Posts Tagged ‘Intelligence’

NEUROGENESIS: WISDOM; Memories: Resentment

August 16, 2014

The old thinking about the brain was that neurons were given at birth, and then progressively died. A researcher named Altman found otherwise in 1962: he showed that adult human brains created new neurons. Few believed him, even fewer found that interesting. However, by 1995, incontrovertible evidence of new neurons was found in at least two regions of the brain.

And if one blocked neurogenesis, one blocked learning.

The first memory organ of taxicab drivers learning a lot of streets, the hippocampus, got visibly enlarged.

A rat hippocampus creates at least 10,000 new neurons a day. Yes, a vulgar rat.

New Neurons In White: Forge, Forget, Forgive

New Neurons In White: Forge, Forget, Forgive

Yet, the mind is not just about adding neurons. For those keen to remember their past, fresh neurons are the worst things. Newly formed neurons in the hippocampus — an area of the brain involved in switching from short term memory to the longer sort — dislodge previously learned data, a May 2014 Science article shows.

That’s counter-intuitive at first. Naively, one would expect new neurons to mean a better brain, thus better memory. On second examination, though, if neurons are the brains, new neurons mean new brain, not the old brain, with its old memories.

Many studies have shown that boosting neural proliferation before learning enhances memory in mice.

More neurons increase the capacity to learn new memories. However, memory is based on circuits, synapses, and maybe pre-existing “grandmother neurons” (whatever that exactly means: it could be a tight group of cells). If one adds new elements, it makes sense that they have nothing to do with pre-existing neuronal geometries.

Quite the opposite: creating new neurons could clear old memories… Therapeutically.

In the 2014, Science study, newborn and adult mice were trained to fear an environment that brought electric shocks. The mice learned the task quickly. Infant mice remembered the horror for only one day, adult mice retained the fear for weeks.

This difference correlates with neurogenesis. Memory persistence in newborn mice was enhanced genetically and by chemically suppressing neurogenesis after learning. In adult mice, four to six weeks of regular exercise — an activity known to promote neurogenesis — reduced the previous fear.

Massive neurogenesis in young animals explains why youngsters do not remember their early life. And, as luck has it, an animal model exists.

Guinea pigs and Chilean rodents called Degus have longer gestation periods than mice, and thus reduced brain growth after birth. Baby Degus and guinea pigs do not have infantile amnesia. Yet, heavy exercise and drugs promoting neurogenesis brings it on.

Just as neurogenesis tends to deny the past, it denies visiting again the feelings one had then. That’s resentment. French for feeling again: re-sentiment (with a second “s” added to make a snake sound).

Nietzsche used the word “ressentiment”, because German has not word for “resentment”.

That semantic gap is, per se, reason enough to suspect that Germans walloped in it: if one avoids a notion like the plague, it is an indication that one indulges in it. Luther is full of resentment against the Jews, and Hitler against the French, and then, the Jews.

For the philosopher Kierkegaard, ressentiment occurs in a “reflective, passionless age“, stifling creativity and passion in passionate individuals. Individuals who do not conform to the masses are made into scapegoats and objects of spite by the masses, to maintain the status quo ante and to imbue the masses with their sense of superiority.

According to Nietzsche, the more a person is strong-willed, and dynamic, the less place and time they have for contemplating what’s done to them. The reaction of a strong-willed person (a “wild beast“), when it happens, is short: it is not a prolonged filling, and take-over of their entire intellect by an obsession.

It’s impressive to realize how the most recent neurological findings (above) relate to those philosophers’ insights.

The super intelligent person is always in full neurogenesis, in her haste to model the world with more faithfulness. That makes her unable to hold a grudge: she has better thing to think about.

This opens a new way out of the eternal wheel of conflict, and various vicious circles: react as wild beast to attack, but then smother what led to it under the new mindset of neurogenesis.

Instead of rejecting the world as painful, and hoping for a better one as Christians, Muslims and Buddhists do, think the world again, and the old problematic will fade away.

The same may apply to entire societies, nations, or religions, or civilization. If any of these favor ressentiment, it will have to spurn neurogenesis, or its societal equivalent. Just as individuals will.

Hence a vicious circle: the more resentment, the less imagination, and intelligence, and thus the more madness in crowds as in individuals.

Let’s notice, moreover, that denial and bad faith (a la Sartre, De Beauvoir) are very close to resentment.

So what would the moral conclusion of the preceding be? Generating new ideas, just as generating new neurons, is how to break out from the past’s vicious circles. Higher intelligence is also a better morality.

Patrice Ayme’

DIVING INTO TRUTH

July 27, 2014

What’s truth? Many a philosopher sat at his desk, pondering “truth”. Can experience with a desk bring truth? No. Only action demonstrates truth: truth is what works.

Tilt over like an otter on her back, big gulp of air, lift the fins sky high, and the blue of the sky turns into the deep blue sea, a universe wilder than outer space, yet through which the human mammal can dive masterfully. The blue yonder is pierced by the silver and gold flashes of sunlight violently reflecting on fishes’ scaly skins amidst undulating algae. Who wants to fly? Everybody. Forget artificial wings. Flying is practiced best with fins and goggles.

A school of 200 depths’ yellowish, dinner plates sized denizens groups up, and rotates to intimidate the suspicious predator in their midst. Another fish with red stripes let me approach, simply happy to extend his impressive spiky dorsal fin. A message well received: don’t touch me there, or anywhere.

Trans-Species Cooperative Intelligence At Sea

Trans-Species Cooperative Intelligence At Sea

It has never been so easy to approach so many fishes. Either the fishes of the area are less hunted, or they learned what a spear gun looks like.

Solo deep sea diving is about the most dangerous sport imaginable. Death can happen at any moment by losing consciousness, and falling to the bottom of the sea (there is no buoyancy below 13 meters down or so, even if one started with full lungs, so one sinks).

Losing consciousness? Try to spend 56 minutes out of 60 below water. Solo deep sea diving, being the most dangerous sport, is best to test one’s philosophical ability and control. Indeed, it requires a perfect theory of truth.

A perfect dive is a perfect truth.

A logical system has two elements:

  1. The basic rules of the subjacent logic L. (“The logic”.)
  2. The semantic truth S in the engulfing universe U. (“the semantics”.)

Basically, a) says how to make well-formed propositions, and b) which ones are true.

L contains axioms, so does the semantics. Where is “TRUTH” in all this? It’s both in L and S.

Truth = L Union S

The main axis of thinking ever since civilization has prospered has been to reduce S and augment L. Why? Because S embodies factual truth, it can be enormous.

