Posts Tagged ‘Inequality’

Flawed Philosophy Is WHY CARTHAGE FAILED

April 12, 2017

Remember Carthage!

Superficialists will tell you Carthage failed, because a Roman army destroyed Carthage in 8 days of door to door fighting. The real philosophical question is how did it come to that, all the more as the Roman imperator (general) commanding said army, devastated by the horror unfolding under the orders he got from the Roman Senate, was crying as his own troops engaged in the carnage. The answer is philosophical, yet of extreme importance, looking forward in the present situation of civilization.

Some Traits of Carthage’s Extreme Plutocratic Philosophy Were So Wrong, That Carthage Failed. A lesson to meditate!

Carthage was one of the most striking civilizations, ever. Differently from Sparta, which did not contribute much to civilization (even considering the 300 stand at Thermopylae, which was later thoroughly eradicated with extensive collaboration with fascist imperialist Persian juggernaut).

Carthage made present-day Tunisia bloom. It was never again so agriculturally productive. In 300 BCE, the part of North Africa Carthage cultivated was as great as the private farms, and the Ager Publicus of Rome, and all the area of Italy cultivated by Rome’s allies. In other words, Carthage’s resources were enormous.  

But not just that. Differently from a land power such as the richest of them all, Egypt, Carthage mostly lived of maritime trade. She controlled the Western Mediterranean, all the way to tropical Black Africa, except for Phocian Marseilles’ own little Greek empire, and Magna Grecia (Great Greece) in southern Italy. 

Partial view of Carthage’s famous Cothon: the commercial harbor is rectangular, the circular inner harbor is military, and could hold 188 trireme warships, each in its own shelter. Cap Bon at the horizon. Contemporary Tunis, population, one million, is to the right.

Carthage established far-out trading posts in Africa, starting the idea of the direct collaboration of Europe, and the Middle Earth collaboration with Black Africa (something idiots call “colonization”… All the more dumb as it went both ways, see the Almoravids.)

Carthaginian agricultural science was so advanced that it gave Rome the only book the latter preserved when insane, mass murdering Roman plutocracy annihilated the North African metropolis. if the West could colonize so well, thereafter, and even the Arabs, or Persians, it’s in no small measure thanks to Carthaginian agricultural science.

Carthage was much admired by Aristotle, for its “mixed constitution” (monarchy + aristocracy + democracy). That was viewed as an ideal balance bringing stability. Except for Sparta, Greek City-States were notoriously unstable.  Sparta, like Rome, and Carthage, also had a “mixed” constitution (and was much admired by all too many of the Socrates-Plato-Aristotle-Macedonia clique… which ended democracy in Greece).

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If Carthage was so great, why did it fail? Too much oligarchy, not enough citizenship:

Carthage’s plutocratic oligarchy was avaricious with citizenship (so were the Romans, but not as much, by a very long shot; however, Roman avarice in the way of citizenship is why there was the “Social War” of the First Century BCE). Thus, although Carthage controlled a greater productive domain than Rome, Carthage had much fewer real citizens. Moreover the latter were city-dwellers, poorly trained in war.

Thus Carthaginian armies had not much in common with Roman armies, which were full of healthy Roman farmers. By 400 BCE, Roman farmers serving in the Roman army were paid a stipend; the end result is that Rome was able to field the largest national armies in the Ancient Mediterranean World; Persia could field larger armies, but, like the Carthaginian armies, they were multinational armies of mercenaries.

The all too small full citizenry of Carthage meant that much of the “Libyan” population Carthage administered did not have a full stake in the fate of the metropolis. Carthage drafted them during wars, but also paid mercenaries, many of them from Spain or Gaul.

After the First abominable “Punic” war with Rome (which started in 265 BCE), Carthage suffered a striking revolt of an army of its own mercenaries. By contrast, Rome’s core legions were made of full citizens, superbly trained and equipped. (Even when the Roman legions rebelled, centuries later, they rebelled against each other, to seize power, never the City of Rome herself.)

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It was cruel to deny citizenship to stakeholder, so Carthage became ever more cruel:

Carthaginian cruelty was legendary. Crucifying generals, to encourage the others, was common (whereas Rome, in 22 centuries of Roman history, never crucified a single general).

3,000 years ago, human sacrifice of children was still practiced: consider the Bible and the famous would-be child killer Abraham. 2,800 years ago, queen Dido founded the Phoenician colony of Carthage. Phoenicia, the cities of the present-day Lebanese litoral (Tyr, Sidon, Byblos, etc.) was most advanced: it created the alphabet (and books, bibles, from the word “Byblos”). Phoenicia practiced child sacrifices. Thus, so did Carthage.

However killing children became uncool in the Middle Earth: it was a big civilization there, and some of the national civilizations, such as Egypt, had never practiced child sacrifice. Those nation-civilizations were in competition and trade with each other, and child killing was no advantage. In the end, Phoenicia dropped that monstrous religion.  

But Carthage kept it.

Why? Because Carthage ruled North Africa, and had no competitors (Numidian kingdoms were clients and supplicants, and allies against Rome). Carthage’s absurdly obsolete cruelty would have been a lethal disadvantage further east. But, in North Africa, overlording the savage Numids and Libyans, it was rather a way to awe them some more, and thus to rule them, sort of.

And Carthage kept killing more and more children.

Why? Because denying citizenship to stakeholders was cruel, and needed cruelty to keep on going. And the more it went, the more cruel Carthage got.

Thus the more wrong it was about citizenship, the more cruel Carthage got (to impose that inequality ever more). Doing so it weakened itself in two ways: too small a citizenry (especially with all those dead kids), and Carthage put herself in the moral crosshairs of Rome (which was notoriously antagonistic to human sacrifice religions).

In the end, Carthage became much more democratic, infuriating and alarming Roman plutocracy ever more. Out of this fury, Roman plutocracy got ever more mileage. Indeed, the annihilation of Carthage by an unhinged Roman Senatorial class was an unmitigated disaster. It’s not just that the greatest Semitic civilization which ever was disappeared. It’s also that Carthage gave an excuse for the Roman plutocracy to get completely mad, insane, unhinged, and thus able to vaporize Roman total democracy (which had been growing, prior to the Punic wars).

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Many are the lessons’ from Carthage:    

We saw above that the growth in inequality is justified, and accompanied by a growth in cruelty. This was true both on the Carthaginian and Roman sides. After 146 BCE, when Rome destroyed with extreme cruelty free city states in Spain and Greece, and annihilated Carthage, Roman cruelty turned against the Roman population itself.

This was of course insane, and the more insane it got, the more cruelty itself was used as an excuse and occasion for further madness. In the end, Rome found itself ruled by a plutocratic clique among which emperors were selected. This concentration of power among few hands and brains made Rome increasingly stupid (just as Carthage had become increasingly stupid). The result was a degeneracy of the state in a theocracy symbolically led by a crucified, and thus crucifying, messiah, Jesus his name.

Republics such as the USA and France also have a mixed constitution (the presidents have the powers of elected kings, the politicians, in combination with the plutocrats who feed them, make oligarchies, etc.) The US and France are the paradigms of today’s “republics”.

Still the same psychological laws which led Carthage and Rome down the abyss, are in place. Thus history can teach us how to avoid the pitfalls.

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What Should Carthage Have Done?

The Punic wars started as a three-way struggle for Sicily, between Carthage, Greek tyrants, and the rising Roman power. Retrospectively, after a Greek tyrant landed in North Africa on the prominent cape next to Carthage (Carthage got rid of him with difficulty), Carthage should have extended her citizenship to Libyans, and grow to cover North Africa, imitating the Roman Republic, which was closer to a total democracy, then, than to a plutocratic oligarchy as Carthage was.

Thus Carthage could have grown organically, as a civilization (as Rome did). In particular, child killing would have disappeared, because Numidians and Libyans would not have acquired with enthusiasm Carthaginian citizenship, if they thought it meant their kids may have had to be thrown in the fire.

