No Transparency, No Democracy

 

PLUTOCRACY AND ITS ENEMIES.

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THE CLOSED SOCIETY AND ITS PREYS:

In "The Open Society And Its Enemies", the philosopher Karl Popper criticized those who attacked what Pericles himself (advised by his own top Athenian philosophers) had called the "Open Society".

Unfortunately, well after Pericles’ death, Athens produced its own intellectual enemies of the open society, and the open mind. Plato, from the wealthy class, and Aristotle, straight from the Macedonian court, are may be the two highest examples of the fascism-plutocracy complex who ever were. The fact that they practiced creative thinking made them even more dangerous (and those two and their students may well have added enough poison to kill Athenian democracy).

Both Popper and Pericles used euphemisms. They did not conceptually distinguish and name the real enemy. It is true Athens, at its apogee, was an open society (for the times). However, there was still a lot of power among too few, very rich hands in the City-State. And Plato belonged to that class, and was busy undermining his enemy, namely the demos.

Ultimately, that wealthy class betrayed the Athenian democracy and sided with the Macedonian fasco-plutocrats (whether the Macedonian generals who preceded, supported, and replaced Alexander, were more plutocratic than fascist is a matter of debate; in any case, the two notions are two different dimensions of human psyche belonging to the Dark Side).

Thus the existence of that plutocratic layer ultimately defeated Greek democracy. As Athens and other Greeks, finally, allied with Rome, defeated the Macedonians, Roman plutocracy (led by the Roman Senate), turned around, and crushed democracy in Greece again (by throwing four legions onto Corinth to repress socialism there).

An uneasy status quo would perdure, between Greek intellectuals and Roman plutocrats, until Roman fascism unleashed theocracy over the whole empire under emperor Jovian in 363 CE (an unusual date, but I chose it because that’s when the state engaged in library burning; even a redoubtable Catholic fanatic such as emperor Constantius II had not dared to do that).

The final straw was when emperor Justinian closed the academies (529 CE). The Greek intellectuals and their books fled to Sassanid Persia (a fascist state, but not as fascist), and Hellenistic intellectual tradition survived long enough (3 centuries) to have a lot of it transferred to the Arabs and Muslims.

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PLUTOCRACY IS THE ENEMY OF THE OPEN SOCIETY:

What Plato and Popper did not dare say was that the hyper rich, as a class, was for the closed society. The problem is acute nowadays: we see, worldwide, a struggle to death between plutocracy and democracy. Notice the word “death”, please.

Past democrats, sometimes centuries ago, say when England was fighting the dictator Napoleon (a dictator that England had itself created, and that shows how deep the roots of plutocracy can go), used creative financing. It actually started way back, in Renaissance Italy, especially during those charming wars before 1300 CE, and got boosted by the (civil?)war between the French Francois I and the Bourguignon, Charles V (elected emperor “Charles Quint”).

In any case, political power came to use, and thus depend, upon PRIVATE BANKERS. In particular the Rothschilds. Private bankers were given a monopoly of the state, MONEY CREATION. It is true that this fractional reserve system augmented the power of the state, short term. But mostly it augmented the power of the bankers, and the riches of those in government, who let themselves be corrupted by them.

This satanic arrangement started mainly as a European conspiracy. The early American presidents saw it, as such, decried it very loudly, and avoided it. Just the opposite of the present day USA.

This connivance between state and private individuals happened before; it’s called the END OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. At the end of the empire, the hyper rich refused to pay taxes, and the state did not have enough power to force them to. So the state, starved in revenues, turned to German bands for defense (or even to the Huns!)

Later the confederation of the Salian Franks (the free from the salted area, namely the southern Netherlands), a nation of peasant warriors versed into international and religious matters, took overall power (after becoming indispensable to the empire as its shock troops).

When the Muslim armies invaded with their Arabs and Berbers, the Franks needed a serious army. They were powerful enough to get the money they needed, by nationalizing the Catholic church (early 8th century). That professional army was the largest since the heydays of the Roman empire.

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THE ROMAN REPUBLIC WAS DESTROYED BY PLUTOCRACY UNCHAINED:

During the Second Punic war, the Roman republic was victim of a succession of tremendous defeats. Entire armies, with the best and brightest of the Roman citizens got annihilated. Most of the old aristocracy got destroyed (that’s a fact). And with it, most of Rome’s old republican culture (I am assuming this, by observing the change of tone of legislators and orators, let alone the decisions taken by the state). Even if some old families survived, the sons had no time to be properly educated by their fathers.

Meanwhile war profiteers became the new rich, and soon the new Roman aristocracy. That, and the immense growth of Roman wealth, explained how Rome sank in abject plutocracy. It took 60 years.

Sixty years ago, under president Eisenhower, the upper margin rate on taxes was 81%. Yes, not far from 100%. So Ike could pay for the Interstate Freeway system, massive weapon programs (the Stalinists had gone thermonuclear), create public utilities such as NASA, and pay for ordering the troops to crack down on institutionalized racism in American schools.

More generally, republican president Eisenhower kept the plutocracy in check. Nowadays, with the neofascist neocons in power, Eisenhower would be viewed as a dangerous communist, if only the neofascist neocons had heard of him.

Lying has a lot to do with the unleashing of plutocracy in Rome. A lie was that, 60 years after its second crushing defeat, Carthage still represented a danger. It did not (having lost its empire, now under the control of Rome).

Carthage having become democratic, was not a danger for Rome, but a danger for Roman plutocracy, as it represented the example of a giant and wealthy city where hyper plutocracy did not reign. Numantia, Corinth, and Greece in general, fell to the same logic.

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NO TRANSPARENCY, NO DEMOCRACY:

It is as simple as that. This principle ought to end the base controversy about WikiLeaks philosophy.

Some will say: "And what about the secret services? What about killing the worst enemies of democracy in the night? How can we still do that? with all this transparency?" Well, that is precisely why those services are secret, and reside in the shadows.

Democratic institutions cannot be covered by secrecy. It is one thing to have nuclear codes, and keeping them secret. That is about war, the fascist side. That is why the highest legal authorities of Rome, among them the Consuls, were surrounded by big men carrying big axes.

The fascist side is necessary: it protects the people (demos) from ultimate harm (when the people is made into cat food or turned into ashes).

But the people ‘s normal state, the pursuit of happiness, requires that fascism be kept away, and that means for secrecy to be kept away. The people, the demos, cannot rule, kratos, if it does not know what is going on. Obama is our representative, not our ruler. WE rule, We The People.

