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

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….


7 Responses to “Literary Critique Good, Historical Critique, Better, Deeper, and More Life Saving”

  1. brodix Says:


    Aside the morality, what if we viewed reality through a basic lens of energy expanding holistically and universally, while structure coalesces discretely and locally.
    The light from galaxies crosses the entire visible universe. I would argue cosmic redshift is optical and the background radiation is light from even further away, redshifted off the visible spectrum.
    While mass coalesces locally and is the effective basis of the delineation, that is definition.
    So then apply this relationship to how human society functions;
    We can project globally/universally, so we have this monistic belief in the wholeness of all we see.
    Yet when we define this totality, it quickly coalesces around local references and frames. Like the gravitation of mass is local to the galaxies, not across the universe, like light. That even the quantization of light, the photon
    Thus we are driven by this ubiquitous, universal energy, whether as individuals, or societies, but the only form for us to understand it is local.
    So we coalesce into groups, or even as multicellular organisms, that functions as an entity, but sees itself as universal. Call it the tribal soul. Which then finds itself in absolutist conflict with other such entities.
    What happens when this entity feels itself threatened? Naturally the immune response kicks in and any foreign organisms are exterminated.
    As I observed in a prior post, the Ancients didn’t distinguish between religion and politics, so monotheism equated with authoritarianism, as one god, one ruler, while polytheism equated with democracy.
    So after a couple thousand years of the divine right of kings, as the only possible political model, when it was finally crushed in Germany, after WW1, what was the German fallback position, but a more elemental tribalism. Which is not to let Hitler off the hook, but he sensed and took advantage of the gapping hole, in the German psyche, of this tribal being, that had lost its father figure model of society and had only a raw social immune response to fall back on.
    That sought to cleanse itself of any foreign bodies and since Judaism essentially functions as a tribal entity, it was emotionally separate. As well as anyone else viewed as impure to the German tribe.
    Which is not to take sides, as my own tribe is pretty local and I see politics as the two sides of this convection cycle of expanding energy and coalescing form. Liberalism being the social energies bubbling up and conservatism as the cultural and civil forms it settles into.
    My point is if we better understood this dynamic and relationship, we would be better armed against the demagogues.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      “cosmic redshift is optical and the background radiation is light from even further away, redshifted off the visible spectrum…”
      cosmic redshift is optical?????? What does that mean? Light gets tired? In my theory, SQPR, light can get tired indeed… Has to get tired. There is a mechanism… However stretching of space also makes light ever more low frequency (I don’t deny that this is ALSO happening…

      So what do you want to say?

      Notice gravitation goes across at speed c (there are energy conservation reasons why this happens; I think Poincare has got to have found this in 1905… It’s taken again by GR….). So if there are gravitons, so do they, like photons….

      Agreed with the tribal situation… However same objection applied to Christianism v Judaism from as soon as it was invented (in GREEK!) under the Flavians. The Hitler thing was also possible because of modern tech: average Germans could claim they saw nothing… Did nothing… Similar situation with Obama on a small scale in recent years…


      • brodix Says:

