Posts Tagged ‘Debate’

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!

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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

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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…

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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/

Debate Islam Intellectually: That Means Don’t Massacre Muslims

March 15, 2019

There was an abominable attack against people inside mosques in New Zealand. The perpetrators explained they created violence, to lead Jihadists in turn to be more violent, amplifying the initial violence, until apartheid ensues, and all Muslims go back home (never mind that some of the “Muslims” went to the “West” precisely because they couldn’t stand Islam anymore; moreover many of the worst Jihadists are “Western” converts to Islam, as the final battles of the Islamist State showed).

The idea of the assassins in New Zealand then is that the “Great Replacement” of “whites” by “Muslims” would stop, once the violence level is high enough.

That there is a “Great Replacement” is a fact, but the cause is not Islam per se. We have seen that story before, namely when the plutocrats took power in the Roman Republic: the population of Italy collapsed. It doesn’t have thus to do with Islam, but with the replacement of democracy by plutocracy, and the discouragement which then possess the subjugated masses…

Bringing violence in, amplifying it, could work, it has worked many times before, except if everybody knows the game, because then everybody goes meta on the game, and the game changes to a meta form, another game. All the more that, in this case, this is the ultimate form of game, where people become game and get killed… thus motivating all participants (that’s all of grown-up humanity) to become much more involved and smarter.

I have been there. Magnificent. I recommend visiting Isfahan, one of the world’s most spectacular cities. An occasion to ponder the history of iran, at the time of Shah Abbas…. And why, ultimately, didn’t work… Thus why a more democratic society is intellectually, thus physically, superior…

Earlier in the week, the relevant authority in Pakistan called me all sorts of names and asked for my site to be shut down (supposedly that was partly one; I would be interested to know how many islamofascist countries obeyed…) Clearly, civilization is having a problem with debating ideas.

Some Mosques are among the world’s most beautiful buildings, and should be religiously preserved, just for that. In the name of the religion of the most beautiful art. Although Islam administered countries didn’t contribute to civilization as much as Islamophiles claim, they played a positive rle, be it only, irony of ironies, by preserving a significant part of the Greco-Roman inheritance found in the regions the Jihadists had invade.

The basic Islam ideology was the fruit of Muhammad’s life. Said life was entangled with Christianism and Judaism. Muhammad actually met his first wife thanks to some Christian whom he had met in Christian land, next to (then Christian administered and occupied) Jerusalem. Later, a cousin of theat first wife, who was one of the most famous  and proselytizing Muslims in Arabia, suggested to muhammad that his visions in the desert were those of the Archangel Gabriel, talking in the name of the (Judeo-Christian) god. As there were difference between what Muhammad thought he heard and the practice of Christians and Jews, he endeavored to set them right in a set of revelations, the Recitation, the Qur’an.

Muhammad had other agendas too, and became a confirmed caravan raider, after being a caravan trader for his wealthy business woman of a wife. He was well aware of the fragile state of Rome and Sassanid Persia after a long exhausting war between these two. He declared that was the best time to attack in 1,000 years, after 12 centuries of Greek and Persian domination. So attack he did: he led a huge army into Roman territory… but the Romans refused combat and withdrew. Muhammad went back to Mecca, and mysteriously died, traditionally age 62 (but his real age may have been very different).

At Muhammad’s death, the first two “Successors”, the first two “Caliphs”, Abu Bakr and Omar, conspired to tweak or select much of the Qur’an. Aisha, Muhammad’s child-bride was involved in this too: confronted by Omar about the disappearance of some verses in the Qur’an, she claimed that she had hidden them under a bed, but, unfortunately, a goat had found the verses, and eaten them. Omar was a notorious mysogenine, and Aisha was notoriously free-wheeling (with Muhammad’s benediction).

Muslim warriors (Jihhadists) were promised to sit next to god if they died fighting for Islam. Under Abu Bakr and Omar, in a few years, the Muslim army destroyed Persia, and conquered Syria, Palestine and Egypt. The military expansion of Islam took all by surprise, and, within a generation, Islam had the largest empire on Earth ever. Ultimately, the Greek Fire of the Roman Navy prevented the fall of Constantinople. A circumnavigation around the Mediterranean subdued North Africa after a long and terrible war. The conquest of Spain, though, was rapid.

