Archive for September, 2013

ALL WE NEED IS TECH

September 30, 2013

REAL TECH, that is.

We Are TECHNOLOGICAL ANIMALS, THEREIN OUR REDEMPTION. Out With Financial “Products”.

Suppose we were gods: would we need to work? No. We would not even need an economic system; whatever we would want, it would be.

Indeed, what’s the difference between infinitely advanced technology and god like status? None.

So we see that technology primes economics. Technology also dominates not just the psychology of individuals, but the psychology of society itself. We are technological animals, and have been, ever since we depended upon tools and weapons for our survival: that’s several million years, all the way back to our distant ancestor species.

Without advancing technology, there would not even be a sustainable civilization, as resources get exhausted. Indeed, a given technology exploits given resources. Those are always finite.

Even Sol’s thermonuclear reactor has finite resources. The most recent observations show that the sun’s energy production is even somewhat erratic (some stars, such as the Cepheids, are extremely variable).  

For example, there is just enough lithium, on the whole planet, for a few million electric cars. Without much more advanced batteries, electric cars, a commendable goal, will stay an aborted dream.

The main technologies used nowadays, and by main, I mean those mostly contributing to Gross (“Domestic”) Product, are all unsustainable, because they rise the CO2 level at a rate that will turn the Earth into Venus within a few centuries.

Two or three centuries is very little time to switch COMPLETELY, and absolutely, to NON CO2 producing industries (as we will have to; skyscrapers may have to be built with wood, as present day concrete makes lots of CO2… although switching to much better Roman concrete will diminish CO2 emissions considerably!).   

The present economic stagnation has a lot to do with confusing the weapons of plutocracy with the technology we need to survive as a civilization, just as we mess up our spaceship. Finance supreme caused a brain drain down to hell, in the service of Pluto. A lot of ingenuity was spent on inventing new financial “products” or “technologies” that were just new ways of stealing people by skirting the letter of existing laws.

The transfer of most resources, including the brightest young minds and hopes, to “greed is all we need to make society right“, has caused this stagnation.

We saw the same exact thing happen to Rome under the plutocratic “Principate”… with the multidimensional collapse of the state, and even civilization, and population, as consequences…

Not only did resources, such as forest and metallic mines, got exhausted, but health care imploded, while the barbarians closed the military technological gap, allowing them to roam through the empire. All this because democracy had been displaced by plutocracy.

The collapse of civilization blossomed into the Dark Ages of the Fifth Century, with its many dramatic invasions (including by savages who came all the way from Mongolia, the Huns!).

However, in the original case of “Wacht Am Rhein“, the PAGAN Franks took complete command of the Roman forces by 486 CE, and acquired total military control of Gallia and Germania within 21 years. That neutralized the horrendous, civilization devouring, mind extinguishing Christian theocracy, that had caused the catastrophic collapse of everything (including of that of the population).

The ascent of the Franks had depended, for already two centuries, upon technological superiority, especially in metallic weapons (nothing new: the Roman army had purchased metallic armaments from the Celto-Germans for nearly a millennium). The civilizational bias favoring new technology had insured the ascent of the Greeks and the Romans. Yet, the mood of improving matters through technological solutions was undermined by slavery, and, more generally the mentality that all problems of man could be solved by exerting violence upon other men.

The overall mood enabled Macedonia, the Hellenistic kingdoms and the fascist Roman plutocracy, with its Principate, to take over the world from the republican poleis. Some historians will say: well, it was decided on the battlefield by, Philip Antipater, and Alexander of Macedonia. True. However it was not that simple: the mood of friendliness to fascism and plutocracy pervaded the works of Pluto, Aristotle, and those they influenced (top politicians, captains in the Athenian Navy).

The philosopher Demosthenes was extremely conscious that the wrong mood reigned, and urged the Athenians to resist Antipater, as their ancestors had resisted Xerxes. The Athenians fought back. Indeed. But not with the ferocity they had deployed against Persian plutocracy. 

Plutocracy in friends is a terrible thing, all the more as it is harder to resist. 

But the Franks put technology on steroids by making all citizens free, and outlawing slavery. The technological stagnation that had characterized fascist, plutocratic Rome was over. (OK, the Franks were also plutocrats; but their plutocratic index was much lower than that of the aristo-religious families of around 400 CE.)  

Consequentially, major technological and intellectual advances blossomed.

First of all, a more sustainable, less energy intensive economy was built around wood There was no more slaves to dig underground for coal, or stones. Absolute Worth Energy per capita had to be augmented. Using wood massively in housing allowed to do this (whereas using wood for mines, as was done before, was not possible anymore, from lack of slaves and too much depth).  

To replace human slaves, while augmenting production, friendly species were bred, from giant draft horses to protein laden beans. Mechanization was extreme, with thousands of wind and water mills per province. Carolingian script and German were invented by 800 CE. Caroligian script actually augmented the AWE of writing (it was devised to minimize the effort of the scribes).

Considered on objective indicators (total population, military might, ecumenism, religious tolerance, inclusivity, energy per capita, AWE per capita), the Imperium Francorum (486 CE-800 CE) was clearly an upswing, and achieved higher than Rome at its apex in some very important dimensions. This culminated in the official re-establishment of the Roman empire in 800 CE (when Charlemagne was the one and only Augustus of the entire Roman empire, all the way to Constantinople!).

The important point: the fundamental renaissance, after the death of Antiquity under slavery, contradiction and superstition, was the Imperium Francorum. So I propose this date: 486 CE for the renaissance that counted (some French nationalists will start singing; however, the Franks themselves put the context of their renaissance in a world perspective, from Troy to Europe, and in these words; plus, they spoke Old Dutch). 

(Islam was a neglectable quantity, because it did not make the transition out of slavery, so was stuck in the same philosophical trap as the Greco-Romans, and even worse, because it did not have secular law, and, thus, free men. Still a problem today.)

This technological drive launched by the Romanized Celto-Germans-Franks did not abate.

Even after plutocracy came back big time by 1100 CE (First Crusade). And the technological drive actually protected against plutocracy.

Massive iron architecture appeared by 1150 CE in the cathedrals (in Frankish style, insulted as “Gothic in 16C). That was rendered possible by hydraulic presses, an example of the mechanical advantage that was used all over the European Middle Ages (allowing to run a society with a much higher AWE per capita than China: machines and animals were doing the work down by armies of men in China, as travelers related at the time). By 1200 CE, gravity clocks were developed (they embodied most of the mechanics of the 17C).  

By 1300 CE the considerable development, now ahead of what Rome had known, collided with the exhaustion of resources wall. Within 50 years, the population had been cut by more than half.

However, the collapse of civilization did not happen. Why? Because it’s intellectual fascism, and the stupidity it led to, that collapsed the Romans. When technology and minds are moving ahead, that cannot happen.  

Before 1350 CE, Buridan, a secular cleric, advisers to several kings, twice rector of the university of Paris, a philosopher (and not a theologian!), physicist, mathematician had invented the principle of inertia (now stupidly attributed to Newton… who was born three centuries later!!!!). Also graphs, the heliocentric system, etc. by the time the Plague struck…

So, when the Plague struck, the nobles knew what to do: few, if any, died! (governments took the ultimate measures to prevent the spreading of the Plague, such as shooting on sight).

So the Middle Ages did not renew the Roman catastrophe because the technological drive did not abate. That, in turn was rendered possible by the fact that the moral system of those in power, that of the aristocrats, was not that of Christianity (whereas in the Late Roman empire, the emperors themselves were Christian fanatics).

Nietzsche insisted upon that fact (but he does not seem to have noticed the effect on science, technology and thing in general).

The case of Buridan is illuminative that way: in 1471 CE (that was 113 years after Buridan’s death!) Louis XI and the terrorizing Vatican made the reading of Buridan unlawful (however, the university that Copernicus attended made the reading of Buridan mandatory! Something to do with Jan Hus’ martyrdom… another, but related story).