        I first became skeptical of BBT when first reading Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, when it came out in late 80’s. In it, he made the point that it was theorized that “Omega =1.” By this, the expansion of the universe is inversely proportional to gravity, so that overall, space is flat. What!!! If the contraction of gravity effectively cancels out expansion, why presume the entire universe is expanding? Apparently tests by COBE and WMAP satellites went on to prove this.
        The only excuse I ever found for this obvious logical discrepancy was that inflation blew the universe up so fast and large, that it only appears flat, like the surface of the earth appears flat from our limited point of view.
        Wouldn’t it be more reasonable to assume that Hubble had actually found Einstein’s Cosmological Constant; The balance to prevent gravity from collapsing the universe to a point.
        Essentially the space between galaxies expands proportional to which space collapses into them. Consider the ball on a rubber sheet analogy of gravity. What if the sheet were over water, so that the sheet is pushed up, between the wells created by the balls, in overall balance?
        For the next decade this idea was wandering around in my mind, among other things, leading to the insight that time is more simply explained as change turning future to past, as it also goes both directions. Energy to the future, events/form to the past.
        What I’d settled on, accepting the dimensionality of space, was that dimensionality falling into black holes was bubbling up between galaxies, in a form of geometric, cosmic convection cycle.
        Then discussing such issues on the old NYTimes Mysteries of the Universe forum, in the late 90’s, someone, name long forgotten, who had done graduate school in Astronomy, in Chicago, said invisible dimensions were not necessary, you could get the same effect from the light radiating out. He had proposed it as his thesis, to his adviser. The response being that he might want to consider another field, if he tried that.
        Then, about ten years ago, on the FQXI forums, which were much livelier then, someone turned me on to this paper;
        Which observes that multi spectrum light “packets” do redshift over distance and that it is only single spectrum light that needs recession to redshift.
        A couple years later, this essay was an entry in one of their annul contests;
        Which argues and experiments for the “loading theory” of light quanta. That light and other forms of radiation, are not so much composed of irreducible units, ie photons, but that light can only be quantized and thus measured, as these discrete units.
        So combine these two premises and consider light that has traveled 100’s of millions and billions of lightyears; Does it do so as individual photons, or are these units a sampling of the wave fronts and thus necessarily coalesce from broader sources and spectrums, therefore redshifted, the weaker the signal is?
        Consider that far more information could be extracted from a wave front, quantified as photons, than as individual photons, that managed to travel the entire distance, from whatever particular event released them.
        Consider as well the patches required to hold BBT together;
        The original was when they realized this redshift was proportional in all directions, making us appear to be at the center of the universe and so it was changed from an expansion in space, to an expansion of space, based on the premise of spacetime. So that every point would appear to be the center. As I’ve been pointing out, this totally overlooks the central premise of spacetime and GR, that the speed of light is Constant to the frame. Obviously if it is redshifted, it has to be taking longer to cross. So that in terms of light, it is only increasing distance, in stable units of light speed. What metric of space is this intergalactic light even measuring, if it is not intergalactic space? It’s the redshifted spectrum of this very light that is the supposed proof of this expansion.
        Then there is the cosmic background radiation, which is evidence of the initial event, but if redshift is optical, then this would be the light of ever distant sources, shifted off the visible spectrum and there is no need for inflation to explain why it is so equal in all directions.
        As for dark matter, if wave collapse actually starts with the photon, than it wouldn’t so much be that gravity is a property of mass, but that mass is a stage of this wave collapse, eventually into black holes. Which would be the eye of storm at the center of this cosmic convection cycle, of expanding energy and collapsing mass/form. With whatever actually reaches this stage, rather than radiated out as starlight, being shot out the poles as quasars.
        Then there is dark energy, supposedly driving the universe apart faster. Having followed this particular proposition from the beginning, that is a muddled description. What had been assumed was that the initial event provided all the energy of this expansion, so it was assumed the rate would decrease linearly, from the edge of the universe, where sources appeared to recede at close to the speed of light, to the much slower observed expansion/redshift of closer galaxies. Yet what was actually observed was this rate dropped off rapidly, but then flattened out. It was as if the universe started off like a bullet, but after slowing, a jet engine kicked in.
        For any other field, this is where the premise of falsifiability is supposed to raise its ugly head and the whole theory is potentially proven wrong, but astronomers are allowed a pass and can just propose enormous, otherwise invisible forces of nature and everyone knows it to be true. What if accountants worked like this and when finding gaps in the books, asserted Dark Money must fill them?
        What we actually see is from our point of view and this redshift, proportional in all directions, starts off slow, but eventually goes parabolic, until all light is shifted off the visible spectrum. Wouldn’t that be what we would see, if redshift is an optical effect?
        While the gravitational force might propagate at the speed of light, we don’t have mass traveling for billions of lightyears, like light does, in fairly clear lines of propagation, even if lensed. I think we will eventually find cosmic redshift to be another form of lensing effect.
        Possibly the James Webb space telescope will find ever older and more distant structure, in the Cosmic background radiation, that it is designed to study, than can ever be shoehorned into this current model. Though I’m sure some will try and the media will take it as gospel.
        “Cosmologists discover edge universe is mirrored. Creating illusion of infinity!”


