Posts Tagged ‘Debate’

No Debate, No Hope

September 30, 2021

TRUTH IS NOT A LOW HANGING FRUIT…

New York Times: Leader of Prestigious Yale Program Resigns, Citing Donor Pressure

The historian Beverly Gage, who has run the Grand Strategy course since 2017, says the university failed to stand up for academic freedom amid inappropriate efforts to influence the curriculum.

Big ideas are on the run, and have to try to hide: such is the present sad state of affairs. 

Have the full history, let alone lessons of Twentieth Century history been drawn? Not yet, by a very long shot. The center has been held, because it has not been seen. Yet.

Have those hidden forces, not yet exposed, stopped influencing the world? Even less so. They would have to be exposed first, and those who professionally inquire, academics in the universities have been careful to avoid having truly inquiring minds, lest they finish as the case of professor Gage… Some Great Powers have profited immensely in the last few generations… From their grand strategies… And it is probably not just accidental, nor subconscious, but because of forces which have not been exposed in the public space. Yet. (Not for want of yours truly trying real hard…)

Such is the state of the increasing plutocracy we suffer from: big ideas tend to be called “conspiracy theories”, or be outright censored. Yet, out there, the biggest ideas ever have to be revealed, and should be more in demand than ever… As the entire biosphere is in difficulty, as it has not been for 66 million years… And this from human activity directed by a small, entangled worldwide oligarchy.

An idea, bigger than all other, is that our species is a debating species. What is going on, then? Why is debate, just when it is more necessary than ever, be shunned? Could it be that the powers that be want no debate?

It has become, for technological reasons, easier to “cancel” ideas and individuals, more than ever. So the temptation has been, for the powers that be, the oligarchies presently in command, to exert this new found power, and reach everywhere and cancel anything they find inconvenient.

Unfortunately, many of those on the left who should have been thinking, instead of embracing debate, as used to be found in academia, have embraced the idea of censorship… Not realizing that the right would welcome that, and give them crumbs, as if they were pigeons. 

The sanctity of debate has to be embraced again, and, as there is an obvious need, should be imposed by law. One human should not just mean one vote, but also one opinion, for all to hear and ponder.

And academia should show the way, insisting that even hostile points of view be heard and debated, be it only to learn how to overcome them. 

***

Robert from Los Angeles replied:

@Patrice Ayme Very good points.

What you call the “sanctity of debate” is definitely gone today. The main reason, as I see it, is that one side – Republicans – bases its position on the Big Lie, the outlandish claim (which predates the election!) that Biden stole the election. 

While the Big Lie is not the only lie affecting debate, it is certainly the most outrageous and pernicious one. It communicates to the rest of the world that, as far as Republicans are concerned, democracy no longer serves their purposes. That they are ready and willing to abandon it.

When one side in a debate abandons the most basic rules of engagement, the debate is, for all intents and purposes, over. The debaters have become combatants, figuratively speaking and, sometimes, in actuality.

***

@Robert Thanks for your reply. There is plenty of blame to go around, and it’s not only a question of left versus right. Trump used to be a “Democrat” and even Trump ran against Reagan when the O’Neil Congress of “Democrats” was passing the laws of his good friend fellow “Irishman” the Republican president Reagan…

The real blame is that isegoria and parrhesia have not been presented as the pillars of democracy they truly are. At this point all the media is either owned outright or influenced (public media, through “sponsorship” and hope of future employment), by the world’s wealthiest individuals.. Who clearly have a vested interest, their positions at the top of the world command and control. 

Parrhesia is candor or frankness in speaking the truth… as in the Franks…

Isegoria is having an equal right to address the assemblies.

The result is that isegoria and parrhesia are completely ignored, and most voters with aspirations to real democracy do not even know what they are, and, a fortiori, they do not know that democracy is impossible without them. They do not even realize that anybody addressing them with information is plutocracy certified, employed and approved.

We have seen the left on the attack, say after 1918 in Italy and Germany. We also saw, then, and in many other cases, that the right tends to do fascism better. That’s why it’s a bad idea for the left to engage in it first, believing with shattering naivety that it will get stronger that way…

Debate, especially with opponents, has to be brought back, as the most humanistic endeavor.

The truly wise say: “You are my enemy in debate, I enjoy showing you how wrong you are, that makes you very precious.”

Patrice Ayme 

The Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy is one of Yale University’s most celebrated and prestigious programs. Over the course of a year, it allows a select group of about two dozen students to immerse themselves in classic texts of history and statecraft, while also rubbing shoulders with guest instructors drawn from the worlds of government, politics, military affairs and the media.

[Notice the euphemistic concept of “rubbing shoulders”, not very distant from together-breathe, in other words, con-spirare… to conspire…]

“But now, a program created to train future leaders how to steer through the turbulent waters of history is facing a crisis of its own.

Beverly Gage, a historian of 20th-century politics who has led the program since 2017, has resigned, saying the university failed to stand up for academic freedom amid inappropriate efforts by its donors to influence its curriculum and faculty hiring.

The donors, both prominent and deep-pocketed, are Nicholas F. Brady, a former U.S. Treasury secretary under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and Charles B. Johnson, a mutual fund billionaire and leading Republican donor who in 2013 made a $250 million donation to Yale — the largest gift in its history

[Charles Johnson is the second largest shareholder in Franklin Resources, an investment management firm partly founded by the late Templeton, a sort of Christian celebrating world peace and Croesus. Johnson became CEO at age 24 in 1957, a decade after his father, Rupert Johnson Sr., founded the company.]

The Grand Strategy program was founded in 2000 by the Yale historians John Lewis Gaddis, a leading scholar of the Cold War, and Paul Kennedy, the author of “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers,” along with the diplomat Charles Hill, a former aide and adviser to George P. Shultz and Mr. Kissinger.

The idea was to teach leadership through an eclectic curriculum of classic texts, case-studies and crisis simulations, incorporating thinkers and topics from Thucydides, Sun Tzu, and Machiavelli to the Cold War.

