Lincoln, CO2, Oblabla, etc.

REALITY HAS AN ANTI-AMERICAN BIAS:
I don’t know much about Lincoln or the Secession War. Although I confess that I certainly know more that American college graduates. While I admit that this is nothing glorious, it’s enough to say plenty, in a grand American tradition of knowing it all, that I will denigrate, later in this essay.

Propelled by the momentum acquired by watching the excellent “Django Unchained”, I went on with doing my duty, and watching “Lincoln”. This movie frenzy started with “Life of Pi” watched with my three year old daughter. She is familiar with natural food procurement processes unfolding in nature documentaries. So she did not mind that the tiger killed the hyena. What scared her more were the waves, a healthy fear to have.

No Dark Side, No Humanity. A Paradox.

I heard that Obama liked the “Life of Pi”, while he did not like as much the Spielberg movie, “Lincoln”. I could guess why: “Lincoln” the movie had got to be boring for those not anxious to boast that they are intellectually inclined. The movies reminded me of a shallow version of one of my own essays, spread over three hours.

The movie depicts the last 4 months or so in Lincoln’s life. The Confederacy is running out of steam and men. The Civil War is finishing, but the mass dying on the battlefields is in no way abating. A butchery without compare in the history of the West. Lincoln is trying to use the momentum of his re-election and battlefield victories to abolish slavery. (As it was, slavery was finally outlawed after Lincoln’s assassination, in December 1865.)

Contemporary citizens of the USA can only find that picture uncomfortable. Is that all what the great USA was about? Buying people? what sort of city on the hill was that? what sort of example for humanity? And it was a scandal not being able to buy people anymore? Was slavery the greatest cause worth dying for?

The movies is thus somewhat anti-American, as it shows too much reality, the incredible trash that political life was in the USA at the time. OK, sorry about discriminating against that particular period. it’s still trashy today, one could even say trashier than ever. After all, courtesans in Washington are trying to kill the planet.

I saw a picture of Obama shooting a gun today (OK, that was an appropriate gun, so gigantic it was not conducive to mass shooting). Apparently to show he still loved guns, in spite of all the little children dying, pierced with bullets. Is this was the presidential moral fiber has come down to? Salute the shooting of the children by the shooting of the guns? Should have Lincoln tried to seduce his opposition too? Will I have dreams of Lincoln passing by, pulled by with powerful black men chained to his chariot, he whips softly?

If Obama had been in the White House instead of Lincoln, in 1865, would he have had photographers immortalize him, whipping up a slave, to show to the slave lobby that he, Obama loved slaves too?

Obama could point out that gun totting Americans shooting down gun totting Americans is not as big a problem as Americans buying Americans. Right. Especially in Washington: is it not the essence of the place?

However Americans shooting down their own families (according to statistics, that’s the most marking activities of those with guns) is only a psychological hook: something very small, very hard, with lots of consequences.

If Americans are obsessive about shooting other Americans, should we be surprised that they don’t mind thinking exactly what they masters told them to think, and shooting the biosphere down too? Something about the rage inside rather that the speech outside. A complementary principle. obama is often too subtle by half, and gets played instead of being the one playing.

Strictly from statistics, the USA is the only developed country where most of the war dead happened during a Civil War (the losses were close to one million, the latest scholarship shows: about 3% of the population).

***

HIS DARK SIDE WAS BIGGER THAN YOURS:
“Lincoln” the movies, shows that Lincoln, the president, had to buy his way out of slavery. Lincoln used whatever it took. Big difference with the not-doing-anything-much president.

Obama and his plutocratic demoncratic Congress (yes: demon-cratic) did not put much pressure on banks, health providers and corporations. According to Obama, these problems do not compare with slavery.

But Obama is wrong. Slavery was a joke. A very very very bad joke, but still a joke. They might as well have sold human meat at the market. Actually that’s what they did. But it went against the flow of civilization. The Romans themselves would have been shocked by American racism. American slavery was that weird. That full of hatred and greed.

The problem with the present atmospheric crisis is that it is doing judo with civilization; it’s using the very momentum of civilization, to trip it. The present crisis goes with the flow, and was never seen before.

The worst scandal being the USA-led total absence of any serious efforts to stop the climate catastrophe.

In all these things Obama did not exert presidential powers, contrarily to what many of his predecessors did, and Lincoln did, first of all. Obama was opposed within his own party on cap and trade, and, instead of threatening to destroy his opponents, small hurtful piece by small hurtful piece, he made clear he did not want to fight.

A commander in chief who can’t fight? A commander in chief who thinks it is wiser to not engage in battle? What a bizarre notion. It’s the symptom of someone who did not read the job’s description.

I suspect that Obama, who tries to ride Lincoln as he were a horse, has reason to feel diminished by the 16th president. Obama goes around writing on official documents, that he is black. And Obama went all out to kill Bin Laden. And Obama went all too much out ordering extrajudicial killings and drone madness. True. But all this is Mickey Mouse style Dark Side.

The real, the glorious Dark Side is about shock and awe, not popularity, but fear, and justice. The real Dark Side, the useful Dark Side, the honorable Dark Side, is about doing what is necessary for the highest moral purposes. All has, always will be.

Obama’s Mickey Mouse Dark Side is a smokescreen that should not fool those who are real tough. When he had to be really tough with financiers, corporations, the fossil fuel lobbies, gun lobby, military (Afghanistan), and the for profit health care lobby Obama just meowed, and purred.

In other words, when Obama had to be real tough to the modern slave masters, he just folded. Lincoln did not fold. That’s why he has a big statue in Washington standing in a silent judgment on those of his successors who just aspire to free rent, girls, bodyguards, and lots of money, a la Bill Clinton, the president of the Degenerate State of America.

(Or Utterly Stupid America? It’s Clinton and his minions who empowered financiers, by diverting most money creation towards financial derivatives, and the likes of Enron. To this day, the fact that the Demoncratic Party is full of Romneys escapes the little minds.)

Lincoln had to use the Dark Side, for the triumph of goodness, big time, because George Washington had not had the moral courage to do his job. Lincoln went, well, all out. This is mentioned in the movies during an exchange Lincoln has with the commander of the US Army Ulysses Grant (himself president later).
***

SLAVERY IS NOT EASY TO QUIT:
Lincoln, as president, using his considerable war powers, had made an Emancipation Declaration, January 1, 1863. It freed the slaves over which the Union had no power (!)

The Emancipation was not a law passed by Congress. But by Lincoln’s personal “war powers” as a modern Caesar.

Caesar himself indeed used similar war powers during the Roman civil war, as Consul, and, or, elected Dictator; that’s where this is all coming from, through the Franks, and, in particular, through Consul Clovis who had to knock some sense in his Franks, that, from now on, the fascist Roman model of war would rule (incident of the Vase de Soisson!).

As Lincoln explains in the movie, that Emancipation Declaration was full of contradiction, because it recognized slaves as property confiscated from the enemy. Except Lincoln did not want to recognize the South’s rebels as enemy, as that would recognize them as an independent nation. Nor did Lincoln want to recognize slaves as property, because, when the war was over, logically the owners would be able to recover their property.

So Lincoln wanted to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the USA, which recognized explicitly that people could not be owned, or forced to work, except if they had been convicted of a crime through due process. In other words, no more slavery.

Some claimed that the amendment would entice the Confederacy to fight to the bitter end. But that was nothing the military could not fix. The bitter end was at hand, thanks to Sherman’s March to the Sea. The best way to handle terrorists is to destroy them, as president Hollande pointed out, in connection with Mali.

The various quandaries encountered in abrogating slavery were nothing new. Bathilde, an English slave, escaped an abusive plutocrat, who had her recaptured. But she caught the eye of the Prince, who bought her, freed her, married her, and engrossed her. Then he became king and promptly died.

The Franks, as all Germans, had arisen, long ago as independent farmers, and hated slavery. However they encountered Greco-Roman civilization, more advanced in many ways, but also pervaded by fascism, slavery and militarism. The Germans learned from their Roman masters, but both their implementation of fascism and slavery was unenthusiastic. However the Gallo-Roman aristocracy had become entangled with the Christian Church, who claimed to be very good, although Christ never said (supposing he really said anything at all), against slavery.

But there it was, a queen of the Franks, who had been a rebellious slave, a few years before. Her government and the regency council agreed to do away with slavery. But Bathilde had it less easy than Lincoln: there was no civil war with enslaving rebels. Bathilde’s government could not just expropriate bishops. Bishops, being scions of the plutocracy, had often armies of slaves.

So Bathilde had to be subtle. She outlawed SLAVE TRADING within the Merovingian empire. That was as good as outlawing the slave trade outright. That was in 658 CE.
This prohibition was later extended to the even more gigantic Carolingian empire that surfaced within a generation. (That Venice made lots of money trading non Frankish slaves with the Islamists is irrelevant, except in that it created a conceptual pattern that would allow to authorize slavery in the colonies.)

Fast forward 1207 years, it’s 1865, and the USA, institutionally, militarily and historically a Franco-British colony, is trying to finally outlaw slavery, as Lafayette had urged relentlessly his good friend George Washington to do. Lafayette was a French military man, and he knew all too well what a monstrosity slavery was.

All over Europe, but for the vast areas controlled by the Muslim Turks, and the wilds of Russia, thanks to Bathilde, slavery was unlawful.

Lafayette entreaties were unsuccessful. Washington congratulated his friend about his humanity, but obstinately refused to do anything positive. Jefferson (3rd president and a babble box) was pretty much the same.

Arrives Lincoln. Lincoln, you see, is courageous. Instead of going around with armies of bodyguards, he goes around pretty much unprotected.
President Hollande made a visite éclaire to Timbuktu, 5 days after the sacred city fell to the French Guerre Éclaire. (Contrarily to Anglo-Saxon-Wall Street French bashing legend, it’s French generals who invented the concept of Blitzkrieg, and cleverly published it, in 1932, teaching Nazis something!).

Hollande’s visit was courageous. So did Lincoln’s 15 battlefield visits during the Civil War, oceans of bodies still writhing on the ground, a general holding a pistol cocked up, just behind him, lest one of the Confederate soldiers was not completely dead.

Armies of bodyguards is no new trick. One of Caesar’s generals used to always go around with such an army, Caesar contemptfully observed in his memoirs. The fact that the underling survived (with wounds) an assassination attempt, did not impress Caesar very much.

Caesar himself refused even the accompaniment of Marc Anthony, a superlative special force brute, to go to the Senate, although he had been warned of an assassination plot that day. What was Caesar’s point? Well, he did not run a dictatorship, he governed with the approbation of the Populus (funny for someone who had made himself “dictator for life”, but the word “dictator” became pejorative only after Caesar’s assassination!). In the Senate, pierced by dozens of knife wounds, Caesar found out that he did not govern with the assent of the plutocrats.

Lincoln did not run a dictatorship, either. He wanted to make that very clear. At the battle of Appomatox, the army of the chief of the Confederate Army, Lee was surrounded on three sides. After 700 casualties, Lee surrendered. 29,000 Confederate soldiers were paroled. Lincoln wanted, and had ordered, generalized forgiveness.

Caesar and Lincoln died, when they were still on the verge of attempting great things (Caesar by putting an end to the Persian-German problem in one stroke, Abraham Lincoln by freeing colored people from all those other chains that still held them, such as no right to vote, or no right to marry out of their “race”, etc.)
***

THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW SHOULD LEARN, INSTEAD OF BARKING OUT ORDERS:
Are there lessons, within Lincoln wondrous adventure, to be drawn for the world today?

Something striking about the USA, is the tendency to give lessons to everybody, as if the USA invented civilization. Now, OK, slavery was still lawful in Turkey in 1865. But there was no slavery in most states, worldwide. In 1865. The USA was a glaring exception. Can one be that primitive, and still give lessons about how to live, as the USA does to the planet, year after year? Yes, sure, Jihadists do that every day.

