Archive for the ‘Humanism’ Category

Mathematical Terror

May 7, 2016

Mathematics is dangerous. It has endowed a creature from the Sol system to acquire ever greater powers, including jumping off planet. Fortunately for the future of cockroaches, idiots are striking back. Contemplate the following: an associate professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania was doing what I have done for longer than him: scribbling equations. Then…

This Post Was Deleted. Why? Fear Of Fighting Back? Fear That The Expression Of Fighting Back Is Too Offensive To The Idiots?

This Post Was Deleted. Why? Fear Of Fighting Back? Fear That The Expression Of Fighting Back Is Too Offensive To The Idiots?

Our world is doomed… Except if it is saved by the honor of the human spirit, raw intelligence unleashed. That will entail partial differential equations propelled deep down inside by the most revolutionary philosophy.

The power of the mind has never been greater. This can be seen: watch Obama and Clinton lie about who they helped under their watch (hint: the most useless financial  types, the hedge fund managers, the brokers, those who are behind Brexit). How do they do that? By hiding behind the complexity of Quantitative Easing (what they did was Quantitative Easing for the useless part of finance… Instead of Quantitative Easing for We The People).

This can be seen: watch Putin invading Georgia, Ukraine, chuckling about his “little green men”, denying they are Russian soldiers and then confirming that, indeed, they are.

Hitler used to laud what he called the “Big Lie” technique. Correctly, though, Big Lies should build Big Faith. Hitler observed that: “It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.” Now we have the Big Hypnosis technique. It requires collaboration not just from the Main Stream Media, but the entire intellectual class. Take for example the fascination for novels: what can novels do that this crazy world is not already doing? Indeed, this is why (good) science fiction is precious: because it looks at possible worlds, instead of just arcane details of Conventional Wisdom.

People are fearing Islam, while having been told it was racism to do so. Islam has become a division of the minds.

Meanwhile, in the French Republic, Joan of Arc is getting ever more popular. There, once again, just as with Islam, Obama, Quantitative Easing, it’s all about not knowing what really happened, or what is going on. Ironically, it is the same problem as with Brexit. The real problems in today’s Great Britain have little to do with the European Union. Similarly what Joan of Arc helped to solve was the alliance between London and Paris: Joan of Arc was a Brexiter with a sword, who hacked her way into Paris, so as to separate Paris from London. I told you: reality beats fiction.

But how does one learn real history, and real facts, when all what matters is the fake passion of sports scores? The other day, I passed by a public transportation bus in a large city, and, where the destination should have been written, instead could be seen in huge letters: “Go Warriors!” I never heard of “Warriors” before. Obviously the local sport team. All I know is that this was free public advertising on public transportation. Governments carefully organize fake passions to divert attention from what they are doing. They, their friends, clients, bosses and patrons.

Menzio denounced a “broken system that does not collect information efficiently.” He is troubled by the ignorance of his fellow passenger, as well as “A security protocol that is too rigid–in the sense that once the whistle is blown everything stops without checks–and relies on the input of people who may be completely clueless.”

Mr. Menzio adds: “What might prevent an epidemic of paranoia? It is hard not to recognize in this incident, the ethos of [Donald] Trump’s voting base.” Education my dear Menzio, education. So how come average US citizens are so ignorant? Could it have to do, by any chance with educational inequality? And even “Cognitive Inequality“?

However, professor Menzio works in a university system where people have to pay a fortune to attend, and Mr. Menzio is happy to get a much higher salary than he would get in his native Italy, so his complaints about ignorance are (unwittingly, or should I say cluelessly) hypocritical.

Mr. Menzio complains about ignorance, but he seems himself blissfully ignorant of the fact that he is himself part of the system which generates ignorance, the plutocratic university system, where, to attend, one needs more, in tuition, than the median family income. He can write all the PDEs he wants, but, without the correct philosophy, they cannot bring real understanding of the socioeconomy.

In Isaac Asimov’s first novel, which he wrote in his teens, a planet in a six suns system does not ever know night. A rather primitive (human) civilization eeks a living… until, as astronomers predicted, at a particular time, all suns are on one side, and night comes. Then the savages make a mob, and go kill the astronomers. This could very well be our future if we don’t react fiercely to the savages who confuse beautiful monuments of the past, as in Palmira, or differential equations, as the work, even the world, of the devil.

But reacting fiercely means terminally offending the savages. Tolerance cannot extend to the intolerant ones. This is where it becomes delicate and subtle. It is not just the Devil who is in the details, it is also philosophy itself.

Patrice Ayme’

 

 

Jesus, From Good To Bad

March 13, 2015

Talking too much about god is not viewed as serious philosophy in Europe anymore. However, just look at Charlie Hebdo, Putin, or the CIA accusing Julian Assange to have kissed a consenting woman wrong to see the error of the ways of ignoring how imbeciles think.

Ignoring Hitler was not profitable to higher intellectual types, let’s not repeat the mistake.

IF YOU BELIEVE JESUS EXISTED, SO DID MOST PLUTO SERVING MYTHS:

“Evidence”, in law, history, and much of science, is all about establishing in what “universe” (in the sense given in Logical Treatises) the logos of the debate is going to live.

Informal Bayesian analysis is used all the way to do so. It is informal, because it depends blatantly upon subjective elements (so does all and any logos).

It can be fraught: some used it to “prove” the existence of Jesus, or its opposite.

I wrote against the historicity of Jesus, for decades. In the USA, this makes you less appreciated than if you wrote against the car. But Jesus is central to tolerating the plutocratic order (strangely enough, as the Gospels clearly despise wealth).

Thinking Out Of The Box Works, Even For Gnus.

Thinking Out Of The Box Works, Even For Gnus.

Carrier is a historian not infeodated to Christianism. In the USA, an entire propaganda is directed against these people, calling them “Gnu Atheists”.

I just consulted Carrier’s (very recent) work:

http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/2014/08/car388028.shtml

Carrier’s arguments about the inexistence of Jesus, the person, are purely logical, and similar to those I long published. However he misses more general arguments which I used. First observation: at the time, Jesus-like characters were a dime a dozen.

Some of the Jesus look-alike, who really existed, violated the law, and were tried and executed (we have the historical records). Some died in Rome, some in the Orient.

Before I pursue the general theory, let me insist a bit using more arguments against the existence of Jesus the person.

It is often say that Tacitus speaks of Jesus (however, Josephus, the top Jewish general, writing 39 years earlier his gigantic history of Judea, did not).

Tacitus wrote the Annals in 109 CE. That was 45 years after Saint Paul spent some time inventing Cristus in his golden prison in Rome (I say). According to me, Saint Paul was exfiltrated from Rome (for the same reason that he was brought to Rome in the first place, to escape execution in Jerusalem).

Saint Paul obviously had very high contacts inside the Roman state (his exfiltration from Judea was already quite a risk for Rome. Four years after Saint Paul’s writing, the first Evangels/Gospels are written by supposed “eyewitnesses” of Cristus (although Josephus, who was in the best position to know everything, was not in the know).

Many top Romans obviously felt Cristus was a better deal than those pesky Jews. And presented a golden opportunity for a universal religion (as all religion had a top god, it could be identified to the one of Jesus).

Indeed, by 300 CE, Christianism had extended massively a Romanitas of sorts, well beyond the Roman LIMES (the military border). (It is even rumored that at least one emperor was a closet Christian during the Third Century).

We know, from various documents, that very high officials in Rome, were engaged in the Christian conspiracy, early on. (Some declared they would write Gospels during their retirement…)

The idea of Christianism was not too bad, at first sight: it was to reintroduce the Republic, through the “Christian Republic”, a sort of sea monster that kept on reappearing until 1789…

As early as the Eight Century, the Venetian Republic blossomed under the wings of the Franks (Charlemagne no doubt saw himself as the new Augustus… Or more exactly, DAVID).

 

Last, no least: the Annals were discovered by religious people, in religious establishments. In various Abbeys, Monasteries, and Monte Cassino. Rumors of forgeries are as old as their discovery. Are the “Cristus” passages authentic?

***

A good way to understand the root of a flawed reasoning is to understand the logic that exert psychological pressure to produce that lie. There was a need for a Jesus character, so plenty of Jesus characters were produced, by the general logic in attendance.

What was that logic?

Jewish faith was Judeo-centric. It had a great strength: an undivided god. Many religions recognized a god of the gods, but having no god but god was simpler, and less subject to contradictions, while being more sympathetic to a state led by just one “Prince” (Princeps).

A message more oriented towards all people, not just Jews, and normal human ethology, that is, with more love than Rome experienced, fit the species better.

Hence a full century before the alleged Jesus, there was another, just like him in his philosophical message, but this one gentleman was fully historically documented, in Alexandria.

The logic wanted a Jesus, so Saint Paul produced it (with several caveats in his writings which basically recognized he made Jesus up, and those caveats were produced by me, long ago, and Carrier, more recently).

When Laplace furthered “Bayesian” analysis, he was interested by some games of chance.

When philosophers produce truth, they do not blindly parrot gnu logic. Gnus are herd animals, travelling by the millions. Gnu Christians have stampeded all over civilization for 17 centuries.

How does new philosophy produce new truth? By pondering why gnus do what they do.

Why did Saint Paul want Jesus to be? Why was the “Jesus” message welcomed by the empire? Emperors and bishops who governed the empire in 400 CE, had interest to eliminate the logics those questions called for.

New truth is produced by introducing new facts, which break the universe the old logic rested on.

The best way to do that, is through a meta-logic making the old logic a special case (as General Relativity did to Classical Gravitation).

Arguably, Jesus was just the meta-logic towards a more human society, which the Roman Empire was sorely in need of.

Having a reason for Jesus the myth, makes the historical Jesus less likely. It explains the frantic anxiety of those fragile types who are afraid they cannot cuddle with their idol anymore.

What sort of reasoning is this? Having a different

reason for a hypothesis can make axioms that led to this hypothesis superfluous. This is not properly speaking what came to be called “Bayesian” (a recent term) analysis. But it is related.

When Laplace presented his book on Celestial Mechanics to Napoleon, the tyrant retorted: ”I do not see God in your book.” Laplace retorted: “I did not need this hypothesis.”

Who Needs Spanking? France, or Europe?

March 4, 2015

There is, in the Anglosphere, a systematic bias against the French Republic. The latest: an English organization “APPROACH” got France condemned by the “Council of Europe for the tortures allegedly inflicted in France on French children by sadistic French parents.

France, presently at war in several countries, just scoffed: the mood in France at this point is that there was not enough discipline, and too much laxity. No other country in the world is as obsessed by its own children as France. (France spends the most of all countries in the world on care and education of her children, until the age of 12, very clearly.)

Then I read a long article in Nature on the connection between corruption and the lack of innovation (the more corrupt a country is, the less innovative). That was also an Anglosphere based article. What struck me was that the article considered France half corrupt, so to speak. Half-way between the most corrupt European countries, and the less corrupt (Sweden). That was in contradiction with official European statistics:

Truth: France Less Corrupt That Sweden

Truth: France Less Corrupt That Sweden

Now this lie, that France is half-corrupt, is in a major article in Nature, the most famous peer reviewed journal, in 2015! Anglosphere anti-French propaganda never rests, and no lie is big enough?

On a philosophical-historical level, it is clear that France is much less corrupt than Sweden. France is a Republic, Sweden a monarchy founded by Napoleon (!), Sweden was Hitler’s most useful collaborator in World War Two, second only to American plutocrats viewed as a set. Sweden gave Hitler all the high quality iron he needed to make his weapons. In Spring 1940, France and Britain decided to act, and, invading through invaded Norway, were in the process of preparing to cut Sweden in two (to stop the flow of iron to Hitler), when France got invaded. So the French army, which had routed elite Nazi troops in Norway, was recalled.

Now, of course, Sweden is cooperating with the worst aspect of the USA, in the Snowden affair. And not just that, but a Swedish-American fighter plane is used as a Trojan Horse against the usual suspect, France.

The problem with Sweden is not enough spanking: the country collaborated with the Nazis like crazy, but never even examined, let alone punish itself (in France, 40,000 collaborators were executed, 200,000 condemned; however the collaboration of Sweden with Hitler was voluntary, and greed propelled, whereas France was defeated first, and then the Nazis were able to find criminals to help them; the fact that, to this day, Sweden did not self-spank about the whole affair, is abysmal; is it because spanking is outlawed in Sweden?)

But back to our British “Charity”: The “Association for the Protection of All Children” (APPROACH), a “Charity” in the UK, has the “right to register a collective complaint”. Charity to whom? Plutocrats?

“The aims and objects of APPROACH Ltd are “To prevent cruelty and maltreatment of children and advance public knowledge in the United Kingdom and abroad in all matters concerning the protection of children and young people from physical punishment and all other injurious, humiliating and/or degrading treatment whether inside or outside the home”.

There are, of course, laws in France against mistreating children. There is even a mighty state agency specifically in charge of this.

So this makes the following complaint irrelevant:

“The complaint alleges that France is in violation of Article 17 of the Charter because of the lack of explicit and effective prohibition of all corporal punishment of children, in the family, schools and other settings, and because France has failed to act with due diligence to eliminate such punishment in practice…. Millions of children are thus suffering violations of their right to respect for their human dignity and physical integrity.”

That’s purely defamatory: there is no evidence of corporal punishment of children in France anymore, than say, Britain. Actually there is evidence that British youth is exposed to more violence than French youth.

My own nephew, who lives in a tough part of France, where youth are pretty violent by French standards (Aix-Marseilles), lived in England as a teenager, and was astounded by the level of violence in South-East and East England where he resided. A particular problem in Britain is binge drinking among students:

At Least three Binge Drinking In The Last 30 Days For Students Is Very Violent Abuse

At Least three Binge Drinking In The Last 30 Days For Students Is Very Violent Abuse

So what is going on?

We have seen it before: the plutocrats in the Anglosphere (those who provide funds for “charities”) do not miss an occasion to attack France.

This is nothing new. France is generally accused of the “Terror” of 1793, but those who do this always “forget” to mention that the coalition which started to invaded France in Spring 1792 (that is, well before) threatened officially to “inflict an ever memorable vengeance by delivering over the CITY OF PARIS TO MILITARY EXECUTION and COMPLETE DESTRUCTION…”

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/how-genocide-starts/

So the “Terror” and Holocaust habit was actually started by plutocrats, many of them, if not most of them, based in England (and certainly England got the ball rolling against revolutionary France).

Ever since, France and her “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” has been in the crosshairs of plutocratic “charities”.

Thus French cheese was declared dangerous (hey, French bacteria inside!), and the European Union tried to outlaw it, for years. Wonder why the French National front is becoming the party the French prefer? The first thing the National Front wants to do is “get out of Europe“. Whatever “getting out of Europe” means. But it may mean, in practice, that Europe stop getting its orders from people who, like Draghi (Economics PhD MIT, 1979) or J-C Juncker, have made their entire careers, serving USA plutocrats. And reserving European edicts to absurd orders about the details of daily lives, while giant plutocratic institutions (corporations, individuals) are financed to the tune of hundreds of billions of Euros every few months.

More generally, why would plutocrats want the French not to touch their children anymore? Because plutocrats want human beings infeodated to them to be as inhuman and robotic as possible: one is better served by well programmed automatons. The casual, down to earth, natural and life loving attitude of the French is the symbol of the rebellious spirit plutocrats fear: what do these French think, believing they can interact with their children without the “Council of Europe” watching their every move?

“APPROACH” wants to protect young people from injurious, humiliating and/or degrading treatment… So what about paying enormous tuition for going to school? This is now the case in England (where, under Cameron the plutocrat, university tuition has reached USA levels). Is not paying much of a family income to attend school injurious? Let alone degrading and humiliating (as most youth cannot afford it)?

Canada forbids spanking, but in just a small part of Canada, 3,000 young women disappeared in recent years (only one culprit was found so far, a pig farmer, who fed girls to his animals; but he killed only a few dozens; Canada denied for years that there was a problem). Sweden also, loud and clear, has outlawed spanking, but has alarming levels of violence against women (not overall, but for rape).

Overall Violence Against Women Worldwide: Less In France, Italy, Spain

Overall Violence Against Women Worldwide: Less In France, Italy, Spain

In countries not France, I have seen parents terrified apparently to touch their children in any way. What they do generally is play ball with them, in a sort of semi-formal way (“Hey buddy, here is the ball…”). That’s officially safe. But is it really so?

Once people are afraid to interact with their children, they leave free access to the propaganda of real malfeasance against children. For example contact sports (American football, rugby, hockey, even soccer…) with their concussions: plutocrats prefer their slaves decerebrated. Many of the thugs employed in High Finance have a past in very violent sports: it goes together. By playing “American Football” or Hockey, they have learned to abuse others, and they justify that by letting themselves be abused.

One ends with creatures obsessed by scoring, winning, while looking superficially correct, and, their brains being fracked all over by concussions and their scars, unable to think of anything much. Thus, perfect servants of the established High Financial order.

Nobody has died of spanking, ever, that I have heard of. But in just one week in the USA, hundreds of youth suffer concussions, and several die. From American Football alone. Clearly a case of lethal, or morbid, child abuse. But nothing that “APPROACH” will ever approach, as that would be reproached by its sponsors.

