Archive for the ‘Republic’ Category

Lies Tie Tribes Together Well

December 7, 2013

SHARED ERRORS BIND BETTER THAN TRUTH (Or how faith feeds intellectual fascism of the tribal type).

Aside from loving those who loved me, my life has been centered on a search for the ultimate nature of reality. That included history, to find out the errors one makes, and psychology, to find where those errors came from. I found out about Quantum theory. It entangled what is going on in the small with new, mysterious notions.

I expected thorough dedication to truth among serious thinkers. And who could be more detached than physicists? Yet, I became disturbed by the great gap between how certain some scientists were that their theories were right, and the evidence they had. Sometimes it felt as if they had no evidence, or even the opposite, and as if error united men better than truth. How could that be? How come the tribal arose from the illogical, or even, from error? Was error a mean to tribalism?

That puts the tribal in conflict with the Republic. The Republic is united by justice, and justice is truth, force:

Roman Fascism: People Bound By The Axe of Justice

Roman Fascism: People Bound By The Axe of Justice

[One of the two man-sized bronze fasces flanking the Speaker’s Rostrum, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington. Just as with the French Republic, fasces are all over the symbols of the Republic of the USA .]

Verily, fasces were the fundamental symbol of the Roman republic, and from there on, the Franks and the French and American republics.

(Call that fascism at its best; suggestion: add fasces to the United Nations Security Council! After all, United Nations without force is no union of justice… the UNSC just voted unanimously to unleash the French army to reestablish justice in the Central African Republic.)

Fascism is how weak social animals bind themselves together to make an irresistible mass. Fascism is how social animals drink and dine, without becoming dinner. It’s an old method, honed by hundreds of millions of years of evolution. Or why social animals exist.

( The earliest public latrines, 240 million years old, were just discovered.)

The power of fascism, like the axe surrounded by the fasces, can be used for good or for bad.

In this essay, we will explore a related phenomenon, the POWER OF ERROR, and how intellectual fascism binds a tribe around an error rather than a truth, by making special brains.

Instead of finding an example in politics or history, or the usual suspects (Jihadists!)I will exhibit an example from what ought to be the most intellectually rigorous subject.

In the fundamental treaty on Quantum Mechanics by the great physicist Paul Dirac, a claim was made about the nature of reality that was not just poorly supported theoretically, but experimentally contradicted.

Dirac had said that “photons interfere only with themselves”. Anybody with 2 lasers could check that was wrong. Yet, to this day, strong belief that this error does not matter persists. Why? I claim it stays a convenient cement that unites many mangy physicists.

It’s not just because the photons-interfere-only-with-themselves makes for cheap thinking. It’s also because it provides with tribal, even mystical, and certainly neurological identification, precisely because it’s obviously false.

Of course, for someone such as me, who puts the search for reality above tribal considerations, it’s most important to know if photons do, or do not, interfere with themselves. And as they do, it’s most important to find out how they do it.

(Photon to photon “non linear optics” happens in QED, through matter-antimatter virtual processes, a completely different effect.)

Quantum theory is subjacent to Elementary Particle Physics. The latter was uncovered by “high energy” experiments, in which particles collided into each other. Weirdly, though, all the obvious experiments to uncover Quantum theory had not been made! Somehow, particle theorists had persuaded themselves that Quantum theory was fully known and consistent.

Yet, evidence that Quantum theory was not as understood as possible were abundant (the list was long of fundamental experiments that had not even been tried: Bohm-Aharanov, 1958; one photon-at a time 2-slit, independent lasers 2-slits; numerous EPR style, interaction-at-a-distance experiments, Popper experiment… tried for the first time in 1999, 65 years after it was proposed; etc.).

Fundamental physicists were in denial of this lack of thoroughness on their part. It was a major epistemological, even ethical breach.

An obvious explanation was that governments were more interested to fund high energy physics than really fundamental search for reality. Clearly, high energy physics could lead to death rays, Star Wars, etc. And it did. U.S. Navy ships using combat lasers are being deployed on the battle field.

Present proposed high energy accelerators are of obvious military interest (as they would muster tremendously energetic particle beams over very short distances).

Physicists, after all, are primates, and they find interesting what gives them bananas.

Yet, there was strong evidence that these supposedly arcane minds behaved more like tribal monkeys than inquiring minds. Could it be possible that error united them?

