Essence Of The Civilizational Crisis.



To understand the present financial and economic crisis, we need the clarity of deep philosophy.

The situation is actually simple, in its grossest outline. To create public money, the money everybody uses (be it cash, electronic transfers, swaps, whatever) we use a private system, with proprietary money creating devices inside (say subprime, or derivatives). Civilization has never worked this way before, as the state was careful to stay the one and only money creator.

Thus society, worldwide, uses now a privately managed public money creating fractional reserve system. That puts huge power in the hands of underground private individuals we don’t even know the names of. Those cloaked powers in turn corrupt the visible political socio-economy, from below. The whole metastasis is not even described, because intellectuals would have to do so, but most are paid by institutions subservient to the present global corruption.

We saw a similar situation in the Roman empire, when the intellectual class was at its richest, but its critical ability had been corrupted.

The modern banking system is a Faustian bargain with the bankers; in exchange for the immense powers the private bankers were given with money creation, they were supposed to loan it back to society for its development. This worked reasonably well in the Nineteenth Century. But in the Twentieth Century, bankers observed they could support fascism regimes, and get away with it (only Dr. Schacht, one of the “Lords of Finance”, sat in Nuremberg tribunal, and he was exonerated). Now bankers think they can engineer a depression, and get even richer from it: just keep the profits, and make taxpayers pay for the losses.


Patrice Ayme


Note 1: Paul Krugman observes, with many others, that the crisis of the West needs "intellectual clarity" to be resolved, and, meanwhile we are "overmatched". I made preceding comment in answer to Krugman’s cogent remarks. (The New York Times had the kindness to publish what I wrote within two minutes! )



China just established another train speed record for "unmodified’ train sets (481 km/h). OK, some will claim China stole a lot of Japanese and European technology. And some French engineers have sneered that the very high speed system in China is not as high performing as it looks (France has much higher average speeds, the highest in the world). However, this is not the point. The point is that China is trying very hard to progress and improve. Meanwhile some of the colossal technological edge of the West is eroding away quickly. The result will be world war, or global plutocratic peace (as plutocracy furthers its deal with China).

How does China improve so much and so fast? Because Chinese banks, the largest in the world, operate according the fiduciary duty, the Faustian bargain, that the fractional reserve system ought to impose, and used to impose in the West.

Top Chinese bankers know all too well that if they cheated, they may end up with a bullet in their skull. China is led by scientists and engineers who turned to politics, but know that they cannot make mistakes in their calculations. Mao made many mistakes, and dozens of millions died.

The history of China, in the 26 centuries before that, was spoiled by well meaning, but meek philosophy, which left too small a place to progress of the material, and intellectual kinds.

Civilization is not about "leaving it at that", the way Confucius mostly had it. Civilization is also about the dream, and implementing it. Indeed, civilization cannot stand still, anymore than a biker can stand still, because resources run out always (as Rome and the Mayas found out). Thus moving on is the price of sustainability. Progress is the price of sustainability.


Note 3: It may seem a curious thing that Karl Marx did not make a strident version of the preceding critique (instead he modestly accused tangentially bankers of “monopoly” powers).

But this Marxist discretion proves the point I alluded to above, namely that bankers were better behaved in the 19C. So Marx talked about other things.

Ironically, early American presidents had perfectly well seen the danger bankers posed, and worried more about them than Marx himself! And let no one call Andrew Jackson a communist: that would be serious mistake…

In the 21st Century, by capturing the states (USA, EU), and various institutions above them (IMF, World Bank, BIS), the bankers have established a monopoly of power early American presidents rightly feared (and Jackson, wounded at 13 by an English sword, later a proud carrier of several bullets, and a general in the field, feared very little). The wise know what to fear. The mentally simple just smile, thinking only about themselves, as they can’t think much further than that.


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25 Responses to “Essence Of The Civilizational Crisis.”

  1. multumnonmulta Says:

    Yes! I’ve thought about what you’ve just written as well. I’m still working on fully developing the argument.

    Too bad NYTimes blog readers are light years behind, judging by the one vote you could have given yourself. BTW, you’ve just gotten a 2nd one from me.

