Archive for May, 2013

Philosophy Feeds Engineering

May 30, 2013

 WE THINK, THEREFORE WE HOPE FOR MORE STUFF:

 An ancient silliness condemns philosophers for making commoners feel bad. Yet it’s the mark of any new philosophy worth its salt to do such a thing. Hurting warns of danger or damage, it’s a good thing, most of the time. New philosophy informs us that our old thinking  leaves something to be desired, and opportunities exist, that had been left unexploited.

 Also, new thoughts are about constructing new brain geometry, while demolishing erroneous structures. As all demolition and construction require energy, this demands pain and effort. To be as brainy a human as can be, one has to learn, that means, one has to learn to love pain and effort. Philosophers hold the whip, when they go to the public, and they talk.

 To preserve civilization, having a sustainable philosophy is more important than having the right engineering. Not that the latter is not necessary too, but the philosophy leads the engineering. Moreover, philosophy is harder to come by, because it’s less tangible, harder to demonstrate, more iconoclast thus more irritating! The case of steam power demonstrates this best.

Why Then? Philosophy Empowers Engineering

Why Then? Philosophy Empowers Engineering

 Philosophy’s importance in engineering is why two different French protestants, having fled France’s religious intolerance, developed the steam powered piston engine in the Seventeenth Century, and applied it to boats. It was not a coincidence that individuals of the same rebellious mental background did so. After twenty centuries of stasis with steam power (both ancient Egyptians and Greeks used steam power in their temples, to move large objects magically, mesmerizing the vulgum).

 The Romans could have developed steam power, 17 centuries earlier. Both the power of steam and paddles were known. Extremely intricate wheeled and teethed mechanisms were in common usage. Paddle mechanisms counted the distance a boat covered. But, after a few decades of fascist plutocracy, Greco-Romans did not see the point of steam power, or, more generally technological progress. They waited like sitting ducks until the exhaustion of their world was upon them.

 The attitude was very different in the 17C. Brains were active, so were the armies, and mental diversity was of the essence. even the rabid Louis XIV financed Dutch savant (for example Huyghens, the wave master).

 England’s Cromwell, the “Lord Protector“, was alerted on the “incredible strength and swiftness” of a French steam boat built in… the Netherlands.

 In Roman times, the same tyranny reigned over “Britannia” (UK), Lower Germany (Netherlands), and Gallia (France), and that tyranny was globally hostile to spectacular technological progress. The inventor of a steam boat would have been paid by the Greco-Roman emperor NOT to develop it (that may well have happened, from allusions in the records we have).

 The ascent of the Roman republic had been the ascent of the right engineering. Yet, when Rome became uncontrollably fascist and plutocratic, all things of the mind went down, including engineering. This was directly related to the emperors’ anti-progress mood. Hey, progress in engineering could reverse engineer itself into philosophical progress!… Emperors understood that much.

 Emperors forbade to use advanced engineering… as it would augment unemployment, they claimed meekly. The Romans could have made steam ships: they had all the ingredients. But not the right philosophy.

 The first maker of a steam boat mysteriously disappeared from the records. French engineer and German academic Denis Papin built the first piston engine that is still documented today in 1690.

 As a protestant, Papin had to flee the horrendous criminal activities of the self described sun tyrant, Louis XIV, the superstition fanatic. Papin, with the apparent collaboration of the great Leibnitz, operated a fully functional steamship more than one hundred kilometers down a German river in 1707. Papin died destitute, but several of his steam devices came to be used a century after he invented them.

 Some will say progress is neither necessary, nor welcome. And indeed Papin’s steamship was destroyed by (German) opponents of progress.

 Roman plutocracy already tried to stop progress. And succeeded. What happened? The Romans ran out of economy, finance, army, military superiority resources, finally bringing the quasi-collapse of civilization. Even before serious invasions started. The fact that advanced double curvature composite bows from Central Asia could penetrate legionaries’ armor did not help. Ultimately the Franks took over, not just because they had better weapons, but a better, less plutocratic philosophy. (As demonstrated by Charles Martel’s nationalization of the church, to pay for the largest army since the heydays of Rome, circa 720 CE.)  

 Having read PLUTOCRACY: New World Order, Oakwood, a hydrologist from Britain, opined that: There is nothing new in saying ‘our civilisation will collapse because of our evil and selfish ways’. Mankind has been predicting that since the dawn of Man. You may well respond: ‘but this time it’s different’. They all said that too.”

 Sorry to break the bad news, but everything is new about this world. The reason they said that ‘but this time its different’, is it was true, it is true, and it is more true than ever. Contrarily to what Nietzsche and much antique mythology, Greek or Indian, believed, the world is not an eternal return of the same. The world NEVER returns to the same.

 The concept of “sustainable” has to be caveat that it is valid ONLY IN DYNAMIC sense.  Ever since there are men, and they ravage.

 It is precisely because mankind has been (correctly) predicting that “our civilization will collapse because of our evil and selfish ways” that civilizations have kept improving, as they had to, due to out increasingly more powerful technologies. How did they improve? By becoming ever more moral. However horrendous exactions in the last century or so, the level of mayhem has been much less than was common in the past (we know this from many paleontological and anthropological studies; life in the Amazon had a very high probability to end with murder, for example). This is not just a factoid, but a warning…

 For example, we keep on pumping CO2, we modify the atmosphere for hundreds of thousands of years. This never happened before, ever since there were dinosaurs, and they disappeared (this is an allusion to Dekkan Super Traps, when the world reeled under a massive core eruption, with probable massive CO2 releases, followed by backlashes: https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/trapped-by-super-traps/).

 Oakwood: If there are/were any societies in history that did not have a wealthy/privileged elite, they are/were very very rare. This seems to be the norm of human society.”

 To complain about the principle leadership was not my point in “PLUTOCRACY“. Philosophers have always been, in some sense, a privileged elite, the ultimate luxury of the top societies. Wisdom itself is privilege. So I aspire to belong to the maximally privileged elite.

 The plutocratic phenomenon happens when an elite takes control, basically to lead a maximum number of people down, the Dark Side (this is the exact opposite of wisdom uses the Dark Side to blast a mess clean).

 Besides, once again, there is nothing as a typical “human society“. There is no eternal return of the same. All civilization is un-natural, and the more technological, the less natural.

 The present rule of increasing plutocracy is increasingly exasperating. Hopefully, by finding out what is going on in the darker corners of the human mind, and acting in a timely manner, to prevent further deterioration, the future will not be dire.

 Most of us will prefer to live now, rather than in any prior period. Even common people presently live better than the greatest lords.

 The question is not whether the situation is more dire now rather than before. It obviously is, because of the very success of our species. We are now trying to fly a new vehicle, the latest version of spaceship Earth. That version of this spaceship never existed before. And thus it may crash, as all new prototypes tend to do. We don’t want to crash. It’s a very primordial urge.

 So we should not sequester civilization. Tax the rich before they get total control. Remember that not taxing the rich is a self fulfilling non linear effect. As happened to the Greco-Roman empire.

 So progress and tax, but don’t sequester, be it only for the children. Not just that we love them, and they deserve to be loved. But also because they sustain us, as we hope, weaken, and give away all we had dear, satisfying our primordial urge to the utmost.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

 P/S: And how do we avoid a civilizational crash? The question of energy is central. Not just by making it sustainable, but also making our mastery of energy great enough to address the problems we have (that is what the Romans did not do enough of, in the end).

One of the problems being that, having run out of planet (we consume already much more than the planet can sustain), we need to expand in the solar system. This is not utopia, but a clear and present necessity. But using the same basic technique as prehistoric man, or Denis Papin, that is, making a big pile of chemicals and combining them with oxygen, is not good enough for doing so. So fusion research for space propulsion ought to be financed much more than it presently is!

Gods, Imagination, Machinations

May 26, 2013

Why did they create God? Answer: to feed the imagination. Discuss.

Alexi Helligar. And to build society.

Patrice: True, society needs a common mind, common logic, hence common gods, or, more generally, common myths, powerful enough. Nietzsche added: one interpretation of the gods for the commons, another for the lords.

Evelyne Le Formal: God is not created, HE is…

Alexi Helligar First of all, what makes God a “He”? Why the masculine fixation on God?

Evelyne Le Formal: Exact, maybe it’s “She”. Jesus is the Son of God, but God can be “SHE”.

Patrice: Or maybe it’s a bird. More exactly, a hummingbird.

I Fly, Fear Me

I Fly, Fear Me

Alexi Helligar: Secondly, which God are you referring to that is not created? Yahweh, Allah, Jesus, Shiva, Zeus, Mithra, Brahma? Evelyne Le Formal: GOD is GOD !! One of 3 firsts for what I believe !!

Patrice: To each tribe its own god(s). The French, like Rome, shall make do with a republic, to incarnate the tribal ideal, without further ado. Amen. My preferred god is Huitzilopochtli (pictured above). He exposes best superstitious religion for the criminal absurdity that it is. Huitzilopochtli ordered the Aztecs to call themselves Mexicas. A unity trick. However his obviously bloody tendencies gave all the pretext the Conquistadores needed to annihilate most of the tremendous Mexica civilization. Huitzilopochtli turned into death of his world.

Alexi Helligar There have been many many gods that have been created by humans. Why evidence outside of the Bible (which is a collection of stories and not evidence) is there that Jesus is any less an expression of human imagination than any of the rest?

A is A. This is true. It is symmetrical and symmetry is what I believe!!

Patrice: The sacred writings of Judeo-Christo-Islamism make clear that they are all referring to the exact same “God”. Using the word “Allah” is craftily alienating, as if “Allah” were different from Jesus’s dad. When the French talk about the god of the Americans, in French, they call it “dieu” in French, not “god”, or “dios”.

