Archive for the ‘Humanism’ Category

May Day (“Mayday”, “M’Aider”)

May 1, 2018

To put progress in a bad light, no trick is base enough:

Fabre d’Églantine was a left-wing (“Montagnard”, Danton’s secretary) revolutionary. As a member of the National Convention, he was elected as a Member of Parliament of the Republic by universal voting, in 1792. In 1793, in his report on the calendar presented to the Convention, Fabre d’Églantine established a public holiday, to celebrate work and workers, with Saint-Just later setting a date, 1st pluviôse (fifth month of the French Republican calendar, in other words, May First). In 1848, the provisional government of the Second Republic abolished slavery in the Colonies, (27th April) and established May First a public holiday in the Colonies.

The International Labor Day, May First, date was chosen by a pan-national organization of socialist and communist political parties to commemorate the Haymarket massacre, which occurred in Chicago, USA, on 4 May 1886. That protest had asked for the eight-hour day. On 1st May 1886, under union pressure, 200,000 American workers had won the right to work an eight-hour day. But this battle was not won by all workers, and riots broke out in Chicago, to generalize the right. The protest was repressed in blood: eight were killed, and later four workers were hanged (plus another who committed suicide rather than letting himself be hanged).

The date had its origins at the 1885 convention of the American Federation of Labor, which passed a resolution calling for adoption of the eight-hour day effective May 1, 1886. Conservative “Democratic” President Grover Cleveland , concerned that a labor holiday on May 1 would tend to become a commemoration of the Haymarket Affair, imposed the September date. The rest of the world celebrates Labor Day on May First an old European festival, and to remember the revolt in Chicago and its bloody repression.

Technology offers ever more ways to exploit people, and, lest we slide into regression, the forces of progress have to stay vigilant. MSFT, Microsoft, wants what you own. Bill Gates’ mother was an official do-gooder, all the more as her hubby the top lawyer in Washington State. So she was made a director of IBM, which then gave control to young Bill on the software public universities had invented. This brought us Microsoft, and now they own the world, or, at least, how to steer it. Watch ex-presidents lick their toes. Besides they own, or control, all the US media, one way, or the other… And yes, they are max do-gooders, a family tradition, and watch the cash, and the GMOs, flow…

Labor studies professor William J. Adelman wrote:

“No single event has influenced the history of labor in Illinois, the United States, and even the world, more than the Chicago Haymarket Affair. It began with a rally on May 4, 1886, but the consequences are still being felt today. Although the rally is included in American history textbooks, very few present the event accurately or point out its significance.”

Few countries bathe minds in as much deliberate propaganda as the USA. In the US, even entertainment is propaganda: watch full grown men, transfixed by hulks in tights grabbing each other on TV, or seven feet giants casually pushing a ball through a hoop. It looks innocent, but we have seen it all before: the Roman Plebs was kept quiet, for six centuries with “bread and circuses”, as Roman author Juvenal already observed, 19 centuries ago. Couch potatoes fascinated by steroid laden multi-millionaires put on a pedestal as much, most admired values: wealth, physique enhancing drugs, and the couch potato status, plus dead minds.

Roman Emperor Constantine decided that no free Roman citizen should work on Sunday. The usage was followed throughout the Middle Ages. However, up to the Nineteenth Century, with the invention of cheap artificial lighting, and industrial plutocracy, the situation of workers became reminiscent of slavery in Roman times. The laws which had to be passed are revealing:

In 1840 CE, a law was passed in France, making it illegal to make children less than eight years old, work in mines. In 1842, making it illegal to make women work in mines. Again in 1842, making children less than 12 years old work more than ten hours a day became unlawful!

New technology had enabled a degree of exploitation not seen before.

***

We sell your souls, and do it electronically, just smile, they say, and they chuckle:

It is the same today: our minds are for sale and traded, by the likes of Facebook. It could not have been done before. New tech enabled this new exploitation. New tech enabled this new exploitation. Nonlinearly, as we allowed Facebook & its ilk to acquire this sort of power, they amplified it even further, with considerable wealth, buying politicians, all the way to the president, who used to go there twice a month, to beg for crumbs like an overgrown, sick pigeon, anxious to please, drifting in a sea of greed, with no moral anchor…

US citizens can have Labor Day, as long as it isolates the USA, doesn’t mean much, and encourages to forget history… Especially US history! Well, the Gates will take charge of your education, so you are saved!

