Archive for the ‘Systems Of Thought’ Category

Rage Can Be Good: Reflecting On the Iliad’s Achilles

May 20, 2018

WISDOM: IT ENCOMPASSES OF ALL EMOTIONS, EVEN RAGE CAN BE DRAFTED AS AN ENGINE OF CREATION:

Achilles’ rage is the engine of Homer’s Iliad, it makes the story much more interesting, including the tragic figure of Hector, who does everything right, just to be dragged around the walls, as a piece of garbage. A frequent mistake is to identify rage, the engine of creation of the Iliad, with the cause of much unhappiness among the participants.  Actually, Homer attributes a cause to the rage, and, it’s… forgetfulness. Thus Homer condemns, ultimately, not a basic emotion, rage, but the erroneous logical processing of Achilles: Achilles forgot what he was there for.

What is the nature of wisdom? How all-encompassing is wisdom? Some want to clip wisdom’s wings, consign it to something tame, with few emotions. This is completely erroneous. Wisdom should encompass, and work with, all emotions. Including rage. Homer’s work and the Vedas,the Knowledge, (1700 BCE!? to 500 BCE),  teach us this.

That rage is sometimes optimal, the episode of the 1930s, appeasing the Nazis and other fascists, should have taught us. But many are still the subjects in history which justify our ire, and it should motivate us to explore them. For example why the criminal Louis XIV of France could get away with expelling all Protestants of France, and torturing the rest, or why slavery was re-introduced by Europeans in the Americas… a full millennium after being outlawed  in Western Europe (by the Franks who ruled most of it). This is one of the reasons why anger is good.

***

No Achilles, No Iliad:

Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are Europe’s oldest literature (India’s oldest wisdom in writing, the Veda, is older). That oldest work from the 8th century BCE can still move us today is a testament to the genius of old thinking, and, in particular Homer (whoever he, or they, was/were).

Both works are full of larger-than-life figures, among them Achilles in the Iliad, and Odysseus in the homonymous epic. As Massimo Pigliucci discussed in the past, Odysseus was considered by all the major philosophical schools, each interpreting his story to serve their mentalities. For the Stoics, Odysseus was a role model.

Greco-Macedonian Phalanx, Ready to Promote Civilization, Gender Equality and Democracy

Massimo says: “But what about Achilles? I must confess, I never liked the guy. All brawns and no brains (exactly the opposite of Odysseus), he never appealed to my nerdy self. And I always thought his treatment of Hector’s body after their epic battle was irredeemably shameful. More recently, though, I started thinking about him specifically from a Stoic perspective. Particularly the pivotal episode near the beginning of the Iliad, when Achilles gets pissed off at Agamemnon, the head of the Greek expedition to Troy (and brother of Menelaus, the husband that Helen left for Paris, thus allegedly triggering the war itself).

It’s worth recounting the episode in some detail. Agamemnon has taken a woman named Chryseis as his slave. Chryseis’ father, however, is a priest of Apollo, and he asks the god to return his daughter. Since Agamemnon refuses, Apollo sends a plague to the Greek camp to make a convincing case. The prophet Calchas diagnoses the problem correctly, but refuses to speak up unless he secures Achilles’ protection. When the hero grants it, Agamemnon is forced to return Chryseis. Petty as he usually is, he takes revenge on Achilles, demanding the latter’s battle prize, Briseis, in reparation for the loss of Chryseis. It is now Achilles’ turn to get pissed off and petty: out of spite, he goes on strike and refuses to lead the Greeks into battle. Hence the famous opening lines of the Iliad:

“Sing, Goddess, of the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles,

the accursed rage that brought great suffering to the Achaeans.”

(Sounds better in Italian, I think: “Cantami, o Diva, del pelide Achille / l’ira funesta che infiniti addusse / lutti agli Achei.”)

That rage quickly leads to the death of Achilles’ intimate friend, Patroclus, who had donned Achilles’ harmor to lead the Greeks in a desperate attempt to push back the advancing Trojans, and was killed by the Trojan prince Hector (who will later, in turn, be killed by Achilles).

What would the Stoics think of Achilles’ behavior? One clue is in the word “rage” used by Homer: as we know, the Stoics thought that anger was the most devastating of the pathē, the unhealthy emotions, to be avoided at all costs. But we don’t have to speculate much, as Epictetus addresses the episode directly:

“And when did Achilles come to grief? When Patroclus died? Far from it. But rather, when he himself yielded to anger, when he wept over a young girl, when he forgot that he was there, not to acquire mistresses, but to make war. These are the ways in which human beings are brought to grief, this is the siege, this the razing of the citadel, when right judgements are overturned, when they are destroyed.” (Discourses I.29-24-25)

The “citadel” being razed here is not Troy, but the very same one so often mentioned by Marcus Aurelius in the Meditations: our ruling faculty, the hêgemonikon, a term closely related to Epictetus’ favorite one, prohairesis (our capacity of judgment). Achilles’ true loss did not occur when his friend was killed, but when he himself lost the way of reason (assuming he ever had it, since there is little evidence of that).”

***

Achilles: the Wrongs and Rights of Rage:

One can live big now. Yes, it requires sacrifices. Yes one can die from it like in old times. Yes, that’s how really new, bold and deep ideas appear, and otherwise they will never blossom.

Rage can be bad, rage can be good. It depends upon circumstances: how the rage arose, if it is justified, what it will achieve. As all human emotions, it is present, because it has evolutionary value. All revolutions were propelled by rage, and without them, there would be no advancing civilization.

Achilles increasing rage is an example of the wrong sort of rage, which scrambles a proper consideration of reality. Yet, Achilles’ problem is not so much rage, than having a wrong hierarchy of motivating factors in his logical processing: he “forgot”. Consider the revealingly truncated quote of Epictetus:

when did Achilles come to grief? …when he forgot that he was there, not to acquire mistresses, but to make war. These are the ways in which human beings are brought to grief, this is the siege, this the razing of the citadel, when right judgements are overturned, when they are destroyed

Basically, Achilles came to Troy and then engaged in the wrong activities: that shaped his mind wrong, “overturning right judgements”.

Achilles forgot that, when one makes war, one makes war, not love. Love making scrambles his war logic, his hierarchy of motivations, and cautions, he overlooks the fact that his absence will force his friends to take desperate measures endangering them. (After the death of his friend which he caused, Achilles further compounds the problem by directing further rage at the stoic Hector, whom he uses to hide his own culpability… from himself!)

Conclusion: our logical systems are shaped by our experiences. Examining one’s logic is not enough for the wisest: the logic can be perfect, and still wrong in a more general setting. One has to examine one’s entire mental input, that is, one’s entire life, to find out where one’s logic comes from… And judge it optimally.

Some will sneer that I spoke of rights and wrongs of rage, and then just mentioned wrongs.

But, of course, Achilles is famous, and awesome, because of his rage, and how destiny changing rage is: Achilles’ rage wins battles… Achilles, the Iliad, is a poem about how rage is the maker of destiny, thus, how Greece won… and how the West, in more than one sense, was won… From anger, not just meditation. Accursed rage, yes, but then there is rage of the other sort!

 

Massimo

May 10, 2018 • 1:58 pm

“Rage can be bad, rage can be good. It depends upon circumstances”

Not according to the Stoics, there are no circumstances under which it is good to shut off reason, which is what rage does.

***

Patrice Ayme:

Massimo: Thanks for the answer, it made me think. As often in matters philosophical, semantics is at the core of the debate.

I would suggest that rage doesn’t shut off reason, necessarily. Instead, it switches reason to the combat mode, a form of reason which enabled the human genus to survive, when it sustainably invaded and occupied lion territory. The real question is whether combat is justified. Any reasonable human would say that, quite often, there are situations where combat is justified. Socrates, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius said so, explicitly.

There are many ways to use a brain. There are many forms of reasons, and many reasons, and even forms of reasons, used by working brains. If I drive a car, while making an impassioned discourse about Rome’s Second Triumvirate, two sorts of reasons are at work: one quasi-automatic driving, the other, historical. However, the part of my brain operating the vehicle works flawlessly: otherwise I would have an accident.

When in combat, reason is still there, but it mobilizes the full combat brain: after a Greek phalanx uttered the Alala or a Roman legion the Barritus, shaking the plain, terrifying the enemy, the only “reason” that’s left is the reason of combat. It is akin to rage: consider the furia francese, the “berserker” Viking, the “amok” Malay or Indonesian. A human being in full combat mode is an awesome sight which makes even lions think twice (when lions see a Masai warrior, they take to flight).

Combat thinking is particularly important for philosophical, or any sort of mental, moral, progress. It is no accident that so many top philosophers were combat ready, or otherwise obviously unafraid, although they faced enormous threats, including, of course, death. Socrates came first to fame through his military exploits. And, as many a philosopher, he pursued his work, confronted to threats on his life:

…”take Socrates and observe that he had a wife and children, but he did not consider them as his own; that he had a country, so long as it was fit to have one, and in such a manner as was fit; friends and kinsmen also, but he held all in subjection to law and to the obedience due to it. For this reason he was the first to go out as a soldier, when it was necessary, and in war he exposed himself to danger most unsparingly. (Epictetus, Discourses, 4.1)

Combat mentality, akin to rage, enables, motivates, mental breakthroughs, because any mental breakthrough is, if formidable enough, something that tramples other minds, forcing them to reorganize, a form of ultimate aggression. The entire Iliad and Odyssey is there to tell us, first, that the deepest understanding only blossoms out of turmoil. Because a higher, more optimized mental order can only arise, after destroying the one before. To cut the Gordian Knot of obsolete reason, violence is the only way, whether we like it, or not, as Alexander pointed out.

Even Christ knew this: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. [Matthew 10:34]

***

Massimo, on May 12, 2018, replied:

Patrice, two objections. First, we are not often in a combat mentality. Arguably, outside of actual combat, we shouldn’t be. Hence the idea of not relying on rage.

