Posts Tagged ‘Cynicism’

Beyond Cynicism, Reason

October 27, 2015

We have a lot to learn from the history of ideas and moods in Greco-Roman antiquity, and how it was entangled with the history of battles, empires, and the near destruction of civilization. We are clearly in a similar scheme. Except now it’s the biosphere itself, not just civilization, which is in peril. So let’s have no pity for our so-called “leaders”, and those who admire them.

In that light, Diogenes and the mental topology around him ought to be contemplated. The founding cynic Diogenes of Sinope, was of the opinion that people ought to behave more like dogs (or, even, mice). To this, I would add baboons. Understand what moves a baboon, shine a light on the human soul.

In particular, Diogenes’ followers would have sex in public. This was viewed as a much ridiculed oddity at the time. But Diogenes persisted loud and clear, even in the marketplace, responding: “he wished it were as easy to relieve hunger by rubbing an empty stomach” (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Book 6, Chapter 46).

Diogenes believed that each individual would either be guided by reason, or, like a domesticated animal, she would be led by a leash. Diogenes, did not despise knowledge per se, but spited pretensions to knowledge which serve only domestication. He had the intuition that the logic of behavior (human and animal) was the master wisdom. And more can be said. Why don’t human beings poop in public? (Aside from “Sun King” Louis XIV, but he was certainly not human.)

A dog has got to do what a dog has got to do. However, the point of human, is that human does not have to do what a dog has got to do. A human ought not to do what a human ought to do: this is the difference with dogs. We are free, free to go against the grain, and that’s all the freedom we have, as free human beings.

Diogenes was labeled mad for acting against convention to the extent he did (allegedly by Plato). To this, Diogenes retorted that conventions often lacked reason: “Most people, are so nearly mad that a finger makes all the difference. For if you go along with your middle finger stretched out, someone will think you mad, but, if it’s the little finger, he will not think so” (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Book 6, Chapter 35).

For Diogenes, reason clearly plays the central role. There is a report that Diogenes “would continually say that for the conduct of life we need the right reason or a halter”.  (Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Book 6, Chapter 24). A halter is something one puts around the head of a dog or horse to lead them around. So either the truth will make you free, or you are just cattle. Cattle ready to trample over civilization.

Diogenes’ influence was deep. He started a line of argument which denied motion (it evolved into Zeno’s paradoxes which have caught a second wind with Quantum Physics; Zeno founded the philosophical school known as Stoicism; probably being a stoic was best when subjugated by the “Hellenistic Kingdoms”, the dictatorship Antipater imposed by naval battle).

Diogenes was a harsh critic of Plato, disparaging Plato’s metaphysics and breaking away from theoretical ethics which only justified oligarchy.

“Plato had defined the human being as an animal, biped and featherless, and was applauded. Diogenes plucked a fowl and brought it into the lecture-room with the words, ‘Here is Plato’s human being.’ In consequence of which there was added to the definition, ‘having broad nails’” (LOEP, chap 40).

Diogenes insisted that true human beings lived in accordance with nature. He lit a candle in broad daylight, and proclaimed he was searching for a human being, as so few lived in accordance with nature. Life in accordance with nature made human beings fully rational.

This was indeed true. Plato the chicken let to Aristotle, who was worse: that famed philosopher played a direct role in the destruction of civilization, and why there are still “royals” in England, leading, at least symbolically, the worldwide plutocratic charade.

That Diogenes had an anti-plutocratic bend is clear. He was captured at some  point by pirates (long story), and ended his life in Corinth. Alexander so-called the Great, was thrilled to meet the famous philosopher. The thinker was basking in the sun. ‘Could I do anything for you’, asked Alexander. Diogenes replied to the exterminator of cities and states alike: “You could stand out of my sun”.

Not easily defeated, Alexander tried the rejoinder: “Were I not Alexander, I wish I could be Diogenes”. In answer, Diogenes stared at a pile of bones: “I am looking for the bones of your father but cannot distinguish them from those of a slave.”

You have to understand that this was the turning point of civilization in Greco-Roman antiquity: Greek philosophy, at its sharpest, was meeting the fascists, wealthy savage gangsters from the north, the Macedonians, rich from horses and gold mines. Macedonia was the world’s foremost sophisticated military.

