Archive for the ‘Systems Of Moods’ Category

DON’T BLAME ME, I Am Only Human After All?? (Aurelius’ Perversity, Fall of Rome XI)

April 8, 2018

Abstract: Of Rome we talk, but the present worldwide civilization we ponder… What went wrong with Rome? The most basic spiritual strategy. Philosophy. Rome’s disease was to be ruled by a philosophy unable to resist plutocracy, while deliberately preventing innovation, as befits a highly conservative regime… the exact opposite of the philosophy which brought the irresistible rise of the Roman Republic. The greatest names in philosophy originated that infection, that gangrene of the mind: Plato, Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius…

Could it have been different? Could Rome have pulled out of her philosophical disaster? Could imperial Rome, extending from Scotland to the Persian Gulf, and from Northern Germany to the Sahara, Armenia to Egypt’s long Red Sea coast, have reverted to the philosophy which made the success of democratic Republic?

Once fascism was installed, helped by the opiate of economic success, it was a question of leaders. The Roman Senate’s leading influence tended to be entirely negative, as Septimius Severus, dying in Britain, told his sons.

Aside from the well-known creeps (Nero, Caligula, Domitian, Constantine, Theodosius I) and the abysmal cases (Augustus, Constantine, Theodosius, Valens), it seems to me that Marcus Aurelius, considering his tremendous influence, was one of the leaders into the abyss. Marcus’ philosophy was radioactive, so to speak: it looks wise, but it brings death. Worse: Marcus’ influence is alive and all too well to this day: just as Constantine is a saint of Christianism, Marcus is a saint of a particularly perverse version of stoicism. Marcus is also an intellectual fascist, under the purest form. 

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/marcus-aurelius-intellectual-fascist-why-rome-fell/

Make no mistake: it is a version of stoicism on trial here, that many influential philosophers subscribe too, and, worst of all, which is perfect for the growth of unbounded plutocracy!

And yes, it could have been different, if “dictator perpetuo” Julius Caesar and emperor Trajan had lived longer, and been able to find successors with similar mindsets and capabilities… All of this to  establish a plutocracy hating republic: Julius Caesar and Trajan were both what’s derogatively called “populists” nowadays; but populism is the only thing which could have saved Rome from lethal stagnation, and ecological aging, a weakness naturally followed by horrible invasions.

All this long gone history gives vivid lessons valuable today: we, as the world civilization many Greco-Romans dreamed to establish, are more or less repeating some of the errors Rome made. However, enlightened by the dramatic collapse of the Roman State, Europe has not quite, so far, repeated to the same extent, Rome’s errors… including Russia! Consider Czar Peter The Great, who cracked down on Christianism, and embraced progress, thence saving Russia from the Swedish reconquista… Peter the Great, circa 1700 CE, had fully understood, in his heart of hearts, that it was crucial NOT to repeat the errors of the Roman state’s long agony.

Some historians hold that the Roman empire was even larger under emperor Caracalla, son of Septimius Severus, a century later. Under Caracalla, the law of universal citizenship was passed, something now taken for granted by all states (with the possible exception of Burma…) The Franks, a confederation of Germans equipped with Latin Lex Salica, succeeded Rome after 476 CE in the North-West. In particular, they owned the orange part of Northern Germany which Augustus had stupidly, and selfishly loudly given up in 9 CE. By 507 CE, the Franks had defeated the Goths, and controlled Belgica, Gallia, and Aquitania, not just much of Germania… The main difference with the Romans was that the Franks re-engineered Christianism as an asset, whereas the terrorizing Roman version of Catholicism due to Constantine and Theodosius, had crippled Rome.

Very practical consequences of behaving according to the exact opposite attitude to Rome, explain how and why Europe avoided collapse since Rome. Enough friendliness to technology, & law, enough abatement of plutocracy, enabled the extrication of Europe from ecological devastation (~ 1300 CE). Having enough of these three philosophical pillars also explains why Europe has not been devastatingly invaded for 15 centuries! (ultimately Muslim, Viking, Avar, Turk, and Mongol invasions were crushed and repelled… differently from what happened to the Muslim, Chinese and Indian civilizations, which were conquered, periodically destroyed; similarly, the invasions of the Germans and Huns in the Fifth Century, and Muslims in the Seventh Century, destroyed the Roman state, east and west, leaving imperial remnants in north-west Europe and around Constantinople. The resulting lesson, the enormous devastation it brought, has not been forgotten. At least until a few years ago).

If nothing else, we have engaged the planet in ecological collapse. David Attenborough, 91 years old, observed this in New Scientist.

… And Attenborough issues a “call to arms“. Rightly so. We are also one short-circuit away from devastating nuclear war, a pure case of tech gone mad. And not too many care. Rome was crazy. We are much more so. This is no age to try stoicism again… Activism is more appropriate.

***   

We The Wise Know No Blame, Says Marcus!

An excellent song, from someone looking like an overweight Viking is going around: “Don’t Blame Me, I Am Only Human After All… Don’t blame me, you are only human after all…”. The same idea has a long pedigree. It already affected Rome. The idea that: no blame, no shame… came to be viewed, in all too many influential circles, and all too long ago, as the principal message of the Greek philosophy known as Stoicism. “Stoicism” from stoa, a column below which it was taught by Zeno of Citium, became a philosophical school after the fascist Macedonian plutocracy and its descendants “Hellenistic” tyrannies and kingdoms took over the Greek civilization, pretty much crippling it. Including Marcus Aurelius, ten major Stoic philosophers followed in Greco-Roman civilization. Marcus was also single Roman emperor, and played a major role for civilization, and not for the best, contrary to repute, as I have already written and will show some more below.

Nowadays, Stoicism has become business (as it started: Zeno of Citium was wealthy, although he lived modestly). Massimo Pigliucci commented on “Marcus Aurelius: a guide for the perplexed by Stephens”.

In it is found the following gem: it is futile to blame! Let me quote Massimo Pigliucci quoting Mr.Stephens:

”My preferred example is in the context of Marcus’ discussion, in VIII.17, of the idea that it is futile to lay blame, regardless of what particular metaphysical view of the world (the Stoic, the Epicurean, or any other one) we happen to hold. Here is Stephens’ reconstruction of the full argument:

  1. The matter is either in our control or in the control of someone else.
  2. If it’s in our control, then we can handle it appropriately without blaming ourselves.
  3. If it’s in the control of someone else, then we could blame either atoms (if the

Epicureans are right about how the cosmos works) or the Logos (if the Stoics are right about how the cosmos works), or no one and nothing.

  1. It’s stupid to blame atoms (since they have no intentionality).
  2. It’s stupid to blame the Logos (since the cosmos — which for the Stoics was a living organism — knows best what should happen).
  3. Hence, if it’s in the control of someone else, then blame no one and nothing.
  4. Therefore, blaming is pointless.

QED.”

***

I Blame Us, We Are Only Human After All!

In the past, Massimo Pigliucci censored many of my comments on Marcus Aurelius: he even accused me to have made up the facts and quotes I evoked, which cast a sinister light onto his idol (I actually made up nothing, just pointing at little known facts, and even getting trouble in my own family with some who also rever Marcus, for having lifted them of an otherwise dreary childhood…)

It’s hard for admirers of Marcus to recognize his culpability in the repression of Christians (I don’t like Christianism very much, but what Marcus did to Christians was not just criminal, but made the situation worse, and more stupid; moreover, Christians laid the blame on the wealthy, rightly so, and, as I make clear below, Marcus Aurelius exchanged the health of the Roman empire against the wealth of the few, the core of the lethal disease which affected the empire, according to me! Positive point: Marcus got to blame no one around him. Negative point: that attitude brought the collapse of civilization! The motive of Marcus may have been plain old selfishness, the easy way out…)

This time professional philosopher Massimo Pigliucci allowed this comment from me, accusing Marcus of the worst crime someone with intellectual pretense can commit: …”a different perspective I have developed shows why Marcus Aurelius made the mistake of making Commodus a Consul, while still a child (and so on, until making Commodus co-emperor at… 16). In other words, Marcus’ error was no error, but system. Marcus Aurelius thought that ‘non-useful’ thoughts should be banned! He wrote that explicitly!”

Nobody can know, when creating a thought, what it could turn out to be useful for. Banning “non-useful thoughts”, as Marcus Aurelius wanted to, is to ban a better logic for the future, to ban any better future. In other words, Marcus didn’t want to improve things. Unsurprisingly, thanks to such a towering absolutism from above, such plain banning of thinking, so inhuman, the Roman state went from bad to worse, until it collapsed.

Massimo replied, April 2, 2018 • 8:08 am: “Patrice… At any rate, I don’t see what banning non useful thoughts has to do with it.”

I retorted: “Dear Massimo, trying to explain myself a bit more:

Can one be a creative, or rigorous thinker, and not attribute blame? I think not.

Marcus Aurelius said (paraphrased): “If a matter is in the control of someone else, then we could blame either atoms (if the Epicureans are right about how the cosmos works) or the Logos (if the Stoics are right about how the cosmos works), or no one and nothing.”

Is that a typo? What happened to blaming people? Isn’t that the most natural blame to attribute? If I don’t like Trump’s tax reform, shall I blame atoms, the logos… or no one and nothing? I prefer to blame Trump, and his ilk.

Let’s be cynical, as the fine hounds we are. Those who refuse to attribute blame to anybody seem to say: ‘I can’t be blamed, I am only human, after all!’

Those who claim “nothing” can be blamed say: ‘everything that is, is true and innocent. And there is no scientific method, as nothing is false, hence our rule is above any suspicion…’

The essence of the most advanced thinking is to disconnect the motivation which brings it from any utilitarian objective. Advanced thinking is born from the honor of the human spirit, not from whether the emperor finds it of some use. Marcus could not conceive of this.

Although Marcus was strong and determined against the German barbarians, not being a believer in advanced thinking, he didn’t realize that the way out of the invasion crisis, was the one launched by the Roman Republic, seven centuries prior: mental creativity to invent new strategies, weapons and mechanisms, all to be paid by higher taxes on the wealthiest. Instead, emperors went to fear inventions, imagination, and taxes, at the cost of hundreds of ever more crippling invasions (the same problem would occur with the Carolingian/Renovated Roman empire, in the second part of the Ninth Century).

The Roman empire understood finally that one had to tax the wealthiest, to pay for a sufficient army, under Aetius, 250 years later, when it was too late, and more than half of the Roman tax basis, let alone food supply, had been occupied or demolished by the savages (Marcus Aurelius had pathetically ‘solved’ his tax crisis, by selling state property, like the palace’s silver…).

If one is really human, after all, one is rational, and reason requires correction, correction arising from blame.”

The entire subject is, for me, like visiting the Moon: where is the air? If one spends one’s time only engaging fools, not only does one become one of them, but one gets depressed, as one subjects oneself to the cruel and unusual punishment to debase, and contradict oneself, just out of respect, for what one has worked so long to rise above… And the same happens with foolish subjects. But still someone has to address them”

Massimo, as many who are all too busy, doesn’t like long comments, but he replied:  April 2, 2018 • 12:48 pm

“Patrice,

there are a number of things in your comment that I think are off the mark, but I will comment on just two.

First off, “not blaming” is a standard Stoic attitude, meant to recognize that all human beings err, and that nobody does evil on purpose. I find it refreshing and very useful in dealing with others. It doesn’t mean one should not stop others from doing bad things.

Second, there is no way Marcus could have reverted from empire to Republic. He would have been killed instantly. It has nothing to do with not believing in advanced thinking, which by the way is not what the Stoics counsel. They counsel that the best way to prepare for the future is to act rightly here and now. Not the same thing.”

I felt like a Neanderthal contemplating a smirking mammoth deep in a pit I digged.

The nature of the Greco-Roman empire is deeply misunderstood, to this day: it was way wealthier, more populous and more democratic, than generally assumed. Yet, in some philosophical ways, it was far removed from what we take for granted today (and the situation is complex: on cruelty, contrarily to repute, the Romans got it basically right, we don’t. On progress, the situation changed completely from the very progressive Democratic Republic to the fascist empire. We are not as progressive as we need to be, in great part because we are repeating the plutocratic mistake Rome made….)

It was an ideal occasion to set the perception right about the Roman empire. My reply:

“Dear Massimo:

Thanks for your answer. The description of the “standard Stoic attitude”, that “all human beings err, and that nobody does evil on purpose”, it seems to me is exactly what prevented Marcus Aurelius to put back the “Republic” on the correct trajectory it was clear it desperately needed during Marcus’ reign.

Ah, yes, the “Republic”, not a detail: the “Principate” was considered to be a Republic by those who partook in it. The Roman Republic justice system and Senate were still going on during the “Principate”. As emperor Decius said in June 251 CE, after his son was struck by an arrow at the battle of Abbritus: “Let no one mourn; the death of one soldier is not a great loss to the republic.”

So it was not a question of “restoring the Republic”: the first emperor, Augustus, claimed to have done so (27 BCE). Local democracy was alive and well (until the first German raids deep inside the empire, starting with Alexander Severus, circa 234 CE!)