Carthage: it is alarming to see that a civilization so splendid, so smart and so advanced could be so wrong, and so retarded. But cruelty has a beauty that the herd often indulges in.

Patrice Ayme’

Eight Billionaires As Rich As Half The World, Thanks Obama!

January 16, 2017

What does Obama have to do with it? All the men below are globalocrats: they earn locally, avoid taxes, globally, and thus are used to the outlaw lifestyle. For example Bezos owns Amazon. Not making any “profits”, forever, he destroyed bookstores, worldwide, while being protected by his servants in the White House. Unsatisfied by this global heist and destruction, he bought for himself one of the four “newspapers of report” in the US, the Washington Post, violating antitrust laws more than a century old (he may have a problem after Friday, when Trump becomes president, as he is in The Donald’s crosshairs…) 

Thanks to Obama's Cultivation of The Richest, the Situation Has Got Much Worse Than This Prediction Of 2010

Thanks to Obama’s Cultivation of The Richest, the Situation Has Got Much Worse Than This Prediction Of 2010

Indeed the richest men exploit the mood of tax evasion, beyond tax evasion: that mood has mushroomed into legal evasion in all ways.

Most of the men below cooperate with the governments, to augment their power and influences, sucking on the health care system, or providing the governments with industrial strength spying, or acting as corsairs (say Gates doing business with Monsanto’s GMOs, and pesticides, worldwide), One can say they have captured the governments.

https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2017-01-16/just-8-men-own-same-wealth-half-world

I will have a trick question. One can guess what it is, by scrutinizing the list. Here it is:

The world’s 8 richest people are, in order of net worth:

  1. Bill Gates: America founder of Microsoft (net worth $75 billion)
  2. Amancio Ortega: Spanish founder of Inditex which owns the Zara fashion chain (net worth $67 billion)
  3. Warren Buffett: American CEO and largest shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway (net worth $60.8 billion)
  4. Carlos Slim Helu: Mexican owner of Grupo Carso (net worth: $50 billion)
  5. Jeff Bezos: American founder, chairman and chief executive of Amazon (net worth: $45.2 billion)
  6. Mark Zuckerberg: American chairman, chief executive officer, and co-founder of Facebook (net worth $44.6 billion)
  7. Larry Ellison: American co-founder and CEO of Oracle  (net worth $43.6 billion)
  8. Michael Bloomberg: American founder, owner and CEO of Bloomberg LP (net worth: $40 billion)

Oxfam’s calculations are based on global wealth distribution data provided by the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Data book 2016

The wealth of the world’s richest people was calculated using Forbes’ billionaires list last published in March 2016.

Remarks: Bill Gates’ wealth has been evaluated higher: 90 billion dollars. On top of that, Gates controls the Gates Foundation. The influence of that Foundation is well beyond 50 billion dollars.

Indeed, and moreover, passed some wealth, the influence of wealth is well beyond its mere size. At least three of the men above, and maybe four, are (extremely well paid) spies for the US government, operating worldwide. (When this was revealed in some of its full glory by E. Snowden, the US establishment went bersek: US high officials’ future salaries depend fully in keeping this sort of police and spook state not just secret, but unimaginable.)

The Facebook guy is under investigation in Germany for not removing death threats, holocaust denial and hate speech within 24 hours, as required by law (that case has been brewing for years). So are some of his multi-bilionaire underlings. They don’t care: evading the spirit of the law is their business model (as it is, for all the others!)

Buffet has long been interested by health care, and he has defended the health care plutocracy of the US, for decades. He is also a main pillar of the so-called “Democrats”. Guess what? He made more than ten billion in health care alone (some of it through HMOs).

Thus, do you notice anything?

Five of the eight richest men in the world are US citizens and were very much, and very loudly anti-Trump in 2016. (2017 will of course be the opposite story: since they couldn’t beat him, they will try to join him.)

Only fools will think that’s a coincidence.

Patrice Ayme’

Plutocracy: Epigenetics, Not Just Wealth And Democide

December 12, 2016

CHOMSKY FINALLY AGREES WITH PATRICE AYME: AMERICAN DREAM DIED BECAUSE OF PLUTOCRACY… But Chomsky does not go as far as using the word. And that makes him, and his devoted followers, miss the EPIGENETICS OF EVIL. Thus they complain about the fleas, not the wolf carrying them:

***

America did not start as a plutocracy in the sense of an extremely wealthy class ruling. Jamestown was like that, but was it was a tiny hamlet fortress. Then England, wrecked by civil wars and revolutions, lost control of its American colonies until the 1700s. Attempts to make Lord Penn the ruler of Pennsylvania ended up in the American Revolution. Washington, Jefferson, and Al. were very wealthy and somewhat satanic, as they held slaves, but they were small fry relative to European plutocrats, who were much wealthier, and much more satanic.

And on it went. The Confederacy was to some extent a plutocratic revolt centered around the idea of buying, selling and abusing people as if they were chicken: it failed.

The first US billionaire was Carnegie. Carnegie was far left, advocating 50% tax on the wealthy, and punishing estate taxes. His widely advocated ideas brought a mood conducive to the passage of the anti-trust act under President Teddy Roosevelt. 

Inequality Fosters Plutocracy, The Rule, Not Just Of Wealth, But evil & Bad Genes

Inequality Fosters Plutocracy, The Rule, Not Just Of Wealth, But evil & Bad Genes

So when did the US democracy go bad? JP Morgan, a banker, escaped the anti-trust thrust.   Dr. Schacht, a German banker cum economist joined the Dresdner Bank in 1903. In 1905, while on a business trip to the United States with board members of the Dresdner Bank, Schacht met the famous American banker J. P. Morgan, as well as U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt. Schacht  became deputy director of the Dresdner Bank from 1908 to 1915. Meanwhile, when Wall Street collapsed in 1907, JP Morgan “bought all of it” (or at least a big part of it), bringing the market around.

By 1914, US plutocrats, and the racist president Wilson, conspired with the Kaiser, enabling the Kaiser to hope to destroy his enemy, the French Republic. That magnificent plot backfired on Germany when Great Britain declared war to the Kaiser within days of its attack on France.

But it did not backfire for the USA: the US supported the Kaiser for three years with ammunition components, etc., while the UK and France piled up debts to the USA. More exactly, US plutocrats made a fortune, while putting the UK and france in their debt.

In 1919, US plutocrats made it so that German fascists could have another go at the French Republic. Meanwhile, the US requisitioned giant amounts of German private property, then transferred that to US plutocrats, finishing the deal by burning the records of these transactions, in a highly convenient blaze. I am not joking: the cause of the burning of the Commerce Building on January 10, 1921 was never determined: rats, smoking were excluded, and electric wires kept new and perfect. The fire started in the file room, was all over in a couple of minutes, and lasted five hours.

In any case, the US became the de facto overlord of the so-called “Weimar Republic” (the official name was “Second German Reich”; Hitler changed it to “Third German Reich” in 1935). That enabled US plutocrats (some of them Jewish) to turn around the US antitrust law.

The symbiosis between Nazism and US plutocracy was total, including the latter giving birth to the former. Dr. Schacht was central in this (and that’s why he was judged and exonerated, as one of the top 24 Nazi war criminals in 1945 at Nuremberg).

To win the war, the US became, de facto, a sort of social democracy. It slowly went back to plutocracy when Nazi operators and collaborators such as the Dulles brothers, took control of the USA in the 1950s. A quick learner and follower, R. Nixon, became president in 1969, setting up the HMO system, while making an alliance with the Chinese dictatorship.

Ford, Carter, Reagan, ramped up the plutocratic pressure. The dam broke under Clinton, who actually dismantled the MOST IMPORTANT legislative piece of president Franklin D Roosevelt’s long presidency: the Banking Act of 1933 (“Glass Steagall”).

The Deep State, suitably plutocratized then established a number of evil corporations which were used as intelligence agencies (internally and externally). This is when Sheryl Sandberg was parachuted from the Treasury Department where she was the official girlfriend of Lawrence Summers (successor of R. Rubin, ex- Goldman Sachs chair) to Google and then Facebook (she will meet with Trump Wednesday).

