Archive for April, 2012

King Wastes Euros, Elephants; CO2 Denier Blames Cows!

April 17, 2012

THOSE WHO TEACH WASTE OUGHT TO BE TAUGHT A LESSON.

Five millions Spaniards are unemployed (out of 40 million). And now the king broke his hip. How? He was in a safari. It turns out that the good king loves to assassinate elephants in Bostwana. Each time the king reaches ecstasy by killing one single elephant it costs 37,000 euros ($50,000) to European taxpayers (and even to the American ones: globalization, remember?) But there is no money for the 35% of Spanish youth who are unemployed. Each time the king presses the trigger, it’s more than two median family incomes in Spain, which go to pierce flesh. It’s highly symbolic: you earn it not, while the king penetrates a terrorized victim with it.

King Juan Carlos loves to pose with elephants he perforated with bullets. It makes him feel mighty, he has got to feel completely empty inside.

The truth is that this assassin of elephants was put in power by a fascist, the treacherous general, Franco, who killed more than a million Spaniards, while overthrowing the republic, and even more for years after that. With the crucial help of Texaco, and other American plutocrats, Mussolini and Hitler. Franco and his subalterns were even engaged in child trafficking (killing the parents to get the children; no wonder the Catholic church who has had an obsession with abusing children ever since Abraham, was all behind Franco: Opus Dei!)

The latter two, Mussolini and Hitler, were punished, but they were only the puppets of the former, a worldwide conspiracy of plutocrats, whose heirs are doing better than ever, thank you. We are moving in a new phase, where their role and tastes are becoming obvious, in part for an extremely sinister reason: they don’t feel they have to hide anymore.

Starve millions of Spaniards, kill the elephants. Hopefully they all suffer very much, pleasing Juan Carlos to no end.

After one more scandal too many, should one want to improve matters for the commons, Juan Carlos and his family ought to be removed from their influential position. We have seen enough of his kind. Juan Carlos, a Bourbon, that is a descendant of a family that made France suffer so much, is there because his ancestor, the sectarian criminal, Louis XIV of France, put him there. OK, first France had to win a war, the War of the Succession of Spain, an enormous world war that lasted more than 13 years, devastating all of Europe, and even America, but especially Spain, France and Germany.

The main reason why Spain could be democratized is that admiral Duke Carrero Blanco, Franco’s confidante and successor was thrown, still in his armored vehicle, into a ballistic trajectory by ETA. After overflying the church where he had attended mass, Prime Minister Blanco was in for a rude landing. He died later, after contemplating his crimes.

It’s high time for Spain to become a republic again, a generation after the fascists killed millions to make sure it was not. The fact that several members of Carlos’ family have been stealing Spain in full sight makes Spanish, hence European, recovery difficult.

We have seen that problem in Italy with Berlusconi. Now that Berlusconi is gone, a great cleaning has started. As much as 35% of Italy potential tax base is evaded, one now hears. Italians are poor, Italian political parties, are filthy rich. It turns out that some in one of the parties, the Ligua Norte, stole in excess of ten billion dollars. The son of the founder had never seen an expensive sport car the Ligua did not buy for him.

That reminds one of the Chinese Princelings who all go to Harvard, to live like princes. Plutocracy is a world phenomenon and Harvard is a crucial link of this somber conspiracy of unprecedented reach. Harvard profs wrote Saif Al Islam Qaddafi’s PhD thesis, passed in London at the urge of George Soros (another plutocrat multi billionaire). Bo, the son of Bo, famous for his extravagantly expensive lifestyle was in Harvard, but now that his mother has been accused of being an assassin, he has disappeared. Don’t worry: the daughter of the coming Chinese president is also in Harvard.

Some Harvard supporter told me that 60% of student there receive scholarships. Paid by American taxpayers? and does that mean we are left with 40% heirs of plutocrats, and 60% future sycophants? Plutocrats need servants. The latter can go to Harvard, and get acquainted to their masters, who are, conveniently enough, in the same locale.

Spain’s problems mostly arise from a conspiracy of the bankers with the politicians. Bankers, backed up by taxpayers, engaged, thanks to politicians into projects that could not bring a profit, but would just force the People of Spain (hence Europe) to pay them rent.

Time for the clean-up. It has to start with the symbols.

Just as there is a worldwide banking mafia feeding its pet politicians, academic and media, there is a worldwide fossil fuel mafia feeding the same sort of critters.    

Paul Handover from the excellent Learning From Dogs site has detected a new angle of the fossil fuel mafia. I thought that I saw I read everything from the CO2 deniers, but this reaches new heights of perversity! Thanks to Paul to bring this to light.

Arizona State University Professor Darnall claims that:

“Livestock generates more greenhouse gases than all the planes, trains and automobiles on the planet. In part, that’s because the methane from, well, the other end of cows, has 21 times the greenhouse gas warming effect as carbon dioxide.”

Whatever. Good trick to utter a lie, and then explain it with something true. Yet, Prof. Darnall does not even know her own propaganda well. The Global Warming Potential (GWP) of methane, CH4, over 20 years, is actually seventy-two times that of CO2, and twenty-five times over 100 years. However its global Global Warming effect may be as little as 25% that of CO2.

Methane from herding may have spared us a re-glaciation, 7,000 years ago, some scientists have suggested. The good professor rides on that notion all the way to hell.

There is crushing evidence that what the good professor says about cows is NOT just incorrect, it is outright absurd. And the absurdity is easy to demonstrate. Why? Because the CO2 went from 280 ppm (1800 CE) to 395 ppm, but only up to 460 ppm in CO2 equivalent (see Radiative Forcing, below).

As Paul Handover points out: Darnall’s solution? Meatless Mondays — to start curving that scary trend line.”

Just to visualize, that’s a lions’ diet. Once a week, lions at the zoo are NOT given meat, for better health. So prof. Darnall suggests that Americans, who, as Homo Sapiens, are omnivorous, should actually eat just like lions at the zoo, with “Meatless Mondays“.  

So even if all the supplementary CO2 like gases were all methane, CH4 (and they are not), one would get a methane contribution of only 30%, over the 1800 base.

The good prof. should have said that one could cut off all greenhouse gases of industrial origin. Some have 32,000 times the Greenhouse Warming Potential of CO2. One easy way to mitigate the greenhouse would be to outlaw them all. Their Radiative Forcing is about two-third that of methane, itself a third of CO2.

 So I would dare to say that the good professor’s discourse is corrupt. She looks cute like that, young and smiley, but she is out to seduce the big industrial interests of the fossil persuasion, or to seduce on their behalf. Obviously. It’s all about small people not doing enough, she says. They just eat too much of the bad stuff. Let them eat arugula instead.

This is typical: those who don’t want to change anything claim it’s enough to change a few little things: put the cardboard in the green container, eat grass, don’t shampoo, etc. In truth, the real problem is energy. Energy has to be made expensive. Why? Because it is. At this point, it is kept cheap by big armies, and an exploitative mentality. Even if there was no greenhouse and CO2 poisoning, fossil fuels will run out soon.

Whereas I say: rise energy taxes colossally, force professors, bankers and politicians to video-conference, instead of jetting around. I am myself jetting around right now, but it’s for (literally, vital family reasons). I have known professors who go around the world all the time, as if frequent flier miles were all they were really after, thanks to taxpayers’ ever more colossal generosity (does not beat Obama sending an army around his 13 year old to play solo student in Mexico, or Sarkozy recovering his bad belly adult son in Ukraine with one of the French republic’s fast jets).

I have not eaten much meat in my life (last time was a few months ago), so my defense of meat is altruistic. I know that in vast swathes of the planet, meat is the ONLY source of protein. Lack of proteins is a huge problem in Black African children, cattle and bush meat their salvation. We are far from arugula salad there. Cattle is also an important export and source of livelihood in the Third World.

There is probably more cattle in Africa than in the Americas. So not so good prof is saying millions of African children should go around with enormously distended bellies, and the poor there, getting poorer.

I am presently generating lots of CO2 myself, as I travel around the planet. But I am no hypocrite: I admit to it.

Plus, I have to do this for family reasons. I minimize air travel as much as possible. Out of dozens of flights, I remember just one for pure “tourism”. I may be somewhat hypocritical though, as my destiny was sprawled over three continents plus one archipelago. Thus I was condemned to conflate sightseeing and common decency. There are no free trips.

***

Patrice Ayme

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Decapitate Plutocracy

April 15, 2012

BY DECAPITATING THE WRONG PHILOSOPHY

Guillotine The Obsession With Making The Gold Man Richer.

***

Abstract: Plutocracy and democracy are, by definition, incompatible. I give perspective on how and why decapitating wealth would help to restore civilization. I answer a question from one of the commenters on this site, Old Geezer Pilot: …“if the 99% were to CONFISCATE ALL THE WEALTH of the 1 %, would it amount to very much?”

In financial wealth, it would amount to only 42% (in the USA). In philosophical and civilizational import, infinitely more. It would change the atmosphere of civilization. From unbreathable, to life sustaining.

One cause of the Greater Depression is economic inequality, which has risen to the level of the late 1920s. Economic inequality, in turn, has led to strident philosophical and even cognitive imbalances. In part because that is the ecology wealth needs to survive, in part because wealth bought universities, and the media (even in France, see below).

Mad bull plutocracy needs to be decapitated, before it causes further mental imbalance to civilization. So what would confiscation of the properties stolen by the plutocrats bring? Well, it would bring a change of mood, back from worshipping the Golden Calf, plutocracy, back to democracy.

Trashing the Goldman Calf is not just important philosophically and emotionally, it’s even important for daily life. officially, since 2008, the west has spent 8.9 trillion dollar on private banks, while cutting everything else, including fundamental scientific research (something neither India nor China has done, quite the opposite!).

The coming victory of the French Socialist party will change everything. Hollande declared that: “My true enemy has no name, no face, no party. He will never stand for election and will never be elected. Despite all this, he is in charge. My enemy is the world of finance.”

paris-gargoyle

To think well, don’t forget the Dark Side (view from Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris).

This ought to remind Obama that, having governed as if he were Romney, complete with Romneycare, there is little incentive for those who wanted change to go vote for Romney again, so they may well stay home. Just to whine that the real Romney is more scary, may not carry the day.

***

FRANCE: HEADING OUT OF PLUTOCRACY IN 3 WEEKS?

Spanish bulls for corrida are from a special, hyper aggressive breed. I saw a funny scene on video: a bull came into the still deserted arena, totally fuming. He was furious to have been deported from the wilds he enjoyed the last few years. So he charged, at an amazing speed, in such a straight trajectory that he hit the wall on the far side of the arena without deviating or slowing down any. His head went one way, its body another, and he flipped upside down in the air like a crepe.

There it laid in the sand, half dead. This is a good metaphor for plutocracy. it will not stop, it makes no sense, it is just inhabitated by Pluto. Trying bipartisanship with that, it’s Sarkozy and Obama. The former may soon jump from the Elysee palace to a judge’s hot seat.

That soon to be ex-president of France, Sarkozy, is in the same spiritual family as Thatcher and Reagan: be ever kinder to the rich, they will employ you.

