Crazy Lie Technique

The Economist, the celebrated British tabloid, teaches economy thus: it siphons its European profits behind a mangy door of a second floor apartment in a poor part of Luxembourg. Would it be economical to pay taxes in the countries where The Economist is sold? Tax havens is where the good life is at, and The Economist just contrived a list to prove that.

Major profiteers and corporations do the same all over the world: they hide profits in tax havens they enabled through subtle conspiracies and deep propaganda. Why is the insanity allowed to go on? Not just because of corrupted politicians. Also because plutocratic agents made common people too confused to realize they are robbed blind. Instilling insanity is the plutocrats’ first barrier against common sense and decency.

Propaganda fabricates the spines of the sheeple (sheep-people). Here is a spectacular example. The “Economist Intelligence Unit crunched hard numbers” to answer this: “Which country will be the best for a baby born in 2013?” Here is its somewhat deranged answer:

Better Serving Emirs, Without Health Care?
Intelligent To Make Us Crazy & Stupid?

First of all notice that, among the first 15 countries, none is a major military power. In other words, these 15 countries depend upon the military superpowers for their protection. That is nothing to encourage, lest one wants to repeat World War II.

We saw what this kind of parasitism brought in 1939-1940: the pro-Hitlerian antics of Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands caused the loss of France, enabling 50 million Europeans to die subsequently; as a telling aside, Dutch Jews were killed nearly to the last person. 

Observe that sexist Muslim Fundamentalist regimes, with their subjugation of women, score high in The Economist’s esteem. This sadomasochism theme, unsaid, runs deep.

Among other amusements, Cyprus is one of the better places to live, according to The Economist Intelligence. Cyprus is an island cut in two, a few years ago, when Turkey attacked militarily by sea and in the air, invading it with its army, twice (well named operations Attila). Cyprus survives, without a peace treaty, the butt of Turkish hostility. Another full war, with more atrocities, is entirely possible as Turkey increasingly veers towards Islamism. But, according to the mental retards at The Economist Intelligence, Cyprus ranks higher than Japan, France and Britain, none of which is under foreign occupation. Maybe The Economist Intelligence finds lethal atrocities of the massive type one of the better spices in life?

So? What else? Why to live in a place that could be wracked by war again, just off Syria, with so many who have lost their property and can never again where they were born? Cyprus is a tax haven. Tax avoidance, the meat of life, according to Economist Intelligence!

According to The Economist Intelligence, Singapore is deemed safe, while the acceleration of sea level rise is 60% higher than the most pessimistic official forecasts (countries such as the Belgium or the Netherlands are spending already much to fight the advancing sea). For those unawares, Singapore, a tax haven, is barely built above high tide.

The Economist self glorifies, as it pontificates that “the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a sister company of The Economist, has this time turned deadly serious. It earnestly attempts to measure which country will provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life in the years ahead.”

So the other times, The Economist admits that it was not “deadly serious“? It was just seriously deadly, as when it  supported Pinochet? I sent the following to The Economist, and they published it:

The Economist’s biases comes in many guises. The Economist now tells us that tiny Israel, hated on all sides, surrounded by a ghetto like wall, and with the high likelihood to be plunged into five or six horrendous wars, nuclear or not, with impacts all over its minuscule vegetated territory, scores higher for a “healthy, safe and prosperous life” than all major West European countries?

Does The Economist know how to spell C R A Z Y?

And Switzerland, a small enclave stuck between France, Germany and Italy, does particularly well? As if it were on another planet? Whereas, in truth, Swiss schemes are highly dependent upon whether the EU and the USA are going to let them happen, looking forward. 

And Ireland, which lives partly from being an outrageous tax heaven (like Switzerland with its Vereins) will keep on being a tax heaven, thus staying rich, while keeping on getting subsidies from its poorer, but ten to fifteen times larger European neighbors?

And Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are much safer than Italy? The Chinese plutocrats will not go silly in the next 50 years? The Chinese leaders will not abide by the deep desires of their underground Lord? Just in case The Economist does not know, let it be reminded that the People Republic of China reserves itself the right to recover Taiwan, anytime, by force, and that, should there be problems within the PRC, it will be only natural to distract the sheeple with a good foreign war.

Crunching numbers” is good, thinking, better.

This incident offers a troubling two dimensional space: along one dimension, The Economist is really stupid, along the other, The Economist is launched into a multi-dimensional propaganda operation, no holds barred. Notice that in The Economist’s classification, tax heavens score high. Notice also that the large countries, which are taking increasing measures against tax cheats, are scoring low. An argument The Economist uses, even against the USA, is that they owe large debts.

