Archive for the ‘Direct Democracy’ Category

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’

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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

Censoring “Electrocoal”, Violating Democracy

November 26, 2014

“Scientific American” Censors “Electrocoal”, Violating Free Speech, the Status of the Internet as Public Utility, And, More Generally, Democracy:

President Obama declared last week that the Internet was a Public Utility. Rightly so. Say you build up a bridge. Does that give you the right to do whatever you want with the bridge when people use it? Not so, especially if the bridge has become a Public Utility.

Any media using the Internet is, to some extent, a Public Utility, because the Internet is a Public Utility.

Expression on the Internet is what Free Speech has become now.

A fundamental democratic right in Athens was that of addressing the Assembly.

There should be a right of free speech answer, especially when a site allows public comments.

More generally, the Internet is in need of laws, with the core aim of enabling Free Speech, and disallowing Hate Speech. Commercial, For-Profit Speech ought to be regulated: commerce is always regulated.

As it is, the Internet is the Wild West, and those with the biggest guns rule. Comments, rankings, private information and access are manipulated all over. Some companies’ business is actually to write fake comments and reviews, while passing for non-profit oriented free speech individuals: this ought to be considered consumer fraud, and the appropriate laws ought to be passed to criminalize the activity.

Scientific American is in the habit of censoring comments: “deciding what material is displayed on our website is our right”. They have censored strict scientific comments from me (without explanation).

A law ought to be passed forbidding public utilities to censor comments without some excellent reason. (Journalists are above the law in the sense that they do not have to reveal their sources, nor can be tried for opinion; so journalism always has a public utility aspect at its root.)

Take the example of Free Speech in the street: it is a right of democracy. Yet it can be curtailed by the police if, and only if, it “disrupts the peace”, or violates other laws. In practice, the police rarely intervenes (in democracy, it would have to justify its intervention!)

Scientific American censors, and others, such as Facebook, have argued that their website is their own property, they can do what they want. Well, not really. The problem is that they are in position of monopoly (or more exactly, oligarchy). Then, to empower their oligarchy, they use, and need to use, a Public Utility. That means they are financed by the citizenry in general. Moreover, they got a fiduciary duty: informing and debating in a non grossly misleading, non injurious way.

I related that The Economist censored me for quoting the Qur’an (no, I did not join the Jihad; my aim was to show that, at face value, the Qur’an calls for violent acts, and, thus, the need for Imams to inform believers that this is all allegorical, and outlawing interpretations that are stricto sensu).

In an article on fuel cell cars, the SA Master allowed dozens of comments from (taxpayer financed) Elon Musk’s minions, calling fuel cell cars “fool cars”. That was not censored. I replied in kind.

Scientific American censored me for calling electric cars, ELECTROCOAL. So doing, I claim that Scientific American violated the notion of PUBLIC UTILITY.

Scientific American sent me the following email:

“This comment has been deleted. Scientific American reserves the right to delete comments and revoke commenting privileges without notice. A subscription does not exempt you from our rules, and deciding what material is displayed on our website is our right, not censorship. You can create your own website for your own opinions and views, to share with the world. Scientific American does not owe anyone a platform – anyone may create a website of their own.

This comment is off-topic. Further violations will result in the loss of your commenting privileges, so please review our guidelines carefully. This help desk will not provide another warning.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/page/sa-community-guidelines/

Regards,

SA Webmaster”

[Notice the contradictions and the weasel words, Big Brother speech: censorship desk is called “help desk”, and “further violations…no other warning”.] “Webmaster” is an interesting Freudian slip: in a free society, the Internet should have laws, not “masters”.

Calling Tesla Electric Cars “electrocoal” is an allusion to the fact that electric cars in the USA are loaded with electricity that is half produced in coal thermal plants. So their global efficiency is that of a coal burning installation (more on this in another essay).