Yet, the Greeks, led by Athens and Corinth, had the brains. Alexander, taught by Aristotle, was not too sure where he was standing. In the east was monstrous Persia, a hyperpower made of an archipelago of plutocracies (satrapies).

Alexander was hesitant about which course to follow, clearly. Alexander respected demographically vanishing Sparta, and fully resurgent Athens. Yet he annihilated Thebes (a move that would have helped Athens, actually, had a mild Alexander stuck around). Alexander went on to destroy Persia. He gave up on his attempt to reach the Pacific, after he discovered that India’s kingdoms could defend themselves.

Alexander then died, all too soon (a conquest of Arabia was being prepared). Alexander was perhaps assassinated by Antipater, Aristotle’s estate executor. Antipater, senior even to Alexander, certainly replaced Alexander and encouraged by Aristotle, destroyed Athenian democracy, replacing it by a plutocracy (only the rich could vote).

Antipater and the world Aristotle created, that of monarchies, thereafter ruled for around two millennia (although the Franks allowed small republics here and there, starting with Venice, then Firenze, Genoa, Switzerland, Escartons, Netherlands, etc., the first big break was the French Republic, a full acknowledgment that the Roman Republic was right all along).

Monarchies make no sense: if anything, being just the brain of one, they are dumb and weak against democracies (as the Swiss Canton demonstrated when they rebelled against the (Germanized)Roman empire ). So, for peoples to accept to be subjugated by individuals and their families, one has to make them stupid.

According to Diogenes, nature makes intelligent.

Thus, to reign monarchs (the Roman emperors in this case) had to fight nature and its gods. Switching to the fascist, cruel, demented and jealous Christian god was not enough. One had also to destroy the interface with nature, the body. Making it gross and smelly, reeked with lice and infections, was a good start.

In the fullness of time, the Catholics decided that anything having to do with the body was dirty. Some woman became a saint just because she never washed, and waited for her clothes to rot of as she piled more clothes on top. Her face was black with grime: she was lauded for that.

The Catholics were after the entire mood of the Greco-Roman civilization, and kept at it for more than eleven centuries: when they took the last Muslim kingdom in Grenada, their very fascist, cruel and demented majesties, Isabella of Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon, inventors of the Inquisition in Spain, closed all the 2,000 or so baths therein (disclaimer: an ancestor was ennobled by the Aragon king, 12 centuries ago).

So Diogenes was right: if one wants unreason, behaving unnaturally is a good start.

But now let’s go further than Diogenes: what is the interest of a sharp dichotomy between the public and private spheres? It enforces a morality, a sort of hygiene: just as it is good to wash one hands. Recent studies show that just washing hands would cut down child mortality by 40%, in the most destitute countries  (diarrhea kills more children than all other diseases combined). Symbolically, preserving a private sphere is a king of conceptual washing: it keeps some bodily functions and activities out of the public morality, thus segregates and hence weakens their influence, allowing for a more elevated society, let alone diarrhea free..

Any question?

Patrice Ayme’

 

 

Baboon Philosophy Needed

December 17, 2014

Many people hold a cynical attitude about Cynicism. They hold that it’s nothing other than an unwarranted, exaggerated, mostly negative attitude, non-constructive way to live, feel and think.

And, as Scientia Salon puts it “if they think they’re talking about Cynicism the philosophy, with a capital C, they’re dead wrong“.

I propose to go much further than simply rehashing cynicism.

Baboons Are A better Model Than Dogs To Understand Humans

Baboons Are A better Model Than Dogs To Understand Humans

Cynics, kynikos, means “dog-like”. The main idea was for humans to live according to nature… And thus reject the “nomos” (the way things are managed), when it does not fit nature. In extreme form, it meant living like dogs (that Diogenes embraced, and so did the enemies of cynicism).

The question arises: what is it, to live according to nature? Rousseau thought it was to live like angels. Sade replied that Rousseau had no idea what he was talking about. Voltaire (a friend of Sade) told Rousseau that “jamais autant d’intelligence” had been deployed to make us all stupid, and he felt like “marcher a quatre pattes” after reading his book.

French sailors, fresh from believing Rousseau, discovered Tasmania. The French has dressed au naturel, as they expected that the Natives, being the most primitives on Earth, would be happy and welcoming. Instead, the Tasmanian tried to kill the French in a massive premeditated ambush, and the sailors came back to France, announcing Rousseau had been found incorrect.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/tasmanian-effect/

So is the nature of man that of a dog, or wolf? Is the famous Roman “Homo Homini Lupus”, true?