For example in animism, S is enormous: every tree, forest, spring, animal, and even cloud shape is endowed with a soul of its own. Modern science has reduced this to zero (inasmuch as it impacts their behavior).

In Elementary Particle Physics, S is disturbingly large: the so called “Standard Model is full of free parameters and mysterious symmetries (sometimes on, sometimes off, for no known reasons).

For a while in physics, it looked as if S was reducing to a few principles (such as the conservation of energy). But then the on-going main interpretation of Quantum Physics blew up the Logic to hell. Semantics became everything.

How? By claiming that even what seemed impossible has a non-zero probability of occurring. In today’s Quantum Physics, camels go through needles, it’s just a matter of time.

Nietzsche tried to reduce S, the Semantics, to the Will To Power.

That’s, of course, stupid.

The Will To Power mostly rises in social animals. Such animals defend themselves as one, mind, the mind of the leader, so determining the “best” leader (namely the meanest) is of the essence.

A better reduction of meaningful motivation in human beings, and, more generally, animals is the much more general Will To Survival. All the power most animals have, is to insure their survival.

All these fishes I was gliding by, had a theory of mine, a theory of my mind, more exactly. You could see it in their eyes, how they wobbled, and fixated, until, reassured, they went back to considering other tasks, They had deduced, from their experience (S above) and the logic L of the situation (my non-threatening behavior), that their survival was not compromised.

What dominates species out there, in the jungle or the sea, is survival. The Will To Survival. Survival is determined by what is true.

Human beings are truth machines. And so are all brainy animals.

Fishes are very brainy.

Those doubting this should see a grouper inciting a moray eel (muraena) to hunt. The grouper is good at catching fishes in the open, moray eels are supreme in cracks and holes. The grouper goes to the muraena, whose head full of large sharp teeth observes him. Then he shakes his head right and left, in a gesture simulating the motions both eels and groupers make when swimming.

It may require several attempts, but then they go hunt together, the eels below the rocks, the grouper above. Suddenly, in flash of activity, many fishes meet their demise. Both fishes are five times more efficient when hunting together.

If a fish escapes from a grouper and hides into a crack, the grouper often goes to the closest moray eel he can find. Then he entices the eel to go fishing. Then the grouper repeats the head shaking dance, more slowly, where the fish went to hide. Then the eel dives into the hole. (Groupers, who are known to be very clever fishes, also cooperate with other fishes.)

Grouper and eel eat, because they have discovered a few basic truths.

Truth is what works.

Notice that the nature of the work Moray Eels and Groupers can do is limited. Thus, so is the notion of truth they can reach. Octopuses are very intelligent, they can unscrew bottles. However they live only a few years, and have no means of cultural transmission. The drama of the Octopus is that every single individual has to reinvent everything.

Advanced life has made intelligence ubiquitous, but finding truth has been highly constrained by the nature of the work species can do. The genus Homo, though, could work in the forests, in the savannah, in the trees, on the cliffs, across streams, and even arms of the sea, or under water. Even before it became super-brainy. And that’s why it became super-brainy.

Our ape like ancestors developed vast notions of truth, because they could do all sorts of work. In turn that created an ecological niche, the superiority niche, which made intelligence a greater advantage. (Until the recent reign of vegetarians, the politically correct, and other gallant promoters of weakness and retardation at the cost of brutal logical efficiency… Or simply the crutches of advancing technology: the present Homo seems to have significantly smaller brains than late model Neanderthals.)

How does that fit the [Truth = Logic + Semantic] equation above? It’s simple: Semantics is true, when it works, and Well Formed Formulas in logic are also what works. As science progresses, Semantic Truth’s empire shrinks, while that of Logic expands. How? Ever more logic shows how, and why, the Semantic Truth is actually the work of logic.

From the physics perspective, “action”, “work” and “truth” are all the same, as the Principle of Least Action ties them up together: the truth of the trajectory, the truth of the evolution of a process, is what minimizes “work” (of/in the physical action). Wherever we look, we see it:

Truth is what works.

Patrice Ayme’

Note 1: Science Is What Works, INSTINCT IS FAST LEARNING, and TRUTH AS ENERGY contain elements of the preceding, while developing further other perspectives.

Note 2:  So what is the difference between humans and animals? The greater capability in humans to do all works, so construct all truths, including the work, and truth, of cultural transmission.

Imperial Justice Wins

March 27, 2014

The EMPIRE Of JUSTICE HELPS DEFEAT EMPIRES Of EVIL

Morality is not just about being righteous, and feeling good about oneself. Morality, especially in a civilization, is also about long term survival. What happened to the Xi Xia is a good example. The high moral ground should be the first to be held in war.

Thus if a tribe wants to survive, it helps to be more moral than the opposition. Morality does not guarantee survival, but it helps to insure it. The extermination of the Xi Xia civilization, the greatest Buddhist empire which ever was, by the Mongols, is a case in point. They had made an enemy who looked insignificant… until he came back, at the head of the best army of the times.

Minorities ruling vast empires have existed before. The Mongol empire extended from Croatia to Iran, India and South China. Yet, the Mongol army was composed of only twenty tumens of 10,000 cavaliers each (they recruited many helpers, and defectors, local, or not, though, fighting the Song, the southern Chinese with Iraqi gunners, and into Europe with Chinese rocketmen corps). Superbly efficient military ethics made it like clockwork. Yes, even morality can help an army directly.

Genghis Khan, like Muhammad before him, taught his followers that they should keep all their energy to fight others, rather than to kill each other.

Xi Xia Could Not Fly Away From Mongols

Yet, morality is not sufficient to rule. And morality is not just about posing. First, morality is about being smart, as instructed by history.

We don’t have the money to feed the hungry, whine the silly ones, and they propose to cut fundamental research about life or the universe. For the silly ones, understanding the universe is a deeply felt tragedy. After all, it goes against their grain.

The truth, though, is that hunger has to do with war. And war is something that needs to be understood, because war has always been the ultimate arbiter of the fate of civilizations.

Under Stalin’s USSR, one hundred million adult Russians ruled over half a billion people, then 20% of humanity.

The greatest Buddhist polity, ever, was an empire, the Western Xia, the Xi Xia, south of Mongolia.

Bad Location For Weakness

Bad Location For Weakness

Xi Xia got the bad idea to enslave a young Genghis Khan. Xi Xia was eradicated, just as the Buddhist empire that covered most of India earlier, was eradicated. Thereafter, Buddhism lost influence.

Repeating word for word dictator Putin’s lies is no way to understand war, or history. But it’s a good way to let plutocracy, led by a brute, triumph, and bury civilization.

