Archive for April, 2011

Aphorisms, April 2011.

April 28, 2011

 

No Greenhouse, The Tornadoes Blew It Up…

The USA is the country which contributes the most to the emission of CO2, either directly, or indirectly, through its factories in China, fed by the power of radioactive, mercury laced coal.

The most deleterious consequence of CO2 emissions is the acidification of the oceans, which are turned into carbonic acid, according to the exact same reaction which makes all carbonated drinks interesting.

Another consequence of the CO2 poisoning of the biosphere is the rise of atrociously bad weather, as the energy pumped into the atmosphere goes up. That makes the atmosphere, well, much more energetic.

North America and Eurasia are the only continents which spread appreciably from the polar regions to the tropics. The continents do not have the thermal inertia and conductivity of the oceans, so air masses passing over continents are not rendered mild, as they are above the oceans. However, Eurasia has gigantic mountain ranges enforcing a continuous separation between the glacial north and the hot south. Those ranges spread from the Pyrenées in the West to unknown ranges in Eastern Siberia. The polar and tropical air masses are thus segregated in Eurasia.

In the USA, mountain ranges are absent in the Middle West, so polar air can battle hot humid air from the gulf of Mexico. As the greenhouse gets worse, the death toll in the heartland of the USA keeps on climbing. More than 300 dead on the outbreak of April 27-28, 2011.

An aggravating  factor is that so many American citizens live in so called “mobile homes”, shacks which were once on wheels, and have no basement (to take shelter in). Only Gypsies live in such conditions in Europe. And even then, not really, that would be unlawful. so the Gypsies mobile homes are still mounted on wheels, ready to take off before the local authorities get really irked.

Thus, the socio-economic organization of the USA is directly  at fault in the tornado massacres: too much of a consumer, debt driven economy (bringing the CO2 up, and the infrastructure down), too much dire poverty (hey, we want the rich to boast of their “philanthropy”, with their 17% tax rates, and no taxes on inheritance).

What is the plutocracy going to do about it? Don’t hold your breath. Probably pay some Stanford or Harvard professors to go around the Main Stream Media, to claim that the rise of energy in the atmosphere has nothing to do with tornadoes.

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At War With China & Pakistan?

The Main Stream Media report that Pakistan has been urging Afghanistan to switch alliances from the USA led NATO to the holy alliance of the Taliban, Pakistan and China.

I have said all along that such was the real threat. But now it’s a problem, and it’s in the open.

What do these three have in common? Dictatorship. In other words forms of plutocracy which Lenin was not aware of when he was still healthy, and became suspicious of only when he was on his death bed, and (ex bank robber and terrorist) Stalin had taken control of the Soviets.

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Syria, Or Why Tyrants Love Tyrants:

Some have protested that the leading democracies attack the bloody Libyan dictatorship just for its oil, instead of the blood it spilled over the last 42 years.  

But not so. First Libya does not have that much oil. It should be enough to give all 8 million Libyans a good life, for a little while longer, but Libya is not Saudi Arabia. Libyan peak oil is soon, Saudi peak oil not before another 15 years or so, and at considerably higher rate of extraction.

Politically; the French succeeded to persuade China, Russia and Brazil to not stand in the way at the United nations. The French have important high technology transfer programs with them all (nuclear submarine with Brazil, nuclear power plants with China, aircraft carrier/command ship and high speed trains with Russia). Economic ties (gas, cars, steel) are also playing an important role (even with India). But now Britain, France, and the USA “shall not rest” until Gaddafi is out.

So the muscular regimes or dictatorships, or plutocracies who have no love for their own minorities, and want to keep on cracking down in all serenity, have now understood the danger of democracy spreading. They object strongly to threats against Assad and his dictatorial system, because they know they are next. So this time, whatever the French want, they will try to veto them at the UN on intervening in Syria.

But of course, by the time France decided to intervene  in Libya, Gaddafi had killed thousands already, and Assad is not yet there. Once he gets there, and he will, the West, and democrats in general, will be better able to distinguish friend from foe, and the cleverly righteous from the stupid cowards…

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Creeping Irrationality.

As the Roman empire matured, degenerating ever more, irrationality gained. Ever more. The same process can be observed nowadays. Why so?

Our leaders, the plutocrats, and their sycophants, are uncommon. By definition. Anything having to do with the commons is antagonist to them. Common sense is not just their enemy, but thoroughly alien.

There they go, per the grace of their god. What should they fear? Revolution? There will be no revolution as long as the debate is not about the true problems. So, instead of talking about the corruption of the political system by high finance, and the feeding of high finance with common tax money, or the collusion of international plutocracy with the dictatorships, the propaganda makes it so that the Main Stream Media talks of other things: overstretched Medicare in the USA, overstretched peripheral economies in Europe.

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Is America Tribal? Or Just Rendered Stupid?

So Obama went on his knees, and produced the “long form” of his birth certificate. Trump, the plutocrat, proclaimed victory.

It is interesting how, 150 years after the Secession War, Americans are still basking in the glory of having a two track citizenship. There are real Americans, those, born in the USA, who can become president. And then there are second rate citizens, who can be deported, and are not good enough for the US presidency.

Let me be clear here: the worst problem is not with republicans. Most of these, in polls, did not believe that Obama was born in the USA. This showed, as usual, that most republicans have a diminished sense of reality. The worst problem was with the left wing media, which did not realize that, by being indignant about where Obama was born, they made the point of the racists, and the partisans of the “us versus them” mentality. Why? Because it OUGHT not to matter where Obama was born. And, moreover, on the letter of the law, it did not matter. So the left argued as an extreme right, while thinking of itself as, well, on the left!

So much for human rights, and equality! It is alarming to see that, 150 years after the Secession War, people still do not seem to understand that violating the neighbor’s rights violate their own, and that the tribalism of geographical origins is nothing to defend.

Let’s notice in passing that Sarkozy, the French president, himself the son of an immigrant from Hungary, suggested that naturalized citizens ought to have fewer judicial rights. But the outraged reaction of French public opinion, and of French democratic institutions, such as the Constitutional Court, made Sarkozy gave up completely on the idea. Having entertained it brought down Sarkozy in the polls, as low as a French president ever got. 

What is particularly grotesque is that millions of American parents have lived overseas, giving birth to American Untermenschen… Even if the families of each parent had been American for generations. And still most Americans and the Main Stream Media consider them to be a lower caste.

Oh, and what does the Constitution of the USA say?

The Constitution reads as follows: “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States

The US Constitution does not say you have to be born INSIDE the USA to be a natural born Citizen.  Actually John Mc Cain was born in Panama. True, the US Supreme Court messed up the “natural born” common law idea by deciding at some point that Native Americans were not Americans. (That was rescinded in 1924.)

Barack Obama’s mother was a citizen, a child of two natural born citizens who always lived in the USA. She lived in the USA for more than seventeen years before his birth. That made Barack Obama a natural born Citizen no matter where he was born. One would think.

Hence, Obama is a natural born citizen from two independent criteria. So why to talk about this non subject with so much enthusiasm for so long? Either the Main Stream Media is stupid, or wants people to be stupid, or both.

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How democracy Turns Plutocratic:

A democracy is as wealthy as the many who compose it. It is complicated to keep people individually well provided for. That is a seduction of plutocracy: only the wealth of the few matter matters, and they call that an economy. And how does plutocracy happen? By transferring wealth from the many, to the few. The few (oligoi) manage (nomos) the house (eco), and the many are left to live in the outhouse. There we go.

What we have now is more a politically driven phenomenon than an economic one. The fact that the presidents of the USA, for decades, have been immensely wealthy men, and similarly for most of the American Senate and Congress, has a lot to do with it. The extent of that corruption is different from that occurring in normally functioning democracies.

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Geological Realism Against Unreal Plutocracy:

The entire Pacific plate seems to be on the move. From archeogeological studies, we know that the 9 Richter Cascadia quake entails a San Andrea quake south.

And look at the geography of California: it sure appears as if the land West Of the San Andrea fault, a part of the Pacific Plate compacted by the American plate, periodically falls into the ocean. How nice a tsunami does that make?

Although the San Andrea is classified as a “transform” fault (sideways motion), clearly the entire West Coast is, overall, a massive subduction zone, a giant pile up (a plate is sinking below another, never to be seen again).

Indeed the American plate heads westward ever more, crushing and… subducting the Pacific plate. As proven by the volcanic range which extends from British Columbia to Mexico, including on the way the massive Long Valley Caldera.

So the fact that the Pacific plate one moves north westward does not make the overall subduction go away. Whatever geologists say. But of course, if the geologists assert that no subduction quakes can happen in California, they ingratiate themselves to the powers that be, and their departments will be well funded. Reciprocally, should their insinuations irritate the powers that be, they will be, at best, ignored. At worst, their departments will get de-funded.

Farfetched? Exaggerated? How many tsunamis do you need to be warned? Japan was hit by three massive tsunamis in 30 years prior to 2011. It was known that the Senai plain had been hit in 860 CE by a tsunami, which went four miles inland. How many miles do you need?

Geologist Shishikura and his colleagues told the government. The powerful Trade Ministry dismissed the evidence. Trading first, tsunamis cannot be traded. Nuclear power plants were left by the sea, defended only by sea walls corresponding to recent wave activity. Fukushima had a 5 meter wave, so they put a 5.5 meter wall. When the tsunami came, it was 15 meters.  

Thus, ultimately, expect a Richter 10 quake along the West North American coast someday (after all, there was a 9.6 Richter quake in Chili, in 1960, same plate, similar situation).

But 10 Richter quakes are not something plutocracy has to worry about (its recent, expensive homes being the most capable of resisting quakes). it has only to worry about geologists, engineers and construction types working hard. If they work so hard, who would pay for them? The plutocracy. And that is insufferable. The plutocracy does not need arrogant geologists and engineers with their science, and , contractors with their big muscles.

The plutocracy needs valet parking, servants, servers, valets, private security, goons, sycophants and paid escorts.

Thus West Coast media and politicians ignore the quake danger, they are paid to ignore the danger, however indirectly, another aspects of neglect and complacency which has its root in the class structures of the USA.

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Riling Against High Speed Rail Because Is Where The Money Is:

University professors play an important role in fabricating an ideology compatible with the plutocracy in power. Under the USSR, professors were generally in the pocket of power. When Sakharov, or Solzhenitsyn turned against their masters, they  were rare exceptions who proved the rule.

A week or so ago, a Stanford professor blasted High Speed trains in the USA, claiming that, worldwide, only two Very High Speed lines are profitable. One in France, the Paris-Lyon line, one in Japan, the Osaka-Tokyo line. I don’t know about Japan, but the statement is blatantly false about France.

This is subtle ideology transfer. The gross message: “High Speed Rail is bad”, is accompanied by disinformation, if not lies. Indeed  the definition of High Speed Rail is 300 km/h in France, but only 200 km/h in the USA. Most of the French main lines go at 200 km/h. Most are profitable (SNCF, a private company, being overall profitable, although most of its mileage is internally subsidized  small lines in the boondocks).

In truth, France’s very high speed lines are profitable. So much so, most use double deck trains. The Paris-Lyon-Marseilles, Paris-London, Paris-Brussels  lines are very profitable. New lines are established with a mixture of private and local state financing, and would not be engaged in, if not guaranteed profitable (the local city will not sink municipal funds into nothingness).

Electric trains fed by nuclear power have at most 3% of the CO2 production of other means of transportation. Something to keep in mind next time very warm air mixes with cold air in the neighborhood.

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Patrice Ayme

AUTHORITY FALLACY: From Physics & History.

April 24, 2011

 

FANTASY & CREDULITY HELP AUTHORITY ESTABLISH FASCISM. Examples From Religion & POPULAR PHYSICS:

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Main ideas: Oligarchies control the vast multitudes they subjugate by disintegrating their minds. They use the principle of authority to do so.

The Principle Of Authority Says That The Powers That Be Determine The Truth. There Is No Truth But Authority, And Authority Is Its Prophet. 

Make the wrong drawing, say the wrong word, you die. (Riddle of the day: do you know a great superstition still that way nowadays?) 

Minds fragmented by non sense, conditioned by the authority of appearances, and power, lack ability for the sharp logic, keen observation and self confidence necessary for  subversion and revolution.

To extinguish all and any revolt, oligarchies train the public to accept authority, even when it makes no sense, especially if it makes no sense. The love and expectation of authority is perfectly honed by training to obey it, at its most absurd, just for the heck of it. The best dictatorships rule by aura.  Get on your knees five times a day for starters, and dig your forehead in the dirt. That serves your masters well.

When absurdities are presented as facts by some of the best physicists, absurdity is taught, and that comforts authority, and thus the oligarchy. And it is taugght from up high, so it is extolled as The Way.

The same critique can be made against the philosophy of the absurd: it was comforting for the oligarchies to see a philosopher such as Sartre defending the notion that life made no sense, and ultimately, embracing the absurdity of Maoism. An absurd would-be revolution does not worry authority. Authority rules with change you can believe. So it makes the rest unbelievable.

Christ’s ardent viciousness is also exhibited. But so great was the control by politico-religious authority, that Christ was made the definition of love, while the Bible provided with the roaring fires of hell below, for those harboring some doubts. I put that sort of lack of integrity in the context of control by oligarchies.

Fascism without intellectual fascism would ruin the plutocracy, authority is its savior.

Alpha baboons lead the troop, because they acquired Authority. Authority makes the minds of the many into the one, the mind of the Authority. This is best for the military operations baboons conduct at least twice a day. When they have to drink. However the instinctual awe for, and love of, Authority (“intellectual fascism“) occults the creativity of intelligence.

Military operations ought to be abated nowadays, while the dictators (“commanders in chief”) which go with them, ought to be phased out. Miraculously, the rise of the Internet arrives just in time to eschew Authority, and, maybe, to bring up enough intelligence for primates to survive the increasing power of Means of Mass Destruction. (CO2 poisoning being the number one MMD exhibit, followed by the WMD such as nuclear weapons…)

Authority owns not just the physical property of the world, but its intellectual property, which it has instrumentalized as the ultimate weapon. Authority owns the minds. The most infamous example is how plutocracy made the world pay for plutocracy in the recent 2008 plutocratic crisis. Twice. even George Orwell did not think of that one, because it was too absurd. Unsurprisingly plutocracy has made it into a world religion that the cult of Authority pervades the planet.

Science ought to demonstrate, not just what is, but how intelligence got to know what it knows (that’s the difference between physics and engineering). There is a meta-message attached to the reality science depicts. The same is true for philosophy.

Authority loves to practice hiding absurdities in plain view, and making the children chase hose eggs. Nothing like doing it in physics. If you can do it in physics, you can do it anywhere. You can do it in finance.

Naivety can be taught, as any other mood, or method. So it is no accident that some widely advertized pieces of today’s physics are made of clay. Most of the justification they have is Authority. Therein their meta-message and importance. Truly what they teach is Authority: love it, and understand. Don’t love it, and be condemned as ignorant. I will try to demonstrate all that below.

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Abstract: The dictators had it easy in the past. By controlling a few individuals, heading a few organizations, they controlled the Main Stream Media (MSM).

For decades, the Assad dictatorship in Syria easily controlled all radio, TV, and newspapers. But now the Internet is becoming the MSM, and the smallest phone shoots video, allowing us to see fascism live, and in full.

This system extended in a worldwide plutocracy, where all was entangled, from universities to energy, health, military and finance companies. Bush destroyed Hussein, because he knew too much, and was not a player. Gaddafi re-affirmed his plutocratic credential as a player in the worldwide system, and was re-instated by the same Bush. (Bush, by the way, was not just a servant of plutocracy, such as Clinton, or Reagan, but is a full member of it, as was his father, and the one before that,  a manager of the industrial system that Auschwitz served.)

Smart phones would have stopped Auschwitz in its tracks, as even common Germans would have had to face their personal responsibility. They would have been unable to keep on hiding behind their deliberate, intricately constructed, ignorance buttressed by mental rigidity.

Thus, the Chinese dictatorship makes herculean efforts to control the Internet, employing at least 35,000 to do that. Type “Sarkozy” there, and you find nothing: Sarkozy, viewed from China, is a dangerous revolutionary.

The Chinese dictatorship can’t hide its hiding. In the USA control is achieved by direct plutocratic ownership of mass media, would-be dissidents get bought of, or ignored, or put in the world’s most extensive prison system (fundamentally, that’s not very different with the Chinese system, that’s why they are friends). The nature of information provided to the masses, and the mood with which it is served, is a refined art. Often the mood imposed through the media is more important than the hard data.

However, the rise of the Internet is now allowing knowledge to circulate directly without Authority’s authorization.

The Authority Principle says that authority knows best. There is no Authority but Authority, and Authority is its prophet. 

Authority is its own main message. In authoritative societies, the Authority Principle reigns supreme, and is best embodied by the concept of “god”, a creature defined as the ultimate authority, and that everybody has to respect all day long, to stay in good standing… relative, to, well, the authorities. And don’t insult god: it’s a great religion. If you do insult that great religion, the authorities, or their faithful dogs, will have you burned, lapidated, torn to pieces…

“Authority” comes from the Latin “auctoritas”, from “auctor “master, leader, author. The author becomesthe master. If there is just one author, there is only one master.  therein how intellectual fascism works.

Instead of letting the Authority stay the main message, the Internet makes the message itself the main interlocutor.

This is a fundamental change in the way in which to apprehend information. Instead of depending upon Big Brother for knowledge, and its moods, we are back to the precivilizational stage, when there was no Big Brother. In prehistory, individuals talked directly to individuals, and pointed at facts themselves.

Much of the advancement of civilization consist into succeeding to re-create many traits, and environmental circumstances, that millions of years of prehistory have bequeathed to us.

The Internet allows civilization to recoup in a good way, a precivilizational trait it had lost, when small human groups formed giant cities. That trait is mind to mind communications about things themselves, without going through the censorship and manipulation of Big Brother. Rousseau would have been proud.

Those chains Rousseau spoke of, were, indeed, first, mental. They exploited the fascist instinct, the abject thrill found in surrendering to a leader and joining the masses in frantic adulation, becoming one giant monster that nothing and nobody can resist. Power at last!