Beyond exploitation, there is sheer outrage. Microsoft made it so that a recycler got 15 months in jail. For restoring restore disks of used computers (which Microsoft depicts as theft!) Meanwhile Bill and Melinda Gates are all over TV (such as “60 Minutes”) because they helped finance 300 students, and they present this as the way to support high education. The Gates control more than 150 billion dollars (besides the likes of Obama and his ilk…)

In the 1960s, “60 Minutes” fought the establishment with truths about the Vietnam War. Nowadays, “60 Minutes” has becomes the Gates’ organ of aggrandizement. And so is the “Justice” system. For years, now, “60 Minutes” has been hard at work, opening wide the “Gates of Hell”. Gates of Hell, indeed!

And more is coming:When is a robot homeless? When it can’t get power.

Patrice Aymé

Note: Mayday! Is the call in aviation when needing help in an emergency. Sounds silly, but it is actually the French for “M’aider” (Help me), which is pronounced exactly the same. The French didn’t just fly the first three motorized planes (Avion I, II, III), but also named the field (Ader, who was the engineer who built the first, steam-powered, planes, named planes, “avions” from the Latin “Avis” for bird, and then thus, “aviation” and caused an aviation boom in France in the early 1900s. That’s why most basic aviation vocabulary is French… Including “Mayday”…)

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HUMANISM: When TOP PREDATORS NEED LOVE

August 12, 2017

 

Yes, human beings, those top predators, need love. They do. But love is not all they need: there is no contradiction whatsoever, between being a predator and being loving. Lots of predators are loving. It’s actually the exact opposite: love generate the Dark Side. Humans can’t exist without love. But humans, even on their very best behavior, are not all about love, this is what traditional humanism thoroughly missed (although Caesar, Machiavel, Hobbes, Sade wrote a bit about the subject; Christianism acknowledges the Dark Side, just to excoriate it).

***

WE, HUMANS, DON’T JUST PREDATE, WE ARE PREDATORS. Why and What.

We, humans, are actually the top predators. We are greater predators than any other predators which ever existed. This is a simple fact, which changes all of the past’s wishful thinking. Predation defines us. Predation, received and inflicted, made us human, in the last five million years. This changes everything. 

We are also the most intelligent animals. Predation and intelligence are related.

We evolved by, for, from, predation. Predation provided hominids with high nutritional content, lots of concentrated energy. Eating meat THEN enabled to grow big brains. Such is the philosophical order of things, and it rules neurology. This is not a fancy elucubration: we have the fossils to prove it.

For millions of years, hominids learned to stand up, and evolved the genetics to roam around on two legs. At the time, hominids grabbed meat here and there, a task which probably involved quite a bit of scary scavenging. That tended to modify jaws and teeth, while hominids became ever more carnivorous. Finally the brains grew, and grew and grew, fueled by ever more meat, the most energy rich power source around.

The chronology of hominid fossils reveals the causal relationships. And it may well be a universal law valid in exoplanets: carnivores may well be, all over the galaxy, the brainiest. Most brainiest animals on Earth are carnivorous (with the exception of elephants and parrots; in particular all great apes are dedicated carnivores, even gorillas and Orangutans.) It takes a brainiac to catch fishes, as Humpback Whales and many species of dolphins, all the way to Killer Whales, testify… 

Some want to forget our creator, millions of years of predatory evolution. Call that basic denial of one’s own reality!    

Homo Ergaster, the most primitive type of Homo Erectus known (2017). From Georgia, 1.8 million years ago. Five Homo Ergaster corpses were found in underground dens of saber tooth felids, were they were dragged to be consumed. Humans are the realistic animals, realism having been learned one grisly lesson at a time! Humans could only think at the time, that the predation problem had to be mitigated. We have the opposite problem!

***

By destroying predators, we have been trying to dispose of the concept of predator, in a sort of final solution to our own nature, hell-bent to destroy and devastate the concept of humanity. A final solution exterminating what we are. How can that be? Why to self-destroy? Because denying our nature, to the point of not living according to it, profits the Elite, the Oligarchy, those among us who predate and think, and feel, accordingly.

How is this at all possible? Precisely from the spirit of predation. Human predation controls itself. It has evolved to do so, the survival of the species depended upon it. It’s its own meta feedback. Thus humanity instinctively devours humanity (and, historically, literally so!)

Hence when North Korea Kim, Japan Hirohito, Germany Adolf Hitler, engaged in confrontations they could only lose, they obey, modern weapons in hand, the oldest instinct: destroying humanity, lest there is too much of it, literally, or figuratively! This is why “reason” in a smaller context, can’t have any grip on them: their call is much greater than that! Asking them to not destroy, is asking them, not to do what motivates them, deep inside.