Inequality grew.

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Chomsky, A Crow On Its MIT Branch, Crowing Lugubriously:

That was for the causes. Chomsky started to condemn the “financialization” of the USA for the acceleration of inequality in 2013, under Obama (Patrice Ayme explained that it was caused by the abrogation of the Banking Act, already more than 10 years ago; Chomsky vaguely describes, Patrice explains…).

Here is Chomsky’s latest description: “The ‘American Dream’ was all about class mobility. You were born poor, but could get out of poverty through hard work and provide a better future for your children. It was possible for [some workers] to find a decent-paying job, buy a home, a car and pay for a kid’s education… It’s all collapsed — and we shouldn’t have too many illusions about when it was partially real… The so-called American Dream was always based partly in myth and partly in reality.” Chomsky said, noting that Americans are losing their hope due to “stagnating incomes, declining living standards, outrageous student debt levels, and hard-to-come-by decent-paying jobs.”

“The inequality in the contemporary period is almost unprecedented. If you look at total inequality, it ranks amongst the worse periods of American history… However, if you look at inequality more closely, you see that it comes from wealth that is in the hands of a tiny sector of the population…

The current period is extreme because inequality comes from super wealth. Literally, the top one-tenth of a percent are just super wealthy,”

Chomsky describes. One of my trusted commenters asked me recently what I thought of Chomsky. A philosopher is not just a botanist. A philosopher would explain. Chomsky also avoid to use the concept of “plutocracy”. He describes it, he describes how wealth, being powerful, grabs power.

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Plutocracy, Epigenetics of Evil:

However, that comes short. Very short. Chomsky does not dare to cross the semantic Rubicon of calling it for what it is, the genetics of evil.

This is why Chomsky clings to the idea that the American Founders debated what is at stake now. Now, they did not: the Internet has changed everything, starting with the minds, the moods, hence the genes, or the genetic expressions, to be a bit more precise. We know that fishes in a changed environment, change genetically. Females can become not just males, but super males.

Plutocracy is not just the rule of wealth. We know, from studying epigenetics in other species, that animal behavior influences genetic, let alone neurohormonal expression.

The absolute power of enormous wealth does not just corrupt absolutely, it corrupts genetically.  

Complaining about the fleas is good, but seeing the wolf carrying them, better. Wisdom is not just about seeing, but doing it better.

Patrice Ayme’

FLASH CRASH Of Civilization Risked. And Why.

October 9, 2016

CRETINISM, COMPUTER GLITCHES, WILL TO ANNIHILATION, & OUR SATANIC LEADERSHIP

Are Our Idiotic Leaders Playing With Computer Fire? A Financial “Glitch” Last Week Is Most Telling: 

In the famous Terminator movie, a worldwide automated defense net takes over and launches strategic missiles all over, annihilating much of humanity and nearly all of civilization. Science-fiction? Not at all.

In 1979, the strategic command of the USA saw on its screens a Russian attack by 200 intercontinental missiles, enough to annihilate the USA. There were only minutes to launch a counter-strike. Panic ensued. Bombers were scrambled. The presidential plane took off, without the president. And so on! A smart general found that a training tape had been inserted by mistake. Alleluia! Nuclear Armageddon avoided this time.

The financial system has been riddled with “computer glitches”. Except they are not really glitches, but part of the war hyper rich financiers are waging against We The People.

Here is what happens when computers and plutocrats rule: 

In Minutes, The British Pound, Hence Great Britain, Lost Up To 8% of Its Value, Thanks To Robots In Common

Friday October 7, 2016, The British Pound, Hence Great Britain, Lost Up To 8% of Its Value, In Minutes, Thanks To Robots In Command

The robots we have put in charge do not have to respect Asimov’s First Law Of Robotics, which is that a robot should not hurt a human.

Ok, let’s give more details of this latest example, Friday October 7, 2016, as described by the Wall Street Journal:

Computers Seen as a Culprit in Pound’s Plunge

Unusual intraday move of 6% triggers concerns about automated trading

By Mike Bird and  Saumya Vaishampayan (Updated Oct. 7, 2016 6:44 p.m. ET)

LONDON—For a startling moment on Friday, the British pound crashed. In just three minutes shortly after 7 a.m. Hong Kong time, the pound sank 6% to as low as $1.18, according to Thomson Reuters data. Some electronic platforms recorded scattered trades near $1.15. For the currency markets, where moves are recorded in thousandths of a penny, it seemed that currency traders were all hiding under their desks. The most accepted scenario was that computers, not humans, were the ones that refused to buy. Coming at the most thinly traded moment of the global trading day, the latest “FLASH CRASH” once again showed how algorithmically driven trading programs have rewired the global finance game.

The pound’s gyration Friday was the second largest intraday move from its highest to lowest point in the past nine years, according to FactSet. The biggest move came when sterling swung down by as much as 11% the day after Britain’s June vote to leave the European Union.”

So why do we have hair-trigger systems all around the planet, with malevolent robots in charge?

The basic trick is this: hyper rich individuals, employing armies of physicists, mathematicians and programmers have set-up automatic systems to trade faster than individuals can. That’s called “high frequency” trading. High frequency trading is made possible by NOT taxing the sort of transactions the hyper wealthy are allowed to do. Normal people get taxed, the financially wealthy do not.

Flashback on 10,000 years of civilization: when the hyper wealthy does not get taxed, one has an aristocratic system: that is both the major cause, and major symptom.

Taxing small financial transactions would limit their speed, hence re-establish the notion of causality (that fact comes straight from knowing the fundamental physics which is deeper than the Theory of Relativity).

We are led by cretins. Russia and the USA have produced magnificent examples of complete cretins, put in command to instill deeply flawed strategies. And no, I am not just thinking of Trump, Clinton, Putin, Obama, etc.   

Let me go back on my question earlier, and generalize it a bit: Why do we have hair-trigger systems all around the planet, with malevolence in charge?

At first sight, it is because we are led by cretins, who do not see the danger. That certainly is partly true, but it’s not the whole truth: how could they be that dumb? Indeed, the danger is surely obvious, from the financial markets to nuclear war. Then what? We are led by people who do not mind the danger that they inflict to humanity and civilization, because, meanwhile they satisfy their greed, or will to power. In a way, to help engineer a giant catastrophe is surely a way to satisfy one’s ultimate will to power. As the French King Louis XV used to say:”Apres moi, le deluge” (“After me, the flood”).

An even deeper question is why did it come to this. Societies have moods. Those moods are caused by (imaginary or not) facts, habits, experiences, hopes. In the end, they influence hormones, not just in the masses, but in the individuals. Those hormones, some of them neurohormones, in turn change the logic individuals are capable of. When he was still facing some opposition inside Germany, Adolf Hitler sneered that his opponents did not matter because “we already own the youth”. Hitler knew that he had molded  the minds of German youth by creating an emotional ambiance which had turned into a mass driven hormonal, not just logical, Nazi setup. It was a case of mass procreation of Nazism.

After Thatcher and Reagan came to power, they imposed the mood that greed and the will to power was the ultimate motivation of human beings. (The Nazis were all about the will to power AND race; except “race’ does not really exist, as the Nazis found out all too soon, and the SS was forced to employ elite soldiers from all over!)

That Thatcher-Reagan-Neoconservatives mindset forsaken by humanity, propagated around the planet: France, Russia, fell to it later, with catastrophic results . That mindset focused on greed as the ultimate motivation is why Obama, a great admirer of Ronald Reagan, setup Obamacare the way he did, articulated by private companies looking for profits.

In other words, the ultimate good motivations of humanity, are supposed to be greed, and the closely related, and more general, will to power. The ultimate motivations are not supposed to be the will to care, or love. (Whereas, in truth, without love and care, there can be no humanity, to start with! Greed and the Will To Power are secondary motivations, sorry, Friedrich Nietzsche).

