Posts Tagged ‘Logic’

In Defense of Metaphysics

March 3, 2015

Metaphysics Rises From Brainy Ground, Including What Dreams Are Made Of:

Nihilism is what happens when Metaphysics is yanked out. And nothing could be further from the Truth. Much of the trouble with the present planet can be directly tracked to inappropriate Metaphysics. Let me explain this a bit in this first part. Metaphysics is, indeed, about religion, what ties people up together again, but it’s also about Logic (with a capital L).

Metaphysics is everywhere. Everybody uses it, in everyday language. Some will say: ”Oh, that just language.” Yes, but language is ideas, and ideas get embodied as brain structure. So here we see that not only metaphysics exists, but it is physically embodied. Any victim of Jihadism can testify that metaphysics has real consequences.

Before defining Metaphysics, one has to define “physics”. That was what the Romans called nature. Physis is “nature,” from phyein “to bring forth, produce, make to grow” (related to phyton “growth, plant,” phyle “tribe, race,” phyma “a growth, tumor”). Physis is everywhere.

Imagine You Are Being Watched Maybe Help You Be Good

Imagine You Are Being Watched Maybe Help You Be Good

[Helix Nebula, an expanding shell from a dying star, 700 light years away, being transformed into a White Dwarf; ESO Southern Observatory Near IR on the left; visible light, on the right.]

Science is physical phenomena so well known that they can allow us to predict how things will grow.

But in the original sense all discourses about what exists and changes in nature is part of physics. Call this

Common Sense. Call it CS. Metaphysics is about telling a story beyond what we are sure all others will agree they also observed.

The brain is all connected inside: that’s how logic is embodied. Much of it is individualized, call it I. So we have: Metaphysics = I – CS.

CS depends upon one’s tribe. Metaphysics and I are, of course dependent upon the Individual.

And what is the Individual (brain) made of, and with? Experiences. Individualized experiences. All metamathematics is, clearly Metaphysics in some sense (arguably mathematics itself is, literally, metaphysics).

Set Theory is Metaphysics. That can be demonstrated easily: as all genuine Metaphysics, it is full of contradiction(s).

Badiou’s aphorism holds up pretty well: “Set theory is all the metaphysics you need, and physics all of the ontology.” Well, all the Metaphysics you needed to do some basic mathematics in the Twentieth Century… But not even all of it, hence the rise of Category Theory in the 1950s. This demonstrates that Metaphysics is not just beyond physics, it is eminently practical (because the mathematics invented by Grothendieck, PBUH, this advanced Algebraic Geometry is… practical).

Category Theory is very practical Metaphysics.

Carefully tailored Metaphysics can prove much. For example, I can devise Metaphysics where the circle can be squared (I just use my finite mathematics, end of proof).

According to the definition I gave above, the very definition of Metaphysics is that it is the set of all thought systems that harbor contradiction(s) to Common Sense (otherwise it would be Common Sense).

Could we do without Metaphysics?

Of course not. Metaphysics is beyond Common Sense. But we know something exists beyond Common Sense, say for example future or possible science, research projects, and, in general various guesses of all sorts, including artistic ones.

So it’s not all a question of “data”, in the restrictive sense, or, even more generally, “quanta”. Metaphysics is grounded beyond “data” in the restrictive sense. Guesses, intuitions, even desires and provocations, the feeling of what might be, or ought to be, are part of the “data” that grounds Metaphysics.

Our minds are not just grounded in hard facts, personal experiences and feelings, but even dreams, vague tendencies, feelings and emotions, let alone collective rages, and misunderstanding of history, much of it that we harbor in our inner spiritual recesses, as various infantile trauma.

In all this our very individualized Metaphysics are grounded. Lots of dream stuff. So people are invited not to deduce lethal consequences from it.

We need it.

But we also need to understand it. Especially when it animates our thermonuclear hands. Or those of others. Especially those of others. To understand, and fight, the Metaphysics of banksters, greedsters, archeo-imperialists, or Islamofascists, we need better, improved, and fully aware Metaphysics.

Patrice Ayme’

The Brain Is A Web, Thus So Is Reason

February 25, 2015

When one looks at linguistics, biological evolution (in the most general sense, including eco-systems), neurology, civilization, one does not see trees, inasmuch as we see webs with reactive (not to say intelligent) strands.

The latest news, in neurology is, indeed, that the white matter, made of glial cells, axons, oligodendrocytes, etc. itself reacts (not to say “think”).

Why should not reason itself be the same?

Should the brain be according to reason, or reason, according to the brain?

Once reason has become a web, it has a non-trivial topology (in particular with a genus).

Old Explanation: Genetic Evaluation. Truth: Plain Scary

Old Explanation: Genetic Evaluation. Truth: Plain Scary

The genius of genus.

The next natural question is whether reason has a metric, a geometry, a notion of proximity. Indeed look at the brain, namely, the mind. Some nerve impulses go as far as possible, all along a motor neuron, or along a long axon. However, others go short, and are manipulated, not just at the first synapse they meet, but even before this, along the axons themselves.

Some will fear for reason, as they read these lines.

But a model exists, in physics. Renormalization.

As a field strength augments, approaching its putative source, the field itself modifies the effect it is supposed to describe. There is no general theory of how this works (although some field theories are known as “renormalizable”).

To put it in terms non-specialists may understand, the force varies with, and because of, the force itself. In any case, electromagnetism starts with 1/d^2, and ends up very different.

Actually, any physical explanation adorned with a non-linear feedback resists to linear logic (hence the problems modelling a lot of natural phenomena, from thermonuclear fusion to hypersonic flow).

