Archive for August, 2008

FROM RUSSIA WITH HATE.

August 27, 2008

GEORGIA TOLLS FOR THEE.

Moscow, per its genesis and  intrinsic nature, is anti-Western. As simple as that. Nothing irremediable, but a serious disease nevertheless.

This dreadful pathology was long hidden by the fact Moscow claimed to be Marxist, and socialist, and many in the West were, and are, genuine socialists. Basically, all of Western Europe, Britain included, is socialist (and the USA is not too far behind!). So there is a lot of sympathy for socialism in the West, and Moscow used that sympathy as a trick to advance itself (seducing thus Roosevelt’s gullible advisers at the Yalta conference).

That Moscow is deeply anti-Western was also hidden by the fact that Stalinian fascism, after being allied to, and an indispensable life support system of Hitlerian fascism, was attacked by it, and conducted a desperate fight against it. The USSR suffered 20 million dead, but with unbelievable ferocity orchestrated by Stalin, was able to win the crucial battles of Moscow (December 1941; between 900,000 and 1,600,000 total casualties) and Leningrad (total casualties above 1.5 million). Retreating troops were shot on sight by NKVD “blocking” sections (NKVD = KGB = FSB = Putin); prisoners, or soldiers gone missing, were viewed as traitors, and condemned to death (in first approximation).

But now the smokescreens are dissipating. Moscow has invaded Georgia, a country that existed for more than thrice as long as Moscow itself. A country with its own culture, language, religion, alphabet. A country always nestled among the mountains, south of the formidable range of the Caucasus. Georgia was the first country in the world to make Christianity its state religion (around 300 CE).

Moscow said Georgia, with one-fourth of its tiny army in Iraq, attacked its forces first. Never mind that those Russian forces were inside Georgia officially recognized frontiers already. Where Muscovite tanks are, it’s Russia, and attacking them is an unforgivable act of hostility. Moscow had deployed, or was in the process of deploying, more than 3,000 tanks, from many directions, inside Georgia, by the time the fighting broke out. The Georgians tried to block the mountain tunnel the Russian invaders were coming out of. (It has long been reproached to the Tibetans to not have resisted by force to the Chinese invasion, thus demonstrating a sort of consent; the Georgians were determined not to do this mistake; the Russians suffered significant losses, especially of bombers, heightening Moscow’s rage.)  

The time of the final confrontation is at hand between the mentality of the West and the anti-Western mentality of Moscow. That anti-Western mentality is more than 1,000 years old (indeed it is much older than Moscow itself). This confrontation is much bigger than any problem connected with the US mistake of having invaded Iraq, because invading Iraq was deeply anti-American. Invading Iraq was contrary to American nature. Whereas invading Georgia is exactly what Moscow has always been about, ever since that city blossomed as the double agent stooge of the Mongols (before 1480).

Why is Moscow so enraged, so invasive? Because its mentality came from a confrontation between some Slavonic monks, disciples of Cyril and Methodius (two saintly brothers who invented a special alphabet and celebrated mass in Slavonic) and Western authorities (religious and political). The Western authorities viewed the disciples as divisive (and they were, as the fullness of time did show). The angry disciples got help from the just installed Bulgarian empire (the Bulgars were a nomadic people pushed 2,000 kilometers west by ancestors of the Mongols). The Bulgars converted to Christianity, but to the version of Christianity these irate disciples insisted on, complete with a new alphabet nobody had ever seen before (“Cyrillic”), and that nobody civilized could read. Thus the Bulgars inherited the conflict those disciples had with the Franks and the Pope. Next this happy crew went north into the land of the RUS’, the Swedes who had colonized Ukraine. They converted the Rus’, to their version of Christianity hostile to the West.

The result was that the growing Russia inherited a conflict it did not start. The alphabet and other mysteries of the same sort increased the alienation with the West. Two centuries later, the Mongols invaded, and destroyed the Russian army. Whereas Europe fielded vast armies that were soundly defeated in Poland, and then in Hungary, it ignored Russia’s fate. The Mongol victory in Hungary had been costly for the descendants of the Huns, and although the Mongols reached the Adriatic, they did not stay.

But they did stay in Russia, as the “Golden Horde”. Russia was left under the Mongol yoke for more than two centuries. The “Grand Duchy of” Moscow grew up, by rising the tribute for the Mongols over an ever extending domain. Working for the Mongols taught some special antidemocratic ways to Moscow, and a great distrust of the rest of Europe. The early republics of Rus were forgotten. Russia never forgave Europe to have let it down, and Moscow’s Mongolian ways won over democracy and enlightenment. The more antidemocratic and obscure, the better, and the Russian soul was left to whine about the tragedy of the human condition, while never forgetting to invade here, there, and everywhere. No doubt the mentality inherited from those travails helped it build the largest, most stable empire the world has ever seen. It knew its greatest extent under Stalin.

Then, entrapped in Afghanistan, and left behind in nearly all civilizational ways by the democracies, the USSR disintegrated, as the captive nations escaped Moscow’s grab. Putin whines about it: “the collapse of the USSR was the greatest tragedy of the twentieth century”. Sob. Notice Putin speaks about “tragedy”, not “humiliation” (Putin’s apologists in the West generally have it that he is not a tragic figure, but an humiliated one: they are not paying attention!).

Collapse of the USSR as “greatest tragedy”? What about the time the kid next door stole the big red balloon of little Vlad? The “greatest tragedy”: never mind Nazism and its 60 million dead. Never mind Stalin who boasted to Churchill that he “killed even more Soviet citizens than Hitler did”. The greatest disaster, according to Putin, was the relatively small shrinkage of the world’s largest empire, when dozens of nations escaped its yoke (many of those nations were way older than Moscow, such as Poland, the Baltic republics, Ukraine, Georgia, and many “Muslim” republics). The twenty thousand tanks and fourty thousands nukes were not used to keep the empire together, but everything else was. And it did not work. No doubt Putin, the ex-KGB officer has noticed this, and that is why he invaded Georgia with more tanks than Hitler used to invade the USSR.

So now Putin wants to grab it all back. Georgia is just a trial run, testing the waters the way Stalin or Hitler used to (after all, if Putin admires Stalin so much, and since Stalin was fascinated by Hitler, it all fits together).

For Putin, the more appealing objective is Ukraine. But it will not stop there. A Colonel General of the Russian army suggested Poland would have to pay too. Of course Putin can only be besides himself that Bulgaria, that started the entire adventure in alienation land, is now safely tucked inside the European Union. Kosovo is way beyond Bulgaria, when coming from Moscow, so the fact  that Bulgaria is now a part of the EU has got to be resented as another enormous outrage by Gorbachev, Putin, and their hateful ilk.

The Europeans have to carry the main economic weight of confronting Moscow at this point. The Europeans need the courage to go all the way, and forget about begging for energy from Moscow, down on their knees. They can do it, but it will be tough. Otherwise Moscow will reinvade as much as it can (until the unavoidable military struggle).

Gorbachev, the Russian tsar before Putin, impudently condemns the fact that Kosovo voted for its independence repeatedly. Voting is a big no-no for Moscow. Invading is what Moscow does. Voting gets in the way.

Kosovo has been its own country forever. It was part of Illyricum, from which many formidable Roman emperors came (Diocletian, Constantine). A baby from a family of Illyricum could be born in York, Britain, as Constantine was. Meanwhile, the first Russians did not even exist, and had not gone anywhere near the future site of Moscow (a settlement founded around 1147 CE).

The Serbs were invited to settle in the area by emperor Heraclius (7th century). The Serbs are the guests, the Kosovars are the original stock. And, although the Serbs fought a battle against the Turks in Kosovo, they mainly stayed out of it for a very long time.

