Archive for August, 2013

Real Economics

August 30, 2013

Real macroeconomics ought to set its field of study correctly. It’s not nation-states anymore. We are living on a small Earth. Condensing Mercury vapor from burning Chinese coal poisons our food. Facts cognizable by all, such as Assad dropping napalm on a school in Alep (BBC, 8/26/13) devour moral systems, making anti-war weaklings into accomplices of crimes against humanity.

The house in eco (oikos) -nomy is now the entire planet, the full arena of human activity. Such is the macro stage. Nothing smaller will do.

Now that the stage is determined, what’s the “nomy” in eco-nomy about? Nemein is “manage“, related to “mane” (hand). Manage what? People, their work, the entire planet, recently on fire:

Yosemite Rim Fire: Bad Economics At Work

Yosemite Rim Fire: Bad Economics At Work

[Energy Unleashed, Men Overwhelmed; 95% of California Visible Above; On Day 5 Of Rim Fire, only 2,000 firemen were fighting it, because another 6,000 professional firemen were employed on other Californian wildfires! Some can be seen above. San Francisco Bay is the gaping grey crocodile jaw full west (left!) of the Rim Fire]

The number one object of economy ought to be energy: what we need, how much of it, to do what, and at which ecological cost. So economics has to be refounded around the idea of energy.

Once one has refounded economy theory around energy, one gets a bonus. One has to remember that well channeled energy does work. So work, that is employment, is a natural attachment to energy focused economics.

Monetary considerations are tied to the fractional reserve system at this point. That’s what conventional economists do. They might as well do the economics of angels on a pinhead.

It’s not that money is purely imaginary, but it’s a convention. If all loans were recalled in all banks, one will find that there has been 30 times more money lent that there was to be lent from what the banks really owned (that’s what 3% reserve in USA banks mean).

Money, as it presently exist, is an artificial construct that exists only thanks to its government back-up. That is, money is backed-up by the established order, its “justice system”, taxmen, police, army. But that order is flimsy when the entire biosphere is wobbling, the forests are burning, and acidifying seas are rising, thanks to human activity.

To just worry about monetary policy is like worrying about a weltering bush because the giant, multimillennial sequoia across the clearing, just caught fire. As has been happening in Yosemite National Park for two weeks.

Think about the Yosemite Rim Fire, burning trees that existed before Rome: if that kind of disaster, a direct consequence of human activity, is not incorporated in economics, the very concept of economics, as used today, is a contradiction with what it was meant to be.

Economics then just becomes a way to employ thousands of sophists singing together about the beauty of the established order. But there is no beauty when the planet is on fire.

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Patrice Ayme

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Notes: 1) The objection above is analogous to the one Socrates made against education and politics in Athens. I propose a remedy, Socrates did not. The remedy to Socrates’ complaint was the rise of democratic meritocratic institutions within the state (Rome started this).

2) The present fractional reserve system (“frac”) is artificial, and rests on the state. This is nothing new. Most of the currency used under Rome had an official value, imposed by the state, much superior to that of the precious metals the coins contained. The Tang dynasty in China, in the seventh century used paper money, with a value also imposed by the state (in both cases the cause was the dearth of precious metals).

I propose to use Absolute Worth Energy as a (much less arbitrary) currency. Anyway,

3) Economics was invented as a concept by Xenophon, a hyper intellectual, part of Socrates’ school. Scholars are getting the notion that much of macroeconomics’ foundations are too uncertain to be anything but a matter of philosophical debate.

See in the New York Times What Is Economics Good For? The authors are philosophy professors, one of them chairperson at Duke university. Extracts:

“A student who graduates with a degree in economics leaves college with a bachelor of‘science’, but possesses nothing so firm as the student of the real world processes of chemistry or even agriculture.

… Over time, the question of why economics has not (yet) qualified as a science has become an obsession among theorists, including philosophers of science like us.

It’s easy to understand why economics might be mistaken for science. It uses quantitative expression in mathematics and the succinct statement of its theories in axioms and derived “theorems,” so economics looks a lot like the models of science we are familiar with from physics. Its approach to economic outcomes — determined from the choices of a large number of “atomic” individuals — recalls the way atomic theory explains chemical reactions. Economics employs partial differential equations like those in a Black-Scholes account of derivatives markets, equations that look remarkably like ones familiar from physics. The trouble with economics is that it lacks the most important of science’s characteristics — a record of improvement in predictive range and accuracy.

Moreover, many economists don’t seem troubled when they make predictions that go wrong. Readers of Paul Krugman and other like-minded commentators are familiar with their repeated complaints about the refusal of economists to revise their theories in the face of recalcitrant facts…What is economics up to if it isn’t interested enough in predictive success to adjust its theories the way a science does when its predictions go wrong?

Unlike the physical world, the domain of economics includes a wide range of social “constructions” — institutions like markets and objects like currency and stock shares — that even when idealized don’t behave uniformly. They are made up of unrecognized but artificial conventions that people persistently change and even destroy in ways that no social scientist can really anticipate. We can exploit gravity, but we can’t change it or destroy it. No one can say the same for the socially constructed causes and effects of our choices that economics deals with.

…no one can predict the direction of scientific discovery and its technological application. That was Popper’s key insight… scientific paradigm shifts seem to come almost out of nowhere. As the rate of acceleration of innovation increases, the prospects of an economic theory that tames the economy’s most powerful forces must diminish…”

This brings us back to Yosemite’s Rim Fire (I run there all the time, loving the giant trees). Why did that happen? Well, the Forest Service took days to bring the big planes dumping ninety tons of fire retardant at each pass.

Why? Sequestration. Another bright ‘economic’ idea from Obama’s bankster friendly cabinet. Ignorant little greedsters hide behind ‘economic’ theories that advance banksterism, thus their future personal earnings, sequoias be damned.

Sequestration caused huge cuts in many parts of the Federal Budget of the USA. Including fire fighting (the Forest service was literally running out of money to fight fires, before the Rim Fire, explaining its slow reaction; it had $50 million left for the year, for the whole USA; the Rim Fire will cost several times that!).

And, of course, the most significant victim of sequestration is deep science, the very engine of humanity.

Although the location and nature of revolutionary thinking is hard to predict, it’s easy to predict that, by financing enough students of revolutionary thinking, one will get breakthroughs.

***

Some facts on Yosemite Rim Fire after 14 days: aerial tankers flight time: 14,500 hours. 15,000 tons of liquids dropped by aircraft on fire, most of it red fire retardant laden with chemicals. Uncontrolled fire edge: 100 miles (160 kilometers), controlled edge: 66 miles (90 kilometers), bulldozer lines: 106 miles (170 kilometers).

Chemical War Prohibited, 1925

August 28, 2013

This is the integral text of the Protocol forbidding chemical and biological warfare. It was respected by all parties in World War Two:

Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare

Signed at Geneva: 17 June 1925. Entered into force: for each signatory as from the date of deposit of its ratification; accessions take effect on the date of the notification by the depositary Government. Depositary Government: France.

The Undersigned Plenipotentiaries, in the name of their respective Governments:

Whereas the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices, has been justly condemned by the general opinion of the civilized world;

and Whereas the prohibition of such use has been declared in Treaties to which the majority of Powers of the world are Parties; and To the end that this prohibition shall be universally accepted as a part of International Law, binding alike the conscience and the practice of nations;

Declare: That the High Contracting Parties, so far as they are not already Parties to Treaties prohibiting such use, accept this prohibition, agree to extend this prohibition to the use of bacteriological methods of warfare and agree to be bound as between themselves according to the terms of this declaration.

The High Contracting Parties will exert every effort to induce other States to accede to the present Protocol. Such accession will be notified to the Government of the French Republic, and by the latter to all signatory and acceding Powers, and will take effect on the date of the notification by the Government of the French Republic.

The present Protocol, of which the English and French texts are both authentic, shall be ratified as soon as possible. It shall bear to-day’s date.

The ratifications of the present Protocol shall be addressed to the Government of the French Republic, which will at once notify the deposit of such ratification to each of the signatory and acceding Powers.

The instruments of ratification of and accession to the present Protocol will remain deposited in the archives of the Government of the French Republic.

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To become party to the Protocol, states must deposit an instrument with the government of France (the depositary power). Thirty-eight states originally signed the Protocol. France, the first victim of a massive chemical attack, in 1915, was the first signatory to ratify the Protocol on 10 May 1926. As of May 2013, 138 states have ratified, acceded to, or succeeded to the Protocol (most recently Moldova on 4 November 2010).

The rest of the miscreants are bound by International Law, whether they like it, or not.

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Even the Nazis respected the 1925 Geneva Protocol. The Nazis had thousands of tons of neurotoxic gas in 1945, and the means to deliver them: V2 rockets, and three types of jet bombers (democratic aircraft did not fly fast enough to catch them!)

The Nazis had also every reason to be resentful: goaded into the war by their erstwhile allies (see the 1935 Anglo-German Naval Agreement), exasperated by American plutocracy bait and switch tactics, seeing their world collapse as the evidence of their cold assassination of more than twenty million civilians was all over their realm, one would have expected for all senior Nazis to emulate Magda Goebbels, who personally poisoned her six children.  

Instead, cooler heads prevailed.

Cooler heads have to be encouraged.  

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In 1966 United Nations General Assembly resolution 2162B called for, without any dissent, all states to strictly observe the protocol. In 1969 United Nations General Assembly resolution 2603 (XXIV), to overrule the USA (then using Agent Orange in Vietnam!) declared that the prohibition on use of chemical and biological weapons, now forms part of customary international law.

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Hollande, French president (27 August 2013): “Le mas­sacre chimique de Damas ne peut rester sans réponse, et la France est prête à PUNIR ceux qui ont pris la décision infâme de gazer des innocents ” (“Damascus chemical massacre can’t stay unanswered, & France is ready to PUNISH those who took the infamous decision of gazing innocent people”)

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So, let’s get personal, and indeed punish directly, individually, those who live in infamy!

Another reminder: very few high officers were responsible of imperial Japan’s fascist, war crime laden rampage that led to the vicious idiocy of Pearl Harbor, among other follies. (There had been an attempted anti-plutocratic coup by junior officers, February 26, 1936, against the higher-ups; many were killed, but the coup failed.)

Taking out a dozen of these fanatical high officers would have done wonders (and not enough of them were hanged after the war!)

Only one caveat in this Syrian story: the responsibility of Assad’s government ought to be demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt.

That NO chemical of fanatical Salafist rebels origin have been released has to be made certain; this is when the good old methods of the NSA and other spies, come into play; the information ought to be made public.

Another point: if Hitler had been executed, say in 1944, a fortiori 1939, there is no doubt that the total number of people saved may have been a huge proportion of those who died..

Thus, one has to strike the head of the snake. If one can show that orders to use chemicals were given by Assad, he should be considered, him, as a person, the number one target of any strike on Syria. Because he would be, by far, the most responsible. Do to him what should have been done to Hitler in a timely manner. That ought to encourage those of the same ilk.

Some worry that Syria would be lost without Mr. Assad and his spendthrift wife. Not to worry: I am sure plenty of unsullied secular high officers can be found in the Syrian army to replace him.

***

Patrice Ayme

Peace From War

August 25, 2013

WAR TO RIGHTS, RIGHT TO WAR.

Synopsis: Non violence against infamy is infamy.

By not striking down someone who kills children with gas, the Republic becomes an accomplice. By not destroying a little contemporary Hitler, the Republic encourages  the propagation of a mood of contempt for the Public, and Human Rights. We have seen enough. It’s time to take out Assad, and strike terror in those who think they can trample the Republic under foot.