 

Fascism is known to the Germans as the Führerprinzip (venerated in Gaddafi, even in 2011!). Hitler, an avid reader of the occult, may have found it in the Qur’an, where it is explicitly stated in one efficient sentence, as  Qur’an S 4, v59,

The madness in these religions (Nazism was a religion, with millions of martyrs!) originated with the hyper violent Jesus Christ,  Jesus did not just invent anti-Judaism.

The mythical originator of Christianity. Christ is the one who started the fashion of burning those who believed differently: see for example the Bible, New Testament. John: 15:6: “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

 

Well, OK, not really. Christ had predecessors. The Celts burned non Celts with gusto, and it is said that do did the Carthaginian plutocracy with the eldest sons (in tough times). The Roman republic outlawed both religions. 310 years after the plutocratic theocracy of the Druids was finally snuffed out by the legions off the welsh coast, the dictators of Rome found Christ’s injunction to burn people most convenient, and it was applied to books first.

Burning miscreants was the ultimate moral authority of Christianity.

During the Crusades, the Franks, professional soldiers with a ragged sense of humor, interpreted that order of Christ as a call to the culinary arts, and, respectfully abiding by a literal reading of Christ to eat the flesh of man (or god, whatever), they roasted and ate the natives. For some reason, the Muslims, who view Christ as a prophet, came to resent that logical application of Christian authority. Maybe they should do like the Franks did, and make Christ and other prophets an object of derision.

The Carolingian Franks legislated mandatory secular education by the all and any religious establishments, to the great rage of the Church authorities back in Rome. The oversight of superstitious authority by secular authority was the huge difference between the Merovingian Franks and the late, degenerated Romans.

Five centuries after the imposition of mandatory secular schooling by the Church, the European university system grew out of the “Cathedral schools”. The states (including the Carolingian created Vatican) entangled  themselves with the universities, as the Church disentangled itself.

Thereafter the professors were agents of innovation, occasionally, but, mostly, agents of the state, hiding below a veneer of independence.

This is why most of the innovative great thinkers, in the following centuries, were not university professors, but amateurs (from the word “amor”).

Thanks to the Internet, we are back in a situation where great thinking go directly from people to people, without being filtered profitably by the Authority of the state.

The servants of the state know many pernicious ways: after all, they got up high because they had smarts (hereditary smarts in the case of the children of Assad or the children of Qaddafi, or the late Hussein).

Respect for Authority is why, when they evoke the Mideast and North Africa, the American authorities, those servants of American plutocracy, never fail to sing the praises of Islam (and that means implicitly the praises of Salafism, as found in the friendly Saudi Arabian, or Yemeni governments). If it’s such a great religion, why don’t they have it at home, in the USA, too, ruling things? (As Hitler wished would have happened in Germany!)

Science ought to be the celebration of the ultimate triumphs of reason. As science crushes the ignorance of the past, it exemplifies the rule of stupidity, how unjustified it was, and how good it is to throw it down. Thus progress in science is the enemy of authority, and intellectual fascism.

Thus science in full, just as philosophy in full, or thinking in full, is the enemy of the established order, oligarchies, and plutocracy. Science, philosophy and thinking are the friends of revolution, and mental explosions.

To bring reason down to manageable size, Authority loves to confuse the public about what is science, and what is fantasy.  If people conflate one with the other, they will not know how to reason correctly, and the authorities can coral their thoughts like sheep.

Here I focus on three examples given as hard core science, although they are nothing but.: “The First Three Minutes”, “Cosmic Inflation”, and the so called “Multiverse”, the latter previously known as the Many-Worlds Interpretation Of Quantum Mechanics are soft science fantasy.

When those pseudo scientific noises will be found to be false and naïve, the public will have less respect for science, than they otherwise would have. Authority and the attached plutocracy will love that.

A related tactic was followed to make the public believe that there was no problem with the rising levels of CO2 and CO2 equivalent gases. Agents of the fossil fuel industries made it so that scientist were believed to be manipulating liars.

In the case of “The First Three Minutes”, “Cosmic Inflation”, and the so called “Multiverse”, physicists do it to themselves. That, of course makes those big fables wildly popular with Authority.

 

Respect for authority is in total contrast with the irreverent attitude of Richard Feynman. Feynman found ideas (“sum over histories”, “Feynman diagrams“) which have proven very deep (don’t let the fact that Feynman had to share his Nobel prize fool you).

Feynman carried with him a total lack of respect for Authority (in private conversation, Feynman did not take  “The First Three Minutes”, “Cosmic Inflation”, and the “Multiverse” seriously; he is not the only one that way: so did Zumino, a founder of SUSY, who marveled at the naivety of Weinberg and other Nobel level physicist writing books of fables). Irreverence is precisely why Feynman was able to be so deep.

Those who are truly for the advancement of thinking will rejoice that the Internet now allows to short circuit, and hopefully fry, Authority itself. Irreverence is not a luxury anymore, and only irreverence will save us all.

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THE AUTHORITY FALLACY, OR THE VALIDATION OF IDEAS BY POWER:

Some theories often brandished in the public eye as facts are truly deranged. And not just in finance and economics. At least. there, it is obvious that plutocracy has interest to make people believe in lies, so that they can be fleece. Careful propaganda has made all Europeans and Americans into sheep that way. They overlooked Iceland, though, and that may turn into their Achilles’ heel.

But why would plutocracy have interest to make propaganda for physics which is not truly physics? Because plutocracy  is more subtle than those it rules. It knows quite well that it is easier to rule over the stupid, and hard to overrule the intelligent.

So it is important to teach naivety and credulity, and the way to do that is to teach absurdities, and make people learn to take them for the truth. Now, of course, one can do so by unreal “reality shows”. But that is for the rabble. The case of the upper middle class has still to be addressed. Fables passing as physics is best for those.

Some will object that here I lend more credence to the intelligence of plutocracy than it has. Well, yes and no. Any conscious plot is preceded by conspiracies inside the mind itself, where parts of the mind talk to others through feelings, and that happens with groups of minds too (Carl Jung studied this sort of things).

Hence the popularity of absurdities. They go from deep idiocy, such as with the “Multiverse Theory“, a contradictio in adjecto, to milder forms such as the “First Three Minutes“, or “Cosmic Inflation“. Those theories are worse than selling the proverbial snake oil. After all, snakes exist. Whereas the preceding three concepts, generally presented as established facts, are as far removed from facts as can be. The “Multiverse Theory“, the “First Three Minutes“, and “Cosmic Inflation“, are blatant fantasies about things which not only do not exist, but are  of the self contradictory type, as I will show.

Science should be the high temple of reason, and conflating it with the great unwashed is pretty dirty.

The conflation of insanity and reality in physics is a particularly egregious abuse of the Authority Fallacy. The Authority Fallacy consists into accepting that the pedigree of those who present an idea, or the pedigree of an idea, is more important than the idea itself. (Pedigree comes from the French “pied de grue”, a long stem with a widespread branching at the foot.) For example, whatever Christ says, it’s got to be good and true. Because Christ said it, and Christ, by definition is the Authority in matters of good and true. Or whatever a Nobel prize says, it’s got to be true, because he got the Nobel. More subtly, this extends to behaviors, and ideas themselves. For example, because the wise is cool, an authoritative behavior, to be cool is wise. Thus the president of the USA stays cool while reactionary idiots walk all over him, and feels wisdom pervading.

The economic establishment has authority, except in Iceland, and thus Icelanders have seen that they should not pay for others. Whereas in cities where financiers show their expensive suits, the public has been so impressed by this exhibition of wealth, that they find normal to give money to the richest.

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MULTIVERSE & INFLATION:  SPONTANEOUS CREATION OF ALL, ALL THE TIME, EVERYWHERE:

The fundamental questions in physics are: what happened, what could happen? We have the same questions in many other fields of thought, such as history, economics, finance, politics, sociology, etc. Physics though concentrates on the most fundamental processes of nature, so it is foundations to the rest, in all sorts of ways. Get that one wrong, and one will tend to get the rest wrong. For example the multiverse theory says that, for any version of the universe, there is another one were the same is not the same. Accept this, and nothing is the matter.

The most fundamental theory of physics is Quantum Mechanics (QM). The foundations of QM have been a riddle ever since Max Planck got it started in 1900 CE. Planck was very cautious, Einstein, five years later, much bolder (see the note on Einstein and the Photon).

For a number of reasons, some of which are below, QM looked so much out of this world that desperate attempts have been made to make sense of it.

A proposed “solution” to the riddle of QM is the so called multiverse (aka multi-universe interpretation of QM). That was dreamed up by a student of Wheeler, Everett (Feynman was also a student of Wheeler).

The multiverse answer is that, whatever it is, it happened in one universe, and it did not happen, in another universe. Yes, that sounds crazy, and it is. You read that crazy sentence correctly: whatever it is, it is not too, somewhere else. Big advance. Sounds like American politics: nothing is real, anything goes.

And this non-existent existence is not always a matter of finite choice. In a 2 slit experiment, the most perplexing experiment in physics, an infinity of universes will be created, according to the multiverse mania, each time a photon, or any particle, goes through. As particles interfere all the time, all over the place, universes are created all the time, all over..

In other words, if one wants a proof of the insanity of some of today’s physicists, the multiverse is all we need. According to this spasm of the mind, during every single, smallest amount of time imaginable,  an uncountable infinity of universes appear. Creation of universes is all over, everywhere, all the time. Even at the height of the craziness of the craziest during the hallucinogenic 1960s, nobody lost it that bad, short of going to the slammer.

OK, the inflationary universe has the same problem, and thus is about as insane.  The idea of inflation is an ad hoc field (thus force) to reconcile the intuition of the “Big Bang” with observed facts (without inflation, the observed universe is too big, and too smooth, to have expanded in 14 billion years). The drawback is that, just as with the multiverse hypothesis, the inflation hypothesis makes universes appear out of nowhere, any time, anyhow. Like the Chinese and American plutocracies, that’s why these theories love each other.

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SILLINESS MASQUERADING AS SCIENCE

Science is inspirational, not just because it is knowledge, but because it also leads to new models of thought. That works best when it is real science (although science fiction, or history fiction can work a bit that way).

Conversely, the love of authority, naivety, credulity, and general lack of mental seriousness can be also be taught, by conditioning people to believe the unbelievable. It is no coincidence that a particular American sense of humor belittles reason, and the self as author (thus reinforcing Big Brother as author).

Some science fantasy masquerading as science emanates from some of the very best (Weinberg, Hawking, Guth, etc.) Worse: some “real” science rests on it!

That conflation of fantasy and reality was alien to the prolific writer Isaac Asimov, a university professor of chemist who was very careful to distinguish science from his (excellent) science-fiction.

Confusing fantasy and reality can only have a deleterious effect on the popular imagination, let alone common sense. The hysteria against nuclear energy while burning 450 million years of radioactive, heavy metal laced, atmosphere devouring coal is an effect of this inability to think in an organized manner (an hysteria that crafty nuclear and coal operators have abused).

***

IN THE BEGINNING, THERE COULD HAVE BEEN NO TIME:

A case in point is “The First Three Minutes”. Somehow, those “minutes” have become central to elementary particles physics, aka, Grand Unified Theory, aka Quantum Field Theory. The whole field will suffer a set-back in popular esteem when people realize that, after all, in the beginning, nobody could have been there to keep time. Indeed, how does one keep time, when there is no time keeper?

In the abstract, one keeps time with a light clock. This is the conceptual instant where space and time get mixed: one measures time by using light, and distance. Here is Special Relativity in its conceptual nutshell!

In a light clock, light bounces between two mirrors, and one counts the bounces. That time comes from light clocks is why time slows down in a high gravitational field: orient the clock so that light is parallel to the gravitational field: when light climbs up in the field, it will go ever more slowly as the gravitational field gets stronger (if the field is so strong that light cannot get up, you have got a black hole).

But of course to have a light clock, one needs mirrors, that is matter of some sort. But, early in the universe, that Big Bang theorists describe, there were no baryons, thus no walls. There were also no atoms and particles, so one cannot take refuge behind some spontaneous decay to measure time. 

As there was no way to measure time, I say there was no time. Exit “The First Three Minutes”.

***

AUTHORITATIVE PHYSICISTS, GOD, & PARTICLE?

A number of physics Nobel Prize winners wrote about a “God Particle”. Maybe  they take themselves for god. After all, that is what god is for (under Gaddafi, god reigns in Libya too).

There is only one problem: not only has nobody has seen god, but neither has anybody seen “his” particle. The gentlemen physicist were actually alluding to the so called “Higgs” particle, which is supposed to somehow confer mass to particles, sometimes after the Big Bang. OK, some Nobel guys were just trying to sell books.

In 2008, Professor Hawking suggested that it would be “more exciting” if the experiment at CERN did not find the “God particle”.

That will show something is wrong, and we will need to think again.”

Professor Higgs, one of six who postulated the existence of the particle 47 years ago, reacted with irritation. (hey, there would his Nobel go!): “I have to confess I haven’t read the paper in which Stephen Hawking makes this claim. But I have read one he wrote, which I think is the basis for the kind of calculation he does. And frankly I don’t think the way he does it is good enough… he puts together theories in particle physics with gravity . . . in a way which no theoretical particle physicist would believe is the correct theory. From a particle physics, quantum theory point of view, you have to put a lot more than just gravity into the theory to have a consistent theory and I don’t think Stephen has done that. I am very doubtful about his calculations.

The truth is that physicists are at sea. Nothing wrong with that, as long as they admit it. Many do. Feynman was good at admitting ignorance, especially if all shared it with him.

Those who don’t admit their ignorance, are only fooling the public (which finance them). They deliberately confuse fantasy, and, or, wild guesses with science, a serious ethical breach. In turn it implies a cognitive dissonance in the masses. If one has accepted that an infinity of universes is created in a split instant, then one is certainly ready to believe that the fractional private-public reserve system enriches the public.

Hawking’s fame is from one simple, strong idea nobody thought of before. That’s good, that’s the best (as the super mathematician David Hilbert pointed out in mathematics).

Here is Hawking’s main idea. Quantum Field Theory more or less knows experimentally to some extent, and then postulates generally, that the vacuum is teeming with particle-anti-particle pairs. Hawking observed that if one element of a pair fell into a Black Hole, the other would become a real particle and escape, and that would show up as radiation. So Black Holes would radiate (and small ones evaporate with a bang).

Simple ideas are strong. Over-complex ideas expose themselves to fallacy, because if one link in the logical chains they constitute fail, so do they.

Science is not just amazing, it is the essence of our society. Our society will grow, live, and die with our science. Science is harder to escape than a Black Hole. however, if we take good care of our science, it will go on forever, and so will intelligent life from Earth.

There is enough real science out there to not need to conflate it with fantasy. Abusing the public with non sense is no way to instill long term awe for reason.

***

ANY MULTIVERSE IS A UNIVERSE (oops):

The multiverse is particularly galling, as the ultimate outrage to the principle of not adding superfluous hypotheses (that principle is called “Occam’s Razor”, although Occam was far from the first to brandish it). Civilization class physicists such as Newton (“I don’t find hypotheses”) and Laplace (“I don’t need that hypothesis”… speaking of god), would have been baffled by the absurdity of the multiverse, and that proclaimed top thinkers worship it like others the Golden Calf.

The multiverse hypothesis adds universes, and even a continuum of superfluous universes, in each instance of the most fundamental process.  Basically the multiverse says that anything goes, that one keeps one’s cake intact, as long as one eats it. Thinkers of the Middle Ages would have sneered. The medieval thinkers used to worry a lot about general questions, of the type god was supposed to worry about. They would have had the following objection:

A moment of philosophical reflection shows how self contradicting this multiverse is. Indeed, the union of all multiverses itself constitute a universe. What the naïve partisans of the multiverse are then saying is that all and any fundamental process has all potential consequences, for real.

***

HOW QUANTUM MECHANICS MADE SOME PHYSICISTS SCHIZOPHRENIC:

Schizophrenia means “splitting of the mind”. The multiverse theory splits not just minds, but universe, as needed, and that is for each and any fundamental process. The multiverse is the ultimate schizophrenia.

So, if it is sheer insanity of the ultimate type, why are there partisans of the multiverse? And why are they so desperate? Out of hubris. Denied. Extreme hubris. Extremely denied. On the face of it, it is clear that Quantum mechanics is incomplete, as I am going to show. Instead of admitting that, and moving on modestly, conventional theoretical physicists have maintained that Quantum Mechanics is the one and only best Mechanics possible. Why? Because they are all-knowing. even rigorous mathematicians got ruined by the same madness: Von Neumann produced a bogus proof that: “Only QM is QM, and QM is its prophet.”  (Namely only QM could explain QM.) It should have been seen as obviously false, as de Broglie had a competitive theory, and as the EPR thought experiment showed that QM conflicted with locality. Instead it was seen as deep.

Why is Quantum mechanics incomplete?

1) Although Quantum Mechanics is the most precise theory, it seems observer dependent. This is embodied by the Schrodinger Cat thought experiment (truly an original idea of Einstein in correspondence with Schrodinger; a lot of De Broglie’s work was also attributed to Schrodinger).

From the point of view of an observer outside of the cat box, the Quantum mechanical description is a mixture of dead and live cat. Intuitively though, even an educated peasant from Middle Age Russia knows that cats are either dead or alive, and not a mix, so Quantum mechanics is incomplete. However, a moment’s reflection shows that, from outside the box, the cat is neither dead or alive. We just don’t know what it is. So the dependency of QM upon context is not that mysterious. That’s fine. But to claim that it is the best knowledge possible, as many QM specialists are wont to do, is absurd.

2) In truth, QM is geometrical-context dependent (the geometry being from functional analysis, not just the usual n-dimensional spaces the public is familiar with). Somehow, fundamental processes are able to apprehend the cosmic immensity at their disposal through space and time (that’s best depicted by Feynman’s “Sum Over Histories”).

How this happens is not under-stood. Not at all understood (although I have my own theory, glimpses of which are found in my various essays). Many physicists got ‘headaches’  from the situation (as a well known physicist told me once).

Quantum Computer engineers don’t have the luxury to indulge in headaches, and they are trying to master the subject. Standard physics was found way short of the needed precisions; suddenly the obscure, sometimes metaphysical debate on the nature of Quantum Mechanics held in 1920s and 1930s, have become very practical.

