Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Power Politics

Not through speeches and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be decided… but by iron and blood. — Otto von Bismarck

Blood and IronThanks to TigerHawk I discovered Obamicon.Me, an interactive website that allows the user to create poster images in the famous style utilized on behalf of the Man of Hope and Change during his recent campaign for Messiah President of the United States.

For my icon I chose a variant on my usual avatar. The image at right was derived from the familiar portrait of Otto von Bismarck in his Prussian uniform and pickelhaube. Obamicon.Me does not allow the user to place text above the image as well as below it, so some additional custom-editing was required to produce the final product. All in all, though, Obamicon.Me performs a valuable public service with their website.

Bismarck was Chancellor first of Prussia, and then of the newly-united German Empire after 1871. He was known as the “Iron Chancellor” in tribute to the “Blood and Iron” speech given before the Prussian Landtag in 1862:
- - - - - - - - -
The position of Prussia in Germany will not be determined by its liberalism but by its power… Prussia must concentrate its strength and hold it for the favorable moment, which has already come and gone several times. Since the treaties of Vienna, our frontiers have been ill-designed for a healthy body politic. Not through speeches and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be decided — that was the great mistake of 1848 and 1849 — but by iron and blood.

“Blood and Iron” is more euphonious than “Iron and Blood”, so the former became the English-language shorthand phrase for the famous speech.

Like many political leaders who are not afraid to use force as a tool of statecraft, Bismarck was prudent in his approach to war, and did not resort to it lightly. His overarching goals were not military, but political: to unify under Prussian leadership the disparate states that later became Germany, and to maintain and strengthen their unity by any means necessary.

Peaceful methods were always preferable, and Bismarck was an unparalleled master at the art of political intrigue, both domestic and international. It is a safe bet that if he had still been at the helm in 1914, the War to End All Wars would never have occurred.


Afonso Henriques said...

"Not through speeches and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be decided… but by iron and blood. — Otto von Bismarck"

Good days, those...
When even the always ultra polite, ultra educated English would give ultimatums to their ungreatefull though good allies.

Czechmade said...

Yes, he made his local EU against the will of most German states.

Note that the Bundeslaender with their local Parliaments are US postwar II innovations: Danke Amerika.

It seems you advocate Texas being the model for all US states with no borders and just one central gov.
But then you are still very moderate - German lands had very different history and culture...many still feel more affiliated to the Swiss, Czech, Danes, Dutch, French than some Eastern European Prussian thing planted belatedly in Berlin.

If you accept Bismarck, you accept EU. Same kind of slow jihad.

Czechmade said...

The Modern Germans had the same trouble opposing the EU project from the beginning since
the Bismarck indoctrination on the "German" level was part of their statehood...just like muslim have a problem opposing something islamic which unifies them as muslims inclusive violence.

Right now with EU problems magnified they start viewing themselves as trapped into a huge EU project as well as German project - envious of minor countries like Austria, Denmark or Czech Rep. less engaged in ritual PC, more flexible, more able to control their lands with defined borders and traditions.

All these Bismarck concepts are second hand - based on rivalry with France which made once for the first time Germans happy after WWII but continues to abuse this status.

Have the patience to study individual German pre-Bismarck psyches still alive - something good can come out of it. Now we want a grass root fresh movements - not a sturdy block to make big steps - always in a wrong direction. No Bismarck - the symbole of Germany unfree subdued and humiliated internally by some Mohammed, Mao, Hitler, Lenin, Putin whatever great guy with an absolute contempt for his co-citizens.

dienw said...

You've been found out: the site is down with a "server error."

Afonso Henriques said...


one of the worst defects of the Portuguese (and the Spaniard as well), which usually was resumed to the peasentry or the people but not to the higher classes as it is today; though it has been penetrated slowly the higher classes since Napoleon step foot in the Peninsula, a process which is already complete. One of our worst defects is Provincialism.