Marcus Aurelius had two major problems, one fiscal, the other technological. Trajan had taxed the wealthiest to create an empire which was more social, more expanding, and giving advanced education to meritorious youth through scholarship. (Unfortunately Trajan died at 63, preventing consolidation of his enlightened rule, all the way to the Persian gulf.)

Marcus had a disastrous situation: the Germans had learned to become a military threat to Italy. All what Marcus did was to battle away against the Germans, for a continuous 20 years, in the here and now, with insufficient means, insufficient militarily, fiscally, technologically, democratically. Marcus should have followed Trajan fiscal, educational, social policies. Marcus’ closest policy to Trajan was in military matters: Marcus understood the Marcomanni and their ilk had to be crushed (Commodus inverted his father’s conquests). However he didn’t have the fiscal means for his army, that Trajan gave himself by hating the wealthiest.

This lack of inclination of Marcus for finding in-depth revolutionary change prepared for a future of more of the same, precisely because Marcus enjoyed an enormous prestige as a philosopher-emperor. Marcus just had to follow Trajan, he didn’t.

Thus, for an astounding three centuries of war (176 CE-476 CE) the Romans fought as Marcus did, not realizing that, as long as they couldn’t integrate the Germans into the empire, they made them stronger, and more ferocious, just by battling with them. (The only emperor who understood the problem was Julianus, Julian “the Apostate”, who studied philosophy in Athens, and was elevated to Augustus by the Parisians. Unfortunately he died from combat in Mesopotamia, 363 CE.)  

Marcus had to raise the taxes on the wealthiest, on the .1%. Marcus had to blame the wealthiest, as Trajan did. The other philosophical solution, which Marcus didn’t embrace, was to reject Plato’s hostility to technological change, and re-embrace the Roman (true Republic) love of technological innovation.

Individuals drunk on the neurohormones of cruelty and domination exist, denying it is counterproductive to progress: the head of the Brazilian army just made a threat (on Twitter!) Hence the Brazilian Supreme Court decided to jail Lula, who leads by a very long shot the 2018 Brazilian presidential race.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/04/world/americas/brazil-lula-corruption-prison.html”

[Please excuse the length, more on my site…]”

Amazingly, considering our turbulent history, and his unbounded admiration for all things Marcus, he used to be afflicted by, Massimo published my comment on his site: we are progressing in the right direction, at last! (Massimo may be learning to practice what he teaches…)

What I didn’t say, lest I be accused of digression, how low Rome had already fallen: a few hours later after his statement that Rome was a republic (which it was, by present standards, adapted to the times), Decius would die, first emperor to do so, with most of the Roman field army. Rome had sunk that low, 70 years after Marcus Aurelius’ passing, and as a result of his overall outlook.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decius

By the way, it is important to realize that seriously creative thinking blossoms from digression… An important meta principle Marcus Aurelius doesn’t seem to have conceived of.

***

By Marcus’ Time, Solutions For Imperial Rome Should Have Been Obvious:

Two changes were needed. To my knowledge, Marcus Aurelius doesn’t seem to be conscious of the necessity of these two changes, changes back to the distant past, a renewal with what made the success of Rome in its first seven centuries.

The first problem facing Marcus Aurelius was not restoring the Republic (justice was nominally independent, local democracy, the Curiatii, was flourishing), it was to raise taxes on the 1%.

A plutocracy of ferocious, tax-free 1% backed-up the imperial system under its “Principate” form (and would back-up the “Dominate”, starting with Aurelian, before, in the end, backing up the barbarians!) They are the real cause of the Decline and Fall of Rome, as their tax evasion and subjugation of We the People left imperial Rome with too small and too powerful a professional army. The wealthy, when faced with invaders in the Fifth Century, would make nice with them. Being entangled with the Christian Church helped.

Contrarily to what Massimo brazenly asserts, it is not clear that if Marcus had tried to restore the rights of the Populus Romanus, he would have been killed: Marcus enjoyed enormous prestige, and was surrounded by devoted advisers and generals. Marcus spent 20 years on the battlefield, at the head of the Roman field army, he had no rivals (Commodus profited from the awe and competence of his father’s government for years, after his death).

Head of the army Aetius and others, in the Fifth Century, made the 1% pay taxes, way too late, after military collapse and annihilating invasions (⅔ of the spending went to the professional Roman army). If Aetius, not even an emperor, could do it in the Fifth Century, Marcus could have done it in the Second Century. By then half of the Western Empire had been invaded and occupied by savages.

On the other hand, in 235 CE, Maximinus Thrax, head of Legio XXII Primigena was elevated to Augustus, as the army was furious young emperor Severus Alexander was busy paying the barbarians, instead of making war to them. However Maximinus rose taxes on the wealthy, to pay for his successful war making, and the Senate revolted for that reason in 238 CE. However, Maximinus was of peasant origin and had acquired Roman citizenship from Caracalla edict. So it was natural for the Senate to revolt against him. Whereas, if Marcus Aurelius had risen taxes as Maximinus did, it is unlikely that the Senate would have done anything, considering Marcus’ pedigree and his total control of the army (as Cassius’ short usurpation, cut short by a centurion, showed).   

The Senate would lose (nearly all) its prerogatives later, in the late Third Century, turning into Rome municipal council (de facto).

So could something have been done to prevent the ongoing slow degeneracy of the Roman state? Yes, and it is clear what: Rome had to become as smart as the times required. Because of a massive ecological crisis caused by its very success, Rome had to get as smart, or smarter than when the Republic ascended. Instead, it became ever more stupid.

Marcus Aurelius had to lay blame onto the plutocracy, do reforms in the spirit proposed by the Gracchi Brothers. (However, he blamed laying blame, as a matter of weird logic…)

Another type of PHILOSOPHICAL reform needed was to lift the ban against inventions, inherited from… Plato, an Athenian conservative who was so afraid of change, he preferred to ban tech (an attitude which was fundamentally anti-Roman, as the Respublica triumphed from invention!)  This is a pernicious effect of the conquest of Greece by Rome: Greek philosophy, and not the best, corrupted Rome in turn…

From examining history, it is clear to me that some individuals and even many political leaders, did evil on purpose. Either because they thought they were doing good, or also because they thought they were causing pain and suffering. When Charlemagne deported to South West France a substantial part of the Saxon population, he thought he was doing good, as the alternative was just to massacre them (something he also did…)

***

On the Haughtiness Of, and Redemption by, Advanced Thinking:

One can blame, one should blame, some reasons of some people, sometimes, I blame mine quite often, but that doesn’t mean that blaming some ideas impell to view others with hostility, or that I hate them, or view myself with undisguised hatred. Quite the opposite: viewing defects, mental errors, inappropriate emotions, for what they are, where they come from, deepens the love (including self-love). Explanation is, often redemption. The passions can be precise, clever, if one teaches them well.

By blaming blame into oblivion, emperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius blamed the most advanced, most powerful weapon against mental lethargy and thus the most powerful tool for liberating reason into oblivion.

Impermanence of things and individuals, permanence of virtues. The fundamental error of old fashion “virtue ethics“: not putting ENOUGH intelligence first, foremost, and most fundamentally. Only most farsighted intelligence enables not to mitigate the paving of the road to hell with good intentions!

Enlightenment exists as a loud and clear superior notion since Ahura Mazda, 40 centuries ago. To oppose it as Marcus did, by opposing blame (something the Christians, rightly, brandished), or condemning “useless” thinking, Marcus condemned what Rome needed the most; the catharsis of Enlightenment. In particular, realizing Rome had become a dictatorship, where even new ideas not only couldn’t grow, but were condemned, just for being new. The enlightenment that new ideas bring is only forged by intense criticism.

In the strangest, most pregnant times we are. Lest we be careful, a monster will be born. But, if we do it right, paradise… History should be the most revered teacher, a cult worth having, never boring, always surprising.

Patrice Aymé

***

Note about Marcus Aurelius and change: Just as in physics one can “see” an object by its absence, in systems of thought one can see an idea, precisely because it’s avoided, as a “non-said” (“non-dit” in French philosophy). I accused Marcus to be against new ideas. This is demonstrated, in absentia, by the very way Marcus describes change. According to Marcus, change is about anything you can imagine, except the obvious:

“Is any man afraid of change? What can take place without change? What then is more pleasing or more suitable to the universal nature? And can you take a hot bath unless the wood for the fire undergoes a change? And can you be nourished unless the food undergoes a change? And can anything else that is useful be accomplished without change? Do you not see then that for yourself also to change is just the same, and equally necessary for the universal nature?” (Meditations, VII.18)

The most obvious, most profitable change there is, and should be, for a thinker, is the change of ideas. Marcus Aurelius doesn’t mention it.

***

Note from Massimo: “Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, one the few philosopher-kings (well, okay, emperor) in the history of the world, is a fascinating figure. Despite being one of the most famous Stoics, he was not a philosopher and teacher like Zeno, Chrysippus, or Epictetus. Unlike Seneca, he wrote just one book, the Meditations, which was actually addressed to himself, meant as a personal diary of philosophical reflection, not to instruct others, let alone as a treatise on Stoic philosophy. He was by all accounts an extraordinary man, who tackled some of the greatest challenges the Roman empire had to face, including a war against the irreducible Parthians, another one against a coalition of German tribes led by the Marcomanni, an internal rebellion by one of his most trusted governors, and a plague that killed two or three million people. He … leaned on his philosophy to do the best job he could. And ended up in the disastrous choice of his son Commodus to take up the purple mantle (but see here for a nuanced analysis of that episode), a decision that ended the prosperous and relatively peaceful age of the five good emperors of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty.”

(Emperor Nerva had a short rule, but he adopted top general Trajan as his successor, and Trajan was the best of them; the adopted Hadrian succeeded, after Trajan’s sudden stroke, and it has been suspected Trajan’s wife modified Trajan’s will to do so. In turn, Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius, making him adopt the teenage Marcus Aurelius; Marcus, instead of adopting a promising candidate, heaped impossible honors onto his son, starting as a child… Whereas the Roman Republic, when it was democratic, had draconian limits on mandates, and all representatives were elected, it was hard to duplicate these electoral means in a giant empire, where it took months to travel, away from the sea…)

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INVICTUS We Should BE: Free Will, Determinism, Classical & Quantum Mechanics, Neurohormonal States

April 2, 2018

Conventional Wisdom sits back and whines: ’With Quantum Mechanics, we lost determinism. Is Free Will in truth just Quantum chaos?’

Advanced Wisdom replies: ’Not so, just the opposite. Absolute determinacy from classical mechanics never existed, because it depended upon infinitely precise initial conditions. These couldn’t be. Now, given that small initial discrepancy, after an arbitrarily long time, one will get an arbitrarily large discrepancy. Exit your sacrosanct “classical determinacy”, which will always churn out arbitrarily large errors, given enough time.

Conventional Wisdom:’In any case our brains are ruled by Quantum Mechanics, and that’s nondeterministic’.

Advanced Wisdom:’The Quantum is not truly “nondeterministic“. The Quantum attributes probabilities to outcomes, the so-called “Quanta”, but the latter outcomes don’t change ever more with time… whereas wilder and wilder outcomes is what happens in Classical Mechanics, as time goes by!

Classical Wisdom sees Classical Mechanics as deterministic, whereas Quantum Mechanics is not. However, Quantum outcomes are determined at the outset (so-called “Quanta”), whereas all and any classical mechanical evolutions diverge indefinitely ever more… SO CM predicts whatever, in the long run, whereas QM is more regimented…

Conventional Wisdom:’Quantum Mechanics more deterministic than Classical Mechanics? The world is upside down with you! Whatever, you confuse me. Forget these abstractions, forget Quantum Mechanics, for the sake of the argument at hand, I don’t believe in Free Will. Let me tell you why. View the brain as a machine with programs. Given some circumstances, the brain will make just one computation, with just one solution. Presto, no more Free Will! We are just Turing machines! Nothing you can do, you will always get the same result.’

Advanced Wisdom:’I embrace BRAIN BUILDING, not just body building! I have a little experiment for you. Sit in a chair, think about a given Problem, call it P. Then go run half an hour on a mountain trail, an exercise of the muscles, the heart, and the brain processing thousands of data points per second. See what happens to what you thought P was. By the way, I stupidly miscomputed today the firmness of the snow while running, I should have recognized the tint of that particular patch of snow, crashed forward after by right leg went deep through the treacherous white substance, skidded on my left knee, careened off the snow bank, crash landing in stones on the side, making a small bloody gash in my left hand, it sure impacted my mindset a bit… But I digress… The point is this: try then to think of Problem P, while running for quite a while, brain concentrated on potential trajectories’ dangers. You will think of P, but it will turn out in a different context, with different details, different motivations (typically more macroscopic, bigger picture style), in a different mood, in other words, in a different neurohormonal and oxygen set-up. The computational paths offered inside the brain to solve P will be different than those which were apparent while sitting on that chair. Hence if one had a set C of solutions from the chair, one now has a set R, from running: the set of solutions is not C, but C + R!’

