Archive for February, 2012

Aphorisms 29 February 2012

February 29, 2012

OK, let’s celebrates Feb 29!

Big Ideas Become Slogans, Equations, Tweets:

I was contemplating a copy of Pascal’s Pensées. It seems as if he invented the Aphorism genre, just as Montaigne earlier invented the Essay genre. The advantage of short aphorisms is that one can drive straight to the main point.

Twitter is helpful that way. Contracting thoughts in 140 signs: a worthy exercise. Are equations tweets? Remember E = mcc, E = hv, F = ma, E = mgh, E = 1/2 mvv, Plus Oultre, Dura Lex Sed Lex, etc.

Here is a tweet: “Sometimes one has to give luck a chance!

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Labeling Saves Lives:

Samis have more than 300 words to describe various states of snow. To each different word, a different concept. Some people have died, up north, because they met a type of snow they did not know existed. Unable to move, they starved.

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Kicking The Machinery To Get FTL:

The OPERA experimenters are not too sure that their Faster Than Light signal was not simply due to an insufficiently screwed cable

For all it’s worth, I encountered a strange situation yesterday. I had lost a few TV channels on my high speed internet plus TV connection. Reception was perfect on most channels, but on others, it was indicated “this channel to be available shortly”. After checking out all other possibilities, the Cable Company technicians told me they had encountered that situation before, and would I please screw every cable connection really tight.

It turned out that the input cable in the TV box had become slightly loose from thermal cycles. So there was a complete loss of some channels, while other digital channels were left completely unscathed. I would never have expected such a thing, and i don’t understand how it makes sense, physics wise.

But then I remembered  that Hans Solo had to kick his spaceship to get it to achieve Faster Than Light while he was fleeing the Dark Side’s plutocrats during Star Wars (episode IV). Sophisticated we are, yet the basics stay OPERAtive…

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Chimpsky: How Silly Can One Get?

Do those intellectuals who adulated Stalin or Hitler have something in common with those admiring Chomsky?

Chomsky’s main idea seems to have been that children came with an “innate grammar”. Is it as if Chomsky never observed any child. Children LEARN. They don’t come out there, all knowing. There is basically nothing they know to start with. They even learn to look, and see.

My daughter had to be delivered early through C section, for several medical reasons. So she was a bit premature. Her eyes were closed. however, when she heard my voice in the incubator, she turned her head towards me, opened her eyes, looked at me for maybe a minute. Obviously she was thinking: this is the voice I heard before, and it comes from that. Then, enough curiosity satisfied at this point, she closed her eyes for the next three days (which she probably spent partly processing that minute long, probably blurred vision).

Chomsky does not know learning. Yet, he has a vastly Politically Correct  following. No doubt from a vast herd who does not know learning either. The funny thing is that I agree with many of his political views (not all of them!)

At this point my daughter is 29 months old. She understands thousands, and speaks hundreds, of words in English and French, each.

Her first word was uttered at an unbelievable three weeks (!), although that was an event  not repeated for quite a while (she was in the sort of frustrated pain infants are prone to find themselves in, trying to crawl about, and her dad made gentle fun of her, so she emitted an anguished “Daddyyy”, so that the author of her days would stick to strict empathy).

Now she has her own camera. Yesterday Athena was taking a picture of her mother. She barked an order:”Don’t bouge!”. The correct expression for normal people is either:”Don’t move!” (English) or “Bouges pas!” (French).

Just there, Athena demonstrated that Chomsky is wrong. Indeed the English and French grammar are completely different in this case, the position of the verbs are, opposed and the child made her own mix. And it still very clear.

In English, priority is given to the interdiction as the sentence starts with the interdiction:”Don’t!” In French, the communication starts, instead by the information of that the communication is about motion, and the interdiction comes next.

This correspond a different emotional hierarchy in what is more important (what comes, literally, first). English gives priority to the order (“Don’t“), French to the realm of the message (“Bouges“). 

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Plutocracy In Action:

Newt Gingrich was in trouble, running out of money. So Mr. Ralston, a plutocrat owning casinos from Las Vegas to Macau, cut him a 5 million dollar check. Next Ralston’s wife wrote him another 5 million dollar check. The couple loves Gingrich’s views on Israel. something about a much greater Israel… Will Israel extend all the way to Teheran?

The election in the USA is turning into a contest of billionaires: Romney, Gingrich and their billionaires are going into a food fight with the billion dollar man, Barack Obama.

In the USA, there are no more campaign funding limits  for the hyper rich: from a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court “Citizen United“. Statistics show that those who gets the most money for their campaigns get elected. Nancy Pelosi, head of democrats in Congress: “if we just ask the rich who they want to rule, that is a plutocracy”. Yes, well, that is a plutocracy.

Pelosi is pushing the “disclose Act”, revealing who, and what give millions to whom.

In France there is a law outlawing “abus de biens sociaux” (“Abuse of social goods”). Including diverting capital for goals not that of the company. Such a law used to exist. In the USA. The Supreme Court overruled it.

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He Writes, I Read, We Will call That A Presidency:

Obama gave his Third State of the Union. A 30 something year old guy, we were told on TV, spent a month writing the speech, “without sleeping”(!). That guy has been writing Obama’s speeches since 2004. Think about it: a guy writes the speeches, Obama reads them off a machine.  No wonder Obama sounded “inauthentic“. The 30 year old gentleman, we were told on TV, spent a month writing the speech, “without sleeping“(!). That guy has been writing Obama’s speeches since 2004. Think about it: a guy writes the speeches, Obama reads them off a machine.

The first thing to request from a politician in a democracy is to be authentic. It seems the same guy, when he was 32, wrote the Obama speech on Afghanistan. That basically was all over the map, and somehow deduced Obama was tripling the troops in Afghanistan, while telling he was getting out.

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Real Reason For Christianity:

The real reason for Christianity was to give a metaphysical justification to the Roman emperors for killing whoever they did not like. The first Christian emperor applied that to his nephew, his son, Crispus, and his wife, whom he steamed like a lobster.

As far as the mythical Jesus is concerned, he fully subscribed to the old genocidal Abrahamism. Jesus allegedly made, among other incriminating statements:

“These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” (Luke 24:44)
Sometimes the sum of the Old Testament was referred to as two collections: the law and the prophets. Interestingly, Jesus referred to Psalm 82:6 as “Law”: “Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’?” John 10:34.

Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17

*** When Intelligence Becomes A Trap:

Christy Romer and Paul Krugman rightly lament that the more educated neoconservative republicans are, the more they differ on what facts are. See: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/27/this-tribal-nation/

For example believing Obama instituted “death panels”, Believing Obama is a “Muslim” (whatever that means!), correlated positively with republicans’ education and self perception as knowing the issues well.

Of course we saw this before. That’s what happened with Stalinism, Nazism, and other fanaticisms deployed. The more educated some were, the more pro-Lenin, pro-Stalin, pro-Mussolini, or pro-Hitler they were!

It is important to understand that mechanism. The errors of the White House are illuminative that way: it fed the exact opposite of what it wanted (one presumes).  

An emotion was fed, an ideology was built to support it. For example people around Obama agitated the idea of what was decried (including by me) as “death panels“. Then the idea was dropped.

Meanwhile we learn that a true death panel exist to target individuals for extra-legal assassination of so called “terrorists”, including American citizens, worldwide.

Such facts entangle the White House with a smell of death, ordered, and panels, set-up. Such was the emotion. Then, of course, adversaries smell that smell, and rush an ideology to condemn it, because they were looking for something to condemn.

That is why perception is important. An example: French president Mitterrand killed terrorists, worldwide, every year (Mitterrand started his career during the war, wounded in combat, made prisoner, escaping the Nazis twice, and playing double agent for years, so an execution here or there was routine for him).

However, Mitterrand kept the executions he ordered hushed. It is less of a moral hazard to not to do it officially.

The republic is about the law, and that’s official, and ought to be the only official position. Yet, the French (and Western) law’s skeleton is Roman practice. In Rome, imperators had the right of life and death on soldiers.

Within the city of Rome, the lictors would remove the axes inside the fasces, to demonstrate no Roman citizen could be executed without a trial. Then the fasces would even be lowered to show that the power of the Populus Romanus reigned.

However, outside of Rome, and especially in times of military campaigns, Consuls, the highest officers of the republic, could inflict whatever punishments they saw fit, including the death penalty.

Obama and his administration do not need to evocate the Roman precedent, though. Of what one cannot defend, one should not crow.

***

Finally Fired:

Pat Buchanan, a USA presidential candidate, has said many times that making war to Hitler had been a terrible crime that France and her sidekick, Britain, committed. He actually wrote entire books about it. He was paid fortunes to foster this pro-Nazi propaganda, for decades.

The USA ought to be ashamed to have this pro-Nazi express himself so long, so loud, and be immensely rewarded for it. At some point thinking some things aloud is a criminal act.

***

Patrice Ayme

When Monarchs Think Better.

February 26, 2012

IF WE PAY ATTENTION, WE CAN EVEN LEARN FROM INSECTS!

