MOODS AS HEGEMONS
Countries are ruled by people, or individuals, who are ruled by philosophies, which are ruled by moods. Some of these moods are superior, others, non-sustainable.
Hegemony Works Only If Its Values Are Right:
In the present Greek crisis, the Greek government just changed its mind again, and decided to roughly accept what it had refused the week before. France was happy, and wanted to jump on the occasion of making a new accord, and forget about the referendum (the subject of which is not clear).
However the German automatons and their Dutch robot, Mr. D, who has been appointed Eurogroup “president” (I guess if Obama and Hollande can be “president”, anybody can! It’s the reign of machines,) mechanically announced that: ‘vee vill not negotiate’ (in an excellent, albeit unwitting, imitation of the Terminator). Heil, meinen Fuerers! It’s funny that the German leaders still don’t get, after all the horrors of the mass atrocities which their numerous, abominably monstrous predecessors, have visited on humanity, that being robotic is adverse to civilization.
“Germany is essentially the hegemon in Europe, but it does not like being seen as running the show,” said Charles Grant, director of the Center for European Reform, a research group in London. Is it “Germany”, the hegemon of Europe, or the USA, or more exactly, the NSA? As Merkel and her goons spy on France, who is the hegemon?
“Essentially”? Was Sparta “essentially” the hegemon of Greece? That was, essentially, an hallucination:
Failed Hegemon: Sparta. Our Ontological Hegemon, Athens:
“Hegemon” is an old Greek concept which, interpreted as it was at the time, caused catastrophic failure of Ancient Greece. “Hegemon” comes from hegeisthai “to lead”. By 500 BCE, the “hegemon” of Greece, after a showdown with Argos, which Sparta won, was viewed to be Sparta. Especially by the Spartans.
It was a question of honor, as far as Ancient Greeks were concerned. Then, honor was more important than life. Yet, when the Persian fascists landed at Marathon, in Attica, Athenian territory, the Spartans did not show up (they were busy with a “festival”, they lamely pretended).
However, thanks to her open society, direct democracy, better demographics, silver mines, higher philosophy and vast influence overseas, let alone her military aggressivity, by 450 BCE, Athens was the real hegemon of Greece. Athens had carried the war against Persia to Egypt, in an effort to free the oldest civilization from Iranian occupation.
Athens had direct democracy. Instead we have an NSAcracy. NSAcracy: the power of NSA. We have freedom, increasingly, albeit, without expression. When people who are not even USA citizens reveal USA war crimes, the full might of the government of the USA come after them (see the case of Assange, among others). Conversely, those who ordered war crimes are the object of no inquiry.
In truth, Sparta was a dying civilization. Yes, civilization. Sparta was so far out, in so many ways, it deserves the label “civilization”. Like all those who drown, Sparta’s actikons were erratic (allying itself with Persia against Athens, was the lowest of the low).
Make no mistake: in some ways, Sparta was more advanced than any other society, worldwide. For example for the status of women: girls, or women exercising in the nude with the boys, or men, was the norm. Athens, and other cities denigrated Sparta for giving so much power to women.
In other ways, Sparta was more than despicable: the Spartan, coming from the mainland to the north, invaded the Peloponnese, and enslaved the natives, the “Helots” reducing them to a very weird condition, both entrusting them, and treating them worse than even slaves were treated in the USA (Helot hunts, search and kill, were organized once a year for young Spartans to refine their skills).
Chose Which Moods Rule, Carefully, Lest You Destroy, And Be Destroyed:
Athens could deploy more than 15,000 hoplites in the field, about 50% more than Sparta at its peak. Athens also had a war fleet of 300 triremes (Sparta had none).
According to Thucydides, the rise of Athens made Sparta livid, and was the cause of the war.
In my opinion, although this opinion is correct, I would add to it the important dimension that Sparta, this racist, exclusive society, was fading quickly.
Sparta constituted a vast coalition, and attacked Athens.
The war lasted 30 years, and devastated Greece. Sparta won only thanks to the enormous support of the giant fascist Persian empire (which Athens had defeated at Marathon). Persia financing allowed Sparta to build a giant fleet, with which it defeated Athens.
Now, where is Sparta? Athens is a metropolis, and many of her ideals rule the planet. Emperor Julian, when already the potential one and only heir to the imperial throne, asked to drop everything, and went to become a student in Athens, 800 years (!) after Sparta’s attack on Athens (by then Sparta had ceased to exist, from its rabidly exclusionary mentality).
Like Sparta, Germany is not really the hegemon. Fading error would be more like it.
Demographics projection show that both the United Kingdom and France will pass Germany relatively soon. Those two countries have more young people than Germany (and more ideas).
Although Germany is not Sparta anymore (see Nazism), it is still, arguably more Sparta, and France more like Athens (the role Francia, then France, played arguably since 356 CE, when the Parisii elected Julian, the anti-Christian Caesar, Augustus.
Germany has been behaving strangely. Merkel apparently was spying on France for the NSA.
Thus the question: where does the cooperation between the Germans and the NSA stop? Is Germany trying, deliberately to sabotage the Euro? The Euro was a French idea, and the French government is, at this point alarmed by German behavior. Who is Merkel working for? The NSA, in more ways than one?