American children with marmalade brains, dying all over from football? Ah, but, they are not French! Thus, who cares? Is that the logic? It is flattering in a devious way…

Patrice Ayme’

Wingsuit Philosophy: 400 Million Years Strong

November 28, 2014

 

If Life is Quantum, why do Quantum assemblies jump off cliffs and peaks in wingsuits, with a high probability to be blown to bits? (See flying off the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey, Mont Blanc Range.)

Is it the love of danger? What else? Indeed, most of these ladies and gentlemen, when interviewed, insist that they love life. And most of them, indeed, seem to enjoy life, and are extremely lively.

Flier Jumped Off Peuterey (Peak on the Right)

Flier Jumped Off Peuterey (Peak on the Right)

Wingsuit flying is an extreme form of extreme sport. It entangles extreme neurological control, extreme speed, and extreme terror. Plus extreme contempt for probabilities. In other words, all what makes man tick where it counts most, in what counts most, in battle.

The film concludes with a list of more than two dozen wingsuit fliers known to have died in 2013, while practicing their passion.

The first attempted wingsuit flight, more than a century ago, was off the Eiffel Tower (then the world’s tallest structure). The gentleman long hesitated before jumping. He received a significant hole in his head. However, an autopsy revealed that he had died of a heart attack during the flight (so great was his fright?). Frenchmen invented the modern suits in the 1990s. Tubes inflated by air pressure rigidify them. The explicit aim was to land with them (to do this, I believe a 6 meter wing span is needed, thus further, hard, but imaginable, progress in material science).

Wingsuited Corliss Popping Balloons Before Zooming Into A Gorge

Wingsuited Corliss Popping Balloons Before Zooming Into A Gorge

So why is danger lovable? Danger is not just lovable, it is adaptative, in the evolutionary sense of the term. That means that, for human beings, to love danger present greater advantage that the alternative. Can I prove it? Well, wingsuit flying and all sorts of behaviors potentially lethal to those who indulge in them, are only explainable by the thrill of danger. If this thrill is perceived as more valuable than life, it’s that life cannot do without it.

As Sherlock Holmes noticed, when one has eliminated all other explanations, what’s left is what is going on.

The usual suspects, the loud vegetarians, mosquito lovers, peaceniks, Dalai Lama worshippers, partisans of the intrinsic goodness of man in general, and of the extreme placidity and sanctity of themselves in particular, will meekly bleat that from such violence comes the undoing of man. Assuredly, they will reckon, loving danger leads to war, mayhem, and horror of horror, violence, to put it in one hated word.

Yet, what is man if not the creature of ultimate force? Violence is how man was built, one mutation at a time.

After these vigorous considerations, I went running more than twenty miles in the mountains, some of it above 8,000 feet. Never mind a little snow and ice: the greenhouse presents advantages in late November. At some point I met some mountain bikers: ”What are you doing, so far from anywhere?” I did not tell them I was philosophying, as I already looked crazy enough with my skimpy outfit (running is higher metabolism than biking).

Back in the land of computers, I stumbled on an interview of Jeb Corliss, an expert of “proximity flying” (see above). He reached pretty much the same conclusions as yours truly, in an interesting article with a stupid title:

“Courting popularity has never been a priority for Corliss. “Listen,” he tells me, “I talk about the deaths. I talk about the disasters.”

“And if you die?”

“If I die, I want that footage on TV the next day.”

“Why?”

“Why? Because this is not chess. This is not backgammon. This is not . . . ” (Corliss racks his brain for a yet-more-contemptible pastime, and finds one) “golf. This is dangerous. I believe that footage of fatalities is way more important than film of some guy flying across a beautiful meadow. What we are doing here is very important. I believe that flying is what evolution is about. Think of the squirrels.”

“OK.”

“At the beginning, there were probably only a very few squirrels that even contemplated flying from tree to tree. The other squirrels thought they were crazy. I imagine hundreds of them died in the attempt. But then, in the end, one of them managed it. Now that, to me, is evolution. And now we are evolving, through technology and through skill. I liken what we’re doing in proximity flying to the first animals that left the water. We are evolving and growing. And becoming stronger. What else,” he asks, “is the purpose of life?”

The usual suspects, if they have time to stop grazing their pastures, will call the preceding Nietzschean, or Hitlerian, and condemn it. But that would be wrong on both counts: Nietzsche hated evolution, and Hitler loved regression. Corliss’ philosophy wants progress. That philosophy, which has been mine, ever since I reflected in the wastes of Africa, is very close to Lamarck, and… Sade.

400 million years ago, during the Devonian Period, the earliest tetrapods derived from the lobe-finned fishes.

It is an important point that, although plants did not need brains to conquer the land, brainy animals, having brains, had to decide to conquer land.

Strict “Darwinists” speak as if they cannot understand this, and brains are just what genes do (see in particular Dawkins). Does that mean they never decide anything, except what class and genes gave them? (Lord Matt Ridley, one of the most strident advocates of total gene control, and of plundering the planet, is a major and most propagandizing plutocrat; believing “genes” control all means class controls all).

Yet, that’s obviously wrong: if all and any fish had been so terrified of land that they had not tried to crawl on it, all the mutations in the world would not have made the vertebrates conquer land.

For 400 million years, our brainy ancestors took great chances, and very few of those who took the greatest chances, that is, the most lethal chances, could reproduce. They died early, they died hard, but they tried something crazy, to give some mutation a chance… And, as we will see in a companion essay, a chance for this mutation to appear!

Without the will to progress, there would have been no progress. There would be only plants, bacteria, viruses.

Patrice Ayme’

Austerity: As Wild As It Gets!

May 7, 2013

AUSTERITY BENEFITS THE FEW BY STRANGLING THE MANY:

 To fully understand the austerity drive, one has to go fully prehistoric, at the dawn of Homo Erectus. For at least a million years, Homo has known how to profit from fire, and, thus, a scorched earth strategy. That, itself, belongs to an even deeper instinct of apparently wanton destruction. Apparently, but not really.

 The austerity drive has gone further than simply dismantling the welfare state. Austerity has attacked the very heart of the solution to get out of the deep economic, energetic and ecological crises we are getting into. Scientific research and education themselves are getting slashed, in Europe, or the USA.

 For civilization, austerity has become the equivalent of banging one’s head on a wall, in the hope of improving one’s mental faculties. For conventional wisdom, it should make no sense at all, considering the grave catastrophe it’s bringing along. Yet, it makes sense, when one realizes that man has always fought man, even more than the ocean has always fought the ocean.

Even Oceans Fight

Even Oceans Fight

 In places where oceans meet and struggle, giant rogue waves often form. They can destroy even super tankers. (One such place is along the south-east African coast, off Mozambique).

 Some pontificate that class struggle is quaint. They are generally paid by the plutocratic system, that made the upper class a subsidiary of evil itself. Yet structures appear through struggles. Austerity itself is a rogue wave from such a struggle.

 The notion of structure is not fully explained: thorough explanations have to go through Quantum Physics. Yet the transition from Quantum Physics to Classical Physics is not part of Twentieth Century science (this is the essence of the debate on the foundations of Quantum Mechanics, and why the last Nobel Prize in Physics was given to students of this mysterious transition).

 The Honorable Paul Krugman lists a number of reasons for the austerity drive, while, correctly, decrying it (See Note). Paul credits humanity, or more exactly its leadership, with too much goodness. The most obvious reason for austerity is the one less talked about: benefiting the few by strangling the many. A master idea of the oligarchy is that class structures are no more. Yet, structures are all over: morphogenesis makes up the universe.

 I wrote against austerity many times before (see Note), explaining in particular that it was the proximal cause of the fall of Rome.

 This Fall is very striking, because it shows that plutocracy will sell its own country to make a buck. Indeed, there was no more money to pay the legions, from lack of taxation of the hyper wealthy. Thus evacuation, from sheer Will-To-Austerity, by the legions of Britain and of the “limes“, throughout the entire north-west corner of the empire.

 Defense was entrusted to the Franks; the idea was that the Franks came for… free. The Franks had no choice, but to ferociously fight, as they were mostly peasant-owners, and needed to defend their land, thus, indirectly, the Roman cities and villas. However, the enemy, knowing the legions were out of the way, got lucky (frozen Rhine) and broke through at Chrismas 406.

 It’s amusing that the “Fall of Rome” is always presented as a deep mystery, when it can be explained by exactly two battles, one lost by Valens at Adrianopolis, and the other as just related. In any case, austerity caused a tremendous military disaster within six years of its fiercest implementation!

 Austerity always favors the rise of plutocracy, and the neo-feudalism we can observe blossoming today; when there is not enough money to employ the many, what needs to be done is still done. But it’s done only by what becomes an indispensable oligarchy.

 Even those criticizing it are feeding the austerity machine: watch the Honorable professor Stiglitz in his palatial office at Columbia University, teaching economics by the People, for the People, while employed by a school that charges, 58,000 dollars a year, namely 20% higher than the median household income of New York City surrounding it. OK, let me explain. The austerity machine is the other face of the luxury machine. By thriving in the luxury machine, and making it thrive in turn, Stiglitz himself is a clog in that giant machine that made We The People irrelevant to the Luxury Tower of Power.

 The deepest reason for austerity is also the simplest, and most shocking. Austerity is not just incidentally causing the strangling of the many by the few. It’s all about benefiting the few by strangling the many.

 Most of the public has been well indoctrinated in Christian like ethics (see Nietzsche below about slave morality). Thus the naïve public will accordingly reject that such an inclination for a final solution of the public problem makes sense. And yet, it does. Thus, the very outraged denial of an inclination to the final solution has allowed it to happen many times before.

 The Final Solution does make sense, once one realizes that ecological imbalance has been the greatest enemy of humanity for two million years. Ecological imbalances caused by an (over-) abundance of people. Thus, as the Romans put it, Homo Homini Lupus. Man is a wolf for man.

 Thus, all the proximal, technical reasons given for austerity act as a cover-up for the deepest drive: making war to others, especially when it feels that there are too many, or at least too many of a kind one does not like. Thus the insistence that only a few should be served.

 Reagan and others of his kind, speaking of government, said that “the beast should be starved“.

 According to what I am saying here, they really meant, what they really wanted to say, as their wild, basic instincts told them, was that the beasts should be starved. Thus ultra hard line conservatism is as mean as the eons have had it. And as mad, as mean as the older evils had it: racism, colonialism… in all cases, it was all about the war of the few against the many, that war that never ends, the war of man against himself, killing, not just because that’s a force that gives us meaning, but because that’s the culling, that gives us a world.

 We could, of course, do differently now. But, instead of insuring the luxury of a few individuals, as the greatest good, we should then strive to make understanding of everything our greatest luxury. And that’s start

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Notes:

 1) On preceding remarks on austerity: I wrote nearly a year ago, “Why Austerity?”. That listed detailed causes for the austerity drive. “Why Europe Lays Supine” addresses the peculiar European case; Europe credited humanity with too much goodness, too, and believed, that, by being virtuous, the world would follow. Instead the world used European naivety to its advantage. Now Europe finds herself on the verge of an obvious depression, and is finally throwing overboard its ecological drive to lighten the ship: it refused to support its carbon price system, the world’s most advanced mechanism to control CO2 emissions.

 2) Sade agreed with the Romans that man was up to no good. In particular, Sade observed  that politicians had to be among the worst individuals, and relished inflicting their “sadistic” powers on others. And that much of their “politics” was motivated that way. he wrote about it as outrageously as possible, including Prime Ministers torturing the innocent, just to relax. Accordingly, Sade was jailed for decades by the Ancient dictatorship of Louis XVI.

Sade was freed during the Revolution of 1789. He had been one of its main instigators, directly and indirectly. He found himself in some of the highest responsibilities, and advised strongly against imposing the revolution by force throughout Europe, precisely because he was aware of the calculus of violence of man against man, the inclination to commit violence, while covering it up  in noble fashion.

 3) Nietzsche pointed out that there were two moral systems in force in Europe. Christianity, officially enforced, was the morality for the slaves, imposed to the slaves, and they did not know any better. Slaves had been made to believe that Christianity was the only morality in existence. Whereas European aristocracy ruled according to its exact opposite, the rule of the strong. Nietzsche’s analysis is still true today.

Yet, from my more cynical viewpoint the “aristocracy”, is not just admirable, literally a “rule of the best“. Instead, it’s a vile plutocracy at heart. So, instead of embracing the masters’ race, as Nietzsche seems to inclined to do, I reject it, when it’s just a vulgar plutocracy, just as I reject slavery, as another form of the Dark Side. I basically believe that the double morality system goes on today, with the same sort of results: that’s why financiers get to pay taxes at a much lower rate, from complicities in government… While preaching the free market and meritocracy (the moral system for the Plebs, precisely the one plutocrats are violating).

 4) In light of the preceding, Paul Krugman’s remarks, although well meaning, are rather meek. Said he:…”calls for a reversal of the destructive turn toward austerity are still having a hard time getting through. Partly that reflects vested interests, for austerity policies serve the interests of wealthy creditors; partly it reflects the unwillingness of influential people to admit being wrong… a further obstacle to change: widespread, deep-seated cynicism about the ability of democratic governments, once engaged in stimulus, to change course in the future.”

But Paul, of course, has to be published, and thus appreciated enough, by Very Serious People  Very Sadistic Plutocrats.

I AM, & SOMETIMES I THINK

July 17, 2012

SUM ERGO COGITO:

Abstract: Thinking is what defines us. Agreed.

Yet, from most perspectives, Descartes’ famous “Cogito Ergo Sum“, “I Think Therefore I Am” is (grotesquely) counterfactual, as I show below, from the nature of logic, from science, and from introspection. No, the soul does not come before and independently of the body, Messieurs Descartes and Havel. The reality is the exact opposite.  

Thinking emerges from the rough and tough, it is something that rises only from very complex, very organized matter. It may be the face of god, but it is first an act of human will. Last, and not least, the self extends well beyond conscious thought.

***

LOGIC IS (NEUROLOGICAL) RULES, DATA ARE (NEUROLOGICAL) INPUT; EXISTENCE FIRST:

It often happens, in the course of human debates, that, by manipulating standard concepts from fresh, and sometimes opposite perspectives, one is perceived to say the exact opposite of what one is trying to say. Why? Because much of what passes for thinking is actually perfunctory checking for the presence of a few known facts, in an ancient mood.

(This is not really a failure of the logical system; it turns out perception itself works in the same perfunctory way: 90% of input in the visual system consists of reentrant fibers…)

One consequence of my essay I Mood Therefore I Thinkis the exact opposite conclusion of Descartes’ most famous statement, from a multi pronged attack.

Yet, Paul Handover, the excellent gentleman and versatile thinker who founded the excellent site Learning From Dogs“, in what I fear could be a standard critique, suggested that I complicated matters about thinking, by trying to deviate from Descartes’s “I think therefore I am“. Said he:

“Cogito ergo sum, or as the French would say, “Je pense donc je suis”…surely all you are saying is that famous phrase, “I think, therefore I am”?

Ergo, writing so extensively about moods is complicating something basic to man. Some humans think and some don’t!”

Well, surely not. (Paul later understood what I meant, as the comment section made clear.) I agree that moods, paying attention to moods, considerably complicates the analysis of thinking, as I tried to show, for example, with Socrates’ obsession with pathetic little logic. That itty-bitty logic was just a transparent way to change the conversation from what was really wrong with Athens, namely that it was a slave society… Instead Socrates lived as a hanger-on of the golden youth of Athens, those whose descendants would ultimately collaborate with Macedonian plutocracy (Antipater, and his goons, 322 BCE). About that most grievious logical flaw, he had nothing to say; it was a question of moods.

Living, worldwide, among various natives, all endowed with very varied moods, about the same things, from Silicon Valley to Iran, Black Africa to the Latin Quarter, has taught me that moods dominate logic. Maybe not locally, in a mind, but certainly, globally, throughout a mind.

Recently I was talking to a Silicon (Valley) mini titan, and he asked me how my writing was doing, feigning polite interest, while barely hiding his considerable irritation, hostility and contempt (to all I represented, the Cogito). The mood he projected was clearly not the mood I would have enjoyed at the Café de Flore in Paris. Nor, of course, with such a mood in place, the debate could reach any depth. Silicon Valley does not want depth, just profits and market share, enabled by financial plots, and as little government as possible (while entertaining and financing the president). That’s the mood.

The first thinker to dare criticize Descartes directly was the (ultra-rich) Ludwig Wittgenstein, who went to Cambridge to study with Russell, and taught there, between bouts of building a cabin with his hands in Norway, and renouncing his plutocratic prerogatives. (Although it can be said Sartre & Al. made a covert critique of Descartes, see below.)

Wittgenstein thought Descartes’ famous slogan was pointless. Ludwig used to make fun of Descartes in his Cambridge seminar by loudly remarking:”I think, therefore it rains!” Or: “I think, therefore the sky is blue!” He did not elaborate more than that, I will.

All humans think. Simply some refuse to do it creatively, or have been conditioned, by a special mood, to avoid all and any creative thinking.

On the face of it, Descartes’ “Cogito” statement is ridiculous, as it uses an emerging property to define existence itself. But emergence pre-supposes existence. (And see what Existentialism hinted about the subject below.) And yet we will see the story is a bit more subtle.

***

THE BRAIN EMBODIES LOGIC, PHYSICS, MATHEMATICS:

When one looks at an implication: a > b, one is looking at a piece of neurology. Most mathematicians not only do not understand that, but refuse to understand it, are highly offended by it, and would rather leave the room screaming (they already have). However, so it is.

