The “Pauperization of Europe”

Wolf Richter's picture

Wolf Richter

It started on Monday. “Poverty is returning to Europe,” said Jan Zijderveld, head of Unilever’s European operations, in an interview. The British–Dutch consumer products company, third largest in the world, was adjusting its commercial strategy to this new reality, he said, by redeploying to Europe what worked in poor countries of the developing world. Now the stars of the industry are affirming it. “The logic of pauperization,” L’Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon called it on Wednesday.

“If Spaniards are down to spending on average €17 per shopping trip, I can’t sell him detergent for half of his budget,” Zijderveld explained. “In Indonesia we sell individual packages of shampoo for 2 to 3 cents and still earn a fair amount.”

That this strategy was widespread in Asia I found out in Vietnam in 1996. I cut my finger at a table at a café in Hué as we were getting up. So, walking down the dirt street, I licked my finger to keep the blood from dripping on my clothes. The girl I was with, shocked by my barbaric behavior, took me to a street stall and bought me one singled Band-Aid, which cost as close to nothing as you could get. [My overland solo adventure from the Mekong Delta across Asia and Europe is the topic of a forthcoming book. The first in the series, Big Like: Cascade into an Odyssey—a “funny as hell non-fiction book about wanderlust and traveling abroad,” a reader tweeted—is available on Amazon.]

By looking at Europe, particularly Southern Europe, as a market with the characteristics of developing countries, Unilever has transitioned from seeing the debt crisis as a temporary event to seeing it as a trend to which it had to adjust its strategies. So now in Spain, it sells its “Surf” detergent in packages that are good for five loads. In Greece, it sells mashed potatoes and mayonnaise in small packages. And in Great Britain (!), it’s implementing the same strategy. Because people are running out of money. And it’s been successful. Since they started this in 2011, sales have stopped falling; and in the first half of the year, they edged up 1.1%. But higher input prices have exerted pressures on margins and profits.

“I agree, there is a movement of very sharp pauperization in Southern Europe,” Michel-Edouard Leclerc said on Wednesday—they’re now all coming out. He’s the CEO of E.Leclerc, the number one retailer in France with a market share of 18% and 556 semi-independent hypermarkets, supermarkets, and specialty stores. It also has numerous stores in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and other countries. And the company is adjusting to the new reality. In Italy, for example, where the stores used to sell yoghurt only in multipacks, they’ve started to sell them as single items.

Jean-Paul Agon, CEO of L’Oréal, the world’s largest cosmetics and beauty products company, countered with a mixed message. No, the company wouldn’t adjust its products around the growing poverty in Europe, he said. The race to the lowest price was “not our strategy.” Unlike the others, his company wouldn’t follow “the logic of pauperization and commoditization of products.” Rather he wanted to build on “innovation and added value,” which would allow the company to raise prices over time, “but reasonably.”

Which makes sense in light of L’Oréal’s earnings announcement Wednesday morning, a debacle which caused its stock to plummet 4.4%, the second worst performer of the CAC40—due to disappointing margins! Instead of smaller packages, it had tried heavy discounting, Agon admitted, “to adjust our strategy to the environment”—namely the pauperization of Europe. Even L’Oréal.

Meanwhile, a hullabaloo flared up in Germany over squashing democratic discussions on whether or not taxpayers should endlessly pay to keep Greece in the Eurozone. Read.... Gagging The “Hardliners” As The Economy Tanks And Future Exports Drop Into The Red Zone.

In Europe, governments and banks are like “a couple of drunks standing on the street corner holding each other up,” said Doug Casey, chairman of Casey Research. It’s “highly regulated, highly taxed, and much more socially unstable,” and it’s going to be “the epicenter of the coming storm.” For the amazing interview, read.... Doug Casey Predicts Day Of Economic Reckoning Is Near.

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Heyoka Bianco's picture

Meanwhile, in the USA (pronounced Ooo-sah), they're decided to sell the same size packages at the same price, but with less inside. Fuck the consumer, they've got to make their earnings targets! Just imagine if they could find a way to do the same with gas (or maybe they already have and we should trust those stickers on the pumps).

On the credit side of the ledger, smaller portions + more required activity to gather food = maybe the fatties won't bankrupt us through a Medicare tsunami.