Copernicus, an abbot, parroted Buridan’s work, but it would take much more than a century for the most obscure corners of the plutocracy to accept that ideas could change… and thus, to admit to the changed mood that intellectual fascism was not perfect. The changed mood that thinking about things actually improved things. And that poor thinking led to poor things (watch the Obamacare debacle for poor thinking!).

So how do we make technology into god, full steam ahead, as we need and in our image again? And not into that financial disease that is presently devouring the planet? Well, we keep plutocracy under control. And how do we do that? Well, we do it the old fashion way, exactly as the Roman Republic did it!

We cap wealth!

***

Patrice Ayme

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Plutocrats: Adulation A Must

September 27, 2013

PSYCHO PLUTOCRATS

Plutocrats are embodiments of psychopathology unchained. Plutocracy is in no way a recent phenomenon. The success of republics such as Sparta, Athens, Rome, was entirely caused by the ferocity with which they made plutocracy unconstitutional..

Similarly the beyond-Homeric war between the free poleis of Greece and fascist Persia, was fundamentally a war between democracy and plutocracy. The battle of Lepanto, between Western fleet of free men and the slaves of the Sultan, can also be viewed as a similar clash of civilization.

Democracy & Gracchi Murdered Together

Democracy & Gracchi Murdered Together

The Gracchi Brothers explained the problem thoroughly, and tried the radical remedies necessary against the fascist/plutocratic cancer that was devouring the Roman Republic. We have the same problem. And we have two major, civilization crushing examples of what will happen if we do not eliminate the criminality of hyper wealth: we will be poor, we will have to live on our knees, and our survival will be compromised.

Krugman ponders in Plutocrats Feeling Persecuted the psycho psychology of plutocrats. Well, as their name indicates,  if some ought to be psycho, that would be them, plutocrats. Let me quote Krugman’s conclusion:

“Well, I have a theory. When you have that much money, what is it you’re trying to buy by making even more? You already have the multiple big houses, the servants, the private jet. What you really want now is adulation; you want the world to bow before your success. And so the thought that people in the media, in Congress and even in the White House are saying critical things about people like you drives you wild.

It is, of course, incredibly petty. But money brings power, and thanks to surging inequality, these petty people have a lot of money. So their whining, their anger that they don’t receive universal deference, can have real political consequences. Fear the wrath of the .01 percent!”

Although I respectfully salute Krugman’s effort, and I do agree with what he relates, let me help with an abstract of my own, much more general theory.

Christ said rich individuals would find it harder to get to heavens, than a camel through the eye of a needle. Why? Plutocrats put greed, for money and power, above all other human values. Thus, they belong to hell.

Let’s be a bit more explicit: human beings, even those most reviled, and most abandoned, are born out of love. Indeed, so fragile they are that, for many years, they are completely dependent upon caregivers. If one gives care, one gives love. Thus love, not hatred, is the most basic instinct. Hence the remorse pulling plutocratic minds asunder.

The Greek “Pluto” depicted a 2,000 year old psychological complex elucidated in Mesopotamia in the religion of Ahura Mazda (later boosted by the most ancient philosopher known, Zarathustra). The ancients understood the vast entanglement of obscurity, the underground, riches, invisibility, lying and dissembling, with all other horrors of the Dark Side.

The antidote to this hell was truth and light. That, too was in the old philosophy of Zarathustra.

For plutocrats, to pose as victims is essential. They want to be adulated. Adulation allows not just to satisfy their greed, and also to increase their power (and be called “philanthropists” and thus pay no tax).

But there is more. Adulation goes beyond vanity and greed. Plutocrats do need adulation, if they just want to be.

Plutocrats know, deep inside, that they are very bad people. Once again, it has to do with the fact that the first interaction with the other is love. Even the worse plutocrats, some day, have been babies and their emotional system’s dawn was called love. Adulation allows them to rekindle vaguely that basic emotion. Love is the ultimate judge, the ultimate god.

The adulation of others, that fake love, compensate that lack of love plutocrats have for themselves, deep inside, as they know all too well that they are the bottom of the barrel of humanity.

Adulation thus allows plutocrats to feel good enough to go on with their abysmal lives. When that adulation is refused to them, only the Will to Power, greed, viciousness, the values they thrive by, are left to inhabit the universe they know. Everything is pain, torture, gloom, dissembling, impossible to ascertain.

No wonder plutocrats hate those who deprive them of it.

But their wrath goes beyond this. Plutocrats are motivated by one of humanity’s oldest instinct, that of man as the greatest enemy of… man. Where did that come from? So it has been for many million years, ever since hominids became the greatest predators.

Then, when too many men exhausted too small an ecology, the only solution was war, and extermination. Even chimpanzees live by that feeling: they go on the war path, to eliminate the chimps in the valley next door, just to make sure.

Typically plutocracy rises when a society becomes too prosperous, too numerous, too undemocratic, wealth concentrates, and fascism starts to peak. Hence the causes of its rise bring further excess, and the need to diminish all this humanity that smothers the ecology (it was no accident that the Nazis were so ecological, and so obsessed by the Lebensraum).

Hence the more power plutocrats have, the more they will use it to satisfy that instinct of destruction. It has happened many times in history.

The longevity of the Roman Republic’s democratic system is entirely attributable to its anti-plutocratic laws, which imposed a limit on the wealth of individuals. The failure of those laws brought the Republic down at the time of the Gracchi brothers. (That was known, and made explicit at the time; there was a direct shock between those, such as the Gracchi brothers, who wanted to impose the existing laws and their spirit, and the plutocrats, who wanted adulation and ever more control.)

Interestingly, the USA’s first billionaire, Carnegie, wanted taxation rates of at least 50% on the wealthiest, and close to 100% on inheritance. Thus, during the first century of its existence, the republic of the Union of the States of America had no real plutocrats. (At least none in the sense of using wealth to deflect the policy of the republic.)

Later, Theodore Roosevelt took direct measures to limit the power of the wealth of individuals on the economy (with his anti-monopoly law.)  American based plutocrats went around all this like their Roman predecessors, by going global (and Germany was the first, and most suitable, victim).

Reinstituting the Roman Republican laws limiting wealth would make the Republic viable again. And we would have to succeed where the Gracchi failed, by limiting wealth and power, globally.

Otherwise, it’s going to be all the way down, and, just as happened under the plutocracies that flourished under the Roman autocrats and in the Middle Ages. If we do not affect to love our oppressors, if we do not kneel and kiss their toes, we will feel their wrath.

Plutocracy, the rule of Pluto, is intrinsically, an insult. At some point, blossoming plutocracy makes it so that it comes to be called “aristocracy“, the rule of the best. Only then do plutocrats get the adulation they need.

There is plenty enough evidence of the sociopathy of adulation blossoming in the USA, and in Europe. The thriving austerity is not about prudent accounting: if we were truly prudent, we could easily avoid austerity by making the wealthy pay just part of the taxes they avoid.

Yet, that’s not even tried. Instead the poor and the public are made to pay for the crimes of the wealthy with austerity schemes. So what is austerity about? Unhinged hatred of the wealthy for commoners.

And this is just the beginning: in both Rome and the Middle Ages, extreme plutocracy ended with not just poverty and debasement, but also the death of most of the population, and direct causation can be demonstrated.

***

Patrice Ayme

MEDIATING PLUTO

September 25, 2013

New York Times: Plutocrats Are “Common Sense”!

Plutocracy is much more than simply the rule of wealth. More generally, plutocracy is the rule of the neuro-emotional complex symbolized by Pluto, the Indo-Euro-Arabian god of the underworld, known under many names  through the ages: Angra Mainyu, Mara, Hades, Diabolos, Satan…

Not a positive for commoners, one would guess. So how come Plutos rule all over? Well, Plutos’ popularity is the fruit of massive Big Lie campaigns (steady campaigns of little lies piling up, also help). The cult of Warren Buffet in the USA is striking: arguably Buffet ought to be in jail, for profiteering from massive inequality he helps procreate, but, instead, Buffet, a grandfather figure, is in most Americans’ hearts.

