I am getting rather tired about having this argument about whether Blacks, or Black males in particular, are more antisocial than men of other races. People are pushing back against this in the comments section. This really ought to be the final word on the subject. Original here.
For as long as official statistics have been kept, blacks in white societies have been overrepresented in all indices of social pathology: crime, illegitimacy, poverty, school failure, and long-term unemployment. The conventional liberal explanation for this is white “racism,” past and present, which has forced blacks into self-destructive choices.
More clear-headed observers, however, have sought a partial explanation in the low average IQ of blacks. Low IQ can lead to crime because less intelligent children do poorly at school and fail to learn the skills needed to get well-paid jobs or even any job. Unemployment is therefore two to three times higher among blacks than whites. People without jobs need money, have relatively little to lose by robbery or burglary, and may therefore commit property crimes. The association between low intelligence and crime holds for whites as well, among whom the average IQ of criminals is about 84.
Nevertheless, as Charles Murray and the late Richard Herrnstein showed in their book The Bell Curve, low IQ cannot entirely explain a black crime rate that is six-and-a-half times the white rate. When blacks and whites are matched for IQ, blacks still commit crimes at two-and-a-half times the white rate. This shows that blacks must have some other characteristic besides low intelligence that explains their high levels of criminality.
Prof. Herrnstein and Dr. Murray found the same race and IQ relationship for social problems other than crime: unemployment, illegitimacy, poverty, and living on welfare. All of these are more frequent among blacks and are related to low IQ, and low IQ goes some way towards explaining them, but these social problems remain greater among blacks than among whites with the same IQ’s. Low intelligence is therefore not the whole explanation.
Prof. Herrnstein and Dr. Murray did not offer any suggestions as to what the additional factors responsible for the greater prevalence of these social problems among blacks might be. They concluded only that “some ethnic differences are not washed away by controlling for either intelligence or for any other variables that we examined. We leave those remaining differences unexplained and look forward to learning from our colleagues where the explanations lie” (p. 340).
I propose that the variable that explains these differences is that blacks are more psychopathic than whites. Just as racial groups differ in average IQ, they can also differ in average levels of other psychological traits, and racial differences in the tendency towards psychopathic personality would explain virtually all the differences in black and white behavior left unexplained by differences in IQ.
Psychopathic personality is a personality disorder of which the central feature is lack of a moral sense. The condition was first identified in the early Nineteenth Century by the British physician John Pritchard, who proposed the term “moral imbecility” for those deficient in moral sense but of normal intelligence.
The term psychopathic personality was first used in 1915 by the German psychiatrist Emile Kraepelin and has been employed as a diagnostic label throughout the Twentieth Century.
In 1941 the condition was described by Hervey Cleckley in what has become a classic book, The Mask of Sanity. He described the condition as general poverty of emotional feelings, lack of remorse or shame, superficial charm, pathological lying, egocentricity, a lack of insight, absence of nervousness, an inability to love, impulsive antisocial acts, failure to learn from experience, reckless behavior under the influence of alcohol, and a lack of long-term goals.
In 1984 the American Psychiatric Association dropped the term psychopathic personality and replaced it with Antisocial Personality Disorder. This is an expression of the increasing sentimentality of the second half of the twentieth century in which terms that had acquired negative associations were replaced by euphemisms.
There are other examples. Mentally retarded children are now called “slow learners” or even “exceptional children;” aggressive children now have “externalizing behaviors;” prostitutes are “sex workers;” tramps are now “the homeless,” as if their houses were destroyed by earthquake; and people on welfare are “clients” of social workers. However, the term psychopathic personality remains useful.
While psychopathic personality is a psychiatric disorder, it has long been regarded as the extreme expression of a personality trait that is continuously distributed throughout the population. In this respect it is like other psychiatric disorders. For instance, severe depression is a psychiatric disorder, but everyone feels depressed sometimes, and some normal people are depressed more often and more severely than others. It is the same with psychopathic personality. There are degrees of moral sense throughout the population, and psychopaths are the extreme group.
There is a difference between blacks and whites—analogous to the difference in intelligence—in psychopathic personality considered as a personality trait. Both psychopathic personality and intelligence are bell curves with different means and distributions among blacks and whites. For intelligence, the mean and distribution are both lower among blacks. For psychopathic personality, the mean and distribution are higher among blacks. The effect of this is that there are more black psychopaths and more psychopathic behavior among blacks.
In 1994 the American Psychiatric Association issued a revised Diagnostic Manual listing 11 features of Antisocial Personality Disorder:
(1) inability to sustain consistent work behavior;
(2) failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behavior [this is a euphemism for being a criminal];
(3) irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by frequent physical fights and assaults;
(4) repeated failure to honor financial obligations;
(5) failure to plan ahead or impulsivity;
(6) no regard for truth, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or “conning” others;
(7) recklessness regarding one’s own or others’ personal safety, as indicated by driving while intoxicated or recurrent speeding;
(8) inability to function as a responsible parent;
(9) failure to sustain a monogamous relationship for more than one year;
(10) lacking remorse;
(11) the presence of conduct disorder in childhood.
This is a useful list. Curiously, however, it fails to include the deficiency of moral sense that is the core of the condition, although this is implicit in virtually every feature of the disorder. All of these behaviors are more prevalent among blacks than among whites and suggest that blacks have a higher average tendency towards psychopathic personality.
Questionnaires can be used to measure psychopathic personality in normal populations. The first to be constructed was the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), which was devised in the 1930’s. This instrument consists of a series of scales for the measurement of a variety of psychiatric conditions regarded as continuously distributed in the population, such as hysteria, mania and depression, and includes the Psychopathic Deviate Scale for the measurement of psychopathic personality.
During the 65 or so years following its publication, the MMPI has been administered to a great many groups. Mean scores have been published by different investigators for a number of samples of blacks, whites, Asian-Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians. All of these studies show a consistent pattern: Blacks and Indians have the highest psychopathic scores. Hispanics come next followed by whites. Ethnic Japanese and Chinese have the lowest scores. The same rank order of racial groups is found for all the expressions of psychopathic personality listed by the American Psychiatric Association, and these differences are found in both children and adults.
The terms psychopathic personality and Anti-social Personality Disorder, however, are not used for children or young adolescents up to the age of 15 years. They are instead said to have conduct disorders. The principal criteria set out by the American Psychiatric Association (1994) for a diagnosis of Conduct Disorder are persistent stealing, lying, truancy, running away from home, fighting, arson, burglary, vandalism, sexual precocity, and cruelty. Childhood Conduct Disorder is therefore an analogue of psychopathic personality in older adolescents and adults. A number of studies have shown that Conduct Disorder in children is a frequent precursor of psychopathic behavior.
Studies have found that the prevalence of conduct disorders is about twice as high among blacks as among whites. This is the case not only in the United States but also in Britain and the Netherlands. Other racial groups also differ in the prevalence of conduct disorders among children. As with all the other expressions of psychopathic personality, conduct disorders are frequent among American Indians.
Children with conduct disorders are sometimes suspended or expelled from school because of constant misbehavior, particularly aggression. In both the United States and Britain, black children are disciplined in this way three or four times as frequently as white children, while East Asians have low discipline rates. In misbehavior in schools as in so much else, East Asians are the “model minority.” In the United States, Indians have a high discipline rate.
Lack of honesty is one of the core features of the psychopathic personality, and one measure of this characteristic is the default rates on student loans. About half of American college students take out loans, but not all graduates repay them. The 1987 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study consisting of 6,338 cases reports default rates as follows: whites—5 percent, Hispanics—20 percent, American Indians—45 percent, blacks—55 percent.
Bad credit ratings also reflect a failure to honor financial obligations. A report by Freddie Mac of 12,000 households in 1999 found the highest percentage of poor credit ratings was among blacks (48 percent). The next highest was among Hispanics (34 percent), while whites had the lowest at 27 percent.
Psychopathic personality is the extreme expression of a personality trait that is continuously distributed throughout the population.
A prominent feature of psychopathic personality is a high level of aggression, which is expressed in a number of ways including homicide, robbery, assault, and rape. All of these are crimes, so racial and ethnic differences appear in crime rates. High black crime rates have been documented by Jared Taylor and the late Glayde Whitney in The Color of Crime. For homicide, rates for black males are about six times the white rate, and for black females they are about four times higher. The homicide rate for East Asians is about half that of whites. The high homicide rate of blacks is also found in South Africa, and homicide is generally higher in black countries than in white and East Asian countries.
As regards other crimes, the robbery rate for blacks is about twelve times the white rate, while the assault rate is about five times higher. The high black rates for these crimes are followed in descending order by Hispanics, American Indians, whites and East Asians. The rate for rape is about five-and-a-half times greater for blacks than whites, and two to three times greater among Hispanics and Indians as compared to whites, while East Asians commit rape at about half the white rate.
Domestic violence shows the same race differences. Severe violence by husbands against wives is about four times more common among blacks as whites. Black wives assault their husbands at about twice the white rate. American Indians assault their spouses even more often than blacks do. High crime rates among blacks have been found not only in the United States but also in Britain, France, Canada and Sweden.
A prominent feature of psychopathic personality is an inability to form stable long-term loving relationships. David Lykken, a leading expert on psychopathic personalities, writes of the psychopath’s “undeveloped ability to love or affiliate with others,” and Robert Hare, another leading expert, writes that “psychopaths view people as little more than objects to be used for their own gratification” and “equate love with sexual arousal.”
Marriage is the most explicit expression of long-term love, and a number of studies have shown that blacks attach less value to marriage than whites. Questionnaire surveys have found that blacks are less likely than whites to agree that “marriage is for life.” Two American sociologists, R. Staples and L. B. Johnson, write that “Blacks do not rank marriage as highly as whites” and that “Black Americans’ acceptance of this form of relationship is inconsistent with their African heritage.”
In a study of an American sample of 2,059 married people, C. L. Broman found that “blacks are significantly less likely to feel that their marriages are harmonious and are significantly less likely to be satisfied with their marriages.” Other studies of racial and ethnic differences in attitudes have found that whites think about marriage more often than blacks and have a stronger desire than blacks to find the right marriage partner. There are also racial differences in rates of cohabitation, which also reflects a commitment to a long-term relationship. A survey of 24-to 29-year-olds in Britain found that 68 percent of whites had cohabited but only 38 percent of blacks.
Blacks in the United States, Britain, France and the Caribbean are less likely than whites to marry or enter into stable relationships. In an American survey of 18-to 64-year-olds carried out from 1990 to 1996, 61 percent of whites were married but only 35 percent of blacks. The most likely to be married were East Asians (66 percent).
Fifty-five percent of Hispanics and 48 percent of American Indians were married. The same race differences are found in Britain. In a survey carried out in 1991, among 30-to 34-year-olds 68 percent of whites were married but only 34 percent of blacks. Studies of marriage rates for France in the 1990’s have also found that blacks are less likely to be married than whites. These differences are also found for cohabitation, with fewer blacks living in unmarried cohabitation relationships than whites.
Differences in marriage rates are reflected in differences in illegitimacy rates. In the United States, black illegitimacy rates are down slightly from their high in 1994, when 70.4 percent of black women who gave birth were unmarried. The 2000 figure of 68.7 is still the highest for any racial group and is followed by American Indians at 58.4 percent, Hispanics 42.7 percent, whites 22.1 percent, and Asians 14.8 percent. The Asian figure includes populations with greatly differing illegitimacy rates, with native Hawaiians for example at 50 percent, Japanese at 9.5 percent, and Chinese at 7.6 percent.
Low rates of stable relationships are found among blacks in the Caribbean islands. In a review of the literature the sociologists B. Ram and G. E. Ebanks write that “In the Caribbean in general . . . there is a substantial amount of movement from one sex partner to another and also a very high percentage of reproduction outside marriage.”
When they do marry, blacks are less tolerant than whites of monogamous constraints. An extreme form of intolerance is murder of one’s spouse. In Detroit in 1982-3, 63 percent of the population was black, but 90.5 percent of those who killed their spouses were black.
Less extreme forms of aversion to monogamy are adultery and divorce. The Kinsey data on college graduates collected in the 1940’s and 1950’s found that 51 percent of blacks were unfaithful to their spouses during the first two years of marriage compared with 23 percent of whites. Several other studies have confirmed that the incidence of marital infidelity is greater among blacks than among whites. Blacks cite infidelity more frequently than whites as a cause of divorce.
Blacks also have more sexual partners than whites. The Kinsey survey found that about twice as many black college graduates had had six or more partners before marriage than whites. Many later studies have confirmed this. A survey of 2,026 15-to-18-year-olds in Los Angeles in the mid-199’0s found that 38 percent of blacks had had five or more sexual partners, 26 percent of whites, 21 percent of Hispanics and eight percent of East Asians.
The same differences are found in Britain. In a study of a nationally representative sample of approximately 20,000 16-to 59-year-olds carried out in 1990, 36 percent of blacks had had two or more sexual partners during the previous five years, compared with 29 percent of whites and 18 percent of Asians.
Delay of Gratification
The impulsiveness component of psychopathic personality includes an inability or unwillingness to delay immediate gratification in the expectation of long-term advantage.
The first study to demonstrate differences between blacks and whites in the delay of gratification was carried out by W. Mischel in Trinidad in the late 1950’s. He offered black and white children the choice between a small candy bar now or a larger one in a week. He found black children were much more likely to ask for the small candy bar now, and this difference has been confirmed in three subsequent American studies.
This racial difference has been noted but given different names by different writers. In The Unheavenly City Revisited, Edward Banfield writes of the “extreme present-orientation” of blacks, and Michael Levin writes of “high time preference,” an economist’s term for preferring cash now rather than a greater sum in the future.
The APA Diagnostic Manual refers to the psychopathic personality’s “inability to sustain consistent work behavior,” and a number of studies have shown that blacks are less motivated to work than whites and Asians, while Hispanics are intermediate. For example, black students do fewer hours of homework than whites and Asians. Among college students with the same Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, blacks get poorer grades than whites, probably because they don’t work as hard.
This helps explain black unemployment. Several American ethnographic studies of inner city blacks have concluded that many are unwilling to work. Thus, E. Anderson writes that “there are many unemployed black youth who are unmotivated and uninterested in working for a living, particularly in the dead-end jobs they are likely to get.” The sociologist S. M. Petterson writes that “it is commonly contended that young black men experience more joblessness than their white counterparts because they are less willing to seek out low paying jobs.”
American Asians are the opposite of blacks in this respect. They have low rates of unemployment, and it has been shown by James Flynn that they achieve higher educational qualifications and earnings than would be predicted from their intelligence, suggesting they have strong work motivation.
In the United States, unemployment rates are highest among Indians followed in descending order by blacks, Hispanics, whites and ethnic Chinese and Japanese. These differences are frequently attributed to white racism, but it is difficult to reconcile this explanation with the lower rate of unemployment among East Asians as compared with whites and also with the higher rate of unemployment among Indians as compared to blacks.
Blacks in Britain, Canada, and France are frequently unemployed. In Britain, the 1991 census found that 26 percent of black men were unemployed compared with 11 percent of whites and ethnic Chinese. In Canada in 1991, 13 percent of black men were unemployed compared with seven percent of whites. In France in 1994, 11 percent of black men were unemployed compared with eight percent of whites.
Psychopaths appear to enjoy taking risks because it stimulates them, and there are several ways in which blacks show greater recklessness and risk taking than whites or Asians.
In the 1989-93 American Teenage Attitudes and Practices Survey, 9,135 youths aged 12 to 18 were asked to consider the question: “I get a kick out of doing things every now and then that are a little risky or dangerous.” Fifty-six point nine percent of blacks agreed, as compared with 38.6 percent of whites. Driving habits are an index of risk taking and recklessness. A number of studies have shown that blacks run red lights more often than whites and have more frequent accidents. Five studies have shown that blacks do not use seat belts as often as whites. Hispanics and Native Americans likewise have more accidents caused by recklessness and risk-taking than whites and East Asians.
Sexual behavior can be reckless. Among those who do not wish to have children, blacks are less likely to use contraception than whites, and this has been found in both the United States and Britain. One result is that black women have more unplanned babies than whites. In the United States in the 1990’s blacks had about twice the proportion of unplanned babies as whites and Asians. In Britain, a survey of teenage births carried out in 1994 found that these were three-and-a-half times more common among blacks than among whites and Asians.
The behavior of reckless men also causes unplanned pregnancies. Surveys have asked adolescent males if they would feel “very pleased” or whether they would care if they were responsible for an unplanned pregnancy. Twice as many blacks as whites say they would be very pleased or that they would not care. To be very pleased or not care about saddling a teenage girl with an unplanned pregnancy expresses a great degree of reckless regard for the well-being of others. In the United States, the percentage of teenage blacks who have fathered an illegitimate child is approximately three times greater than that of whites, with Hispanics intermediate.
Another consequence of reckless avoidance of contraceptives is that blacks are more likely to get sexually transmitted diseases—including HIV and AIDS—all of which are more prevalent among blacks than among whites and Asians. At the present time, about 80 percent of the word’s HIV carriers are blacks in sub-Saharan Africa.
A common expression of Conduct Disorder in children and young adolescents is sexual precocity. Many studies have shown that blacks are more sexually precocious than whites and Asians. Surveys in the United States in the 1990’s have found that 33 percent of black 13-year-olds have had sexual intercourse compared with 14 percent of whites and Hispanics and four percent of East Asians. Similarly, a survey in Britain in 1990 found that by the age of 16, 18 percent of blacks had had intercourse compared with 13 percent of whites and five percent of Asians.
We consider finally the psychopathic characteristic described by the American Psychiatric Association as “inability to function as a responsible parent.” One of the most straightforward measures of this is abuse and neglect.
The American Association for Protecting Children has found that black children constitute approximately 15 percent of the child population and about 22 percent of cases of child abuse and neglect. The First (1975) and Second (1985) National Family Violence Surveys carried out in America examined the use of violence towards children, defined as hitting them with the fist or with some object, and kicking, biting, and beating them up. It does not include slapping or spanking. It found that 1.2 percent of white parents and 2.1 percent of blacks inflict this kind of severe violence on their children.
Data published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services for 1996 showed that maltreatment was about three times more common among blacks and about one-and-a-half times more common among Hispanics than among whites.
The most extreme expression of the inability to function as a responsible parent consists of killing a child. Racial differences in the homicide of infants in their first year of life were examined for approximately 35 million babies born in the United States between 1983-91. This study found that 2,776 of these had been murdered, the great majority by mothers or the mothers’ husbands or partners. The rate of infant homicides for blacks and Native Americans was 2 per 10,000, compared with 0.6 per 10,000 for whites and 0.4 per 10,000 for East Asians. In the early 1990’s the racial differences became even greater, with blacks having four-and-a-half times the infant homicide rate of whites and Hispanics.
There is almost complete consistency in the racial differences in outcomes that can be considered measures of psychopathic personality. In everything from child behavior to sexual precocity to adult crime rates, we find Asians at one extreme, blacks and American Indians at the other, and whites Hispanics in between. These differences are not only consistent through time but are found in countries such as France, Britain, Canada, and the United States, which have very different histories of what could be called “racism.” Indices of high psychopathic personality in blacks are likewise found in the virtually all-black societies of Africa and the Caribbean.
Racial differences in psychopathic behavior persist even when IQ is held constant, and the same racial differences are found in essentially every kind of measurable behavior that reflects psychopathic personality. The most plausible explanation for these differences is that just as there are racial differences in average IQ, there are racial differences in what could be called “average personality,” with blacks showing greater psychopathic tendencies. The argument that white “racism” is responsible for black social pathology is increasingly unconvincing.
Jynxi: I’m glad you cleared that up because that was exactly my conclusion. That being said, how would you go about classifying homosexuality? Would it not be a type of BDD light?
Homosexuality is not a sin and it’s not chosen anyway. I am not much of a Christian, but it seems hard to figure out if it is a sin considering that God obviously made these people gay.
Homosexuality itself is not a mental disorder. Just because a man is turned on by men and not women or a woman is turned on by women and not men doesn’t mean that that man or woman is crazy. It’s not nuts or crazy to have a sexual preference for your own sex and not the opposite sex.
And it makes no sense to call the whole homosexual syndrome a mental illness because many gay men and possibly lesbians are extremely healthy psychologically. You can’t have mental disorders where the sufferers are very well-adjusted and mentally healthy. That goes against the definition of a disorder.
Nevertheless, both male homosexuality and lesbianism, while not being mental illnesses, still resemble them. In other words, homosexuality is not a mental illness, but it looks like one! This is because there is so much pathology that seems to go along inevitably with these orientations when you look at them as groups.
The PC claim is that all homosexual pathologies are due to discrimination. However, recent surveys have found high levels of all sorts of pathologies in both gays and lesbians even in places like Sweden and most recently in the Netherlands. Gays are more accepted there than anywhere on Earth, so the gays can’t use the discrimination excuse which they always use to handwave away all gay and lesbian pathology.
Male homosexuality and lesbianism on average cut a full 20 years off your lifespan. The most recent studies showing a 20 year lifespan reduction have come out of Sweden, Denmark and Canada. Gays also say that the 20 year reduced lifespan is due to discrimination, but this is hard to reckon with in places like Sweden and Denmark where there is little discrimination against gays. Gay men who die of non-HIV causes only live a few years longer than those who die of HIV, and lesbians who are not affected by HIV don’t live any longer than gay men.
The implication is that all of the pathologies and the reduced lifespan are simply inherent aspects of this homosexual syndrome when look at the groups as a whole. There is something inherent in homosexuality in many cases that causes you to be unhappy, have all sorts of problems and die young.
However, if you believe in Natural Law, homosexuality seems to be violation of Natural Law. Obviously nature wants men and women to pair off and make babies. When that gets messed up as in women raising children alone or homosexual couples raising children, all sorts of problems seem to develop. The children have quite a few more problems than those raised by a father and mother.
A household with a father and a mother continues to be the best for children. This doesn’t really make sense unless you think that possibly Nature wants it this way, or perhaps we have evolved to raise children this way. If the latter, we might not be adapted to raising children in other ways very well.
Homosexual relationships both gay and lesbian seem to run into all sorts of problems. First of all, they usually end up caricaturing heterosexual relationships with one playing the dominant and masculine man and another the submissive and feminine woman in both gay male and lesbian relationships. That even gays end up caricaturing the basic heterosexual pattern implies once again that this is either Natural Law or we have evolved that way (possibly “Natural Law” might mean nothing other than the way we have evolved).
Gay relationships seem almost inherently pathological. They do not seem to last long. 91% of even lesbians never have a relationship that lasts more than five years, and gay men are even worse. Hell, even I did better than that. Gay male couples are 4-5 X more likely to suffer from domestic violence than straight couples are. Lesbians beat each other up so often and so badly that their rates are off charts, worse than even gay men’s rates.
Lesbians often fall into what is called Lesbian Bed Death where they have sex once a month if that often. No one knows why this happens, but perhaps lesbian relationships lack the male “charge” that may be necessary to fire up female sexuality. Lesbians try to imitate the charge by having one woman play the male role, but maybe it doesn’t work.
Gay men typically have notoriously unstable relationships which are much more temporary even than those of lesbians. Gay male life often revolves around a never-ending swirl of temporary and often one-time or even anonymous relationships. A survey out of Australia in 2000 showed that many gay men were continuing to have sex with more than 100 men per year. And this is long after the wild promiscuity of the 1970’s that preceded the HIV epidemic calmed down to much lower levels in the 1980’s. Even at this late date, gay men are very promiscuous.
All of this wild sex for some reason does not seem to make them happy and in fact it may make them unhappy. Many gay men seem to be caught in this never ending drug and promiscuous sex cycle in which they seem to be chasing an elusive happiness and fulfillment that they never seem to find. Many gay men seem to be looking for a father figure. Gay men’s relationships with their fathers and male peers were typically quite poor, and it has been suggested that gay men are forever trying to fill the “father hole” that never got filled in them or are forever trying to find the male acceptance and brotherly love that they never got from their peers while growing up. Gay male culture revolves heavily around the notion of the “Daddy,” and many gay male relationships incorporate the “Daddy” archetype. A number of gay men have stated that a theme of their adult lives, particularly sexually, was a search, often wandering, painful, and yearning but ultimately fruitless, for the father relationship that they never had. Neither gays nor lesbians seem very happy. Gay men have a 3X elevated rate of suicide even in the Netherlands, which is as gay-friendly as you can get. There seems to be something inherent in male homosexuality that causes this suicidality.
One can picture heterosexual relationships in the yin and yang figure. Take them apart and they float alone, missing their other half. Men and women only become completely whole in a heterosexual relationship where the male donates his masculine element to the woman which she incorporates into herself and the woman donates her female element into the male which he incorporates into himself. They are both now whole, locked together in that perfect fitting embrace, the key in the lock of the yin/yang emblem.
Look, I do not think that male homosexuality or lesbianism are lifestyles that gay men and lesbians choose to lead in most cases, although there are some women who seem to choose to be lesbians, and there are a few basically straight men who choose to live a gay lifestyle, but the numbers of the latter are very small.
By age 15, gay men cannot be changed to straight, and they cannot even be made somewhat more heterosexual or somewhat less homosexual. Male homosexuality is incurable, unfixable, or permanent, however you want to look at it.
In early onset cases, lesbianism appears to be quite permanent and incurable too. So almost all gay men and many lesbians are pretty much stuck being gay.
Still the lifestyles that especially so many gay men in big cities seem to live seem to be very unhealthy both physically and psychologically. In many cases the way they live is simply not a good way to live your life.
I don’t hate gays and lesbians. You can’t hate people for what they can’t help. I wish for all of them the very same happiness and health that I want for myself in life, not 1% less.
Nevertheless, I worry that all of this pathology may simply be somehow inherent in the “syndromes” of male homosexuality and lesbianism, possibly due to their violations of Natural Law or our evolution, and that these problems may never be fixed much. And that is quite a sad thing to believe.
We have had a few conservatives posting here in the past few days. These are US-style conservatives, which are the worst kind of all. US-style conservatives are absolutely banned from posting here in any way, shape or form.
Conservatism means different things in different countries, so conservatives from much of the rest of the world (except Latin America and the UK) can continue to post. Even Canadian conservatives can continue to post, as I do not mind them. It’s not conservatism itself that is so awful. Almost every country on Earth has people who call themselves conservatives, and there are conservative parties in almost every country on Earth. But being a conservative just about anywhere outside of the Americas is more or less an acceptable position for me. I probably won’t like their politics much, but I could at least look at them and say that this is an opposition I could live with.
US conservatives and their brethren in the UK, Latin America, the Philippines, Nepal and and Indonesia are quite a different beast.
I have to think hard about conservatives in Eastern Europe, especially Estonia, Latvia and the Czech Republic. These fools had such a bad experience with Communism that they went 180 degrees in the other direction. I would have to see the positions of these conservative parties in those countries to see whether they would be OK or not.
Just to give you an example, Vladimir Putin is considered to be a right-winger, and his party United Russia advocates a politics called Russian Conservatism. Looking at the party’s platform, this is not only a conservatism that I could live with but one I might even vote for!
Conservatives in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and most other places in Asia are acceptable. The conservatives in the Stans, Georgia, Ukraine, and Armenia can be rather awful, particularly in the nationalist sense, but I will not ban them.
I dislike Indian conservatives, but I will not ban them.
Conservatives from the Muslim World are all acceptable. In the Muslim World, conservatism just means religious and sometimes nationalist. I can live with that. Even the ones in Iran are orders of magnitude better than the US type.
Conservatives in the Arab World are acceptable. They are mostly just religious people.
Turkish conservatives are awful, but I will not ban them. They are just religious and a particularly awful type of nationalist.
African conservatives are OK.
Conservatives in Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Italy, the Balkans, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Romania are sometimes good, sometimes pretty bad, but they are all acceptable here. Conservatism in Europe mostly means nationalism. I am actually rather fond of the conservative running Hungary, Orban. LePen conservatives leave something to be desired, but they are acceptable. They’re mostly just nationalists. Hell, I might even vote for Marine LePen! If it was down to LePen versus Macron, I would absolutely support LePen!
Conservatives from Indonesia, Nepal and Philippines are not OK. These are an “everything for the rich elite, nothing for anybody else” type of conservative. Some of them even hide under the labels of Socialist or even Communist. The word conservative has no real inherent meaning. It means whatever people say it means.
Anyway, the conservatives in the US are pure garbage and recently they have become out and out fascists after moving in that direction for a long time. And a particularly horrible type of fascist at that, a Latin American/Filipino/Indonesian style fascist. I will not allow any US conservatives to post on this board. You all are lucky I even let you lurk here. That’s an idle threat as I can’t ban lurkers, but if they all stopped lurking, I would not mind frankly.
You all really ought to go back to the gutters you crawled out of.
PS This especially applies to Libertarians, the very worst of all the US conservative vermin. We shoot Libertarians on sight here, so you better watch out. *This applies only to economic conservatives. If you are not an economic conservative, and your conservatism is only of the social variety or you are only conservative on race, religion, guns, law and order, respect for tradition, American nationalism, the military, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity issues, you can stay. I’m not crazy about some social conservatives, but I can live with them. I will probably even let patriotards post as long as they are not economic conservatives. I am an American nationalist myself. I just don’t like patriotards. Of course, I very much dislike and even hate the country as it is right now, but I sure don’t want to make it worse! I have to live here too you now, and it might as well be as pleasant as possible as long I stay here. I want what’s best for my country. I don’t want to harm this country or screw it over. That will be bad for me! And believe it or not, most US patriotards do not want what is best for the country! I have dreams of a greater and better America. It’s not impossible, but we will have to undergo some serious cultural changes. One of the reasons I am so against illegal immigration is because it is ruining my country and making this place even worse. Also illegal immigration is terrible for US workers and I am for the workers. I am against H-1B visas for the same reason – they are wrecking my country. IT workers are workers too, so they are my comrades. I want what is best for America and American workers. I cannot live with economic conservatives. I like cancer way more than I like US conservatives. Cancer is much more decent and respectable.
As the agency which enforces US foreign policy at gunpoint, the Pentagon has always blown.
First of all, there is no such thing as the Defense Department. When has the Pentagon ever defended the country? Pearl Harbor? They did a fine job there, huh?
Obviously the task of the Pentagon is not to defend the US mainland, which is all it ever ought to do anyway.
Its task is to running around the world starting wars and killing people in other countries. Leaving aside whether that is sometimes a good idea (and I think it is,) what’s so defensive about that?
The real name of the Pentagon is the War Department.That’s what it was always called until World War 2, which the War Department won. After that in a spate of Orwellian frenzy, we named an army of aggression an army of self-defense and comically renamed its branch the Defense Department.
It’s like calling cops peace officers. You see anything peaceful about what a cop does in a typical day? Neither do I?
There was a brief glimmer of hope there in WW2 when we finally starting killing fascists and rightwingers instead of sleeping with them, but the ink was barely dry on the agreements before we were setting up the Gladio fascists, overthrowing Greek elections and slaughtering Greek peasants like ants.
Meanwhile it was scarcely a year after 1945 when the US once again started a torrid love affair with fascism and rightwing dictators like we have always done. We were smooching it up right quick with Europe’s fascists, in this case the former Nazis of Germany (who became the West German elite), Greek killer colonels, Mussolini’s heirs, actual Nazis in Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, Jew-Nazis in Palestine, Franco (who we never stopped sleeping with anyway), Salazar, the malign Mr. Churchill, the true repulsive Dutch royalty and disgusting European colonists the world over, who we showered with guns and bombs to massacre the colonized.
In 1945, a war against fascism, reaction, Nazism and malign colonialism had ended, and for some reason America had fought against these things instead of supporting them as usual.
1946, and we were back in old style again, hiring Nazis by the busload for the CIA, overthrowing democratic governments and putting in genocidal dictatorships, becoming butt buddies with fascist swine everywhere.
So you see we have always pretty much sucked. World War 1 was fought amidst one of the most dishonest propaganda campaigns the world had ever seen, the Korean War was a Godawful mess where we turned North Korea to flaming rubble with the population cowering in caves while slaughtering 3 million North Koreans.
The horrific catastrophe called the Indochinese Wars, such as the Vietnam War, the Secret War in Laos and the Cambodian Massacre, where we genocided 500,000 Cambodians with bombs, driving the whole place crazy and creating the Khmer Rogue.
