Archive for the ‘Roman History’ Category

How Theodosius The Great’s Fanaticism Collapsed The Roman Empire

May 9, 2020

Augustus Valens, senior emperor, got killed in the disastrous defeat of Adrianopolis. In spite of the admonition of the Frank Richomeres, who told Valens of the proximity of the large, experienced and recently victorious Occidental Roman Field Army, Valens tried to solve the problem all by himself. Valens seems to have been driven beyond reason by the jealous mood of the Bible god. [1] 

Valens’ brother, Valentinian I, had named him Augustus. Valentinian himself then made his teenage son Gratian co-emperor with him in Occident (the same sort of arrangement Marcus Aurelius had disastrously opted for, two centuries earlier, by elevating the teenage Commodus). According to Ammianus, “Valentinian I hated the well-dressed and educated and wealthy and well-born“. Valentinian was an anti-intellectual, and brought others of the same persuasion to power. Just when the empire needed maximum smarts, the opposite road was selected.

Nineteen (!) year old emperor Gratian, a fanatical Christian under the influence of expert manipulator Ambrose, bishop of Milan, agreed to let Theodosius replace Valens. Gratian had been co-Augustus in Occident, named that way by his father… A Christian who hated intellectuals. He father died during a fit of anger he directed at some German ambassadors.

Theodosius’ own father, Flavius Theodosius, had been a supreme commander, Comes Britanniarum (British top General, companion of the emperor). He had put down a “Great Conspiracy” in Britain, and one in Mauritania, the rebellion of Firmus. As a reward, he was then executed (!). Pluto-kratia; when evil (Pluto) is in power (kratia), knives fly in all directions. His son had served under him, and retired in Spain.  

Theodosius son of Theodosius had become a famous soldier in his own right. Dux Moesiae, he drove back Sarmatians who had invaded Moesia. So, shortly after the disaster of Adrianopolis, the 33 year old Theodosius, was called upon, came out of retirement and became emperor of the Orient.

Theodosius I; Very Roman In Appearance, Very Rotten Inside

Such were the Byzantine complexities of the Roman State at the time: something was going on, but we don’t know what it was… because Christian fanatics destroyed the history books written during the Late Empire (one of those comprised 22 volumes, all lost; presumably Christianism didn’t look good enough, even to the Christians). Theodosius the Son was a fanatical Christian of the Nicene creed. He found himself Augustus, and immediately enforced that creed, decreeing punishment against “heretics”… At the whim of the emperor (all the way up to torture to death).

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All Too Christian Biased and Traditional Historiography Has Theodosius I Upside Down:

The usual description of Emperor Theodosius found in old history books celebrate him in terms similar to those reserved to Constantine. Typically Theodosius is described as a great Roman emperor because he made peace with the Goths, extirpated Paganism, and defeated the “usurper” Eugenius, unifying the empire under his steady hand. This is a first reading, a reading at a distance, superficially true, yet violently poisonous if swallowed: out of it came the reputation of the Catholicism Inquisition for humanism, charity, wisdom and goodness.

My interpretation is quite the opposite. Emperor Theodosius established the Inquisition and made himself its enforcer. Although the Franks discontinued that barbarity in the following century, and for the five centuries after that, it would reappear in 1026 CE (and thereafter fester for eight centuries…) In the late Middle Ages, when the feudal aristocrats encountered difficulties with a restive populace, religious terror, helped by the universities, came in handy to accuse anybody who was too smart for the comfort of the established order. The Catholic fascism exerted by Theodosius brought the massive systematic destruction of books and libraries, for example that of the world’s greatest library in Alexandria. Ths was not a detail. It was the systematic annihilation of the written word, and of all of culture and knowledge. If it was not of a Christian nature it had to die (so we know of non-Christians, mostly from the critique fanatical Christians made of them!)

De facto, after the execution of Gratian by Maximus, and especially after the death of the latter, Theodosius was sole emperor of the empire (until the “usurpation” of Eugenius).    

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Theodosius Having Opened The Empire To Goths And Huns, then Destroyed The Occidental Roman Army:

Far from pacifying the Barbarians, Theodosius, not content with making the Goths into co-leaders of the empire, also allied himself with the Huns, introducing them as military muscle inside the empire as early as 384 CE 9he did it again, eight years later, and this time the Huns didn’t leave, nor could they be caught). Theodosius also promoted to the highest command of the empire the Visigoth Alaric and the half Vandal Stilicho. Alaric and Stilicho dominated the politics and military operations of the Occidental empire in the 400-410 CE period (Stilicho was executed in 408 and Alaric seized Rome in 410 CE).

Valentinian II was suicided, some say, possibly by agents of the chief of the occidental Roman army, the very experienced Frank Arbogast (nephew of Flavius Richomeres). Under the Arbogast-Eugenius leadership, the ancestral religious rites were once again performed openly and the Altar of Victory was restored.

The very young Occidental emperor seemed to have had committed suicide. So it’s not clear that Eugenius was illegitimate. However, pushed by the mother of the defunct, Theodosius decided to pretend, after many months, that the young emperor had been suicided… And thus that Eugenius was illegitimate (as most historians have been paid to love monarchs and the established order, and tend to concur with Theodosius). 

The battle of Frigidus was the last stand of the old, proven ways and secularism against fanatical, scorched earth Catholicism. Emperor-usurper Eugenius fronting for Arbogast, the Frank heading the Occidental Roman army, fought Theodosius and his barbaric allies. Theodosius’ army was composed nearly half of Goths. They paid a heavy price on the first day (10,000 Goths killed). On the second day, Theodosius’ Goths won, thanks to the sort of peculiar hurricane  wind  which often ravages that particular valley. The wind blew in the face of the Occidental Roman army, defeating its artillery, and helping that of their adversaries. Thus, although the 55,000 soldiers of Arbogast more numerous and more experienced army should have won, they were defeated. The hurricane could only be interpreted as a sign that Bible God was stronger than Hercules (under the banner of whom the Occidental Roman army was fighting).

That catastrophic battle is generally not mentioned… Obviously because historians steeped in Christianism view it as a great victory against the forces of the past… The obverse of my point of view, which is that Pagans and Atheists were much more tolerant. But, basically, at Frigidus, two thirds of the really experienced Roman field army was annihilated.

Although the Roman army in 378 CE, just before Adrianopolis had comprised 500,000 men most were garrison soldiers manning the Limes. They were useless: invaders blitzkrieged around them, and cut them from the back. The total Roman field army was less than 100,000, and the only superlative force. Maybe 30% of the total field army had been killed at Adrianopolis. Then 55% were defeated by that hurricane at Frigidus. So basically there was no more Roman Field Army by 395CE!   

The situation didn’t escape potential invaders. Frigidus was immediately followed by German invasions targeting Illyricum (present day Western Balkans). Stilicho, a half Vandal, then regent installed by Theodosius, used the army present at Frigidus to try to repel the invaders: there was nothing else. And as I said that army, which got very lucky at Frigidus, was half composed of green, inexperienced troops. The only experienced troops were Alaric’s Goths (and that’s why they conquered Rome, 16 years later). 

One often encounters historians baffled by the fall of the Roman Occident to the Germans. Those dense gentlemen are so alien to military matters that they fail to realize that, once your empire has no army, if there are barbarians at the gates, the empire falls. Indeed the massive invasions started immediately after Frigidus. The mass crossing of the frozen Rhine on December 31, 406 CE, by many German nations, occurred only 12 years and three months after Frigidus.

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Christian Terror Expanded:

Constantine had been prudent, Valentinian had delayed. But the ideology of Bible God condoned the greatest excesses of fascist oligarchism unchained. However the ambitious Ambrose, bishop of Milan, once governor of a Province, exerted great influence on the teenage emperor, Gratian. 

Vicious principles of religious jurisprudence were established, to punish who still adhered to the ceremonies of their Roman ancestors: that the tolerant magistrate was, in some measure, guilty of the crimes which he neglected to strike, prohibit or punish; and that the idolatrous worship of fabulous deities and real daemons was the most abominable crime against the State.

Saint. Ambrose (tom. ii. de Obit. Theodos. p. 1208 [ed. Bened.]) expressly praises and recommends the zeal of Josiah in the destruction of idolatry. The language of Senator Julius Firmicus Maternus had argued earlier (348 CE) in “De errore profanarum religionum” p. 467, edit. Gronov. [Rotterod. 1743]) is piously inhuman. It was altruistic to forcefully convert Pagans. They will thank the Emperor for forcing them to embrace Christianity, one should guide them by the sword: “Nec filio jubet (the Mosaic Law) parci, nec fratri, et per amatam conjugem gladium vindicem ducit, etc.”

Until the reign of the teenager Gratian, the Romans preserved the several colleges of the sacerdotal order. Fifteen PONTIFFs exercised their supreme jurisdiction over the service of the gods; various questions were submitted to the judgment of their holy tribunal. Fifteen  AUGURS observed the face of the heavens, and prescribed heroic actions, supposedly, from the flight of birds. According to Cicero, the auctoritas of ius augurum included the right to adjourn and overturn the process of law: Consular election could be – and was – rendered invalid by inaugural error. For Cicero, this made the augur the most powerful authority in the Republic, as augurs overruled democracy. Cicero frankly (ad Atticum, l. ii. Epist. 5) or indirectly (ad Familiar. 1. xv. Epist 4) confesses that the Augurate is the supreme object of his wishes. Pliny is proud to tread in the footsteps of Cicero (1. iv. Epist. 8)

Cicero was co-opted into the college only late in his career… but that didn’t spare him, not anymore than Caesar, who was dressed with the robes of the Pontifex Maximus when he was assassinated. The title was used by the emperors, before Gratian, and is still used for the Pope. Fifteen keepers of the mysterious Sibylline books guided Rome and her aura, since times immemorial (their name of QUINDECEMVIRS was derived from their number). The Quindecemvirs occasionally consulted the history of future, and, of contingent events. Six VESTALS devoted their virginity to the guard of the sacred fire and of the unknown pledges of the duration of Rome, which no mortal had been suffered to behold with impunity.(4) Seven EPULOS prepared the table of the gods, conducted the solemn procession, and regulated the ceremonies of the annual festival.

All this was thrown overboard in the late Fourth Century. Nobody dared to claim the destruction of the Sibylline books. According to my chronology, Rome collapsed immediately after that. 

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Kill Them All, So Christ Can Be: 

Christianization was enforced by murderers. In 386, scholar Libanius appealed without success to emperor Theodosius so-called “The Great”, to prevent the destruction of a temple in Edessa, and pleaded for toleration and the preservation of the temples against the ongoing attacks of Christian monks, who he claimed:

hasten to attack the temples with sticks and stones and bars of iron, and in some cases, disdaining these, with hands and feet. Then utter desolation follows, with the stripping of roofs, demolition of walls, the tearing down of statues and the overthrow of altars, and the priests must either keep quiet or die

After demolishing one, they scurry to another, and to a third, and trophy is piled on trophy, in contravention of the law. Such outrages occur even in the cities, but they are most common in the countryside. Many are the foes who perpetrate the separate attacks, but after their countless crimes this scattered rabble congregates and they are in disgrace unless they have committed the foulest outrage…Temples, Sire, are the soul of the countryside: they mark the beginning of its settlement, and have been passed down through many generations to the men of today. In them the farming communities rest their hopes for husbands, wives, children, for their oxen and the soil they sow and plant. 

An estate that has suffered so has lost the inspiration of the peasantry together with their hopes, for they believe that their labour will be in vain once they are robbed of the gods who direct their labours to their due end. And if the land no longer enjoys the same care, neither can the yield match what it was before, and, if this be the case, the peasant is the poorer, and the revenue jeopardized.

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Symmanchus, plutocrat, Senator, Proconsul, Augur and prefect of Rome, spoke in the name of Rome, by then more than eleven centuries old, and addressed the Senate: “Most excellent princes, fathers of your country! pity and respect my age, which has hitherto flowed in an uninterrupted course of piety. Since I do not repent, permit me to continue in the practice of my ancient rites. Since I am born free, allow me to enjoy my domestic institutions. This religion has reduced the world under my laws. These rites have repelled Hannibal from the city, and the Gauls from the Capitol. Were my grey hairs reserved for such intolerable disgrace? I am ignorant of the new system that I am required to adopt; but I am well assured that the correction of old age is always an ungrateful and ignominious office.”

