Aphorisms. Mid-October 2010


FASCISM: PRIMATES’ SAVIOR:

When the going gets real tough, the people bundle together as many weak rods, around the ax of their common fear and anger. It’s called fascism, it’s one of the oldest instincts of primates, and those who caused it are often more to blame that those who react thus.

***

WHEN MARIE-ANTOINETTE GETS LOST:

The king of France, constitutional monarch on a constitution he had himself signed on, decided to flee and join the enemies of France, those old European, aristocratic regimes he had himself combated for so many years. Unbeknownst to him, his wife, the queen Marie-Antoinette, had been sending secret messages in invisible ink about the displacements of the French armies, to those very enemies. The monarchs decided to flee France and join the enemy. However the queen got lost on her way to the carrosse, in the few blocks outside of their Tuileries palace, and wasted an hour and a half. This is ultimately why the royal rats got caught at Varennes, before they could leave the ship they had themselves tried to sink.

This is all the more surprising, because Louis XVI was a strongly reformist king. However, the principal effort of his reign was to fight England, and make her rich American colony independent. This ruined France. And Louis did not control what his wife was doing, coming from what she truly wanted; always more. So it was with Michelle-Antoinette, lost in Iberia. I mean Marie-Antoinette, lost in Paris.

***

THE "INVISIBLE HAND", GENERALIZED:

An underlying assumption of American style economics, and of the society it organized, is that competition makes the world go around (although the economics Nobel prize was occasionally given not for that, such as in 2010, the competition compatible awards drown the others).

However, a casual acquaintance with non pathological human society, shows that human beings have many other motivations, besides competition. When competition ruins these other motivations, a pathological society results. Overall, one can say that over-competition ruins the USA.

The best proof of this is that secret organizations can now secretly, albeit officially and legally, contribute to politics (so decided the USA Supreme Court, 2010). Obama darkly claimed that even invisible foreign hands have been contributing. That would be ironical, since black ops, in Congress, or while fighting “terrorism”, have been the hallmark of the Obama presidency.

***

FEAR CAN BE PROFITABLE:

Iran is a paper tiger. Real tigers, the Caspian tigers, are now extinct in Iran. Iran has not attacked any other country for centuries. Its parliamentary democracy was demolished by the CIA instrumentalizing the Shiites, in 1953. The fear was that British Petroleum could not extract all the profits from its exploitation of Iranian oil.

Talking too much about non-existent Iranian nuclear bombs is part of a maneuver of diversion. The problem is not urgent, and can be solved (by reprocessing plutonium out of Iran as Russia is doing for the soon to function Iranian reactor).

Pakistan may have up to 200 thermonuclear warheads. That’s no paper tiger, and more of a divided personality than any other country in the world. Why does not Obama and company worry more about it? Because they want to be ‘surprised’, once again?

Who would profit from a thermonuclear warhead exploded over the West, somewhere? Those who profit from fascism. Plutocracy.

Who would profit from a thermonuclear war between India and Pakistan. Well, fascism again, and those who have the world’s best military, as nuclear war spreads around the planet, and the "Novus Ordo Seclorum", the vaunted establishment by the USA of a "new Order for the Ages", gets established for good.

The road to hell can also be paved with bad intentions, if there are not enough good intentions to walk around.

***

TRUTH IS SOCIAL, EVEN THE MENTAL IS SOCIAL:

All what humans know, and aspire to is social. That is what it means, to be a social animal. And one’s social position validates, to the world, one’s knowledge, and aspirations. This is true, even in science, or poetry.

Among other consequences, social notions validate truth itself. Although, for the grandest and most revolutionary thoughts, the validation will be posthumous, because it goes through social positioning, and that takes time. In other words, if you hang around the wrong crowd, or no crowd big and influential enough, it does not matter how right you are. You, and your truth, will be ignored.

Being an animal means just that, nothing more. Thus humanity entangles the sublime with the oldest instincts.

***

COLLAPSE: YESTERDAY’S ABYSS IS TODAY’S MODERATION.

The USA two party system is, officially, one party removed from obvious dictatorship. Why should it be an institution?