    Patrice, I have a feeling we live in opposite corners of the country, otherwise…

    Be well, think aloud, and don’t worry too much about the numbers, of endorsing votes and such. You know, multum non multa!


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Multumnonmulta:
      Great minds converge!

      Sharp critique is indeed is not the royal road to popularity. It’s actually the opposite… my attacks of fractional reserve and the RICO aspect of the whole thing are two years old. What is new now is that the disease of privatizing profits while nationalizing losses are clearly extended to Europe, as the Irish case demonstrate. Planned economy, Stalinist version, was not good, but the fact that the greatest strides of the West, economically, were, to a great extent, due to the careful planning of the economy, has escaped the ye of economists. The”defense” of the USA, the largest, and arguably the most efficient and performing part of the economy of the USA, is thoroughly planned.

      To come back to the merit of thinking on the edge, it has to be internal, or it would not be. That is perhaps why Spinoza refused prestigious university jobs when they were proposed to him, why Nietzsche took deliberately a special retirement contrived for him by his friends, and so on. Truly revolutionary thinking can only be rebellious. Can get some satisfaction, through rebellion… And I try, and I try… Irene Joliot-Curie was very rebellious, by the way. First against the “capitalist” system, then the Nazis, then the Stalinists… Although not classified as a “philosopher”, she did philosophical work in many ways, including impressing deeply the likes of Sartre… this reminds me somehow of the more or less anonymous women in the “courts d’amour” of the Middle Ages, who invented courtly love, a predecessor of modern feminism… but I digress…


  2. multumnonmulta Says:

    Behind each accomplished rebel is a steadfast companion.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Indeed! Even Theodoric was nice to Boethius… Until he had him beaten to death (although he came to regret that). Seriously, though, you are right, it is nearly impossible to find isolated, “accomplished” rebels… This is a striking fact. Rebellion in isolation is an oxymoron. Without rising on others’ shoulders, as even Newton admitted, one does not get high enough.


  3. styx Says:


    FYI the Swiss National Bank is and has always been a private institution. It works well – the country’s economy and currency – and politics – has always been among the most stable.

    So theory falsified?



    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hello Styx!
      Thank you for making that excellent point. You ask: if a private “institution” works decently does it disprove my theory that having privatized money creation was the Gates of Hades?

      Well, no: if a law was passed about highway robbery being legal, that does not mean everybody would do it. At least, certainly not in the begining. There are actually plenty of decent, ethical people out there. However, once gratuitous violence has been established in a society, it tends to spread (see the societies wrecked by revenge killings, many of which around the Mediterranean, and the great force of Rome it has been to extinguish with Roman law and prescription!). A culture of violence grows, and this is what has happened in finance.

      I was not aware that the Swiss National Bank was private (I do not mean this ironically). 55% of its shares are held by public institutions, such as cantons, and cantonal banks. 45% are held by in more or less “publicly” traded stock (what is called “public” in the USA is often called “private’ in Europe, and was is truly private is often called “private equity” in the USA, thus semantic confusion often arises…)

      Several points:
      1) The Swiss are serious people (or used to be). The announced capital requirement of the Bank of Institutional Settlements (BIS) for 2018, are effective now in Suisse, and have been DOUBLED. Any Swiss banks ought to be able to withstand the next financial gale.
      2) As I said, as a main idea, public money making has been privatized. So private banks are public when they lose, and private for those abilitated to enjoy them privately. That is why private money manipulators such as Merrill Lynch literally got trillions of dollars from the American central banks (Merrill got 2,100 billion dollars in loans from the Fed… In just 13 months or so).
      3) The US central bank uses public trust, and public powers, but people sitting on its boards are often private bankers. Mr. Dimon, on the board of the Fed bank in New York, is the head of the largest US private bank, for example.

      Ultimately the question is: what is a public institution? If it serves the public, and by far, mostly the public, and it is open to the public, it is a public institution. President FDR and his Congress, by separating banking from speculation, insured that banks, private or public, would mostly serve the public (by investing public money in public projects, for the benefit of the public. Mostly.) Reinstituting and refurbishing FDR’s work, on a global scale, would go a long way towards making money creation into a public thing, instead of a private pursuit.

      Anyway, Styx, thanks for the provocative question.