As I would find later in life, nothing is more conducive to building an exploitative community of minds than an error, also known as a faith. A faith that those erroneous minds share. And the more outrageous the faith, the better.

Why?

Recent studies have shown that it takes longer to lie than to tell the truth. The brain has to work harder. Although, well trained liars learn to reduce that delay.

I believe that ideas correspond to brain structures. This idea about ideas has far ranging consequences, from the duplication of thinking by computers, to ethics, to imagination.

Mental structures determined by truth and reality are going to be common to everybody (that’s what is called “common sense”). For the tribally minded, that presents a major drawback: if one shares the same mental structures with everybody, one cannot distinguish the group one wants to belong to.

The only way to distinguish a group is by teaching brains all the same, but differently from all other brains. This way one creates a common architecture of the mind, not found in any other group. The best way to do this is by teaching an error.

The principle of deliberately committing errors, so that people can be tribally, religiously, hatefully, or oligarchically, bound together, with their special brains, rules… That’s why racism is so popular!

It rules, because it has not been recognized. If it comes on the radar of the Enlightenment, that will change.

Don’t ask the tribal minded what errors they made, because therein their identity. They will become aggressive, as you start to poke around their brains. Instead reject errors from all and any part. That will hinder the formation of hateful or exploitative groups.

***

Patrice Ayme

PLOT AGAINST FRANCE 1912-2013

November 11, 2013

Krugman just wrote an editorial “The Plot Against France”. The plutocrats and their servants hate the democracy France represents. They would rather dismantle the welfare state, the way it’s done in the USA. Instead, contrarily to what many articles in the New York Times have asserted, instead of “hacking away” at the French welfare state, French taxes on the rich are increased stiffly. Such is Krugman’s latest message, the same one I had for decades.

Equality, Welfare: A Chicken In Every Pot, Said Henri IV

Equality, Welfare: A Chicken In Every Pot, Said Henri IV

I agreed, and went a tiny little bit further: the New York Times immediately censored me, in spite of my very explicit protests. These days the New York Times go carefully through my comments and censor at least 90% of them.

The same family of plutocrats has owned the New York Times since the nineteenth century, they don’t like me at all (they even published insults against me personally). Is my subscription financing predatory vice?

I show below that American plutocrats have played a fundamental role in the Plot Against France from the beginning, a century ago. The New York Times hates me as an anti-plutocrat. I welcome their hatred (to quote FDR).

(Paradoxically I never had one single comment censored by The Economist or the Wall Street Journal. The NYT has censored more than 1,000 of my comments; it now censors me at a level comparable to when it made propaganda for invading Iraq.)

The owners of the Times are fully onto the plot I denounce below, although they are careful to not know the details, to give themselves good conscience.

The centennial of the plot against France is now.

December 1912. Berlin imperial palace. Lord Chancellor Richard Haldane had told German ambassador Prince Karl Max von Lichnowsky that Britain would not remain passive if Austro–Hungary attacked Serbia, nor would Britain tolerate an aggression of Germany against France upon such an occasion.

A furious Kaiser Wilhelm II read Linchowsky’s report early Sunday, December 8. Wilhelm grandly declared that in the ‘Germanic struggle for existence‘ the British, blinded by envy and their feelings of inferiority, had joined the Slavs (Russia) and their Romanic accessories (France). (Notice the similarity with Hitler’s language and obsessions.) The Kaiser summoned the ‘war council‘ for 11 am. Same day.

Here is the report from Admiral Georg Alexander von Müller (the chief of naval operations):

“His Majesty Kaiser Wilhelm II said: …if we attack France, England will come to France’s aid, for England cannot tolerate a disturbance in the European balance of power. His Majesty welcomed this message as providing the desired clarification for all those who have been lulled into a false sense of security by the recently friendly English press.

His Majesty painted the following picture:

‘Austria must deal firmly with the Slavs living outside its borders (the Serbs) if it does not want to lose control over the Slavs under the Austrian monarchy. If Russia were to support the Serbs, which she is apparently already doing…war would be inevitable for us. But there is hope that Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania—and perhaps even Turkey—will take our side. Bulgaria has already offered Turkey an alliance. We really went to great lengths to persuade the Turks.’

