Archive for the ‘Democracy’ Category

ADDED VALUE IN THE XXI CENTURY

March 9, 2015

PRODUCING SUPERIOR THINKING TO IMPROVE NOT JUST WORLD SOCIO-ECONOMY, BUT SURVIVAL:

Capital Exponentiate, Decapitate Wealth To Feed Minds:

Piketty’s “Capital In the XXI Century” argues that the return on capital is greater that that on labor: r>g. All economists from the pseudo-left fell on their knees, astounded by the depth of that observation. They obviously never studied history, let alone archeology.

In truth, Piketty’s big deal inequality, that r>g has been known for 12,000 years, as I have emphasized in countless essays, for years. I have even explained the mathematical-psychological reasons why r>g. Piketty has smirked that he discovered r>g when he wrote the book. (A case of arrogant ignorance buttressed by colossal stupidity: that r>g ought to have been the first law of economics. That it took centuries for economists to discover this cannot possibly be a matter of stupidity, but of the will, on the part of economists of not understanding how the masters who fed them got their power from.)

So Piketty claims he just discovered that r>g: maybe economists are not idiots, but they play some on TV? (Some are bound to think that Piketty should be my ally, and thus I should be nicer to him; however, correct philosophy tends to be done by being only friendly to truth.)

Homo Thrived In This Cold Climate For 2 Million Years (Georgia, Tusheti NP.) Thanks To Science & Technology

Homo Thrived In This Cold Climate For 2 Million Years (Georgia, Tusheti NP.) Thanks To Science & Technology

It was so well known, that the return on capital was higher than that on income, r>g, that all reasonably sustained societies had colossal, decapitating taxes on wealth.

By law, hook, or crook. And when this was not the case, when wealth became hereditary in an exponential way, disasters happened. Generally invasion and destruction.

This happened to all the plutocratically corrupt Chinese empires when Genghis Khan’s Mongols came down.

The peaceful variant is revolutions such as 1789 (for twenty years the king had been meekly trying to make the aristocracy pay enough taxes).

When a great Native American, or great Viking chief died, much of their possessions (it could thousands of horses) would be redistributed.

Time to re-learn the wisdom of the ancients.

***

SUPERIORITY OF THE WEST?

Why did the West become so superior? Or China, for that matter?

Technology. Superior technology. Coming from superior thinking. Both the Greeks and the Chinese had colossal contempt for barbarians. (In both cases it went so far that the Greeks lost everything, and the Chinese came very close to annihilation).

Around the year 1000 CE, the Vietnamese (it seems) invented new cultivars of rice, which could produce an entire crop, twice a year. The population of East Asia exploded accordingly.

A bit earlier, the Franks had invented new cultivars of beans. The Frankish Tenth Century was full of beans. Beans are nutritious, with high protein.

Homo is scientific and technological. Thus, two million years ago, pelt covered (tech!) Homo Ergaster lived in Georgia’s Little Caucasus, a pretty cold place in winter. And the population was highly varied genetically (showing tech and travel already dominated).

***

A GREATER OBSESSION WITH FREEDOM MADE THE WEST SUPERIOR:

Here is the very latest. Flour was found in England, in archeological layers as old as 10,000 years before present. It was pure flour: there were no husks associated. The milling had been done, far away. How far? Well the cultivation of wheat spread to Western Europe millennia later. The flour had been traded, and brought over thousands of miles. Most certainly by boat. Celtic civilization, which would rise 5,000 years later, was expert at oceanic travel.

What’s the broad picture? Not just that prehistoric Englishmen loved their flat bread, no doubt a delicacy. Advanced technology has permeated Europe for much longer than is still understood now by most historians. Remember that the iceman who died in a glacier, 5,000 years ago, was not just tattooed, and had fetched in the lowlands a bow made of special wood. More telling: he carried antibiotics.

China and the West diverged, because the philosophies of the Franks and the East were different. The Franks had outlawed slavery four centuries before the great divergence started. This helped freedom, especially the freedom to think of new technology and science.  (Frank = Free.)

The more enslaved a population, the less inventive. It is not just a cultural-psychological phenomenon. It may be epigenetic. The Franks were more ethologically correct, and that enabled to unleash full human epigenetic.

(Being endowed with full human capability, is perhaps why G.W. Bush was incredibly brazen when he became president, going to invade Iraq, whereas Obama was subdued, and just worked, under Summers’ orders, to save the established plutocratic order, like a little boy, obsequious servant of the great white masters; OK, Obama did not descend from slaves, yet he was exposed to the black slave culture, throughout, and somewhat clueless about it.)

The Germans had been obsessed with freedom since ever, and, since in particular, their first contacts with the Romans. All that Germanic freedom led to population explosions, and invasions of Greco-Roman lands, which, for centuries, were systematically cut down by hyper-disciplined Roman armies.

All this was brought into one mold by Consul Clovis, who, as Roman Imperator, and himself son of Roman Imperator Childeric (also elected king of the Salian Franks), made the soldiers of his army understand that they would have to be extremely disciplined too, under the penalty of death (Roman style, a revolting notion for free Germans).