Panama and Grenada were pitiful jokes, malign, raw, naked imperialism at its worst.
The Gulf War was a brief return to sanity but turkey shoots are sickening.
Of course that followed on with the most evil war in US history, the Nazi-like war on aggression called The War on the Iraqi People (usually called the Iraq War), the Afghan rabbit hole which started out sensibly enough but turned into another Vietnam style Great Big Mess.
I suppose it is ok that we are killing Al Qaeda guys and I give a shout out to our boys over there fighting ISIS or the Taliban and Al Qaeda in South-Central Asia, Somalia and Yemen. Some people need killing.
But I sure don’t feel that way about their superiors, the US officers who fund and direct ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc. out of an Operations Center in Jordan with Jordanian, Israeli (!), Saudi, UAE, and Qatari officers.
And it was very thoughtful of the Pentagon to cover up the Ukrainian Air Force shootdown of the jetliner which we saw on the radar of our ships in Black Sea.
And it was nice of the US to relay the flight path of the Russian jet to the Turks 24 hours in advance so they could shoot down that Russian jet and kill that pilot.
One hand giveth and the other taketh away. For every good thing we do in Syria and Iraq, we do 10 or 20 bad things. Pretty much the story of the Pentagon.
Sure if you fought in WW2 or one of the few other decent wars, you have something to be proud of, and I can even say, “Thank you for your service,” but the main thing is that you signed up for the rightwing army of the rich that is dead set against the people and popular rule everywhere on Earth. Sure, it’s a great army, professional, super-competent and deadly, but it’s generally tasked with doing lousy things. Why anyone would sign up for that reactionary nightmare of an institution is beyond me. America needs to level the Pentagon and put in a true People’s Army instead. Like that would ever happen.
I participated in a session with this fellow on Academia.edu. I believe the author is a professor at a university somewhere in the UK. I really liked this paper a lot. It’s a bit hard to understand, but if you concentrate, you should be able to understand. If I can understand it, at least some of you guys can too. It is an excellent overview of what exactly neoliberalism is and the effects it has on all of us all the way down to the anthropological, sociological and psychological.
Was Joseph Conrad a Neoliberal? Are We? A Contemporary Reading of Victory
by Simon During
Over the past decade or so “neoliberalism” has become a word to conjure with. It is easy to have reservations about its popularity since it seems to name both a general object — roughly, capitalist governmentality as we know it today — and a particular set of ideas that now have a well-researched intellectual history.
It also implies a judgment: few use the term except pejoratively. I myself do not share these worries however, since I think that using the word performs sterling analytic work on its own account even as it probably accentuates its concept’s rather blob-like qualities. Nonetheless in this talk I want somewhat to accede to those who resist neoliberalism’s analytic appeal by thinking about it quite narrowly — that is to say, in literary and intellectual historical terms.
I begin from the position, first, that neoliberalism is an offshoot of liberalism thought more generally; and second, that we in the academic humanities are ourselves inhabited by an occluded or displaced neoliberalism to which we need critically to adjust.1 Thus, writing as a
literary critic in particular, I want to follow one of my own discipline’s original protocols, namely to be sensitive to the ways in which the literary “tradition” changes as the present changes, in this case, as it is reshaped under that neoliberalism which abuts and inhabits us.2
To this end I want to present a reading of Joseph Conrad’s Victory (1916). To do this is not just to help preserve the received literary canon, and as such is, I like to think, a tiny act of resistance to neoliberalism on the grounds that neoliberalism is diminishing our capacity to affirm a canon at all. By maintaining a canon in the act of locating neoliberalism where it is not usually found, I’m trying to operate both inside and outside capitalism’s latest form.
1 Daniel Stedman-Jones, Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics, Princeton: Princeton University Press 2014, p. 17. 2 This argument is made of course in T.S. Eliot’s seminal essay, “Tradition and the Individual Talent” (1921).
Let me begin with a brief and sweeping overview of liberalism’s longue durée.3 For our purposes we can fix on liberalism by noting that it has two central struts, one theoretical, the other historical. As generations of theorists have noted, the first strut is methodological individualism: liberal analysis begins with, and is addressed to, the autonomous individual rather than communities or histories.4
Methodological individualism of this kind is, for instance, what allowed Leo Strauss and J.P Macpherson to call even Thomas Hobbes a founder of liberalism.5 Liberalism’s second strut is the emphasis on freedom as the right to express and enact private beliefs with a minimum of state intervention. This view of freedom emerged in the seventeenth century among those who recommended that the sovereign state “tolerate” religious differences.
It marked a conceptual break in freedom’s history since freedom was now conceived of as an individual possession and right rather than as a condition proper to “civil associations” and bound to obligations.6 We need to remember, however, that methodological individualism does not imply liberal freedom, or vice versa. Indeed neoliberalism exposes the weakness of that association.
Early in the nineteenth century, liberalism became a progressivist political movement linked to enlightened values. But after about 1850, non-progressive or conservative liberalisms also appeared. Thus, as Jeffrey Church has argued, Arthur Schopenhauer, the post-Kantian
philosopher who arguably broke most spectacularly with enlightened humanist progressivism, 3 Among the library of works on liberalism’s history I have found two to be particularly useful for my purposes here: Domenico Losurdo’s Liberalism: a Counter-History, trans. Gregory Elliot. London: Verso 2014, and Amanda Anderson’s forthcoming Bleak Liberalism, Chicago, University of Chicago Press 2016. 4 Milan Zafirovski, Liberal Modernity and Its Adversaries: Freedom, Liberalism and Anti-Liberalism in the 21st Century, Amsterdam: Brill 2007, p. 116. 5 Van Mobley, “Two Liberalisms: the Contrasting Visions of Hobbes and Locke,” Humanitas, IX 1997: 6-34. 6 Quentin Skinner, Liberty before Liberalism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1998, p. 23.
can be associated with liberalism.7
Likewise Schopenhauer’s sometime disciple, Friedrich Nietzsche, no progressivist, was, as Hugo Drochon has recently argued, also an antistatist who prophesied that in the future “private companies” will take over state business so as to protect private persons from one another.8 Liberalism’s conservative turn was, however, largely a result of socialism’s emergence as a political force after 1848, which enabled some left liberal fractions to dilute their individualism by accepting that “a thoroughly consistent individualism can work in harmony with socialism,” as Leonard Hobhouse put it.9
Conrad himself belonged to this moment. As a young man, for instance, he was appalled by the results of the 1885 election, the first in which both the British working class and the socialists participated.10 That election was contested not just by the Marxist Socialist Democratic Federation, but by radical Liberals who had allied themselves to the emergent socialist movement (not least Joseph Chamberlain who, as mayor of Birmingham, was developing so-called “municipal socialism” and who haunts Conrad’s work).11
The election went well for the Liberals who prevented the Tories from securing a clear Parliamentary majority. After learning this, Conrad, himself the son of a famous Polish liberal revolutionary, wrote to a friend, “the International Socialist Association are triumphant, and every
disreputable ragamuffin in Europe, feels that the day of universal brotherhood, despoliation and disorder is coming apace…Socialism must inevitably end in Caesarism.”12 That prophecy will resonate politically for the next century, splitting liberalism in two. As I say: on the one side, a 7 Jeffrey Church, Nietzsche’s Culture of Humanity: Beyond Aristocracy and Democracy in the Early Period, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2015, p. 226. 8 Hugo Drochon, Nietzsche’s Great Politics, Princeton: Princeton University Press 2016, p. 9. 9 L. T. Hobhouse, Liberalism, London: Williams and Norgate, 1911, p. 99. 10 It was at this point that one of neoliberalism’s almost forgotten ur-texts was written,Herbert Spencer’s Man against the State (1884). 11 For instance, he plays an important role in Conrad and Ford Madox Ford’s The Inheritors. 12 Joseph Conrad, The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad, vol 1., ed. Frederick Karl and Laurence Davis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1983, p. 16.
progressivist, collectivist liberalism. On the other, an individualist liberalism of which neoliberalism is a continuation.
By around 1900, liberalism’s fusion with socialism was often (although not quite accurately) associated with Bismark’s Germany, which gave anti-socialist liberalism a geographical inflection. Against this, individualistic liberalism was associated with Britain. But this received British liberalism looked back less to Locke’s religiously tolerant Britain than to Richard Cobden’s Britain of maritime/imperial dominance and free trade.
Which is to say that liberalism’s fusion with socialism pushed socialism’s liberal enemies increasingly to think of freedom economically rather than politically — as in Ludwig von Mises influential 1922 book on socialism, which can be understood as a neoliberal urtext.13 By that point, too, individuals were already being positioned to become what Foucault calls “consumers of freedom.” 14
They were now less understood less as possessing a fundamental claim to freedom than as creating and participating in those institutions which enabled freedom in practice. Crucially after the first world war, in the work of von Mises and the so-called “Austrian school”, freedom was increasingly assigned to individual relations with an efficient market as equilibrium theory viewed markets. This turn to the market as freedom’s basis marked another significant historical departure: it is the condition of contemporary neoliberalism’s emergence.
Neoliberalism organized itself internationally as a movement only after world war two, and did so against both Keynesian economics and the welfare state. 15 It was still mainly ideologically motivated by a refusal to discriminate between welfarism and totalitarianism — a line of thought already apparent in Conrad’s equation of socialism with Caesarism of course. As 13 See Ludwig von Mises, Socialism: an Economic and Sociological Analysis, trans. J. Kahane. New Haven: Yale University Press 1951. 14 Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 63. One key sign of this spread of this new freedom is Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous appeal to the “free trade in ideas” in his 1919 dissent in Abrams v. the US, a judgment which joins together the market, intellectual expression and the juridical. 15 See Philip Mirowski and Dieter Plehwe (eds.), The Road from Mont Pèlerin, Cambridge: Harvard University Press 2009.
Friedrich Hayek urged: once states begin to intervene on free markets totalitarianism looms because the people’s psychological character changes: they become dependent.16 For thirty years (in part as confined by this argument), neoliberalism remained a minority movement, but
in the 1970s it began its quick ascent to ideological and economic dominance.
Cutting across a complex and unsettled debate, let me suggest that neoliberalism became powerful then because it provided implementable policy settings for Keynesianism’s (perceived) impasse in view the stagnation and instability of post-war, first-world welfarist, full-employment economies after 1) the Vietnam War, 2) the collapse of the Bretton Woods agreement; 3) OPEC’s cartelization, and 4) the postcolonial or “globalizing” opening up of world markets on the back of new transportation and computing technologies.17
In the global north neoliberalism was first implemented governmentally by parties on the left, led by James Callaghan in the UK, Jimmy Carter in the US, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating in Australia, and leading the way, David Lange and Roger Douglas in New Zealand.18 At this time, at the level of policy, it was urged more by economists than by ideologues insofar as these can be separated (and Hayek and Mises were both of course).
As we know, neoliberals then introduced policies to implement competition, deregulation, monetarism, privatization, tax reduction, a relative high level of unemployment, the winding back of the state’s participation in the economy and so on. This agenda quickly became captured by private
16 Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, p. 48. 17 This history is open to lively differences of opinion. The major books in the literature are: Michel Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the College de France 1978-1979, London: Picador 2010; Philip Mirowski, Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown, London: Verso 2014; Stedman-Jones, Masters of the Universe; Joseph Vogl, The Spectre of Capital, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2014; David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2007. My own understanding of this moment is informed by Stedman-Jones’s account in particular. 18 It is worth noting in this context that the left had itself long been a hatchery of neoliberal economic ideas just because liberalism’s absorption of socialism was matched by socialism’s absorption of liberalism. See Johanna Brockman, Markets in the name of Socialism: the Left-wing Origins of Neoliberalism, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2011 on the intellectual-historical side of this connection.
interests, and from the eighties on, it was woven into new, highly surveilled and privatized, computing and media ecologies, indeed into what some optimists today call “cognitive capitalism”.19
In this situation, more or less unintended consequences proliferated, most obviously a rapid increase in economic inequality and the enforced insertion of internal markets and corporate structures in non-commercial institutions from hospitals to universities. Indeed, in winding back the welfare state, renouncing Keynesian and redistributionist economic policies, it lost its classical liberal flavor and was firmly absorbed into conservatism — a transformation which had been prepared for by Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.20
But two more concrete conceptual shifts also helped animate this particular fusion of conservatism and liberalism. First, postwar neoliberalism was aimed more at the enterprise than at the individual.21
Largely on the basis of van Mises’s Human Action (1940) as popularized by Gary Becker, the free, independent individual was refigured as “human capital” and thereby exposed instead to management and “leadership.” At the same time, via Peter Drucker’s concept of “knowledge worker,” which emphasized the importance of conceptual and communication skills to
economic production, postsecular management theories for which corporations were hierarchical but organic communities also gained entry into many neoliberal mindsets.22 At that
19 Yann Moulier Boutang, Cognitive Capitalism, trans. Ed Emery. Cambridge: Polity Press 2012. 20 Nietzsche and Schopenhauer’s influence is no doubt part of why neoliberalism emerged in Austria. Indeed the Austrian context in which contemporary neoliberalism emerged is worth understanding in more detail. In their early work, Hayek and Mises in particular were responding to “red Vienna” not just in relation to Otto Bauer’s Austromarxism but also in relation to its version of guild socialism associated with Hungarians like Karl Polanyi, with whom both Hayek and Mises entered into debate. See Lee Congdon, “The Sovereignty of Society: Karl Polanyi in Vienna,” in The Life and Work of Karl Polanyi, ed. Kari Polanyi-Levitt. Montreal: Black Rose Books 1990, 78-85. 21 Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 225. 22 Drucker was another Austrian refugee who turned to capitalism against totalitarianism in the late thirties and his profoundly influential work on corporate management shadows neoliberal theory up until the 1970s.
point, neoliberalism also became a quest to reshape as many institutions as possible as corporations.
At this point too Foucault’s consumers of freedom were becoming consumers full stop. To state this more carefully: at the level of ideology, to be free was now first and foremost deemed to be capable of enacting one’s preferences in consumer and labour markets. It would seem that preferences of this kind increasingly determined social status too, and, more invasively, they now increasingly shaped personalities just because practices of self were bound less and less to filiations and affiliations than to acts of choice.
This helped the market to subsume older gradated social and cultural structures of identity-formation, class difference and cultural capital. At this juncture, we encounter another significant unexpected consequence
within liberalism’s longue durée: i.e. the sixties cultural revolution’s reinforcement of neoliberalism.
This is a complex and controversial topic so let me just say here that, from the late seventies, neoliberal subjects who were individualized via their entrepreneurial disposition and economic and labour choices, encounters the subject of post-68 identity politics who had been emancipated from received social hierarchies and prejudices, and was now attached to a particular ethnicity, gender or sexuality as chosen or embraced by themselves as individuals. These two subject formations animated each other to the degree that both had, in their different ways, sloughed off older communal forms, hierarchies and values.
Governing this ménage of hedonism, productivity, insecurity and corporatization, neoliberalism today seems to have become insurmountable, and is, as I say, blob-like, merging out into institutions and practices generally, including those of our discipline. And it has done
this as a turn within liberal modernity’s longer political, intellectual and social genealogies and structures rather than as a break from them.
Nonetheless, three core, somewhat technical, propositions distinguish neoliberalism from liberalism more generally:
First the claim, which belongs to the sociology of knowledge, that no individual or group can know the true value of anything at all.23 For neoliberals, that value — true or not — can only be assessed, where it can be assessed at all, under particular conditions: namely when it is available in a competitive and free market open to all individuals in a society based on private property. This is an argument against all elite and expert claims to superior knowledge and judgment: without prices, all assessments of value are mere opinion. In that way, market justice (i.e. the effects of competing in the market) can trump social justice. And in that way, for instance, neoliberalism finds an echo not just in negations of cultural authority and canonicity but in the idea that literary and aesthetic judgments are matters of private choice and opinion. In short, neoliberalism inhabits cultural democracy and vice versa. By the same stroke, it posits an absence — a mere structure of exchange—at society’s normative center.
There is a direct relationship between the competitive market and freedom. Any attempt to limit free markets reduces freedom because it imposes upon all individuals a partial opinion about what is valuable. This particular understanding of freedom rests on the notion of the market as a spontaneous order — its being resistant to control and planning, its being embedded in a society which “no individual can completely survey” as Hayek put it.24 Not that this notion is itself original to neoliberalism: Foucault’s historiography of liberalism shows that, in the mid eighteenth century, this property of markets was thought of as “natural” and therefore needed to be protected
from sovereign authority’s interference.25 But as Foucault and others have argued, neoliberalism emerges after World War 2 when the spontaneous market conditions of freedom are no longer viewed as natural (even if they remain immanently lawbound) but as governmentally produced.26
Neoliberalism has specific ethical dimensions too. While it generally insists that individuals should be free to “follow their own values and preferences” (as Hayek put it) at least within the limits set by those rules and institutions which secure market stability, in fact individuals’ independence as well as their relation to market risk, provides the necessary condition for specific virtues and capacities. Most notably, in Hayek’s formulation, a neoliberal regime secures individuals’ self-sufficiency, honor and dignity and does so by the willingness of some to accept “material sacrifice,” or to “live dangerously” as Foucault put it, in a phrase he declared to be liberalism’s “motto”.27 This mix of risk-seeking existentialism and civic republicanism not only rebukes and prevents the kind of de-individualization supposedly associated with socialisms of the left and right, it is where neoliberalism and an older “Nietzschean” liberalism meet—with Michael Oakeshott’s work bearing special weight in this context.28 But as soon as neoliberalism itself becomes hegemonic in part by fusing with the spirit of 1968, this original ascetic, masculinist neoliberal ethic of freedom and risk comes to be supplemented and displaced by one based more on creativity, consumerist hedonism and entrepreneurialism aimed at augmenting choice.29
23 See Mirowski, Never Let a Serious Crisis, p. 55. 24 Friedrich von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom: Texts and Documents. The Definitive Edition, ed. Bruce Caldwell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007, p. 212. 25 Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 19. 26 This is argued in Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval’s The New Way of the World: on Neoliberal Society, London: Verso 2014. For the immanent lawboundedness in Hayek, see Miguel Vatter, The Republic of the Living: Biopolitics and the Critique of Civil Society, New York: Fordham University Press 2014: pps. 195-220. Vatter’s chapter “Free Markets and Republican
Constitutions in Hayek and Foucault” is excellent on how law is treated in neoliberal thought. 27 Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, p. 130. Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 66. 28 See Andrew Norris’s forthcoming essay in Political Theory, “Michael Oakeshott’s Postulates of Individuality” for this. We might recall, too, that Foucault argues for similarities between the Frankfurt school and the early neoliberals on the grounds of their resistance to standardization, spectacle and so on. See The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 105.
I have indicated that Conrad belongs to the moment when socialist parties first contested democratic elections and which thus split liberalism, allowing one, then beleaguered, liberal fraction to begin to attach to conservatism. In this way then, he belongs to neoliberalism’s deep past (which is not to say, of course, that he should be understand as a proto-neoliberal himself). Let us now think about his novel Victory in this light.
The novel is set in late nineteenth-century Indonesia mainly among European settlers and entrepreneurs. Indonesia was then a Dutch colony itself undergoing a formal economic deregulation program, which would increase not just Dutch imperial profits but, among indigenous peoples, also trigger what was arguably human history’s most explosive population growth to date.30 Victory belongs to this world where imperialism encountered vibrant commercial activity driven by entrepreneurial interests, competition and risk. Thus, for instance, its central character, the nomadic, cosmopolitan, aristocratic Swedish intellectual, Axel Heyst, establishes a business— a coal mine — along with a ship-owning partner, while other characters manage hotels, orchestras and trading vessels. Victory is a novel about enterprises as well as about individuals.
But Conrad’s Indonesia is other to Europe as a realm of freedom. Importantly, however, its freedom is not quite liberal or neoliberal: it is also the freedom of a particular space. More precisely, it is the freedom of the sea: here, in effect Indonesia is oceanic. This formulation draws on Carl Schmitt’s post-war work on international law, which was implicitly
29 The history of that displacement is explored in Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello’s The New Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Gregory Elliott. London: Verso 2005. 30 Bram Peper, “Population Growth in Java in the 19th Century”, Population Studies, 24/1 (1970): 71-84.
positioned against liberal and neoliberal theory. In his monograph The Nomos of the Earth (1950), Schmitt drew attention to the sea as a space of freedom just because national sovereignties and laws did not hold there.
But Schmitt’s implicit point was that liberal freedom needs to be thought about not just in terms of tolerance, recognition, rights or markets, but
geographically and historically inside the long history of violent sovereign appropriation of the globe’s land masses so that elemental freedom was enacted on the oceans where law and sovereignty had no reach. From this perspective, piracy, for instance, plays an important role in freedom’s history. And from this perspective the claim to reconcile radical freedom to the lawbound state is false: such freedom exists only where laws do not.
The sea, thought Schmitt’s way, is key to Conrad’s work. But, for him, the sea is also the home of economic liberalism, free-trade and the merchant marines by whom he had, of course, once been employed, and whose values he admired.31 Victory is a maritime tale set on waters which harbor such free trade at the same time as they form a Schmittean realm of freedom — and violence and risk — which effectively remains beyond the reach of sovereign law.
Let me step back at this point to sketch the novel’s plot. Victory’s central character Heyst is the son of an intellectual who late in life was converted from progressivism to a mode of weak Schopenhauerianism or what was then call pessimism.32 Heyst lives his father’s pessimism out: he is a disabused conservative liberal: “he claimed for mankind that right to
absolute moral and intellectual liberty of which he no longer believed them worthy.”33
Believing this, Heyst leaves Europe to “drift”— circulating through Burma, New Guinea, Timor and the Indonesian archipelagoes, simply gathering facts and observing. But, on an
31 For Conrad and trade in this region, see Andrew Francis, Culture and Commerce in Conrad’s Asian Fiction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2015. For Conrad’s affiliations to free trade proper see my unpublished paper, “Democracy, Empire and the Politics of the Future in
Conrad’s Heart of Darkness”. This is available on this url. 32 Joseph Conrad, Victory, London: Methuen 1916, p. 197. 33 Conrad, Victory, pps. 92-93
impulse, while drifting through Timor he rescues a shipowner, Morrison, whose ship has been impounded by unscrupulous Portuguese authorities, and through that act of spontaneous generosity, becomes obligated to Morrison.
The two men end up establishing a coalmine in the remote Indonesian island of Samburan, backed by local Chinese as well as by European capital. The company soon collapses. Morison dies. And, living out his Schopenhauerian renunciation of the world, Heyst, the detached man, decides to stay on at the island alone except for one Chinese servant.
He does, however, sometimes visit the nearest Indonesian town, Surabaya, and it is while staying there in a hotel owned by Schomberg, a malicious, gossipy German, that he makes another spontaneous rescue. This time he saves a young woman, Lena, a member of a traveling “ladies orchestra,” who is being bullied by her bosses and in danger of abduction by Schomberg himself.
Heyst and Lena secretly escape back to his island, causing Schomberg to harbor a venomous resentment against Heyst. At this point Schomberg’s hotel is visited by a trio of sinister criminals: Jones, Ricardo and their servant Pedro. Taking advantage of Schomberg’s rage, they establish an illegal casino in his hotel. To rid himself of this risky enterprise, Schomberg advises them to go after Heyst in his island, falsely telling them that Heyst has hidden a fortune there. Jones and his gang take Schomberg’s advice but disaster awaits them.
The novel ends with Jones, Ricardo, Heyst, Lena all dead on Heyst’s island.
The novel, which hovers between commercial adventure romance and experimental modernism, is bound to neoliberalism’s trajectory in two main ways. First, it adheres to neoliberalism’s sociology of knowledge: here too there is no knowing center, no hierarchy of expertise, no possibility of detached holistic survey and calculation through which truth might command action. Heyst’s drifting, inconsequential fact-gathering, itself appears to illustrate that absence. As do the gossip and rumors which circulate in the place of informed knowledge, and which lead to disaster. Individuals and enterprises are, as it were, on their
own, beyond any centralized and delimited social body that might secure stability and grounded understandings. They are bound, rather, to self-interest and spontaneity.
This matters formally not simply because, in an approximately Jamesian mode, the narrative involves a series of points of view in which various characters’ perceptions, moods and interests intersect, but because the narration itself is told in a first person voice without being enunciated by a diegetical character.
That first person, then, functions as the shadow representative of a decentered community, largely focused on money, that is barely able to confer identity at all, a community, too, without known geographical or ideological limits just because the narrator, its implicit representative, has no location or substance. This narratorial indeterminacy can be understood as an index of liberalism at this globalizing historical juncture: a liberalism divesting itself of its own progressive histories, emancipatory hopes and institutions. A bare liberalism about to become neoliberalism, as we can proleptically say.
More importantly, the novel speaks to contemporary neoliberalism because it is about freedom. As we have begun to see, Heyst is committed to a freedom which is both the freedom of the sea, and a metaphysical condition which has detached itself, as far as is possible, from connections, obligations, determinations. This structures the remarkable formal
relationship around which the novel turns — i.e. Heyst’s being positioned as Jones’s double.
The generous Schopenhauerian is not just the demonic criminal’s opposite: he is also his twin. Both men are wandering, residual “gentlemen” detached from the European order, and thrown into, or committed to, a radical freedom which, on the one side, is a function of free trade, on the other, a condition of life lived beyond the legal and political institutions that order European societies, but also, importantly, are philosophical and ethical — a renunciation of the established ideological order for independence, courage and nomadism.
To put this rather differently: Heyst and Jones’s efforts to live in freedom — to comport themselves as free individuals — combines economic freedom — a freedom of exchange, competition and
entrepreneurial possibilities— with a state of nature as a line of flight (or emancipation) from received continental laws, values and social structures. Freedom, that is, which combines that which Carl Schmitt and the early neoliberals imagined, each in their own way.
The novel’s main point is that there is, in fact, nothing in this freedom to sustain true ethical substance. It is as if Schmittean freedom has smashed both liberal freedom and pessimistic asceticism, along with their ethical groundings. Or to come at the novel’s basic point from another direction: it is as if the absence at the heart of a free society has transmigrated into these characters’ selves. It is at that level that individual freedom cannot be separated from violence and risk and good from evil.
Without an instituted social structure, Heyst cannot stay true to himself: his commitment to freedom and renunciation is compromised because of his spontaneous acts of generosity and sympathy which lead to his and Lena’s death. On the other side, Jones, a homosexual shunned by respectable society, is afflicted by those key nineteenth-century affects, resentment and boredom as well as a quasi-Nietzschean contempt for “tameness”, which drive him towards living outside of society, at contigency’s mercy, and towards reckless, malevolent violence.
Heyst and Jones die together almost by accident, in deaths that reveal them not just as entangled with one another at existence’s threshold, but as both attuned to death, even in life. It now look as if while they lived they wanted to die. In that way, the novel makes it clear that the risk, disorder and emptiness which inhabit their striving for a radically liberal practice of life corrode distinctions not just between violence and renunciation, not just between good and evil, but also between life and death.
We can put it like this: the freedom that these characters claim and the risks that it entails and which bind them together are inclined more towards death than towards life, just on account of freedom’s own conditions of possibility, namely radical autonomy, absence of sovereign power, and maximum choice.
As I say, this is a reading of the novel which, at least in principle, helps to canonize Victory just because it claims that its form, plot and characters address versions of our current neoliberal social condition, and does so in metaphysically ambitious terms. Victory is a critique of freedom, I think.
Conrad is insisting that even in a liberal society devoted to free trade,
enterprises and markets, the law — and the sovereign state — comes first. It is, if one likes, beginning the work of detaching liberalism from freedom. To say this, however, is to ignore the most pressing question that this reading raises: to what degree should we today actually accede to Conrad’s ambivalent, pessimistic and conservative imagination of radical freedom?
How to judge that freedom’s renunciation of established hierarchies, collectivities and values whether for adventure, risk and spontaneity or for violence and death? It is a condition of the discipline’s neoliberal state that the only answer we can give to that question is that we can, each of us, answer that question any way that we choose.
Superb report shows that the claim of violating Turkish airspace is probably a lie, since Turkey says that Turkey begins five miles inside the of Syria itself! So Turkey is claiming a five mile a swath of Syrian land as its own. What happened here is that Russia didn’t violate Turkey’s airspace at all.
Instead, it flew within five miles of the Turkish border while bombing some Turkic Turkmen rebels who Turkey sees as “Turks.” Certainly Syrian Turkmen do not speak their own language. Instead they speak what is in my opinion a rather divergent dialect of Turkish itself with a lot of Arabic loans that is fully intelli9gible to Turkish speakers.
By Syrian Free Press, 6 October 2015
Global Research, November 24, 2015
This article originally published on October 7, 2015 is of utmost relevance in understanding the action taken by Turkey to down a Russian jet fighter over Syria airspace.
One Russian plane may even indeed have slightly crossed the border [in October] while maneuvering. But the real reason why the U.S. military official and Turkey claim the above “violations” is because Turkey unilaterally “moved” the Turkish-Syrian border five miles south:
Turkey has maintained a buffer zone five miles inside Syria since June 2012, when a Syrian air defense missile shot down a Turkish fighter plane that had strayed into Syrian airspace. Under revised rules of engagement put in effect then, the Turkish air force would evaluate any target coming within five miles of the Turkish border as an enemy and act accordingly.
If Syrian rules of engagement would “move” its northern border up to the Black Sea would any plane in eastern Turkey be in violation of Syrian air space? No one would accept such nonsense and that is why no one should accept the U.S.-Turkish bullshit here. Russian planes should not respect the “new” Turkish defined border but only the legitimate one…
Russia “Violated” Turkish Airspace Because Turkey “Moved” Its Border
Russian planes in Syria “violated Turkish air space” the news agency currently tell us. But an earlier report shows that this claim may well be wrong and that the U.S. pushes Turkey to release such propaganda.
Reuters (Mon Oct 5, 2015 7:54am BST): Turkey says Russian warplane violated its airspace
A Russian warplane violated Turkish airspace near the Syrian border on Saturday, prompting the Air Force to scramble two F-16 jets to intercept it, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday. The Foreign Ministry summoned Moscow’s ambassador to protest the violation, according to an e-mailed statement. Turkey urged Russia to avoid repeating such a violation, or it would be held “responsible for any undesired incident that may occur.”
AFP (10:20am · 5 Oct 2015): Turkey ‘intercepts’ Russian jet violating its air space:
Turkey said on Monday its F-16 jets had at the weekend intercepted a Russian fighter plane which violated Turkish air space near the Syrian border, forcing the aircraft to turn back.
Turkey said on Monday its F-16 jets had at the weekend intercepted a Russian fighter plane which violated Turkish air space near the Syrian border, forcing the aircraft to turn back.
Here now what McClatchy reported on these air space violations in a longer piece several hours before Reuters and AFP reported the Turkish claim:
ISTANBUL – A Russian warplane on a bombing run in Syria flew within five miles of the Turkish border and may have crossed into Turkey’s air space, Turkish and U.S. officials said Sunday.
…A Turkish security official said Turkish radar locked onto the Russian aircraft as it was bombing early Friday in al Yamdiyyah, a Syrian village directly on the Turkish border. He said Turkish fighter jets would have attacked had it crossed into Turkish airspace.But a U.S. military official suggested the incident had come close to sparking an armed confrontation. Reading from a report, he said the Russian aircraft had violated Turkish air space by five miles and that Turkish jets had scrambled, but that the Russian aircraft had returned to Syrian airspace before they could respond.The Turkish security official said he could not confirm that account.
So it is the U.S., not Turkey, which was first pushing the claims of air space violation and of scrambling fighters. The Turkish source would not confirm that.
But how could it be a real air space violation when Russian planes “flew within five miles of the Turkish border and may have crossed into Turkey’s air space”. The Russian planes were flying in Syrian airspace. They “may have crossed” is like saying that the earth “may be flat”. Well maybe it is, right?
Fact is the Russians fly very near to the border and bomb position of some anti-Syrian fighters Turkey supports. They have good reasons to do so:
The town, in a mountainous region of northern Latakia province, has been a prime route for smuggling people and goods between Turkey and Syria and reportedly has functioned as a key entry for weapons shipped to Syrian rebels by the U.S.-led Friends of Syria group of Western and Middle Eastern countries.
