Posts Tagged ‘Empathy’

In Today’s USA, Losers Are Sinners

January 25, 2015

In: WHERE IS THE EMPATHY?

Kristof in the New York Times relates the loss of a childhood friend, and Kristof accuses a MOOD: the lack of empathy. This story is highly evocative of the general mood in the USA (and its significant difference with the ‘welfare’, institutionalized empathy in Europe).

This sort of story points at importance of systems of moods. Those are off the radar of conventional sociology and philosophy.

“YAMHILL, Ore. — THE funeral for my high school buddy Kevin Green is Saturday, near this town where we both grew up. The doctors say he died at age 54 of multiple organ failure, but in a deeper sense he died of inequality and a lack of good jobs.

Lots of Americans would have seen Kevin — obese with a huge gray beard, surviving on disability and food stamps — as a moocher. They would have been harshly judgmental: Why don’t you look after your health? Why did you father two kids outside of marriage?

That acerbic condescension reflects one of this country’s fundamental problems: an empathy gap. It reflects the delusion on the part of many affluent Americans that those like Kevin are lazy or living cushy lives. A poll released this month by the Pew Research Center found that wealthy Americans mostly agree that “poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return.””

But, says Kristof, the problem with people like Kevin (of which there are tens of millions in the USA), is not that they are lazy, but that there are no decent, well-paying jobs:

“Lazy? Easy? Kevin used to set out with his bicycle and a little trailer to collect cans by the roadside. He would make about $20 a day.”

Resident Reagan had the following idiotic retort: there are no despicable jobs. All are equally honorable.

However, a country is only as rich as the sum of all the added value of the products its jobs provide with. If a country, such as Saudi Arabia, Australia, or the USA has immense mineral wealth, it can be rich, or at least not dirt poor (Venezuela, Russia) with few people working.

Right now the USA is rich for quite a few reasons that are unique, thanks to its geography, and its history (dollar as reserve currency, and the buying of complicit elites in tens of countries, worldwide).

“Kevin’s dad had only a third-grade education and couldn’t read. But he had a good union job as a cement finisher, paying far above the minimum wage, and he worked hard and made sure his kids did, too. He had no trouble with the law.

Kevin and his big sister, Cindy — one of the sweetest girls in school — both earned high school diplomas. Kevin was sunny, cheerful and astonishingly helpful: Any hint that something needed fixing, and he was there with a wrench. But then the dream began to disintegrate.

The local glove factory and feed store closed, and other blue-collar employers cut back. Good union jobs became hard to find.”

[Kevin became a] “manager making trailer homes. He fell in love and had twin boys that he doted on. But because he and his girlfriend struggled financially, they never married.

Then, about 15 years ago, Kevin hurt his back and was laid off. Soon afterward, his girlfriend moved out, took the kids and asked for child support…. [Kevin] was far behind in child support and was punished by losing his driver’s license — which made it pretty much impossible to get a job in a rural area… ”

And so on: poor nutrition, 350 pounds, diabetes, heart attack, death…

Loss of hope. Loss of faith in a society drifting towards ignobility.

The mood, in the USA, as in all countries, is organized by the ruling elite. The USA is turning away from the equal opportunity society (for the whites) post World War Two. (Or the one that existed for centuries prior, by just going west!)

Instead, democracy is slowly strangled by plutocracy. So the mood is all about the Law of the Jungle being the normal law of the land. Thus lack of empathy is part of the system. Only the “philanthropists” (another name for the plutocrats) are supposed to have empathy. Others can get lost.

Universities make millions each from “college sports”. Players are basically not paid. However, they get good grades, although they don’t need to attend classes (or then purely formally, occasionally!) Professors are supposed to be part of the plot (and better be, if they want their departments to keep on existing!)

To justify the superiority of those who have it all, and often inherited it all, one has to be able to punish those who are not playing the game. The more those who look as if they deserved to be low lives, suffer, the better. So the society is actually organized to create misery, and punish it. Losers are sinners. Thus winners are philanthropists.

By not taking care of those who deserve empathy, resources are freed to protect and expand the empire of those who have it all, and want more. The resulting might insure the success of the USA as the greatest nation on Earth.

It may be all very perverse, but it sure works very well. As a blossoming plutocracy. Watch the GDP expanding at a 5% rate. Of course, mostly because wealth is expanding at an even higher rate.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/state-of-the-bunion/

However, common people work hard in the USA. Harder than in most other places. Why? Because there is a lack of empathy. Common citizens know that, if they fail, not only will they be punished, but they will be viewed as sinners.

Google earns 50 billion dollars a month. And pays no significant tax. When crime gets big enough, it is divine: this is a mood the Bible and the Qur’an imparts.