Well Ancient Greeks knew dogs, but not baboons. Baboons technical name is “cynocephali” (dog-heads). In more ways than simple appearances, they are half-way between dog and men. As I grew up in Africa, I observed baboons in the wild, or captivity. I was struck by their humaneness.

Recently the great apes were re-labelled as “Hominidae”, to remind us of their humaneness. However, in one important way, baboons are closer to man than to any other species. Both man and baboons have evolved to make a living in the savannah, instead of among the trees. This brought to bear on the species the same evolutionary pressures, hence the same solutions. Particularly in the realms of defense, attack, group-think (and specifically what I call intellectual fascism).

To do so, to live in the savannah, where they go drink everyday, in a killing gallery, baboons had to evolve not just an omnivorous way of life, but super-predatory ways, all the way to the fascist, military instinct some insist could NOT possibly be human. As they move about, baboons form well organized armies, and the fierce military spirit to go with them. The larger, the noisier, the more horrific the army, led by seemingly crazed leaders, mad with uncontrollable hatred and rage, the better, to put all predators to flight.

Back in Africa, it seemed to me that no philosophy that did not understand baboons could pretend to understand man. Thus a philosophy of origins had to encompass baboons. Conversely, baboons are easier to understand than people: people hide behind complicated cultures and their various make-belief “creators”, whereas baboons do not have this sort of arrogance.

The zoologist Buffon pontificated that baboons were “too obscene to describe”. Baboons were an experimental model contradicting Rousseau. A progress from the Greeks, I would respectfully suggest, would be to graduate from dog to baboon, as a philosophical paradigm, a simpler model of Homo Sapiens.

Once one has understood that people are super-baboons, one has made a gigantic step forward in the true nature of humanity, and its “nomos”. As we bring the greatest crisis in 65 million years, it’s high time.

Patrice Ayme’

God Is Weak

October 24, 2011

“GOD WILLING” AS THE SCOURGE THAT KEEPS ON TAKING.

Abstract: In India, religion allowed the reign of racist terror and racial segregation for three millennia. The Celtic religion had also a metaphysical lock on privilege, and human sacrifices helped enforce that. Christianity prevented democracy in the parts of Rome it ruled, for more than 11 centuries. 

As in India, the genetic make-up of the elite which professed Christian values came to diverge from that of the general population.

Similarly, Islam has prevented democracy for up to 13 centuries in the areas it ruled. Some Muslim dynasties have reigned for centuries. The Gaddafi dynasty has been brutally cut short, but Assad’s or Mohammed VI of Morocco (with his Shariah state!) are surviving. 

Clearly, elites can profit from the appropriate metaphysics. And that is why metaphysics can promote the worst exactions, just those the elites need to rule. However the pernicious metaphysical influence can be more subtle.

Nietzsche, the son of a pastor, evoking Christianity, spoke of a “slave religion“. Hitler declared Islam to be superior to Christianism, because it was more war like. So the Guide Adolf advertized “Gott mit Uns” as a slogan for his military and SS (never mind that the translation of “God With US”, is contracted in the Hebrew name “Emanuel“).

However, there are even worse perspectives. Not just what is subhuman, but even, inasmuch as it may stretch the imagination, subcanid. As we will show below.

As the Arab-Muslim revolutions roll in, the organized Islamist parties, long in opposition, stand ready to profit at the ballot box. There are more than a thousand parties trying to get elected in Tunisia. But only one Islamist party, Ennahda (“Renaissance”). Its chief went to vote, passing in front of the line, accompanied by bodyguards. He was booed.

Ennahda got 90 seats out of 217 in the Constitutional Assembly. Then fighting broke out in the city where the Tunisian revolution started. Why? Because many in the Arabo-Muslim area know that Islam is more a problem than a solution. But many are also imprinted on what subjugates them. 

Plutocracy has reigned through theocracy in much of Western Eurasia, for millennia. Europe improved considerably when God was put in a cage by the Franks, or, even better, when he was outright killed in the modern era. The death of superstition in Europe has a lot to do with European superiority.

Many have wondered why Europe became so dominant in the last millennium. The main reason is very simple: the cult of reason replaced the cult of superstition.