The wolf can howl to the moon, call it divine, still it is the moon. A physical object. Just like the mathematician can howl to mathematics, call it divine, still, like the moon, it’s just out there. That makes it even more important, but nothing physics did not invent first. 

Mathematicians want to call mathematics divine, for the same reason dogs want to call the moon divine: because, having discovered their object of adoration to be out of this world makes them feel divine about themselves (something very obvious in mathematicians). Descartes, creating the world just from his own thinking, is a typical case.

Reality is much more prosaic, not to say vulgar.

It is well known that a dog trying to get at a ball thrown in the water, will run along the beach just so, and jump in the water according to the optimal trajectory confirmed by electronic computers and 7,000 years of intense human efforts to write down the rules of calculus, so that they could be installed inside said computers.

How do mathematicians think wolves know calculus? (And so do lions, I have seen it.) Because they got the Fields Medal, the Abel Prize? How come the dog takes a year to learn what takes the mathematician 15? Because they read it in books, like human mathematicians?

No, it’s much simpler than that. Wolves have neurobiology which embodies (the) calculus (they need). This is the reason for what Wigner called “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics“. The mind is built from the existence of histories experienced. Yes, even in wolves. They make this spiritual construction when they play as puppies.

The puppies play with a lot of possibilities, their minds memorize those that work the best. It’s not building the cathedrals, but it leads there.

(The basic principles of cathedral construction were also found by trial and error, then culturally transmitted… so was calculus, now culturally hammered in, so that young human mathematicians, differently from those poor dogs, do not have to invent it!)

***

THINKING, CONSCIOUSNESS, EMERGE AFTER PLENTY:

Logic is made of (neurological) rules, data consist in (neurological) input (most internally generated). Those exist first. Thinking comes later, it is what is called an Emerging Property.

What is an emerging property? An enormous system is put in place, with an enormous number of interactions, and, as it becomes dynamic, it builds an order, an order that emerges progressively. Even plate tectonic is an emerging property. Crystallization is an example. pain, physical or psychological, another. All societies, even those of ants, are emerging properties.

Clearly, whatever thinking is, it’s an emerging property, because thinking requires a bunch of neurons to come together, first.

Moods and sensations are the indispensable background to any logical system.

It’s not just my opinion, and it’s not just neurological. Open any treatise in logic. OK, it’s easy to get lost within logic, as a quick peek at Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy shows . Logic is a universe of its own. Most mathematicians know nothing about it, and don’t want to know (lest they feel beaten at their own game, logical arrogance). To simplify, as usual, I go hard core, by sticking to hard core pragmatism (as found in the best hard science and mathematics).

Judicious simplification leads to better abstraction. I am going to simplify what logic is.

I have studied various logical systems, long and hard, even including Girard’s Linear Logic (invented very recently, in 1987). I have also studied, long and hard, before it became fashionable, Category Theory. Category Theory is literally a rigorous structuralism, a bunch of rules of manifest interest. (Nobody knows if it can replace Set Theory as a Foundation of Mathematics; practitioners don’t care, it’s too useful to give them time for deep meditation.)

My rough (philosophical) conclusion from all this esoterica: any logical system (including categories) consists, at the very minimum of:

1) a set of rules (it could be diagram chasing in a category). Call that the ‘logic‘.

2) a universe of symbols to which these rules apply. Call that the ‘universe‘ (in which that logic operates).

The way I look at it, this corresponds to the way the brain is organized:

 1) corresponds neurologically to an axonal system (including dentrites).

 2) corresponds to the regions (in the brain) the logic starts from (it will varied places, as inputs internal, or external, vary).

Sensation, moods, emotion, neurohormonal regimes act as meta-controllers, upon both the logic and the universe. For example in case of hyper stress, automatic meta controllers acting on gateway neurons will shut down parts of the brain by starving them of oxygen, and redirect oxygen and fuel towards areas indispensable for survival. So the brain’s logic is controlled by moods, as meta.

***

FALLING OFF A MOUNTAIN, TOO BUSY FOR THINKING:

Once I was delicately crossing a famous and notorious ice gully equipped just with an ice axe and rock climbing slippers. At the worst moment, I looked up, and saw a cloud of rock silently forming up in the sky, 600 meters higher. I started to run, in the hope of reaching the rock on the other side first. However, the avalanche from the partial collapse of said mountain hit my ropes just as I made it to a vertical slab. (The shoulder of that mountain entirely collapsed later, a famous case in Chamonix).

Torn off rock holds, I fell off, facing certain long and painful demise down the mile high gully of death (and the death of my partner, who had a lousy belay. From cracks in the one and only mineral block in that ice gully). I had a last thought: not only was I airborne, but I was dead, that was it, survival probability was strictly zero.

However my brain, in a miraculous feat I cannot not believe, to this day, succeeded to block me between vertical walls, one of ice, the other of granite, in a chimney position. All the more remarkable as I had only rock slippers (not mountain boots). The amount of unbelievable precision and giant neuronal power to unleash colossal force to stop the already long fall was only possible because all my brainpower was applied only where it mattered.

There was no thinking whatsoever. Actually it’s clear that after I had the thought that I was going to die, fir sure, the brain shut down all and any thinking. Consciousness was useless, it just stood in the way, so there was none. Pain and fear did not exist: they were irrelevant.

Thinking, consciousness, pain and fear were obviously completely shut down. All that was left was tremendous will power, enormous mathematical power and the capability to generate an enormous action potential in millions of motor neurons to create gigantic force.

After I stopped in other inhuman feats, I jumped out of the chimney position, grabbed rock and solo climbed ten  meters up to a terrace. It felt like jumping up. When I got to the terrace, and looked at lots of abraded arms, I just could not believe what had happened.  I still do not.

Cogito, ergo sum“, said Descartes. But where does cogito, ergo and sum fit in this gory scene? Nowhere.

Superstitious people who love slogans would just say that “God” took over. Whatever kicks their simplicity.

Clearly what happened has been related many times in similar incident: all my brain’s energy got concentrated exactly where it could make a difference, in a particular application of elementary mechanics, with maximum motor neuron power. Completely extinguishing the rest of brain activity.

Many years ago, a famous solo French sailor, Alain Colas, was in a race in the middle of the ocean. A loop of rope suddenly snapped around his ankle, and nearly completely severed his foot, causing severe blood loss. He had to make a tourniquet to save his life, administer first aid, then bring down his sails, on his giant boat, also to save his life, then try to give the alert. All of this while dragging foot and nerves on the deck. But he did not feel the pain, and he did not go into shock. That happened only when he was done with the essentials.

Anybody who is real hard and has experienced the grand outdoors hundreds of time, will have a similar story to relate.

***

MINIMUM INTROSPECTION SHOWS EXISTENCE, & FEELING COME FIRST:

Waking up from total exhaustion one has first the sensation of existing (“I am!”, or: “I seem to be!”) , well before one starts thinking anything remotely organized, or logical. That could certainly be proven by e-m brain studies, BTW.

Somebody in very deep coma demonstrably exists, while often not being in thought, deep or not.

Actually anybody familiar with heavy exercise knows they can reach points where he or she is, but do not too well what anything, including themselves, is all about. They are, but they don’t really think. So being precedes thinking, elaborated or not. When I run uphill at 3,000 meters for more than fifteen minutes, it tends to do this to me, for example.

Moods provide (part of) the context that a logic needs. How does a baby learn the meaning of words? Not from a dictionary, but from emotions. Emotions come first, they provide the semantics of the world, for any growing human mind. I should go back in the essay and point that out, so thank you Paul!

Thus, at first sight, it’s amazing Descartes, an army captain, could make such a mistake. Did he have an agenda? He did.

***

DESCARTES, OR MACHIAVELLISM SERVING EXISTENTIALISM?

I am tough on “Cogito Ergo Sum”, but I should not be so on his author. Indeed there are twists in this story.

Three centuries after Descartes, Sartre, raising the flag of so called French Existentialism, claimed that existence precedes essence (l’existence précède l’essence”). That reverted the philosophical view that the essence nature of something is more fundamental and immutable than its existence (Aquinas defined god as the thing where existence = essence…). So, if one thinks of the essence of man, as one should, to be thinking, then Sartre was (unwittingly?) saying that thinking was emergent.

Descartes was a genius, if there ever was one: he invented analytic geometry, making calculus possible. So why did he say something as absurd? Well, if man existed just from his thinking, it was not because of God.

Descartes’reasons were grounded in anti-theocracy, subtlety and the advancement of civilization. His new aphorism, “Cogito Ergo Sum“, was iconoclastic.

But iconoclasm yesterday, doctrine tomorrow. Compare the way Descartes broke new ground with his aphorism to the return to primitive theocracy of a modern celebrity such as Václav Havel advocates. Said that otherwise very honorable one: “… one great certainty: Consciousness precedes Being, and not the other way around, as Marxists claim…”. Havel would go oncondemning ours as “the first atheist civilization“, which “has lost its connection with the infinite and with eternity“.

Descartes’ mood was to go where no mind had gone before. Neo-conservatives are rather in the mood of going back again where the logic has thoroughly proved not to be sustainable. No wonder the birth rate is collapsing in such parts.

***

Patrice Ayme

WILL TO VICE.

January 23, 2012

Power Is One Thing, Cruelty Another. Willing Them, Human All The Way. Something Civilization Cannot Ignore Anymore.

***

 Questions: Nietzsche made the “Will To Power” famous. Is it enough to explain the Dark Side? I claim it’s not.

 Indeed, why is there a “Will To Power”? Is it because there is, in human minds, a natural state of tranquility, and power is not a low hanging fruit, but it has to be willed? People have to decide to acquire power, first?

 Why not a “Will To Love”? Then? Does not the fact that there is a need for a Will To Power, but no need for a Will To Love, show that Love is more primordial than Power?

 And is the “Will to Power” enough to explain all the vice found in history, or is there something even more terrible, something the great religions all guessed? Yes, there is! So roll over Nietzsche!

 And I say: What about The Will To Vice? (In French: Volonte’ de Nuire, which is actually better because more encompassing.) Power gives the ability to deploy force, thus to act. Vice is the desire to hurt. And, if there is such a thing as striving to inflict pain, why is vice so alluring?

 We have to dig deep in the psychobiology of the genus Homo to answer these questions.

 The meta-psychology of power and vice are actually born from the most practical considerations, evolutionary speaking: one can see them at work in many a place in the Middle Earth, where the two largest continents, Eurasia and Africa meet. All and any of the combatants fanatics and other occupiers will tell you that they fight for excellent reasons, and they are right. Such is the Will To Vice. Always right. Greed is good, and so is cruelty.

 Power and vice arise for reasons, thus causes, that one can understand, it turns out. They are even deeper than evolution, because they inflected it. Some are exposed below. The need to effective leadership, and to do what is necessary, ultimately rule, and animate those reasons. Understanding this will go a long way to steer civilization correctly. 

  I know people have little time. Those who want to cut to the chase, can avoid the preliminaries on the domination of cruelty in all religions, and the section on how the Will To Power grew in primates from evolutionary pressures. The meat of the essay are the sections HUMAN IS TO BE LOVED and WILL TO CRUELTY. 

*** 

***

WISDOM OF THE AGES HAS INCORPORATED VICE (However Poorly):

 Viciousness is prominent in all the great religions. And not just to condemn it, but to advocate it: after all, if the gods do it, why not us? I am not just alluding to the Aztecs and their industrial cannibalism and the Incas, and their propensity to spill the blood of virgins on top of volcanoes. The Celts, and Carthage, which were most advanced civilizations, also practiced human sacrifices (even the Romans dabbed in them).

 Viciousness is fully obvious in the old Norse religion, or Hinduism, which were prone to burn young women alive on the slightest pretext. The old Babylonian religions made the universe into a giant arena for the fight between light and darkness, truth and lie, Ahura Mazda and Ahriman. Of course in the Abrahamic religion, the genocidal god is so much into his criminogenic and megalomaniac “jealousy”, that he wrote a few books to advertise them proudly. One of the Abrahamic sects even made a torture instrument of death its very symbol, and then called it love (OK, it worked. Charlemagne would point at the crushed Angles and Saxons and Hungarians…)

 Buddhism, although milder at first sight, does not escape the vice of vice. Buddhism is so obsessed by viciousness, that it throws the world out with the bath. Buddhism claims that nihilism (“nirvana”) is better than living in the world, by the world, for the world. Instead, to flee that horror, the world, it promotes detachment from it (but not so much detachment that its priests do not go begging in the streets !)  

 The mildest of the great religions may have been the Egyptian one, and may be that is why it lasted 4,000 years. But it is also why it found itself unable to resist enemies with more ferocious, extraverted gods, starting with the Libyans, the Achaemenids and finally the Christians, thoroughly rabid from god as they were.

 So can one safely say that old wisdom has fully integrated the Dark Side, the set of behaviors and knowledge associated withhell”?

***

TO BE HUMAN IS TO BE LOVED (At Some Point): 

 Maybe one should ask first where the expression “Dark Side“, as incarnated by the tenebrous Lord of the Underground, comes from? OK, it fully belongs to the Greek and Babylonian mythologies. The idea is at least 4,000 year old. But that does not explain what it is.

 In truth, it’s very simple, and that causal relationship reveals the hierarchy of emotions within Homo Sapiens. One speaks of the “Dark Side” because one does not like to look inside at what is lurking down there. A fortiori one does not like to talk about that Dark Side. 

 Why such reluctance? First, man is a social animal, and the social group holds together from love. It’s a bit like the nucleus of an atom held by the strong force. The strong force in human groups is love. It is needed, or there would not be a social group. (At a far distance, love does not reach anymore, thus huge social groups cannot be held by love, except if the state manufactures a form of love which carries far, and that is how nations hold together.)

 Understanding promotes love, whereas hiding one’s true brainwork promotes the opposite, misunderstanding, hence conflict. So what is in full sight is appeasing, whereas the ambush from the dark, just the opposite.

 Another reason to eschew the Dark Side is that, man is anywhere, and always, born out of love. [See the note on the errors of Christianism.]

 How does love come first? Simple. Nearly all and any baby, anywhere, and always, is loved, for quite a long period. Years. The first years, the ones during which one gets imprinted. Without enough love from enough people around the baby, the baby would certainly die. The same holds for young children. 

 Human children brought up by wolves prove the point. Certainly they would have been devoured, had some wolves not been overwhelmed by love (that wolves become more loving at some point during their massively fluctuating hormonal existence is a case in point; even in wolves, love can overwhelm all; human beings do not have such huge hormonal fluctuations and are more permanently loving).

 So love comes first. It is the base layer, emotionally. Vice comes first as a transgression (later it can become a habit, in individuals or a culture in countries, something some Germans try to mask by accusing Hitler of all the vices old style German culture infused him with).

 The Dark Side is thus condemned to be a second order effect. But, in some cases, it is the only ensemble of behaviors and knowledge that will provide with a solution (an obvious reference: the Bible, when the Chosen People comes onto the previous occupants of the Promised Land, and has to eradicate them, to occupy it in turn; this is the scheme reproduced throughout the (ex) British empire, allowing to eradicate indigenes from a godly portion of the Earth, hence the importance of the Bible throughout the Brutish thing).

***

THE WILL TO POWER IS HOW PRIMATES MARRY LOVE WITH COMBAT:

 Nietzsche talked about the “Will to Power”. Why would this be? Why a “Will”? Does one talk about a “Will to Thirst”, a “Will to Hunger”? (OK, a “Will to Sex” exists among those who purchase aphrodisiacs, but that is a recent perversion, with no evolutionary meaning.)

 So is there a “Will to Love”? Most of the time, and more prominently, not at all. When love is there, it is overwhelming. One does NOT need to will it. A normal parent does not will to love her child. The parent just loves. Love is fundamentally an hormonal state. The strongest love is not something one decides to engage in. One can decide to love, true, but this is a secondary, weaker form.

 Nietzsche is correct that searching for power is a conscious decision, something one wills. It’s not as natural as love.

 Wolf packs are led by alpha couples: other animals in the pack are not just subservient, they just don’t get to eat first, and the best parts. They also don’t have sex. They are subservient, otherwise they will be attacked with lethal force.

 However, primates are not wolves. Primates are less on a war footing than wolves. They don’t need to live in a fascist state with absolute rule all the time, as wolves do. In primates, although sex is the object of conflict and impacted by hierarchy, (most of) the whole group reproduces. Thus not only primates do not need to be leaders, but they can perfectly reproduce without brimming with the utmost domineering characteristics. Thus primates do not reproduce domineering characteristics in an overwhelming manner. They also reproduce other sorts of manners.

 In wolves, those who reproduce have been selected, by the struggle for power, to be particularly domineering. So baby wolves tend to have the power drive genetically engineered, because only the dominant ones reproduce. Only domination to death reproduces. Wolves are born as topmost domination machines.

 Baby primates are not genetically pre-selected for so much domination, since non domineering members of the group also genetically contribute. 

 However some primate species need leaders. Why? Because they have evolved to live in primate hell, namely the savannah park, where trees stand among grass, as if they had been planted in a park by a divine gardener (most of Africa was endowed with that landscape, in combination with a web of narrow forest gallery where water and predators lurked). 