As shown below, Maureen Dowd, star editorialist at the New York Times, claims that Pluto/Buffet, is the epitome of wisdom. This sort of wisdom, buy low, sell high, whatever it takes, is why the USA killed Allende (1973), attacked Afghanistan (officially, but secretly, as early as 1979, on the order of another grandfather figure, Jimmy Carter), invaded Iraq, etc. And why, increasingly, most people are on their knees, adulating plutocrats, their ways, notions, solutions, and forsaken world.

Hitler: Enslaved To Pluto

Hitler: Enslaved To Pluto

According to Maureen Dowd the “inspiring, compassionate and patriotic common sense” of plutocrats fully opposes the “Republicans”. Yet, of course, all what “the Republicans” do is to serve their masters, the plutocrats, and especially Buffet!

Is Dowd mad, or is she a complete idiot, or is she paid vast amounts of money, and has no other values, whatsoever, or is she using Hitler’s Big Lie technique, or is it all of the preceding?

When Ketchum, W. Bush’s Public Relation firm, sent the New York Times an editorial full of Putin’s Big Lies and absurdities, the NYT published it. Without warning the readership that it was wacko. Putin is one of the world’s most prominent Plutos. It ought to be unlawful to publish demonstrably Big Lies (and the New York Att. General agreed today with this new notion).

The NYT is the “Newspaper of record”, it sounds informative, fair, balanced and critical. Yet, the New York Times never makes a serious critique of plutocratic power. Whereas it celebrates plutocrats every day. And how. OK, OK, plutocracy is New York’s business model…

An example? NYT’s Maureen Dowd’s America’s Billionaire, 22 September 2013. Maureen exults:

“The victory for common sense last week was not in Congress, but at Georgetown University. Speaking to an excited crowd of students and others Thursday night beneath soaring stained-glass windows, the 83-year-old Warren Buffett offered inspiring lessons in patriotism and compassion — traits sorely missing here as Republicans ran headlong toward a global economic cataclysm and gutted the food stamp program.

“I am sorry I’m late,” Nancy Pelosi murmured sardonically, as she arrived at the Buffett event. “We were busy taking food out of the mouths of babies.”

Questioned by Brian Moynihan, the C.E.O. of Bank of America, and later students, Buffett seemed happy to be back in one of his hometowns, where, as the son of an investor from Omaha who became a congressman, he had once worked…”

Milking politics for money is hereditary among the Buffets: Buffet’s dad went to Congress, Congress comes to his son. Buffet made a fortune (dozens of billions) from his political connections, starting way earlier than Nixon.

In the USA the biggest plutocrats preach at the ruinously expensive private, state sponsored, universities. For those who don’t know, Warren Buffet is a 50 billion dollar worth billionaire. Buffet is the object of a cult in the USA. Buffet is closely associated with more than a hundred equally soaring billionaires, including Bill Gates. In the USA, plutocrats form packs.

For those who admire education in the USA, let them me informed that the “cost of attendance” at Georgetown in 2013-2014 is $62,570 (that is at least 20% above the pre-tax median family income in the country). Buffet’s audience is onto the plot of mixing riches, politics, and gouging:

Buffet is the grizzled spider of plutocracy central, trillions of dollars of private wealth, steering the world as it wishes, with the USA’s top politicians “busy taking food out of the mouths of babies,” just to fit in.

Dowd writes:“five years ago, Buffett said at Georgetown, he and Gates began plotting about philanthropy and now they have enrolled 115 plutocrats pledging a majority of their net worth. “I’ve been dialing for dollars…

Plotting plutocrats: Maureen is in love.

People such as Gates and Buffet are celebrated “philanthropists”. Not only do they steal us, but we have to say that’s because they love man.

Christ said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle that for rich men to get to paradise. Gates and Buffet, and all plutocrats of the USA are thus all miracles come alive, we better kneel when those saints are on TV.

The hyper wealthy don’t pay tax, by trickery.

Worldwide, every year, tax evasion by the hyper rich is evaluated to be between 20 and 30 trillion dollars, about half of world GDP. In other words, all the debt problems and problems about paying for the welfare states don’t really exist: they are just the cost of tax evasion by the hyper wealthy.

But there is still a higher category than the mere wealthy: the plutocrats, also known as philanthropists.

Indeed: philanthropists do not pay taxes, legally. When Gates goes to Kenya, as a “philanthropist”, with private security, in a huge private jet (of a company he owns), and stays at the best hotel in Kenya with his hangers-on, and various prostitutes, it’s all… paid by taxpayers. All that luxury and power is viewed as “non profit”. Cute. Then Gates gets to steer the politics of Kenya in the matter of research and makes Kenya buys from private companies in which Gates and his friends are invested. Even cuter. Gates of hell?

Indeed, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have been pushing around onto the world the Genetically Modified Organisms of Monsanto (another name for the Gates Foundation, considering the exchanges of personnel and contracts between both).

The connection with politics, in the USA or worldwide, is how Gates and Buffet more than doubled their wealth in times when vulgar Americans’ worth slipped, big time.

“Philanthropy” has become another name for legalized plutocracy. Big plutocrats are “philanthropists”, by tax evading definition.

Dowd relates Buffet’s ‘enormous’ admiration for those who brought the 2007 crash. Says Buffet:

“I give enormous credit to Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner and frankly, even though I didn’t vote for him, President Bush.”

W.’s “great insight,” one worthy of Adam Smith, Buffet said, was expressed in 10 words in September 2008: “He went out there from the White House and he said, ‘If money doesn’t loosen up this sucker could go down.’ ”

What “sucker”? The Republic? The plutocracy? Is there a difference for Bush or Buffet, or Gates, or Pelosi, or Geithner (and his master Summers and their student, Obama)? Who is “sucking” what? Was the plutocracy “sucking” the Republic, in danger of coming down?

So money was “loosened up”? Which money? The money of the stingy Public. In exchange for what? Here is an explicit example of Buffet’s genius.

Buffet “bought” Goldman Sacks at the lowest price (for $5 billion), days after Lehman, a 158 year old bank failed, and was not rescued. How did Buffet know for sure that  the same treatment was not going to be extended to Goldman? How did Buffet know, for sure, that Goldman, like Lehman, was not going down to zero? Because Hank Paulson used to be CEO of Golman? Or was there more?

Had I been president instead of Bush, I would have waited until Goldman’s price was roughly zero (that would have been a matter of minutes, if the word had come out that no government money was coming), and then nationalized it (by having the government buy all the shares). Buffet would have been wiped out.

But Buffet had no such worries: he knew full well from his friends (the ones above) that they would loosen up $60 billion of PUBLIC money to make that Goldman Sacks sucker float.

USA 2013: Hate Starving Babies, Laud Plutocrats

USA 2013: Hate Starving Babies, Laud Plutocrats

That 60 billion dollar public flush, of course made Buffet very much richer: his shares became more valuable, several times over. Who paid for making Buffet richer? The Public, with its 60 billions, in exchange of which the Public got nothing, except listening to Buffet’s ‘common sense’, and seeing the Main Stream Media and the top politicians, sing the praises of this mafia boss, to high heavens.

So, instead of investing in new science and technology, health care or high speed rail, the Public invested in Buffet and his close associate billionaires (who also invested in Goldman, as they were on heist too).

Sad is a country where “money changers” are viewed as the guiding lights. Nancy Pelosi, head of the democratic party in Congress, laughs that we are “busy taking food out of the mouths of babies.”

And what if it were true? Pelosi, although worth only 1% of Buffet, is immensely rich herself, owning vineyards, ski resorts, etc. A typical top politician of the USA.

What proofs of corruption do we need? How did Pelosi make all this money? She did “fund raising” half of her life, from Marin County, and then ran for office (from said county, I run there often). Just as with Buffet, Pelosi’s father was a professional politician; her own daughter has been launched that way.

FOUNDATIONS are fundamental to the implementation of the politico-plutocratic complex. Foundations allow to implement philanthropy, that is, plutocracy.