Then three Muslim invasion of France in quick succession failed, with huge Muslim defeats in Toulouse (721 CE), Poitiers (732 CE), Narbonne (748 CE). its army annihilated, the Umayyad Caliphate in Damascus fell (750 CE), and was replaced by the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad… which, ultimate irony, was Iranian controlled…

The next irony: Baghdad fell to the Mongols, and their Frankish, Georgian and Armenian allies.  

In the following 13 centuries, more than 100 variant of Islam evolved. Some have really nothing in common: Black African Sunni Islam could have women not just with naked heads, but naked torsos, and free exhibitionist mentalities commensurate to their minimal clothing… While in some Arab countries, women could be killed, just for having interacted with a non-Muslim male.

My family is half from Africa, and I spent my childhood among “Muslims”. Except those Muslims had nothing to do with the bigots now presented as “Muslim”, who are anxious to impose their “Sharia”. Those a bit familiar with Muhammad know well that the Sharia, much of it established well after Muhammad’s death, doesn’t reflect Muhammad’s mentality. Although Muhammad had something against civilization as organized by Romans and Persians, he was not sexist, considering the circumstances: he apparently gave Aisha the discretion upon her sexual freedom, although they were married (she was still a teenager). When the bishop of Alexandria offered him a Christian female slave of great beauty, he loved her immensely, all the more as she gave him his only son (who died of disease, a few months before his father). Clearly, if one espouses Muhammad anti-sexist spirit, women shouldn’t be legally worth half of what men are worth, etc. Sometimes following the letter condemns the spirit. 

Greco-Roman polytheism didn’t force the masses to practice it. Christianism and Islamism (differently from their origin, Judaism) forced those who practiced other beliefs to become Christian, or Muslim, or then subjugated and exploited them. Hence Christians and Muslims eradicated all religions… except Judaism, which, being their root, proved harder to extricate…

Enough with all this cretinism. How do we mitigate it?

It is alarming that countries, such as Pakistan, which practice the enforcement of a particular superstitious religion, are allowed to be considered in good standing at the United Nations. Instead, they should be condemned and having various privileges removed. Democracies and the organizations and corporations originating from them should be forced to make cooperation with various fascisms increasingly difficult.  

Secularism is the way. The alternative is war. In the case of Pakistan, it means thermonuclear war. Before we come to that, we should debate.

Meanwhile, let’s protest against dictatorship, as millions of Algerians are presently doing. There the demonstrators don’t hesitate to tell the truth: the present FNL dictatorship was put in power by… France. More exactly what one should call the French presidential dictatorship of De Gaulle, then in power. Referendums had been conducted in Algeria, during the dusk of Paris colonial rule. The will of the Algerian people, long neglected, was then clearly expressed:Algeria wanted democracy, a Republic… And that will was violated by the powers that be, in power then in Paris (acting on behalf of the influences behind the French throne, and some came from the world of finance, Washington, Moscow…).

Paradoxically, the racist De Gaulle thought he could separate France and Algeria. Forever. That was naive on his part (or then his racism was out of rational control). Instead, we ended with the Great Replacement, because the same logic which exploited Algeria all too long, exploited France in turn… Whereas Algerians reacted with a demographic explosion, France, and Europe reacted with the opposite. That, again, is nothing new: we have many historical examples, of both effects, that’s how populations get replaced. And there is a logic underneath, it should be debated… because, nowadays, the weapons are bigger, and the going down, not as placid…

Patrice Ayme

Talk, Listen, Debate

November 28, 2015

What do we need? Correct, or, at least, less erroneous thinking. How do we get there? By rejecting yesterday’s all too simple thinking. It will have to start with revisiting simple sayings, and the trite dichotomies attached to them (presenting the world as black and white conflicts of opposites). Let’s consider one of the Dalai Lama’s (trite) sayings:

“When you talk, you are only repeating what you know, But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

Yes, well, and then? Is that supposed to be true? Speech and listening are somehow opposed, and speech is useless? But if someone is speaking somebody else is listening, no?

