Archive for June, 2011

Aphorisms, June 2011

June 30, 2011

TRUTH, CREDENTIAL, QUANTUM, WAR CRIMINALITY, CONSPIRATORIAL PLUTOCRACY…

***

WE ARE WHAT WE SPEND:

Latest evaluation of the cost in treasure, to the USA, of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan: 3.7 trillion to 4.4 trillion dollars. The human cost is even larger, and is in turn dwarfed by the moral hazard of preferring the will to kill to the will to think.

The cost of the wars of whim is also a vicious circle. That means that investment is displaced from internal objectives, to establishing the best killer army the world has ever seen, in lieu of solving said internal problems. (That trick, of using military solutions as a panacea, was tried before: ask the Assyrians!)

Thus the USA is increasingly inefficient, a world of funk. Visiting the back woods there is precisely that, as bungalows made of modern plywood in 1930 are now molding and decrepit. The inefficiency of the decaying physical plant is startling. For example, the USA emits more than three times as much CO2 per unit of GDP as France does. Overall, the energy efficiency of the USA is way down relative to Japan and Europe, by a factor of up to three times (some, such as MSNBC, say four times). China, the USA industrial backyard, and slave market (or is it the other way around?), has an even worse efficiency problem.

The lower the efficiency, the more the USA needs oil, and gas, and the perspective of having enough of these for a long time to come, thus an enormous army in the middle of the main oil area of the planet (Mid East, Afghanistan, bases in several central Asian republics, etc.), insuring that oil and gas will keep on flowing. Some will say: wait a minute, the USA does not get that much oil and gas directly from there, Europe does. But the objection is irrelevant, as it is a one world market for oil and gas, like a giant reservoir. Lower it somewhere, and the prices will fly up everywhere.

***

OFF WITH SOCIAL NETWORKS, IN WITH THE TRUTH!

Is rational agreement, properly arrived at, the best possible justification of a claim to truth? That is what naïve ivory tower philosophers claim to believe. And then they step inside a plane, and don’t understand the first thing about it.

The truth is not in social conventions. The truth is in the plane that flies.

In other words, social reasoning, and attached consensus, can establish propositions (as is done in math). But the proof is in eating the pudding. Truth is, first of all, an instrument of successful power. It can be a plane flying, or a tomahawk flying. Power, flying true, that’s truth.

***

TRUTH IS THE FUNDAMENTAL CREDENTIAL OF TRUEST THINKING:

There is a lot to be said about credentials. Traditionally, “credentials” are credentials of individuals. Namely some of the prestigious ones from the past gave them their seal of approval (degree, prize, career, etc.) to the little ones they esteem. Fine, but this breaks down in revolutionary times.  especially scientific revolutionary times, as we need now.

Most of the great thinkers of humankind had it hard, sometimes very hard. They did not come up, gliding on petal roses. Hypatia was raped and shredded alive. Boethius, from the “Consolation of Philosophy”, was broken to death.  Abelard emasculated, Bruno burned alive, slowly, after seven years of “judicial” torture by the Vatican. More recently, the Nazis tortured to death many a philosopher. Bohm, one of the best American physicists, ever, had to flee his native land, the USA, just because thinkers were viewed suspiciously (he thrived later in Britain). And so on.

So what about a different approach? IDEAS are the ones we should ask credentials from, not individuals. Namely, were do they come from? What other ideas gave them a seal of approval?

That is what David Bohm did. He carefully asked the main ideas of Quantum physics what their credentials were. He found that all started with De Broglie, rather than with the obscure, ad hoc logic of Bohr, Heisenberg, and the like. De Broglie had a clear vision: particles, any particles, were associated with waves. Real waves.

That was brushed off. Why? Because physicists discovered that the Quantum was all about knowing at a glance the entire geometry which is accessible to it. And that did not have to be in “real” space. Instead of realizing that this meant that what they viewed as real was not really real, physicists espoused Born’s later view that the waves had only a mathematical meaning.

By inspecting carefully the genealogy of the ideas which led to these conclusions, Bohm found their genetics were completely degenerated. The prestigious mathematician Von Neumann had even presented a false proof of the existence and uniqueness of the Copenhagen Interpretation of the quantum. De Broglie was no sophisticated mathematician, but he had an explicit model contradicting Von Neumann, as Bohm pointed out.

Ultimately most physicists  viewed the entire subject, as a famous one told me, as “just a way to get headaches”. That was until engineers tried to imitate nature, and make a Quantum computer. Quantum computers are all over nature, here, there, and everywhere, and make the efficiency of biology possible.

Fascinating article in SCIENCE magazine on June 2, 2011. PHOTON TRAJECTORIES are exhibited therein for the 2-slit experiment.

Now you could have asked maybe thirty of the very best mathematicians, and physics Nobel prize winners, people like Bohr, and they would all have told you that they were the authorities, and photon trajectories, that was impossible. Then they would have swelled with pride, hubris, and gravitas, and the mesmerized public would have applauded the great men, and their great minds, definitions of truth, beauty.

Guess what? Apparently NATURE IS MORE AUTHORITATIVE than little boys. And nature has decided that Bohr and company were just little boys with erroneous, crazy, even naïve, not to say puerile ideas. Wow. I have got an ally, and it’s called nature itself. The enemies of reason have nothing to fear, but nature itself, and its overwhelming power.

By focusing too much on credentials of the princelings, our princelings, we, humankind, our civilization, are guilty of hubris. In many domains, we have no idea what the final, and correct idea will be. Ceremonies like the Nobel hid this, and can even be extremely counterproductive, when taken too seriously.

The best example of this contamination of thinking from gravitas and the established order, was provided by the wealthy, hyperinfluential intellectuals under the Antonine emperors. Their thinking was too friendly to intellectual, and political fascism. (And made the break with Christianism much worse than it should have been, leading to the tragedy of the Fourth Century, when philosophy and reason itself were destroyed by vengeful Christians.)  

***

THEOCRACY IS STRONG, DEMOCRACY IS STRONGER:

More protests in Egypt. On one side democracy, on the other, the military-theocratic plutocracy. Europe went through that, for centuries, and only the theocrats lost (the military and plutocratic system are doing fine, thank you). And even then, the theocrats first launched Europe into the Crusades (started against the just Islamized Turks, several of the crusades were within Europe, against Jews, Cathars, and Balts). The fight against the fascist expansion of the (Catholic) church started with Abelard (~ 1120 CE). But, in France herself, it took until 1905, eight centuries later, to master said church thoroughly. In many other countries, the fight is far from finished. May God bless America, as Obama says, in his latest, more sophisticated persona.

***

DEMOCRACY, NO. PLUTOCRACY, YES.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, DSK the skirt chaser, who went one skirt too far, is full university professor of economics (and has taught many French politicians). DSK decided that the present world economic crisis needed more government, not less. An outrage. So now he is indicted, and had to resign as head of the IMF.

DSK is now to be replaced by a 5 foot-10 inches compatriot with a skirt who scoffed that no man has ever dared attack her, as she is too tall and too strong (the alleged victim of DSK is taller, stronger, and more than twenty years younger). In any case Christine Lagarde should prove more willing to play the plutocratic game (without her own means to be completely independent of said plutocracy, as DSK was, Lagarde should be more respectful of the plutocracy, in the hope of getting more crumbs from the worthy ones; from a journalist who knows him very well, Sarkozy himself is obsessed with money… Joining the hyper rich is not just an obsession of U.S. politicians).

Christine Lagarde is now elected head of the IMF. That she will be, for more than a few days, if French justice allows her sweet deal with Tapie, a Frenchman made wealthy by a decision Lagarde contributed to indirectly, to go unpunished.  Just about 380 million euros attributed through arbitrage (private justice instead of normal, republican justice). We are not talking billions, as in the sweet American deals of recent years (where there was no even an attempt at justice, private or not)…

Lagarde used to head one of the largest law firms, from, well, Chicago. Chicago is an important city: that is where the future traders started to poison the world with derivatives. Thus,  many of the puppets they sent, worldwide, to manipulate and fleece the naive sheep, in other words, the politicians they employ, are from Chicago, or have acquired the finishing touch they needed, in the so called “City of Broad Shoulders”.

Strange idea, the way representative  democracy selects the few to lead an uncomprehending and blind multitude. Those selected have ambition, but what humankind needs is wisdom, and that is best attained by informing the multitude.

However, this empowering of the multitudes cannot happen in the money creation through lending by private banks practicing the fractional reserve system we have now. The very convoluted nature of the elaborated description inherent in the name of that affliction, shows that this system is in hiding, like a giant anaconda hidden inside the mud in a swamp. It’s basically the world’s most giant conspiracy, hidden in plain sight, by its sheer complexity, and the inability of the commons to process the veracity of what they are carefully not taught.

This is what the indignant ones should be primarily indignant about: money is created by the rich, for the rich through the banking system harnessing the power of the state.

***

MEASURING BANK CORRUPTION BY LEVERAGE:

Low reserve requirements are a measure of financial corruption of a state, as they necessitate huge government back-up, while allowing to the hyper rich leverage inversely proportional to it.

Switzerland has learned the lesson well: it has put the capital requirements for its own banks at 20% (double the proposed Basel III). And they are already satisfied now, by all Swiss banks (not ten years from now!).

***

ENGINEERING BEST INSIDE:

OK, before saying nasty things about Socrates, here is some consolation for his admirers. Instead of engineering the Earth, on an ever larger scale, for our evil and crazy ends, we should engineer our minds, for the better. It’s more realistic, more feasible, and more ethical.

***

WHAT MOTIVATES HUMAN BEINGS: LOVE, AMBITIONS…

The unexamined life was not worth living, sneered Socrates. But, speaking of unexamining life, it’s not him, but Aristotle, born 20 years after Socrates’ execution, who founded biology, by examining life, precisely, and thoroughly. The real tragedy is that all too many people view as the father of philosophy someone who thought learning did not happen by asking questions to the universe, but only by revealing what was inside one’s mind.

A mother loving her child does not examine as much as provide. Many, if not most fathers, too. And they find enough in loving to make life worth living. Actually they find often life more worth living that way than Socrates himself found it, obviously.

Strange bird, this Socrates: one can argue that he lived as a prostitute in the service of his rich boyfriends, so he could eat and party well… After satisfying so much other carnal pursuits, claims Plato, that he could quit that behavior entirely later. Hence the accusation of “corrupting the youth” (since many of said friends became dictators of and traitors of Athens).

In the end, Socrates did not find life worth living (he did not try to escape, although he could have). Aristotle, risking the same fate as Socrates, at the hand of the same perverted democratic justice, sneered that he did not want to let Athens sin against philosophy again, and he fled the ethically challenged city-state.  

A generation later, the philosopher Demosthenes had to commit suicide as he was grabbed by the professional killers of his enemy Philippe of Macedonia.

Nietzsche thought life was all about power. Christ told us roughly the same: serve the power of the Son and the Father, that’s best. The first shall be the last, the last, the first. Life is a competition says Chris: score, to win.

As the word “emotion” indicates, feelings are what cause us to move. Many emotions cause us to move. Ambitions are not all, loves are not all, nor are the many variants of care. 

Once Philip Short, a writer on politics and civilization, an ex-BBC correspondent, who long lived in China and South East Asia, told me that Cambodia suffered the loss of 25% of its own population, at the hand of a small pseudo Marxist clique of compatriots, not so much because of Marx, but because of Buddhism.

Why? Because Buddhism fights e-motions so much that finally no motion happens, indeed, and murderers, and other dictators, are  given liberties. That would explain why Asia has been so friendly to fascism. Variants of Buddhism, and closely related adulations against passion, reign over there (once Buddhism reigned all over India, but Hinduism it sprang from, more friendly to passion, counter-attacked).

