Why Do Some Countries Lack a Class Conscious Working Class?

John Engelman: Contrary to what Karl Marx said, for most people most of the time loyalties of nation, race and ethnicity are stronger than loyalties of class. The working class in the United States has always been more diverse than the working class in European countries. It is becoming more diverse with the influx of non whites.

To get class consciousness you really need a homogeneous working class. It helps if the working class is ethnically distinct from the upper class. In Scotland the upper class is English, or Anglicized Scottish. That is to say Scottish, but educated in England, and often speaking with English accents.
The clear majority of Scots vote for the British Labour Party. English workers are more likely to vote for the British Conservative Party.
The argument is circular in a sense because as you look around the world, generally what you see in most cases is an ethnically homogenous working class.
Would you describe the working classes of Latin America as homogeneous or diverse? They seem to be a mixture of White, Indian and Black and the mestizo, mulatto and Zambo mixtures, correct? Yet the diverse working classes down there have high working class consciousness despite their diverse nature.
Aren’t North African and Gulf countries fairly mixed between Blacks and Arabs?
Certainly in Arabia, lands with diverse working classes of Kurds, Arabs and Iranian working classes are all very left.
I believe Sri Lanka even with the vicious Tamil versus Sinhalese war, the diverse working class is leftwing. In Burma the working class is very left although there have been wild ethnic wars sputtering on for decades.
In Russia and other nations of the former USSR, there are many ethnic minorities, but the workers are still working class.
A recent exception is Ukraine where workers have gone radical Right. The former Yugoslavia is still very leftwing even after all of the ethnic conflict and even slaughter of past years. Spain’s working class is very radical despite an armed conflict in the Basque region and separatists in Catalonia. The different religions hate each other in North Ireland, but the Scottish Protestant workers are as class conscious as the Irish Catholic ones. Switzerland is divided between three ethnic groups – French, Germans, and Italians – yet it is a very leftwing country.
The extreme tribalism in Africa has not prevented the working classes from being class conscious.
Is the working class of England voting Tory yet? Or do you just mean that they are more likely to vote Tory than the Scots are?
Most workers in Europe, Arabia, North Africa, Africa, the former USSR, China, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Japan, South Korea, Nepal are the same ethnicity as the ruling classes of those places, yet workers have a high degree of class consciousness in all of those places.
The places where working class consciousness has been harder to develop were those that had a Chinese ruling class as in Philippines and Indonesia.
I think we need to come up with some better theories about the poor class consciousness of the US working class. If you are looking for examples elsewhere, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia, the Baltics and Colombia are places with quite poor working class consciousness.
In Australia it is recent as US style conservatism is imported.
A similar trend is underway in Canada and has been since Thatcher in the UK. But the UK is in nearly a revolutionary situation. A lot of the working classes are militant and radicalized, while a lot of the country has at the same time gone Tory. When Thatcher died, there were anti-rich riots in housing estates across the land. Thatcher was burned in effigy in the streets. Can you imagine that happening in the US?
The recent riots in the UK also had a class undercurrent. I was dating a British woman at the time, and she told me that local storeowners who treated the community well were spared by rioters. Rioters focused on stores selling upscale goods to the rich. Many corporate outlets were also smashed.
She told me that a number of those outlets had a reputation for not paying taxes to the UK by hiding money offshore. She said the rioters knew who those companies were, and they were brutally singled out. Many outlets were burned to the ground. Can you imagine heavily Black rioters in the US having class consciousness like that?
The Baltics are a case of entire nations full of complete idiots who hate Communism so much that they went into an extreme overreaction against Communism and turned against anything socialist, left, liberal or mildly progressive. Fascist heroes including many Nazis with a lot of Jewish blood on their hands were celebrated. Communist parties were outlawed, and Russian minorities were viciously maltreated.
Radical rightwingers were elected in all of these lands, and Chicago Boys Friedmanite experiments were undertaken. The results were predictable. In the recent economic crash, the most neoliberal European countries were the most devastated of all. Estonia was eviscerated, and Latvia was almost wiped off the map. 1/3 of the Latvian population left the country, including almost all of the educated people.
The Philippines and Indonesian cases are up for discussion, but these are Latin American situations of a ruling class of a different ethnicity than the working classes holding forth brutally and anti-democratically over the people. In addition, the workers have little consciousness.
Taiwan has a similar legacy where extreme hatred of Communism resulted in being ruled by reactionary fascist anti-Communists for decades. There is a nascent Left now, but it has little power yet. The wealth of the country seems to have gotten in the way of working class consciousness. Probably the extreme anti-Communism helped too, as any working class movement could be quickly portrayed as Communist.

US/NATO Military Doctrine Is Terrorist Doctrine

From the Saker. Incredibly enough, the Western presstitutes are already saying that the Novorussians attacked a convoy of their own civilians fleeing the area. Incredible.
And no Russian military vehicles entered into the Ukraine. There were many such Russian vehicles driving up and down the border in the region of where the aid convoy is being endlessly delayed by the Ukies. There is actually no real border ion that area. There is a no man’s land of around 1 mile in which you are neither in Ukraine nor Russia. It is possible that the Russian vehicles were in this area. All of the photos I have seen of these convoys simply shows them driving up and down the border. No photos have emerged showing Russian vehicles inside Ukraine.
No Russian armored column was attacked and partly destroyed inside Ukraine. It simply never happened. There never was any armored convoy inside Ukraine and no Russian convoy got partly wiped out there because there never was one in the first place. No photos of this destroyed column have appeared. No Russian sources validate the story. The Russians have reported no military losses in the area.
The Western media scum are simply lying again, just like they always do.
The Ukies (Nazis) did not raise their flag in the center of Lugansk. They did raise a flag, but it was an outskirt. The unit that did that has been decimated and has lost 2/3 of its men and most of its armor.
So the Ukies have deliberately done in Lugansk what they have already done in Slaviansk just before the assault: they destroyed the city’s water supply. In the meantime, other Ukie forces have used MLRS systems to bomb and destroy a column of refugees fleeing from the combat area.
It is crucial to understand that these are not “mistakes”.
In reality, this is typical US/NATO doctrine. Most of you probably remember the threat of Secretary Baker made to Tarek Aziz in 1991 “We will destroy your country and bring it back to the stone age.” For a while, Uncle Sam tried to sell this theory as “shock and awe”, but the real description of it would, of course, be “target and terrorize the civilian population”. Nothing new here.
This is what the US military has been doing most of its history, for the Indian wars to Libya and Syria in our times. But the best example of this was the terror war against Yugoslavia in support of the KLA in Kosovo. There, the USAF and NATO totally failed at even marginally degrading the Serbian Army Corps in Kosovo so they turned to a strategic terror campaign against the people of Serbian and Montenegro. This is also what Israel does every time Hezbollah defeats it (which is every time the two fight).
In the Ukraine we see exactly the same scenario playing out. The sole difference being that with the Ukies the terror against civilians began on day 1 as soon as Yanukovich was overthrown, especially in Kiev, Odessa and Kharkov. But pretty soon the junta organized something like a military force and sent it to fight the Resistance in Novorussia. Soon, however, it became painfully obvious that the Ukie military did not want to fight and that the Ukie terror squads could not fight. So, naturally, they both turned against the civilians, just like the US and NATO always do.
Though they will not admit it, the junta leaders probably realize that the Donbass is lost forever and that even if they occupy it, all they will get for it in a never-ending insurgency. So from the point of view of the Nazi junta, terrorizing civilians is a perfect strategy: either they leave or the die. And, as an added bonus, if the junta commits enough atrocities, Russia might be forced to intervene, which would be a dream come true for the junta and Uncle Sam.
But some reporters, even well-intentioned one, just don’t get it. For example, they say that the Tochka-U missile is inaccurate and that it cannot be accurately targeted. This is not true at all. The missile is called “Tochka” which means “spot” or even “dot” because it is extremely accurate. It’s “inaccuracy” is not in the fact that it cannot precisely be targeted, but because its warhead can kill everything alive on a surface of three acres, more with a cluster of FAE warhead.
When the Ukies shoot a Tochka-U at a residential neighborhood of Lugansk (like they did yesterday) they are deliberately trying to kill as many civilians as possible. Ditto for their massive MLRS strikes. For the Ukies civilians are not “collateral damage” – they are the primary target.
From all the reports, the junta has more or less given up on the notion of actually fighting the Resistance. Instead, they try to terrorize and kill as many civilians as possible, and they use their numerical superiority to probe everywhere along the line of contact. If a location appears less defended, they then “take it” – even if the “conquered” position was not even defended in the first place. It makes for good soundbites and headlines in the MSM.
Now they have destroyed the main water supply station in Lugansk. Again, this is not a mistake. Just like the numerous artillery strikes against local hospitals, including cancer-treatment facilities, the destruction of the civilian infrastructure is logical “if we can’t have it – neither will you” is how Uncle Sam and his death squads have always operated. This is why the Ukies have now begun bombing the coal mines.
What the Ukies are doing is a terror campaign of ethnic cleansing which is deliberate and systematic. All that talk about “poor targeting” and “mistakes” is nonsense.

How the East Was Won – The Destruction of Eastern Europe by the US and its Allies

We are pleased to publish this first testimony of a francophone reader of vineyardsaker. Filo is of Yugoslavian origin. He emigrated to the West in the 70’s, and tells us of his disillusionment on the Western model as well as that of an entire people.
The French Saker Editors

1989, The Year the West Did Everything Wrong

by Filo

I was born a long time ago, in a country that was said to be situated between two blocks: that of the East and that of the West. A nonaligned country. Above all, an untroubled and peaceful country. I was born and lived there the first twenty years of my life. Enough for me to be able to perceive and understand the life of my country, engage in my studies and in my first experiences.
As early as 1960, socialist Yugoslavia was forced by the West and the IMF to open itself to a market economy and to start making economic reforms. Poorly prepared and ill-protected, state companies rapidly went into an economic crisis. Mass unemployment appeared. In short, we became easy prey, exploitable at will. The country was invaded by entrepreneurs and businessmen from Germany, Austria, Netherlands, and Switzerland, all attracted by low-cost manpower.
Many Yugoslavians became “gastarbeiters”, immigrant workers. When this situation reached its apex, there were in the West up to 2.5 million Yugoslavian workers according to estimates.
In 1970, I was among those who followed this course. I landed in the middle of an economic boom. I remember, my eyes wide open, being astonished by all of these ostentatious signs of wealth, by the presence of banks everywhere.
Although I was not born in capitalism, a question worried me: How can all of these banks be profitable? I finally understood much later. I will not say more about it now because I would like to keep that topic for another article.
Inevitably, I compared this new world I was discovering to the world I had just left. I was first struck by the amount of falsehood and manipulation in the written or broadcast media. These media were full of glorification of the Western society, presented as being superior in every aspect. The others, the Eastern countries, were systematically criticized and slandered. Yugoslavia often was simply lumped together with the other countries of the Eastern Bloc. I had just discovered that the media of my country were much more objective, more moderate, less dishonest, and overall more democratic.

The Period of Illusions

The year 1989, right after the Berlin wall had fallen, was meant to be the Year Zero for the whole of mankind. At least, that was what we thought at the time. A new start of a world without wars, without poverty. A world of happiness for all, in which we were finally going to live together. No more divisions or hostility, no longer this imminent fear of a forthcoming war.
In the East, they believed in it so much that, led by illusions, they began to dream with their eyes wide open of a new world of coexistence and sharing.
They imagined and persuaded themselves that the Western World was a world suspended between earth and sky. A myth that had suddenly become touchable, within hand’s reach.
They were probably in a state of mind similar to that of the Amerindians at the beginning of the conquest of the Far West; very naive. Truly ingenuous.
Then, history did nothing else but repeat itself. Because history always repeats itself. Only the context changes.
Too bad the West did not understand, did not want to seize such historical opportunity to open itself and welcome, in full frankness and mutual respect, this world from the East that came peacefully seeking a reciprocal coexistence.

Lies and Mental Aberrations

Since the end of World War II, Western propaganda, particularly the American variety, has never ceased to aim at the East a quasi-obsessional hammering of idyllic messages and images of a Western World bathing into perfect happiness.
Applied equally in the West, this propaganda was mixed with images and stories of the world behind the “iron curtain”, the reality of which was utterly distorted and darkened.
The goal was to create (and they succeeded) what was later called the “American leadership”. To define it, I offer to define “leadership” as a whole set of illusions and mental aberrations about the existence of a world to which everyone would like to belong. In reality, it is a world that does not exist and never existed. This world is also called « “The American Dream”.
In short, a game of fools. A fabric of lies in which we believed. Still today, it has become clear that the reality of yesterday and that of today are a permanent fabric of lies.
Americans in particular live in a permanent lie and have since the creation of their country. It started with the myth of the Far West put into images by Hollywood in an idyllic manner. The reality is entirely different and has been twisted around. Twenty million American Indians at the arrival of European settlers at the beginning of the conquest; at the end, less than a century later, only 60,000 were left. It is the largest genocide in human history. To date, no condemnation. The truth barely transpires today.
Still, the Western world is entirely used to the sleep-inducing image of “the American friend” wrapped into the aura of “the savior the Free World”.
A friend who, according to the legend, first came to save Europe and the world during the First World War. What a blessing!
And who returned again, during the Second World War. The American savior succeeded in stopping the evil Soviets at “Checkpoint Charlie.” The whole Western world barely dodged a disaster. Whew!
At this checkpoint, the Americans and their European lackeys tried to create a myth to go along with the Hollywood sauce. Big kitsch, yes!
At the beginning of this month of June 2014, during the commemoration of the Normandy landings, I was amazed to see how Americans continue to falsify history and blatantly lie. With the help of European cowards of course.
To maintain a permanent psychosis, the Americans were threatening and provocative, as much towards their opponents as towards their own people and the population of the Allies. Such a behavior caused similar reactions among their opponents until the introduction on both sides of a true paranoia.
I believe that the Soviet intervention in Hungary in 1956, the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, and the crash of the “Prague Spring” in 1968 are direct consequences of this escalation of paranoia between the two Blocs. The Americans can be credited for the direct initiative of this escalation.
One day we will know the truth about this period known as the “Cold War.” We even have a duty to know the truth and the whole truth.
It is important to be reminded that “walls” are first and foremost within our own minds. But, regarding the other Wall that fell in 1989, it is clear that it is still there in the minds of today’s Western policymakers. It is not yet destroyed. This is especially the case with regard to the Americans, subject to a total mental aberration.

Back to Reason: Four Examples

Unfortunately, we were bound to quickly become disillusioned and understand that we would not enter into a new era of peace and prosperity. It was all lies and promises from the West. Their intentions were far from sincere and honest, and they never intended to deal with us as equals. Their only endgame was as Western conqueror, triumphant and vengeful. Wishing to enslave us in order to better exploit us. For them, we were only consumers of their capitalist products; a potential market, and nothing more.
To support and confirm my statements, I offer four examples among many others:

  1. In our “liberated” countries, Western manufacturers implemented a dairy and food industry supplanting what was already there, regardless of the existing agricultural environment. The domino effect was instantaneous, and the farmers of these countries were ruined.
  2. We were discredited and treated as “sheep to shear” in favor of the capitalist banking and its usurious system. Putting their hands in the banks of the conquered countries, the “banksters” have imposed their methods and systems: Western-type mortgages, but with interest rates sometimes up to five times higher than those of West. Self-authorized robbery, yes! Especially because they were loans in euros, Swiss francs or dollars, modeled on the fluctuation of exchange rates. The destructive effect was guaranteed within a year after the loans were made. Result: a lot of ruined people and exorbitant suicide rates.
  3. The Westerners also robbed us of all of the wealth and raw materials in our soils. They systematically bought our raw materials at a fraction of their market value, often bribing local potentates to acquire both the mines and the factories that reprocessed these raw materials. In return, they gave us vague promises of investments and employment for the local population which never arrived.
  4. More directly, they sent an army of occupation. Example of such a deceit: Kosovo and “Bondsteel”, 40,000 m2, the largest U.S. base ever built in Europe. In 1999, the U.S. imposed on a puppet government in Pristina a 99 year lease, where the subsoil is rich in mercury, silver and lead. I am convinced that Americans began looting it immediately. The day they leave, there will be nothing left in the subsoil but gaping holes. The American army also uses this base as one of their secret prisons.

After blowing in like a hurricane, the Westerners triggered a tsunami effect.

Western Arrogance

These Western acts of triumphal conquerors were particularly stupid. We were open to them, and we wanted to learn from them, but also we wanted to pass on our own knowledge. In the field of culture, we could have had a very rich exchange: for us culture has always been very important, and we take great care of it. Contrary to this, we were treated with a wave of violence, spite and humiliation.
Curiously, I find some similarities between these events and those that occurred at the time of the Mayan and Aztec civilizations, when savage conquistadors looted and destroyed civilizations that were far more advanced than their own.
I am deeply convinced that the West in this year 1989 did not understand what had just happened. Together we could have built a new world, instead of just destroying what already existed. The confidence that was then lost will never be regained.

In the Year 1989, Westerners Blew It!

For example, the Germans believed in the coming of a 4th Reich. Genscher, at the time Minister of Foreign Affairs and former a SS officer, began to secretly visit the former Axis countries. He was forcibly expelled from the Baltic countries by the Soviets.
Mitterrand’s France was first opposed to German reunification. Backed as usual by the U.S., the UK was waiting for a signal from the Americans. The U.S. acted as if they understood everything; but they mainly pretended they did. They immediately applied (once more) their “Shock Doctrine”- immediate gains for sure, but very stupid in the mid to long term.