So here we are with more and more hair-trigger system. What is the interest of hair trigger systems, holding the entire civilization in its cross-hairs, or cross-hair systems making society ever more unjust, with some having all the power? The interest of hair-trigger systems as gods is that it tells everybody, deep down in their bones, at the deepest level of the emotional system, that greed and will to power are the ultimate good: they are worth going back to the Middle Ages, in a flash, with massive inequalities, or even back to the Stone Age (for the few survivors). Hair trigger, total destruction systems do not just celebrate will to power in its ultimate form, extermination. Having everything, from liberty, to equality, to fraternity, and even survival, at the whim of computer glitches is an expression of the will to collective suicide, and mass mayhem.

Some will say, such desire for appalling destruction is surely not an instinct? Quite the opposite. The will to appalling destruction is the ultimate human, all too human, instinct. Let me sketch the explanation. It goes deep in the bowels of evolutionary psychology, in its all too human variant, which no other animal has to that extent.

For millions of years, humanity has ruled the Earth, and increasingly so. The enemy of humanity was humanity itself, too much humanity, way too many humans. (At some point, a bit more than a million years ago, there were 14 humanoid species in East Africa alone.) To re-establish an ecological balance, humanity had to be culled. Now there are thousands of times more humans, so we need industrial means, computer glitches, nuclear war, and massive inequality.

However, understanding this will to collective suicide and mass mayhem logically will unbalance our stealthy collective subconscious, and the pernicious topology of its emotional ways. Something excellent philosophy has always done.

It goes without saying that all too traditional humanism has nothing to say about the preceding. And that is why it has become so irrelevant to what seriously matters, and why ‘progressives’ are so adrift. Humanism is not static. As technology progresses, our humanism has to become ever more subtle and powerful, just as, and because, our technology does so. Ever more power is what has defined ever more humanity, but all that ever increasing power, can only be managed with ever more intelligence.

Patrice Ayme’  

American Uncivil War

July 8, 2016

People pass away, mentalities perdure.

The English were not the first colonizers of North America. However, when they finally got there, it was with the most effective ethics to enforce the objectives of ultimate greed. England had been too busy with recalcitrant Scotland and Ireland to join the early conquistadores (meanwhile, the French re-conquered much of the Mediterranean from the Muslims, and even the Canaries archipelago).

The English arrived nearly a century after the Spaniards and the French… and six centuries after the Vikings! With a very different sort of leaders. And with a very different mood, uncontrolled greed foremost.

The reason that the Vikings did not conquer North America was that the aboriginals strongly objected to the Scandinavian presence. When Jacques Cartier arrived in 1534 CE in Quebec, the story repeated itself. The French had firearms, but they were taken aback by the sophisticated discourses of the inhabitants, who explained to the French that there was no space for both the aborigines, and the French. And if the French insisted upon invading the place, there would be war. In due course, over many generations, the French government persuaded the Natives that they could learn to farm, too, and then there was space for everybody.

The Spaniards were not as kind. In 1529, Francisco Pizarro received royal approval to conquer the region and be its viceroy. The letter read: “In July 1529 the queen of Spain signed a charter allowing Pizarro to conquer the Incas. Pizarro was named governor and captain of all conquests in New Castile”. It is not just a question of race. The Spaniards also used Black Conquistadores, professional soldiers who had been captured in Africa, in African wars, and sold to the Spaniards. Then those African soldiers were freed to do what they did best again…in the Americas, with European weapons.

Colombus exploited, according to Satan, Las Casas revolted against Satan. The Spaniards taught their ferocity in the Canaries islands, once they took over from the French, massacring the tall, white blonde aborigines. Ferocity can procreate and multiply. The worse being that it works.

Colombus exploited, according to Satan, Las Casas revolted against Satan. The Spaniards taught their ferocity in the Canaries islands, once they took over from the French, massacring the tall, white blonde aborigines. Ferocity can procreate and multiply. The worse being that it works.

Las Casas took part in the conquest of Cuba, and was granted by the crown a huge land, an encomienda, complete with slaves. Then he moved to the continent. Finally, Bartolomé de las Casas had enough of the “unbelievable” holocaust he was a witness of, since its inception. Bartolomé went from adventurer to bishop, and tried to enforce the good side of God. Happily, the (French-born and educated) Spanish king and Roman emperor Charles V ordered an inquiry and trial on the Spanish induced Holocaust in the Americas. The ensuing Valladolid debate was conclusive enough to bring Charles V, the would-be conqueror of Europe blocked by France, into ordering the halt of the Conquista (here I differ from Wikipedia, because I know much more). More exactly, Charles V ordered the halt of completely new conquista, and then resigned (1551 CE, although said resignation was official and final only in 1558 CE).

So the Spaniards did not conquer most of North America…. which should have been a military walk in the park; Spanish exploratory raids had gone all the way to present day Washington DC, finding most of the country emptied by (European generated) epidemics.

The English colony, though, was not founded by a government, inasmuch as a mercantilist collusion of the “West Country Men” and the English government, famous for lining alleyways with skulls in Ireland. One of the investors was the king of England. The English colony was powered by slave labor, from inception. Whites, Indians, Blacks were enslaved. The whites often with the subtlety of “endured servants” contracts (if they ate a pig in the forest, they got another five years, if they escaped to the Indians, they got quartered alive, a disagreeable prospect to keep them in line obsequiously, etc.)

I have long described the “West Country Men” mentality. It is alive and well. What made the English colony profitable was tobacco exploitation, thanks to hundreds of thousands of slaves. Never mind that the king of England execrated tobacco smoking. It was good, very good money, and profits are the supreme value. Never mind the satanic aspects. That’s why it’s called plutocracy.

In the present day USA, governmental violence is a fact. First there is the political violence of “representatives” elected by money, as surely as in the Eighteenth Century England.

In the USA police violence, revolting by Western European standards, is a fact. It is not just after “blacks”. It is the violence of car chases (try 100 mph in a city). The violence which results when not putting the hands on the wheel, when stopped for bogus reasons.

Police officers, armed to the hilt, with a mentality which shoots first and ask question later, are very well paid. The total compensation of a police officer at the University of California, Berkeley, is 200,000 dollars. More than three times the US median family income. That is gigantic, even by American standards. It is also how the 1% buy the army which protects them (so drive a BMW, or a Tesla Model S, to be left alone by police: class solidarity operates…)

Violence in the service of plutocracy is also judicial violence, not just police and political violence. In California, that America of America, full of silicon, and engineers from all over the world, keen to make a fortune, American born citizens were condemned to life in prison, without possibility of parole. For… stealing a slice of pizza.

Why? It insures the peace. The upper middle class will think twice before launching a revolution. If eating pizza can get you killed, imagine what having to eat your own words get you.

Remember Victor Hugo? He wrote, among many other great works, “The Miserables”. The main protagonist, Jean Valjean, early in the Nineteenth Century, is condemned to twenty years prison for stealing a bread. That was was viewed as a horrible injustice, and, at some point the french Republic passed a law saying one cannot be condemned for stealing food.

Just as one cannot be condemned in France, just for fleeing (fleeing being viewed as a fundamental right; although not obeying police is a crime: subtleties, subtleties…)

Now compare again with California, where eating a slice of pizza can get you to the slammer forever… In the 2000’s (the law was amended slightly since: gulping American pizza does not qualify as a major crime anymore, although, of course, it is, for other reasons…).

This was just an example. Possession of “crack cocaine” is punished at twenty times the rate of “cocaine powder” (blacks use rock cocaine, Wall Street uses cocaine powder).

And so on. Meanwhile Federal Magistrates are nominated, and serve a couple of years earning a measly 180,000 dollars, while being extremely partial to Silicon Valley oligopolies, from their judges’ benches. Then they resign, and are employed by the usual suspects, said Silicon Valley oligopolies, earning many millions (I have seen cases, close and personal). “Free market”, anyone?

The educational system is by the wealthiest, for the wealthiest. And ever more so. Educational violence: preventing the lower class to access quality education.