Ultimately, how an individual’s brain is, fabricate the emotions which dominate said brain. There are as many motivations as there are emotions, and some are pretty convoluted, not to say twisted. As many as the ways brains can work. And often those ways for the brain to work come out of the social group (string theorists are an example of a group of similar brains; Nazis, or Commies, too). Then group think and group emotion, not to say group madness, is what motivates.

 

There are therefore no clear rules about what motivates people. What can be built neurologically is what can motivate. And what builds the neurology? Culture. Another reason why Nazism made sense, in its insane way, and why multiculturalism ought to be dead.

Why so intolerant? Because, by accepting all cultures, some feudal, some from desert banditry, some hyper nationalistic or hyper ethnic, one accepts sometimes terrible motivations, incompatible with the present society. And its nukes.

***

INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: KADDAFI, & SON SAIF AL ISLAM ARE WAR CRIMINALS!

Warrants of arrest have been launched. Libya (whatever that means) has been ordered to surrender to the ICC those individuals. Hopefully that will do two things:

1) Explain to rabid peaceniks that attacking Libya is a completely different thing from the American Attack against the democratic republic of Afghanistan in 1979, and the American attack against Iraq in 2003. It is more like the Franco-British attack against Hitler in 1939.

2) Hitler momentarily won in 1939-1940, because the American government betrayed in 1939 (the US Congress took sanctions against France and Britain for attacking Hitler!), and the American plutocracy did what it does best, and most naturally, namely side with fascism. It’s always more lucrative than siding with the Unions!

The average ignorant American can now plumb the depth of his or her ignorance: polls show most Americans disapprove of the modest help that the USA provide in Libya the French and British bombing fleets with.

56% of Americans disapprove of fighting him, hence approve of Qaddafi. If one does not want to attack Hitler, one approves of Hitler, as it is a crime to be indifferent to enormous crimes. How hard is it for average Americans to recognize a bloody dictator, and to want to do something about it? Are Americans immune to feeling indignant about dictatorship?

***

CO2 POISONING

Propaganda from the fossil fuel and other feudal plutocracies have confused the issue. The primary problem is not “climate change” (aka planetary heating/broiling).

So it’s NOT about “climate change”, this hypocritical euphemism. Climate change is a second order effect. It may, or may not happen, short term. The gist of my essay https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/05/31/sun-cooling-ice-melting/ is that, if the sun cools down spectacularly, as it did TWICE in the last seven centuries, during the Little Ice Age, “climate change” will NOT happen, short term, as much as it could.

The way to look at things correctly, thus, is CO2 POISONING. Because that is what is happening. Even if the sun cooled down spectacularly, as I emphasized more than two years ago, the ACIDIFICATION of the oceans would proceed unabated. After killing the oceans, if the sun goes back to normal, the greenhouse would rebound enormously.

Although I did not speak of it in that particular essay, we now know the density of CO2 in the atmosphere, through shell formation in the ocean, for at least 20 million years (and soon at least 100 million; the method should work for half a billion years!). Thus we know the level of CO2 equivalent we enjoy now is the highest in 20 million years (although some have claimed that transitory fluxes much higher than that have occurred, from volcanoes; that would not be a problem, as a high, very transitory flux does not allow storage in the oceans!)

Let me emphasize that the essay quoted above explains why FLOODING, by no means certain on a proximal massive scale, is, however a clear possibility. London under water seems even a near certainty on the scale of a century (but for enormous works, requiring huge energy to build!)

***

WHO WANTS TO COLLABORATE WITH THE CRIMINALS?

In the 1930s, American public opinion was hostile to those who opposed Hitler. OK, it was probably not really their opinion, but what they regurgitated from their thought leaders. Leadership is big in the USA, and the plutocrats hold all the levers.

Gore just wrote an excellent editorial on the subject of the press being as biased against the good guys as a referee in catch. But he forgot to mention why the press behaves that way. Simple: it’s owned by the plutocrats. The plutocrats in the West make  solid group. The oiligarchs, the oil plutocrats, do not want to contradict their colleagues in the media, finance, or whatever.

***

Moral Corruption Shows Up In The Details:

Roger Cohen, editorialist at the New York Times, used to celebrate Bush. In an editorial, “America Awaken“, he quoted approvingly Isaiah Berlin, who supposedly once remarked that the United States was “aesthetically inferior but morally superior” to Europe.

In his editorial, Cohen immediately conflated Western Europe, and its powerful, tolerant, open ideology, especially in France and Britain, and the appropriately named Berlin’s own little corner sick with insane multiculturalism. Multiculturalism, pushed to where east and southern Europe pushed it, that is, everybody at each other’s throats. From Turkey to the Baltic countries.

Isaiah Berlin, a famous philosopher among Anglo-Saxons, came from Riga, a part of the world full of Jews soon to be massacred by the local population, and, or, by the Nazis, in part because the Jews were believed to have colluded with the Soviets (who invaded the area, before being chased out by the Nazis). So I sent the following, and of course, as is often the case, Cohen did not publish it (Cohen used to support the invasion of Iraq, as I said, so our relationship is stormy: when it is advantageous to Cohen’s point of view, he publishes me, when it’s not, he does not; whereas David Brooks is much more honest, always publishing, even scathing critiques; how hard is it to be ethical?):

For the first century of its existence, the USA had no billionaire. Now it is plutocracy central. Berlin could think whatever he wanted in his times, long ago. Those times are gone. And Berlin could think whatever was natural from his morally corrupt corner of Europe, soon to witness terrible wars and massacres. About the creators of Israel, Berlin, a Jew, living by then safely in Britain, said: “They did not listen to us, they listened to Hitler.” So let’s not take him too seriously…

Right now Americans of influence think what they are told to think by the social group they belong to, or aspire to belong to. They are awake, but not cognizant, or they know that they will make power and money if they vest themselves in plutocracy, the social group they belong to, or are apprentice of. They will not try to gather knowledge, wisdom, and altruism, but power and money, because that is how they have been made.

By the way, it’s important to realize that Europe was attacked in August 1914, by a conspiracy of half a dozen fascist generals and admirals. August 1914 was not at all about European countries squabbling, everybody co-responsible. France and Britain, the democracies, had strictly nothing to do with that attack. they were caught by total surprise. Britain did not have an army, the French government was vacationing (need I say so?)

In 1939, France and Britain declared war to Hitler, the morally correct thing to do, while Berlin’s “morally superior” USA decided sanction against France and Britain, for attacking Hitler. By then, indeed, already, the plutocrats were guiding the USA.

***

GERMANY DON’T LEARN?

Germany refuses to seriously participate in the NATO action in Libya, leaving France and Britain to deal with Qaddafi alone. Why? Because Germany trades with the east, and wants money to be directed that way, to the east. But Libya, and a fortiori the rest of the Maghreb, is closer from France, than France is from Kiev.

Germany is afraid that France and Britain will redirect European investment towards the Maghreb, the soft belly of Europe. Yes, Europe. The Tunisian-Libyan region was part of the center of the Roman empire for 900 years.  By 200 CE, African, often Libyan, Roman generals acquired control of the empire (for example, Septimus Severus). The invasion by Arab Islamized armies brought that Roman world to a very brutal and bloody end… Well, however, the facts of topology and distance have remained as they were under Romanitas… The far east is one thing, far away, whereas the close south is something else, their backyard, for the more than 250 million Europeans living in Europe, west or south of Germany.

Not understanding that dictatorship next door is intolerable is clearly a moral and political failure of Germany, same as before. Same old, same old. When does our children learn?- As Bush would say, in his handicapped English. At least, Obama understood that one, that Libya belongs to the basic strategic interest of the West. Or maybe let’s say, to be fairer, that it is one Obama understood, and could do something about, without crossing the plutocracy. I guess that’s government by consensus.

***

Patrice Ayme

Forever War

June 23, 2011

BLACK HOLE IN AFGHANISTAN:

Obama spoke in his clipped style again, as if we were all on a nuclear submarine in combat, and our duty was clear. He is excellent at lofty rhetoric masking as little change as possible from one more disaster he seems to view as an acceptable status quo. That cool comfort with the unacceptable is the apparent trademark of his presidency. Some presidents fix disasters, others live with them. Hey, got the big jet to fly around, and I golf with whoever. Cool, no?

Bush II was the “decider” of thoroughly lamentable decisions, Clinton got rich by selling the country to plutocracy, Carter started the war in Afghanistan… much more of this, and soon Bush I and Reagan will appear to be leftist geniuses of probity and vision.

So let’s recapitulate: Obama claims that, by the end of 2012, he will have withdrawn from Afghanistan the troops he put in what he called the “surge”, as a good Bush parrot. However, he forgot to mention that he would have kept in the troops of the augmentation he put in, or rather the doubling of troops he put in, before his “surge”. How do you spell Pinochio?

The war in Afghanistan has lasted nearly ten years, making it the longest in the history of the USA (although the French and British records about waging a long war are not threatened for these nations, by a factor of at least 15…) Under Obama, the number of Western dead and casualties has nearly doubled. Many allies are in Afghanistan by solidarity with the USA, but their patience is getting thin. Canadians, for example, got huge losses in Afghanistan (as high as the USA in relative numbers). If the allies leave (as Canada may in 2011), the situation for the USA will get much worse.

When Obama got to the presidency, there were 34,000 American troops in Afghanistan. Now there are 101,000.

Obama is going to withdraw a token number of troops from Afghanistan, out of the 101,000. He speaks of 10,000 by year end. An equivalent number could resign from the official military, and get in the private military through the back door.

There are 90,000 private USA contractors in Afghanistan, in direct, or indirect military roles.  Outstanding contracts to the private army are 12 billion U.S. dollars. If one adds non USA NATO and non NATO troops, one gets around 250,000 invaders in Afghanistan, supposedly helping.  But actually barking incomprehensible orders, and you better obey them, if you are a native, because they will kill you with their huge weapons if you don’t, and feel good about their “duty” and “service”.

The number of professional Western killersextraordinary men and women in uniform” (as Obama puts it) in Afghanistan went from 60,000 to around 250,000, under Obama’s exalted vision. Two years ago the official cost of the war in Afghanistan was 60 billion a year, now it is officially 120 billions, one billion every three days.  That does not count secret spending. And that is just for the USA. (All together just France, Britain, Italy and Germany have more than 20,000 troops in Afghanistan, hundreds have died.)

Sorry for crossing the words “professional killers“. What else are they doing there? According to official Pentagon statistics, HALF OF THE “EXTRAORDINARY MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM” HAVE KILLED AN AFGHAN. Extraordinary, indeed. With allies like that, who needs death? Kill them all, Allah will recognize his own.

One should not confuse defending freedom, and defending fiefdom.

Afghanistan is the fief of the military industrial complex, and the electronics, advanced tech complex. Having a huge army in Afghanistan also profits the oil and gas industry, as armed forces of the West allows it to control Central Asia. It also allows to remind the Muslim Fundamentalists, otherwise employed by the West in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, who is really the boss, namely those who apply force for the heck of it in Afghanistan, just because they can.

***

 AIDING AND ABETTING:

So what is the mission in Afghanistan? Assistance says Obama. Assistance of what? Assisting the Muslim fundamentalist regime in Kabul of the corrupt Karzai. Oh, yes, because the constitution of Afghanistan is all about the Qur’an. It is not a secular constitution, as, say, in Turkey (a constitutional, secular democratic republic). That turkey does not fly.

As David Brooks, a conservative editorialist at the NYT points out:”Discouraging reports about aid in Afghanistan should drive us to consider the deeper forces underlying societal instability. Hint: It’s not always about the material stuff.”

 Afghans hate the guts of the West. The fact that the constitution is Islamist makes it worse, encourages them to hate the secular, democratic West. Allah is neither secular, nor democratic.

