Posts Tagged ‘Great Civilizations’

CLIMATE CHANGES: CO2, Islam, & The Eternal Return Of Fascism

July 27, 2016

Another day, another Islamist attack in France. This was “Islam de France“, as it is among all too many youth. The two (French) Islamist “martyrs” were shot dead by the BRI (Brigade d’Intervention Rapide). Armed with knives and a gun they took hostage several parishioners in a church. The 86 year old priest was made to kneel before his throat was cut. Several other elderly persons were cut. The Islamist “martyrs” were so busy filming their “heroic” deeds, that a nun was able to escape discreetly, and alerted the police. As with the latest attack in Bavaria at a music concert two days ago, the Islamist pseudo-state ISIS claimed it set it up. The area, in rural Normandy, is known as one of the most Islamized places in France, thanks to a Salafist mosque (which, if one followed Israeli methods, would have been dynamited long ago!)

No wonder Donald Trump wants “extreme vetting” of French visa applicants.

Yes, I know, it’s dreary. Yes I know, among the looming threats gathering out there, Islamism is the silliest fanatical cretinism on steroids. However, Islamism is dreadful enough to cause great dislocation, and lack of focus on the real problems. After all, it was the (de facto) pro-Islamist mood which Kanzler Merkel organized, all by herself. The reaction to this pro-Islam mood, in turn, broke the European Union’s back with Brexit (I watch plenty of German TV, and I was aghast with the let’s-embrace-Islam mood the Merkel-led authorities promoted rashly, with their naive approach… Admitting refugees (which I am for) is one thing, welcoming the mood of the religion which has caused the refugee crisis is something else: it is in an absolute contradiction).

Want to see a real threat? Something really hot and hard? Here it is, spiking up, as I said it would, so long ago

Climate Change: CO2, Islam, & The Eternal Return Of Fascism. Temperature In 2016 Is Exceeding All Expectations.i

Climate Changes: CO2, Islam, & The Eternal Return Of Fascism. Temperature In 2016 Is Exceeding All Expectations Scientists Who Are Paid To Sound Nice Officially Expected.

[Image source: Dr. Stephan Rahmstorf. Data source: NASA GISS. Data 1880 CE to April 2016.]

What is the reason for this sharp spike? Fundamentally the global rise in temperature is driven by the man-made GreenHouse Gases (GHG: CO2, CH4, NOx, ClFs, etc.). The GHGs block infrared radiation more than normal air does, trapping heat in the biosphere. This “climate forcing” warms up the lower atmosphere (and cools the irrelevant stratosphere!) The GHG density is increasing at a steady pace from human industry. But the resulting warming, and thus the GHG emissions have clearly now started to self feed. (How do we know this? From the divergence of the graphs. More on this another day.)

What of the change of mental climate Islam brings? Is it benevolent as the proselytizers of Islam claim, a “religion of peace”? Or do we need to read what is really going on, and find out why 18 year olds with criminals pasts, and no education to speak of, know Islam way better that judicial and legislating authorities in the West claim to?

Those who fight for Islam get “special reward”:

Quran (4:95)“Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward.”

Those who don’t help God, go to hell:

Quran (9:39)“If ye go not forth God will afflict you with a painful doom…”

When fighting the unbelievers, God hates a coward and throws him to hell:

Quran (8:15-16)“O ye who believe! when ye meet the Unbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them. If any do turn his back to them on such a day – unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own)- he draws on himself the wrath of Allah, and his abode is Hell,- an evil refuge (indeed)!”

Those who die, fighting for God, go to paradise:

Quran (3:169-170)Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah: And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (Martyrs) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve.”

As usual, the preceding is confirmed, and amplified, in numerous parts of the Hadith and the Sira:

Muslim (20:4678)It has been reported on the authority of Jabir that a man said: “Messenger of Allah, where shall I be if I am killed?” He replied: “In Paradise.” The man threw away the dates he had in his hand and fought until he was killed (i. e. he did not wait until he could finish the dates).

Abu Dawud (14:2515)I asked the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him): Who are in Paradise? He replied: “Prophets are in Paradise, martyrs are in Paradise.”