Abstract: Bad thinking is not just erroneous. It’s immoral. It can be deadly on the grandest scale.

An example that is pretty much in evidence, and in the news, is the Afghanistan war, which is coming to the fruition of its basic contradiction.

That war was started, by Western agents and direct Western intervention, with a viciously underhanded instrumentalization of Islam, in the 1970s (contrarily to what is repeated, ad nauseam, by the ignorant, or plutocratic servants with vested interest).

There are patterns of bad thinking. By avoiding those patterns, one could get to better thinking. One could write commandments, bible style, about patterns of bad thinking that should be avoided by the Believers In Higher Reason.

1) Just because it feels right, it does not mean that it is right.

2) As long as all imaginable details have not been checked thoroughly, it’s wrong, not right.

3) Politically Correct, does not mean it is right. It could be completely wrong. Per its very nature, the Politically Correct is often incorrect.

4) Individuals express  mental systems of thoughts and emotions entangled. What’s right, or wrong, about those individuals, is more about those systems than about their personalities.

I give examples below:

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS VERSUS ULTIMATE PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS:

a) The notion of Political Correctness, a form of hypocrisy, started with early Christianity. Hordes of ignorant monks (“men in black“) were interested by senseless reasoning, because their aim was to destroy civilization (it was supposed to bring back Christ, their male fantasy).

b) The replacement of the Roman empire by the empire of the Franks was greatly the win of a higher civilization over a lower one. That’s completely counter-intuitive, as many of the objective signs of civilization collapsed for all to see.

Yet, what matters to evaluate higher civilization is not as much GDP, Gross Domestic Product, as UPB, Ultimate Philosophical Basis. The UPB of the Franks in 800 CE was vastly superior to that of the Romans. The notion of UPB is not PC. Just the opposite.  

And especially to the UPB of the late Roman empire (which was so disastrous that it led to many military defeats to Goths, Vandals, Huns, Sassanians, Muslims, etc.). The Ultimate Philosophical Basis of the late empire was plutocratic superstition. The Franks simply tended to favor better ideas over plutocratic superstition.

That was demonstrated by the joint action of both in the destruction of “Gothia” the empire of the Goths (definitively a lower sort of civilization). The Franks did most of the work first, and won, because many of their ideas were antipodal to Gothic principles.  

c) Political Correctness in ecology can increase devastation. An example: the relationship between eucalyptuses and endangered Monarch butterflies. And a question: if Monarchs, just an insect species, can adapt to changed circumstances, how come we cannot? And why do we dare contradict superior thinking? From an insect! Are we too clever by half? Does culture get in the way of intelligence?

In a second part of this essay, I will address the vile violation of the separation of church and state in the USA by the Vice President of the USA, who made a religious show of the fact he “abhors” himself, by covering his forehead with ash. This is the sort of spectacle one expects from fanatics in the streets of Teheran, you know, those who beat themselves with chains, because they “abhor” themselves so much. But, of course, they are not vice president.  

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WHEN MONARCH BUTTERFLIES THINK FASTER AND BETTER THAN HUMANS:

Eradicating invasive species is old science. New science consists in finding whether the invaders is having a positive effect, or not. For example goats and pigs have been eradicated from some Galapagos islands, and that’s a good thing, because they were having a very negative effect..

But eucalyptuses in California are an entirely different matter. And there is a new twist that I have observed, all by myself. And I was very surprised. 

Monarch butterflies is one of the most spectacular creatures of the planet. The violently orange, black veined and white speckled flying stain glass window can flutter in great numbers. This insect is intelligent in mysterious ways. 

I have seen a sizable whitish bird dive at great speed on a peacefully flying monarch. The butterflies sensed its enemy, twisted and turned, dog fight style, to avoid becoming dinner. At the last fraction of a second the bird also made a desperate avoidance maneuver. The flying dinosaur may have remembered that monarchs are poisonous.

Monarchs used to migrate in fall from North America to their sacred groves in Mexico where they would gather by the billions, in thick drapes on the trees. They spend the six months of winter there. Those butterflies live only 6 weeks. After a few generations in the groves of Mexico, they would migrate back north in Spring. Nobody knows how they do this.

Monarch butterfly male  
Male Monarch butterfly

Birds learn migration routes, but the Monarchs obviously cannot. 

In recent years, the groves in Mexico have been cut down. In a country where police, thugs, politics and 50,000 corpses from the drug war are making an unfathomable mix, it should not be a surprise that Monarchs‘ groves fall by the way side. 

So what did I observe? Monarchs over-wintering in at least one California’s eucalyptus grove (which is located in a city park). They extract nectar from eucalyptus flowers to sustain themselves. Local birds have come to know them well. It is an amazing spectacle: hundreds of large bright orange butterflies fluttering around.

As Monarchs are a threatened, irreplaceable species, poetically, esthetically, and as stupendous achievement of biological evolution, this is an important development. Cutting down eucalyptuses may be PC, but it would be more correct for the biosphere to plant huge eucalyptus groves.

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THOSE WHO THINK BETTER, EAT BETTER:

The termite thinks it knows it all. It is master of its universe. The chimpanzee knows better. This is, in a nutshell, the nexus of the interactions between civilization, religion, superstition and legislation. 

Those who refuse to understand the principle that higher thinking is superior in all sorts of vital ways, refuse to understand, not just culture, but reality. We have seen all before, when the Roman empire went down. Chimps shrug, and invite more termites to climb on their stick.

The 2009 book from Chris Wickham (Medieval History, Oxford): “The Inheritance of Rome, Illuminating the Dark Ages“. contains the breezy statement (page 92) that “The high point of Gothic western Mediterranean was around 500. It was destroyed by two men, Clovis the Frankish king and the eastern emperor Justinian.”

Professor Wickham omits a few details: Clovis was a general of the Roman army, with the rank of imperator, just like his father, Childeric. Clovis was also Roman Consul, and dead before Justinian became emperor. The Wikipedia article I hyperlinked to failed to mention the most important detail about Childeric; he was buried in the extravagantly expansive purple mantle of a Roman imperator. The Salian Frankish army was fully a Roman army. Although an elected “regis” (king in Latin), just like his father, also buried in Latin, Clovis was as much part of the Roman establishment as one could be. And he, Clovis, not Justinian, broke the Goths. Justinian’s generals finished the job in Italy.

But that is not the worse: the good professor misses the big picture about his important subject completely. He looks at the celebrities, Clovis, Justinian, not the ideologies that animated them. The big picture is this: civilization is not about celebrities, it’s all about mental systems, & some are more capable than others. The fact that pseudo progressive heavy weights have been unwilling to proclaim this has made the message of our civilization incoherent (paradoxically, it is in places such as China that good old Western progress makes coherent discourses… therein its superiority!)

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GOTHS ANNIHILATED BECAUSE THEIR VISION OF CIVILIZATION WAS REGRESSIVE:

Clovis, and Justinian were remarkable individuals. Yet, they could, they would, have been replaced. Actually Clovis sons pursued their fathers’ wars with gusto and finished the conquest of Francia to the south east (Clovis died at an early 44). Generals Belisarius and (the eunuch)  Narses, who fought Justinian’s wars, could have replaced him (& nearly did).

The reason the Franks won, for the next seven centuries (they finally conquered and raped Constantinople in 1204 CE, in an excess of French craziness),  and beyond, was because they had developed a superior mental system the debating, legal, fascist and engineering of Romanitas, with the anti-sexism and equalitarianism of Germanitas, and quite a few new ideas about exploiting and creating a new Christianity endowing considerable philosophical progress. That mentality with Christianity as an art form in the service of the Frankish vision of superior civilization made them more prone to domination than the Goths. The Goths were handicapped by their racism, and their old fashion Arianism (fanatical Christianity with Jesus as a “creature”).

This was perfectly illustrated in Italy. The great Ostrogoth king Theodoric pursued a policy of full compatibility with the empire, recognizing imperial authority, and allowing Romanitas to flourish (although he was never integrated in the Roman state as Clovis was). His daughter, the reigning queen Amalasuntha pursued her father king’s policy of integration with Roman civilization.

However, Gothic nobles would not have it, they were positively enraged by integration with Rome, and they opposed the queen at every turn. They forced her to give her son a barbarian education (he got in heavy teenage drinking and died). She had conspirators executed, but ultimately, after 13 years of rule, was imprisoned, and executed. Justinian  reacted to that horrific crime by declaring total war to the Goths. Narses would ultimately win, the (Ostro)Goths would be annihilated, never seen again in history, but Italy was destroyed in the process.

The Franks were all for integration with Roman civilization. They were not racist as the Goths. Why the difference? Partly because the Franks had been in contact with Rome for centuries more than the Goths (who came in from the savage East the hard way, after defeating Valens in 378 CE).  

The Goths still ruled Spain. And they established a shining civilization with some top thinkers (Isadora of Seville, say). Yet, propped by their Arian superstition, they kept on discriminating against Catholics and especially Jews. Big mistake, a mistake the Franks over the Pyrenées had not committed as they had established a secular anti-plutocratic Disneyland  where Christianoid fantaisies were strong, but not exclusive.

