Archive for March 7th, 2019

Literary Critique Good, Historical Critique, Better, Deeper, and More Life Saving

March 7, 2019

Many humanists are what’s called “literary critique”: they read one of the 1,001 most famous authors, and speak about that. The advantage is that one doesn’t need to know much: take Montaigne, and speak about his discourses, it’s a small universe.

What we don’t get much of is historical critique. It requires much more, from the author, and from the reader.

Right, it happens in some books… A little bit, rarely too much. Take the example of… Christianism. Harsh critiques against Christianism are not new: the Cathars criticized Catholicism, although they thought of themselves as Christians (and they were). The Catholic elite didn’t like the joke, and the Cathars and all their books were eradicated like the worst vermin.

It’s true that in China, a “Cultural Revolution” went over the top in the 1960s. But that was rather a struggle inside the ruling dictatorship there. However, much of the strident critique of mediocre, and sleep inducing Confucianism was justified (and was precisely why China went down before various savages from the north, nearly a millennium ago… and there was no serious recovery… until mao and deng Tsia Ping…).

The First Emperor was more subtle than Mao about historical criticism, and he tried to destroy the “100 schools of philosophy”… while keeping other books (state records, tech, medicine, etc…). The First Emperor thought that too much philosophy had contributed to the troubled period of the Warring States. Later, and in a much more damaging manner, Christianism boosted to the general collapse into fascism, political and intellectual, which brought the destruction of nearly all books of Greco-Roman civilization. (The First Emperor was a political fascist, of course… but by ordering the non-destruction of many important categories of books, he demonstrated he was no intellectual fascist. Whereas the Christian were careful to annihilate various scientific theories, for example the atomic theory, or evolution… They kept only that little fascist, Aristotle, and even, barely so…) 

Cathar Cross next to Monsegur Fortress, erected later: Catholics eradicated anything Cathar… Although they total population amounted to 25% of contemporary france, spread all the way to Constantinople…

Thus one sees that criticizing the past harshly is nothing new. Akhenaten and Nefertiti trashed the entire Egyptian mythology, replaced it by monotheism (the cult of the Sun, to be revived by emperor Diocletian, 17 centuries later, and immediately transmogrified as Catholicism by Constantine). Akhenaten and Nefertiti were in turn wiped out (she may have been assassinated).

But what I am talking about is to make Historical Criticism into a revered academic profession. All the more as Artificial Intelligence should turn it into an ever more scientific psychohistory.

So when I write about why Germany went crazy in 1914-1945, I am not anti-German (as some hater once suggested), but I am trying to make psychohistory, by explaining how that madness arose.

It’s all the more pertinent as we keep on living with some of its causes. They are greatly conspiratorial, and they don’t want to come to the surface. If they laid on the surface, all exposed, they would be widely condemned and destroyed.

Bill Gorrell All the people who brought us the current mess in the Middle East by invading Iraq are still respected members of the US establishment. John Bolton is working in the White House. Elliot Abrams is back from the Iran-Contra scandal.

Absolutely. And this happens precisely because there is no desire for studying history in a highly critical way.

Could the Athenian democracy have handled the twin Spartan and Persian threats and aggressions differently?

Could France have gotten rid of Louis XIV or Napoleon, before they became two-legged atrocities maniacally obsessed by vainglory, greed, and the darkest evil?

Could Rome have done without calling onto Tiberius to reign?

Could Marcus Aurelius have launched a revolution back to the Republic?

What would have happen if the Western empire army of Arbogast have defeated the Goths and their promoter, the arch-Catholic Theodosius I?

History is not taught that way. So US politics has deteriorated, ever since Carter was not criticized for his stealth war onto Afghanistan, instrumentalizing the Muslim Jihadists (and Carter’s motives were the worst). B movie star Ronald Reagan and Democrat O’Neill launched trickle down (the socioeconomy developed ever more ever since…. Obama used to say he admired Reagan (perhaps not now anymore, as people are getting wiser, and the idea would make books harder to sell…)

When talking of racism, many love to bring up “antisemitism”… And that’s itself disinformation. Flavius Josephus, the Jewish general who was the adoptive son of emperor Vespasian, was part of the Flavian conspiracy and propaganda machine… but he was himself a Jew, of course. So now a salad is made between racism, islamophobia, antisemitism, etc… Intelligence consists in the ability to make distinction, and it’s now compromised.

Islamophobia can’t be identified with hatred for Jews, Au contraire. Because Islam HAS hatred for Jews. Hitler explicitly admired Islam. Grand Mufti gave Hitler thousands of crack troops. Famous Hadiths say all Jews have to be killed to proceed with Final Judgment

German anti-Judaism is as old as Christianism anti-Judaism., it’s not just something about Germany. Christianism is a Flavian ideology which appeared exactly at the time of the first Judean War (66-71 CE)

Cardinal Bellarmine supervised the torture to death of Giordano Bruno, including hanging the astronomer and philosopher upside down alive and naked on the market place, and burning him alive (1600 CE). Bellarmine was professor of theology and later rector of the Roman College, and in 1602 became Archbishop of Capua. Bellarmine supported the reform decrees of the Council of Trent.

Bellarmine is remembered for his role in the Giordano Bruno atrocity, the Galileo affair and the execution of Friar Fulgenzio Manfredi.

Later, having warmed up his holly hands on the Bruno live roast, Cardinal Bellarmine also persecuted, and prosecuted, Galileo, indeed. But it gets even better. In 1930, Bellarmine was made a “saint” and one of only 36 “doctor of the church“. Who said the fascist Catholic church ever changed?

So when people see the Church abusing systematically, on a mass and secular scale, they are surprised… because they don’t know history enough to see through the massively abusing Christian conspiracy and propaganda, itself central to the established order (puns intended: mass sex abuse is the fundamental mass of the church, and secular initially meant a period of 120 years…) The argument can be made that Constantine invented Catholicism, in his image, so he could abuse:

The fact that “literary critique” is a recognized activity, even a profession, whereas “history critique” is not, is revealing of the priorities of the Pluto driven academic establishment. All the more as history is more interesting, more unbelievable, than fiction.

Differently from a few thousands of words from a few authors, historical criticism calls onto everything. Even chaos theory, and the butterfly effect (a famous scientific paper a few decades ago claimed that a butterfly flapping its wings could change the weather three weeks later…)

Calling onto everything is what human intelligence does best. Artificial Intelligence can be of some help, though, running simulation.

Yes, much of history should be reviewed and criticized, as much as possible, so we can learn to learn. Learn to learn how to avoid catastrophes. As we are launched into the Sixth Mass Extinction since before fishes learned to walk, this is not unpractical.

Patrice Ayme



More disagreeable critique? Sometimes the literary and the historical merge.

Herman Hesse was a volunteer to fight for the criminal Kaiserreich in 1914, and later refused to criticize the nazis, practicing “detachment”. Want to understand why Nazism happened? This disgusting and criminal behavior is viewed as “pacifism”, and got the Nobel in 1946

Now of course the Swedes had interest to give the Nobel to behaviors which made Nazism possible, because that’s exactly how Sweden made lots of money selling high grade iron ore to Hitler and equipping him with the excellent 88mm gun…
Now of course, I could do something remotely comparable with Montaigne… Who was not that indignant during the religious wars….