Archive for July, 2018

Hating Tech? Hate Man!

July 30, 2018

Rampages against technology are fashionable: after all, we, and our entire world, depends upon it. Dependents are prisoners of their benefactor(s). The unwise will resent that. Technology is worse than a drug, then: it is the life support system of the most advanced apes who ever were. It is even more: our soul? The world-changing apes world-changed, and evolved for, and from, technology. If we have a creator specific to our species, here it is! Technology is out mother, father, what makes us possible. Hating our provider, our god: how pleasing!

Homo, the genus, and genius, is inseparable from technology. Saying technology doesn’t help, or doesn’t even help define what is human, is to have understood nothing to the genus Homo. Socrates took a stance: he posed as an anti-science, anti-tech, even anti-mental creativity type. Socrates refused even to write: after all, that’s tech too. But for his living, he depended upon an inherited stock portfolio, and his plutocratic friends and fiends. And, when, as a wealthy hoplite, he killed the enemy, it was because of his technologically superior, and very expensive armor and weapons. I can’t afford, as Socrates did, to be a hypocrite.

Diogenes too, was an anti-tech, anti-progress hypocrite: he lived in a barrel: that’s advanced technology, an expensive Gallic import… soon Gallic armies would battle down into Greece, thanks to their superior weapons due to superior metal works. Diogenes also had a dog:  another advanced technology, a Genetically Modified Organism, whose carefully twisted mind makes him love and obey his master. The reason Diogenes didn’t have to battle giant European Cave Lions was that those had been driven to extinction, thanks to superior weapons.

Also Athens existed, and could feed Socrates and Diogenes, because it imported grain from the Black Sea, two weeks of shipping away (at best). Or from Cyrenaica. Attica was too dry to feed the largest Greek city. And Athens paid back, with superior tech. Demosthenes, the philosopher, inherited also from his father. His 40 slaves were making advanced tech, sold throughout the Mediterranean. As I said, it paid for food of the last Athenian dog. It goes without saying that this imperial organization rested on the mightiest army and navy, which had persuaded cities such as Byzantium to reasonably cooperate…

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The more human we get, the more tech we get, and live from:

So on tech we go.
An interest of technology is to solve problems, which can’t be solved otherwise, lest we want to use massively the oldest methods, like cannibalism. There are countless examples, in history, of populations which have been reduced to zero, as needed by the sustainable ecological load.

As it is, we use much more planet than we have. We need another planet, or we need to quickly consume, say, 90% of humanity (the latter can easily be done, though… thanks to tech, both as an exterminator, and a redemptor).

Colonizing Mars would double the land area at our disposal. And yes, it can be done: there are giant ice cliffs on Mars: water was the big problem to terraform Mars. Up to last year, Mars looked desiccated, and it appeared one would have to crash comets into it to bring water. Now, no more. All we need is a mighty energy source. That too, tech could bring us: controlled thermonuclear fusion, already used in decent airports, looms, ever closer: a thermonuclear reactor connected to the grid is feasible… if we spent, say 100 billion dollars (5% US or EU yearly GDP).

The Counties of Alameda and Contra Costa (“AC”), in the San Francisco Bay Area form together AC Transit, which has purchased dozens of Fuel Cell Electric Buses. Those buses refuel hydrogen at dedicated service stations. Their waste? Water! Those buses aren’t just zero emission, they are the ideal complement of the photovoltaic energy rising in California. Some cities of AC provide free PV installations.

Elon Musk is an entrepreneur: he takes science invented by much deeper minds, and turns it into profitable technology. True, he got favored by Obama, in a shameless manner… while Obama killed important technologies such as Fuel Cells… to leave room to Musk, and other Silicon Valley friends Obama had (now busy making him rich). True the plutocratic connection between Musk and tech monopolies and the Obama administration was disgusting, and many involved should how be prosecuted. I wrote extensively against Musk and Bezos in the past, because they go so much help from the Obama White House. However, the fact is now both of these two plutocrat have made an important technological advance: rockets can be reused! “Space Shuttle” launches used to cost 1.5 billion dollars (yes, billion, with a b… per launch). Musk thinks he could launch a much bigger rocket for six million dollars. Indeed, doing the math, the cost of launch should be no more than a jumbo jet transcontinental flight… if the rocket is sophisticated enough.

Yet, the transition from deep science to a deeper socio-economy shouldn’t be neglected: they are entangled. No advancement of the socio-economy, no advancement of science, and reciprocally.

Rome failed because it couldn’t get going the science it needed, because its exaggeratingly fascist, pathetically impotent socio-economy (the combination of slavery and autocracy, too strong for enabling the People to contribute, not enough to crush plutocrats). Now, of course, the Romans weren’t too brainy to start with… and they kept Greece too subjugated, before finally snuffing it by mad theocracy (when the Academies were ordered closed by a Roman emperor.)

In the Tenth Century, new cultivars, of beans for the Franks, and of rice for the Vietnamese/Chinese, made a better fed Europe and East Asia forge ahead as ever more domineering civilizations… New cultivars are new technology…

Facebook is a different problem from the space adventures of Musk and Bezos. First, Facebook has no added value: all it does is spy, and find new fixes for its addicts (Instagram). Facebook is horrendously unethical, and a return to a primitivism worse than the Middle Ages. Facebook has indeed decided to censor artwork from the Middle Ages… “even if it has educational value“… Facebook grotesquely asserts. No wonder, it’s led by an uneducated grabster, used to wrap presidents around its little robotic fingers…

In general plutocracy is killing civilization. Always has, always will. However, the grandeur of Bezos’ and Musk’s missions is such, one has to make a grudging exception for them, as long as they keep on going… to Mars. That doesn’t mean we have run out of targets: all the financial derivative sector, worth 1,400 trillion dollars (yes, with a t, $1,400 thousand billions) should be destroyed. It is because it doesn’t exist in China, that China has become the world’s greatest economic power… Financiers bootstrapping themselves so they can crush us when they come down… What’s worse?
Patrice Ayme

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For comic relief, one can read Massimo Pigliucci’s and Correy Mohler’s”Diogenes the Cynic vs Elon Musk
What wisdom could the great Cynic offer to our modern-day Alexander?“. Dogs can bark, but thinking deep is not their forte… So I thank Massimo for the spark to the blistering critique above… And indeed, first, to compare Musk to Alexander the Great is beyond grotesque: Alexander is a serious, not to say mass lethal, subject. Musk is cute, but basically completely replaceable (first, consider Bezos, who is coming up with similar rockets…)

If Israel Is The Elected People Why Vote Again? (Thus,) Does the Biblical God Want To Kill The Jews?

July 28, 2018

Israeli philosopher Omri Boehm asks in the New York Times: “Did Israel Just Stop Trying to Be a Democracy”?

I generally do not comment much on Israel. My reasons are deep, tenebrous, far inside the vigorous flames of the circles of hell at the center of my philosophical system, sustaining the whole thing, just as the sun-like molten iron heart of Earth supports the heavenly biosphere… Just as the Dark Side supports the Enlightenment, as the Yin and Yang define each other…

But, as the New York Times itself decides to show some guts, so must I… I will not be outdone by commoners! (A very extended version of my published comment is below; it was approved by just 2 people, whereas comments in the Israel Uber Alles style, were approved by more than 100… Serious Jews are into introspection…)

Satrapies (subordinated plutocracies) were small in the West immense in the east. In any case, the Achaemenid (“Persian”) empire was extremely multiethnic… And extremely advanced: news came from all over the empire to Persepolis in one week with an efficient road network, and a pony express… (The real extent of the empire was even greater than that, going all the way to Ethiopia, and Oman was part of it…)

Dr, Boehm writes:”Last week, Israel’s government pushed through Parliament a new law calling Israel the “nation-state of the Jewish people.” That statement may sound like a truism — and in some respects it is one — but the implications of it officially being made are monumental.

In 1948, the Declaration of Independence, the text that marks the founding of Israel, created a Jewish state that would ensure “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” Since then, the question of how Israel could be both Jewish and democratic has been the object of fierce controversy.

The effort to guarantee equal rights for non-Jews has at times seemed like trying to square a circle. Last week, Israel gave up on even trying.

implicit nod to Palestinian self-determination was driven by an overriding concern for Jewish interests, not Arab rights. In May 1948, there were about 600,000 Jews and some 1.2 million Arabs living within Palestine’s borders. With Jews in the minority, the Jewishness of a democratic Israel could only be ensured if Palestinians had a chance at self-determination. In other words, Israel’s foundational twin pledge (to be both Jewish and democratic) was hypocritical…

The system’s original contradictions are now being laid bare. Of the more than 8.2 million people living in Israel’s recognized borders today, roughly 73 percent are Jewish and 22 percent are Arab. But of the 11.8 million people who live in Israel and the West Bank, roughly 56 percent are Jewish and 40 percent are Arab. And as the prospect of a viable two-state solution has receded, so has Israel’s promise that it would provide full equality to non-Jews.

In keeping with this evolution, last week’s nation-state law says that, “The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

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This picture symbolizes the problem. The two mosques visible (gold Dome of the Rock, etc.) were built on TOP of the Jewish Temple. OK, it may be better than latrines. But when we read that Muhammad, after his death, flew to Jerusalem on a winged horse… a heady mix of Judaism and Hellenism (remember Pegasus?)… one finds itself confronted to a fable for little children having turned lethal, for real… The Star of David is nearly two millennia older than Islam….

The theory that ethnicity commands citizenship was made most famous by the Nazis. However tribalism above anything else is one of the oldest, most primitive, and deleterious, not to say savage, lethal and criminal, ideologies. All great empires triumphed, because they rejected it, wholesale. This is what made them great. For example, the Achaemenid empire, which extended from Greece to India and Ethiopia to Central Asia, was extremely multiethnic. The Greco-Roman empire was extremely multiethnic (and so is its descendant empire, “The West”). China and India were multiethnic.

Multiethnicity is not the end all, be all: it doesn’t prevent intellectual fascism, nor, of course, the political type of fascism, as the Persians obdurately demonstrated in the last three millennia…. However, it is conducive to it…

A multiethnic empire is forced to admit that there are higher principles than origins and appearances.

Those higher principles are well-known: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.

These principles are secular, they don’t depend upon the common superstition that the tribe at hand was chosen by “god” to be tops! Or the elected people”, or even the definition of “man” (as happened in many tribes).

The “Elected People” theory backfired spectacularly in the confrontation between the Jews and their mental offspring. First in the Fourth Century, Roman emperor Theodosius I legislated that the Christians were the Elected People, and “heretics” (“those who made a choice”) were to be burned. Finally the “Elected People” theory, reinforced by the Christo-Darwinist mindset led to apply the “selection of the fittest” to Judaism: the Nazis insisted that they were the “Elected People”, elected by their own will, not a “god” scared of shrimps and hogs who insisted on sexual mutilations…

The irony, then, is that the Jewish god is of an inferior sort, scared of hogs and shrimps. Hence the Jewish god favors superstition heavily: doesn’t it favor its “elected people”?  Actually it’s no favor to believe in all the stupidities in the Bible: it makes those who believe in them incredibly dumb. One may argue that they are made dumb on details. No. They are made dumb on the principle that dumbness has to be the ultimate ruler.