Quantum engineers had to re-label some of the classical terms: the “collapse of the wave packet” has became “decoherence”, for example. The notion of “Collapse” was all too attached to the foundational quarrels of the 1920s to 1950s, which ended with some name calling of Einstein and the like. Moreover, we “decoherence” is highly practical, and a more general notion than “collapse”. Stray photons have been found to be a major source of collapse.  Penrose and (now) Hawking have advertized a theory of a trio of Italians, that gravitation causes collapse. [In my own theory collapse can be caused by all the preceding, obviously, but also by entanglement collapse, of course, and stray matter fields. Moreover, the collapse is not instantaneous, but proceeds at an extremely high speed (more than ten billion times c).]

3) How fundamental processes go from the “in flight” Quantum Mechanical description of entangled time evolving probability waves to the end result of the process, a definite state (mathematically a “eigenstate”), is not part of Quantum Mechanics. This “collapse of the wave packet” is part of nothing at all. So here we have a physical theory which goes from something all over the place, to something else completely different in one (often tiny) locale, refusing to imagine anything in between, while claiming to be the final say. It leaves one queasy, all the more since theories such as De Broglie (-Bohm) or mine are readily imaginable.

Now remember many physicists want to be all-knowing. Therein the power.

The multiverse approach “solves” one problem of QM by saying there is no collapse, because all possibilities (“eigenstates”) occur in universes, one universe for all and each eigenstate. It sweeps the collapse under a countable or uncountable infinity of universes.

the absurdity of it all is colossal. Suppose you drive through town at 200 km/h. I doubt that the judge will be impressed if a physicist grandly declares that she was in a parallel universe. On the other hand, I must admit, high finance is definitively in a parallel universe, and all too many people accept that.

***

THE CREDIBILITY OF CREDULITY WITH AUTHORITY:

Much is made by Authority, and various oligarchies, with the credibility of credentials. Since it is Authority which attributes credentials, it is  tidy arrangement. For example the Federal Reserve bank is full of people with a high degree of credibility, and high credentials. That allows to give lend trillions to crooks, no questions asked. The survival of ATMs was at stake, they say, and people accepted that incredibly stupid statement, because big governments have big Authority.

In Iceland, the government is not big, and close to the 230,000 voters. So the (corrupt, as they all are) government was unable to hypnotize taxpayers into paying for plutocrats they have never met, never had any business with, and they owed absolutely nothing to. Remarkably this common sense has escaped most Europeans and Americans so far, and those serfs keep on serving plutocrats they have never met, never had any business with, and they owe absolutely nothing to, and are richer than ever. This apparently will go on, and people will work to make plutocrats ever more powerful. Until the plutocrats capture the last civil liberties.

Being sure that the universe was created out of nothing is an absurdity similar to being sure that the economy was created by plutocrats, and they have to be saved, and served, lest the economic universe collapses.

***

BIG BANG REASONING, PLAYING ALL TOO FAST WITH FACTS:

Here is an example of what I am talking about. I listened to the Hawking’s presentation as found in “Learning From Dogs”. (Hawking is admirable, be it only in the tenacity with which his indomitable spirit fights his terrible disease, a form of ALS; I met him a few times, long ago, and I was already awed by his courage… He has the world’s survival record for ALS. maybe the spirit of curiosity sustains him, a good lesson for those who claim that curiosity has no survival value!)

I agree with Hawking’s observations about life, and civilization, in the last two parts of that speech. It’s clear life started very fast on Earth, as he says. (It’s all the more remarkable because the collision which created the Moon happened after 50 million years or so, and would have melted the Earth. Because of this and the cooling from the outside, it seems likely, at this point, that Earth’s life started on… Mars. Ejecta can reach Earth, staying mild enough inside for even (some) bacterial survival.)

The first part of Hawking talk about the evolution of the universe is well done, and much of what he says is known to be correct. However, hidden inside Hawking’s authoritative delivery, are invented assertions presented as facts. The fact that they are commonly made does not excuse them.

Hawking claims that we know the laws of evolution of the universe, and he evokes Maxwell (that is electromagnetic theory, known to be 100% correct under known conditions, which include QED), and Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation (ETG, aka GR). The latter works splendidly in Low Earth Orbit (GPS). But that proves nothing, because its success in LEO is attributable to bits and pieces of GR, not the whole thing. Those bits and pieces have more to do with energy conservation, and are pretty certain, and not implied by the controversial parts, which they therefore do not prove in any sense.

The evolution of the universe is supposedly guided by the Einstein equation, gravitationally speaking. That is partly derived from first principles, such as “Newton’s” gravitational law (in turn deduced first in an analogy with light, by a French priest… As Newton himself declared).

A serious problem is that the Einstein equation is determined only up to the so called “Cosmological Constant”, which cannot be guessed from first principles (the Cosmological Constant drove Einstein a bit nuts; first he used it to make a static universe; then, as the universe was revealed non static by Hubble and his colleagues, Einstein called the CC his “greatest blunder“… And had he lived until recently, he would no doubt have changed his mind again!)

What invalidates Hawking’s certainty about the evolution of the universe is that the CC is turning out to be non zero. If we don’t know the evolution equation, how can we know the evolution? This is an argument that anybody can understand, as long as they are not paid to not understand it.

The speed of expansion of the universe is apparently increasing. Nobody knows why. This casts a doubt even on the 15 billion years universe: if the universe can accelerate, why could not it brake?  Just insinuating…

Another thing Hawking does not insist on is that it is QFT, Quantum Field Theory, or more exactly its specialization known as the “Standard Model“, which drives the theory of the early universe.

To say that it is only electromagnetism and gravitation which drive the universe is to hark back to the 1920s (by the 1930s, QED had appeared, and physicists decided Einstein was a pet dinosaur, as Einstein himself observed!) But the SM is clearly a work in progress, which may pretty well collapse soon if the LHC in Geneva does not find the so called “Higgs”, soon. Hawking knows well that there are huge problems with the SM (see above!) But “The Brief History of Time” depends upon ignoring these problems. Otherwise it would become the “Obscure History Of Time”, and it won’t sell as many books.

“Cosmic Inflation” rests on another imaginary particle, the inflaton”. That imaginary thing is why Hawking claims to be sure that the universe is created out of nothing. Sure to have made it up, I agree. I guess that, if the “Higgs” is not found, even standard physicists are going to have doubts about many of their certainties, and their cosmic cognition will deflate. They will acquire a negative cosmological constant of known origin…

Another point: Hawking claims that time acts like space in extreme conditions. As far as I know, that’s another fast one. QFT physicists make computations that way, and the results fit observation, but that does not prove that this mathematical artifice (“imaginary time”) rests on anything real. It is philosophically unacceptable: it forcefully turns spacetime, a Finsler manifold, into a Riemannian manifold, just because the mathematics of the former are unmanageable (it reminds me of drunks searching for keys only where they can see).

Hawking conflate what is known for sure (say about life) and the great unknown (all that Big bang stuff).

We know that life started very fast on Earth, but we do not know what was going on 15 billion years ago, or what drove it. We don’t even know if Newton’s law of gravitation is correct, in first order, at a large scale, right now (apparently, it’s not, since the CC seems non zero!)

In truth we know all too little to speak authoritatively about the Big Bang. We don’t even know the dimensionality of the universe. (A problem string theory has advertized, but which is all over fundamental physics; for all we know, the universe could have dynamic, irrational dimensions)

We don’t even know the TOPOLOGY of the universe! All of conventional mathematics rest on what is known as Hausdorff spaces, spaces where points are separated. Our real number system is like that. However, so far, Quantum Mechanics describes a dynamic NON Hausdorff universe (that is a way to interpret the EPR experiment, non locality).

Thus, Hawking certainty about space is, to say the least, premature. And he is not the only one. Thousands of Big Bangists out there are even more sure.

***

ROTTED BY THE HEAD:

There is plenty of room for fantasy and wild guesses in physics. Imagination is  necessary to progress. Simply, flights of fancy, and wishful thinking should be presented as such. One of the interests of studying science and broadcasting it, OUGHT TO BE teaching how to learn to discern the difference between fantasy and reality. This is a skill society needs to become much better at. it is the opposite of the authority principle.

How come those famous people can get away with presenting as facts somewhat insane ideas? We have a paradigm here: Some (previously) very respected physics Nobel prizes not only got their Nobel prizes well before Einstein, but they were member of the Nazi party before Hitler. Their top accreditations did not make their physics any less insane. (Lenard denounced “Jewish physics”.)

Egomania is not reserved to Donald Trump. Nor is it only profitable to him.

Ever since civilization exist, a priestly class has always tended to rule, in collaboration with the military and the wealthy.  (This observation was made earlier by Nietzsche, the French Revolution of 1789, Henry VIII, and the Franks themselves; the practice of state religion was enforced by Theodosius, and earlier, Constantine, following earlier, and just as fierce practices by the Roman republic, and Athens; Socrates was initially prosecuted on the charge of calumny against (the) god(s).) 

In India, the Brahmin class ruled for 35 centuries, knew how valuable the class system was, and imparted that notion on the rabble. (The much revered Gandhi himself embraced it, although he did not agree about the Untouchables.)

Who are the priests? Those who know. As knowledge has grown, the scientists themselves were drafted by the established order into the priesthood, as long as they thought correctly. By denaturing the harshness of the scientific inquiry, scientists, like the priests, teach submission. Let me give a few examples.

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HELIOCENTRISM WAS OBVIOUS, THUS SUBVERSIVE:

Aristarchus of Samos suggested, around 300 BCE, that the sun turned around the earth. That’s what Archimedes said. Some objections were raised, but they would have been easy to overrule. The reasoning of Aristarchus was not preserved  (why would the fascists preserve revolutionary thoughts?)

However, it’s easy to guess what Aristarchus thought. The Greeks had computed the size of the Earth (very precisely). By the angles the sun made at noon in different places in Egypt and Greece. From this, observing the shadow of the earth on the moon, they computed the  distance of the moon. Then, observing the angle of the (terminus of the) sunlight on the moon, when the moon was at the same distance to the sun, as the earth, they got a lower bound of the distance of the sun. That angle is hard to observe, so they underestimated the distance of the sun. however, it was clear that the sun was enormous. one could then argue that it would make more sense that the Earth turned around itself at 1,000 miles an hour, than the sun around the Earth at 20 million miles an hour. (It’s known that rotation speeds were invoked.)

So how come the heliocentric theory was not developed? Well, around 320 BCE, freedom was collapsing: the Athenian plutocracy allied itself with the Macedonian dictatorship, while Rome took over Syracuse (killing Archimedes in passing).

After this, it was pretty much plutocracy uninterrupted until the USA became independent, and the Terror reigned over France. OK, there were times when the plutocracies got beaten back. And plutocracy was sometimes self consciously favorable to the advancement of knowledge (the Franks were this way, from the 6C onwards, through queen Bathilde, Charlemagne, king and emperor Charles The Bald.)  

Researching, debating and establishing the heliocentric theory would have been too revolutionary for the political powers that be, in Macedonia, Rome, Ptolemaic Egypt,  and, a fortiori fanatical Catholic Rome. Maybe some youth got the idea… But it was certainly not encouraged by their professors. In antiquity, professors were entangled with power. (That was even worse in China.)

By contrast, the empire of the Franks was deeply revolutionary. It imposed a lot of notions which became common place later: mandatory education, the secularly, state controlled Church, nationalization thereof, outlawing slavery. Moreover Roman notions such as universal citizenship, ethnic and religious tolerance were reinstated.

When the Church went for its second power grab, after the First Crusade, top intellectuals of the Franks’ works were outlawed (= “put at the index“)by the Vatican (=”Papal States”), and the dark conspiracy that extended it, the inquisition..  

***

 

REVOLUTIONARIES DO NOT GET SUBSIDIZED OFTEN:

Under the Franks, top intellectuals were brought from all over Europe (including Britain: Alcuin!), and paid by the court, in a desperate effort to relaunch civilization. In a way, Rome had started this, and so it was in China. The difference was that the thinkers at the center of empire of the Franks were revolutionary, whereas in rome and China, they just reinforced the authority of the state, or, more exactly, of the plutocracy.

(Although the leaders of the Franks were very wealthy, with properties all around Europe, the equalitarian succession laws of the Franks insured that the wealth was spread around; this has been misunderstood by historian as a state of degeneracy, because no strong man owned the whole thing. Even Charlemagne lived very modestly for a Roman emperor of nearly all of Europe. No emperor, ever, in the history of humanity, spent as much time at the head of his army, on the battlefield. even more than Genghis Khan!) 

Most top thinkers of the scientific revolution in the 17C were not respected tenured professors at the university (although Galileo and Newton were, not so for Kepler, Bruno, Descartes, Fermat, Pascal, Leibnitz…). The pattern was renewed in the 18 C, and 19C (although by then more were university professors, Nietzsche, judged too extreme, was asked to resigned).

Direct, or indirect patronage by enlightened plutocrats was often present. Thus Huyghens was financed by Louis XIV through the French Academy, Descartes by the Queen of Sweden, Voltaire by Frederik of Prussia (and Nietzsche by a wealthy widow).

We have no historical distanciation to judge what’s going on now, and find out if deep thought is thriving, or everybody is getting big banged, by superficial thinking where it matters most. Indeed, most of science, although progressing quickly, is on automatic, as the singularity approaches….

***

INTELLECTUAL AUTHORITY IN ROME:

Under the Antonine emperors, in the Second Century of the Roman Principate, which Gibbons saw, erroneously, as the summum of civilization, intellectuals of the right type stood on a pinnacle of money and power. The intellectual establishment, mostly Greek, had been captured by Greco-Roman plutocracy. Intellectuals could get immensely rich, and it would run in families. In exchange, when they gave their expensive talks, they exalted the strong medicine of Greco-Roman imperial plutocratic ideology. Their basic message was that Rome was the best of all possible worlds

Intellectuals then  were the equivalent of Bill Clinton today: immensely respected, corrupt to the core. Some will say: not so, where is the emperor? But a refined knowledge of the Roman empire showed that it was truly a plutocracy. The richest would meet, the emperors among them, and, generally, the atmosphere was collegial at dinner: the plutocrats would speak about “us”. And one of these “us” was the emperor, the “Princeps”, the “First”, the plutocracy’s president, so to speak. Seeing Rome in this light, it sounds like a prototype of the system we have today, complete with the daughter of the future Chinese dictator president at Harvard, protected by the secret services.

Aelius Aristides’s begged to differ discreetly, in front of the whole imperial court. he observed something felt wrong, but he could not tell what. By then the plutocracy was so strong that even the emperor, M. Aurelius, could not find enough funds to fight a war on the Danube which was a matter of survival for Rome. The rich was refusing taxation. It was a rotten situation, but intellectuals, instead of observing, and denouncing, were careful not to say much, and they milked the system like hedge fund managers, making billions.

The oligarchies are now entangled in such a manner that only Icelanders have not been properly vetted. Elsewhere, it’s all about credentials.

***

CREDENTIALS AS COMMAND AND CONTROL:

As far as accreditation system is concerned, I will refer to the PhDs of Qaddafi’s eight children, and the numerous professors at Harvard on Qaddafi’s payroll. Does that mean that Harvard was accredited by Qaddafi? And the London School of economics too? Where does it stop?

Speaking of Harvard, what about Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations”, of an incredibly low scholarly level? (In it, Huntington evokes the Sino-Muslim civilization, a grotesque concept for whom know either!)

 The movie “Ghostwriter” sums it well. There Harvard is presented as churning well programmed heads of states. Surely a joke, isn’t?

I am quite familiar with academia, and I think too much credit is given, quite often.

QM, however impressive, is no deal. Authority does not like this about QM. The multiverse theory is a desperate attempt to make Quantum mechanics into an authoritative, complete discourse, like the Bible, or the Qur’an. It is a scheme to eschew the mystery of the non existence of a detailed mechanism of wave packet collapse. [Ironically I was once punished on a “philosophy” site for saying that QM was a live subject of research; I never went back to that site, which has academic pretentions: they told me that they checked with physics professors that QM was a done deal, and therefore I was ignorant…]

***

CONCLUSION: AUTHORITY COMMANDS, HOWEVER,COMMANDING IS NOT THINKING:

The Authority Fallacy  is that thinking is validated by Authority. But Authority is no ersatz for the truth. In truth, thinking is only validated by the truth. The truth is what’s left, after the rest has been proven to be false.

The truth is only reached through debate. Truth is not god given, that is, authority given. Accepting authority as valid thinking is the essence of intellectual fascism; a few ideas lead, and all follows. No thought but repetition, and authority is its prophet. the analogy with some well known superstition is no coincidence.

Thinking creatively is fundamentally about disobedience, about breaking pre-existing order. Humans have to learn to expect thoughts to stand on their own, independently of Authority. Some rebels in Libya have hit on that idea:”Don’t try to define us, we do not know who we are!”

Science is knowledge, but science is also a set of methods to acquire knowledge, and that should include the admission of what we don’t know, also known as rational humility.

The history of science shows that the best minds come short, and we need more than them. We need the truth, and only the many, thinking deep, and vigorously, can bring that, thanks to withering critique.

Democracy is not just necessary to achieve fairness, but also to reach superior intelligence. And both will improve through the democratic debate (isegoria).

Indeed, full democracy is not just one man, one vote. Full democracy includes isegoria, the right to equal speech. for the first time since the Athenian national assembly, the Internet allows this, now for the billions out there.

For oligarchic, and technological reasons, civilization had lost isegoria in the last 24 centuries. But it can be regained now. thanks to the Internet.

Deep debates can now happen on a planetary basis, without the filtering of plutocratic authority. And not just in philosophy, politics, and economics, but also in engineering and, more generally, all over science.

A god example is the Fukushima nuclear disaster; a democratic debate could easily have avoided it. The natural question would have been: what would happen if a 42 meters tsunami hit it? Obvious answer: at the very least, evacuation of Tokyo. Forever. Fortunately the wave was only 15 meters at Fukushima, and 42 meters somewhere else.   (Looking forward one can question what would happen if oil got in the cooling system of a nuclear plant; just like at Fukushima, easy counter-measures can be taken, but have they?)

More generally dangers from technological choices ought to be vigorously debated: many vulnerable regions are awfully ill prepared for quakes. Looming over it all, the unparallel catastrophe of CO2 planetary engineering, has been completely turned off by the plutocracy in the USA (huge money was spent in creating fake authorities which imposed the view that there was no CO2 problem, and most Americans, and even Europeans, came to believe that in the last two years!)