Even the expression "First Lady Of The USA", should be ruled out. This is the way Augustus, the first emperor, killed the republic: by calling himself "FIRST". In Latin: PRINCEPS. Or as the French came to say: "Prince".

Plutocracy has grown, precisely thanks to, and under the cover of secrecy, as it corrupted the elected representatives of the people, and its democratic institutions (see the central bank, below, and the Irish crisis, where taxpayers in Ireland, Britain, Europe, and the rest of the IMF countries of the world, including the USA, are asked to make sure that fat cats keep on purring in their castles, and fly in private jets… to support what THEY call the economy, their economy.)

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CONTEXTUAL LYING

Hannah Arendt would support "No Transparency, No Democracy" She actually railed against "invisible governments".… She is misquoted wildly in connection with WikiLeaks by the servants of plutocracy (who claim that she would have been against the leaks).

The technique used against Arendt is simple. A philosopher says: "Non A". Then an anti-philosopher comes and claims that: ‘the philosopher said: "A"’. Similar techniques are used with hyperlinks (hyperlinks are often brandished, which do not support what they are claimed to support, so the quoting looks scholarly, but it’s just dishonest).

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SKY IS THE LIMIT:

I often mention the 5 trillion of gift to the American financial titans, which caused the so called "Great Recession" (aka Great Depression III), by depriving the rest of the economy of money (aka "investments"). I may have to up my numbers: a new law, a law requiring more TRANSPARENCY, has brought up many revelations about welfare for banks, as engineered in secrecy by the central banks:

The Federal Reserve made $9 trillion in emergency overnight loans

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Top recipients of overnight loans made by the Federal Reserve under special program that ran from March 2008 through May 2009.

That is more than 70% of the GDP of the USA, in overnight loans to major banks and Wall Street firms during the financial crisis (data released December 2). Money was also sent to overseas elements of the international plutocracy (not shown here). The amount of cash being pumped out to the financial giants was not previously disclosed. Oh, and this was just for the year up to May 2009. USA workers make GDP, Federal Reserve loans most of it to top private banks and money manipulators: that is how plutocracy works.

Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who authored the provision of the financial reform law that required the December 2, 2010, disclosure, called the data incredible and jaw-dropping: "The $700 billion Wall Street bailout turned out to be pocket change compared to trillions and trillions of dollars in near zero interest loans and other financial arrangements that the Federal Reserve doled out to every major financial institution…"They may have repaid their loans, but that’s not good enough," he said. "It’s clear the demands the Fed made were not enough."

Wall Street firm Merrill Lynch received the most assistance, an astounding $2.1 trillion, from 226 loans. Merrill Lynch was not even a bank, but a money manipulator for the rich. The government then engineered its integration in Bank of America (with taxpayer money, as Mr. Assange and his colleagues at WikiLeaks will reveal within a few weeks).

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CORRUPTION EVERYWHERE:

The USA used Spanish airfields and bases for the rendition and subsequent torture of human beings.

When Spanish courts moved to investigate Bush administration officials Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, John Yoo, Jay Bybee, Douglas Feith, and William J. Haynes for these apparent war crimes, several US Senators and the Bush and Obama administrations told the Spanish government that they did not care whether the Spanish court system was independent or not, but that any indictment would not be understood by the American people, and would have serious consequences for bilateral relations. Source: WikiLeaks.

Ultimately the prosecution did not happen, and the top Spanish prosecutor was himself persecuted (he lost his job).

People, worldwide, can note where all too many European governments get their orders from.

Many "extraordinary renditions" proceeded through Sweden (the state who made a fortune by selling high grade iron ore to Hitler before and doing World War Two). More convenient than ever, now Sweden wants Mr. Assange, from WikiLeaks for sex between consenting adults (!), and put an Interpol red notice for him. Assange had an encounter with two women who have since deleted their web sites and tweets, as they revealed a lot about their plans, sudden, delayed dissatisfaction with Mr. Assange (the great outrage of an allegedly dysfunctioning condom was revealed to police more than a week after it happened).

Another one who is developing problems with Interpol is Mr. Cheney. The USA has an extradition treaty with Nigeria. So if Nigeria wants an American citizen for seriously corrupting Nigerian citizens, the USA has to cooperate. As it turns out, Mr. Cheney, a major servant of plutocracy, has been named in a 180 million dollar bribe in Nigeria, before he became VP. Fortunately, he should be easy to find, since the US Secret Service is with him at all times. No doubt the diplomacy of the USA is working overtime about that one, since it is very important to not connect blatantly major USA policy makers and gangsterism.

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CONNECTING AMERICAN PLUTOCRACY WITH NAZISM WILL GET YOU BANNED:

I was banned from the "philosophyforums.com", immediately after mentioning that American Senator Prescott Bush received millions of dollars in 1953, for his management of companies such as American-Silesian (some of Hitler’s most important military companies). American efficiency at its best.

I did not even have the time to mention that American-Silesian, and that other company managed by Bush "Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation", located in Silesia, next to Auschwitz, were using Auschwitz inmates [Note 1]. Or that Hitler explained to Bush that he had to nationalize the company (funded by American banks), for the duration of the war, but that Bush would be amply rewarded afterwards.

Bush was indeed rewarded, with what is in 2010 money, more than one hundred million dollars, and this 8 years after the Third Reich capitulated. This is another indication that that there was more to Nazism than the Nazis themselves. And, whatever it was, it was alive and rich, well after Nazism was officially dead. What is the name of that entity, for which international law is nothing?

The reaction from the "philosophyforums", to which official philosophers such as John Searle are associated, shows that all too many American academics know all too well how nasty the plutocracy which feeds them is.

I documented many of the connection between IG Farben, of Auschwitz fame, and American plutocracy. Companies such as Jasco, half owned by Standard Oil and IG Farben (1930), and holding more than 2,000 patents, are evocative enough. In 1927, Standard Oil and IG Farben founded the company "Standard IG Farben“; its president was the oil dealer William Farish from Texas (a plutocratic family with lots of clout in Anglo-Saxonia to this day, and which was involved, and paid in WWII on BOTH sides, simultaneously, etc.

Those poor fellows at philosophyforums thought I would not dare to document my statements, and that trying to connect American plutocracy and Nazism was, as they put, it "pseudologia fantastica" (which is incorrect Latin: "logia" in Latin does not mean "logica"; what they wanted to say was that my logic was fantastic; clearly they have to study not just logic, but also Latin).

To some of the ignorant, knowledge is offensive, and wisdom, witchcraft. Those we ought to fear.