One Russian plane may even indeed have slightly crossed the border while maneuvering. But the real reason why the U.S. military official and Turkey claim the above “violations” is because Turkey unilaterally “moved” the Turkish-Syrian border five miles south, to reiterate:
Turkey has maintained a buffer zone five miles inside Syria since June 2012, when a Syrian air defense missile shot down a Turkish fighter plane that had strayed into Syrian airspace. Under revised rules of engagement put in effect then, the Turkish air force would evaluate any target coming within five miles of the Turkish border as an enemy and act accordingly.
If Syrian rules of engagement would “move” its northern border up to the Black Sea would any plane in eastern Turkey be in violation of Syrian air space? No one would accept such nonsense and that is why no one should accept the U.S.-Turkish bullshit here. Russian planes should not respect the “new” Turkish defined border but only the legitimate one.
It would also be no good reason to start a NATO-Russia war just because such a plane might at times slightly intrude on the Turkish side due to an emergency or other accidental circumstances. Do we have to mention that the U.S., France, Britain and Jordan regularly violate Syrian airspace for their pretended ISIS bombing? That Turkey is bombing the PKK in north Iraq without the permission of the Iraqi government? What about Israels regular air space violations over Lebanon?
But what is this all really about? Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S. stationed some Patriot air defense systems in Turkey to defend Turkey and its Islamist storm troops in north-Syria. These systems were announced to leave or have already left. Are these claims about air-space violation now an attempt to get these systems back into Turkey? For what real purpose?
The all-Zionist turn in our foreign policy is fairly recent. It harks back to Sarkozy in 2007 bringing France into NATO’s integrated military command. He waged a war to replace the Ivory Coast President by a puppet. Then killed his campaign sponsor Qaddafi and 50,000 of his people. Supported the uprisings in Syria.
Finally, Hollande and Valls, the latter one being particularly Zionist (Freemason, Jewish spouse,
Philosemitism-driven), got closer to the Sunni fundamentalists, like a US puppet. “We”? We know it. But we can’t do much. We are in a quasi-dictatorship. The regime is crumbling. France feels like a People’s Democracy in the 1980’s.
Every media is a a Pravda with journalists vilifying ‘deviants’. Politics are a one-party state (with two factions). The Nomenklatura justifies its power with dogmas it doesn’t apply to itself, namely anti-racism (they’re sending their children to all-White schools, and they’re tied to Israel), anti-sexism (they’re wealthy families and they’re Masons), and anti-pollution (they’re the airports’ hyperclass and they’re calling for more immigrants). And of course, the Euro, the EU, the LGBT, which are codewords for finance worship, US worship, Antichrist worship.
Last time in January, the movement of grief was channeled to crack down even more on free speech: ISIS propaganda relies heavily on the Internet much like the Alt Right, and they know it. Again this time they used the shock wave to finalize our cultural genocide – they managed to get the Charlies and the United Morons think the attacks were caused by an ‘apartheid’ that could only be corrected by a ‘repopulation plan’ where mayors are forced to accept housing schemes. It’s crazy.
Perhaps the third attack will see people disconnecting with the government? For as of now, the 129 corpses are a huge Hollande win.
Julian writes an excellent rundown on the madness that seems to have seized the French. It almost seems that France has turned into another USA, as has the UK recently. Canada started implementing its “Little America” plan under Harper.
One thing I notice is that there is seems to be little difference between the French “Left” and the French “Right” anymore. What on Earth is the differences between Sarkozy and Hollande for God’s sake? I can’t see a thing! Sarkozy is Hollande is Sarkozy is Hollande. Where does one end and the other begin? It’s like a snake eating its tail. On economics? The same. On foreign policy? The same. It’s like the difference between the US Democratic and Republican Parties. There’s really not much there. Just two wings of Deep State Party of the Multinationals and the rich.
We did seem to see a strong pro-Israel turn under Sarky. I noticed that. Apparently he was Jewish?
I am not so sure that France has gone pro-Zionist, but the anti-Iran madness that opposes Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, and the Houthis benefits only Israel. Sure, these entities carry out overseas actions – against Israelis and sometimes Jews! What does that have to do with the US, France or the UK? Can someone please tell me how Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and the Houthis are dangerous to the US or the West? I am still trying to figure this out. When was the last time they attacked us? Lebanon? Saudi Arabia? Iraq? And whose fault was that?
The West’s lunatic anti-Shia jihad that has thrown it into bed with ISIS, Al Qaeda and the endless similar salafi jihadi factions can only be for Israel or for our Sunni allies in the Gulf, Jordan or Turkey. Of course the Gulf states, Jordan and Turkey want to kill all the Shia. We have known that for years now. But why on Earth would the West get in on the Sunni anti-Shia jihad?
The best evidence from Seymour Hersch’s work is that the West is not siding with the Sunni fanatic states’ Shia Holocaust Plan but is instead using them to smash Iran and roll back Iranian influence in the region. But why should Iranian or Shia influence in the region matter to the US? Is the US a Sunni Arab country? Do we want to genocide the Shia because they are heretics and infidels?
No, instead of backing the Sunnis mad exterminationism, we are simply using the Sunni states as a tool to “smash Iran and Iranian influence.” But why should Iran and Iranian influence in the region matter to the West? Unless the Jews have actually succeeded in the multiyear campaign of screaming at us and whispering in the Kings’ ears that Iran is the real enemy, that is.
Have the Israelis convinced the West that the enemies of Israel are the enemies of the West? Or is this Western anti-Shia campaign simply for Israel and for no one else? After 2001, we were tasked with destroying all of Israel’s enemies. We quickly took out Iraq. Then we tried to take out Lebanon and Hezbollah with the March 14 Color Revolution. Then we took out Libya. Now we are trying to take out Syria.
The only enemy of Israel left is Iran. All of the Sunni states surrendered to Israel long ago, and most of them now work hand in hand with the Israelis. The Saudis in particular are very close to Tel Aviv. For a long time, Qatar was a holdout. It even housed the main offices of Hamas. However, they came under extreme pressure from someone (Who? The US?), and they booted Hamas out a while ago.
If the Western anti-Shia and anti-Iran campaign is all about Israel, one wonders if NATO and the West have gone seriously over to the Israelis side in recent years.
Tony Blair set the Brits’ part in motion by invading Iraq.
Since 2007, the French have joined the “get Iran” Coalition.
NATO is spearheading the “Get Iran” campaign. Has NATO gone seriously over to Israel recently? Why don’t they just make Israel a member of NATO? Has NATO always been so strongly in favor of Israel?
Another possibility is that instead of making a strong turn towards Israel, France, the UK, and NATO are simply lining up slavishly behind US foreign policy. This perhaps makes the most sense of all. The British and French have simply tied their ship to America. The British have been American slaves for a very long time. British foreign policy can be summed up for a long time now as supporting the US in every single one of its foreign policy endeavors.
This blind “follow the Yanks” policy goes way back and is related to something called Atlanticism. Atlanticism is a foreign policy doctrine that suggests that the UK (and other northern European countries) and the US have very special and unique ties by history and blood to each other. Hence the foreign policy of the US and Northern Europe should be coordinated as much as possible. In practice this tends to boil down to “Follow the Yank Pied Piper.” Other Atlanticist countries (that I know of) are the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway.
So has France recently become an Atlanticist country? It seems that since 2007, they are as Atlanticist as the UK.
I can’t believe they did this. There is absolutely nothing progressive or leftwing about the EU. Getting rid of Net Neutrality is catastrophic for the people but it’s great for the elites, the Deep States, the rich and the corporations.
You see, in the West, the rich and corporations already have 100% of the MSM because under capitalism, freedom of the press belongs anyone who can own a media outlet. No one else has any freedom of press at all. The rich, the elites, the corporations and the Deep States already have 100% of the media in the West.
The one thing they do not control is the Net, and boy are they mad about that. Because, not to toot my horn, but the Net is a place that even a radial maniac like me who spins a narrative completely opposite to all the poison the rich, the elites, the corporations and the Deep States sell can still get a voice. My site loads as fast as Fox News or CNN.
But without Net Neutrality, the rich, the elites, the corporations and the Deep States would get to put everyone selling views they don’t like in the slow, slow, slow lane because it would be very expensive to get in the fast lane so it would be similar to the cost barriers to entry to the MSM.
So getting rid of Net Neutrality means that the Net would become just like the rest of the Western media shithole – completely controlled by the the rich, the elites, the corporations and the Deep States with 0% outlets for any dissenters from their controlled narrative.
Another problem with getting rid of Net Neutrality is that we may be seeing a lot of lobbying in the near future whereby service providers bribe ISP’s to restrict access to the services provided by competing companies, etc. Revolting, isn’t it?
Interestingly, three countries within the EU – Netherlands, Slovenia and Finland – already have a range of net neutrality rules enshrined in law.
Yes, and all three of these countries will have their Net Neutrality rules overturned by Brussels! The EU overturning countries’ sovereignty again. The EU looks more and more catastrophic by the day. I think the progressive project of the day is to get rid of the EU. If we have to ally with the Right to do so, so be it. Nazis are scumbags, but I would much rather ally with Nazis than pro-corporate, pro-rich supporters of multiculturalism, the Cultural Left Freakshow and radical neoliberalism – the Elite Project Du Jour at Deep State MSM outlets like like the New York Times. You know our elites really suck when Nazis look better in comparison!
A series of amendments to a regulation on how internet traffic is managed in Europe were all rejected by MEP’s.
See how the disgusting BBC spun that? That’s how the Corporate Cancer has been spinning Net Neutrality – by calling it “regulating the Internet.” They have been selling it to people on a fake platform of “don’t regulate the Internet.” But if there’s anything on Earth that’s crying for regulation, it’s the sewer called the Internet. Almost all of the problems of the Net are caused by the fact that it is totally unregulated.
The Dutch report on MH17 is out today. As I suspected, it is a complete whitewash. Worse than that, it is an attempt to frame Russia and the rebels. Looking at the conclusions, I do not think there is a single true sentence in this entire report. The lies probably start with the first sentence and end with the last one. Truly pitiful.
Malaysia is said to be very unhappy with the way the investigation of the MH17 disaster has unfolded.
For instance, the black box was turned over to the British, some of the worst criminals on Earth. The British have sat on that black box for a long time without issuing the slightest peep about it. That is very bizarre and makes no sense.
Further, there was apparently an agreement between the Netherlands, Ukraine and Australia to hide the cause of the crash. Each party would have a veto on releasing the data. They all signed a non-disclosure agreement about releasing the results of the investigation of the crash. That is very odd.
There have been persistent calls for the Nazis to release all of their air traffic control tapes from around the time of the accident. A Spanish air traffic controller reported that the chatter in the Kiev ATC tower at the time of the shootdown was that the Nazis did it. In fact, some wings of the Nazi government were saying, “We shot down that plane. Who gave the order to do that?” An hour after the shootdown, Nazi officials came into the tower and confiscated all of the ATC tapes. They also threatened to confiscate each controller’s computer.
Despite constant calls for the Nazis to release their ATC tapes, they have not yet released them. Not one single Western media outlet has reported on this fact, nor have they pressured the Nazis to release the tapes. Nor has one single Western nation pressured the Nazis to release the tapes. That is all extremely suspicious.
The Obama Administration says it has hard evidence that the rebels shot down the jet. Yet despite many calls to show us that evidence, they have refused to present any of this evidence. Not one single Western media outlet nor one single Western government has reported this fact, nor have they pressured the Administration to release their data. Apparently the Obama team will not even release this data to the CIA.
One of the top US investigative reporters wrote that his CIA sources told him that there are people in the CIA who think that the Nazis shot down the plane. These CIA elements are asking Obama to show them his evidence that the rebels shot it down. Obama has so far refused to do this. Not one single Western media outlet has reported on the opinions of these CIA analysts.
The Malaysian government is said to be very angry at the way the investigation is taking place or not taking place. They say that they are breaking away from the other teams to form their own investigation of what happened, implying that the other teams are not reliable investigators.
Right now, the Malaysians are saying that their intelligence investigations on the cause of the shootdown are “pretty conclusive.” This probably means that the Malays think the Nazis shot down the plane. A large contingent of 133 Malay investigators went to the Ukraine to gather evidence. A reporter for the New Straights Times got close to the investigative team and leaked their findings.
According to his article, Malay intelligence reports had concluded that the Nazis shot down the plane. First they shot a Buk at the plane, which missed. Then the Nazi fighter that had been following the jet fired an air to air heat-seeking missile at the jet which blew up the engine of the plane. Then the cockpit was shot up by the fighter’s 30mm cannon.
So unless there was strong political pressure by the Malaysian state to doctor the investigators’ findings, I assume that the article is saying that they Malays are quite sure that the Nazis shot down the jet.
Here is a great article by Eric Zeusse about how the results of the MH17 jet downing investigation will apparently never be released. Four nations, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, and the Ukraine have all signed a non-disclosure agreement about the investigation of the downing.
Although it is hard to make sense of the weasel-worded text from the Ukrainian government, it appears that any one of these nations will have veto power over the results of the investigation.
So, if the investigation shows that Ukraine shot down the jet (which is precisely what happened) then presumably Ukraine would never release the results of the investigation as they would veto its release. The way I read this is that it looks like the results of the investigation will be sealed forever. Crazy!
Regarding what caused the downing of the Malaysian airliner MH-17 in Ukraine on July 17th, the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN, reported in a brief Russian-language news story on August 12th, that four days earlier (August 8th) a representative of that nation’s Prosecutor General office, Yuri Boychenko, had said that (as auto-translated by Google),
the results [of the investigation] will be announced upon completion of the investigation and with the consent of all the parties who signed the corresponding agreement.
This UNIAN report said that,
As part of the four-party agreement signed on August 8 between Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia [all of which nations are allies of the United States and are cooperating with its new Cold War against Russia], information on the investigation into the disaster Malaysian ‘Boeing-777’ will not be disclosed.
In other words: the official ‘investigation’ is being carried out by four nations that, as U.S. allies, are hostile toward Russia. One of those four nations, Ukraine, is not only a prime suspect in possibly having shot this airliner down, but is currently waging a hot war to ethnically-cleanse the pro-Russian population out of southeastern Ukraine; and the initial ‘news’ reports in Western ‘news’ media regarding the downing of MH-17 had stenographically repeated the Ukrainian Government’s line that said that this airliner was probably downed by the local rebels there, who were trying to shoot down the Ukrainian Government’s bombers that are constantly bombing them.
Some Western ‘news’ reports even speculated that perhaps Russia itself had shot this airliner down. If the UNIAN news-report is correct, then there is no way that the ‘investigation’ will be able to be released to the public if it indicates that the Ukrainian Government (which, according to that news-report has veto power over the making-public of the study’s findings) is blamed for having shot the airliner down.
On August 12th, another pro-Ukrainian-Government ‘news’ site, gordonua.com, headlined, as auto-translated by Google, “GPU: The results of the investigation [into the] crash [of] the Boeing 777 will be released with the consent of the parties,” and said,
“Information about the accident MH17 in the Donetsk region will be published in obtaining the consent of all the parties that are involved in the investigation.”
UNIAN was cited there as gordonua’s sole source. ‘News’ media didn’t probe the matter further.
Until 23 August 2014, that seems to have been the last of the matter, as far as news reports were concerned, and both of those two news reports were just tiny squibs in the Russian language, published only in Ukraine, by supporters of the Obama-installed Ukrainian Government. The news was ignored both inside and outside Ukraine.
Then, on 23 August 2014, Global Research News published the first English-language news-report on this matter; it was based on the second Russian-language news-report, the one that had appeared at gordonua.com on August 12th. Global Research concluded from it that, “The Causes of the MH17 Crash are ‘Classified’.”
Of course, this way of phrasing the matter is a slight oversimplification, because, actually, the findings will remain ‘classified’ only if, and to the extent that, the Ukrainian Government is found to have caused the airliner’s downing. In other words: this ‘investigation’ will not be published unless the Ukrainian Government and the other three nations that are performing it agree unanimously to publish it.
So: imagine a murder-case in which 298 innocents are slaughtered, and in which there are only three suspects (here: Ukraine, the pro-Russian rebels, and Russia itself), and one of those three suspects has veto-power on the making-public of the ‘investigation’ into that crime. Well: this is that murder-case, and the veto-holding ‘investigator’ and suspect is Ukraine. Neither of the other two suspects holds any such veto-power over this ‘investigation.’
In a sense, whether the official investigation into the downing will ever be made public is insignificant, just as would be any ‘investigation’ that is carried out by, or with veto-power from, one of the prime suspects in the crime that is being investigated.
The international public would obviously need to be fools in order for them to trust such an ‘investigation’ as that. Case closed?
President Obama got the economic-sanctions-increase against Russia, that he had wanted out of this shoot-down. Who needs any ‘investigation’ to determine this mass-killing’s actual perpetrator? Certainly not Obama. Ultimately, it is he who caused it, because he was the person behind this ethnic-cleansing campaign, without which ethnic-cleansing campaign the airliner itself wouldn’t have been downed.
The downing of this airliner goes straight back the U.S. White House, which has already won what it wanted from it.
Those 298 corpses are just casualties of this U.S.-caused war, like the Ukrainians are casualties of it who live in the portions of Ukraine that had overwhelmingly elected in 2010 the Ukrainian President whom Obama ousted from office in 2014. Obama doesn’t want a President like that elected ever again in Ukraine; so, those voters are being gotten rid of, and ethnic cleansing is how it’s being done. And the residents there are likewise not being heard from in Western ‘news’ media, and nobody in the West is asking these victims what they think of the Ukrainian Government that Obama installed. Perhaps that’s because they are increasingly becoming a guerilla army to defeat the regime that Obama installed.
As to the specific operation that downed the plane, there is already a lot more information about that than the official ‘investigation,’ if that’s ever published, is likely to reveal, and it points clearly to the Ukrainian military as the perpetrator, in yet another of their ‘false flag’ operations. And unlike the Ukrainian Government’s charges that rebels shot it down by mistake, Ukraine shot it down with deadly purpose and knowing full well what they were doing.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of Christ’s Ventriloquists: The Event that Created Christianity.
The vile, despicable, scummy Dutch government said the other day that the findings on the M17 black box and and the air traffic control tapes in the Kiev control tower around the time of the M17 shootdown will not be released! The Netherlands and two other evil countries, the US and UK, reportedly signed a non-disclosure agreement about the contents in the black box and and the ATC tapes. The Kiev government has refused to release the ATC tapes for a very long time now. No one in any Western government and not one single Western media source has called on Kiev to release the tapes.
Word is that although the huge investigative team (they brought 133 investigators with them to the crash site) from Malaysia concluded that the Ukrainian government shot down the jet with an SU-25 fighter jet that was tailing the jet, the Malaysian government is trying to cover up the findings of the commission. Malaysian government officials are on record as saying that the reported findings of the commission are not true – they denied that the commission determined that the Ukrainian government shot down the jet with a fighter plane.
The investigators found that the fighter first fired an air to air missile at the jet. This heat seeking missile hit the jet in the engine, setting it on fire. The fighter then attacked the jet with a 30mm machine gun, riddling both sides of the cockpit with bullet holes. Investigators said that the inside of a cockpit looked like a bloodbath. Photos of the cockpit do show what appear to be holes from some sort of a gun.
A Spanish air traffic controller working in Kiev tweeted for some time before the shootdown that a Ukrainian fighter jet was dogging the plane. He then tweeted that the plane had gone down and that the word in the air traffic controller tower was that the Ukrainian government did it. He tweeted that the fighter shot down the jet.
He was also privy to Ukrainian government communications in the tower. Apparently only one part of the Ukrainian government had planned the shootdown; the rest of the government knew nothing about the plot.
He heard a communication from the Interior Department that said, “Our guys just shot down that jet. Who gave the order to do that? Why did we shoot down that jet?”
An hour after the shootdown, Ukrainian government officials came into the tower and confiscated all of the air traffic control tapes. They also told all of the controllers that they were confiscating their computers. All foreign air traffic controllers were fired on that day. The Spanish government tried to cover for the murderers by insisting that the Spanish controller named Buka did not work there. They issues a statement that said, “No Spanish citizen is working in that ATC tower.” However, Life News managed to confirm the man’s identity and also confirmed the fact that he worked in the tower. This means that the Spanish government was in on the coverup for the murderers.
The US had a spy satellite right over the area of the shootdown at the time the jet went down. In addition, a US Navy vessel equipped with fancy intelligence capabilities was in the Black Sea at the time not far from the shootdown site. Other Western countries also have extensive intelligence capabilities in that region. It would seem that judging by US’ intel capabilities in the area at the time, US intelligence must have known who shot down that plane pretty quickly, probably within no more than two hours. I would imagine that some other Western countries also discovered the truth on their own at this time, or, if not, they were notified soon afterwards by the US.
The fact that the US and other Western countries, who must have known that the Ukies shot down the jet, immediately waged a savage propaganda offensive covering up for the murderers and accusing Russia and the rebels of mass murder is absolutely sickening and shows the depraved and debased state to which the US and the rest of the West has sunken. One wonders what the media knows. At the very least, the media should not have been so quick to recite state propaganda word for word. What is the Fourth Estate anyway? An independent entity or an arm of the states of the West.
Deliberate falsification of history was described by George Orwell in 1984 as one of the hallmarks of a totalitarian state. By that metric, all of the Western states are now totalitarian states. How pitiful is that?
Even Malaysia itself is, unbelievably as it sounds, covering up for the murderers of its own people and trying to frame an innocent state. As you can see here, the official state line now about M17 is “it’s time to move on.” Gee, I wonder why they are saying that? Do you think someone pressured them or threatened them? Could it possibly have anything to do with this headline: Malaysia, US Armed Forces in Joint Exercise?
The only way this can be characterized is to say that the US, the rest of the West and even Malaysia itself are all now accessories after the fact to mass murder in the shooting down of a passenger jet. Malaysia is an accessory after to the fact to the murderers who shot down their own airplane full of their own people. Truly incredible. Furthermore, they are not only guilty of participating in mass murder, but they are also trying to pin the crime on an utterly innocent party.
What is incredible is that the only people in the US government with any integrity on this issue and who are refusing to completely cover up for the murderers are some elements of the CIA. A very famous investigative reporter has stated that his CIA contacts told him that some CIA analysts now believe that the Ukrainian government shot down the plane.
When the CIA is the only part of the state left that is not completely sociopathic, you know the government is seriously gone.
The only decent people left in the US government are in the CIA!?
In the Ukrainian conflict pitting the Nazi Ukrainian regime against Novorussian antifa separatist self-defense forces in the East, all of the West is has lined up with the Nazis, oddly enough. This is really a re-run of the times right after WW2, when much of the West supported the Banderist Ukrainian nationalist Nazis fighting the USSR in the Ukraine. The Nazi nationalist forest fighters of the Baltic states such as Latvia and Estonia also received a lot of Western support, as did the rightwing death squad regime in Greece.
It didn’t take long after the Nazis were defeated that the West rallied with their old Nazi pals. Many Nazis were spirited away from the prison cells that loomed before them to South America and even to the United States. The US helped many of these Nazis escape because the CIA realized that Nazis were some of the most savage anti-Communists of all, and the CIA wanted to use these Nazis in order to fight the USSR.
In the early days of Hitler’s regime around 1933, many in the West were quite smitten with Adolf. The Jewish-owned New York Times even ran long articles lauding the Fuhrer for his staunch anti-Communism. This shows that the rich Jews will always side with Capital no matter what form it takes, even when Capital is against the Jewish people. Big Money Jews will choose Mammon over Israel any day of the week and will sell out the tribe for the price of a piece of silver with barely the blink of an eye. The US of course is fanatically pro-Nazi. Opinion polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans are supporting the Nazis in this conflict. Is there a reason for this except that US foreign policy has always supported rightwingers? The UK is also extremely pro-Nazi now. What is the reason for this? Why would the UK be supporting the Nazis in this conflict? The truth here may be that the UK is an “Atlanticist” state. Atlanticism is a political philosophy popular in Western Europe for a while now. Atlanticist European states line up with the US on every foreign policy issue due to some unfracturable alliance. They don’t even think of the morals of the issue at stake – they simply do whatever Uncle Sam does. It’s follow the leader. It is considered to be an unbreakable alliance, and the Atlanticist states simply cannot refuse to do whatever the US does. A case of ideology trumping sense. Spain is very pro-Nazi, but the Spanish ruling class never abandoned fascism, and further they are worried about secessionism in their own land. After the fall of Franco, the fascists never went away. Instead, they slowly folded into the ranks of the Conservative Party which has ruled Spain for more than a few years lately. Although that party is not actively fascist, at the very base of the party is deeply connected to movements with fascist roots. The party is not so much fascist as fascist-allied, and even that is mostly covered up in an ivy of subterfuge.
The Spanish state ran a fascist “anti-terrorism” group that assassinated figures in the Basque guerrilla movement for a number of years. This group operated outside of the military or the police purportedly as another illegal armed group, albeit a rightwing one, even though they were controlled by the security forces. This was for all intents and purposes similar to the CIA’s rightwing death squads of Latin America. Germany is strongly pro-Nazi now. This makes sense in a lot of ways. Merkel is a Christian Democrat, and that is a party with deep fascist roots. At the end of WW2 although a de-Nazification was said to take place, it never really happened. A few Nazis were removed and even tried, but mostly the whole charade was over in a few years.
The reasons are painful. In order to do a true de-Nazification, you would have to had to imprison or sanction almost the entirety of German society. Nearly everyone was guilty at some level.
In East Germany, they did a much better job of this, and although the East German regime ended up being staunchly antifascist, this transformation never happened in the West.
Many former Nazis simply recycled their way into political parties, and the conservative Christian Democrats were the party of choice as the Social Democrats were anathema. The problem was even worse in industry and finance, where sanctions and prison sentences were few, and the German junkers, industrialists and banksters simply cycled their way back into power at the throne of German industry. The West German elite has been heavily former-Nazi for decades now. It’s a dirty little secret, one hardly anyone but Gunter Grass dares talk about. The Netherlands is one of the most pro-Nazi states of all in Europe. I don’t get this, except that the Netherlands is one of the strongest Atlanticist states of them all. The tail on the American dog. They follow American orders. France is taking a less pro-Nazi line than the rest. Most Frenchmen still hate the Vichy Regime, and all forms of Nazism and fascism are seen as repellent and against the moral values of the Republic. Italy seems to be very much pro-Nazi. I am not sure if I get it, but an Italian friend told me that fascism is still popular among the Italian rich, especially in certain cities such as Rome. The young men of the Italian upper class are especially prone to this deviation. My friend said that fascism simply never went away in Italy. Indeed, some suggest that Berlusconi may have fascist ties.
The Strategy of Tension during the Days of Lead in the 1970’s was a terrorist campaign run by fascist gangs who were supported by the Italian state, the military and the rich. These gangs set off bombs all over Italy, focusing especially on places where large numbers of civilians gathered. The state and state-controlled press always blamed the armed Left (which was small but active) for the bombings, but they never carried out even one of them. Every one of these attacks was documented as a false flag attack. The purpose was simply to create chaos and terror so that the people would feel that they had nowhere to turn but to the state to protect them. Then the state put in increasingly authoritarian laws. Norway is coming out very strongly for the Nazis, both the press and the vast majority of the people who are apparently brainwashed. I do not get this one either, but Norway surrendered immediately when attacked by Germany, and they promptly put in an ass-kisser named Quisling whose name has gone down in infamy. At the time though, nobody much minded him. What this less that spirited defense says about the Norwegian people, I am not sure. Australian media is incredibly pro-Nazi. The Australians are part of the Anglosphere which consists of the US, the UK, Canada and Australia. All are now run by fairly rightwing governments. This is considered to be a de facto alliance based on common language and culture originating in the UK. Another case of Ideology Uber Alles.
In Poland, the elite is very much pro-Nazi (Poland and Lithuania are the most pro-Nazi states in Europe) because they have aligned themselves very tightly with US neocons, much to their own detriment. Somehow they think that aligning themselves with the US and with the neocons in particular is the way to the gravy train, but I think they are wrong.
A case of overreaction to their Soviet experience. They hated Communism so much that in reaction, they idiotically moved 180 degrees in the opposite rightwing direction to show how anti-Communist they were. Their hatred for Communism was so great that they lined up with the wildest anti-Communist governments of them all.
However, many of the Polish people are supporting the Novorussian antifas for some reason. This is probably because hatred for Nazism and fascism in general is still probably quite strong among ordinary Poles due to past experience.
Many East European regimes also adopted horrible neoliberal policies once again in an overreaction to Communism. In this case, they chose the most polar opposite economics of all to Communism, which would be neoliberalism/Libertarianism/cowboy capitalism.
Most East European countries who reacted in this stupid way have been seriously damaged. Latvia and Estonia have been nearly destroyed. 1/3 of the labor force of these countries has immigrated due to a financial collapse related to an utterly unregulated financial sector.
After the crash, the neoliberal regimes imposed frightening “austerity” nonsense which did nothing but kick the working people and spit on them while they lay in the gutter. Estonia actually passed laws cutting wages by 1/3. Surely the Estonian rich thought that was a great idea. Social services were eviscerated. It was like 1933 America in Tallinn the past few years. Logically, working people reacted to this extreme abuse by the rich, the capitalists and the political elite of their nations by voting with their feet. Lithuania and Latvia issued pro-Nazi statements, but they had fascist governments when they were independent between world wars, and after independence, both Lithuanian and Latvian nationalism have had deep pro-Nazi roots. The Nazi-installed regimes in the 1940’s are regarded as the pinnacle of Baltic nationalism, and pro-Nazi fighters fought in the forests for years after the War against the USSR which had usurped their lands. Lithuania and Poland are the most pro-Nazi countries in all of Europe. They are absolutely determined to bring the Nazis into NATO. If they succeed, maybe we will have to change the name of it to Nazi Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Upon independence, all statues from the Soviet era were destroyed, Soviet street names were obliterated, and many new monuments were constructed to heroes of the Lithuanian and Latvian nationalist movements of the 1940’s and 1950’s who were deeply pro-Nazi.
Bigoted laws were imposed on the Russian minority in these countries, demanding that they learn to speak Latvian if they wanted to vote or claim benefits. Now a large percentage of the Latvian electorate, the Russian speakers, are disenfranchised and cannot vote in elections. Nevertheless, Latvia is very worried about the Russian minority in their country writhing under the Latvians’ own boot heels. There are rumblings of a secessionist movement among these Russians, but no one knows how serious it is. Austria, Portugal,Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Denmark, Slovakia, Ireland, Czech Republic, Romania and New Zealand – Their positions are unknown. Slovakia and Romania might want a bite out of a disintegrating Ukraine themselves. Romanian Bessarabia was annexed to the USSR in the 1940’s by Stalin. Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, and Serbia may well be lining up against the Nazis and with the Russian antifas due to a common culture they share with Orthodox Russia. A large contingent of Serbian antifa fighters have gone to Novorussia to fight the Nazis.
Repost from the old site.
White Nationalists like to go on and on and on about the glorious color of their skin: white. For some odd reason, this white skin is superior to darker-colored skins of folks who evolved in hotter zones. Truth is, darker skin color is a perfectly rational evolutionary response to high rates of UV radiation in areas where it is very hot.
And in some areas of the globe, people can have fairly light skins if they stay out of the sun, but they get dark quite easily if they go out in the sun. Italians and Greeks come to mind. Here are photos of Italians, Greeks and Spaniards who have stayed out of sun, and then the same folks after they got tanned.
The same page also shows identical phenotypes commonly seen as European-only, like Nordics, Mediterraneans and Alpines, in both their European and extra-European forms from Arabia, North Africa and Central Asia. Often the darker skin you see in a lot of Southern Europeans is nothing but a tan.
On the other hand, Northern Europeans, and possibly other Northern types, don’t tan very well (they often burn) and even when they do, they don’t get all that dark. The very dark skin of Blacks, Papuans, Melanesians, some Aborigines and some South Indians is simply a result of evolving in those parts of the Earth where the sun shines brightest of all.
But Whites ought to give up the fantasy of about their white skin being best of all – because other races have some very white skin too. See the Korean woman in the photo below for example.
A Korean woman. She has a shade of White on her skin that is lacking in almost all Caucasians – it is probably only seen in Ireland and Scotland and it’s probably even lacking in Sweden and Norway. But this very White phenotype seen in some Koreans and Northern Chinese differs from that of European Whites in that it is more glossy. European White skin looks more chalky or powdery.
This phenotype also has skin that looks more like porcelain and is reflective of light. The very light European skin tends to be less light-reflective.