Bishop Ambrose turned philosophical in reply, as it was most convenient to do so: one shouldn’t have to introduce an imaginary and invisible power, he said, as the cause of Roman victories, which were sufficiently explained by the valour and discipline of the legions. He derided the absurd reverence for antiquity, which discourages progress. He pronounced that Christianity alone is the doctrine of truth and salvation, and that every mode of Polytheism is an abyss of eternal perdition. Ambrose carried the mood of the times… It was all too easy: another teenage emperor, Valentinian II, even younger, had succeeded Gratian. 

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One Crazy Catholic Emperor Succeeds Another, And The Ancient Roman Ways, Some Secular, Are Gone: 

Revolt was brewing. After a few victories against the Germans (probably due to the senior Frankish commander Richomeres) emperor Gratian became increasingly delirious and deleterious to the empire. Often dressed like a Scythian (a Hun, basically), Gratian and his Christian fanaticism had become insufferable to the army. He was defeated in battle by Maximus, the top commander in Britain, west of Paris, fled, but was executed, next to Lyon.

After defeating Maximus, thanks greatly to his Frankish commanders Richomeres and his nephew Arbogast, Theodosius put in power the 16 year old Valentinian II. The latter, egged on by Ambrose, a province governor turned bishop of Milan, refused to restore the ancient ways that Gratian had destroyed. The Anician, Bassi, the Paullini, the Gracchi Senatorial families, prestigious all, embraced the Christian religion.

The lesser plutocrats had finally understood it was in their best interest to embrace the Christian hoax, as the top plutocrats, the emperors, had long done. Now all could rule in the name of god, per the grace of god, a much better foundation for privilege:  

As Prudentius put it:

the luminaries of the world, the venerable assembly of Catos, were impatient to strip themselves of their pontifical garment — to cast the skin of the old serpent — to assume the snowy robes of baptismal innocence — and to humble the pride of the consular fasces before the tombs of the martyrs.

The pretense of God-given purity had replaced the fasces of the People united around the axe of justice. 

Senatorial plutocracy converted to showy baptismal innocence, to better keep its grip on power and slaves.

The decrees of the senate proscribed the worship of idols. The Capitol and the temples were abandoned to ruin and contempt. Rome submitted to the Gospels. 

After defeating Maximus, Theodosius ordered Cynegius, the Praetorian prefect of the East, and then Comes (top generals) Jovius and Gaudentius, two officers of the West, to shut the temples, to seize or destroy the instruments of idolatry, to abolish the privileges of the priests, and to confiscate the consecrated property for the benefit of the emperor, the Christian church, and the army.

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Destruction Of All Books, Including the World’s Largest Library:

Magnificent temples, which could have been turned into churches, army barracks  or manufacturing centers, were destroyed by Christian mobs excited by Christian leaders, who were anxious to destroy the past, including its art. Imagine the Islamist State, on a much grander scale, and all over. Those Christian “Men in Black” were the original. Islam is a pale copy. 

In Alexandria, the Serapeum was one of the wonders of the world. it nominally celebrated a deity of Pontus (next to Byzantium). Its stately halls and exquisite statues displayed the triumph of the arts; and the treasures of ancient learning were preserved in the famous Alexandrian library therein. in 389 CE, Saint Theophilus, a bold, bad man, whose hands perpetually polluted with gold and with blood, besieged the philosopher Olympius and his followers entrenched in the fortress of the Serapis. Then a decree of Theodosius ordered the Serapis and the world’s greatest library, destroyed. So great was the authority of the emperor that the Pagans, Agnostics and intellectuals submitted. 

That the collections of the world’s greatest library had found refuge in the giant, fortress-like Serapeum is telling. It tells that Paganism was allied to erudition, and was tolerant of variegated knowledge. Serapis was itself a Greco-Egyptian deity.

In 390 CE, Theodosius decreed that: “It is our will and pleasure, that none of our subjects, whether magistrates or private citizens, however exalted or however humble may be their rank and condition, shall presume in any city or in any place to worship an inanimate idol by the sacrifice of a guiltless victim.

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As librairies, books and temples burned all over at the hands of “Men In Black”, rebellion brewed. 

Theodosius II shortly before his death, ordered that the books of philosopher Porphyry, whose dangerous  treatise “Against the Christians” had hocked the Emperor or some of his advisers, to be burned.

The unity of the Catholic faith in matters of dogma was considered of supreme importance. “Truth, which is simple and one,” wrote Pope Leo I, “does not admit of variety.” (varietatem veritas, quae est simplex atque una, non recipit ).

Manichaeism was a mixture of Zoroastrian, Christian, Buddhist ideas, with the time-honored and excellent Zoroastrian principles prevalent. This religion was founded by Mani in Persia in the Third Century (Mani was born in 216 CE). Jesus was proclaimed to be purely divine (and a predecessor to Mani). At its height between the Third and Fourth centuries, Manichaeism was one of the most wide-spread religions in the world. Manichaean churches and scriptures existed as far east as China.

 

Theodosius made a habit to proffer frequent and  drastic laws against the Manicheans. The heresy was insidious, because the heretics were difficult to discover; they often took part in Christian ceremonies and passed for universal (katholikos) and orthodox, and they disguised their views. Theodosius deprived them of civil rights and banished them from towns. Those who sheltered themselves under harmless names were liable to the penalty of death. Theodosius ordered the Praetorian Prefect of the East to institute “inquisitors” for the purpose of discovering Manicheans. They were banned from towns. Under emperor Theodosius II and  Nestorius, a vigorous effort to sweep the heresy was conducted. The Manichaeans were stigmatised as men who had “descended to the lowest depths of wickedness“. By the early Fifth Century, Manicheans were systematically executed. 

 

So when did the empire fall? When a regime has become a predecessor of the Third Reich, where followers of an innocuous religion/superstition are systematically executed because everybody is supposed to scrupulously follow the regime’s own superstition (Catholicism) should not one consider that this regime has already failed? 

 

Here is another example. “Circumcellions” regarded martyrdom as the true Christian virtue. As the early Church Father Tertullian said, “a martyr’s death day was actually his birthday“. Analogies with Islamist martyrs are not coincidental, we are talking of their cultural ancestors here. Circumcellions focused on bringing about their own martyrdom(their name comes from their hungry circumvolutions around cellars).

The early medieval author known as Pseudo-Jerome wrote of Christian extremists: “Because they love the name martyr and because they desire human praise more than divine charity, they kill themselves.” 

Because it is written in the Gospel of John that Jesus had told Peter to put down his sword in the Garden of Gethsemane (John 18:11), the Circumcellions avoided bladed weapons and used clubs, which they called “Israelites“. Using their “Israelites“, the Circumcellions would attack Roman legionaries  or random travelers on the road, while shouting “Laudate Deum!” (“Praise God!” in Latin). The object of these random beatings was to provoke the victim to kill them, thereby becoming “martyrs”. They were intertwined with their allies the Donatists who came to dominate Africa by the end of the reign of Theodosius.

At the beginning of the sixth century a Pagan historian, Zosimus, writes of the “so‑called monks“. Zosimus had been an official of the treasury; but he testifies to the growing popularity, wealth, and power of monastic institutions: “They renounce legal marriages and fill their populous institutions in cities and villages with celibate people, useless either for war or for any service to the State; but gradually growing from the time of Arcadius to the present day they have appropriated the greater part of the earth, and on the pretext of sharing all with the poor they have, so to speak, reduced all to poverty.” 

[Zosimus, (Greek Ζώσιμος), New History 5.23; Early Byzantine, pagan author of a history of the Roman Empire, published in the first quarter of the sixth century CE.]

 

And so it went. Christianism, soon named Catholicism, after assassinating all the eunuchs priests of Egypt, under Constantine, went on, similarly to the Islaist State, to kill and appropriate to itself the world. In such an approach, the collapse of the Roman State was an ally, not an impediment. Both Christians and their adversaries were incessantly talking about the second coming of another Julian, to put an end of the Catholic wasting of civilization. This urged the Catholic authorities to destroy institutions, books and buildings faster. 

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Fortunately, to the north-west, the Franks already had power: they were fighting among each other… but they didn’t feel civilization, let alone freedom, was their enemy, quite the opposite. The franks were not the establishment. Arbogast could have been elected Augustus by the Occidental Roman army. But he was just a Frank. His uncle had become Consul, but it was too early to become emperor, de jure (besides that would not have changed anything about the hurricane wind). 

In the late Fifth Century, the mood changed, and Frankish power was recognized as fully endowed by the Roman state: Childeric, Clovis’ father, was buried in the full dress of a Roman imperator. Consular powers were given to Clovis by Constantinople. Emperor Justinian would reconquer most of the Mediterranean shore, all the way to Spain… But recognized the imperium of the Franks. The collaboration between Constantinople and the Franks would last all the way until 1204 CE, when a rogue Frankish army seized Constantinople, and established a “Latin” empire there. 

Books became harder to write after the Muslim blockade closed the Imperium Francorum from Egypt (Papyrus!) and the silk roads, and the economy got stunted from the blockade (Pirenne thesis)… but progress became the solution ever more, to better reject theocratic fascism. 

What is missing in Pirenne thesis is that it is the Catholic fanatics which destroyed all the books. Not, as far as we know, the invading Germans. And that destruction of books and intellectuals happened nearly two centuries before the birth of Muhammad. If anything, the anti-intellectualism of Theodosius was the forerunner of the anti-intellectualism of the Four Righteous Caliphs (especially Omar, Ali).

Patrice Ayme 

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[1] Richomeres succeeded to extricate himself from the catastrophe, and would fight on to become Consul; head of the Oriental Roman cavalry, he died just before the Frigidus battle against his own nephew!

 

[Essay will be reinforced later, to emphasize the importance of the battle Of Frigidus, the proximal cause of the empire’s destruction.]

 

BS BBC Wants You To Believe: King Of England Was Muslim

April 8, 2020

BBC published the following title: KING HENRY II: THE MUSLIM MONARCH OF MEDIEVAL ENGLAND?

In the 12th century, furious with the archbishop of Canterbury, England’s King Henry II threatened to forsake Christianity for Islam.” 

This was obviously not the case. BBC has no sense of humor whatsoever. The absurdity of the BBC’s misleading title is immense, and reflects a total misreading of the mentality of Frankish leaders during the Middle Ages [1]. False news! BBC has little appreciation for the mood of the Franks… Henry was born in Le Mans, Maine, France, part of the “Roman empire”, in the part of the “Roman” empire known as “Francia”.  

The root for this absurdity? Henry II told, obviously in jest, his protege the Pope Alexander, then a refugee in Paris, that he “would sooner accept the errors of Nur al-Din [the Sultan of Aleppo] and become an infidel, than suffer Thomas [Becket] to hold sway in Canterbury Cathedral any longer”.

Henry II Plantagenet With His Daughter In Law Marguerite de France

Henry had raised his friend Thomas Becket high, appointing him to the position of chancellor soon after his accession. He was “considered second only to the king”. Henry had such faith in Thomas to do his bidding that after Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, died in 1161, he strong-armed a reluctant Becket into taking up the dual position of chancellor -archbishop, despite warnings from Henry’s mother, the “Roman” Empress Matilda, and from Thomas himself. Thomas thought it was ludicrous, protesting that Henry and he knew “for certain that if I am ever promoted to that dignity, I will have to forfeit either the king’s favour or… my service to God Almighty”. That should have been clear, and considering how nasty God is depicted in the Bible, not a good omen…

Indeed, to his horror, Henry discovered that he had installed a Catholic zealot, a soldier now for the eternal Christ instead of his temporal king. Henry was livid when Thomas resigned the chancellorship; king and archbishop soon became locked in a battle for supremacy between church and state… Something not seen since Theodosius I and the bishop of Milan, Ambrose, had a dust up in the Fourth Century. The balance of compromise – whereby the kings gave their archbishops dignity and in turn the archbishops sought to obey their kings’ every desire – was down and out, and that, for a Frank, was intolerable. The very rise of the Frankish civilization in the Fourth Century was propelled by putting back secular political power in command… as in the best times of Rome, but this time including most of Germany, Europe became a secular power again.