Grand Strategy” is a capacious but slippery concept, one that has generated continuing debates about its meaning. In his 2018 book “On Grand Strategy,” Professor Gaddis defined it as “the alignment of unlimited aspirations with necessarily limited capabilities. In recent years, scholars have extended the concept to business, global public health, party politics and other areas.

Professor Gage, 49, has incorporated social movement strategy into the course. (In a recent essay, she described herself as someone who “was as likely to be a protester as a policymaker.”)…

…she wasn’t teaching Grand Strategy “the way Henry Kissinger would.”

“I said, ‘That’s absolutely right. I am not teaching Grand Strategy the way Henry Kissinger would,’” she said.

Cities Forever

September 17, 2021

In the wealthiest countries, many fled to nature and the Internet during the pandemic, and came to question the existence of cities. However, more than half of humanity lives in cities. Thus the question is: why do we have cities?

We have cities because they are the easiest and used to be the only way, to expand the essence of humanity, which is intelligence. Cities enabled people to meet, face to face, and thus debate. From debate spring more clever solutions to any problem.

Yes, many of our fasciscizing leaders say we do not need a face, we just need a mask. Wrong is their ways, heavy will be their punishment in the light of history. It is not just chords and tongues which speak, but also faces and expressions, including body language.

Cities also enable to assemble manpower at high density, thus high impact. After the collapse of the Roman state, cities rose again, because they enabled to gather, and hence exponentiate, expertise: as early as 1200, the greatest industry in Paris, then Europe’s largest city, seems to have been the university. 

Now one can debate over the Internet, zooming in from afar, so it would seem one of the main advantages of cities was lost. 

But maybe not. Maybe new ways of interacting can be found. In Paris, Europe’s densest city, 300 lives were recently rescued from cardiac arrest, including a 12 day old baby, by an Internet application which can teach any citizen to become a rescuer in the few minutes before professional rescuers arrive on the scene. So the Internet can find new ways to bind and facilitate human contacts in a way only high density living provides…. In Paris again, more than 100 large museums enable you to go around and learn, as no Internet can provide. Thus cities, to survive will have to become more livable, and when they do, nothing can beat them. New York has splendid natural assets: the beaches, rivers and the Palisades, which could be more integrated in city life.  

Cities also provide more efficient ecology, a must considering the climate catastrophe. The newest buildings can be made energy positive. The entire population of the planet cannot live US style, in a median house 2,500 square feet (~ 230 square meters)… and moreover poorly insulated, because energy is cheap in the world’s biggest producer of fossil fuels.

As Augustine pointed out, there are two cities: the physical city, and the city of the mind. But the latter owes nearly everything to the former.

Patrice Ayme

Gargoyle of Notre Dame, determined to learn more, reflects upon the city.

What is the Scientific Method? First, Debate. And Consider Obama’s Corruption

August 23, 2021

The New York Times glorifies the “sophisticated, vaccinated crowd” at the Obama narcissistic birthday multimillionaire bash it gushed about… and then bemoans the lack of scientific education of the US population… obvious in the case of COVID, supposedly. However, it contributes to it. It not so mysteriously delayed my comment below by 12 hours, while letting several hundreds anti-Trump and anti-Republican comments getting published instead. 

What is the essence of the scientific method? The essence of the scientific method is to debate experiments and the logic of their interpretation. Debate is the first order of things, with the “Scientific Method”. No debate, no science. If one wants to teach the scientific method, one will have to teach debating, and the love of debate, first. So science education starts well outside of science… In the domain of applied philosophy, rejoining what Steven Weinberg was saying.

Here is my lethally delayed comment:

What is the scientific method? Some say: double blinds, statistics? In truth, it’s not completely elucidated. The mRNA vaccine science was generally dismissed only a few years prior. Synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA) engineered by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna use pseudouridine and 5-methyl cytidine as substitutions for uridine and cytidine to avoid the immune response and cytotoxicity induced by introducing mRNA into cells. MRNA not using these substitutions is less effective. However, the influence of base modifications on RNA is poorly understood. And so on.

The scientific method is common sense, applied to experiments (or thought experiments) it advances through debate. So debates, and the desire-to-debate should be promoted. The mRNA vaccines are working, it’s likely that they will have little negative health impact… Differently from vaccines which modify the genetics

There is plenty of scientific evidence that masks are counterproductive… The virus is the same size as smoke (100 nanometers); dogs smell COVID at a distance: feeling protected by a thin material, people gather, and breathe the smoke/COVID. HEPA filtration and ventilation certainly absolutely work, and should be enforced!

Some authorities in the West were derelict: death rates vary enormously, worldwide. Europe received flights from Wuhan, while the city was isolated, inside China. It has transpired that NIH was financing the Wuhan Institute of Virology to turn around an interdiction of Gain of Function from Obama

This gigantic spread, the Obama narcissistic birthday bash, with Obama’s mansion to the left, is a testimony to the corruption of a “democratic” US president. Differently from Carter, Reagan, the Bushes, or Trump… Clinton and Obama made all their money from presidential trafficking… The island where this is located, Martha’s Vineyard, is full of professional “democrats”, and the corruption so intense the median home value is 4.2 million dollars. The spread above had been listed for 15 millions… Just one of many Obama’s properties…

Small world: Going around GoF interdiction by Obama (rightly so, I may have played a role…)… made NIH finance WIV. It reminds one of the CIA financing Mujahidins.

Obama’s birthday bash, with its huge 475 persons party, was a considerable reduction of what had been planned and had to be reduced because of the Delta Variant pandemic (the optics were bad). Obama danced all night, nobody wore masks. A president, flaunting the wealth he made from his presidential office. How does one call that? Afghanistan? President Truman, a democrat, had made a point to live from his retirement. And Truman explained why: to honor the office of the presidency. But Obama presided over the corruption he installed in Afghanistan… The buck stopped with him…

And why don’t you talk about Trump, lesser wits will bemoan. Well Trump did not pretend to be what he is not. Now that Biden is in power, it is very clear that Women Lives Don’t Matter (“US has no national interest in Afghanistan”), and that the Machiavellian treachery, mercurial and unpredictable inversion of alliances that was used to defeat the American Natives, is still in command, from the institutional subconscious. Ah, yes, once they were sure nobody would read my comment, 12 hours after getting it, and after publishing hundreds of partisan comments about the hatred of “Republicans” for science, the NYT published my ideas. So, the NYT cannot be accused of censorship and violating its “newspaper of record” mission.