GoinFawr's picture

I like your optimism, but fat chance (pardon the pun). Tumours are too effective at slurping up the fructose linked to diabetes; so those health issues ain't goin anywhere as long as the bottom line of the health'care' industry prefers chronically ill fatties and tumour breeders to healthy populations.

Eg. If you're really bored the next time you are at your local 'food flood', take 30sec or so and pick out ten random items in the 'condiments' isle and see how many have 'corn starch' or one of its derivatives close to top of the list of ingredients. You may be surprised at the percentage of processed 'foods' that are composed mostly of the stuff. 

And if you're not: you cynical bastard you.

agmand's picture

From CNBC:  "'Emergency' Tax on the Rich Roils Britain".

"...  the country is facing an economic war caused by a prolonged recession, and needs to tax the rich in order to avoid social unrest."

In Chicago gangsta English:  hand over the dough, or you'll be hanging, bitches!




edifice's picture

Bullish for UL?

petolo's picture

Having lived on a non-electric farm using Belgian work horses and lots of hand/foot labour for most of my life, it is quite possible to live a quality life, especiallu reusing and fixing discards. with all the shit people throw away one can live in the lap of luxury. The sad part of this is that we have discarded so many of our elders into drug-happy nursing homeswhen they could share their talents and experience in this pathological culture . one may not subscribe to the mind-set of the Amish but they have much to offer in this age of Mammon.

AnAnonymous's picture

'American' economics are all about consumption.
Smithian economics are their core and with it, the transfer of wealth from an exterior to an interior.

'Americans' residing in Europe enjoyed the idea that a depopulation in non consumers would help boosting consumption.

But the reality is that to solve an overconsumption issue, big consumers have to be targeted.

This is a US world order and consumption has to be made the easiest possible in the biggest uniform market in the world: the US market.

With levelling production, 'Americans' residing in Europe are slowly but surely being pushed under the train.

'American' economics usually leads to organize space in order to favour consumption in certain areas by suppressing consumption in others.

Europe is already strongly shackled by many usual methods to achieve that.

For example, three axis among others, this relates to consumption provided by 'American' companies residing in Europe and whose aim to provide for 'Americans' in Europe:

-Since the introduction of euros, items are usually priced on the USD:Euro ratio 1:1 when the euro is stronger than the USD.

When a product is priced $100 in the US, it is priced €100 in Euroland. Therefore, for each unit of their own consumption, 'Americans' residing in Europe subsize 'Americans' residing in the US in their consumption.
At current change, it means that an 'American' in Europe pays $120

-Design of products: 'Americanism' pushes toward uniformity. Knowing that, 'Americans' in Europe tried to uniformized as much as possible the European markets. Too little, too late.
Products destined to the European consumption are now first designed to satisfy the US market.
It means that 'Americans' residing in Europe have to pay the re-adaptation of their products to their own European market.
Now they pay the item €105, which helps to boost the consumption on the US market.

-Free shipping: this one shows the deconnection from the physical world 'American' economics leads to.
Free shipping does not exist and is already priced in. But 'American' firms located in Europe offer more and more the free shipping to their 'American' customers residing in the US while charging 'American' customers residing in Europe.
While 'Americans' keep paying $100 for the goods delivered in the US, 'Americans' in Europe now pays €100+5+25:€130.

This leads to the crazy situation that it is cheaper for a person living less than 100 miles from the european warehouse that despatches the goods around the world to get his order sent to the US (and not on the East Coast) and sent back to her European location as the shipping fees from the US to Europe are less than the €25 charged by the 'American' company residing in Europe to deliver in Europe.

'Americans' are squeezed out of their consumption in order to favour US market consumption and overcharged in order to decrease the US price market and allow more US 'Americans' to consume.
With each of their unit of consumption, 'Americans' in Europe subsidize their 'American' fellows in the US.

This will have several deep consequences:
it will make the US and Europe market closer as Europe has no other choice in order to reduce the impact of the second axis and avoid forking out for the readaptation of their own products to the European market. The closer the US and European markets are, the lesser the readaptation cost will be.

