Brexit and Indeed democracy is a process which is both emergent and chaotic. The Heuristic analysis of chaotic emergence gets to the heart of an old favourite of this blog, The age-old quarrel between Free Will or Determinism. The dichotomy is perhaps found in the differences between Inquisitorial and Adversarial Legal Systems and indeed Centralised Command and Control or Subsidiarity and devolved Distributed decision making known as Direct Democracy.
Here follow the components of this thought process.
This wonderful image by Escher of two hands drawing each other is one of my favourite pieces of modern art.
For me, it is a brilliant visualization of the idea of bootstrapping. Or to put it more loosely, how you get something from nothing. Evolution is an example. From something simple you can get something complex. From chemistry you bootstrap life. From life you evolve consciousness and self awareness and finally Beethoven and Proust. In evolution there is no need for an outside artist. Species, just like the hands, draw each other in to existence.
I think this is the circle of debt…1. “Spain is not Greece.”Elena Salgado, Spanish Finance minister, Feb. 20102. “Portugal is not Greece.” The Economist, 22nd April 2010.3. “Ireland is not in ‘Greek Territory.’”Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan.4. “Greece is not Ireland.”George Papaconstantinou, Greek Finance minister, 8th November 2010.5. “Spain is neither Ireland nor Portugal.”Elena Salgado, Spanish Finance minister, 16 November 2010.6. “Neither Spain nor Portugal is Ireland.”Angel Gurria, Secretary-general OECD, 18th November 2010If you understand this lot, you haven’t been paying attention…
“It occurred to me that nothing is more interesting than opinion when opinion is interesting, so I devised a method of cleaning off the page opposite the editorial, which became the most important in America … and thereon I decided to print opinions, ignoring facts”. Herbert Bayard Swope
Herbert Bayard Swope
Herbert Bayard Swope Sr. (January 5, 1882 – June 20, 1958) was a U.S. editor, journalist and intimate of the Algonquin Round Table. Swope spent most of his career at the New York World. He was the first and three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Reporting. Swope was called the greatest reporter of his time by Lord Northcliffe of the London Daily Mail.
Swope was the first recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Reporting in 1917 for a series of articles that year entitled “Inside the German Empire” The articles formed the basis for a book released in 1917 entitled Inside the German Empire: In the Third Year of the War (ISBN 9781436646178), which he co-authored with James W. Gerard.
I asked Herr Zimmermann just what the change would be. "Along just what lines this change will come,'* he replied, "is still a matter of discussion. There are, however, certain elemental considerations the acceptance of which is understood. In this class are included the reforms of the suffrage in Prus- sia, which still employs the plural voting system, and in some of the smaller German states, where the form of government is still autocratic. "The important feature of the change will be the erection of direct responsibility of the Gov- 50 / LIBERALIZING GERMANY / ernment to the people through their representa- tives in the Reichstag. Under the present sys- tem there is actually no such responsibility. The Chancellor is at the head of the political government. He owes his responsibility to the Kaiser, by whom he is created. The various secretaries are not actually ministers of the cab- inet in the common understanding of that term. They are merely bureau chiefs of the Chancellor, who is not only nominally, but actually, their chief, and to whom their responsibility is alone due. *'This condition was reaffirmed by the Chan- cellor in his speech in the Zabern affair, when he pointed out that the Government was not answer- able to the Reichstag for the course it pursued, but was answerable alone to the emperor. "There is a definite belief in Germany to-day, and a belief that may not be far from realization, that the Government should be answerable to the Reichstag, thus making it responsive to the popular voice. Perhaps the most effective way of bringing this change about would be to amend the constitution of the confederated empire, with the permission and approval of the Kaiser and 51 INSIDE THE GERMAN EMPIRE the various ruling kings and heads of the confed- erated states by whom the constitution was granted. "In creating the responsibihty of the Chancel- lor to the people, it would likewise be necessary " to organize a cabinet, the members of which would have powers similar in their nature to those held by the cabinet officials of America, France, and England. The creation of such a form would