In other words, if you want to get out of Plato’s Cave, go running! Running, physical activity, or different neurohormonal set-up, will change your mind. Learn to change minds as if it were clothes. It beats just putting someone’s else shoes.

CW:’What does that have to do with Free Will?’

AW: ‘Classical Free Will is a choice between a number of solutions, hypotheses, emphases, etc. Call that set of choices and outcomes N. Conventional Wisdom assumes that N just is, like the Moon, a well-determined object, like in a category (category is here in the mathematical sense). However, I just demonstrated that N, the set of choices and outcomes presented to Free Will is, itself, a function of neurohormonal states. Changing the neurohormones changes the categories which make up that set N (something Aristotle didn’t think of when he invented categories in the non-math sense). Moreover the latter neurohormonal states can be controlled and chosen from, or selected… At will. When Socrates and his golden youth friends and lovers decided to go get drunk and party all night, chewing the fat, they decided to change their neurohormonal states from normal to wacko. That’s the whole idea of Dionysus, bringing a fresh re-think, and re-emote of the whole mindset. Nietzsche correctly deduced that was one of the causes of the Greeks’ superiority. Similarly, religions prohibiting nuttiness, foolishness, jokes and feasts, as Catholicism and Islamism, fabricate dull minds. So thinking can be controlled with meta controls upon the environments in which the thinking, and the feeling, are conducted, and produced. That’s why people read books and go the theater, among other fantasies.

Conventional Wisdom: ‘Are you getting meta on me, once again?’

AW: ‘Yes, Free Will is not free of neurohormonal or other mental states, thus we are free to control Free Will by selecting for oneself one’s environmentsA form of meta control. For example, when the wrongfully revered philosopher Heidegger decided to become a Seminarist, or a Nazi, he made meta choices which impacted his freedom of thought or, of will, looking forward. Same when doctor Asperger decided to help support the Nazis’ first extermination program, a context which led him to invent the pseudo-disease named after him (and which was used as a reason to assassinate thousands of German children).’    

While in captivity, Nelson Mandela recited that poem by William Henley to fellow prisoners, and they felt empowered. The myth of “Sol Invictus” was imposed by Roman Emperor Aurelian, around 250 CE, it was a first run of the fascist Catholicism Constantine would impose in 325 CE, 75 years later…

CW:’Are you saying that I can act to steer my own Free Will, by controlling my mental context?’

AW:’Yes. And you are deeper than you think: the notion of “steering” was introduced by Schrodinger, in connection with Quantum Entanglement. Steering of mental state and Free Will is closely related. Indeed, changing context is pretty much how Quantum Steering shows up! Hence the Schrodinger cat conundrum…

CW:’Enough, my head is exploding in cats!’

AW:’Take hold of yourself, remember the honor of the human spirit! When talking about Free Will remember that, as in Quantum Mechanics, you can’t control the solutions, but you can control the spaces which make them appear!

CW: ‘Can we get practical here?

AW: ‘It’s very practical! I just said there was Free Will, and how to create more of it!”

CW: ‘You want to create Free Will by acting on the mental contexts, by making it so that they will offer, or create, more solutions?

AW: ‘Exactly! The idea is not exactly new. Forcefully changing neurohormonal states is why Socrates and his ilk got drunk, and Indian Swamis, and countless Shamans around the world experimented with mind altering drugs! Or why we dream, for that matter!’

CW:’Do you do drugs?’

AW:’No need, I just plug-in my brain, it’s foolish and creative enough on its own, no need to reduce performance with junk, no alcohol, nicotine, pot, or hallucinogens for me, I hallucinate in a controlled fashion, so to speak. Indeed, I do mind altering activities like mountain running in snow, hence yesterday’s amusing crash.’  

Conventional Wisdom: Alright, you, you and you. Kudos to you, oh great youyou. What is the point of Free Will anyway? Why should we worry about it?

AW: Because if we don’t we don’t do anything about it, we just wait for nuclear war, and the rising of oceans by 70 meters, whatever comes first.

CW:’You worry about big stuff. What’s in it for small people with small preoccupations?’

AW: ‘Very simple. If one doesn’t believe in Free Will, one is a slave to destiny. However, human beings aren’t made to be slave to destiny. Human beings, as they evolved, over millions of years, could check, every day, that they were actors of change. Profitable change, life saving change. Thus, lack of belief in Free Will is fundamentally inhuman. Lack of belief in Free Will corresponds to not behaving according to the owner’s manual. And it has to be discouraged, thought evolution. Therefore, lack of belief in Free Will makes individuals lugubrious, sinister, unhappy, and a danger to their human environment. Let alone the entire biosphere. Amen.

CW: Being happy is a moral duty?

AW: Being happy and willful is a moral duty, in the sense of the morality evolution itself created us with. We were evolutionary made to be Lords, not slaves! Embracing such an attitude, embracing happiness and wilfulness, has practical consequences, such as an unwillingness to confer our decisional powers to representatives whose powers corrupt them absolutely!

CW: What is the overall metaprinciple, to use your semantics, at work here?

AW: The honor of the human spirit is the ultimate principle. What evolution created us into, it did, because it enhanced our mental performances. We are naturally evolved artificial intelligence. It’s our mental superiority which drove us, as a species. Insinuating that we are not free to be happy, free to become captains, and even architects, and engineers, of our own souls, is to undermine the human spirit, our core principle, it is to subscribe to the principle of slavery.

Patrice Aymé

EMPEROR CONSTANTINE CHRISTIAN TERRORIST 325 CE (Fall Of Rome Part X)

March 25, 2018

Had that bloody, mass murdering tyrant, the Roman emperor Constantine, not invented, and subjugated, the Roman empire with Catholicism, would the apocalyptic collapse of the Roman empire, state, economy, society and population have happened? Under the terrible holocausts of multiple invasions? Maybe not under its most gentle form. However, once Constantine ordered the burning of books, under the penalty of death, as part of what he called Catholicism, launching prohibition of learning, and critique, such a mighty blow against intelligence made the survival of the empire nearly impossible.

Because the survival of civilization depended, and depends, upon intelligence, and one can’t have intelligence without reading books, and other media especially those which are critical of established thinking. Hence censorship is never a good idea. (Yes the present system on the Internet, with the mobbing effects of “likes” and “trends”, and selecting only those who are alike, are going against critical thinking, thus any thinking…)

All the more as, since emperor Diocletian, just before Constantine, God (“Sol Invictus”) had been made in the image of the emperor, Master (“Dominus”), Dominator, of the universe. And indeed, the leadership of the Roman empire proceeded to make a succession of aberrant decisions, steadily making the situation worse over the Fifth Century (for example using the Huns, yes the Huns, as allies against the Goths, and others, thus giving to the Huns the knowledge and inclination to ransom the Roman empire ever more, and live off invasion and empire, as the Muslims would do in the Eight Century, under broadly similar circumstances…) 

Some may prefer to speak about Islam, in light of the latest Islamist attacks in France. However, it is the exact same subject. Indeed, in case you ask, the system of thought of Constantine’s Catholicism directly led, three centuries later, to the genesis of Islam, and its most awful practices (the cousin of Muhammad who got the idea of Islam, was a professional Christian, the most famous in Arabia, and it had to do with Arianism, see below). In the West, Catholicism subjugation (Islam means subjugation to the same god as Constantine’s) was mitigated by the survival of the old secular Roman and Salic laws (both written in Latin; Roman secular law’s foundation was a millennium old by the time of Constantine’s birth).

Thought is the architecture of advanced life. Be it with individuals, tribes, and empires. Be it mammals, or birds. Trained Cormorants in Yunnan can bring 50 kilograms of fish a day. They can’t swallow, because of a tight collar. However, they expect a tasty reward every seven fishes. If they don’t get it, they go on strike. The collaboration between a fisher and a bird depends upon intelligence, and even a computation.

Smarts aren’t necessarily very smart: a video just released show an automatic car killing a pedestrian pushing a bike in Arizona. It was at night, 10 pm in winter, and the automatic car didn’t have its high beams on…which any safe driver would have had in such a case, driving on a dark road; I know the car has a LIDAR to see in the dark, but, this is where the nerds went wrong: two systems are safer than one. Learn, stupid programmers!

When Rome and the “Central State” (Zhong Guo, China) failed, it was because of a failure of high level thinking. Typically, the degeneracy of thought took generations to unfold (consider the Carolingians, and Tang or Qing China…).

Thought is the architecture of civilization. Thinking, debating together, is one of the main causes for the existence of cities.

***

Abstract: CATHOLICISM WAS INVENTED, AND ESTABLISHED BY ROMAN EMPEROR CONSTANTINE, MOST VICIOUS MASS MURDER, AND IT SHOWS:

Here is my sword…Who Shall I kill Today, among those who I suspect want to displace me? Constantine’s Christian Terror Still Rule! (The beautiful statue above is from… 1998, it sits in front of York Cathedral; Constantine was proclaimed “Augustus”, supreme emperor, by his troops, in York, to Constantinople’s great rage…) This is a cute, boyish interpretation of Constantine’s face. The real thing was more frightening, imperial and domineering, with really ferocious eyes… The entire imperial court was afraid of Constantine when he was barely 16. He also fled the court to join his father in Britain at some point, in the sort of action James Bond himself won’t dare accomplish (Constantine respected “the king”… as long as it was himself…) See the sculpture below.

The historian Gibbon, an Englishman with a considerable bit of French Enlightenment mixed in, rightly accused Christianism to have caused the Fall of the Roman Empire (so the Catholics “prohibited” his famous “Decline and Fall of Rome”).

My point of view on the Decline and Fall doesn’t contradict Gibbon’s thesis, but put it in much more general malevolently degenerating context. Rome took six centuries to degenerate ever more (example of degeneracies in China often take many generations: the Tang went down over two centuries).

I believe that the rise of plutocracy in the Roman Republic led the fall of the latter, replacing it my the Principate (a kind of Republic with one man above all, first, the Princeps, the Prince; the system we have presently is similar. Princeps are Trump, Xi, Putin, Macron, Merkel, May, etc.; the German fürst is an imitation),

The problem is that a Principate works according to the Leader Principle (dear to Hitler as Führer Prinzip, Stalin, Mao, Xi), and smothers rebellious intelligence (China being right now an excellent example). So problems arise, which the state doesn’t have the intelligence to solve: as happened in Rome… Except through more authorianism. Indeed, after 300 years, the Principate turned into a Dominate, under Diocletian, who found Darius, or Stalin-like solutions. Diocletian retired, and was spectacularly succeeded by Constantine (who killed a number of his colleagues, including Lucinius, coldly assassinated in his prison cell, in 324CE).

Constantine imposed the rule of Christ, molding the Trinity God he connived, into a mysterious (Trinity, one as three), jealous, ferocious, omnipotent, vengeful, sadistic, cruel despot, just like him, justifying him and his tyrannic descendants reigning over, and propping up a morally, judicially, socially, politically, mentally and intellectually degenerating Rome!

Some will scoff, that, for example, what does the “jealous” god have to do with the fall of the empire? Because the “jealous” god was jealous of the ideas of all and any. Moreover the “jealousy” of “God” made jealousy a highly respectable emotion, thus one wants to duplicate. Hence emperor Valens, jealous of his highly victorious young nephew Gratian, emperor of the Western empire.

Ideas and emotions are highly contagious. Here is an example out of billions: After “Communist” Prince Ceausescu from Romania visited “Communist” Emperor Mao Tse Tung in China, he was so impressed, that he went back to Romania and established a dictatorship as bad as the one oppressing China. It ended up, with mass starvation, same as in Venezuela today, and for the same exact reason (Ceausescu and his wife Elena, who was jealous, malevolent, domineering, and head of the feared “Securitate”, the Secret Police, thus perhaps more powerful than her husband, were summarily executed, as deserved, when their rule was destroyed).

The officialization and sanctification of mental subjugation to plutocracy got started with the order, by emperor Constantine, of burning books which he didn’t like.

***

Catholic State’s Crimes & Terror:

After seven years of incarceration and torture, astronomer Giordano Bruno was tortured and burned alive by the Vatican, after piercing his palate with a blunt instrument, for alleging that the dots of light one sees in the sky on a clear night were other stars, some with other inhabited planets circling them, complete with men (burned 1600 CE).

This tragedy, testimony of the Christian horror which terrorized Europe for centuries is something that used to be well-known, Giordano Bruno was one case of many. In France alone, in the Sixteenth Century, smart, cultured noblewomen, printers, atheists, were burned alive for reading “prohibited” books. Thus setting back civilization (uppity women, uppity publishers, uppity thinkers were burned alive; those who were not, like Luther, Calvin, Rabelais and Montaigne, were extremely well-connected with, or instrumentalized by, the most powerful of the elite).

For example Buridan’s works were put at “Index Librorum Prohibitorum” in 1474 CE, hiding to history this giant of thought’s enormous contributions to physics, astronomy, mathematics, logics, or even politics… And thus disappearing these enormous advances from even the most advanced circles. All those who attribute heliocentrism to Copernicus are unwittingly collaborating with the fascist theocrats. To this day.