Here’s a pretty cool chart showing degrees of skin lightness versus darkness around the world.
UV radiation chart along with zones of skin color. Zone 1 has the darkest skin of all . Zone 2, which includes Italians and Spaniards, has skin that tans easily. Zone 3 contains light skin that enables residents to absorb as much Vitamin D as possible from the sun due to lack of sunlight at higher latitudes.
Note that there is also pretty high UV radiation in parts of South America (Peru), in the heart of Mexico, in Southwest Arabia (especially Yemen), in Southern India and Sri Lanka and in Indonesia, Malaysia, Southern Philippines and New Guinea. Indonesians and Malaysians are known for being darker than many other SE Asian groups.
According to this chart, the darkest people of all are Blacks from Mozambique and Cameroon in Africa and Aborigines from Darwin in North Australia. A look at the same chart, much expanded, in the original paper, shows that the next darkest are Blacks, the Okavango in Namibia and the Sara in Chad (Table 6, p. 19). The chart shows that the lightest people are in Netherlands, followed by Germany and then the northern parts of the UK.
Note on the map that Tibet and parts of the Amazon should have some very dark-skinned people, but those who live there are lighter than you would expect based on UV. The paper suggests that the Tibetans are lighter because it is so cold there that most of their body is covered up all the time and only the face is uncovered.
The face is lighter to collect what Vitamin D it can as so much of the body cannot collect Vitamin D due to clothing. The Amazonian Indians are known to be shade-seeking and the paper suggests that this may account for their lighter skin.
Most Whites don’t really have White skin anyway. I am looking at my own skin here as I type, and it looks more pink than White.
This is the nationalist Right, including the White nationalist Right’s hero, Geert Wilders. Yeah, he’s socking it to those scummy Muslims and those dirty immigrants, who, it turns out, are all Muslims too.
This is what you get, idiots. When you vote for Islamophobes, you get the worst Zionists of all. I’ve been through all of the anti-Islam sites out there, including all of the blogs. It is axiomatic that if one if an Islamophobic nut, one is also a fanatical Zionist. One goes with the other.
Wilders is calling for Israel to annex the West Bank, ramp up settlement building as much as possible, and apparently to send the Palestinians to Jordan (“Jordan is the Palestinian homeland.”) This is even more radical than Avigdor Lieberman.
Like I said, this is par for the course with Muslim-haters. If you’re a Muslim hater, you heart Israel. Why? Because the most fanatical Muslim haters of all are in Israel. Because Muslims hate Israel, and therefore, Israel must be good. Because Israel is part of the Judeo-Christian West under assault by Islam.
On the other hand, most anti-Semites love Muslims. This makes no sense to me. I’ve been around enough Muslims to figure out that they are not the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, they are much worse than that. Confined to their sandboxes, they do a minimum of harm, but we let that cat out of the bag long ago. If you hate Israel, you love Islam. If you hate Jews, you love Muslims. Why? Once again, the biggest and nastiest anti-Semites out there these days are Muslims. They’re the coolest and baddest Jew-haters of all! Yeah! If you hate Israel, well, Islam does too.
Of course there’s a sensible line that almost no one takes. It could look something like this:
They both suck.
The Arab World sucks.
They both suck.
A better line is proposed by the Left in the region, especially the Left in Iran and Afghanistan. The Left in that part of the world is not wild about Islam, after all, Muslims pretty much exterminated the Left in that part of the world, and Islam is behind almost everything reactionary in Central Asia, in particular women’s rights. This is where RAWA, the famous Afghan women’s movement, is coming from. They grew out of the Afghan Maoist Left. The Left in that region also hates Israel of course, in line with the general Left line on Zionism.
Pretty amazing find. Joran van der Sloot made a video of his coffee shop in Thailand and posted it to Youtube!
He went to Thailand and opened up his own coffee shop very quickly. You can see him at 2:43 in the video, surrounded by friends, holding a drink, wearing a baseball cap backwards, with a white shirt and green shorts. He made a bunch of good friends very quickly after landing in Thailand. Typical of a psychopath. They can make many friends very quickly anywhere they go. Their friends often like them very much and hang around with them due to the confidence and charm of the psychopath and the fringe benefits hanging around him gets you.
He bought the coffee shop with money he made trafficking Thai girls. Students hung out there, and he used the coffee shop to recruit new girls to prostitution.
In Thailand, he apparently enrolled at Rangsit University as a cover, then set up a company called DD Consulting, a fake modeling agency apparently designed to recruit underage Thai women into prostitution. By day, he played the role of a student, complete with a student visa, but it was all fake. At night, he prowled the bars with his business cards finding girls to prostitute. He even had business cards printed up with his company on them.
He then apparently trafficked them to the Netherlands on fake promises of being strippers in the best clubs in the Netherlands. He told the girls they would get $15,000/month once they were in the Netherlands. They never saw a dime. Once there, they were trafficked as sex slaves. He received a $13,000 finder’s fee for each one. In Thailand, he went by a fake name, Murphy Jenkins. So the man is also a sex trafficker.
Here is a video of him trying to trick two Thai women into prostitution. He has two Dutch male accomplices with him.
Two of the Thai women that he trafficked have vanished, and no one knows where they are. They may be dead.
Thai police are investigating him in relation to the two disappeared Thai girls and have requested access to him in the Peruvian prison where he now resides.
Dutch police investigated him for sex trafficking, but dropped the investigation due to lack of evidence. This is typical of a true psychopath, almost worming away from the law. They are very good at covering their tracks and can often lie their way out of trouble. They pay off people, change their story so much that even the cops can’t think straight anymore, do whatever it takes. Then they dash to other parts of the globe, get a fake name and vanish again.
He spent most of 2009 flitting around the globe playing in poker tournaments. He won $12,000 at a tournament in Macau. He met a young woman in the casino and invited her back up to his room, where he assaulted her. Sound familiar? She is now cooperating with Macau police, and the Macau cops are working with their colleagues in Peru.
Here is Joran van der Sloot’s Youtube page! Amazing. Criminals have their own Youtube pages. Too much, man. There are plenty of comments on the page, including some from beautiful young women telling him how much they like or love him. These charismatic psychopaths often have hoards of female followers, and they can get women anywhere they go. If you go to Ted Bundy videos on Youtube, you will see many comments by young women saying that they love him or that they would have sex with him if he were alive. One said she would do him, but only if she had a weapon with her.
Is Joran van der Sloot a psychopath or a sociopath? He is clearly a psychopath, not a sociopath. His psychopathy is a result either of being born that way or a combination of that and something in his early environment.
Let’s look at his Youtube page for clues about his psychopathy:
If I would have to describe myself as an animal it would be a snake however I want to be a lion and one day I will be a lion.
Of course. A snake, then a lion. Psychopath. Sure he’s a snake. All psychopaths are. Sure he wants to be a lion and rule the roost. All psychopaths do.
Favorite TV shows are crime shows. Of course. Favorite music? Gangsta rap. Sure. If you read the short intro, you will see that there is a certain slickness, phoniness, and lack of depth to his prose. This is a characteristic of the psychopath. They literally make it up as they go along, and they are about as “deep” as any other wild animal.
In the Peruvian case, it looks like he slipped her a date rape drug, GHB. An empty packet of the drug was found in her car. Then he probably led her up to his room and tried to assault her. She was just coming out as a lesbian, and she probably did not want to do it, so he probably got furious and killed her. He may have also killed her for her money, since she won a lot gambling that night. The story about her finding stories about him on his computer and locking him out of his room are probably just more in the endless series of Joran lies.
I figure with Natalie Holloway, it was the same MO. Met her at a casino, got her drunk and slipped her a date rape drug. On the beach, she may well have gone into seizures from the GHB combined with the alcohol. Then she died on the beach. He freaked out because he caused her death by slipping her the GHB when she was drunk, so he disposed of the body at sea with the help of his buddies. She’s sleeping with the fishes and will never be found. The ocean is a damn fucking good place to dump a body! Can hardly think of a better one. Large lakes like the Great Lakes are pretty good too.
He didn’t exactly murder Natalie, but he’s responsible for her death by slipping her the dangerous GHB which killed her.
In some societies necrophilia was enacted owing to a belief that the soul of an unmarried woman would not find peace; among the Kachin of Myanmar, versions of a marriage ceremony were held to lay a dead virgin to rest, which would involve intercourse with the corpse. Similar practices existed in some pre-modern Central European societies when a woman who was engaged to be married died before the wedding.
Good God, how horrible!
Acts of necrophilia are reportedly displayed on Moche artifacts of Peru.
Wisdom of the Ancients
Herodotus writes in The Histories that, to discourage intercourse with a corpse, ancient Egyptians left deceased beautiful women to decay for “three or four days” before giving them to the embalmers. This practice originated from the need to discourage the men performing the funerary customs from having sexual interest in their charges.
Indeed, the same famous work discusses one Pharaonic era undertaker whose particular kink was screaming for his “Mummy” while doing the deed.
Birds and the Bees, or Animals Do It Too
Necrophilia is known to occur in animals, with a number of confirmed observations.
Kees Moeliker allegedly made one of these observations while he was sitting in his office at the Natuurmuseum Rotterdam, when he heard the distinctive thud of a bird hitting the glass facade of the building. Upon inspection, he discovered a drake (male) mallard lying dead about two meters from the building. Next to the downed bird there was a second drake mallard standing close by.
As Moeliker observed the couple, the living drake picked at the corpse of the dead one for a few minutes and then mounted the corpse and began copulating with it. The act of necrophilia lasted for about 75 minutes, in which time, according to Moeliker, the living drake took two short breaks before resuming with copulating behavior.
Moeliker surmised that at the time of the collision with the window the two mallards were engaged in a common pattern in duck behavior which is called “rape flight.” “When one died the other one just went for it and didn’t get any negative feedback – well, didn’t get any feedback,” according to Moeliker. This is the first recorded case of necrophilia in the mallard duck- though not the only recorded case of homosexuality within the bird family.
The Cane Toads: an Unnatural History film shows a male toad copulating with a female toad who has been run over by a car. He goes on to do this for eight hours, although the entire eight-hour act is not depicted in the movie, thank God.
In the case of a praying mantis, necrophilia could be said to be part of their methods of reproduction. The larger female will sometimes decapitate or even eat her mate during copulation. However, this only happens in 5-31% of cases. However, given that the sexual activity of a male mantis is controlled by a brain-like ganglion in his abdomen it may not be appropriate to refer to him as a “corpse”, even when he is decapitated.
Dang man, a queer necrophiliac birdbrain odd duck, a ugly toad fucking a toadly chick for a full eight hours without even getting bored, worrying about genital warts or stopping to eat a fly, and male praying mantises with their brains in their dicks. I’ve heard of guys thinking with their dicks before, but that’s ridiculous.
Warning! This post is quite long – it runs to 126 pages. Frequently updated – last updated May 24, 2015.
Where the Dutch language begins and where it ends is an important question. Ethnologue splits Low Franconian-Low Saxon (whatever that is) into 15 languages – Flemish, Dutch, Zeelandic, Afrikaans, Achterhoeks, Drents, Gronings, Plautdietsch, Sallands, Low Saxon, Stellingwerfs, Twents, Veluws, Westphalian and East Frisian Low Saxon. Instead of the confusing Low Franconian-Low Saxon, we will henceforth refer to the same as “Macro-Dutch.”
This treatment will lump together many of the Dutch Low Saxon lects as Dutch, put East Frisian Low Saxon into Dutch, put Westphalian and German Low Saxon into German, move Limburgish out of German to Dutch where it belongs, and create a dozen new Macro-Dutch languages.
An important question is the position of Frisian languages in all of this. Currently Ethnologue has them in Anglo-Frisian. Gooskens 2004 makes a good case that Frisian is better analyzed as Macro-Dutch than Anglo-Frisian based on Levenshtein distance. She is probably correct, but I am going to leave Frisian outside of Dutch until I can analyze it better.
Anyway, genetically, Frisian is a part of an Anglo-Frisian family (Gooskens 2004). However, Frisian has drifted far away from English due to massive influence from Dutch such that it now is closer to Dutch than the Scandinavian languages are to each other (Gooskens 2004). It depends on if you wish to analyze Frisian based on its genetic history or on which language it is closest to.
Neither is German intelligible to Dutch speakers, even after 3-4 years of studying German. This even holds for Low German, which is often held to be intelligible with Dutch. It’s not, even after 3-4 years of study and even to speakers of Dutch-German border lects in the Netherlands that are presumably closer to Low German than the rest of Dutch. After 3-4 years of German, Dutch speakers have only 55% intelligibility of Low German, and the ones on the border have only 59% intelligibility of Low German (Gooskens in publication).
Nor are Frisian and Dutch mutually intelligible, another common claim. They have combined intelligibility of 61% (Gooskens 2005). Neither are Afrikaans and Dutch mutually intelligible. Combined intelligibility of the two languages is 55%, the same as Spanish and Portuguese (Gooskens 2005).
The Dutch either have a nationalist complex or are possible simply ignorant or indifferent on the question of what constitutes “Dutch.” They take a very conservative, nationalist view of the language question. To the Dutch, every language spoken in the Netherlands and some spoken outside of it is Dutch. Brabantian, Flemish, Veluws, Afrikaans, Limburgish, Bergish, Guelderish, Kleverlandish and Dutch Low Saxon are often all considered to be dialects of Dutch.
To be fair to the Dutch, I’m making a similar claim here, but instead of calling all of the above dialects of Dutch, I will call them separate languages under an umbrella called Macro-Dutch which subsumes them all.
The Dutch do recognize Limburgs and Low Saxon as minority languages.
Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Sweden do not recognize the languages under the umbrellas of Macro-Spanish, Macro-German, Macro-Italian, Macro-French and Macro-Swedish umbrella.
Spain does not recognize Asturian, Aragonese or Extremaduran. France does not recognize the many langues d’oil. Italian does not recognize Piedmontese, Ligurian, Lombard, Venetian, Emigliano, Romano, Neapolitan or Sicilian. Sweden does not recognize Scanian, Gutnish, Jamska or Dalecarlian. Germany does not recognize Bavarian, Swabian, High Franconian, Low German, Westphalian, Upper Saxon, Ripuarian or Pfaelzisch.
Probably the reasons that these languages are not recognized is due to the national consolidationist efforts behind a standard language and the fears of splintering the standard into substandard forms and the separatism that may ensue. So the Dutch are simply following in standard European modernist tradition.
This has resulted in problems and violations of language rights for speakers of other Low Franconian lects. For instance, Zeelandic is definitely a separate language, not a dialect of Dutch. Zeelandic speakers petitioned to have their language recognized as a minority language nine years ago, but the Dutch government has refused to grant this request.
The truth may disturb many Dutch speakers. For Dutch is not just the 15 languages confusingly listed in Ethnologue; it is actually 30 separate languages, which I will attempt to demonstrate below.
Method: Various “Dutch” and “Low Franconian” lects were analyzed on the basis of mutual intelligibility with Standard Dutch to see if they warranted treatment as separate languages. A rough guide was >90% intelligibility = Dutch dialect and <90% intelligibility = separate “Macro-Dutch” language. There are reasons for choosing 90% as a metric. Below 90%, and it gets difficult to discuss complex or technical subjects. Also, 90% seems to be where Ethnologue splits dialects from languages these days, and they are in charge of giving out ISO codes.
Other lects in Ethnologue’s treatment were analyzed to determine whether they belonged in “Macro-German” or “Macro-Dutch.” Westphalian and German Low Saxon were moved to Macro-German; the rest were moved to Macro-Dutch.
Anecdotal reports and scientific studies were reviewed, and native speaker informants were interviewed. Where intelligibility estimates are controversial, scientific intelligibility studies could always settle the matter. The creole was not counted.
Results:Ethnologue’s Low Franconian-Low Saxon was expanded from 15 into 32 languages based on mutual intelligibility. Below, separate languages are in bold, while dialects are in italics. Dutch, like Arabic, Italian, German, Chinese and so many others, is a macrolanguage.
Discussion: This work is merely a working hypothesis intended to be discussed and criticized by scholars and interested parties. I would be interested in criticism on a peer review basis. Criticism must be both constructive and friendly, otherwise it will be summarily rejected. This is very much a work in progress.
In recent years, there were five Dutch creoles spoken in Indonesia, Guyana and the US Virgin Islands. It appears that four of the five are extinct, and one is barely alive.
Berbice Creole Dutch is barely alive, spoken in Guyana by only four speakers. There are another 15 with limited competence. It is spoken in the Berbice River region of the country. About 1/3 of the words and most of the morphology is from the Nigerian Bantu language Izon, a language with 1 million speakers. The rest of the lexicon is mostly from Dutch. 10% of the words are borrowings from Guyanese Creole English and Arawak, an Indian language still spoken in Guyana.
Low Franconian Languages and Dialects
Standard Dutch, Algemeen Nederlands or AN (henceforth, AN) is a major world language spoken by all 15 million residents of the Netherlands and an additional 7 million speakers elsewhere. Although one might suspect that Dutch goes all the way back to the oldest Old Franconian, actually, the lects closest to Old Franconian are French Flemish, West Flemish and Zeeland Flemish. Dutch proper seems to have broken off sooner.
Dutch has many dialects, but they are all more or less intelligible. There are two forms of Dutch in general – Hollandic and Brabantian. Both are part of AN. Modern Belgian Dutch is much more Brabantian than Hollandic.
There is also Brabantian Netherlands Dutch, a dialect of Netherlands Dutch, and Brabantian Belgian Dutch, a dialect of Belgian Dutch or Vlaams (Grondelaers 2009).
Surinamese Dutch is a Dutch dialect, easily intelligible with AN, that is spoken in Suriname. It has 280,000 speakers, or 60% of the population. It is the official language of Suriname.
Netherlands Dutch is the Dutch dialect spoken in the Netherlands, differentiating with Belgian Dutch. It is widely understood throughout the country, especially the Standard Dutch variety of this dialect that has been popularized in the Netherlands since the 1960’s.
Netherlands Brabantian Dutch is a Dutch dialect spoken in North Brabant Province in the Netherlands (Grondelaers 2009). It is easily intelligible with AN. This dialect has about 2.45 million speakers.
Belgian Brabantian Dutch is the same thing as the Verkavelingsvlaams described below. It is spoken in North Brabant Province and in Antwerp Province by about 3.4 million speakers. It is being replaced by French in Brussels, but it is still widely spoken elsewhere.
Stadsfries is a mixed dialect spoken in certain urban areas of Friesland such as the towns of Leeuwarden, Dokkum, Bolsward, Sneek, Stavoren, Harlingen and Franeker. Originally Frisian speakers, they gave up Frisian for Dutch about 500 years ago. The vocabulary is mostly Dutch with Frisian pronunciation. AN speakers can understand this dialect pretty easily. Lately it is seriously declining and has low prestige, hence it is becoming a sociolect spoken mostly by low-income people in the cities.
Snekers is a Stadsfries dialect spoken in the Friesland city of Sneker. It traces back to 1600 or so when locals abandoned West Frisian for Hollandic speech as an elite gesture, since Hollandic was not spoken much outside of the Holland Provinces. By 1800, the rest of the city had modeled their elitist behavior after the rich and the whole city spoke Snekers. It continued to be a highly valued speech until 1900. People kept speaking it a lot until WW2.
The disdain towards Frisian, seen as peasant speech, continues in many Snekers speakers to this day. In the 20th Century, many rural people moved to the city, and many foreigners moved there too. Snekers became a speech used only by Sneker natives among themselves. They spoke Dutch or sometimes Frisian to newcomers. Nowadays, Snekers is dying. The youth have taken it up, but they speak a watered down version that is probably intelligible to AN speakers.
Hollandic Dutch is the other large dialect of Dutch besides Brabantian. Hollandic is spoken in the provinces of North Holland and South Holland by about 6 million speakers. This dialect is intelligible with AN. Hollandic Dutch is the variety that is closest to AN. It is divided into two lects, North Hollandic Dutch and South Hollandic Dutch.
IJmuidens is a dialect spoken in by the lower classes in IJmuiden, the third largest port in the Netherlands, in North Holland. The dialect is probably readily intelligible with AN.
Haarlems is the dialect spoken in Haarlem in North Holland, especially by the lower classes. It does not differ much from Amsterdams or AN. This area has long had the reputation for being the place where the purest Dutch is spoken, although this is no longer true anymore. Nowadays, the purest Dutch is spoken in places like Dronten on the Dutch polders in the IJsselmeer.
Nijmeegs is a very interesting dialect spoken in the city of Nijmegen in eastern Gelderland. Although strictly speaking it should be a South Gulderish dialect, it has heavy Hollandic features such that it may well be intelligible to AN speakers. Until the late 1800’s, residents of the city were speaking a typical South Gulderish dialect. However, in the late 1800’s, the upper class of the city began speaking a Randstad dialect similar to Amsterdams and Haags.
The lower classes quickly began speaking the same dialect, and the traditional dialect of the city disappeared, as it was poorly valued anyway. Nijmeegs still has some East Brabantian, Limburgish and Achterhoeks features, but it also lacks many characteristic Limburgish and Brabantian features of surrounding dialects.
Amsterdams is the dialect of the city of Amsterdam, spoken by the lower classes in the city. It is still spoken in the city, especially in certain neighborhoods. Although it is located in North Hollands, Amsterdams is more of a South Hollands dialect. A book published in 1874 found an astounding 19 different dialects spoken in the city.
Although it is still spoken, Amsterdams is associated with lower-classes, street toughs, etc, such that many Amsterdammers try to unlearn the dialect in order to improve their career chances. Amsterdams has many Yiddish words due to the fact that a large Jewish community has traditionally lived there. Amsterdams is intelligible with AN.
Haags is a South Hollandic dialect spoken by the lower classes in The Hague. It is easily intelligible with AN. The dialect is dying out and undergoing serious leveling, but since the 1980’s there has been a movement to bring back the dialect, and more residents of the city are speaking it, often with intentionally exaggerated features. Its syntax is similar to AN and is quite different from the nearby Rotterdams and Leids dialects.
Gouds is a South Hollandic dialect spoken in the city of Gouda, 20 miles northeast of Rotterdam. In many ways it is similar to AN. With mass immigration and compulsory education in AN, the real Gouds is hardly heard anymore.
Rotterdams is the South Hollandic dialect spoken in the city of Rotterdam. It differs little from AN. This is because the standard for Hollandic dialects, dating back to 1600, was the Rotterdams dialect. Its influence spread throughout the region, first to the upper classes and then to the lower classes as they imitated the speech of the rich.
The Rotterdams dialect does have many unique features, mostly due the waves of immigrants who have come to the city, each bringing their own language which added to the Rotterdams dialect. In the 1800’s, there was a large influence from Brabantian and Zeelandic speakers. In the 1900’s, the influences have become more varied, as speakers of Arabic and the Papiamento or Surinamese creoles added their words to the mix. It is still heard throughout the Rotterdam region and in the cities of Spijkenisse, Hellevoetsluis and Capelle aan den IJssel to the east and southwest.
Bildts is a mixed Frisian-Dutch lect spoken in the Het Bildt, a polder region in Friesland northwest of Leeuwarden that dates back to the 1500’s. Many immigrants came from the South Holland area to this part of Friesland to help create the polders. Their South Hollandic lects mixed with the Frisian spoken by the local farm workers to create this interesting mixed dialect.
Intelligibility between Bildts and AN is not known, but in a dialect map published in 1974 showed Bildts the furthest of all from AN (Berns 1991). On the basis of that study, Bildts may indeed be a separate language, but better intelligibility data would be nice.
Midslands is a North Hollandic dialect, similar to Stadsfries, that is still spoken in on Terschelling Island off the coast of Friesland in the village of Midsland. It has Hollandic and Frisian influences. Intelligibility data is lacking.
Amelands is a another dialect like Midslands and Stadsfries. It has mostly Hollandic vocabulary with Frisian grammar. There are four villages on the island, each with their own dialect. Nevertheless, all dialects are intelligible with each other.
The dialect developed in the 1700’s when Hollandic migrants moved to the island, probably for trade, and the locals gave up their Frisian speech for Hollandic. The process was not complete, and Amelands was the result. It is still very widely used. 85% of youth continue to speak Amelands. Intelligibility with AN is not known.
Westfries is a highly divergent dialect of Dutch spoken in West Friesland that is not to be confused with the West Frisian language. It is dying out and is only spoken by about 8% of the population. There are many subdialects, often one for every village or town they often differ considerably.
There is some confusion about the difference between this Dutch dialect and the West Frisian language proper. It has heavy Frisian influence. A better way to describe it might be to say that it is a mixed language of Dutch and West Frisian, almost a “creole.” It could also be described as Dutch with a heavy Frisian substrate.
Westfries was apparently a Frisian language for centuries until it died out about 200 years ago. It appears to have transformed from a full Frisian language to a form of Dutch. The strong variety is still used in cabaret performances.
Another way to look at it is that Westfries is one of the last of the more pure Hollandic dialects. Most of the rest of Hollandic has undergone serious leveling such that most of the peculiar features, such as the Frisian substrate that characterized all Hollandic, have washed out. AN speakers reportedly have a hard time understanding Westfries, and it is about as distant from AN as Zeelandic. There appears to be more than one language inside Westfries, since it’s not uncommon for speakers of varying Westfries lects to not understand each other.
Westfries consists of two parts. One, the Westfries language, which consists of Island Westfries. And two, Land Westfries, which is part of the North Hollandic language.
Island Westfries or Eland Westfries is a major split in Westfries. This is spoken on the islands and former islands of Texel, Vlieland and Wieringen and on land in the city of Enkhuizen. Island Westfries has poor intelligibility with the more common Land Westfries due to its archaic character, hence it may be a separate language.
Wierings is an Island Westfries dialect spoken on the former island of Wieringen. It is very close to Tess, the dialect of Texel Island. Wierings is rapidly disappearing and is only spoken by the older generation. Younger people speak a weak Wierings which looks more like Land Westfries. There is a navy base on Wieringen, so many non-islanders have come to live there.
Tessels is an Island Westfries dialect spoken on the island of Texel in North Holland that is so different from the rest of Island Westfries that it must be a separate language. It is still widely spoken, especially in the rural areas, but it is not much spoken in the larger cities. There are different varieties of Tessels spoken in the towns of Oudeschild, De Cocksdorp, Den Hoorn and Oosterend. The dialects differ greatly, and speakers from different towns do not necessarily understand each other fully, hence intelligibility is somewhat marginal among the dialects.
North Hollandic is a language spoken in North Holland Province. It consists of the Land Westfries, Zaans and Waterlands dialects. The situation is confusing, as there is also North Hollandic Dutch, a dialect of AN.
Land Westfries is a dialect of North Hollandic Dutch, a major split in the Westfries language. This variety is less conservative and has been influenced more by Dutch. The more archaic varieties of Island Westfries have poor intelligibility with Land Westfries, hence it may be a separate language.
Kennemerlands is a North Hollandic Dutch lect spoken in Kennermerland around the cities of Haarlem and Beverwijk. It arose in the Middle Ages due to contact between Frisian speaking fishermen and speakers of North Hollandic Dutch. Towards the north, it looks more like Westfries and the Zaans dialect. It is best analyzed as a transitional dialect between North Hollandic and Westfries. It is unintelligible to AN speakers, and is apparently a separate language.
Durkers or Egmonds is a strange dialect, often analyzed as either Westfries or Kennemerlands, spoken on Egmond aan Zee in the north of North Hollands Province. In this treatment, we will analyze it as Kennemerlands. It is not intelligible with AN (Anonymous January 2010)
Zaans-Waterlands is a North Hollandic lect spoken in North Holland Province. It is composed of two dialects, Zaans and Waterlands.
Zaans is an archaic North Hollandic dialect spoken in the Zaan, an old settled and industrial area between Amsterdam and Haarlem. It is spoken in the city of Zandam and in the towns of Wormerveer, Krommenie and Zaandijk. It apparently arose out of Westfries. Zaans has difficult intelligibility with AN.
Waterlands is a Zaans-Waterlands dialect that is spoken between the Zaan and the IJsselmeer, the inland sea in the Netherlands. This dialect is very archaic, though it is similar to Zaan and Westfries. It has difficult intelligibility with AN.
Volendams is a Waterlands dialect that is extremely divergent. It is unintelligible with AN, and even other Waterlands speakers have a hard time understanding it, so it is probably a separate language.
The city of Volendam was isolated for centuries, and this gave rise to its strange language. This isolation, combined with immigration of speakers of other odd dialects from fishing villages around the Zuiderzee, helped shape Volendams. Volendams received huge immigration in 1859 following the evacuation of the former Zuiderzee island of Schokland due to fierce storms. The Schokland residents spoke a strange dialect called Schokkers which was basically a Low Saxon dialect similar to Urkers.
Markens is a very unusual Waterlands dialect that is spoken on the former island of Marken. It also received large input from the fleeing residents of Schokland. Markens is one of the most unusual dialects in the Netherlands and has been the object of many studies. It has difficult intelligibility with AN, but intelligibility with the rest of Waterlands is not known.
Markens appears to have a heavy base of Frisian or even Old Frisian. It appears to be undergoing dialect leveling under the pressure of the mass media and immigration, and young people typically do not speak pure Markens.
Goois is a North Hollandic dialect spoken in Het Gooi, a region in the far southeast of North Hollands. Cities in this region include Naarden, Bussum, Huizon, Blaricum, Laren and Hilversum. Opinions on this dialect are varied. One view is it is a Dutch-Low Saxon transition dialect, mostly in the far east of Blaricum, Laren and Hilversum. That would be transitional to West Veluws. This view sees the rest of the area as Hollandic. There is also influence from the Utrechts dialects. The dialect is still alive, especially in the three eastern cities discussed above.
South Hollandic is a lect spoken in South Hollandic Province. A similar situation is going on here as with Brabantian and North Hollandic. As there is Brabantian Dutch and North Hollandic Dutch and Brabantian and North Hollandic languages, so there is South Hollandic Dutch and the South Hollandic language. The South Hollandic language is mostly gone now, as dialect leveling has moved most of the dialects to South Hollandic Dutch. However, it remains alive in the form of the Strandhollands and East IJsselmonds dialects.
Aalsmeers is a dialect spoken in the city of Aalsmeer in southern North Holland near the border with South Holland. Traditionally, it was a Strandhollands dialect, but it has lost most of its Strandhollands features and is probably not a part of that group anymore. It has a similar genesis with the Strandhollands language, in that it was formed by immigrants from the Frisian-speaking north moving down to the area long ago.
However, due to geographical isolation (they were cut off on three sides by marshes or lakes and only accessible via a sliver of land) they were cut off from the rest of Strandhollands and the convergent evolution with it ended. There was also a group of Mennonites who came down from Friesland and settled in the area.
Immigrants probably kept speaking Frisian here longer than in other places. In general, this dialect is best seen as transitional between North and South Hollandic. The original Aalsmeers dialect is nearly extinct. Intelligibility data with AN is not known.
Strandhollands is a very conservative dialect of the Hollandic language spoken in the fishing villages in the area of Sheveningen and Katwijik aan Zee in the Holland Provinces. Intelligibility in general is marginal at best and hardly possible at worst between this lect and AN (Anonymous January 2010), hence it is a separate language.
This is a very archaic South Hollandic language that has preserved many old features, while the rest of South Hollandic behind the dunes has trended towards Hollandic Dutch. Strandhollands retains many features of Medieval Dutch. It is interesting that the standard dialect of The Hague is close nearby.
It emerged about 400 years ago and its provenance is obscure. Probably fishermen from elsewhere on the coast, such as Friesland and and the Zuiderzee moved into the area to take up fishing. The language has a strong Frisian substrate. Probably the isolation of the villages helped to keep the lect different from surrounding evolving lects.
The Strandhollands dialects become more intelligible with AN, in general, as one moves to the south. The least comprehensible ones are generally in North Holland Province. Intelligibility data between this and the rest of South Hollandic, especially East IJsselmonds, is needed.
Wijk aan Zee is a Strandhollands dialect spoken in the fishing village of Wijk aan Zee that has poor intelligibility with AN (Anonymous January 2010). The town is located west of Beverwijk.
Zandvoort is a Strandhollands dialect that is hardly comprehensible to AN speakers (Anonymous January 2010). It is spoken in Zandvoort on the coast west of Haarlem.