True enough: ex-British PM John Major made a fortune working for the Carlyle Group, an international arms’ and financial conspiracy that makes the interface between corrupt Western politicians, the wars they organize, and the banks they feed. Tony Blair’s immense fortune is entirely made of pay-backs for his work on behalf of international plutocracy. He shows up at hedge fund, they give him enormous sums for opening his mouth, that’s how he does it. No prostitute was ever so expensive.

Same for Bill Clinton. It is thus difficult to wag the finger at Putin (who does the same, while not even waiting for the end of his rule, which, he announced modestly, will be around 2024).

Putin has to do the work all by himself, he cannot depend upon the vast pre-existing network of Western plutocracy, going all the way back when Hitler was just a wet dream, JP Morgan had, when he plotted with his young pet, the German Schacht, a quarter of a century later, one of Hitler’s creators. (Yes Schacht, one of the great criminals of history, was exonerated by the Nuremberg tribunal, although he had to attend that formality.)

The brother of the French president, Olivier Sarkozy, heads the Carlyle Group: international plutocracy is well organized. Sarko, bro of Sarko, is immensely rich.

In three weeks, Mr. Hollande, the candidate of the Parti Socialiste will be elected president of France. He will raise the top margin tax rate to 75%, he will yank the French army out of Afghanistan. That’s going to be a shot across the bow of world plutocracy. A little shot: the top USA tax rate under president Eisenhower, was 92%.

***

DOES FRANCE MATTER? YES, BUT WAS MADE INTO A PLUTOCRATIC TROJAN HORSE WITH EMU:

Cynics will laugh that one has seen that movie before. Mitterrand was elected in 1981, in the teeth of Thatcher and Reagan’s revulsion back to stone age (still unfolding, as the crash that never ends). Mitterrand, a pseudo socialist, ex-Vichy, soon had to revert to smaller objectives.

Mitterrand supported Thatcher on day one about the Falklands, while Reagan dithered, and had nothing to offer. Mitterrand trained the British military against the French weapons Argentina had, Super Etendards, Mirages, Exocets cruise missiles.

The British knew how dangerous Exocets could be: they had the world’s largest stock of them.  Mitterrand gave secret codes and counter-measures, secret factory stuff. During the war the Argentines were very courageous, and capable, but often of their weapons mysteriously failed at the second of impact. Many British ships got hit with bombs that did not explode. Even the warhead of the Exocet that sank the Sheffield did not explode.

It’s highly likely that, without the secret French help, enough of her Gracious Majesty’s Navy would have ended at the bottom of the Atlantic to make the recovery of the Falklands, a really ugly affair. Lady Thatcher owed the “Sphinx” (Mitterrand). So she consented to the tunnel under the Channel, and, more importantly to the Single European Act. She also did not obstruct the European Monetary Union (EMU), probably Mitterrand’s greatest achievement.

Little did Mitterrand realize that the crafty plutocrats had infected the architecture of the EMU completely with the poisonous idea that they, the plutocrats, and they alone, could finance the EMU. And that they, and they alone, could be financed by the European Central Bank. Somehow, they imparted upon their victims that the notion that putting banks in control of the states was the most moral, most economically correct position.

That nightmare had been put in place by French socialists viewed at the time as very smart (such as Jacques Delors, Mitterrand’s finance minister, and then grand master of European construction, making Thatcher eat in his hand). In retrospect those French socialist experts were, at best, incompetent fools.

It did not struck them that the initial law passed in France in 1973 prevented the Banque de France to finance the Treasury, was passed under president Pompidou. It’s similar to Obama and his democrats not being alarmed that the health law they pushed for was a product of the right wing Heritage Foundation, and his Romney (a “private equity” quick buck artist).

Pompidou was hired in 1953 by Guy de Rothschild to work at the bank Rothschild. In 1956, Pompidou was appointed the bank’s general manager, a position he held until 1962, when president De Gaulle  made him Prime Minister. This Pompidou banker became president in 1969. Naturally enough, he passed a law that has now subjugated all of Europe to the banks’ good will.

Except Britain, where banks have been nationalized in 2008.

And the French socialists understood nought, and still don’t seem to have. The socialists instituted their European welfare state as a wholly subsidized subsidiary of the banking sector. Obama seems to harbor a similar hope. The advantage is that, doing so, one does not antagonize plutocracy. The disadvantage is that history will know one was on the Dark Side, someday to be judged as roughly as the Roman Principate.

Even more remarkably, the mystification of plutocracy as socialism, economic and moral rectitude, keeps on going.

There was a debate of the ten French presidential candidates against a panel of journalists, one of them, Longlet, specialized in economy. Marine Le Pen, the National Front candidate complained that the Banque de France had lost the ability to buy treasuries. That ought to be a well known fact, at the core of the European sovereign debt crisis.

However, unbelievably, the economic journalist told her dismissively that buying treasuries would make France into Iran, or Zimbabwe. Le Pen, a lawyer by training, correctly told him that buying treasuries with its central bank was exactly what the USA has been doing. Instead of admitting that this fact was indeed a fact (that’s called Quantitative Easing), the economic specialist scolded Le Pen for knowing no economy. That Longlet was obviously paid for being lying so outrageously.

Another candidate, the highly educated Cheminade, made charges similar to le Pen, and all journalists ganged up on him because they said he had claimed that some in Britain and the USA had supported Hitler. They told him, and dozens of millions of watching French viewers, that he was a lunatic to entertain such notions. (reminder: Great Britain signed in 1935 a treaty with Hitler that explicitly violated the Versailles Treaty, as it allowed Hitler to rebuild a Navy and expand to the east, in exchange for setting up a trilateral trade system between Britain, the Empire, and Hitlerland).

The next day,  Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the most prominent candidate of the three from the “left of the left” is Le Pen’s fiercest adversary. She had walked off a debate with him a few weeks before (and he passed her as the third most popular candidate as a result; together they pull more than one third of the electorate!) However, confronted to the same journalist gang the next day, he condemned them for lying to Le Pen, and all of France about the Fed. Yes, Mélenchon said, Le Pen was right, and you were wrong. The gang did their best to change the conversation.

I was left with a weird impression: here were ten candidates, from the extreme right, to the extreme left, and none of them said anything really outrageous (OK, Philippe Poutou admitted that imprisoning bosses was a past time of his; but, in France this is a time honored tradition). However the journalists were deeply outrageous: they supported the established order, national or international, tooth and nail, and even provided Hitler’s sponsors with the shade they have always enjoyed.

Just as no Anglo-Saxon super capitalist could have ever helped Hitler in any way, according to those media super stars, it was also Zimbabwean for a national central bank to lend a dime to the national treasury.

Believe it or not, this is the conventional wisdom in Europe. Years ago, I was kicked out of a web site called the European Tribune, because I opposed these views. The site was managed by a highly successful, you guessed it… banker, and plenty of his colleagues on the site were enraged as I evoked all the American banks which financed Hitler, and how the USA government seized German property after WWI, to redistribute it to its plutocratic friends, and their German interface came to be known as the Nazi Party. (Conveniently the building where the records of the transactions were kept burned down: who needs fiction, when we have reality?).

Mélenchon accused the journalists to received outrageous salaries. My personal impression was worse: they are clearly paid by the financial plutocracy to utter counter-truths. All of this, notice, in France. it is of course much worse in the USA or briatin. Actually the Guardian ran an article on how scandalous it was to see Philippe Poutou, and his kind on TV. Whines the Guardian about these terrible things, equality and democracy:

“…why the equal billing?… We are seeing a lot more of Poutou, candidate for the New Anti-capitalist party, these days thanks to one of the quirks of French presidential elections that means as voting day approaches, a law kicks in giving every candidate equal air time on radio and television. It’s not just the length of time they’re given, but the quality … meaning no shunting the no-hopers off to midnight slots… Poutou stands no chance of being elected, and doesn’t want to be. Like the other no-hope candidates he is using the election to air his party’s political views..

In the USA, there are no democratic “quirks”. Hope is for sale, after being bought. Actually, there is just one party, the bipartisan party, and the president lauds it. Plutocrats give more money to whom they favor, and, in 94% of the cases (House of Representatives, Senate), the candidate who spends more get elected. In 2008, for the first time since public financing of candidate existed, a candidate refused to it, to gather much more money through private donations. That was Obama, and he out-spent, not just Clinton, infinitely, but his final opponent two to one. Wall Street fat cats financed Obama massively, while Obama  hid behind millions of tiny contributions to claim it was not what it appeared to be, whatever it was (personal disclosure: I did finance Obama massively; however, to my dismay, I found out he preferred to socialize with the meowing fat cats; differently from me, they have millions to offer him, after he gets out, if he is a good boy, and that is apparently what he prefers, following in this the despicable Bill Clinton).

***

1930S: WHEN “DEMOCRACY WAS FINISHED

The other time France went against the grain was in the 1930s. France refused to let her central bank allow banks to create massive money (a policy that was replicated as the ECB’s vicious mandate). All other leading countries did the opposite, and the Great Depression hit France longer. Economics were secondary, though, as everybody could see that another war with German fascism was looming, and war preparations were more important.

By 1936, France elected Léon Blum as socialist Prime Minister. A socialist of Jewish ancestry was the perfect answer to Hitler’s anti-Judaism. Blum passed a lot of far reaching legislation later adopted throughout the West, and now the world. 

On his second time as PM, in 1938, Blum sent heavy weapons to the Spanish republic under assault from the fascist conspiracy. However it was too little too late. American plutocrats, such as the oil company Texaco, had been supplying Hitler’s and Mussolini’s armies invading Spain. It was difficult for France to fight Germany, Italy, a rebel Spanish army, and, basically, those who ruled the USA. At that point, having got rid of its strong pro-Nazi elite, Great Britain was becoming more aware of the necessity to align herself with France, instead of the sort of plutocratic  propaganda of the American ambassador, Joe Kennedy.

Said Joe, on the record:”Democracy is finished in England. It may be in the USA.” Plutocracy at its best. The guy was obsessed by becoming the first Catholic president of the USA.

***

WHEN SOME OF THE RICHEST JEWS NOURISHED NAZISM:

So are we getting in a similar situation? Yes, and no. Yes, in the sense that plutocrats, hysterical at the sight of one of the leading countries freeing themselves from subjugation,  are going to do their best to sabotage French socialism, in the hope to stop any momentum that way in other countries. This is what happened in the 1930s.

However this time is different. In the 1930s France, from the People to the secret services, was well aware of the conspiracy between international plutocracy and fascism (some, even in France, loved it; many of these traitors met their demise in 1944-45, when dozens of thousands were executed, more than were during the French Revolution of 1789, or the Commune’s annihilation). The secret services tried a sophisticated operation to expose the connection between Nazis, international financiers and industrialists, and even Jewish-American billionaires. That Simon Warburg affair backfired as Dutch “justice” ordered the book destroyed, worldwide (only one copy survived in Switzerland).

To this day a colossal amount of disinformation exists about the Warburg family. Although some facts are in plain sight: two of his members, for example, served on IG Farben’s board.  IG Farben was the giant Wall Street created chemical monopoly that was behind Hitler, Auschwitz, and Zyklon B. It was part of a giant conspiracy set-up by Wall Street to turn around the anti-monopoly laws of Teddy Roosevelt, with the full support of the government of the USA.