Militarily, the Franks by combining freedom and discipline, were an undefeatable force ever since (the Mongols knew this all too well, thus did not send their scouts west of Croatia; then allied themselves to the Franks to capture Baghdad and Damas).

Free peasants had no slaves, but they needed help: domesticated beasts and mechanical advantage were thus evolved by Frankish society. When Europeans made it to China, they were astounded that people did everything, without using machines or beasts.

So not too many children, but then communal living: Middle Ages villages in Europe were commune-ist regimes. Exploitation of property was divided according to how many could work.

The end result was strong philosophical pressure for ever more advanced technology. Although China was ahead in some tech, as soon as Europe heard of it, it captured it greedily. That philosophy permeated all of Western European society. Peter the Great, emperor of Russia knew this so well, he went to study incognito as a worker in Dutch naval shipyards.

***

AMERICAN ECONOMIC DISCOURSE: A TROJAN HORSE

Does the drive to advanced tech dominate now?

Not as much as it used to.

Why? American plutocracy. And the “Nobel Prizes” of a whole army of obsequious plutophile servants thereof.

Because the spirit of all-conquering technology has been displaced by Capital in the XXI Century. And more specifically its USA monopolistic operators (such as the insufferable Bill Gates, and cohorts of financial operators). Technology is, and will stay, of course, the main and ultimate capital of humanity. That’s how Homo colonized the Caucasus, two million years ago.

Piketty, in his book, brushes technology off. Absurdly, he believes that tech can provide only a 1% return. That’s thoroughly stupid: inventing full Quantum Computers, for example,  would have tremendous consequences, as any device could be made hyper intelligent.

Yet, this sort of attitude makes Piketty an object of admiration in USA Academia.

Why? Because USA Academia is plutocratic through and through. Piketty’s ideas do not threaten plutocracy. Quite the opposite: they will allow it to survive. Diminished, true, but alive. My ideas would destroy plutocracy. Let alone the fact that it would take a long time to implement Piketty’s scheme. My schemes, being multi-dimensional, could be implemented faster, and start to bite right away.

(I do agree with several of Piketty’s propositions, such as a world cadastrum, and progressive taxation on capital: I have advocated them for more than a decade!)

***

PLUS OULTRE:

However, a European solar plane just took off from Dubai. It will go around the world on solar power alone. The main force behind this project, the inventor and pilot, the engineer Picard (scion of ancestors just like him) asserts that the global adoption of such technologies would lower energy waste by half.

Europeans, following the Europeans who had migrated to North America, were the richest, most powerful, better nourished people in the world, for five centuries, because their economies produced more ADDED VALUE than any other economies (in particular, better guns).

To re-establish relative riches, Europeans need to focus on what produced that superiority in added value production. That means technological superiority, and this is fed by a more educated population. More educated scientifically, and thus philosophically.

Philosophy, done in a humanly ethologically correct way, is the metaphysics of science. It all fits together. Anything else is an amputation of the possible. Of the humanly possible.

China understands this very well. At least the science part. (Not too sure about the philosophical part; without it, China may well follow the path of fascist Germany. It’s going that way, with a military budget bigger than France, Britain and Japan combined: $145 billion.)

How to do this?

How to add so much value from mind that superiority is re-established?

Well establish the correct philosophy, put it in power, teach it, finance free maximum quality education, free at all ages.

Pay by taxes on wealth, and large incomes, fortunes, in such a way that there would be a practical cap on wealth, as the Roman Republic used to have, when it really worked.

Decapitating wealth is important for the youth: it will show youth that material wealth to excess is such a bad thing, it had to be made unlawful. It will replace mind at the apex of what youth ought to aspire to, and be programmed by.

***

KEEPING A CIVILIZATION GRADIENT WILL SAVE BILLIONS:

Billions of lives, that is.

The usual partisans of insignificance, nihilism and masochism will no doubt whine that Euro-American economic ascendency is a bad thing. They prefer to be haughty slaves than responsible masters.

European scientific superiority led to a reasonably stabled world order. (Except for some populations of the Americas who got exterminated, thus clearing the lands for Europeans.)

In a world where everybody has the same weapons, and ecology is collapsing (still not raining in California, fourth year in a row, in the greatest drought in several millennia), it is to be feared that disorder will express itself as it has in the past: the sort of massacres that make entire populations disappear. That is what Netanyahu is thinking of…

So defining properly Capital in The XXI Century is not just economically and socially important. It is morally important, in the apocalyptic sense of “moral”.

Superior mind is the ultimate capital. Obviously hardly a notion that comes naturally to economists. As what is called “economics” is mostly a fake science, and famous economists are mostly people who have learned to lie about that fact.

When Piketty claims he just discovered r>g, 10,000 years after most of our ancestors, he demonstrates that. More generally, the same critique can be directed at entire fields such as most of theoretical physics and even mathematics, as funding from plutocrats has become ubiquitous. By buying the hierarchy, the plutocrats bought the thinking. That’s what they wanted. Thinking to be directed incorrectly.

We have see this before: this is how Aristotle, or more exactly his sponsors, nearly destroyed civilization. The difference? The stakes are much higher now.

Can I be more specific in my critique, give a hint of what is wrong with Academia? Most thinkers in Academia are too specialized. Right, much science requires hyper-specialization. Say when one is studying Pluto’s atmosphere (the Solar planet not the god of planet finance). One needs hyper-specialized science. However, there is also the science, and the thinking, about big questions. In those fields, hyper-specialization, unguided by the broad picture, can lead to error: look at much of theoretical physics, much of philosophy, much of economics.

It is precisely because Thomas Piketty is obviously pretty ignorant of history, that he believes he just discovered r>g. After 10,000 human societies made the  notion central to their cultures. It is also why economists do not even know that, during most of humanity’s history, money creation was not farmed out to private individuals (the bankers). So they cannot even feel that there is anything wrong with the present money creation system.

Ignorance allows the devil to hide in the details.

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

Live Within Our Means, Say Mean Plutocrats

December 5, 2014

Austerity Is A Conspiracy By Those Who, Having All The Money, Want Us To Have None:

What do plutocrats want? In the common, all too restrictive sense of plutocracy as the “rule of money”, “plutocracy” is supposed to mean that plutocrats want their money to rule.

Yet, plutocracy is not just about money. Even if one starts with “money”, one ends up with much more. Indeed, money is power onto others. By establishing charities, foundations, political financing, and other networks of influence, plutocrats extent invisibly their power beyond the horizon, and below the ground.

However Homo Sapiens Sapiens not being made to be submitted to others “power”, we have there, in this will to quasi-infinite plutocratic power, a form of cruelty, not to say, mayhem. Power struggles kill, among chimpanzees.

Britain Won Its Place In The World Through Ultra Massive Borrowing & Money Creation

Britain Won Its Place In The World Through Ultra Massive Borrowing & Money Creation

Notice that, with chimpanzees, even the alpha male has very little power: as soon as three of his subordinates gang up against him, he is toast. The same holds with wolves, or lions.

But civilization is all about power. When only a few have its reins, they become like gods. At least in their minds, habits, ways, and means. That’s why plutocrats, their obsequious servants, and those they have hypnotized, worry so much about “us living within our means”.

 

A Few Guys Have ALL The Power, What Could Go Wrong?

Whereas a modern bureaucrat, like Eichmann, can send millions to death. Some will say the analogy is in poor taste. But not so. People such as Obama, Hollande, Putin, can literally launch actions that, in the worst possible case, could lead quickly to the death of billions (it takes just one 300 kiloton thermonuclear bomb to destroy most of any city on Earth).

I do believe that so much power, in so few hands, in so few brains, is not just immoral, but unwise. This makes civilization highly unstable.

However, a meta-discourse has been held, not just logically, but emotionally: it is OK to have so much power in so few hands.

Let’s put aside the main problem aside. The main problem being that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that Czar Putin, for example, has more power than all the Czars who existed before him, put together: it’s not just that Stalin, had no H bombs. Both him, and Brezhnev, were worried by the Politburo (their top communist colleagues). Putin, by comparison reigns on a coterie of obsequious plutocrats, anxious about Polonium in their tea, or homicide by heart attack.

Not that Putin needs to give a direct order. For someone who can roughly kill half of Chechnya, and then get away with offering luxury homes there to his gregarious friend the “star”, not to say czar, Depardieu (not prosecuted for war profiteering, whereas the French government prosecutes commoners for basically nothing, commonly), letting it known to its secret services subordinates that he would love it if contradictors could just vanish, is elementary.

An aside here: when top official of the Nazi administration asked Adolf Hitler directly whether there was a systematic policy in place for killing Jews, Adolf Hitler firmly denied there was. At the Wannsee Holocaust conference, top Nazis confronted SS General Heydrich, and told him that Hitler had personally told them that it was not the policy of the Reich to kill the Jews. And they felt sure that, should they ask Hitler that same question again Hitler would give the same answer.

To that Heydrich icily replied, with a thin smile: ”Of course, he will!”

The fundamental problem with the top Nazis was not that they had some very bad ideas, it was that they had too much power. That enormous power (greatly enabled by the dog-like submissivity of the average German at the time), led them in a quick succession of choices, ever more abysmal, starting in January 1933. (To this, as soon as 1933, the French and American Republics reacted by engaging in giant military spending to equip themselves for a world war; Poland and Britain, instead, reacted by becoming Hitler’s best friends… They would realize their mistake in 1939)

 

If A Few Guys Can Fry Us All, Why Can’t They Own Us?

If it’s OK to risk thermonuclear Armageddon with a few morons in control (for vicious moron, consider Putin), why is it not OK to risk an economic apocalypse, let alone a climate apocalypse, with even more morons in control?

Is it not more… democratic? If Obama has too much power, does not giving ever more power to the Koch Brother, Bill Gates, and the Z guy from Facebook counterbalance that?

In any case, bleat the sheep, if plutocrats have all the power, they take all the decisions, and we can rest.

So, indeed, we have to ask again, what do plutocrats want? What train of evolutionary thought do they come from?

Well, simply the cruel streak which leads to extermination. The main problem of man has been man. For millions of years, being the top predator.

 

Insane Austerity Is Plutocracy Under Another Name:

One of the appreciated commenters on this site, Chris Snuggs, made the observation that:

It is not “austerity for austerity’s sake”, Patrice. It is simply the principle of “living within one’s means”. NO COUNTRY IN EUROPE IS DOING THIS. The idea that “ending austerity” is the solution is risible leftist claptrap. It is the failure to live within our means that has led to this as politicians at all levels either bribe voters with the latters’ own money, or in the case especially of Italy and Greece simply steal it.

If it were just Italy and Greece, we would be safe. Stealing from politicians is a worldwide phenomenon.

The son of the preceding (“socialist”) president of Senegal, found himself with a fortune of more than a billion dollars. After a change of president, judges put him in jail, in the hope of finding out where the money came from. Senegal is one of the world’s poorest countries (having no resources of any sort, but for fish devoured by Korean factory ships, which, I am sure, paid very well; the fish came back after the new president asked the Koreans to pay, and the French empire lent a military jet which takes pictures).

Living within our means” sounds good, but a sovereign country is not a family (contrarily to what Obama said).

The money within a country is not a store of value (only gold reserves are; most countries got rid of them). Instead, money enables the population to do a number of things. If there is not enough of money around, these things cannot be done.

Moreover, money, like blood, has to circulate.

However, it’s not doing that anymore, as the wealthiest store it, and have less use for it than the lower classes.

 

How Not To Live Within The Means Of the Wealthiest:

Take the case of France.

Suppose France borrowed a trillion Euros on the free market, at the present rate of less than 1%. Investors, in their despair, are ready to lend to France at that rate, on the ten year bond.

Such a borrowing would allow the government to augment enormously its spending: it could pay for the best universities in the world (as China is presently trying to do), it could finance all sorts of fundamental research, it could even fabricate large Thorium reactors, with the whole economy to go with them (mines in Brittany, U 233 breeders, etc.). Presto, no more energy and CO2 crisis, and reactors which could be sold worldwide.

The pessimist would bemoan that we cannot afford it.

Of course we can: it would cost, nothing.

How so?

Hopefully, inflation, over the next ten years, will be 1% per year, entirely cancelling the interest payments. Higher inflation, though, would devour the principal.

Is this all fancy? Today the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Britain’s finance and economy minister), G. Osborne, announced that Great Britain will, finally, reimburse its First World War debt. How? By borrowing at 4%, the lowest interest in Britain for a very long time.

Says Osborne: “This is a moment for Britain to be proud of. We can, at last, pay off the debts Britain incurred to fight the first world war. It is a sign of our fiscal credibility and it’s a good deal for this generation of taxpayers. It’s also another fitting way to remember that extraordinary sacrifice of the past.”

Actually it’s even better than that: some of the debt to be repaid comes from the Crimean War, the wars against revolutionary France, and even the South Sea Bubble (three centuries ago).

 

Borrowing Can Buy You The World:

As Dominique Deux, another esteemed commenter on this site, reminded me: “Britain did not get to be the world’s first industrial power by “living within her means” but by extensive long-term borrowing.”

Right.

It is even better than that: The Bank of England, the world’s first central bank, was created to support the Royal Navy. Basically, if the Navy needed money, the Bank would print it.

That was put to good use a century later. France was much larger economically, economically, not to say intellectually, than Britain, so fighting the French superpower seemed ridiculous. However, as France was in the way, this is exactly what Britain did in 1756-1815. Paying Prussia as an attack dog, creating a huge Navy, etc.

How?

By borrowing extravagantly. So much borrowing that Britain won, but for the little problem of the French engineered creation of the American Republic (a foundation which proved the undoing of both France and Britain…)

 

To Make Money, Government Can Just Grab It From The Filthy Rich:

Famously, confronted to the invasion of Francia by the Arab, Syrian, Berber, and generally hysterically Muslim armies, and navies, in 721 CE, the Merovingian government of Prime Minister (and effective head of state) Charles Martel, just nationalized the Catholic Church, selling its precious metals, and stones.

That was a stroke of genius, as it defeated both Christianism and (what the Franks viewed as) its Islamist sect. (OK, it took a full generation of total war.)

That method is more available, the more plutocrats there are.

Osborne (out hero of the day, the conservative plutophile who heads things financial in the UK), spoke yesterday of introducing a “Google Tax” of 25%. Says the Guardian: “Responding to outrage about the minimal contributions big corporations make to European governments, the Treasury is targeting Silicon Valley companies such as Google, Amazon and Apple, but the measures will reach beyond technology to high street chains such as Starbucks.

“We will make sure that big multinational businesses pay their fair share,” assured Osborne. That will not be easy: one is talking here about what some view as the richest criminal enterprises in the world.

Facebook made something like 100 million dollars of profit in Britain, and paid not even five thousand dollars of tax. The Guardian: “Google paid just £20m tax in the UK last year. But its actual British revenues were £5.6bn. The group as a whole has a profit margin of 20%, suggesting the company’s real profits in the UK could have been as high as £1.2bn. Taxed at the proposed 25% rate, this would deliver £280m a year in revenues for the Treasury from just one company.”

Having plenty enough of money to accomplish important work, is pretty much how the West went through the 30 glorious years of strong economic expansion after World War Two.

In practice, though, debt can be reduced by taxing the wealthy. Why to borrow from the rich, when one can tax them? Well it all depends if one lives in plutocracy (borrow), or in democracy (tax).

Under general-president Eisenhower, the wealthiest were made to contribute (Ike used his 93% upper margin tax rate; it was of course the same in Europe).

That’s how to live within the better means we could create for ourselves.

This means, first, defanging what, and those who, have too much power, be it thermonuclear, political, economic, or even ideological.

Democracy is not just a way of life, but the way to survival… Just what the cruelest, and fiercest instincts do not want.

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’

Anti-plutocratic Tirolean to Common Sense?

October 13, 2014

Is this site attributing the Nobels?

It sure looks like it: I approve strongly of three Nobels in a row. Amazing. On Friday, the Nobel was attributed to a French writer who worries a lot about Nazism, Modiano. Then there was the anti-sexist, anti-Islamist Peace Prize to Malala.

Today professor Tirole, a French economist at the public university in Toulouse, got the Nobel in economics. Mr. Tirole pondered the best regulations so that large, powerful firms in industries such as banking and communications would act in society’s interest. that’s one of my familiar themes, and I go much further.

It’s the first Nobel in economy in 10 years who is not a citizen of the USA. Are we in an increasingly terrible socio-economic situation just from that monopoly? Tirole is the most American of French economists: a “polytechnicien”, he got an economy PhD from MIT.

He is depicted as “liberal” (right wing pro-capitalist in French parlance), because he believes in share holders’ rights, and that corporations should just worry about profits. As an extreme left wing progressive nut, I, paradoxically, agree with both points.

However how do I reconcile this with what I call “governmentalism”? Well, they go hand in hand.

According to governmentalism, the main actor in economics is the government. That’s pretty much obvious and was even true on Caribbean islands ruled by pirates: pirates, too, had government, and it ruled their economy (and that’s true to this day, except the pirates use finance instead of swords).

Much of what passes today for the free market is little more than global monopolies, organized crime and deregulated madness.

Jean Tirole, defending the real owners, the shareholders, has done important work exposing executive overcompensation, what I call the CEO class, and over-greedy corporate hegemony.

Here is the introduction of Roland Bénabou and Jean Tirole’s “working” paper on the “Bonus Culture: Competitive Pay, Screening, and Multitasking”. (Executive overcompensation, etc.):

“Recent years have seen a literal explosion of pay, both in levels and in di¤erentials, at the top echelons of many occupations. Large bonuses and salaries are needed, it is typically said, to retain “talent” and “top performers” in finance, corporations, medicine, academia, as well as to incentivize them to perform to the best of their high abilities. Paradoxically, this trend has been accompanied by mounting revelations of poor actual performance, severe moral hazard and even outright fraud in those same sectors. Oftentimes these behaviors impose negative spillovers on the rest of society (e.g., bank bailouts), but even when not, the firms involved themselves ultimately suffer: large trading losses, declines in stock value, loss of reputation and consumer goodwill, regulatory fines and legal liabilities, or even bankruptcy.

This paper proposes a resolution of the puzzle, by showing how competition for the most productive workers can interact with the incentive structure inside firms to undermine work ethics–the extent to which agents “do the right thing” beyond what their material self-interest commands. More generally, the underlying idea is that highly competitive labor markets make it difficult for employers to strike the proper balance between the benefits and costs of high-powered incentives. The result is a “bonus culture” that takes over the workplace, generating distorted decisions and significant efficiency losses, particularly in the long run. To make this point we develop a model that combines multitasking, screening and imperfect competition, thus making a methodological contribution in the process.”

Philosophically it can be explained and said much more simply: a culture of greed has taken over.

One should even say a MOOD of greed takes over. Considering recent discoveries in ethology and epigenetics, hell itself is the bottom of that abyss.

Indeed. Just like some fishes, according to circumstances, modify their genetics, and females turn into males, and some males even in “super males”, the top officers of today’s society turned into predators predating onto the rest of society.

It was high time that some authorities (and the Nobel committee is a small sort of authority) recognizes something in that direction. The work of reflection is just beginning.

The philosophy of banking has not been mulled enough. Nor that, more generally, of mighty corporations.

Those are gigantic institutions with a para-governmental role. They are big enough to influence governments, society, law enforcement, and the law itself. The immensely rich heads of major corporations are received by heads of states, as if they were other heads of state.

Yet, officially, banks and corporations are not led by the social good, and other higher principles, but by greed. Just greed. When those greedsters are celebrated as if they were statesmen, “philanthropists”, or even philosophers or “geniuses”, greed is recognized as philanthropic, and genial.

The less we regulate those giant corporations, the more powerful they get, and the more they can change the mind of civilization itself, towards greed. For example executives of Google were loud, clear, and acknowledged by the British government itself, to be of great influence in deciding educational programs: they are credited for making coding mandatory at age 5 in all schools.

Are Britons to become all little googlers? Ogling the mighty founders of Google, who travel the world in their personal jumbo jets, while paying no significant taxes, and being received by heads of states on their knees, another proof of their genius?

Yet Google siphons its multi-billion Euros profits in Europe through Ireland, to lower its tax bill, and then send said profits to paradise islands with no taxation whatsoever. In other words, Google seems to be an organized crime corporation, as it avoids paying tax nearly entirely. Mafias, and other crime syndicates can only admire such brazen arrogance, and no doubt envy Google after tax profit margins.

European regulators condemned Google for cheating with its search engine, to bring itself even more profits, and now say that Google is ignoring their pleas. Yet, we are putting the fate of youngsters under Google’s maniacal guidance.

This is just Google, the Do Evil company.

All other mighty corporations are applying similar tricks. GE, the oldest company in the Dow Jones, paid no tax for years. Disneyland France, the number one entertainment center in Europe, claimed giant losses, and had to be rescued by Disney (while forgetting to say said losses were from paying giant fees to Disney itself, probably re-routed through some tax heaven).

The situation with the banking system is even worse. As Marx noticed, banks have a monopoly. He left it at that. Now we need to talk.

A monopoly of what? Banks create most of the money. Thanks to the states.

So here we have people, the bankers, unelected and unsupervised, who do not have to justify themselves, operating in secrecy, who, through credit, give most of the money which exists in the world, to whoever they like. It turns out, they love themselves.

And, officially, all the motivation that this sort of secret government, by corporations, for corporations, has, is greed.

Time to ask them question, observe, study, and regulate them.

Economy does not need any more equation to burnish its reputation as a pseudo-science. Economy needs a thorough rethinking, of a philosophical nature.

Otherwise the employment situation, which Tirole, after getting his prize, just described as “catastrophic” will only get worse.

Employment is, of course, a crucial pillar of democracy: no employment, no democracy. The economy is more now about plutocracy than anything else: Tirole and company have lifted just a little bit of the veil.

Patrice Ayme’

Philosophy Is Moody

October 7, 2014

Philosophy Is About Moods, Systems of Moods, Not Just Systems of Thoughts

Science creates extremely precise systems of thoughts. This is why it is obsessed with equations, which are, first of all, rigid structures.

Philosophy is the domain of guess work. That makes it crucial to all new fields of enquiry: they all have to start somewhere, most often with guesswork (although serendipity can play a role, as when Fleming discovered penicillin).

As it is rich with possibility, rather than been just tied to precise logic, new philosophy is more about vague emotion, per force, than the new science, or the new law, it will orient towards, and give rise to.

If philosophy cannot teach precise things, precise things comparable to Einstein’s gravitational equation, what does it teach?

Some have accused me of making the mistake of judging a philosophy by the philosopher who created it. However, I am not that naïve. Instead, I enlighten the former with the later.

Montaigne’s philosophy may sound plutocratic friendly to a sharp critic (much of his essays have to do with the lives of plutocrats, generally heaping praise on them for astounding prowess on the battlefield, or the fairness of their magnanimous rule). A look at Montaigne’s life confirms that here was a man of wealth and means, closest, and most obsequious, to the highest (such as his friend and accomplice Henri IV), and who knew how to advance himself that way. So Montaigne’s plutophile tendencies are confirmed by the considerable interest he had to wallop in the mud.

In striking contrast with the haughty objections of my critics, many hold that philosophies are ways of life, they are nothing without the examples of the lives of those who proposed them.

Some have tried to make philosophy scientific, thus throwing unwittingly, the stillborn baby with the bath.

Verily, science itself is often not that scientific, except in a very restricted sense. Much scientific progress is about finding that science one thought was well established, urbi et orbi, is actually false, in some circumstances.

On second inspection, Einstein’s equation is not that precise: as Einstein himself admitted, the right hand side of the equation, the mass-energy tensor, is junk. (Quantum Field Theory has confirmed this.)

But Einstein’s equation is at least very precise in a very restricted domain (say in Earth’s orbit).

Not so with philosophy.

Instead of building systems of thoughts with extremely pointed relevance, philosophies are more general: they build systems of mood. Perhaps, instead of just living inside neuronal networks, philosophy will be tied to more vague emotional structures: organs such as the amygdala, or glial networks.

Philosophers create moods. Philosophies are, to a great extent, moods.

What a better example than “Stoicism”? “Stoic”, initially a place, a portico, from which a philosopher taught, became an adjective, a noun, a concept. And certainly a mood.

Same for Mr. Sade, and Mr. Maso.

It ought to be obvious that nature did not wait for the guy from the portico, or Sade, or Maso, to invent stoicism, masochism, or sadism. All what the philosophers found was labels, distinctions, and the revelation of the moods to go with them. They did not replace 600 million years of evolution.

Creating a nefarious mood is how Heidegger helped to generate Nazism: in conjunction with the respect he was endowed with, as the young rector of his university, and his aura as master thinker, by writing an unreadable book, Heidegger sang the praises of Nazi philosophy.

Heidegger extolled the Führerprinzip, the exact core of Nazism. Thus Heidegger made many clear statements supporting Nazism before critical junctures. Such as a major referendum in Fall 1933.

Heidegger’s philosophy (love of Führerprinzip), and Heidegger himself, the philosopher, helped the establishment of Hitler’s dictatorship. Big time.

Similarly Aristotle celebrated what he celebrated as the “first and most divine“, and… “straightest” regime, kingship.

Unbelievably, some philosophers assert that these political positions of Aristotle have nothing to do, and did not help the man closest to Aristotle, and also the worst king ever, Antipater, the single handed destroyer of all Greek civilization.

Aristotle clearly asserted that democracy was the “least bad of the deviant regimes”. Yes, deviant. Aristotle said democracy was the “rule of the indigent”.

Certainly those clear, stridently anti-democratic statements of Aristotle generated a mood of admiration for kings such as Aristotle’s closest souls, or aristocracy in general, (“straight” regimes), while heaping contempt on “devious” democracy.

Aristotle created a mood, as the Nazi philosopher Rosenberg created a mood. Rosenberg was, rightfully, hanged at Nuremberg. Heidegger should have been punished, at the very least, with a long prison sentence.

While Aristotle’s closest associates established “aristocracy”, and plutocracy, all over, Zeno was born.

Zeno was born in an age when stoicism was as far as one could disagree with what came to be known as the “Hellenistic” regimes. The mood was definitively to let kings and aristocrats rule.

And to view We The People as “indigent” (to call the master aristocrat, Aristotle). Was Aristotle the Rosenberg of the Greek world? Just asking.

“Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early 3rd century BC. (It’s named after the portico from which he taught.) The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and that a sage, or person of “moral and intellectual perfection”, would not suffer such emotions.” (Per Wikipedia.)

What is a “destructive emotion”? Is anger a destructive emotion? Is anger towards a lion destructive? Is that bad? Shall we go on our four and bleat peacefully instead? Notice the naivety: persons of moral and intellectual description do not suffer “destructive emotions”.

So if you want to destroy Xerxes’ fleet at Salamis, are you imperfect?

Clearly Stoicism was the perfect emotion, the perfect mood, for the Hellenistic dictatorships. In the entire Greek world, youngsters who aspire to wisdom were taught that they should not destroy… their masters, the heirs of the closest friends of Aristotle, the heirs of the court which Aristotle knew as a child.

Naturally most Hellenistic regimes allied themselves with Carthage against the Republic. The one and only directly democratic republic in existence at the time. Rome.

The Roman Republic wiped out Aristotle’s insufferable children of greed.

We The People won then. But, before soon, the leading classes of Rome, including Cicero, were worshipping at the altar of Aristotle’s mood: kingship is “first and most divine”. Hence the Princeps (“First”) and most divine Augustus, soon to smother civilization below his family.

Time to learn something.

Aristotle put us in a very bad mood. And Zeno’s sulking did not help.

Patrice Ayme’

The West: Hong Kong In Reverse?

October 5, 2014

In Hong Kong, students are demonstrating. Beijing plutocrats are throwing at them what they can: professional politicians, popular singers, and professional gangsters from the renowned triads.

This is what happens when you educate your youths too well: they get ideas, and contest the rule of the alpha male, in this case the omnipotent president Xi (who claims an official right to rig elections by choosing the three candidates to lead Hong Kong; in the West, the process is the same, but behind closed doors).

Cynics will sneer that this was the whole idea about degenerating the educational system in the West since the (world) disturbances of 1968 (which topped in the USA, France, and Prague). Precisely to avoid what is happening in Hong-Kong now.

How come the left in the West is a right? The answer is obvious: “democracy” is just a sham.

Let’s nevertheless waste a few minutes to describe the right that calls itself a left…. Now that France has a so called “socialist” government which governs on the right of the official French right, this burning question comes back to the fore, six years after Obama sold himself, body and soul, to the greediest financial sector in the history of civilization.

In the last 20 years, the self-described “left” came to power in the USA (twice: Clinton, Obama; moreover Reagan had to govern with a Congress controlled by democrats), in Germany (Schroeder, and now an union government of CDU and SPD), in Britain (a decade of Blair, Brown). France is the extreme of that: she enjoyed decades of “socialist” rule (Mitterrand, Jospin, Hollande).

The result is everywhere the same: plutocracy has kept encroaching (as depicted in Piketty’s “capital). There is even worse: the educational systems have collapsed, all over the West.

Indeed, in 1900, the West had, by far the best educational systems in the World. Now the results are eloquent. They are established by PISA, a subdivision of the OECD (the Organisation De Co-operation Economique et Development, in its original French; it was founded, and is based, in Paris).

France, Britain and the USA completely fail their new generations. Refined tests on problem solving show that the youngsters of these nations are three years late in their mental development on Asian students.

Apparently, the mental retardation has set quite a while ago, because present date politicians do not understand the problem. It’s simple, though: these countries made a huge effort in national education a century ago. Not so much anymore.

To get a good education in 1950, one went to public school. Now one goes to private school. The quality of education is just as abysmal, studies suggest. But the networking is everything

Valls is a theoretician of greed: he can’t imagine anything else as a human motivation. At least that’s what he said as much about GPA.

It’s a bit like Lenin’s apology of dictatorship. Lenin could not imagine a more effective government than dictatorship.

Valls is not pecuniary greedy, or let’s say he can wait, as the greed for power is even more direct than the one for money. My tolerance exhausted itself after he made Macron economy minister. Macron’s career is a short resume’ of the genetics of the cancer that infects the West most: a know-nothing, made into a top finance inspector who teaches the world’s most notorious bank how to evade taxes and financially conspire, thus putting himself into orbit for highest rule.

The Romans had the Cursus Honorum, we now have the Cursus Damnarum. In the Cursus Honorum, would-be politicians, after a top education, became first top officers in the Roman army. And then, only then, would go back to politics.

Because Rome had strict term limits, politics was spread among the many. For example a Consul had full power for just a month, and then, after his one year term, could not be re-elected for another year.

Here, of course I am talking of the full Roman Republic, not the diseased system which agonized for centuries after Augustus came to power. Conventional historians prefer to talk about the latter, because they are the Gibbons of the plutocratic system we have the dubious honor to enjoy.

How could the so-called left not be a right?

It’s all about how politicians are selected. First, they are most greedy. They are all about the Will To Power.

Second, if not 100% greedy, they are somewhat deranged: they really believe that, with their puny minds, and extravagantly modest propositions, in these most alarming circumstances, they will really make a difference.

Third, they give themselves what scientific psychologists, the ethologists, call “moral license”. That’s the idea that, if one has made what one perceives as a good deal, or has the right to trample others, somewhat.

Indeed, the leaders of the West now, in their collective, have rights not really different from that of the omni-president Xi and his colleagues. It is for example against the law in France to insult one of the goons of the government. The powers that the top politicians in the USA have, are awesome.

And forget about checks and balances, as the presidency of W. Bush demonstrated! The entire USA was committed to a war crime course in 2003 with as much ease as Nazi Germany in 1933.

And please don’t tell me that’s ancient history. The present war against ISIS/ISIL/ “Caliphate”/Daech springs directly from this. The essence of the power of that organization is that the tribes that the USA struck against in 2003 are now sitting on their hands at best (when they are not outright helping the Islamist insurgents).

This entire political system of the West rests on greed and delusion. It’s a system of thoughts and moods, where greed, sugar-coated with the appearance of altruism, rules.

Blossoming plutocracy is a consequence. And the more it goes, the more education, reflection and civilization, degenerate.

The type of remedy needed can be observed in the streets of Hong-Kong.

It is easy for the Hong-Kong protesters: they want what the West already has. In the West what is needed has to be invented. Looking around (Switzerland), or learning history (fully Republican Rome, Athens), will help the imagination.

The real problem is that there is no progressive guidance. A proof is my struggle in philosophical circles right now to impose the correct view on Aristotle. Aristotle was first and foremost, the greatest architect of plutocracy ever. That’s how, and why, he got to be viewed as the greatest philosopher ever.

Everybody drank the poisonous cool-aid, ever since.

Something similar is happening now, live: Krugman’s position of Quantitative Easing (giving money to the largest, most powerful banks) is (still) viewed as highly progressive… And so apparently, is austerity.

And where is the money found to fund all this austerity? Some of it is found all the way into the bone. Fundamental education (That’s now called the “Common Core” in the USA), and fundamental research.

Obama is urging schools to teach the Common Core, and that’s good. (It’s even better that it costs him nothing, as the Federal Education budget is just 1%. Always this 1% thing.)

Maybe, if he had been taught the Common Core, Prime Minister Valls would be able to logically determine he stands on the right of the National Front’s Marine Le Pen, in several dimensions.

Maybe, if he had been taught the Common Core, Obama would fund fundamental research: unbelievably, he has been cutting into the bone there… Just when everything is becoming possible, the leadership of the West is trying to make the impossible possible, by closing the future to progress.

Patrice Ayme’

ARISTOTLE DESTROYED DEMOCRACY

September 28, 2014

Abstract: Aristotle was, in many ways, a great philosopher, and even, one should say, scientist. However, Aristotle replaced the supremacy, and rule, of freedom, openness, intelligence, and the vote of We The People, by the “pursuit of happiness“, or general “feel good” (eudemonia). So doing, Aristotle demolished the natural, instinctual, debating human ethics, which had triumphed in Athens in the two preceding centuries.

The love of Aristotle for dictatorship (“monarchy”, he called it) fatally weakened the animal spirits, the human ethology, without which democracy is impossible (that involves the love of debate, a form of combat distinct from eudemonia). Thus, more fundamentally than even Christianity, and not just by defending slavery extensively, Aristotle and his atrocious, mass murdering, yet trusted, and beloved, pupils, students and friends, launched the mental processes 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, for millennia to come. However the way they changed it, in some important ways civilization cannot like, because if it did, and it did all too much already, it would be self-destructive.

***

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’


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Patterns of Meaning

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Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

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Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

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Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

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Writer, Editor, Berliner

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Defending Scientism

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Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

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