Not only, most scientists are directly financed by the public, but, whether we like it or not, or civilization is a giant science experiment. And the only sure thing is that if we let it run its course unsupervised, it will blow up…

The time has definitively come to leave the way of life, and thought, of the baboons, well behind.

It is not going to be easy: group thinking is a deep instinct. The authority principle and intellectual, or group fascism are just aspects of it. So is hostility to those who do not belong.

Careful recent studies on monkeys exhibit the instinct of forming a group, and hating the rest. Don’t hate monkeys, our ancestors; their was no other way they could have been, that’s the Dark Side of natural selection. This aggressive group instinct was necessary because monkeys are so good, and would have been otherwise defenseless.

 

That violent and nasty group instinct is both the cause (with the mathematics of capital), and the mechanism which leads to plutocracy, and often to racism and war, as it is best implemented with its specialization, the fascist instinct  (the instinct to focus the mind of the many on combat as one).

We cannot just do like Chinese philosophers of old, and decree that man is good, or that man is bad, and that there is nothing to do, but obey Authority. Authority is not bright enough. And badness starts with thinking wrong.

In his latest book (2010), in a major change, Stephen Hawking recognizes tentatively that it does not make sense to speak of time in the early universe (so he diverged from his old, and still widely accepted official sing-song). He does not give detailed reasons as I do above, though.

Progress in intellectual honesty ought to be encouraged, so I congratulate him. Science has to show the way of basic integrity. Nothing else can do it as well, short of a parent’s love for a child

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Note on the photoelectric effect: Einstein, a non-authority before 1906, became a supreme authority after British scientists verified that the sun grazing light was deviated by twice what Newton’s theory predicted. Thus Einstein’s reasoning about the existence of the Photon is beyond any suspicion (all the more since Einstein got the Nobel Prize for the Photon in 1921).

Waxing lyrical on the photoelectric effect, Einstein had proclaimed “heuristically” the concept of “photon”, which became the paradigm of conceptual particle creation, thereafter. Einstein observed that it look as if electromagnetic energy was not just emitted in lumps, but also received in lumps, thus, travelled as a lump; beautiful logic, but Plank, who was Einstein’s door to fame, was unimpressed on that point. Einstein’s jumped to the implicit conclusion, that the photon is a lump. That authoritative opinion was repeated ever since, as there is no physics, but physics, and Einstein is its prophet. This is well in keeping with the opinion that physics is local, an opinion justified before QM, but false ever since. I am personally guessing that the Photon does not travel as a lump, but as what space is made of.

***

QM is the most precise theory we have, but it’s most certainly false or crazy as Newton basically said about his own theory of gravitation, and pretty much for the same reasons…

In any case QM got no traction with the Quantum computer, so far. To say the least, many questions have been found to not be answered… 

Heuristically yours.

Market Is No Civilization.

April 16, 2011

BARE MARKET REDUCES MAN TO GREED & GRIND. CIVILIZATION IS RICHER.

[[A security problem at WordPress prevented reproducing half dozen graphs crucial to the essay below; hopefully at a future date. Better a mangled publication than none! Essays explaining with historical maps and reproductions of incriminating documents how Turkey’s and Germany’s poorly digested pasts caused their friendliness to the Libyan dictator and his family of murderous thugs, are delayed.]]

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Abstract: The USA used to be mainly composed of “whites” and “blacks“. (“Black” in the USA is (still!) defined as any, even the smallest, contribution of African ancestry. Is it the Mark of Cain? According to the Pope, yes.)

The USA was mostly made of “whites“, and still is. There are 196 million of “whites” in the USA, according to the latest census. Now the largest and fastest growing minority, by far, is “Hispanics” (54 millions).  The “whites” used to comprise the middle class, and they have been suffering: their real income has been going down, while the cost of accessing to the upper class, education, has become stratospheric. So “whites” are getting poorer, less educated, the latter feeding back on the former.

A consequence is that the deeply unhappy, insecure “whites” are collapsing demographically. The latest census shows that the total population of white children (0 to 18 years) has gone down 10%. In a decade. In other words, the population of what used to be the United States of America is collapsing. Extrapolating these rates, the USA will turn soon into Mexico. Indeed this seems to be the aim of the plutocrats: is not it true that the world’s richest man, Carlos Sims, is Mexican?

Serious: the Mexican tax income is 10% of GDP. The US federal tax income is 9% of GDP, the rest is borrowed from the objective accomplice of American plutocracy, the Chinese dictatorship (hey, what are friends for?)

I will argue that the Will-To-Lower taxes is actually the expression of the will to go down, indeed. Lowering taxes to nothing is an attempt to reduce man to fear and greed. It is a will to reduce man to crocodile. In the guise of reducing the deficit, the American right wing is reducing the USA to increasingly nothing. Reducing man to fear and greed is no way to have a sustainable civilization. It is an ominous fate. It has no future value.

***

***

PAUL RYAN, SCREAMING TODDLER FROM THE ABYSS:

The American right wing is frighteningly stupid. Its leitmotiv, as Obama pointed out, is to give even more power to its sponsors, the hyper rich. Obama took the case of his own tax cuts, as proposed by the US Congress headed by Ryan and company: 33 seniors would see 6,400 dollars more in taxes, so that Obama could play with another 200,000 dollars. That, Obama rightly points out, is outrageous.

The American wealthy love to claim they are philanthropists. Let’s help them by enforcing that (Obama presented that idea in a more sneaky, psychologically correct way: the rich want to give, if we only would let them do it).

Europe’s richest person is Frenchman Bernard Arnault, a self made man, formed as an engineer at Polytechnique. He is worth $41 billion, making him the fourth richest man in the world (excluding despots, such as the Mubaraks, Kadhafis, and other Putins). Ryan the ignorant would say that Arnault is the victim of France, a welfare state: Arnault pays more than 50% in taxes. He thus has the satisfaction to have the French state provide him with the service of being made more philanthropic than his American colleagues.

Plutocrats have names. Two Wall Street housewives, Christy Mack and Susan Karches, got 220 million dollars from the Federal Reserve bank (which they did not have to reimburse: the loans were “non-recourse”).

Their husbands were big guys on Wall Street, getting even more money from the government of the USA. Dozens of hedge funds with Cayman Island addresses (so paying no US taxes) got billions of dollars. From the always so generous, albeit unknowing, US taxpayers. Basically, all the richest people in the USA were given free money from the Federal Reserve bank. To support the economy: in the USA, according to the operating wisdom, the rich is the economy. All this was supposed to stay secret, but an act of Congress (thanks to Senator Sanders from Vermont, the Senate’s lone socialist) just revealed the enormity of what is going on.

I have talked about this for years, as indications here and there, showed that this was the case. The same holds in Europe, with the deliberately mislabeled “Euro Crisis”, which is, in zeroth order, simply a money grab by the plutocracy. Thugs grabbing candy from children, ready to eat whatever from whoever. Hopefully the Icelanders have called off that charade, and normal people, in the rest of Europe and America, will realize that they don’t have to pay for plutocrats. Twice. And that it is time to force obdurate oligarchs to join their role models, the Mubaraks, in jail.

Why the American crisis? Here:

[Non reproduced graph showing a collapse of taxes on the richest in the USA in the last 20 years. Krugman’s “Tax Facts” has two of the graphs I used.] 

Notice the drastic lowering of taxes under Clinton, from 30% down to 22% for the 400 richest. So much for Clinton being a democrat. Correct spelling: demoncrat. Then Bush, from a billionaire family, in an ambush, lowered the tax rate of the hyper wealthy down to less than 17%; by comparison in high tax areas such as New York City, the upper middle class can pay 50% or more, in taxes… making the middle class a shadow of its former self, and the tax burden not much different from that of European “welfare” states… without the advantages.

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IS THIEVERY  WHAT FASCISM WAS ALL ABOUT?

So say some recent analyses of the Nazis; they mostly killed the Jews, because they wanted to steal them. Hatred was a convenient truth, but not the strongest motivation.

One has to remember that German fascism was essentially an alliance of the hyper wealthy, and hyper powerful, among the Prussian aristocracy, other grandees, and some industrialists. After trying to grab Europe in 1914, that constellation of arrogance was defeated in World War One. Those worthies then allied themselves with American plutocrats, thugs, children of criminals against mankind, such as Hermann Goering,  and revanchards low lives such as Adolf Hitler, creating Nazism.

Meanwhile in Italy, Mussolini, a repented socialist, made explicit the alliance between corporations and the state, a version of plutocracy he called “fascismo”.

Fascism is not always a product of plutocracy, and is far from being always bad, as those who invented the concept, the republicans of Rome, would be the first to point out. For the genuine Romans, fascism was the symbol of the judicial power of the republic, and the French republic still uses the concept in that exact way, 25 centuries later.

Fascism is the ax of the People’s ultimate power, when the many wind around the force of simplemindedness. However an ax can be misused.

Plutocracy always use fascism, and uses it badly, deliberately. What Paul Ryan and company propose is a naked version of what Mussolini implemented in Italy, and what laid subterraneously in Nazi Germany (as Ernst Julius Röhm found out in the last few hours of his life).

***

ONLY THING THEY KNOW IS THAT THEY HATE THE STATE:

There is no deficit problem in the USA. There is a plutocratic problem. True the Federal government takes 18% of GDP while the Federal tax receipts are 9% of GDP. But that is deliberate. The plutocracy does not want to pay taxes, just as it did not want to pay taxes in the Late Roman empire. Plutocracy wants wealth to rule. And only wealth. And Pluto. Plutocracy does not want the law, or the state to rule. To kill the state, plutocracy kills taxes. This is why, in the Late Roman empire the law, the state, and even the army collapsed (instead the Franks, Visigoths and huns were privateley contracted).

Just like in the Roman empire, plutocracy has created an ideology to sabotage the country, the state, whatever does not satisfy its cult of personal power. In the Late Roman empire, rabid Christianity was the ideology that plutocracy used. Now the ideology is the so called “free market”. According to that ideology, only the “free market” produces anything of value.

Ryan and the right wing economists who support him are amazingly ignorant. Being scoundrels, as Krugman pointed out, no doubt further their ignorance. They know nothing about a few dozen European countries, and still other countries, such as Japan, which completely contradict his ideas, with explicit examples, here, there, and everywhere. For example the Swedish health care is much better than the American one, and is much cheaper. As soon as one studies the Swedish system, one understands why.

And why is it that Germany, with 45% of GDP as state spending is doing better economically than the USA, with 18% of GDP for Federal spending? Overall, Europe is doing great economically (except for some overextended peripherals), and all European states have an AVT of at least 15%, and state spending between 40% and 55% of GDP. Way above the global state spending of the USA of 30%. One also has to keep in mind that the private sector in the USA is very inefficient, which bloats GDP: energy usage in the USA is only 33% efficient, whereas it is above 80% or 90% in the Western Europe, or Japan.)

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TAXING FACTS SHOW THAT HIGH TAX STATES DO BETTER:

[Absent graph showing the tax rates of many countries, the total tax load of the USA being near the bottom, between half and two-thirds of the European tax loads.]

I have harped for many years that taxes are not high enough in the USA.  Moreover, they are skewed very badly. To advantage the rich. To encourage waste, and discourage savings and conservation. As energy costs have increased recently, the French government was able to reduce by 10% the tax loads of poor professionals who depend upon transportation. High tax countries have freedom of financial engineering. If production oil prices doubled, European governments would be able to swallow the increase. Not so in the USA.

Aside from the low-tax status of the United States, it’s interesting to note that all the European debt crisis countries have relatively low taxes by European standards. This is a causal relationship. and it is well understood in Europe. To help fix its crisis, Greece has augmented its VAT up to 23%, and is now trying to tax the (rich) Church.

This puts the lie to those claiming that big welfare states were somehow responsible for the crisis: the four countries at the top, the top welfare states, with the highest tax rates, are doing splendidly. According to the IMF and the CIA, Norway, Denmark and Sweden have higher GDP than the USA.

This, in spite of the high inefficiency of the economy of the USA, which augments the ratio GDP/AWE. (AWE, Absolute Worth Energy, my own concoction, measures the efficiency of energy usage according to its true worth, as its name indicates.)

***

SOCIETY DOES NOT REDUCE TO THE MARKET:

Adam Smith, building on the French physiocrats, and Dutch financial engineering, mentioned the “invisible hand” of the market. Four times. And he wrote more than one big book. Smith was not obsessive about the “free market” as the American plutocratic propaganda has been. The latter is obsessive, because it wants to hide the fact that the plutocrats are  government sponsored, government financed, and government owning. They are foxes complaining of being pecked by the chicken they eat.

The market responds to profit. But what does the rest of society respond to? Should a doctor be primarily motivated by greed or survival? Or should a doctor be primarily motivated by care?

Do these people who talk about “free markets” all day long know what they are talking about? The free market? Do they know what a market is, have they seen one? I advise them to go to France this summer, say Southern France. All cities and villages there have exuberant markets, generally twice a week, half a day. Really free markets, in the street. OK, not completely free: emplacements in a free market are in high demand, and each spot is tightly regulated.

In the USA, the French have the reputation to be welfare addicts. In truth, the French know real free markets very well: they are wildly popular, and all French in good standing use the market; produce are fresher, direct from the producer, and often of higher quality, and, or, cheaper. However, precisely because they use the market so much, the French know that the market is not the one and only place to run a society from. Financial profit as its only motivation carry a civilization only that far. Because, by definition, it can only be concentrated on the richest. The rich became more than twice richer in the last thirty years in the USA: after-tax income of the richest 1% went from 7% of total income to 17%. 

The plutocratically inspired, misleadingly labeled American “republicans”, though, demand that only the profit motive would move society. Thus they want to reduce all and any emotion to greed. Or a somber struggle for survival. But no civilization reduced to greed survived very long.

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MONEY IS JUST ONE MOTIVATION AMONG OTHERS FOR A FAIR AND BALANCED CIVILIZATION:

People are active for some reason(s). It is often simply because otherwise their basic needs would not be satisfied, and by working enough, they can get enough money to satisfy those needs. Call that the survivalist motive. People can be also be active out of greed, when their needs are satisfied, but they want more money than they need.

However, some people act from parental love. So it is for all and any parent in good standing. People can also act out of the goodness of their heart, or because they have passion for a task, be it engineering, a sense of justice, curiosity, poetry. These motivations don’t have a price, and they are not engaged into because they bring money. People can act out of a mix of the preceding motivations, with one of them dominating, or not. In any case, all these motivations contribute to economic activity. It is non financially rewarded economic activity, thus, it is not measured by GDP, but it is economic activity.

People do not, in general, make a financial profit of of curiosity. So in France, for example, the state had to step in to pay archeologists. Otherwise the archeology would not get done. A country such as France is heavily covered by not-for-profit “associations” which practice a myriad of activities, and which are somewhat supported by the national collectivity known as the “state”.

To all this, the fascists reply that only greed and survival are motives worthy enough, to be encouraged, and even paid for, by the government. Hence the extravagancy of welfare for billionaires in the post-Bush USA. As the historian Fernand Braudel pointed out, the capture of the state by a rich minority has been a classical feature. Most of the time, Egypt was organized that way, starting with the times of the pyramids. Tellingly, some of the best Egyptian science was done before that. When all you think about is greed and survival, or submitting to the masters, you don’t think much.

When the right wing friends of the plutocrats proffer economic advice, they claim that economic activity comes exclusively from greed and survivalism. It tells something about them that these are the only motivations they can imagine people to have.

It also mean that they reject a society where anything else than greed and survivalism reign.  Historically, though, such small minded, selfish, man eat dog societies have not proven sustainable. By contrast, the Oriental Part of the Roman empire, Constantinople, survived very well with absolutely enormous taxes, for more than a millennium.

The other motivations for activity do not depend, cannot depend, upon making a profit. By definition. But they are necessary to have a society open to all the motivations of the open heart, and the open mind. Thus they have to be supported by the public. That public support is the government sector. An open question is how much of GDP it needs. The answer  of the post Reaganites who reign now has been 9% of GDP, while spending 18%. The answer of the European governments has been above 40%.

Why so much more? The greedy have become more greedy, as greed has been brandished as the way. There is a competition of greed, in an ecology where greed gets no competition. More greed means more profit right away. Thus anything bringing profits later, even if more considerable, long term, is eschewed to the profit of profits now. Hence all serious infrastructure projects have been spurned in the USA. But not so in Europe. Or China. Hence the need for more government spending in Europe. (China’s banks are much obedient to the government, so their private goals coincide with government goals.)

To get to 40%, to get to a fully open economy, the economy of the open mind, the USA will have to raise new revenue, out of taxes on energy and consumption, like in the EU. In the EU a minimum 15% Added value Tax is the law. Anyway, that is the price of the mind, and heart, in full. Otherwise the USA will keep on shrinking, in mind and heart, as it reduces increasingly just to survivalism, and greed.

***

RACIAL FRAGMENTATION PREDIGESTS SOCIETY FOR PLUTOCRACY:

Why is the USA so vulnerable to plutocracy? It is a consequence of racism. Let’s not forget that the USA had the world’s most racist society (by comparison Rome had slavery, but was not racist: Septimus Severus, who founded the dynasty which bears his name, was a Libyan, and Rome had at least one Arab emperor, Philippe). Genetically founded slavery is rare, although India was submitted to it for 35 centuries, until the British colonized that primitivism with their advanced Western European civilizational ideas, and outlawed the infamy of the genetic caste system.

The fragmentation of American society is at the root of the crisis of the USA, and even of the world’s plutocratic crisis. (As American plutocracy has been busy finding itself allies overseas, yesterday Nazism, today China.)

The plutocratic effect always fragments a society, by definition, as it increases the gap between haves, and have-nots. This is what caused the morbidity of republican Rome. But the racial past is an aggravating ingredient at play in the USA, which did not exist in Rome.

As plutocracy appeared in the USA in the late nineteenth century, plutocratic fragmentation was at play. It was decisively corrected by the two president Roosevelt. Now, of course plutocracy tended to surface also in France, Britain (and was particularly nasty in Belgium, as the king went berserk with Congo).