Patrice Ayme

Governmental All Encompassing Censorship Made Official. Thanks To Tech Monopolies, It Said.

July 18, 2021

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said people who are removed from one social media platform for spreading misinformation should face the same consequences across the board of the “Free Speech” society.

“You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others for providing misinformation out there,” she said during a White House press briefing on Friday.

Psaki also said social media companies, such as Facebook, should “publicly” share information about the “impact” of misinformation.

Except who decides what “misinformation” is? And what grave misinformation is? Biden, who spread misinformation for a decade so that the USA would go invade and occupy Iraq, kill dozen of thousands and practice waterboarding there? … For reasons having to do with the price of oil and just imperial ire?

Thus the Biden spokeswoman said, and repeated later, that, if someone is banned on a social platform, thus, by a private company, that person should be banned on ALL other platforms, by all other private companies. Thus, since I was banned for life from a few social platforms already 12 years ago, and some were then much larger than Facebook, I should be banned on all? And what of the New York Times which banned me for years, and has now, under new management, reinstated me? Are they illegal according to the Biden White House? 

[In the picture above, the health minister of the UK is kissing the multimillionaire woman he made his deputy, on taxpayers’ salary.]

All these bans against yours truly arose because yours truly had the impudence of correcting misinformation found on these platforms. The sort of misinformation which brought the death of millions throughout the Middle East. Misinformation can be in the eye of the beholder, at first sight at least. Daunting opinions viewed initially as “misinformation” can lead to productive debate out of which new truths can arise.

One “leftist” platform I was banned from was the Daily Kos…  that particular platform was founded by Kos, an ex CIA officer (about as left as US pseudo-progressives can go)… At the time I was called a “troll” there, for expressing dissatisfaction about Obamacare, finding it insufficient (and I was hated for telling the truth). But also I claimed the Democratic Party was manipulated by its wealthy sponsors… That was one “misinformation” too far… I did not even point out that a “leftist” site founded by the CIA seems to be an intrinsic contradiction: I was careful to not indicate to all these pseudo-leftists that they were basically CIA agents… unbeknownst to themselves… Or so they claimed.

Armed with a bachelor degree in English, but a competitive swimmer, Jen Psaki became close to Obama in 2008, serving as his secretary. I like the personal aspect of these things. Psaki was named Deputy Press Secretary. On  9 September 22, 2011, Psaki left her Obama position to become senior vice president and managing director at the Washington, D.C., office of public relations firm Global Strategy Group. She returned later to Obama, and then CNN. Psaki is a full member of the Deep State. She is apparently on three different salaries right now, earning perhaps more than half a million dollars a year for…violating the Constitution? This kind of career entangling personal relations should be unlawful, because they trade in access to the power of the few, and transcend the electoral process.

In Britain the Health Minister, Hancock, offered a taxpayer paid job to a similar multimillionaire public relation woman as his deputy. He was also having sex with her in his office and it was documented on government video. The Prime Minister’s office declared that the video was of public interest and should be released. Hancock resigned for not respecting his own office stringent social distanciation orders during COVID. The fact that multimillionaire influencers without any respect for the constitution fester in all Western capitals contribute to a lowering of what common people feel the constitution is about.

Biden has blamed misinformation for stalling U.S. vaccine rates, and suggested, “They’re killing people… they are murderers” when asked what his message was to the social networks for allowing misleading claims to spread.

“‘Misinformation’ is covered by the First Amendment. Under the First Amendment, all information, no matter how wrong, is protected by the First Amendment. That is why, for example, Holocaust deniers can say what they say (and why in countries such as France and Germany specific laws make the holocaust of the Jews  by the Nazis, or that of the Armenians by the Turks, a crime). Justice Holmes’s exception for falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater carves out the exception it does because the 100% certain consequence that will follow is that there will be an immediate stampede and, as a result, immediate death. 

Publicizing military information in wartime is also an exception to free speech. However, right now, misinformation on vaccines is greatly from derelict teaching by the state at school level. The First Amendment has to protect misinformation, otherwise, someone would have to decide what constitutes misinformation… And also because in some cases we don’t know how misinformed misinformation is. Saying that existing COVID vaccines are 100% safe is apparently itself misinformation (as health authorities have given warnings, most of them directed at the Astrazeneca-Oxford vaccine). 

As it is the government clearly cannot be given the power of determining what disinformation and misinformation are: that’s a direct route to dictatorship. But the Deep State has made the argument that a private company like Facebook is not subject to the First Amendment – which, of course, applies only to the government – Private companies can decide that someone is spewing false information and can decide not to give that person their time and means, their platform and access to their users.

However, first of all Facebook, with nearly three billion users, is not a private company anymore, but a world public utility, the world’s most prominent monopoly. The Facebook’s leader has been welcomed in the presence of ultimate leaders and palaces, all over the planet. If there was a world monopoly ever, Facebook is it; even the oil giants of the 1950s never had that sort of power

Secondly there is judicial precedent saying that using private companies to do, or say what the government wants in matters of opinion, is unconstitutional. Third, the platforms are not private companies anymore when they do what the government is suggesting them to do. That the government claims to be merely suggesting that the platforms ban people who spread misinformation but not requiring the platforms to do so, is a distinction without a difference… especially as the White House admitted they “worked closely”.

In other words, no isegoria and no parrhesia... This is outright sinister.

The way out is to establish an independent court of truth, debate and plausibility which would just give explanations, debates, recommendations and stars.