How does it work? A Foundation Law was passed the same day as the Income Tax Law nearly a century ago. Foundations don’t have to pay tax, they just have to distribute an amount of capital vastly inferior to what would be taken from them in taxes if they were for profit. So they can grow.

They can pay their personnel heftily, so family members can live rich and happy, on the Foundation’s money, without being hindered by things as base as inheritance tax. Monsanto can also hide behind Gates’s Foundation and tweak research away from what bothers it, at will. Worldwide.

Buffet and Gates, together, control more than $100 billion dollars. With the Gates Foundation, they control nearly $200 billions. Moreover they perniciously leverage this enormous muscle by harnessing public money. Indeed they are the ones who decide how public money is spent. Watch Obama pose as the Gates’ pets in matter of education (the lad wants money when he gets out).

In the USA, the Gates Foundation focuses heavily on “reforming” education. The Gates pose with the (naïve) president as reformers. The net result is a huge discrediting our public schools, and a significant possibility of future “privatization” (another word for plutocratization).

“We’ve got something that works and we don’t want to mess that up… I buy at silly prices… acting foolishly has proven very profitable over the preceding few years … we must figure out how to “share the bounty” said Buffet to his Georgetown audience. Yes, “silliness”, foolishness worked for him, and for his political and plutocratic friends, and their hangers-on.

Yes, here we have 117 plutocrats united to make plutocracy into the tax free foundation for a new world order. They are too idiotic to know that the definition of the old aristocracy, in the Middle-Ages, was precisely that of philanthropists who paid no taxes. (And, very precisely, the French revolution was about making aristocrats, the 2%, pay tax!)

The buy and sell cockroaches, anti-intellectuals such as Gates and Buffet, lead the world into buying and selling itself into oblivion. Because you know what? Being led by cockroaches does not a civilization save. Instead it falls into the Black Hole of the lowest values.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

[Artwork: Thx JM Garland.]

Free To Abuse Some More

September 23, 2013

   … And LEARNING TO LOVE THE MASTERS’ BEATING:

Why do people do what they do? An old question that keeps on moving always, as introspection gets ever more refined.

Krugman feels that Republicans want poor children to go hungry because they are meanspirited (the Republicans, according to Krugman, and the children’s parents, according to some Republicans). However, there is a more sinister explanation: we are all been conditioned. Stealing from the mouths of children is not just a passion, it’s training for greater marvels to come.

Paul Krugman reminds us in “Free To Be Hungry” of “the war on food stamps, which House Republicans have just voted to cut sharply even while voting to increase farm subsidies.”

The food stamp program’s proper name, is the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). In his editorial Krugman recognizes that:

“But, say the usual suspects, the recession ended in 2009. Why hasn’t recovery brought the SNAP rolls down? The answer is, while the recession did indeed officially end in 2009, what we’ve had since then is a recovery of, by and for a small number of people at the top of the income distribution, with none of the gains trickling down to the less fortunate. Adjusted for inflation, the income of the top 1 percent rose 31 percent from 2009 to 2012, but the real income of the bottom 40 percent actually fell 6 percent. Why should food stamp usage have gone down?

I am going to say more shortly about that recession which never ends. SNAP goes mostly to children, or families with children. Krugman concludes that:

SNAP, in short, is public policy at its best. It not only helps those in need; it helps them help themselves. And it has done yeoman work in the economic crisis, mitigating suffering and protecting jobs at a time when all too many policy makers seem determined to do the opposite. So it tells you something that conservatives have singled out this of all programs for special ire.

Even some conservative pundits worry that the war on food stamps, especially combined with the vote to increase farm subsidies, is bad for the G.O.P., because it makes Republicans look like meanspirited class warriors. Indeed it does. And that’s because they are.”

Here is a variation of my comment that Krugman posted right away (I am writing a scathing critique of a fellow NYT editorialist’s love-for-billionaires; that will come later):

Properly measured, what we are going through is a Greater Depression, nothing less. GDP measures how well fracking and the hyper rich, and the financial sector, are doing. They are doing great. However, as the later two are not too invested in the real economy, their fortune has no impact on normal people. 

If one measures it according to employment, especially valuable employment and according to median income, this is an unprecedented downturn.

Some will say: OK for the USA, but what of Ms. Merkel’s wonderful Germany? Are not things looking up there?

Well, contrarily to the pundits’ sing-song, the situation in Germany is actually terrible, arguably the worst in Europe: the demographics are atrocious, the state of education is abominable (especially in light of what Germany used to be), and, finally, selling luxury cars to China is going to work splendidly for, just, another four years, or so (after which time the Chinese will long have learned to drive on… the Moon, and may feel they can build luxury cars on Earth too; don’t laugh, especially if German, or, in general, European).

Hopefully a grand coalition with the German Socialists will orient Europe’s out of Merkel’s snail-vision policies (aggravated by Socialist Hollande next door, who is also playing, one toy at a time).

Obama’s capitulation to Assad and general pusillanimity does not help, as it further the timidity of the spirit. The West is sinking, 1938 style. But there is worse; at least in 1938 (but for France), the economies of the West had mostly recovered.

Here now the recovery systems are themselves exhausted: we can’t lower interest rates, and augment deficit spending wildly, and no plans are in place to lift the economy.

How did we get there? By design. By plutocracy unchained. Starving the People, teaching the less fortunate, and most innocent, of the People to go hungry, is just part of the plot. Once they get used to the abuse, and proud to have survived it, the People will be ready for more. And thus more will come their way. 

It does not look like it, but the party of plutocracy unchained is craftier than it looks. Sometimes, the more brutal, the smarter. All forgers know this. One has to beat the iron when it’s hot, and malleable, just as one has to beat the People when it’s dispirited and confused. In the end the People could well not just tolerate the meanness, but want it some more. 

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/greater-depression/

Patrice Ayme

Gene Obsession

September 21, 2013

Recent discoveries have shown the importance of genetic variations (mostly “alleles”) for (say) physical performance. Many, if not most top sportspersons have a genetic advantage. That’s the dirty secret of sports.

However some have tried to explain everything with genes, or “instinct”, or “innate behavior”. That’s what I call the genes’ obsession. A curious thing, as it’s well known to be erroneous:

Genetic Controls Everything NOT

Genetic Controls Everything NOT

Three patterns observed when studying the influence of genes and environment on traits in individuals. Trait A shows a high sibling correlation, but little heritability. Trait B shows a high heritability since correlation of trait rises sharply with degree of genetic similarity. Trait C shows low heritability, and also low correlations generally. Notice that even identical twins raised in a common family do not show 100% trait correlation.

The curious thing is that the nature versus nurture debate has degenerated. A century ago the autodictat biologist Favre was famous for his studies of insects’ behavior. Skinner and behaviorism tried to displace him, with learning, and then Lorentz and Tinbergen received the Nobel for exhibiting unexpected behaviors in animals, with subtle entanglements of nature and nurture.

What’s the genes’ obsession? It consists into believing that one could code for zillions of behaviors with a few thousand genes. My answer: you don’t, because you can’t. The mind is the answer to nature (as I will show in the next essay).

A particularly silly example of the genes problem is Chomsky’s ‘Universal Grammar’ according to which ‘grammar,’ or linguistic ability, is hard-wired, and comes without being taught.

Even more silly, Richard Dawkins’ Selfish Gene, pushed for the gene-centered view of evolution. Said he: “Be warned that if you wish, as I do, to build a society in which individuals cooperate generously and unselfishly towards a common good, you can expect little help from biological nature.”

Then he contradicted himself: “Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to…”

And how are we going to do that, Mr. Dawkins? If our “biological nature” is to be “born selfish”, how come we can “teach” the opposite? With the help of God? And what of your mother? Was she selfish too?

