Sunday, October 05, 2014

The Dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire as a Model

Everyone can feel the stagnation and decline around us in the US. Everyone except David Brooks that is. I used to think that America was bound for Brazilification but the decline would be like Western Rome where the elites were okay with barbarian invaders replacing the natives as long as they kept their estates. Brazilification is still possible, but there might be a wrinkle to our decline. In my Weimerica post, I inserted a paragraph of why America was not exactly like Weimar Germany. America may socially or culturally be as degenerate as Weimar, but it structurally looks more like the Austro-Hungarian Empire. American break up seems more likely as we move along. Recent polls have shown oddly high percentages of Americans supporting secession. What if the US is not destined for a collapse but is destined for a break up? How hard the current elite hold on without change may apply pressure creating a greater fragmentation. A historical example that the US might be treading along towards is the dismantling of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The Austro-Hungarian Empire (AHE) was one of the sick old men of Europe that faced a few political crises in its last century of existence that threatened the very structure of its being. The great statesman Metternich was constantly pressing for peace, using diplomacy and citing treaties to prevent a repeat of "the Revolution" and to prevent war since the AHE's finances were always in terrible shape. Metternich's internal system of political censorship, letter reading and espionage was enacted by the man himself but used even more effectively by his successor. After Metternich, there was an internal political compromise, but in reality, the empire was a trade union with little holding the whole thing together. This was revealed fraudulent when external crises were forced on the AHE; Great War losses as well as disloyal troops, separatist movements actively rebelling, massive inflation and the crumbling or discrediting of the military that was running the show in the final years. 


The parliamentary system had broken down as far back as 1897. April of 1897 saw Prime Minister Badeni attempt language concessions to different groups, but this enraged Germans especially the German bureaucrats who had swelled the Empire's administrative ranks. That same April saw the emergence of stronger Slav parties, an odd coalition and socialist parties for the first time. Fragmentation hurt any possible improvements. It was not just political but social as what cohesive feeling did peasants in Slovenia have with the Viennese or with feudal Magyars? Every attempt at reform during the reign of Franz Joseph was sabotaged because some interest group just powerful enough would stop it (sounds familiar).

Oscar Jaszi wrote the good "The Dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy", and despite being overly enthusiastic about the promise of extended suffrage, he points out things that held the AHE together and things that split it apart. The army, the aristocracy, the economic situation that was slow growth with massive control by the Rothschild and other Vienna based banks due to businesses having little capital of their own to use (he actually titled that section "Capitalism and the Jewry", no lie), and even socialism. The things that tore it apart were rising nationalism, antagonism between the two heavyweight groups (Germans-Magyars), lack of a civic education system that promoted unity, and irredentism or what we would look at as secessionism or separatism (see map to the right). There were even Germans within Austria who wanted an Anschluss with Bismarck's Germany! There was also corruption within the government and business interests, acting like there was a revolving door. The crisis of the Great War pushed it over the cliff, but it is not too absurd to see parallels to today's America.


Resembles NY Times 2010 Census Map with Race Filter On

America is an Empire with a mix of ethnicities within its borders. Some of these groups have specific language barriers, and all are atomized to their little ethnic units. These mixed ethnicities are also genetically and racially more disparate than the groups that were contained within the AHE. The Democratic Convention looks like Zion in The Matrix compared to an AHE Congress. There is also a major "German-Magyar" split of sorts with the white cultural cold war. The Germans were more Viennese in culture and cosmopolitan, while the Magyars were more feudal and agricultural based. This fits our coastal and blue city elite whites vs. red flyover, flatlander whites well. How much of SWPL or modern liberal cultural ideas are NYC based? There is another group that had a meteoric rise in Vienna with overrepresentation in all points of power (except the military) similar to their current position in NYC.