The conspiracy behind Nazism boggles the mind. It extended, it extends, well after the death of the participants. In a few days I will be in Washington’s airport: it’s named after one of the main Nazi collaborators in the USA: the Dulles brothers. Now celebrating Martin Luther king’s dream is excellent, but celebrating it too much leaves no passion to condemn the implicit celebration of the triumphant duplicity of the supremacist Dulles. In other words, the martin Luther King cult, poorly executed, becomes a cover-up for the plutocracy underneath. MLK would have been the first to call attention to that.

All of this shows the importance of moods.

***

THE 1% IS NOT THE PROBLEM, THE .1% IS:

Another point, and very practical: the 1% is not really the problem. The bottom half of the 1% retire on a post tax income roughly equal to the average family income in the USA. Most of them have worked very hard all their life on a post tax income of around $250,000, out of which they can invest at most $100,000, as they live typically in expensive area where it cost $150,000 to live in mediocre life (try to live in New York or San Francisco on $150,000: you will live less well than with $30,000 in, say, Montana).

The real problem is the top .1%. Their worth is above 100 million dollars. They can go anywhere, borrow for nothing (their preferred method to avoid tax). They use tax heavens, worldwide. They go to politicians, tell them what to do. To illustrate, see Barak Obama using Warren Buffet as a piece of his brain (Obama is now going around in circles with what he calls a “Buffet rule“, which says that the richest of the richest shall be taxed at 30%, half the upper margin rate of the upper middle class).

To defang the top .1% is very simple: index the capital gains tax on income (and in particular so called “carried interest“). Leave it as now for less than a million dollars, and then bring it up to 90%. also make tax heaven unlawful.

Some say that the rich would leave if taxed and hounded throughout the West. Where? China? Siberia? Iran? North Korea? Mars?

***

PLUTOCRACY IS NOT JUST A CLASS, IT’S A MOOD, AND A HOPE:

Old Geezer observes and asks: The 1 % have treed the 99 %. So, I ask as a thought exercise, if the 99 were to CONFISCATE ALL THE WEALTH of the 1 %, would it amount to very much? Other than making us all feel better for seeing justice done, would there be much of a change? I am asking this question because I really don’t know the answer. It is NOT rhetorical.”

Excellent question. Confiscation will address vengeance and justice. Redistribution of property can have also a very positive effect on the economy, and on society.

The reason why Che Guevara failed in Bolivia is that he had not weighted enough the impact of the redistribution of land that happened in Bolivia in the 1950s. Thus the proletariat was not anxious to support him. Redistribution did not happen in Rome when the Gracchi asked for it, but something a bit like that happened under Tiberius (among the middle/upper classes). Tiberius intervened with national banks created for the occasion.

Morality: we should not believe we have nothing to do with imperial Principate Rome. By the way only 52 individuals were executed in Tiberius’ times for treason. Many were obviously very culprit, in a sordid plot, more than a decade long, that resulted in the death by poison of Drusus, Tiberius’ son. The crime was found out only 8 years later. 

Confiscation can have two dimensions:

1) confiscation of wealth

2) confiscation of power.

Wealth is power, but not all power is under the form of confiscable wealth. When Putin reigns as a tsar, he uses his power. His considerable wealth is for his retirement.

Both wealth and power need to be confiscated from the plutocrats. The top 1% owns 40% of property in the USA, observes Stiglitz (Nobel Prize eco 2001). They leverage that into enormous power because they completely dominate intellectually the representatives of the PEOPLE, and the media class. .

The foremost positive effect of confiscation would be to change completely the philosophical guidance of civilization.

Take health care, USA. Obama claimed his plan, Obaromcare, is about insuring 30 million Americans not insured now. Sounds good, but not fixing the main problem, and that is the health care plutocracy, and it sucking ever more of GDP. The plan was mostly devised for those. So Obamromcare was an elaborate con job.

Look at the banks: nine trillions were given to the managements that caused the crisis, or their brothers, to invest more into “financial products”, and keep the hedge fund “industry” afloat.

So was Afghanistan: first of all, a profit for the military-industrial. So, in France, was Sarkozy cutting the taxes on the hyper rich. (Instead of having an industrial policy, as Merkel had.)

In all these abominable plots, one sees that the overall philosophy was that making the rich richer was a meta-value: from it all goodness will flow. Once that philosophy, that the key economic strategy is to make the rich richer is guillotined, one can put a completely different philosophy on the throne.

***

Patrice Ayme

Civilisation Sénégalaise

April 12, 2012

AFRICAN PHILOSOPHY CAN BE SUPERIOR IN IMPORTANT WAYS

Abstract: The republic of Senegal demonstrates that many of the conventional wisdoms are as wrong as wrong can be. Sénégal is a country with a very old civilization, even its own secular civilization (some of it disguised as the local Sufi Islam).  

That Senegalese civilization,  is more advanced, on many important markers, than the Euro-American block. So say Senegalese philosophers, including yours not so humble servant (now flaunting his African hat).

The West ought to support and defend Sénégal, because it’s about supporting and defending the essence of the West’s civilization. Much can be done, at little cost, while bringing enormous gain. The first of which being to gain great African wisdom.

Oh, and did I mention my dad led the team which found lots of very thick oil off Casamance? It was too expensive to extract at the time, but will be profitable some day. That ought to interest the West’s plutocrats.

Last, but not least. Readers may think I am “Islamophobic”, but, besides being afraid of nought, what I truly despise is the myth of Abraham: tying up a child, telling him one will cut his throat, just to please the “jealous” boSS, who glorifies in his “jealousy” (see the Second Commandment in the Bible).

As it turns out, not only I do not have a problem with Islam, Senegalese style, but I even approve of it, as it has great social virtues. (I also fear that Saudi Wahhabism, propelled by oil money, and the feudal conspiracy born out of world plutocracy will succeed to kill Senegalese Islam, which has been gaining adepts throughout the world.)

African philosophy has two main advantages:

1) It is closer to the original main philosophical operating system Homo Sapiens operated by, and evolved under. In full. It has not be led astray, constrained, mutilated, put into a box.

2) People raised in Africa have, close at hand, a cultural jump that spanned 3,000 years of history. So they can not just compare diverse cultures, but diverse places in history.

***

Sénégal is bounded on the north and east by the river with that name. To the west lays the Atlantic ocean. Three quarters of the country is in the Sahel zone, which has been heating up, and drying. The country had only one significant resource: fishing. However international trawler fleets have been devastating the ocean, ruining the diet of the Senegalese.

A country such as France would send gun boats (as she did against foreign fishers in the last ten years). But now Sénégal is independent… Of France.

Sénégal did not ask for independence from France, France just wanted to make economies, as one of the ministers involved admitted… 40 years later: it was too expensive to maintain a full hospital every 100 kilometers, so France threw independence at much of black Africa, to get rid of it ASAP (and open Africa to plutocrats).

Some have said it’s better to die standing up, rather than to live on one’s knees. But, if Sénégal runs completely out of fish, Senegalese will not been able to do either, as they will lay in the dirt, dying of hunger, or, at least lack of proteins.

Reading this, armies of vegetarians will utter that one can survive with plants alone. It is true that West Africa has its own rice, evolved there, and it is grown in southern Sénégal. However neither beans, nor potatoes can be grown in lowland equatorial Africa (too warm). And milk is not a possibility either: local cattle gives meat, not milk (nor has cattle a realistic future as the country is strangled by a slow and steady, terminal drought).   

Sénégal is the most democratic country in Africa: not only the country has been independent for longer than Kenya or Tanzania, but it has been continually ruled by universal suffrage. (By contrast, most other African countries were not only dictatorships, but nationalistic to the point of racism, racist (South Africa, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe) or theocratic (Egypt), monarchies, etc. )

So Sénégal is a democracy, in spite of being one the poorest countries. This shows that democracy and wealth are independent notions. One does not need to be well off to have the People in power. Democracy is not a luxury.

Sénégal is very poor, but also very smart in its own special ways. Some of these ways are on the forward edge of global civilization. For example Sénégal is less sexist in some ways than its ex-administrator, France. This shows that anti-sexism is not exclusive to Western civilization. This also shows that not having sexism is not a luxury.

Democracy and having no sexism are no luxury, because they are natural states of Homo Sapiens.  

Anti-sexism in the West originated from the Etruscans and the Germans. The Greeks and Romans, let alone the Jews (who originated the Abrahamist disease), were awful sexists.

France, a merger between Gaul, Rome and Germania (“Inferior“) pretty much invented a lot of anti-sexism: Merovingian queens could reign, and at least seven did as much as any king did (one of them outlawed slavery for the Franks, and everybody had been a Frank for a century). The Salic law allowed girls to inherit fully, just as a man, including the throne, as long as no brother was left (hey, Salic law was written 17 centuries ago).

By contrast in England, for another millennium, husbands appeared in court in the stead of their wives (however they were not roasted in their place).

While in France noble women studied more refined ways of handling inter-gender relationships in the “Courts d’ Amour” (that gave birth to “common courtesy”, as we know it), much of French culture, as the rawness of the Franks got diluted, returned to the old demons of Roman sexism (for five centuries from about 1320 CE to Napoleon’s infantile sexism, and grotesquely misogynistic  legislation).

Thus one sees that sexism has a long and complicated history in the West. In non sexist Crete, girls with very little clothing fought bulls, for a profession, but thirty centuries later, Jeanne d’Arc was condemned to burn alive, for having worn pants in jail (to avoid rape, she said). This shows that erroneous mental systems have huge inertia.

This also shows one of the interests of Black Africa. Differently from North Africa (which is fundamentally Western Eurasia, culturally and genetically), Black Africa is philosophically independent. Black Africa, by staying out of the convoluted history of the Middle Earth, was able to stick to a more fundamental philosophy, which, per its fundamental nature, is often more correct.

Sexism in the Middle Earth is very complex. But complexity is not veracity.

Until very recent times, not only Senegalese women did not cover their face, but, whenever working, or exercising, not much of their body either. Why? Well, why not? Ah, and a little detail: temperatures can reach 50 Celsius, 120 F in the interior.  

One can compare the Senegalese tradition of women dressed like the Olympic athletes of old, with that of the Middle East. There, traditionally, women have been turned into tents. Thus they are unable to go outside much, or to do any significant work there. Thus they stay inside, turning stupid… And not turning the children they bring up inside into the brightest bulbs, either. 

Sénégal has its own version of Islam. Something crucial about Senegalese Islam is that it is non sexist. In some ways, it was significantly less sexist than anything found in Europe or America (for example, women did not have to be more covered with more clothes than men).

Overall, Senegalese society is less sexist, because it worships less at the foot of the difference between genders. Or let me rephrase that; coming out of Sénégal, and watching the Euro-American circus of civilization pretense, I was struck by how much was contrived to increase differences. For example Western men are enticed, and train themselves, to avoid high pitch sounds. It’s something that is pretty obvious when one lives in West Africa.

Why that fear of having European men pass for women?  Is it because European men are supposed to be terrifying, and terrifyingly serious all the time? Is it because the roar of a low growl fills the inferior ones with dread? Thus, is the lack of high pitch related to empire?

Were African-American  musicians subversively undermining the Western empire by going high pitch occasionally? If Obama had exhibited early on his high pitch capability (which he discreetly showed to Mick Jagger recently), he would never have been elected president.

