Posts Tagged ‘Confucius’

What If The USA Had Used No Nuclear Weapons In 1945?

December 12, 2017

Old wisdom: Hiroshima was a terrible thing. New wisdom: Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the shots needed to cure Japan swiftly, and with the least pain, releasing the world from the pain Japanese fascist military madness had wrought. Millions were saved. The atomic bombings were expiatory sacrifices to the gods of war, that civilization had to make. 

Master Kong (“Confucius”) believed that, if one acted with benevolence, everything would be best. Benevolence means “good will”. There is the little problem of determining what “good” is. That was the province of virtuous men. And so on. So-called  “Virtue Ethics” was invented in Greece at the same time, and is viewed to this day as a great invention by some Western philosophers, who paid to exhibit moral pretense, of the type fully compatible with unhinged plutocracy (that’s why they are paid). The founders of virtue ethics in the West are Plato and Aristotle, those adulated great destroyers of democracy (this is why Aristo-Platonism survived, as their evil teaching served the fascist regimes of the next 2,000 years).

It is of course going around in circle, defining “good” as what “virtuous” men do, and “virtue” as what does ”good”. In truth, most men and women believe they are doing good. Even Hitler, Stalin, and their ilk, thought they were doing good. Rare are those doing bad, with in mind terrible ends (that was Hitler, when he had been punished long enough to become half-mad).

Badness, evil, don’t have to be global, and apparently gratuitous, they can be local, and unfortunately necessary. When Churchill ordered the destruction of the French fleet at Mers El Kebir, he knew he was doing real bad, but in a context which made the treacherous atrocity part of a global picture which was better that way. The global picture was that Churchill wanted to show the world that even allies, friends and colleagues (in this case French naval personnel) would be destroyed, if in the way of victory in the slightest. The same subjacent moral calculus also stood below Hiroshima and Nagasaki (as behind the annihilation of Dresden and its ilk): anything standing in the way of righteousness will be annihilated. This is why we had no great power war for 62 years, for the first time in 3,000 years.  

Evil can happen by happenstance. Churchill didn’t know is that his suggestion that the French fleet could remove itself to the West Indies had not been transmitted to the French admirals. Oops.

Should Great Britain excuse itself for Mers El Kebir? Not really, but excuses should have been presented for not transmitting the proposition of letting the French fleet escape to the Antilles (where the fleet would have been nominally under Vichy control, thus respecting the ceasefire with the Nazis; such excuses probably were presented between officers, as the French and British sailors have long been in very close contact, before and after Mers El Kebir)

Apology is a path to understanding. Understanding, in full, and only in full, is more important than apologizing. Roughly all history textbooks, anywhere have to be re-written, so that they can give birth t understanding in full, to the best of our present knowledge.

Evil is in the details. If one wants to be moral, one has to plunge in the details. Hiroshima is an examination of one’s moral compass. The question is not whether one can claim to be a Hiroshima lover or not, but whether one has enough moral power to plunge in the details.

The way the Hiroshima bombing is mis-analyzed reflects the way the civilization’s bombing campaign against ISIS, or, for that matter, Nazism, have been misinterpreted.

The allegation by one commenter on this site has been made that the two nuclear bombs used over Japan were “the beginning of the end (or the end of the beginning?) of Western (US) moral supremacy.” Actually, West European mainstream morality, and even mentality rules the United Nations, and, to a great extent China. So it smacks more of an apotheosis than an end. Why? As Gandhi said about Western civilization: it would be an excellent idea

Considering my preceding essay on the way to peace through truth, Purasuchikku accuses me of “Schoolboy textbook interpretation of what marked the beginning of the end (or the end of the beginning?) of Western (US) moral supremacy. Color me disappointed.

Really, the US was well aware (Japanese diplomatic cables were systematically decrypted) that by June 1945, following the fall of Okinawa, the Japanese intended to seek peace, sending ambassadors to Stalin (Captain Hindsight would laugh at that one) and other neutral countries to broker negotiations. This diplomatic effort was too little, too late: half of the Supreme Council members were still hardcore f****wits bent on the “victory or death” strategy and hindered the pro-peace endeavors of Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo and the Emperor (yes).”