Recently, His Majesty also tried to convince the crown prince of Romania, who stopped here on his way to Brussels, to come to an agreement with Bulgaria. If these powers ally themselves with Austria, it will free us up to throw our full weight behind a war against France. According to His Majesty, the fleet will naturally have to prepare for war against England. After Haldane’s statement, the possibility of a war against Russia alone—as discussed by the chief of the Admiralty in his last talk—will not be considered. So, immediate submarine warfare against English troop transports on the Schelde River or near Dunkirk, mine warfare up to the Thames.

To Tirpitz: rapid construction of additional submarines, etc. A conference is recommended for all interested naval offices.

General von Moltke: “I consider a war inevitable—the sooner, the better. But we should do a better job of gaining popular support for a war against Russia, in line with the Kaiser’s remarks.” His Majesty confirmed this and asked the secretary of state to use the press to work toward this end. T. called attention to the fact that the navy would gladly see a major war delayed by one and a half years. Moltke said that even then the navy would not be ready, and the army’s situation would continue to worsen, since due to our limited financial resources our opponents are able to arm themselves more rapidly

The chief of the general staff says: the sooner war comes, the better; however, he hasn’t concluded from this that we should give Russia or France, or even both, an ultimatum that would trigger a war for which they would carry the blame.

I wrote to the chancellor in the afternoon about influencing the press.”

Enter American plutocrats.

“Colonel” House, was the closest adviser of USA president Wilson. He was the son of a gun runner who made a fortune in the Civil War, and an investor in banks (among other things). On June 1, 1914, House met with the Kaiser, grandson of Queen Victoria, and dictator of Germany. House, on behalf of Wilson, proposed to the Kaiser an alliance between the USA, Great Britain and the Kaiserreich (fascist Germany, Wilhelm’s toy).

House recorded in his diary, that he and the Kaiser discussed “the European situation as it affected the Anglo-Saxon race.” The Kaiser thought that Britain, Germany and the U.S.— the best representatives of Christian civilization—were natural allies against the “semi-barbarous Latin and Slavic nations” (including France and Russia), but that all should defend civilization “against the Oriental races.”

The alliance was to exclude what was defined as the racially inferior French. In exchange, the Kaiser would limit the growth of his fleet.

In later years, House would try his best to shed his evil persona (that made him unpopular with fellow plutocrats). By 1917, House enticed Wilson against “autarcy” (Germany, Austria) and for democracy (France, Britain).

However, the fact remains that, in June 1914, House egged on the Kaiser, who could only feel encouraged that the USA would extend what would be, de facto, a vital military alliance of the USA with the Kaiserreich. And it’s exactly what happened. The Kaiserreich’ explosive, food and energy production would have collapsed, but for the USA’s vital trade.

In August 1914, by complete surprise, the Kaiserreich unleashed an invasion of France, after declaring war to Russia. Great Britain, considering the atrocities committed the Kaiserreich had already committed, quickly declared war in turn. The Kaiserreich was defeated at the battle of the Marne, 5 weeks later, and took defensive positions in trenches. A blockade ought to have finished Wilhem’s mass murdering dictatorship quickly.

However the USA made a fortune by bringing to the Reich all it needed to pursue the war, including coal and crucial material for explosives. The more the war went on, the richer the USA got.

Thus the USA became very rich. American plutocrats repeated the same exact performance with a small caporal they had found, Adolf Hitler.

Henri Ford, the most famous American, was Hitler’s main financing source, when Hitler was still totally unknown, before 1923. The association with top American plutocrats did not just provide Hitler with money, power and a network, but also with a great prestige.

The entanglement of USA plutocrats and Nazism led to striking contradictions: American GIs found themselves fighting Germans equipped by… American companies.

On September 3, 1939, the Republic declared war to the racist, murderous mad dictatorship next door. The offensive did not penetrate Germany very far; however, in 1944, with total air supremacy, the Allies, after three months of hard fighting, had not penetrated Germany more than 22 miles.

USA plutocrats, especially the Ethyl Corporation of America, made it possible for the Nazi Air Force, the Luftwaffe, to keep on flying, and made the war much more difficult for France. Ten months later, a desperate Nazi armored thrust got incredibly lucky, and encircled the main French armies and the British force.

Yet, the French Republic did not break, and now Germany has become a sister republic to France.