Deprived of its main justification, mighty God itself, the reason without any reason, plutocracy, its grip weakened, jumped incoherently from one strife to another.

Superstition was still around, but it was paid lip service. This became obvious when Abelard, in the early 1100s published “Sic & Non” (“Yes and No”, where the principal Christian divagations were looked at in equal and opposite ways). The fascist top crusader fanatic, Saint Bernard, tried his best to destroy Abelard. 900 years later, we can safely say that he failed, and “Saint” Bernard would now be put in jail (for hate mongering). 

In the modern era, “God Willing!”, known in the European Middle Ages as “Deo Volente!”, the celebration of submission in heart and mind, was further displaced by “People Willing!”  

“People Willing” is the very notion of democracy. Those who say that Islam ought to rule where it is influential are saying that they want superstition to forbid democracy.

Those who want to be ruled by a big guy in the sky don’t want democracy, they want submission (which happens to be exactly what “Islam” means: the braying of the ass could not be clearer).

How does theocracy undermines minds? Through superstition. Denying People are free, by submitting them to arbitrary rules, superstition. How does superstition show up? Through ridiculous incantations, and “God Willing” is the first of them all. Europe has forgotten this, but not the area Islam infuses.

Many in the West affect a pose they advocate as civilized, by saying that respect for superstitious theocracy is an indispensable component of the Middle East. They are hypocrites of the exploitative type, anxious to ingratiate themselves with the local potentates.

Killing the Ghadafis as if they were dogs, is more of the same contempt for man and advanced civilization that the Qur’an pounds in the minds. The rule of superstition is antinomic to the rule of law, another aspect of the rule of reason. As long as Islam will not be subjugated by democracy, the Islamist zone will not progress significantly, which means that, as I will show, most people are treated as if they were less than dogs, and they are supposed to do it to themselves. 

***

END OF A TYRANT:

The dictator Ghadafi, instead of surrendering calmly in a timely manner, spent the last few weeks of his life reading the Qu’ran. Finally the fighters of the National Transition Council closed in. After several days of intense bombardements and house to house fighting, Ghadafi and his closest clique embarked in a convoy of 175 vehicles (said NATO officially). They rushed out of the main fortress area in Surt, Libya.

French fighter-bombers found them half an hour after they left. The convoy was engaged, many vehicles were destroyed, burned to a crisp, they dispersed, and broke down in the surrounding ditches. An American predator drone was also involved (but small drones carry much less bombs than bombers, with their air fuel explosives). The French started it, outside of Benghazi, and finished it at Sirte. The NATO argument, presented a few days later, was that the convoy was laden with huge amount of weaponry, including anti-aircraft and rocket launchers, and thus constituted a threat to civilians (a towering hypocrisy as the aim was obviously to flee in the desert, and as if the French had asked for anyone’s authorization before dispatching an air armada to the huge convoy.)

Plutocrat in chief Gaddafi traveled in a Toyota Land Cruiser with his chief of security, a relative, the driver, and Mr. Dhao, a cousin, leader of the feared “People’s Guard”… The effort to extract Gaddafi from Libya was spearheaded by white ex-military South African mercenaries. They did not expect the French aerial attack, as they thought NATO wanted to extract Gaddafi from Libya. Two South Africans were killed, others are in hospitals. Danie Odendaal, one of them, said that the NTC fighters spared the white foreign mercenaries.

According to the New York Times, “When a missile struck near the car, the airbags deployed”, said Mr. Dhao, who was hit by shrapnel in the strike. He said he tried to escape with Colonel Gaddafi and other men, walking first to a farm, then to the main road, toward some drainage pipes. “The shelling was constant,” Mr. Dhao said, adding that he was struck by shrapnel again and fell unconscious. When he woke up, he was in the hospital.”

Gaddafi loyalists fled on foot, to the woods, in firefights with NTC freedom fighters. Gaddafi, who used to criticize rats, was found in a water tunnel. He was captured, manhandled, bloodied, lynched and subsequently killed. The Libyan government claims the dictator died in crossfire, between his bodyguards and freedom fighters. But a rather meek looking local fighter was presented by an officer, to a French TV crew. The ebullient officer boasted  that the fighter, after kicking Gaddafi in the head, shot the tyrant deliberately, in the gut, on the right side. The meek guy opined, meekly.