"I remember once, during the times of "Orpheu", I said to Mário de Sá Carneiro: "You are an European and you are Civilised, but in one thing, and in that you are a victim of yout portuguese education. You admire Paris, you admire the great cities. If you had been educated in foreign lands, under the influx of a great European culture, like I had, you wouldn't note the great cities. Those would all be inside of you"

"The provincialism consists in belonging to a Civlisation without taking part in its superior development — in following it only mimmetically, with an unconsious and happy subordination."

Fernando Pessoa

You see, blindly following the great European Cultures - as many do with the French, at least here - and an absolute rejection of those same great cultures is one and the same, it is provincialism.

Italy and German existed as a Nation before had been united for long. And there are fout great European cultures:
- the U.K. (England)
- France
- Germany
- Italy
with Russia following closely.


"Yes, he made his local EU against the will of most German states."

This is nonesense. Why then not to say that Portugal and Spain made an E.U. against the willing of the muslim / jewish / dihmi local populations? Why not say that Czech Republic is an E.U. of Bohemia+Moravia?

You dumped Slovakia (fortuneately I think and in a way that can only be seen as a model), will you dump Moravia as well? Will Czech Republic consist only of Prague?

I lagh to those who think small insignificant states can make a stance in the front of big States.
And before the II Reich? Weren't the German States powerless to French endeveurs? What happened with Napoleon? Why did some German States gladily surrendered? But not the big ones (Prussia, Austria, Bavaria?) (?)?

Spain's biggest flaw is being so small. They only lacked Portugal...

And meanwhile, Austria - a small state? Austria was an empire!!! But of course, you know that better than I do.

I did not find anything in English, but the History books of here usually adress the German individual States but then they have a red thick line around it and then the legend says: Red line = German Confederation. That meant something. And Austria was always there, not the empire, but Austira it self. That says a lot as well.

Afonso Henriques said...

P.S. Czechmade, you naive libertarian ;)

Czechmade said...

Following your logic Sparta should have been given full leadership a la Prussia among Greek states "for being best qualified to defend Greek Provinces/States as a whole" against some "French". Every Greek a "Spartan"?

As a result (naive?) we are not discussing now on net anything, since those good Spartan soldiers were dumb...unified and eager to spread their "wisdom". No philosophy - feel happy.

In your Provincialism you are unable to study WHAT WAY they were unified. One Garibaldi or Bismarck are like a dogma? Beyond discussion? Fait accompli? Why?

Unlike you the Germans discuss Bismarck and don´t like him. He was a foreigner just like Hitler to most of them. Do you want some crazy Santos from Angola to unify you with Brazil since you all speak Portuguese? To feel great and less provincial?

It is comical, Garibaldi contributed greatly to the miserable state of South Italy - a dysfunctional loud denial of his proud unification project still in 2009.

There is also no Bismarck around to dump Moravians, so what? We miss that mind-set. Theory can be vain.

Baron Bodissey said...

Czechmade --

If you think I am advocating using Bismarck as a model, then you are completely mistaken.

There are some things about the man that I admire -- he was brilliant, dedicated, shrewd, and committed to what he saw as the welfare of the Germans.

But his mission -- to unify the Germans as a single people -- drove him to do things that were terrible mistakes over the long term, such as the Kulturkampf, which destroyed the age-old traditional Catholic culture in Bavaria and other states of the new empire. This laid the nihilistic groundwork for the Nazis -- the vacuum created by the destruction of tradition was filled by Hitler 60 years later.

He also invented what became the model for European state socialism -- the alternative to Bolshevism. His design evolved nto the modern European social democracy, and made the EU possible (and inevitable).

The promotion of the Prussian model over all the other varieties of German culture did damage to Germany's long-term prospects. And the centralization of the state under the Kaiser led to the cult of the Leader that became all too familiar in the 20th century.

I suggest a closer reading of what I have to say. When writing about historical events, my overarching goal is to see them as clearly as possible, and take them on their own terms. The major actors of any historical period lacked our access to knowledge of the consequences of their mistakes. We are surely as blind to our own as they were to theirs.

Czechmade said...

I do not think you advocate straight away B. as a model. But still you are fairly far away from postulating B. as a perfect study-case to dismantle EU project at its roots (apart from French thing).