In 710 CE the Berber Umayyad general Tariq ibn-Ziyad led the reconnaissance into Iberia in advance of the main Moorish force, crossing the straight of Gibraltar (Jabal Tāriq (جبل طارق), at the “mountain of Tariq”, referring to the Rock of Gibraltar. In 711 the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I, leading the main Berber, Moorish, Arab and Syrian armies crossed over from Morocco.

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FRANCIA WAS UNITED BY HER MORE ADVANCED PHILOSOPHY:

Those Islamist armies, armed by the formidable bellicose ideology of Islamist Jihad, had not been defeated for three generations. They had built the largest empire the world ever saw, in a few years. Some Jews apparently betrayed the fortifications of some cities, and the divided Goths lost the crucial battle. Eleven years after the first incursion in Iberia, the giant Islamist armies were spilling into Francia.

It was a scenario from hell, reminiscent of the invasion of the Huns, 270 years earlier. The target was Constantinople. Just as with the Huns, the Islamists were confronted to a Frankish army. But, this time, the Franks did not have the Goths and the main Roman army to help. There were no more Goths, and the Franks were all the Roman army there was. However, just as with the Huns, and differently from Iberia, the Islamists were invading a country united under more advanced philosophical principles. So when he army of the Frankish Duke (a Roman military title) Odo of Aquitania took flight, some of the Islamist generals urged caution, but their warning was not heeded, and the rest, as the saying has it, is history.

In the end the armies of the Caliphate were annihilated, just as the Goths had been, and the Caliphate fell, just as distant Antarctic ice shelves broke under the action of the 2011 Japanese tsunami. Clausewitz said that war was continustion of politics. But politics is the application of philosophy. Superior philosophy, superior armies. 

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THE APOCALYPTIC ORIGIN OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: 

How does one get to think better? Well one has to connect with deep human psychobiology. That’s why the Germans (including the Franks) were not sympathetic to Roman sexism and slavery. Sexism and slavery, being anti-human, were the Achilles heel of socio-economic Romanitas. However, it was not Politically Correct to point this out under the Roman empire.

Political Correctness gets in the way of conforming  humanity to reality is. What’s “Politically Correct” (‘PC”)? PC is fundamentally a non logically supported appeal to some Pretty Conventions. PC is perfect for people so incapable of thinking by themselves that they use a moral show conforming to the powers that be rather than the powers that ought.  In particular,  resonating instead of reasoning with the most significant logic and facts.

The concept of PC started, long ago. Once again our frienemies the Christians come to the fore to mess things up. It is the Christians who started Political Correctness, big time. In the Fourth Century. They used a moral show based on the mythical Jesus’ elucubrations. Christ’s “Thou shall not kill (except unbelievers)”, etc. A lot of this axed the moral system not towards the defense of the empire’s republic, but towards the coming of the Apocalypse. So whereas heretics, those who chose (their faith), were burned alive, murderous highway men were spared evil treatment. In a way it makes sense: Christians recognized themselves in the latter, not the former.

The Apocalypse (“revelation”) is the last book in the Bible. It describes the coming destruction of the world, to be followed by the “kingdom of Christ“. So of course, all genuine educated Christians wanted to bring down the world. Christians have been not enthusiastic about making a connection between their belief in the Apocalypse, and their attempted destruction of civilization. Now that we have a fanatical Christian running for the presidency of the USA, this fundamental Christian hatred for civilization may come back to the fore.

To make sure that he can stay a heart beat from the presidency, Biden covered himself with ash, thus making clear that he was as strident a Christian fanatic as Santorum.

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POLITICAL CORRECTNESS AS PROGRESSIVISM

Lenino-Stalinism got a huge advantage from Political Correctness. Stalin made a big show that he was anti-fascist, when secretly he was salivating about all things Nazi, and when, in fact, he did nearly everything the Nazis did, just two decades earlier. Lenin and Stalin were fascist in the sense that they bound the entire nation around their persons as an ax.

I have met readers who disagreed hysterically with my definition of fascism, so I am giving more details. A big problem the French High Command had in 1940 was that the French Communist Party was getting its orders from Moscow, then allied to Hitler. So the High Command refused to fully arm French state of the art warplanes with their guns at  the factories! When undetected Nazi tank armies pierced out of a mountainous Belgian forest on May 10, 1940, many of the best French warplanes could not be thrown into the fight right away.

So the fact that Stalin was a fascist too was not just a matter of vaporous debate among intellectuals!

As it turned out, if the entire French Air Force had been thrown in the war in May 1940, the Nazis would probably have been broken.

Stalin had started as a seminarian, before switching to bank robbing. No doubt Christianity taught him a few tricks, starting with dissembling.

It was long politically correct to venerate Stalin, among Europeans with leftist intellectual pretenses. Those who did not agree with this were viewed as lost, right wing intellectuals. Then Camus strongly disagreed, but, unfortunately died, or was car accidented to death (the KGB hated Camus, who had fiercely denounced the invasion of Hungary in 1956). So Camus could not do as much as he would no doubt have done, had he lived. He was 100% what came to be known later as a “Nouveau Philosophe“. Camus safely dead, the hypocritical, hysterical Sartre remained in the pope of the Politically Correct.

One had to wait for the French “Nouveaux Philosophes”, waxing lyrical around the principles of May 68, such as the refusal of the Authority Principle, to expose a few obvious truths.

But then Islamism became the next object of cult by the Politically Correct. No doubt they were reciing a lesson learned from a very surprising place. Indeed, interestingly, the main themes of Political Correctness fit like a glove the main themes of mainstream plutocracy. Originally, to get oil, and supplant the French and British, president FDR made a devil’s pact with the formidable Muslim fundamentalist, that giant of a military man, Ibn Saud.

Venerating Ibn Saud’s Islamist front gave a respectable aspect to the unacceptable. In truth Ibn Saud was a warrior, through and through: for the few days he spent on the US Navy cruiser with FDR, he kept top American brass riveted and mesmerized by tales of his decades of war in the desert. As we will see below, using religion as an acceptable front of the unacceptable is what Biden is doing, too. Speaking of invasion…

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DESTROYING INVASIVE SPECIES: 

It has been Politically Correct in the USA in particular, to eradicate “invading” species. 

In California, where there is a dearth of teachers and police, volunteers can be observed busily spending days after days, months after months, eradicating “French Broom”, an innocent, and very pretty plant which explodes in huge bright yellow bushes in Spring. Is it the name they are trying to eradicate? “French” Broom is indeed a French plant. Beautiful and invasive, like any good French stuff. However it is the victim of Californian authorities’ wrath, at the cost of ignoring a myriad of much more important ecological issues, such as reforestation. 

“French Broom” competes with the indigenous “Poison Oak“, a plant so poisonous, it has been known to kill people. Poison Oak is covered with the most mutagenic and carcinogenic product found in nature (when it burns, the gas can ravage the lungs of victims, days afterwards). The expansion of “Poison Oak” is human related, as it invades human disturbed land. Just as “French Broom” does. The difference is that one is soft and beautiful and the other can make one sick for a month (except if one uses medically prescribed immune system lowering drugs such as Prednisone).

Another California obsession has been to eradicate Eucalyptuses. Giant trees and groves are been cut down. Monstrously, just as for French Broom, authorities poison the soil with herbicides, to make sure the plants do not come back. Never mind that this in hilly terrain, with cities and water table below (speaking of this, most brooks have been cemented over: is not that more important than a bush of French Broom here or there in a few places?) 

I think it is a good idea to do away with smaller eucalyptuses if Sequoias, or Monterey Cypresses (say) are planted instead. However replanting is generally not the case. So spectacular forests of towering Blue Gums, the tallest tree in the world, with the California’s native Sequoia Sempervirens, are replaced by… Poison Oak. No respect for majestic trees, or the majesty of nature in general. The towering is replaced by the small and poisonous. Devastation honored, and the object of a work program.

Why the obsession with propagating “Poison Oak”? Is it symbolic of something worse? Is it symbolic of the poisoning of California with erroneous ideas such as Proposition 13 (a trick to lower taxes on seniors, that became an extremely efficient tax avoidance scheme for the hyper rich). As California, by far the largest (38 million) and most competent (Silicon Valley, Hollywood) American state, leads the USA in various fashion, it has led the USA into degeneracy.

It’s actually California which invented Reagan, another invading species who injected his fateful ideas, such as children paying for public education, in California first. Reagan succeeded Pat Brown, an apostle of the correct role of the state (such as top quality public education).

Now Brown, the son of Brown, governor for the third time, is trying to teach Californians that there is no civilization without taxes. Astutely, he closed first 70 state parks, to show Californians that tax avoidance had some painful consequences. That’s called pedagogy.

(To be continued… Complete with the ash-amed Biden.)

Patrice Ayme

Lady Chatterley’s Hater

February 20, 2012

PLUTOCRACY DEVOURS HEARTS AND MINDS, NOT JUST JUSTICE:

Abstract: “Plutocracy” is not just the rule of wealth. It is the rule of Pluto. As Jesus Christ himself pointed out

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23-24. Jesus does not explain why. To try to understand that, an example, however fictional, may help.  

