Tuesday, December 8, 2009

© Eso Antons Benjamins

62 The People of Johns (VI)

The Latvian government has been protected by the umbrella of MACRO corporate policy and politics for so long that it would gladly run every time someone comes and asks a representative: What are the government’s plans for the future?

The most likely answer from government (paraphrased): “Well, you see, once the rest of the world economy recovers, so will Latvia’s. By the end of next year everything will be up and running again. That is what all the economists are saying. It is V for Victory. We will soon be jumping. Meanwhile, you voters, concentrate on bailing out the MACRO corporation darling, Parex Bank, with another Ls 100 million aid package, pay for the most expensive bridge in the world that our MACRO economists could think of, build the “CrystalMountainLibrary” (national pride you know ), pay a 26% value added tax, have the pensioners raise potatoes to survive their starvation pensions, and, we are telling you, stop whining and do more.”

Not all MACRO men are saying this (they often made it there by a fluke), though just about all government officials are. Controversial criticism of the government, which in this writers opinion is desperately needed is simply not happening. I am stressing the word “controversial”. There is much criticism, but it is about as dead to realities as the government of Latvia. Is there nothing that might suggest a different tack for the government than cowering at dead end and gnaw its fingernails? Has anyone, to give an example, thought that the V bottom of the economy might take the shape of a W? If someone has, it has not been prominently featured in the Latvian media. Does not a W bottom make a difference how we project the future? In the USA a relatively recent internet site calling itself ZeroHedge has upstaged Nouriel Rubini (Dr. Doom, recently ranked 4th in a line of economic thinkers) and become one of the more popular sites people consult when it comes to the economy. And, yes, the site became prominent by attaching itself to the profound unease and suspicion of the U.S. public that the stock market’s bullish run is a bear market rally and another dip is waiting. If the next economic dip retraces the rally, the bottom of the recent financial and economic collapse may in fact look like a W. Contrary to speechless Latvian types, ZH features bloggers named  George Washington, RobotTrader, gilgamesh, and Mayhem, to mention a few.

It is obvious that MACRO corporations rule and overrule the government in Latvia, and clearly these have steered Latvia into a swamp where its tractor slowly sinks in sphagnum moss of which Latvia has plenty. Which is perhaps why, when anyone asks THE question (see above), the government swallows its tongue. The inability to speak is a phenomenon that has continued for such a long time that it is reasonable to believe that it speaks of something true. What might this be? Mine is a guess, but it hits a close bullseye. Fact is that the MACRO business partidocracy can think of its own skin only. Thus, while it is no future for Latvia as such, all the bailout money that the IMF and EC loaned to the Latvian government must be contrived to somehow fall into MACRO pockets of MACRO corporations. That is why the frozen smile and stuck lips.

On the other hand, any reasonable plan for the future must involve MICRO economics. Under recent international pressure the wall that the Latvian government presented to its citizens vis a vis development of MICRO business has cracked, and as of 1st of January 2010, anyone can start a company for just Ls 100 (about $150). Time will tell how this develops without the help of how-to-do workshops. One also wonders what incentives will be used to facilitate cooperation between townships and small municipalities. The latter should be working toward attracting city dwellers and tourists to the countryside, but are not. Hopefully, the awakening of government to MICRO business will filter down and bear fruit. Still, one does not feel that the high-end MACRO lumpenproletariat is happy, because high-end office holders get their real pay offs by way of an envelope from the MACROs.

Though the name of Latvia will continue as an area under the administration of the EU, education policies of the government will continue to dumb the natives down until they will become the aborigines of Tierra del Fuego who held to the principle of absolute economic equality. When this economic principle of their native land was not recognized by Darwin and the crew of his ship, the natives reacted by becoming thieves without shame. Not surprisingly, economic equality was deemed to be a concept too aboriginal for the liberal economic system of then mighty British Empire, and justified British sheep farmers in killing the natives for the price of one pound sterling for two Fuegian ears.

The Latvian poor are of course not killed in any such brutal and unsophisticated manner, but the media is hardly covering the plight of the poor or their children. The poor in Latvia—as the poor under the liberal MACRO economic systems anywhere in the world—are the invisible people. There are hundreds of thousands of such in Latvia. While the upper strata, the better off, the party and entertainment crowd have their own picture magazine(s), and one Afghan boy who has learned halting Latvian from Latvians soldiers doing military duty in Afghanistan can get more attention than desperate folk, poor Latvians who live outside the circle of a twenty minute drive from Old Town Riga are for the most part unseen. The media either does not wish to see them or cannot afford to do such features on them as are necessary to bring proper attention to the situation. Yes, we do get short glimpses of the poor on television news sometimes, but for the most part the media does not hesitate to associate the poor with excessive use of alcohol.

Is it any surprise that more than 50% of Latvians are saying that if there was a job afor them in another country, they would leave? I first heard of this dramatic figure by way of Robert Ķīlis (a social anthropologist, Assistant Professor at the University of Sweden, also head of an advisory group to the President of Latvia) who appeared in an interview about a week ago on a popular internet site. Alas, he was soon ‘disappeared’. In any case, if more than 50% of Latvians are willing to leave Latvia, such willingness to travel is proof that the descendants of Jersika have regained their feet and are on the move again as their forebears, the itinerant Johns were. The irony is intended.

Which brings us back to the question I asked in the previous blog: What is it that these emigrating post-Soviet-Latvian Latvians are taking with them? What is their cultural baggage? Does it contain something of Jersika? This would give contemporary Latvians a toehold to the claim of having emerged from a proto-state long believed to be destroyed and gone. It is not true that Latvians emerged from Livonia as media people assert. The Jersiks were annihilated as a cultural entity by invading neo-Christians, but not as a physical body. If what remains is not part of everyone’s consciousness today, does it still have a subconscious role? Such questions are ignored by the President who rather hobnob with neo-Christians at secretive prayer breakfasts. Twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, post-Soviet Latvians are arriving in England (and elsewhere) without any memory of having a history worth talking about. If they continue to celebrate Johns Eve in their subconscious, it is without conscious detail. When it comes to culture, the baggage Latvian emigrants bring with them surely contains love for the land of their birth, but their suitcases are packed with what the Germans call Wuerzeltod (dead roots, deadness to roots).

It is curious how the Wurzeltod have become not only millionaires but MACRO millionaires, oligarchs, a nation not made of people but plebs become a few millionaires levitating on the backs of a people no longer a community, unless it is a community of the dismissed.

Asterisk & Notes of Interest:

On material depravation in Latvia.

An interesting poll.

On the theme of “more-equal-than-others” Orwells fable.

An eyeball view of Latvia (and its forests) company map; satellite map.While some sources claim that Latvia is 47% covered by forests, none of it is old growth forest. The Latvian news media provides little coverage of the rapid pace of deforestation. Anecdotal evidence of deforestation in progress from a neighbor: “There were fewer mushrooms this fall than last year. Forests we used to visit are gone.”

Of great interest to me this and like articles. It presents some of my reasons for supporting the growing of Johns Grass in Latvia.

Favored serendipitous click or “chronal mirage” on the internet. I was searching for a relationship between the burning of Jersika and heretics in Lanquedoc, France. You must read the text at this link to get the point.

These blogs tend to be a continuum of an idea or thought, which is why—if you are interested in what you read—you are encouraged to consider reading the previous blog and the blog hereafter.

Partial entries of my blogs may be found at LatviansOnline + Forum Home + Open Forum – ONLATVIANPOPULISM vs LATVIJASLABĒJIE (LatvianRightWing). If you copy this blog for your files, or copy to forward, or otherwise mention its content, please credit the author and http://esoschroniclnes.blogspot.com/

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