Of course the Whiter House, white as the driven snow, after spending an inordinate amount of time and money plotting with Silicon Valley, knows all of this. It’s Mercantilism on steroids. It does not matter. Obama is gathering plutocrats to pay for his hyper expensive “library” to the greater glory of Uncle Barry’s sedate reign 

And all this violence, direct or indirect, works. Watch the rigged presidential elections, with thoroughly corrupt plutocrats running against each other, in a parody of representative democracy.

As long as We The People don’t shoot back. That it does not happen more often, and that militant Islam does not get more recruits, is rather surprising. But times may change. Any day. What will the plutocratic establishment do? Load bigger guns, with more ammunition, and more science fiction weapons. In this particular case of 12 police officers shot, wounded, and killed in Dallas, the gunman, 25, had been trained, apparently very well, as an exterminator in Afghanistan. He was killed by… a robot. Times they are changing, even if plutocracy only grows. What plutocracy needs, is even more spying on the Internet (the gunman had a Facebook account where he expressed his displeasure for the white man…)  Inequality can be an expensive call.

The Spanish and English colonies were founded as wars against the Peoples, to satisfy the god of greed, and domination, and the attending mentalities endure.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Of Those Who Mind Minds

October 12, 2015

Polls show that two-thirds of Americans want taxes to be raised for taxpayers earning more than a million dollars a year. It’s not happening. Obama is pushing for the TPP, the Trans Pacific Treaty, which democratic presidential contenders oppose. All over, public opinion has been cornered into impotence: the public wants one thing, they tolerate the opposite. The public’s mind has been made into boiled pasta: easy to gobble, no backbone.

Angus Deaton just got the Nobel in economics. Here is an example of his prose: “There is a danger that the rapid growth of top incomes can become self-reinforcing through the political access that money can bring. Rules are set not in the public interest but in the interest of the rich, who use those rules to become yet richer and more influential… To worry about these consequences of extreme inequality has nothing to do with being envious of the rich and everything to do with the fear that rapidly growing top incomes are a threat to the wellbeing of everyone else.”

Where Does "Austerity" Comes From? The Richest Are Sucking Us Dry Through Debt Service

Where Does “Austerity” Comes From? The Richest Are Sucking Us Dry Through Debt Service

As I have explained for more than a decade, this is nothing new. This exponentiating growth in wealth, and thus power, for the few is how the Roman REPUBLIC was destroyed (and replaced by the despicable and stupid Roman plutocracy, aka “empire”).

The same phenomenon also happened when the Imperium Francorum (Empire of the Franks) went from the mild plutocracy known as the “Renovated Roman Empire” to the hard, abusive and demented plutocracy of the Late Middle Ages, “Renaissance”, and “Enlightenment”.

158 families, some of them not even bothering to reside in the USA, are busy buying themselves a president of the USA. Hey, why not? This has been working ever better for nearly half a century, ever since Mr. Nixon using public money to boost Mr. Kaiser’s health maintenance scheme (the President and the Kaiser: quite a program!). Say NYT’s Confessore, Cohen and Yourish, October 10, 2015:

“They are overwhelmingly white, rich, older and male, in a nation that is being remade by the young, by women, and by black and brown voters. Across a sprawling country, they reside in an archipelago of wealth, exclusive neighborhoods dotting a handful of cities and towns. And in an economy that has minted billionaires in a dizzying array of industries, most made their fortunes in just two: finance and energy.

Now they are deploying their vast wealth in the political arena, providing almost half of all the seed money raised to support Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Just 158 families, along with companies they own or control, contributed $176 million in the first phase of the campaign, a New York Times investigation found. Not since before Watergate have so few people and businesses provided so much early money in a campaign, most of it through channels legalized by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision five years ago.”

Notice that the New York Times admits that the Supreme Court has “LEGALIZED” ways to channel the power of the few. Notice that Judicial power legislates. Notice that a new form of power has appeared: it’s expressed not just by the wealthiest, by a subclass of the wealthiest, a subclass which profited from the reorganization of the ultimate values of the USA:

“These donors’ fortunes reflect the shifting composition of the country’s economic elite. Relatively few work in the traditional ranks of corporate America, or hail from dynasties of inherited wealth. Most built their own businesses, parlaying talent and an appetite for risk into huge wealth: They founded hedge funds in New York, bought up undervalued oil leases in Texas, made blockbusters in Hollywood. More than a dozen of the elite donors were born outside the United States, immigrating from countries like Cuba, the old Soviet Union, Pakistan, India and Israel.”

Something the New York Times does not imagine is that these people became so rich precisely because they changed the laws first. An example is the entire financial industry, because of the dismantlement of the Banking Act of 1933 (Glass-Steagall). Hedge funds get money from banks and shadow banks, and that would not have happened before Clinton. If the New York Times does not understand it, those politically connected “donors” do, as the New York Times itself observe:

“But regardless of industry, the families investing the most in presidential politics overwhelmingly lean right, contributing tens of millions of dollars to support Republican candidates who have pledged to pare regulations; cut taxes on income, capital gains and inheritances; and shrink entitlement programs. While such measures would help protect their own wealth, the donors describe their embrace of them more broadly, as the surest means of promoting economic growth ….”

Obama went to a hall in Los Angeles. It cost only $33,400, per person, to be there. A fracking family (family making money from fracking), gave $15 million to a particular Republican candidate. Another family, which made a fortune from a hedge fund, gave eleven million dollars. And so on. Even French TV is taking note, and discovers “it’s a threat to us all“. What? No appreciation for a short and brutish life as in the Middle Ages, serving great lords of finance and drinking fossil fuel water?The New York Times admits wealth prevents democratic expression. Actually the paper seems to be a bit confused between the notion of “democracy” and “demography”:

“In marshaling their financial resources chiefly behind Republican candidates, the donors are also serving as a kind of financial check on demographic forces that have been nudging the electorate toward support for the Democratic Party and its economic policies. Two-thirds of Americans support higher taxes on those earning $1 million or more a year, according to a June New York Times/CBS News poll, while six in 10 favor more government intervention to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly seven in 10 favor preserving Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are.

Republican candidates have struggled to improve their standing with Hispanic voters, women and African-Americans. But as the campaign unfolds, Republicans are far outpacing Democrats in exploiting the world of “super PACs,” which, unlike candidates’ own campaigns, can raise unlimited sums from any donor

What does the concentration of wealth at the top do? Mostly shape minds in a way which serves the top guys.

The degree of manipulation of opinion is astounding, and obviously deliberate. (Media are mostly owned by plutocrats: so it’s no surprise!) One could call it a science. A technique is to write an article relating scientific, or sociological facts, say about global melting of ice, or medical care, or guns, and then allowing only commentary derisive of the article. (The Daily Mail in the UK apparently does this to a particularly obvious extent, I observe.)

Another technique is to (implicitly) present banks, and the money-changers as the savior of humanity (the New York Times’ Krugman does this), while not talking about Too-Big-To-Fail banks, Shadow Banking, or the dark connections between banking, derivatives, and politicians.

Angus Deaton, the Nobelist from Princeton University, has looked at the Dark Side: he observed that a lot of financial help to poor countries backfires, as it makes more sustainable for governments to mismanage the society and economy they rule. So the problem with development is more governance (what I call “empire”) than anything else.

Governance is failing worldwide, and this explains why 80 plutocrats are richer than the rest of the world combined.

New Middle Ages Rising

New Middle Ages Rising

The recipient of the “Prize of the Bank of Sweden in Economic Science” is a harsh critic of economic aid from rich countries, like the United States of America, to poor countries. “I have come to believe that most external aid is doing more harm than good,” he wrote in his 2013 book, “The Great Escape.” “If it is undermining countries’ chance to grow—as I believe it is—there is no argument for continuing it on the grounds that ‘we must do something.’ The something that we should do is stop.” The Scottish born Deaton, indeed, is not afraid of controversy: he questions the widespread presumption that rising inequality is always a bad thing.

