. It seems that both Aaronovitch and Laughland have both got caught in the trap of hero worship - just different heroes. At least John Laughland gets marks for originality (and balance).

On another point - although clearly a large majority of Yushchenko's people are not neo-Nazis is Aaronovitch seriously claiming that there are no neo-Nazis around the anti-Russian elements of Ukraine. As anyone who has followed politics in that part of the world knows (a la Croatia or Slovakia) the pro-Nazis do tend to gravitate towards whoever is anti-Russia. That doesn't make the anti-Russian parties wrong, the attention is probably unwelcome, it just is a fact of life around there.

I suppose it all goes to show that there are no such things as heroes when foreign politicians are involved.

No surprise that Aaronovitch finds the very idea of an "opposition" candidate cheating - even with a large number of local authorities supporting him - to be scandalous. It all reminds me of the American Republicans who will go on endlessly about how Nixon was cheated in 1960 by the graveyard vote in Chicago while being scandalised by suggestion of Republican no-goodniks operating in Southern Illinois. Or for that matter Democrats who go on about hanging chads while ignoring the extraordinary turnouts and voter registration drives in Philadelphia.
I am profoundly thankful that during my formative years I never had
contact with any institution under State control; not in school, not in
college, nor yet in my three years of irregular graduate study. No
attempt was ever made by anyone to indoctrinate me with State-inspired
views – or any views, for that matter – of patriotism or nationalism. I
was never dragooned into flag-worship or hero-worship, never was caught
in any spate of verbiage about duty to one's country, never debauched by
any of the routine devices hatched by scoundrels for inducing a
synthetic devotion to one's native land and loyalty to its jobholders.
Therefore when later the various aspects of contemporary patriotism and
nationalism appeared before me, my mind was wholly unprepossessed, and
my view of them was unaffected by any emotional distortion.

What is patriotism? Is it loyalty to a spot on a map, marked off from
others spots by blue or yellow lines, the spot where one was born? But
birth is a pure accident; surely one is in no way responsible for having
been born on this spot or on that. Flaubert had poured a stream of
corrosive irony on this idea of patriotism. Is it loyalty to a set of
political jobholders, a king and his court, a president and his
bureaucracy, a parliament, a congress, a Duce or Fuhrer, a camorra of
commissars? I should say it depends entirely on what the jobholders are
like and what they do. Certainly I had never seen any who commanded my
loyalty; I should feel utterly degraded if ever once I thought they
could. Does patriotism mean loyalty to a political system and its
institutions, constitutional, autocratic, republican, or what-not? But
if history has made anything unmistakably clear, it is that from the
standpoint of the individual and his welfare, these are no more than
names. The reality which in the end they are found to cover is the same
for all alike. If a tree be known by its fruits, which I believe is
regarded as good sound doctrine, then the peculiar merit of a system, if
it has any, ought to be reflected in the qualities and conditions of the
people who live under it; and looking over the peoples and systems of
the world, I found no reason in the nature of things why a person should
be loyal to one system rather than another. One could see at a glance
that there is no saving grace in any system. Whatever merit or demerit
may attach to any of them lies in the way it is administered.

So when people speak of loyalty to one's country, one must ask them
what they mean by that. What is one's country? Mr. Jefferson said
contemptuously that 'merchants have no country; the mere spot they stand
on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they
draw their gains.' But one may ask, why should I? This motive of
patriotism seems to me perfectly sound, and if it should be sound for
merchants, why not for others who are not merchants? If it holds good in
respect of material gains, why not of spiritual gains, cultural gains,
intellectual and aesthetic gains? As a general principle, I should put
it that a man's country is where the things he loves are most respected.
Circumstances may have prevented his ever setting foot there, but it
remains his country.

Albert Jay Nock, "Memoirs of a Superfluous Man"

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