Moreover the Serbs have voted recently twice to confirm implicitly that Kosovo could go its own way, and that Serbia would join the European Union instead. Ultimately, belonging both to the European Union will reunify Serbia with Kosovo, in the fullness of time!

Kosovo, besides, is 40 times the population of South Ossetia. South Ossetia has been a province of Georgia for 3,000 years. It has its own little tini tiny language and particularism, a method of divide and rule invented by Stalin, all over the USSR (and especially in the Caucasus). Now Moscow has decided that South Ossetia is part of Moscow’s empire.

Is Kosovo also part of Moscow? What about Berlin? After all, Berlin is much closer to Moscow than Kosovo. That new method is simple: Moscow distributes passports to some residents of a foreign country, and then claims Russians are under attack, and invade. In the initial fighting in South Ossetia, Moscow claimed the Georgians killed 2,000 Ossetians in the major city (thus, 2,000 Russians!). At last real count the fighting inside that city killed only 137 (or so). And who has been using bombers bombing inside Georgia, including Ossetia? Moscow. (Georgia shot down several bombers: one more anti-Russian crime). Now Moscow is distributing Russian passports to Ukrainians living in Crimea. Soon it will have to “rescue” them, no doubt.

Oh, by the way, why is Moscow so obsessed about Kosovo? Kosovo is smack dab in the Middle of the Mediterranean region (100 kilometers from the sea). Kosovo never had anything to do with Moscow, except as an object of desire. The Muscovite desire for the Mediterranean sea. Moscow wants all the seas. It has many of them, but not that one. It is painful. Moscow wants it all, like Staphylococcus Aureus. It is high time to draw the line. The line is that if Moscow wants to keep on with its anti-Western, antidemocratic, invasive mentality, it can stay in its own sand box. After all, it is the largest in the world.

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Patrice Ayme.
http://patriceayme.com/

***

P/S: 1) The NYT published a simplified version of the text above in their electronic edition, minus the final section, that it cut out. It was an interesting wink: OK, we know who you are, and you are right, but we, at the NYT, have our own foreign policy, we are sure you understand. The NYT apparently wants people to think that the Russian government and its Gorbachev are reasonable. Thus, having grabbed Kosovo from Moscow is a crime. Never mind that Kosovo is next to Rome (and never had anything to do with Moscow, as we said). A precedent: the NYT, and US media in general, refused to be alarmed by the way Hitler treated Jews, and the way Hitler’s “kingdom” was, and that, for years (this led directly to the defeat of the French army, the occupation of Europe, and thus the Shoah, and 60 million dead). The present situation with Russia is very similar. After all, Hitler’s Reich started as a democratic republic. Soon  Chancellor Hitler made himself President too, just like Putin, but going the other way. Soon, with British cooperation, Hitler violated the Versailles Treaty (1935). That was the crucial step: France could not attack as long as Britain was collaborating with Hitler (the similar step now is the invasion of Georgia). A few years later, including severe alcoholics and other drastic social outcasts, the total population of inmates in Nazi concentration camps was only 4,700. It would soon explode into the millions, yes, but that discreet begining means that Hitler’s evil had to be detected in the detail of his actions. Guernica should have been plenty enough (1936). 

2) Ultimately, the only solution for Moscow is to quit the alienation it likes to roll in like some animals do in the mud. That means joining the European Union. That means forgetting on the resentment that seems to drive Putin all too much. Far from being an economic superpower, Moscow has a significantly smaller GDP than France (although with twice the population and about thirty times the area of France; or less than half the population of the USA, with nearly double its area!) It could be easily swallowed, once it satisfies the democratic requirements for membership. Right now, Putin is going the other way, though, since he declared grandly Russia should not bother with the World Trade Organization. Indeed, who needs trade, when one has so many tanks? And so many juicy neighbours to invade?

3) Ah, a last strategic perspective: the central Asian republics, determined to shake Moscow’s yoke, have set up a system of pipelines to send crude oil and gas directly to the rest of the world, bypassing Russia. All these pipes go through Georgia, and have to go through Georgia (to avoid Russia north of the Caucasus, and Iran to the south). Russian tanks got next to the pipes, and they were shut down (imagine Putin’s glee!). A fourth giant pipe is also planned. Still one more of these Georgian crimes! Thus the invasion of Georgia is also an attempt by Moscow to reestablish control of central Asia.

4) As far as Abkahzia and Ossetia being non Georgian, according to international observers, two thirds of the population of the former, ethnically Georgian, were ethnically cleansed (around 400,000 Georgians were expelled from their home area). And as far as the 50,000 South Ossetians with Russian passports are concerned, the presence of their province within immediate proximity of the very center of Georgia (Gori, where Stalin was born), and the capital of Georgia, Tbilissi, makes the claim that it is indeed a different country extremely dubious (there too thousands of Georgians were expelled).

5) Human Rights Watch says the pictures of five villages near the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, are “compelling evidence of war crimes and grave human rights abuses”. Those are ethnic Georgian villages. The organization called on the Russian government to prosecute those responsible.

6) People who aspire to be taken seriously, like Obama’s Samantha Power (Kennedy School of Government, Harvard), argue that Russia was humiliated, and thus, attacked. This spin was disseminated by the Kremlin critters themselves. The Nazis had used it before as an explanation of why they wanted to kill everybody. This attempt to brandish humiliation as a prime motivator of human beings is an attempt to substitute a feel good hierarchy about what motivates humans most, to the, much more violent real thing. It is erroneous in the first approximation. When a bear, or a bull charges, it is not out of humiliation (too complicated), nor, of course, fear (because, if afraid, it would flee). A bull, or a bear, or a lion charges out of anger, rage, or hatred. And, first of all, because that is what it does when excited. Humiliation is not an option.

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GIVE, SO YOU SHALL GET.

August 21, 2008

THE NEGOCE OF AFGHANISTAN IS OPIATES, SO NEGOTIATE.

(Ten French paratroopers died on August 19, 2008, in an ambush by 150 heavily armed Talibans, an hour east of Kabul. Another 21 got wounded. French troops and Taliban were so close, air strikes could not be conducted. This is typical of the deterioration in Afghanistan, where the West has pursued a mostly purely military strategy. Three days later, in just one NATO aerial strike, seventy six Afghan civilians were killed.)

The current Western strategy in Afghanistan is erroneous. That is why the West cannot win. Bombs from planes and terror from Western stormtroopers examining villages (but not inside the houses) don’t work. To throw more troops in without the correct strategy will only insure a greater defeat (to Moscow’s delight).

The Taliban fights with support from the unenlightened population. As the Taliban liberates terrain, the natives are allowed to enjoy more income from opiates (and that, in turn finances the Taliban).

Euro-America wants the Afghans more enlightened. But that would be a gigantic effort for the Afghan population. So the Afghans need to be given something in exchange for this effort they are begged to engage in.

The only bargaining chip the West has is to legalize the drug trade in the areas NATO controls, because that is the only thing the Afghan population can get that it wants. Legalization of opiates means command and control, and support of the population. One can put pressure on Pakistan, and encourage it to come to its senses. But this forgets a not-so-little detail: Pakistan is a fundamentalist Muslim State. Given this, it’s unlikely that it will deeply change. The same holds for Afghanistan.

Schools are not everything: the rot has to be extricated from the fruit first.

The war between obscurantism (so called “terrorism”) and the West is deep down a war between the West and the literal interpretation of the Qur’an. In 1300 CE Egypt, one could go to jail for “literalism”. Now the West supports fundamentalist Muslim regimes in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Why not Iran, as we are at it?

Instead, the West should make offers to tribal chiefs that they cannot refuse. That should include the drug trade, because that’s the only fast source of cash. The opiate production, once flooding the West could be directed to the pharmaceutical industry (or stored meanwhile, as the legal production of opiates in the West is reduced to compensate for the influx from Afghanistan). In the long run, of course, a half enlightened Afghanistan could grow other things.