In other words, Deaton dares to say aloud that the hysterical pursuit of wealth may be good for economic activity. But Deaton claims to have found evidence that wealth brings happiness… until an income of $75,000 income. After which it starts to backfire.

Patrice Ayme’

Morality Is Contagious: Draco, Nazism, USA CEOs

May 16, 2015

Brains learn, that is, become, the examples they see, hear, feel. What brains are exposed to is what they become. So what we decide to be exposed to, or engaged in, is itself a moral choice. [For the meat of this essay, my opinion, see the second part.]

This is in particular true for morality. The word “moral” was coined by the lawyer, Consul, “new man”, progressive, and philosopher Cicero. Cicero was looking for a word originating from Latin that would adequately translate the Greek “Ethikos”. That latter word, in turn related to ethos, the disposition, habitual character, ‘genius’ of a people. So Cicero went for “moris” genitive of mos (same meaning as the Greek ethos; mos is related to a Proto-Indo-European mood, mode, Mut (German for courage), etc.).

Here is an example of a recent degradation of morality:

We Are Headed Back To Middle-Age Inequality, Led By USA CEOs

We Are Headed Back To Middle-Age Inequality, Led By USA CEOs

[Economics Nobel Prize] Paul Krugman relates in “Broken Windows And American Oligarchy” how Chief Executive Officers’ drive to grabbing all the money for themselves, may have come from watching American football stars earn enormous compensation for euphorically bashing their brains in public, while on drugs, wearing pantyhose.

I have long thought, for decades, that it is literally immoral to watch American football (and I liberally despise those who do; this includes family members tight with Obama, I want them to know, lest they are too comfortable).

Instead of re-iterating my venom about this American football horror, complete with latent homosexuality in denial, drug abuse, couch potato spirit, and money for doing nothing good, and everything bad, let me I highly recommend Krugman’s little essay. Let me quote him:

….”it’s all the fault of Monday Night Football.

[A business man’s] story went like this: when games started being televised, the financial rewards to winning teams shot up, and star players began being offered big salaries. And CEOs, who watch a lot of football, noticed — and started saying to themselves, “Why not me?” If salaries were set in any kind of competitive marketplace, that wouldn’t have mattered, but they aren’t — CEOs appoint the committees that decide how much they’re worth, and are restrained only by norms about what seems like too much. Football, so my conversation partner averred, started the breakdown of those norms, and we were off to the races.

By the way, the timing is about right.”

I am happy to see that my psycho interpretation of history is gaining ground. No, ladies and gentlemen, please do not believe that your everyday little activities, down to drinking beer, do not have to do with your highest ideas.

Napoleon, rightly, pointed out that an army marched on its stomach, and Nietzsche, that one thought, with one stomach (something rediscovered by 28 year old Giulia Enders, whom TV networks love to show in detail how pretty she is; she sold already more than one million of her book on the stomach… “with charm).

Krugman was encouraged, he says, by an “interesting post by Vera te Velde on tests of the “broken windows” theory, which says that people are more likely to break social norms if they see other people violating norms, even if there’s no direct connection — you grab handbags if you see graffiti, you litter if you hear people ignoring noise ordinances, etc.. As she notes, there is now overwhelming experimental evidence for that theory. So it’s not crazy to think that CEOs might start violating pay norms because they see quarterbacks getting big checks.”

It helps that Vera is a fellow economist, thus honorable (and same observation as with Giulia). I sent the following comment which Krugman published within minutes (Krugman was in Oxford at the time):

***

ONE IS EITHER MORAL, OR ONE IS NOT SO:

At least, this is what the Ancient Greeks and Romans thought. The very idea of morals recognizes that lack thereof will lead to the contagion of immorality. Thus that immorality propagates like a plague has been recognized for more than 26 centuries. Then the Athenian legislator Draco set-up a legal system which punished most offenses (such as stealing a cabbage) with the death penalty.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draco_(lawgiver)

The notion can be fruitfully used today: minor offenders can be arrested and their DNA can be documented. As big offenders tend to start as small offenders (that’s the point when they become immoral), as they commit a big crime, their DNA collected during their previous small crime will often allow to identify them. Hence the increasingly fast and accurate detection of big crimes nowadays. This is discouraging for would-be big time criminals, so the big time crime rate is plummeting.

However, internationally the effect can play the other way: when states see that aggression by other states is not punished, that immoral behavior is in plain sight, and nobody does anything about it, then immoral states so far rather innocuous tend to join in mayhem. This is why, in the 1930s, war and bad actions by states spread around the planet in a few years.

In the same spirit, the Nazis executed 200,000 handicapped people, starting in October 1939. The idea was not just to see if they could get away with it, but also to habituate the population to general moral depredation: their cooperation would be needed when millions were to be assassinated at their doorstep (an extermination camp such as Dachau was in Munich’s suburbs, and so were many camps next to urban areas; there was an astounding 20,000 Nazi concentration and extermination camps!).

More generally this is why one war does not generally happen alone, and why tolerated international abuse tend to lead to apparently unrelated wars in the same time frame.

Hence a war such as the one in Syria has a general deleterious moral effect for all those who hear about it, or watch it, and learn to tolerate it.

It is no coincidence that Putin decided to invade Ukraine after he saw his domestiques in England saw nothing wrong with their investor, Bachar El Assad, and Obama called off the Franco-American strike against Syria with minutes to spare.

***

IF YOU WANT TO AVOID WAR, EXHIBIT A HIGHER MORALITY:

The lessons of 1930s is that imperial racist aggressions from fascists in Italy, Germany, Japan (and also the USSR, and a few other smaller powers) would not have been allowed to propagate, if Great Britain and the USA had stood with France. Instead, they stood with Hitler, and Mussolini (through various treaties, and investment, combined with an anti-French attitude). Seeing this, the Japanese high command, and Stalin, felt much encouraged (and secondary fascists in Eastern Europe, Portugal, and Spain).

Thus, right now, it is important for democracy to bark in a timely manner. And to show some bite. The fascists of the 1930s really believed (headed by Hitler) that democracy was weak. That impression ought to be dispelled in a timely manner. Lest we want mayhem.

Those who want a better morality long towards love, conversation. Due to their will to goodness, they tend to forget that all which exists is the result of force. The kindest type of force is debate (from the Thirteenth Century French debatre, to beat completely).

However, morality is always imposed by force. Cicero himself, as a Consul, came to that conclusion. In the aftermath of the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy, Cicero, unfortunately (?) executed the five main conspirators without due process. Later, before and after Caesar’s assassination, Cicero tried to use force for the best, in his attempt to save the Republic. First supporting Caesar, and, then, as the most Senior Senator Octavian (against the much more fascist Marc-Antony).

Marcus Antonius had Cicero’s hands and head nailed on the Rostra, for all to see. After Marcus Antonius’ wife had repeatedly stabbed Cicero’s tongue with an hair pin, to extract vengeance from his power of speech.

After such horrors, the path was paved for 2,000 years of plutocracy, and the rise of American football, and how it impresses weak minds, and made greed into the only morality worth having. Meanwhile, just as impressed, by this generalizing degeneracy of morals, the North Korean dictator is piling as many nuclear bombs and intercontinental missiles as he can, while the USA president plays golf, and obsesses about free trade for his wealthy friends.

This requires discipline. So the dictator fed his uncle, who had put him in power, to dogs (some say it is not true; official pictures, though, show that the uncle was definitively not happy, humiliated and uncooperative). Now the young, “Western educated“,  dictator, has been betrayed by the lack of respect of his Defense Minister, and he, as dozens of other North Korean officials, was executed (possibly with anti-aircraft guns, in the presence of many officials).

In such a moral ambiance, who can doubt that the present North Korean dictator will not order the execution of whoever, even millions, perceived to be in his way?

As examples teach, and create minds, one should not forget that plutocracy inside the West causes much more vicious plutocracy out there. But, out there, is much capacity for mayhem, thanks to weapons of mass destruction.

