Archive for the ‘Colonization’ Category

Why The Anglo-Saxon Rage Against France

June 21, 2017

CROSSROADS OF THOUGHT, OR WHY THE FRENCH ARE SO SMART:

Another day, another explosion of a luggage full of high explosive in a public space, courtesy of Islamist terrorist, Oussama Z., a primitive Moroccan screaming “God is great” in Arabic. He tried to terrorize Brussels’ train station, but law enforcement spotted him before he could organize properly his devilish terror weapons. The fanatical barbarian was promptly shot and killed by officers. The Islamists have good reason to be enraged against France, and anything French-like, such as Belgium, ever since they attacked France in 715 CE… And got whipped. Before they invaded again, in 721 CE, to be whipped again. And again, in 732 CE. Some are gluttons for punishment. Islamist feel that the more punished they get, the closer to God. Which is great, probably because He is a homosexual in denial, who detest women. Different people, different nations, different mentalities.

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France Alleged To Be “Liberticide”, Latest example of Anti-French rage and Hypocrisy:

Recently various major Anglo-Saxon media, including the crooked New York Times, preventively trashed new proposed anti-terrorist French laws as dictatorial. This is more than hypocritical. Those proposed French laws are nothing of the sort. Whereas US practice is beyond dictatorial, they are more police-state like (8 millions are under “Judicial Supervision” in the US!) 

For example a proposed French law says that the police could ask drivers of vehicles to have those inspected when they want to enter a security perimeter around major events (such as the “Tour de France”). This is a measure against car bombs. However, if the driver refuses an inspection of his or her car, to see if it carries a huge bomb, the driver can leave, no question asked. Try that in the US: you will be shot at, and everybody knows it (so nobody tries!) Everybody in the US knows that when the police gives an order, either you obey, or you get shot.

How “liberticide” is that? According to the crooked New York Times, enormously so (New York Times is crooked because it has banned me during the 2003 Iraq war, and for the last 6 years, although it denies it does, a further lie!)

By the way I have driven cars in the USA which way inspected for car bombs. Turning around was not an option, as I was dealing with the ladies and gentlemen of the US Secret Service, and that was nine years ago already. Major US media didn’t write editorials about it. I also found this to be no problem at all (because my car was not equipped with a car bomb!) I didn’t feel my right to carry a car bomb was trampled underfoot.

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Conflicts between nations and versions of civilization arise from different mentalities:

These different mentalities do not just arise haphazardly. They often originate for a number of incontrovertible reasons. For example Fernand Braudel found that the desiccation of the Middle East brought increasingly dictatorial regimes, necessary to organize the enormous, increasingly complex hydraulic systems necessary for the survival of civilization. Thus the Pharaoh became “shepherd of his flock” (as official Egyptian propaganda put it, copied by the Bible a millennium later). Not surprisingly, Egypt, long at the forefront of civilization faded away as an engine of mental creation.

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Why The French Are Like The Franks Who Became Like The Gauls:

It’s a curious thing that the same mentality inhabits France now as it did even before the Romans showed up. The population changed significantly in the meantime from massacres, immigration, emigration, etc. Centuries before the Roman empire, though, the 60 states of France each had their own treasury (and currency). And, in many technologies they were best in the world. Much of the Roman military equipment was purchased in Celtic Spain and Gaul (light metal helmets, swords). Five centuries later, the 37 arsenal of the Roman empire made their own weapons, right. But that was five centuries later, and by then Gallia was arguably the strongest piece of the Roman empire, and with a mind of its own (there was even a “Gallic empire” within the Roman empire, for a while).

France: trade routes from Med to Atlantic, and from Med to North Sea, and from Med to Germany! Melting Pot Max!

So why the same? Precisely because France was the original melting pot, the three main trade routes between the Mediterranean and Northern Europe being there. A crossroad of trade and especially mental trade. The Gauls actually used Hermes, also known as Mercury, as their main imported deity. That was the god of commerce, and communications

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Why The Clashing Mentalities Between France and the Anglo-Saxons?

England has been in conflict with France since, paradoxically enough, the highly successful invasion and colonization of England by a French army led by the Duke of Normandy. As the latter and his barons took control on the other side of the channel, the new king of England, namely aforesaid Duke, became a vassal of the king of France. The king of Francia was not any king out there. After the de facto secession of the Western Franks from the rest of the “Renovated” Roman empire, the king of France was officially “Roman emperor in his own kingdom”.