Noordwijks is a Strandhollands dialect spoken in the fishing village of Noordwijks an Zee in South Holland Province. Intelligibility with AN is somewhat marginal (Anonymous January 2010). Noordwijks is probably the easiest Strandhollands lect for AN speakers to understand.
Katwijks is a Strandhollands lect spoken in the fishing village of Katwijks an Zee in South Holland Province. It is based on an archaic version of Leids, the dialect of the city of Leiden. Katwijks, like Zandvoort and Wijk aan Zee to the north, is barely comprehensible to AN speakers (Anonymous January 2010).
Schevenings is a Strandhollands dialect spoken in the fishing village of Scheveningen in South Holland Province. It has marginal intelligibility with AN (Anonymous January 2010). This dialect is said to be based an archaic version of Haags, the dialect of The Hague.
Zoetermeersis a very divergent South Hollandic dialect spoken in the city of Zoetermeer 10 miles east of the Hague. This was always an isolated farming village, so it was not effected much by the trends effecting the Haags dialect a short while away. In the 1960’s, the population grew from 10,000 to 120,000 as immigrants flooded into the Hague region. Hence, only a few locals speak the dialect anymore.
Westhoeks is spoken in the Westhoek in northwest North Brabant. It’s a Hollandic dialect spoken in Brabant. No one is sure why. They are Protestants, and this may have something to do with it, but it’s more likely a case similar to Bildts, where many Hollandic speaking immigrants moved to the area after the polders were created in the 1600’s and afterward. Intelligibility with the rest of South Hollandic is not known.
Westhoeks is divergent enough from the rest of South Hollandic to be given its own category in many analyses. It has some influence from Dordts, the old dialect of Dordrect not far to the north.
Fijnaarts is a Westhoeks dialect spoken in the village of Fijnaart in North Brabant.
Dordts is a South Hollandic dialect spoken in the city of Dordrect that is intelligible with the rest of South Hollandic. It has heavy Zeelandic and Brabantian influences. In the 20th Century, it underwent dialect leveling under the influence of the much less divergent Rotterdams dialect in Rotterdam. The strongest Dordts is now heard in the center of the city.
IJsselmonds is a South Hollandic lect spoken south of Rotterdam on the old island of IJsselmond, now reclaimed from the sea. The former island can now be seen via satellite as #9 on this map. In general, it is south of Rotterdam between the Niewe Maas and the Spijkenisse Rivers. The region is now heavily industrial, particularly gone over to shipbuilding. The lect is quite a bit different from both AN and Rotterdams. It has two main variants, West and East IJsselmonds.
West IJsselmonds has come under severe Rotterdams influence and can hardly be heard in its pure form anymore. It is only barely alive in the town of Pernis.
East IJsselmonds is extremely divergent from AN and Rotterdams and cannot be understood outside the region. It has mostly undergone dialect leveling and in general is rarely heard. The youth speak a watered down version that is intelligible with AN. Only in the city of Hedrik-Ido-Ambrecht can the true lect be heard on an everyday basis. Given that it’s unintelligible outside the region, it may be a separate language. Intelligibility data between this and the rest of South Hollandic, especially Strandhollands, is needed.
Ambachts is the last remaining holdout of the East IJsselmonds language. This is a deeply conservative dialect, the most conservative of the language, such that the lect of one village may differ greatly from the next. It has striking influences from the Umbrechts-Alblasserwards dialect group to the east.
Baorendrechts is a deeply conservative East IJsselmonds dialect that is spoken in the city of Barendrecht. It has been mostly superseded by AN these days.
Bulessers is another deeply conservative East IJsselmonds dialect spoken in the city of Bolnes. It is almost extinct, under heavy pressure from AN.
Zwindrechts is an East IJsselmonds dialect spoken in Zwijndrecht. It has undergone serious dialect leveling due to the effects of industrialization but can still be heard, mostly in farmers. It has some Dordts influence.
Rekkarkeks is a South Hollandic lect spoken in the city of Ridderkerk, halfway between Rotterdam and Dordrect. This is a very unusual lect that is very different from AN. Hence is has poor to marginal intelligibility with AN, and thus, it may well be a separate language.
It is located just to the east of the East IJsselmonds language, hence its unusualness is probably due to its East IJsselmonds features. It is barely alive and has only a few speakers left. A diluted version is still quite alive. Intelligibility data with the East IJsselmonds language is urgently needed.
Hoekschewaards is a South Hollandic dialect spoken on a former island southwest of Dordrecht, between the Spijkenisse River and the Haringvliet Channel. The city of Numansdorp is located in this region. This dialect has strong IJsselmonds and Albasserwards tendencies. These are much stronger than the Dordts influences. It has three divisions, West Hoekschewaards, East Hoekschewaards and Gravendeel. It is still very much alive, though it is coming under heavy influence from Rotterdams and AN.
West Albasserwards is spoken in the Western part of the Albasserwards, east of Rotterdam about halfway to the Utrecht border. The dialect is dying out in many areas, and there is little interest in preserving it. However, in many of the rural areas, a strong dialect is still alive.
In the eastern part of the Albasserwards, the dialect is like that of Utrecht, but in the west it is quite Hollandic, although it has some Utrecht influences. The dialect differs even from village to village. It is spoken in cities such as Sliedrecht and Papendrecht. The Papendrecht dialect is almost gone due to heavy immigration.
Slierechsis the very divergent West Albasserwards dialect spoken in the city of Sliedrecht. People here have taken more interest in their dialect than elsewhere in the region, and there are regular CD’s and books issued on it.
Utrechts-Alblasserwaards is a dialect group of Hollandic dialects spoken in Utrecht Province, far southeast South Hollands and a small part of Gelderland. To the south there are dialects heading into Brabantian and to the east, there are more dialects heading into South Gulderish. The dialect has low prestige, and there is little interest in it, even among speakers. Nevertheless, it is still learned by children, and there are 330,000 speakers of this dialect.
Utrechts is spoken by the lower classes of the city of Utrecht, capital of Utrecht Province. Nowadays it is spoken more in the rural areas around the city than in the city itself, but even in the city, it is still spoken in certain districts. There is a lot of immigration into the city and emigration out of it, so the dialect is dying.
Vijfheerenlands is an Utrechts-Alblasserwaards dialect spoken in the Vijfheerenland region in the southeast of South Holland. This area includes the cities of Vianen, Meerkerk, Leerdam and Lexmond.
Eemlands is a confusing set of dialects spoken in the eastern part of Utrecht and has strong Veluws influence. Some say that they are Utrechts-Alblasserwaards dialects, and others say that they are West Veluws. The best analysis is that they are transitional between the two varieties, in other words, that they are Low Franconian-Low Saxon transitional dialects. They are spoken in Soest, Amersfoort and Bunschoten. Amersfoort and Bunschoten tend to be considered more West Veluws, and Soest tends to be seen as more Utrechts. With the exception of Bunschoten, these dialects are highly endangered.
Geldersevalleis is a set of dialects spoken in the Gelders Valley, 2/3 of which is in Gelderland and 1/3 of which is in Utrechts. The towns of Ede, Wageningen and Veenendaal are located in this region. These dialects are very hard to characterize, as they have West Veluws, Utrechts and South Guelderish tendencies. They are seriously declining and becoming more Hollandized.
West Veluws is a strange dialect usually collated with Dutch Low Saxon, but which is in fact a Low Franconian dialect. Practically speaking it is best seen as transitional between Low Franconian and Low Saxon. For the most part it is intelligible with AN, but as one moves to the north and east of the West Veluws area, West Veluws gets harder for AN speakers to understand. This dialect has heavy Dutch influence. In most places, this is a dying dialect, and it is not spoken much by young people anymore.
Even the forms of West Veluws still spoken in the home are coming under increasing AN influence. It is spoken in Amersfoort, Spackenburg, Bunschoten, Nijkerk, Barneveld, Putten, Voorthuizen, Ermelo, Elspeet, Uddel, Leuvenum, Harderwijk, Hierden, Nunspeet, Lunteren, Otterlo and Huenderlo. In Nijkerk, Amersfoort, Spackenburg and Bunschoten in the west of the West Veluws region, the dialect is nearly dead.
Brabantian is actually a separate language. It is distinct from Netherlands Brabantian Dutch, which is merely a dialect of Dutch (Grondelaers 2009). The real hardcore Brabantian is dying out, but it is highly divergent, and Dutch speakers say it is incomprehensible. Intelligibility is far lower than for Zeelandic. However, Verkavelingsvlaams speakers can understand Brabantian pretty well, since Verkavelingsvlaams is very Brabantian.
Brabantian is dying out in the Netherlands, but it is still spoken in Tilburg and in the rural areas of Nord Brabant. There is quite a bit of confusion about what is the pure Brabantian and what is Brabantian Dutch, but the key is intelligibility. Brabantian Dutch is easily comprehensible to an AN speaker, and the real Brabantian is not at all. Other than South Brabantian, which is a separate language, all of the Brabantian dialects are mutually intelligible.
North Central Brabantian is a dialect of Brabantian that is spoken in the Netherlands and Belgium in a strip that runs along the border around the towns of Ravels, Tilburg, Loon op Zant, Waalwijik, Vlifjmen, Huesderf and Drunen.
Tilburgs is a hard North Central Brabantian dialect that is still widely spoken in the city of Tilburg in the southern part of the Netherlands. It is intelligible with the rest of Brabantian (Anonymous January 2010).
East Brabantian is spoken in the eastern part of North Brabant. It is one of the main Brabantian divisions. The various divisions of East Brabantian include Kempenlands, North Meierjis, Peellands, Geldrops and Heeze en Lendes.
It includes the towns of Eindhoven, Veldhoven, Vught, Boxtel, Oirshchot, Best, Acht, Middelbeers, Eersel, Waalre, Mierlo, Luijksgestel, Bergelijk, Aalst, Heeze, Leende, Son, Helmond, Berjeijk, Schijndel, Lieshout, Beek, Gemert, Aarle-Rixtel, Aasten, Someren, Liessel, Duerne, Bakel, Mill, Veghel, Volkel, Uden, Nistelrode, Heesch, Zeeland, Boekel, Sint Michielsgestel in the Netherlands and Arendonk and Lommel in Belgium. East Brabantian is intelligible with the rest of Brabantian (Anonymous January 2010).
Northern Kempens is a hard East Brabantian dialect spoken in an area on the border of Belgium and the Netherlands in eastern Antwerp and western Limburg Provinces in Belgium and north into the Netherlands. Major cities and towns in the region include Turnhout, Arendonk, Eersel, Oirshchot, Hilvarenbeek, Retie, Oisterwijk, Boxtel, and Eindhoven. It is an area of poor soil with many marshes, bogs and forests. Lately, it is primarily a tourist region. Northern Kempens is intelligible with the rest of Brabantian (Anonymous January 2010).
Arendonk is a very specific, apparently highly diverse and possibly archaic Northern Kempens Brabantian dialect spoken near Turnhout close to the Dutch border. It is said to be unintelligible outside of the nearby area. Hence, it may well be a separate language.
Northwest Brabantian is a Brabantian dialect spoken in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is spoken in Breda and the surrounding region to south into Belgium.
Cities in which it is spoken include Breda, Baarle-Hertog, Oosterhout, Steenbergben, Made, Raamsdonksveer, Roosendaal, Putte, Geertruidenberg Hoogstraten, Brecht, Moerdjik, Oudenbosch, Bergen Op Zoom, Huijbergen, Rijsbergen and Woesndrecht in the Netherlands and Woostwezel, Meer, Ekeren, Merksom, Kapellen, Lillo, Stabroek, Meerle and Rijkevorsel in Belgium.
This dialect was created from the Eighty Years War. After the war, this Brabantian-speaking region was essentially depopulated, and afterward, a large movement of immigration from the Antwerp region occurred, spreading the tendencies of the Antwerps dialect. Northwest Brabantian consists of three major dialects, Antwerps, Baronies and Markiezaats. Antwerps is spoken in Antwerp and north to the Netherlands border. Baronies is spoken in the area around Breda and Markiezaats is spoken in the west over by Zeeland.
Bredaas is a Northwest Brabantian dialect spoken in the city of Breda that is dying out. It is mostly spoken in certain areas and with the older generation. It tends to re-emerge around Carnival time though.
Markiezaats is spoken in the west of North Brabant around the cities of Bergen op Zoom and Steenbergen. It extends over to the Drimmelen region to the northeast and generally includes everything west of Breda.
Antwerps is a hard Brabantian dialect spoken in Antwerp, Belgium. It is intelligible with all the rest of Brabantian (Anonymous January 2010). This dialect is widely disliked in Belgium because it is neither Flemish nor a Dutch dialect, and hence is poorly understood.
It is often heard in the Belgian media, but it is rarely subtitled, and this is the cause of the frustration with non-Antwerps speakers. East Flemish speakers say that they cannot understand it. This language is spoken in Antwerp. In a study, 51% of East Flemish speakers said that they wanted subtitles when listening to Antwerps speakers on TV (De Houwer 2008). Antwerps was regularly heard on TV until recently.
This dialect is one of the most influential in terms of inputs towards the creation of Verkavelingsvlaams. Verkavelingsvlaams at the moment is heavily based on the Antwerps dialect. There is some uncertainty regarding the intelligibility of Antwerps with surrounding lects. Students who recently went to school in Antwerps say that they could not understand students who came from villages in the Antwerps area. It is not known what lects the villagers were speaking.
Wase is the name for a group of Brabantian dialects spoken in the Waseland in the far northeast of East Flanders. The capital of this region is the city of St. Niklaas. The area was originally wide fields bounded by willow trees. It flooded and was drained a few times. Many turnips are grown here.
Maaslands is a dialect of Brabantian that is spoken in a narrow strip in North Brabant south of the Maas River. It is spoken in the towns of Empel, Maren, Lith, Herpen, Oijen, Megen, Ravenstein, Oss and Grave, all of them along the Maas River.
Bosch is a Maaslands dialect spoken in Hertogenbosch, a large city a bit south of the Maas River in North Brabant. The dialect is still pretty well alive, but its use varies throughout the city, with some areas speaking a lot of Bosch and other areas in which it is rarely heard. Due to immigration and the fact that it has become a commuter town, the dialect has been declining for some time now.
Nederbetuws is a confusing dialect, usually included in South Guelderish, spoken in the Lower Betuws in Gelderland. It actually has heavy Brabantian features. The dialects of the river cities of Tiel and Culemborg are quite different. It is spoken in the towns of Tiel, Culemborg, Buren, Geldermalsen, Wadenoijen, Ophemert, Waardenburg, Herwijnen and Gorinchem. This is mostly a rural area, with a lot of livestock, fruit orchards, vegetables and greenhouses.
South Brabantian is a very divergent lect within Brabantian that is very hard for other Brabantian speakers, even those from nearby Antwerp Province, to understand (Anonymous January 2010). Therefore, it may well be a separate language. It is spoken in Brabant Province in Belgium and around the capital of Brussels. This area has retained the most extreme and archaic Brabantian features. It is under heavy pressure from Verkavelingsvlaams, especially in the cities and less so in the countryside.
The least intelligible variety seems to be spoken from Brussels west to the East Flanders border, especially in the rural areas and near the southern and western borders.
Brussels in the name for a group of South Brabantian lects that were traditionally spoken in Brussels, and still are by a small number of old people. In the past 200 years though, the language of the capital shifted to French. The remaining Brabantian speakers shifted to some form of Dutch, and many today speak some Dutch standard, usually VRT. At any rate, the original Brussels South Brabantian lects are now almost extinct, spoken only by the older generation, most of whom are also bilingual in French.
Traditionally, Brussels lects were very diverse and were not intelligible with Antwerps Brabantian or Leuvens South Brabantian from about 1650 on. Increasing French influence after the Eighty Years War which ended in 1648 resulted in a closing off of Brussels to most outside influence and increasing French influence on the Brussels lects. It was still the most widely used language in Brussels until the French occupation around 1800.
It then began to decline as more residents started speaking French. In part this was an urban elitist effect, as the local rural areas all spoke Brabantian dialects, and the city became increasingly French speaking, especially the upper class. To sum up, to speak French meant you sounded like an aristocrat and to speak Brabantian meant you were talking like a farmer.
During the 1800’s there was a big debate in Brussels about which form of Dutch to make the official language – some common Flemish form or something more like Netherlands Dutch? People could not make up their minds, and this gave people one more reason to just speak French instead.
Brussels is almost extinct, and only some older Brusseliers speak it. Apparently no one else, including almost everyone in Brussels, can understand them. As Brussels is barely understood even in the city, clearly it must not be understood outside the city either. Hence, Brussels may be a separate language. But intelligibility data with the rest of South Brabantian would be nice to have.
Marols is a divergent Brussels dialect traditionally spoken in the colorful Marollen district, traditionally a poorer, rundown working class area, that was recently full of drug dealers and bums, but is now undergoing gentrification. Marols is a strange mixture of Spanish, Yiddish, Walloon and Brabantian. The Yiddish and Spanish is from many Spanish Republicans and Polish Jews moving to this district just before WW2. Marols is rarely heard these days, and intelligibility with the rest of Brussels is not known.
Liekert is a South Brabantian dialect spoken in Liedekerke, Belgium in Brabant Province on the border with East Flanders. It is unintelligible with the rest of even Flemish Brabantian, including Antwerps.
Leuvens or Leives is a South Brabantian dialect spoken in the city of Leuven in Belgian Brabant. Many immigrants moved to the city after WW2, and use of the dialect reduced dramatically. Intelligibility between Leuvens and the rest of South Brabantian is not known.
Ninove is apparently a South Brabantian dialect spoken in the city of Ninove in the east of East Flanders. It is probably close to Liekert, and hence is very hard for even Flemish to understand.
Elingen is a South Brabantian dialect spoken in the town of Elingen on the border with Hainaut Province. It is not intelligible at all with Brabantian proper (Anonymous January 2010).
Aalsters is a South Brabantian dialect that is very hard for even the Flemish to understand. It is spoken in the city of Aalst in East Flanders, Belgium, on the border of Brabant Province. It is also spoken in Opwijks, Asses and Tenants over the border in Brabant Province.
Tiens is a South Brabantian dialect spoken in Tienen in Eastern Brabant, Belgium. It has Limburgish tendencies. It is dying out and tends to be spoken more by the working classes, but is still pretty widely spoken. Intelligibility with the rest of South Brabantian is not known.
Afrikaans is a separate language, recognized by Ethnologue. It is spoken in South Africa by 13.2 million people, including 6.45 million native speakers and 6.75 million second language speakers. 12-16 million people have basic knowledge of the language.
A study noted that Dutch speakers have 59% intelligibility of Afrikaans (Gooskens 2005), while Afrikaans speakers have 51% intelligibility of Dutch. The combined intelligibility estimate is 55%, close to distance between Spanish and Portuguese. Afrikaans split off from Dutch in about 1675 when Dutch settlers began settling in South Africa. The first written Afrikaans is dated to 1795.
Zeelandic or Zeêuws is a separate language, recognized by Ethnologue as a different Low Franconian language from Dutch. Zeelandic is not easily understood by AN speakers. It is spoken in Zeeland Province and in South Holland Province on the island of Goeree-Overflakee. This area is south of Rotterdam. It is best thought of as transitional between Dutch and West Flemish.
There are a variety of dialects, Walcheren, Zuid-Beveland and Goeree-Overflakee among others. Toward the north, Zeelandic looks more Hollandic or Dutch, and towards the south, it looks more Flemish. The dialects of Zeelandic Flanders are really outside of the definition of Zeelandic and are best described as East and West Flemish instead.
Although it is clearly a separate language from Dutch, Dutch nationalism mandates that it be seen as a dialect and not a separate language, hence the Dutch government refuses to recognize it as a separate language. The language is still in pretty good shape, though it is declining.
It still has 220,000 speakers. In some rural villages, up to 90% of the children still speak Zeelandic. The dialects of the larger cities are going extinct, yet Zeelandic is still in good shape in the rural areas. Surveys conducted in the 1990’s showed that 60% of residents of the area still spoke Zeelandic on an everyday basis. All Zeelandic dialects are intelligible with each other except South Beveland, which is possibly a separate language. Intelligibility between Zeelandic and West Flemish is not known, but may be high.
Along with French Flemish and West Flemish, Zeelandic is part of Southwest Low Franconian. These languages are said to be the remains of the oldest of Old Franconian.
Burgerzeeuws is a Dutch dialect spoken in Zeeland. Though it ought to be part of the Zeelandic language, it is not. It is originally Zeelandic, spoken in the cities of Zeeland, which was then replaced with Hollandic by status conscious upwardly mobile people. Like Stadsfries, this language developed in the 1600’s. It is especially spoken in Middelburg and Vissingen.
In the 1990’s, only 1/3 of urban Zeelanders spoke Zeelandic, compared to 2/3 in the province as a whole. This dialect is still alive though, even among the youth, especially in conservative Christian circles. In some areas this dialect is scorned, while in others it is valued. Burgerzeeuws has unknown intelligibility with AN, but it is probably easier to understand than Zeelandic proper.
Oostvoorns is a Zeelandic dialect spoken in the far north of the region that is actually spoken outside of Zeeland proper in the area called Oostverne just to the north. Some say that this dialect is actually Hollandic and not Zeelandic. It’s probably best seen as a transitional Zeelandic-Hollandic dialect. Intelligibility with AN is not known, but it’s probably better understood to AN speakers than the rest of Zeelandic.
Goerees is a Zeelandic dialect spoken in the Goeree region of Zeeland. The dialect of the fishing village of Ouddorp is quite different, with many unique words. It is quite a bit different from the rest of Zeelandic. This dialect is still widely spoken.
Flakkees is a Zeelandic dialect spoken in the region of Overflakee, east of Goeree. It is spoken in Ooltgensplaat, Middelharnis and Sommelsdijk. Flakkees is divided into three subdialects – West Flakkees, East Flakkees and Brabants Flakkees. Flakkees is still very widely spoken.
Schouwen-Duivelands is a Zeelandic dialect spoken in the Zeelandic region of Schouwen-Duivelands. In some places such as Bruinisse the dialect is in great shape, with 90% of youth even speaking it. In other places such as Burgh, Haamstede and Zierikzee it is undergoing decline due to tourism.
Thools is a Zeelandic dialect spoken on the former island of Tholen is Zeeland. It is undergoing some decline due to widespread immigration but is still widely spoken. There is a sharp barrier between Thools and the North Brabant area just to the east. The city of Oud Vesssemer speaks a mixed North Brabantian-Zeelandic dialect.
Walchers is a Zeelandic dialect spoken on the former island of Walcheren in Zeeland. It is spoken in the towns of Domburg, Westkapelle, Koudekerke, Arnemuiden and Oost Souburg. The dialect of the fishing village of Westkapelle is very different, with many unique words. In Westkapelle and Arnemuiden, the dialect is still doing very well. In other places it is under heavy pressure from tourism and immigration.
South Bevelands is a Zeelandic lect spoken in the Zuid Bevelands area of Zeeland. This area is still very rural, so the lect is in great shape. South Bevelands was scarcely touched by Hollandization during the Golden Age of Holland, hence its archaic character.
South Bevelands is extremely diverse, varying wildly from one village and town to the next to the point that communication is so seriously impaired that residents from different towns typically use AN to communicate rather than their town lects. On the face of it, it’s tempting to split off every town as a separate language, but that seems wild and threatens chaos, and until we get more data, it’s thankfully premature.
However, since South Bevelands is not even intelligible within itself, it can’t possibly be intelligible with the rest of Zeelandic, hence it may well be a separate language.
Land of Cadzands is a Zeelandic dialect spoken in the far south of the Netherlands in Zeelandic Flanders. It is properly seen as a Zeelandic dialect transitioning to West Flemish.
Dutch Low Saxon is a group of lects related to Dutch and German that are very hard to classify, especially in terms of their relationship with Low German in Germany and with Low Franconian (Macro-Dutch) in the Netherlands.
I originally put Dutch Low Saxon in with Low German and added it to my German reclassification. However, after thinking this over for a year now, I now believe that Dutch Low Saxon belongs much more in Macro-Dutch than in Macro-German. Nerbonne 1996 makes a convincing case that Dutch Low Saxon is more properly seen as Macro-Dutch than as Macro-German in a scientific paper analyzing Levenshtein distances between Dutch lects.
There is an argument floating around that all of Dutch Low Saxon is intelligible with all of German Low Saxon. This is certainly not true. Looking at Veluws to Schleswigsch, those two languages are not intelligible with each other at all. In fact, even Groningen and Veluws are not intelligible within the Netherlands alone.
Arguing against the notion of Dutch Low Saxon as being a Dutch dialect, many Dutch say that Dutch Low Saxon is not intelligible with Dutch. There is marginal intelligibility of around 90% between Dutch and Dutch Low Saxon (Zweers 2009). And some Dutch Low Saxon lects, for instance Veluws and Groningen, are not fully intelligible with each other either (Smith 2008).
Dutch Low Saxon includes four groups: Friso-Saxon, Westphalian, Gelders-Oaveriessels and Plautdietsch.
Friso-Saxon is a group of Low Saxon lects spoken in Groningen that have all been heavily influenced by the East Frisian language. These lects are Gronings-East Frisian Low Saxon, Stellingwerfs, Westerkwartiers, Kollumerpompsters, Kollumerlands, Middaglands, Middle Westerkwartiers, South Westerkwartiers, Hogelandsters, Stadsgronings, Westerwolds, Veenkoloniaals and Oldambtsters.
It is often stated that Friso-Saxon is intelligible with general Low Saxon across the board across the border in Germany. This is not true; it is only intelligible with East Frisian Low Saxon, which is not part of the greater German Low Saxon language. For instance, Gronings, Westerwolds and Veenkoloniaals have only 57% intelligibility of Bremen Low Saxon in Germany (Gooskens 2009). Friso-Saxon is broken into four principal groups: Groningen, East Frisian Low Saxon, Westerkwartiers and Stellingwerfs.
What is difficult is dividing up Dutch Low Saxon into different languages. Ethnologue has gone too far, with proper Dutch Low Saxon divided into eight separate languages – Gronings, Veluws, Sallands, Drents, Stellingwerfs, Twents, Achterhoeks and Plautdietsch. We have reduced this complexity quite a bit here, by reducing Dutch Low Saxon to Friso-Saxon, Stellingwerfs, Urkers and Plautdietsch – four languages, and a reduction of Ethnologue’s classification by 5 languages.
Gronings-East Frisian Low Saxon is a Friso-Saxon language, consisting of two parts, Gronings in the Netherlands and East Frisian Low Saxon across the border in Germany.
East Frisian Low Saxon is a Friso-Saxon dialect spoken in the East Frisian peninsula of northwestern Lower Saxony, Germany. It is intelligible with Gronings in the Netherlands. However, it has only 57% intelligibility with Bremen Low Saxon (Gooskens 2009). It has 230,000 speakers. There are still rural areas around here where the majority of people under age 40 speak the language. 50% of the population still speaks the dialect on a daily basis.
This dialect has an East Frisian substratum. There is dialectal diversity between the western and eastern branches. There are also speakers of this dialect in Iowa, about 500 of them, mostly over age 50. The classic variety of East Frisian Low Saxon probably looks something like this. Dialects include Hinte, Ems (Emsfriesisches), Weser (Weserfriesisches), Jeverländer, Harlingerländer, Ommelands and Mooringer.
Hinte East Frisian Low Saxon (Hintener) is a divergent dialect of East Frisian Low Saxon, but intelligibility data with the rest of East Frisian Low Saxon is not known. It is spoken in the town of Hinte in Germany on the Dutch-German border. Hinte is spoken in Eastern Friesland (Ostfriesland) in Lower Saxony in Germany and Groningen is on the Dutch side. It is somewhat similar to Twents.
Westerkwartiers is a group of Friso-Saxon dialects spoken in the far southwest of Groningen Province. This is the group of Friso-Saxon dialects that most resembles West Frisian. A good characterization of this group would be to say it is transitional from Gronings to West Frisian. The cities of Leek, Zuidhorn and Marum speak this dialect. The group includes Kollumerpompsters, Kollumerlands, Middle Westerkwartiers, South Westerkwartiers and Middaglands.
Kollumerpompsters is a Friso-Saxon Westerkwartiers dialect spoken in the city of Kollumerpomp and the surrounding area in the far east of Friesland. The municipality of Kollum speaks this dialect.
The Gronings group of dialects that are spoken in all of Groningen Province, some of Drenthe Province, and a bit of Friesland Province in far northeastern Netherlands. They have 320,000 speakers. They have a heavy Old Frisian (East Frisian) substrate.
Along with Limburgish, it is the group spoken in the Netherlands farthest from Dutch. Yet Gronings is intelligible with East Frisian Low Saxon across the border in Germany. Gronings is very close to Drents, but it is far from Achterhoeks, Twents and Stellingwerfs, and is not fully intelligible with Stellingwerfs or Veluws. Gronings appears to have good intelligibility of Drents (Felder 2015). Dutch speakers have 89-92% intelligibility of Gronings. But other Dutch speakers say that Gronings is often very hard to understand and sometimes they cannot understand anything at all of it (Felder 2015).
The original language of Groningen was Frisian, but there was a mass movement of Saxons from Drenthe to the area. They mostly settled in the city of Groningen, but then they radiated out from there. In addition, many East Frisian speakers came from across the border in Germany. This had to do with the reclamation of peat land in Groningen. The East Frisian language was supplanted by Low Saxon long ago, before the 1500’s. Traces of East Frisian still exist, but only in morphology and syntax and not in phonology (Heeringa 2004).
Gronings consists of North Drents, Hogelandsters, Stadsgronings, Westerwolds, Veenkoloniaals and Oldambtsters.
Hogelandsters is a Friso-Saxon dialect spoken in the far north of Groningen in a region called Hogeland. This is said to be the “purest” Gronings of all, and it is the hardest for AN speakers to understand. The cities of Leens, Ulrum, Baflo, Uithuizen, Bedum, Winsum, Loppersum and Uithuizermeeden are located in this region.
Stadsgronings is the Friso-Saxon dialect spoken in the city of Groningen itself. It is close to North Drents. The dialect is dying out in the city itself due to immigration of large numbers of students from outside the region who do not speak Gronings.
However, many people still speak Gronings in the city and some are more or less Gronings monolinguals who do not speak ABN well. These tend to be people age 40+ (Felder 2015).
Noordenvelds or North Drents is hard to analyze, but it is best analyzed as Friso-Saxon and not Drents proper. This dialect is close to Stadsgronings. It is spoken in the north of Drenthe Province in the towns of Roden, Norg, Eelde and Vries by 38,000 people. This is nearly the same speech as Stadsgronings (Felder 2015).
Oldambtsters-Reiderlands is a Friso-Saxon dialect spoken in a part of Groningen called Oldambt. It is related to Veenkoloniaals and Hogelandsters and has heavy Westphalian influence. Oldambtsters has a close relationship with the Rheiderlander dialect of East Frisian Low Saxon across the border in Germany; in fact, it is basically the same dialect. East Frisian was spoken here until 1400.
This dialect is steadily declining, but holds out best in the rural areas. German is still widely spoken in this part of the Netherlands, especially in the city of Winschoten. It is spoken in Winschoten, Scheemda, Noordbroek, Heiligerlee, Beerta and Nieuwe Schans.
Veenkoloniaals is a Friso-Saxon dialect spoken in eastern Groningen on the border between Groningen and Drenthe Provinces and over the border into Drenthe. This dialect came into being due to peat mining in the area. In recent years it has been expanding a lot, probably because it is closer to AN than neighboring lects.
Veenkoloniaals is close to Drents but even closer to Stellingwerfs. Veenkoloniaals lacks full intelligibility with Dutch. Veenkoloniaals is quite close to Stadsgronings and almost sounds like the same lect. There are a few differences between the two. This is a harder Gronings that is even harder for ABN speakers to understand than Stadsgronings (Felder 2015).
Westerwolds is another Friso-Saxon dialect. that, like Veenkoloniaals, is spoken in eastern Groningen. Westerwolds is not fully intelligible with Dutch and has heavy influence from East Frisian Low Saxon spoken in Germany. Although it is Friso-Saxon, it is closer to Westphalian than to Frisian. It has a particularly close relationship to Ems Low Saxon spoken in Germany.