The Dalai Lama makes a dichotomy, a Manichaeism, a total opposition between “speech” and listening. That’s erroneous. He compounds the mistake by telling us that speech cannot be creative. The Dalai Lama views mental exchange mostly as listening (religiously?) and then mechanically reproducing what one has listened to. In other words, be a Tibetan monk.

Speech HAS TO be creative, it’s a question of morality. First one has to talk to oneself, so one can consider what one is talking about:

I Think, Therefore I Debate With Myself. Rodin Museum, Paris

I Think, Therefore I Debate With Myself. Rodin Museum, Paris

When people talk they do this according to a method peculiar to themselves, as different individuals, handling differently different subjects, either human or theoretical. The speech spectrum has two extremities: on one end, brainless slogans repeated with the intelligence of a recording. On the other end, talk can be used to weave a meta discourse bringing together disparate elements of one’s mind never united before. So the spectrum of speech goes from brainless slogans, all the way to its exact opposite, the creation of new logic.

Thus speech can bring something new to the one proffering it. Indeed, this is what honest to goodness papers in theoretical science do. A good example there is probably Einstein’s famous paper “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”. This paper of 1905 is generally seen as founding the Theory Of Relativity. However, I don’t think it contains one original element: not one original equation, nor even an original thought (Poincare’ and Lorentz, plus at least a dozen other lesser, yet still important. authors, had contributed before; Poincare’ demonstrated E = mcc in 1900…)

So what did Einstein do which was original? He weaved all preceding efforts in just one discourse. He repeated what he knew, and many others knew, but organized as one (apparently) simple logic (which swept under the carpet some of the difficulties Poincare’ was bothered by). None of what Einstein said was new, but the presentation was. Jean de La Bruyère‘s “Tout est dit depuis qu’il y a des hommes et qu’ils pensent”  (All is said, since there are men, and they think) is doubly false: not only there are new facts, but new ways of organizing them.

So there is an alternative to the dreary opposition of talking versus listening: DEBATING. Then the back and forth between talking and listening can bring new logic not suspected before. Even debating fools can be useful that way: the method was used by Socrates and Plato, or by Galileo Galilei (in the latter case, it made his friend the Pope furious, as it suspected that he was the fool Galileo had depicted in his “debate”).

For example debating climate deniers was useful to me: their brainless opposition helped me point out the irrefutable, and go around their irreducible single-mindedness. We went from 280 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 EQUIVALENTS to 450 ppm of CO2 EQUIVALENTS (CO2 + CH4 + NO + NO2 + Fluorocarbons, etc… in 200 years. Obviously not something one can brush off: these gases have physiological effects, if nothing else.

When we talk,

We should try to express

What we did not know,

That we knew, the hidden logic

Within what we knew

Helped by your interlocutor’s Objections,

Informations, And Passions,

Needed to produce

What no one knew before.

It is complexity

We want to learn from,

Not just from what others think they know.

“Knowing” and “Thinking” are much tortured, thus tortuous, concepts. 

“Debate” comes from the Old French “Debatre” (to beat down completely). The modern French usage is noble: it means a thorough exchange of ideas and emotions supposed to create the sort of mental turmoil necessary for mental progress.

We are very far from the Dalai Lama’s implicit assertion that speech is devoid of creativity and only the others know something new. Now, indeed the speech of someone leading a superstitious religion is bound to be mechanical (Tibetan Buddhism is very superstitious, Zen Buddhism is not).

Complexity of thought is characterized by meta-discourses. The usual theory of “META” involves generating new elements through Cantor Diagonalization (or something close to it). I simply say that a theory is META relative to another if it is bigger.

For example the physics we have today is bigger, than any previously, because not only it’s more correct, but it exactly explains the erroneous physics of the past, and how our unfortunate predecessors got to commit their errors We beat them up completely.

So listen, yes, but don’t forget to contradict… And to complexify. It is not enough to present a better theory, one has to demolish the preceding theory. A debate is automatically bigger. It is more meta.