Thus, paradoxically, the Jewish god, who defines Israel, is its worse enemy. How did that occur? The vicious tribal fascism and exterminationism found in the Bible was a great help in the dog eat dog world which followed the simultaneous collapse of all the civilizations of the Middle Earth around 1117 BCE and, or, from the “conspiracy of the Sea People” (Pharaoh dixit)… Although versions of desiccated Egypt survived, and Greece would revive, mightier than ever, within three centuries.

The vicious exterminationism found in the Bible provided a justification for the methods Israel had to use, simply to exist. Before the Muslims crow:’We told you so!’, let me point out the original, literal version of Islam has exactly the same problem… And just as with Israel, that was the key to its early success. It’s no coincidence, but causation: in the grander scheme of thing, Islam is just a variant of Judaism, endowed with a similar ultra-violence (the Qur’an quotes approvingly Lot in the Bible on how to treat homosexuals:”with a rain of stones”; the Bible is the constant context of all of Islam, the “Messenger of god” Muhammad’s fundamental theme being that Jews and Christians didn’t abide correctly by the unvarnished Bible).

All this ultra-violence and ultra-discrimination? All the way to the ovens.

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So why am I (nevertheless) pro-Israel? (But one should push my patience too far…) It’s not just a question of the enemy of my enemy being my friend. (Moreover, it’s not clear who is friend, who is enemy!) It’s not just a question of historical justice: Judaism is more than twice older than Islam. When the Islamists established mosques on top of THE temple of the Jews, they were symbolically put their feet on Israel’s face.

The Roman emperor Hadrian had kicked the Jews out of Jerusalem after the second Judaic War (135 CE). However, the decision, applauded by the fanatical Saint Augustine after 400 CE, didn’t have to be definitive: Roman emperor Julian had ordered the reconstruction of the Great Temple in 362 CE. Julian in the surviving Fragment of a Letter to a (Pagan) Priest: “I myself…intended to restore it [the Jerusalem Temple], in honor of the god whose name has been associated with it.” (Works, vol. 2., pp. 297–339.) Sixth-century historian Lydus quotes him, “I raise with the utmost zeal the Temple of the Highest God.

Some may scoff:’Who cares about a Roman emperor?’ Well, our present regimes are descendants from Rome… As our law is, in its fundamental nature, Roman (extended to women and children). Moreover, morality (the mores) is entangled with law: what we consider legal is moral, and reciprocally.

In the best of possible world, the Middle East would free itself from the Biblical god: Arabic speaking peoples would harness the know-how of the Hebrew speaking people… But the complexity arises when one realizes that (some, many) Israelis, or, at least, Israeli companies, are so smart, precisely because their lives depend upon their smarts. The Dark Side, violence requires, enables and invigorates, higher mental functions. Such is the darkest of the dark.

Abominable are the flowers of infamy, yet beautifully mighty!

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Conclusion? Tribalists are worse than fascists, or racists: they are followers of principles which reduce mental diversity, thus intelligence. Hence, in the end, tribalists are those whom much higher principles, which they are busy denying, subjugate. Israel may thrive right now by going solo in the world of decency and common sense. But solo is solo, and that’s dangerous, as all dead solo climbers, my friends, can testify.

Patrice Ayme

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Note: The NYT decided the following comment was to be lauded (and it was approved by 100 times more readers than mine!). I reproduce it as it is, complete with its atrocious orthography (the New York Times has to live according to its picks:

pirranha299

PhiladelphiaJuly 26

Times Pick

Why is Israel, a country the relative size of a postage stamp, the Worlds one and only Jewish state always singled out for opprobrium no matter what it does.  The Arabs have 28 plus countries. Is it too much to ask that they can have a law that makes it official that its a Jewish State? Can’t Jews have one little state of their own?

Israel is a Democracy..This law does not change that.  It has a vibrant press, minority represention in its democratically elected legislature, and an independent judicial system that acts as check on the executive and legislative branches. As is typical, If Israel is not perfect the anti-Semites and Anti-zionists will take one element they disagree with and conglate it to portray all of Israel as “a Nazi state” and demonize it as a threat to World peace. Of course they say nothing when the true dictatorships demonize Israel, point out Israel’s flaws as existential threats to “their Palestinian brothers” while ignoring  their own brethrens terrorism, racism, and militirism.

Israel as the only Jewish State will always be outvoted by the far more numerous Arab and Muslim States. The author cites ” Israel’s right wing government” in a pejorative sense. If it can be categorized that way it’s because the People democratically voted it in. If it fails it can be voted out. Thats democracy.

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The answer to this sort of logic is that we have seen it before, with Sparta. There was only one Spartan state. Sparta enslaved another city-state: Messene, to its west, a unique case in Greece. It didn’t finish well for Sparta… Although Sparta was an independent state for more than a millenium (longer than Israel), it ultimately disappeared. Athens didn’t: in the middle Middle Ages, Paris was considered to be the “imperial translation” of Athens: many of the best principles of Athens were taken over by Paris, a rebirth of Athens. Sparta though was dead, and stayed dead… Except if Israel takes itself as the new Sparta? Well, Sparta didn’t have the equivalent of Orthodox Jews: they would have been put to death immediately…

 

Is Trump Hatred Secretly Directed At Clinton-Obama?

July 23, 2018

If they have a choice, do individuals tell themselves the truth, or convenient, more pleasurable fiction? Of course, generally the latter, except if in life or death situations (hence the philosophical interest of harrowing occurrences…) Thus individuals can, and will, hook up with collective crazes out there, if possible: collective crazes can be most pleasurable, thrilling, encouraging. Especially hatred.

One can see this clearly right now with Trump Derangement Syndrome: many pseudo-progressives, in a mass mental action, are obsessing about Trump 24/7… it sucks up all their mental oxygen, if any… while proposing strictly nothing to progress civilizationally!  Hoping for a return to the unsuspected plutophile past, the New York Times asked:”Disgusted With Donald Trump? Do This” … And for the New York Times to propose to vote… Against Trump.

However it’s precisely because they were disgusted by the lies of the Republican establishment (especially regarding the Iraq invasion) that Republicans voted for Trump: Trump’s primary Republican campaign consisted mostly in screaming to the face of his competitors that they were “liars”. And indeed, they were. (Let’s not forget Trump was a “Democrat” until September 2009.) It’s precisely because they were disgusted by the lies of the establishment that Blue State democrats voted for Trump.

The Blue State democrats who voted for Obama in 2012 (refined studies have shown), feeling betrayed, turned to Trump 4 years later. Thus the notion of betrayal is important. It is now alleged by Trump’s adversaries, such as the dying Senator McCain, that Trump is a traitor working for the KGB. However, McCain wrote strident stuff, two years ago about “Huma” not being a traitor. Who was “Huma”?  Someone who promoted Sharia in the West (Sharia is Muslim law: homosexuals, apostates, polytheists, insulters of Islam or the prophets, and others, have to be “executed”; women are worth half a man). Blue State democrats who voted for Trump, and not the establishment represented by Clinton and her sidekick Abedin… Huma Abedin, the straighter than straight citizen, according to McCain, the one with a giant set of teeth, literal and figurative, could be seen clearly, by modest people, as someone financed by the Wahhabist establishment of Saudi Arabia, for decades.

That McCain flew to the defense of someone from a family whose family business is Saudi propaganda shows him for what he is: fully a member of the Bitter Lake Conspiracy and its ilk. (Or maybe McCain hoped to sleep with her? …That’s the only valid excuse I can imagine) Abedin’s Congressman husband, and Clinton confidante, was involved in public sex with children, and now meditates in prison: one can’t make these things up.

Surely, Trump didn’t create the US system. For example, laws abusing children are centuries old in the USA. Separating children from parents can be called an industry (I even saw a case where the officer in charge apparently stole a child. Admittedly, I don’t know all the details… But the little blonde girl was a friend of my own daughter, who still asks about her, we tried to teach her some swimming… They left the US, apparently for Europe. Although the mom was a thief (she stole some things of mine), I am not saying she was a bad mother. But I am saying that in the US system, children can be certainly taken from parents…)

So why all the rage against Trump? Why not raging about those monstrous laws earlier? Thus then, wonder: the state of being enraged is a more general neurological condition than rage against a particular individual. This is why people who are angry will often hit an innocent object. So rage can start against someone (Obama) or something (the Democratic Party) and be transferred to someone else (Trump, Putin), or something (Russia).

So the rage is here. What caused it? They say: Trump, obviously. Yet it’s clear that Trump didn’t create the situation he found: the disastrous state of healthcare, the dearth of quality employment, unaffordable decent housing, unaffordable education, unsustainable trade balances, all-powerful finance, etc.

Reagan was the big change. Although Nixon was a crook, he was small time relative to Reagan and his admirers (among them Clinton, Obama)… Ever since the plutocrats have made ever more money and the poorest, the majority of the population, ever less relatively speaking…

The culpability of Obama is immense. Contemplate financial derivatives: even the Catholic Pope condemned them (I propose that all the practitioners of this dark conspiracy should be mass-excommunicated). Obama? Que nenni!

Naturally, “democrats” can’t admit to themselves that the colored skin hero took them for a ride, favoring, for eight years all-invading tech monopolies… so that they would employ him afterwards (one of the very most profitable monopolies under Obama, Netflix, is now employing the Obamas, under secret terms; somebody else, much less famous announced his contract with Netflix was 300 million dollars; so a billion dollar contract with the Obamas is imaginable; OK, 999 millions…)

Is then Trump another name for eight disastrous years of Obama? Actually, the disaster of increasing inequality, not to say iniquity evolved over 34 years.

The voices of the past say there is a solution to anti-Trump hatred: vote for the same old same old! That would certainly feel good, and moreover, solve nothing! Alleluia!

Here is an example: human rights for children, as defined by the United Nations. All countries subscribe to them, but for one country. The USA. When Obama and his gang had a supermajority, they could easily have joined the rest of humanity, and make it illegal to separate children from parents except in really extreme cases. They didn’t. They put children in cages, and… Trump did the same. Whose fault is that? The fake progressives who campaigned for Obama? (I campaigned heavily for Obama myself, giving years of life for him: zero return!)

The children in cages crap was clear for all to see in 2014. If the New York Times wants non-voters to bother voting,  the political parties, in particular the Democratic Party, need to own up to their own mistakes and stop blaming everyone else.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/human-rights/treaty-ratification/theres-only-one-country-hasnt-ratified-convention-childrens

So now “democrats” and other pseudo-social justice types rightly scream against Trump separating kids and parents. But why didn’t they do something when they could? Why didn’t they strike these infamous US laws and practices, separating kids from parents, when they could?