Confronted later by Bernard Henri Levy, the commander of the unit who captured Gaddafi said that: “He treated us like rats, but he was the rat, down in his sewer pipe, and it was my fighters who found him, pulled him out of his hole, and subdued him.”

I can understand the rage. I certainly approve of it. I approve of it, because only rage allows to not suffer the intolerable, when the odds are impossible.

However there are lines not to be crossed. Those lines were crossed when Gaddafi and his son were eliminated as if they were mosquitoes. It’s not because Obama did something similar a few months before, that he should be imitated.

Civilization, not rage, needs to be defended

There is no doubt that one of Kaddafi’s sons, Mo’tassim, was assassinated. He had been captured in perfect health, and was offered water. His verbal exchanges with his captors were dismissive: he would not talk to teenagers, he said, they called him a “dog“. He was the military commander of the most powerful division of his father’s army, and directed the absurd, two month resistance of Surt (where quite a few war crimes may have been committed… by both sides, but especially Gaddafi’s side). I hated him personally. His picture, towering a bit more than a year ago with a meekly smiling Hillary Clinton, too hilarious by half, irritated me.

But, once again, killing people as if they were dogs is the best way to make sure that humankind does not rise above dogs. Ever. However bad Mo’tassim was, validating his acts by doing just like him, killing out of rage, was to become a brother in mind to him, and honor his malevolence.

Those who God knows what they want, don’t want a mind of their own. A mind is a terrible thing not to have. No mind, no strength.

***

MANY REASONS FOR JUSTICE. IN A SOPHISTICATED SOCIETY, VENGEANCE IS NOT ONE OF THEM:

I detested Gaddafi and his sons. And I view them as criminals of the very worst kind. This being said, assassinating captured criminals is intolerable. It was of paramount importance to try Kaddafi, and his clique. Clearly he would have received life in prison. But, meanwhile, in his trial:

1) Qaddafi would have had to explain his role in the plutocratic web, and, in particular, all the collaboration he and his clans profited from in the West. This is justice as exploration of past crime to dismantle further crime by the same criminal conspiracy. It is also what needs to be done with the banks.

And, of course, the assassination of bin Laden prevented to ask the right questions to the perpetrator of 9/11, and enlarge the inquiry. By this I do not mean that the CIA planed 9/11. I do not surmise this. But I mean that bin Laden was imprinted on a particular way to solve some problems, by the CIA and its subsidiaries, such as the ISI, or Saudi intelligence (which recruited bin Laden).

Not having Gadddafi around to tell us what some of his ex-colleagues used to do when they were not heading the NTC, is most convenient for the latter. An example: Mr. Jibril was the head judge who condemned the Bulgar nurses to death, and is now number two of the NTC. This, we know. and then there is all we do not know, and never will, as the main witness, the dictator himself, was dispatched beyond our reach.

2) Qaddafi also would have been able to explain how his mind and that of his clique worked. The Nuremberg tribunal helped to reveal how the Third Reich worked. This offered a paradigm on a fascist system. Kaddafi’s was another occasion to reveal such a paradigm of evil. This is justice as exploration of the Dark Side.

3)  Showing mercy and refusing to go down the road of the decay of man. This is Justice to lift civilization up, by enforcing higher values.   

***

SCREAM “GOD WILLING” AS MUCH AS YOU WISH; WHO HAS NO WANTS DOES NOT EXIST:

When asked this that and the other thing, enraged Muslims in the streets these days tend to start with :”If God wants it” Soon they will all vote for Islamist parties, and spend their time reading the Qur’an, like Gaddafi.

If God wants it“: What a useless declamation! Indeed, God is supposed to be all powerful. So, if He wants it, it happens. Why to talk about it? Why to express an opinion? If God wants it, it does not matter what we want. If God does not want it, it does not matter what we want either.

What are those people who evoke God at every turn of their logic trying to say? That it does not matter what they want, or what they don’t want? Are they practicing a nihilism not just of value, but of desire itself? Since being a good Muslim is all about obeying God, are they saying that they have no desire, whatsoever? Thus, no desire to have any values, in particular?

Then why do they vociferate so much? Why to scream “Insha Allah” at every turn? Does not God knows that what He wants is the only thing that matters? Why to get agitated about anything at all, if, in the end, only “If God wants it” matters? Is not that a contradiction, to have an emotional human discourse, when only God’s emotion is the necessary item (“IF”)?