Patrice Ayme

Debate rejuvenates society, just as fire rejuvenates a forest, by letting eternal truths stand bigger and stronger, by clearing the brush:

The 1609 Project: Cancel Culture And People, Maximize Profits

March 6, 2021

… Profits for the few that is…

Identity politics is tribalism by another name. Tribalism is as old as apes cancelling others for territory. Tribalism fosters simple-mindedness, cancellation, alienation, hatred, annihilation. Jane Goodall found it was systematic when chimpanzees interacted with other groups. Tribalism is the opposite of the open society and the most human activity, debate. It’s as inhuman as it gets.

As I show here, identity politics covers up its true aim, the advancement of the mentality that institutionalized the worst angels of our nature in the US power structure.

Identity politics built the US. In 1609 the English colony was a venture capital firm with state military assistance, the aim of which was gold and extermination of the Natives. Tobacco rendered profitable by inhuman slavery made the English colony profitable in the first half of the Seventeenth Century, creating a virtuous circle calling for ever more slaves. 

The English colony divided the population into indentured servants, red, black, white, slaves, slave owners, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, property owners, and “races” with no rights. Punishment was severe: English colonists going to the Indians were condemned to death, executed by quartering alive. 

The “Market” was “free” to proceed with “creative destruction”, buying and selling people and territory which white men did not own (that tradition continued until the late nineteenth century, when the US offered lots of 10,000 acres next to railroads, to… white men). Result? The American Natives were mostly exterminated… Exterminating most of the Natives is something that happened nowhere else in the world to that extent (except in Australia, also a British colony; in Tasmania, the Natives were exterminated to the last). 

Romans said:”Divide et impera”… Divide and command absolutely. Alienating and alienated identities divide. Who rules and commands (impera) then? The wealthiest families, controlling, and, or, owning all the media in the USA in particular, and the West in general, including Internet social networks. Liberty, Equality, Debate are their enemies.

Identity politics is how the USA was won: by cancelling the “wrong” “identities”, increasing the profits, thus the power, of the exterminators. It is the opposite of how France was created, 15 centuries ago. The Franks, who were originally German, integrated all the Gallo-Romans, accepted all religions and identities, equally, and then outlawed slavery.

The present cancel culture festering in the USA is more of the same alienation, tribalism, violence and destruction, to serve the owners. Far from being a rebellion against the established order, it serves it.

Patrice Ayme

1619. Coming of Africans. But whites and natives had been enslaved and exterminated in the prior decade, setting the tune.

Slavery in the USA, to the extent it happened, was a unique phenomenon. Thus, to speak about a European slavery problem is to divert attention to a secondary problem: although some European slave traders profited from the slave trade, and all Europeans enjoyed tobacco and sugar (and thus shortened life spans from these drugs), most of the profiteering from slavery and its institutions and associated constitutional structures was by white English speaking Americans… the same descendants of whom are giving lessons now.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/maps-reveal-slavery-expanded-across-united-states-180951452/

***

P/S: A much milder version of the preceding comment was sent to New York Times in answer to:

Is This the End of French Intellectual Life?
The country’s culture of argument has come under the sway of a more ideological, more identity-focused model imported from the United States.
By Christopher Caldwell. (Mr. Caldwell is a contributing opinion writer and the author of “Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West” and “The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties.”)

Mr. Caldwell did not publish my comment, nor any of the short and factual answers I made to other comments. This is a deliberate usage of vicious power to kill debate, which should be illegal (the NYT has state given privileges). Including the following correction, after it was asserted that France did not have female intellectuals:

There are several famous contemporary French intellectuals who are women, including the president of the French academy.

France has of course an immense tradition of female intellectuals, including the most important head of state ever:

@ES The French monarch, Queen Bathilde, outlawed slavery in 655 CE. As the “Renovated Roman Empire” of the Franks conquered Europe, slavery was outlawed all over Europe.

The article and its comments accused France of racism. The question is not whether racism was a force in the past. In truth, racism is, institutionally speaking, an English, and by extension, and reinforced, US invention. Neither Rome nor France had racist laws (with the ephemeral exception of laws passed against Jews under Saint Louis, Louis IX… Ironically and tellingly enough)  

The following comment was also blocked:

@rlschles Allegations of racism  against France have been used by the racist US elite, which ruled thanks to racist laws (that France never had). The US elite is much more abusive than the french one, and is afraid of LEF, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Hence its drive to disparage France (which does not have slavery since 655 CE, 14 centuries ago, at least formally)

What is going on? The New York Times is at the core of the US plutocratic establishment Its principal enemy is then LEF, Liberty Equality Fraternity. France was against the invasion of Iraq, and tried to block it. There was then a war between the New York Times and France. Now that the Iraq invasion president is ruling the USA, the New York Times is redoubling its efforts to destroy LEF. Catwell knows very well that I am for LEF, so he bans me. This is serious, it’s a war. It looks superficial like that, but, as during World War Two, it could end up with dozens of millions killed. No, the USA is not going to attack France. But the US elite is making it so to encourage others to go tribal, and that’s where future war lays. The NYT is telling Xi, the Chinese president, implicitly: go ahead, go tribal, you have the support of the USA… Go invade Taiwan… That’s your “identity right”. Then of course, there would be a big war. Guess who would come on top? Yes, the US plutocratic class, same as in 1945…

***

Here are extracts from the NYT article describing what is, from my perspective, triumphant intellectual, political and economic fascism:

After waging a decades-long twilight struggle against these movements, Le Débat has lost.

Intellectuals of all persuasions have been debating what that defeat means for France, and they have reached a conclusion: The country’s intellectual life has come under the sway of a more ideological, more identity-focused model imported from the United States.

Le Débat was always resistant to American imports. It never fully made its peace with the free market in the way that self-described social democrats in America did under Bill Clinton. Nor did it climb aboard the agenda of humanitarian invasions and democracy promotion, as left-leaning American intellectuals like Paul Berman and George Packer did. That was all fine.

***

The NYT turns me into an ally of Macron (should be rather vice versa, as I started decades ago…)

NYT: “Many French people see American-style social-justice politics as a change for the worse. President Emmanuel Macron does. In the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody last spring, protests and riots across America brought the dismantling of statues and other public symbols — sometimes on the spot, sometimes after further campaigning and agitation. Aware that such actions had found a sympathetic echo among some of his fellow citizens, Mr. Macron warned that France would not follow suit. “It will not erase any trace or name from its history,” he said. “It will not forget any of its works. It will not topple any statues.”