Indeed, no need to repeat the experiment of the 1930s. On this small planet, only regimes compatible with the Republic can exist. After Libya, and Mali, the time to illustrate that principle anew has come again. The Syrian Red Line is crossed.

That Dozens Of Children Were Simultaneously Killed By Gas, There Is No Doubt

That Dozens Of Children Were Simultaneously Killed By Gas, There Is No Doubt

The French Republic has threatened a unilateral military strike, overriding the United Nations (that has happened many times before). PM Cameron, two days later, moved by the pictures of dozens of gazed little corpses, spoke about addressing an ultimatum to Assad. The USA needs to join France and Britain. (Yes, I know, the People of the USA is against it; it was also against hurting Hitler in 1939.)

With nuclear weapons around, it’s time for the Republic to show resolve for tackling hard cases.

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OUR LEADERS SET THE STAGE FOR DISRESPECTING THE WEST:

The West was taken flat-footed by the events in Egypt. Perfidious Western leaders had naively self hypnotized with the theory of “Islamophobia”. According to this grotesque, illogical, insulting, racist and viciously manipulative theory, it’s racist not to respect Wahhabist Islam.

Well, I don’t respect religious cannibalism, either, so let them call me racist twice. I will call them inferior twice.

Wahhabist Islam said that Sharia, the Islamist so-called “law” ought to apply.

Women ought to be kept inside, wear tents, not travel unaccompanied by an adult male from their family (a provision the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to legislate in Egypt).

Individuals once called “Muslim” and who are deemed behaving in a non-Muslim way are to be put to death (that’s why Syria is such a massacre), etc. Depending upon the place, the local Sharia forces various degrees of sexual mutilations (mandatory on males).

This sort of arbitrary terror has never been tolerated much in the West. But the West wanted to impose it on the Middle-East, in the name of Islamophilia.

As general George Washington said when he was president:“The USA has nothing to do with Christianity”. It should have nothing to do with Islam, either. Washington would have certainly supported the Egyptian generals, as far as cracking down on Islamists.

Now the Egyptian generals, supported by Israel, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia’s wise king Abdullah, have constituted the “Axis of Reason” as a high level Israeli official with an excellent sense of macabre humor, put it.

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DISRESPECT FOR REPUBLIC IS CONTAGIOUS:

How can the erratic Western leaders beg for forgiveness?

Give an ultimatum to the mass murderous plutocrat Assad. The West has nothing to do with Christianity, or Islam, but the West has everything to do with Human Rights. The West was founded when the secular Salic Law of the Franks put an end to Christianism’s violation of Human Rights, and when it outlawed slavery.

Indeed, the way Western leadership by plutocracy was set-up, it helped the mass murdering Assad.

The Egyptian generals treated the Western leaders as they deserved, as vulgar allies of Al Qaeda.

Visualize this: Assad laughing, while Western leaders parroted Al Qaeda’s Zawahiri. Everybody got distracted by the revelation of the sordid instrumentalization of Islam of the Western leadership. Assad obviously thought it was a perfect time to use the neurotoxic gas Sarin massively in the suburbs of Damascus. 355 were killed by neurotoxins according to Doctors Without Borders (MSF). 3655 showed symptoms. This, in only three hospitals MSF collaborates with.

Meanwhile, Erdogan, the Islamist Sultan of Egypt, had dozens of top academics, including ex-university heads, condemned to prison, under charges of high treason. Yes, he can! Change the Sultan can believe in! Erdogan has also been riding the Western leadership’s affected love of Salafism.

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WE DON’T WANT TO DUPLICATE THE 1930’s:

It’s one of these times, as in the 1930s, when democracies get no respect, Human Rights get trampled underfoot. The danger is that that disrespect gets completely out of control.

It’s like the “Rim Fire” west of Yosemite: to make economies, no VLA (Very Large Aircraft) were sent in the first three days. When the jumbo jets were finally sent, dumping swimming pools on the fire, they were very efficient. But, by then, the fire was already gigantic.

The obvious analogy is with what happened in the 1930s. Then only the French Republic was deadly opposed to the Hitlerian dictatorship. The most senior German generals wanted to make a coup against the Nazis, but, with the United kingdom and the USA apparently to Hitler’s side, they were nervous to make a coup, as if they were France’s allies.

I am not making these things up. The Anglo-German Naval Agreement of June 18, 1935, was viewed by the Germans as an anti-French Anglo-Nazi alliance. And the support of American plutocrats for Hitler was decisive, not just in creating Nazism, but in making its early military victories possible.

The story of the 1930s was the complicity of much of the Anglo-Saxon plutocracy, and a Non-Violence-Is-The-Only-Way approach to evil, with the ultimate rule of Pluto.

We want to avoid the same mistakes. Chop it down as soon as it shows its ugly muzzle.

How to re-establish respect for Human Rights and the Republic? Respect was re-established the hard way in the 1940s, and the work was only partial (as Hitler’s accomplice, Stalin, was given half of Europe).

France, Britain and the USA should simply give an ultimatum to Assad, and get ready to attack. For real. Enough talk.

Some will lift an eyebrow and wonder how the republic could find itself allied to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Erdogan? don’t I usually rage against them? Well, yes and no. The 89 year old king of Saudi Arabia is an excellent man, not corrupt at all (an anomaly among Saudi princes).

Well, that’s basic Machiavellism. We want to co-opt Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The best way to co-opt is to instill respect. The best way to instill respect is to make an inspiring show of unstoppable force. Roman style.

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DO AS THE ROMANS DID: PROPAGATE THE REPUBLIC:

The Roman Republic, as it grew, and was then very democratic, did not hesitate to make unsavory allies, with the idea of changing their minds towards the Republic. Most ended siding up with the Republic, in depth.

The annihilation of the capital of Bosnia, Sarajevo went on, until French guns applied radar guided counter artillery fire, knocking off Serbian artillery. Although the French military loved the Serbs since WWI, they had enough. At some point, “qui aime bien, chatie bien.”(“who loves well, chastens well”.)

The Kosovo bombing campaign was decided unilaterally by NATO, over Moscow’s vociferous objections. It was thorough, ferocious. At some point USA’s B52s surprised gathering Serbian troops in the open, killing thousands in seconds. The air war worked splendidly.

Now a chastened Serbia is thinking of better things, like being a republic, and applying to European Union membership. Kosovo is also learning the same.

The French republic, ever since attacking unilaterally Adolf Hitler’s garden of the beasts in September 1939, knows very well that, confronted with unspeakable evil, attack is the only way. And the earlier, the better.

So give an ultimatum to Assad. First, to allow international inspector to go anywhere in Syria and inspect immediately all and any apparent chemical attack (Assad pretended the “terrorists” brought the chemicals). If he refuses, or it’s confirmed he used neurotoxins, he should be ordered to leave power, and to surrender to the International Court of Justice.

And if Assad accepts continual, open monitoring? Well, then he would have submitted to the rule of the Republic. A lesson for all.

A lesson, not just for the generals in Burma, but also for the plutocrats all over: force can be, and ought to have been used already, against them too. It turns out the financial plutocrats (Summers, Geithner, etc.)  were engaged in more than a conspiracy, but a worldwide plot to take over the world (thanks to Jennet for informing me of this!) Maybe banksters don’t use gas, directly, just like Mafia bosses don’t go around directly shooting people. They use soldiers to do that.

And, indeed, the Assad family was part of the global plutocratic network. The mood of violence against the Public is global, and self encouraging. Regretfully, only the usage of force by the Republic will subdue it, and break the cycle.

The Romans used to say: “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.” (If you want peace, prepare for war.) Yes. However, in the most dreadful cases, war is the only way to peace.

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Patrice Ayme

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Note: Let me repeat, the aim is behavior modification. Technically, a little bombing raid on Assad’s palace may do wonders. French Rafales with American cruise missiles could do it, Lybian style. Guernica in reverse: public saved, fascists bombed.

Some military men will say it’s too late to intervene in Syria. But it’s not a question of invading Syria, but just punish Assad (be it only by degrading his military capability; for example by imposing an embargo with no fly-no ship zone).

I am all for cracking down on the Salafists Assad opposes, but he is greatly the one who created them (in the style of Western support for the Muslim Brotherhood/Al Qaeda). He actually release thousands of Islamists, a bit like hunters release phaesants. What is intolerable is that he would keep on using Weapons of Mass Destruction, although he had warned not to do so.

What Plutocracy Giveth…

August 21, 2013

Paul Krugman long favored currency collapses to solve economic problems efficiently (he said). He advocated such curative apocalypses for Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy… while lamenting for years that the Euro was an unquestionable disaster because it… prevented such disasters!

I think that currency dramas do not reflect economic reality, as much as they reflect the wealth of highly leveraged currency manipulators feeding off the Public.

Not yet aghast, the noble Princeton luminary is looking at the Rupee Panic: “OK, the plunging rupee is the big economics story of the day, and I’m trying to get up to speed on the issues. My immediate question, however, is why the panic?

rupeekrugman

We are talking about the worth of entire countries going down 20% in a few days. Krugman, unfazed, pursues:

“Yes, the rupee is down a lot in a short time — along with other emerging market currencies. In fact, its fluctuations are small compared with the obvious comparator, Brazil…

So the recent decline is sharp. But should India panic?

This would be scary if India was like the Asian crisis countries of 1997-1998 or Argentina in 2001, with large amounts of debt denominated in foreign currency. But unless I’m misreading the data, it isn’t… So at first examination this doesn’t look like as big a deal as some headlines are suggesting. What am I missing?”

Well, honorable Krugman, you are missing most of the argument. What has animated the BRICS (Brazil Russia India China South Africa) is the massive flight of Western plutocrats there. For various reasons, the plutocratic tide is now recessing, so Old Economies Rise As Emerging Markets Falters.

India’s population is growing at 1.4% a year, three times the Chinese (or French!) growth. So India needs to grow fast, just to maintain the status quo ante, especially considering that most of India’s population is very poor (much poorer than China; around $6,000 per capita in China, a fourth of that ($1,500) in India).

Thus India is very sensitive to its lifeline to the world’s economy, in other words, the plutocracy. (Apparently India has 172 billion dollars in short term debt owed by March 2014; the collapse of the Rupee will not make this easier.)

This planet’s main organization is the global plutocracy. Not the United Nations. Thus greed, not human rights.

The plutocrats go somewhere, corrupt all their interlocutors, make their money, and flee before the short arm of the law can catch them. Or, at least they used to operate that way (and they dearly hope their boy and symbol, Mr. Summers, will come to head the federal Reserve of the USA, as a reassuring presence). It’s becoming harder these days. Is the game over?

Global plutocracy? What’s that? The few getting all the money, hence all the power. Let me illustrate.

Watch the 30 year old Chelsea Clinton buying herself a 10.3 million dollars apartment, across the street from her present 4 million dollars home. Or watch the children of the Fats Cats who lead China (yes, some attend Harvard, of course!).

In most countries, fate is what the global plutocracy does.

In the world we live in, no idea is an implemented idea, unless it’s backed by power, that is money, that is the plutocracy and its hungry babes. So don’t worry your little head: Chelsea thinks for you. Or prepare for war.

Plutocrats loved India in recent years, but now a cold breeze is rising, as the People of the West are starting to ask questions about the way their masters treat them. Their lords act concerned and have imposed a few regulations. Which are starting to bite.

Industry is actually coming back to the USA, and not just because of fracking (saving the auto industry helped).