Lately it has been losing ground to Veenkoloniaals. It is spoken in a small corner of far southeast Groningen on the German border in the towns of Stadskanaal, Musselkanaal, Ter Appelkanaal, Ter Appel and Vledderveen. ABN speakers say that this is an extremely hard form of Gronings that is very hard to understand, even harder to understand than Veenkoloniaals (Felder 2015).
Stellingwerfs is a Friso-Saxon language spoken in the municipalities of Weststellingwerfs and Oststellingwerfs in southeastern Friesland Province on the border with Drenthe and Overijssel Provinces and over the border into Drenthe and Overijssel.
It is spoken in towns such as Appelscha, Noordwolde, Tjalleberd, Luinjeberd, Donkerbroek, St. Johannesga, Rotsterhaule, Rotstergaast, Delfstrahuizen, Uffelte, Diever, Vledder, Echten, Steenwijk, Giethoorn, Tuk, Willemsoord, Oldemarkt, Kuinre, Smilde, Wolvega, Oldeberkoop, Oldeholtpa, Nijeholtpa, Dwingeloo and Oosterzee.
Frisian speakers moved into the formerly Drents-speaking area when peat-digging began. This began the process of Frisianization. Stellingwerfs is not usually put into Friso-Saxon, but Heeringa 2004 makes a good case for putting it into Friso-Saxon (Fig. 4, p. 97).
One way to look at Stellingwerfs is to see it as a Drents variety intermixed strongly with a Frisian layer (Heeringa 2004). The process of Frisianization began as early as the 1200’s. Stellingwerfs probably has over 300,000 speakers in two dialects, East Stellingwerfs and West Stellingwerfs. Stellingwerfs is not close to Gronings, Drents, Twents or Achterhoeks, and it is not fully intelligible with Dutch, nor with Gronings and Veluws.
Gelders-Oaveriessels is a dialect group within Dutch Low Saxon. It includes Urkers, Sallands, Drents and East Veluws. This group is also sometimes called West Dutch Low Saxon. This group has heavier Dutch (Low Franconian) influence than the rest of Dutch Low Saxon. The two other groups have heavy Frisian and Westphalian Low German influence respectively. The Dutch influence is primarily an archaic version of Hollandic from the 1600’s.
East Veluws is a Gelders-Overijssels Dutch Low Saxon dialect spoken in the Veluwe, a formerly heavily forested and swampy region along a ridge in northern Gelderland Province. This region has a lot of wildlife and used to be very popular with hunters. There are proposals to turn much of this region into a national park.
Although it is a part of Dutch Low Saxon, Veluws is marginal within this family (Smith 2009), with West Veluws looking a lot like Low Franconian (“Dutch”) proper, and East Veluws looking more like a typical Dutch Low Saxon. West Veluws and East Veluws can understand each other, and East Veluws and Twents are mutually intelligible. East Veluws is more intelligible with Dutch than any other type of Low Saxon, probably due to its close connection to West Veluws, a Low Franconian lect; however, East Veluws tends to have marginal intelligibility with AN.
Veluws is one of the lects where Low Saxon and Low Franconian are very close, similar to Gronings and East Frisian Low Saxon, except that Veluws in closer to Low Franconian, and Gronings is closer to Low Saxon. Nevertheless, Veluws is not fully intelligible with Stellingwerfs or Gronings. There are probably 300,000 speakers of all varieties of Veluws, but there are fewer Veluws speakers than speakers of Gronings, Stellingwerfs and Twents.
East Veluws is spoken in the towns of Apeldoorn, Doernspijk, Oldebroek, Elberg, Hattem, Heerde, Epe, Ernst, Vaasen, Het Loo, Twello, Gorssel, Brummen, Doesburg, Eerbeek and Dieren.
Sallands is a Gelders-Overijssels Dutch Low Saxon dialect spoken in the Salland region in the western part of Overijssel Province. Sallands has fewer than 300,000 speakers. Sallands lacks full intelligibility with Dutch, but is intelligible with Twents. Based on linguistic distance (Fig. 3) it may not be intelligible with Groningen. There is a transitional Sallands-Twents dialect spoken on the border with the northwest of the Twents-speaking area (ter Denge 2009). There is a lot of variability in Sallands.
Sallands is spoken in Zwolle, Zutphen, Nijverdal, Vroomshoop, Kloosterhaar, Marienberg, Hardenberg, Gramsbelgen, Lutten, Heemse, Witharen, Ommen, Oudleusen, Den Ham, Vilsteren, Dalfsen, Kampen, Heino, Lemereveld, Ittersum, Wijhe, Windesheim, Heeten, Olst, Espelo, Holten, Wesepe, Diepenveen, Lettele, Deventer, Bathmen, Genemuiden, Zwartsluis and Blokzijl.
Zwols is a Sallands dialect spoken in Zwolle, the capital of Overijssel Province. It has some similarities to Urkers nearby. 61% of the population still speaks Zwols. Nowadays, it is mostly spoken in the older districts. It contains many colorful slang expressions.
Dêmpters is the name of the Sallands dialect spoken in Deventer.
Zutphens is a transitional Achterhoeks-Sallands dialect that is spoken in Zutphen, a city in Gelderland. It is interesting because it has many Hollands features. Zutphens is still very heavily spoken by the population of the city.
Drents is a Dutch Low Saxon dialect that is in a group of its own. It has over 240,000 speakers in in Drenthe Province, where it is spoken by about 1/2 the population, and it also has some speakers in Overijssel. In towns like Zuidwolde, the majority of people even aged 30-40 continue to speak Drents as the main everyday language.
Every town and village has its own dialect. Drents is quite far from Twents, Achterhoeks and Stellingwerfs, but it is very close to Gronings and intelligible with Twents. Drents is not intelligible with Dutch.
It is spoken in Assen, Rolde, Geiten, Annen, Anlo, Eext, Klooverstervee, Gasselte, Borger, Grollo, Buinem, Elp, Amen, Beilen, Odoorn, Schoonloo, Hijken, Emmen, Valthermond, Zoordsleen, Sleen, Hoogeveen, Noordbarge, Dalen, Coevorden, Schoonebeek, Eursinge, Zuidwolde, Nieuw Amsterdam, Klazienaveen, Nieuw Schoonebeek, Zwartemeer, De Krim, Linde, Staphorst, Ruinen, Balkbrug, Meppel, Dedemsvaart, Rouveen, Den Hulst and Havelte.
Urkers is a very divergent Gelders-Overijssels Dutch Low Saxon lect spoken in the small city of Urks, formerly an island in the Zeelandic Sea. It is a very conservative Protestant town with no less than 17 churches, where 97% of the population goes to church every week for about three hours a day. Women marry young, and cohabitation is unheard of.
Urkers is utterly incomprehensible to AN speakers, and on structural and intelligibility grounds, there is justification for making it a separate language. Further, a linguistic analysis based on Levenshtein distance suggests that Urkers is best analyzed as a separate language in its own right, apart from all other Dutch lects (Heeringa 2004).
Westphalian Dutch Low Saxon is a branch of Dutch Low Saxon. It contains two dialects, Twents and Achterhoeks, is heavily Germanized and collates with the Westphalian Low German spoken across the border in Germany. Twents is one of the most divergent of all of the Dutch Low Saxon lects from AN, especially the dialects spoken in Vriezenzeen, Rijssen and Wierden.
Twents is a Westphalian Dutch Low Saxon dialect with 328,000 speakers, or 62% of the population of Twents, a region in Overijssel.
Every town has its own dialect, but all dialects are mutually intelligible. Twents is not close to Stellingwerfs or Gronings, but it is intelligible with Drents, Sallands, Achterhoeks (ter Denge 2009) and East Veluws. Based on linguistic distance (Fig. 3) it may not be intelligible with Groningen.
In the northwest of the Twents region, there is a transitional Sallands-Twents dialect that has a largely Twents vocabulary with a Sallands inflection. In the towns of Rijssen and Enter, there is a variety of Twents spoken that uses diphthongs where other varieties have monophthongs. This may be a remnant of an earlier Westphalian variety that may have been generalized throughout the Twents region. On the border with the Achterhoeks region, there is no clear dialect border, as Twents and Achterhoeks slide into each other (ter Denge 2009).
Twents is spoken in the towns of Vriezenveen, Almelo, Rijssen, Hengelo, Borne, Enschede, Oldenzaal, Tubbergen, Ootmarsum, Weerselo, Reutum, Denekamp, Deurningen, Losser, Lonneker, Glanerbrug, Usselo, Boekelo, Haaksenbergen, Diepenheim, Goor, Delden, Markelo and Wierden.
Achterhoeks is a Westphalian Dutch Low Saxon dialect. Achterhoeks is far from Drents, Gronings and Stellingwerfs but is intelligible with Twents (ter Denge 2009). Based on linguistic distance (Fig. 3) it may not be intelligible with Groningen. Achterhoeks is not intelligible with Dutch. Achterhoeks is in very good shape, and is widely used as an everyday language.
Achterhoeks is spoken Northern Gelderland east of East Veluws in towns such as Doetinchem, Terborg, Silvolde, Ulft, Dinxperlo, Alten, Winterswijk, Meddo, Groenle, Lichtenvoorde, Eibergen, Neede, Borculo, Ruunlo, Zelhem, Hengelo, Lochem, Laren, Almen and Vorden. Interestingly, Achterhoeks speakers in Dinxperlo can communicate with speakers of Westphalian German Low Saxon in Suderwick, Germany, across the border.
Plautdietsch is a Dutch Low Saxon language that originated in the Netherlands, but then spread to other parts of the world. It forms a subgroup of its own and is quite divergent from the rest of Dutch Low Saxon. It is not intelligible with many other Low German languages, Standard German, or Pennsylvania German. Plautdietsch has 50% intelligibility with Hutterite German.
This language was originally a Friesland Dutch Low Saxon lect, but they moved to Prussia after they were persecuted for their religion, and later they moved to the US. This is the language of the Mennonites worldwide.
Flemish or Vlaams is a separate language, recognized as such by Ethnologue. Flemish has anywhere from 30% (Zweers 2009) to 66% (Van Bezooijen 1999) intelligibility with AN. However, it is more complicated than that, for in truth, Flemish is more than one language. The primary split is between West Flemish and East Flemish. It’s now widely acknowledged by most that West Flemish and East Flemish are not completely mutually intelligible.
Hinrichs undated makes a strong case for the inclusion of Flemish as a recognized regional language in section III of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages based on linguistic distance to AN. The distance between Flemish and AN is as great as between Low Saxon and Dutch, and Low Saxon is recognized.
VRT-Nederlands, BRT-Nederlands, VT-Nederlands or BT-Nederlands are abbreviations for the form of AN spoken in Belgium. It may be thought as “Dutch with a Fleming accent.” It is easily intelligible with AN, and is increasingly heard on Belgian TV. Further, many Flemings can also speak this language, which is pretty much what they are taught in school under the rubric of “Dutch” classes. There is tremendous confusion between this dialect and “Flemish.”
This dialect is simply a dialect of Dutch or AN. The varieties subsumed under Flemish are completely different languages altogether. This dialect is making increasing inroads in Belgian life and some Flemish speakers are becoming alarmed about this.
Standard Flemish, Verkavelingsvlaams, Vlaamse Tussentaal, VT or Soap Vlaams (henceforth VT) is a koine developed recently in Belgium that is understood by all Flemish speakers and is used often on TV. It is a mixture both of an artificially created Standard Flemish and the local dialects, and AN speakers find it quite incomprehensible. It is nearly the same as Belgian Brabantian. It probably has around 3.4 million speakers in Belgium. VT is fully intelligible with the Brabantian language.
West Flemish or West Vlaams is a highly divergent Low Franconian language that, along with French Flemish and Zeelandic, is part of Southwest Low Franconian and is the closest to the original Old Franconian. This group of languages is interesting because they have retained features of Ingvaeonic or North Sea Germanic features. Ingvaeonic is the postulated language that gave birth to Old English, Old Saxon and Old Frisian, possibly 2,000 YBP. It was spoken what is now the Netherlands, northwest Germany and Denmark. There are also influences from langues d’oil, not so much French proper as Picard, which is spoken adjacent to the West Flemish region.
West Flemish is spoken in Zeelandic Flanders in the Netherlands, West Flanders Province in Belgium and French Flanders in Nord Province in France (see map Fig. 1). East Flemish speakers have a hard time understanding West Flemish, especially the variety spoken in France. For example, West Flemish speakers regularly get subtitles on Belgian TV. Studies have shown that speakers of Antwerp East Flemish cannot understand the West Flemish of Oostende, Diksmuide, or Kortrijk, cities in West Flanders Province (De Houwer 2008).
West Flemish has 1 million regular speakers in West Flanders in Belgium and 70,000 in Zeelandic Flanders for a total of 1.07 million speakers. It also has a few speakers in Flemish Zeeland in the Netherlands.
Brugs is a West Flemish dialect spoken in and around the city of Bruges. It is quite divergent from other West Flemish dialects and even other Flemish find it hard to understand. However, precise intelligibility with West Flemish per se and not Flemish per se (whatever that means) is needed before we can determine whether or not it is a separate language. Brugs is declining in recent days and is being replaced with a more widely spoken Flemish, possibly VT.
Kortrijks is a West Flemish dialect spoken in the city of Kortrijk in the southeast of West Flanders. It is also spoken in the towns of Kuurne, Wevelgem, Ledegem, Moorslede, Muelebeke, Tiens and Izegem. Past Tiens, it starts turning into the Brugs dialect. Past Moorslede, it starts turning into the Ypres dialect.
Ypres is a South Flanders dialect spoken in and around the city of Ypres in the south of West Flanders. It is different from Kortrijks.
Waregems is a dialect spoken in the West Flanders city of Waregem. It is different from Kortrijks and is unique in some ways. It is best seen as a West Flanders dialect heading out towards the East Flanders language. There is an entire area on the border between West Flanders and East Flanders where the dialects may be hard to characters as belonging to either the West Flanders or East Flanders languages. There is a suggestion that only those from the immediate area can understand Waregems well, but until we get better data, it is premature to split it.
Vlaemsch or French West Flemish is a highly divergent West Flemish lect spoken in France that has been diverging from the rest of West Flemish for over 300 years since Louis XIV annexed it to France around 1680. Vlaemsch is full of French loan words, and other West Flemish speakers (such as Oostende West Flemish speakers) have a hard time understanding it, so it is probably a separate language.
Though it is recognized by the French government as a minority language (as “Dutch”), it gets no support from them and has been declining for centuries. It has 60,000 speakers, 20,000 of whom use it every day. The vast majority of Vlaemsch speakers are over age 60. Vlaemsch will probably go extinct in a matter of decades.
East Flemish or East Vlaams is a separate language spoken mostly in East Flanders in Belgium but also in Zeelandic Flanders in the Netherlands. It is not intelligible with AN. For example, the East Flemish speakers in Zeelandic Flanders have a hard time understanding the Brabantian Dutch speakers across the Schelde River. Also, East Flemish speakers have a hard time understanding West Flemish.
Not only is East Flemish a separate language, but there is tremendous dialect diversity inside of East Flanders. In fact, it appears that East Flanders is more than one language. East Flemish probably has about 1.1 million speakers, almost all in Belgium, but that figure may be inflated. The true number of speakers is hard to determine. There are 1.4 million residents in the area, but they cannot all speak East Flemish.
Gents is a highly divergent East Flemish lect spoken in Ghent, Belgium that appears to be a separate language. It is considered very hard to understand even by other East Flemish speakers, so it may be a separate language. To South Brabantian speakers, it may as well be Greek.
In fact, there are two different dialects of Gents, one on the west side of the city and another on the east side. In addition, the dialects of the villages around Ghent are also said to be different from Gents itself. Intelligibility data for the various dialects in and around Ghent is not known. This language has many features of a “language island,” in that it differs markedly from surrounding East Flemish lects. Gents has a strong French influence and many French loans.
Dendermondsis another highly divergent East Flemish lect spoken in the city of Dendermode. Studies indicate that other East Flemish speakers have a hard time understanding it (De Houwer 2008), so it may well be a separate language. Dendermode is about 1/2 way between Antwerp and Ghent. This language has heavy Brabantian influence, and that is why it is so different from the rest of East Flemish.
Lokers is an East Flemish dialect spoken in the city of Lokeren in the northeast of East Flanders on the border with Brabantian. Here East Flemish is transitioning to a group of Brabantian dialects called Wase, spoken in the Waseland. This dialect may be close to Dendermonds.
Limburgish is an East Low Franconian language that is spoken in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is a separate language and is not intelligible with other forms of Low Franconian nor with any Low German. As a part of Meuse-Rhenish, it is transitional between Low Franconian (Dutch) and Low German (German).
Limburgish and Dutch had very different geneses – Limburgish came from Old East Low Franconian, and Dutch came from Old West Low Franconian. It has 1.6 million speakers. Each village and city has its own dialect, but they are all mutually intelligible. There are as many as 580 different Limburgish dialects.
Although Limburgish is said to be intelligible with Ripuarian, the truth is that it is not inherently intelligible with it. There are however some Limburgish and Ripuarian dialects on the borders of the two that are transitional between Ripuarian and Limburgish. See the South Guelderish and the Low Dietsch entries here for more on those transitional languages.
Limburgish is one of the Meuse-Rhenish languages. It is often claimed that Limburgish is intelligible with German, but this is not so. The intelligibility situation with regard to Limburgish and AN is confusing. Some say that Limburgish has marginal intelligibility with AN (Zweers 2009), but other Dutch speakers say that they can barely understand a word of Limburgish. A study concluded that Dutch speakers have about 89% intelligibility of Limburgish.
The real pure Limburgish is not intelligible with Standard Dutch at all, but what is most often spoken nowadays is a sort of a Dutch-Limburgish mixed language that is intelligible to most AN speakers. However, there are still some speakers of the real pure Limburgish around.
This Wikipedia article on Limburgish is wrong. It groups all of Bergish, South Guelderish, Southeast Limburgish and Dutch Limburgish into one “variety” or dialect, and then refuses to call that variety a language.
However, “Limburgish” is composed of at least four languages. Bergish is a separate language, not intelligible with Southeast Limburgish (60% intelligibility), South Guelderish, or Dutch Limburgish. Neither is Southeast Limburgish intelligible with Limburgish. And Venlo may well be a separate language all of its own.
Geleens is an East Limburgish dialect that is spoken in the city of Geleen in Limburg Province in the Netherlands. It differs quite a bit from the dialect of Sittard, even though the two cities have recently merged.
Sittards or Zittesj is an East Limburgish dialect that is spoken in Sittard in Limburg Province, the Netherlands. It’s quite different from Geleens. It is closest to dialects right across the German border, but otherwise it is a transitional Middle Limburgish-South Limburgish dialect, similar to Roermond.
Heerlen Dutch is a Limburgish-Dutch creole or dialect of Dutch spoken in the city of Heerlen in Limburg Province, the Netherlands. In the 1800’s, there were many coal miners in this area and everyone spoken Heerlen Limburgish. As the mines expanded, people came to work from all over the Netherlands and even the Kerkrade region of Germany.
None of them spoke Heerlen, and many didn’t even speak Limburgish. Later a sort of creole based on AN and Heerlen arose. What we have now is a Dutch dialect with a Heerlen base and a strong Limburgish flavor, not really a Limburgish dialect per se. Heerlen Dutch is apparently intelligible with AN.
Hasselts or Hessels is a Limburgish dialect spoken in Hasselt in Belgian Limburg. Dialect leveling has been occurring in the past 50 years as rural residents of the surrounding villages moved to Hasselt. It is best analyzed as a Belgian Limburgish dialect transitional with Brabantian.
Maastrichts is a Limburgish dialect spoken in the city of Maastricht in Dutch Limburgish. It has 60,000 speakers and hence is the largest Limburgish dialect. It is still widely spoken in the city. Maastrichts differs significantly from the dialects of the neighboring villages.
Horsters is the Limburgish dialect spoken in the city of Horst in Dutch Limburg. Some say that everything north of Venlo is outside of Limburgish proper and into South Guelderish. That’s an interesting argument, but we will leave it in Limburgish for now, especially since Limburgish isoglosses extend to just north of Horst. Some see it as transitional between Limburgish and South Guelderish, Kleverlandish and North Limburgish.
Tegels is is a Limburgish dialect spoken in the city of Tegelen in Dutch Limburg. Although it is very close to Venlo, Tegels speaks a typical Limburgish dialect, while Venlo is North Limburgish and is probably a separate language altogether.
They are so different because Tegelen was ruled by the Duchy of Gulik for 750 years, while Venlo was under the Duchy of Gelders for 400 years. The Duchys did not end their rule of both cities until around 1800 or so. Tegelen did not go to the Netherlands until 1817, when it was traded to Netherlands from Germany in exchange for the Dutch city of Henzogenrath, which was traded to Germany.
Weerts or Wieërts is a Limburgish dialect spoken in the city of Weert in Dutch Limburg. It is a Middle Limburgish dialect. Weerts, together with another Limburgish dialect spoken in Hamont in Belgian Limburg and a dialect of Bavarian, has more vowels than any other lect on Earth – 28 of them. The area around Weerts has many forests, sand dunes, bogs and marshes. This part of the Netherlands is also very Catholic. In the far north, it tends to be a lot more Protestant.
Hamont is a Limburgish dialect spoken in Hamont, on the border with the Netherlands in Belgian Limburg.
The map below (Fig. 3) is quite interesting. As we can see below, Limburgish is further removed from Dutch than Veluws, Afrikaans, and Dutch Low Saxon. Much of Dutch Low Saxon is also further from Dutch than Afrikaans.
South Low Franconian is the name for a lect spoken in Germany just east of the Limburgs Province in the Netherlands. Dialects include Jlabbacher Platt of central Mönchengladbach, Föschelner Platt of Fischeln in Krefeld, and Dremmener Platt of Dremmen near Heinsberg. The intelligibility of these German lects with the rest of Meuse-Rhenish is unclear, and it may be a separate language altogether. The closest in intelligibility would be to Bergish, Venloos and Southeast Limburgish in that order.
Southeast Limburgish (SE Limburgish) is a East Low Franconian language made up of a number of dialects that are transitional between Limburgish and Ripuarian. It has a close relationship with Limburgish. Some call SE Limburgish/Low Dietsch/Aachen German by an alternate name – Limburgish-Ripuarian of the Three Countries Area.
Some classifications put this language into Ripaurian, but it is possibly better analyzed as Limburgish or better yet Ripuarian-Limburgish transitional. The classification is important since if it is Ripaurian, this language is “German,” and if it is Limburgish, it is “Dutch.” But if we see it as Ripuarian-Limburgish transitional, this language may most properly be characterized as a Dutch-German transitional lect.
It is spoken in Belgium around Eupen, including Welkenraedt, Lontzen, Raeren, La Calamine, Eynatten, Gemmenich, and Moresnet; in the Netherlands between Ubach and Brunssum in the towns of Kerkrade, Bocholtz and Vaals, where it is known as Waals; and in a large area in North Rhine-Westphalia between the cities of Aachen and Eschweiler in the towns of Stolberg, Wurselen, Eilendorf and Kohlscheid. To the east over by Duren (Dürener Platt), we start moving into Ripuarian proper. It is also spoken in the far upper Eifel region around the Hurtgen Forest (Tulipan 2013).
It is a separate language, unintelligible to those outside the region. Most if not all Southeast Limburgish lects appear to be intelligible with each other (Tulipan 2013).
Bocholtzeris a SE Limburgish dialect spoken in the towns of Bocholtz, Bocholtzerheide and Baneheide in Limburg Province. It is still very widely spoken in the area. Intelligibility is about 90% with Stolberg German (Tulipan 2013).
Aachen German or Aachener Plattis a SE Limburgish dialect spoken in this same general region in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia on the border with Belgium. Aachen German has 60% intelligibility with Bergish, the form of Limburgish spoken across the border (Harms 2009). The common notion is that Aachen German and Bergish are the same language. Since they are not intelligible, this is not the case.
Intelligibility with Stolberg German is excellent (Tulipan 2013). Aachen German intelligibility with Ripaurian is variable, but averages 40% (Köhler 2015). Aachen German has 50% with Dürener Platt, 30% intelligibility with Kolsch, and 25% with Eupener Platt.
Stolberg German is a SE Limburgish dialect spoken in Stolberg, Germany, near Aachen. It is intelligible with Aachen German, though it has more Ripuarian influences. and 90% intelligibility with Kirchröadsj, Vaals, etc. Other than with Kirchröadsj and Vaals, etc. intelligibility is not good with the rest of the lects spoken in the Netherlands, including Limburgish proper. Stolberg German is still widely spoken (Tulipan 2013).
Kirchröadsj is a SE Limburgish dialect spoken in Kerkrade in the Netherlands. It is often put into Ripuarian, but we will put it in SE Limburgish instead. Kirchröadsj is not fully intelligible with Kölsch. But it along with Vaals and related lects is about 90% intelligible with Stolberg German (Tulipan 2013).
Low Dietschis a lect, often thought to be a SE Limburgish dialect, that is made up of a number of subdialects that are transitional between Limburgish and Ripuarian. However, Low Dietsch is better seen as a separate language because intelligibility with Southeast Limburgs is poor (Köhler 2015). When people say that Limburgish and Ripuarian are mutually intelligible, what they mean is that there are languages like Low Dietsch and Southeast Limburgish that are transitional between Limburgish and Ripuarian.
Around Eupen a Low Dietsch dialect called Eupener Platt (Eupen German) is spoken. Eupener Platt has only 25% intelligibility with Aachen German. Aachen Platt speakers say that Eupener sounds funny, like a mixture of Platt, French and English (Köhler 2015). Intelligibility is difficult with Stolberg German (Tulipan 2013).
Low Dietsch has been slowly dying out for a long time, since World War 1, almost a century, and it is not spoken much anymore. However, in recent years it is undergoing a Renaissance, and it is now being spoken more, even by young people, who seem to be spearheading the resurgence (Tulipan 2013). Eupener Platt has high but not full intelligibility with Kolsch (~70%) and the Middle Limburgish spoken in Heeren.
The following is an example of Eupener Platt.
By Siegfried Theissen
Wi de Ammerekaaner no Öëpe koëmte – iich gelöüf, et woër veerenvärrtech off voëvenvärrtech – wonnde ver ä gene Wéërt. Wi ver no hoërte dat-te Ammerekaaner ä gene Hollefter, a ge Schokkelaates, en gruëte Käüche oppgemaakt hoë, léïpe véër Kaïnder dahään, waïl aïnder es fertaut hoë, dadd-et ta Panneköük ömmesöss güëf. Änn taatsächlech, jédderéïne kräch esuvoël Panneköük, wi-e draage koss!
Änn véër Kaïnder krächte ouch noch en Taafel Schokkelaat, gätt watt fer allt lang neet mië geséë hoë. Dé Schokkelaat woër esu schwarrt wi di ammerekaanesche Köch.
Di Schwarrte doschde suwisuë märr Dénnsmättje schpéële! Obb-ene gouwe Daach gäng derr Vadder métt, änn éïne van di Schwarrte, dé gätt Döttsch koss, waïl-e e gannts Joër bi de Döttsche gevange gewässt woër, vrodde ann derr Vadder, off-e neet föël Gaïlt ferdeene wöül. Derr Vadder woër natüürlech mésstrouwesch änn saat: „ Watt möss-ech da davöër doë?“. – „Véër Schwarrte, saat-é Schwarrte, wäärde van de wétte Offtséëre esuë schléët behaïndelt, ver wäärde ouch esuë schléët betallt, dadd-iich nou oug ens gätt ferdéïne wéll!
Iich hann ene ganntse Kammjong voll Tsigerätte geklaut, änn dé wéll ech nou vöër voëvduusent Frang verkoupe. Et möss waal hü noch séë, waïl möëre wäärde ver versatt!“ Derr Vadder ho jo di voëvduusent Frang geschpaart, mä e saat, e möss terösch métt sinn Vro drövver kalle.
De Modder saat: „ Dat-tönnt fer! Esunne Kammjong Tsigerätte éss en Milljuën wäärt! Di Tsigerätte verkloppe ver ä Oëke, änn dé Kammjong wäärt fer béï ene Buër kwiit.“ Mä derr Vadder woër te bang. E woss neet, wu e dé Kammjong aunderschtélle köss, änn-e saat ouch: „Wänn de Ammerekaaner es schnappe, da schéëte di es, of-fer koëme joërelang ä gene Topp.“ Do saat-e Modder: „No hä ver ens Milljonäär wäärde könne, änn no hass-tou géïn Kuraasch!“ Mä derr Vadder saat märr: „Dou haas-tech förrege Wéëk allt genoch gelaïst!“
Iich woss néït, watt-e damétt maïnt, änn do vertaut de Modder: „ Ä gen Gosspertschtroët sönnd ouch Ammerekaaner änne su Huus, änn jéddesch Kiër wi ech da verbéïkoëmt, vrodde esunne Schwarrte: ‚ No Cognac? I give Cigarettes and Chocolate for Cognac!’ Iich ho allt lang géïne Konnjakk mië, mä ech ho waal noch en léëch Konnjakkflaïsch, médd-et Étikätt änn dréï Schtääre dropp.
Iich di Bubbel voll Tië gedoë, derr Schtopp dropp, alles fië togepläkkt änn no di Ammerekaaner. Wi di di Flaïsch soëge, paggde di mech en Schtang Tsigerätte änn dréï Taafele Schokkelaat änn en Tüüt, änn ië di di Flaïsch oppmaake kosste, léïp iich ewäkk, datt mech de Vokke vloëge. Wänn di mech kréëge häë, di häë miich kaut gemakkt! Mä saïtämm bänn ech neet mië dörrech gen Gosspertschtroët gegange!“
Hôessëlts is a Low Dietsch dialect spoken in Belgian Limburg in the small city of Hoeselt. It’s dying out, but a dictionary of it was recently published.
Aeres, Æres or Ourish is a West Central German Central Franconian language spoken around the German-Dutch border area that is closely related to, but very different from, Limburgish. It is spoken in several villages in the Dutch provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel and in the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen.
It has 600 speakers, but there were formerly many more. Most speakers are elderly. Some say it is part of Dutch Low Saxon, others that is close to Limburgish, and others that it is close to Frisian, so its classification is quite confused. Some people say that the whole idea of this language is a fraud since good sources are hard to find, but this seems questionable. On the other hand, the existence of this language has not been well proven.
South Guelderish/Kleverlandish is a Low Franconian language consisting of South Guelderish spoken in Netherlands and and Kleverlandish spoken in Germany. It is part of Meuse-Rhenish, and hence is transitional between Low Franconian (Dutch) and Low German (German).
Dialects include Rheden, Cleves (Kleve, Kleef), Oberhausen, Essen-Werder, Venlo, Venray, Liemers, Cuijk, Groesbeek and Zevenaar, and also the dialects of Northern Limburgish. The Cuijk dialect is typical. South Guelderish has a very heavy Frisian substratum. Based on its distance to AN alone (see Fig. 3) it must have difficult intelligibility with AN, probably along the lines of Zeelandic.
Overbetuws is a South Guelderish dialect spoken in the Upper Betuws region of Gelderland. Cities in this area include Valberg, Elst and Zetten. It was widely spoken until recently, when it began to decline. It is similar to Liemers.
Liemers is a South Guelderish dialect transitional to Achterhoeks that is spoken in the Liemers region in the far east of Gelderland east of Arnhem to the German border. It is spoken in the towns of Didam, Zevenaar, Lobith and Wehl. This dialect is basically South Guelderish transitional to Achterhoeks Low Saxon.
Kleverlandish is South Guelderish spoken in Germany along the border with the Netherlands. Kleverlandish lects are quite a bit different from South Gulderish, but intelligibility data is lacking.
This dialect is often referred to as Kleverländisch. It is spoken southeast of Munster along the border with the Netherlands and north of Cologne in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Kleverlandish is not intelligible with Bergish (Harms 2009), as one is an analogue of North Limburgish and the other an analogue of South Limburgish. Venlo Kleverlandish is incomprehensible to most Dutch speakers. Kleverlandish is still widely spoken in Wesels, Germany, at least by the older generation (Anonymous 2009).
Venloos is an extremely divergent Dutch lect spoken in the city of Venlo in the center of Limburg Province. In the north of Limburg, Limburgish is no longer spoken, and the lect changes to more of a Gulderish/Brabantian type.