Moreover the “aid” is not helping, because it short circuits the entire country, the people of Afghanistan, while making a show of helping them. Under the guise of efficiency, aid workers deal only with themselves. Thus, instead of helping Afghanistan, aid to Afghanistan is destroying Afghanistan.

A conference of experts at Wilton Park in Britain had to admit that there was a “surprisingly weak evidence base for the effectiveness of aid in promoting stabilization and security objectives” in Afghanistan.

Result: attacks of Afghan troops against Western coalition troops is at all time high. Yes Afghans in the Afghan military attack coalition troops supposed to help them, kill Western troops. As I already alluded to, the number of attacks and the dead they cause has never been higher.

***

DEPREDATION OF WEST IN AFGHANISTAN WORSE THAN COLONIALISM?

Yes, one had to understand that the mission in Afghanistan is worse than colonialism. The private contracting and the aid are a metastatic cancer. The way they are done by the Crusaders (to use local semantics, unfortunately all too appropriate).

Old fashion “colonialism”, when it was most “successful” (say in India, Ceylon, Afrique Occidentale Francaise… Or for that matter British colonial America!) rested on having the natives themselves manage their own country. The colonial occupier gave only the general direction to the natives, who were empowered to do the job. This is not what is done in Afghanistan, let’s say it, once again.

Senegal was “conquered” with ten French officers, and 5,000 Senegalese soldiers. India was administered with as little as 1,500, and never more than 3,000, British civil servants (heading an immense government of hundreds of thousands of Indian civil servants).

It may be time to realize that the West and its allies are actively doing way worse than old fashion colonialism would ever do in Afghanistan. So what are we after? War for the sake of war? Behaving like crazed maniacs so everybody will leave us alone, because obviously the world is our oyster? Killing time by killing people?

***

THE BLACK HOLE OF ETERNAL WAR:

Lunatics have proposed to limit the powers of Obama to wage war in Libya. But, mostly, the USA supports the logistics of the French and British in Libya (many French and British bombers are still not based forward, so they require huge air refueling; the French are planning to move their Rafale stealth bombers to Sicily, their Mirages are already in Crete; initially British Tornadoes, doing most of the British bombing, were based in Britain!) In Libya France and Britain fight a well defined dictator in their backyard, the situation is the same as when they got a United Nations mandate to intervene in Bosnia. (There too, the French had fired the first shots, although it pained the French military to attack their old allies the Serbs.)

Besides the oil and gas in Central Asia, and the implied threat on all regimes which would stop obeying the West, the USA is already engaged in an active war against Pakistan. Limiting Obama in Libya could lead to limit him in Pakistan.

Pakistan is another Islamist regime. With 200 thermonuclear warheads. Paid in part, those nukes, by terror specialist Bush! There Obama is not at fault, and he could argue that the Afghan war is now all about Pakistan. Although not at fault, it is not clear that his present strategy with Pakistan is the best (although it served Bin Laden), because it does not treat the fundamental problem.

The fundamental problem of Pakistan is its very reason for being in existence, is its Islamist constitution. Why do you need Al Qaeda, the base, when the basics of Islamism are already fundamentally the law? Say that a guy called Muhammad is a bunga bunga, and Pakistani judges in black robes will condemn you to death. When you add dozens of thermonuclear bombs to the mix, you get a country much more dangerous that Hitler’s Reich. Maybe we should talk about that aloud. Instead of sending robots to bomb them, as Obama, obeying the military industrial complexed, does unlawfully. 

So the Pakistani ISI surrendered Bin Laden to Obama. So what? A hamburger for the American eagle? Happy now? What about the nukes? This may all end with an eagle in every pot (Henri IV of France contented himself in 1600, with a hen in every pot).

The USA has fostered Islamism. Or rather rekindled it, starting with FDR, because it made it easier to extract oil and control, and cause trouble. Of course Islamism and modern weapons are a bad mix. So now the USA paradoxically supports Islamist regimes, while threatening or even fighting them.

Supporting what we combat is a recipe for eternal war. Of course that is the effect looked for by the afore mentioned suspects. The way those cynics see it, so much the better, because the forces of the West will stay at war, fully trained, with the best weapons, and a huge army in South Asia, on the doorstep of China, watching Russia from below.

Progressives should realize that Islam is a carefully entertained excuse in all this. Supporting the Islam which we combat under the label of “terrorism” is a recipe for eternal war. More exactly, supporting Islamist regimes is an evil contradiction for democratic secular states. That includes supporting Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, whatever the Muslim Brotherhood and its friends in the military are preparing in Egypt, etc.

Support cannot be withdrawn suddenly, of course, but a deliberate, official push should be made to de-Islamize ALL constitutions. And de-dictatorialize them. We are not in the 19C anymore. Their backyard is our backyard. Or rather, our potential battlefield next door. Think about it: our present world is basically the size of a naval battlefield of the early 20 C, considering the speed and capability of weapons today.

It would be wiser, and more peaceful, to battle ferociously with ideas, now, instead of waiting for bombs to explode, tomorrow.

Morocco, a country of 40 million,  is a striking example: the king, who has, in many ways more power than his dictatorial, blood covered dad, has introduced grandiloquently mostly cosmetic changes, leaving him still an absolute dictator, his son ready to lead in turn, when he reaches…18. France and the USA should not tolerate this, and order him to move apace towards a constitutional monarchy.

Now, of course, the plutocratic elements are interested to keep potential wars in reserve. So deeply rooted conflicts are carefully tendered and fostered. Just as with Hitler, democracies end up nourishing the enemy, proffering respects. The situation with China being is a case in point: what is the plan there? Make China, presently a dictatorship, so strong that it can go berserk about the South China Sea, Taiwan, or something else?

Time to go deep, and exit the Obama black hole of war more years. War guaranteed until 2014? When do we negotiate for real? Oh, I forgot, ending that war is not part of the true plan. With a bit of luck, the war will transmogrify some more…

***

Patrice Ayme

Big Lesson Not Learned

June 17, 2011

USA EXCEPTIONALLY BLIND?

American exceptionalism” is an expression all Americans are familiar with. It seems to even pervades all the way down to the bones. Tellingly, the concept originated with Alexis de Tocqueville, who was the first to describe the United States as “exceptional”. First irony: the fig leaf was made in France. (So was the Statue of Liberty, and the concept of the Land of the Free, after which Francia was named…)

Americans are familiar with their “exceptionalism”. It claims that the USA is qualitatively different from other nations. (Yes, of course, the USA is a European colony, a Europe overseas, and most nations did not start as colonies, only a few dozens did.)

America’s alleged exceptionalism stems from its emergence from a revolution (as if there had been none in France or Britain, Rome, or Athens, or, for that matter, Venezuela, or Port au Prince!), becoming “the first new nation”, the “New World”, while developing a uniquely American ideology, based on liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism and laissez-faire.

The same holds for all Spanish speaking countries in the Americas. And Canada is not far behind. Come to think of it, most countries agree with these goals, and practice them to some extent.

It is highly ironical that the last concept, laisser-faire, supposed to depict the reigning socio-economic paradigm in the USA, is French, and was born there well before the USA itself. If anybody knows about laissez-faire, it should be the French, since they invented it, and practiced it well before the city of Boston was paying for Indian scalps (a picturesque twist on government welfare state, a typical way to turn public initiative towards matters military, made in America; just a bit north the French were running Canada, and they did not do such a thing, quite the opposite).

Tocqueville, the germ of American “exceptionalism” was an impoverished aristocrat, a small scale philosopher. Tocqueville is popular with American plutocracy for insisting upon the self serving fancy that freedom is more important than equal rights. Any obdurate member of the plutocracy would reason that way. Tocqueville aristocratic roots go all the way back to the battle of Hastings, in 1066 CE, when the Franks invaded Anglo-Saxon England. (Mine are much older, but never mind, an angel full of discretion shall slither away…)

Unsurprisingly, Tocqueville’s doctrine of the superiority of freedom over equality is pounded into young American minds in American universities. Tocqueville missed a lot of the big picture of the USA, that makes him all the more useful. It is not surprising that he was caricatural, as he spent a grand total of nine months in the USA. He was also much less than honest. He had nothing to say when he witnessed the Cherokees being deported, dying on the way to concentration camps. This silence demonstrated that Tocqueville was a fast learner on the subject of ingratiating himself with his hosts.

Mitt Romney, a Mormon businessman, son of a governor, governor himself of Massachusetts, where he invented what came to be known as “Obamacare” has a big problem, besides having invented “Obamacare”. He speaks French. So he tries to compensate that with blatant Francophobia. Francophobia is popular in the USA, because plutocracy needs it, to show that the road not travelled by the USA is despicable, alien, hostile, to be rejected absolutely, albeit superficially tempting, in other words, French.

(This Francophobic negativism has the funny consequence that, since the Cartesian French spend a lot of brain power trying to do the best for themselves as a society, the USA ends down embracing increasingly the opposite of French ways, namely the worst solutions, for themselves as a socio-economy… But of course, this is precisely what unbriddled plutocracy wants) 

Mitt Romney claims that Obama takes his ideas not from the small towns of America but from “the capitals of Europe.” Romney insists that Obama is offering “European answers to American problems.” And, horror of horrors, Obama has put the USA in tow behind France and its anti-dictatorial philosophers. Says Romney: “We’re following the French into Libya.” Obama undermines the USA by his “questioning as to whether America is an exceptional nation.

Heady stuff. The New York Times ran an editorial on part of this, and I decided to conduct my own little experiment. So I sent an outrageously true comment, in connection to France, Britain, Hitler and the USA, to see how many readers of the New York Times had a true appreciation of history. Here is my comment (published by the NYT, June 17, 2011):

***

Patrice Ayme:

We’re following the French into Libya.” So? It is a change for the best. After all, did not France follow the USA into Afghanistan? (And suffered the fourth largest number of deaths there?)

The greatest mistake of the USA, ever since it exists, was not to follow France and Great Britain in September 1939, and declare war to Hitler too. If the USA had followed France in 1939, or 1940, the Nazis would have been quickly dispatched, and seventy million people, would have been saved from death. (Including up to 6 million Jews.)

The relationship between France, Great Britain and the USA is not usual. It is the relationship of parents to child, and they constitute pretty much the same polity. After all, France and Britain were long part of the same country, and their filial relationship to the USA is direct.

***

Oops. How do you spell unpopular? Last I checked, only two readers approved of this correct and important piece of history, whereas 120 readers approved of a statement riling against “American exceptionalism”. Namely: “The average American is unable to accept the idea that the rest of the world’s civilized nations have caught up to us. Their universities are competitive, their industries are competitive, and in many cases their early educational system are well ahead of ours.” (David Underwood, Citrus Heights, CA.)

What Mr. Underwood wrote is correct, and rightly popular. However, what I wrote goes to the bottom line, and is much more painful, hence unpopular. Thus one observes that, where it really hurts, readers of the NYT are in total denial.

THE USA STABBED DEMOCRACY IN THE BACK IN 1939. Not only did the USA view France and Britain as “belligerent countries” (France since 1937, for opposing Hitler), and applied sanctions against them. Not only the USA did not join Canada, Australia, India and South Africa in declaring war to Hitler. But American companies even rushed supplies so that Hitler could keep on fighting Poland and France simultaneously in September 1939. Hey, the business of America is business, and that, among nations, the submission of morality to being busy, is truly exceptional.

Of course, in the end, it all makes sense. It is an eternal return of the same. The Nazis were immensely impressed of the way the USA exterminated the Indians, with a mix of hypocrisy (“protecting the natives” from colons, by sending them “west”; similarly the Nazis would protect the Jews from resentful Germans, by sending them “east”), deportation (if you die as you march in the snow without food, it’s too bad, correct thinkers and sinkers like Tocqueville had nothing to say about it, and the Nazis also duplicated that method to great effect), and concentration camps (for your protection against yourself). The Nazis decided to do just the same, forgetting they were confronting modern societies, not low density societies with partly Neolithic systems of thought.