The average wealth of 110 million adult Russians in 2013 was $11,000. However the median wealth was $870. Thus, if wealth was equally distributed in Russia, the average Russian would be 12 times richer. But don’t worry, oh silly ones who love Putin because he is a strong master of weakness: revolution in Russia won’t happen tomorrow. 110 Russian billionaires, Putin’s Pretorian guard from hell, detain 35% of Russia’s wealth.

The first time that I heard that giving food to people as if they were pigeons was more important than learning to think better, I was a child and men were landing on the Moon. A family of austere European people, oozing with contempt, informed me that my moral system was completely skewed. Instead of watching the lunar surface, mesmerized, I should have empathy about feeding the poor, and spite for those who had preoccupations that went beyond filling the plates.

However, I was from Africa. And what I gathered on that deprived continent, was that understanding is the most important food there is. Food and peace come from understanding, not the other way around. And understanding is one: what we learn from nature bring us models that carry to humanity, as humanity, and its world, are of and within, nature.

If one wants to fight malnutrition in Africa, one had to understand the world, first.  Those European people who denied that struck me, not just as posers, but as hypocrites on the side of exploitation, whether they knew it, or not (BTW, BHL falls directly under that critique, as I explained in the past!).

I knew well that people were not starving from lack of food, but from lack of organization to provide them with food.

In the following decades, it turned out that starvation and war ravaged Africa. It was certainly from empires, the wrong sort of empires.

The empires of plutocrats and local kinglets and warlords. For example the philosopher BHL ravaged the primary forests of Africa, and made lots of money, power and influence for himself, with the complicity of the French presidents. He was one of many. The crimes of those associated to Coltan, Rwanda and some high tech companies in the USA were much greater: more than 6 million died in the ensuing war.

At this point, the potential world agricultural food production is enough for about 12 billion people. However, subsidies are given for agriculture in the richest countries: that is a sneaky form of exploitation, as it makes the less developed parts of the world dependent upon the agribusiness of the richest, by killing local food production (and thus, in the long run, killing by starvation the local population).

Advanced countries agricultural subsidies are a form of war and exploitation of the most disadvantaged (and also a war against the biosphere, as they typically involve unsustainable methods).

This also means that, wherever there are starving people it’s from war. As observed. Thus, putting a bag of rice on one’s shoulder is not optimal: it’s an irrelevance, and an hypocrisy.

What’s needed is an empire, an empire of justice, not an empire of more rice. Justice brings rice, rice does not bring justice.

Imperial Fail: What’s Left Of Xia

Imperial Fail: What’s Left Of Xia

This has been understood to some (small) extent: the International Criminal Court has judged exclusively (so far) African leaders.

One needs much more understanding in how the human mind works.

Fortunately, Hitler, and his cortege of plutocrats was seen before. Now that Putin and his cortege of plutocrats is in plain sight, there may be enough understanding to not repeat the same mistakes about how to treat the collective madness.

All the more as, and I explained this thoroughly, see my: “Reverse Yalta, Free Ukraine!”, the present madness is a direct continuation of one started more than 100 years ago. The study systems of thoughts can exhibit astounding continuity, from the Kaiser, to Czar Putin.

Indeed fascist imperialist Prussian Plutos were best friends with Lenin and Stalin. After the latter were ferried by the former in a special train from Switzerland (always neutral except in the matter of making money) to Russia, the latter promptly made peace, offering to the Kaiser Eastern Europe. The alliance between Stalinists and Hitlerists became official in August 1939, in a vain attempt to dissuade the French Republic to launch a world war. But that alliance had been going on, all along, as the USSR allowed renascent German fascism to turn around the safeguards the Versailles Treaty had set against massive German re-militarization.

Psychologically, we have the same set-up as usual: the plutocrats in Moscow, with their giant bank accounts in Londongrad, feel they have the Western democracies by the throat, same as their ancestors in the 1930s, when they called Berlin home.

Confronted to force serving evil, only a greater and smarter force can win. For once, Obama has been acting near to perfection. Putin did not attack this week, as he wants to look benign before the United Nations General Assembly vote tomorrow. But make no mistake: his generals are telling him time works against him, and the rest of Ukraine is for him to take.

As I explained in 1938?, Hitler moved against Austria before a free vote could be held. After conquering Austria, and Crimea, Hitler, and Putin, were able to organize referenda with exactly 97%, for their dictatorships.

Ukraine is to vote May 25. Putin’s tanks will attack before that, except if he gets persuaded something horrendous lays in his future, should he do so. Can the West look sufficiently scary? That is the question.

War primes everything. War makes history. That, Putin, former head of the Russian Gestapo (KGB, FSB) knows all too well.

Patrice Aymé

PLUTOCRACY: NEW WORLD ORDER

May 4, 2013

Western Intelligence, Oriental Despotism; Redux? Democratic Occident, Fascist Orient, & Vice Versed?

Obama just  nominated Commerce Secretary the billionaire heiress who discovered him, and introduced him to the Rubin-Summers-Goldman-Sachs-Citigroup conspiracy. Penny Priztker was condemned to pay a 460 million dollar fine by the Federal government in 2001, for financial malfeasance. 460 million, that’s more than Mitt Romney’s fortune… a fortune which made small rank and file democrats huff and puff, in indignation, a few months ago, just like their mighty masters told them to do (plutocrats such as the Pritzkers are the real thing, and Obama, their boy, not to say, servant).

Now, if the 460 million dollars fine felon becomes chief of commerce, that’s fine, as long as the masters of the people don’t ask the People to huff and puff about the fine. The finer the fine, the finer the master, say the little People, and they bleat, satisfied. As a grateful, and hopeful, Obama put it:”Priztker is one of the most eminent personalities of our country“. When Pluto reigns, down is up.

When Common Decency Is A Hindrance

When Common Decency Is A Hindrance

Plutocracy is the New World Order. The New World Thinking. The New World Emoting.

To get some perspective on this, it’s good to have a retrospective look at the greatest plutocratic realms of the past, and ponder why extremely wealthy fascism rose, increasingly, in the Orient, while clever democracy rose, occasionally, in the West. And sometimes fell, disastrously, for reasons related.

It turns out that, when Rome became fascist and plutocratic, it turned to, and into, Oriental despotism, and criminals, indeed, came to command and control. Criminality became morality.

***

PERSIA REIGNED WITH ALL CRAFTS; YET NOT SMART ENOUGH:

Establishing  giant, metastatic empires in the Orient is nothing new: the Hittites tried it, they proceeded to invade Lebanon and the rich valleys behind, Egyptian territory. However young Pharaoh Ramses II, defeated them at Qadesh, next to present day Damascus. Through courageous combat in that battle which defined his long rule, Ramses rescued victory from the jaws of defeat, somewhat miraculously.