I have personally advocated a worldwide carbon tax to hasten this movement (not just to fight unemployment in the West, but also as transportation is subsidized now, an unfair advantage to the mighty plutocracy, and a cause of major pollution that kills the planet).

In 2003, it used to cost 60% LESS to produce in China rather than in the European Union. Ten years later, in 2013, the gap is down to only 23%. A major (Swedish headquarterd) textile maker followed others, Chinese ones, and opened a factory in Ethiopia. Textile workers are paid about 40 euros a MONTH in Ethiopia, a tenth of what they are paid in China.

China has a solution to save itself from the retreating plutocratic tide: hunkering down, purifying itself with time-tested Maoist redemption. It’s not called the Middle Kingdom for no good reason. President Xi, himself the half billion dollars man, seems aware that the compromission with the global plutocracy has gone far enough.

Interestingly, Mr. Xi had his justice department accuse some major Western pharmaceutical companies of massive corruption inside China.

The USA department of justice followed. Not to enquire about Xi, but about the pharmaceuticals the Chinese are accusing. (It’s completely obvious that the pharmaceutical-health industry machine in the USA is corrupt from top to bottom; Obama, too crafty by half, apparently thinks his ObamaCare monster is going to eat it alive, with its full cooperation… well, good luck!)

Sending corrupt plutocrats to jail for life will do wonders in China against the frantic corruption (the wife of the ex-mighty princeling on trial tomorrow, Bo Xilai, an assassin of a dubious UK businessman, is already enjoying life imprisonment).

India does not have a solution at the ready. India, a representative democracy, is much less in a good situation to crack down than China is, should the population get more agitated. It is already agitated: a Marxist rebellion reigns over a huge part of the country (maybe a third; there is no rebellion even remotely resembling that in China).

There is every reason to believe that, should the plutocrats be forced to invert their globalized flight to distant shores for tax and law evasion purposes, the West could monopolize growth. After all, that’s where most of the know-how is.

The very latest growth numbers out of France and Germany (2% and 2.8%, annualized) are now higher than in some BRICS…

This discussion would not be complete without mentioning Quantitative Easing (QE), the Carry Trade and Derivatives. Derivatives allow to use tremendous leverage when trading bets about where currency markets will move. They give sleek operators tremendous manipulative powers, because most of the world “money” is made of derivative contracts.

QE is the giving of money to banks by the central banks, that banks then leverage to create “credit”, that is, money. Then the fast buck artists take the cash and run to places where interest rates are much higher (like emerging markets). That works splendidly, except when said emerging market currencies collapse. Then they stampede the other way.

In other words, the financial plutocrats are still out there, playing, and their accomplices the politicians on the pay roll (see Chelsea Clinton, above) still let it happen. (The total volume of derivatives has barely gone down 10% since 2008, and is still around ten times world GDP.)

Some will say I took a cheap shot at Chelsea Clinton, the first corrupt babe. But she was a hedge fund manager paid by one of the rich financiers who fed her father like a pigeon. So is her husband. How many Indians did they sell to get that rich?

The funny thing is that there are laws against this, such as the “Foreign Corrupt Practice Act”. USA authorities, at the request of the Chinese, are looking at whether the bank JP Morgan (one of Hitler’s sponsors) hired the children of some Chinese officials to win business. What about Ms. Clinton? Ah, I forgot, she is not foreign!  For American justice, corruption happens only overseas.

The number one enabler of the extreme corruption of the plutocracy we, and India, enjoy, is the ex-pigeon in chief. He gave full powers to Rubin, Greenspan and Summers to organize the world as they saw fit.

So here you have it, my dear Krugman: what Our Lord The Plutocracy giveth, Our Lord the Plutocracy taketh away! Especially if We The People of the West spur it that way.

In a world where plutocracy has been allowed to go on a rampage, and control nearly everything, rebalancing the world economy democratically, will not happen without shocks to the system: contemplate Egypt.

The globalization of scoundrels has brought an enormous disorder. A study just published by Nature showed that flooding from sea level rise will cost in excess of 750 billion dollars by 2050. Each year. One will have to build dams along entire coast lines.

This is mostly happening because “democrats” (demoncrats?) such as the Clintons could not care less. All they worried about as the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd just pointed out, was what their sponsors paid them to care about, so they could get more “Money, Money, Money, Money, MONEY!” 

Let me quote Maureen, to show I am not the only one to worry about insufferable Lords: “CLINTON nostalgia is being replaced by Clinton neuralgia… The Clintons’ neediness, their sense of what they are owed in material terms for their public service, their assumption that they’re entitled to everyone’s money.

Are we about to put the “For Rent” sign back on the Lincoln Bedroom?

If Americans are worried about money in politics, there is no larger concern than the Clintons, who are cosseted in a world where rich people endlessly scratch the backs of rich people.”

George Packer observed in The New Yorker: “The top of American life has become a very cozy and lucrative place, where the social capital of who you are and who you know brings unimaginable returns.”

And they suck up it, worldwide: last year, Clinton, Bill, extracted about a million dollars from Nigeria, one of the poorest country on Earth, from which the USA already extracts oil. The giant sucking sound of plutocracy without any decency.

In the future, to limit shocks, and over-exploitation, there is just one solution: the rule of governments controlled by We The People, real democracy, using full blown governmentalism, worldwide.

The Swiss example can be followed, to start with: direct democracy undermining corruptocracy.

But first, one has to get rid of the corrupt ones, and become allergic to the stench of corruption.

A necessary precondition for that would be for the USA, to prefer electing somebody clean and effective, such as the governor of California, Jerry Brown. Rather than the thoroughly corrupt Clintons, and the giant decomposition they wrapped the world with.

Because, yes, of course, it’s Mr. Clinton’s sponsors who profit from the collapse of the Rupee. That’s what Paul Krugman is mostly missing.

***

Patrice Ayme

Secular Egypt, Civilized Egypt

August 18, 2013

OUTLAW MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

The public, live, worldwide, could see Muslim Brotherhood fanatics shooting at security forces from the gigantic, beautiful minaret of the Al Fatah Mosque in Cairo. Policemen returned fire. So it was, all over.

Colossal hypocrisy blossomed among the West’s political leaders: suddenly here they were, siding with Al Qaeda, whining about the security coup in Egypt. The leader of Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Doctor Al Zawahiri became their spokesman. Was then Al Qaeda just a way to get big budgets for otherwise indefensible activities?

Do our vertiginously hypocritical chiefs ignore that Secularism is the secret of the West? Secularism means: living in one’s own age. This enables the rule of the following values, symbolized in one neat coat of arms:

Ruling the West: Ferocity, Justice, Republic, Unity, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.

Ruling the West: Ferocity, Justice, Republic, Unity, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.

Notice the oak for strength, and the olive, for peace. The Republican Roman Fasces, represent the power of justice, to cut infamy in two; the law as the ultimate ruler, made strong by the unity of the People, bound around the idea of justice; fundamentally the entangled letters “RF”, superficially “Respublica Francia” (in Latin) fundamentally mean “Free Republic”, republic and freedom entangled, something for the People Republic of China to meditate. This coat of arms ought to be that of the world, including Egypt!

Do our double-faced, plutophile Western propagandists, suddenly in love with Al Qaeda, want us to forget that all the countries of the West were founded by the military? Generally the military was fighting plutocrats covered by a sacred religion. Why can’t  the same courtesy be extended to Egypt?

It’s sick to see the emissary (emirssary?) of Qatar, an extreme, hereditary plutocracy, a financial support of the Muslim Brotherhood, go around Europe seduce plutophile servants of the established order (for which Qatar is a core value), who then stand by his side (as just happened with the West German foreign minister: should not Germany be cured from siding with racist plutocrats, already?).

No part of the West ever lived free under an Islamist regime: the fundamental reason is the extreme violence within much of the Qur’an.

Moreover, Salafist Islam implements a racist distinction between believers and non believers (the later being punished all the time). The multicentennial reign of Islamists, from Portugal to Rumania, was a quasi-continuous subjugation, oppression, demolition, ruination and depredation. The pleasures public slavery and impalement provided with were not to Western taste, which had evolved.

Salafist Islam is the Islam of the Ancients (that’s what Salafist means). Contrarily to bien pensant repute, it’s an extremely violent ideology, read direct from the Qur’an. Therein a crucial difference with Christianism.

After Greco-Roman philosophers complained that the Old Testament (basic to Islam) was full of atrocious lessons in barbarity, the “Founding Fathers of the Church” (Saint Jerome and company), around 400CE, admitted that the Bible was metaphorical, and not to be taken literally.

Twice something related happened in Islam: around 850 CE the Caliph in Baghdad, declared unlawful future (re)interpretations of Islam’s sacred texts. More interestingly, Saladin and his successors, in Egypt around 1200 CE, outright outlawed the literal interpretation of Islam, and they cracked down with a ferocity that I would welcome in Egypt today. (If Nazism is unlawful, why not Salafism? They are not similar by accident: Hitler had more than a passing familiarity with Islam, and sang its praises on many occasions; Hitler loved all that Biblical stuff, especially the holocausts.)

Literal interpretations of Islam reappeared in the Eighteenth Century in the wilds of Arabia, when a fanatic called Wahhab presented the ancestors of the present Saudis with a coy plot to come to power: pretend to serve the true god. So here we are: we see the enlightened leaders of the European Union calling for the return of Wahhab, side by side with Qatar and Al Qaeda.

Plutocrats of the world, Unite! How touching!

The reason why Muslims spend much time killing other Muslims, is that disagreements naturally arise about who is, or who is not, a genuine believer (the distinction is left unclear in the very short Qur’an). While the call to kill, or, at least, to abuse non-believers is unambiguous. Hence the circus in Syria. There, too, secularism is the only way out not involving a holocaust.

Why do the leaders of the West want Islam to rule Egypt? Because it was so great when Christianism ruled?

Christianism’s rule in the West, 16 centuries ago, brought a sudden apocalypse (not by accident: Christianist imbeciles had read in their sacred texts that the apocalypse was supposed to bring back Jesus!… So they did their best to bring an apocalypse, by taking countless bad decisions).

Christianism brought the end of any semblance of republic, the reign of superstition, decerebration, crusades, the Inquisition, Sharia, religious wars, the institutionalization of racism (against intellectuals, secularists, Jews, Pagans and countless exterminated minorities). All non believers were exterminated (except the Jews, because Jesus had been one; with uncharacteristic Christian generosity, the extermination of the Jews was contemplated, and half carried out).

Christianist rule has a name: the Dark Ages.

How did the West get out of the apocalypse? Through military force. The military is intrinsically fascist, because that’s best for fighting. However, the best performing military, to achieve higher performance, also needs to be up to date in its weapons and thinking. In one word: secular.

The Franks became the shock troops of the Roman empire, because they were highly multicultural (living in present day Netherlands, between sea and land, Germania, Gallia and Roma), and ended up with the best weapons (the Celts had the best metallurgy, and equipped the Roman army since its inception!)

As the Franks helped Constantine conquer the empire, they knew how Constantine’s Christian sausage had been made. They refused to join, as the threat to secularism (on which, as I just said, the Franks’ supremacy rested) was clear to them.

Similarly, the Egyptian military is an excellent position to know how the Muslim sausage has been made (and the double faced role the Euro-Americans are playing with the Islam game).

After trying several times over 150 years, the Franks finally took control of the (North Western) Roman empire and subjugated apocalyptic Christianism.