(By the way, in case somebody asks, I don’t do drugs, not even alcohol or tobacco, never did. This proposition is purely to help the mentally challenged West in Afghanistan reorient itself according to the most basic common sense: short of exterminating people, one has to negotiate with them; the negoce of Afghanistan is opiates, so that’s it.)

Patrice Ayme.
http://patriceayme.com/

P/S: Some say: “Just make peace, those people are defending themselves, they never hurt a fly, except among themselves, and, besides, they were never conquered, so it’s hopeless, etc.” Then those moralists feel noble, and good about themselves. But are they right? That’s what we mostly want to know.

We will answer some deeper questions connected to this pacifist point of view in another essay, but let’s point out this:

0) I view my point of view as pacifist, simply the timescale I use is very large. 

1) Alexander the Great’s Macedonians (33O BCE), Islam and the Mongols conquered Afghanistan durably.

2) We are not after the Afghans, but after a system of thought, literal Quranist Islam.

3) That system of thought is intrinsically fascist, and fascism is best killed in the egg, and far away.

4) JUST AS WAR CAN MAKE PEACE, PEACE CAN MAKE WAR. Peace at all cost is another word for war.

5) Licit opiates production occurs in Spain, Australia, France, Turkey and India.

6) After writing the preceding, I came across the article on the drug trade in Afghanistan in Wikipedia. It concurs with my views. Here is an extract: “A licensing system would bring farmers and villages into a supportive relationship with the Afghan government, instead of alienating the population by destroying their livelihood, and provide the economic diversification that could help cultivators break ties with the illicit opium trade.

 The International Narcotics Control Board states that an over production in licit opiates since 2000 has led to stockpiles in producing countries ‘that could cover demand for two years’. Thus, some say Afghan opium would contribute to an already oversupplied market and would potentially cause the supply and demand imbalance that the UN control system was designed. However, the World Health Organisation points out that there is an acute global shortage of poppy-based medicines such as morphine and codeine.”

7) Pashtuns are on both sides of the frontier with Pakistan. Maybe a process towards a Kosovo like solution could be implemented, as an other bargaining chip for the 42 million Pashtuns? 

***

FROM GLOBAL TO LETHAL.

August 15, 2008

HOW GLOBALIZATION THE OLD FASHION WAY MAY LEAD TO WORLD WAR AGAIN.

Ours is not the first age of globalization. The percentage of trade that was international in nature as a percentage of global trade was as high around 1900 as it is now. Our argument is that the juxtaposition of globalization, democracy and tyranny made an explosive mix that caused W.W.I. And something similar may happen today.

Russia rolled tanks into the heart of Georgia. Georgia started as the kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia, about three thousands years ago, making it three times older than Russia in any sense (and six times older than the state that Ivan the Terrible started in Moscow). The breakaway pieces of Georgia artfully amplified by Russia recently did not exist then. Curiously, Russia has been doing extremely well economically in recent years. What is it afraid of? Well, we will argue that it does not feel afraid enough, and it needs fear to buttress itself.

It’s a great illusion to believe that the sheer evocation of profitability from commerce with a country can stop tanks rolling from that country. The experience of the USA with Hitler is very clear in this respect: in spite of tremendous trade with the USA, Hitler declared war to the USA.

Lenin used to say that capitalists were so greedy that they would sell him the rope to hang them with. (This is roughly what happened; for example, at least one US capitalist helped Stalin develop Caucasus oil in Baku, and became “Hero of the Soviet Union”.)

Arguably, “selling the rope that will hang us” is exactly what we (in the West) have been doing recently, on a much larger scale. By displacing more and more crucial economic activities to anti-democratic countries, the capitalist masters of the West have been allowed to be much more greedy than basic safety requires. Should this process be allowed to persist, a World War is unavoidable. Let me please explain this.

The present World Order is strictly military.  The economic aspect of the World Order is mostly an illusion. Diverting more and more crucial industries to anti-democratic countries makes them ever stronger.  As soon as the antidemocratic countries feel stronger, militarily, than the democratic countries, they will strike militarily.

Why such a gloomy assessment? Why will strength, far from bringing democratization (as the Bush administration erroneously believed), bring war instead? Why will it even trigger war? Because when people feel threatened, they accept to be led by mean, vicious leaders. The removal of the threat economic expansion leads to makes the situation worse.

Indeed, the antidemocratic countries started weaker. That weakness is itself perceived as a threat inside an anti-democratic country. So, as long as the anti-democratic country is weak, its own anti-democratism is justified (by its own perceived weakness). This is a stable arrangement, until the day when most of the people of the anti-democratic country feel so strong that they do not feel threatened anymore. At this point the mean, vicious leaders on top cannot justify their mean, vicious rule with their old excuse of being leading a weaker, hence threatened, country. They have to invent something else, because the anti-democratic leaders, their class, their companions, their children, and the fascist structures that support them will naturally want to keep power. (One can see this mechanism at work in Russia since the collapse of the USSR, with various transmogrifications of communists into oligarchs, and of KGB officers into statesmen.)

How will the mean, vicious leaders stay on top although their rule is not justified the old fashion way anymore? How to keep power? How to keep on having a fascist system in place when the justification for it, that perceived threat that weakness provided it with has now disappeared? Only one way, the ultimate way to justify total fascism, namely total war. Since the old threat has disappeared, the old, mean, vicious leaders create a new, all too real one. This mechanism of fascism graduating to outright war against exterior enemies has happened many times in the last three millennia. There are literally thousands of examples.

In the present world, the anti-democratic countries did not strike yet, because they do not feel strong enough, yet. Yet, each factory transferred to them makes them stronger.

Can we extract a practical lesson from all this? The West should sit with itself, and think about all this in depth. A solution will be to restrict trade with non democratizing countries, while rewarding more those that are going the right way towards real, irreversible democratization (in a similar process as the one for entering the European Union). For example the strongly democratizing countries of the Americas or Europe should be rewarded, and trusted ever more, diverting trade to them.

Technology and economic transfers towards dangerously nationalistic, non democratizing countries should be reduced immediately (one should not forget that giant transfers of dual use technologies to Nazi Germany allowed for Hitler’s aggression in W.W.II).

***

Patrice Ayme.

***

P/S: How did W.W.I start? Global trade was as high around 1900 as it is now, and going higher. That was the entire problem: development brought instability. The (mildly) fascist system in Germany felt surrounded. Feeling threatened by the economic rise of a newly democratic Russia, and of republican, imperial France, German generals with US encouragement (from “Colonel” House, Wilson’s right hand man) plotted an attack on their quickly ascending rivals. This exposes another twist: in the end, democratic countries develop more durably, and in much more stable way. So the fascist regimes feel ever more threatened. In Germany, the fascist structures felt threatened by Russia, France (that helped develop Russia) and last but not least, by the Reichstag, which wanted ever more powers, and was wondering why Germany could not be democratic, like France (or… Russia…).

IS US HEALTH CARE WORSE THAN SLAVERY?

August 13, 2008

KILLING FOR MONEY.

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IS SLAVERY MORE HUMAN THAN FOR-PROFIT, US-STYLE, HEALTH CARE?

[Just asking…]

Overview: The USA is the only rich country where a lot of the population does not have health care coverage during much of each year. Many US citizens spend a lot of the year miserably scavenging for health care insurance. Most fear to lose everything, and their lives too, because they could not pay enough the “Health Maintenance Organizations”, corporations held by shareholders, that exert the right of life and death over them. The profits are huge, because US health care costs twice more per GDP than, for example, the French system (the world’s best, according to many evaluations).