  4. multumnonmulta Says:

    styx, you are either naive or didn’t follow Patrice’s argument. Private banks that issue our everyday currency, supposedly with better self-accountability/restraint than democratic governments, have taken an interest on gambling with all the money, as if it were theirs.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear multumnonmulta: I could not have said it any better.

      Something I did not add, because it sounds unrelated, is that, under “Christian” influence, highway robbery was not repressed anymore in the Late Roman empire. The Christian bishops argued that the death penalty was not Christian, so highway robbers (who tended to be murderers, and for whom only the death penalty was a deterrent) were not prosecuted anymore. In truth, the bishops were typically part of, or connected to the richest of the rich (each serious aristocratic family had a bishop). Bishops and their families had a vested interest in the breakdown of civilized society, as, from their narrow ethical and hedonistic system, they were personally gaining from it. Indeed, the richest of the rich, especially in the West, did not want to pay for the state anymore (as they were busy becoming the state, the feudal state).

      This resulted in a curious government of bishops in the West, which started when Ambrose of Milan excommunicated (for a while) the emperor, and started to end when the bishops of Gaul discovered and admitted, 70 years later, that their administration had, in truth, led to the unenlightened rule of the Goths. That’s when the bishops thought about advising their flock to do the exact opposite of what they had advised before, and to switch to resistance by force. But they had no force, so they turned towards the Roman army, then represented by the Franks.

      In any case, it seems to me there are analogies developping…


  5. jonrysh Says:

    Dear PA:

    One of your recent comments on Krugman’s blog reads in part:
    “The only country that seriously confronted Hitler in the 1930s was also the only one to practice a hard money policy. Coincidence? Or a consequence of a global aura of seriousness.”

    What is this country? If memory serves me right no country seriously confronted Hitler in the 1930s. Is this a sly hint that no country had a hard money policy? Expound!


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Jonrysh:
      Ha, ha, ha… It’s a new method I inaugurated today: I have decided to become a bit more subtle. I got so much flak about my interpretation of Nazism, and the entanglement of plutocracy and Nazism, with pretty robust things being said about me all over the Internet, that I decided to thread with a lighter touch…

      Let me however reveal the following facts, as a sort of hint:
      The Nazis saw their friend the king chased out in 1936 (he would betray in 1940).
      Chamberlain was gaining time in 1938. Churchill wanted a huge air force, with existing, obsolete planes, Chamberlain, wisely, delayed until mass production of the new Hurricanes and Spitfires could be engaged.
      In 1939, France drew a defense pact with Poland. Great Britain was in the appendix.
      Hitler, then pushed to make official the long standing secret alliance between German fascists and Soviet fascists, in the hope of scaring the Poles into submission and make the French shrink like violets. But, differently from 1938, although Great Britain still had no army, it had a coming air force, and, this time was ready to back up France.

      By September 3, 1939, France and Britain were at war with the Nazis and Stalin. Soon they would prepare to cut in two perfidious Sweden (another of Hitler’s allies, busy with wikileaking high grade iron oe to Hitler, to please the later and his American plutocratic allies…).

      The number one problem when confronting Hitler, as I tried to explain, is that he was a creature of the plutocracy, even more than from German imperial demons of the racist criminal type (see Namibia with Goering, the father). And that plutocracy was ancestral to the present one. Literally.



  6. multumnonmulta Says:

    Patrice, one could argue that, in the 1930s, France had some residual business with Germany, thus it adopted a more circumspect perspective on the latter.

    On the other hand, the American plutocrats of the same period were just looking for the biggest bang on their investment, just as they have been doing with China for the past decade(s).

    So, at least until France and Germany decided to join forces, the French and Germans were mistrusting each other, whereas the American elite is simply looking to maximize short term returns. National genius, everywhere…


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Multumnonmulta; Your analysis is entirely correct.

      PM Clemenceau had famously predicted in 1919 that war Germany (“Les Boches”) would attack France again within 20 years. As it were, American interference prevented Britain and France to insure that a repeat of August 1914 (fascist, deliberate aggression apparently propelled by narrow Germanoid nationalism of the worst type, but truly from deep down imperial plutocracy) would not happen again. The government ran with the SDN idea (initially French), but just so as to sabotage it. Meanwhile the USA plutocracy viewed Germany as the new wild west, while German fascists thought that American plutocrats and Soviet oligarchs were their best friends, and they could out manipulate them all. They did out maneuver the British imperialists until 1936, but then British democrats finally saw the danger (Churchill did a U turn, the second of his career), and they lined up behind France.