What The Economist “forgets” to say is that the large countries, which defend the West, owe large debts, because they pay rent to tax cheats (including, but not limited to tax cheating plutocrats, tax cheating countries such as those glorified by The Economist, and tax cheating corporations, such as the one that owns The Economist).

In passing, The Economist mentions that the Netherlands, a sneaky tax haven, is the only Eurozone country worth living in. Just in case Luxembourg does not work anymore, the Netherlands, which is 30 times larger, should be able to shelter The Economist from big bad Franco-Germano-British taxes. (Netherlands population: 17 million, UK + FRA + DEU = 210 million.)

The Economist’s analysis of the best places in which to be born started with another piece of classical propaganda. That great plutocratic philosopher, Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest and deepest men (Buffet splurged with various manipulations that turned Greece into a colossal profits him and his associates) was quoted extensively as opining that he was who he was, that splendor of a vulture, because he was born in the right country, as the right time.

The Economist Intelligent Unit is intelligent enough to pose as exemplary the USA in general, and its plutocracy in the 1930s, and in the 2010s, while talking about the good life.

Hitler famously explained in “Mein Kampf” how Big Lies work: “little people use little lies all the time, they do not expect big ones…“By using Big Lies, Hitler succeeded to persuade the Volk of things that were not true, as he pursued what he viewed as higher aims, that he knew the Volk would disagree with, such as preparing for a world war in 1945 or the extermination of the Jews.

If most Germans had learned about either of these secret aims of Hitler, they would have been horrified and would have viewed Hitler as insanely dangerous… So, knowing this, he lied, big time.

However, as time went by, Hitler became a mental investment most Germans believed in, and the more they invested in him, the more they believed. (A phenomenon well known in the stock markets, as all too many people tend to fall in love with their investments… however bad those turn out to be.) In the end complete collective insanity took over, as the book Soldaten, relating secret recordings of German POWs, shows (Soldaten is also in English with same title).

Now we have something new, that even Hitler did not think about: the Crazy Lie. The Crazy Lie technique makes people accepting of modes of apprehending reality that prevent them to think seriously.

The Crazy Lie Technique is, first, emotional. The Economist used to support Pinochet’s dictatorship for its economic prowess (paid in part with around 5,000 killed and 31,947 officially tortured). Some will say: that was then. Indeed. The USA helped or led, and paid terrorists right wingers to make a coup in a democracy that never had any coup (the USA was furious about losing control of Chilean copper).

Chili was, is, a European foundation. What happened to it was horrible, but The Economist applauded, just as Milton Friedman applauded. Many in the Pinochet junta were on CIA pay roll, while heating up their electrical pincers.

By posing the United Arab Emirates as what we need to emulate, The Economist is actually sinking even lower than it did under Pinochet. The UAE has no European foundation. The UAE is a sordid medieval pluto-theocracy. Some emir, son of his father, is chosen by his medieval tyrannical peers to be the chief, just as was the case in Transylvania 8 centuries ago.

Differently from Middle Age France, though, more than 80% of the UAE’s inhabitants are NOT citizens. They are basically salaried slaves. Health spending proportionally to UAE GDP is only 2.8%, the 181th rank in the world (there are only 193 nations in the UN; as Emirati citizens get health care, that means that non Emirati, the slaves, get none). The UAE enjoys four billionaires with worth around ten billion dollars. Out of a million Emirati (among 4.5 million foreign slaves, servants & mercenaries).

The UAE is Sunni Muslim, and it faces hated Shiah Iran just across the sea of the Arabic, I mean, Persian Gulf. The UAE is basically a Western Plutocratic outpost, not exactly what the Iranian theocrats fancy. Fortunately for the thousands of Persian rockets at the ready, the hundreds of huge towers of the UAE (culminating up to half a mile high in Dubai!) offer themselves as ready targets.

To warn Iran off, the French were requested by the UAE to open a sea-air base, with half a brigade of the French Foreign Legion in residence. Thus the Camp de la Paix came to be.

War with Iran is more likely than not. Although crumbling towers and fireworks among great explosions promises a good show, by assimilating this to the good life, the Economist Intelligence Unit apparently advocates massive lethal sadomasochism as the dominant pursuit of our desires.

Not all is dark in the UAE; it is a place that strives very hard, from pretty bad initial conditions (aside from having the world’s 7th highest oil reserves). But here what I target is the cult that Anglo-Saxon plutocratic media such as The Economist, and the Financial Times enjoy.