We do have slower economic growth now, and some would argue none due to our bubble dependent economy. Our banks are combination investment + commercial similar to Rothschild's Creditanstalt. Here's partly where the dirty trick of our usurious bankster elite has turned us from a robust economy to a Wall Street dominated economy. We used to have great earnings retention and internal investment. Steady income through dividends was desired by shareholders, not sudden massive capital appreciation. The great switch in the '80s occurred because of debt based raiding and tax policy. This not only meant we were a banker dependent economy, but any firm with low debt was suddenly a target by those who could access credit. A firm had to take on debt to keep the predators at bay. Suddenly, firms were dependent on Wall Street advice more than in 1955.

We have a managerial elite that needs massive scale and centralization so they can retain control. Centralizing finance through dependency on the FED feeds their system. Our military industrial complex needs the Empire and centralization. We also have to fight for our foreign creditors to keep the petrodollar recycling going. It is not just economic but symbolic. We have a military that prole whites rally around, but it does not quite have the gelling effect of the World War Two days.  Yet, American military prowess is the one remaining feature of the USG that the common man will relish and respect. Progressive tail tucking and flag waving for the Libyan incursion and worldwide droning has proven that. We also have an education and propaganda system that educates obedience to proper authority while encouraging minorities to protest and hate the very system that actually needs and protects them. It is an interesting juxtaposition. I have yet to meet a parent happy with the educational system even if they like their specific school.

The AHE kept lumbering on, propped up by Germany as their reliable ally. It took an internal problem (the Balkans) to antagonize them to create an external problem that destroyed them. They did not have a giant financial transfer welfare system to keep people happy, which is a major difference between the AHE and America. Easy money keeps disgruntled people okay with a system, whether it is welfare or easy money for middle class families to buy things to make themselves feel better than the lower classes. This is why America's system rests on those low interest rates. Secession polls already show an oddly high percentage of Americans that support secession, and we have not made a single tough economic or financial decision yet. Latinos lead in supporting secession. Deeper dig shows 53% of Tea Partiers support secession. The younger one is, the higher the support. Similar to the AHE, our ethnic groups have enclaves. Look at the racial dot map. Consider the economies and populations of different states (or regional clusters) in relation to other first world nations. At some point, the dollar will lose its premier reserve currency status, there will be a dollar or interest rate shock, and we will go through the transition. The AHE needed a war, discrediting of the army and ruling class, and internal friction before self determination became a goal.

 
 

Even in the end, it was an external force pushing internal AHE actors along, which American states may need. While the US has 50 functioning state governments allowing a conceptual dissolution, there wil be those with so much sunk into the current system they will fight it. Look at the NY Times articles from October 1918 for clues. Hungary declared independence, severing all ties to the Austrian half. Within Hungary, leaders accused one another of treason or of being a foreign agent. The Romanians in America warned that this was a ruse to trick the allies; keep in mind that Romanian warning was false but still was printed in the Times. Hungary declared independence while Bohemia and the Czechs voiced stronger and stronger desires for freedom, creating "historical oppression" requiring attention out of thin air. The AHE emperor proposed federalism to appease both his subjects and President Wilson. This was rejected, and the US put the heat on to free the groups, emboldening them. The Times even printed Secretary of State Lansing's rejection of the emperor's plan. The Czechs were supported but also used as cannon fodder in Russia by the allies. Support had a cost. It would be useful for US citizens who see the USG leviathan for what it is to educate fellow citizens or at least discuss Russia and China in neutral or favorable terms. China says different systems for different nations; Russia sees the US poz and immigration suicide. Point this out because one day you may need foreign help in escaping the USG straightjacket.




America cannot cleanly defeat entities like Al-Qaeda, the Taliban or the Iraqi insurgents. Look at America's racial dot map again and think of political leanings of states. When the money runs out, what party may get more of the blame for empty promises? What happens if some populations emigrate to spots safer for them? Caesarism is coming. Now start moving purple states one way. Look at metropolitan cities that dominate a state (example: Chicago holds Illinois hostage). Our transition of crises will be financial to economic to political to social to cultural and back to political. There will be hard choices. There will be blood. People will seek order and safety for kith and kin, and instinctively know that diversity + proximity = war. If the elites continue their game and draw to an inside straight with the dollar system, the Brazilification and continued decline into a socialist, Sodom + Gomorrah police state will be complete. If not and if current geopolitical opponents decide to meddle with us to create friendly rump states, do not be surprised for the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to have a repeat on our shores.