However, another commenter, Gmax, pointed out to Purasuchikku that “20,000 people were dying each day the war was going on. So the bombs killed 10 days worth of war. You forget Japan was busy killing half of China everyday.” (I said so myself in past essays; I will reconstitute a quick reasoning justifying this number below.)

Strategic bombing, or any sort of bombing, or war, is a grim occupation democracies  sometimes find themselves into. Precisely because they are democracies. Precisely because, if one does not violently oppose the Dark Side, the Dark Side will triumph. This is what “pacifists” of the simplest sort, and Confucius failed to grasp. Confucius was wrong about his hope that “benevolence” would solve all. Was the Munich conference of 1938, when Great Britain persuaded France and Czechoslovakia not to fight off Hitler, benevolent? Benevolent, for whom?

When confronted to a bear, or a hostile human group, prehistoric men couldn’t not have turned the other cheek, because otherwise, we won’t be here. Twice I killed extremely lethal snakes attacking me, and I had once a Homeric fight with a bear, who had charged me deliberately to steal my backpack (as was his habit). The fight ended when the beast got hit by a very large stone propelled at a significant speed. Three weeks later, the same bear gravely injured a grandmother, and was shot dead by rangers.  

Human beings have a predatory side, which defines mayhem as benevolence: that’s what Master Kong didn’t know, and Plato and Aristotle affected to ignore, as they were tops of the most exploitative elites (they were like various Stalins’ boyfriends)

All together, Japan probably killed 42 million people between 1937 and 1945 (latest numbers). That’s a rate of six million a year. Moreover, most of these people died of exposure, disease and malnutrition (same thing as the average Japanese soldier). One also has to keep in mind that the rate of death accelerated, as disorganization accelerated. In Europe, around ten million people got killed in the last six months of the war. In any case the rate of death was at least 2 millions in three months (20,000 killed a day).

So what happened with the bombs? All in all, including radiation sickness and malnutrition, less than 250,000 people got killed. More exactly, between 129,000 and 226,000 people died, half of them on the first day. In Hiroshima an important garrison was devastated, and 20,000 Japanese soldiers died (a legitimate military objective under any interpretation of the laws of war). The Nagasaki bomb was more powerful, but the ground was hilly, and quite a few people practiced “duck and cover”, after learning of Hiroshima (hide under and lay flat after the flash).

As I said, hours after Nagasaki, the pro-war party collapsed: emperor HiroHito used to be pro-war, he became thoroughly against it.

One has to know the history of Japan: the Mongols, at the time they owned China, landed in Japan twice. They were contained by the Samurai after landing. The Samurai took effective defensive position behind walls of stones they erected, etc. Ultimately, thanks in part of “divine wind”, kamikaze, the Mongols went down to the bottom of the ocean.

Truman: “A quarter of a million of our young manhood was worth a couple of Japanese cities… I asked General George Marshall how much the invasion of Japan would cost in lives… he told me at least a quarter of a million casualties on our side, and up to a million, and as much for the enemy” [not counting civilian losses, which were a majority at Okinawa]  

The Japanese High Command was hell-bent to revisiting the notion. The US landing in Okinawa had been very costly, including to the propagandized civilian population which often seemed more interested by death than surrender. The US domination in conventional weaponry was not so great that the US could afford a very costly landing. Kamikaze and other furious air attacks off Okinawa had been costly. A fleet carrier such as the Enterprise was very heavily damaged, and would have sunk with such damage earlier in the war. However, the US had become experts at saving their carriers. The Enterprise went to repairs. The US had many escort carriers, but few fleet carriers.

Just on one (of many) underground base west of Tokyo, the malevolent Japanese military had stored 5,000 planes, fully intent to use them during an attempted US landing (with suicide pilots in various states of unpreparedness). The chief of the Japanese army wrote a vibrant poem where he extolled the beauty of 100 million flowers being cut (namely most of the Japanese).

So now suppose there had been no nuclear bomb. The war would have gone on.  The US would not have landed in 1945. Meanwhile, Stalin would have conquered China. Indeed the invasion of Manchuria by the Soviets, a double pincer the Japanese had not anticipated, turned, in a few days, in a rout for the Japanese. Around 100,000 Japanese soldiers died, the Soviets conquered northern China, and half of Korea.