Ramses lost ground, though, and later made a loving peace with his enemies. Then, the Hittites having been destroyed by the mysterious coalition of the Peoples of the Sea, the Assyrians tried to impose their own giant metastatic empire, using the harshest methods. That brought them so many enemies that they got invaded from all quarters, annihilated as a nation first, and an army, later.

Then the union of Medes and Persians, thanks to three remarkable leaders, established a giant fascist empire, from Ethiopia to Central Asia, Libya to India. The third emperor, Darius, besides being excellent at sword-play in the dark, and a great general, proved capable of using a free market economy, switching to so called Keynesianism, and then a command and control economy, as needed. Darius established a giant “Royal” road network (ancestral to the one the Romans would build, four centuries later).

A Persian Pony Express, with posts every five miles, would bring news from distant corners of the empire in a week. Darius went on to invade the Scythians, land of the Amazons, present day Ukraine.

Darius’ Persia was the greatest empire, so far, larger than the present day continental USA. It became so, thanks to a great variety of methods of socio-economic governance. Some of these methods would later be used by the West, massively. Not just the communication network, the free market, the command and control, but also a crafty diplomacy of seduction, cooptation and local autonomy (that’s how the Ionian Greeks and Phoenicians became collaborators of Persia; whereas Alexander would annihilate Tyr).

However, unbelievably, tiny Athens broke the Persian empire, inaugurating the next great event, still on-going, the rise of the West. Again and again, minuscule Greek armies routed the juggernauts of professional giant armies. Again and again, small democracies proved superior to large fascist foes. I claimed that mental superiority entailed military superiority.

***

FREE IN THE WEST, SLAVES IN THE EAST:

Herodotus explained the Greeks’ military superiority: free men are more motivated in battle, as they fight for themselves, he said. But it’s not clear that elite Persian soldiers did not feel free. They no doubt felt rather free, but not as much.

I hold something slightly different, a new dimension of understanding: free men, living in an “open society” are not just more motivated, but, simply, more intelligent. Yes, intelligent.

Yet how come that the free men tended to be in the West, and the subjugated ones, in the East? And this for 4,000 years, defining the “West” as anything west of Mount Lebanon. Why did so much of the Mediterranean turn out propitious to freedom and individual initiative? What of the enormous Celto-German forests, from Spain to the Baltics?

Two factors played a role:

1) Trade, with the big man, the leader being the ship owner-captain (Tyr, Phoenicia, Crete, Athens, Carthage, etc.). This required to excel at technology and adaptative intelligence, confronting nature.

2) Small owner-peasants. The West’s agricultural system did better thanks to small, free owner-peasants.  The owner peasant was captain of his own plot of land, and found himself in a situation roughly similar to the ship captain. Such people worked hard, and thought hard about outwitting nature. All of Germany was this way, until the military encroachment of Rome in the beginning of its plutocratic phase, brought, by reaction, a militarization of German society (this is what archeology shows).

A demographic core of owner-peasants was the core of the success of the Roman republic, and its successors, the Imperium Francorum, and France, or anything working along French lines (most of Europe). When enjoying this basic culture, of free, independent peasants, the West did very well. Why so? Because thinking by oneself, for oneself, makes one more intelligent.

***

WHY THE ORIENT IS DUMBER:

The Orient did better when the peasants could cultivate. That meant, when they had water. That was not obvious in the increasingly parched lands, from the Maghreb to India. First, there, one needed to bring water to agricultural lands. Whereas in the West, both water and arable land were in the same place, not so in the East. In the East water was on rocky mountains, arable lands in parts of plains at the bottom of said mountains. To bring the former to the latter, one needed great hydraulic works. Underground canalizations, sometimes fifty feet deep, could extend dozens of miles.

Such extensive works meant armies of workers and maintenance people. And also standing armies to establish and protect the necessary order. Plus a field army to roam around the empire, and keep the static defenses obedient.

In other words, food on the carpet in the parched, basin and range Orient meant a large fascist system to make it possible, and everybody enslaved to it, in a military organization (Christianity and Islam, both oriental religions, kept much of this essential psychological character: fascist god on top, giving absolute, even capricious  orders to its slaves below).

***

ALL TOGETHER NOW, DOWN THE ROMAN ROAD TO HELL?

What consequences today? Western countries do not depend upon small owner-peasants anymore, but upon giant farms, or agribusinesses, for food procurement. Even trade has become unbalanced: production on one end of the Earth, increasing unemployment, at the other end.

Giant agribusinesses, and unbalanced trade became facts of empire in Rome, and lasted centuries. It was a deliberate plot of Roman plutocracy. At some point, six senatorial families owned most of North Africa. Seneca, Nero’s tutor, the plutocratic philosopher of note, used to boast that he had no idea how many giant properties he owned on the various continents.

That delocalization and globalization made Rome, and Italy into an empty shell of its former self. As those who had the power, the senatorial families, wished. What they feared first, was a proud, potent, empowered People.

(Part of) Italy would resurrect as independent republics, more than a millennium later.

What’s the morality of the story? Men have a strong instinct for doing things right. In a plutocratic system, though, men who do things wrong get rewarded, and this goes on, until the situation exponentiates and breaks down. Thus plutocratic systems are intrinsically pathological: they reward criminals. Not just criminal according to the laws of men, but criminals according to the laws of nature.

In the Orient, life is harder, less natural, militarization exploits part of the Dark Side, because human beings, by living there, live in a less optimal situation. In the West, the rise of plutocracy did not have these excuses.

The Romans knew this well. The Roman republic was the product of a revolution against Tarquinus Superbus, the king of Rome, of Etruscan origin. So the founding act of five centuries of Roman republic was an anti-plutocratic revolt. Same for Athens (several times, during the same centuries).

The Romans passed a strong anti-plutocratic law. That law limited, by force the size of a family’s fortune; it fixed an upper bound on how much one could own. The Second Punic war saw the death, on the battlefield, of too many of the best leading Romans. Meanwhile the conspirators of wealth, back behind the walls of the fortified cities, as Hannibal was roaming the countryside, established a New World order of rents.

When Carthage got defeated, those men of greed kept on pushing, and tried to grab control of the state. After several wars of distraction against Macedonia, Carthage, Numantia, Corinth, etc. it became clear that was what was going on to thousands of the best Romans, led by top nobles (in mind and ancestry), the Gracchi.

The Gracchis mostly tried to impose the wealth limitation law. They also succeeded to impose a land redistribution (an unthinkable socialist measure in the post Thatcher-Reagan world!). Yet, the Gracchi and their supporters lost a civil war. All got killed, by the private armies of the plutocrats. By 100 BCE, when Caesar was born, the dice had long been thrown. Only extreme measures could address the situation (extreme measures that Caesar and Cicero, on the good side, would try).