      A funny thing at this point is that the Obama administration fired the intelligence chief, because he wanted to share everything with the French, as the USa already does with Britain. Meanwhile the anti-european Cameron (I say this ironically) decided to share everything with the French (they better since their super silent submarine, which make as much sound as a shrimp, tend to collide with 100 thermonuclear warheads on board).

      French German collaboration started during the war. Hitler wanted to kill all the French, but his closest collaborators told him that was not an option: without France, he had no hope to win the war. The idea was to have the French civilian economy support the German civilian society, while the Germans concentrated on war making… Hence Hitler’s victory against his closest, fiercest enemy had led to enforced co-existence. Then there was Bir Hakeim, and the hope to make it to Iraq vanished. Hitler told his cabinet:”I told you so!” But there was nothing he could have done against the French African army.

      During WWI and WWII, the problem between France and Germany was not so much mistrust, as genuine fascism on the German side (which can be traced to Prussia and Napoleon, before the plutocrats started to mess it all up). France was definitively fascist under Napoleon, but, things changed after the third republic, a genuine democracy, came to power. Genuine democracy was established in Germany post Hitler (Weimar suffered from metastatic plutocracy). So now France and Germany are pretty much as they started 15 centuries ago, finally: same citizenship, three languages (Deutsch, Anglo-Normand, Francois).


  7. multumnonmulta Says:

    “Churchill did a U turn, the second of his career”

    Patrice, the more recent scholarship on Churchill has started to paint a whole different portrait of that old drunkard. In fact, he did many a U-turn, and all of them for personal gain and public loss. As well, Mazower shows that the Germans were inconsistent at best at their empire building.

    I don’t know enough of interbellum France, but have high respect for de Gaulle–whom I sensed you didn’t seem to think much of (e.g. Algeria). The other great French leader of the 20th century was Mitterrand. I read Clemenceau through Keynes’ lens (The Economic Consequences of the Peace), and he doesn’t fare too well, but he might well have been a man of his time and place, sucked in by mechanical causality. Mitterrand didn’t want to allow Germany’s reunification, bargained hard for euro in exchange, yet he had a very nuanced handling of the internal situation in France. He might have been lucky to have Kohl as Euro-partner also.

    I guess, I am trying to say that WWII did not have to take place, yet as you pointed people saw it coming, except for Mr. Wilson…


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Multumnonmulta: Indeed WWII did not have to happen. There were people on both sides of the Rhine who thought about the situation in modern terms, and found the fight between German and French futile and fraticidal. Plus: everybody could remember the spontaneous Christmass celebrations in WWI.

      The irony of WWII is that hardest core Nazis, who generally hated France first, arrived to the same conclusion. After all, the “Butcher of Sebastopol” put in charge by Hitler of destroying Paris, did nothing of the sort (he was later… honored by the French authorities! For disobeying orders, I guess…)

      The best thing Mitterand did, by far, is the euro. He was a personal friend of Kohl, and both violated German law (probably some French one too). To re-elect Kohl (socialist Mitterand financed Christian-Democrat Kohl, secretly).

      However, one has to understand that Mitterand allowed a current of thought about monetary unification he did not himself create. And most, if not all, French thinkers were against German reunification without strings attached. Delors was much more of a European originator than Mitterand (who started his career with Vichy).

      Keynes, an economist, would have nothing to say about Clemenceau, a warrior who woke up at 5 am for swordplay. If the Americans had not interfered in 1919 (and thereafter, sabotaging the SDN), there would have been no WWII. The French would have bullied the Germans into submission, and that would have been the end of it. As it was, Germany was bullied into submission after WWII. By this I mean that bad Germans, and bad German trains of thought, were relentlesly hounded down. Verily, the Germans were treated extremely badly after May 1945, making the Franco-Belgian occupation of the Ruhr in 1923 look like Club Med (indeed lots of French soldiers had lots of sex, and the products of these unions were sterilized and victimized by the Nazis later). I am not saying it was a good thing, but a bit of roughness in 1919 and occupation thereafter would have been the end of it. (After all American troops are still in Germany, 65 years later. A serious occupation of Germany after 1919 would have extinguished a rebirth of Nazism there… But of course, such were not Wall Street’s plans!)