Some say that the Greeks have twice the income and retirement, of say, the Slovaks. However, to halve suddenly Greek wealth and income would, and does lead to tragedies: for example Greeks have to pay 25% of their medical drugs, from their own pocket. If they have no pocket, no drugs, death.
Not to say that Greece is beyond any suspicion. Putting the Greek retirement age much later seems crucial. Early retirement age in Greece is…58. Whereas it’s 65 in Germany.
Now, of course, there are systems of mood. The mood in Europe has been that employment is not a human right, but a chore to be limited as much as possible. And that Greek plutocrats do not pay tax, is just a particular case of this general phenomenon, throughout the West. Factory, castle and artwork owners in the very egalitarian French Republic do not pay significant taxes.
Athens Failed Because Valuable Moods Are Not Enough, Luck Is Necessary:
The best examples of bad luck piling up high caused the catastrophic, but temporary, defeat of France and Britain in May 1940. Athens had even worse luck.
In retrospect, Athens ought to have bent over backwards, and humiliate itself, to wait out Sparta’s quick degeneracy (the number of Spartan hoplites was going down fast).
However, this wisdom was not obvious at the time. Athens lost of the Peloponnese war greatly because of bad luck (not just because of hubris, lack of wisdom, irritating Alcibiades, and bad admirals). A “plague” killed a full third of Athenian military age men, weakening considerably the City-State. But Athenian civilization survived. Although in reduced form, in the most important dimension. To this day.
The Concept Of Hegemon Evolved According To Moods:
The Roman Republic had, essentially, a defensive concept of hegemony. When it became a plutocracy, it switched from defending the law to violating its spirit.
The Roman Republican spirit was symbolized by SPQR, the Senate, and The People of Rome. Namely wisdom of the Ancients, and democracy.
Then the mood changed to celebritism, being ruled, making rulers into gods, kleptocracy, plutocracy, and, finally, Catholicism and terror.
The Franks were not obsessed by the desire to establish hegemony. Officially kings (and queens) of the Franks were elected, and egalitarian inheritance laws made the legacy of power of an oligarchy uncertain, and, or, feeble. This mood penetrated the entire Frankish empire. So, when the “Renovated” Roman Empire was proclaimed at the Winter Solstice of 800, nobody tried to force the Republic of Venice to be part of the empire (although the Franks could have used Venice’s fleet).
Thus, counter-intuitively, the Frankish empire devolved politically afterwards, for centuries. Meanwhile, as we will see a new PHILOSOPHICAL hegemony was growing.
The first serious attempt at political hegemony was thanks to the Spanish-Roman empire Charles Quint (from Bourgogne) was (twice) elected and selected to lead. Then the war Isabella and Ferdinand had launched with France, blossomed in a monster that complicated the on-going hostility between France and her English erstwhile colony.
By 1600 CE, France was in the middle of an all-out war with Spain that would result in the independance of the Netherlands, and the independence of german states and Austria. By then the glories of hegemony were sung on all rooftops, as the concept, at least to the French, appeared to be a guarantor of security.
Unfortunately, in the next round, financially leveraged (ironically, thanks to the Dutch invasion of England) plutocracy defeated systematically France in two world wars (1756-1763 and 1792-1815). France won the middle war, which created the USA.
Meanwhile English plutocratic conspiring blew Prussia (and hence its evil mindset) out of all proportions. It looked as a good deal, for a long time. Prussia beat France twice in a row (1814-1815 and 1870-71), weakening the old European hegemon, France, considerably.
At Waterloo, the modest British force of 25,000 soldiers won, thanks to the much more numerous Prussian armies (which with other Germans brought the total to 118,000). That allowed to establish a worldwide British empire which lasted a century.
However, Britannia, France’s daughter, found itself confronted to a Prussian-German hegemon with a terribly evil mindset, which went berserk in 1914, after plotting its madness carefully.
So How Did Western Civilization Come To Be? Became An Hegemon?
The answer is simple: Europe became a philosophical hegemon, through tremendous mental diversity. As political hegemony weakened, philosophical hegemony grew. How does philosophy lead? Naturally, philosophy leads the more, the more it embraces reality, that is, the more multidimensional it gets. This is the big difference with China, which was pretty mono-philosophical.
Chinese philosophy rested mostly on Confucius (with a sprinkling of Lao Tze and Mencius). Its diversity fed European philosophical hegemony. And it’s not finished. Indeed, we are not even respecting Athens’ full inheritance. Be it only in politics. High time for Athena to trample underfoot the robots of high finance and their miserable conspiracies (one of them to admit the Drachma at twice its rate for conversion into Euro, and another conspiracy being to propose a “bailout” that was truly a bail-out of greedy banksters, and a killer of the socio-economy).
The diversity of philosophical moods presiding over human destinies has made Europe rich and powerful. By forcing Greece in a Wall Street straightjacket, a vast conspiracy of the mediocre wants to impoverish and weaken the cradle of civilization. In a mood of gathering plutocracy, it makes sense. The sense of going down the abyss of self-destruction of all civilization, starting with the annihilation of imagination.