War is the Health of the State

NORMANDY, France – Grim news. Many thanks to all friends and readers who wondered about our safety on Friday.

As it happened, news of the Paris massacre got to the homeland faster than it got to us. We were already driving out of town when the terrorists attacked. We did not find out about it until we checked in on the markets.

“Paris attacks” were blamed for a 203-point drop for the Dow, we discovered. Later, we read the details. The War on Terror is in its 14th year. There is no sign of victory for either side.

And now we see the familiar pattern. The body count went up. The flags went down. The fever mounts.

 

The_French_flag_flies_at_The French flag flies at half-mast above the Grand Palais

Photo via Reuters

 

“We shouldn’t have let them into our country,” said an outraged neighbor.

“Who?”

“Muslims. They want to kill us. Their religion tells them to do it. We have to defend ourselves. But President Hollande only talks of war. He doesn’t make war.”

“War is the health of the state,” wrote Randolph Bourne. Today, French shoulders slump and hearts ache. But the French feds have rarely felt better: France is at war.

Hollande last made international news by sneaking out of the presidential mansion on a motor scooter to visit his mistress. Now, he’s able to strike a more leader-like pose.

 

hollande02_3502285bA stern-looking Hollande behind the lectern promises more war

Photo credit: Philippe Wojazer / Reuters

 

He has declared a “merciless” war against terrorists and has called out a further 1,000 soldiers to patrol Paris and its suburbs. (There are now about 5,000 soldiers in total on patrol in the capital.)

Paris is locked down. Borders are secured (although one of the terrorists apparently got through to Belgium). And then France’s war planes were started up and sent to bomb Raqqa, in northern Syria – the Islamic State stronghold where French security services believe the massacre was planned.

 

As Massacres Go, a Smallish Affair

As massacres go, the Paris massacre was a smallish affair. The My Lai Massacre, by American soldiers during the Vietnam War, left more than 350 Vietnamese men, women, and children dead. (Its chief perpetrator, Lt. William Calley, got three and a half years of house arrest for his role. Now, he lives in comfort in Atlanta, Georgia.)

 

CalleyLt. William Calley during his court martial in 1971 at Ft. Benning. Ordering the massacre of 350 unarmed men, women and children didn’t keep him from living a life of comfort after spending 3.5 years under “house arrest”.

Photo credit: Joe Holloway, Jr., / Associated Press

 

The Soviet secret police, the NKVD, massacred as many as 22,000 Poles in the Katyn Forest in 1940… supposedly to eliminate the Polish “intellectuals” who might oppose the Soviet occupation.

 

Katyn (1)In 1943, the German army discovered mass graves in the Katyn forest in Poland. NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria had proposed the murder of the entire Polish officer corps in March 1940, which the politburo and Stalin immediately approved. The Soviets later tried to pin the massacre on the Nazis, but failed.

Photo via rhein-zeitung.de

 

In 1944, a Waffen-SS company massacred 642 men, women, and children in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane in Nazi-occupied France… including 205 children. The exact cause was never discovered.

 

Oradur-sur-glaneOradour-sur-Glane, where the Nazis massacred 642 defenseless men, women and children for reasons that have never become clear.

Photo via DPA

 

And in 1572, the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, in which French Catholic mobs cut down Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants), produced about 3,000 corpses in Paris and as many as 70,000 across France.

 

The-Saint-Bartolomews-Day-Massacre-by-Fran+ºois-DuboisDepiction of the Bartholomew Day massacre (a.k.a. the Night of the Long Knives, although it actually lasted for a whole week) by Francois Dubois. Paris is no stranger to religiously inspired mass killings, and this one was the biggest by far, with between 2,000 to 3,000 killed in Paris alone and many thousands more in the provinces across France. Good Catholics did the deed in this case – click to enlarge.

Illustration by François Dubois

 

Pope Gregory XIII was delighted. He had three frescoes painted in the Sala Regina in the Vatican to commemorate the great event. The room is now closed to the public.

 

popegregoryxiiiPope Gregory XIII, waving blessings in the general direction of the true believers. Huguenots not included. In 1582 he tried to make up for his ungodly burst of delight at the mass-murder in France, by profitably fiddling with the calendar.

Photo via dominicselwood.com

 

Sometimes Bad, Sometimes Good

What leads people to massacre one another? What sets them off? Envy, hatred, fear – the usual base emotions?

Psychologists blamed the My Lai Massacre on “prolonged fear.” It supposedly caused American soldiers to crack up.

The Catholic violence against the Huguenots in France was part of the religious wars that rocked Europe in the 16th century. But the Catholic mob was stirred to action, according to some accounts, by particular circumstances: Harvests had been poor. Food was expensive. Taxes were heavy.

And there, in their midst, were rich Protestants in all their finery, who had come to celebrate the marriage of Margaret of Valois, sister of Charles IX, to Henry of Navarre, a Huguenot.

 

weddingFile under royal weddings gone bad: A painting by Edmond Lechevallier, showing The Wedding of Henri de Bourbon, King of Navarre, to Marguerite de Valois in the presence of Catherine de Medici and Charles IX.

Painting by Edmond Lechevallier-Chevignard

 

Our Diary dictum: People are sometimes bad and sometimes good, but always subject to influence. War, as near as we can tell, is always a dangerous influence.

 

Debat-Ponsan-matin-LouvreOne morning at the gates of the Louvre by Edouard Debat-Ponsan. The figure in black surveying the results of the massacre is Catherine de Medici, who was the regent of France during the childhood of Charles IX. She tried to defuse the War of Religion at first, but ultimately failed. When an assassination attempt on Huguenot general Coligny in Paris at the time of the wedding failed, she and Charles decided it would be best to kill all the Huguenot leaders as long as they were within easy reach, before they would get the chance to avenge Coligny.

Painting by Édouard Debat-Ponsan

 

Image captions by PT

 

The above article originally appeared as “As Massacres Go, the Paris Attacks Were a Smallish Affair” at the Diary of a Rogue Economist, written for Bonner & Partners. Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.

 

 

 

Emigrate While You Can... Learn More

 


 

 
 

Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

Bitcoin address: 12vB2LeWQNjWh59tyfWw23ySqJ9kTfJifA

   
 

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • Trade War Game On!
      Interesting Times Arrive “Things sure are getting exciting again, ain’t they?”  The remark was made by a colleague on Tuesday morning, as we stepped off the elevator to grab a cup of coffee.   Ancient Chinese curse alert... [PT]   “One moment markets are gorging on financial slop like fat pigs in mud.  The next they’re collectively vomiting on themselves. I’ll tell you one thing.  President Trump’s trade war with China won’t end well.  I mean, come...
  • The Dollar Cancer and the Gold Cure
      The Long Run is Here The dollar is failing. Millions of people can see at least some of the major signs, such as the collapse of interest rates, record high number of people not counted in the workforce, and debt rising from already-unpayable levels at an accelerating rate.   Total US credit market debt has hit a new high of $68.6 trillion at the end of 2017. That's up from $22.3 trillion a mere 20 years ago. It's a fairly good bet this isn't sustainable....
  • US Stock Market: Happy Days Are Here Again? Not so Fast...
      A “Typical” Correction? A Narrative Fail May Be in Store Obviously, assorted crash analogs have by now gone out of the window – we already noted that the market was late if it was to continue to mimic them, as the decline would have had to accelerate in the last week of March to remain in compliance with the “official time table”. Of course crashes are always very low probability events – but there are occasions when they have a higher probability than otherwise, and we will...
  • Rise of the Japanese Androids
      Good Intentions One of the unspoken delights in life is the rich satisfaction that comes with bearing witness to the spectacular failure of an offensive and unjust system. This week served up a lavish plate of delicious appetizers with both a style and refinement that’s ordinarily reserved for a competitive speed eating contest. What a remarkable time to be alive.   It seemed a good idea at first... [PT]   Many thrilling stories of doom and gloom were published...
  • Claudio Grass on Cryptocurrencies and Gold – An X22 Report Interview
       The Global Community is Unhappy With the Monetary System, Change is Coming Our friend Claudio Grass of Precious Metal Advisory Switzerland was recently interviewed by the X22 Report on cryptocurrencies and gold. He offers interesting perspectives on cryptocurrencies, bringing them into context with Hayek's idea of the denationalization of money. The connection is that they have originated in the market and exist in a framework of free competition, with users determining which of them...
  • Getting High on Bubbles
      Turn on, Tune in, Drop out Back in the drug-soaked, if not halcyon, days known at the sexual and drug revolution—the 1960’s—many people were on a quest for the “perfect trip”, and the “perfect hit of acid” (the drug lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD).   Dr. Albert Hoffman and his famous bicycle ride through Basel after he ingested a few drops of LSD-25 by mistake. The photograph in the middle was taken at the Woodstock festival and inter alia serves as a...
  • No Revolution Just Yet - Precious Metals Supply and Demand Report
      Irredeemably Yours... Yuan Stops Rallying at the Wrong Moment The so-called petro-yuan was to revolutionize the world of irredeemable fiat paper currencies. Well, since its launch on March 26 — it has gone down. It was to be an enabler for oil companies who were desperate to sell oil for gold, but could not do so until the yuan oil contract.   After becoming progressively stronger over the past year, it looks as thought the 6.25 level in USDCNY is providing support for the...
  • The “Turn of the Month Effect” Exists in 11 of 11 Countries
      A Well Known Seasonal Phenomenon in the US Market – Is There More to It? I already discussed the “turn-of-the-month effect” in a previous issues of Seasonal Insights, see e.g. this report from earlier this year. The term describes the fact that price gains in the stock market tend to cluster around the turn of the month. By contrast, the rest of the time around the middle of the month is typically less profitable for investors.   Due to continual monetary inflation in the...
  • Flight of the Bricks - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      The Lighthouse Moves Picture, if you will, a brick slowly falling off a cliff. The brick is printed with green ink, and engraved on it are the words “Federal Reserve Note” (FRN). A camera is mounted to the brick. The camera shows lots of things moving up. The cliff face is whizzing upwards at a blur. A black painted brick labeled “oil” is going up pretty fast, but not so fast as the cliff face. It is up 26% in a year. A special brick, a government data brick of sorts, labeled...
  • From Fake Boom to Real Bust
      Paradise in LA LA Land More is revealed with each passing day.  You can count on it.  But what exactly the ‘more is of’ requires careful discrimination.  Is the ‘more’ merely more noise?  Or is it something of actual substance?  Today we endeavor to pass judgment, on your behalf.   Normally, judgment would be passed on a Thursday, but we are making an exception. [PT]   For example, here in the land of fruits and nuts, things are whacky, things are...

Support Acting Man

Item Guides

Top10BestPro
j9TJzzN

The Review Insider

Austrian Theory and Investment

Archive

350x200

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

Mish Talk

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!
 

Oilprice.com

Diary of a Rogue Economist