I am not for repentance of the crimes of ancient generations, but I am for cognition, and exploration, of said crimes. “Truth and Reconciliation” as implemented by Mandela works, if one starts with “truth”. A great power such as France committed many grave errors and crimes (often towards herself), in the more than 15 centuries of her history. However, French philosophers and historians have led politicians, and then the entire population, and the culture which nourishes it, into drastic reassessments of the notion of political and philosophical correctness.

No doubt the USA does the same. However, for analyzing the attitude of the USA in, and leading to, the Second World War, there is much, if not everything to do.

Whereas the French have reassessed the crimes of those who hijacked the French state in summer 1940, most of the American population does not understand that a road which made Auschwitz possible started in the USA in 1933. Then Jewish organizations conducted a mock trial of Hitler in New York, driving the Nazis furious. President Roosevelt in turn used all his might to prevent further such mock trials (which were very efficient at making Americans furious against Nazism).

However ambassador Dodd of the USA in Berlin had met with high level German officials who told him secretly that such protests in the USA were the only way to stop the worst Nazis to commit their increasing crimes, and urged him to encourage more protests in the USA. So Roosevelt was pushing for the opposite of what his ambassador recommended.  

Moreover, the USA and its Congress relentlessly pursued a policy hostile to France. And, not to be outdone, in 1935, Great Britain made a pact with Hitler which violated the Versailles Treaty. By 1938, Great Britain was back pedaling. But the USA never did, even after the Nazis attacked American destroyers (and sank one).  Now it has come to the surface that payments from the Nazis to Standard Oil were ongoing during the entire war. Thus the hanging of Mussolini from a Standard Oil gas station in Milan.

History is hard. Stabbing democracy in the back, even harder, for a democracy. But Americans would be well appraised to realize that the very system of government they depend upon stabbed democracy in the back, once before, and got away with it. Not just that, but the crime paid, as American plutocracy became ever richer and more powerful since then.  Thus the question: who is next?

A hint: at some point the Paris plutocracy embarked on a crusade, nominally against the Albigenses, but truly to submit and steal the very rich south of “Francia”, the de facto republican regime nominally headed by the very powerful count of Toulouse. It was a massacre: one million dead (starting in 1209 CE).

This crusade is both ancient history, and living present. It led, in the fullness of time, to the USA. Indeed Simon de Lancastre (“Lancaster”), the newly nominated (by the plutocrat in chief, the king of Paris, and France) Count of Toulouse, was himself infected by the parliamentary mood of the French south, and tried to be elected king of England by boosting the powers of the English parliament, something which would lead, in the fullness of time, to the Congress of the USA.

Philosophy in all this? The entire conflict, the renaissance of a brutal theocracy instrumentalized by Paris plutocrats was the consequence of the philosopher Abelard’s defeat by Saint Bernard, a Christian fanatic. Abelard was supported by many, and mighty they were. However Saint Bernard’s fascism was irresistible to plutocracy (which put it to good use, as we just saw). The system of thought Saint Bernard amplified the militant and armed Christianism of the Crusades, leading to the holocaust in Toulouse and 1,000 cities in southern France, within two generations.  

History is immensely complex. Thus it is hard to learn. The danger is not just to repeat history, it is also to persist in the errors of the past, simply because they have not been denounced as such.

The USA had no billionaire in the first century of its existence. Europe, and much of the rest of the world, had plenty. The USA was a more equalitarian society, then. Now things are the other way. No wonder: Nazism was used by American plutocracy as a interplanetary probes use planets for what is called a gravitational boost. Refusing to learn of this boosting mechanism, is neither ethical, nor prudent.

A simplistic picture of the world is not just erroneous, it is also less interesting. Passion is not just exciting, it is also more powerful, as it incites to spend the energy to create more subtle brain structures, which can model the universe more precisely. Even those who want to be good, especially those who want to be good, have to abide by it.

***

Patrice Ayme

Sex & Drug Legalization Unavoidable

June 11, 2011

BUT VULTURES FIGHT BACK.

Abstract: Police and judicial work can be used to enforce not just the established order, but organized crime. Contrasts between vultures, sex, and drugs.

***

WORLD VULTURES UNITED:

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund have been following theories elaborated in Washington. Krugman, the “New Trade” theorist and his accomplice Larry Summers, were advisers of Reagan when Reagan became president. That’s how they started their careers. They were not even 30 years old.

Ever since, just as for American homeowners, a policy of making the poorest countries dependent upon debt servicing has been enforced. Same idea of how serfs came to be in the Middle Ages.

Serfs in the European Middle Ages, worked for the Lord at most one day a week. In exchange the Lord was in charge of the highest governance, justice, law enforcement, and defense. The serfs lived of sustainable agriculture the rest of the time.

The “New Trade” theorists established a system of exploitation of Africa (among other places), way worse than “colonialism” (that is why they bad mouth “colonialism” so much, they want to hide that the situation actually deteriorated under their evil guidance).

The Kensington Fund, based in the Cayman Islands, bought at some point, for 2 million dollars some company in Africa, and then asked for 120 million dollars in debt service, fully backed up by the might of American law, and New York law. Funds doing this sort of things are called Vulture Funds. Some African officials went to Washington at an official IMF conference, to complain about Vulture Funds. They got arrested (for complaining about Vulture Funds).

So what did Dominique Strauss-Kahn messed up in all this? Well he redirected the IMF towards “helping” Europe (by far the largest contributor to the IMF). This was a grave deviation from servicing New York inspired vultures as the IMF is supposed to do. It was unavoidably going to attract European attention towards what the IMF, and Washington, and, behind them, Wall Street and the Cayman islands, and other tax havens, stuffed with plutocrats, consider to be normal practice, in their over exploitation of the whole planet.

When one looks at the full work of the World Bank and the IMF, especially in Africa, one looks at countless murders too. But things are changing for the better. South America has progressively been coming out of the financial terror, and China, with nearly three trillion dollars officially in play, has become a new source of loans, combined with barter as the PRC offers public works reminiscent of the old fashion “colonialism”.  

But the fact remains that vulture funds have worked the political system in New York. Whereas initial judicial decisions in New York, went against Vulture Funds, now New York justice, corrected by appropriate legislative work, finds that supporting vultures around the world is the best thing since motherhood and hard cash.  

***

 SEX YOU OUT:

In Malaysia, the main opposition politician is continually prosecuted for “sodomy“. The same charge had been used, in conjunction with pedophilia, to allow Philippe (IV) Le Bel to burn (alive) dozens of the leaders of the Templar Monks (1310 CE). Examples like that crawl all over history. Sex is not just handy, it’s shameful.

Sex Crime Unit“, New York. The Pride Of A Big Apple, or Just One More Snake in the Garden of the Beasts?

The “Sex Crime Unit” is famous for punishing the old, weak, overweight, sick, oxygen deprived, brainy head of the International Monetary Fund, the economist Dominique Strauss-Kahn, for “subjecting another person to sexual contact without the later person’s consent“. Apparently the Jew Strauss-Kahn “attempted” to cavort with a mysterious towering young muscular maid of the fanatical Muslim kind, whose legal migrant status is far from clear.

The old, weak, overweight, sick, oxygen deprived Dominique Strauss-Kahn is supposed to have overwhelmed the physically powerful, without causing any physical injury, probably using his dirty, powerful French mind. Powerful French minds, and the “French Theory“, not far behind it, should be illegal, as they cause grave injury to the New York Centered World Trade plutocracy.

It is turning out that Ms tall, young and muscular victim, posed for racy and provocative pictures which ornament the frontcover of a magazine in Switzerland. You will not see those pictures in the USA, for obvious reasons of basic propaganda of the plutocratically financed politicians in New York. Don’t be surprised if Ms Provocative shows up at the tribunal in a veil, clutching some beads, shaking all over with fear! Greed does that, sometimes, or more exactly the fear of not satisfying it enough.

The New York Sex Crime Unit is the object of a cult in America. It has 40 detectives: sex is big in New York, and its crimes numerous. Everybody says that the “Sex Crime Unit” is “very respected“. It prosecutes, namely puts in cages and treats as dogs, 1,000 individuals a year. OK, I am exaggerating: one does not chain dogs, that would be cruel to the animals, especially if innocent. Only 20 of those prosecutions of the “very respected Sex Crime Unit“, result in condemnations, though. Let’s think a second about what that means.

I am not saying that there should not 1,000 inquiries on “Sex Crimes”. I think that any “Sex Crime” lead ought to be followed diligently, and even ferociously, in the case of possible “pedophilia”. But I think that, as for other suspicion of possible criminal activity, prosecution ought to be done very discreetly, to protect the innocent.

So let’s consider the innocent. It turns out that the innocent are 98% of those whom the “very respected Sex Crime Unit” puritanizes, chains, locks up and terrorizes every year.

I am just observing that 980 people a year get treated worse than dogs, like criminals, American style, and are found to be innocent, every year, in New York, about alleged sex crimes they did NOT commit. Although they were publicly humiliated, condemned in the court of public opinion, and punished for all to see, for crimes they did NOT commit. Punishing the innocent, especially publicly, is outlawed in fully civilized society. Protecting the innocent is actually why the law exists in the first place.

Now, if you beat a dog, he will turn nasty. Especially if you do it for no good reason. Just try it. Moreover, far from being a deterrent, a rush to condemnation and so publicly, encourages many to cross the Rubicon. Thus the question is this: is the “Sex Crime Unit” itself crime generating?

If police brutality itself is criminogenic, a much needed explanation for the high rate of crime in the USA, would offer itself. Criminogenic police activity would go a long way towards explaining that about 10 million Americans are actively punished, under official judicial condemnations, every year, with 2.5 million imprisonned. That is the highest rate in the world. By far.
***

SPEAKING OF CRIMINOGENIC POLICE HYPER ACTIVITY,
A prestigious United Nation commission found that the “War Against Drugs” has not worked any better than the famous prohibition against alcohol in the USA, in the 1920s. The later had increased considerably organized crime activity, by making many in the USA accomplice with the mobsters. Prohibition was terminated by president Roosevelt.

Interestingly “drug abuse”, which is punished, implies that “drug use”, a milder form, should go unpunished. The point is that very dangerous drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and various “medical” neurological drugs, some given to children (Ritalin), are authorized. So why is not mild use of some other drugs also authorized?

The president of Bolivia has insisted that some mild coca should be allowed for sale outside of Bolivia (where it is legal).

Funny aside: although I use tea and coffee, I have never ever used alcohol and tobacco. I just did not like the idea to have to drink something to be merry, or poison the atmosphere, to look cool. Happiness and calm ought to be spiritually generated, for those who live by the superiority of human thinking.

However I have resided at high altitude in Bolivia, and loved coca tea (sold there in grocery stores). It’s quite different from normal tea, but extremely nice. Energetic, soothing, friendly to the mind.

I can’t imagine how one could abuse it, and what is wrong with it. Thus I deduce that the screaming against some drugs is highly hypocritical, and it’s not our confessing ex-“blow” (cocaine) using  president who is going to contradict me.

Let’s remember that coffee, at strong dosage, is forbidden at the Olympic Games. At very high doses (100 standard US cups), coffee is lethal (so is water). However, correct usage of coffee is good for the mind, and for health in general (it is full of antioxidants, and has been proven to reduce Alzheimer).

***

Patrice Ayme

OMNIPRESENCE

June 9, 2011

HOW THE 2-SLIT EXPERIMENT TEACHES US TO THINK.

Abstract: Quantum Physics is teleological. As simple as that. You read it here first. That this has not been pointed out so simply before, illustrates another theme of the essay below, namely that the wisdom of the Quantum has not reached the masses yet.