Human beings have been at the very top of the predation order, for millions of years. As early as Homo Habilis. That’s how humans survived in plains, steppe, desert and savannah, far from the trees. There was no refuge, except for the respect, not to say the terror, and certainly the worry, that human beings inflicted upon other beasts.

Masai children, ten-year old, can walk among the ferocious beasts, because the ferocious beasts fear human beings. I experienced and practiced the same, a little bit, at the same age, in Africa. Seeing an enormous lion communicate respect, as one respects back, is awe-inspiring. Then one knows intelligence rules, not just humans, but the beasts, the universe.

By rejecting the concept of predator and predation, thus, ourselves, recent “civilization” has been trying to reject our souls and our reality. Fanatical Pacifists will say:”Very well! High time! We have progressed! Alleluia” As if rejecting reality massively was progressive.

No, indeed. Fanatical Pacifists have not understood the most important thing: with their obsessive pacifism, they made themselves into ectoplasms lower than even sheep.

Pacifists, those admirable souls? Lower than sheep? Yes, indeed. Because, indeed, sheep themselves have a dignity, a courage, moral standards, and stand for themselves. Because indeed sheep, as a result, are not that pacific. In general, herbivores can be rather aggressive: horns and the like are not there by accident (I have had wild sheep, Ibex, pushing stones on me and others, from up high, deliberately, many times; But for a helmet, once, my spouse would have been killed, by an Ibex sent stone; also once a gigantic sheep, approaching me with a stupid, benign, absent-minded look on its face, then proceeded to push the unsuspecting me off the mountain with its sheer mass…Ever since I have known sheep can be Machiavellian).

Large predators should be reintroduced  everywhere outside of cities, and a few parks. Even in Europe. Large predators, by the way, are not the potentially most lethal: herbivores can be more of a problem. Elephants are the most dangerous beasts in Africa, followed by buffaloes (I was charged once by a cow). The key with elephants is to go up wind, and stay as far away as possible from the irascible, vengeful pachyderms with their enormously resentful large brains. All Maasai children know this.

Let’s reintroduce the entire megafauna, de-extincting species as needed (using latest genetics). Yes, megafauna will be frightening. That’s not a defect, but an advantage. Yes, it will mean we have to learn to instill respect, and make ourselves, respectful for the laws of nature, and the laws of the jungle.

By reintroducing megafauna, we will not just recover ecological balance for the planet, but mental balance, for ourselves.  

Be all we can be, and evolution meant us to be.

In particular, stop looking up at few other individuals, our leaders, as if they were gods, as if it were natural that they be our masters, with enormous powers when we have very little. No, they are not our leaders, we humans, the top predators are not meant to be led. Let’s learn that about ourselves.

Having leaders with their fingers on thermonuclear fire, fed and promoted by bankers, is not natural. Having leaders, except in a baboon troop sized organization, is not natural. It’s not a natural form of human organization. It’s not a natural form of ecology. We have organized an unnatural order of things, and conditioned ourselves to expect, and respect it. Thus the biosphere is going down the drain. Unimaginable wars are getting prepared: watch a few dictators’ antics (Venezuela’s Maduro, and the thoroughly hell-bent North Korean Kim, who affects to believe there are enough rabid pacifists around to make his thermonuclear blackmail, real cool and effective, an awe-inspiring key to a great future!)

Time to rebel. Time to rebel against an order which has imposed on us, chains and masters, because this order of  thoughts and… orders is rushing to catastrophe. Time to recover, to rebuild, a planetary environment which makes sense, and thus gives us sense, far from Absurdism. This the only planetary engineering worth having.

We are made to experience the megafauna, to be ourselves, in full. We can’t fully mentally function without that spur of evil intelligence, potentially observing and evaluating us. In particular, the laws of the jungle teach us the ever-present importance of truth, and realism.  Yet, remember: predation, received and inflicted, made us human, in the last five million years. When looking at human society, think:’This is what top predators organized.’ And how come we let it be? Are we what we are supposed to be?

How could we fix the world, the world we are destroying, if we are not fully ourselves? And how could we be ourselves if nature’s awe can’t educate and inspire us? Let’s reintroduce an environment which inspires us and teaches us respects for the laws of nature. Being able to experience living with megafauna is central to that.

Patrice Ayme’

 

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?

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Patrice Ayme

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