One of the "moderators" of what is in my view, an intellectually dishonest site, actually threatened that he would have my site, on WordPress, "removed". As I pointed out that this would violate my Constitutional Rights, he coolly replied that the "Constitution applied only to the government". The Constitution is certainly not applied with enough force in American schools. The same gentleman claimed to be a published poet and tenured professor at a major university, which, under the circumstances, are aggravating factors, since basic human rights escape his conceptual grasp. With fools such as these teaching, who can complain about Palin’s mity brain?

Mosquitoes have been a danger to man, ever since there are men, and they think. Trying to get the mosquitoes to think it over, is a dangerous misallocation of time-energy.

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SOME EUROPEAN BANKERS STILL LOVE HITLER:

In 2009, I was banned from the European Tribune, an American (plutocracy) loving European website. The founder of the site, a banker of the type who gets bonuses, told me that I had caused too much infighting on the site. How?

I had mentioned that in 1920 a unit of W.A. Harriman & Co. took effective control of a German shipping line, the Hamburg-Amerika shipping company, which played a major role in the rise of Nazism, with Nazi serving propaganda in Germany, and the USA.

Hamburg-Amerika also smuggled American weapons for the SS. That unit of Harriman, American ship and Commerce Corp, was run by Prescott Bush and his father in law, Walker. A number of bankers on the European Tribune site had tried to demonstrate that I was crazy, but I had answers to all. So I was banned.

Victims still go around, like Elie Wiesel, and wonder how the "Holocaust" happened. But even now, one cannot tell the truth about the "Holocaust", without being called crazy. So how could we get to know how it happened?

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THAT THE USA STABBED DEMOCRACY IN THE BACK IN 1939, THERE IS NO DOUBT:

There are hundreds of facts supporting this striking idea. But, as Hannah Arendt herself pointed out, one can hide the truth in a public sea of facts (OK, she did not exactly say that, but that’s the idea).

Two facts are sufficient to see the extent of the betrayal of democracy by the USA in 1939: first that, after France and Britain (and then many other countries, including India) declared war on Hitler, the USA (its Congress and President) declared France and Britain "belligerent" (with associated sanctions).

The other fact was that the Ethyl Corporation of America provided 500 tons of lead tetra ethyl, an anti knock agent, to the Nazis. Those 500 tons allowed the Luftwaffe to keep on flying, as 41 French divisions were attacking in the west, and the Poles were desperately fighting in the east. As the Luftwaffe kept on flying, Poland fell quickly, and the French offensive became pointless, if not self defeating: it came into contact with the Siegfried Line (promising the destruction of the French army: that equivalent of the Maginot Line took 6 months to be breached in 1944-45, with a giant multinational army with air domination).

The fall of Poland, something American plutocracy worked hard for, was not innocuous. Flour mills were destroyed, so that the Poles would starve to death in winter. Auschwitz was open, to put Poles inside. One always talk about the Nazi will to eradication of the Jews, but they started with the Poles, of whom they would kill about 6 million (17% of the population).

Now, of course, one has to distinguish a country, its ideology, its ethics, its spirit, its institutions, its people(s), its leaders, its domineering classes, etc. So when I say that the USA stabbed democracy in the back in 1939, it’s all too vague. What happened is that enough elements of the American plutocracy were in enough control of the government of the USA in 1939 to make said government stab democracy in the back in 1939.

It was not going to stop there: powerful elements of the American plutocracy would keep on collaborating with the Nazis throughout the war, such as the plutocrat Farish above. And of course, IBM, Hitler’s crucial monopoly, would keep on being managed from New York.

Thus elements of the American plutocracy kept on insidiously stabbing in the back the American Army itself, throughout World War Two!

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ARISTOCRACY: TOO SERVILE A NOTION. PLUTOCRACY: WHAT IS HAPPENING.

Some speak about the rise of new aristocracy in the USA. This is too kind and misleading, not to say servile. And it’s not just in the USA, as the story of Ireland shows.

Or as demonstrated, more generally, with the governmental will to nationalize the losses of the plutocrats, while privatizing their profits, which they make, thanks to their governmental servants.

"Aristocracy" means the power (kratos) of the best (aristos). Thus, "aristocracy" is too complimentary a concept: it assumes a superiority beyond power. Aristocracy is the rule of the best. It is clearly not what we have here.

"Plutocracy", the rule of the underground, the riches, Pluto, the god of hell, is more like what is really going on in the USA. And even in Europe. Let alone other places.

And don’t ask where the astounding blossoming of plutocracy in the USA is coming from: it’s obvious. Other democracies have more barriers, more laws, between money and politics. Not that much in the USA, and ever less.

Democracy and plutocracy are not compatible. One is about the rule of man, the other about the rule of Satan. So the outrages will keep on growing.

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NO TRUTH, BUT THE TRUTH:

No wonder that, as WikiLeaks threatened to expose soon the collusion between the supposedly democratic governments and the plutocracy, government after government is trying to shut WikiLeaks down. Then they will be ready to crack down on WikiLeaks’ accomplices in the standard media: the New York Times (and its affiliates), the Guardian, Le Monde, etc…

There was a point when enough people of good will and good character could have easily stopped the Nazis. But they would also have needed good knowledge, and that they did not have. Or did not want to have.

A disastrous attempt by the French secret services in 1933 to expose the Warburgs backfired. The Warburgs were an Americano-German Jewish plutocratic family which made a bridge between Anglo-Saxon plutocrats and Hitler (so it clearly showed that plutocracy ruled all concerned). A book secretly written by the French secret services, to expose them all to the light of the day, was outlawed internationally, and thus its thesis, which was correct, got, unfortunately discredited, for all to see.

Instead what went on was polite, mostly secret diplomacy with Hitler. As French PM Daladier came back from Munich in 1938, he was feted at the Bourget airport. He muttered to aides:"Les pauvres, s’ils savaient!" ("Poor little ones, if they only knew!")

To know is not always nice, but to have democracy, it’s the only way. We are the bosses, remember? So we need to know, we ought to know, what our servants have been, or may have been, plotting behind our backs. Remember last time we got stabbed in the back, big time? 1939?

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Patrice Ayme

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P/S: Another enemy of the open society was Confucius. Confucius, although less overtly pro-fascist, was also pretty bad, as a prime anti-intellectual. He is famous, and often quoted positively in China, for saying that studying always brought fruits, but generally thinking did not (Rousseau said the same, but expressing it in a way that obviously inspired the worst Nazis).  So the former ought to be preferred to the later. It fit perfectly well a civil servant of plutocracy, as he was (and could only be).