Alexi Helligar The belief in God is an empty vessel. Because it is empty people fill it with whatever they imagine. This, I think, is the core of Patrice’s comment. Of necessity, despite its critical importance in building society, imagination is a random and chancy process. This is why the belief in God leads to so many random and chancy actions, many of which are not rational and, in fact, very destructive. The mere belief in God (because God is essentially Imaginary) is not enough to filter sense from nonsense.

Evelyne Le Formal: Jesus is not an expression of human imagination, it’s historic !! He was an human boy ! But, you can doubt, if you don’t believe, than he is the son of God !!

Son Of God: Cute Yet Fake

Son Of God: Cute Yet Fake

Alexi Helligar: History is also imaginary.

Evelyne Le Formal: Cesar, Neron, Ponce Pilate imagination ? No, history !!

Patrice: We have extremely detailed records, from various sources, on the first two gentlemen. They are among the better known human beings, to this day. Incontrovertible proof of the existence of Pontius Pilatus was also found, such as an engraved inscription bearing his name in stone. Proofs of Jesus’ existence have been presented. They were all proven to be fake. A famous fake was the textile from Turin. Both the historical record and Carbon 14 date tightly concur about the date of fabrication of that shroud (part of it pictured above), in the 13C.

Imagination has to be fed, to provide the mind’s logic with what is called a universe. In particular, the mind can be fed the concept of omnipotence, most convenient to dictators. Monotheistic God, having no other gods around to hinder him, is omnipotent, by definition.

Christ is NOT, not at all, an historical figure, just a creature of the imagination, found in Saint Paul’s own mind, as he readily admits. Saul was a practicing Jew born a Roman citizen, from a born Roman citizen father, and a feared Roman prosecutor.

Saul wrote the following in 66 CE. “Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ He asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what to do'” (Acts 9:3-6). Somehow, that led Saul to change his name into Paul.

Evangels were written later (starting in 70 CE). Half of the New Testament stems from Paul and the people whom he influenced. Thirteen of the 27 books in the New Testament have been attributed to Paul. Half of the Acts of the Apostles deals with Paul’s life and works. Tellingly, some of Paul’s students claimed to have met Jesus in person (something Saul/Paul did not dare do).

The record of the arrest, trial and execution of several messiahs at the time of mythical Jesus is well recorded. None of them Jesus. One of these messiahs was condemned, and burned, in Rome. Another, the vicious Simon, was whipped to death in Rome. In all cases, thousands of the best and brightest were watching.

Jewish general Josephus, in his enormous work on the “Jewish war”, covers extensively the religious madness in Israel at the time, and its fanatical madmen. He never mentions Jesus. (The fact that Josephus mentions Jesus, in another work, 20 years later, seems to me a forgery: at some point the growing Christian community realized that they better make Josephus bear witness; the earlier work could not be that easily modified.)

Reading the Bible carefully, one can see that Jesus, would have been born towards Spring, four years or so before what became the official date. The story of Jesus is even more a product of the imagination than viewing Jehanne d’Arc as a good fanatic.

Conclusion: Christ, as a boy abandoned by his dad, is a myth. There is ZERO historical evidence of Jesus’ existence.

There is much more evidence for the existence of the much older Zarathoustra (a real, alive Babylonian philosopher/prophet). Or Buddha (an Indian prince). And Muhammad is, of course, a real historical figure. There is even direct evidence for king David and his son Salomon. Although they are 12 centuries older than the mythical Christ.

Yet, it’s easy to reconstruct what happened: the growth of myth from Saul’s inspiring vision to getting to view, quickly, the vision as fact. In the midst of a war-butchery, the Jewish war of 70 CE, that killed a million (that would have been roughly the proportional equivalent of ten million today), that’s not very surprising.

Religion was a huge business in imperial Rome. All religions were welcome in Rome, as long as they did not disrupt public peace, and did not call for human sacrifices. One could not make one’s religion popular without a great myth attached.

As it was, Christianism was able to grow quietly. Christianism was increasingly made similar to, not to say plagiarized from, the much older religion of Mithra, which was popular in the army. Christians made much of persecutions later (to justify their execution of millions). However, persecution, if any, was light. During Marcus Aurelius’ twenty year reign in the late Second Century, only six “Christians” were executed in Rome.

Around that time (180 CE), we know of the case of several high Roman politicians who announced that, during their retirement, they would write an Evangel.

At the beginning of the Fourth Century, emperor Galerius persuaded his three imperial colleagues to engage in forcing the Christians to pledge obedience to the empire. About 3,000 were executed, total, before Galerius, ravaged by cancer, rescinded the edict.

By then, though, Christianism was a state within the Roman state. Constantine decided to co-opt it, as part of his further fascization of Rome (311 CE). He even chose what the exact doctrine of Christianity: “Catholic Orthodoxy” ( that is “universal common opinion”).

The divisions of the empire that the church had used for its own governance (diocese) were even adopted as the new divisions of the empire. By 400 CE, the “founding father of the church” discovered, among other things, that it would be best to make Jesus’ birth coincidental to the enormous celebrations of the winter solstice known as the “Saturnials”, and to adopt all the traditions attached to it, from gift giving to cutting an evergreen and decorating it (a tradition documented in Greece, among other places, a full millennium earlier).

And then next came a real life philosopher-king, Clovis. Clovis threw the Goths out of Gallia, and built much of what became the Imperium Francorum spanning the core of Western Europe.

More importantly, Clovis renovated Western civilization with a Franco-German, Greco-Roman, Humano-Christian mix. Clovis recreated Christianism in a way compatible with the vision of the Franks (who had helped Constantine conquer the empire, but had stayed extremely hostile to religious fanaticism, attempting a whole succession of coups and civil wars, until Clovis was able to become the new Constantine, as far as north-west Mid-Terra was concerned.

A crucial part of the new mythology was made of continual references to contemporaneous (or quasi-contemporaneous) saints.  

And what of nowadays? Recent generations have been imprinted to feel that greed and fame were all the mythology they needed. No wonder revolution, the economy, and minds themselves are running out of steam. Exactly as intended.

***

Patrice Ayme

Government Defines Profit

May 24, 2013

Abstract; Free market fundamentalists ignore a paradox of economics: defining what a “profit” is can only be done by the government! Thus, when only profit seems to reign, as now, the real government is hiding. Hiding in plain sight, just as the Saudi criminal organization, manipulating the absence of global legal jurisdiction to implement criminal propaganda, or grand theft. Thus, Apple, Google, etc. have all too much in common with terrorist networks. Understanding much of this, the Japanese PM is suddenly behaving as if he led China. (Precisely because he has his eye on the PRC…)

***

Sometimes progress is all about rediscovering what was known for millennia. Sometimes progress is all about unlearning outrageous propaganda. An example? The public is increasingly stuck in the West. From a very deep lack of understanding.

The richer the lords, the poorer the commons.

The richer the lords, the poorer the commons.

The degeneracy of the public is directly related to a lack of philosophical definition of what “profit” means. If one does not have a philosophical definition, one has no practical definition, either.

The graph of profits above is, in a sense, a joke; Apple, to single the typical case of the most prominent corporation, has tremendous profits in one sense, for would-be share holders, and none for fiscal authorities.

That lack of definition of “profit”, in turn leads to fiscal imbalances, that lead to rising plutocracy, its accompanying rising unemployment, and general impoverishment of the commons while our lords thrive ever more.

There are still more than four times as many long-term unemployed workers in the USA as there were before the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Europe’s economy is back in recession, and has grown less over the past six years than it did between 1929 and 1935 (yes, that includes Thatcherian Great Britain!), while hitting ever higher highs for unemployment.

Yet there is no major change in policy in sight. Savage, even criminal, austerity programs are imposed by Brussels and Berlin on the most indebted nations. Children go hungry, life expectancies are going down.

Why the unfolding disaster? The way the role of government in economics is looked at is key.

In his first inaugural address, Ronald Reagan said: In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden.”

Neofascists have misused that quote ever since, extracting from it the aphorism that government was the problem. Worse: under Clinton, Bush Jr., and Obama, they put that scheme into action, deciding that finance would be self regulating.

Ever since the Medes-Persian empire of Darius and contemporaneous Athens, all serious countries acknowledged the overwhelming, domineering role of government in economics. The rise of Frankish Europe of the High Middle Ages, England 1066, or the Italian republics, France in 1600 (Henri IV’s “chicken in every pot”), or Great Britain, later, were all tied in to massive redefinitions of the socio-economy by the government.

(Anglo-Saxon academics love to throw in the word “Keynes” at this point, but Keynes’ suggestions were minimal relative to what serious governments have done in economics for millennia before him, or even since! The only thing about Keynes is that he lived in the 20C and spoke English, enough for simple minds to adulate.)

The government does two things, ever since serious civilization has been instituted: first, government insures enough fundamental economics, to make the basic functions of society possible: defense, police, justice, and basic food and water procurement possible.

Secondly, the government determines and regulates the arena of the “free” market. In other words, there is no “free” market, just a market the government decides is free.

Unfortunately, rogue economists, in the last 35 years have imposed a view, in South America, the USA, and the UK, and then Russia, and worldwide, according to which the free market determines everything, including the government, that it, somehow self generates. One may as well let a headless chicken guide us all.

Mr. Abe was Prime Minister of Japan seven years ago. Illness forced him to resign after a year. Now he is back, with more impulse. Although a conservative politician, he understands well that, when the economy is stuck it needs to be stimulated directly by the government. Abe’s 100 billion dollars stimulus would be equal to roughly 300 billion in the USA. That big stimulus does not contradict a loose monetary policy. Nor does it contradict extinguishing Japan’s more than 200% debt/GDP, because for governments, only growth (or default) can extinguish debt.

The first results of Mr. Abe’s policies have been very encouraging (after a 55% rise, a sharp correction in the stock market was caused by fears that the central bank would not keep on giving enough money to the financially starving economy.)