In Germany plutocracy pushed Europe straight into world wars, various holocausts, and racial dementia. The plutocratic insanity had been amplified by something in common with the USA: institutionalized racism.   

“Black” in the USA is (still!) defined as the smallest contribution of African ancestry. African ancestry was generally felt by “whites” to be a powerful poison. So a dividing principle was instilled in the society of the USA. It became institutionalized, venerated.

Barak Obama’s mother was white as snow, but his father was from Kenya, so he dutifully classifies himself as “black”. The Bible calls this sort of things a “Mark of Cain“, an indelible mark placed there by God to warn of the criminal past of the perpetrator. Having a few genes of African origin is the Mark of Cain in the USA. (Another gift from the Bible which was applied to the Jews in the Middle Ages, by Christians and Muslims alike! In the same spirit, in the Middle Ages, the Pope decided that it was OK to enslave “blacks”)

A symbolic detail: “Blacks” use the word “nigger” among themselves (and do it all the time), but if a “white” uses it, it’s an unbearable insult. This cultural apartheid fragments society, and makes fragmentation honorable. Thus, when plutocracy imposes its own fragmentation, it can plead that fragmentation is honorable, and those who resist it are “class warriors”, who are implicitly equated with “race warriors”. The Wall Street Journal editorial board, and the giant Fox and Newscorp machinery attached to it uses this argument many times an hour, day in, day out.

An idiotic and dishonest story on CNN claimed that France had 12 million hidden Muslims and Africans, and they breed frantically and will overwhelm France by 2025. France’s situation is quite different, because apartheid is not venerated there, but republican integration is (see the “Burqua”/face mask law). By the American definition, some of Napoleon’s generals were “black”, and so was Alexandre Dumas. But most French people are unaware of that, and if they were, they would ask you what’s your problem. In a non racist society, Négritude is not like Plutonium, and a little bit does not change everything.  

***

 

BESIDES LOSING ITS MIND, IS THE USA DYING OFF?

The Nazis claimed to be patriots. Their fascism killed a bit more than 10% of ethnic Germans, in 12 years. The collapse of the white population in the USA is just as swift.  But its cause, American plutocratic fascism, differently from the German fascists, has not been extirpated.

A state such as California, essentially white a century ago, is now majority minority. In California one can meet American citizens who speak less English than a French peasant. This is compounded by the fact that the public school  system is collapsing, to the racist satisfaction of the plutocracy (remember, they dream of Mexico). This is what lays under  the American socio-economic crisis; it’s a plutocratic crisis multiplying a racial crisis. Basically the few rich whites don’t feel any solidarity for the colored tide of low lives that their very policies have brought about. All they want is private jets, gated communities for their servants, more than two millions incarcerated, and about eight million others under judicial supervision. Hundreds of millions walloping in misery will only augment their glory, the way they look at it.

***

SURVIVAL OF THE SMARTEST:

Obama understands all this, all the more since he has one foot in it. Now that he has proven a great warrior in Libya, fighting for justice, in spite of everything, he seems more bellicose. The fight in Libya is not fundamentally different. In Libya a small clan of thugs captured the state, and then the country, 42 years ago, with minimal bloodshed. Then. No wonder that Qaddafi was upset when he saw his plutocratic colleague in Tunisia, ben Ali, come down, and flee to plutocratic Saudi Arabia. Now he and his eight children killed more than 10,000. Instead of fighting a few resistance fighters, the murderous thugs now confront the might of the leading democracies. No wonder that Putin is upset. No wonder that those who captured Tibet are upset. No wonder that those who kill indigenous peoples to get rare earths are upset. No wonder that those who spoil the Indians of Amazonia worried that democracy may come after them too.

Leading democracies cannot be the world’s police force, nor should they leave democracy undefended.

It was not easy for Obama: as he landed on planet Washington DC, he landed in Plutocracia Magna. Forgive my neo Latin. When surrounded by wolves, it is difficult not to howl with them. However, as he engages in real combat, Obama is growing, and may be will turn into a tiger: He does need to meekly howl with inferior canids.

Obama just brought to bear some logic on the ignorant Paul Ryan and his associated scoundrels. Obama’s liberal base may be ready to see again in him the courageous leader, the friend of sanity, it thought it voted for in 2008.

Thus it may come to vote in November 2012, after all. Then the decerebrated servants of the infamous Pluto will go back to the well deserved abyss they belong to, walloping in their reductive view of man. The ignorant can bellow. History does not listen.

The People of Rome did not wake up in time and numbers when plutocracy took over. Maybe “We The People of The United States Of America” will do so, after all. Hope is good, when it shows up.

***

Patrice Ayme

Anti-French Racism In The USA.

April 13, 2011

SOME LIES ABOUT FRANCE & ISLAM, EXPOSED & EXPLAINED.

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Overview: France passed an anti face mask law. Loud screaming in the USA from the usual suspects. Why their acreams are unjustified, and what’s hiding behind them when one drops the mask.

***

Abstract: The Franks were the shock part of the Roman military. After 300 CE, they staged several coups and wars against the deranged Christian fundamentalists who came to rule Rome.

The Franks soon made relatively more advanced human rights their main business. They offered to impose more human rights, to the majority’s satisfaction, by ruling in their own name. And so it was that a small confederation came to lead millions of Gallo-Romans.

America’s business may be business, as an American president said. However the business of the Franks was even more profitable. The business of the Franks was better human rights, and the re-imposition of some old Roman republican qualities, such as the most ferocious and rigorously organized military. In a way France started as an extremely innovative business model, and its success will not be duplicated by Russia, China or India any time soon. (Because they have not even understood that better human rights means a better economy. Instead they believe they bring more disorder, not realizing that frsh thoughts are always disorderly.)

After leading coalitions which defeated the Huns and the Visigoths, the Franks finally took over around 486 CE as Clovis (Ludovicus, Louis), elected king and Roman imperator and consul, defeated the other remaining Roman army.

Ever since, France, located centrally in Europe, has been at war. Defending more advanced versions of human rights, most of the time, it is the world’s most aggressive country (occasionally a tyrant such as Saint Louis, or Napoleon, has gotten off message). Contrarily to the American canard that the French are weak cowards. (The most lethal war the USA has seen was its Civil War, that is, a war against itself, so Americans don’t know as much about war as they think they do; in particular, the concept of Peace Of The Braves, which the French proposed to the Germans in 1945, and ought to be proposed to Al Qaeda, seems to elude them.)

Important military victories of the Franks included the conquest of Western and Central Europe, which imperial Rome had miserably failed to accomplish, with lethal consequences. The Franks also succeeded to fatally wound the Arab Caliphate, which had just overwhelmed two-third of the Roman empire, in just one generation.

In the Twentieth century the French republic led a coalition, twice renewed, which crushed racist German fascism of the exterminating sort.

In recent weeks, France took decisive action in Cote d’Ivoire, by arresting the Ivory Coast dictator, who refused to leave after losing elections, which he had delayed ten years. The real winner, now ruling president, was Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire decades ago. He is also an economist who used to be second in command at the International Monetary Fund. Vive La France!

In a related activity, France is leading a coalition against Libya’s bloody dictator. (Germany and Turkey are NATO heavy weights, and have historically been friendly to bloody dictators and perpetrators of holocausts. So they have tried to use NATO to sabotage the Franco-British effort against Kadhafi. But France and Britain will win, as usual, because progress and the advancement of civilization are their ally. And it is mightier than fools who cling to barbarity.)

American plutocracy is not happy with these developments. It has long viewed France as a threat, ever since France, in 1789, proclaimed that slaves ought to be free, even in the colonies. That meant: even in the USA. And see what happened! The worst war the USA has known, and France won!

What is American plutocracy to do? Well, first, impress on the American people that France is a bad, despicable place.

So French bashing is strong in the USA, it is organized from the top, and it has got stronger in the last few weeks. Here is an editorial from the New York Times: “Government-Enforced Bigotry in France” (April 11, 2011).

“The formal imposition on Monday of the French ban on the full-face veil, which led to the prompt arrest of two women protesting the law, has been accompanied by the usual government invocations of French values, as well as issues of security and gender equality.

But there’s no question about the real purpose of this giant step backward — or of an earlier law banning Muslim veils in schools, or the “debates” organized by President Nicolas Sarkozy’s party, Union for a Popular Movement, on “French identity” and secularism. They are all cynical attacks on Islam, the religion of about a tenth of France’s population, to curry favor with France’s increasingly anti-immigrant right wing.”

 

My protesting comments on similar editorials were blocked by the New York Times. Intellectual fascism works best when not contradicted.

The French law forbids to cover the space between eyebrows and chin, in public space, for no good reason.

One cannot wear such a mask when driving a car, but one can wear it as a passenger of the same car (the inside of a car is viewed as private space). Exceptions are provided for bikers, festivities, or for weather related causes. Imposing the face mask on someone else carries a one year jail sentence. France has only 65,000 prisoners, so this is viewed as very tough.

At most 2,000 persons living in France have been known to wear full face veils. It is far from clear that they are all legal residents. There is some chuckling about the law, because many women wearing face masks are extremely wealthy tourists from the oil plutocracies. The law will apply to them too. Nevertheless, one does not expect French police to chase those well endowed miscreants around 5 star hotels…

The New York Times’ background is ignorant. Some observations:

1) 68.5% of immigrants to France in 2010 were Muslims. So not only are the French racist, according to the New York Times, but Muslims are also masochists. Muslims flock to France to be “cynically attacked”.

2) In contrast with what the New York Times asserts, the French population of recent Muslim descent is 6% rather than 10% of the total population. Religion is, by law, a private matter in France. That explains why very few French Jews were found and killed by the Nazis in France, whereas nearly all Dutch Jews were exterminated. There was no general register of Jews in France, there was one in the Netherlands. That is why France has, by far, the largest Jewish population in Europe.

So it is hard to say for sure how many “Muslims” are in France (it’s against the law to find out!). However, it would seem there are 4.5 millions of people of recent Muslim ancestry (maybe 30% of the French are of distant part Muslim ancestry, from genetic and blood analyses).

Of these only 2 millions at most observe aspects of Islam. Most “Muslims” in France speak of the country they come from, not of Islam. It is not cool to brandish one’s superstition in France. The dominant religion of France is secularism. Let’s notice in passing that couscous is my preferred dish, I don’t drink alcohol, at all, and I put clothing on when cynically attacked by the sun. Albeit few would consider me an observant Muslim.

3) Muslims presently in France, or their ancestors, were not brought to the republic as slaves. They, or their ancestors, chose to come to France. France is a country of freedom, not chains and whips. That may be hard for Americans to conceive. Slavery has been unlawful in metropolitan France since 660 CE. France is not the USA.

True, there was slavery in the colonies. But colonies were primitive, ruled by the local plutocracies, which flouted European law. It’s not a coincidence that the father of the president of the USA visited the USA as a free man, and his ancestors were not slaves. Having too big a chip on one’s shoulder prevent one to have one’s head on one’s shoulder.

4) Why did Muslims chose to come to France? Well, maybe not coincidentally, the outlawing of slavery in France is as old as Islam itself. Freedom is arguably even more a religion than Islam or Christianism. Islam and Christianity were friendly to slavery, as the masters who preached them liked to have many slaves, be they Imams or Bishops. (Around 400 CE, Europe was pretty much governed by extremely wealthy bishops.) Contrarily to American born contextuality, Christianism is not too hot in France anymore. Secular freedom is.

Try to enslave a Frenchman, you will get a revolution (this is pretty much what happened with the Revolution of 1789, as one, just one, of the seven, yes seven, prisoners held without a trial in that preliminary version of Guantanamo known as La Bastille, was instrumental in making Parisians believe that terrible things were going on in the Bastille… His name was Sade, soon to become perhaps the most empathic hero of the Revolution.)

So most present day “Muslims” in France descend from people who immigrated to France to flee theocracy. They know that theocracy brings misery. So they came to France to flee the veil. Many prominent observant French Muslims support the veil ban, including Imams, they are not just Muslim ministers of Sarkozy.

5) Forcing women to wear the veil is not in the Qur’an. The New York Times does not know this, and oppresses us with its crushing ignorance. All the Book says is that wives of the Prophet ought to dress modestly (and considering that the Qur’an was written under the direction of Aisha’s enemy, that was probably put there as a pique against her, and Muhammad never said such a thing).

Muhammad was very liberal with his young beloved wife Aisha. The sort of liberalism only the most enlightened present day husbands would tolerate… And Muhammad was clearly pro-woman, as he made killing girls unlawful.

The full face veil is just a local tradition due to the strong sun. Even men wear the veil and face masks in the desert… I know the desert quite well, my first memories in life, and I was always as dressed there as when skiing at very high altitude, for the same reasons… in the desert there is sand, which is quite similar to the ice crystals of a full blown blizzard.

Later, I lived in warmer and more humid Muslim countries where most women went about their business all day long, without any veil. Actually they wore no clothing on any part of their torso. For some obscure reason, this traditional half nakedness of Muslim Black Africa is not viewed as Muslim by those ignorants who give us lessons about Islam, although they never lived in an Islamist country. It is true that Wahhabists and Salafists, propelled by oil money, have imposed their views recently. But that’s not traditional, that’s corrupt.

6) In the period 721 CE to 975 CE, France was invaded by Muslims of Arab and Berber origin. Although the armies were defeated, there was no discrimination against those Muslims who stayed as civilians, and they were discreetly absorbed in the general population.

The Franks had adopted many of the ways of the Roman republic, and religious tolerance was one of them. Jews and Muslims had equal citizenship during the empire of the Franks, which lasted at least 5 centuries. Entire villages turned Jewish, Charlemagne’s nickname was “David” (he viewed himself as a modern day king of Israel), and he actually entered an alliance with Muslims emirs in Spain (since he was mostly preoccupied by submitting savage Germans, and Muslims were viewed as a type of more pliable extremist Christians; besides Charles’ grandfather Charles Martel had hammered the Muslims, the Germans had hammered the Romans, and Augustus had insisted that all his successors avoid Germania Septentriona, moreover the Franks had tried to conquer all of the Germany for three centuries; Charlemagne had to finish the job, it took thirty years).

7) The Franks talked about “saints” all the time, but a little reading show that those “saints” were just ethical leaders, and the name of Jesus was rarely used. Evoking Saint Martin for this, that, and the other thing, allowed Clovis to impose a new ethics. That ethics was thoroughly secular, and reminiscent of the heydays of the Roman republic. Same causes, same effects.

However, France lived through terrible religious conflicts, wars and persecutions between 1120 CE and 1789 CE. In the late 13 C, Jews were expelled from France and England, their properties seized by the government. (Secular power was using the anti-Jewish mentality planted by the Catholic Church.)

After being eclipsed by the secular Franks for six centuries, how did theocracy succeed to come-back? The most important factor was the First Crusade (the on-going reconquista in the Iberian peninsula also played a role, by also feeding Christian extremism, as the Muslims brought increasing more savage and fundamentalist help from Africa) .

The First Crusade was the answer to a call for help from Constantinople, which was quickly being overrun by savage Turks coming from far away. Thereafter the spirit of the Crusade was leveraged into theocratic fascism by some elements of the Church. Saint Bernard, in particular, a half crazed fanatic who stood in cold water all winter long, pushed for the second Crusade. There were no excuses for the Second Crusade. Saint Bernard entered in lethal conflict with the philosopher Abelard, getting him excommunicated, his books burned. However, Abelard was no push-over: 30 of his students became bishops or cardinals, and some of the greatest minds of the Church called him “our Aristotle“. Nevertheless, Saint Bernard won. Until 1789.

Saint Bernard’s fascism launched crusade after crusade, and massacre after massacre (many of them in France herself!). Kings like “Saint” Louis, expressed in writing his hatred of Jews, and the pleasure of “plunging knives in heretics’ bellies”. Saint Louis lost an army in Egypt, and was ransomed by his queen mother of a mom (!), the Spanish born Blanche de Castille, in exchange for a good part of French GDP. He had the good idea to catch a deadly disease in Tunis later, during still another of his crusades. Weirdly, “Saint” Louis is still revered, although he is one of the great criminals of history. The system of thought he wrote about, rabid racist murderous intolerant Christianity, blossomed further in the anti-Semitic Luther (another racist still revered!), and then, of course, reached its final conclusion at Auschwitz.

Joan of Arc was condemned to be burned alive because, she wore clothes of the wrong gender. She said she did that to avoid rape. Never mind that there was a powerful female pharaoh, 28 centuries before Jeanne. That Pharaoh, Hatshepsut, often dressed as a man. A millennium after that very successful female ruler, some sexist brutes wrote that often despicable book, the Bible. Somewhere inside that superstitious book, it is said that if a woman wears man’s clothing, she shall be burned. Another “abomination”, just like eating shrimps. Thousands of women were tortured and burned because of that superstition, and millions terrorized, for centuries.

The most atrocious persecutions against Protestants in France lasted 6 centuries. Still protestants kept on generating spontaneously, propped by the oppressive rule of the Catholic Church. The kings of France were trying to protect the Protestants, most of the time (with some notable exception, like the 4th Crusade, in South West France).

In the Sixteenth Century, things came to a head as Philippe II’s fascist Spain tried to invade England, and subjugate France. Millions of influential French protestants resisted, and France saw more than seven religious wars in a generation. In England, Henry VIII had fixed the matter his way.

Having learned from millions of atrocities and abuses from religion, French society came to realize that the Ancien Regime was a theocracy. And that the theocracy was plutocratic: the immense riches of the Church, and its evil designs, were in full evidence when a cardinal offered a priceless necklace to an impersonator, thinking she was the Queen Marie-Antoinette (“Affaire du Collier”). Of course, then, the USA, an instant in history, did not even exist, and American schools don’t bother considering such happenstance as being part of history, as history seems pretty much reduced to Shakespeare in the American mind. That is confusing a fable maker, with a historian.

Nowadays, a disgusting fanatical murderous fascist of the worst type such as Saint Bernard would be put in a cage, and then a psychiatric hospital. The Church came to be viewed as the house of horror.

In 1789, the rights of Protestants and Jews were re-established. French society had become aggressively anticlerical. Priests were made to take an oath to the republic. The struggle against the Church culminated in 1905, when the Churches got taxed, and integrated in the republic.

