Archive for the ‘Direct Democracy’ Category

ATHENS: Checking, Balancing, DEBATING In REAL Democracy. LEARN From 25 Centuries Ago

October 6, 2019

It’s fashionable to claim implicitly that the present “representative democratic” regimes established first in US and France, have “checks and balances” … (Those sure are not too obvious at this point in Great Britain!… with its tradition based constitution.) [1]

A French PM is going on trial for alleged serious foreign and electoral corruption, a quarter of a century old… Several top French leaders since Mitterrand have been judicially examined (including Chirac, for corruption when he was mayor, buying favors with jobs, subsidized housing. The French “swamp” is deep ).

However, notice this check and balance by the judiciary doesn’t happen in the USA: the head of the French Constitutional Court was condemned… But never was a US Supreme condemned. Either the French elite circles are especially corrupt, or the US ones, even more so.

It’s the latter case, of course; contemplate the burning of all the documentation subsequent to seizing German property after 1918: this erasure of records enabled US plutocrats to acquire control of the German economy, foster Nazism; you will not read this in any decent history book… the definition of decency being to celebrate the establishment

Looking at civilization scale, the answer is clear: none of the dirty deals and conspiracies which top US plutocrats, with the help of the Washington swamp, set up, to help put the Nazis in power was even examined: they aren’t part of even suspected history. Some will say, that was long ago, who cares, how could it matter today.

Not true: we have forgotten a lot since, including ways and means to build a better democracy. The defeat of Athenian democracy, 2,425 years ago, at the fascist hands of Persia, Sparta and their satanic supporters, lasts until today: democracy never fully recovered. We are far from it, and closer to the system Hitler advocated.

Athenian democracy failed mostly because Athens was military vanquished by the big orange thing (the Persian empire to the east in the map above, all the way to India, south to Ethiopia, north to Crimea). Persia, the big orange was allied to the red states nasties led by muscular Sparta. Persia financed from scratch the Spartan fleet which defeated Athens in a surprise battle when the stranded Athenian fleet got caught on a huge beach. Athens would re-emerge in the following century as the pre-eminent Greek power again (after Thebes cut Sparta down to size). However not fast enough to not be vanquished by the Macedonian fascists led by senior general Antipater (who may have murdered Alexander, and certainly disobeyed him; Alexander himself, popular in Athens, which he had visited, was ambivalent about Athenian democracy…)

At some point in the 1970s, carried by the mood of Nixon’s impeachment, the acts and facts of the CIA in the Americas and South East Asia were exposed… But that didn’t last. Instead, Reaganism arose, a new form of non-self examining mild fascism, so-called “Neoliberalism (which started by closing up federal psychiatrist hospitals, releasing in the streets hundreds of thousands of the mentally deranged, while helping to balance Reagan’s federal budget). 

Ancient Greece had a few centuries of extreme mental (and engineering) creativity. Tapping on thousands of Egyptian civilization helped. But that creativity was centered on only a few city-states (the most prominent of which were Athens, Millet, etc.). Those states were democracies in the “PEOPLE POWER” sense of the term.

Those states appeared because of military, and especially naval, superiority. That superiority didn’t last: four successive giant tsunamis of fascisms beat them back into submission so well, they were creatively (Athens, from first century BCE to sixth century CE), if not physically (Millet around 400 BCE) annihilated. The first wave was Spartan-Persian, the second, Macedonian, the third, Roman, and the last “Catholic Orthodox” (final closure of intellectual activity by Roman imperial order).

Demos-Kratia, People-Power, was more than having “representatives”. Actually elected “representatives” were authorities such as those Athens delegated to enforce the law in, say, its emporium island of Delos (a central, extremely overpopulated island in the Aeagan sea, were trade was centralized). Laws were not debated and passed by elected “representatives”, but by We the People themselves.   

In Athens, a quorum of 6,000/80,000 needed to be achieved to pass the most important laws (“80,000” is an estimate of the number of male citizens; female citizens didn’t vote and neither did slaves, of course; it was too difficult for females to travel to the National Assembly, it was already very difficult for many male citizens to do so; slaves had not too many rights, but many had been saved from military executions… Enslaved, but saved, the paradox of ancient slavery…)  

Isegoria, the “equal right to address the assembly” was considered to be crucial. 

All the preceding give actions items to improve democracy:

First, consider Egypt. Although politically fascist, but mildly so, Egyptian women often had rights equal to those of men. That culminated into having several of the most important leaders of Egypt to be women (including the famous Nefertiti, who tried to impose monotheism; she succeeded short term, failed medium term, succeeded long term…) A not-very sexist society means a much more equal society. And what does an equal society do? It brings more honestly debating, thus a more intelligent society. So Egyptian civilizational superiority can be greatly traced to non-sexism.

Sexism was a defect of Athens, which was particular to Athens, and probably had to do with the specifics of Athenian history. It was more formal than real: first Athena, the goddess of war and wisdom, protected Athens, and, secondly, Pericles second wife from Millet, had enormous influence. I have argued she was much more important than Socrates. She is known to have written Pericles’ best discourses, and to have taught Socrates. She invented and explained the “Open Society” concept.

Paradoxically, racist, fascist Sparta, was less sexist than Athens, and not sexist at all, in many ways (girls were trained like boys initially).

So back to our actions items: we need direct democracy: having We The People vote directly. 

The present representative system gives extravagant powers to idiots who can, and will, be bought (if they want to be elected and a fortiori, re-elected, they will be bought) Right now, a (college educated) 29 year old bartender leads the nation (into impeachment), as famous “representative” Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is doing, is beyond silly, it’s criminally idiotic (and I write this as a far-out leftist and climate protector, and fanatical progressive, not as a frantic supporter of presidential executive powers). 

In the (apparently more honest) French Republic, the head of the National Assembly has just been indicted (for nepotism, a few years back in his hometown; the charges are nothing relative to what the Bidens should face…). He is the fourth most important authority in France (behind the President, PM, and President of the Senate). All these indictments of the French political elite are symptomatic of too much power into to few hands… and the fact that this abundance of unjust power attracts low morality type.

The attraction of vicious individuals by, and to, a vicious system is central to plutocratic theory: a vicious political system attracts vicious would-be office holders, it’s selective for the Dark Side, making itself sustainable by self-selection of the worst.

A magnificent example of this was Nazism, which filled up many of its official positions by low lives and psychopaths (I just contradicted Hannah Arendt’”Banality of Evil” thesis and explained why).

So “representatives” should NOT be the only ones to pass laws. Ideally representatives should spend lots of time, as in present Switzerland, making laws passed by referendums more palatable to pre-existing laws and the constitution (a constitutional council inspects every single law, and if found unconstitutional, rejects it; moreover laws passed by referendums can be sued for unconstitutionality by citizens and organizations, so the existing Swiss system is full of checks and balances neither France nor the US have).

Athenian democracy was direct: each citizen had the right, and duty, to attend the national assembly (ekklesia), and debate laws. At a time of their own choosing.[2]

The Athenian democratic system had other checks and balances, also found in other Greek city-states: “Archons” were elected by law and served for just one year. They constituted a sort of board of directors. After that, they stayed “Archons” for the rest of their lives, presumably helping the democratic debate. Selecting by lot meant any citizen could end up Archon, and so every citizen was motivated to know more about what was going on.

Athenian Democratic Constitution, fourth century BCE, above. The Roman Republican Constitution Was Roughly As Complicated… And much more favorable to having an aristocracy. Although it had a cap on wealth. (Roman imperial constitution didn’t really exist, as no provision existed for the legal transfer of power)

ISEGORIA was the right to address the national assembly (the ekklesia) with equal time and opportunity. It was viewed as special to Athens. The historian Herodotus even characterized the Athenian political system as isegoria, beyond democracy. Philosopher Demosthenes, desperately opposing Macedonia, a century latter, confirmed that Athens rested on those public debates, isegoria.

Nowadays, the Internet could be used for debating and passing laws, achieving ISEGORIA at a level never achieved in Athens (that would be progress). Instead of now being the fief of a few plutocrats, wealthy enough to buy all politicians from Mongolia to Patagonia, and Washington to Paris, some of these plutocrats are not even college educated, and still speak and behave as if they were the rulers of the world (Gates, Zuck being examples of that; by contrast Bezos and Musk have graduate engineering education).

Improving democracy from what we have now, demands new structures. Many of those existed 25 centuries ago, and have not be reproduced, but should be: history can be a guide. Without the full panoply of Athenian level democracy, People-Power is illusory. But history is not enough. Technology unthinkable in the times of Solon, makes it now possible to go much further. In particular, we don’t need to walk to a particular building to debate: we can debate on the Internet (in properly encrypted with maximum legal force). So we can debate much more.

How many individuals know we could run pretty much the society we have now, without net emissions of CO2? Very few people know this, even among those who professionally represent the subject. Why so much ignorance even on such a crucial subject, even among the advising leadership? Lack of debate and concomitant tribal effects.

