SURVIVAL IS BEST & DEFINES SUPERIOR CIVILIZATION… With A Little Help From The Dark Side (Thus, Cruelty).


Centuries Of Continuous Wars, And Apparent “Cruelty” Created What The Franks, Rescuing Civilization, Called “Europe”:

When the empire of the Romans collapsed, their closest Federates, the Franks, took over, conquering Gallia, then Germania, Lombardia, and basically all of Europe, “renovating the Empire of the Romans”, as they put it. Then the Franks pushed away the invading Muslims out of southern France, northern Spain. Later France and her Angevins and Normans conquered England, and freed Italy, Sicily and other islands from the occupying Muslims. Then, for a millennium, the superpowers of Europe were squabbling France and her subsidiary and colony, Britain. For a while, all too Catholic and Inquisition wrecked Spain became all too wealthy and uppity, having conquered the Americas. Spain then fought France (in Italy) and then France and Britain all over, resulting in the creation of the Netherlands.

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Part of The Problem Was That The Concept of Progress Changed:

The fanatical Christians, put in charge by Roman emperor Theodosius I, were of the opinion, as Augustine put it around 410 CE, that collapsing the City of Rome was the key to fostering the City of God. The City of God against the pagans… Latin: Dē cīvitāte Deī contrā pāgānōs. That was a declaration of war against most of the population, as most of the population was “pagan” (which meant “peasant”).

For the Christian bishops in power around 400 CE, “progress” was to outlaw the death penalty (and free, or secular thinking). Thus brigands knew they would not be punished (enough) to stop them. The highways became completely unsafe, and trade collapsed. The army couldn’t be paid anymore. This was the result:

Dark Side failure: Rome proximally collapsed because its Dark, Most Cynical Side collapsed. When superstitious Do-Goodism, known as Christianism took over, in 381 CE, cruelty, the Dark Side and the tough edge to human inquiry were outlawed, under the penalty of death. As it turned out, catastrophic, most cruel calamity followed: CIVILIZATION COLLAPSED. Invasions followed the establishment of the Catholic dictatorship, to the point that the same individuals, for example the Visigoth king Alaric, were in charge. Alaric defeated the secular forces in 394 CE, under Theodosius nominal command. The same Alaric sieged and took the city of Rome in 410 CE.

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Concepts Like “Civilization” and “Progress”, Even “Common Sense” Fell, When The USA Took Over:

So France and Britain ruled for (most of) nine centuries. Then in the Twentieth Century, fascist, uppity Germany made attempts to take over Western Europe by force. The child of France and Britain, the USA, was all too friendly to Germany… in part because not only was there money to be made, but also parents to be replaced. 

The end result is that the USA won the Second World War, even pushing its cynicism to use its dog, Stalin, to watch over half of Europe. US master minds made sure that, in countries such as France, influencers would be on the payroll. Hence an entire generation of European thinkers appeared, who brainwashed We The People that progress, education, instruction, independance, common sense, basic decency were all notions so relative, than “superior” or “inferior”, or even “civilization”, or “better”, were not absolute.

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Kathleen Hawes Watkins And in the absence of consensus on “progress” and “common good” – – we live in a pluralistic/multi-polity reality – – our prime directive is/should always be to avoid cruelty. 

Cruelty is taking pleasure in applying the Dark Side. But the fact is, sometimes, the Dark Side needs to be applied (see the war against Nazi Germany). And it would be difficult, ethologically speaking, to feel inclined to apply it, from duty alone. 

As I explained above, banning cruelty is very close to banning the Dark Side, our main servant to destroy bad tribes like the Nazis, or bad ideas, such as Stalinism or Theodosius’ Catholicism. 

Kathleen gave a link to Aeon, a Pluto financed site (which has blocked some of my comments, and now all comments, apparently): https://aeon.co/essays/discovering-judith-shklars-skeptical-liberalism-of-fear

Shklar defined “liberalism”[0]: something crucial to the established US order, the plutocratic elite in charge for more than a century now. US pseudo-leftists define themselves as “liberal“. 

Shklar is a Harvard professor… Need I say more? That means the establishment established that she was a positive contribution to… the establishment. Indeed Shklar obsesses about something called “liberalism“, defined as no fear (to outrage common sense), no favor (to We The People). “Liberalism” became the ideology of global plutocracy, starting way back with US plutocrats financing and helping Hitler, and blossomed with global plutocrats instrumentalizing the Chinese dictatorship… whose latest export is seen to be a carefully, and secretly nurtured virus..

In Shklar, we are contemplating a buttress of the establishment here, not a thinker throwing light on obscure yet crucial subjects. Comparing her to Montaigne, as some have done, is silly: Montaigne was NOT a university professor. If he had been, he would have had to make a career of only thinking about pleasing the establishment, and thus would not have been Montaigne [1]. That doesn’t mean Montaigne was a saint. Far from it: he was a Catholic… But a Catholic very friendly and tight with two of the greatest thinkers and benefactors of humanity: feminist author and Queen of France Marguerite de Navarre, and her husband, king of Navarre, and, after a while, of France.