As Wikipedia puts it:

Many Japanese settlers committed mass suicide as the Soviet army approached. Mothers were forced by Japanese military[21][22] to kill their own children before killing or being killed themselves. The Japanese army often took part in the killings of its civilians. The commander of the 5th Japanese Army, General Shimizu, commented that “each nation lives and dies by its own laws.” Wounded Japanese soldiers who were incapable of moving on their own were often left to die as the army retreated.[22]

The sense of civilization Japan had at the time was in need of a serious evolution. Even the fascists at the helm knew this.  When the Japanese Navy conducted a suicide attack on Okinawa, led by super battleship Yamato, the Navy High Command ordered the sailors to try to save themselves, if their ship sank, because there was a Japan to defend and rebuild. Saving oneself when defeated in war was contrary to bushido, the Japanese military honor code.

I write a lot of very nasty things about a lot of US presidents. Because they did very nasty things. However, some didn’t. Similarly in France: I despise, and retroactively condemn with utmost severity a lot of the leaders there. However, some shine. And even some who did terrible things shine. Because they did terrible things because they had to.

Clovis, Charlemagne, William the Conqueror, Philippe le Bel and Clemenceau come to mind in France: they all did terrible things (even deliberate spiritual cleansing of the ethnic type, in the case of Charlemagne), but for very good reasons, and they changed history for the best. Some did fantastic things, such as Queen Bathilde (outlawing slavery; fostering education), without having to be nasty, right. They were lucky.

Truman did the right thing. The terrible, right thing (a student had dissuaded the war minister to atom bomb Kyoto, on the ground of saving architectural beauty…)

There is no truth without context, in pure logic as in history, and this is true for moral truth too.

The context of Hiroshima is that the fascist Japanese military government had been on a war rampage for 14 years.It had to be stopped, and stopped fast.  The Japanese people had been unable to stop it (although they tried in 1937, their violence was not up to snuff). Killing the Japanese military meant killing the Japanese war production, thus killing the cities, because that’s where the production was.  

Meanwhile the Chinese were dying by the millions every year. Stalin had a solution: turning China into North Korea (the Chinese Communists actually protested, in vain, about Soviet methods in China).

Another commenter on this site, Eugen R also pointed out to Purasuchikku that:Japan still occupied most of East Asia including big parts of China. Japan under pretext of defending Asia from the European imperialism implemented its own imperialistic policy, using unprecedented atrocities against the local population. Do not forget also Japan’s alliance with the Nazi Germany a horrible crime by itself. If the US would have had atomic bombs to drop on Berlin at 1942, most of the victims of WWII would have been saved…”

Indeed.

Fortunately, the bombs were dropped in August 1945, preventing Japan to go the way of Nazi Germany, and killing another few dozens of millions of people.

And what of Master Kong’s philosophy of benevolence? Five centuries after the “sage’s” death, the extremely experienced emperor and very learned scholar Wan Mang implemented Confucianism fiercely. Results? First nothing. Then a flood. Abominable civil war broke all over China. Peasant armies rose, plutocrat led armies rose. The emperor ended besieged in his capital, after considering setting up an air force (the head would be flier-engineer  died in a crash, after an all too significant flight). The capital was seized, the emperor was dismembered. The Han dynasty was re-established.

Thereafter, Confucianism stayed an idea, not a method of governance.

All religions are about everything. But some religions are also more about killing people, or setting up the mood to kill people (war being a way to sustain some civilization; yet it can be done to excess: consider Assyria).

Examples are the Aztec religion, the Punic religion, the Celtic religion, Islam (original version) etc. And also what was de facto the Japanese religion in the 1930s, a nationalist cult, mixing Shinto with bushido and their ilk, creating a de facto racist cocktail. The Aztec, Punic and Celtic cultures’ rules were annihilated, greatly because of their lethal, hyper-violent Zeitgeist.

Japan escaped that fate. In no small part because the crazed military fascists at the head of Japan got short-circuited big time on August 10, 1945. Thanks to the sacrifice of up to 226,000 Japanese who got atom bombed. They should be thanked and grimly remembered as sacrifices we, as a civilization, had to make.