Second, Seneca rightly says that sure, an angry soldier is braver. So is a drunk one, but we don’t want our soldiers to be drunk on the job, because it would impair their decision making. So does rage.

Intrigued, “Chuchu” intervened, May 13, 2018: Is rage necessary for combat?

Massimo interestingly observed that:

Chuchu, Yes for Aristotle. No for Seneca. Seneca says that an angry soldier may be courageous, but he is also going to act rushly [sic] because of his rage. He makes the parallel with being drunk: that also gives you courage, but it impairs your judgment. We wouldn’t want drunk soldiers in the battlefield, right?

[Yeah we surely should use Seneca, a giant plutocratic vulture, Nero’s teacher to tell us right from wrong…One of the very wrong aspects of present-day Stoicism: all too busy justifying moral monsters…]

***

Patrice Ayme: 

Massimo,

Top mental creation is in combat always. That’s nearly its definition. A really new idea, especially if true, requires mental reorganization of those submitted to it, so it will always be perceived as an aggression… be it only because it requires work, either to repel it, and even more, to accept it.

Also top thinkers tend to walk their talk. Thus, many of the most famous thinkers found themselves in combat situations: after the Vatican imprisoned and tortured Giordano Bruno for seven years, he was tortured in public and burned alive (1600). That persuaded Galileo to submit. Those two were among dozens of intellectuals killed in that generation, just between France and Italy. And it keeps on going: hundreds of intellectuals and artists are listed in Wikipedia as killed in the period 1940-1945. So, whether they want it or not, top intellectuals often find themselves cornered like Cicero or Boetius. Milder forms of combat exist: the US physicist Bohm was out of a job (at Princeton), thrown out of the US where he was born, and denied the Nobel Prize (he experimentally demonstrated the Gauge Field importance in quantum physics)… just because he refused to collaborate with Senator McCarthy.

***

The Human Species Would Not Even Exist, Without A Proclivity To Combat, & It’s Neurologically Deep:

Not to say it has to be approved. It’s just a fact, a major one, and we have to consider it.

Rage is not necessary for combat, but an even worse state is. In real combat, or in situation where one’s life is in extreme danger, the ideal state is a total neuronal commitment to survival. So the perception of pain (of oneself, or others) disappears, completely. The mental concentration mobilizes the entire brain, enormous strength appears, dedication to the task at hand is the only thing that exist. I have myself experienced this more than once, either under attack, or engaging in solo climbing or deep-sea apnea diving. This is why dangerous thrills are addictive. it is also why and because reason shrinks in combat, and forms a lance to pierce the enemy.

Unwarranted rage is a state derived from maximal combat ardor, a neurohormonal and brain state which is such that the combatant doesn’t fear death, at all. Thus rage is combat readiness, without the release of actual combat. In that state, hundreds of thousands of soldiers have stormed walls on top of wobbling ladders, pierced by arrows, drenched by boiling liquids.

Human brains are pickled with reward centers. Hatred, rage, combat, risk taking, life endangerment (of oneself and others) are all behaviors which come with rewarding neuronal mechanisms. Once engaged in these behaviors, they are, all too often not perceived as evil by the perpetrators.

Avoiding hatred and anger at any cost brings an opportunity to do it much more, for those whose good pleasure is to so indulge. As one gets killed by a cruel tyrant, pitying said tyrant with all of one’s might, doesn’t redress the situation, it makes it way worse, it even enables evil, as Hannah Arendt courageously observed (she was pretty much hated for daring to point that out…)

***
Massimo

May 13, 2018 • 4:26 pm

Patrice,

it is simply not true that rage is the only way to get people focused. While it is true that rage has all sorts of negative side effects, especially on one’s moral judgment. Which is the point of the Stoic criticism of anger.

***

Massimo has a 3 day reply limit, let’s we get too deep in a subject, so I didn’t reply. I have been in combat situations, or situations akin to combat, more than once. I have also been angry more than once. The neurological statuses are related. Refusing one totally, is refusing the other. All revolutions were based crucially on rage. Refusing revolutions is refusing evolution, and getting rid of parasitic elements in society, such as plutocracy, and the more organized the plutocracy, the harsher the, necessary, revolution.

All stoics were plutocracy compatible: the invention, blossoming and thriving of Stoicism coincide with the Hellenistic dictatorships. Seneca was a terrible person. Had a Nuremberg like tribunal been held after Nero’s destruction (on order of the Roman Senate), Seneca would have been condemned to be hanged (hopefully as slowly as Von Ribbentrop, Keitel and their ilk). I am not angry, or enraged, writing this: the fact is, examples have to established better paradigms. Had such a tribunal been held, the Republic, a more democratic Republic, could have been re-established. Instead what we got is more of the same: Vespasian and Titus were correct emperors, but Titus died within two years and was succeeded by his brother Domitian, who reigned for two decades of terror, in particular, philosophical terror. Under Domitian, Epictetus  and his “Stoicism” thrived in Rome…meaning “Stoicism”, revered by Massimo, was Domitian compatible (Domitian was very aware philosophically, he knew very well how and why to kill most philosophers and philosophies…)

Now, of course, it is easy for me to say all of this, because “Stoicism” is not my tax-deductible business… So I am free to see it for what it is: like rage, stoicism is sometimes indispensable. Yet, as Socrates correctly raged about, conflating teaching and income leads to very poor wisdom, and thus the fall of the City… The deer eaten by the wolves has to be stoic, yes. But then, we shouldn’t be deer.

Achilles’ rage is the engine of the Iliad, thus of history, and a good story. Yet, it’s not rage which drove him astray. It is forgetfulness. That’s Homer’s wisdom, in full. Without rage, and his amazing combat performance, which is related to it, Achilles simply would not have been, and the Greeks would not have defeated Troy, 12 centuries ago.

Rage is here, it is around, peoples, nations, governments, not only experience it, they compute with it: watch the recent exploits of Hamas and Israel, which got scores of civilians, down to an 8 months baby killed: Hamas computed that rage would break the fence. Israel replied that its own ferocity was too great for Gaza’s rage to overwhelm it psychologically…

Considering humanity without considering rage, is to miss the biggest picture… The first hominid who got enraged against lions, tried to do something about them. We would not be here without her (or him)…

Patrice Ayme

Advertisements

Sophisticated Enough Intelligence Is About Choice, Thus “Evil”!

May 19, 2018

To Build Truly Intelligent Machines, Teach Them Cause and Effect, says Judea Pearl, a recipient of the prestigious Turing Medal, a prize given to top logicians. In Quanta, this pioneering figure in Artificial Intelligence, AI, argues that AI has been stuck in a decades-long rut induced by correlation science. Mr. Pearl’s prescription for progress? Teach machines to understand the question why. We have sunk so low, cognitively, that cause and effect is now viewed as “new science”:

In his latest book, “The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect,” Judea Pearl argues that AI, Artificial Intelligence, has been handicapped by an incomplete understanding of what intelligence really is. At the core of this is not understanding (anymore) that science is the set of all causation, and that this is, in turn, the backbone of intelligence itself! At fault? A long hierarchy of errors.

I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Pearl. I was actually dismayed, in recent conversations with some professors, from primary school all the way to the most prestigious academic positions, that they seemed to misunderstand profoundly what intelligence, and even science, are. And therein perhaps the source of the decay of basic knowledge in the West (relative to Asia, or, all too often to 1960s performance!) Not the ultimate cause of said decay (which is plutocracy’s evil brainwashing), but an intemediate cause in between plutocracy and the erroneous education provided in (most of) the so-called West.

Intelligence was invented, by evolution, to, first of all, enable to distinguish cause and effect. Artificial Intelligence theoreticians don’t get that yet. Why is the very basis of intelligence not discerned by AI theoreticians? Political Correctness has negatively influenced the Artificial Intelligence community… As it did so many realms of thought, and art… And that’s evil.

Intelligence is all about Judgments, some of them, terminal. Sophisticated enough AI, let alone Artificial Consciousness, will come upon, and execute, choices, thus, indulge in evil! (Specialists can think of the famous “Trolley Problem”, when a cognizant car chooses who to crush…)

PC itself was evolved by the servants of plutocracy to make us believe there were no causes, just effects. Another name for Political Correctness could be: Poor Causation. And poor causation rests on fake news. (Example: we are told that slavery was outlawed in the 19th century; actually, the Imperium Francorum, covering Europe’s core, outlawed slavery in the 7th century; had that first outlawing, 12 centuries earlier, not happened, the one in the 19th won’t have…)

“Quanta” asked Judea Pearl:  “I should ask you about the capacity for evil, which we generally think of as being contingent upon an ability to make choices. What is evil?

Indeed, Quanta is correct: the West and Islam have operated according to the metaprinciple that choices were evil (the Qur’an punishes apostasy with death; and the idea came from the very Catholic emperor Theodosius circa 380 CE).

“Heresy”, has everything to do with choice. 12th century French “heresie” denoted a philosophical school of thought from the Greek hairesisa taking or choosing for oneself, a choice, a means of taking; a deliberate plan, purpose; philosophical sect, school,” from haireisthai take, seize,” middle voice of haireinto choose“…

I have argued that the fundamental atom of choosing is in evidence with the fundamental demonstration of the Quantum process, the double-slit. That means that what all too many view as evil, choice, is at the core of physics.

Judea Pearl replied: “When you elevate your grievance above those universal norms of society, that’s evil.”

That’s too restrictive a notion of evil. It’s “evil”, not evil, and it’s evil to believe that evil is too restricted a notion…

Indeed the perception of “evil” doesn’t need “grievance”, as Quanta, Catholicism and Islamism point out.  Actually that point of view is, officially and in writing, even older: when the Roman dictator Sulla reformed the Roman state, he was driven by the idea that change (coming from We The People) was evil, intrinsically (so he re-established the prerogatives of the Senate against the Tribunes of the People).