Indeed a few pop stars, since the 1960s, have neglected the interdiction against high pitch squeaking, and feminine voices. But certainly, many were not completely mesmerized by empire (and thus some were decorated by the empire to cover-up that fact).

In Sénégal, men have kept fuller voices, and are less afraid to pass for women (probably because, well, it’s hard to confuse a big strong Senegalese with a woman…). In Sénégal, the gender gap is viewed, in some important ways, as less important to society than in it is in Euro-America, and it is also viewed as something impoverishing society, because it puts both men and women, each, into their little box (and then Euro-Americans have all these rather comical gender identification problems).

A lot of contemporary music originated in West Africa, where the main instruments are obvious direct ancestors of those of jazz and rock.

Another important activity of Senegalese society is talking and debating. OK, at about 12 degrees of latitude, the most productive thing to do, mid-day, is to rest in the shade and talk. But talking is viewed as so important in West Africa that an entire caste specialized in it exists, the griots. Griots are in charge of talking, storytelling chanting, and no doubt incarnate the origin of what came to be known as rap.

Debating and talking was viewed as essential in a lot of European civilization at its most famous. This is another case of convergence between Sénégal and the best Europe ever offered.

So what is it about Senegalese Islam? Well one can put it in a rather striking way: Senegalese Islam is secular (!).

After hysterical laughter from those who do not know the meaning of some words die down, I will explain what secular means. “Secular” means living in one’s age. One can be to some extent superstitious, and secular, at the same time. Indeed, everybody is a bit of both. Even the most fanatical of fanatics has to live, to some extent, in his own time, be it only to be effective in his nastiness.

Thus Osama bin Laden studied civil engineering. (So one can see bin Laden was completely steeped in the world he had when he was three year: he believed thoroughly the superstition of his ancestors, he studied the knowledge of his father, an engineer, founder of the Binladen group.)

Senegalese Islam is viewed as “Sufi“. That means that Senegalese Islam has an important, even domineering, philosophical component.

The Wikipedia article on Sufism I linked to emphasizes the mystical character of some types of Sufism… as if Sunni Islam were not mystical; it is true that some forms of Sufism are very mystical… But it’s just the opposite in Sénégal. Senegalese Islam is a philosophical machine.

So what is the metaprinciple of Senegalese Islam?

One can put it this way: to inject into secularism the spirit that habitated Muhammad. So it’s not just about the Qur’an (which was written long after Muhammad’s death), nor is it about all what Muhammad was supposedly heard saying (Hadith), or supposedly seen doing (Suna). It’s about being inhabitated with the same spirit Muhammad had.

And what do we see in the spirit that habitated Muhammad? A strong will to change secularism by improving civilization along the lines of science and new possibilities. Thus in Senegalese Islam, wise religious figures can rise as high, or even higher than Muhammad himself… thanks to more knowledge and more possibilities.

That was the case of Amadou Bamba. After opposing (pacifically) a rather obtuse French administration (which deported him far away), this Senegalese holy man came to terms with it. Amadou Bamba understood that it was important to help France defeat racist Germanoid fascism. So him, a pacifist, help send an enormous number of  Tirailleurs Sénégalais. 200,000 saw combat in World War One, and 30,000 died, thanks in part to Amadou Bamba.

A few years ago, the Constitution of Senegal was changed to limit presidential mandates to two terms (as in France, itself following the lead, for once, of the USA). President Wade chose to interpret this as meaning that he could do a third term, as the change happened during his second term. The Senegalese were not amused, and demonstrated massively. Wade impressed on the Constitutional Court that his point of view was right. However, he was defeated by one of his own past Prime Ministers (initially an agronomic engineer), now president Macky Sall. One can compare with Russia, where Putin just said he envisioned to be president until 2024!

By American standards, massive demonstrations against the guys in power is too awful to contemplate, it’s not part of democracy as United States citizens are supposed to understand it. However, the Senegalese, just like the French, and, increasingly, other Europeans, view civil disobedience as a form of free speech. Yet, the Senegalese although friendly to great verbal energy, and even confrontation, are overall extremely pacific.

In general, there seems to be a complementary relationship between verbal violence, and real violence. And it’s understandable: verbal violence can address problems that, if left untouched, only physical violence can otherwise fix.

I was raised in Sénégal. Once after more than a decade, a taxi cab driver was assassinated. Something never heard before. It turned out that the assassins were two white French tourists!

There has been a secession war of sort in Casamance, in the equatorial south, separated from the rest of the country by (the English speaking country of) Gambia, religion, way of life (villages are full of black pigs). But the situation there is easily explained by the unfolding anthropogenic ecological disaster, some of which just arose from making roads through the giant mangrove forests, destroying them, with the teeming life they brought.  

Basically the problem with Casamance, or, in general, with the catastrophic turn of Senegalese ecology is too big for Senegal to solve alone. I was aghast when I saw recent photographs of entire regions that went from lush with towering trees, to moon like dried mud, from horizon to horizon.

In any case, let’s revert to the positive. How come is the  civilisation Sénégalaise so advanced? How does that fit with my Middle Earth centric view of the world? The Middle Earth is composed of the Indo-European ensemble plus North Africa and Arabia.

The Middle Earth centric view claims that the Middle Earth (in the middle of which is the Middle East) that most human inventions arose there, because the Middle Earth was the forum of the world. It is bordered to the west and north by the ocean, and to the east by the nearly completely impassable giant mountains of the Himalayas, Karakorum, Tien Shan, and their associated deserts.

Right now Black Africa is separated from the Middle Earth by the Sahara desert. But it was not always so. The Sahara was wonderfully wet at the very birth of Egyptian civilization. The Egyptians had to take refuge along the Nile and associated lakes, as the Sahara finally desiccated. That was about 7,000 years ago. But trade routes remained.

In the last 3,000 years, Carthage re-established the relationship between Middle Earth and Black Africa (so did Morocco later).

How come Europeans could not repeat in Africa what they did in the Americas? Steel. Africans had steel. Steel arrowheads would have been enough to stop Europeans. As a child, I saw some native hunters train with bow and arrow, and I was impressed. The penetration of arrows deep in solid tree trunks was astounding.

Africans had, have, developped their own steel technology. So who invented steel? It’s not clear. The Dorians showed up with it, and conquered Greece, thanks to it (killing all the men, causing a Dark Age). The Dorians came from the north, but I believe possible that steel technology actually arose in Black Africa first, and came to Greece in a circuituous route.

So was Sénégal part of the Middle Earth, in some ways? Of course.  First Senegalese, those the French were in contact with, had French citizenship, already in the seventeenth century (curiously, under the sectarian fanatic Louis XIV, probably desirous to make us believe he was not how he truly was). In the Nineteenth century, the French conquered all of Sénégal.

That meant that 5,000 Tirailleurs Sénégalais, armed with guns, led by ten French officers, yes, only ten, conquered all of Senegal, and beyond.

Senegal was thus created as a country. Senegal did not exist before that because it was actually made, at the time, of at least six different nations, each with its own language. These six “regional” languages are recognized officially: Wolof, Soninke, Serer, Fula, Maninka, Diola. (In a similar fashion, before Caear invaded gaul, three main languages were talked there… Latin became the new lingua franca, would I say, trying to be funy…).

The national language of Sénégal, of course, is French. One should not forget that France and Sénégal were long united. There were French Members of Parliament, or Senators, Senegalese born. Leopold Sedar Senghor,  Sénégal’s first president, was a prominent member of the French constituent assembly after World War Two. 

Senghor was a major French poet and philosopher. With other prominent French thinkers of non white skin, he thought one had to be proud of the word “niger” (the Latin for black). The fact that Americans think that “niger”, mispelled, is an insult means that the USA has not yet graduated out of racism 101. Senegalese make a lot of paintings where black dominates, it is unique, and extremely beautiful.

One can go back much earlier than the European period. Before the Europeans showed up on one ridiculously tiny volcanic island off the Senegal to trade slaves (and where I nearly got killed in an accident), Sénégal had, twenty century earlier, been in contact and trade with Carthage. Carthage, as a Phoenician colony, was fully a Euro-Mediterranean power. Although Rome hated and annihilated Carthage, Rome absorbed many of the Punic colony’s ways, from naval and agricultural engineering to other, more subtle moods.

Carthage got destroyed by Roman plutocrats, because they had come to fear its democracy. But the democratic ideal of that giant city survived (although those it inspired in Rome itself were destroyed in the next few generations, well, here we are, confronting the bankers and their ilk).

Civilization is not just about books, or even oral knowledge. It is also about moods. Long ago, may be as they traded with Carthage, and allowed Carthagenese to install a settlement, the Senegalese learned to be more open minded, and laugh about it. The West, and especially France, can do better than mildly forget about Sénégal, which incarnates so many of the good ways of the West, and sometimes does it better than the West can yet understand.

***  

Patrice Ayme

RADICAL BANKING FIX

April 9, 2012

BANKS ARE PUBLIC, MAKE THEM TRANSPARENT!

Why Are Banks Dealt With As If They Were Private? When They Are Not?

An Obvious Corruption Of The Constitution?

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Abstract: I track the genesis of Fractional Reserve Banking, all the way down to imperial Rome (a full 14 centuries before Wikipedia has it, nota bene). Rome developed a serious money problem, a Fractional Reserve System, properly done, would have solved it. Instead Rome invented other useful institutions: central planing, feudalism, and a notional currency (a few centuries later the Song dynasty used another notional currency, paper money; Rome could afford the luxury of diluting more precious metals in copper coins).

A slight problem that our contemporary plutocrats have succeeded to hide, is that the power and advantage of Fractional Reserve Banking lays in the fact that it is state controlled. The state can change the money supply, as needed. Up or down. What the Roman Principate could not do. Rome had run out of money, unlike the Fed, or now, the ECB.

In this enormous power, notional currency, that is, fractional reserve, great opportunity, but also the risk of enormous corruption. China, which did not have enough silver and gold, used copper and paper currency. That led, after centuries, to a terrible inflation that destroyed the value of money (contributing to the fall of the Yuan dynasty). China soon became dependent upon Spanish provided South American silver.  

Thus it is no wonder that Big Banking has turned into organized crime, thanks to Fractional Reserve banking. Corrupting the state through money fabrication gifted to friends, is a not a new crime, as cybercrime is. But its extent is new (by the way, early American presidents feared this, and took strong measures against it; president Jackson, not a shrinking violet, called it its “proudest achievement“, on his deathbed).

Nor is that crime unlawful as two of my smart interlocutors have pointed out. When a plutocratically minded Principate rises, it is careful to change the laws to suit its evil ends. A principate we have. Each time American media celebrates the “first lady” and “first family”, they celebrate the first man in Rome, the Princeps (as one says in Latin). Then Obama sends the first daughter to Mexico with a private army. At this point he implicitly tells the banksters: “I am one of yours! We are first! We own the world! welcome me in your arms! I need money!” It may not be conscious, but it is deliberate, at the subconscious level. Otherwise, why the outrage, when Angela Merkel herself flies not just in a common airline, but a low cost one?

However, differently from old Rome, and West County Men friendly England, France and the USA have WRITTEN constitutions. The first words in those Constitutions are the most important. There are six. Three in the USA, three in France. Those are clearly violated. (Could Obama understand that?)