Liberté, égalité, fraternité, is the national motto of France. Notice the word “equality”. The plutocrats hate equality. Thus, logically enough, they hate France. The mood in the USA is that, if you make a lot of money, it’s not just a right, but a recognition of genius. The truth, of course, is that it’s generally the result of sordid plots (Goldman Sachs for example created Facebook, with the aid of the NSA; The censoring New York Times is entering a third century under the democratic control of the same family, and Ford is still controlled by Fords (I even drive a Ford, showing how far the plot extends).

France is introducing a 75% tax on salaries above a million euros, and has been clamoring for a crackdown against tax havens. Part of the propaganda of the plutocrats in the USA is to call the French ‘frogs’ whose culture reduces to “wine and cheese”. An important aspect is to deny that France is of any importance. It extends all the way to attributing to Newton two laws that French thinkers had discovered (the law of inertia, Buridan, circa 1320; and the law of gravitation, which Newton himself recognized was suggested and demonstrated by Bullialdus, who had become a member of the Royal Society in 1667).

Yet, the facts say otherwise: the French Republic just obtained a treaty that break Switzerland as a tax haven, as far as France is concerned. Not just that, but the Swiss who live in France will not escape heavy French taxes on health or inheritance. Make no mistake; other powers, such as Germany, the USA, Italy, even Britain will argue in future years, along French lines to the Swiss, and, hopefully, to other tax heavens.

The Anglo-Saxons talk about Keynes all the time, another way to steal the attribution of very old ideas that came from, you guessed it, France. Just as in Rome, or even before that, Athens, in France the government is known to be the core of the economy. One can call that governmentalism“.

In France Keynes-like activities are known as “Colbertism”. Although the measures of the economy and finance minister Colbert went much further than anything Keynes advocated. Colbert promoted the importation of skilled workers and the creation of the highest tech companies (some are still around, and worldwide dominant). Colbert himself was following an older doctrine, implemented earlier by Henri IV and Marshall Sully, 420 years ago.

Henri IV put it this way: “…je ferai qu’il n’y aura point de laboureur en mon Royaume qui n’ait moyen d’avoir une poule dans son pot. (“I will make it so that there will be no worker in my kingdom who will not have the means to put a chicken in his pot”.) That striking idea was related to the future Louis XIV, his grandson, the one who hired Colbert later (Colbert also had a military background, although obviously less glorious than the one of Sully).

One could go further back. Equalitarianism was a characteristic of the ancient Germans, thus the Franks. When the French army led by Guillaume (= William = Wilhelm) conquered England in 1066, the slaves, 20% of the population were immediately freed, and the new king set a sort of direct democracy from the local assemblies.

So how did the rise of USA style plutocracy occur? It started with the “West Country Men“, under Elizabeth I. After training their ferocity in Ireland, they are the ones, who, under terrible conditions, and with huge human losses, founded the English colony in America, during the Barbarous Years (a book I own and recommend).

Now a conscious frontal collision between the philosophy of equality, and the barbarous philosophy of exploitation is in order. The preceding century, 1912-2013, was just a warm-up.

France, weighted by 15 centuries of an anti-plutocratic tradition, is a clear and present danger for plutocrats, they act accordingly. Same story in 1912-1914 all the way to 2013.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Note: The Berlin imperial palace, siege of the initial plot against the Republic in 1912, burned out completely under Allied aerial bombing in 1945. Rebuilding was started in 2013.

Dysfunction Chronicles I

October 6, 2013

Abstract: Connections between financial and health care pirates, Obamian stasis, and the necessity of (good!) empire.

Krugman in Shorting Out The Wiring: Bush was treated as a highly effective leader who knew what he was doing right up to Katrina, while Clinton — now viewed with such respect — was treated as a bungling interloper for much of his presidency.

Tyranosopher: Clinton now viewed with such respect”. Why to proffer such an absurdity? Just because Clinton is filthy rich, now that he has cashed in? Viewed with respect by whom? Big time plutocrats?

Clinton brought the reign of Goldman Sachs, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, Sheryl Sandberg (lover and pet of the preceding one), and Geithner. Seriously:

1) Bill Clinton dismantled the separation of money creation (large deposit banks) and “investment” banks (Wall Street private-public casino). That separation (Banking Act of 1933) was Roosevelt’s greatest reform. So, domestically speaking, Clinton was the anti-Roosevelt. A sort of anti-democrat, a demonstrative demon emphatic for the people as the spider to the fly. (And now big time advising his boy Obama to hang tough.)