If you are young, depressed, and believe in the preceding, and surrounded with what preachers and sacred texts tell you are unbelievers who deserve to die, what would you do? The answer is all too obvious.

I was watching a top, senior, just retired, French judge,  and she calmly pontificated that youth who committed assassinations of unbelievers in the name of Islam perverted Islam. Well, if you read Islamist sacred texts, you can judge the judge. I judge that judges like that, who pontificate that fanatical Jihadists “pervert Islam”  are themselves perverse idiots and could well be viewed to be a deeper source of terrorism than the youth who commits such assassinations, to start with. Yes, some will say I am out-Trumping Trump. But think about it: the white judge just claim that Islam, Literal Islam, is perfect, and youth was perverse. OK, then the judges say that the quotes above are perfect, while accusing those who act on them of what, exactly?

Another angle on the same problem: imagine that a youthful would-be assassin confronts a judge. The judge tells the youth to be less perverse and to follow Islam more closely? In the case of the assassination of the priest this happened precisely with one of the two 19-year-old Islamist assassin: the youth opined that he would be a better Muslim, follow the Qur’an better. So he was judged mature enough by a lady judge to be freed from jail, where he had been for eight months after being arrested in Turkey for trying to slip into Syria.

The climate in the West has been that Islam was good, whereas poor youth was bad, uneducated, not worth of correct schooling and employment. Verily, the truth is the other way around: Islam has been good for plutocracy, and orienting, actively or indirectly, youth towards Islam, Literal, Wahhabist, Salafist Islam, a perversion.

***

When Climate Changes, Species Go, And Smarter Ones Thrive:

Dinosaurs, pterosaurs, mesosaurs, plesiosaurs, and the like were all what some now call “mesotherms”: their temperature was in-between. They depended too much upon the balmy Jurassic and then Cretaceous climate to insure their own temperature. When the climate cooled, they faltered, and then disappeared. Whereas the hot “endotherms” (self-warm), mammals and birds, thrived.

A change of climate changes which species thrive, or even exist. It is the same with ruling systems of ideas, such as religions, and the mental climates they bring.

Islam created a wonderful climate among desert nomads. Prior to it, Arabs were at each others’ throats, and killed girls to limit the population explosion. Meanwhile, the Arabs were fully exposed, and frustrated, by the great civilizations swirling around them: Ethiopian, Yemenite, Egyptian, Zoroastrian, and then the formidable Greco-Roman civilization, and its partial descendant, the Persian Sassanid empire. However, soon after 605 CE things changed: a formidable war between Sassanids (Zoroastrian Persians) and “Rome”, turned suddenly to Persia’s advantage (the Persian Shah In Shah was all the bolder as the Romans had put him back on his throne earlier: a case of back-stabbing).

It is a long story, and I want to tell it (but will have to do so some other time). It is a matter of climate. In more ways than one.

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Mental Climate Catastrophes Brought Islam:

To understand the change of species which Islam brought, one has to understand the anti-intellectual climate which brought a deep mental freeze in “Rome” (Constantinople), and the influence the resulting refugee crisis of fleeing Roman intellectuals had in Persia. Then a terrible storm arose: an all-out war between Constantinople and Persia, of an extraordinary violence, back and forth, like a tsunami going one way, and then the other.

Thanks to a crazed out Persian emperor, Persia made the greatest invasion of the Mediterranean basin in 1,000 years, even conquering all the way to Libya, something it had never done before. By 622 CE, the situation was so desperate, that emperor Heraclius thought of evacuating the Roman capital to Carthage. Just when the enormous reforms he had made back to a citizen army and other reconstitution of ancient Greco-Roman traditions, changed the climate completely in the Roman empire. That change of mood mobilized the population, and enabled to reverse the military tide.

***

Why Islam Swept All:

Islam is a war religion. As simple as that. It went much further that way that Roman Catholic Orthodox had (= Christianism imposed by the Roman state, now headed from Constantinople and Milan). Christianism celebrated a “Lord” mimicking Constantine’s behavior. That included the summary execution of the son… and Verses of the Sword:  Luke 19; 27 is unambiguous. The mythic Jesus Christ supposedly said:

But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.