The penalty for having prohibited books was death. Everybody should know this, it’s a historical and moral point of the greatest importance. One has to know it, so as not to repeat it, say with the Islamofascists who have fascinated the so-called European left, since there are Nazis and they think (the Muslim Brotherhood of Tariq Ramadan’s grandfather was closely tied to Nazism; with sheer malevolence, the European pseudo-left, being deprived of Stalin and Mao, fell in love with Oxford Muslim propagandist Tariq Ramadan, a violent rapist prone to beating up women, finally at last jailed in France, after 20 years most loved by French TV and media…).

***

Catholic State’s Ongoing Disinformation, Lies, Fake News About Its Own Crimes & Terror:

Then came a big surprise: as I checked Wikipedia, I was told the “Index” started a century later. That’s an obvious lie. Little Christian rats in the Vatican have been busy rewriting history, in the Internet, to further their miserable chewing up of reality into something more digestible to their gullible public.

As I checked around the Internet, googling away, I was so astounded by the amount of fake news, disinformation & outright lies from Catholic and Orthodox Churches, that I decided to write an essay on these rodents, lest the anti-civilizational plague they afflicted by further, and again, contaminate the innocent masses. Indeed a flurry of fake thinkers blathered in recent years, that Giordano Bruno had not been killed for his idea of exoplanets (he was). An article in Scientific American (March 2018) carefully examined the charges against Bruno:

By analyzing all accusations, I found that the Inquisition’s strongest case against Bruno was, in fact, and contrary to the conventional wisdom, his belief in many worlds. It was the most frequently recurring charge. For example, one accuser testified that in prison one night Bruno brought a fellow prisoner “to the window and showed him a star, saying that it was a world and that all the stars were worlds.”

Thirteen times, in 10 depositions, six witnesses accused Bruno of believing in many worlds. No other accusation was invoked even half as much….. in nine books Bruno did assert his cosmology of many worlds. It was one of 10 propositions the inquisitors censured: “Again,” they wrote, “he posits many worlds, many suns, necessarily containing similar things in kind and in species as in this world, and even men… In 1597, Bruno was confronted by inquisitors, including  the authoritative theologian Robert Bellarmine. Bruno ‘was admonished to thus abandon his delusions of diverse worlds.’”

Nineteen years later, Inquisitor Bellarmine would go on to confront the extremely well-connected Galileo, personal friend of the Pope. Bruno, his palate pierced, was burned alive in 1600 CE.

***

The viciousness of Catholicism emanates from his author, Roman emperor Constantine:

Saint Constantine, emperor, inventor, Apostle, and murderer: I kill, therefore I am, just like the God of the Christians. If you have a problem with that, my sword will solve it, although I can get you legally executed, like my son the Caesar Crispus, who didn’t like my Catholicism, or I can get you steamed alive, like my second wife, who had displeased my mom, Saint Helena…

Killing for reading books displeasing Catholic authorities was started by the most vicious emperor Constantine, inventor of “Orthodox Catholicism” in 325 CE! Edicts to kill all “heretics”, those “who have made a choice” were ordained by sole Roman Emperor Theodosius I in 380 CE!

***

SAINT & EMPEROR CONSTANTINE STARTED TO KILL PEOPLE FOR HAVING BOOKS:

Wrote Constantine:”…Now this also I ordain,
that if any one shall be found secreting
any writing composed by Arius,
and shall not forthwith deliver up
and burn it with fire,
his PUNISHMENT SHALL BE DEATH…”
Constantine, one of the greatest criminals ever, is a saint of the Orthodox… (Christo-fascists attacked me on the Internet, specifically, Twitter, for telling the truth about mass murderer and serial killer, wife boiling Constantine, and then added, Christian style… “Sorry”, see in comments…)

Here his Constantine criminal megalomania in its entirety and in full context:

Preserved in Socrates Scholasticus’ Ecclesiastical History 1:9 and elsewhere, the following letter of sole Roman Emperor, Augustus Constantine, self-described as the “Thirteenth Apostle”, a so-called “Saint” of the Orthodox Church  contains explicit references to the banning and burning of books written by Porphyry, and that Porphyrian Arius of Alexandria immediately following the council of Nicaea, circa 325 CE. In his following letter to “Everybody”, Constantine classifies the “Prohibited Books” as:

(1) Evil, wicked, rebukable, rejectable, unlawful, and anti-Christian

(2) To be the subject of righteous destruction, along with their memory

(3) to attract the death penalty: if found in possession of any “banned books”

(4) The banned books and the heretics were to be dealt with by fire.

Here it is in its megalomaniac entirety:

CONSTANTINE THE KING,

TO THE BISHOPS AND NATIONS EVERYWHERE:

“Inasmuch as Arius imitates the evil and the wicked,

it is right that, like them, he should be rebuked and rejected.

As therefore Porphyry, who was an enemy of the fear of God,

and wrote wicked and unlawful writings

against the religion of Christians,

found the reward which befitted him,

that he might be a reproach to all generations after,

because he fully and insatiably used base fame;

so that on this account his writings were righteously destroyed;

thus also now it seems good that Arius

and the holders of his opinion

should all be called Porphyrians,

that he may be named by the name

of those whose evil ways he imitates:

And not only this, but also

that all the writings of Arius,

wherever they be found,

shall be delivered to be burned with fire,

in order that not only

his wicked and evil doctrine may be destroyed,

but also that the memory of himself

and of his doctrine may be blotted out,

that there may not by any means

remain to him remembrance in the world.

Now this also I ordain,

that if any one shall be found secreting

any writing composed by Arius,

and shall not forthwith deliver up

and burn it with fire,

his punishment shall be death;

for as soon as he is caught in this

he shall suffer capital punishment

by beheading without delay.”

 

So much for the goodness of “Saint” Constantine.

Speak as you wish, little Patrice! Catholicism survived me 17 centuries! Me, Constantine, I am God, I decide who God is, you are nothing! And, anyway, you owe your 21st century to me!Instead my thesis is that, as soon as book burning Catholicism was in power, the Roman empire was condemned. In China, the prohibition of “one hundred philosophical schools”, and the destruction of related books (but not of historical, accounting, science and tech books) preceded only by a few years the destruction of the Qin dynasty, which had just unified China (greatly, I believe, like Rome, from respect for the law; the state of Qin had blossom for centuries, its swift demise after prohibition of variegated thought is no accident; however, in that case, the replacement regime, the Han, immediately pursued the Chinese “central state”, whereas Rome fell to thoroughly destructive invaders…)

What Gibbon said about Augustus, Rome’s first tyrant, mostly hold for Constantine, with just two details vastly different:

“The tender respect of Augustus for a free constitution which he had destroyed, can only be explained by an attentive consideration of the character of that subtle tyrant. A cool head, an unfeeling heart, and a cowardly disposition, prompted him, at the age of nineteen, to assume the mask of hypocrisy, which he never afterwards laid aside. With the same hand, and probably with the same temper, he signed the proscription of Cicero, and the pardon of Cinna. His virtues, and even his vices, were artificial; and according to the various dictates of his interest, he was at first the enemy, and at last the father, of the Roman world.”
― Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

One difference: Constantine replaced the Republican Constitution, what was left of it, by  that Catholicism he had invented. The other difference: Constantine was no coward, but just the opposite. (oh, by the way, the Vatican put Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, on its “Index” of its “Prohibited books“)

***

What does this all mean? The place of the Logos! Thus of Tyranny!

Arius clearly argued that the Logos had a beginning and that the “Son” (the mythical creature so-called “Jesus Christ”), therefore, was not eternal. Moreover, and more importantly, the Son is clearly subordinate to the Father, the Logos being the highest of the Created Order.

In other words, when logic confronts Jesus, logic should win!

In particular, when logic confronts the tyrant, the Roman emperor, Constantine, logic should win!

No wonder the fascist murderous tyrant Constantine, who had just invented “Catholic Orthodoxy” (translation: “Common Sense Universalism”), was upset, and couldn’t let it be. Bishop Arius (of Berber origin) was dismissed and exiled. But he had a huge support throughout the world of Christians. Upon returning to Constantinople, in 335 CE, Arius was apparently poisoned (a violent “descent of his small intestines” having affected him suddenly).

I am not making this up from secondary sources, like a vulgar Internet parrot, but from my own reading, as like Arius’ god, I tend to be a primordial being. Here it is:

”ἡ σοφία σοφία ὑπῆρξε σοφοῦ θεοῦ θελήσει. (Wisdom came to be Wisdom by the will of the Wise God.)

επινοεῖται γοῦν μυρίαις ὅσαις ἐπινοίαις πνεῦμα, δύναμις, σοφία, (Hence he is conceived in innumerable aspects. He is Spirit, Power, Wisdom,)

δόξα θεοῦ, ἀλήθειά τε καὶ εἰκὼν καὶ λόγος οὗτος. (God’s glory, Truth, Image, and Word.)

σύνες ὅτι καὶ ἀπαύγασμα καὶ φῶς ἐπινοεῖται (Understand that he is also conceived of as Radiance and Light.)”

***

THE FALL OF ROME INTO STUPEFYING STUPIDITY:

Forbidding books is NEVER a good idea. Either a book is not terrible, and it shouldn’t be censored, or it is, really, terrible. If the latter, it shouldn’t be censored either, as it is a testimony of the terrible ideas and emotions people can have, and, thus, a warning and a data set. (However categorisation, plausibility and significance indexes should be assigned, whenever possible, as I argued; not a question of censorship, but of providing some assistance to the unsupported reader…)

Things went quickly from bad to worse: under the pretext of Christianity, all creative though was “making a choice” (which is what “heresy” means), punishable by death by burning, typically. The formidable Qin dynasty quickly succumbed after its own book burning…

***

Civilization is, first of all, a mental phenomenon, and plutocracy attacks minds, to subjugate them:

Plutocracy, the power (kratos) of the Dark Side (“Pluto”!), the Invisible Side (Pluto could make himself invisible) over society, an exponential disaster, has struck many times Rome, Egypt, China, France. It rots intelligence, individually, and socially. Plutocracy happened to Venice, Baghdad, Florence, Spain (chronically, starting with Ferdinand and Isabella), 17th, 18th century France, the German Second Reich (twice). Mental decay implies political, moral and then strategic decay, military defeat, extermination, or revolution.

Paradoxically, economic decay doesn’t necessarily follow plutocracy, far from it: consider Great Britain, which thrived in the 18th century under a plutocracy so strong, revolution was avoided, differently from the US and France. But, in Britain, soldiers and sailors could die from flogging (differently from the French and American armies, where the practice had been stopped).

Archeology of the Roman empire, pioneered by the work of a French archaeologist in the 1950s, has SHOCKINGLY demonstrated clearly in the case of Rome that the economy was thriving, prior to the invasions by bloody savages determined to kill as many as they could, to avoid the Roman authorities military backlash (the smart idea of the bloody savages, considering their small numbers, was to deprive of men and taxes the potentially massive Roman counter-attack: the invading Germans and Huns after 406 CE did this deliberately, so did the Arab Muslims of the first Caliphs…)

Both around 406 CE, when the Western empire collapsed, under Germanic and Hunnic pressures, and under the Muslim aggression started by Muhammad himself, the local economy and demography was at its peak, when the invasions occurred… And it is why they happened, actually!

The exact phenomenon was at play when the Carolingian empire, or what was left of it, was attacked by the Hungarians, the Vikings, and the Muslims. As in the case of Rome, original version, enormous internal fighting (plutocracy at work!) made the invasions possible. As in the case of Rome, an enormous collapse ensued, especially from the Scandinavian invasions: Western France, dismayed by the inability and apparent unwillingness of the imperial army to defend the core of Western France, exploded in 60 states, after subjugating the Viking; however Charlemagne’s Roman empire, Saxon led version(!) was able to throw out both Hungarians and Islamists (Eastern Rome helped for the latter)  

The same happened clearly in the case of Egypt, or China’s Song dynasty. Actually the Jurchen in 1127 and then the Mongols invaded China in 1237 CE, just when new rice cultivars enabled a doubling of production, hence population. One lends to the wealthy, one also invades the wealthy: that’s where the money is. It happened to Egypt, Babylon, Rome, China, Aztecs, Incas. The massive illegal immigration flux into the European Union is an example.

***

Conclusion: Rome fell militarily (twice: once in the West, from Germans and Huns, circa 406 CE; and then in the East, from the Islamists in the Seventh Century). Military collapse was one consequence of political collapse, itself a consequence of mental collapse.

Emperor Constantine, and his imperial successors (Julian excepted) were looking for a metaphysical justification for their bloody rule, and a way to make it sustainable, while, added bonus with a dreadful consequence, making all their subjects stupid. (Yes the present state of the Internet makes people more stupid than they should be, and even dangerously stupid; I have proposed remedies, such as a government of We The People sanctioned voluntary validity and significance ratings…)

The Roman tyrants found, in the invention of Catholicism, the ideal weapon against intelligence and creative minds. However, the first most significant effect was military collapse: first, with Valens god-like jealousy bringing the crucial defeat of Hadrianopolis, second when British legions revolted, defeating Gratian, and then killing him in Lyon, the bottom line was hatred with Gratian’s ways, the imposition of Catholicism (“Nicene” faith). Magnus Maximus became emperor.