The 1955 French film Lady Chatterley’s Lover, is first about her husband, and then, secondarily,  how she reacts to his plutocratic madness. Lady Chatterley finally rejects his occupation of her mind with plutocratic poison.

Indeed, Lord Chatterley, her husband, under his polished and dignified mien, teased out by externalities, reveals himself to be a most determined Hater. He relentlessly struggles, from the depth of his wheelchair, with boars, coal, miners, the ecology, his determination to keep plutocracy established, and finally his progressively enlightened wife (who reveres her husband in the beginning, but finds out, in the fullness of facts, that he is evil personified, and then does several things about it.)  

That the British economic establishment revolved psychologically around  the exploitation doctrine, and cold hatred against the working class, is the most disturbing message of Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

These are not just pretty words. The central bank of the USA (the “Fed”) conspired with the British central bank (the “Bank of England”) to make a very loose expansion of the monetary base during the 1920s. The idea was to give lots of money to plutocrats, so that their Lordships would have lots of money to do lots of things with (fall a forest, dig a new mine in the case of Chatterley). This (gravely) erroneous idea has been masquerading as “economic stimulus” in the last few decades, with increasing vigor.

That policy of showering the rich with money led directly to a considerable heating of the economy, and thus the Great Depression.  That policy is called nowadays “Quantitative Easing“, and is the main economic policy since 1996 (when the indicators were as bad as in 1929). Greenspan, under the Intern in Chief Clinton, decided to do the opposite of what the Fed did in 1929.

However to turn left where a mad man turned right does not make one any less crazy. In the 1930s, president Roosevelt switched instead to a command economy targetting jobs, which went on steroids in 1942, to feed the war machine.

Lady Chatterley’s anti-plutocratic message did not escape astute Anglo-Saxon censors. This is why the book, and a French film about it, were banned in Britain and the USA until the 1960s. Of little acts of censorships like that, here, there, and everywhere, is constructed the great admiration of the Anglo-Saxon middle class, or what’s left of it, for Reagan, Thatcher, wealth in general, and the filthy rich they call: “philanthropists“.   

Chatterley does not claim to be a philanthropist. But he feels himself to be crucial in the sense that he provides work for the working class. Contemporary American philanthropists  are the exact opposite sort; they extract power away from government, hence the People and the working class. Recently it came to the fore that the greatest “philanthropists” of them all, Bill Gates was a Trojan Horse for the American Monsanto to sell dangerous products to Africans; French media talked about it, and the French government is prosecuting Monsanto. However, there was not a peep in the USA about that. From what one could see on TV, it looked as if Obama has put Lady Gates in charge of education!

The Steve Job widow, who, with her husband, never paid a cent for the billions of dollars of Apple stock he, and she, got through the years as CEO of Apple was staying next to the first Lady at the State of the Union speech. No doubt she gave plenty of that money of her political friends. When you have billions, you can fork over a few millions for your friend the president, if that’s the only “tax” you will ever pay.

Yet truth is hard to repress. Short of putting civilization in full reverse, as the Christian Roman emperors did after 310 CE. That of course brought a near collapse of civilization, and several civil wars with the atheist Franks, until these noble savages for the north took control of the miserable Greco-Roman theocratic fascists.  

Jesus said plutocrats are hopeless. Lady Chatterley points out to something seriously worse. Plutocrats are mad. It’s as simple as that. Truth shall make simple. They are mad in the sense that their mental condition is so unbalanced relative to normal psychology that it deserves this qualificative. The plutocratic condition is not natural to man. Neither to perpetrator, nor victim. Man was born, and evolved, free. For millions of years. But now the plutocrats have come, to rule over lesser beings.

Indeed, plutocrats can control countries, or even empires, for centuries. The entire twentieth century was a case in point. Plutocrats deliberately engineered World War One (the French and German socialist parties considered this obvious in 1914, they should refresh their memories).  

Then plutocrats deliberately engineered the Nazification of Germany, the fascization of Italy and Spain,  and the Great Depression. Now, since 2008, plutocrats are engineering a Greater Depression. That so far, has been highly profitable to them. In the USA, plutocrats do not even bother anymore to hide their control of politics. The president can spend entire days, days after days, going around with his huge plane and personal army, as beggar in chief, going from plutocrats to plutocrats, and they make him checks of the order of the median family income, and all Americans watched that as cows do watch trains. Unconcerned for the most part.

Where does plutocratic madness comes from? Well, there is a psychobiological component, and then there is a historical component. History is not on our side, and the deep nature of Homo makes it all worse.

What we have now is a dictatorship of the financial actors, immensely leveraged, backed up by the mightiest politicians who they feed like pigeons. One can only presume that those actors, like Lord Chatterley, are just as they appear, namely completely mad. The way the leadership deals with the energy problem is a case in point.

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WHY WAS “LADY CHATTERLEY” CENSORED?

I generally prefer to feed philosophy with hard facts, such as those provided by science or history. The small philosophical  fry out there stick to literature, greater philosophers, to the world. Wisdom ought to rise from reality, not the gossip of literary criticism.  Moreover, individuals basking in the global cultural inheritance have to do triage among stories, worldwide. It’s more illuminative, as a child, to learn about Japan’s famous “40 Ronins” than about Lady Chatterley’s Lover. The former shows better how crazy cultures can become.

Yet, Lady Chatterley Lover (LCL) is most enlightening for students of the present plutocratic mind, a matter of survival for all. Feudal Japan is not as directly relevant. I will cover here not just LCL, but also its cover-up, aspects of the censorship against the LCL story.

Lady Chatterley Lover gives a detailed example of the baseness of the plutocratic mind. While showing how it is the backbone of the Anglo-Saxon socio-economy.

The books makes plain that the Anglo-Saxon economical system holds that the exploitation principle if the highest principle there is. It is the meta organizer of the entire society. Worth is established by exploiting people, the ecology, the underground, and even by exploiting one’s own humanity, with unrelenting thoroughness. And if people die on the way, it is only power for the course. Anything else is a weakening of what passes for civilization in the exploiting mood, the highest mood there is.

It’s easier to multitask with a movie for 90 minutes than to converge both eyes on pages for hours about how mediocre people do mediocre things. So I watched the 1955 French movie version, of Lady Chatterley. That movie was fiercely banned in the good old USA to protect American chicken from the terribly contagious disease of European ideas. (Warning: there is a more recent French movie on LLC, devoid of any content. Apparently French movie makers thought better in the 1950s than the 2000s!) 

On the face of it, the Lady Chatterley’s Lover’s story is not much to talk about.

1) Lord Chatterley is paralyzed from the waist down in World War One. He takes it like a champ, as behooves his superior class.

2) His young and beautiful wife Constance welcomes him back, makes him feel very comfortable, and accommodates herself of the situation, which, in particular, means she becomes a babysitter to him, and will have no child. She has perfectly adapted to the situation.

3) A deadly accident, caused to adventurous method to find more coal, occurs in his Lordship’s coal mine. His Lordship overhears some of his miners regretting that he did not die down there.

4) Lord Chatterley informs his wife that his employees behave that way, because he has no heir. If he did have a heir, the miners would know that one other Chatterley would rise: the Chatterley is dead, Long Live the Chatterley. Only then would the miners’ desire to change the order of things be hopeless.

5) Thus, deduces Lord Chatterley, he needs an heir. Apparently,  clamping down on the working class seems to be a notion central to his heart. He orders his wife to make what is necessary with some gentleman, say in Venice.

6) Lady Chatterley misunderstands her instructions, and sleeps with the game warden, who belongs to the lower class. He was an officer in the war, having risen from the rank (that means he is not of the class real officers are from, those who, from their class background, went to the correct schools, and came out officers; instead his prowess in combat allowed him to rise above his class).

7) Scandal: the entire village speaks of it, the Lady is pregnant from the game warden. Lord Chatterley fires the warden. 

8) After a bout of rage, Lord Chatterley is more determined than ever to have his way: “Never mind, I will make that son into a Chatterley! I will do what it takes!” (He is so sure of himself, he takes for granted that a son is coming.)

9) Lady Chatterley coldly and definitively states a matter of fact:”No you will not, because you will never see him!

10) She leaves with her lower class lover, arm to arm, down the coal city’s main street.

***

LET THE PEOPLE BE MORAL, SO LEADERS CAN EXPLOIT THEM BETTER:

The 1955 French movie was banned in the USA. The American People has to be protected against dangerous French subversion. Always. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court.  

The book itself had been written by a British gentleman, Lawrence, and published in Italy in 1928. The publisher Penguin Books found itself in court after trying to publish it in Great Britain in 1960. British censors claimed to be revolted by two short words, somewhere inside. American censors claimed the French movie advocated adultery

Several notorious adulterers had been president of the USA just before that. Maybe they watched too many French movies?  American plutocrats would jump in bed with all pretty teenagers coming within reach. As president JFK did exactly that at the White House, just as his dad did before at home.

At second sight, it’s not hilarious, but clearly a pattern of deception.

