Archive for April, 2018

Order Of The Day: Elated Or Discouraged? (Pondering Éric Vuillard’s L’Ordre Du Jour)

April 28, 2018

Abstract: a small French book got the French top literary prize for exposing partly, and on a very small, (carefully?) biased, amputated scale, what yours truly has blared about in a much larger, all-encompassing, exuberant manner: Nazism was not just about, and born of, Germany, but a much more global and sinister phenomenon… Still at work today, arguably, more than ever! The idea that the few, intrinsically superior, should reign over the many. Thus not just a matter of plutocrats and corporations, but a way of thinking, or, rather, not thinking… Nazism’s fundamental principle was that the few has the right to do as they pleased with the many (the essence of the evil side of colonialism; justified, like the most vicious colonialism by a version of evolution, of Darwinism, dating back from Papal pronouncements in the Middle Ages!)

Hence Nazism was not a “populist” movement: that was what the three millions “SA” were led to believe, hiding the truth. 

Verily, it was the elite, and to a crucial enabling extent, the Anglo-Saxon elite (some straight from Wall Street) which propelled Nazism. Globalists want this fact to be hidden absolutely, lest an enlightening perspective throws a sinister light on the present rise of inequality. 

(Realizing that banks such as JP Morgan enabled Nazism would lead to reconsider the same banks, or banking in general, more severely today; This has to be kept in mind as popular movements everywhere are accused of fascism and “populism”; the fascism of the 1930s was actually energized by the elite, from Japan, to italy, to germany. In the latter two cases, US involvement was crucial.)

My point of view, that the elite engineered fascism, (not surprisingly, as it is intrinsically fascist!) is gaining ground! Should I be elated, to see my viewpoint progress, or discouraged, as others get famous prizes for saying only a fraction , however valuable, of what I say yet… as it, what the prize gatherers say, is carefully engineered to leave the elite ideology sustaining the present evil socio-economy in place?

Éric Vuillard wrote a historical narration about the shady deals, business, social or military, behind the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938.

I have written plenty on the involvement of the powers, of the “elites”, that be, in the deadliest conflicts of the Twentieth Century. I claimed that those massacres, including various holocausts,  didn’t happen by accident, but by elitist conspiracies, in plain sight (whereas textbook versions prefer to claim that World War One was an accident, and WWII sprung out because of the Versailles Treaty, both egregious lies). It doesn’t mean that I believe the elites plotted the death camps… But very close to it: they conspired to make them possible: they breathed together to make something like that possible. And the best proof is that, when they knew about it, for sure, they did nothing about it (bombing, or simply speaking of the ongoing holocausts was not hard to do… they didn’t, because they were on to it!)  

Vuillard lifts up a tiny piece of the bloody veil. It will help the selling of his book in the USA, the world’s largest market, that no American was hurt or endangered in Vuillard’s exposition. (In truth one can allege that the main force behind WWI and WWII, besides German idiocy, was US manipulation, a manipulation by the world’s wealthiest and most manipulative men… And the “moral persons” they brought up… which still rule…)

Those massacres of the world war 1914-1945 happened mostly because the way we are, our ancestors were, trained to think and feel, or not to think and not to feel, by the elite brings us to injure ourselves, as intended. We are imprinted to desire to injure ourselves, even as we desire to read what we do. The so-called representative “democracies” we are subjected to, are part of the plot. Actually they are just a front for raw plutocracy.

Hitler and British Prime Minister Chamberlain in Hitler’s Munich apartment. Eva Braun giggled when she saw such pictures, saying that Chamberlain couldn’t imagine what happened on that sofa. The entanglement of British high society and hyper nationalistic and business circles in Germany, was only outclassed by the US financial, technological and economic entanglement. It resulted in the British-Nazi Treaty of 1935, and the US refusal to seriously oppose Nazism, until Hitler declared war to the USA, December 11, 1941, 4 days after Pearl Harbor… The British and US American elites, by hindering the French Republic, were arguably even more helpful to Hitler, than the German elite (an allusion to Churchill’s 1929 threats against France, pre-Nazism, when France discovered that Germany was secretly re-arming, violating the Versailles Treaty… or the 1935 Naval Treaty…)

Should I be discouraged, or encouraged that a tiny fellow birdie, singing a song reminiscent of mine, was rewarded for his little tweeting, while my thunderous orchestra against conventional thinking and deviant, plutocratic-serving history is ignored on the grandest scale?

Well, it took centuries for Confucius to be noticed out of the complete obscurity his work enjoyed (not that Confucius should have been noticed; he got noticed, precisely because he served a certain type of establishment, which didn’t serve China very well, as was noticed several times by Chinese leaders, in the last 24 centuries…).

Great thoughts, like great stars, take a long time to reach out and enlighten humans… It’s not that we didn’t die, we always do, it’s how we thought, which makes a long-term difference.

***

A novel look at history in novel form:

I rarely read so-called “novels”, those works which allow some people to make a lot of money, and others to forget reality, or, even learn to enjoy the worst it has to offer: the Harry Potter novelist in Britain made more than a billion pounds, dollars, or euros. Harry Potter (I am no specialist) seems to be a glorification of the British class structure (plutocracy), installing it upon the non-demystified science of witchcraft (British plutocracy used to rest strongly upon Christianism, but that’s full of cracks). Thus Harry Potter was very useful to the establishment, on both sides o the Atlantic, and was naturally promoted as indispensable to form well-balanced youth, ready to serve their better.

France has a prestigious book prize, the Goncourt. The Goncourt is a sort of internal to France Nobel of literature; it may be less corrupt than the Nobel Prize itself… although that’s not a tall order: prizes with the name “Nobel” attached have been immensely corrupt: the literature Nobel is shaken presently by a huge corruption scandal, et prizes such as the one in economy are devoted to the Neo-Liberal order of things, the exact same one ruling today… As the latest Goncourt itself concludes…

What, isn’t the Goncourt given to novels? The Goncourt 2017 was given to “L’Ordre du Jour” (The Order of the Day”). It is described on its first page not as a novel (French ‘roman”), but as a  “ récit” (a narration; the sense of “tale” for récit, as some dictionaries have it, is too restrictive). And a narration it is!

***

The Order of the Day:

February 20, 1933, under an icy sun during a harsh Berlin winter: a meeting of twenty-four German captains of industry, Krupp, Von Opel, and heads of Siemens, Allianz, Bayer, IG Farben, with senior Nazi officials is held secretly in the plush lounge of the German Parliament, the Reichstag. Nazi officials, at the invitation of the Reichstag president, the mesmerizing Hermann Goering, a famous WWI ace, want funds to help the National Socialist Party, already in power, to win more elections, increasing the power of its Chancellor, Hitler, even more. This opening scene sets a tone of respectful, dignified consent to the worst abuses of power, and thus to the worst possible repercussions, no questions asked. Plutocracy at its best: see no evil, hear no evil, talk no evil.

Krupp. Top prize, for a tiny piece of Nazi history, and a very limited analysis. Yet, Vuillard drives some important points across: the entanglement of the elites, and how easily it should have been to stop Nazism…

(As it is, the Marxists long considered that Nazism was the fruit of a conspiracy between “monopoly capitalist” and the Junker class (typically old Prussian aristocrats, often known as “Freiherr”).

The book describes the encouraging consent of German captains of industry to Nazism in 1938. It misses entirely the gigantic and crucial financing of the Nazis by Henry Ford and other US corporations and powerful financiers, as early as the early 1920s… Or even prior, the crucial influence of important Anglo-Saxon intellectuals (Keynes) or leaders (Wilson). (Tellingly, the Marxists missed that one too… because they also profited from US plutocracy in Moscow… It would not have looked good to let it be known that the Soviets were US plutocracy propelled… As the Yalta Treaty made it lain for all to see, and nobody to observe, but for De Gaulle and assorted French…)

The argument I made, as forcefully as I could, was that Nazism was not just about, and born of, Germany, but a much more global and sinister movement… Still at work today, more than ever. And not just a matter of plutocrats and corporations, but a way of thinking, or, rather, not thinking… A principle that the few has the right to exploit the many (the essence of the evil side of colonialism).

***

The vicious, arrogant and manipulative Joachim Von Ribbentrop, long a top social feature in London. Von Rib was hanged slowly at Nuremberg (good!) In the 1930s, UK Prime Minister Chamberlain rented his London residence, a sumptuous apartment at 27 Eaton Square, to Nazi Ambassador von Ribbentrop. This seems extraordinary, and exemplifies the connivence of the plutocrats Nazi or British (Von Ribbentrop and Chamberlain, who grew sisal in the Bahamas, both had extremely wealthy families.)

***

The Nazis were bottle-fed by Anglo-Saxons capitalists, politicians, and Lords:

Lord Keynes, pillar of the Neo-Liberal order, invented in 1919 the racist and Nazi thesis that the Versailles Treaty would be disastrous for the economy in general and the universe, in particular, considering the obvious subhuman status of Poles, and Czechs, relative to Germans. The Nazis, once born, thanks to Ford, gobbled that one up. US students are still running away with it, as the headless chickens they all too often are.

Famously, Bertrand Russell, the philosopher was detained for 18 months in World War One, and was otherwise restricted by authorities for insisting in writing that Europe would be better off, ruled by the Kaiser, and submitting to him. He considered democracy no better than “to uphold the inherent canine right of running on the pavement (democracy)”.… And considered wise and glorious to act just as the 24 captains of German industry did with Goering: bend to the will of the mighty (that was self-serving, as Bertrand Russell was one of the mightiest Lords in Britain).

Nazism was even procreated by a collective effort of many of the mightiest Anglo-Saxons: not only was Henry Ford a virulent anti-Jewish racist, but US president Wilson, a power on the side of the racist, imperial Second Reich, made possible a prolonged World War One (by feeding vital materials to the Kaiser’s fascist, war criminal military machine, for three long years, before taking possession of the Franco-British victory of 1918, with a timely betrayal of his fellow racists…). In the 1920s, Germany was thoroughly penetrated and managed by US agents (Dr. Schacht)  and their plans.

The Dawes and Young plans profited spectacularly to Germany, by injecting capital in the German industry, while hobbling the French one, by starving it of coal… many French coal mines had been destroyed by the Germans in WWI, so the US alleviated the compensations Germany should have paid; by 1926, thanks to the US Wall Street and government combined, German steel industry dominated Europe, and Germany was flushed with US capital… The half-brother of PM Chamberlain, also called Chamberlain, got the Nobel Peace Prize, with Dawes, for the plan which made Germany a super power as early as 1926, ready to crush France. One has to realize that Weimar was still called the “Second Reich” and was not really a Republic (whereas France was). 

***

The march of Nazism was anything but straightforward:  

March 12, 1938, a bitterly cold day, the annexation of Austria is on the menu, Hitler is shivering with excitement: A grotesque day intended to demonstrate the march of history to the entire planet. The thousand-year Reich: the newsreels capture a formidable motorized army on the move, a terrible, inexorable power. But hidden behind Goebbels’s splendid propaganda, an ersatz Blitzkrieg unfolds, the Panzers breaking down en masse on the roads into Austria, have to be pushed to the side to let the delayed motorcade of a contemptuous Hitler pass.

The “Ordre du Jour” looks behind the bland official scenes found in conventional, unreal, soporific books everybody knows… which are designed to further the propaganda that the Anglo-Saxon elites (Churchill!) saved the world (whereas it’s just the opposite, they betrayed civilization, and they were much higher in the hierarchy of power than Hitler…) Vuillard’s book shows (part of) the manipulation, hubris, and greed that together led to Nazi Germany’s mad drive to world war, and its rage to destroy all in the way.

(By the way, I have a wonderful explanation, so far published only in Quora, explaining the astounding Nazi mass criminal madness: the Nazis knew they had lost, as early as September 3, 1939 (!), when the democracy with the strongest army, the French Republic, and the one with the strongest Navy, the UK, declared war to Nazism. It meant death to Nazis, something they didn’t expect, they felt betrayed… In great part because of Von Ribbentrop’s assurances, that the British would not go to war (and thus France won’t dare, as in 1936, when the Nazis invaded Spain). The whole idea of British diplomacy in the 1930s was that the Nazis would be free to go enslave the Slavs, who, as their name indicates, are made for slavery. Keynes, the Neo-Liberal hero, a linchpin of the Anglo-Saxon elite, to this day, a lynch-pin, had written an anti-Versailles Treaty, anti-French pamphlet, prior to the creation of the Nazi Party, by several years, explaining that the racial inferiority of the Slavs would ruin Europe, if those Slavic slaves, in particular those base and messy Poles, were not ruled by Germany.

On September 3, 1939, the Nazis suddenly realized that they faced extermination: how could they resist France and Britain? That certainty that they were going to eliminated like insects drove the Nazis lethally mad, all they wanted thereafter was not to win a war they were sure to lose, but to cause as much damage as possible (whereas France and Britain fought the war with the intent to win it in the long run; as it turned out they were overconfident on May 10, 1940, and paid a heavy price: a long-term certain win turned into a disastrous defeat, in just 5 days…)

The “Order of the Day” is mostly centered on the last few hours before and during the annexation of Austria. It dismantles the myth of an effortless victory. Instead it accentuates the plutocratic conspiracy in control, which made it all possible… but barely.