'Americans' residing in Europe and who are solidly rooted in their revenue means are going to move to the US to enjoy their European production at a discount price. Forget taxation policies, freedom policies etc: the exodus is driven by the necessity of consuming resources, goods, products...

The reality is that when residing in Europe, when wanting to buy a product destined to European consumption, one has to pay €130.
When residing in the US, the same product being sold $100, it means paying €80.

'Americans' residing in Europe and whose revenues in Euros is solidly guaranteed, will move more and more to the US in order to enjoy living in the ultimate world consumption center.

akak's picture

Blah blah blah blah 'Americanism' blah blah blah blah blah 'US Citizenism' blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blobbing-up blah blah blah blah blah blah blah ...

onebir's picture

AnAnonymous had returned, and all was well at Zerohedge.

The End.

Offthebeach's picture

There is still a core of independence. The working class among themselves can fix, fabricate, repair since it's their work. For food quality I have noticed more smal farms in the 'burbs. Chicken as pets, for good eggs and to eat ticks has exploaded. By and large the type of Americans that do this don't travel. American peasants if you will.

GeezerGeek's picture

In much of American suburbia the raising of chickens is probably forbidden by zoning codes. Worse, our Food & Drug Administration probably has SWAT teams ready to be dispatched to deal with anyone trying to provide for themselves or engage in consensual commerce outside the accepted FDA boundaries. "We're from the government, and we're here to serve you. A warrant."

madcows's picture

Or, more illogically, you can have chickens as indoor pets only, and can't hang out your laundry.

I'm waiting for the headline:  Poor man arrested for fishing.  Said he had to feed his family, but couldn't afford the governments permission.

Tortuga's picture

Ah yes, us American peasants that never travel. So kind of you to notice us. My father and his 5 peasant brothers went around the block traveling with Patton and Nimitz and myself and 3 brothers and numerous cousins went around the block with Westmoreland and Zumwalt. So yea, us working class peasants have never expanded our horizons much but that's because we are all racist, bigoted, ignorant, slopeforeheaded, knuckledragging, teabaggin, pickup driving, clinging to our faith and guns, rednecks that worked with our hands and seldom extropolated cognitive memes outside of our neighborhood. However, we all have the hope for change in our children. After all, it's always about the future, right?

Oh yea, I heard from a very reliable source that I just met at gamblers anomynous that Dingy Harry Reid is still "in the closet" but is being protected by ruling party because he has a copy of someone's college transcripts showing very poor grades in math, english and the legal theories of african american repatriation through the forward door. Don't know if it's true or not but he was dressed in a suit and seemed so very cosmopolitian.


buzzsaw99's picture

This is happening to some extent in the usa via dollar stores. Don't worry about Jean-Paul, he got plenty. As for L’Oréal shareholders, screw them and the horse they rode in on.

falak pema's picture

How can we talk of pauperisation of the rich first world without thinking about the devastation of the collapse of food and water chains in the slave labour driven third world. If the great depression unfurls for a decade or more, like the wars of old, then its the in-between nations of third world, who have lost their own rural ecosystems, having been herded into mega urban structures without appropriate infrastructure, like India/Pak/Bengladesh/Afghan or similar entities in Africa-Asia, which will get clobbered bad without food and water available. Most of humanity lives there.

Another thing, depression does not mean food and energy prices fall as the demographic wall is still there. The fight for RM continues. Suburban USA will be in the firing line bigtime as energy cost will continue to climb. USA has an awesome energy/capita adjustment to put into place over thirty years. Like Eurozone, but much more so. Thats the price of economic attrition. Our Depression will be accompanied by big paradigm change. We will have to reinvent our way of living. Or else find a source of cheap unlimited energy pronto, both for electricity/home heating and for transportation! It ain't yet on the horizon! 

The energy thread is the most vital physical parameter of our age. Along with human will to adjust. The two must connect, which is not the case since the 1970s. 

That is the biggest human betrayal of this age : forgetting the energy thread and building the delusionary FIRE economy age on the assumption of cheap oil. 