When Magnus Maximus lost to Theodosius, five years later, Britain and part of Gaul became practically independent and fell off the empire. Details are important: emperor Maximus’s edict of 387 or 388 which censured Christians at Rome for burning down a Jewish synagogue, was condemned by Milan’s bishop Ambrose, who exclaimed: ‘the emperor has become a Jew. Ambrose, patron Saint of Milan, was no doubt, malevolent by 1946, Nuremberg tribunal standards… I propose to demote him as a Saint…

Saint Ambrose was the deus ex-machina of several emperors. You look for Hitler? Contemplate bishop Ambrose! (One of the so-called “Doctors of the Church”… The notion of “Doctor of the Church” itself is dissembling, as the true father, the self-described “13th Apostle, was Constantine!.. )  And yes, it connects to the burning of G. Bruno: the Catholic church, the world’s oldest institution is very consistent with itself: in 384 A.D. the belief in many worlds was categorized as heretical by Philaster, Bishop of Brescia, in his Book on Heresies. This condemnation was echoed by subsequent hateful Catholic authorities, including Saints Jerome, Augustine and Isidore.

All of this can be repeated today. The monopolies of some media outfits, and the governmental manipulations of public opinions they bring inaugurate, should they persist, a little Dark Age. However, in the thermonuclear age, a little darkness will go a long way… The considerable darkness of the Catholic Church has gone a very long way. Its malevolent descendancy was not just crusades such as against the cathars (millions massacred), and centuries of terror, Inquisition, and religious wars, but even the creation of Islam (directly inspired and launched by a Catholic monk, cousin of Muhammad’s wife…).

Some may say it was all a mistake, a good Christianism, not book-burning Catholicism, could have been devised. However, the omnipotent god is obviously not omnigood, or then suffering is good (as Christ said, squirming on his cross in ecstasy). Yes, suffering is good, said Constantine, and for reading books Constantine doesn’t like, Constantine shall be good to you, and burn you. Amen. 69 years later, the empire was collapsing beyond repair as several small tribes streaked through the dumbstruck empire, destroying all in their path….

Patrice Aymé

***

Some technical notes:

A (Small and Partial) Depiction of Rage And Destruction of Antiquity By Savage Roman Emperors:

Constantine is probably the emperor who killed the most of his closest relatives and friends… (And Constantine had lots of competition, in the realm of relatives’ massacres from Claudius, Nero, Commodus…) Constantine unified the empire and imposed the intrinsically fascist and violent religion known as that of Christ. But truly that Christian violence was enacted by Constantine,

Constantius II, Gratian, Theodosius I, all tyrants, so-called “emperors” who buried Rome, or, at least, the Roman spirit, what was left of it.

Late in his reign Constantine ordered the pillaging and the tearing down of pagan temples, in particular the Temple of Aphrodite in the Lebanon. Constantine ordered the execution of eunuch priests in Egypt.

His son, Constantius II passed laws dating in the 350s ordering the death penalty for those who performed or attended pagan sacrifices, and for the worshipping of idols. After the unfortunate death of Julian in an ill conceived war in Mesopotamia, the army scrambled to nominate Jovian as emperor, and the burning of libraries became systematic (363 CE). “Men In Black” (monks) would destroy the libraries, for example in Alexandria.

Gratian played a major role encouraging raging Christian superstition: like his uncle Valens, he took advice from the ilk of (“Saint”) Ambrose, bishop of Milan (and so would Theodosius). However, he dressed too much like a Scythian (meta group including the Huns), and an insurrection from Britain defeated him in Paris, killing him in Lyon. Gratian had selected Theodosius as co-emperor. Theodosius reiterated Constantine’s ban on pagan sacrifice and haruspicy on pain of death. He criminalized and punished magistrates who did not enforce the anti-pagan laws. He broke up pagan associations and temples.

Between 389-391 Theodosius imposed the infamous “Theodosian decrees,” which established a practical ban on paganism: visits to the temples were forbidden, remaining pagan holidays were abolished (although Christ’s birth was moved from Spring to the Winter Solstice, the Saturnials, so the Saturnials won Christ over!) The Sacred fire of Vesta in the Temple of Vesta in the Roman Forum was extinguished, the Vestal Virgins disbanded, auspices and witchcraft punished. Theodosius refused to restore the Altar of Victory in the Senate House when asked to do so by pagan Senators.

In 392 Theodosius became sole emperor of the whole empire. He authorized or participated in the killing of pagan priests, destruction of many temples, holy sites, images and objects of reverence throughout the empire. The Franks Arbogast (military head of the Western empire) led a rebellion against Theodosius’ mad Christianism… But was defeated by a hurricane wind blowing the wrong way, on the second day of a crucial battle.

Theodosius later decrees were effectively an extermination of tradition. Anyone caught practicing the ancient cults, was killed, his or her property confiscated, even for private familial rites within the privacy of a home. Many covertly still chose to do so in defiance of the edicts, despite the risk to themselves and their heirs. As a symbol of his wanton rage and destruction, Theodosius also cancelled the Ancient Olympic Games; the last record of the Olympics being celebrated in Greece is from 393 CE.

***

The Edict of Thessalonica was jointly issued by Theodosius I, Gratian, and (nine years old!) Valentinian II on 27 February 380:

The edict came after Theodosius had been baptized by the bishop Ascholius of Thessalonica upon suffering a severe illness in Thessalonica. Like the modern French (and Americans, Romans loved abbreviations). I reproduce it as it was, this depicts well the authoritative mentality imposed on  “We The People”. Actually, such a notion has disappeared, all what are left are “populos” (“nations”) which are ruled (“regit”) by our “clemency” (“clementiae”): in other words, the “populos” are ruled by “imperators” who are gentle, placid, mild… Just like the Christian God.

IMPPP. GR(ATI)IANUS, VAL(ENTINI)ANUS ET THE(O)D(OSIUS) AAA. EDICTUM AD POPULUM VRB(IS) CONSTANTINOP(OLITANAE).

Cunctos populos, quos clementiae nostrae regit temperamentum, in tali volumus religione versari, quam divinum Petrum apostolum tradidisse Romanis religio usque ad nunc ab ipso insinuata declarat quamque pontificem Damasum sequi claret et Petrum Aleksandriae episcopum virum apostolicae sanctitatis, hoc est, ut secundum apostolicam disciplinam evangelicamque doctrinam patris et filii et spiritus sancti unam deitatem sub pari maiestate et sub pia trinitate credamus. Hanc legem sequentes Christianorum catholicorum nomen iubemus amplecti, reliquos vero dementes vesanosque iudicantes haeretici dogmatis infamiam sustinere ‘nec conciliabula eorum ecclesiarum nomen accipere’, divina primum vindicta, post etiam motus nostri, quem ex caelesti arbitro sumpserimus, ultione plectendos.

DAT. III Kal. Mar. THESSAL(ONICAE) GR(ATI)ANO A. V ET THEOD(OSIO) A. I CONSS.

EMPERORS GRATIAN, VALENTINIAN AND THEODOSIUS AUGUSTI. EDICT TO THE PEOPLE OF CONSTANTINOPLE.

It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to our clemency with moderation, should continue to profess that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition, and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe in the one deity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title of Catholic Christians; but as for the others, SINCE, IN OUR JUDGMENT THEY ARE FOOLISH MADMEN, WE DECREE THAT THEY SHALL BE BRANDED WITH THE IGNOMINIOUS NAME OF HERETICS, and shall not presume to give to their conventicles the name of churches. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of the divine condemnation and in the second the punishment of our authority which in accordance with the will of Heaven we shall decide to inflict.

GIVEN IN THESSALONICA ON THE THIRD DAY FROM THE CALENDS OF MARCH, DURING THE FIFTH CONSULATE OF GRATIAN AUGUSTUS AND FIRST OF THEODOSIUS AUGUSTUS[4]

— Codex Theodosianus, xvi.1.2

What Use Philosophy?

March 23, 2018

Only Philosophy will teach the children well:

STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics), or STEAM (adding “Arts” to the preceding) are the latest (well justified) fashion in teaching children in the USA (inspired by China and Singapore). The method is spreading (and I contributed to push it). However, a subject has been forgotten, the most important: philosophy (and, in particular, the history upon which it rests!)

Like science, philosophy is a sum over histories. But it isn’t just that. Like science, philosophy is a method. Like science, the engine of philosophy is unbiased common sense. Yet, a more general method. Like science, philosophy uses facts, and is itself, among other things, a set of facts (not forgetting that ideas and emotions are, themselves, facts). Yet, philosophy doesn’t just use scientific facts (that is, facts beyond any suspicion). Like science, philosophy is a method of enquiry to guess further facts. Like science, philosophy establishes systems of thought. Like science, philosophy can use a single fact to put in doubt a system of thought, and build another. Unlike science though, philosophy can guess facts, and propose (or even establish) systems of thought on those guesses.

Hence philosophy, the philosophical method, common sense applied to whatever, is the key to major advances in science. Major advances in science call upon, and necessitate, guessing the imaginable. They call upon the philosophical method. No philosophical method, no major advances in science possible. Indeed, any major advance in science is built on new facts, and to go fetch those new facts require desire, hope, imagination, systems of potentialities, fancy financing on fumes, curiosity about what could be, etc.

Our bodies love to dance, in part because we love music, part of our dialogue with the universe. Learning to learn, or just to tolerate others’ music is not just pleasant, it’s enriching, a form of wealth which honors the spirit, source of all and any goodness, besides being our very essence!

Buridan’s momentum, force, inertia, relativity of motion and heliocentrism in the Fourteenth Century provide a  nice example of philosophy & science entangled:

Indeed Buridan (circa 1340 CE) guessed that Aristotle’s false physics depended upon neglecting air resistance and friction in general. Absent those errors, what was left was the theory of inertia, a particular case of impetus theory. Buridan noted that we can only ever observe relative motions. We cannot really know absolute motions. So if, for example, we happened to be in a boat going along a coastline, we really don’t know whether the boat we are in is moving or if the coastline is moving alongside us. Nicole Oresme pushed further the physics unmoved on a movable ship argument (replicated by Galileo 250 years later).

A consequence was that a heliocentric system, with planets orbiting the sun indefinitely (and the Earth rotating on itself) was a possibility. Buridan then slyly said that such a system couldn’t be distinguished experimentally from the one in “Scripture”, so we may as well believe the latter. It was an invitation to develop other observations.

Amazingly, both (rector) Buridan and (elected bishop in 1377 CE!) Oresme, having removed all reasons against heliocentrism, and having argued that it was more economical a system of thought, then said it couldn’t be decided, pointed out that this failure showed the limits of reason, and thus that reason couldn’t be used against (their) faith: “What I have said here, by way of diversion of intellectual exercise can in this manner serve as a valuable means of refuting and checking those who would like to impugn our faith by argument.”

“Argument” (reason) is a very powerful, says Oresme, but not powerful enough to determine whether the Earth moves or not. Similarly, if “argument” cannot answer a physical question about the world, we have to be very careful about arguing about faith. Oresme has therefore used rational arguments about physics, involving relativity of motion, to show rational argument can come short, in physics, and thus metaphysics (“faith”).

This is a magnificent example of how entangled science, philosophy and… faith, are.

***

Trying to teach science alone is trying to teach the chicken, how it moves, without its head (philosophy):

Philosophy goes much further than science and its scientific method, as the philosophical method, which uses whatever, enables to establish systems of thought using whatever, including emotions, songs and poetry (the great Twelfth Century philosopher was relatively as famous as the Beatles for his songwriting; even more than Buridan and Oresme, Abelard was in total war with the Catholic Church, namely Saint Bernard; he got emasculated and excommunicated for it…) In particular, philosophy establishes wisdoms of life: why and how to live. Can’t live without it. It may as well be taught, lest all young end up as Jihadists, snowflakes, or culture deprived nerds.


Here is a bit of the love of more advanced wisdom. More advanced philosophy enables to listen to music others, less mentally advanced types, can’t hear. Therein a happiness others are deprived from. However, establishing new thinking inside one’s brain is expensive, not just expansive, and involves suffering. Thus, some whine, Nietzsche prefered suffering to happiness. (Not really true: Nietzsche observed that lions are happy, and  imagined them happy not to be mice… Bertrand Russell, like all good hypocrites, practicing the opposite of what they preach, disingenuously called Nietzsche not compassionate… While siding with the despicable Kaiser in World War One… while Nietzsche correctly vomited the preceding Kaiser already)

Here is a relevant philosophical perspective Buddha himself blithely ignored: IF ONE PREFERS SUFFERING TO HAPPINESS, HOW CAN THINGS GET WORSE? Verily, suffering and happiness are entangled: happiness is best experienced, like the best tsunami, with the contrasting experience, of a lowering of expectations…

Philosophy at its best. Science can’t do that.  