Philosophically speaking, for-profit health care is closely related to slavery. It is the same basic idea. US style, for-profit health “care” exists and persists because many US mental structures originated during (and for) slavery, and are still thriving. US citizens submit to US-style health care the way they have learned to submit to the power of money (pluto-cracy), like the sheep herded by the shepherd. And his name was Buffet. Buffet is served, indeed! The USA historically and mentally originated in the self-ruled English colony of America (1608 CE). Much of that colony achieved economic supremacy thanks to slavery, and that arguably became its most distinctive characteristic. The USA has not completely faced that fact yet.

We explain why for-profit health care could be seen as even worse than slavery. In a case where the slave owner would cry for his dead slave, an HMO would be much relieved. We convert that disregard for basic humanity into numbers of people killed, an ongoing massacre that can be measured in millions of lives lost.
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SLAVERY IS MORE AMERICAN THAN APPLE PIE:

One will never ponder enough the influence of slavery on the US psyche. If one had just a few genes from Black Africa, one could be chained, sold, whipped, and burned alive if one grumbled. The exclusion, viciousness, arbitrariness, and the refusal to apply basic rationality and humanity to others were colossal. They have left hidden mental structures all over the USA, starting with colossal disrespect for basic humanity.

The English Colony of America was the only place in the world with vast European populations in direct contact with slaves. Slavery went on for 250 years, and then was extended for another century by denying civil rights. In the present day USA, it could be argued that the world record incarceration rate and the exclusion of minorities from the main society are persistent denials of human rights. In the last three decades, the cult of emotionality over rationality, and of the rich over the poor, has allowed these vicious sub-currents to become ever more domineering. Nixon invented for-profit health care and launched it with federal funding. That was after he used criminals to spy on the Democrats.

Slavery made white English America the world’s richest place. Health care for profit helped to make the world’s richest man, Warren Buffet. We argue here that US health care is, undeniably, a persistent denial of human rights.
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THE SICK IS GOOD WHEN THE SICK IS DEAD: EXPLOITING LIFE VERSUS KILLING FOR MONEY

The US health care system is sick, and getting sicker (see note (1)). This is happening because it is intrinsically contradictory. The for-profit US health care system exists because it makes profits, not because it wants to take care. To claim it exists to take care is as true, no more, no less than a mink farm exists to take care of minks. Where is the Animal Liberation Front when we need it?

No profits, no US health care, as simple as that. It’s like the mink cages. Private health care profits from others having no full choice about what to do with their bodies. US health care denies people have bodies. Non habeas corpus: your body is not a body, it is, first and foremost, someone else’s profit center. It sucks profits from people’s life-and-death struggle.

In the USA, a “cost control officer”, not a doctor, decides what to do with patients. The cost control officer has no relationship with the patient, he is there TO TURN AROUND THE HIPPOCRATIC OATH. The cost control officer is somewhere, out there, in a distant place, in some bunker administered by Pluto. A real cynic would point out that the Nazis could have saved some money by doing with fewer doctors in concentration camps.

A slave owner has interest to take care of such a valuable source of profits as a healthy slave. For a slave owner, a dead slave is a bad financial outcome. It is the WORST financial outcome. What is the worst financial outcome for a US Health Maintenance Organization? Lack of profits, piling up losses.

Instead of being motivated by compassion, the American health care provider is a profiteer. And sometimes, the patient can be in such dire straights that only tremendous efforts can insure his survival. That can get expensive, and decreases profit margins of the hyper capitalist owners of America alarmingly. Then the US health profiteer, or “Health Maintenance Organization” finds itself in the uncomfortable, self-contradictory situation of being a vulture, supposed to maintain its prey alive at great cost. What do you think a mentally sane vulture will do? Facilitate death, that’s what the vulture will do.

Slave owners did not have any interest to see their slaves die. But for a Health Maintenance Organization, a completely dead patient is a much better outcome than a High Maintenance Patient. A dead patient means a stop loss, and a jump in profits. It’s a successful outcome.

Slavery and US-style health care are PHILOSOPHICALLY related. They are basically the same thing. Slavery denies the fact that slaves have a body they own. They are not free to do what they want to do with it. Instead their body is owned by their owner; it’s a source of energy and profits. Profits from denying the human nature of others is the fundament of slavery. No such profits, no slavery. The same words and sentences can be used to describe US-style, for-profit health care.
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US FOR-PROFIT HEALTH CARE IS DOOMED; IT HAS THE WRONG LAGRANGIAN:

The European health care systems are neither about owning slaves nor feasting on the flesh of innocents. Overall, those systems are not profitable. They are made to not be profitable. Some are fully socialist. Their primary mission is to save lives and provide maximum available comfort to all the bodies. The efficiency motive in European health care is not maximizing profits, but maximizing health and happiness. Maximizing profits is the ultimate organizing principle of the US health care system.
In mathematical physics, energy flows are described by an expressions called “Lagrangians” (they vary in different fields and systems). Now, money is about power (on people), hence energy. It is not abusive to talk about a “LAGRANGIAN” IN AN ECONOMIC SYSTEM. It’s just future economics.

The Lagrangian of private US health care is written around profits. Profits do not enter the European health care Lagrangian. EUROPEAN PUBLIC HEALTH CARE MAXIMIZES HEALTH. US HEALTH CARE MAXIMIZES PROFITS. The US health system is a contradiction onto itself because of this. Indeed, HEALTH CARE SHOULD BE ABOUT HEALTH CARE, NOT PLUTOCRACY. Or then, “US Health Care” is the abbreviation of “US Financial Health Care”.

And plutocracy it is. Mr. Warren Buffet, a trusted Obama adviser, made billions in ironically called “health care”. All together, it’s certain that Buffet converted more of “reduced life expectancy” into profits than the notorious Dr. Mengele. People can rephrase this anyway they want, but they cannot escape the blunt ferocity of this observation.
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IS US HEALTH CARE A MASSACRE?

[Just asking…]

So US health care causes voluntary manslaughter. Or is that murder? After all, it’s letting people die, to increase profits, that is, for money.

What is the difference with:”Your money or your life”, from highway men? None. Except that the power of the state is behind the request for money this time. If people do not pay as they save their lives, the US government and judicial system put a “lien” on the patient’s possessions. Highway men could not do that: instead, in places of good government, they would be the ones to hang. In the USA, instead, one hangs the patients upside down until all the money falls out of their pockets.

Can we measure how many people US health care kills? Easy. The richer a country is, the better the health of its inhabitants should be. The USA spends twice (per capita GDP) of what France does, so, logically, US citizens should live longer. Being richer makes people healthier, and that is why White English Americans had, for centuries, the best life expectancy on earth. Nevertheless life expectancy in the US is now 78 years, and 81 in France. Hence every US citizen loses, in the average, three years of life, relative to the average French citizen. Multiply this by 300 millions (there are more than 305 million US Americans), one gets 900 million years of American lives lost, transformed into profits. Now divide these 900 million years lost into the maw of delirious profiteering, and divide by 80 (the lifespan of US citizens, generously rounded up). One gets 11 million people dying early deaths because of (deliberately) bad health care. So the deficit of health care between the USA and France can be visualized as eleven million US citizens killed, per generation, by intentional termination of life. Twice the Jewish holocaust by the Nazis in W.W.II. That’s why we used the word “holocaust”. If anyone can explain to me how they differ, I am all ears. Oh, by the way, US citizens should be in the know about their own health care being out there to kill them. Be it only because there was a pretty explicit Michael Moore movie on that subject. In contrast, the average Nazified German had put himself in the excellent position of not suspecting that a holocaust was going on.

OK, modern US-style health care does not use all the tricks the hard core Nazis used to make money out of human bodies (selling hair, gold teeth, making shades from human skin, etc.). But it does not need to.