So the establishment tells us that the ultimate evil, the summum malum, the sum of mal, is… cruelty? [2] What is cruelty? The pleasure provided by the deliberate infliction of pain and suffering? What is more human? Humanity has been the ultimate predator for millions of years. That means, humanity evolved in an ecology where the greatest danger to a human being was other human beings not in their own tribe. Also, human life, in part as a result of this, but also to bring down cattle and overawe lions was most optimal when tribal. Hence tribalism is part of the inherent mental organization of human, just as much as the love (the tribe)-hate (the other tribe) nature of human ethology.

To bemoan it, while being part of the mighty Harvard tribe, or any other established tribe, is hypocritical. A philosopher, the genuine article, civilization class, is a tribe of one (this dismisses Plato and Aristotle, nota bene, as Plato was Athenian aristocracy and Aristotle Macedonian plutocrat… Not to say Aristotle is not important and not a good historian of science, or good observationalist).

I am always beyond uneasy when I come across Jews who bemoan cruelty and the Dark Side: they understood nothing from The Holocaust. The Holocaust happened precisely because all too many Jews claimed that, to be a fair and decent human being, one had to deny the existence of cruelty and the Dark Side. They exist, instead, and are intrinsic, one may as well deny death… to which they are closely related. Cruelty and the Dark Side are part of the architecture of death, as managed by humanity. Claiming no architecture is needed is denying the essence of humanity.

Watch the civilized doing triage during COVID 19, for further instruction.

***

One third of European Jews survived, because starting with the French and followed by the British, bombers were sent over German cities to kill German babies. Among other cruel objectives. The Germans didn’t like that. When the Germans invaded France in May 1940, their army consisted of more than six million soldiers, fueled by Soviet oil. 

Later, when the Nazis invaded and then struggled in the Soviet Union, the attacking army consisted of just three millions. It didn’t work out so well, unsurprisingly: the Nazis had too little oil and soldiers to tackle the USSR. Why so few men attacking the USSR? 

Another million German soldiers were manning the giant German anti-aircraft defence system against British bomber streams coming at night. At some point, defeating Nazi radar, British raid after British raid burned to a crisp in a deliberately set firestorm, the city of Hamburg. The fire storm was made so that civilians in underground shelters would die too.

This is how Auschwitz was liberated, by killing lots of German babies, and this is why not all Jews were not killed. The Soviets, who marched into Auschwitz, profited from absolutely gigantic US aid, given to them, free of charge; so Americans are often under the impression that to fight a war, one just needs to be industrious. No. First, one needs to be cruel. Cruel against oneself, first of all as one goes to destroy evil, la fleur au fusil.

Patrice Ayme

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[0] Judith N. Shklar defining “liberalism” (in other words, Bushism, Reaganism, Clintonism, Obamaism; I put “Bush” first as dynasty founder Prescott Bush served Hitler in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s…):“Every adult should be able to make as many effective decisions without fear or favor about as many aspects of her or his life as is compatible with the like freedom of every other adult. That belief is the original and only defensible meaning of liberalism.”

It’s of course a lie, Shklar is a liar, or incompetent, or both. Dynasties are all over the USA, especially where Shklar taught… So “favor” rules… And “fear” too: thousands of my comments were banned over the years, I was banned from sites, and even got government threats, just for my cogent discourses, where the guiding light is truth, and nothing but the truth, in full… People banned from academia for not respecting the guideline of respecting the establishment. The establishment even tried to do this to professor Raoult, for daring to say all too many truths about the COVID 19 pandemic.

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[1] So what of Buridan, Rabelais, and Galileo? They were famous thinkers, iconoclasts, and still extremely famous university professors, all with great philosophical dimension? Doesn’t that disprove my theory that, to be a famous philosopher, one needs to be out of the university system? The answer is simple: Buridan, circa 1350 CE was adviser to four French kings, head of the university and lover to the queen, That gave him mental freedom. The situation of Rabelais was somewhat similar: a most famous professor of surgery, top of tops in Paris. And Galileo was childhood friend to the Pope (Galileo’s travails came in part of his bad character and arrogance; he didn’t understand tides, but make sure to tell his friend the Pope that his tide theory was wrong; he also got into astronomical fights with Jesuits)

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[2] “It seems to me that liberal and humane people, of whom there are many among us, would, if they were asked to rank the vices, put cruelty first. Intuitively they would choose cruelty as the worst thing we do.”

Judith N. Shklar wrote.

OK, so what do we get from that? Shklar is cruel: that’s the worst thing she and her kind do. That’s her problem. I would define myself as potentially cruel, but would not say that “cruelty is the worst thing we do”, because, although I have seen cruelty applied to me (like in having my young uncle assassinated, or throwing a bomb or fatwa my way)… I do not know of a case where I exhibited cruelty much greater than smashing mosquitoes or using soap against viruses… But I have no doubt that, to become part of the establishment one has to partake in serious cruelty, so, indeed, Shklar has got to be cruel, as she readily admits. But then how come does she believe she is in position to teach us that we do it too? Who taught her that? Jesus Christ, the hero of Anglo-Saxon “liberalism”.

Patrice Ayme

 

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6 Responses to “SURVIVAL IS BEST & DEFINES SUPERIOR CIVILIZATION… With A Little Help From The Dark Side (Thus, Cruelty).”

  1. Gmax Says:

    Splendid and ultra deep essay. So that’s why you understand the Dark Side. Expect a chorus of screams

    Like

  2. Kathleen Hawes Watkins Says:

    I completely agree with you on need for REAL progress. To get us out of this Pluto-winner-takes-all ditch, a much-needed pivot to more deep learning and sustained national/global R&D goals is first order. Highly laudable. Summum bonum. No argument. My thinking was that we may yet still be stymied – locked in a conflicting values/multi-polity standoff – consuming more energy and further increasing paralysis/nihilism. (Of course, if we had unlimited resources, we wouldn’t need to debate/triage/prioritize; we’d just forge ahead on all promising fronts).

    Admittedly, I co-opted Shklar’s “avoid cruelty” – – taking it beyond her context re liberalism – – for a broader allegiance. I used the mantra “avoid cruelty” (*) as a tempering North Star – an easy abstraction, a guide post that (surely) we can ALL agree on.
    In evolving to higher common ground, temperatures and passions run hot, but a higher-altitude perspective sustains us, providing respite and annealing. Abstractions temper and clarify and remind us of our larger frame of reference, that our similarities can transcend our differences. “Can’t we all just get along?” asked Rodney King. “Love one another” said George Harrison. Laudable thoughts to be sure, but we’ve become too cynical/distrusting and need more altitude – enough room to rise to greater heights and heal deeper wounds. Now, to achieve this ideal, this higher common ground, we need to continually remind ourselves of our highest common good, our benevolence – – so eviscerated/desiccated by the tyranny of the Pluts.

    Avoiding cruelty is our mantra, the common sinew that sustains us – or in your words, the “buttress” that allows us to build higher while deconstructing and resolving conflict.

    (*) Nota bene: Cruelty cannot be eradicated, only avoided/minimized; there is necessary cruelty in war/survival, but pleasure in cruelty is beyond the pale.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      I am more into achieving understanding rather than wounds. “Wounds” are often invented. I spent my childhood and youth in Africa. Nobody had wounds. I should have had some, BTW, for excellent reason. I have been busy developing them since. But I don’t think that should be the main focus.

      An example is Obama: when growing up in Hawai’i, he had zero wounds. Then he found convenient, for his self-advocated “navigation” to invent himself “wounds”… And came out with a partly imagined biography where he was full of wounds, identifying with imagined “blacks” (my spouse, apparently one of those “blacks”, was his best friend since age ten , or so…)

      Instead I focus on analysing what is really going on.

      Then, it turns out that some problems are tough. Then the tough needs to get going. From being tough, to being mean, or cruel, it’s just a matter of degree. Bombing Tokyo with a deliberately disposed incendiaries to create a firestorm, burning thousands of Japanese children in the process was… cruel. Around 150,000 died, 16 square miles burned in the main night bombing… Hiroshima followed by Nagasaki were pretty cruel too. But they stopped the war on a dime, instead of the big showdown on the only place a landing could be made on Kyushu.

      So Hiroshima-Nagasaki was cruel… But good. Millions lived because of it: the war was killing at least 10,000 a day… Mostly victim of the Jap imperial forces in China.

      Cruelty, by definition is taking pleasure in employing the Dark Side… This is the core of the advanced primate paradox.

      S

      Like

  3. Kathleen Hawes Watkins Says:

    The “wound” is the deep rift in this country that prevents us from rising above our differences – makes us unable to negotiate and compromise – disabling in democracy.

    Like

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Most of the “rift” in the USA is completely artificial. It’s a kabuki theater (as a commenter on my site said for years) between plutocrats. It’s a trick set-up by Plutos to pose as leftists. The differences often don’t exist, the plutocracy makes us believe they do, they create false conflicts. It’s often a difference between who dares to talk, and who doesn’t.

      The USA esteems the concept of tribes… It used to be races, the US was in love with. So the myth of red vs blue was invented. Nevermind that Trump spent 60 years as “blue”, now he is bloody red, and a “racist”, and an immigrant hater (who married two fresh immigrant, and had children with them…) I have been called all sorts of things myself…

      Yesterday I was called a “drunk” on facebook… My crime? …for saying Krugman censored me hundreds of times, and then used my ideas… which he had previously censored. So now I just avoid him. Boring and a thief. Same happened with some economists at UC Berkeley (friends of Krugman, and famous…) BTW, I never drank alcohol once in my life…

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  4. Kathleen Hawes Watkins Says:

    Cruelty is intended pain – but would argue that it is not taking pleasure – rather it is abandonment of ideal to do no harm. But in defense of survival, cruelty is necessary. Serial killers that take pleasure in cruelty to animals and humans are a different case, an indefensible perversion of cruelty.

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