To be free, a human beings needs first to have free thoughts, and that means the ability to derive them autonomously, and thus to have information freely available to feed such thoughts. Freedom of information leads to freedom of thought, and thus greater power in those who have it, and the society which harbor them. Therein a difference between Europe and China, or even the Mongols and China.

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35 Responses to “No Transparency, No Democracy”

  1. multumnonmulta Says:

    The transparency elephant in the room is the whole Wikileaks, which one is the nazi-elephant in room?

    You mention John Searle, such a naive writer who’d be comical if not dangerous through the position he occupies. I recall reading his point that war is only when the US Congress declares it so through an act of speech. Yeah right, go tell that to the Serbians, Iraqis, and countless others!

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear multumnonmulta: Wow. Calling Searle naive! I would not dare… He sells some miserably thin paperbacks for $47… And then requires them from his students at UC Berkeley: “you have to buy that, if you want to take my course”. And he preens. We may need more adjectives to qualify his other dimensions… BTW, your site is impressive, and thanks for linking to mine!

      The galaxy of plutocrats which supported Hitler was from all over, nationally, and industrially. As they got away with a lot, they got encouraged to get away with more. After a rest behind the shockwave of WWII, it seems to me we are engaged in a similar processus. The impudence of the banksters and their servants know no bounds. Even Paul Krugman is now critical of the ISP (“Incredible Shrinking President”) and has distinguished “class” as the problem!
      PA

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  2. multumnonmulta Says:

    Mon cher Patrice, I wrote “naive writer,” shall I clarify? I didn’t know how he was running his show, but then again, what’s $47 relative to the institution enacted though collective intentionality conjured up by Searle’s act of speech?

    There is nobody to call today’s fascistoids by name, or not yet. I can appreciate the British and Italian youth taking it to the streets, though. Here, we don’t do civil disobedience.

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      I do agree that Searle is very naive. But he is, as you pointed out, other things unbecoming a philosopher.

      The USA does not do civil disobedience because the Civil War gave it a bad name. Martin Luther King stayed safely in a dream world, or so he hoped. Then, of course there was shocking rabitt shooting at Kent State (and in other places such as Berkeley, where at least one demonstrator was shot to death by authorities).

      The Greeks have been shocked by the 3 deaths in that arson during a demonstration, and now they are more careful. The French rebels are unafraid, but they engaged in a silly struggle about retirement age, that they were bound to lose (Sarkozy’s reform is bad for mothers and some manual workers, although not for many rail workers who abused the system).

      What mainly is missing right now is an incisive critique by the opposition, in Europe, or the USA. That critique could monopolize the youth. Some intellectual(s) should provide the theoretical analysis, and be followed (people such as you and me in the blogosphere could help).

      The financial plutocracy is the point of plutocracy right now (and has been in the shadows behind the thrones for centuries, as Rothschild himself crowed, and as early US presidents knew very well). Its strength was long the privately owned, governmentally leveraged fractional reserve system. But now the financial plutocracy has become hubristic, and it uses everything from globalization, to capture of the political system, and even the on-going recession-depression, in full view of everybody, hoping that its thick propaganda keeps it fully clothed, or more exactly, cloaked.

      But, as I see Brad de Long and Kugman turn, I am not so sure that the plutocracy will keep on fooling everybody for ever. When I loudly denounced the Obama drift into plutocratic subservience, early on, I was alone, and at least one culturally diminutive person in my own family suggested I was encouraging the racist side of humankind (!). But now strident anti-Obama comments in the New York Times, criticizing from the left, are recommended by thousands!

      If the situation becomes too dire in the USA, there will be civil disobedience… hopefully. But it may also happen that the situation gets so fractured in the USA that the gilded youth coming out of the elite universities feel solidarity only for the upper class. Then the USA would become slowly a huge South Africa. I think that is what is evolving in California. If most of the students were white, the old whites would be more sympathetic to, and effective with, solving the school system’s problems.

      Weirdly, the core of American superiority tight now, and what ought to be copied (from an American nationalistic perspective) is the military-industrial complex, which uses Colbertism on a massive scale, thus developping many of the best materiels, worldwide. The civilian side of said complex is represented by Boeing a company which has degenerated so much into plutocracy, that, if Bill Boeing was wired with copper, since he turns so much on himself in his grave, he would by himself power the entire North West (dubious, but relevant joke from a Boeing engineer). Europe is increasingly practicing variants of Colbertism, but has been slow because of national divisions (which are difficult to smooth over, but progress is being made).
      PA

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  3. multumnonmulta Says:

    You’d think that people jumped at Wikileaks to find out the truth. No, they say they don’t want to know, and that Assange should be treated like a traitor. All these, the reversed priorities per last week ( http://multumnonmulta.blogspot.com/2010/11/black-friday-shopping-vs-protesting.html ), and much more, make me very skeptical about our prospects. People like you and I do whatever we do out of a sense of duty, civic and for ourselves. Per Popper/Weber/Durkheim we’ve become so atomized that my bet is on plutocrats, or whatever macro-change will shake us up.

    The State Dept is instructing its employees to not open Wikileaks even at home. You know of that practice in Stalinism when the State would send a replacement page for the one detailing the life of some recently disgraced high powered potentate in encyclopedias? You were supposed to destroy the old page and put the new one in. So much for Mrs. Clinton as the Democrats’ alternative to Obambi.

    Since the latest expression of Swedish justice in the case of Assange, I think Europe has some major hurdles ahead of itself (not to mention how it lost most central and eastern daughters to the Zeus/Washington Consensus). Too bad the French were late at seeing who Sarko is and the Germans are tired.

    Speaking of Wikileaks, wouldn’t you want to know more of the Paris ’68 from the American perspective?

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  4. keith Says:

    Marvelous, Patrice. Jaw dropping.

    If you haven’t already taken a look, you might enjoy Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine”, which was a bestseller here in 2007, just before the ‘collapse.’

    She outlines the systematic looting of social assets all over the world — pick a continent — since the 1970’s or so, as elites went on their continual feeding frenzy. She centers it perhaps a bit too much the pernicious effects around the neo-liberal theology of the Chicago school of economics — M. Friedman et al, but that’s not criticism here, it gives the work a coherent thread, an excellent journalistic or teaching device. Aside from that, much trenchant analysis and detail orthogonal to usual propaganda.

    Meanwhile, keep up the good work.

