Scathing Thinking

October 1, 2014

It is easy to be ironical, pose as a saint, and ponder:”Why stop at Isis when we could bomb the whole Muslim world? Humanitarian arguments, if consistently applied, could be used to flatten the entire Middle East.”

I generally  like The Guardian’s Mr. Monbiot, and I understand he has to be funny and controversial to earn his keep. Yet, is that ethical? No. If “ISIS” (Daesh) could get its hands on Mr. Monbiot, they would saw through his throat as if he were another sheep (or Abraham’s son, whoever!). It’s something Fundamentalist Muslims have to do. I pointed  this dynamic feature in many essays in the past, such as “Violence in the Holy Qur’an“. It’s best addressed this way:

French Rafale Hunting True Believers In Ultimate Violence

French Rafale Hunting True Believers In Ultimate Violence

Here are a few quotes from the first real chapter (“sura”) in the Qur’an. “the Cow”:

“A fire has been prepared for the disbelievers, whose fuel is men and stones.’ [Qur'an s. 2: v. 24]

“Disbelievers will be burned with fire.” [Koran, S. 2:39, v. 90]

“Jews are the greediest of all humankind. They’d like to live 1000 years. But they are going to hell.” [Koran, s. 2: v.96]

“Allah will leave the disbelievers alone for a while, but then he will compel them to the doom of Fire.” [Koran, s. 2:v. 126]

“Kill disbelievers wherever you find them. If they attack you, then kill them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. (But if they desist in their unbelief, then don’t kill them.) [Qur'an s.2:v. 191-2]

“War is ordained by Allah, and all Muslims must be willing to fight, whether they like it or not.” [s. 2: v. 216]

“Those who marry unbelievers will burn in the Fire.” [2:221]

“Disbelievers worship false gods. They will burn forever in the Fire.” 2:257″

That’s just the first chapter, sura 2, as I said. Nothing wrong with it, of course, if you don’t take it too seriously. But apparently too many take it all too seriously, as they learn little else.

The same problem arose with Christianity: was the Bible to be taken literally? It was solved by the Church’s Founding Fathers, around 400 CE, by deciding it was all allegoric, metaphorical, etc. The exact opposite decision was taken by one Caliph around 850 CE.

Hence the on-going need to flatten completely some systems of thoughts and moods infesting the Middle East, as Ebola does West Africa. As Monbiot points out unwittingly.

Says Monbiot:”Let’s bomb the Muslim world – all of it – to save the lives of its people. Surely this is the only consistent moral course? Why stop at Islamic State (Isis), when the Syrian government has murdered and tortured so many? This, after all, was last year’s moral imperative. What’s changed?

How about blasting the Shia militias in Iraq? One of them selected 40 people from the streets of Baghdad in June and murdered them for being Sunnis. Another massacred 68 people at a mosque in August. They now talk openly of “cleansing” and “erasure” once Isis has been defeated. As a senior Shia politician warns, “we are in the process of creating Shia al-Qaida radical groups equal in their radicalisation to the Sunni Qaida”.

What humanitarian principle instructs you to stop there?”

Then Monbiot in his stupidity, proposes to bomb Israel, Iran, etc. He forgets that Israel is an ally, and Iran used to be one, and could be one again. Besides both have more or less free elections. After the French started to bomb in Iraq, the Iranian president came over, and visited with the French president, in peaceful agreement about the necessity to flatten terrorists.

The leaders of the West made no mystery that they are destroying fanatics according to the prime moral directive, namely survival. Saving the Middle Earth is secondary.

It is true that, as I have been saying for decades, and now Monbiot repeats, the plutocratic connections between Assad and London, or the Saudi family and Washington, ought to be brought to light (actually Monbiot does not mention the former: too close to his employer, and his social circles, I guess…). There is a global plutocracy problem, and it has impacted the Middle Earth, from Ukraine, to Pakistan, Libya…

However, it is useful to consult with a bit of history, Mr. Monbiot. In 1936, similar arguments to the ones you brandish, under the guise of irony, were used to do nothing about the Civil War in Spain. The first step is the hardest, and that’s getting into the fray, and flattening those who want to flatten much of what passes for civilization, in this world.

Another point is that there was certainly something very wrong with the Christianity of the Inquisition. If such ferocious Christians existed today, had an army, and invaded, one should certainly intervene, and flatten them. It would be a matter of security of the Republic, civilization, and… peace. I am all for sending some Rafales against Louis IX, the so-called Saint Louis, a rabid murderous fanatic of the worse type, and give him the Qaddafi treatment. However, as he died nearly 750 years ago in Tunis, I will have to content myself with scathing criticism.

Islam is also a religion of Europe, and the USA, and ferocious, murderous Islamist organizations ought to be treated just as ferocious, murderous Christian fundamentalist organizations would be, if they were still around, killing and torturing.

By the way the present Pope is more than an hypocrite. He loves Opus Dei, the closest thing we have to the Inquisition, which took part in the massacre of millions of Spaniards, and has entangled itself with the West’s plutocratic circles… And probably Putin. The Pope just “beatified” the founder of Opus Dei. Opus Satanas is more like it.

This, of course indicates that the present Pope, below his benevolent smile, was in hock with the Argentinian dictatorship, as charged.

The present bombing in Iraq and Syria is highly targeted. The big bombs below that Rafale above are guided by laser beams, they land within a meter of the target. We are very far from the area bombing which flattened Hitler’s Reich. The French Air Force Rafale depicted can, and does, hunt, identify and destroyed individual vehicles (that’s how Qaddafi was targeted, hit, and, later died, after spending some time in a tunnel like a bleeding rat).

Scathing irony does not replace deep thinking, or, for that matter, scathing thinking.

Patrice Ayme’.

ARISTOTLE DESTROYED DEMOCRACY

September 28, 2014

Abstract: Aristotle replaced the supremacy, and rule, of freedom, openness, intelligence, by the “pursuit of happiness”, or general “feel good” (eudemonia). So doing, Aristotle demolished the natural, instinctual, human ethics which had triumphed in Athens earlier.

This fatally weakened the animal spirits, the human ethology, without which democracy is impossible. Thus, more fundamentally than even Christianity, and not just by defending slavery extensively, Aristotle and his atrocious, mass murdering, yet trusted, and beloved, students, launched the mental process that set civilization back by millennia.

It’s high time to understand how much of this Aristotelian garbage festers at the root of today’s systems of thoughts and moods. All the more as plutocracy, Aristotle’s baby, is going all out, once again, to seize power absolutely.

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were master thinkers. Their influence was so great, they changed human psychology. And the way they changed it, in some important ways civilization cannot like.

***

Aristotle Taught These Guys Democracy Was A Devious Beast

Aristotle Taught These Guys Democracy Was A Devious Beast

[Painting Allegedly Representing Macedonian Plutocrats Antipater and Craterus Killing a Lion; these are the Antipater and Craterus found in the present text; top predators, indeed; shortly before Alexander The Great died, Alexander had ordered Antipater, then ruling Europe, to come to Babylon to answer the charges of Olympias, Alexander's mom, that Antipater was conspiring to seize power; Antipater refused to come, and sent another of his sons in his stead; his youngest son was Alexander's closest valet... More on this further down. Yes, at the time, there were lions in the Middle East, and in Europe.]