This usage of Insha’ Allāh comes from Islamic scripture, the Qu’ran. The Sura Al Kahf, the Cave,  (18):24: “And never say of anything, ‘I shall do such and such thing tomorrow. Except (with the saying): ‘If God wills!’ And remember your Lord when you forget…’

Muslims are ordered to never say they will do a particular thing in the future without adding “Insha’Allah” to the statement. That was very practical for the generals who had written the Qur’an, as it insured that their troops had no control of their own volition.

In practice, some people gets things done, whether God wants it, or not. Typically they are dictators. Then they can turn around, and say they did them because Allah wanted it. Indeed, as things happen only when Allah wants them: the religion says that. Thus, when Gaddafi established his bloody rule, he could say:”God wanted it!” at this point, anybody resisting Gaddafi was resisting God’s will itself. No wonder it took 42 years to bring him down.

The dictator Assad in Syria can kill 4,000 people, and then say:”Insha’ Allah!” God is a gift that keeps on giving.

***

GOD WILLING” AS THE DISASTER OF THE EUROPEAN MIDDLE AGES:

The European Middle Ages long have had a bad reputation. This is strange, as, by the year 1000 CE, Western Europe was very peaceful, and had become the world’s richest region, per capita. In the following centuries, it would become ever, richer, per head. However, the region was wracked by religious wars, starting with the first crusade in 1100 CE. The first thing the first wave of crusaders did was to kill many thousands Jews in Germany.

What happened? “God Willing“.

God willing” will sound all too familiar to those Europeans who have been educated enough to study a bit of history.

The idea of God’s desire had been adapted, and adopted, from the Middle East and its hydraulic dictatorships. The Ancient Babylonian religion had a good god, and a very bad one. Ahura Mazda‘s counterpart is Angra Mainyu, the “evil spirit”, creator of evil. Soon the rulers were deified, which is most appropriate when assuming God like powers.

The identification of the ruler with God was brought back by Alexander (a mass murderer, so called the “Great”). What the systematic application of “Insha’ Allah” to all thought does is to identify God, thus the ruler, with all thinking, and all desire. It’s not:”I think, therefore I am”, but “I think, whatever God wants.”

Alexander made a superstitious pilgrimage to a sacred oasis in Egypt, deep in the Libyan desert. The fascist generals who succeeded him gave divine powers to the sovereigns, that is, themselves, and made God all powerful.

As Rome became ever more fascist, and ever more dysfunctional, God again came to the rescue, as “Sol Invictis“. Constantine saw the interest to adopt the Christian church, with its powerful pseudo military organization.

It helped that the mythical Jesus had been considerate to Caesar, and had said nothing against slavery. Jesus respected the two pillars of the Roman plutocracy. The idea of “God Willing” came to thrive over the entire empire, and the Mediterranean.

Nothing got done, as it was all about “God Willing“. Why to want anything, when God is willing for you? Serious: nothing much was done, even to highway men. Highway robbery was a growth industry of the Late Roman empire, wrecking the economy as road travel became too dangerous (think Somali pirates, for a modern analogy; or, for that matter, piracy in the Caribbean, around 1700).

Constantine’s Frankish troops begged to differ with the God imposed order. The Germans were intrinsically more democratic, because Frankish power rested on a profusion of small family farms (such family, small holder farming had long been forgotten in Rome, where giant agribusinesses produced the food, often brought from overseas).

Germans formed democracies, Rome was a plutocracy, and plutocracy was entangled with all the details of food production, and the entire society. From the Frankish point of view, the rule of God and the Roman absolutism attached to it, was an unmitigated disaster.

After 150 years of a succession of struggles, coups and civil wars, the Franks finally took power in Francia, as the Roman army. The first kings of the Franks were elected (at least by their troops, exactly like Roman imperators). As the Merovingian and later Carolingian empires ruled over most of Europe, elections were still to be had.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Roman empire, an hereditary, fiercely religious monarchy,  reconquered most of the Mediterranean. Clearly there the political leaders and their terrorist government were in place because of “God”. Muslim generals naturally adopted in turn this idea to defeat their main enemy, the Roman empire.

The Carolingian empire split later. The Western third (“Francia”), based in already arrogant Paris, neglected its duties, and refused to bother with presenting a candidate for the election of the eastern two-thirds. Thus was born the so called “Holly German Roman empire”, were elections were held for centuries (until the Habsburg took over).