Look at the mood of submission to Islam: ever since the Charlie Hebdo attack, a general bending of reason to savagery, a vile submission to unreason, with the pretext of tranquility, has imposed itself. Representing something resembling what some imagined a so-called “Messenger” would look like is frowned upon. Outright censorship is applied in the Anglosphere.

(It is not just ironical, but an example of thoroughly dysfunctional, discontinuous, self-contradictory reason: as depicting human beings and gods is forbidden in Islam, so how would true Islamists know what their god, dog, messenger, or whatever would look like?)

Another meta-example is graciously offered by mathematics itself. Mathematics is the field depicting reason itself. However, it does not have safe foundations.

Category Theory was actually strong, because of the mood that underlays it. Namely that foundations, globally, should not be worried about, while, locally, much progress can done by making them richer (that’s what Grothendieck did).

So, once again, we see that reason is rich, and can get richer, but it is local, not global.

Evolution, as understood for most of the Twentieth Century, was driven by chance or weird considerations about reproduction (animals were supposed to prefer so and so because it allowed them to reproduce better… as if they cared!) For example, we were told the Peacock’s tail was there to show to females the beholder was healthy, hence would bear them more children.

(More refined recent studies show the obvious, just as with eyes on butterfly wings, Peacock tails may rather be scary devices, as anybody who has deployed an umbrella for a lions would know.)

Chance is here to say, but the big Damocles sword over facile explanations is Quantum Physics itself: the Quantum is teleological, and no doubt impact both genetics and epigenetics.

This means that the most inner machinery is not just potentially teleological, but really teleological.

That Biological Evolution did not exploit what is, after all, the most fundamental law of the physical world, the Quantum Process, as it progressed according to physics for 4 billion years, is, frankly, impossible.

Patrice Ayme’

MOODS RULE THOUGHTS

December 26, 2014

Systems Of Moods Overwhelm Systems of Thought.

MOODS MAKE UP THE GENETICS OF LOGIC:

Are we born with “instincts” such as “care”, and the like? Or do we learn? I believe we learn (much of this being fast learning, and, mostly, subconscious). How does that work? Well, it would work from General Topology informing neurogenesis.

French philosopher Foucault baptized himself historian of systems of thought, when he got a professorship at the prestigious Collège de France in 1970. (Collège de France, the ultimate think institution, is five centuries old.)

I have gone one further, by introducing Systems of Moods. Why moods? Emotion Primes Reason. However, rarely does one emotion rule alone, but for ravenous hunger, abject terror, and other animalistic crazes. Instead, when we meditate ponderously, we are usually ruled by moods.

What’s a mood? It’s a cocktail of emotions. Systems of Moods are articulated with their own logic. Pascal discovered this, when he said “Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison n’a pas”.

Why and how does the “heart” have its own logic? The answer has to do with where does logic come from? Logic is basically about arrows, implications: ’if A, then B’.

Where do these “thens”, these implications, come from? When one says:’I have a bad feeling about this’, one reasons out of a mood: the forest is suddenly too quiet, or a bird made an alarm sound… And suddenly all of one’s senses are in full alert.

Sets of moods will tend to topological relations. Instead of the one to one relations of logic or category theory. Topology, the logic of places, can bring to bear relationships that are much more general than ‘if A then B’. Relations such as: ’if A is close to B while C is close to D, when closer to A than B, then…’

This topo-logic can be embodied by neurohormones, neurotransmitters, and the neighborhoods they create (neighborhood is here used in the exact mathematical, General Topological sense). This no idle theory: it’s known that dendrites, and other neuronal structures, tend to grow in some directions, depending upon these chemicals. That means that the neurological relations of linear logic are built from the emotional and neurohormonal calculus.

***

AN EXAMPLE WHERE MOODS DOMINATE, AND LOGIC IS SECONDARY:

I am going to use an example that arose from my adventures at a philosophy website. It’s rather complex, so let me give an abstract first: a philosophy professor drew a correct conclusion, yet the EXACT OPPOSITE conclusion is also valid. How is that possible? It is because, once some moods and emotions are rolled out, logic can go one way, or the other.

So much for the old hope that determinism and logic (in the conventional sense) rule all.

The example was extracted from Scientia Salon, a site run by university philosophers.

Philosophy professor Gregg Caruso considered polls on the behavior of USA citizens (that’s called “experimental philosophy”). Verdict? The relationship between believing in Free Will and believing that low lives dug their own fates, seems strong in the USA.

Gregg wrote: “juries — eager to preserve their belief in a just world — are already inclined to see the victim … as other than innocent… just one unfortunate example of the pernicious nature of belief in a just world… since, of course, if the world is just, then people must have brought these circumstances upon themselves. This blaming of victims (in defense of belief in a just world) has been established by numerous studies… the stronger the belief in a just world the greater the likelihood of blaming victims for their unfortunate fates.”

Any society rests on logic. The logic does not have to be all-embracing, it just has to be effective enough to support the social organization. Gregg’s general thesis is a good antidote to the present logic dominating the USA. Yet a USA social truth does not have to be a truth of human ethology.

And it is not, as egregious cases in non-USA based history and geography show.

The Nazis believed the less Free Will, the better: “society’s needs come before the individual’s needs” (Adolf Hitler). So did the followers of Stalin. So do, to a great extent some of the Muslim religions (so called “branches” of Islam). All believe(d) that individual Free Will had to be eradicated. Islam comes from aslama “he submitted”.

All believe(d) that the world could be made just through the application of strength, and the Will of God, the General Secretary, or the Guide.