***

WHEN ATHENS BETRAYED DEMOCRACY, THAT IS, HERSELF:

In 330 CE, the Spartans, led by king Agis, made an all-out effort to destroy Macedonian hegemony. The prospects were good: Antipater had only 13,500 genuine Macedonian soldiers, as Alexander, then fighting the Persian plutocracy, had mobilized all the manpower he could find, to fight far away all over Eurasia. Alexander, though, sent lots of gold in a hurry, so that Antipater could recruit a huge army of northern barbarians to boost his small force.

These were strange times: for about a century much of the elite of the Persian army consisted of Greek mercenaries. Moreover, most Greeks had refused to follow Alexander. No doubt that the fact Alexander had annihilated the city-state of Thebes, and sold 30,000 surviving women and children into slavery, had to do with it. Some of the Persian plutocrats were bad, but the Macedonian plutocrats, in many ways, were worse. The Persians managed an immensely complicated empire, the Macedonians just had to keep (their slaves) extracting the gold, while breeding horses to keep invading further with ever more violence.

The Battle of Megalopolis against Antipater’s 40,000 mercenaries was bloody, long indecisive. But, from the sheer weight of numbers, the 20,000 Spartans, after breaking Antipater’s lines, lost. 5,300 of the best ones died. Diodorus comments:

“Agis III had fought gloriously and fell with many frontal wounds. As he was being carried by his soldiers back to Sparta, he found himself surrounded by the enemy. Despairing of his own life, he ordered the rest to make their escape with all speed and to save themselves for the service of their country, but he himself armed and rising to his knees defended himself, killed some of the enemy and was himself slain by a javelin cast.”

So what was Athens doing while Sparta led the entire Peloponnese against Macedonia? Nothing. Athens sat on her hands. A wounded Spartan king fought, even on his knees, while Athens watched. Some derangement had infected Athena’s city. Was it still Athena’s city? Or was it the city of admirers, friends, lovers, advisers and teachers to tyrants? In spite of a blitz by Demosthenes, the pseudo-Demosthenes, and other philosophers, who saw the terrible danger civilization was in, Athens did not send an army to help Sparta. There is no doubt that the smallest Athenian army would have allowed to extirpate the Macedonian metastatic cancer, all the way to where it festered from, Macedonian gold mines.

If that had happened, the history of the world would have been different, and the event would be barely mentioned in Alpha Centauri libraries. (Just before the Macedonian tyrannical takeover, Greek science was expanding at an astounding rate.)

Once he was rid of Alexander, the senior Macedonian general and dictator Antipater, turned against Athens.

The fate of democracy was decided on the sea. The Athenian fleet, having suffered losses in two battles, surrendered. It did not even try to fight to death. The captains of the Athenian ships were not as determined as their ancestors, who, 170 years earlier, had confronted the Persian fleet and its Greek allies, under incomparably greater odds.

***

THE PHILOSOPHICAL TROIKA FROM HELL CHANGED ATHENS’ MIND ABOUT THE HIGHEST GOOD:

Historians are at a loss to explain that massive change of psychology. Why did Athens not fight for freedom in 330 CE, while it had gone all out for it in 500 CE?

Some may suggest that Alexander and Antipater were not as antipathic as Darius and Xerxes. Well that is not even true: the massacres the two Macedonians engaged in were worse. The Persian plutocracy found plenty of Greeks to help it, over a century, including all of Sparta for decades, and generations of top notch mercenaries. By contrast, very few Greeks accepted to work for the Greek speaking Macedonian tyrants, and Sparta always refused to do so.

So, when the Athenian captains decided to surrender to Antipater, without much fighting, it was not because they did not perceive him to be a monster. They knew he was a monster. It was widely suspected, for excellent reasons and strong circumstantial evidence, that Antipater had used one of his sons to empoison Alexander.

Something else had happened to change the psychology of the Athenian elite: accepting monstrosity had become acceptable. Thanks to whom? Aristotle’s student, Alexander (“the great”)? No, he was too busy crucifying thousands in Tyr for having dared to resist him. Nor was Alexander known for intellectual babbling (whereas Antipater was an author).

My explanation for this degeneracy in the minds of Athenian warriors, and statesmen, is that, thanks to the pernicious influence of the troika Socrates-Plato-Aristotle, Athenians changed their notion of superior wisdom.

***

ARISTOTLE’S EUDEMONIA, OR BEING GOOD TO ONESELF AS THE HIGHEST PRINCIPLE:

The freedom that had made their ancestors, and other Greeks stand on the pinnacle of civilization, had been displaced by an obsession with self-flourishing (“Eudaimonism”).

An ethical system where Eudaimonia, that is good (eu) spirits (daimon) is viewed as the highest good, is the door to materialism and the lowest passions.

the problem about the pursuit of happiness as the highest good, is that human beings out-lion, lions. Let’s have Conan the Barbarian (1982) lead the charge against Aristotle’s pursuit of happiness:

“Mongol General: Hao! Dai ye! We won again! This is good, but what is best in life?

Mongol: The open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair.

Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life?

Conan: Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.

Mongol General: That is good! That is good.”

[Thanks “Wtquinn” a commenter from Scientia Salon!]

The point: our ancestors have been top predators for a few million years. A top predator, at some point, will take pleasure in deploying top ferocity. Lionesses and wolves have been seen adopting orphan baby preys, out of goodness, and that clearly make them happy. But, still, their business is ferocity.

One needs to base one’s ethics on a more stable base than one’s own perception of what constitute happiness.

***

PROPER ETHICS: SALAMIS. DYING FOR FREEDOM AS THE HIGHEST CALLING: :

An ethical system where dying for freedom is the highest calling is very different from one where one is pursuing the vague notion of “happiness”, and “self-flourishing”. Were the 300 with king Leonidas happy at Thermopylae? Yes! Why? They were happy to die for freedom. They were not just into their little self-flourishing as the Athenian captains confronting Antipater’s armada would be 170 years later.

The happiness of Themistocles’ sailors at the Battle of Salamis while their city burned in the background, and the invader Xerxes watched from a throne, came from fighting for causes bigger than themselves, freedom and justice. If they had been pursuing happiness, they would have fled, as Aristotle, faced with freedom and justice, did. Instead Themistocles’ men confronted a thousand ships.

Human beings cannot just pursue self-flourishing, because, instinctually, or as we moderns say, ethologically, human beings have evolved to make others in the group flourish, as an even higher good.

Salamis was perhaps the most important battle in the history of civilization. That’s when freedom looked for a fight, and broke the back of plutocracy, in spite of overwhelming odds.

375 freedom ships confronted a plutocratic armada of 1200. But the Greeks had better equipment, better training, better spirits, their cause was just, freedom on their sides. Born free, they knew how to swim (most Persians did not). The narrow confines prevented the vast Persian fleet to maneuver, and surround them.

The entire population of Athens had been moved to the island of Salamis. Themistocles had around 200 Athenian warships. When his Peloponnesian allies threatened to fold, he threatened to move the entire population of Athens to the Western Mediterranean (this is how Marseilles, Massilia, had been founded from Phocea). Athens had a colony there, Athenopolis (unfortunately called Saint Tropez nowadays).