This has an amusing consequence: people simply do not know how to reason correctly. The models of logical thinking they have been taught are inspired by the naïve classical physics, the automata, the Turing Machine. Well, sorry folks, the world is not like that. That is what Quantum Physics shows. The world is not flat, the world is not round, the world is not curved, the world is Quantum. This has consequences even in the way one should think about politics, sociology, economics…

Some will scoff, and sneer that all the logic they need is found in Hollywood. Not so. We have global problems, and they have to be thought of globally. Quantum Physics shows us the way of correct thinking, and it is global: omniscience, and omnipresence, that’s what the Quantum is all about.

If you want to learn about energy, you better learn about waves. And this is not just a lousy joke about nuclear energy and tsunami waves.  Life is all about energy, all about waves, and neither can be put in a box, or then just so. (An allusion to the Casimir effect, a manifestation of vaccum energy; all these carry in metaphors and analogies to the everyday world!)

A concluding perspective on how babies learn, how we learn fundamental things, illustrates how our minds themselves are entangled with the Quantum.

***

***

WRONG YESTERDAY DOES NOT MEAN WRONG TOMORROW:

A lot of the received wisdom in philosophy is plain wrong. This has nefarious effects all over. Ironically a lot of what is wrong has to do with notions which used to be taken for granted in the Middle Ages, because of the super properties of the mythical God, and the son he tortured. They came short.

OK, let me be explicit: take teleology, and teleonomy. Tele means “far off” in Greek. Teleology would be logic at a distance, teleonomy, allotment, or management, at a distance. Philosophers cringe when confronted to those concepts, because Aristotle was notoriously wrong believing in their existence.

Here is Aristotle in —Physics, Book II, ch.8, 199b: “It is absurd to suppose that purpose is not present because we do not observe an agent deliberating… The best illustration is a doctor doctoring himself: nature is like that. It is plain that nature is a cause, a cause that operates for a purpose.”

More down to earth, philosophers in the last few centuries, made the simpler observation that it is not because we do not observe that an agent is present, that there is one which is present. Call that scarcity of reasoning. It proved most fruitful.

The Middle Ages believed a lot in mysterious influences, some hidden, some at a distance. The Devil, the Good Lord and various saints and archangels were the prime agents. That distracted from observing the most elementary facts, and reasoning out of them. Why to try to understand the “natural” world, when there is no such thing, because Allah, Devil and Djins control everything? (Another of my low blows at Islam!)

When the God craze subsided, the most elementary facts were finally observed. Aristotle’s physics was promptly found to be wrong, when not outright delirious. So philosophers and their pets decided that anything which smacked of the old superstitions, for example influences at a distance, were the mark of the primitive mind, and that they were counter-productive. But it is not because we do not observe an effect sometimes, that it is not present, most of the time.  

***

LOCALIZE ME NOT; AT A DISTANCE IS SPOOKY, BUT REAL:

How did the erroneous wisdom evolve? An example is the derivation of local logic, and more generally, local everything.

To understand the physical world, physicists made a number of hypotheses, to simplify the analysis of what they were considering. In particular, physicists assumed that the world was local. That worked very well. But, once again, it’s not because something works sometimes, that it works always.

As it turns out, in the deepest sense, locality never works, as I will show. If, each time a photon goes somewhere, or any particle goes somewhere, or any fundamental process happens, locality is violated, then locality is violated always, and everywhere. And this is what happens.

What does “local” mean? To find out what is going to happen at a point x, one analyzes what is happening in a neighborhood, around x. This is the crucial assumption of field theory (gravitation, electromagnetism, gauge fields). This locality assumption, made in physics for centuries, has informally filtered throughout modern decision making.

However, the world works this way only in the first, grossest approximation. Intrinsic to Quantum Mechanics is what Einstein called: “SPOOKY ACTION AT A DISTANCE“. Einstein and a number of collaborators, including the philosopher Karl Popper, evolved reasonings exhibiting situations in which measurements on one particle would imply an effect on a particle at a distance (this is called the EPR effect). The effect has been verified experimentally since, and the Wolf Prize in physics was given to Alain Aspect for so doing (2010).

Einstein and Popper were trying to prove Quantum Mechanics wrong, or incomplete. They failed. In particular Einstein naively thought that the “spooky action at a distance” could not be, thus all along the other particle had determined properties. And thus violated the uncertainty relationships, which a whole slew of physicists, such as Lande’, another Nobel Prize winner, hated. Indeed Non Locality and Uncertainty Relationships are related (this has just become again a hot subject of research).

***

WAVES, PARTICLES, & DE BROGLIE SYNTHESIS:

OK, let’s backtrack. I will resist going back all the way to the Greco-Romans, because they had nothing intelligent to say on the subject. However, in the Seventeenth Century, Huyghens, an originally Dutch physicist financed by Louis XIV of France (!), presented a wave theory of light. Later, Newton came up with a particle theory. However, in 1800 CE, Young a polymath medical doctor, came up with the TWO SLIT experiment, which seemed impossible to explain with Newton’s particles. Poisson came up with the Poisson’s dot, a bright spot in the shadow of a sphere, where the waves meet and constructively build up. And it was verified. Later Maxwell’s electromagnetic waves were found, by Maxwell, to be moving at the speed of light, and Maxwell proposed to identify them with light.

Then came Hertz, with the photoelectric effect, which he discovered in his lab. Hertz, like Riemann before him, promptly died, and it was left to Einstein to “heuristically” propose that the photoelectric effect showed that light was made of packets of energy. Planck, 5 years earlier, had “explained” away two contradictions of theoretical physics, by assuming that light was emitted in packets of energy hw, where h was a mysterious constant, and w the frequency of the light. The difference was subtle; Einstein had got one step further.

Then Bohr used Planck’s idea that energy differences E corresponded to radiation (= light) of frequency w, according to hw. He also proposed that the orbital period of the electron would be inversely related to the frequency of the radiation emitted at an orbit of period T, as it would be in classical mechanics. It worked. Bohr’s theory predicted that only some electronic orbits were possible, where the angular momentum was a multiple of h…

Next came de Broglie, a medievalist, and a prince, who decided to study physics theoretically, just as his brother was studying it experimentally. De Broglie proposed that any particle was associated to a wave. The waves could only interfere constructively in particular orbits, thus de Broglie’s axiom implied immediately Bohr’s finding of particular orbits. De broglie waves, if taken at face value, also implied the uncertainty relationships (a wave cannot be located within less than half a wavelength at most). Abstraction is all about finding the correct axioms.

***

TWO SLIT EXPERIMENT DEMONSTRATES NON LOCALITY:

Let’s go back to the 2-slit experiment. According to De Broglie, the 2-slit experiment should have worked with electrons, and it did. Just to make the situation as simple as possible, let’s consider photons. The 2-slit experiment shows that the photons tend to show up in places, where their waves constructively interfere, and avoid those where they destructively interfere.

This happens even when only single photons pass through the slits. That means that somehow the single photon is aware of both slits. So the photon is not a point: if it’s a packet a la Einstein, that packet somehow can compute the position of both slits, and move accordingly. It has an extended nature. THE PHOTON IS NON LOCAL.

This simple observation is rarely made, straight out of the 2-slit experiment. Why? Because physics students are taught to learn by rote the Born interpretation of De Broglie’s waves. Instead of real matter waves, Born interpretation views them only as probability waves. De Broglie disagreed very strongly with that.

De Broglie’s was not an opinion to neglect: De Broglie thesis, widely advertized as early as 1923, contained much of Quantum theory, including the Schrodinger equation. His prestigious thesis jury in Paris, with some Physics Nobel on it, did not know what to make of it, because it was so bold and out of this world. Finally they sent the thesis to Einstein, who was enthusiastic (and did not try to steal the ideas). It was published in 1924. De Broglie’s work is often ignored because of a triple bias: his ideas were too deep, he doubted Quantum theory the way it developed later, and he was not of the Anglo-Germanic persuasion that the Americans think is only worthy of appreciation (at least in physics). 

Born’s equation of matter waves with probability waves is rigorous, but not philosophically compelling: one could do the same on a beach: instead of looking at crashing waves as made of matter, one could consider them to be probability waves. Actually one could extend that skeptical philosophy to all phenomena, and view everything, and everybody as a probability wave. Obama would be a statistical probability wave surfing in plutocratic space… (Laughter, please! OK, I did not think so either…)

***

THE PHOTON IS NON LOCAL:

We can just sit here, and meditate: how can that be? Well, nobody knows. In such a sentence, on the foundations of the world, every single term is unknown: what does “photon” means? What does “local” mean? What does “is” mean? Nobody knows. In the depths, everything becomes obscure…

However in a strange logical loop, Quantum Physics may indicate how to solve the riddle, by an whole integrated reasoning. I will try to explain that later. The author has his own embryonic theory, the Totally Objective Wave, which is the closest to De Broglie’s extremely deep, and possibly correct ideas (here, again, nobody knows, it does not matter how many Nobel Prizes they got).

But this is the not the object of this essay, which is to consider the philosophical consequences of what is known for sure: QUANTUM PROCESSES ARE NON LOCAL. All and any Quantum Process is out of the integrated whole: the entire accessible geometry is globally determined by the waves, and out of that pop the possible outcomes. (This is described in the conventional approach, using all prepared mathematics, as: Geometry + Waves > Hilbert Space >  Eingenstates > possible outcomes.)

That determination is done ex-temporally (time plays no role). OK, let’s give the simplest example. When the 2-slit is set-up, the geometry is determined: we know where what all the possible interference patterns are. The only missing ingredient is the wave frequency of the photon. Once that is plugged in, we know the probability pattern of future photon presence.   

Thus Quantum Processes analyze all the available geometry at a glance. Out of that pops the solution. It is as if QUANTUM PHYSICS IS TELEONOMIC (management of the geometry at a distance). This allows incredible efficiency. Unsurprisingly, biology uses Quantum computation, to be as efficient as possible. This has been demonstrated for photosynthesis and vision. Soon it will be all over our explanations for life. The soul itself will come into this explanatory scheme.

***

I THINK, THEREFORE I QUANT:

Classical mechanical metaphors can only go that far, in the non classical world that we have. The Quantum provides with a wealth of analogies and metaphors, when not outright reasonings, which could be used all over the mental landscape.

Contrarily to legend, life is closer to the Quantum than it is closer to the mechanical. It is more dependent upon it. One could even argue that the definition of life is harnessing the Quantum to circumvent the classical. If this is true, it would mean that Quantum computers will be alive, and will achieve a form of consciousness.

The well known slogan:”Think global, act local!” is a good summary of a lot of what the Quantum does. We need to start thinking globally, because that is the only way to think.

***

MY BABY TOLD ME THE TRUTH:

I have a twenty month baby, multilingual and all that. The baby understands amazingly complicated sentences, and figures out words she never met before. (Then she repeats them 50 times for good measure.) How does she do it? I was mystified by her ability for quite a while. My mom declared it was all about genetics, but that did not help my urge to understand the amazing nature of the new soul.

Well, refined observations showed the following. The baby understands words, sentences and ideas from the context always. She figures out the globality of what is going on, and then determines probable meanings out of it. [Then she quickly figures out little experiments to check if she guessed right, such as pointing towards an object, and repeating the word for it (but her more sophisticated experiments are immensely more complicated, so complicated that they may escape even a keen observer).]

Notice that the baby’s mind works identically to much of Quantum Physics. She apprehends the globality, and uses it to find positively interfering solutions. Is it possible that the baby figured out Quantum Physics, and then thought that was a great way to get things done? Of course not. She does not need to figure that out.

It is very simple: she has a Quantum mind.  If you want to see Quantum Physics at work, you can close your eyelashes slightly, in sunshine, and observe interference patterns. Or you can go the closest baby, and observe her, observing the world. She is a Quantum mind.  That’s how she knows.