By last fall Mr. Macron was also inveighing against foreign university traditions. “I’m thinking of the Anglo-Saxon tradition, which has another history, and it is not ours,” he said, before singling out “certain social-science theories imported from the United States of America.””

***

Debate is directly under attack, as a mental principle:

NYT: “To look at how Le Débat unraveled is to see that these tensions have been developing for years, if not decades. They bode poorly for the future of intellectual life in France — and elsewhere.

Not all what the NYT says is incorrect. The best lies are made with lots of truth therein. NYT: “Marcel Gauchet, is a philosopher of democracy and a historian of religion. Totalitarianism, and how to find a politics of the left that avoided it, absorbed Mr. Nora and Mr. Gauchet both.

Mr. Gauchet, for instance, has studied with alarm the slow ouster of democratic principles by the very different principles of human rights. “The touchstone in the system,” he warned in 2007, “is no longer the sovereignty of the people but the sovereignty of the individual, defined, ultimately, by the possibility of overruling the collective authority.” Human rights, often imposed by courts or centralized administrative bodies, could wind up pitting democracy against itself. 

***

Another perspective that is entirely correct is found in the NYT analysis. NYT: “The first sign in France of a politics focused on minority groups came in 1984. Activists close to the government of François Mitterrand sought to address the complex problem of assimilating France’s mostly North African immigrants by founding an American-style activist group called SOS Racisme. Le Débat reacted in 1993 by publishing a skeptical book by the sociologist Paul Yonnet. SOS Racisme was not replacing a stuffy idea of race with a hip one, Mr. Yonnet argued; it was introducing race theories into a country where they had lately been weak or absent, ethnicizing newcomers and natives alike, and encouraging the French to look at the minority groups in their midst (Jews, in particular) as somehow foreign.”

***

NYT:”Mr. Gauchet, Ms. Agacinski and many others in their intellectual circle have not changed their politics. Rather they have been outbid by radicals offering a more exciting, if not necessarily more rigorous, critique of society.

***

NYT:”One questions the “legitimacy”… Where did this very un-French attitude come from?an answer: America. A few days after announcing that the review would publish no more, Mr. Nora spoke about its closing on Alain Finkielkraut’s radio show. Mr. Finkielkraut was pointing to disturbing tendencies in French intellectual life, but Mr. Nora wanted to take the conversation in a different direction: to the “mouvements à l’américaine” that start on campuses across the ocean and tend to show up in France. “What they call,” he said, “to follow the argument to its logical conclusion, cancel culture, which is to say the extermination of culture, the will to. …

Here Mr. Nora paused before continuing: “Anyway, I daresay some of us are old enough to have echoes in our heads of Goebbels when he said, ‘When I hear the word “culture” I reach for my revolver.’”

[Actually it was not Goebbels, but in a Nazi play with the following memorable: “No, let ’em keep their good distance with their whole ideological kettle of fish … I shoot with live ammunition! When I hear the word culture …, I release the safety on my Browning!” Notice that the gun is a US made gun, a “Browning”, because it’s US plutocracy which armed the Nazis, with contraband weapons”]

***

Cluelessly the ignorant brutes at the NYT observe: “The Goebbels quote may be apocryphal, but it is worth pausing to ask why Mr. Nora — born in the first half of the 20th century and preoccupied with the moral legacy of World War II — should call such a name to mind when discussing the influence of American culture on his own country’s.

Yes, vicious idiots, it is your party, the US plutocrats, the equivalent of whom the Romans used to call the “Optimates”, the “Best”, which gave the weapons to the Nazis! Precisely! As I just said. But of course the NYT blocked hundreds of my comments explaining this, so it can keep on pretending that only idiots would say this.

***

NYT: ““There is a mighty ideological wave coming from the United States,” the philosopher Yves Charles Zarka wrote last fall in an article about the death of Le Débat. “It brings rewriting history, censuring literature, toppling statues, and imposing a racialist vision of society.” Nor is it as iconoclastic as it looks, according to Luc Ferry, a philosopher and conservative columnist. “However anticapitalist and anti-American they may think themselves,” he wrote last year, “these activists are only aping whatever has been going on on campuses across the Atlantic over the last four decades.”

***

And the lying plutocratic New York Times to conclude, mixing the true, the ludicrous, the vicious, the real and the imaginary:

The shoe used to be on the other foot. The United States used to learn a lot from France. Until a generation ago, into the age of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, one could say America deferred to France on matters intellectual. It doesn’t any longer. The demise of Le Débat was marked by not a single mention in any major American newspaper or magazine.

There are still lessons Americans can learn from France, provided we approach it with the right questions in mind. A good one to start with might be whether the American academy of recent decades — with the culture it carries and the political behaviors it fosters — has been, in the wider world, a force for intellectual freedom or for its opposite.

Well, dear fascists, and obscene censors, what you are doing called intellectual fascism, and the day you see thermonuclear suns rising over your cities, don’t say the others came for you, they came from you. In particular, you are teaching Mr. Xi that he is right, and democracy is wrong, that the debate is wrong. There is only one way out of that: violent mass death.

Life Is A Riot

February 19, 2021

 

THAT LITTLE RIOT… NOTHING. BUT THAT BIDEN IS WORSE THAN TRUMP, A BIGGIE.

So Trump was dis-impeached, the plan of preventing the President to run again failed. At least that way. The Demoncratic forces will have to find another way… Meanwhile the Biden presidency is proceeding… Along the lines set by Trump. This is very interesting in several ways: basic Machiavellianism at work, and also the global plutocratic forces having perhaps learned something important: China is not the Third Reich, Trump had got an important point there. Also Biden flew a B52 escorted by Saudi F15s: an other important message, this time to china’s would-be ally, Iran.