Or, at least, this is what the immensely clever Themistocles succeeded to make Xerxes believe.

In one of the best plots ever written, Themistocles, using this sort of subtle disinformation and outright lies, misled emperor Xerxes into battle, in spite of the objections of the much more clever Artemisia, evil queen of Halicarnassus, commanding the fiercest squadron of the plutocratic fleet.

It does not take much to influence a human mind. Themistocles knew this, and played with Xerxes’ as a cat with a mouse. Artemisia, an experienced warrior, clearly saw that the battle in the narrow confines between the island and the mainland was an unnecessary risk.

***

SOCRATES, PLATO AND ARISTOTLE WERE LOVERS OF PLUTOCRACY:

Those who advocate that Socrates, Plato and Aristotle could not have possibly sabotaged civilization understand little to the power of the mind.

Generally, it goes like this: when one points at their philosophical failures, such as the advocacy of dictatorship by Plato, their partisans smirk that the fact that the fact the philosopher spent years with the tyrant of Syracuse has nothing to do with it (see Massimo’s intervention in the preceding essay).

However, the failure of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were not personal accidents (such as Francois Villon murdering a priest). Socrates’ courageous battle exploits and death are shining examples. Plato, and Aristotle exhibited personal courage, close and personal, licking the toes, of some of the worst tyrants in history.

Socrates, Plato and Aristotle’s failure was systemic, not personal. And it’s all of the same kind. They replaced freedom, equality, and brotherhood with an obsession with taking care of the oligarchic self. Instead it is the greater primacy that they accorded to some values which devalued.

The Athenian fleet was defeated at the Battle of Amorgos (322 BCE) and failed in stopping reinforcements to reach Antipater.

The Athenian and allied democrats were finally defeated in 322 BCE at the Battle of Crannon in central Thessaly helped by another Macedonian gangster, Craterus. They beat back the weary Athenians in a long series of cavalry and hoplite engagements. Once again, their spirits failed the Athenians. While they were not routed, Athens and her allies, spurning Demosthenes strident, and cogent warnings, sued for peace on Antipater’s terms.

Antipater forced Athens to dissolve her government and establish a plutocratic system in its stead. Only those possessing 2,000 drachmas or more could remain citizens. The Demos was viewed, correctly, by the Macedonians, as the cause of the war.

But the Demos wanted to be free, and Aristotle wanted slaves.

***

23 CENTURIES OF PLUTOCRACY FOLLOWED, BUT THAT’S NOT US, ETHICALLY, & ETHOLOGICALLY:

The very failure of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, made their success. The common denominator ethics that they promoted was favorable to tyrants, and that it is precisely why their work survived through the Dark Ages. Whereas those who defended freedom, equality and democracy were extinguished by the Christian censors and their plutocratic sponsors.

Am I advocating a return to some kind of paleo-state and, or, instinctual ethics?

Well, yes. Except it’s not a return, because we never left. We are what we are. Human ethology exists, and is a subset of primate ethology. We are 60 million years of evolution as primates.

What is the basic principle, the fundamental evolutionary force, of a primate? Higher, superior intelligence. How do we get it? Through independent minds then allowing their ideas to compete inside vast cultural system. Only openness, freedom and justice enable this independence. This was all pointed out in Pericles’ famous Funeral Oration. So it’s not like the plutocratic troika of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, never heard of the notion.

Instead, what Pericles celebrated, the glory of the all-thinking Demos, was exactly the opposite of what Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Antipater wanted.

Pericles was on the winning side, the side of Instinctual Ethics.

Monkey studies show that “instinctual ethics” is a fact. (Whatever “instinct” really mean: it could actually be logic masquerading as innate!) To talk about ethics without that fact front and central would be like talking about atoms, while discounting anything that may have been discovered after Lucretius.

Aristotle was the first biologist. He invented categories, now at the forefront of mathematics, where they increasingly replace old fashion algebra, by lifting up its essence into richer structures.

The ethical attacks of Socrates against (direct) democracy were always justified. What was not justified was the lack of temperance that made him throw the baby, democracy, with some of the problems it caused.

The intellectual troika from hell was all the more dangerous, that those were master thinkers. Aristotle was the first biologist. He invented categories, now at the forefront of mathematics, where they increasingly replace old fashion algebra, by lifting up its essence into richer structures.

The ethical attacks of Socrates against (direct) democracy were justified. What was not justified was the lack of temperance that made him throw the baby, democracy, with the bath, into the trash.

***

TOLERATING ARISTOTLE’S ETHICS IS TOLERATING PLUTOCRACY:

Their influence is still all too great, and solidly tied to minimizing the phenomenon of plutocracy, and how it influences people. A few hours ago, I met with an engineer, who reigns over a major international airport, a man of many languages and many countries. I fumed against Aristotle, but he told me: ”Yes, but we owe him everything!”

The exact opposite is true. Although the troika from hell made important contributions, it was much more important to have democracy survive and prosper.

Democracy is intelligence. If Athens had survived, and established a second, larger empire, displaced and replaced Rome, civilization could well have got millennia ahead… Although, of course, slavery would have had to be outlawed, be it only because it blocked technological progress (by discouraging and out-competing it).

So let’s sink the ethics of good spirits. Aristotle’s eudemonia. Instead let’s pursue the grim war of freedom against plutocracy, and the hellish superstitions which support it.

Some will smirk that plutocracy is not everything. But that’s like saying metastatic cancer is not everything. By killing the freedom of spirits, plutocracy kills what makes humans human and replaces it with the stupidity of primitive beasts.

History demonstrates this: Greek science, not just philosophy, tragedy (etc.) peaked immediately before Antipater, as Alexander’s executive regent, organized the fascist “Hellenistic” plutocratic dictatorships which ruled until the Roman Republic, a democracy, swept them away.

And peaked science did. In the last year of the Fourth Century BCE, Aristarchus proposed the heliocentric system, Euclid wrote the Elements, Archimedes invented Infinitesimal Calculus, and the Greek number system came very close to the one we use today.

Aristotle classifies democracy, the rule of We The People, as a deviant constitution. Being a crafty polemicist, he gives it a bone by saying in Politics III.11, that the multitude may be better than the virtuous few, sometimes. But that’s in an ocean of praise for aristocracy.

When he died in 322 BC, Aristotle named his student Antipater as executor-in-charge of his will. And what a will: destroy democracy, establish plutocracy. Enough said about Aristotle’s ethics.

Patrice Ayme’

Virtue Ethics Devalued

September 25, 2014

Virtue ethics consists into worshipping abstractly defined virtues: wisdom, prudence, courage, temperance, justice, happiness (Eudaimonia)… I will explain why this is erroneous.

Virtue ethics was founded by Aristotle, who considered slavery to be necessary… (Let me add immediately that Greco-Roman slavery was apparently by far the worst of those suffered by the Middle Earth in the last 5,000 years; only the Muslim habit of impaling slaves who had attempted to flee compares: and look what Islam did with civilization; in other ways the Muslims did not treat their slaves as badly as the Greco-Romans; the fact both civilizations collapsed is no coincidence.)