Now, if I abstract the examples above (Stalinism, Nazism, Islamism), I can rephrase the grand conclusion of Gregg, into its complete contradiction. Below I just changed “Free Will” into “NON Free Will”:

…belief in NON free will, it was found, by studying the historical examples above, is associated with just world belief, authoritarianism, religiosity, punitiveness, and moralistic standards for judging self and other. While these considerations do not prove belief in NON free will is mistaken, they do indicate that the putative pragmatic benefits of believing in NON free will and desert-based moral responsibility are bogus.

Gregg showed that in the USA to doubt Free Will would allow society to progress. History, in many other places show that rejecting Free Will led to horrible societies.

How come Gregg’s informed logic and concrete polls can be turned on its head? What is going on?

The answer is from the theory of systems of moods. The reason that the logic can be turned on its head is that what truly matters are the mood and subjacent emotions.

Example. The Nazis posed themselves as victims of an unjust world (big, bad, rich, hypocritical, Indian exterminating America; Versailles Treaty). Germans, all over, were oppressed minorities. Only surrendering Free Will would be bring back justice and stop the punition they were submitted to.

Strong emotions, bound by strong logic, make strong medicine. Yet, the logic is secondary. It could go whichever way. This is what the apparent truth of both Free Will Skepticism, and the truth of its exact opposite, my pernicious anti-thesis (just an observation, too), demonstrate.

Foucault suggested that power laid in discourses, more than anything else. I agree. Yet, beyond that, power lays in the raw emotions, and the moods they blossom into. The exact nature of the way they get organized is an afterthought.

Here is an explicit example: Christianism and love. Christ said that to love was the commanding commandment. Fine. However, read what he exactly said:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

What’s the strongest emotion here? Jesus says it himself: loving obedience to “the Lord”. He puts it first. However, obedience is not the most prominent feature of human ethology (raw love probably is, next to the survival instinct). Thus the implied logic is the violence one has to exert to do something unnatural, obeying a so-called “Lord”.

In the end, Jesus’ primary emotion holds in just one word: “Lord”. Jesus is a plutophile: loving a “Lord” is the first law.

He, and others, can put whatever logic they want after that to embellish the ugliness, and comfort the horror. It does not really matter. The overall mood flows from there, one concept: “the Lord”. The rest is just rearranging the chairs on the sinking Titanic of Jesus’ make belief goodness.

Patrice Ayme’

LOGOS: Brain Elements

November 19, 2014

The LOGOS Sings of Elements Of Brain Simplified Into Discourses

The Logos started to dominate Greek philosophy with Heraclitus (circa 500 BCE). What’s the Logos? The discourse. Correct discourse, namely, well, logical.

Greek science discovered around 500 CE that much more of the universe responded to discourse (logos) than to the gods. However, during the Peloponnesian War, the Athenian army was destroyed because the commanding Athenian general interpreted a sun eclipse as a dreadful omen (to this day, the Muslim “scholars” believe that the gods drive the Moon… Instead of a human discourse. That’s why they have to look at the Moon to tell the end of Ramadan).

The first eclipses had been predicted nearly two centuries earlier by top scientists. Now we can predict that the Logos is actually incarnated. Here it is:

It Looks As Complicated Around One Neuron As Around One Galaxy

It Looks As Complicated Around One Neuron As Around One Galaxy

[The schemas above are themselves extreme simplifications of what we observe in real pictures nowadays; a conclusion is that we can get enormous plasticity in the electric circuitry, without affecting the synapses at all… A complete surprise relative to what was believed, say, ten years ago. The axons themselves are plastic along their lengths, and learn! Dendrites sprout, or not, driven, or not, by glial cells, or other neurons.]

Considering the importance of Neoplatonism for the Greco-Roman elite, Christianity had to make the Logos into god (it’s the so-called “Holly Spirit”). Thus the Logos’ importance precedes Logos Galileo’s famous statement that the book of nature is written in mathematical language.

By the time of Galileo, the Logos had already become a research strategy: develop cute mathematics, and hope physics would follow.

(The notorious “Superstrings”, which are Not Even Wrong, is more of the same: wild “mathematical” guessing in the hope that something physical will be revealed; it did not work.)

The scientific strategy of using the Logos to discover nature, started with Buridan. Kepler pursued it in what he called his “War On Mars”: Kepler tried all possible curves, and checked them against data. It took 30 years.

Calculus, developed initially by lawyer-mathematician Fermat gave Celestial Mechanics. Fourier analysis helped with heat, Poisson’s math predicted a dot to disprove the wave theory of light (thus proving the latter, as the dot was there!). Fitting mathematics to heat emissions forced Planck to introduce the Quantum.

Riemann discovered in the 1860s, the idea that force could be viewed as curvature (and reciprocally). Thus force predicted space. Einstein-Hilbert, and later Dirac, would that to good use, curving spacetime (1916), revealing spinors (1930). Spinors had been introduced in geometry by Élie Cartan in 1913.

How come the brain can predict the world?

It simple: the brain is built as a set of mini-worlds, each of them a Logos.

A spectacular illustration of that human stem cells, with a bit of coaxing, left alone, form nerve cells and organize themselves in mini-brains. Left to itself, having consulted with the world, or not, the brain organizes its mini-worlds.

Substructures of the brains are mini-worlds. Made of what? Well, looking at neurons, or glial cells, we see networks made of varying materials (of axons, more or less covered with myelin, dendrites, and all sorts of protrusions, including inside synapses, and glial cells with their own networks).

All these variations mean very large dimensions (accentuated by 50 neurohormones and neurotransmitters), and all the entanglement mean highly non trivial topology (knots everywhere).

Some of these networks translate into sensations, discourses of sensations, or simply real discourses, and thus logic, as written by logicians, mathematicians and physicists.

The fact that the brain is physically made of immensely complex implications and neighborhoods means that it is made of the most complicated logos imaginable… For the good and simple reason that it is imagination incarnate.

This inner world, this world of the Logos, can be rebuilt better, and much more easily than the universe out there. Yet, it is informed, and initially greatly imprinted, by the universe.

Science consists into reproducing faithfully categorical structures as found out there (through experiments).

Here the word “categorical” is as found in a sense at least as complex as in modern Category Theory (ultra-modern mathematics)… Diagrams of arrows, in particular (view arrows as axons; real axons are much more sophisticated than the morphisms of existing Category Theory).

This, of course, does not differ from basic common sense: as the baby learns about gravity, it informs the proper Logos in the baby’s brain about the basics of gravity (science gets a bit more precise, but does not basically differ).

Control is about the inner world, the inner Logos, not contradicting too much the Universe’s Logos. This can happen, because the inner Logos is basically a self-made “mathematical” model of what is hoped to be out there.

The Logos is more logical than logic, as all the logic we have is a simplification of the Logos.

If the contradiction is too violent, all sorts of pathologies can arise, and not just in Putin.

The Logos is made of micro-brains, it will end up interrogating itself. What gives?

Patrice Ayme’

Note: The great mathematician Grothendieck just died. Sometimes around 1970, I am afraid that he discovered that some of the preceding was true. Him, who was wary of physics (nuclear war), may have found that the mathematics he had taken refuge in, was just that dreaded physics again. Better to forget the whole thing. Grothendieck dropped out of math, and later asked his works to be destroyed. Yes, the danger of nuclear war is higher than ever (see Putin). Yet, the Logos is us. We cannot deny ourselves.

More On Quantum Consciousness

September 5, 2014

Human brains are built from ideas. Any change in such ideas is lots of work, thus pain, and is always resisted. Often viciously. The greater the change, the more vicious the backlash.

A contributor, “Disagreeable Me” (who had published an extensive essay on consciousness, Sept 1, 2014) rose strident objections to my thesis (found in preceding comments; such stridency is not new: I am used to violent critiques against Quantum Consciousness, in the last few decades that I have dragged this pet around). Here is some of the dialogue, raw (co-sent to Scientia Salon):

 

Disagreeable Me: “Most people seem to assume that their consciousness is in some way located in their brains. Personally, I agree with you that it is not a localized thing, but this is because I think consciousness is a property of a mind, and that a mind is an abstract object. 

That’s quite different meaning of the word, however. In quantum mechanics, non-locality means that effects seem to work instantaneously at a distance. I don’t see any reason for believing that consciousness has these attributes unless you want to bring up woo such as remote viewing or clairvoyance or mind-reading.”

Patrice: One could argue that all “objects” are “abstract” (or at least abstractions, in the mathematical sense Alonso Church gave that in the 1930s; Church was Turing’s thesis adviser). Abstraction is characterized by the stripping of secondary, inessential characteristics. So one may, indeed, loose localization. That’s vague (joke intended: vague = wave -> delocalized).

However, my point about localization is different. And precise. Brain delocalization is biologically grounded. The brain is, physiologically, a delocalized object.

The brain is made of many neighborhoods, and subsystems. Is the brain the temporal lobe? The cerebellum? The right brain? The frontal cortex? Clearly much of the brain is working all over, much of the time. Some parts get active, others go to sleep, other parts never stop (say those watching over basic functions such as breathing or neurohormonal cycles).

So, when we consider the brain, we consider something spatially spread out. Yet, the conscious feeling that emanates from it, what we call consciousness, somehow, is centralized. Consciousness is one, not multiple, not spread out, at any instant of time.

How to make one, out of many? This is a question that arises naturally when considering both brain, and consciousness.

One could object that the same can be said about a bridge. A bridge is an abstraction of many characteristics. Yet, what makes the perception of a bridge one? Consciousness.

If one focuses on one’s breathing and heart rate, as conscience can do, and commands them, the mind is then just about that. Conscience focuses on a (few) characteristic(s). One could say that conscience collapses on particular points.

Now think about the way a Quantum process enfolds: it’s about something wavy spread about that is processed, to become, in the end, just one.

This sole sentence abstracts the basic set-up of Quantum physics: “something wavy”: the wavefunction, the “spread about” is a Hilbert space; “processed” is about time as an evolution parameter; “in the end” is about collapse/decoherence; “the one” is the so called “particle state” that results.

The analogy with the contrast of the delocalized brain in an union with a focused, localized consciousness, free to localize inside the brain wherever it wills, jumps at me.

 

DM: …”the following sentence makes your meaning clearer. “If consciousness were not Quantum, it would have to be “classical”, that is, not fundamental.” So, you’re argument is that everything that is fundamental is quantum, and it is completely stupid to imagine that consciousness is not fundamental. 

This is largely meaningless to me. I don’t know what you mean by fundamental, and it is not obvious to me that everything that is fundamental is quantum. I might, for instance, claim that logic (i.e. the law of non-contradiction) is fundamental, but it would seem to be very strange to claim that logic is Quantum, whatever that would mean.”

Patrice: That’s indeed my argument. Although it’s not yet clear how exactly, all of Classical Mechanics, Relativity, and Thermodynamics have to emerge from Quantum Physics, I believe. I would call that Ultimate Unification (UU). (GUT, Grand Unified Theories, are less ambitious: they unify only at high energies; UU is a conjecture, right, but so is Langlands program in mathematics; nobody sneers at that.)

Right now, experimental research is exploring the transition from QM to CM, and has been honored with the 2012 Nobel Prize. (Haroche in Paris, for counting photons without disturbing them, and his colleague Wineland in Boulder, for doing quantum computing with ions, among other things.) We are very far from a full picture on how to implement UU (the Nobel committee recognized Haroche and Wineland’s works as first timid steps to the Quantum computer).

Logic is a vast subject. In 1936, two of the most advanced mathematicians (Birkhoff and Von Neumann) invented something they called Quantum Logic, doing away with the distributive law. I do not doubt, though, that logic is a form of empiricism (whether the one gets from reality, or… the imagination).

It’s curious that you mention the law of non-contradiction as fundamental (as Aristotle held, in contradiction with Heraclitus). Quantum Physics is well known to enjoy things that are alive and dead simultaneously. It seems rather contradictory to me that some don’t appreciate the contradiction.

 

DM: “What you call freedom I call randomness. Randomness is not freedom, but if nature is indeterministic then all objects are random anyway. Chaos theory suggests that small perturbations in complex systems such as brains can lead to radically different outcomes. “

Patrice: Agreed. Except that I do not confuse freedom and randomness. Randomness can help freedom, and vice versa, but they are not the same. Schopenhauer famously claimed he could not will what he willed. I beg to disagree: the wise will will what she wills, such is her definition. Higher reflectivity, and detachment from contingency, is what intelligence is all about.

I thank Disagreeable Me for giving me the occasion to become more conscious in the matter of consciousness (and offering me the occasion to make a quantum jump of understanding, etc.)

Patrice Ayme’

Oligarchy, Or Plutocracy?

February 24, 2011

USING THE CORRECT WORDS MATTER.

***

Abstract: Very Serious People trying to describe the socio-economic situation in the USA, and the world, like to use the word “oligarchy”. The rule of the few. However, according to their own discourses, they ought to use the word “plutocracy”. Plutocracy, in conventional semantics, is the rule of wealth.

Plutocracy is what we have in Libya, under the crazed dictator. It is not just the rule of wealth. It is the rule of Pluto. As I was saying in the last essay, at some point only force works against Pluto.

See below an otherwise excellent editorial of the unfortunate Paul Krugman, dragged below as exhibit number one: a purring kitten when a giant roaring saber tooth tiger is needed.

All Very Serious economists such as Simon Johnson, or Stiglitz do this. Describing plutocracy, and then calling it “oligarchy”. However something has to be said about understatements.

Understatements and euphemisms can be a form of lying. For example when Jews started to disappear from Germany, the authorities claimed they had been removed for their safety. They explained that the Jews caused the world war, and had been sent east, to protect them, since people wanted to exact vengeance. Most Germans decided that was good enough an explanation.

A related form of lying is to always present as equally valid points of view, as long as they are opposed to each other. In the end, that absolute equanimity is a denial of judgment, and thus of justice. After an insane maniac has killed a few people because he did not like the way they dressed, are we going to present his point of view as equally valid? As CNN’s Anderson Cooper concurred with Jon Steward, there is something as the truth (I am paraphrasing). One cannot give a lie equal time, just because it’s opposed to the truth. And then claim to be “fair and balanced”.

Obama is one euphemism further removed from reality. He does not even dare to use the word “oligarchy” (presumably because then the question would naturally arise of why he himself is not ruling, since he was elected to do that).

So Obama uses the expression “special interests“. That’s what the French would call talking with a “wooden tongue”. Because “special interests” says nothing. We all have “special interests’, except those of us who really have no interests, and are nothing special. Or does that mean that Obama is nothing special, and has no interests? So he finds quite remarkable that some people have “special interests“?

The debate is not only semantic. Without a precise vocabulary, there is no precise thinking. False semantics breeds false thinking. If plutocracy there is, those who are in charge ought not to call it specially interesting, as if they were visiting a museum somewhere.

After giving some outrageous examples of the frasques of plutocrats, I let Krugman talk, as he describes plutocracy quite well, while calling it something more acceptable to the powers that be. And why so? Because plutocrats commandeer much more of the resources of the planet than people expect. It’s not just Maria Carrey and Beyoncé who sing for those who ought to be in jail. Intellectuals, let alone politicians, know how to find the right notes to seduce those who have it all, because they stole it. And that corrupts us all, deep inside.

I also claim that the semantics of the word “plutocracy” have to be taken in full, and seriously, since therein the ultimate warning.

***

***

PLUTOCRATS DO AS HADES DOES:

In Libya, Khadafy pursues his criminal insanity, as he has for 41 years, claiming it’s a revolution. To get on NATO’s good side, he briskly asserts that the country is at risk of becoming a new Afghanistan. However, he is proud in his boots, while he assassinates thousands of who he claims are drugged out youth under the order of bin Laden (he has got to believe that NATO is even dumber in Afghanistan than it already is). He also called protesters “greasy cats and rats“.

To help in his rule, Khadafy uses African mercenaries (paid a fortune in oil money). Khadafy used to fight a war in Africa against France, him using African mercenaries, and the French using everything, even supersonic jets, decades ago. So this is nothing new. Each time Khadafy’s sons offered millions to sexy Western pop stars, ostensibly to sing a few songs in their Caribbean palaces, that was good for business, said the West.

The New York Times gave egregious examples of the plutocracy in Libya, complete with one of the many sons of the “Guide” requesting 1.2 billion from an oil company to establish his own private army. The New York Times calls such acts “exploits”. I don’t think that irony is either cute, or appropriate. Use irony with Obama, if you wish. But, with blatant criminal insanity in plain sight, where thugs kill thousands while corrupting the world, irony is self defeating. Shall we be ironical about Auschwitz? How does that feel?

I call Khadafy’s sons antics, international criminality similar to what happened under the worst of fascism, in the first part of the Twentieth Century, and if we don’t react in a timely manner, it will end up the same.

Not only is international plutocracy in business with these people, but learning to tolerate their monstrous behavior, teaches us to respect monstrosity, and, thus, to find our local plutocrats loving. In the USA the word “philanthropists” is used as a replacement for  the word “plutocrats”. It does not just sound Greek, thus democratic and learned; it is the first word American plutocrats hide behind. The irony that man eating tigers are also “philanthropic”, in a rather similar sense, is lost on the mesmerized population. So far.

What is Khadafy’s clan fortune? 30 billion in liquid assets were quickly found by “The Telegraph”. More thorough accounting show at least 120 billion. One of the world’s richest families. Not coincidentally, made of some of the most nefarious sadistic killers in the world.

In Kosovo, the new president is an extremely wealthy man who once restored the Kremlin (he got the contract for the restauration of the vast seat and residence of the Russian government)… and was examined unsuccessfully for corruption by the Swiss authorities. He wanted to become the self described “Berlusconi of the Balkans“.

Berlusconi is another extravagantly rich multibillionaire directly in power, rumored to have long befriended the Mafia, by making its laundry (money laundering, that is). Is the Kosovo president the one suspected by the UN and the EU since 2003 of killing people to sell their organs? No that’s Hashim Thaci, Kosovo’s brand new prime minister and the former head of the Kosovo Liberation Army. I am not making these things up, no need: the truth is more alarming than the imagination. Plutocrats everywhere, doing whatever it takes to further their dark arts.

In Wisconsin the just elected republican governor cut the taxes on the rich, in his bankrupt state (he gave 140 million in tax cuts to friends and corporations). Cutting taxes on the rich: another way to help the economy, say the rich. According to Reaganomics, the more one gives to the rich, the better the economy.

Then the governor decided to make collective bargaining of government employees unlawful (to save money he said, as if talking was expensive). Being employed by the government of Wisconsin would be like joining the army: Mussolini, here we come!

How do such people haters get elected? How did Mussolini and Hitler get elected? Simple; you gather some of the hyper rich together, present your plan, and, if they accept it, voila! The money is sent where it counts, or where it hurts, or where it impresses, or where nobody knows it irrigates the reasonings. And soon the people is persuaded that its tormenters are its saviors. (Governor Walker is indeed financed by the rich billionaires, the Koch brothers, and, indirectly, by many other billionaires.)

Mesmerizing people with money is particularly easy to do in the USA, where not much of an attempt to separate politics and money has been made. So the hyper rich buy the TV, and the masses do as they are told. (A sneaky way to do that is to run advertisements for the erroneous ideas themselves, so that people are then persuaded that lies are truths, and truths are lies. That works well because people do not understand that which ideas get elected is more important than which puppet gets to implement them.)

Studies have shown that, in the USA, the candidate who spends the most money is elected in 94% of the cases.

The governor wants to prevent collective bargaining with the unions, which often has to do with working conditions, or augmenting efficiency. Saving some money will allow to give more to the rich, since the rich are the economy. But mostly it demolishes some more an example of what I call ‘democratic institutions’ (see Krugman below).

There were protest demonstrations. Representative Paul Ryan, the sort of creature who passes for a star in the republican party, made a singularly apt comparison: “It’s like Cairo has moved to Madison.” Indeed. Complete with one of Mubarak’s little helpers, stealing from the poor to give to the rich, and forbidding people to organize themselves to resist.

In New York, the Libyan delegation rebelled, and condemned the tyrant Khadafy as a “war criminal“. Khadafy is indeed a war criminal: his regime has no democratic legitimacy whatsoever, beyond killing people.

Khadafy’s children are known for being filthy. One beat up his wife in London. She was advised to claim to the Brits it was not what it looked like.

Another son beat up a maid in Geneva, so he was arrested by the local police. Libya, to compensate for that outrage, took Swiss citizens hostages. Switzerland soon capitulated.

Just as the USA and France had capitulated earlier, after the bombing of their jumbo jets, and various other attacks; Reagan had shown some apparent resolve, and bombed Khadafy, but the result was the death of some innocent child… So Gaddafi said. He did not explain why, alerted by some traitor in NATO, had fled his compound, with all his entourage, in a timely manner, and never explained why he left a child behind, as if she were a goat left for a tiger. (A French bombing once in the desert in Chad nearly killed Gaddafi, long ago, but that’s another story.

Khadafy’s son, his heir apparent, the intellectual Seif Al Islam, warned of a holocaust, should the protesters keep on protesting. By the way, Seif Al Islam purchased a PhD at the London School of Economics. OK, many Anglo-Saxon universities are for profit organization, and the plutocrat Soros had been instrumental in the granting of the PHD, written by some eminent Harvard professors for Mr. Seif Al Islam Kadaffi. However, since PhD means Philosophiae Doctor, should not they strip him from it? What’s philosophical about preaching mass murder?

Notice that the young, Senegalese born Secretary to Human Rights in France, Yama Rade, courageously protested the coming of Khadafy to France. She got in very hot waters from her boss, the plutocratic friendly Sarkozy (he then cancelled the position she held). Sarkozy is not a plutocrat, but many individuals in his closest family, let alone countless friends, are. Fate is a most miraculous thing.

Notice also in passing that (Hilary) Clinton and company (Obama?) acted very well in the Arab revolution, because, in total contrast with their attitude with WikiLeaks, the USA taught young protesters how to use the Internet to implement a revolution (yes, some of those the Department of State helped also worked for WikiLeaks, and a lot of the horrors revealed on many of the nasty regimes came, trough WikiLeaks, from the US Department of State! Maybe the anti-WikiLeaks rage was all an act…)

Libyan Air Force pilots fled, with their French made supersonic jets, to Europe. The war criminal has been using jets to bomb protesters. Why does not the EU and the USA issue a warrant of arrest against Khadafy for on-going war criminality? And a no-fly zone? (Since I wrote this, the UN made some hesitant steps in that general direction; but a freeze on anything pertaining to the Khadafy clan ought to have long been in force.)