Those Who Saw Through It All

I think the only ones who got it all in 1989 were the Russians. Not the Russia of Mikhail Gorbachev and his entourage, but the Russians in the background, the strategists who acted immediately and started to create today’s Russia. They understood that German unification would be, at least for the next twenty years, like slamming an economic brake on the new reunified Germany and by extension on the Western economy, and that this length of time would enable a modernizing Russia to recover economically and militarily.
Today one must admit that they were visionaries who were absolutely right.
The stupidity and greed of Westerners in general and Americans in particular have led to where we are now, a dead end without alternative.
Today the West has lost its hegemony over the world. The failure of its policy since 1989 is complete!
Recent events such as those in Syria demonstrate this well.

The effects of this global deception

“At the time, I was young, very naive and very stupid, and I sincerely believed that the Soviet Union was a deadly threat to Western Europe and that the only thing that stood between them, the evil Communists, and we, the Free World, was the military power of NATO,” the Saker stressed in a text published in March 2014 [1].

How true is this sentence of the Saker’s. Unfortunately we were young and naive, our naivete bordering on stupidity. Especially since the American style has always been the same – simple, too simple, downright simplistic.

The End of the USSR

The Russians are a nation of spontaneously and naturally friendly people; they voluntarily dropped “the wall” thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev’s naivety. Although, as regards the naivete of Gorbachev, head of the USSR from 1985-91, there remain some doubts to this day. According to the latest news, an inquest has just started in Moscow to determine whether the fall of the USSR was simple naivete or a case of high treason.
The only result produced by his “perestroika” (reconstruction) was an economic, military and political weakening of the USSR and its subsequent disintegration. The ruble was became worthless and people started throwing rubles out of their windows in disgust. In spite of all this, even today, he says he is satisfied with what he did.
In 1990, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Later, with the collapse of the USSR, it was rumored that the Prize was a reward given to Gorbachev by the Americans for “letting the fox into the hen house.”
Then, another strike of bad luck for the Russians hit. Either a real string of bad luck, or the result of a large-scale corruption: the arrival of Boris Yeltsin. Notorious drunkard, yes. For eight years, Russia had an open door to all possible abuses and looting. Russia saw the appearance of vultures nicknamed “oligarchs.” Enriched overnight, they became billionaires. Some of the best known among them: Khodorovsky, Abramovich, Berezowsky, Navalny, etc. A real scourge for Russia.
Boris Yeltsin himself considerably benefited from the situation. In Switzerland, he has been investigated for corruption. He presumably received bribes from a civil engineering company in Tessin, led by an Albanian who was mysteriously contracted to renovate the Kremlin.
During his reign, privatizations prevailed. All that could be privatized and sold cheaply went to either oligarchs or foreigners, in particular Americans. Hence, Americans treated themselves to buying a military industrial complex in the north of Russia. Immediately after this purchase, they froze all of the activities with the company so as to harm the Russians. With Boris Yeltsin, a chronic alcoholic, Russia became the laughingstock of the West. Bill Clinton, at that time the U.S. president, was accustomed, at each meeting with Yeltsin, to laugh himself to tears. Forced but triumphant laugh of course!
Russia, a great heroic nation, saw its dignity trampled. Westerners, Americans in particular, stupid and vengeful, behaved like bulls in a china shop: looting, humiliation, and harassment of all kinds ruled the day, both towards Russia and towards other so-called Communist countries.

The Ceausescu Trial in Romania

Coup in Romania. Sloppy and expeditious trial of the Ceausescu couple. Death sentence and immediate execution of the couple. Judgment by two judges who were taken by force to an improvised courtroom site that looked like a grade school classroom.
Shortly after the trial, the two judges committed suicide.

The Destruction of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Now, here is the height of Western stupidity: the destruction of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, under the false pretext that the people who composed it no longer wanted to live together. A pretext as cowardly as it is deceitful. Witness of it is the fact that it took Westerners almost twenty years to destroy it (from 1991-2006). A great and beautiful country, a Europe in miniature. A country of 24 million inhabitants and a territory of nearly 260,000 square kilometers (half of France). A sweet mixing of populations, cultures, and religions. An incredible diversity of cultures, arts and foods.
During the Cold War, the country had perfectly fulfilled its buffer role between East and West. Unfortunately the West had ideas of conquest and domination. I’m sure that the West had always and only ever wanted to take advantage of the Yugoslav position between the two Blocs, and that’s all. As disposable as a Kleenex, discarded once it has served.
Thrown out to the dogs of Western wars, all for more dough for their arm dealers.

Dough, the Only Real Western Value!

At the end of the Cold War, the old demons awoke. First, among the Germans and the Austrians (memories of 1st and 2nd World Wars). But also at the Vatican, who saw an opportunity to settle disputes with the Orthodox Church. Westerners played on the antagonisms that were unique to this land in order to destroy it.
Such an act is cowardly, criminal and stupid, and it caused a lot of suffering, hundreds of thousands of deaths and as much destruction.
Remember that in a house there are walls that are said to be load-bearing. One should never touch them, because of the risk of seeing the house collapse. Yugoslavia, for Europe in any case, was one of those bearing walls. And our stupid Western leaders destroyed it.
Since then, the house has kept cracking and threatening to collapse.
I feel that the destruction of this country will be fatal to the destroyers and that the Yugoslavian national anthem might as well be the Western funeral song. In the case of Yugoslavia, the West has shown a staggering political illiteracy and a stunning cultural ignorance.

And What About Russia in All This?

The Russians said, “Never again!” And they kept their word.
Once Yeltsin was thrown in the dumpster of history, the Russians chose the best among them.
VV Putin. A president and a very talented and intelligent politician. Someone who holds life principles which he applies. In less than 15 years, he managed to return glory and power to Russia. Today, not only is his country no longer the laughingstock of the West, but on the contrary, Russia has become a  major geopolitical actor on the world stage. On the military level, its role is just as important. The Russians have caught up and even surpassed the Americans in this area. NATO has found a Russian opponent who managed to halt its progression towards the east. The lying behavior of Westerners in the face of Russia is now being turned against them.

“The day the sun will rise above Russia, NATO will melt,” Slobodan Milosevic (former President of Serbia) said.

Milosevic “committed suicide” in 2006 at the hand of his jailers in the prison of the ICC in The Hague. According to British media, his trial was moving inexorably towards a nonsuit, that is a dismissal of charges.

And Finally, What About the West in All This?

In 1989, a Russian visionary declared: “Communism and capitalism are the heads and tails of the same coin. Now we let down our communism. How long after that, do you think your capitalism will hold?”

Today, results agree entirely with him.

Conclusion

Forty-four years have passed since my arrival in the West. I am a full citizen of my adopted country (Switzerland). From the beginning, I had the desire and made the effort to integrate into this country. But I always refused to assimilate.
Since the beginning, I was aware of the benefits of having been born and raised in another country, another political system, before arriving here. I have always taken advantage of this asset and used it in every opportunity that presented itself. I especially used it to understand and analyze some features and paradoxes of the West.
For example, very quickly, I had to admit the evidence that Westerners were viscerally anti-Communists, including towards such rather tempered form of that of Yugoslavian Communism, which was quite diluted from its original form.
For years I asked myself why.
A paradox that I wanted to elucidate at all costs. And I finally understood.
It’s huge, because in reality it is the keystone of the West itself. The cause is capitalism itself. Since its beginning, by its very definition, it is an economic concept that is not viable. Therefore, it was doomed to fail from the beginning.
The reasons and causes of its inevitable failure I will address in my next article.
Filo, for vineyardsaker.fr
June 2014
[1] http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.fr/2014/03/today-every-free-person-in-world-has-won.html
Source: http://www.vineyardsaker.fr/2014/07/15/1989-lannee-ou-loccident-a-tout-rate-par-filo/

Capitalism Is Murder: Shock Doctrine in the East Bloc Killed 10 Million People

Here.

After the fall of Communism in the East Bloc in the early 1990’s, Westerners pushed something called shock therapy, or rapid privatization. A new study by the Lancet shows that shock therapy actually killed 10 million men and an unknown number of women in the East Bloc.

The study points out that it was not the transtion to capitalism per se that was at fault but how it was done. Rapid privatization or shock therapy was one way, but the other way is more gradual privatization. The study makes clear what we on the Left have been saying forever, that shock therapy kills.

The study also found that the more social connections a person had, the less likely they were to be killed by shock therapy. As radical capitalist neoliberalism has as its purpose the destruction of all bonds between men other than profit-seeking and the complete atomization of all humans, leading to mass insecurity and a Hobbesian war of all against all, it figures that neoliberal capitalism works strongly against social bonds. The more neoliberalism, the weaker the social bonds between humans.

Shock therapy had differential effects in different places. In Poland and the former Yugoslavia, there was little damage. The damage was severe in Russia.

In the US, the entire mass media and both conservative parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, vociferously pushed shock therapy. I read many articles about it at the time, always wondering why this was such a great thing. In the “free press” there was no dissent on the subject of shock therapy. You could not find a single opinion anywhere saying that this might be a bad idea. So much for “freedom of the press” in the USA. It was the way to go. Bill Clinton pushed it as strongly as Newt Gingrich.

Most of the Americans pushing shock therapy were connected with the Chicago School of Economics, and all of the most prominent ones were Jews. Many Jews in Israel also got in on the looting in Russia and the East Bloc. In addition, Russian Jews were very heavily involved in the mass looting and destruction of their great land.

Much of the looted funds was transferred to agents of International Jewry in the US and the UK, in particular Lord Rothschild. A lot of the money ended up in Israel. Richard Perle and other neocons on the right along with George Soros on the Left both gladly looted Slavic lands to benefit the tribe.

One wonders what the motivation for this mass rape of these mostly Slavic people was. Possibly it was revenge for anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe and Russia, another chapter in the war of the Slavs and the Jews. The Jews were getting their revenge for the Holocaust and Russian anti-Semitism. All in all, it was shameful behavior on the part of the Jews. The Jews are supposed to be progressive people, but here they were, acting just like the feudal lords and masters who they worked with in Eastern Europe for centuries. Worse, they were raping the East just as the ultimate Amelekite, Hitler, had done.

Every Jew on Earth should hang his head in shame at this grotesque display, if they have any sense of decency at all.

To be fair, a lot of the riches just went to the Western rich, mostly bankers. And many Russian gentiles helped the Russian Jews rape Russia. The Jews couldn’t do it alone.

As one might logically predict, this Jewish-led mass looting led to a huge upsurge in anti-Semitism in Russia and Eastern Europe, even in places like Romania (5,000 Jews) and Poland where there were hardly any Jews left.

If Jews hate anti-Semitism so much, why do things to worsen it? I don’t get it. Or do Jews hate anti-Semitism? Maybe they like it?

Some Thoughts on Worker Self-management

Repost from the old site.

In the comments section, huy points out that the former Yugoslavia under Tito had a different type of Communist system that allowed worker self-management of plants.

That system provided a quite nice standard of living too, I am told. The former Yugoslavia supposedly had one of the highest standards of living in Eastern Europe, and was particularly good at providing plenty of consumer goods for their people. This is important because many Communist states promoted heavy industry at the expense of consumer goods, leading to much frustration.

A female writer from Czechoslovakia, in a critical book on the Communist experience in that country, said that one of the things that angered the people (I would gather the women) the most was the chronic shortage of washing machines. Who wants to wash your clothes by hand?

The problem with the Yugoslavian model was the workers really did run the enterprises. So they had the choice of whether to take home the profits of the enterprise as spending money or to reinvest in the business. They usually chose to take home the profits for more spending money. Eventually, plants did not receive reinvestment and they fell apart and became uncompetitive.

I do not think that workers should run their own enterprises because they do not know what they are doing and will usually take home profits as pocket money instead of pumping them back into the enterprises. What has to be done is for an outside manager to run the business.

The Mondragon Cooperatives in the Basque Country is a good example of a non-capitalist cooperative economy in Spain. It works very well and has for many years. The cooperatives are formally run by the workers, but actually the owners are some giant regional banks. They operate with the enterprises’ best interests at heart and often money is reinvested in the plant. Sometimes workers just get to take it home.

The workers also get to elect their own managers. One would suspect that workers would elect those managers who let them screw off the most and work the least, but that has not been the case.

Bottom line: the decisions are in the hands of people who know what they are doing.

In China, a similar thing is operating. Workers still formally own most of the plants in China. They may even own most of the so-called private plants. Anyway, most enterprises in China are still run by the state, but they are typically run by smaller municipalities and labor collectives.

For instance, the enterprise that is the third largest producer of television sets on Earth, an immensely successful enterprise, is a socialist institution that is state-run. Officially, it is owned by its workers, but they elect managers and abide by their decisions. This worker-ownership thing is seen as a Maoist holdover by rightwingers inside and outside China and they are itching to get rid of it.

As another example, there is a very successful plant in a small city in Northern China that I read about. It is officially owned by its workers, but they are required by law to plow 90% of their share of the profits back into the enterprise every year. Their 10% share is still a fat paycheck in Chinese terms. Workers from all around are flocking to this city to try to work in its enterprises, so there is a competitive system involved.

The cities with more profitable plants attract large numbers of workers wishing to live in those cities. With the money from the plants, the small municipality has made very nice homes for its workers, nice streets, nice cultural and civic programs and structures, etc.

So this is a great example of how worker self-management or the cooperative model, or some strange new socialism, can operate. It is essential to find new models of socialist and cooperative ownership and economics in order to avoid the socialist failures of the past.

Are Cooperative Firms Uncompetitive Against Capitalist Firms?

Hacienda, a supporter of neoliberal capitalism, says worker run companies could not survive the competition against capitalist firms in Silicon Valley:

There are no worker run firms in Silicon Valley.There aren’t any, because they couldn’t survive the competition. That’s seems to be the flaw of worker run firms. They can’t compete.

There’s no reason why a worker run could not survive against capitalist firms. I’m having a hard time imagining why they could not.

The cooperative sector in the US, the rest of the West, Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, China and lots of places, does just fine. Most of China’s firms that are kicking the world’s ass are actually publically owned firms, often run by labor collectives or small municipalities. And co-ops have been going like gangbusters in Western Europe for ages. Don’t sell it short. It’s run just like any other firm, accept that the workers get the profits as owners instead of management.

Tito’s worker run firms did very well for a long time, but there was a flaw. Given the choice of reinvesting in the firm or taking the profits home in their pockets, workers usually decided to take them home, thinking short-term. Eventually, the plants collapsed through lack of upkeep.

The Mondragon Cooperatives in the Basque Region have been running great for years.

Mondragon has gotten away from the Yugoslavian problem in that large banks actually own the plants and run them. They make the decisions about how much to reinvest and how much to pay out to workers. In Mondragon, workers hire and fire their own managers. You would think they would fire anyone who made them work and only hire those who let them slack off, but it has not worked that way at all.

Making Sense of Kosovo

Repost from the old site.

Updated March 25, 2008:

Via Joachim Martillo, we have Backgrounder on Kosovo/Kosova.

This is one of Martillo’s pieces that I am going to support in full.

Almost the entire Western Left, and part of the libertarian Right, seems to be opposed to independence for Kosovo. This is a most sorry state of affairs and has a rather shameless history. I am very happy that Martillo has come out in favor in independence for Kosovo, no matter how problematic it may be. I am afraid he did so only because he is a Muslim, but no matter.

A background in the Balkan Wars of the 1990’s is helpful, if not essential, in understanding the declaration of independence by Kosovo.

It is also important to understand where the Workers’ World Party, of which Sarah Flounders is a member, is coming from. I don’t know a lot about them, but this Wikipedia article is a good primer.

WWP is a Trotskyite split dating from 1958. They split from the Socialist Workers Party, a standard Trotskyite group.

Their reasons were: the candidacy of Henry Wallace for President in 1948, support for Mao’s revolution in China and defense of the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956.

The SWP opposed all of these.

Mao is opposed by all Trotskyites, mostly on human rights grounds but also on the usual ultra-Left basis of not being socialist enough. Wallace’s candidacy, a revolutionary candidacy in the US in that an explicitly socialist candidate actually ran for office and got lots of votes, was probably opposed on ultra-Left reasons that he was not a Communist.

The invasion of Hungary would have been opposed on the basis that the USSR was “Stalinist”.

Trotskyites have always had a reputation of not being very pragmatic. In some ways, they are the ultimate splitters.

The WWP retains some Trotskyite leanings in that they are highly critical of Stalin. However, after Stalin died, they supported the USSR. Many Communist parties chose sides after the Soviet-China split, but the WWP continued to call for a union of all socialist countries, no matter what their ideology. In this sense, they are somewhat unique.

They also started supporting all states that were seen as resisting US imperialism. This led to difficult stances such as supporting Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

It is in this context that they opposed the breakup of Milosevic’s Communist Yugoslavia in the early 1990’s and thereafter supported Milosevic on the basis that he was a Communist. In this they reflected the views of most Communists and Leftists the world over – they supported the fascist Milosevic just because he was a Communist.

WWP is also behind International ANSWER Coalition, which led many antiwar marches. Ramsey Clark has unfortunately been associated with this group. I do not think much of the WWP.

Fascism is a nasty virus, and like many viruses, it can grow in most any human being and certainly can unfold in any society. This is what makes it such a dangerous and deadly enemy. In many ways, Russia is now a fascist state. Even Communist Vietnam has fascist tendencies of various types. It can even be argued that Stalin pursued a fascist policy in his Russification campaign against many ethnic groups.

To this day, almost all Leftist and Communist groups continue to support the rump Serbian state, which still has a horrible fascist problem. At the same time, they care nothing about the equally fascist Croatia or Macedonia. Contempt is showered on the Kosovars and they are labeled fascist. But as Martillo makes clear, Kosova has a right to independence.