The Masters at Scientific American don’t like “electrocoal”. So they censor it, and call me a “violator”. And threaten to unilaterally cancel a contract with me, while still taking my money. No law prevents them to indulge in all these abuses of power.

Just as no law prevents Uber, an Internet based car-rental company, to use the private information it gathers on its clients, tracking them, selling the data.

Uber has apologized. But there should be a law, and employees, and owners, who have violated that law ought to go to jail. Yes, shareholders ought to be punished, as those who owned shares in companies that make money from slaves, ought to be punished; believe or not, those are still around!

Laws are not censorship, they are the common rules which apply equally. Private censorship, though, while using the Public Utility of the Internet, is a violation of said equality, which is the essence of democracy. Violation of democracy ought to be unlawful, just as the equally vaguely defined “hate speech”, or “genocide” are unlawful.

The problem is the same as when plutocrats use publicly financed research to increase their wealth or power (thus scientific publishing ought to be open source, and subsidies from the likes of NASA to private enterprises subject to serious examination… same as subsidies to big banks).

The ultimate reason for democracy, is not fairness, but intelligence. That makes even dictators long for democracy. Democracy allows the group to reach higher intelligence than any other society. The Internet is a tool to further the debate of ideas (ideas which do not violate the law, including hate speech, that is).

Violating the free debate of ideas ought to be left to dictators, and other “Masters”. It ought to be illegal in democracy.

The right of reply ought to be enshrined in democracy. The manipulations of commentary, and censorship for profit or bullies’ sake, or for perverting the minds of the public or children (see Islamism) ought to be illegal, even if done under the cover of higher morality, or hypocrisy.

Internet policing will not solve all the problems of vicious thinking, but it will allow to threaten to address the most egregious of them.

Patrice Ayme’

Elect Ideas, Not Clowns

November 6, 2014

Obama Versus Brown. Obama’s  Inexistence Made Blatant. Last Twitches Coming?

Obama, the Resident of the White House, said something particularly deep and clever today:”… to the two-thirds of Americans who did not take part in the process yesterday, I hear you too!”

Which process is Obama alluding to? Voting. Two-thirds of eligible Americans did not vote. American citizens are voting out the conventional electoral process. Although I always voted, and although I spent two years, and a fortune, in effort and treasure, to get Obama elected, eight years ago, this time I did not vote.

Your humble servant, and We The People have had enough of electing little dictators.

Antares Rocket, One Of Obama's Pluto Pet, Goes The Way Of His Presidency

Antares Rocket, One Of Obama’s Pluto Pet, Goes The Way Of His Presidency

If one wants democracy, We The People has got to vote on (most) laws. Politicians ought not to be called “legislators”. Instead, they should be just in charge of the details.

In the meantime, refusing to vote is a king of sitting in the middle of the street.

Brown is Obama’s skin: it turned out that color of the skin did not bring change. Duh. Brown is also the name of the governor of California, re-elected in a triumph, for the FOURTH time.

Brown did two terms as California governor, three decade ago. When he was re-elected 4 years ago, the situation was abysmal. Several governors could do anything to the California deficit. To raise taxes required 2/3 majority (66% for).

What did Brown do? He said: ”I’m raising taxes on the rich. You better vote for it. If you, Californians do not vote at more than 66% for that, I will close all your state parks.”

Californians love their parks. They screamed, and then voted as told. Plutocrats had said they would flee California. Guess what? They found they had nowhere else to go.

(BTW, had a referendum about taxing the plutocrats been proposed, I would have gone to vote.)

Brown spent 4 years training as a Jesuit for priesthood, in silence, prayer, and Latin. Later he went to UCB, became a lawyer, and worked, and studied (including Zen) in many countries (including Mexico and Japan).

He was not born yesterday.

Obama looked condemned to me the day after he got elected, 6 years ago: he went to work at a hedge fund. Hedge Fund: money changers, as president Roosevelt called them contemptuously (and FDR was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and basically brought up by Teddy Roosevelt, himself president of the USA).

That Obama went to work at a hedge fund told me he had understood nothing. Or, rather, strong supporters such as me, had understood nothing: Obama was the plutocrats’ candidate.

(That Obama was facing the wealthy Senator McCain, who did not even know how many mansions he had, does not make him any less the plutocrats’ candidate. Passing remark: Seneca, the philosopher, and Nero’s teacher, chuckled that he had no idea how many giant agribusinesses and properties he had on the various continents. Those who partake in the Stoic Religion, worship Seneca. And that’s a basic problem with the (hypocrisy of) stoicism.)

The leader of the Republicans, McConnell, Senior Senator of Kentucky, just said the Senate needed to be fixed. “We have an obligation to change the Senate”. He said he was going to fix the Senate, making it work on Fridays, even at midnight, and also Saturday, if need be.

McConnell’s head is entirely white: he has been elected to the Senate continuously, for 30 years. Hardly not an insider.

Question: what happened to the Tea Party? Well, it never really existed. It was one of the tricks used by Obama’s political allies to do nothing.

McConnell was asked whether he was afraid of Obama’s veto. He smiled: “the president vetoed 2 little bills in 6 years. In the first 2 years, he loved everything he saw.”

And nothing happened.

(Obama would say Obamacare happened. Or, as he calls it, proudly, in a marked cognitive dissonance, Romneycare. Even November 4, 2014, Obama gave a whole lesson to the press corps on how much Obamacare was actually his “former opponent” creation. That Obamacare was actually Romneycare should have told progressives something. In truth, Obamacare is an excellent deal for health care plutocrats. Everybody else? Not that much: the deductible on my health insurance is something like $9,000. So my family has to spent $9,000 from our pockets, before reimbursements kick in. That means if I spend $9,000 in the next 7 weeks in a hospital, I have to pay the whole thing. The clock restarts January 1. That, by the way, is on an expensive plan, $1,500/month.)

Nothing could happen under Obama, because he was, whether he realized it, or not, an agent of Wall Street, and various other plutocrats. Same problem with the Clinton. The Clintons’ “Global Initiative” has offices a rock throw from Wall Street.

Obama showed this in a telling way, supporting short term tweak to existing and past technologies, calling this support for Research (support for private entrepreneurs to get to orbit, such as the Antares rocket which exploded a week ago, is exhibit number one; the government of the USA ought to support only fundamental research, such as for thermonuclear fusion, or through schools).

We are still waiting for the reform of the financial system. It was not difficult: president Roosevelt’s system had to be dismantled. But then that would have dismantled Clinton Global Financial Initiative (I’m ironical).

And this is not just a USA problem. The European Central Bank just mentioned hundreds of billions of “financial derivatives” that European banks hold. Well, that cancer which spread form Chicago ought to be unlawful: banks ought to invest in the real economy, not in a parallel universe.

In case you wonder why financial derivatives billionaires give multi-million dollar prices for the Multiverse in physics, I just gave you the reason.

Is there anything to save from this Obama shipwreck?

Well, and this is what the colossal abstention vote is suggesting, we have to change the Constitution (all over; not just the USA and France, or Britain). No need to scream in my face, as a very busy San Francisco’s architect once did, and pontificate that this is not serious, and nobody would take me seriously, if I persist with my folly. It is. The best way is to do as Switzerland is doing, that is sensibly, and insensibly.

The Swiss Constitution was not designed for direct democracy, it’s just growing into one, with ever more referenda of We The People, on all important issues.

Interestingly (one of the) the “votation” coming in three weeks has to do with limiting immigration. It will not pass, but it has furthered an even more sophisticated reflection on the subject (a Swiss referendum against immigration from (the rest of) the European Union passed last year; negotiations Swiss-EU on it are intense).

Referenda are healthy. In Great Britain, immigration is a burning hot subject (people hate it). But because We The British People cannot vote directly on the issue, they have made the European Union (which has little to do with it) into the scapegoat.