Science can study suffering, science can’t say why one should study suffering, and what to do with it. Only philosophy can do that, thus only philosophy can order science to get going.

We, humans, have been scientists, for millions of years, but so are we, because we love to be wise. That’s how we are. Neglecting the love of wisdom is neglecting us. It is easy to see how greedy potentates will want to neglect us. Let them not have it. In ancient Rome, philosophy failed first, followed by the failure of democracy, then intelligence. Teach philosophy to children, and, if you don’t, ultimately science and technology themselves will falter, as they did in Rome, barbarity will win, as civilization won’t be sustainable anymore. 

To finish how we started here, the most important subject to teach, with heart and mind, is the most encompassing philosophical attitude. How to do this with children? By teaching them the history of civilizations (notice the plural). Killing two birds with one stone. The rise of violent Muslim Fundamentalism in Europe, in particular France, is directly attributable to an astounding lack of knowledge of history among not just the young, but also self-described “intellectuals” (multiple shootings and wounded in France again today, March 23, 2918, in attacks claimed by Daesch, the so-called Islamist State… no problem we shall just live in a state of siege, adorned by shootings in the streets, schools, supermarkets…)

Generally when taught, in only in one hour, the rough circumstances of Muhammad’s ascent to the position of Mecca’s dictator, a discernible mental shift among young Muslims is discernible. It’s just astounding that this telling part of history is not taught anywhere in French schools (all the more as France is a direct political, cultural and legal descendant of the Roman State, half of which got violently invaded, and ruined… by the immediate successors (“Caliphs“) of Muhammad…

China, Europe, India, are the major scientific, and technological powers of civilization. It is no coincidence that they are also the philosophical superpowers.

Human is the philosophical animal. And science, facts known for sure, a consequence. Art also: try to make symbols that will last 50,000 years… without any science.

You want life and the pursuit of happiness? Let society pursue philosophy first!

Patrice Aymé

 

.

Loving Life Is The Way. Leif Ramos (1972-2017).

January 22, 2018

My brother-in-law Leif suffered a heart attack ten years ago, and was given a bypass. His father had died of a heart attack. He followed a scrupulously correct vegetarian and exercise diet thereafter. However, he also had to be “off the grid” for mitigating interest on non-reimbursed student loans. In the USA, nowadays, student loans are never forgiven: the chains which hold the slaves down, are not made of metal anymore.

Whereas the colossal, multi-billion dollars debts of plutocrats such as Donald Trump, or any of the millions of California homeowners millionaires are readily forgiven, it is not the case for modest students without rich parents. Then  interests pile up and states “garnish” whatever income the ex-student, now a victim, may incur. Nice, keeps the low lives in check! This efficient, apparently neutral mechanism drives millions of US citizens into the underclass (precisely those who had the effrontery to want to learn something). If one’s parents belong to the .1%, student loans are a rounding error. For others, it’s a crushing burden. Indeed, the rest of the US can live in slavery: it fits them just right. For not revolting, and just swallowing all the lies served to them, as if they were delicious junk foods.

Leif paddling in his state of Alaska. Nature is the way, tempered by humanity.

Leif had a second heart attack December 1, 2017. Five stents were installed. His surgeon had to leave for a scheduled trip, but asked the hospital to keep him in hospitalized. However, Leif had no health insurance, thus the hospital, searching, as they all are, for higher profits, kicked him out, after the surgeon left for very far places, overseas (this was all happening in Anchorage, Alaska, travelling from there generally means long flights on the other side of an ocean, or two).

Leif did worse on December 30th. He apparently tried to drive himself to another, more hospitable, hospital, Alaska General. At 5am. He nearly made it.

He leaves behind a loving family, including his ailing mother, herself with her own heart trouble, now doubled.

Leif’s life was not easy, and made him suffer, in a number of inordinate ways, but it was worth having, he took it with a smile.  

***

Leif with aurora. His award-winning pictures are there to stay. So are his musical compositions.

Leif loved life. That sounds simple, but it’s not. Life is not the grid all too many others are forced to live on (thus perpetuating it in its sorry state). People know this more easily in Alaska and Hawai’i, some of those increasingly rare places on Earth where it is possible to stay in touch with nature. Leif’s love of life forced him, greatly from circumstances he didn’t control, to live off the grid. Loving life requires to go further than just being told what to do.

Who knows what to do correctly in life, who doesn’t love life?

One can’t tell all & sundry, life is absurd, or unlovable, then switch around, been good, well-meaning, giving.

One may not get back all the love one gives to life, but one has to: others will, that’s how humanity is. How humanity became possible.

Leif’s love of life is a mood worth caring forth. What better choice is there? Loving other creatures and the world they share, with us, is not just the best we can do. It’s the only thing humanity can do, and the most significant thing humanity, overall, has done and does. As long as we keep on sharing this way of having a world, Leif lives with us. Let’s live!

Patrice Aymé

OURSELVES, CREATORS OF CREATION, kingdom of mind!

January 1, 2018

NOTHING MOST SHATTERINGLY NEW SINCE THERE ARE MEN, AND THEY CREATE NATURE, INCLUDING THEIR OWN!

Pure reason incorporates pure emotion. This is what most philosophical critters have missed so far. So when they talk haughtily about reason, they spurn emotions, just as if they were runners, on paper, but couldn’t possibly imagine what legs are for.

A professional philosopher claims that “ethics can’t be based on human nature, because biology tells us, there is no such a thing as human nature”. He deduces from this that everyone is an existentialist… In the sense of Sartre’s silly pronouncement that we are as we decide to be (something he proved by his own life, not to be true, as Jean-Paul as predictable as a cockroach). Not so far from things I wrote for years. However, the devil is in the detail, and I am the devil, as Nietzsche didn’t dare say (he just took himself for Jesus). Actually come to think of it, not really details.

To pretend that ethics can’t be based on nature, because evolutionary biology shows that such a thing as human nature can’t be precisely determined is as smart as saying that Quantum Mechanics couldn’t be based on momentum, because the latter can’t be precisely defined. (Both Relativity and the Quantum are based, in part, on momentum.)

Actually it’s not because something is uncertain that it can’t be determined well enough for precise computations. Quantum Mechanics is complete and well-defined a theory, in spite of the position-momentum uncertainty relationship: (uncertainty position) X (uncertainty momentum) > h. Biology is great, physics is greater. Lack of precision at some point of the logic doesn’t mean anything goes. This is case where the scientifically trained mind reveals itself vastly superior to those who croak with the centuries.

They appeared 1.9 to 1.4 million years ago. Tool use belongs to the Acheulean industry. Distinguished from Homo Erectus by its thinner skull bones. Reduced sexual dimorphism, a smaller face but a larger (700 and 850 cc) brain and was up to a gigantic 1.9m in height. Made hand axes and cleavers. Homo Georgicus (below) found in Dmanisi, Georgia in 1999 and 2001 seems to be intermediate between Homo Habilis and H. Erectus and is 1.8 million years old. It’s the oldest known hominoid in Europe and were found in association of implements and animal bones. Considering the cold climate in winter, he had to have had clothing. The species name originates from the Greek ergaster meaning Workman . This name was chosen due to the discovery of various tools such as hand-axes and cleavers near the remains of H. ergaster. Its use of advanced (rather than simple) tools was unique to this species; H. ergaster tool use belongs to the Acheulean industry. H. ergaster first began using these tools 1.6 million years ago. Charred animal bones in fossil deposits and traces of camps suggest that the species made creative use of fire. By then, tech was launched, big time!

When Sartre said “existence precedes essence” he was getting drunk, drunk on his own words. No, we can’t be just what we decide, and even if we could, most of us don’t decide what we want to decide, as the life of the highly predictable fame driven automaton called Sartre bears witness. Sartre and De Beauvoir were Nazis when it was a profitable to be so, resistant when it got safer that way, then Stalinist, anti-”colonialist”, when, that, too became the highest fashion, before meekly trying to look hip by being a “Maoist”.   

Hume distinguished ‘is’ from ‘ought’, claiming one couldn’t get from one to the other. Hume lived three centuries ago. What does he know about facts and values? What does he know about deduction/ Did he know heat was motion? Did he know nerve impulse was electricity? Could he have guessed that a value could be a fact anchored in physics?

Moore, more than a century ago, was baffled about what reality really mean. Moore wrote before Quantum Mechanics. He could never have guessed how entangled, quantum entangled, our world is.

If reason incorporates emotion, deducing morality from pure reason also means deducing it from pure emotion. Logic is not just ‘logic’. Logic is the set of all possible logics, in particular not just linear logics (as found in treatise on mathematical logic). It also incorporates topologically induced logics (as from neurohormones; in other words, emotions).

The world-wide web enables to recreate fireside conversations our ancestors had, a million years ago. It’s not really revolutionary, it’s just worldwide.

Human nature involves maximal mental creativity. In other words, maximal software innovation, from a hardware, the brain, which is greatly influence programmed. Sartre’s opinion that he was self-created, as he were Jesus/God is just arrogant and dumb. Sartre was trying to hide, with an outrageous theory, obviously wrong, to deflect attention, that he and Simone de Beauvoir, were outrageous collaborators with the Nazi invaders, something which was obviously true (for whoever knows the facts, and has the  values).

hat did Sartre know about existence? Nothing. He was the pampered child of a certain self-absorbed upper layer of the Paris coffee shop culture, famous in his aquarium, when he was not busy seducing Nazi officers with his theater. Existence is not the province of words. It is now the province of hard-core physics, and so it was in Paris, since 1923, when Prince de Broglie rolled out his matter wave theory. To think the matter wave theory has nothing to do with existence and thus values, would be cretinism.

Following human nature is following whatever goes. Just as science, or philosophies themselves. Technology is not just a human transition. Technology is the human transition. Our ancestors (Homo Ergaster) were found in the Caucasus 2 million years ago. They have got to have used technology, from weapons to clothing (the proverbial animal skins). Our ancestors (Homo Erectus, China) used fire at least already 1.3 million year ago. Human technology changed the environment, so our ancestors created not just a theory of evolution, but an evolutionary machine to evolve humanity further from.  

Biological mutation have thus been under the direction of humanity for millions of years. The next complication being of course that Quantum Physics is so smart it’s nonlocal. Hence evolution is driven by intelligence squared, human intelligence multiplied by Quantum Intelligence.

Lamarck was made fun of, excoriated, and threatened by slave master tyrant Napoleon, for suggesting that intelligence drove evolution. The true reason of the rage of the church and plutocrats was that Lamarck had established evolution by studying fossils (some under the microscope). If humanity evolved, and that had been scientifically demonstrated, shouldn’t society evolve too?

Lamarck was right, we know this better everyday. Darwin learned Lamarckism, as a student in Scotland (“evolution”t was outlawed in English universities). Darwin turned evolution into a version more compatible with plutocracy, the nebulously defined “selection of the fittest”. Hitler and the “intellectuals” who inspired those who controlled that German politician, mentally deduced that “selection of the fittest” meant extermination of those who were not the “fittest”. Hitler didn’t realize that ignorant, self-important morons like him, impregnated with their own gravitas, were not the fittest, but instead the lowest of the low. It is now surfacing that, indeed Darwin, by decerebrating Lamarck’s evolution, missed its most important point. Even Tom Wolfe has understood this (see his 2016 published “Kingdom of Speech”).

Humanity is not just the kingdom of speech, as Sartre and his followers, would have it. Humanity is the kingdom of ideas, concepts, pictures, metaphors and emotions rising above previously given nature. Humanity is the kingdom of mind.

The kingdom of mind has its own rules and ethics, never seen before. For example, far from being an aggression, critique is a gift. Criticizing helps thinking (and self-criticism, thus mental betterment).

Selection of the fittest has meant, for at least two million years, selection of the fittest ideas, and selection of those, and the moods, capable of fostering them. Genetics and epigenetics followed. Human will was involved in all this, over 100,000 generations.

The human principle: I think, therefore I, and my descendants, became better.

Selection of the fittest thinking. Selection of the fittest moods.

Our descendants deliberately created much of what we became, and for the rest, they created us by eliminating what, or whom, was not the fittest, and by setting up an environment conducive to that.

Yes, a terrible message of hope.

We evolve, thus we hope to create ourselves in a better form.

And ever superior technology will help us to become better, because, should we not rise to the occasion, we will disappear.

Patrice Ayme’

The Means Don’t Justify The Ends: PC Eviscerated

November 24, 2017

THE MEANS DON’T JUSTIFY THE LOGIC. Logic is more than deduction, it’s also context. Thinking needs to be more protected than these “groups” which divide us for our masters’ convenience.

It’s a well-known proverb: the ends don’t justify the means. However, the  means do not justify the ends either. Yet, that the means justify the ends is one of the most pervasive logics out there.

It is, in particular, the foundation of Political Correctness, and that makes it into Perfect Cretinism.