Both of the much admired tabloids ferry their revenue through Luxembourg for tax avoidance, which, on that scale, surely is satanic.

So why convey the insane idea that the United Arab Emirates provides with a healthier (2.8% of GDP on health, remember) and safer (obvious target for Iranian nukes) life? Just out of love for plutocrats? Not, not just that. What is taught here is insanity itself.

What is taught is an erosion of intelligence. The Economist Intelligence Unit is out to destroy intelligence.

Teaching people that “crunching numbers” leads to the mathematical conclusion that the UAE provides with much nicer prospects than Japan, France, Britain, Italy or Spain, is so crazy that the notion can only be accepted by suspending one’s critical and intellectual capabilities.

And this suspension of rationality and criticism is what The Economist teaches.

So we are supposed to join the plutocratic cult that Singapore is a much better place to be born than the USA. Or that the United Arab Emirates, a rabidly sexist medieval pluto-theocracy where most inhabitants are foreign slaves, just a handful of minutes away for the thousands of missiles of the hated Iranians, is obviously much safer and healthier than… the French Republic (of course!)

After I wrote most of this essay Lord Justice Brian Leveson, mandated by PM Cameron, came up with his report on the UK press. Leveson writes: “Most responsible corporate entities would be appalled that employees were or could be involved in the commission of crime in order to further their business. Not so at the News Of The World (the now-shuttered tabloid that was owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, owner of the WSJ, Fox news, New York Post, etc., and powerful enough to be a part instigator of the war in Iraq, hence Murdoch’s nickname: Murderoch).

“Lord Justice” observes that the press “did not fullfill its role of guardian of the nation“. (Hey, The Economist spits on the nation!) The ‘Right Honourable Lord Justice’ recommends that the press  should create its own regulator, backed by legislation to make sure it meets certain standards of independence and effectiveness.

What we contemplate in The Economist is a further problem. What to do when crazy lies are created, just to erode reason? The problem is not restricted to the plutocratic cult, but other cults, as the Islamist one.

Egypt’s Muslim Fundamentalist parliament is rushing to pass Islamist legislation, making the Sharia into law. Never mind that Egypt thrived without Islam, a military-industrial superstition, for 4,000 years. Egypt was 100% Christian, for centuries. The word “Copt” itself is the Arabization of the word for Egyptian in Greek. In other words, to use some humor, the Muslims stole Egypt from the Egyptians, and are still at it, because, well, truth is secondary.  There are up to 20 million Copts in Egypt (Islamists will tell you that’s a lie).

Plutocracy and superstition reign best upon decerebrated chickens. So the chicken they decerebrate. Nowadays, though, the tsunami threatening civilization is not a few meters high, but kilometers high. Even the plutocrats and other exploiters will be destroyed by it, with most of the biosphere.

What we need is legislating for more truth. I proposed to make TRUTH as a new branch of government. After all, experiments show that equity, thus justice, is fundamental to primates. But what is equity without truth? What is a primate without truth? TRUTH & REASON ARE ESSENTIAL TO HUMAN RIGHTS.

What is essential ought to be legislated, thus civilization is enabled.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

P/S: Last, but not least, morality, at the scale of nations, makes happy (at variable scales of time). And safe. Thus morality is a crucial component for tomorrow’s health and happiness (although what ‘morrow’ means will vary considerably: Germany was punished on the scale of generations, Sweden never was, the USA already self punished, in part, with the Secession War, but more works need to be done).

Notice that I excluded not just the medievalists countries, or those waiting for heavy military action, but also the tax cheats from the list: Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Singapore, Hong Kong (also disqualified as owned by a dictatorship). Others have also to disqualified on even worse moral grounds.

I do not contest that Australia and Canada are good countries to be born. If one’s aim is wealth and comfort, in the next few years. However the ecological policies of these countries are so greedy as to endanger the planet’s ecology. They contribute massively to fossil fuel burning. One wants to keep in mind that the unfolding catastrophe of heat trapping gases pollution will be terminated by a massive world war, not just flooding, droughts, hurricanes, mass extinctions, rising heat, and collapse of oxygen production.

Being born in countries where one’s moral system will be tweaked towards tolerance for mass criminality is not, regrettably a criterion that The Economist put as an input. But it is neither willing, nor able, to do so.

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30 Responses to “Crazy Lie Technique”

  1. richard reinhofer Says:

    Your writing is phenomenal. But you need to break it up. Smaller bites Patrice.