This status of vassal went on for centuries. The situation became worse when the “Louve de France”, the She-Wolf of france, daughter of Philippe IV Le Bel of France, became absolute monarch of England. She was succeeded by her son Edward III, grandson of Le Bel, legitimate king of England and France. At that point, the leadership of England could claim that Paris was vassal to London, and the 475 years war (so-called “100 years war”) was on.

Another problem is that the Duke of Normandy had to persuade the English that it was in their best interest to be ruled by him. First, of course, the french outlawed slavery in England, something that the 20% of the population who were slaves, loved. But William had to make We the People stakeholders in their nation: England had been crisscrossed by civil wars and invasions, with all sorts of Angles, and Saxons, and (“Fair”) Viking from Norway, and Dark Vikings from Denmark, for 5 centuries… Thus William of Normandy installed a sort of more direct democracy which was frowned on by the more traditional Franco-Roman plutocracy on the other side of the Channel. That “English” trick was increased in following centuries, for example when other (French) aristocrats tried to be elected king by the (English) Parliament, and hoped to do that, by first increasing the powers of said Parliament.

In any case, as France was much more powerful than England then, with several times the population and riches, and a closer connection to Roman inheritance, the leadership in England could survive only through more devious and militarily efficient means than those used by the French from France.

In the end, England became basically a more efficient version of France, and that included a mentality that the French could see as more pragmatic, less principled, more perfidious and hypocritical.

As French supremacy lasted until 1815, the English had to try much harder until then, with a more underhanded mentality. In 1815, the English monarch renounced his claim to the throne of France (a claim started by Isabelle and her son Edward III, and later reconfirmed in an accord to end the “100 Year War” which Joan of Arc and her operators would violate, relaunching the war for another 375 years).

After that, France was clearly the junior partner in the way of world empire… But not as a land power, where the French military stayed the most powerful in the West, most of the time, until May 1940.

The German empire was the world’s most powerful military in the period 1871-1914. However, in September 1914, it was nearly annihilated by a French counterattack at the First Battle of the Marne, shattering the conspiracy to take control of the world. The reason for french military might can be tracked all the way back to the Third Century, when the Confederation of the Salian Franks was created, and Franks went up Roman rivers in what would become the Viking style, five centuries later. The alliance between Romans and Franks arose from these earlier conflicts, when the Romans, and in particular Caesar Constantine, realized that Frankish military might was best co-opted, rather than fought.

The ascent of the Franks was defined by them militarily defeating all and any enemies who tried to encroach on present day France. The list is nearly never ending, and includes the Huns, the Goths, and the Berber and Arab armies of the three invasions of Francia by the Umayyad Caliphate (715-748 CE), which brought its demise in 750 CE (as the bones of its armies laid in France). The switch from “Franks” to “French” happened in the Twelfth Century, and the first unelected French king was Jean I, an infant who ruled 5 days, before being probably poisoned (by Countess Mahaut of Artois; now a region of pseudo-independent Belgium).

Thus the French are frank and aggressive. On this civilization grew and multiplied. Frank, to know and transmit the truth, which is the core strength of war. Aggressive, to impose the truth. Why so much war? Because France is at core of Europe, where the easiest main three trade routes pass (going across the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Carpathians, the Balkan Mountains or the Caucasus, all East-West ranges, mostly, is best done through… France!)

More details of European topography, showing better that the easiest trade routes indeed go through France… South of Massif Central (the volcanic range in the middle of France), going west, and up the Rhones valley.

The French state is the direct descendant of the Roman state. There is actually no discontinuity whatsoever, militarily, legal or otherwise. The first well-known elected French king, Clovis, was also Roman Consul and Imperator of the Roman army. Clovis succeeded to do what the Roman state couldn’t succeed to do in the preceding 150 years: Clovis crushed and evacuated the Visigoths (Battle of Vouillé, in 507 CE). Thus Francia and Constantinople, all the way to the Tenth and Eleventh Century, viewed themselves as part of the same Romanitas (resulting in common military campaigns, as when the Eastern Roman fleet operated on the French Riviera in the Tenth Century, in cooperation with Frankish armies in the interior, to extricate the Muslims who had been terrorizing Western Europe, in still another invasion; the First Crusade, 150 years later was the reciprocal courtesy…)

The philosophical method William the Conqueror used is exactly the same which Clovis used. And that’s not happenstance. Notice that, in both cases, those methods were quite opposite to the cool massacres, and thorough holocausts enacted by Julius Caesar when he conquered Gallia (Gaul).