The term “political correctness (adjectivally: politically correct; commonly abbreviated to PC) is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society. Ironically, PC offends thinking itself. By saying thinking should be offended rather than an ethnic, superstitious religious, skin color, sex and games group, PC is saying that ethnicity, superstition, skin color, sex and games, are more important than thinking itself.  

Thinking is the hardest, but most specifically human activity. Putting a clamp on it is inhuman, a call to barbarity.

Political Correctness in the very context it uses to exist, is an aggression against what, or whom, it pretends to protect, and care about. Political Correctness’ essence is “Divide Et Impera”: it assumes there are “groups” in society. So this absolute good, Political Correctness, rests on an absolute potential evil, the existence of “groups” in society. It admits division as  a legitimate basis of society, thus to be mastered by rulers (our beloved plutocrats and their even more admired enablers, such as the elected political representatives).

The very foundation of PC is to be afraid to “offend”. But what is offensive? Anything worth doing will always offend, and that starts with complacency. Being offensive offends complacency.

Personal example: I planned to go on a big mountain run yesterday, offending many people in my environment, who naturally worry about my shenanigans, including running in tank top on the snow for a marathonic distance, out of phone range, where 25% of the oxygen is missing, while a storm is incoming, the bears are desperately looking for a last few juicy morsels to share with the ravenous mountain lions, and there is not enough snow at low elevations for long-range skiers to venture. They in turn offended me by trying to resist this glorious flight of fancy of the human spirit, doing in winter conditions what is already a very serious mountain run, in summer conditions.

I also offended myself, because nobody can sincerely like running with frozen feet in tank top when the wind is beginning to howl, on a mountain top where not even a helicopter could get, because of the incoming storm and night. However, it went well: the mind was appropriately concentrated, gliding over snow was achieved, and the feet got warm enough, much lower. I was able to sustain snow running in often sinking snow for twenty miles (no choice: the night and the snowfall were looming ever more). So here I am, enriched and fiercer than ever from this appropriately apocalyptic experience (forget books, get to know the real thing). Not seeing anyone for twenty snowy miles, in the total wilderness, made me more cognizant of the true place of Homo Sapiens in the universe, and the human spirit which gives it sense. The universe was suitably gloomy, when the azure sky was replaced by black clouds (I hope I offended plenty of people by using the word “black” in the context of a cloud) The universe was gloomy, but the spirit was indomitable, as it should!

The means don’t justify the logic: a logic is made of means (from the axioms), but also from a context, a universe. And the ends can be part of that. Yet the means, as yesterday’s run, can bring new logic to bear. (And not just on the bears.)

So not offending people? Give me a break: being human in full is about being offensive, since there are humans and they think. Thinking itself is an offense. Offend yourself, and learn something.

Patrice Ayme’

TRANSCENDENCE Is The NATURE Of HOMO

November 12, 2017

I preach and teach you transhumanism. Not just because that’s what we wish for, but because that’s what we are. Man, the genus Homo, is something which, not only  shall be overcome, but whose very nature is to be continuously overcome, to be continuously transcended. We call that evolution, and that very smart force is strongest with us. (Says Quantum Physics, no less!)

What have our leaders done to overcome Homo? Nothing new. Instead they cling to the past, because that’s where the money is. And that’s the only thing they understand. Elected “representatives” forced on us the return of ever more grotesque plutocracy, now made global, an attempt to reduce us to a huge, worldwide chimpanzee society, with alpha males doing whatever they want, even murder, while brandishing nukes to impress us. As the ever more acidic sea rises, cannibals brandish nukes, overcoming man has turned from choice, to necessity. (Yes, that’s also an allusion to sustained violence against females, something weakening considerably our species’ mental capability, our core.)

Living beings on Earth have created something beyond what they themselves evolved into. This is what life has done for billions of years, even changing the atmosphere of the planet from methane to its antagonist, oxygen.

And do you want to be the chrysalis left by this great metamorphosis, going back to the beasts, as Nazis, Khmer Rouges, Jihadists, and worst of all, global plutocrats tried, and persist… Rather than to be human in full, and overcome man?

What is ape to man? A laughingstock or painful embarrassment. A reminder of what we truly are. And yesterday’s humanism shall only be that, a painful embarrassment, to the sort of transhumanism we need. Ape should be a lesson of what to avoid, in more ways than one. Despising yesterday’s humanism long has been the way to further humanism. Despising yesterday’s ways has long been the essence of sustainable civilization. Watch the Romans heap contempt on Celtic and Punic civilizations, for practicing human sacrifices (of prisoners for the former, their own children for the latter). That’s how wars are won, and empires built.

A laughingstock or painful embarrassment, this is what representative democracy, truly a reprehensible oligarchy of the lowest passions, has become. You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Thus you aspire to be led by worms obsessed by “power”. And, even more embarrassingly, you deny it.

Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more ape than any ape… Only in man, the old-fashioned way, is violence against one’s own species, the fundamental religion. Even chimpanzees don’t go that far. Yet, only then, by massacring each other, could Homo evolve into us. Transcending our species could only be achieved in the bloodiest way.

The transcendence of blossoming intelligence is the meaning of the Earth. Let your will say: the transcendence of intelligence shall be the meaning of the Earth… Man is a rope, tied between beast and spiritual transcendence —a rope over an abyss … what is the greatest in Homo is being a bridge to somewhere hoped for, and not an end to the mud we come from.

The means can’t justify the ends. But better ends have always justified stronger means.

Only by overcoming us, are we ourselves.

***

Aristotle scoffed that we needed slaves, because we didn’t have machines. Thus Aristotle tied technology to ethics. The myth Athenian philosophers, in the greatest Greek age, imposed, all too brutally, was the “Open Society”, and total democracy. Western Europe has been more subtle, and much more rich in myths. The fundamental myth of the west is not Christianism, as Nietzsche himself pointed out. Nor is it just the “blonde beast”, the no-holds-barred aristocracy, as Nietzsche claimed. No, the fundamental myth of the West is the secular, Republican law, up to 25 centuries old. But this is exactly what global plutocracy presently violates (complete with its Jihadist attack dogs).

***

Notes on the preceding: “Transhumanism” is fashionable in the Silicon Valley. The preceding gives it some scientifico-poetic metaphysical backup.

The first loud transhumanist was Nietzsche, something rather ironical. My own contribution above is a modification of one of Nietzsche’s most famous passages. Below is Nietzsche’s original from Also Spracht Zarathustra. There are significant differences between my version and Nietzsche’s. First the notion of Superman of Nietzsche (Ubermensch) is vague. It seems to be mostly a wished-for change of mentality, in Nietzsche’s parlance, sometimes, although at other times, he refers explicitly to biological evolution (worm, ape, etc.)

I refer explicitly to evolution. We have become masters of evolution, ever since we evolved goats, and saw the devil in them. Nietzsche professed to detest Darwin, as he did most “Englishmen”, for their lack of humor, a dearth of laughter, among other things, he said. In truth, strict Darwinism, the selection of the fittest, established by rolling the dice, robbed the universe of meaning. (And makes little scientific sense, when one looks at numbers with an open mind!)

Nietzsche could be very Lamarckian: Over immense periods of time the intellect produced nothing but errors. A few of these proved to be useful and helped to preserve the species: those who hit upon or inherited these had better luck in their struggle for themselves and their progeny. Such erroneous articles of faith, which were continually inherited, until they became almost part of the basic endowment of the species.” [Gay Science, Origins of Knowledge, # 110.]

I am more Nietzschean than Nietzsche, as I believe that what works is true. Truth does not need to be corrected, I embrace it, be it only to smother it to death. If a species is tried and true about some ways, how could it be in error?

More generally, Nietzsche’s metaphysics was borderline self-contradictory (Nietzsche’s “superman” in the end, is supposed to use his super mental powers to embraces “amor fati”, the love of one’s fate, something a mussel already does to perfection! Why is the superman indispensable to achieve the status of walrus’ food?)

My metaphysics is simpler: I believe understanding should be privileged, and that means love of, and for, those who generate and embrace it.

From my point of view, Homo evolved a succession of biological supermen (with the possible degeneracy from Homo Neanderthalis to a significantly inferior Homo Sapiens hybridized a bit with Neanderthal: Neanderthal genes were probably overcrowded and displaced for purely mathematical reasons, as I discovered, and some academic scientists recently confirmed by running computer models demonstrating my acumen without acknowledging it, as those in the rat race are wont to do).

Technology, which hindered our recent biological evolution, can now accelerate it enormously (thanks to gene editing, and various implementable devices).

So we can deliberately evolve really super supermen, guided by our super ethics and super smarts.

But there is even more tantalizing: Quantum Computing will bring, I boldly prophesize, Quantum Consciousness, Quantum Sentiensizing (Self Conscious Quantum Computing). Creating Artificial Consciousness, thanks to our mastery of Quantum Physics, will erase the frontier between man and machine.

Transcending the human species will then leave even supermen behind…

***

Before exposing Nietzsche’s famous discourse on the overman/superman, let me insist that Nietzsche’s superman has nothing to do with the Nazi supermen, quite the opposite. Indeed, Nietzsche hated the Prussianized Germany he saw created under his aghast eyes. Throughout his works, Nietzsche made a formidable campaign against Germany, the German state unified under Prussian hegemony at Versailles (France!) in 1871, complete with a thought system dominated by military superiority and racism (verily, trojan Horses for plutocracy). Prussia constitutionally hated, exploited and discriminated against Poles and Jews, whom Nietzsche made a show to judge to be vastly superior to Germans.  The thinker whom they claimed, inspired their ideas, actually explicitly hated most of what the Nazis stood for! One can’t be more misinterpreted than being taken as an icon by a system of thought when one thoroughly contradicted it.

***

Nietzsche’s overcoming in his own words:

“I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?… All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood, and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is ape to man? A laughingstock or painful embarrassment. And man shall be that to overman: a laughingstock or painful embarrassment. You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more ape than any ape… The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth… Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman—a rope over an abyss … what is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end.”

As we tinker with the entire biosphere, this has all become very practical…

Don’t underestimate poetical metaphysics: had the Germans read and understood Nietzsche, there would not have been the savage Prussian inspired racist, fascist and demented assaults German plutocracy unleashed in 1914 and 1939 (yes, I know, Great Britain financed Prussian racism and furious militarism as early as 1757).

Nietzsche was certain that the Germans would cause massive wars in the Twentieth Century, he wrote this explicitly, and he was, unfortunately 100% right (thus showing that the German catastrophe was predictable, thus avoidable; Nietzsche’s critique was similar to Einstein’s). History would have been different, if Germans had condescended to understand in 1912 what their descendants understand now. And even then, what they understand now is not history in full, which is even more dreadful and humiliating (in particular the stealthy, but decisive, role of US plutocracy, scrupulously ignored by the powers that be, as they were put in place by that very process they condemn with the tips of their forked tongues!)

Patrice Ayme’

Blade Runner 2049: Deep, Yet Practical Philosophy of Evil

November 4, 2017

Evil is everywhere, don’t leave home without it.

It looks intellectual to read Greek tragedy written 25 centuries ago. It has looked intellectual, all too long. The son gets born, and the more he tries to avoid his fate, the more he sinks into it, raping and murdering all without rhyme or reason (“Oedipus”). For some reason, such twisted tales are viewed as instructive. Just like the mistranslated, moderated Shakespeare now prevalent, they are not twisted enough. By a long shot. And they give too much space to what is pre-ordained. Now, nothing is preordained.

The famed “long view of history” (Braudel) has become a toy in the hands of unhinged humanity modifying the climate, as the Trump (!) administration. “Long view” has become tomorrow. The US  government is now aligned with me, and predicts a possible global rise of temperature of 4.7 Celsius (ten Fahrenheit). In other words, the apocalypse. In “Blade Runner 2049” strong countermeasures have been apparently taken, so the temperatures have plummeted, and it snows all the time… In Los Angeles. (Such measures are imaginable, and feared, precisely because they could backfire…) 

Classical literature is viewed as deep. Yet think again: what is Greek tragedy overall message? That it’s folly to resist  the rule of fate, and hubristic to try to escape it. In other words, submission is best. However, the Greeks were great because they were full of hubris and were escape artists. Greek fiction is less deep than what real history and contemporary thinking is capable of.

Science Fiction movies are capable of depth previously unknown. In a way, nothing new: it’s exactly what Homer was. Sci Fi, with his Medusas, Cyclops, Sirens, etc. So was the entire Greek Pantheon with its officially crazy gods. Virgil, and much “classical” literature can also be viewed as Sci Fi.

What is love? What is a memory?What is fear? What is a soul? Is there a difference between being born and being programmed? Will one day “replicants” machines made to replicate humans be not just possible, but reproducing, and then what? What is it, to be human?

Such are some of the questions in “Blade Runner 2049”, starring a futuristic version of the LAPD, the Los Angeles Police Department (not drastically improved, I am afraid…). A lot of these questions are central to philosophy in general (and this site in particular). It’s soothing to see how practical they have become… Yes several of these questions were already in the original “Blade Runner”, but here they are contemplated in greater depth, and new ones are added.