      The clarifying point is that in, say, 1960, many Nazis were still influential in Germany (especially in the military). Not so anymore.

      I view De Gaulle as a great general (who mostly the Nazis listened to). With Africa he was devious and racist, under lofty discources to the contrary. Moreover he was short sighted, including strategically. It was a bit like Obama destroying NASA, for short term reasons, except a billion times worse. Now Europe is stuck with Africa, worse than it ever was, and riddled with unfriendly foreign influences (say China).

      Churchill and De Gaulle were excellent in June 1940, and their proposal of Franco-British unification shines as a beacon (and is being realized now, under the surface, not to alarm Washington). I have not read recent scholarship on Churchill. I know that in 1929 he was pro-fascist, and warned France to not do anything about German remilitarization (with Portugese, and USSR help, among others…). He even made threats we better forget… And this, again, shows that there was much more to Hitler than Hitler himself.


  8. multumnonmulta Says:

    Clemenceau was a bit more, shall we say, revanchard. If the PAX Americana lasted so well that was also because Morgethau’s revanchisme was ignored… It all about proportionality, something Keynes is distinguished for, despite the caricature made out of one of his many ideas.

    The astute scholar of history can point to the fact that the Germans did not capitulate unconditionally at the end of WWI, thus the unfinished business. But we are surely about to enter counterfactuals here.

    I welcome you Delors clarification, but Jacques worked for François, just as the latter was in bed with Vichy. Now, I don’t know whether the French historians have reached any conclusion on the Vichy regime, but I suspect they are still pondering the facts.

    I’m not at all familiar with De Gaulle’s African mistakes, but I can certainly appreciate, even from this distance, how he 1) got legitimacy for France at the winners’ table, and 2) kept France together despite the so many/powerful centrifugal forces at the time. Allow me to say that my perception of the man is in providential terms.

    Watching the Franco-German dance in real time is more fascinating than ever. The stakes are tremendous, the Brits are always there to help…

    BTW, isn’t the fate of the Irish poetic justice? You recall the US money funneling the Irish anti-EU campaign… The Icelanders have smelled the coffee, it’s now high time for the rest.

    The biggest problem Europe has is its lack of vision about what a 27-member (and counting) Union should be. A hard core may soon emerge, Frau Merkel wants sovereignty for bailouts, the French seem to have accepted.

    On va continuer!


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      I do not think Clemenceau was revanchard. He saw clearly what was going to happen. Simply France had been bled white. Most of a male generation was dead or wounded. France had fewer inhabitants in 1939 than 1914.

      The psychological wounds were deep. There are spectacular examples of this. Perhaps who was the number special force guy in France led an incredibly risky mission in July 1918 to find out the details of the all out German offensive (to win the war before the Americans could arrive in significant numbers, now that the Soviets had made peace). That gentleman was one of the most decorated heroes of WWI. However, like Petain, he had enough, and collaborated with the Nazis in 1940. Like Petain he was tried, and condemned to death. And he was executed.

      De Gaulle presented himself as providential man. Because of his streneous warnings about mechanized “Guerre Eclair”, and the fact his ideas were adopted (too late and too slowly), and his special relationship with Churchill, he became so.

      But other Frenchmen would have moved in his place. In particular the offensive on Paris of the Deuxieme DB was decided pretty much by Leclerc himself (he got reprimanded for not respecting the chain of command, but, differently from Patton, was not removed from said command).

      Delors did not work for Mitterand at all. He worked for Europe, and Thatcher was the main fish he floured and fried. (She claimed she was misled by her advisers, and that I do not believe at all: she knew what she was doing when she signed the Single European Act… She was not senile all along…) EU commissioners and MPs operate with a European mind of their own once they get to European levers of command. It is psychologically interesting. I do not know of one case when European politicians were accused of national bias, although recently the Euro VP got stridently anti-French (or maybe it’s anti-Sarko, who can only be treated the way he himself is).