 The savannah park was, historically speaking, ten million years ago, no place for primates. Primates evolved in the trees, in the age of dinosaurs, from ancestors we probably have in common with squirrels. In the forest, monkeys have few competent enemies. After primates left the equatorial trees, and their huge juicy fruits (up to 50 kilograms), though, primates became dependent upon sources of fresh water. Moreover, primates were the object of gustative desire of a magnificent panoply of carnivores, from dogs, to many species of hyenas, giant cheetahs, leopards, lions, and saber tooth cats, let alone giant carnivorous baboons, boars, and bears. 

 Primates, to be present in the savannah, had to develop military psychobiology. It was a necessity, not an option. Primate sociobiology evolved into the sociobiology of armies. That is blatant when one observes baboons in the wild, as I had the good fortune to do as a child. Baboons need water once a day, so they have to organize a military expedition to get to the water hole, everyday. Stealth does not work. What works is military organization, and terror in the heart of all and any potential enemy.

 A baboon army on the march is a terrifying spectacle of sound and fury. They shake trees. They bark furiously in unison. Lactating females and their children are inside the formation. In front, demonic big males flashing their eyelids and giant canines, brimming with the threatening insanity of their obvious will to tear into whoever or whatever would dare stand in their way, proceed irresistibly towards their objective. Lion prides rise, and decide to go somewhere else sniff the grass. Leopards disappear in the darkest bushes.

 Armies function because they are the many acting as one: “E Pluribus, Unum“. Forming an army allows to constitute a super beast, with just one mind (that of the leader) and the total mass of the individuals which compose it (total mass matters: in combats between lions and hyenas, the group with the largest total mass generally wins).

 That primate army is endowed with the spirit of the leader. That leader has to be domineering enough to be accepted as the mind of all, and combative enough to look towards combat, when there is no choice. And that leader has to pretend to love combat enough to make the group it leads appear dangerously insane to third parties (thus making way, as needed, the way baboons have to do it, to exist).

 To become a leader, one has to fight, to get to that position which has obvious advantages. This has the interest that not only fighters get selected to lead, and lead into combat, as needed, but the very process of selection develop the leaders into ever more aggressive minds. Evolution found the trick that if the groups were led by individuals more aggressive that the common members of the groups, the groups would battle better, and how to develop a process to increase the combativity of the leaders. 

 So here is the picture: primate groups in the savannah can exist if and only if they are large enough, bound by love. While at the same time, primate groups need to be led by particularly aggressive individuals, capable of leading the group into combat, and making other animals believe that the groups they constitute are the most dangerous thing on earth.

 Thus savannah dwelling primate species have developed, had to develop, a psychobiology which favors the “Will To Power”. Primates are rendered more ferocious by undergoing the power struggle to reach power, and that is obtained only after “willing” it. “Willing it” transmogrifies soft individuals in the loving groups into the hard edge tyrants needed for the victory of the group.

 Some scientists have determined that most of the large animals’ mass, for millions of years, was made of lion sized carnivores (as lions can take down a giraffe and survive on rabits). It’s no more the case now, thanks to the great primate offensive for savannah park supremacy. The war between monkeys and lions has ended with the victory of the monkeys, thanks to the militarized fascism of the latter, as needed.

 By the way, this may be why Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary, from his ferocious debate performance: the voting primates perceived in him a greater warrior, the product of a greater Will To Power, promising a harder edge to solve the problems the country confronts, and that too “cool” an attitude of the seducer in chief, with his huge smile, cannot address.

 Let’s recapitulate: love is a necessity, a fundamental imprinting. Ferocious leadership is obtained in a contrived way, through the constructive “Will to Power”.

 But what of the cases when combat is not enough? Say the enemy has been defeated. But now the enemy needs to be eradicated, because there is not enough food to go around, or simply because not eradicating today, means being eradicated tomorrow. Just as chimps do in the valley over there. 

 Genocide of his own species has been, historically and evolutionary speaking, one of the characteristics of the genus Homo. Genocide is what the most domineering hominids have had to do, and did, for millions of years.

 Is the “Will To Power” the answer to impose eradication? No. It is more oriented towards combat. The “Will to Power” wants to overpower, not massacre. The “Will To Power” is about exerting power on others. Will To Power needs the continuation of others to be exerted. And indeed, although baboons kill baboons in power struggles, sometimes (their canines are like small daggers), power struggles among baboons do not result in extermination in the famed chimpanzee-human style.

***

THE WILL TO CRUELTY:

 Thus the interest of the Will To Cruelty. The Will To Cruelty is what motivates the ultimate, all too human activity, genocide.

 Genocide: when man becomes like the legendary god of Abraham, ready to want the worst one can possibly imagine, and turning it into a religion (what is worse than asking a parent to kill his child, out of love for one’s superior, as the Abrahamic god does with Abraham?)

 Omitting the presence of the Will To Cruelty is one of the greatest failures of conventional humanism. It is also a failure of standard economics, and, in particular of the free market fanatics. And a failure of all of those who deify some of their superiors. All human beings have potentially Pluto inside. But those who have the greatest power in their hands have fewer checks left to restrain them, and thus are more inclined to transgress into vice. Thus, admiring leaders is fraught with ethical peril. Leaders, threatened by temptation, ought to be viewed with suspicion.

The only transgression left to those who have most power, the only challenge left, is to cultivate the Will to Cruelty, so they do. It attracts them irresistibly. So they informed their academic servants that it would be best never to evoke the subject.

 Indeed, some of these observations are not really new. Sade was first.

 That grotesque cruelty motivated leaders all too much was de Sade’s main point. They were not keen to hear this, all the more since the People was listening carefully, at least in France. This is why king Louis XVI, and the dictators Robespierre and Napoleon kept Sade in jail for decades. Sade was saying that Robespierre and Napoleon were… sadistic brutes motivated by inflicting pain, they had to be, that is why people like them did what they did… and sadistic brutes they, indeed, were!

 Funny how many busts of Napoleon there are, with rabid Napoleonophiles on their knees lauding that cruel monster, considering most of what he did was to bust the great revolution for human rights, in general, and the republic, in particular, besides ravaging Europe, all the way to Moscow, while destroying his great European army, and killing, among others, millions of Frenchmen… Do they admire the cruelty? The arbitrary assassinations? Keeping Sade in jail?

 Why is genocide so central in the evolution of hominids? Because hominids represented, for millions of years, the ultimate power, and had to use their ultimate power on that ultimate power to keep humanity in check. Only terminal force can master terminal force.

 Left to themselves on (parts of) South Georgia island, reindeer devastated the ecology to the point their population, after booming, having run out of vegetables and lichen to eat, starved, and crashed by up to 90% (in parts).

 But it does not work this way with human beings. Human beings, just like rats, are sociable, and help each other, when their populations are at sustainable densities. Beyond that, the worst enemy of man becomes other men, and there were plenty of thousands of centuries to select for human beings who could get the job of culling of other hominids done. Actually, they self-selected. Not only human beings have an inclination, a will, to cruelty, but they selected themselves this way, because that was most advantageous, evolutionary speaking. So the cruel ones reproduced, and the sweet ones did not. A consequence of this has been the (semi-demented) love for tribalism and nationalism (with major inconveniences such as Nazism, and now neutralized in modern times by team sports).

 The Will To Cruelty, ultimately, protects an optimal version of the planetary ecology. It is timely to remember this, as the greatest attack against the ecology is proceeding ever more. Logically, and evolutionarily speaking, it is only a matter of time before cruelty comes to the rescue of the biosphere.

***

 Patrice Ayme

***

 Note on some fundamental errors of Christianism: Christianism made a big deal of love, as if Christ invented it. Well love is clearly a necessary pre-condition to human life. The fact that Christ had such an unloving relationship with his own father, should not lead us astray about the necessity of that pre-condition.

 Thus Judeo-Christianism was wrong with its theory of original sin! Men are not born bad, quite the opposite: they evolve that way. Such an egregious error can only have been committed deliberately. The manipulators of the Dark Side probably felt that “original sin” made common people feel bad about themselves, thus weakened their resolve. Moreover, if man was born bad, the leading plutocratic miscreants were excused to do whatever nasty stuff they wanted, since they were born that way! 

 Of course Christianism was not chosen by the Latter Days Tyrants of Rome because it was right, but, precisely, because it was wrong.

Right Makes Might?

August 31, 2011

WHEN CONFRONTING EVIL, BIPARTISANSHIP IS NOT THE ANSWER. 

Witness against himself Obama has made bipartisan thinking infamous, and rightly so. When confronted to the worst extremism, such as the Tea Party, he crosses the bridge, and offers himself as a target. This way Tea Partisans need not vote for Perry, they may as well vote for Obama. Hey, everybody will win! The audacity to win! As one of the “senior advisers” of Obama, 40 years old, had the impudence to point out.

Bipartisan thinking was not invented by Obama, even in Anglo-Saxon countries. Some notables of the American revolution switched sides. Bipartisanship was already practiced by Pontius Pilatus. Earlier Plato befriended the tyrant of Syracuse, while claiming to be a partisan of the “Republic“. (Thus Christian despots did not burn Plato’s books, recognizing in him a kindred spirit.)

Confronted to Hitler, many crossed the bridge to him, in the name of openness, bipartisanship, and thus enabled him (among the first to do so was G.W. Bush’s grandfather Prescott, one of Hitler’s closest collaborators, head of American-Silesian; thus it was not surprising that Bush covered his family’s tracks by exhibiting the opposite attitude, loudly proclaiming a vast gap between himself and evil! Very crafty.)

Facile, or bipartisan, or not partisan, thinking incites some people to still make the case for Auschwitz. That they do not understand this does not excuse them. After all, most of the Germans who enabled Auschwitz did not understand that they did so. Actually they did not even know what Auschwitz was, nor wanted to conceive of it. That would have been un-German.

 People who keep on making the case for Auschwitz can persevere in this, because not enough contempt, condemnation, and, first of all, revelation, has been heaped over them, their deliberate obscurantism and confusionism, and their criminal attitude of tolerance for “infamy”. (To use Voltaire’s non bipartisan semantics.)

 Roger Cohen wrote an editorial, “Score One For Interventionism” in the New York Times. As Roger puts it:” Libya will not end the debate on intervention. But it confirms that the West must be prepared at times to fight for its values.”

 Yes. One should not even have to wait for such a confirmation anymore. May 8, 1945 should have been enough confirmation. Remember Auschwitz? The threat thereof incited the most famous intervention of the spirit of the enlightenment of the West: when France and Britain declared war to Hitler and his criminal supporters. It took five years and eight months, but, ultimately, Western democracy, and the enlightenment of the West, crushed the Nazi barbarity.

 So I expressed in a comment to the NYT, my agreement with Mr. Cohen:

“Score TWO for interventionism, as France threw out the dictator in Ivory Coast a few months earlier. So let’s recapitulate; France won two wars in a year, and the USA lost two, in a decade. Something else: France and Britain started the intervention in Bosnia, but, at the time, were too insecure to push it to victory quickly. France also intervened way late in Rwanda. Of this, no more.
Civilization needs to be enforced.

 I was a bit taken aback: just one reader of the NYT approved what I said, whereas more than 80 clueless individuals approved what I view as a tissue of the usual irrelevance, lies and stupidities from a  guy called Richard Brauer, based in South Africa. That was more than twice the number of approvals any other comment got, which means that such mass murderous friendly thinking is widely shared by many who read the NYT.

 Brauer made his mass murdering criminal friendly thinking transparent. It rests on a confusion of notions, and inventions.

 1) The first point Richard Brauer made was that “Bosnia is still  a mess“. Thus, according to Brauer, keeping order is more important than preventing holocausts. The West should not have saved millions in Bosnia, because it is still a mess.

  Presumably, if Hitler had killed another 200 million people in Europe, it would have been less of a mess, and, thus, according to Brauer, and his admirers, a greater success. Mass murdering fascists, such as the Nazis are always fond to celebrate the “New Order“. (I was myself bombed, once, by a French fascist organization called “Ordre Nouveau“.)

 Only fascists worry about order, rather than worry about human lives. So, actually, Brauer is somebody who has embraced a central tenet of fascism. To great applaud of the pseudo left wing readership of the New York Times. OK, Stalin, a genuine fascist, was also pseudo left wing (and boasted to Churchill that he killed even more Soviets than Hitler did.) Hitler too: not only did he invent the expression: National Sozialist, but he craftily borrowed socialist and left wing themes all over, to improve his appeal, as he cynically explained himself!

 It is as if Brauer wrote this from the perspective of an old South African white racist supremacist fascist. Richard, tell us ain’t so.  

 That Bosnia is, or is not, a mess was not the reason to intervene in Bosnia for those whom superior morality guides (by opposition to those that Hitler, Ghadafi, and the like, guide). Of course if the Serbian fanatics had been left to their own instruments, they would have killed all the Muslims, and all the Croats. Indeed, as Brauer implicitly points out, order in Bosnia would be much better by now.

 Similarly if whites South Africans  had done like the white North Americans, and killed all the Indians, I mean, the black, order would reign much better in South Africa, and Brauer would rest easy. Much better order, mein Fuerer, and purity of essence, besides.

 Historically, under a UN mandate, French and British troops were interposed between the civilians in Sarajevo, and the rogue (“Bosnian”) Serb army. Heavy Serb guns reached encircled Sarajevo, impacting it with thousands of high explosive shells, from 30 kilometers away.

 The French, allied to Serbia in 1914, were leery to counter-attack the descendants of their ex-allies. But they had to save the population Serb fanatics were determined to exterminate.

 The French finally used counterforce strikes: once a flying Serbian shell was detected on radar, the computer found where it originated from, and French shells were directed there. This destroyed the Serb guns, and allowed to stop the destruction of Sarajevo. The depredations of the fanatics kept on going, though, in the rest of Bosnia, and the siege of Sarajevo was not lifted. Years later NATO had to intervene in full. (Now Serbia is 99% collaborating with civilization, and improving by the day, in its anxiety to integrate the European Union, which is the final solution to the Yugoslav problem, for all concerned.)

 2) The second point that the fascism loving Brauer made was that “It’s way too early to judge the USA a success, even on idealistic Western terms. We’re pretty far from a stable and democratic country at this point.” OK, I replaced in Brauer’s original version, the word “Libya” by “USA”. It sounds just as pertinent. If the USA is neither stable nor democratic at this point, why to require it for Libya?

 3) The third point Brauer made was that “the rest of the world sees it [the intervention in Libya] as a naked grab by Western governments on behalf of their energy companies.”

  Brauer does not seem to have observed that most of the world is the West. At least, officially speaking. Indeed, the UN Charter reflects the basic credo of the West. All the Americas are in the West (except for Cuba, which is not too clear about where it wants to be). Most of Africa is in the West (OK, except Zimbawe, Sudan, and a few limbo states). Most of Eurasia is in the West, too, philosophically speaking (even Russia, officially speaking; the notable exception being China, which is a collaborator and accomplice of the West, or, at least, its plutocracy). Did I forget Australia and Antarctica?

 This is exactly why France was able to persuade most powers to support, or the rest to tacitly approve her intervention in Libya. France acted in the name of the principles of the West, id est of the principles of the Rest. This is by now the standard French tactic. It works if and only if genuine. 

 For Brauer, and his ignorant, or malevolent admirers, if the “rest of the world” believes in a complete, counterfactual idiocy, we should consider that a problem. However real problems are not defined by counter-factual idiots.

 As I said many times, Ghadafi was giving the West all the oil it needed. 80% of Libyan oil was going to France and Italy, which had, therefore no motivation to engage in war according to those who think that the war was about oil. Actually the oil flow from Libya has been stopped for more than 6 months now, so the oil men ought to have been on Ghadafi’s side, which they were, indeed.

 The historical development of establishing a set of reason for revolution in the Arabo-Muslim world and in Libya in particular, was due to philosophers, not to oil traffickers, and other plutocrats.

 This is something important to understand. In the 1930s, when France tried to do something against Hitler, American officials argued that France was being imperialistic, and that Germany should be left to be all it wanted to be, preserved from the terrible French imperialistic intervention.  That argument was entertained as early as 1934.

 There was just one fly in that ointment; the Ambassador of the USA in Berlin, the historian Dodd, agreed 100% with his imminent colleague, the French ambassador in Berlin, Francois-Poncet. What did Washington do? In 1939, it replaced Dodd by a pro-Nazi ambassador. The best way to encourage Hitler to be firm with France.

 The fact remains that philosophers were singularly silent in the 1930s (many, most of a new generation, fought courageously, in the 1940s, against Nazism, and died that way; but by then the infuriated Nazi dragon had escaped the grotto).

 In the 1930s, Anglo-Saxon plutocrats collaborated with Hitler and other fascists, because they augmented their profits that way. This collaboration was so enormous that it allowed Hitler to survive the initial shock against France and Britain (although the Nazis losses, by the time France fell, were already considerable, comprising more than 50,000 elite troops and officers; by the time Hitler had to attack the USSR, he had won in Greece, but his victorious paratroops had been wiped out; by the time American soldiers fought their first shots with the Nazis, the French had inflicted the decisive defeat to Rommel’s Afrika Korps, deep in the desert).

 Plutocrats collaborated with Ghadafi intensely. Thus they had no interest to fight him. Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal gives an example, August 30 2011. Here we go:

  TRIPOLI—On the ground floor of a six-story building here, agents working for Moammar Gadhafi sat in an open room, spying on emails and chat messages with the help of technology Libya acquired from the West….