All this puts into perspective the morality of Mr. Warren Buffet, the one who made billions investing in for-profit health care. And the morality of those who find him such a great man, not to say great adviser. Don’t look for excuses when there are none.
***

Conclusion: The slave owner wants a desperately ill slave to live, the for-profit HMO wants the desperately sick patient to die ASAP. The HMO claims to want to take care, but such is not its nature. Its nature can only be according to its fundamental mission, save the profits, and kill. That, by itself, makes US health care a lie and an atrocity. Another thing: by brutalizing the population at the feet of the monstrous God of profits unchained, US-style health care makes people inured to brutality, and helps perpetuate in US minds brutality as a panacea. Lots more countries to drill and invade out there.

Patrice Ayme.
http://patriceayme.com/
****

Technical addenda:

1) SICK AND SICKER: Between 1997 and 2003, preventable deaths declined worldwide, BUT that decline was slower in the United States than in at least 18 other industrialized nations (and perhaps more). A recent study by the CIA found that the United States ranked 41st in the world for infant mortality, and 45th for total life expectancy (see the CIA world fact book). Given that the total number of industrialized countries is less than 40 (34, by CIA count), there can be no argument that the US qualifies as “third world” in infant mortality and life expectancy. Recent studies have furthermore found growing gaps in life expectancy in the USA based on income and geography. Life expectancy declined from 1983 to 1999 for women in 180 counties in the United States, contrarily to what is found in more civilized, less plutocratic countries.

2) How to fix the US health care system? By putting in competition the more efficient public healthcare (Medicare, Medicaid) and the private profiteers. The public one will win, because it has a more efficient Lagrangian.

ECONOMIC NIHILISM DECRIED.

August 10, 2008

DEVALUATING TO DEATH IS NO PANACEA.

Overview: The USA has used a devaluation of the US Dollar to help the US economy by increasing exports. This is an attempt to rob Jeanne (d’Arc) to feed (Uncle) Sam, and the exact sort of attempt to claw out some unfair advantage, that ignited the Great Depression that led to World War Two. This is not just injust and immoral, it’s grotesque, immoral, and very dangerous. Instead the USA should proceed with its long delayed drastic economic overhaul.

Currency devaluation to gain a short term economic advantage leads to political, social and moral devaluations. Ultimately it is the most guaranteed path to fascism and war, and defeat, history is very clear on that, all the way back to Rome. The USA cannot use its old devaluation trick to re-launch its economy anymore, because the rise of the rest of the world, and, in particular, of the colossal European Union, has deprived it of its special status. Obama is now talking about (part of) this, and it’s excellent news. Putting the US back on track involves first a rise of the Dollar, and since that’s done with the mouth, and a few clicks of the mouse, it can be done right away.
***

A lot of the rise of commodity prices, measured in dollars, has been caused by the devaluation of the US Dollar. In the last eight years, as oil went from 20 to 150 in US Dollars, the relative rise in Euros was only half of that.

As Barack Obama puts it:.”If we had a strengthening of the dollar, that would help” reduce fuel costs, (he said, according to Reuters). Instead, Fed Officials and the Bush administration blame high commodity prices on supply and demand, despite falling demand due to slower global growth. Meanwhile, they pursued what the Wall Street Journal calls “their destructive and all but explicit dollar devaluation strategy” (WSJ, August 8, 2008).

The recent lowering of the dollar was a competitive devaluation (ever since it breached parity with the Euro). In a competitive devaluation, a country (call it X) lowers its currency, to make its products cheaper. This is supposed to bring up the economic activity inside the country. There are several problems with this though:

1) In the very first stage, other countries get irritated because they then sell less of their own products, lowering their own activity, making them lose long term market share to X, etc.

2) Simultaneously, inflation of imports inside X is proportional to the lowering of the currency of X. This is what is happening to the US right now with oil and commodities. The lowering of the currency of X can lead foreigners to not invest in X as much as they should, because they wonder where it will stop (the USA is at this stage where foreigners are starting to pull away).

3) In the preceding stage, if the rise of exports’ worth does not keep pace with the rise of imports’ cost, the situation of X can get worse (this is not yet the case in the USA presently: the trade imbalance is going down). That stage is often facilitated if other countries take, in response to (1), corrective measures, not to say outright retorsion. Should the rise of exports not keep pace, other countries and investors lose trust in X’s currency, and, in a first stage, pull their investments out, making a bad situation way worse (the USA is approaching this stage: the big European countries receive much more Foreign Direct Investment than the USA, increasing the gap; the UK gets about three times more FDI, relative to its population).

4) In the final stage, X becomes so cheap, foreigners swoop in, and exert undue influence (this happened to imperial Rome, just before it transmogrified itself into a fascist “Catholic Orthodox” theocracy: it was easier to teach the rudiments of civilization to barbarians through a superstitious religion, than by sending them to school).

Competitive devaluations are therefore economically destabilizing and lead to civil unrest, fascism, and war. The textbook examples are the Weimar Republic and Argentina in the twentieth century. Britain, France, and many Mediterranean countries used competitive devaluations on a regular basis, creating havoc. Meanwhile Germany, (remembering that after using a massive devaluation to annoy France in the early twenties, she ended up with Nazism), became obsessed, come what may, to insure the value of the Deutsch Mark. The result was a flourishing economy, and that strategy was so good, it was even adopted by France within a generation, resulting ultimately in the creation of the Euro (after the Franc and the Mark got locked together for a decade, one may as well have called them the same, indeed).

This is not the first time the USA indulges in a competitive devaluation. In the past, though, the US Dollar was the world’s one and only reserve currency. So, when the US Dollar was going down, US exports would become cheaper, but payments of oil and commodities would not go higher (because they were all in US Dollars). The USA could engage in competitive devaluation without punishment, so it did. Now, for the first time, it’s being punished.

Indeed, the European Union’s sixteen trillion dollar economy has become much larger than that of the USA’s, and it has its own currency, the Euro (the British Pound , Swiss Franc, and various critters are more or less locked to it). Thus, the US Dollar should not be the world reserve currency anymore, and it is in the process of losing this status. Many countries are building reserves of Euros, and following Saddam, are asking for payments in Euros for oil and commodities. (As a confirmation of the economic, financial and increasing rise of Europe, world’s British Pound reserves are now larger than the reserves in the Japanese Yen… A telling forecast of what the world thinks of the future of open Britain and semi closed Japan.)

When Saddam Hussein decided unwisely to switch to oil payments in Euros, the USA replied by invading and destroying Iraq. That method, though, cannot be duplicated easily. Many countries are now switching to Euros, and when oil and commodities have prices in Euros, as the US Dollar goes down, their prices in Dollars go up. The USA is now approaching the sort of infernal descent into an inflationary spiral Argentina was destroyed with, nearly a century ago. The only saving grace is that the US debt to foreigners is, so far, in US Dollars (so it goes down with the Dollar; Argentina had a lot of its debt in foreign currency).

Barack Obama is right to call for a rise of the US Dollar. When the Euro was created, its value was found by looking at the long term average of the French Franc relative to the US Dollar over a century (around 6.66 Francs for a Dollar). That fixed the Euro-Dollar parity, and we are presently more than 50% above it. The present imbalance has been caused by deliberate short term neglect of the Dollar and US economy, and long term erroneous civilizational strategies. A correct US administration would point out that this is over, and that the US Dollar will regain its correct value right away. The turn around will be signaled by turning the Dollar around. This can be done tomorrow morning: the European Central Bank will be delighted to have an opportunity to ambush the speculators, it has been chomping at the bit, and is tired to intervene alone). This would bring capital in the USA immediately, helping to reverse the part of its economic decline which is caused by a dearth of modern investments.