What is striking, in the politics of the USA is the absence of towering intellectual figures dominating the debate. No Montaigne, no Montesquieu, no Voltaire, there. Instead, mongrels are disputing in front an electorate of the gullible what god wanted, while filling up their pockets.
In Antiquity, even a fascist philosopher such as Aristotle had to make excuses to justify slavery. He knew he had to. That was from a tiny city, Athens. In the gigantic USA of 1865, no philosopher dominates the landscape, except, well, for the philosopher president, Lincoln himself. A philosopher among mice is still a philosopher, I guess.

Aristotle whined they, his kind, the slave masters, had no machines, so they needed slaves. However that means Aristotle had the concept of machine. Aristotle knew that there were machines… The Greeks had just made no effort to develop them, and the Romans were going to become even more lazy.

Because there were machines: slavery just looked more convenient, thus machines were not deployed.
***

IT’S WORSE TO ENSLAVE THE PLANET THAN TO ENSLAVE MAN:
Just like now. But now is worse. Combining the oxygen we breathe with 450 million years of poisonous, flammable rocks and rotten fluids, looks more convenient to the monsters who lead us to oblivion, than deploying the new energy sources we have at the ready. While there is still time.

Slavery was convenient, until Bathilde outlawed it. Then there was no choice. The machines that had been waiting in the wings were deployed., and animals were bioengineered. It took Papin 1,000 years more to introduce a perfectly functioning steam boat, but Papin’s steam engine was the logical evolution of centuries of metal works and engineering. The Cathedrals could be constructed only because of hydraulic hammers, to bend the enormous steel girders.

In another gloomy perspective Dr. Chu, the Energy Secretary a Nobel Prize winner in physics resigned. Under Chu a form of Cobertism was practiced: encouraging some industries by direct financing, That’s one pillar, but, to make something a stable sustainable switch, two more pillars were needed: making fossil fuels pay for their true cost (in other words a carbon tax, thus making better energy sustainable), and massive fundamental research.
Quoting Michelangelo, Chu said: “‘The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.'”
President Washington obstinately refused to see that slavery was a mortal moral danger. He had set his mark too low. Similarly, when Obama, as the biosphere faces the worst crisis in 65 million years, informs us that problems in the USA are not as severe as in Lincoln’s times, he sets his eyes too low, somewhere by his feet.
Chu pointed out that burning fossils and their gases is economically viable in some sense: “Our ability to find and extract fossil fuels continues to improve, and economically recoverable reser-voirs around the world are likely to keep pace with the rising demand for decades. As the saying goes, the Stone Age did not end because we ran out of stones; we transitioned to better solutions.”
Our ability to find and kill innocent victims continues to improve, too. But that does not mean we should do it. The Slave Age in the USA did not end because it ran out of slaves, but because a better solution was imposed onto the slave masters, by force. Lincoln was force. Slavery was outlawed.

Combining all our oxygen with fossilized carbon should also be outlawed. An Emancipation Declaration of oxygen, using war powers, should be made.

Chu used the old tried and true: “There is an ancient Native American saying: “We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” A few short decades later, we don’t want our children to ask, “What were our parents thinking? Didn’t they care about us?””

The Natives did not inherit the air from their ancestors, either. Air is the fundamental human right, a right that cannot be let to expire for a minute.

So it’s not just about the poorest and the unborn. There is much more than that. It’s about us, too. Why did Lincoln destroy slavery? Lincoln destroyed slavery, not because he was “black”, and not to save his children (one of his sons died in the unCivil War).

No, much more simply, Lincoln destroyed slavery because Lincoln was a good man and he found slavery abhorrent.

Show me what you hate, and I will tell you how good you are.

It’s worse to enslave the planet than to enslave man. Make a note of it. Too bad there is no Lincoln around today to save the planet, but only the greedy to lead the needy.
***
Patrice Ayme

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10 Responses to “Lincoln, CO2, Oblabla, etc.”

  1. Casey Weston Says:

    Such is human nature ….everybody in China,India,Asia,& Africa wants cars,trucks,electrical appliances…..Power plants are sprouting-up in China like sunflowers….With the global human population surpassing 7,000,000,000 the world is becoming a waste-heap,oceans cluttered with garbage & fish-stocks depleting before we had expected this to happen.Large Blue fin Tuna selling at auctions for $50,000 or more per fish…..this by itself illustrates the world of tomorrow,add to this the never-ending processions of heat-waves world-wide.Never mind a concerted effort worldwide to remove carbon from the atmosphere….The United States cannot be singled-out as the culprit,when all humanity desires creature comforts such as automobiles,refrigeration,electricity provided by coal-burning power plants…although nuclear power when used correctly is the most efficient method to provide power,then solar cells after that….foresight is clearly lacking worldwide,& we all will pay the price for not preparing for the storm which is soon to arrive on all of our shores….!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      dear Casey: We don’t give a heck to what is going on in China, India, Asia, and Africa. Africa is an easy one: they use very little energy (but for a few gas producing countries and coal burning SA). China and “Asia” can be squeezed out by a WORLDWIDE CARBON TAX. Anyway the Chinese have been recently enjoying in Beijing pollution levels 20 (TWENTY) times above the maximum internationally admitted, so, if they are not all soon dead, or unable to think, they will improve…
      The real problem has been the OBSTRUCTIONISM from Canada, Australia, and the USA. Australia, by itself, produces more CO2 than France, a country more than three times the population. Moreover, those three miscreants planned to pollute even more. For example the fossil fuel drug dealers in the USA push to build the XL (for XETRA LARGE) Keystone pipeline to EXPORT the immensely polluting tar sand oil, worldwide. Why? because British Columbia has refused to abjectively submit to the drug pushers, so they decided to use the gullible population of the USA, too busy gunning each other down, to align thoughts properly…

      One French red tuna was auctioned in Japan for nearly a million dollars, BTW.

      I do single out the USA, because the USA, and the USA alone has carried the evil man’s burden. The XL Keyston pipe exposes this. Although Harper in Canada is pretty much a piece of trash, he is strongly, and effectively resisted in Quebec and BC. So what do the canadian polluters do? They run to their USA mummy… OK, I have to feed my daughter…
      PA

  2. MasonBauknight Says:

    Such a rant, Patrice, even for you. You badmouth the U.S. in everything, and even our federal government in 1864? You somehow failed to tell us about the kind of leadership that France could boast about in 1864: Napoléon III. Your Latinate English prose — long run-on sentences with overwrought syntax and odd punctuation — is trying enough to read, but when will francophones learn that they can’t use any old word in English? There’s a huge Germanic word base that is often lacking in the pages of your blog. I would strongly recommend a course in freshman English comp at any big university here. As you often trash U.S. students in your blog, are you unaware of the low standing of French students in the latest international rankings? In reading and mastery of the mother tongue, France is behind the pack: For nine-year-olds, Russia was number 5 in reading, the U.S. was number 6, and France was number 19 (PIRLS, 2011). The newspaper Le Monde had a fit about this, by the way, and recommended that France follow guidelines that have worked so well in American grade schools. American fifteen-year-olds were slightly above average in reading on the last PISA exams (2009), while French teenagers were below average. Finally, the OECD just released its own final rankings of the world’s educational systems. In 2012, the UK was 6th, Germany was 15th, the USA was 17th, and France was 25th.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Mason: I don’t know who is ranting here! You seem to have failed to notice that the essay on Lincoln was favorable to Lincoln! My broadside was directed towards my friend Obama, who seem to enjoy easy issues, whereas, no doubt, Lincoln tackled a hard one, very courageously. I also celebrated Lincoln’s courage in 1864 (very few, all too few bodyguards…)

      Napoleon III had nothing to do with Lincoln. One can only be happy that France and Britain did not help the enslaving rebels… Nap III was just a plutocratic dictator, just like his uncle. But then, of course, Napoleon would not have been a factor, but for the deliberate attack of the Pitts’ England on revolutionary France.

      “Latinate English”? it’s rather “Franco-Latino-Greek”… Most of English has to do with the language talked in Francia, rather than the one the Angles were talking…

      As Wikipedia puts it: The percentage of modern English words derived from each language group are as follows:
      French: ~29%
      Latin (including words used only in scientific / medical / legal contexts): ~29%
      Germanic: ~26%
      Others: ~17%

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_of_French_origin

      But the truth is worse than that (as Wiki says, BTW). In truth, French is germanized Latin (from a grammar switch), and, even before the Romans showed up, the main Gallic deity was… Mercury (!) In other words, Gaul had been hellenized… Thus easily 80% of words used in English are in common with French.

      I am not contracted about language. I have contempt for the French (some most distinguished) who panic about language. There were THREE main French languages 800 years ago, now there are two, and English is one of them. Civilization is what is important, not languages.

      The main Western European languages are roughly all the same. because they all derive from Latin (see above). OK, I speak the main ones, hahaha. Exkuze mee…

      As far as the international comparison tests are concerned, 2013 srudies showed the international studies were completely biased. That was not shown in the case of France, but by studying the target demographics of USA versus China. They compared elite students versus lower than average students… As was obvious all along.

      25% of French students in high school are in private school (out of PISA and company).

      Fact is for the plutocratic system, plutocratic universities are of the essence, so the ratings have been biased.

      All I see in France is that intellectual achievements are more esteemed by the local butcher and postman than anywhere else. If you want to be respected in France, you don’t say you are rich (that’s rather viewed as gross), but that you are a mathematician… It’s of course possible to overdo it, and I have strong objections against the French educational system and the way scholastic achievement at 21 sets you for life there (making for a society of engineers and mandarins…)

      So indeed, a good way to insult the French is to called them ignorant, I do this all the time myself…

      To pursue your education:

      http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings-articles/qs-best-student-cities/why-paris-worlds-best-student-city-2012

      The rankings which have French universities low are obviously biased (French universities all have specialized research centers entangled with them, most of the published research come from there, formally speaking; besides, rankings discriminate against non English publications…)

      With the sincere hope you can get acquainted with most of the vocabulary of your own languge…
      PA

  3. MasonBauknight Says:

    I do agree that French (and thus Latin) vocabulary is quite weighty in the English language. Perhaps it was your preference for “Django Unchained” over “Lincoln” that set me off? I don’t know. “Django” is a cheap piece of tawdry trash compared to “Lincoln.” The former is midway between Disney and Pasolini: “Django” seeks to dazzle (the Disney part) and shock (the Pasolini), but Tarantino ends up rewriting U.S. history with cardboard characters. The film is junk. “Lincoln” is slower, more restrained and (a no-no for the Patrices of the world) “conservative,” but I felt as if I were stepping back into the 19th century. In comparison to “Lincoln”, “Django” is anachronistic — a 1943 Nazi concentration camp dressed up in 1850s costumes.

    Why do francophones often claim that the rest of the world is “biased” against France? Since 2009, three different international organizations have pronounced the French educational system as sorely lacking. There’s no Anglo-Saxon conspiracy here, just simple evaluation. Le Monde found the PIRLS results in reading (US no. 6, France no. 19) to be appalling but credible. So did I. The only bias that has been widely reported is pro-Chinese, as most of the recent exams have tested one urban area (usually Shanghai) rather than a representative cohort of the entire country. That said, France has some work to do if she wishes to transmit the wonderful French language to her youngsters. Everyone in France knows that, I think.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Mason: I do esteem “Lincoln” more than “Django”, of course. “Django Unchained” is a fable (but founded on true facts, and a true mood), whereas “Lincoln” clings to life in the White House in the last four months of the president’s life. “Django”, though, depicts horrors that “Lincoln” barely alludes to. So the two movies are actually complementary.

      The racist slavery that existed in the USA before December 1865 was even more grotesque that the one of the Nazis (which it directly inspired). The one drop rule in the USa was worse than the 1/8 rule of the Nazis. Jews and other contaminating races were not publicly whipped or sold. Hitler could not prove he was not “black”, I mean, Jewish, and that was, well, fine…

      There is still space for another 20 very different movies on the Secession War, showing very different perspectives. Or maybe one should call it the Slavery War.