However, the gigantic French empire was the object of US greed by 1914, and the envoy of hyper racist US President Wilson (a democrat, ex-president of Princeton University, a famous plutocratic university) conspired, encouraged, abetted and talked the German Kaiser into launching a world war, which he couldn’t win, with the result that, in 1945, the US was in perfect position to grab both the British and French empires, in the guise of decolonization.

This crowned the “American Century”, this worldwide empire, in the glory of which we are all presently basking.

So why the “Anglo-Saxon” anti-French rage?

This anti-French rage is a preventive measure, lest all the preceding be found out.

And should we be Zen-like, satisfied with this cognitive cover-up, organized in great part by the glorious US plutocratic universities? No. Why? Because we are getting through what promises to be maybe the greatest extinction of the biosphere ever since Snowball Earth. The simple US greed mentality is completely insufficient to deal with this crisis. Americans emit 16 tons of CO2 per capita, per year, in no small reason because they are such glorious, sensitive people, having attended their glorious super smart universities of greed, and they need to drive big truck as soon as they are 16 years old. By comparison, the French emit 6 (six) tons of CO2 per capita, per year. Because they are such losers. But, precisely, we need to learn to lose gracefully the battle of mental comfort and venal stupidity, to win the next war.  The ultimate war. The war of biosphere survival. A war against all of yesteryear’s mentalities.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Colonization All Over. So Why So Bad?

March 23, 2017

It goes without saying that colonization was a terrible thing, whine those who want to look good to themselves and other whiners. Colonization was a crime, they insist. At least that’s what PC people howl on every roof, as part of their unwitting campaign of rage against civilization. Because civilization, which was not civilized, caused colonization, this evil of evils, they crowe. Right.

We the descendants of the colonized shall howl from every roof what victims we are.

We the descendants of the colonizers, shall howl on every roof what criminals we are.

We the bipolar paranoid schizophrenic stand as accused, and may as well be mowed down by Islam driving SUVs, trucks, jumbo jets, and non sense, all over us.

***

Indeed, ladies and gentlemen, who does not descend from colonialists and colonizers?

All the Americas were colonized.

All of Oceania was colonized (twice at least).

Was the colonization of Australia by aborigines (who are part Denisovans), 50,000 years ago, a bad thing? It killed a lot of marsupials!

Sénégal: Organized, unified, but never really colonized! A very rare case!

Japan was colonized (twice at least). Japanese civilization started for real, when the archipelago was colonized. By the Chinese.

Some will say China was never colonized. Well, there used to be 100 nations with 100 languages in China, as recently as three centuries ago (the emperor himself recognized then, in a very sophisticated intellectual exchange with the Jesuits; and he expressed both his will to respect that, and his incapacity to do otherwise). However, nowadays, Mandarin (just one language) is taking over, all over. And all Chinese are forced to assimilate with the Borg in Beijing. That’s colonization therein. Is it bad? My daughter is learning Chinese, or, more exactly, Mandarin. She will be able to talk all over.

Madagascar was colonized (thrice; from Indonesia, Africa, France). Even Greenland was conquered by the Inuits, who pushed away the Vikings… (On their way, the Inuits had annihilated previous denizens in the northern Canada archipelago…)

Most of Africa was colonized multiple times. By descendants of Neanderthals (!), Bantus, Phoenicians, Greco-Romans, Arabs, etc.

All of Russia is a huge colony, all the way to Kamchatka. “Russ” initially means Eastern Swedes.  The Eastern Swedes, Viking style, invaded the huge placid rivers of Eastern Europe, all the way down to the Black Sea (where they could trade with the Romans). In the Tenth Century, Vladimir of Kiev conquered Crimea from the local Khan (Mongols who had themselves conquered centuries earlier the Greeks, who had conquered a millennium prior, etc.)  

Even China was momentarily (a few centuries here and there) conquered by Buddhists, Tibetans, Mongols, Mandchous…

Arabia was greatly colonized by Persia, much later Turkey (Ottomans) for centuries.

Europe?

Europe, shortly before Rome rose, was invaded by the Celto-Germans, who covered up the entire continent, all the way to Anatolia. When Caesar invaded, Gaul (“Gallia”) was made of 60 nation-states.

Much of India was invaded, colonized by white men coming from the north, central Asia, four thousand years ago, or more. That’s why India and Europe enjoy the same Indo-European language family.

Egypt was invaded by the Arabs, more exactly by Caliph Omar’s army. Never recovered (whereas Egypt had recovered from colonization by Black Pharaohs, Nubians, Sea People, Libyans, Greeks and Romans). Egyptians themselves had to decolonize the Sahara desert and concentrate on the Nile Valley and adjoining oases.

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A real question is: which places in the world were not colonized?

Paradoxically, much of West Africa is one of the most pristine, uncolonized places.

West Africa is generally viewed as having been a French, British, Portuguese colony, and that’s superficially true.

West Africa also exported a lot of slaves (to the Americas).

However, West Africa was one of the much untouched places. (Contrarily to whiny repute!)

Not like Europe: all old European languages were wiped out by the Indo-European, Celto-German invasion (or close to it: Basque is a tiny remnant of what once was.)

And don’t brandish southern Europeans as old stock: the Middle Easterners came from the Fertile Crescent, with their futuristic crops (wheat, etc.) and their genes, 9,000 years ago. Another invasion to run over the many Sapiens invasions all over Europe, in the last 100,000 years. Neanderthals made it to North Africa, big time, and their genes to South Africa, but apparently not to West Africa.

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A real question: when is colonization good, when is it bad?

From the point of view of the invaded, one will guess that colonization is often bad. Yes, but not always. The invasion of Gallia by Caesar would end up creating the strongest part of the Roman empire, Francia, and the Birth of the West. Viewed that way, it was a good thing. And it sure is a good thing if there was no other way to get that good thing. Was it? We don’t know. Was Caesar innocent of the invasion? We don’t really know.

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“Colonization” in West Africa was mostly a joke, or more exactly, civilizing: ten French officers ordered around 5,000 Senegalese soldiers who, truly, conquered Sénégal. So, in truth, Senegal conquered Senegal under French management. In truth, there were basically no colons in Senegal: the land stayed property of the Senegalese (compare with the USA, where Indian lands were nearly completely distributed by the colonial government in Washington to the European colons!)

A big argument for the “colonization” of Africa was the eradication of slavery, which was endemic, pandemic, chronic, extensive and ubiquitous in Africa (the globalization of African slavery to the Americas, escaping the long arm of European law, has not been properly characterized…)

Here are the national languages of Senegal:

Some of these languages are tonal, some are not (making them a different as latin and Chinese!) It goes without saying that packing such different nations in so tight a space (less than 200,000 square kilometers), result in mayhem, just to keep the population stable. So Senegal has, rightly so, just one national language.

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Colonization is good when it brings lots of progress, and less mayhem:

This should go without saying. However, the usual interpretation of (hard) multiculturalism is that all cultures are equally worth of respect. This thesis implies that progress does not exist. So we may as well regress, and have plutocracy.

So we see who these proponents of hard multiculturalism were trying to seduce: the powers that be.

By refusing to see when, how colonization has been, and could be, good, they refuse to bring reason to judge destiny. A silly attitude, considering how fast destiny moves these days.

But of course fundamentally hypocritical.

At least, nobody can accuse me to be a hypocrite. I don’t under (hypo) criticize. It’s much more fun, to over-criticize… And criticize all over… Colonization: assess, but don’t deny, its crimes, just as its merits. And remember the fine lines between colonization and immigration.

Patrice Ayme’

Syria, Garden Of Torturous Delights

May 24, 2016

What is going on in Syria? A zoo of human passions, and traditional patterns of history. A war is going on. There are simple wars, and complex ones. Syria’s war started simple, one dictator against his subjects, and it is now very complex, having become the war of all against all.

Big Bombs: Western Coalition Air Strike, Syria, 2015. The Islamist State Buries Underground

Big Bombs: Western Coalition Air Strike, Syria, 2015. The Islamist State Buries Underground

Initially the calm and secular Syrian society came of age, and a consensus was reached: the hereditary dictator got to go. However, the dictator, a trained doctor, son of tough and crafty tyrant, did not want to go, and those attached to him, all the way to Western Europe, in particular the City of London, did not want to go. Chess, Go, and other games people play have rules. War does not. War’s limit as those of the human spirit.

Don’t believe me? Remember then the Obama’s administration “signature strikes”: killing gatherings because terrorists also gather. On the face of it, the theory was as barbarian as anything in known history. Even Genghis Khan’s forces would massacre, but only after a fair warning: ”Surrender, or we will massacre you!” Even the Nazis, who did worse in secret, on a much larger scale, did not dare claim to be as vicious, for all to see.

Thus, definitively, progress is not a quiet, long stream. Instead it can go in full reverse.

Actors in Syria are now many: much of the Western world is involved, including Russia. Yet the motivations of Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, US, Britain, France, Assad, etc.., are all different.

So what does Assad, initial master of that game, want? Initially, dictator Assad wanted just to stay in power, as all dictators do. But then, his strategy to free the Qur’an fundamentalists worked. He helped them, be it only by purchasing “their” oil, just like Turkey did (and sent back weapons, in the case of Erdogan; some people writing this in Turkey, got five years in jail, just for writing this…).

However, Assad is head of the Alawites. Alawites have their own Muslim religion. As the Qur’an promises to kill apostates and unbelievers, worshipping Mahomet and his god differently from one’s neighbor, is a grave, potentially lethal, fateful tragedy. Romeo and Juliet is nothing in comparison. The end result was that the Alawites were badly treated until the French showed up. Under the French, they quickly reached the highest spheres. Alawites have been reluctant to leave them ever since, especially considering that it’s not just a question of social status, but of survival.

Assad was able to get away with his savage repression of pacifist, secular civilians. Then he was able to get away with his manipulations of Islamists, freeing them and endowing them with enough power to become a justification to his brutal, homicidal rule.

Then a new mood surfaced: why not to just eradicate Non-Alawites?

How do I know (correctly guess) that such is the main motivation of Assad now? Too many strikes on schools and hospitals rather than enemy soldiers. That’s called reading between the facts.

So Assad is a monster, in the line of perfectly respectable historical monsters: just as Alexander the Great, or Little Father of the People Stalin, Assad sounds perfectly reasonable. Not to say that the “West” is not also an accomplice. In other words, it’s not just Putin who is a collaborator of genocide (Putin did save Palmyra, so he is not all bad… Far from it, on this subject).

And of course, Assad does not stand alone anymore than Hitler (or the Kaiser) did: when Cameron, France and the US stood ready to strike Assad, British MPs, copiously paid by the sort of fake prosperity the likes of Assad and his family bring to England, voted against striking him, blocking PM Cameron. Thus giving the pusillanimous Obama such cold feet, he had in turn to betray the French…

As we may see next, the mood of the so-called “West” is divided on the subject of striking monsters in a timely manner. In Syria as in many other places. Under the pretext of loud anti-”colonialism”, genocide is authorized… As it is perfectly compatible with the plutocratic doctrine, that evil should rule. Thus anti-”colonialism” is a fig leaf to hide the most significant naughty bits, namely free reins for torturous delights, hidden by tortuous denials.

Genocide of the mostly Sunni population of Syria is a delight many secretly savor. Too bad for the collateral damage.

Patrice Ayme’

How Civilizations Go Down. Why There Is Hope

January 2, 2016

Gloom and doom go only that far. A number of commenters, or authors such as Machiavelli, entertained pretty abysmal considerations on humanity and its future.

In the case of Machiavelli, pessimism was understandable: he rode two horses condemned to decline and fall, namely the Republic of Florence (which was turning into a plutocracy), and Caesare Borgia, Cardinal at 18 years of age, who later resigned his church position in an attempt to seize power in Italy, a place where Spain had invaded the south (freed centuries prior, by the Franks, from the Muslims), France was trying to hold onto Naples (but lost because the Spanish general in command was too good). Most of the peninsula was covered by forts and domains which had feuded for centuries.

Nowadays, we have grounds to be optimistic. I will explain why below. However with a caveat: history is now flowing extremely fast, as we are approaching a technological and computational, thus theoretical singularity.

We Already Have A Better Understanding Of What Brought Rome Down The First Time, We Can No Doubt Avoid It, The Second Time, With Even More Understanding

We Already Have A Better Understanding Of What Brought Rome Down The First Time, We Can No Doubt Avoid It, The Second Time, With Even More Understanding

There are three reasons why civilizations collapse: invasion, ecological collapse, plutocracy.

I use all the time analogies with Rome’s Decline and Fall, yet on a much grander scale than Edward Gibbon. I root firmly the Decline and Fall as starting in 200 BCE, with the rise of plutocracy. There are a lot of deep analogies between what happened then, and what is happening now.

Yet we also enjoy major differences with Rome. To avoid Rome’s fate, we have to cultivate these differences. (And our gaze turns towards the European Union.)

Rome was a quarter of humanity, and Roma was ALL the civilized, and Republican influence zone. Yes, China, India, Persia, and well before Egypt, were civilized. But only the only drowned and expired Sumerian cities could pretend to have a high Republican index: Sumer invented the bicameral system still in use today. Persia did not, China did not, and, as far as I know, neither did India.

But Rome, like the top Greek cities, was a Republic. However, most Greek cities crashed and burned within a century or so. Rome built a huge empire, and lasted so long, it’s not clear it ever stopped. Although it declined, and fell, it got up again, as the Franks engineered and observed. Thus Rome founded the present political system

Persia was advanced enough to seriously bother Greeks and Romans, it was only or equal civilizational level for a fleeting moment under Darius, and in the late Sixth Century (thus, 1,000 year later). (This is my own observation/theory, sure to rile up some out there!)

All the neighborhood of Rome was vastly inferior. Although the Celts were superior in ocean going ships and metallurgy, and even captured Rome in the Fourth Century BCE, their abominable religion was quite a drag.  Actually, it was such a drag, the Celts embraced Greco-Roman civilization even before Julius Caesar showed up with his ten legions.

The Persian religion, Zoroastrianism was very advanced, arguably more so than Christianism (which copied many of its elements, in particular the obsession with truth and the logos, thanks god). The Middle East got tied down by the instauration of “hydraulic dictatorships” all over. The Persian/Iranian/Mesopotamian ensemble was a vast military mess which never recovered imperially, thus politically, from the People of the Seas invasions.

Now the situation is quite different.

First, the USA is a EUROPEAN COLONY.Rome was not a colony; it was initially occupied by Etruscans, themselves one of the People of the Sea. But, at the same time, the Etruscans civilized Rome. Rome also got civilized by the “Magna Grecia”, the Great Greece of Southern Italy, stating in Nea Polis (Naples).

Second, the mother ship, Europe, gave birth to a gigantic empire. It’s not just that European colonies control the Americas and Australia. France, the USA and Britain Exclusive Economic Zones, EEZs, covers much of the world’s exploitable oceanic depths.

Although weakened by its own crazies (Prussia/Germany/Nazis, Mussolini, Franco, Lenin/Stalin and their subordinates), plus major American plutocratic maneuvering, and in a bad state presently, Europe not quite done yet. After all the good guys (French Republic and British pseudo-monarchy) won. Now the French Republican systems, and monarchies to the same effect, cover Europe. Germany is sister republic to France, in particular.

Third, the Roman Republican system spread way beyond Europe and her colonies. China and India, and most of the rest of the UN have actually adopted (and adapted) many of WESTERN civilization’s better sides. However, China is still a dictatorship, and (partly) India a mess.

Another difference with Rome starts with a similarity: Rome got in a huge ecological crisis, starting around 100 CE. The Romans could not understand what was happening. They said:”The world is getting old”. Well, what was happening is that Romans had exhausted the soils, and the mines. However we know what they did not: tremendous technological progress can enable to change exploitation regimes.

Thus, the fourth difference with Rome; a huge CO2, GHG, Climate Crisis is incoming, but everybody knows about it, and fixes are in sight. A crisis is an opportunity as the Chinese would say.

Hope? People have to learn from history, and that means, the real history. Hyper maneuvering by USA plutocracy happened in much of the Twentieth Century, and is still ongoing right now. People can’t understand that, as long as they don’t realize that, without American plutocracy, Hitler just won’t have happened. At least, not happened as catastrophically as he did.

But there is hope that people, thanks to the Internet, realize that they have been manipulated in both what they know, and what they can hope to achieve. In particular, Direct Democracy is in the best position to succeed ever. The Athenian Republic found difficult to achieve Direct Democracy, because it did not have the Internet. The average Athenian voter was one day’s travel away from the voting booth. Nowadays, the average voter has her, or his hand on the voting device, namely the smartphone. No more excuses.

Objections can be raised. The preceding was a partial answer to several commenters on this site, John, Aaron, GlouconX, Eugen… The latter jumped on Machiavelli to object to Direct Democracy; however, Machiavelli was not just an author and philosopher. Like Plato, and especially Aristotle, he was a vested ACTOR of the disasters he described, and thus deeply biased, all the way to the greatest depths of the human soul. People who have interest to be stupid, will be stupid. Be it only to forget the fools leading us by the nose. Direct democracy is the answer to stupidity.

However, there is snow outside and further comments will be delayed until enough snow will have been mastered by the imperialistic author of these lines. Hey, it may be the last snow ever, let’s enjoy a cold El Nino, while it lasts! Non-Linearity is ready to ambush us. Let’s build memories while we can, be it just to be melancholic later… being of many minds is what intelligence is about.

Patrice Ayme’  

Could We Colonize Mars?

October 7, 2015

Yes. There are no show stoppers. The main problem is how to get there fast, cheap and safe. That, in turn is an energy source problem. We need to go beyond chemical rockets (which were invented in China nearly a millennium ago).

Mars is a tempting prize. Mars colonization will double the extent of land humanity live on. Indeed the Red Planet is endowed with nearly as much surface area as all of Earth’s land surface combined (145 million square kilometers for Mars, 149 x 10^6 sqkm for Earth’s continents).

Mars’ rotation axis, over the eons, wobbles impressively. Right now, it’s half way (same inclination as Earth’s). But when the axis is fully inclined, my bet is that the poles melt. Then Mars has got to become much warmer, and wetter: the atmosphere would be full of H2O, water, a powerful greenhouse gas. Maybe life blossoms. Hence Mars is even more interesting than it presently looks (one could imagine life adapted to these super-summers).

Smaller, But Inhabitable Even Before Terraforming

Smaller, But Inhabitable Even Before Terraforming

 

Could we conquer the seas instead? Sure, we have to. However, it’s more difficult. How could it be more difficult to conquer the ocean? The average terrestrial ocean is 3,688 meters deep. This means that we have to handle, to live there, a pressure difference of 370 atmospheres. On Mars, as it is, the pressure is 1% of one atmosphere; that is just one atmosphere difference. A light spacesuit can handle Mars. But just going down 20 meters in Earth’s sea doubles the pressure problem we have on Mars.

Radiation on Mars, and getting there, is a problem: a year stay, with the trip, would augment the probability of getting cancer by 5%. NASA, and radiation workers’ limit is 3%. The average smoker doubles his cancer habit from his gaseous drug habit. Thus, by only sending smokers to Mars, and thus preventing them to smoke (the fuel debris smokers smoke clog air filters), one would vastly diminish their probability of them getting cancer.

The problem with Mars is how to get there. Getting in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is already (very) difficult, expensive, chancy, and will stay so, barring huge advances in material science. We need better engines, better airframes, and, or, a space elevator. Work is going on, in a number of ways, from perfecting launching rockets from planes, to airbreathing reaction engines, to the simple Ariane 6 solution of switching to solid rockets (French and American ballistic missiles are 100% dependable, as they sit in submarines stuffed with thermonuclear bombs).

Some hope that space tourism (one day in LEO for $50,000, say) will provide incentives for cheaper ways to leave Earth. Maybe, but university departments working on materials built atom by atom, better get lots of money (such materials, for example nanomaterials such as graphene, can be hundreds of times stronger than steel; we need to make them work on a large scale).

Given energy, rocket fuel can be made on Mars in a number of ways. Thus, plenty of energy, plenty of fuel. There is plenty of water on Mars (the Curiosity rover found between 2% and 3% in the soil). At least, at the poles (and perhaps all over). Some universities are already bioengineering mosses and other plants to survive on Mars.

With existing technology, and materials, we (or, rather, robots) could build a Space Elevator on Mars. So Mars could turn into a very convenient outpost, while terraforming proceeds.

To get to Mars fast, and to have the plenty of energy we need there to fuel robots, which, in turn, will be able to dig in the ground and make vast caverns and the like (etc.), we need a concentrated energy source.

The only one imaginable energy source would be from small thermonuclear reactors. A number of companies and universities are working on these.

There should be a crash program  on these (while pursuing steadily ITER).

Mars had life and an ocean, for probably at least a billion years. Not having a core nuclear reactor, hence a protecting magnetic field and plate tectonic, Mars lost liquid water, warmth and most of its atmosphere (Venus has the same problem, although Earth sized). Mars is waiting the human touch to smile with exuberant life again. Colonization can expand diversity as it most often does (will cynics add perfidiously). Besides, a Mars polis would be an insurance policy.

The only way to not being able to colonize Mars? If civilization collapses first, it won’t happen. Unlikely? This is exactly where abusing fossil fuels is leading us.

Patrice Ayme’