***

 Patrice Ayme   

***

Note: One commenter sneered once that I should just read  the book called the “Hidden Reality”, instead of being unintelligible. That well written, often very interesting and ridiculously biased book is about the silly idea that there are parallel universes (a contradiction in adjecto). The preceding remarks were about physics more fundamental than the multiverse babble. I have to point that out, because it is sure to be a question in some people’s mind.

The multiverse challenged believe that when a photon hit a screen a (countable) infinity of universes is created. That’s simply moronic. Imagine the accused at a tribunal been asked why he killed his victim, and responding that it is not really a problem, because murder did not happen in a parallel universe. He would be sent to a mental asylum.

But there is worse: the preceding considerations about non-locality, which is the real mystery of Quantum Physics, is left untouched by the multiverse derangement. In other words, multiverse types “explain” with the craziest logic what needs no urgent explanation, while ignoring the greatest riddle, which is in plain sight.

***

Roman Decay, Frank Renaissance

June 6, 2011

WHEN AN ETHICAL REVOLUTION TRANSMOGRIFIED ROME INTO EUROPE, ASHES INTO BRAINS.

Abstract: For all its sins, some compounded by Christianism, Rome had to get out of the way of civilization. And it did, thanks to the Europeans.

All important countries can extract important lessons from Rome’s fate. Many of the quandaries found now within the USA, or on a planetary scale, already occurred within the Imperium Romanum. Rome did not solve these entanglements without a marked civilizational devolution into ill fated successor regimes.

Oriental Rome, and Islam, became parodies and nemeses, of the Roman republic, conceptually speaking. The third successor regime founded and named Europe. And rebooted civilization ethically, allowing technology to progress so much that Rome was soon left behind.

Detailed analyses of what afflicted Rome carry within solutions. Clearly those solutions would have had to be enacted, as early as 150 BCE. Rome’s great victory in the Second Punic war, after much slaughter  and devastation, led it to privilege empire over democracy, and plutocracy, over reason.

Whereas the remedies to Rome’s ailments look now obvious, we are very far from applying the similar remedies which are needed now. And the cause of this is the same: a conniving plutocracy takes the decisions, and it is not interested by what is best for the many. The essence of plutocracy is to hurt the many, and call that life. This is particularly clear in the USA.

As the subject is gigantic, I will concentrate on the period when the Late Empire turned into the Dark Ages, and the Franks pulled out of them savagely. Although the facts I mention are true (and readers are invited to correct them if not to the best of their information), some of my interpretations are unique. For example, I consider that the decline and fall of Rome lasted more than six centuries, including therein the whole civil wars period, and the entire empire. In that perspective, Christianism was just the nail which prevented the corpse to open the coffin, when the grossest superstition became the deepest reason.

I put the end of the Dark Ages in 486 CE in Gaul, when the Imperium Francorum launched its reboot of all of civilization. This new chronology is well supported by philosophical reason, and increasingly by recent archeology and historical research. Recent science show that, contrarily to legend, progress in most ways had fully restarted in the High Middle Ages, and had left Rome behind. And it did so on a much better, much more sustainable basis, therein its success.

***

***

Inquiring Mind: How can you be so sure of what happened?

PA: Certainty is indeed hard to achieve. The Christian fanatics destroyed most of the evidence. Books got nearly completely destroyed in Occident.  In the Orient many books survived only because the enemy of Rome, the Persian Sassanids, provided books and intellectuals with shelter against the ravages of Christian monks.  This led to a terrible war between Constantinople and Persia, and the Arabs won it.

After the Arabs took control, they viewed books and intellectuals as precious riches, since the memory of Muhammad was fresher.  However the Caliphs had their own agenda, and they selected against works too revealing of the democratic, republican, and secular nature of Greco-Roman society. 

Historian have had a bias against analyzing the fall and decline of Rome. Colossal works of bishops of Gaul, concerned that they had been wrong all along about turning the other cheek regarding the Visigoths, have started to be studied and translated from Latin only very recently. 

There are new sources of knowledge besides books. New, impressive archeological work has brought unexpected revelations.

 

Simplicius: Such as?

 PA: Parts of the empire, in today’s Syria were extremely rich, and getting richer, as the catastrophe was imminent, in the Sixth century. This means that the empire, in the Orient, functioned well, at least economically, down to the time in which it plunged into religious strife and foreign war.

By then the Franks had established their own civilization and total military control over the core of the Eurozone. The Occident had switched to wood construction, which left fewer traces, misleading naïve historians to believe that the populations were lower and more miserable than they really were.

Part of the switch from stone to wood was a switch to a sustainable local ecology. Rome ran a global civilization, as good as the long range trade it depended upon. By the Fifth Century long range trade of grain had been greatly diminished, by various invasions and destructions. Then it came to a halt as the Islamist terror crushed the fertile southern two-thirds of the Roman empire. A paper blockade forced the return to parchment.  This perspective, that Islam caused misery in the West, is called Pirenne’s thesis. It has obvious merit as an aggravating factor, but as cause only secondary to Christian terror and oppression, which, ironically, is the main cause of Islam itself.

 

Simplicius: Your friends will be few, and you better keep on hiding in the mountains, the way you trample the most sacred religions, and those who are ready to kill for them. And who we both respect.

PA: Good people make good things from Christianism and Islam. Truly good believers will not mind harsh criticism, because very bad people have made very bad things from Christianity and Islam. 

 

Simplicius: Why to study the Greco-Roman civilization? Did it not collapse miserably? Why should it have any bearing on the Land of the Free?

PA: It collapsed instructively, and those who took command kept those instructions in mind.

The real history of what happened to Rome in the West is never told the right way. In truth, there was no frank collapse of Roman governmental authority in Occident. Quite the opposite.

The real Dark Ages obscured the Late Roman empire. In Occident, the Dark Ages were characterized by the bishops having often the highest secular authority: government by bishops, for bishops. It was a time when Ambrose, bishop of Milan, forced the Augustus, the highest Roman emperor, the fearsome Theodosius, to penance, under the threat of excommunication. This supremacy of the cloth did not happen in the Orient, where emperors stayed the highest authority, and ruled a fascist theocracy which inspired Islam ever since.

By the time the empire of the Franks was established, a new philosophical basis had been found for civilization, much of which never seen before, and it was being imposed militarily. People came to call it Christianity, but it was something else. What is usually described as the Dark Ages was a frank renaissance.

The Franks took political control of the church, as in the Orient. But they did not operate a fascist autocratic system. Clovis, as his father, was elected. The Frankish society was basically a society of armed free peasants, very similar to the Roman society, in the heydays of the Roman republic.

 

Inquiring mind: How can you say that Rome did not really fall, when everybody knows that the last emperor in the West, Romulus Augustus, was deposed in 476 CE?

PA: The notion of “emperor” is a modern one. And it was not a notion which was ever well justified. Not having an emperor was less of a problem than having too many (see 69 CE, the year of the four emperors!)

The Romans used a number of terms for different high officials,  such as Tribune, Consul, Imperator, Princeps, Caesar, Augustus. In theory, the republic was still going on, under the Principate (starting with Octavian-Augustus). Who ruled at the very top, and in which guise, was pretty much haphazard. One knew the imperator when he had been acknowledged by the biggest and best army. Who was the boss was fundamentally determined by soldiers. Soldiers were found throughout the empire, helping civilians and the private sector, they were not just in big military camps out there.

When Augustus died, Tiberius kept a low profile, not too sure what he was, besides Augustus’ legal heir, and his top general. The plutocratic republic went on on its own, without an emperor. But if there was to be an emperor, it could only be Tiberius. So the senate kept on begging Tiberius to take charge. In the end, so did he, but not in all ways.

There was never a clear path to succession in the empire, until Constantine switched the system to a dynasty (which had no coup, for three centuries, in the Orient).

When 450 years after Tiberius, Romulus Augustus was deposed, no arrangement was made to nominate a successor. But that meant nothing, except that Roman authorities in Constantinople did not want an Ostrogoth to be recognized. Emperor Zeno should have recognized the Ostrogoth Theodoric, but he did not, although the later had helped the former control Italy.

Emperor Justinian, based in Constantinople, regained control of all of Italy 75 years after the traditional end of the Roman empire in Occident. At that point Roman imperial rule had been re-established over much of the old empire. Except for the part that  the Franks, also representing Romanitas, ruled from Paris.

Thus, under the Franks, Romanitas kept on going.  In the Seventh Century, the Roman Senate still existed in Rome, and the Roman emperor, coming from Constantinople, visited the city of Rome herself, to gather metals from the fabulous buildings’ metallic roofs, to make Grecian Fire super weapons. The empire was fully mobilized against invading Jihadists conducting a Blitzkrieg.

The so called “Land of the Free” is a direct continuation of Rome.

By 486 CE, the “Frees” constituted the official Roman army over a large part of Western Europe, including Gaul. Their commander in chief, whose name was Chlodovechus (the name morphed into Clovis, Ludovicus, Louis, and Ludwig), although elected, was himself the son of a Roman imperator, Childeric. When Clovis was given Consular rank by the Roman government in Constantinople, he had become the official Roman leader in the “Occidental part”.

 

Simplicius: The “Frees”? Never heard of them.

PA: You are like Molière’s Mr. Jourdain, who spoke prose his entire life, without knowing it. French fries also known as freedom fries, remember? Unwittingly, the dim witted American “neo”-conservatives were making a correct point, a very deep point. Frank, French and free are synonymous.

The Franks called themselves the Frees, because, after 486 CE, and for a little while, the Salian law they went by, gave them more rights than Roman law gave to standard Roman citizens. They phased out these privileges very quickly, as they established a symbiotic relationship with Roman society. So within two centuries, every citizen became “free”, a Frank. Slavery had become unlawful.

 

Simplicius: If Clovis was a Roman grandee, how come we never heard of that either?

PA: The notions of imperator (coming from the republic, the top general with right of life and death on his troops), Consul (top magistrate and executive), Caesar and Augustus were different.

Clovis was both imperator and Consul. The Empire of the Franks was never officially at war with Oriental Rome, precisely because of the Consular powers the leadership of the Franks had; the Franks represented official Roman power, especially after they eliminated other German “federates”, and the Visigoths were extinguished by the islamists.

The domination of the Franks was boosted in 800 CE, when Constantinople recognized Carlus Magnus, Charle-Magne, as Imperator Romanorum. Since a woman reigned in Constantinople at the time, it was a bitter pill to swallow in the Orient: the “Augustus” of the entire Roman empire was a Frank! And he led an army so mighty, he had succeeded to conquer all of Germania, something Rome had always failed.

When the eastern two-thirds of the Imperium Francorum made their own (sub)-empire, they grabbed that title for themselves (although the French king kept it too, becoming “empereur en son royaume“).

The Franks often campaigned with the Oriental Roman empire, against the Muslims. However, in 1204, the Franks seized Constantinople.

 

Simplicius: You went on a tangent, with your Land of the Free still on-going-as-we-speak. Can we go back to the decline and fall of Rome?

PA: It is not a tangent. The Franks recovered many elements of the Roman republic. At the same time, they reintroduced elements of human rights natural to Homo Sapiens, which had been artificially negated in the millennium of Greco-Roman civilization.

Thus the Franks founded a stronger civilization, rising on several pillars which had eluded the Greco-Romans. The Franks made a global civilizational reboot. That’s why they claimed to have originated in non Greco-Roman Troy (as the Romans already had).

 

Simplicius: Why is Rome so relevant to what is happening today?

PA: There are many close analogies between what happened during the fall of the Roman republic, and what is happening now.

There were two main types of problems with Rome. Problems coming from the unbalanced Greco-Roman craziness, and problems related to plutocracy. There was a synergy between both, which made the society increasingly idiotic, just at the time when the Romans observed that the “world was getting old“. Ecological exhaustion was requiring new technology which the fascist governance of the empire was unwilling to favor. Instead it favored its opposite, superstition.