2) Bill Clinton allowed the expansion of financial and commodity derivative trading to the point of complete dementia (up to $750 trillion for financial derivatives trades, $50 trillion for real economy trades, worldwide)

Yes derivatives are an order of magnitude greater than world GDP. People do not understand what it means. It means that the WORLD’s money creation machine has been highjacked by a few pirates, the largest “banks”… that the Public is still financing through Quantitative Easing.

None of this has to do with the free market, capitalism, whatever. It’s about a gang having captured the economic and social flying deck of the planet, and Bill Clinton gave them the keys. Thus now viewed with such respect.

All this tanks to Clinton’s minder Rubin and his pet Summers (that would make multi-billionairess Sandberg the pet of a pet).

Why is Krugman uttering plutocratic propaganda (pro-plutocratic decisions are now viewed with such respect)? Is Krugman conscious, or simply saying something because people around him are saying it, and that’s how to get a modicum of respect?

Krugman: Hitting the Ceiling: Disastrous or Utterly Disastrous?

Tyranosopher: How far do you want the Machiavellian analysis to go (I know that you know that I know that you know, etc…)?

People on the supposed left should have long seen it coming. The blockage of Obamacare was all highly predictable. By differing health reform implementation for 5 years, Obama invited this.

Medicare For All would have taken one minute, on the first hour of his presidency, and could have been implemented right away (by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with providers, and that could be done by executive decision).

When he was elected president, Obama could do anything he wanted. He had a majority in Congress, a super majority in the Senate.

Newly elected executives controlling the legislative can do a lot. The newly elected Prime Minister of Australia, as soon as elected, launched a campaign to outlaw Australia’s Carbon Tax. Tony Abbott declared: “Today is not just a ceremonial day, it’s an action day,” the 55-year-old said in a statement. …”people expect us to get straight down to business, and that’s exactly what this government will do. We hope to be judged by what we have done, rather than by what we have said we would do.”

However Abbott’s party controls only 33 of the Australian Senate’s 76 seats. That’s not an easy position to be in. It’s very different from the total control Obama had.

Instead, once elected, Obama celebrated his blackness, as if he were a narcissist, and proceeded with Bush’s policies, as far as the eye can see, . That allowed him not to focus on what he could do to help people with health care.  It is as if Obama had been elected President of the Tea Party (OK, there was no Tea Party yet, my point entirely). 

But what Obama said is that he wanted to become bisexual bipartisan. Why? What did becoming bisexual bipartisan had to do with implementing reforms? What’s the difference between bisexualism, and bipartisanship? In the end, two years later, he did not get one single Republican vote (Republicans do not want to pose as bisexual bipartisan, apparently.) Anyway all this bi-something killed lots of time, as intended.

Having celebrated his blackness has proven highly profitable for Obama; I was listening to some European based talking head who was going black in the face screaming that it was all a racist plot against the “black” president. Whatever “it” was.

Krugman: The aim of Obamacare is to give coverage to the poor.

Apparently, except for Alaska, with subsidies, the cost will be $100 dollar a month for the colored plan (“bronze”; the cheapest). Top demoncrats are so disconnected with reality they don’t know that:

1) basic health care is free in other advanced countries.

2) the 50 millions of the USA underclass cannot afford durably $100 a month.

What could have helped people was to lower the COST of health care (about double that of any other country per GDP/capita).

But lowering the cost of health spending would have been a disaster for health care plutocrats.

Indeed, Medicare for All would have served Buffet not (Obama was going around calling Buffet “my friend”, when he was working on Obamacare; Buffet personally made billions from health care gouging). All what history will remember, from all this, is that Obama’s presidency was a disaster, and it got so from pseudo liberal sycophants filling up their pockets (Summers, Geithner and countless others are examples).

Krugman: Down with the Euro!

Tyranosopher: Well, yes, now that the dollar is not the only world reserve currency, nobody cares as much as they used to about a USA default. For reference, the EU has no debt. Nada. The USA has more debt than its GDP ($16.7 trillion, although Krugman, alone in the world, loves to say less than 10, by making specious distinctions…)

Europe is indeed a terrible place. At least 300 dead from just one boat trying to make it to European soil. Not only does Europe kills, but it kills by attracting people like flies, like one of these carnivorous flowers. What to do? Right now, the boats are confiscated, with the hope international crime syndicates doing the boating will run out of boats.