Christianism devastation went on elsewhere, for another 150 years. That led to a systematic destruction of reason, wisdom and knowledge. Roman intellectuals, and their books fled to Persia, followed by a terrible war between the Oriental Roman empire and Persia. Constantinople had to agree to be nicer to its own intellectuals, at some point. But won the war.

Muhammad pointed out to his Arab followers that the time had come to attack the Romans and the Persians. The Arabs were hungry, ferocious, and, at the time, their women followed them in battle, preventing them to flee (!) and finishing wounded enemies. (Then the Arab army got lucky, twice, but that’s another story.)

So it’s fanatical Christianism and the resulting mental degeneracy it entailed, that enabled the sudden take-over by Arab raiders known as “Muslims”, of most of the Roman empire, and all of Persia.

Tellingly, the one place where the Arab armies would be annihilated three times in a row was the place where fanatic Christianism had long been turned into a force for (secular) education. The Franks had completely defeated the viciousness of the Pope Gregory the Great (usually celebrated as “great” in conventional historiography). The Gregory the Villainous threatened to burn alive bishops who allowed “grammar” to be taught (that meant secular knowledge). But the bishop of Dignes (south east France), so threatened, was protected by the Frankish army. Gregory had no army (the Roman emperor Charlemagne created the Vatican state, more than two centuries later).

So Christianism made the bed of Islamism. Better: the Copts, that is, the Egyptians, did not believe in the Trinity (because of a 4C bishop of Alexandria, Arianus, had a problem with a triple god who was nevertheless one; he had refused the subtle balance between Jesus, Zeus, and the Logos). That’s why the Muslims do not, because the relative of Muhammad who told him what he saw in the desert (some Archangel), was a professional Christian Copt monk.

The idea of superstition is to find an idea that stands above the world. That may be appropriate sometimes, to save a civilization. However, civilization exists to create ideas, and so any civilization resting on a superstition comes quickly into contradiction with itself. No doubt the Romans came to that conclusion, and, well before the end of the Republic, had embraced all religions. As long as they did not call for human sacrifices (those where completely eradicated), or as long as they behaved (after a major scandal, the Egyptian cult of Isis was outlawed for a while). Thus:

Sustainable civilization means secularization. If a civilization is not secular, it is, or becomes obsolete.

Putin ought to meditate this, as he gave Christian Orthodoxy with a Russian sauce a quasi state religion status; Peter the Great viewed Orthodoxy as the major problem of Russia, and took shattering measures to break its grip (an inside joke, as Peter broke himself the limbs of some religious fanatics on the wheel, just to have the pleasure to hear them plead for their lives).

To deny secularization to some countries, because of their Oriental origins, as many political leaders in the West just did, is sheer racism.

Secular Salic Law. Civilization Without Secularization A Degeneration.

Secular Salic Law. Civilization Without Secularization A Degeneration.

[This is a tiny part of the Salic Law; it had 65 chapters to start with, and underwent constant changes and augmentation; by 600 CE the law made all inhabitants of the enormous empire a Frank, without consideration of origins or religions; a Jewish Syrian selling camels in Paris (!) could have Frankish children.]

The West was not founded by Islamists, or Christianists, or other deluded Superstitionists. The West was founded by Secularists, firmly grounded in reason. The West was founded by the Salian Franks. Those “Salted” Dutch ruled through the secular Pactus Legis Salicae (Pact of the Salic Law).

The main difference between Salian Law and republican Roman Law was the replacement of many death penalties cases by more humanitarian fines.

Greater humanism was the main difference between old Greco-Roman civilization and the “RENOVATED” version the Franks imposed, and celebrated.

Aristotle had contemptuously pontificated that civilization needed slaves, so that people like him could sit on their haunches and think of higher things.

The Franks contradicted Aristotle: let there be machines, beasts and bioengineering to serve us.

The Far East (China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia) also practiced bioengineering: new varieties of rice were developed, that produced twice a year; around 1000 CE. This is one of the reason why the population of the Far East exploded. Another, of course is that the Far East was secular: Confucianism, Taoism, and (original) Buddhism have a very low superstition index. Thus the Far East developed a lot of science and technology on its own, and that advanced civilization. The Middle Kingdom and its neighbors thrived for the same exact reasons as the West.

In the end, the West dominated more because, starting with the Franks, and the abolition of slavery, it was less oriented towards using people as machines or animals. But it was a close call, as the Christianists and Islamists nearly annihilated civilization (Western books were saved mostly through Zoroastrians, and the regard most Caliphs of the 8C and 9C had for… Greek culture… there again following another twist in the Qur’an…).

Written in Latin, the Salian Law was purely secular.

Just by imposing secular law, the Franks, more than 15 centuries ago, got rid of aggressive Christianism. The Franks literally founded the West with precautionary Christianophobia. It was high time. True, the Franks claimed to be “Catholics”, but the Catholicism they imposed had nothing to do with the religious terror that brought Rome to its knees.

Even before the Qur’an had been written down, the Imperium Francorum sent spies to find out who these Islamists were. A case of precautionary Islamophobia, right from the start. The Franks long viewed Islam as a form of particularly aggressive militarized Christianism. They were familiar with the problem: hordes of black dressed monks, especially in Egypt, had laid civilization to waste, three centuries before.

France has been at war with invasive, aggressive Islamists ever since. 60 generations of hostility.

Why can’t Egyptian security forces be given the same liberty?

Or do Western leaders whine because time is up on their ravenous instrumentalization of Islamization, their counterfactual, perfidiously manipulative, identification of Islamization with civilization? Are they afraid that their oil supply is threatened, or that they will have to start treating Arab speaking people not just as Muslims, but as full human beings?

An organization such as the Muslim Brotherhood, operating inside the French or American republics as it did in Egypt  would be outlawed overnight, and lethal force would be used. So why not the same in Egypt?

When Western leaders talk as if the Muslim Brotherhood was holy, a case of human rights, they are just hypocritical, lethally vicious and racist. The Muslim Brotherhood ought to be outlawed in Egypt as it would be in the American or French Republic.

It is easy to understand why corrupt leaders in the West would want Egypt to stay under the oppression of an ideology invented in the desert by analphabets, 14 centuries ago: this way, 85 millions Egyptians, and 35 millions of inhabitants of the Arabian peninsula, where the oil comes from, and much money, would stay subjugated, ruled by their pseudo-god fearing masters.

But for those who really care about the well-being of Egyptians, there is no doubt that getting rid of 1650 years of delirious, somewhat satanic variants of the religion of Abraham, will help. Abraham? The despicable character who wanted to please a satanic boss (known as “god”) to the point of killing his innocent child.

Where, in the entire history of humankind, can we find something as condemnable as a foundation of elevation? Notice it’s the boss himself who stopped the servile crazed psychopath would-be child killer’s hand. So bosses are the fount of humanism! Especially after they order to kill children?

It certainly makes sense that the despicable Barroso, head of the European Commission, another living incarnation of Star Wars’ Jabba the Hut, who does not mind 50% unemployment rates in part of the European Union, according to his plutocratic god, would threaten Egypt (with cutting aid to starving people). The barbarian Baroso embraces the Muslim Brotherhood, as a new trick to make the youth suffer more afield.

The ancient Republican Romans knew what to do with a thought system that had turned wanting to kill children into a religion: annihilate it.  They face it with Carthage. No doubt that, if Carthage had not sacrificed children, it would not have been annihilated by Rome.

The inhuman pulsion to kill children inherent to Abrahamism was probably copied from Carthage and Moloch. Abrahamism was adopted by Rome, later, but, by then the Republic was in pieces (in a telling detail, Constantine, the self described “13th apostle”, inventor of Christianism, killed his adult son and nephew; he also steamed his wife).

To rejoin the forefront of civilization, it long occupied, Egypt needs to become secular. Those who, from their heavenly secular fortresses, think otherwise are just Twentieth First Century racists. Let them join Al Qaeda. Sorry, they already have.

Polls show more than 80% of Egyptians support the security crack-down against the Islamists. “Moderate” Islamists have no more than 15% support. Faced with the determination of the 500,000 strong Egyptian military, the plutophile cowards who lead the West will no doubt back-off.

The fact remains, in that fatidic week, when Egypt plunged in a remedial civil war, our money loving Western leaders showed their face, and that was the face of Al Qaeda. I do not doubt that they are going to put some new mask on, and change the subject real quick. Yet, it was a very revealing moment.

***

Patrice Ayme

Synthesis Found: Governmentalism.

August 13, 2013

In “Synthesis Lost” the honorable Paul Krugman courageously ponders the unthinkable:“you have to ask why, if markets are imperfect enough to generate the massive waste we’ve seen since 2008, we should believe that they get everything else right. I’ve always considered myself a free-market Keynesian — basically, a believer in Samuelson’s synthesis. But I’m far less sure of that position than I used to be.

Indeed, the economic beliefs that built-up civilization, East or West, rested on a completely different notion: the irreplaceable genius of government funded & commissioned Public Works.

Pont Du Gard: Not built By The Free Market

Pont Du Gard: Not built By The Free Market

The aqueduct above brought water to Nimes (Latin Nemausus, local Celtic god).

The first three aqueducts built into Rome, about 23 centuries ago, later carried 400,000 tons of water into the city, each day

The first one, the Aqua Appia (312 BCE) was one of two major public projects commissioned by the censor Appius Claudius Caecus; the other was a strategic, super strong and super durable road between Rome and Capua, way south.

Eleven (11) giant public aqueducts served Rome at her peak, some piercing mountains through tunnels. Although extremely expensive to build and operate, the water the aqueducts brought to the public was free. So were the uncountable baths found in all Roman cities (many had curative properties… Thus, RomanCare was free!). 

Rome was not called a Republic for no good reason.

That Republic worked as long as the law limiting wealth absolutely was enforced; as I have argued, globalization was the undoing of the law first, and the republic, next. A vivid lesson for today, when the situation is pretty much the same.

Don’t try to explain the relevance of Public Works to the economists who helped bring the present Greater Depression, slowly morphing into a Great Degeneration. They will look around with boiled cod eyes.

In “Colbert Good, Keynes Not So Smart” and in “To Save The World, Please default!” I have attacked Keynes as one of the creator of the vengeful Nazi mental system and a promoter of the powerlessness of the plebs (I may fire another blast against him, and his admirers some day soon). “Keynes” does not deserve to be honored in economics. All the more as the correct parts of “Keynesianism” have been known ever since there are serious governments, and they erect pyramids. 

Here is a proof:

Grand Canals Of China: Built By Government

Grand Canals Of China: Built By Government

The Grand Canal Hangzhou-Beijing, 1,800 kilometers long,  was built from 581 BCE to 1290 CE (when the Mongols/Yuan finished an elevated section to reach Beijing, using locks, the first summit level canal in the world). At some point during the Sui dynasty, 14 centuries ago, over a 6 year period, 3 million worked on the Grand Canal.

Looking at this, one understands better why China has built a gigantic Very High Speed Train network. It’s the very Chinese thing to do.

The Middle Kingdom found, all by itself, just as Egypt, the Middle East, Persia, Roma, and Europe (starting with Francia and the re-emerged Italian Republics), that only public works can achieve certain tasks. The most important tasks.

Grand Canal: Public Utility For 26 Centuries.

Grand Canal: Public Utility For 26 Centuries.

So much for the concept “Keynes”. Now for eliminating the so-called “free market”, as a most fundamental concept. (In a follow-up essay, I will explain what allows the free market in the first place,”governmentalism“).