We do not need a revolution. We can keep representative democracy as it is, but introduce Direct Democracy by referendums, little by little, a referendum at a time, and ever more. Each referendum will help to free us from the tyranny of representative democracy.

Involving the entire citizenship into the leadership of the state will motivate all to become more cognizant, wise and attentive to what really matters. Thus general intelligence and wisdom will grow, as needed. Nothing less will do. It’s a matter of survival, and not just of civilization.

Patrice Ayme

***

***

[1] The French and US Constitutions are written down, the British one is just a set of habits. The informality of the British system enfolded from the way the England was created by a succession of invasions, and recesses of the state, dating from Roman times. In the Eleventh century alone, English power was swept by Viking power (Cnuth), and then the French invaders, after 1066 CE set up an increasingly complex system involving many entities, and concepts, some even coming directly from Toulouse  where a Greco-Roman like assembly had survived (thus increasing the powers of the London Parliament through Montford).

The present day French constitution has recently morphed into the EU representative democratic system as European institutions and government, like the European Parliament, or the European Supreme Court, etc., act often in… Archon-like role…

To make the EU more democratic, continent sized referendums should be held (say after 4 million signatures overall, on top of mandatory quota country by country). And then the EU Parliament and Supreme Court should synchronize them as done in Switzerland.

***

[2] The Ekklesia was meta-controlled by another assembly, the Boule, which was formed of elected representatives. As I already hinted, this is basically what the Swiss system is evolving into.

Chirac Damnatio Memoriae

September 26, 2019

Chirac, a prominent French dictating (and cackling!) as the great French leader. He was one, and decided Chirac presided over the degeneracy of the French Republic. So this prostitute (the true name of most politicians most of the time: they are paid and honored for the most disgusting feats, most of them, most of the time), just died, and everybody with official worth is very sad and howling their sorrow to the stars (including Angela Merkel). My way to address Chirac good riddance is a variant of the times immemorial Roman notion: a significant variant of damnatio memoriae. Whereas the Roman elite wanted to hide the fact that some of its members had been the worst of the worst, I prevent to condemn, as harshly as possible, but full exhibit, precisely to teach why and how the elite principle, in politics, is hell on Earth, and feeding it some more.[1]

Some will say Chirac doesn’t deserve so much opprobium (opprobe in French: righteous scathing censure). But the principle of celebrating such oligarchic creeps as Chirac should certainly be condemned (OK, Trump will probably say that Chirac was “beautiful”, I can already see it from here, as Chirac, followed by Trump, opposed Bush’s Iraq folly).

Does that mean I condemn all and any politicians and their actions? No. Although Direct Democracy (People-Power, people vote directly the laws) is a must and should rule, so-called “representatives” will keep on having their uses. For example even Chirac, first Paris mayor, ever, in that function, had some positive use (and I am 100% behind Anne Hidalgo the present mayor of Paris, a socialist, who pursues pro-construction and anti-car policies I approve; I enjoyed her 3.80 Euro all day all transport ticket, during the Paris peak heat day in July, 43.6C, two whole degrees above the all time preceding record…) 

Selecting the lesser devil is selecting a devil. The problem can be mitigated in politics, by introducing more direct, real democracy. Then we have to select ideas, not devils.

Chirac was one of the vision deprived leaders presiding over the decay of France in the name of a half-baked, half-finished construction of the European Union. 

Chirac was indeed loquacious, but not eloquent. Most electable politicians are loquacious, not eloquent; they have nothing deep to say, besides feel good sentiment spread all around, so as to better reflect onto their self-obsessed selves. 

However, we are in times which require depth never imagined before. Hugging Germany,as Chirac did, is nice, but Germany is now a real republic (not a fake one like Weimar, truly the “Second Reich”). One needs to tell Germany the truth (its economic and ecological policies are medium term disastrous)and go much further to integrate Europe in a timely manner, and there Chirac was a brainless zero. (OK, Britain prevented any in depth integration, preferring to call the European Union a “club”)

Jacques Chirac led France primordially for no less than four decades, including a long stay as Prime Minister, Mayor of Paris, and then 12 years as elected king (“president”). So much importance for one man is not just insulting, it is a disease the planet is dying from: a small number of seducers (“elected politicians”) take all the decisions, among themselves, while serving who will pay them next, the wealthiest and most powerful persons on the planet. The result is that there is no debate, and disastrous policies are followed.

Chirac correctly opposed the Iraq invasion by W. Bush, preventing its formal approval by the UN. 

That, only that, can be celebrated.

***

However, overall, the fact remains that professional politicians are ruining the planet. Honoring the memory of one of them, and, through them, the principle of a leading oligarchy, is not just morally wrong. It is celebrating the engine of destruction of the biosphere and, potentially, humanity. 

Patrice Ayme

***

***

[1] Damnatio memoriae means “condemnation of memory”, from Latin damnare “to adjudge guilty; to doom; to condemn, blame, reject”. The Romans used it by excluding that person from official accounts. There are and have been many routes to damnatio, including the destruction of depictions, the removal of names from inscriptions and documents, and even large-scale rewritings of history. The practice came from Egypt, where it was used, forever. A famous case was the eradication of Egyptian pharaoh Hatshepsut in the fourteenth century BC… probably because she was a woman, and her successor was leery, after three decades of a powerful reign, to admit he owed his position to a mighty female) Soon after, the highly controversial dictators of monotheism, Akhenaten and Nefertiti were also eradicated when the ancient socio-religious Egyptian system was re-established after their death. The Romans may well have learned those ways from Egypt…

Damnatio Memoriae could be passed by the Roman Senate on traitors and criminals who brought discredit to the Rome. However, I disapprove of official scrubbing; instead, the abominable person (say Louis XIV, Napoleon, Heidegger, Clinton) should be condemned, again and again, for pedagogical and cultural reasons

***

[2] I also approve of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren wealth tax campaigns: hopefully they will persuade the semi-educated rabble out there.The new “No More Billionaire” slogan of Bernie, I have used in the past… Wealth control at the billionaire scale should be authorized only for companies legislated as of “public utility”. An example would be Bezos’ “Blue Origin” rocket company. 

So politicians like Warren and Sanders communicate and propagate themes intellectuals such as your truly have advocated previously. That’s good and necessary. Just like the decisions making of Trump against global plutocracy implement policies I have advocated for decades.

(And what did Obama do? Basically nothing… and that hurts.)

Latest Pluto Brexit Outrage: Dictator Johnson Suspends UK Parliament

August 28, 2019

BORIS JOHNSON WILL SUSPEND U.K. PARLIAMENT, HINDERING BREXIT REBELS

LONDON — Unelected Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday announced plans to lengthen an upcoming parliamentary break, an expected maneuver that would make it harder for lawmakers to prevent Britain from exiting the European Union without an agreement with the Union.

Mr. Johnson said Britain will leave as French Napoleon Macron scheduled on Oct. 31, with or without a deal. Economists say such a “no-deal” exit would be chaotic and economically damaging, and could plunge Britain into a recession, but Mr. Johnson and the hard-line pro-Brexit faction in Parliament insist that it would be fine.

Opposition politicians — and some of Mr. Johnson’s fellow Conservatives — reacted angrily to the news.

Dictator Boris needs the approval of the dictating hereditary Queen to enact his plot. The two miscreants need to conspire together.

Brexit was a non-binding referendum, whereas the referendum for entry of the UK in the European Community, 45 years ago, was first legislated to be a binding legislation. Brexit was retrospectively made binding, a blatantly anti-democratic measure. Had the Brexit referendum known to been binding to start with, many would not have voted for it. Instead, Brexit was interpreted as a non-binding protest vote, so many voted to “leave” when they didn’t mean it.

In front of Westminster, the UK Parliament (above), is a statue of Richard the Lionheart. King Richard, symbol of England, spent more than 90% of his life in France (aside of time he spent in the Middle East, much of it representing his suzerain and companion of arms, Philippe Auguste of France). Richard was born and died, in France, and became king with the help of Philippe. Europe is one, that’s what the Lionheart statue in front of Westminster means. Brexit idiots don’t know this.

Now two unelected individuals, a hereditary (non-elected) queen, and an ex-journalist are going to act together to prevent any semblance of debate by elected “representatives”, while the UK decides to make economic, financial and fiscal war to its neighbors. 

Notice in passing that when Germans and Franks were led by kings, 15 centuries ago, those  were elected. Non-elected monarchs appeared relatively recently in European history, while wars augmented,

Some may not understand what I just said, let me explain in more details: the UK is a major tax haven. The EU was, increasingly, squeezing out tax havens. UK based plutocrats, coming from all over the world, but nominally based in Britain or its tax-free “dependencies”, couldn’t take it, and decided to have their tax haven, Britain and more than 15 tax-free dependencies, sail away.

So now we can contemplate what “representative democracy” has become: not even a fig leaf for raw global plutocracy anxious to keep its tax-free status.

What the world needs is real Demos Kratia, People Power, and that means People directly voting, and being clear on what they vote for (and not packs of lies like Brexit).

Patrice Ayme

***

***

P/S: Does the preceding means I am a Remainer foaming at the mouth? No. (Some Brexit fanatics have told me I inspired them to launch Brexit, believe it or not…)

Actually, Brexit may help Europe, if it results of a bit of competition Europe needs. Let me explain: Direct Democracy in Switzerland has made Switzerland wealthy, productive and innovative. In the best possible Brexit strategy, Great Britain would mimic Switzerland (as the EU should do). That, in turn, would force the European Union to do the same…

Moreover, the UK will have to keep on cooperating militarily with France.

So Brexit doesn’t mean all the bridges are cut with the other side of the Channel… Far from it. In catastrophic scenarios where Scotland leaves the UK, because the UK left the EU, British nuclear subs, presently based in one spot in Scotland, are supposed to be based in France (France has four strategic nuclear subs based in their special base in Brest; and six 100 meters long attack nuclear submarines based in the deep rade of Toulon; the UK has three strategic “Trident” nuclear subs… the USA has 14 “Trident” nuclear subs, core of US Defense)…

Is Trump Hatred Secretly Directed At Clinton-Obama?

July 23, 2018

If they have a choice, do individuals tell themselves the truth, or convenient, more pleasurable fiction? Of course, generally the latter, except if in life or death situations (hence the philosophical interest of harrowing occurrences…) Thus individuals can, and will, hook up with collective crazes out there, if possible: collective crazes can be most pleasurable, thrilling, encouraging. Especially hatred.

One can see this clearly right now with Trump Derangement Syndrome: many pseudo-progressives, in a mass mental action, are obsessing about Trump 24/7… it sucks up all their mental oxygen, if any… while proposing strictly nothing to progress civilizationally!  Hoping for a return to the unsuspected plutophile past, the New York Times asked:”Disgusted With Donald Trump? Do This” … And for the New York Times to propose to vote… Against Trump.

However it’s precisely because they were disgusted by the lies of the Republican establishment (especially regarding the Iraq invasion) that Republicans voted for Trump: Trump’s primary Republican campaign consisted mostly in screaming to the face of his competitors that they were “liars”. And indeed, they were. (Let’s not forget Trump was a “Democrat” until September 2009.) It’s precisely because they were disgusted by the lies of the establishment that Blue State democrats voted for Trump.

The Blue State democrats who voted for Obama in 2012 (refined studies have shown), feeling betrayed, turned to Trump 4 years later. Thus the notion of betrayal is important. It is now alleged by Trump’s adversaries, such as the dying Senator McCain, that Trump is a traitor working for the KGB. However, McCain wrote strident stuff, two years ago about “Huma” not being a traitor. Who was “Huma”?  Someone who promoted Sharia in the West (Sharia is Muslim law: homosexuals, apostates, polytheists, insulters of Islam or the prophets, and others, have to be “executed”; women are worth half a man). Blue State democrats who voted for Trump, and not the establishment represented by Clinton and her sidekick Abedin… Huma Abedin, the straighter than straight citizen, according to McCain, the one with a giant set of teeth, literal and figurative, could be seen clearly, by modest people, as someone financed by the Wahhabist establishment of Saudi Arabia, for decades.

That McCain flew to the defense of someone from a family whose family business is Saudi propaganda shows him for what he is: fully a member of the Bitter Lake Conspiracy and its ilk. (Or maybe McCain hoped to sleep with her? …That’s the only valid excuse I can imagine) Abedin’s Congressman husband, and Clinton confidante, was involved in public sex with children, and now meditates in prison: one can’t make these things up.

Surely, Trump didn’t create the US system. For example, laws abusing children are centuries old in the USA. Separating children from parents can be called an industry (I even saw a case where the officer in charge apparently stole a child. Admittedly, I don’t know all the details… But the little blonde girl was a friend of my own daughter, who still asks about her, we tried to teach her some swimming… They left the US, apparently for Europe. Although the mom was a thief (she stole some things of mine), I am not saying she was a bad mother. But I am saying that in the US system, children can be certainly taken from parents…)

So why all the rage against Trump? Why not raging about those monstrous laws earlier? Thus then, wonder: the state of being enraged is a more general neurological condition than rage against a particular individual. This is why people who are angry will often hit an innocent object. So rage can start against someone (Obama) or something (the Democratic Party) and be transferred to someone else (Trump, Putin), or something (Russia).

So the rage is here. What caused it? They say: Trump, obviously. Yet it’s clear that Trump didn’t create the situation he found: the disastrous state of healthcare, the dearth of quality employment, unaffordable decent housing, unaffordable education, unsustainable trade balances, all-powerful finance, etc.

Reagan was the big change. Although Nixon was a crook, he was small time relative to Reagan and his admirers (among them Clinton, Obama)… Ever since the plutocrats have made ever more money and the poorest, the majority of the population, ever less relatively speaking…

The culpability of Obama is immense. Contemplate financial derivatives: even the Catholic Pope condemned them (I propose that all the practitioners of this dark conspiracy should be mass-excommunicated). Obama? Que nenni!

Naturally, “democrats” can’t admit to themselves that the colored skin hero took them for a ride, favoring, for eight years all-invading tech monopolies… so that they would employ him afterwards (one of the very most profitable monopolies under Obama, Netflix, is now employing the Obamas, under secret terms; somebody else, much less famous announced his contract with Netflix was 300 million dollars; so a billion dollar contract with the Obamas is imaginable; OK, 999 millions…)

Is then Trump another name for eight disastrous years of Obama? Actually, the disaster of increasing inequality, not to say iniquity evolved over 34 years.

The voices of the past say there is a solution to anti-Trump hatred: vote for the same old same old! That would certainly feel good, and moreover, solve nothing! Alleluia!

Here is an example: human rights for children, as defined by the United Nations. All countries subscribe to them, but for one country. The USA. When Obama and his gang had a supermajority, they could easily have joined the rest of humanity, and make it illegal to separate children from parents except in really extreme cases. They didn’t. They put children in cages, and… Trump did the same. Whose fault is that? The fake progressives who campaigned for Obama? (I campaigned heavily for Obama myself, giving years of life for him: zero return!)

The children in cages crap was clear for all to see in 2014. If the New York Times wants non-voters to bother voting,  the political parties, in particular the Democratic Party, need to own up to their own mistakes and stop blaming everyone else.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/human-rights/treaty-ratification/theres-only-one-country-hasnt-ratified-convention-childrens

So now “democrats” and other pseudo-social justice types rightly scream against Trump separating kids and parents. But why didn’t they do something when they could? Why didn’t they strike these infamous US laws and practices, separating kids from parents, when they could?

More pertinently, where is the really progressive agenda? When Obama finished his mandate, inequality reached its highest level, ever. When Obama finished, getting ready to cash in, life expectancy in the USA took its most serious dip in a century. Any propositions to fix all these problems?

Instead, a new McCarthyism has been launched. With Russia accused of “interfering” in elections. As if the US had never “interfered” in elections anywhere? As if the USA didn’t have, for decades, the practice to interfere not just in elections, but with elected officials. Was the launch, by the USA and its CIA of the coup against legitimately elected President Allende of Chile, ever prosecuted in the USA?

The rage against Trump is often commendable. However, the truth is worse: the rage is secretly directed at Obama, Clinton, and other traitors to We The People. Trump is only the name that can be uttered. So don’t vote for the same old. Think anew!

The essence of what I wrote above was published as a comment of mine by the New York Times. Only one reader recommended it: thus they know they are all culprits, and would rather avert their eyes, and their minds…

Could the troubling anti-Trump, anti-Russian hysteria agitating the USA run out of control? If one uses a strict analogy to Rome, to the Roman Republic, at first sight, it sounds fishy. However, the Roman civil war started in a way similar to the present situation.

Let me explain: in my vision of history, the Roman civil war was on and off, from say 150 BCE until Augustus terminated Cleopatra and Marc Anthony, and the Populus, following the army, gave him absolute control (to terminate strife, and repair tranquility, justice, society and economy).

How did the Roman civil war start? With an argument between the People, allied to the army, politically led by the Gracchi (who renounced their Patrician status to be elected Tribunes of the People) against the Gracchi’s own  fellow elite (who came to call themselves the “Optimates“). The argument was the same as now: inequality profited the Optimates, while reducing the status of We The People below the tolerable… Exactly what is happening now.

Suddenly, what was a purely political Roman debate versed into mass murder: the plutocrats killed the Gracchi and their supporters (more than 5,000 of the latter).

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/stop-humoring-the-plutocracy/

This is why the hatred deployed against Trump and those who don’t join in the hatred against Trump is so troubling. It could switch to murder. Right now, we are at the stage where, ridiculously, Trump is accused by supposedly serious pundits, of treason.

Trump interviews from 30 years ago show roughly the same ideas & moods: his mental and volitional density was created, idiosyncratically, over many decades. He really believes in his positions. When barely 20 years old, he sued (successfully!) the US government for defamation… So calm down, and debate with civility. The many unsustainable characteristics of the USA, NATO, the West, the world, the biosphere, are not caused by Trump. They have been caused by the fact the USA was led by fake progressives and fake social justice politicians. Clinton actually destroyed the progress instituted by president Franklin Delano Roosevelt for controlling banks: an astounding insanity, not to say criminality. The result was the pandemonium of 2008, solved by Obama and the BCE by giving to the wealthiest exactly what they had lost, an even more crazed viciousness: social care for the wealthiest, let the rest of the population be despised and go starving, while the richest get subsidies for their luxury electric cars, the Obama way…

No wonder there is so much anger out there. Anger is good. But only when well-directed. The Germans’ anger against their own plutocracy, in particular, was redirected against the French, Slavs and Jews, with catastrophic results.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/nazism-a-consequence-of-vibrant-plutocracy/

We know the solutions: the first one is to get rid of the idea of giving so much power to a few, literally the power of life and death on the planet, a power no oligarchs ever had before. That they are elected or not doesn’t matter: Frankish kings were elected for nearly a millennium, still those Frankish regimes were basically dictatorships, and what we have now is closer to those than to Direct Democracy. So dislike the principle of Trump as much as you want: it is the same principle which brought us Reagan, Clinton, W and Obama, all demonstrably disastrous presidencies… even by the standards of Nixon’s reign. Nixon, was one of the two principal actors of McCarthyism, the hateful paranoia against anything resembling socialism, or even, criticism, by identifying either to Stalinism. However, once president, when he was not organizing burglaries or Christmas bombings (to persuade the Vietminh of the error of their ways), Nixon was not as bad as what we had since. Nixon created the EPA, the HMO system, etc.  Of course, I detest Nixon, and think HMOs are no good (relative to other possibilities). However, Nixon didn’t dismantle the Banking Act of 1933, as Clinton did. And although cuddly to plutocrats like his friend Kaiser, Nixon was not only doing what plutocrats told him to do, as Obama did.

Thus those who frantically hate Trump should realize their hatred should not be directed just upon the latest dictator around: what came before is what needs to be fixed. Going shrill on what Trump may do (like pulling out of the Paris climate accord in 2021…) is not constructive in the perspective of achieving real progress. And are you driving an SUV? Are you flying around the planet for tourism? If you are, hate yourself (if you have no good reason to be driving an SUV, or flying around, like Obama and his enormous entourage). Hate Trump, yet remember he gave half a million dollars to the Clintons, a few years ago. Hate Trump, but remember you may be worse.

Those who can’t examine their own lives, can’t elect the ideas and moods which should lead us. They give us a life that’s not worth living. For an inkling of what that entails, just ask the Jihadist next door, who, after all, has to live in an Islamist society, driving her, or him, to the most abject despair!

Trump Derangement Syndrome brings allegations that Russia financed the Trumps: as I said, plutocracy is one, I fully expects this. However, time spent obsessing about Trumps instead of progressing towards social justice, or a better, or simply survivable world. Those obsessed by Trumps should have been obsessed by Obamas before, when the world was given to the monopolies which now pay them handsomely!

By vomiting on Trump all day long, those with Trump Derangement Syndrome deny that we have a plutocratic problem, much deeper than one individual. TDS is a drug, an opiate for the soul:’Look, I am good, I hate Trump!’ No, you should hate history first, get to know it.

History is subtle, and has to be revisited. Take Cicero. Take Cato the Younger. Both are viewed as beyond any suspicion, the second one of the heroes of Stoicism. I claim they contributed to bury the (Roman) Republic, and I claim that, to understand what they did wrong, should inform today’s debate on what afflicts us: to be continued…

Patrice Ayme

***

***

Note: As far as I know, I invented the concept of TDS. So many of my previously politically inert friends were severely affected, switching from total political indifference to Trump hatred. It was clearly a mania, like the Tulip Bulb mania, the South Sea Bubble, etc. The funny thing is that, a few years prior, when clearly Obama engaged in an outrageously oligarchic policy, they couldn’t care less…

Here is an early use of TDS: https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/advanced-machiavellian-insulting/

Wikipedia observes that the late WSJ Krauthammer took it up six months later (maybe from one of my comments to the WSJ)

https://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/06/you_cant_govern_by_id_charles.html

 

Socrates On The Lake Of Selfishness

October 3, 2016

I write complicated essays using knowledge which is all too often so esoteric as to leave readers frozen in disbelief. This is the times of brainmolded masses (an attempt is made to get out of it by using Trump as a ‘human Molotov cocktail’). (“Brainmold” is a useful neologism: we are beyond ‘brainwashed’. Appropriately molded brains never need to be washed. They are always clean, approved by our rulers.)

Oftentimes a simple cartoon can go to the heart of the matter, giving a more marking sketch of a particular point. Such is the case with Socrates, a fundamentally inhuman philosopher, prominently driven in his actions, Plato wrote, by sex, drink, food, and delirious sophistry to better drown the subjects at hand. As long as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle enjoy a quasi-divine status, civilization will be at bay (Nietzsche nearly said). But enough said, sometimes it’s easier to drown that to drone on. Here we drown:

Socrates In A Nutshell. What's Wrong With Him? The Big Picture.

Socrates In A Nutshell. What’s Wrong With Him? The Big Picture.

[From “Existential Comics“.]

Highest, and deepest reasons are not about the next micro-step done right. If it were so, ants would be the most reasonable organisms. Highest, and deepest reason is about getting the big picture right. Humanity is a social phenomenon, where we learn not from the gods (as Socrates believed), but from the wisdom piled up by others. Thus, taking care of others is taking care of wisdom.

Somebody sent me mysterious messages I could not answer directly, coming to the defense of Socrates, telling me Plato was the real fascist, and that he, Plato, built up a fake Socrates, etc. Whatever: intellectuals have been in love, not to say awe, with Plato’s Socrates, fake or not. The fact the general amnesty was in the end overridden, just for Socrates, after the latter was to his old tricks, show that the “real” Socrates was surely anti-democratic, just like the “fake” one.

Socrates depended upon his rich friends, boyfriends, and lovers’ money, the money of Athens’ golden youth. That makes his critique of the Sophists all the strangest, and reflecting an hypocritical mood.

Verily, when thinking depends upon money, civilization turns into barbarity.

Nobel laureate says his scientific breakthrough on the accelerating universe ‘would not be possible’ today. Saul Perlmutter says that there is a ‘fundamental misunderstanding’ of the purpose of research: ‘the current funding climate means researchers are “very good at not wasting any money and also not good at making any discoveries”. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011 after leading one of two teams that simultaneously discovered the accelerating expansion of the universe.

Speaking at the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit at Berkeley on 28 September, Professor Perlmutter said: “In the modern-day context there’s a tendency to ask: ‘What is it that you are planning to research? When will you finish it? And what day will your discovery be made?’”

Perlmutter said that it took 10 years for him to make the discovery that led to the Nobel prize, during which time he was working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which is supported by the US government’s department of energy. “I don’t think this particular project I’m describing would have happened in today’s funding environment. I think that would be very difficult in a world where you are managing every last cent and making sure you don’t waste any money.”

We are coming onto a world where machines will do the work. A world in which machines will do most of what constitute work now. What will humans do, what should they do? They should think as deeply as possible, and that means as sincerely as possible. Socrates’ refusal to see when people, or a civilization, his civilization was drowning, is not the most educational paradigm to emulate.

The age of robots & Artificial Intelligence will also be that of the deepest thinking, or won’t be. Because never have been the problems we can solve and have to solve, been as complex. The sustainability of the biosphere itself depends upon the deepest thinking imaginable, or won’t be. To strive towards the deepest methods, we have to eschew the Socratic method of cutting hair into pieces, somewhere out there, irrelevant to the situation at hand. Hypo-crisy means to be under-critical. By refusing to address what the problem really is, by claiming no animal knows anything,  Socrates is not just ridiculous, he insults the very concept of brains, and thus civilization itself. That puts him roughly at the level of the Islamist State, and this is exactly what a jury of 2,000 of his peers in Athens decided.

Patrice Ayme’

Supreme Joke

February 14, 2016

The USA is endowed with a “Supreme Court”, which is mentioned in a few words in the initial document establishing the Constitution of the USA. It was not meant as a Constitutional Court, but came to be progressively used that way. Thus a few individuals named for life have enormous powers. Such a system is intrinsically diabolical (thus friendly to the Lord of Hell, Pluto).

Power corrupts, and supreme power, especially in matter of justice, corrupts supremely.

Enormous powers for the few in matter of justice is not democracy. In the Athenian Direct Democracy, some juries had to have a quorum of 6,001 (yes, more than six thousands, depending upon the gravity of the matter). The Athenian system, established more than 2,500 years ago, was not perfect. Ours is clearly anti-democratic.

Scaglia was a judge named for life at the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan in 1986. Reagan’s education was sport announcer, and then actor. Reagan avoided combat in World War Two, but knew how to leverage McCarthyism. That made him a perfect politician to serve the satanic ones. Reagan became governor of California, where he imposed a tuition on the PUBLIC university of California.

Imagine the enormity: a public service became the exclusive province of the rich. That was just the beginning.

No Plutocracy Is Strong Enough

No Plutocracy Is Strong Enough

After this important symbolic victory, plutocracy flew from success to success. Now tuition at the so-called “public” University of California can be as much as a third of median family income in the USA (the income before taxes, social security, health insurance, etc.). So this distinguished plutophile, Reagan, was fully qualified to name a king of justice to rule over the USA.

That king was Scaglia. Scaglia was the leader of the “conservatives” at the Supreme Court Of The US (SCOTUS). He flew from success to success.

In 2000, SCOTUS stopped the recount of the vote for the presidential election of the USA. The difference of votes between Bush and Gore was around 300 (three hundred) votes, in favor of Bush. Gore had asked for a recount, and Florida law, when it was that close, required a recount. (Had Florida gone to the Gore, Gore, who was only five electoral votes behind Bush, would have been 45 votes ahead, and be elected President. Moreover Gore had won the popular vote.)

Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz, wrote:

[T]he decision in the Florida election case may be ranked as the single most corrupt decision in Supreme Court history, because it is the only one that I know of where the majority justices decided as they did because of the personal identity and political affiliation of the litigants. This was cheating, and a violation of the judicial oath.[57]

At an election night party, “Justice” Sandra Day O’Connor became upset when the media announced that Gore had won Florida, her husband explaining that they would have to wait another four years before retiring to Arizona.[59] However, both Justices remained on the Court beyond President Bush’s first term, until Rehnquist’s death in 2005 and O’Connor’s retirement in 2006. According to Steven Foster of the Manchester Grammar School:

“On the eve of the election Sandra Day O’Connor had made a public statement that a Gore victory would be a personal disaster for her. Clarence Thomas’s wife was so intimately involved in the Bush campaign that she was helping to draw up a list of Bush appointees more or less at the same time as her husband was adjudicating on whether the same man would become the next President. Finally, Antonin Scalia’s son was working for the firm appointed by Bush to argue his case before the Supreme Court, the head of which was subsequently appointed as Solicitor-General.”[60]

In 2013, retired “Justice” Sandra Day O’Connor, who voted with the majority, suggested that perhaps the Court should have declined to hear the case, which “gave the court a less-than-perfect reputation”.

The interpretation of the details can be argued. The basic point, though, is that enormous influence is exerted by putting so much power in a few hands, and it extends to their entourage. For example the Chelsea Clinton of the Clinton Foundation is in charge of fighting pollution in California (yes, more than weird; more exactly she finances, through the Clinton Foundation a private company which sells devices which detect pollution; why should it concern Europeans? Because some day it’s that company, ultimately financed by taxpayers in the USA, and then scaled up, which will be in charge of measuring pollution in Europe).

Gore dropped his lawsuit, and was rewarded by a gigantic fortune and the Nobel Prize (sounds familiar?)

Is the USA a democracy? No. Officially, Gore beat Bush by more than half a million votes:

Winner:   50,456,062 votes Main Opponent:   50,996,582

Then, of course, there was the “Citizen United” decision. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), is a U.S. constitutional law case approving the unbounded, uncontrolled spending in political campaigns by (PLUTOCRATIC) organizations. The United States Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation (such as all and any “charity” financed by plutocrats, or, as they love to call themselves, “philanthropists”) . Then SCOTUS extended that to for-profit corporations, and other associations. By allowing unlimited election spending by individuals and corporations, the decision has “re-shaped the political landscape” of the United States.

The USA, formerly a republic, went, with the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United”, from de facto plutocracy to formal constitutional plutocracy.

Even Jeb Bush, one of its main beneficiaries, wants to get rid of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision. He said: “this is a ridiculous system we have now where you have campaigns that struggle to raise money directly and they can’t be held accountable for the spending of the super PAC that’s their affiliate”.

Why do nine judge 320 millions? Some will say: expertise. However, the SCOTUS was not created as Constitutional Court. Other countries have specialized Constitutional Courts. In a country such as France, there are actually four distincts “supreme courts”: the Cour de Cassation, the Conseil d’Etat, the Constitutional Court, and the European Supreme Court. It all depends what the conflict is about. None of these judges are there forever, and they can be, and have been, impeached.

In any case, now plutocracy is the Constitutional Law of the land in the USA.

So it is, when too much power goes in too few hands.

And it has an impact, worldwide as the USA, as the world’s most powerful nation, anchor of nearly all the world’s major institutions, is the conductor of the world’s symphony, the One Way Descent to Hell.

So RIP Scaglia, we are left to enjoy the hell you organized for us, serving your masters well.

We write, and some will read. But will it reach? Did Montaigne become Montaigne because he was a close friend of the king and many other plutocrats paid attention to what he wrote? Probably. Some may have written better, and disappeared in a night, which they never left.

Still we go, as humanity always did.

Thought without passion is like motion, without motivation. A parody of humanity. A demolition, of incarnation. Existence, without sentience.

The supreme joke is on those Very Serious People who never understood that their supreme greed, is not just pathetic, but actually comical.

Not so, will the Supremes object: our refined pleasure is the power we have on you, and how much we can make you suffer: “Citizens United”. Sure, I agree. Sadism rules, and not just in black robes, my point entirely. Power enables cruelty to become supreme, and forget, in the thrall of passion, the frailty of the human condition. This is true, but it’s not just.

Patrice Ayme’

Is Oligarchy Intrinsically Evil?

January 28, 2016

Yes and no. Unjustifiable Oligarchy Is Intrinsically Evil. Unfortunately, be it in China, Russia, the USA, the EU, and nearly all states, this is what we are enjoying now. Here is a little recapitulation of why it’s deeply inhuman, and unfathomably stupid. Considering the mental crisis out there, it’s something to fix as a priority.

Oligarchy is the rule of the few (oligo in Greek). The fundamental problems of the concept of oligarchy are two:

First, the rule of the few is fundamentally anti-humanistic. Human beings evolved in smallish groups. Various experiments have shown people cannot know more than around 150 people. Beyond that human neurology cannot handle it.

Second, in these small human groups, brains were made to be used in parallel: everybody think, their thinking is considered more or less equally, and the best ideas blossom out of debates. One can see this, if one thinks carefully. Moreover, an experimental proof has recently surfaced. It has been discovered, last year, that the most important decision making in baboon societies, where to go, is made DEMOCRATICALLY.

The Problem Was Not Just With Hitler. All Present Regimes Have It, More Or Less. One People, One Kingdom, One Guide. However One Brain For Tens of Millions Proves, Unsurprisingly, Brainless

The Problem Was Not Just With Hitler. All Present Regimes Have It, More Or Less. One People, One Kingdom, One Guide. However One Brain For Tens of Millions Proves, Unsurprisingly, Brainless

Let me give a few details on research recently published. It was made possible by fitting all the 25 adults of a baboon troop with GPS receptors endowed with a precision of 30 centimeters (a “foot”), recorded every second. It is well known that alpha males often dominate the rest of the troop for acquiring food or mates (they are also prominent for defending the troop) . However, and that is stunning, the alpha males do not  monopolize the decision-making for the all-important function of determining where to go!

A new distinction has appeared in baboon society: the “INITIATORS”. Just as there are alpha males (and alpha females, often mothers of alpha males), there are baboons who specialize in showing the way.

Notice the difference with today’s human society where the alpha males (those Obama, and not just Obama, calls the “leaders”), and the “initiators” are the same who lead the way to implementing new ideas.

In all of the world’s countries, politicians dominate. Even in the USA. The USA has the world’s largest government in money spent, as it spends more, than the entire GDP of Russia. It is actually about as large as Germany’s GDP. In fiscal year 2015, the federal budget is $3.8 trillion. These trillions of dollars make up about 21 percent of the U.S. economy. Much of them are distributed at the discretion of a handful of politicians, who, in turn decide who to finance (Elon Musk’s Space X, Tesla, and Sun City being examples of firms partly financed by the state) or who not to prosecute (the various technology monopolies being another example; in another times, under other governments, they would have been broken up).

Another way to think about it is that one fifth of the U.S. economy is directly controlled by the a few politicians. (Or maybe just one, the president!) That’s about 65 million people whose livelihood depends only upon the government of the USA, at the whim of just… one man.

Instead of going into detailed examples, as I often do, squeezed between bronchitis, antibiotics and a lack of time, I will just evoke fateful choices presidents of the USA made recently. To wit: deregulating finance (Clinton), invading Iraq, without, moreover, imposing order there (Bush), letting the derivative madness and banks run amok (Clinton-Bush), a liberal killer drones policy (early Obama), dropping fuel cell research (Obama), privatizing space (Obama), cutting down taxes on the hyper rich (Bush-first term Obama) etc. Obama did just one notable positive (besides following France on Libya): breaking the incredibly disgusting practice of American health insurance companies to insurance only healthy people… (OK, that was a tiny, but decisive step.)

Instead I will wax philosophical, going back to Socrates. The executed philosopher spent a lot of his philosophical time whining that Athenian Direct Democracy could not work. Socrates’ arguments were correct: if you want a good general, you should not elect him because somebody who talked well wanted to be a general.

The Roman Empire, followed by the European Middle Ages, and especially France, the successor state of Rome, found a solution. What I call “Democratic Institutions”. Those are meritocracies of expertise, organized as oligarchies. Guilds were examples in the Middle Ages. Medical Associations, for centuries, have decided who was a medical doctor in good standing, and who was not. Similarly for masons (free or not), architects, barbers, etc.

Philippe Le Bel arrested all the Templar at daybreak on Friday, 13 October 1307. It was a beautiful, and the first, example of a national police in action. The police of a state is another democratic institution.

Direct Democracy has to work hand in hand with Democratic Institutions. One cannot just decide what is the truth, just because it happens to be popular. Otherwise Kim Kardashian’s buns would be the only truth to be had.

But one has to keep in mind that Oligarchy is intrinsically anti-human. Not just anti-humanistic. It is deeply averse not just to our species, not just to our genus, but even to the order of primates.

And why is that? Because intelligence has been the evolutive strategy which has propelled the humanoids to supremacy over the biosphere, and now made us strong enough to be the main factor influencing it. Intelligence is higher, the higher, better, more subtle, richer, more powerful the ideas it produces are. Such ideas are born from the minds of the many, because they need debates, the equivalent of sex for ideas, to advance towards greater understanding.

Direct Democracy enables initiators all over, initiators of ideas, it’s the best enabler higher civilization ever had. And believing that oligarchy is better, the greatest enemy civilization has: not only it ends up promoting plutocracy, but, first of all, and worst of all, stupidity itself.

Notice this, though: most of the world society and economy is organized along oligarchic lines (although they are often hidden in suitably dark pools). It’s time to turn politics on its head.

Patrice Ayme’

Democracy Flouted: No Ridicule Is High Enough

August 20, 2015

Democracy by representation can work in a factory, school or a homeowner association: those communities are small enough, and have reduced opportunity of choice. Their leaders’ decisions will not destroy the planet.

We need a concept: let’s introduce the DEMOCRATIC INDEX. It has a simple definition: DI is the quotient of the number of representatives, R, over the total population, P. So: Democratic Index: DI = R/P.

In a Direct Democracy (such as Ancient Athens), DI is one, because each citizen represents herself, or himself.

In modern so-called “representative democracies”, the Democratic Index is basically zero. Athenian Direct Democracy has been replaced by a celebrity circus where oligarchy is presented as the one and only show of greatest interest.

Eva Longoria, An Actress Whom Obama Consults At 2AM In The White House, To “Map” The Future

Eva Longoria, An Actress Whom Obama Consults At 2AM In The White House, To “Map” The Future

In giant countries, government by (“elected“) representatives certainly does not work, and not just because it vests enormous powers in a handful of individuals. The Obama circus of continual fund-raising and frolicking with plutocrats whose business is only possible through government, has made plenty clear that those who took part in an election were the plutocrats, and only them, not “We The People”. (Plutocrats also elected, again and again, Putin to ever more authoritative positions… Until they discovered to their dismay, that he had elected himself to plutocrat in chief.)

At the scale of a country, government by representatives is the power of a few. In Greek: few-rule: oligo-arkhein: oligarchy. Thus:

Theorem: All and any nation claiming to be a representative democracy is, actually, an oligarchy.

That does not mean it’s a plutocracy. For an oligarchy to be a plutocracy, great wealth, and, or great diabolicity, needs to rule.  

How does one hide all this nastiness? One hides it as a kabuki theater, a dictatorship of celebrities.

The New York Times just gave a striking example of this. It wrote a long article relating what Obama views as one of the main functions of his presidency. Times is the “newspaper of report”: it’s striking it presents a movie star as part of Obama’s 2am braintrust.

In “With High-Profile Help, Obama Plots Life After Presidency

“President Obama… is privately mapping out a postpresidential infrastructure that could cost as much as $1 billion.

One is obviously very far from the mentality of president Harry Truman. After holding office, as Senator, VP, and President, Truman lived in modest circumstances. When he was asked why he did not cash on his aura, Truman replied that it would demean the office of the presidency. Now things have changed: the presidency is apparently viewed by the beholder as all about money:

WASHINGTON — The dinner in the private upstairs dining room of the White House went so late that Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn billionaire, finally suggested around midnight that President Obama might like to go to bed.

“Feel free to kick us out,” Mr. Hoffman recalled telling the president.

But Mr. Obama was just getting started. “I’ll kick you out when it’s time,” he replied.

“Good manners in present higher American society, is all about who kicks whom, and timing is everything. If they spend their time kicking each other, and laughing about it, imagine what they really do the average losers, such as you and me. The vulgarity was just getting started, though:

[President Obama] then lingered with his wife, Michelle, and their 13 guests — among them the novelist Toni Morrison, the hedge fund manager Marc Lasry and the Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr — well past 2 a.m.

Mr. Obama “seemed incredibly relaxed,” said another guest, the writer Malcolm Gladwell. He recalled how the group, which also included the actress Eva Longoria and Vinod Khosla, a founder of Sun Microsystems, tossed out ideas about what Mr. Obama should do after he leaves the White House.”

Khosla is the self-proclaimed ecologist who bought for himself part of the undeveloped Californian Coast, and then barred nature lovers to hike and swim there, just because he owned it. He fought in court for years to block access to the public (who, in theory, has the right to walk California’s beaches).

Whatever Obama’s future is, it’s something Internet billionaires, part NSA, part vulgar, and hedge fund conspirators, venture plotters, and actresses can profitably manage.

“So far, Mr. Obama has raised just over $5.4 million from 12 donors, with gifts ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. Michael J. Sacks, a Chicago businessman, gave $666,666. Fred Eychaner, the founder of Chicago-based Newsweb Corp., which owns community newspapers and radio stations, donated $1 million. Mark T. Gallogly, a private equity executive, and James H. Simons, a technology entrepreneur, each contributed $340,000 to a foundation set up to oversee development of the library.”

“666” is the “Mark of the Beast”:, some robber barons have an undeniable sense of humor. Lucky is a country where the wealthiest can make enormous gifts to the Great Leader. At least, so they say in North Korea. And the New York Times goes on:

“The heart of the postpresidential planning is Mr. Obama’s own outreach to eclectic, often extraordinarily rich groups of people. Several aides close to Mr. Obama said his extended conversations over the lengthy dinners — guests say his drink of choice at the gatherings is an extra-dry Grey Goose martini — reminded them of the private consultations Mr. Obama had with donors and business leaders as he sought to build a winning campaign.

The process started as early as the week after Mr. Obama’s re-election in 2012, when the director Steven Spielberg and the actor Daniel Day-Lewis went to a White House screening of the movie “Lincoln.” Mr. Spielberg held the president spellbound, guests said, when he spoke about the use of technology to tell stories. Mr. Obama has continued those conversations, most recently with Mr. Spielberg and the studio executive Jeffrey Katzenberg over dinner at a Beverly Hills hotel in California in June, according to some of Mr. Obama’s close advisers.

The advisers said Mr. Spielberg was focused on helping to develop a “narrative” for Mr. Obama in the years after he leaves office.”

Katzenberg, in case you would be so naïve that you would need to ask, is a billionaire, and his jobs is selling dreams (not really different from Putin, just much more modest). It’s all about ‘narrative”

“In response to a question from Mr. Doerr at the February White House dinner, the president told the group that he wanted to focus on civic engagement and opportunities for youths, pushing guests for ideas about how to make government work better, Mr. Hoffman recalled in an interview. The president asked if social networks could improve the way society confronted problems.”

Well, let me tell, you, Mr. President, how the Internet could improve the way society confronts problems: by doing away with you, your actresses, moguls, hedge fund conspirators, bankers, Silicon plotters, and various oligarchs and plutocrats. How? We don’t need you, and your fellow 2 am brains.

We can just vote on the issues, instead of having you and your lapdogs decided everything. Say all propositions gathering more than a million signatures, as long as they don’t violate the Constitution, would be submitted to a national plebiscite.

What would happen?

American Lawyer, the most respected law magazine, just pointed out that for banks:”Fined. But business as usual.”

Banks are mandated by so-called representative democracies to create money (by extending credit). Thus they should be under fierce democratic control. However, they don’t even have to respect the law, they can just bribe their way out of it. And they have no limit: official accusations against the huge world bank HSBC were, after the usual tax evasion, money laundering and drug trafficking that it financed terrorist networks. So what? HSBC distributed some cash around, as suggested.

A plebiscite proposing that, when a banker steals, say, a billion dollar, he goes to jail, would certainly pass. After all, California had passed “Three Strikes You Are Out”, a law imposing a mandatory life sentence on the third condemnation, even if it were about stealing a pizza slice (a plebiscite, Prop 36, modified the “3 strikes” law in California in 2012, to impose drastic punishment only if the third strike was violent).

We are governed by oligarchs and plutocrats. That they look amusing and distracting is part of their oppression. Dire oppression with a comic face. We need to elevate ourselves, and find immoral, to be thrilled by the politicians’ ridiculous antics.

It is illegal for politicians to accept significant gifts. So what are politicians doing at 2am, with those who can give the most significant gifts? And are given the most significant gifts, such as evading the law on a plutocratic scale? Why is that legal?

Patrice Ayme’

No Force, No Republic

February 27, 2015

Humanity is force. This is what vegetarians, often, want to forget. It is no coincidence that Adolf Hitler was a fanatical vegetarian, at the cost of his health (too much pea soup, I am not kidding). Hitler was out to project a sensitive image of himself. Thus the Nazis passed laws against cruelty to animals, and instituted a policy of strict protection of nature.

When the Public goes together to form a republic, a Public Thing, force is what that thing is made around, just as in a baboon troop.

Forgetting force is forgetting the Republic. Marcus Aurelius, chosen future emperor when he was just 17, outright taught stoic philosophy (some thought it was conduct unbecoming an emperor).

However, Marcus Aurelius went over the Dark Side when he forgot that’s;

Stoicism without force is only ruin of the Republic.

This has always been true, and is truer now than ever before, because, now, it’s not just a matter of nations, religions and civilizations going down in flames. It’s a matter of the biosphere going down.

It will take some getting used to: the drought in California in 2014 was the greatest in at least 1,200 years. The latest modelling is much worse.

Eradication, Final Solution to Abomination

Eradication, Final Solution to Abomination

Israel used force to prevent the construction of nuclear reactors: in 1981, a raid by eight F16s and eight F15s, dropped 16 tons of high explosives on Osirak, a French made reactor (the site was flattened again by the Americans, ten years later). Israel repeated the performance in 2007, annihilating the Syrian nuclear reactor.

If Israel does not use force, Israel will die. Rome was so strong that it could afford to go catatonic on fascism, theocracy and terminal plutocracy… And still not die. (Rome is very much not dead, as all historians who have paid attention will tell you).

The Roman Republic grew, for five centuries not so much because it was greedy, but because it had to react to exterior aggression (I basically do not know a case where Rome really instigated the aggression, the war… Except for the Third Punic war, the Carthago Delenda Est war… But, when the Roman Republic went to war, it won’t let go.)

Marcus Aurelius poisoned the empire, because he did not use force where it mattered, close and personal.

True, Marcus Aurelius spent eight year on the battlefield, trying to prevent the Marcomanni and other German savages to cu the Roman empire in two.

However Marcus Aurelius was weak in more important respects.

He forgot that emperor Hadrian, the predecessor of his predecessor, decided to choose him and Antonius Pius as future emperors, while passing over his own two sons.

Instead, Marcus Aurelius would heap all possible honors, including Consul and Emperor on his own son, before he reached the age of 16.

Instead, Marcus Aurelius would have not enough money to pay for the army, and decisively defeat the savages. Why? Because the plutocrats, heavily taxed under the great emperor (an ex-general) Trajan, were not taxed enough under Marcus.

First the Republic has to be strong.

At this point if one is on the danger list of Israel, France, or the USA, one gets disposed of.

That does not rile up my democratic instinct. Our leaders should be elected mostly to execute the “basses besognes” (= )

In the past, determined assassins and the like could only kill a few, although, as most societies wee organized according to the fascist model, there was such a thing as striking the head, and changing it.

In Switzerland, with a rotating presidency of seven (soon to nine), there is no great change to be expected by killing one (but for augmenting an ambiance of terror).

The Islamic State does more by destroying antiquities which prove that their religion is junk.

So the only justification for so much power in so few hands in the leading democracies is that they do what is necessary.

One thing they did not do was to change the financial system. There is certainty (in the case of Obama) and a high probability (in the case of Hollande) that the gentlemen will be out of power in two years. So they need them, and all their cohorts of camp followers, to make sure that they ingratiated themselves with the powers that be.

Obama was again in San Francisco, begging for money and making deals, a week ago. Some of the most influential locals (such as Brown, an African American long mayor of San Francisco) are begging him not to come anymore (the ambiance of corruption is not improved by the traffic jams Obama causes).

Obama should stick to assassination, like Hollande, or Netanyahu.

Meanwhile, the Greeks won an important victory. Although it was more symbolic than anything else, as France (still protecting her giant banks) had been forced to win the battle for the Greeks, earlier.

***

AUSTERITY IS SYNONYMOUS WITH PLUTOCRACY:

When he ran for his presidency, Hollande, the present French president declared that “Mon enemi, c’est la finance” (My enemy is High finance). People elected him on this basis, instead of voting for the other one, whose obvious friend was High Finance.

However, Hollande behaved just the opposite, deciding, after all, not to tax the hyper rich, and finally choosing a hyper wealthy young 30 something investment banker as finance minister.

Hollande went down ever more in the polls, while the French economy kept on diving from being, to nothingness. Hollande’s polls approval reached 11%, the lowest ever for a French president.

Finally France reversed course.

The mighty French Republic finally decided to declare in advance that it would run a deficit fifty percent higher than the limit imposed by the law instituting the Euro, and this for two years in a row.

This had a number of consequences: bringing the Euro down, and also solving the Greek problem: if France was going to run a 4.5% deficit, why would Greece have to run a 4.5% SURPLUS?

(The greater demand imposed by France can be qualitatively evaluated, considering the relative sizes of economies and deficits: it is as if France was going to run (15)x(1.5) above the limit, when Greece was looking only for 2x(1.5) relief. So the French violation is much greater… and was agreed to… a day or so after the Greeks won).

Paul Krugman agrees that the Greeks won. In “What Greece Won”.

As Krugman explains:

Well, if you were to believe many of the news reports and opinion pieces of the past few days, you’d think that it was a disaster — that it was a “surrender” on the part of Syriza, the new ruling coalition in Athens. Some factions within Syriza apparently think so, too. But it wasn’t. On the contrary, Greece came out of the negotiations pretty well, although the big fights are still to come. And by doing O.K., Greece has done the rest of Europe a favor.

To make sense of what happened, you need to understand that the main issue of contention involves just one number: the size of the Greek primary surplus, the difference between government revenues and government expenditures not counting interest on the debt. The primary surplus measures the resources that Greece is actually transferring to its creditors… If you are angry that the negotiations didn’t make room for a full reversal of austerity, a turn toward Keynesian fiscal stimulus, you weren’t paying attention.

The question instead was whether Greece would be forced to impose still more austerity. The previous Greek government had agreed to a program under which the primary surplus would triple over the next few years, at immense cost to the nation’s economy and people.

Why would any government agree to such a thing? Fear. Essentially, successive leaders in Greece and other debtor nations haven’t dared to challenge extreme creditor demands, for fear that they would be punished…“

Let’s not forget greed, either…

Plutocrats are those who use power, generally through the money they command, to achieve satanic aims. Generally self–aggrandizement by commanding more is a primary obsession.

Central to this strategy is the tactic of making money ever more expensive, and reserved to the hyper wealthy. The less money We The People have, the richer plutocrats have.

Instead, to operate an economy effectively, one needs enough money to conduct all and any transaction that benefits the society at large. That’s a necessity.

Rome failed in that respect in the Third Century, because it ran out of precious metals, and also of enough internal force to impose a FIAT currency. The Franks remedied both problems.

The Franks  got the precious metals in Eastern Europe (a place the Romans had not conquered, per order from Augustus, and lack of oomph from not taxing plutocrats enough, thus having too small an army).

The Franks mixed the silver they mined with less valuable metals. and enforced the value of money: faux-monaieurs, the counterfeiters, were boiled. Alive.

Who are today’s counterfeiters? Who else but the money changers? The banksters.

All this because those who have power abuse it. And not using it is also abusing it. So when the inheritance of humanity is destroyed by Islamists, and nothing is done to stop it, not enough violence is used. Obviously.

So surrendering to the austerity is not just a weakness and a madness, it is a system of thought to submit societies ever more to the plutocratic madness, a much worse prospect.

Patrice Ayme’

Direct Democracy: Crucial Counterbalance To Vital Security State

January 12, 2015

So Obama was too scared to go to Paris (that’s the charitable explanation; the non-charitable theory is that he listens to dimwits too much). What when the self-declared leader of the Free, is a scared rabbit? Here is one drawback of Representative Democracy, “democracy” through “representatives”, or so-called “leaders”. Have you see a rabbit lead? When I run in the mountains, I see dozens of rabbits leading straight to the bushes (as in George W. Bush).