obviate the present charge that Ger- many does not possess a popular govermnent, and would give opportunity for the effective par- ticipation of many minds, which now are lacking a mode of expression. "Up to this point I am in sympathy with the outline of the reforms that I have sketched; but j my approval stops short of accepting a plan that would involve the downfall of the Government every time the Reichstag passed a vote of lack of confidence. "It must be borne in mind that there are in Germany to-day something like twenty-five sep- arate political organizations. This number is unwieldy and dangerous to successful execution of governmental projects because of the facility 52 LIBERALIZING GERMANY with which opi)osition could be welded together on one pretext or another to overthrow the min- istiy. Therefore, since Germany does not possess the two-party system found in England and America, and as the German poHtical issues are largely internal rather than foreign, it is my idea that in the creation of the new form of gov- ernmental responsibility there should be given to the Government a fixed tenm'e of office similar to that which America possesses, where the cabinet is emplaced for four years. "Perhaps the plan would work out in such a way as to give the members of the Reichstag a definite term of service and make the service of the ministry coincident with that period. I would, however, depart from the practice now in vogue in America, and give the members of the ministry seats in the Reichstag, as is the system in other countries to-daj^ Through this plan they would be in position to explain and defend their official acts and, as executives of the people's will, have the opportunity of setting forth their plans and policies to the representatives of the people." Herr Zimmermann went further, but the rest 53 INSIDE THE GERMAN EMPIRE was said under the seal of confidence. He is known as a stanch Liberal in politics and a man of high ideals, but this was the first time that he had permitted himself to be quoted on a question that is deep in the minds of all Germans to- day.
The web of mutually destroying debt they studied looks something like this. The image is from a New York Times article called Europe’s Web of Debt. (The original article has a larger version)
Professor Evans said what he and his colleagues found “was astounding”.
- The countries can reduce their total debt by 64% through cross cancellation of interlinked debt, taking total debt from 40.47% of GDP to 14.58%
- Six countries – Ireland, Italy, Spain, Britain, France and Germany – can write off more than 50% of their outstanding debt
- Ireland can reduce its debt from almost 130% of GDP to under 20% of GDP
- France can virtually eliminate its debt – reducing it to just 0.06% of GDP
Statute, Common Law
Subsidiarity as if Subsidiarity really mattered.
Treasury Committee on Leaving the EU, The Brexit Inquisition.
The logicians in Germany, who are now for the first time shaking off the influence of their personal interest in the outcome and are able to examine the peace thesis objectively, have re- duced the subject to four propositions: Peace can come, they declare: First, through the complete defeat of the Allies by Germany. Second, through the complete defeat of Ger- many by the Allies. INSIDE THE GERMAN EMPIRE Third, through a compromise, and a return in effect to the status quo ante. Fourth, through the liberahzation of the Ger- man Empire. In that fourth proposition Hes the most as- tounding development of the two years of war, and the touch-stone that may yet bring order to chaotic Europe. But to take up the hypotheses in turn. First, Germany to-day nourishes no hope that she can conquer the world — and that is her con- ception of the task she faces. She might be able to accomplish even this titanic labor, her sons say, if she could only bring the war to England. But the North Sea and the British fleet make that impossible, so she has abandoned calculations on this contingency. Second, convinced as she is that she cannot con- quer, she is doubly certain that she cannot and shall not be conquered. To her people defeat means national extermination, and they are fight- ing magnificently because they are fighting for life. Their reasoners say that if peace cannot be adduced from the first proposition, it can never be from the second, short of annihilation, 8 THE FOUR WAYS TOWARD PEACE Third — and this is still a favorite topic of dis- cussion, although in the face of Asquith's, Lloyd George's, and Briand's solemn statements it is almost hoping against hope — peace through com- promise is still held to be a possibility. Perhaps not a likely one if the alinement of the Allies re- mains undisturbed, for then the Germans fear no consideration would be paid to the suggestion of a throwback to former conditions.