14 comments:

nikcrit said...

O.T.@PA,

Hey, couldn't resist passing this along to you; not quite what you had in mind when you go into your 'Where's our 'Imagine'" plea to the alt-right.

But here you go:

http://consequenceofsound.net/2014/10/eddie-vedder-releases-cover-of-john-lennons-imagine-listen/

tgmoderator said...

The US dollar's status as world reserve currency is key. If the dollar fails all bets are off. Consider a state like Alaska. Alaska might seem better off without the rest of the US due to it's oil wealth. As a separate nation Alaska could choose its own immigration policy, and make its own environmental decisions. Alaska could become much wealthier, but there is the little matter of all those social security, medicare and EBT payments. Any separatists in Alaska would be shouted down by all those currently dependent on the expansion of USG debt. That expansion will stop someday and then things get interesting.

nikcrit said...

When the money runs out, what party may get more of the blame for empty promises? What happens if some populations emigrate to spots safer for them? Caesarism is coming. Now start moving purple states one way. Look at metropolitan cities that dominate a state (example: Chicago holds Illinois hostage). Our transition of crises will be financial to economic to political to social to cultural and back to political. There will be hard choices. There will be blood. People will seek order and safety for kith and kin, and instinctively know that diversity + proximity = war. If the elites continue their game and draw to an inside straight with the dollar system, the Brazilification and continued decline into a socialist, Sodom + Gomorrah police state will be complete. If not and if current geopolitical opponents decide to meddle with us to create friendly rump states, do not be surprised for the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to have a repeat on our shores.

I'm not sure there's cause to be that specifically alarmed yet. I find myself recently reminding myself that we're only a decade or so removed from the period where many thought we'd be in a permanent economic boom.

I think much of the instability is an aftershock of the IT boom; we're still reckoning with how radical and transformative a technological shift it was; it leveled many cultural and economic presumptions that were long-considered stable indicators.

Yeah, there is now 25-million illegals doing their own leveling within traditional American prole wage trends; that's the part i'm most uncertain about.

I'm not sure that 'Caesarism is coming." That's a bit much IMHO; (i'm more worried about the emerging American propensity for its own politicized form of Euro-style royalty, i.e., a Jed Bush-vs-Hillary Clinton 2016 election.)

As for the Brazification; we already have it: the U.S. black population, complete with its one-drop rule ----- that's why it's so multi-hued here. Take away the American one-drop rule, aka 'hypodescent,' and you got Brazil, with 'black,' 'white' and 'colored' populations...

(Hope I don't draw Alces back here with that last riff of mine)

peterike said...

A great post. Don't have time to reply at any length right now, but wanted to point out what I think is a typo.

We also have an education and propaganda system that educates obedience to proper authority while encouraging minorities to protest and hate the very system that actually needs and protects them.

Did you mean "feeds and protects them"?

Otherwise, I think the idea of an American break-up is fascinating and I would welcome it, but I think the chances are very slim, even following some kind of economic shock. I just don't think we have the temperament in our population any longer. Blacks will never figure it out, though they will happily riot in the chaos. Traditional American whites are too deracinated and demoralized, as you often point out fighting among themselves anyway. Immigrant whites often have more balls but are a mess of ethnic groups that historically hate one another. Hispanics are also internally divided and don't have the leadership or organizational skills to pull anything off.

I just don't see where the nerve center for secession is going to be, especially when the mass media will be 100% against it and won't even let the word get out.

In short, I don't see how Frodo is going to make it to Mt. Doom to destroy the ring of power and defeat Mordor. Mordor holds all the power.

nikcrit said...