So why does not the rest of the Western world copy Mr. Abe? After all, is not Mr. Abe just trying to do what China has been doing ever since Deng Tsiao Ping decided that “getting rich was glorious“? That has worked splendidly: open the free market in full, and the governmental stimulus too. It’s actually what the Western governments did after 1945, for thirty years, when they were obsessed by growing the economy (before getting obsessed by fighting inflation).

Why is the rest of the Western world insisting upon guidance by the headless chicken of the free market? Simply because plutocracy is the new world order, and that’s best insured by restricting access to money to the very richest. Austerity is not about balancing the books, as much as it is about restricting the money going to the populace (hence the power it disposes of).

The “Chicago Boys” (followers of Hayek and Friedman) proclaimed that profit was the optimal organizing principle of society. Their students were the perfect decoys for neofascist plutocrats to take control in Chili, Argentina, Brazil. in the 1990s Jeffrey Sachs and Larry Summers went to Moscow to teach that greed was the royal road to progress, and they had an eager audience among the new potentates, who loved to hear that plutocracy was morally correct, and economically optimal.

However, this is all hogwash. The foundational work has not been done well enough.

“Profit” means augmenting “property”. Yet, “PROPERTY” CAN ONLY BE DEFINED BY GOVERNMENT.

For example, the Babylonian state, the Roman state, 15 centuries later, and the USA, 33 centuries after, allowed to own people as “property”. However the rights of those slaves were vastly different: Babylonian slavery was not “racially” based, and slaves could become immensely richer than their owners…

In the Roman Republic, for five centuries, “property” was defined as land, and as such, it was limited, by law. In other words, Roman plutocracy was strictly limited by law. Thereof the secret of the success and longevity of the Roman republic.

However, the rise to Rome into a global empire, beyond the jurisdiction of the city of Rome, exploded both the application of the law and its relevance. Plutocracy got unchained, and wrecked its natural enemy, the Republic.

The present situation is technically similar to what happened to Rome when it went global: armed forces, finance and the economy have gone global, but NOT LEGAL JURISDICTION.

Western civilization has got global, but not its root, the rule of democratic law. One may as well transplant a giant tree in the desert, leaving its roots behind where they grew. This is not going to work.

The problem of international terrorism has two faces: international finance and the bombs it (indirectly) plants.

Indirect action can be extensive, along vast causal chains. For example giant kelp forests are disappearing off Alaska. Why? Because of (over)fishing.

How does that work? Extensive indirect causality. Human overfishing makes orcas hungry. The killer whales then go eat sea otters. Then urchins, now uneaten by sea otters, proliferate, and eat the kelp. hence the apparition of a lot of clear coastal waters off Alaska. Pretty, but not what the ecology used to be.

Indirect causality chains relate and entangle religious and financial terrorism. And they have a common cause: no global legal jurisdiction.  

Consider Salafist terrorism, as exemplified in Toulouse, France (killing of Jewish children and adults by a Salafist fanatic), or in the USA (killings by Salafist fanatics within the army, or in Boston), or in London (several times). How is it related to the tax terrorism practiced by Apple Inc, or Google, IBM, etc.?

In all these cases, it’s the limitation of legal jurisdiction that allows the growth of the criminal activity. The Salafists get their ideas according to what plutocrats in Saudi Arabia want them to have. The ideas the Saudis, a family of gangsters who have given their name to a country, wanted people to have are conveyed by considerable amounts of money. The Saudis pose as the guardians of Salafism (the way of the old ones). They actually seized power, 90 years ago, by spilling oceans of blood.

The promotion of bloody ideas and ideals the Saudis extol should all be illegal, and those instigating plutocrats ought to be put in prison. However, Western law does not reach within Saudi Arabia, for the exact same reason that it does not reach within global corporations.

The Saudis are, arguably, the world’s largest and most criminal corporation. (Qatar is only an also ran.)

Global corporations’ main business model consists in claiming to have no, or little, profits, outside of tiny jurisdictions that basically don’t tax them. Others claim to be made of subsidiaries that are citizens of nowhere (that’s Apple’s method).  Apple ferries more than 100 billions of profits through the British Virgin islands. The British Virgin islands have 20,000 citizens, and more than 500,000 global companies registered there.

As the Wall Street Journal just noticed, global corporations are now even hiding the thousands of subsidiaries they own, and through which they ferry profits, thanks to new USA laws. Many of the biggest USA companies have removed hundreds of offshore subsidiaries from their publicly disclosed financial filings over recent years. They are taking advantage of SEC rules that demand disclosure only when subsidiary operations are “significant” (meaning siphoning 105 of the business)

Oracle, for instance, disclosed more than 400 subsidiaries in its 2010 annual report. By 2012 the list had been whittled to eight—five of which were located in Ireland. Similar decreases in the number of disclosed subsidiaries were found in filings by Google, FedEx, Raytheon and Microsoft. Presto, no more traceable profits!

In the European Union alone, tax evasion by large crooks is evaluated at more than a trillion dollars, much more than all the national deficits combined.

Apple makes billions in the United Kingdom, while using services there provided by British society, still does not contribute to pay for any of what it exploits. It apparently pays a 2% global tax in Ireland alone. Amazon does something similar, paying basically no tax, while devouring local bookstores, which, submitted to local jurisdiction, pay huge taxes (thus have to sell their books at a much higher price).

Governments, all over the West, having learned their masters’ lesson well, have defined profits of said masters are inexistent, fiscally, while the masters are making the greatest profits ever, and unemployment is at a fifty year high in the West.

 It’s also striking that, although the greatest heists ever, have been revealed since 2007, no one, absolutely no one, has gone to jail for this. A striking example is the LIBOR CONSPIRACY. Many billions were stolen, however, none of the bosses of what is, therefore, twenty of the world’s largest criminal organizations, went to jail. It seems the largest thievery is perfectly profitable. 80% of financial derivative trading is through tax havens, and thus is hidden too.

Who profits from the new world order is becoming something to hide, and that has gone deep underground, all the way to Hades. The Sicilian mafia does not behave any differently.

Thus one can see that the neoconservatives advocates of predatory finance harbor contradictory notions; they claim profits should rule, but then their heroes, wealthy corporations and individuals, hide them as much as they can, just as predators hide their excrements. So what are profits about? Heavenly stuff, or something one cannot speak of?

The economy should not rest on what its beneficiaries want to hide.

***

Patrice Ayme

Joan of Arc Roasted Too Late?

May 18, 2013

 Of worshipped stupidities the most vicious aspects of thought and emotional systems are made. In particular regarding nationalism and other religions of the violent type. As the emperor who was never observed to have no clothes, those stupidities live on, unruffled, as long they have not been denounced for what they are. 

 It’s only when slavery in the colonies was denounced, as the outrage it was, that it could be outlawed. 

 A case in point of vicious worship: that of the homicidal bigot, Jeanne d’Arc. Behind that? Mass homicidal nationalism as religion. 

Daughter French King Marries King of England, Her Son Henry VI Became King of France & England (1422).

Daughter French King Marries King of England, Her Son Henry VI Became King of France & England (1422).

 A definitive settlement of the “100 year war” between Paris and London had been reached: Henry V, and his descendants, were to rule England and France. The Treaty of Troyes, signed 21 May 1420, in cathédrale Saint-Pierre, between Charles VI, king of France, and Charles V, king of England, anticipated that Henry V, son in law of Charles VI, would succeed to him after Charles’ death.

 The Treaty was immensely popular: Henry V was celebrated when he entered Paris. Unfortunately the English monarch died in August 1422, three month before his father in law, Charles VI. Henry’s ten month old son, Henry VI, became king of France and England.

 A definitive settlement of the “100 year war” between Paris and London had been reached: Henry VI’s descendants, were to rule England and France. His mother, Catherine de Valois, was as French as French could be. The advisers were French, although the Duke of Bedford was made regent of France & England. By austerity, Bedford used cheap English speaking troops. 

 Jeanne d’Arc shattered the peace, re-launched a civil war. 

 Joan of Arc’s legacy is four more centuries of Franco-English war. For no good reason, whatsoever. Let me forgive those who may wish that she had been roasted sooner. 

 What’s the story of Jeanne in a nutshell? That of a vicious pawn.

Signature Of A Devil?

Signature Of A Devil?

 To understand the “100 Year War”, one has to backtrack to 1300 CE (at the very least!). Philippe IV “Le Bel” decided to tax the Church, in accord with his (part) vassal, the king of England. The Church begged to differ, but was forced to obey. Later Philippe had the Pope arrested (and soon dead). Besides Philippe expropriated banksters, the Templar Monks. The chief bankster, while roasting in the Royal presence, threw a spell on the king.

 Within a year, the king fell from his horse, and died from it. His three sons followed in quick succession: to the kingship, and then, death. 

 The Salic law said that the next in line was their sister. Isabelle. Isabelle de France… Queen of England. Absolute Queen of England: her husband had been killed (in a painful way, making lots of noise). 

 Isabelle had a reputation in Paris. Having made her own sting operation, she denounced to her  (usually extremely well informed) dad the wives of her brothers, for drastic infidelity. Two were sent to monastery, and the future (would-be) queen spent winter in a very cold jail, before being (some say) strangled.

 In any case, lawyers in Paris refused to apply the law of the ancient Salian Franks. They refused to have Isabelle as Queen of France, on the ground that she was a woman, inaugurating centuries of grotesque French sexism contradicting the very roots of Francia, the philosophical roots of equality.

 Isabelle, trying to outsmart her Parisian opponents, then resigned, and put her 16 year old son, Edward III, on the throne (of England). Something she would soon regret. Edward, grandson of Philippe Le Bel, a Frenchman in blood and claw, son of Isabelle de France, no less, then asked for his due, the throne of France

 The lawyers in Paris refused, again: they had made other arrangements. The war between London and Paris was on, and lasted nearly five centuries (until 1815).

 Who-was-boss was not a new problem in Franco-Anglia (the Franks, like imperial Rome, had been plagued by that problem, because only re-establsihing a full republic could solv it).