Venloos is interesting because it is so different. It seems to be transitional between Limburgish, Ripuarian German, and Gulderish/Brabantian. On purely structural grounds, there are suggestions that it is a separate language, but since we are dividing only on intelligibility and not structural grounds here, that won’t cut it. In the linguistic literature, statements are made to the effect, “If Limburgish is a separate language, then Venloos must surely be also.”
Venloos is regarded as particularly incomprehensible by many AN speakers, much more so than Limburgish. Venloos may well be a separate language, as it appears to be poorly understood outside of the Venlo region. Venloos is still very widely spoken in Venlo, even by young people. The Heinisch dialects next to the Dutch border in Viersen (Viersener Platt), Breyellsch Platt of Breyell in Nettetal and Jriefrother Platt of Grefrath are intelligible with Venloos.
Bergish or Neiderrbergisch is a form of Low Rhenish that is analogous to Limburgish. This is Limburgish spoken on the other side of the border in Germany, but the variety in Germany is a separate language.
There are two high level splits in Neiderrbergisch, Südniederfränkisch or Bergisch and Ostbergisch. However, both appear to be intelligible, so they are dialects of a single language (Harms 2009). The following nonbolded entries are all dialects of Neiderrbergisch Low Rhenish.
Ostbergisch or East Bergisch is spoken around Mülheim an der Ruhr, Saarn and Gummersbach. Gummersbach is a dialect of this language. All dialects are intelligible with Düsseldorver Platt Bergish (Harms 2009). Ostbergisch has a close relationship with the Sallands Gelders-Overijssels Dutch Low Saxon dialect spoken in Zutphen, however, the two are not completely intelligible. Dialects include Duisburg and Wuppertal.
Mülheim an der Ruhr is the classic form of Ostbergisch spoken in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Germany. It is quite different, but it is still intelligible with the other dialects.
Saarn Mülheim an der Ruhr is spoken in the Saarn District of Mülheim an der Ruhr, Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Germany, but it differs considerably from the standard version of Ostbergisch. Nevertheless, it is fully intelligible with the other dialects.
Bergish is one of two high level splits in Neiderrbergisch. It is definitely not intelligible with Cleves Kleverlandish (Harms 2009). This language is based on Low Rhenish but has acquired a heavy Ripuarian layer such that speakers feel that their speech somewhat resembles the Ripuarian language Kölsch, which is nearby (Harms 2009).
There are various dialects of this language, including Krieewelsch, spoken in central Kresweld, Ödingsch of Uerdingen in Krefeld, Metmannsch Platt of Mettmann, Düsseldorver Platt of northern and central Düsseldorf, Vogteier, spoken in Nieukerk, Solinger Platt of Solingen, Remscheder Platt of Remscheid, Rotinger Platt of Ratingen, and Wülfrother Platt of Wülfrath which is located between Düsseldorf and Wuppertal. Solingen, Krieewelsch and Wülfrath are all mutually intelligible (Harms 2009). It is also spoke in Neuss, Remscheid, Mochengladbach and Heinsberg.
Düsseldorver Platt is intelligible with Ostbergisch but not with South Guelderish, Limburgish or Aachen German. Düsseldorver Platt has 60% intelligibility with Aachen German. Düsseldorver Platt is not fully intelligible with any of the various lects spoken in the Netherlands (Harms 2009).
Düsseldorver Platt is mostly only spoken by older people these days, who nevertheless keep it very well alive. Middle-aged people have passive competence, but often not active, and young people may lack either, though some can hear the language.
Solinger Platt is a form of Bergish spoken in Solingen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The link leads to a description of it and a transcription of a short story in the dialect. It is fully intelligible with Düsseldorver Platt (Harms 2009).
Anonymous. Wesels Kleverlandish native speaker, Wesels, Germany. Personal communication. July 2009.
Anonymous. Antwerps, AN and Verkavelingsvlaams speaker, Antwerp, Belgium. Personal communication. January 2010.
Berns, J.B. 1991. “De Kaart van de Nederlandse Dialecten”, in Herman Crompvoets and Ad Dams, eds., Kroesels op de Bozzem. Het Dialectenboek, Waalre:24-27
DeEllis, Jonathon. Dutch-English translator and former Venlo resident for 10 years. January 2010. Personal communication.
Felder, Lianne. May 2015. Resident of Groningen City, Netherlands, ABN speaker. Personal communication.
Gooskens, Charlotte & Heeringa, Wilbert. 2004. The Position of Frisian in the Germanic Language Area. In: Gilbert, D. & Schreuder, M. & Knevel, N. (eds.), On the Boundaries of Phonology and Phonetics, 61-87. Klankleergroep, Faculty of Arts, University of Groningen, Groningen. Dedicated to Tjeerd de Graaf.
Gooskens, Charlotte and Kürschner, Sebastian. 2009. On the Low Saxon Dialect Continuum – Terminology and Research. In Lenz, Alexandra N.; Gooskens, Charlotte and Reker, Siemon (Eds.). Low Saxon Dialects Across Borders – Niedersächsische Dialecte Über Grenzen Hinweg, Zeitschrift fur Dialektologie und Linguistik. Beihefte 138:9-27.
Köhler, Pascal. Eschweiler German and German native speaker. Personal communication. January 20, 2015
Nerbonne, J. W.; Heeringa, E.; van den Hout, P.; van der Kooi, S. Otten, and van de Vis, W. 1996. Phonetic Distance Between Dutch Dialects. In: G. Durieux, W. Daelemans, and S. Gillis (eds.). CLIN VI, Papers from the Sixth CLIN Meeting. Antwerpen. University of Antwerp, Center for Dutch Language and Speech, 185-202.
Smith, Norval. Linguistics professor, the Netherlands. Personal communication. March 2009.
ter Denge, Martin. Twents native speaker, Rijssen, the Netherlands. Personal communication. November 2009.
Tulipan, Laszlo. Stolberg German native speaker, Stolberg, Germany. Personal communication. April 2013.
Incredible, a Western Leftwing party with the sense to oppose mass immigration on non-racist and purely economic and pro-worker grounds. Mass immigration of labor from low wage countries to high wage countries is a disaster for the workers of the high wage country. Duh. Yet the entire Western Left is still screaming for Open Borders.
Suppose I am a member of a Left party in a low wage country. Why should I support Open Borders there? On the one hand, my best workers take off to high wage countries for higher wages. I guess they send some money home if we are lucky, but how does this help develop the economy of my low wage country.
Further, I bet even low wage countries have to deal with lots of immigrants from even lower wage countries flooding in. Sure, Romanians get to go to the UK and make big bucks, but how does the mass emigration our best and brightest help grown the Romanian economy? Besides, there are always workers from Ukraine or Africa or wherever trying to flood into Romania to make what to them is big bucks.
I understand that India has a huge problem with illegal immigrants. From where? From Bangladesh. I guess things are so horrible in Bangladesh that workers pour across the border to head to the paradise called India, where I suppose they can undercut Indian workers. That’s a scary thought. You mean Bangladeshi workers work for 5 cents an hour and that undercuts Indian workers at 10 cents an hour. Good God.
There’s no end to the nightmare of this “free movement of labor” crap and it’s hard to see how anyone but the capitalist businessmen benefit.
If anything, this shows that we need to drive a stake through the heart of Marxist “internationalism.” It’s based on some future borderless socialist Kumbaya utopia that’s not on the horizon. When I die in 30 years, this utopia won’t be one step closer. So why base current policy in the capitalist world on the whimsical fancies of a Dreamworld?
Note: Repost from the old blog.
There has been much talk lately of Islam clashing with non-Muslim European culture and civilization. Starting in the 1960’s or so, Europe began importing a lot of North Africans as a source of cheap labor.
Moroccans went to Netherlands and Spain, Tunisians and Algerians to France, Pakistanis to Britain, Turks, Kurds and Syrians to Germany, Libyans to Italy, and Iraqis to Norway and Denmark. Over 40 years, the Left in Europe has tried multiculturalism with the Muslim immigrants, an approach which has completely failed.
Large populations of angry young Muslims who completely reject European civilization can now be found in many of Europe’s cities. Many of the Muslim immigrants are openly hostile to open, Western, secular European values, especially women’s rights, gay liberation, pornography and open sexual expression, revealing clothing on women and women’s sexual freedom.
Many are upset that it is illegal to beat your wife or menace, beat or kill your female relatives for being “sexually loose”.
At the same time, it is true that there are a large percentage of mostly young Muslims (especially females) who are crafting a new, more open and tolerant view of Islam.
This hopeful view can be seen in the French Muslim Women’s Movement called “Neither Submissives Nor Whores” (loose translation). Many young Muslim women in Britain are refusing to wear the hijab while citing perfectly reasonable Koranic views that say that the hijab is not mandatory.
In fact, after Mohammad’s death, Fatima, Mohammad’s daughter, often preached in the mosque and never wore the hijab. One can make a case that only the prophets’ wives were required to wear the hijab.
One can also make the case that the hijab was only meant to cover a women’s breasts or her private parts – the Koranic wording is very loose and non-specific – it says a woman should cover her “ornaments” and her bosom.
Over centuries, however, Islamic scholars, operating merely on such loose phrases as “Men and women should dress modestly”, have elaborated a strict dress code that applied mostly to women, little to men, and ended up saying that most of a woman’s body should be almost completely covered. These scholars have had little Koranic basis making such a determination.
For centuries in Islam under the Ottomans, most women did not wear the hijab – it was mostly worn by upper-class women as a symbol of their wealth and status.
The “mandatory hijab” came about more with the anti-colonial movements in the Muslim World at the turn of the century, as people turned inwards towards the more fundamentalist and reactionary versions of their cultures as an anti-colonial statement.
Multiculturalism has completely failed in Denmark. The Left pushed it for years and all it has created is a Muslim community largely hostile to secular Danish society at large and openly refusing to assimilate.
In the 1970’s and 80’s, many wealthy Iraqis and Iranians came to Denmark – those who could afford to get out. Many of their children – young people in their teens and 20’s, acted like spoiled brats. They were angry at having to leave their countries and they despised Denmark.
The Danes set up taxpayer-funded programs to teach them Danish so they could get a job. Many of them attended classes but openly refused to learn Danish. Many of them still do not know Danish and are largely unemployable. When the teachers left, they would destroy the libraries in the schools where they were being taught.
A combination of upper-class spoiled brattism plus Eastern contempt for the secular West proved to be a bad combination.
After decades of multiculturalism, Netherlands and Denmark are hanging up the towel and demanding that new immigrants either assimilate to the culture or take off. Radical imams who are not citizens are being summarily deported.
The consequences of the failure to assimilate are clear: one consequence is gang rapes. Gang rapes by young Muslim men of non-Muslim European women have been reported in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Australia, France and Indonesia.
There has been an epidemic of gang rapes in French Muslim ghettos also. Outrageously, in many cases, the police do not even prosecute these rapes because the gangs run roughshod over the neighborhoods and the female victims are too terrified to testify. For their part, most of the rapists insist that they did nothing wrong.
In the Muslim neighborhoods of Malmo, Sweden, there is a horrendous crime epidemic by Muslim youth gangs who rule the area and utterly despise Swedish society. Threats against crime witnesses, robberies, rapes of minors and gang rapes have all exploded in Malmo. In the schools, where most students are Muslim immigrants, there is widespread anti-Semitism.
Malmo is the face of catastrophic Muslim failure to assimilate to European society.
A similar picture haunts Denmark, where an astounding 68% of all rapes in Denmark are committed by Muslims, who are only 6% of the population. In Norway, it’s a similar nightmare, as 65% of rapes there are committed by Muslims, who are only 4% of the population. In recent years, Oslo has registered its highest rape rate ever – and Muslims are wildly overrepresented in Oslo’s rape explosion.
In Britain, there is a notable incidence of rape by Muslims of non-Muslim White British girls. In Denmark, eight Muslim Danish girls were killed by Muslim fundamentalist Medievalists for either leaving Islam or for honor crimes.
There is a ready explanation for the high rape rate amongst Muslims in Europe. In their home countries, the crime rate in general and the rape rate in particular is often quite low, Pakistan being an exception.
Muslims are most comfortable living in Muslim societies. Living as a Muslim minority under the rule of infidels is insulting and hurtful to the unfortunately supremacist mindset of most Muslims.
Living under Muslim rule accords well with such supremacism. Islam is meant to dominate, and the word itself means to submit. In Europe, young Muslim men are outraged at the scanty clothing and loose sexual mores of many European White non-Muslim women.
In their way of thinking, such women are whores, and they are more or less for the taking. It is permissible to rape them, since they are making themselves readily available. In their home countries, there are not many women walking around clothed like that, and women’s sexual freedom is an underground thing, so their mores are not so offended.
Furthermore, there is stigma attached to being a criminal in an Islamic society, whereas as a Muslim minority under the rule of infidels, perhaps there is less stigma and possibly criminal behavior is even seen as appropriate rebellion.
We should note here that many of the young Muslim criminals in Europe are not especially religious and most are actually turned off by radical Islam. There is something else going on here – a profound sense of alienation and rage.
The problems of Muslims in France are particularly acute, where they make up about 12% of the population, and in recent years have staged wild riots lasting weeks in which they burned 1000’s of cars and abandoned buildings. Nobody quite knows what these riots are all about, but the Muslims living in the suburbs of big French cities are clearly not very happy campers.
But all of the usual signs are there. In French Muslim ghettos, the insanity of Left multiculturalism has left Islamic fundamentalist cretin morals police to roam the French ghettos – harassing and attacking women who are not veiled.
There is an ongoing disaster in French schools, where the schools have been taken over by male Islamists who act as “big brothers” and enforce “Islamic morals” on Muslim girls. Makeup, dresses and skirts are banned, and girls are not allowed to go to the movies, to the gym or go swimming. These rules are enforced by these fundamentalist idiots via beatings and intimidation.
But the situation in the schools is actually better the scene outside of school, where the backwards custom of forcing unwilling girls into marriage at only age 14 or 15 is common.
Muslim students are in open rebellion against French society – they frequently refuse to read Voltaire and Madame Bovary, refuse to acknowledge the existence of other religions, refuse to sing, dance or draw pictures of faces, and will not draw anything that contains a right angle because it looks like a cross.
In my opinion, students who refuse to practice these basic normal scholastic activities due to their preposterous religion should simply be given an “F” in that subject, if only due to their sheer contemptuous defiance.
Muslim students, heads swollen with liberal “equal rights” bullshit, demand their own tables and their own bathrooms so they will not have to share them with infidels, the right to not come to school during Muslim holidays and the right to get served halal food.
It is almost impossible for secular or non-practicing Muslim students to avoid the Islamic dictates in these schools. For example, even non-Muslims are forced to fast during Ramadan.
The Muslim students show a lot of support of Islamist terrorism, a frightening amount of anti-Semitism and lots of aggressive Islamic proselytization. Jewish kids are subject to continuous racist and anti-Semitic abuse, and freedom of religious choice for minors can no longer be protected.
The lunacy has reached the point where the French now have almost separate facilities in their schools for Muslim and non-Muslim students, a Kafkaesque joke that makes a mockery of French Republicanism.
The new generation of French Muslims, born and raised in France, is being raised by their twisted culture to see themselves a separate nation opposed to everything the West stands for. In this group, anti-democratic views and support for Osama bin Laden are widespread.
Similar disaster looms elsewhere in the West. In Holland, you can see pitiful Moroccan girls with a smiley – their throats slashed (non-fatally), cut from mouth to ear with a knife for not wearing a veil. In Sweden, the charming folks at CAIR (the largest US Islamic organization) objected to prosecuting two Muslim men for the sick honor killing of a Swedish girl.
Prisons house wildly disproportionately Muslim populations, and they are serving as an incubator for radical Islamists in Europe.
Australia has also seen its share of the nightmare of Muslims refusing to assimilate to the West. In large Australian cities, many Lebanese have immigrated in recent years. Although many were Muslims, many more were Lebanese Christians.
For those Identity Politics Leftists who complain that this is due to anti-Arab racism by White Australians, the fact that Lebanese Christians have caused almost no problems at all in Australia is a slap in the face to their theory.
The usual symptoms of the nightmare afflict these areas of Australia, with Muslim gangs taking over Muslim districts, high crime rates, gang rapes of White Australian women by Muslim men, and with the added outrage that the gang rapes are both condoned by their backwards Muslim society and excused by morally twisted reactionary mullahs.
In one particularly outrageous case, the entire Muslim family of one rapist showed up at the trial to defend their sociopathic criminal rapist son, showing their utter contempt for the victim by calling her a slut and a liar throughout the trial.
In other cases, the barbarians in the families of the Muslim rapists threatened the families of the female rape victims.
Muslims like these are just backwards people with no place in Western society. We ought to collectively deport them back to their Middle Eastern sandboxes. Some of the insanity of these Muslims of course often mirrors the insanity of their backwards cultures back home (honor killings,etc.).
In barbarian Muslim Northern Nigeria, for instance, women who are raped by a family member are often punished by the law for adultery, similar to the insane Hudood Islamic laws in the nightmare state called Pakistan, laws instituted by former dictator Zia al-Haq’s Islamization process in the late 1970’s.
Haq’s Islamization process is widely considered to have been a disaster. As part of this process, he brought in large numbers of Saudi instructors and built a huge number of madrassas, or religious schools. The teachers in these schools were usually Salafists from the Gulf. This era was really the root cause of the radical Islamic movement in Pakistan.
It was then when radical Sunni gangs, egged on by Zia, were formed to attack the Shia “niggers” who had finally started to stand up for their just rights after having spent centuries withering under the boot of Sunni Jim Crow oppression in Pakistan.
I really don’t want to go here, but Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, a site pretty much devoted to bashing Muslims, does have an interesting and thought-provoking article here called, What Is a Moderate Muslim?.
Those who desire to refute Spencer need to put their money where their mouth is and offer reasonable, coherent arguments refuting his points. Simple insults like “Islamophobe” or “bigot” will not cut it.
Most reasonable progressives should agree that all forms of fundamentalism are examples of cretinism and obscurantism at best. This surely applies to Islam as well as Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism. Salafism is extremist fundamentalist Islam, and it can be reasonably attacked on many fronts.
It shares much in common with both the Wahhabism of the reactionary Saudis and with Qutbism, the philosophy of Al Qaeda. Many Western progressives are getting sucked into the vortex of backwards Sunni fundamentalist clowns, especially the Salafists. One argument is that some Salafists are peaceful, while the armed ones tend to resemble Mssrs. Zarqawi and Bin Laden.
I have always felt that peaceful Salafism is hate speech, kind of like the KKK without guns. In other words, it sucks. This blog post goes a long way towards fleshing that out.
This post has probably been a pretty depressing read for any Muslims or anyone sympathetic to Islam. Hence, we ought to end on a bright note.
A recent survey of the Arab World shows that the varieties of Islamic fundamentalist cretinism espoused by Wahhabism, Salafism, Qutbism, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, etc. are not popular at all in most of the Arab World.
Here are the results of the survey:
Vast majorities in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco support some variety women’s rights. Support for the Taliban-Al Qaeda position on women ranges from 1-9% in these countries.
98% said women should have the same rights to education as men clear through university. 91% said women should an equal right to work, and 78% said they should have the same working conditions as men. 91% said women should be allowed to own property and own and manage economic projects. 95% said women should be allowed to choose their own husbands, and 97% condemned physical and mental abuse of women.
62-90% opposed polygamy, but men supported it more than women. 79% supported women’s political activities and 76% said women should be able to hold office. There is much more support for the hijab, however – 43-50% said that women must wear it, while 1/2 said it was a personal decision.
On the down side, majorities in Jordan and Egypt opposed a female president, although Lebanese and Moroccans were less hostile.
Bottom line is that Arabs are not nearly as misogynistic, reactionary and fundamentalist as they are made out to be. By the way, the ME Times is a good progressive Middle Eastern publication, opposed to both Islamic fundamentalism and Arab backwardness and also to US imperialism and Zionism.
It’s a welcome anecdote from the usual Arab nationalist and pro- Arab regime junk you get from the Arab press, much of which is funded with Saudi money. Update: This post has received accolades from a conservative blogger at Pleasant Misery. Although we certainly disagree with conservatives on most things, in the fight against Muslim fundamentalist idiots, we will take any reasonable allies that we can find.
One of the points he made was that the Muslims in the Middle East appear to be better behaved than the Muslims in Europe. I do not think so – they are the same people. Let us face it – Islam wants to dominate; it is a supremacist religion.
In some places where Islam dominates, other religions are sometimes treated fairly well. Christians are treated with at least some degree of decency in Morocco, Iran, Uzbekistan, Albania, Tunisia, Jordan, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon. Even Jews are treated fairly well in Iran, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, Bahrain, Uzbekistan and Albania.
Where Islam dominates, Muslims relax and can often treat other religions well.
And they can also also be moderately tolerant of sinful behavior. Many women in Lebanon and Egypt do not wear the hijab, and the hijab is almost banned in public places in Turkey, Tunisia and Libya. Prostitution and nightclubs are common in Beirut, Cairo and the UAE.
Mini-skirted upper class women are commonly seen on university campuses in Kuwait. Pre- and extramarital sex is common in Cairo.
There is a discreet underground male gay scene in Cairo and Upper Egypt, and in Morocco, Turkey, Arabia, Oman and Kuwait. There is quite a bit of lesbianism in Arabia, in girls schools and amongst the frustrated wives of the royalty. Gay male pornography is available to anyone in Arabia with a satellite dish, which just about everyone has.
There is a lot of illegal drinking in Kuwait and probably other places in the Arab World.
I could go on.
But in Europe, Muslims are a widely-despised minority, and more importantly, they are being ruled by infidels. Islam wants to dominate, and Muslims rebel when ruled by infidels. The open sexuality, alcohol, drugs, prostitution, pornography, gay populations and feminism contrasts with the discretion with which such areas are treated back home under Islam.
This is the crux of the matter.
But those Western Muslims who are unable to assimilate to Western societies need to consider going somewhere else.
Muslims who consistently violate and show contempt for Western norms and continue to espouse backwards fundamentalist values – for instance, Muslims who believe that those who insult Islam or women who preach in mosques should be killed – need to be removed from Western societies if possible, hopefully via deportation.
Repost from the old site.
Take a lot at these “Black” and “non-White” Chechen kids in Jordan. Boy, they sure look pretty darn White to me! Especially that girl with the dark red hair and the turquoise eyes. Wasn’t that one of Hitler’s favorite combinations? White Power boneheads.These people would probably be considered to be members of the Balkano-Caucasian race*. In this group, there are many with fair skin, light eyes and a lot of body hair.
This will go along with another post I wrote along the same lines, Are Dagestanis and Tajiks White?. The conclusion of that post was, yes, they are White. The reason it is even an issue is that Russians insist that the people of the Caucasus are “Blacks” and “non-Whites”.
It seems that quite a few White nationalists also deny that Armenians, Georgians, Dagestanis, Azerbaijanis, Chechens and other Caucasian peoples are White. White in this case will refer to peoples having a phenotype that is not only Caucasoid but also resembles European Caucasoids. As you can see in this neat video of cute little Chechen kids shot in Jordan.
There is a large Chechen and Circassian population in Jordan dating back to the imperial wars of conquest that Russia waged on the Caucasus from 1806-1863.
Having looked at quite a few pictures of people from the Caucasus, I think that there is a distinctive phenotype there. Some say that the people of the Caucasus are the only Whites or Caucasians who should be considered “pure” Caucasians, as opposed to any mongrelized Europeans, although the whole concept of pure races and mongrelized races is pretty ridiculous.
More “non-Whites” or “Blacks” or whatever. This is a photo from a law firm in Georgia. This could be a photo of any American law firm. There does seem to be a bit of a Georgian phenotype. There are suggestions that the people of the Caucasus are the “purest” Euro-Caucasians of them all, though the whole notion is pretty silly.On the other hand, it is thought that the Caucasoid race did begin somewhere around this region, and the Middle East, the Caucasus, India and North Africa have been among the most important regions in incubating and developing of the proto-Caucasians.Georgians are probably members of the West-Caucasiantype of the Balkano-Caucasian race. They are characterized by an above-average stature, a slight build, relatively light skin, sharp features and dark eyes. A pretty typical Dagestani phenotype in this young girl. Notice the women with the head coverings. As you can see, these folks are obviously non-Whites. Snark. Dagestanis are part of the Caucasian division of the Balkano-Caucasian Race*. This race is highly variable and varies among ethnic groups, but its principal features are a massive skull, medium height and relatively light skin. In the Bagulals, it is characterized by comparatively dark pigmentation, a massive broad face and a round skull and large stature. The Udis have massive skulls and relatively light skin. The Tindis are more related to the Caspian Race, with a smaller skull and darker features. In the Tabasarans, a thin face is present. The Khinalugs have hooked noses like Jews and Arabs. The Archis have an aquiline nose, a high forehead and short stature. A Dagestani girl with a possibly Iranian appearance. The people of the Caucasus are extremely diverse genetically, with as great a distance between small groups as between large groups around the world. They may have achieved this high rate of differentiation due to the high peaks which allowed people to remain in their valleys, interact and breed little with outsiders and cultivate strange and wildly divergent languages. Genetically, they are Caucasians, but they are apart from most Europeans. But then so are Basques and Sardinians. There is a Chechen girl in the video above who has a similar phenotype. Azerbaijani kids. The blonde and probably blue-eyed kids look like they could be Norwegians. The general consensus is that Azerbaijanis in Azerbaijan are not a Turkic people. Instead, they are a people of the Caucasus, like Georgians or Armenians, who converted to Islam and adopted a Turkic tongue. The mechanism is unknown, but possibly they were conquered by a Turkic people. They may have been Christians before this conquest. Azerbaijanis are as White as you can get. More very White-looking Azerbaijanis from their peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. They look like British, Americans, or Danes. Some Azerbaijanis, probably at a town meeting. This is a secular Shia Muslim society, but the women generally cover their hair.
Some of the most infamous students of race, in particular the Caucasoid Race, especially the White or European branch of it, were the Nazis. The Nazis were actually incredible in this regard. Germans are pretty obsessive and studious about most things, and they love to write up ponderous, footnoted essays on everything around them. The Nazis were no different.
The were some of the most horrible murderers in history, but they were particular about who they killed. They were even particular about Jews. Their beef was not with the Jewish religion – the Nazi beef with the Jews had to do with race. All of the things that Nazis disliked about Jews were said to be genetically coded into the Jewish genome, and the Jews who they really hated with the Ashkenazim.
For instance, when the Nazis moved into the Caucasus and the Crimea from Spring to September of 1944, they ran into Mountain Jews (Jews of the Caucasus), the Karaites (a split-off sect from Judaism, and the Krymchaks of the Crimea.
The Krymchaks were determined to be Jews by Himmler himself and ordered destroyed, although they were generally considered to be non-Ashkenazi Jews.
The Karaites were considered to be racially Tatars, descended from the famous Jews of the Khazar Kingdom, and hence were ordered to be saved. However, there was some confusion, and some were killed.
Amazingly, the Einsatzgruppen themselves (the fanatical murderers of lore) actually conducted research studies into the Karaites when they showed up in the Crimea to determine if they should be killed or not. They also sent requests back to Germany for guidance on whether or not to kill the Karaites.
The Karaites themselves petitioned to the Nazis that they were not Jews, and a number even went to work for the Nazis. 400-500 even fought in the German Army.
In Crimea and Stavropol, communities of Mountain Jews were destroyed.
However, when the Nazis conquered part of the Caucasus from August to October 1944, in particular the towns of Mozdok and Nalchik, the Mountain Jews there were largely spared. There was a controversy in the party over whether or not they were really Jews. The Nazi Party said they were, but German specialists in Oriental Studies said they were racially Iranians. Here is a photo of the beautiful Sarit Hadad, a Mountain Jew whose parents moved to Israel. She’s a very famous singer in Israel.
Incredibly, the Einsatzgruppen had scholars in its ranks who went into the homes of these Mountain Jews to conduct studies on whether to kill them or not! This controversy was not settled by the time that the Nazis were driven out in early 1943.
It is interesting that in general, the Nazis cared much more about the racial stock of a given Jewish group than about whatever strange brand of Judaism they practiced. A good overview of this strange and complex situation is here in a piece by Kiril Feferman.
Nazi racial scholars working at various institutes set up for the study of race in Germany (!) and within the Nazi Party also studied the people of the Caucasus. It is not known what they determined, but apparently the people of the Caucasus were considered non-Slavs and a good racial stock. At any rate, very large numbers of people in the Caucasus went over to the Nazis during World War 2.
There is current anti-Communist revisionist thinking that says that hardly any Caucasians went over, but this is not the case. Many people in this region had long wanted to be free of the Orthodox Slavic Russians, and the Nazis played up this fear by offering them the promise of independence.
At the time of the Russian invasion, Stalin put almost the entire population of Chechnya and Ingushetia on board trains for Siberia because he feared that they would cooperate with the Nazis. The local Chechen and Ingush governments had in fact welcomed the Nazis and said that they would collaborate with them.
These deportations were horrible, and it is said that when they were returned to the Caucasus a decade later, 1/3 of them had died. The Crimeans were also deported on the basis of collaboration, and many of them died too. Many Crimeans had in fact collaborated with the Nazis.
All through the region, there were lots of collaborators. There were separate Georgian, Armenian and Caucasian legions of volunteers in the Nazi military. After the Soviets withdrew, they went back to the Netherlands and served as an occupying force there. To be fair, many Caucasians also fought for the Red Army.
The emblem of the Georgian volunteer division of the Wehrmacht. The file says BeVOF, but I don’t know what that stands for.The Osttruppen Legion in the Caucasus already in 1943. I believe that these are local volunteers. Gleeful Nazi soldiers murder an innocent Soviet female villager and steal her ducks. This was standard practice during Operation Barbarossa in the Slavic regions, and 75% of the “inferior” Slavs were slated to be killed in one way or another. This photo is from 1943, but I am not sure where in the USSR this took place. A Nazi soldier gets ready to murder two Soviet Slavic women during Operation Barbarossa. This incident probably took place in the Ukraine or Belarus, but I am not sure. These women aren’t being killed for any particular reason, only that they are Slavs. The emblem of the Armenian volunteer legion of the SS. The file says BeVOF, but I am not sure what that stands for. There were quite a few Armenians who considered themselves Aryans and went along with Nazi racial doctrine, and there are even some today. There are open neo-Nazi groups inside Armenia who distribute all sorts of nasty anti-Semitic conspiracy against Armenian Jews, tying them to the Armenian genocide and all sorts of nonsense. Anti-Semitism is a pretty serious problem in Armenia, and it’s pretty widespread. Strange for the Armenians, often called in the US, “Jews without money”. The SS sleeve of the Berghaukasien volunteers. This SS group was made up of Caucasian volunteers for the SS. A propaganda poster used in the Nazi invasion of the Caucasus. It says, “Free Caucasus From Bolshevik Tyranny.” Here is a propaganda poster for the Free Caucasus Movement set up by the Nazis after they invaded. I’m not sure what this file represents, but I think it is was the flag of an Armenian pro-Nazi group at the time. A map showing German allies in the Caucasus in November 1942. It lists the large volunteer divisions that were easily recruited in this region among Georgians, Caucasians, Crimeans and Armenians. Once more, the SS legions of the Caucasus who followed the Nazis out of the USSR and back to the Netherlands where they served as an occupying force. The Georgian, Armenian and Caucasian SS groups helped to occupy the Netherlands in from 1943-1945. A photo of the Bergmann Legionnaires, apparently a group of local Caucasian volunteers for the Nazis, in action in the Summer of 1942 in the Caucasus. The same Bergmann Legionnaires in action in Warsaw in 1944. I’m not sure what they were doing there, but possibly they were in action putting down a Warsaw Uprising that took place there in that year. Not the famous Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of the Jews in Spring 1943, but another one of the Gentiles. Incredibly, new anti-Communist revisionist material blames Stalin for the decimation of this uprising. Supposedly he waited on the outskirts of Warsaw until the Nazis had put down the uprising, and then he entered the city. Apparently he wanted to see all those Poles killed. Why? Commenters have more information about this in the comments thread for this post, including a more rational explanation for what took place. More photos of the Bergmann Legionnaires, this time in Greece in 1944. I don’t know what they were doing there, but I guess they were helping to occupy the place. Bergmann officers at a meal, location unknown but possibly Greece. The file says CD14 Festung Europa. I don’t know what that means, but this is obviously an anti-Soviet propaganda poster showing a Red Army solider coming from the East to destroy Christianity, with a torch in his hand. The Christian armies of Europe apparently wait to do battle with this invader from the East. This is apparently a book written by Eduard Abramian about the Bergmann Legionnaires, who included Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijani and Caucasian factions. I bet that book is hard to find, but it might be an interesting read. An Armenian legionnaire on the Western front. This map shows the various Caucasian volunteer legions occupying the Netherlands in Summer of 1944. The Bergmann volunteer legion in Greece in 1944. Bergmann legionnaires in battle in 1944, location unknown.