The politicians, who have been in cahoots with the financiers, have been unwilling to turn against their accomplices (politicians get instantaneously punished, at least in financing: Obama, having raised his voice a bit against the financial conspiracy is running at 25% of the funding he got at the same point in 2008, when the banks thought he was in their pocket).

So, what to do? Very simple, having exposed the problem, one can actually roll out a solution. Democracy has to be transparent. Taxes are transparent, at least to the state. There is a reason to hide taxes from the public eye: income is a private matter, and so is spending… As long as they involve only private money.

However, if they involve credit, it is another matter entirely. Credit is the extension to private entities of public money. I will indeed argue that credit, when it involves banks enjoying the Fractional Reserve System, is actually PEOPLE money.

To keep CREDIT FROM THE PEOPLE clean and ethical, make that spending of PEOPLE money, public and transparent.

If not, it’s civilization itself, that will keep on going down the drain.

***

BANKING AND INTEREST:

They are different notions. The Islamist civilization evolved a very complex financial system, with most of the characteristics of Western banking… But without charging interest.

What’s a bank? Originally, it was an organization B that pooled otherwise unused capital, and then gave said capital to some other entity C that could make use of it. The capital was lent, and that means, that it was reimbursed slowly, according to the creditor C’s capability.

One may wonder why bank B would lend money.

For doing so, interest was invented. However, after a few generations of free interest rates, the Roman republic observed that interest made the rich richer. Interest was restricted to 10%, then 5%, and finally outlawed interest in 342 BCE (that’s not long after the writing of the Bible’s Old Testament, although at the time Rome knew nothing of the Jews). By contrast, the European Union has allowed recently money changers charge states of the Union interest over 30%.

Otherwise said, today’s Europeans are like the Romans of 26 centuries ago, before the Roman revolution, rather than as enlightened as those of 23 centuries ago… 

Abrahamist faith declared that banks would lend to co-religionists out of the goodness of their heart. Lending money to heathens and miscreants could be done against interest, a supplementary payment or tax, well in line with scripture.

Scripture mercifully envisioned the survival of miscreants, as long as they paid interest. Thus banks, complete with lending against interest, could exist. They were obviously private enterprises.

So far, so good. Then something happened that even the perverse writers of the Bible and Qur’an had not anticipated, even though, their delirium, they generally get all the angles covered.  

The Fractional Reserve System was created. The preceding link, to Wikipedia, does not go in the mathematical details. I have already explained in Fractional Reserve Gouging, and many other essays, that Fractional Reserve Banking (FRB) is intrinsically unjust, and an engine for constructing neo-feudalism.

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The FULL HISTORY OF FRACTIONAL RESERVE BANKING STARTS WITH ROME:

American Wikipedia, as a faithful servant of New York finance, starts the history of Fractional Reserve Banking, FRB, with the Dutch: New York started as New Amsterdam, and the Netherlands, having been created by… France (to a great extent), then conquered England (!), inventing the highly leverage finance tied into the state that we observe now in the USA.

Immediately after inventing astronomical leverage, the hyperactive Netherlands turned against its creator, mightily arrogant France, the greatest land power… That is why highly leveraged finance had been invented, to start with: to give the Dutch armies power much beyond the tiny size of the Netherlands. That financial power went into an enormous Navy, soon duplicated in England, and the Bank Of England was created to finance it!

In truth it did not dawn on Wikipedia that FBR was a solution to a problem that was in full evidence in imperial Rome. Naturally enough, the solution was found in the Italian republics, a millennium after Rome only partly solved its financial quandary.   

To fully understand FRB, one has to go back to the Third Century of imperial Rome, the Third century of the Principate, which started with the Libyan Septimus Severus, imperator of the Illyricum armies (“Balkans”),  sending back the Praetorian Guard to its barracks, and becoming Princeps in its stead.

So it started well, but it ended with catastrophe: constant coups, “barrack emperors”, a massive plague killing much of the population… And a collapse of the financial system. There was basically not enough currency for the empire’s growing economy.

That was caused by a lack of precious metals. Rome used a three tiered system; copper, silver, gold (China had mostly only copper, making the currency impossible). Rome ran out of silver and gold. Five centuries later, the Franks got the precious metals, lots of silver, in newly conquered Eastern Europe, to feed their free market.

The Roman government reacted in two ways:

1) by creating a notional currency with a fictional relationship to the gold currency they kept on using (the latter was to stay in use in the Imperium Francorum/Romanum through the Middle Ages until 1,000 CE).

2) by setting up a government regulated barter system. That was a further step in the instauration of feudalism. By the way, such a system is basically in force between the West and the feudal lords of the Middle East, as many an enraged Muslim fundamentalist will tell you, while foaming at the mouth).

While doing this, the organization of the empire switched from the Principate to the Dominate (although I give references to Wikipedia, that does not mean I agree with all what’s there; it’s just a rough, and raw idea of the referred notion. In particular that article evoked that the “Western empire formally collapsed in 476 CE” is simply, and formally, false).

The switch to the Dominate corresponded, to some extend to the switch towards a command and control economy (paradoxically, there is no contradiction between the growth of command and control and the growth of plutocracy; plutocracy crowded out the free market, as did the dwindling technological options, due to the faltering of timely technological progress).

After 1,000 CE, as Western Europe, propelled by beans and other scientifico-technological advances, became richer than the Roman world had ever been, more determined efforts were made to reconstitute the Roman republic. The Franks had protected the reconstituted republics, such as Venice (after all the Imperium Francorum was supposed to be a republic, with elected heads of states). So:

3) Banking appeared fully, in an addition to the Roman system (1) money backed by the armed force of the government and 2) mandated state enterprises, above). The Italian republic created government bonds (to pay the armies), and Fractional Reserve Banking.

***

FRACTIONAL RESERVE BANKING AROSE WHEN…

Paper notes representing the precious minerals in the vaults of banks, were themselves traded. It was soon realized that this was identical to the main Roman monetary system of notional currency, and, that, just as in Rome more of these notes could be traded than the precious minerals they represented.  

So, instead of using fake precious coins as Rome did, the Middle Ages switched to promissory notes, paper money, and the like. Before soon, the governments, whose armies protected the bank vaults, came to use those notes as currency.

***

MAKING FRACTIONAL RESERVE BANKING CONSTITUTIONAL:

From the preceding, it is hopefully clear that banks, even private banks are actually STATE enterprises. All they have that is private is who manage and exploit them. But they are on a mandate from the state to create credit, that is, money.

Some will scream as they read this, and tell me that I understand nought. Yet, I do, and they don’t. There is total lack of understanding, true, but it’s on their part.  The only way to have really private banks is with no leverage, whatsover, and no back-up from the state. I would say that, when a big bank uses 97% leverage, it’s at least 97% people owned. (It’s more than 97% because of the back-up of the bank from the state.)

In 2008, the “Fed” would lend 50 billion dollar to Lehman Brothers in the morning. Every morning. The three top guys at Lehman walked away with 5 billion dollars between them, or so. The money was never recovered, nor do the fat cats want us to think of it this way. Your money is their money, end of the story.

Thus I believe that, as banks are actually public enterprises, they ought to be people controlled, instead of being milked by a few individuals who golf with the political chiefs. Instead of having bankers buy politicians, we should have the people, checking them both, under scrupulous laws.

How to do this? Make all and any bank transaction public, and pass laws to insure that any extension of credit from any bank is economically justified. Moreover use the Internet to publish the whole thing, so that everybody can have a look, check, and report to the government, if they spot any deviation between the official reasoning to support some investment, and the reality of what is going on.

***

BECAUSE BANKS ARE PEOPLE OWNED, THEY SHOULD BE PEOPLE CONTROLLED. That does not mean they should people managed. Air Traffic control, or the Army are people controlled, but they are not people managed (that was the point that eluded Plato and Socrates!)

The preamble of the Constitution of the USA is very clear. It starts with three words:

“We The PEOPLE”

(yes, in capital letters). It does not start with: we the politicians, we the bankers, we the plutocrats, we the conspirators of the United States of America, we the republicans, we the fat cats of America, we the free marketers (not to be confused with the three musketeers).

The French Constitution starts with “LIBERTY EQUALITY FRATERNITY”, not “Slavery Inequality Inequity”. Actually the Article Two of the French Constitution says the French government is “par le Peuple, pour le Peuple“. It is not a government by the bankers, for the bankers.

The bankers reply that they are somehow uniquely qualified, but their only apparent qualification is the greatest misallocation of capital, ever. And the fact they stayed out of jail or the scaffolds, while doing so, is also unique in history.

All other constitutions are a mix of the French or American ones, that is why fixing France and the USA is key. (Britannia does not know how to write, apparently, so it is hard to know what it is about, and that is why nations around the globe have inspired themselves from the French and American idea, from 1789, to sit down, and write a constitution).

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NO DEMOCRACY, SAYS WALL STREET:

After I wrote a shorter version of the preceding paragraph in the Wall Street Journal’s comments, in an article which exposed president Obama’s love for a fat cat, Mr. Wolf, the head of UBS. Somebody working in the finance industry, John Crocker, replied scathingly that we you do not understand anything … certainly not banking. If you’d like to think you do … well, what color is the sky in the universe where you live? Banks should be “people controlled”? …  we do not live in a “Democracy” .. we live in a representative republic. And also one that happens to be based on free market principles… In many ways, the US Government is now more of a “criminal enterprise” than any bank has ever been. Only because the government itself decides what is “legal” or not, they will never be arrested. Yeah … bankers cultivate and form relationships with federal politicians … Why? They have to.”

I think the response is pretty telling. Fat cats on Wall Street see, in the preamble of the constitution of the USA: “We The Free market of America Have A Republic Where We Are Represented” Old Geezer Pilot on this site concurred:

It is not organized crime.

It is not even disorganized crime.

Because during the past 30 years, those banking operations and financial transactions have been made PERFECTLY LEGAL by our Congress. The best politicians money can buy.”

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IGNORE THE CONSTITUTION, GET CIVIL WAR & NAZISM:

From above, one can see that Congress has strayed from the Constitution. The Constitution is about a “PEOPLE” regime. Unfortunately, when the Constitution of the USA was written, it was not thought to create a Constitutional Court. France has one, so now does Germany. Both courts have come out with interesting decisions the Supreme Court of the USA (SCOTUS) could never have come up with. SCOTUS has traditionally adopted a small role of pseudo Constitutional Court, but was unable to stop the multi-generational march to the American Civil War. That war was absolutely devastating. Scholars have revisited the number of dead. Upwards.

In New Estimate Raises Civil War Death Toll, the New York Times

For 110 years, the numbers stood as gospel: 618,222 men died in the Civil War, 360,222 from the North and 258,000 from the South — by far the greatest toll of any war in American history.

But new research shows that the numbers were far too low. By combing through newly digitized census data from the 19th century, J. David Hacker, a demographic historian from Binghamton University in New York, has recalculated the death toll and increased it by more than 20 percent — to 750,000.

The new figure is already winning acceptance from scholars… A pre-eminent authority on the era, Eric Foner, a historian at Columbia University, said:

“It even further elevates the significance of the Civil War and makes a dramatic statement about how the war is a central moment in American history. It helps you understand, particularly in the South with a much smaller population, what a devastating experience this was.”