It could not be any clearer. A total negation of the state of law. A proclamation of human sacrifice. Yes, when thinking of religion, remember this: human sacrifice is about having a religious reason for killing others.

“Religious” means non-legal. “Legal” does not just mean legal in the Roman sense, but legal in the ethological sense.

Hence the imposition of (fascist, mono-dictatorial, lethal, jealous, imperious) Christianism, between Roman emperors Constantine and Theodosius (both initially generals, reigning absolutely on the entire empire) changed the climate completely. Instead of having a state of law, one passed to a state of caprice of the emperor, sultan, prophet or caliph at the head. Or, as Constantine modestly depicted himself “thirteenth apostle”.

This anti-intellectual climate appeared just when a greater intellectual activity was called for. This is what generally happens, it’s no accident.

Meanwhile, to the south-east, the Arabs saw all of this. They saw the Persians invade Yemen and seize Aden. They saw Rome nearly collapse, and, while Muhammad was fighting Mecca from Yathrib (= Medina), from 622 Ce to 630 CE, he saw the fabulous Roman counter-attack, and Persia collapse in coups, civil wars, queens reigning for a year or two, top generals assassinated…

The Roman nadir was in 622 CE. In 630 CE, Muhammad was religious dictator of Mecca. As a prophet, he could re-organize the Qur’an, and he did. Exit the kind, loving and tolerant Islam. However, quite a bit of the Meccan religious arsenal was preserved, including perhaps the Satanic Verses, and certainly the Moon as a symbol, Mecca as a religious center, complete with meteorite and recycled Kabaa.

So Muhammad changed the climate, but not too much where not needed. Instead he led a crusade of united warriors to the north, to attack the Romans (who smirked and avoided contact, as they had just concluded peace with the Sassanid Persians, reconstituting the old borders… and had decided to spurn Monophysite Arabs).

Kill or fight the enemy, go to paradise? What better mental climate to impose an empire?

What is sure is that, if we don’t kill the CO2 rise pretty soon, the notion of paradise will change. And that this Literal Islam, Salafism, Wahhabism, Wall Street compatible Islam, thing is an un-amusing distraction.

***

Nothing new under the sun; civilizations can die quickly:

1,500 years ago, or so, the mighty Moche civilization, along the coast of Peru knew a drought and a super El Nino (certainly amplified by natural climate change, probably of volcanic origin).

The Moche survived initially, but their religion became all-consuming (full of human sacrifices and pyramids). It is the usual reaction: when a society gets stressed, it reacts as a baboon troop: everybody of one mind, behind the chief (right now Trump).

In a civilization, if more than one fascist movement appear (say the Communists at the same time as the Nazis, as in Germany in the 1920s; or Syria now), civil strife ensues. This is what happened to the Moche, and in such a violent manner, that the civilization collapsed.

Something similar, a super drought in the Seventh Century, accompanied by civil war and ecological devastation, nearly eradicated the Mayan civilization, thereafter a shadow of its former self (until the Spaniards showed up, 6 centuries later).

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“Hydraulic Dictatorships” And, Or Fascist Over-Reaction?

The basic problem of the zone where Islam festers, has been ecological. A massive, epochal drought, tied to the interglacial cycle, started more than 6,000 years ago, triggering the Egyptian civilization. The drought forced the Egyptians to get along with agriculture, in a very long and narrow valley, and vast associated oases, where hydraulic was crucial. Fernand Braudel rightly introduced the notion of “Hydraulic Dictatorship”. And the reasoning is obvious: big hydraulics means big society, armies of workers, relative wealth, hence big army to protect the whole thing, etc. So I supported that reasoning (which I had developed on my own). However, I am starting to have second thoughts: after all, many Western societies, including some Greek city-states, and Rome for much of her history, and the various regimes which descended from the Franks/French, including England, did not fall into the same pattern (nor did Egypt, mostly, for that matter).