      Everybody agrees that the 27 nation thing is not working in some sense. That was the British will. It has its pros, and its cons. Britain is somewhat perfidious, though, because it is busy deepening its relationship with its major neighbours, and, in particular, France.

      At this point the European core is pretty much, as it ought to be, an affair between Britain, France, Germany and… Russia… the Irish crisis show that deepening has to be increased… And Britain is certainly not going to stand in the way (as it is most concerned by Iceland and Ireland!) The German drift about moral hazard is a recapturing of the old French line (France being, historically, the number one federating force! In the implicit French vision, the EU is the proper democratized and revolutionized version of the empire the lamentable Napoleon stole for himself!)

      Today a new accord was drawn with Iceland. Iceland owes 4 billion euros of small depositors’ money (mostly British and Dutch). Iceland is to pay back in 2016, with a 3.5% interest (instead of 5%)… We will see… Meanwhile British students, having learned a few lessons, have turned French…


  9. multumnonmulta Says:

    I welcome the few clarifications and all the details! It’s interesting that no matter how much one thinks s/he knows about another country, most all goes up in smoke in a conversation with a ‘local.’ We are obviously comparing notes, I’m making some corrections. Merci, mon ami!


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Multumnonmulta: You are welcome! Some of my interpretations would be contested by many of the French. However, I have generally important informations in reserve they are deprived of, and will not finish like the Roman army at Cannae (which had no reserve to hit Hannibal’s forces in the back with). I am now enjoying violent scenes in London, in the sense that I saw them coming. The same problems have the same solutions. Contrarily to legend, the revolutionary spirit in England has always been as strong as in France, if not stronger… And the two countries were originally the same polity. Twice. For centuries each time.


  10. Couch Says:

    To: patriceayme Sent: Fri, Dec 10, 2010 6:27 am
    Subject: question re “thoughts” site

    Good Morning, Patrice Ayme,

    I find your comments most thought-provoking on your own site and on some of the blogs that I read.

    I may not agree with all of your posits however I do appreciate that your ideas cause me to think beyond my own perspective which is wonderful.

    I have a question for you. I have read the information you present pertaining to American involvement in the 1920-late 50’s in materials and weapons sales to adversaries. You do not provide documentation on your site to support your claims. Is such documentation available for our review?

    I am not particularly keen on accepting inferences.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Couch:

      Thank you for you interest and appreciation. I understand that it is important to have references, and that original materials have to be considered. And I do not know anybody who has hunted and considered more of these than me (this statement may sound arrogant to the point of insanity, but somebody, somewhere is in that position, and the fact I have spent my life studying and thinking as much as anyone I have met, makes it less implausible; I have met with quite a few historical class figures, by the way, and it was not to ask for autographs… although may be I should have! Another point is that my thoughts are not related to my stomach, income, fortune, glory, career and personal advancement, another element of seriousness).

      As you may have noticed, I have varied interests. This makes it more than very difficult to quote all quotes, references, sources. I work alone, and I do not have 10 PhD students to do the research. The subject of plutocracy and Hitler deserves probably 100 PhD theses, with full scholarship.

      My task, as a philosopher, is more similar to that of Socrates, as described by Plato. References in Plato are more than cursory, especially considering that he had many students to gather the quotes in a small cognitive universe. For example, Socrates talks about some recent mathematical research, as modern scholars have inferred, but Plato did not bother to quote the work exactly (although, and may be because, it was well known at the time).

      Sometimes Plato does not give references, because he made the tale up: the most obvious example I know is the case of Atlantis (because Plato hated democracy, thus the Athenian Navy, thus anything maritime, as he wanted Athens to be a landlocked sub-Sparta, instead of a thalassocracy).

      All I can say, is that I do not do that. I do not make things up, except for expressions such as Obabush, Bushama, and Oblahblah (Obama, has my affection, by the way, as the little engine that could not, inside the frog who swallowed a Taliban).

      I was asked the same question before being “banned” from sites for suggesting the connection between American ( & German!) plutocracy and Hitler. I am sure that, in some of my old essays, sources can be found. A good, soft way to start is Black’s book, “IBM and the Holocaust”. Another method is to use Google. That, in turn, will give more references inside “The Guardian” articles and the like.