Now what? Losing democracy, means, ultimately, that we will lose not just freedom, but intelligence itself. It is difficult to imagine how the Americans will pull out of their present death spiral into furthering the wealth of the .1%. When bandits are called “philanthropists”, all values have been inverted in a country: gangsters are in control, the mafia has got metastatic. It will go on, all inverted, until it explodes, or get trampled over. The commerce chief will be a certified felon.

The situation in Europe is not as desperate: conditions for a revolt exist. Although Goldman Sachs has its servants in place all over, the Italians threw out one of them, a Goldman Sachs partner, Mario Monti, at the first chance they got.

Some may sneer, as they notice that, once again I used “Orient” and “Occident” according to old Greco-Roman semantics. What of the true Orient, the far-out East, China and company? Well, I will hide behind my usual observation: it’s Western culture that conquered the world. Present day China’s ideology has very little that is specifically Chinese, besides what the West and China had in common, such as the more or less free market. The idea of “People” (Populus) and “Republic” (Respublica) are Roman. So the very title of China, the “People Republic of China” is, well, (Greco-)Roman.

The dangers threatening China, accordingly, like those threatening us, are those that devastated the Roman republic. For the reasons exposed above, the development in the West, of a more advanced civilization was first, thus why everybody adopted it later.  Rome was first to rise as high as it did. But, the greater the rise, the greater the fall. By 700 CE, the fall of Rome had been so great, that China had risen higher, on many indicators. The West, invaded by hordes of savages for more than six hundred years (beyond even 400 CE to 1000 CE) was fighting for survival.

Plutocracy as a New World Order is not just the end of many things. In the fullness of time, plutocracy is the end of everything.

Even the Will to Power. Slave masters are not so masterful. After all, they are enslaved to their slaves.

When Rome went down, Roman plutocrats whined that the “world was getting old“. By this they meant that resources were being exhausted. Unbeknownst to them, they were the cause of this aging, of this lack of renewal. Its stupidity plutocratic civilization could not find a way out of the box it had built. It needed really new technologies; it did not have the brains to discover them. And it could not have acquired these brains without losing control.

Right now, the world is not getting old, it’s getting killed. And that’s worst.

***

Patrice Ayme

Aphorism January 2012

January 11, 2012

***

Species Shifting North, Intelligence Left Behind:

Nothing like raw numbers. In the last twenty years, Europe warmed up by one degree Celsius (about 2 degrees in the primitive, less meaningful Fahrenheit system). That’s equivalent to a thermal shift of 249 kilometers north.

Insects responded by an average shift north of 114 kilometers, and birds by only 33 kilometers. This is creating imbalances (fully obvious in Alaska, and high altitude North America, where the insects move faster than their predators, killing entire forests, which then burn).

This differential adaptation also illustrates an important point the stupid partisans of the “market” always neglect: being more intelligent can make you slower. Birds are more intelligent than insects, so they find harder to leave their families, friends, habits, and landscapes they are familiar with behind. (No, I will not say that insects are more like Americans, driven by the market, and birds more like Europeans, driven also by broader values. I shall resist, lest I move too fast, like an insect, and outrage part of my brainy readership…)

Thus, as the market dominates, so does the stupid.

Adaptation is not always a manifestation of intelligence, and inadaptation often a sign of intelligence. A well known experience is to put a fly, or a bee, inside an open bottle, with a light source opposed to the opening. The bee will search intelligently the bottom of the bottle, where the exit ought to be. The less intelligent fly will buzz around stupidly, and exit first.

It’s no wonder that the partisan of the markets, who are richer and thus more influential, are for something stupid, as they are faster, precisely because they are more stupid, with fewer values, besides the colossal greed which dominates their psyche. So there is a non linear vicious loop, the more the market dominates.

Thus, next year the candidate historically financed by Wall Street will confront the extremely wealthy businessman cum politician, son of his father, also a governor cum businessman. Market against market: the market should not lose. The birds will be left behind by the fast moving insects, once again. Change you can’t believe in.

***

Where is everybody?

Lord” (!) Martin Rees, “Astronomer Royal”, Nobel laureate, etc., complete with pretty pictures and beautifully spooky music, speculates it’s teeming with aliens out there.

But as Enrico Fermi quipped:”Where is everybody?

The situation is not helped by us understanding very little about what the universe is made of. In the latest numbers I saw the universe was made 4% conventional matter, and the rest was… Dark. Mostly Dark Energy, with some Dark Matter. Who said the Dark Side was not important?

There are no dominant theories of what the Darkness is made of.

CERN should be able to find stuff below its energy reach. So far, nothing.

We have detected more than 150 planets. It seems one star out of ten, at least, has planets. Some have been detected in the habitable zone, where liquid water is found. But the water has to be continuously present for billions of years. Continuously (which did not happen on Mars and Venus).

400 billion stars in our galaxy. The big question is how many planets can harbor advanced (=oxygen breathing) life. No inkling of that. There are plenty of planets out there, indeed, but most hostile to life. So far. How Much Intelligent Life Out There? On Earth, it took 1.5 billion years to go from advanced life to intelligent, civilized life. A lot of things can go wrong in 1.5 billion years.

That advanced life did not develop on Mars or Venus is not an accident: although on the outskirts of the habitable zone, either planet did not have what it took. Mars was too small, and, just like Venus was not protected by a powerful plate tectonic, with accompanying magnetic field, among other problems (so the solar wind blowing the top of the atmosphere stole the hydrogen, hence water, etc.)

My hunch is that most planets in the hospitable zone, when found, will be bereft of advanced life, although primitive life may be quite frequent. Reason? Too many miracles at work for billions of years in the solar system. Especially in light of what we find out there (We see plenty of Jupiter size planets in close orbits around their suns, presumably after sweeping their entire system clean; OK, that’s partly a result of the method used to find planets presently, but the fact is, we find such situations aplenty! The presence of Jupiter out there, as our guardian protecting Earth from comets looks quite miraculous…)

***

If You Want To Save the Biosphere, Push Tech:

Some people in the Netherlands have suggested building an artificial mountain. It’s feasible, and would be smart to do, not just there, but say in a place such as Saudi Arabia (technical variations on the theme could collect water, as in cloud, or fog forests found in California or Peru).

Another point is that artificial mountains could help protect biological diversity from the greenhouse heating. Cynics would point out that it would take an enormous amount of energy to build them. True, with present tech, and the energy would be dirty too, presently. But that would be another motivation to go green. Green and big.