After all, the entire region was long the richest in the world, where many Neolithic and civilization basic techniques were discovered, invented and blossomed. And the climate got desperately dry 6,000 years ago, when the deserts became basically uninhabitable. Still, the area was at the very forefront of civilization until the massive Celto-Greco-Roman (“The West”) took over, starting 23 centuries ago. Some of the degeneracy occurred before Islam, or even just before the Hellenistic civilization of the Trojan War took off. However Babylonians and later, the Achaemenid empire still made civilizational innovations. And yet the fact the Achaemenids’ greatness depended mostly upon one man, Darius The Great a sort of Zoroastrian Muhammad, with more brains, experience and statesmanship, reveals the truth: the Middle Earth had become way too fascist already 3,000 years ago, used as it was, by then, upon depending on just one individual. A climate of intellectual fascism had come to rule. (It’s no coincidence that the monotheism of Abrahamism, blind obedience to the Lord, mauling all and any human decency, came to fester there.)

So what could be going on? The mental climate may have over-reacted to the increasingly desertic situation. A climate of intellectual fascism had come to rule, and rightly so. Yet, in my view, there was an overshooting of the fascist mood. A bit like an immune system over-reacts, and a lethal auto-immune disease develops. True, strong government were needed, associated to strong religions, such as Judaism, and Constantine’s “Catholicism”. A bit of the Dark Side is often necessary. But Islam ended changing the mental climate way too far to the Dark Side (contemplate the quotes above).

Political and intellectual fascism can self feed, through religious effect (= the madness of the crowds), similarly to the self-feeding of the climate we are witnessing now (the ever crazier ending of the Nazi regime is a case in point! The more desperate the military situation was getting, the more insanely lethal the Nazis became, including against their own ilk!) Thus, as fascism arises from bad situations, as a healthy, and most effective defense reflex, it can bring in an even worse situation, through its own actions, which, in turn, ask for even more fascist action. Just as, the higher the temperature, the more methane and carbon dioxide released, hence more greenhouse, more temperature, thus more methane and carbon dioxide, etc…

The climate is changing, whether we want it or not. We have to do as the Egyptians did, 6,000 years ago: change minds, moods and civilization. We have to do much because now history is moving at the fastest clip ever. And history shows that civilizations which lasted many centuries, or even millennia, can collapse in days, and commonly do so in years.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Government Is The Employer of Last Resort

November 25, 2014

Yes, life is quantum. Generalization, generalization… What else can be generalized? Economics, of course. Traditionally, economics is about money. Guess what? Money is doing very well.

But economics ought to be about workers. Then workers will do as well as money is doing now.

A famous fact is that Central Banks are “Lenders of Last Resort”. And who are the banks lending to? The Rich. How come one never talks about the employer of last resort?

Another thing that can be generalized, is the Great Depression. I was totally right to call the present economic degeneracy the “Greater Depression”

Money Velocity Is The Worse Ever: Deflation Coming.

Money Velocity Is The Worse Ever: Deflation Coming.

Yes, worse than in the so-called “Great Depression”. That’s why Putin is angry. (All powerful and angry: a bad cocktail.)

M2 is the total quantity of money in people’s hands, or their saving accounts. The M2 Velocity, measure of economic activity, is collapsing, lower than ever seen before (I will produce a full graph over a century another time; I had a problem with my Federal Reserve account). M2 velocity predicts deflation. Samuelson discovered M2 velocity varied:

“In terms of the quantity theory of money, we may say that the velocity of circulation of money does not remain constant. “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” You can force money on the system in exchange for government bonds, its close money substitute; but you can’t make the money circulate against new goods and new jobs.”

In other words, Quantitative Easing is not work (take this, Krugman!)

In the giant Inca empire, there was plenty of work, and the main employer was the government. (Things went well, until smallpox showed up, courtesy, and advance guard, of the Castilians…)

When Darius founded his giant empire, his government was the employer of first resort, building a giant road system. Later Darius switched to other forms of economic governance, including free market capitalism. The Achaemenid Empire was such a stunning success, not doubt because of the extremely activist stance of its economic governance. (Athens reciprocated in kind, with just as active private-public military industrial complex.)

Here is Paul Krugman in “Rock Bottom Economics. The Inflation and Rising Interest Rates That Never Showed Up”:

Six years ago the Federal Reserve hit rock bottom. It had been cutting the federal funds rate, the interest rate it uses to steer the economy, more or less frantically in an unsuccessful attempt to get ahead of the recession and financial crisis. But it eventually reached the point where it could cut no more, because interest rates can’t go below zero. On Dec. 16, 2008, the Fed set its interest target between 0 and 0.25 percent, where it remains to this day.