By approving of slavery Aristotle contradicted several of the eight virtues he claimed to found ethics on. The fact that the founder of virtue ethics could not make virtue ethics work, is telling. Indeed the “virtues” are derivative, not absolute. I have, and will show, this in other essays. Let me offer just a few words here.

It was virtuous for Aristotle to enslave. Yet slavery is unnatural.

It was so unnatural that, arguably, it caused the fall of the Greco-Roman empire (by enabling Senatorial plutocracy, which undermined the Republic). A civilizational collapse is no way to survive.

The Franks, who took control of the West, soon outlawed slavery, thus contradicting Aristotle, and enabling a civilizational system which survives to this day. So debating the nature of ethics is all very practical: it’s about why, when, how, and for whom, or what, to go to war. Look towards the Middle East for practical applications.

Naturalist ethics is much better than abstractly defined “virtues”. If one thinks about deeply, surviving as a species (or group) is the fundamental purpose of moral behavior. Ethics, or “mores” comes from “habitual character”. What’s more “habitual” than what insures the survival of the species. True, wisdom, foresight, prudence, fortitude are necessary to insure survival. But they are consequences.

Some brandish “religion” as something natural ethicists ought to respect. But there is more than 10,000 “religions” known, each of them actually a set of superstitions to enable the rule of some oligarchy (who adores the Hummingbird god of the Aztecs, nowadays?).

“Religion” means to tie (the people) together. A secular set of beliefs can do this very well, as long as it embraces the Republic of Human Rights, and, thus, survival. Indeed, human rights are best to insure long term survival of the species. They define the virtues Aristotle extolled, but could not define properly enough to insure the survival of his civilization (which was soon destroyed by Alexander, Aristotle’s student and friend).

The Republic of Human Rights is the only religion upon which all human beings can agree on, and, thus, the only one to respect, and found ethics on.

To this the editor of Scientia Salon objected (September 25) that:

“This idea that because Aristotle lived in a society that condoned slavery therefore virtue ethics is bullocks keeps rearing its ugly head, but seems to me a total non sequitur. You might as well say that we should throw out Newtonian mechanics because, after all, Newton was also interested in alchemy and the Bible.”

My reply:

I was unaware that I was ambling down a well-trodden road. Thus I can only observe that the notion that virtue ethics was a personal sin of Aristotle, although admittedly ugly, is entirely natural (as a naïve, untutored, independent mind, such as mine, discovers it readily).

Slavery, as practiced in Athens’ silver mines, and, later, Roman ore mines, was the worst. It was quickly lethal. And it did not stop with treating foreigners as less than animals. Aristotle’s student, and others he was familiar with (senior Macedonian general Antipater) enslaved all of Greece, shortly thereafter.

When the mood is to enslave, it does not stop anywhere, short of the brute force of invaders (and that’s exactly what happened).

Greco-Roman slavery was particularly harsh. There were much milder forms of slavery in Babylon, a millennium earlier, and Egypt used no slavery (except for captured enemy armies).

Peter Do Smith claimed that I suffered from “presentism” by condemning slavery. I guess, in the USA, slavery is just yesterday, and condemning it, so today.

But the Germans, at the time, condemned slavery, at least to the industrial scale the Greco-Romans engaged into it. Archeology has confirmed that small German farms did not use slaves.

Resting all of society upon slavery was not cautious: as soon as the Greco-Romans ran out of conquest, they ran out of slaves, and the GDP collapsed (it peaked within a couple of decades from Augustus’ accession to permanent Princeps and censor status). Another problem was the rise of enormous slavery propelled latifundia, giant Senatorial farms which put most Romans out of employment, and fed plutocracy.

Newton’s researches in… shall we call it proto-chemistry? Or Biblical considerations, were not viewed by him, or any smart observer, as consequences of his mechanics.

Aristotle’s ethical shortcomings were not restricted to his opinion on slavery, and one can only assume that they were consequences of his general ethics. Whereas Demosthenes was a philosophical, and physical hero, ethically, Aristotle sounds like someone raised at the court of the fascist plutocrats, Philippe and Alexander of Macedonia. As, indeed, happened (his father was physician to the Macedonian crown).

There were consequences to Aristotle’s ethics. Alexander had ethical reasons to annihilate Thebes, and sell surviving women and children into slavery. It’s natural to wonder if he shared them with his teacher. Another example of even heavier import: Aristotle’s enormous influence on Rome’s first moralist, Cicero. Cicero, literally, invented the word “morality” by translating the Greek “ethics”.

Aristotle comforted important Romans, centuries later, into the comfortable mood that ethics was all about feeling virtuous.

When Consul Cicero repressed savagely the Conspiracy of Cataline, without bothering with proper judicial procedure, he felt himself to be the incarnation of the eight virtues.

Cicero’s enormous ethical breach helped demolish the democratic Republic.

At all times, tyrants have proclaimed themselves virtuous. That’s tyranny 101. Proclaiming that, from now on, virtue will dominate ethics, besides being self-evident, and thus empty, is just self-congratulatory. Self-congratulations lay at the evil end of the spectrum of the examined life.

Instead, as Demosthenes pointed out, ethics ought to rest on survival. If the aim was survival, the non-conflictual, disunited approach to Aristotle’s bankrollers (Philippe and Alexander) was suicide.

Greece recovered freedom 23 centuries later. Thanks to the European Union.

Patrice Ayme’

Obama Right On Syria

September 24, 2014

Might does not make right, but right needs might.

My frienemies at the New York Times thought smart to pose as superior moral characters with two front pages editorials today on Syria, both entitled “Wrong On Syria”. They lambasted president Obama for doing what I told him to do (at last someone who listens to me!). What did I tell him to do? Bomb (the bad guys in) Syria. First I wanted to do in Assad the Plutocrat, but I admit that the Caliphate is an even juicier objective.

Once upon a time a Frankish-Mongol army entered Damascus (that was not long after the same characters, with Armenian and Georgian help, had destroyed the Caliphate in Baghdad). History does not just repeat itself, its very rich.

Civilization has to be defended. Obama has understood this. Annual spending, in constant dollars, by the Department of Energy and the Atomic Energy Commission on nuclear weapons research, development, testing and production:

Morality & Justice Without Force Are Not To Be

Morality & Justice Without Force Are Not To Be

[It's all right that you be wrong, as long as I can flatten you.]

One does not want to make the Roman mistake of edifying what came to known as the “Limes”… The limit of the empire, a succession of walls, forts, garrisons, and legions, all around the Empire. Thus, when the bad guys broke through the limes, there was nothing to stop them: the interior of the Empire was essentially defenseless. Very rich, and very defenseless. When the Goths rampaged through Roman Asia, the Balkans, and Greece, in the middle of the Third Century, it took years to send a Roman army after them (they immediately fled).

On December 31, 406 CE, the Rhine froze so thoroughly and suddenly, that entire German nations galloped across. Among them, the Vandals. By then, thanks to an austerity program, the Roman army was actually the Frankish army. The Franks, who had beaten the Germans several times in years prior, in Bavaria, were taken by complete surprise, thanks to this freak weather event. After a torrent of German nations (reminiscent of the “torrent of German tanks” of May 1940) pierced through the Alsatian plain, there was nothing to stop them. The Vandals charged through Gaul, and then Spain. They soon invaded rich and completely defenseless Africa, which had known peace, the famed Pax Romana, for 5 centuries.