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Frankly Cool About Religion:

The Franks were both cautious and relax about religion in general, and Islam in particular. Jokes were allowed. Emperors could employ Muslim bodyguards, and speak Arabic (as Barbarossa did)…. And then go on a Crusade. Even a Catholic fanatic such as Saint Louis toyed with the idea of becoming Sultan of Egypt. 

Being an “apostate” was not a crime under the Franks: the state was agnostics. When Clovis and thousands of his bodyguards  converted to Catholicism, that was not mandatory. 

The Franks had fought with Pope Gregory the Great, in the Sixth Century, when the Pope threatened to burn bishops who allowed secular teaching. Ultimately the Franks obliged all and any religious establishment (including monasteries, synagogues) to teach secularly the entire children population. The Franks sent spies to nascent Islam in the Seventh Century. They viewed the “Sons of Sara” (Saracens) as a Christian heresy, but most dangerous because most militarized. 

Ultimately, the Muslim invasion of Western Europe turned into a bloodbath: invading Muslims killed 25% of catholic Spain… Although their fight was against the ruling Visigoths. Then the Umayyad Caliphate launched three massive invasions of Francia but the “Europeans” (as the Franks called themselves then), rejected them and the caliphate fell (750 CE). In the following four centuries, the Franks led a reconquista of not just  Northern Spain, but Southern Italy and islands such as Sicily. 

One has to understand that, initially, the Franks took over a disintegrating Late Roman empire wrecked, and led, by “Catholic Orthodox” with did, or threatened to, kill everybody who was not considered to be a proper believer… others, emperor Theodosius I had decreed in 381CE,  were “madmen”. 

The Franks, led by king, imperator and consul Clovis, imposed a gentle form of Catholicism not adverse to Pagans or Jews… Or even, it turned out later, Muslims. This tolerant Catholicism ruled until 1026 CE… When the Catholic church bared its fangs again, and started to burn “heretics” again. What happened? Some European plutocrats (self described “nobles”) got the idea, coming from the Late Roman empire, to use Catholicism as a pretext to kill and oppress people. 

Born In Maine, France, Married His Vassal the King’s Wife, Eleanor d’Aquitaine, who had only daughters from the French King, proceeded to give him a son.

Thus Catholicism became more powerful, extremist and fanatical, just after 1000 CE, relaunching the Inquisition. In particular, the marriage of clerics was discouraged. Intellectuals, who had been church employees, technically, because of the three centuries old law pushed vigorously for independence from the church… that’s how the university system was born. And of course a battle started inside Catholicism between pacific tolerance and furious fanaticism. 

The most famous battle was that of the hyper famous philosopher and songwriter Abelard against Saint Bernard. Saint Bernard, more influential than the Pope, pushed for the Second Crusade. Excommunicated, exasperated, Abelard did threaten to go to Spain among the Muslims, claiming they looked more hospitable than fanatic Catholics. His sponsor and protector Peter the Venerable sojourned in Muslim controlled Spain to overview the translation of various Islamist text, including the Qur’an. 

The point of all this was that education, politics, the military, and the law were all independent of religion during the five centuries of Frankish control. Whereas in the Late Roman empire, Catholicism was the state religion, it was not the case under the Franks. In reconquered areas the Muslim had invaded, the Franks’ didn’t force-convert Muslims, nor were they ejected. 

The Franks were not against conversion out of Catholicism, they enabled Catholics to convert to Judaism. And sometimes entire villages did.

This is completely different from Islam. If you convert out of Islam, the holiest texts of Islam tell you, you die. Under Islam, education, politics, military, law are all one under God (“Allah”). Islam learned everything from the Late Roman empire. It’s quite similar, just worse: at least under the Roman empire, nominally, most of the law was independent of religion.   

Confronted to all this, the partisans of Islam bleat that Islam had a “Golden Age”. True, in appearance. But the reality is the exact opposite of what they believe. An immense empire had been conquered in a few years, and those huge populations found themselves mostly free, because of the Muslim conquest. 

The brutality of Muslim conquest (a few years), and its ferocity (killing all arm bearing males in Syria), followed by a hands-off policy (40,000 conquering Muslims left the millions they had conquered alone, as long as they paid taxes and let Muslims rule), paradoxically avoided destruction of cities, and freed the populations from the fanaticism of the precedingly ruling “Catholic” tyrants. So for a while the many millions living in the areas conquered by those 40,000 warriors found themselves to be much more free than before. They were still Christian and Jews. Many thinkers and their books had escaped earlier to Persia, just before the Arabic conquest. The appearance of Islam’s rich intellectual tradition won plenty of admirers in medieval Europe.

But this was secular, not religious admiration. The attitude of all leaders of parts of the Frankish empire was that the church could do its own thing, as long as it respected secular law. 

This is what happened with Henry II Plantagenet. He found himself confronted by a fanatic he had himself appointed, to the objections of many.   

Oppressed by their non-Muslim status, those populations converted to Islam over the next few centuries, and then it became clear, to the Muslim leaders themselves, that Literal Islam was adverse to civilizational progress. So many Muslim leaders took anti-fundamentalist measures. Saladin, for example passed a law rewarding those who interpreted I slam literally with the death penalty… Exactly what Wahhab did, five centuries later, enabling the Saud family to use Islam the way Late Roman emperors used that Catholicism they had invented… And the way early Muslim leaders did. 

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Man was born free. Man thinks best, free. Democracy enables us to be as free as possible while enjoying civilization. All this is impossible following only what is in one 80,000 words book… especially when it’s full of orders to kill all sorts of people, many of them because of how they were born.  

Democracy makes people sufficiently intelligent to understand when people make jokes. But jokes are not tolerated by those who take Islam literally. Apparently the case of the BBC.

Patrice Ayme

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[1]: Some will object to the adjective “Frankish”. How could a king of England be a Frank? Never heard of that! It’s not in Harvard textbooks! Well, until king Philippe Auguste, the king of Francia was “emperor (of the Romans) in his kingdom” and was king of the Franks. There had been complete state continuity since Clovis… Himself Roman Consul, and first king of France…

Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Judaism?

December 13, 2019

Judaism is a national origin, originally. A nation was located somewhere for a millenium, then expelled from that place. But the descendants didn’t forget.

French and US leadership have apparently rediscovered this indisputable fact recently: Judaism is not just a religion, or not just only a religion (just as Zionists said, forever). Let me help them, in their ponderous reflection, with a big picture of history, as usual chasing truth, and the truth about those who don’t want to chase the truth, because they claim they already have it, while accusing other of biases because biases are all they know…

The first record of the name Israel (as ysrỉꜣr) occurs in the Merneptah stele, erected for Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah (son of Ramses II) circa 1209 BCE, in a typically robust fashion: “Israel is laid waste and his seed is not.” Ironically enough, the closest civilization to Pharaonic Egypt is, arguably, Israel. The Pharaohs are gone, Israel is not.

The subject of Israel is fraught with many idiotic conditioned reflexes on all sides, in all ways. A first problem is equating “Semite” and “Jew” (the most prominent “Semitic” religion is violently, even lethally, anti-Jewish… See below!)

To understand the “Jewish Problem” (or “Jewish Question“), one has to go back to what happened in the First and Second Century. By then, Israel had existed as a regional superpower for more than a millennium. However its Northern Part, named israel, was conquered by the Assyrian superpower in 722 BCE. Its Southern Part, Judah, was conquered by Babylon (part of a coalition of empires which had killed Assyria) in 586 BCE (although some cooperative Jews were left behind, many were sent in captivity, during which time they wrote the Bible, before being sent back to exchange hostilities with the collaborators).

Israel towards maximal extension, 3,000 years ago. This is not a Zionist to show such a map, it’s being an historian. King Solomon reigned a very long time, he was the son of David, famously opposed to the jealous and somewhat demented god of the Bible, who tortured one of David’s sons, to death, just because his father had not committed genocide against two nations… as “god” had ordered him to. The Bible: a book very handy to justify genocide in all sorts of ways…

Before the end of the Republic, the Romans came to sniff around, first presenting themselves, for many decades, as guarantors of the security of Israel, before establishing a collaborating monarchy, and then a mild occupation. However fanatics didn’t like legionnaires ot be garrisoned in Jerusalem, and 600 of them were treacherously killed. A rescuing legion was then annihilated in an ambush…

Then the Jews, many of them religiously fanatical, fought the fascist Romans in messy wars rich in unlikely events (even in the first Judean war, Jewish factions fought each other). Ultimately the Romans reacted in unjust ways, according to their own definition.

So emperor Julian determined by 360 CE, and he ordered the reconstruction of the Jewish Temple and allowing Jews to come back to Israel. However, Julian was killed (probably by a Catholic), and Christianism cracked down ferociously on science, books, intellectuals, unbelievers, and Jews. Saint Augustine the Creep delighted in having the Jews exiled form Israel, and is a revered authority figure to this day (that’s in part why I call him a creep, to compensate, notwithstanding the fact that, he was, indeed a criminal against humanity… And Jews in particular…)

Jews had been promised a land, according to the Bible, and they occupied it for at least 13 centuries, before the Romans threw them out, deciding to name it “Syria Palaestina” instead of Israel. 13 centuries is how long Islam has existed. So Jews were in Israel as long as Islam has existed, before being thrown out by the Romans.

Christians, marking territory, as the big dogs they were, then built churches on top of the destroyed Jewish temple. After 650 CE, the Muslims, anxious to show they were even bigger dogs, built mosques on top of the Jewish temple, while deciding that Jerusalem, the historical capital of the Jews, was Islam’s third most sacred place.

The case of Israel is unique: it is a nation exiled from its land whose descendants of the exiles kept on remembering while being mistreated to the point of near-extinction by their best frenemies, the Christians (who revered Jews as Jesus was a Jewish rabbi, and hated them for having killed him, a bit as if one revered the French for Marie Antoinette and hated them for her demise). Identifying anti-Zionism with anti-Judaism is justified from this historical context.

And the Palestinians, in all this? Well they should start by not joining the choir of would-be Israel exterminators. Instead, they should try to welcome their long lost brethren with open arms. Not that they have a choice: what overwhelming military force taketh, overwhelming military force gaveth too. The Occident took a long time to understand what a calamity Christianism had been: little more than a plundering cover-up of a decaying, murderous plutocracy… And it goes on to this day [1]. Restoring the Jews is part of the the reparation program [2].

Patrice Ayme

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P/S Context, December 12, 2019:

Assailants in a deadly mass shooting/crime against humanity on Tuesday at a Jersey City, N.J., kosher supermarket were found to have published anti-Jewish posts online. Notoriously, worldwide, university pseudo-leftist have identified Israel to plutocracy and racism… as the Nazis did, quite explicitly, in a twist of traditional lethal Christian anti-Jewish sentiment… and a cover-up of the fact they were themselves financed by plutocrats (some of them even somewhat Jewish: see the Warburgs…)

Historically Saint Louis of France and Luther said worse things about the Jews in public than even the Nazis did. Saint Louis, another of these famous Christian creeps, whose greatest pleasure in life, he said would have been to plant a knife in an atheist belly and then rotating it (that’s exactly what he wrote), expelled the Jews from France. At least he decreed it (apparently, didn’t work, though…)

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/luther-hitler-unelected/

This is our message to universities: if you want to accept the tremendous amount of federal dollars that you get every year, you must reject anti-Semitism, it’s very simple,” Trump just said, expanding the definition of anti-Semitism to include some anti-Israel sentiments.

Kenneth L. Marcus, the head of the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights was already deeming Judaism a “national origin,” like Italian or Polish, to strengthen a campaign against what he sees as rampant anti-Judaism in higher education. That campaign is in part motivated by Islamophilia.

See the relevant Hadith calling for the death of all Jews before the Final Judgment. Hamas (ironically partly an Israeli secret service creation) wants all Jews killed… At least, at the level of its wishlist constitution. Hamas rules Gaza. I have quoted this saying of Prophet Muhammad in Hadith (41; 6985)  many times.

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[1] Every year, Catholics around the world donate tens of millions of dollars to his excellency the pope. Bishops exhort the faithful to support the weak and suffering through the pope’s main charitable appeal, called Peter’s Pence.