    I’m surprised your interlocutors vis a vis the WWII ‘Trading With the Enemy’ got into such a huff. Had they any imagination they might have speculated, in defense, that it was all an intelligence operation designed to undermine the Axis by destroying them in a war, while doing everything possible to keep them from developing nuclear weapons. It was known in the early thirties that these would be developed. This made it imperative to take them into confidence while simultaneously enabling them, so they could faster destroy themselves with their insane pseudo-scientific racial preoccupations, and lunatic invasion of Russia (this last the surest sign of severe mental illness it is possible to have). The axis-powers with nukes let loose on Europe was just unthinkably unthinkable. Several years delay — then possibly nukes with jets and rockets. Uh uh. Cannot be allowed to possibly happen. Sadly, given the nature of the weapons, it was imperative that the war get going sooner rather than later. Very sadly. And given the nature of the weapons, the post war situation needed mapping out many many years in advance. “Yes,” they could have argued, “they may have made a lot of money working, or so it appeared, with the very worst people, but the alternatives were far more dire. Without the guise of appearing eager to enrich themselves at frightful moral expense, how gull those fiends?”

    But that would have required some imagination and experience of how things are done in this world long fallen from grace. At least it might have prompted you to defend your position more thoroughly; books like “The Crime and Punishment of Ig Farben” and “Trading WIth the Enemy” have been in circulation for decades, after all. Now that would have led to a mighty discussion as to how likely such things could be and to what degree or not or maybe. Anticipating this, and not wishing to educate a distressed public more than necessary on such abysmal things, they may have thus chosen not to challenge you, but silence you and call you names as their wisest course of action, who knows? Could people of such high degree really be as ignorant and stupid as you suppose? Given the lunatic binge of ‘creative-destruction’ so much in vogue since I can recall, and its addictive infecting nature, and the unsinkability of the Titanic and such curious phenomena, and the limitations of Plato and Aristotle you do so well to point out, its anyone’s guess.

    But it would have been something to see!

    Meanwhile, many thanks to be able to read your unique historical journal again.

    Quite a state we’ve come to when Sen. Sanders announcement is learned from the blogosphere. But wikileaks is no doubt going to be quite a distraction in many ways.

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Keith; thanks for the appreciation! You touch on a lot of issues, including a particularly bold interpretation of the relationship of the Anglo-Saxons (for want of a better word) with the Axis.
      I will talk more about that in the future. There is an entangled set of threads which mix Wall street, socialism, international finance, the Lords of Finance, the boom and bust of the 1920s, and pro-fascists in the USA and Britain (they became irrelevant in France after the troops fired on them). In 1935, Britain was collaborating with Hitler. By 1936, though, the anti-Nazis in Britain had acquired control, political and ideological. France stayed hostile, from 1933 on, and thus got in trouble with Washington in 1934, as Washington liked nothing about French policy, from the gold standard to preparing for war, etc. By 1937, French and British politics got synchronized, and identified. Washington was on its own planet. Or more exactly, island.

      On september 3, 1939, France and Britain looked unbeatable, and Hitler was aghast. Out of his despair came his desperate plan of May 1940, and the remarkably incompetent French high command, plus the crazy, and very lucky, Guderian and Rommel, did the rest.

      Hitler explained to his generals why he had to attack the USSR (to avoid fighting on 2 fronts!!!!). The reality is that in the war in Norway he lost most of his destroyers, and three capital ships. He plainly could not cross the Channel, with just two capital ships he had left, especially after losing more than 3,000 planes, and lots of pilots, in the Battle of France and England. More later…
      PA

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  5. multumnonmulta Says:

    “I’m surprised your interlocutors vis a vis the WWII ‘Trading With the Enemy’ got into such a huff. Had they any imagination they might have speculated, in defense, that it was all an intelligence operation designed to undermine the Axis by destroying them in a war, while doing everything possible to keep them from developing nuclear weapons.[…]”

    And what evidence would you produce in support of this paragraph (neo-con avant la lettre), Keith? You make it hard to follow; so you may want to untangle what was actually stated in whatever conversation, what you think was actually known about nukes in the 1930s, and a possible/speculative way out for your absent interlocutor.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The story of nuclear weapons is quite interesting. Irene Curie started it all (she had realized transmutation in 1934 making phosporus from alumnium, silicon from magnesium, etc… she got the Nobel in 1935). She discovered the principle of the nuclear chain reaction, and tried to teach it to Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner. Finally the later two understood. By then Irene and her husband went to the french minister of war, and revealed that nuclear bombs were feasible. The minister was alarmed and reprimanded them for not having come to him before. All the nuclear patents were withdrawn from the public (February 1938). Then Farnce embarked on a collaboration with norway to get heavy water (only substance known then to slow down neutrons so they could be captured and split nuclei).

      James Bond like activites followed, including the sinking of a ship by the French military to make the Nazis believe the French nuclear effort was at the bottom of the sea. Actually scientists and heavy water transferred to another ship first, and then to England, June 1940. Later on the project was further translated in the direction of Manhattan (the safe side of the Atlantic)… Einstein famous letter to FDR was much later… The Nazi scientists did not believe a bomb could be made, because Heisenberg had misunderstood the physics. The american military had rigged a house in england where the scientist were jailed, so we know that they would have tried, if they had known (but they would not have the means, and the Allies had much more scientific talent at their disposal).

      Like

  6. Ken Says:

    You need to go further back to real causes.

    Primates – esp. humans and chimpanzees – live in small groups, and over millions of years have evolved Status Competition as a means of improving survivability. This means that they have an instinctual desire to compete for status.

    Chimpanzees in the wild have been observed to make war on other groups of chimpanzees. Other primates in the wild have been observed to campaign for leadership positions, including kissing babies in order to court the female vote.

    Thus, war, politics, democracy, and even female suffrage are all natural, instinctual and not particularly advanced.

    The fly in the ointment is Civilization. Humans naturally live in groups of roughly 150, where everyone knows everyone else personally. Civilization is simply where people live in larger groups – thus with strangers.

    All primates have a natural survival instinct to mistrust strangers (currently expressed in global Anti-Immigrant sentiment). Chiefs of tribes become rulers of civilizations and thereby gain power and wealth by the economies of scale of large cities and agriculture. In order to do so, they have to portray strangers as “us”, members of our tribe.

    However, this trust is shaky at best, as it flies in the face of instinctual mistrust of strangers. On the one hand, the King and his royal family is known to all, and thus trustworthy, while the average citizen remains unknown.