The problem of Rome was that society had changed from its very success, massive geographical expansion, morphed ecology, etc. So the “universal norms” Judea Pearl appeals to as a solid substratum, are anything but universal… When society moves, so do “universal norms”.

And how do we know when society is moving? Well, by observing causes and effects, in other words, “causation”. When, and if, changes appears, it is diagnosed by the appearance of new causation (s). And yes, causations don’t have to be causally related to each other, or anything. (Relating causations by force, believing in a system, like monotheism, is the big mistake many a scientist, philosopher, or thinker has made… Even Nietzsche, ironically, fell into it, per his insistence to be systematically anti-system…)

The fact causation exists, is, by itself, a fact. A fact which is everywhere. I volunteered to teach some science to primary school third graders, by using a new method. I was pleasantly surprised by how much they focus on causation. They are hunting for pieces of causes and effects… In particular teaching children “the” scientific method, doesn’t work: children intuitively know there is nothing called “the” method (only Descartes and a few hundred millions mostly dead Frenchmen believe this). Children know the world is made from facts, many of them a causation: they home on these causal tidbits, because they have discovered the world of action is made from mastering them.

Fascist terror regimes know this all too well: to blunt the intelligence of potential future rebels, to prevent an inclination of the youth to make choices, thus limit what the see as “evil”, they make sure children are not taught the universe of causation… by limiting them to, say, one book to be recited by heart supposedly containing all and any causation (that’s why superstitious religion is the best friend of tyrants).

To come back to intelligence, as Doug Lenat put it: “Intelligence is ten million rules… Once you have a truly massive amount of information integrated as knowledge, then the human-software system will be superhuman, in the same sense that mankind with writing (or language itself) is superhuman compared to mankind before writing (or language itself). We look back on pre-linguistic cavemen and think ‘they weren’t quite human, were they?’ In much the same way, our descendants will look back on pre-AI homo sapiens with exactly that mixture of otherness and pity.”

There is a colossal amount of prior and tacit knowledge that humans presume other humans possess (such as “if person x knows person y, then x’s date of death can’t be earlier than y’s date of birth”). That, of course is culturally based: the 50 different types of snow of the Inuits are different  from the “facts” someone PC will find in the social networks they lurk in, or in what they search…

It gets worse: knowledge matters according to the significance it carries (that would how many significant consequences it has… including the emotional ones).

Here a very practical example: If your knowledge base is, allegedly, something an epileptic analphabet desert caravan raider said, 12 centuries ago, according to a panel of sexist generals whose idea of a good time was burning someone alive, your knowledge base is not as valuable as the best that can be obtained today.

Was I Politically Correct, just now? Of course not! I attacked a superstition invented 13 centuries ago, and about which the PC, the Politically Correct, the Plutocratic Con, told us that, if we don’t respect it, we are racist! That is, of course astoundly stupid, to the point of being evil.

However, Facebook, a large investor in AI, thus, presumably, viewing itself as a specialist of intelligence, just blocked “Génération Identitaire”, a French originated European organization, with more than 150,000 adherents, which claims that illegal immigrants should be kept out of Europe (naturally barbarians should disagree with the idea, as they did, when Rome collapsed). Facebook said it could not tolerate “hatred”. Facebook knows what is evil, and what is not evil… and will impose his notion of evil on to you: 500 millions African economic and Islam refugees in France? Excellent says Facebook. Not being happy about that? “Hatred”, Facebook calls it. Facebook is its own form of AI. Complete with a notion of evil…

For a while, what is now the USA was a land of opportunity. Now it’s turning into a land of plutocracy, and that domineering plutocracy gives the entire world an unending flow of “excellent” reasons for Europe to renew with the evil tradition, of giving birth to still another grotesque hereditary plutocracy… Where here evil means rising above what comes naturally to humanity, freedom and equality and fraternity.

You want to find, and destroy evil? You need intelligence and good capability to distinguish fairness and evil. It means adoring causation, revealing cause & effects… maximally. Causation, ferreting it maximally, is not just about AI. It’s about determining evil, absolutely. Thus indulging in choice and evil, virtually, cognitively, or effectively.

The technological singularity is a moral adventure, just as when Caesar decided to steer the Republic: it costs ever more, and in more ways than one, to become divine…

Patrice Ayme

***

***

Note 1: In General Topology, a branch of mathematics, which is very general as it is the logic of “place, region, space” (topos in Greek), an “ultrafilter” is a maximal filter of neighborhoods (“ultrafilter” generalizes to partly ordered sets). So the notion of absolute is pertinent, even without a notion of infinity (I reject the later). Absolute morality is an ultrafilter of morality…

Note 2: The preceding maybe related to a “nerd” notion, Roko’s Basilisk... Which as many nerd notions is cleverly stupid, replacing cognition by twisted complexity…

Marx As Vituperating Racist, Proto-Nazi

May 6, 2018

… A little complement on my (mostly, but not fully) anti-Marx essay:”Marx, for terror and tyranny all along… (part of Marx’s 200th birthday celebrations). After I published it some accused me publicly on the Internet to be “anti-left” when my position is the exact opposite. Buried in my essay is the intellectual relationship of Marx with Hitler who wrote, and said, that Nazism was “half Marxist dogma“. Marx’s strident racism and violent anti-Russian attitude were mental preparations for what fascist Germany did in 1914 and then again under the Nazis. And, no, the excuse that everybody did it at the time doesn’t fly. 99% of the great thinkers of civilization were not racist, and the entire Greco-Roman empire was not racist at all (emperors came from Spain, Asia, Gaul, Arabia and Africa). Quite the opposite: the religion of the Late Greco-Roman empire, “Catholicism“, is Greek for “Universalism“.

Marxism is an ideology calling for dictatorship of something called the “proletariat”. The “proletarius” was well-known in Rome: it was the lowest part of the Plebs, the part whose only contribution to society was “proliferation”: from prolesoffspring, progeny“. The proletariat had babies, and owned nothing, but those babies. Thus the proletariat was exempt from taxes and military service.

The idea that those without even an education should exert dictatorship flies in the face of common sense: in the Roman Republic, where the office of dictator was used occasionally, during emergencies, only the best and brightest, not the lowest and least educated, could pretend to it. In practice, in “Marxist” countries, an hereditary aristocracy of the dictatorship evolved, the “apparatchik”, those of the apparatus, who knew, from birth, how to use said system, the apparatus, blossomed. The apparatchik had exclusive stores, exclusive rights (as they were the ones dictating). Such heirs are fully visible in China or (North) Korea, where they are multibillionaires. Notice that the idea that those without an education should dictate can be viewed as “Political Correctness“. (As we will see below, it all has to do with Marx’s self-hatred: Marx condemned… was he was. Marx a stridently racist anti-Jewish Jew got into anti-“capitalist”economics when his family’s capital, vineyards, suffered from Prussian policies… Paradoxes, paradoxes…)

 

Russian Communist supporters holding portraits of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin participate in a rally marking the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in downtown Moscow on November 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV. Funny how Marxists need gods.

The ideology was created by Karl Marx, borrowing the good bits from others, especially Proudhon. Marx—along with his collaborator and sponsor, the heir Friedrich Engels—wrote a pamphlet called “Manifesto of the Communist Party.”

In 1867, Marx wrote the first volume of “Das Kapital” from the British Library. The second and third volumes were published posthumously, edited by Engels. Neither Marx nor a fortiori Engels belong to the proletarius, by a very long shot: so why would they want dictatorship… when Marx spent lots of time screaming he was dictated upon?

Few people who call themselves Marxists have read “Das Kapital”, just as few people calling themselves Muslims have read unabridged version of the 83,000 words Qur’an. In both cases, the idea is apparently to make a show of believing in something absurd and offensive, to upset others, and use over them the dictatorship of insult to reason. If one did read Das Kapital, or Das Koran, one can see that people who call themselves Marxists, or Muslims, have little in common with those ideologies.

Marx and Engels were not always wrong. Those founders of so-called “scientific socialism”, which was neither, took positions on Islam most of the contemporary (pseudo-) left would reject as “Orientalist” and “Islamophobic”. Marx and Engels retrospectively supported the Franks of Charles Martel against the Arabs, and the defenders of Vienna against the Turks in 1529 and 1683. These Muslim empires threatened “European development”. It was necessary to save “European civilization”. In this context, Marx and Engels also approved of the medieval aristocracy who fought the invading Mongols at the battles of Legnica/Wahlstatt in 1241, and Klodzko,  in Poland, while draining the steppe invaders at the much larger Battle of Mohi in Hungary.

To contradict those who see Marx as their hero, here are a few historical tidbits they might find interesting. (One can read the 1979 book of Nathaniel Weyl, himself a former communist, “Karl Marx: Racist”.)

Marx and Engels had plenty of ideas, not just on dictatorship, but also on empire, race, war.

When the United States annexed California after the Mexican War, Marx sarcastically asked, “Is it a misfortune that magnificent California was seized from the lazy Mexicans who did not know what to do with it?” Engels explained: “In America we have witnessed the conquest of Mexico and have rejoiced at it. It is to the interest of its own development that Mexico will be placed under the tutelage of the United States.”

Marx’s was into self-hatred. This is clear in his attacks against his fellow socialist and Jew Ferdinand Lassalle (1824-64), a Breslau native who became the founder of German socialism, the SPD, as a mass movement. Lassalle’s achievements for socialism were much more considerable than Marx’s own. Lasalle secretly influenced Chancellor Bismarck, who installed the world’s first universal health care system Bismarck in 1878: …”[Lassalle] attracted me as an individual. He was one of the most intelligent and likable men I had ever come across”.