*According to the old system of anthropology If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site.
Updated June 28, 2016. This post will be regularly updated for some time. Warning! This essay is very long; it runs to 66 pages on the Internet. This is part 1 of the essay: Low German. Part 2 deals with Central German and Part 3 deals with High German.
This classification splits Low German from 10 languages into 12 languages using the criterion of >90% intelligibility = dialect and <90% intelligibility = language. Low German or Low Saxon is a group of far northern German dialects. Dialects up by Hamburg and Friesland sound like English. According to an older edition of Ethnologue, there are 20-30 Low German lects which are all mutually unintelligible. None of the Low German languages are intelligible with Standard German. Low German differs from region to region and even from village to village. Ethnologue says that there are only 1,000 speakers of Low German, but that 10 million can understand the language. This is completely wrong.
On the basis of a recent survey conducted in the former West Germany 25 years ago, 20%, or 3.5 million, said that they could speak Low German very well. Another 36%, or 6.5 million, said they had anywhere from some to good Low German speaking abilities. Fully 89%, or 16 million, had some reasonable amount of understanding of the language.
This means that 25 years ago, there were 10 million people in West Germany alone who could speak Low German to one degree or another.
Until fairly recently, most Low German speakers could only speak their Low German language and nothing else.
Low German has over 4,000 different dialects in it. As late as 1960, a situation existed from Hamburg west to the Netherlands border in Germany whereby, while most spoke Standard German, most also spoke regional dialects. In general, one village could understand the next couple of villages over, but beyond that, things got dicey. So even 50 years, you had many de facto separate languages of Low German. The question is how many of these separate languages still exist.
Even today, more pure forms of Low Saxon have about 40% intelligibility with Standard German.
Recent writings suggest that all Low Saxon speakers can communicate adequately in any of these disparate lects. This flies in the face of SIL’s earlier statement about 20-30 inherently unintelligible languages. Therefore, there needs to be an assessment on the ground of what existing Low Saxon lects look like and how intelligible they are with each other.
Some descriptions describe the type of intelligibility within Low Saxon as akin to that between the Scandinavian languages. However, recent findings seem to indicate that the mutual intelligibility of the Scandinavian languages is much exaggerated.
Having seen transcriptions of translations of a single short story into different Low Saxon lects, it seems clear to me that they differ dramatically. Ethnologue has already split off Westphalian and East Frisian Low Saxon, so the matter is settled as far as those two go. All of the rest are lumped into Low German as some possibly dubious macrolect. The situation regarding intelligibility within German Low Saxon remains very confused. North Low Saxon is a Low Saxon language spoken in the north of Germany. It is understood across a wide region. There is a standard version based broadly on the Hamburg dialect that is widely used on TV and in the media. Dialects include Holsteinisch, Schleswigsch, Bremen, Hamburgs, Emsland and Oldenberg. All of these dialects are apparently mutually intelligible, though transcribed versions of them are often quite divergent. Schleswig-Holstein is a North Low Saxon language spoken in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany. Holsteinisch North Low Saxon and Schleswigsch North Low Saxon appear to be mutually intelligible, but some speakers of Schleswig-Holstein have difficulty understanding North Low Saxon from Lower Saxony to the south. Holsteinisch (Holsatian)is a North Low Saxon dialect spoken in Holstein around Kiel. It has similarities with the Old Low German language and to Bremen Westphalian and Heide Westphalian. Holsteinisch is still holding up pretty well.
This is the area from which the Angles and Saxons originated before leaving for Britain. Holsteinisch may well be intelligible with Hamburgs, Oldenberg and Schleswigsch. Subdialects include Heikendoft, Dithmarscher, Central Holsteinisch (Zentral Holsteinisch), Stormarner, East Holsteinisch (Ostholsteinisch) and Kiel. Schleswigsch (Schleswickian) is a North Low Saxon dialect spoken in Schleswig. It has a lot of influence from North Frisian and Low Danish. This lect is not intelligible at all with Standard German. People from around Berlin even say that they can’t understand a word of this lect in its pure form. In the city of Flensberg near the Danish border, the whole city speaks Schleswigsch. Very close to the border with Denmark, people speak a form of Schleswigsch that is intelligible with South Jutnish, a highly divergent form of Danish spoken in the far south of Denmark that is actually a separate language.
This dialect is doing very well compared to the rest of Low Saxon, especially in the west area of the zone. Angel German is a North Low Saxon language spoken in the Anglen region of far northern German. This region stretches from the Baltic Sea in the north and east to the Dannevirke and the Slie in the south and the moors in the west, a triangle of 350 square miles. This is where the Angles who invaded England and gave the name of the country and the language their name came from. Angel German to this day sounds somewhat like English. Angel German is poorly understood even by other Low German speakers because it still has many Danish words and grammar (Bock 1933).
Most of the grammar is German, but most of the vocabulary is Danish with some German and Low German words mixed in (Gosch 1861). It sounds a lot more like Danish than German. There are certain Danish sounds such as the z, soft s and sch that no German can pronounce without special training. One theory is that this was formerly Danish or more properly South Jutnish, a dialect so divergent that it can be seen as a separate language from Danish, that simply became Germanized over time due to instruction in the German language.
At one time, fishermen around Lübeck spoke a form of Low Saxon koine that could be understood by sailors and fishermen from any of the Baltic Sea nations. Hamburgisch is a North Low Saxon dialect that serves as something like the official form of Low Saxon, a koine, or Standard Low Saxon, in Germany. It is widely understood across the Low Saxon speaking region. The language itself is spoken and around Hamburg. Ollands, spoken in Ollands, a fruit and vegetable growing region of northern Germany on the Lower Elbe, is a subdialect of Hamburgisch. Other subdialects include Finkwarder, Kirchwerder, Harburg , Olwarder, Veerlanner (with many sub-subdialects), and Barmbeker. Kirchwerder is spoken 12 miles southeast of Hamburg.
There are still some middle-aged speakers of Hamburgisch, and the language is doing better than most Low Saxon lects. In addition, there are also some young speakers of Hamburgish, especially on islands off the coast of the mouth of the Elbe River. Bremen is a North Low Saxon dialect that is spoken in the area about from Bremen east. It has traces of both the Frisian and the Oldenberg languages and is related to both the Holstein and the Heide languages. It may be intelligible with Oldenberg, Hamburgs, Schleswigsch and Holsatian. Bremen has only 57% intelligibility to speakers of Gronings-East Frisian Low Saxon. Oldenberg is a North Low Saxon dialect that is spoken just west of Bremen in what used to be the state of Oldenberg. This language is holding up better than a lot of the other Low Saxon lects.
It has been influenced somewhat in the north by East Frisian, and there is an inland version of East Frisian called Saterland Frisian that is spoken right around this area. To the south, it has been influenced by Munsterland Westphalian, and to the east, by Bremen Westphalian and Heine Westphalian. Subdialects include North Oldenburg (Nordoldenburger). It may be intelligible with Holsatian, Hamburgs, Schleswigsch and Bremen. Emsland includes the southern part of the former Weser-Ems district (the area around Osnabrück in Lower Saxony and Emsdetten in far Northern Rhine-Westphalia). This dialect has very heavy East Frisian, Dutch and Groningen influences. It is still doing fairly well. Weser-Trave is a subdialect. West Low Saxon is a group of languages and dialects spoken in the Netherlands and Germany. For the West Low Saxon languages spoken in the Netherlands, see here. Dialects spoken in Germany include South Emsland (Südemsländisch), Hümmlinger, South Oldenburg (Südoldenburgisch), North Osnabrück (Nordosnabrückisch), and West Diepholzer. South Oldenburg is spoken in Oldenburger Münsterland.
Westphalian (Westfäölsk) is a West Low German language spoken in Westphalia in the northeastern part of North Rhine-Westphalia, but not in Siegerland and Wittgenstein. It is a separate language and is definitely not intelligible with other forms of Low German.
It is mostly spoken by older people now. Westphalian is doing fairly well, but not great, compared to other Low Saxon lects. There are still a tiny number of speakers in Iowa in the Waterloo and Cedar Falls area of Blackhawk and Bremer Counties. Dialects include West Munsterland (Westmünsterländisch), South Westphalian (Südwestfälisch), and Bentheimisch. Münsterlandishis a Westphalian language spoken in Westphalia around Munster. Furthermore, it is very hard for Northern Low Saxon to understand, harder to understand than the rest of Westphalian. It is mostly spoken by older people now. Intelligibility testing with this language and the rest of Westphalian is indicated. Steinfurt is a Munsterlandish dialect spoken in Westphalia around Munster. It is quite different from Munster Westphalian proper. This language is transitional between North Saxon, Eastphalian and Westphalian.
This seems to be the lect that is often described as Grafschafter Platt (County Language). The term “county” refers to the fact that this region was one of the few in Germany that had was ruled by a count (a feudal figure like a duke). Grafschafter Platt seems to be spoken in the region between Osnabrück (Emsland) and Munsterland and over to the Dutch border where it looks like it borders on Twents.
There are a tremendous number of dialects in this language, especially over by the Dutch border. It’s not really correct to say that each village has its own dialect, but there is definitely a dialect continuum with new dialects every few villages or so.
The five main dialects are Gildehaus, Upper Grafschaft, Nordhorn, Lower Grafschaft, and Wietermarschen Group. Wietermarschen Group is spoken in Wietermarschen, Drievorden, and Engden. Nordhorn is spoken in the city of that name. Lower Grafschaft is spoken around the towns of Emlichheim, Laar, and Hoogstede. Lower Grafschaft has heavy Dutch influence, more than any other West Low German language spoken in Germany. This language has undergone a serious decline in the past 50 years. It is now spoken by 25% of the population and understood by 50%. East Westphalian (Ostwestfälisch) is a series of lects that are spoken in the eastern parts of the Westphalian speaking zone. Osnabrück is an East Westphalian dialect spoken in the area around Osnabrück in southern Lower Saxony. Lübbecke is an East Westphalian language that is spoken in and around Lübbecke and to the north. The variety from around the towns of Stemwede and Oppenwehe has poor intelligibility with the Osnabrück Westphalian spoken around Bad Ilburg south of Osnabrück only 25 miles to the southwest. The region is heavily forested. Ravensbergish-Lippish is an East Westphalian dialect that is spoken in the north of Northern Rhine-Westphalia near Lippstadt, Steinhagen, and Rheda-Wiedenbruck. Paderborner is an East Westphalian dialect spoken around Paderborn in northeast Northern Rhine-Westphalia near the border with Lower Saxony. Soester Westphalian is an East Westphalian dialect spoken in and around the city of Soester east of the Ruhr region. Sauerland is an East Westphalian language, definitely a separate language, spoken in Westphalia in the Sauerland, which is in southeast North Rhine-Westphalia. Although it is related to Westphalian, it is a separate language and is not intelligible with other forms of Westphalian or Low German. This language is definitely still spoken. There are other languages spoken in the Ruhr-Sauerland region. Balve is an East Westphalian dialect spoken in and around Balve, near Dortmund in the Sauerland region of North Rhine-Westphalia. This area has tremendous dialect diversity and there is a new language every couple dozen miles or so. Knowing this and comparing Balve with Lüdenscheid, Balve may be a separate language, however, until we get specific data, we can’t split it off. Lüdenscheid is an East Westphalian language spoken in and around the city of Lüdenscheid in North Rhine Westphalia. Speakers report that the Low German in this region is incredibly varied, with new languages ever couple dozen miles or so. Thus, Lüdenscheid may be a separate language, , however, until we get specific data, we can’t split it off. Gladbeck is an East Westphalian language spoken in the town of Gladbeck. Gladbeck is a town located in the Ruhr between Gelsenkirchen and Bottrop and north of Essen. Eastphalian (Ostfälisch) is a West Low German language spoken east of the Weser River in southern parts of Lower Saxony and western parts of Saxony-Anhalt, in cities such as Hanover, Braunschweig, Hildesheim, Göttingen, and Magdeburg in Eastphalia. It is completely unintelligible with the rest of Low Saxon.This language is barely holding on, with very low activity and only a few speakers. Eastphalian is best seen as transitional between Low German and Middle German.
Eastphalian lects include Solling, Braunschweiger, Bode (Bode Ostfälisch), Calenberger, Elbe (Elbostfälisch), Göttingisch-Grubenhagensch, Heide (Heideostfälisch), Hildesheimer , Holzland (Holzland Ostfälisch), Huy (Huy Ostfälisch), North Eastphalian (Nord Ostfälisch), Oker (Oker Ostfälisch), East Eastphalian (Ostostfälisch), and Papenteicher . Solling is an extremely divergent lect of Eastphalian that is spoken in the Solling Forest of Lower Saxony. It is dying out, but the pure form of it is still spoken by the elderly. It is very strange and is said to sound like the Frisian language. It is quite possible that this is a separate language, as it is said to be quite distant from Eastphalian proper. Elbostfälisch is an Eastphalian language spoken around Oschersleben and Haldensleben in the Magdeburger Börde, which is between Helmstedt and Magdeburg. It is spoken on the west side of the Elbe River from Magdeburg west to the Harz Mountains in Saxony-Anhalt. This language has heavy influence from East Low German and is actually transitional between East and West Low German. It is still in very good shape and is widely spoken in Magdeburg at least. Göttingisch-Grubenhagensch is a dialect of Eastphalian spoken around Göttingen, Northeim, and Osterode am Harz. It is mostly spoken by older people now. Heideostfälisch is a dialect of Eastphalian spoken around Celle that has some with Northern Low Saxon elements. It is spoken between Hamburg, Bremen and Hanover. This language has many words that look like English. This suggests that Heide was close to one of the original Old Low German languages that gave rise to Old English. Heide means “pagan” in this language, and this group resisted feudalism and Christianity longer than most other groups in the area. This in part explains the ancient nature of their tongue. This is the area from which the Angles and Saxons originated before leaving for Britain. Central Eastphalian is is a dialect of Eastphalian spoken in a large area surrounding Braunschweig and Hanover. It is mostly spoken by older people now. This dialect is in particularly poor shape. Papenteicher is an Eastphalian dialect spoken just north of Brunswick. There are only about 300 speakers left. It is no longer taught to children. There are many more who know individual words and phrase. The language is almost never heard in the region anymore. This dialect has some interesting sounds that are only heard in Friesland and Jutland. It is thought that the region was originally settled by people from this region 1,500 years ago. East Low German is a group of languages spoken in Mecklenburg – West Pomerania and Brandenburg and surrounding areas, including over into Poland. The two main branches are Mecklenburgish-Pomeranian and Markish. Low Prussian is not included in this grouping – it is a separate group. These are more recent lects, created from West Low German lects with Russian and Standard German admixture. Mecklenburgisch-Vorpommersch is an East Low German language group. Lects in this group include Wendländisch, Mecklenburgish, West Pomeranian (Westpommersch), and Strelitzisch. Strelizisch is transitional to Mittelpommersch. There are still a considerable number of people who speak and understand this language. Mecklenburgisch is an East Low Saxon dialect spoken in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. It has very high to excellent intelligibility with North Low Saxon, so it may only be a dialect of Low German. It is spoken in far northeastern Germany around Straslund and Rostock. This area was once Slavic, but Charlemagne moved Germans in this area. These Germans spoke Low German. Many of these immigrants also spoke Frisian, so there is an element of that too.
However, in the 1700’s, High German became such a strong force in the area that this dialect began to be mixed with High German. The dialect remains very archaic, as the region is very resistant to change in general. This dialect is doing ok, but not great, compared to other Los Saxon lects. Although it is officially an East Low German dialect, it is actually on the border between East Low German and West Low German. Before 1945, this dialect was the main means of communication in the villages. Vorpommern or West Pomeranian is an East Low Saxon language spoken in Western Pomerania, Vorpommern or Hither Pomerania, however you want to translate the term. This is a part of far northeast Germany on the border with Poland. The northern border is the North Sea. This language is doing ok, but not great, compared to other Low Saxon lects.
As part of a dialect continuum, Pomeranian is clearly not intelligible with East Frisian Low Saxon, but it may be intelligible with Mittelpommersch or Mecklenburgisch. Markish (Märkisch)* is a group of East Low German lects spoken below Middle Pomeranian through Brandenburg down to Berlin and south and east of it, and over to the eastern parts of Saxony-Anhalt. It is little known. It is a major high level German dialect division. Markish is not intelligible with Upper Saxon. This suggests that Markish may well be a separate language. There are many Dutch words in this language.
There are nine lects of Markish. Pomeranian or East Pomeranian is a Markish language spoken in Poland. This area was Slavic in the 600’s. The Danes laid waste to the area in the 1000’s. The destruction was so severe that the rulers invited German farmers to the area to rehabilitate the land, and this interesting language developed.
Speakers are all elderly and scattered, and the language is moribund. This language was also decimated by the expulsion of Germans from Poland after WW2.
There are five major dialects: West Prussian (Westpreußisch) was formerly spoken in West Prussia. Western Further Pomeranian (Westhinterpommersch) was formerly spoken in western Further Pomerania. Eastern Further Pomeranian (Osthinterpommersch) was formerly spoken in eastern Further Pomerania. Bublitzisch was formerly spoken in Bublitz (now Bobolice), Poland. Pomerelian (Pommerellisch) was formerly spoken in a region called Pomerelia.
Pomeranian is not intelligible with Low Prussian or other Low German languages. There is still a significant Pomeranian community in Brazil, and there are some Pomeranian speakers in the US too. North Margravian or Mittelpommersch is a Markish dialect spoken in the northern part of Brandenburg State around Prenzlau and Wittenberg and in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania around Pasewalk-Ueckermünde.
This dialect has or had two subdialects, West Middle Pomeranian (Westmittelpommersch) and East Middle Pomeranian (Ostmittelpommersch). East Middle Pomeranian was spoken in the Lower Oder River region of Poland around Stettin and Stargard and may well be extinct since 1945. West Middle Pomeranian is still alive and is spoken in the areas discussed above. There is some activity to keep this language going, and there are still some speakers left. Before 1945, this language was still the main medium of communication in almost all of the villages in the area. North Markish (Nordmärkisch or Altmärkisch) is a Markish dialect spoken in Salzwedel, Gardelegen and Stendal in far northern Saxony-Anhalt. This dialect has Eastphalian influences. Westprignitzisch is a Markish dialect spoken in Perleberg, Pritzwalk, and Wittstock in far northwestern Brandenburg. Ostprignitzisch is a Markish dialect spoken in Löwenberg, Templin, Zehdenick, and Fürstenberg in far northern Brandenburg. The Prignitz dialects show less Dutch influence than other dialects in the area. They are also close to Mecklenburgish. New Markish (Neumärkisch) is a Markish dialect spoken in Angermünde and Schwedt/Oder in northeastern Brandenburg. Flämingisch is a Markish dialect spoken in Jüterbog and Buchenwald in Brandenburg south of Berlin near the border with Saxony-Anhalt and in Saxony-Anhalt in areas north of Wittenberg. Flämingisch is transitional between Low German and Middle German. It is little spoken anymore except by the elderly who are partial speakers. Persons composing a dictionary have only been able to come up with about 1,500 words. It is clearly dying out. Havelländisch is a Markish dialect spoken in Rathenow, Premnitz and Nauen in Brandenburg west of Berlin. Brandenburgish or Central Margravianis an East Low German dialect spoken west of Berlin in Staaken, Potsdam and Brandenburg and west of Berlin in Potsdam, Brandenburg an der Havel.
It has been influenced heavily by Dutch from guest workers who came in the 1700’s, and it also has a Westphalian influence. South Brandenburgish (Südbrandenburgisch) and Eberswalder are dialects of Brandenburgish.
There are suggestions that this language is nearly extinct, and may even be extinct, and that speakers for the most part have reverted to a Berlinisch sort of dialect of German. However, this new lect (or whatever lect they area speaking) is unintelligible with Standard German. This language, whatever form it is taking, is still going very strong as of three years ago. New Mecklenburgish is spoken north and northwest of Berlin around Oranienburg and Neuruppin. It is not in good shape and is under heavy pressure from Berlinisch and Standard German. In fact, it may well be de facto extinct. Investigation is needed to determine if this dialect even exists anyone, or has reverted to some sort of Berlinisch dialect. Low Prussian (Niederpreußisch) is a separate branch of Low German spoken in eastern Poland. It is spoken in the region where the Slavic Kashubian language is spoken, so it received some influence from that language. This area was Slavic in the 1200’s and became German in the 1700’s.
This is a full language, not intelligible with Standard German or with any other German language. It used to have many speakers, but now it is moribund. There are a few elderly speakers left, but no language community.
It has 11 major dialects. Low Prussian-East Pomeranian (Übergangsmundart zum Ostpommerschen) was a transitional dialect with East Pomeranian. Vistula Delta (Weichselmündungsgebietes) was spoken around Danzig (Gdansk) at the mouth of the Vistula River. Frischen-Danzig Spit (Frischen-Nehrung Danziger-Nehrung) was spoken around the Vistula Lagoon. Elbing Heights (Elbinger Höhe) was spoken around Elbing (Elblag). Kürzungs was spoken around Braunsberg (Braniewo). West Käslausch (Weskäslausch) was spoken around Mehlsack (Pieniezno). East Käslausch (Ostkäslausch) was spoken around Rößel (Reszel). Natangian-Bartish (Natangisch-Bartisch) was spoken around Bartenstein (Bartoszyce). West Sambian (Westsamländisch) was spoken around Pillau (Baltiysk). East Sambian (Ostsamländisch) was spoken around Königsberg (Kaliningrad), Labiau (Polessk) and Znamensk (Wehlau). Eastern (Ostgebietes) was spoken around Insterburg (Chernyakhovsk), Memel (Klaipeda) and Sovetsk (Tilsit).
Another dialect was Haff (Haff Niederpreußisch). It is not known where this dialect was spoken.
Dialect intelligibility is not known.
It became moribund due to the expulsion of Prussian speakers from Poland after WW2. It is not intelligible with other Low German languages or with Pomeranian. There are apparently still some speakers in Wisconsin.
I used to work with a Dutch guy who said that he was at some sort of North Sea confab, and when people spoke in their national languages they couldn’t understand one another but when they spoke their local dialects, they found them mutually intelligible. Who knows?
I have heard this before. A fisherman who lived in Heikendorf on the Eastern coast of Germany on the border between Schleswig and Holstein said that when he spoke his particular North Low Saxon dialect to any fisherman in the North Sea region, they could all understand it.
It was as if all of the fisherman, and only the fishermen, of the North Sea, all spoke a common language (in Linguistics we often call this a “jargon”) that they could all understand. The fishermen must have been from northern Germany, western Denmark, southern Norway, northern Netherlands, northern Belgium and the east coast of England and Scotland.
Far northern Low German looks like Danish, English and Dutch. Flemish, a Dutch language, is spoken in coastal Belgium. Frisian is close to English, Low German, Scots and Danish and is spoken on the Netherlands coast. Dialects of southern Norway look like Danish. Scots sounds similar to Frisian, English, Low German, and Danish. The English and Scots dialects of the eastern coast of the UK received major Scandinavian input. West Danish languages like Jutish look like Scots.
Somehow, all those fishermen just learned to talk to each other. Why? Maybe because they had to.
Jargons are interesting. We call them trade languages in Linguistics.
Chinook Jargon is a famous one. This was a mixed language made up of I think English, French and many Indian languages that was spoken by White and Indian traders in the Pacific Northwest.
Jargons seem to be full-fledged languages, unlike pidgins, which really are just poor excuses for languages. The reason for this is that the jargons are made up of the first languages of many speakers and pidgins are based on the inferior second language acquisition of adult language learners, who never really get the language right. I will discuss pidgins and hopefully creoles and koines in another post.
Not many know this, but France has gobbled bits of out just about every one of its neighbors in recent history. Instead of the peace-loving state of liberte and egalite, France looks more and more like an imperialist, expansionist and even fascist state. A list: French Flanders:Annexed from the Southern Netherlands in 1668-1678. SW Flemish is spoken in this area, though it is going extinct due to France’s fascist one-language policy. French Basque Country: An independent state annexed by France in 1610. The Basque language is in very bad shape here due to France’s one-language policy. It’s in much better shape in Spain. There is an armed movement for independence here, a wing of the ETA, but it’s small compared to the ETA in Spain. The ETA mostly uses France as a R & R place to hide. Brittany: Conquered in 1488, and an independent Breton state was defeated and forcibly incorporated into France in 1532. There were repeated armed rebellions in the next few hundred years, all put down brutally by the French. The Breton language is not in very good shape here at all, even though it has 500,000 speakers. There are few children who speak it. Once again, France’s one-language policy is to blame. French Catalonia: Most Catalan is spoken in Spain, but part of the region is in France. Annexed in 1659 in the Reaper’s War. The rest of Catalonia was invaded and conquered again by Napoleon in 1810 until the French forced him out in 1814. Corsica: Recent expansion in 1770. There is an armed movement here with huge support that demands independence. I support them. Savoy:Annexed against its will in 1860. Alsace-Lorraine: Annexations back and forth between Germany and France. The final French land grab was in 1944. This really does seem like a part of Germany, but the Germans always had trouble with them, as the Alsatians never felt much part of Germany either.
They didn’t support Nazism at all, but were nevertheless punished for being “Nazis” after the French annexed it after the war. Hell, 1/2 of France was “Nazi.” Why don’t the French punish 1/2 their country? Alsatians are disliked in France as Germans who are not true Frenchmen. Alsatians have been a pain for both nations and have never really felt a part of either. Ideally, they probably want some sort of autonomy. The Alsatian language is doing ok, despite the best efforts of France for many decades to crush it. Saarland: Failed attempt! Unbelievably, in the 1950’s, the French tried to bite off still more of Germany in the Saarland, which is located near the Rhine River and just north of Alsace. This land grab was stopped. The US unbelievably supported this effort.
Germany only gained control back by agreeing to be colonized by the rest of the Allies, that is, to “share” its steel and iron resources in the area with the Allies. The final vestiges of French economic imperialism in the region did not end until 1981, and a treaty still mandates that French must be taught as the second language of choice in the schools.
Despite defeats in the Napoleonic and both World Wars, the weakened, humiliated and obviously terminally insecure France just got bigger and bigger, while the UK was progressively diminished of territory, tech and money, probably mostly by the US.
An interesting Marxist argument is that the US allowed the UK to get creamed economically in WW2 in order to usurp world capitalist control from the UK in order to transfer the throne to the US. That’s how cynical imperialist shits are. They will give their best ally a knife in the back in a New York minute just to filch some more of the loot. No honor among thieves, I guess.
Why France wants Lorraine is beyond me. The place is a run-down backwater, full of grimy coal mines and welfare recipients. It’s got to be the poorest part of France. Who needs it? Parts of Lorraine, such of Thionville, are actually historically more part of Luxembourg rather than France or Germany. Doesn’t matter, France stole from the Luxes too.
Updated June 27, 2016. This post will be regularly updated for some time. Warning! This essay is very long; combining all 3 parts together, it runs to 255 pages.
This post has been broken into three parts: Part 1: Low German, Part 2: Middle German and Part 3: High German.
This classification divides German from 20 languages to 137 languages based on the criteria of intelligibility. >90% intelligibility = dialect, <90% intelligibility = language.
The German languages, and German is not a single language, but, like Chinese and Italian, a family of languages, have been in need of a good reclassification for some time now. Ethnologue has done an excellent job, dividing German into 20 separate languages.
However, Ethnologue’s treatment does not go nearly far enough, as they themselves admit in the entry for Standard German: “Our present treatment in this edition is incomplete.” The entry for Low German itself formerly stated that LG is made up of 20-30 separate mutually unintelligible dialects, although this has been revised to “differing intelligibility, depending on distance” in the latest edition.
Hence, this treatment will attempt to expand the 20 German languages listed at present into a higher number. Many of the language divisions noted below are arbitrary, and admittedly based on more intuition than hard evidence. In many cases, intelligibility testing could clear up a lot of confusion. This treatment, like my prior treatment of Chinese, is best seen as a series of often very tentative hypotheses rather than a set of conclusions.
The classification scheme (for instance, the decision to include Low Saxon as a part of Macro-German rather than a part of Macro-Dutch) is fairly arbitrary and is not the purpose of this treatment, which deals mainly with intelligibility. This treatment makes no statements about classification, generally just following Wikipedia and Ethnologue. There are others doing major work on classification, and I will leave that up to them.
So far, this classification expands German from 20 separate languages to 142 separate languages. It is incomplete, and it is also a pilot study intended to spur further research, analysis and especially evidence-based criticism.
Criticism is welcome, as long as it is rational and evidence-based. Keep in mind that we have valid intelligibility data for a lot of these languages, so wild claims of widespread intelligibility are likely to be ignored. Further splitting is certainly warranted, and lumping may be too. Both will require evidence before proceeding. Method: Literature and reports were examined to determine the intelligibility of the various dialects of German. Native speakers of various lects were also interviewed, and the results of scientific intelligibility testing were examined. There was an appeal to authority – if states or the ISO recognized that a lect was a language, this determination was simply accepted.
>90% intelligibility was considered to be a dialect of German. <90% intelligibility was considered to be a separate language from Standard German.
The emphasis was on intelligibility rather than structural factors. Certain sociolinguistic factors also went into the calculation, but their use was minimized. Overtly political argumentation was ignored.
This piece may be seen as a companion piece to my other similar pieces. A reclassification of Chinese expands Chinese from 14 languages into 343 languages. A reclassification of Catalan reanalyzed it from 1 language to 2 languages. A reclassification of Occitan changes it from 6 languages to 12 languages. A reclassification of Dutch changed it from 15 to 30 languages.
As far as my qualifications for writing this, I have a Masters Degree in Linguistics, and I have been employed as a linguist for an American Indian tribe where I created an alphabet, ran the language program, worked on a dictionary and phrasebook and did fieldwork with native speakers.
German, like Chinese, is a pluricentric language, with a standard version and many typically mutually unintelligible major dialects surrounding it. Interdialectal comprehension is achieved via the use of Standard German.
Hence, the intelligibility estimates by the ignorant are going to be biased. What these people mean when they say that everyone in Germany can understand each other is that they can when they speak Standard German to each other. However, there are still a few older folks in Germany who cannot speak Standard German and can only speak their regional form of German.
There are 27 main German dialect families, and all are considered to be separate languages.
The German dialects exist as a dialect chain where dialects are normally intelligible to the dialect regions next door, but not to those more distant. At the same time, it is frequently stated that the major German dialects are not mutually intelligible. This makes delineating languages from dialects quite difficult and is why intelligibility testing is needed.
Most German “dialects” have low intelligibility (below 90%) to speakers of Standard German, because they are quite divergent and hence hard for a Standard German speaker to understand. There is a strong suggestion that all of the strong forms of the regional lects are not intelligible to a speaker of Standard German.
Germany is awash in dialects. There are over 4000 (!) different dialect groups within Low German alone, and there are 150 dialects in Ripuarian Franconian that were different enough to have dictionaries written for them.
In addition to not being intelligible with Standard German, the major German dialects are in general not mutually intelligible with each other either. Inside of that, there is the even more alarming suggestion that many of the major dialects are so diverse that they are not even completely intelligible among themselves.
A graph of the major German languages is here, and an even better one is here.
Separate languages or suspected separate languages are bolded below. Dialects or extinct languages are generally italicized. Macrolanguages that do not deserve separate language designation are generally printed in normal typeface. All languages and dialects are spoken in Germany unless otherwise noted.
Languages or dialects marked by an asterisk were definitely full languages 50 years ago, but whether they still are today is less certain. Some may still be languages, others may have dwindled to dialects and others may have disappeared. 50 years ago, those languages were still alive and well and probably even being taught to children. Most or all still have speakers, though the youngest speakers may be over 50 in some cases. These starred lects are very tentative additions to this classification.
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