***

Wind Fall-Out:

Most wind-driven energy system in Europe? Denmark. Most CO2 polluting country in Europe? Denmark. Coal power plants pick up the slack when the wind falters. Another case where nuclear offers its smiling face. Future nuclear that is. Not your great grandfather’s nuclear. Past nuclear tech should be terminated, just like coal. However, there are 100 unexploited, un-researched nuclear energies out there, and only those with insignificant waste will be acceptable. (Nobody would accept a fossil fuel system where only 2% of the fuel would be burned, and the rest allowed to pollute all over!)

Reminder: as the greenhouse heating proceeds, winds will falter because the heat differential between poles and equator will sink, thus shutting down that thermal engine known as the atmosphere (yes, hurricanes will be rarer, but fiercer).  

***

Institutionalized insanity Versus Thinking Right:

In Switzerland a nuclear plant was built one kilometer downstream from a dam, along the same river. None of those two could resist the sort of very strong quake happening occasionally in the Alps. A flood cum nuclear explosion is entirely imaginable. This sort of insanity has nothing to do with nuclear power, it has everything to do with lack of intelligence.

This is all the more strange since some Swiss cantons such as Valais get 20% of their GDP from research. By the way the medical drug sector part of GDP is twice the banking sector in Switzerland. For those who wonder why Switzerland is so rich (the same holds for Sweden and other Nordic company). It’s not (just) about the banks.

***

(More) Direct Democratic Keeps Bankers At Bay:

The weight of direct democracy has forced Swiss banks into reserve requirements twice those of the future Basel III regulations. (In other words, banks are many times tamer in Switzerland than in the USA, if one uses reserve requirements enforced as a measuring device; Basel III does not cover most of the enormous derivative trading, though.)

The scandal of the central banker heading the Swiss Central Bank buying dollars days before taking the decision of making the dollar explode up against the Swiss franc keeps unfolding. Yes, he knew about the trades, and yes, he had days to stop them afterwards.

It is dawning over Swiss society that those with privileged information should not be legally allowed to exploit them. The whole planet has to follow down that line. But, although it has been obvious for years that American and European politicians and central bankers are rich from insider trading, nothing has been done. Yet.

***

The Plutocrats Cash Out And Shame Does Not Count:

What looked to me as the immensely stupid and arrogant wife of the Swiss Bank President, explained herself from Singapore, where she owns an art gallery. If she really wanted to make real money out of her husband’s job, she knew how to do it, she asserted confidently. And there she was going through a list (a), b), c), d), etc… of things she would have done if she wanted to make more than the measly $75,000 she made. And how to make them secretly, she insisted.

Her name is “Kashya”, appropriately pronounced “Cashia”. In this case, Cashia said, in her native American English, they were in a rush, because they just had some cash from selling a chalet to store, so that is why she hid nothing.  That brings a few questions, such as whether she is used to exploit the mechanisms of further cheating she explicated so adroitly on TV. The central banker, the plutocrat Hildebrand, having resigned, will get a million dollar salary in the next year, from the People, while his fellow plutocrats will rush to propose him a much more protitable conspiracy to join. I propose to put him in jail, instead.

***

Another Claim Of Mental Decline. And The Agenda Behind It: There Is No Good Wisdom, Except Dead Wisdom, Say Plutocrats:

Supposedly some new test showed a decline in “cognitive capabilities” starting at age 45. Apparently people were asked to remember lists of words starting with some particular letters. It does not seem to have come to the mind of the experimenters that maybe older brains do not like to remember such stupid stuff.

Thinking means motivating. Without the right motivation, there is not the right thinking.

In the case of “IQ”, a decline is observed at 24, some say… Military officers would concur that it is better to send 18 year olds to die, because they are bright enough to execute orders well, but not so bright that they would know that they might die for no good reason.

A related point: no doubt a two-year old training to go potty remembers very well each time she goes. Whereas an adult tends to lose this facility of neurological retention for this sort of event. One generally observes. But it is not because adults have suffered mental decline that they do not remember every poop. Simply, they have seen lots of poop passing by.

Actually the argument can be made that consciousness and conscious memorization are needed to deploy automatisms, but once those are in place, they are not needed anymore, and so consciousness, and conscious recall should not be present.

When I was a young driver, I remembered everything I did when driving a car, but now I do it automatically, remembering very few of my gestures. When driving, my consciousness is mostly watching for the unforeseen.

Is there a political interpretation explaining such mental declines claims? Indeed, there is. As people get older, they elaborate higher wisdom. Thus, although the soldiers of revolution are typically very young people, because they have their aggression hormones less tempered by wisdom, the leaders of revolution are typically much older.

Let me explain this carefully: fascist and plutocratic leaders typically claim that they are “conservatives“. It means that they justify their mean rule by a refusal to adapt to changed circumstances.

As the French revolution stirred, the most esteemed leaders were senior citizens such as Voltaire or Benjamin Franklin, and everybody looked up to them, from Louis XVI to Turgot; on the Dark Side, many of the leaders, such as the Comte d’ Artois, were barely teenagers.

Closer to us, in WWII, the SS seduced many a 16 year old. In the last few weeks of the war, many of the most enraged Nazis fighting to the bitter end with the allies in the mountainous heart of Germany were school children with heavy weapons. In more than one case, disgusted American GIs, reluctant to blow up some more enraged children to bits, sent their school mistresses to negotiate with them!

If the (plutocratic) establishment can claim that revolutionary wisdom is actually the fruit of mental decline, presto, no revolution. It will be “conservatism” all the way.

***

Why Do We Want To Always Support Winners?

Supporting the home team is easy to understand: this is the tribal instinct. Human beings are social, they have to love the group, thus dislike what hinders the group, namely, other groups.

One has to love the leader(s) of the group, the alpha(s). In general, to abate social tensions, an instinct has got to exist, which makes the oppressed love the oppressor, or let’s say, the inferior love the superior. or even love the winning group, to be motivated to join it. Something more plausible to females. Hence Beatlemania.

***

If One Wants Happiness, One Should Prepare For The Worst:

Pe Romaneste: So happiness must be an accident.

Alexi Helligar: There seems to be greater power in the accidental than we imagine.

Patrice Ayme: Indeed, to a great extent, everything is accidental. Realizing this means that those who complain that something happened accidentally, and, thus, was not expected, have not understood the first thing about causality. Accidents is how the world happens. Wisdom consists in anticipating their occurrence, and having a plan B, should they occur.