      I don’t see what’s “conservative” about Lincoln. Lincoln saw that slavery would survive if the war ended just then, with just the Emancipation Declaration (ED).

      There is an analogy between ED and Obamacare. ED recognized slaves as property, that was a drastic flaw. Just like Obamacare recognizes health care as a property of plutocrats, that’s a drastic flaw.

      As far as me not being a fanatical conservative, I beg to differ. I am a fanatical ecologist, thus a fanatical conservative. It’s the carbon burning guys who are value deprived punks.

      I am not going to argue back and forth about the French educational system. I think superior achievements of the USA and France (or Britain) in the past, were due to superior public educational systems (with the word “public” tongue in cheek about Britain). I think right now the three systems are on the verge of disaster, as they slowly disappear below the waves (still HEC prez Hollande comes from ranks higher than Stanford or Harvard).

      It’s high time to reverse the tendency. Anyway, as I said the latest studies comparing USA and China show enormous bias in the studies before that. can’t compare elite Chinese students with inner cities USA students.

      This being said, if it can create an inferiority complex in the EU and USA, and then a reaction towards better studying, fine with me. I am involved in this to the max right now, as my daughter is staring school, and I had some vigorous exchanges with French educators who tried to slow her down. I opted for a drastic solution, hahaha.

      I can see all the time the “Anglo-Saxon”, or more exactly, plutocratic propaganda machine underestimating French achievements. For example today I was reading a vast review on teleportation. Anton Zeilinger, a remarkable physicist, was amply rolled out, interviewed, mentionned, etc… Zeilinger followed in the footsteps of Alain Aspect from CNRS & Orsay. Not a word on Aspect. Never mind that Aspect and Zeilinger were co-recipent of the Wolf Prize in physics in 2010.

      I used to scoff about this sort of thing, until I came to realize that it led to massive underperformance of the world thinking system. This, by the way, means that France is still producing first class, that means, paradigm breaking, thinkers.

      The best example is the Quantum. The breakthrough was not due to the half Nazi Heisenberg, but by to a French Prince, prior. That’s not so clear, reading USA physics textbooks.More coming on this soon, as I am trying to rethink the description of the Quantum…

      And to finish, the question of the french language is neither here, nor there, French will not die anytime soon. Contrarily to propaganda (even from Jared Diamond!), French is one of the most spoken languages (with more than 300 million national speakers, although FNL Jihadists have tried to break it in places such as Algeria).

      What needs to be defended is the engine of civilization, the productive core of Pars Occidentalist, reason supreme.
      PA

  4. MasonBauknight Says:

    I agree with you about public education — it is the key to ANY nation’s success. And you rightly add that Britain, France and the United States are all suffering a crisis in public education. I am, however, more pessimistic about the French language than you are. I know the situation well in two countries: the U.S. and Germany. In the U.S., French was taught in 100% of high schools in 1970; in 2013, about 47% of U.S. high schools now offer French. It’s worse in New York City, where I live, as enrollments in French language study have fallen to fourth place in some schools (after Spanish, Italian and Mandarin). In Germany — Der Spiegel reported this recently — more and more students are choosing Spanish instead of French as their second foreign language after English. Very few young Germans learn a third foreign language, so they will learn no French. French is in danger of becoming merely a “langue de culture” in the world (like German or Italian), albeit with “official” status at the U.N. and the Olympics. Only in India and in France’s and Belgium’s former colonies is French showing much resilience as a language of study. Compared to the 1970s, it is not a good situation.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Mason: I wrote a very long and complicated answer to you, answering you point by point, I did not save it, and then the system misfunctionned, and I lost it… Too bad. I have to become more paranoiac…

      The decrease of French in the USA, after decades of frantic anti-French propaganda, is nothing surprising. I lost nearly ALL my American friends in 2003, and it only got worse since, just because I was catalogued as anti-American and “French” (never mind that I don’t see how I could be against myself!)