As the Washington Post puts it: “Why do we need more salacious details about Kennedy’s sex life? Beyond the prurience, it once again raises legitimate questions about the character of our leaders. “If presidents represent the best of America, then there’s quite a gap between that and their behavior,” historian Robert Dallek [ a Kennedy specialist] told us Monday. “Presidents — all of them — hide things.”

Well, what they hide is rather major, namely that there are two moral systems; one for the little people, and another for plutocrats and their agents. Thus at the slaughter house, there is a moral system for cattle, and one for management.

This was pointed earlier by Nietzsche. Nietzsche explained that Christianity was a “slave morality“, excellent at enchaining the masses. The masters followed a different, higher moral system, Beyond Good and Evil, the moral system of the Lords, the cult of the Will to Power.   

Instead of dwelling in Nietzsche’s literary sources, all the way back to ancient Greece, I have put that in the proper historical context. That of the empire of the Franks. The Imperium Francorum rose, precisely, because it was anti-Christian. Precisely because it followed a higher moral system than Christianity. Nietzsche is just a small vague commentary on what was the empire of the West practiced for centuries (Imperium Romanum, Pars Occidentalis).

That was demonstrated when the self described “Europeans” nationalized the Catholic Church, so they would distribute the church’s riches to the largest professional army since the best days of Rome. At the time, the best professional soldiers were family men, and those families had to be taken care of, at home. Hence the hefty salaries. That army was used to annihilate the superstitious, rabid Syrian Caliphate and its Berber allies.

“Within days of her arrival, the beautiful young blonde was invited to join the president for an afternoon swim — and later that day, lost her virginity to him in the first lady’s bedroom…” I heard the ex-19 year old description of what happened, and she said the president used “force“, but with great expertise. In other words, he raped her. Oh there were drugs too, and enforced sex acts under watchful presidential supervision, with aides.

Now, of course, this is all very quaint as plutocrats can screw the entire world, making the poor pay taxes for the rich until they die off.

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TOO MUCH WILL TO POWER BRINGS MADNESS:

In the French 1955 movie, the raciest scene is of the two lovers fully dressed, kissing, standing up. Nothing worse than in “Gone With The Wind”. American censors claimed the movie glorified adultery, but what was truly glorified was truth about the masters of Britain:

a) Lord Chatterley is driven by the Will to Power to a ridiculous extent: he has to give the signal to kill a boar at bay, however inconvenient it is to bring him by car, put him in his wheel chair, and give him the French horn to sound off. Only then can the boar die.

b) Chatterley ravages a forest that he himself loved as a child because he wants to build a “forest of steel” inside which a new mine will grow down to make him even richer, as his Lady observes contemptuously. But, she adds, it will not make him more potent where it really counts. (In the heart, and somewhere else.)

c) His motivation for having a child is first to put the workers back in place, and then somehow extends the Chatterley rule, apparently that sheer greed for power ought to rule the universe.

Do people have children for power? No doubt that was a motivation, through prehistoric and Neolithic culture. A European peasant would get more land if he had more children capable of working the field (in the communal agricultural system of the Middle Ages). But it was not the only motivation in taking care of a child. However, Chatterley talks only as if having a young man his son to crack down on the workers was his only motivation.

The problem with being only under the control of the will to power is that it is only a fraction of what ought to drive a fully balanced mind, as evolution meant it to be. Look for example to the god of Abraham: although rabidly devoured by the will to power, he has other motivations too. The Qur’an reminds us every few lines that “Allah is wise, merciful“.

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THE WILL TO SURVIVE, AND THE WILL TO DESTROY BOTH DOMINATE THE WILL TO POWER:

That, by the way, is Nietzsche’s classic mistake. Nietzsche claimed the “Will To Power” ruled, but, truly, the prime motivation of human beings, in an extremely dangerous world, was not so much power (over others, or the universe) as it was the sheer will to survive. That the will to survive, not the will to power, dominates, is rendered obvious by evolution as survival of the fittest, and is, no doubt, the reason why  Nietzsche detested Darwin.

Another aspect of the established order which is decried: Lord Chatterley’s paternalistic sexism, which, in the end, is rendered impotent by Lady Chatterley superbly elevated point of view: she knows love moves the heavens, and greed and evil move only hell. And that’s fine with her: after all, she chose heavens.

Here is another way in which Nietzsche’s Will To Power is limited. To exert power, one needs an object to exert it onto. However Homo’s will To Vice, includes an outright Will To Destruction. A time honored atavism. I must acknowledge that the god of Abraham understood this perfectly well.  And it is made blatant in the homicidal and submission rage pervading the Old, New and Quranic testaments.

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HOW DID THE SITUATION CHANGE IN A CENTURY? SEXISM HAS DIMINISHED & TECHNOLOGY HAS IMPROVED:

We are nearly a century after Lady Chatterley’s Lover was written, and one can compare what happened versus what was decried then. The feminine condition has enormously improved: now women vote, work much more in high value jobs, and are much more independent.

So little need to fret about “The Second Sex“. There is much progress to still make, but at least momentum is pointing in the right direction.

Also there is no doubt that the average lives of average people has improved considerably. Most of that is attributable to progress in science and technology. The rest has to do with the welfare state, and the fact that the world war of 1914-1945, after killing more than 5% of the world population (120 million dead, at least), is still perceived as a great warning… And the Light Side won the war. Moreover, differently from 1919, the victors, stayed in control of world military might, nuclear weapons, and the United Nations Security Council. Nobody doubt the resolve and might of France, Britain and the USA (in this order!), when united.

***

HOWEVER THE ENERGY SITUATION IS GETTING HOPELESS:

The economic background of the LCL book was the slow death of the coal industry. At the time, coal was still, by far, the most important energy source, although oil usage was rising quickly for transportation. 

Oil was an important factor in World War Two: Hitler wanted Polish, Romanian and Caucasian oil for his armies (as it was he had to do much of the war on synthetic oil, according to processes developed secretly by an alliance of American and German plutocrats).

The intervention of the foremost democracies, France and Britain, derailed Hitler’s plans: he was forced into a war he could not win.

Japan, submitted to an American oil embargo, decided to grab Indonesian oil, and that required to neutralize the U.S. Pacific fleet (or so the stupid Japanese command thought; in truth, the USA had no intent to go to war in 1942!)

Nowadays, fossil fuels are the number one energy source. However, we are well passed Peak Cheap Oil. Crude oil is reaching 120 dollars a barrel, even though there is no war, although the world economy is in recession. 

[See: http://hawaiinewsdaily.com/2012/01/peak-cheap-oil-passed/]

Ten of the last eleven world recessions were preceded by an oil price spike. At this point , the USA and the EU import for one billion dollar a day of oil. Chronically high fossil fuels guarantee a chronic recession (aka “depression”). Why? Because the economy is ultimately an energy processing machine.  

A really growing economy corresponds to a growing efficient energy usage. The easiest way to augment that is to augment overall energy usage, but one cannot do this anymore if there is no more energy to use. Worse, said energy is going down, both in absolute value (because no more oil is found, and fracking is a flash in the pan) and relatively (because of the rise of the ex-Third World). In any case, if we do not develop more energy source, or augment efficiency, the economy will simply not grow anymore. But as the population is growing, this means an indefinite depression.  Indeed, we cannot switch to a new energy source as happened in the time of Lord Chatterley from coal to oil… because we have no replacement (as a new cheap energy, although solar is coming in fast for the south).  

Conservation, energy austerity, can help. Yet European efforts in that direction are undermined by the rest of the world, led by the USA. See the USA leading an anti-European coalition joined by Russia and China, to prevent Europe to tax air travel’s fossil fuels (those, so far, go tax free).

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PLUTOCRACY HAS MUTATED INTO AN EXTREMELY MALIGNANT CANCER:

The plutocratic situation, if anything, has deteriorated considerably since 1928. Plutocracy, the Dark Side,  caused two Great Depressions, and major wars (including World War II). The second great depression, the Greater Depression, is unfolding, because the (conservative) governments of the West have entrusted those who caused the crisis, the plutocratic financiers, with even more power. Some of the decreases of GDP are comparable to the 1930s. After 5 years of recession, Greece is expected to be down 40% in GDP soon. In the USA, in a scenario reminiscent of the fall of the USSR, lifespan is decreasing.

Meanwhile the president is rising a billion from his friends the plutocrats, to further his glory and government. Many Roman emperors did exactly the same before him; rising considerable sums among plutocratic friends, socializing together, all this to further imperial rule.

Giant amounts of money (“monetary base”) have been wasted replenishing the plutocrats who sucked dried the banks they managed. They were wasted, because no strings were attached. In the USA money manipulators (hedge fund managers) meet constantly with politicians and lawmakers to conspire together. This sort of information can be gleaned from reading the famous “anti-capitalist” newspaper, Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal. 

Overall, plutocracy is stronger than ever. Lord Chatterley’s mind is an ode to Pluto. However he puts his capital at work in the service of the People. It’s tough love, mixed with contempt, but he views himself as a Roman style general, with the right of life and death on his troops. Ultimately, he provides his troops with livelihood, as he points out. 