Italy, and Rome, never recovered from this.

History exists, to inform us. Syria and Mesopotamia used to be part of the Roman empire, so Obama can argue we are back home.

Even earlier in history, recent, 2014 genetic studies show that Mesopotamian, Fertile Crescent farming came to Europe under the form of the farmers who knew how to do it. This result was obtained by genetic analysis of Greeks… who are therefore, at least, partly, Iraqis.

So the West ought to relax: the Middle Earth is where it’s coming from. Russia is eleven time zones across, but Mesopotamia is just a time zone away from Paris and London. It’s the suburbs. Time to take care of them, by subjugating the awful systems of ideas that festered there (without naming it, of course, some of the critique of Obama at the UN could be viewed as pointed straight towards the Qur’an, which contains therein an evil system of thought, in no way less Satanic than the one in the Bible, as the Cathars no doubt noticed).

The New York Times editorials stupidly argued that Obama and Hollande had no right to bomb Iraq, and needed a UN Security Council authorization. That’s doubly dumb: first, common sense, human rights, the teaching of history, can override the UNSC. Although India just successfully sent a probe to Mars, the UN, and is predecessor, the SDN, were fundamentally French ideas which were finally implemented by the USA in 1944 (San Francisco, Bretton Woods).

Secondly, of course, Iraq is a sovereign nation. So if the legitimate government of Iraq wants France and the USA to bomb the bad guys on its territory, that is its sovereign prerogative. And that’s exactly what happened.

OK, the situation is extremely messy: there are bad guys all over. But that does not mean goodness ought to sit on its hands. That was the mistake made in 1936, when the rogue African army of general Franco attacked the Spanish Republic. France announced loudly she would intervene, and then backed-off, while the Nazis and Italian fascists got emboldened. In the end, Franco and his professional killers assassinated millions of Spaniards, and the Nazis and fascists got trained in all sorts of ways. Meanwhile, the Western democracies got used to the idea that it was better to do nothing.

This time, the show of force is a lesson to the world. Obama said at the UN that force was the only language the killers understood. Yes, right. And one of these killers is Putin. The Kremlin dictator stands warned: if he wants war too much, he will get it.

Using extreme violence is not the best outcome for superior morality, but it is sometimes the one and only optimal outcome, as far as civilization is concerned. This is such a case. The New York Times can pose all it wants, it’s as wrong as it was in 2003, justifying the invasion of Iraq.

Patrice Ayme’

2014 Warmest Year? Satan Loves It

September 23, 2014

2014 is on track to become the warmest year ever. It is in competition with 2010. As it is, the warming is accelerating: this summer was the warmest. If so, it starts a new trend: warming so strong, it’s all messed up. (I predicted long ago that equipartition of energy applied to greenhouse warming would cause wild fluctuations.)

The five warmest years on record are: 2010, 2005, 1998, 2013, and 2003, in that order. 1998 had the strongest El Nino. Only 2013 and 2014 didn’t start with a full grown El Nino, according to NOAA (USA’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). The latter fact is curious, and tells a tale, as we will see.

Apparently, we experienced the warmest June-August period, globally:

Warmer? Plutocracy Loves It Hot

o Warmer? Plutocracy Loves It Hot

What does El Nino do? It is characterized by a huge blob of warm water, which usually sits in the West Pacific, transferring itself to the East Pacific, by spreading out towards the Americas. By doing so, El Nino brings heat over half of the Earth’s atmosphere. To start with. Then consequences extend worldwide.

Sedimentary records indicates that, during strong global planetary warming, El Nino happens every year. (There have been examples of fast warming before, from natural causes that are now elucidated; the present warming is definitively the work of the present energy system, an extension of the one Neanderthal had, already 75,000 years ago.)

Of the top 10 warmest years on record, 1998 is the sole year that didn’t occur in the Twenty-First century, showing how much global temperatures have risen due to the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Atmospheric Warming. Oceanic Warming Is Worse.

Atmospheric Warming. Oceanic Warming Is Worse.

2014 the warmest? This may sound weird to denizens of the East Coast of America, who experienced a cold winter. However that cold winter there is directly tied to the Global Warming.

How?

OK, let me go on a creative spur. The following is greatly speculations on my part, from observation I made. Yet I am pretty sure I will be proven correct, and very soon.

What is known is this: Trade Winds off California have doubled in speed. That was so true that hypersonic tests off Hawai’i by NASA had to be put off during the whole month of June 2014, because of said high winds.

Trade Winds go towards the South West, before turning increasingly West. Thus those winds acted like a high pressure system off the West Coast of the USA, deflecting storms there to the north (Canada), and the south (Mexico). Hence a drought in the Western USA, but also a counter to the gathering El Nino (announced with fanfare last May, before it petered out).

Another effect of Trade Winds off the West Coast has been a deflection north of the jet stream, as it hits America. As the jet wiggled back down, after its excursion into cold Canada, it brought polar air with it. Hence the East Coast cooling.

Another personal observation: there was a totally abnormal amount of sea ice in the Svalbard-Spitzbergen area this summer. Everywhere else, except the North-West passage, sea ice was in dramatic retreat. How come?

Very simple: the northern reaches of the Gulf Stream, a set of currents, are supposed to shut down, in case of strong surface melting of Greenland. And that’s apparently exactly what they are doing.

To finish with an aside that was just published. A few years ago, the Larsen B Ice Shelf disintegrated in a few days. At the time, it seemed likely that the grounding line, where the ice stops touching the sea bottom, had retreated so fast, that Larsen B broke apart. However, research, it is claimed show that the grounding line of Larsen B had not moved for 12,000 years.

Conclusion: it is warming of the air above Larsen B that caused the collapse. This informs that the same may happen to other ice shelves in Antarctica. So the shelves may well disintegrate much faster than expected by just looking at the retreating grounding lines. The shelves hold back the huge glaciers behind them.

All this greenhouse gas built-up is happening not because it’s too expensive to fix. In truth, it’s cheaper to fix it, and it would create dozens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of jobs, worldwide.

Greenhouse gas built-up is happening mostly because of vested interests controlling the planet’s politics. This is the answer to the question children are asking: why destroy the planet?

Destruction, children, is fun. Especially when it profits the few who happen to take all the important decisions. Meanwhile, you, children, can concentrate on the latest iPhone, or Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio’s blue eyes.

Warmest year ever, atmospheric currents all messed up worldwide, Greenland flooding the North Atlantic with sweet, light, icy water, Gulf Stream shutting down, ice shelves disintegrating from hot air, exploding methane cavities in Siberia, how could it get worse? Trust me, it will.

Patrice Ayme’

Big Bang Proof Turns To Dust

September 22, 2014

Dust peppers outer space, around the enormous Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way is much more massive than any other galaxy in the fifty galaxy strong Local Group (only the giant Andromeda has a comparable mass). So, naturally, it has a lot of dust. The dimly radiating dust grains are aligned with our galaxy’s magnetic field. The galactic magnetic field’s swirling gives a polarization to the dust glow, just as a crystal’s alignment polarizes reflected light.