Whatever the Serbs did in Kosova, this was in the context of the horrible Serb crimes in Bosnia – Srebrenica, Vuckovar, Sarajevo. With that kind of history, the Serbs were clearly not the good guys. And they did commit plenty of atrocities in Kosovo.

Incredibly, the Left continued to throw its full weight behind Milosevic and his semi-fascist successors, solely because he was a Communist, even in the midst of all of the horrible crimes above. The real problem here is not the leaders of Serbia, but the Serbian people themselves, who are having a love affair with fascism.

Another factor was that the US and NATO joined in on the side of Bosnia and Kosovo. Anything the US supports, right, wrong or indifferent, is opposed by the US Left. The US simply cannot do anything right according to these folks.

Flounders makes some interesting points about the US and NATO’s colonialism of Kosovo and US and NATO’s imperialist goals regarding Yugoslavia in the early 1990’s. This is lamentable, but Kosovo could cease to be a colony anytime its wants to, and if Serbians would act like adults instead of a nation of juvenile delinquents, this colonization would never have been necessary.

This blog takes the perfectly principled position that we support separatism in most cases on the basis of the right to self-determination.

In some cases, it should be opposed. Some Ahwaz wish to break away from Iran and take most of Iran’s oil wealth with them. Iran should not be expected to put up with that. A similar situation exists in Angola with Cabinda.

Some movements are being exploited by the most cynical beast romping the planet, US imperialism, and should not be supported. These include the Ahwaz, the Iranian and Pakistani Balochs, the Kurds of Iran and Syria and the Azeris of Iran.

Yet many movements should still be supported. The separatist movements of the Basque Country, Catalonia, Corsica, Brittany, Wales, Scotland, the IRA, and the Turkish Kurds in Europe all deserve support on this basis.

The Sudanese and Burmese governments have lowered themselves below the level of not only humans but also any non-human animal and hence deserve to be smashed into as many pieces as the separatists wish.

Somalia, a nation of terminal adolescents, has shown itself incapable of even forming a government to support the existence of its human residents and hence has no right to exist either.

My argument, in case you didn’t guess it, is that Sudan (separatists here and here), Burma (separatists here , here, here, here , here , here, here, here and here) and Somalia (separatists here, here, here and here) have all forfeited their right to exist.

Indonesia has no right to its colony in West Papua nor to its rule over Aceh, and its criminal performance in suppressing these rebellions cements those negations.

India never had any right to rule Kashmir and certainly does not now. Palestine at least ought to declare Kosovo-style independence. This blog has always supported the struggle of the Sahrawis in Spanish Sahara. The island of Bougainville deserves support for its separatism from Papua New Guinea.

In Russia, the republics of the Caucasus deserve support in their drive for independence. This includes the Chechens, the Ingush, the Dagestanis, Karachevo-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria. The Tuvans seem to deserve the right to secede also.

The situation of the Mari, Chuvash , Bashkirs , Udmurts and Tatarstan are much more difficult because none of these republics exist on Russia’s borders. States should not be forced to carve out enclaves inside their own borders. All secessionists need to cleave off lands on the borders of existing states or even split existing states. The notion of independent islands wholly surrounded by a single state is preposterous.

In India, the nations of the northeast were never part of India and their secessionist movements should be supported. Nor can India ever be said to have existed at all until 1949, as under the British it was merely a collection of 5,000 separate princely states with ever-shifting borders.

In China, the cause of Taiwan and Tibet is clearly moral and East Turkestan also seems to have a valid cause. Abkhazia and South Ossetia should be allowed to cleave off from Georgia, and they already have anyway, de facto, though Russia is supporting these movements for only the most cynical reasons. The Tamils of Sri Lanka deserve support, despite their terrible tactics.

I have much more of a problem in supporting Islamist separatists in the Philippines and in Thailand. First, their tactics are horrible. In both cases, Islamists, as they always do in wars, are simply massacring non-Muslim civilians in countless numbers.

The Koran provides justification for mass murder of non-Muslims in wartime, so this is typical behavior of most Muslims when they go to war with non-Muslims. The historical antecedents are too painful and numerous to count. Furthermore, the war against the non-Muslims often takes near-genocidal proportions.

There are examples in this century from Indonesia (Muslims massacred animists in West Papua and Christians in East Timor), Bangladesh (Pakistan massacred Hindus), Iraq (Muslims slaughtered Assyrian Christians in the 1930’s) and Turkey (Muslims mass murdered Christian Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks), and Sudan (Muslims massacred South Sudanese Christians and animists).

Earlier, there were examples in Lebanon (Muslims slaughtering Christians in the 1840’s-1860’s) and Iraq (more mass murders of Assyrians in Iraq in the mid-1800’s) and the worst of all in India around 500 years ago, when Muslim invaders murdered up to and possibly more than 50 million Hindus in the worst genocide that the world has ever seen. Quoting Will Durant:

The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within.

This continues a tradition set in the early days of Islam, when invading Muslims often committed massacres of non-Muslims in various places they conquered. Notable examples occurred in Palestine and in Iran. The only conclusion is that when Muslims fight wars with non-Muslims, they are frequently genocidal conflicts, and this genocidalism is sadly sanctioned by language in the Koran itself.

As such, it is difficult to support a bunch of Islamist murderers in the Pattani region of Thailand and in Mindanao in the Philippines. In Mindanao, Muslims are only 25% of the population anyway. How exactly are they going to break away? I guess the plan is to murder enough Christian “colonists” so the rest of them take off back to other islands.

Hawaii deserves to go free, but the movement has no support except among Hawaiians, about 22% of the population. All colonies and pseudo-colonies, or as many as possible, of the US, France, Netherlands and the UK, should immediately be set free or incorporated into the state.

In most cases, like baby birds from the nest, these colonies need to be tossed out on their own. Most are welfare cases anyway that take in far more from the Western state they are umbilically attached to than they donate in services. In other words, to the colonizer, they are a gigantic money drain.

This begs the question then of why these colonies even exist, since the logic of colonialism, which is all about the loot, demands that money-losing colonies be cut adrift. In some cases, there are imperial reasons, in others, there is simply the logic of colonialism. Once a nation becomes a colonist, the power rush is as addicting as crack. It’s a tough habit to break.

Two essential rights are at stake here.

First is the right to self-determination. This has even been ratified by the UN.

The other is a totally phony “right of a state to be secure within its borders”, which was dreamed up by states after World War 2 in their paranoia over national secessionism. This principle has no standing, as state borders have been shifting forever, and many states have only the most dubious standing for drawing their borders wherever they did.

It’s clear that the only progressive stand worth taking is in favor of self-determination. However, we should make exceptions in certain cases as above, and only real nations should have the right to secede. The right to secede should not be granted on economic or purely political grounds (such as the rightwing state of Zulia in Venezuela the rightwing Santa Cruz region in Bolivia threatening secession).

Imperialism of all types has always been sleazy, dirty and vile about separatism, as it is about most everything, trying to break up its enemies under the rubric of self-determination while arming its allies to fight horrific wars and invoking the right of nations to be secure in their borders. This kind of hypocritical crap is the sort of depravity that the right loves, as the Right has always championed hypocrisy.

We should be better than that.

Sarah Flounders’ article below entitled Washington Gets a New Colony in the Balkans is fairly typical of the criticism of the Kosovo declaration of independence.

While the USA does a lot of evil in the world, the breakup of Yugoslavia may at least initially have been a project of the German government, which for historical reasons was much more interested in an independent Slovenia than the USA was.

Neocons like Joshua Muravchik fairly quickly saw a possible opportunity to cultivate a pro-Israel Muslim population (either Slavic or Albanian) in a divided Yugoslavia. Finding such a Muslim population has been a holy grail of Zionism since Herzl created the character of Reshid Bey in Old New Land (Altneuland).

Sorting out the various claims about Kosovo requires awareness of the changing boundaries of the region. Here are two maps of the Ottoman Vilayet of Kosovo:

The first map of the Ottoman vilayet (province) of Kosovo, from 1875-1878. Kosovo is now much reduced in size from this vilayet.

The second map of the vilayet of Kosovo, from 1881-1912, shows shifting boundaries once again. Kosovo today is much smaller than this vilayet.

Claiming that Kosovo is the historical center of Serb culture is somewhat tendentious. The Ottoman Vilayet of Kosovo was larger than present-day Kosovo, and its borders shifted during the 19th and early 20th century.

Territory that had been Ottoman Kosovo is today divided among Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Greece. Kosovo regions that were in some sense the historically important Serb centers have for the most part been incorporated into Serbia, Montenegro or Macedonia. Here is a current map of Kosovo:

A current map of Kosovo, much shrunken from its former vilayet. When Serbs scream about Kosovo, you really need to ask which one they are talking about.

Ethnic Albanian Kosovars could probably legitimately argue that they rebelled from the Ottoman Empire during the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 in order to achieve independence or union with Albania, whose independence European Great Powers endorsed in 1913, but the Serbian government opportunistically used to rebellion to expand Serbia at their expense.

The Serb obsession with controlling all of Kosovo results from the development of a nationalist mythology that focuses on the Battle of Kosovo (Косовски бој, Kosova Savasi, Bitka na Kosovu, Beteja e Kosovës, or Schlacht auf dem Amselfeld).

The mythology has little connection to the facts. Lazar’s army (the “Serb” side) included Croats, ethnic Albanians (who were mostly Orthodox at that time period) and probably Bosnians. Murad’s army (the “Turkish” side) included a large contingent of Serbs.

The population composition of Kosovo/Kosova in the 14th century and later is disputed. It was not unusual for a close relative of someone with a Serb name to bear an Albanian name. Later Serb literature refers to Albanized Serb populations, but the description is dubious. Bilingualism was simply common, and the ethnic boundaries that exist today really only came into existence in the 19th century.

The following paragraphs are propagandistic:

Yugoslavia was born with a heritage of antagonisms that had been endlessly exploited by the Ottoman Turks, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and interference by British and French imperialism, followed by Nazi German and Italian Fascist occupation in World War II.

The Jewish and Serbian peoples suffered the greatest losses in that war. A powerful communist-led resistance movement made up of all the nationalities, which had suffered in different ways, was forged against Nazi occupation and all outside intervention. After the liberation, all the nationalities cooperated and compromised in building the new socialist federation.

There simply is not much evidence of Ottoman exploitation of ethnic or religious antagonism either from Ottoman or non-Ottoman sources. The Ottoman rulers generally tried to discourage local Balkan hostilities because they were administratively costly and interfered with tax collection.

The omission of any mention of Czarist Russian imperial interference shows bias.

Terminology like Jewish and Serbian peoples is questionable. Yugoslavia contained Jewish populations of Ashkenazi ethnicity and of Ibero-Berber refugee ethnicity. The term “Jewish people” comes from Zionist propaganda. While there is a Serb ethnicity, there is no Serbian ethnicity because people of many different ethnicities live within the territory of Serbia.

The implicit attempt to connect Jewish and Serb losses during WW2 is misleading. Serb politics in the lead-up to WW2 had clear fascist and Nazi currents.

While many Serb political leaders wanted to work with Germany, the German government rebuffed them because too many Germans and Austrians blamed Serbs for WW1 and the subsequent dismantlement of the pre-WW1 German and Austrian Empires.

German and Austrian hostility toward Serbs increased during WW2 and probably influenced German policy toward Serbia during the 1990s.

The situation of Kosovo before NATO intervention was a mess. It has remained a mess, and there is no particular reason to believe that independence will lead to improvement.

Kosovo’s ‘independence’
Washington gets a new colony in the Balkans

By Sara Flounders
Published Feb 21, 2008 8:13 PM

In evaluating the recent “declaration of independence” by Kosovo, a province of Serbia, and its immediate recognition as a state by the U.S., Germany, Britain and France, it is important to know three things.

First, Kosovo is not gaining independence or even minimal self-government. It will be run by an appointed High Representative and bodies appointed by the U.S., European Union and NATO. An old-style colonial viceroy and imperialist administrators will have control over foreign and domestic policy. U.S. imperialism has merely consolidated its direct control of a totally dependent colony in the heart of the Balkans.

Second, Washington’s immediate recognition of Kosovo confirms once again that U.S. imperialism will break any and every treaty or international agreement it has ever signed, including agreements it drafted and imposed by force and violence on others.

The recognition of Kosovo is in direct violation of such laws – specifically U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, which the leaders of Yugoslavia were forced to sign to end the 78 days of NATO bombing of their country in 1999. Even this imposed agreement affirmed the “commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Serbia, a republic of Yugoslavia.

This week’s illegal recognition of Kosovo was condemned by Serbia, Russia, China and Spain.

Thirdly, U.S. imperialist domination does not benefit the occupied people. Kosovo after nine years of direct NATO military occupation has a staggering 60 percent unemployment rate. It has become a center of the international drug trade and of prostitution rings in Europe.

The once humming mines, mills, smelters, refining centers and railroads of this small resource-rich industrial area all sit silent. The resources of Kosovo under NATO occupation were forcibly privatized and sold to giant Western multinational corporations. Now almost the only employment is working for the U.S./NATO army of occupation or U.N. agencies.

The only major construction in Kosovo is of Camp Bondsteel, the largest U.S. base built in Europe in a generation.Halliburton, of course, got the contract. Camp Bondsteel guards the strategic oil and transportation lines of the entire region.

Over 250,000 Serbian, Romani and other nationalities have been driven out of this Serbian province since it came under U.S./NATO control. Almost a quarter of the Albanian population has been forced to leave in order to find work.

Establishing a colonial administration

Consider the plan under which Kosovo’s “independence” is to happen. Not only does it violate U.N. resolutions but it is also a total colonial structure. It is similar to the absolute power held by L. Paul Bremer in the first two years of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

How did this colonial plan come about? It was proposed by the same forces responsible for the breakup of Yugoslavia and the NATO bombing and occupation of Kosovo.

In June of 2005, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed former Finnish President Marti Ahtisaari as his special envoy to lead the negotiations on Kosovo’s final status. Ahtisaari is hardly a neutral arbitrator when it comes to U.S. intervention in Kosovo.

He is chairman emeritus of the International Crisis Group (ICG), an organization funded by multibillionaire George Soros that promotes NATO expansion and intervention along with open markets for U.S. and E.U. investment.

The board of the ICG includes two key U.S. officials responsible for the bombing of Kosovo: Gen. Wesley Clark and Zbigniew Brzezinski. In March 2007, Ahtisaari gave his Comprehensive Proposal for Kosovo Status Settlement to the new U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

The documents setting out the new government for Kosovo are available here. A summary is available on the U.S. State Department’s Web site. An International Civilian Representative (ICR) will be appointed by U.S. and E.U. officials to oversee Kosovo.

This appointed official can overrule any measures, annul any laws and remove anyone from office in Kosovo. The ICR will have full and final control over the departments of Customs, Taxation, Treasury and Banking.

The E.U. will establish a European Security and Defense Policy Mission (ESDP) and NATO will establish an International Military Presence. Both these appointed bodies will have control over foreign policy, security, police, judiciary, all courts and prisons. They are guaranteed immediate and complete access to any activity, proceeding or document in Kosovo.

These bodies and the ICR will have final say over what crimes can be prosecuted and against whom; they can reverse or annul any decision made. The largest prison in Kosovo is at the U.S. base, Camp Bondsteel, where prisoners are held without charges, judicial overview or representation.

The recognition of Kosovo’s “independence” is just the latest step in a U.S. war of reconquest that has been relentlessly pursued for decades.

Divide and rule

The Balkans has been a vibrant patchwork of many oppressed nationalities, cultures and religions. The Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia, formed after World War II, contained six republics, none of which had a majority.

Yugoslavia was born with a heritage of antagonisms that had been endlessly exploited by the Ottoman Turks, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and interference by British and French imperialism, followed by Nazi German and Italian Fascist occupation in World War II.

The Jewish and Serbian peoples suffered the greatest losses in that war. A powerful communist-led resistance movement made up of all the nationalities, which had suffered in different ways, was forged against Nazi occupation and all outside intervention. After the liberation, all the nationalities cooperated and compromised in building the new socialist federation.

In 45 years the Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia developed from an impoverished, underdeveloped, feuding region into a stable country with an industrial base, full literacy and health care for the whole population.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the Pentagon immediately laid plans for the aggressive expansion of NATO into the East. Divide and rule became U.S. policy throughout the entire region. Everywhere right-wing, pro-capitalist forces were financed and encouraged.

As the Soviet Union was broken up into separate, weakened, unstable and feuding republics, the Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia tried to resist this reactionary wave.

In 1991, while world attention was focused on the devastating U.S. bombing of Iraq, Washington encouraged, financed and armed right-wing separatist movements in the Croatian, Slovenian and Bosnian republics of the Yugoslav Federation. In violation of international agreements Germany and the U.S. gave quick recognition to these secessionist movements and approved the creation of several capitalist mini-states.

At the same time U.S. finance capital imposed severe economic sanctions on Yugoslavia to bankrupt its economy. Washington then promoted NATO as the only force able to bring stability to the region.

The arming and financing of the right-wing UCK movement in the Serbian province of Kosovo began in this same period. Kosovo was not a distinct republic within the Yugoslav Federation but a province in the Serbian Republic. Historically, it had been a center of Serbian national identity, but with a growing Albanian population.

Washington initiated a wild propaganda campaign claiming that Serbia was carrying out a campaign of massive genocide against the Albanian majority in Kosovo. The Western media was full of stories of mass graves and brutal rapes. U.S. officials claimed that from 100,000 up to 500,000 Albanians had been massacred.

