Friday, October 25, 2013

A Textbook Tyranny

From today's column on, illustrated by anecdata from the Balkans:

The political class has a vested interest in keeping problems alive, so they can pretend to be the only solution. There is but a small step from governments never letting a crisis go to waste to creating a perpetual crisis, seen as a perpetual opportunity to do “good”, line pockets, or both.

[Throughout history] government has been treated [by power-lusty individuals and groups] as a way to privatize the benefits of state power, while socializing the costs that came with it. All governments everywhere have faced this temptation, and most of them have succumbed.

If with great power comes great responsibility, but those in power can shift that responsibility elsewhere – onto the electorate, the unelected bureaucracy, or a capricious deity – the result will always be a government that is too powerful and utterly irresponsible: a textbook tyranny.

Such arrangements are indeed cozy for tyrants – while they last. But they never last very long.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

The Great Despoilment

Thirteen years have passed since the "democratic revolution" of October 5 in Serbia. It became clear almost right away that there was nothing democratic, or revolutionary, about it. Rather, it was a coup on par with the 1953 overthrow of Mohammed Mosadegh in Iran - and with similar consequences for the country.

National Assembly on fire, October 5, 2000
I've written much over the years about the political consequences of the "peaceful occupation" by the devotees of Empire's quisling cargo cult: the mockery of laws and elections, destruction of the country's military capability, corruption of its politics and society, complete abdication of sovereignty and statehood, appeasement and empowerment of separatists, etc. But all that was accompanied by old-fashioned looting as well.

According to one study, in the years since the 2000 coup, as much as $51 billion has been siphoned out of Serbia into various offshore accounts. This figure does not include whatever the quislings and their followers have managed to rob and stash inside the country, so the real extent of Serbia's economic rape is actually greater. Even if the promised EU donations and pie-in-the-sky stories of Arab investment turn out to be true - and they won't - they are utterly insignificant in comparison to how much of Serbia's actual wealth has been looted by various "democratic reformers", "moderates" and "pragmatists."

They have systematically looted, corrupted, and defiled everything they've touched, ensuring that no civilized means of contesting their vile reign remained available. Their reckoning, when it comes, will be nasty, brutish and short.