The hedge fund managers and big bankers are not like that. They don’t claim to bring jobs. Silicon Valley Titans have found tricks to pay no taxes whatsoever. Then Obama comes visit them, kiss them on the cheek, sleep at their home, and they give him enormous amounts of money (but tiny relative to the taxes they would have to pay, if they paid taxes). I saw two years olds give 38,500 dollars to the president. Yes, that’s not far from the median family income in the USA. These two year olds do not possess nobility titles yet, but it’s just the same.

Nowadays, the connections between finance and economy has been broken, so the situation is worse than under Lord Chatterley. Nowadays, the biggest banks (including the likes of Goldman Sachs, which are truly only banks, or conspiracy outfits, for the hyper wealthy) get free money from the American and European central banks.  

The result is that the economy has stopped growing just when efforts ought to be redoubled, because the energy utilizing machine which is the world economy is getting strangled, and poisoned by fossil fuels.

An immediately deployable replacements exist in parts: solar energy produced locally. Producing energy locally is key, as huge losses occur in transportation, and various inefficiencies (losses are, overall around an astounding 90%, worldwide!). Tide and current machines, wind, and electricity producing pastures are the way out. Especially when efficient, ubiquitous energy storage is invented. All these would bring millions of local jobs, in the European Union alone. And, a fortiori the USA.

However the first thing needed is the deconstruction of the nasty mood which rules so far, the mood of plutocracy. As long as the plutocrats rule, no significant positive change will happen, because plutocrats thrive in hell (hence their names).

In the times of Lord Chatterley, not enough was done in a timely manner by the thinking class (OK, some of that was all too close to plutocracy!). All too much of the British and American upper classes were pro-Nazi. Their ideologies of class and privilege had a lot in common with Nazism, indeed. American, English, and of course German plutocrats collaborated to put in power fascist regimes all over. From Lenin and Stalin’s to Mussolini’s, Franco’s and Hitler’s. (As Lenin himself observed.)

Intelligent observations are key. Here is one: As long as there are more plutocrats than there are representatives of the democracy, the former will be able to buy, or otherwise capture, the latter.  

Everything will be all right, if people become aware enough, soon enough, that Wall Street and its ilk have occupied their minds, so as to trample on the human condition, with a desire of utmost destruction.  However incredible that may sound, this is what plutocracy is all about. Those who don’t want to understand that, will be condemned to repeat history, just worse. Way worse.

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Patrice Ayme

Islam Versus Civilization?

February 12, 2012

WESTERN CIVILIZATION FOUNDED ON REASON, NOT SUPERSTITION.

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Abstract; Some drastic differences between the West and Islam are explored, and explained. That brings forth reflections on some differences between civilization and superstition.

***

Strident screaming in France from the politically correct. Claude Gueant, one of the ministers of the discombobulated Sarkozy, observed that:

Contrary to what the left’s relativist ideology says, for us, all civilizations are not of equal value. Those which defend humanity seem to us to be more advanced than those that deny it. Those which defend liberty, equality and fraternity, seem to us superior to those which accept tyranny, the subservience of women, social and ethnic hatred.” Adding the need to “protect our civilization”, he insisted he had not targeted “one culture in particular”.

[Disclosure: I detest Claude Gueant’s immigration policy; but that does not mean I have to detest all his thoughts, especially when they happen to be philosophically correct.]

Islam de France asked Gueant to specify that he did not target Islam. A socialist (related) member of parliament amalgamated Gueant’s observations with Nazism. The French government walked out of the National Assembly, for the first time since 1898.

To progress in the elucidation of things, one has to get where one did not go before. And nothing is best for that than strong emotions. E-motions are called that way, precisely because they move people. Cold logic, per se, is a ship without motion. Logic does not move by itself.

So let me invenominate the debate a bit more. As a public service.

Islam is why the Middle East covered itself with fascist dictatorships.

(Islam is only a proximal cause, however, see below.) OK, let’s roll out Muhammad Himself, Peace Be On Him, He needs it!

“O YE WHO BELIEVE! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and OBEY THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE IN POWER.” (Quran’s, Sura 4; verse 59).

In other words, obey power, not intelligence, virtue or democracy. I call that Islam’s fascist principle.

The truth can be outrageous. Nothing better than truth to bring rage out. OK, maybe I put the cart, religion, before the donkey, dictatorship. The water crisis in the Middle East forced the establishment of hydraulic dictatorships. As the drought increased, so did the ferocity: the Egyptian religious was softer than Christianism, itself more open minded than Islam.

True, Jesus Christ, a prophet of Islam, ordered to kill non believers. Luke 19:27: “But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.”

However Christ’s robust self glorification was not the law in the Imperium Francorum. Probably impressed by what the mighty Franks had done in Occident, emperor Justinian, who reigned 40 years, and reconquered the Mediterranean, ordered to separate the secular and the religious in Roman law.

If a Christian wanted to become a Jew, or a Muslim, it was not a cause for execution.

But the Qur’an is more specific: “And if they break their oaths after their agreement and (openly) revile your religion, then fight the leaders of unbelief– surely their oaths are nothing– so that they may desist.” (Qur’an, S 9, v 12) Passages abound in the Hadith (the second sacred book of Islam, full of sayings attributed to Muhammad) of murderous narrow mindedness:

Allah’s Apostle [Muhammad] said, “The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims.”—BukhariSahih al-Bukhari, 9:83:17

Some with leftist pretentions will erupt:”How dare you? Is not religion good? Do you have something against Islam? Are you an incredible racist?”

No, I am not an incredible racist. Just the opposite. It is precisely because I respect the victims of an all too fascist friendly religion that I intervene.

I spent the essential of my childhood in Muslim countries, and I nearly always respected the individuals I met, and loved the mosques, and the architecture. I even respect several injunctions of Islam: for example no alcohol whatsoever (I am silly enough already on my own to not need adjuvants). However Islam is a system of thought, and thinking is what I eat.

A particular problem with Islam is the way it treats women. As women educate small children, mentally underperforming women means mentally underperforming children, and thus mentally underperforming adults, hence mentally underperforming societies.

So Islam becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. There is no senility like senility, and stupidity is its prophet.

Some with leftist pretentions will hammer their war drums, the way they have been taught is supposed to be correct:”We don’t see you criticizing the West, the Christian civilization!”

Well, you should read me more. I enjoy dogfights with Christianism. My answer is that there is not such a thing as Christian civilization. “Christian civilization” is an oxymoron, except in the most primitive places. 

By definition of what a civilization is, civilization cannot be just a religion, especially not a superstitious religion. And, historically, the West was not founded by the Franks as a religion, but as a reaction against the superstitious organization of society by Catholic bishops.

Contrarily to a commonly accepted myth, the West, the synergetic civilizational aggregate imagined by the Franks, was not founded on a particular superstition, or even a particular nation or language. Quite the opposite. It was intrinsically omnirole, and even anti-plutocratic. (The multivaried nature of the empire of the Franks make it closer to the present European Union, than to a conventional empire; the Imperium Francorum was a sort of European Union in its time, but with the world’s mightiest army.)

In the Imperium Francorum, Christians could become Jews, and they did, and, no, they did not have fewer rights, and no, they did not have to wear signs on their clothing warning of their particular superstition.

Whereas in Islam, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, although had lived there for centuries, when not millennia, were discriminated against by the heavily armed newbies. Non-Muslims had to wear special clothing to warn of their presence, they did not have equal rights, and enjoyed special supplementary taxes. To this day it is forbidden for a Muslim woman to marry a non Muslim. 25% of Lebanese weddings happen in Cyprus, to turn around that interdiction.

According to the Qur’an believers are suppose to kill Pagans and Non Believers:

But when the forbidden months are past, then fight the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them and beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war). But if they repent and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them, for Allah is oft-forgiving, most merciful.” [Qur’an, Surah al-Tawbah: verse 5]

Taken at face value in the short, 80,000 words Qur’an, this verse is as clear as it gets. Some Islamists try to wiggle out of it, see Islam Tomorrow.(I enjoy reading Islamists.)

So why such a huge difference between Christian Francia and the contemporaneous first Islamist Caliphate? At first sight, this is strange, because Christianism and Islamism are variants of the same religion of Abraham. (Maybe I should call that mother religion Abrahamism, to rhyme with Shamanism.)

Islam, by promoting jihad, interpreted by Muhammad Himself as a war effort against the West allowed to build the world’s largest empire in one generation. That immense succession of battles was launched from just one city, Medina (where Muhammad is buried).

Muhammad admonished Roman authorities to convert, while telling his followers that, for the first time in 1,000 years, the Greco-Romans and their successor regimes (such as the Persian Sassanids) were weak (from a terrible war between them, and the civil war of the Christians against the Pagans and Thinkers inside the Greco-Roman empire). And it was the time to attack.

In the Orient, jihadist rage, lots of luck, and tremendous overconfidence and incompetence in one major battle by the Roman army high command, led the Arabs to the gates of Constantinople. There they were defeated by a high tech weapon, Grecian fire. Grecian fire, secret to this day, was used successfully against Muslims for centuries. Even in Saint Tropez in the Tenth century when a combined effort of the Frankish army and the Roman navy threw the Islamist armies out of Francia.