Well, it ought to have been a devastating lesson. What was the lesson? That, when one let festers an unconstitutional situation, an infection of civilization by infamy, gangrene sets in.  

However, the leaders of the USA, did not learn their lesson. When American plutocrats ran away with Hitler, Stalin and company, even president Franklin D. Roosevelt did not pay attention to the problem that “We The PEOPLE” was threatened with.

FDR may have talked loudly against Hitler, but he let American banks finance him, Wall Street organize its largest companies. And when it came to stopping Hitler, FDR never stopped encouraging the few fascist French collaborating with Hitler. (As the southern front was opened from Africa, and turned into a disaster for Hitler by Spring 1942, this was of great military import, as Churchill kept on pointing out.)

Companies such as IBM or Ford were allowed to collaborate with the Nazis throughout the war. That means they did not just kill European Jews, French, and the like, but also American GIs, and bomber crews. IBM had the monopoly of computing all over the Reich. That meant that the backbone of any serious organization in Hitlerland, from trains to directing fighters towards Allied aircraft, was Made In America.

What we are confronting now is exactly the same syndrome: banking is grossly violating the spirit of the Constitution, and the political leadership is out there, golfing with the miscreants.

Banking needs to be completely changed. Banking needs to made democratic. It was done with the military, it can be done for the money changers.

Better a look within the machine that fabricates money, rather than letting the crooks have it. Better a look than a crook.

***

NOT ONLY WILD BANKING DEVOURS DEMOCRACY, BUT CIVILIZATION ITSELF:

Yes, banking is devouring civilization. The capability of finding Earth like planets exists. Now. It is just a matter of placing in space a football sized telescope, and making a spectral analysis of small planets. Seeing a lot of methane would be an indicator of life. Seeing oxygen would prove photosynthesis is going on.

NASA and ESA had two such space telescopes, ready to go. NASA had its Terrestrial Planet Finder. Europe had its Darwin telescope. But the money was cut off. Why? Bankers. Not only they steal us, and they make us stupid, but they are making us blind. And they want us NOT to think of the grander poetry of another Earth. If we are too elevated, we may find them too base.

One has also to understand we have only one chance at advanced civilization. This is it. The technological tricks we have been using have depended on accessible oil, gas, and coal, for energy, and accessible metals, thanks to all that accessible energy.

When Rome could not access metals anymore, because they were too deep, and Rome did not have enough energy to get to them, it was a disaster. Roman armies could not build the weapons they needed, from lack of metals. Ultimately, around 660 CE, the Roman emperor decided to strip the metal from all the roofs of Rome, to get the metal needed to fight the Muslims. He went to Rome to oversee the operation.

Our situation would be worse: Rome depended on burning wood. we came to depend upon burning fossils. If the fossils are too deep, or hard to get to, or have been exhausted, we cannot wait for them to regrow. Forests can regrow, not fossils.

We have to use that opportunity we have now, to access higher magic (advanced forms of solar and nuclear energy, including fusion; maybe unanticipated forms such as vacuum energy, plus designing materials atom by atom).

If we do not, the world economy will hit dwindling resources. That could be as early as 2016.

The solution that will then impose itself will be war, and unimaginable forms of exploitation. Think Genghis Khan, with the caveat that Genghis was acting out of a mix of indignation, vengeance, opportunity, and the necessity to keep the 200,000 men Mongol army on a mission. Genghis Khan was not acting out of despair, because he was a cornered rat. Still, he caused terrible wars.

Now we have states, such as Israel, that reason like cornered rats, and fidget with their nuclear weapons, while mumbling about annihilation. Not a good symptom (as Gunter Grass rudely remarked).

In a way, we are threatened to all turn into cornered rats. If we let the bankers eat all the cheese, we sure will.

***

Patrice Ayme

Inflation Now! (IN!)

April 6, 2012

All Too MILD INFLATION HELPS PLUTOCRACY & STAGNATION

Abstract: I have a question for the reality challenged economists who lead the West, in the ever deeper abyss of inequality:

What is best? 2% inflation and 10% unemployment (unemployment, or poor employment, not enough of a living wage)? Or would it be better to have 10% inflation and 2% unemployment?

The well paid dummies with “PhDs” have taken for granted that 10% (or actually 20% or more, see below) unemployment is better (not just in the USA, but also in Europe). Why? Presumably because they are philosophers! After all, PhD means “Philosophiae Doctor”, Doctor of Philosophy. What philosophy? Presumably, because they want to be loved and cuddled by the hyper rich. It’s a very cynical, morally corrupt career choice on their part.

The correct way to manage the economy is to start with the notion that everybody should be employed (decently; not like a slave!) Then a currency should be created. Then the rich. But contemporary economics is made the other way: first please the rich, then accommodate the rest (but without empowering it too much with crucial jobs).

Lack of inflation is deliberate, so is lack of (quality) employment. This is at the core of modern macroeconomics: the theory is actually called NAIRU. Let there be unemployment, so we can have serfs, say the rich, and then they eat caviar.

That mental corruption of macroeconomics had two main sources, one from mainstream American economists and the other in France. In the first case, plutocracy gave those fascist economists the sacred aura of “Nobel”, the inventor of dynamite, and of a famous prize. In the second case, in a phenomenon reminiscent of Obama, the French socialists were desperate to be esteemed by those with money. Both, in turn, contaminated the American and European central banks with an anti-inflation theory that advantaged the hyper rich.

I have dealt with that subject many times in the past, such as in “4% INFLATION BEST“. Adding dimensions to what Paul Krugman says, I sketch why inflation is good. One can summarize that the fight against inflation has been a fight for plutocracy and stagnation, in Europe, or the USA.

***

Another good editorial of Paul Krugman on an interesting subject. Inflation. In “Not enough Inflation“. Krugman points out that, by law, the Central bank of the USA, the “Fed”, is supposed to worry as much about inflation as about unemployment.

“At this point, inflation is once again running a bit below the Fed’s self-declared target of 2 percent.

Now, the Fed has, by law, a dual mandate: It’s supposed to be concerned with full employment as well as price stability. And while we more or less have price stability by the Fed’s definition, we’re nowhere near full employment. So this says that the Fed is doing too little, not too much.”

It is actually the ECB, the European Central Bank, that fixed, long ago, the 2% target for inflation. To indicate how silly all these things are, when European wise men, many of them French socialists (caviar prone), set up the European monetary Union, they “forgot” that unemployment was an important notion. So the mandate of the ECB is only to contain inflation. No wonder unemployment is now approaching some astronomical levels in parts of Europe.

Let’s think about this a moment. One has to realize that what is meant by “unemployment” is people who are so actively looking for work, that they enter the government statistics. Those who have given up don’t count. So, for example in the USA, there are at least twice more of the latter than the former. So real unemployment is closer to 20%.

Unemployment rate U2 is a matter of propaganda, short term. The relevant notion is the employment participation rate exhibited here: not so good! Bad from too much austerity in money supply…

Of the working age population, be in the USA or in Europe, barely more than half work. Most famous economists, the Chicago Boys, the Austrian School, are involved in a theory that will someday be viewed as a fig leaf for plutocracy. It relates inflation and unemployment in a… virtuous relationship.

According to this view, promoted by the (fascist Pinochet loving and employed) gnome Nobel Friedman, full employment means the lowest level of unemployment that can be sustained given the structure of the economy. What plutocrats and their lovers mean by sustenance is: they eat caviar, and they send the police to keep you happy with your unemployment.

Using the terminology from Nobel James Tobin (following Nobel Franco Modigliani), full employment is achieved by implementing the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment (NAIRU).

That’s when the real gross domestic product equals potential output. Supposedly. Whatever. Even Wikipedia adds tersely: “This concept is identical to the “natural” rate but reflects the fact that there is nothing “natural” about an economy.”

Indeed. What’s an ‘economy’? it’s a way to manage (“nomy”) a house (“eco”). I always say this, because that is of the essence. One make the house Pluto’s house, and then one gets a “plutonomy” (the term invented and used by the biggest banks to qualify their vision of the economy).

***

INFLATION IS GOOD FOR THE DEMOCRATIC ECONOMY:

Here is Krugman again, rolling two good reasons for inflation: debt reduction and injecting cash, thus activity in the economy: would a rise in inflation to 3 percent or even 4 percent be a terrible thing? On the contrary, it would almost surely help the economy.

How so? For one thing, large parts of the private sector continue to be crippled by the overhang of debt accumulated during the bubble years; this debt burden is arguably the main thing holding private spending back and perpetuating the slump. Modest inflation would, however, reduce that overhang — by eroding the real value of that debt — and help promote the private-sector recovery we need. Meanwhile, other parts of the private sector (like much of corporate America) are sitting on large hoards of cash; the prospect of moderate inflation would make letting the cash just sit there less attractive, acting as a spur to investment — again, helping to promote overall recovery.

In short, far from fearing that more action against unemployment might lead to an uptick in inflation, the Fed should actually welcome that prospect.”

There are deeper reasons for wanting inflation, but those, contrarily to Krugman’s above, are not in economic textbooks. Actually I have not come across them anywhere, but on my sites. Those reasons involve deeper psychology.

The hyper rich, the plutocrats have, since time immemorial, lived of rents. (In the nineteenth century, hyper rich were called “rentiers”, that is, people who perceive rents. The archetype of rents is payments from government bonds. ever since there are government bonds and that goes back centuries (France, Britain, and, earlier, Italian Middle Age republics).

Why so? Because money is power. One of the reasons people want power is that they prefer to enjoy more and do less. A rent, government bond style, is perfect for that. It’s passive income, no risk (or as little risk as possible). Real, active investments in the economy are exhausting: one has to watch over them, manage them, think, work.

This is why the hyper rich have pushed governments, in Europe and the USA, to live off borrowing money from them ever more. The more governments borrow to the hyper rich, the richer, and the more lazy the hyper rich can get.

Another thing the rich detest is to see their capital evaporate. So they detest inflation.

So in 1973, the right-wing government in France passed a law allowing government to borrow from the hyper rich. Hence the obsession with inflation started in Europe. The hyper rich were able to persuade the French socialists that, to be mature, they had to be anti-inflation. (By the way, the fact that, to show that they are mature, left-wing people have to please wealth contaminated Obama, in a similar way: that is why Obama, just like the French socialists in the distant past, implemented mostly policies to please wealth. By opposition, to please dozens of millions of ex-soldiers after world War Two, even the right-wing governments in the USA and Europe conducted very left-wing policies: marginal tax rates under Eisenhower were higher than what the French socialists now propose).

To show the wealthy that they were good citizens, the French socialists  fabricated a monstrous machine, the European Monetary Union (EMU), where the states would be financed, not by themselves, by rising taxes, or by going to their central banks, but by going begging to the hyper rich private individuals and banks.

In other words, plutocracy had captured the minds of the socialists builders of Europe to a point not even seen in the USA. That way, far from being a union of welfare socialist states, the EU turned into a plutocrats’ paradise.

Work resist to inflation, because work is always needed, so work can always ask for enough money to live.

That, of course, before work got farmed out to China. And that gave one more good reason for plutocrats to farm out work to China: it would kill both work and inflation, two enemies with one stone.