That little riot, around and inside the US Capitol, incompetently managed by the Capitol police, was not a coup… And Trump’s free speech to go out and fight has little to do with that major police failure… The Federal government had proposed to help, days prior, and the capitol police declined because of “bad optics“.

What was a sort of passive aggressive coup was that the so-called “Democrats” impeaching Trump quite a bit for more than 4 years, by accusing him of being a Russian agent. The opponents of the so-called “Democrats” will remember this continual impeachment (which drowned reality in an ocean of lies). What was much more of a coup was that those who conspired to invade Iraq, in violation of international law, were never tried… or not even suspected by the sheeple, thank to plutocratic propaganda!

Democracies have riots, it goes with the concept of the People Power (Demos-Kratia). Debate itself is the core concept of democracy, and “debate” means beating up completely. Agreed, in a civilization functioning optimally, it is best that individuals do not get hurt physically, or even psychologically… But the later is unavoidable: the Socratic method, as related by Plato, could be very harsh.

Progress means turmoil. The best way to generate better, that is newer, ideas is emotions, even passions, thus turmoil. Idea making means trouble making…

And thus trouble making should be cracked down upon only when clearly it violates the law.

And free speech ought to be rarely in violation of the law. When free speech goes too far, one should go the British route, the way the French used to do it, and have the police give a “warning”. And circumstances are crucial. Say somebody writes on the Internet:”Kill all whites!”. That’s different from a teacher teaching children with:”Kill all whites!”

Is that a coup? Or a comedy organized by a self-declared “Nordic Shaman” (pictured, with horns)

So that little riot was not a coup. In a coup, even a self-coup, the army is involved. When ignorant Trumpists marched on the Capitol, it is not them, the rioters, who got tacit approval of the army. Quite the opposite. The Capitol Police had declined the help offered by the National Guard. I have been in a country during a coup, that’s something else entirely. Or look at Myanmar/Burma last week for what a coup is. I have ALSO been in street riotting (many times, and not on the side of law enforcement). The Capitol Police was incredibly incompetent. Since 1871, no riot ever breached a serious public building in Paris… with much more numerous, powerful and determined demonstrations (including one where more than 100 individuals got killed). The lack of nerves of the US elite calling that little riot a coup is part of the “Manifest Destiny” problem, a kind of hypersensitivity of the elite for any inconvenience coming its way. The fact the present president is held, in cogent circles, as a criminal against humanity is not “whataboutism”. Only those who don’t mind killing millions of foreigners say such a thing. It never happened in the history of the US, and rarely in the history of the world. Do you have any idea of the monstrosity visited upon Iraq? Is it un-American to notice it? Why?

One can be wrong by deliberately ignoring right.US citizens do not know the US attacked Afghanistan secretly on July 3, 1979, to provoke a Soviet reaction in 1980… Under DEMOCRATIC saint Jimmy Carter. US citizens should learn this, it is a moral imperative, because the initiation of massive war by the USA in the Middle East, in several alliances with ultra violent Muslim Fundamentalists, killed at least 5 millions… and the mood of secrecy and viciousness presiding over this assault is still NOT suspected, let alone examined. One needs to learn about the fact US leaders engage in secret wars: it is a coup against humanity and a war crime. Because they could get away with that, US leaders could get away with various crushings of rights, within the US.

So where are we at? Biden, so far, is leaving the meat, the core, the essence of the Trump era… in place. All the changes, so far, are cosmetic. The border has become porous: in a few weeks, the invasion situation (3,000/day, it is said) will become obvious, and Biden will say:”Sorry, but we have to do something!”. Same story, basically with the pipeline. Magically, the economy is not free of fossil fuels. As long as Canada is allowed to sell its tar sand poison, it will be transported… Doing it with a pipe in as lesser evil. And the Paris Accord will not change a thing: if anything it encourages those increasing the most their pollution (China, India, Poland)… to do even more so. Not that they are culprit, really, it’s the absence of new technology which is the cause of the problem, and that’s where the real fix is (aside from taxing the most polluting activities).

In any case, something real progressives ought to keep in mind:

COVERT ACTION MAGAZINE.COMBiden’s Key Role in the Crime of the Century: The 2003 U.S. Invasion of Iraq – CovertAction Magazine

Biden has much to do, if he wants history to forgive him for inciting and helping to invade Iraq (among other global plutocracy friendly conspiracies he was a principal of). We have to wish him luck, but we will verify, step by step…

And the way? NASA’s Perseverance, the Plutonium powered robotic rover cum helicopter successfully landed on Mars. A magnificent success including entering the atmosphere at 11 kilometers per second, around 400 times per unit of mass the kinetic energy of the fastest bullet, followed by a deceleration of ten gs (ten times Earth’s gravity), then braking with a hypersonic parachute, followed by braking with rockets, and finally a “sky crane”… There is no way forward but with much more and much better tech.

In 1976, the two US Viking landers found biological activity in Martian soil. The results were disbelieved (that’s OK)… But then its was not tried to repeat the experiments… And that’s not OK. Indeed the experiments are so far unexplained. The original head of the Viking project now believes life was detected.

Some will scoff about the interest of finding life on Mars. But biology on Mars, if it exists, is sure to advance our understanding of biology on Earth. Science is like that: any experiment helps, positive or negative. Even the very humanly costly COVID experiment… helps. Helps whom, what? The essence of humanity, to go where no monkey has gone before…

Life is a riot…

Patrice Ayme

Debating: Beating Thoroughly. Why Convictions Can Be Worse Than Lies.

January 4, 2021

Con-viction is what comes with victory… Thus after the victory. A conviction is not conducive to debate, because it assumes victory has been achieved, whereas debate assumes the battle is on, and will be thorough. Convictions are by definition not to be debated… By the way, debate is how ideas, and thus intelligence arise…

Intelligence comes out of debate, and debate means to beat out thoroughly (de-battuere) [1]. The best science is best because it beats alternative facts and theories into total and complete submission, explaining not just the truth, but why the enemy is false, fake and erroneous (for example Euclid forgot about Non-Euclidean geometry established before him; Aristotle omitted the existence of friction; Galilean Mechanics did not know about electromagnetism and its speed of light, a local constant; Newton confused the impetus/momentum of Buridan with energy, as Emilie du Chatelet showed).