What the church doesn’t advertise is that most of that collection, worth more than €50 million ($55 million) annually, goes toward plugging the hole in the Vatican’s own administrative budget, while as little as 10% is spent on charitable works, according to people familiar with the funds. In other words, the Vatican lies, as it has been doing for 17 centuries…

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[2] The case of destroyed nations, all around the world, is different, because precisely, they were destroyed. The Jews contributed too much to Occident, they were part of it well before Christianism was invented… And, because of this, precisely, they were not destroyed…

“Repairing” African-Americans is no option either, because they have no land they want to return to, let alone can return to: that was tried before and didn’t work very well… most of them are part European, anyway.

 

LIMIT WEALTH ABSOLUTELY II: Because Great Wealth Steers Elite Leadership. Referendums To Fix It All.

December 28, 2018

Extreme WEALTH SELF LEVERAGES THROUGH PURCHASED INFLUENCE. HOW TO FIX IT: Referendum Initiative Citizen, RIC.

The Roman Republic did it! And died from stopping to do it! Athens didn’t need to do it (its wealthiest citizens were not as wealthy as those of Rome; instead wealthy Macedonians killed Athenian democracy). The Republic of Florence didn’t do it, and died from not doing it!

This essay is a deepening, and development, focusing more on the spiritual aspect of oligarchy, and plutocracy, found in my essay “LIMIT WEALTH ABSOLUTELY”

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/limit-wealth-absolutely/

Want progress? Want democracy? Let We The PEOPLE VOTE in a referendum TO LIMIT WEALTH ABSOLUTELY! Once the issues are clearly explain and debated, it would pass.Who would object to limit wealth under, say, 100 million dollars?… Except if the work is of public utility (so the likes of Space X, Blue Origin could keep on going on private capital). Another referendum would pass universal healthcare in the USA (no need for debate there, the polls are overwhelmingly in favor)…

The ancient argument against great wealth, familiar to all organized savages, for most of the Neolithic, is that wealth exponentiates: the more of it there is, the easier it is to get more. Even the savage Plains Indians taxed extreme wealth nearly 100%, redistributing thoroughly the thousands of horses a great chief could own.

Another, newer, argument, developed here, is that in modern, massive civilization, wealth controls opinion, hence minds. Wealth can easily purchase the leaders of a Representative Oligarchy system, also known, by a common abuse of language, as “Representative Democracy”.

Corruption is intrinsic to this so-called “Representative Democracy” when wealth is not limited absolutely. Even if one put serious term limits and drastic limits on how much the private sector can influence the public sector. Indeed private actors of immense wealth have many powerful ways to influence (as I will show):

10,000 decide of everything, worldwide: that’s .00001% of the world population… Billionaires are a fifth of that in numbers… So roughly there is more than one very wealthy person for each top leader or influencer, worldwide. This is the crux of the disease attacking us and the biosphere: the leadership feels, think and acts to please wealth. Moreover, as the wealthiest are intrinsically evil (consult Christ!), bad decisions are deliberately taken to further the rule of this oligarchy, because wars, conflicts and disasters distract We The People…

Rome is our great lab study and warning sign:

The Roman Republic is our great predecessor. The Roman Republic made the principle of respecting secular law foremost, as Qin did in China roughly at the same time. This highest principle was a huge success.

Making secular law foremost is such a powerful principle that it makes powerful states: Qin (prolonged by their immediate successors and implementers, the Han) and the Roman Republic built giant empires which can be viewed as lasting to this day (France, thus Western Europe, and the Anglo-Saxon colonies are direct successor regimes of Rome: they use Roman law… refurbished by Constantinople and the Franks, foedi of Rome, and sole inheritors of Roman Imperium.

The Roman Republic collapse was long drawn out: republican elements were taken out, one after the other, for 550 years (let’s say for clarity from 150 BCE until 400 CE, when the Franks were given Roman military imperium over the Germanias and Gallia… by a strange government of Catholic bishops, who, practically then, governed the Roman empire).

Sometimes, under the fascist empire (launched by Augustus), things went back, the other way, towards more Republicanism. In particular under Trajan, with mass scholarships paid by taxes on the rich, or when emperor Caracalla gave universal citizenship. But overall, the Republican institutions decayed under the fascist empire…

The Roman Republic was an enormous success, as a territorial empire: most of the conquests were made under the Republic. If so successful, why did the Republic collapse (dragging the Roman state with it)?

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Sylla, Cicero, Caesar and Augustus accompanied a (plutocratic) revolution they didn’t start and couldn’t control:

The Roman Republic lasted 5 centuries, in full. Then it ran into trouble, as civil wars happened all over. Caesar’s grand nephew, Octavian, aka “Caesar” (he took the name of his uncle and adoptive father, as per tradition), captured the Republic.

When Octavianus/Caesar/Augustus took control, peace got established, by force, and that enforced peace made this Augustus popular enough to stay in power.

“Caesar” made himself “Princeps” (first, principal)… First man in the Senate, somehow, controlling everything, but without the title of king. When he died, nobody knew what to do, and the generalissimo, Tiberius, stayed in seclusion, until the Senate, duly selected by Octavian/Augustus, a set of plutocrats, begged Tiberius to come out, and take some of Augustus’ responsibilities.

Indeed, by Augustus’ death, Rome’s billionaires occupied the entire political landscape… but for the army, which had been the force, and most of the will, behind Octavian/Caesar’s revolution (regressive revolution, revolution nevertheless!)

Augustus, an extremely gifted teenager who led a revolution, got unhinged early on. Plutocracy would drive anybody crazy, that’s its main purpose, in the grand scheme of evolution!

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Roman Republic Lasted Five Centuries In Full, Because of Absolute Limit on Wealth, Vanished When they Did:

In the next four centuries after Augustus found himself “Princeps”, power would balance between billionaires, the plutocrats and the army, until the latter increasingly defanged the Senate (where billionaires ruled), and the plutocrats embraced Christianism, thanks to Constantine’s crazed family, etc.

How did the Roman Republic collapse then? From the switch to a professional army which reverted to old methods of pillage and the like (as Alexander’s men used to). That switch itself was caused by the impoverishment of Rome’s citizen-soldiers, obvious by 150 BCE (and which the Gracchi deplored in eloquent terms, claiming Roman citizen-soldiers had it “worse than wild beasts”, although they were called the “masters of the world”).

That destitution of citizen-soldiers, in turn was caused directly by the rise of the hyper wealthy. The latifundia (giant agri businesses manned by slaves, owned by hyper wealthy Senatorial class) undercut the work product of Roman traditional peasants…. That happened because globalization made it possible immense fortunes which, coming back to Italy bought out indebted citizen-peasants whose work products were undercut by slave work (on the giant latifundia).  

The Gracchi brothers tried to impose the wealth limit laws (existing, but not enforced). They were too late. A generation or two too late (but then of course the Roman army was busy destroying Carthage allies, including Macedonia). They were in turn undercut by the rise of global plutocracy eschewing local taxes and laws. As the hyper wealthy by then could afford private armies of goons, the Gracchi and more than 5,000 of their supporters were assassinated.

So the citizen-soldiers army disappeared… All the more as the invasion of the Teutoni, Cimbri and their allies, saw the near annihilation of the entire Roman army, before the peasantish Marius, helped by the Senatorial Sylla reestablished the situation spectacularly by annihilating the invading German armies.

In any case, out of that mess came professional Roman armies, and they had to be paid… by their commanders in chief, the imperators. When imperators, such as Pompey the Great and Caesar, collided, civil war resulted.

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We Are Engaged In A Similar Decay, With The Similar Causes to Those Which Demolished the Roman Democratic Republic

The whole process of decay of the Roman Republic arose from the economic, and then social destitution of Roman citizen peasant soldiers… the same citizen peasant soldiers who had made Greek city-states so powerful and progressive (with the exception of Sparta, where citizens were just soldiers enslaving the Helots who were the peasants (and occasional soldiers, when Sparta needed massive armies).

Now, of course, we are decaying just the same, and the leading republics, France and the USA switched to professional armies. As happened in Rome, professional armies can make coups and even, revolutions (Octavian had to do what his centurions wanted him to do; one of them went to the Senate, and brandished his sword, adding that, if the Senate didn’t agree to the propositions the army made, that sword would force them to…)

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Same process of wealth concentration in the oligarchy, while the public perishes, as under the decaying Roman Republic: public property collapses, while private holdings (the 1%!) blooms.

Representative Oligarchy, Our Present System, Attracts deliberately idiotic greedsters:

I watched ex-Président of the French Conseil Constitutionel Jean-Louis Debré. That institution, the Conseil Constitutionel, makes sure French laws are in agreement with the Declaration of the Rights of Man of 1789 (not the one of 1793; the UN follows 1789, not 1793; 1793 recognizes the right and duty of peoples to enter insurrection when Rights of Man are gravely oppressed: it was too progressive for the founders of the UN…) The US doesn’t have really a Constitutional Court, although the Supreme Court, SCOTUS, sometimes plays that role, somebody has to…   

Jean-Louis Debré is the son Michel Debré, long a Prime Minister, and brother of Bernard Debré, MD and MP. Also the great grand-son of a Great Rabbin of France. Same family as the famous Fields Medal mathematician , Laurent Schwartz. In other words, a family as connected as one gets, to the point of having a Wikipedia entry with around 50 names! In any case, the ci-devant Debré was on all French TV networks, day after day, to explain, with the bluntest bad faith, that Direct Democracy was the rule of the mob (he used the Greek word invented by the Greek hostage Polybius when he wanted to ingratiate himself with Roman plutocracy, circa 140 BCE… Small world, no? Debré hit just at the same period when civilization took a bad turn, and, as an oligarch, 22 centuries later, stand with the bad guys… Never mind that led straight to Nazism and he is a descendant of Jews…).

So there are those who belong to the oligarchy, and those who accede to it. Several contributors to my site have suggested the obvious: that Obama’s parents were CIA connected (that would explain why he could go through school doing dope and learning very little: the future was his, as a perfect pupett), Now finally, some on the vague left have the courage to say it as it is: the Guardian ran an excellent article saying what I long said: last thing we need is more Obamaism

…Obamaism leads us to believe that we do not need to choose, and that we can actually have it all – as long as we always make sure to line up behind policies that appease the super-wealthy.

It is, in other words, the ideology undergirding the argument recently put forward by former vice-president, Joe Biden, who insisted: “I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason why we’re in trouble … the folks at the top aren’t bad guys.”

Biden gets it all wrong, and that’s deliberate: 500 billionaires are precisely why we are in trouble. Actually, it’s not 500, but more than 2.200. Some of these billionaires are just creations of the powers that be, for example Abrahamovitch, a Russian sidekick of Putin, now equipped with Israeli citizenship, tight with Beatles legend Sir Paul Mccartney. I mention this, to show even artistic leadership is tight with the plutocracy, not really distinguishable from it. So here now is the beef of this essay:

BILLIONAIRES CAN BUY OUR LEADERS, SPIRITUAL  OR POLITICAL; Here Is The Math:

In the Representative Oligarchy we have now, the wealthiest can steer the few thousands politicians, CEOs, media pundits, influence peddlers, pseudo-intellectuals, university professors, etc. who drive the world.

Their total worth in 2018 is actually 10 trillion. Let’s divide by the number of individuals, like Debré, Biden, who they need to impose plutocracy aka “Representative Democracy” as the world’s best institution: 10,000 billions/10,000 = 10^13/10^4 = 10^8 = one billion.

OK, let’s be more realistic, suppose the 2,200 billionaires spent just 1% of their worth influencing the oligarchic influencers. That gives us a very sustainable, but gigantic 10 million dollars each! In other words, the world’s 2,200 billionaires can flood those 10,000 drivers of the world’s public opinion, with ten million dollars each, while spending a tiny portion of their wealth… And a spending that doesn’t function as a tax, which would go to the state, whereas here it goes to the hearts and minds of the oligarchy itself. The 1% spent influencing the influencers functions as a force multiplier! They recover much more, as when Steve Jobs persuaded Irish politicians to tax Apple just 1% on worldwide revenue, and then probably even more to persuade EU politicians to do nothing effective about this violation of EU law (minimum tax required: 12.5%).