It is an accepted belief in Germany that Japan and Russia have reconciled their differences, and that their futures are bound together, and to this future there are many Germans who believe their country will be a contributory factor. Many of the German intellectuals, and other leaders, such as Professor Delbrueck, Alfred Lohmann, Herr Ballin, and others, who have always stood for a rapprochement with England, now believe that such a course will be impossible for many years to come, and that therefore Ger- many will be forced into an alliance, for military and commercial reasons, with two nations with which she has little of common cultural interest. As one leader of German thought phrased it to me, an alliance between Germany, Russia, and Japan will be a ^'Dreibund of discontent." But from such an alliance they see great possibihties
The fourth way out, the liberalization of the German Empire, is the avenue most likely to be traveled by the peacemakers. It is a subject that Germans speak of with reluctance. To most of them it is a reform to be avoided at this time, not because it lacks virtue, — except for a few, all I spoke with welcomed the thought, — but be- cause it would seem to be forced upon them by the Allies, and would therefore, if instituted, take on the nature of an Allied victory. 13 INSIDE THE GERMAN EMPIRE When they do speak of this change they al- ways preface their words with a statement that it is to come after the war ; but from expressions made to me by the most influential men in Ger- many, supported by indirect statements from the highest in the land, it is safe to say that the element of time is not unchangeable, and that be- fore long the agitation for the erection of a re- sponsible popular govermnent will break out, and will lead to an end of that government by divine right which now exists, wherein the Chan- cellor is responsible not to the Reichstag, but only to the Kaiser, and the Kaiser owes responsi- bility, he says, only to his God and his conscience. Germany, as Hindenburg has said, has a bril- liant military position, but is without prospects. He might have added that to-day desperation finds more room in her heart than hope finds lodging there ; for bold, courageous, unflinching, determined as the Germans are, there is little hope to feed upon in the face of the Allies' plod- ding insistence in fighting on long after the Ger- man military experts had assured their people that strategically^ and tactically the enemies' plans were futile and unsound. 14 THE FOUR WAYS TOWARD PEACE And this lack of a national hope is accentuated when the Germans consider the fii'st two of the four ways out. Such hopes as still remain of an outcome that lies elsewhere than in the conquer- ing of Germany by the Allies or the defeat of the Alhes by Germany are to be found in compro- mise or in liberalization.
CHAPTER IX AMEEICA THROUGH GERMAN EYES How a pamphlet of enormous circulation treats of Americans — "In spirit genuine Englishmen" — "America fears Germany; that is why she hates her" — "America will be in economically advantageous position after the war" — "Puritanically hypo- critical" — "Obsequious to English Lords" — How an American writer did not get his name — ^"Monroe Doctrine has been despised by all the great powers except Germany" — How Ger- mans view our "Anglo-Saxon morality" — Why "republics must always fail" — "A tyranny of dollars" — "A history which tells of nothing but the lust for gain."
With true German thoroughness, the author. Otto von Gottberg, starts in on his second page to discover the causes of our "unfriendly neu- trality" by "observing the American people from its hour of birth to the present day through Ger- man eyes." On his forty-third page, having con- scientiously completed this task, he turns to the suj)posed subject of the book, American neu- trality, and, after discussing it for five pages, closes. Germany, he says, has always viewed the United States through British eyes. England hated us up to 1898; then flattered us, according to his view of history, and the Germans aped the British. But the British flattered us merely be- cause we were looming up as a world power, and they hoped to secure American help in "the war which they had already planned against the growing world power of Germany." And the Germans made a mistake in not perceiving that 99 INSIDE THE GERMAN EMPIRE we were still, as always, "in spirit, if not in blood, genuine English," a people "whose history tells of nothing but the lust of profit."
Gottberg has small faith in republics. "At first glance," he says, "the fact that these free states have lived on more than a century is dis- concerting. Nature must have one ruler. We can see that in the beehive, in a pack of wolves, or in the hen-coop. Even the sheep is wise enough to know that only one can lead the flock. The unnatm-al rule of the many usually arises only by the violent overthrow of one ruler and his loyal followers. A few adherents of monarchy 104. AMERICA THROUGH GERMAN EYES always survive the bloodiest battles of revolution as the nucleus of a new upheaval, which will in turn destroy the republic. "That is why our French neighbors eternally vacillate between monarchy and republic. Every time Madame la France steps out of bed with the left foot first, she knocks her house of state, with all its furniture, to pieces. The present French republic has lasted over forty years because a revolution is hard to organize in a time of univer- sal military service. At this very hour the law- yers who are rather ruining France than ruling her are trembling again for fear of the general whom a victorious army could make a monarch. Poincare would like to see Joffre win once, but he would not care to see too great a victory." And this belief in a monarchic restoration in France is by no means confined to our author !