Not easy to control, those borders: Romania has 2,000 kilometers of borders to control, to prevent entry of the great unwashed inside the European Union. The American/Israeli solution is to build a wall (and actually, to enter the EU, Poland had to build such a wall!) But walls are expensive.

This being said, Europe has a demographic, not just democratic deficit…

So what to do? Go imperial, of course. If Europe is so good, it needs to be defended. In an age when major human vehicles weighing as much as an ancient Greek trireme can cover 8,000 kilometers in 15 minutes, the empire of the Republic extends worldwide. Whatever pseudo-leftist whiners will say, to satisfy their moronic holier-than-thou auto-celebration.

What does that mean? What does empire mean? “Imperare” means to order (well, imperially). Imperators were top Roman generals, with pretty much right of life and death over anybody in their way So imperators had rights similar to those of Consuls and Proconsuls (ex-Consuls mandated anew by Consuls). Under the pure Republic.

In this spirit, the USA just struck with two targeted raids in Libya and Somalia, to neutralize two terrorists chiefs. It seems to have been well done in Libya (live capture, differently from the somewhat lamentable Osama bin Laden raid). Capture them and make them talk (and remember as was discovered in the Middle Ages, that torture is counterproductive).

However, the raid on the Somalian coast, although not as bungled as the French one, deep in the interior, a few months ago, was not the sort of success one would more readily get, if, for example, the French and the Americans cooperated.

Having a worldwide empire is the only way out. But it has to be a good empire. A very good empire. Not a very evil empire where authorities are hunting those who reveal important malversations (Manning, Snowden), while earning respect by financing the richest (as Clinton did), or confusing wealth care exchanges for the richest with health care for the People.

By showing that he has some of what it takes, by striking terrorists, Obama may be able to earn back some of the respect he clearly needs in Washington…

***

Patrice Ayme

NO PUBLIC, NO BRAINS, Crash

July 9, 2013

CRASHES (Examples: the Late ROMAN State, AFGHANISTAN) CAUSED BY LACK OF PUBLIC INPUT:

Abstract: Having a republic (Res Publica, “public thing”) is not just nicer to the public, in everyday life, it’s, more vitally, a military advantage, when war comes.  It’s not a coincidence that Rome accomplished most of its military successes when it was a Republic, or still, although a “Principate”, not far removed from one: under Augustus, worldwide, Rome was the closest society to a full blown Republic. That gave it tremendous military advantage: decisions were taken rather collectively. Thus after debates, hence more intelligently, in the average.

The important concept here is the notion of “public”. Rome crashed militarily from too much fascism, for too long and for no good reason, bringing the dreadful consequence of lack of public support, let alone a lack of creative input… which can only come from the minds of the many, the public.

A modern example? The USA stealth war in Afghanistan (1979-2013) and the rise of the USA as a surveillance state were engaged secretly and pursued without public debate. For example, why did US President Carter order a secret attack on Afghanistan on July 3, 1979? First, why was that order secret? Because, of course, it was ordered for no good reason! Thus the war in Afghanistan had no real public support (the public didn’t even know about it), and was not engaged for intelligent reasons one could justify. Time to cut the secrecy, and bring back the public. If one does not want to kiss the republic goodbye, that is.

***

When the fall of Rome is evoked, old fashion historians focus on military events at the end of the Fourth and beginning of the Fifth Century. Or they brandish hundreds of entangled causes of decay.

Superficially, indeed, the Roman empire cracked because it lost a crucial battle:

Adrianople: Fascism Is From One Mind, & If An Idiot, Toast

Battle of Adrianople: Fascism Is From One Mind, & If That Mind Is An Idiot, It Is Toast

The military crash of Rome blossomed at the Battle of Hadrianopolis, August 9, 378 CE, when the Gothic cavalry decisively annihilated  the extremely experienced Oriental Roman field army (including the emperor Valens, single-minded author of the disaster).

(Although the mysterious defeat and death of Augustus Julian in Mesopotamia (earlier, in 363 CE) was more fateful.)