 When the Duke of Normandy, vassal to the King of the Franks became king of England, he established an oath between him and the People similar to one that existed in Rome with the army, or between People and Princeps (hence the executions of around 3,000 Christians who had refused to take that oath, mostly under emperor Galerius’ influence, in the 300-310 CE period; “Christian” leaders would later use that martyrdom to justify, sort of, the killing and terror on millions they would exert in the following 14 centuries).

 A weird situation followed: was, or not, the London king subject to Paris? According to the old ways of the Franks, yes: the king in Paris was viewed as (Roman) emperor (since the Verdun split). What was clear is that French were in command on both sides of the channel. The entanglements only got worse, from 1066 until 1320.

 An example was Eleonor of Aquitania, duchess, and ruler of an immense realm, semi autonomous for two millennia. After her long union with the king of France was, clearly sterile, she divorced. And married the King of England, with whom she had many children. In the process she brought Aquitaine over, and that’s why Richard the Lion hearted was born, raised, married, lived and died in France (but for a few months he spent in England; he spent more time crusading side by side with the king of France, his “compagnon d’arme”).

 After immense destructions, generations of war, and further dynastic problems on the Paris side, cooler heads prevailed. It was admitted that the rightful sovereign of France was Henry V, king of England, descendant of Philipe Le Bel, and it was decided that he would become, indeed, king of France.

 The University of Paris, the City of Paris, and people all over the regions that had known generations of inconclusive war wholeheartedly agreed: give us just one king, one government, and peace!

 Right from the start Jeanne of Arc got military support by a Queen from the South, the formidable Yolande of Aragon

 While “Jehanne” was still very young and unknown, Queen Yolande sent her soldiers to act as her bodyguards. Jeanne’s early miracles were fake (surprise, surprise). For example, she had encountered the would be king long before recognizing him “miraculously” in a crowd (that miracle is still repeated to this day, as if a fact, whereas it was just a ridiculous lie).

 There was more than one Jeanne (at least another was burned; Jeanne bore witness against one of her competitors at some point). Preacheding against the English was a successful business model (similar to Muslim Fundamentalism as a convenient façade to banditry). 

 Same story as with the several would-be Christ that really existed at the times of Christ (differently from the mythical Christ himself, whose existence outside of Saint Paul’s head remains unproven).

 So what happened? What was the real story of Jehanne d’ Arc? The southern lords of France were anxious to NOT see a formidable rule by Paris and London in the north: the double capitals, sitting in the middle of the largest arable lands in Europe, would have subjugated them totally.

 So they contrived a story for children. Then the story ran out of control, and deep real hostility between England and France appeared. The truth was simpler: the story of a woman spurned by fate, who fought back.

 Yolande of Arago was also Queen of many other things, including Sicily. She was married in 1416 to become queen of France, too, but her husband died before he could be crowned. Yolande later became the mother in law of the king of France she installed later on the throne, Charles VII. She was a specialist of legal assassinations, and the like. She was a most efficient diplomat: she turned Brittany against Britain, among other feats.

 Yolande of Arago really won the “100 Year War”. Books have been written about her. She was the determined enemy of Isabeau of Bavaria, Queen of France, architect of the Troyes treaty (that had put Henry V on the throne of France). The two queens fought, on battlefields, for 22 years. Interestingly, women are the main actors of the “100 Year war”.

 Such is the truth never told about Joan of arc; she was just another pawn of Yolande. Jeanne of Arc has nearly no redeeming value. In the end, all she preached was war, “booting” (“bouter”) the English out of “France”. Some God or Mary in the sky, or in her ear, had told her that some guy was the real king (although, logically, and historically, he was not).

 Jeanne d’Arc was a dangerous fanatic, of the worst type. After a truce with the so called “English” left her idle, she wrote to the Hussites, an intellectual group, backed by the university of Prague, which had broken with the standard Catholic Church on some doctrinal points. The followers of Huss had defeated crusades sent against them (they were defeated thanks to the highest treachery of the topmost Catholic hierarchy, sealing the doom of Catholicism).

 Joan’s letter is extremely violent. It accuses Hussites of “obscenity“, “superstition“, threatens them with “extermination“. She promises to “remove your madness and foul superstition, taking away either your heresy or your lives.”

 On the fanatical scale, that letter puts her higher than Osama ben Laden: she threatened to kill people who threatened her country in no way, just because they had “exerted a choice” (that is what “heretical” meant). [Fanatical supporters of “Jehanne” have argued that the letter was a fake, but then the Latin original was found, signed by her secretary, Pasquerel. Although “Jehanne” spoke several languages, she did not read or write, making her the equal of Muhammad!]

 We have numerous letters of “Jehanne” where she promises, under various formulations, that she will “kill all those who don’t obey her“. (See note.)

 Many of Joan of Arc’s exploits consisted often in attacking French cities. She had to siege Paris, while supposedly trying to deliver France from… the “Anglois”!

 Jeanne taught hysterical trust in superstition, voices in one’s head (but only if the right person heard them, the others should burn). Jeanne taught hatred of intellectuals (as found in the universities of Paris and Prague), hatred of the “Anglois” (that is the other, whoever the “other” is; in truth only the foot soldiers spoke English, at a time when France enjoyed many languages). Jeanne taught, to all of Europe, that nationalism should raise to sainthood, and thinking, to the backwoods.

 Voltaire had made fun of Jehanne in a 20,000 words work. As the homicidal ideology of nationalism rose, so did Jehanne. Jehanne was made a saint in 1920. Jeanne became a Twentieth Century nationalistic sensation. Some go around saying Joan of Arc is a “patron saint of France”. Whatever that means. She is in good company, one of her colleagues is “Saint Louis”, a dedicated criminal of the worst type, who wrote a lot of his bloodlust.

 There should be a philosophical cleansing program of all the celebrities incarnating vicious ideals. The Austrian philosopher, Sir Karl Popper did this a bit in “The Open Society & Its Enemies“. There is much more to be done. In particular many of the French and European leaders loom large on today’s civilization, and some of them had tremendous flaws. By honoring them, one honors trains of thought and emotion that were conducive to immensely vicious activities.

 Reciprocally some thinkers have been ignored, or defamed, for all the wrong reasons… To learn well from history, one has to get it right first.

 Yes, Jehanne d’Arc was charming, extremely witty, attaching. But Jehanne also incarnated the passion for one of the oldest vices: superstitious tribalism. Her towering presence in history hides much more valuable characters, such as various French and “English” kings who, in the  50 years preceding her roasting had not just decided that the Franco-French war had to stop, no matter what, but instituted extensive truces, and even, in the end, found the legal solution that the forces behind Jehanne illegally shattered.

 Joan of Arc represents exactly the sort of evils that we have to learn to throw in the fire. A tasty morsel, best carbonized.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

 Notes: Jehanne As Anti-Sexist heroin: The only teaching of Joan of Arc worth keeping is her insistence that women could do a lot of tasks men did in the Late Middle Ages, such as war. She was, technically, burned for, wearing man’s clothing (after pledging she would not do that anymore)… In any case, whereas Jeanne was a nationalistic, superstition devil, she was a genuine anti-sexist saint. Supposing, of course that she was really the one who burned (there is some historical evidence that she did not, and considering her extremely mighty sponsors, that would not be surprising; burning a woman a month was routine in Rouen!) Because of her mighty, conspiring (plutocratic!) sponsors, much about “Jehanne” is unknown, even though it’s supposed to be known (for example there are no portrait of her, at a time when photographic like reproduction were made). Her age is a case in point; she is given as 19 when burned, but there is one piece of very strong evidence that she was actually 23!

 Jehanne as Devil: Here is some typical Jehanne’s prose: “je suis chief de guerre, et en quelque lieu que je actaindray vos gens en France, je les en ferai aler, veuillent on non veuillent, et si ne vuellent obéir, je les ferai tous occire. Je suis cy envoiée de par Dieu, le Roy du ciel, corps pour corps, pour vous bouter hors de toute France.”

 (“I’m war chief, and in any place where your gents are found, I will have them leave, whether they want it or not, and if they don’t want to obey, I will have all of them killed. I am sent here by God, King of heaven, body for body (sic), to boot you out of all of France”)

***

Preventing Fascism: WWII & Now

May 14, 2013

Rage against fascism is a good thing. It has to be integrated into moral codes, and institutions. The question arises of how the outbreak of fascism could have been indigenously avoided in the 1930s. After all, we are evolving into a similar situation: an ever deepening socio-economic crisis. Crises call for fascism, always.

Paradoxically, I will argue that, for a republic to be sustainable, anti-fascism has to be imprinted directly and explictly in an intrinsically fascist institution, the military.

Military men have to be imprinted with the notion that all and any order contradicting Republican law ought to be refused (except perhaps for a reason involving a combat situation directly, to be followed by an inquest; drone presidents don’t qualify as combat directly).

Fascism, as the Romans, who conceptualized it, defined it, was the socio-political principle that gave the Republic strength: tie together the weak rods of the individuals around an axe to get immense power of enforcement (justice) and destruction (war). In modern times, the French Republic, explicitly, and the USA  (watch the American eagle clutching a fasces of arrows!) proudly exhibit the notion, which is central to all and any Republic.

Fascism allows weak primates to cling together, act as a super organism. being able to form armies, they conquered the wastes (even Bonobos act this way, and form troops up to 200 individuals, no doubt keeping leopards away).

Thus fascist is an enabling instinct. Fascism is the difference between monkeys as squirrels, and monkeys as world conquerors. Fascists go to the stars, individualists stay in the trees and bushes.

The formation of any troop or army is an application of the fascist principle. Thus the importance of fascism for Rome: for its first four centuries, the Roman republic was continually involved in wars upon which its on-going existence depended, and became the ancient world’s ultimate war machine.

Yet, the fascist instinct can be misused: watch young people going hysterical about the local sport team. That looks innocuous, but countless dictators, in the past, used that madness of young, ignorant, enraged crowds to evil ends.