More pertinently, where is the really progressive agenda? When Obama finished his mandate, inequality reached its highest level, ever. When Obama finished, getting ready to cash in, life expectancy in the USA took its most serious dip in a century. Any propositions to fix all these problems?

Instead, a new McCarthyism has been launched. With Russia accused of “interfering” in elections. As if the US had never “interfered” in elections anywhere? As if the USA didn’t have, for decades, the practice to interfere not just in elections, but with elected officials. Was the launch, by the USA and its CIA of the coup against legitimately elected President Allende of Chile, ever prosecuted in the USA?

The rage against Trump is often commendable. However, the truth is worse: the rage is secretly directed at Obama, Clinton, and other traitors to We The People. Trump is only the name that can be uttered. So don’t vote for the same old. Think anew!

The essence of what I wrote above was published as a comment of mine by the New York Times. Only one reader recommended it: thus they know they are all culprits, and would rather avert their eyes, and their minds…

Could the troubling anti-Trump, anti-Russian hysteria agitating the USA run out of control? If one uses a strict analogy to Rome, to the Roman Republic, at first sight, it sounds fishy. However, the Roman civil war started in a way similar to the present situation.

Let me explain: in my vision of history, the Roman civil war was on and off, from say 150 BCE until Augustus terminated Cleopatra and Marc Anthony, and the Populus, following the army, gave him absolute control (to terminate strife, and repair tranquility, justice, society and economy).

How did the Roman civil war start? With an argument between the People, allied to the army, politically led by the Gracchi (who renounced their Patrician status to be elected Tribunes of the People) against the Gracchi’s own  fellow elite (who came to call themselves the “Optimates“). The argument was the same as now: inequality profited the Optimates, while reducing the status of We The People below the tolerable… Exactly what is happening now.

Suddenly, what was a purely political Roman debate versed into mass murder: the plutocrats killed the Gracchi and their supporters (more than 5,000 of the latter).

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/stop-humoring-the-plutocracy/

This is why the hatred deployed against Trump and those who don’t join in the hatred against Trump is so troubling. It could switch to murder. Right now, we are at the stage where, ridiculously, Trump is accused by supposedly serious pundits, of treason.

Trump interviews from 30 years ago show roughly the same ideas & moods: his mental and volitional density was created, idiosyncratically, over many decades. He really believes in his positions. When barely 20 years old, he sued (successfully!) the US government for defamation… So calm down, and debate with civility. The many unsustainable characteristics of the USA, NATO, the West, the world, the biosphere, are not caused by Trump. They have been caused by the fact the USA was led by fake progressives and fake social justice politicians. Clinton actually destroyed the progress instituted by president Franklin Delano Roosevelt for controlling banks: an astounding insanity, not to say criminality. The result was the pandemonium of 2008, solved by Obama and the BCE by giving to the wealthiest exactly what they had lost, an even more crazed viciousness: social care for the wealthiest, let the rest of the population be despised and go starving, while the richest get subsidies for their luxury electric cars, the Obama way…

No wonder there is so much anger out there. Anger is good. But only when well-directed. The Germans’ anger against their own plutocracy, in particular, was redirected against the French, Slavs and Jews, with catastrophic results.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/nazism-a-consequence-of-vibrant-plutocracy/

We know the solutions: the first one is to get rid of the idea of giving so much power to a few, literally the power of life and death on the planet, a power no oligarchs ever had before. That they are elected or not doesn’t matter: Frankish kings were elected for nearly a millennium, still those Frankish regimes were basically dictatorships, and what we have now is closer to those than to Direct Democracy. So dislike the principle of Trump as much as you want: it is the same principle which brought us Reagan, Clinton, W and Obama, all demonstrably disastrous presidencies… even by the standards of Nixon’s reign. Nixon, was one of the two principal actors of McCarthyism, the hateful paranoia against anything resembling socialism, or even, criticism, by identifying either to Stalinism. However, once president, when he was not organizing burglaries or Christmas bombings (to persuade the Vietminh of the error of their ways), Nixon was not as bad as what we had since. Nixon created the EPA, the HMO system, etc.  Of course, I detest Nixon, and think HMOs are no good (relative to other possibilities). However, Nixon didn’t dismantle the Banking Act of 1933, as Clinton did. And although cuddly to plutocrats like his friend Kaiser, Nixon was not only doing what plutocrats told him to do, as Obama did.

Thus those who frantically hate Trump should realize their hatred should not be directed just upon the latest dictator around: what came before is what needs to be fixed. Going shrill on what Trump may do (like pulling out of the Paris climate accord in 2021…) is not constructive in the perspective of achieving real progress. And are you driving an SUV? Are you flying around the planet for tourism? If you are, hate yourself (if you have no good reason to be driving an SUV, or flying around, like Obama and his enormous entourage). Hate Trump, yet remember he gave half a million dollars to the Clintons, a few years ago. Hate Trump, but remember you may be worse.

Those who can’t examine their own lives, can’t elect the ideas and moods which should lead us. They give us a life that’s not worth living. For an inkling of what that entails, just ask the Jihadist next door, who, after all, has to live in an Islamist society, driving her, or him, to the most abject despair!

Trump Derangement Syndrome brings allegations that Russia financed the Trumps: as I said, plutocracy is one, I fully expects this. However, time spent obsessing about Trumps instead of progressing towards social justice, or a better, or simply survivable world. Those obsessed by Trumps should have been obsessed by Obamas before, when the world was given to the monopolies which now pay them handsomely!

By vomiting on Trump all day long, those with Trump Derangement Syndrome deny that we have a plutocratic problem, much deeper than one individual. TDS is a drug, an opiate for the soul:’Look, I am good, I hate Trump!’ No, you should hate history first, get to know it.

History is subtle, and has to be revisited. Take Cicero. Take Cato the Younger. Both are viewed as beyond any suspicion, the second one of the heroes of Stoicism. I claim they contributed to bury the (Roman) Republic, and I claim that, to understand what they did wrong, should inform today’s debate on what afflicts us: to be continued…

Patrice Ayme

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Note: As far as I know, I invented the concept of TDS. So many of my previously politically inert friends were severely affected, switching from total political indifference to Trump hatred. It was clearly a mania, like the Tulip Bulb mania, the South Sea Bubble, etc. The funny thing is that, a few years prior, when clearly Obama engaged in an outrageously oligarchic policy, they couldn’t care less…

Here is an early use of TDS: https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/advanced-machiavellian-insulting/

Wikipedia observes that the late WSJ Krauthammer took it up six months later (maybe from one of my comments to the WSJ)

https://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/06/you_cant_govern_by_id_charles.html

 

Why & How Trevor Noah Reeks Of Racism. Please Understand This To Lessen Racism

July 19, 2018

Trevor Noah, an immigrant “humorist” in the US with a huge audience, made gorilla gestures while saying: ““Africa won the World Cup. I get it, they have to say it’s the French team. But look at those guys. You don’t get that tan by hanging out in the south of France, my friends.

No, I am not your friend. Although about as much from Africa as you are. I actually detest the sort of facile spirit, bordering idiocy, you display. And I don’t befriend those who judge according to the color of the skin, the racist. Noah judges people by the color of their skin, and he boasts and beams about it. Noah is viewed as “black” in the US, although many “white” people coming out of their winter caves, can acquire just as much a tan as him by hanging around the south of France, that’s a bit more than the tan of the French football superstar, Kylian Mbappé Lottin, né le 20 décembre 1998 à Paris.

When asked, the players said, and insisted, again and again, that they owed their career to the “Republic”. Not, not once, to Islam or Africa (as much US media insisted, as if Black Africans were all Muslim… And Islam there has not much in common with Mecca, but for the ability to get there…) 

Dictator-President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela zeroed in on Les Bleus, following the Trevor Noah lead, lying just as outrageously: “the French team seems like the African team. In reality Africa won, the African immigrants who arrived in France.

Actually the star French players are all French born. They are NOT immigrants. Paul Labile Pogba, né le 15 mars 1993 à Lagny-sur-Marne en Seine-et-Marne. N’Golo Kanté, né le 29 mars 1991 à Paris, etc. (My own nickname selected by me while living in West Africa was Golo, a word with its own meaning…) The fact that the French team is from the (full) Republic, and not from “Africa”, where Republics as Republican as present-day France don’t exist, is geopolitically crucial… And is what impacts the quality of the football…

A protesting French Ambassador Araud wrote to Trevor Noah the players of the National Football team are French citizens—born (except for 2 out of 23), educated, and taught to play soccer in France. “They are proud of their country: France,” Araud wrote. “The rich and various backgrounds of these players is a reflection of France’s diversity.

That last line fascinated Noah, who retorted: “Now, I’m not trying to be an asshole, but I think it’s more a reflection of France’s colonialism. Because it’s not like it’s just like random players; they all have something in common. Like all of those players, if you trace their lineage you’re like, ‘How did you guys become French? How did your family start speaking French? Oh, O.K.’”

You don’t have to try to be an asshole, you got it. South Africa you are from was really colonized recently by the Afrikaners (17 C), the English (around 1900), and the Zulus (14 C), and the Xhosas (another Bantu group which arrived a bit earlier, and was pushed by the Ama Zulu, the People of the Sky). In general, the Bantus colonized South Africa in the last millennium, over the dead bodies of the original Khoisan population. Now, that’s real colonization, US style: go somewhere, kill the natives, replace them… The Bantus colonized, the US colonized… There are presently no French “colons” in Africa (there were basically never any; most French were administrators, hospital personnel, etc.)

Fighting racism is, first, about identifying what racism is. That’s start with educating racists. Noah, reading the letter above made still another racist asshole joke, showing he really doesn’t get it.

This unintelligent wealthy Noah person doesn’t realize that the ancestors of these French players did as Noah himself did. Having a career in racist, violent South Africa didn’t appeal to him, so he moved to the USA.

Noah was born of a tragedy, from a German Swiss who abandoned him and a local Xhosa, Patricia. So he himself is the fruit of some sort of colonialism (of his dad over his mom, imagine the trauma!) Thus he wants us all to be either colons, or victims of colonialism. Moreover, Noah’s existence was illegal in the apartheid regime. His mother was condemned to prison, and to pay fines. Later she remarried, then married again, and her second ex-husband shot her twice, in the leg and the head, the bullet came out of her nostril, before his gun jammed.   

Trevor Noah left South Africa after his godfather (the shooter) threatened to kill him too (at the time, he had not been punished by “justice”: the Republic is not that strong in South Africa).