***

CALLING LIONS LIONS HELP IN NOT BEING EATEN:

Concepts such as “Satan”, “Evil”, and “Pluto” were invented for occasion such as these: when personal madness disguised as self-love kills thousands, for no other reason than self expression. Khadafy ought to be arrested on sight. When he bombed American and French jumbo jets, killing nearly 500, he was forgiven. Who gave Western leaders the authority to forgive him? It was a crime against mankind, and there is no forgiveness for that. Khadafy was recently received in Paris and Rome as if he were the messiah.

It would probably take only a small fraction of the armed forces of any one of the three leading armed democracies (USA, UK, France), and just a few days, to do away with the murderous Libyan thug. View it as realistic training. That would be good, especially for the Italian army.

Or shall we do as with Auschwitz, wait until the heat subsides, and the ovens cool, and decision makers can whine that they would have done something, had they know? The truth is, our politicians love his oil, his money, and the established order, worldwide plutocracy, that the Libyan dictator belongs to.

It is not just that Libya, with 3% of the world oil production, a lot of it “Light Sweet Crude” necessary to Europe, is an important piece of the set-up. Khadaffi helps keep the principle of dictatorship honorable, the People down, and it does not hurt that his enormous portofolio of 150 billion dollars keep many a Western bankster happy.

The comparison with Auschwitz is not outrageous. First, before it got real big, Auschwitz, and the like, started small. After a few years, it got real big. Of course, Libya is small in population (7 millions). But to leave huge outrage in Libya alone will encourage others, much bigger, to become outrageous too, and much more outrageous, since they are so much bigger.

Second, the comparison is not outrageous, from my point of view. I have important family reasons to have that point of view, since my direct ancestors engaged Nazism in combat, on both maternal and paternal sides, and those born in Europe moreover engaged in the resistance, sheltered the hunted in secret rooms, and barely escaped with their lives.

They were saved from the Gestapo by a traitor inside the Gestapo (!) and by US GI, while chased across the countryside, so any claim of primary anti-Americanism against this site have to be taken with a grain of salt, since, without GIs, there would have been no author; thus American GIs are objective accomplices to whatever is going on here. Also claims of primitive anti-Germanism don’t hold water either.

I had an uncle with the inner German and Nazi story, as he had married in the very highest reaches of the German military-industrial complex (he knew some of the plots from inside, thus was never allowed to visit the USA, although a most famous astronomer). This background made me a Nazi expert. By the age of 6, I had already a few iconoclastic theories I still subscribe to today, and were plenty enough to irritate a beloved, older cousin with (who defended conventional wisdom, as she meekly claimed the Germans had been abused just by Hitler; I knew better from the other side of the family!).

***

WHEN NAZIS WERE REVERED IN PLAIN VIEW:

From my point of view, Nazism was pushed by hyper wealthy financiers and industrialists, not all of them German. Many were based in England and the USA. It is ironical, and I guess part of a general cover-up, that the movie “The King’s Speech” talk so much about the difficulty someone had in reading a discourse of Churchill (OK, I did not see the movie yet).

On second thinking, maybe it’s not surprising. The preceding King, his brother, had been thrown out, ostensibly, for wanting to marry a woman, who was to divorce several months later, thus putting her in the position of marrying him. Her picture is part of the handsome threesome below.

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The truth: ex-king with co-conspirator in 1937.

Wallis received roses daily from the Nazi foreign minister Von Ribbentrop, apparently slept with him, and kept on leaking secrets to him (the FBI was told). It helped that the very rich Von Ribbentrop, a wine merchant, had an extremely expensive residence in London. The influential network Ribbentrop had set-up in England led to a de facto alliance of the UK with Hitler in 1935 (this alliance then proceeded to violate the Versailles Treaty; this explains why France did not attack Hitler in 1936: no matter what, France was not going to contradict Great Britain).

***

HIGHEST TREASON IMAGINABLE STILL UNCONDEMNED:

In truth Edward VIII was thrown out for being part of a vast pro-Nazi conspiracy throughout British upper society. Similar cleansing was needed in the USA, but never happened. Instead the American pro-Nazi conspiracy headed what one ought to call the Nazi reconversion movement, after the war.

When are we going to see a movie on that much more interesting subject, namely when all too many leaders of the West, stabbed democracy in the back, by becoming Hitler helpers, or even enablers?

The pro-Nazi British conspiracy was not finished after the abdication. The best was yet to come. The ex-Edward VIII stayed powerful and influential, especially in Portugal, and Spain. But he liked France best. So he was naturally named Inspector General of the British Forces, with the rank of major general, and, as such, had a full month to inspect the French lines in 1940, when France and Britain had been at war against the Nazis for more than six months.

And this, well after the German ambassador to the Netherlands had warned, in February 1940, that the ex-king had leaked to the Nazis the Allied war plans (the German ambassador thought the Nazis were crazy).

Hey, why should the armed forces fear a man who declared about their enemy: “In the past 10 years Germany has totally reorganized the order of its society … Countries which were unwilling to accept such a reorganization of society and its concomitant sacrifices should direct their policies accordingly.” (Edward VIII, 1940).

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True love: ex-king Edward VIII reviewing a squad of towering SS, with Robert Ley, head of the German Labour Front. Ley hanged himself in 1945 to escape further Allied punishment.