The three most significant fascisms involved in WWII were the Soviet, Nazi and Imperial Japanese. They had much in common, as proven by the fact that, by 1939, they were military allies (and even earlier, officially, as the “Axis“; or secretly with the USSR).

Of the three the most hopeless, because the most engrained, was Soviet fascism. In the 1930s, Stalin was busy killing most of his army’s upper echelons, after deporting the Tartars from Crimea and dispossessing millions of farmers. He put to work ten million slaves, digging impressive canals.

Stalin’s main opponent had been Trotsky, ex-head of the Red Army. Trotsky was in an awkward position to resist his ex-colleague’s red terror, as he had, himself, been its enforcer in chief previously. besides, the founder, and theoretician of the whole thing, Lenin himself, had made the apology of fascism with his “dictatorship of the proletariat“. By 1939, the USSR had made mass murderous fascism into its fundamental organizational scheme (differently from the Tsarist plutocracy, which had been paying more than lip service to democracy!).

In comparison, Japan and Germany were new to that game.

Thus, if there was a hope to avoid WWII, it had to be with Japan and Germany. Both regimes were, superficially, militaristic. However, both they nearly imploded. Why? Because, in both cases, military men saw the light of truth, and tried to act accordingly.

World War One had been launched by the top half dozen ‘Prussian’ military men, in an on and off conspiracy with the Kaiser. The four top “Prussian General Staff” generals plotted, in 1912, to launch a war against France and Russia, because they thought they could still win it (but not so in the future; they enlisted the reluctant admirals). The result was a giant failure of Germany and civilization. Although the military generation commanding and launching WWI never saw the light, and, indeed, supported Nazism, it was not so for the commanders who followed (and had seen the war from the trenches).

Meanwhile the fascist imperial Japanese military had gone from success to success for more than a generation, defeating the Russians, the Chinese, the Germans. Its leadership became an oligarchy drunk on victory, a typical case of hubris gone completely crazy.

Young officers of lesser rank felt this. They attempted a coup in 1937. It was drowned in blood, and the military dictatorship became worse than ever.

In Germany, it was the exact opposite: the Nazis had hypnotized, and imprinted youth. Yet, the entire upper reaches of the German military had done some serious studies, and drawn their own lessons from WWI. Top german military men were lethally opposed to Hitler. They plotted loud and clear, to overthrow him. They even invited American embassy personnel, just below ambassador rank, to be witness to their reunions. However, they were anxious to justify themselves, relative to the population.

Field Marshalls, and the successive chiefs of the entire armed forces, generals Beck and Halder made the mistake to reach out to the perfidious Anglo-Saxons. The German military wanted them to declare publicly that the Anglo-Saxons would stand with the French Republic against Hitler. The upper military would have then arrested, or killed Hitler and all the top Nazis, and justify themselves to the German nation by saying the Nazis were going to destroy Germany. Because there was no way Germany would win against the exact same coalition of Allies as in World War One.

Instead, of course, the Anglo-Saxons leaders… revealed to the Chancellor-President of Germany, Adolf his name, what was planned. So strong were the plotters, though, that all what Hitler could do was to fire general Beck from his top job. Beck was replaced by Halder, himself respectful of Beck. However the anti-Hitler plotting abated, as the USA seemed determined to support the Third Reich (de facto) and Britain and France let Hitler have his successes. Hitler was condemned to work, for years, conducting a world war, collaborating with his own would-assassin, Halder.

There were many plots against Hitler. All failed, mostly due to happenstance, or too much striving for perfection. Meanwhile the Nazi state grew ever stronger: the SS grew to nearly one million. When finally a full coup was engaged in July 1944, Hitler survived a bomb, and a handful of generals, trying to cover their participation in the coup, went the wrong way at the wrong moment.

The repression was ferocious: Colonel Count Von Stauffenberg had planted the bomb, he was executed the same day. His elder brother, revived many times, was tortured to death. Officially an unbelievable 4,980 were executed (yes, not a typo, nearly five thousands, most of them German army personnel).

Nowadays, the German military venerates the anti-Hitler plotters. It has in its military code that Innere Führung”  (inner guidance) which pledges to defend the Republic and the People.

The best way to fight tyrannical fascism is for the army to thoroughly understand that its own intrinsic fascism has meaning only, and only as, guardian of the Republic, not as a devotee to particular individuals or classes. (Indeed the Roman republic went down when the army’s role went from protecting the republic to personality cult.)

So, to prevent political fascism, one has to incorporate the republican constitution in the military code.

This is no utopia. German military history demonstrates it. The German Military Code (or law) in World War Two said that military men and police could not be ordered to massacre civilians (as had happened in the first few days of World War One). Still, massacres were ordered. However, in about 150 cases, orders were disobeyed, on the ground that the Code forbid it.

None of the cases was prosecuted. The Nazis were terrified that military judges would support those who had disobeyed unlawful orders. and that a lawful disobedience, by then well advertized, would spread through the army.

Better: by 1944, an ex-fanatical Nazi such as Feld Marshall Rommel, was actively prosecuting those who had ordered massacres of civilians in France.

So, of course, if the German republic and German Volk had been included in the military pledge (as it is now!), Nazism would simply never have happened. (Instead Hitler, in degenerate Roman general style, had instituted a pledge to himself!)

One crucial juncture in the ascent of Nazism: when Doctor H. Schacht, head of the central bank, engineered German hyper inflation in 1923, so as not to replace the telegraph poles that had been destroyed all over France by the retreating German army.  Later Schacht, an agent of the top USA banker JP Morgan, became finance and economy minister in the so called Weimar republic, and pushed to bring Hitler to power.

Interestingly, recently, in 2013, the head of the German central bank used lies by Harvard professors to justify the ferocious starving of the European economy, instituted by shutting down necessary government spending (all the money having gone to bankers). Do them German central bankers ever learn?

The Harvard professors mercenaries were, and are, paid by billionaires such as Pete Peterson, and the “foundations” they finance. The modern equivalent of JP Morgan.

Is history repeating itself? Will the Bundeswehr have to realize that, when the head of the German central bank, 90 years later, holds exactly, once again, the discourse ordered by plutocrats from across the Atlantic, the security of the German Volk is compromised?

***

Patrice Ayme

Photon, Graviton, Contradiction

May 8, 2013

 Abstract: No need to dig very deep to find glaring contradictions in today’s physics. A discreet warning to those who act as if everything important is already understood.  I exhibit a few elementary reasonings where basic physics ominously implodes like an overstuffed star. Among other implosions, the “Planck Length” is derived, not from dimensional analysis, but through an outrageously simple analysis.

***

EVEN THE BRIGHTEST CIVILIZATIONS CAN MAKE THE GROSSEST ERRORS:

 May 8, 1945, the 68th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. A big deal in France. Starting in 1934, the French republic armed itself to the teeth to crush fascism. It took a while, but it worked. At this point, fascism is only history in Europe (and don’t forget the collapse of the USSR).

 Keeping May 8 as a mandatory vacation day helps to remind the young generations that for the Republic to fight racial fascism cost, over 31 years, more than four million dead, in the French empire alone. (More than 100 million, 5% of the world’s population, died, all together. More if one counts the (“Spanish“) flu epidemics that hitched a hike on the military situation)

 Fascism was an erroneous system of thoughts and emotions. All the more striking as it struck mostly the country with the most intellectual hubris, namely the “German Reich“. The basic mental deviations inciting such errors are best studied in pure science, or aeronautics; as the  situations are clearer.

 When looking at history on the largest scale, what counts are optimal results. If one gets optimally to a disastrous result, it’s still disastrous. The Greeks had tremendous physics. At least, they built excellent ships. Roman cements were astounding; they made siphons on such a scale, aqueducts could cross valleys this way.  

 Yet, both Greek optics and Greek were full of correct, intricate considerations. Yet, both were not just false, but inside out, the exact opposite of the truth in the most fundamental message.

 How did it happen? The Greeks had overlooked the obvious. It should have been obvious that the Sun, being so much more enormous than the Earth, did not turn around it: that contradicted intuitive notion about centrifugal forces (say when launching a stone from a sling), and the fact the much smaller moon rotated around the Earth.

 In optics, simplistic experiments would have shown light came from the observed objects, not conversely.

 The Greeks had overlooked the obvious in physics. I will talk about something that maybe similar. Now. Keeping in mind that the Greeks overlooked the obvious so much that their democracy lost three wars to plutocracy in 250 years. Thereafter democracy, or even a republic was not to be seen in Greece again for nearly 2150 years. I claim that’s related. The lack of necessary criticism. It may show up in politics, but it trains best in physics.

***

 SIMPLEST DERIVATION BLACK HOLE:

 Let’s assume light had a mass, m. (OK, modern physics assumes that light has no mass… otherwise modern physics would not be coherent. But that does not prove that light has, indeed, no mass!)

 If the mass of light were small enough, it would not be experimental detectable.

 Now let’s equate the energy of said mass to 1/2 mvv, the traditional kinetic energy. (Purists who know the Special Theory of Relativity will scream, as this is only the leading term in E = mcc.)

If the star is massive enough, it will bring light to a standstill, by pulling on it hard enough (forget about the geodesics of General relativity!)

 Now the potential gravitational energy of a mass m located at radius R in the gravitational field of a star of mass M is: GmM/R .

 Equating the kinetic energy with the gravitational potential energy:

 1/2 mvv = GmM/R. Putting v=c, the speed of light, eliminating the m’s, we get:

 R = 2 GM/cc

 This is the so-called Schwarschild Radius. When a star of mass is smaller than R, light can’t get out. That reasoning was made by the super mathematician and physicist Pierre Simon de Laplace in the Eighteenth Century. That is, during the Enlightenment. Laplace concluded that “les objets les plus massifs de l’univers ne peuvent etre vus (the most massive objects in the universe may not be seen). [To be entirely fair, an obscure Brit seems to have had the same idea too, at the time.]