I think, therefore I debate. Yes, there is an aggressive element in it. We should admit it, instead of whining about all and any violence (because if we do not violently think, physical violence will be directed at us, anyway!)

Anne, my sister-in-law, has lived all around the world. American-born, now emigrated to Australia, she just observed the following. Anglo-Saxon countries such as Australia, the USA, Canada, are young and sport obsessed. A question is why the sport obsession?

The sport obsession is not just there to fight the poor diet and general spiritual vacuity particularly marked in the USA (as if it could). It is there to teach the young to accept defeat. Sport practice, thus graciously accepted defeat, is the back door to welcoming debate, and to accepting its conclusions, however unpalatable. Thus obsessive sport practice is key to British style pragmatism.

So, paradoxically, higher thinking relates to the theory of just war. In truth, it’s not that weird, for the reasons I gave above. It suggests why, should there be another advanced intelligence out there in the universe (unlikely), it will know how to debate, to  completely beat down, and we better make sure that ours is bigger than theirs, if we joined the debate (not that we will have a choice; and you thought this was just about the Islamist State!)

We think well, because we are an aggressive species, and sometimes, all too aggressive (and that’s why Einstein quoted nobody in his famous 1905 paper).

Religiously listening to others, as the Dalai Lama proposes to do, carried to the extent he proposes, believing we cannot think anew, all by ourselves, is actually immoral. It is throwing down THE THINKER, as a parrot to himself.

We live increasingly in the shared economy: if people know how to drive, cook, or make a bed, they should be able to get compensated financially when they offer their services to someone else. And yes escorting someone is not brain surgery, and one should not have to be certified and mandated by the state to do so.

Similarly, we live in the SHARED MIND, and that should be directly connected to Direct Democracy. The Shared Mind ought to be, first of all, about debating issues, with priority given to those directly impacting the survival of the biosphere, that is the survival of all we love.

Last, and not least: debate, as I explained, involves aggressivity. But one has to learn to keep it in check, naturally, as too much aggression will kill further debate. So learning to debate is a skill. A skill which involves listening, talking, and learning to go beyond, where ideas and emotions have not gone before. And to learn to let ideas and emotions run free, before corralling them back, changed as they are by their excursion in the wilderness.

Debating is actually what the café’ culture is all about, promoting deeper thinking, and that is exactly why the Islamist State tried to kill it in Paris with bullets. That’s why it will have to be beaten down completely, starting with its terror manual.

Patrice Ayme’

Dying Of Laughter. Not Dying Of Fright

January 11, 2015

MORTS DE RIRE, PAS MORTS DE PEUR

Fanatics kill those who laugh. Their crime? They did not die of fright, first.

Huge demonstrations in France to protest the killing of famous humorists, authors, and even of an important progressive Bank of France economist (Maris). And also Jews, just because they were Jews, and police officers, just because they were police officers.

Four million people marched in  the streets to demonstrate their support for Freedom of Expression, and the LAIC Republic (with more than 80% approval rating). Forty-seven heads of states and governments joined, including Merkel, British PM Cameron (his first demonstration, ever), and all the important politicians in Europe.

The Marseillaise was sung, again and again, for Charlie Hebdo humorists, some of the fiercest anti-nationalists, ever.

"Je Suis Charlie" Demonstration in Nice

“Je Suis Charlie” Demonstration in Nice

The bells of Notre Dame rang for some of the most Atheist and Pagan thinkers, ever. This is perfectly appropriate: after all, the philosopher Pierre Abélard taught at the Cathedral which stood where Notre Dame now is. Abélard exposed the contradictions of theology, publishing the “Sic Et Non”, the “Yes And No” in 1121 CE. Abélard founded general semantics, among others things, and was famous throughout Europe for his songs.

The attack against Charlie Hebdo was the most severe such attack ever since Francia was founded by the Franks, more than 15 centuries ago. A fact that is striking and true: even the Nazis did not stoop that low (instead they affected a respect for French culture, and that’s how Sartre and company got started).

The Franks clamped down on ”Orthodox Catholic” Christianism, which had devastated the Roman State they were then in charge of saving. The Franks re-established the laic state that ruled before the Emperor Cult and the associated Christian State emperors imposed.

The Franks created their own bishops, and their own saints. This is well documented in bishop Gregory of Tours’ “History of the Franks”. Gregorius was leading prelate of Gaul (Gallia). The Christians fanatics, led by the Pope, would brandish death threats for generations. Ultimately they had to come on their knees, and beg the Franks to chase the Lombards (Long Beards) from Italy. That was 300 years after Clovis imposed a tolerant, laic Christianism.

Laic Christianism? Yes. Actually laic versions of Islam, especially Sufi (such as the one centered on Senegal) already exist. They have been submerged by fanatical version promoted by Saudi Arabia plutocrats, in the last few decades.

France became the “Eldest Daughter” of the senile, murderous Christian Church that had ravaged the Roman mind, Romanitas. So doing, Francia rebuilt Christianism.

(Three centuries after Clovis, Charlemagne attributed land to the Papacy, creating the so-called Papal States; it was well understood that the Pope took his orders from the “Renovated” Roman Empire).

Laicity translates the French laïcité, from Late Latin laicus + French -ité –ity. “Laicus” comes from the Greek “laikos”, meaning, of the people. I am not going to dissert on this now, but “Laikos” stands for “Human Ethology” (to describe it in the contemporary scientific semantics). Our common humanity, in other words.

When an ideology tries to devastate human ethology, Laicity, it should be repressed. Repression is civilization.

Indomitable Spirit, Crushing Infamy

Indomitable Spirit, Crushing Infamy

France has lost many battle, but is winning the war. This is exactly why Al Qaeda targeted her at her heart, Freedom of Expression. “Frank” means “Free”. The Franks gave their name to the Roman “Francia” they led.

Even the New York Times, in an excellent article by Douthat recognizes that “France is the Crucible of Europe”: “notwithstanding these declinist fears, France isn’t actually irrelevant or spent. Instead, it’s arguably becoming more important, more central to the fate of Europe and the West.

… politically, culturally, even intellectually, events in France over the next half-century could matter more than at any point since before the two world wars. Indeed, more than Germany or Greece or Britain or any other actor, it’s in France that the fate of 21st-century Europe could ultimately be decided…”

Why and How Did France Become So Central To Civilization?

Present day France, at the crossroads of the three main trade routes of Europe, has been continually at war for millennia, and whoever happen to reside there lost many battles. However this central position has fostered tolerance and understanding. Already 16 centuries ago, Celto-Germans, Romans, Jews, Franks, Goths and Burgunds had built a melting pot: many languages were spoken (three Celtic languages, Latin, Frankish, and various Germanic languages), and many religions were practiced (Francia did not have.

By 600 CE all citizens of what is now most of France, Germany and surrounding lands had become “Franks” (following the Constitutio Antoniniana of 212 CE).

The Franks, attached to freedom, as all Germans, outlawed slavery over all of Europe… Except in the part of Iberia the Islamists controlled. After the Franks invaded Britain in 1066 CE, not only did they outlaw slavery, but the franks established the basis of a more democratic state.

This made France a natural place for Protestantism: Cathars and Protestants appeared there, centuries before Luther. And for the Enlightenment.

The Enlightenment brought not only the republic of the United States of America (with a 5 trillion dollars world war to defeat Britain and give birth to the USA), but also the French Constitution of 1789, which proclaimed all men equal and gave them equal rights, independently of property, race, ethnicity, religion.

The Revolution of 1789 gave rise to the United Nations’ Charter, the very core of today’s civilization. 1789 also gave rise to the present European Union. France originated, and is the natural soul of both enterprises (and not just of the USA).

Let’s go back to Douhat (who embraced several themes I embraced for a decade):

“Then amid these political and economic patterns there’s an important intellectual possibility — namely, that if there’s something beyond the West’s current end-of-history torpor, some new ideological conflict or synthesis, it might emerge first in the place where so many revolutions had their birth.

France has always been a country of extremes — absolutist and republican, Catholic and anticlerical, Communist and fascist. Now it’s once again the place where strong forces are colliding, and where the culture’s uncertainties — about Islam, secularism, nationalism, Europe; about modernity itself — suggest that new ones might soon be born.

The decline has been real, but the future is unwritten. If there is real history yet to be made in Europe, for good or ill, it might be made first in la belle France.”

Not just Europe, the world.

Far from being struck by blind awe, evoking France, and its intellectuals. Actually the devastating notion of “multiculturalism” was born there. Some secondary French intellectuals breathed heavily on the United Nations, in a dumb tradition Rousseau inaugurated, to suggest that any culture, as long as it was different was glorious and to be allowed free reign.

This was Rousseau’s grave error, and it’s not at all what the history of Western Europe suggests. Far from it.

It is the Franks who grabbed and brandished the word “Europe”, when the Islamists launched three furious, massive land and sea invasions of Francia, in the period 721 CE-749 CE. They failed, their armies were totally destroyed, the Arab Caliphate fell (750 CE).

The history of Europe is the history of the progression of ever better ideas (and the annihilation of very bad ones). The Romans outlawed any religions founded on human sacrifices, and tried to make work a universal republic (their failure was due to a global fiscal failure, allowing the rise of plutocracy; so the problem is very contemporary). The Franks threw out religious fanaticism, and outlawed slavery.

None of this would have happened without creative brainwork. Those who don’t understand satire, don’t understand creative thinking. Satire is an old Greco-Roman tradition: consider the Satyricon (Book of Satyr-like thinking”; or consider satire from Horace, Juvenal, Apuleius…). Dionysian thinking and practice was all about satyrs, and satire (Nietzsche recognized its use around 1870, but Dante, Rabelais, Erasmus, Voltaire, etc. are all about it).

France is the country of intellectual extremes because it is the country of debate: one cannot debate persons who are in full agreement. Many French, when launched in a conversation, love to start their sentences with :”Non!”. It’s not that they dislike their interlocutor, but they need to stand, and be opposed (they will often defend the opposite point of view in the next debate).

And that is why Al Qaeda targeted the core of what makes debate possible, Freedom of Expression. Satire, and especially blasphemy, is not just a right super intelligence has. It is not just a duty.

Satire and blasphemy is how super intelligence is born. Imitations never qualified.

Patrice Ayme’

Vignettes on the massacre: 1) One the heavily armed thugs took over a Jewish supermarket, on the ground that all Jews should die (that’s more or less implied in the Qur’an, and certainly very explicit in the Haddith: I will roll out the quotes in another essay). The terrorists commandeered one of the cashiers to close the iron curtain. A 21 young Tunisian grabbed the terrorist’s machine gun, armed, aimed, and pulled the trigger. But the gun jammed, and the murderer tore him apart with his AK47 (the terrorist had already killed a “black” policewoman, shooting her in the back, and grievously wounded other people, the day before).

2) An African immigrant introduced many shoppers in the congelation room  of the Jewish supermarket, told them to stay silent, locked the door, and cut the power. They were not detected by the terrorist, and all saved. The African succeeded to flee, and informed the police.

3) Some hostages informed the police through Smart Phones. After a hostage told the police that the terrorist was making his prayers, the RAID force decided to attack immediately. After a furious exchange of gunfire, the madman charged the officers, and was riddled with bullets, so that he could not activate explosives. Casualties: 4 officers were lightly wounded, terrorist killed, no hostage hurt (those killed had been killed by the terrorist earlier).

Propaganda From Subject Control

May 2, 2014

Another day, another clueless editorial of Paul Krugman about the socio-economic crisis. Krugman, in his embarrassing naivety, opposes, as all too many do, austerity versus [the attitude that it’s] “no time to worry about budget deficits and cut spending, which would only deepen the depression”. Sorry, reality is otherwise subtle.

[Funny Krugman calls it a depression now. I called it a Greater Depression, all along, precisely because the causes are so deep, and so deliberately misunderstood, I expected the depression to last indefinitely.]

I sent a comment. It was delayed from publication for nine hours, by the censors at the New York Times, and that made sure few people saw it (3 readers approved it). “Preferred commenters” of the New York Time such as Karen Garcia, were published right away (and approved by a thousand people). It’s not that Karen Garcia is wrong (she parrots some of the consequences that I have evoked for years).

The problem with Karen Garcia and other commenters and editorialists the NYT advertises, is that they describe epiphenomena as if they were fundamental, while not even guessing what the fundamental problems are.

Because I understand the fundamental causes, the NYT tries to make sure I am not read. A good way to insure the deepest debates are avoided, is to drown us with thousands of comments always from the same commenters, always late on the critical curve.

Here is one of the perpetually “featured commenter” of  the NYT: “Karen Garcia is a trusted commenter New Paltz, NY

It’s not that economics failed. It’s that the cult of Mammon succeeded. The rich control all of us via such legalized bribery scams as Citizens United. The rich ensure that the austerity dogma is broadcast by their six media conglomerates, and that only two sides of one big business party are allowed to exist. Wherever they detect an opportunity vacuum, wherever they smell another distressed pocket of humanity, they pounce. A study by some Northwestern University researchers reveals that while the wealthy (they like to call themselves “thought leaders”) intellectually accept Keynesian economics, they’re de facto Scrooges.

Some findings: –Only 16% of millionaires think climate change is “very important.”

— While two-thirds of Americans favor single payer health care, less than a third of the wealthy do.

— The rich favor more government spending in only three areas: science, infrastructure, and education. Investment opportunities abound for charter schools, privatized toll roads, university research programs — all funded on the public dime for private profit.

— Only 19% of the wealthy believe the government should create jobs for the unemployed (as opposed to 68% of the general public). Less than half favor raising the minimum wage. Less than half think it is the government’s job to see that nobody goes without food, clothing and shelter. It’s not that economics failed. It’s that we’re living in a nightmare reality show called “Plutocrats Gone Wild.”

Karen Garcia is a trusted commenter New Paltz, NY:

Here’s the link to the Northwestern study cited above: http://faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu/~jnd260/cab/CAB2012%20-%20Page1.pdf

One of its authors, Benjamin Page, also collaborated with Martin Gilens of Princeton on the just-released preview of a forthcoming report which concludes the USA is well on its way to becoming an oligarchy. That paper is here: http://www.princeton.edu/~mgilens/Gilens%20homepage%20materials/Gilens%2…

On one hand, I am proud to be a commenter NOT trusted by the plutocratic owners of the New York Times. On the other, that means that my deeper critiques go unnoticed.

The “Garcias” the NYT submits us to, look very “lefty”. And I approve Garcia’s message above. But, just as with Krugman, that talk does not have much teeth (being very late on my curves).

Indeed: how did the cult of Mammon arise? That “Garcia”, in her zillions of “featured comments” has never said, and never will, not any more than Krugman (except, of course, when, and only when, everybody knows about it: Garcia and Krugman use the concept of “plutocrats” now… but did not, for years).

The rise of Mammon has to do with the, leverage, government guaranteed, unsupervised Public-Private Fractional Reserve System, and the Public-Private Central Bank. Instituting a world wide hedging casino also helped. All together allowed financiers to get immensely rich, and, thus, powerful.

That Krugman will not tell you, and nor will “Garcia”. Quite the opposite. Too technical. Krugman insisted for years that the futures’ market had no effect on the real economy. Clueless max (I sent him plenty of comments to enlighten him, but I am still waiting for results!)

Krugman asked a number of rhetorical questions in “Why Did Economics Fail?”. He made clear that it is not “economics” that failed. I answered them:

Krugman: Why inadequate demand?

Because there was not enough money for the real economy (a good way to get there is by cutting the incomes a normal people). Why not enough money? Because banks create money, through credit.

Banks extended that money to financial co-conspirators, the hedge fund managers and other financial and future commodity traders, quite a few of them in house. One could not do this in the past as these activities, using all the money in the world to run a casino, did not exist in the past.

That basic problem has not been fixed. It requires re-instating a modernized version of the Banking Act of 1933. The casino-that-uses-all-the-money-in-the-world ought to be dismantled, too.

Krugman: “this was no time to worry about budget deficits and cut spending, which would only deepen the depression.”

Yes, I have called it the Greater Depression, and so it is in term of unemployment and GDP, as, in many countries, the numbers are worse than in the 1930s.

When budget deficits are caused by hedge fund managers paying less taxes than janitors, or because corrupt bankers funneled money to co-conspirators to build airports, or towns in the middle of nowhere, and the banks have to be rescued, we should worry about deficits.

When spending has to do with crony capitalism, we should worry about deficits.

Krugman: “why didn’t we use the economic knowledge we had?”

Because the plutocrats are not after repairing the economy. They are after their own profits first, destroying democracy second. To get to the latter, the more high unemployment and poverty, the better. Whether the plutocrats in command are aware of this desire of them, is irrelevant. They have it, deep inside.

Naturally, the hyper wealthy tend to reward economists that support their views, and since the wealthier the university, the higher the salaries and the more they are connected to plutocracy central, the desire of the Plutos became the teaching of the most respected economists, the mainstream economic thought.

***

REFRESHING OURSELVES WITH THE ROMAN PERSPECTIVE:

In imperial Rome, and Constantinople, plutocrats feared revolution, and the return of the Republic.

(That fear extended all the way to 17C England and France; Anne of Austria, reigning queen of France, mother of Louis XIV, faced by the Parliament’s deputies told them it was “evil to prefer the government of a republic to that of a monarchy… We are not in a republic.”) .

To prevent the return of the Respublica, Roman plutocrats made sure that most people were unemployed in Italy in general, and especially in the world’s largest city, Rome. Unemployed people are powerless (idleness can’t strike), and unemployed people dependent upon the “philanthropy” of the richest (a phenomenon in plain evidence in the USA, where filthy plutocratic tax free plotting conspirators have to be called “philanthropists”, especially when they capture the educational, social, or health care systems).

We The People have been trained to behave like pigeons feeding in the hands of some of the basest individuals in the universe (that’s typically how they got to be so rich: look at the dynastic, government  leech Carlos Slim in Mexico, second richest man in the world, if you don’t want to look at the hyper well connected Gates, ever since he was in the womb).

There is every reason to believe that the same phenomenon as in Rome and Constantinople is at work now. Actually, in the ideal plutocrats’ world, this debasement of man by wealth is the only thing that should work.

To underestimate the Dark Side, and to exclude it from economic theory, is missing out half of the motivational universe of the genus Homo. But it goes well with underestimating the venality of economists. And then economists can turn around and pretend to predict what’s good and bad for entire nations.

All what this achieves is the rise of plutocrats determined to outdo themselves and their “partners” (a word the Mafiosi around the Kremlin love to use). Hence the rise of the Kochs and Putins. Hence the decay of the biosphere.

The decay of the biosphere is used as a decoy, a sacrificial pawn, that attract attention. It’s made into a debate where the population is invited to lose all sense of reason and evidence.

How does that work? Take an example: the snowpack in the high mountains of California is 18% of normal (April 2014); California’s reservoirs are half full (instead of 100%). It’s obviously a crisis. But then plutocrats roll out their well-paid deniers (Putin does the same, even inside the USA!), and they flood the media with their insults to reason and evidence.

That creates a secondary crisis, more general than the first one, as now people are invited to deny reason and evidence.

While We The People waste energy debating individuals of extreme bad faith, the real problems such as why is it that Putin has 40 billion in Switzerland alone, and why is it that all the media and political systems are controlled by so few? (See the references of “Garcia” above, or mine in earlier essays). How can that be compatible with democracy?

And how come the rich is not taxed enough to prevent the chain reaction of the plutocratic phenomenon? Well, because we have been obsessing about trivialities, or red-herrings.

In other words, false debates hide the real ones. And control is achieved that way. Thus Krugman’s droning propaganda at giving ever more money to precisely the banks and individuals who created the Greater Depression of 2008, and calling that the antidote to austerity. (Of course he does not put it that way.)

Censorship and media manipulation are more subtle in the USA, than in Erdogan’s and Putin’s Great Reichs. Thus, they are not seen by most… And are even more efficient.

Patrice Aymé