Marx’s vituperations stand in sharp contrast. Marx called Lassalle the ‘Jewish Nigger‘. Marx used the word “Neger” (although the word, meaning black was not, nor should be, pejorative…) Marx saw his fellow socialist as a Polish Jew and ‘The Jews of Poland are the dirtiest of all races.

Engels wrote to Marx, March 1856: “[Lassalle] is a real Jew from the Slav frontier and he has always been willing to exploit party affairs for private purposes. It is revolting to see how he is always trying to push his way into the aristocratic world. He is a greasy Jew disguised under brilliantine and flashy jewels.”  In attacking Lassalle’s Jewishness, and sneering at his syphilis, Marx expressed age-old anti-Judaism, virulent in Germany since the eleventh century.

Thus Marx wrote to Engels, 10 May 1861: ‘A propos Lasalle-Lazarus. Lepsius in his great work on Egypt has proved that the exodus of the Jews from Egypt was nothing but the history which Mantheto narrates of the expulsion of the “leprous people” from Egypt. At the head of these lepers was an Egyptian priest, Moses. Lazarus, the leper, is therefore the archetype of the Jew, and Lassalle is the typical Leper.‘ Or again, 30 July 1862: ‘It is now perfectly clear to me that, as the shape of his head and the growth of his hair indicates, he is descended from Negroes who joined Moses’ flight from Egypt (unless his mother or grandmother on the father’s side was crossed with a nigger). This union of Jew and German on a Negro base was bound to produce an extraordinary hybrid.

Lassalle doesn’t look subsaharan African at all… It is reality itself which was taken for a ride, in Marx’s addled brain…

Ferdinand Lassalle in 1860, Schriftsteller, Politiker, Begründer des Allgemeinen Deutschen Arbeitervereins. Er war zeitlebens Vertreter des philosophischen Idealismus Hegelscher Prägung.
geb: 11.4.1825 in Breslau,
gest: 31.8.1864 in Genf (Geneva, Switzerland, where died three days after being hit in the abdomen in a duel he called for, as his beloved went back to the Prince she had been engaged with…)
Does that gentleman, founder of the socialist SPD, look like coming from Subsaharan Africa? To Karl Marx, he did!

Engels shared Marx’s delirious racism. In 1887, Paul Lafargue, who was Marx’s son-in-law, was a candidate for a council seat in a Paris district that contained a zoo. Engels claimed that Lafargue had “one-eighth or one-twelfth nigger blood.” Here notice the idea that US racists and Nazi racist pushed, the “one drop” rule. By contrast, in France, several famous individuals were up to 100% subsaharan Africans, and that was not noticed (one became a most famous general, his son, the famous writer Alexandre Dumas).

In a letter to Lafargue’s wife, Engels wrote, “Being in his quality as a nigger, a degree nearer to the rest of the animal kingdom than the rest of us, he is undoubtedly the most appropriate representative of that district.

He was not joking…

Marx’s father, Heinrich, was the first in nearly a century to not become a rabbi and receive a secular education. Heinrich became a lawyer and lived a wealthy middle-class life, with his family owning Moselle vineyards. Although a descendant of rabbis on both sides of his lineage, Marx anti-Judaism was no passing vituperation. In his essay titled “On the Jewish Question”, published in 1844. Marx asked:

“What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. … Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man—and turns them into commodities. … The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange. … The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general.”

All too many otherwise good people got too drunk on that one… Hatred is great, yet, it is time to sober up.

***

Search the Diamonds in the Mud:

When his son asked Roman emperor Vespasian why he taxed urine, the latter famously replied:”Money doesn’t have a smell”. Well, ideas don’t have a smell either. So ideas can be grabbed wherever, and whoever they come from. What has a smell are systems of thoughts, and moods, mentalities.

Marxism, as a system of thoughts, stinks to high heavens. But that doesn’t mean Marx never had a good idea (though many of those he grabbed from others…)

For example, calling attention to Marx’s extravagant, quasi-criminogenic anti-Judaism is not to say Judaism shouldn’t be criticized. Far from it: on the face of it, Judaism is tribalism made divine (I will not tweet that one, at least not today…) Spinoza, a Jew, showed how a critique of Judaism reached radical and fruitful conclusions about the world. The French Enlightenment, while promoting Jews as individuals, struck hard against Judaism, Christianism, Islamism… And so do I (yet that doesn’t make me anti-Israel, as Israel has a good, multidimensional historical justification…)

Marx and Engels regarded capitalism and liberal democracy as historically progressive steps, compared to feudalism and royal absolutism. Only capitalism could create centralized nation-states with modern, industrial economies and hence lay the material basis for socialism, the next step in human history. For this reason, Marx and Engels supported “bourgeois” and democratic movements (such as the revolutions of 1848). However, as I pointed out “Marxist” style revolutions had happened before (especially the one which launched the coup of Octavian/Augustus… the dictator of Rome, a very much milder version of Stalin).

This is not all completely false. However, it suffers from a myopic vision of civilization. Civilization comes and goes, ebbs and flows, according to the vagaries of wars, invasions, ecology and plutocracy. It doesn’t go all one way. When the feudal system crystallized, in the Eleventh century, it did it the way it did from the Carolingian collapse which had followed the Carolingian renaissance which followed the Islamist invasions, which collapsed the Merovingian renaissance outlawing slavery, itself blossoming after vanquishing the non-Frankish savages, and mind killing terrorizing Catholicism.

In the end, by the year 1066 CE, civilization stood higher than Rome in some ways  (no slavery, more technology, more machines, more wind and water and tidal mills, better beans, better horses, hydraulic hammers…) and less well in others (constant wars of potentates against each others… As it was not clear who was the boss; and the European subcontinent was still blockaded and under siege from the Muslims).

Marx is so much on the right, or even Nazi, in so many ways that one can be cogent, right-wing, pro-Trump and view Marx as visionary in some ways… and be right! It’s complicated. However, unbounded admiration for Marx, and adoption of the Marx cult is also very simple, and completely erroneous. Much of the failure of the opposition to plutocracy originates just there: Marx made the left not just hateful, but so stupid, it cannot cogently act.

Indeed, much of the most determined part of the “left”, by embracing Marxism, thus the most delirious part of Marxism, embraced, however unwittingly, much of what constituted Nazism. Not a good idea. Nazism, tribalism gone mass murdering in a weird, yet neurohormonally addictive interpretation of the theory of evolution, could only fail, as open societies such as Nazism’s ultimate enemies, in particular the French Republic next door, were, and are intrinsically… superior (Nietzsche said as much, but not this way).

Some will say Marx was just the opposite… Well, look at what he wrote: if it walks like a duck, talk like a duck, flies like a duck, waddle like a duck, looks like a duck, and duck Adolf recognizes it as his own, should not it be called a duck?

Patrice Ayme

 

Super Earths, Or How The Exponential Function Can Matter

April 23, 2018

We live in the times where exponentials have come to rule, as they never ruled before. Ignore at the risk of everything we claim to hold dear. As mathematically challenged Silicon Valley nerds put it, all too simplistically, the coming “singularity” looms. Simple minds do not much understanding create, though, so here a little elaboration…

An example of exponentials in action, is graciously offered by so-called “Super Earths“, giant versions of Earths, hundreds of which have been discovered in our neighborhood.

Before I get into this, a short lesson on the exponential.

The Ancient Greeks thought they knew mathematics, but they were prisoners of linear thinking (especially after the top intellectuals spurned non-Euclidean geometry and arithmetic). The exponential is the most obvious, most crucial to understand, most vital to handle example of nonlinear thinking.

An exponential is any function which grows proportionally to itself.

Our present “leaders” (Putin, Trump, Xi, Macron, etc.), and their underlings have no idea what an exponential is, and that it feeds on itself.

Civilizations get ambushed by exponentials. This is why they so often irresistibly decay: the effect is blatant, be it the Late Roman empire, Tang China, the Maya…  

***

Socrates:The unexamined life is not worth living“. That was HIS (wise) feeling. His own feeling. Others don’t have to share it. Actually vain, self-admiring, erroneous, hateful people detest nothing more than self-examination. They deeply dislike, hinder those, and what, promotes self-examination.

And tell me, Socrates, you who didn’t like knowledge you didn’t already have, and you thought everybody had, when did you learn about the exponential function? How can you know something that important you never even suspected existed? And, absent that tool of the spirit, you thought you could examine everything? How stupid was that? And you, out there, the ignorant admirers of Socrates and his ilk: you don’t even have the excuse to have been dead for 24 centuries! To extract you from the gutter, seize the exponential!

***

After discovering a few thousands exoplanets, Super Earths are, so far, more frequent than simple Earths (it may be a bias from our present telescopes, but I don’t think so…). If the Super Earth is slightly bigger than Earth, depending upon the nature of its core, its surface gravity doesn’t have to be much higher than Earth (I computed). However, the present article considers Super Earths were the gravity is much higher than on Earth…

“Super-Earth” planets are gigantic versions of Earth. In some ways, they are more likely to be habitable than Earth-size worlds: their thicker atmospheres protect them better from radiations, either from their parent stars, supernovae, gamma ray bursts, galactic core explosions, etc.. However, it would be difficult for any inhabitants on these exoplanets to access to space. At least with known, or imaginable technologies.

To launch a vehicle as light as the Apollo moon mission capsule, a rocket on a super-Earth such as (potentially inhabitable) Kepler 20b would require more than double the escape velocity.

To leave Earth (“⊕”)’s gravitational influence, a rocket needs to achieve at minimum the escape velocity vesc = s 2GM⊕ R⊕ ∼ 11.2 km s−1 (2) for Earth, and vesc ∼ 27.1 km s−1 for a 10 M⊕, 1.7 R⊕ Super-Earth similar to Kepler-20 b. Computation shows one would need a mass of about 400,000 metric tons, mostly due to the exponential demand of fuel. That’s 5% of the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt (still by far the Earth’s most massive monument, excluding utilitarian walls and dams).  