The Guardian nails it, repeating what I said, and saw, from inside, a decade ago already : “It is easy to understand the political utility of this third-way legend: it lets Democrats continue raising gobs of cash from satisfied corporate donors and moguls, and it at least provides voters with more palatable rhetoric than what the Republican party offers. And yet the record of third-way policies over the past few years have made painfully clear that Obamaism’s refusal to choose a side can be a nihilistic choice unto itself.”

The Guardian is too generous. What we are facing here is institutionalized corruption. Past British PM (Major, Blair) made a fortune with jobs provided to them by the billionaire class and their agents. Let alone Al Gore, who made a cool billion and got a Nobel (for talking a storm about the environment while doing nothing about it when he could…)

In France the situation is hilarious: the top intelligentsia, politicos and plutocrats talk, dine and bed each other, sometimes in fancy palaces of distant monarchies. They have ruined the country, but never mind: they thrive, they rule the spiritual waves rolling over the countries. We have seen this before, say in the Ancient Regime (entangled with the Founding Fathers of the USA, nota bene…), or even earlier when Louis XIV was busy devastating France with his ethnocide against the Protestants he was so proud of (and the ensuing world wars…) Some Gilets Jaunes, Yellow Jackets, have concluded that it would best to burn the whole thing down, that entire conspiracy. I concur (are they going to try to get me convicted to inciting to burn down a conspiracy? Right now in France, as in Putinistan, inciting to rebellion sends one to jail. Well, corrupt judges will have to admit that there is one conspiracy, first. According to the 1793 Declaration Des Droits de l’Homme, it is our DUTY to rebel, then…)

So let’s recapitulate. Spending 1% of their wealth each year actually acts as a force multiplier: billionaires make more by spending 1% of their wealth a year, than by not spending it. As observed. A billionaire goes see a president in his presidential palace (happened countless times in the White House and the Palais de l’Elysée), The billionaire makes the president a very remunerative job waits for him when coming out (OK, doesn’t work with billionaire Trump, so Trump is very bad)… if the president consents NOT to tax the company of the billionaire, or his “foundation”, or if the president consents to let his company violate antitrust laws, or environmental laws, or even national security laws (as when French or US drugs have to be all purchased in China; or when “markets” are obtained from technology transfers to… fascist dictatorships, as happened plenty from the USA to Nazi Germany and the USSR).

Or then one takes all top state bankers and economists in Europe, two hundred individuals at most, and one persuades them that, to make real money they have to keep the Euro the way it is, as a  machine to further the wealth of billionaires. And so on…

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How To Stop This? TAX WEALTH ABSOLUTELY! REFERENDUM INITIATIVE CITIZEN!

Indeed suppose wealth was limited at, say 100 millions: then the total wealth of the wealthiest 2,200 would be only 200 billions, and the amount to spend on influencers and “leaders”, only 200,000 a year… Tempting, however, not irresistible.

The RIC: Referendum Initiative Citizenry is another way around, as the wealthiest can’t buy every single one of us.

So let’s re-establish real, direct, Democracy, after a savage 23 centuries interruption, and do both!

In 1911, a referendum in California decided that women should vote: RICs are progressive, because they are anti-oligarchic and oligarchy is always regressive. That was one the first polity to give women such rights, after Pitcairn island in 1838 (!), and Australia (1894-1902). France had to wait until after the Nazis to see this happen. So referenda have the potential to change not just politics, society, but even the neurohormonal balance of the planet.

As it, those 10,000 (mostly) men who rule the planet are not just any men. They are among the greediest, most delusional, most arrogant, shallowest, most self-absorbed guys around: they are selected that way, and they favor their kind… Just as banks lend to the wealthiest, to make them, and themselves, even wealthier.

Examples? Watch Nancy Pelosi, the incoming speaker of the House.  Her and her husband’s fortune maybe as much as $100 million. Not bad for someone who has only worked in politics, starting in 1987. Of course that fortune doesn’t include her five children (long ago, Pelosi was reported to be worth $250 million). The Senior Senator of California does even better: she and her husband are billionaires, a fortune gained in China by the husband, while the wife steered US policy there… These two examples are found within a radius of ten kilometers (and I don’t dislike Nancy, I prefer her, by a very long shot, to her predecessor Republican Ryan)…

It’s like that all over the planet: watch Macron, who went from highest level public finance inspection, to Rothschild Bank, to the finance ministry, to the presidency, all in 15 years, earning a fortune, living in a million dollar apartment, and, guess what, all this fortune earned by devious means, disappeared. And of course everybody knows Trump’s fortune was at the public teat the whole way…

And this is not just France and the USA. In Britain, the third of the large historical so-called democracies, the situation has become grotesque, and hurtful. As The Economist pointed out December 28, 2018, in its lead editorial “The elite that failed” (published after the first version of the present essay): “There are two popular explanations for this mayhem…a catalyst for a long-simmering civil war between successful Britain (which is metropolitan and liberal) and left-behind Britain (which is provincial and conservative). Both explanations have merit. But there is also a third: that the country’s model of leadership is disintegrating. Britain is governed by a self-involved clique that rewards group membership above competence and self-confidence above expertise. This chumocracy has finally met its Waterloo.

Big words, and similar concepts to those I have brandished for more than a decade. If so-called Representative Democracy in Britain, France and the US has turned to “chumocracy”, in other words, oligarchy, for all to see, time for a rethink.

Verily, electoral policy doesn’t select the best, most moral and disinterested, but the exact opposite. Removing, or, at least, controlling them with referenda of We The People will make greed, delusion, arrogance, superficiality, self-absorption less influential in steering our common destiny.

Let’s do it! Limit Wealth Absolutely and modify the constitutions to enable RICs!

As explained a bit in Note 2 below, imposing an absolute wealth limit, and the Will of All through referenda, will have metaphysical consequences: it will steer humanity away from Will to Power of destruction, to Will to Power of loving creation…. 

Patrice Ayme

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Note 1: Most of these iconoclastic views of mine are more than a decade old. Some can be found in the European Tribune:

https://www.eurotrib.com/user/uid:4331/diary

I published there until the editor at the time informed me that some prominent European bankers, men of wealth and taste, insisted that I be banned. So he told me, he was sorry, he had to ban me, because contemporary bankers insisted that my views on 1930s bankers collaborating with the Nazis were outrageous and unsupported by evidence (one of these bankers claimed to me that he did an Internet search, and all the articles he could find on the entire Internet  on the subject were… mine!) In the same few months I was banned from the Daily Kos (a popular leftist site created by the… CIA…) and relegated at the bottom of search engines. Dirty tricks work: a decade later. my obvious views, which should be taught all over the world, are not just considered outlandish, but are fully ignored, as everything was done, not to divulge them to the well-meaning, but ignorant masses…

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Note 2: So I hold that the switch to plutocracy unchained caused by the non-observance of wealth limiting laws, brought the fall of the Roman Republic. The same holds for other Republics, like Firenze, which fell to bankers (the Medici).

The conventional view is much more celebrity bound and shrunk in context: Julius Caesar’s political maneuvers (rather than his generalship), say the common historians, dep in their academic cheese, which had long-lasting effects on Rome and Europe. Caesar’s critical role in going against the Roman Senate by crossing the Rubicon led to the eclipse of the Roman Republic and the emergence of the Roman Empire, the common view holds: Caesar was a bad boy, that’s all.

That (Pluto compatible) view neglects all which happened before, like Lucius Cornelius Sulla’s brutal and weird dictatorship, or Cicero’s dubious, foolhardy and ultimately self-destructive breach of law and process during the “Catiline conspiracy”…

Or, as I said, the view that it is this, or that individual’s fault neglects many major social, fiscal, political factors, such as the rise of an army, a professional army, which depended upon their leaders, the imperators (not the state!) to thrive (when Caesar and Pompey met, once, at the head of their legions, they saluted each other ironically as “Ave, imperator!“… both had the title and function… Clearly who was at fault was not Caesar (born in 100 BCE) but the plutocrats who opposed and killed the Gracchi and their supporters, two generations before Caesar’s birth. Even Marius’ professionalization of the army was a consequence of the unbounded rise of Roman plutocracy. By the way, when the Roman state collapsed in the West (400 CE to around 493 CE, when the Ostrogoths took Ravenna), the plutocracy, which had contributed to that fall in many ways, including rising private armies, stealing all the riches, refusing to pay taxes, and promoting supine, turn-the-other cheek Catholicism, joined the invading barbarian bands with gusto: it is often as if the barbarians gave the Roman plutocracy the tool and excuse they needed to enter the feudal regime…

All this to say this: the devolution of Roman plutocracy over 550 years, until final collapse, show that there are no limits to how low a plutocracy will sink, to promote the brutal, cruel and demented view of humanity which defines it with glee… And why this? Because, Ecce Homo, the Dark Side gives us the neurological passion dozens of millions of years of evolution have honed to the fine art of Homo.

Reciprocal Perversity

August 9, 2016

Reciprocal altruism is a well-known notion. What of reciprocal perversity?

Reciprocal altruism consists in a class of behaviors which are short-term adverse to an animal, yet profitable to others then, while, in the long-term, bringing a profit beyond the initial sacrifices consented.

In reciprocal altruism, overall profit blossoms. Reciprocal perversity brings the opposite effect: tit for tat escalates into Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).

Reciprocal perversity is of the foremost importance. Indeed, when one looks at history, one sees not just a lot of altruism, but a lot of perversity. Civilization is all about industrial strength altruism. A well-functioning civilization is an altruism machine. It can also turn into a perversity machine (think of the Ottoman empire forbidding printing).

Indeed sometimes civilization are devastated by a foreign enemy. Yet most collapse into utter destruction involve perseverance into perversity. Into self-amplifying perversity. The Maya, Moche, and to a great extent, Rome’s the Sassanids’ and the Spanish Visigoths collapses being obvious examples of inner strifes being exploited by a foreign invader (the Islamists in the last three cases).

Large scale, civilizational scale viciousness, has often been in evidence, it is the most dramatic part of history, so often renewed: the Muslim invasion (in Spain), various Mongol attacks and, lately the vicious fascist regimes in Germany, Italy or Russia. China in the Twentieth Century was no walk in the park either. In all these cases mass perversity became the dominant behavior, self-amplifying, devouring the civilization: watch the most capable Roman leaders of the Late Empire being assassinated (Stilicho, Aetius, Boetius, etc.). Consider Qur’an 4; 145:

Hypocrites Are Among Those The Qur’an Condemns To The Fire Surah 4 An-Nisa; Ayah 145

Hypocrites Are Among Those The Qur’an Condemns To The Fire: Surah 4, An-Nisa; Ayah 145

And then, there is the abominable situation we are living through now. Of course. The planet is endowed with the most perverse leadership, or lack thereof, ever. A leadership hell-bent to turn the entire planet into Jurassic Park. Without the animals. Nor the plants. Maybe without much of the plankton. In the next few decades. All the leadership the planet had before, was provided by evolution, which is intelligent and one could even say conscious (as animals are). Yet evolution was not satanic (doing evil deliberately). Doing evil deliberately implies covering that will to hurt. Most of the present leadership of the planet has the effective will to hurt or even destroy, the biosphere as we know it. Instead of practicing reciprocal altruism, our present leaders practice selfish viciousness, to a scale never seen before, since there are men, and they ponder morality. Since there are men, and they ponder morality, has there ever been a greater sin, than the will to destroy everything?

Confronted to such a perversity unique in the history of animality, one can only wonder. Wonder not just about how perversity arises, but how to detect it in the leaders who present themselves, all over, and seduce us with mellifluous chatter.

I do believe that the Dark Side, deliberately called upon, was one of the main architect of human evolution: it helped evolution speed up to physically destroy the less clever hominids. Eating the enemy beats waiting for it to be all discouraged, and fade out on its own.

Admitting the existence of the Dark Side is a key feature of Abrahamism. The religions of Christianism, Islamism, Buddhism and Confucianism criticize fiercely a number of behaviors. However leaders, and practitioners of those moral codes are often in complete violation with them. Such is the problem of hypocrisy, at the core of the main moral systems: their main proponents, to a great extent, lived in exact opposition to what they preached (consider “Saint” Constantine’s murderous activities; Buddha, to some extent, himself detect this deviationism into hurtfulness, against himself and the like, and thereafter, moderated himself).

One of the main engines of perversity is hypocrisy. Uncontrolled perversity and hypocrisy cannot be tolerated in an army. This is why it is so severely criticized in the Qur’an, and graced with “the fire”. (The Quran gives advice on how to detect hypocrites; I will try to improve on that in a future essay, by considering what one could call “neurological volume”.)

The two candidates for the presidency of the USA are plutocrats. It is of the essence to find how likely the depictions they make of their positions are far removed from the truth (hint: more so with the tightly controlled Clinton, watch her eyes controlling what effect she makes on crowds, than with the erratic Trump, who says it, as he feels it).

More generally, one needs to assert the same degree of truthiness, or lack thereof, among leaders and makers of world public opinion (say when we are presented with ecological solutions… which are often the exact opposite of what they are claimed to be… such as when president Obama presented the methanification (“natural gas“) of the USA through fracking as a “bridge fuel”. It is actually an ecological disaster on a planetary scale).

Only when We The People realizes how much we are lied to, will things move in the right direction. Polls show that 2/3 of Americans believe the USA heads in the wrong direction. Still, there the USA heads, because the entire society is entangled with perverse lies, let alone vicious conspiracies (such as multi-billionaire, state supported, hedge funds managers paying fewer taxes than the “nurses and truckers I saw on I-80“, as Hillary Clinton herself belatedly admitted… when Bernie Sanders was breathing down her neck. She may have “forgotten” this statement, since…). 

In the last few weeks of the Nazi Reich, just putting out a white flag brought the death penalty. Average Germans had no choice, but vicious choices. If they tried to surrender the place where they lived to the advancing United Nations armies, they risked their lives and those of their loved ones. Similarly, if they helped the desperate Nazis.

When a society becomes vicious enough, most actors therein, just to survive, have to turn vicious. This is why civilizational collapse proceeds generally through previously unimaginable horrors. Not only victims can turn against each other (as victims in Nazi death chambers would), but the main perpetrators have interest to live no one alive behind, so that vengeance would be impossible. Consider the so-called “Augustus” killing his young relative Caesarion (son of Cleopatra and Augustus great Uncle and adoptive father, Julius Caesar). Consider the utter destruction of Baghdad by the Mongol, Armenian, Frankish, Georgian and Chinese army in 1258 CE (total eradication of the Muslim population, end of Islam with brains, and its “House of Wisdom”). The perpetrators wanted no avenger looming in the future. Committing perverse acts leads to further, greater perversity: such was the main moral trajectory of the Nazis.

Just as the greenhouse effect launched by man feeds on itself, so does perversity always. This is why democracies have to strike their own perpetrators hard. From time to time. The French Republic did well to condemn to death the famous Marshalls (Petain), hero of Verdun, and condemn and execute many others, including ex-Prime Minister (Laval), World War One heroes, and a celebrated writer (Brasillach), for fascism, racism and treason, in 1944-46.

Next time France gets invaded, collaborators may evoke the precedent (of up to 50,000 executions which happened for betrayal of the Republic and, or human rights; the official number, found in De Gaulle’s memoirs, volume 3, is 11,000) to justify greater moderation in their action.

None of this is pie in the sky, something which happened in the past and will never happen again. Quite the exact opposite. The threat form perversity unchained has never been greater. (A small living example is the blossoming, worldwide, of the financial plutocracy engineered by the Clintons, and ever since pushed further by ulterior agents.)

The present technologies we have are completely unsustainable (just contemplate phosphates destroying the seas, insecticides destroying the pollinators, drinkable water running out, greenhouse gases building up, acidic seas, etc.). Sustainably, and limited to the present technologies, the human population would have to be strictly less than one billion. The transition from more than eight billions to less than one, will be rather perverse. The nice solution is to develop more advanced technologies (and, foremost, advanced robotics, which could help considerably with making agriculture more sustainable, say by destroying noxious insects one by one; or thermonuclear fusion, which would allow to conquer the solar system, terminate fossil fuels, and make obnoxious stuff off-Earth).

The perverse solution, the one chosen today, is to let perversity run its course, by electing ever more perverse leadership by perverse individuals, or perverse systems of thought (“Austerity”, Globalization of Plutocracy, Salafism, various hyper-nationalisms). And this is exactly why the two main candidates to the job of president of the USA are so perverse. It is a case of evolutionary adaptation to an increasingly perverse environment.

How could Mutually Assured Destruction, MAD have evolved, biologically? Well, the devil is in the little details that, ultimately, one species, or tribe, or race, gets completely eradicated, and the other, not quite so much. Often this results in opening vast ecological niches to survivors, favoring their descendents, and even further speciation out of their descendancy. Watch nasty little mammals eating morbidly cold dinosaurs’ progeny (not proven, but likely).

Thus MAD is one of the main engines of evolution.

Patrice Ayme’

FREE TRADE FALLACY

March 7, 2016

We have just one civilization today: everybody, among common folks know what everybody else thinks. Yet, as resources previously used, such as fossil fuels, falter, civilization and the understanding of the universe which makes it possible in its present state, have to progress (not enough scientific and technological progress as needed, was the proximal cause of Rome’s failure). So it is crucial that really new, and correct, ideas be introduced (and not just in science).

If Those Are Best Friends Who, What Is The Enemy? Cockroaches? Those Among We The People Who Are Viewed As Cockroaches?

If Those Are Best Friends Who, What Is The Enemy? Cockroaches? Those Among We The People Who Are Viewed As Cockroaches?

Yes even countries such as Saudi Arabia are part of this global civilization. And Saudi Arabia is fully part of the debate of what civilization means, and what it will have to consist of, looking forward. Watch France give the Legion d’Honneur to the heir of Saudi Arabia, and its Interior Minister, arguably the principal ideologue of the hardening of the Saudi line, inside out. So, in other words, while France fights the Islamist State (“Daesh”), France gives the nod to the hardening of the Wahhabist doctrine of Saudi Arabia (which, historically, was very minor in Islam), the ideology of ISIL. The results are increasingly strange: Salafist/Wahhabist terrorists attacked police and soldiers in Tunisia today. The security forces fought back. The coordinated assaults were shown, live, on the Internet. One could see young passersbys applauding the security forces in full combat (at least 28 terrorists got killed, plus seventeen fighting police and civilians who applauded the police).

Such contradictions are rife, all over the world. Look at “free trade”.

Globalization Of Trade Without Globalization Of Law Results In Plutocratization. This Is Exactly What Happened To The Roman Republic, & Why It Faltered

Globalization Of Trade Without Globalization Of Law Results In Plutocratization. This Is Exactly What Happened To The Roman Republic, & Why It Faltered

Free trade, well done, is indeed excellent. However, the West has been exporting science, technology and know-how, while not investing in a way commensurate to making this sort of export sustainable.

In other words, here is civilization’s problem: the learning, teaching, and research functions have been starved, relative to what the (critical) situation requires.

The result has been a collapse of manufacturing and related high worth employment in the countries who recently led progress in science and understanding (with the result that, like Republican Rome, the knowledge and wisdom of the most advanced countries is increasing faltering relatively to the flow of new ideas which civilization need to survive).

To make matters worse, said “free trade” has happened in the shadows. So-called high-tech companies have made fortunes, while paying no taxes: France just hit Google with a 1.6 billion Euro tax bill. Such companies and their principal owners had found ways to escape most taxes, thus starving the governments, hence the fundamental research their trade rests on.

So free trade can work, but only if it’s fair. As it is, most money flows are hidden (in so-called “Dark Money” and “Dark Pools”), and the owners are also hidden (thus escaping taxation and corruption charges, not just against them, but also against the politicians they influence).

Last week European Commissioners were caught promising ExxonMobil that the Transatlantic Trade Pact under negotiation with Obama would allow companies such as ExxonMobil to escape local legislation, including labor, taxation and pollution laws.

So the Republicans may be lunatics. But, in a world already ruled by lunatics, they are no doubt welcome.

Fair, just, and profitable  international trade requires a registry of all ownership and detailed trading activity, worldwide. Otherwise the sort of Republic we enjoy worldwide (as institutionalized by the United Nations) will know the same fate as the Roman Republic: an increasing sinking in the turbid waters of mindless will to power and tyranny.

Patrice Ayme’

[P/S: A shorter, trade only version of the preceding essay was selected as a New York Times’ “Pick”. Since I have complained stridently about NYT’s censorship, I have to be fair and to recognize appreciation too!]

Enraged Stoics (Fall Of Rome, Part V)

March 5, 2016

MARCUS AURELIUS, REVEALED FOR WHAT HE WAS, HIS ENRAGED “STOICS”, and related context.

[One of my readers told me to remove a more offensive title which depicted better how I felt about Marcus Aurelius and his clueless critters. Otherwise she won’t read the essay!] Yes, I know, it is curious that people who call themselves “stoic” would actually be enraged. Yet, they are. How they were led to rage, under the guidance of your truly, is instructive, and reveals much on human nature. Basically, I revealed them the truth, knowing full well, they would explode (that makes little different from Daech, aka ISIL).

And, yes, I know, Marcus Aurelius is one of the most adulated celebrities, viewed as a top intellectual, a great stoic philosopher, a towering right of life and death emperor, etc. However, my word is stronger than his sword, the true philosopher knows.

There is nothing which enrage liars more than the truth, to all revealed.  By revealing to them the truth, namely that one who, to this day, is one of their greatest leaders, is a piece of mental trash, who led humanity astray, I brought them to the abyss, where, lemming like, they jumped passionately.

Rage permeates the human condition, and reveals its nature. It’s a failing of traditional humanism that it has not yet enlighten the causes of why this happens.

Emperor Antoninus Pius Ruled For Twenty-Two And A Half Years. Pius, A Stoic, Was The Immediate Predecessor of Marcus Aurelius. Yet, A Truly Wise Leader, Following Republican Tradition, He Nominated None Of His Numerous Male Descendants Successor-Designate (“Caesar”)

Emperor Antoninus Pius Ruled For Twenty-Two And A Half Years. Pius, A Stoic, Was The Immediate Predecessor of Marcus Aurelius. Yet, A Truly Wise Leader, Following Republican Tradition, He Nominated None Of His Numerous Male Descendants Successor-Designate (“Caesar”)

Just as the Buddhists had Buddha, the Christians love Jesus, and the Muslims venerate Muhammad, the Stoics are overwhelmingly psychologically dependent upon Marcus Aurelius, a Roman emperor, and their hero. (They have an even worse anti-hero to adulate, Seneca!)

Today I will demonstrate further why Aurelius was garbage. (Do I look enraged myself? Not really, but against Nazi-like cultish methods, only the strongest answers are appropriate. The case against Aurelius may be more serious than the case against all the monarchs of the Middle Ages, as second only perhaps to Aristotle, he generated them all. As I will show below.)

Stoics, in their admirative folly, tell a lot of (traditional) lies about Marcus Aurelius. That these lies are traditional does not excuse them, or transmogrify them into the truth. Confronted to the details making blatant that those lies, however much repeated on the Internet, are lies, would-be stoics use the traditional methods deriving from what I call “intellectual fascism”. (At least that’s coherent, as Marcus Aurelius described, one could say, invented, and sang the praises of that mental method I call “Intellectual fascism”.)

I have attracted the anger of bankers, Muslims, Christians, American fanatics, and many other critters such as “Antisemites”. Unfortunately, apparently overwhelmed by a mountain of evidence and scholarship, bankers and Muslims have become exceedingly quiet.

***

The Fascist Instinct:

The ancestors of human beings for many million of years were primates pretty much exposed, far from a thick tree cover. The survival of the genus depended upon adopting with gusto the  following behavior: when confronted to danger the whole group gathering together behind a leader, and acting as one. We will call that the “fascist instinct”.

(This depends upon a piece of mathematics observed in the wild: when two groups of predators fight, the side with the greatest total mass generally wins; by acting as one, a human group could overwhelm any predator; predators cannot afford injuries, so they avoid any potential prey potentially all too injurious.)

We do not know how a behavior, necessary for survival, becomes “hard wired”. (I have just argued against simplistic ways of doing so.) However, I think the “fascist instinct” (for want of a better phrase) is “hardwired”, whatever “hardwire” means.

I also think that the next big progress in humanities will consist in admitting that various “hardwired” traits of the human genus are actually demonic. So, instead of denying that they are there, we should recognize, own, manage, mitigate, domesticate, and civilize them.

Intellectual fascism is such a trait. Celebritism, the cult of celebrities is an aspect of it. It brings forth the confusion between knowledge and hero-worship. For example the discovery of gravitational waves was attributed to “Einstein”, a content-empty concept. In truth, gravitational waves should be attributed to field theory: any moving field source generates an energy wave radiating outwards (that can then be explained further; ironically, Einstein vacillated on the waves, for years, so he had not understood how simple they were).

***

Roman Emperors Were Generally Nominated by The Senate or Adopted By Their Predecessor:

An example is Tiberius, top general in the Roman empire, adopted son of Augustus. After Augustus died, Tiberius retired in the country and waited many weeks, until the Senate begged him to become Princeps (Tiberius was de facto already head of all Roman legions, thus imperator, from his long top military command).

Marcus Aurelius was the first emperor with a son. That’s completely false. For example Tiberius, the second emperor, had two full grown sons. Both followed the cursus honorum, and became famous generals: Germanicus reconquered the part of Germany lost by Arminius’ treachery, and in particular the locale where three legions had been lost in an ambush.

What was new, is that Marcus Aurelius used a logic that brought him to make his son a “Caesar” at age five. It is not that Marcus did not know right from wrong. He did. And what he did was obviously wrong. But, somehow, Marcus found a psychopathic LOGIC to justify his perverse action.

It was psychopathic logic, because it explicitly contradicted the explicit wisdom to choose the next emperor very carefully, if possible among the most meritorious youth after they received the best education (as Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus had been selected, and educated by the famous Grammaticus Fronto).

***

Even With An Imperator Cum Princeps, Rome Viewed Itself As A Republic;

Indeed, the truth has been in plain sight, so many can’t see it:  Why? One has to know first this striking fact: until after Diocletian’s rule, around 300 CE, the Roman Imperium was actually a Republic.

Historians have come to use the word “Principate” to qualify Rome until 300 CE. Because the Imperator was also “Princeps”, the first man in the Senate. Right now in the USA, the Vice-President is first man in the Senate: as President of the Senate, the vice president has two primary duties: to cast a vote in the event of a Senate deadlock and to preside over and certify the official vote count of the U.S. Electoral College. The distinction between “president” and “prince” is that between “sits first” (president) and “takes first” (princeps/prince).

The Republic was supposedly going on, and “imperator”, supreme military command on a set of legions, was a military title from centuries of Republic. There were cases, during the Republic, when imperators saluted each other, with the “imperator” title.

***

A Professional Philosopher Makes A Correction:

“Patrice,

once more, your statements are incorrect. It isn’t that Marcus was the first emperor to have a son reach adulthood, but he was the first emperor of the Nerva–Antonine dynasty dynasty who had that opportunity.

And one more time: drop talk of fascism and psychopathy, it is adding nothing to the discussion.”

Well, dear Massimo, if you want to dine with the devil, you will need a longer spoon. I replied this:

During the Nerva-Antonine dynasty, an important qualification to become emperor was to be a stoic.

Emperor Hadrian adopted in 136 CE one of the ordinary consuls of that year, Lucius Ceionius Commodus, who took the name Lucius Aelius CAESAR. Lucius did not look the most qualified, and historians suggested he was Hadrian’s natural son. After another successful consulship in 138 CE, Lucius died (of natural causes).

Emperor Antoninus Pius, predecessor of Marcus Aurelius, had two natural, recognized sons: Marcus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus and Marcus Galerius Aurelius Antoninus. However, the emperor Antoninus Pius did not name them Caesars during their childhood or adolescence. That would have been… unwise.

Antoninus’ two sons died young without issue. However, their sister Faustina the Younger had thirteen children, and their descendants are attested in the Fifth Century. As Antoninus had the longest reign since Augustus, he could have named a direct descendant Caesar (as Marcus would do). Antoninus was a stoic.

Marcus Aurelius differed from his numerous imperial predecessors in two ways: he did not adopt a qualified, adult heir. He also nominated a very small child as heir (a royal habit which would reappear in the Fifth Century, and thereafter through the Middle Ages).

This is not a full case against Marcus Aurelius. His attitude against Christians was also a disaster.

***

If You Want Civilization To Survive, Reject Celebritism, Intellectual Fascism, etc., & Embrace Direct Democracy:

Marcus Aurelius sank the Roman Empire, just as surely as the Captain of the Titanic sank the Titanic. His designation of the baby Commodus as Caesar, heir-designate, at the grand old age of five, tells us he was no wise man. However much he repeated like a parrot in Greek what Greek philosophers had said before. Thus he covered his tracks for 19 centuries, but as Donald Trump would point out, here I am, to say the obvious.

The rage of the professed ‘stoics’, confronted to my naked truths with whom I crush them, tells volume. First it says that Stoicism falls short. Half of humanity lives in East Asia, and should not scoff too fast. East Asia is permeated with Buddhism and its variants and fellow travellers (Confucianism). One can viewed all these as forms of stoicism. Or, more exactly, forms of stoicism a la Marcus Aurelius. (It’s not that Aurelius influenced them directly; it’s more that to the same problems, the same solutions.

Marcus Aurelius, as world dictator, devised a system of mind compatible with his elevated role as fascist-in-chief. Many a ruler in East Asia, and their obsequious servants, such as Confucius, were drawn to the same broad conclusions.

Thus (much of) Stoicism-Buddhism-Confucianism can be viewed as an overall mentality (there are variants of the three of them which differ wildly.

As long as We The People do not admit that individuals are prone to failure and demonicity, always, we will not progress to the sort of perfection we now need for survival as a genus of mind.

That packs of stoics can exhibit the ugly side of man, reminiscent of an angry pack of hyenas, is no wonder. When a pack of hyenas of roughly equivalent mass confront a pack of lions, they attack. However confronted to one of a few humans, they flee. Why? Even hyenas know that humans are the worst of the worst, in some most important ways. And that’s why stoics love Marcus Aurelius: because he was the worst of the worst, under Stoic guise, he was ready to lead them, straight into the Middle Ages, and its hereditary absolute power, from father to new-born babe.

Marcus Aurelius, the first hereditary king? Yes. A philosopher? No.

Patrice Ayme’

Marcus Aurelius, INTELLECTUAL FASCIST: Why Rome Fell (Part VIII)

February 16, 2016

Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (“Marcus Aurelius”) is generally revered both as emperor and philosopher. Both attitudes are grievously erroneous, and have a bearing to what very serious people have considered, ever since, as the highest wisdom to be embraced when trying to lead civilization, or the individual lives which sustain it. I will presently roll out some (new) reasons why the Marcus Aurelius’ cult is so wrong.

What endangered the Roman State? The question has been considered since the Third Century’s turmoil, the time of the “Barrack Emperors”, which started with the elimination of young emperor Alexander Severus, for buying the Germans, instead of crushing them.

In 360 CE emperor Julian explained why Christianism was bringing Romanitas down. Christians worshipped a secondary and “evil God” (and that the Serpent, bringing knowledge, was “good”!). Julian removed Christianism’s extravagant privileges (such as the right to execute heretics). However, Julian ruled only three years as Augustus (after 5 years as “Caesar”, subordinate emperor). Immediately thereafter, the Christians came back with great vengeance, burning libraries to the ground.

Inventor Of Intellectual Fascism Catches Flies With Philosophical Honey

Inventor Of Intellectual Fascism Catches Flies With Philosophical Honey

The thesis that Christianism nearly destroyed civilization is obviously true, and was supported in detail by Gibbon in the Decline and Fall of Rome (eighteenth century). However, it’s not the whole story. In truth, it’s plutocracy which brought Rome down, through a succession of ever more dreadful instruments to insure its reign. Christianism was only plutocracy’s latest weapon of civilizational destruction. Political and intellectual fascisms had arrived centuries earlier, rabid theocracy was only a twist therefrom.

Marcus Aurelius, emperor from 161 to 180 was the last of theFive Good Emperors” (his abominable son succeeded Marcus at the grand old age of nineteen). Marcus is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers. Generally revered, he will be condemned here as a stealthy, sneaky, subterraneous yet explicit proponent of INTELLECTUAL FASCISM. Marcus’ elevation of Intellectual Fascism to a virtue explains a lot of things, from the “Fall of Rome” to the present sorry state of world governance.

I agree that this is shocking, and all the little ones will run for cover, squealing: Marcus Aurelius has a saintly, superficially justified reputation (and that, per se, is revealing: Marcus is a bit to philosophy what Einstein is to physics: a naked emperor whom the commons imagine fully dressed; critters prefer to have 140 characters anchored by a few celebrities they adore, like simple baboons adore the alpha females and males).

Even more shocking, Stoicism is supposed to be the behavior one adopts when a victim of fascism. Thus Stoicism is a behavior one would not expect from a proponent of fascism…. Until one realizes that, precisely, stoicism is, par excellence, the behavior in the masses which makes fascism possible. So Marcus fed what made him possible.

So let me severely criticize, as deserved, the following passage of Marcus Aurelius kindly provided by Massimo Pigliucci:

There are four principal aberrations of the superior faculty against which you should be constantly on your guard, and when you have detected them, you should wipe them out and say on each occasion thus: this thought is not necessary; this tends to destroy social union; this which you are going to say comes not from the real thoughts — for you should consider it among the most absurd of things for a man not to speak from his real thoughts. But the fourth is when you shall reproach yourself for anything, for this is an evidence of the diviner part within you being overpowered and yielding to the less honorable and to the perishable part, the body, and to its gross pleasures. (Meditations XI.19)”

[I don’t understand Marcus’ last sentence, he seems to take himself for god, but that’s besides the points I will make, so I will ignore this obscure sentence. I will address the two “principal aberrations” accented above. They define what wrecked the Roman State, what will wreck any state, and any civilization: intellectual fascism in its purest form for the first one, and even explicit political fascismo for the second.]

This thought is not necessary.” Says Marcus Aurelius. The emperor calls the apparition of ‘unnecessary thought’ one of the “four principal aberrations”. Sorry, Your Highness. When is a thought not necessary? When it’s not necessary to Your Excellency? And if a thought is necessary, what is it necessary for? Necessary to worship you and your kind, such as your five year old son, Commodus, whom you made a Caesar then, such a genius he was? No Roman emperor had been that grotesque, prior to you. Is that a non-necessary thought?

Is a thought then necessary when it embraces the desire of been guided by only a few thoughts reigning over the entire mind, just as Marcus Aurelius reigned over all men? In other words, is a thought necessary, and only then, when it embraces intellectual fascism? Or is that the big “stoic” philosopher thinks like the general of an army (something he was)..

Another of the Marcus’ “four principal aberrations” is lying… or more exactly “you should consider it among the most absurd of things for a man not to speak from his real thoughts”. In other words, the idea of “bad faith”. To trash and condemn Bad Faith is good. Many philosophers have done it, all the way up to Sartre. But then notice that Marcus Aurelius puts ‘unnecessary thoughts’ in the same category as “Bad Faith”.

Marcus also frowns on as a ‘principal aberration’: Any “thought [which] destroys social union”. Thus “social union” is part of the leading intellectual principles which should rule on the realm of ideas, just as Marcus Aurelius rules on men.

Now, any mental progress will disrupt brains, thus the “social union”. A society which knows “social union” and no revolution is condemned to stagnate mentality until the situation becomes uncontrollable. And this is exactly what happened to Rome the day Marcus died and his teenage son succeeded to him. A spectacular fall, driven by his son Commodus’ fateful decisions, in a matter of days, from which the Roman State never recovered.

Marcus Aurelius had decided that embracing intellectual fascism was the highest behavior, and imposed for more than two decades on 25% of humanity. I would suggest removing that element, that drive to mental shrinkage, from modern stoicism.

Those who know the history of the period with enough detail will not be surprised by my scathing critique. Instead they will realize that this was the missing piece to the logic of the disaster which befell civilization.

Indeed, immediately after Marcus Aurelius’ death Caesar Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus (“Commodus”), at the grand old age of 19, inverted all his father’s decisions (after saying he won’t).

Where did Commodus’ madness come from? Commodus, had been named “Caesar” at age 5… by his father, the great stoic parrot. How wise is that? It would feed megalomania, and indeed, Commodus was much more megalomaniac than the present leader of North Korea.

Commodus was accused of being a megalomaniac, in his lifetime. Commodus renamed Rome Colonia Commodiana, the “Colony of Commodus”. He renamed the months of the year after titles held in his honour, namely, Lucius, Aelius, Aurelius, Commodus, Augustus, Herculeus, Romanus, Exsuperatorius, Amazonius, Invictus, Felix, and Pius. Commodus renamed the Roman Senate the Commodian Fortunate Senate, and the Roman people were given the name Commodianus.

Cassius Dio, a senator and historian who lived during the reign of both Commodus and his father wrote that, with the accession of Commodus, “our history now descends from a kingdom of gold to one of iron and rust, as affairs did for the Romans of that day.” Soon, it would descend even lower, in part because Marcus’ poisonous ideas would be revered so much.

It is probable that Marcus Aurelius was assassinated by his 19 year old son (officially Marcus died suddenly of the “plague”; but sophisticated poisons were well known, and had been used before in imperial affairs: Tiberius, the second Roman emperor, did not realize, for more than 15 years, that his two own adult sons, both of the most famous generals, had been poisoned to death by Rome’s prefect Sejanus: that was revealed after Sejanus tried a coup, and his accomplices talked). Commodus would kill his own sister shortly after his accession (she had opposed him).

In a way, Marcus’ assassination was well deserved. His superficially noble, but deeply despicable stoicism, and his brazen advocacy of political and intellectual fascism enabled Roman plutocracy to own the entire empire as if it were its own colony.

Whereas imperator Trajan had brought up taxes on the wealthiest to make education free for poor children, Marcus Aurelius went the other way: he did not have enough money to pay the army, when savage German tribes were trying to cut the empire, civilization, in two.

Some may sneer that I am condemning Marcus Aurelius for an unfortunate passage or two. Not so. Marcus’ entire work, both in philosophy, and as imperator, is an extension of his fundamental view that thinking should be restricted to what was useful. As if one could know in advance what thinking will be useful for. In his context, to boot, what Marcus meant by “useful” was what was useful to him, the one who proffered the thought.

Thought reduced to what was useful to just One, the One? How much more stupid and immoral can one be?

Nowadays, we face the fast rise of colossal inequalities which foster impoverishment, be it material, intellectual, or even cognitive. We have to realize that some of the apparently wisest, most respected and ancient philosophy is fully compatible with, and an engine of, this lamentable development.

Philosophy, poorly done, is the ultimate propaganda for the demise of the many by the self-chosen few.

Patrice Ayme’

Charlie Manson & The Qur’an

December 4, 2015

Madness, A Mood, Can Be Contagious:

Madness is not just a disease, but also controlled, and impelled, to some extent, as a mood. Moreover, tolerance to madness is itself a contagious disease.

One modern proof? Some forms of madness in individuals can be mitigated by drugs. However, the patients’ state is improved if they undergo “Cognitive (Behavioral or not) Therapy”. They can learn that they are subject to madness (and when it’s coming), and learn to mitigate their crises..

Madness in individuals is not viewed as madness, in a mad society. Believing that the “Free Market” was a civilization, belongs to the same general tolerance to madness as the Qur’an is a civilization. A youngish French pundit (totally white and not at all Muslim, but a vague leftist) just boldly asserted on ONPC, one of the most popular show in France, that the Islamist State had nothing to do with the Qur’an. Clearly, he never read the Qur’an. I propose that he goes to Raqqa and teach the Qur’an to the Islamist State, this way, the world will be safer: what is more dangerous that unfathomable stupidity?

Smiling Manson: Thought Criminal Convicted To Nine Life Terms For Thought Crime Inducing Lethal Inclinations

Smiling Manson: Thought Criminal Convicted To Nine Life Terms For Thought Crime Inducing Lethal Inclinations

[The BBC published this photo, after erasing the Swastika, weirdly enough. That shows a drastic lack of culture on its part: just as Hitler found his “Fuererprinzip” in the Qur’an (see below), he found the Swastika in Indian religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism(s). Hitler was apparently better read than (some at) the BBC.]

One ancient proof that madness arise from culture-wide moods?

Watch the Romans dissecting chickens before a potential battle, to see if it should be engaged. That was obviously idiotic. One of the first Roman admirals was told by the local Imam (‘augure”) that the sacred chickens would not drink, a bad omen, and thus that battle should not be engaged, according to the respected Roman state religion. Irritated, the admiral grabbed the chickens, and threw them in the sea:’Now they will drink!’ (He lost the battle.)

Ultimately, the superstitious Roman religion was put in doubt by the tolerance extended to all the non-human sacrificial religions: the Roman saw that religions could be anything. However emperors could also see that Monotheism, started by an Egyptian Pharaoh, then amplified by the Jews, would be most useful to their rule.

Monotheism extends the Fascist Principle to the universe: everybody has a chief, everybody obeys that chief absolutely. Adolf Hitler may well as found in the Qur’an (as Sura IV, Verse 59).

“O Ye Who Believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and OBEY THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE IN POWER.

Charlie Manson was a Californian sect leader who was accused to have indoctrinated followers in such a way that they engaged in several deadly attacks (the eighth month pregnant wife of Roman Polanski, the actress Sharon tate, was butchered alive in one of these). Manson was condemned to death (commuted later to life).

The prosecution argued the triggering of “Helter Skelter” was Manson’s main motive. Manson had been impressed by a song in the Beatles’ White Album. References to that song were left (pig, rise, helter skelter). Manson predicted that the murders blacks would commit at the outset of Helter Skelter would involve the writing of “pigs” on walls in victims’ blood. Manson was viewed as responsible, although he was not at the crime scene, nor gave direct orders.

It was all completely insane. But human minds are fragile. As long as criminally insane discourses are held in books claiming to be orders from god, one should not be surprised that the unsatisfied and frustrated will find all the excuses they need there to get on a rampage.

This has now happened several times in the USA. The terrorism in San Bernardino, by a couple who pledged obedience to the Islamist State, is the latest example.

We are victims: everywhere an ambiance of terror is rising (schools, for example, have to prepare for the worst, a worst that was unimaginable in the 1960s: only the Nazis attacked schools). It brings up the police state.

And all this because a religion of hatred was preached. Several Imams in France and Switzerland, are, suddenly, under criminal investigation (at least three were financed by Saudi princes)… for preaching the sacred book, as it is. Why did it take so long? Because the mood was that Islamophilia was anti-racism?

What is the difference between a “sacred” book full of hatred and explicit orders to kill, with Charlie Manson’s  rambling, viciously aggressive discourses? Philosophers want to know. All right, I am unfair to Charlie Manson, who was not convicted for giving explicit orders to kill. The general mood Manson created was viewed as responsible enough, of the murders which happened.

The French president, last week, in stroke of Enlightenment, declared that the present war was not a clash of civilization:

“We are not committed to a war of civilizations, because these assassins don’t represent any civilization,” Hollande said. “We are in a war against terrorism, jihadism, which threatens the whole world.”

A religion was indeed never a civilization. At least in the West (be it only because, in the West, there were always several religions, Judaism one of them, in spite of centuries of frantic mass murdering by Christian fanatics.)

Christian Civilization” never existed: the law used in Europe, except in the most savage parts and times, was actually ROMAN LAW (or Frankish/Salian law… which had been written by Roman lawyers, in Latin). Saint Louis wanted to kill Jews and Unbelievers (!), but he recognized that was against the law, he wrote. Roman Law itself was pretty much independent from Roman Superstition (aka Roman Religion). When Roman emperor Justinian ordered a refurbishment of Roman Law around 540 CE, he explicitly ordered to separate the religious/superstitious aspects from SECULAR LAW.

So, indeed, “We are in a war against terrorism, Jihadism, which threatens the whole world.”

Yes, and please remind me who wrote, and where is written, the theory of Jihadism? And why is that theory of Jihadism, that those who kill as ordered by Allah go directly to Paradise, still preached? You want safety? Make it unlawful. Or, more precisely, just apply existing laws against hate crimes. And then punish it so hard, that it will stop.

Patrice Ayme’

One God, One Thought, All Submitted

June 24, 2015

God As A Conspiracy Of Plutocracy:

You want guidance, oh souls who are lost? Then it’s best to stay away from stupidity.

It’s rather daft to believe that not believing in gods, which are human inventions, somehow misses upon some of the human condition by not taking fairy tales as real. Make no mistakes: fairy tales are useful. It’s good to believe a little bit in them.

To act, to proceed into any action, we have, somehow to believe, that engaging in it will make a difference. Beliefs are good, indispensable. It’s not just those who believe in superstition(s), who believe in something. We all do.

But when potentates try to sell a particular brand of belief as the end-all, be-all, they are deluded. Or, worse, they want us to be deluded. What for? Once we are made stupid, we can be exploited. (A live example of incredible exploitation is the situation in Greece, where an enormous conspiracy makes an entire people pay for financial plots they did not engage in.)

That Son, Crispus, Was Really Killed By His Christian Father, Constantine

That Son, Crispus, Was Really Killed By His Christian Father, Constantine

[Solidus representing Caesar Crispus, Constantine’s first son, assassinated by his father in 326 CE. Constantine is a “Saint” of Orthodox Christianity: if you believe in Constantine’s sainthood, you are ready to die for banksters, and, or, monks.]

Most of the 10,000 or so religions we know of had, each, many “gods”. However not so the religion of Abraham. Who imposed that? Generals. Constantine was a general, he took over the Roman empire in his twenties. Later he steamed his wife alive, killed his nephew, and his gifted son (who did not like his father’s “Catholicism”).

The other great general was Muhammad himself (and his successors, aka Caliphs).

The one and only god was imposed, because he was an excellent role model for the one and only fascist in power: fascist on the throne, fascist in the sky. It just fit. The religion founded by one general is naturally one with a general on the top.

That does not mean one should not look positively to the present pope: he makes a nice Father Christmas. (And has many excellent ideas, such as cap and trade of carbon perm its being a sin… As I long believed.)

India has a million gods. But the fascist military structure implicit in Christianism helped Europeans to conquer the world. With Biblical efficiency.

How? India, under polytheism, had zero religious wars (as Partha a commenter to this site, pointed out). Why? Polytheism accommodates many feelings, ideas, dispositions, characters, and divinize them all. This insures tolerance where it is the most important to have it, in the heart.

However, under the fascist god, any slip of interpretation of proper worship may result in divine annihilation, thus it’s of the essence to kill unbelievers. That’s why religious wars and holocausts (as happened to the Samaritans) started in the Roman empire after Constantine imposed Christianism. Before that there had been none since the Romans had done away with human sacrifice religions (Gaul, Carthage), four centuries prior.

The essence of monotheistic theology is, if you will forgive the neologism, fascitology. It’s military pathology in disguise, and how to make intolerance divine. Killing god is a must for those who want to be free.

And that’s exactly why the SS adopted in 1933 “Gott Mit Uns!” (God With US) and the Congress of the USA goose-stepped behind in 1954 with “In God We Trust”.

Making We The People stupid with god enables masters to manipulate it down into complete impotence and destitution. As observed.

And this is precisely while the malignant cult of god grew in the USA, as plutocracy came to rule ever more (the initial establishment of the American Republic, was all about “Nature’s God”, not about the Christian fascist superstition).

To goose step behind banksters, all you need is god.

Patrice Ayme’


Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

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in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

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Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For The Best Thinking Possible. Morality Needs Intelligence As Will Needs Mind. Intelligence Is Humanism.

Learning from Dogs

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

ianmillerblog

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Military and general security

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an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

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Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

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Thoughts about Global Economy and Existence

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For The Best Thinking Possible. Morality Needs Intelligence As Will Needs Mind. Intelligence Is Humanism.

Learning from Dogs

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

ianmillerblog

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

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism

EugenR Lowy עוגן רודן

Thoughts about Global Economy and Existence

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For The Best Thinking Possible. Morality Needs Intelligence As Will Needs Mind. Intelligence Is Humanism.

Learning from Dogs

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

ianmillerblog

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

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism

EugenR Lowy עוגן רודן

Thoughts about Global Economy and Existence