***

 GRAVITON BLACK HOLE, IN ANALOGY TO PHOTON BLACK HOLE:

 Laplace above made the hypothesis of what some physicists in 1929 came to call the “photon”, the particle of light. Meanwhile De Broglie rolled out his hypothesis that to each body a wave is associated. Although that does not prove the converse, namely that, to each wave a particle is associated, physicists take this for granted. 

 That there are gravitational waves, there is no doubt. Why? Because if one wiggles around a source of gravitation (say, a star), the direction of the incoming pull will vary, so a distant observer will be tugged back and forth. As the distance from the source augments, this will organize itself in nice waves.

 Backtracking conceptually, one gets particles of gravitation similar to particles of light, the gravitons. 

 Why not to play the game above?

 I made this smart remark one day to a Field Medalist specialist of General Relativity. He literally got enraged, fuming, repeating the offending sentence to himself, but unable to find a smart repartee. Indeed. There is none.

 If one plays the game above, the game Laplace first played, no graviton will be able to exit a sufficiently massive star, so the star, not only will not be seen, but not be felt. No wonder my friend got enraged.

 Could that really happen? Why not? Where would the energy go? if one insisted to keep the conservation of energy law? Well, what about coming out somewhere else as Dark Energy? 

 (Remember, we do not know, at all, about the dimensional structure of the universe; so energy could leak, through another dimension; a similar argument is central to some ultra modern theories of gravitation.)

***

 PLANCK LENGTH MEANING; NO HIGH ENERGY GRAVITON:

 Another avenue of meditation is to observe that the Schwarschild Radius also exist for a graviton of mass m. It’s 2Gm/cc.

 The graviton’s own mass pulls the graviton itself towards itself. At high enough energy, the graviton becomes a contradiction onto itself.

 2G (hv/cc)/cc = 2G hv/cccc.  … Lv =c, v = c/L

Thus: L = square root (2G h/ccc)

 This “L” is the Planck Length. If the graviton’s matter wave  is confined within “L”, nothing will come out…

 It goes without saying that all of this ought to be taken with a grain of salt. First of all, the real structure of elementary particles is completely unknown. 

 String theory and M theory are attempts to guess said structure. However they assumed topological properties (such as compacity, locality, separability) that basic Quantum Theory violates enthusiastically. So they miss the essence conceptually, right from the start.

 Nevertheless, the reasonings above form the core of Quantum Gravity, the first order approximation. If that has no bearing on reality, neither will the rest.

 One of the main interests of the advancement of science is that it forces us to advance and refine what we mean by reason. In a world where the survival of the many will be increasingly in question, and depends essentially upon ever mightier reason, this is of the essence.

***

Patrice Ayme

Austerity: As Wild As It Gets!

May 7, 2013

AUSTERITY BENEFITS THE FEW BY STRANGLING THE MANY:

 To fully understand the austerity drive, one has to go fully prehistoric, at the dawn of Homo Erectus. For at least a million years, Homo has known how to profit from fire, and, thus, a scorched earth strategy. That, itself, belongs to an even deeper instinct of apparently wanton destruction. Apparently, but not really.

 The austerity drive has gone further than simply dismantling the welfare state. Austerity has attacked the very heart of the solution to get out of the deep economic, energetic and ecological crises we are getting into. Scientific research and education themselves are getting slashed, in Europe, or the USA.

 For civilization, austerity has become the equivalent of banging one’s head on a wall, in the hope of improving one’s mental faculties. For conventional wisdom, it should make no sense at all, considering the grave catastrophe it’s bringing along. Yet, it makes sense, when one realizes that man has always fought man, even more than the ocean has always fought the ocean.

Even Oceans Fight

Even Oceans Fight

 In places where oceans meet and struggle, giant rogue waves often form. They can destroy even super tankers. (One such place is along the south-east African coast, off Mozambique).

 Some pontificate that class struggle is quaint. They are generally paid by the plutocratic system, that made the upper class a subsidiary of evil itself. Yet structures appear through struggles. Austerity itself is a rogue wave from such a struggle.

 The notion of structure is not fully explained: thorough explanations have to go through Quantum Physics. Yet the transition from Quantum Physics to Classical Physics is not part of Twentieth Century science (this is the essence of the debate on the foundations of Quantum Mechanics, and why the last Nobel Prize in Physics was given to students of this mysterious transition).

 The Honorable Paul Krugman lists a number of reasons for the austerity drive, while, correctly, decrying it (See Note). Paul credits humanity, or more exactly its leadership, with too much goodness. The most obvious reason for austerity is the one less talked about: benefiting the few by strangling the many. A master idea of the oligarchy is that class structures are no more. Yet, structures are all over: morphogenesis makes up the universe.

 I wrote against austerity many times before (see Note), explaining in particular that it was the proximal cause of the fall of Rome.

 This Fall is very striking, because it shows that plutocracy will sell its own country to make a buck. Indeed, there was no more money to pay the legions, from lack of taxation of the hyper wealthy. Thus evacuation, from sheer Will-To-Austerity, by the legions of Britain and of the “limes“, throughout the entire north-west corner of the empire.

 Defense was entrusted to the Franks; the idea was that the Franks came for… free. The Franks had no choice, but to ferociously fight, as they were mostly peasant-owners, and needed to defend their land, thus, indirectly, the Roman cities and villas. However, the enemy, knowing the legions were out of the way, got lucky (frozen Rhine) and broke through at Chrismas 406.

 It’s amusing that the “Fall of Rome” is always presented as a deep mystery, when it can be explained by exactly two battles, one lost by Valens at Adrianopolis, and the other as just related. In any case, austerity caused a tremendous military disaster within six years of its fiercest implementation!

 Austerity always favors the rise of plutocracy, and the neo-feudalism we can observe blossoming today; when there is not enough money to employ the many, what needs to be done is still done. But it’s done only by what becomes an indispensable oligarchy.

 Even those criticizing it are feeding the austerity machine: watch the Honorable professor Stiglitz in his palatial office at Columbia University, teaching economics by the People, for the People, while employed by a school that charges, 58,000 dollars a year, namely 20% higher than the median household income of New York City surrounding it. OK, let me explain. The austerity machine is the other face of the luxury machine. By thriving in the luxury machine, and making it thrive in turn, Stiglitz himself is a clog in that giant machine that made We The People irrelevant to the Luxury Tower of Power.

 The deepest reason for austerity is also the simplest, and most shocking. Austerity is not just incidentally causing the strangling of the many by the few. It’s all about benefiting the few by strangling the many.

 Most of the public has been well indoctrinated in Christian like ethics (see Nietzsche below about slave morality). Thus the naïve public will accordingly reject that such an inclination for a final solution of the public problem makes sense. And yet, it does. Thus, the very outraged denial of an inclination to the final solution has allowed it to happen many times before.

 The Final Solution does make sense, once one realizes that ecological imbalance has been the greatest enemy of humanity for two million years. Ecological imbalances caused by an (over-) abundance of people. Thus, as the Romans put it, Homo Homini Lupus. Man is a wolf for man.

 Thus, all the proximal, technical reasons given for austerity act as a cover-up for the deepest drive: making war to others, especially when it feels that there are too many, or at least too many of a kind one does not like. Thus the insistence that only a few should be served.

 Reagan and others of his kind, speaking of government, said that “the beast should be starved“.

 According to what I am saying here, they really meant, what they really wanted to say, as their wild, basic instincts told them, was that the beasts should be starved. Thus ultra hard line conservatism is as mean as the eons have had it. And as mad, as mean as the older evils had it: racism, colonialism… in all cases, it was all about the war of the few against the many, that war that never ends, the war of man against himself, killing, not just because that’s a force that gives us meaning, but because that’s the culling, that gives us a world.

 We could, of course, do differently now. But, instead of insuring the luxury of a few individuals, as the greatest good, we should then strive to make understanding of everything our greatest luxury. And that’s start

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Notes:

 1) On preceding remarks on austerity: I wrote nearly a year ago, “Why Austerity?”. That listed detailed causes for the austerity drive. “Why Europe Lays Supine” addresses the peculiar European case; Europe credited humanity with too much goodness, too, and believed, that, by being virtuous, the world would follow. Instead the world used European naivety to its advantage. Now Europe finds herself on the verge of an obvious depression, and is finally throwing overboard its ecological drive to lighten the ship: it refused to support its carbon price system, the world’s most advanced mechanism to control CO2 emissions.

 2) Sade agreed with the Romans that man was up to no good. In particular, Sade observed  that politicians had to be among the worst individuals, and relished inflicting their “sadistic” powers on others. And that much of their “politics” was motivated that way. he wrote about it as outrageously as possible, including Prime Ministers torturing the innocent, just to relax. Accordingly, Sade was jailed for decades by the Ancient dictatorship of Louis XVI.

Sade was freed during the Revolution of 1789. He had been one of its main instigators, directly and indirectly. He found himself in some of the highest responsibilities, and advised strongly against imposing the revolution by force throughout Europe, precisely because he was aware of the calculus of violence of man against man, the inclination to commit violence, while covering it up  in noble fashion.

 3) Nietzsche pointed out that there were two moral systems in force in Europe. Christianity, officially enforced, was the morality for the slaves, imposed to the slaves, and they did not know any better. Slaves had been made to believe that Christianity was the only morality in existence. Whereas European aristocracy ruled according to its exact opposite, the rule of the strong. Nietzsche’s analysis is still true today.

Yet, from my more cynical viewpoint the “aristocracy”, is not just admirable, literally a “rule of the best“. Instead, it’s a vile plutocracy at heart. So, instead of embracing the masters’ race, as Nietzsche seems to inclined to do, I reject it, when it’s just a vulgar plutocracy, just as I reject slavery, as another form of the Dark Side. I basically believe that the double morality system goes on today, with the same sort of results: that’s why financiers get to pay taxes at a much lower rate, from complicities in government… While preaching the free market and meritocracy (the moral system for the Plebs, precisely the one plutocrats are violating).