U.S./NATO officials under the Clinton administration issued an outrageous ultimatum that Serbia immediately accept military occupation and surrender all sovereignty or face NATO bombardment of its cities, towns and infrastructure. When, at a negotiation session in Rambouillet, France, the Serbian Parliament voted to refuse NATO’s demands, the bombing began.

In 78 days the Pentagon dropped 35,000 cluster bombs, used thousands of rounds of radioactive depleted-uranium rounds, along with bunker busters and cruise missiles.

The bombing destroyed more than 480 schools, 33 hospitals, numerous health clinics, 60 bridges, along with industrial, chemical and heating plants, and the electrical grid. Kosovo, the region that Washington was supposedly determined to liberate, received the greatest destruction.

Finally on June 3, 1999, Yugoslavia was forced to agree to a ceasefire and the occupation of Kosovo.

Expecting to find bodies everywhere, forensic teams from 17 NATO countries organized by the Hague Tribunal on War Crimes searched occupied Kosovo all summer of 1999 but found a total of only 2,108 bodies, of all nationalities.

Some had been killed by NATO bombing and some in the war between the UCK and the Serbian police and military. They found not one mass grave and could produce no evidence of massacres or of “genocide.”

This stunning rebuttal of the imperialist propaganda comes from a report released by the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Carla Del Ponte. It was covered, but without fanfare, in the New York Times of Nov. 11, 1999.

The wild propaganda of genocide and tales of mass graves were as false as the later claims that Iraq had and was preparing to use “weapons of mass destruction.”

Through war, assassinations, coups and economic strangulation, Washington has succeeded for now in imposing neoliberal economic policies on all of the six former Yugoslav republics and breaking them into unstable and impoverished mini-states.

The very instability and wrenching poverty that imperialism has brought to the region will in the long run be the seeds of its undoing. The history of the achievements made when Yugoslavia enjoyed real independence and sovereignty through unity and socialist development will assert itself in the future.

Sara Flounders, co-director of the International Action Center, traveled to Yugoslavia during the 1999 U.S. bombing and reported on the extent of the U.S. attacks on civilian targets. She is a co-author and editor of the books: Hidden Agenda:U.S./NATO Takeover of Yugoslavia and NATO in the Balkans.

Articles copyright 1995-2007 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

References

Durant, Will. 1972. Story of Civilization, Vol.1, Our Oriental Heritage, p.459. New York.

Cool Nazi-Era Photos

Here are some cool Nazi-era photos that I just ran across.

The first one below is of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1941, the famous Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact. Any idiot with half a brain knows that Stalin and Hitler despised each other and that Hitler had long ago decided to invade the USSR in order to put the final stake in “Judeo-Bolshevism.”

The USSR was the heart of the Judeo-Bolshevik beast, and only the destruction of the USSR would kill it for sure, since the beast kept sending tentacles out in the form of local Communist movements in Europe that threatened to spread Communism into the heart of the Continent.

Hitler’s hatred for Slavs is hard to figure. The Slavs were said to be a “slave race.” It’s true that the Russians had a reputation for running rather than fighting, but that was the nature of this forest-dwelling peasant people and in fact it was adaptive. When the Scandinavians first invaded down into Russia to conquer part of it, they found it curiously ill-defended. Faced with a superior force, the Russians would fight a bit, then give up land and just melt away into the mysterious forests. The Scandinavians felt it was useless to go find them, and after a while, a peace of sorts was reached.

The Russians were a forest-dwelling people at the time who lived in deep forests, often near rivers. They farmed a bit, lived off wild game and other food from the forest, and especially fished in the rivers. They weren’t exactly hunter-gatherers, but they were as close to that as a European people got at that time. They had a small population and were poorly armed, and typically responded to attacks by melting away into the forests where the enemy could not find them. Military defenses have to be judged by their adaptiveness, and this one worked well.

The Mongols also conquered a bit into Russia, and the Ottomans were so enamored of taking White slaves in the form of Slavs of various sorts that this is where the word “slave” comes from – it means “Slav,” because in Medieval times, so many slaves were Slavs.

Like most of Hitler’s crap, this had a grain of truth along with a ton of bullshit. The Russians were not really a slave race. As fare as stereotypes go, one can make a better case for the Russians as being one of the primitive, barbaric, backwards and even frightening of the White Europeans. This has long been the view from the Continent, especially of, say, the Finns, who despise the Russians as “barbarians.”

Most recently, Hitler’s view had the Russians as a “slave race” once again, this time having allowed themselves, idiotically and cowardly, to be “enslaved” by the Jews in the form of Judeo-Bolshevism. In fact, a vicious Civil War had been fought in the early 1920’s and 5 million Russians had died. Maybe twice that had starved in a horrible famine. Anyway, Soviet Communism wasn’t all that Jewish after 1927, and Stalin was no Jew. The majority of Russians went along with the Soviet program and even supported it. It was certainly better than Czarism.

Stalin hated Hitler’s guts and knew full well his plans to attack the USSR. Much of the wild industrial buildup of the 1930’s, which occurred amidst another 5 million famine deaths (though the famine was by no means intentional and there was no “Holodomor”) was a mad race to build up the USSR in order to withstand a Nazi attack that Stalin had predicted as early as 1933.

Without this mad industrialization and possibly the deaths it entailed, the USSR may not have been able to defeat the Nazis, and World War 2 would have looked a lot different. So in a sense the mad Soviet buildup of the 1930’s saved the West and the world from the Nazi Orcs.

In addition, the purges of the 1937-38, cruel, insane and evil as they were, were actually intended to ferry out Nazi spies. This was the nature of Stalin’s paranoia. It occurred in the backdrop of his increasing knowledge of the Nazi threat.

Hence, anyone with any sense knows that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was a pact between two of the deadliest enemies the world has ever known.

Anti-Communists have never stopped playing up this sad pact as evidence that Nazis and Communists are the same, and that all Communists are really Nazis and all Nazis are really Communists. This makes no sense, as Hitler was much more of an anti-Communist than he was even an anti-Semite, and much of his anti-Semitism stemmed from his view that Jews were a bunch of Commies. These same folks try to say that Stalin was just as much of an anti-Semite as Hitler (this view especially popular with rightwing Zionist Jews).

This flies in the face of the common reactionary stereotype of the “JewSSR” or the USSR as a Judeo-Bolshevik state. Stalin was certainly no anti-Semite, but he wasn’t exactly a Judeophile either. The Jews suffered badly in the purges of the 1930’s. Anti-Semitism was a capital offense. When the Germans invaded later, Ilya Ehrenberg, Soviet propagandist, laid down the line, “You’re either an anti-Nazi or an anti-Semite! You can’t be both!” This at a time when traitors were getting bullets to the head in the USSR. Ehrenberg’s views were approved by and represented those of Stalin himself.

Anyway, the Pact was nothing but Stalin desperately buying another year or so before the inevitable Nazi attack. Another year to build up his defenses and to move most of their industry behind the Urals.

Although this pic is famous, I've never seen it before. That is Molotov signing the Pact, with Stalin and Ribbentrop directly in back of him. Cool pic!

Below is another interesting pic. This is of the special German Army division, the Gebrings Division, or the Handschar, made up of Bosnian Muslims that the Germans set up after they conquered the Balkans in WW2. Zionists, especially Jews, and Muslim-haters never stop talking about this division. It’s unfortunate, but the truth is that huge pro-Nazi paramilitaries were formed by citizens of many of the countries that the Germans conquered.

There were pro-Nazi divisions made up of Romanians, Hungarians, Finns, Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Ukrainians, Belorussians, Russians, Italians, Armenians, and peoples of the Caucasus.

So singling out 10,000 Muslims for signing up for the German army is a bit absurd. I would think that many more Bosnian Muslims fought against the Nazis as part of the anti-fascist resistance, but I don’t have figures

Bosnian Muslims of the Handschar Division of the German Army reading a Nazi pamphlet called "Islam and the Jews." Notice how White these Muslims look. So much for the White nationalist notion that Muslims are all non-Whites. Don't think so.

The next picture is very interesting. These are East Indians, apparently Sikhs, serving in the German Army. They are in the regular Army, not the SS, as you can see by the insignia on their collars. India was a British colony at the time, and there were Indian soldiers serving in the British Army. A number of these Indians were captured by the Nazis and made into POW’s. The Germans recruited some soldiers for their army from these POW’s. Some of these Indians may have been motivated by anti-colonial feelings towards the British.

This also lines up with the lunatic Nazi notion that they were going to reach India via their offensive in the Caucasus. They would conquer the Caucasus and move on to Iran and then to India, where they would set in motion and armed Indian rebellion against the British colonizers.

The Nazis had some respect for the Iranians and may have even considered them White (the name Iran comes from the word “Aryan”). Nazi race researchers had been running around India researching the Indian Caucasians in order to determine the origin of the Aryan Race. It’s not certain what the Nazis meant by “Aryan,” but I believe it meant the same thing as Indo-European. Yet Slavs were somehow not Indo-Europeans or Aryans? Whatever. Nazi race science never made much sense.

Indian troops serving in the Nazi Army. These are members of the Freies Indien (Free Indian) Division of the German Army

The next pic is really boss. This is a Nazi propaganda poster showing caricatures of evil Soviet troops raping and then murdering teenage German girls. Note that the girls are really almost prepubescent, maybe 12 years old. The blood in the pubic region is from the “pure” virgins being raped. Classic propaganda. Note that the Russians have a pronounced Asiatic look about them in order to make them appear to be non-Whites, while the German girls being raped and murdered are pure blond and blue “Aryans.”

In reality, Russians are probably only about 3-5% Asian genetically, but some have more than that. Most Russians are just another type of White people. It’s true that the Red Army did a Hell of a lot of raping of German sympathizer females, women and girls, on Eastern Front. It was just terrible what they did.

Classic Nazi propaganda shows diabolical Asiatic Red Army troops raping and murdering 12 year old blond and blue pure "Aryan" virgin girls.

Catholic Anti-Semitism

Check out this site, if you dare.
There are many varieties of anti-Semitism. It is an error to conflate all of them.
One very common variety is Catholic anti-Semitism. It is a particular type, and is quite virulent. Let’s face it, not only have these folks persecuted a lot of Jews, but they also killed a lot of Jews. Some of the most ferocious of the uber-Catholic Jew-killers were the Croatian Ustashe regime in Croatia in WW2. Operating out of the Janesovac concentration camp, they may well have killed 400,000 people there. Mostly they killed Serbs, but they also killed tens of thousands of Jews and some Gypsies.
Traditional Catholicism generally doesn’t have much against Protestants. The Ustashe were just Catholic loons from the Balkans, and their Serb-killing was based on ancient tribal feuds in the Balkans. Since they were considered Slavs under Nazi race theory, the Croatians (racially probably more Med and Dinaric than Slav anyway) invented a weird theory whereby the Croats were actually some lost Germanic tribe stuck south of the Dinaric Alps. Whatever.
The ferocity and insanity of the genocide in Croatia shocked even the Nazis, who looked dimly on the genocide of Serbs by Croats, which they could not see any reason for. Incredibly, the Nazis themselves even told the Croats to knock it off or at least calm down, but all such imploring fell on death ears.
The Ustashe genocide played a large role in the Balkan Wars 50 years later, especially as Serbs were terrified of resurgent Croatian nationalism and the terrors that lay behind it. For some weird reason, Ustashe type Croatian ultranationalism is still popular in Croatia among ultranationalists.
The crazed Ustashe Catholics gave non-Catholics a jihadi-style choice: Either convert to Catholicism or die. Apparently a lot of Serbs refused to convert.
Damn, these guys were some hardcore Catholics, man! Right up there with those Iberian dudes during the Inquisition!
Catholic anti-Semitism has a heavily religious focus, as you might gather. The main beef against the Jews is that they are or were Christ-killers. The age-old anti-Semitism of Rome, delineated carefully by historians, provides them with an historical basis for their anti-Semitism. Their heroes are some of the nastier anti-Semitic popes from the old days.
In 1965, the Mass was rewritten to take out of the nastier anti-Semitic bits. The Pope also ruled it was ok to say the Mass in local vernacular as opposed to Latin. In addition, a Circular was issued that attempted to see the Jews as part of some common tradition with Catholics. This attempt at the creation of a monster called “Judeo-Chritianity has never made sense to me theologically. I believe that the Church also made some sort of statement in favor of the poor, while stopping short of the Liberation Theology that AK-47 toting priests in the jungles of Latin America and the Philippines preach.
For these sins, Trad Catholics continue to simmer. Some parishes continue to defy the Vatican and recite the traditional Mass with all the nasty anti-Semitic bits. Trad Catholics flock to these churches to partake of the Real anti-Semitic Deal.
Pat Buchanan seems to be a bit of a Trad, and the journal Human Events is sort of a Trad type magazine. There are some big names out there in Trad Catholicism, guys who also double as anti-Semites, but their names escape me at the moment.
If you want to know where Mel Gibson was coming from with his great movie (The Passion of the Christ) that the Jews hated so much, it’s from a position of Trad Catholicism. His elderly father, now living in Australia (since the US is “Jew-controlled”) is even worse. Gibson Senior is said to have been a big influence in Gibson Junior. The movie isn’t really anti-Semitic. Or if it’s anti-Semitic, then so is Christianity, which is a position many Jews take anyway (Chew on that, “Christian” Zionists).
Polish and Latin American anti-Semitism has always been heavily based on Catholic anti-Semitism.
Catholic anti-Semitism has always struck me as particularly retarded. Of all the reasons to hate Jews, “Jesus said so,” “the Bible says so” and even worse, some fag in a dress in Rome says so (sorry Catholics) seem like some of the stupider reasons.
There’s more to say about this subject, but I’ll save it for later.

Nords Versus Meds, Game Starts at 8 Eastern Time

In the post, Albanians Are Neither White Nor Europeans? Lafayette Sennacherib takes issue with some of my anti-Nordicist POV, suggesting that ancient Greece was populated from the North, specifically the Baltics:

…there may turn out to be some truth in the notion that the Myceneans came from the North (though I think it unlikely that many went back).

I mentioned here before that I’d recently come across this book by Felice Vinci: The Baltic Origins of Homer’s Epic Tales.

Homer, as you are no doubt aware, is credited  (it’s not known if he was one or many authors) with the creation of the earliest European literature with his epic tales ‘the Iliad’ about the Trojan war, and ‘the Odyssey’ about the journeys of Odysseus as he tries to find his way home, with a boatload of men, after the war.

Last I heard, the best guess is that it was composed about 1200BC and written down about 7oo BC. Trouble is, there’s a lot of description in Homer, but none of it fits the Mediterranean.

You’ve guessed what’s coming: Felice has matched all the descriptions and journey times and directions to the Baltic. Apparently there was a verifiable drastic climate change before which the Baltic was a lot more user friendly.

I think ( I haven’t read the book yet), from reviews I’ve read, that he places some of Odysseus’ travels quite far afield up the North Sea coast of Norway, and even to the Shetlands and Orkneys and possibly Scotland and Britain.

If you’ve ever seen the ancient underground towns in Shetland or Orkney (the back of beyond these days; in fact even the Romans called them Ultima Thule – the ends of the Earth), which seem to have had efficient plumbing maybe as early as 1500 BC, you can’t help but wonder how such refinements came to be in this most unlikely of places – Felice’s theory would locate them in a lively interlinked maritime world centering on the Baltic.

Of course, this isn’t proven, but I get the impression that some serious people are taking this seriously enough to fund more research.

Felice speculates that deteriorating climatic conditions caused many of these Baltic peoples to migrate south, and that they took their myths and poems with them, and that the reason that some of the names of towns correspond to known and existing Greek sites is that they named places in their new home after places in their old home, as Europeans have so obviously done in the USA, Australia and so on.