        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Brodix: vast. Some of what you describe as causing the redshift is the mechanism of my own theory SQPR. I showed to Feynman, way back, he was fascinated (or was kind enough to be fascinated). It seems to be what you call “optical”.
          However, as I already said, the vastness of the universe (different galaxies to infinity), and the expansion of the universe are not in doubt. That generates another redshift, even if the tired-light hypothesis (that consequence of SQPR; your “optical” effect) is true.
          In the present LCDM (the “Big Bang”), there two inflation: the inflaton field and the mysterious Dark Energy.
          In SQPR, tired light, Dark Matter and Dark Energy have all the same (SUB) Quantal cause…. Elements of what you talk about are preserved…

          BTW, the bombastic style of Hawking (working from fumes), his brief history of God, I always thought was a disservice to science….


          • brodix Says:

            An infinite universe expanding would be meaningless. That’s why they are now talking about multiverses. The universe as a defined, therefore finite, entity implies other such entities.
            Which goes to the relationship between entities and processes. Such as life, where the individual goes birth to death, being in the future to being in the past, while the process goes onto new generations, shedding old.
            The universe is a process, not an entity. Galaxies are entities and occasionally collide, such that the process of collision transforms the constituent energies into larger galaxies and debris.
            The light is not “tired,” ie slowed. Which was an alternative explanation for redshift, then recession. As waves, light has to expand and thus dissipate to fill the volume, even if an observer sees the source as a point. In doing so, the bluer, higher frequency waves dissipate faster than the redder, lower frequency waves. From the above link;
            “It is shown that the attenuation acts merely to decrease the amplitude of the shifts packed, while the dissipation damps the higher frequencies stronger than the lower frequencies and shifts the maximal frequency of the packet to lower frequencies (longer wave lengths), i.e., the packet appears redshifted upon its arrival.”


  2. Gloucon X Says:

    “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.”

    I thought I’d remind everyone about the place I live called the United States of Amnesia. The American people do not have an accurate grasp of even their own very recent history, let alone Europe. They can’t accurately remember the 21st century let alone the previous twenty centuries. The dictatorship of the plutocracy sees the role of the people as that of infantilized sheep, not thoughtful citizens, and their corporate-owned mass media strives to keep them within a chaotic bubble of nonsense. They have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams to make that a reality.

    There was an incident on a show called The View a few years ago where one of the hosts said that there was nothing, no history, before Jesus. The corporate mass media deliberately gives such people with an embarrassingly low level of basic knowledge a lucrative national platform. Knowledge of history, of science, of anything, is completely disrespected in the USA corporate owned public discourse. Reporters are hired for their lack of knowledge and their inability to ask basic questions. The dictatorship of the plutos has deliberately created a madhouse, a population of lobotomized worker drones. It means that there is no hope for solutions to humanity’s problems coming from this country, no hope whatsoever.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      That’s extremely true, Gloucon. Even in the major media, content-empty pieces are legions. One can’t even disagree with them, it feels like talking to overflowing garbage bins. This started long ago with smartass talking heads with no knowledge. Now they don’t even have to fake any smarts.

      Plutos are all over, holding up the world employment, and they pay well: remember when the Gates were going to fix the educational system, according to Obama? All highers up in the USA (and also the EU) pay no taxes. They literally hop around the world’s best hotels, everything paid by taxpayers… It has to be seen to be believed, and therein the rub, as the proletariat is kept away…

      When running a mental asylum, an elite has an excuse for abuse… Beyond the self-abuse the inmates visit onto themselves.


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