Meanwhile, in Germany one German out of ten never heard of Auschwitz. I saw a group of full grown high school students facing a panel with names. None seemed to know what it was. When the instructor of the Jewish Museum asked if a name told them something, there was giggling. Ravensbruck, Dachau, Auschwitz… None knew a single name of extermination camps.

Let Germany not get in a mood of forgetfulness. German orderliness, and discipline are wonderful moods, in the service of goodness, but not in the service of forgetfulness.

Moods are deeper and more pervasive than systems of thought.

That is why religions cannot be separated from society, let alone civilization. Only secular humanism is compatible with today’s civilization. But humanism has always been about having sufficient empathy.

The USA is riding high on fracking at this point, and similar plots. And Germany used to ride high enough to feel optimistic about attacking the world. But only sustainable moods are wise.

In a superiorly intelligent species, intelligence can only born from empathy. So empathy, not profit, is at the center of civilization. Let Greece show the way!

Patrice Ayme’

No Understanding, No Empathy

February 8, 2014

Debating how to maximize empathy goes to the heart. There is no heart without soul, or soul without mind, and mind without knowledge.

I just argued in “Finance Worth: CERN, Not Plutothat the Will To Knowledge, in particular the Will To Science was the best way to undermine social injustice and inequity. It’s no coincidence that the English, American and French revolutions happened when the scientific revolution became obvious even to the plebs.

Paul Handover, a trusted and most faithful commenter on this site, author of the Learning From Dogs site, objected to my allegation that The Will To Know is a different dimension in psychological space from empathy (literally, “feeling the pain“).So I argued that funding physics was primary. Paul wrote:  Spending to alleviate, nay remove, homelessness should come way before physics despite the power of your argument. Just my two-cents worth.

I will show here that, although, in first order, physics and empathy are independent of each other, in second order, the latter depends upon the former, in our honorable genus. Actually the dependence of empathy upon cognition is central to the ferocious genius of the human genus.   

No Cognition No Communication No Civilization No Commiseration

No Cognition No Communication No Civilization No Commiseration 

The first time I met that idea, I was a child, watching a grainy TV screen. Neil Armstrong was landing on the Moon. Some French intellectuals who I saw only that day, smirked, and said it was a terrible thing. “With all the money they spent on that they could have fed the hungry instead!”

I was outraged. Being half Algerian, and having lived mostly in Black Africa, I had direct knowledge that people suffer, die and go hungry for reasons that have nothing to do with spending. Money can’t buy love, and it can’t buy hatred, either.

JFK and LBJ spent 100 billion dollars landing on the Moon. That was money splendidly and fruitfully spent. Stepping on the Moon was a better idea than a Third World War with the USSR. Arguably, if the USA and the USSR had not competed to get to the Moon first, they may have competed with direct war (instead of the indirect war in Vietnam). The race was pretty much settled when the giant Soviet N1 rocket exploded every single time a launch was attempted, producing a 7 kilotons TNT explosion (half of Hiroshima), and destroying its launch pad.

The technological fall-out of the landing on the Moon was enormous (never mind that the 100 top NASA Saturn V engineers were Nazis). The scientific fall-out is still ongoing. Some of the astronauts were geologists and brought back lots of rocks which were studied worldwide. The Moon’s geology is full of surprises: it’s a piece of Earth’s mantle!

Considering the discoveries made on the Moon, I have argued in “Life Giving EARTH NUCLEAR Reactor” that one ought to introduce a new term in the so called Drake equation: a huge fission reactor may be needed for life, and the Moon may have resulted from it. If true, this has all sorts of philosophical, not to say political, consequences.

A parallel, highly ambitious technological program was the much derided Franco-British supersonic, the Concorde (initially a French idea). Concorde was an enormous success too, and nobody knows. No, it’s not because Concorde still hold some speed records. Concorde contributed a lot to the advanced of civilization. And not just by having the French and British taking tea together.

How? When a plane flies supersonic, its center of lift goes way back. To compensate, the center of mass of the plane has to go way back too. That was done by transferring fuel. That was not done by hand. That was done, could only be done, by computers, and assorted electrical systems. With its Gothic delta wings very unstable at low speeds and its variable geometry air intakes, Concorde needed to have many other mechanisms under computer control.

One did not want the computer system to fail. An elaborated system was invented to make sure of that. Five computers, using different software systems built by different companies were put in command. One machine flew the plane while others watched and were ready to take over. Concorde was the first “fly by wire” plane (the next one, years later, was the USA Space Shuttle). Now such systems are ubiquitous, not just in aviation, but each time a driver applies the brakes, a train goes somewhere, etc.    