Amesys, a unit of French technology firm Bull SA, [which] installed the monitoring center. A warning by the door bears the Amesys logo. The sign reads: “Help keep our classified business secret. Don’t discuss classified information out of the HQ.”…..The room, explored Monday by The Wall Street Journal, provides clear new evidence of foreign companies’ cooperation in the repression of Libyans under Col. Gadhafi’s almost 42-year rule. The surveillance files found here include emails written as recently as February, after the Libyan uprising had begun… VASTech SA Pty Ltd, a small South African firm, provided the regime with tools to tap and log all the international phone calls going in and out of the country, according to emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the matter. VASTech declined to discuss its business in Libya due to confidentiality agreements.”

 Maybe Mr. Brauer is somehow related to VASTech, or to the oil companies which lost money due to the Libyan rebellion?

 Conclusion? France intervened in Libya not because her plutocrats wanted it, but because (some of her) philosophers made an irresistible case for it. To French president Sarkozy. Contrarily to the 1930s, when the USA was systematically hostile to France’s higher thinking, Obama’s USA cooperated, and France was able to convince enough of the rest (to get the 9 votes at the UNSC she needed; she got 10).  

 By the way, genuine French philosophers are not in love with French plutocrats, although at least two individuals (BHL and the father of Bruni’s first child), belong to both categories. Usually there is strong, solid, professional and intimate enmity between both groups.

 Mr. Brauer neglects the interventions of the Western powers sometimes assisted by African allies in the Sudan (where French troops died in Darfur), Sierra Leone, Liberia, Chad (where France fought Ghadafi for decades, recovering a part of Chad occupied by the guy with the bad hairdo), Rwanda, Ivory Coast and Libya (the two French led interventions of 2011). Among other things. Intervention also worked against racist South Africa (but failed to replace racist Rhodesia by the better regime, as Zimbawe is clearly a terrible place).

 So what motivates the likes of the ignorantly aggressive Mr. Brauer? Does Mr. Brauer, and his supporters regret, deep down inside, that France intervened against the genocidal, racist, fascist Hitler, and his Neues Ordnung?

 Or is Mr. Brauer happy to join a herd of the ignorant and facile, thus creating cheaply in him and his flock the illusion of strength and wisdom? In other words, naturally enough, Mr. Brauer whines when one attack fascism, because he indulges in the fascist reflex.

 Thought crime ought to not send people in jail always, but it certainly should not go without condemnation, and evisceration, when it boils down to making a shrine to the concept of holocaust.

 Thus those inclined to idiotic lies of the mass criminality inducing type have to be answered, even if we have to stoop very low to do so, and engage in a shouting match. Ignoring the stupid brutes all too long is what made Hitler, Stalin or Pol-Pot possible.

 Right now the partisans and practitioners of torture in the USA are loudly claiming that torture is the best way to go forward. Never mind that it is a direct violation of the Third Geneva Convention, never mind that the U.S. Army, and the most elementary logic, are against it: Cheney and Yoo (the UC Berkeley professor of law who wrote the legal opinion giving the green light to Bush) preach torture, with more boldness than ever.

 They have been encouraged to do so by the ambiguous attitude of the ever bipartisan president. Confronted to torture, Obama crossed the bridge, and said: we don’t do that, but we will not do anything about those who did that, and want more of it. Instead of dragging Bush, Cheney, Yoo, and a Federal judge I forgot the name of, to court, Obama said: let them be, let’s not rush to judgment. Actually, let’s not go to any sort of judgment.  Obama let torture walk free, as he let the banksters walk free. And now he is surprised that society is captive, and people feel that it is his fault.

 French general Paul Aussaresses admitted in his 2001 book, “Services spéciaux, Algérie 1955–1957“, to the use of torture during the Algerian war (he claimed under civilian orders from subalterns to F. Mitterrand). Subsequent to his gloating, for justifying the use of torture, the elderly Aussaresses was condemned in court, stripped of his army rank, stripped of the right to wear a uniform, and he was stripped of his Legion of Honor. All of this happened decades after Aussaresses apparently advised South American militaries about his methods of torture. In other words, torturers breed torturers. Worldwide.

 Of course, convicted criminal Aussaresses went on major media of the USA to justify the use of torture against Al Qaeda. His defense of torture arguably incited the American proponents of torture. Thus thought crime propagates. Bipartisanship about torture, as bipartisan about anything else dubious, under the pretext of coolness, is encouraging torture, and all other sorts of evil.

 France, whatever France means, lost the Algerian war (some very close family members of mine died). Although, technically, the French army had won. But it was the wrong sort of victory. That war was not a military campaign, but a campaign about right and wrong, and the usage of torture guaranteed wrong.

 In 2011, France intervened, and won, twice: in Ivory Coast, and in Libya. Why? How? By being on the side of right, twice. If one wants to win, one better be right. To start with. That Obama forgot in Afghanistan, in his colossal naivety. But one would expect nothing else from someone whose moral sense is about being bipartisan, not attributing blame, and looking real cool, no matter what. Such a moral sense does not have “right” as a fundamental notion. “Right” is all about how it looks.

 Obama encountered Hitler. What do you think happened? “Enough blame  to go around,” confirmed the president. OK, pathetic, I agree.

 Being bipartisan about holocausts is no option for the morally correct. Non assistance to people in danger is one of the worst crimes there is. Once one has justified the worst, or let it go free, and unmolested, how much worse can one do? Indulge in infamy, instead of just entertaining it?

***

Patrice Ayme

*** 

(more…)

HUMANISM IS FORCE. No-Fly Over Libya.

March 8, 2011

THE LYING GATES OF HELL: WORLD WAR TWO, AND NOW.

Democracy Has To Use Force Against That Major Plutocrat, Gaddafi.

***

Abstract: Qaddafi’s aviation just bombed the main water tank of the major city and oil terminal of Ras Lanouf, depriving the city of water. Ras Lanouf is held by the freedom fighters. French TV crews on the ground have witnessed, and filmed massive bombing raids by the planes of the tyrant. The freedom fighters find very difficult to hold the front, because of those aerial assaults (they have no defensive anti-aircraft missiles).

Khadafy is one of the world’s top plutocrats. Thus his friends are many, mighty, and they know how to hide their wealth and power.

Qaddafi controls directly 140 billion dollars, mostly in the West (that corresponds to such a hole in official Libyan finances). Just as one does not know how to spell Gaddafi’s name, nor how many people he tortures everyday, one does not know where his financial web is (part of it could be in a TV station next to you, and certainly all over Hollywood). 140 billion dollars make Qaddafi one of the West’s most important masters. Kadafi does not just own Libya, he owns you.

Gaddafi became great friend of the Western leadership under George W. Bush, because plutocrats love each other. Takes one to love one. Especially in these days, when plutocrats lose so many friends among the many, the small, credulous and naive.

Moreover, the USA knew nothing much about the Arab-Muslim world (and still does not, hence the obsession with syrupy celebration of Islam). After 9/11, the government of the USA purchased the Libyan Gestapo to help in these matters, in the best tradition of fascists lending a helping hand to fascists, wherever they are, whatever they are doing. 

So it should come as no surprise that the US Secretary of “Defense” Robert Gates, an old hand of the imperial fascist rule, has been lying about the difficulty of establishing “No Fly” zones over Libya.

According to the trembling Gates, “No Fly” over Libya is too shocking to consider. Why? What happened to your stealthy, supersonic F22s?

Or is it because Khaddafy is the devil Gates knows, and appreciates, part of the worldwide plutocratic conspiracy he serves, and has always served? Or because Gates aspires to cash in with said worldwide plutocracy, within a few months, as many of his predecessors in the Bush and Obama administrations have done? 

Cashing in only works in the framework of the established order. If revolution keeps on spreading, even mainstream plutocrats in the USA could come under examination, and the entire corrupt system could find itself attacked by the middle class…

Moreover Khadafy is destroying the Libyan People, and that can only be useful for those who only love oil, and love even more peoples of the oil rich nations to understand that their reason for being is to respect the oil dictators who send the oil to the West. Those who love order can only love order to re-establish itself. Gaddafi was one of Bush II’s strong elements.

We have seen the will to submit peoples before. OK, the entire Second World War was about that, and this is why the USA waited for the Japanese and German fascists to attack; the devastation the fascists were visiting was as much weakening of potential competitors… of the USA. OK, not all American officials may have acted on this. But only idiots would not have thought about it.

The extravagant aerial “Allied” bombing devastation visited on France in 1944 was another aspect of the same will to submit potential competitors, and extend the reservoir of slaves and freedmen: the bombing of France was not directed at the, by then, completely impotent Nazis, at least inside France (by August 1944, the Nazis were bottled up in ports such as Toulon, Marseilles, Nantes, Brest, La Rochelle, etc… With no submarines able to sneak out, and no boats left, they had only isolated Nazi garrisons watching over the ramparts, besieged, unable to go out, armed just with guns).

So the massive American bombings on French ports and other industrial installations was directed towards the French People, French cities, French industry, should they revolt, or just thrive. Rebuilding out of the rubble should, and did, keep the French busy in the next few decades. And a bit more respectful: if I bomb you, you kowtow thereafter. Well done.

This subject is never approached in this brazen way in France. Except by a close relative of mine, sotto voce, in confidence. He used to be an admiral, and commanded French vessels, including an aircraft carrier. Certainly the complete destruction of, say, Saint Malo, was an anti-French act, not an anti-Nazi act. Saint Malo was in no sense a military asset of the Nazis (Saint Malo was rebuilt identically, stone by stone).

American plutocratic strategists have long thought that not helping democracy was in their best material interest, and they were proven right. It brought on the entire so called “American Century”. But past acts have future consequences, even if delayed.

OK, the “American Century” lasted 56 years… until it fell flat on his head from the towering, tottering, crumbling heights of plots within plots, in great clouds of smoke and destruction.

So the American Century is over. It turns out that it was perverted by plutocracy, as plutocracy has been doing what it always does best: gut the core of the empire, so that no revolt of the rabble at the core, can topple it. Riddled through its core, the empire is imploding, as it did not protect its workers, exactly as plutocracy contrived it. And always does. This is the difference between republic and plutocracy; republic is sustainable, but not so the rule of wealth.

The People of the USA is now in need of all the help it can get from democracy. But, whether the Americans understand this enough or not, the Europeans themselves should understand that it is in their best interest that their own sea, the Mediterranean, the cradle of the civilization we have, would know democracy all around.

It is not a question of making the Libyan revolution in place of the Libyans. Democracy needs to make it a fair fight, just as a matter of justice. None of the fascist air force should be allowed to attack the freedom fighters. France and Britain, or France alone, have the means, and should gather the will to do so, and attack. They should remember what happened when they did not intervene in the (mislabeled) “Spanish Civil War“.

When an army attacks a People, other peoples should intervene. That is what happened in Spain in 1936. That is what is happening in Libya, in 2011.

But there is more than justice involved. It is time to remember that the famous Roman emperor Septimus Severus was born in Leptis Magna (modern Lebda in Libya). His father was of Punic-Libyan origin. Under his son, Roman citizenship was given to all free men.

clip_image001Roman Amphitheater in Leptis Magna (Libya).

*

Rome ended in Libya not out of empire as much as out of survival. Rome had to fight Carthage, and, later, Jugurtha. There is indeed much more a stake. Democracy around the Mediterranean is actually a matter of survival for Europe.

With nuclear bombs, and other WMDs, anything can happen, and real fast. Having fascist regimes a few miles away is not a viable option. The Libyan dictator proved, long ago, that deliberate war crimes were one of his tools (the same argument was made against Saddam Hussein, but the case against Saddam was very murky, to say the least, as responsibilities were shared with the West who was allied to him, and had armed him, when not outright fought for him).

So the Europeans need to intervene in Libya. And that means with more than sending French Direction de la Défense de la Sécurité Civile teams on the ground (which is already happening in Benghazi).

Athens was rid of its tyrant by an intervention of the Spartan army (which is ironical, considering what happened later). The Athenian people could not do it itself. Why? Because armies are made of professional killers, with all the resources necessary to kill multitudes and peoples are not, and do not have the resources. When an army attacks a people, and other peoples just watch, they become accomplices to the mayhem.

The United Nations was initially a French intellectual idea from 1916 as the Société des Nations, the SDN. The United Nations has a lot to learn: Khadafy was put on the Human Right Commission, and was even elected to lead it! More grotesque than that, there is not; by the same token, Hitler would have been elected to head the commission on minorities, and human rights. But calling plutocrats “philanthropic’ is how it’s done, in the USA, and God knows how influential the USA is.

It is high time to remember that the United Nations is an instrument of civilization, but is not civilization itself. The UN is a tool of world governance, and a big classroom, and a place of instruction, but it does not replace civilization. Civilization is a greater force, and it rules because it has a greater force. Brains without force are only the ruin of hope. When civilization forgets that, that the mind thinks, but force rules, not only is the way harder, but it may well bring annihilation.

Go back to 1939: it’s Britain and France which declared war to Hitler. Not the USA. Time for France and Britain to defend democracy again. Make haste.

***

***

GATES OF HELL:

Lies are often technical. That gives them the appearance of truth. Thus, they generally appear, masquerading as the result of expertise to the naive populations, giving them, through an appearance of technicality, an excuse to believe them.

I give here an example: the lying of the US Secretary of Defense, Gates. Gates claimed that to establish a “no fly” zone over (some part of) Libya would require a total attack on Libya, Iraq style. That’s a lie. A related lie is to say that it would be useless. (Well, then give the insurgents SAMs.)

“Let’s call a spade a spade,” Gates said at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. “A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defenses.”

Meanwhile Clinton gave a warning that a lot of Al Qaeda fighters came from Eastern Libya. Thanks Hillary for reminding us that Qadafi is on your side in Afghanistan, and presumably, other places! (In other relevant news, white fighters from Eastern America scalped people… and Boston municipal authorities used to pay for said scalps. Is Clinton going to warn us about that too?)

Clearly American ‘leaders’ have probably been reminded by their wealthy masters that what we are observing is the end of the American protectorate in the Mideast, if regimes keep on toppling.

Could that toppling of plutocratically useful regimes extent all the way, all over? Imagine: no more oil from Chavez, or then, oil paid in euros. Imagine: China cracking, and American plutocratic corporations unable to make stuff there, using slave labor there, while killing labor in the West. Imagine: no more so called American order, and next thing you know, the American people could rise in revolt against their true masters (the concept of masters of mankind is from Adam Smith, not Karl Marx).

American oil companies pushed to “normalize” the relationship with Gaddafi. Never mind that was “normalizing” relationships with a regime which had grossly violated human rights, and never mind that the human rights of the Americans and the French (among others) had been violated. For some of the corporate aristocracy, human rights enter no computation.

***

BARBIE & KHADAFY, CRIMINALS AGAINST MANKIND:

Many close to Khadafy have pointed out in the last few weeks that Khadafy personally ordered the bombings of American and French jumbo jets, which were clearly crimes against mankind. No, I am not forgetting the shooting down of Korean and Iranian jumbo jets by Russian and American military, respectively: these were (lamentable) errors, which showed an (abominable) disregard for the possibility of killing civilians. But they were not the deliberate killing of civilians to achieve that aim and that aim alone. So they were not crimes against mankind.

Crimes against mankind show up in the detail. They do not show up in their full glory, because those who commit crimes against mankind want to spread an aura of terror, without provoking enraged despair. Enraged despair would mean desperate resistance (what we have in Libya now). Even tyrants can be damaged by such, so tyrants don’t like to provoke it. Whereas an aura of fear means paralysis by analysis, and ruling with little effort. Only decerebration beats it, as a tool of submission.

Klaus Barbie, who tortured to death about 5,000 people in the Lyon area during WWII, as SS-Hauptsturmführer (rank equivalent to army captain), was later captured by the French in Bolivia. He was condemned to life in prison for the murder of 44 children (and 5 adult supervisors).

The children had been deported, and then gazed on arrival. The reason? They were children of Jewish refugees in France, and Barbie’s forces raided the secret orphanage where they were sheltered. Jewish origin was good enough a reason for the Nazis to kill people, and even children. Now, of course, in Nazi semantics, Jews were not “people” but “Untermenschen” (under-men), or “Unmenschen” (nonhuman).

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IT’S ABOUT DEMOCRACY, NOT ISLAM:

To those who scoff about me dwelling on Nazi semantics: those classifying Arab speaking people as “Muslim”, are on the same slippery slope, as the Nazis were.

Most so called “Jews” were not Jewish at all: see Albert Einstein, or Hannah Arendt, who were pretty typical of Western European Jews: 100% “Jews” who never practiced any superstition (hence no Judaism). Is a Jew who never practiced Judaism a Jew? Is there such a thing as a Jewish race, as the Nazis believed, and is it defined by religion, even if people do not practice it? The Nazis answered yes, because they were out to kill people, so they grabbed whichever reason they could contrive. It was enough that it made sense to them.

The Nazis defined secular people according to a superstition they did not practice, so that they could paint them with the excesses of the Bible (and traditions attached to the Jews by “Christian” manipulators, such as poisoning wells, killing Jesus, and spilling the blood of Christian newborns). Those defining Arab speaking people according to a religion that they may, or may not feel define them, are on the same exact slippery slope of defining essence by appearance.

So Muslim this, Muslim that, thus “Muslim civilization”, naturally opposed to “Christian civilization”. Those two variants of the same superstition, Judaism, have gods with a different number of heads, so they hate each other. Defining secular Arabs according to their superstition (if any), the Nazis did that before (actually Hitler did: just as he despised the Jews, he admired the Muslims who he imagined as intrinsic warriors, thanks to Islam).

Neither Christianity nor Islam are civilizations. they are just superstition. Democracy, on the other hand, is about the nature of man, there is nothing superstitious about it.

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DIFFERENT REASONS FOR KILLING CHILDREN:

French justice did not bother to pursue Barbie for the 5,000 he tortured to death, because there would have been arguments back and forth whereas the questioning of so and so tortured to death, was justified or not, or happened by accident or not, (in his memoirs, Barbie gloated about torturing to death secret service agents and resistance fighters, male or female, including some he displayed, dying in his office, draped on an armchair, for days, including Jean Moulin, head of the French resistance, a prefect and excellent artist). George Bush recently argued in ways nearly identical to Barbie, that torture against “terrorists” was justified.

Barbie was employed by the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) of the U.S. Army in occupied Germany, and became later a prominent employee of the CIA in charge of secret financing through drug procurement and sale, or even smuggling weapons to Israel: fascism has no Vaterland.

As far as French justice was concerned, killing children was clearly a crime against mankind. This was also another occasion to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that Nazis were scum. By the way, contrarily to what the American web sites have it, the orphanage was for children of Jewish refugees in France. Those children were NOT French and should have been in the USA, but were refused admission in the land of the free-to-be-selfish.

Barbie’s attitude is in contrast with a “deeply sorry” General Petraeus who apologized for the deaths resulting from a dual helicopter assault that mistook a group of 10 children for insurgents. Petraeus apologized to the Afghan government, people and victims’ families for the strike President Karzai condemns as “merciless”.

Nine of the children, aged 8 to 14 year old, were killed in the attack, which took place on Tuesday March 1, 2011, in a remote area of Kunar province. The only survivor, 11 year-old Hemad, hid beneath branches blasted from a tree.

I don’t care about the apology,” Mohammed Bismil, the 20-year-old brother of two boys killed in the strike, said in a telephone interview. “The only option I have is to pick up a Kalashnikov, RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] or a suicide vest to fight.”

In Afghanistan, the West is fighting the wrong war, in the wrong way. The impudent argument has been made that the West should not fight for the Libyans by helping to fight mercenaries paid by oil money. So why should it fight “for Afghans” by bombing whoever is in sight in Afghanistan?

Is it because a strong democratic Libya would bolster Europe, and thus weaken plutocracy?

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WHEN WAR IS WAGED, BUT NOT AGAINST THE OFFICIAL ENEMY:

Who can blame Mohammed Bismil for wanting to avenge his siblings? So it is, when waging war from the air, against a civilian population, for no necessary reason: one is one step away from war criminality. Aerial bombing does not make peace, nor even war, it makes hatred, so it has to be engaged only when reasons are overwhelming. Aerial war on potentially innocent targets, is excusable if and only if:

1) those, or their ancestors, or descendants, are collectively culprit, and

2) the aerial attacks are necessary to win the war, and, last but not least,

3) said war putting democracy at risk of being extinguished.

Those preconditions of mine would mean that massive British raids on German cities during WWII were justified and excusable (with the exception of the attack against Dresden, since, at the time, the Reich was already defeated, violating 2) and 3) above). But the Nazi attacks on Dutch, French and British cities were not justified, because the Nazis’ self described “total democracy” was not a democracy. It was just a madness (see the definition of Jews above.)

Nor, by the way, were justified the massive attacks on French cities by the “Allies”, in 1944. Then all the preconditions above were violated; the French were not Nazis, they had started the war AGAINST the Nazis, the attacks had no military value, and the war was already won.

Rue Championnet, near Montmartre, on April 22 1944 after an “Allied” bombing raid:
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Other views of Paris after “Allied” bombing:

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Entire areas of greater Paris were flattened out, by said “Allies”:

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Notice that this is a Simone De Beauvoir photo. The famous philosopher knew that preserving the memory of these ravages was important. 80% of that particular suburb, Athis-Mons, was reduced to rubble. There were thousands of devastated French landscapes such as these.

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WE BOMB YOU, THEREFORE WE ARE ABOVE YOU, AND RICHER BESIDES:

Was this aerial bombing butchery, all over France, really necessary? To win the war against the Nazis, of course not. The war was already won. By June 1944, the Nazis were finished. In France alone, about 17 divisions were necessary, just to fight the French resistance (and the situation was somewhat similar in Yugoslavia); on the eastern front, the Nazi armies could not resist the Soviet juggernaut whatsoever: in a few weeks the Soviet armies advanced hundreds of kilometers, and stopped just in the Warsaw suburbs, to give plenty of time, many months, so that the Nazis could kill all the Polish patriots, intellectuals, etc.

But the Second World War was not just about crazed Nazis. Crazed Nazism was a way to hide the truth, just as an apparently crazed Gaddafi is a way to hide several very rational, deeper truths. Gaddafi is not crazed at all; he just plays one on TV. Nor are his plutocratic sponsors crazed either; they just play ignorant on TV.

The US Air Force systematically flattened out the French ports. Toulon, Le Havre, Saint Nazaire, and many others were completely destroyed. More exactly, they used the excuse of the ports to flatten the cities.

Since, at the time, the Nazis had no more fleet, at least in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, the only explanation is that some strategists in Washington viewed France as an enemy capable of future hostile action, and had to be destroyed when she was incapable of defending herself (this is why many of these French cities are full of ugly shabby high rises, because they were rebuilt very fast). At least so think Bernard Rue, a retired French admiral (who commanded French carriers). I concur.

The same American strategists had anticipated to occupy France, strike coinage, nominate American made prefects that they were training specially… If Hitler had not succeeded to conquer France durably, the Pax Americana would. Flattening France like crepe batter was a good first step, in that plutocratic recipe. (A similar plan was attempted, and engaged, in Germany, for a few years; in France the plan failed on day one, because the French army was too strong and did not play by American rules.)

I digress not: these same strategists are those who had brought Nazism to start with, and were busy collaborating with the Nazis they could find, as the Reich collapsed. They were serving the system many of the richest “industrialists” (as they used to be called) and financiers had connived with their pawns, Mussolini, Franco, Hitler… And they even helped Stalin, and not just its oil industry. Never saw a fascist they did not love. Mussolini exposed a theory of organic relationship between corporations held by the richest, and the state. It was applied, and not just in Italy and Germany (but also in the USA, and has been central to the “rescue” of Wall Street from itself, in the last few years).

This bombing of French cities could qualify as a crime against mankind, and also a conspiracy. But the subject has been too hot for anyone to come close to it. Even the French will not touch it. So the lessons were not drawn, condemning me to write a lot.

However, deliberately ordering the shooting down of civilian airliners, as Khadafy did, is definitely a crime against mankind, when it is committed by a state.

This is not legalistic: someone who has accomplished such monstrosities is doubly dangerous, as a perpetrator, he may have accomplished worse, unseen. As an example, and a beacon of horror, unpunished, he is an shining beacon of evil triumphant. And this is exactly why, in this inversion of all values, Gaddafi was made chair of human rights at the United Nations, voted in by more than 100 nations (all led by dubious characters, who were delighted to vote for one of themselves, thus normalizing horror).

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THE “SPANISH CIVIL WAR”; AN ARMY AGAINST A PEOPLE:

An example to remember, a warning to meditate. In 1936, the most ferocious part of the Spanish military, the army from Africa, which held the Spanish Sahara, full of professional African mercenaries, from a land of tribes surviving only by constant war, declared war on the Spanish republic. (The Spanish Navy did not betray, and blockaded the Africans, so Texaco and Hitler flew them over.)

The Spanish African army got help from the Nazis, the Italian fascists, and their puppet masters, the American automotive and oil  companies (the later to befriend the Saudis and Khadafy). The Nazis supplied an air force to bomb the republicans with. Italy supplied a tank army. France did not intervene: the Gallic chicken were too anxious to please, or at least not contradict too much their overlords in Washington, who were much more pro-Nazi, at the time, than they are pro-Chinese now.

The ambassador of the USA to Spain wrote to president Franklin D. Roosevelt that the war will be long, because it’s the war of an army against a people. This is of course exactly what is going on in Libya: an army against a people. But the analogy in horror does not stop here.

Franco and his henchmen finally won in winter 1939 (making the UK a firm ally of France against fascism). Franco killed much more people after winning his war than he killed during the war itself. Keep that in mind with the fascist Khadafy.

 

For more than 50 years, the institutions set up by the tyrant Franco, stole children (yes, up to the 1990s!) The idea was to prevent the potential opponents to have children. Besides there was money to be made, by selling those children. As Neo Conservatives would say, where there is money to be made, there is justice. The Spanish fascists stole up to 300,000 children (and at least 100,000).

After getting away with the atrocities in Spain, the fascists thought the sky was no limit, and that the democracies were so corrupt and cowardly, that they could do whatever they pleased. Hitler was saying so, discourse after discourse. His contacts in England assured him that Britain would never side with France. He found differently on September 3, 1939. After contemplating in enraged silence a soon to be devastated Berlin skyline, Hitler turned around to his ministers, and barked: “NOW WHAT?” His alliance with Stalin and American plutocracy would not save him.

These are as many warnings to heed when thinking about what to do with Libya. The planet is a global village, and global fascism can be as much encouraged as dispirited. If fascism sees that the West has not enough spirit to defend its values, it will come to feel, just as Hitler did, that democracy is a corrupt paper tiger. Fascism will be encouraged. and fascism is not just a political phenomenon, but also an intellectual one: the more fascism develops, the more the fascists obsess about a few, increasingly violent impulses.

Well, let Washington wallop in corruption and confusion: being guided by money is not all it takes. It is time for France and Britain to remind themselves that they pack more of a wallop than in 1939. And to remember 1936.

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THE NO FLY ARGUMENT DOES NOT FLY:

We hear that some in the Bush Obama administration will push for reform of existing dictatorships rather than pushing to do away with them. No wonder: there is only one god, its name is empire, and Washington is its prophet. The way old hands see it, the American protectorate is being destroyed in plain sight, with the help of Obama.

But they are wrong. Washington better be careful; so far the anti-fascist revolution did not have a whiff of anti-Americanism, but this could change. After all, most weapons sold in the world are sold by Washington, and most dictatorships depend upon them. People know how to observe, and think. Remember the Internet. Washington tried to stop WikiLeaks, but it did not do so fast enough. Amusingly many leaked analyses of American diplomats revealed the extent of plutocracy (The US ambassador to Tunisia compared the ruling clique to a “mafia“).

Gates, an old hand of the American empire, has been subtle about it all. To help his associate Gaddafi, he posed first as a peacenik. He told an assembly of cadets at West Point that “In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it.”

 

Having thus qualified as a no non sense rebellious youth, Gates then used a technical argument to help out old Khadafy, friend of the oil companies, and the best hope to stop the Arab spring before it spreads to, say, Saudi Arabia.

Gates argued that a “no fly zone” over Libya would require massive bombing of SAM sites and radar. In other words, another attack reminiscent of “Shock and Awe” against Iraq.

This is crafty disinformation: we are talking about interdicting the largest liberated zones, where there are no SAMs. To interdict would be easy to do, with AWACS planes staying very far away, with their radar sweeping over Libya (AWACS can be defended, have their own defenses, and would be too far anyway). The refueled fighters could attack. The beauty is that France alone could do it (a fortiori do it with Britain).

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LET THE FRENCH AND THE BRITS DO IT:

Indeed it’s not all about the USA. If the US navy does not feel up to snuff, with its old fighter-bombers, it can operate Rafales, stealthy supersonic fifth generation fighters. The Rafales M(arine) are equipped with mach 4+ MICA missiles, with a range of more than 60 kilometers. So whatever what Gates is talking about is irrelevant. The MICA missile flies at nearly a mile per second, plenty enough to catch up with Khadafy’s bombers (which fly subsonic when bombing and strafing).

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A French Navy Rafale M performing a touch and go on the deck of the American carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74). Most French Navy pilots have their US Navy wings: they can operate off US carriers, just as if they were regular US Navy pilots. They even speak English.

As soon as the pilots of the pseudo crazy Libyan dictator know that Rafales are flying unseen in the distance, with AWACS help, and MICAs 40 seconds away, they will stay on the ground. And carriers are not even needed since Rafales could fly from far away, France or Italy, and refuel in the air.

Notice the refueling probe ahead of the cockpit above; notice also the anti-radar pod on top of the stabilizer: Rafales make electronic anti-noise, an active stealth system to add to the passive one; that allows them to fly much faster than the (future) joint Strike fighter, and carry a huge amount of weapons outside.

How hard is it to shoot down Khadafy’s air force? A French TV team was on the front line at Ras Lanouf, headed by intrepid reporter Martine Laroche Joubert. By the way, here was a French woman, hair flying free among the warriors and massive gun shooting, and there was not a trace of Islamism in sight. So much for Clinton’s snide remark about Eastern Libya being a source of Al Qaeda’s warriors.

So the French TV crew was on the frontline, headed by its fearless woman, and a Libyan bomber showed up, apparently a some sort of supersonic Sukhoi. It was looking for ground targets, that was clear from the French (state) TV footage. The anti-aircraft guns of the rebels fired wildly on its second pass, and soon an enormous mushroom cloud loomed in the sandy, murky skies, not far from a giant refinery. The plane had been shot down, and the French TV crew rushed to the scene, among flaming wreckage, and two freshly killed, bloody pilots on the ground. One of them was Syrian, according to his papers, that the French TV crew inspected.

The white haired fighter who had shot down the plane was feted, kissed on the head. He looked like a happy, well fed grandfather. He exulted as he confessed to having no training, and that only one of the guns of the multi-barrel anti-aircraft battery he was using was in working order. He sounded like a real man, capable of honest work, not a weaselly character such as Gates.

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SO WHAT TO DO? TAKE OUT GADDAFI’ AIR SUPREMACY.

What Gates is saying is that he does not want the oil dictators go the way of Ben Ali, and Mubarak. If they did, Gates is saying the American protectorate will go down the drain. That protectorate works for the worldwide plutocratic web. Gates, a veteran of Iran-Contra, Fidelity Investments, the CIA, Harvard, and countless boards, is little wheel in that vast machine of wealth and taste.

There is another effect at play, namely that the colossal amounts of dictators’ money, and the consequential dictators’ possession in, and of, the West, are part of the worldwide plutocratic system. For example Khadafy owns 7 % of Italy’s largest bank. And 7.5% of the Torino Juventus, one of the world’s most famous soccer club.

If one seizes plutocratic ownership, from one plutocrat, and one starts to dismantle the extremely elaborate shadow banking systems at the heart of the dictators’ web of possession, where does it stop? Is plutocracy going to go? How will Gates cash in? As the Clintons, and countless others, did before him? Even Britain’s Prince Andrews has walloped in the hay with Seif Al Islam, the most notorious of Gaddafi’s sons. They are friends (beats under-age prostitutes).

Thus corrupted, plutocratic forces will do whatever it takes to protect their initiate, and accomplice, Gaddafi, and will try to stop the gnawing away at the dictatorial system at the heart of worldwide plutocracy. Looking foolish by claiming Libya has to be ravaged to be saved does not cost much to Gates. It sounds deep, and humanitarian, to those who don’t know enough. Hitler was very good at sounding human (that’s why Germans goose stepped behind him). 

However, in a greater scheme of things, not doing anything against the Libyan tyrant, is not an option: the entire planet is watching the top democracies. Remember; for that most of the planet, Gaddafi is the leader of human rights. Who is going to teach a lesson to whom?

Weakness now relative to the Libyan dictator, and it means, in particular, that the Pakistani miscreants will be ready to go the whole way, before they try to make sense. The whole way, with Pakistan, means thermonuclear war. Pakistan is a mostly insane country led by criminals, where comparing favorably Jesus to Muhammad leads mothers to be condemned to death, and criticizing this will get you killed.

Weakness now relative to the Libyan monkey in chief also means that others, even larger than Pakistan, may get very unsavory visions of the future. In that frightening future, those emboldened ones may go get oil in the South China sea, and project force to do so. China has been boasting that it could destroy US carriers with ballistic missiles.

Of course, some of the very old, very wise plutocratic hands in Washington may scoff that last time that the plutocrats supported fascism big time, and that the USA did not act in the most timely fashion to help France and Britain, it turned out very well for the USA.

Well, this was then. The USA was a giant, self sufficient island. Untouchable. The world’s largest economic and industrial power. As Europe was wrecked by war with the fascists, Europe became too weak to keep on going as the world’s top imperial power, and the USA displaced and replaced it, bringing great wealth to the USA. The reign of the dollar was just a small aspect, a small consequence of that.

Now is very different though: the day when Pakistani thermonuclear warheads can reach Washington is not so far removed. At some point Washington will have to address the real problems. Financing Pakistani nuclear warheads as the plutocrat Bush II did, was a grotesque and criminal decision, especially in light of 9/11. It was doubly criminal; intrinsically criminal, and criminally encouraging further the crazed maniac in the Pakistani military and Pakistani ‘intelligence’.

In recent years, France intervened unilaterally in several wars all over the Sahel, and in Rwanda (stopping the civil war by dropping a paratroop division), or Ivory Coast. French heavy guns were the first to fire counter-battery at Serb criminals during the siege of Sarajevo (then only France and Britain represented UN muscle).

Actually France, contrarily to her ill deserved reputation in the USA, is the world’s most militarily aggressive country, closely followed by Britain (which dispatched a frigate and ground troops to Libya already, however transiently!)