All European democracies have at least three parties (as in the UK), and sometimes much more. The two existing parties in the USA are two aspects of the same plutocratic party. Obama has been governing like what passes for a moderate republican nowadays, somewhere right of Nixon. So it is during collapse: yesterday’s abyss is today’s moderation.

***

INFINITY IS QUANTUM.

Gowers asks: does infinity exist? [He is a Fields Medal math professor in Cambridge University, so the question ought to be taken seriously.] Such is the last line of his “Clay lecture” on infinity. [Clay is an institute that distributes rewards, and prizes in mathematics.]

That is an existential question, and I claim its solution is neurological. It is a particularly simple case of the question of BEING (The one question Heidegger claimed to approach, his way, pooping words along, with the obstinacy of a Greek speaking cow.) Being, of course, has to do with Quantum physics, and that is understood just enough to know that it is outside of the picture we have of this world, in the sense we have understood, and imagined, the world so far.

Can one give a hint? Well, both infinity, and the Quantum, are about tunneling. Tunneling to a new meaning in the case of infinity, tunneling through the impossible, in the case the Quantum. The Quantum makes the impossible probable. It makes the impossible real.

Infinity is obviously impossible for neurology to model. One would think. But neurology, like the Quantum, can think out of the box. Neurology, by going meta, can name infinity, with a neuron of equivalent, which brings it into being.

So, yes, infinity does exist. The brain made it so, as it does with the rest.

Some may sneer that I failed to tie in infinity and the Quantum, strictly speaking. Instead I used a theory of “meta” which could be depicted by traditional neurology.  True. However, it is now known that biology uses Quantum physics just as much as it does molecular biology, so any neurology is Quantum. Because neurology has a mechanism to create infinity as a physical object, that means, so does the Quantum.

Anyway the smaller the object, the more dominated by Quantum physics it is, and what is smaller than a concept? Even if it is infinity?

***

SOMEWHERE RIGHT OF REASON:

Obama is going around, talking well, as usual, when he campaigns. According to him, all the good things of the last two years will come to an end, should the republicans come to power. What? No more bank bonuses? No more no inquiry on the most giant financial conspiracy that ever was?

Meanwhile a federal judge has found that the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" 17 year old decree about homosexuality, violated the right to free speech ("First Amendment to the USA constitution). That is rigorously not surprising. Nor is Obama’s government reaction: they let it be known they will appeal. By contrast, in a similar situation, the gubernator of California, the republican Schwarzenegger, and Jerry Brown, attorney general of California, refused to appeal. Who is this Obama?

Is Obama trying to please the (officially) homophobic generals? No, Obama comes on MTV, and he claims he is just trying to be "orderly"? "Orderly"?Or, in other words, preserving the established order all over. Or trying to create red herrings all over? Then Obama, in the same MTV show drowned the fish in the water, observing people are "children of God" born with a certain "make-up", a revolutionary discourse in the USA, no doubt.

***

USA CAPITALISM: 45 TRILLION DOLLARS OF PRIVATE PROPERTY GONE?

Obama, obsessed by the continuation of the established order, has, so far, declined to engage in any criminal pursuit in the greatest financial stick-up in the history of civilization. Hey, he is right, according to him: just like with homosexuals speaking, this could not possibly be "orderly".

So the horror keeps on gathering momentum: 144 billion dollars of Wall Street bonuses announced, a bit more than in 2009, thanks to the average citizen of the USA, courtesy of Mr. Obama, anxious, as he is, to preserve the established order of Wall Street bonuses several times bigger than the "jobs" part of his so called "stimulus".

The USA elections are still more than three weeks away, and, officially, the financial sector spent already more than 200 million dollars. Let alone all the secretive spending.

Meanwhile, because banks in the USA sold and chopped property rights in the last 30 years, before making them into smoothies, as they were keeping the rents for themselves, up to 45 TRILLION dollars of private property are potentially not private at all, but of property unknown. Such is the drawback of so called "securitization". Tragedy is turning to comedy. United States of Attrition? Is capitalism without property an imaginable concept?