Q1490 George Kerevan: Taking your vision of the world, which some might call conspiratorial, you feel confident that, post‑Brexit, when Britain came to negotiate its trading arrangements with the United States, somehow there would be less pressure and less difficulty dealing with United States regulatory officials? This is despite the fact that you are telling us that Goldman Sachs exhibits this Machiavellian role in Europe and also despite the fact that of course, as we know, the likely next President of the United States has a relationship with Goldman Sachs, which has possibly got her into trouble, and that at least one Treasury Secretary I can think of, who was in the paper this morning, is ex‑Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs also runs in the America that you are telling us it would be so easy to negotiate a free trade deal with.
Dominic Cummings: After we win and take back control and when we negotiate with America about all sorts of things, we will be in a far better position to deal with the likes of Goldman Sachs when Whitehall is in charge. That is despite the issues of competence and the problems with Whitehall that have grown over the last 30 years. There is also a fundamental issue of honesty, openness and pluralism. For all the failings of the Westminster Whitehall system at the moment, it is far ahead of continental Europe on this very important question. That is an important thing and is one of the reasons why I think that preserving pluralist institutions in Europe is a good thing for Europe as well as for Britain. The British example in lots of these things is something that Europe desperately needs.
Rachel Reeves: Mr Cummings, your colleague Matthew Elliott said that for an EU referendum, “It would be far more preferable to have two clearly defined options. For such a momentous decision, voters deserve concrete alternatives with clear definitions, allowing the debate to be about two precise positions thereby reducing the scope for mudslinging and the spread of misinformation.” Mr Cummings, can we assume that clarity from your side is imminent on what that alternative would be?
Dominic Cummings: Michael Gove was clear yesterday about all sorts of things. Once we vote to leave we will end the supremacy of European Union law and the supremacy of the European Court of Justice. In time we will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act, particularly section 2 of it. We will end the free movement of people in particular. We will have a different arrangement with Europe. We will take back control of trade. We will end the menace of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which gives the ECJ power to rule on practically anything that they want to from now on. It is a clear agenda; it is not a controversial picture either.
Q1446 Rachel Reeves: Mr Cummings, even today we have not had clarity for example on whether this money that you believe would be saved would go on the National Health Service, farmers or science funding. It would be fair to say we are lacking—
Dominic Cummings: There is plenty of money to go around for all of these great causes.
Rachel Reeves: Sorry, I have not finished the question. It seems even today we are lacking that clarity on what life outside the European Union would look like.
Dominic Cummings: I do not think so. Michael Gove was pretty clear yesterday. Of course, the fundamental heart of the argument over the European Union is: are we going to be a normal, self‑governing democracy, or are we not? If you are a normal, self‑governing democracy, by definition the public make choices in elections and vote people like you with your priorities in or out, and the chips fall where they may.
Of course one cannot say, “This is exactly what the future will be. This is how things will work out”. That is not the point of it. The point of it is not for us to say, “Here is our blueprint of what Britain should be like” in any detailed way. The most important thing about the EU is not any individual policy; it is institutions for error correction. Do you have a system in which you can correct errors quickly, learn from things fast, and adjust, which has been one of the great strengths of the Anglo‑American system over 200 years, or do you have a system in which bureaucrats and a judicial system entrench ideas in bureaucracy that is extremely slow to move, change, adjust, and adapt to errors?
The Clinical Trials Directive is a classic example. 10 years of Nobel scientists saying it kills people; nothing happens.
My question remains. The MPC have made those remarks. Do you regard them as scaremongering, or are they just wrong?
Dominic Cummings: They are wrong. As I have explained, when you have big institutional setups like the European Union, which have been around for many decades, and the whole global architecture is built on them, there is an inevitable great reluctance from the other elements of that bureaucracy to see it shaken up. When the ERM blew up a lot of people said, “Stay in it. Fight at all costs to stay in it. Do not discredit the idea.”
You have seen that the euro is now mangling the Greek economy into a nightmare; what is the view of the overall international bureaucracy? Try to prop the system up. Try not to face the fact that we, the guys in charge, cocked it up.