France and Britain have a glorious past of intervening together, using force (except for their common invasions of Crimea, China, and Suez, or the nascent USSR, which were not well thought out, and of dubious morality). Glory has been invented for some reason.

When Great Britain decided to put back in its place the Argentinian dictatorship, it attacked, facing overwhelming odds. Argentina had plenty of much more advanced weapons, many of them French. The French trained the Brits to defeat them. The Stanley airfield of the Falklands was bombed heroically by a big British bomber refueled by others, which had flown forever. That put the airfield out of order, and so on.

Well, time to renew with these old traditions. Out with fascism. First take the sky away from the Libyan tyrant. don’t tell me he would be harder to defeat than the Argentinian tyrants.

Fighting the Libyan tyranny is an excellent occasion to teach the United Nations what human rights are, and that they are worth fighting for. An occasion to show that those who fight for human rights are invincible, because they are more human, and thus more splendid, strong, and intelligent. And an excellent occasion to show savages who disagree with human rights that savages are irrelevant, and should go back to (primary) school, to learn about the notion of mediocrity, and how bad it is, that they incarnate it so well.

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Patrice Ayme

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P/S: China and Russia have proven hard to persuade to neutralize Qadafi’s aviation.  How come so friendly to perhaps the world’s richest man who just killed more than 6,000 of his compatriots?

Distance Beijing to Lhasa: 2559 kilometers. Distance Rome to Tripoli: 989 kilometers. Distance Beijing to Tripoli: 9260 kilometers. So why is Beijing opposed to putting an end to the dictatorship in Libya? Well, could it be that it makes sense that China, which occupies Tibet, is worried when a tyrant is thrown out?

Could the same reasoning apply to the presence of Russia in some places in the Caucasus?

VIOLENCE IS A HUMANISM

January 9, 2011

MORALITY RESIDES NOT IN AVOIDING VIOLENCE, BUT IN USING IT CORRECTLY. 

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Abstract: “Violence Is A Humanism” is a mischievous twist on Sartre’s famous essay:”Existentialism Is A Humanism” (1946). In which Sartre lamely observes that:”The essential charge laid against us is, of course, that of over-emphasis upon the evil side of human life.” However, the deepest human cultures are brimming with sterner stuff than Sartre. The Roman and French symbol of the ax, and the American eagle brandishing all its arrows, show that the republics have long understood the importance of violence.

Many a fable for children, the Bible and the Qur’an, the Vedas or the Upanishads, were not as affected with pusillanimous bourgeois fears about violence, as Sartre was. The deeper trains of thought all embrace violence readily. Rightly so. They looked at the universe, and observed that violence was a most prominent fact. In a way, they were doing physics, as fundamentally as can be. Physics is God, and violence is its prophet. And not just that. Whereas sheep practice existentialism readily, doing nothing much about everything, just munching out there, violence is a much more specifically human thing to do. Not that sheep are completely non violent. Far from it.

Violence is not all too human. This is the conventional approach. It misses the point. Human beings have adapted to physics. They were born from physics. Violence is what humans do, lest they would not be able to do anything at all. That Buddha understood nothing of this does not make it any less true.

Many who just eat grass, and make a spectacle of themselves by their submission and temperance, miss the point. Humans do not just exert violence directly to themselves, they do it also to the environment. In some important sense, there was never a human engineered catastrophe as violent as ice shields melting. And, paradoxically, it is human peace and contentment which is bringing that evil.

Direct violence against humans, or direct violence against the environment, often boil down to the same. Vegetarianism is no refuge (contemplate the sanctimonious Hitler). We need to get more subtle, and compute with the calculus of violence. It has been observed countless times that violence is even the way to goodness. (As Obama pointed out while getting his Nobel prize in the futures’ market.)

Some say: think of love only. But love is harder to measure than violence. And violence, energy, is how even love is measured, ultimately. Let me explain a few elements related to these themes:

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WHEN NON VIOLENCE IS A TRAVESTY:

Before frightening the masses with unconventional points of view, let me hide behind authority. As Obama put it during his Nobel Peace Prize speech: “Martin Luther King said in this same ceremony years ago – “Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones.” As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King’s life’s work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence. I know there is nothing weak -nothing passive – nothing naïve – in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King.  

But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their examples alone.I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism – it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.” 

Well, force is sometimes necessary for even more reasons than that. Force is the essence of man, and some pacifists can think otherwise only because the lions have been forcefully removed, and species of plants were forcefully invented to feed them. Not to feed the lions: those are dead. To feed the pacifists, watch for their SUVs, they eat the planet.

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THE VIOLENCE OF NON VIOLENCE:

I will not harp again on the theme of “appeasement” when many did business and comforted the Nazis, instead of punching them. When the many behave like sheep, the poodles themselves turn into lions. If the sheep, in their sheepishness, create lions, they are responsible of the existence of lions. Violent demonstrations in the European Union against solutions to the financial crisis involving taxpayers and citizens probably brought the crack-down on banks observed there. Whereas in the USA nobody demonstrated seriously against banks (meaning no riot police had to be dispatched). The Americans view that as wisdom: conclusion: their giant banks rule the country even more than in 2008, and their grip is getting tighter (the new presidential chief of staff is a top big banker; the top 6 banks assets are now two third of US GDP higher than in 2008, and rising, and so is their exposure to derivatives).

Thus, when the forces of evil provoke the forces of goodness, the later better punch back, lest evil get even bolder, and more energetic.

Speaking of the devil, or, more exactly, speaking of Gandhi, when one steps away from fantasy land, it is hard to say anything positive about him. Gandhi was non violent to death. Hades in rags.  He promoted Hinduism to the point the Muslims got totally enraged, and, rightly so, and then Gandhi boy sabotaged the war effort against Hitler, as much as he could.

Hitler was Gandhi’s “sincere friend“. On 24 December 1940, apparently to celebrate Christmas, Gandhi wrote a lengthy second love letter to his Hitler.”We have no doubt about your bravery or devotion to your fatherland, nor do we believe that you are the monster described by your opponents…We resist British imperialism no less than Nazism.” That buffoon was writing this after Hitler had invaded most of Europe, and assassinated millions of civilians. In a related story, Gandhi wanted the British empire to get out of India, because he claimed that made Japan invade Asia. Gandhi was not just a sheep, but a rabid sheep, talking softly. Sheepishness is so much respected, though, that it’s Gandhi right or wrong, all the way.

It is true that some aspects of British rule in India were obnoxious. But they were arguably way worse in Canada, where entire French speaking populations were thrown out of their homeland. However, Canada is doing just fine. Britain administered the Raj superbly, with sometimes less than 2,000 British born officials. In the end, Gandhi has brought to us Pakistan, millions killed, and the perspective of a thermonuclear jihad. Gandhi looked superficially non violent. But in truth Gandhi embraced national religionism of the worst type, long the bearer of the worst holocausts. Gandhi was as non violent as a sanctimonious viper: very cool, except when it bites. Hitler, too, was obsessed by nationalism and religion, and claimed to be a man of peace.

Obama concluded in Oslo that “The non-violence practiced by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached – their faith in human progress – must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey.” The sheep shall befriend Hitler with Gandhi, dream with King, and fall in love with its own placidity. Non-violence is mostly taught to sheep in their pen, by those who fleece them.

Enough with this childish situation awareness. Real men finds something worthy to fight about. Spend some energy making a positive difference, and not a long term negative like Gandhi. The world is all about energy, says physics, and morality is all about directing it well, says humanity.

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VIOLENCE VERSUS VIOLENCE:

There was just another mass shooting in the USA, at least 6 killed, 19 wounded. Some will wonder how do I dare to defend violence? Well, first, I am not defending violence, just describing its importance. Among those killed was the chief Federal judge for Arizona, and a nine year old girl. Thankfully the congresswoman shot was a partisan of Americans shooting Americans, alleluia.

Before I get called cold hearted and slightly demented, let’s meditate this. Gabrielle Giffords once boasted: “I have a Glock 9 mm and I’m a pretty good shot.” Now doubt. Who did she intend to shoot? Did she believe that someone intending to shoot her would call her to a duel?

Interestingly, Giffords can now boast of having been on both side of the trigger, and of being a good shot in more ways than one. That is, if she still capable of boasting, now that her brain has been further re-arranged with a Glock 9 mm.

Obviously what is at work here is a weak, and self contradictory culture of cultural retards, and I will be forgiven for taking a shot at it, by those who have some brains left inside. Giffords was  intelligent, nice, but all too nice to guns. Now she is paying the price. It is weak, not to oppose guns to kill people in a civil society (the argument that those guns are needed to oppose the government of the U.S.A. is beneath contempt, and perfectly unrealistic, so will not be adressed!)

Representative Giffords was on Sarah Palin famous “crosshairs” list (since then removed from the Internet). Giffords herself had eloquently condemned the “implications”.

In general the complexity of issues in USA politics has been blown away by the empty violence of the discourse (and that starts in the general society with such violent notions such as “firing” employees… which was used against the representative above, Giffords, by the head of the republican party to claim that she was in the “firing line”… as if she was going to be executed; when does voodoo speech become an incitation to murder? Clearly Giffords had been shot at symbolically, in a very effective voodoo, before being shot for real; incitation to murder is a crime, by the way… and that ought to be enforced.)

There is little control of firearms in the USA. But this violence thrives not out of strength, but out of weakness. Americans just don’t have the force to crack down on the irrationality out there, or inside their own heads. This is related to the incapacity to switch to the metric system, or the incapacity of the democratic party to crack down on the fraud, deregulation and vast concentration of wealth that paralyzes the West in general, and the USA most of all. What is needed is creative destruction of some mental strucutres which are inappropriate, or obsolete.

There is something as creative destruction. And some creation which cannot happen without destruction. In such cases, the violence of anger is needed to remove the intolerable, when calm, deliberate discourse has come short, again, again, and again.

Indeed evil and violence do exist. Obama is very correct on this. However he sits pretty in the White House not because enough of the non violent ones did nothing, but because so many people gave their life to fight for racial equality. Even that woman who refused to sit at the back of the bus used, and not so passively provoked, a lot of violence. A lot of violence which was needed. She risked a lot. She had a lot of mental energy.

So the statement of Dr. King, taken in isolation, is completely false (Obama mentioned it to show that he was aware of the counterpoint, lest he be accused of ignorance, or bias). Hundreds of thousands of the rightful ones, died, just in the Secession War, so that Dr. King would not be sold at the market, and whipped whenever he behaved mischievously.

Dr. King’s statement, out of a careful, very restricted context, is an insult to history, and millions of most courageous heroes. (In the particular context in which he was, that of finishing touches against racism, Dr. King’s best course was non-violence, indeed: he, and his contemporaries, could afford it. And he wanted to steer people away from Black Power, Black Muslims, Black Panthers, Malcom X, etc… So I understand, and approve, what he did. The cases of King, and Mandela, are pretty much opposed to that of Gandhi!)

Violence brought permanent peace, and progress to the Aztecs, Assyrians, white slave owners, and many others who stood in the way of civilization (OK, it would have been better if 90% or more of the Aztecs had not died!)

The (violent) decisions of the Supreme Court and Eisenhower to send the troops to destroy apartheid were much more important that Dr. King’s belated dream. It’s not because racist America was a nightmare, that having a dream was such a big progress. As Stalin quipped: “The pope? How many divisions?”

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USING ENERGY IS WHAT HUMANS DO, BUT ENERGY IS ANOTHER NAME FOR VIOLENCE:

Violence is an interesting problem, which is often a solution. Violence is the application of force. It may not have to with human beings: a violent storm. But then the storm may have to do with humans: a bad greenhouse. Progress has consisted in humanizing nature, and this has required ever more energy.

Violence can be a solution. One can only say this, watching riots in the semi dictatorships of Tunisia and Algeria. It is unlikely that without some mighty pushing from the youth, wrecking havoc, Tunisia and Algeria will get out of their mild terror, intellectual fascism, corruption, unemployment, reign of the military, perfidious stupidification known as Islamization, etc. When evolution will not happen, revolution has to take its place (and it can go fast; there was basically a decade between taxation without representation and the American rebellion of 1776).

The advocacy of violent revolution, when nothing else will promote equality and freedom, has been a fundamental theme of the West, at least since the old oligarchs and plutocrats, in Athens and Rome, were assassinated, thrown out, and at the very least cut in small conceptual slices. (I am talking here of the revolutions on the Sixth Century BCE, when the grossest of plutocrats were culled, allowing the rise of republican Athens and Rome… The case of Athens is very interesting: not only was a lot of violence used, but even a foreign intervention which is rarely evoked, but explains a lot of what happened in the following century, with the war between Sparta and Athens.)

Truly, sometimes only violence is the solution, or the solution goes through violence. Even Jesus admitted to this. To the violence of the merchants of the temple, Jesus opposed his own. Then Jesus multiplied the warnings about the fact he was bringing not peace, but “a sword”. What will He have done, or recommended to do, with the banksters, who are in the process of stealing civilization itself?

The USA and the EU exist because thousands of military victories, extending over 4,000 years, which have promoted the right philosophy of freedom and equality instead of that philosophy of the likes of Alexander, so called the Great. (I was searching through tyrants of old such as Biblical Babylon’s Nebuchadnezzar II or Assyria’s Tiglath-Pileser III, but they pale in badness and violence relative to Alexander, who, among untold holocausts, and rampaging, started the drive towards making the ruler into God, or closely associated to God.)

Violence is the application of force. It could be the force of a power station, or of a jumbo jet. Or simply the force of a discourse. The power of man ultimately always originates in discourse. The brain is mightier than the hand.

Fascist religions (Judeo-Christo-Islamism and the Aztecs’ religion, Moloch, are famous examples, etc.) were invented to provide with a violent metaphysical context. Those metaphysics excuse and justify the violence of the political systems which set them up. When God is as insane maniac, oligarchs get excused for being similarly inspired. One could say even more: if the Christian and Muslim Gods want to destroy all, as they claim they do, at the end of their sacred books, why not give God a hand, here, now? So say the oligarchs, and they pray, piously. Praying to themselves, so they can prey, even more.

History abounds with violent metaphysics coming to the rescue of bloody oligarchies. Pakistan is a recent example (as it went from British democracy to typical Salafist indigence). In general, fascist regimes in the Middle East have found convenient to promote the violence of Salafism (in full cooperation with the USA, which found it convenient for the same oily reason, during the last few decades…until 9/11: now that is backfiring, big time, and the USA is thoroughly confused… As Europe has long been on the question of “multiculturalism”.)

The evolution of the genus Homo started with a greater efficiency and craft at using energy. That meant applying force, hence violence, in powerful, but subtle ways. It could be as drastic as setting fire to the jungle.

Homo is all about the ability to direct greater and greater force. That is how Homo navigated in a maze of hostile species, until making them sparse, and intelligence metastatic over the planet.

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VIOLENCE HERE, GOODNESS THERE. VIOLENCE IS ABOVE IT ALL:

Now some will say that “violence” means, implicitly, a bad usage of force. But thinking so leads to immediate contradictions.

From the point of view of those who defined patriotism as being part of the United Kingdom, the American Revolutionary War was bad. But from the American Revolutionary point of view, it was good. And so it is in any human conflict. Bad on one side, good on the other. Muslims long called their trashing at Poitiers, in the middle of France, which they had just invaded twice with giant armies, the “avenue of the Martyrs”. From the Franks’ point of view, these predatory, superstitious invaders were not martyrs, but garbage. They let their bones rot in the sun in the company of vultures, to make that very clear.

Hence violence is violence, the application of directed energy. It is beyond morality. Beyond good and evil, for real. Morality needs it, but cannot be judged by it.

The moral problem is in directing violence well. And foreseeing what will happen from any particular application of force, in the fullness of time. Whether it will good for what matters to those directing it, in the longest term. Or not.

Directing energy can be obtained through smarts. It is always maximally obtained through maximal smarts. By 1000 CE, the Franks had the maximal usage of energy per person, worldwide. A lot of it from inventing well crafted breeds of pigs, cattle and horses. Outlawing slavery was a big part of it, because it forced people to use animals and power machines (wind and water wheels).

Of course, outlawing slavery was making violence on civilization. After the Franks landed, and beat the regime in England (1066 CE), the Franks freed the 20% of the population which were slaves. The Anglo lords fought back, and the armed resistance to the Frankish revolution lasted nearly 20 years.

The establishment of a Frankish regime in England was no recent conflict. it had been simmering ever since (self described) “Roman” power had been knocked out by Anglo-Saxon invaders in the 6C.

And it was a philosophical conflict: Alcuin, Charlemagne’s philosophical advisor, was English born, and had tried to persuade, in vain, the Anglo king to become more civilized, 275 years earlier.

But that did not happen, the Anglo-Saxons clang to savagery. Alcuinus, disgusted, went back to Charlemagne’s more receptive ears. One could go even further back, when the British army fled to Francia, establishing the county of Brittany.

Philosophy has long been a driver of violence… And rightly so. Ultimately, the Franks defeated the Angles and Saxons’ savagery, from Germany to England (and they had to, as the savages were not sitting on their hands, but raiding southern Europe, each time they felt strong enough to do so).

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THINKING IS NOT JUST PAINFUL, BUT VIOLENT:

Violence can be a civilizing force. Civilization without violence is actually a contradiction. Civilization is pretty much about carefully directed violence. Some may scoff, and sneer that this is a strange, not to say alarming, contrast with my condemnation of the (way the) Afghan war (has been conducted).