***

Patrice Ayme

8 Responses to “Aphorisms. Mid-October 2010”

  1. Roger Henry Says:

    Joseph Schumpeter wrote of the nature of ‘Creative Destruction’ of elements in an economy as they loose their utility. Obama is ,by the nature of his upbringing, deeply frightened by change from the status quo. The utility of the Wall Street banking system to the American economy has reached its end. Its self destruction is unavoidable, no matter how much Obama and his henchmen try to dance around and avoid this outcome and the resulting chaos.
    This will be a kind of creative destruction in any case as the status quo Obama clings to is unsustainable. It would be much less traumatic to the economy to manage a transition to a more decentralized banking system with stricter oversight of its operations ,but it will not happen. As you have pointed out, no one relinquishes power or wealth voluntarily.
    Obama was hired by the plutocrats because of his psychological obsession to the status quo.

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Roger Henry:
      I do agree. I think Obama completely revealed himself by saying that he would appeal the judge’s decision that forcing people to avoid some forms of free speech was unconstitutional. He basically say that being “orderly” was his ultimate metaprinciple. He is obsessive. It is easy to imagine which side he would have gone on in any regime having established “order”.

      I am in awe to the perspicacity of the plutocracy. As Obama kept on reading faithfully the right blog during his run, I got completely fooled. Still, the warning signs were there, such as his two autobiographies. Somebody who has known him very long (I know several of them) confessed to me suddenly in the last two weeks that it is not surprising that his presidency turned out deeply dishonest, because so were his autobiographies. That is from someone who has done really a lot for Obama, for an extremely long time (he would no doubt be very hurt if he knew who it was).

      Certainly, either a biography is a biography, or it’s fiction. Modifying details is one thing, but inventing completely what was never there, something else.

      Anyway, I was thinking of writing an “Obama psychoanalysis” essay. We have now enough in the public record to wax, lyrical. More practically, confronted to what he truly is, could he change? Does he even want to change? As he goes to LA in Air Force One for a spot on Jay Leno, spiting the authority of his office, and watches basketball all the way back, forcing (one hopes!) the CIA officer to watch, instead of pondering Afghanistan, one realizes that being able to play one on TV, reading “idiot boards” written by ignorant twenty-somethings, is very far from the sort of maturity that brings forth enough intelligence to preside over the destiny of the world.

      I did not know Schumpeter at all, but several of my main themes are identical to his. Now, in turn, he esteemed Turgot, a second generation physiocrat, and French PM, more than (his student) Adam Smith, something I have written about in the past (without knowing anything about Schumpeter).

      Now, of course COLBERT was implementing some of the ideas advanced by Schumpeter, three centuries earlier. Right now China has gone massively Colbertist.

      Creative destruction in the world of ideas is the core of the doctrine of the Franks, and, since then, since the Franks took command, precisely because of this metaprinciple, has defined the West.
      PA

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  2. multumnonmulta Says:

    Schumpeter doesn’t fit the above description. Creative destruction is a dyad, whatever is newly created destroys the old. In the above scenario, I fail to see the creation part.

    One can go to other sources, though even Schumpeter was skeptical of the long term prospects of (US) capitalism…

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      multumnonmulta:
      I know nearly nothing about Schumpeter. After Roger Henry wrote his comment, and conscious of the general admiration for Schumpeter (see “The Economist”), I looked up Wikipedia and the like. Schumpeter borrowed the concept of “creative destruction” from Marxists, if not Marx himself (and actually started one of his books quoting Marx that way). Anyway, indeed, the planet being finite all creation involves destruction.

      I maintain that the correct way of building the best modern economy was officially invented in France in the 17C, with Sully (reluctantly) implementing Henri IV socio-economic engineering (“every French family should have a hen in the pot, at least once a week”), and the whole thing being pushed further into company creation and state sponsored venture capitalism based on new science and technology, by COLBERT. It’s interesting that a king was in the forefront (so was his predecessor, Henri III, for “gay” rights and the like).