Dawkins sounds hopelessly confused and dissembling in his “Selfish Gene’ Chapter One. Here is another extract:

“Among animals, man is uniquely dominated by culture, by influences learned and handed down. Some would say that culture is so important that genes, whether selfish or not, are virtually irrelevant to the understanding of human nature. Others would disagree. It all depends where you stand in the debate over ‘nature versus nurture’ as determinants of human attributes. This brings me to the second thing this book is not: it is not an advocacy of one position or another in the nature/nurture controversy. Naturally I have an opinion on this, but I am not going to express it, except insofar as it is implicit in the view of culture that I shall present in the final chapter. If genes really turn out to be totally irrelevant to the determination of modern human behavior, if we really are unique among animals in this respect, it is, at the very least, still interesting to inquire about the rule to which we have so recently become the exception.”

In truth the genetic approach to everything, a la Dawkins, helps nought (as Dawkins more or less recognizes, when lucid enough). Besides, it is completely implausible.

It’s not just that there are other inheritable geometric structures than genes (say: proteins, prions, organelles, etc.).

The result of a few thousand genes may be a million proteins. Impressive. However, that’s it. But it’s simply impossible to imagine how proteins would be transformed into complex behaviors. A pile of construction materials does not a castle make.

That’s why I am anti-Chomsky (although I approve of his hypocritical anti-imperialistic whining)… and anti-Dawkins (although I approve of this anti-theism).

In a way Dawkins, Chomsky and their followers make the mistake theists did before Lamarck’s theory of evolution (erroneously known as Darwin’s theory of evolution).

They believed a deus ex-machina out there, coded for everything, that there is something as “innate behavior”. They understand learning naught. In a way their superstitious attitude is a variant of the “Grace of God” problem of the Seventeenth Century: if God is omnipotent, what have humans to do with it? If genes are omnipotent, what has humanism to do with humanity? How can Dawkins learn anything, if he is just a selfish gene?

As the graph above showed, genes are never omnipotent.

Even suckling is not really “innate”. Any mother finds out that it takes a bit of training on both sides… As I will show next, much, if not most, “instincts” are just, most probably, fast learning.

***

Patrice Ayme

War Inevitable

September 19, 2013

War against Assad will happen, no matter what. It’s ineluctable. Hopefully. Why? Because Assad is a monster. He is nothing else. Monsters don’t stop: such is their nature, that of the scorpion carried by the frog. It will sting, no matter what. Sting, and then sink: what real monsters do.

According to official United Nations statistics, Assad caused the death of at least 110,000 of the citizens he rules over. Already. And millions of refugees, just to stay in power, with the complicity of the world’s richest man, Putin, president for life of the USSR Russia.

Milo: Human Rights Rule

Milo: Human Rights Rule

An entire fourth branch of Assad’s army exists: the chemical army. It has struck with gas at least 34 times. To believe Assad will surrender it is silly. Instead, he will wait for indignation to settle down, before using it again more discreetly, while milking the West’s public opinion with his great will to peace and moderation, the tactic Adolf Hitler used so well in the 1930s, when he found majorities of eager fools to believe him in Anglo-Saxon countries…

It does not matter how much Putin pays pundits in the USA to claim that the universe is the exact opposite to what it is. At some point, Assad, should he be left to his own inclinations, will kill millions. Striking Assad will then become the obvious solution, be it only to help children, and even cowards, and even those who know little, and have no inclination to learn more, will have to assent to the inevitable.

Assad threatened many countries in the past, including France and the USA. He also had Hariri, who was Lebanon most prominent politician (PM ten years, overall) assassinated. Why? Assad said himself! Because Hariri wanted Assad’s army out of Lebanon.

Assad is an angry man. Why? because he knows he is a piece of garbage, and he is desperate about proving the opposite. In a similar fashion, Hitler, another piece of garbage, spoke about setting minorities free, and saving peace. Hitler was desperate about proving he was not the garbage he truly was. Political cover-ups are bad, psychological ones worse, but the latter often impacts the former.

France, could well use Assad’s threats as a casus belli (something that the UN Charter allows).

Another thing: United Nations Chapter VII allows for intervention for humanitarian reasons. France used that override many times (Bosnia, Libya, Ivory Coast). Ultimately, even if the USA chickens out as it did in 1939-1940, the French Republic will go ahead, make her own coalition, and strike. So, in the long run, a strategy as in Libya, with the French air Force doing most of the work while getting some targeting information from the Pentagon, may well happen.

Even The Economist exposed the fiasco of values of “The Weakened West”. It opines that “The deal over Syria’s chemical weapons marks a low for those who cherish freedom“. But it’s not just about freedom.

If France had not attacked Hitler in September 1939, it would be a different world. We would have a world where human rights would be viewed as secondary.  

Certainly it’s doubtful  that Human Rights would have progressed in the USA, if Nazism reigned over much of the world. (Maybe the USA, following the Nazis, would have reintroduced full slavery? Please tell me why not).

(And for those who don’t realize that the French Republic basically fought alone the Nazi-Soviet-Mussolini-Japanese coalition: it took one month for the first British soldier to cross the Channel. A lot of the defeat of France in May-June 1940 had to do not just to the unbelievably small size of the British army, but also to the late arrival of British armor, and the lack of commitment of British reserves, say in the Royal Air Force; that, in turn prevented the arrival of French reserves, say in the Air Force, some of which was as far as… Syria!)

France attacked in 1939 because of Human Rights, and Human Rights triumphed by 1945. And you know what? Human Rights are primary. Well worth fighting for. Even democracy is secondary to Human Rights.

When the Athenian democracy forgot that with the Melians, Athens lost the Peloponnesian War. At least, philosophically speaking.

The genocide in Melos endangered Athens’ own survival. There were more than 1,000 Greek Poleis, and when they saw what Athens did to Melos, and the reasoning the Athenian National Assembly held, something about self-interest being more important than Human Rights, a mood was generated. A mood willing to destroy Athens. (After losing the war, Athens was, paradoxically, saved by her main enemy… Sparta!)

Thucydides wrote the Melian Dialogue to exemplify what he deemed the cause of the defeat: realism. Instead, it should be viewed as unreal to try to make Human Rights secondary. One cannot be of the essence, while denying one’s essence.

***

Patrice Ayme

Unexamined, Unequitable: 9/11/73

September 14, 2013

I do not just believe in Systems of Thoughts but also in Systems of Mood. For example if one installs oneself in a mood of indifference, cruelty, or inequity, that mood, by affecting all of one’s neurochemistry, will pervade all of one’s mental system. This holds not just within individuals, but for entire superorganisms: societies. Logic is punctual, moods are global, they tweak all logics.

Charles Blow contemplates theOccupy Wall Street Legacy, and strikes an optimist note:“The rich have recovered, but the rest still struggle. This cannot long stand.” Yes, the people should stop struggling, and just humbly submit to their Lords before the latter get real angry, as they did on 9/11/1973. That’s when the legal government of Chile was assassinated, and replaced by a made in USA neoconservative butchery.

Major USA Crime Yet Unexamined

Major USA Crime Yet Unexamined

First the Chief of Staff of the army, a constitutionalist, had to be killed. General René Schneider was Army Commander-in-chief at the time of the 1970 Chilean presidential election, in which Salvador Allende won a plurality on September 4, 1970, on his fourth try for the presidency. A congressional vote was required to confirm the winner.

Allende was a Medical Doctor from the upper Chilean society. Having seen misery in hospitals, he founded the Unidad Popular (“Popular Unity”) coalition. He was minister of health in 1938, a deputy and a senator. Contrarily to what is often claimed, Allende was a socialist, not a Marxist. In personal conversations with his closest friends, he never evoked Marx. Allende lived in a mansion.

Hollande, the French president who waged war in Mali and wants to “punir le dictateur Assad“, is also a socialist. Yet he is not from the upper society and does not own a mansion.

The basic problem with Allende was that he was under the misconception that Chili was owned by Chileans.

The CIA spent 2.7 million dollars to defeat Allende in 1964, plus much more millions from Royal houses in Europe, the Vatican, Christian Democratic parties, the Catholic church of the USA, all sorts of frantic plutocrats. The money was used for what the ambassador of the USA, Edward Korry called “an enormous propaganda campaign” (American propaganda campaigns, Korry added, that he witnessed in many countries; even in Europe).