New technology also loves inflation, because it forces people to re-examine their old habits, relative to the new temptations.

Why “4% Inflation Is Best” goes over all this in more details.

4% inflation is not really an over-statement, as 2% inflation is way too close to deflation. Some will say: oh, but real inflation is well above 4%. Well, this is a related can of worms. Governments have interest to underestimate inflation, so that they will diminish the payments they have to make to veterans, retirees, the down and outs, etc. So they have invented “hedonistic” adjustments to cheat on inflation where it hurts the most.

Where it hurts the most? Well where it hurts the People the most. If the plutocrats can inflate up their rents, they are all for it. That is why there is so much inflation in school costs, health costs and prison costs. In all cases, one notices the inflating payments go to plutocrats.

Progressives ought to want good inflation: by the People, for the People. They ought not to want hedonistic inflation, by the plutocrats, for the plutocrats.

***

Patrice Ayme’

Science Rests On The Masses, Not Just Giants.

April 5, 2012

WISDOM BLOSSOMS FROM COMMON SENSE ON STEROIDS, LET IT BE SCRUTINIZED.

***

It turns out that the OPERA “observation” of Faster Than Light neutrinos seems to have been caused by a not-fully-screwed-on right optical cable.

(It’s fascinating that the pitfall had not been detected earlier: because we use electronic computers, not photonic computers, information down an optical cable has to be transformed into electrons, and, because we are still at a gross point of technology, that means plenty of optical energy has to ramp up, until enough electrons can be excited, and generate a signal. If screwing is not right, the ramping up of power takes longer… Hence the infamous delay!)

Too bad. But let’s not forget we have neutrinos from a supernova that arrived several hours before the photons. However, that’s explained by supernova explosion theory: as the explosion proceeds, light gets bottled inside star material for a while, whereas the neutrinos of the intense thermonuclear explosion involving heavy elements rush out; in the sun, thermonuclear photons take hundreds of thousands of year to get out of the thermonuclear region, in the core, where they are produced. So it looks as if I will have to hold my faster than light horses a while back longer. Yet, Einstein’s own theory of gravitation, especially when cosmologically modified, means that the speed of light is all too relative…

(Physics) Professor Matts Strassler asks on his (excellent) blog, http://profmattstrassler.com/ a “Question to Laypersons: Your Views on the Neutrino Saga.”

This was the occasion for me to roll a few of my pet themes. (I have to relax with rather innocent considerations as I prepare an essay bound to make me many new friends, where I compare Arabized regimes to Vichy style regimes, just worse, that have perdured, for more than 13 centuries…)

“Prof” Strassler “would like to ask YOU a question or two.  And by “you”, I mean non-scientists.  I would like to know how seeing this episode unfold changed (or did not change) your view of science, or physics, or particle physics…  Are you disappointed in or pleased with the scientific process as you saw it unfold?  Are you more suspicious of or less suspicious of scientists and/or of science now that you’ve seen this happen? I think these are things that many scientists would be curious to learn.”

I commented this way: Don’t we all know quite a bit of science? … Say relative to, hmmm, Newton? We are living in a scientific society, whether we admit it or not.

By the time of Newton it was not know that there was such a thing as oxygen, it supported life, and oxidized stuff. That was a century after Newton’s apogee. Many a commoner not having formally studied science out of high school could reconstitute Lavoisier’s experiments nowadays.

Similarly for Pasteur’s experiences on spontaneous generation or… pasteurization.  And the idea of vaccination, formalized by Pasteur is also well known. As is continental drift.

You can go in the middle of Africa, meet a woman who does not know how to read, but she may well known Pasteurization… and why.

The basic ideas of the Quantum are less well known, true.

However this is partly the result of an anti-French bias, because the luminously simple idea of the French medievalist, prince de Broglie, is not taught, and, instead, Germano-Nazi physicists, such as Heisenberg, with their appropriately dark mumblings, are always evoked by those perhaps nostalgic of the Aryan, anti-French order… But I digress… As far as I am concerned, just like Einstein sucked Poincare’ dry, so did Heisenberg and Schrodinger with De Broglie (not to say they were not great scientists; just smaller, with smaller ideas; thus erroneously teaching the small for great has real consequences on… mass science, the science the masses know!)

But let’s go back to the ideas of Prof Strassler, which are shared with many scientists, namely that they stand on the shoulders of giants just like themselves, as they are a race of giants.

That’s how this fool of Chu got into supporting stupid (and intrinsically corrupt!) enterprises such as Tesla (465 million dollars of taxpayer money, so that Silicon Valley plutocrats can drive an electric sport car made in France, powered by glued up together laptop batteries; or Solyndra, more than half a billion from the taxpayers, for a tech that was obviously not going to work). OK, Chu, the energy secretary, has a Nobel in Physics, but that just means he was part and parcel of some intelligent project, and that he may have had, personally an intelligent moment.

But diligent a lot, and intelligent, once, does not mean diligent always, and intelligent always. Certainly not, especially if one suddenly imagines one belongs to a race of giants.

For more context on the preceding, see the New Republic (January 25, 2012):

http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/magazine/100037/steven-chu-energy-obama-solyndra?page=0,0

What did I want Chu to do? Instead of playing Venture Capitalist with 25 billion dollars, just fund fundamental research, make sure you can persuade people energy taxes have to be risen,  make sure solar plants go up in the high altitude desert south west USA, and that very high speed train lines, in the North East and California get build.

On the latter there was an interesting development: those geniuses realized that in France Very High Speed trains mostly use conventional lines (one can use conventional methods with trains up to 125 mph, 200 km/h). By doing same as the French, the cost of Very High Speed rail in California crumbled down to 60 billion dollars, and still only 3 hours downtown San Francisco to downtown LA… roughly the time to go to the airport and pass security. Morality; go to Europe, and learn.

The expression “layperson” is shared by many a scientist, mathematician, and university type. Maybe not verbally, but certainly conceptually. However, that’s an error.

Indeed the expression “layperson” hints that scientists are some sort of priests. It reminds me of a short story of Isaac Asimov, where civilization has devolved, and, on a planet with multiple suns, the rabble hunts the few remaining astronomers, when an exceptional night occurs.

I also wonder what defines a “scientist”? A scientific degree? But what is really so special in common between a paleontologist and a mathematician? OK, mathematicians maybe do not qualify as scientists? But then a lot of theoretical physics, on the edge, is little else than mathematics gone so wild that even mathematicians avert their eyes (until it works, then they come to make it appear they invented it themselves…)

Something else: a lot of, say, cosmology is a magnificent razzle-dazzle show in full view of “laypersons”. However, a lot of the certainty there seems to have an OPERAtic component: bold assertions, not all the details in for sure (I am alluding, say, to cosmic inflation).

One thing scientists ought to remember is that scientific research is one thing, science itself, that is, certain knowledge that is indeed certain, is something else. It would be good to teach that to the public too, as it would help it learn to search for truth, and not to confuse inquiry with certainty.

Science is just the result of observant and sophisticated common sense. One sees both faling, increasingly, in the USA. A good indicator of that are the “Stand Your Ground” laws in the USA. Those allow any brute carrying a concealed weapon to assassinate anybody who gets in their way, as long as they can build a half way plausible story about the ground on which they stand. In particular if they don’t like the race of their victim.

As far as the gun lobby and the plutocratic lobby are concerned, it’s perfect. Marie Antoinette, being told people ran out of bread, supposedly quipped:”Let them eat cake!” (actually brioche, a viennoiserie, a type of pastry made where she came from!) As far as the gun lobby and the plutocratic lobby are concerned, it’s :”Let them eat lead!” Better: let them serve it, to each other.

That average Americans fell for such a divisive tactic is a testimony to not knowing anymore what common sense is. Something studying carefully the genesis of science can remedy. That is precisely while plutocrats hid behind theocrats to forbid the teaching of critical thinking. For teaching critical thinking, one cannot just teach literary criticism. Because it’s harder to show error, for certain in literature, or even philosophy.

In science, and science history, it’s much more clear cut. Both the truth, and the errors (and why the later happen, itself a type of meta knowledge).  

More generally, the most important subject of study at school ought to be the history of big ideas, big errors, vast delusions, and immense progress. Our civilization surfs on a tsunami of thoughts.

***

Patrice Ayme

From Gods To Dogs

April 3, 2012

WHY DELIBERATE SILLINESS IN FASCIST RELIGIONS.

The best way to rule is over a population that believes (the) god(s) put you in charge. You and the tradition you incarnate.

A supplementary safety mechanism is to make the population stupid from (the) god(s) and terrified by (the) god(s). Hence all the terrifying silliness in the Bible and the Qur’an. Such a terrifying silliness is not an innocent sideshow, it is central to enabling the submission of the rabble.

Suppose an Imam, Priest, Monk, Pastor, Witch, Mullah, Lama, Medicine Man, Prophet, Sorcerer, Shepherd, Witch Doctor, Druid, in other words, an illuminated Holly Man, comes and says:”You cannot eat such and such a food!” I will reply with a question:”Will that food give me cancer, Alzheimer, a stroke, heart attack, inflammation, allergy, a neurological syndrome?”

Let’s suppose the Holly Man answer:”No, not at all, it’s just the command of (the) god(s).”

Then, I will have to eat that food. Why? Because my religion, freedom defended from infamy, orders me to.

My religion, that of the Franks, the free, is not only not to take orders which do not make sense. That is what the free does. My (secular) religion goes much further: this religion asks to systematically violate, what is ordered, if it makes no sense, but for humiliating the mind. In my religion, the mind rules, not an ancient book.

Is there a higher principle at work? Yes. Is there an idea behind it?  Yes. It’s an idea made to negate the very reason why an Imam, Priest, Monk, Pastor, Witch, Mullah, Lama, Medicine Man, Prophet, Sorcerer, Shepherd, Witch Doctor, Druid is paid to give senseless orders.

Terror religions give senseless orders, precisely because they are senseless. They teach to respect what makes no sense, precisely because, otherwise, they would make no sense. (Notice the proximity to the central paradox in logic, incompleteness; this is not a coincidence.)

An attack dog is trained to perfection when it obeys absolutely any order given to it, even if apparently senseless, even if the cost is the dog’s own life. Obey, don’t question, oh dog!

Nietzsche famously said that Christianity was a slave religion. But slaves often questioned, at least in Rome, that exemplary slave society, the sense of their masters. Some taught their masters Greek. Even president Jefferson argued with his slaves.

The Bible instead goes on a mission from God that often makes no sense. We know, from paleontological studies, that men have eaten shrimps, crabs, mussels, urchins or algae, for at least 100,000 years. Some flourishing caves were by the sea. and are full of remnants of fruits of the sea repasts.

The Bible, rarely missing a stupidity that allows to make its desert people even more stupid, on the cheap, orders people not to eat shrimps, crabs, mussels, urchins or algae. Leviticus11:10-12 says:

10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.”

(By cheap stupidity for desert people, I mean that some of these interdictions are just there to enforce stupidity: forbidding to eat pigs or algae in the desert is just like forbidding skiing on the moon, it’s cheap, it means nothing; this cheapness also explains why Arabic style Islam has found hard to extend far out of the desert. And why countries such as Senegal uses instead Sufi Islam.)