Why is that relevant? Trevor Noah is the fruit of extreme, baffling violence. Horrendous racism. He expects us all to partake in his abomination, his personal hell. He tries to trivialize it, by claiming everybody does it, and that everybody white was, is as bad as his father was to his mom. He naturally assumes violence is natural, everybody does it. And the French national Football team is also the fruit of violence, racism, and the exploitative colonialism his own father indulged in, relative to his mother Patricia, Trevor Noah, insists.

By also insisting that the magnificent French football team, Les Bleus, is the product of colonialism, Noah actually is flattering colonialism: look, colonialism produced a magnificent football team! Ditto for violence: colonialism, the way it’s imagined (and the way it didn’t happen in French Black Africa) is violent. So Noah is saying: look at this magnificent violence (of colonialism) which produced this magnificent football team!

Gérard Araud, French Ambassador to the USA, on his Twitter account: “He didn’t refer to a double identity. He said ‘they are African. They couldn’t get this suntan in the south of France’.  i.e They can’t be French because they are black. The argument of the white supremacist… Which means you can’t be French if you are black. Exactly the argument of the far-right. In French terms, it is horrifying.

Later Trevor Noah changed his music, in a disingenuous fashion. Personally I claim the elements of African culture I was exposed to, helped me enormously in my thinking, and can’t be disentangled from my identity (but Africa is huge, and West Africa I am from has nothing to do with extremely conflicted South Africa…) But the fact remains: the parents and ancestors of the French players US racists call “African” chose the Republic over “Africa”, because the Republic is more civilized.

Why is such a prominent advocate of racism, violence and colonialism as Trevor Noah so prominent? And presenting racism, violence, colonialism under such favorable guises? Precisely because he does this so well! To impart the same high regard for racism and violence in the general population, so make it easier to divide and exploit.

Noah now claims he was just satirical, why worry? No, he is someone with a huge audience taken seriously by the would-be “left”, the forces of would-be progress in the USA. The “Daily Show” is serious propaganda for the Politically Correct. Trevor Noah is, clearly, much more racist than Marine Le Pen, who was never caught saying something as bad. Even her notoriously somewhat racist father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, did not ever say something as bad (to my knowledge).

In guise of excusing himself, Trevor Noah doubled on his insults on France, insisting France had the problem, no him. A perfect message for the racist US: let’s give the man a few more millions.

This, France, Europe, look carefully, this is the true USA, where the light comes through the crack: the USA, a place where racism is so much taken for granted, that it is viewed as funny. Whereas, in truth, it’s deeply pathetic.

***

France Was Multiethnic, Before She Came To Be:

“France”, Gaul, was spectacularly multiethnic, with Germans, Celts, Basques, Aquitanians, Greeks, more than a millennium before a confederation called “the Franks”, that is “the free”, self-formed by uniting a number of German tribes. The Franks united under a law called “Lex Salica” written Roman lawyers, in Latin. France is the definition of multiethnicity.

Greek colons from the City-State of Rhodes installed themselves in the south of France. The Rhodians were followed by Phoceans, who had fled the tyranny of Persia invading present-day “Turkey”. The Phoceans founded Marseilles, 2,638 years ago (precision, precision… An historical date confirmed by archaeology!)

Multi Ethnicity is what came to be known as Francia. When the Franks arrived, chased by a rising (North) sea (!), they were few, so they had to be very nice to the millions of Gallo-Romans, if they wanted to lead them to a better world… And the greatest success of the Franks was to mitigate and recreate Christianism, the Catholic Orthodox, into something compatible with a strong, yet open state. The first result was the destruction of the Goths (in collaboration with a joint attack of Constantinople), the second a powerful extension of the empire in Germany, where the Romans had not been, the third the imposition of secular teaching to the Pope, the fourth the rules of many queens, and the fifth the outlawing of slavery (circa 655 CE).

People like Trevor Noah, Chomsky, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, are found, under close inspection, to be fake friends of real progress (notice I didn’t mention for critique Bernie Sanders or Jerry Brown, who are real progressives). Similarly to Hillary Clinton voting to invade Iraq, because that was the facile thing to do at the time. Thinking is hard. Progress is hard too, because it requires, among other things, thinking.

France is a spirit of the conquest of truth by progress, and the French soccer team has it. They are as French as French can be, more French even than average French, often, because their parents or ancestors chose this, not because they were colons, or dragged around by colons, or enslaved by masters, but because they were smart and progressive. They immigrated to the Republic. They chose the Republic.

Patrice Ayme

Note: Antoine Griezmann (blonde, white skin, two blue eyes) was judged “best player of the final” by the FIFA (easy: Antoine scored twice in the final). His best friend is Paul Pogba (a Parisian black as charcoal, with the gift of gab…) Griezmann was a super star playing at the Real Madrid, for years. But now the other superstars are PP and Mbappe… Griezmann started tired as the Real Madrid was winning the European Cup…

 

Equality Is One Measure Of Civilization. And A Potential Savior.

July 17, 2018

Equality is natural to human beings: our species, and those ancestral to it, evolved in an egalitarian context, that of the very small human group. Thus, inequality is inhuman, in more deep ways than one. For human minds to blossom maximally, equality of opportunity of expression and creativity are required. But there is much more, and much darker. Fortunately, we can do something about it now.

Civilizations are more or less civilized: civilizations are on a gradient. One can compare them, between, and within, polities. Not everybody is beautiful, not everybody is gentle. Same for civilizations. Erdogan’s Turkey is unquestionably more civilized than the Ottoman empire which used to impale contradictors, on an industrial basis. During the siege of Constantinople, a Venetian captain, Antonio Rizzo, who refused an inspection, was impaled (his crewmen were beheaded, or sawn asunder). Later, the Ottoman empire would make printing punishable by death (so did Francois I of France… but that intellectual fascist outrage didn’t stick in France, whereas it lasted centuries under the Ottomans. So some of the best “Oriental” literary works were published in France first… making France more “Oriental” than the Orient, Mr. Edward Said… Said was a guy, revered to this day who said, basically that only “orientals” like himself could talk of “orientalism”… but how does one learn to think, when one can’t even print the books… all too long the, unequal, condition of the “Middle east”)

Civilizations closest to Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, those eminently most human conditions, and principles, are the most civilized, as they enable human minds to flourish maximally.

Such a religion exists: it’s called the Democratic Republic (but not as defined by Marx’s unquestioning, unquestionably evil followers). Equality not just a question of liking, it’s a question of existing.

Some polities put forward different principles (from Latin Principium, origin, source, from primus, first). And some polities followed philosophers: had Aristotle taught the opposite of what he taught, his friends and, or pupils. Antipater, Alexander, Craterus, and all Macedonian generals awed by the preceding leaders, may well have been more democratic. But the self-serving Aristotle was “monarchist” (the power, the rule, of one).

Aristotle was clever, but, not clever enough, or honorable enough not to follow the genealogy of diffidence to democracy established by his masters, Socrates and Plato, he went to the Dark Side.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/aristotle-destroyed-democracy/

We are still in Aristotle’s mental world: individuals called leaders are haphazardly selected, or selected for unsavory reasons. For example, far from being a great thinker, Putin was a top officer of the KGB. Our “Western” leaders aren’t much better: no individual human is god, but our leaders have divine powers, and that, per se, guarantees disaster, and would, even if they were gods (follow the horrid adventures of all the gods in sight: even the haughty Christo-Islamist versions of “god” can’t control evil, and their travails, their entire version of the universe, are all about that).

Having ignorant twerps, obnibulated by power, capable of killing hundreds of millions, even billions, around is bad enough. Admiring those crazed critters, worse. So is admiring those who, like John McCain, tried to get the full power, couldn’t, and now hate (not to have been endowed with the power of annihilating, potentially, billions).

Strong man politics are ascendent” said Obama in an excellent discourse at the Mandela 100th year celebration. Right. But Obama himself helped this ascent of strong man politics. Because his politics served it: …”the free press is under attacks”… says Obama, neglecting that the so-called “free press” is actually owned by the wealthiest men, and they all think and feel the same, as shareholders in global plutocracy.

Obama says we have to believe in facts, in reality. Right, so Obama should stop the blah blah about all the world religions been so great, and so right, dear Barry. There is only one right religion, the religion of man: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity…

https://www.facebook.com/Channel4News/videos/10156068521341939/

The cult of politics as we have it, is all despicable. Thermonuclear power has made equality not a luxury, or an advantage, but the one and only key to survival. So follow your political leaders not. Time to relegate them to the dustbins of history, as the slave masters they aspire to be, but even more so, as the death masters they are.

The aspiration to be ruled by death masters is a mental derangement of the highest order, surpassing even the worst tribal regimes ever seen. Cannibalism, impalements? All childish stuff, when now, one guy who didn’t exist a few decades ago can put an end to the strings of civilizations which separate us from nothingness.

Equality is not just a cure, not just a moral principle, not just how to instill creativity, at this point, equality has become survival itself. Animals have a right to live as evolution has meant them to. And, in the case of the genus Homo, that means under a more or less egalitarian regime. However, on the face of it, we have the most unequal regime the animal kingdom ever knew. 

And that’s lethal. That most massive inequality ever, which we are afflicted by, is mass lethal. A civilization killer, a planet wrecker. Yesterday’s technology brought us the mass death potential. But more recent tech brought us the mass democratic possibility, by harnessing the power of the Internet for mass voting, directly, not through “representatives” and “leaders”….

Patrice Ayme

French Republic Wins World Cup, Because It’s A Republic

July 15, 2018

France beat the excellent Croat team 4-2. The Croat captain, Luka Modric, who seems to be a very nice person, and seems never to have seen a ball not to run after, got the reward for best player, the Belgian goalie, Courtois, got the reward for best goalie, and 19-year-old Kylian Mbappé, of unmatched skill and speed, got the cup for best young player. This is a philosophical event. Both for what happened on the fields, and in analyzing (meta-analyzing) what has been said. Ah, also my old adversary Putin was at the finale, next to the very blonde and social Croat president. Macron was further right and jumped up on the table in front of Putin, fists in the air, when the (black as charcoal) Pogba (a very funny guy who talks a mile a minute) made a spectacular goal, two seconds after his first attempted goal rebounded… Putin looked up, impressed, learning something about the furia francese

Some of the usual racists have grumbled that the French team was an African team. In 1998, racists felt it was also a Maghrebin team. Others sneered that the French team is a “legacy of colonialism”. France, a world country/ Since when is that new? There are other world countries: much of Western Europe now (including Brexiting Britain), or the USA. But France, more so.

Imagine someone says:’Oh, I can see from your appearance, your skin color, you know, that you are a legacy of colonialism’. How more racist can one be? Truth: the French are French, not ‘Black French’ like there are ‘Black American’. Some famous French writers or thinkers would be called ‘Black’ in the US, true: truly, an American problem, why don’t the beholders of US racist semantics count the number of blue eyes in the French team (more than eight: from Giroud, Thauvin, Grietzman, etc.). Mbappé, for example, was born in Paris. He is a Parisian, not an African. (Someone who has lived in Africa, for real, is, to some, small, or big, extent, an African. Not the case of Mbappé… but mine!) 