      I was lucky. when I was a young child, I had an uncle, a great scientist, who was married to Von Molkte’s niece. He was the first one to tell me Hitler was a puppet, and who was truly behind. Interestingly, although my uncle was the gentlest of men, and was the founder of the Institut d’Astrophysique, the USA never gave him a visa. The history of tightly controlling who can show up, let alone speak, in the USA, is old.

      Last point; in the three Einstein papers of 1905 (Photon, Relativity, Brownian Motion), there were no references whatsoever (although Einstein had picked up a lot of his ideas from Poincare’, as was established later). Part of the reason was that Einstein had worked in isolation, and not so much as part of a hive (the latter case being that of most contemporary intellectuals).

      This is not a denial of service, by the way: I do need to get better organized on the subject of plutocracy and Hitler. Once an Islamist told me Islam was peace, and I put on my site an essay consisting of hundreds of quotes of the Qur’an demonstrating the opposite. I tried to do the same with Jesus, but, to my surprise, the task was just as extensive, and I gave up (since I found no Christian to irritate me as much).

      So many ideas, so much knowledge, so little time.

      and a last point; in logic there is always a logical universe, and a meta-logical universe (it’s a consequence of Gödel’s Second Incompleteness theorem, I claim… I am not sure if this is a theorem of mine, or a known result, and i don’t care, because it’s important, and it’s true). Quoting sources belong to the meta-universe, not the universe at hand. It is important, and not besides the point, but beyond the point.

      Just as kindly,



      • multumnonmulta Says:

        Epistemology is a vast field, which some tried to restrict for whatever reasons. The way I’m coming to PA’s thornier points is by extrapolating a longer period of my life, back to the time he references. If it makes sense, it’s enough for me.

        On the subject at hand, doesn’t everybody see that financial capital loves stability and returns? Where are these two conditions most likely to happen? Look at China, or the many companies doing business with Iran, Libya, or any other US outcast. And, to bring the point home, look at interbellum Germany!

        Couch, I don’t know what your specialty is, but try to look into a functional explanation.


        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Obama called me a “thorn”, so it all makes sense. And I am going to become a bigger one, as I predict that the latest decision, a colossal gift to our most giving multi-millionaires and multi-billionaires, is going to bring further ruin to the USA in 2012…


  11. Essence Of The Civilizational Crisis. « Learning from Dogs Says:

    […] I say ‘guest’ in the sense that Patrice has very kindly allowed me to publish a post he recently published on his own Blog. It’s very much appreciated. I should add that the minor changes that I have […]


  12. Geneviève Says:

    “what Valery Giscard d’Estaing, the French president called the “exorbitant privilege” of having imposed the dollar as world currency” : it was not Giscard, it was De Gaulle that used this expression the first


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks Geneviève!
      I am dependent on American sources, indirectly French, on this. There is no doubt de Gaulle had that view, and the bright, young, brash Giscard was his long term finance minister.

      A new counter propaganda, propagated in the last week by Paul Krugman himself, is that it is no such big advantage, to be world reserve and exchange currency.

      I have been claiming the opposite for years, all the more since I discovered the fight between Keynes (head of the Bretton-Woods currency commission), and the Americans. For years howling in the woods about the dollar was pretty solitary, but now, suddenly, we are told it’s no big deal. Obviously the enemy is getting worried…

      Here is below an integral reproduction of the Wikipedia post on this, and if you have a better source, please modify Wiki or tell me about it, and I will do it myself.
      Exorbitant privilege From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      The exorbitant privilege is a term coined in the 1960s by Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, then the French Minister of Finance.[1]

      This quote is generally misattributed to Charles de Gaulle, who is said to have had somewhat similar views.

      “Exorbitant privilege” refers to the benefit the United States had in the US Dollar being the international reserve currency: the US would not face a balance of payments crisis, because it purchased imports in its own currency.

      “Exorbitant privilege” as a concept cannot refer to currencies that have a regional reserve currency role, only global reserve currencies.

      Recent McKinsey Global Institute research questions whether the benefit that the US achieves is that exorbitant because of the loss of competitiveness from the high dollar.[2]

      References1.^ According to Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, quoted in “Exorbitant Privilege”, by Brad DeLong


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