 4) In light of the preceding, Paul Krugman’s remarks, although well meaning, are rather meek. Said he:…”calls for a reversal of the destructive turn toward austerity are still having a hard time getting through. Partly that reflects vested interests, for austerity policies serve the interests of wealthy creditors; partly it reflects the unwillingness of influential people to admit being wrong… a further obstacle to change: widespread, deep-seated cynicism about the ability of democratic governments, once engaged in stimulus, to change course in the future.”

But Paul, of course, has to be published, and thus appreciated enough, by Very Serious People  Very Sadistic Plutocrats.

PLUTOCRACY: NEW WORLD ORDER

May 4, 2013

Western Intelligence, Oriental Despotism; Redux? Democratic Occident, Fascist Orient, & Vice Versed?

Obama just  nominated Commerce Secretary the billionaire heiress who discovered him, and introduced him to the Rubin-Summers-Goldman-Sachs-Citigroup conspiracy. Penny Priztker was condemned to pay a 460 million dollar fine by the Federal government in 2001, for financial malfeasance. 460 million, that’s more than Mitt Romney’s fortune… a fortune which made small rank and file democrats huff and puff, in indignation, a few months ago, just like their mighty masters told them to do (plutocrats such as the Pritzkers are the real thing, and Obama, their boy, not to say, servant).

Now, if the 460 million dollars fine felon becomes chief of commerce, that’s fine, as long as the masters of the people don’t ask the People to huff and puff about the fine. The finer the fine, the finer the master, say the little People, and they bleat, satisfied. As a grateful, and hopeful, Obama put it:”Priztker is one of the most eminent personalities of our country“. When Pluto reigns, down is up.

When Common Decency Is A Hindrance

When Common Decency Is A Hindrance

Plutocracy is the New World Order. The New World Thinking. The New World Emoting.

To get some perspective on this, it’s good to have a retrospective look at the greatest plutocratic realms of the past, and ponder why extremely wealthy fascism rose, increasingly, in the Orient, while clever democracy rose, occasionally, in the West. And sometimes fell, disastrously, for reasons related.

It turns out that, when Rome became fascist and plutocratic, it turned to, and into, Oriental despotism, and criminals, indeed, came to command and control. Criminality became morality.

***

PERSIA REIGNED WITH ALL CRAFTS; YET NOT SMART ENOUGH:

Establishing  giant, metastatic empires in the Orient is nothing new: the Hittites tried it, they proceeded to invade Lebanon and the rich valleys behind, Egyptian territory. However young Pharaoh Ramses II, defeated them at Qadesh, next to present day Damascus. Through courageous combat in that battle which defined his long rule, Ramses rescued victory from the jaws of defeat, somewhat miraculously.

Ramses lost ground, though, and later made a loving peace with his enemies. Then, the Hittites having been destroyed by the mysterious coalition of the Peoples of the Sea, the Assyrians tried to impose their own giant metastatic empire, using the harshest methods. That brought them so many enemies that they got invaded from all quarters, annihilated as a nation first, and an army, later.

Then the union of Medes and Persians, thanks to three remarkable leaders, established a giant fascist empire, from Ethiopia to Central Asia, Libya to India. The third emperor, Darius, besides being excellent at sword-play in the dark, and a great general, proved capable of using a free market economy, switching to so called Keynesianism, and then a command and control economy, as needed. Darius established a giant “Royal” road network (ancestral to the one the Romans would build, four centuries later).

A Persian Pony Express, with posts every five miles, would bring news from distant corners of the empire in a week. Darius went on to invade the Scythians, land of the Amazons, present day Ukraine.

Darius’ Persia was the greatest empire, so far, larger than the present day continental USA. It became so, thanks to a great variety of methods of socio-economic governance. Some of these methods would later be used by the West, massively. Not just the communication network, the free market, the command and control, but also a crafty diplomacy of seduction, cooptation and local autonomy (that’s how the Ionian Greeks and Phoenicians became collaborators of Persia; whereas Alexander would annihilate Tyr).

However, unbelievably, tiny Athens broke the Persian empire, inaugurating the next great event, still on-going, the rise of the West. Again and again, minuscule Greek armies routed the juggernauts of professional giant armies. Again and again, small democracies proved superior to large fascist foes. I claimed that mental superiority entailed military superiority.

***

FREE IN THE WEST, SLAVES IN THE EAST:

Herodotus explained the Greeks’ military superiority: free men are more motivated in battle, as they fight for themselves, he said. But it’s not clear that elite Persian soldiers did not feel free. They no doubt felt rather free, but not as much.

I hold something slightly different, a new dimension of understanding: free men, living in an “open society” are not just more motivated, but, simply, more intelligent. Yes, intelligent.

Yet how come that the free men tended to be in the West, and the subjugated ones, in the East? And this for 4,000 years, defining the “West” as anything west of Mount Lebanon. Why did so much of the Mediterranean turn out propitious to freedom and individual initiative? What of the enormous Celto-German forests, from Spain to the Baltics?

Two factors played a role:

1) Trade, with the big man, the leader being the ship owner-captain (Tyr, Phoenicia, Crete, Athens, Carthage, etc.). This required to excel at technology and adaptative intelligence, confronting nature.

2) Small owner-peasants. The West’s agricultural system did better thanks to small, free owner-peasants.  The owner peasant was captain of his own plot of land, and found himself in a situation roughly similar to the ship captain. Such people worked hard, and thought hard about outwitting nature. All of Germany was this way, until the military encroachment of Rome in the beginning of its plutocratic phase, brought, by reaction, a militarization of German society (this is what archeology shows).

A demographic core of owner-peasants was the core of the success of the Roman republic, and its successors, the Imperium Francorum, and France, or anything working along French lines (most of Europe). When enjoying this basic culture, of free, independent peasants, the West did very well. Why so? Because thinking by oneself, for oneself, makes one more intelligent.

***

WHY THE ORIENT IS DUMBER:

The Orient did better when the peasants could cultivate. That meant, when they had water. That was not obvious in the increasingly parched lands, from the Maghreb to India. First, there, one needed to bring water to agricultural lands. Whereas in the West, both water and arable land were in the same place, not so in the East. In the East water was on rocky mountains, arable lands in parts of plains at the bottom of said mountains. To bring the former to the latter, one needed great hydraulic works. Underground canalizations, sometimes fifty feet deep, could extend dozens of miles.

Such extensive works meant armies of workers and maintenance people. And also standing armies to establish and protect the necessary order. Plus a field army to roam around the empire, and keep the static defenses obedient.

In other words, food on the carpet in the parched, basin and range Orient meant a large fascist system to make it possible, and everybody enslaved to it, in a military organization (Christianity and Islam, both oriental religions, kept much of this essential psychological character: fascist god on top, giving absolute, even capricious  orders to its slaves below).

***

ALL TOGETHER NOW, DOWN THE ROMAN ROAD TO HELL?

What consequences today? Western countries do not depend upon small owner-peasants anymore, but upon giant farms, or agribusinesses, for food procurement. Even trade has become unbalanced: production on one end of the Earth, increasing unemployment, at the other end.

Giant agribusinesses, and unbalanced trade became facts of empire in Rome, and lasted centuries. It was a deliberate plot of Roman plutocracy. At some point, six senatorial families owned most of North Africa. Seneca, Nero’s tutor, the plutocratic philosopher of note, used to boast that he had no idea how many giant properties he owned on the various continents.

That delocalization and globalization made Rome, and Italy into an empty shell of its former self. As those who had the power, the senatorial families, wished. What they feared first, was a proud, potent, empowered People.

(Part of) Italy would resurrect as independent republics, more than a millennium later.

What’s the morality of the story? Men have a strong instinct for doing things right. In a plutocratic system, though, men who do things wrong get rewarded, and this goes on, until the situation exponentiates and breaks down. Thus plutocratic systems are intrinsically pathological: they reward criminals. Not just criminal according to the laws of men, but criminals according to the laws of nature.

In the Orient, life is harder, less natural, militarization exploits part of the Dark Side, because human beings, by living there, live in a less optimal situation. In the West, the rise of plutocracy did not have these excuses.

The Romans knew this well. The Roman republic was the product of a revolution against Tarquinus Superbus, the king of Rome, of Etruscan origin. So the founding act of five centuries of Roman republic was an anti-plutocratic revolt. Same for Athens (several times, during the same centuries).

The Romans passed a strong anti-plutocratic law. That law limited, by force the size of a family’s fortune; it fixed an upper bound on how much one could own. The Second Punic war saw the death, on the battlefield, of too many of the best leading Romans. Meanwhile the conspirators of wealth, back behind the walls of the fortified cities, as Hannibal was roaming the countryside, established a New World order of rents.

When Carthage got defeated, those men of greed kept on pushing, and tried to grab control of the state. After several wars of distraction against Macedonia, Carthage, Numantia, Corinth, etc. it became clear that was what was going on to thousands of the best Romans, led by top nobles (in mind and ancestry), the Gracchi.

The Gracchis mostly tried to impose the wealth limitation law. They also succeeded to impose a land redistribution (an unthinkable socialist measure in the post Thatcher-Reagan world!). Yet, the Gracchi and their supporters lost a civil war. All got killed, by the private armies of the plutocrats. By 100 BCE, when Caesar was born, the dice had long been thrown. Only extreme measures could address the situation (extreme measures that Caesar and Cicero, on the good side, would try).

Now what? Losing democracy, means, ultimately, that we will lose not just freedom, but intelligence itself. It is difficult to imagine how the Americans will pull out of their present death spiral into furthering the wealth of the .1%. When bandits are called “philanthropists”, all values have been inverted in a country: gangsters are in control, the mafia has got metastatic. It will go on, all inverted, until it explodes, or get trampled over. The commerce chief will be a certified felon.

The situation in Europe is not as desperate: conditions for a revolt exist. Although Goldman Sachs has its servants in place all over, the Italians threw out one of them, a Goldman Sachs partner, Mario Monti, at the first chance they got.

Some may sneer, as they notice that, once again I used “Orient” and “Occident” according to old Greco-Roman semantics. What of the true Orient, the far-out East, China and company? Well, I will hide behind my usual observation: it’s Western culture that conquered the world. Present day China’s ideology has very little that is specifically Chinese, besides what the West and China had in common, such as the more or less free market. The idea of “People” (Populus) and “Republic” (Respublica) are Roman. So the very title of China, the “People Republic of China” is, well, (Greco-)Roman.

The dangers threatening China, accordingly, like those threatening us, are those that devastated the Roman republic. For the reasons exposed above, the development in the West, of a more advanced civilization was first, thus why everybody adopted it later.  Rome was first to rise as high as it did. But, the greater the rise, the greater the fall. By 700 CE, the fall of Rome had been so great, that China had risen higher, on many indicators. The West, invaded by hordes of savages for more than six hundred years (beyond even 400 CE to 1000 CE) was fighting for survival.

Plutocracy as a New World Order is not just the end of many things. In the fullness of time, plutocracy is the end of everything.

Even the Will to Power. Slave masters are not so masterful. After all, they are enslaved to their slaves.

When Rome went down, Roman plutocrats whined that the “world was getting old“. By this they meant that resources were being exhausted. Unbeknownst to them, they were the cause of this aging, of this lack of renewal. Its stupidity plutocratic civilization could not find a way out of the box it had built. It needed really new technologies; it did not have the brains to discover them. And it could not have acquired these brains without losing control.

Right now, the world is not getting old, it’s getting killed. And that’s worst.

***

Patrice Ayme

Why Europe Lays Supine

May 1, 2013

Abstract: The crisis in Europe is now worse than in the 1930s, in major countries such as Britain, or Spain. So how come, differently from the 1930s, revolutions are not wrecking the streets? The aging of the population does not explain all the torpor. Nor does the fact that Europe suffers from globalization, also known as ‘free trade’, and plutocrats make sure that the Plebs is not aware of what ails them, or even, that they suffer at all: the wealthiest profit from the unfolding catastrophe.

A  most subtle psychological mechanism is at work: Europe already tried something very bold, very virtuous, axed on the sustainable and, not only did it backfire, but it proved… completely unsustainable. A disabling injury joined by an insult to reason itself: no wonder Europeans feel too depressed to do anything about anything anymore.

Why No Panic Yet?

Why No Panic Yet?

***

EUROPEAN PLUTOCRACY: SUBJACENT TO MUCH.

I was reading newly published  conversations of Hitler with his generals. Marshall Edwin Rommel and Hitler, in May 1943, discussed the dislike that “plutocrats” (yes, “plutocrats”, that’s the word they used) had for any social tendencies found in Nazism. In particular Hitler expressed the revulsion he felt in Rome, in 1938, for Italian plutocrats, and the triple game they played, through their control of the military, and double faced diplomacy with Britain, playing everybody against everybody.

Italian plutocracy did not come out whole from WWII. A republic was installed, with a slightly modified version of the French revolutionary flag. The daughter of the king, the one that Hitler gave his arm to, in 1938, died in an extermination camp, victim of an allied bombing…

Fast forward to May 2013, 70 years later. The Dutch are hysterical with joy: they just nominated a new plutocrat to head the Netherlands, William-Alexander, worth at least 300 million dollars. His wife is particularly popular. She is doubly plutocratic; barely twenty year old, before even having an economy degree, she was an investment banker in Argentina and New York (the biggest banks made like bandits from Argentinean default); she is the daughter of another plutocrat, a minister of the dictator Videla (famous for having tortured, before assassinating them, more than 30,000 people).

The hysterical Dutch wear orange. My Mom asked me why. I did not know, but I was correctly suspicious. It turns out that William-Alexander’s family used to rule, more than six centuries ago, the city of Orange… In Provence, France. Unfortunately, for the plutocrats, France is now a republic, sort of, so the followers of William-Alexander are reduced to waving orange flags, instead of waging terror in Orange, as they used to. Of course, Orange was built as one the free cities of the Roman republic, and only later was stolen by the ancestors of William-Alexander.

Kleptocracy or plutocracy? The latter is more general than the former.

I visited a 17 centuries old cathedral, the Saint Sauveur cathedral in Aix en Provence, four centuries older than Islam. Part of the cathedral was built even before Constantine became emperor. Then Constantine, a major plutocrat, if there ever was one, greatly thanks to fiscal measures, imposed Catholicism… The breathing of millennia endows our minds beyond this Earth.

Christianity, like Islam, was instrumentalized. The Saud family is trying to pose as the guardian of pure and hard Islam, but it violates the very foundation of Islam according to Muhammad, zakat (basically an anonymous voluntary tax the pious rich are supposed to impose on themselves, a command of the Qur’an). The Saudis know that they thrive, as long as people think in a way that revere them on top.

***

WHO COMMANDS MAKE CIVILIZATIONS MORE OR LESS POTENT & CREATIVE:

That the free are more motivated was already pointed out by Herodotus (see the last essay). What makes the minds of civilizations? Sometimes the oligarchy fabricates thoroughly the minds of the Plebs. Such robots show little mental creativity, even when they are requested to have some.

Indeed, even where they are allowed to be mentally creative, they will tend to be afraid of crossing scarlet walls across the mental landscape. This explains why the Roman empire lost much of its mental creativity, once it became a dictatorship. Even in the arts of war: the adoption of new weaponry in the first seven centuries of the Roman military dictatorship was roughly zero, in sharp contrast with the Roman Republic’s constant introduction of new weapons (although Constantinople introduced a crucial new weapon, Grecian Fire, the Seventh Century equivalent of the nuclear bomb).

Sometimes the oligarchy is ejected by a new, larger oligarchy, or several variants, in quick succession: this happened in England in the 17C.  Sometimes the revolt is even larger, encompassing much of the middle class: that’s what happened in France in 1789. The American Revolution was still something else, as it was more of a civil war.

Who leads is who gives the minds to the commons. If only a few lead, little mind is to be had. The wider the leadership, the more mind for the commons. This explains why the French republic of 1792 was able to defeat the coalition of all European plutocracies that tried to crush her, including Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia. French research in new high explosives and superior artillery was crucial in defeating the invading Prussian army at Valmy in September 1792 (same story as Captain napoleon’s artillery defeated the British at Toulon, a few weeks later).

***

WHY EUROPE TOLERATES AUSTERITY:

The lack of vision in Europe is, colossal. And not just from the leaders, but also from the Plebs. But how come is austerity still proceeding apace? Why, as jobs are dying, not enough people are screaming for work? Is it just because the more people are out of work, the more stabilizers of the welfare state are at work?

The control of the EU by right wingers is still a fact, except, in appearance, for the French Socialists (but most elected socialists are right wingers in disguise). Many European leaders are tied to Wall Street.

This explains why Mario Draghi, ex-partner at Goldman Sachs, is still practicing the strong Euro policy (that takes away millions of European jobs; the Euro ought to be half the value it’s at, right now). That favors his masters on the other side of the ocean.

All these facts are known, but why no truly massive demonstrations? In May 1968, just because the state was too authoritarian, all of France went on strike, for a month (something similar happened in Czechoslovakia, and, in the USA, and LBJ declined to be candidate to the presidency again).

OK, people are older now, their anger hormones less in control.

Yet another fact is at work.  Europe made a giant effort, 25 years ago. Europe had two visions: the free market, “libre concurrence”, and ecology. Both visions have failed. The free market, it turns out mostly meant that banks were free to exploit the consumers and the states, and that plutocrats could live, tax-free, more powerful every year.

Many of those on the deep left said:”we told you so!” But even them have run out of critical steam. Indeed, they wanted to help the Third World, desperately. Now the Third World is helping itself with second, third, and actually, all servings. So what are European progressives going to say? Take jobs away from the Vietnamese, give them back to the French, who are paid twenty times more? Do they want to exploit the Third World, like the colonialists they used to criticize?

Sustainable energy is an even more painful subject, a wreck of European hopes and struggles. Ecological virtue has made European disadvantage even worse. Huge investments and efforts were engaged, great hopes raised, to curb the rise of the CO2. The rest of the world, led by the USA, refused to collaborate.
Thus, that vision has been a disaster. First, industrial production was delocalized in places that did not mind using the cheapest energy. Hence the global CO2 production was in no way impacted.

Secondly, European sanctions against energy production hobbled European industrial production and enabled those others, led by the USA, to get immense economic advantages, while the seas and temperatures rose, and Europe economic advantage sank.

British electricity prices have tripled in less than ten years. Even Germany, right now, having decided to get out of old fashion nuclear energy is finding the going tough, increasingly intolerably expensive. The French have wrecked their car industry by imposing tough CO2 standards.

Overall, because of Euro (and pound!) over-evaluation, the European economy has become uncompetitive (in spite of the German ‘success’, which is more appearance than reality).

Result? Now the Europeans are scared of any new vision, embarking in the many new ventures that really getting out of austerity would entail, lest something even worse comes about. They  suffer from a subconscious feeling that they did something uncomprehendingly, immensely bad, by showing too much initiative. Hence a dreadful determination to not go grandiose again. And thus the willing, collective wearing of the hair shirts.

This is why there is no explosion yet. And why the bought off right-wingers, the Barrosos, Rehn, Junkers,  German central bank head, and other austerians, keep on talking loud and strong. All the more as they have to disguise how wrong they were. And what better disguise for error than to keep on insisting that they were right?

And what of the USA? The sequester may bring a disaster: it’s pretty similar to what happened in Europe in the last few years.

When Roosevelt became president, he advocated to have no fear. Indeed one can hardly expand an economy when everybody is hiding below a rock.

***

Patrice Ayme

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Patrice Ayme