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JULY 15: Captain and Goalie Hugo Lloris of France lifts the World Cup trophy to celebrate with his teammates after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) Not a legacy of colonialism, but a legacy of anti-racism.

US citizens deform their ability to see the past of the USA, when they accuse countries such as France of colonialism: where are the French colons today? Nowhere. If one wants to see colonial regimes, regimes spawned by colons, one has to look at Australia, North America. If one looks at France, one sees a loved French soccer team… One does not see a land where the French killed all the Natives to establish their own regime! Want to do philosophy, love wisdom? Starting with the facts will help. Speaking of “colonialism”, where, in the end, something else happened, an entanglement of populations, not a holocaust, is important.

So France is Africa, as I have long said. Nothing wrong with this. Nothing better for a French, a European to get to know Africa, and reciprocally. Indeed, I am African educated. The education of Africa is not restricted to what is taught in school, but what the continent teaches: diversity, difficulty, distraction, even dislocation and disintegration. I felt there the strongest emotions, confronted to total, mystifying desert, mountain jutting in the air, without a blade of grass, forest so thick one can’t see a thing. The elation of observing 10,000 years of human, and planetary evolution, within a few feet, sometimes.

So I am major part African educated. What does “French” means, anyway? France is atop the three routes, the only three easy land routes, between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and in between the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. (Other lands routes go over the Alps, the Tatras, and other high mountains are difficult; mountain ranges were typically occupied by extremely fierce tribes: Hannibal lost half of his army crossing what is now the French Alps.) France was always multiethnic, and the land known as France was massively multiethnic more than a millennium before the Frankish Confederation called itself “Frank” (Free and, or ferocious). Look at the Basque: their language is so old, it’s older than the Celts and Germans.

Pertinent is the persistent lack of performance of the USA in soccer (a world sport, the world sport, watched by more than two billions). The US, in spite of all the money and a giant population didn’t make the cut of the 32 better teams selected for the world cup. The Economist made a computer model which showed that the US is underperforming (while Croatia is way overperforming).

Some say that US underperformance has to do with the fact minorities are poorly treated in the USA; as, in some states, such as the largest of them all, California, minorities are the majority: mistreating minorities, especially when they are the majority, would go a long way to explain the USA’s dismal result in soccer.

Others claim that US football underperforms because so-called American football, baseball and basketball occupy the US obsessively. American football is an armored version of rugby breaking bones, with short bouts of “play” broken up by advertising. Clearly, those A-football players, just the way they look, are full of hormones and other synthetic drugs. Also, the sport is uninteresting to watch, as little “play” occur.

The same roughly holds for the other two. Baseball symbolically involves a bone breaking bat, and weird rules where occasionally an overweight guy runs. Actually, the most overweight the baseball player, the better. A perfect sport for the overweight USA.

Basketball is also an excellent game for those who condone discrimination on the basis of genes. Basketball is biased towards height. If the basket in basketball, went up or down according to the size of the player(s) approaching said basket, the activity would be more just (there are good short soccer players, example Argentina’s Maradona, 1.64 m. or Lionel Messi, 1.7 m or Poland’s Marcin Garuch, just 5 feet tall).

So what gives? The US drug problem shows up in sport, I reckon. The ultimately disastrous many wins of drugged out US cyclists speaks for itself.   

Macron, first French leader to triumph in Moscow… In front of Putin himself (immediately down left off image) France should have won either the World or Euro cups many other times in the past when she barely missed. This presidential, African style dance, is happening in front of the Croat president who came to Moscow in a charter plane, speaks perfect French, and was totally classy in victory, as in defeat!

The Croatian Republic has been a member of the European Union since July i, 2013.

Soccer can be unifying. Worldwide. Once one has seen enough football matches from different national teams, one can get attached to various individuals. This way, what is superficially a nationalistic contest becomes conducive to supranational appreciation.

For example I found some individuals in the Croat and French teams attaching, a few games ago. Rewardingly, they were all in the final… More generally, the beauty of the gesture comes to be overall appreciated for itself.

Soccer players are drug controlled (the French team was, after its win). US American-football players die like flies, from all the abuse.

The French coach was captain when France won the world cup in 1998. Didier Deschamps said he didn’t select the best French players (Benzema was notably shunned) but those who could make a team. When asked if he could put the whole thing in a few words, he replied:”As the French president said it:’Vive la République!” A true republic is a meritocracy, thus it is the power of those with highest merit (which means worth).

So is the French team an “African” team, racist ladies and gentlemen? Well, the French team a world team, for a world cup. On September 3, 1939, the French Republic declared war to Adolf Hitler’s racist regime. Hitler had earlier sterilized thousands of German children of French troops who had German lovers and wives. One result of this declaration of war? Crushing infamy!  A result is this sort of much less racist world we are living in, this sort of French team, multi-ethnic countries, such as France, or California. Another result? A German team where some players too are of the same skin color which revolted pale little degenerates such as Goebbels so much.

Racism, and other ultimate evils can’t be just frowned upon, they have to be, forcefully, eradicated.

Patrice Ayme

WHICH TRAP Are We In? Viciousness!

July 10, 2018

Abstract: The Thucydides and Kindleberger “traps” are brandished by academia to inform world politics. Those “traps” are mass-psychological setups which result in predictable behaviors, massive, catastrophic holocausts. So they are prone to be repeated, their proponents explain. They attribute the Sparta-Athens war to Spartan fear, and the disastrous rise of fascism in the 1930s to unwillingness on the part of the USA to bear the white man burden of assuming the role of global Great Power.

However, a detailed historical analysis from yours truly, show that Thucydides and Kindleberger omitted entire crucial dimensions of the causality of the phenomena they purport to explain. I claim that Thucydides was disingenuous, and Kindleberger, who was deliberately vaguer, was distorted.

In the case of the Peloponnesian war, Thucydides forgets Persia. Persia explains both why the war happened (I explain), and why Sparta won (although the facts are blatant, somehow conventional historians overlook them).

In the case of the rise of fascism, US “unwillingness”  was no accident (“unwillingness” is the exact concept of Kindleberger; today’s analysts subtly deform this into “indifference”, which is not what Kindleberger said, and a telling bias). The US had interest to see Europe self-destroy: hence US plutocrats, US Deep State and US government willingness to make overseas fascisms, their intrinsic allies, be all which they could be (US plutocrats provided all world fascist regimes, including Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, but also even Lenin’s, Stalin’s and Mao’s with support… All, except for imperial Japan!)

Thus, in the end, it was not just “fear” (Thucydides) or “unwillingness” (Kindleberger) which caused these holocausts. Instead it was plain old vicious computation, and manipulation by the malevolent domineering superpower which played a crucial role (Persia 24 centuries ago; the USA in the Twentieth Century). Claiming otherwise is a coverup, and this is why it keeps on being covered up. That Persia did its best, even manipulating Sparta, to destroy Athens will not shock.

However, that the US pulled all the strings it could to incite Germany to engage in World War One and World War Two, will shock and dismay. The famed “American Century” had a price: more than 200 million dead. That the little pseudo-intellectuals who scream after Trump omit this macro aspect of history is revealing.

This analysis puts back fear and unwillingness on the back burners as the main drivers of holocausts. Instead the power (kratia) of plain old evil, hidden and hellish (Pluto) is uncovered to be the main causative agent of holocausts… as it should be.

By the way, the Nazis didn’t engage in their orgy of mass killing because they were afraid or indifferent: the Nazis were just hateful, and enjoyed it! Loving hatred is not the sort of conception civilized persons are supposed to entertain. But they should. Only thus, getting to know humanity a bit better, will civilization advance!

Last point: in the end, my analysis adds dimensions to the Thucydides Trap and the Kindleberger Trap. The concepts can still be used, as two ways for ultimate evil to get its way by carefully misleading academia on what is truly going on!

***

When an uncouth dictator tries to show himself as smart and cultivated:

Cultivated dictators getting top prizes in humanities is nothing new. It’s not just Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize, so he could go on droning to death babies in countries the USA was not at war with. The tradition is much older than that: the tyrant of Syracuse, great friend and hater to Plato, got the top literary prize in Athens. Dionysius I won the prize for tragedy for the Ransom of Hector at the Lenaea at Athens. He was so elated that he threw himself in a debauch which proved fatal…

The “Thucydides Trap,” cited by Chinese Strong Man President Xi Jinping, refers to the warning by the ancient Greek historian that cataclysmic war can erupt if an established power (like the United States) becomes too fearful of a rising power (like China). But there is also a “Kindleberger Trap” which has now surfaced in the political semantics. That one rests, nebulously, upon indifference, unwillingness and free ridership (charming qualities Kindleberger generously attributed to the USA in the 1930s… and which are superficially true… but appearances are often contrived to be deceiving!).

Instead of all these pathetic superficialities, I will roll out my plutocratic trap theory, which covers both at once, by showing them to be cover-ups. And more. I suggest that powers, or potentates, can be animated by maximum viciousness: fear and indifference are just fake news. I will roll out several examples. Sparta was vicious, and hid that below fear (or its friends did). The Kaiser’s German plutocracy was also vicious, and feared to lose its privileges, preferring instead to launch a world war. The US hid, under indifference and unwillingness, the dirty computation that helping fascist and racist Germany just so, in both world wars it launched, and then coming to the rescue of victory, would durably sabotage France and Britain, enabling to replace them (it did). The Dark Side explains the “traps”: each time a deciding elite looking for further advantage, or preservation of its status, doesn’t hesitate to massacre countless multitude: this is also the secret of the strange collapse of the Roman State.

This thesis of mine is not really new: Hulagu Khan hurled it at the Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad, accusing him to have betrayed his people through his viciousness, before putting him to death, with between 200,000 and two million of  his subjects. (If the Caliph and his followers had been afraid in a timely manner, this would NOT have happened: they tried to negotiate, but too late, when it was clear Baghdad was going to fall. By then the Mongols and their even larger Christian allied armies were hell-bent to destroy. So this is a case where the exact opposite of Thucydides Trap is true!)

***

Thucydides forgot Persia in his silly little “explanation”:

First to deal with Thucydides Trap, contemporary version: as China challenges America’s predominance, misunderstandings about actions and intentions could lead them into a deadly trap first identified by the ancient Greek historian Thucydides, the savants diagnose, and they move their antennas with appropriate gravitas. As the learned Greek had it: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.”

US historians, prone to deeply misunderstand European history, as they obey agendas of their own ruling classes, have misidentified 16 cases in the past 500 years in which a rising power threatened to displace a ruling one. Twelve of these ended in war, they say, and they munch.