And it’s not different now! The “Ordre du Jour” offers a dire warning for those indifferent to our current political crisis… said present crisis is driven not just by the same forces, but the exact same actors, the same “moral persons”, truly giant corporations with their own greedy minds (“moral person” is an ironical label, some would erroneously say). And worst of all, by the same ideology, the same ways of not thinking upon what is really important, and, instead, concentrating on stupid escapism (considers all the money and propaganda on media sports). Those “moral persons” drove the world then, as they do, now… Indeed at the end, the author points out a number of German corporations, more powerful than ever, all of which made Hitler possible. Then… for the same reason they have now.

But are these corporations just and only “German”, as Vuillard (implicitly) has it? Just German? (This Vuillard position is straight from the old position of the French Communists and their ilk, in the 1950s… At the time, few dared to vocalize US involvement in Nazism, it was definitively not PC, and the situation has not changed much: Vuillard charges the British, but not the US; when Austria was annexed, FDR had nominated pro-Nazi ambassadors… Especially in London and Berlin…)

The most significant truth about Hitler: Hitler was crucially made possible not by his connection to just Britain, but, more insidiously and importantly, to his connections with the USA, and they went both ways. This is so embarrassing, everybody wants not to know about it… However, one can’t understand today’s global plutocracy without understanding which evil order,between the US plutocracy and the Nazi plutocracy, was vassal to the other… Hint: size matters… (And Vuillard has become part of this obscurantist plot, whether he knows it, or not, by talking only of a few Brits connected to the Nazis… Much, if not most of the Nazi economy was US built… Certainly most of Franco’s fascist economy was US built…)

The careful readers of this site will scoff about ignoring the USA. What made World War Two possible, what made a number of Nazi victories possible, what made possible the occupation of most of Europe by the Nazis and their allied regimes were two things.

One of them the bad luck of the French army (bad commander with a foolhardy strategy as his second in command pointed out before the disaster, plus strokes of genius on the part of Hitler, and Nazi generals Von Manstein and Guderian, plus plain extreme bad luck). But extreme French bad luck during five days in May 1940 (May 10 to May 15) doesn’t  explain the occupation of Europe: France had lost a huge battle, all it best armies, but its Navy and Air Force were mostly intact, and the Nazis had suffered severe losses. French forces could have evacuated to North Africa, and fight from there indefinitely.

And the second thing which led the French to ask the Nazis for a cease-fire (just a cease-fire, a temporary, localized cessation of hostilities, not even an armistice; as it happened, hostilities between the Nazis and French forces restarted within two years, spectacularly, at Bir Hakeim, even before the first shot between US and Nazis…) was the attitude of the cowardly, calculating and amoral USA (the highest principle of which was to take care of its commanding plutocrats; the media, plutocratically owned, had made the US American people hostile to those who were hostile to Hitler… like the French). The way many leaders of France, for example Marshal Philippe Pétain probably saw it: why would France fight fascism to death again, suffering enormous losses, depressing French demographics, killing or wounding most Frenchmen, while the USA watched sanctimoniously, ready to steal victory again? (As it was, the total French losses in lives were much higher than the US were, especially as one considers, as one should, the entire French empire, not just Metropolitan France; total number killed, in the entire French empire, from Morocco to Indochina, Norway to Libya, was probably over 3 millions; the USA lost 418,500 lives, total, mostly soldiers as only 1,700 civilian were killed.)

Here is the fundamental question: Second World War: cui buono (for whom does that feel good)? It is the attitude of the USA which brought the French Republic to ask for a ceasefire. And the USA, far from being driven by a love for peace and quiet, as was alleged then, and is alleged in textbooks, was driven by the exact same actors or their ilk, who were driving Hitler, and whom  Éric Vuillard’s “L’Ordre du Jour” doesn’t mention. At all. Will to please the Hyper Power, the USA, or just plain ignorance? Or both? Would Vuillard have got the Goncourt if he had mentioned US plutocrats? Is that same greed and respect for order who drove the 24 supporters of Hitler, resurfacing?

Instead Vuillard charges British PM Chamberlain to the max. Chamberlain has become a safe villain of history. Chamber-villain? Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement with the Nazis was revealed in 2011 to have gone much further than textbooks had it (in 2011, secret service MI5 documents came out of secrecy, revealing some more of what had been hidden when Chamberlain worked up to 1938 with the Nazis to make said nazis more enticing to UK public opinion… BTW, the link contains minor factual secondary mistakes, such as Churchill always opposing appeasement: he didn’t… in the 1920s…)

***

Einstein Saw “No Hope” Coming From Appeasement:

Some will say insight is easy. But actually, the march to folly of the German Reichs was very clear to Nietzsche in the 1880s, and to many other intellectuals. In 1919, at the Versailles Peace Conference, the Second German Reich had understood so little, it mulled going back to war (as if it could wage it!). Clemenceau, the French PM said: mark my words, the Germans will attack us again within 20 years.

Albert Einstein wrote from Princeton, USA, on October 11 1938: “You have confidence in the British and even Chamberlain? ‘Oh holy innocence’… Hoping that Hitler might let off steam by attacking Russia, he sacrifices Eastern Europe. But we will come to see once more that shrewdness does not win in the long-term… In France, [British PM Neville Chamberlain] pushed the left into a corner and, in France as well, helped give power to those people whose motto is ‘better Hitler than the Reds’. Now he saved Hitler in the nick of time by crowning himself with the wreath of love of peace and inducing France to betray the Czechs. He did all this in such a clever way that he deceived most people, even you (unfortunately). I do not have any hope left for the future of Europe.”

Conventional Wisdom presents PM Chamberlain often as clueless. He was not. Chamberlain was deliberately following orders from the Anglo-Saxon elite. Chamberlain deliberately fostered the British and US elite, at the cost of all the rest. Similarly Churchill, who was half-US born, fostered US-UK rule with an extremely attitude hostile to the French Republic in the 1920s, when France saw Germany was re-arming, and pondered taking action to stop that nonsense. (Although the bilingual Churchill loved France, he threatened to bomb France in 1929 if France attacked Germany! In 1944, he would have his sadomasochistic wish, with giant, useless bombings of French cities, such as the annihilation of Le Havre, after Paris had been liberated. Annihilating Le Havre with 80,000 tons of bombs killed more than 5,000 civilians…)

Like his half-brother, PM Chamberlain was part of vast, entangled conspiracies the Anglo-Saxon elites engineered to instrumentalize Germany to serve their own rule…

Whether they all did it deliberately is another matter; let’s just observe that the British elite was racist and anti-Republican, and the US elite was racist and exploitative; none of these psychological auras mixed too well with the official credo of the French Republic, libertéégalitéfraternité. A meta-psychological Anglo-Saxon conspiracy of a form of meta-racism: the Nazis were much inspired and encouraged by the way US Americans had “treated” the American Natives, it was their plan to do the same. The Nazis were much encouraged by the 4,000 or so, official “lynchings” US racists directed to “colored people” and their supporters. What the Nazis, and proto-Nazis didn’t realize is that, doing so, they crossed themselves and became the ones targeted to exploitation, and a useful stage for world domination by smarter than them…

***

The true behind-the-scenes account of the Anschluss reveals a patchwork of minor flourishes of strength and fine words, fevered telephone calls, the most vulgar bullying and life threatening threats, propelled by the absurdly gigantic powers a few men have been endowed with, so they can abuse them.

Not just Hitler is endowed with giant powers, but the Austrian PM and President, but also British PM Chamberlain… And it should have been easy to stop: why didn’t the French Republic declare war and attack? (Well the answer is that France was afraid of the… USA, not Hitler! Displeasing the Nazis was nothing: they deserved to die… but the USA was France’s own child… At least, so I think, in my national psychoanalysis… If Macron and Trump had been leading France and the US in 1938, Hitler would have been finished in three weeks!)

The real picture presented by “The Order of the Day” is an abomination, mostly caused by these enormous powers a few individuals have been conferred with (Hitler started as an elected Chancellor, below an elected President, Hindenburg).  

Thus history reveal a starkly different picture. It is not strength of character, justice or the determination We The People that wins the day, but rather a combination of intimidation and bluff which impresses We the Sheeple so much, they go bleating wherever their leaders have decided they should go.

Vuillard points out the Nazi tanks are mechanically unworthy, tin cans with little armor, and all too small guns… What he doesn’t say is that they won in 1940, mostly because of sheer luck. And genius. Hitler’s evil genius, gambling the Reich on stabbing the French army from behind…

***

“L’Ordre Du Jour”, A Good Lesson Missing The Main Point! US!

With this small portion of a vivid, compelling history, Éric Vuillard wants to warn us against the peril of willful blind acquiescence, and offers a reminder that, ultimately, the worst is not inescapable (the Nazi machine could have been easily destroyed at this point; Vuillard touches on that when he describes the pathetic Nazi tanks; Vuillard doesn’t say, but it’s true, France had three times as many tanks as Hitler, and the French tanks were often incomparably better; only an extremely faulty strategy brought the French defeat during 5 days in May 1940…).

Yet, Vuillard misses the main point: the extent to which truly global plutocracy was involved in the ascent, and ephemeral triumph, of the Nazis. Yes, that means US!

Vuillard doesn’t mention, probably because he doesn’t know, US conspiracies, hidden behind prestigious titles, such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Institute, which directly funded Nazi eugenics projects in the early ’30s?

That’s not excusable. By omitting the main Anglo-Saxon promoters of Nazism, Vuillard, and conventional historians omit some of the main causes of Nazism. Worse: he omits the causes which escaped discovery and destruction, and are running rampant today. Even Lenin himself let it be known that the capitalists were so greedy that they would sell the rope to hang them up with (although some contest that Lenin said it that prettily, words to this effect were found in his personal papers, evoking “suicide” rather than a rope).

***

US Plutocrats loved all fascists, red or black, color blind:

The early USSR was supported crucially by US capitalists such as Armand Hammer or the Harriman Brothers…. All of them from the Democratic plantation!  Such plutocrats indeed made up the Democratic Party (Hammer, a promoter of Nixon, promoted the Gore family, father and son, who became Senator and VP of the USA…)

The Harriman brothers’ banking business was the main Wall Street connection for German companies and the varied U.S. financial interests of Fritz Thyssen, who was a financial backer of the Nazi party. The Thyssen group was all-powerful then, still is now. The Brown Brother Harriman banking business helped make the Nazis all they could be, and had 5 trillion dollars under management now (2018). The Roosevelt family was closest friends to all these characters, hence explaining President FDR singular ineffectiveness at opposing fascism, and his hatred of the French Republic.     

FDR loved Mussolini: “‘I don’t mind telling you in confidence,’ FDR remarked to a White House correspondent, ‘that I am keeping in fairly close touch with that admirable Italian gentleman'”FDR was not kidding: his advisers were gushing about Mussolini’s policies.  Implicit US support is exactly why the “admirable Italian gentleman” attacked the French Republic in June 1940, breaking his teeth on the Maginot Line, and why the admirable gentleman was hanged from an US gas station in Milan by the Italian Resistance. A plethora of the US largest corporations splurged through the fascist regimes of Europe, from the USSR, to Franco’s Spain, fascist italy, Nazi Germany. Franco, a general promoted by Hitler and Mussolini, superficially, was, actually the tool of US plutocrats, who enabled him to seize power. That was so true, that, after killing millions of Spaniards, Basques and Catalans, Franco knew his true sponsors would win, and played a sly double game in World War Two (enabling thousands of precious Allied pilots escape from France, by cooperating with the French resistance, rather than Hitler)  

Eric Vuillard touches barely a small aspect of Nazism, and restricts international considerations, or, more exactly, international conspiracies, to Chamberlain renting his flat to Von Ribbentrop. Actually Great Britain collaborated with the Nazis to a much greater scale than that, to such a scale that the British elite was an active accomplice, of Nazism, until it got the feeling it was on the wrong side of history, and got the courage to throw out the Nazi king in 1936 (but Hollywood movies turn the turn of Britain away from Nazism into a problem about stuttering and a divorcee, thus creating a new generation of imbeciles)

***

Six Months After Hitler Invaded Austria, UK PM Chamberlain Gave Czechoslovakia To Hitler, with implicit US Approval:

Hitler said he would only take the Sudentenland and if Czechoslovakia falls apart, then he would govern it. The other three agreed to this. Chamberlain went back to London with the piece of paper, securing “Peace in our Time”. Once again, France couldn’t go to war without even US, or British moral support. If France had declared war, alone, with the Czechs for allies, only, France would have lost moral supremacy. However, militarily, France + Czechoslovakia could have probably held back the Nazis: together they had four times the number of tanks of the Nazis, and much much better ones. Moreover, the French had shared their weaponry with the Czechs, so, after the Nazis took control of these weapons, not only did their armaments doubled, but they learned French military tricks and equipments…

***

Can one seduce evil? The collaborators of evil pretend it can be done, and so did Bertrand Russell:

In 1915, in the middle of a war planned and launched by German plutocrats and their chief, the grandson of Queen Victoria, Kaiser Wilhelm, and sustained by the USA’s crucial material support, Bertrand Russell, the philosopher, imagines a situation in which British people, having been thoroughly educated in the principles of passive resistance, opposed their civil and moral fortitude against the brutal force of German occupiers. There would be a few killings and many injustices, but far fewer than in the present conflict, the active resistance by democratic armies to the Kaiser’s aggressing dictatorship, since, Russell pretends with an obscene naivety: “there would be no glory to be won, not even enough to earn one iron cross. The Germans could not congratulate themselves upon their military prowess, or imagine that they were displaying the stern self-abnegation believed to be shown by willingness to die in the fight”.

(All Russell shows here is that he finds most natural to be motivated by glory… thus Russell is unwittingly psychoprobing Russell, uncovering the fact that vainglory was his main motivation… that would explain his womanizing, among other things….) After some time, having realized that they couldn’t govern without the consent of the indigenous population (!), the invading Germans would have to leave and go home, said the elite, thoroughly deluded and deluding philosopher. Russell, self-hypnotizing, persuaded himself that, confronted to crushing British dignity, the dictator who launched a world war would have no choice but to turn back home…

Unfortunately for that idiotic flight of fancy, German occupation happened in many countries, and killed millions. Bertrand Russell was, on this subject, a dishonest creep, who should have been, and was put in jail: the attack and invasion of Belgium, in August 1914, killed under atrocious circumstances, thousands of Belgian citizens, deliberately, some as young as two years old. Russell, Mr. Philosopher, should have read the newspapers…

But, of course, the 24 plutocrats Vuillard talked of, believed in the dignified fortitude Russell advocated: it is a convenient excuse. So did the US government officials who turned back, to their death, thousands of Jewish refugees.  

***

We desire to see you tortured to death… Bear with us…

As Bertrand Russell put it in his Nobel acceptance speech:”All human activity is prompted by desire. There is a wholly fallacious theory advanced by some earnest moralists to the effect that it is possible to resist desire in the interests of duty and moral principle. I say this is fallacious, not because no man ever acts from a sense of duty, but because duty has no hold on him unless he desires to be dutiful. If you wish to know what men will do, you must know not only, or principally, their material circumstances, but rather the whole system of their desires with their relative strengths.”

(Right, and this is exactly how I can know what motivated Lord Russell… By knowing his desires, we can backtrack his reasons).

All human activity is prompted by desire. Yet, desire can be taught. People prefer to read the made-up mysteries of novelists.

I gave the Vuillard “Order du Jour” book to my ailing mom in her clinic. She read it within hours, but didn’t comment. She knows how my writings on WWII. She knows all too well she saved more than 100 Jews then, and was pursued by the Gestapo. She knows of people who were arrested, tortured to death, and of others who were saved, and should have died instead. She knows of fortunes who were made, saved in part by her actions. She always refused to take any action to get herself and her family the  Juste parmi les nations” חסיד אומות העולם, Hasid Ummot Ha-‘Olam. She just wants to forget the horrors. It’s her ultimate desire. So she prefers to read Mary Higgins Clark.

***

Humans love to think of killings and killers, as long as it looks respectable, like Mary Higgins Clark:

As long as the world reads and fancies mystery murder novels instead of the real thing, reviewed and corrected as what really happened, we are in trouble. Wealthy author Mary Higgins Clark, 90 years old, is often asked why she’s still writing. The suspense murder novelist gives two answers: “One, I love to write. The second is I get very well paid to write.

Top thinkers never got paid to write. Not one cent. Their motives were much more sinister. It was, it is, to promote not just evolution, but re-evolution, revolution. Top thinkers communicate because they like to think about problems, solve them, and share the proposed solutions in the hope of getting more clues. Knowing full well they are promoting neurological mayhem. Top thinking is not peaceful, but, first, shattering (as Christ observed!)

Instead, money makes the world of fools turn. Ms. Clark is still writing two books a year. Her fast-moving mysteries often feature a sharp, intelligent heroine who helps to discover the killer after a few false starts. The killer? What’s so interesting about killers? I thought the SS were looked down upon! Precisely because they killed! Is the hoi polloi big time confused? Liking what it hates? Ms. Clark’s broad commercial appeal has generated more than 50 best sellers… Why is that so interesting, people? Why is it interesting to discover the “killer”?

Clark’s latest murder mystery out this month called “I’ve Got My Eyes on You,” opens with the murder of an 18-year-old girl sunk at the bottom of a swimming pool after a party at her parents’ house. Among the suspects: her boyfriend and a neighbor. Ms. Clark never includes overt sex or foul language in her books. Even though she writes about murder, she won’t describe the actual killing in graphic detail. “It is off camera, I like the impression of building up suspense so the reader does her own thinking.”

An ardent Catholic, Clark claims that her protagonists have a strong moral code. “The morality is always there,” she says. In “I’ve Got My Eyes on You,” her heroine, the mother of a boy with brain damage, often prays with a rosary. Count the beads, you will occupy your brains, because your brainless religion sure is not enough…

Ms. Clark finds murder thrilling, writes dozens of books about murders she invented, but she has a strong moral code? Only a Catholic worshipping torture as they are all supposed to do, praying at the bottom of a cross, looking up, watching blood of the innocent flow, with a deep sense of approbation, would hold such a thing…

***

Want murder mysteries? Seize history! You may even learn something deep, for a change!

Real history has plenty of murders: hundreds of millions of them actually. Each of them a riddle, but a riddle whose solution will save lives, looking forward. One should learn from the lethal accidents of history as one does from the lethal accidents of aviation.

Want a mystery? Consider the assassination of Julius Caesar, March 15, 44 BCE. At first and especially second or third sight, that murder makes absolutely no sense: Caesar was supposed to leave Rome, at the head of the most formidable army Rome ever had, four days later. The aim was to solve the two security problems civilization had: the Parthians over Alexander’s empire, and the Germans, over Eastern Europe. Caesar a popular (head of “Populares”) progressive (Caesar believed in technology, quite the opposite of the Roman emperors to come) stupendous general was out to save Rome (and had already brought Gaul and Egypt as gifts…) Still he was assassinated by the likes of Brutus (his real, or quasi-adoptive son… although not his heir, and therein perhaps the explanation…)

So you want a mystery? Dig there! You will have to dig deep in human souls and how supposedly ultra smart people (those who wanted to restore the Republic by killing its top magistrate) accomplished the exact opposite of what they claimed to want…

***

Reality, in all its horror, especially in all its genuine horror, is the harsh teacher, we, students of deep things, need:

Chaplin almost nixed his own movie, The Great Dictator, as the extent of Nazi atrocities in Europe became obvious. Chaplin didn’t find the Nazis funny anymore. President Franklin Roosevelt heard of Chaplin’s intention to scrap the film. The president sent an aide to tell Chaplin. “Make this film”. Roosevelt promised to use his influence, ensuring none of America’s allies banned the movie. (As usual FDR was playing his double game, trying to steer Nazism, and the war, the business, the business of war, it was brining, just right…)

Filming began in 1939, lasted more than a year, and the movie was released in October 1940, when the Nazis and their allies, occupied most of Western Europe. Hitler demanded a copy—and screened it in his private theater in the his gigantic, spectacular Alpine chalet, the Berghof, no less than thrice! In the middle of a world war!

Hitler once extolled publicly Chaplin as one of the greatest performers of all time. There were rumors that Hitler was heartbroken to see Chaplin’s cruel impersonation of him (Hitler was most sensitive, that’s why he cried so much about the Versailles Treaty and could not stand the sight of… meat anymore… And became a fanatical vegetarian, ruining his health…) In one key scene, Chaplin’s Adenoid Hynkel character bursts into tears after his balloon globe pops. According to a member of Hitler’s inner circle, Reinhard Spitzy, the Nazi leader found the film amusing. (Spitzy suggested that Chaplin had inspired Hitler’s toothbrush mustache!)

Hitler screened Chaplin’s films even though Germany had banned the actor’s works owing to his alleged Jewishness. (The origin of Chaplin was never solved, at least “racially” speaking, he could very well have been, like Hitler himself, a “Jew”) The Nazi propaganda book “The Jews Are Watching You” labelled Chaplin a “disgusting Jew acrobat.”

Morality of all that? Hitler had to be stopped by horror, the horror of reality, not jokes removed from reality. Ultimately heavy bombing over all German cities helped, as giving the Soviets crucial equipment and intelligence… Same story in Japan, or Italy. Only horror can stop horror (although imperial Japan may have killed 40 millions, its losses were only 6% of that… However the Japanese couldn’t stand even that relatively small horror… Finding horror, even much smaller horror, all too horrible…)

***

Forgetting Horror On A Geopolitical Scale Is Not The Best Desire To Cultivate, Should One Want To Prevent Its Return:

(Thus those who deny that Nazism is a worthy object of conversation and meditation passively accept its return, or the return of a similar abyss!; Massimo Pigliucci, a professional “stoic” philosopher has told me that any comment of mine on any sort of fascism would be censored; paradoxically, he talks a lot about Trump, whom he views as… fascist)

“L’Ordre du Jour” is an excellent book, and it’s also excellent to see a (fundamentally) non-fiction book be rewarded by a literary prize: because reality always beats fiction. To a pulp.

However, I knew all what was in the book, except for a few details (such as there was a famous tennis player called Tilden, who didn’t lose a match for 5 years; Von Ribbentrop at a reception with PM Chamberlain and future PM Churchill, used Tilden, and other never-ending conversation, as a way to delay PM Chamberlain response to the Anschluss, which was literally going on during dinner…)

Yes, I knew it all, except for a few small details like that, and I have written much deeper and incisive things, yet, they will be contained under the obscurity of the force of desire for escapism.

It’s also discouraging to see that a much broader deeper analysis of what went wrong, under the form of essays, will never endanger the established order… although it’s the only thing which could. Yes, people, why didn’t the USA confront Hitler in 1939, as Canada did, coming to the help of its creators, France and Britain?

That US Americans just thought what their capitalist owners told them to think and feel was not an excuse then, and shouldn’t be one now. Instead, it should be a lesson to meditate, a vaccine to inject… But that will not happen, if one doesn’t debate the subject.

They all go around, those people who want others to think good about themselves, saying: love, love, love… But what is love? Does love incorporates chastisement? And if it doesn’t, how does one implement error correction? And if there is no error correction, at all, or then error correction too late, as in World War Two, there will be death, mass death, and is that loving?

We do things we do, including think as we do, because we feel that way. And therein the paradox of reason: to find out where it comes from, one needs to examine emotion, and then adjudicate it, in the name of higher wisdom. Yet emotion is best explored by emotion itself!

America has been afflicted by an ideology that doesn’t work, says professor Joseph Stiglitz, one of the interesting Nobels in economics. This ideology has been acting up for more than a century now, mostly by forming minds. To dismantle it, one has to understand what it got away with, historically.

This is why it is so important to explore history emotionally. By getting to know how it was like, we can emotionally explore what no fiction would dare imagine. Informed what victims went through, be it death camps victims, slaves, Protestants under Louis XIV, Giordano Bruno (tortured to death by the Vatican for…. seven years… for imagining exoplanets), children under Republican Rome, Mesoamericans eradicated under the Conquistadores, etc. Or, for that matter, the torturers running high, such as Von Ribbentrop running circles around British high society… All have to be imagined, to serve as the foundations of, and motivations for, the correct logics we need.

Reading history is no fancy: it should be part of the correct foundation of the moral code. Learning history is not just memorizing what those on a stipend, or with a class agenda (Keynes, Russel, all old textbooks, most Nobels) said about history. Learning history means, first, learning to love and debate history, and even, and especially, to debate it passionately. Only by weighting history, not just logically, but emotionally, can one learn to profit from history, and, first of all, how not to repeat history, in the most fateful way.

Patrice Aymé  

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As Africa Gets Colonized, So Do We

April 25, 2018

Abstract: Formal “decolonization” worked splendidly… for global plutocracy (with few exceptions). Otherwise, decolonization is a myth. Worse: a crime the way it was accomplished, in all too many places. Nowhere is that more blatant than in Africa, where regimes after regimes are horror shows, and should be viewed as having run out of excuses. And therein a lesson for the whole planet. And in particular for the whole “left” and other pseudo-intellectuals of the simplistic type, who have been more busy collaborating with a system they set-up, rather than fighting it.