The Greek republic is coming to that point now, 106 years later, as it dawned on the Greek government that the Greek Church is very rich; some elements of the Greek church are so rich, as to be in obvious violation of basic EU law. Monasteries use their wealth to discriminate against females, excluding them from a large part of European territory, imposing their homosexuality.

The amusing thing is that the veil carry historical negative connotations associated with the Catholic Church in France. Weirdly, the French republic did not deal with Islam as with Christianism and Judaism. Islam was left alone. At least in North Africa (not so in Sénégal). Part of the French problem with Islam is precisely that Islam was left out of the 1905 integration law. Sarkozy made feeble efforts to correct that, and they are interpreted by the New York Times as racist.

Americans believe in God. A large majority of Americans (78%) say they believe in God and 15% say they don’t believe in God, but do believe in a higher power. Only 27% of the French believe in a higher power.

Americans did not learn history showing a millennium of religious terror. So 77 per cent of Americans feel children should be allowed to wear a religious symbol at school, including crucifixes and headscarves. Only 10 per cent of French adults said the same. (And the French go according to French law, which allows religious symbols, as long as they stay small, a notion precisely defined by law.)

Sure, there were times, long ago, when most French people believed in God. But now the French have become, indeed, more cynical. A crushing majority of French adults do not believe in the Tooth Fairy, Trolls, Father Christmas, and so called “God”. History has everything to do with it, as it taught the French that God was mostly invented to oppress the People. That makes the French hard to imagine by God obsessed right wing Americans. Americans have been trained to submit to higher power, and its name is plutocracy, and they call it God. Americans want to think of themselves as free, a mostly interior phenomenon, between themselves and their God. Out there, in real America, if they have no money, they are increasingly nothing. Internal freedom is a beautiful thing.

Every French appreciate the churches and cathedrals, awesome monuments in the landscape celebrating the awesome soaring of the human spirit, and beauty triumphant. Some of the most beautiful art and monuments in the world are mosques. The mosques are also monuments to the glory of man and the great beyond. Iran has incredibly beautiful mosques, some blue, some resplendiscent with gold. There are more than 2,200 mosques in France. A few years back, the Strasbourg mayor rejected a mosque building permit, because he thought the minaret was not tall enough. Minarets are beautiful, and they should be tall.

But back to the savages. The French anti-face mask law was proposed by the government, passed by the National Assembly, and the Senate, reviewed, criticized, and modified by the French Constitutional Court. The USA has no Constitutional Court. Then the law went all around again, before being accepted in its second version by the Court, and signed into law by the president. Thus the New York Times is accusing the French People itself to be racist (that’s what “bigot” means). This is not surprising: the New York Times is a plutocratically owned institution, and, as such, is tempted to view the People as enemy. Even when not directed to do so, dogs love to please masters.

As I showed above, the insult is without merit. Thus I claim that it is the anti-French propaganda at the New York Times which is racist, and hate mongering.

***

Patrice Ayme

Bank Crisis, Yes. Euro Crisis, No.

April 11, 2011

THOSE WHO TALK ABOUT THE EURO OBSESSIVELY WANT TO TALK ABOUT PLUTOCRATIC BANKS NOT.

***

I am working on an essay which explains why some civilizations are superior to others, and how to measure that objectively, beyond the capability gunships provide with. It depends upon the notion of structure (among these structures are democratic institutions).

Measuring civilization is a much more interesting, and a much more difficult subject, that the silliness below. It is silly, because it should be totally obvious. But, somehow, it is not. As even Nobel Prize winners will not address it, someone has to. Sometimes one has to stoop, go to the trenches, and shoot back at the enemy, even when it’s a friend. After all Socrates killed at least four in real combat, and he is still esteemed…

I came across a post of April 11, 2011, from Paul Krugman, entitled "The Road to the Euro Crisis". That is a piece of not so crafty propaganda. Look at the title: it assumes that there is a "Euro Crisis".

That is a confusion of genres. There may be a crisis, but it is not of a crisis of the Euro itself. The Euro is strong, all too strong. The Euro was carefully calibrated to be worth one American dollar (by looking at very long term averages). Instead it has been for years hovering above 1.4 US dollar. The Euro is the world’s strongest currency. It would be better for the European economy if there were a Euro crisis.

Paul has claimed recently his European enthusiasm. If so, the aim of his propaganda would be rather mysterious. If it is not anti-European, what is it? Well, a careful analysis of the genesis of Krugman’s thought shows that, until a few months ago, he had no idea what was the idea behind the construction of the European Union. Then he discovered Robert Shuman, who explained clearly that Europe had to be made by irreversible moves, filling in the details in mopping-up operations later. Krugman, in truth, made a stubborn hostility against the Euro, part of his trade, for more than a decade.

That hostility against the European currency may be coming from the fact that, to keep overlording over the rest of the planet, it is better that the USA has by far the largest market, with the largest currency, so to speak. Since everything is written large in the USA, other countries become as many details, easily crushed. Ideas, feelings and companies get amplified in the internal market of the USA, and then they take over the world.

France and the USA conducted several war by proxy against each other after World War Two (although they were allied with several others).

The USA’s belated enthusiasm for democracy had allowed the European empires to be wounded to death by fascist Germany and Imperial Japan, and the USA moved in to replace them. Britain, not knowing too well which side it should chose, and mostly France, tried to resist this. A succession of wars happened, where interests and companies supported by the Americans confronted those supported by the French. Some of these wars are now forgotten: Katanga, Biafra…

I personally put the Rwanda war among these. It was terminated when a French paratroop division was dropped over Rwanda in Opération Turquoise, another of these UNSC operations implemented by France (one is just being conducted in Cote d’Ivoire). The origin of the Rwanda war have never been elucidated. However, before the holocaust, before the assassination of the two presidents which ignited it, the rebels spoke exclusively English, in a French speaking country, and were richly armed (including with anti-aircraft missiles). So some Anglo-Saxon power was behind them, and that may explain the lethargy of the USA to the whole Rwandan civil war.

Meanwhile the French, who were not exactly born yesterday, culturally speaking, proposed to the Germans to make an union, since disunion was clearly not working.

All Americans attached, one way or another to the reigning American plutocracy can only tremble, or more exactly can only toe the line that anything big from Europe is necessarily bad to the big, bad USA.

Thus the Euro is big, so the Euro is bad. Very bad: if the USA had to pay their oil, or their debt, not in Dollars, but in Euros they would quickly go the way of Argentina. So, from the context of the reigning American plutocracy, stopping the Euro is pretty much a question of survival. From the European point of view, the Euro is a way to stop being subjected to American domination. If not to stop outright exploitation, as the scale of the USA allows mediocre American companies and unspectacular ideas to become world dominant.

So the Euro is hyper strong, there is no Euro crisis, but clearly we have a Krugman crisis. Here is Paul’s short post, in its entirety:

“Just a note: I see that some readers are confused when I talk about how the coming of the euro led to low interest rates in the European periphery.

It’s actually very clear in the data:

clip_image001Eurostat

As the euro became a done deal, countries that had previously had to pay a large interest premium found themselves able to borrow on the same terms as Germany; this translated into a big fall in their cost of capital. The result was bubbles, inflation, and in the aftermath of the bubbles and inflation, what you see now.”

Euro currency was introduced on 1 January 2002. This convergence-divergence of interest rates has nothing to do with the Euro. It has to do with the markets. As can be seen at the right hand of the graph, the interest rates are now diverging… But Spain is still in the Eurozone!

So this is not a Euro crisis, as far as the friends of the Euro can see. It is mislabeled a "Euro crisis" by the enemies of the Euro. So what is it?

***

PLUTOCRATS GET REIMBURSED, PUBLIC PAY:

In truth, the crisis is a private bank crisis, which has been transmogrified into a public debt crisis, as states came to the rescue of private banks, by making good on what they had lost.

That rescue of private banks, and all sorts of “shadow banks”  was led by the Bush, Obama, Greenspan ,Bernanke administrations in the USA: trillions of dollars were made available from taxpayers to plutocrats, as plutocrats, like Atlas, support the world.

The case of Iceland is enlightening: the state tried to persuade voters to pay for the obligations of a private bank based in Iceland, "Icesave". That bank lost 4 billion Euros of savings from savers in Britain and the Netherlands alone. The British government reimbursed the British savers, and then asked Iceland to reimburse the British state. Voters in Iceland said no. (Notice that the Brown and Cameron governments agree on this, that Britain is not in the Eurozone, and that Britain has been pretty much toeing the American and rest-of-Europe line on this.)

Iceland has a tiny population, 320,000, and it has been harder for the government to hypnotize the tiny population with plutocratic arguments, as Iceland is too small to be rules by plutocrats.

Icelanders have been told that their attitude compromised their application to the EU. I don’t see why. Police banks, and don’t enslave people who have nothing to do with them.

Ireland has a crushing debt. Why? Because the Irish government decided to refloat private banks in which other European private banks had invested in (although it refused to reimburse foreign banks directly invested in Ireland…). Ireland, and the like, ought to default, and that would be the end of the story. It’s a private bank crisis, not a currency crisis. More generally, it is a crisis of the relationship between all too generous public officials, and greedy sharks in private practice known as financiers. Private French, British and German banks have invested badly, they have to pay the price, the public should not.

Whenever a bank cannot survive, its operations ought to be nationalized, and small private savers accounts guaranteed. (What "small" means can be debated, but it should be big enough to cover the upper middle class, at least, but not so large to cover the hyper wealthy, as it presently does.)

There is vast hypocrisy in Germany in particular, as Germans profited vastly from loans of German banks to peripheral countries of Europe, to buy, well, German products, making Germany the number one world exporters.

It is high time for countries, that this for the public, to follow the example of the Icelanders, and say:"ekki" to the plutocrats! And, why does not Paul Krugman talk about that, rather than obsessing about the European currency? Is it because his renown, among the rich, famous and powerful, depends upon it? Why not use talent against evil, rather than using it to suggest that European nations should try to undermine each other, with small, weak, unworthy currencies?

Patrice Ayme

ENERGETIC REALISM.

April 8, 2011

 

LIFE, PHYSICS, ECONOMY AND POLITICS ARE ALL ABOUT ENERGY.

And Saying, Or doing, Whatever, Does Not Help.

***

Abstract: Various considerations, some unusual, on energy, and those who talk about energy. Plenty of realistic news. In passing, the bad news about Fukushima: although the reactors themselves seem under control, at this point, unit 4 could go Chernobyl, I say (See the report: The Fukushima-Daiichi Incident, Dr. Matthias Braun, AREVA, March 29, 2011).

There will be a violent nuclear explosion (a so called "criticality excursion", as in Chernobyl, and as seems to have already happened on a small scale), with an enormous release of radioactivity (possibly like Chernobyl), IF the pool containing the (uncontained, since, it’s in the pool!) reactor core of unit 4 goes dry (so that ought to be prevented by any means imaginable). That could well happen, for example after another major quake in the area (so this event ought to be anticipated). That was probably the meaning of these helicopters dumping water…

Considering the insanity of the proximity of the already deranged couplings of reactors and pools to each other, the explosion of that pool is possible. (Apparently storing nuclear fuel in pools next to live reactors is done systematically in Japan and the USA, but not in France, or Canada. It’s the craziest thing, as nuclear fuel has one million times the energy density of conventional explosives.)

The worst imaginable case at Fukushima was that the six reactors, and seven nuclear pools, all blow up, making the radioactivity from Chernobyl, plus Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, tiny in comparison.

First lesson of the entire Fukushima freak show? The fiercest United Nations oversight of nuclear energy ought to be implemented. Nations which refuse to submit should be submitted to the proverbial "no-fly zone" treatment. Call that colonialism, if you wish to sound foolish, but that’s actually survivalism, and no misplaced semantics will stand in the way.

The obdurate ones who refuse to understand will otherwise contribute, and be submitted to nuclear war, one way or another, and they will like that even less.

WikiLeaks revealed that the International Atomic Energy Agency had warned Japan about earthquake danger, and the Japanese government promised to do something about it. In 2008. As it was Japanese nuclear plants could resist at most a 7 Richter quake, although the country was submitted to 9 Richter in the last 1,000 years, or so. And 10 Richter seems possible.

Ultimate lesson? Energy is the most serious business. Most solutions engaged into now, are not really sustainable solutions, considering their contexts. The main effort consists in unraveling the energy (and pollution!) stored over 450 million years of fossilization, in one geological instant. That is worse than the worst nuclear war.

***

WHEN FATE THREATENS:

Japan and France have plenty of nuclear reactors; they are high tech countries, deprived of serious indigenous energy. It is easy for others, better endowed, to give pious lessons. Germany can easily eschew nuclear energy, since it has a lot of coal, making it black, rather than green. The USA and Russia, would not have been what they became, without enormous reserves of oil. The USA was the world’s main oil producer, for most of the oil age.

Great energy savings could be made in the USA, with energy conservation. But countries such as Japan are already conserving nearly as much as possible. Too bad they conscientiously forgot about tsunamis.

The general area of Fukushima had been hit by a 6 meter tsunami in 1960, coming from Chili, so it was made impervious to 6.5 meter tsunami; that is called mathematics. In recent years, much higher tsunamis hit Japan, killing many, thus the authorities got used to live in a very high state of denial, with dozens of nuclear reactors waiting patiently for Poseidon’s visit.

Some nuclear reactors in Japan are made to resist to only a 6.5 Richter earthquake. It is even worse in the USA, with many reactors able to resist at most quakes hundreds of times less than the power delivered by the faults on which they sit. In any case, making reactors resisting a maximum of 7 Richter, is criminally optimistic, since the strongest quake of the nuclear age was 9.6 Richter, that is, 260 times more powerful.

Canada thought more carefully about quakes. The country decided to prepare for the sort of quakes one can have in 2,500 years. The Canadian conclusion was that 7.5 Richter quakes are possible in Quebec. Yes, Quebec. There is a fault system all along, below the Saint Laurent, plus a buried meteorite, and its 60 kilometers wide crater. All that tends to move.

Hospitals have to work after a quake. However two hospitals in Quebec were expected to collapse in a Richter 7.5 quake. Thus, they will be demolished and completely rebuilt.

New Yorkers, just to the south, may want to consider their own 7 Richter faults, and how close they are to the local nuclear reactors.

Let’s notice that Europe had an 8 (?) Richter quake in Bale (Basel), in the Middle Age. Most significant buildings were destroyed within 30 kilometers. A 9 Richter subduction quake 300 kilometers south of Lisbon, 250 years ago, crushed Lisbon, burned it, and flooded it with a tsunami. The tsunami washed the entire North Atlantic, causing a massacre in Portugal and Morocco.

Also let’s not forget the Messina quake and tsunami which killed maybe 150,000 people, in 1908. Super giant tsunamis have happened in Europe because of methane hydrate eruptions too. It could be a wise thing to consider for the cackling French as they self satisfyingly congratulate themselves on the apparent lack of tsunamis on their perfidiously quiescent French coasts. They may have the occasion to test the resistance of the EPR nuclear reactor, constructed by the sea. Greenhouse warming is reaching the abysses, and will cause methane hydrate eruptions.

***

THE FOSSIL FUEL-CORRUPT BANKS TRAP:

We have a fossil fuel propelled civilization. It burns chains of hydrogen attached to carbon that living organisms made using solar energy, in the last 450 million years of frantic labor. When we will be finished, some seem to hope, the percentage of carbon dioxide will be so high, that life may be impossible under any form. Idiotically, the plutocrats say not to worry, they are philanthropists.

CO2 goes back in the oceans, react with water and makes the acid found in carbonated drinks. Only some algae resist to that treatment, as CO2 rich volcanic areas off Naples have demonstrated. (Another area with 5 million people waiting for a disaster to happen.)

Of course the bitter end of this drastic devolution will not come to be, because various disasters such as the death of oceanic vertebrate life, and rise of the oceans by seventy meters will occur first, followed, or more probably preceded, by all out nuclear war.

Why nuclear war? Because it’s best for holocausts. In a free-for-all, it cannot be beaten. Nuclear fission is at least more energetic by a factor of a million, per unit of mass, than gasoline (and other chemicals).

War is about impacting the enemy with more energy than can be safely dealt with. The higher the energy density, the more impact. So serious war will be nuclear, and there is no pacifist whining loud enough to drown the supersonic roar of nukes. Pacifism cannot do anything about the dogs of nuclear war. Except vaccinating with war societies or religions prone to mad dogs before those can store nuclear explosives… As Pakistan has been doing, religiously.

What is gasoline? Essentially, hydrogen made denser than in pure liquid hydrogen (diesel is similar: the exact nature of molecules in gasoline-like fluids vary widely, but the idea is the same: plenty of hydrogen atoms, attached to a few carbon atoms). Our transportation system depends completely upon gasoline. When people talk about a hydrogen economy, they mean gasoline, because it’s the best hydrogen there is.

Ecological gasoline can be made out of algae, absorbing the CO2 in the atmosphere. It works. A plant exist in Spain, using the local sun, and CO2 from a fossil fuel installation. Problem: such algae plants require a lot of capital to build them (30 million euros for the small Spanish plant). As we know, banks prefer to engage capital in corruption and derivatives trading (with each other).

***

NO MORALITY, NO ECOLOGY, NO LAW, BUT THE JUNGLE:

Banks are amazingly corrupt. They have a fiduciary mission, historically speaking. "Fiduciary" comes from the root "fidere", to trust. In Roman law, fiducia was "a right transferred in trust". That right, that trust given to banks is money creation, by lending. This is made possible by the back-up of the state, as the money lent is more than ten times what the banks really have (in the case of Lehman Brothers, that "investment" bank lent 50 times what it truly had). So banks are actually governmental institutions, privately managed. they have a government given monopoly, and the government gives them the seed money. For free.

In counterpart, banks are supposed to help the state, that is, society. Instead, recently, they have opted to give money to each other, or various plutocrats they are associated with, beyond the breaking point of the society which entrusted them with the creation of money. That was made possible by buying off politicians, or, worse, making everybody so stupid that the preceding description escapes the imagination, let alone the wisdom or knowledge, of the for-profit economists.

Thus banks, in the West, have pretty much balked at financing big, useful projects. Some American solar companies have gone to China for financing… Yes, to the People’s Republic of china. Even the communists have a better banking system, a better capitalist system: Western capitalism has sunk that low, that commies make better capitalists.

***

WHY DOES INDIA LIKE QADDAFI’S LIBYA?