Their entire causality is wrong: it’s not just “rising power” which is the origin of war. Actually, Europe has the same overall primary military power for 16 centuries, and a glance at a map shows why, so keep on munching little US historians, and collect your paychecks…

***

Misinterpreting Kindleberger:

Charles Kindleberger, an architect of the Marshall Plan, professor at MIT, supposedly argued that the disastrous decade of the 1930s occurred because  of the US unwillingness to get involved. This variant of the thesis of “isolationism” has been distorted from something Kindleberger didn’t say, but is now put under his name, by the plotters who drive public opinion.

Those claim Kindleberger’s Trap says that “the US replaced Britain as the largest global power but failed to take on Britain’s role in providing global public goods”. (Notice the biased implicit notions that Britain and the US were the greatest, and Britain was “good”.) The result was the collapse of the global system into depression, genocide, and world war. Then, the inventors of Kindleberger’s trap disingenuously ask, as China’s power grows, will it help provide global public goods too?

According to the usual interpretations, powers, innocently enough find themselves into “traps” which just happen to be. Both “traps” sound good, but they don’t resist examination. Thucydides was delusional and misleading, while Kindleberger, in truth, said the US did it deliberately.

I go much further by saying that both Spartan and US leaderships connived to viciously set up traps for civilization, and covered them up with false motivations, to cover their tracks. They are the ones who build the traps, and they faked fear, or indifference. And that doesn’t resist examination: imagine Spartans being afraid, and US plutocrats being indifferent to riches…

***

Sparta: So vicious, and incoherent, its natural ally was Persia!

Fundamentally, Sparta was ultimately greedy: the greedy wants money, territory, thus power onto other people. The ultimate power is to own people, and kill them at will, as Sparta did. Athenians did not allow to themselves the freedom to kill an enslaved population for sport, so Athenians were more creative commercially, all the more as, Attica being so dry, Athenian industry had to create added value, to exchange for food (and timber), the great city had to get from very far away.

Thucydides was more than a bit dishonest in his interpretation: there was a first war between Sparta and Athens, arguably caused by the rise of the Athenian empire, resulting fear in Sparta, indeed. However that was followed by a 30 year peace between Sparta and Athens, during which Sparta learned to live with the Delian League.

And then what happened, what changed? Thucydides just evoke the rise of power and the rise of fear. But Athens was encountering lots of problems projecting power. The Athenian attempt to free Egypt from Persia failed catastrophically, over a period of years. Nothing for Sparta to fear, quite the opposite. Athens carried the war increasingly to Persia. Persia was not afraid, but enraged. However, having been destroyed in two formidable land battles and two formidable sea battles, and three times the Athenians were most of the enemy forces, Persia knew better than trying another frontal assault.

Thus, it’s Persian fascist anger which grew against Athens, and it was already astronomical, it grew more than Spartan fear. When Sparta attacked, Sparta was doing Persian work. Far from being afraid, confidently, the Spartan army, unopposed, attacked and invaded Attica, and the Athenians took refuge within their walls. Pericles’ idiotic plan was to wait them out. 

Athens should have won, thought Pericles, but all which could have gone wrong, went wrong. And even what Pericles admitted he didn’t think of: a plague exploded inside the besieged city, Pericles bemoaned he had anticipated everything, but not that. He put the army on ships while the plague went on, and, because of the predictable disastrous consequence, Pericles was put on trial.

Even more unexpected, and why Sparta won, is that Sparta got enormous help from Persia in its second war against Athens starting in 431 BCE. Was suddenly Sparta more motivated by fear from Athens than it was by fear from Persia? (As Thucydides would have us believe?) Neither! Sparta was not afraid. Sparta was being vicious.

Should Sparta have been, indeed motivated by viciousness, puts in a different perspective the absence of Sparta at the battle of Marathon (won mostly by Athenian hoplites, no Spartan was endangered for that movie, to Sparta’s eternal shame!)

So what was going on? Sparta was very advanced in some ways: Spartan women were liberated in more ways than one, more advanced than in the rest of Greece. But Sparta had lethally subjugated another city-state (Messenia). Sparta had three categories of people under its jurisdiction, and most of the population, the Helots, were treated worse than slaves, or even dogs: lethal Helot hunts were organized every year, just to keep them domesticated.   

Athens was the philosophical opposite of Sparta: it was an Open Society (Athenian philosophers and Pericles second wife, from Ionia, invented the concept, Pericles advertised it… and then violated it!)

Athens was more Philosophically Correct (PhC) than Sparta. Ultimately, Sparta got shun by all of Greece, and even Macedonia, and died, isolated, self-imploding (after Thebes liberated Messenia). Athens was actually maximally correct (considering the circumstances: although the Franks outlawed slavery a millennium later, well, it was a millennium later, the Franks had new tech, heavy plows to overturn the rich northern European soils… whereas Athica was very poor, the driest part of Greece… And all ancient trees cut to build a Navy against Persia…)

When Alexander annihilated Thebes, he justified that holocaust by observing that Thebes had allied itself with Persia (in particular at the Battle of Platea, but also 150 years later). Which was true. So it’s not just Sparta which thus sinned with a Persian dalliance.

***

 

In Red, Sparta and its dependencies, including enslaved Messenia. Pretty much all the rest is the made of Greek city-states of the Delian League, the de facto Athenian Empire. But that was much less solid an empire than the entire “West” is right now. In particular, Greek city-states were frequently at war, whereas the US had only two wars with Great Britain, and none, ever, with France [Undevicesimus, Deviant Art.]

***

USA as Sparta, China as Athens? Ridiculous! The US, considering its French ancestry, is Athens, part of the Neo-Athenian empire!

(This is not a flight of fancy: for centuries in the Middle Ages, all scholars knew very well that, in intellectual matters, a “translatio imperii” had been accomplished between Athens and Paris.) Are Chinese schools for the “Communist” elite, that bad that they learn upside down history?

By using Thucydides’ misleading “Trap”, Mr. Xi compared the US to Sparta. Considering Sparta was an extremely vicious, racist and lethal dictatorship, murderously exploiting another state, a weapon of an enormous fascist plutocracy, that’s beyond insulting, it’s misleading, programming the Chinese population with fake news. Encouraging Chinese jingoism.  

China’s Xi should learn correct history, instead of trying to teach fake history: the USA is a double progeny of France, directly and through Britain, the other French child (all a bit incestuous, agreed…). So the US is a child and colony, not an idiosyncratic monster like Sparta. Sparta was already an independent state, when it launched the Trojan war, because its king was already so obnoxious, his wife Helen had to flee, with a much nicer Trojan prince… And that was seven or eight centuries earlier, so Sparta had a long history of causing problems! Sparta was the only Greek city-states which had permanently enslaved another.

***

The West is the Greco-Roman empire, Germanified, Freed of Slaves by the Franks:

The present West is the Greco-Roman empire, Germanified, Freed of Slaves and “renovated” (as they put it) by the Franks. No such maelstrom of ideas and different philosophical origins is remotely comparable in the history of China… until the Twentieth Century!

Indeed, France is the successor state of Rome: Clovis was Roman Consul for life, and his father Childeric was Roman imperator, in the technical sense; moreover, the Lex Salica of the Franks was a document originally written in Latin, by Roman lawyers… Clovis’ army was definitively THE Roman army in Gallia and Germania by the late Fifth Century. And the Franks got the mandate of protecting Gallia and the Germanias, in 400 CE.

The Franks conquered Britain in 1066 CE, freed the slaves. Louis XVI decided to create a Republic in America, going over British objections, ruining France in the process. Thus, the USA, twice the progeny of France, is itself a successor state of Rome, or, more exactly, Athens: Rome didn’t have much of its own brain, all the thinking was done in Athens… and, later, Paris.

The US Congress doesn’t look like the Roman Pantheon was accident, but as a reminder, just like the Washington monument looks like an Egyptian obelisks, because Athens herself send an army to free Egypt from Persian dictatorship, and lots of Greek intellectual capital originated in Egypt (mathematics, writing, etc.)

US law is, mostly, Roman law, refurbished, modernized, after reconditioning in Constantinople (6th Century) and France (300 CE until very recently, as the US has silently adopted many laws which originated in France, well after the French 1789 CE Declaration of Human Rights, which the United Nations also adopted…

***

Pars Occidentalis: Nunc E Pluribus Unum  Imperium Romanorum:

(Studied Latin too many years!) Grandiloquent cataclysmic declarations against Trump all over, forget an important aspect, an underrated truth; Europe and her colonies, with the exception of Russia, are pretty much one, at this point: the degree of integration of Europe and her ex-colonies, including the USA, Latin America, Oceania, is something Athens could only dream of, in her own empire.

***

Sparta; not afraid, but vicious:

So, to come back to Sparta: that vicious state made an alliance with the enemy of liberty, and Greek city-states, Achaemenid Persia, to vanquish Athens’ direct democracy. The result was the Macedonian catastrophe, when the Macedonian dictatorship took control of Greece and Persia. Even then Sparta played a treacherous role: at the crucial battle,  the Battle of Chaeronea (338 BCE) when the armies of Thebes and Athens confronted Philip of Macedonia, Sparta wasn’t present on the side of her (supposedly) fellow Greek cities against the northern plutocratic savages.  Had Sparta been at Chaeronea, the Macedonians would have disappeared from history: Athens would have occupied the north. It didn’t happen because Sparta was driven by hatred (although Sparta had joined Athens in recent decades, the jealousy of Athens was still strong. Notice that fear (Thucydides) is different from jealousy….

Hence the behavior of Sparta has to be interpreted as risking everything to pursue its viciousness, exactly like the Nazis were ready to risk everything to risk their viciousness. It has little to do with power. It has to do with viciousness.

Another proof of Sparta’s lack of fear and plethora of viciousness? Sparta, alone among Greek cities, refused to even send a token force to join Alexander against Persia. Later Alexander had a monument made, thanking all the Greek states… except Sparta!

***

Athens had to be good:

Athens, for its own geographical reason, and to pursue its existence as a greater virtue, had to expand her power: she was getting her food supply from the Black Sea shores and Cyrenaica. Thus, in particular, had to control the Dardanelles (Troy) and Byzantium, and make it so that Greek trade was operational all over the Mediterranean, all the way to Massalia’s little empire, in spite of Persian, Phoenician, and Carthaginian interference. That, ultimately the elements of civilization created in Marseilles and Athens survived to this day is no coincidence: they were greater virtues.

To trade all around the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, bringing in vital supplies, Athens had to seduce with her good character (something she could only understand after her excesses in the second Peloponnesian war…).