The last real French election was that of Hughes Capet (“Hugo Magnus“), who was elected Rex Francorum, on July 3, 987 CE. His distant namesake, the semi revolutionary Louis XVI was executed on January 21, 1793 CE, under the name “Louis Capet”.

Why did the Frankish kingship become purely hereditary? What happened? God, also known as Allah.

One should never forget that the Muslims occupied part of France for generations in the period 721 CE to, say, well in the late Tenth Century (when a combined Frankish army-Roman navy military coalition ejected the Muslim army; yes, Rome existed in the tenth century, it was based in Constantinople).

In the end, Muslim families in Francia were not chased out, or converted forcefully, but discreetly absorbed; only the invading armies were defeated, nothing happened in France similar to the forceful evacuation of Muslims from Iberia by the Inquisition, five centuries later.

Around the year 1,000 CE, Muslim Spain was viewed as superior, by the Franks themselves, and was actually superior in many economic and cultural indicators. Thus some of the Muslim philosophy of governance percolated to the French system (one can surmise).

The Frankish rulers, by 1100 CE, adopted two main Muslim ideas: Jihad, which became the crusades, and the pretention that they were reigning, by “the Grace of God” (“par la grace de Dieu“).

In the end, fascism and theocracy, entangled together, caused centuries of wars in Europe, from 1100 CE, literally until the 1700s (when nationalism took over as the main cause of mayhem). The height of religious wars was in the thirteenth and sixteenth century in France, in the twelfth and seventeenth in Germany (when a third of the population died during one war). Religious mayhem peaked in Seventeenth Century England.

The French revolution decapitated the ancient plutocracy, and its associated theocracy. Just as the hydraulic dictatorships had inspired the ancient world to govern “God Willing“, the French revolution inspired the European people to trash the old theocracy. Although it was done first, and violently in England, the French example showed that it was time to trash God. That was done later more discreetly in the rest of Europe (although one can view anti-Judaism as a relapse of what happened in 1100 CE).

It finally dawned on the European citizens thatGod Willing” is the exact opposite of “People Willing“.

***

YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GOD WHAT YOU WANT:

“God Willing” is the scourge of the primitive. That “God Willing” was an inferior metaprinciple was demonstrated, if need be, in the Iberian Caliphate.

God Willing” throned at the top of the passive, submissive, valueless philosophical complex of metaprinciples rotten at the core which caused the implosion of the advanced Muslim Iberian culture.

Indeed the Iberian caliphate imploded first, without being pressed by the Catholic sovereigns; later North African savages were successful in re-establishing two rounds of barbaric Islamist strength. But those military reigns were paid with considerable philosophical regression. That regression, in turn, favored the reconquista, as the Catholics became relatively superior on many cultural indicators, to the barbarized Muslims.

To the superstitious, if something does not get done, it may be surmised, that God did not want it. This is highly convenient to all those who want nothing done. If nothing gets done, it has nothing to do with people being lazy, unmotivated, corrupt, indolent, incompetent, stupid, ignorant, sexist, superstitious, violent, barbaric, living out of time, mentally blocked by the weight of eons, etc. It’s all God’s fault. The Dog stole lunch.

Nihilism a la Dostoyevsky: if God does not exist, everything is permitted.

Nihilism a la “God Willing“: whatever we want does not matter, because the universe is all about what God wants. It does not even matter if it is permitted or not. We want not, God does it for us. And if you ask too many questions and make too many observations, like drawing God, or something, we get enraged.

That brings us back to  the assassination of Kaddafi, or to violence in general in any area dominated by a “God Willing” religion. God, as represented in Jewish scripture, is most enraged most of the time. He resembles the most intersidereal jealous homicidal maniac from hell ever imagined. Obviously a most edifying example for the bloodiest dictators. But that is the god of Christ and Muhammad. God as a jealous homicidal maniac is not just about mainstream Judaism, but about its heresies too.

Assassinating Ghadafi was more than stupid. It was a post mortem validation of the dictator’s way of being. (Desmond Tutu, and many other well known celebrities expressed the same view.)

Democracy is the rule of the People, but it does not mean that rule is just, or even clever. For example, in today’s Israel the government is democratically elected, but it does not respect the spirit of the UN (which makes clear that any People has a right to a state, something both the Palestinians and the Kurds deserve).