Such weapons of mass destruction do not have to be gross. Canada’s just announced perfidious CO2 targets are an example of mass violence with a hopeful face. In truth, Canada, whose CO2 emissions have constantly augmented in the last few decades, is exactly giving the worst example: it will soon produce 40% of its CO2 emissions from just one province, Alberta, out of greed, producing tar sands oil.

Canada used to be a nation propounding peace. Now it propound CO2 and tar, all over the planet. Canada has become the symbol of greed and mass criminality, triumphing above reason. (And Canadians do not have the excuse of, say, Israel. With ten million square kilometers for a population smaller than Spain, Poland, or California, Canadians cannot claim to be scared and destitute.)

One should expect dictators and plutocrats to pay attention, worldwide, to Canada’s immorality, and triumph of Earth slapping greed. And to be inspired accordingly.

Patrice Ayme’

Picking Piketty Peeks

February 13, 2015

Thomas Piketty, a young and successful French Science Po economist wrote “Capitalism in The XXI Century”. I bought it ASAP, and then did not read one page. The reason is that there was a waiting list. By the time I got the book, it was clear it was rehashing part of what I have been saying for years.

For example, to my knowledge, I was the first to make the rapprochement between the present situation and the Ancient Regime. The Nobles (2% of the population) did not pay (most) tax.

Piketty recognizes that he just discovered “his book’s principal idea” that the “taux de rendement du capital” (return on capital) was higher than return on work. “Moi je ne le savais pas avant”. I have been pounding that fact for a decade or so.

The Higher The Return On Capital, The Lower the Growth (Piketty)

The Higher The Return On Capital, The Lower the Growth (Piketty)

It is nice to see Piketty saying these things I have been saying, now, but I have moved on, long ago. I condemn the very way money is generated (by the private-public banking system).

It is first obvious to whoever has studied past societies. Plutocracies are basically those societies where, at some point, taxation on the wealthiest has not been applied enough to limit the EXPONENTIATION of capital.

I do not find alluring to listen to my old observations. Not to demean Piketty. Others such as Saez in Berkeley, also French, had published enlightening research on inequality, for years.

I agree with all what Piketty proposes. Yet, many of his answers are all too mild.

In the period from Roosevelt to1981 (arrival of Reagan), the upper marginal tax rate of the USA averaged 82%. It applied above one million dollar income (constant dollars). Growth was maximum.

What Piketty did not say: In the next 20 years the maximum margin on the richest came down to (less than) 15%. Yes, less than secretaries.

Piketty wants to rise the upper margin tax rate of income millionaires to 80% or 90%. I agree.

To this critics of Piketty, in France or the USA, reply that will kill innovation. A French cutie interviewer told Piketty that with rates like that the robot who heads Facebook (OK, she did not use “robot”) would not have been motivated to invent Facebook.

Who cares?

As it is, Mr. Z from Facebook stole an idea from France. Besides, Facebook-like companies already existed (Myspace). There is also plenty of evidence Facebook was a government operation (the protégé of Larry Summers, parachuted to the USA government under Clinton, was parachuted to Google, and then parachuted to Facebook).

Piketty vaguely mumbled something about the research which really mattered was public. But he was weak and indecisive.

Why? Well, after all, Piketty teaches at Science Po, a place full of young arrogant greedsters who think they are becoming qualified to lead the world. They live according to a principle that Piketty himself condemns: politics as a profession. Piketty said that the fact Hollande had been in politics all his life was a problem (the same is true for roughly all politicians).

Professional politicians should not be condemned to clean the toilets exclusively, but certainly ought to be left to sort out the details, of the laws passed by the People, like they increasingly have to, in Switzerland. That’s the only exclusivity they should pretend to.

In truth, business creators are nothing much. Business creators motivated first by money are even less.

Piketty to Bill Gates: ‘If 30 years ago, one would have told you: you will earn one billion dollars, not 50 billion, would you have refused to invent Windows?’ Of course not says Piketty, answering his own question.

Piketty: Without counting that all these innovations rest on an ecosystem of public research.

Piketty missed the obvious remark that France was at the forefront of the electronics age: transistors and CPUs (chips), and even the Personal Computer (PC), were all invented, and produced first in France. He probably does not even know this.

And the fact he does not know is testimony enough to the dirty ways of money.

The hard creative work is from engineers, scientists and the philosophers who back them up, not forgetting the historians, sociologists, writers, artists and poets helping to inspire the preceding crowd.

All the world of lasers and the like came from publicly funded lab in Paris. In 1953, Kastler invented optical pumping:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/genius-irreplaceable-jobs-follow/

The same lab has made more Nobel prize winning work founding outright a completely new field: how to see light with atoms (my own formulation, don’t accuse Serge Haroche!)

Such labs are now starved by austerity.

If you ask people at Apple Inc. why they are so good, they don’t say “Steve Jobs”. It’s not just that Steve has experienced technical difficulties, it’s that Apple engineers feel empowered. Apple has $700 billion in market cap (twice Google).

After a level of inequality, it has no effect on the motivation of individuals: why to pay traders millions of Euros? Say Piketty.

What I say is that much of trading itself, should not exist.

Much of what Piketty says about Europe and the Euro Zone is correct. One should homogenize the core part of the Euro Zone, and those who don’t like it, like Luxembourg, can stay out.

Right now in Europe, large companies pay less tax than medium and small ones. It’s even worse with middle class people versus the wealthiest.

A point Piketty makes is that inequality is not everything, but opacity also matters. He mentioned that Carlos Slims (world’s richest man) obtained juicy contracts from the government. (Piketty is careful not to say that this was a case of obvious corruption; he obviously knows this, but he wants to be keep on being invited in the power circles, and his books to create the buzz that brings millions of sales).

An objection made to Piketty is that the classification of the richest people has changed over 30 years. To this, Piketty has not clear retort, but I do.

That is indeed a silly objection: The founder of Walmart passed away. His heir have, all together, more money than Bill Gates.

More historically, under the terrible Roman plutocracy, the richest of the rich changed all the time, for similar reasons. But, although it was hard to maintain just as high a status, it was easier to maintain one just below. The Curial class (= local plutocracy) survived for 4 centuries.

Karl Marx? Piketty rightly points out that Marx wanted to cancel private property, but did not think about what would happen the next day.

Piketty suggests to create new notions of property, including hybrids between public and private property as conceived now.

Piketty was asked why he was so keen, him, such a young guy, to go all around the world, to be received by Obama, to be admired by all, etc. … Instead of being working hard? Especially with the crisis we have now?

Piketty replied he believed in the power of ideas. He believes politicians are just into doing what they believe is the dominant thinking We The People (he did not use that expression) go by. So, in the democratic debate, one should try to modify this dominant opinion.

Notice the naivety: one is very far here from my Satanic interpretation of common human behavior, especially at the leadership level

The answer to this is simple: some play, some think. Real thinkers are not in the White House, they are in distant caves, watching the sea. Occasionally, when not thinking deep.

Piketty points out that oligarchic regimes bring social problems, thus scapegoats, thus nationalist drift, and then, ultimately, like Hitler, or Putin, war.

All right, truth be told, Piketty did not mention Hitler, but he did mention Putin. Not a word on the problem of banks. Out of 29 extremely dangerous banks, the equivalent of potential super-novas on the verge of explosion, four are French. BNP is roughly the same size as French GDP. Those banks are the main engines of inequality, besides the fact any of them, by imploding would make the situation instantaneously worse than in 2008.

Those banks are still allowed to engage in a form of trading which is the modern equivalent of slavery. Piketty does not mention the problem, which is at the core of the money generating-austerity craze.

And he is not afraid to say that many of the time honored ways of economics are actually outright insanity (he repeatedly uses the word “delirium”). Piketty is no genius, but he makes an excellent impresario.

Patrice Ayme’

Plutocratic Planet

January 2, 2015

Plutocrats control the thinking, thus the law. In the USA, it is unlawful for Medicare, the public health insurance for seniors, to discuss the price of drugs with (private) providers. If a drug company asks for an outrageous price for a drug, Medicare has to say yes.