But then, what of Charles Kindleberger’s alleged little trap? That the USA just failed to assume its own great power status? It doesn’t hold water, it’s a lie: the USA pretty much dictated the Versailles Treaty as it wanted. France wanted to make sure fascist, lethal, attacking Germany would not rise again; the USA wanted the exact opposite, deep down inside! The US knew very well it was the world’s foremost power in 1918, and a fortiori, the 1930s. Actually US plutocrats used Germany as a colony, as early as 1920, the whole panoply of them, from Henry Ford financing Hitler, to JP Morgan engineering German hyperinflation (which many in France considered was created to avoid repairing the tremendous destruction Germany had visited on France and Belgium; in other words, US plutocrats conspired with the worst germans so that Belgium and france would wallop in German caused misery, even after they won WWI!).

***

What Kindleberger Really Said:

Kindleberger is an excellent thinker, not a racist pervert like Lord Keynes (who, in spite of his own perversity, got out-perversed by the FDR administration at Bretton Woods, to his own dismay about the dollar as world reserve currency, something Keynes didn’t want)

Kindleberger’s accusation against the USA are delicate, those of a gentleman, not those of the blonde philosophical beast Nietzsche evoked. Kindleberger is no Tyranosopher, however, he is pretty clear, for an element of the oligarchy:

The explanation of this book is that the 1929 depression was so wide, so deep, and so long because the international economic system was rendered unstable by British inability and U.S. UNWILLINGNESS TO ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR STABILIZING IT by discharging five functions:

(1) maintaining a relatively open market for distress goods;

(2) providing countercyclical, or at least stable, long­ term lending;

(3) policing a relatively stable system of exchange rates;

(4) ensuring the coordination of macroeconomic policies;

(5) acting as a lender of last resort by discounting or otherwise providing liquidity in financial crisis.

  • Kindleberger, The World in Depression, 1929-1939 (2nd ed., 1986), Ch. 14 : An Explanation of the 1929 Depression

In other words, Kindleberger’s thought system is a subset of mine: the USA was UNWILLING to stabilize the world socioeconomy. The US, I said, was not this way by accident: as a continent sized country, the only such in the temperate zone, the world’s greatest producer of fossil fuel and food, US power was overwhelming, and everybody knew it.

The USA’s refusal to exert caution, common sense and decency at Versailles (French advice was rejected), and then in the 1920s, the 1930s, and even in 1940 and 1941 was not “isolationism”: US plutocrats were all over Germany, they bottled fed Hitler and his minions.

***

Pre-World War One, in the Nineteenth Century, there were several Great Powers, not just USA and Britain:

The usual discourse in the top, generally Anglo-Saxon universities, top in the way of plutocracy, that is, not necessarily in the way of Deep Thought (that will be decided in the fullness of time) is blatantly self-serving. The allegation is that the global power was Britain, and then became the USA.

However, in the Nineteenth Century, France and Britain separately, but also jointly attacked China. The joint attack on Russia, the Crimean War, was propelled by France, which had enough of Russian encroachment towards the Mediterranean. France also created Italy, mortally wounding Austro-Hungary… When fascist Germany decided to launch a world war, in 1914, it was out of fear of the irresistible rise of French and Russian power. So said the German leaders. Yes, that looks like a Thucydides trap… The only explanation is that the top Prussian generals read Thucydides too uncritically! So they followed his fake explanatory scheme… not realizing for a moment they were following a US script, and they were the Indians, and the US cavalry would come at the right moment to mop them up.

And in 1914, the country with the strongest land military was Germany (followed by France, which nearly destroyed the German army, 5 weeks after the treacherous German attack on the world…)

***

Forget Thucydides, the Nuclear Trap is all we have:

There is only one serious trap right now: all out nuclear war. Contrarily to what the naive believe, that could happen swiftly, and by accident. As a French physicist working hard on the nukes told De Gaulle in June 1944: “une bombe, une ville” (one bomb, one city; the French had started the nuclear bomb program in January 1938, and many kept on working when the nuke effort immigrated to America…) Nobody wants it, except for a few lunatics in second-rate countries. But it could happen by accident.

***

So what are the Great Powers now?

On the face of it, the five Permanent Members of the United Nations, the five of them seriously armed. Contrarily to legend, they are talking to each others, and they have absolutely no interest to make war to each other.

That doesn’t mean there is no risk. Indeed, any states with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, is, in the present state of technology where it’s hard to stop IBM missiles, in a sense, a great power. The cases of India (a great power intrinsically) and Israel (a power nearly extinguished twice, in the Second and Twentieth centuries) are special. But Pakistan, North Korea and Iran, clearly shouldn’t have nukes (especially in light of Libya, South Africa and Ukraine having wisely renounced them). This is not about fairness, but physics: a multibody problem becomes non computational if there are too many bodies: five permanent members talking to each other is one thing, 50 powers armed to the teeth with nukes would just guarantee a holocaust of 90% of humanity (to start with; cannibalism will be next). 

***

The risk of “Freerideship”

The anti-Trump, anti-Populist, red-hot pro-plutocratic crowd is now using Kindleberger against Trump, accusing him to have destroyed the “Kindleberger world” (!?) they claim we were living in (we were not, the financial madness of the last 25 years, since Goldman Sachs came to power, in the guise of its valet, sex obsessed maniac Bill Clinton, is unparalleled in its rise, ever since Persia gave Sparta all the money it wanted to buy itself a bigger Navy than Athens…)

Here is the real Kindleberger again:

Economic responsibility goes with military strength and an undue share in the costs of peacekeeping. FREE RIDERS are perhaps more noticeable in this area than in the economy, where a number of rules in trade, capital movements, payments and the like have been evolved and accepted as legitimate. FREE RIDERSHIP means that disproportionate costs must be borne by responsible nations, which must on occasion take care of the international or system interest at some expense in falling short of immediate goals. This is a departure from the hard­ nosed school of international relations in political science, represented especially perhaps by Hans Morgenthau and Henry Kissinger, who believe that national interest and the balance of power constitute a stable system. Leadership, moreover, had overtones of the white man’s burden, father knows best, the patronizing attitude of the lady of the manor with her Christmas baskets. The requirement, moreover, is for active, and not merely passive responsibility of the German—Japanese variety. With free riders, and the virtually certain emergency of thrusting newcomers, passivity is a recipe for disarray. The danger for world stability is the weakness of the dollar, the loss of dedication of the United States to the international system’s interest, and the absence of candidates to fill the resultant vacua.”

  • “Economic Responsibility”, The Second Fred Hirsch Memorial Lecture, Warwick University, 6 March 1980, republished in Comparative Political Economy: A Retrospective (2003)

Free riders now? China, which let the likes of France and the US keep a minimum of order in Africa, and reap the benefits. Free riders now? All plutocrats splurging in Africa again, there again exploiting especially France. Free riders? Most European countries which, with the exception of France and Britain, don’t share in the military spending commensurate with the benefits they get from it, and their GDP. Germany especially. In particular, all European countries should support the French military-industrial complex. After all, it’s the French Republic which declared war TO Hitler (belatedly accompanied by Britain). On that one, Trump is very right, and it’s not just a big one, but the biggest one.

I drive German cars (I used to drive Fords. Until my trusted Ford “main power unit” disintegrated on a mountain road, losing all power and catching fire (!). It should have killed the family. Thanks to excellent driving skills, I pulled away from a tremendous drop. After that, I switched to Bavarian cars…) However, if Trump wants to strike German cars with stiff tariffs for strategic reasons, I can only approve.

***

Plutocrats Are Free Riders, and will go all the way to ultimate treachery:

 Free ridership can be global, and, or, internal, at the same time. An excellent example is the collapse of Rome. The rise of Roman plutocracy was from globalization, and the plutocrats, by the Fourth Century had become so powerful, that,  As civilization faced catastrophe, plutocrats still refused to pay taxes, preferring deals with barbarians!

Instead, really wealthy family had a bishop therein (for divine and state protection: by 390-400 CE, Rome was governed by bishops). The practical result was that, whereas Rome could have had an army of several millions, the plutocrats prefered to make deals with the small, but determined armies of invading savages, rather than to face a revolution from We the People of the Empire. The collapse of Rome was a choice the plutocrats made.   

Now there is no doubt that, often in history, when moral degeneracy, taking pleasure from the Dark Side, is advanced enough, plutocrats have preferred inflicting suffering than saving humanity. This is what the Aztecs did, having captured some of Cortez’s companions, during the battle for Tenochtitlan,  they had the idiotic idea to practice their brand of open heart surgery, with no anesthesia, in full sight and hearing of the rest of Cortez’s tiny army, on top of the highest pyramid. That was no just religion, it was viciousness, and it fed the burning hatred of the Conquistadores…

When the plutocrats (“the Optimates”) took controlled of Rome, Caesar, and the Populares (Populists), and then finally the army, revolted. After Caesar’s assassination, Augustus’ hand was forced by centurions of his own legions. One of them went to the Senate, brandished his sword and said that, if the Senate didn’t give the right answer, his sword would.

What does that have to do with the present situation? The Populus Romanus got enraged against the Optimates (plutocrats). The problems were roughly as the USA and the West experience now: stagnation of incomes, services, quality employment, and healthcare (Caesar drained the malarial swamps). All of this because the rich were getting richer, to the point of confiscating most of economic activity to serve them.

The result was the Roman Revolution which Augustus led. That Revolution was bloodier than the French Revolution of 1789, by orders of magnitude. Millions died, in a civil war (the French Revolution was attacked from the outside, by all the Great European Powers. Internally, it was more terrifying than really mass-murderous).

So the burning question now is: how far down the process of hatred are our global plutocrats? How far down in their control of things? When the Optimates, the Roman plutocrats, hiding under the pretext of Republic, went to total war with the Populares (led by Caesar), they lost to Caesar, were forgiven, did it again, and were destroyed by Augustus (who had little choice in the matter, as the legions, led by their centurions, were enraged). 

The old Optimates got killed, but their spirit lived on, and was communicated to those who profited from their destruction. The bodies die, the spirit lives on…

***

The Dark Side is dark, because it works only when hidden, this is why the Greeks thought Hades/Pluto could make itself invisible. The truth is simple: in any established order, be they Dionysius I or Xi, Kim or Stalin, or Mussolini, or France, they and their countless servants and valets profit immensely (during the bloody and ultimately tyrannical Roman Revolution, millions initially profited: the army and the entire military-industrial complex sustaining it). This is beyond the phenomenon of classes (which evolve, once things stabilize). All this was fun and games, one has to die of something, some, like Lord Keynes, will observe… but now the stakes are higher: the existence of the spirit itself is on the verge of self-immolation.

Patrice Ayme  

Football Teaches Russia A Lesson

July 8, 2018

Plutocrat Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev looks dejected, while the president of Croatia celebrates.

President Croatia celebrating. Medvedev, a football fan (on the lower right) is experiencing pain.