***

On April 18, at 6;50 am, heading for Turin Airport, I headed towards the Montgenèvre  pass. Montgenèvre is probably where Hannibal crossed the Alps, as it is the lowest pass. However the famous general suffering huge losses at the hands of the uncooperative Natives, the Allobroges… He lost at least a third of his army, nearly all his elephants. Those Allobroges with whom the Romans, under Augustus, would draw a treaty, two centuries after Hannibal, making them part of the Roman empire… as an independent kingdom: Augustus was so proud of himself, he mad a gigantic monument, still overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. (The world owes to Briancon, the Roman Brigantum, the word “brigand”, depicting well the rapport between Rome and the Briancon area…)

In some places, all what is left are ancient baobabs, from desiccation, and abuse of the land. Baobabs like many African things, starting with the land itself, are enormous. Unfortunately, most of African ecology gets ravaged as we speak. The problem is not sourced just in Africa, we are all part of the problem, thus, the solution.

Along the road, suddenly ten Africans, Subsaharan African, black as charcoal, walking… All French speakers. They came, illegally, from south of the Sahara desert, crossed Libya, and the Mediterranean Sea, thanks to smugglers. Once in Italy, charities gave them clothes, addresses and cell phones, with subscriptions working in France and Italy. Train transportation was provided. From Sicily to deep inside the Alps, at the foot of formidable passes enjoying more than ten meters of snow over the last few months. Only one road goes through, passing in a tunnel below the Montgenèvre,  the world’s oldest ski resort. There are kilometers of tunnels on the “Italian” side. This is the road those outlaws took, obviously hidden in smugglers’ cars (the border between France and Italy is not enforced, but the French Gendarmerie has descended upon some technically Italian towns to make anti illegal immigrant raids, to loud protests from the Ligua Norte (a pseudo-independentist party)…. That whole area of “Italy” was French until Louis XIV gave it to the enemies he had created for himself by throwing 2 million protestants out, and making his grandson king of Spain… The fury of some Italian politicians is explained by their desire to see Africans go to France, instead of enjoying Italy.

Those smugglers through that one French Alps’ pass don’t view themselves as smugglers, but as friends of man, as charities. Yet, ultimately they are the accomplices of horrible regimes in Africa, themselves set-up by global plutocrats and the Western governments which served them (no relief to be obtained from China, which is arguably doing worse, under the guise of helping, as French and US politicians recently pointed out).

Of course, should I be stuck in Subsaharan Africa (as I used to be), I would also walk through the desert, and swim across the sea. Why?Far from the pleasant land I used to know, Subsaharan Africa is in danger of becoming a vast “shithole”, as Trump may have noticed in private… we are well into the process of following it down the toilet. And this we will presently address.

***

A superficially absurd question in Quora, which turns out to be very deep:”Why aren’t the French colonies in Africa liberated? Why don’t they ask for their independence?

My answer:

Silly question, superficially: there are technically no colonies in Africa, at the present time. Or pretty much anywhere else. However, the reality is just the opposite. “Independence” and decolonization was pretty much a sham. It was more of a delegalization, and the creation of a wild west, with Natives to exploit freely, far from law and prying eyes.

Indeed, it’s not France, the French Republic which has the colonies (as it used to be). The truth is worse. Much of the world has been colonized. By global plutocrats, immensely wealthy men (typically men), conspiring with local leaders (“elected” or not).

When the French Republic was in nominal control of much of Africa, there were laws, rules and regulations, of a Republican, democratic character. Roads, trains, schools (mandatory, secular) were built, covered the land. Through Subsaharan Africa, one could find an hospital every one hundred kilometers, in populated areas (which was ruinous for France, from the point of view of some pro-independence French politicians… Most of Africa didn’t ask for independence, it was hurled at them by French racists).

For example, most of the Ivory Coast forest was protected from destruction. After nominal “independence”, very wealthy men came from the north, made deals with the local potentates, and freely exploited the African environment.

They were free, the rest were enslaved. Not just diamonds for Al Qaeda in Sierra Leone, forest in Ivory Coast, oil off Nigeria and Gabon, etc.

Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabists, decided to extend their influence worldwide with a Salafist project flushed with oil money. This completely changed the nature of Islam in Subsaharan Africa, sending the (gigantic) region into a turmoil that profited the Saudis, version 1970s… but few other people besides. Subsaharan Africa became partly a mental colony of Saudi Arabia, with disastrous consequences for economy, society, peace, wisdom, and knowledge.

Sadly, degradation is contagious. As exterior individuals became free to plunder Africa, African natives themselves duplicated the plunder, all the more as the top leaders were part of the conspiracy (consider the assassination of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in Congo, to be replaced by CIA pawn Mobutu). The later example shows it’s not just the French and the Saudis. For example the (quasi) dictatorship in Rwanda intervened in Congo, to grab rare earths, with discrete, ignored US support, bringing the death of 5 million Congolese citizens (and cheaper electronics for the rest of the world, and the fortunes of many a US plutocrat).

The problem was ignored: individuals such as Bernard Henri Levy, who became a billionaire by plundering African forests, is also an influential intellectual in Paris, or Morocco, and respected not just by left wing but right wing presidents… who financed him. He also controls (nearly) all media.

Worldwide plutocrats own most media, so they colonize us all. After they have made up our minds, the way they like it, we are free to opt to serve them further.

Just as the plundering of Africa, post “independence” has been contagious, and the natives have joined in the plundering, so it is, worldwide: the more the hyper wealthy plunder the planet and control minds, the more average people don’t care. That’s how the sense of citizenship was lost when the Roman Republic became Augustus’ dictatorship (the Roman “empire”, or, technically, “Principate”).

For the preceding to happen, it was necessary that the self-described “left” or “progressive” be completely blind to the preceding. Worse: much of the naive “left” is controlled by plutocracy.

Is there hope? Just a little. French billionaire Vincent Bolloré, a ten billion dollar billionaire, was arrested and detained on Tuesday near Paris over allegations that he indirectly influenced election outcomes for governments in West Africa and secured lucrative port contracts for his company in return. A Bolloré Group subsidiary allegedly undercharged for work, helping two African presidents win power in return for lucrative contracts.

According to a report by the BBC, Bolloré, 66, who is the head of the Bolloré Group, was taken into custody as part of an ongoing investigation into how his company obtained contracts to operate the Lome and Conakry ports in Togo and Guinea respectively. Now he has been charged. All, I repeat, all, billionaires who had to do with Africa, should be charged. That may not seem fair, not according to the “state of law” but all billionaires have overridden the legal process in the last few decades (at least in Africa). (Weirdly, Trump, whose pseudo-progressives love to hate, to change the conversation, gets a pass for now, being the less bad of them all, as he tries to change things, and didn’t become wealthy from corruption, as, say, Xi, Putin, Berlusconi, and an immense cortege of those lurking in the swamp between politics and greed…) 

The spirit of the law, worldwide, has been confiscated by the .1%. It’s not just Africa. We are all been colonized, or, more exactly, possessed (much of French Africa was more administered than colonized, in the sense that few “colons” ever came).

It’s high time to do something about ourselves becoming the property of others (consider the social networks and the virtual slavery they exploit us with). Because otherwise our future will be as bad, or worse, than the worst colonization (and there were very bad colonies, for example Congo, personal property of the Belgian king, where millions were enslaved).

Ah, a few technical points to finish: the French military interventions in Africa, from Rwanda to Mauretania, were, and are, not akin to “colonialism”: just the opposite (they tend to be all UN approved). They are efforts to free Africa from outrageous exploitation and plunders by (“religious”) gangs, or the likes of Gaddafi (who tried to physically invade Subsaharan Africa, before being stopped by the French military).

Part of the disaster that Subsaharan Africa has become has to do with demographic explosion (itself a consequence from the lack of intelligent administration, education and good healthcare). Many countries went from six millions in the 1960s (when the French administration left), to 45 millions now. In many countries, women have eight children (many to be tempted by violent Jihadism)

No ecology can sustain this, especially one which was borderline to start with. Thus, now dozens of millions of Africans from Subsaharan Africa are plotting to go to France, and try to do it at immense risks of lives and limbs (most of them fail, raped, drowned, eaten by Saharan hyenas, enslaved, or desiccating in the desert… but thousands a month make it to France…)

Something needs to be done, something drastic, and it won’t come from the old playbook…

Patrice Aymé

 

Super Earths, Or How The Exponential Function Can Matter

April 23, 2018

We live in the times where exponentials have come to rule, as they never ruled before. Ignore at the risk of everything we claim to hold dear. As mathematically challenged Silicon Valley nerds put it, all too simplistically, the coming “singularity” looms. Simple minds do not much understanding create, though, so here a little elaboration…

An example of exponentials in action, is graciously offered by so-called “Super Earths“, giant versions of Earths, hundreds of which have been discovered in our neighborhood.

Before I get into this, a short lesson on the exponential.

The Ancient Greeks thought they knew mathematics, but they were prisoners of linear thinking (especially after the top intellectuals spurned non-Euclidean geometry and arithmetic). The exponential is the most obvious, most crucial to understand, most vital to handle example of nonlinear thinking.

An exponential is any function which grows proportionally to itself.

Our present “leaders” (Putin, Trump, Xi, Macron, etc.), and their underlings have no idea what an exponential is, and that it feeds on itself.

Civilizations get ambushed by exponentials. This is why they so often irresistibly decay: the effect is blatant, be it the Late Roman empire, Tang China, the Maya…  

***

Socrates:The unexamined life is not worth living“. That was HIS (wise) feeling. His own feeling. Others don’t have to share it. Actually vain, self-admiring, erroneous, hateful people detest nothing more than self-examination. They deeply dislike, hinder those, and what, promotes self-examination.

And tell me, Socrates, you who didn’t like knowledge you didn’t already have, and you thought everybody had, when did you learn about the exponential function? How can you know something that important you never even suspected existed? And, absent that tool of the spirit, you thought you could examine everything? How stupid was that? And you, out there, the ignorant admirers of Socrates and his ilk: you don’t even have the excuse to have been dead for 24 centuries! To extract you from the gutter, seize the exponential!

***

After discovering a few thousands exoplanets, Super Earths are, so far, more frequent than simple Earths (it may be a bias from our present telescopes, but I don’t think so…). If the Super Earth is slightly bigger than Earth, depending upon the nature of its core, its surface gravity doesn’t have to be much higher than Earth (I computed). However, the present article considers Super Earths were the gravity is much higher than on Earth…

“Super-Earth” planets are gigantic versions of Earth. In some ways, they are more likely to be habitable than Earth-size worlds: their thicker atmospheres protect them better from radiations, either from their parent stars, supernovae, gamma ray bursts, galactic core explosions, etc.. However, it would be difficult for any inhabitants on these exoplanets to access to space. At least with known, or imaginable technologies.

To launch a vehicle as light as the Apollo moon mission capsule, a rocket on a super-Earth such as (potentially inhabitable) Kepler 20b would require more than double the escape velocity.

To leave Earth (“⊕”)’s gravitational influence, a rocket needs to achieve at minimum the escape velocity vesc = s 2GM⊕ R⊕ ∼ 11.2 km s−1 (2) for Earth, and vesc ∼ 27.1 km s−1 for a 10 M⊕, 1.7 R⊕ Super-Earth similar to Kepler-20 b. Computation shows one would need a mass of about 400,000 metric tons, mostly due to the exponential demand of fuel. That’s 5% of the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt (still by far the Earth’s most massive monument, excluding utilitarian walls and dams).  

That means a chemical rocket there should have one hundred times the mass of one here (Apollo’s Saturn V launcher was 3,000 tons). However, that’s not a show stopper: our largest ocean-going ships are more massive than that, and a massive rocket is imaginable. So Hippke is not correct when he says that:

“On more-massive planets, spaceflight would be exponentially more expensive,” said study author Michael Hippke, an independent researcher affiliated with the Sonneberg Observatory in Germany. “Such civilizations would not have satellite TV, a moon mission or a Hubble Space Telescope.

This is of great practical interest. Research has revealed that Super Earths are abundant, and obvious targets for human colonization. They can reach up to 10 times the mass of our own Earth (after that, they retain light gases, and turn into mini Neptunes, unsuitable for direct colonization, although Pandora like scenarios are highly plausible). Many super-Earths apparently lie in the habitable zones of their stars, where temperatures can theoretically support liquid water on the planetary surface and thus, potentially, life as it is known on Earth. Although I have had reservations about this: I view the presence of a nuclear reactor inside the planet as necessary for life, since it provides with a magnetic shield, and the recycling of the atmosphere through plate tectonic, let alone continents… (Being in the water belt and the nuclear belt simultaneously is a miracle Earth’s biosphere profits from.)