Interestingly, there are similar elements of imbalance in the American variant of European civilization. The biggest flaw of the Greco-Roman civilization was slavery. It led to an over-exploitation of man by man, and a brutal society, even after the economic importance of slavery waned. There is the same problem in the USA, as exemplified by the reigning Reaganism, and its metaprinciple that greed makes for a better society.

 

Inquiring Mind: What do you think was the primary cause of the decline of the Roman empire?

PA: It’s a complicated subject, because the decline came from a number of factors, acting synergistically, and causing in turn other factors, which are more in evidence, although they are not fundamental.

Gibbon claimed that Christianity caused the “decline and fall of Rome”. However, the decline was clearly engaged much earlier than the apparition of Christianity, as Gibbon implicitly recognizes when he claims that the apogee of the empire was under the Antonine emperors. Marcus Aurelius had to spend his twenty year reign, on the battlefront, on the Danube, fighting invading Germans, all too close to Italy, the heart of the elongated empire. That was 150 years before the imposition of Christianism.

Moreover Marcus Aurelius’ son Commodus became co-emperor, and then emperor, making such an insane maniac of himself that he was assassinated in a vast plot. At this point the throne was put for auction, and a rich plutocrat bought it. From there on, but for the stern reign of the African imperator Septimus Severus, things got worse. Inflation, plague, dozens of emperors, an emperor defeated and transformed into a foot stool by the Persian archenemy… All of this derangement was festering well before Christianism was imposed from the top.

 

Simplicius: So Christianity has nothing to do with the “Decline and Fall” of Rome?

PA: Before Christianism, the empire was the theater of a conflict between two fascist entities, the military-industrial complex, representing the People, sort of, and the Senate, representing the financial plutocracy.

By the time of Diocletian, around 300 CE, the empire had been re-established in its military splendor, and extended from Scotland to Mesopotamia, Morocco to Armenia. However, Diocletian augmented the idiocy level, by making Rome an empire under God (Sol Invictus), whom he personally represented.

Constantine got the idea that the Christians’ existing administrative structure, with its dioceses, and its naturally fascist God, would be a better fit for the fascist empire. Then he decided what Christianism would be, selecting his interpretation of “Orthodox Catholicism“, as self proclaimed “bishop” and “13th Apostle”.   

The empire was hobbling along, getting progressively worse, before Christianity was imposed, and a succession of fascist emperors found they could use it to humiliate minds. By the late Fourth Century, the very respected head of another religion said that civilization had fallen into a “Dark Age”.

Christianism has nothing to do with the political “Decline” of Rome, but everything to do with its “Fall” into complete insanity and anti-intellectual barbarity.

Orthodox Catholicism helped fascism, making it more intellectual, more thorough, a cause with a moral justification. Constantine, the emperor, using fiscality, made, de facto, Christianism into the state religion, within a decade (although it took another 60 years to do it formally).  Then he killed his very competent son, the Caesar Crispus.

 

Simplicius: Non sense. Constantine is a saint in Orthodox Christianity. How could he have killed his son? Can’t you just respect religion, for a change?

PA: The fact is, Constantine had his son executed. If superstitious people want to be respected, they should stop acting like barbarians, and that starts with ignoring evidence of the barbarity of what, or whom inspire them. Constantine was up high in the viciousness scale. a religion which sanctifies such viciousness should not be surprised to practice lesser sins, such as pedophilia.

Crispus had proven a very competent general and admiral, a winner of major battles.

However, Constantine had been educated at Diocletian’s court, as an implicit hostage. Even as a teenager he was feared by the top emperors in the empire, because of his ferocity and legendary physical prowess. Emperor would have connived to have him fight a lion in single combat, lead impossible cavalry charges in swampy land…

Constantine believed that one assassinated first, if one wanted to survive best. He fled the emperor Galerius for his life, hamstringing all the horses he left behind at each relay. Soon he was back at his father’s headquarters in Britannia. His father was the other Augustus.

Constantine killed his nephew, and steamed his second wife like a lobster. It is therefore appropriate for Orthodox Christians to view him as a saint. Christ wanted unbelievers to be burned, Constantine introduced another innovative cooking method for miscreants.

Crispus was not enamored with Christianism. It is highly likely that he would have reversed Christianization, as the Franks, the shock part of the Roman army, were skeptical of Christianism as a method of government.

This attitude of the Franks was no idle threat. Julian The Philosopher came to reign that way. Julian was one of two nephews of Constantine who survived the next wave of massacres inside the imperial family, ordered by the very Christians sons of Constantine. Julian went to Paris, and after a string of military victories against Germans, his Franks named him Augustus, starting the Parisian revolutionary tradition. 

Between 310 CE and 486 CE, the Franks were integrated in the top of the Roman army, and rolled one plot after another to get rid of Christian theocracy. But Romans were not ready to be led by Franks. Finally Clovis grabbed Christianism by the horns.

 

Simplicius: You are confusing me. The Franks converted to Christianity with Clovis. Traditional historians present the conversion of the Franks as a great victory of Christianity.

PA: Yes, it’s a myth the Franks themselves created, starting with Clovis. They claimed to be submissive sheep. 9,000 of Clovis shock troops dressed just in a simple shirt, and walked on bare feet, to be baptized with their king on Christmas day in Rheims. 9,ooo nearly naked Frank super killers walking the streets, and taking a bath in the middle of winter carries an ominous message to those endowed with less robust constitutions.

In a similar fashion, the wolves would disguise themselves into sheep if they could. As they came to have dinner with the flock. The Salian Franks were the Roman army, they made the bishops of Gaul an offer the men of cloth could not refuse. Then they seized total control of Christianism in the regions they ruled, which was everything in Europe, but for Visigothic Iberia and parts of Italy controlled by “Longobeards” or Constantinople.

The Imperium Francorum was not a theocracy, though. It was a deeply secular regime masquerading as a theocracy. Its local saints (Saint Martin, etc.) allowed it to enforce its neo-Christian morality.

 

Simplicius: We are always told that the Roman empire succumbed to invasions. Did Christianity cause the loss of battles?

PA: It did so indirectly, by further removing the empire from the republic which had originated it. A fascist empire is weaker intellectually and morally than a democratic republic. Superstition is intrinsically made by, and for stupid people, and foster more stupidity. Fanatical Christians were pretty stupid, uncultured people. The three young surviving sons of Constantine got a Christian education eschewing pretty much all of Greco-Roman civilization, so they were uneducated brutes. That is why those sons massacred all of Constantine’s family, but for the very young Julian, and his half brother Gallus. Stupid brutes endowed with maximal power.

You cannot foster an empire of the stupid, and hope to win battles. The USA should meditate that one, while there is still time, under God, Allah, or whatever.

Emperor Valens lost two-thirds of Oriental Roman army and his life at Adrianople, August 9, 378 CE. Valens had rushed in before the Occidental Roman army, led by the mighty Occidental emperor Gratian could arrive on the battlefield. Valens wanted to keep all the glory to himself. So he got into battle with an exhausted, thirsty army, on a hot summer day, and forced a battle without preparations, although the Visigoths wanted to surrender, and nobody knew where the Visigothic cavalry was. As it turned out, the German cavalry surprised, by happenstance, the left wing of the exhausted Roman army, from behind.

 

Simplicius: What’s your point?

PA: Valen’s attitude, believing in miracles, and making little of life, was characteristically Christian.  The Christians read in the Bible that their super hero, Jesus, son of whatever, would come back only after the world was destroyed (“Apocalypse”). It is natural to suspect that the many absurd, self defeating, criminal and idiotic decisions they took in the Dark Ages were motivated by that revelation.

The Christians burned public libraries, put in power men in black, hordes of vampiric monks. They killed entire regions on the ground of slight differences in doctrine. That made  them less worthy than the barbarians at the gate.

 

Inquiring mind: Can we go back to the fall of the Roman empire? If you do not believe that Christianism was the fundamental cause of the decline of Rome, but just amplified the primary cause, fascism, how do you reconcile this view with Gibbon’s belief that Rome reached its apogee under the Antonine emperors?

PA: Indeed, I completely disagree with Gibbon about what the apogee was.

Recently an Airbus 330 crashed into the Atlantic, falling all the way into the ocean in an apparently irresistible fall.  The disaster started when, after losing its speed indicators, and then its computers, the plane pitched up, and gained altitude quickly. Then it stalled, and lost lift. Gibbon is confusing that fatal rise, the early Principate, and then the Antonines, with a great success. Although it was indeed an apogee of fascism, it was also a decline, fall and catastrophe for civilization.

 

Simplicius: Can we remove aeronautics from the metaphors we will use in history?

PA: No. Metaphors allow to translate entire specialized and correct bodies of logic to another realm. Even the Bible uses them. Making metaphors is exactly how mathematics work. Mathematics is a set of systematically prepared metaphors, that’s all. Using new and wild metaphors allows to use mathematics where no official mathematics exist yet.

You see the three pilots of the Air France flight applied the doctrine imposed worldwide in such a case, which was to keep the nose up, and apply a lot of power. As it turned out, in two successive accidents, that doctrine is completely wrong.

Gibbon was writing in the eighteenth century, and believed that a fascist empire was the highest form of civilization. That sure made him popular within the British empire. Remember: a British admiral was hanged, because he had lost a battle, “pour encourager les autres“, as Voltaire put it. Hanging lots of children also encouraged others to behave. Gibbon was modern in his denigration of organized superstition, but not in his apology of fascism.

 

Inquiring mind: Have the flight directives been changed?

PA: A year before the Air France disaster, there had been a mysterious A320 crash over the Mediterranean. These planes are never supposed to crash, but for gross human error, or acts of god. The brand new plane had on board extremely experienced pilots, aviation authorities, including a civil aviation inspector, from Germany and New Zealand. Nevertheless it stalled during a test flight, in day light, good weather, with a perfectly functioning plane.

After analyzing that crash, and after its AF 447’s preliminary findings, the French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile (BEA) guessed what happened in both cases. The world aviation authorities changed their recommendations. The new doctrine privileges  the recovery of a correct angle of attack, rather than the old, and erroneous approach of training pilots to power their way out of a near-stall with minimum loss of altitude.

It turns out that the forward position of the two engines beneath the wing in such planes as the A320 and the A330, tends to make them pitch up, the more power is applied, thus contributing to the stall. The new recommendation applies to Airbuses and Boeings.

 

Simplicius: So let me get that, you think that the Roman empire somehow stalled? And the crew could not recover it, because it used the wrong understanding of the situation, so the more it applied power, the more it stalled like these ill fated jets?

PA: Exactly. Even well meaning emperors made a bad situation worse, by applying too much power, and not enough intelligence. They should have recovered the correct angle of attack, the correct attitude, first (as the Franks did).

Those well meaning and all too power hungry leaders would include the Antonine emperors (1C), or Diocletian (~ 300 CE), Constantine (4C), or even Julian (who attacked too readily in Mesopotamia, getting killed there, possibly by treachery, instead of comforting first at home his abatement of rabid Christianity). It’s hard to make a stupid society intelligent by becoming more brutish.

 

Simplicius: What happened to your habitual obsession with plutocracy, in this explanatory scheme?

PA: Plutocracy is the fundamental reason why civilization degenerated into fascism. I was just explaining what happened further down the line of truths and consequences, why power itself made a bad situation worse.

Rome had lots of power, and power kept on being reapplied for centuries, for trying to make work what did not work. In the Sixth Century emperor Justinian started with a pretty good situation, but, by applying more and more power, he destroyed the empire ever more, in the guise of reconquering it.

Plutocracy is not a particular tribe, nor a particular religion. Plutocracy is a mathematical effect. It happens in all and any society. It concentrates ever more power in ever fewer brains.