***

Brutality Is Friendly To Plutocracy, Long Life Friendly To Wisdom:

Only wisdom can allow long life. Really very long life, lasting centuries, for individuals or civilization. Short lives are brutish, and this has the consequence in many a perpetrator, to spurn whatever life is offered. Indeed a good way to spurn something is by devaluing it. The brutality of the human condition is self reinforcing…

This why human life extension is a necessity, a preliminary, for the extension of wisdom. Because as long as lives are short and brutish, the short and brutish way of life is all too optimal, for all too many people (although those with children, or grandchildren they love will disagree, but they are not necessarily a majority). 

This is something that life spurning plutocrats such as Mr. Jobs have been busy not understanding, as brutality is their friend.

***

Plutocrats Love Death Indeed:

Steve Jobs, despite leaving Reed College after six months, was asked to give the 2005 commencement speech at Stanford. Why? Did Jobs invent anything important? (Disclosure: My Mom offered me an ultra light Mac Air, and I love it.) No, he was just an artistic technology integrator, but not necessarily as mechanically oriented as a car mechanic (his partner Wozniak was the programmer, but even this one finished his college studies in computer science, 20 years later, at Berkeley, and found them hard!)

In his Stanford address, delivered after Mr. Jobs was told he had cancer, but before it was clear that it would ultimately claim his life, Mr. Jobs told his mesmerized audience of naive sheep that “death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent.”

In this light, the invasion of Iraq by Bush and his fanatical followers made sense: by visiting more than one million deaths upon Iraq, the USA brought the single best invention of life. Everybody, or more exactly 83%, including a majority of Stanford students, agreed, at the time.

Is this love of death why Jobs refused conventional medical treatment initially, until it was too late? Jobs insisted that the benefit of death, is you know not to waste life living someone else’s choices. I guess that extended to the medical.

Verily, death came first, and was denied by life. Life is the denial of death. Life did not have to invent death.

***

Hormuz Crisis Versus Suez Crisis: Spot The Difference!

Why did the USA not get upset when Nasser seized the Suez canal, in 1956? And actually why did the USA instead use the occasion to threaten Israel, Britain and France? Not just that, but president Eisenhower aligned himself with the Egyptian, and Soviet dictators. The Soviets, while invading Hungary, killing at least 40,000 Hungarians, threatened to atom bomb London and Paris. With the loud acquiescence of the USA… Which got France and Britain, not the mass murderous USSR, condemned at the United Nations’ general Assembly. What a crazy week it was.

And now, 55 years later, lo and behold, the USA is getting all upset as Iran wants to stop what’s going on below its nose in the strait of Hormuz? Just asking. Inquiring minds want to know.

Is it that in 1956, France and Britain were viewed as preys of the USA? And now that the USA has grabbed everything from France and Britain, they want to be friends again? Because the rich need servants, maybe? In any case, the Suez Crisis was an incongruous reminder that, in 1939, the USA was allied with the USSR and Nazi Germany, against France and Britain (oopss, something one should never say!)

And my advice would be to be very careful with Hormuz. If one wants long life, one does not want long wars. And one does not want fossil fuels. The sooner we get rid of fossil fuels, the better, and if Hormuz helps that way, so be it. The messy Iranian theocracy will not win a waiting game.

***

No Change, No Life!

What the USA needs to do is to do what all serious countries do, and have always done: change its constitution, since the changed circumstances require it.

***

Cool Is Not Cool:

“Cool”. Why is “cool” such a popular word? Is it supposed to correspond to an attitude? Is it a mark of, and a tool for, our subjugation?

So Obama is confronted to the greatest financial thievery in the history of civilization, and that leaves him “cool“? Having rebooted the perpetrators with public money he goes to them to ask for a billion to campaign for re-election? Cool? I mean: we are not supposed to blow our tops when we contemplate such injustice in the name of change we can’t believe?

In Europe, pretty amazingly intricate financial and semantic engineering is presently deployed to save the banks and the sovereign states entangled with them. There again the bottom line is that the resources of the countries are deployed for the exclusive enjoyment of the few, who happen to be the greatest swindlers ever. Although they are presented as too big to flay.

Actually the same technique as in the USA, Quantitative Easing, is being deployed, and on a similar scale. But, as the head of the European Central Bank, an ex Goldman Sachs partner, pointed out sardonically, a scornful smile on the corner of his mouth, Europeans use a different semantic: they don’t call it Quantitative Easing. Therein the difference. Is not that cool too?

Is the greenhouse effect already that bad that cool is the ultimate state one ought to strive for with all of one’s being? Or are we supposed to reject our mammalian inheritance? Mammals, by being warmer, could do more. So, when climate change happened 65 million years ago, they survived (so did the very warm birds, who evolved from bird-like dinosaurs). Are we supposed to do less now, and not survive? Or then survive like crocs, deep in the mud, super cool, eating carrion?

Is “cool” imposed on us so that people know no higher emotional state than iguanas? Become cool like barnacles, as we cling to the existence the plutocrats condescend to leave us to enjoy? Being so cool we would not be like the American and French hot heads who came forth with new constitutions in 1789? 

So is the celebration of “cool” what forces us to not be outraged, as plutocrats steal and burn the entire planet to forget about their megalomaniac angst? To forget they are just crazy critters in need of some restraint? Is “cool” the state slaves are supposed to be in to optimize the enjoyment of their masters? Is it only cool to be cool like corpses?

***

France anti-genocide law denounced by Turkey:

Now this is hilarious. France passed a law punishing convicted holocaust deniers by up to one year in jail and 45,000 euros fine.

Fine, indeed. Who would turn into a partisan, a defender of holocausts? Is not holocaust denial a form of hate speech? Holocausts remain a problem, because when one has killed most of a human group, there is nearly nobody to complain on their behalf: other people move on, as herbivores do, once one of them has been seized and devoured.

France’s national Assembly passed the anti-genocidal law, with bipartisan support. And what do you think happened?

Erdogan, the three time elected Prime Minister of Turkey, had a fit: how does France dare make holocaust denial a crime? He forbade French fighter jets to land in Turkey (so I guess the no fly zone over Syria will be delayed), recalled the Turkish ambassador to France, and stopped all talks with France.

And the questions are: why does the present government in Turkey love holocausts so much? Are holocaust such an endangered species that Turkey has to protect them with all its might?

Why does Turkey consider that a general attack against holocausts is an attack against Turkey? Is it because holocausts are intrinsic to the Turkish character? Or is it because holocausts are mentioned positively in the Bible and the Qur’an, and the present Turkish government is obsessed with the religion of the child molester Abraham? Is this why Erdogan is angry?

***

We Are Truth Machines.

That monkeys now build cities has not changed that truth. No hallucination added in the last 6,000 years has changed that truth either. Science is what we do, and what stands in the way of that fundamental truth, faces extermination.

***

 Patrice Ayme

MONEY DOES NOT THINK.