We have to ask more from politics. This starts by voting out the conventional electoral process.

Elect grand ideas, not clowns.

Patrice Ayme’

ARISTOTLE DESTROYED DEMOCRACY

September 28, 2014

Abstract: Aristotle replaced the supremacy, and rule, of freedom, openness, intelligence, by the “pursuit of happiness”, or general “feel good” (eudemonia). So doing, Aristotle demolished the natural, instinctual, human ethics which had triumphed in Athens earlier.

This fatally weakened the animal spirits, the human ethology, without which democracy is impossible. Thus, more fundamentally than even Christianity, and not just by defending slavery extensively, Aristotle and his atrocious, mass murdering, yet trusted, and beloved, students, launched the mental process that set civilization back by millennia.

It’s high time to understand how much of this Aristotelian garbage festers at the root of today’s systems of thoughts and moods. All the more as plutocracy, Aristotle’s baby, is going all out, once again, to seize power absolutely.

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were master thinkers. Their influence was so great, they changed human psychology. And the way they changed it, in some important ways civilization cannot like.

***

Aristotle Taught These Guys Democracy Was A Devious Beast

Aristotle Taught These Guys Democracy Was A Devious Beast

[Painting Allegedly Representing Macedonian Plutocrats Antipater and Craterus Killing a Lion; these are the Antipater and Craterus found in the present text; top predators, indeed; shortly before Alexander The Great died, Alexander had ordered Antipater, then ruling Europe, to come to Babylon to answer the charges of Olympias, Alexander’s mom, that Antipater was conspiring to seize power; Antipater refused to come, and sent another of his sons in his stead; his youngest son was Alexander’s closest valet… More on this further down. Yes, at the time, there were lions in the Middle East, and in Europe.]

***

WHEN ATHENS BETRAYED DEMOCRACY, THAT IS, HERSELF:

In 330 BCE, more than 23 centuries ago, the Spartans, led by king Agis, made an all-out effort to destroy Macedonian hegemony. The prospects were good: Antipater had only 13,500 genuine Macedonian soldiers, as Alexander, then fighting the Persian plutocracy, had mobilized all the manpower he could find, to fight far away all over Eurasia. Alexander, though, sent lots of gold in a hurry, so that Antipater could recruit a huge army of northern barbarians to boost his small force.

These were strange times: for about a century much of the elite of the Persian army consisted of Greek mercenaries. Moreover, most Greeks had refused to follow Alexander. No doubt that the fact Alexander had annihilated the city-state of Thebes, and sold 30,000 surviving women and children into slavery, had to do with it. Some of the Persian plutocrats were bad, but the Macedonian plutocrats, in many ways, were worse. The Persians managed an immensely complicated empire, the Macedonians just had to keep (their slaves) extracting the gold, while breeding horses to keep invading further with ever more violence.

The Battle of Megalopolis against Antipater’s 40,000 mercenaries was bloody, long indecisive. But, from the sheer weight of numbers, the 20,000 Spartans, after breaking Antipater’s lines, lost. 5,300 of the best ones died. Diodorus comments:

“Agis III had fought gloriously and fell with many frontal wounds. As he was being carried by his soldiers back to Sparta, he found himself surrounded by the enemy. Despairing of his own life, he ordered the rest to make their escape with all speed and to save themselves for the service of their country, but he himself armed and rising to his knees defended himself, killed some of the enemy and was himself slain by a javelin cast.”

So what was Athens doing while Sparta led the entire Peloponnese against Macedonia? Nothing. Athens sat on her hands. A wounded Spartan king fought, even on his knees, while Athens watched. Some derangement had infected Athena’s city. Was it still Athena’s city? Or was it the city of admirers, friends, lovers, advisers and teachers to tyrants? In spite of a blitz by Demosthenes, the pseudo-Demosthenes, and other philosophers, who saw the terrible danger civilization was in, Athens did not send an army to help Sparta. There is no doubt that the smallest Athenian army would have allowed to extirpate the Macedonian metastatic cancer, all the way to where it festered from, Macedonian gold mines.

If that had happened, the history of the world would have been different, and the event would be barely mentioned in Alpha Centauri libraries. (Just before the Macedonian tyrannical takeover, Greek science was expanding at an astounding rate.)

Once he was rid of Alexander, the senior Macedonian general and dictator Antipater, turned against Athens.

The fate of democracy was decided on the sea. The Athenian fleet, having suffered losses in two battles, surrendered. It did not even try to fight to death. The captains of the Athenian ships were not as determined as their ancestors, who, 170 years earlier, had confronted the Persian fleet and its Greek allies, under incomparably greater odds.

***

THE PHILOSOPHICAL TROIKA FROM HELL CHANGED ATHENS’ MIND ABOUT THE HIGHEST GOOD:

Historians are at a loss to explain that massive change of psychology. Why did Athens not fight for freedom in 330 CE, while it had gone all out for it in 500 CE?

Some may suggest that Alexander and Antipater were not as antipathic as Darius and Xerxes. Well that is not even true: the massacres the two Macedonians engaged in were worse. The Persian plutocracy found plenty of Greeks to help it, over a century, including all of Sparta for decades, and generations of top notch mercenaries. By contrast, very few Greeks accepted to work for the Greek speaking Macedonian tyrants, and Sparta always refused to do so.

So, when the Athenian captains decided to surrender to Antipater, without much fighting, it was not because they did not perceive him to be a monster. They knew he was a monster. It was widely suspected, for excellent reasons and strong circumstantial evidence, that Antipater had used one of his sons to empoison Alexander.

Something else had happened to change the psychology of the Athenian elite: accepting monstrosity had become acceptable. Thanks to whom? Aristotle’s student, Alexander (“the great”)? No, he was too busy crucifying thousands in Tyr for having dared to resist him. Nor was Alexander known for intellectual babbling (whereas Antipater was an author).

My explanation for this degeneracy in the minds of Athenian warriors, and statesmen, is that, thanks to the pernicious influence of the troika Socrates-Plato-Aristotle, Athenians changed their notion of superior wisdom.

***

ARISTOTLE’S EUDEMONIA, OR BEING GOOD TO ONESELF AS THE HIGHEST PRINCIPLE:

The freedom that had made their ancestors, and other Greeks stand on the pinnacle of civilization, had been displaced by an obsession with self-flourishing (“Eudaimonism”).

An ethical system where Eudaimonia, that is good (eu) spirits (daimon) is viewed as the highest good, is the door to materialism and the lowest passions.

the problem about the pursuit of happiness as the highest good, is that human beings out-lion, lions. Let’s have Conan the Barbarian (1982) lead the charge against Aristotle’s pursuit of happiness:

“Mongol General: Hao! Dai ye! We won again! This is good, but what is best in life?

Mongol: The open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair.

Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life?

Conan: Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.

Mongol General: That is good! That is good.”

[Thanks “Wtquinn” a commenter from Scientia Salon!]

The point: our ancestors have been top predators for a few million years. A top predator, at some point, will take pleasure in deploying top ferocity. Lionesses and wolves have been seen adopting orphan baby preys, out of goodness, and that clearly make them happy. But, still, their business is ferocity.

One needs to base one’s ethics on a more stable base than one’s own perception of what constitute happiness.

***

PROPER ETHICS: SALAMIS. DYING FOR FREEDOM AS THE HIGHEST CALLING: :

An ethical system where dying for freedom is the highest calling is very different from one where one is pursuing the vague notion of “happiness”, and “self-flourishing”. Were the 300 with king Leonidas happy at Thermopylae? Yes! Why? They were happy to die for freedom. They were not just into their little self-flourishing as the Athenian captains confronting Antipater’s armada would be 170 years later.

The happiness of Themistocles’ sailors at the Battle of Salamis while their city burned in the background, and the invader Xerxes watched from a throne, came from fighting for causes bigger than themselves, freedom and justice. If they had been pursuing happiness, they would have fled, as Aristotle, faced with freedom and justice, did. Instead Themistocles’ men confronted a thousand ships.

Human beings cannot just pursue self-flourishing, because, instinctually, or as we moderns say, ethologically, human beings have evolved to make others in the group flourish, as an even higher good.

Salamis was perhaps the most important battle in the history of civilization. That’s when freedom looked for a fight, and broke the back of plutocracy, in spite of overwhelming odds.

375 freedom ships confronted a plutocratic armada of 1200. But the Greeks had better equipment, better training, better spirits, their cause was just, freedom on their sides. Born free, they knew how to swim (most Persians did not). The narrow confines prevented the vast Persian fleet to maneuver, and surround them.

The entire population of Athens had been moved to the island of Salamis. Themistocles had around 200 Athenian warships. When his Peloponnesian allies threatened to fold, he threatened to move the entire population of Athens to the Western Mediterranean (this is how Marseilles, Massilia, had been founded from Phocea). Athens had a colony there, Athenopolis (unfortunately called Saint Tropez nowadays).

Or, at least, this is what the immensely clever Themistocles succeeded to make Xerxes believe.

In one of the best plots ever written, Themistocles, using this sort of subtle disinformation and outright lies, misled emperor Xerxes into battle, in spite of the objections of the much more clever Artemisia, evil queen of Halicarnassus, commanding the fiercest squadron of the plutocratic fleet.

It does not take much to influence a human mind. Themistocles knew this, and played with Xerxes’ as a cat with a mouse. Artemisia, an experienced warrior, clearly saw that the battle in the narrow confines between the island and the mainland was an unnecessary risk.

***

SOCRATES, PLATO AND ARISTOTLE WERE LOVERS OF PLUTOCRACY:

Those who advocate that Socrates, Plato and Aristotle could not have possibly sabotaged civilization understand little to the power of the mind.

Generally, it goes like this: when one points at their philosophical failures, such as the advocacy of dictatorship by Plato, their partisans smirk that the fact that the fact the philosopher spent years with the tyrant of Syracuse has nothing to do with it (see Massimo’s intervention in the preceding essay).

However, the failure of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were not personal accidents (such as Francois Villon murdering a priest). Socrates’ courageous battle exploits and death are shining examples. Plato, and Aristotle exhibited personal courage, close and personal, licking the toes, of some of the worst tyrants in history.

Socrates, Plato and Aristotle’s failure was systemic, not personal. And it’s all of the same kind. They replaced freedom, equality, and brotherhood with an obsession with taking care of the oligarchic self. Instead it is the greater primacy that they accorded to some values which devalued.

The Athenian fleet was defeated at the Battle of Amorgos (322 BCE) and failed in stopping reinforcements to reach Antipater.

The Athenian and allied democrats were finally defeated in 322 BCE at the Battle of Crannon in central Thessaly helped by another Macedonian gangster, Craterus. They beat back the weary Athenians in a long series of cavalry and hoplite engagements. Once again, their spirits failed the Athenians. While they were not routed, Athens and her allies, spurning Demosthenes strident, and cogent warnings, sued for peace on Antipater’s terms.

Antipater forced Athens to dissolve her government and establish a plutocratic system in its stead. Only those possessing 2,000 drachmas or more could remain citizens. The Demos was viewed, correctly, by the Macedonians, as the cause of the war.

But the Demos wanted to be free, and Aristotle wanted slaves.

***

23 CENTURIES OF PLUTOCRACY FOLLOWED, BUT THAT’S NOT US, ETHICALLY, & ETHOLOGICALLY:

The very failure of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, made their success. The common denominator ethics that they promoted was favorable to tyrants, and that it is precisely why their work survived through the Dark Ages. Whereas those who defended freedom, equality and democracy were extinguished by the Christian censors and their plutocratic sponsors.