The famous religions, some of them stoking hatred and superstition, are ways to tie people together again. They are all obsolete. The planet is creaking. Surely,  it’s time to tie people together again, by studying how we got there. Study history, people, make that into the new religion! You will find it addictive, even better than the old stuff.

Studying history, for real and in full would have wondrous effects in the places dominated by Islam, or in the fight against global plutocracy leading us to extinction.

You don’t want war? Create the contexts for peace. That requires no more lies. Not lying is not sufficient, but it is necessary, to dismantle evil contexts. One can’t use things known to be false as a basis for justice, thus a sustainable society.

Patrice Ayme’

The Chinese Riddle, & How To Keep It Nice

July 18, 2016

China is the other great civilizational center. The primary one being the Indo-European ensemble (which crucially incorporated Egypt, where a lot of what came to be known as Greek mathematics, was discovered).

To understand Europe, the last 500,000 years have proved necessary (Neanderthals started to burn coal, 80,000 years ago, foe example, and explored immensely deep caves, 165,000 years). In the case of China, the evolution of the last 5,000 years are crucial to understand how China became China.

 

China: A World Within The World, But Not Quite The Center Of Everything

China: A World Within The World, But Not Quite The Center Of Everything

China is the other great civilizational center. Much of what China uses as civilizational instruments was developed in situ, from writing, to the number system, to much philosophy. However, that philosophy was unbalanced, too much under the influence of Confucius (whose works have been under care from the same family inside the same city for 60 generations or more).

China developed an examination system which, in theory, enabled the most cognitively qualified to rule. Thus Mandarins and not aristocrats were in command. At least in theory.

This system, admirable in principle, was flawed in practice, as China got terminally invaded at least twice. The Mongol invasion came close to annihilation, when some of Genghis Khan’s generals proposed to exterminate the Chinese and change the ecology! (The generals knew they could turn much of China into a steppe similar to much of Mongolia, by cutting the forests and bringing massive herds of cattle, goats, sheep…)

The primary civilization center is the Indo-European ensemble (which crucially incorporated Egypt, where a lot of what came to be known as Greek mathematics, was discovered).

Now we have basically just one civilization, worldwide, so the misadventures of China are highly  instructive.

To understand Europe, the last 500,000 years have proved necessary (Neanderthals started to burn coal, 80,000 years ago). In the case of China, the last 5,000 years are crucial.

Now, granted all and any explanation can only be incomplete. What is important is to introduce new ideas, and that includes new hierarchy in what is more important, and what is not.

Right now, China seems severely influenced by the Germany of the Second Reich, and its incredible fast scientific, technological, mercantilist, and economic expansion… At the cost of a more general, more pacific mood. That uncanny comparison is quite a bit spooky. An evidence is the madness about the south of the South China Sea.

As in Germany, starting 165 years ago, increasing aggressiveness towards foreign powers seems to be the glue which increasingly keeps the dictatorship together. In the case of Germany, the increasing aggressiveness, which had started by attacking Denmark in 1853, went on with the catastrophic apotheosis, encouraged by the US presidency. of the savage surprise attack on the world of August 1914. Naturally enough, it was followed by the encore of Nazism. Yes, it’s not a reassuring comparison. But the same psychohistorical forces are in play. Psychohistory rules national moods and the actions they lead to (Isaac Asimov wrote a book on this; the real, live, historical case was the second foundation of the Roman Empire, the “Renovation of the Roman Empire made official by Roman emperor Charlemagne…). 

On the reassuring side, China adopted, and accepted to be guided, by a huge chunk of Western philosophy, a Franco-German contraption sensitive to the nastiness of great capital. That was a huge philosophical revolution, but it was made possible only by a great openness of mind (in part learned in Paris by the top leader of Communist China, such as Chou En Lai and Deng Tsiao Ping)

China used to rile against capital. Yet, who has the most capital under command in the world, after the USA? China.

Nevertheless, to accept a distant philosophy, extremely alien to China, China had to open its collective mind and eyes gigantically. And intelligence itself is something one can learn to acquire.