That empathy should be viewed as coming “way before” understanding is THE classical mistake. The Roman emperors, the top plutocrats per excellence, thus committed it again and again, for all to see and hear, until they drove Rome into the ground, below their boot.

Nothing comes before understanding. Understanding is what humans do. Many animals have empathy. Elephants certainly do. In humans, understanding has grown so much, that empathy has become a slave to understanding. (That’s the major problem with tribalism.)

After all many animals, or human populations, have empathy, but, lacking understanding, that empathy is of no effect whatsoever.

One can easily imagine that it is what befell the Mayan civilization in the super drought of the Seventh Century or all the Americas when the epidemiological and military apocalypse of the Fifteenth Century was upon them. The cataclysm was not understood, empathy had no effect.

All Aztecs had homes, but, to protect their homes, they would have needed enough knowledge of physics to make field guns to repulse the 2,000 invaders.  The Aztecs could not understand why Conquistadores climbed on Mexican volcanoes: they were fetching saltpeter to make more gun powder.

Meanwhile, paralyzed by their version of empathy, the Aztecs captured Spaniards alive to offer them, alive, to the Gods. So, when they had the struggling Cortez in their hands, literally, they tried to tie him up with ropes, and that gave enough time for his men to kill all the Aztecs swarming him, and rescue El Capitan.

Under what theory does providing a roof for everybody comes before understanding for everybody? After all, is a roof necessary for life? During most of human evolution, in most places, there were no roofs. It’s as if I said:”Oh we need to understand how to grow more food” and someone replied: ”Well build a home for the homeless, first”.

What if my neighbor does not want a home? After all, I have enjoyed bivouacs many times: I understand the charm of life in the grand outdoors, below the Milky Way.

Poverty is more than about roofs: I live in one of the world’s richest regions (the SF Bay Area) and I see people digging into garbage all the time. That did not use to be the case. It’s more so since Obama rules, with his fake empathy.

When I was a child, I saw only dogs and vultures dig into garbage. In Black Africa, a place with no intrinsic riches whatsoever. So poverty is a problem with the organization of society. Obama’s USA are the richest ever, but so is financial inequality. In other words, poverty in the USA is a question of understanding Obama and Pelosi did not understand, hopefully, that what they were doing was bound to increase inequality.

The Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest machine, is mostly under France, and its power mostly comes from nuclear power plants in socialist France. There is absolutely no contradiction between socialism and understanding, just the opposite. That’s why the LHC and ITER sit in France. Not because France loves homelessness and treating the poor like trash, but, precisely, because empathy without understanding is self-contradictory.

The understanding approach to things is first to ask why there is homelessness, and then to address the factor therein. Some people are homeless because they scrambled their brains on drugs: ponder the factors therein. Millions of people are homeless, or poorly lodged, because the jobs are not where the houses are: that’s endemic throughout the world. Fix that through construction programs, where needed, and so on.

An important advance in Physics has been Quantum Field Theory. The useful theories therein are RENORMALIZABLE. What does that mean? Because of vacuum energy fluctuations, any Field is subject to non linear self interactions. The Fields feed backs on the Field, non linearly. When physicists can handle this, by changing the mass and the charge, in a topological way, the theory is RENORMALIZABLE: one can compute with it.

It’s obvious to me that the mathematics and methods so developed are applicable to other fields (pun not intended). Actually they have been applied in statistics. It’s only a matter of time, and enough people knowing physics, before these methods are applied to the fight against plutocracy and homelessness.

Indeed, if some people in the USA live as some African dogs and vultures used to, it’s not because there is not enough spending, or it’s going in the wrong direction. The Black Africa I knew was 1,000 times poorer than the USA is today, per capita. However the psychological situation was different. It’s psychology that made the difference, not spending. And what psychology is used for.

Plutocrats know human psychology very well. Simply, in the mood they are, the hyper exploitative mood, psychology is in the service of the hormones, the neurohormones, and the glands, in or out of the brain, in the service of the Dark Side. 

The Will To Know can ram the Dark Side, and only the Will To Know can do so. There is no empathy without understanding, because empathy itself is a form of understanding.

The housing crisis, in the USA, and throughout the West, just like the employment crisis, is, first of all, a cognition problem. There is a Will Not To Build. That needs to be re-cognized.

All these considerations will fly beyond the understanding of the presidency in Washington. Obama organized a State Visit and assorted dinner for his romantically complicated partner, President François Hollande of France. That’s the first State Dinner in two years. Last year’s dinner was cancelled by the president of Brazil, when she learned Obama was spying on her as if she were Osama Bin Laden.

The thick ivory invitations with gold embossing and the words “The President and Mrs. Obama request the pleasure of” were printed for 300 celebrities and powers of the plutocratic order. They had to be destroyed and new ones printed without Ms. Trierweiler’s name. Trierweiler was a woman endowed with extraordinary powers because she was thought to be sleeping with the French president, until it was revealed that she was not. Then her powers magically vanished.

One may wonder by which other magical powers those 300 hundred worthies are invited at the seat of power. No doubt, if she were around, a few years ago, the Obamas would have invited, in the past, the corrupt daughter of the Spanish King.

In a real democracy, should that not be unsupervised by We the People? Can there be empathy without democracy? Hell no. Hell says no, and does care about that a lot.

When Pluto plays philanthropist in a forest, do moralists want to find out what’s going on?

Patrice Aymé

Violence Breeds Violence, Until Wisdom Is Brought To Bear.

July 21, 2012

 

TO RELIEVE THE STRESS OF THE ANALYSIS, DON’T FORGET TO LAUGH!

Syria, Colorado, Guns, Fanaticism, Mutilated Babies, God, Assad, Putin: A Common Thread. Greedy, Manipulative Oligarchies.

***

Abstract: Just a relaxing essay before another heavy duty one on thinking. A running commentary on recent events. The squeamish and easily offended are invited to go read something else.

They may not appreciate the mix of current events, explained by an overall abusive violence with far reaching subconscience… Even the plutocrat in chief of New York City, Bloomberg, agrees with me that soothing words are little, and action is needed. It is a question of replacing a wholesome order of violence by something more civilized, in other words, more advanced. Enough with deliberate mental retardation, wrapped with a smile and a prayer.

One has to learn to laugh about the unbearable, or make it otherwise interesting, all the more since it is unbearable. Only through laughter does the unbearable become bearable.

Laughter and play blossomed to make interesting skills that it is necessary to muster. Empathy is not everything. Empathy works if and only if it is connected to reason, and that implies little tolerance for weapons, outside of law enforcement, be it local, or global.

Learning to make a religion from reason means learning not to tolerate superstition, except when it is completely, absolutely and definitively innocuous. It does not matter if the religion is supposed to be honorable. Of course, the Aztec religion was most honorable, and I would have been the first to bear witness, lest my chest be cut open by those priests from hell.

Horrific is horrific. Rational lesson number one. Reason rises from emotion, and innocence from a baby’s face.

Having empathy for babies means no tolerance for sexual mutilating them. Whereas having empathy for the Middle East means socially mutilating Allah. Don’t worry about Him: He is a big boy.

Lesson therein for Syria. Retrospective lesson for the Jews: did that self mutilation they swear by, make them more tolerant of Hitler’s abuse?

Yes, philosophy is war, and its armies will not rest. Only thus can civilization can push back plutocracy down the hell hole where it belongs (Pluto is also a big boy, related to the preceding one, as scripture attests; let them have a party together, where they belong.)

***

BETTER TO LOOK AT IT, AND LAUGH, THAN NOT TO WANT TO HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT:

Most look at sad, or tragic events around the world, and they feel negative emotions: sadness, fear, dejection, rejection. They feel the pain, and that’s great: empathy is important. However, dangers are entangled with this. One of them: becoming a parody of caring, to cover up one’s enormous corruption.

Bill Clinton’s enormous corruption does not have to be presented again. But when one sees Dr. Bernard Kouchner to be corrupt, one has to pinch oneself. Kouchner was a founder of Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders, an indisputably excellent organization providing free medical care for those who otherwise would not have any, worldwide.  Kouchner was famous for having landed once in Somali with a rice bag on his shoulder, media in attendance. A decade or so later, Clinton did the same in Haiti, for his own personal glory, rice bag on the shoulder, media in attendance.

The danger is that, once it becomes clear that many “charitable” organization are, first full of charity for themselves, everybody becomes all too cynical.

Another danger is that people either become indifferent to the input, the pain of others, or learn just not to care, be it only because walloping in misery is not something the brain likes to do too much of.

Hence the true humanist will learn to laugh. Not exactly laugh of the misery of others, but laugh of, say, the logic that leads to said misery. A logic of the unsaid, a logic of moods which thrive best, when they do not have a name.

***

DOES THE USA LOVE OF GUNS COME WITH HOLES?

Another flurry of death: 71 shot in Colorado in a movie theater. USA citizens love to say they need guns to protect themselves. OK, true, they have to protect themselves against other USA citizens, no small feat, apparently. What USA citizens obsession with guns is telling us, is that the citizens feel that no law nor reason will bring them safety, only shooting will. So they are ready to shoot, or be shot. And they kill, at a rate 15 times that of Japan, where guns are severely outlawed.

The USA: a sad case where sadism (shooting) is brought to bear, only through the acceptance of being shot (masochism.)

Guns are not really a debate in the USA: money rules, and, as long as the gun plutocrats want people to have guns, they will. The sheep is too busy bleating, to be thinking.

In all plutocratic matters, one plutocracy can hide another. As long as USA citizens will be terrified of each other, they will not take part in big demonstrations, as people do in Europe. So the ultimate plutocrats, at the very top, are happy to have a country where the rabble shoots each other. It gives the top plutocrats a pretext and excuse to do the same, and raise the level of overall violence, and injustice, be it legal, constitutional, or not.

(Since the decision “Citizens United” of the Supreme Court Of the US, plutocrats and their organizations, are pretty much free to give as much money as they want, under cover, to anybody they chose, hence giving a chance to their rich boy Romney. But that of course is violence, legal violence much more carefully directed.)

***

HARDER TO EAT PEOPLE WITHOUT WEAPONS:

Once there was a Japanese cannibal in Paris (supposedly a friend of Mick Jagger as related in Too Much Blood). He wanted to eat his Dutch girlfriend, so he pointed an old gun he had purchased from organized crime, to the back of her head, and pulled the trigger. The venerable equipment misfired. He tried again, a few days later, and this time the old, tired bullet kicked into action, just enough to pierce her skull and rebound all around inside her head, killing her instantly.

Morality? Sagawa was a tiny weak guy with an inferiority complex (but with a rich father who paid for top lawyers). He selected his victim for her “beauty and health“. Without the gun, he could never have killed her. Guns are enablers. It is harder to eat people, without weapons, in the sense that, before eating them, one has to capture or kill them, and man, without weapons, is pretty much not just defenseless, but rather innocuous.

Reality is stranger than fiction. Condemned to life imprisonment as criminally insane in France, the cannibal was later extradited to Japan, where he was found “sane but evil“, and released (!). He is now a successful author and artist in Japan. A media celebrity and authority on mass murders and cannibalism (even represented on TV engaged in mock cannibalism), he has suggested he may return to his culprit activities. However, he will have to find a gun first.

Second morality: In Japan (where cannibalism is not a crime, and some have advertized body parts recently, so they claimed), clearly, if cannibals have fun with women on TV, it’s not the intensity of Japanese prosecution that make criminals behave. What makes them behave, is the intensity of Japanese prevention. It’s no doubt harder to purchase a gun in Japan than in France (with millions of hunters, with big boar killing rifles, France is armed to the teeth as the Wehrmacht found out in 1941-1944).

***

DON’T CIRCUMCISE THE SUBJECT: SEXUALLY MUTILATING CHILDREN IS A NO-NO:

Speaking of amputating body parts… A court in Cologne, Deutschland, found that sexual mutilations of children were… sexual mutilations of children. Wow. Civilization, tell me, how long did that take? Wrote the German Court: “The operation does serious bodily harm and only males old enough to consent to it freely should undergo it.”

Some hospitals in Switzerland, appraising the Court’s wisdom, decided to order their doctors to stop mutilating their children, just because their parents want it. Break the cycle. The philosopher will not argue here that what starts with priests dressed fancy torturing children, ends in Auschwitz. Some other time. But violence justified against the innocent is the underlying principle. (And don’t forget those who target deliberately innocent families with drones: that too erects the principle of justifying the unjustifiable, and also leads to Auschwitz; the fact it does not do so right away is immaterial to the logic.)

It is funny that Judeo-Muslims, who profess total subjugation to their furious dad-in-the-sky, the original Yahweh (YHVH), or its clone Allah (2,000 years later), have the arrogance to believe that His creation was so imperfect that He needs to be corrected with the knife every day.

Either Yahweh-Allah is great, or he is so sorely mistaken that only knife play can set Him right. Figure it out. In the meantime, calm down, and drop the weapon, before you mutilate some more, sexually, or not.

***

IS ALL THE JEWISH-MUSLIM SOAP OPERA RELATED TO SEX MUTILATIONS?

It is well know that those who were abused will abuse in turn. The propensity to violence, intellectual, or physical, is inherited. Intellectual violence is proper to man, it means creatively thinking, it’s a good thing… If we define the best of humanity as good, as we should, because that’s what we are, at our best.

Physical violence can be good, or bad, depending. But certainly teaching it to babies, and calling it love and most sacred, with religious baboons dressed fancy and acting respectable, delivering it, is exactly what civilization does not want to do.

One could actually argue that German Jews were supine, in their vast majority, and as a body politics, when Hitler rose to power, because they had lost, with a body part, the ability to be outraged. How? When the ones one respects most visit gratuitous violence on oneself, and one gets conditioned to respect this the most, when the local Hitler comes to visit violence on oneself, one also religiously accept that.

This is psychologically related to SS officer training, which involved piercing kittens’ eyes with their fingers.

The same holds for Islam, war religion, if there ever was one, but one, more generally related to making military dictatorship optimal. To be sexually mutilated early, I would respectfully suggest, make Muslim more apt to live with grotesque dictates such as the following in the Qur’an:

“Allah wants us to obey whoever detains power: “O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and obey those of you who are in power.” (Quran’s fascist principle, Sura 4, verse 59).”

***

THEOCRACIES ARE PLUTOCRACIES, REMEMBER THAT IN SYRIA:

Modern technology is incompatible with too much power into too few hands. This is what Obama forgets, when he plays the brainy assassin and decides who, innocent or not, he is going to have killed, worldwide.

This is also the problem with all the shootings in the USA. And it’s no accident so many shootings happen in South West Denver, Colorado (Columbine high school, Aurora, etc.) Not again! says the LA Times.  

Why not? It’s a demonstration of reason: same causes, same effects. It’s full of guns, there, differently from Manhattan, where guns are outlawed. In Colorado, if you are 15, and you want a gun, you know where to find it, starting with your parents’ bedroom: cool, man. In Manhattan, tough luck.

South West Denver is also full of police. I resided there for a while, in the richest area, Cherry Hills. Once I got stopped there, just because the officer found my face, my hair or my necklace intriguing, not fitting the call of the local wealth. The police is good at enforcing racial profiling, but race don’t kill people, guns do. Once, after shopping, having to do something else I worried: the car was full of bags in full sight. My sister in law sneered:“Don’t worry, this is Colorado! People don’t break in cars, because they know they would be shot!” In Colorado carrying one hundred fully loaded guns in a car is completely legal. If I narrated all my potentially lethal bruises with Colorado society, it would take another page.

The mayor of New York, the plutocrat billionaire Bloomberg, asked instead of the two people – President Obama and Governor Romney – talking in broad things about they want to make the world a better place, okay, tell us how…Soothing words are nice, but maybe it’s time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country…I mean, there are so many murders with guns every day, it’s just got to stop…. 34 people get killed by unlawful guns, every day…This is killing people every day, and it’s growing and it’s not just an inner-city, east coast, west coast, big city phenomenon.

[Quoting a plutocrat approvingly, a proof of open mindedness!]

More than 100,000 citizens get shot with guns every year in the USA. This level of violence presumably make the average USA citizen more inclined to shoot back (starting with Iraqis and Yemenites).

It also inure the population of the USA to violence, and so it cares not what happens to the climate and biosphere. (Although the USA produces directly only 25% of the world CO2 production, it controls much more, through its worldwide plutocratic networks, as when Clinton became hysterical about the European Carbon Tax, and threatened to ally herself with Putin and other goons to do something violent about it.)

***

VIOLENCE IS A GLOBAL MOOD:

There are tipping points in global psychology: see how the Arab Spring progressed after an illegal street vendor was allegedly slapped by a police woman in Tunisia (she denies it). But it can also go the other way: after the Nazis, fueled by oil men from Texas, launched the Second World War in Spain, in 1936, one thing led to another, and violence erupted everywhere (for example plutocratic, militarized Japan invaded China, and the giant fascist USSR attacked tiny democratic Finland).

In any case, it’s impossible to tolerate arbitrary weapons and arbitrary levels of violence, if one cares about one’s survival, even if one lives on the other side of the Earth.

This is the sense of the anguish about the “Islamist republic of Iran” having nuclear weapons: Israel crammed with nukes is bad enough, we don’t need two.  (OK, I am perfidious, Iran calls itself “Islamic”, not “Islamist”… but still praying to Qur’an S4, v59.)

All the Muslim dictators, have, since the Qur’an was written down well after Muhammad’s death, used the Muslim Fascist Principle. It is the milk of dictators, and as long as Arab Spring People have not thoroughly understood this, they bark to a sand storm.

Thus, if the aim is progress, it is crucial that the regime that will succeed the rebellion in Syria be secular. Dictators including the assassin Assad, have been riding for 13 centuries Islam’s fascist principle, that all good Muslims obey all dictators. Enough. Unfortunately, what we have now in Syria is an army fighting an army. A secular, democratic minded authority is not as much behind the rebellion as it should be.

Western Europe got rid of the Middle Ages God-Is-great theocracy, truly a plutocracy masquerading as a theocracy (while still claiming to obey Roman republican law). Time for the Eastern Mediterranean to do the same.

While circumcising Allah’s work with a knife, all the time, his self proclaimed fanatics seem definitively to underestimate His capabilities. Allah can handle been thrown out of politics and society. Yet, I am sure Allah, should he exist, can take care of himself. I am a believer in Allah’s self reliance!

***

YOUR SURVIVAL IS MY BUSINESS:

Some will whine that it’s not the business of the West, what the Orient does. Well the world now is smaller, much smaller, than France in 1800. From now on, all wars are civil wars, whether one likes it, or not. Damascus is in our neighborhood, not just Aurora, and the problems are related: in both cases, oligarchies have been (mis)leading people by the nose.

The Roman empire, spread for centuries, from Portugal to Iran, and Scotland to Southern Egypt. During that age, the average Roman citizen had a level of creatures’ comfort not equated until the end of the European Middle Ages, a millennium later.

The present day Middle East was the richest part of the empire, it was called its “Oriental Part“. The Islamist invasion ruined it (not right away, but in the fullness of time). Now from the Occident to the Orient of the (ex) empire, a catapult  (so to speak) can send an object in a few minutes. One world.

Relevant anecdote: Rome was founded greatly on the reign of reason and tolerance (meaning that reason tolerated what was innocent). However, Jewish fanatics rebelled against Roman order in the famous Judean war. During the siege of Jerusalem, Roman artillery bombarded the city with thousands of pig heads. 2,000 years ago, the Romans already found the Jewish fanatics ridiculous. (Now I have neighbors, and, although very nice and modern, they obsess about pigs… although they don’t even like Jews, as an ethnic group… both notions are crazy… and intimately related!)

In the end, all what the Jewish fanatics achieved, after the insane war of 70 CE, and a similar revolt later, was the dispersion of Israel. (Although the Non-Christian emperor Julian allowed again the construction of the temple in Jerusalem, shortly before his assassination (363 CE), the hostility of the Roman state to the Jews would be amplified in Christianity.)

One can compare with the situation in Gaul: the populations there were even more rebellious than the Jews. But they did not cling fanatically to their old superstition. Instead revolts tried to out-Rome the Romans, by outsmarting them with more reason, and more progress. So the Romans did not massacre and disperse Gaul (after the initial rebellions crushed by Caesar). After five centuries of ever more insistent revolts, coups, “Gallic empire”, etc. the Gallo-Romans allied with the Franks, creating the West as we know it, the official successor state of Rome.

***

WHEN THE GANGES IS THE NEW RHINE: HOW SMALL THE WORLD HAS BECOME:

A nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India would be, automatically, a war between fascism and democracy. Democracy would have to intervene. So democracy intervenes now. Lest some in China got fancy ideas.

And this is why the French republic is such a strong ally of India. The new French socialist government decided that, besides German and British delegates, Indians will sit on the French defense steering committee. One world, democracy elaborating future weapon systems and strategies.

Whereas the French republic frontier used to be on the Rhine, now it’s from the Falklands to Malaysia. it goes without saying that Great Britain and the USA are fully aware of this (even if Merkel aligned herself on Putin about Libya: all that gas…)

***

SUPERSTITION FOR BREAKFAST, OR HOW TO NOURISH CIVILIZATION WELL:

Neither Islam, nor Christianity are civilizations. Never were, never will, God willing. they are just superstitions, thinking of themselves as civilizations. They were the cover-ups military aristocracies used to claim they were exactly the opposite of what they truly were (read Nietzsche on this angle, about Chrsitianity).

Some fear that, as the West comes all out against Wahhabism (the Saudi religion often described by primitives as “Islam” by an abuse of language), a clash of civilization would ensue. However a clash between a superstition and civilization, is not a clash of civilizations. It is the clash between an elephant, and a swine.

Civilization is used to do away with primitive beliefs. The tradition was not invented yesterday. Once a Roman general, under the republic, actually a supreme commander, an imperator, charging at the head of his troops during D Day, stumbled out the surf, and fell face first on the beach. That was definitively a bad omen. And not just in the old Roman religion,

However the general laughed, grabbed the sand in both hands, and loudly exclaimed: “Africa, I hold you!”

The campaign was highly successful (the exact opposite story had happened to Athens a few centuries earlier, causing the annihilation of her fleet and army in Syracuse. Superstition can be costly!)

The story of the republican West, overall, is not that of the reign of superstition (yes, republican, in the sense that Frankish kings were elected, and that the republic never formally died under the Roman empire). In the West, the pope was always viewed as independent and separate from political power. And sometimes the relationships between both were really bad, for very long, such as when the Franks let the popes macerate with the hated Lombards (“long beards”) for 150 years.

The secret of the West is in plain sight: the triumph of intelligence and reason, (partly under the cover of crucifixion,) for more than a millennium. Intelligence and reason are best served by democracy. Crucifixion had a double meaning, of course: a reminder that the world is not about circumcising difficulties, and that, sometimes, nothing beats full frontal horror. Charlemagne let his underlings use the cross as a terror weapon.

***

PLUTOCRACY ROSE & FELL BEFORE. TIME FOR CIVILIZATION TO ERADICATE IT AGAIN:

When Christianity was useless, the Franks did not use it. So Christianity was used to spread Franco-Roman civilization, far ahead of the limes (as the Romans had done). Yet, inside the Imperium Francorum (soon to be “renovated” as the Imperium Romanum again), Christianity was not imposed anymore than Judaism, Islam, Paganism, or Charlemagne’s style polytheism.

Things degenerated into feudalism for military reasons: in the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Century, the Imperium Romanum of the Franks was simultaneously invaded by savages from the North, The South, and the East. Charles Martel’s trick of endowing the empire with a very heavy cavalry evolved into a caste of professional killers, born and raised. Charlemagne used the heavy cavalry to conquer swiftly where Romans legions had floundered, and Caesar only dreamed of.

A knight, his decades of training, his special giant, huge but swift horse, his squires, his special weapons, and heavy armor, the world’s best steel, represented a colossal spending (that no other power in the world could ever afford; Iran for a few centuries had heavy armored cavalry. but they were not a caste). Thus that European aristocracy (rule of the best) grew, propped in no small fashion by much lower, or exemption from, taxes.

All I can say is that there was a good reason for this. The Nord Men, the Avars, the Magyar, and the Sarah Sons (“Saracens“) were defeated and domesticated. However, that was mostly done by 1,000 CE. Although the reconquista had a long way to go in Italy, Greece, and Spain, in Northern Europe, the aristocracy had lost its reason for existing in the first place. But it kept going. How?

The old aristocracy, truly a plutocracy, oppressed Europe for more than a millennium, its power resting on lower tax rates than the commons, just like it is the case now.

In the USA the tax rates paid by the hyper rich are incredibly low, and many are actually able to pay none at all (with many tricks, such as borrowing against shares). All other industries pay tax, when a transaction happens, it’s only normal that the Lords of Finance would pay one too. The reasoning why they should not are well known: they were held to justify the prerogatives of the so called “nobles”, the plutocrats, for more than a millennium.

However the French republic just passed a financial transaction tax. It becomes effective August 1, 2012.

Plutocracy is an emerging property. Out the many, and the much, comes out something completely different. The financial plutocracy, we learned in recent weeks, is committing fraud on a scale never seen before. From money laundering drug money for murderous Mexican drug mafias, Jihadists or Iranian Islamists, to cheating on 350 trillion dollars of deposits (yes, 350, 000 billions).

My bombing runs over theocracy do not imply that there was never something grand and right about past religions. If nothing else the violence in Christianism and Islamism are unequalled. Therein their utility to the military aristocracies plutocracies. Jokes aside, the civilizational aspects connected to Judeo-Christo-Islamism can be the most inspiring as works of man: just visit stupendous Isfahan. It will nearly turn you Shiah for a day. Certainly Shah Abbas, who built Isfahan into a magnificent capital, did more architecturally than even the so called “Sun King” of France (besides Abbas was even worse of a superstitious fanatic: he had the Georgian queen Kelevan tortured to death for eight years to force her to become a Muslim).

And it’s not just savasges from the desert in a past far away. In Russia three girls are threatened with seven years in jail for singing an anti-Putin prayer in a cathedral. A smart white Russian came onTV, and declared that, in an Islamist country, their heads would have already been cut. So why can Christians do the same? After Assad, may be the West should do Putin?  

The past justifications for fanatical variations on the Jewish god have become obsolete and counter effective. Civilization, ever more formidable, has moved on. Civilization, even more than the Devil, is in the mental details, not just in the grand flow of transgalactic intelligence with its transluminal vision.

Plutocracy is to civilization what cancer is to individuals. It proliferates, becomes metastatic, and corrupts all tissues (for example religion in the Islamist area) . It’s a real war: just watch what is going on with Syrian plutocracy. A regime of patented assassins, conspiratorially connected to the best Western banks, is not just fighting Jihadists, but also thousands of warriors for democracy and liberty. The dictatorships in China and the USSR Russia have seen the danger, and feel the empathy.

The plutocratic phenomenon has ruined many a civilization, now it’s ravaging ours. Nothing really new. Same old, same old. History teaches how to fix it: don’t hesitate to go to war, and chose your targets well. And, yes, it is first a philosophical war.

***

Patrice Ayme


Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

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Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

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in truth, only atoms and the void

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GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

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The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

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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.

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

ianmillerblog

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Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

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Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

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.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

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Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

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