Last March, cosmic inflation enthusiasts claimed to have seen ripples at the origin of time. They claimed to have used a telescope that was sensitive enough. Yet they used a sort of postcard lifted from the European telescope Planck, to evaluate how much galactic dust there was, polarizing the light. That was, at best amateurish, or scientific fraud, and, at worst, a scam on the tax paying public, who wants to be enlightened, not defrauded.

We Fraud, Therefore We Sink. How Inflation > Cosmic Polarization

We Fraud, Therefore We Sink. How Inflation > Cosmic Polarization

[That was the hope from Harvard's Kovac; it just bit the dust. At least the picture is pretty.]

The Planck researchers were flabbergasted by the behavior of their American colleagues. They knew the dust could mimic the predicted signal from the Big Bang. No doubt the “Publish Or Perish” syndrome was at work again: say whatever to become a celebrity, being a celebrity is what a career is about. Damn careful thinking. Many a Harvard professor has appeared to believe that, whatever they say, whatever they do, it will be accepted. Unfortunately, they have often been proven right. And not just in physics, but economics, finance, politics, morality, philosophy. That makes Harvard the keystone of plutocratic propaganda.

Now, it turns out that this swirling pattern touted as evidence of primordial gravitational waves — ripples in space and time from the universe’s explosive birth — could all come from magnetically aligned Milky Way dust. A new analysis of data from the Planck space telescope concludes that the tiny silicate and carbonate particles of interstellar space could account for as much as 100 percent of the signal detected by the BICEP2 telescope and announced to big light and great banging this spring.

Do we need Cosmic Inflation, and its many absurdities? Of course not:

***

NO NEED FOR INFLATION: DARK ENERGY IMPLIES 100 BILLION YEAR UNIVERSE:

Now that we have Dark Energy (or Phantom Energy), we simply do not need Inflation Theory.

Dark Energy is a fact. Inflation theory a far-fetched stream of ideas which leads to universes exploding in every way, all the time, all over the place, a blatant absurdity, if there ever was one.

Indeed, having an uncountable number of universes on every pinhead is even more incredible than having to count how many angels sit on a pinhead, as some Medieval naïve religious types used to ponder.

In the scenario of the Big Bang we have now, space expansion accelerates in an hyper exponential way for a while (“inflation”), then decelerates until close to the present era, before re-accelerating from Dark Energy. This is weird, and logically contrived.

The most logically economical theory, from the barest known facts, is that cosmic expansion is completely due to Dark Energy. In that case, the universe is more like 100 billion years old. Nuclear synthesis of helium, lithium, etc. are generally rolled out to claim the Big Bang had to have synthesized them. However, those light elements could have been created thanks to some of the energetic phenomena observed since the Big Bang theory was elaborated (such as galactic core Black Holes).

The 3 degree K radiation could be due, in part to other phenomena than cosmic expansion. However, expanding for 100 billion years could be enough of an explanation.

Here we are faced with two theories explaining just as much. However, one uses an axiom (inflation) that is not a fact, but a fancy idea… And which is not even needed. Clearly Occam Razor ought to be applied, and Inflation and its Big Bang, decapitated.

***

And why does all this matter, for broader thinkers? First there is the poetry of it all. That enormous galaxy, our home, makes hearts melt with the possibilities, and perspectives.

The old name for galaxies was “island universes”. Kant worked on that for his thesis. The size of the Milky Way is baffling. It contains stars which are 13.6 billion years old (just 6,000 light years away, and uncomfortably close, if you ask me, to the presumed birth of the universe according to the Big Bang. It’s like a Freudian slip: ’Oh, and our Milky Way is old as the universe…’).

Secondly, and more importantly, scientists are supposed to roll out the most impressive, innovative, yet rigorous thinking. Yet, from Unobservable Strings, to Wishful Supersymmetry, to much Crazy Cosmology, there is a bad smell, and a poor show out there. Of course, the degradation of public logic suits the plutocracy just fine.

Thus, although it does not look like it, much the over-excitement in some areas of extremely speculative physics has much to do, you guessed it, with the fancy multiverses in finance, gouging We The People. Namely, if we learn to tolerate irrationality in physics, so will we, all over, as physics is supposed to be the shining example on a hill.

Hence the desire to impose the greatest rationality, and the strictest probity in physics, from the most general philosophical point of view. And for those who want to insure a sustainable civilization, and enough of the biosphere to survive to make it so.

Patrice Ayme’

P/S: the essence of the preceding scientific ideas was sent to several popular physics and science sites. None of the sites published it. I was witness, in the past, of reviewers stealing ideas during the peer review process, or suppressing ideas which showed them to be wrong. This systemic censorship could be somewhat related.

Localism, Democracy, Empire: Hand In Hand

September 21, 2014

Local Minds Are Weak, and Will Be Decapitated in Solitude

France and the USA are conducting airstrikes against the terror organization Daech (= “Caliphate”, ISIS, ISIL). France had soldiers on the ground for weeks in Kurdistan, in a desperate attempt to stop Daech (it worked; superior guns helped).

Three notions, related, yet different: localism, democracy, empire. Did they reign together before? Yes, they cohabitated, for centuries, in the Roman state. They are the essence, the secret, of why Rome worked. And worked it did: most of the world GDP was Roman, for centuries. And peaked just as Augustus established his fascizing, plutocratic republic (not a coincidence).

Greek Democracies, United, Defeated Persian Plutocracy

Greek Democracies, United, Defeated Persian Plutocracy

At that time, the other great power was Carthage. Although Carthage paled relative to the 50 million (?) Persian empire. Rome was just a city-state under a constitution similar to Athens (but evolved independently).

Verily, Athenian Roman cities had a great degree of autonomy (and their status varied, depending whether they were colonies or not, for example). That sort of autonomy reappeared during the millennium of the Middle Ages.

Alex Jones: “I consider all powers should be devolved down to localities, so that even issues of tax would be decided at the local level with no structure above it such as Californian governors or the European Union voting it out. The idea of localism as I see it is that the state or nation or entities like the EU or UN would be abolished.”

Dominique Deux disagreed icily. So, as I said, did Rome.

The Persian Achaemenid empire (“Parsa”), under Darius, although fascist and plutocratic, practiced a great extent of localism: it was pretty much an union of Greece sized plutocracies (the satrapies).

The Achaemenid empire was not democratic at all: it was all about leaders of armies making deals among each other, when not killing each other. Still, it was powerful: it nearly made it all over the Mediterranean. But the Athenian phalanx charged at Marathon before the Persians could get well organized, and that was the undoing of the empire.

Democracy means the power of the We The People. We clearly don’t have it now. Of course, there are graduations. The system we have now is closer to the Achaemenid empire than to the Athenian democracy.

It can even be measured (as I have explained).

So how was Persia defeated? By creating the GU, the Greek Union. The 200 or so Greek city-states got united. The point is that, to defeat an empire led by one man, one needed a more powerful union.

Thus the EU, to confront Putin, and Xi. Xi is the absolute chief of 1.3 billion, Puttin reigns over 17 million square kilometers… And wants much more, he says.