    The critical result of this change from a small group of personally known people to a large group of strangers (headed

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Ken: Your first comment just came to my attention. I agree with what you say, but it has little to do with democracy and transparency… i addressed plutocracy extensively in the past, and it has indeed to do with basic instincts… Global Anti-immigrant sentiment is a complicatd thing. In a way, i have been an immigrant all my life, everywhere I lived, so i have lots to say on the subject… It’s not as simple as all sides make it…
      PA

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  7. Ken Says:

    ( I hate comment software that has no preview or “are you sure” dialog to prevent accidental posting of half messages missing the punch line! )

    [continued]

    The critical result of this change from a small group of personally known people to a large group of strangers (headed by a trusted personally known ruler), is that all of the constraints vanish that are normally found in a tribe where everyone knows everyone else.

    Millions of years living in such tribes means that we have instincts against committing crimes against our “friends and family” – our tribe members – because this negatively impacts our survival chances.

    But in a city of strangers, all constraints are gone, and the status competition instinct – previously just present to pair the fittest male with the fittest female – now has free reign.

    Even worse is the creation of a “unit of status” called money, that is the exact same unit used by everyone to acquire survival necessities.

    The result is that the status competition instinct is expressed directly by accumulating what other people need to survive. And in civilization, all those people are unknown to us, as the competition becomes an abstract mathematical accumulation of money.

    But, money is just the half of it, as primates are naturally hierarchical, and status competition instinct is also expressed through the accumulation of power by rising to the top of a hierarchy. (This is why you often see the same sort of “sharks” at the head of non-profits, corporations or government, and the same sort of back-stabbing and favor-trading involved.)

    The overall point is that aristocracy and plutocracy are inevitable results of civlization.

    In other words, if you evenly divided all the world’s money and power equally amongst the 6 billion, in 100 years, you would be back to plutocracy and aristocracy.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Ken:
      I do agree that it would be much better if comments allowed review, and, better, editorial change. But I doubt (& do not know) if WordPress has that feature.

      I have developed before the reason why plutocracy tends to appear, again and again. I do agree it has to do with the “competition instinct”, as you say. Nietzsche called it the “Will To Power”. The point you make that we are dealing mostly with strangers is cogent; humans are made to know probably no more than 150 people… not all of “Facebook”.

      Another point I made is the nature of the exponential function, which was intuitively known for 10,000 years, in the most civilized places (and even in places without cities!) The exponential means that wealth creates wealth. Now we have the interesting situation that the republicans, in the USA, have denied our Neolithic cultural inheritance, and, with the approval of Mr. “Change-he-can-believe-in”, are in the process of turning 10,000 years of wisdom on its head.

      In any case, the reason of European technological, scientific and philosophical superiority, in the last 25 centuries, has been the overall successful keeping of plutocracy at bay. With the exception of the catastrophic late Roman empire, and the rise of European aristocracy, there was a pretty good churning of installed wealth (as revolutions and invasions passed by: for example, Great Britain has known an ultra major invasion and, or, revolution, every 5 centuries, at least, in the last 25 centuries…)

      The Greek Polybius, long ago (21 centuries) produced an elaborate theory along your lines. And sure enough, Rome was degenrating in plutocracy as he wrote, and he was actually brought to Rome as a young hostage. However, the problem now is that, with the advanced technology we have, we cannot afford to degenerate into plutocracy. Pluto would be way too strong, its ferocity would be difficult to imagine, in its full blown state…
      PA

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  8. Ken Says:

    On Democracy and Transparency –

    Transparency is just the ability to see. With the advent of the Internet, everyone has the ability to find out just about anything.

    However, there are only 24 hours in a day, and the Internet allows 6 billion people to post their thoughts. Which one to read ? I saw your link in Krugman’s page otherwise I may never had read a word you wrote – which has nothing to do with the quality.

    Which ideas get heard is merely the result of two things – one is being able to buy a big megaphone (Murdoch) – two is being highly persuasive. Having the ability to be persuasive is largely chance, and certainly has absolutely no correlation with the truth of your message.

    You only have to go back one month to the US Election to see that availability of true information has no correlation with public knowledge. This, of course, is the problem with democracy – people remain the pawns of plutocracy. Tea Party members ended up voting in exactly the way desired by those they were angry with ! They also ended up voting in opposition to their own self interest and the self interest of everyone other than the plutocracy.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Ken:
      Agreed to all! except we are closer to seven billion than 6… The New York Times is kind enough to allow links. I used to be very anti-Murdoch, calling him nastily Murderoch in 2003, when he thought that invading whatever would provide with whatever. However, right now, I am much less angry with him. He has not demolished the WSJ (yet), and Fox has improved; it’s more fair and less imbalanced…

      Transparency in the context of democracy has to do with the elected representatives deliberately lying and misleading the people they have been elected to lead. people such as me have often to deduce the probable real situation through sophisticated triangulation. An example is what really transpired between Hitler and plutocracy. Over the years, I have seen “very serious people” run away as far as they could from any conversation on that master subject. Information in the area is hard to get and disseminate.

      What is happening with the Tea Party is pretty similar to what happened with more supporters of Hitler; most of them were genuinely nationalistic and, or, socialist 9or even communist!). But they ended up supporting a regime which advanced only international plutocracy (which, craftily, Hitler was railing against vociferously).
      PA

      Like

  9. multumnonmulta Says:

    Ken&Patrice, excellent exchange.

    I had looked long and hard for something like this, “there was a pretty good churning of installed wealth,” and found out that Patrice thought in these very terms.

    Ken, the problem I have with our elites is not that they are elites, but dumb(ing) elites! And this always comes back to them, albeit after decimating the populace. In other words, the US elite has gone the way of the Soviet Politburo at the end of Brezhnev’s regime.

    A smart elite in this day and age, when access to the wisdom of all the world/history is so easy, should be able to resit its own downfall. The American elite may go down with an acceleration higher than the gravitational.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Multumnonmulta; You have put your finger on the exact point: dumb elites. And it’s not just the USA. Other Western elites point at Washington, happy as they are to have an errant leader to follow surreptitiously (and even the oppositions, in Europe, have not been too acerbic relative to the established order).

      Indeed, it smacks of the Politburo. Just as I am less angry against Murderoch, I am also less angry against the Chinese elite: at least they are trying hard, in a somewhat honest fashion (their way). The same cannot be said of the Western elites, who are leading us to a civilizational Black Hole.