September 8, 2008

… BUT DEMOCRACY DOES, THAT’S ITS FORTE. THE US ECONOMY IS NOW HEADLESS BECAUSE DEMOCRACY IS BEING DEVOURED BY AN  INCREASINGLY STRONGER PLUTOCRACY.
***
The USA just nationalized the two largest US banks holding 45% of US mortgages (total worth: about half of US GDP). But nobody in the USA wants to use the word “nationalization”. Hey it would sound socialist, or even, God forbids, French!

The famous economist from Princeton, Paul Krugman opines in the New York Times that: “the Fannie-Freddie rescue was a good thing. But it takes place in the context of a broader economic struggle — a struggle we seem to be losing.”

Losing? The US economy is failing because it is a horse without a rider. It has eaten all the grass in its small enclosure, but it can’t get out on its own, and it needs to be led somewhere else by a more intelligent creature.

The basic socioeconomic mistake of the Nixonian, Reaganoid USA has been to believe that the “free market” should, and can control all. Since what’s most free in the market is what, and who, has most money, to believe that the free market should control all, is another way of saying that money should control all, and so that money-power – in one word, plutocracy – should reign. (Come to think of it “free market” is a euphemism for the concept of capital, a good way to make old critiques look obsolete by changing the label on the product!)

Abdicating to plutocracy is a complete misunderstanding of what the role of democracy is, and a full violation of the United States of America’s Constitution.

For a reminder here is how the Constitution starts:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Where is the free market in this? It is nowhere to be found. The Preamble does not start with: “We the Free Market of the United States of America”. It starts with: “We the People”. And the People has power. It is not: “We the Free Market and Rich People of the United States, and its Venture Capitalists, in order to create more Riches to ourselves and our Posterity, and establish more injustice, promote the general Welfare of the higher ups in the Chinese Communist Party and secure the general misery of the People, establish this Delocalization of the Constitution of the United States of America…”

Thanks to decades, even generations of extreme, fantastic right wing propaganda, the United States of America’s population has macerated in the warm mantra that the free market is not just the best path to prosperity, but also is best to decide all strategies and every single thing about the economy. This extremely deep propaganda blossomed in the late forties, when Nixon became a force in the USA, by accusing his Congresswoman opponent to be “pink right down to her underwear”.

Money-power as the ultimate ruler means that whatever or whoever has the most money takes the most important decisions. Laws and regulations do not come in the way (since they have no power, relatively speaking, the power being in the money, not in the representants of the people as such).

So the cities’ very extensive electric tramway systems were dismantled. No maneuver was abject enough to dismantle public transportation. General Motors bought the San Francisco Bay bridge and owned it just long enough to dismantle the train that was going over it, and maximize its car carrying capacity. And so on all over. In general, train operators, less popular in Washington (Smaller bribes? Less glamorous? Or was it that they had fewer actresses around than Howard Hughes?), were neglected, and all the money went to car companies, airlines, the oil industry, etc. Trains and their lines, which transport most goods (even in the USA) were neglected. But of course electric trains as used in Europe are much more energy efficient, and that was bad for maximizing the oil industry and those who like to profit from invading the Middle East and make deals there (Carlyle group, Bush family, countless oil cartels, etc…).

Anyway the big picture is that the so called free market decided where the US economy would go. Bigger SUVs to go along with the bigger potholes. What the US society has overlooked is this: the economy does not exist independently of the sociology. The SOCIOECONOMY IS JUST ONE BLOCK. The economy controls the country, and even the minds. This was not just true in the USSR. Indeed most of United States media control (with the vague exception of NPR and some PBS, restricted to a small elite audience) is in private hands. This is not compensated by the State having a strong independent voice, because elections are literally bought in the USA. Such enormously injurious facts to the concept of democracy are no figure of speech and acidic critique. They are just facts. So those who have the most money end up with the most control, as the present presidential campaign in the USA demonstrates … on both sides…

Since the search for profits has masqueraded as a search for a socioeconomic policy, the USA has piled up insane economic decisions, that connect deeply with American semantics, and American minds.

Take “house ownership”. Absurd statistics are brandished about it (most Americans are homeowners, etc…). The simplest hurtful truth, though, is that many Americans feel that they are proud homeowners, when all they do is to rent their house to a bank at such outrageous rates that they cannot have much of a life (besides feeding the bank). The whole credit crisis has to do with the fact that US citizens are discovering this, and are starting to pull away from that exploitation scheme, thus mightly hurting bank profits (subprime is just a sideshow).

And so on. As long as “We the People” does not become master of its own destiny, captain of its own soul, and does not treat the economy and money as instruments in the service of “general Welfare”, the United States socioeconomy will go down, relatively speaking.

Plutocracies can’t compete with countries with a higher democratic index. Republican Rome defeated the Hellenistic kingdoms and Carthage, simultaneously, because, at the time, Rome was less plutocratic and more democratic than them. This pattern has renewed itself throughout history. Rome, in the end, became a plutocracy too, and then it went down of its own weight, freedom crushed by money, and the few who had it (the “Barbarian” invasions, by tiny armed bands, were more of a symptom of the disease than the disease itself). That, too is a pattern of history: plutocracy can collapse a civilization all by itself. There is no need for an ecological disaster to cause a collapse, contrarily to what another American academic, Jared Diamond assumed, conveniently enough for US plutocracy. 
***

Patrice Ayme
***

P/S: 1) Increasingly much simpler version of this commentary were systematically barred by the Krugman team at the NYT (while hundreds of other comments were published; as we hinted in the case of Jared Diamond, claiming that the concept of plutocracy is of no import in the USA is viewed as extremely important by the wealthy owners of America, so they do not want to advertise this anathema).

2) The opposite of democracy is fascism. It is not plutocracy. But unconstrained plutocracy leads to fascism. Plutocracy arises by degeneracy from democracy.

3) A demonstration of the amazing hold of plutocracy occurred when Obama, supposedly the people’s candidate, refused to be financed by the state (his hope was to get more from hyper rich donors, in other words, the plutocracy; those people who do not mind forking out the median US salary to just be in the Presence… at a distance, rubbing with their peers… for a few minutes.) Amusingly the supposed candidate of the rich, McCain, accepted public money (thus forfeiting most direct private contributions). True, McCain had authored the public finance law, another reason why the plutocracy claims not to trust him (besides, what can they offer to him?) Even more amusingly, suddenly private money, having apparently second thoughts, seems to find it less rewarding to get to Obama. Out Machiavellizing Machiavelism seems to be where it’s at. That’s why we are trying to simplify the debate.


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Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

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SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

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

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

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

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

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

ianmillerblog

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

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

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

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

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

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

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

ianmillerblog

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

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism