Let's learn words.

Filed under: Historia, Lex, Paidagogia, Philologia, Politikos — Jacob Welsh @ 05:58

What follows is my novice attempt at understanding a piece from back in the Romanian days of Trilema. Lacking much preloaded knowledge of the vast majority of the words, or even of inflections and grammatical structure, I figured my best bet was to proceed by translation into my own most familiar language, approximate as this process necessarily is.(i)

The result sat on my (metaphorical) desk for a week or so while the outside world furnished a number of excitements both positive and negative for it to hide behind, thus furnishing me with a motto for the piece: te-ai inecat ca tiganu' la mal.

I do hope you enjoy learning with me the words in question at least half as much as I did navigating their environs; though if you don't... well, the state of the world's hardly the words' fault now, is it ?


Word number one (which are actually two) : fee simple.
Word number two (which is actually all that counts) : alodial title*.

And now let's see what we do with them. First of all, real estate, which you may have heard of on other occasions, has the remarkable property of being a superior class to all other properties, just as the prototype of a car is superior to all mass-produced cars and that hunk of iridium alloy the Frenchies keep in the museum is the superior class to any meter from anywhere on the planet. As such, the way in which real property is managed (straight, ownership of land) will be representative of the way in which property in general is managed.

In relation to the universe of possibilities, and therefore without possible impediment either from historical practice or from the nebulae of the future, title to real estate can be constituted in two ways : either as property in the proper sense, which is not subordinated to any higher-ranking proprietor, also called alodial title, or as property in the improper sense, that is, a property tolerated at the moment by the true master, the so-called property in fee. Which fee is called a tax, which tax is the notional equivalent of that benefit meant to maintain the great master benevolent to the continuation of the state of affairs. The price of tolerance, as it were.

These are; others are not and have nowhere to be. From them arises everything about the organization of a society, in all details : men living in a state that recognizes alodial title will generally be free men, except in cases when they really do not want to be. Men living in a state that does not recognize alodial title will be without exception slaves, or in other words simple means of production owned by the great master.

Two thousand years ago, when Xerxes invaded the Peloponnese, his million man army came from a country of his fee simple : all the land in all the world belonged to the king of kings, who hired satraps to ensure that the cattle were tolerated to graze on it, horned or bipedal alike, to produce the maximum practically possible. On the other side, the Greek phalanxes and triremes came from a country of alodial title. You know the result of the confrontation, we will not repeat it.

Two hundred years ago, when King George III invaded his colonies in America, his army, trained, equipped and dressed in blood red, came from a country of his fee simple : all the land on the frontiers of the United Kingdom was his property. On the other side, the rebels, dressed in the equivalent of flip-flops, blue jeans and T-shirts for the time, came from a country of illusions (which were never to become reality in the medium and long term, of course, like any illusions, but no doubt included alodial title among them).(ii)

In short, the meeting between a free society and a herd of slaves is always and without exception left with the complete defeat of the herd of slaves. On the other hand, because of course there is another hand, free societies raise serious problems for commerce : even if they allow the sale, the alodial title cannot suffer the mortgage, for example (because there is no authority to take it in case of breach of the terms of the contract, and so the contract does not make sense in the first place). As such, the main support that allows banks to create their imaginary capital bases, "real estate" in fee simple does not exist in a free society, at which point we remember a quote from then-President Thomas Jefferson :

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currencies, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their prosperity until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.(iii)

That's about the whole story. That was the core issue we should have decisively settled(iv) through the 1989 Revolution.

* Especially modern texts written in English use the wrong allodial version. The issue is mainly amusing because in the Doomesday Book, which would be the rightful founder of any tradition regarding the correct spelling of this word for the Anglo-Saxon space, the spelling with a single l is used uniformly.

Category: Cociety and Sulture

  1. Well, reading itself is necessarily approximate for anyone not privileged to share the complete brain-context of the writer; but translation adds to this the extra "hops" of the translator's grasp of the meaning and the difficulties of projecting it into a different verbal space.

    My process was to start with Google's machine translation - I can't quite say "in the interests of time" because it's not clear to me whether this actually did or could save any; more because I first just wanted to get the general idea, then decided to dig in and found it a surprisingly coherent starting point - then comparing side-by-side with the source and looking up most of the non-"obvious" words in hopes of repairing any major blunders, rescuing some of the trampled wordplay and improving the English phrasing. For this, I had a "ro_eng_ascii.txt" stashed a while back from old republican logs, which proved almost entirely useless and reduced me to doing searches in today's mostly-broken Web. Here, the best option I found was Reverso Context, as it made quick work of getting both a decent list of possibilities and usage examples for each, although their source material was of clearly mixed quality. Finally, for the few real head-scratchers I escalated to competent human resources with good effect as expected. [^]

  2. The Legal Information Institute of the Cornell Law School had the following to offer for "fee simple" :
    An interest in land. Land owned in fee simple is owned completely, without any limitations or conditions. This type of unlimited estate is called absolute. A fee simple is generally created when a deed gives the land with no conditions, usually using the words like "to John Doe" or "to John Doe and his heirs".

    So there you have it, the view from inside the illusions in question : free-range is pretty much the same as freedom, you know you're free because it says so in the songs, don't let nobody call you "slave", how could anything more even be conceivable anyway ?? [^]

  3. Or, in back transplantation from the Romanian tongue,

    If the American people ever allow private banks to control issuance of currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will lack prosperity until their children wake up homeless on the continent they conquered.

    Care ma rog... in Soviet Rossia, translation beware of you! [^]

  4. jfw: the "transam" seems to make it something like ripping the issue to shreds
    diana_coman: ah, no
    jfw: (and the Pontiac Trans Am is not helping matters.)
    jfw: (or my ignorance of how to get back to infinitives / stems)

    diana_coman: the literal/direct meaning is to (hm, how does one say this in English now? lolz) butcher (?) essentially but neatly and correctly
    diana_coman: not hacking it to pieces but professionally making the required cuts, I guess
    diana_coman: (also, it's sh there, so possibly further added trouble finding the infinitive "a transa")
    diana_coman: but in context and as the more general meaning, the point is in that decisive, neat & correct settling of a matter
    jfw: perhaps "tranche" as closest relative in English but it's pretty specific to finance.
    diana_coman: the point is that the solution is quick, neat, correct and *final*
    diana_coman: it comes indeed from French - trancher
    diana_coman: but dunno about finance, in Romanian (and French) it's clearly re cutting and separating anatomical parts, lo

    jfw: ok. and is "la Revolutie" understood as something specific?
    diana_coman: well yes, the 1989 Revolution is "the Revolution " at least so far; what the sentence says is that it's that particular matter that should have been neatly and irreversibly settled when there was a chance (aka immediately after the Revolution in 1989)

    jfw: "This is the main issue that the Revolution should have straightened out for good." is where I'm at
    diana_coman: main issue is good; perhaps straightened out works there, although it seems way weaker to me, it's not a matter of fixing/changing something; and your translation is too passive
    diana_coman: it's not a generic "the Revolution" that should have anything
    diana_coman: it's the "we" as the generation who revolted at that point, pretty much
    diana_coman: ie us of this age, who had that chance, should have used it to settle once and for all *this* one issue as it's the one that truly matters most
    diana_coman: or hm, possibly "that one issue" ? lolz

    jfw: I've probably got more subjects and objects crossed in here :/
    diana_coman: the subject in the 2nd clause is implicit, possibly that's confusing
    jfw: that and the Revolution seemingly not having a preposition or anything

    diana_coman: what is "la" if not a preposition?
    diana_coman: la = at
    jfw: ... spanish for "the" in my head, lolz
    diana_coman: ahaha, no
    diana_coman: in Romanian the definite article is not separate, it's through noun inflection
    diana_coman: viva la revolucion is not Romanian, true.
    diana_coman: anyway, in that specific case, the subject is inferred from the verb's form: transam is 1st plural (noi transam)

    diana_coman: perhaps ~ This is the issue almost whole. (or This is just about the whole issue. uhm, maybe "this is the core of the matter" - it's less "close" in a mechanical sense but more English I dare say, lol) This is the core issue we should have decisively settled through the 1989 Revolution.
    diana_coman: even this is what we should have ..

    diana_coman: that poveste could be ~story so perhaps "the whole story" works too
    jfw: "That's about the whole story." seems to work fine for the first sentence
    diana_coman: heh, I did go this-that back and forth several times
    diana_coman: apparently the trouble, if any, is that Romanian and English use them... in precisely the opposite way for non-concrete stuff
    diana_coman: ie it's clear enough if it's the books over there vs the books over here; but otherwise...

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