The disaster at Hadrianopolis/Adrianople was a near fatal blow to the prestige, military, economy and tax base of the core of the empire. The empire was unable to recover for a number of reasons. In particular because plutocrats were too mighty to be taxed.

In 400 CE, the legions were ordered out of Britain and the Rhine Frontier. The Franks, shock troops and nation “infeodated” (under treaty and oath) to the empire were left in charge. Instead of having the defense of the empire staying a public thing, it was subcontracted!

However, during the winter solstice of 406 CE, the Rhine froze over, and an enormous coalition of savage Germanic nations charged through Gallia and Hispania, all the way to Africa (in the case of the Vandals).

That was the fatal blow to the Western empire, the “Occidental Part”. Population and economy collapsed. The Vandals, from their African redoubt, established an empire that reigned on the Western Mediterranean, cutting the grain trade, starving Italy, shutting down international trade, etc.

The Goths seized Rome four years later (410 CE). A century later, the Franks, in a full consultation with the Consul Anastasius (who reigned in Constantinople as Augustus for 27 years until his death at age 88), would finally destroy the Goths at the Battle of Vouillé, in 507 CE. Rome, that is, Constantinople, then made Clovis Consul.

Real Man: Clovis Killed King Alaric Himself

Real Man: Clovis Killed King Alaric Himself

Thus 101 years exactly after the savages broke through, the Romans (aka the Franks) turned things around militarily at last. True, they had been busy meanwhile, destroying the cause of all that turmoil, the Huns (who had pushed the Goths and other Germans west, to start with).

Vouillé had avenged Hadrianopolis. 129 years later. History can unfold slowly, although it goes faster these days.

But the most interesting question is what happened at Hadrianopolis.

And, even more fascinating, why did it happen?  Roughly, the defeat happened because the Roman system was fascist, with one single jealous man at the top. The intelligence of the collective was reduced to the intelligence of one.

Actually it was a bit more subtle: the top emperor, Valens, was jealous of the success of one of the top generals, Sebastian, who had defeated some Goths, and of his nephew, the young Gratian, emperor in Occident, who had also defeated fierce enemies, the Alamani (the Franks would finally destroy those “All Men” two centuries later).

Valens wanted his own victory. Although everybody in the Roman military structure, including the officers in his own field army, and the Frank Richomeres, head of Gratian’s guard, told him to wait for Gratian’s army, which was only 400 kilometers away. So Valens marched his army ferociously for 7 hours over difficult terrain in full sun, and when thoroughly exhausted and dehydrated, engaged battle, without even knowing where the redoubtable Gothic cavalry was.

One man had taken all the decisions, all the wrong decisions. The one-man-alone-in-command factor was the fundamental cause of the defeat.

One can compare with two other spectacular defeats, this time the defeat of famous Republics. At Cannae an enormous Roman army was annihilated by Hannibal. What happened? The Romans fell into a trap: Hannibal retreated to give the Roman center an illusion of victory, drawing it in, and then enveloping the entire Roman body with cavalry, squeezing it, similarly to what would happen, six centuries later, at Hadrianopolis.

At Cannae, the Roman army was unwise, imprudent, outsmarted. However the army was not engaged in a march of obvious idiocy because of one man’s folly, as it would be at Adrianople. If it had been, that would have been stopped right away (as happened say when the French army tried to defeat the Brits in Toulon; as France was a republic, Napoleon, then just a captain, was able to contest the strategy of his superiors, was supported by politicians, and won a great victory).

The same hold for the defeat of France in May 1940. Just like Hannibal at Cannae, but on a much grander scale, Hitler and his generals, thoroughly desperate to start with, decided to be lucky, as that was the only thing that could save them. It did. They conceived the phantasmagoric plan to draw in the army of the Republic, by smartly attacking the Netherlands first.

Just as the Romans at Cannae and Hadrianopolis, sure of victory, the French rushed in their elite armor and armies forward. Then the Nazis, undetected thanks to Lady Luck, and how crazy their strategy was, cut them from behind.

So the difference is subtle. It’s a question of degree. The mind of one, versus the mind of the many. At Hadrianopolis, the orders given to the army were outright insane. All top military officers begged emperor Valens to reconsider. He refused, because he could, being the head fascist. But his head was no good. It was permeated by Christianity, that is, superstition.