The fact that we’ve spent six years at the so-called zero lower bound is amazing and depressing. What’s even more amazing and depressing, if you ask me, is how slow our economic discourse has been to catch up with the new reality. Everything changes when the economy is at rock bottom — or, to use the term of art, in a liquidity trap (don’t ask). But for the longest time, nobody with the power to shape policy would believe it.

What do I mean by saying that everything changes? As I wrote way back when, in a rock-bottom economy “the usual rules of economic policy no longer apply: virtue becomes vice, caution is risky and prudence is folly.”

Indeed. Reason emanates from the Quantum, and what does the Quantum do, when boxed-in, with no classical way out? It tunnels out!

This is exactly why bacterial genetics can exhibit intelligent behavior (as Lamarck correctly anticipated); a changed environment changes the Quantum tunneling prospects, and can induced “directed mutagenesis”[John Cairns, Harvard U., 1988).

So intelligence ought not to be boxed in. Folly is often the best wisdom.

Economics, at this point, has been completely boxed in by the plutocrats.

Krugman again:

“Government spending doesn’t compete with private investment — it actually promotes business spending. Central bankers, who normally cultivate an image as stern inflation-fighters, need to do the exact opposite, convincing markets and investors that they will push inflation up. “Structural reform,” which usually means making it easier to cut wages, is more likely to destroy jobs than create them.

This may all sound wild and radical, but it isn’t.”

The bottom line is that there is not enough economic activity. Rather than repeating what I have said in the past, here is a new argument.

The reason interest rates are so low is that there is too much money for too little employment proposed. So money is not in demand.

If money were in demand, banks would pay for it.

So the bottom line is that work has to be created. Those who have money, the plutocrats and their agents, have no interest to create work, by investing capital, as this would make them dependent upon workers.

Instead they have increasing means, from financial derivatives to robots, to complicit central banks, and fiscal tolerance, to make money from capital without using human capital. The more they do it, the more they like it, the more vicious they get, and the more inclined they are to do it some more.

So what is the way out? Just as the government (in its role as central bank) is the lender of last resort, the government is the employer of last resort.

We are now experiencing the last resort. Thus the government needs to create employment. It can do this in two ways:

1) making it easier for business activity. Say by taking spectacular fiscal measures: as it is some corporations, typically very large pay very little taxes, why small ones are suffering from the opposite: way too much taxation. Most jobs are from the small businesses, most clout, and corruption, from the very large ones. This is a case where more democracy would lead to more economic activity, by creating a fairer market.

2) by outright paying people to work. An obvious target would be to create jobs in education and fundamental research.

Instead, our friend, the naïve, ill-advised Obama has decreased fundamental research, instead stuffing his “friends” and helpers with subsidies.

There are several promising leads with thermonuclear fusion (in part from more advanced electronics). But the government refuses to finance the research as much as it deserves (austerity for research, cornucopia for plutocrats).

Students are forced to borrow to attend ever more expensive universities. That forces them into “profitable” fields, which do not profit society at all.

The times are crying for massive investments in education, research, green infrastructure, cheap and efficient mass transportation and housing.

None of these projects can bring a quick buck. So the notion of profit is not relevant. Instead this infrastructure economy will quick-start the for-profit economy.

Is there an economy working that way somewhere? Well, yes, Switzerland. There, propped by the citizenry, the governmental economy, which is generally at the level of the canton, is very active.

Direct democracy mitigates massive corruption.

So, as Samuelson noticed, we need to go well beyond giving more money to the largest banks (Crude Men’s approach, called Quantitative Easing). We need to follow Roosevelt approach, the old synthesis of government and economy, long practiced by the most advanced civilizations, from Persia, to Greece, to Rome, to the Tang in China…

Provide people with hugely useful work. Recently the Chinese government was working on its system of grand canals. At some point, 14 centuries ago, a particular canal in that system provided three million laborers with work, all at the same time. And it is useful to this day.

The way is clear. It is the exact opposite of austerity and the rule of greedy plutocrats. Time for work, intelligence and generosity.

Patrice Ayme’