    Luv Ya!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks Richard for the appreciation! Do not you know that breaking up is hard to do? (To make my case worse, I added a Post Scriptum meanwhile, reaching an ominous 2,600 words, about four times the length of a Krugman editorial.)
      Montaigne (to whom some Californian lawyer used to compare me to repeatedly ten years ago, with a generosity that encouraged me deeply) did not make short essays either. And he even came back and boosted them with further complexity in the following years (something I do NOT do, because it would flatten insight, emotionally and logically).

      The world is not simple, and can be heavy. Actually my next essay, quite a bit more ponderous, may handle the subject of complexity, or lack thereof.

      Anyway, thanks! LY2!
      PA

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Richard: Another problem with “smaller bites” (as Krugman, and most “bloggers” do) is that one spends one’s time in introductions and conclusions, and very little substance in between. So one ends up saying always the same things, with very little logic attached.

      One of my basic insights is that context is even more important than logic. Context, more correct context, means lots of space and dimensions.
      PA

      • richard reinhofer Says:

        Musicians often struggle with expression within a confined space. It’s can be the difference that separates genius from expert.

        The problem is mine and you correctly defined it, I expected a “blog” where you intend something different. Believe me I thank you for the difference, heck I followed you here from the NYT comments you used to provide. It’s a smaller world there now, but this space smells nice.

        It is big and scary though!

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Richard: Thank you for following. And thank you for seeing it my way.

          Yes, you are very right, the aim is completely different from little “blog” posts. The problem being that if one never dig deep enough, one gets used to be shallow, and everyone expects sounds bites to replace logical complexity in vast shimmering contexts. I don’t want either to try to build “systems” as some philosophers tried to do (once again, because contexts dominate the logics that inhabit them).

          To avoid systemic error, Nietzsche correctly decided to make “books of aphorisms” to eschew the systematic error of trying to build systems at all cost. I used to cut down my essays fiercely: it was time consuming, and self devouring. The essays are not meant to be read in one piece, and I prefer to say a bit too much than not enough. If readers find the going boring, irritating or a red herring, they can always jump to the next paragraph, or section…

          BTW, I have made myself very sparse on the NYT, because I got tired of their enormous censorship (especially during the last Obama campaign). I would send ten comments, they would stop nine, just because they were not in the Party Line. Also I resent the very necessity to keep having to collaborate with a censorship board that routinely differ comments by 12 or more hours, while it checks the worth of my thoughts.

          In the end I deduced they were just not worth debating with. There is only so much one can extract from their main editorialists. At least during the Iraq War, they were often massively wrong, whereas now they are not even that… ;-)!
          Ironically there is very little censorship on The Economist and WSJ (at least they never censored me, although they have cracked down on the occasional hate mongerer…) But, in the case of the WSJ, the readers tend clearly to be not as smart as in the NYT…

          I notice with pleasure that Barry/Barack has made official he would stop negotiating with himself… (A point I had long insisted on…) Good.

          He should next extend his self psychoanalysis to Egypt and the Palestinians. The Palestinians do something right, he condemns them, for non sensical patapsychotic reasons, while Morsi is trying to impose Shariah on Egypt, and Obama stays silent. At least Clinton barked at israel… It’s one big village now.
          PA

  2. Angry Beaver Says:

    Canada is the best country.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Angry Beaver: Canada is best, especially for beaver hunting, so I empathize with your anger. I do not contest that Australia and Canada are good countries to be born, if one wants to splurge. British Columbia, where I have resided a bit, is stunning.
      However the ecological policies of Australia and Canada are greedy and lamentable. One wants to keep in mind that the unfolding catastrophe of heat trapping gases pollution will be terminated by a massive world war.

      Being born in countries where one’s moral system is tweaked towards tolerance for increasing mass criminality is not, regrettably, a criterion that The Economist put as an input.
      PA

  3. Paul Handover Says:

    Thanks PA. Been thinking of cancelling my Economist subscription after being a reader for 10 years or so. You have hit the final nail! Paul

  4. asgd Says:

    “And Switzerland, a small enclave stuck between France, Germany and Italy does particularly well?”
    One word: YES.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      asgd: The vampire does well, hanging on the cow’s neck. Switzerland may be doing well now, but it is still a small enclave, not to say a small parasite. Meaning that its fate cannot be vastly different from that of its mighty neighbors (total population 30 times that of Switzerland, just for the countries with common borders). Neighbors, or hosts?

      In the Second World War, the Confederation Helvetique behaved in more than a disgusting way. Direct bombing by the US Air Force helped reset its ways.

      Switzerland, fully willingly, was making ball bearings for the Nazis, among other crimes. The USA bombed the Swiss ball bearing factory.

      In the last few decades, Switzerland helped thousands of the world’s worst plutocrats in their criminal enterprises. But now the USA, German, Italian and French criminal repression minstries have squeezed the Swiss banking industry.

      Not doubt Switzerland is doing well, some of it through its technological genius, and an excellent policy focused on education. However, some of the Swiss advantage has also to do with the shelter it enjoys from its big neighbors, and much still from the advantages its old collaboration with Hitler, dirty banking activities and tax haven brought.

      The EU can squeeze Switzerland into more correct behavior, it’s not master of its destiny. Just the Swiss love to hallucinate that way.
      PA

  5. mamaAworld Says:

    Singapore is indeed MUCH MUCH more safer than Italy.Don’t be biased in the other direction just for the sake of the argument.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      mamaAworld: The point was not whether Singapore was MUCH MUCH more more safer safer than Italy, whatever that means. Section 377A for example criminalizes gay sex, making Singapore obviously unsafe for gays (among other categories).

      My point was different: sea level rise. Italy is mostly mountains, except for the Po plain (which could be dammed), it has no existential threat from the ocean. Singapore does, and the government now forbids construction less than 5 feet above high tide.

      Politically, Singapore is just a tiny city-island, squeezed between giant countries, with Muslim Fundamentalist Indonesia just off shore… Nothing safe that way.
      PA

  6. Old Geezer Pilot Says:

    So tell me why the Swiss Franc has appreciated so much over the last few years.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Old Geezer Pilot: I know Suisse very well. Some of my best, and most formative memories are from there. Once I even nearly died there in a mountain accident when in my zeroes (good memory as I survived).
      If I could connive a way to get a job there (in Suisse Romande), I would move there, for the sake of… my daughter’s education. Before I get called a hypocrite and self contradictory, I will just confess an entire book would be needed to do my position justice.

      One of my beefs with The Economist on Suisse was that it is unclear that Suisse will be able to keep its exact advantage for decades to come. That pretty much depends upon the large Europeans (not just Euro) states around to let it go on with its antics (like most of WORLD oil trade in Suisse Romande, for tax reasons). Switzerland is pretty much the new London. Maybe London will notice.

      The Franc went up precisely because:
      1) plutocratic rats fled their sinking rafts in Italy, France, Germany… Avoiding taxation, selling Euros, buying Swiss. But the taxmen are breathing ever closer…
      2) The rats, as I already said, are fleeing the City of London… And flocking to Geneva.

      The USA has used the 2008 crisis, and UBS, to steal from Schweiz its status of number one tax haven. Worked well: Switzerland is in free fall that way. So we will see what next. Right now the Franc is pegged to the Euro, and Switzerland is trying to please its Euro neighbors, with hundreds of bilateral treaties, so far rather lenient to the tiny mountainous enclave. But that does not have to last.
      Anyway, Switzerland is not really independent; strikes in France can, and did, shut down its oil supply, etc.

      This being said, I do believe, very strongly, as I said in the past, that, we would gain in the Eu and USA, to imitate the Swiss democratic model (as California did, partly, with its propositions). Europe should pay more attention.

      TE calls Suisse “boring”. But it’s not as much boring as amoral, or immoral, hence very discrete in some political ways. That does not have to do with its democratic system, but represents an accomodation from living with a profitable plutocracy (a recent example is the Grippen saga, where, obviously, corruption has been at work).

      Living in a corrupt country tend to make people, to some extent, corrupt, and is not the best gift to a child (if I were in Suisse, I would tell my child what’s really going on; BTW, the Swiss themselves have started a 180 degre on Swiss based plutocracy in recent years…)

      I hope this sketch satisfies…
      PA

  7. Old Geezer Pilot Says:

    Well, Switzerland used to dominate the watch biz. That ended with the quartz movement. And chocolates.

    Oh, did I forget to mention tax evasion and money laundering?

    I guess these two are enough to generate demand for the SF.

    And the “propositions” in CA which were initiated by Gov Hiram Johnson in 1915 to counter the Railroad Barons has been co-opted by big money. Put enough TV ads on and you could pass or block any bill.

    Once a good idea; now just another propaganda tool.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear OGP: Did not some progressive propositions pass in California in the last round of voting? Prop 30? (I know that Californians were persuaded by a last minute 50 million dollars campaign that Genetically Monsterified Organisms were perfectly safe to eat and have around.)

      The Swiss Franc lift was greatly due to the recent exodus of all sorts of very rich plotters to Suisse, and the accompanying investments they make into themselves (same for Luxembourg, and to some extent Belgium and the Netherlands. Notice that I do NOT mention Austria, which seems to be playing the game corectly). Those plotters want a tax haven, but not in a place full of low lives and mosquitoes. The plotters want the high life in Europe, for them and their kids, whatever TE thinks, Dubai huge sign posts for Iranian missiles targetting don’t attract them much (although singapore and HK are viewed as momentarily, and monetarily attractive, for the instant…)

      Referenda work in Switzerland, to a great extent (e.g., a measure against overbuilding of secondary residences passed, to the furore of many a micro plutocrat). Although I disagreed with the 1992 anti-European (anti-EEE) vote, Swiss public opinion has only become more against meanwhile.

      Right now the major income maker in Suisse is the medical drug sector. Banking is second, and could fade fast. Huge investments in high education & research. 6 billions more for trains just between Geneve and Vaud (Lausanne, an hour away). There is no doubt that whatever works well in Confederation Helvetique is due to direct democracy (and also bilateral treaties with Europe, which forced in 15% immigrants in the last few years!).
      PA

  8. Old Geezer Pilot Says:

    Interesting comments on Confederation Helvetique. 40 years ago, 1 USD bought you 3,4 SF. How times do change, especially when you are NOT a major country much less an Empire.

    As for CA propositions, we are still reeling under the onus of prop 13, done to us in 1978. Win some, lose most.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear OGP: Clearly Prop 13 is monstruous. It basically froze state property taxes at 1% of the price of an element of real estate as assessed in 1978…. as long as there was no transfer of ownership, and corporations found loopholes to allow transfer without transfer, modulo shell companies.

      Corporations have used Prop 13 to pay basically no taxes. The Stanford Shopping Center, which makes millions of dollars, every week, is actually a Boston owned corporation, and pays basically no tax. Astoundingly Californian sheeple are happily bleating that’s OK with them. They are too mesmerized by Larry Elison’s Oracle teams…
      PA

  9. Hazxan Says:

    Excellent observations (as ever), Patrice!

    The Economist article is flawed on so many levels. They avoid mention of what social class to be born into. Are they rating according to the average person, or someone in the top few percent? I would assume that if you are in the top 2 or 3%, it doesn’t matter *where* you are born.

    I also noticed the little comment on their article about “wealth increasing happiness”. Yet in the mass-media, time and time again, we hear the message that money can’t buy happiness. The subtext being that if you are poor and unhappy, there’s something wrong with “you” not the system inflicted on you at birth. Because after all, we don’t choose where and into what class we’re born.

    On Switzerland, I am perpetually mystified as to why this little country in the mountains has become so wealthy and manages to avoid all wars for generations. And more mystified as to why nobody else asks seems to notice this! it’s not really a true independant country is it? Maybe Nepal could offer to do the job of looking after the global stash, at more competitive fees and interest!

    BTW Patrice, keep the articles as long as you need to make your points!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Hazxan: Thank you for your compliments and welcome to the comment section of this site (crucial, because debates are much more instructive than monologues, as Plato recognized 24 centuries ago!)

      Although it may not matter that much where one is born, if among the richest 2-3% planetary wise, I do think that, even if one is in the top 2 to 3%, it matters where one lives.

      This explains why real estate is so incredibly expensive in France, all over, although, if one just looks at the CIA numbers, GDP per head, etc., the attraction is not obvious. Quality of life (and conversation, once one has mastered the language!) is simply higher in France. The same holds a fortiori for Switzerland, in some respects. There is actually a multi generational tradition to send the children of the very rich for education in Switzerland. The reason being that private school there does not cost more than in Oakland, say, Oakland being the murder capital of California (population five times Switzerland!)

      Money buys happiness, when, and where, money buys what is essential for life. For example, in the USA, students have now around one trillion dollars in debt. Their French equivalent have NO debt (although France does!).

      Switzerland’s story is fascinating. Way back, they were Celts (a part of middle France). Then they decided to move west. Caesar, prompted by the Eudes (one of the two most important Celtic tribe) killed most of their army, nearly 400,000, and forcefully resettle them in Helvetia (to block the Germans from occupying the void). After that, they were calm, for more than 1,200 years.

      Next cantons became independent, one after the other. This had to do with the fact that, after the collapse of Roman imperial authority (illegitimate, anyway), the Franks did not establish an authoritarian inheritance system of said authority. So the election system of the emperor was not well admitted. Before soon, the Alps were covered with republic. The southern one (Escartons) went into heavy debt, and sold itself to the Crown of France. Switzerland kept going, with extremely complicated relationships with Austria, Bourgogne, Savoy, France. Relations involving all sorts of wars.

