Posts Tagged ‘Direct democracy’

We Are 30,000 Times Less Democratic Than Athens!

November 18, 2020

To pass a law in Athens, when Athens was at her greatest, one needed a minimum of 6,000 votes from 6,000 citizens. Out of a total population of 300,000 (including children, women and slaves). That means one vote for 50 inhabitants.  

To pass a law in the USA, one needs 200 votes in the national assembly (US Congress; actually 218 votes, a number unchanged for more than a century during which the US population more than tripled). Out of a population of 300 millions (actually, 330 millions). That means one vote for 1.5 million people. Now: (1.5)(10^6)/50 = 30,000.

The Athenian/Attica national assembly (ἐκκλησία, ekklesía) required a quorum of 6,000 citizens to pass (important) laws. A law approved by 50% or more would pass. Any free adult male above 20 was eligible to pass laws… And had the right to address the ekklesia (that was part of ISEGORIA). The officials of the democracy were in part elected by the Assembly and in part chosen by lottery in a process called sortition.

This required a considerable effort: the average citizen needed a day to travel from the average farm in Attica. Voters were financially compensated (when they had not been the effort on the families was too great). The Ecclesia was overseen by the council of 500 (boule). Those and the courts (a minimum of 200 people, on some occasions up to 6,000) were selected by lot. 

Selecting overseeing assemblies by lot prevented nepotism and the purchase of sympathy in exchange for gifts (a gift could be just a traffic of influence; Joe Biden once memorably described exactly how that happened in his long career… and added that it could not be avoided… well, with Athenian or Roman term limits, it could have been avoided…) 

The Athenian Constitution was as complex as the Roman one. In the Athenian and Roman Republic, citizens voted laws directly. In Rome the elected Tribunes of the People oversaw the National Assembly and its voting by “tribes”. In Athens there were no tribunes, but the the Boule, selected by lottery, oversaw the Ekklesia…

The Athenian democracy was severely criticized and even ridiculed by Socrates and Plato. But the latter, who wrote about it, belonged to the .1% of Athens, and had an obvious taste for dictatorship (Plato befriended the tyrant of Syracuse, something that was doubly strange, not just because the tyrant was a bloody tyrant, and it doesn’t look philosophical to befriend a tyrant… but also because the destruction of Athens as great power happened from her defeat during the siege of Syracuse, in 413 BCE). 

Many of these Platonic critiques were justified: some institutions inside Athens such as the military and the navy, needed to be professionalized at the highest level.

Contemporaneously, the Roman Republic had found how to accomplish this (but with an official aristocratic component, the Patricians, that Athens did not have). Rome avoided terrible mistakes such as the attack on Syracuse (Rome did attack Syracuse, but only when pretty sure of victory, and with a good motivation, whereas the Athenian scheme against Syracuse was grotesque, and not a just war…). Rome, in a much longer history, avoided the sort of crime against humanity Athens committed against Melos [1]. I am not saying Rome was soft and cuddly, far from it. But Rome wisely always waited to have excellent reasons to be really mean. The Melos atrocity made much of Greece fear Athens, and ally itself against Athens… Whereas Rome, by avoiding blatant atrocities before it turned plutocratic, kept an excellent reputation as fair and an acceptable ruler, and was well-considered, even by its natural enemies…

In any case, the European Middle Ages would institute such institutions, starting with the guilds (around 1000 CE) and the Feudal order (initially coming from the Counties Charlemagne had set-up)… and then the legal and medical orders… Followed by the judicial system set in place by Louis IX of France (the US system derives from it) and then the national police set-up by his grandson Philip IV Le Bel, King of France

  I call such institutions “Democratic Institutions”: they are part of the Deep State, and are compatible with both tyranny and democracy. And they are both necessary to make either optimal. But now we have them, so the debate launched by Socrates has been satisfactorily concluded.     

What we need to do is rebuild the DIRECT DEMOCRACY. How do we avoid disasters such as people voting according to what Big Money has decided? (As Prop 15 and 22 in California, on Nov 3, 2020) Simple: we make the purchase of minds illegal for violating isegoria. 

Nowadays voting in person is easy, because of the Internet. It is easier to verify the identity of someone using the Internet than using the methods used in California, November 3, 2020: identities were not even verified!

My leaders should not be the ignorant representatives who are supposed to be representing me. How could impartial knowledge be represented by greedy ignorance? How could long term wisdom be represented by self-obsessed professional prostitutes who made a career of influence trafficking?  

Last but not least, the number above, 30,000 as in 30,000 times less democratic is a minimum. Indeed our 200 legislators or so, being professionals influence traffickers, cannot be compared to the free citizens of Attica, who had no agenda, no masters, no employers, no higher-ups, and especially not plutocrats, or plutocratic institution to satisfy. So the “200” we put in the denominator should be actually restricted to the incorruptibles determined not to make politics into a career, nor to extract a career out of politics… Verily very few of them, and certainly none of the divas and stars which make the political world as we have it…

So let’s recapitulate: only a few hundreds of us vote… There is no isegoria, no parrhesia. Why should we call this democracy? Shouldn’t we instead call it ‘fake democracy”… To go along with the fake news, fake history, fake Federal Reserve bank, fake meritocracy, fake educational system, fake equality of chances, fake justice, fake debates, fake issues, fake problems, fake outrages, fake Paris Climate Accord… And now maybe even now a fake president (tell us ain’t true, Joe)… But all too real Global Deep Plutocracy?

Patrice Ayme 


[1] Athens invaded Melos in the summer of 416 BC and demanded that the Melians surrender and pay tribute to Athens or face annihilation. The Melians refused, so the Athenians laid siege to their city. Melos surrendered in the winter, and the Athenians executed their men and enslaved their women and children.


[2] The genesis of Rome, its slow rise as a (nearly direct, yet “mixed”) democracy was extremely full of conflicts, but just of the right size. Athens in the end of the Fifth Century BCE and the Fourth Century BCE found herself fighting for survival against the mightiest enemies, and actually plutocracies full of hatred for democracy, hell bent to destroy democracy by all and any means… (Sparta plus Persia in the 5C BCE; Macedonia plus Persia/Seleucids in the 4C BCE.)… So no wonder Athens got crazy….

Dictatorship Endangers World: Proof By Coronavirus!

February 9, 2020

Xi and his dictatorship should resign: they are fatally dangerous to the world, not just their kingdom, and not just this virus. They are the virus. Clearly the police and secret state Xi built has contributed directly to the mayhem in Hubei, now extending worldwide.

Xi’s dictatorship stealthily rose, and now steers China, as if increasingly again under Mao’s dictatorship. But Mao had excuses (such as fascist Japan’s invasion of China), which Xi doesn’t have. We have seen that debate before: when the Roman Republic vacillated under corruption, sole Consul Pompeius Magnus made bribes unlawful, retroactively, over twenty years. At the time many advocated that the Republic should be ruled by just one man (as happened soon after). However, once again, Xi doesn’t have that excuse. His knowledge of the COVID19 epidemic without telling the public about it is revealing. What other doomsday machine does Xi have up his sleeve?

The first known case was December First 2019. Xi now claims he gave a (secret) talk about the virus January 7. Right. Tell me, Xi, how did that help, that secrecy? How are people supposed to take precautions against catching the disease, or transmitting it, when only Xi and his accomplices know about it?

As I explained, in the case of the very society which invented the concept of Open Society, a closed society fosters illness. In an open society, this cases in early December could have led to nipping the epidemic in the bud… Instead, lying about the existence of the epidemic became a state mission in the next 6 weeks. Those not cooperating were punished. Apparently individuals reporting dismal conditions in Hubei healthcare are Xi-disappeared.

Pluto-cracy, Pluto-kratia = Evil-Rule! Xi is very self-satisfied, as all dictators are: it comes with the job, be it only to persuade the slaves that all is best in the best possible world. He got the job from his father’s position. Such individuals, steeped in prerogative and crime, are the world’s ultimate danger.

Xi said: “Our progress will not be halted by any storms and tempests.” yes, but a pandemic could stop you, dictator. Pericles was judged in Athens, 2,450 years ago, for his mishandling of Athenian society, forcing people to live in a way which caused a devastating epidemic (during a war Pericles partly instigated).

Xi’s father, Xi Zhongxun (15 October 1913 – 24 May 2002) was a Chinese communist revolutionary and a subsequent political official in the People’s Republic of China. He belongs the first generation of Chinese leadership.

So here we just don’t have a dictatorship a la Hitler, or Mussolini, but an hereditary fiefdom. A most traditional, most obdurate form of plutocracy.

Xi’s model of government, where one brain decides of all, as if it were an emperor from 2,000 years ago, is thoroughly obsolete: it condemns China to be led by one tiny nervous system instead of a great collective mind. Dictatorship of one, advocated by Marx, is fundamentally the antithesis of collectivism, ironically enough. Come to think of it, Marx, irritated by the lost of value of his wealthy father’s vineyard, was formed, as Jew, under the Prussian dictatorship. Dictatorship, he was told when very young, was the way to get things done. If things to be done consist into oppressing most people, dictatorship is perfect. If things to be done imply progress of the mind, then Direct Democracy is the way to go, direct observation of Athens, or of the Roman Republic, or the English republic-in-disguise, and of the French and US republics, and basic logic, show. 