There is an entire religion around the free market. It is immodestly compared to god, complete with his ”invisible hand“. Adam Smith, a student of the French physiocrats, had mentioned the “invisible hand” no more than a handful of times in his entire works. Wall Street made a cult of these two words… Yet, Adam Smith was a government official, and no rabid free marketer. Some of the French economists had previously stridently, and correctly, called for freeing the markets… but for excellent reasons. However:

***

THERE IS NO REALLY FREE MARKET:

This is a basic, but fundamental observation. The free market is a carefully contrived illusion, a myth. Plutocrats have recently exploited that myth, to make their hands invisible as they manipulate society into submission. (That’s why the plutocrats want us all to worship the ‘invisible hand’, so that we will worship their invisible influence too!)

As long as there were ferocious Marxists all over to bark naïvely about “capitalism”, plutocrats had to stay honest enough to prevent a critical mass of critics to not go over to the other side. But, when Stalinism collapsed, the ex-USSR embraced the Harvard version of plutocracy (not as bad as Hitler’s, but still pretty bad). On the other side of the Amur, cynical Chinese plutocrats embraced all capitalists willing to change from their pesky, expensive workers at home. Soon enough, the German Socialist Chancellor introduced tough reforms of the German welfare state, making it distinctly less comfy… And it, literally, worked!

The leftists, the progressives, the socialists, the liberals and the humanitarians were thrown in total confusion and spastic despondency by this collapse of the idols. Still are. (Hence Obama’s feverish clinging to Warren Buffet and Summers).

All the more as a heavy propaganda from the plutocrats, pouncing for the kill, insisted that the ‘free market’, namely themselves, was everything. In a word: god.

Yet. There always was no free market, and there will never be any free market. The free market is a playground set-up by the government, always. That’s done through various laws and regulations, and the exchange of personnel.

That became very clear in 2008. The ex-chairman of Goldman Sachs, Sec. of Treasury that G.W. Bush and Barack Obama had left in total control, Hank Paulson, went on his knees to beg Nancy Pelosi, a democrat in control of Congress, for nearly a trillion dollars to save all the largest banks of Wall Street (we are now, with “Quantitative Easing”, and counting a similar aid in Europe, well above ten trillions!).

Pelosi gave the People’s money to Paulson.

Yet that was not hers to give. In a democracy, people would have voted to see if they wanted all their money to go to the richest owners in the land.

Left unsaid was the fact that the richest people in the land had lost all their money to the… richest people in the land. To themselves! It’s a case of insurance fraud: plutocrats stole the loot, and then asked the people to pay for it.

Pelosi gave all the People’s money to the richest, because she is an immensely rich woman, and got there by being extremely kind to families controlling assets 100 times (of more) her own wealth. By being kinder than ever, to the powers that be, no doubt her family will prosper, further and better than it would otherwise.

The entanglement of plutocracy and supposedly democratic politics is a worldwide phenomenon. For example Pompidou, director of bank Rothschild in France, was selected as Prime Minister by president De Gaulle, and then later succeeded him. In Britain, past Prime Ministers Thatcher, Major and Blair, were handsomely rewarded, no doubt to encourage their successors to be just as kind to plutocrats. Clinton, a simple man driven by basic instincts, was little more than the puppet of Goldman-Sachs’ Robert Rubin, and then his assistants Summers and Geithner (all of them plutocratically connected, just as Susan Rice, a fixture of plutocracy under Clinton, now Obama’s National Security Adviser.).

In the Obama administration, most personnel with a say in economics are young multi-millionaires shuttling back and forth between White House, giant banks and Wall Street; this corruption is even considered an objective criterion of seriousness. It is reproached loud and clear to Janet Yellen, the very qualified, and prophetically accurate, Vice President of the Fed,  who ought to be the obvious successor to Bernanke, to “lack experience” at being such a corrupt double dipper!

There is no such a thing as an economy independent of the government. The government rules. The real question is who is ruling the government. (In the USA, the likes of Susan Rice rule, for now more than 20 years, in her case; she was only elected by the plutocracy, but that’s good enough; Summers, just as unelected, was in the White House already 32 years ago…).

In a democracy, We the People rule. In a plutocracy, an oligarchy of admirers of the Dark Side rules, more or less invisibly. That oligarchy will use whatever means to stay in power, and their impudence knows no bounds. As Anne of Austria, queen and regent of France, sneered to the head of the Paris Parliament during the Fronde:“Do you believe this is a republic?”

Question, Ms Anne of Austria:”When and how did it stop being republic?” Answer: well, insensibly. Just the way a frog is being boiled by rising the temperature slowly. And that is exactly what today’s plutocrats, who hold the government, are doing.

Banks using leverage insured by the government are not private, but agents of the state. Indeed, they could not exist without that insurance and implicit back-up (“the lender of last resort”). They claim to be private, so that the few individuals who manage and “own” them can grab what are, truly public funds and public profits.

Jamie Dimon, for example, is a rogue agent of the private-public financial system. The government gave him the huge bank Bears-Sterns in the famous “Jamie deal”.

A number of private mercenaries feeding at the teat of the Public are the dark lords of that system. While of course denying that this teat is a teat, or has any milk, or value.

(That’s why plutocrats love Summers; because he is so dark; the richest banks have been given eight trillion dollars, in the USA alone; the problem Summers will have to solve is how they keep most of that while making it appear otherwise; the trick of paying TARP with QE may not work again…)

There is no such a thing as an independent financial system when the fractional reserve system is used. Finance is an instrument of the government, at least proportional to the leverage used. For example with 3% reserve, one can view a bank as 97% government (and 3% private!).

Why? Because if there was no governmental back-up, people who have deposited money in the bank, understanding that the bank has lent 30 times the money it really has, would rush to recover their money. In hours, the bank would have zero reserve, and then would be bank-rupt.

Hence a new synthesis has to be founded, with these truths made central. I call it “governmentalism”.

Grand Canal: No Mountain Is High Enough To Stop The Government

Grand Canal: No Mountain Is High Enough To Stop The Government

It’s nothing new.

***

Patrice Ayme

From Repression To Barbarization.

August 11, 2013

Tipping from one to the other.

From the Editorial of the New York Times Board on the California prison system (August 10, 2013): “The state claims that releasing any more inmates would be a threat to public safety, as if the problem were too little prison space. In fact, California’s problem is not excessive crime, but excessive punishment.

I could not agree more.

Is California Texas in denial? Or is it already beyond? California is a place of immense wealth and power. Silicon Valley reigns with its dozens of thousands of software engineers, mostly exploiting fundamental research done elsewhere.

California is also already quite a bit as in the science-fiction movie Elysium. The science may be fiction in Elysium, but the society is not. We are getting there, real quick.

Elysium: Already Here?

Elysium: Already Here?

Elysium came out August 9, 2013, and I went to see it. That was the first time I saw a movie on opening day; I was appreciative, although far from amused: the movie criticized what is already going on, medical care for the rich. And what is going to be institutionalized even more with the much vaunted, and grossly misunderstood, Obamacare.

I personally observed two cases of great police violence just in the last 2 months, within a few hundred feet. Perhaps it was justified in the first case (I saw only the final action, with a man in tank top thrown on the ground; there he was on his belly, writhing, handcuffed in the back, police in science-fiction gear all around). But I saw the second, from start to finish, and I know the brutality was completely unjustified.

In the movie Elysium I saw two or three eerily similar scenes.

Police hyper violence is part of a general strategy to terrorize the general population. This is why mass protests in the USA have been rare and far between, ever since 1968. When they happen, protesters die more or less mysteriously, and that’s it. The general population calms down mighty quick and goes back to counting the scores of sport teams, and the lives of celebrities, as they are encouraged to do.

It’s even considered unbecoming a citizen in good standing to mention any systemic trouble in the society at large (one is immediately labelled a “conspiracy theorist”).

That a law such as 3 strikes, & you are out could be passed and hold sway for years tells a lot of the (lack of) civilization in California, just below the silicon. That’s the law that, upon conviction of a third offense, whatever it is, one gets put in prison, forever.   

A place like California should be cracked upon, and for once, the Supreme Court of the USA (SCOTUS) is doing its job: it ordered California to free more inmates from prison.

At its peak in 2006, California had 163,000 inmates in prison. That does not count the inmates in county jails, such as those who spend one year in Los Angeles County jail before seeing a judge. Nor does this number count the thousands of California prisoners sent to other states to serve their sentences (as a “state of emergency” had been proclaimed! Now rescinded…).

By comparison the French Republic, with twice the population of California, holds 63,000 prisoners, total.

At some point someone went to jail for life in California for stealing a pizza slice. In some European countries (among them France) one cannot send people to jail for stealing food.

That’s because legislators there read Victor Hugo “Les Miserables”. The hero in that novel is sent to hard labor for 20 years, because he stole a bread. In California one can be jailed forever for much less. Extends that deterioration in the human condition over another century, and we will be back to the Middle Ages.

Although they were used by the United Kingdom even before the American Revolution, private prisons reappeared in the modern era under Reagan’s influence.

Inconceivably for civilized Europe, the prison system of the USA has been turned into a for-profit business. Shares in prison companies are bought and sold on Wall Street. In the well-chosen year 1984, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) was awarded a contract to take over a prison. A whole industry has been created. Already a judge has been sent to prison, for creating clients for his friends in the prison industry. Just three of the prison companies hold more than 200,000 prisoners. Some overseas. “Guanatanamo” is just the name of a syndrome (of loving to put people in prison).

More than 3% of the adult (more than 18) population of the USA is presently emprisoned or under judicial supervision. This is the highest rate in the world. It’s nearly twice Russia, nearly thrice Iran, more than five times China. So why is  president Obama criticizing human rights in, say, Russia? Because it’s anti-American not to do so?

The New York Times article was accompanied by all sorts of advertizing for the private industry that gravitates around incarcerating people (“Save 80% on prison calls!”). In many American cities a whole system of making money from money lent to get out of jail exists. (Ah, yes, because if one has enough money, one walks out of jail; probably what the esteemed American “philosopher”, Harvard’s Rawls, called “justice as fairness”.)

The USA had largely ended solitary confinement at the end of the 1800s, when the Supreme Court almost declared it unconstitutional in 1890. However, cruel, long-term solitary confinement has been reintroduced in recent decades.

Winston Churchill said that one can best judge a society by the state of its prisons. In solitary, a prisoner is kept in a small cell for 22-1/2 hours per day without human contact, fresh air, or sunlight. A toilet and sink are in the cell, and food is slipped in through a slot.

“Exercise” consists in wandering in shackles in another solitary cell for an hour.

Nationwide, 81,000 prisoners are in solitary confinement. In California 2% of the prison population is in solitary. In Pelican Bay prison alone, 500 prisoners have spent more than a decade in solitary. 78 have been there for more than 20 years. Long-term solitary confinement ought to drive prisoners insane, and it often does. 42% of California prison system suicides are by inmates in solitary. For those who survive, rehabilitation and successful reentry in society is close to impossible.

This is indeed “America’s Awful Terrible No Good Very Bad Prison System”.

Solitary may be appropriate for limited duration with truly dangerous prisoners. But evidence shows that it is far too often being used to punish, or minor infractions.

Thus we may be already in a worse situation than in the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages, indefinite detention was viewed as inhuman.

In an inhuman society where revolt is impossible, an answer is… drug addiction. That’s why drug addiction is so developed in California: methamphetamine labs are all over the huge tracks of California without police presence. Those in turn bring a lot of theft. Hence more savage repression. A vicious circle.

Freud famously said that:“Repression is civilization”. Right, in some ways. However, savage repression does not bring civilization, it brings barbarization.

***

Patrice Ayme

Quantum Trumps Spacetime

August 8, 2013

Abstract: simple considerations of a philosophical, non computational, nature, on Space, Time and the Quantum show that the former two are not basic (and that some apparently most baffling traits of the Quantum are intuitive!). Progress in knowledge of the interdependence of things should not be hampered by traditional prejudices. (Not an easy essay: readers are encouraged to jump around it like kangaroos!)

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What is time? Today’s physics does not answer that question, it just computes with the notion as if it were obvious. To find out what time could be, a little bout of metaphysics different from the tentative one in today’s understanding of nature, is needed.

Einstein amplified the notion that the universe is about spacetime (x,t) in a reference frame F. He, and his friends Hilbert and Besso used the mathematical, and physical ideas, created by Riemann (and his Italian successors: Ricci, Levi-Civita, etc.)

"Solitary and Uncomprehended Genius"

“Solitary and Uncomprehended Genius”

Lorentz discovered one had to assume that (x’,t’) in a moving frame F’ cruising by at a steady speed v is related to (x,t) in frame F according to the Lorentz transformations.

Lorentz got the Nobel Prize, for finding these (thanks to the recommendation of the towering Henri Poincare’); I am not pointing this out to compare the relative merits of celebrities, but to establish the hierarchy of the discoveries they made, and thus the logic therein. (Poincare”s 1904“Principe de Relativite’” was firmly established before Einstein showed up on the scene, and the latter’s contributions, although enlightening, have been vastly overestimated.) 

Not that the initial logic of a discovery always perdures, but sometimes it’s important. The Einstein cult has been obscuring reality; Einstein would have been the first one to decry it (Einstein basically ran away with the idea of Poincare’ that the constancy of the speed of light, c, being always observed, was thus a fundamental law of physics, and made it the foundation of what Poincare’ called “Relativite'”).

Only by using the Lorentz transformations are the equations of electrodynamics preserved. In other words: only thus is the speed of light measured to be c in both F, using (x,t) and F’, using (x’,t’).

So what is time t?

According to the scheme in Relativity, it’s simple: given the sanctity of the speed of light, c, and space x, time can be measured by having a photon of light going between two perfect mirrors, and counting the impacts (that’s what is called a light clock; it’s very useful to derive most equations of Relativity).

Indeed space is measured by the time it takes light to go back and forth. This sounds like a circular logic: time is needed to measure space and space is needed, to measure time.

Does that mean one of the two, say, time, is derivative?

I used to think so (propped by the lack of time in Quantum Theory, see below). But, actually, no.

Indeed, time can be localized down to the proton scale.

One can measure time at that scale with how long it takes some elementary particle to decay. Or because to any particle is associated its De Broglie wave, hence a frequency (and that particle can be confined in as small a space as a proton).

Basically time can be measured at a point.

However, space, by definition is… non local (space is always an extent, all the more if time is used to measure it, thanks to c; technically my idea is that space depends upon the holonomy group, time does not; thus Minkowsky’s “spacetime” belongs to the dustbin!).

Thus the conceptual universe in which bask electromagnetism makes it look as if, somehow, time was more fundamental.

The situation is the exact opposite in Quantum Theory. Quantum Theory is full of entangled situations. Measure such a situation somewhere, and it changes all over. “Measure such a situation somewhere, and it changes all over” means that a Quantum Process is all over it. Whatever “it” is. Einstein called that “spooky interaction at a distance”. I call it the QUANTUM INTERACTION.

Einstein tried to escape the spookiness. Instead, I claim it should be embraced. After all, Quantum spookiness makes life possible.

We indeed know now that this spooky Quantum interaction is fundamental to life. It allows life to be more efficient than any understanding from classical mechanics could have it. Vision and the chlorophyll molecule use Quantum spookiness at a distance. This recent discovery did not surprise me at all. I fully expected it, just as I fully expect that consciousness will be revealed to be a Quantum effect (an easy prediction, at this point, in this Quantum universe!)

A computer using the Quantum Theory would be more efficient, for the same reason: the Quantum computer computes all over, in a non local way. (The computers we have now are just sleek electron-using versions of the classical computers the ancient Greeks had, with their little teethed wheels; the Quantum computer is founded on a completely different process.)

This “spooky” non locality has alarmed many a thinker. But notice this simple fact: space itself, even the classical space used in electromagnetism, is non local (as one uses light travel, plus time, to determine space).

So it’s only natural that space in Quantum Theory be non local too.

The “spookiness” is easily understood thus: spacetime physics a la Einstein and company singles out a particular interaction, electromagnetism, and the sanctity of c, to measure the universe with. Why this one, and not another of the fundamental interactions we know?

Quantum Theory (QT) gets out of this would-be choice by choosing none of the traditional forces to measure space with!

As QT has it, as it stands, QT does not need to measure the universe. (I believe it does, using the Quantum Interaction, and I can support that with impossible simultaneous measurements at great distances, but that’s another, more advanced set of considerations.)

Those who think thinking is reduced to computing will object that it is not the same type of non locality (the one I claim to see in classical space and the “spooky” one of Quantum space). Whatever: the non locality in quantum Theory does not depend upon light speed. That’s the important point.

There, the lesson cannot be emphasized enough: on the face of it, the basic set-up of Quantum Theory tells us that light, and, in particular light speed, is NOT fundamental.

This few observations above should they prove to be as deep and correct as I believe they are, show the power of the philosophical method, even in today’s physics. Some will scoff, but not consider carefully all the philosophy behind spacetime a la Einstein.

A warning for those who scoff about the importance of meta-physics: the founding paper of differential geometry in mathematics, and physics, was a lecture by Bernhard Riemann. It’s full of metaphysics and metamathematics, for the best.

The paper had just one equation (and it is a definition!)

That lecture was entitled “Über die Hypothesen welche der Geometrie zu Grunde liegen” (“On The Hypotheses Which Underlie Geometry“). (Call these “hypotheses” meta-geometrical, metamathematical, or metaphysical.)

The lecture was published in 1868, two years after his author’s death (and 14 years after he gave it). Riemann’s main idea was to define manifolds and curvature. (Riemannian) manifolds were defined by a metric. Curvature ought to be a tensor, Riemann said, not just a simple number (scalar; as Gaussian curvature).

From top to bottom: positive, negative and no curvature.

From top to bottom: positive, negative and no curvature.

Riemann generalized the notion of curvature to any dimension, thanks to the Riemann Curvature Tensor (the simplified Ricci form of which appears in Einstein’s gravitational field equation).

Here is for some meta-physics; Riemann: “It is quite conceivable that the geometry of space in the very small does not satisfy the axioms of [Euclidean] geometry… The properties which distinguish space from other conceivable triply-extended magnitudes are only to be deduced from experience.

Gauss, Riemann’s teacher, knew this so well that he had tried to measure the curvature of space, if any, using a triangle of tall peaks. Gauss found no curvature, but now we know that gravitation is best described as curved spacetime.

(This lack of Gaussian curvature shows that it’s not because situation is not found under some conditions that it is not there under other conditions; in biology the proof by Medawar that Lamarckism was false, using mice, for which he got the Nobel (being British, ;-)) comes to mind: no Lamarckism in Medawar experiments did not prove that there would be no Lamarckism in other experiments; now four Lamarckist mechanisms are known!)

Twentieth Century physics, in particular the theory of gravitation, exploits the following fact, understood by Riemann as he laid, dying from tuberculosis in Italy. Force is a tautology for geodesics coming closer (or not). Thus curvature is force.

Einstein remarkably said: “Only the genius of Riemann, solitary and uncomprehended, had already won its way by the middle of the last century to a new conception of space, in which space was deprived of its rigidity, and in which its power to take part in physical events was recognized as possible.”

(I find this statement all the more remarkable and prophetic in that it is not in Einstein’s physics, and could not be, but rather in the one I would like to have, where fundamental dynamic processes literally create space…)

The fact that a tautology is at the heart of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity means that it explains nothing much! (Relativity fanatics are going to hate that statement!…although it describes very well what happens to objects evolving in spacetime, especially GPS, let it be said in passing.)

“Only to be deduced from experience”, said mathematician Riemann. What’s the ultimate experience we have? Quantum Theory. And what did we find QT said? You can’t measure with space, you can’t measure with time (although clearly the Quantum depends upon the differential topology of the situation, see the Bohm-Aharanov effect! where, by the way, the space metric is made fun of once again!)

Last splendid idea from Riemann (1854-1866):

“Researches starting from general notions, like the investigation we have just made, can only be useful in preventing this work from being hampered by too narrow views, and progress in knowledge of the interdependence of things from being checked by traditional prejudices.”

Amen.

***

Patrice Ayme

Summers Of Discontent

August 6, 2013

Abstract: Agreed, some people are low lives, and focusing on them distract from more worthies issues. Paraphrasing, Paul Krugman himself said that he regretted to have to worry about idiots so much, but somebody had to do it. All the more as those low lives have been leading civilization, into devastation, to the point they may terminate it.

Lawrence Summers had positions at the apex of the governance of the USA and the world, for more than 30 years; he is a plutocratic mastermind. 

Obama: Summers To Save World Once Again.

Obama: Summers To Save World Once Again.

No conspiracy in the USA, just a central committee (Goldman Sachs-Citigroup-Clinton’s minder, plutocrat Robert Rubin on the left, plutocrat Lawrence Summers on the right of the clown).

Meanwhile crucial economic activity of governmental type, such as science, is cut all over (because of“sequestration”, another smart idea proposed to Congress by another of Obama’s very bank connected wealthy advisers: who needs neoconservatives when one has Obama advisers, the children of Summers?).

Don’t worry: Summers’ creatures, such as Sherryl Sandberg, Facebook’s spymaster, and other friends, including the U2’s propagandist Bono, are making more billions than ever. Their wealth, certainly, is not sequestrated.

Larry Summers was, as Clinton Treasury Secretary, the point man allowing unregulated financial derivatives, thus making the real economy derivative ever since. Just on that point, he should be disqualified.

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FASCISM PROVED EXCELLENT TO (MOST OF) ITS COLLABORATORS:  

The taking over of the world by the same group of people, families and friends is very old: Senator Baucus’ family has reigned over his state for five generations (Baucus had some insurance industry VP write Obamacare).

Plutocracy’s blossoming is older than the BIS (Bank of International Settlements), The BIS was created by Washington in the early 1920s, to safeguard (under Reichsbank’s head H. Schacht’s supervision) the transfer of formidable assets of the Nazi Party, and associated plutocrats, throughout the world, before, during, and after World War Two.

(The BIS is the central banks of central banks; however, due to its blatant Nazi connections, its elimination was evoked for a few seconds after WWII.)

In the end, Germany prosecuted only 13,000 Nazis. However, the Nazi Party reached, by 1945, 8 million members. Considering all those who died, and Nazis in other countries (like international SS, of which there were hundreds of thousands), this means that 99.9% of Nazis were NOT prosecuted.

Many Nazis became rich from spoiling and then killing other people, in particular, Jews.

Many of the most prominent Nazis or their enablers became shining stars of the world after the war (examples: Marshall Von Manstein, hyper industrialist heir Thyssen, the most powerful German corporation, SS Major Von Braun and his close friends the extermination camps managers, Schacht, the Dulles, Prescott Bush, Harrimans, etc.; nota bene: the Federal Republic Deutschland just launched a campaign to catch remaining Nazi executioneers!)

The case of the global corporations (mostly USA based) was telling: although many were the crucial enablers of Hitler, they were not punished. The French Republic tried to arrest IBM directors, in 1945, but secret services of the USA ex-filtrated three of them out of the Republic’s reach. Hitler had given IBM a monopoly for organizing the Reich.

(This was enough of an answer to the question: ‘why is it that there is so much propaganda against France in the USA, and why is it that some French have a problem with USA plutocracy?’)

So many Nazis, and most of their topmost collaborators, thrived after WWII. This fact helped to install the following mood: if the Nazis, their greatest friends, collaborators and enablers could get away with what they did, why not us?

The madness blatant in the Ayn Rand (guru to Greenspan and other neofascists) boiled down to a rage against any regulation, in other words, against any law. But for the law of the jungle. This is not different from the main mode of operation of the Nazis.

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LET’S TAKE THE WORLD OVER, MORE THAN EVER:

Summers, Sandberg, World Bank 1991. The Worst Rule The World, Because They're Worse.

Summers, Sandberg, World Bank 1991. The Worst Rule The World, Because They’re Worse.

Who elected this people to give them control of the world? Well, their owners. Sherryl Sandberg is Summers’ kind of woman: greed unlimited. Let’s bank on the world, spy on the world, and make taxpayers pay for it. 

http://video.pbs.org/video/1302794657/

More than a decade later, Summers blocked Christina Romer’s pleas for more stimulus in Obama’s administration. Blocking the spirit of empathy, fairness, or just the rule of law, seems Summers’ call in life. He had a horrible fight to oppose Brooksley Born, chairperson of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), an agency supposed to combat fraud.

Greenspan, Rubin and Summers told Ms. Born that fraud in financial derivatives should not be something one inquires about. Neither of these three graces is a lawyer. Ms. Born was a very experienced lawyer, since her star days in Stanford, and as a partner in a prestigious law firm, she spent decades practicing high level finance.

In other words, Greenspan, Rubin and Summers were meta-criminals, people who believe some crimes are self-correcting. A meta-criminal believes that some crimes are not crimes.  

In the “Committee To save The World”, made of Rubin, Greenspan and Summers, Summers was the “enforcer”. Enforcer of the Law of the Jungle.

Summers screamed to Born on the phone that she was going to cause another depression, and that he had “13 bankers in his office” telling him that. In the end Born’s opponents called an “emergency working group”, and a propaganda campaign was organized against her until Congress demolished the CFTC.

Summers’ sycophants are typically Wall Street operators such a Steven Rattner in the New York Times (02 Aug. 13) going delirious about Summers’ extraordinary intelligence: the most brilliant, most analytical and most surgical brain of anyone I’ve ever encountered.”

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WHERE IT IS SHOWN SUMMERS IS DUMB:

Summers hyper intelligent? Summers is simply no scientist, being only a vulgar economist (at best).

However Summers, not a scientist, insulted all women scientists by saying that women are not as capable as men. He said this as Harvard President, presiding over a vast assembly of professors who had come to listen to him, in his function as Harvard president.

Yet, several of the very greatest scientists of the 20th century were women. Example: the Curies (Marie and Irene), the towering mathematician Emmy Noether, the discoverer of jumping genes, Barbara MacClintock. Hence Mr. Summers is crass ignorant, arrogant, and not smart (to say the least). Besides being sexist to the point of imbecility.

All the female scientists I just mentioned are not just famous, but turned out to have been brazen geniuses: they introduced science so revolutionary, that it was viewed as completely wrong, sometimes for decades. That, in combination with their genders, made their careers very difficult.

What is a genius to Wall Street has, unsurprisingly, just the mind of a leech, for those endowed with common sense.

***

SUMMERS: FOR CO2, & ALL IMAGINABLE CORRUPTION:

Summers is a condensed parody of plutocracy. He started as a twenty something PhD in Reagan’s cabinet. This stellar career springs from hereditary plutocracy: two of Summers’ uncles were Nobel Prizes in economics.

By 1991, Summers was chief economist at the World Bank, escorted by Sandberg. This is what he said, in his official quality as the world’s guiding economist:“There are no… limits to the carrying capacity of the earth that are likely to bind any time in the foreseeable future. There isn’t a risk of an apocalypse due to global warming or anything else. The idea that we should put limits on growth because of some natural limit, is a profound error and one that, were it ever to prove influential, would have staggering social costs.”

More Summers as chief economist world bank: “the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that…. I’ve always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly underpolluted.” [This statement does not sound correct nowadays, even to the clueless, so Summers, smart as ever, now, claims it was meant to be a parody. Sure: Summers himself is a parody.]

But Summers’ position on CO2 was certainly serious. Lethally serious. He was the leading voice within the Clinton Administration arguing against the USA doing anything about greenhouse gases, and against US participation in the Kyoto Protocol (according to internal documents made public in 2009). This demolished Kyoto, as the European Union went at it alone, to staggering unilateral cost, causing the EU an important trade disadvantage.

Big Sister Sandberg: Already Your Boss In The 1990s

Big Sister Sandberg: Already Your Boss In The 1990s

Why to mention Sandberg all the time? Because she is typical of the corruptocracy around Summers. She was sent by the government (what else?) to the top of Google, obviously part of a Faustian bargain. Industrial spying for the government by Google and company started about that time (before 9/11).

Some of Summers’ creatures are expensive, and not just to the Constitution of the USA. Bob Rubin, that wise leech, cost taxpayers 100 billion dollars… So far. Not counting interest. 100 billions, personally, just for his little hobby (Citigroup).

Hence the importance, for the powers that be,  of putting Summers at the top of the central bank: Summers will make sure that his friends the top plutocrats are not left holding the bag. (Remember: he is the brightest croc alive, he will find something…)

Summers’ career is in orbit around the theme that greed is all the need we have. In 2000 Summers, Clinton’s Treasury Secretary,  teamed up with Greenspan and Enron CEO to claim California energy crisis was dues to “excessive regulation”. (They pushed the impudence to lecturing California’s republican governor Gray Davis!)

In truth Enron criminally organized shortages and made a fortune from Summers’ just authorized mood of doing whatever bets with derivatives. “(Conveniently Enro’s CEO Lay had a “heart attack” before sentencing; his conviction, just as conveniently, was then “vacated”.) 

Summers pontificated that “…increased government involvement in the health care sector is a risky idea.” But apparently financial derivatives are not a risky idea. Is the rest of the world, with its nationalized health care risky? Yes! Obama wealthcare is safer for those who enjoy it!

On Pinochet loving, libertarian economist Milton Friedman’s death, Summers said that “…any honest Democrat will admit that we are now all Friedmanites.” if honest democrats believe this, one fears to imagine what dishonest ones such as Summers believe.

Summers pressured the Korean government to raise its interest rates and balance its budget in the midst of a recession, right in the middle of the South-East Asian crisis. During this crisis, Summers, along with Paul Wolfowitz, pushed for regime change in Indonesia (See the book The Chastening, by Paul Blustein).

By the way, this shows that neoconservatives are, truly, neofascists, and that the distinction between left and right is irrelevant (as it already was in the fascism of the 1930s: then, all the fascists, including Stalin, were allied with each other, either officially, or secretly, at one point or another!)

In truth fascists and plutocrats are after getting as much power on other men as they can, with whatever methods come in handy.

Hitler explained that the obsession with power, doing whatever to get more power, without ethics or mental coherence, was fascism’s main strength.

Hitler had to re-iterate this explanation after he made a spectacular alliance with the Polish colonels in January 1934, standing on its head the main axis of the Nazis’ implicit program (re-subjugating the nations Germany used to occupy, and had lost because of the Versailles Treaty).

Strength, of course is everything for those who affect to believe the Will to Power is (nearly) everything.

Summers set up a project through which the Harvard Institute for International Development advised the Russian government between 1992 and 1997. It emerged later that some of the Harvard advisers had invested in Russia, to profit from their own advice. Summers encouraged then-Russian leader Boris Yeltsin to use the same “three-‘ations'” of policy he advocated in the Clinton Administration– “privatization, stabilization, and liberalization.”

It got to the point that a USA Federal judge ruled that, by investing on their own accounts while advising the Russian government, Harvard professor Shleifer (and Moscow-based assistant Jonathan Hay) had conspired to defraud the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which had been paying their salary.

Harvard had to pay $26 million and Shleifer $2 million in fines. (Why is it that fat cats mostly pay fines and rarely go to the slammer?)

The Russian-born 45-year-old Shleifer is another superstar of the economics profession. Like Summers, he won the Clark Medal, the award of top economist under 40. Shleifer became the editor of Harvard’s Quarterly Journal of Economics at the age of 28, and became editor in 2006 of the American Economic Association’s Journal of Economic Perspectives. What we are facing is a galaxy of greed from second knives, below the old money and Wal Mart family class (worth around 100 billion dollars, same order as the Gates’ control  of 120 billion dollars).

Instead, Learn to Love Plutocracy.

Instead, Learn to Love Plutocracy.

The perspective, ladies and gentlemen, is something akin to what happened 1,000 years ago, when the richest plutocrats instituted the feudal order in Europe. Plutocracy is what happens when the Dark Side breeds with the mathematics of the exponential. It’s not about brains, or being right, or wrong. It’s about who you know, power, and breed.

1,000 years ago elective processes were replaced first by money, and then, heredity. The best intellectuals, inside the Church, objected in vain that the Church used elections to select the best, and that secular society ought to go on that way. But it was not about being the best, and selecting the best. It was about power that be.

That’s why Obama loves Summers. Not because Summers is lovely (even Obama cannot be that clueless!). But because Obama is scared.

Want fun? Greenspan finally came in front of congress in 2009 and recognized that there was a “flaw” in his perception of “reality” and his “ideology”. He looked ready to puke, complete with quivering lips and bulging eyes. Tough for an addict of the mad Ayn Rand to admit that the law is of some use.

More fun? Sandberg, Summers’ pet, who used to live (in some pictures at least) inside Summers’ arm pit at Harvard, after being installed at the apex of Clinton, Google and Facebook, and making billions, now gives lessons to women of the world to preach to them the exact opposite of what she did.

A word of wisdom from an expert? “…the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.”

[Adolf Hitler , Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X]

Want hope? The (mostly) Franco-American robot Curiosity, as large as a small truck, just had its first birthday. The scientific results are considerable; they demonstrate that there were streams on Mars, with chemical conditions suitable for life.

Curiously, Mars is anticipated to be so favorable to present Earth life, that the Mars missions are sterilized at huge cost (as much as half a billion dollars for a future life searching mission!). Some suggest to cease that policy. And I agree! One should view Mars as a colonization target, and we may as well send as much life there as possible, in the hope it will adapt (and then we can bioengineer the survivors to produce oxygen).

If it is not lost to treason, civilization will be saved by reason.

***

Patrice Ayme

Why EGYPT DEGENERATED

August 4, 2013

Abstract: Before the Middle East sank into dictatorship and theocracy, it had been on a long term mental decline. This was well known in, but poorly resisted by, the Roman Republic. The decay of the Hellenistic regimes (Alexander and successors), and of Rome itself, was marked by a progressive adoption of fascist, theocratic and generally plutocratic features from the Orient.

The usual explanation (by Fernand Braudel) is that the Middle East evolved in an “hydraulic dictatorship” mindset. True. But that does not explain why it did not have it earlier, nor why it infected Greece and Rome, later. Mindsets with lives of their own, can propagate like plagues. It is wiser and more pertinent to denounce the religious intellectual fascism that amplified the “hydraulic dictatorship” mood, while it established an empire of its own.

Blocked By Zarathoustra

Blocked By Zarathoustra

 If Zarathustra’s advanced philosophy had reigned over Egypt, and the Fertile Crescent, instead of primitive, nasty Abrahamism, with its blatant desire to kill and torture people, to please the sky-boss, on a cross or during jihad, the Middle East would have turned out differently. This is the remark underlying this set of essays. And, I believe, what underlays the “Arab Spring”. Many from Syria, Egypt to Morocco are taking a turn against the fascism hiding behind Abraham’s pathetic figure.

Oh, lest I be accused of racism, let me point out that, during the Sixth Century, Roman intellectuals had taken refuge among Persia’s Zoroasthrians, who defended them vigorously. Rome (aka Constantinople) was using Abrahamism’s fanaticism to justify its fascist rule, and thus made the bed of Islam.

Increasingly inappropriate theocratic plutocracy is why Egypt went down.

This moody process took nearly two millennia of encroaching decerebration, until fanatic Christo-Islamism clamped down Egypt within its saurian jaws. (This is the first of two essays on Egypt. As usual the bottom line is hard-edged realism: calling a croc a croc, and gods who masquerade as crocs, crocs and crooks.)

***

EGYPT DOMINATED FOR MORE THAN 2,000 YEARS:

In Roman times, Egypt was still perhaps the world’s richest region. So it had been ever since the Sahara got desiccated, and its dwellers retreated where there was still water.

The riches from the Nile Valley, and adjoining oases, attracted a lot of vultures, and Egypt was frequently massively attacked and sometimes occupied for centuries (for example, the establishment of the New Kingdom after two centuries of invasion by the Semitic Hyksos).

Egypt had long been at the forefront of civilization. This speaks for the power of a centralized state: Egypt was the world’s largest, most centralized state for at least a millennium, when it intellectually dominated.

A lot of Greek mathematics originated in Egypt. Great pyramids were perfectly aligned on the north. Egypt, collaborating with Sumerian cities, elaborated, over millennia, the idea of an alphabet (then perfected by the Phoenicians).

One gets vertigo, contemplating Egypt’s history. A millennium after the pyramids went up, an innovative Pharaoh, Athekanen, invented, and imposed monotheism (that no doubt later morphed in Judaism/Abrahamism).

When Persian dictatorship tried to take the world over, the Athenian republic came to the help of the last honest to goodness Pharaohs. Memorable wars were fought.

By the time the Greco-Romans became dominant, Egypt had been at the forward edge of civilization for at least 3,000 years. Prior to Imperator Caesar arguing furiously with Pharaoh Cleopatra about who it was exactly that was culprit of the shameful burning of Alexandria’s library during military action (they settled their fight in bed; their child, Caesarion, was cowardly assassinated by Caesar’ great nephew, his heir, the despicable “Augustus”, founder of the Roman Principate, a parody of Republic, reminding us strangely of what we have today; RINO, Republic In Name Only).

***

WHY DID EGYPT DURABLY COLLAPSE?

It’s hard to describe 6,000 years of history in a few sentences. One impression I gather, having meditated over Egyptian history for decades, is that it was first about the military and police. When Egypt had its military and police just right, it was doing fine (although a spark was increasingly missing, that the Crete’s Minoans, and then the Greeks ended up providing).

How could the military and police go wrong? Either by being too strong, oppressive, dictatorial, or by being too weak. Too much calm could also lead to civil war, such as when 94 year old Pharaoh Pepy II died after a very long reign (that brought down the Old Kingdom).

The Egyptian military learned that to safeguard the homeland, it had to extend broadly around it. However, that was not enough: staying on top of military technology, and a preventive diplomacy was a must: at the end of the 13th (!) dynasty, the invading Hyksos showed up with a new weapon, the composite bow. The Hyksos attacked and occupied Egypt for 2 centuries in conjunction with their southern allies from Kush.

The New Kingdom threw the occupiers out when the rump Egyptian military counterattacked with that same weapon.

Similarly the Sea Peoples invasion of the entire Orient was caused by superior military technology, developed in the Aegean Sea (an area that the Minoan thalassocracy, Egypt’s ally, owned before it was wiped out by a volcano).

After Ramses IX or so, Egypt progressively fell to ravenous Libyans, whereas its eastern flank became the realm of various Israelites and Mesopotamians on a rampage. Egypt had lost the vital spark that made it superior. It was reduced to a rich valley.

Why? I would advance the following explanation: Egypt had become a philosophical backwaters. The rigid theocratic state of ancient Egypt, with its increasingly silly looking religion, was left behind by more advanced philosophies and polities. Others had grabbed ideas that had originated in Egypt, and ran further with them.

The earliest known set of laws, 5,000 year old, is Egyptian. Yet, the law was made the backbone of government authority in Babylon next door, 38 centuries ago (Code of Hammurabi). The government erected all around Babylonia formidable steles on which the laws were engraved in stone.

Or the civilization of Zarathustra in Iran, with its promotion of good, evil, and truth as the most important concepts (beats the man with the head of a hawk any day). Watch Israelites mixing Egyptian monotheism with Punic human sacrifices of the son.

The West adopted the formidable intensity of these new ideas with a flourish, but Egypt did not. It was a matter of degree: as I just said, all these system of ideas originated in Egypt. But Egypt failed to aggressively re-invent and amplify them. Egypt failed to metamorphosis. Instead it put Crete and then Greece, in charge of doing so.

What the West would do, though was to make those meta-ideas, law, science, absoluteness of empathy, which are central to the genus Homo, central to the emotional system it endowed its civilization with.

Pharaonic Egypt did not evolve mentally enough. And that made its military and its military-industrial complex, lag. Second best, in military matters, means extinction.

Weirdly the “Sea Peoples” invasion made the situation worse. Egypt was the only state that resisted it. But barely. Yet, it enslaved an enemy army. This both weakened and rigidified Egypt. The Sea Peoples rejuvenated many places they invaded.

For instance, the Etruscans, went on to grab the iron-rich province of Italy, ultimately enriching obscure indigenes called the Romans, Egypt stayed stuck in its elaborate, but by then sterile emotional and emotional systems. Soon it was unable to resist even Libyans. Then the Persians followed.

Once again, the military aspect comes to the fore. When I was a teenager, I was very anti-militaristic. I am still that way, but, ultimately, it’s always the military that enforces righteousness.

(Intriguingly the USA, France, the UK, and even Israel, are presently implementing changes to make their military more futuristic, while diverting more military missions to the… civilian sector, as spectacularly demonstrated by the NSA-Snowden scandal; methinks that they should collaborate more, and more openly.)

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GREEK DRIVEN EGYPTIAN RENAISSANCE:

My thesis is that Egypt became a victim of intellectual fascism, generated on its own. An objection would be that, if the Egyptian civilization was roughly the same in 3,000 BCE and 1,000 BCE, how could it have become more fascist?

Fascism, as its name indicates, is about fasces, making many minds point all in the same direction. That’s excellent in combat, but miserable in imagination. However imagination leads to higher intelligence, hence greater combat capability. Thus fascism, being of one mind gives greater combat capability everything else being equal, but is also a lower common denominator, hence the necessity to lift the intellectual base from its opposite, when not in combat.

(Once again a military lesson in disguise, and this is why the French army is reducing its personnel by about 10%, and some conventional forces, while spending more getting ready for future wars; the Israelis talk of going through the same process and the Americans will probably follow… but for the pork barrel F35 program…)

If one looks at the Frankish empire 12 centuries ago, one sees the world’s most advanced political system (although primitive by the best Greco-Roman standards).

The church had been nationalized, forced to educate secularly, slavery was de facto outlawed, tolerance was the law (Christians were free to become Jews, and they did, massively; Muslims left stranded by the recessing invasions were free to be whatever). The Franks then proclaimed the Roman empire had been renovated. It took another ten centuries to throw out Abraham’s crazy, pedophobic god, and renovate the Roman Republic itself… minus the man is a wolf for man mentality.

What’s the picture? Constant change. The cathedrals gave a pretext to create massive iron architecture rendered possible by hydraulic hammers. But it was just a pretext. The reality was that singular change had become the new secularism.

In my thesis Egypt mentally froze, while the world it had given birth to, kept on changing. New dimensions opened, but Egyptian civilization ignored them . The dimensions the Egyptians had created progressively became a lower dimensional subset of the Orient. Egyptian civilization became increasingly intellectually fascist in a relative sense.

How come the Egyptians could not adapt? Well, they did, to some extent. Hence the New Kingdom, and monotheism (for a while). Also Egypt subcontracted the sea, and much culture to Crete and the Greeks. The Minoan thalassocracy centered on Crete blossomed as the most advanced civilization mostly with the help of its natural partner, Egypt.

Under the Greeks, and then the Romans, Egypt underwent a renaissance. For six centuries, Alexandria became the world’s most intellectually advanced place (although Athens had rebounded).

However, Abrahamist superstitious terror, starting in the Fourth Century, crashed civilization. Nowhere was the madness of men in black, the monks, as ferocious as in Egypt. Probably because nowhere else was the breath of theocracy as strong (from the latent mood of theocratic hydraulic dictatorship). The philosophers tried to resist. But secular Egypt was caught in a vice.

The fascist Roman state did not want an intellectually independent Egypt, so, when it was not in open conflict with the monks, it was allied to them. Intellectuals fled to Persia. The bishop of Alexandria created Arianism, which contradicted the “Catholic Orthodox” doctrine of the Trinity set-up by the self declared “13th apostle”, emperor Constantine. The simmering conflict with Constantinople went on until the Arab Muslims surged from the wastes of Arabia. Coptic Egypt, including Palestine, made peace with them. Until, three years later, it realized that the Muslims were even worse than Constantinople.

Egypt then fought Islam to death. And lost that second, desperate war. Ever since theocracy has reigned over Egypt, with few eclipses (one in the times of Saladin, when Frankish penetration was massive; one in the modern era, when European secularism was in control).

So here we are. Peaceniks believe that what was grabbed by military force will be surrendered peacefully. Well, the present Egyptian military begs to disagree. Correctly so, if one looks at history. Islam was not voted in. The Calif Omar just attacked and invaded.

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FUNDAMENTAL CO-DEPENDENCY:

Meanwhile, al Zawahiri, the real brains of Al Qaeda, one of the principals, if not the principal, of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, has resurfaced so mightily that, terrorized, the great Western powers closed their embassies in many countries. (Hey, Mr. Terrorist In Chief, what happened to your elimination of Bin Laden? Did not get enough data from it?)

What does this all mean? How come Egypt went back to theocracy after the Brits left? Well, precisely because, starting in 1945 on the cruiser Quincy with FDR, the USA played the Muslim Fundamentalist card, to get all the oil it wanted from a family, the Saudis, that took refuge behind theocracy to justify its rule.

That made the Saudis, and thus Washington, addicted to their enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood. Quite a bit like a junkie with heroin. Don’t like it, think one could stop, but never do.

In any case, as long as Egypt keeps on revering the mythical individual, Abraham, who was willing to bind and kill his son to please his boss, it will not be free of intellectual fascism of the worst kind. A religious frenzy that celebrates the mind of those who want to destroy children, the same exact frenzy that led to Carthage’s destruction. And one that ancient Egypt never got involved with.

So, when Egypt was the greatest, it did not view children as religious fodder. But, for more than 13 centuries, the greatest religious celebration has been a psychopath’s willingness to kill his son. How difficult is it to see that such a superstition is not viable, and that, in such a valley of tears, and fears, nothing very good can grow again?

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Patrice Ayme