      I find the developments with WikiLeaks especially troubling , including Sec. of Defense (ex-CIA) Robert Gates’ glee (Assange has no habeas corpus, although no criminal charges, either, which is rather strange in the UK, ever since Henry VIII). That makes me inclined to believe that part of the inept behavior of Obama in the first two years may have had to do with some perceptions about his safety (lest he behaves appropriately). When approaching the president, a veritable standing army with huge guns (hidden from the public, and TV) is never too far. One comes out of it with the ill feeling it’s all about guns… Very big guns, and lots of them.
      PA

      Like

  10. multumnonmulta Says:

    Mon cher Patrice, I keep hearing the same argument about several suboptimal leaders in the world at large. It always goes along the line that the man in power is always played by [fill in your flavor]. So, not even the mighty president f the US is exempt. However, I always come back and ask, Why don’t they resign?

    Could it be because the thinking non-elites have gone themselves conservational? Which means that a lot of people still feel they have a lot to loose. So much for individualism or enlightenment…

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Mon cher Multumnonmulta, the intellectual elites are clearly on the same boat as the plutocrats. The cause in the USA is pretty clear, considering the financing of the private universities. And even of the so called public universities. The case of France and Britain seems less obvious, as the universities are public. But, for example in France, HEC (Hautes Etudes Commerciales) is valued much higher than the best anglo-Saxon MBA schools (they get paid much much more). And HEC is actually certainly private (although supported by the state, as the private universities are in the USA). Actually the anti-European US Nobel Prize Stiglitz teaches there…

      I do not doubt that Obama is most satisfied with his life. Nor do i doubt plutocracy is very satisfied with him. And the same for Sarko (and his brother, head of the Carlyle group). At least Cameron is a genuine baby plutocrat, so he does not have anyone to seduce (nor does the billionairess Carla Bruni…) Poor Blair had to work hard to make 20 million dollars last year, or so… Putin, who claims he is sorely deprived, bought part of an hillside in Ramatuelle, next to Saint Tropez (this is my personal version of WikiLeaks, I have proprietary information, hahaha… the property has three heliports).
      It’s a web, and it’s worldwide, and many the spiders… and, with nearly 7 billion flies to feed off, they are not going to go starving…
      PA

      Like

  11. Ken Says:

    Sorry, but all elites are dumb. Ones who seem smart are those that happen to be “broken clocks” (right twice a day).

    Elites (in a plutocracy as opposed to an aristocracy), are those who are the most driven by status competition instinct, and whom have been successful at it early in life. Intelligence – despite 10,000 years of propaganda by elites – has nothing to do with it. There is a myth of conventional wisdom that there is a “brain power”, but in actuality that is merely skill acquired by repetitive uses of the understanding of intelligence (much as craftsmanship ability is skill acquired by repetitive uses of the understanding of workshop techniques).

    The high school social success, who will go on to an MBA and then CEO at 10 million a year, is too busy back-stabbing and alliance-making to practice intelligence.

    Conversely, there is a well known (true) stereotype of the social outcast who becomes a “nerd” or “geek”. A lack of social opportunities means that there is time available to THINK.

    Harry Truman once said “The C students rule the world”.

    Of course, there is an occasional exception, but not many.

    These days we not only have endless examples of corporations whose only guiding principle is self-interest (profit), but also other organizations that operate in the same way, such as teachers unions who refuse entirely reasonable concessions, even when it means dire consequences for school districts and students. Of course, politicians are constantly following their own self-interest instead of the country as a whole.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Ken: There are many elites. Even elites of poets… as far as the main steering of countries, there is definitively a CEO class in the USA, which is the same set as that of all company boards. This does not happen in Germany, as unions also sit on boards, by law. Unions on board is not the law in France (the other large most industrialized country of the West, aside from the USA). But in France workers will attack (for want of a better word), when their rights are trampled. In particular, they often kidnap management… but maybe that is why Boeing is now located in Chicago, instead of the Puget Sound…
      PA

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  12. multumnonmulta Says:

    Excellent observations, from both, however skeptical about any human enlightenment.

    Ken, your model lacks some hard backing, as in structure. You seem to capture very well the essence of today’s American elite. However, who gave a rat’s ass about how the elite was when millions upon millions would see tomorrow a better day?

    I am speaking about a time before television took over and norms were still something one would discover and negotiate at local level.

    So, I suggest you bring in support of your argument something along the lines of lifecycles (of the economy, society, etc.).

    Or maybe I need to reform my argument and say that elites don’t matter as much when all boats are rising.

    Patrice, we’ve touched on the sorry role the intellectual elites play in the US. In my opinion, they have been put to sleep by Popper, and carried away by the general American discourse about exceptionalism. I find it most distressing that social science has been absorbed with echoing what other peoples consider folklore as in http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/opinion/07brooks.html

    As a counterexample of the above, consider the late Tony Judt, or the intellectual/civic model Chomsky has been.

    Like

  13. Ken Says:

    Multumnonmulta stated: “I find it most distressing that social science has been absorbed with echoing what other peoples consider folklore as in http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/opinion/07brooks.html

    I’m not sure why you find hard science distressing.

    In that article, the example of the young females cutting short cell phone conversations with their fathers seems yet more solid evidence of evolutionary psychology.

    M said: “I am speaking about a time before television took over and norms were still something one would discover and negotiate at local level. ”

    Ah, the 1930s and those negotiations at a local level of “Pay me or I will smash your face in”.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Ken: I share Multumnonmulta reticence about this sort of pop “experiments”. It would be very hard to distinguish cultural and psychobiological origins in such matters. i have known many cultures in depth, and now culture can mimic anything.
      PA

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      • Ken Says:

        It’s a pop media article about scientific studies. The pop media articles highlight the cutest studies because the articles are entertainment.

        There are no experiments involved.

        In the case I mentioned, the study is “blind”, because the data analysis is done after the events occurred.

        Suffice it to say that I spent decades studying human psychology, and yet most of it made no sense at all, until I happened to discover evolutionary psychology, and now all of it makes sense.

        Humans make absolutely no sense as “people”, the modern individual beings of society that happen to have this weird “body” that they hide away all the time – the fairy tale that we are talk as children, along with Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

        Humans do make sense as “Homo Sapiens”, descendents of “Homo Habillus” and close relatives of chimpanzees and bonobos.

        This makes even more sense when you discover that part of the fairy tale we were taught is myth – the part that humans have all these unique traits only found in humans.