But it is not. Before I fight my guerilla war into the Hindu Kutch again, Alexander style, let me explain why two important aspects of violence are extremely civilizing, and they are tightly related: verbal and intellectual violence.

Deleterious verbal violence can exist (“fighting words”, “hate speech”), and is legitimately repressed by law. However, any idea is transmitted with words, and genuinely new ideas always hurt. Why? Because it costs a lot energy to rebuild neurocircuitry, it may even be impossible, and, or, it may lead to painful contradiction. Thus mental, intellectual, or civilizational progress cannot proceed without pain. So thinking anew, and communicating new culture, wisdom or science is an act of violence. Since it is violence, it has to be protected by the principle of free speech.

No free speech, no civilization, not even any new ideas, or even any survival for the old ones. Free speech is one of the basic commandments of the secular religion. But if well done it will always hurt, and that is why emotional and even physical violence, as a consequence of free speech, cannot be avoided.

To impose non violence as an absolute meta principle therefore would overwhelms free speech. True free speech requires new brain structures, thus, it always reuires a lot of energy (in other words, violence) to be accepted.

Hence the principle of free speech has to overrule emotional comfort. Imposing systematic non violence would subjugate free speech. Really good free speech will always hurt. That is why really innovative thinkers have always been hated throughout history, just because of that. We are talking beyond the Nobel Prize class here. Top thinkers have to be able to say, with president F. D. Roosevelt talking about banksters: “I welcome their hatred.”

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AFGHANISTAN: MORAL UNCERTAINTY IN, DEFEAT OUT:

In the Afghan war, the West is supporting one side of a Muslim civil war. This is weak. And it is in contradiction with the secular civilization of the West, started by Clovis in 481 CE (the new regime instituted by Clovis made the church an instrument of the secular state, in opposition to the Roman Catholic theocracy that had ruled the “Occident” for 118 years, since 363 CE).

(In Libya, the West and allies support an oppressed people against a despot and his mercenary army: religion is not a factor.)

One has to go all the way back to Charlemagne to see a mighty Western emperor so naive as to ally himself with a Muslim regime in a civil war. It did not turn out too well for Charlemagne. He lost his nephew Roland  and his rear guard (OK, apparently to the Basques, but the Muslims had betrayed previously).  The reasons are multiple. A bare bone analysis of the genesis of the Qur’an and Muhammad’s career shows that he intended his religion as a war machine directed against the Greco-Roman world (attacking Persia had not been anticipated).

If anything, the Occident has not used its shock doctrine enough when dealing with Salafism. And the force should first, be intellectual. When the Romans met with the Gauls, a philosophical debate ensued, and the Romans won. They won enough to persuade most Gauls to side with them (without that preliminary philosophical win, they would have lost to the gauls again, as they did in 399 BCE). Cortez met with Aztecs, a philosophical debate ensued. War was much later, and, as far as they were concerned, the Spaniards had already scored (without their Indian allies, “Malinche” and his men would have lost). The first shock doctrine of the West was always philosophical.

In particular alliance with regimes which execute for blasphemy ought to be terminated (or, at the very least, “blasphemers” ought to be extended loud occidental protection). Inasmuch as NATO is supporting Salafism in Afghanistan, or wherever else, it is working against itself. A case of violence going crazy by attacking itself.

But the West knows subconsciously that it was not in Afghanistan to be really good to the locals, or to win anything it talked about. That would be nation building, another word for colonialism. Remember Gandhi? Colonialism, or even administration at a distance, is supposed to worse than Nazism. So the west, which has never examined seriously its bringing of civilization to the deprived ones, and is still devoured by misconceptions about what happened when doing so, cannot use shock, maximal violence. Because it knows it is not morally right, in the particular case of Afghanistan. It was initially messing up the area, in 1979, just to mess up the area, annoying the Soviets.

Violence is a tough master, when applied by democracy, it requires moral rectitude. Notice that this makes violence, properly applied, successful violence, to be an ally of moral rectitude, since it requires it, or, at the very least, does better with it. (This is implictly recognized in the west, as the army is, nearly always, and always when the society works well, revered.)

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VIOLENCE MAY ORIGINATE FROM SUBTLE ENTANGLEMENT WITH ECOLOGY:

It could be argued (and has been argued) that there are two types of violence, just as there are two types of evil. If mother nature drops a rock on a passerby, that’s one thing, but if the Taliban does it, that’s something else. However, in either case, we are dead.

Two Types Of Violence? Not So Fast! Purely natural evil and purely human evil are two extremes of the same bell curve, which has everything to do with how things are. In practice, most avoidable evil, most avoidable violence, results from interactions between physics, and Homo transmogrifying the environment in such a way that catastrophe ensues. As man goes on a joy ride on top of the environment, the beast, answering only the laws of physics, tumbles and crashes, and man with it.

An example is what happened with metals in the Roman empire. Mines in Hispania had been exploited to exhaustion for centuries of apocalyptic fires, hiding the sun, by armies of slaves with very short lifespans, digging deep, extracting and melting the ores. In the end, though, Roman technology could not keep up with the overexploitation of the underworld, and the mines had to close. More advanced technology would allow to reopen Rio Tinto mines, but only16 centuries later or so.

The resulting impoverishment in metals had a severe impact on the Roman empire. The overexploitation of natural resources in ancient Athens or by the Romans on the environment was spectacular. Attica lost its fabulous forests. To this day, French forests bear the marks of Roman depradations (there were lots of mines in the Alps). That devastation, in turn pushed both Athenians and Romans to fetch the commodities they needed further afield (Athens in the Black Sea, Rome in North Africa). That led to more wars.

When the Muslims invaded, the (Greco-) Roman emperor had to visit Rome, from Constantinople, and oversee the removal of all metallic roofs of the imperial city, to melt enough metal for war machinery. The Franks’ strategy was less passive; in the good old imperialist fashion, they went east, and conquered the mines they needed. What was more evil? Sitting on one’s hands, as the Romans did, waiting passively as “the world got old“, as they said. Or doing violence, and conquering central and eastern Europe, as the Franks did, to get what they needed (and the Romans never got?) .

When a very dangerous ecological crisis developed in the middle of the European Middle Ages, only the “evil” ways of the authorities were able to reestablish a path to sustainability: the ways to goodness can be circuitous. God without Evil is only ruin of the ecology…

In any case, the evil of nature is entangled with that of man. It is not just that man is evil, but that nature has been made into man’s image, or according to man’s convenience, and thus a lot of the evil it dispenses are related to man, nature, and their shared munificence.

“Mad Max” scenarios are a well known class of examples: oil runs out, civilization collapses, man eats man. Equivalent scenarios happened in the past already. It is an obvious way how the old culinary traditions of Pacific islands came to be. Never let a good enemy go to waste.

But there have been other scenarios: Genghis Khan’s invasion of the world happened only after he redirected Mongolian mayhem away from other Mongols (a manner of controlling the overall population of Mongolia) towards the big wide world, by making the united tribes into an army of 20 “Tumens” (200,000 men and a million horses). So the basic situation was that considering that Mongols were going to die, one way or another, but Mongols could do so while killing Chinese to the south, or Christo-Muslims to the West, they would die less from violence of Mongols upon Mongols, while indulging in tourism, becoming richer, and more powerful. So invading the world was a better outcome (from the Mongol point of view).

Hence the Mongol invasions, from Hungary to Indonesia, and Egypt to Japan were not just caused by the Mongols being evil. Quite the opposite from the Mongol point of view. Fundamentally the invasions were caused by having too many Mongols to go peacefully around, on a vast, but harsh land, deprived of resources. One could annihilate entire Mongol tribes, as Genghis Khan did early on, and then redirect the energy outwards, as Genghis also did.

A similar analysis can be made about the Anglo empire which straddles the planet. British subjects were pretty miserable, and proliferating, so the Crown sent them all around the Earth. Whereas in France, peasants owned land, however miserable they were, and tried to limit their own proliferation. Thus the badness of Britain made for the goodness of its empire, and, conversely, the relative goodness of France made for the poverty of her empire.

(Voltaire did not improve the situation, as he despised imperial expansion… thus, having scoffed about Canada, and told his friend Louis XV to forget about it, Voltaire’s ideas are less well known than they would have been otherwise, had France not lost the “7 years” war… Great philosophy is great, but it’s better spread at the end of a sword, as Jesus nailed it down.)

Since ever, the human population was not controlled by the environment but by other humans, or actions of other humans resulting from human effects on the environment. Thus human violence on the environment is a form of violence onto other humans, and one form of violence that dominates the Earth, since there are species, and Homo makes them disappear.

The rise of human impact on the environment has been very beneficial for the sheer number of humans. It was rendered possible by a marginal decrease of inter human violence, measured relatively (not absolutely, because when all of France had 20,000 Cro-Magnons, it was impossible to kill millions therein (as Caesar, Napoleon, or WWI and WWII could do later). To compensate for the enormous populations, the usage of violence, or force, or directed energy on the environment, has augmented considerably.

Some scientists have made models which show that the rise of methane, thanks to human Neolithic cattle, prevented a fallback under another ice age. Was that good, or bad? Not having an ice age forced the rise of civilization in the Middle East. Not having civilization rising in the Middle East would have meant no massive cattle rising, and thus the human protein Aztec procurement model prevailing (OK, maybe not: the Andes and Mexico highlands may have been too cold…)

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NO ENERGY, NO FREEDOM:

Violence, energy, is the Western way. 300 Spartans decided to block the Persian army, hundreds of thousands strong, coming from all around, just to show that the principle of freedom was superior to any other. Both freedom and putting it above anything else, require great energy, not to say violence. And the Spartans self consciously affirmed both spectacularly by trampling over diplomacy, and throwing the Persians envoys down that well. And the 300 did not surrender. Undefeated, they were pierced by avalanches of missiles. The same spirit, burnished at Thermopylae, prevailed at Salamis, or at Plataea (crushing Greek victories in the following year).

To use violence, without remorse, to use mental violence, proudly, explicitly and rationally, one needs to be morally right (which, ultimately, means sustainably right… over generations of sustainable populations, not just the individual lifetime of a greedy bankster).

So, curiously, as i already pointed out, violence understood as the engine of freedom is also a moral engine. It is the solution to dispensing enough energy to sustain life. This was long clear to the Western intellectual tradition. That is why it is so violent. No violence, no progress: but that does not mean that violence, by itself is enough to foster progress. It means that slavery was ended by force, not because somebody with a mike had the dream that he made a big difference. It’s Lincoln who made a big difference, and Eisenhower, and they made a difference because they commanded armies in the name of more advanced philosophies. Both took great personal risk (so did the dreamer, it turned out).

Britain and France have democratically progressed through a succession of wars, takeovers, coups, rebellions and revolutions, ever since Clovis (and that is the way both the Athenian democracy and the Roman republic were born, too). Progress cannot be distinguished from strife, in the European tradition, and the USA may have to join, if it wants to progress again (as it used to).

Massive force and violence is not just a twisted over-emphasis of mine: military tactics in the West, the frontal shock doctrine, and fighting for destroying the enemy, are demonstrably opposite to most military traditions, which respected the enemy warrior class (this can be shown by contrasting the Greeks’ way of fighting versus the Persian way of fighting, or the Conquistadores versus the Aztecs’ “Flower Wars” tradition).[See the excellent book of Victor Davis Hanson, “Carnage and Culture“, Doubleday, 2001… Yes, the same Victor Davis I severely criticized recently, December 28, 2009!]

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The Mike shot, first man made thermonuclear fusion. A pacific island is thrown 40 kilometers (25 miles) up in the air, never to be seen again. High time to become even more intelligent. That is what it is the symbol of.

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BUDDHISM IS AN ILLUSION, THINKING IS EXPENSIVE, THUS VIOLENT:

It’s true that some Buddhists (there are many types) would totally disagree that violence is necessary for progress. It is a misreading they have made of the universe, as a tactic to advance themselves, or their masters. (An argument that the People Republic of China has been making, somewhat disingenuously.)

This is not surprising. After all Buddhism depends upon the insight of some primitive sitting below a banyan tree, 22 centuries before Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet, figured out the importance of the concept of energy. And 24 centuries before Ramon y Cajal and Camillo Golgi discovered a first outline of neurobiology.

Says Buddha: “The Noble Truth of Suffering (dukkha) is this: Birth is suffering; aging is suffering; sickness is suffering; death is suffering; sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are suffering; association with the unpleasant is suffering; dissociation from the pleasant is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering – in brief, the five aggregates of attachment are suffering.”  (Samyutta Nikaya 56,11).

Well, I suffer when I read that, but still I read it: I like to suffer, because it makes me stronger. So is my genetics anyway. That’s why I climb walls, dive in the sea, and run mountains. All what some of the Buddhist do is to ask for a bowl of rice, a rice they did not plant, harvest or transport. Upon the suffering of others, they rest, as leeches do. A further point: leeches put the flesh to sleep, to draw the blood in peace. And still another: they can be used medically. At least the leeches.

What the genus Homo has been doing is to redirect ever more greater amounts of energy, and this is intrinsically violent. Even when done inside one’s skull. Thinkers are often unpopular, as they urge to reorganize the energy of the universe, starting with the neurobiology of their not so innocent victims.

Some of the wise ones sitting up in the Himalayas are capable of advanced neurological control (as are apnea divers capable of holding their breath, without damage, for longer than it takes to smother the average person).

But the monks and the divers have to WORK (= energy = violence) at it for years, if not decades, before getting there. As they sit, meditating, lesser ones work the rice fields hard to feed the worthy meditators… The work of the meditators is about configurating their brain geometry to a reality they wish. The geometry of the brain is not the geometry of the Versailles palace; it requires more skill, the plans are not known, and brains have to work more than hands. Because hands depend only upon part of the brain (take that Heidegger).

Thinkers don’t meditate at the top of the Ivory Tower for no good reason. Throughout history, philosophy has progressed only when she was treated as a queen. And that has to do with the energy, the violence necessary to elaborate new brain circuitry.

Plato, Aristotle, Xenophon, Demosthenes (just to focus on a short lifetime rich in philosophers, in just one place, Athens!), where immensely rich, and, or, influential and respected (Demosthenes swallowed poison before the Macedonian SS could grab him, precisely because he was so important). Nine centuries later, Boethius, consoled by philosophy, was horribly tortured to death, but he had been one of the highest nobles, president of the Roman Senate, and long the second most important power in Italy.

The examples could be multiplied. Top thinking, top new philosophy, top new science or new poetry, or new engineering rest on colossal, or very crafty NEW energy expenditures (may be not in absolute energy spent, but in the crafty way it is used; intelligent energy ought to be the new currency.)

The brain exists to harness energy, and the more advanced the brain, the more energy is harnessed as desired. To be Frank: the more violence. More performing brains have greater curiosity. Curiosity is expensive. Over the decades, CERN, the European elementary particle research center, has cost more than the yearly GDP of nearly all countries. We will not get to Alpha Centauri without astounding energy production, many times what civilization uses now, or great violence made to spacetime. Yes, violence, that is the point.

Some argued that CERN’s latest accelerator, the LHC, would make such violence, that it would destroy spacetime. That was over the top: the alarmists knew some, but not know enough, physics. However, humankind is destroying its own house. Melting the ice shields is as violent as it comes: soon hundreds of millions will trample property, searching for high ground. a very bad violence that could only be prevented by doing violence, now, against entrenched habits, industry, vested interests, and obsolete neurobiology.

Hard core Buddhists will scoff that the world as it is does not matter and only annihilation (“nirvana“) is a worthy objective. That makes them converge with the Christians and their book of the apocalypse, and Allah and his threats to burn and boil everybody. OK, I am unfair, the Buddhists came first. They are the first nihilists. Intellectuals such as Philip Short, a specialist of Cambodia, believe that the thorough holocaust there was greatly caused by Buddhist induced indifference to human suffering. After all the best way to avoid pain is by falling asleep. But those who sleep have no energy, and don’t deliver.

Instead passion, the violence of emotions, is the energetic core of the West’s secular belief system. Why? Because the West searches primarily for reason, not for the lessening of violence or pain. Picture a fighter plane and a fighter pilot. Violence is the thrust of the engine, pain is what happens when you blackout at 12 g. Western philosophy is the pilot.

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NO BRAINS, NO PAINS:

Sheepishness itself is a sin. Making oneself violence is how the sheep gets out of it. Violence is like the knife, or the first stone ax. It is something we need, because energetic is what we are, but how we will use it is what matters, and the more energetic, the more refined the usage we make of violence has to be. Thus the proper usage of power, of violence, is all about intelligence. One does not go without the other. It is neither sad, nor shocking. it just is. It is not just about history, imperfection or the limits of reason, as Obama politely put it. It is about the principle of man, who walks the valley of the shadow of death.

The shock doctrine of Occidental armies, European organization and European thinking about passion as the core, was derived from the following, which sums it all up. Intelligence was evolved to be shocking, and because it was shocking. Sharks can do what they do, because they are very intelligent, and only because they are very intelligent.

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Patrice Ayme

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P/S 1:  Feedback on this essay, especially if violent, is welcome!

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P/S2: The Qur’an is pretty much a war manual giving precepts for the garrison. Deceit is foremost. Here is the famous Hadith Bukhari:4.268 “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘War is deceit.’ Besides, Allah teaches by example: Qur’an’s Sura 3:54 “Allah deceived and Allah is the best of deceivers”