However, private insurers can negotiate all they want. I asked a health care executive if this was fair. He smiled sardonically: “It’s the law.”

Krugman is increasingly discovering that plutocracy is a problem (although he is careful to not use the word too much, as it smells, literally, of sulfur). He wrote an excellent editorial in the New York Times, January 2, 2015 (time flies, happy New Year!)

Income to 2008. Return of Feudalism: It Has Got Worse Since.

Income to 2008. Return of Feudalism: It Has Got Worse Since.

Says Krugman: “What you see is the surge by the global elite (the top 0.1, 0.01, etc. would be doing even better than his top 1%), plus the dramatic rise of many but not all people in emerging markets. In between is what … I’d say corresponds to advanced-country working classes in general, at least if you add post-2008 data with the effects of austerity. I’d call it the valley of despond…”

I sent a comment putting things in historical perspective. The New York Times censored it (I am on the NYT’s official watch and censor list). Here is my comment below. I will comment more on what Krugman said, after it.

Patrice Ayme (censored by NYT): “Agreed to all. Let me add more perspective. Plutocrats rose after World War One, especially in the USA, by acquiring effective control of Germany, through the good offices of Dr. Schacht (Germany’s top banker, a pawn of JP Morgan), Henri Ford (financing Hitler massively), IBM (monopoly of computing in Germany).

This allowed to turn around the anti-monopoly laws of Teddy Roosevelt. One could argue that Hitler’s Reich was an American plutocrats’ puppet. By 1945, the USA was master of the world.

However, the US army (16 million young soldiers trained to kill), had to be pacified, so GIs were treated like kings (thanks to a 93% tax on the wealthy). The economy boomed.

However, what plutocrats want is to rule: that means they want the Commons despondent. Their world domination could be accentuated by repeating, worldwide, what they had done with Germany, Italy and even the USSR between the wars. They invested far away from Western workers.

The same situation exactly led to the implosion of the Roman economy. But, first, by voiding the core of the empire of work and power, Roman plutocracy insured for itself several centuries of rule.

The same psychology is at work today: plutocrats want to deprive of power who could take it away: the Western Middle Class. “Austerity” is a just a ruse that way. Its true validity is that it diverts money and power from We The People to the richest people in the world, by fiscally means.

Wealth organize its subjects’ minds all over. No hope?”

No hope to see such ideas in the New York Times: the preceding was censored, as deserved for doubting the goodness of the institutions and history our masters have set-up. By censoring such facts, and ideas, the plutocrats insure that their satanic conspiracy can blossom ever more. The facts above are correct, and there are much more, thousand more, like them (I have detailed them in preceding essays).

One can literally said that American plutocrats used Nazism as a tool.

I talk all the time to very educated Americans and Europeans who are persuaded that the USA did all it could against Hitler: the cover-up has splendidly held. So they have no idea of what we see today is a continuation of a process started a century ago. And that it can lead to the worst, because it already did.

Some American friends I had for years called me an uneducated Satan for evoking such facts, and have not talked to me once ever since. It is the world upside down, the inversion of all values.

The collaboration between American plutocrats, and the government they control went on, during and after the World War. Both institutionally, and individually: IBM made itself busy helping the Allies after the Nazis capitulated (they had the monopoly of organizing in Hitler’s Reich). Tens of thousands of Nazis escaped under USA supervision.

The other day, I saw a documentary on TV explaining to me how great the Nazi engineers who built rockets were, and how they got to the moon. Yes, they got to the moon (Saturn V employed more than 100 Nazi engineers). The documentary forgot to mention the tens of thousands of slaves who died in underground rocket factories managed by the same characters.

Klaus Barbie, well known to have tortured to death around 5,000 people in Lyon, personally, and having boasted about it lyrically, was in CIA employ for decades afterwards; the French arrested him in Bolivia and brought him to trial later. Barbie had tortured to death tens of British agents, of both genders, not just the French. Maybe he killed some Americans from the OSS too, I don’t remember. The CIA knew this very well, but it was headed by lawyer Dulles, who represented 1,000 Nazi companies before WWII.

In TWIN PEAKS PLANET, Krugman opines that:

“In 2014, soaring inequality in advanced nations finally received the attention it deserved, as Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” became a surprise (and deserving) best seller. The usual suspects are still in well-paid denial, but, to everyone else, it is now obvious that income and wealth are more concentrated at the very top than they have been since the Gilded Age — and the trend shows no sign of letting up.

But that’s a story about developments within nations, and, therefore, incomplete. You really want to supplement Piketty-style analysis with a global view, and when you do, I’d argue, you get a better sense of the good, the bad and the potentially very ugly of the world we live in.”

The potentially very ugly has been seen many times in the past, all over the world, from Japan to Central America: feudalism, and, or, giant war(s), sometimes for millennia.

Even the Roman Republic, which was extremely aware of the plutocratic problem, and had been built around the idea to not fall into it again, fell into it, after a long degeneracy,  with “Senatus Princeps” Augustus. (Princeps evolved in the word “Prince”).

The rest of Krugman’s essay is a rewording of what I have been saying for more than a decade in writing. A delight to read, and I will comment on it in another essay, because I do not have the time now, and readers tend not to have time for long essays, either.

Krugman finally pays attention to the thought control the greedy oligarchies have achieved. The power is in the discourse. (As Foucault, and others, noticed.)

So see you soon, and, again, Happy New Year!

Patrice Ayme’

USA: Rich Plutos, Poor People

April 22, 2014

The New York Times is waking up, and smelling the roses, Here is an extract of:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/the-american-middle-class-is-no-longer-the-worlds-richest.html?ref=economy,

followed by my further seeing remarks. By the way, before I unleash the New York Times, the numbers the NYT uses about the USA’s median income are way more optimistic than the official ones. Here is the real situation:

This Is Reality. Real, Inflation Indexed Dollars For Median Family Income

This Is Reality. Real, Inflation Indexed Dollars For Median Family Income

The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.

While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades.

After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans.

The numbers, based on surveys conducted over the past 35 years, offer some of the most detailed publicly available comparisons for different income groups in different countries over time. They suggest that most American families are paying a steep price for high and rising income inequality.”

I sent the following comments, to pursue the New York Times’ education:

***

The reality is way worse: one has to take into account what taxes provide with. In the USA, taxes provide the rich with even more services. In Europe, taxes provide the Non-Rich, with even more basic services.

Some services, such as health care, education, or helping the poor, should be viewed as basic human rights.

Take the case of the French Republic. On the surface, French median income, after tax is significantly lower than in the USA. However, those French taxes pay for crucial services that then come for free, or are heavily subsidized in France. For example in health, education, retirement, etc.

France has the highest taxes, with Denmark, about 56% of GDP. However, those taxes are used for massive redistribution. Thus health care is first class and basically free in France.

Education too is free, in France, all the way to the doctorate.

Preschool is also free, and toddlers can be left, for free, in the care of the specially trained health care providers much of the day, for working moms.

In many European countries, parents get massive support, not just from day one, but from the day of pregnancy (then the care is free and intense; parents get extended parental leave, sometimes years).

***

Plutocracy is a redistribution of wealth, power, income, from We The People to a small minority of controlling parasites. Plutocracy paralyzes the minds with a warped case of inverted decency. Plutocracy is neither optimal for the society, nor the economy.

Plutocracy affects the USA more than Europe, and the minds, even more than the stomachs. The fact that average Americans feel that they are much better of than in the rest of the world reinforce the plutocratization of the USA. Including astounding tolerance for the amazingly corrupt so called Supreme Court (Supremely plutocratic!).

I'm "Black", Mom Was White, & Thus We're In The Black.

I’m “Black”, Mom Was White, & Thus We’re In The Black.

 

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For more on how plutocracy has corrupted minds, see:

http://panterragolo.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/class-mind-in-the-usa/

Patrice Aymé