Blocked by the enormous walls of Constantinople and its fire spitting navy, the Islamists conceived to go around, and catch Constantinople from behind.

After quickly overrunning Gothic Iberia, massacring 20% of its natives, the armies of Islam met the Franks, in Francia. Not only the franks had defeated the Goths, two centuries prior, but they had sent spies to figure out the Muslims, as soon as Islam swept Palestine and Egypt. The Franks represented legal Roman power, and applied Roman law, with an addition, Salic law, initially written in Latin by Roman jurists around 300CE (it was amended enormously in the following millennium). No religious law for the Franks. Zilcht.

In a succession of three terrible invasions (721-750 CE), the Arab and Berber armies and navies tried to break through Francia, and, instead, were the ones broken to smithereens. Not only were the obnoxious invaders thrown out, bones rotting in the sun, but, exhausted, the Caliphate in Damascus fell (750 CE).

Civilian Muslims left behind were left alone and not discriminated against. They reproduced in peace, as genetics studies on the French population have shown.

The Franks were not fighting in the name of Christianity. They viewed the Sarah-sin as a type of Christian, originating from the Bible’s Sarah. The Franks had a long tradition of fighting fanatical Christians. That is why the Franks organized a succession of coups, wars and elected several scholars as emperors, to break the Christian theocracy in Constantinople. They finally captured Francia in 476 CE (and Constantinople in 1204 CE, vengeance is best cold!)

The Franks viewed in Islam more of the same they knew all too well, and they had fought for five centuries, ever since they were the Free, the Franks.

The Frank Reich had always been multinational and multilingual. They spoke old Dutch, Latin, German…By the time the Islamists invaded, the Franks called themselves “EUROPEANS.

There was their fundamental religion, what bound them together again: Europe.

Thus, contrarily to the Islamist empire, the West was founded on tolerance and reason, and the secular law. The west of the Franks was not founded on the adoration of the would be child killer, adulator of his boss, Abraham his name. Just the opposite.

A demonstration of this occurred unwittingly when Christianism was unleashed to help reconquer the Middle East. What happened? Christianism soon re-engaged in what it does best, namely plutocratization. Plutocratization, the instauration of the Dark Side. In contrast to civilization.

Why are Christianism and Islam so prone to plutocratization? It is not an accident.

The myth of Abraham is the very foundation of Christianism and Islam. And what do we observe?

The religion of Abraham is founded on the most insane torturous obsession imaginable, the killing of the child by his parent, to please the boss. Worse than that cannot be found. Think about it. That’s what Islamist regimes are founded on.

The Aztec philosophers viewed their own superstition as more humane than Abraham’s pedophobic obsession, and contradicted the Christian theologians point by point.

Remark: the clueless Vatican wonders why so thousands of obsessed priests tortured children. May I remind them of Abraham? Torturing children is what their god does. See what happened to David’s son, according to their little book of horrors.

So what is civilization? The term appeared around 1600 CE in France, after seven religious civil wars in quick succession (instigated by the Catholic fanatic Spanish emperor, son of his French father, Charles V!).

Henri IV built on the tremendous work of his great predecessor Henri III (assassinated by a Catholic fanatic). He put his war marshal the duke of Sully in charge of the economy. The new society was a welfare state (“a chicken in every pot!”), a stimulus program, and a planification of the economy was introduced, with an accent on high tech.

When the protestant Henri de Navarre was told it would be better if he became catholic to sit on the throne of France, he scoffed:”Paris vaut bien une messe!” (“Paris is worth a mass!”)

Civilization is not religion. Civilization is a process, a progress towards a more civil society. Civilization lives in its time (that’s what “secular” means), and on the ground (it’s not standing-over, which is what super-stition means).

Religion is an old, wet rat clinging to an old branch sinking in the middle of the ocean. A superstitious religion is just a revelation. Some guy in the desert, way back, walking on the water, making fish out of wine, listening to archangels in his head, threatening to kill whoever he is unwilling to “believe” in him, and venerate those ready to kill a child, if the boss says so.

Henri III and Henri IV were both assassinated by religious fanatics (after several dozens attempts!). Their crime? Pushing forcefully for a more civil society. For civilization.

Let’s remember that, next time we are told that a religion can be a civilization.

***

Patrice Ayme

Why French Parents Are Superior.

February 5, 2012

IT’S ALL ABOUT REASON:

“While Americans fret over modern parenthood, the French are raising happy, well-behaved children without all the anxiety. Pamela Druckerman on the Gallic secrets for avoiding tantrums, teaching patience and saying ‘non’ with authority.”

Such is the abstract of the article “Why French Parents Are Superior” found in the Wall Street Journal on February 4, 2012. [See notes.]

To say “non” with authority, one needs to have intellectual authority to start with. The French develop the latter through a love of mental jousts (many of them about politics, sociology, ecology, history, geography, science, poetry, litterature, etc…). That intense Gallic practice of mental activity leads typical young French adults to have gone through at least 10,000 hours of intra familial debate by the end of their teenage years. So they are expert at it. They are also expert at being interesting, and being able to answer inquiries the little ones will have from all directions.

Inasmuch as the WSJ author tried her best, three years of study she says, she extracted very little from it: talk a bit firmer, sound more self assured. Step by step under the direction of a 34 year old French mom. Pathetic. To see why she so thorougly failed, keep on reading.

In truth French parents develop in their children a greater ability to present, develop arguments, and respond to them intelligently. This is done mostly through the intense practice of speech. That, in turn, comes from the love of speech, which is also imprinted, right from the start.

French parents talk more, with a richer speech between themselves, and back and forth to their children. Children are taught to not interrupt the conversations adults are having with each other. Learning not to interrupt, is viewed not as an exclusion, but an instruction, a fundamental part of education.

Speech also allows to communicate values. A child endowed with higher values, and the perspective of even the higher ones grandes personnes are responding to, understands that orders given by parents have themselves reasons. Those reasons have to be mastered to access to higher learning. It’s all about reason.

I asked two Californian parents who live (very well) in Cambridge, England, with their two American children, if they saw a difference between American and European kids. They immediately replied that European children were much better educated. This corresponds to the main difference the Wall Street Journal reporter saw in France, when she pondered why her own child was ruining her outings:

“After a few more harrowing restaurant visits, I started noticing that the French families around us didn’t look like they were sharing our mealtime agony. Weirdly, they looked like they were on vacation. French toddlers were sitting contentedly in their high chairs, waiting for their food, or eating fish and even vegetables. There was no shrieking or whining. And there was no debris around their tables.

Though by that time I’d lived in France for a few years, I couldn’t explain this. And once I started thinking about French parenting, I realized it wasn’t just mealtime that was different. I suddenly had lots of questions. Why was it, for example, that in the hundreds of hours I’d clocked at French playgrounds, I’d never seen a child (except my own) throw a temper tantrum? Why didn’t my French friends ever need to rush off the phone because their kids were demanding something? Why hadn’t their living rooms been taken over by teepees and toy kitchens, the way ours had?

Soon it became clear to me that quietly and en masse, French parents were achieving outcomes that created a whole different atmosphere for family life. When American families visited our home, the parents usually spent much of the visit refereeing their kids’ spats, helping their toddlers do laps around the kitchen island, or getting down on the floor to build Lego villages. When French friends visited, by contrast, the grownups had coffee and the children played happily by themselves… a 2009 study, led by economists at Princeton, comparing the child-care experiences of similarly situated mothers in Columbus, Ohio, and Rennes, France. The researchers found that American moms considered it more than twice as unpleasant to deal with their kids. In a different study by the same economists, working mothers in Texas said that even housework was more pleasant than child care.

Rest assured, I certainly don’t suffer from a pro-France bias. Au contraire, I’m not even sure that I like living here…”.

I will explain why she cannot like to live in France; it is directly related to her child trouble.

I asked a mother born and raised in the USA who considers herself ‘fortunate‘ that her parents, although American from a young age, were not American born. She has also lived and worked in France, and has a child who has never thrown a temper tantrum, even at the age of two and a half: “Why Are French Parents Superior?

She was haughtily irritated by the question and did not try to hide it. Talking to me as if I were a dimwit she had little time for, she blasted the following reply:

“Why French Parents Are Superior, you ask? For the same reason as French are generally superior.

The key is that one has to provide reasons to the child, and, most importantly, those reasons have to make sense. These are two necessary conditions.

Americans would say that they do that. But, instead of telling the children what to do, and why, they let the children decide. But children don’t know anything, they are just children, they can’t decide, using reason. Or then American parents make up stories that don’t make sense, and, or, are not truthful, and lose all credibility that way.

You see that in adult conversations all the time, so it naturally shows up in adult-child conversations. It is in fact the lazy man’s way of communicating. Hence the continual usage of non sequiturs and constant sport analogies. As far as I can tell, only Americans do this.

When American parents say “no”, they just say “no”. They don’t say why they are saying no, they don’t explain to their child why the child’s behavior or request should be denied, and if they do, they don’t wait for the child to articulate an answer, which can take up to ten minutes. They lose all credibility that way.