The same strategy was used in Italy in 1948, or Chili in 1970 (this time with a CIA seed of ten millions): create an anti-Socialist terror (source: Nixon’s ambassador to Chile, again).

Incidentally this shows that the concept of plutocracy is all-embracing, and that the Royal Houses are part of it. They should all be unceremoniously replaced by the Republic, and the main reason invoked ought to be, precisely, this sort of criminal conspiracies against humanity that they have been involved in. (Catalonia independencia is a good place to start!)

This is not just dead history: all those who repeat that Allende was a Marxist are still part, consciously or not, of that propaganda, that conspiracy, serving the masters.

Actually Nixon did not call Allende a Marxist. He knew better. Nixon called Allende a “bastard”, a “SOB”. Richard Nixon, the famous criminal,  decided he got a vote too. Nixon ordered that Allende would not go from quasi elected president to president. Nixon ordered the CIA to “smash that bastard” (revealed his ambassador, Edward Korry). Three Chilean generals met with the US ambassador. They informed him that the chief of the Chilean army would strictly follow the Chilean Constitution, and refuse to make a coup.

So Kissinger and Richard Helms (CIA chief) sent weapons and ammunitions to Chiliand personnel to Chili to assassinate general Schneider, October 24, 1970. Some of the weapons were sent by diplomatic pouch (without telling the ambassador). The result surprised Nixon. Full of indignation about that Washington-organized assassination, even rightist Congressmen voted for Allende, who was duly elected president.

Allende launched a program of nationalizations, in particular of USA owned banks and copper mines.  He also launched a national health program, free milk in schools, a pursuit of the land redistribution program already started under his predecessor, Eduardo Frei. Behaving exactly like the Roman Republic of old, the Chilean government limited the latifundia (large farms) to 80 hectares. That too was part of Allende’s electoral platform.

Allende brought up the lowest wages by up to 30%, while slowing inflation by a third. Fiscal spending went up from 21% to 27% of GDP. A huge housing program was launched.

The CIA convinced key Chilean military officers to carry out a coup. USA Defense Intelligence Agency agents secured the missiles used to bombard La Moneda Presidetial Palace (the film of the bombardment is easy to access on the Internet).

In light of all this, what to do with Mr. Blow’s optimism?

“The rich have recovered, but the rest still struggle. This cannot long stand,”  sings Blow. Why could not it stand? After plutocracy took power in Rome, it took more than 1,800 years for the a fully democratic constitution to return, in France in 1789 (contrarily to what Obama claimed last week, the Constitution of the USA, as it allowed for racial slavery until 1865, was not truly democratic). Interestingly, the Roman empire itself had officially returned by 800 CE. Thus democracy is more fragile than plutocracy!

Blows hopes that:“Extreme levels of inequality are politically untenable and morally unacceptable, and that eventually the 99 percent will demand better. “

Well it was unacceptable that the government of the USA would kill high Chilean authorities, just because American plutocrats owned the world’s largest copper mines in Chili. But where is the inquiry? There is a lot of flag waving on 9/11. But how many Americans know there are two 9/11s, and that, in a deep sense, both were engineered at the highest levels of the USA?

The inquiry in the death of the UN general-secretary was recently reopened, 52 years after the fact. Dag Hammarskjöld was shot down by the usual suspects (Anglo-Saxon mining plutocrats) and it was covered-up by the usual suspects (their accomplices in the USA-UK governments).

Unfortunately, instead of reopening the past to examine it carefully, right now the majority seems to be demanding that dictators be allowed to gas children in peace. Instead of asking what happened on 9/11 in 1973, the majority seems to be inspired by Uncle Vlad, the way it used to be inspired by uncle Joe.  

The economic theory in use today is, simply, wrong. First, to measure the economy, it evaluates riches, in other words, how the wealthy are doing.

Salvador Allende, president of Chili, had made a superb discourse at the United Nations, much applauded, where he explained that corporations answered to no one, and were above the law. This is why Nixon  gave the order to “smash Allende“. And Allende was smashed. To this day, how many thousands were killed is unknown.

“Eventually the 99 percent will demand better,” dreams Blow optimistically. However the only reason Martin Luther King was allowed to dream was because president Eisenhower had stood and delivered.

Ike comically said:”Earl [Warren, Supreme Court chief] wants big black negroes to sit next to small white little girls at school.” It was innocuously funny: Ike did send the army to enforce desegregation in schools in the 1950s. He did not ask Congress (against!) or public opinion (against!). The dream came after the fact.

Meanwhile in Chili, the daughters of two generals who were neighbors and good friends until 9/11 are running for the presidency. Ms Matthei’s father, Gen Fernando Matthei became a senior goon of Pinochet.

Ms Bachelet has already been president (one cannot do two presidencies in a row in Chili). She will probably win again (as her first presidency was excellent). Her father, General Alberto Bachelet, remained loyal to the Republican Constitution. He was arrested, tortured and killed. She wants to re-examine what happened on 9/11/73. So things are looking up in Chili.

Less so at that point in the USA. Hence the need for Professor in Chief Obama to enlighten the obscure masses, with basic lessons in ethics and strategy: “crimes against humanity are intolerable, repeat after me!” 

What the 66% have been demanding is that crimes against humanity be left unpunished. Why should the 66% demand an equitable society, when they don’t want to stop a tyrant who gaz children?

In any case, it’s high time for the USA to examine the murderous interference of Nixon in the completely legal government of a country that had been fully constitutionally democratic for about as long as the USA itself. And it’s high time not to forget that the same advisers who were behind Nixon (such as Kissinger and Friedman and Kaiser) were also the creators of the so called neo-liberal order… Which is neither new, nor liberal. But drenched in blood, inequity, misery, and the old tradition of killing people one cannot rob in peace.

***

Patrice Ayme

Vlad The Liar

September 13, 2013

Abstract: Vlad, Russia’s dictator, eggs on Assad, Syria’s butcher, with much more than huge lies. For comic relief, see instead the Daily Show on Vlad the Insulter.

***

Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Prize Laureate and writer, once resident in Auschwitz, went around for years, wondering aloud how the Holocaust could have happened, how incomprehensible it all was. (In my book, “Holocaust” does not mean just 4.5 to 6 million Jews assassinated, but 80 millions killed, including more than 20 millions in 5,000 Nazi “camps”, summer 2013, latest recount).

The Holocaust was the product of public opinion. Goebbels used to joke:“We have a total democracy”. And Hitler laughed:“The old protest against us, but the youth belongs to us”. Hitler was right. In April 1945, American GIs sometimes recruited German school mistresses to call back to order their 14 year old pupils, armed with heavy weapons, shooting at GIs in the middle of Germany.

Now we have a real life contemporary example of the idiocy, madness and cowardice of crowds: watch all the bleating selfish ones lining up behind the closest dictator they can find. As Stalin and Hitler are passed expiration dates, they cling to Vladimir Putin, the dictator for life of Russia.

Putin, the ex-head of the KGB, preaches about peace, while doing war. That’s exactly what Hitler did continually in the 1930s to seduce all Americans, and most Europeans, while grabbing the pie. Most of  Hitler’s discourses were about “peaceand defending minorities. Most Americans believed him.

A dictator talking about peace all the time makes those who talks about human rights sound like war-thirsty bullies.

The New York Public Relation firm Ketchum was asked to write something and present it to the New York Times. Putin gave at least 50 million dollars to Ketchum recently. Yes, Hitler used to do this too, paying Randolph Hearst, and many other newspaper owners, to improve the image of the Reich. It worked.

Putin pontificates that a U.S. strike on ASSad chemical facilities “would constitute an act of aggression,” he wrote in the September 11 New York Times. It would “result in more innocent victims,” “further destabilize the Middle East,” and endanger “the entire system of international law and order.”

Putin, confusing the USA with the French Republic, deplores that “military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States.” Citing Russia as a model of wisdom, he posits: “We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.”