That means a chemical rocket there should have one hundred times the mass of one here (Apollo’s Saturn V launcher was 3,000 tons). However, that’s not a show stopper: our largest ocean-going ships are more massive than that, and a massive rocket is imaginable. So Hippke is not correct when he says that:

“On more-massive planets, spaceflight would be exponentially more expensive,” said study author Michael Hippke, an independent researcher affiliated with the Sonneberg Observatory in Germany. “Such civilizations would not have satellite TV, a moon mission or a Hubble Space Telescope.

This is of great practical interest. Research has revealed that Super Earths are abundant, and obvious targets for human colonization. They can reach up to 10 times the mass of our own Earth (after that, they retain light gases, and turn into mini Neptunes, unsuitable for direct colonization, although Pandora like scenarios are highly plausible). Many super-Earths apparently lie in the habitable zones of their stars, where temperatures can theoretically support liquid water on the planetary surface and thus, potentially, life as it is known on Earth. Although I have had reservations about this: I view the presence of a nuclear reactor inside the planet as necessary for life, since it provides with a magnetic shield, and the recycling of the atmosphere through plate tectonic, let alone continents… (Being in the water belt and the nuclear belt simultaneously is a miracle Earth’s biosphere profits from.)

This being said, it is true that some ways to access space that we potentially have, won’t happen on Super Earths. Rockets work better in the vacuum of space than in an atmosphere: super-Earthlings might want to launch from a mountaintop. However, the strong gravitational pull of super-Earths would squash down super Alps (it’s a pure application of Quantum mechanics). Super towers won’t be be feasible, either…

Using space elevators traveling on giant cables rising out of the atmosphere depends upon the strength of the cable material. The strongest (per unit of mass) material known today, carbon nanotubes, is just barely strong enough for Earth’s gravity (it is not at this point possible to imagine stronger materials, putting in doubt the feasibility of space elevators on super-Earths). Here is Michael Hippke (Submitted on 12 Apr 2018):

Spaceflight from Super-Earths is difficult:

 

Many rocky exoplanets are heavier and larger than the Earth, and have higher surface gravity. This makes space-flight on these worlds very challenging, because the required fuel mass for a given payload is an exponential function of planetary surface gravity, ∼3.3exp(g0). We find that chemical rockets still allow for escape velocities on Super-Earths up to 10 times Earth mass. More massive rocky worlds, if they exist, would require other means to leave the planet, such as nuclear propulsion.

Comments: Serious version of the April Fool’s idea (arXiv:1803.11384). Submitted on April 4th 2018
Subjects: Popular Physics (physics.pop-ph); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1804.04727 [physics.pop-ph]
(or arXiv:1804.04727v1 [physics.pop-ph] for this version)
  1. INTRODUCTION Do we inhabit the best of all possible worlds (Leibnitz 1710)? From a variety of habitable worlds that may exist, Earth might well turn out as one that is marginally habitable. Other, more habitable (“superhabitable”) worlds might exist (Heller & Armstrong 2014). Planets more massive than Earth can have a higher surface gravity, which can hold a thicker atmosphere, and thus better shielding for life on the surface against harmful cosmic rays. Increased surface erosion and flatter topography could result in an “archipelago planet” of shallow oceans ideally suited for biodiversity. There is apparently no limit for habitability as a function of surface gravity as such (Dorn et al. 2017). Size limits arise from the transition between Terran and Neptunian worlds around 2 ± 0.6 R⊕ (Chen & Kipping 2017). The largest rocky planets known so far are ∼ 1.87 R⊕, ∼ 9.7 M⊕ (Kepler-20 b, Buchhave et al. 2016). When such planets are in the habitable zone, they may be inhabited. Can “Super-Earthlings” still use chemical rockets to leave their planet? This question is relevant for SETI and space colonization (Lingam 2016; Forgan 2016, 2017).

***

Pessimistically, Hippke considered another possibility, a staple of science-fiction which originated in the very serious “Orion” project of the 1950s, an apocalyptic period: nuclear pulse propulsion. It works by detonating thousands of atom bombs below a shield cum shock absorber attached to the vehicle, hurling it through space. This explosive propulsion has much more lifting power than chemical rockets, and might be the only way for a civilization to leave a planet more than 10 times Earth’s mass, Hippke (naively) said.

However, slaying the radioactive dragon he himself brought up, such a nuclear-powered spacecraft would pose not only technical challenges but political ones as well, he said: “A launch failure, which typically happens with a 1 percent risk, could cause dramatic effects on the environment. I could only imagine that a society takes these risks in a flagship project where no other options are available, but the desire is strong — for example, one single mission to leave their planet and visit a moon.”

Unwittingly, Hippke then demonstrates the danger of the single mind (in this case, his!) Indeed the most obvious way to use nuclear propulsion is simply to run a liquid, even water, through the core of a nuclear fission reactor. That was tested, and it works extremely well… and very safely! It’s much less prone to failure than a chemical rocket.  On a planet with ten times the Earth’s surface, there would be plenty of space to do such dirty launches by the thousands.

Besides, it may possible to engineer absolutely giant thermonuclear PROPULSION reactors (thermonuclear fusion is easier, the larger the reactor: the exponential at work again; if we just made a fusion reactor that was large enough, it would certainly work). The radioactivity generated would be neglectable.

So we don’t have to worry about colonizing Super Earths… We just have to worry about weight (that is, surface gravity)….

But, here, now, we have to worry about all those exponentials going crazy. Last I checked, the Arctic ice was running one million square miles below its old minimum: at some point the so-far linear decrease of Arctic ice is going to decrease exponentially, as warming there is highly self-feeding (that’s why it runs already at twice the rate of the rest of the planet…).

And as usual, let’s remember what the arrogant, stupid imperial Romans never learned, and the Maya never reached: inventing completely new, liberating, energizing technologies is how, and the only way how, to break the strangulation from the ecological, political, economical and moral exponentials which smother civilizations. A most recent example is diffuse, dim light solar cells, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), a tech already in full deployment, which has just made spectacular progress in the lab.

Even language acquisition is exponential… Let alone thought system acquisition. You want to examine life, in ultimate depth? Learn to think exponentially!

The coming “singularity” looms. How to manage it? First by understanding what makes it tick, exponentials.

Patrice Aymé

 

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…)

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

 

.

Sartre and De Beauvoir Were Nazis. Is Existentialism A Euphemism For Nazism?

January 15, 2018

Abstract: Once I went climbing somewhere. The equipment was heavy, the rope cumbersome, the slope steep. On the side of that upward struggle, a foot away, a boulder with a flat top, pretty crystalline colors. It invited me to put my hand on it, for a welcome rest. As I engaged the motion, some engine of systematic suspicion inside my brain addled by the effort, had an automatic, and, it turned out, life saving, second look. A magnificent viper was coiled on the colored rock, its pretty camouflage perfectly adapted. It puffed, ready to strike when I jerked back. As we will see, human vipers, are also perfectly adapted, perfectly camouflaged, and that’s what makes them so pretty.

It’s not because an ideology sounds good, that it is.  All the more as plutocratic propaganda finds good all and any ideology which serves it. And one obviously true and delicious ideology can hide another, non-obviously poisoned. De Beauvoir’s position on sexism, is pretty much unassailable. (However it is also pretty self-obvious.) De Beauvoir hides the fakeness of her convoluted “Existentialism” behind the trite truth of anti-sexism.

I am getting a bit impatient with extending respect to second, if not third, or fourth, order thinking. Nowadays, people go around saying that the president of the USA is an unbalanced idiot, and what they truly mean, deep inside their subconscious, is that the one before that, and his six  predecessors were idiots, because they were. What was Carter thinking of, attacking Afghanistan?

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/usa-attack-against-afghanistan/

How can Carter look himself in a mirror? What are those admiring Carter still thinking? That they never heard of Afghanistan, Carter’s war? Do they really think? Shouldn’t they be thinking that they are, themselves, Trump? Without the money?

The diseases, the various diseases of the mind which misled humanity, are much older than those recent US presidents. In truth, evil conditions of ancient history put civilization on rails. Example: the true story of the causes, not just of Nazism, but of the First World War, was never told by classical historians. Consider this instead:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/real-history-world-war-one-inception/

And it has very practical consequence: the worst of what Trumpism is alleged to be, started much more than a century ago, it has been the bread and butter of America (and not that it needed to be!)

Ruinous ideologies are devastating the planet. One of them is what passes for the study of economics: actually it is just what one needs to believe to serve plutocracy, as even banks, which create nearly all the money, are excluded from the study of economics.

An example of a ruinous ideology has been so-called “Existentialism”, a nebulous “philosophy” preoccupied with the self, which played a crucial role in deploying, and justifying Lenino-Stalinism, Nazism, the “American Century”, also known as “neo-liberalism”, and “Maoim”… Existentialism gave a justification, if not inception to the “Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi” philosophy, which brought us, in turn, both the cult of wealth supreme (“neo-liberalism”, “inequality”) and “communitarianism” (my community is all I need to enjoy and know, by birthright; in particular Islamism, but it could be Buddhism in Burma… or sexism). 

“Neo-liberalism” is neither: neither “liberal”, nor new in any sense.

Existentialism was founded by Kierkegaard, and can be viewed as a form of nihilism, or, more exactly selfishness using nihilism to thrive. Fundamental to “Existentialism” has been the personality cult of De Beauvoir and Sartre (to be skewered and slowly roasted below). Personality-cultism is, per se, an ideology, a meta-ideology: it pervades philosophy, politics, history, science, religions, etc., replacing the debate, and landscape of ideas, with childish obsessions for particular dolls.

So here we will apply a remedy, demolishing the founders of “Existentialism” by showing they were anything but wise. Or showing existentialism for what it was: selfishness covered-up by big words obscurantism. Not to say all what Sartre and De Beauvoir said, and did, was idiotic, worthless, and misleading. Far from it. But from their worst errors, and the follies of their blind admirers, we can learn more than from any of their mellifluous dissemblance.

***

Here is a true, top notch, break-through feminist, the real thing, major plutocrat, Queen Marguerite de Valois. She was known for her great beauty, towering wits, extreme erudition (she was a polyglot mastering Latin, Greek and several European languages), countless lovers, extreme courage and humanism during the religious wars, and scandalous feminism. She started also several fashions, doing away with enormous collars, instead putting to advantage her colossal chest all the way to he nipples, and launching a new colors mixing red and orange. Her robes, often with gold thread, could cost the equivalent of millions of dollars today. Daughter, sister, and wife of French and Navarre monarchs, she  played several important philosophical roles. An author herself, and a historian, her provocative feminism knew no bounds. She goaded Montaigne in writing his essays, using the basest flattery to urge him on back to work. She chose, and imposed a child-bearing wife for her husband, King Henri IV, another Medici (like her own mom). She died in her sixties, in 1614, a queen, and celebrated throughout Europe. Breakthrough thinkers are conditions sine qua non of humanity’s progress, and I have to recognize that, often, they emanate from plutocracy…

Being Nazis, as Sartre and De Beauvoir were, is different from being forced to collaborate with Nazis:

When the Nazis imposed their ideology, Nazism, on a French Republic which they occupied with two million (deep-down, in truth, below the sheen of correction) blood thirsty soldiers, De Beauvoir and Sartre used Nazism for their enjoyment and aggrandizement: among other crimes, Sartre stole his employment from a Jew, De Beauvoir worked as a Nazi propagandist. No wonder they thereafter posed as Stalinists (actually, Stalin was allied with German fascist for 25 years, so the contradiction is shallower than it sounds), or as freedom fighters for those who set bombs in Algiers (in the guise of progress, and justice). 

Here is the meat of the matter: most individuals in occupied Europe, even Jews condemned to death, had to collaborate with the Nazis, whether they wanted it or not (when not engaging in actual lethal combat with said Nazis). Sartre and De Beauvoir were different: they were among those few who met, engaged, helped, and were helped, when not outright employed, by Nazis at the highest level. This is what “Existenz” meant. This is what “absurd” meant.

For mongrels with intellectual pretense not to have noticed this is telling. Not to say absurd. If they get kicked around, one should welcome their yelping.

If one votes for “the lesser of two evils”, one votes for evil. Doing this repeatedly makes one a source of evil.  This is how “representative democracy” generates the power of evil (Pluto-kratos), election after election.

Thus some, such as Céline, advocated, even before WWII not to vote: “I have never voted in my life… I have always known and understood that the idiots are in a majority so it’s certain they will win.”

Louis-Ferdinand Céline 

But the evils of everyday life don’t stop there. One can vote at the ballot box. One can also vote with one’s mind. Or can vote with one’s culture. 

De Beauvoir’s nude pictures are many, thus implying that she had nothing to hide. Actually, she fiercely lied about her sexual ways massively, all her life, as countless letters revealed after her death.

***

Is France’s Encroaching Mental Retardation, A Result of too Much Embracing Existentialism? 

In the 1950s, all too many people, in a leading intellectual country like France, having just escaped from her mortal combat with Nazism, voted for so-called “Existentialism”. In practice it seems to have meant, take care of oneself, and roll over all ethics, and others. It was revealed, after their deaths, and more is coming, so far hidden from view, as it is so shameful, that Sartre and De Beauvoir were obsessive sexual predators… for decades. Virgins preferred. De Beauvoir lost her teaching credentials for statutory rape. One second sex too far….   

Most of those with intellectual pretense adopted “Existentialism”, not knowing what it was that they were truly swallowing… Nazism (or Stalinism, or Maoism, not as bad as Nazism, agreed, but Nazism arguably got completely insane after the French war declaration condemned it to death).

After two generations of “Existentialism”, Muslim nihilism has been embraced as… anti-racism (!), and, not surprisingly, French intellectual leadership long assumed, 16 centuries and counting, has been in clear recess. Among 65 tested nations, only the Netherlands and France have deteriorated in students’ ability since 2001. In the latest TIMMS test, evaluating science and math, France tested below the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.Not to insinuate, as Trump may say, that these are “shithole countries”, but certainly, France, by her own ancient standards, is heading there!

I will suggest, indeed, that so-called “Existentialism” in general, and the sort of fake intellectuality De Beauvoir and Sartre incarnated, (partly) originated this degradation. Because it was fundamentally a collaboration with the powers that be: Nazism before 1945, the USSR and the USA afterwards. For the existentialist, the starting point is “the existential attitude“, a sense of disorientation, confusion, or dread in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world (all feelings fundamentally alien to prehistoric man). Indeed, if one has been Nazis, as Sartre and De Beauvoir were, and one suddenly is depicted as great resistance figure, disorientation will ensue, a feeling of absurdity will creep in. “Existentialism” makes absurdity, confusion, disorientation, the new religions.

Existentialism’s exemplary struggles were for “Algerian Independence”, anti-colonialism, and Stalinism. 70 years later, we observe that the anti-colonialist struggle was a “trompe l’oeil”. It was greatly make-belief. In 2017, there was officially 97,000 refugees admitted to France (and much more in truth), all coming from ex-colonized countries (if one let them all come in, without drowning, or being reduced to slavery in Libya, and by hyenas in the Sahara, it would be millions).

Tiny French philosophers meet with gigantic Dr. Lynch (the real name of the one with nom de guerre: Che Guevara). This is not meant as an approbation of the assassination of the Che by the CIA. However, the alacrity with whom Beauvoir and Sartre embraced dictatorships is to be noticed: more of the same always. As US extremism fighting dictators depended upon those dictators being dictatorial, this sort of silly embrace actually advanced the US empire, while feigning to fight it.

The rage of “Existentialism” against the European empires was make-belief, it was accompanied by great effective friendliness towards these mightier empires, Stalinism, Sovietism, Americanism, and, or, deep down inside in all cases, global plutocracy. Just obeying greater gods! (Those preoccupied by the self first, will make their morality slave to their creatures comfort.)

Arguably many of the “decolonized” countries were, and are, more exploited afterwards than they were under colonial administration (and would have been a fortiori if the colonial model had been replaced by more advanced civilization); that’s roughly obvious for the entire Sahelian zone, from Senegal to Somalia. Under the French empire, the fisheries had not been nearly extinguished by powers foreign to Africa, so people could eat. Algeria is a FNL dictatorship, ever since “independence”. Tunisia is on the verge of civil war, one-third of the economy depending on olive oil paid to the locals, one cent per liter… Morocco is one man show plutocracy, and so on…

***

Sex Crazed Maniacs Exists, The Existentialist Way, Prior to Any morality whatsoever:

Sartre claimed that a central proposition of Existentialism is that existence precedes essence. This can be variously interpreted in diverse, sometimes quite opposite, ways (the usual interpretation is that what one does precedes one’s morality). Apparently, looking at Sartre’s life, it meant having sex with as many young girls (procured by De Beauvoir) as possible. When asked by Camus what the problem was with all the crazed sleeping around with youth, Sartre retorted that he was uglier than a toad (paraphrasing), and thus he had to reassure himself all day long, with young, fresh female flesh. Surely, Sartre couldn’t be that infantile. So the more natural explanation is that he was just a sadistic conqueror. Sartre had sex with De Beauvoir’s students, who were teenage girls. OK, maybe it could be sincere and happen once, understandable, however, this was systematic, industrial. In 1943, the parents of a minor sued, and De Beauvoir was thrown out of the public school system. The Harry Weinstein of philosophy. Is that the top philosopher of the Twentieth century.

Or is it what Sartre looked like, namely a half crushed toad, with accompanying half smashed brain??  

In “Being and Nothingness”, Sartre attracts attention to the hypocrisy, the fakeness of the “Garçons de Café”. Right, it takes one to know one. Except Sartre was  Garçon de Café to the top German Nazi censor in France (who later revealed Sartre to be a hypocrite; and we know he was a hypocrite in independent ways).   

Sartre’s lifelong (APPARENT) commitment to socialism, anti-fascism and anti-imperialism still resonate. The problem is that as with Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Nixon, Carter, Clinton, or Obama, appearances are there to deceive (not to say that the insignificant Obama was as nasty as Lenin, on a personal basis; but the missed opportunity may have been greater).

***

I am, therefore let me Nazi splurge:

Sartre: “man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards”

Long after World War Two, Sartre is a rare introspective, yet FAKE contrition claimed that: ““the whole country both resisted and collaborated. Everything we did was equivocal; we never quite knew whether we were doing right or wrong; a subtle poison corrupted even our best actions.” That was a positive interpretation of what he wanted us to believe he did. In truth, thousands of French intellectuals resisted for real, and were tortured and assassinated by the Nazis, as early as 1942 (when seven intellectuals of the Museum of Man in Paris were executed for resistance, inter alia).

The problem with Sartre and company is that the Devil is in the details. Sartre and company had a very comfortable Second World War. Sartre and De Beauvoir met with Nazi operatives, at the highest level, and it was not because they were double agents. It was because they were ingratiating themselves with the power that be. Sartre was brought out of his war prisoner status, probably because of the intervention of some high level Vichy gangster. Sartre even took the position of a professor who had been deprived of his job for being a “Jew” (you are welcome to imagine Sartre as a vulture with Swastika ornamented wings, devouring the corpse of a dying Jew)..

Power corrupts, and apocalyptic power corrupts apocalyptically. When Sartre was sitting in the office of the main Nazi censor in France, chewing the fat, it was all about power. By honoring top occupiers by his presence, and singing the praises of German culture, Sartre was encouraging the executioners of civilization to go with their grisly task. The average Frenchman, at the time, was just ignoring German soldiers when crossing them in the streets.

***

US Thinking: What Philosophically Matters Is Accusing The Victims One Made Of Collaboration:

When Philosophy Matters (which has nearly 30,000 followers) thought smart to wish “Happy Birthday, Simone de Beauvoir !”, 9 Jan 2018. I discerned there immediately the uncritical agenda of the personality cult and collaborationist bend: start with blind love for Simone, end by blind love for Maréchal Pétain (as will be shown below, a Philosophy Matters promotes the fascist lie that “France collaborated”, something as perverse as saying someone being executed “collaborated” with the executioner; so, indeed, “Philosophy Matters” ended and revealed itself to be of the exact “Maréchal Nous Voila!” school of politics as Simone herself….). Make no mistake: I have quoted Simone de Beauvoir approvingly. However, of the galaxy of people I have quoted, most I have quoted approvingly. Even Muhammad, FDR, Jesus and Adolf have said something I agreed with at some point. What I discerned there was personality cult. De Beauvoir was a feminist, true, and so I am, and so have been most women. However, there has been feminists in France for more than 14 centuries, and feminists of 14 centuries ago in France were much more important than the relatively insignificant Simone: some of those now forgotten feminists were heads of state, no less, and one of them abrogated slavery.

Cats pounce when they smell a rat, I replied:

“Simone De Beauvoir was employed as a Vichy history propagandist. It’s unlikely someone as misdirected, racist, arriviste, Nazi, criminally vicious ever said something philosophically valuable. Simone De Beauvoir worked for the Nazis as late as 1944: she was an imbecile too!”

(By 1944, it was clear that the Nazis would lose and that they were all criminally insane maniacs. Their collaborators had become fair game for the resistance in France. A collabo like De Beauvoir could expect the well-justified death she deserved at any moment (as Sartre hypocritically, but correctly insisted Brasillach deserved later). Let me say slowly: had I been behind De Beauvoir with a loaded gun in 1944, I would have shot her, as I would have any talking head on Radio Vichy. That was the correct thing to do.

Would we have been deprived of a great feminist? Probably not. What I meant by this is that De Beauvoir sucked up her feminism right and left. After all, the last of the Valois of France, Queen marguerite de Valois, known also as “Margot” wrote a much inflammatory book on the subject, more than four centuries before.

Predictably, Philosophy Matters gulped down the poisoned bait, and retorted with what passes as smart over the Internet: “Tyranosopher, You will have to prove and not merely assert such claims.”

On the Internet, if you assert that 1 + 1  = 2, smart asses without any education whatsoever, come around and ask you to not merely assert, but prove such a claim. This is what happens when instruction and education have been replaced by coding. Anybody with a modicum of education in philosophical matters should know that the child molesting De Beauvoir worked as a propagandist for Radio Vichy, and that Sartre, inter alia, stole the job of a “Jewish” professor.

On the Internet, if one is an idiot similar to all other idiots, one has to prove nothing: it’s all about galloping in the same manner to the same music, the orgasm of the stampeding herd down well-known avenues of what passes for thinking. I replied in a deliberately provocative fashion, a cat playing with a mouse: Advanced wisdom doesn’t “have to prove” anything basic to the grossly ignorant. Knowing fascism thoroughly should be essential for those who pretend to love wisdom. BTW, Sartre was such a notorious lover of fascism, he embraced at least three sorts thereof (contrarily to Camus!)

But that mouse, I guessed, was up to no good Philosophy Matters inner Trump got revealed when it replied with fake opinion and real insult:

Philosophy Matters:

You are delusional.  If you cannot support your outlandish claims with anything resembling fact then please stop making them.” (Latter on Philosophy Matters would assert it knew what I talked about all along; by then it was all upset and making plenty of spelling mistakes.)

Patrice: Calling me delusional is an insult. 😉 I express a judgement about historical figures, I get insulted. Typical Internet, ad hominem violence. Sartre and de Beauvoir didn’t just collaborate, they WERE Nazis. It is a matter of historical record, not opinion. Philosophy Matters didn’t bother to check. Instead, it calls me outlandish. This is a compounding error. In English: https://www.spectator.co.uk/2008/04/blood-on-their-hands/ …

Notice here that I introduced a new notion. Some non Germans, even some Frenchmen, were not just “collaborators”. Collaborators means co-working. Instead, some went beyond forced collaboration, and, instead, espoused Nazism itself. This is what Sartre and De Beauvoir did. And I am saying this is intrinsic to the “Existentialist” attitude: their existence is more important than our morality. The morality of us, humanity, our nature provided ethology extends to us (Sartre made that point again and again, by claiming that he, Sartre, was free whatever he wanted, and it didn’t matter what Spinoza thought about it.

When the Nazis occupied countries, people in authority were forced to collaborate with them. The occupied part of France, in particular, consisted of half of the metropolitan French territory. France was occupied in 1940 by two million German soldiers. Some government officials tried to resist orders, right away. An example is Jean Moulin, who was a prefect, and refused to obey strictly orders by the Nazi occupiers. He was immediately arrested and tortured so extensively, that he tried to commit suicide by cutting his own throat (that’s why later Jean Moulin always wore a scarf and had a scratchy voice). Then Jean Moulin switched to apparent obedience, while starting contacts with all the resistance networks. Arrested as head of the resistance, Moulin was tortured to death, over several days, by the future CIA employee, Klaus barbie (who tortured to death personally another 5,000 people, Barbie himself declared: he finished his life, decades later, in a French prison).

Replying to “Philosophy Matters’ claim that Patrice was “outlandish”:

“Books (en français) were written about De Beauvoir and Sartre’s Nazism. You apparently do not even know that they exist. BTW, I am from a hard-core resistance family, on all sides, which was personally hunted by the Gestapo. Family members were injured & killed fighting fascism!”

In one of these supposedly smart pirouette the Internet is famous for, Philosophy Matters, opting for a majestic plural, admitted that what it just described as my “outlandish claims” was actually well-known:

“We are very familiar with that book, and several others, and the kinds of claims you are making are simply not supported by it.  They [Sartre and De Beauvoir] may not have been heroes of the resistance, but they were by no means nazis or collaborators.   Try reading it instead if reviews of it.”

(Notice the spelling mistakes: apparently Philosophy matters less than agitation and lack of correct logic: “if” is not “of”. It turns out I am much more familiar with the subject than “Philosophy Matters”)

Patrice: “De Beauvoir was talking head for Radio Vichy. Her own program was sandwiched between horrendous 100% criminally insane, racially maniacal propaganda programs. She was socializing with those insane criminals off the mike. Philosophically Matters claims that being a propagandist on the radio between mass murderous ultra-racist programs is not collaboration? Sartre got approbation from Goebbels. According to Philosophy Matters, getting Goebbels’ personal approval isn’t collaboration? Sartre waxed, lyrical, about the corrections of Nazi officers, throughout the war. Writing praises of the Nazis, according to Sartre’s admirers, is not Nazism? I read thousands of pages on this, much directly from Sartre. His tunnel vision was fascinating. Is that a philosopher?” http://www.lescrutateur.com/article-le-vrai-visage-de-jean-paul-sartre-par-edouard-boulogne-76118361.html …

“Philosophy Matters” didn’t quit while it was already losing badly, and started to reveal its true colors, its true fascist colors, as I had guessed all along:

“This is sort of our aos, so yes, we are familiar with them.  We are also quite familiar with the ongoing mythology proferred by the likes of lepen and melenchon that france didnt collaborate.  Which is nonsense[Original spelling, full of mistakes, which shows PM was losing its cool, as its bearings were threatened.]

Here “Philosophy Matters” reveals the fundamental anti-French, Francophobic, so pro-Roosevelt, pro-plutocratic, pro-US imperialism position that “France” was a major collaborator. This is a level of hatred and lying unequaled even by the worst allegations made against Trump, by a very long shot. However, ask the average pseudo-cultivated person in the average US street, and that person will utter the same lie from US Big Brother: France did collaborate with Hitler. And by “collaborate” they don’t mean obeying two million guns pointed at French necks. No, they mean killing Jews and the like.

That “France collaborated” was a semantically outrageous lie promoted by right-wing, more or less corrupt French president Chirac, and his corrupt family, who presided over the latest decay of France, and was great friend of the ideology of harasser and plutophile B. Clinton (although he resisted invader W. Bush). it was in complete contradiction with historical evidence and the position of preceding French governments in the 50 years prior.

However, France WWII bashing is fundamental to the present worldwide plutocracy. Because worldwide plutocracy was behind Nazism, and never forgave France to have spoiled the party, and nearly pulled of the stunt of turning fascism itself against the plutocracy which had engineered it.

I tried to educate “Philosophy Matters” with the most basic notion of that subject: France declared war to Hitler, September 3, 1939: that’s not collaboration. The USA, headed by plutocrat president Roosevelt DID collaborate with Hitler, and throughout the war (Hitler declared war TO the USA, December 11, 1941). Start by reading Black’s “IBM and the Holocaust”.

The point here is this: it’s the truth. It’s not fake history, nor fake thinking. France plotted, conspired and finally attacked Hitler. The USA did the exact opposite. In complete contrast, the collaboration of the USA with Nazism was more than deliberate, more than enabling. It was causative. Causative of Nazism. Roosevelt knew of this collaboration of the USA with Nazism so well that when his own ambassador, the historian Dodd, told him, in 1937, that the USA should stop Nazism, whatever it took, Roosevelt replaced Dodd by a pro-Nazi ambassador. FDR did the same in London.