Well, I agree that the theory is interesting, but in the long run, none of it really makes sense from a Nordicist POV. Germanic tribes went all over Europe, so the very idea of Med and Nordic doesn’t make a lot of sense. And Meds went all over up into the north too. The two groups totally mixed in with each other. Nordics are part Med and Meds are part Nordic.
Bottom line is that modern Greeks are the same folks as ancient Greeks, no matter where they came from. Modern Italians are the same as the ancient Romans, no matter where the Romans came from.
Nordicists take issue with this, and say that Rome and Greece were created by some glorious Nordic types, and then after the Fall, some kind of mud people* or nigger people* from the South (I guess that means Arabs, North Africans, Ethiopians, Lebanese) came into Greece and Italy and muddied up these beautiful White German folks, creating the present day swarthy Med.
Nordicists are serious assholes!
The ones here in the US really, really, really, really hate Southern Europeans. They think they are inferior greaseball part-Mud*, part-nigger* people. Most US Nordicists say that Meds are not even White.
Anti-Southern European prejudice and discrimination, especially discrimination against Italians and Catholics, is pretty much history in White America, but at one time, this was a prominent trend. Italians have moved into the White Ruling Class, and the Catholic JFK was elected and ruled Camelot 50 years ago. Even the KKK lets Catholics in now, and says let’s let bygones be bygones.
The fact that probably 80% of White nationalists are Nordicists just shows once again how out of it these people really. Hell, these racist baboons are behind the times even in terms of intra-White prejudices. How do you spell “loser”?
If you read the original Nazi racialist authors, they do not say this at all. Say what you will about them, but they pursued this stuff as a science.
They agreed that Meds were a great White people, and that the modern Meds are descendants of the great cultures of Greece and Rome. They listed many attributes of the Meds and said that in many ways, Meds were superior to Nordics.
However, Nordics were also superior to Meds in many ways. When it all tallied up, the Nordics came out on top, but only slightly. To say that the Nazis felt that Meds were inferior is completely mistaken. Meds were a great White people, but Nordics were also great, and Nordics were somewhat greater the Meds. Of course they had to put themselves on top, all Supremacists do.
One thing the Nazi racialist scientists did say was that Meds were very creative, perhaps the most inventive and creative Whites that ever existed, or maybe the most inventive and creative humans that ever existed. They said that Meds were superior in terms of the arts, which is somewhat related.
I concur.
Modern day Nordicists (neo-Nazis in general) who despise and disparage Meds as non-Whites, in all honesty, would have been thrown out of the Nazi Party in Germany! That’s how out of it they are.
This is sort of a peculiarly American and Australian thing – the Nordicist contempt for Meds. I’m not sure if you see it that much in Europe, though people are always going to be rivals.
It does exist in Italy though, where the Padanianists pour scorn on the “part-nigger”* Southerners. The Padanianists also take pride in being “Celtic.”
However, non-racial frustration with the South extends as far south as Abruzze (east of Rome) in Italy. Even in Abruzze, they think that they work hard and they don’t get all their tax money back. Instead it goes to the unproductive South, who take more in revenues than they contribute in taxes.
Further, in Abruzze, there is frustration that any tax money sent South in the form of revenues is wasted, as it just goes to the Camorra (Mafia) anyway. The notion of the South, and that means Naples south (Naples is thoroughly Camorra-overrun) as being the Land of the Camorra is not misplaced.
The Camorra for all intents and purposes practically run the show down there. Police try to fight them, but they are overwhelmed. Most of the politicians are paid off, and those who are not might get shot. Judges and investigative journalists are routinely threatened and gunned down.
There was also something like this North-South rivalry in the former Yugoslavia, with the notion being that Slovenia and Croatia were the economic engines of the place, and everything south just took in more revenues than they paid out in taxes.
In the north of Spain, there is some pride once again in being “Celtic”, but I am not aware that Northern Spaniards hate Southern Spaniards all that much, or at all.
Some of the north, especially around Leon and Asturias, is in bad shape economically, and I’m sure they take more in revenues than they pay in taxes, so the North-South thing doesn’t really work.
In Western Asturias in particular, the region is depopulating, and most towns are losing population. Even wolves are coming back to the hills and foraging in garbage dumps outside of towns. In 20 years, many villages in Western Asturias may be effectively abandoned.
The economic and industrial engines of Spain are in the Basque Country and Catalonia (industry in the Basque area, corporate offices in Catalonia). This is one of the main reasons why Spain is dead-set against having these regions secede.
*Used sardonically.

A Reworking of German Language Classification Part 3: Upper German

Updated May 10, 2017. This post will be regularly updated for some time. Warning! This essay is very long; it runs to 101 pages.
This is Part 3 of my reclassification of the German language. Part 3 deals with Upper German.
Part 2, dealing with Middle German, is here, and Part 1, dealing with Low German, is here.
This classification splits Upper German from 10 languages into 81 languages using the criterion of >90% intelligibility = dialect and <90% intelligibility = language.
There is much confusion about the phrase High German or Upper German. Standard German is referred to as Hochdeutsch, or High German, and many think that that means that Standard German is a High German or Upper German language. In fact, it is a Middle German language. However, there is a conflation of Middle German and High or Upper German in which both are subsumed under the mantle of High German. In reality, though, Middle German and High or Upper German are quite different.
The Upper German lects are in pretty good shape. They are located in Southern Germany, and most are doing extremely well. The Upper German Franconian lects are doing fine. The Bavarian lects are going strong. Swabisch and Badisch are doing great.
Low Alemannic in southern Germany is doing fine. Bavarian is the standard language of communication in Austria, and Swiss German is the standard language of communication in Switzerland. Only Alsatian, spoken in France, is somewhat in trouble due to France’s one-language policy.
It is uncertain why Standard German has been unable to take out Upper German languages well, but Southern Germany has always been isolated from the rest due to mountainous terrain and an independent spirit. Bavarian and Swiss German are guaranteed as official languages of nations and are in no danger. A few small Upper German languages in Italy are in trouble, but that is mostly due to their being linguistic islands in a sea of Italian. Upper German Hutterite is doing very well.
This treatment breaks Upper German from Ethnologue’s 10 languages into 82 separate languages.

The Alemannic languages, including Swabish and South Franconian.
The Alemannic languages, including Swabish and South Franconian.

Sudfrankisch (South Franconian) is an Upper German language transitional between Central and Upper German. It is spoken in northwest and north-central Baden-Württemberg around Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Pforzheim and Rastatt. It has a low number of speakers, and some do not even consider this lect to be a separate entity, so its treatment here is tentative.
The very existence of this language is controversial. For instance, although Karlsruhe and Heidelberg are said to be South Franconian-speaking, in other analyses, the language is “Kurpfalzisch”. This language, or at least the variety spoken in Heidelberg and Karlsruhe, is very hard for Standard German speakers to understand.
Dialects include Bad Schönborn, spoken around the city of the same name, Odenwäldisch, Kraichgauisch, spoken around the cities of Kraichgau and Santkanna, Unterländisch, spoken in and around Heilbronn, Central North Badisch (Zentral Nordbadisch), and Southern North Badisch (Süd Nordbadisch). Intelligibility is apparently good between all dialects (Costin 2015)
The Swabish speaking area in Germany
The Swabish speaking area in Germany.

Schwabian is a Alemannic lect that has about 40% intelligibility with Standard German. Speakers of Standard German say they find it almost impossible to understand. Commercials and TV series in Swabian are shown on German TV with subtitles. It is spoken in southwest Germany in a region called Swabia.
The southern border of the Swabian language is Villingen-Schwenningen. After that, it follows the Danube to the east. In the east, the border is a line from Augsburg south to the Aargau. Reutte/Außerfern, a dialect in upper East Tirol on the Lech River just south of the Bavarian border, is considered to be Swabian. Stuttgart is in the Schwabian speaking area and the standard version of Swabian is spoken in Stuttgart.
It has 820,000 speakers. Swabian has great dialectal diversity, and there is more than one language in Swabian.
Badisch and Swabian form a dialect chain in which the dialects at the far ends of the chain are not intelligible with each other. The Western Swabian dialects are most comprehensible with the eastern Badisch dialects. Swabian is not intelligible with Alsatian, Swiss German or Bavarian. In fact, the differences between Swabian and Swiss German are tremendous. This is important to note because there are claims that the two are mutually intelligible.
Swabian has many lects. Some of the major groupings are Lower Swabian (Niederschwäbisch or Neckarschwäbisch), East Swabian (Ostschwäbisch), Upper Swabian (Oberschwäbisch), and Southwest Swabian (Südwestschwäbisch). Schwäbisch vom Haiberg is an unclassified dialect spoken in the Swabian Alps.
Lower Swabian is spoken in and around Stuttgart and in the Eastern Black Forest. It is not fully intelligible with Upper Swabian (see the Würtingen entry below). In fact, separate languages develop quickly only a few miles from the Upper Swabian/Lower Swabian border. Lower Swabian is also spoken north of Stuttgart up to around Pforzheim and Heilbronn, where it starts shading into East Franconian. Some of the big cities in the Lower Swabia area include Esslingen, Reutlingen and Tubingen.
Würtingen Lower Swabian is a divergent Upper Swabian dialect spoken in Würtingen, 35 miles south of Stuttgart. It is not intelligible with the Upper Swabian spoken just six miles away and may not be intelligible with the rest of Lower Swabian. Investigation is needed to determine if Würtingen is intelligible with the rest of Lower Swabian.
The dialects of Würtingen and Dettingen 35 miles south of Stuttgart are so different as to represent separate languages, Würtingen Lower Swabian and Dettingen Upper Swabian, yet they are only 6 miles away from each other. Dettingen seems to be a Upper Swabian dialect, and Würtingen seems to be an Lower Swabian dialect. This is in the area around Reutlingen, where there are several distinct dialects of Swabian spoken.
Upper Swabian is language a spoken in the Upper Swabia in the Swabian  Mountains (Swabian Alps) in Baden-Württemberg. Tuttlingen is a main city in this area. Upper Swabia is the region from the Swabian Alps south to the Danube. At least the type spoken in Albstadt seems to be unintelligible with the rest of Swabian, in particular with the Swabian spoken in Tuttlingen and Esslingen. Even in and around Albstadt, there are villages only three miles away that speak completely separate languages of Alpine Swabian that are not intelligible with each other, so clearly there are multiple languages within Upper Swabian.
Dettingen Upper Swabian is spoken in and around Dettingen, 35 miles south of Stuttgart. It is not intelligible with the Lower Swabian spoken in Würtingen nearby.
Bavarian Swabian (Bayerisch Schwaben or Rieser Schwäbisch) is a major division of this language that is spoken in the Donau Reis, a region of Bavaria. It can be seen on the map as the Swabish speaking area of Bavaria north of the Danube. This is the form of Upper Swabian spoken in the Schwaben region of southwest Bavaria. According to residents, it is not intelligible with either Bavarian or with the rest of Swabian spoken in Baden-Württemberg (Kirmaier 2009), hence it is a separate language. Dialects include Augsburg and Lechhausen. Lechhausen is quite different. Other towns in the area include Brenz, Iller, and Lech. The town of Lech is said to be the border between Bavarian Swabian and Bavarian.
East Swabian is spoken in the Eastern Swabish Alps. It is also spoken in East Württemberg. Major towns in East Württemberg include Aalen, Ellwangen, Heidenheim an der Brenz, and Schwäbisch Gmünd.
Southwest Swabian is spoken in the Neckar Mountains.
Allgäu Swabian (Schwäbisch-Allgäuerisch) is spoken in the Allgäu region on the border of Switzerland, Swabia and Bavaria. It contains three divisions. Lower Allgäu Swabian (Unterallgäuerisch), Northern Upper Allgäu Swabian (Nord Oberallgäuerisch) and East Allgäu Swabian (Ostallgäuerisch). Wolfegg, Biberach an der Riß, and Bergatreute are dialects.
Reports indicate that the type of Swabian spoken where Austria, Switzerland and Germany all come together is not understood anywhere else in Germany. On that basis, we can assume that Allgäu Swabian is a separate language. Internal intelligibility data for the dialects is lacking.
Russian German Swabish is one of the divergent Swabish dialect spoken by Russian Germans in their widespread colonies. In general, it is not understood by anyone in Germany. There are only a few elderly speakers left. Whether or not it is intelligible with specific Swabish lects is not known. This is an old Swabish from around 200 years ago.
Low Alemannic is a group of Alemmanic Upper German lects that are spoken in southern Baden-Württemberg, across the border into France, a bit into Switzerland, and over into southwestern Bavaria.
A chart of the Alemannic languages in 1950 based on the work of Karl Bohnenberger in 1953. Bodensee and Upper Rhine Alemannic were added based on Hugo Steger's 1983 work
A chart of the Alemannic languages in 1950 based on the work of Karl Bohnenberger in 1953. Bodensee and Upper Rhine Alemannic were added based on Hugo Steger’s 1983 work.

Upper Rhine Alemannic (Oberrhiinalemannisch) is a Low Alemannic superfamily division based on the work of linguist Karl Bohnenberger. This group includes Alsatian, Badisch, Upper Rhine Alemannic proper, and Basel German.
South Badisch is a group of dialects, apparently a separate language, spoken along the French border of Germany and east a ways to the border with Swabian starting near Freiburg im Breisgau and heading up towards Karlsruhe, where it borders South Franconian. The differences between South Badisch and South Alemannic spoken just to the South are considerable, and the two are probably separate languages.
Dialects include Ortenau (Ortenauer), Gottenheim, Freiburg-Opfingen, Elz, Kuppenheim, Iffezheim, Zell am Harmersbach, Kämpflbach, Breisgau (Breisgauer), Middle Kinzig River, and Black Forest (Schwarzwälder).
Elz, a subdialect of Black Forest, is spoken around the city of Waldkirch in the Elz Valley. Gottenheim is spoken 6 miles northwest of Freiburg. Freiburg-Opfingen is spoken in and around the city of Freiburg and is composed to two dialects, Freiburg and Opfingen. Zell am Harmersbach is a dialect of Middle Kinzig River.
Badisch forms a dialect chain with Swabian in which the far ends of the chain are not intelligible. The eastern dialects of Badisch are intelligible with the western dialects of Swabian. Intelligibility data between this and Alsatian is needed. Badisch is not at all intelligible with Standard German.
Alemán Coloniero (Colonia Tovar) is a Low Alemannic language spoken in Venezuela. It is not intelligible with Standard German. It is originally derived from a Badisch-type lect.
Baar Alemannic (Baar Alemannisch) is a Low Alemannic dialect. It is spoken in a region called the Baar in the upper headwaters of the Danube River in far southern Baden-Württemberg.
Towns in this region include Löffingen, Tuttlingen, Bad Dürrheim, St. Georgen, Furtwangen, Villingen-Schwenningen, Rottweil, Trossingen, Hüfingen, Spaichingen, Geisingen, and Donaueschingen. Intelligibility data between this lect, Basel German, South Badisch and Upper Rhine Alemannic and is needed. Rottweil is a dialect spoken in the town of the same name.
Click to enlarge. A map of the languages of Alsace. Alsatian proper is in shades of green. Purples is Rhenish Franconian and light blue is Pfalzisch. Orange and pink are langues d’oil – orange is Welche, and pink is Franche-Compte. As you can see, more languages than just Alsatian are spoken in the Alsace.

Alsatian is a Low Alemannic language spoken in Alsace, France around Strasbourg, and is not intelligible with Standard German, Swabian, Swiss German or Bavarian. In Alsace, it is mostly spoken in the Sundgau region of south Alsace and in the rural areas of the center.
It is an Upper German language related to Schwabian, Swiss German and Walliser. It has 700,000 speakers. The language is still widely spoken despite the fact that it gets little to no support from the French state. 20 years ago, 70% of teenagers said they could speak the language well.
This is a strange area where there are speakers of French, German, and languages that are neither French nor German but are transitional between the two. In this way it resembles the Limburgs region in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Alsatian borders Upper Rhine Alemannic on the east and Alsatian speakers say it is not the same language as what they speak (Auer 2005). Furthermore, Alsatian is not intelligible with the Upper Rhine Alemannic spoken over the border.
The reason is that Alsace has been cut off from the culture of Germany and Switzerland for so long that it has retained many archaic forms that went out to the east. At the same time, a huge amount of French has gone into Alsatian that has not gone into the languages to the east.
Alsatian is actually a number of dialects, not all of which are completely mutually intelligible, although this is somewhat controversial. The language changes from village to village, and it is common for Alsatians to not understand each other. This implies that Alsatian is actually more than one language, but we don’t have enough data yet about intelligibility between varieties to split any of them yet.
However, the Strasbourg variety has been promoted as the standard and is used on the local TV station (Osorio 2001). Dialects include Strasbourg, Colmar, Vosges, Orbey Valley, and Mulhouse.
Alsatian has only 40% intelligibility with Standard German (Minahan 2002).
Another map of the languages of the Alsace.