How perverse. A lecture on nonviolence from ASSad’s chief arms supplier. This is an example of Hitler’s Big Lie technique. Let’s check Putin against the facts.

1. Chemical weapons attacks.

There have been at least 34 chemical weapons attack by Assad’s forces. Assad’s army has an entire fourth branch devoted to chemical warfare (“Unit 450“). Spezialized heavy machinery is required to make the neurotoxin through mixing, shortly before use.

In one of the attacks, last April, journalists from the French newspaper Le Monde were among those gazed. They were able to bring back to France samples of Sarin.

Here is Putin, lying through his teeth: “there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.”

That’s, simply insane, there is every reason to believe Putin takes Americans for fools. First, Israel can defend itself (Israel conducted seven air raids over Syria, so far this year, 2013, to prevent weapons going to Hezbollah; one raid was conducted just outside the main chemical weapon facility). The neurotoxin rockets were short range, fired from Assad’s positions, the people gazed were secular, and why would rebels gas themselves and their own children massively?

In any event, Putin supplies no evidence for his claim. An investigative report published Tuesday by Human Rights Watch thoroughly refutes him:

“Our investigation finds that the August 21 attacks were likely chemical weapons attacks using a surface-to-surface rocket system of approximately 330mm in diameter—likely  Syrian-produced—and a Soviet-era 140mm surface-to-surface rocket system to deliver a nerve agent. … The evidence concerning the type of rockets and launchers used in these attacks strongly suggests that these are weapon systems known and documented to be only in the possession of, and used by, Syrian government armed forces. Human Rights Watch and arms experts monitoring the use of weaponry in Syria have not documented Syrian opposition forces to be in the possession of the 140mm and 330mm rockets used in the attack, or their associated launchers. …

The scale and coordinated nature of the two attacks; against opposition-held areas; the presence of government-controlled potential launching sites within range of the targets; the pattern of other recent alleged chemical weapon attacks against opposition-held areas using the same 330mm rocket delivery system; and the documented possession of the 140mm and 330mm rocket systems able to deliver chemical weapons in the government arsenal—all point towards Syrian government responsibility for the attacks. Human Rights Watch has investigated alternative claims that opposition forces themselves were responsible for the August 21 attacks, and has found such claims lacking in credibility and inconsistent with the evidence found at the scene.”

Such statements were initially made by French Intelligence. French Intelligence was right in 2003 about Saddam having no WMDs.

President Bashar Assad’s regime ‘has committed MANY CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY’ which have resulted in ‘a lost generation of children and young people’ in Syria, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said on UN TV, September 13, 1013.

2. Russian Intervention.

From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future,” Putin claims. “We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law.”

A lie. Russia has benn violating International Law by supporting militarily criminals against humanity. Here’s a brief review of Putin’s massive support for dictator Bashar al-Assad. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, During 2008–12 Russia supplied 71 per cent of Syria’s imports of major weapons.”

Human Rights First reports, “In January, 2012, Russia signed a $550 million contract to provide the Assad regime with attack jets capable of hitting civilian targets on the ground.” Then Russia tried “to send four repaired Mi-25 attack helicopters to Syria in June 2012.”

Human Rights Watch sent Syria’s Russian arms supplier a list of human rights abuses perpetrated by Assad using Russian weapons. Human Rights Watch urged Russia to stop sending missiles, fighter jets, and ammunition to Syria, but nothing changed. The Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, a Russian think tank, reports that last year, Russia and its contractors supplied Assad’s surface-to-air missile systems, repaired “at least four Syrian Mi-25 helicopters,” and apparently upgraded Syrian tanks.

The Finnish Institute of International Affairs reported that Russia provided Assad with “20 modernized Mi-25 combat helicopters,” belying Russia’s claims that its arms deliveries were unrelated to the civil war. In June, HRW noted that:

“Russia has continued to send arms to al-Assad—and not only defensive weapons, as Moscow repeatedly claimed. A recently leaked document reported on by the Washington Post shows the Syrian government requesting 20,000 Kalashnikovs and 20,000,000 bullets as recently as March. And a Russian arms manufacturer just claimed that a contract has been signed to deliver at least 10 fighter jets.”

In July, the United Nations’ Independent International Commission of Inquiry for Syria reported a “shipment by the Russian Federation of S-300 missile batteries” to Assad. This week, the commission added that “pre-conflict arms deals between Moscow and Damascus continue to be honored.” Human Rights First notes that “Russian officials said they will not halt arms sales to the Assad regime so long as such sales are not prohibited by the U.N. Security Council.” Russia itself has vetoed that prohibition at the UNSC.

3. “We need to use the United Nations Security Council,” Putin brazenly asserted.

“Preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos.” However, here’s the U.S.A. account of Russia’s behavior, depicted by U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power:

“Since 2011, Russia and China have vetoed three separate Security Council resolutions condemning the Syrian regime’s violence or promoting a political solution to the conflict. This year alone, Russia has blocked at least three statements expressing humanitarian concern and calling for humanitarian access to besieged cities in Syria. And in the past two months, Russia has blocked two resolutions condemning the generic use of chemical weapons and two press statements expressing concern about their use.”

As the pro-inaction Times admits: “From the start of the war two and a half years ago, Russia has been Syria’s strongest backer, using its veto repeatedly to block any meaningful action at the Security Council.” The Finnish report says:

“When the al-Assad regime resorted to the use of military force to suppress growing political unrest in the country, Moscow fiercely resisted initiatives by the Arab and Western countries to adopt the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions condemning the government forces and suggesting the possibility of introducing non-military sanctions against Syria (including an arms embargo). Moscow vetoed the draft UNSC resolutions three times …”

This is confirmed by the report from the Human Rights Watch monitor in Syria:

“We have tried again and again to convince Moscow to play a constructive role to resolve the Syrian crisis—to use its influence with al-Assad to stop the attacks on civilians; to work with the moderate parts of the opposition; to assist with aid delivery to thousands of displaced people in opposition-controlled areas; and to support international efforts to bring war criminals on both sides to justice. … Moscow consistently refused, for example, to support a U.N. Commission of Inquiry into the situation in Syria.”

That’s how Putin behaves. Why? That’s pretty transparent: to insure the safety of Earth’s largest dictatorship, attack is of the essence. Forcing the West to play defense in its core, on the shores of the Mediterranean, is pretty good offense.

***

Patrice Ayme

Black Hole INEQUALITY

September 12, 2013

Krugman rightly denounces “toxic inequality“. One can say much more. Inequality has poisoned civilizations, before. Now it’s even poisoning the planet itself. And much worse will come if corrective measures are not applied.

Inequality is not just a political problem, it’s also a mathematical problem, with dynamics similar to the mathematics of Black Holes. If one falls too deep into it, there is no coming back. Contrarily to what obsolete philosophies said.

Black Hole Plutocracy?

Black Hole Plutocracy?

Here are the three ingredients of this mathematical situation:

a) the fascist instinct. The group pulls together as one mind once the group is under attack. That instinct is more than 50 million years old. It turned primate troops into effective superorganisms able to hold off predators, armed with war minds rather than dangerous bodies.

b) the plutocratic phenomenon. The exponentiation of capital plays a crucial role: the more capital one has, the easier it’s to get more, everything else being equivalent.

Rousseau observed: “Everywhere one looks, man is in chains“. Yet, total democracy is the natural state of man. Indeed, groups in nature are not under attack every day. Thus the fascist state (everybody goose-stepping behind the chief, and thinking, and feeling what the mind of the chief does) ought to be rare, as they ought to appear only in unnatural situations.
Hence, monarchies, tyrannies, aristocracies, theocracies, all types of plutocracies, are not natural states. So how come they keep on appearing? When the Roman Republic grew, it was continually at war, for centuries. Why? because it was fighting to death all sorts of plutocracies surrounding it. Not just Carthage and Hellenistic kingdoms.

When Rome was sacked by Gallic invaders in 387 BCE, the chiefs of that Celtic army were on a giant kleptocratic adventure; Rome struck them as a rich agricultural and herding area, ripe for plunder. Kleptocracy is also a form of plutocracy.

(After Rome paid a huge ransom, the Gallic invaders, were defeated and later annihilated, by the dictator Camillus.)

Plutocracies kept on appearing within civilizations, in the last 7,000 years, from an abuse of the fascist instinct and plutocratic phenomenon out of control. Both fascism and plutocracy are exponential phenomenon. Moreover, they are entangled: plutocrats discover readily enough that fascism is their friend, and that they can foster it with a state of perpetual war. A recent demonstration of this is the Bush’s Patriot Act. The instauration of this state of siege corresponds to rising inequality in the USA.

(In 1979 the income of the top 0.01% was 1.5% of all income in the USA; now it is 5.5%. This means that the wealth of the top .01% in income has been multiplied by a factor of 3.67. In the same period the income of the top 1% went from 9% of all income to 23% of all income. Hence the top 1% are 2.55 times richer. This is all paid by having the lower classes poorer than they used to be.)

The most successful societies were aware of the preceding pitfall, that deadly exponential of wealth and fascism. Thus the Roman Republic put an absolute limit on wealth. It’s no accident that the same Camillus above who defeated the Gallic plutocrats allowed the passage in 376 BCE of the Lex Licinia Sextia that put a limit on the public land (held by the army) that could be acquired by one individual (to a measly 1.3 square kilometer). There was cheating, though, by major plutocrats, and things came to a head under Tiberius Gracchus in 134 BCE. Basically, plutocracy was not lawful in the Republic, and the Gracchi tried to make it so. They failed, and the result was 2,000 years of plutocracy.

However, We The People, when ruled by the few, tend to revolt: see the American and French revolutions. Both succeeded, though, because their oppressors were too civilized. Lack of civilization has allowed the oppression to perdure more in the Orient, all the more as it is entangled there with theocracy. (In the West the break with theocracy occurred when the Roman army of the franks took control in 486 CE: it was a Pagan army!)

So indeed, to keep control, enters:
c) The Dark Side. The oligarchs, threatened by revolution, react by doing whatever it takes to stay in control. No brutality is high enough. See Syria. At that point, “plutocracy” takes its full meaning, as the rule of the worst, the rule of Pluto in all its splendor, the rule of the liar and the invisible, as the Greeks had it, and the astutely vicious as the French had it.

The USA is early in this general degeneracy. However, it is a massive society, and a model. Its faltering is thus of great consequence.

Faced with the infamy of the Dark Side Unchained, the people used to revolt. No tyranny ruled a Greek polis for more than three generations. then it was back to revolution, democracy, etc.

Polybius spoke of this cycling, 22 centuries ago, going through seven stages, as if the mathematics of psychohistory were rigorous. However, History does not always repeat itself. Polybius ought to have known this.

After the well named Macedonian fascist Antipater took control of Greece, Macedonian rule went on until the Roman legions defeated the Macedonian phalanx. Twice. So Greece did not self-liberate (although Greek armies helped the Romans). And indeed Polybius himself was taken hostage by the Romans (before he became friends with the .001% there!)

When plutocrats took control of the Roman republic, they were anxious to keep a republican façade. It would take more than eighteen centuries for constitutional democracy to return (in 1789 CE, simultaneously in France and the USA, the entangled revolutions; yes, no, Britain is NOT the “closest ally” of the USA).

Another example of non cyclicality is what happened to Egypt; after rabid men in black, the Christian monks ravaged Egypt around 400 CE, and burned the world’s largest library, Egypt, which had been a creator of civilization for 3,000 years, never recovered.

Passed a point, the Dark Side overwhelms all. This is what happened in Syria. Syria, fundamentally was just a very bloody hereditary plutocracy. Yet, offered the possibility of fleeing, and enjoying billions stashed away, as Tunisia’s ex-dictator Ben Ali does in Saudi Arabia, Assad chose to escalate the ferocity, well beyond what his father already did.

The same stickiness of horror happened during the Spanish Civil war, originally just a revolt by the Spanish army in the Canaries and Morocco (then leveraged by Hitler, Mussolini, Texaco, and countless American corporations).

After millions were killed, the return to normal in Spain was enforced by a decapitation of the fascist regime by assassination (when ETA executed admiral Carrero Blanco in Operation Ogro, the partial launch into orbit of the dictator), plus an incorporation in the European Union, under severe conditions (a similar scheme, a combination of force and negotiation, could be extended further around the Mediterranean to many a horrendous regime).

Nevertheless we have to keep in sight that the Dark Side, like Black Holes, cannot just suck everything up, but can be indefinitively stable. Whether we like it or not, and be it only because we want to survive, we are in a run-away tech society.

Hence the return of total plutocratic control now would be no cycle, but termination of civilization. Yet, plutocrats are solidly entrenched: just look at Putin, the ex-head of the Soviet KGB, now the hope of masses of naïve fools, just as his (spiritual) grandfather Stalin was in the 1930s.

Why would plutocracy be the end? Because, ultimately plutocracy reigns as the mind of one (or a few), and is no more intelligent than that one (or those few). Whereas democracy is the exact opposite: to exist it has to encompass millions of minds intelligently debating. (That’s why Obama, considering the sorry state of the democracy in the USA, has turned into the Professor In Chief, educating millions so that they can acquire enough intelligence to debate destiny in a half sentient way.)

And that mind of one will have to call to the Dark Side, darker than ever before, to master billions. There would be no limit to how dark things could get.

Plutocracy, entangled with fascism, is this world great Black Hole, and great temptation. See China rushing back to it under Xi. Plutocracy, entangled with fascism, will be resisted through massive force only. be it only intellectually massive force. As Obama just pointed out (in a particular case).

Many philosophies in the past, from Ancient India to the Mayas, to common men wising up, have argued for the Eternal Return of the Same, as Polybius did. This sort of metaphysics is in a way reassuring; do everything wrong, and it will turn out OK in the long run. However science has now debunked this completely: be it geological evolution, atmospheric evolution, biological evolution, or cosmological evolution, the only thing that does not change is change.

Change is your only chance, think accordingly.

***

Patrice Ayme

Context Is Everything

September 11, 2013

A little reminder for the young and naive:

Conspiracies exist, and they can have the most terrible consequences. Young and naive Americans are required to repeat 1,000 times that only nuts believe in conspiracies, so that they can stay eternally young and naive: one steals best from babies’ mouths.

USA president Jimmy Carter gave the (secret) order to attack Afghanistan, July 3, 1979, 22 years before 9/11. The CIA went to Turkey to recruit the extremely wealthy Saudi, Osama Bin Laden, to channel means to wage war in Afghanistan. The CIA and its ilk then taught the Jihadists to avoid clashing directly with the Afghan army by using the dirtiest means, such as bombing girls’ schools.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/usa-attack-against-afghanistan/

More than three millions died, and the war is still going on. Rattlesnakes are naturally bad. Yet, they can be taught to be worse.

A similar situation happened with Iran. The CIA intervened in the early 1950s, to prevent the recovery, by Iranians, of the industry that exploited the country’s oil. Prime Minister Mossadegh wanted to make some nationalizations, so the CIA brought him down. It used the same method as in Egypt or saudi Arabia, and that it would use in Afghanistan; instrumentalize Islam.

So the CIA went to Khomeiny and his fellow Shiah, excited them, financed them, armed them, told them the democratically elected PM wanted to do away with them. Result? Mossadegh eliminated, and the Shah In Shah put in power…

When Khomeiny later decided that he was the Shah, Rumsfeld and his successors vigorously encouraged, and helped, Saddam Hussein to wage war, including chemical war by balistic missiles, against Iran (100,000 Iranians died of the gas alone).

To balance its moral accounting in the Middle East, the government of the USA will have to recognize its instrumentalization of Fundamentalist, Salafist Islam. Among other things that one has to beg forgiveness for.    

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Patrice Ayme