Zero Govt's picture

oil is cheap (and plentiful) Falak or we/man wouldn't use it... it'd be even cheaper if we could rid ourselves of Govt who protects huge dinosaur oil giants from free market competition

don't worry your head of this or that policy, just focus on humanity (and enterprise) being free from Govt ...the free market will serve you, it's the Govt corrupted markets that'lll con you and deliver crap service

Gavrikon's picture

ONe of the benefits of being in the EU is the ability to buy L'Oreal products from Spain at a huge discount.  Mz wife loves some of their products, which are prohibitively expensive in Germany.  

Winston of Oceania's picture

They've started selling psuedo-Beck's here in the states. Looks like bud and tastes like flat Heini's. Now I have to hunt for the import, just bought an entire brewing kit...

Ar-Pharazôn's picture

it's quite nonsense cause the product must be transported from Spain to Germany which is cause of USELESS pollution

q99x2's picture

Yes and all the hot European chicks are ending up in the Southern California colleges. YeeeeeHaaaaaa.

creamy spoon's picture

l'oreal abstinence  = $40,000-$100,000 saved for tuition fees in approx. 4000 to 10,000 years.


She'll be real hot by the time she makes it over there- best of luck!


Ar-Pharazôn's picture

LOL perhaps rich girls, which are less than the 5% of total girls.


and believe me, rich european girls are not easy as you can think ;)

Ghordius's picture

LOL - yes. And Prince Harry had to find out that American girls post everything on the net, including nekkid spare throne heirs. Will probably teach him to keep himself to european girls?

Cast Iron Skillet's picture

they can afford that? .. must be quite the paupers ...

Peter Pan's picture

Pauperisation will also lead to single member households, caused by death etc, to team up with other households so as to share electrical and heating costs as well as for security.

A big loser will also be cars over time.

Many products might also disappear and even the number of pets might also go down.

I doubt new houses will replicate the madness of the last twenty years.

People's shopping habits will also change. Gone will be the phenomenon where women would shop 3 times a week. Now there will be one solid and sensible shopping list for one visit to the shops.

Ghordius's picture

interesting that you see this so. my experience in all the southern european countries from Greece (and Turkey, btw) to Portugal was that the poorer the people were, the more often they shopped - actually daily, and only for the exact amounts needed for the day. 

this had a lot to do with the fact that refrigeration was a luxury, both in the shops and in the homes.

and people went a lot to the markets. and in many places they still do, including in the cities, and they look not that different from the medieval markets. opening in the early morning, everything in cash and if your dinner (for the extended family, of course) consists in chicken, you buy a bloody chicken with all the feathers, talons and head. have you any idea how cheaper a chicken is if it's not butchered and prepackaged for you? in some parts of Spain you bought the chicken live and you had to break it's neck yourself or you asked the seller to do it on the spot. I entertained a few American girls with those scenes - I still have their squeals of horror and fascination ringing in my ears.

I remember also that a under and middle class feature of a house in the country was a piglet or two (in Turkey it would be a kid). you bought it, fattened it with the rest of the food that remains - cooking for an exended family means you always cook a bit more - and in the beginning of winter you brought it to the market and sold it. that was the beginning of the season (you know this word?) of sausages and so, then pigs were butchered only in winter.

Barcelona is such a popular destination that get's so many mentions here - have you ever seen the big grocery market? Hell, I've seen one similar in the City of London, all in wrought iron from the Victorian Age.

Terp's picture

...(in Turkey it would be a kid). You bought it, fattened it with the rest of the food that remains - cooking for an exended family means you always cook a bit more - and in the beginning of winter you brought it to the market and sold it.




Aside from this mysterious claim, please do not refer to Turkey as part of Europe. Its not.

Ghordius's picture

Terp, I was just comparing the whole band of countries in the Med, where I am often. They have a lot of similarities. Those are remembrances about a lifestyle that was very common there thirty years ago in all Med-Countries, and that I witnessed. With kid I mean a small goat (my ears still burn about how I wrote -tag instead of -rat, btw - I sincerily apologize, though I found our conversation improved/expanded on the way to correction).

Once I've witnessed how the eldest son had to butcher the house-goat (he was thirteen years old). It was a kind of rite of passage. White-faced, earnest, slightly sick, and beaming with pride.

Turkey should be considered part of Europe, IMHO. Germans would be very well adviced to re-think some parts of their views on the Turks. Allowing a double citizenship was a big step forward, and I'm really happy that finally this has been done.

Terp's picture

Ah ok, a kid meant a goat...that was confusing.


I think us northerners could learn quite a thing or two of our southern peers in terms of self-sufficiency, quite a bit of that got lost here due to the constant over-availability of the last decades.

I can still buy live chickens on our market here, though.

I don´t think Germans have a negative view of Turks per se, its (to me at least) more a matter of principle. Turkey is not, and never was, a part of Europe. They are different people with a much different heritage, any observation of the turkish communities here or elsewhere will prove that.

Untold millions of our ancestors died to keep them out of Europe for good reasons, it is not up to a deluded political caste to decide that they are now Europeans all of a sudden.

I´m quite sure that most Turks feel the same.

Ghordius's picture

sorry, English is definitely not my best language. In Mainz, I've seen fantastic markets with fresh veggies and flowers.

Well, for sure Turks are inordinately proud. So the fact that their entry in the EU has been delayed so long is a reason for them not to push. On the other side we have been strongarmed to let Romania and Bulgaria into the club, probably too soon. And those were countries with a shared heritage of Ottoman rule. How many millions Turks live now since generations in Germany? And all in all they are fantastically well integrated - not perfectly, sure, but better than expected.

Two millions Gauls died for not immediately bowing to Caesar. The list of dead is immense and increased from then. At a certain point I think we have to put those lists aside. Remember, if you are blond and blue/green eyed, then your ancestors came from the region now called Ukraine. I think I'm risking a reply of "don't lecture me on Völkerwanderung" if I continue, and I could, for pages and pages. ;-)

Mariposa de Oro's picture


Are you in Mainz now?  I lived in Mainz-Weisenau on Langasse Strasse back in the late 80s.  I LOVE Mainz.  I used to walk along the river into town on Saturday mornings and hit that market.  Wonderful memories!

Ghordius's picture

that market goes back to roman times, and the provisioning of the roman legion that was stationed there.

I was there often for work, now I only visit friends, but yes, I have fond memories too, particularly of some girls, then.

btw, one day they were digging up a WWII bomb exactly where I used to park my car!

I really should go back for carnival, then the place is really hilarious, if you understand the jokes about Wiesbaden. their background is of course past religious wars.

cifo's picture

Remember, if you are blond and blue/green eyed, then your ancestors came from the region now called Ukraine.

Or Sweden or Finland :)

Ghordius's picture

yes, but where do the Swedes and Finns come from? That area was completely covered by ice until 12'000 years ago and then only slowly populated.

It's not covered well, scientifically, and in the last two centuries a lot of pseudoscience was applied to it, but it's likely that:

First the Finns, belonging to the same group as the Hungarians (Huns) and Turks populated all Scandinavia. All three probably come from the region now called Turkmenistan.

Then the Goths populated Sweden (where you find Finnish remnants). And of course the Goths went everywhere, Spain, Italy, Turkey, etc. They came in with a wave of other groups, out of the region now called Ukraine.

Since blond hair and blue or green eyes are recessive genes, they are a bad "marker" for group descendency.

In any case, most of what we call europeans are descendents of migrating groups from the East. It's believed that the Celts are the oldest group. Oh, and of course the Neanderthals.

i-dog's picture

There are many "inconvenient truths" being avoided in the so-far limited studies of these migrations. There are also other tools available than genetics to assemble the puzzle: Language divergence, technology, culture, artifacts, religious observances, etc.

GeezerGeek's picture

Your 'so-far limited studies' are actually rather comprehensive, they're just not registering on humanity's general radar screens.

There are many books available describing the various groups that wandered around. Goths, Huns, Celts, and on and on. I've read many, but I like ancient history whereas most Americans don't, especially in today's instant-gratification culture. I have to admit that I struggled to get through those books, rarely getting more than a few pages read before either falling asleep or getting distracted. It's not as spellbinding as, say, a Clancy novel. But the information is out there for anyone who wants it. Perhaps the problem in the US is that, once we recognize how ancient tribes went around invading and killing the locals, we can't be quite as judgemental about US expansion westward. Was that merely a modern-day equivalent of ancient migrations? Human behavioral tendencies haven't changed all that much over the millenia, we just put a patina of modernity over the basic instincts.

GoinFawr's picture

"But the information is out there for anyone who wants it"

You got that right.

Mr.Clancy, no offence but I find reality less dry these days, more or less.

"Perhaps the problem in the US is that, once we recognize how ancient tribes went around invading and killing the locals, we can't be quite as judgemental about US expansion westward"

uhyeeah, I haven't noticed that 'problem' so much when it comes to most accepting your rationalization at the drop of a hat; I'm sure there are some holdouts.

The Fallacy:

I saw two people in a fist fight so I am justified in being ok with someone killing them, their families, and every other nation that their skin colour represents to me, no matter how different they were from one another.

'TF is that continually getting broader in scope?

Ghordius, your impressive command of the English language aside, truth as 'vicious lefty attack'? pass me the bongos.

A person would have to be quite the jingoist to keep a straight face while trying to gloss over the historical documentation remaining from the 'good' times of ol' Sharp Knife and Lord Chivington.  

There existed many distinct ancient nations in NA, with a wide array of different cultures, and most of them weren't violent unless provoked. Just like anywhere else.

A Brief Guide to American History Teachers

Q: Name several American Holocausts, the nations involved, and the places where these were accomplished.

A: Missouri, Illinois, Miami, New England, Virginia, and most place names in the United States. For more advanced students, the answer can extend to North and South America.

Q:What kind of un-American creep would give that answer?

A: A native American. Of course a truly patriotic American might have known better than to ask the question. In such cases silence is the only way to avoid acknowledging guilt. There have been no American Holocausts, and we should all realize this truth. It is self evident, since we believe all men are created equal, that we would not do what those nasty Europeans did. They are racist bigots, we are the people who got rid of the old prejudices and refuse to do terrible things, unless the Lord commanded it. We have pure hearts, pure motives, and pure history.

Q:What advantages are there to true Americans if they deny that there has been any American Holocaust?

A: It allows them to be outraged at Other Monsters. Also, it lets them focus on terrible things done overseas - in Rwanda, Bosnia, the Caucasus, Iraq - so that noone will notice what is going on here. Since there was only one Holocaust, we can be wonderfully virtuous in supporting its victims, and we know that we do not have to worry about being on the right side. So this justifies our putting up a monument in Washington, D.C. to that one Holocaust, and not putting anything there which might hint that there was anything like it in this country.

Q: Is this matter relevant to the origins, makeup, and functions of the United Nations?

A: Yes. I do not dare, however, answer in more detail. No true American can afford to consider the question of whether Native American nations are truly sovereign. De facto, De Deo(sic) must be their mighty fortress. When FDR, about 1942, discussed the postwar realignments with Churchill, he reminded Churchill of what the English were doing in their colonies. Churchill then reminded FDR of two cases: blacks in Mississippi, and Navajos in Arizona. FDR shut up. It is the only safe answer.

Q: You conclude that American History should not be taught?

A: Of course not: it never has been, and this is no time to begin doing so."

Carter Revard

 Find out. It might be important. h/t bd

Ghordius's picture

LOL - my "vicious lefty attack" is a proof that my command of English is not that good at all. Please understand that here in continental europe, history has been for two generations "the preserve of the Intellectual Left" in a (hyperbolically written vicious) "war" against (Classical) Liberals and Conservative views. But our guys fight often about different things than yours.

I'm not familiar enough about how genocides are discussed in the Anglosphere, beyond the most obvious surface. I know that in the US the discussion is quite heavily political, but most of it zips over my head.

I'm a bit more at home in discussing for example the Boer War - something that briefly became potentially the first modern genocide, with concentration camps and all - and you might be surprised how much French, German and UK history books differ on that.

Impressive post +1. Though I fear I'm too much a noob alien in this discussion of yours. Is the key part the "one holocaust only" or the "sovereignty of every nation" or the UN or what? Sorry, utterly confused for lack of "typical discussion context".

GoinFawr's picture

"Is the key part the "one holocaust only" or the "sovereignty of every nation" or the UN or what?"

Good question.

The 'one holocaust only' meme is obviously a problem because it propagates myths of righteousness inherent in past, present, and, most importantly, future actions; it's like someone with a debilitating mental illness trying to get their life together without first facing up to the facts. But instead of just being just one deluded crazy person it's an entire nation of duped enablers that spend more on their military than the rest of the world combined...

Let me answer the sovereignty portion of your question with another question: Why do you think so many resist labelling 'Nations' the people who thrived in NA/SA before the Europeans arrived? Cui bono?

Ghordius's picture

just hinting that humans's basics haven't changed much and that genocides are a recurrent theme in history - though not the only one as the history of India attests very well - makes the writer often the target of ridicule and vicious attacks from a certain brand of lefties in academia (with great help of many feminist groups, interestingly). and so it does not pay to research, there, at least not for a broader public discussion/propagation. that was my impression, at least

i-dog's picture

My assessment, as Ghordius points out, is based on most of the older studies being either romantically, racially, religiously, or pseudo-scientifically inspired. More recent genetic studies are shedding better light and there are some good discussion groups on the net. However, much information is being systematically deleted and censored (ie. altered) from the net.

I've also corresponded with some intensive researchers and still find that pre-conceived notions (or "goal seeking") are prevalent. Sometimes the most obvious connections are dismissed (as also is happening in politics and finance!). The primary source of funding or support is the universities...and they have political agendae.

Ghordius's picture

do you have reccomendations?

Ghordius's picture

I agree. In the 19th Century a lot of research was done in a very "romantic" way, and for the Swedes it was clear that names like Gotland pointed to the Goths and places like Turko in Finnland pointed to the Turks.

And in the 20th the amiable "race-cleancers" made an even greater mess out of it. So just researching in this makes you half-guilty of racism, in some places. Modern genetics might help, in future.

The group to whom parts of the later Romans belonged, interestingly, had religious/cultural observances and views that are still visible in India and in remnants in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece. That might be from the one big and fast migration that spread out with the use of the horse as weapon of war. Founding a military caste of Eques (Equites) everywhere, in the same manner as the castes accumulated and stratified in India.

They might have been the first patriliniar peoples in Western Europe (this while the later germanic tribes were matriliniar). Some of this history is still visible in the story around Helen, queen of Sparta, and her travel to and from Troja. It's likely that Menelaos had to get Helen back because only the husband of the queen was recognized as king, a remnant of a deal between matrilinear subject populations and their patrilinear invaders and new "protectors".

And of course in the three names that the Romans sported, which probably were originally the personal Prenomen, the in capital letters written (matrilinear) Gens/Genos Nomen and the (patrilinear) Family name. See the history of the "Rape" of the Sabines - a probable history of friction between new patriliear invaders and the local peoples on child ownership and religion/customs.

dugorama's picture

blond and blue eyes / green eyes around europe may have Ukranian or whatever roots ur-originally, but the dispersion happened during the 30 years war when the Swedes marched around killing all the men and raping all the women.  In the 17th century.  Some of it happened 800 years earlier when the Danish Vikings sailed around surprising villages, killing all the men and raping all the women. 

i-dog's picture

+1. Americans have absolutely no idea how most of the world lives.

Ghordius's picture

lol, yes. on the other side, I was reading that only some 8-9% of Americans have a passport, so lots of this is understandable. It's a big country that could be easily self-sufficient.

and this reminds me that I can't still "place" you. Commonwealth, probably, but where? Well, not my business.

Big Corked Boots's picture

Hey, less than 10% of us have passports because the USA has got everything right here. Who wants to go to some smelly country where soap is sold in daily packets and used on monthly occasions? Besides, you two are proof that everybody "over there" speaks English anyway, so, what's the point of going someplace else.

( /sarc if you don't get it )

Ar-Pharazôn's picture

i agree with you, burt in my eyes the situation for southern country (especially Italy) is even worse than what you described.


in Italy for example young people have a really bad habit. They spend everything they have to look cool, i think you all know what i mean, buying stupid Louis Vuitton bags, armani gucci etc etc etc.

who cannot afford for that would even go for debt to buy this shit.

and believe me, there is many many many young people behaving in this stupid way

Pseudolus's picture

Stupid indeed in other circumstances.

In the current economic and policy environment, perhaps its rational behaviour