Friday, July 30, 2021


This century is still young in years. Tragically it is already irreparable. The negatives increase by the day and life itself becomes a lie posing as the new normal.

Two major events are shaping our future, the systematic killing of " consideration" under Trump and the denial of climate change by too many.

America's degeneration did not start with Trump. It originated in the swamps of Vietnam and the sands of Iraq, two interventions that started the reign of the big US lie-machine. Trump only increased and enlarged the rule of the counter-truth to such an extent that it became the QAnon bible of millions of Americans and of a growing fanclub worldwide.  After all, the rats invaded Budapest, the priests rule Poland, the madness prevails in Delhi.  Trump will be known in history books as the grand destroyer, and, unfortunately so,  his clones multiply. 

He  isalso representative of the denial  regarding climate change. He might be too old to see his Mar-a-Lago lair under water, but his Al Capone family might have to call it quits, when the truth of the aqua alta floods their doorsteps. Climate change is a ticking bomb. The timid steps made in the Paris Accord will not stem the tide. Alredy the Antarctic is a melting ice cube in a glass filled with indifference. The occurence of wildfires, storms and freakish weather patterns find people unprepared and governments defaulting. It is a scandal and the arc of Spengler's Untergang goes from China to little Belgium.

The world was never a place for the fainthearted but there was still room, grande illusion?,  for regret, hope, closure. It became hard to believe in anything after World War II, but here and there a recovery and some form of forgiveness made people believe in a better "elsewhere". Today people stay indoors, addicted to Netflix which has become the Zantac moment of the day, free of charge.

Suffice to witness the Brussels EU meetings, wherein countries that have zero interest in each other, only play the games of mutual loathing. In Tokyo the Olympics are less about sport than about the joy of Zen. The Middle East will always be the Middle East, another pack of lies for a shrinking lot of amateurs. Putin makes his country look better at the cost of freezing anything existential that made Russian culture great, until the clock of morality ran out. 

The years ahead will be interesting but so unpleasant. More people will die from  curable ailments than from untreatable ones.  What would Voltaire make out of  this?

Thursday, July 22, 2021


Les pluies et les inondations ont fait decouvrir aux Belges l'ampleur des disparites dans leur drole de Royaume. Ils ont ete confrontes a une realite que les fabriquants d'images (a l'exception de l"overdose" RTL) preferent ignorer. A longueur de journees, les drames personnels sur fonds de marasme economique ont mis a nu une alienation socio-politique dangereuse.

Seuls le Roi et la Reine ont eu des gestes qui semblaient reels. Ils apparaissaient bien seuls d'ailleurs, conscients sans doute de l'aspect aleatoire de leur role. Les autorites federales mais, en premier lieu, le "gouvernement Wallon" (on croit rever) ont failli a leur devoir. La cote des responsables Wallons est devenue nulle.  Vouloir tout gerer et vider le Federal au benefice de la sous-prefecture conduit a une incompetence generalisee. Sous un systeme eclaire les solidarites se seraient aussi multipliees. A quoi sert ce qui reste de "B Fast "s'il n'existe plus de reflexe pour venir en aide a son voisin immediat ?

La decence elementaire eut du conduire a un armistice institutionnel . Bart De Wever n'a rien trouve de mieux que de remettre l'alternative republicaine sous les projecteurs. Vouloir se lier aux Pays-Bas releve de la folie alors que les Neerlandais internationalistes n'ont que faire de voisins meridionaux provinciaux. La gueguerre au sein du gouvernement federal au sujet des sans-papiers est un autre symptome de la myopie politique de certains (les memes qui sont a l'origine du recul Wallon).

D'aucuns esperent que le premier ministre, justement apprecie par beaucoup, sera ecoute, mais gouverner avec les Verts conduit a un Hara kiri annonce. Ce parti n'a plus rien a envier a une idelolgie qui frise le fascisme. Dans sa propre mouvance liberale le premier Ministre doit aussi maitriser les temperament formule 1 de  Georges- Louis Bouchez et Co. Bref l'Automne sera chaud.

En attendant il convient en premier lieu de mobiliser les moyens pour venir en aide aux personnes qui ont tout perdu et de revoir l'infrastructure, la communication et de remodeller un sillon urbain qui pourra se substituer au cauchemar existant, sorti d'un roman de Dickens. Les victimes ne doivent pas une nouvelle fois devoir payer pour l'incurie du "regime" qui siege a Namur. Que de dernier prenne exemple de la gestion du bourgemestre  de la capitale Wallonne et qu'il ecoute le Secretaire d'Etat Thomas Dermine. Le miserabilisme ne doit pas devenir une fatalite.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

BRET STEPHENS ABOUT CHINA ( New York Times 05/07/21)

Bret Stephens is one of the most enjoyable and sophisticated columnists in the New York Times today.

His opinion about China makes yet again for informative and stimulating reading. His overall rather dark appraisal of the Chinese leadership is warranted. Nevertheless, the unpleasant intentions of President Xi should not hide the added value of better socio-economic results for a majority of Chinese.

China's sins are well known. The organised looting of intellectual property is documented. The charade of human rights is a daily occurence (but not unique to China).

The mad Hegelian/Dr. Cagliari-type Marxist experiments of Mao reached the summit of madness. Nevertheless the whole world ran to Beijing to kiss the ring of the Fisherman redux. Only a few Chinese heroic students dared to desecrate the image of Mao Zedong, at what cost!

Now the game of untruth is in full swing:  Covid, Ughiurs i.a., Hong Kong's agony as S.A.R. etc.

Nevertheless :

- Dr. Kissinger's China policy was not at all directed "to turn China's poverty around". The only goal was to avoid the one (USA) against two (USSR + China) presumption. The timing was correct since the reations between China and the USSR had suffered under a rather unplesant border Amur River dispute.

- China's more muscled approach towards India is highly measured (on both sides). The claims on the South China reefs or Tibet are highly quesstionable but the Chinese are masters in digging vague historical precedent up whenever it fits their goal. There is always the precedent of a Chinese emperor which comes in handy, generally Qianlong. China's Ill tratement by the West (real) is permanently in use for "blackmail", as if others didn't suffer injustice.

-Indeed China will not bury the rest, including the West. Devoid of a narrative it lacks soft-power for now, with the exception of an infrastructure footprint here and there, often foreordained to rot.

-Everybody has his own views regarding Taiwan. The Han Chinese are made for each other, Northern or Cantonese.   In the end the Chinese table is round and seats all.  In Hong Kong the democratic fiber is anything but dead, but Beijing made it abundantly clear that it might just as well pull out the plug and let Hong  Kong's vanity starve. Taiwan is probably Asia's most advanced democratic bullwark. This does not hinder an enormous economic and social intimacy between the opposite sides of the strait. Beijing wants to swallow the prize but will not take the bait.

All persons who come in contact with China make the same mistake, walking into China's "otherness", a trap that the Chinese perfected and in which non-Chinese enter.  Yes, the Chinese are special, but so are the French or the Mexicans. China is a rising power indeed but it is smart enough to know it had better correct its  rigmarole before its bluff is for all to see. At the end of the day the storyline reeks of deja vu.

Friday, July 2, 2021


The Chinese Communist Party offered itself a laudatory show and speech from President Ji Jinping , for the whole world to notice. 

The impressive show of force shoudn't surprise. China scores on so many fields and its blatant shortcomings regarding human rights go largely unnoticed, even in Muslim countries that should be expected to care more about their brethern in the Western parts. 

Xi Jinpin rules more like Emperor Kangxi, who vassalged northern Mongolia and Tibet, than Qialong who was a more creative but distracted ruler. President Xi must have been amused meeting Trump, the perfect fool and "Barbarian". If one comes in contact with Chinese one better not forget that China lives by the rule of symmetry. Hence its harsh words regarding Hong Kong, Taiwan or the Spratlys and Paracels in the South China Sea or the Diaoyutais, which were returned by the US to Japan in 1971. One can be assured that Beijing will resort to any means to put its sphere of sovereignity in order. Obervers are divided about counting military intervention as a further radical step under consideration.

Chinese are apt at pillow After all, the afrodisiac calls China home.  China's belt and road initiative strangles as much as it gives. The original enthusiasm for China's new silk road has waned. It uses charm and plays its "otherness" to the sole end of control. The pillow smoothes as much as it suffocates. This "technique" was used by the Manchus to "domesticate" the Chinese ! Sometimes it feels as if mostly Western powers still do not fully know history, the power of Chinese ressentment after the humiliations that were imposed in the 19th and 20th centuries. If no country is like any other, then China might be the most definively"other" one. 

The catastrophes it unleashed on itself are yet again proof of a neurotic self-centered arrogance. Among the last Chinese leaders, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin were mostly busy cleaning or refubishing the house. Hu Jintao was more an approachable predictable autocrat.  Xi canged all that. He is the Sun God who wants to be the epicentre inside and in the world. He might still like to deal with the Americans but will have little time for Europeans considered as "have beens". Other contries everywhere will swallow the expected kowtow for some investment or infrastructure works that might ruin them in the future.

For Western mentalities, the end of dynasties are a thing of the past, often bitter but expected. For the Chinese, the looting of the Summer Palace in 1860 is fresh on the mind.  The spoiled youths in Shanghai live more with South Korean boy bands than with history lessons, but in their DNA there is an arrogant pride which is a perfect tool in the hands of a system which has no other direction than success. One mistake might lead to terrible consequences but intellectual humility has never been a "forte" in Chinese leadership. Neither is a sense of humor...after all the mocking of Empress Dowager Ci Xi led to the siege of foreign legations in 1900.

China co-rules the world, the seas and space. It is master of the narrative inside, but it never went as far as the hearts.   It is too selfish to start a war which would turn global. It will continue paying, like a cat until the mouse lets go or retreats. Hong Kong might be a key to get into the Chinese mind. For now, the CCP can count its blessings !