Fanatics Don’t Know Any Better. Liars Do.

All and any greater and bigger truth started as a violent war, and always will. This is why top thinkers are generally most hated (although half-top types can be loved by the authorities and thus the commons, as long as they are silly enough, and innocuous looking, for example Einstein…).

We can see this with COVID: all health authorities should switch to one shot vaccination, as it is pretty obvious that the mask masquerade is making the situation worse. All this can be easily scientifically justified, but those who confuse the scientific methods with yapping and howling as coyotes do, all together now, become immediately violent when this is claimed (and will not listen to the scientific arguments). Hey, it is a question of the (expert) establishment keeping the multitude under the most stupid form…

Want Better Thoughts? Prepare For A Bigger War!

Patrice Ayme

***

***

[1] debate (v.)
late 14c., “to quarrel, dispute,” also “to combat, fight, make war” (senses now archaic), also “discuss, deliberate upon the pros and cons of,” from Old French debatre (13c., Modern French débattre), originally “to fight,” from de- “down, completely” (see de-) + batre “to beat,” from Latin battuere “beat” (see batter (v.)).

Want More Civilization? Debate More! That Is: Beat Up Completely!

October 2, 2020

REASON IS WAR BY OTHER MEANS, AND WITH OTHER GOALS. BUT STILL WAR. RUDE IS REASON.
Debate is central to humanity. Debate fosters intelligence. De-bate is intrinsically violent: it is a battle. Our ancestors won, and were not eaten, because they beat up the opposition completely.
Correct logic knows no alternative.
To debate comes from “to quarrel, dispute,” also “to combat, fight, make war” (senses now archaic), also “discuss, deliberate upon the pros and cons of,” from Old French, Thirteenth Century, Modern French débattre). Originally “to fight,” from de- “down, completely” (see de-) + batre “to beat,” from Latin battuere “beat”.

No total dichotomy between reason and passion. There is no reason without passion. Having passion for reason is the only way to have reason.

The noun debate was coined in the late Fourteenth Century in France. These were revolutionary times. Debates were everywhere. These were intellectual times. Once a year, the university of Paris organized a commencement ceremony, and the hooded cortege was so long, it extended from one end of Paris. These were the times when Buridan and his students established the core of what Anglo-Saxons and their white Anglo supremacists followers call “Newtonian Mechanics”. The core was the F = ma law. It overturned 17 centuries of erroneous physics from Aristotle [1].
Buridan, a revolutionary character, physicist, mathematician, logician, and adviser to kings, became rector of the University of Paris… although he had refused to study theology (an iconoclast attitude at the time).

The presidential debate commission, at the request of Biden clan’s, is studying “new tools to maintain order”. In other words: censorship. The US is a republic where the presidents get censored… even before they make it to the presidency.
 
Having “moderators” ask different questions at different times to different individuals who answer separately with their lies, is not a debate.
In France, the sister republic of the USA [2], the two presidential candidates talk to each other across a table. No moderator. They have to moderate themselves. If they cannot moderate themselves, how do we expect them to moderate the world? Or the climate?

The Enlightenment was the triumph of reason. It was the triumph of finding the roots. Reason finds causes of why something is right, and why the alternatives are wrong. Reason does that by beating up those alternatives completely. Reason is war by other means, and with other goals. The goal is to establish supreme logics, those explaining the most significant facts, and demolishing the most significant lies .
Patrice Ayme

***

***

[1]. They also demonstrated, geometrically, the first theorems of differential calculus (with crafty geometric, that is, integral arguments).
***
[2] The French and US constitution were written down within three weeks of each other in 1789 CE… At a time when it took longer than that to cross the Atlantic. For generations, revolutionary French and American thinkers evolved hand in hand. American thinkers and influencers (Colonel Washington, etc.) interacted directly with the French in North America, and the influences were mutual. There was also a pervasive Native American influence: thereafter the American and French republics carried quite a bit of diffuse but crucial elements of Native America. In particular, the “Nature God” (not simply the Christian God) which was in the original constitutional documents of both republics. Christian god made its coup in 1954… but should be eased out… 

FUNDAMENTAL REASON FOR DEMOCRACY: BETTER THINKING

February 26, 2020

It’s never optimal for a society when a small oligarchy is in command, monopolizing power and knowledge. Arguably, it’s even diabolical, and it’s exactly what “plutocracy” means.
Arguably, monopolizing power and knowledge is even diabolical. This is exactly what the concept of “plutocracy” means. Being ruled by such oligarchies is tightly connected to civilization, which provides with the power, and the Dark Side, the evil, self-inflicted divinity, which has always, counterintuitively, keeps humanity in check.

As the world is now a village, a village with many ways and weapons of mass destruction, any subdistrict of the village living under dictatorship is bad for the rest of the village. Evil and incompetence can’t be isolated. Anymore.

A recent example? The Chinese dictatorship delayed the alert on the danger of the coronavirus COVID 19 by at least one month relative to what would have happened if the pandemic had started in an advanced democracy… And Chinese dictatorship employees actively suppressed whistleblowers with advanced medical knowledge, who tried to alert authorities and public about the danger. This certainly caused the death of thousands and impacted severely the world’s economy (causing in turn more death and destruction!)

To defeat the enemy, one has to know the enemy. And a world without enemies can’t exist, because our opportunity creates them, whether we like it, or not.

Ignorance comes from not knowing facts. In the most acute form, ignorance crystallizes itself by clinging to dogma: a rigid set of beliefs is supposed the know-all, be-all, can-all. This is what happens with any tribalism or religion, even when the religion is the cult of a leader… such as Stalin, or Xi… Or G W. Bush, invading Iraq.

Ignorance is never safe. Secrecy can rarely be justified on the part of those entrusted with power. Generally secrecy fosters the grip of those in power helping them to keep their power… And sometimes those who love power so much will do anything not just to keep that power, but to exact vengeance on all others alive, in the name of their reduced fate, should their power wane (Hitler’s obstinacy to kill as many as he could as long as he could is a striking example of such madness).

