WHICH TRAP Are We In? Viciousness!

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  

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10 Responses to “WHICH TRAP Are We In? Viciousness!”

  1. Benign Says:

    tl;dr but am sympathetic as an economist with the final paragraph’s conclusion that “profit” (access to food, resources) drives all animal behavior to a great degree. Everything is endogenous; best to view “class” as a descriptor of groups united by underlying factors.

    That oligarchs can do things very disadvantageous (murderous) to their fellow citizens is in part enabled by the loss of empathy “at the top” that accompanies great wealth inequality. Yes, spirit is destroyed, among those at the top, but not among those below (Wilkinson’s “The Spirit Level” is so brilliantly titled; read if you haven’t; and also the sermon on the mount). …

    The Big Question now is whether Donald and The Populists can break the grip on power of the evil bankers and the the Globalist Deep State (military-industrial-security-communications-Internet-government(s) complex), which in the US has followed a largely Zionist agenda of trashing the Middle East, beginning with the 9/11 psyop….

    The Durants have a bon mot about this: historically when great inequality eventuates, the choice is either to redistribute wealth via legislation, or to distribute poverty via revolution. Pray that Trump is not assassinated, because this country is on the edge, the majority of people live in majority red counties, and it may explode if that occurs.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Benign: thanks for this instructive comment. Let me as a result observe this: to explain evil oligarchs, a lack of empathy is often evoked, indeed. However, I think it’s way worse than that. Those in the top class, or the top “race” (in their eyes or hearts) can have lots of empathy… For their class or race… But for them ONLY!
      So their behavior is explained because their “fellow citizens” are NOT felt to be their fellows, but part of the environment to exploit…

      Yes, assassinating Trump is the exact last thing we need. He is not Julius Caesar, who had astounding gifts (he won many battles, vastly outnumbered), but, for some people he is the head of the “Populares”… The secret of the US “left” is that it’s often truly an oligarchy… Not, literally true with the Roosevelts, Kennedys, but those were genuine progressives (although both Teddy and FDR had empire grabbing greed…

      A lot of the pseudo-left’s quasi death threats against Trump are really not smart… For those who are really on the left, but of course the threateners are not on the left, they just play it on TV….

      OK, more later, I just made my first trip in 787 “Dreamliner” across the globe, very nice… But I have to synchronize my sleep.

  2. Benign Says:

    Flew the Dreamliner on the America-London leg of my trip to Italia, impressive aircraft although the premium economy was awfully expensive. Vorrei essere ricco….

  3. Benign Says:

    And not sure about your contention that the rich are empathic to each other… not my experience in investment banking. They are united simply by “class” interest, as defined in my comment.

  4. G Max Says:

    Spectacular essay What do u think of Trump accusations against Germany? Accusing it to make Russia richer?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Germany had it coming. I have written extensively on that for many years. See my “Merkler” essays. Starving the Greeks and others was no good. US presidents funds out of thin air what is needed. Germany’s attitude about Libya was also disastrous.

  5. Paul Handover Says:

    I have just skimmed my way through this, Patrice, and realised that it requires a proper, slow reading to absorb fully what you are saying. But even a quick read was sufficient to have me ‘blown away’ by your references to earlier, historic times and what may be read from those times, even today. Fascinating! History has never been my strong point!

    So a quiet re-read is going to happen before the end of the week. That didn’t get in the way of me writing this!! (Clearly, self-evident!!)

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks Paul, it’s very appreciated! I look forward any critique or input you will have, they are always helpful. This is a big essay, full of iconoclastic suggestions, and that was a gift to my readers before taking a few days off in Paris… I am presently in France, indeed, and after the world cup win, the ambiance is electric…

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