I call Medvedev a plutocrat, be it only because he has been very powerful, for all too long, doing Putin dirty business. Also it has been alleged in detail, from different sources, that he is personally wealthy. An internationally renown bat researcher claimed he had to flee Russia for stumbling on Medvedev’s properties under construction, which destroyed caves in the Sochi area. A video by anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny purports to show “the vast trove of mansions, villas and vineyards accumulated” by Medvedev. Putin ex-wife, who had no discernable income or inheritance, ever, is also a multi-millionaire, with one property alone…

 

Friends again, at least for the next few minutes…

Russia has long felt rejected by the West. It has been. In a sense it was always from the east. Actually, the Rus, who founded Russia, where Swedes from eastern Sweden. The oldest human stock was, paradoxically, German: this is highly confusing: Germans used to live in the area more recent Germans considered peopled by Slavs (slaves). So the ancestry of Russia is a mix of Swedes, old Germans, and more recent Mongols (look at the Mongol style eyes of Lenin, Brezhnev, Putin…)

Viking colonization followed the network of mighty rivers of Russia, all the way to the Black Sea. Trade flourished, northern furs against all kinds of goodies from the south, Rome or the Muslim empires. It’s Ukraine which founded Rus, and then expanded east. Republics, such as Novgorod, appeared. Ukraine had seized Crimea from the Tartars, who, themselves had seized it from the Greco-Romans. Vladimir of Ukraine converted to Catholic Orthodoxy, eastern style.

The Russians were able to stop the eastward expansion of the Teutonic Knights. However, not the assault of the Mongols. The Mongols occupied Russia, massacring away. When the Mongols pushed further west, Western Europe united militarily, and the Mongol victories came with a heavy, unsustainable price. Then the Mongols remembered what happened to their ancestors the Huns when they invaded Gallia: they were utterly defeated, and owed their survival to the duplicity of the Roman commander Aetius (who had lived with the Huns prior). The war techniques of the Mongols were not adapted to wet,cold, forested areas. The superb bows would lose their snap, it would be impossible to move fast, etc.

The Mongols reached the Croatian coast and turned back (pretexting the election of the next Khan beckoned).

For many centuries Russia was occupied by savage invaders…

Yet the Golden Horde stayed in command of Russia, using Moscow as a tax collector. Ivan the Terrible would make Russia independent again. In the Russian psyche, a question looms: why didn’t the West call a Crusade to free Russia from the savages? First it was a problem of distance. Anne of Kiev, daughter of the Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise of Kiev and Novgorod had married the king of France, Henri I in 1051 CE, and acquired a tremendous importance (she spoke 6 languages and found the French court uncouth; the king proudly signed his documents, mentioning Anne approved of them…). She had four children, including the next king Philip I of France. All subsequent French kings were her progeny. She made a scandalous second marriage (the husband, not her, was excommunicated). Anne never went back to Kiev (she was too important in France, but also it would take forever to go across Europe by land: the success of the Greco-Romans was maritime, sea transport being very fast and very cheap, relative to land transport.)

***

A refined analysis shows that the Cyrillic alphabet itself and the distanciation of Eastern Christianity from the Western one were deliberate: the Bulgarians and Constantinople wanted bad relationships with the Franks, they wanted to get, and keep them, alienated, and it worked!

Those Franks were the Eastern Franks, dominated by the Saxons whom Charlemagne had vanquished… And had become the pillars of the “Renovated Roman Empire”. In a further testimony to human frailty, after the alienation with the Franks was launched, Constantinople reached the apex of its power, around the year 1,000 CE. However, things turned quickly for the worse, and by the end of the Eleventh Century, the Franks had been called to the rescue, launching the First Crusade. Conclusion: alienation for alienation’s sake, should be avoided…

It is high time to bury the hatchet.

Football/Soccer helps, and that’s good.

Croatia beat Russia, barely, during the session of goal kicks. The Russians learned something again: that it is good never to forget: a nation of four millions can beat one of 144 millions (a lesson learned the hard way when Finland won quite a few battles against Russia in 1939-1940; then the USSR suffered five times the casualties of Finland, nearly 400,000…)

Russia found one more reason for paranoia in the 1990s: the US proposed its help, the best possible help, the one from places such as Harvard. But Harvard is, at least in the humanities, including politics and economy, is, at best, a conspiracy: it is there to make things better for the world plutocracy it partakes in. So the advice to Russia was to constitute a plutocracy founded on new stock issues. In my thought system in socioeconomy, Stalin’s rule was also a plutocracy, a plutocracy of the tyrannical type (tyran = unique): one man commanded the USSR and was the ultimate capitalist. The advice of Harvard was to constitute a diversified plutocracy (many plutocrats, not just one). Thus many Harvard professors and their ilk were able to profit (there was never a special prosecutor for that scandal).

The reaction was the ascent and popularity of Putin… And Putin military expansionism, the first such madness in Europe since Adolf Hitler’s pathetic little adventure.

The solution is diversification in very advanced technology… as China is doing. Paradoxically, China can do it better, because it’s more dictatorial… Also China believes it is high-tech for a few millennia. Putin had, long ago, proposed a strange alliance with the European Union, complete with Russian guns to protect Europe. This ignored the fact that the USA is not just a West European colony, but twice the child of France (through Great Britain, and also directly). Instead, Russia should remember it started as a European colony too. One of the reason of the spectacular ascendency of the USA has been enormous injection of financial capital, in the nineteenth century, and human capital, in the last two centuries, straight from Europe.

So Russia, should it want to develop must open to European immigration, technological, human and financial and to open to Europe in general: that could actually alleviate the migrant problem Europe is facing (a mild problem so far; but that could change).

The world cup is an open hand, and Trump, a practical man, is coming with another. Let the occasion be seized… And remember to reduce the number of nuclear warheads, this should be the top priority: an accident could happen so fast… The nuclear arsenals of Russia and the USA are oversized. The French Republic, with its 600 (300 only announced, in a slight of hands) thermonuclear “oceanic” warheads has enough to decapitate all the major powers, together. So why do the US and Russia need ten times that?

Russia can, and should make friends with the West: with 70% more land area than the next continental sized countries (Canada, USA, China), and a warming climate, there is a lot to develop… With 1.5 billion Chinese ready to help, otherwise, as Stalin suddenly noticed to his own horror, when he finally understood what Mao was up to…

Patrice Ayme

Is There Hope? Kids Are More Into Delayed Gratification

July 6, 2018

Lord Keynes famously said:”In the long run, we are all dead.” In other words, don’t worry about it. He then help setup a socioeconomic system which quickly brought nearly 200 million dead (WWII plus the likes of Maoism). This is a danger, because acting crazy removes worries about the long run, so there is a “good” motivation to do so (however crazy that may sound). Humanity has to learn to think long term. Kids today are waiting longer than ever in the classic marshmallow test

Researchers who found the effect aren’t sure what’s driving this willingness to delay gratification

The hope is that, exposed to contemplating motivations all over the place, say in movies, children are more into meta-control, because they learned that motivation can go wrong, often driven by impatience. 

The test promises double the reward, if one holds out ten minutes. Over the past 50 years, white, middle-class kids have shown an increasing willingness to delay gratification on the marshmallow test.

The willingness to delay gratification has recently bloomed among U.S. preschoolers from predominantly white, middle-class families, say psychologist Stephanie Carlson of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and her colleagues. Youngsters aged 3 to 5 in the 2000s waited an average of two minutes longer during the marshmallow test than children in the 1960s did, and an average of one minute longer than 1980s kids did, the scientists report June 25 in Developmental Psychology.

Carlson’s team offers several possible explanations, including increases in the ability to think abstractly, pay attention, plan and prioritize that have been linked to preschool attendance and early use of digital information.

From the start, the marshmallow test has examined kids’ willingness to resist an available goody while waiting 10 to 15 minutes to receive double the edible pleasure. In this case, extra treats were doled out if a child waited a full 10 minutes for an experimenter who had left to return. .

The marshmallow test cannot determine a child’s future, but it is a reliable indicator of how well kids can reflect on a challenging situation and come up with strategies to achieve their goal,” “That may portend well for school and social situations.” Carlson said.

In the new study, the team analyzed and compared data from three groups of 3- to 5-year-olds: 165 kids who completed the marshmallow test between 1965 and 1969, 135 who did so between 1985 and 1989, and 540 tested between 2002 and 2012.

The average amount of time kids were willing to wait for a treat increased in each generation — from about five minutes in the ‘60s to six minutes in the ‘80s and seven minutes in the 2000s. That trend was observed among both boys and girls, younger and older preschoolers and kids in different parts of the United States.

It’s not known if the same trend applies to kids from poor and nonwhite families. Some previous evidence suggests children on the lower end of the economic scale often choose an immediate but lesser treat on the marshmallow test, Carlson says. That behavior makes sense if children live in unpredictable settings or don’t trust adults who promise future treat bonuses.

It is striking is that nearly 60 percent of preschoolers tested in the 2000s waited out the entire 10-minute delay period, versus almost 40 percent in the 1980s and about 30 percent in the 1960s. I believe this is due to the fact children are constantly exposed to scenarios in movies they watch (including of course cartoons)… And of course preschool, where they are exposed to adults who can be trusted.

Is humanity starting to think, and emote, long range, and long term? As lifespans expand, long range thinking will be the essence of survival.

PA

 

Stoicism Is The Philosophy Dictatorship & Plutocracy Welcome

July 5, 2018

Modern “stoicism”, in the end, doesn’t seem significantly different from what modern no nonsense philosophy should be.

Overall, for me, stoicism was a philosophy made to go hand in hand with dictatorships: all stoic philosophers, think of it, operated under dictatorship. Had I been a dictator, like the Macedonians, I would have looked to the stoa mildly… Whereas Antipater and others wanted Demosthenes to die under torture. Were I Domitian, who expressed his hatred of philosophers, and, with his ultra wealthy friends, celebrated how they controlled Rome, I would have looked at Epictetus teaching in a benign fashion: they made us believe virtue was possible in a lethal dictatorship where not toeing the one and only party line meant death.

Domitian tolerated Stoicism. And killed any other creative thinking.

Do we need this now? Do we need to placidly contemplate and hone our own virtues while a few guys in charge prepare thermonuclear war, and civilization is under threat of imminent deconstruction? Or do we need passion, and start first with a feeling of rebellion, and proclaim that enough is enough?

For me the later, passion. And enough with my virtues, or those of other individuals I have come across: they are plenty enough. What we need is a virtuous government for the planet, and that request doesn’t come from humility, but rebellion and bold assertion of myself, and my ilk, as a role model!

The ultimate stoic is Seneca. He taught Nero, by age 11, and thereafter. Seneca covered Nero’s crimes, Seneca excused Nero’s crimes in front of the Senate. Seneca always say obvious things, prettily. Seneca is philosophical comfort food. Seneca is sucking on sweets all day long.

Stoicism is not just the philosophy dictatorship & plutocracy welcome, looking at the chronology and the evidence, one could say they invented it. So does stoicism have a future? Maybe, but then we don’t.

Patrice Ayme