The kindest attitude with China right now may well be to show to it that its aggressiveness in the south of the South China sea can only lead to war, even a world war. And that China cannot win it. Australia has started to do just that by acquiring, with US help, a fleet of the best submarines in the world, made in France. (In World War Two, after the Americans learned to make torpedoes which actually exploded, their submarines were one of the main factors in closing the Pacific to the fascist Japanese military.)

The Han are dominating the Middle Kingdom as never before. One hundred nations are now submitted to them. Their languages are even disappearing. (My own daughter is learning Mandarin, BTW.) That’s all very good for the Han. They are now very much richer than before, not just from their considerable industry and genius, and change of philosophy, adopting instead European philosophy. Those increased riches also come from occupying Tibet and Xinjiang.

The Han should not push their luck with aggressive military and imperialistic distractions. Adopting just a piece of European philosophy and history, while ignoring the rest, plenty of Dark Side in full evidence and how to control it, can only lead to an unbalanced mind. And, from there, dangerous, irreversible courses of action… Of the sort Europe is all too familiar with.    

Patrice Ayme’

 

Israel & the China Man

October 26, 2015

What do Israel and the Chinaman have in common? Fundamental biases dislocating a correct vision of reality which all lemmings ardently share, thus finding themselves very smart.

Once there was an English student in Scotland, enraptured, with his friend Lyell, listening to the discoveries of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck a research professor in Paris’ Museum d’Histoire Naturelle, pertaining to the immense age of the Earth, demonstrated by the evolution of microscopic features in fossilized mollusks (the family of mollusks was defined by Lamarck’s senior competitor, research professor Georges Léopole Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert, Baron Cuvier).

Lyell’s, and other geologists’ field studies, mostly in France and Germany, showed indeed that stratigraphy and fossils confirmed Lamarck’s view. Darwin grew up, and later honorably tried to parrot in the Galapagos the work of Lamarck, with turtles and birds. However, the Galapagos are recent (maybe as little as nine million years), so speciation is weak: the birds are so little different, that there is a debate whether some of them are different species. Darwin did not have the good luck of Lamarck, studying really different, and extremely numerous mollusks.

In any case, the British Empire, in its wisdom, realized that Jesus Christ was becoming less of a bedrock of  the splendor of said empire, so it switched to Darwin, proclaiming him the creator of evolution, and thus multiplying further the aura of the British ways. It worked: the head of state of Canada is still the Queen of England.

Trudeau: My Son Will Learn From Me How To Manipulate The Stupid Out There

Trudeau: My Son Will Learn From Me How To Manipulate The Stupid Out There

In related news, China gave the “Confucius Prize” to the dictator of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe. Mugabe has reigned over the country for 35 years. This makes sense: Confucius was all for oligarchy, not to say plutocracy, as these regimes brought (apparent) peace. Confucianism as the default mode of China has been its main problem for twenty-six hundred years: the same family is in charge of Confucius for 26 centuries. Mao understood this, and that is why he used as an excuse to launch his “Cultural Revolution”.

But back to that other pillar of empire, Darwin. Darwin had decided that man came out of Africa, so that truth having been established, as Charles had replaced Jesus, it has been repeated ever since. The fact that there was no proof, it was even better, as it was an occasion to cultivate the celebrity/superstitious muscle. Celebrity and superstition go well together, as both assume that concept or creatures who cannot be observed, are up there, and to be “believed” in. Cultivating one or the other pertains to the same mood, so they reinforce each other.

It’s harder to find fossils in China. The climate tends to be much wetter than in Africa, and cycles of great heat and deep freezing, in the north, are not friendly to delicate corpses, either. However:

Teeth from China Reveal an Early Human Trek out of Africa

“Stunning” find shows that Homo sapiens reached Asia around 100,000 years ago. [Nature, October 14, 2015.]

These 47 human teeth, dated to 80,000-120,000 years ago, were found in a limestone cave system in Daoxian, China. Those teeth from a cave in south China show that Homo sapiens reached China around 100,000 years ago—a time at which most researchers had assumed that our species had not trekked far beyond Africa.

“This is stunning, it’s major league,” says Michael Petraglia, an archaeologist at the University of Oxford, UK who was not involved in the research. “It’s one of the most important finds coming out of Asia in the last decade.”