"American break up seems more likely as we move along. Recent polls have shown oddly high percentages of Americans supporting secession."

Sorry,but I just gotta ask: where do you see as much? (Outside of Texas, that is).

The great switch in the '80s occurred because of debt based raiding and tax policy. This not only meant we were a banker dependent economy, but any firm with low debt was suddenly a target by those who could access credit.

Not my most knowledgeable subject, but many say that what you note is a byproduct of Reagan and Bush-1 over-deregulation of the financial services industry. (And just to be fair and point across the aisle, perhaps the rest can be given to traitorous Bill C, for being such a hearty supporter of minionization via Gatt, Nafta and the WTO then-new charter; call his opponent in '92 an eccentric, but that 'giant sucking sound' of jobs going overseas sure was a prescient piece of campaign rhetoric, eh?).

I can't really offer quality critique of your essay 'cuz i don't know the comparing subject (Austro-Hungarian Empire); waaay outside my element there; but I just think your predictions for modern America are too dire; we've gotten out of jams like our current one before, though it probably always feels like a new level of mire, etc.)

I hope I'm right, but i very well could be wrong.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Nikcrit - Look at the hyperlinks showing Hispanics at 35% for secession and Tea Party identifying at 53%. Those were unthinkable levels 15-20 yrs ago

PA said...

I'm thrilled to see this post, as I've been looking forward to it since you mentioned that you are working on it. The A-H model breathed a huge deal of home into my somewhat blog-weary quasi-resignation. It's so obvious, that man is not passive, and absent a relentless force that keeps him down, he will rise up and resist the so-called inevitable Brazilification. As I noted earlier, man is to magnificent and too willful to fade to mud. Each generation is born without the earlier's ennui and irrational attachments.

I was insanely busy today and I'm only now reading the post. One note of confusion on my part. Can you clarify or elaborate on this?

"Support had a cost. It would be useful for US citizens who see the USG leviathan for what it is to educate fellow citizens or at least discuss Russia and China in neutral or favorable terms. China says different systems for different nations; Russia sees the US poz and immigration suicide. Point this out because one day you may need foreign help in escaping the USG straightjacket."

('poz' is a typo?)

Son of Brock Landers said...

"poz" is from a forum called My Posting Career. It is from HIV Positive as in broken beyond repair, "pozzed up progressives" in context. I love it as a word to describe 21st century dysfunction.

PA said...

What do you men by this:

"China says different systems for different nations"

Son of Brock Landers said...

Pa - see first link from this old post. They had speech saying its ok for diff nations to have diff systems of govt. Basicaly, we'll give you cash but not force you to become progressive.

http://28sherman.blogspot.com/2013/04/chinas-speech-on-different-governments.html

nikcrit said...

@SOBL, RE:

http://topconservativenews.com/2014/09/shock-reuters-polling-data-31-6-of-latinos-open-to-seceding-from-united-states/

I have a hard time believing that ethnic breakdown being pro-secession; i mean, why would all those southwestern hispanics who willingly left their homeland to come here, legally and illegally, be now pushing to leave the country they risked all to arrive in? Ditto for a black class that's largely dependent on federal and state-wide funds, jobs and other programs.
Probably a not-too-overall-informed polling sample, i suspect.

Dave said...

Vienna was a wealthy capital city full of proud, well-fed bureaucrats feasting on the fat of a vast empire. Suddenly, seven-eighths of that empire was gone, lopped off twenty miles from Vienna's city limits. Naturally, they tried to solve this problem by hiring more bureaucrats and printing more money, so that hyperinflation soon left them all starving.

A century later, I will deeply enjoy watching the denizens of Washington DC roast rats and pigeons over burning piles of $100 bills!

eruditeknight said...

Damn, that DOT map really says everything if you look at it with open eyes.

Anonymous said...

I believe the ethnic breakdown on pro-secession.

NAMs are cocky enough to think they can make it on their own, Whites are guilty + smart enough to know NAMs can't make it on their own.