      China is presently axing its economic and social growth on Colbert, as main theoretician. The plutocratically engineered WTO says that Colbertism ought to be unlawful, that only the free market, namely big private bucks ought to reign. I believe China is right, and the WTO is wrong.
      PA

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  3. Roger Henry Says:

    PA
    It is interesting, your quotation from HenryIV i.e ” a hen in the pot, at least once a week’. Apparently FDR had also been introduced to this quote somewhere in his education. I recall my parents talking of his goal for the USA, upon recovery from the Depression, was for every household to have a chicken in the pot.
    Ironically, urban poultry rearing,in tiny scale 5 to 10 hens or less, is becoming a modern day passion in many homes in the midwest USA.
    As Harry Truman said, nothing is new, it is only history you have not read.

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Roger:
      Henri IV’s attitude was the exact opposite of that of Roman emperors (the original Caesar excepted). Henri believed in technological progress: he had a massive road and canal construction program. This improved commerce immediately, as it would if no baba Obama improved the railroads (that he could do right away; but it would have deprived the plutocrats of a few billions going into jobs, rather than into their banks of influence).

      Henri’s bridge, the “Pont Neuf” still stands in Paris. So does the gigantic southern part of the Louvres, la grande gallerie, 400 meters long, 35 meters wide. At he time the largest architectural building in the world. Henri accomplished an industrialization program, bringing Dutch colonists to drain swamps, setting up silk, cloth, tapestry and glassware industries (all those precedingly expensively imported).

      Henri, as his predecessor, was the object of the hatred of Catholic League (in league with the Spanish Inquisition), Abrahamic terrorists who finally succeeded to kill him (1610 CE). In any case I hold that the notion of progress, was the overall metaprinciple of the Franks, and that was new (neither the Greeks, nor the Romans had it, as state policy, although Pericles had the close-by “Open Society”).

      Progress is not hot in the USA right now. As proven by the fierce assaults of “Fox News” against the “progressives”.
      PA

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  4. multumnonmulta Says:

    In a way, our society is paying back for some of its early assumptions. People never bother to question how/why we got here, usually we look at only one or two most recent steps.

    The end result is the concentration of most everything we do, in fact, concentration and growth. To use a metaphor from complexity theory, we had passed many a natural optimum, being in a situation now where even small perturbations can take us anywhere.

    Where does the previous paragraph tie in? In what I see as our excessive reliance on a few producers and an extensive distribution network. On the one hand, there’s no room for raising your own hens, on the other, try to imagine the result of any perturbation in the distribution together with the fact that we depend on essential goods hauled from thousands of miles away.

    We need to reconnect with common sense and rebuild our communities. As I see ZERO signs of these, we still have a long way to go. When I read Bernake’s latest statement in Boston, blood froze in my veins…

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear mnm:
      Apparently Bernanke, and quite a few others are paid, and got put in position of power, to teach anti-knowledge. OK, Bernanke has only one instrument in his plane; Quantitative Easing, and its adjunct functor, rising interest rates. (Category theory, started by Aristotle, has made great strides in the last 70 years, I have to use it more, it fits my notion of neurology just right…but I digress…)

      Obama, on the other hand, has all the instruments in his cockpit. But all he wants to do, is watch basket ball on the big screenn TV in the back. Then he got Summers as guru, and all Summers knows is that billionaires make the world go ’round. OK, Austan Golsbee is a huge progress. We went from a giant, decomposing radioactive jaba-the-hut type toad to what is definitively a primate endowed with emotions (who had the courage to face Colbert, the comedian, so now maybe he can face Colbert the man of state…)

      As you say, history got us here. The USA has had a charmed life: the invasion and appropriation of the largest temperate continent by European civilization from the native Neolithics, was thorough, and the continent was rich in all the goodies, especially oil. But now dark at the entrance of the tunnel is approaching fast, and today’s USA, and the West in general, is approaching very fast the sort of quandary the place now known as France has known for at least 2,000 years: when you are the crossroads, and no miracles are coming, you better be careful in the ideas you deploy, and you better have lots of good ones.

      The charmed life of England (at least in the last 954 years…) is no help, because England was saved, cheaply, from many invaders only because she was an island. France saved herself, too, always, so far, in the end. But it was not cheap.
      PA

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