We are now a world village. Such a village has been increasing enforced since 1945, thanks to the United Nations and its enforcers. We want to keep it that way. Increasing democracy, by sharing knowledge and power is how to do so.

Our primary objective should be to make the world safer and better for all, and that requires debating well, to find better solutions. And debating optimally requires optimal information. Also debating everybody with everybody gives their chance to the most unexpected ideas, the more people take part in it. This capability, getting ideas from all over, to enrich debates maximally is the deepest, most fundamental reason for democracy. The more democracy, the more a people is forced to learn to think by itself, including forced to learn how one suspects, and gathers the most important facts. Once again, it’s not just a matter of choice, national preference, but of safety of spaceship Earth we all live on.

Patrice Ayme

Notre Dame Burning, Symbol Of A Degenerating Civilization, Where Expertise Has Collapsed

April 15, 2019

Completely incompetent leaders, and only them, decide what our world is. They take their little decisions in secret, among experts, unchallenged by the common sense of debate. They jet set around the planet and splurge.

Notre Dame catches fire. Where are the helicopters dumping water? Can’t have them say the experts, cathedral too fragile: a fire hotter than lava is more of a problem. Obviously an idiotic opinion (whereas planes have killed with the tons of water they suddenly dump, helicopters can be as gentle as needed: the water comes from a pail, and the pail could have filled up 100 meters away in the Seine).

The burning of Notre Dame tells us that the world’s “experts” are not what they claim to be. They are experts of routine, self-glorification, career building. Think about it: a roof with timber older than a millennium has burned. The “charpente” of Notre Dame was made of 1,300 oaks, each more than 1,000 years old. It was called “the forest”. Middle Ages engineers and firefighters took care of the cathedral, and its roof, for centuries, but their Twenty-First century alter-egos couldn’t.

Our civilization could go up in smoke even faster than that

Notre-Dame resisted 856 years, the Middle Ages, eight religious wars, the French Revolution, the Cossacks, the Franco-Prussian war, the Commune, WWI and the Kaiser’s shells, Hitler, V2s. But not Twenty-First Century arrogant incompetence! A warning for all!

***

Reactions on the spot:

Fire is out of control in the North Tower of Notre Dame (“Beffroy Nord”). Nobody told me this, I saw the flames on TV. The incompetence of “experts” is astronomical. The entire cathedral may well collapse.

Water dropping helicopters should have been used. No ifs and buts. Even Trump in his White House figured that one out right away. Trump was first to react, within half an hour:  

Donald J. Trump

Verified account

So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!

“Experts” begged to differ, and replied to Trump:

Sécurité Civile Fr‏  Hundreds of firemen of the Paris Fire Brigade are doing everything they can to bring the terrible #NotreDame fire under control. All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral.

My personal answer: That’s hogwash, you are incompetent. Helicopter dropping water from the Seine would have made a huge difference, OBVIOUSLY. You were NOT ready for the worst possible case. There is a principle for all of humanity rising with these flames: one has to be ready for the worst.

Looking at the fire progressing on the roof, it is completely obvious that water dropping copters would have mitigated the fire. It may even have helped collapsing part of the metallic cover below which the flames crawled…  

Fleche collapsing

Of course, a sprinkler system would have stopped the fire right away. What do the French authorities say to this? We don’t do sprinklers in France, or something to this effect.

What has happened since Notre Dame was built, 856 years ago? Not much of planetary significance for centuries, until around 1850 CE, when the CO2 built-up stopped the Little Ice Age.

Now the entire biosphere is crumbling under various industrial assaults of humanity. We need expertise as never before. And what do we observe? Our “experts” are not up to Middle Ages standards.

Remedy? Always the same idea: publicly, transparently, thoroughly, debate, with peculiar attention to idiosyncratic ideas.

A public debate on fire security for Notre Dame (and similar buildings throughout the world) would have brought the question: why not a sprinkler system?

Sprinkler systems can release prodigious quantities of water. NASA uses water suppression to cut down rocket engine sound from 285 decibels (which would destroy everything when reverberating) to half that (142 decibels). To do this the NASA sprinkler system releases 60 tons of water… per second.

It’s not really new tech: New York skyscrapers had sprinklers, a century ago. Oh, by the way, 60 tons of water per second would have stopped the World Trade Center fires in… seconds. (So the WTC would not have collapsed; that happened because when steel is brought up to 500 degrees Celsius, it loses half of its strength… The steel in the WTC got progressively brought up to 500 C, after an hour, or so, from the burning of furniture… initiated by burning the kerosene of the planes… was there kerosene at Notre Dame? The French authorities decided, within minutes, that it was an accident, no Jihadist involved, they are like Allah, they know everything…)

Another question would have been: why not helicopters? The question was already asked for the World Trade Center.

Spaceship Earth is in the hand of “experts”, or those elected oligarchs we call politicians. The politicians are experts because they asked “experts”.  

Leibnitz, probably to please his Pluto sponsors, claimed we were in the best of all possible worlds.

Well, the worst possible worlds always follow the best possible worlds. Dinosaurs won’t confirm this, but they would, if they could..

Patrice Ayme

***

***

Notes: 1) In 1902, Rilke came to Paris to become Rodin’s secretary. Rodin was working on the “Gates of Hell”, a monument made for the entrance of the new Orsay Palace… which had been burned during the Commune of 1971. Rilke wrote:

“… because the great cities, Lord, are damned,

and the panic of fire simmers in their breasts.”

I saw Rodin’s “Gates of Hell”. even touched it, at a private Pluto event in Stanford University…

Where material wealth thrives, the art goes…

***

The French state of incompetency couldn’t find money to install a sprinkler system in Notre Dame… Or in another 2,000 historical buildings in France. Another cathedral burned last year or so. In Nantes. See the picture inside:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/moods-rule-thus-california-burns-with-fire-pascal-other-jihadists-with-hatred/


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