Q1462 Rachel Reeves: The Greek people had a referendum, I believe, and they chose that they wanted to stay within the EU. Maybe they are part of the establishment that got all of that wrong as well.
Dominic Cummings: Yes, with a gun held to their head. It was a very sad picture and I thought you as a Labour party member would not have liked that.
Chair: Order, order, Mr Cummings. Await the question.
Q1463 Rachel Reeves: Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. I do not think you not know anything about me or my politics, Mr Cummings, so maybe you do not want to comment on those things.
Coming back to some of the points that Chris Philp mentioned in his questions on the speech by the Secretary of State for Justice yesterday, in the speech he said, “It is sometimes claimed that we will only get free trade if we accept free movement, but the EU has free trade deals with nations that obviously do not involve free movement. You do not need free movement to have free trade and friendly co-operation.” Of course that is true, but let us not confuse free trade with the single market, going back to the point that Chris Philp mentioned earlier. Is it not the case that you may be able to get free trade outside of the EU, but if you are outside of the single market you will categorically not get that same trade in services that we get today?
Dominic Cummings: As I explained before, there are many aspects of the single market that have been very damaging not just for Britain, but for the entire continent. I also question your assumption that a single market in services is a good idea. I make two points about that. The first point is that people have been talking about this for a long time and it has not developed. The second thing is that a single market in services would actually be deeply destructive for Great Britain. We attract the biggest proportion of investment into the European Union precisely because we have a different legal system to Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, etc. We have a common law system, we have similar courts, contracts, insurance, etc, which is the reason why we suck in all this money from all around the world.
The idea of harmonising our rules on all of this with Greece would be disastrous for these investment flows, so I reject your premise. The idea that we want a single market in services is false. Harmonisation of all of these rules is often damaging. Occasionally it is a good idea, but also when it is a good idea it increasingly makes sense to make those rules at a global level and not at a regional level. There is a very good reason for that: when we make them at a global level, we can then have choice and flexibility about how we implement them. When we take it via the EU route, the ECJ is in charge of how we implement it and stops us ever getting out of it if it goes wrong.
it is however true that the idea of a
Minister of Justice is a very European
idea but you’ve gotta bear in mind that
their legal system is completely
different from ours ours is a common law
jurisdiction where judges are deciding
cases on a sort of case-by-case basis
looking at the individual circumstances
and then perhaps making rules that they
that sort of extrapolate from those
individual cases and the philosophy of
our law is completely the opposite of
the Roman law based legal systems on the
continent the Roman law based systems
are based upon the Roman law that came
through the Middle Ages just Indians
code which is really a law almost of
tyranny Justinian was so he’s a Roman
Emperor and he had Roman senators and so
on when the Senators came into his
presence they had to fall to the ground
and hold their faces in the dust to hold
their arms stretched out towards him
there was no idea or equality or before
the law or anything else it was it was
he was the the tyrant word of the time
and and they were his minions so Roman
law does have this idea that basically
from the state all rights come from the
state and if you think about a car boot
sale for example that would actually be
a crime in France because you have to
get state’s permission and that’s of
course the the local matter but without
without permission from the mayor you’re
not allowed to engage in any business at
all and that’s because the fundamental
position is that everything every right
that you can have has to be given to you
by the state
whereas our position it is the exact
opposite our position is that basically
everything is legal except those things
that have been specifically ruled made
illegal by proper legislative process
that’s how I understood it that on the
continent they tell you what you are
allowed to do whereas here they tell you
what you must allowed to do exactly
exactly this is exactly the case so the
idea of a Minister of Justice in our
system doesn’t really work terribly well
by comparison to who the French system
and a Minister of Justice of course in
in France would be very likely to be not
only in charge of the judiciary and the
court system but also the police and
like and am and the prison system the
whole range of options of the state
would have in dealing with individuals
would come under potentially one
minister in most of the continental
systems and the only this harks back to
equality of the law and our vigil the
police force was we will probably look
to the police force because of what they
did on the continent which was the
police force was effectively used to
suppress the people they’d be armed
don’t even semi-military at times hence
why our police force was it was just
basically ordinary people they only had
the power of arrest and they weren’t
armed they couldn’t be used to suppress
the masses if you like however you look
around the town centers and the police