This being said, it is true that some ways to access space that we potentially have, won’t happen on Super Earths. Rockets work better in the vacuum of space than in an atmosphere: super-Earthlings might want to launch from a mountaintop. However, the strong gravitational pull of super-Earths would squash down super Alps (it’s a pure application of Quantum mechanics). Super towers won’t be be feasible, either…

Using space elevators traveling on giant cables rising out of the atmosphere depends upon the strength of the cable material. The strongest (per unit of mass) material known today, carbon nanotubes, is just barely strong enough for Earth’s gravity (it is not at this point possible to imagine stronger materials, putting in doubt the feasibility of space elevators on super-Earths). Here is Michael Hippke (Submitted on 12 Apr 2018):

Spaceflight from Super-Earths is difficult:

 

Many rocky exoplanets are heavier and larger than the Earth, and have higher surface gravity. This makes space-flight on these worlds very challenging, because the required fuel mass for a given payload is an exponential function of planetary surface gravity, ∼3.3exp(g0). We find that chemical rockets still allow for escape velocities on Super-Earths up to 10 times Earth mass. More massive rocky worlds, if they exist, would require other means to leave the planet, such as nuclear propulsion.

Comments: Serious version of the April Fool’s idea (arXiv:1803.11384). Submitted on April 4th 2018
Subjects: Popular Physics (physics.pop-ph); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1804.04727 [physics.pop-ph]
(or arXiv:1804.04727v1 [physics.pop-ph] for this version)
  1. INTRODUCTION Do we inhabit the best of all possible worlds (Leibnitz 1710)? From a variety of habitable worlds that may exist, Earth might well turn out as one that is marginally habitable. Other, more habitable (“superhabitable”) worlds might exist (Heller & Armstrong 2014). Planets more massive than Earth can have a higher surface gravity, which can hold a thicker atmosphere, and thus better shielding for life on the surface against harmful cosmic rays. Increased surface erosion and flatter topography could result in an “archipelago planet” of shallow oceans ideally suited for biodiversity. There is apparently no limit for habitability as a function of surface gravity as such (Dorn et al. 2017). Size limits arise from the transition between Terran and Neptunian worlds around 2 ± 0.6 R⊕ (Chen & Kipping 2017). The largest rocky planets known so far are ∼ 1.87 R⊕, ∼ 9.7 M⊕ (Kepler-20 b, Buchhave et al. 2016). When such planets are in the habitable zone, they may be inhabited. Can “Super-Earthlings” still use chemical rockets to leave their planet? This question is relevant for SETI and space colonization (Lingam 2016; Forgan 2016, 2017).

***

Pessimistically, Hippke considered another possibility, a staple of science-fiction which originated in the very serious “Orion” project of the 1950s, an apocalyptic period: nuclear pulse propulsion. It works by detonating thousands of atom bombs below a shield cum shock absorber attached to the vehicle, hurling it through space. This explosive propulsion has much more lifting power than chemical rockets, and might be the only way for a civilization to leave a planet more than 10 times Earth’s mass, Hippke (naively) said.

However, slaying the radioactive dragon he himself brought up, such a nuclear-powered spacecraft would pose not only technical challenges but political ones as well, he said: “A launch failure, which typically happens with a 1 percent risk, could cause dramatic effects on the environment. I could only imagine that a society takes these risks in a flagship project where no other options are available, but the desire is strong — for example, one single mission to leave their planet and visit a moon.”

Unwittingly, Hippke then demonstrates the danger of the single mind (in this case, his!) Indeed the most obvious way to use nuclear propulsion is simply to run a liquid, even water, through the core of a nuclear fission reactor. That was tested, and it works extremely well… and very safely! It’s much less prone to failure than a chemical rocket.  On a planet with ten times the Earth’s surface, there would be plenty of space to do such dirty launches by the thousands.

Besides, it may possible to engineer absolutely giant thermonuclear PROPULSION reactors (thermonuclear fusion is easier, the larger the reactor: the exponential at work again; if we just made a fusion reactor that was large enough, it would certainly work). The radioactivity generated would be neglectable.

So we don’t have to worry about colonizing Super Earths… We just have to worry about weight (that is, surface gravity)….

But, here, now, we have to worry about all those exponentials going crazy. Last I checked, the Arctic ice was running one million square miles below its old minimum: at some point the so-far linear decrease of Arctic ice is going to decrease exponentially, as warming there is highly self-feeding (that’s why it runs already at twice the rate of the rest of the planet…).

And as usual, let’s remember what the arrogant, stupid imperial Romans never learned, and the Maya never reached: inventing completely new, liberating, energizing technologies is how, and the only way how, to break the strangulation from the ecological, political, economical and moral exponentials which smother civilizations. A most recent example is diffuse, dim light solar cells, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), a tech already in full deployment, which has just made spectacular progress in the lab.

Even language acquisition is exponential… Let alone thought system acquisition. You want to examine life, in ultimate depth? Learn to think exponentially!

The coming “singularity” looms. How to manage it? First by understanding what makes it tick, exponentials.

Patrice Aymé

 

Seneca’s New Order Of “Security & Tranquility” (Fall of Rome XII)

April 15, 2018

I accuse the philosophy of Stoicism to be fascist compatible (and that is why it flourished under the fascist imperial Roman regime, ultimately morphing, after three centuries, into Christianism). This is not just about what happened two millennia ago. Some of us are making the same mistake, all over again.

Stoicism is making a come-back, and strangely, among those opposing (they self-allege) right wings policies. Whereas I claim Stoicism was a philosophy invented to thrive in symbiosis with hard-core fascism. A total hero of Stoicism is Marcus Aurelius… However that emperor was a disaster for Rome (Common Wisdom claims the opposite!)… Marcus started an imbecilitic drive against Christianism, protected the wealthiest, promoted his ridiculous, ill-minded biological son… Those following Seneca and Marcus Aurelius are not suspicious enough, they remind me of sheep going to the slaughter, happily bleating all the way…

Seneca, Nero’s teacher and adviser is highly esteemed by would-be modern Stoics (Claudius gave Seneca to Nero at age eleven, to teach him the ways of the world; the result of Seneca’s teaching speaks for itself). Instead of admiring Seneca, I view him as a liar (that Seneca has some excellent quotes is a fact, but it can be said about any author, any author whatsoever). An engineer of huge lies, one of them being that he wanted to “perceive the truth in all its completeness” (dictators are prone to preach the exact opposite of what they do; thus Hitler was a protector of peace and minorities… At least so he screamed for two decades… And was believed by most Germans, so they voted for him).

Seneca said: “The happy life consists solely in perfecting our rationality … What is a happy life? It is security and lasting tranquility, the sources of which are a great spirit and a steady determination…” Security and tranquility are a must, once one belongs to the .001% as Seneca did: one enjoys power and property, thanks to industrial crime, the perpetuation of which rests on imposing “security and tranquility” on the oppressed masses. (Seneca once joked (?) that he didn’t even know how many large properties he owned on all the continents.)

So We The People imagined that they were suffering under the dictatorship of Seneca and Nero, when, in truth, they were not…

The definition of happiness was certainly different for the 99% under the Principate led by Seneca and his pupil. The 99% couldn’t not enjoy “security” (the secret police and its informants watched their every breath), nor “tranquility” (they knew they were one bad idea away from providing free entertainment at the Circus…) Actually emperor Domitian (a few years after Seneca) executed systematically all philosophers who didn’t exhibit “great spirit”. Not an anecdote in the history of ideas: it means that the philosophies which survived Domitian were those compatible with the Principate.

Result? Increasingly deficient thinking among those advising the leadership of the empire. This is why the Principate turned away, deliberately, loud and clear, from technological innovation (which had fostered the rise of the Roman Republic). Just when innovation was a matter of survival for civilization itself.

The Decline and Fall of Rome was first philosophical and started as soon as the New Order of “security and lasting tranquility” was imposed on all minds. Mental creativity of the highest sort is antagonist to “security and lasting tranquility” (even Christ spoke of this, and shared this observation). One can’t understand the world ever more, without going through periodic turmoil of the greatest kind.

Periods and places of great mental creativity, like Normandy, or Italy, starting in the Eleventh Century, the true start of the so-called “Renaissance”, were places of enormous turmoil.

As the eleventh Century enfolded, most cities were basically in revolt. Higher authorities like popes, kings and emperors were often completely disobeyed, so they had to go to war, which they often lost; clerics like Archdeacon Berengar of Tours preached that Christianism was all about rationalism, not blind submission to simplistic interpretations of sacred texts (and had to fight them all, during his entire life, all the way to the Pope). William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, king of England, is on the record for evoking heliocentrism as a possibility.

The extreme political and philosophical turmoil in Europe, starting in the Eleventh Century, is no coincidence: the regrowing of grassroot power (consider Italian republics), was a regrowing of ideas. Technology blossomed, another ecological crisis (circa 1300 CE) was avoided.

As imperial Rome was suffering from a unique party (the plutocratic party leading Rome: until emperor Septimius Severus from Libya, the throne was passing among only a few families), and from ecological collapse, a sober assessment of what reality was made of, was in order. However, that meant great mental, even civilizational, turmoil (as happened every few year during the Roman Republic), the exact opposite of the “mental security and lasting tranquility” imposed by those few families who ruled. 

Patrice Aymé

Note 1: Some may say my depiction as the Flavian dynasty (Vespasian, Titus, Domitian) as among the few Roman families which ruled is off . But that’s correct, as Vespasian’s family rose in 4 generations under the Julio-Claudian dynasty and was entangled with it (the great-grandfather was a tax collector for Augustus, thus becoming immensely rich…)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavian_dynasty

Note 2: Roman emperors would pay inventors for not exploiting their inventions and even for not making their inventions public.

LOGIC IS MATERIAL

April 11, 2018

Logic doesn’t just matter, it is matter.

FUNDAMENTAL PROCESSES, INCLUDING COMPUTATIONS, LOGIC, ARE MATERIAL OBJECTS:

Is there something besides matter? No. What is matter? Ah, two types of things, corresponding to wave-particle duality… Or, as I put it often, process-quanta duality.

***

We should have come a long way in 24 centuries, yet some keep repeating ideas of Plato, an Athenian plutocrat. Plato (and his teacher Socrates and student Aristotle) had an extreme right wing agenda, much of it pursued later as the “Hellenistic” regimes (dictatorships), imperial fascist Roman Principate, and the rage against innovation. Plato’s metaphysics has much in common, if not everything, with Christianism (this explains its survival…)

And now for a word from this essay’s sponsor, the gentleman contradicting me. Robin Herbert replied to me: …”many don’t seem to grasp that the classical logics are not tied to any physical assumptions… the classical logics are not tied to any physical assumptions. I think the problem is that we have this term “classical physics” and another term “classical logic” and people think they are related. They aren’t.”

Are we that stupid? I guess, our enemies wish we were…

***

Only those who have never heard of Platonism would not be familiar with the notion that logic is not “material”: it is at the core of Plato’s view of the universe. And also at the core of Christianism, so help me not god!

I beg to oppose the dematerialization of logic. Differently from Plato, I have a careful observation of nature, Quantum theory, the mechanics of atomic theory, to back me up. Frankly, relative to what we know now, Plato is an ignorant twerp. So why the reverence for his antique antics? My unforgiving mood is driven in part by the observation that the Ancient Greeks had plenty of holes in their axiomatics… Especially in mathematics (where they made several ludicrous mistakes, such as forgetting non-Euclidean geometry, generations after discovering it).

If logic is not tied to “physics”, or what’s material, we want to know what that is. But, as I am going to show, all we do is go back to the Gospel of John as the ultimate authority (itself straight out of Plato!)

Twentieth Century physics has revealed that physics is made of “Fundamental Processes” (see the very nice, pre-QCD book by that title from Feynman)… And Quanta. The former, the processes, are described by waves, the second, those lumps of energy, by particles.

Thus, saying that “logic is not physics” is tantamount to saying that logic is neither a fundamental process (or set thereof), nor quanta (or set thereof).

Orbitals to an electron around a proton (the Hydrogen atom), visualized in 2013 (Phys. Review). What you are looking at is one electron, when it is delocalized. The electron is the cloud. The cloud is a process. The process is what an atom of hydrogen is, 99.9999999% of the time… At least…

There are several problems with such a claim: far from being immaterial, any logic shows up as quanta (aka “symbols”), and is itself a process (classical logic rests on implication, the simplest process:”if A then B”, and chains therefrom). Logic shows up as nothing else, so that’s what it is: a bunch of fundamental processes and quanta. This is the modern philosophy of physics, in action! (It originated with Newton and Laplace, and was then amplified by Jules Henri Poincaré)

There was a famous exchange between Heisenberg and Einstein; the latter, at the peak of his glory, accused the young Quantum physicist to have only put observables in his matrix quantum theory. Heisenberg coolly smirked back that it was Einstein who taught him to do so! (Constructively infuriated, ten years later Einstein rolled out the EPR thought experiment, alleging a contradiction between Quantum Mechanics and LOCAL “elements of reality“. The effect was relabeled “entanglement” by Schrödinger, now the central notion in Quantum theory… Einstein should have realized that it was this very delocalization which made atoms wholes…)    

So what’s “material”? What’s observable! And what is observable? (Delocalized) fundamental processes and (localized, yet ephemeral) quanta. Claiming that the logos is neither is (implicitly) done in the first sentence of the Gospel of John, and John adds that its name is god. We of the natural school shall excommunicate those evoking god. Those who claim “logic”, the logos, escapes nature (= physis) are just followers of whom John followed, namely Plato. They are Platocrats, a particular prototype of plutocrats…

Fundamental processes are described by equations, but that doesn’t mean the equations are “real”, beyond symbols (“quanta”) of a medium. First of all, equations are approximations: a classical computer can only make a finite number of operations (differently from a full Quantum computer, which works with a continuum, the circle S1). Instead what is really real is the fundamental process(es) the equations approximate.