Whereas, if the present situation perdures, it would do so because of the persistence of disastrous economic policies inside the USA, and the failure to even talk as if one wanted to turn things around. Ultimately, a catastrophic loss of control over the US currency could occur if a clear signal does not come that US authorities have decided to stop the decay of their country. Not a good way to go. Remember Argentina.

Patrice Ayme.

DRILLING WARS.

August 9, 2008

HOW SOME DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING VERY HARD TO LOSE THE ELECTIONS (AN ONGOING SERIES).

***

Warning: The present author is as fanatically ecological as they come, and thinks that burning oil is super dumb. This being said, contrarily to appearances, there is no contradiction with the following. Some decry “Know Nothing Politics”, we go further, and decry “Know Not Enough Thinking”.

***

In a long editorial in the New York Times, Paul Krugman vents his increasingly impotent rage (“Know Nothing Politics”, August 7, 2008): “Republicans, once hailed as the “party of ideas,” have become the party of stupid… And I certainly don’t mean to question the often frightening smarts of Republican political operatives. What I mean, instead, is that know-nothingism — the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there’s something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise — has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party’s de facto slogan has become: “Real men don’t think things through.””…

Somewhat illogically on the emotional level, Krugman brandishes von Schiller’s famous quote: “Against Stupidity Even the Gods Themselves Contend in Vain”.

The cause of Professor Krugman’s ire? Drilling. Let’s not guess that he never flies planes and don’t drive a car: that would be too stupid. Another thing that irritates Prof. Krugman: by evoking the “often frightening smarts” of republicans, he acknowledges that republicans play stupid on TV, whereas democrats play stupid for real.

It was even more frighteningly stupid to make drilling an issue. Not drilling was clearly a battle that could not be won. But never mind; as long as one democrat will be standing proud, guzzling oil, he will fight that pointless battle.

I disagreed on some points of Prof. Krugman’s editorial, and tried to express my technical point of views in three carefully reasoned and researched posts on his blog, and they were all rejected as dreadful heresies (who is stupid now?).

So never mind elaborated technical reasons. The simple question is this: if “Against Stupidity Even the Gods Themselves Contend in Vain”, then how come the democrats put themselves in a situation where stupidity could be used against them? Did they want to lose? That’s the question Professor Krugman’s logic irresistibly leads to.

Indeed the stupid ones are the ones who let drilling become an issue, when, in the present state of technology, everybody uses drilling. Democrats use drilling. Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi uses drilling in the fancy downhill ski resort she owns in California (most democratic operators are immensely wealthy, they play poor on TV).

Civilization would collapse completely without drilling. It’s immoral to incite only the Arabs to drill, while the USA patrols offshore with aircraft carriers, to make sure they keep on drilling enthusiastically. The democratic program in a nutshell: offshore patrolling with aircraft carriers in Arabia, thus no offshore drilling at home.

France produces less than a third of the emission of CO2 per person that the USA does (while achieving higher standards of living). France has long achieved Gore’s 2008 dream (producing in 2018 around 95% of US electricity from non carbon sources). Still, France is drilling as much as she can, and some of it next to Paris. In that extremely ecological country, drilling is not an issue (not even the worst, foaming at the mouth French ecologists seem to mind: they use oil too). Even the fanatically ecological Swiss are hoping there is lot of gas below their micro sea, Lac Leman, and are drilling it!

In Switzerland, houses are watched by helicopter to see if they leak heat more than is legal, and running an engine while a car is immobile is unlawful. But drilling offshore in the Leman, that pristine jewel, is correct. Nobody is protesting. Protesting hydrocarbon extraction would strike any European as supremely hypocritical. Natural gas is pretty ecological. It is as close to hydrogen as possible (see elaborated note on this elementary chemistry).

But then Speaker Nancy Pelosi, apparently an expert of not talking about what’s important by talking about what’s unimportant, was asked why she did not submit drilling to a vote in Congress, and she answered grandly: “I am trying to save the planet, I am trying to save the planet.” While looking like a deer in headlights, perhaps because she was struck by the enormity of her hypocrisy, explaining her saucer like eyes. Or maybe she was desperately busy with her next task, making up a story about why her ski resort is saving the planet too.

Saving the planet by not drilling off Nancy’s Northern Californian shore is a red herring. What the US needs is higher energy taxes, that will force efficiency and provide capital for investments. Speaking about the horror of offshore forever avoids the even greater horror of adressing the crisis with serious measures, such as taxes.

After the recent oil spike, France came up with a flurry of new taxes on energy, and gas guzzlers, that were passed into law quasi instantaneously, while increasing subsidies for the poor to compensate.  

Meanwhile Senator Barack Obama has made the concession of becoming intelligent about drilling (he is ready to allow drilling if the republicans themselves become intelligent, a condition the republicans may find intelligent not to satisfy, because they do not want to contend in vain).

DRILLING OFFSHORE MAY BECOME PLANET SAVING BY GETTING RID OF METHANE HYDRATES (Japan and China are already investing in that direction). And that we may have to do if the heating keeps on going.

Here is the long story short: paleontologists were mystified by episodes of extremely brutal overheating of the planet. Typically it was real hot, and then it became amazingly hot (some massive extinctions events seem to have followed). All sorts of fancy explanations were attempted. It seems these bouts of overheating were caused by methane eruptions. Methane has 60 times the greenhouse power of CO2 within 20 years, 21 times within a century.

It is true, and unsurprising, that against stupidity the democrats contend in vain. But these stupid issues they chose themselves. Other stupid issues include: not offering to Clinton the Vice Presidential candidate position (that should have been done long ago), and taxing the upper middle class to death while engineering a tax refuge for the hyper rich (the zero capital gain tax on Venture Capital Funds proposed by Obama at this point).

These issues will cost the Presidential election to the democrats. The drilling stupidity the democrats organized for themselves to lose is just a little warm up. The tax stupidity will be the killing blow. Republicans are just waiting until it’s too late, to spring the trap.

Why such stupidities are central to democratic strategy is explained by the apparent presence of double agents in the democratic party. Obama’s tax adviser from the University of Chicago economic department (a notorious center of right wing survival of the fittest, trickle down economics) delivers ambiguous discourses about “the future”, and doing away with “the past”. Apparently he means out with old tax loopholes for the hyper rich, in with the new. Warren Buffet, who made billions from maximizing his profits in US health “care”, is a trusted, and flaunted, adviser on the same tax subject, etc… I will momentarily refrain from mentioning previous great “socialist” leaders who had great US billionaires as trusted help (OK, if you insist: Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler…). Not that I compare anybody alive with those, I am just pointing out that the same mechanism is at work. We have been down that road before, the world knows what it means. The US population may even vaguely recognize the pattern, smell the fish. 

Of course the USA needs higher taxes, but on energy and consumption, and on the hyper rich. To compensate, give the poor  handsome subsidies (as France does). Capital flight (long occuring) could stop right away, because the European Union views the USA as the largest tax haven in the world, by far (which it is). The day the USA gives the word, all capital will come home to roost (because the Euros have already exerted considerable pressure that way; in general, when the US and the EU agree, nobody can stop them).

A related issue is that the USA does not save enough as a country, so it is an issue of national security to augment US savings and investments, instead of depending upon non democratic countries to provide capital for the USA (Arabic countries, China, etc., have been keeping the USA afloat financially).

As it is, proposing taxes on income and capital gains higher than in any socialist European country is an issue tailored to lose the presidency for the democrats. It’s plain too big to be just a stupidity.