Ultimately plutocracy fails, because, having only a few brains in power, it lacks brainpower. So one ends down with a stupid society. Plutocracy subsumes mass, and massive, stupidity. That is what happened to Rome, Orient and Occident. A stupid society is less able to handle an exterior challenge, be it ecological or military.

Plutocracy is always abated in societies which perdured. The Vikings used to reduce the plutocratic effect by using up (so to speak), and then burning, the concubines of the chief. Indians did pretty much the same (until the Brits outlawed the time honored, religious tradition). Comanches killed the horses of the chief, sometimes thousands of them.

The Franks redistributed wealth, and power, by equal inheritance, a huge difference with Rome. Middle Age Europe switched to a civil wars, revolutions, and a confiscation model, to redistribute wealth until the modern taxes on inheritance.

When the Mongols (and their Franco-Georgian allies) destroyed Baghdad, the Khan accused the Caliph to have just accumulated wealth, instead of taking care of his people, before putting him and his family to death.

 

Inquiring Mind: Did the Romans lose their technological edge? Did that make the situation worse?

PA: Indeed, the Romans lost their military technological superiority. Parthian arrows from composite bows could pierce Roman armor, and so Rome could not submit the Parthians. After 300 CE, the Franks had pretty much the best steel, and the better weapons. It was a good thing that they were more faithful to older Roman republican ideals than the leadership of Rome itself. But it is also why they dominated the Roman army, from inside, starting with Constantine. Thank God.

 

Simplicius: Why did the Romans lose the technological edge?

PA: A preliminary question is why did they acquire it to start with. Under the Roman republic, officials were motivated by doing their official jobs well. So they tried to equip the army with the best weapons. When they saw a better weapon somewhere, they adopted it, adapted it, and rendered it superior. They did this with the Spanish sword, Carthagenese ships, etc.

Under the empire, starting at the top, with the emperor, officials were more pre-occupied by their position in the crab basket, than by doing their official job well. In a fascist empire, the moral system in force is self advancement by persuading the few, or by somber conspiracies, while piling up more riches, be it only to buy everybody, whereas  in a functioning democratic republic, the moral system is all about doing the good job one is elected for, verified by the people.

Simplicius: Are you saying the military-industrial complex was corrupt in the Roman empire? 

PA: It certainly was, starting well before Germanicus’ assassination under Tiberius.  Germanicus was to be successor to Tiberius. He was a wildly successful general, recovering Germany, hence his name. He decided to launch a campaign by himself, instead of quelling in blood a rebellion of the legions. Top generals were pretty much to know that fate in the empire, and weapon procurement became an afterthought.  

One can see a similar phenomenon in the present USA, where many weapon systems are extravagantly financed, although they are known to be ineffective against maximal threats. F22, F35, and big aircraft carrier fleets are example. The F22 has never seen combat, although it’s the most expensive fighter plane.

The F22 could not even be engaged in Libya, lest it be shot down, whereas the French used Mirage and Rafales against a fully functional anti-aircraft system. The French use active stealth, anti-noise. The Chinese have made no mystery that they would sink U.S. carriers, using ballistic missiles. The Americans have no defense against ballistics. Too busy spending money on pork barrels. This may have the perverse effect to entice the Chinese to attack Taiwan, as they believe that the island will get no support from the USA’s obsolete F18s.

 

Simplicius: Where does the USA stand between these the two extremes of total plutocracy, and full democracy?

PA: Pretty much on the way to Roman style plutocracy, a republic in name only.

Just look at Obama’s Director of the Budget. After helping to direct dozens of billions, if not hundreds of billions, to a particular bank, Citigroup, Peter Orszag accepted a job there, although he has no experienced in banking.

Never mind: he will be rewarded with millions. And Mr. Clean, Obama, who was going to have nothing to do with lobbyists, sees nothing to talk about there. In Great Britain, Obama’s ex director of the budget would have been thrown in jail (there is a specific law against this sort of bartering).

In the Roman empire, this sort of things was systematic. Public service was replaced by private service. Roman emperors would even be jealous of their generals, and restrained them, so that they would keep the glory to themselves. There was a bit of that showing up, when Obama personally directed, and made it known that he supposedly micromanaged, the raid against bin Laden.One can see the cult of personality rising. In truth bin laden’s capture was a deal with the Pakistani ISI, but it was presented as the personal, heroic, herculean work of the emperor. Just like in Rome.

 

Simplicius: how do you know the ISI sold bin Laden?

PA: Logic per se is enough. Let’s make a Star War analogy. If you found the leader of the resistance residing comfortably in the center of the empire’s Death Star, you would naturally suspect that the emperor knew about it.

As it happened, some French journalist TV crews where in the same city the night bin Laden was eliminated. They drove in early the next morning and asked witnesses. everybody agreed that the entire city is under secret service lock down, and the TV crews, with hidden cameras got some pretty enlightening sequences on the spot. Don’t expect any of this to show in the media of the USA anytime soon.

 

Inquiring mind: So what is exactly the connection between plutocracy, fascism, economy and technology?

PA: Well we have a four dimensional space here. A society such as imperial Rome was an object in that 4 dimensional space. Rome showed, for centuries, that plutocracy and fascism, although related, are different dimensions: the former was centered around the senate, the second around the army. Economy and technology were also independent, but related dimensions. Rome was a technological society. When its technological organization collapsed, it collapsed.

 

Inquiring mind: Did the emperors discourage technology?

PA: Just as they discouraged their generals (when they did not outright execute them, as Nero did with his top general), the emperors discouraged technology itself.

Some Roman emperors explicitly advocated technological stasis. They said it was to preserve employment. Machines would steal employment. Engineers got rewarded for NOT revealing their inventions. A very large factory complex powered hydraulically  was found in Provence. By the Third Century, the Romans used water power extensively, for example for fulling or sawing wood, and stone. 

 

Simplicius: And did your “Frees”, your Franks, changed that? Did those illiterate savages advance technology?

PA: They sure did. And it was not just the Franks themselves, but the regions in which Romanitas had penetrated, under the wing of Christianism. So technology progressed in Ireland, or Anglo-Saxon areas. The introduction of ship mills (originally launched by Justinian’s general  Belisarius, as the Muslims controlled the land, hence the streams) spread to those regions. So did tide mills, by the Sixth Century in Northern Europe.

The Franks did not stay illiterate very long. (The case of Charlemagne was special, something about his dad wanting to make a real man of him, and not a weak intellectual.) Differently from other Germans, the Franks wanted to penetrate the higher reaches of Roman society, so they pushed their children towards education, and mingling with Romans in all ways (something below the dignity of the Goths).

Soon technology was advancing again strongly. The Frankish army annihilated the Moor and Arab armies in a series of famous battles and campaigns, something Rome had proven unable to do even once, on land. In the process, French steel proved itself even better than Damascus steel, and the Franks invented heavy cavalry, perched on monster horses.

Biotechnology was a particularly Frankish achievement. The Tenth Century was “full of beans”. Newly engineered beans, that is. Because slavery was unlawful, and it was not recommended to try to domesticate a Frank, the Franks domesticated instead all sorts of animals, including oxen and very convenient draw horses. Developing new, deep ploughs to go with them. Europe covered itself with windmills and watermills.  

When Europeans made it to China, they were amazed to see that the Chinese did everything by hand, including moving huge tree trunks, hundreds of people lifting them, something which was done with few people, animals, and mechanical advantage in Europe.

By 1,000 CE, the energy at the disposal of individual European was the highest in the world. Rome had been superseded, the world was left behind. And this was accompanied by a theoretical and empirical understanding never achieved before, while the rest of the world was going around in circles.

Abelard used to be called “our Aristotle”, an acknowledgement that French theory had superseded Athens by 1120 CE. The oscillatory mechanical clocks of the 13th century contained a lot of hidden understanding of physics. And so on.

Thus the colonization of about half the planet by Europeans in the next nine centuries, and the global triumph of Western civilization was no accident, and its seed was ethical, and planted by 486 CE. Some will say it was not just the Franks, but that the Irish, and the like, saved civilization. However Saint Patricius, the so called Saint Patrick, was formed in Cannes, Provincia, where a famous festival is still held nowadays.

As fascist Rome decayed, Romanitas expanded in the guise of Christianism, and soon was found all the way to Norway, Ethiopia, and Mongolia. The Franks were particularly good at using it ahead of their armies. And told the natives that Charlemagne would be mollified, if, and only if they had converted first.

The  fundamental superiority of Western civilization invented by Europeans after the fall of the massively fascist empire, was a new covenant giving more clout to individual minds. That covenant was a reversal of massive fascism, the strategy used by the Egyptian or (all too many) Mesopotamian super states from the start.

Thus, at a more advanced stage of civilization and technology, the Europeans were able to renew with the sort of freedom founds at the roots of Egypt, its most creative time, or the innovative freedom of the Sumerian cities, or of the Cretan thalassocracy. 

The covenant for the mind rested on empowering individuals through more freedom , while keeping in sight that the freedom of all means the equality of much.

 

Simplicius: Did not Tocqueville warn against too much equality  at the cost of freedom?

PA: Tocqueville was a young aristocrat who spent a few months in the USA. He is viewed as a deeper thinker than he really was. After the first massive revolution of 1789 dialed back the extravagant privileges and riches of the French plutocracy, he could only be bitter.

The white Europeans who had emigrated to North America, had just established a government, the grandly named United States of America. Tocqueville saw columns of Cherokees, the original inhabitants, forcefully deported in a scene which would be repeated only in the death throes of Nazi Third Reich.  The white invaders of America were using their freedom to treat the inhabitants to extermination through deportation. However Mr. young aristocratic philosopher could not find within himself the deep mental resources necessary to say anything about it.

 

Inquiring Mind: Were the Franks more equalitarian than the Greco-Romans?

PA: Incomparbly much more so. The leaders of the Franks were typically great warriors and, or consummate  politicians, they were also very rich, with sometimes nearly as many residences as Senator Mc Cain. However, because of the equalitarian inheritance laws, the wealth and property would be quickly distributed , and also made women rich, powerful, and influential. Hence, the most important Frank after Clovis, was queen Bathilde, who outlawed slavery.

Thus an important part of the new ethics was that women also ruled. I think I counted seven female sovereigns in 150 years. And they were not figureheads. The Imperium Francorum was a multipolar oligarchy where many ruled, from men of the cloth to kings, dukes and counts, quite a few of those self made persons (such as the runway English slave Bathilde).

The continual redistribution of riches fed the incessant Frankish inheritance quarrels. This has been confused with a weak state in later times. But such was not the case. It was a new style of state, which has a lot in common with today’s European Union (albeit with constantly changing borders which meant nothing).

Frankish civilization was enabled by constant arguing about ethical points. Kings would come out, and point out that “Saint Martin would never have done that, because of this, and the other thing, so we should not do it either. Instead, being very wise, he would have done what we are going to do.”… Differently from Roman imperators, Frankish leaders justified themselves ethically. All what Roman soldiers expected from their imperators were  greed satisfied and conquest achieved. It was a completely different world.

In the first ten centuries, after the domestication of church and Rome alike, the Franks, east and west, and their successor regimes, built many of the democratic institutions of Occident.  They also established a sustainable economy. Or, at least, sustainable for 8 centuries of demographic expansion, before the conflation of dramatic problems of the Fourteenth Century. This, once again, demonstrated the superiority of their civilization over greed and exploitation based Rome.  

More powerful, more appropriate, more sustainable, hence more  advanced technology: such is the way of the wise, running away from the problems of previous technology, towards a more understanding future always. Wisdom without science, and conscience, is only the ruin of freedom, and of the cities themselves.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Simplicius: Do you make a difference between Christianity and Christianism?

PA: I prefer “Christianism”.  The French use “Christianism”, and it helps us with the notion that it is a system of thought among others. Such as “Islamism”, or “fascism”, “Marxism”, “Communism”, romanticism, scientism, relativism, existentialism, nihilism…