India decided at the United Nation Security Council, that Libyan civilians did not deserve protection from their dictator. Less well known, but related to the preceding, there is a rebellion in India, the Naxalite insurgency. It covers about 40% of Indian territory. The hyperlink I gave to Wikipedia is interesting in a negative way, because it does not reflect, not at all, what is driving the insurrection presently.

The area in rebellion corresponds to metallic mining, and the plutocrats (which the Marxist inspired Naxalites prefer to call "bourgeois capitalists") have tried to expel the natives to better exploit the rare earths found there. Rare earths are crucial to all "green energy", as they are involved in making materials for electricity production or distribution.

It is ironical that the greens, whose hearts are pure, are associated with the world’s worst regimes, through the rare earths their hopes rest on (I will not bother mentioning what the world’s largest rare earths producer is; it just occupies a very large foreign country. Or two. So it is rather touchy.)

***

CLEANEST OF GREEN?

In particular giant windmills and hybrid cars need rare earth elements, and a giant open mine in California will reopen in 2011: the world has found out that it depended too much on China.

Coal kills hundreds of thousands of people, worldwide, just by fine particles pollution. Of course it kills in many other ways. Mining coal kills thousands a year.

Coal also emits mercury vapor when burned, and said mercury makes the oceans poisonous.  How many people did civilian nuclear energy kill? Answer, aside from Chernobyl: most deaths associated to the nuclear industry have been conventional mining incidents.

Wind energy is often viewed as the cleanest, and it is price competitive with coal. Before covering the earth with 1,000 feet, 300 meters high windmills, two caveats.

Windmill efficiency varies with the cube of wind speed. So under anti-cyclonic condition, when it’s very hot, or very cold, no more electricity from wind mills. Also, as the greenhouse proceeds, wind speed, overall, will go down. 10% down in wind speed means 30% less electricity produced, and that is guaranteed. 50% down is entirely possible when the greenhouse is in full swing, because the earth’s Carnot engine will lose its cold sink, so will not produce work (that is wind) anymore. (Average wind down is compatible with the occasional super giant hurricane… which will happen.)

Second caveat: we have only one way to store electricity efficiently: hydroelectric dams. Nuclear power plants already use them, refilling them during low demand for electricity. Dams are of course extremely dangerous. They have killed hundreds of thousands by breaking without warning, in China alone (!). Nuclear energy never killed anyone in France, but just one minor dam break, the Malpasset dam, killed around 500 people (in 1959).

Expansion of windmills will require elevated man made lagoons offshore, equipped with turbines, should one want electricity from the wind to become more available. That will augment enormously the ecological footprint, and lethality, of wind.

Other methods to efficiently store electricity do not exist, outside of science-fiction books. Giant superconducting rings to store electricity are far-off, and will require enormous thinking, discovery, and investment. (First we will have to do something about bankers, so we can release capital for worthy research projects, rather than unworthy bankers.)

***

GROTESQUE SHOW AT FUKUSHIMA:

Old, quasi decrepit reactors, of a type constructed precisely because they were cheap. No emergency plan. Complete insanity of putting the reactors too close to each other, and, unbelievably, putting storage pools next to them, or, more exactly, on top of them, inches away.

There can much more energy under the form of old fuel in one of these pools, than inside the active core of a reactor. By orders of magnitude (that means 10, 100, may be more times).

The pools have all the problem associated with nuclear reactors, only much worse, and without any of the safety features. They depend just on water to stop neutrons to start a chain reaction. Besides having much more energy within, in general, the pools, differently from a reactor, have no containment (that makes them like Chernobyl; but they can have much more potential energy than this ill fated reactor).

The entire core of unit 4 was removed, for maintenance, and put in a pool. The pool is leaking. If the pool drains completely, that uncontained reactor core will burn and explode, with a catastrophic release of radioactivity, Chernobyl style (releases of radioactivity have been minor, so far, in comparison).

The boiling water reactor can work with a thin containment vessel. Thus one can save money, and still operate an unsafe reactor. Boiling water reactor of the Fukushima type are the most primitive reactors still in operation. They have nearly no safety features. Uncontained capitalism goes well with uncontained radiation.

Pressurized Water Reactor need stronger vessels. Only two factories, one in Japan, one in France, build them, with the best steel, and age old secrets. The EPR reactor built by Areva can, in theory, contain a completely melted core (it has a special sponge to help that, and another to recombine hydrogen into water, if steam gets too hot). But stronger vessels cost more. So when the Europeans tried to sell their disaster proof reactors to Abu Dhabi, the emirate preferred cheaper South Korean reactors.

To avoid potential catastrophe is more expensive. However, the real question is not whether it is expensive to avoid a catastrophe, but whether one can afford the catastrophe. In the case of Fukushima, the worst possible scenario which was taunted was an unimaginable disaster (permanent evacuation of a big part of Japan, including Tokyo). It was totally avoidable.

In a way, the entire planet is going Fukushima: a perfectly avoidable disaster, thus courted as much as possible, with total disregard for basic evidence and logic. One gets there through a combination of short term comfort, intellectual laziness, lack of imagination, incrusted privilege, playing the casino to win, and a taste for danger.

Apparently all Japanese nuclear reactors are easily accessible by tsunami. Same in California, but, at least, Californians have only 4 reactors, and do not know what the word tsunami means… Also California as a place of civilization is barely more than a century old, so has no institutional memory of its (not so infrequent) tsunamis.

Now, of course, there is a good reason to put a nuclear reactor by the sea. The reactor produces enormous heat, so it needs an enormous cool sink to make heat flow down from hot to cool. In France about half of the combined flow of all the streams of France passes through the nuclear power plants’ cooling systems. This also means, as the French found out, that any large nuclear reactor is at the risk of flooding (because it will always have lots of water nearby).

But having a reason does not mean that one is reasonable. When constructing nuclear reactors by the sea, one should assume that a 40 meter tsunami will pay a visit. (An Indian nuclear reactor under construction was annihilated by the 2004 Sumatran tsunami, so we are not evoking rare events here.)

Large nuclear reactors are threatened with melt down always, because they pile up so much energy in one small place. One needs a lot of water to flow through to keep the nuclear combustible cool, as long as one cannot stop the nuclear reaction right away, and definitively.

Today’s nuclear reactors are simmering nuclear bombs (one does need to have simmering nuclear bombs to use nuclear energy, but so it is at this point, because the present reactors evolved from military designs).

The closest back-up mobile generators from General Electric for its Fukushima plants were apparently in Florida, USA. The tsunami wave wrecked the plants, including the back-up diesel generators. Power lines which could have brought electricity from the electric grid were drowned (at the very least). Anyway, the grid was down.

Tsunami defense at Fukushima consisted of a natural bluff, plus a little wall, or so. It could take a 6.5 meter tsunami. Unsurprisingly, the tsunami was 15 meters. That was lucky. That same tsunami wave reached a height of 42 meters in other places. A 40 meter wave is pretty standard for the Richter 9, subduction quakes which bristle around the Pacific rim. Such wave heights, or even higher, can be generated by quakes ten times less powerful: this is not understood, but it is a fact.

There was an 8.8 Richer in Chili, on the same plate, less than a year before Fukushima got hit. The 1960 quake in Chili was 9.6 Richter, with various lethal foreshocks, including an 8.2 Richter quake. In California, the San Onofre nuclear reactors are on the beach, waiting for the tsunami, which will come some day. Someday soon.

A large indigenous tsunami in California will happen, all the more since it did not happen for a long time. The preceding giant tsunami at Fukushima was in the Ninth Century. Waves went at least 3 kilometers inland. There were a bunch of smaller ones in the meantime, including a three to six meter wave from the 1960 Chilean quake… A wave which killed about 150 Japanese, after crossing the entire Pacific ocean, in its greatest dimension.

A tsunami wave is not like a wave on a beach. The elevated part of a three meter wave on a beach may extent ten meter. A three meter tsunami wave can be elevated over 100 kilometers, as it approaches a shore. So the tsunami is a wave with 10,000 times the mass.

This what reality is made of. If the 42 meter wave had hit Fukushima, the six (6) reactors would have melted down and exploded right away. This is an important point. After the Richter 9 quake, the reactors were essentially undamaged and underwent successful emergency shut-down ("SCRAM"). Then the Fukushima reactors were only at 6% power, and cooled down by water circulation, thanks to the diesel reactors. 55 minutes later, the tsunami struck. The diesel failed. Cooling still went on with the emergency cooling from the "core isolation pumps", however that depended upon some batteries and some pumps, which failed within hours in unit1 and days in units 2 and 3.

After that the cores cracked, then caught fire, and partly melted, as temperatures reached half of that of the sun. Steam dissociated, into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen, released through pipes to alleviate pressure, built up in the building outside of the confinement zone and subsequently exploded (spectacular, but not important).

***

PLANET GOING FUKUSHIMA:

It is a perfect planetary storm. The grotesque show at Fukushima is exemplary. A six year old could have picked up the grotesque mistakes: did you think about a tsunami? Why are the reactors so close? Why are the pools welded to the reactors? What if the pools drain?

Can we have such a large scale catastrophe, on a world scale? Driven by even more titanic stupidity and greed?

Of course. It is even on-going, and everybody knows it. It’s GLOBAL HEATING. OK, the frogs call it "Global Warming" at this point, and they croak. The frogs are happy. When the water warms up, just so, the frogs are content. But soon they will croak differently. The whole planet, in a sense, is a slow motion Fukushima.

When even the frogs discover that warming is turning to heating, it will have various consequences, including nuclear war. Global Heating is not just about quickly rising acid seas and desertification. It is also going to be about frogs fighting each other, to stay cool, to get to that cool place, over there. The irony of semantics…

***

THE NUCLEAR BOMB AT CHERNOBYL:

When some ecologists rile against nuclear energy, the way they do it, they may as well rile against knives, or complexity. The devil is in the details. By ignoring the details, one ignores the devil.

A good example is Chernobyl. It was of course a terrible accident. Thousands of people died, although how many is not known, even up to four orders of magnitude.

Officially, it’s only a few thousands (some official reports ludicrously talk about only 6.000 excess thyroid cancers, and 16 deaths, mostly from contaminated milk).

However Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment [a 2007 Russian publication] finds, from medical records between 1986, the year of the accident, and 2004, 985,000 excess deaths from the radioactivity released, mostly in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

Up to 800,000 "liquidators" from all over the USSR passed through the contaminated area to work at containing the radioactivity, for a short while, and it is not too clear what happened to them .

If they read that, simple ecologists of the primitive type will jump up and down, like excited monkeys, and howler that nuclear energy is bad, here is the proof! Instead, the correct analysis is that bad political systems can turn very deadly, thanks to modern technology. Chernobyl was a Soviet reactor, it was basically a military realization, and it was designed as the world’s largest fission bomb. All of this has to do with fascism, not energy.

So the real question is: what are the ecological simpletons going to do about fascism? Soon afterwards, and in part because Chernobyl had made obvious the limitations of fascism, Gorbachev discontinued the USSR.

The Chernobyl reactor was designed to become an exploding nuclear bomb, after losing its coolant (an insane idea, which ought to be totally unlawful, I readily admit). This is not caused by nuclear energy, or nuclear reactors in general, but because of this particular type of reactor, graphite-gaz. Also studied in France in the 1960s, before this drawback, known as a positive void coefficient, became a no-no. In a Chernobyl style reactor, the coolant is a reaction moderator; when it’s gone, the nuclear reactions grow and multiply, as the number of neutrons augment. In the type of reactors used in the West, a PWR, loss of coolant let neutrons go too fast to be captured, and the nuclear reaction stops.

Another design flaw at Chernobyl insured that if SCRAM was engaged, the nuclear reaction would augment dramatically . It was as if, when you engaged in desperate braking, first the accelerator would be floored. There were more drastic design flaws, such as making the reactor the more unstable, the less power it had (it’s so stupid, it’s hard to visualize).

In any case, operators, at one in the morning, deliberately put the Chernobyl reactor in a desperate situation, unable to cool, the same situation encountered at Fukushima several hours after the tsunami, several hours after the Fukushima reactors stopped in SCRAM. When the reactor started to become unstable, it jumped back to full power, and then many times that, overheated, in less than a minute. The operators engaged SCRAM, and the nuclear reaction accelerated exponentially, while the heat deformed and blocked the sedate descent of the nuclear reaction killing control bars (at a snail like 40 centimeters per second).

The Soviet reactor reached 33,000 Megawatts (!), and much more, steam blew its 2,000 ton lid. Steam had slowed down the nuclear reaction. With steam gone, the reactor went critical, or, otherwise said, became the largest fission bomb ever contrived. Within three seconds, a powerful nuclear explosion tore the machine, and reached the stratosphere.

OK, it was all insane. Well, so was the USSR. Want even more, much more, insane? Just look at Pakistan. You have apocalyptic religious types, their fingers itchy for the apocalypse, and they pray about it every day. Anybody caring about ecology, let alone peace, should worry about finding a solution to the Pakistan problem.

***

PV IS THE FUTURE

The Obama administration is giving large subsidies for PhotoVoltaic panels (which still cannot compete with wind). Subsidies help to create an industry, and that is one thing a government can do. But as long as PhotoVoltaic does not compete in price with fossil fuels, we have a non sustainable situation. So the necessary thing, of course, is for the government to finance research (financing industry helps research only indirectly).

There is every reason to believe that PhotoVoltaic panels could extract energy from infrared radiation (as some labs claim to have achieved). Multifrequency PhotoVoltaics could operate all day long, and even at night (thus one could even argue that they would absorb the greenhouse…).

***

NO ESCAPING NUCLEAR:

Could futuristic PhotoVoltaics allow us to escape both the greenhouse and nuclear energy? Not really. Avoiding nuclear is an illusion.

Our ancestors did not renounce carbon just because some hit others with sticks made of carbon. Instead they learned not to follow those who renounced wood. 

That’s how our ancestors have been, for so long, that most of us, if not all of us, are still like that. Those who claim differently are hypocrites. It’s enough to see Jose’ Bove’, famous for having destroyed a Mac Donald, smoking his pipe, a personal carbon burning thermal plant.

So why nuclear?

First, why progress?

Second, nuclear energy is not a choice the West is free not to do. Pakistan has piled up already 200 thermonuclear warheads, within easy reach of the crazed hands of those rendered mad by apocalyptic superstition, a literal reading of the Qur’an. So, except if we subdue Pakistan first, there will be nuclear war. It’s in their book(s).

Third, we have barely scratched the surface of nuclear energy: completely different technologies are imaginable (such as liquid Thorium reactors). They will not have the problems associated with present reactors. They should be very safe, and much more efficient. There is plenty of Thorium.

Fourth, we need energy, aplenty. At this point we cannot be sure that PV energy will do it all (as infrared PV is semi science fiction, and the cost and feasibility to extract electricity from all light not clear). The other non carbon energy schemes have drastic conceptual flaws, or are unproven. Whereas nuclear energy can be made safe, and is a proven massive energy source, productive by a factor of one million times more than any other energy source. So nuclear energy has to be developed, as a back-up. However, since the possibilities are mysterious and numerous, a lot of research has to be done (for example on liquid reactors). I don’t advocate a reactor in every kitchen.

Fifth, it seems that only nuclear rocket engines will allow to conquer space with more than robots. The other efficient candidate is ionic propulsion, but the engines are tiny, whereas giant rocket nuclear engines have already been tested (successfully). The idea is simply to have liquid hydrogen pass through a nuclear core, cooling it, and acquiring a much greater speed than from burning stuff. Nuclear propulsion would allow to go to planets in weeks rather than months, or years, and carry any burden, and go down any gravitational well. Simply that would be best done where one does not have to worry about adding radiation too much (space is already stuffed with radiation)… Nuclear tugs to take off from, and return to, low earth orbit maybe unavoidable, once serious space colonization starts (that word again!) Just my observation: visiting the moon with exalted twelfth century technology has already happened, but much more than that will not happen without nuclear energy.

Some have long scoffed about the conquest of space. They say that sheep shall own the earth, by eating the grass, true, so not to worry. But those sheep eat already too much grass, and wear too much cotton.

Indeed, there is no palatable choice. There are already too many of us doing too many things on a small place. Vast zones of the Solar System have resources we already desperately need, as we use one and half Earths right now, and extending a minimum of comfort to most of humanity will guarantee that we use several Earths worth, within a decade or two. Otherwise the most simplistic ecologists can go and make war on 6 billion people to prevent them to consume commensurately with what they do. I would rather make war on simpletons.

***

Conclusion: The stupidity of experts can be quasi infinite. Nuclear industry has been most helpful to reveal this without causing a holocaust (yet). Seeing a nuclear plant dominated by a wave, as happened at Fukushima, should become an iconic depiction of dementia by expertise. Workers were killed by the wave in the turbine hall of unit 4.

Modern physics is all about minimizing a term called the action, which depicts energy, submitted to some constraints empirically determined.

That activity does not differ fundamentally from what humanity has to do in a democratic fashion as it determines its energy choices. Insisting on that situation is another way of calling attention to the high complexity of the situation humanity, and its leaders, are faced with. Cries from the heart, although they have to be included in all and any computation, cannot be the policy, they can only be what gets it to move.

People screaming that they are green can completely overdo it. Hitler was importantly supported by oil companies. As was his good friend Mussolini, who ended hanging out at an ESSO gas station, by the feet, in a discrete allusion to that fact. However, the Nazis were ecological fanatics. This is no coincidence, a subjacent syndrome lurks below: love beast, not man, so turn man into beast. That is a danger, a temptation, and so is selfishness; rich countries cannot ask people who use a tenth, or less, of the energy, to go ecological while they mount a huge plane because they need to visit a tropical beach in the middle of winter, for a few days, instead of just watching said beach on TV inside their warm bed, under bright lights.

Historically, it has taken 50 years to deploy a new energy system. This time, we don’t have that time: we are past peak oil (as long as one does not count crazy oil, which desperate oil companies find in the formerly glaciated regions, and very deep under the oceans, or in extremely polluting oil sands, or shale oil). We need algae oil now. Big time. Diverting subsidies to anti-ecological corn ethanol is worse than a waste (as much corn for car is now produced in the USA as for feeding livestock).

The European Middle Ages turned nasty around 1320 CE, after an exploding population ran out of fuel and building materials, which, at the time, were both made from wood.