The difference between progressives and conservatives is that the former are supposed to use intelligence the past did not have, making it less worth conserving. Some Republicans have used senseless arguments pro drilling, and many are old arguments from the past whose time has passed. So doing, the Republicans were doing their job, conserving what’s obsolete. Whereas, when democrats use erroneous arguments, they are serving neither intelligence, nor progress. True progressives, such as the present author, have then to point out those mistakes, and the earlier, the better… One would not want to finish like the erroneous French revolutionaries, post 1790, or the erroneous Soviet revolutionaries, post 1917. But it is how they started: by being obviously erroneous, and redefining for their own little comfort what “obvious” and “error” meant (in other words, being intellectually dishonest, as are those who refuse to publish posts that have more, and deeper facts).

****

Patrice Ayme.
More details on these subjects are found in https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/, especially “How Obama Could Lose” (June 29, 2008), and “Lousy Morality Leads to Lousy Economics” (July 2008).
****

P/S: (1) Someone on Krugman blog called “BaldApe”, claimed that he “was happy not to be my chemistry professor”. Krugman posted him, but did not post my retort (Post wars!). Here it is. Mr. BaldApe did not understand that NATURAL GAS, METHANE, CH4, IS AS CLOSE TO HYDROGEN as we can get to right now (while minimizing greenhouse gases in industrial production; mass production of hydrogen at this point is very dirty). I mention this because it’s crucial to the energy debate (and central to Pickens’ proposals). The E.U. has opted for lots of natural gas (from North Africa and Russia).

One should not confuse MASS OF MOLECULES CREATED, and NUMBER OF MOLECULES CREATED. A molecule of methane (CH4) is made of ONE Carbon atom (C) and FOUR Hydrogen atoms (H). Burning it consists into having its constituents atoms establishing stronger chemical bonds with oxygen atoms. Now Carbon is tetravalent, and oxygen bivalent. So the Carbon atom, C, establishes two bivalent bonds with two oxygen atoms to fill up its chemical availability. The result is ONE molecule made of one Carbon, and two Oxygens: O=C=O, otherwise symbolized as CO2. Hydrogen is monovalent, so, to fill up the chemical availability of oxygen, two hydrogen atoms need to be used. Hence the four hydrogen atoms in the CH4 attach to two oxygen atoms, so we end up with H-O-H twice, in other symbols, two molecules of H2O.

The same mass can contain vastly different numbers of molecules. For example one molecule of water (H-O-H) has the same mass as nine molecules of Hydrogen (H-H). What counts for the greenhouse is how many molecules of the type that can absorb infrared radiation are around. The greater the infrared capture power of the gas, the more the greenhouse effect of that gas. It’s twenty-one CO2 for CH4, and rise to above 200 times for NO2 (in a 100 year span).

Long hydrocarbon chains, as in oil, contain a lot of atoms of Carbon, so, when they burn, create much more CO2 relative to H2O in comparison to methane.

For Quantum mechanical reasons, O2 and N2 are not greenhouse gases, but H2O is. 60% of the greenhouse is due to water vapor, 26% to CO2, and 8% to a mix of CH4, O3, and NO2.

(2). A Chinese philosophical reset. 2,500 years ago, disciple Kung asked: “Is there any one word that could guide a person throughout life?” Master Kung (Kung Fuzi, “Confucius”) replied: “What about ‘Shu’ [reciprocity]: never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself?” [Analects XV.24].

Confucius would not have approved of Nancy’s loudly selfish tribe. If drilling is not good for the USA, it should not be good for Arabs either. Or is Arabia supposed to do the dirty work while North America wastes and pontificates?

***

HOW CORRECT SEMANTICS HELPS SEMITES.

August 6, 2008

NO SEMANTIC CORRECTNESS, NO PHILOSOPHICAL CORRECTNESS.

A debate has been raging in France around the following simple question: Why is it politically correct in many circles of the West to criticize Islam but not Judaism? (For the particular situation that led to this typical Franco-French fighting, one can read the long note (7) below. One can also consult the original inspiration for this essay, from Roger Cohen: “Aux barricades! France and the Jews” (New York Times and IHT, August 3, 2008).)

France and the Jews is of course a gigantic subject: simply put, there were Jews in Gaul before there were Francs. Anti-Judaism was encouraged by Saint Hilarius, bishop of Poitiers (and also inventor of the Trinity), in the mid Fourth century (~ 350 CE). Saint Hilarius was a straight forward fanatical racist: he preached to ignore and ostracize Jews, and not to return their salutations (Jews and Pagan had full rights as citizens of the Roman empire before the theocratic dictatorship under Constantine removed them). The Pagan Franks founded Francia in 486 CE (soon they gave the Jews their full rights back).

As Roger Cohen puts it: ” It’s not quite the Dreyfus Affair, at least not yet. But France is divided again over power and the Jews. While the United States has been debating The New Yorker’s caricature of Barack Obama as a Muslim, France has gone off the deep end over a brief item in the country’s leading satirical magazine portraying the relationship between President Nicolas Sarkozy’s fast-rising son, Jean, and his Jewish fiancée.”

As it turns out the young lady is extremely rich. Just pointing out that fact brought howls of “anti-Semitism”.

In these sort of debates, about who hates whom and why they are right to do so, it may help to use accurate vocabulary, the first necessary step towards accurate thoughts. Otherwise, it’s garbage in, garbage out, here, there, and everywhere. The air itself becomes garbage.

In conventional usage, people who have something against Jews are called “anti-Semite”. It’s not completely false, because Jews are Semites. But neither is it really true, either. It can even be completely false.

Socrates and Plato used to love pointing out logical trivialities, but it may have been more useful to point out illogical trivialities people engage in frequently. Maybe then Athens would not have gone down.

A lot of the debate about Jews, pro and con, rests on such illogisms, and thus, unsurprisingly, can be all things to all people. 

If one is against snakes, and snakes are animals, then one, according to many an anti-Anti-Semite, ought to be labeled “anti-Animal”. But such a generalization would be unfair to truth and animals in general, and one self in particular, if one happens to be an animal. By the same token, always according to many of our funny friends the anti-Anti-Semites, since Nazis were anti-Jew, and (German) Jews were German, the Nazis ought to have been called “anti-German” (that’s definitively a reasoning the Nazis would not have been comfortable with, all the more since, as it turned out, it was so true: the Nazis’ little adventure was bound to kill lots of Germans, and, indeed, it killed 10% of them).

But let’s come back to our friends the denizens of Arabia. The Arabs are Semites. Calling an Arab “anti-Semite” is calling him anti-Himself, self destructive. That maybe true, but certainly it is not a nice way to engage a conversation. Still, there is a grain of truth in this, because the Jews not only are Semite, but they come from the root of the Arabian peninsula. Arabia is that big peninsula between the giant African and Eurasiatic plates. This is shown by linguistic, historical, and genetic evidence (contradictory pontificating will be adressed in the notes below).

In other words, the Jews are denizens of Arabia, just as “Arabs” are. Looked at it this way, a Jew is an Arab. By being anti-Jew an Arab is anti-Arab in some sense. So the Judaic-Arabic argument is a sort of civil war in the minds of generalized Arabs (see notes). They don’t need another war, they need a shrink.

Now for the money context. The screaming by people of more or less Jewish origin that it is anti-Jew to say that there is a connection between Jews and money is disingenuous. For religious Judaic reasons, it was forbidden to Jews to borrow money against interest to other Jews, and so universalistic Jews calling themselves Christians having adopted that doctrine too, among themselves could not borrow either. That left the religious loophole that Christians could borrow from Jews, etc… Not only they hated each other, but they would have invented each other, if they did not already exist… Oh, why did the Christians, or more exactly Catholic Orthodox, as they called themselves (!) hate the Jews so much? Very simple: they had killed everybody else (intellectuals, Pagan, other types of Christians, etc…), but could not quite kill the Jews (their mythical founder being a Jew followed around by Jews, and their “book” being the “book”, i.e., the Bible), so the Christians were very frustrated. Soon the Pagan Franks took power, and put the Christians in the dog house for centuries, and forced them to behave. (After six centuries of best behavior, though, the Christians found their Crusade trick, and came out barking each time a Jew passed by, poisoning Europe again with enchroating madness, until the full religious wars of the Renaissance.)   