In Leviticus 20, the death penalty is prescribed for all sorts of reasons: insulting one’s parents, adultery, “men lying with a men as they would with women“.

The logic is itself moronic: lying with women is precisely what male homosexuals are precisely not doing! So they cannot be doing with men what they don’t do with women! Stupidity is taught, as an end in itself.

Having relations with a woman and her daughter deserves death by fire. Burned alive is also the explicit condemnation for the daughter of a priest who has prostituted herself (Leviticus 21:9).

So what we see is that the Abrahamist religion treats people worse than dogs. Dogs are not burned alive when they have illicit sex with the daughter of so and so.

The whole idea seems to want to make people cower, worse than dog, in the fear of dog, I  mean god (it’s getting confusing, with a god behaving like a rabid dog!) Of course the man of the cloth is protected, and protects, the man of the sword, implementing the Holly Man’s orders, however stupid and secularly criminal. What the Bible teaches is blind adoration of senseless orders from above.

This blind adoration of senseless orders from above backfired against the Jews, many times, more recently with Hitler. When Hitler came, barking out orders, the “Jewish Councils” applied the Bible, and obeyed scrupulously the senseless orders, just like they saw it done in the Bible. This is the source of what Hannah Arendt observed, and condemned, the criminal peacefulness of the “Jewish Councils”. (I am targetting here the councils that collaborated with Hitler years before France and Britain declared war, whereas Arendt focused on the war time Judenraten.)

There is no doubt that, if the “Jewish Councils” had fought the Nazi dictator with ferocity, just as the Syrian opposition is fighting the dictator Assad with ferocity, France would not have had to wait until 1939 for a military treaty with Poland and Great Britain.

It’s true that violence begets violence, thus, when war is the only solution for the religion of man, starting mayhem as needed is the first religious act that allows humanity to rise to the occasion of re-establishing a better world. The Dark Side is not always an enemy of the better (as anyone seriously parenting a two year old will testify).

A treaty was not enough. Poland had an obsolete army, and Britain a tiny army of less than 200,000 men, barely bigger than the U.S. army (by contrast France had 117 divisions and Germany 152, in May 1940). Moreover there was no such treaty with the USA, and, even more crucially with Belgium, and the Netherlands; it’s the treacherous neutrality of the Netherlands, combined with Hitler’s cruelty and the stupid goodwill of the French High Command that directly and proximally caused the fall of France in June 1940… And thus, not just France’s glorious shame, but 50 million dead.

If the Jews and others had launched a terror war against the Nazis, it may have been impossible for the treacherously neutrals to claim all was fine with Hitler.

The general drift above extends to secular religions. Apparently silly notions occupy minds, and bring them back to the central theme.

That is why disciplines in armies can become thoroughly ridiculous. Apparently silly orders are given, such as cleaning a courtyard with a toothbrush. They are ridiculous by design. At that point the soldier is made in a spinal cord in charge of executing orders. It is often said that discipline is the strength of armies, and that is true, but it goes beyond that. Fascism is the strength of armies, as it makes one huge monster out of many men.

“Thou shall not kill” is only the Sixth Commandment in the Bible. (The Seventh forbids stealing, the next adultery, the Ninth forbids bearing false witness, the Tenth forbids ‘coveting’ house, other men’s wife, servant, ox, ass, and other stuff, in this order.)

One would assume the first five commandments are more important. They deal with silliness, mostly. So silliness is most important. Contemplate the Second Commandment (full version)

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

This why so many Abrahamists, as hard core Sunnis or Hutterites, refuse to take pictures, or represent the world, in contradiction not just to what people had been doing for 50,000 years, but also to what people had to do, for millions of years, as making the likeness of anything is the essence of technology. That is why some of the fanatics reject technology (and get periodically nearly annihilated, as the Hutterites were.)

These orders are stupid, and self contradictory: the fanatics overlooking the fact that a piece of technology, a book, made “in the likeness of [something] that is in heaven”, namely the word of god, is ordering them around!

Another stupidity in the Second Commandment was designed to hit the emotional center, as deeply as possible: God boasts that He is jealous”.  How would any priest of God thereafter find it easy to claim to have the high moral ground by following the orders of somebody jealous”? And why would God admit that he is a very bad creature, who boasts of punishing great grand children, and great great grand children? It is one thing to be a God of Terror, it’s another to boast of being an outright monster.

Two interests therein:

a) first, abject terror, and so the justification of abject terror inflicted upon others, that is why the fanatical Muslim Mohammed Mehra in France had no problem wounding, and then killing a seven year old girl: it is in the Bible.

b) inflicting a moral rape. See, we will claim that’s morality. Never mind that our God, up in the sky, is worse than Hitler. Never mind is the point entirely, as I will insist upon shortly.

Worse than Hitler? Hitler never boasted that that he would kill innocent people (the Nazis had only 7,000 Gestapo officers, inside Deutschland, they ruled with the consent of the Volk). Quite the opposite: Hitler claimed to be a man of peace (that is why Gandhi could claim he loved him so much, besides the use of the Indian Swastika and of a caste system). Hitler would certainly not have ever claimed that he was “jealous“, and that he wanted to punish innocent children. But the Christian God did.

A terror religion does not just teach  people to behave like sheep. It teaches people to be sheep. And to enforce that, the best way is the defeat of the mind. Give to stupidity the aura of intelligence, and be done.

Against gods armed with stupidity, humanity contends in vain… Hence, to reassert itself, to progress out of submission from obsolete lords, humanity has to destroy those gods. Revolution revolves deep, when it strikes the god(s). And so it has been done, per omnia saecula saeculorum

***

Patrice Ayme

Fools’ Days.

April 1, 2012

The day of foolish jokes. I already wrote about Cosmic Inflation last week. What’s the joke in that? That a problem, the apparent synchronization of the universe over distances so great that light could never have covered them, is solved by an even more deeply mysterious, if not outright disturbing solution, Cosmic Inflation.

Solving one problem, with a worse problem is no solution, in my not so humble opinion. But that is exactly what has been done with finance, then the economy, and now the world. The biggest joke of them all?

***

Throwing Money At Banks To Make Us Richer?

Please don’t laugh. This is the solution that (supposedly left wing economist such as) Paul Krugman and the head of the central bank of the USA (“Fed”), Bernanke have found.  OK, the latter hired the former at Princeton, so they are related. They keep on exploiting this curious notion, because that is the only thing they can do.

Now it is duplicated by the European Central Bank (“ECB”). It works. The ECB lends money for (basically) free to banks. More than a trillion euros, to hundreds of European banks, and counting. Then the idea is that the banks would buy government bonds.

Europe is like the USA. Except in the USA, one has these rather fake states. In Europe, the states are actually nations, with full democratic systems therein. Or nations made of unions of nations, such as Spain (Basques, Catalans therein), or the United Kingdom (as its name indicates).

Of course the head of the ECB was a partner at Goldman Sachs, that means he is from the New York financial aristocracy. Same for Krugman and Bernanke. When Krugman sees the Manhattan skyline from his first class seat, once a week or so, tears well up, and he celebrates what he calls “the most beautiful city in the world“. In New York the notion of beauty itself is being leveraged.

OK. Let’s be serious. Jokes are best, when one sobers up. Krugman and company’s argument has been that the economy is in a Liquidity Trap. Krugman talks about that every day, like the crow croaks in the tree, every day.

A Liquidity Trap is a situation in which injections of cash into the private banking system by a central bank fail to lower interest rates and hence to stimulate economic growth. A liquidity trap arise when people, or companies hoard cash because they expect adverse events such as deflation, insufficient aggregate demand, or war. Characteristic of a liquidity trap are short-term interest rates that are near zero and fluctuations in the monetary base that fail to translate into fluctuations in general price levels.

Generally, historically speaking, when central banks lend money to private banks at lower interest rates, the banks lend more to the enthusiastic rabble, and the economy rebounds. However, it may happen that the rabble, or the banks, feel mournful, refuse to play, and reject spending, even if the central banks lends at zero  interest rates (or even negative, below the inflation rate, as not only Japan has been doing). This is the Liquidity Trap.

The Fed has been reacting by buying all sorts of unworthy assets. That supports the price of these unworthy assets, preventing, short term, runaway deflation. Another thing it does is that, as many as these unworthy assets belongs to Banks Too Big To Fail (BTBF), it supports these banks and their plutocratic managements (“My friend!” used to cry out Obama, each time he evoked Jamie Dimon, the Deimon at the head of the biggest BTBF)

In other words the Fed supports the powers that be.

Well, that’s a joke.

Why? Because supporting the powers that be, fosters the very problem, plutocracy, that caused the problem, dejection, not to say depression. People do not support the economy, because the economy does not support them. They are too indebted (much more than in 1929, the last time the global economy crashed, for that same reason. I will show the graph another time).

Just go back to the definition of a Liquidity Trap. It’s a consequence of the expectation of greater problems. At least Wikipedia has it that way. Krugman does not have it anyway, he just has it. He wants to fix it, by throwing more money at it, through the banks. If Pluto is not nice, make him nice, by making Him gifts. That’s basic Abrahamism: if the boss wants to kill your son, just appease him, and offer your son, saying it’s not what it looks like. I read it in the Bible (hey, I have a copy at home. Not as much fun as Tacitus’ “The Annals Of Imperial Rome“, but still fun).

So what is really going on?

Irrelevant, frivolous elections are coming in France and the USA. Obama and Romney in the USA, Hollande and Sarkozy in France. Basically the same program, a program the commons cannot inflect.

In the USA Obama runs with his proudest achievement: Romneycare, also known as Obamacare.

In France, both the conservatives (starting in 1973), and the Socialists (after 1980) invented a system where the government financed itself by asking the plutocrats for money. The plutocrats accepted. Not out of generosity, but out of interest. It is the existence of that interest which makes borrowing more expensive than taxes.

It is also addictive. The French Socialists, main promoters of the European Monetary Union (“EMU”), presented the same system of borrowing instead of taxing, to finance the states of the EMU. This way, they were sure to get the support of the plutocracy.

So now the plutocrats are coming and asking for what they were after, their interest. The learned to have it easy: no need to finance the real economy. Their friends the politicians created a wondrous loop for them. Now the Fed and the ECB have even free money for them.

Very serious economists’ now share this opinion of mine; see http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/who-captured-the-fed/. (Simon Johnson from MIT was chief economist at the IMF, and has long advised a rather deaf U.S. Congress.)

Thus here we are, and the situation is roughly the same, in the USA or in Europe.

What is really going on is that it is not just a liquidity trap. It’s a technology trap, as we are fast reaching the end of the present energy system, without an alternative (this happened last around 1300 CE; the population soon crashed by half in Europe).

What is going on now is not just a Liquidity Trap, it is also a globalization trap: globalize Pluto, enslave the People. Also, particularly in Europe, a plutocratic trap: the more one claims to help the people, the more one helps what oppresses society, the banks. And, worse of all, it’s an ecological trap, for the whole biosphere.

What is going on, is the greatest joke of all. A few small men, knowing basically nothing, are supposed to take all the decisions, have all the ideas. And what they know best, is how to look good, and how to lie to get elected. What a joke.

But don’t be surprised if democracy falls apart. Among other things. And that will be no joke.

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Patrice Ayme