Am I advocating a return to some kind of paleo-state and, or, instinctual ethics?

Well, yes. Except it’s not a return, because we never left. We are what we are. Human ethology exists, and is a subset of primate ethology. We are 60 million years of evolution as primates.

What is the basic principle, the fundamental evolutionary force, of a primate? Higher, superior intelligence. How do we get it? Through independent minds then allowing their ideas to compete inside vast cultural system. Only openness, freedom and justice enable this independence. This was all pointed out in Pericles’ famous Funeral Oration. So it’s not like the plutocratic troika of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, never heard of the notion.

Instead, what Pericles celebrated, the glory of the all-thinking Demos, was exactly the opposite of what Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Antipater wanted.

Pericles was on the winning side, the side of Instinctual Ethics.

Monkey studies show that “instinctual ethics” is a fact. (Whatever “instinct” really mean: it could actually be logic masquerading as innate!) To talk about ethics without that fact front and central would be like talking about atoms, while discounting anything that may have been discovered after Lucretius.

Aristotle was the first biologist. He invented categories, now at the forefront of mathematics, where they increasingly replace old fashion algebra, by lifting up its essence into richer structures.

The ethical attacks of Socrates against (direct) democracy were always justified. What was not justified was the lack of temperance that made him throw the baby, democracy, with some of the problems it caused.

The intellectual troika from hell was all the more dangerous, that those were master thinkers. Aristotle was the first biologist. He invented categories, now at the forefront of mathematics, where they increasingly replace old fashion algebra, by lifting up its essence into richer structures.

The ethical attacks of Socrates against (direct) democracy were justified. What was not justified was the lack of temperance that made him throw the baby, democracy, with the bath, into the trash.

***

TOLERATING ARISTOTLE’S ETHICS IS TOLERATING PLUTOCRACY:

Their influence is still all too great, and solidly tied to minimizing the phenomenon of plutocracy, and how it influences people. A few hours ago, I met with an engineer, who reigns over a major international airport, a man of many languages and many countries. I fumed against Aristotle, but he told me: ”Yes, but we owe him everything!”

The exact opposite is true. Although the troika from hell made important contributions, it was much more important to have democracy survive and prosper.

Democracy is intelligence. If Athens had survived, and established a second, larger empire, displaced and replaced Rome, civilization could well have got millennia ahead… Although, of course, slavery would have had to be outlawed, be it only because it blocked technological progress (by discouraging and out-competing it).

So let’s sink the ethics of good spirits. Aristotle’s eudemonia. Instead let’s pursue the grim war of freedom against plutocracy, and the hellish superstitions which support it.

Some will smirk that plutocracy is not everything. But that’s like saying metastatic cancer is not everything. By killing the freedom of spirits, plutocracy kills what makes humans human and replaces it with the stupidity of primitive beasts.

History demonstrates this: Greek science, not just philosophy, tragedy (etc.) peaked immediately before Antipater, as Alexander’s executive regent, organized the fascist “Hellenistic” plutocratic dictatorships which ruled until the Roman Republic, a democracy, swept them away.

And peaked science did. In the last year of the Fourth Century BCE, Aristarchus proposed the heliocentric system, Euclid wrote the Elements, Archimedes invented Infinitesimal Calculus, and the Greek number system came very close to the one we use today.

Aristotle classifies democracy, the rule of We The People, as a deviant constitution. Being a crafty polemicist, he gives it a bone by saying in Politics III.11, that the multitude may be better than the virtuous few, sometimes. But that’s in an ocean of praise for aristocracy.

When he died in 322 BC, Aristotle named his student Antipater as executor-in-charge of his will. And what a will: destroy democracy, establish plutocracy. Enough said about Aristotle’s ethics.

Patrice Ayme’