It was not by dearth of the ecologically correct. The economy had to be sustainable, or die. Windmills and water mills were all over (in 1080 CE, England by itself had 6,000 watermills, and the Alps, much more). But that ecological correctness did not make a dent. The forests shrank too much. Haitian style soil destruction ensued. Plague, and many centuries of war, followed soon after. Within 30 years, perhaps more than half of the European population was dead. Not an example to emulate.

Now of course the late Middle Age catastrophe had many causes, and, ultimately, the major governments acted well. The European governments took drastic ecological measures, of the fascist type, including the forceful evacuation of entire regions. We also have to take drastic measures, and we have much more leeway to do so efficiently. But that depends upon not ducking reality.

We sink, therefore we duck, say all too many ecologists. We duck, therefore we sink, observe many pacifists, and they croak. Time to stop ducking reality, folks, if you mean it. Those who claim to want progress should learn to love the details, philosophically, and technologically.

***

Patrice Ayme

Derangement Of The Weak

April 2, 2011

FASCISM, A STRANGE LOVE.

Kissinger, Or Why Fascism Is So Tough, It Survives Holocausts.

***

Abstract: The notorious Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State of Nixon, and Chinese contractor, has always supported notions which happened to have given birth to Nazism. This is counter-intuitive, since Kissinger, an “Untermensch”, had to flee Nazi Germany at the age of 15.

Is he still trying to please his masters? I enquire, and use the occasion to explore how fascism, nihilism and plutocracy interconnect. From the empire of the Rising Sun, to the empire of the Burning Book. So on to the derangements of the week, to see how they connect to those of the past, and those of the weak.

***

It is fascinating that so many who were victimized by Nazism learned nothing important. Or learned that it was important to keep on serving the same masters. Victims tend to reproduce what they know, and they know what they experienced. They become their own executioners. Thus the reproduction of persecution, and the incapacity to understand where the problem comes from. Abuse breeds abuse.

Henri Kissinger stays a work of art that way. I am not alluding here to The Trial of Henry Kissinger, where Christopher Hitchens calls for the prosecution of Kissinger. “For war crimes, for crimes against humanity, and for offenses against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap, and torture.”

Kissinger just wrote a review of a book on Bismarck. The title of Kissinger’s review says it all: “Otto von Bismarck, Master Statesman“. What Kissinger forgot to mention is that Bismarck, a red haired giant, was, by virtue of his leadership of a legally anti-Jewish state, the master of the Jews. Bismarck also planned wars of annihilation.

 In “Bismarck, A Life”, Steinberg argues that Bismarck fostered a Prussian dominated civilization, enmity, an aggressive Reich, an antagonistic Europe, and eventually a world war. This is the very least that one can assert, and it is nothing that genuine anti-fascists don’t already know.

Fascism is an instinct that does with anything in the way of obeying the leader. That is both its definition, and its reason for being. The leader can be one man, or one idea, or best, an union of both. Fascism is precious in combat, but leads to weak, deranged minds in civil society.

In October 1943, an American task force bombarded Wake Island, which had been conquered by the Japanese army in 1941, and was under Japanese occupation. American civilians and POWs were gathered on a beach, shot, and finished with bayonets. This was done with military precision, under direct order and presence of the top Japanese commander on Wake. The commander, Shigematsu Sakaibara, was promoted to Rear Admiral a year later. Hanged in 1947, as a war criminal, he maintained to the bitter end that: “I think my trial was entirely unfair and the proceeding unfair, and the sentence too harsh, but I obey with pleasure.” In other words, he had learned nothing.

Why so nasty? Why violating so much the laws of the Western warriors? Well, the Japanese had to manage their western weapons in western ways, and learns bits of western science to do so, but, for the rest, they were all Japanese, Bushido style. Killing Americans quickly instead of torturing them to death slowly was a favor.

The first time the Japs had tried to conquer Wake, the US Marines had repelled them. A grave insult. Several Japanese ships were damaged, two destroyers were sunk with all hands, after their ammunition stores ignited, and exploded (in one case from shore battery action, the other from a bomb dropped by one of two remaining Wildcat fighter-bombers). Days after Pearl Harbor, an impressive American victory by a handful of Marines, already predicted an ominous dusk for the Empire of the Rising Sun.

1,200 other POWs from Wake were sent to camps. Some were picked up, brought up to the deck of the ship, and beheaded. Why? They had been associated to the US fliers, who with their four planes, had struck such an incomprehensible blow to the invincible imperial army in its the first attempt to conquer Wake Island.

Of course, as I use the word “Jap”, an historical abbreviation, all what the superficial ones will see is that word, instead of analyzing the facts. Abbreviations may be insulting, but they are not living in the same conceptual space as murder. I have met people who called me “Pat”, just after encountering me for the first (and last) time. Maybe they could not find enough energy to pronounce my full name? In any case, I did not confuse this lack of education with an attempt to murder me. American POWs were murdered at Wake.

In Afghanistan, 20 UN workers were assassinated, in one day because an enraged mob was incensed. Someone burned somewhere far away, they heard, a book of superstition to which they attach greater importance than to life itself. Intellectual fascism at its best: there is no thought, but what is in one book, and stupidity is its prophet. Attaching more importance to a superstition than to life itself is the concept that their masters (Taliban, tribal leaders, local potentates, and the Pakistani intelligence, the ISI) have ordered their underlings to emphasize.

It does come not to their simplistic minds that a god that weak, that the slightest insult makes it welters, ought not to be revered. The fascist mind is not just all one way, it is pretty stupid out of that.

Something similar happened a few years ago, in Benghazi, Libya. A mob got enraged about cartoons depicting abbreviations, or interpretations of Mahomet’s nature. People died. Qaddafi’s troops “re-established” order, by killing more people. Bottom line: believing fanatically allows masters to kill whoever they wanted to kill all along. As the Muslim Brotherhood allies itself to the army in Egypt, expects more of this, on a larger scale, after conducting elections, Iranian style. And Turkey is going down the same road. Hence another interest of the demonstration of pro-democratic Western inspired force in Libya (with cooperation of Qatar and UAE!)

Similarly the war criminals at Wake island who assassinated the innocent civilian contractors believed in superstition too. Bushido was a superstition to which they had been imprinted to attach more importance than to life itself. Especially the life of others. Same idea as in Afghanistan.

A Japanese proverb was impressed onto soldiers when the fascists at the head of the Japanese military were expanding their empire throughout South East Asia:”Life is light as a feather, duty is heavy as a mountain.” Such an idea does not stay just on paper.

Such an idea establishes neurological connections. If you have to do your duty, you can’t escape. However, if you have to give your life, or terminate the lives of others, it’s easy. Life is cheap, fascism is all (as found in a literal interpretation of the Qur’an).

In the West it is the law which embodies duty (on a good day). And the (Roman, republican, secular) law was built around the sanctity of life and property, and equality of all for the law (“isonomy“). The tradition of that state of law, was so ingrained that even the emperor Justinian separated secular law from religious law (sixth century).

Such civilizational wisdom is not pervading Egypt yet. The Grand Pope of Islam in Cairo (OK, it’s called a “Grand Mufti”) issued a proclamation in the New York Times claiming that “There is no contradiction between Article 2 and Article 7 of Egypt’s interim Constitution, which guarantees equal citizenship before the law regardless of religion, race or creed.”

Article 2 of the Egyptian constitution: Islam is the Religion of the State. Arabic is its official language, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).

Fascism at its best. Sharia does not recognize isonomy. Arabic was the language of some terrorizing religious invaders, who replaced, displaced and eradicated the world’s oldest language, Egyptian, known also as Coptic. More than 45 centuries of history were extinguished by “sand dwellers” (as the real Egyptians called the aggressive nomads of the desert).

It is always eerie to listen to Japanese fighter pilots who escorted kamikaze attacks. Now wrinkled and white haired, they have completely changed from what they used to be. Why? Because they have other values, and those values built them another brain. Neurological readjustment can be very fast perceptually, so we suspect it can be also fast and thorough conceptually. There is evidence for a neurological change ordered from the top at the end of WWII, by the Japanese leadership. First they made them fascist, then they told them they were sheep, and ordered them to bleat.

At the end of the war, the Japanese Navy conducted a suicide mission. The giant battleship Yamato and its escorts were supposed to charge the US Navy armada assaulting Okinawa. However the sailors were told that, should their ship sink, they had to fight for their lives, because they would be more useful alive, to rebuild Japan afterwards. That order was interfering with Bushido, the way of the warrior.

Shockingly, contradicting Bushido made Japanese warriors into despised American surrendering hamburger eating monkeys. This was an important conceptual change, from fighting to death for and against the end of the world, to helping to clean the mess in the kitchen.

Weeks later, the emperor Hirohito ordered a full perceptual and conceptual switch. As he put it in the “Jewel Voice Speech” in which he surrendered Japan: “However, it is according to the dictates of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable.”

Learning to endure what used to be endurable, learning to suffer what used to be insufferable. Afterwards the Japanese were nice like lambs. They had been ordered out, yanked out of fascism. They were ordered to get different brains.

Fascism is really a mental mode. And the Germans did it as well as the Japanese, if not better. When the war was already completely lost, the Nazis decided to call onto suicide pilots. The idea was to ram enemy bombers with Me 109s (the standard Nazi fighter). At this late hour, when Germany was in smoldering ruins, there were 2,000 volunteers. On the order of Adolf Hitler, the plan was carried out on April 7, 1945, three weeks before Hitler’s suicide.

Less well known, the Nazis had broken through French fortifications in May 1940, thanks to suicidal charges by explosive carrying engineers. Nazism was a superstition to which they had been imprinted to attach more importance than to life itself.

This willingness to sacrifice the best and the brightest fascists explain that later, both the Germans and the Japanese had run out of competent warriors. In particular they had run out of trained pilots. It would take just a week to form a kamikaze, whereas it takes many years to form a good fighter pilot. The good Japanese fighter pilots were at the bottom of the ocean. The Nazis built 2,000 superlative jet interceptors, the Me 262, but, by 1945, had nobody left to fly them competently.

How does my obsession with fascism connects with the obsession Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, and various minnows of the absurd had for nihilism? Very simple: the strength of fascism is annihilation. Nihilism is what fascism does. Fascism is a mental state where the entire mind has become slave to the will to annihilate. Thus fascism implements nihilism, and is the master state. Condemning nihilism, as Nietzsche did is not enough. So Nietzsche also condemned emotional and logical states that led to nihilism. But they all come from one root, the will, or acceptance, to order one’s mind behind all too few ideas and emotions, which I call intellectual fascism.

How does Henri Kissinger’s somewhat deranged commentary on Bismarck fit in all this? Here is its conclusion:

“I must register two caveats. Steinberg’s hostility toward Bismarck’s personality sometimes causes him to overemphasize personal traits at the expense of his strategic concepts, which were usually quite brilliant. The second caveat concerns the direct line Steinberg draws from Bismarck to Hitler. Bismarck was a rationalist, Hitler a romantic nihilist. Bismarck’s essence was his sense of limits and equilibrium; Hitler’s was the absence of measure and rejection of restraint. The idea of conquering Europe would never have come to Bismarck; it was always part of Hitler’s vision. Hitler could never have pronounced Bismarck’s famous dictum that statesmanship consisted of listening carefully to the footsteps of God through history and walking with him a few steps of the way. Hitler left a vacuum. Bismarck left a state strong enough to overcome two catastrophic defeats as well as a legacy of unassimilable greatness.”

 

Bismarck: A legacy of greatness propelled by bribes and threats. And also propelled by fear and lack of love. Full grown men, such as his doctor, had to hold Bismarck’s hand through the night, so that he could sleep. How strong is that?

Funny, this love of Kissinger for Bismarck, because Kissinger’s Jewish family had to flee anti-Jewish Germany.

There were horribly anti-Jewish laws and practices under Bismarck (who was Chancellor of Germany 28 years). Not just this. Bismarck announced his “colonial” policy: “My African colonies will be in Europe“. So much for not wanting to conquer Europe. In truth, Bismarck’s main effort was to have Prussia conquer Europe (Hitler wanted even more, including redoing the genetics of man, true, but no excuse!)

It is well known that Bismarck fixed extravagant reparations on France, after grabbing two highly industrialized provinces of France. Bismarck’s hope, which he stated explicitly, was that France could not pay, and then the “Deutsches Reich” would have a casus belli to finish her off. (But, thanks in part to her colonies, the French republic was able to pay, to Bismarck’s chagrin.)

Of course, for someone such as Kissinger, France does not count. It is still the hereditary enemy, as it was to Bismarck, Von Molkte, Kaiser Wilhem II, and Hitler. Kissinger knows that those who pay his bills view France as a very bad example to the American people. Thus France ought to be belittled, or ignored at the first occasion, and the one after that. But France was actually the centerpiece of German and Prussian fascists for 140 years. They wanted to crush it, because it embodied democracy, and they wanted fascism, so that they could play in their vast Prussian estates, while keeping in line the Jewish and Polish subhumans out there.

The “Deutsches Reich” was proclaimed in occupied Versailles. clip_image002[5]

clip_image003[4]

Die Proklamation des Deutschen Kaiserreiches by Anton von Werner (1877) (18 January 1871, Palais de Versailles). At the point of civilization…

Left to right, on the podium (in black): Crown Prince Frederick (later Frederick III), his father Emperor William I, and Frederick I of Baden, proposing a toast to the new emperor.
Center (in white): Otto von Bismarck, first Chancellor of Germany, right of him, in front,
Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, Prussian Chief of Staff.

***

Germany was made by Bismarck into a tough plutocratic-military dictatorship. To blunt democratic aspirations, and envy for the French republic, while he took control of dozens of German states, Bismarck made his Reich look superficially like a constitutional monarchy such as Great Britain, Belgium, or Italy. So he installed a national assembly (“Reichstag”). Bismarck (like Hitler later) could take some good decisions were taken, such as universal health care, and universal vote of men for the Reichstag. But it is not because the arsenic cake tastes good that it is any less poisonous.

Bismarck, only an angry lawyer, was fond of military uniforms, as all grandees of the Reich. The militarization of German society, culture, schools, and industry allowed for quick progress of GDP, especially in dual use economic areas (half civilian, half military). However, it created also an all too murderous, exploitative, idiotic mindset. “The Bismarck regime was a constant orgy of scorn and abuse of mankind, collectively and individually”. Nietzsche derided the omnipresent racism.

Bismarck engineered three wars to create the “Deutsches Reich”. Three wars in 8 years. War with Austria, war with France. The “Deutches Reich”, under that name, perished in 1945. Kissinger would have us believe that when Hitler christened his super battleship “Bismarck”, he did not know what he was doing (just as when Hitler proclaimed himself a Catholic, Kissinger would have us believe that Hitler did not know what he was saying. But it is Catholicism which invented murderous anti-Semitism, and did so twice: for the Dark Ages, and during the relapse of the Crusades!)

Which state of “unassimilable greatness” did Bismarck leave? The state Bismarck was Minister-President of, Prussia, disappeared under cannon fire in 1945. the Allies viewed Prussia as so culprit of what happened, that, by common assent, the proverbial “FINAL SOLUTION” WAS APPLIED TO PRUSSIA. In the old capital of Prussia, one now speaks Russian. In most of historical Prussia, the language is now Polish. So much for Kissinger’s vision of power. Bismarck brought a legacy of eradicable mediocrity.

Inappropriately, Kissinger evokes Bismarck’s sense of limits and equilibrium, but the chancellor of blood and iron disagreed. “For things to remain the same, everything must change”. Bismarck opined after 1890, after he had been fired by Wilhem II, that the “Deutsches Reich” he had created with such demonic purpose, was a monster.

So why does Kissinger refuse to mention all and any of this? Because in 1954, he wrote a PhD on Metternich, at Harvard. Kissinger became close to the Rockefellers and other plutocrats, from the Shah to Allah knows what. His job, his mission for which he was rewarded, was to convey a misleading view of history. A misleading view in which yesterday’s pillars of the old order were esteemed, so that those to come, descending from the preceding ones, could be too. Associating the old racism to the old order would have been self defeating: Kissinger’s own masters would be put under a cloud.

Thus it was important to lie about the tremendous legal anti-Judaism in Central Europe. Because, if it had been revealed, the next question would have been why did Jews of tremendous influence such as the Rothschilds had put up with it?

Well, the explanation is that plutocracy was more important to the Rothschilds than basic empathy (even for fellow Jews). similarly, those who pull the strings of Muslim fundamentalist rage believe that their own power, their own plutocracy, is more important than thousands of people dying, here and there, now and then.

Thus, for Kissinger, the notion that Hitler was not taught Nazism and racism by the established order is important. Otherwise one would suspect an established order there, and then, and maybe We The People become uncomfortably suspicious of the established order, now and here.

Relating Hitler to Bismarck would reveal that Hitler was not an accident, but part and product of a system. A plutocratic system. Thus, as far as Kissinger is concerned, it is better to just accuse mad dog Hitler, to have invented all that evil all by himself. Hitler is thus transformed from revelation to scapegoat. Thus it can denied that Hitler had been instrumentalized by the powers that Kissinger served. And he still serves them, so he is still at it. Hence his logically and factually weak analysis.

Kissinger inverted all values, and became the model for “Doctor Strangelove” in the famous Kubrick movie with the eponymous title, where the adviser of the president of the USA, uncontrollably programmed as a Nazi, pushes for thermonuclear war, as much as he can. Kissinger embraced fascism, so he still embraces Bismarck. It seems that, for Kissinger, Auschwitz is a detail, and fascism’s strategic concepts, which [are] usually quite brilliant.

The philosopher Hannah Arendt did not make friends by suggesting that Hitler became all he could be, thanks, in part, to the cooperation of all too many Jews. Those Jews were weak. They had been trained, like most Germans, to be weak in their spirits and minds. They were strong as a herd, because they were individually weak. And deranged.

Plutocracy’s Achilles heel: plutocracy can only be served by the weak, and is made of the weak. It is made of the weak, because it is a form of fascism, and fascism is for the weak. It is also made of the weak, and is served by the weak, because the truly strong fights it, be it only just because it looms over there. The true path of the ultimate warrior finds the highest mountain. And that mountain is plutocracy, and fascism itself.

Patrice Ayme