Notice that Alex Jones does not suggest to dismantle the USA. It’s not really a choice. A proposed referendum to split California in six states of six million each did not gather enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. Who proposed that? A plutocrat, of course. He spent millions to buy the signatures. Now he is going to court.

Plutocrats like it small, because they are big, and the weaker We The People, the stronger the satanic impulses.

The UN, the United Nations, is the implementation of the Enlightenment, of the ultimate rights of man. Maybe “UN” ought to stand for “Ultimate Naturality”.

And what of the Greeks? After uniting against Persia, Greece dealt Persia three crushing defeats. Emperor Xerxes, son of Darius, barely escaped with his life (he was afraid his bridge above the Bosphorus was going to be cut by the Greek fleet after Salamis). Persian plutocracy then changed tactic and paid Sparta to cause trouble (offering Sparta a fleet to beat Athens with!) In the fray, Athens got nearly destroyed. Half of the Athenian population died. Sparta saved Athens at the last moment from vengeful other cities.

In the dizzy period that followed, Thebes beat Sparta. At this point, Greece ought to have got united. But it did not. The philosopher Demosthenes saw the truth. He screamed on every rooftop how dangerous the fascists in the north were, thanks to their gold mines, who made them filthy rich enough to raise a dangerous army. In vain. Small Greek city states kept refusing to unite against Philippe of Macedonia, the Putin of his times. The Xi of Greece.

Philippe then moved, Alexander annihilated Thebes. Demosthenes committed suicide at the last moment. Democracy was only brought back to Greece, 23 centuries later, thanks to the European Union. Does Alex Jones understand this? Why would one prefer NSA/CIA supported Greek colonels, worshipping at Goldman Sachs, to a European Union?

Right, the battle against Goldman Sachs is not finished: one of its partners, from Portugal, was just named at the European Commission (EC). Sadly, the battle against the fractional reserve system, the collusion between state employees and private bankers, has not even started. Why? Because people  minds which are all too local can barely see beyond their garden. Burning kittens make them vibrate, five million Africans killed for cheaper smartphones are not even on their radar. You want local, and you want local to be fair? Then you need a just empire. be it only to tell you what’s up (as Obama has been doing about the self-declared “Caliphate“)

A just empire is how democracy and localism are protected.

Patrice Ayme’

Book Hypocrisy @ Face Value

September 20, 2014

Sue is so pleased she never joined Facebook. I guess she does not particularly fancy the Arab revolutions. What about a geo-historical perspective, ladies and gentlemen?

The present essay tries to depict better my position on the burning issue of burning kittens. Should people of outstanding moral values condemn Facebook for them, burning kittens, and hide the face of those who burn?

As Alex Jones (who supported Scottish Independence, as Paul Handover did) puts it in “The question of liberty, control and censorship”:

“Because Facebook is happy to host content involving the torture of animals I closed my Facebook account, a subject I wrote about on Liberated Way here and here.  Paul Handover of Learning from Dogs indicated he was closing his Facebook account over the content on animal torture on Facebook, and said why in his own article, suggesting readers might consider doing the same thing. Patrice Ayme in his WordPress article condemned me and Paul Handover as supporting censorship by closing our accounts with Facebook, which brings me to my views on censorship, liberty and control… Censorship is a tool, it is neither good or bad…”

Well, I believe censorship is always bad.

In the Roman civilization, all the latter censors were emperors. And I do believe that, from this intellectual fascism, the decay of civilization, and, in particular Rome’s incapacity to adapt to a sustainable economy, and its horrendous dictatorial theocracy, proceeded.

I joined Facebook early on, but then I observed it seemed to be more about sex, narcissism, and various obsessive-compulsive disorders in slightly deranged people who believed that a picture of their pet canary drinking was world news. So I long ignored it, in spite of entreaties by some individuals who said I should advertise my work on Facebook.

But I spited the FB mania, all the more when I saw celebrities, or plutocrats connected to IT get 60,000 “friends” on their first day on FB. And then cashing on that (literally making huge amounts of money).

Then there were a number of local revolutions, culminating with the “Arab Spring”. That definitively changed my mind. If “social networks” could be used for revolutions, they were good.

What did the Social Networks do? They disseminated information. In other words, the truth. That’s good.

Some will say that could be done through other tribunes. Indeed, I sent articles, or comments to more established electronic media: the Huffington Post blocked me after 6 (completely innocuous) comments. It probably read my site, found I detested plutocracy, and barred me.

The “European Tribune” was even more blatant. I was actually physically threatened there, and banned the same day… for alleging that some big bankers had supported Hitler. The site manager told me many bankers were reading the site, and he was told to shut me down.

For similar economico-political reasons, the New York Times has censored more than 1,000 of my comments, and ponders every single one, sometimes for more than 12 hours, before publishing them (thus insuring no one reads them, while claiming they did not censor).

At least on Facebook, I am free to rant about plutocracy, and was never blocked.

Of course FB is despicable. If one publishes a picture there of a bare breasted statue, 2,000 year old, like the Venus de Milo, they will close the account.

Yet, by closing it for puny reasons, you close information, even revolution.

1.3 BILLION people are on facebook. How many people are on my site? Well, not enough. How many people are on Paul’s plus Alex’s? 2,700.

Puny reasons? Of course. It’s even worse. It’s hypocritical. Not just ineffectual. I was watching a line of people around city blocks, 5 abreast, at 7 am, anxiously waiting for the latest iphone.

Thousands of people. Some had spent the night, waiting for the latest gimmick. All on Facebook. How does the iphone, or, in general, smartphones work?

With Coltan. Where does much Coltan come from, keeping the prices low? Congo. Illegally. Thank the dictator of Rwanda, Kagame, and his Anglo-Saxon puppet masters. Never heard of him? Indeed, not a kitten.

Five million burned kittens? Will you close the smartphone account? Vote with your pocketbook?

No, stand reassured, good people. Only 5 million dead Africans, and counting (although Obama has started squeezing Kagame, out of Congo, under French and UN pressure). With the full complicity of Susan Rice, national Security Adviser (and a long story all by herself). Too complicated, too dreadful to consider? Back to kittens.

And let’s not forget to protect the kitten burning maniacs, by protesting the showing of their pictures in the social media.

Hypo-Crisy means criticizing less than it deserves. Yes, FB is terrible, yes they are hypocrites, yes, the plutocrats associated to Facebook ought to be in the 99% tax bracket. Yes, indeed. But the average guy who lives off the cell phone like a leech, to save ten bucks, has collaborated with the death of millions.

And how did the collaboration start? By refusing to get the information. All burning kittens, 99%, and then making sure the perpetrators prosper on the burning kitten channel, as long as the good people persuaded of their own goodness avert their eyes, and then fork out cash for the world’s richest company, which pays only 2% tax, whereas the local bookstore, soon to burn down, from all the burning kittens running around, and the 35% tax the pro-plutocratic government insists the bookstore ought to be paying.

Before we get brains, we need eyes. And how could those who cannot even book the world at face value, think about it fairly? Plus, direct, real democracy, where all laws get voted by the people, and only the people, is only possible if, and only if, We The People get all, and the best, information.