(One can read the book “The Garden of the Beasts” as a reference. Dodd was great friend with the French ambassador, Francois-Poncet, they would meet in Berlin Tier Garten (beast garden, the Berlin zoo), to avoid being recorded; hence the name of the book.)

Roosevelt didn’t just betray France, Europe, civilization, and, ultimately, the Germans themselves, or the US middle class. FDR was instrumental in the Holocaust. Even covering it up, when various governments in exile, including the French government, informed him of it. FDR hated the French even more, as a result: FDR was furious the French were going around, claiming millions were assassinated by the Nazis, when FDR’s grand plan was NOT to go to war with Germany in 1942 (the Japs and Nazis decided otherwise, because they were already losing the war, so had nothing more to lose… Except for a sense of vengeance!)

So who was collaborating? France, attacking Hitler, and thus US plutocracy, firmly entrenched in Spain, Italy and Germany? Or the dual use US government, entangled with the global plutocracy it had set-up, and which originated in Washington and Wall Street?

The assumptions made by Philosophy Matters about yours truly, are funny: try reading? I have read thousands of pages of Sartre, books and interviews, in French, over the last few decades. Sartre and De Beauvoir’s Nazism (implicitly recognized) are actually fascinating & help us understand better their “existentialism”….

***

Nothing to see, they were all Nazis, say those who side with the elite:

Mussolini, Hitler (and to some extent Stalin) were US plutocrats’ pawns. That’s why Mussolini was hung from a US gas station in Milan. The Italian resistance knew about the connection between Mussolini and Standard Oil. Today’s US citizens have no idea, whatsoever, of the role the USA played in the rise of fascism. It was fundamental.

The pattern displayed above is familiar, it’s always the same trick: first claim that some of the most important collaborators of Nazism were not Nazis in any sense. Secondly, insist that their pro-Nazi behavior was not pro-Nazi, but just something that happened to exist (get it? Like existence-tialism). A major instance of that is so-called “American Isolationism”. It was actually a pro-Nazi policy, which was both necessary and sufficient to make Nazism and its monstrous policies possible.

Thirdly, one turns around and claim everybody collaborated with the Nazis. Proof? France, which declared war to Nazism, and thus initiated its destruction sequence, was actually a collaborator.

And this is the ultimate trick: this way, nobody is responsible of Nazism. Thus no ideology, no way of practicing business, no plutocratic system, no ideology is the cause of Nazism: nothing to see, just circulate.

***

Shithole Ideologies:

Shithole ideologies are all over. Ask a Euro-US philosopher about ethics, and there is a high probability that it will start evoking Kant. Kant was a moralist of slavery (he was for it), and Nazism (at least so the Nazis thought, and evoked Kant each time they were perplexed, or on trial: Kant had said morality consisted in obeying the powers that be; Kant guided them in their obedience to the “Guide“).

Why is it that there are so many shithole ideologies, and nobody condemns them? Because corrupt elites are sustained by them. 52 African countries screamed against Trump for (allegedly, Trump denies it) evoking the concept of “shithole countries”. This is not a concept I agree with, prima facie, but, certainly, “shithole ideologies”, just good for excretion, exist. Africa has a long and rich history, mastering many elements of civilization already 7,000 years ago. Why Africa didn’t take off is because of erroneous, or, more exactly, shithole ideologies.

A case in point is Egypt: several of the mightiest pharaohs, over several millennia, were women. Egypt partook in the invention of the alphabet, originated basic mathematics and geometry, even the steam engine (in its simplest form). Now, though, Egypt is crushed by Islamist ideology, a primitivism on steroids, and Egypt, because of this, is not at the forefront of civilization (it was, until the rabid Christians and their Muslim parrots cultivated the habit of burning libraries, intellectuals, and any critical thinking…)

“Neo-Liberalism” is a case in point, as a shithole ideology, so is today’s “Economics”. Putinism gets criticized, but that’s easy, being Russian (thus alien, special, antique, something about brutal souls deep in the forest).

Existentialism is not just a shithole ideology, it is the master shithole ideology. It was intimately connected to a whole succession of disastrous “isms”. And Political Correctness, which is the institutionalization of dissemblance, lying and hypocrisy.  

Existentialism boils down to “me, driven by the lowest instincts, no questions asked, I am free, absolutely”. When Sartre chewed the fat with top German Nazis & fascists, he advanced his career, not minding for a second how many innocent victims the Nazi machine killed per second.

The essence of Sartre’s “existence precedes essence” means that the selfish subject “existence” is a more important motor of behavior than morality and the like, what Sartre called “essence”.

To Sartre, “existence precedes essence” means that a personality is not built over a previously designed model or a precise purpose, because it is the human being who chooses to engage in such enterprise. While not denying the constraining conditions of human existence, he answers to Spinoza who affirmed the obvious fact that man is determined by what surrounds him. Therefore, to Sartre an oppressive situation is not intolerable in itself, but once regarded as such by those who feel oppressed the situation becomes intolerable (this explains why Sartre made his accommodation with the Nazis). So by projecting my intentions onto my present condition, “It is I who freely transform it into action… the world is a mirror of my freedom”, meaning he was free to leverage himself from Nazism, and, later, Stalinism and Maoism, so he did! The world obliged us to react, to overtake ourselves, he admits. It is this overtaking of a present constraining situation by a project to come that Sartre names transcendence. He added that “we are condemned to be free“.

Same with De Beauvoir and Radio Vichy (she was a successful novelist, and, considering she was pretty good-looking, she could have supported herself as a prostitute, even a prostitute for Nazi officers… which would have been infinitely better than being a Nazi propagandist… as she insisted she had to do).

***

Should we avoid De Beauvoir and Sartre?

No! Be it only because they are excellent, smart lab rats, and, considering how malevolent they turned out to be, in some ways, we can have no qualms about trashing them around, as deserved. Most people are much more stupid and uninteresting than De Beauvoir and Sartre, so I recommend their company (Montaigne and many others are to be preferred, though).

I also esteem Simone and the big feminist horse she hypocritically straddled, much more than I do Jean-Paul (readers nearly escaped the famous photograph of Simone naked, from fear of US censorship, led by smart idiots such as Mr. Z).

Simone had the courage to ask some courageous questions, even though she answered them in a conservative manner: “Faut-il bruler Sade?” (Must one burn Sade?) She got carried over, in the Second Sex (good title!) when she said one weren’t born a woman, one became one. Carried over, because there are real differences between men and women. Jokes aside, and even if male and female brains are just the same genetico-physiologically (something that may well be true), they aren’t the same in every day physiology. As they bath in different neurohormones. Nothing very mysterious here: one of my long snow mountain runs went wrong recently, and I really had to fight, survival in balance. I can guarantee you that my brain, then, was in another universe. It was flooded my different neurohormones. In cases like that I get the impression to be on the deck of a starship, cooling giving orders to the crew.

De Beauvoir and Sartre never got there, in full contact with the universe, because all they knew was the garçon de café and sex-love-seduction-statutory rape games frenzy they pathologically thrived in, destroying all hearts in their wakes. How more artificial can one be? (Foucault himself said his philosophical drive was all about seducing “pretty boys”, roughly the only thing he has in common with Socrates… I am skeptical of philosophers driven monopolistically by sex mania…)

Well, one can have trained by living in Bad Faith during all of World War Two, and afterwards too, as Sartre and De Beauvoir did. People tend to speak a lot, of what they know all too well. Shithole existentialism was the metaphysics of shithole plutocracy, and attacks against “bad faith” were a vaccination against noticing this.

Concepts such as “conservatives” and “progressives” aren’t appropriate anymore. One can be very progressive in some ways, precisely because one is extremely conservative. Ecology is an example: the drive is to conserve, the tool is to legislatively progress. The difference is information and reflection, thinking power… While being honest in, and with, one’s true logic. Maximally informed and subtle good faith, not ready-made jerkiness.

Other concepts still apply. De Beauvoir and Sartre were treasonous, self-obsessed, partook into the commission of crimes against humanity at the highest level, and then covered the whole thing up with absurd mumbo-jumbo (“Absolute Freedom! People always essentially free! En-soi! Pour-soi!”). Pour-soi ou pourceau? That is the true question! Even an official, major card-carrying Nazi such as Heidegger, who took command of his university, in Nazi uniform, and expelled the “Jews” (although his thesis adviser had been a “Jew”) was disgusted. Sartre was going around, saying he was absoltely free, while, in truth he was prisoner of his glands, and, as he admitted to Camus, the obsession of proving to himself he was worthy, when what he viewed as his disjointed toad face (what else?) showed him, in the mirror, the exact opposite. And the lower he went, the worse he felt, so the more he had to compensate. Instead of going from Charybdis to Scylla, he went from Hitler, to Stalin, to Che, to Mao…

Sartre and De Beauvoir went around, insisting, implicitly, like Nixon, that they were not crooks.

Intellectuals such as De Beauvoir and Sartre played a major role in the Twentieth Century: they influenced other intellectuals and writers, who in turn influenced professors, who taught students at major universities, who became opinion makers, etc.  what came out was an inability to think disguised as “Political Correctness”, so acute that now a whole class of young people can’t even see the interest of debate, let alone have the capacity to carry it. A characteristic is to emphasize the crimes of some, while ignoring the much larger crimes of others, who brought the first as a reaction to the latter (for example the silly crimes of the British in India are blown out of proportion, whereas those which brought the partition of India, and Islamism in Pakistan, are overlooked…).

To be fully human, one has sometimes to do not what one wants, but what one has to do. Homo is the metaphysical animal. Existence is all what matters, driving what we do, but it’s not just existence as we used to know it, in the absent remembrance of times passed away. Existence is nothing if not kneaded with the hopes of better futures to come, smartly informed by the past.

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

One can’t tell all & sundry, life is absurd (“Existentialism”), or unlovable (“Christianism, Islamism, Buddhism”), 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.

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’