"He also invented what became the model for European state socialism".

He compromised with G. liberals and socialists to get his project through (that greatly confused ConSwede). In what way they might remind him of some "Prussian virtues" (I guess he hated them) might be a more difficult task requiring more studies. I have 3 volumes of his speeches in old German script, but I am afraid of relying on this, since the books must have been embellished after his death.

He was an antisemite and antipolonist. He suffered like a tsar discussing with the British PM Disraeli. He was antigerman as well! He disregarded many German states.

A just treatment of his legacy might offer us - including Modern Germans - very refreshing views and clues to Modern Europe and EU.

Prussia was a weird entity - a militant neighbour to Russia. Being blocked by friendly Russia it spread back westwards to Germany propre and changed it for good.

I fight also the commentators, so not all of my sentences are directed at your article. It is a pity we do not have enough German/Austrian people to make some homegrown statements. We might enjoy various views and mine would be only part of it.

The untold truth is that Prussia must have influenced Sweden as well. And Sweden is a recurring theme in your articles...good stuff to dig in. Sweden might prove so to be more "German" (Prussian?) than Germans - South Germany Baden-Wuertemberg and esp. Bavaria (also Austria) are immune to the Bismarck legacy. Yes, Bavaria is hateful of it "everything north of Bavaria is Prussia". This is too much for me.
I disagree.

Dismantling prussianized Germany we might get lot of people with no nazi legacy and true love for their neighbours. This is the reality if one digs just through one layer. Getting stuck at this point is foolish.

In short I do not need to know what good did Mugabe for Zimbabwe or Putin for Russia, I want to know the overall impact - short termed, long termed.

Czechmade said...

Never forget Prussian Constitution was chosen as "the best" in the 19th century Japan.

US soldiers had to cope with the side effects of Prussian-Japanese militant constitution in WWII?

Let us study more - this one is fantastic!

Baron Bodissey said...

Czechmade --

Fair enough, but you seem still to believe that I propose Bismarck “as a model”. I do no such thing.

Like many of our commenters (not to mention the board members at Pajamas Media), you confuse the descriptive with the normative. I want to describe Bismarck as he was, in the context of his times, as understood by his contemporaries and immediate successors.

The fact that I find him interesting and entertaining — and at times even admirable — does not mean that I believe any modern leader should emulate him — far from it.

Germany, like Russia, behaved collectively in such a way as to be hated by its neighbors. And the German Empire, like the Russian Empire, gave many of its own subjects reason to hate it. Bismarck was one of the main architects for what the Second and Third Reichs became.

But Bismarck was also part of a larger process that was at work throughout the West, and eventually throughout the entire world. Technological advances and improved communications forced an inexorable political consolidation on all states. Those countries which centralized their systems and became relatively homogeneous in political and social structures prospered and expanded at the expense of their neighbors.

What was not foreseen, in the midst of all this centripetal agglomeration, was its centrifugal opposite — the rise of militant nationalisms that would end the age of the empires and spin off the former subjects into independent nations. Ideally, according to the Wilsonian model, there would be one nation per people.

We are still paying for all these various 19th-and early 20th-century ideologies, as their brutal consequences continue to unfold around the world.

Islam has regenerated itself as the counterpoint to all this. It is the antithesis of the European weltanschauung as it has developed over the last three centuries. The European system, so powerful and aggressive under Napoleon, Bismarck, and Gladstone, is now weak and ready to submit to the aggressive self-confidence of the new invaders.

Some of the mistakes we are making today are easy to see. Others are more occluded.

It may be that the abandonment of the Christian faith will guarantee the demise of our civilization, since there are no adequate substitutes for religious faith when the necessity for privation and self-sacrifice arises. But it’s too early yet to say for certain.

Afonso Henriques said...

First, let's go slowly and step by step.
I can only talk about what I know (or what I think I know) and because of that I have to clarify that I complete ignored this paragraph the Baron wrote:

"But his mission -- to unify the Germans as a single people -- drove him to do things that were terrible mistakes over the long term, such as the Kulturkampf, which destroyed the age-old traditional Catholic culture in Bavaria and other states of the new empire. This laid the nihilistic groundwork for the Nazis -- the vacuum created by the destruction of tradition was filled by Hitler 60 years later."