Hence, those who advocate censorship reject real democracy. Instead they believe that higher human beings, the Big Brothers (let’s give them a name), have the right, and even the duty, to determine who and what, we, the Plebs, can be allowed to look at.

Ban censorship. In democracy We The People are free, free to know all.

Patrice Ayme’

Scottish Lessons; Catalonia Next

September 19, 2014

Scotland’s vote was a victory of democracy: 84% of the potential voters, voted. Nothing will be as it was before. The “No, tanks”, I mean, “No, thanks” scared rabbits won, with an impressive 55%. The “No, Thanks” were helped by enormous propaganda from the London elite, and promises never meant to keep. Yet, the debate is just starting. Worldwide.

It was independence from the London plutocracy which was demanded, and partially obtained further, even before voting, when London finally panicked, and offered whatever the Scots wanted.

It was pretty much plutocracy against Scotland: the financial markets rallied after they learned Scotland was nominally to stay subjugated to wealth friendly Westminster. Sir Mick Jagger and his fiscal paradises won (“Please to meet you, hope you guess my name…“).

The real fun is going to be when Catalonia proceeds with its independence referendum. This is going to be less civilized. The right wing Spanish Prime Minister is much less reasonable than David Cameron, the British PM. Of course, this is because Cameron was (erroneously, as he found out) sure to win, whereas the Spanish PM knows that Catalonia will vote for independence: a recent march for independence had 1.8 million Catalans in the streets, more than voted for independence in Scotland.

And the present French Prime Minister, the head strong Valls, in charge of saving France from herself, is Catalan born and raised. The French PM went to Catalonia, and made vibrant pro-European speeches there, in Catalan. For centuries, Catalonia, freed by Renovated Roman Emperor Charlemagne’s armies, was part of “France” (whatever “France” means), while Spain enjoyed an horrendous Islamist occupation. In practice, that meant Catalonia was independent for centuries… Until the German, Italian and Spanish fascists conquered the Catalan nation by force, massacres and gore, during their war against the Spanish republic (1936-1939).

Nationalism is obsolete. Yet direct democracy ought to be the future. There was an important transnational component in the Scottish vote, all for “independence”. Unsurprisingly, the anti-European hysteria in London pushed Scots away, and towards Europe.

“Independence” is all relative, as the Scottish National Party, like the Catalan one, is very pro-European.

In Athens, people had power: they voted themselves on the laws they wanted. Athenians did not “vote” through an oligarchy supposedly, and somehow, representing them. The “democracies” we have now are not democracies, but representative oligarchies. It’s joining insult to injury to call the regimes we suffer under, “democracies”.

Only the Swiss have a direct legislative democracy. Each of the 26 Cantons, has its own Constitution.

The independence referendum brought considerable concessions from London to Scotland. At least rhetorically. The UK now ought to equip itself with a federal constitution. No doubt that if London does not deliver, London will be punished.

Scotland is already a nation. Should it be a state? The average state in the USA is of the same size: 6 million people. The least to do is to give Scotland much more independence than the average American state enjoys, considering Scotland’s independent history (and resistance to the Romans, who never conquered it, although they tried, hard).

This is arguably even more true with Catalonia (more or less founded by Carthage, Catalonia was long independent, or part of the Frankish empire; Barcelona is named after Hamilcar Barca, a prominent Carthaginian plutocrat).

In general, as We The People vote by themselves, for themselves, the present oligarchies will have to make concessions. Thus just driving towards real democracy will have immediate effects, as it did in Scotland.

The lesson will resonate around the world. Time to ask for more than what the Scots already have. More independence from the powers that be.

Patrice Ayme’

No Burning Curiosity, No Morality?

September 18, 2014

What Else Those Who Don’t Want To Hear About Burning Kittens, Don’t Want To Hear About?

A video was linked on Facebook, supposedly showing a burning kitten. Some have clamored for Facebook to withdraw the video. That’s pusillanimous.

For evil to triumph, all what has to happen is for good people not to want to know about it.

What’s next, pusillanimous people? Are you going to censor the expert goring of a lion by a buffalo?

Horn Thru Belly Puts Lion In Orbit

Horn Thru Belly Puts Lion In Orbit

Shall we censor too, this gory violence against big kitty? He was just kindly eating the grounded fellow’s big rump.

(Contrarily to some PC description of that incident had it, there is no way the lion survived: the horn was only stopped by the tough hide after going nearly all the way through the kitty’s belly).

I am afraid all the people who ask for censorship are friends of Big Brother. What’s next, indeed? Each time a monk sets himself on fire, you will censor? What about respecting him enough to hear the case he is trying to make? Yes, showing the act is different from just entering that it happened, as a data point. More emotional content.

If one had shown people being gazed at Auschwitz, should people of upright character have asked Facebook to withdraw the video?

Well, I have news for you: that’s basically what Hitler’s Germans did: they censored everything. Hitler’s Germans did not want to see, they thought it would be immoral to see what was going on, they viewed as immoral those who wanted to show the immoralities.

If the Germans had seen the video of Auschwitz, there would have been no Auschwitz, and no Nazi regime, in a matter of weeks (this means the Allies were derelict in no advertising the extermination camps… But, of course, they had not seen the video, either. The democratic leaders knew the Nazis were evil, but did not guess that they were that evil… they did not want to know, either, as many of the leaders of the West had been accomplices of Nazism, prior).

I would personally love it that all crimes be made into videos, and put on Facebook. Start with the banksters.

For all the naïve, or ill informed, out there, burning a kitten is actually a crime, a prosecuted activity, by law. (Don’t try this at home, you would end in the slammer.)

I do not know where the kitten torture happened, but if the perpetrator could be identified, then he could be prosecuted (say as he crosses a border). Certainly in many EU countries, and in the USA, he could be prosecuted. (Cats and dogs are protected by special laws: however, torturing a mouse or a mole is perfectly legal.)

More than 3,000 people have died from ebola exponentiating: time for adult subjects, people. There is more serious stuff out there than perforated lions and burning kittens.u

Meanwhile Daesh (the so called, self-declared “Caliphate”, also known as ISIS; “Daesh” sounds in Arabic like “crushing under foot” and a period of trouble, so it’s a strongly pejorative propaganda trick which I recommend) has killed thousands of innocents.

Yet some selfish “pacifists” demonstrated in Washington when the top generals of the USA testified in Congress that they may advise the president to send ground troops in Iraq, if the situation changes (the French Republic has already troops on the ground in Kurdistan, fighting Daesh… while keeping a low profile).

Withdrawing that burning kitten video from the Internet will just allow the perpetrator to escape justice more easily. And it would set a very bad precedent.

Namely the precedent that, if it’s criminal, it should be hidden.

I am of the opposite persuasion: no information, no moralization.

BTW, I am also all for full beheading videos of journalists, and good Samaritans, to be shown (after appropriate and strong warnings). It puts the factual, thus correct, light on some religious philosophies.

I am not an ostrich. My ancestors actually ate ostriches. And I cannot understand why ostriches would ask for ever more sand in their eyes. But then again, higher understanding determines who eats what. Or whom.

Patrice Ayme’


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