Indeed, consider atoms: they are real, “indivisible” (sort of)… and yet mostly made of delocalized processes known as electronic orbitals.  It is the delocalization which creates the substance: see the picture above… 

So is a classical computation a real object, in the aforementioned sense? Yes, because it is a FINITE set of fundamental processes (moving electrons and photons around). However, if the proposed computation, or logical deduction, takes an infinite amount of time, it becomes something that never comes to exist. (That’s an allusion to a classical computer trying to duplicate Quantum computers; in the case of the chlorophyll molecule, no classical computer could do what the molecule, viewed as a Quantum computer, does!)

In this view, call it material logic, time, whether we want it or not, whether logicians realize it, or not, is an essential part of logic: the time-energy principle de facto granulates time (we need infinite energy for infinitely small time intervals, hence for would be infinite logical computations). To say time is not part of logic is another of these oversights (as Archimedes did, implicitly using what non-standard analysts, Robinson and Al. called “Archimedes Axiom”, which excludes infinitely small (or large) integral numbers). Any piece of logic comes with its own duration, namely how many steps it needs in its simplest form.   

Quantum computing uses one (hypothesized) infinity: the assumed instantaneity of what I call the Quantum Interaction (aka Quantum Collapse). That enables to delocalize Quantum logic (no distributive law of propositional logic!), as delocalized Quantum processes, and this is why it can’t be classically duplicated (aka “Quantum supremacy”).

Happy processes!

Patrice Aymé

DON’T BLAME ME, I Am Only Human After All?? (Aurelius’ Perversity, Fall of Rome XI)

April 8, 2018

Abstract: Of Rome we talk, but the present worldwide civilization we ponder… What went wrong with Rome? The most basic spiritual strategy. Philosophy. Rome’s disease was to be ruled by a philosophy unable to resist plutocracy, while deliberately preventing innovation, as befits a highly conservative regime… the exact opposite of the philosophy which brought the irresistible rise of the Roman Republic. The greatest names in philosophy originated that infection, that gangrene of the mind: Plato, Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius…

Could it have been different? Could Rome have pulled out of her philosophical disaster? Could imperial Rome, extending from Scotland to the Persian Gulf, and from Northern Germany to the Sahara, Armenia to Egypt’s long Red Sea coast, have reverted to the philosophy which made the success of democratic Republic?

Once fascism was installed, helped by the opiate of economic success, it was a question of leaders. The Roman Senate’s leading influence tended to be entirely negative, as Septimius Severus, dying in Britain, told his sons.

Aside from the well-known creeps (Nero, Caligula, Domitian, Constantine, Theodosius I) and the abysmal cases (Augustus, Constantine, Theodosius, Valens), it seems to me that Marcus Aurelius, considering his tremendous influence, was one of the leaders into the abyss. Marcus’ philosophy was radioactive, so to speak: it looks wise, but it brings death. Worse: Marcus’ influence is alive and all too well to this day: just as Constantine is a saint of Christianism, Marcus is a saint of a particularly perverse version of stoicism. Marcus is also an intellectual fascist, under the purest form. 

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/marcus-aurelius-intellectual-fascist-why-rome-fell/

Make no mistake: it is a version of stoicism on trial here, that many influential philosophers subscribe too, and, worst of all, which is perfect for the growth of unbounded plutocracy!

And yes, it could have been different, if “dictator perpetuo” Julius Caesar and emperor Trajan had lived longer, and been able to find successors with similar mindsets and capabilities… All of this to  establish a plutocracy hating republic: Julius Caesar and Trajan were both what’s derogatively called “populists” nowadays; but populism is the only thing which could have saved Rome from lethal stagnation, and ecological aging, a weakness naturally followed by horrible invasions.

All this long gone history gives vivid lessons valuable today: we, as the world civilization many Greco-Romans dreamed to establish, are more or less repeating some of the errors Rome made. However, enlightened by the dramatic collapse of the Roman State, Europe has not quite, so far, repeated to the same extent, Rome’s errors… including Russia! Consider Czar Peter The Great, who cracked down on Christianism, and embraced progress, thence saving Russia from the Swedish reconquista… Peter the Great, circa 1700 CE, had fully understood, in his heart of hearts, that it was crucial NOT to repeat the errors of the Roman state’s long agony.

Some historians hold that the Roman empire was even larger under emperor Caracalla, son of Septimius Severus, a century later. Under Caracalla, the law of universal citizenship was passed, something now taken for granted by all states (with the possible exception of Burma…) The Franks, a confederation of Germans equipped with Latin Lex Salica, succeeded Rome after 476 CE in the North-West. In particular, they owned the orange part of Northern Germany which Augustus had stupidly, and selfishly loudly given up in 9 CE. By 507 CE, the Franks had defeated the Goths, and controlled Belgica, Gallia, and Aquitania, not just much of Germania… The main difference with the Romans was that the Franks re-engineered Christianism as an asset, whereas the terrorizing Roman version of Catholicism due to Constantine and Theodosius, had crippled Rome.

Very practical consequences of behaving according to the exact opposite attitude to Rome, explain how and why Europe avoided collapse since Rome. Enough friendliness to technology, & law, enough abatement of plutocracy, enabled the extrication of Europe from ecological devastation (~ 1300 CE). Having enough of these three philosophical pillars also explains why Europe has not been devastatingly invaded for 15 centuries! (ultimately Muslim, Viking, Avar, Turk, and Mongol invasions were crushed and repelled… differently from what happened to the Muslim, Chinese and Indian civilizations, which were conquered, periodically destroyed; similarly, the invasions of the Germans and Huns in the Fifth Century, and Muslims in the Seventh Century, destroyed the Roman state, east and west, leaving imperial remnants in north-west Europe and around Constantinople. The resulting lesson, the enormous devastation it brought, has not been forgotten. At least until a few years ago).

If nothing else, we have engaged the planet in ecological collapse. David Attenborough, 91 years old, observed this in New Scientist.

… And Attenborough issues a “call to arms“. Rightly so. We are also one short-circuit away from devastating nuclear war, a pure case of tech gone mad. And not too many care. Rome was crazy. We are much more so. This is no age to try stoicism again… Activism is more appropriate.

***   

We The Wise Know No Blame, Says Marcus!

An excellent song, from someone looking like an overweight Viking is going around: “Don’t Blame Me, I Am Only Human After All… Don’t blame me, you are only human after all…”. The same idea has a long pedigree. It already affected Rome. The idea that: no blame, no shame… came to be viewed, in all too many influential circles, and all too long ago, as the principal message of the Greek philosophy known as Stoicism. “Stoicism” from stoa, a column below which it was taught by Zeno of Citium, became a philosophical school after the fascist Macedonian plutocracy and its descendants “Hellenistic” tyrannies and kingdoms took over the Greek civilization, pretty much crippling it. Including Marcus Aurelius, ten major Stoic philosophers followed in Greco-Roman civilization. Marcus was also single Roman emperor, and played a major role for civilization, and not for the best, contrary to repute, as I have already written and will show some more below.

Nowadays, Stoicism has become business (as it started: Zeno of Citium was wealthy, although he lived modestly). Massimo Pigliucci commented on “Marcus Aurelius: a guide for the perplexed by Stephens”.

In it is found the following gem: it is futile to blame! Let me quote Massimo Pigliucci quoting Mr.Stephens:

”My preferred example is in the context of Marcus’ discussion, in VIII.17, of the idea that it is futile to lay blame, regardless of what particular metaphysical view of the world (the Stoic, the Epicurean, or any other one) we happen to hold. Here is Stephens’ reconstruction of the full argument:

  1. The matter is either in our control or in the control of someone else.
  2. If it’s in our control, then we can handle it appropriately without blaming ourselves.
  3. If it’s in the control of someone else, then we could blame either atoms (if the

Epicureans are right about how the cosmos works) or the Logos (if the Stoics are right about how the cosmos works), or no one and nothing.

  1. It’s stupid to blame atoms (since they have no intentionality).
  2. It’s stupid to blame the Logos (since the cosmos — which for the Stoics was a living organism — knows best what should happen).
  3. Hence, if it’s in the control of someone else, then blame no one and nothing.
  4. Therefore, blaming is pointless.

QED.”

***

I Blame Us, We Are Only Human After All!

In the past, Massimo Pigliucci censored many of my comments on Marcus Aurelius: he even accused me to have made up the facts and quotes I evoked, which cast a sinister light onto his idol (I actually made up nothing, just pointing at little known facts, and even getting trouble in my own family with some who also rever Marcus, for having lifted them of an otherwise dreary childhood…)

It’s hard for admirers of Marcus to recognize his culpability in the repression of Christians (I don’t like Christianism very much, but what Marcus did to Christians was not just criminal, but made the situation worse, and more stupid; moreover, Christians laid the blame on the wealthy, rightly so, and, as I make clear below, Marcus Aurelius exchanged the health of the Roman empire against the wealth of the few, the core of the lethal disease which affected the empire, according to me! Positive point: Marcus got to blame no one around him. Negative point: that attitude brought the collapse of civilization! The motive of Marcus may have been plain old selfishness, the easy way out…)

This time professional philosopher Massimo Pigliucci allowed this comment from me, accusing Marcus of the worst crime someone with intellectual pretense can commit: …”a different perspective I have developed shows why Marcus Aurelius made the mistake of making Commodus a Consul, while still a child (and so on, until making Commodus co-emperor at… 16). In other words, Marcus’ error was no error, but system. Marcus Aurelius thought that ‘non-useful’ thoughts should be banned! He wrote that explicitly!”

Nobody can know, when creating a thought, what it could turn out to be useful for. Banning “non-useful thoughts”, as Marcus Aurelius wanted to, is to ban a better logic for the future, to ban any better future. In other words, Marcus didn’t want to improve things. Unsurprisingly, thanks to such a towering absolutism from above, such plain banning of thinking, so inhuman, the Roman state went from bad to worse, until it collapsed.

Massimo replied, April 2, 2018 • 8:08 am: “Patrice… At any rate, I don’t see what banning non useful thoughts has to do with it.”

I retorted: “Dear Massimo, trying to explain myself a bit more:

Can one be a creative, or rigorous thinker, and not attribute blame? I think not.

Marcus Aurelius said (paraphrased): “If a matter is in the control of someone else, then we could blame either atoms (if the Epicureans are right about how the cosmos works) or the Logos (if the Stoics are right about how the cosmos works), or no one and nothing.”

Is that a typo? What happened to blaming people? Isn’t that the most natural blame to attribute? If I don’t like Trump’s tax reform, shall I blame atoms, the logos… or no one and nothing? I prefer to blame Trump, and his ilk.

Let’s be cynical, as the fine hounds we are. Those who refuse to attribute blame to anybody seem to say: ‘I can’t be blamed, I am only human, after all!’

Those who claim “nothing” can be blamed say: ‘everything that is, is true and innocent. And there is no scientific method, as nothing is false, hence our rule is above any suspicion…’

The essence of the most advanced thinking is to disconnect the motivation which brings it from any utilitarian objective. Advanced thinking is born from the honor of the human spirit, not from whether the emperor finds it of some use. Marcus could not conceive of this.

Although Marcus was strong and determined against the German barbarians, not being a believer in advanced thinking, he didn’t realize that the way out of the invasion crisis, was the one launched by the Roman Republic, seven centuries prior: mental creativity to invent new strategies, weapons and mechanisms, all to be paid by higher taxes on the wealthiest. Instead, emperors went to fear inventions, imagination, and taxes, at the cost of hundreds of ever more crippling invasions (the same problem would occur with the Carolingian/Renovated Roman empire, in the second part of the Ninth Century).

The Roman empire understood finally that one had to tax the wealthiest, to pay for a sufficient army, under Aetius, 250 years later, when it was too late, and more than half of the Roman tax basis, let alone food supply, had been occupied or demolished by the savages (Marcus Aurelius had pathetically ‘solved’ his tax crisis, by selling state property, like the palace’s silver…).

If one is really human, after all, one is rational, and reason requires correction, correction arising from blame.”

The entire subject is, for me, like visiting the Moon: where is the air? If one spends one’s time only engaging fools, not only does one become one of them, but one gets depressed, as one subjects oneself to the cruel and unusual punishment to debase, and contradict oneself, just out of respect, for what one has worked so long to rise above… And the same happens with foolish subjects. But still someone has to address them”

Massimo, as many who are all too busy, doesn’t like long comments, but he replied:  April 2, 2018 • 12:48 pm

“Patrice,

there are a number of things in your comment that I think are off the mark, but I will comment on just two.