Indeed, how do we know what we know? For most people, it means they read it in their not so smart phone. All too many “normal” people don’t know why they know what they know. Normal people find normal to have become abnormal. Worse: eight times more US citizens got news from Russian disinformation professionals than from the traditional TV news. On Facebook alone, at least 150 million people are addicted to Russian fake news.

The degree of international, historical corruption eating the West is civilization threatening (watch the latest, involving Pluto Russia, corrupt universities, Brexit, and a 30-year-old master of the universe, now indicted by US) . As I have long explained, Nazism itself is chapter, verse and consequence of the increasing mind massaging and brain washing, festering in the West for a century.

Everywhere fake news roam, from the “multiverse” to the Obama, Clinton & Trump machines. Obamacare itself misinformed: to improve the health of destitute people, one shouldn’t send more tax money to some of the richest monopolies in the world.

The lady on the left has a very ambiguous role in Blade Runner 2049. I wanted a picture of her kicking higher than her head, as in “Bladerunner”, but, thanks to ambient sexism, couldn’t find any (She did kick, for real, as high as Gosling’s 6 foot face).  The establishment does not like ladies who kick as high as a male soccer player. She is a “replicant”, and kills with gusto for aims which are rather obscure, but include the dawn of replicant super-humanity, she feels passionately for. She proves very hard to kill (I hope she didn’t die so we see her character reappear, and lift some ambiguities, She clearly steals the show in the movie, by adding considerable emotional depth and complexity. So the argument that the movie is anti-woman is just plain idiotic. On the right is director Villeneuve, who predicts “Peugeot” flying cars soon. (After all the French company Peugeot is more than 3 centuries old.)

I had to block several individuals on Facebook defaming me during the Clinton campaign (sorry I didn’t fancy anymore a scoundrel I used to support). Those organized liars transformed some of my ideas in their opposite, enticing lethal (!) threats by others. Interestingly some were people I knew in the past, but, meanwhile, they had read about me on the Internet… and believed all they read there, including the forked tongue, the flaming breath, clawed wings, raw flesh diet, and the prehensile tail. Well, OK, for the forked tongue, and the raw flesh diet.

Dawn of replicant super-humanity? We are certainly not just going towards this, but we have arrived. Genetically modified pigs, which could be used for transplants, have been created, thanks to CRISP R, an invention of a trio of US and French ladies who kick ass (they were immediately spoiled of their patents, thanks to an assorted plot of male character infused with “Old Money”). Personally, if a CRISP R engineer came to offer me 10,000 years of young life, by modifying me a bit, I would immediately assent. After all, when I put my super trail running shoes, or mountain boots, I also modify myself.

Pondering Artificial Intelligence is practical. AI systems to drive cars have to be equipped with serious ethical sense, for example to solve the “Trolley Problem” (a practical version of having to choose between crushing two old ladies and a mother with her baby, chose the former).

Worse: nuclear “Deterrence” (truly a form of madness) depends upon Artificial Intelligence all too much. Interpreting a solar flare as a missile strike is just around the corner… We don’t have replicants who kick faces yet, but we have AI which can finish humanity (the theme in the movie “Terminator”, another excellent movie). 

Don’t pay attention to the number “2049” in the movie title: the technology looks more like 2149 than 2049… According to the story, there was a “blackout” when all electronic data was erased, so only paper memories are supposed to have survived. The blackout was engineered to fight back the “replicants” who took themselves for human beings, or superhuman beings, more exactly. Since then, systematically obedient “replicants” were engineered (and use to find and destroy the more “Free Will” capable preceding generation of replicants).

When one speaks of “soul”, the hard-core classical mechanists who haunt all too many halls of science, chuckle in derision. However, “soul” can be viewed as a synonym for “consciousness”, something we all have, but science does not.

What are the connections with reality?

First, in my opinion, Quantum Computers will develop consciousness. So any miniaturized Quantum Computer with a number of Q-Bits comparable to those found in a human beings (don’t ask, I don’t know how many, nor does anyone else; however I promise to ponder the problem…) Many approaches to Quantum Computers use very low absolute temperatures, but others (Quantum Hall effect approach from MFST Station Q) use room temperature.

By then all the questions broached in “Blade Runner” will have long been confronted, and solved. My position is simple: any advanced intelligence, on a par with human intelligence, endowed with consciousness should have full human rights.

Example: an advanced AI entangled with a Quantum Computer with billions of qubits.

For example crows, parrots and raptors, although they are conscious, and although, with their 2 billion neurons or so, they have great intelligence, are not quite intelligent enough for full human rights, but they should get the same rights as dogs and cats, or better.

Another thing not to pay attention to in “Blade Runner 2049” is the PC allegation that the work is anti-woman, because the story features 5 women, 4 of them edible by genuine male rapists. Yes the women there have great sex appeal (but so do the guys, including the big brute in the beginning). However, all the women characters are tougher than diamond: death is just a collateral. If all women were thus, rapists would be much fewer.

True, the main female character seems deeply flawed. But appearances will be misleading with the truly human, that is, the most Machiavellian. “Luv”, is extremely domineering, and succeeds even to dominate the male hero, “K”, while losing a long, gutsy and gory fight with him: all bloodied up, and more or less eviscerated, “Luv” forcefully full mouth kiss the main hero out of spite, showing him there is another dimension to all this, than this horrific fight to death. The male hero just stands there, dumbfounded by this revelation. And that’s the highest point in the movies.

It invites a sequel, as “Luv” combatted both humans and replicants, while seeming to view more than suspiciously her boss and lover, for reasons which are no doubt complex.

***

In any case, that female character dominates the movies with her intriguing mind. Right, one can and should say:  Sometimes it seems that the best we can hope for in this universe, is to be a ray of sunshine to those we touch. It should be enough.

Affirm the good, and don’t demand any applause, that’s the way of the wise

This is a message of mine quite opposite to Camus’ obscene considerations on the “absurd”.

Camus’ obscene considerations on the “absurd” confused his own absurdity with the human condition.

Camus’ absurdity was passion killing. We need formidable passion to think anew (most formidable thinkers are formidable fighters, historically speaking).

Right, “Luv” seems evil, indeed. An important point. Just like the female mind is underestimated, so is evil. Indeed, Evil, sometimes, is at the service of goodness, and it is even irreplaceable in the service of goodness, nothing else would do, and this is exactly how humanity transcended, and still transcends, itself. A warning to those, a la John Lennon, who would claim to desire an indigestion of the all too sweet syrup of overwhelming goodness. 

The irreplaceability of evil is why all significant religions pay their respect to evil. With an unmovable Satan (=Pluto, Hades, Devil), and cruel sacrifices to go with it

So I pay my respects to Blade Runner 2049. And wish “Luv” happy trails. Meanwhile, back to our regular programming, ferocious greenhouse, and unhinged nuclear dictators (for example Kim of the DPRK), both, all too human, and unanticipated by the Greeks 

Patrice Ayme’   

Way Too Polite: ”Your Leaders Are Crazy!”

October 26, 2017

Contrarily to what old PC behavior inculcates, insults have their, irreplaceable, use. An immense occasion was missed, before World War Two. The war could have been avoided by properly insulting (and threatening) the Germans and Japanese leaders and threatening them with annihilation.

In the case of the Germans, it is certain that it would have avoided the war (as I have explained many times with excruciating details). And remember that the Japanese were following the Nazis and Italian fascists. By insulting the leaders, the populations would have realized they were going down the abyss.

In 1942, Professor Frederick Lindemann (later Lord Cherwell) was appointed the British government’s leading scientific adviser (with a seat in the Cabinet) by his friend, the very scientifically minded Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Lindemann presented a paper to the Cabinet advocating the area bombing of German cities. That was accepted by Cabinet and Air Marshall Harris was directed to carry out the task (Area bombing directive). It became a crucial part of the total war against Germany, as it deprived the country of fuel, and forced the Nazis to mobilize 30% as much soldiers in ground air defense as they had, fighting in the USSR.

At the start of the bombing campaign, Harris said, quoting the Bible’s Old Testament: “The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.”

Harris, head of the British bomber command dropped a leaflet on Nazi Germany in 1942. Important notions are absent; the mass massacre, the holocaust, of civilians, in particular Poles and Jews (something that was well-known by 1942). An occasion was missed to tell the Germans that their crimes would not be forgiven, until they threw the Nazis out and capitulated to the United Nations. It would have stiffen the spines of German generals who thought the Nazis were nuts.

Here is the leaflet penned by Sir Arthur Harris and dropped over Nazi Europe in the late Spring of 1942:

First Page of Leaflet Dropped by Bomber Harris on German Cities in 1942, translate below:

A MESSAGE OF THE COMMANDER OF THE BRITISH AIR FORCE TO THE GERMAN PEOPLE:

“We in Britain know quite enough about air raids. For ten months your Luftwaffe bombed us. First you bombed us by day. When we made this impossible, they came by night. Then you had a big fleet of bombers. Your airmen fought well. They bombed London for ninety-two nights running. They made heavy raids on Coventry, Plymouth, Liverpool, and other British cities. They did a lot of damage. Forty-three thousand British men, women and children lost their lives; Many of our most cherished historical buildings were destroyed.

You thought, and Goering promised you, that you would be safe from bombs. And indeed, during all that time we could only send over a small number of aircraft in return. But now it is just the other way. Now you send only a few aircraft against us. And we are bombing Germany heavily.

Why are we doing so? It is not revenge — though we do not forget Warsaw, Belgrade, Rotterdam, London, Plymouth and Coventry. We are bombing Germany, city by city, and even more terribly, in order to make it impossible for you to go on with the war. That is our object. We shall pursue it remorselessly. City by city; Liibeck, Rostock, Cologne, Emden, Bremen; Wilhelmshaven, Duisburg, Hamburg — and the list will grow longer and longer. Let the Nazis drag you down to disaster with them if you will. That is for you to decide.It is true that your defenses inflict losses on our bombers. Your leaders try to comfort you by telling you that our losses are so heavy that we shall not be able to go on bombing you very much longer. Whoever believes that will be bitterly disappointed.

America has only just entered the fight in Europe. The squadrons, forerunners of a whole air fleet, have arrived in England from the United States of America. Do you realize what it will mean to you when they bomb Germany also? In one American factory alone, the new Ford plant at Willow Run, Detroit, they are already turning out one four-engined bomber able to carry four tons of bombs to any part of the Reich every two hours. There are scores of other such factories in the United States of America. You cannot bomb those factories. Your submarines cannot even try to prevent those Atlantic bombers from getting here; for they fly across the Atlantic.

Soon we shall be coming every night and every day, rain, blow or snow — we and the Americans. I have just spent eight months in America, so I know exactly what is coming. We are going to scourge the Third Reich from end to end, if you make it necessary for us to do so. You cannot stop it, and you know it.

You have no chance. You could not defeat us in 1940, when we were almost unarmed and stood alone. Your leaders were crazy to attack Russia as well as America (but then your leaders are crazy; the whole world thinks so except Italy).

How can you hope to win now that we are getting even stronger, having both Russia and America as allies, while you are getting more and more exhausted?

Remember this: no matter how far your armies march they can never get to England. They could not get here when we were unarmed. Whatever their victories, you will still have to settle the air war with us and America. You can never win that. But we are doing so already now.

One final thing: it is up to you to end the war and the bombing. You can overthrow the Nazis and make peace. It is not true that we plan a peace of revenge. That is a German propaganda lie. But we shall certainly make it impossible for any German Government to start a total war again. And is not that as necessary in your own interests as in ours?”

***

So what happened? By 1943, the Germans were widely talking about the fact that the holocaust of the Jews had brought the calamity of aerial bombing of German cities, that it was deserved, in a sense. Later, encouraged by a Nazi crack-down, the feeling passed, and the Germans fought to the bitter end.

***

Leaflets Over Japan:

General Curtiss LeMay craftily and morally warned the Japanese to evacuate their cities. It was crafty because most of Japanese war production was within cities. (This was the justification for the massive bombings of Tokyo, which killed more than the bombing of Hiroshima.)

Long range B-29s US bombers dropped 10 million propaganda leaflets in May, 20 million in June and 30 million in July. The Japanese government implemented harsh penalties against civilians who kept copies of these leaflets:

“Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or a friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories, which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique that they are using to prolong this useless war. Unfortunately, bombs have no eyes. So, in accordance with America’s well-known humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives.

America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique, which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace, which America will bring, will free the people from the oppression of the Japanese military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan.

You can restore peace by demanding new and better leaders who will end the War.

We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked, but some or all of them will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately.”

To dare say that the fascist leaders which brought World War Two were crazy was way too polite, and it was done way too late.

True enough, thus rough enough propaganda could have done much more in World War Two. It could have prevented the entire world war and its holocausts. But of course the Anglo-Saxons would have had to want to prevent the disaster in a timely manner. They didn’t. Or, at least, their leaders didn’t want to. As simple as that. But, if the measly JFK files can’t be all released, one should not expect to examine what really happened with fascism before World War Two.

Patrice Ayme’