      Switzerland was part of Napoleon’s empire. Switzerland stayed out of the (SWISS citizen! Not French!) Napoleon III’s war that freed Italy from Austria. Nap III had been part of the Italian terrorist group fighting for independance… Anyway the only thing Geneva did, was the Red Cross. But Switzerland had not helped directly.

      Switzerland stayed out of WWI (although the French had contingency plans, in case the Prussian army went through Jura Suisse; it went through Belgium and Luxembourg instead). Italy joined the war later, on the democratic side, when it saw that france and Britain should win, and it could gain some (mostly Italian speaking territory).

      In WWII, Switzerland milked Nazism for all it was worth, but, differently from the other shameful “neutrals”, it was not attacked by Hitler. True, the Swiss army was ready to close itself up in an Alpine redoubt, meaning that to destroy it would have been costly, and the nazis knew this. Anyway, they were getting all they wanted from the Swiss, from ball bearing to management of US companies inside the Reich, through Geneva.

      Avoiding war, while profiting from it, and preserving exploitative schemes from it, will make a country rich. Basically the plutocrats used the Nazis, and Switzerland was their friend. After the Nazis collapsed, Switzerland was even dearer to the plutocrats, and the love was returned. In France, right now, scars from WWi and WWII are still open and festering (entire cities were rebuilt in a slip shot way, after complete destruction). For example Toulon, in Provence, razed by the American Air Force, was badly rebuilt, and needs to re-rebuilt, to this day (work is proceeding very very slowly).

      The vote of Switzerland for the recognition of the Palestinian State at the UN is a very positive evolution, though, where Suisse goes from refusing to help human rights to actively defending them, in the teeth of North American opposition. But, after the way the Obama adminstration treated the Swiss banking sector, basically hypocritically grabbing market share, the Swiss feel less awed by the USA.

      Thanks for encouraging me to me as thorough as primarily needed! ;-)!
      PA

  10. Alexi Helligar Says:

    We must remember that without context logic can be very stupid. The illogical and the stupid are not the same things.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Excellent point Alexi! Context always has logic, and logic always has context. From overlooking this, the paradoxes of logic arose. Reality has confirmed this general… logic. Quantum Physics is all about contexts. Geometrical contexts. Quantum is not just about measurment, but measures the world at hand. All of it. Initial conditions become the implicate order of the whole.
      PA

  11. Strakosch Says:

    In reply to Tyranosopher,Dec 3rd:
    Stop this tired hypocrite badmouthing of Switzerland’s behavior in WW2. If your country is surrounded by the Devil’s armies, it is your moral duty to do just enough to keep hell away from your country. Wishing the fate of Poland for small Switzerland is absolutely disgusting.
    The co-operation of the US and the UK with Satan, your Uncle Joe Stalin, was thousand time worse (let alone the massive war crimes committed by the British and the Americans): The US and the UK were not in the hands of Stalin.
    The Swiss banks’ compliance system is now much better than that of most European countries.
    The dirty activities are going on in Delaware, the Marshall Islands, the Channel Islands, the BVI, etc.
    Your cynical slanders and total lack of self-reflection are a monstrosity, to say the least.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Strakosch: Wow wow wow. Better than coffee you are! I agree with many of the points you make, unfortunately for you. Indeed Switzerland is assuredly cleaner than the USA now, and was cleaner in, say, 1940, than the USA was. And yet…

      USA plutocrats and oil men allowed Hitler to have the weapons, financing, oil, synthetic rubber, lead tetraethyl, targetting sights, plexiglass armor, computers, trucks, etc., and implicit racial, or explicit diplomatic support that Hitler needed. My sites are full of informations relating to this shameful empowerment of the Nazis by the (all too many of the) American “capitalists” and their allies in Congress, or the White House.

      Clearly if Texas and, later, Stalin, had not given Hitler’s tanks oil, he would not have been able to drive around Spain, let alone France. Indeed in 1944-45 what hurt the Nazis the most was the lack of oil, for fuel and making explosives. They had the weapons, they had the men, they had the will and insanity. They lacked the fuel and the explosives. Jet fighters were pulled around with oxen when on the ground (not a joke, just an observation!)

      However, the fact remains that, when finally the USA had turned around, and was trying to stop the Nazis by precision bombing of ball bearing factories, they finally found out that Switzerland was making the ball bearings. Hence a famous “bombing error” when a US armada destroyed part of Switzerland. So sorry about that.