        Instead, it has been verified that chimps and other primates:

        – Use tools
        – Have words for things like “grapes”
        – Hold elections and campaign for office
        – Have female suffrage (bonobos have female leaders)
        – Have hierarchies
        – Make war *
        – Mourn the dead for one entire day
        – Notice aesthetics like sunsets

        The main differences are mostly matters of degree – humans have ended up being more intelligent, make better tools, etc. Opposable thumbs and standing on two legs seems to also have been big factors.

        * the people who discovered this, were strongly hoping for the opposite – they wanted war to be a uniquely human perversity, and nature to be kind, fluffy and wonderful. (In reality, “nature red of tooth and claw” turned out to be the more accurate paradigm.) As scientists, they reluctantly came to the conclusion that war is an instinct that evolved due to its benefits to the victors.

        Like

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Ken:
          Brain organization, brain densities are different in humans. The evolutionary fork in the road taken by humans was meat eating; it allows for smaller gut and bigger brain, from more energy, fat, protein laden food. This is the doctrine of original sin, in its stark simplicity. We ignore it at great risk. Because even vegetarians have it, as they eat grass, with a vengeance. No doubt.
          PA

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      • multumnonmulta Says:

        OK Ken, evolutionary psychology may explain a great deal. How the hell does that make relevant the silence of the social scientists for at least the past 9 years?

        I don’t mean to say that there is only one way to relevant social science, but I am as sure as one gets that the social scientists of this land have gone missing, or fishing, for too long.

        To bring it all together, in case the argument got too windy, American social scientists owe it to the populace to tell truth to power, right from wrong. The amount of self-censorship makes a mockery of the tenure process and the high pay commanded.

        Like

      • Ken Says:

        How do you know what they have been saying ?

        Again, there are 6+ Billion people saying and doing things 24 hours a day.

        What you or I hear is either through major media, or by chance (just as I came across this site by chance).

        There are many areas where scientists have been saying things that are totally ignored by the media…

        Like

      • multumnonmulta Says:

        Fair point, Ken. FYI, it’s pretentiously called, environmental scanning. Some of us do it better than others. The others either open their eyes, or sweet dreams.

        Mind the gap ahead, though! Sleepwalkers won’t be exempt.

        P.S. For another accidental reader, “there are 6+ Billion people saying and doing things 24 hours a day,” I hope you now get my reference to a time when the TV did not entertain us into automatons.

        Like

      • multumnonmulta Says:

        Ken, I love it! You mean to tell me that you got overwhelmed by “there are 6+ Billion people saying and doing things 24 hours a day.?”

        I would restrict the whole thing to the US. How many talking heads do you have? Skip all major networks and consume some Jon Stewart in moderation. Follow the links from NYTimes blogs and discover places like this. Take a trip to multumnonmulta and see that I’m listing 4 blogs, expand accordingly. Have a look at what Chomsky has been saying for decades (you cand find his books even at airports, and almost read them while waiting). Unleash to power of the web, let yourself surprised!

        There are not too many things you have to watch!

        Like

  14. multumnonmulta Says:

    Ken, please note, I wrote social science, not hard science. That being said, the social is lacking and, in the words of Stepen Walt, we are face with “the propensity for scholars to study topics that are of little real-world value or of interest only to a handful of fellow scholars. We’ve come to call this the ‘cult of irrelevance.’

    As a personal suggestion, do not let yourself be intimidated by the stats, because that doesn’t automatically turn social science into hard science.

    The 1930s were not characterized by enlightenment; rather, think post WWII for the US, the founders, or even Lincoln.

    Like

  15. melektaus Says:

    You are one ignorant monkey.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      melektaus: That was Socrates’ main point; that he was ignorant (and thus had a lot to learn). And my point indeed, is that I am just a monkey. (Golo is my self chosen nickname, which I used to describe myself as a child in Africa, means just that in one of the main black African languages, where I grew up.) So thanks for learning my lesson well. Ignorant monkey, but more clever everyday.
      More explicitly blunt contributions would be even more appreciated…
      PA

      Like

  16. bharati Says:

    Sir,

    FWIW

    Hitler was NOT a vegetarian. For a time, on Dr.’s orders he refrained from red meat but ate fowl/fish, etc. That was considered vegetarian.

    For centuries, culture has often flowed from the East and very peacefully too. India, the richest country, produced and traded 25% of the world’s goods until colonization. In 1947, after independence and partition, it traded less than 1%. China’s story was similar. So it is only natural for 50% of the world’s population to manage/handle/produce over 50% of the world’s goods/services India has freely given its knowledge (like creating numbers, making steel, etc )over the centuries without worrying about any rights or even acknowledgement. Some western worry, criticism or even harsh judgement is perhaps baseless?

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      dear Bharati:
      Wow. Hitler not a vegetarian? Well, he claimed to be, which sounds good enough for me; are we going to have inspectors of vegetarianism claims now? I looked up on the Internet, and I was surprised by the amount of heat on both sides of the subject. See the site http://www.vegetariansareevil.com/hitler.html

      The basic tidbit, which is, admittedly, hard to swallow, is that the ape came down from the tree and called himself man, because he ate meat, and that made him strong, arrogant, and well nourished .
      The rest is self excusing, self congratulating noise, unworthy of those who examine themselves with depth and candor. That Gandhi was power mad and nationalistically blind was his great tragedy. It is clear that he understood this, in the months before he was assassinated. But it was all too late.

      That India fell off world trade after independence has a lot to do with Ghandi’s silly Indian hyper nationalism and a deliberate decision of autarcy. In the case of China, you have to go all the way back to the Ming nationalist rebellion and reaction against the great Yuan (Mongol) empire, to see some similar turn inward. In other words, India and China have only to blame themselves for isolationism. And Japan played that game for more than two centuries. Other countries did not (Thailand).

      Theft of Intellectual Property, as done presently, is extremely serious business. If not fixed, it will lead to world war, as drastic as that. Because the west will not be spoiled without a fight.

      The history of numbers is not clear. The Greeks had numeral symbols, they just missed the zero. And they may have been the original inventor of the zero. Because of mis-evolution of science in the West, closely tied to the rise of fascism (circa 300 BCE), the zero apparently migrated from Greek business to India, where he was taken care of and educated. Before Islam, the contacts between east and west were extensive.
      Harsh judgements are fine, as long as they are well grounded.

      The critiques against the Chinese currency are of course a red herring, as I make clear all the time…
      I am personally pleased with the evolution of India and China (I wish the later introduces lots of democracy, and I fear that its military would take itself for Prussia…) I think they are becoming better Western powers than the West itself, in many important ways. I deeply dislike Pakistan, though… And view it as the number one danger… Of world war.
      PA

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