1) Kulturkampf? I presume it is to downplay regional culture in order to promote National culture.
My answer to that is that it is okay. Yes, indeed.

1.1) It is not okay in gigantic States like the United States or Brazil but it can function properly in smaller states, like Germany.

1.2) But by doing that, we can never erradicate regional culture, I think regional culture (and it has to be really regional, like Austrian culture, instead of National culture like the Catalan or Basque cultures) is not incompatible with National culture. They are only different dimensions of culture, Civilisation being the broader dimension. But regional culture must also be the basis for National culture otherwise it can be prejudicial to the other regions.

(For instance, fado music in Portugal is regional, not National, out of the axis Lisbon-Coimbra it is hard to find something like that; but it being promoted as National downplayed the musical tradtions of the South and especially of the North of the Nation. The North of the Nation being the motor of it, it led to great harm to the Nation. Northern Portuguese music blowed only with Rock and now that Galiza's celtic sounds are fashionable.)

All this to conclude that, contrary to, say, France(!!!), the creation of Germany did not meant war against regional German culture.

2) Destroyed Catholic Culture?

How? Ratzinger is a Bavarian German and the Pope! I think that half of Germany (Koln, Munich, Frankfurt) is Catholic...

3) Nazis. Nazism was more a Reactionary movement than it was a Revolutionary one. The problem was the Weimar Republic and French humiliation.
After being victorious over Napoleon, we the winners offered France dignity and civility to Europe through the Congress of Vienna; after World War One the French offered the Germans humiliations they could not support. That was the problem. Let's not blame Bismarck for Nazism (as you Baron certainly did not. But you referred that Bismarck contributed indirectly to it, which I cannot see how).

Baron Bodissey said...

Afonso --

You really need to read up on the history of the Kulturkampf.

Yes, Catholics still remain in Germany. But they are no longer a political force. Bismarck eliminated organized political power of the Catholics, at the expense of the Lutherans.

But that was only a stopgap, a ploy to eventually rid the state of the influence of Christianity. Hitler continued the same process when he took power.

The express purpose of the Kulturkampf was to destroy alternative sources of political power outside of the imperial Prussian state. Catholic institutions were thoroughly intertwined with the local governments of the Catholic German states like Bavaria.

It's all very well for you to hold forth from Portugal and say that the Kulturkampf was "okay". It would be like me asserting that it's "okay" for the Castilians to suppress the traditional culture of the Gallegos.

Why not ask the Bavarians how they felt about having their traditional institutions destroyed by the Prussians from Berlin?

It's a pity we don't have more Germans commenting here, especially Bavarians, Saxons, Hanoverians, etc.

Afonso Henriques said...

"Following your logic Sparta..."

You read last Fjordman's essay right? Well, me too and I did not like it. Too much Sparta bashing (among other things). We should cease to create paradise on Earth! What we have to do is to create a functional Civilisation.

Can you imagine any democratic government behaving like Leonidas did?

Now more seriously (not that I was kidding up there):

"Following your logic Sparta should have been given full leadership a la Prussia among Greek states "for being best qualified to defend Greek Provinces/States as a whole" against some "French""

Have you heard about the War of the Penopoleso?

I don't agree with your proposition but I surely believe that the Greeks should have helped and heard the Spartans and fight united as Greeks! How can you differ from me in this one?

And Czechmade, this is where our differences lie upon:

"As a result (naive?) we are not discussing now on net anything, since those good Spartan soldiers were dumb...unified and eager to spread their "wisdom". No philosophy - feel happy."


The Greeks had philosophy but at what cost? Greek society was based in slaves. There were the slaves and then there were the Greek little guys who had nothing to do so that they started "philosophying"!
The Romans created an empire and resumed pretty well European Civilisation. Etc.