Lake Constance Alemannic (Bodeseealemannisch) is a super split in the Low Alemannic languages according to linguist Karl Bohnenberger. It includes Allgäuisch, Vorarlbergerisch, and South Württembergish (Süd Württembergisch), all separate languages.
It has a strong French influence. It has 50% intelligibility with Central Bavarian. It is probably not intelligible with Swiss German.
This language family is spoken in Vaduz, Lichtenstein; Bregenz, Austria, and Ravensburg and Tuttlingnen in Baden-Württemberg. In Tuttlingnen, it borders on Swabish.
Allgäuisch (Allgäuerisch) is a group of Low Alemannic lects spoken in far southwestern part of German Bavaria on the border with Switzerland, Austria and Baden-Württemberg. This is part of the Lake Constance Alemannic superfamily. It is not intelligible with Swabish.
It probably resembles Swiss German, but considering that you need a dictionary to translate between Allgäuisch and Swiss German, they must be separate languages.
This language is probably closest to Swabish and the Vorarlbergerisch spoken in far western Austria, to which it is geographically close. This language has heavy French influence.
There are four different Allgäuisch subdialects in each of the four major valleys in the region. One of the dialects is Bernbueren, spoken near Schongau and Weilheim. Other dialects include West Allgäuisch (Westallgäuerisch), East Allgäuisch, Upper Allgäuisch and Lower Allgäuisch. Upper Allgäuisch is further divided into Southern Upper Allgäuisch (Süd Oberallgäuerisch) and Northern Upper Allgäuisch.
Lower Allgäuisch is spoken in the northern Allgäu.
Opfenbach West Allgäuisch is a West Allgauisch dialect. It is spoken at least in and around the town of Opfenbach in far southwestern Bavaria between Wangen and Lindenberg.
East Allgäuisch is spoken in the East Allgäu and in the area around Füssen and the Upper Lech River.
Upper Allgäuisch is spoken in the southern Allgäu and in central Allgäu around Immenstadt and Kempten. The area around Immenstadt and Kempten is probably where Northern Upper Allgäuisch is spoken. Oberstdorf is a dialect of Southern Upper Allgäuisch.
Vorarlbergerisch Vorarlbergerisch is a group of Low Alemannic languages that is part of the Low Alemannic Lake Constance Alemannic Family. It is similar to Swiss German. Vorarlbergerisch was originally a Swabian language. For the most part, the Vorarlbergers came from Valais in Switzerland in the 1200’s and 1300’s.
This language is spoken in Austria and is not intelligible with Bavarian, Standard German or other German languages. It is spoken in Vorarlberg, a region in far western Austria near the Swiss border.
This is a very different form of Eastern Upper Alemannic Swiss German that is still widely spoken in the area of Vorarlberg. Most reports on the lect indicate that it seems to be a separate language, unintelligible with all other German, Swiss German and Austrian lects other than West Allgauish and Appenzell Swiss German.
Most towns in Vorarlberg have their own dialects. It has elements of Swiss German along with Tyrolean and Bavarian. Vorarlbergerisch is so different that speakers are given subtitles when they speak on Austrian TV. Many Vorarlbergerisch speakers either cannot or do not speak Standard German. There are three main divisions of Vorarlberg – Montafon, Lustenauerisch and Bregenzwalderisch.
Feldkirch, Lustenauerisch, and Dornbin are listed as dialects, but Lustenauerisch is so different that it is a separate language. Most Vorarlbergers have some difficulty understanding Lustenauerisch, Muntafunerisch and Wälderisch.
South Württembergish (Süd Württembergisch) is a major division of Lake Constance Alemannic. It is spoken east of Tuttlingnen and the Baar along the Upper Danube, south to the Swiss border and over to the border with Bavaria. This language has a heavy French flavor. South Wurttembergish has good intelligibility of Vorarlbergerisch (Scheffknecht 2015) and is best seen as a form of that language.
Überlingen, Radolfzell, and Konstanz are dialects. Konstanz is spoken in the city of Konstanz on Lake Constance straddling the Swiss border. It is very different from the Thurgau Swiss German spoken across the border in Kruezlingen (Auer 2005).
Lustenauerisch is so different that it itself is a separate language. Most people in Vorarlberg say that they cannot completely understand Lustenauerisch when it is spoken. That is because for many vocabulary items, the words are completely different. In addition, vowels also differ (Scheffknecht 2015).
Bregenz Forest Vorarlbergerisch (Bregenzwalderisch or Wälderisch) is a very distinct form of Vorarlbergerisch spoken in the Bregenz Forest (Bregenzerwald) in far northwest Vorarlberg on the borders of Switzerland and Germany. Other Vorarlbergerisch speakers from elsewhere in Vorarlberg have some difficulty understanding Bregenzerwald speakers, so it may be a separate language (Scheffknecht 2015). This area is very famous for its dairy products, especially its cheeses. Lustenauerisch speakers say this is a different language from both Vorarlbergerisch and Lustenauerisch.
There are two main dialects of this language – Vorderwald and Hinterwald – and they are quite different. Nearly every village has its own dialect. Intelligibility between dialects is not known. Egg is a dialect of this language.
West Allgäuisch is spoken in the western Allgäu, in the Alemannic-Swabish transition zone of the Allgäu and in the city of Lindau and the area around far eastern Lake Bodensee. West Allgäuisch is close to Swiss German and especially the form of Vorarlbergerisch spoken in the Bregenz Forest (Bregenzerwald) in the northern part of Vorarlberg on the German border. This dialect is apparently intelligible with Vorarlbergerisch (Scheffknecht 2015), at least with Bregenz Vorarlbergerisch. This lect is best seen as a form of Bregenz Vorarlbergerisch.
Montafon Vorarlbergerisch (Muntafunerisch) is a Vorarlbergerisch language that is spoken in the Montafon Valley in Vorarlberg, Austria. This valley extends from about Bludenz to the Silvretta Mountains on the border with Switzerland. Speakers say that the situation is better described as other Vorarlbergerisch speakers having some difficulty understanding Muntafunerisch (Scheffknecht 2015).
It has Romansch influences since it is spoken near the Romansch-speaking part of Switzerland. Even villages 15-20 miles away cannot understand this language. This language is utterly unintelligible to any German. Schruns is a dialect of this language.
Appenzell Swiss German (Appenzellerisch) is an Eastern Upper Alemannic Swiss German lect that, while not intelligible with other forms of Swiss German, is actually intelligible with Vorarlbergerisch (Scheffknecht 2015) and is best seen as a form of that language. It is spoken in Appenzell Canton in Switzerland near the border with Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. Appenzell Innerhoden and St. Gallen (Sankt Gallener or St. Galler Deutsch) are dialects of this language.
High Alemannic is a group of lects that are spoken primarily in Switzerland. However, a few are also spoken in Baden-Württemberg right on the border with Switzerland. The most famous High Alemannic language is Swiss German. Central Bavarian has 50% intelligibility with High Alemmanic languages.
South Alemmanic is a group of High Alemannic dialects, apparently a separate language, spoken in far southwestern Baden-Württemberg in regions called Markgräflerland and Hotzenwäld. Markgräflerland goes from about Basel to about Bad Krozingen in the north and to the Black Forest in the east. Hotzenwäld is a region around the Swiss border from Wehr to Waldshut-Tiengen, otherwise known as the Waldshut District. The differences between South Alemannic and Banish are considerable, and the two are probably separate languages.
Klettgau is a South Alemannic dialect spoken on the Swiss border in the Waldshut District. Other dialects include Markgräflerland (Markgräflerisch), Hotzenwäld (Hotzenwälderisch), Rheinfelden, and High Rhine Alemannic (Hochrhein Alemannisch). Intelligibility between this and Swiss German in Switzerland and South Sundgau in Germany is not known, although it is probably not fully intelligible with Swiss German. Within Markgräflerland, there are subdialects such as Lörrach, Grenzach-Wyhlen, and Weil am Rhein.
South Sundgau (Süd Sundgauisch) is a High Alemannic dialect spoken in southern Baden down around the Swiss border. Intelligibility between this and Swiss German is not known, but it is said that once you leave Switzerland and cross the border, people are no longer speaking anything close to Swiss German.
Standard Swiss German (Schwyzerdütsch) is a High Alemannic language that is from 20% intelligible with Standard German. For many Germans, Swiss German is about as intelligible as Dutch. It has over 6 million speakers. There are dozens of varieties, and every canton in Switzerland has its own lect. Two major varieties are Zurich and Bernese German. However, Bernese is not intelligible with Swiss German proper. Thurgau is  very different.
The city of Vaduz, Austria, also speaks Swiss German. There are 20-70 different lects within Swiss German, and according to Ethnologue, many of them are not mutually intelligible. Swiss German is so diverse that speakers are given subtitles when they speak on Austrian and German TV.
The dialectal situation of Swiss German is very complex. About 30-40 years ago, before people started moving around a lot, there were many full Swiss German languages that were not intelligible to other speakers. We can call these the pure dialects. However, the situation has changed a lot since then. A form of Swiss German, call it Standard Swiss German, is now used across Switzerland when communicating with people who speak another form of the language.
Many of the dialects seem to be changing from full languages into mutually intelligible forms of Standard Swiss German with regional dialects, similar to the situation in the US with our mutually intelligible regional dialects. When people are interviewed on Swiss TV, they typically speak in this standard language to make sure that they are understood.
There are some elderly people who can speak only their regional form of Swiss German and not the standard version, and sometimes they cannot communicate with people in a similar situation speaking another version of the language.
However, if you recorded speakers of many of the various forms of Swiss German speaking among themselves and then presented it to speakers of other forms of the language, you would probably need subtitles for them to understand it. In terms of lexicon, the Swiss German lects differ dramatically. There may be 40 different words for the same term in 40 different lects.
Many Swiss German speakers dislike speaking Hochdeutsch, only speak it if they have to, and may refuse to speak it unless it is mandatory. Hochdeutsch classes are now mandatory in the schools, but most Swiss hate to study the language, and this requirement is resented by many Swiss. Some can understand the Hochdeutsch spoken on TV but may not understand the Hochdeutsch of a visitor. Some older Swiss cannot understand Hochdeutsch at all.
However, most even elderly Swiss can speak some form of Hochdeutsch (Chervet 2016).
Although Swiss German is considered to be a Upper German language, it has Low, High and Highest Alemannic forms inside of it. Hence, “Swiss German” is something of a trashcan description for forms of German spoken in Switzerland. The Pündner dialect is unclassified.
Basel German (Baseldeutsch, Baslerdütsch, Baslerdietsch, Baseldütsch) is a type of Low Alemannic Swiss German spoken in and around Basel, Switzerland, that is not intelligible with High Alemannic Swiss German.
However, the watered-down lect spoken in the city of Basel itself nowadays is indeed intelligible with Swiss German Proper (Chervet 2016). It is spoken across the border a bit into France west of Basel and north and northeast of Basel up into Baden-Württemberg to Freiburg.
There are different dialects spoken in Baselstadt (a canton encompassing the city of Basel) and Baselland (Basel Canton), but it is not known how much they differ. Intelligibility between Basel German and South Alemmanic spoken to the north is not known, but it is said that when you cross from Germany to Switzerland in this region, people are no longer speaking the same language.
Bernese Swiss German (Bärndütsch, Bäärndüütsch, Berndüütsche, Baernduetsch, Bern Deutsch) is is a Western High Alemannic Swiss German language that is not intelligible with Swiss German proper and is thus a separate language. Langenthal is a dialect of this language.
Other Western High Alemannic Swiss German dialects include Solothurn (Solothurner, Solothurnerdütsch), Olten, West Aargau (Westaargauisch), Lower Frick Valley (Unterfricktal), Möhlin, Upper Frick Valley (Oberfricktal), Laufenburg, Central Aargau, Aargau, Middle Bernese (Mittelbernisch), Entlebuchisch, Lucerne (Lozärno, Lozärnerdütsch), and Zug (Zogerdütsch).
The Frick Valley is located in northwest Aargau Canton. Möhlin is a subdialect of Lower Frick Valley and Laufenburg is a subdialect of Upper Frick Valley. Olten is a subdialect of Solothurn. Intelligibility data between the lects is not known.
Ettiswil Bernese Swiss German is spoken in the town of Ettiswil in the canton Bern. It is so divergent that it may well be a separate language.
Zurich Swiss German (Zuridootch, Züridüütsch, Zürcher, Züritüüstcht, Züritütsch, Züridütsch, Zöridütsch, Zuerideutsch or Zürischnüre) is not readily intelligible to speakers of Standard Swiss German. It is spoken in Zurich.
As most Swiss hear this language a lot on TV, they are familiar with it and it is probably intelligible to most of them, but that does not mean it’s inherently mutually intelligible, because it’s not. Züridüütsch is a Central Swiss German dialect. Zurich Oberland and Goldbach are dialects of this language.
Other Central Swiss German dialects include Stadtzürcherisch, Ämtler, See, Oberländer, Winterthurer and Unterländer.
Schaffhausen (Neu Schaffhauserdeutsch, Schaffhuserisch), Zurich Weinland (Zürcher Weinländerdeutsch), Davos, Lower Toggenburg (Untertoggenburgerisch), Upper Toggenburg (Obertoggenburgerisch), and Rheintal (Rheintalerisch), Seeztal (Seeztalerdeutsch).
Other dialects in the same group include Middle Lucerne/South Aargau (Mittelland Luzerndeutsch/Südaargauisch), Sursee, East Aargau (Ostaargauisch), Schaan, Balzers, Lucerne (Luzerndeutsch, Luzerner, Luzärnerisch, Luzärner), Bünd (Bündnerisch, Bündner, Bündnerdüütsh, Bündnerdütsh), Bad Ragaz, Chur (Churertütsch, Churer) and Graubünden (Graubündnerisch).
Intelligibility data is lacking. Lucerne contains the following subdialects: Lucerne Hinterland (Hinterland Luzerndeutsch), Middle Lucerne (Lucerne Mittelland), Rigi, Sursee, Entlebuch and Lucerne/Hochdorf. Bad Ragaz is a subdialect of St. Gallen. Chur and Davos are subdialects of Graubünden. Schaan and Balzers are spoken in Lichtenstein.
Thurgau Swiss German is an Eastern High Alemannic Swiss German language that is hard for many Swiss German speakers to understand. Dialects include West Thurgau (West Thurgauerisch), East Thurgau (Ost Thurgauerisch) and Upper Thurgau.
Inner Swiss German is a group of Swiss German lects that are transitional between High Alemannic Swiss German and Highest Alemannic Swiss German. Intelligibility data is lacking. Dialects include West Oberland (Westoberländisch), Haslital (Haslitalerisch), Lungern, North Urn (Nord Urnerdeutsch), South Urn (Süd Urnerdeutsch), Obwalden (Obwaldnerisch), Nidwalden (Nidwaldnerisch), Engelberg (Engelbergisch) and West Obwalden (Westobwaldnerisch). Lungern is a dialect of Obwalden.
Nidwalden Swiss German (Nidwaldnerisch) is an Inner Swiss German language that is not intelligible with other Swiss German lects, especially with Zurich Swiss German. Intelligibility with other Inner Swiss German lects is not known.
Fribourg Swiss German (Fribourgerisch, Friburgerisch) is a Highest Alemannic Swiss German language that is not intelligible to other speakers of Swiss German and must be a separate language. It is spoken in Fribourg Canton southwest of Bern in southwest Switzerland. Intelligibility with other Highest Alemmanic Swiss German lects is not known. Jaun, Sensebezirk and St. Antoni are dialects of this language.
Other Highest Alemannic Swiss German lects include Unterwalden and Glarus (Glarnerdeutsch, Glarner). Since Highest Alemannic languages seem to be hard for High Alemannic Swiss German speakers to understand, it is questionable to what degree the lects above are intelligible to High Alemannic. Intelligibility testing is in order.
Bernese Oberland Swiss German is a Highest Alemmanic Swiss German language notorious for having poor intelligibility even with native speakers of Swiss German. It therefore qualifies as a separate language. Intelligibility with other Highest Alemmanic Swiss German lects is not known.
Uri Swiss German (Ursnerisch)is a Highest Alemannnic Swiss German language has poor intelligibility with other Swiss German speakers, in particular with Zurich. It is spoken in Uri Canton. Intelligibility with other Highest Alemmanic Swiss German lects is not known. Attinghausen is a dialect.
Schwyz Swiss German is a Highest Alemannnic Swiss German that is not intelligible to other Swiss German speakers, especially speakers of Zurich. It is spoken in the canton of Schwyz. Intelligibility with other Highest Alemmanic Swiss German lects is not known.
Walser German is a Highest Alemannic language spoken in Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Lichtenstein and Germany. It is spoken by 22,780 speakers. It is not intelligible with any other Alemannic languages and is very different. This is very different from the Walliser language, which is a variety of Swiss German spoken in Wallis Canton.
The Walsers split off from the Walliser group in about 1200 and moved to other areas. The Walsers moved into many areas of the Alps, often displacing or attempting to displace Romansch speakers. In many places, settlements failed, but they held in a few others.
By the mid-1300’s, Black Plague ended the Walser migrations by devastating both the source and the destinations of the migrants.
Most Walser dialects are very different even from one another, so there may be more than three languages in Walser. A process of assimilation is occurring in Switzerland whereby Walser speakers are assimilating to the German-speaking culture around them and in the process losing their language. Intelligibility between the widely variant dialects, other than Toitschu, is not known.
The Walser are expert dairymen, woodworkers, weavers and mountain-climbers who often build a distinctive style house called a Walser house.
Walser has many dialects.
Prättigau (Prätttigauer), Avers, Obersaxen, Davos and Rheinwald are spoken in Grisons Canton.
Triesenberg is spoken in Lichtenstein and has the support of the local government.
Kleinwalsertal is spoken in Austria and has been on the decline lately.
Rimella, Rima San-Giuseppe, Alagna Vallesia, Macugnaga and Formatta are dialects of Walser spoken in northwest Italy. The dictionary for Algana Walser has an incredible 22,000 words. Intelligibility data among dialects is not known.
Gurin Walser German (Gurinerdeutsch) is a Walser dialect spoken in Bosco-Gurin, Ticino (Italian-speaking) Canton, Switzerland. It has remained isolated from other German varieties for centuries and may well be a separate language. This is close to the forms of Walser spoken in Italy. It must be unintelligible with other forms of Walser other than Italian Walser, and since Italian Walser is not even intelligible to the villages right next door, Gurin Walser must be a separate language.
There are only 23 speakers of this language left in the village of Bosco-Gurin, and it seems to be dying out (PFECMR 2006). However, including speakers outside the town, there are 120 speakers. In addition, 40 people have receptive but not productive competence in the language (COE 2006).
Toitschu Walser German is an outlying language related to Walser that is spoken in the village of Issime in the Upper Lys Valley in Valle d’Aosta in far northwest Italy.
Toitschu is a highly divergent Walser lect that has been heavily influenced by Piedmontese and Francoprovencal. It is unintelligible with the rest of Walser and is a separate language. Both Toitschu and Titsch have 600 speakers and are both an endangered languages.
Titsch Walser German is spoken in the same region as Toitschu in the Italian Alps of northwest Italy in the nearby villages of Gressoney-Saint-Jean and Gressoney-La-Trinité. There are currently major efforts underway to preserve both Toitschu and Titsch, but the regional Italian government does not seem very cooperative.
Both languages are quickly giving way to Italian especially and both lack many words for modern things. Titsch is much different from Toitschu as it seems to have continued to evolve in time, while Toitschu seems to have been frozen back in 1200 or so.
There is poor intelligibility between Toitschu and Titsch, and both must be separate languages. Major dictionary projects have just been completed and a large conference on both languages was held in the region recently which resulted in the publication of an amazing 163 page document exclusively about the Walser language. The dictionary of Titsch has an incredible 125,000 words, only 4% of which are foreign loans.
Walliser German has about 250,000 speakers in the German part of Wallis (Valais) Canton, Central Switzerland. It is is a Highest Alemannic language. It is not intelligible with Standard German or with Walser. This is the more modern form of  older, archaic Walser German.
There are six dialects: Gomer, Briger, Saaser, Zermatter (spoken in Zermatt), Lötschentaler and Raron. Simplon is a dialect of Gomer. There is currently a petition before SIL to have it recognized as a separate language. The petition states that all of the the dialects are mutually intelligible.
Gomer differs in having a vowel shift to öi > ö. Briger is the most commonly spoken dialect. Zermatter has a different phonology and sounds melodic. Saaser is similar to Zermatter but not as melodic-sounding. It has a lot of unique vocabulary.
Lötschentaler Walliser is the most archaic dialect, about halfway between the archaic Walser German and the modern Walliser German. It also has a lot of unique vocabulary. It is so different that other Walliser German speakers have a hard time understanding it (Chervet 2016). Therefore it makes sense to split it off into a separate language.
Raron is characterized by a vowel shift ä > e. General Walliser Cäse > Raron Cese.
The main city here is Brig.
The language arose from immigrants from the Bern region who came to Wallis in the 700’s. Two different immigration waves led to two different Walliser dialect groups. In the 1100’s, a Walliser group split off and moved to other parts of the Alps. This group became the Walser German language speakers.
bairisches_mundartgebiet
Bavarian. North Bavarian is in yellow, Central Bavarian in pink, and Southern Bavarian is in blue.