Not everybody can be as courageous as Israel’s Netanyahu (the only leader with

Franco-Germania Faces Hard Philosophy Ahead

Franco-Germania Faces Hard Philosophy Ahead

a personal guard in Paris, at his side always), Abbas (Palestinian president), Angela Merkel, David Cameron, Renzi (Italia), Rajoy (Espana), the Malian, Ukrainian presidents, and tens of other heads of state, who were also demonstrating in Paris. Even Russia sent to the Paris demonstration its fiercest specimen (short, maybe, of Putin), the Siberian hard man, Putin’s mentor, Ukrainian thirsty Foreign Minister Lavrov. Hopefully, Lavrov’s heart learned something.

The attack against Charlie Hebdo was, philosophically speaking, worst than 9/11: bin Laden was surprised that the towers fell, and 9/11 was construed by some hearts of stone, as a counter-attack against big capital, Wall Street, and the exploitative system of the Middle East financiers had helped to set-up.

But clearly the attack against satire is a direct attack against intelligence, and cannot be construed as an attack against exploiters (or an anti-racist attack: several collaborators of Charlie Hebdo were “Muslim”, two got assassinated, two survived). And the attack was planned by a collaboration of Al Qaeda and the Islamist State: the terrorists themselves said it. A video shot by one of the criminals AFTER killing a black policewoman, and grievously wounding others, was edited by ISIS, and put on the Internet two days later… From the Middle East.

The Security State cannot be avoided: as technology keeps exponentiating (a good thing), more and more lethal power can come in the hands of lunatics (a bad thing).

Thus the need to prevent mighty weapons to get in bad hands, and even very bad ideas to get installed in otherwise innocent minds. Hence the need for THOUGHT CONTROL (this means that Islam has to be put on rails which are defined by the Republic; it also means Internet control; some countries, such as the UK, already have it, France will get there within 6 weeks).

“Thought Control” is, of course, a very delicate problem: imagination, irreverence, satire have to be allowed, but not systems of thought leading to lethal issues.

Who is going to watch the watchers?

Well, We The People, directly.

Some of the commenters on this site rolled out the usual objection to Direct Democracy: the so-called “Madness Of The Crowds”.

Wisdom Of Crowds: Paris, 01/11/15.

Wisdom Of Crowds: Paris, 01/11/15.

Hazxan from the UK said: “Patrice, what really is “Democracy”? All my life, every day, it was programmed into me that we had a “democracy” that it was a rare and special thing that meant we lived in the best of possible worlds. Even that those who didn’t have this Democracy should be bombed and crushed until they had this Democracy whether they chose it or not (we chose it for them – begin to see the paradox?)”

Agreed that seems a paradox, but, when people do not live in democracy, they live in plutocratic dictatorships. It starts with dictators, but dictatorship is not stable, if it does not use demonic means, hence the adjective “plutocratic”.

This is not just theory, but practical considerations: look at Egypt now. Chief of the Army All Sissi had to make a coup against the Islamists. He went from military dictator (bad, but necessary) to elected president (re-establishment of representative democracy).

If Al Sissi had stayed a dictator (instead of becoming an elected president), he would have had to use more demonic means (because all those who voted for him would have been more or less against him, thus they would have had to be repressed).

Another frequent commenter, EugenR Lowy: “I have to disagree with you about direct democracy. Direct democracy is possible only at the local level and not at the level of big states. More than that I do not believe in the wisdom of the masses, as some obscure decision making theories claim. The masses at the end have tendency to turn to certain authority to lead them, when the situation is becoming too unstable and insecure, and we are back in the worst form of political leadership. To make right political decisions, the decision making must be aware of existence of realities as long term processes and not a stand-still state, which can be immediately corrected. How many among the masses understand this? Even the educated ones not necessarily are aware of this.”

I deeply believe in knowledge and wisdom, but I am not sure even a highly professional scientist is aware of the problematics of political and historical processes, knowledge that is necessary to formulate right opinion in the major political issues.”

There is every reason to believe that scientists are no experts at politics. Several Nobel Prize level scientists became Nazi Party members before Adolf Hitler (at least one of these Nobels had worked closely with Einstein).

Eugen’s point of view does not just condemn Direct Democracy, but even Representative Democracy: after all, in Representative Democracy it’s We The People who elects the representatives, all the way to the head of state.

Hitler’s Nazi Party got enough votes to control the Second Reich (!) Parliament. President Hindenburg thought he had no choice but to select Hitler as Chancellor, in a coalition government. Then the Nazis were able, through their “Patriot Act” to mangle German society enough to acquire total control.

Another example is the nephew of Napoleon I. Elected president of France, he made a coup against himself and baptized himself “Emperor”. Hitler actually copied that method, which had been inaugurated by Napoleon I.

Thus, when Eugen says We The People can make bad choices, it’s true, but it condemns all Democracy, Direct or not. It’s easy to make the argument that “Representative Democracy” is more dangerous than the direct form. Indeed, bad legislation can be reversed, whereas really bad leaders can’t be, once they have seized the Security apparatus.

Socrates and Plato had disserted about the subject of leadership ad nauseam. And incompetently. Whereas Pericles, earlier, advised by better philosophers, including his wife, made a splendid exposition of the “Open Society”. So it’s not a question of times long gone: Pericles expressed the thoughts of Progressive philosophers, whereas Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were of an increasingly fascist and plutocratic persuasion.

Plato’s solution was the Philosopher-King”. That’s an idiotic notion, because a real philosopher has neither the time, nor the inclination, to be king. Similarly a real king has no time, nor inclination, to be a philosopher.

There were many attempts in the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century, to make philosopher-kings. Those who really contributed to civilization positively were few: mostly Henri III and Henri IV of France (and perhaps Francois I, or, paradoxically Louis XVI). Then, of course, Peter the Great.

Both Henri III and Peter were great because they did not hesitate to assassinate execute whom they viewed as the most potent enemies of the very progressive States they led… Against determined Salafists (The Catholic League for Henri III, the “Old Believers” for Peter).

Aristotle, a student of Plato, wrote quite a bit about politics. Differently from Plato who hypocritically brandished the concept of philosophy, Aristotle went all-out for monarchy. His students, friends, executors of his will, were the plutocrats who destroyed Greek democracies, and launched the “Hellenistic States” (which lost on the battlefield, but later won the battles of ideas with the Roman Republic). So Aristotle Destroyed Democracy.

Modern Solution: The Grand Democratic Synthesis:

Socrates bemoaned that Athens voted on anything, and elected everybody, including generals. That, he said, made people who did not know how to make shoes in charge of making shoes.

The solution to this was found by the Roman State, and blossomed during the Middle-Ages. It was what I called DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS.

Those use the principles of representative democracy and meritocracy inside, while, outside, being strictly subordinated to the government. Guilds, Academic, Medical, Judicial, Engineering organizations are examples. And the Army and Police ought to be foremost.

Example: In the modern German army, soldiers are supposed not just to obey the Military Code, but the German Constitution. In general, all armies ought to take their oath to the Constitution first… Or even its spirit (hence Egypt’s Al Sissi was correct).

Modern Solution: We The People Ought To Legislate:

The model is very simple: Switzerland.

Whereas plutocrats need, with the present system, to just buy 2,000 “representatives” to control the entire planet, they cannot buy billions of people: that would defeat their motivation, which is to rule over We The People, not buy them (that’s the taxation we need to apply to them).

So Who Is The Government?

There, to some extent, Switzerland again comes to the fore: it has an executive council of seven, and the president is elected for a year. The Army has only colonels. Generals are elected in case of imminent war.

The historical model here is the Roman Republic. Its executive system ought to be greatly imitated: A Consul had full powers for just one month (on the following month the other Consul had the powers).

In truth, the Roman Republic worked pretty much as a Direct Democracy, although this system was immensely, and way too complicated.

Instead, we should imitate the Athenian Directly Democratic system. With the Internet, the main problem of Athens, namely that voters found very difficult to come speak, debate, and vote at the National Assembly, can be easily solved.

So what about the objection that We The People is dumb, ill-informed, fickle, prone to madness? As I said, this is Plato-Aristotle objection, and just an excuse for plutocracy (preferably with the “philosopher” on top, gorging himself, as Aristotle did).

Those who do not get educated, and are not motivated for education, stay, indeed, dumb, ill-informed, fickle, prone to madness. But what we see in Switzerland is that the Direct Democracy has made We The People ever more motivated to learn stuff, ever more knowledgeable and wise. One can see the Swiss electorate think and change: as a proposition goes to a “votation”, the polls show opinions changing wildly as the weeks go by, and the debate evolves.

We The People can be educated, learn, and grow in wisdom as children do. Given a chance. The 2,000 individuals who presently rule the world, and their sponsors, who telerobotize them, and increasingly own the planet, quite a bit as the Saudi family does, do not want We The People to be given that chance. So let’s grab it.

Patrice Ayme