But back to the original position of the Jews in the High Middle ages. The Jews, who had full citizen rights under the Carolingian Imperium Francorum, became richer, and started a tradition of riches, by lending to Christians. Those the closest to money end up with more. And those who want to learn from history have to learn even what they decided they did not like. The history of the Jews in Western Europe is full of enough horrors to excuse many Jewish defects, real or imagined.

Many Jews were very rich, hence, sometimes, as happened in the 13c., the king of France and his vassal the king of England, woke up and threw the Jews out, keeping there riches. Before allowing them back, like the cows are brought back to the farm to make more milk. Another method was simply to marry rich Jews (the French monarchy used to marry its Italian bankers too). That’s how most of the French population ended with Jewish ancestors (including De Gaulle). Besides, since Jews had equal rights, and Judaism was looser, there were mass conversions to Judaism throughout the empire of the Franks. Accusing the French of anti-Judaism is accusing them of anti-Frenchism (that they do everyday to amuse themselves, but it’s another story).

It is also disingenuous, and anti-European, not to say anti-Civilizational, to claim as Elie Wiesel, Claude Lanzmann, Robert Badinter and Bernard-Henri Lévy and others do, that their philosophical fire should be directed towards what they call “the line between humor and insult, caricature and hatred”. So doing, they make the point Quran fundamentalists want to make in places like Afghanistan, with a knife across little girls throats.

Elie Wiesel, Claude Lanzmann, Robert Badinter and Bernard-Henri Lévy, and their kind should be ashamed that their petty opportunism encourages Quran fundamentalist killers (by making such a big deal that the insult line was crossed, those worthies agree with the Quranist killers on their number one claim: insulting humor matters a lot, and should be punished).

If humor is really so terrible, they should go to court and defeat it (but they probably fear that the judge would punish them instead; French judges punish the losing side). And if it’s so false, then seriously disprove it, whatever it is. It can be excellent for philosophical thriving, to search for valid arguments.

I will have some freedom fries…
***

Patrice Ayme
Tyranosopher
https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/

http://patriceayme.com/

***

Notes:
1) Genetics show less intermixing of the Jews than with surrounding population (an argument to support the “right of return” of the Jews to their homeland around Jerusalem; after all, they were chased away by Romans, Christians, and Muslims).

2) Some gentic markers have been found more in common (10%) with Kurds, so some scream Jews have nothing to do with Arabs. But first genetic science is not advanced enough, and, secondly the argument above is geographical: at some point, and for more than a millennium, Jews were home around Jerusalem (and Muhammad’s ancestors were not!). Moreoever nations moved in the past. Finally liguistics has often proven more precise than inchoating genetic. 

3) If Jews are generalized Arabs, then they are natural allies for Arabs, and Iran should rather meditate that one carefully…

4) Initially Muhammad set himself to bring to Pagan Arabs, with their cult of the moon and of the meteorite, a flourishing religious tourism in Mecca, the great and real JEWISH God. Initially He wanted the day of the Lord to be the Sabbath, and the Jews of Yatrib (now Medina) were his best friends. But they had a serious different, one of the Jewish tribes was annihilated by Muhammad, and the others fled to Palestine-Jordan. There they helped the invading Arab Muslim armies, a few years later, in their assault against the Roman army (!)

5) A careful digestion of the sort of information above shows that the Palestino-Jewish conflict is much ado about nothing. Not only are Jews generalized Arabs, but Islam is a desertic version of universal Judaism, just as Christianism is a Roman (Constantine!) version of universal Judaism. The anti-Judaism of Islam was invented by Christian fanatics (Constantine, Saint Hilarius, etc…), and Muslims picked it up like parrots! (Sorry for the humor, or was it a fact, or an insult?) It’s all a brawl among historically challenged siblings!  But those who confuse categories and make big friends with what they hate to win one argument against someone they dislike, contribute to the problem they claim to want to fix.  

6) It is often said that the West feels culprit about “the” holocaust, so they created Israel to atone for their guilt. But first Israel was created more than 3,000 years ago. a better argument is that Isreal is an outpost of democracy, or there to divide the Middle East. There is something to the later point. It seems that the E.U. and the U.S.A. have ample power to impose a solution. Not doing so keeps the Middle East divided. The USa, in particular has long been allied to Muslim fundamentalism, using it as a weapon of mass destruction against whatever it wanted to level. 

 
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7) The Sinet affair background: A lifelong provocateur (he is 80 years old), whose previous targets have included Christians, Muslim fundamentalists and gays, Maurice Sinet (pen name: “Sine”) went to the police after a website called for him to be murdered. He penned a critical paragraph on the rising fortunes of the 21-year-old Jean Sarkozy, who was elected this year in his father’s political fief, the wealthy Paris suburb of Neuilly (where he organized a mimi coup). Sine wrote that Sarkozy junior “has just said he intends to convert to Judaism before marrying his fiancee, who is Jewish, and the heiress to the founders of Darty,”  “He’ll go far, that kid,” he wrote (Darty is a French retail giant).

Charlie Hebdo editor Philippe Val said Sine was sacked for remarks that “could be interpreted as drawing a link between conversion to Judaism and social success”, thus alluding to the old stereotype linking Jews and money. Val said the text was “neither acceptable nor defendable in court”.

The “Affaire Sine” escalated into a tug-of-war over raw freedom of expression and alleged “anti-Semitism”. France has a long history with Judaism and anti-Judaism, ever since Saint Hilarius riled against Jews in the Fourth century, and a few centuries later Jews were given full rights, eleven centuries before the Dreyfus affair, and still a sensitive issue in a country that has both Europe’s largest community of Jewish descent, at 600,000 people, and its largest  community of Muslim descent, at around five million (I’m careful to say “descent” because most French are atheists, including not just many so called Christians but also many so called Jews and Muslims).

In an open letter in Le Monde in July 2008, 20 writers and politicians including Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe, Nobel Peace prize winner Elie Wiesel and former justice minister Robert Badinter, and the hyper rich philosopher Bernard Henri Levy defended the paper’s firing of its satirist. They said he had “crossed the line between humorous insult and hateful caricature”. The chorus of condemnation was joined by French Culture Minister Christine Albanel last week.

Eight thousand people have signed up to an online petition defending Sine, including the architect Jean Nouvel and the far-left former presidential candidate Olivier Besancenot. They insist he is not an anti-Semite, merely an agent provocateur, that his remarks were well within the law, and part of a healthy and necessary tradition of irreverent satire. “We can’t breathe in this country any more,” complained the writer Jean-Marie Laclavetine in Le Monde. “We need the outrageousness of someone like Sine.”

“Charlie Hebdo has dealt a terrible blow to freedom of expression by seeking to gag Sine the libertarian,” wrote Gisele Halimi, a high-profile lawyer, defender of dangerous leftist causes and women rights, and a former lawmaker, who is half Jewish. The satirical weekly made headlines in 2006 for reprinting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which sparked a wave of violent protests around the world, as well as an irreverent cartoon of its own. It later won a defamation suit brought by French Muslim groups in a trial seen as a test case for freedom of expression, and over which it received the support of the French media and political establishment.

Why, indeed, should it be possible to criticize Islam but not Judaism? Well, a subject not broached here is that a lot of those who do not want to criticize Judaism are themselves European, and so are many Jews and Israeli of apparently European descent, contrarily to most Muslims… A white angel covered with Svastikas rotating the wrong way passes by…