Bavarian is a macro-language with three main varieties: Northern Bavarian, Central Bavarian and Southern Bavarian.
There are claims that broad Bavarian is mutually intelligible across its length and breadth, but these claims seem somewhat dubious if not false in light of the 40% intelligibility figure with Standard German and in light of my interviews with native speakers.
Also, there are claims that the diversity of dialects of Bavarian makes it impossible to create one unified dialect for writing Bavarian, as the debate over the Bavarian Wikipedia shows. Even Northern and Central Bavarian, supposedly mutually intelligible, are so different that to create one written form to unite them is impossible.
For these reasons, intelligibility testing is imperative for Bavarian.
Central Bavarian is described as extremely diverse. The various Vienna dialects have all died in the last 20 years, and Viennese now speak a Bavarian-Standard German mixed language based on an old East Viennese dialect mixed with Standard German and no longer speak pure Bavarian.
The differences between Tyrolean Southern Bavarian, Carinthian Southern Bavarian, Styrian Southern Bavarian and Viennese are described as great. An attempt on the Internet to compare Bavarian with Texan English was described as ridiculous.
All of this suggests that intelligibility inside of Bavarian is not all it is cracked up to be.
Bavaria itself is very diverse linguistically, and the state is not synonymous with the language. In Southwestern Bavaria, Bavarian Swabian is spoken; the northern half of Bavaria speaks several Middle German Franconian lects (Bavarian is Upper German); and the far northwest of Bavaria speaks a Palatinian Rhine-Franconian language.
Hence, less than 1/4 of Bavaria actually speaks Bavarian, adding up to about 1/3 of the population of the region. Each Bavarian-speaking village in Germany is said to have its own dialect.
Bavarian is not intelligible with Swabian, Alsatian or Swiss German.
A nice chart of the various Bavarian lects is here.
Northern Bavarian or German Bavarian is spoken in Upper Palatinate, Bavaria. It is not intelligible with Central Bavarian (Kirmaier 2009).
Another map of the various Bavarian languages.