At Cannae and the Battle of France, the armies of the Republics, blinded by hubris, confronted adversaries who were desperate, in all logic, and thus could only try to be lucky. And they were.

Then, of course, luck carries only that far against the intelligence and character that a superior public brings. Rome took seventeen years to defeat Carthage (218 BCE-201 BCE), the French republic, thanks to its reluctant, or even initially hostile, but finally enthusiastic allies, six years to annihilate the Nazis.

Conclusion? War is always the most serious business. One has always to be ready for the worst. Hubris ought not to be invited. And the public is both the brains and hearts of war.

The USA started the war in Afghanistan by 1979, under Carter, to block the Afghans, Russians and… despised French to exploit the resources in Central Asia without profits for Washington/Wall Street, and to show all who was the boss (Brzezinski claimed it was just to destroy the USSR, but he is dissembling).

At the same time, to make war by proxy, the USA decided that Pakistan’s dirty work in Afghanistan was best complemented by others. So Washington recruited Bin Laden and other fanatics, in cooperation and collaboration with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, and its collaborator and enemy, the Saudi Inter Service directorate (notice all these people are alive and well).

That attack on Afghanistan was hubristic, greedy, full of imperial overstrech. Those adjectives count as three moral negatives. In Afghanistan, the USA had, at best, only one (fake) moral positive: namely the specious, devious argument that their rogue mercenary Bin Laden had attacked from there. (Yeah, and who made Bin Laden into a soldier of god, and armed him, to start with?)

Perhaps the most important asset in a long war, is moral superiority. Morality is the extension of war to the realm of the possible.

Moral superiority is why, ultimately, the Republics won against the fascists Hannibal and Hitler. Or why, ultimately, the Franks defeated the Goths (the Franks were tolerant, inclusive, more civilized, and supportive of the 97%; not so with the Arian, exclusive Goths).

Reciprocally, lack of Roman moral superiority is why the Romans were defeated by the Goths (both sides were Christian; but the Goths had made a peace proposition that was advantageous to Rome, and that Valens rejected hubristically).

A fourth moral negative in Afghanistan is that the USA made a cynical usage of a primitive superstition, precisely because it was primitive, hateful, and illogical. Right from the start, in 1979, the USA fought to establish, or re-establish, fundamental Islam in Afghanistan (as the USA had done in Iran, or Pakistan, let alone Saudi Arabia or Egypt).

Once again the prominent tactic was that superstitious people can be easily manipulated, as the CIA had done in Iran, by instrumentalizing the Shiites against PM Mosaddegh (culprit of oil nationalization, and general insolence). However, Afghanistan, as a republic, and the benign monarchy before that,  had been pretty much free of superstition and at peace, so the USA strived to re-impose, twice, on Afghanistan a fascist, sexist interpretation of Islam.

This is no way to win a war. Morality cannot foster, or tolerate, big contradictions. As it is, the West has nothing much to defend in the Islamist republic of Afghanistan. Best to negotiate directly with the Taliban. Or, barring that, to just withdraw.

One lesson of the Roman military collapse, was too much energy was spent fighting war in the Middle East without enough overall civilizational superiority to win once and for all. All this energy playing military Sisyphus was as much energy that was not spent on the crucial frontiers: the Balkans, and, especially, the Rhine-Danube gap. Or reacquiring civilizational superiority.

Instead, what we presently observe is that the USA is turning stealthily into a military regime, complete with secret supreme court of surveillance and secret laws. How can one have secret laws in a res PUBLICA? Are not laws the architecture? Are they not public, by definition, in a republic?

It’s time to stop that drift. Obama should yank the USA out of Afghanistan, after making to the Taliban an offer it can’t refuse. He should also remember that Rome rotted from inside first. The more secret the rot, the worst the gangrene. Industrial strength secrecy has no place in a Re-PUBLIC. Moral force is domineering for wars, and the survival of civilization, in the fullness of time.

History is not just complex. It has meta-layers of complexity, as psychology does, and because psychology does, on the grandest scale. Those who do not want to learn from history, do not want to learn from psychology.

***

 

Patrice Ayme


SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

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

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

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

Learning from Dogs

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

ianmillerblog

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

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

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

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

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

Learning from Dogs

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

ianmillerblog

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

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

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

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

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

Learning from Dogs

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

ianmillerblog

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

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism