Posts Tagged ‘Enlightenment’

SEEING IN THE DARK

August 19, 2016

Seeing in the Dark, and from the Dark

Human beings are not cats,
They don’t see as well in the dark.
Still they do see in dark.
In the dark, new shapes appear.
I giant scree slope I know well,
Looked at in the dark, seemed to flow as a glacier,

Glistening below Mars and Jupiter,

Swooping around a mountain.

I was amazed how clear it was.
And you know what?
That may well be what it is:
A rock glacier, as they are called,
Rock flowing on top of an ice mix.

In the dark, we see things we could not see in the light.

In the dark, we see things we could not see in the light.

In the dark,
What was never seen before becomes luminous.
What was seen, but not observed,
Suddenly because completely different,
And calls for attention, description, explanation.
We can change angles on things
To bring forth different aspects,
Or we change luminosity we bring to bear.
How come?
Lowering luminosity, intensity,
Enables to forget the details,
Which fogged the mind.
Explode the light, to see the dark.

To see anew,

New ways.
Patrice Ayme’

Economics As Science: Quesnay, Not Smith

July 7, 2016

Where it is revealed that Adam Smith was Quesnay’s Feeble Student…

Faithful Anglo-Saxons love to evoke Adam Smith and Ricardo, who are famous British economists.

Adam Smith is viewed as the first temple of economics, inventor of the free market. And that is the first set of deep mistakes. First, there was never any free market, ever since there are tribes, and they are governed. Even a government of pirates has laws. Which its market obeys.

Second, Adam Smith was actually a student. All right, we all are, but some of us do like Einstein, and get “their” main ideas somewhere else. They are not the ultimate creators. Ultimate creators are the ones worth pondering: their reasons are always deeper and more interesting than that of their parrots.

Adam Smith went to France, and learned from the physiocrats. The most prominent physiocrats were towering personalities. One, Turgot, became France’s Prime Minister (under Louis XVI), another was king Louis XV’s surgeon and “first doctor” (so economy was a love of his, as it was with the philosopher who named and founded economics, Xenophon. Lovers tend to think better than those paid to think correct thoughts).

What was the idea of physiocracy? Well, it’s in the name: the power of nature. Physiocracy views economics as an application of the laws of nature, hence its great reverence to agriculture. 

Mercantilism Is Much Smarter Than This Sorry Abstract Puts it. Physiocracy Insisted That Nature, Not The Sovereign, Should Guide Economics. True, But Naive...

Mercantilism Is Much Smarter Than This Sorry Abstract Puts it. Physiocracy Insisted That Nature, Not The Sovereign, Should Guide Economics. True, But Naive…

As The Economist put it at some point: “If YOU asked twenty well-educated souls to identify a physiocrat, only a couple could help you out. Writers like A.R.J. Turgot, the Marquis de Condorcet and Francois Quesnay are not household names, unlike Adam Smith or David Ricardo. But they are important. According to one late-19th century historian, the physiocrats (who called themselves the “économistes”) created “the first strictly scientific system of economics”.

Adam Smith was half the age of Francois Quesnay when the latter instructed the former (43 versus 72). At the time, intellectuals from Britain and France heavily influenced each other, to the point theater has been written about them. The phrase laissez-faire, coined by fellow physiocrat Vincent de Gournay, came from Quesnay’s writings on China

Some say that physiocracy was a theory of wealth. In this reduced vision of physiocracy, the physiocrats, led by Quesnay, believed that the wealth of nations was derived solely from the value of agriculture. In that parody, Quesnay’s understanding of value-added was rather primitive—he could not see, for example, how manufacturing could create wealth. But that is certainly not true, as Quesnay greatly admired the Chinese universal education system, and its vaunted examinations producing mandarins who ruled the empire (without aristocracy).

Moreover, as Quesnay was France’s top doctor, he could not possibly believe that there was no added value in science and medicine. Quite the opposite. Quesnay, Louis XV’s esteemed friend, was called by the king, “my thinker”. Quite a compliment, as another friend was Voltaire. So that physiocrats believed in agriculture alone is a parody.

Farmers certainly produced wealth. To quote Karl Marx in “Das Kapital”, “the Physiocrats insist that only agricultural labour is productive, since that alone, they say, yields a surplus-value”.

The physiocrats are most commonly known for these most simplistic economic ideas which do not reflect their subtlety. Indeed these parodies are not their most important contribution to economic thought. Rather, it was the physiocrats’ methodological approach to economics that was revolutionary.

Before physiocracy, economics was not viewed as a scientific discipline, but rather a strategic one (this is what is called “mercantilism”). Mercantilist thinkers sometimes assumed that amassing gold, or military power was the best economic strategy… And indeed, it often was. Economic efficiency was irrelevant.

But Quesnay was a scientist (for most of his life, he was a surgeon, trained with the best, who then, at age 50, became an official medical doctor). And Quesnay wanted to apply the scientific principles of medicine to the study of economy. The “Tableau Economique”, which shows in a single page how an entire economy functions, and the abstruse book which contained it, is Quesnay’s most famous contribution.

Quesnay,an immensely respected figure, showed that the economy was something to be respected, analysed and understood—much like a human body. It could not simply be moulded by the will of a monarch (or government, or a bunch of know-nothing aristocrats).

This was a hugely important step forward. The elder Comte de Mirabeau, father to the main leader in the first few months of the Revolution, before an untimely death at age 40, considered Quesnay’s Tableau to be one of the world’s three great discoveries—equalled only by the invention of printing and the discovery of money. As The Economist says:

Familiar notions of contemporary liberal economics, laissez-faire, the invisible hand, etc. derive from Quesnay’s scientific approach. The physiocrats, like many other thinkers of the eighteenth century, believed in “natural order”. They showed that unchanging laws governed all economic processes. Consequently, it is generally thought that the physiocrats were opposed to government intervention: the dead hand of the state would only corrupt the natural evolution of the economy.(but, as Quesnay’s admiration for the Chinese governmental system based on erudition, and for Confucius, and Quesnay’s de facto appartenance to the government shows, that’s another nefarious Anglo-Saxon parody). T. Jacob Viner, a Canadian economist, referred to the physiocrats as one of the “pioneer systematic exponents” of laissez-faire… Alongside with Adam Smith.

But the root of physiocracy was much more general. Adam Smith was the student.

Why is the preceding important? First it destroys the Anglo-Saxon hubris that the Anglo-Saxon culture invented modern economic theory and practice. And that it succeeded because of it (whereas the proper application of gunnery has more to do with it).

In truth, it is quite the opposite. When Louis XIV, the self-flattered “Sun King” took control of the state, he discovered, to his dismay, that France had only twenty (20) major capital ships. England and the Netherlands each had one hundred (100). Each.

Why?

Because the Netherlands and England practiced the exact opposite theory to Physiocracy (which would be created in name a century later). The Great Powers, starting with the Imperium Francorum, Francia, and, seven centuries later, Portugal, Spain, etc., practiced Mercantilism, or how to create economic opportunity with big armies and then, big guns. And you know what? Right now the super states of the USA, China and Russia are practicing Mercantilism, while Europe practices Physiocracy. Obama has turned out to be a major practitioner of Mercantilism. Mercantilism has been his main activity. Europeans have not understood this at all.

Guess who is winning?

Patrice Ayme’

We The Neanderthals

June 9, 2016

Strange rings crafted from stalagmites, 176,000 years old, were found extremely deep within a cave in France. Scientists reported the findings in Nature recently. They are the work of Neanderthals, our ancient human relatives.

Once again, Neanderthals are proving to be much more “human” than anticipated by the Common Wisdom we were afflicted with previously. Over the years, we were told, in absence of all evidence, how inferior Neanderthals were: they were ape-men, hunched over, with bowed legs, disgraced by sloped, barely existing foreheads, Neanderthals could not conduct abstract thought, the nerves going to their tongues were too thin for speech, their larynx was such they could not make human sounds, they were inbred, wrecked with defective genes (that’s the latest from the racist brigade!), etc.

What was the objective evidence? Neanderthals had invented many technologies, including that of burning fossil fuels (lignite coal, 80,000 years ago, in France). Neanderthals also extinguished Cave Bears, and apparently domesticated dogs. Thus much of the culture we inherited, and makes us all the so human, is… Neanderthal. We The Neanderthals.

It also seemed that Neanderthal brains were more than 15% larger. 

Deep Within Bruniquel Cave, Super Bright Enlightenment, 200,000 years Ago.

Deep Within Bruniquel Cave, Super Bright Enlightenment, 200,000 years Ago.

How come Common Wisdom is revealed, time and time again to be erring on the side of finding everybody else inhuman? That’s the tribal instinct at its best: exclude the others by making them shameful, inferior, pitiful, imperfectly human, etc.. .

“Until now, Neanderthals were presumed by the scientific community not to have ventured far underground, nor to have mastered such sophisticated use of lighting and fire, let alone to have built such elaborate constructions,” wrote the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).

“This discovery provides clear evidence that Neanderthals had fully human capabilities in the planning and the construction of ‘stone’ structures, and that some of them penetrated deep into caves, where artificial lighting would have been essential,” says paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London.

Some of our contemporaries have been all over the Media, stupidly asking why Neanderthals invented artificial lighting, or why they ventured. Well, for the exact same reason as we send probes beyond the Solar System: because we want to know all there is to know, and just because we can.

The human brain is build, just because it can fetch discoveries, anywhere possible.

Such caves have been routinely sealed by collapses. Since the Pleistocene, Bruniquel Cave, located in southwest France, a limestone region rife with decorated Paleolithic caves. In 1990, spelunkers excavated its entrance, squeezed through, and found remnants of long-vanished cave bears and other extinct megafauna just inside.

The cave’s most striking treasure laid in a damp chamber more than 330 meters from the entrance. There, deep in the dark, several large, layered ring-like structures protruded from the cave floor, the craftwork of human builders.

“All visitors have noticed the presence of these structures, from the first speleologists,” says Jacques Jaubert of the University of Bordeaux, a coauthor of the study referenced above.

It took decades for scientists to begin deciphering the enigmatic circles, an endeavor slowed by restricted access to the cave and the untimely death of the archaeologist who began work on the site in the 1990s. In 2013, Jaubert and his team were finally able to bring Bruniquel’s secrets into the daylight.

“The cave was very well preserved, with very few visits, almost none.  The structures are spectacular and have virtually no equivalent for that period, and even for more recent periods.” Thus humanity in its full humanity is no recent feat. The access of all paleontological sites is severely regulated by the French government, complete with armored doors, encryption protected.

The structures are built from 400 stalagmites, rock formation built from dripping, dissolved limestone. They weigh nearly three tons, and have a total a length of 112 meters.

Radioactive datation came as a big surprise: 176,000 years old. And there is no doubt, considering the rock cloak deposited over time. Imagine the technology needed to penetrate a cave more than 1,100 feet, armed only with (presumably) oil lamps!

Anti-Neanderthals racists in the US pontificated that the circles were made by Cave Bears… something rather unlikely, considering the total absence of photons, that far inside! Besides, Cave Bears are not known for making fire, and burning bones. Soot marks and heat fractures had been analyzed earlier through Carbon 14 datation to 50,000 years old, the maximum limit of the C14 method.  Evidence is that the circles held fire pits.

Full Neanderthals had semicircular canals and a distinctive inner ear shape compared to modern humans. The differences are comparable, say some specialists, to those separating ape species. However, we clearly inherited from Neanderthals more than just a few genes.

Homo Erectus (“Homo Ergaster”) colonized Eurasia at least all the way to the Caucasus, and probably much further, as early as 2 million years ago. That required the technology of clothing (the famous animal skins of ancient graphic novels). A million and a half years after that, archaic Homo Sapiens, evolving in cold Europe, gave rise to human species who, in turn, evolved into Neanderthals.

One unsaid argument for believing in the superiority of Homo Sapiens Sapiens, relative to any other species comes from the fact that Homo Sapiens Sapiens survived, and Neanderthals did not. That’s entirely correct for the Hobbit species of humans. However, it’s silly for Neanderthals: all pointers point out that Neanderthals were rather superior. An obvious mechanism exists to explain the disappearance of their features, from a sheer difference of mass, and useless genetic baggage during recoveries after near-extinctions. Expanding technology (from Neanderthals and Sapiens Sapiens discoveries) would have made Neanderthal cold adaptations moot. The mysterious stalagmites circles were made during a cold episode, by the way.

Staying alive in Europe required a lot of technology for the genus Homo. Archeologists François Rouzaud discovered the Bruniquel cave. He and Philippe Morel, were pioneers of the Chauvet cave. They both died rather young, while leading archeological expeditions underground in Aveyron and the Berner Oberland (Rouzaud died at 51, and that delayed the exploration of Bruniquel).

When we want to settle Mars, of fight aging, the ultimate disease, we partake of the same spirit: going where the gods themselves have not ventured before. Inheriting variant of genes is less important, among us humans, than inheriting the right ideas, and the moods which survive best. Many of these came from our beloved ancestors, the Neanderthals. We are Neanderthals, or Denisovans, only a little in genes, but a lot in spirit, as they went where no high tech primate could have ever gone. Ideas are more precious than alleles.

Patrice Ayme’

Solstice Song

December 25, 2015

So this is the Solstice,

And what have we done,

We, the civilization of Humanity,

The only one there is,

Our Earth, her Moon, our biosphere,

Once more around the Sun: another year over, a new one just begun.

In this dark universe, we have brought our lights, our lonely lights,

Gentler than all others, peering through the night,

Dark Universe, Enlightening Humanity. Light of Moon, Enlightenment of Thinking, Throwing Light On A Fragile Future That Better Be Human

Dark Universe, Enlightening Humanity. Light of Moon, Enlightenment of Thinking, Throwing Light On A Fragile Future That Better Be Human

To our Moon, we may owe our life, the Enlightenment of Humanity, the snows of temperate climate, which helped.

Merry Christmas, Roman Saturnials, Celtic Yule,

Our northern ancestors celebrated that birth of the year, ever since they created edible plants, and took care of them,

Eons ago,

Well before their words could come to us.

I hope you have fun,

The far and the dear one, the old and the young,

A very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year,

Let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear,

To use your minds as much as,

This civilization needs to keep on going,

Minimizing pain, maximixing love.

And so this is Christmas,

Verily We are the Anointed Ones.

For weak and for strong, for rich poor alike

The world is so wrong, yet so right.

No doubt a heavy, confusing, exhilarating,

Cross for us to bear,

No need to go the gym,

Exercising our minds is plenty.

And so happy Christmas,

For black and for white, for yellow and red ones,

Let’s stop all the fighting, which brought nothing good

And start those Jihads we really need,

Smartly discarding those we don’t.

A Happy New Year, let’s hope it’s a good one

Without any fear, to assume what we are,

Anointed to pursue,

Thought in the universe.

We hope you have fun

The near and the dear one, the old and the young,

A very Merry Christmas, a happy new year, let’s hope it’s a good one.

Those wars we don’t need are over, if you want it,

New wars have begun, which we really need,

Just to save our biosphere, our sanity, our civilization.

Merry Christmas:

It’s not a question of never more wars over the horizon,

It’s a question of how we fight, and why.

Humanity never rests,

Thinking is a debate,

Debate is combat,

Humanity means ever more dashing,

Incomprehensible, yet enlightening thoughts,

Where gods never threaded before,

Made obvious for all to see.

Humanity means ever more science, and fiction,

Humanity means going to Mars,

And well beyond, Plus Oultre, as Charles V put it,

Humanity means going thermonuclear,

Humanity means never aging,

Humanity means ever anew,

Thinking through everything.

Humanity means never any return of the same,

Humanity means there is no horizon,

But for the next one,

And the one after that.

Humanity means love for us shall lead us,

Ever after.

So enjoy,

Enjoy your Earth and her Moon, ever rotating around their Sun.

Life has been an ever-changing journey,

Ever since it started to evolve, more than four billion years ago,

Ever faster,

Ever more potent,

The greatest change is upon us now,

Life, thought,

Will blossom across the galaxy,

They have to, just to survive,

And we are in charge,

So happy Solstice,

We are going to need ever more happiness,

To conquer all,

Starting with ourselves.

Patrice Ayme’

Why KILLING BEAUTY Makes SENSE

August 1, 2015

The Dark Side of humanity makes sense. As long as this terrible truth is covered up, it will fester, promoting the deepest infections, as it does. The Dark is not just obscure, vicious, cruel: ignoring it prevents the Enlightenment to proceed further.

Thanks to taxpayer money, a giant Ariane V rocket launched the Rosetta Mission to a comet, more than ten years ago. In France plutocrats pay taxes at several times the rate of the (lightly taxed plutocrats of the) USA. Taxes make a mission such as Rosetta and its lander Philae, possible (French experiments are also at the core of the present and future NASA Mars landers).

Science feeds the Enlightenment, with hard facts, so does history. History, inasmuch as the part of it consisting of hard facts, is part of science, and also feeds the Enlightenment.

Hunting, torturing & killing Give Many Of Us Meaning

Hunting, torturing & killing Give Many Of Us Meaning

[Assyrian Lion Experiencing Severe Technical Difficulties, 27 Centuries Ago.]

Now the lander Philae, busy in a hole somewhere on the complicated ground of the comet, where it gets sun occasionally, feeding its batteries, has found complex organic materials on the surface. Such complex compounds eventually turned into living organisms here on Earth. Philae found that they must have existed in much of the early solar system. This raises new hopes of finding life beyond our planet. Indeed, several planetary bodies (Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus, etc.) harbor liquid water. It seems that Europa’s ocean is more massive than Earth’s. Ganymede’s ocean seems to be most of the Solar System’s water (with a depth of 800 kms). The recent discovery of fishes (!) 850 kilometers from the open sea (and the sun!) under an Antarctica iceshelf, below the freezing point of sweet water, indicates that Earth’s life could be adapted to Jupiter’s satellites.

After philosophers on some obscure site, censored me for allegedly veering off a comment presenting a story hinging on a story about stories, and a Malaysian Airlines jet debris was found at the (French) Reunion Island, having also severely veered off course, being at Reunion, 180 degrees from its original destination China, comic relief is in order.

Is amusement provided by plutocrats who shower themselves in public, to advertise that they give what’s for them pennies for research on Charcot’s disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)? Is it funny that plutocrats believe we are so dumb that clowning around will enable them to disguise themselves into the innocuous clowns whom they are the exact opposite of? Who wants to heavily tax innocuous clowns? Bill Gates and Mr. Z from Facebook correctly believe no one will. So they monkey around, hoping we will do the same. It deeply evil to depict the Gates of Hell as fun and games.

What we need to do with plutocrats is to eliminate them all together, with harrowing taxation. Until they succumb, and disappear as a species. Then research in ALS, biology and medicine, could be funded appropriately. Only then. Moreover, we will also have enough money to send missions searching for life to Europa and Enceladus (the technology exists: a probe flying through an Enceladus geyser, or the attending ring, would find proof of life readily). With a tiny part of the money we will have left, we can go watch real circuses.

Giant money makes for one gigantically nasty world. Big money is simply insufferable.

Money is power, power on other people, giant money is giant power on other people. Giant power on other people is intrinsically inhuman (it’s not anticipated by ten million years of evolving human ethology).

Giant power by people on other people is intrinsically diabolical. Diabolical, in the divine sense. Giant power on other people, such as Bill Gates imposing on us his pseudo-clownish behavior, provides the Dark Side with an aspect which evolution itself did not anticipate, so that there is a super-stitious character to it: something which stands above reality, as anticipated by evolution, since before there was T-Rex, and it tore its prey in half.

The Dark Side reaches all over. Including “care”.

Big money brought us Obamacare. Obamacare was going to be the way the “free” market buys and sells us to perfect health care, through “consumers’ choices”. Obamacare was enthusiastically promoted by the likes of Paul Krugman. In the latest news, health care in the USA became 5.5% more expensive in 2014 (whereas incomes did not perk up). Obamacare was not what it seemed. Lies everywhere, not just to manipulate power, but as the fluttering flags, representing the rule of that power, for all to see.

***

I KILL, THEREFORE I AM:

So this rich American dentist went to Africa, offered the natives $50,000, and killed the most famous lion in the local national park. Excuse me, we are Americans, and we believe in drone philosophy: we kill whoever, whatever we want, because we can. Anything can be bought, remember? Just as Bill Gates and Facebook’s Mr. Z keep their taxes low, by taking showers in public.  All over, things are not what they look.

So why did this dentist kill this beautiful lion? Some claim it’s senseless. Senseless makes for a good insult, because it’s polite enough. However, “senseless” is a non sequitur. If one really wants to penetrate the mind of one’s opponent, and his error, one has to find in which sense, he makes sense (to his, or her, self).

It makes no sense to claim there is no sense to what so many people (hunters, warriors, plutocrats) feel makes sense. Figuring out how it makes sense, to them, far from being senseless, aggravates their case. Because it allows us to condemn, not just their acts, but also the systems of thought, moods, and minds, which brought these errors.

The lion was killed because it was beautiful and powerful. And not just that. Cecil the Lion was tortured, so that his power would be debased, over many hours. Shot first with a powerful modern bow, the lion was tracked down for 40 hours, and one can imagine Walter the dentist drinking martinis, chuckling on the lion’s suffering. Because Walter the dentist kills animals, has killed many animals, with bow and arrows. Not just to give animals a chance to survive, but, obviously, to give them a chance, and to give him the chance, to experience torture. Whereas a rifle shot tends to be very incapacitating, be it only from blood loss, old Assyrian, or Persian iconography represents lions full of arrows, and still fierce (see above). In the Wild West white men found themselves so full of arrows they looked like porcupines, and still, they were not dead. That brought more respect to Native Americans. (Although a modern bow can launch an arrow with some much force that it can go through a Polar Bear harassed by dogs, killing it in three seconds… This situation does not apply to a lion, which is much faster and limber, hence a poor target.)

A major motivation for human beings is to kill, maim, torture, oppress and subjugate. Forgetting that major fact, is forgetting human nature. Gates and Facebook’s Mr. Z have that major motivation, nearly all plutocrats have it, and, when he feeds us with lies about Obamacare, Paul Krugman has it, in his own meek, but highly influential way.

A few days ago, I surprised a lynx in the Alps (I know when and where to look for predators). I was very surprised by its color (reddish), and its enormous size. It fled for his life (we were only 3 meters apart). He was really fast, in the forest full of trees, with trunks of all sizes close to each other… And in total silence (differently from any other animal that size). Here I was, putting to flight an animal capable of slashing open the throat of a red deer, three times my weight, and with giant antlers.

Lynxes are known not to attack humans, even when their cubs are approached.

***

TERRORISM FOSTERED HUMANITY:

Human beings evolved because not only they could hunt, and eat meat, but because they could terrorize their main opponents, the wild, ferocious predators. Torturing them helped. Bushmen, in South Africa could hunt a large animal, such as a giraffe, with poisoned arrows, chasing it down, once wounded, over an entire week.

Thus, torturing and killing are deep components of the human mind. They were key to survival. I have walked towards a lion pride resting below a tree, in Africa, as a child. Slowly. Just as slowly, the lionesses rose, and walked away. The king and queens of the jungle know well, most of the time, that human beings are like gods: they are better left alone, their parents taught them that, early on.

Now that we know this, that large predators can be instilled respect for human beings, we can take it into account, and reintroduce megafauna. Exerting surveillance for the most dangerous cases.

That lion killing dentist is a coward. Not a real player. Assassinating wildlife with over-powerful weapons  is not getting reacquainted with the human condition. Were it the latter, he would accept not just to hunt, but to be hunted. Let him approach lions with bare hands (I did this more than once, as a child, in the wild). Instead of armed with a hyper-powerful bow with a laser range finder. Hunting the cowardly dentist ought to help him get in touch with full human ethology. So those condemning him all over the Internet are helping him become a real man.

Paying $50,000 to kill a well-known, half-tamed lion equipped with GPS, is not a way to exhibit respect for the biosphere. Yet, one should not forget that wild mega fauna will not survive if it is NOT worth the cost it inflicts, in physical damage and terror.

Lions (and other ferocious beasts: panthers, elephants, hippos, buffaloes, warthogs, etc.) are dangerous, and, themselves exert terror deliberately (when they do not outright kill people). When I lived in Africa, the natives feared and wanted to get rid of leopards (once in India, a particular leopard killed more than 200 people). Equipping leopards with GPS hooked to computers and security is the future. Clearly such systems (already used in Alberta, Canada, with grizzlies) are expensive in equipment and trained rangers.