      Obama is realizing that France is the USA’s closest and strongest parent, friend and ally, so this will change…. The other parent is having problems about where its nuclear strategic submarines may have to go. Amusing: they may end in Brest…
      PA

  5. unsalvageable Says:

    Very nice article – thank you so much for sharing that. I sincerely loved (and was amazed at your brilliant technique) your deft deployment of transitions, My God ! from slavery to carbon dioxide – logically. And then to end it with a call to what ? Transitioning to better solutions ! Brilliant !

    I’ve not yet made up my mind on Lincoln. The man, i mean, not the movie. Of course it is all but impossible, for a progressive, not to worship him, as if he were a spirit from another, better, realm.

    But then I’m confronted – by 300 thousand dead. Young ideological men. Most of them driven into the Union army by religious zealots who were certain God was on their side.

    And another 300 thousand dead on the southern side. Ninety percent of them were poor kids, didn’t even own slaves, fighting on behalf of the wealthy landowners, also told that God was on their side.

    Death by cannon fire on a blood-drenched battlefield is not a transitional solution for the man that dies.

    A war to END SLAVERY is not much different, functionally, from a war to STOP THE SPREAD OF COMMUNISM ! Not to the vultures anyway. And Lincoln knew, he knew, that his election would precipitate a war. Is it heresy, to suggest now, that he could have searched for a transitional solution ?
    Or just perfect hindsight.?

    I feel guilty, that I’m unfair to Lincoln, the first Republican. And then I’m confronted by Pro-Life radical conservatives, who see abortion as a sin WORSE than slavery. Listening to them, I am certain they would gladly blow my brains out, to end abortion. Because their God would want them to. . . . How can I not compare them to the abolitionists – their Republican ancestors ?

    I never speak these doubts to anyone. The cotton harvester machine would have made slavery too expensive, but it was 70 years or so too late. Could dedicated research and development have changed that date ? Slave revolts were on the rise, orchestrated by radical Republican jihadists. Would armies of escaped slaves, raging through the countryside, supplied arms and volunteers by the North, decapitating their masters, not struck terror into the South ? And wouldn’t a man who had risked death to salvage his own freedom, ever lack for pride or suffer the questions of equality? Questions that haunted allo of reconstruction. . . . Questions that still haunt us today. . . . Was there a better way ?

    Thank you.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Unsalvagable:Thank you for all the precise compliments! Very nice that you saw the logic, people do not always see it…

      Yes, for Lincoln, I agree, I have had myself the strongest doubts, for the longest time. Lincoln worship used to irritate me. Clearly the Secession War had been a butchery. And the latest evaluations tend to show that the number of dead was very close to one million, not to the old number 600 something…

      There was more to the Secession War than just slavery. There was the question of the imperialism of the country-continent. And yet, the south was so big, with slave driven factories (!) that were very profitable, that it is indeed possible that the slave system could have got worse, as it did in Russia. I mean, if the Confederacy had not lost the war, slavery like schemes could have spread. Worldwide.

      Racism was then expanding in Mittel Europa, especially Germany. 70 years later, mass murdering racism would explode in Germany. so there was a danger of massive contagion: the Nazis themselves were always quoting with approval the American experience, to justify ALL the horrors they imposed on the world. This had happened before.

      After all the pretty crazy Greco-Roman slavery was also an acquired taste that became a system. Slavery existed in Babylon, but it was in no way as bad as what it became in the Greco-Roman world, a millennium later. How that happpens has been unexplored. But, say Sparta was running a completely insane slavery-predation system on the Helots. Then Sparta equipped itself with a very advanced society (anti-sexist, austere, tough, healthy, very equalitarian). About a century later (500 BCE) Sparta freed Athens. It was saying to all of greece and later Rome: “see the toughest slavery is the path to total freedom, and the highest society”. So slavery gathered momentum.

      Lincoln was a show stopper. If Hitler think alike had been elected instead of Lincoln, things could have turned out very differently.

      Could there have been a better way? Probably Washington, Adams, Jefferson, could have done something subtle (formally outlawing slavery, while tolerating it, as the europeans did in their colonies…). At the time of Lincoln, I do NOT know the subject well enough to have an opinion. Certainly the Lincoln in the movie “Lincoln” is eminently honorable and reasonable (it’s my understanding that specialists of the period approve of the movies).
      PA

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