      IBM famously was managing all the Nazi computers (all of them leased by IBM!)through their subsidiary in Geneva. And so on.
      The shame will go on and blossom, as long as reality is not faced: Swiss democracy willingly, as a nation and state, collaborated with Hitler. So did Sweden. Nobody forced them to.

      And of course the case of the plutocracy of the USA is even more fascinating: the collaboration never stopped, even decades after 1945 (!) See for example pretty much anything having to do with aerospace in the USA. the moon shot was pretty much a (Peenemude-Nazi shot.

      BTW, Sweden was even worse than Switzerland, and France was ready to cut it in two in May 1940.

      In any case, you are on the right track, keep on being indignant! Even about Switzerland’s greedy and treacherous ways in WWII! It is 40 million of greedy hypocritical neutral that were a sufficent cause of the Fall of France in 1940 (hence more than 50 million dead in Europe alone). Sweden and Switzerland are exhibits number three and four (as Belgium and the Netherlands were arguably even more damaging, at least in 1940).
      PA

  12. Heat Is On, USA Cooking US All « Some of Patrice Ayme’s Thoughts Says:

    [...] Intelligence at the core of humanism. « Crazy Lie Technique [...]

  13. danieldanieldaniel Says:

    Assume you are given the task to list 80 countries based on life quality of a random person in each country. Clearly no one has lived extensively in 80 countries so you cannot take an unbiased poll (or even one that makes sense). So what is the only thing you can do? Collect data and crunch it through an algorithm. The Economist’s list might not be perfect, but it is an approximation to the answer of the question of the task. The algorithm will be blind to some criteria because there is so much data you can analyze before the whole endeavor becomes too complicated.

  14. Jeff McG Says:

    Patrice,

    With France ranked 26th, I see right away where the problem is in your estimation. Great Britain’s pathetic economy has little to brag about compared to its former glory. Average British have to sacrifice a lot for the bankers. For what it’s worth I predict that William and Kate will relinquish the British monarchy, a fantasy ordinary Britons can (not just now but for a long time) ill afford. Britain, like the U.S. coddles the rich too much with too many undeserved tax loopholes. Ironic that only now the Brits are trying to get more taxes out of the likes of Google, Microsoft, etc.
    Only a tax code so riddled with loopholes and undeserved exemptions like ours in the U.S. results in a company like GE employing 975 people only doing tax avoidance. The Congress is responsible because they made the laws that make this possible. Americans should hold them responsible for what they have wrought, but most seem to be clueless.

    As for Egypt, had Mubarak’s overthrow been widely anticipated perhaps some group other than the Muslim Brotherhood could have taken power. As it was, they were able to step into the power vacuum without much difficulty. For all of Mubarak’s ability to keep the Western powers happy while banning Muslim extremists eager to subjugate Egyptian women with Sharia law, he did nearly nothing to raise the standard of living of average Egyptians. That is one of the most common reasons extremists can take power: a nation in which the average citizen is living under great economic hardship.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hi Jeff!
      Thanks for the feedback on my penultimate essay!

      Kate the Duchess of Cambridge and whatever his name her husband, are living plutocratic symbols. When one has learned to kiss the hollowed ground by their feet, one has learned to love being subjugated to plutocracy. I find you optimistic to say they will abdicate. They are presently not doing so.

      My honorable spouse spent some time in London, the City of London, more exactly, the plutocratic enclave with its own government, recently, for work, and came back disgusted, not to say furiously revolted by the class aspect of it all. The lack of past real revolutions was found revolting! No more talking about moving there for work!

      For some curious reason, the Brits love to humiliate themselves with their Lords, Queens, Dukes, Duchesses, and rich corrupt guys all over (see the Australian Murdoch and his well paid pet Blair).

      Kate and whatever his name may want to relinquish their positions, lest they get assassinated or something. indeed things are not going to improve, and we may have a return to the realization in the late 19C of plutocracy inchoating. That brought the assassination of president Mc Kinley, by an anarchist, and the accession of his VP, Theodore Roosevelt, and his anti-plutocratic reforms. That played a huge role in

      Agreed about Mubarak etc. One should notice Egypt has a serious plutocracy, complete with serious billionaires, and that goes a long way to explain how it is there. Plutocracy goes hand in hand with the dumbest theocracy one can invent. As the faithfull go on their knees, begging their mass homicidal “jealous” hyper plutocratic dog of a god, the “faithful” (to the hyper rich?) learn to lick the toes of their masters respectfully.

      One can only hopes that the slaves of dog and god in Islamist lands finally understand this! hence godspeed to the revolution in Egypt!

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