As such an activity provides with the basics of hunting, just as fishing and releasing fish, it can satisfy the Dark Side, and make it serve the goodness of a preserved biosphere. But not just this. Exploiting animals is all right, if it allows them to survive as species, and ecosystems.

For dangerous predators, and other ferocious beasts to survive, they have to provide people with some other things dearer to them than life itself. That is why it was a mistake to destroy (as was just done in New York), tons of elephant ivory. Elephants ought to be harvested for ivory: then they will survive, because they will have economic utility (hence pay for their upkeep… in the wild). Same for rhinos: cut their horns, and sell them, under a government mandated program.

Otherwise, keep on contemplating the most massive genocide in 65 million years.

Morality’s essence? Morality is what worked before, in a sustainable fashion. But, as the world quickly mutates, what worked before cannot work any longer. Let’s adapt our morality. Don’t deny that the Dark Side existed. Don’t pretend that the Dark Side can be made to disappear by wishful thinking alone. Instead, ask what the Dark Side can do for us… that nothing else can replace. (To help focus here, contemplate the young dictator of North Korea, who, not only let his family members be eaten by dogs, but has threatened the USA with nuclear strikes, while working feverishly to make that possible, in spite of UN sanctions.)

***

HARVEST & HARNESS THE DARK SIDE IF ENLIGHTENMENT YOU SEARCH:

Some will whine that this harnessing of the Dark Side is precisely what the “Free Market Theory“, all too often simply a disguise for blossoming plutocracy, claimed one ought to do, while bankers and plutophiles called it the “Invisible Hand“. However, not so. Plutocracy is a mix of the Dark Side, and the generalized fascism which civilization enables, with the potential of concentrating enormous power in a few hands. It is an enemy of intelligence, as it reduces many minds to just one, or a few.

Thus plutocracy is my enemy, and I put some effort in fighting it, because my Dark Side wants to devour it. Revolutions occur when enough denizens of We The People, want to destroy the plutocrats who rule over them.

Contrarily to what the ill-fated John Lennon hypocritically recommended, Revolutions are good, precisely because they destroy those super-predators known as plutocrats, aristocrats, theocrats, pirates, nobles, mandarins, generals, ayatollahs, bishops and the organizations which foster them, when their rule has become an insufferable imposition of their power, or those they serve.

Mao in 1959, in a secret report, revealed much later: it’s better to let half the population die, so that they other half gets plenty. The Dark Side, fully abominable. However this “Great Leap Forward” worked, as Mao had predicted it. Mao had said that great efforts then would bring “a thousand years of happiness“. And the most troubling part is that Mao’s plan worked: China leaped over India, and spectacularly far out over many other countries. The cleaned slate Mao’s unleashing of the Dark Side created obviously helped.

Just like more usage of the Dark Side helps keep the USA on the straighter and narrower, relative to more placid Europe.

Yet, it’s not just justice, and goodness which judge what is insufferable, but, also, the Dark Side itself. And there is more. Voltaire said that we ought to crush infamy. Yet it’s ultimately anger, which gets us into action, which makes us move, which provides with. Thus, the Dark Side judges, and also motivates.

We are mental landscapes of contrast, we need the Dark, be it just to define the Light. Fighting for the latter, means recognizing the former. Our beautiful species can thrive, as long as it respects the laws, be they only the laws of physics (that is not the case now, with multiple attacks we are visiting on the biosphere). To remind us of that, anything goes. And that cruelty, is a good thing, relative to the alternative.

So hunt lions. But only bad lions. Only with the worst predators can destroyed using all and any means the Dark Side puts at our command. The Dark Side, the useful and friendly Dark Side, feels that better case can be made for the survival of the smallpox virus, than for the blossoming of plutocracy. And stands ready to provide us with the strength we need.

And what about the deliberate killing of beauty, in all this? To overcome beauty is an exciting, and rather amusing challenge, for the Dark Side. If one can learn to enjoy killing beauty, one’s Dark Side is ready to take out much more than that. Its power grows. The more beautiful the lion, the more tempting to kill it, the more instructive, for those who cultivate the parts of the brain most keen, and apt, to handle adversity.

The Dark Side is strong and all-devouring. Beauty, just an appetizer. As Rabelais put it in 1534, in Gargantua (chap.5, line 108): “L’appétit vient en mangeant.”

Patrice Ayme’