Oberpfälz North Bavarian (Oberpfälzerisch or Oberpfälzisch) is a language spoken in southeastern Germany in central eastern and northeastern Bavaria from Regensburg, Kelheim and the Bavarian Forest north along the Naab River to the Fichtelgebirge (Fir Mountains) and in the Northern Bohemian Forest along the border with Czechoslovakia. It is also spoken up by Neumarkt.
According to residents (Kirmaier 2009), this is a separate language, not intelligible with other German Bavarian lects. Dialects of this language include Danube Oberpfälzisch, which, though different, is fully intelligible with the Oberpfälzisch spoken in Neumarkt. This is the Oberpfälzisch spoken along the Danube around the towns of Kelheim and Regensburg.
Bohemian German (Boehmerwaelderischish) is a Upper German language spoken in Czechoslovakia, Germany and the US. It looks like both North and Central Bavarian.
Starting in the 1200’s, Germans began moving into the Sudetenland, often invited by Bohemian kings. Over the centuries, they pushed out the Czechs and Slavs living in the area and took it over for farming. Although intelligibility data for Bohemian German is lacking, it is often considered to be a full language of its own, so we will treat it as one in this analysis.
Actually, since it ranges from East Middle German to Bavarian Upper German, Bohemian German seems to be a wastebasket designation for the varying lects spoken in the Sudetenland.
On the border of Silesia, it resembled Silesian. On the border of the Erzgebirge, it looked like Erzgebirgisch. In the far northeast, where the Riesengebirge separated Bohemia from Silesia, in the Hultschiner Laendle, the people had a very divergent lect of their own.
To the south of the city of Mies, along the Bohemian Mountains, it looked like Niederbayerisch. A dialect called Böhmish is spoken spoken in the Böhmerwald or Bohemian Forest. In the south, extending all the way towards Moravia, it looked very much like the Central Bavarian spoken in Austria. Sorting all of this out and determining what was a dialect and what was a separate language is going to be difficult. Schönhengst is a dialect of this language spoken in Moravia. Some Bohemian German speakers migrated to New Ulm, Minnesota. Quite a few others could be found in Bukovina, Romania.
Egerland Bohemian German (Egerlaenderisch) is spoken in Bischofteinitz, Mies, Tachau and Taus Counties in the Czech Republic in Western Bohemia and in and around New Ulm, Minnesota, where there are still speakers ranging from 52-98 years old. In the Czech Republic, each village had a separate dialect, but all dialects are mutually intelligible. This appears to be a separate language from Oberpfalz Northern Bavarian. German speakers visiting New Ulm say that they cannot understand one word of this language.
This seems to be the same language as Sechsämterland spoken across the border. The Sechsämterland dialect is spoken in the area around Selb, Wunsiedel, Hohenberg and Thierstein in the far northeast of Bavaria near the border with Czechoslovakia and Lower Saxony.
Dialectal diversity is very high in this area, and every village has its own dialect.
Lauterbach is a divergent dialect spoken east of Tirschenreuth on the Czech border. Tiss is a divergent subdialect of Egerland. Sangerberg is a divergent Egerlaenderisch dialect spoken in Prameny, Czechoslovakia. Eger is spoken in the large German city of the same name. Tachauer is a dialect that formed the basis for the Machliniec dialect spoken formerly spoken by the Carpathian Germans in their language island in the Machliniec area of the Ukraine. They left during WW2.
German Central Bavarian is a group of Bavarian lects that are spoken in Germany. This group includes Lower Bavarian, Upper Bavarian and Lechrain Bavarian (Lechrainisch). It has 50% intelligibility of High Alemannic and Lake Constance Low Alemannic. Lechrain Bavarian is spoken in Western Bavaria and is transitional to Swabian. Map of the Lechrain region. Lechrain is very different from the rest of Bavarian, but intelligibility data is lacking.
Lower Bavarian includes the Bohemian Forest language and many dialects.
Upper Bavarian includes the Starnberg, Highland and Meisbach languages and many dialects.
Lower Bavarian Central Bavarian (Niederbayerisch) is spoken in the Lower Bavarian region of German Bavaria. Major cities include Landshut.
According to residents (Kirmaier 2009), this is a full language unintelligible with other German Bavarian lects. Speakers of Landshut Lower Bavarian Central Bavarian claim that Landshut is intelligible with Münchnerisch.
On the other hand, some speakers of Münchnerisch find Regensburg Niederbayerisch almost impossible to understand. Dialects include Landshut, Regensburg, Passau, Straubing, Rottal-Inn, Breitenberg, Neureichenau, Thalberg, Germannsdorf, Untergriesbach, Wegscheid, Geiselhöring, Rattenberg and Landau.
Rottal-Inn is spoken in the Rottal-Inn district east of Munich. Towns here include Eggenfelden, Pfarrkirchen and Simbach am Inn. Rottal-Inn is a fairly typical Central Bavarian dialect, nevertheless, the dialect of Simbach is different from the dialect spoken just across the border in Braunau.
Breitenberg, Neureichenau, Thalberg, Germannsdorf, Untergriesbach and Wegscheid are spoken in far southeast Bavaria near the Austrian and Czech border and are very divergent. Geiselhöring is spoken in the Straubing-Bogen area of the Bavarian Forest. Rattenberg is also spoken in the Straubing-Bogen area and sounds like Viennese.
Bohemian Forest Lower Bavarian is spoken in the far southern Bohemian Forest, at least along the Regen River and around the town of Zwiesel, where a dialect called Zwieslerisch is spoken. At least Zwieslerisch is not intelligible with the Niederbayerisch spoken around Straubing, which is only 60 miles away. This language is interesting because it has significant influence from Muhlviertel Lower Bavarian in Austria.
Upper Bavarian Central Bavarian (Oberbayerisch) is spoken in the Upper Bavarian region of German Bavaria. The major city in this region is Munich. According to residents, it is a separate language not intelligible with the rest of German Central Bavarian (Kirmaier 2009).
Upper Bavarian Central Bavarian is said to be intelligible across the border into Austria for some ways, but this notion needs clarification since it is said that if you go 15-20 miles in any direction outside of Munich, you are dealing with separate languages.
Some say that people in Munich do not speak Bavarian anymore, but this does not seem to be the case. On the contrary, 20% of the population are Bavarian native speakers and with them, nearly all casual conversation is carried on in Oberbayerisch, and they often refuse to speak Standard German on principle at parties and such.
However, the variety spoken in Munich (Münchnerisch) is a very watered-down type of Bavarian that is no longer the real deal. Nevertheless, speakers of Standard German often find it baffling. The pure Bavarian Münchnerisch seems to be dying in Munich with the massive influx of immigrants from all over Germany. Münchnerisch is still holding on very well in the boroughs of Sendling, Giesling, Obermenzing and parts of Neuhausen.
The type of broad Central Bavarian spoken in Munich is widely understood in the urban centers from Munich to Vienna. There are at least 19 major Central Bavarian dialects, some of which are separate languages.
Dialects include Oberschweinbach, Friedberg, Holledau and Bad Reichenhall. Holledau is spoken in a region north of Munich roughly bounded by Moosburg, Pfaffenhofen, Ingolstadt and Neustadt. This is the largest hops-growing region in the world.
Oberschweinbach is spoken the Fürstenfeldbruck district west of Munich. Bad Reichenhall is spoken southeast of Munich on the border with Austria, near Salzburg. Friedberg, while located in Bavarian Swabia, speaks Bavarian, not Swabian.
Starnberg Upper Bavarian is spoken in and around the city of Starnberg, 12 miles southwest of Munich. It has poor intelligibility with Munich Upper Bavarian. This language is mutually intelligible for some distance around it, but speakers cannot understand the Highland Upper Bavarian spoken 20 miles to the south (Anonymous July 2009).
Highland Upper Bavarian is spoken along the German-Austrian border in Germany and Austria in the regions of Rosenheim, Meisbach and Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany and across the border in the Karwendel Mountains in Austria.
Rosenheim Upper Bavarian is spoken in the Rosenheim District south of Munich near the Austrian border, especially along the Mangfall River in the foothills of the Alps, the Chiegmau Mountains. Towns here include Rosenheim and Bad Aibling. It has very poor intelligibility with Münchnerisch. Intelligibility testing is needed between this language, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Meisbach.
Meisbach Upper Bavarian is a Bavarian language spoken in the Meisbach district of Bavaria in the towns of Meisbach, Finsterwald and possibly others. It is not intelligible with at least some other highland Bavarian lects (de Gyurky 2006). Intelligibility testing is needed between this and other highland Bavarian languages, especially Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Rosenheim, which are close by. Rosenheim is actually the next district over.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Upper Bavarian is a separate language that is spoken in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 50 miles southwest of Munich 6 miles from the Austrian border. This language is not intelligible at all with Münchnerisch. There are 2 dialects in this language – Garmisch and Partenkirchen. Intelligibility between the two is not known, and intelligibility between this language, Rosenheim and Meisbach is also unknown. This language is also spoken across the border in the Karwendel Mountains in Austria.
This language is said to resemble the Tirol Bavarian spoken in Innsbruck, and may not even be a Central Bavarian language.
Austrian Standard Central Bavarian is a koine language that is understood in most of Austria except for many in Vorarlberg who speak Vorarlbergerisch. It is based somewhat on the Vienna dialect, but it seems to have diverged quite a bit from the true pure Viennese. It is even understood in Tirol.
This language differs dramatically from the Central Bavarian spoken across the border in Munich and in general is often not intelligible with it. There is a wide diversity of lects in Austrian Bavarian. It is not unusual for one lect to not be understood 50-80 miles away. In Austria as a whole, one source describes the dialects of the country as akin to dozens of different languages, which implies that there are more than 20 languages spoken here. Other sources say that there is a different dialect in each Austrian region, and none of them are intelligible with each other. Based on that, further investigation into Austrian Bavarian intelligibility is urgently needed.
The lects are reasonably stable compared to the situation in Germany because most Austrians still grow up and live most of their lives in one area. Nevertheless, the situation is still poorly understood. Central Bavarian is not intelligible with the Southern Bavarian spoken in Tirol, Carinthia or Syria in Austria.
Austrian Central Bavarian has two major divisions, Austrian Central Bavarian proper and Austrian Southern Central Bavarian.
Southern Central Bavarian includes two main divisions – Styrian and West Southern Central Bavarian. Styrian includes West Styrian (Weststeirisch), Middle Styrian (Mittelsteirisch), Upper Styrian (Obersteirisch), East Styrian (Oststeirisch), Southeast Lower Austrian (Südostniederösterreichisch) and Burgenländ (Burgenländisch).
West Southern Central Bavarian includes dialects such as Salzburg (Salzburgisch), Ausseerländ (Ausseerländisch), North Tirol (Nordtirolerisch) and Werdenfelsisch.
Dialects include Innviertlerisch, Linz, Upper Pielachtal, Salzburgerisch , Wienerwald, Braunau, Bad Aussee, Bad Goisern, St. Johann in Tirol, Salzkammergut, Kufstein and many more.
Viennese and Linz are very different. Innviertlerisch is spoken in the Innviertel Mountains in Upper Austria near the Bavarian border. Intelligibility testing is needed between this and Mühlviertlerisch. Upper Pielachtal is spoken along the Mariazellerbahn Railway from Mariazell to St. Polen in Lower Austria.
Salzburgerisch is spoken in Salzburg. Wienerwald is spoken in the Vienna Forest west of Vienna. Bad Aussee is spoken in far northwest Styria near the border with Upper Austria. Bad Goisern is spoken in far southern Upper Austria near the borders with Salzburg and Styria. Braunau is spoken on the border with Bavaria.
St. Johann in Tirol and Kufstein are actually spoken in Tirol – there are a few Central Bavarian lects spoken there. St. Johann is spoken in the Kitzbühel district in the far northeast of Tirol near the border with Salzburg. Kufstein is spoken in the Kufstein district in northeast Tirol near the Bavarian border.
Central Bavarian is a dialect chain in which, while the lects of two adjoining cities are similar, the lects of major cities can differ dramatically. Speakers of Standard German sometimes say that they cannot a word of Viennese Central Bavarian.
Thalgau Central Bavarian is spoken at the very least in and around the town of Thalgau east of Salzburg in Salzburg state. It is utterly unintelligible with other forms of Central Bavarian.
Salzburg Central Bavarian (Salzburgerisch) is spoken in and around Salzburg, Austria. However, as of 30-35 years ago, it had poor intelligibility with Pongauer, Pinzgauer and Flachgauer. Hence, it may well be a separate language. The situation today is not known except that dialect use has dropped off alarmingly in Salzburg since then.
Pongau Central Bavarian is spoken in the Pongau region south of Salzburg in Austria. Towns ion the area include Bad Hofgastein, Schwarzach, Werfen, Bad Gastein, Dorfgastein, Radstadt, Flachau, and Bischofshofen. 30-35 years ago, it had poor intelligibility with Pinzgauer, Salzburger and Flachgauer. Thus it may well be a separate language. Pongauer has Danube Bavarian influences. The situation today is unknown.
Pinzgau Central Bavarian is spoken in the Pinzgau region southwest of Salzburg on the German border near the border with Tirol. The principal town in this region is Zell am See. Towns in the region include Bruck an der Großglocknerstraße, Dienten am Hochkönig, Ferleiten, Fusch an der Großglocknerstraße, Hollersbach im Pinzgau, Kaprun, Krimml, Lend, Lofer, Mittersill, Neukirchen am Großvenediger, Rauris, Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Saalfelden am Steinernen Meer, Taxenbach, Unken, and Uttendorf.
Dialect use remains very high in this area. Pinzgauer is transitional between Central Bavarian and Southern Bavarian, but it is utterly unintelligible with Tyrolerisch. As of 30-35 years ago, it had poor intelligibility with Pongauer, Salzburger and Flachgauer. The situation today is not known.
Flachgau Central Bavarian is spoken in the Flachgau region surrounding Salzburg. 30-35 years ago, it had poor intelligibility with Pinzgauer, Salzburger and Pongauer. The situation today is not known. Like Pongauer, it is similar to the Danube Bavarian spoken across the border to the west in Germany. Towns in the area include Neumarkt am Wallersee, Seekirchen am Wallersee, Mattsee, Anif, Fuschl am See, Sankt Gilgen, Lamprechtshausen, Oberndorf bei Salzburg and Straßwalchen.
Lungau Central Bavarian is a lect spoken in the Lungau District in the southeast part of Salzburg state. It is quite different from surrounding lects. It is transitional between South Bavarian (Tyrolean, Styrian and Carinthian) and Central Bavarian (Salzburg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria. Carinthian influences are most prominent. It has 20,000 speakers. Use of this dialect has dropped off a lot in recent decades.
Intelligibility data with surrounding Bavarian languages is not known, but considering that the other Salzburg district dialects have poor intelligibility with each other, and the uniqueness of Lungauer, Lungauer is probably a separate language.
Mühlviertel Central Bavarian (Mühlviertlerisch) is spoken in the Muhlviertel, or Bohemian Forest, region of Austria where Austria, Czechoslovakia and Germany all come together. It has poor intelligibility with other types of Austrian Central Bavarian. This language is extremely variable, with each village having its own dialect, and the dialects even between villages often differing markedly.
It does not appear to be readily intelligible with the Linz dialect spoken in the biggest city of Upper Austria either. Intelligibility is unknown between this language and Bohemian Forest Lower Bavarian spoken in the German part of the Bohemian Forest. Rural Upper Austrian Central Bavarian in general is unintelligible in both Vienna and Graz.
Viennese Central Bavarian (Wienerisch) itself seems to be a separate language. The stronger form of the dialect spoken by low level workers, taxi drivers, etc. is hard to understand even for other Austrians speaking closely related lects. It is therefore reasonable to assume that this hard form of Wienerisch is a separate language. It is still alive in some suburbs such as Ottakring.
Viennese has many unusual words that other forms of German lack. It has a comical quality that is sometimes imitated in parodies.
Most Viennese now speak a Viennese German dialect that is readily understandable to any speaker of German. It is quite similar to the standard German spoken on news outlets. There are a few words that are different for body parts, expletives and food, but other than that, the vocabulary is the same as Hochdeutsch. The accent is less different than the difference between British and American English.
However, Lower Austrian Central Bavarian is still spoken, mostly by older people, in the countryside outside Vienna. It is only about 50% intelligible with Viennese Central Bavarian, so it is a separate language. Further investigation is needed to determine the exact names of these various rural lects and how well they can communicate with each other.
Carpathian Central Bavarian was formerly spoken in Slovakia by scattered German colonies. They were ethnically cleansed after WW2, and most ended up in Germany. There still appear to be some speakers left, but they are probably elderly and the languages appear to be moribund.
Dialects included Pressburg, Zipser and Hauerlaender. Pressburg was spoken near the city of Pressburg, and Zips and Hauerlaender were spoken near areas of the same names. Pressburg is a dialect of Viennese, but Zips and Hauerlaender are so diverse that they are not intelligible with any other forms of Bavarian.
Zipser Carpathian Central Bavarian was spoken in an area of Slovakia called the Zips. Speakers were ethnically cleansed after WW2. Scattered elderly speakers probably remain, mostly in Germany. Not intelligible with any other forms of Bavarian (sample).
Hauerlaender Carpathian Central Bavarian was spoken in and around an area called the Hauerland in Slovakia. Speakers were ethnically cleansed after WW2. Scattered elderly speakers probably remain, mostly in Germany. Not intelligible with any other forms of Bavarian (sample).
Landers Central Bavarian is spoken by Transylvanian Saxons who lived in Transylvania in Romania. They were deported from the Salzkammergut region of Austria northeast of Salzburg in the 1730’s. They were ethnically cleansed after WW2, but then were allowed to return.
The language is still spoken in Neppendorf, Großau, and Großpold in Romania and in Germany where many of the Landers fled to after the war. They originally spoke a Salzkammergut Central Bavarian lect, but over time, it changed so much that it must surely be a separate language, and that is the impression that Tapani Salminem, top expert on European languages, gives in a recent assessment.
Southern Bavarian is spoken in Austria and in Alto Adige-Südtiro in Italy and includes the cities of Graz, Klagenfurt, Lienz and Innsbruck in Austria and Bozen and Moran in Italy. It is also spoken in the Samnaun region in Switzerland.
Some of the Tyrolean lects in Austria, referred to here for convenience sake as Tyrolean Southern Bavarian (Tirolerisch), are so divergent that they are not intelligible with the rest of even Southern Bavarian; further, each valley has its own lect , and some are not intelligible even with each other. Hence, Austrian Tyrolean Southern Bavarian is a separate language.
In Innsbruck, the main city in the Tyrolean Bavarian region, speakers have a hard time understanding many of the Tyrolean Bavarian lects spoken in many of the surrounding valleys.
There are several main divisions in this language, including Tirol Highlands (Tiroler Oberländisch), Central Tirol (Zentral Tirolerisch), Tirol Lowlands (Tiroler Unterländisch) and East Tirol (Osttirolerisch). Smaller dialects include Innsbruck, Galtür, West Steeg, West Stuben, West Ischgl, West Lech, West Warth, West St. Anton/Tirol, Imst and Zillertal. Zillertal is spoken in the Zillertal Valley.
Samnaun is an isolated dialect of this language spoken in the Samnaun region of the Lower Engadine Valley on the border of Austria and Switzerland. It is also spoken in the town of Samnaun in Switzerland, making it the only Bavarian lect spoken in that country. It is said to be very different from the rest of Southern Bavarian, possibly due to its heavy Romansch influence. The Samnaun area was Puter Romansch speaking all the way up into the 1800’s. Intelligibility between Samnaun and the rest of Austrian Tyrolean Bavarian is not known.
Zillertal Tyrolean Southern Bavarian is not intelligible with Kitzbuhele spoken to the northwest, therefore, it is a separate language. Zillertal is transitional with Salzburg Central Bavarian to the east.
Kitzbuhele Tyrolean Southern Bavarian has poor intelligibility with Zillertal, therefore, it is a separate language. Kitzbuhele has probably even more Salzburg Central Bavarian influence than Zillertal. Kitzbuhele is spoken in the Kitzbuhele Mountains on the eastern border of Tirol Province.
Ötztal Tyrolean Southern Bavarian is one of the most ancient and divergent lects in Austrian Tyrolean Southern Bavarian. It has about 8-15,000 speakers. It was recently awarded a UNESCO cultural heritage award as a unique cultural heritage. There is no one Ötztal lect, but there are separate dialects in every little village, and they often vary dramatically.
It is spoken in the Ötztal Valley in Austria is understood at least into the Upper Inn Valley in Austria and over the border in Italy to the Schnals region northwest of Merano. Ötztal appears to be secure for the next few generations anyway and is the common means of communication among people of all ages. Since Ötztal is not understood outside the region, it must be a separate language.
Lower Inn Valley Tyrolean Southern Bavarian is not intelligible with Lechtal Tyrolean Southern Bavarian spoken just to the northwest. This language is spoken in the lower valley of the Inn River west of Innsbruck. Therefore, it is a separate language.
Lechtal Tyrolean Southern Bavarian has poor intelligibility with Lower Inn Valley Tyrolean Southern Bavarian spoken just to the southeast. This language is spoken in the Lechtaler Mountains west of Innsbruck. Towns in the region include Steeg, Bach, Elbigenalp, Elmen, Stanzach, Weissbach and Reutte. This language is on the border between the Alemannic and Bavarian language groups, and it also has an Allgauish flavor.
Pitztal Tyrolean Southern Bavarian is spoken in the Pitztal Mountains west of Innsbruck. Towns in this region include Arzl and St. Leonhard. Pitztal is very different from Ötztal Austrian Tyrolean Southern Bavarian and communication between the two lects is difficult. Therefore, Pitztal is a separate language.
West Tyrolean Galtür was Swiss German speaking until 1900, and today its dialect is more Alemannic than other Tyrolean lects. The West Tyrolean areas of West Steeg, West Stuben, West Ischgl, West Lech, West Warth and West St. Anton/Tirol, all along the border of West Tyrol and Vorarlberg, were originally Highest Alemannic Walser settlements like Vorarlberg. All of West Tyrol was Swabian-Bavarian speaking until the Middle Ages.
Onto this Swabian base came influence from the Walser and Swiss German villages described above, and all of this on top of an earlier Romansch base, as the whole region was also Romansch-speaking. All of these have receded, leaving only Tyrolean Bavarian, but these are the substantial inputs into Western Tyrolean Bavarian.
Western Styrian or Western Styrian Southern Bavarian, (Steirisch) is said to be unintelligible outside of the region, and hence must be a separate language. Another lect spoken in Styria, this one in the southern part, is South Styrian. Intelligibility data is not available.
Speakers of Central Austrian spoken on the Austrian flats cannot understand Carinthian Southern Bavarian (Kärntnerisch) either, so it looks like a separate language too. There are three principal dialects of Carinthian, Upper Carinthian (Oberkärntnerisch), Middle Carinthian (Mittelkärntnerisch) and Lower Carinthian (Unterkärntnerisch). Intelligibility data is lacking. Carinthian has heavy Slavic influence due to its proximity to Slovenia.
There are also speakers of Carinthian Southern Bavarian in the Canale Valley/Val Canale area of Udine in Italy. This area used to be part of Austria but it changed hands after WW2 and most of the German speakers moved to Austria. Now about 80% of the population speaks Italian and Friuli and 20% speak Carinthian. This appears to be the same language in Italy and Austria. In Carinthia, there are at least 10 separate dialects of this language.
Intelligibility testing is needed between Tyrolean Southern Bavarian and Carinthian Southern Bavarian.
Gottschee Southern Bavarian (Göttscheabarisch or Gottscheerisch) is an outlying Bavarian language spoken by people called the Gottscheers in Kocevje, Slovenia. They apparently originally came to the region in the 1300’s from the Carinthian/Tyrolean border area. It is heavily influenced by the Slovene Carniolan dialects.
It is closely related to the lects of other outlying German colonies in the area, including Zahre (Sauris in Italian), Tischelwang (Paluzza-Timau in Italian) and Pladen (Sappada in Italian) in Northern Italy. The Italian settlements were settled around 1420.
Pladen/Sappada is in the eastern Upper Italian province of Belluno at the far end of the Piave Valley, to the south of the Carnic Alps. These people originally came from the East Tyrolean Pustertal Valley in Austria in the vicinity of Sillian-Heimfels near the towns of Villgraten, Tilliach, Kartitsch, Abfaltersbach and Maria Luggau. Pladen Southern Bavarian is spoken here by about 1,000 of the 1,500 residents, but many also speak Friulian (Maurer-Lausegger 2007).
Southern Bavarian is spoken in Zahre and based on an old East Tyrolean language from the Lesach Valley, which they left in 1280. Zahre is very similar to Pladen, but has more influence from the Romance family, particularly Italian (Maurer-Lausegger 2007). However, Zahre has been isolated from Pladen for 700 years (Denison 1971). This time period is so long that the two lects are probably no longer mutually intelligible.
Zahre is still very much alive and spoken in the town, but it is being displaced by Friulian among young adults and by Italian among children. The Zahre lect was pronounced nearly extinct in 1849 and again in 1897 by visitors.
In Timau, Tischelwang Southern Bavarian is spoken in the But valley, on a tributary of the Tagliamento River on the southern slopes of the Plöcken Pass in the Carnic Alps in the province of Udine. This is actually a Carinthian lect that is probably not intelligible with the Pladen and Zahre lects, though intelligibility data is needed (Maurer-Lausegger 2007).
Therefore, Tischelwang Southern Bavarian is in all probability a separate language. Pladen and Zahre are probably no longer intelligible with lects in Austria, considering they have been isolated from their Austrian parents for 700 years, hence they are probably separate languages. Pladen and Zahre have been isolated from each other for 700 years since the migration, hence they are probably two separate languages, Pladen Southern Bavarian and Zahre Southern Bavarian.
Tischelwang has been heavily influenced by the Friulian language.
Gottscheerisch has maintained many of the features of the Medieval Bavarian languages and it is said to be the oldest living Bavarian language. Speakers were ethnically cleansed after WW2, and now they are scattered about the world. There are about 3,000 native speakers left in the world, many of them living in Ridgewood, New York, where speakers still maintain the language. All remaining speakers are elderly.
It does not appear to be intelligible with the rest of Bavarian or with other German languages and is therefore a separate language.
In Italy, Italian Southern Bavarian encompasses three different lects that differ dramatically from one another. It is spoken in Belluno, Trento and Udine (Maurer-Lausegger 2007).
The Fersina Valley/Valle del Fersina is in Eastern Upper Italy, to the north of Pergine (Persen) near the capital of Trento in the province of Trentino. There are many Bavarian speakers here. They originally came from various valleys in North and South Tyrol. They speak an old mixed Tyrolean vernacular from the 1200’s with a lot of unique developments.
In addition, in the Fersina Valley, every village has its own subdialect. Fersina Valley Southern Bavarian is probably a separate language and is probably not intelligible with other Bavarian lects (Maurer-Lausegger 2007).
In this area, everyone speaks Italian too. This variety of Bavarian has heavy Italian influence.
There is also a South Tyrol Standard Southern Bavarian (Südtirolerisch) that is beginning to emerge in this part of Italy so the three dialects can talk to each other (Maurer-Lausegger 2007). Although intelligibility data between this koine and the rest of Southern Bavarian is not known, it does appear to be a separate language, as most koines are.
One Tyrolean lect spoken in this area is called Eisacktalerisch. It is spoken in the Eisack Valley of South Tyrol and is about halfway between the Innsbruck dialect and the lect spoken in Bolzano. Intelligibility data is not known.
Since the three dialects of Southern Bavarian in Italy cannot understand each other, we may as well split them off.
Udine Southern Bavarian is spoken in the province of Udine in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. It is not intelligible with the varieties of Southern Bavarian spoken in Trentino or Belluno.
Belluno Southern Bavarian is a Bavarian language spoken in the province of Belluno in the Veneto region of Italy. It is not intelligible with either Trento Southern Bavarian or Udine Southern Bavarian. One dialect of Belluno is called Puschterisch and is spoken in the area of Brunico only 15 miles south of East Tirol. Intelligibility with the rest of Belluno is not known.
Trento Southern Bavarian is spoken in the province of Trento in the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region of Italy. It is not intelligible with Belluno Southern Bavarian or Udine Southern Bavarian.
Hianzen Southern Bavarian (Hianzisch) is spoken in southern Burgenland, Austria, along the Hungarian border, particularly around the town of Güssing. It seems to have poor intelligibility even with other nearby forms of Southern Bavarian.
Cimbrian is a Bavarian macrolanguage spoken in northeastern Italy. It is not intelligible with Standard German or with other Bavarian languages. It has 2,230 speakers. Cimbrian is actually three separate languages.
Lusernese (Lusern) Cimbrian is a separate Cimbrian language not intelligible with other types of Cimbrian. It is spoken in the province of Trento, Italy, where it has 500 speakers in Trentino Alto Adige 40 km southeast of the city of Trento.
Tredici Communi (Dreizehn Gemeinden) Cimbrian (Tauch) is a separate Cimbrian language not intelligible with other types of Cimbrian. It has 230 speakers near Verona, Italy, where it is currently spoken only the village of Giazza-Ljetzan.
Sette Comuni (Sieben Gemeinden) Cimbrian is a separate Cimbrian language not intelligible with other types of Cimbrian. It is spoken near Asiago, Italy, where it is currently spoken only the village of Roana-Robaan. It has 1,500 speakers.
Mocheno is a Bavarian language spoken in Alto Adige-Südtirol, Italy. It is not intelligible with Standard German or with other Bavarian languages. It has 3,500 speakers.
Hutterite German is a Bavarian language spoken in Canada and the US. Intelligibility: 70% intelligible with Pennsylvania German, a Palatine language, but only 50% intelligible with the Low German Plautdietsch and Standard German. Hutterite is derived from a Carinthian Bavarian lect.
Yiddish is a language spoken by European Jews that has heavy Hebrew influence on a Germanic background. It branched off from Medieval Middle German (mostly Rhenish languages) and was influenced by modern German in the 1800’s and 1900’s. It is not a dialect of German as commonly thought, but is instead a full language. It contains two languages, Western Yiddish and Eastern Yiddish.
Eastern Yiddish is spoken in Israel by 215,000 speakers and by 3,142,560 Jewish speakers worldwide. It has poor intelligibility with Western Yiddish. Eastern Yiddish originated east of the Oder River through Poland, in an area moving into Belarus, Russia (to Smolensk), Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, and Palestine before 1917 (in Jerusalem and Safed).
There are three dialects: Southeastern, Mideastern and Northeastern. Dialects are apparently intelligible. Southeastern is spoken in Ukraine and Romania, Mideastern is spoken in Poland and Hungary and Northeastern is spoken in Lithuania and Belarus. Eastern Yiddish is not intelligible with Standard German or any other form of German.
Linguist Paul Wexler argues that Eastern Yiddish is a version of West Yiddish creolized over a Kiev-Polessian Slavic lect. Hence, it is a Germano-Slavic creole.
Western Yiddish is a language spoken in Germany by 49,210 Jewish speakers. There are also speakers in Belgium, France, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands and Switzerland. There are three dialects: Southwestern , Midwestern and Northwestern .
Southwestern is spoken in southern Germany, Switzerland, and Alsace (France). Midwestern is spoken in central Germany and parts of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Northwestern is spoken in northern Germany and the Netherlands. West Yiddish has poor intelligibility with East Yiddish. Western Yiddish is not intelligible with Standard German or any other form of German.
Linguist Paul Wexler has argued that Western Yiddish is a Germano-Sorbian creole.
Crimean German is an extremely divergent lect of German that must be a separate language. There are probably few speakers of this language left. It is poorly known.
Baltic German (Baltendeutsch) is another extremely divergent lect of German that in all probability is a separate language. They were ethnically cleansed by the Soviets in 1939. This language was formerly spoken by German colonies in the Baltic states. Most of them left for Germany after World War 2. About 10% of the words are unique to Baltic German. The last remaining speakers are mostly over age 45, and it is not being taught to children. There are about 300-400 of them left in Canada, but the youngest of them are age 45. They grew up speaking the language.

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