Not that I am very active or martial or whatever but, the Greeks were too comtemplative. And, while the Romans created Rome from scratch, the Greeks borrowed this from the Egyptians, than from the Hebrews and that one from the Babylonians and more of this from the Phoenicians, etc. Not to forget the Persians! There were many influences that were more absent in Rome.

"Theory can be vain."

A Greek would not think so, I think it was Aristotles (or was it Socrates?) that claimed we could only attain "knowledge" through "reason", which for him meant "theory".

So I am happy to see that you have a bit of a Roman in you too.

(This is theory but I think that - and this is a theory that would need a Fjordman [this one is already too Greek] like figure to develop - European Civilisation *IS* Roman.
Greece only came up with that wave of "Hellenism" that swept the XIX century. That same wave started in 1789 [and let's be nice and not mention the American Revolution, this is an American forum after all] and gave us so much beautifull things as Socialism, Communism and Multiculturalism.)

The Europe = Rome was so evident back then that, despite Europe was always fascinated with the Greeks and Hebrews - BECAUSE THE ROMANS HAD BEEN INTERESTED IN GREEKS AND WERE RELIGIOUSLY CONQUERED BY HEBREWS - the West never really swallowed the Byzantine Empire properly.
We can see that in the 4th Crusade and more explicitly on those shamefull days that preceeded 29th May 1453 where very few help was given to the Greek Roman Empire.
In the XIX century we had to auto-flagelate ourselves for that error and start downplaying the Latins. Auto-Flagelation Semitic style! Ups, sorry, Hebrew/Judaic.

Afonso Henriques said...


"You really need to read up on the history of the Kulturkampf."

Yes I do, and thanks for the aditional information. So, the Kulturkmpf instead of a "Germanisation" of Germany (focusing on that that the Germans had in common) was in fact a "Prussianisation" of Germany and the consequent "erradication" of all powers that were against that Prussianisation.

I am not okay with that. It is not desirable, but I can accept that.
I think you should have read what I said about National vs Regional culture. I said:

1) That Regional Culture shall not be incompatible with National Culture;
and 2) That Rgional Culture may also be the base for National Culture.

I am all for Catholicism in Bavaria, Koln and Austria. But I also think Austria could integrate Germany and continue to be "Austrian" in every way.

Baron Bodissey said...

Afonso --

I see that you and I are now in complete agreement. :)

X said...


And a few thousand Helots. Oh but they don't count, they were only slaves...

Ask yourself why there are no Spartan philosophers and you may just figure out why Sparta is not a particularly good role model for us.

@BB, et al, regarding Bismark one surprising and pleasingly concise summary of the man can be found in the Flashman book "Royal Flash", and elsewhere in the Flashman canon. George Macdonald Fraser gives the impression of a man who was canny, acting on what he assumed were the interests of the German people but, at the same time, arrogant and... well, Prussian. And willing to do whatever it took to get his way. Anything at all. It seems that the portrayal of Bismark is very accurate to history.

The stories in Flashman are pure fiction, of course (the fictional background to the Schleswig-Holstein problem was... fantastic), but fiction written by a man with a far deeper knowledge of the 19th century and human nature than some of the people commenting here (myself chief amongst those ;) ).

Afonso Henriques said...

"One Garibaldi or Bismarck are like a dogma? Beyond discussion? Fait accompli? Why?"

They had some support and the "Nation" already existed before them. Why don't you vocalise your anger on how France was united? France was more diverse than Germany which was already united in many ways, inclusively politically to some degree. And I'd say that Italy was much less diverse than France itself. And this will soon come up again once you are against the dissolution of the "Ukrainian" State. You are the one who are dogmatic: "Things must be as they are because that's the way".

Notice that you are against the unification of Germany and Italy but France does not bother you and simultaneously you defend the Ukrainian State. What's the logic?

"It is comical, Garibaldi contributed greatly to the miserable state of South Italy - a dysfunctional loud denial of his proud unification project still in 2009."

The North had been richer (as well as Rome and thus the Centre) than the South of Italy for long. Garibaldi had little to due with it, I ask you, what does Garibaldi have to do with that?

"Dismantling prussianized Germany we might get lot of people with no nazi legacy and true love for their neighbours. This is the reality if one digs just through one layer."

So that's what you want!
I can't blame you due to your geographical location. I think this would indeed be great to Czech interests and, given current the current status of Germany as a no-power, maybe it could be both for Europe and Germany as well.

But the truth is that the future would be a dangerous and painfull History of German reunification... (I bet it was scary for Czechs and other Eastern Europeans to see West and East Germany united again)

Also, add to that an economical downturn and the econimcal impact of all that in the European economy.

And you would have no satisfying power in Central-North-Eastern Europe with Russia close to there and we would probabily witness some Polish-Ukrainian strange behaveours that would make Russia come in (and who would be there to stop it?).
And worst than that vaccum, you would have France as the Lady of all Europe.
I do not know but I tend to believe that One Nation, One State is the virtuous thing to do. It would be interesting but very risky. Who would then stop France? I don't trust the frogs...

Your Prussian-Japanese axis is fantastic but it only proves that "Prussian efficency", right?

Czechmade said...


slow down,

"smaller states, like Germany",

Germany is a shadow of what it used to be before.

I do not dissolve German state, it is not my job. And I am no fan of Rome. Rome was a highly functioning disaster.

What is wrong with catholicism is mainly due to the secondary Roman influence. This point makes any discussion very difficult, since very few people can see it apart. Read some books about Christianity before it became the state religion. The Christians knew the danger and should be applauded for resisting so long.

In fact we (Czechoslovakia) facilitated smoothly the Reunification of Germany unlike UK - M. Thatcher for ex. It was not "scary"...you bet and guess too much.

Yes, I dispise France much more than Germany, but usually it is not a topic here.

Miserable condition of South Italy is relatively new - after Garibaldi.

Afonso Henriques said...

Czechmade, let's go by steps:

1) Germany's size. Yes, but the Reiches were never multicultural unlike the Austrian Empire; That said, while the Austrian Empire was merely an empire, the II Reich was a Nation State (give or take that Polish village). And here that nobody hears us, some half of Poland's lands now were Traditionally German.

2) "And I am no fan of Rome." Hm... Okay, I understand that (you Germanic-Slavic red headed Barbarian! - I am kidding).
But I think Rome was the foundation of a common European Civilisation (before Charles Magne and before Christianity). I also think that the Slavs and the Germans were later integrated into (Roman) European culture very successfully while North Africans (though already having some not too Roman influences) were "Arabised". It was Rome and it was way better than a vague early Indo-European connection...
And much of Christian Traditions are derived from Rome, not to mention the Catholic Church, the last "Roman" institution alive;

(See this, Rome was so pratical that even Gramsci and Evola had to be Italian... and they were not detached like Marx or Engels, but very passioned as well.)

3)"What is wrong with catholicism is mainly due to the secondary Roman influence."

Very interesting. I wonder if you will develop those thoughts of yours and share with me. Really interesting and I have never realised that, only the oposite, which makes me want to hear what you have to say, eventually.

4) What you mean with "Read some books about Christianity before it became the state religion"?

5) So I lost my bet. Heh... Glad to know that you were for German unification though. If I was in your position however, I would find it scary.

6) Nice to confirm that you are not one of those hypocrites that celebrate France as a Nation while bashing Bismarck and Garibaldi :)

7) Southern Italy.
Ever since the fall of the Roman Empire that Cenral Italy and Rome became the Papal territories. North of it were small Italian city states well integrated into Europe.
South of it was a territory subject to foreign invasions and colonisations: Arabs, Byzantines, Spaniards, etc.
More than that, it was physically seperated from the rest of Europe.
It was impossible for the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to compete with the Northern and Central States. Especially since the Rennassaince.
And then, during the industrial era, *why would Italy start to industrialise the South? Away from everything and where, almost like in Portugal, only a small fraction of the population lived?*
It was only natural that the South would be even more marginalised with the industrial era.
While the Northern States had sizable middle classes the social structure of the South was very stratified and when the Royalty went away from Naples, the South saw itself deprived from it's elite, it's main source of wealth.