The teeth are unquestionably those of H. sapiens, says María Martinón-Torres, a palaeoanthropologist at University College London who co-led the study with colleagues Wu Liu and Xie-jie Wu at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing. Their small size, thin roots and flat crowns are typical for anatomically modern humans—H. sapiens—and the overall shape of the teeth is barely distinguishable from those of both ancient and present-day humans..

The team used calcite deposits, stratigraphy, and Uranium and Thorium datation methods.

“This demonstrates it was not a failed dispersal,” says Petraglia, who has long argued for an early expansion of modern humans through Asia on a southerly route. “This is a rock-solid case for having early humans—definitely Homo sapiens—at an early date in eastern Asia.”

Why were they Homo Sapiens Sapiens in China for 50,000 years, at least, before they appeared in Europe? Simple: stronger, smarter Homo Sapiens Neanderthalis were in the way.

That Homo would thrive in Asia is not surprising: it represents a huge amount of inhabitable warmish land. More such land than in Africa arguably. Neanderthals also occupied North Africa, so the Sapiens Sapiens would have had to sneak through. Maybe they did not sneak through, because Sapiens Sapiens is just the tropical variant of Homo, so was represented on both sides of the tropics equally. As I argued, once Neanderthals wore pants, .they may as well go tropical too, and revert to the more delicate, smaller, thus more prolific version of Sapiens.

In any case, this shows that turning scientists into gods is an insult to science: Einstein had no reason to believe in local reality, except that he had been conditioned (= fabricated) that way. The Einstein-robot just repeated mechanically what he knew by rote about reality. Fine. What’s not fine, was to make that into a religion. Same for some of Darwin’s pronouncements.

Some will say that’s just science, and surely politics don’t make the same mistake. Yet a beautiful example is the case of Israel. Netanyahu dared to go outside of official script, by pointing out that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, a sort of Muslim Pope, took part in the extermination of the Jews. This is factually true.

Yet as all the deepest truths of World War Two, it’s no good to proffer it, if all you want is peace, in your little world, or, more exactly, torpor.

So what of Israel? Exasperated by Jewish rebellions which turned into full blown wars which killed many legionnaires, Rome outlawed Israel, threw the Jews out, and called the place Palestina.

225 years later, the philosopher-emperor, Julian, having studied in Athens and been elected in Paris, decided that the punishment had lasted long enough, and ordered the reconstruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, and the return of the Jews. However Julian got killed, and replaced by Christian fanatics even worse than the ones before.

So here we are.

The “Two-States” solution will never work (long story). The facts, on the ground, is that Israel is not just occupying, colonizing, but invading the “West Bank” (60% of it).Denying this, and that the forces at work are so colossal, they can’t be stopped, is being a partisan of the present situation, the slow eating of Palestine by the Israeli boa.

What’s the only solution which can work? The One-State solution: one state, secular, rights of all critters, respected. That is the Israeli government has to respect the human rights of minorities.

Meanwhile Ivory Coast voted for president, for the economist turned president who had been barred, after being PM, from the Ivorian citizenship (for having not all his ancestors Ivorian). Ouattara got to power, thanks to some judiciously placed French rockets which landed his all too dictatorial predecessor in jail.

Some grumbled it all reminds them of “France-Afrique”, the connection between business interests, and the military help France provides with. Yes, sure, but as with Darwin or Israel, one has to look at reality: “France-Afrique” is bad, but the alternatives,  USA Africa or Africa, Idi Amin Dada, or Mugabe style, are worse roads to plutocracy.

France cannot keep on making war on the behalf of all Europe, plus civilization, without finding a way to pay for it. And the same holds even for the much richer USA.

Canada elected heir, and hair apparent, Trudeau son of Trudeau (see above) has promised many things, including the Keystone Pipeline, something that not even Obama supports (Keystone is an attempt to make Canada even more filthy rich from filthy oil tar, while melting the permafrost up north). Weirdly, everybody is applauding, although, not satisfied with smothering the biosphere, Justin Trudeau has made many pro-Islamist utterances (the way he sees it, it just brings him votes).

Training to recognize reality can be done best in science, but what is learned has to be brought to politics. If you want progress, for real, stick to truth, for real.

Patrice Ayme’


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