Monday, February 27, 2006

Three from LRC
The US: From superpower to tin-horn dictatorship

Cheney’s coup

Germany today

A peaceful and productive society can only exist if people can share a spoken and written language.
Internationally for centuries in the West even after the fall of Rome it was Latin, the natural language of the church in that part of the world, and by the way there really was such a thing as lingua franca, a Romance patois used by people along the Mediterranean. Today thanks to British and by continuation American ascendancy it’s English, a versatile language.

[digression into linguistic boffinry]

This point reminds me that in the Byzantine Rite (Julian calendar) St Cyril is commemorated today, one of two brothers (the other was St Methodius) from Thessalonica in Greece who learnt their second language, Slavonic, from their Bulgarian and Macedonian neighbours as boys and, after going to Baghdad to evangelise the Khazars, missionised in Moravia (now the Czech Republic), Bulgaria and Dalmatia (now Croatia). They gave Slavonic a grammar and their own invented alphabet, Glagolitic, which was later replaced with the Greek-like Russian alphabet named after St Cyril, thus giving Russians and other Slavs a literary language as well, which in one form is still the liturgical language of the Orthodox in those parts... and Croatians in Dalmatia used to have the Roman Mass in that language!

(Luther’s wasn’t the first Bible in German but his had that formative effect on the language.)

It seems that churching the Czechs was abortive from the beginning as the Greek brothers’ work was quashed by the Germans. Even though that work was approved by the Pope the damage was done; the ‘Reformation’ (the Czech Jan Hus was apparently a proto-Protestant) and its subsequent religious war sealed that with the ‘Enlightenment’ and Communism nailing the coffin shut. I understand that Czechs are religiously indifferent today.

As for fonts (before 1940 books in German were in Fraktur... a lot like English through the 1500s) and spelling, that happened to Russian too. Before Peter the Great it was written in the beautiful script used for Slavonic, then the Communists got rid of some letters to simplify teaching it (they also did that to Chinese characters). Russians understand Slavonic about as well/badly as we can Chaucer; I’ve read that educated tsarist Russians could understand it better than people today.

A socialist ideology requires keeping people in denial.

A viable solution to this problem
[immigrant groups illiterate in German] would be to provide teachers who share the native language of these children and teach classes consisting of members of one ethnical group only. Of course, especially the leftists would cry bloody murder, as this would be the end of their way to enforce multiculturalism.

Each year German politicians are rallying about job training for youths, as if the power to create jobs comes from the almighty state.

The new generation of Germans can be of different ethnic origin, maintain their religious affiliation and still speak their native language. The source of their success lies within their shared language and their willingness to adopt ethics and values that are universal throughout the civilized world.
Spread naturally through the market and not by government (including ‘exporting’ them by force, a contradiction in terms).

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