A sure way to be unjust, and stupid is to chant superstitions all day. Evoking “God Willing” all day long, does that very well. It undermines not just logics and knowledge, or the will, but even desire itself.

God Willing, is not just a question of becoming subhuman. If you don’t know what you want, should we step in, and tell you what you want?

Even dogs know what they want. Thus, chanting “God Willing” all day long is a question of aspiring to be less than dogs. Those believers in the overwhelming desire of God have even renounced the status of canid. At least inside their own minds. Why would others expect that they would treat other people better than dogs, then? When they cannot treat themselves as well as dogs would treat themselves?

God is weak. God is a weak excuse for eschewing responsibility, and assuming the freedom that is both the strength and bane of man. God is what tyrants need the naive to believe in, so that they can rule unjustly, and unwisely.

God is the convenient excuse civilization has to forget if it wants to face our mighty fate to the best of our abilities. It is also what North Africa and the Middle East will have to learn to do without, if they want to grow up into the might of reason.

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Patrice Ayme

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P/S1: IDEAS HAVE A LIFE OF THEIR OWN: An argument above was that the idea of making the sovereign into God, and God into everything, all the way down to the inner sanctum of what one wants, circled around western Eurasia like a vulture. First from the fertile Crescent, and Egypt to Rome, and from there back to Arabia, and then from Islam into the Frankish area. It was accompanied by the dictatorships it emotionally fostered.  

Something similar happened in reverse after the Franco-Normands invaded England in 1066: much of the Angle, Saxon, British and Viking system of local councils was preserved, as Guillaume le Conquérant found to his advantage to establish his authority directly with the People, a good counter-weight to his presumptuous suzerain in Paris… Another idea which made the rounds was parliament, which went from Greece, to Rome to Toulouse, to London…

P/S2: A popular thesis among Anglo-Saxons of the Germanoid persuasion (a class the proto Nazi economist Keynes belongs to), is that it is the Anglo-Saxon type “Reformation” made Europe superior. It is obviously absurd, as the Catholic dominated areas (south Germany, France, Italian republics, Iberia) contributed as much, if not more, to European supremacy (besides Protestantism started in France three centuries before Luther).

Instead I hold that it is the reign of reason, against superstition, which made the difference. That has the merit to explain why Europe jetted ahead of the military societies of Asia. Military order was very good at feeding people, and so their populations exploded. But they were not good at feeding ideas, and the disorder allowing to implement them. Order itself had become a superstition.

P/S 3: France (representing Roman republican civilization, dura lex, sed lex!), and Gaddafi (representing, say, Jugurtha) have come full circle. When some say: why not Darfur (forgetting for a moment French soldier have died in combat in Darfur), they forget that both Libya and France were parts of the Roman empire. The mighty Severine dynasty, and its Augustas, came from Libya, and was ethnically Libyan (not like emperor Claudius who was born in Lyon, from a Roman family). What goes around in a small box, comes around in that same small box. The French will to terminate Gaddafi the gad fly was no accident (and it does not compare to bin Laden’s assassination, as Gaddafi’s force were still engage in combat).

Several decades ago, when Gaddafi invaded Chad, supported by supersonic fighter bombers from the Soviet empire, a French counter-attack nearly got him killed (as the dictator found himself in the midst of a fast moving French air raid conducted at dune level, on an airport inside chad).

Gaddafi was not so bad to start with, when he toppled the king. Then, he introduced genuine reforms. He grabbed back lots of money from foreign oil companies, and redistributed it to the Libyan people. A heftier dose of the French civil code was added to Libyan law.  Women’s right were advanced, and the sexist Sharia rolled back. The Shariah and the Qur’an consider women to be fractions of men, in several important ways. (When the president of the NTC announces, as he did, that the Sharia was back, it is a huge step backwards.)

However, as time went by, Gaddafi and his clique and clan enriched themselves ever more. And therein a warning: absolute wealth makes one ever closer to Pluto, the Dark Underground. It does not just corrupt absolutely, it makes people into living Satans. The richer Gaddafi and his entourage became, the worse they got. Let’s just hope that his son and heir apparent, Saif Al islam makes it to La Hague, to be tried, square and fair. But there is little doubt that many in the world plutocratic organization, his friends, are not looking forward to it…