First off, “not blaming” is a standard Stoic attitude, meant to recognize that all human beings err, and that nobody does evil on purpose. I find it refreshing and very useful in dealing with others. It doesn’t mean one should not stop others from doing bad things.

Second, there is no way Marcus could have reverted from empire to Republic. He would have been killed instantly. It has nothing to do with not believing in advanced thinking, which by the way is not what the Stoics counsel. They counsel that the best way to prepare for the future is to act rightly here and now. Not the same thing.”

I felt like a Neanderthal contemplating a smirking mammoth deep in a pit I digged.

The nature of the Greco-Roman empire is deeply misunderstood, to this day: it was way wealthier, more populous and more democratic, than generally assumed. Yet, in some philosophical ways, it was far removed from what we take for granted today (and the situation is complex: on cruelty, contrarily to repute, the Romans got it basically right, we don’t. On progress, the situation changed completely from the very progressive Democratic Republic to the fascist empire. We are not as progressive as we need to be, in great part because we are repeating the plutocratic mistake Rome made….)

It was an ideal occasion to set the perception right about the Roman empire. My reply:

“Dear Massimo:

Thanks for your answer. The description of the “standard Stoic attitude”, that “all human beings err, and that nobody does evil on purpose”, it seems to me is exactly what prevented Marcus Aurelius to put back the “Republic” on the correct trajectory it was clear it desperately needed during Marcus’ reign.

Ah, yes, the “Republic”, not a detail: the “Principate” was considered to be a Republic by those who partook in it. The Roman Republic justice system and Senate were still going on during the “Principate”. As emperor Decius said in June 251 CE, after his son was struck by an arrow at the battle of Abbritus: “Let no one mourn; the death of one soldier is not a great loss to the republic.”

So it was not a question of “restoring the Republic”: the first emperor, Augustus, claimed to have done so (27 BCE). Local democracy was alive and well (until the first German raids deep inside the empire, starting with Alexander Severus, circa 234 CE!)

Marcus Aurelius had two major problems, one fiscal, the other technological. Trajan had taxed the wealthiest to create an empire which was more social, more expanding, and giving advanced education to meritorious youth through scholarship. (Unfortunately Trajan died at 63, preventing consolidation of his enlightened rule, all the way to the Persian gulf.)

Marcus had a disastrous situation: the Germans had learned to become a military threat to Italy. All what Marcus did was to battle away against the Germans, for a continuous 20 years, in the here and now, with insufficient means, insufficient militarily, fiscally, technologically, democratically. Marcus should have followed Trajan fiscal, educational, social policies. Marcus’ closest policy to Trajan was in military matters: Marcus understood the Marcomanni and their ilk had to be crushed (Commodus inverted his father’s conquests). However he didn’t have the fiscal means for his army, that Trajan gave himself by hating the wealthiest.

This lack of inclination of Marcus for finding in-depth revolutionary change prepared for a future of more of the same, precisely because Marcus enjoyed an enormous prestige as a philosopher-emperor. Marcus just had to follow Trajan, he didn’t.

Thus, for an astounding three centuries of war (176 CE-476 CE) the Romans fought as Marcus did, not realizing that, as long as they couldn’t integrate the Germans into the empire, they made them stronger, and more ferocious, just by battling with them. (The only emperor who understood the problem was Julianus, Julian “the Apostate”, who studied philosophy in Athens, and was elevated to Augustus by the Parisians. Unfortunately he died from combat in Mesopotamia, 363 CE.)  

Marcus had to raise the taxes on the wealthiest, on the .1%. Marcus had to blame the wealthiest, as Trajan did. The other philosophical solution, which Marcus didn’t embrace, was to reject Plato’s hostility to technological change, and re-embrace the Roman (true Republic) love of technological innovation.

Individuals drunk on the neurohormones of cruelty and domination exist, denying it is counterproductive to progress: the head of the Brazilian army just made a threat (on Twitter!) Hence the Brazilian Supreme Court decided to jail Lula, who leads by a very long shot the 2018 Brazilian presidential race.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/04/world/americas/brazil-lula-corruption-prison.html”

[Please excuse the length, more on my site…]”

Amazingly, considering our turbulent history, and his unbounded admiration for all things Marcus, he used to be afflicted by, Massimo published my comment on his site: we are progressing in the right direction, at last! (Massimo may be learning to practice what he teaches…)

What I didn’t say, lest I be accused of digression, how low Rome had already fallen: a few hours later after his statement that Rome was a republic (which it was, by present standards, adapted to the times), Decius would die, first emperor to do so, with most of the Roman field army. Rome had sunk that low, 70 years after Marcus Aurelius’ passing, and as a result of his overall outlook.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decius

By the way, it is important to realize that seriously creative thinking blossoms from digression… An important meta principle Marcus Aurelius doesn’t seem to have conceived of.

***

By Marcus’ Time, Solutions For Imperial Rome Should Have Been Obvious:

Two changes were needed. To my knowledge, Marcus Aurelius doesn’t seem to be conscious of the necessity of these two changes, changes back to the distant past, a renewal with what made the success of Rome in its first seven centuries.

The first problem facing Marcus Aurelius was not restoring the Republic (justice was nominally independent, local democracy, the Curiatii, was flourishing), it was to raise taxes on the 1%.

A plutocracy of ferocious, tax-free 1% backed-up the imperial system under its “Principate” form (and would back-up the “Dominate”, starting with Aurelian, before, in the end, backing up the barbarians!) They are the real cause of the Decline and Fall of Rome, as their tax evasion and subjugation of We the People left imperial Rome with too small and too powerful a professional army. The wealthy, when faced with invaders in the Fifth Century, would make nice with them. Being entangled with the Christian Church helped.

Contrarily to what Massimo brazenly asserts, it is not clear that if Marcus had tried to restore the rights of the Populus Romanus, he would have been killed: Marcus enjoyed enormous prestige, and was surrounded by devoted advisers and generals. Marcus spent 20 years on the battlefield, at the head of the Roman field army, he had no rivals (Commodus profited from the awe and competence of his father’s government for years, after his death).

Head of the army Aetius and others, in the Fifth Century, made the 1% pay taxes, way too late, after military collapse and annihilating invasions (⅔ of the spending went to the professional Roman army). If Aetius, not even an emperor, could do it in the Fifth Century, Marcus could have done it in the Second Century. By then half of the Western Empire had been invaded and occupied by savages.

On the other hand, in 235 CE, Maximinus Thrax, head of Legio XXII Primigena was elevated to Augustus, as the army was furious young emperor Severus Alexander was busy paying the barbarians, instead of making war to them. However Maximinus rose taxes on the wealthy, to pay for his successful war making, and the Senate revolted for that reason in 238 CE. However, Maximinus was of peasant origin and had acquired Roman citizenship from Caracalla edict. So it was natural for the Senate to revolt against him. Whereas, if Marcus Aurelius had risen taxes as Maximinus did, it is unlikely that the Senate would have done anything, considering Marcus’ pedigree and his total control of the army (as Cassius’ short usurpation, cut short by a centurion, showed).   

The Senate would lose (nearly all) its prerogatives later, in the late Third Century, turning into Rome municipal council (de facto).

So could something have been done to prevent the ongoing slow degeneracy of the Roman state? Yes, and it is clear what: Rome had to become as smart as the times required. Because of a massive ecological crisis caused by its very success, Rome had to get as smart, or smarter than when the Republic ascended. Instead, it became ever more stupid.

Marcus Aurelius had to lay blame onto the plutocracy, do reforms in the spirit proposed by the Gracchi Brothers. (However, he blamed laying blame, as a matter of weird logic…)

Another type of PHILOSOPHICAL reform needed was to lift the ban against inventions, inherited from… Plato, an Athenian conservative who was so afraid of change, he preferred to ban tech (an attitude which was fundamentally anti-Roman, as the Respublica triumphed from invention!)  This is a pernicious effect of the conquest of Greece by Rome: Greek philosophy, and not the best, corrupted Rome in turn…

From examining history, it is clear to me that some individuals and even many political leaders, did evil on purpose. Either because they thought they were doing good, or also because they thought they were causing pain and suffering. When Charlemagne deported to South West France a substantial part of the Saxon population, he thought he was doing good, as the alternative was just to massacre them (something he also did…)

***

On the Haughtiness Of, and Redemption by, Advanced Thinking:

One can blame, one should blame, some reasons of some people, sometimes, I blame mine quite often, but that doesn’t mean that blaming some ideas impell to view others with hostility, or that I hate them, or view myself with undisguised hatred. Quite the opposite: viewing defects, mental errors, inappropriate emotions, for what they are, where they come from, deepens the love (including self-love). Explanation is, often redemption. The passions can be precise, clever, if one teaches them well.

By blaming blame into oblivion, emperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius blamed the most advanced, most powerful weapon against mental lethargy and thus the most powerful tool for liberating reason into oblivion.

Impermanence of things and individuals, permanence of virtues. The fundamental error of old fashion “virtue ethics“: not putting ENOUGH intelligence first, foremost, and most fundamentally. Only most farsighted intelligence enables not to mitigate the paving of the road to hell with good intentions!

Enlightenment exists as a loud and clear superior notion since Ahura Mazda, 40 centuries ago. To oppose it as Marcus did, by opposing blame (something the Christians, rightly, brandished), or condemning “useless” thinking, Marcus condemned what Rome needed the most; the catharsis of Enlightenment. In particular, realizing Rome had become a dictatorship, where even new ideas not only couldn’t grow, but were condemned, just for being new. The enlightenment that new ideas bring is only forged by intense criticism.

In the strangest, most pregnant times we are. Lest we be careful, a monster will be born. But, if we do it right, paradise… History should be the most revered teacher, a cult worth having, never boring, always surprising.

Patrice Aymé

***

Note about Marcus Aurelius and change: Just as in physics one can “see” an object by its absence, in systems of thought one can see an idea, precisely because it’s avoided, as a “non-said” (“non-dit” in French philosophy). I accused Marcus to be against new ideas. This is demonstrated, in absentia, by the very way Marcus describes change. According to Marcus, change is about anything you can imagine, except the obvious:

“Is any man afraid of change? What can take place without change? What then is more pleasing or more suitable to the universal nature? And can you take a hot bath unless the wood for the fire undergoes a change? And can you be nourished unless the food undergoes a change? And can anything else that is useful be accomplished without change? Do you not see then that for yourself also to change is just the same, and equally necessary for the universal nature?” (Meditations, VII.18)

The most obvious, most profitable change there is, and should be, for a thinker, is the change of ideas. Marcus Aurelius doesn’t mention it.

***

Note from Massimo: “Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, one the few philosopher-kings (well, okay, emperor) in the history of the world, is a fascinating figure. Despite being one of the most famous Stoics, he was not a philosopher and teacher like Zeno, Chrysippus, or Epictetus. Unlike Seneca, he wrote just one book, the Meditations, which was actually addressed to himself, meant as a personal diary of philosophical reflection, not to instruct others, let alone as a treatise on Stoic philosophy. He was by all accounts an extraordinary man, who tackled some of the greatest challenges the Roman empire had to face, including a war against the irreducible Parthians, another one against a coalition of German tribes led by the Marcomanni, an internal rebellion by one of his most trusted governors, and a plague that killed two or three million people. He … leaned on his philosophy to do the best job he could. And ended up in the disastrous choice of his son Commodus to take up the purple mantle (but see here for a nuanced analysis of that episode), a decision that ended the prosperous and relatively peaceful age of the five good emperors of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty.”

(Emperor Nerva had a short rule, but he adopted top general Trajan as his successor, and Trajan was the best of them; the adopted Hadrian succeeded, after Trajan’s sudden stroke, and it has been suspected Trajan’s wife modified Trajan’s will to do so. In turn, Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius, making him adopt the teenage Marcus Aurelius; Marcus, instead of adopting a promising candidate, heaped impossible honors onto his son, starting as a child… Whereas the Roman Republic, when it was democratic, had draconian limits on mandates, and all representatives were elected, it was hard to duplicate these electoral means in a giant empire, where it took months to travel, away from the sea…)

Drink The Kool Aid With Madeleine Albright…

April 6, 2018

Drinking the Kool-Aid is an expression commonly used in the United States that refers to any person or group who goes along with a doomed or dangerous idea because of peer pressure, following an abusive leader, or leaders, to the bitter, deadly end. The phrase often carries a negative connotation when applied to an individual or group. It can also be used ironically or humorously to refer to accepting an idea or changing a preference due to popularity, peer pressure, or persuasion. In recent years it has evolved further to mean extreme dedication to a cause or purpose, so extreme that one would “Drink the Kool-Aid” and die for the cause.

The phrase derives from the November 1978 Jonestown deaths, in which over 900 members of the Peoples Temple, who were followers of Jim Jones, died, many of whom committed suicide by drinking a mixture of a powdered soft-drink flavoring agent laced with cyanide and prescription drugs Valium, Phenergan, and chloral hydrate, while the rest of the members, including 89 infants and elderly, were killed by forced ingestion of the poison…

***

Dr. Albright was United States secretary of state from 1997 to 2001. Nobody will now believe that the Clinton administration was a time of great progress: war was pursued, under the form of a cruel embargo, including an embargo of drugs, against Iraq, while rogue US citizens, some connected to Harvard U, advised the leaders of Russia to restore the Russian Republic through plutocracy (a phenomenon which brought us Putin)….

Ms Albright wrote for the New York Times: “Will We Stop Trump Before It’s Too Late?” Contrarily to what that title seems to imply, she doesn’t assert that Trump is going to establish fascism in the USA, but that his alleged rogue attitude makes, worldwide, a bad situation worse (in part as Trump makes fun of the established order). 

900 people died at Jamestown, just because they followed the leader. Ms. Albright wants us all, like Mr. Obama, to have “leaders” to follow too. Meanwhile, we are invited to drink the kool aid too, and join in the Earth massacre? Or, at least, the massacre of our own judgment?

Albright writes:

“April 6, 2018

On April 28, 1945 — 73 years ago — Italians hung the corpse of their former dictator Benito Mussolini upside down next to a gas station in Milan. Two days later, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his bunker beneath the streets of war-ravaged Berlin. Fascism, it appeared, was dead.”

Not so simple: Fascism didn’t die in May 1945. Far from it. Fascism is not just a “right wing” phenomenon. It is more about people feeling and thinking all alike, like the fasces bounded together around an axe, which is where the concept comes from, to symbolize in Rome “We the People” bounded around the lethal power of justice. Fascism is first of all, this binding together of a population as a weapon around a threat.

In May 1945 the fascist Stalin was alive, and well. Fascists such as Mao, Ho Chi Minh, were helped and financed by the USA (!!!) The US overall behavior in the war was highly suspect: why didn’t the USA declare war to Germany in 1939, when France and Britain did? Why did the USA wait until Japan and Germany attacked the USA? De facto, US placidity against it enabled the Axis to believe it had the tacit support of the USA (until it found otherwise in late 1941).

Albright:

To guard against a recurrence, the survivors of war and the Holocaust joined forces to create the United Nations, forge global financial institutions and — through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — strengthen the rule of law. In 1989, the Berlin Wall came down and the honor roll of elected governments swelled not only in Central Europe, but also Latin America, Africa and Asia. Almost everywhere, it seemed, dictators were out and democrats were in. Freedom was ascendant.

Today, we are in a new era, testing whether the democratic banner can remain aloft amid terrorism, sectarian conflicts, vulnerable borders, rogue social media and the cynical schemes of ambitious men. The answer is not self-evident. We may be encouraged that most people in most countries still want to live freely and in peace, but there is no ignoring the storm clouds that have gathered. In fact, fascism — and the tendencies that lead toward fascism — pose a more serious threat now than at any time since the end of World War II.

(Survivors of war and “the Holocaust”? There were 5 million Jewish survivors of the attempted murders of all Jews in Europe; however, between the Nazis, Stalin and Mao, the number of people who died in extermination camps was above… 60 millions… In a 30 year period… So let’s be careful, about the notion of “the Holocaust”… Which one?)

Ms Albright doesn’t mention that this system she cherishes was set-up by the USA, to profit the USA more than the rest of the world (the FDR administration having bought Stalin by offering him half of Europe).

Ms. Albright evokes a so-called “free press”, as a conveyor of truth (please, All Bright, tell me why the New York Times and The Guardian, both supposedly left of center, banned all my comments for more than five years? Just because they could? Or because they didn’t like my theory of plutocracy?) However much of the press has been owned or influenced (through sponsors) by the wealthiest individuals. And the Internet is ravaged by “fake news”.

Among the causes of strife Ms Albright identifies, worldwide, the main one, the perception and actuality of inequality, is not mentioned. Wealth, and the plutocracy it brings, are exponential phenomena. They are the main threats to civilization. Actually, people voted, at least in part, for Hitler and Mussolini precisely because those two campaigned explicitly against “plutocrats” and inequality.

The problems are piling up quickly, many of them driven by climate change. This makes most people fearful, anxious to bundle as one and strike: fascism. But that’s just a symptom. The root cause is inequality, not just in wealth, but also in decision-making.

Patrice Aymé 

Note: Here is Ms. Albright, dissembling away in the traditional way:What is to be done? First, defend the truth. A free press, for example, is not the enemy of the American people; it is the protector of the American people. Second, we must reinforce the principle that no one, not even the president, is above the law. Third, we should each do our part to energize the democratic process by registering new voters, listening respectfully to those with whom we disagree, knocking on doors for favored candidates, and ignoring the cynical counsel: “There’s nothing to be done.”

From Albright, nothing about unjust laws which make it so that the wealthiest can pay no taxes, get ever wealthier, and buy politicians… Nothing about direct democracy, all about “candidates”, presumably, “Manchurian Candidates”, brainwashed and all….

INVICTUS We Should BE: Free Will, Determinism, Classical & Quantum Mechanics, Neurohormonal States

April 2, 2018

Conventional Wisdom sits back and whines: ’With Quantum Mechanics, we lost determinism. Is Free Will in truth just Quantum chaos?’

Advanced Wisdom replies: ’Not so, just the opposite. Absolute determinacy from classical mechanics never existed, because it depended upon infinitely precise initial conditions. These couldn’t be. Now, given that small initial discrepancy, after an arbitrarily long time, one will get an arbitrarily large discrepancy. Exit your sacrosanct “classical determinacy”, which will always churn out arbitrarily large errors, given enough time.

Conventional Wisdom:’In any case our brains are ruled by Quantum Mechanics, and that’s nondeterministic’.

Advanced Wisdom:’The Quantum is not truly “nondeterministic“. The Quantum attributes probabilities to outcomes, the so-called “Quanta”, but the latter outcomes don’t change ever more with time… whereas wilder and wilder outcomes is what happens in Classical Mechanics, as time goes by!

Classical Wisdom sees Classical Mechanics as deterministic, whereas Quantum Mechanics is not. However, Quantum outcomes are determined at the outset (so-called “Quanta”), whereas all and any classical mechanical evolutions diverge indefinitely ever more… SO CM predicts whatever, in the long run, whereas QM is more regimented…

Conventional Wisdom:’Quantum Mechanics more deterministic than Classical Mechanics? The world is upside down with you! Whatever, you confuse me. Forget these abstractions, forget Quantum Mechanics, for the sake of the argument at hand, I don’t believe in Free Will. Let me tell you why. View the brain as a machine with programs. Given some circumstances, the brain will make just one computation, with just one solution. Presto, no more Free Will! We are just Turing machines! Nothing you can do, you will always get the same result.’

Advanced Wisdom:’I embrace BRAIN BUILDING, not just body building! I have a little experiment for you. Sit in a chair, think about a given Problem, call it P. Then go run half an hour on a mountain trail, an exercise of the muscles, the heart, and the brain processing thousands of data points per second. See what happens to what you thought P was. By the way, I stupidly miscomputed today the firmness of the snow while running, I should have recognized the tint of that particular patch of snow, crashed forward after by right leg went deep through the treacherous white substance, skidded on my left knee, careened off the snow bank, crash landing in stones on the side, making a small bloody gash in my left hand, it sure impacted my mindset a bit… But I digress… The point is this: try then to think of Problem P, while running for quite a while, brain concentrated on potential trajectories’ dangers. You will think of P, but it will turn out in a different context, with different details, different motivations (typically more macroscopic, bigger picture style), in a different mood, in other words, in a different neurohormonal and oxygen set-up. The computational paths offered inside the brain to solve P will be different than those which were apparent while sitting on that chair. Hence if one had a set C of solutions from the chair, one now has a set R, from running: the set of solutions is not C, but C + R!’

In other words, if you want to get out of Plato’s Cave, go running! Running, physical activity, or different neurohormonal set-up, will change your mind. Learn to change minds as if it were clothes. It beats just putting someone’s else shoes.

CW:’What does that have to do with Free Will?’

AW: ‘Classical Free Will is a choice between a number of solutions, hypotheses, emphases, etc. Call that set of choices and outcomes N. Conventional Wisdom assumes that N just is, like the Moon, a well-determined object, like in a category (category is here in the mathematical sense). However, I just demonstrated that N, the set of choices and outcomes presented to Free Will is, itself, a function of neurohormonal states. Changing the neurohormones changes the categories which make up that set N (something Aristotle didn’t think of when he invented categories in the non-math sense). Moreover the latter neurohormonal states can be controlled and chosen from, or selected… At will. When Socrates and his golden youth friends and lovers decided to go get drunk and party all night, chewing the fat, they decided to change their neurohormonal states from normal to wacko. That’s the whole idea of Dionysus, bringing a fresh re-think, and re-emote of the whole mindset. Nietzsche correctly deduced that was one of the causes of the Greeks’ superiority. Similarly, religions prohibiting nuttiness, foolishness, jokes and feasts, as Catholicism and Islamism, fabricate dull minds. So thinking can be controlled with meta controls upon the environments in which the thinking, and the feeling, are conducted, and produced. That’s why people read books and go the theater, among other fantasies.

Conventional Wisdom: ‘Are you getting meta on me, once again?’

AW: ‘Yes, Free Will is not free of neurohormonal or other mental states, thus we are free to control Free Will by selecting for oneself one’s environmentsA form of meta control. For example, when the wrongfully revered philosopher Heidegger decided to become a Seminarist, or a Nazi, he made meta choices which impacted his freedom of thought or, of will, looking forward. Same when doctor Asperger decided to help support the Nazis’ first extermination program, a context which led him to invent the pseudo-disease named after him (and which was used as a reason to assassinate thousands of German children).’    

While in captivity, Nelson Mandela recited that poem by William Henley to fellow prisoners, and they felt empowered. The myth of “Sol Invictus” was imposed by Roman Emperor Aurelian, around 250 CE, it was a first run of the fascist Catholicism Constantine would impose in 325 CE, 75 years later…

CW:’Are you saying that I can act to steer my own Free Will, by controlling my mental context?’

AW:’Yes. And you are deeper than you think: the notion of “steering” was introduced by Schrodinger, in connection with Quantum Entanglement. Steering of mental state and Free Will is closely related. Indeed, changing context is pretty much how Quantum Steering shows up! Hence the Schrodinger cat conundrum…

CW:’Enough, my head is exploding in cats!’

AW:’Take hold of yourself, remember the honor of the human spirit! When talking about Free Will remember that, as in Quantum Mechanics, you can’t control the solutions, but you can control the spaces which make them appear!

CW: ‘Can we get practical here?

AW: ‘It’s very practical! I just said there was Free Will, and how to create more of it!”

CW: ‘You want to create Free Will by acting on the mental contexts, by making it so that they will offer, or create, more solutions?

AW: ‘Exactly! The idea is not exactly new. Forcefully changing neurohormonal states is why Socrates and his ilk got drunk, and Indian Swamis, and countless Shamans around the world experimented with mind altering drugs! Or why we dream, for that matter!’

CW:’Do you do drugs?’

AW:’No need, I just plug-in my brain, it’s foolish and creative enough on its own, no need to reduce performance with junk, no alcohol, nicotine, pot, or hallucinogens for me, I hallucinate in a controlled fashion, so to speak. Indeed, I do mind altering activities like mountain running in snow, hence yesterday’s amusing crash.’  

Conventional Wisdom: Alright, you, you and you. Kudos to you, oh great youyou. What is the point of Free Will anyway? Why should we worry about it?

AW: Because if we don’t we don’t do anything about it, we just wait for nuclear war, and the rising of oceans by 70 meters, whatever comes first.

CW:’You worry about big stuff. What’s in it for small people with small preoccupations?’

AW: ‘Very simple. If one doesn’t believe in Free Will, one is a slave to destiny. However, human beings aren’t made to be slave to destiny. Human beings, as they evolved, over millions of years, could check, every day, that they were actors of change. Profitable change, life saving change. Thus, lack of belief in Free Will is fundamentally inhuman. Lack of belief in Free Will corresponds to not behaving according to the owner’s manual. And it has to be discouraged, thought evolution. Therefore, lack of belief in Free Will makes individuals lugubrious, sinister, unhappy, and a danger to their human environment. Let alone the entire biosphere. Amen.

CW: Being happy is a moral duty?

AW: Being happy and willful is a moral duty, in the sense of the morality evolution itself created us with. We were evolutionary made to be Lords, not slaves! Embracing such an attitude, embracing happiness and wilfulness, has practical consequences, such as an unwillingness to confer our decisional powers to representatives whose powers corrupt them absolutely!

CW: What is the overall metaprinciple, to use your semantics, at work here?

AW: The honor of the human spirit is the ultimate principle. What evolution created us into, it did, because it enhanced our mental performances. We are naturally evolved artificial intelligence. It’s our mental superiority which drove us, as a species. Insinuating that we are not free to be happy, free to become captains, and even architects, and engineers, of our own souls, is to undermine the human spirit, our core principle, it is to subscribe to the principle of slavery.

Patrice Aymé