American parents also expect children to throw temper tantrums, so when one happens, they rarely try to explore why. When American children ask their American parents why? or, why not? the parents typically don’t make a genuine effort to provide an understandable and coherent answer. They just think that asking someone for their reasons or motivations is hostile. It’s a cultural limitation that cannot be overcome.

And when one tells them that they should provide children with reasons, American parents think that you do not understand parenting, children just behave like that. And if your child is different, she was born with a different character, and you are lucky.

Americans, in fact, view questions about their reasons and motivations as hostile interrogation. So, when children attempt to explore that with them, they view it as an hostile inquiry, unlike the French and many other cultures. Rather than try to cultivate that form of inquiry, as French parents do, Americans try to suppress it.

And why do you ask me all these questions? There is no hope, Americans don’t have the concepts!”

I suggested that it was a bit like explaining the Hahn-Banach theorem to someone who does not know there is such a thing as functional analysis. The francophile American mother threw a Gallic shrug:”Yes, for Americans, reason is like a foreign language they never encountered before!

If anything her very French like reaction showed that Americanization is fully reversible. 

Here is Pamela from the Wall Street Journal again:

“France is the perfect foil for the current problems in American parenting. Middle-class French parents (I didn’t follow the very rich or poor) have values that look familiar to me. They are zealous about talking to their kids, showing them nature and reading them lots of books. They take them to tennis lessons, painting classes and interactive science museums.

Yet the French have managed to be involved with their families without becoming obsessive. They assume that even good parents aren’t at the constant service of their children, and that there is no need to feel guilty about this… French parents want their kids to be stimulated, but not all the time. While some American toddlers are getting Mandarin tutors and preliteracy training, French kids are—by design—toddling around by themselves…

Of course, the French have all kinds of public services that help to make having kids more appealing and less stressful. Parents don’t have to pay for preschool, worry about health insurance or save for college. Many get monthly cash allotments—wired directly into their bank accounts—just for having kids.

But these public services don’t explain all of the differences. The French, I found, seem to have a whole different framework for raising kids. When I asked French parents how they disciplined their children, it took them a few beats just to understand what I meant. “Ah, you mean how do we educate them?” they asked. “Discipline,” I soon realized, is a narrow, seldom-used notion that deals with punishment. Whereas “educating” (which has nothing to do with school) is something they imagined themselves to be doing all the time.

One of the keys to this education is the simple act of learning how to wait…

After a while, it struck me that most French descriptions of American kids include this phrase “n’importe quoi,” meaning “whatever” or “anything they like.” It suggests that the American kids don’t have firm boundaries, that their parents lack authority, and that anything goes. It’s the antithesis of the French ideal of the cadre, or frame, that French parents often talk about. Cadre means that kids have very firm limits about certain things—that’s the frame—and that the parents strictly enforce these. But inside the cadre, French parents entrust their kids with quite a lot of freedom and autonomy.”

Authority is one of the most impressive parts of French parenting—and perhaps the toughest one to master. Many French parents I meet have an easy, calm authority with their children that I can only envy. Their kids actually listen to them. French children aren’t constantly dashing off, talking back, or engaging in prolonged negotiations.”

[—Adapted from “Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting,” to be published Tuesday by the Penguin Press. ]

***

PHILOSOPHICAL DEEPENING OF THE PRECEDING:

Well, what to dare add for more enlightenment? Fasten seat belts, we are going to philosophical warp speed. The problem with American parenting is deeply entangled with a formal superficiality which is devouring American society, and reason itself. This decerebration is, of course, very comfortable for the “masters of the universe” based in Wall Street.

The USA is supposed to be a democratic republic. The law is the skeleton of such a state, and it is the paradigm of mental organization, collective and individual. The American parenting deficit is a manifestation of an American cultural deficit and its nexus is a sense of justice (or lack thereof).

That cultural deficit is of foremost importance, worldwide, considering the military-economic importance of the USA.

The article in the New Yorker “The Caging Of America” laid the blame of the dismal American “justice” system on the “Bill Of Rights“. That Bill is inferior, experts say, because it emphasizes formality, formalism, and superficiality, in other words, justice as fairness (something Rawls and his “liberal” followers got all confused about).

Instead justice ought to be justice as justice. The Declaration des Droits de l’Homme insisted simply on that:”Be Just!” For the Declaration, justice is a primary notion, not a derivative notion. Who speaks of justice speaks of judgments, sentences, reasons, causes, attenuating circumstances, discovery… Justice begs for strong, inquisitive, rational, well informed minds, in other words, minds toddlers will respect.

Toddlers respect good judgment. Toddlers instinctively rebel against bad judgment, and any mockery of the nobility of the human spirit, such as a travesty of reason.

The New Yorker points out that formalism has devoured true justice in the USA, and has made the incarceration mood pervasive throughout American society, from individuals covered with tattoos to clothes mimicking prison garb, to shoes without laces.

But formalism has devoured other things, all the way to parental facial expression, and viewing any explanation as a conflict to be avoided absolutely.

The emphasis on formalism throughout American society is striking. Murderers bathing in the blood of their victims have walked free, in the USA, because the police had no warrant (don’t try that in France!). A Chinese contractor formally presents a lower bill for a giant bridge, it gets formally accepted. Never mind that the USA loses industrial substance as a result. Etc.

Formalism, in the beginning, looks pragmatic, because it is easy to bestow. Formalism is reason reduced to its most basic. Formalism is a parody of rationality.

Toddlers have a deep instinctive dislike of irrationality. They observe, early on, that reason makes them strong, whereas irrationality assaults them. Parents choosing irrationality choose the Dark Side, as far as toddlers are concerned.

Exerting formalism blocks the exertion of reason as much as exerting justice requires. In any case the reign of formalism is how outrageous American meta principles such as “don’t be judgmental”, “don’t argue”, “stop rationalizing” have appeared.

How can a toddler sit in judgment of his own behavior, if his parents refuse, or are incapable, to do so? And, even worse, if they have not learned to exert enough judgment to establish the cadre of what is acceptable, and what is not?

And sure enough, the toddler in chief could not bring himself to find reasons to judge bankers, because it was a case where he had to find within himself, enough to transcend the formalism of formal politeness he owed to his sponsors. Looked at it formally, the USA is doing OK. Looked at it in all justice, not that much.  

And why can’t our Wall Street Journal reporter like to live in France, in her present state?

I went back to the francophile American mother who knows France much better than the WSJ reporter. She told me:

“Living well in France is all about loving reason, more than authority.

Instead, the WSJ reporter feels it’s all about French parents having more authority. She does not understand authority has a foundation, and its name is reason. She completely misses the mark, even after three years of studying it intensely. Why? Because she is American. Case closed.”  

France’s main pastime is not cheese and wine, it’s contradicting authority with reason.

This was already the case in the Middle Ages during the “Jacqueries” (14 C), and before that, when the philosopher Abelard (and the people behind him) opposed the religious, crusading fanatics led by Saint Bernard and the papacy (12C). Actually French history is all about a perpetual war between authority and reason.

The very foundational act of “Francia”, by the Franks, in 486 CE, was the act, tried persistently by the Franks for two centuries before that, to pry reason out of the jaws of fascist and theocratic authority (these notions were at the heart of the conflict between Greco-Romans and Celto-Germans, for a full millennium prior).

Submitting, and boosting, authority with reason is the master value of French culture. Thus it should show up on French children’s playgrounds, and it does.

Another related command: only reason can contradict authority, and authority is full of reason. (The resulting respect for authority sometimes backfire in French society.)

Thus, when authority is exerted, it better be full of reason, so it is full of reason. French toddlers learn this, and if they perceive the authority, they know reasons are not far behind, and they plead no contest, as it is the path of less effort.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Note 1: Yes, the Wall Street Journal is francophile nowadays. (Amazingly, Murdoch’s WSJ does not censor me, and publishes me within three seconds, whereas the New York Times does all sorts of naughty things to my comments: thus, I have nearly stopped commenting in the NYT. This to point out that the NYT is not as “liberal” as the mob has it.)

***

Note 2:

French Lessons [Wall Street Journal]:

Children should say hello, goodbye, thank you and please. It helps them to learn that they aren’t the only ones with feelings and needs.

When they misbehave, give them the “big eyes”—a stern look of admonishment.

Allow only one snack a day. In France, it’s at 4 or 4:30.

Remind them (and yourself) who’s the boss. French parents say, “It’s me who decides.”

Don’t be afraid to say “no.” Kids have to learn how to cope with some frustration.

Further French Lessons [Tyranosopher]:

Children also have to learn delayed gratification and being satisfied with what they have. Otherwise they would end up, or rather down, like Americans, with debts up the wazoo, enslaved by banks and Wall Street.

Inasmuch as speech with the vocal chords is important, facial and body language are even more readily understood, by the little ones. The “big eyes” the Wall Street Journal reporter is obsessed by is only part of the story. The rigid, expressionless faces of all too many American women go a long way to explain their dysfunctional relationship with their children.