It is a logic that predates Garibaldi. And continues even today. I've seen a map of the PIB per Capita of the European regions (NUTS II) which I believed was based in data from 2005. Below 75% of the E.U. average (say, like all the Czech Republic but Prague) in the West of Europe only was Extremadura in Spain, the whole of Portugal but Lisbon and all of the South of Italy (and Islands). So the South of Italy continues to be really poor.

Czechmade said...


I was myself shocked when I found about Garibaldi willing to weaken the South for good. We work always with clustres of reasons, you may be right with your picture, the question is whether it is a whole picture. I do not recall the sources, but I asked a local Italy-expert and she said I was right (i.e. my source was right).

Going deeper - which is always very timeconsuming and requires also going to the library AND talking to the people on the ground. Wikipaedia can give some hints sometimes, but that is more than insufficient. In general our general ideas are always wrong.

The Germans untill recently did not understand each other. Various German settlers were invited by our kings to revive border areas. Some were refugees like Swiss (Calvino), even Dutch.

They kept speaking their dialects and did not understand each other in our lands even in the beginning of 20th c. They were DeutschBoehme - loyal German speaking Bohemians/Czechs. They have never heard of SudetenGerman stuff before 20th c. They assumed a priviliged status only under Habsburg. What Baron feels greatly disturbed about Bavaria under Bismarck - being persecuted for their catholic religion, just opposite took place here - Germans/Deutchboehme und Czechs/Boehme were both(!!) heavily persecuted by the Austrians for not being catholic. It was a real cultural disaster after 1620 from the most educated place in Europe we were kicked into dead silence.

I am unable to describe the Roman/Catholic shifts and amalgams in a few words without refreshing my sources. It would be a team work. The countless zig-zag shifts in Rome and the distant places independently...

Mind that Constantin the Ceaser was a Western guy (last year huge celebration in Trier - Germany) and that Eastern Greek Church was "pentarchia" - had 5 different administration centers: Constaniniple, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Antiochia and what is now Izmir (maybe I confuse few names). Constantinople was not a counterpart of Rome, it looked so only after loosing those places to islam. It is very interesting that the split between Catholic and Eastern Church was based on few lingustic difficulties, later on the Italians lost their Roman approach and became scholars in Greek too, the Greekies did need more time to acquire the knowledge of Latine, but started anyhow translating...the merging points were numerous...and many attempts took place to reconcile the two linguistic/theological blocks.

Find out about the early Christian Irish monks operating around Rome in 6th (??) century totaly unaware they were converting "Christians" to Christianity.

The early Christians operating within the Roman Empire were highly educated people involved in discussions in our style, very different picture you get in areas outside the Roman lands, the convertion were done in a rough style (Saxony!, Prussia!) or via kings "from above" in Bohemia, Hungary etc.

The same organization can have therefore very different records - just like British with a rather benign record in India and very strange/malign in Iran for ex. Same people - different policy!

Cathars living at peace with local Catholics in South France -
totally smashed by Central Power/Rome. Etc. etc.

Our approach should be defined by a special concern for paradoxes.

Czechmade said...

We find official dates of kingdoms converting to Christianity, but common citizens were not really converted at that specific time. Watching the Latine magic in the local church did not make them very Christian just like Kazachs today watching some imam talking in Arabic in the local mosque.

Along with Christianity many had to adopt another parallel concept - the military running king or nobleman and the new subject financing his business.

This military defended the "West", but who compenstated the newly created stupid "subject"? Were not the Jews for ex. suddenly more free - just paying some fees to the kings - than those invented "subjects"? A nice paradox?

Czechmade said...

So with the Germans you have the same problem like with the Arabs. People linked through some outward levelled linguistic similarity were linked under one banner. Is it MC or not?
You say NO.

So imagine my girlfriend from Texas
with some Moravian roots should be a distant cultural relative speaking English only and laughing genetically in a pure Moravian style and I should willingly associate with some Russian speaking guy with tribal Siberian roots from Vladivostok selling used cars from Japan...for being linguistically closer to him?

Hahaha - this is funny.