Although the 1982 constitution guarantees freedom of speech, the Chinese government often uses the “subversion of state power” and “protection of state secrets” clauses in their law system to imprison those who criticize the government.

This total dictator Xi is now hiding from the Coronavirus pandemic, and behind his Prime Minister, Li, which his own practice of the state caused. Xi views the state as a conduit to his power, instead of an intelligent, all-knowing substrate for an all empowered society. That state fascism has proven a danger to the entire world. Out!

And this is a world lesson: we need information, to feed our meditation, thus the Direct Democracy which requires it. Hence freedom of information is another motivation for Direct Democracy! The West showed the way of Marxist dictatorship which China revendicates. The West should raise the bar by going to Direct Democracy. THAT would be coming back full throttle to humanity as it evolved, that is, as it is meant to be.

Patrice Ayme



P/S 1: This is a follow up, and pretty much iteration of the more detailed essay:


P/S 2: See New York Times: “Her Grandmother Got the Coronavirus. Then So Did the Whole Family.
What kind of government is this? asks a family of three generations sickened by the new virus and desperate for care in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the outbreak.”

ATHENS: Checking, Balancing, DEBATING In REAL Democracy. LEARN From 25 Centuries Ago

October 6, 2019

It’s fashionable to claim implicitly that the present “representative democratic” regimes established first in US and France, have “checks and balances” … (Those sure are not too obvious at this point in Great Britain!… with its tradition based constitution.) [1]

A French PM is going on trial for alleged serious foreign and electoral corruption, a quarter of a century old… Several top French leaders since Mitterrand have been judicially examined (including Chirac, for corruption when he was mayor, buying favors with jobs, subsidized housing. The French “swamp” is deep ).

However, notice this check and balance by the judiciary doesn’t happen in the USA: the head of the French Constitutional Court was condemned… But never was a US Supreme condemned. Either the French elite circles are especially corrupt, or the US ones, even more so.

It’s the latter case, of course; contemplate the burning of all the documentation subsequent to seizing German property after 1918: this erasure of records enabled US plutocrats to acquire control of the German economy, foster Nazism; you will not read this in any decent history book… the definition of decency being to celebrate the establishment

Looking at civilization scale, the answer is clear: none of the dirty deals and conspiracies which top US plutocrats, with the help of the Washington swamp, set up, to help put the Nazis in power was even examined: they aren’t part of even suspected history. Some will say, that was long ago, who cares, how could it matter today.

Not true: we have forgotten a lot since, including ways and means to build a better democracy. The defeat of Athenian democracy, 2,425 years ago, at the fascist hands of Persia, Sparta and their satanic supporters, lasts until today: democracy never fully recovered. We are far from it, and closer to the system Hitler advocated.

Athenian democracy failed mostly because Athens was military vanquished by the big orange thing (the Persian empire to the east in the map above, all the way to India, south to Ethiopia, north to Crimea). Persia, the big orange was allied to the red states nasties led by muscular Sparta. Persia financed from scratch the Spartan fleet which defeated Athens in a surprise battle when the stranded Athenian fleet got caught on a huge beach. Athens would re-emerge in the following century as the pre-eminent Greek power again (after Thebes cut Sparta down to size). However not fast enough to not be vanquished by the Macedonian fascists led by senior general Antipater (who may have murdered Alexander, and certainly disobeyed him; Alexander himself, popular in Athens, which he had visited, was ambivalent about Athenian democracy…)

At some point in the 1970s, carried by the mood of Nixon’s impeachment, the acts and facts of the CIA in the Americas and South East Asia were exposed… But that didn’t last. Instead, Reaganism arose, a new form of non-self examining mild fascism, so-called “Neoliberalism (which started by closing up federal psychiatrist hospitals, releasing in the streets hundreds of thousands of the mentally deranged, while helping to balance Reagan’s federal budget). 

Ancient Greece had a few centuries of extreme mental (and engineering) creativity. Tapping on thousands of Egyptian civilization helped. But that creativity was centered on only a few city-states (the most prominent of which were Athens, Millet, etc.). Those states were democracies in the “PEOPLE POWER” sense of the term.

Those states appeared because of military, and especially naval, superiority. That superiority didn’t last: four successive giant tsunamis of fascisms beat them back into submission so well, they were creatively (Athens, from first century BCE to sixth century CE), if not physically (Millet around 400 BCE) annihilated. The first wave was Spartan-Persian, the second, Macedonian, the third, Roman, and the last “Catholic Orthodox” (final closure of intellectual activity by Roman imperial order).

Demos-Kratia, People-Power, was more than having “representatives”. Actually elected “representatives” were authorities such as those Athens delegated to enforce the law in, say, its emporium island of Delos (a central, extremely overpopulated island in the Aeagan sea, were trade was centralized). Laws were not debated and passed by elected “representatives”, but by We the People themselves.   

In Athens, a quorum of 6,000/80,000 needed to be achieved to pass the most important laws (“80,000” is an estimate of the number of male citizens; female citizens didn’t vote and neither did slaves, of course; it was too difficult for females to travel to the National Assembly, it was already very difficult for many male citizens to do so; slaves had not too many rights, but many had been saved from military executions… Enslaved, but saved, the paradox of ancient slavery…)  

Isegoria, the “equal right to address the assembly” was considered to be crucial. 

All the preceding give actions items to improve democracy:

First, consider Egypt. Although politically fascist, but mildly so, Egyptian women often had rights equal to those of men. That culminated into having several of the most important leaders of Egypt to be women (including the famous Nefertiti, who tried to impose monotheism; she succeeded short term, failed medium term, succeeded long term…) A not-very sexist society means a much more equal society. And what does an equal society do? It brings more honestly debating, thus a more intelligent society. So Egyptian civilizational superiority can be greatly traced to non-sexism.

Sexism was a defect of Athens, which was particular to Athens, and probably had to do with the specifics of Athenian history. It was more formal than real: first Athena, the goddess of war and wisdom, protected Athens, and, secondly, Pericles second wife from Millet, had enormous influence. I have argued she was much more important than Socrates. She is known to have written Pericles’ best discourses, and to have taught Socrates. She invented and explained the “Open Society” concept.

Paradoxically, racist, fascist Sparta, was less sexist than Athens, and not sexist at all, in many ways (girls were trained like boys initially).

So back to our actions items: we need direct democracy: having We The People vote directly. 

The present representative system gives extravagant powers to idiots who can, and will, be bought (if they want to be elected and a fortiori, re-elected, they will be bought) Right now, a (college educated) 29 year old bartender leads the nation (into impeachment), as famous “representative” Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is doing, is beyond silly, it’s criminally idiotic (and I write this as a far-out leftist and climate protector, and fanatical progressive, not as a frantic supporter of presidential executive powers). 

In the (apparently more honest) French Republic, the head of the National Assembly has just been indicted (for nepotism, a few years back in his hometown; the charges are nothing relative to what the Bidens should face…). He is the fourth most important authority in France (behind the President, PM, and President of the Senate). All these indictments of the French political elite are symptomatic of too much power into to few hands… and the fact that this abundance of unjust power attracts low morality type.

The attraction of vicious individuals by, and to, a vicious system is central to plutocratic theory: a vicious political system attracts vicious would-be office holders, it’s selective for the Dark Side, making itself sustainable by self-selection of the worst.

A magnificent example of this was Nazism, which filled up many of its official positions by low lives and psychopaths (I just contradicted Hannah Arendt’”Banality of Evil” thesis and explained why).

So “representatives” should NOT be the only ones to pass laws. Ideally representatives should spend lots of time, as in present Switzerland, making laws passed by referendums more palatable to pre-existing laws and the constitution (a constitutional council inspects every single law, and if found unconstitutional, rejects it; moreover laws passed by referendums can be sued for unconstitutionality by citizens and organizations, so the existing Swiss system is full of checks and balances neither France nor the US have).

Athenian democracy was direct: each citizen had the right, and duty, to attend the national assembly (ekklesia), and debate laws. At a time of their own choosing.[2]

The Athenian democratic system had other checks and balances, also found in other Greek city-states: “Archons” were elected by law and served for just one year. They constituted a sort of board of directors. After that, they stayed “Archons” for the rest of their lives, presumably helping the democratic debate. Selecting by lot meant any citizen could end up Archon, and so every citizen was motivated to know more about what was going on.

Athenian Democratic Constitution, fourth century BCE, above. The Roman Republican Constitution Was Roughly As Complicated… And much more favorable to having an aristocracy. Although it had a cap on wealth. (Roman imperial constitution didn’t really exist, as no provision existed for the legal transfer of power)

ISEGORIA was the right to address the national assembly (the ekklesia) with equal time and opportunity. It was viewed as special to Athens. The historian Herodotus even characterized the Athenian political system as isegoria, beyond democracy. Philosopher Demosthenes, desperately opposing Macedonia, a century latter, confirmed that Athens rested on those public debates, isegoria.

Nowadays, the Internet could be used for debating and passing laws, achieving ISEGORIA at a level never achieved in Athens (that would be progress). Instead of now being the fief of a few plutocrats, wealthy enough to buy all politicians from Mongolia to Patagonia, and Washington to Paris, some of these plutocrats are not even college educated, and still speak and behave as if they were the rulers of the world (Gates, Zuck being examples of that; by contrast Bezos and Musk have graduate engineering education).

Improving democracy from what we have now, demands new structures. Many of those existed 25 centuries ago, and have not be reproduced, but should be: history can be a guide. Without the full panoply of Athenian level democracy, People-Power is illusory. But history is not enough. Technology unthinkable in the times of Solon, makes it now possible to go much further. In particular, we don’t need to walk to a particular building to debate: we can debate on the Internet (in properly encrypted with maximum legal force). So we can debate much more.

How many individuals know we could run pretty much the society we have now, without net emissions of CO2? Very few people know this, even among those who professionally represent the subject. Why so much ignorance even on such a crucial subject, even among the advising leadership? Lack of debate and concomitant tribal effects.

We do not need a revolution. We can keep representative democracy as it is, but introduce Direct Democracy by referendums, little by little, a referendum at a time, and ever more. Each referendum will help to free us from the tyranny of representative democracy.

Involving the entire citizenship into the leadership of the state will motivate all to become more cognizant, wise and attentive to what really matters. Thus general intelligence and wisdom will grow, as needed. Nothing less will do. It’s a matter of survival, and not just of civilization.

Patrice Ayme



[1] The French and US Constitutions are written down, the British one is just a set of habits. The informality of the British system enfolded from the way the England was created by a succession of invasions, and recesses of the state, dating from Roman times. In the Eleventh century alone, English power was swept by Viking power (Cnuth), and then the French invaders, after 1066 CE set up an increasingly complex system involving many entities, and concepts, some even coming directly from Toulouse  where a Greco-Roman like assembly had survived (thus increasing the powers of the London Parliament through Montford).

The present day French constitution has recently morphed into the EU representative democratic system as European institutions and government, like the European Parliament, or the European Supreme Court, etc., act often in… Archon-like role…

To make the EU more democratic, continent sized referendums should be held (say after 4 million signatures overall, on top of mandatory quota country by country). And then the EU Parliament and Supreme Court should synchronize them as done in Switzerland.


[2] The Ekklesia was meta-controlled by another assembly, the Boule, which was formed of elected representatives. As I already hinted, this is basically what the Swiss system is evolving into.

Counterbalance Representative Democracy By Direct Democracy

May 27, 2017

Representative Democracy” is a contradiction in adjecto. I propose to complement it by making direct democracy the overlord of the present system.

The seven leaders of the seven richest countries met in Sicily for the G7 Summit of 2017. Meanwhile several rescue ships rescued more than a thousand refugees from the sea. Each. That’s thousands of people a day. It looks as if much of Africa is a sinking ship, and the rats are leaving. But don’t worry: there is no colonialism in Africa (what there is now there is neocolonialism-plutocratic exploitation, without administrative interference, and that’s much more efficient as an extraction mechanism).

So here you seven individuals deciding for the world. What the world will do, what the world should do, what the world is capable of, what the world should learn, etc.

They were a bit discombobulated by Trump, who was described as “unpredictable”. And firmly committed to be uncommitted on “climate”. Whatever “climate” is.

G7 2017 Meeting In Taormina, Sicily, in a Greek Theater, 25 centuries old. The gigantic Etna volcano is erupting in the background, emitting copious amount of CO2. CO2 indigestion is how the super enormous mass extinction of 251 million years ago, between Permian and Trias worked: massive CO2 emissions by the Siberian Traps made two-third of the planet too hot for life. Yes two-third. And yes, we are heading straight for it, within a couple of generations. However, Trump didn’t get the message from Vulcan!

The disagreement with Trump on climate is a gigantic tale, on its own. Indeed, it’s not clear what “climate” means. Climate, done correctly, should mean, first, to curb carbon burning, thus, a carbon tax. However, what European leaders have meant by “climate” mitigation is not this.

As demonstrated by the extreme pollution problems in some European countries, including France! And the fact Europe let its car makers get away with extreme pollution for years (it’s the despised USA which found the diesel cheating trick of European car makers). Fighting the “climate”, for European leaders, has consisted in giving hand-outs, hush money to the poorest countries (maybe to pursue quietly the neocolonialism as described above?) Many of these poorest countries have the world’s highest indoor pollution, by a very long shot, due to carbon burning, indoors, precisely…

The low-level of understanding in these “climate” related problems is directly a consequence of the lack of debate. That, in turn, is a consequence of the lack of direct democracy. Why should people think hard about what is really going on, when it will make no difference, anyway?  

The seven brains we have to lead us all to extinction. World Think & Action Leaders. From Left to Right: Donald Tusk, President of the EU Council, Trudeau PM Canada, Angela Merkel Deutsch Kanzler, Donald Trump US Entertainer, PM Italy (one of many), 39 year old French President Emmanuel Macron, Shinto Abe PM Japan, Theresa May, British PM, and, far right, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission (and advocate of sophisticated Tax havens) pose for a family photo during the G7 Summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 26, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Macron, a smart cookie, but not a scientist, lectured Trump on climate, and the US made it known the great leader was happy to have learned so much.

Teresa May, the British so-far-unelected Prime Minister,  insisted that one should start watching what is going on in the Internet, and cut off Islamist propaganda. Indeed, it’s Western plutocrats who control access to TV and Internet (because they control fibers and satellites), as I have said many times. Facebook and company, but also the satellite operators should be viewed as objective accomplices of murderous propaganda: after all they are the ones transmitting it, and it would not be transmitted otherwise. At least that’s what I say, and I am happy to see our great leaders oozing in that general directions, as the mental slugs they are. 

As Reuters put it: “After lengthy deliberation, the (short, 6 pages) final G7 document included a separate threat, that was inserted into the 2016 G7 statement, to take additional action against Russia, if warranted, for its intervention in Ukraine.

But the more general question is this: why so much power in so few hands? Why are seven brains in charge of the imagination and learning of the planet?

It should be now obvious that elected politicians and the deep state have too much power. Their power should be counterbalanced by direct democracy! It can be done. Republican Constitutions should be tweaked.

This is what happened in Switzerland. The Swiss Constitution had a provision for direct vote on legislative proposition (also known as referenda, or plebiscites). However, that was not applied much until the last 30 years, when the practice blossomed. Any proposition compatible with the broader constitution having gathered 100,000 signatures,  can be presented to the direct vote of We The People.

Scaling that up for France would mean nearly 800,000 signatures, and for the USA, 4 million.

California has such a system.

I claim that the main reason for the wealth of Switzerland and California is this system of direct vote of We The People for propositions: it keep politicians more honest, financially and intellectually, than elsewhere.  

Direct vote makes We The People much more cognizant of the real problems. This is demonstrated by the fact that public opinion in general swings around when a proposition is proposed. Often people are 60% for it, and end up voting 60% against it, and reciprocally.

Some will object that a direct referendum brought us Brexit, a catastrophe. Well, what brought us Brexit was a devious media owned by plutocrats which drove people persistently into deliberate disinformation and misinformation, for decades. That should be completely unlawful, and I have advocated a ministry of truth (no, I am not kidding, and yes, I have read Orwell’s “1984”. Precisely!)

What happens when the popular vote passes a law contradicting existing laws, or simple rationality? Well, then a debate ensues. An example is the popular vote against free circulation which the Swiss people passed. (After an immigration of the order of 13% in ten years, mostly from the rest of Europe, explaining the vote!)

The European Union was furious and took sanctions within hours (by intelligently, I am ironical, cancelling the Erasmus program for Switzerland; Erasmus enables youth to go study in other European countries). The Swiss government was livid. Ever since the EU has been furious and the Swiss government livid. But nothing else much has happened (that reminds us of Brexit, present and future…)

In other words, when contradictions between We The People and  the elected government appear, the debate deepens. And that’s good.

Adding plebiscite to the existing elected representatives system is easy to do, there is no contradiction: elected Swiss legislators usually integrate the propositions in the laws of the country. 

G7 2017. In Attendance, A Slovenian Fashion Model Named Melania, Lower Extremities. These Stilettos Are made To Walk On You. Extravagant Wealth, Hence Power, Should Be Unlawful In Any Republic. And It was, In Republican Rome, For Centuries. Not Meant To Express A distaste For Melania, far From It. But To Express A Distaste for The Mood That It Is PC To Have Some Think It All, Do It All, Have it All, While 8 Billions Despondently Watch, Powerless In All Ways, And Those Stilettos Are Walking All Over Us. And the biosphere too.

By the way, the idea of real democracy is not new: “plebiscite” comes from the Latin “plebs”. The “plebs” was We The People of Rome. The “plebs” formed a national assembly, and practiced direct democracy within (demultiplying with a system of “tribes”). That part of the Roman political system was a direct democracy (Athens had a functional equivalent, more direct, but also more unstable).

The least we could do, as the biosphere is facing the greatest crisis in 65 million years now, and, soon enough, in 251 million years, is to mobilize all our mental energies. This is not accomplished by letting seven brains think it all. Or even seven thousand brains (the number of influential people, worldwide is less than that).

Giant Tower Woman With Shaggy Hairdo Overlords us insects With $51,000 jacket by Dolce & Gabbana. In a respectful show of humility for average losers, this is a few thousand dollars below the US median family income. Make no mistake, I love colors.

Mobilizing all our mental energy is not done by putting seven brains in command, however eager they are to dominate us all. Or, rather, precisely because they are so eager to dominate us all.

In other, yet related news, Donald Trump had to follow the other leaders, as they walked around the streets of Taormina, in a golf cart. The joke was that he got somewhat left behind, because the cart was not American made. OK, Trump is older than the rest (70, whereas Abe and Merkel are 62; May is 60). Age is a good thing for leadership. Healthy age.

Nevertheless, clearly, the great leader has abused golf carts. Trump claims he does not do drugs, including alcohol, inspired, as he was by his older brother’s alcohol addiction, which brought his early demise. However, golf cart addiction is also a life threatening addiction. In several ways. First it makes people impotent, as Trump himself demonstrated at Taormina. Second, by making them physically impotent, it also makes them mentally less potent than they would be if they learn to practice physical independence from technological hand-outs.

He came here to learn. He came here to get smart. His views are evolving which exactly as they should be,” Trump’s economic adviser Gary Cohn hopefully said on Friday. Well, Trump should learn from Angela Merkel (who is also overweight) that he is definitively not in good shape, at least physically speaking. And we are even worse, as most of us sincerely believe that this parody we are subjected to should be called democracy, lest we are found out-of-order.

Patrice Ayme’  


Athens, Direct Democracy, Now.

February 2, 2017

To Rekindle The Fire Of Civilization, Direct Democracy Needs To Be Re-Activated. Besides, It’s A Question Of Survival:

In Eighteenth Century Great Britain, as in the European Middle Ages, seven years old was considered to be the “Age of Reason”. Thus, if an 18C English child was found to have caused a fire (a very dangerous thing then), the child would be tried, and, if found guilty, would be hanged (this really happened).

Nowadays, we are more civilized, and we protect childhood better. Human brains become mature only around 25 years old. There have been minimum ages for political offices since Republican Rome and Athens, 25 centuries ago.

The Economist, in an access, and excess of disinformation, suggests to lower the voting age to 16. That would motivate the youth, it disingenuously claims. I have a better idea. In its golden age, the Parthenon, other monuments, and all statues were covered with colors, sometimes realistic, sometimes spectacular:

At her greatest, Athens was colorful in all ways. The city tolerated radically opposed philosophies, and they debated each other.

At her greatest, Athens was colorful in all ways. The city tolerated radically opposed philosophies, and they debated each other.

Pericles directed the construction of the Parthenon and other fabulous monuments. Pericles was re-elected nearly 30 times over 30 years. He was the talking head to  a group of civilization-class philosophers, all them extremely close friends with whom he debated continually, including his own second wife, who wrote his most famous speech. (As historians of antiquity explained, the rise of the Athenian empire launched Sparta in an all-out war; Pericles’ passive way of fighting, using only fortress Athens and her fleet, backfired, when a plague appeared. “I had not anticipated that.” he bemoaned… The plague killed Pericles and two of his three sons; the war lasted 30 years, and Athens lost it, in a roll of the dice gone wrong.)

Lowering the voting age to 16 (why not 15?) is somewhat silly. That’s not the problem. Having more and more immature voters is not the solution.

Verily, the youth is disgusted by politics to the point of turning away from it. Being interested by politics at this point is like being interested by corruption. Financial, ethical, mental, intellectual, political corruption.

The problem is that representative democracy is intrinsically immoral, hopelessly satanic (or as is also said, plutocratic). Why? Because it elects people who are automatically tyrants. I suspect that youth is suspecting this, and thus finds politics ever more unpalatable.

Elections, as they are, give divine powers to a few people. Mitigate and discontinue that immoral madness. Debate and elect ideas instead. That will motivate people to mature and think. This is what happened in the greatest age of Athens, our present civilization owes so much to.

Instead, as it is now, even adults are treated like children. Whereas, if youth believes it can get to power, it will be interested by in democracy. As in Athens, where some offices were attributed by lot, so anyone could lead! So everyone learned much more as much as they could about everything (to be ready, just in case they would be promoted to leadership overnight).

A weakened, dispirited and unmotivated Athens was subjugated by the Macedonian tyrant Antipater in 322 BCE, with the help of another Macedonian general, Craterus. Antipater, personal friend, lover and executor of the will of Aristotle, was very smart and vicious (he may have assassinated Alexander through his youngest son). Whereas Alexander respected an exsanguinous Athens, Antipater, a typical uber-plutocrat, enforced plutocracy in Athens, and assassinated his highest intellectuals. Athens became free again in 1834 CE. For a while, the Parthenon had been turned into a mosque.

Athens was freed in a ferocious war against the (Turkish) Islamists The Islamists had turned the Parthenon into an explosive storage facility, during a war with Venice, and it had exploded: Islamists have a pattern of hatred to monuments (as anything that makes man a competitor to god).

All adults nowadays feel like children, all the more as they get led by the nose. Nassim Taleb points this out in ‘Trump makes sense to a grocery store owner’. He adds that, for years, the world was led by an “actor”, Obama. An actor who solved nothing, but for making the rich richer. I could not agree more, unfortunately.

There are not just pseudo-experts, as Taleb correctly says (pseudo-experts who pontificate about what the universe had for breakfast, 13.76 billion years ago… Or that only the economy they feast on serves We The People best, contrarily to evidence and mortality graphs…).

There are also pseudo-leftists, pseudo-thinkers, pseudo-intellectuals, pseudo-empaths (Bill Clinton an example of the latter). All thoroughly fake and fat. There are also pseudo-universities, even richer in their folds, which are real centers of plutocratic power (to attend many of them, one needs the median US family income).

We also have plenty of intellectual fascists, people who are led by just a few ideas, and refuse civilized debate with anyone not obeying those ideas. The paradigm there is “Islamophobia”, which is viewed as a form of racism, whereas it’s just the critique of a system of thought (Christianophobia is institutionalized in the West, thank god…).  

We need a debating society. Debates motivate human beings. Now we are suffering from so much intellectual fascism, that we cannot debate what is necessary for survival. This is what Trump and his tweets answer to. And every time one of my erstwhile, new-born pseudo-leftist friends smother me with insults and blocks me, it’s another proof of this evidence.

Reality shall proceed, the survivors will debate it, and will survive, probably because the debated it, the old fashion way, as Athens did it, in her greatest age.

Patrice Ayme’

Socrates A Poisonous, Unexamined Fascist?

September 22, 2016

The Pathos Of Truth Seeked & Violated. Unexamined Fascist, Unexamined Prostitute? Both. Why Was That Covered Up, So Long? For The Same Exact Cause Which Made Socrates Famous!

The death of Socrates keeps haunting philosophy. And that, per se, is a sad, yet very revealing tale. The old common wisdom was that Socrates died, as a martyr to truth (as Hypatia, Boetius, Giordano Bruno, and many others certainly were). You want a hero for philosophy? Celebrate Jean Cavaillès. In the presence of Cavaillès, Sartre nearly wetted his pants. We will see that the mood behind Socrates’ actions is significantly different. Socrates was rather on the side of those who killed Cavaillès.

Indeed, a casual look at the basic setup of Socrates’ trial contradicts the theme that Socrates was mostly a martyr for truth. Socrates was simply accused to be the mastermind of the young dictators who ruled Athens after her tremendous defeat, and half annihilation at the hands of Sparta, the tool of Persia. Socrates was also mentor, friend and lover (!) of the young Alcibiades who, deprived of a generalship by Athens, then betrayed her for her lethal enemy, fascist, ultra-racist, Persian financed Sparta.

Agreed, philosophy needs heroes, and has plenty. Here is one:

Jean Cavaillès. Here Is A Hero For Truth & Philosophy. Socrates Was Nearly The Exact Opposite.

Jean Cavaillès, Anti-Fascist Martyr. Here Is A Hero For Truth & Philosophy. Socrates Was Nearly The Exact Opposite.

[Jean Cavaillès was tortured and assassinated by the Gestapo in 1943-1944. He is buried in the crypt of the Sorbonne.]

Thus Socrates was a sort of Charlie Manson of serial traitors and killers, whose mental actions led, or accompanied, Athens’ near-death experience in losing a devastating war, and the resulting dictatorship by Socrates’ students. Temples of democracy such as Britain, France, and the USA have gaily executed traitors, or incompetents, for much less than that.

Socrates Used To Look At People As A bull Does. Ugly Inside Out? To Reveal the Truth, Some Will Say Torture Works Even Better

Socrates Used To Look At People As A bull Does. Ugly Inside Out? To Reveal the Truth, Some Will Say Torture Works Even Better

Stanford political science and classics professor, Josiah Ober opines in “The Civic Drama Of Socrates’ Trial” that:  “Conventional wisdom sees Socrates as a martyr for free speech, but he accepted his death sentence for a different cause… In his influential interpretation The Trial of Socrates (1988), the US journalist-turned-classicist I F Stone saw this trial as an embattled democracy defending itself. In Stone’s view, Socrates had helped to justify the junta’s savage programme of oligarchic misrule and was a traitor. More commonly, Socrates is seen as a victim of an opportunistic prosecutor and a wilfully ignorant citizenry. In truth, politics is indispensable to understanding the trial of Socrates, but in a slightly more sophisticated way.”

I love sophistication, philosophy is all about increased sophistication (so is science). Sophistication, translated, is wisdomization: sticking to reality ever better by ever more subtle, complex logic.

The point was not so much that Socrates justified the savage programme, but that he formed the minds who organized said programme, “corrupting the youth”. And he was at it again, even after being amnestied. Professor Ober describes the problem well (although he fails to fathom the enormity of what he describes).

Stanford’s Josiah: For what people today call ‘the wisdom of crowds’, Socrates had nothing but scorn. Athenian democrats who argued that the many, the group, were collectively more likely to get important matters right than any individual expert earned his antipathy. Whether or not anyone actually was expert in the art of politics, Socrates certainly supposed that there could be such an expert, and that the Athenians were deluded in thinking themselves collectively wise.”

The “experts” would have been naturally his rich, best (“aristos”) boyfriends. Professor Ober is led to the obvious question, but fail to recognize that he does not answer it:

“How did Socrates both scorn the idea of collective wisdom and yet maintain obedience to Athens’ laws, even when he disagreed with how they were interpreted? The rudimentary answer lay in the foundation that Athens (as opposed to, for example, Sparta) provided in its laws and political culture. Athens mandated liberty of public speech and tolerance for a wide range of private behaviour.”

Yes, but public incompetence could lead to trial (as happened to Pericles and many strategoi, generals and admirals). Anyway, that is not an answer. I will give a better answer: Socrates himself had no answer to his drastic self-contradictions, so hise self-delusion fatally committed him to self-destruction. Yet political science professor Ober sees the problem:

“By 399 BCE, however, four years after the end of the tyranny, and with Socrates doing the same things in public that had seemingly inspired the junta’s leaders, the Athenians regarded his speech very differently. In the eyes of the majority of his fellow citizens, Socrates was no longer an eccentric with potential for contributing to public life. He was now either a malevolent public enemy, or deluded and dangerously unable to recognise that his speech predictably produced seriously bad outcomes. And so the way was left open for Meletus to launch his prosecution.”

Right. What professor Ober fails to mention is that only the intervention of mighty Sparta prevented Athens’ annihilation after she surrendered, having lost already half of her population (other cities wanted to do to Athens what Athens did to Melos). Try to imagine this: the city-state half annihilated, democracy destroyed by Socrates’ students, and then? The strongest mood that Socrates had been instilling was to oppose democracy. And he was again at it, after the amnesty he had profited from. What could motivate such a rage?

Unsurprisingly, Socrates was put on trial for “corrupting the youth and impiety”. (The City was to some extent divinized, with Athena as her protecting goddess.)

“With unsettling metaphors and logical demonstrations, he made it clear that he [Socrates] opposed democracy… Xenophon implies that Socrates chose that sort of speech as a method of jury-assisted suicide: he was… tired of life and allowed the Athenians to end it for him.”

This is what I believe. And I go further than Xenophon, by explaining the cause of Socrates’ depression. Socrates may have been tired of his own contradictions.And may have been ravaged by regret. (Regret, I reckon, is a powerful human instinct.)

The Socrates’ worship interpretation is due to Plato. It poses Socrates as martyr to civic duty. But, as it turns out, “civic duty”, for Socrates, seems to be mostly blind obedience to “the Laws”, while viciously criticizing the Direct Democracy which gave birth to them.

That Socrates respected the laws of Athens while despising the Direct Democracy which had passed them is illogical in the extreme. Yes, I know Socrates said he respected “the Laws”, as if they were disembodied gods with a life of their own. But We The People passed said laws, and they lived only because We The People had created them, and We thge People could extinguish them just the same.

The “Laws” were nothing. We The People was everything. Socrates behaved as if he could not understand that.

Insisting that the Laws were everything reveals that the concept of blind obedience was more important to Socrates than arguing about the nature of what one should be obeying to, and why. Blind obedience is also the traditional ultimate value of standard fascism: law and order as supreme.

Blind obedience had been what the junta’s rule was all about. What the rule of Socrates’ young students and lovers had been all about. That’s also what fascism is all about. However, arguing, debating, fighting is how to get to the thorough examination necessary for the “examined life”.   

The contradiction was, and is, blatant. Socrates’ mental system was shorting out. Socrates had been shorting out for half a decade or more: he ambitiously wanted to “examine life”, but he could not even examine the minds of his followers, let alone his own, or why he was hanging around them. Why was he hanging around them? They were rich, he was not, but he lived off their backs and crumbs. And the feeling of power they provided with (after Obama got to power I saw some in his entourage becoming drunk with power).  

Arguably, Socrates was a martyr to fascism, a Jihadist without god. There is nothing remarkable about that. The very instinct of fascism is to give one’s life, just because fanatical combat is the ultimate value, when one gets in the fascist mood. In this case, the fanatical combat was against We The People.

Posing Socrates as a martyr for intellectual freedom is farfetched: fascism, blind obedience, passion for oligarchs are all opposed to the broad mind searching for wisdom requires.

Some will sneer: you accuse Socrates to be a fascist, why not a racist? Well, I will do this too. The golden youth Socrates loved so much and drank with were hereditary so. Socrates believed knowledge was innate (so an ignorant shepherd boy knew all of math: this is the example he rolled out!) If knowledge was innate, one can guess that the “aristos”, the best, were also innately superior. That is the essence of racism.

Logically enough, Socrates disliked science: nothing was truly new under the sun (as all knowledge was innate). So much for examining life.

It is more probable that Socrates was indeed, just a stinging insect buzzing around, stinging the idea of Direct Democracy. In exchange, his rich, young, plutocratic boyfriends would fete and feed him. Such was Socrates’ life, a rather sad state of affair, something that needed to be examined, indeed, by the head doctor.

Socrates may have been clever enough to feel that he was an ethical wreck. His suicidal submission may have been an attempt to redeem himself, or whatever was left of his honor (which he also tried to regain with his insolence to the jury).

Plato would pursue the fight for fascism (“kingship”). Aristotle, by teaching, mentoring, educating, befriending, advising a number of extremely close, family-like friends, the abominable Alexander, Craterus and Antipater, finally fulfilled Socrates’ wet dream: Athenian Direct Democracy was destroyed and replaced by an official plutocracy overlorded by Antipater (supremo dictator, and executor of Aristotle’s will, in more ways than one).

This trio of philosophical malefactors became the heroes 22 centuries of dictatorship (“monarchy”) needed as a justification. A justification where “civic duty” was defined as blind obedience to the “Laws” (whatever they were, even unjust “Laws”). This amplified Socrates’ hatred of Direct Democracy. So the works of the trio were preciously preserved, and elevated to the rank of the admirable.

It is rather a basket of deplorables. We owe them the destruction of Direct Democracy for 23 centuries, and counting.

And what Of Socrates’ regret for being so deplorable? (Which I alleged he had to experience.) A dying Socrates lying on a couch, uncovered his face and uttered— “Crito, I owe the sacrifice of a rooster to Asklepios; will you pay that debt and not neglect to do so?”  Asklepios cured disease, and provided with rebirth, symbolized by the singing of the rooster calling the new day. This has been traditionally interpreted (by Nietzsche) as meaning that (Socrates’?) death was a cure for (his?) life. Nietzsche accused Socrates to be culprit of the subsequent degeneracy of civilization (and I do agree with that thesis). Certainly, Socrates, a self-described “gadfly” was deprived of gravitas.

Wisdom needs to dance, but cannot be altogether deprived of gravitas, as it is, after all, the gravest thing.. Maybe Socrates felt this confusedly, besides having regrets for his status of thinking insect. Socrates could have easily escaped, and Crito had an evasion ready. By killing himself Socrates behaved like a serious Japanese Lord opening his belly to show his insides were clean, and its intent good. Well, many a scoundrel has committed seppuku, and hemlock is nothing like cutting the belly.

Human beings are endowed with the instinct of regret, because we are the thinking species. It is crucial that we find the truth, and when we have lived a lie, indulged in error, the best of use are haunted by the past, and revisit it to find what the truth really was. Regrets has many stages, like cancer. The most correct philosophical form of regret is to re-established the truth. The cheap way out is to flee from reality, as Socrates did.

How to explain Socrates’ insolence to the jury? There again, it was a desperate attempt at reaching the sensation of self-righteousness and trying to impart it to the jury (this is often seen  on the Internet, with the glib one-liners and vacuous logic which pass for depth nowadays).

The inexperienced democracy in Athens did not always behave well. Athens behaved terribly with Melos (see link above). But the case of Socrates is different. Ultimately, the train of thoughts and moods promoted by Socrates weakened those who wanted to defend the free republics of Greece against the fascist, exterminationist Macedonian plutocracy. Demosthenes and Athenian Direct Democracy was mortally poisoned by Socrates.

Thus, Socrates execution was not just tit for tat. It was not enough of tit for tat. It was a preventive measure, in defense of Direct Democracy, which failed, because it was too meek.

Democracy does not mean to turn the other cheek, to have the golden beast eat that one too. In ultimate circumstances, democracy has an ultimate weapon too, and that is fascism. This is why the Roman, French and American republics prominently brandish the fasces. Fascism is the ultimate war weapon. But fascism is not the ultimate society. Far from it: political fascism, just a few individuals leading entails intellectual fascism, namely just a few moods and ideas leading. Before one knows it, one is in plutocracy, where not only wealth rules, but so does the cortege of the worst ideas and moods which characterize it.

Socrates often talk the talk, contradicting completely the way he lived (for example he said one should never return an injury, but, as a hoplite, he killed at least four men in combat!)

Socrates spoke so well sometimes, that he can stay a symbol of truth persecuted. But, because it is a lie, replacing him by Hypatia, Boetius, Bruno and, or Cavaillès, and, or, others, is urgent. Indeed, the reality is that Socrates was not just inimical to democracy. The current of thought he floated by was inimical to science, mental progress, and the truth he claimed to be pining for.  And even him may have been so overwhelmed by these astounding contradictions, that, in the end, assisted suicide for his pathetic mental writhing was, indeed, the optimal outcome.

Patrice Ayme’


Is Oligarchy Intrinsically Evil?

January 28, 2016

Yes and no. Unjustifiable Oligarchy Is Intrinsically Evil. Unfortunately, be it in China, Russia, the USA, the EU, and nearly all states, this is what we are enjoying now. Here is a little recapitulation of why it’s deeply inhuman, and unfathomably stupid. Considering the mental crisis out there, it’s something to fix as a priority.

Oligarchy is the rule of the few (oligo in Greek). The fundamental problems of the concept of oligarchy are two:

First, the rule of the few is fundamentally anti-humanistic. Human beings evolved in smallish groups. Various experiments have shown people cannot know more than around 150 people. Beyond that human neurology cannot handle it.

Second, in these small human groups, brains were made to be used in parallel: everybody think, their thinking is considered more or less equally, and the best ideas blossom out of debates. One can see this, if one thinks carefully. Moreover, an experimental proof has recently surfaced. It has been discovered, last year, that the most important decision making in baboon societies, where to go, is made DEMOCRATICALLY.

The Problem Was Not Just With Hitler. All Present Regimes Have It, More Or Less. One People, One Kingdom, One Guide. However One Brain For Tens of Millions Proves, Unsurprisingly, Brainless

The Problem Was Not Just With Hitler. All Present Regimes Have It, More Or Less. One People, One Kingdom, One Guide. However One Brain For Tens of Millions Proves, Unsurprisingly, Brainless

Let me give a few details on research recently published. It was made possible by fitting all the 25 adults of a baboon troop with GPS receptors endowed with a precision of 30 centimeters (a “foot”), recorded every second. It is well known that alpha males often dominate the rest of the troop for acquiring food or mates (they are also prominent for defending the troop) . However, and that is stunning, the alpha males do not  monopolize the decision-making for the all-important function of determining where to go!

A new distinction has appeared in baboon society: the “INITIATORS”. Just as there are alpha males (and alpha females, often mothers of alpha males), there are baboons who specialize in showing the way.

Notice the difference with today’s human society where the alpha males (those Obama, and not just Obama, calls the “leaders”), and the “initiators” are the same who lead the way to implementing new ideas.

In all of the world’s countries, politicians dominate. Even in the USA. The USA has the world’s largest government in money spent, as it spends more, than the entire GDP of Russia. It is actually about as large as Germany’s GDP. In fiscal year 2015, the federal budget is $3.8 trillion. These trillions of dollars make up about 21 percent of the U.S. economy. Much of them are distributed at the discretion of a handful of politicians, who, in turn decide who to finance (Elon Musk’s Space X, Tesla, and Sun City being examples of firms partly financed by the state) or who not to prosecute (the various technology monopolies being another example; in another times, under other governments, they would have been broken up).

Another way to think about it is that one fifth of the U.S. economy is directly controlled by the a few politicians. (Or maybe just one, the president!) That’s about 65 million people whose livelihood depends only upon the government of the USA, at the whim of just… one man.

Instead of going into detailed examples, as I often do, squeezed between bronchitis, antibiotics and a lack of time, I will just evoke fateful choices presidents of the USA made recently. To wit: deregulating finance (Clinton), invading Iraq, without, moreover, imposing order there (Bush), letting the derivative madness and banks run amok (Clinton-Bush), a liberal killer drones policy (early Obama), dropping fuel cell research (Obama), privatizing space (Obama), cutting down taxes on the hyper rich (Bush-first term Obama) etc. Obama did just one notable positive (besides following France on Libya): breaking the incredibly disgusting practice of American health insurance companies to insurance only healthy people… (OK, that was a tiny, but decisive step.)

Instead I will wax philosophical, going back to Socrates. The executed philosopher spent a lot of his philosophical time whining that Athenian Direct Democracy could not work. Socrates’ arguments were correct: if you want a good general, you should not elect him because somebody who talked well wanted to be a general.

The Roman Empire, followed by the European Middle Ages, and especially France, the successor state of Rome, found a solution. What I call “Democratic Institutions”. Those are meritocracies of expertise, organized as oligarchies. Guilds were examples in the Middle Ages. Medical Associations, for centuries, have decided who was a medical doctor in good standing, and who was not. Similarly for masons (free or not), architects, barbers, etc.

Philippe Le Bel arrested all the Templar at daybreak on Friday, 13 October 1307. It was a beautiful, and the first, example of a national police in action. The police of a state is another democratic institution.

Direct Democracy has to work hand in hand with Democratic Institutions. One cannot just decide what is the truth, just because it happens to be popular. Otherwise Kim Kardashian’s buns would be the only truth to be had.

But one has to keep in mind that Oligarchy is intrinsically anti-human. Not just anti-humanistic. It is deeply averse not just to our species, not just to our genus, but even to the order of primates.

And why is that? Because intelligence has been the evolutive strategy which has propelled the humanoids to supremacy over the biosphere, and now made us strong enough to be the main factor influencing it. Intelligence is higher, the higher, better, more subtle, richer, more powerful the ideas it produces are. Such ideas are born from the minds of the many, because they need debates, the equivalent of sex for ideas, to advance towards greater understanding.

Direct Democracy enables initiators all over, initiators of ideas, it’s the best enabler higher civilization ever had. And believing that oligarchy is better, the greatest enemy civilization has: not only it ends up promoting plutocracy, but, first of all, and worst of all, stupidity itself.

Notice this, though: most of the world society and economy is organized along oligarchic lines (although they are often hidden in suitably dark pools). It’s time to turn politics on its head.

Patrice Ayme’

Feynman Renormalized

December 20, 2015

In quantum field theory, the statistical mechanics of fundamental fields, and the theory of self-similar geometric structures, renormalization is a collection of techniques used to correct computations which otherwise blow up infinitely. Feynman was one of the pioneers of renormalization, and got the Nobel Prize for it.

That work was definitively made possible by a (philosophical) understanding of the “infinite” processes at hand, so Feynman was just not an “accidental philosopher”. Feynman made brutal, but amusing remarks about the uselessness of (some) philosophers in fundamental physics, something which made connoisseurs such as yours truly smile (I knew Feynman, he was complimentary, and kind, not at all putting philosophy down, differently from some recordings out there. Feynman accepted questioning the foundations maximally. His son became a philosophy major.)

The World Is Not As Simple As That, Nor Should It Be So Rough

The World Is Not As Simple As That, Nor Should It Be So Rough

I agree with the mood behind Feynman’s uttering, the spirit of what he wanted to say. However, the context of Feynman’s remarks needs to be… renormalized. (This is an example where the mood behind a precise theory in physics, namely Quantum Field Theory, can be carried over to bring the perspective of a new method to philosophy.)

As a physicist, I admire Feynman who wrote great lectures on physics, and is mostly famous for “Feynman Diagrams” a splendid, and perhaps deep way (Feynman himself was not too sure), to denote terms in the sort of power series expansion one has to consider in Quantum Field Theories.

Feynman’s statement  depends upon what one means by “government“, the type of government one is talking about. For clarity, I will consider that “government” here SHOULD mean “Direct Democracy“, the most perfect form of democracy, what democracy really means, where the People (Demos) exert Power (Kratos). That means, in particular, that We the People rules and legislates.

Feynman, who contributed to the Manhattan Project (the making of nuclear bombs crowned, for want of a better concept, with Hiroshima and Nagasaki) seems to naturally expect the sort of fascist war government he took part in.

If one expects something too much, to the point of forgetting about possible alternatives, or how grotesque and cruel that thing is, one condones it. Feynman expects government to be tyrannical. But tyranny is not ethologically human: it’s not natural, just natural in case of war. Feynman should have realized that the government he knew was not the one we should have looking forward.

Revolution begs for distanciation. Lack of distanciation is how too much tolerance can become a crime.

Thus Feynman’s statement was to some extent self-referential, and self-condemning. Indeed, in the government Feynman was used to, there was an abyss between government and citizens. Feynman witnessed the McCarthyism witch hunt (when his own career was fully launched; Feynman saw his Manhattan project superior, Robert Oppenheimer, go down in flames, just because Oppenheimer was “not trusted”).

In Direct Democracy, a government by the citizens, for the citizens, the distinction between government and citizens disappear. Abusive “representatives” (such as Richard Nixon,a Congressman, and Senator MacCarthy) altogether disappear, as We the People represents itself.

By expecting such aa abysmal distinction, between government and citizens, Feynman seems to expect that government will have to be, forever, the sort of government he played a role in. That government Feynman was involved in was a dictatorship of some sort, out there, and up there.

Government, in the most general sense, includes the legislative, judicial, and police processes and even the army, and the laws they built, enforce, and which created them. As such, the government is deeply involved in finding out what is true, and which philosophies are valid, and which are not, supported by a rather rigorous view of history.

So Feynman’s statement should be not just be reinterpreted as a warning to the citizenry to govern with an open mind. It also indicates a sort of naivety, a sort of Manichean view of the world out of physics.

Unfortunately, just as Quantum Field Theories themselves, our interpretation of the real world is self-referential, and non-linear. Our view of reality is constantly renormalized (in a way similar to what Quantum Field Theories do). We cannot separate government from truth, and especially not perfect government. And when truth is found, it has to be enforced.

No government nowadays tolerate a religion conducive to human sacrifices (wait…) Because it was found such religions were not optimal, in the context of more advanced socio-economies guided by more evolved philosophies. And that is so much the truth, it’s legislated that way, all over.

The more powerful we humans become, the more perfect our government has to be. Thus, the more We the Citizens have to be perfect. Thus, the keener we will have to be to find the truth, and impose it, when lives, or the future, are at stake.

Truth is obtained by debate, and by making mistakes. So the fact that “We The People” can err should not be condemned: after all, dictatorships and oligarchies (what we have) also err. Erring, if done in good faith, is part of the learning process. Tyrannies, oligarchies, plutocracies are, by definition, not in good faith: as they feel that the few should overlord the many, they are by definition vicious and idiotic.

So the Slovenian People, consulted in a referendum, just rejected same-sex marriage.  The vote was 63.4% against. Interestingly, the Slovenian Parliament had passed such a law, but a rather sad group appealed to the Slovenian top court, forcing the referendum. In Europe, Britain, France and Spain recognize same-sex marriages. But this is all part of the learning process: propose, reject, debate, accept. Better let the Slovenian gay inside come out of the closet willingly, after reflection. Instead of staying stuck inside in Putin’s all too warm loudly anti-homosexual embrace.

Truth, and the lack thereof, are not an innocent bystanders. If lies are allowed to grow too big, just one citizen, in a future soon to be, could condemn the “human race”.

Some truths, or lack thereof, cannot just be considered matters of state. A Cult of Death cannot be authorized as a legal religion, for example.

In Direct Democracy, truth will not just have to be a way of life, but the only way to have government, and that includes imposing it on We The People. This is exactly the main effect of the Climate Conference, COP 21, which happened in Paris. All the nations of the world united with one voice, one truth, and declared:”Earth, We have a problem!

We have to redefine “normal”. The best renormalization of society implies much more truth than ever before.

Earth is our home, but a home is something small, thus fragile.  A home cannot be inhabited by violent, potentially lethal lies.

Patrice Ayme’

Democracy Flouted: No Ridicule Is High Enough

August 20, 2015

Democracy by representation can work in a factory, school or a homeowner association: those communities are small enough, and have reduced opportunity of choice. Their leaders’ decisions will not destroy the planet.

We need a concept: let’s introduce the DEMOCRATIC INDEX. It has a simple definition: DI is the quotient of the number of representatives, R, over the total population, P. So: Democratic Index: DI = R/P.

In a Direct Democracy (such as Ancient Athens), DI is one, because each citizen represents herself, or himself.

In modern so-called “representative democracies”, the Democratic Index is basically zero. Athenian Direct Democracy has been replaced by a celebrity circus where oligarchy is presented as the one and only show of greatest interest.

Eva Longoria, An Actress Whom Obama Consults At 2AM In The White House, To “Map” The Future

Eva Longoria, An Actress Whom Obama Consults At 2AM In The White House, To “Map” The Future

In giant countries, government by (“elected“) representatives certainly does not work, and not just because it vests enormous powers in a handful of individuals. The Obama circus of continual fund-raising and frolicking with plutocrats whose business is only possible through government, has made plenty clear that those who took part in an election were the plutocrats, and only them, not “We The People”. (Plutocrats also elected, again and again, Putin to ever more authoritative positions… Until they discovered to their dismay, that he had elected himself to plutocrat in chief.)

At the scale of a country, government by representatives is the power of a few. In Greek: few-rule: oligo-arkhein: oligarchy. Thus:

Theorem: All and any nation claiming to be a representative democracy is, actually, an oligarchy.

That does not mean it’s a plutocracy. For an oligarchy to be a plutocracy, great wealth, and, or great diabolicity, needs to rule.  

How does one hide all this nastiness? One hides it as a kabuki theater, a dictatorship of celebrities.

The New York Times just gave a striking example of this. It wrote a long article relating what Obama views as one of the main functions of his presidency. Times is the “newspaper of report”: it’s striking it presents a movie star as part of Obama’s 2am braintrust.

In “With High-Profile Help, Obama Plots Life After Presidency

“President Obama… is privately mapping out a postpresidential infrastructure that could cost as much as $1 billion.

One is obviously very far from the mentality of president Harry Truman. After holding office, as Senator, VP, and President, Truman lived in modest circumstances. When he was asked why he did not cash on his aura, Truman replied that it would demean the office of the presidency. Now things have changed: the presidency is apparently viewed by the beholder as all about money:

WASHINGTON — The dinner in the private upstairs dining room of the White House went so late that Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn billionaire, finally suggested around midnight that President Obama might like to go to bed.

“Feel free to kick us out,” Mr. Hoffman recalled telling the president.

But Mr. Obama was just getting started. “I’ll kick you out when it’s time,” he replied.

“Good manners in present higher American society, is all about who kicks whom, and timing is everything. If they spend their time kicking each other, and laughing about it, imagine what they really do the average losers, such as you and me. The vulgarity was just getting started, though:

[President Obama] then lingered with his wife, Michelle, and their 13 guests — among them the novelist Toni Morrison, the hedge fund manager Marc Lasry and the Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr — well past 2 a.m.

Mr. Obama “seemed incredibly relaxed,” said another guest, the writer Malcolm Gladwell. He recalled how the group, which also included the actress Eva Longoria and Vinod Khosla, a founder of Sun Microsystems, tossed out ideas about what Mr. Obama should do after he leaves the White House.”

Khosla is the self-proclaimed ecologist who bought for himself part of the undeveloped Californian Coast, and then barred nature lovers to hike and swim there, just because he owned it. He fought in court for years to block access to the public (who, in theory, has the right to walk California’s beaches).

Whatever Obama’s future is, it’s something Internet billionaires, part NSA, part vulgar, and hedge fund conspirators, venture plotters, and actresses can profitably manage.

“So far, Mr. Obama has raised just over $5.4 million from 12 donors, with gifts ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. Michael J. Sacks, a Chicago businessman, gave $666,666. Fred Eychaner, the founder of Chicago-based Newsweb Corp., which owns community newspapers and radio stations, donated $1 million. Mark T. Gallogly, a private equity executive, and James H. Simons, a technology entrepreneur, each contributed $340,000 to a foundation set up to oversee development of the library.”

“666” is the “Mark of the Beast”:, some robber barons have an undeniable sense of humor. Lucky is a country where the wealthiest can make enormous gifts to the Great Leader. At least, so they say in North Korea. And the New York Times goes on:

“The heart of the postpresidential planning is Mr. Obama’s own outreach to eclectic, often extraordinarily rich groups of people. Several aides close to Mr. Obama said his extended conversations over the lengthy dinners — guests say his drink of choice at the gatherings is an extra-dry Grey Goose martini — reminded them of the private consultations Mr. Obama had with donors and business leaders as he sought to build a winning campaign.

The process started as early as the week after Mr. Obama’s re-election in 2012, when the director Steven Spielberg and the actor Daniel Day-Lewis went to a White House screening of the movie “Lincoln.” Mr. Spielberg held the president spellbound, guests said, when he spoke about the use of technology to tell stories. Mr. Obama has continued those conversations, most recently with Mr. Spielberg and the studio executive Jeffrey Katzenberg over dinner at a Beverly Hills hotel in California in June, according to some of Mr. Obama’s close advisers.

The advisers said Mr. Spielberg was focused on helping to develop a “narrative” for Mr. Obama in the years after he leaves office.”

Katzenberg, in case you would be so naïve that you would need to ask, is a billionaire, and his jobs is selling dreams (not really different from Putin, just much more modest). It’s all about ‘narrative”

“In response to a question from Mr. Doerr at the February White House dinner, the president told the group that he wanted to focus on civic engagement and opportunities for youths, pushing guests for ideas about how to make government work better, Mr. Hoffman recalled in an interview. The president asked if social networks could improve the way society confronted problems.”

Well, let me tell, you, Mr. President, how the Internet could improve the way society confronts problems: by doing away with you, your actresses, moguls, hedge fund conspirators, bankers, Silicon plotters, and various oligarchs and plutocrats. How? We don’t need you, and your fellow 2 am brains.

We can just vote on the issues, instead of having you and your lapdogs decided everything. Say all propositions gathering more than a million signatures, as long as they don’t violate the Constitution, would be submitted to a national plebiscite.

What would happen?

American Lawyer, the most respected law magazine, just pointed out that for banks:”Fined. But business as usual.”

Banks are mandated by so-called representative democracies to create money (by extending credit). Thus they should be under fierce democratic control. However, they don’t even have to respect the law, they can just bribe their way out of it. And they have no limit: official accusations against the huge world bank HSBC were, after the usual tax evasion, money laundering and drug trafficking that it financed terrorist networks. So what? HSBC distributed some cash around, as suggested.

A plebiscite proposing that, when a banker steals, say, a billion dollar, he goes to jail, would certainly pass. After all, California had passed “Three Strikes You Are Out”, a law imposing a mandatory life sentence on the third condemnation, even if it were about stealing a pizza slice (a plebiscite, Prop 36, modified the “3 strikes” law in California in 2012, to impose drastic punishment only if the third strike was violent).

We are governed by oligarchs and plutocrats. That they look amusing and distracting is part of their oppression. Dire oppression with a comic face. We need to elevate ourselves, and find immoral, to be thrilled by the politicians’ ridiculous antics.

It is illegal for politicians to accept significant gifts. So what are politicians doing at 2am, with those who can give the most significant gifts? And are given the most significant gifts, such as evading the law on a plutocratic scale? Why is that legal?

Patrice Ayme’

President “Finally” On His “Own”?

May 19, 2015

So the President Of The U.S. (“POTUS”) claims. Hope we can believe in.

Barack Obama just got his own Twitter account. Just like millions of teenagers out there! He is coming out on his “own”! Let me reproduce the exchange:

President Obama ‏@POTUS May 18

“Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account.”

Patrice Ayme ‏@Tyranosopher

@POTUS Welcome! A question: who is “they”? What else are “they” “finally giving”? In any case, nice to see you on your “own”.

Barack Obama committed a Freudian slip, on steroids. This time, and not for the first time, he admitted he is not on his own. Barack Obama, president of the USA, is even more grounded that the average American teenager.

Some will say that this is understandable: a president, like other top politicians, has to have “handlers”, people in the shadows, telling him what to do, what to say, where to go, writing his speeches, etc.

A president, some will say, has to “preside”, represent everybody, the nation itself, he, or she, cannot be just an individual, but a function, an institution.

However, who does he talk to?

When one visits Barack Obama, and pays attention to the surroundings, what is striking is the military deployment. Hundreds of superb professionals, trained to kill with heavy weapons are all around, hidden from public view. It has to be hidden, because it were not, the USA would start to look like a military dictatorship. We don’t want to feel that way, do we?

So who goes through this (peregrinating) military fortress? The best and the brightest. Access is denied to common folks. Serious scholarly studies have show that, in the matter of legislation, only the preoccupations of the elite go through.

(Since this is known, that only the elite legislates, the very knowledge of this anti-democratic horror may have change the behavior of the “Democratic Party” rank and file. Thus, I feel incline to believe, the resistance to the Trans Pacific Partnership, the TPP. That other scholarly studies, just published have shown that such “free trade” treaties are reduced quality employment in the USA, did not improve matters.)

Who is the best and brightest? The most powerful and wealthiest. Those who will feed and comfort all the critters of the present Obama administration, once that vaporizes in two years.

In other words, the president, and his collaborators, talk to the powers that be. The wealth, that is.

Barack Obama was explicitly told, before he became President, that he had to leave his friends behind. “They only cause problems.” So he was told by a plutocrat who used to be Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff, Erskine Bowles.

Those are the ones who control Barack Obama as if he were an unruly teenager. After six years of good behavior, those worthies are happy to let little boy Barack get his own Twitter account. Little Barack is now a big boy. A boy who served the big white masters very well. They are grateful, and impressed.

So what we see is that, having just one, or a few people in charge, cannot work: unavoidably, they will come under the spell of the pre-existing class of owners.

That was a well-known problem. So Robespierre, Saint-Just and company decided to exterminate the pre-existing owners and controllers (the famous “Terreur” of the French Revolution). Earlier in England, Cromwell, the “Lord Protector” had instituted a similar system which dissipated quickly after his death (which happened within 5 years). The Terreur lasted roughly a year, before its perpetrators got cut down to size.

However Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and the Khmers Rouges were more successful: they eradicated the pre-existing class, ruthlessly. In retrospect, everybody agrees that was a mistake (and the present “Princelings” in command in China’s “People Republic” will be the first to tell you so, thus they reconstituted an elite composed mostly of themselves!)

The solution?

Get out of the class problem entirely. How? Make an increasing number of drastic decisions subject to the vote of the People.

For example, our newly liberated boy Barack wants to get “trade authority” to negotiate the TPP (and a similar Transatlantic Treaty). Then he will talk to the adults, the very wealthy and powerful adults who control his Twitter accounts and all what he is supposed to feel and think about, and how.

Why not to submit the TPP to a referendum?

Because most of the individuals negotiating the TPP right now are employees of giant corporations? Whereas government representatives are few; the TPP will give corporations right they don’t have now, such as modifying laws, and suing states. Although that was hidden below thick layers of lies.

That the boy who could only get his Twitter account after six years wants to represent, all by his little self, nearly a billion people in the West, is surrealistic.

We used to have representatives and officials and ministers, out of necessity. In countries such as France, or, a fortiori, the USA, it would take weeks to travel across. In the Middle-Ages, only the cardinals living around Rome, no more than 20 of them, would elect the Popes. A cardinal in England, or Spain, or Germany, would not take part in these elections.

But now we have the Internet.

The root of the word “minister”, as in “Prime Minister”, is the Latin ministrare “to serve, attend, wait upon”. In the Middle-Ages, it was closely related to servitude (or ministrels, the musicians who attended to courts). We don’t need those servants anymore: they have other masters, they do not obey us anymore.

Thanks to the Internet, we can give our own opinions, and debate them. Switzerland is increasingly using these “votations”. The system works splendidly. Most controversial measures lead to fierce debates, and public opinion varies accordingly.

Debates do not have to replace democratic institutions (army, police, justice, the orders of MDs, etc.). These institutions, which are meritocratic, are the answer to Socrates’ objection to electing generals and the like (as was done in Athens).

However Socrates did not object to Athens National Assembly, which often necessitated a quorum of 6,000. That meant that farmers of Attica, if they wanted to vote, had to leave their farms for many days. Nowadays, with the Internet, they could vote while having breakfast.

Debates allow good ideas to exterminate bad ideas. That’s what we need.

We don’t need to be led by people who need six years of good behavior to be authorized to have their own account.

Patrice Ayme’

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For The Best Thinking Possible. Morality Needs Intelligence As Will Needs Mind. Intelligence Is Humanism.

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.


Smile! You’re at the best site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner


Defending Scientism

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For The Best Thinking Possible. Morality Needs Intelligence As Will Needs Mind. Intelligence Is Humanism.

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.


Smile! You’re at the best site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner


Defending Scientism

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For The Best Thinking Possible. Morality Needs Intelligence As Will Needs Mind. Intelligence Is Humanism.

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.


Smile! You’re at the best site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner


Defending Scientism