At the End of the Day

There is a phrase in French, “C’est normale”. What it means – if you say thank you for a kindness when shown – is “It’s only natural”.

There are lots of things that infuriate me about France, but the French sense of communal neighbourliness (beyond the worst of the banlieues) isn’t one of them. Today is my 67th birthday, and the Polish blokes with whom I’ve been working found out about it. Tonight I opened the front door to find Polish beer, Vodka and farm-made brandy there to greet me. When I rang Mikal up to say thanks, he just said “C’est normale”.

My nearest neighbours are Jean-Pierre and Yvette. They have a small mountain retreat in Portugal, and every time they leave to spend a few weeks there, I’m always rung with the command “Il faut profiter” – that is, the lettuces and tomatoes will only shrivel, so take whatever you want. Another local farmer who grows on the field next to my place is mad about quince jelly. My trees here grow enough quinces to start a war with them as deadly weapons, so I always use the “il faut profiter” line with her too. She in turn gives me two large pots of the gelee afterwards.

Now this may all read like the worst kind of noble savage vie-en-rose life in France bollocks; and I must admit that more than its fair share of that clichéd drivel has been pumped out by the genre-seeking publishing sector over the last forty years. But the uncomfortable fact for supranational globalists is that it’s not a myth: it exists. It even exists in huge cities: in London, I’ve  always found it interesting to note that there is Bedford Park, Telford Park, Brixton Village, Clapham Old Town, Chelsea Harbour, Canada Water, Camden Lock, and dozens of other geographical descriptions. It reflects, I think, the infinite human need to identify with a manageable size of tribe.

This might be an interesting thought: do you know anyone who would don a uniform and fight to defend the European Union? No, neither do I. This is partly because it stands for nothing of any worth to the ordinary citizen: it has no consistent moral outlook, let alone compass. It controls and demands without any reward for the individual. It lies with consummate ease, bullies with apparent pleasure, flaunts both cultural and natural laws, and stumbles from one self-inflicted crisis to the next. But the ultimate reason why nobody loves the European Union is because it is an oversized £9 note. Just as with every description about the size of the Universe, it simply cannot be computed by the human brain to add up to anything beyond dense impossibility.

This is why the future is not neoliberal globalism. The future is small, entrepreneurial, mutualist and communitarian. This is a sound socially anthropological conclusion, because Man’s success is based on invention, competition, cooperation and benign tribalism. Whenever we move beyond those boundaries we fail – and we fight.

Earlier at The Slog: Let’s keep Game Theory firmly in its place

26 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. Congratulations, felicitations y felicitaciones. May you have many more years gently stirring the crock. I envy you your youth.


  2. The tragedy of today’s EU is that it has risen out of a great idea: that, if economic ties were allowed to develop organically between European countries, those countries wouldn’t go to war. Essentially allowing the type of enlightened cooperation seen within a country’s borders to spread beyond them. The trouble started once the politicians realised how much power and money were to be gained, were the institutions of a supra-national government to be developed.


  3. Many happies JW, you’re analysis of the problems of our great multi-national union does not seem too far wide of the mark.

    One can agree wholeheartedly with chrisb’s comments – except for the implication that there may have been a time when European politicians hadn’t been conscious of the opportunities that would become available to grab money and power.


  4. Question is, will World War III precede the end of the Ponzi scheme as a distraction?

    We all know how ‘Sparta USA’ is up for it.

    Ukraine? Syria? North Korea?


  5. Happy Birthday John.
    1948 wasn’t a very good vintage.
    Keep on blog gin’ – I typed in bloggin’ but predictive text on Apple ‘knew better’!
    In any case, have a blog gin’ if there is one to hand.


  6. I think it is of old that charity should begin at home and spread out to our neighbours. That’s certainly a Christian concept. Today, it seems that people are encouraged to indulge themselves and to always put ‘number one’ first. Maybe it’s because of the demise of Religion. Revival anyone?.

    Hope you had a “Bon Anniversaire”!


  7. A Very Happy Birthday John

    As it happens, it’s my birthday tomorrow, albeit not quite one of your vintage!

    Have a great day, and thanks for your hard work. Pisceans rule OK! :o)


  8. Not as I understand it chrisb. The ‘great idea’ was that nationalism inevitably leads to war and thus anything that supports nationalism is dangerous and must be controlled/inhibited. From the very beginning the intention was to reduce democracy and thus nationalism by installing an unaccountable, supranational, technocratic bureaucracy to provide wise government. Economic measures had two main planks, to remove competitive trade (leads to nationalism) and to engender co-operation and collaboration (the Coal and Steel Treaty was intended to hobble German heavy industry to stop them getting above themselves again).

    I know that sounds much the same as your comment but unless you understand where the true emphasis lies you won’t understand what is really at stake, it is not that the EU is pro-‘enlightened cooperation’ it is that the EU is anti-democracy and nationalism and if anti-democracy and nationalism requires ‘enlightened cooperation’ be dumped for say, ‘enforced cooperation’, then it will be.


  9. “Maybe it’s because of the demise of Religion. Revival anyone?.”

    Good God no. After a lifetime of wondering I’ve come to the conclusion that ALL organised religions are inherently evil – just look around you.

    Do I believe in God? Yes, in some form, and I have my reasons; but it’s my god, and I don’t need to listen to diktats, put money in a plate, or force my beliefs on anyone else. Why don’t we just educate our children to be kind to others? It’d be a start.

    Christopher Hitchens on organised religion:

    “…I hope I’ve made it clear that I’m perfectly happy for people to have these toys and to play with them at home and hug them to themselves and so on and share them with other people who come around and play with the toys, so that’s absolutely fine. They are not to make me play with these toys. I will not play with the toys. Don’t bring the toys to my house. Don’t say my children must play with these toys. Don’t say—my toys might be a condom, here we go again—are not allowed by their toys. I’m not going to have any of that. Enough with clerical and religious bullying and intimidation. Is that finally clear? Have I got that across? Thank you.”

    Happy birthday John!


  10. It does amaze me that people think that the EU has morphed into it’s current situation by accident. IMHO, the entire disaster has been planned from day one.

    The less the masses have, the less power they can wield. The more they are impoverished, the more power the elite can obtain.

    And one thing I’m sure most on here will agree with is that the entire European elite are very, very keen on obtaining more and more power. I rest my case.


  11. Have a great day, JW, & sink one for me. :)
    My 62nd approaching, God willing, in July.

    I’m starting to suspect that God is a member of a committee, though,
    & has her good & bad days.

    Slog on, John. :)


  12. Happy birthday to the most important person in my life ! Sorry JW you share with my wonderful daughter !
    But best wishes to you also on this important day :-)


  13. Excellent piece. My take is that of the Native American prophecies in that man MUST return to the land eventually, and that anyone who denies this is sorely mistaken. Many think the American indigenous aboriginals were comprehensively defeated, but the fact is they continue to assert their inalienable, aboriginal rights to this day. Really interesting stuff – their prophecies warn of atomic bombs, catastrophes of excessive heat and of tampering with and removing things from the moon.


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