Ley was the head of the Nazi trade union busting effort (for further trade busting, see Wisconsin above). It helped that Ley was of a poor, socialist and trade union background. Ley was indicted at Nuremberg on three counts. Count One: “The Common Plan or Conspiracy to wage an aggressive war in violation of international law or treaties”. Count Three:”War Crimes, including among other things, mistreatment of prisoners of war or civilian populations. Count Four: Crimes Against Humanity – murder, extermination, enslavement of civilian populations; persecution on the basis of racial, religious or political grounds”.

The ex-Edward VIII informed Hitler where the weak point of the French defenses was. Hitler then took enormous risks (and big losses), to mass all his armor through one tortuous road in the Ardennes mountains. Nazi armor was seen by a Spitfire pilot, but he was not believed.

Hitler then broke through the weak point, thanks to a pounding by the entire Luftwaffe, and suicidal charges by explosive laden engineers. In a mystery unexplained to this day, giant French guns in the area did not fire. The second rate French reserve division which was in the way of the entire Nazi army panicked, and the rest is history. Dozens of first rate French (and some British) divisions, and nearly all the Franco-British armor were north, in Belgium and the Netherlands, punching in a vacuum.

Although vastly superior to Nazi armor, the French and British divisions were cut from behind. The American plutocrats were on the other side of the Atlantic, not counting their chicken, since they were not hatched yet.

Desperate efforts by courageous Canadians and the remaining French army were not enough to insure the safety of French aviation (which may have regained air superiority), and a coup and associated cease fire followed, before the proposed Franco-British common nationality could be implemented (because a government needed to represent and protect the French, and the only remaining government was in London, headed by Churchill).

Charming scenes followed, such as Hitler giving, with his entourage, the Nazi salute to a bigger than life portrait of the ex-Edward VIII, in his castle in Sologne. Or when the ex-Edward VIII ordered the Nazis to put guards at his residences in France (even on those on the Riviera). And the Nazis did! Hey, one would not have wanted one of these crazy French to make the ex, and future, Edward VIII uncomfortable.

Finally an exasperated Churchill ordered the treacherous ex-king to return to British soil, lest he be court-martialed (and probably condemned to death, for high treason). He was exiled to the Bahamas.

There Edward VIII had to live among Jews and “negroes”, and he did not like it. As he said about the most prominent editor in the Bahamas: “It must be remembered that Dupuch is more than half Negro, and due to the peculiar mentality of this race, they seem unable to rise to prominence without losing their equilibrium.”

Edward VIII knew about equilibrium: he was half Nazi, half British. No wonder his brother stuttered.

Edward VIII would stay rich, influential, and unpunished thereafter. The plutocracy knows how to take care of its own, and rein in the unruly. Never mind that Edward was an important contributing factor in the death of 50 million (the defeat of France and Britain in 1940 happened because of an extraordinary confluence of amazing events; in theory, the Nazis did not have a chance against the combined strength of the French and British empires, plus the British Commonwealth; the defeat happened because of many factors the reigning oligarchy has shown no enthusiasm to explore, as many keep on going in the present world, as strong as ever).

***

IF IT’S THE RULE OF MONEY, MONEY-RULE, PLUTOCRACY, DON’T CALL IT JUST “OLIGARCHY”:

The Nazis would have recognized immediately that what the governor of Wisconsin is trying to do is a beautiful, and necessary thing. The Nazis themselves, in spite of tremendous efforts, were unable to subdue totally the unions and guilds.

The Nazis were the original believers in trickle-down economics, although they hid it below a “nationalist” and “socialist” discourse (although many Nazis were genuinely nationalist and socialist, the smaller group around Hitler was neither: it was just predatory, and self obsessed, and directed from not so far, by their plutocratic sponsors, because that’s where the money was).

As Nobel Prize Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times [February 20, 2011]: “What Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin — and eventually, America — less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy.”

Said oligarchies are ALWAYS characterized by immense wealth, and the wealth is used to rule. So they are more than oligarchies, they are plutocracies.

As I have long insisted, democracy cannot work without institutions; democratic institutions answer the objections of the Platonic Socrates against democracy.

(By the way, this implies that if the West, namely the USA and the EU, want to help democracy in democratizing lands, they should help the building of democratic institutions, and not even hesitate to do this before the one-man one-vote thing, which the Greeks viewed, correctly, only as part and parcel of a democratic society.)

Socrates whined that anybody voted about anything and for anybody, and that one ended with unqualified people leading the City. But Socrates’ reasoning is weak, because he shows no specific examples. He was judge and party in the matter, having educated, enlightened, bedded, dined, feted, loved, admired, celebrated and begged many of the controversial principals (his lover Alcibiades, the “30 Tyrants”, etc…). Those later led the anti-democracy movement in Athens. They were all members of a would-be plutocracy of Athens, and they all, at some point, were active dictators, or first class traitors. (Hence the accusation against Socrates of “corrupting the youth“, and hence Socrates philosophically smelling like a rotten fish. At least on that subject.)

However, corrupt Socrates’ mind was in the matter, his core objection is valid, and the European Middle Ages worked to answer it over a period of 15 centuries.

15 centuries? When the Middle Ages finished is a matter of serious controversy. Philosophically, 1945 CE could be advanced, and not just as a half joke. What Hitler did was similar to what Justinian did, and exactly what the European Union was designed to prevent, namely the return of holocaust driven fascism. So the FINAL break with philosophical traditions started under the fascist theocratic Roman empire happened after 1945, not before; last point: some of those traditions that came to be typical of the Roman empire, were antinomic to the principles of the early Roman republic.

In my chronology of meaning, the Dark Ages got rolling when Roman plutocracy started to dictate policy, around 146 BCE; it was then just a matter of time before everything decline and fell. Amusingly, that came in blatant evidence as Marcus Aurelius, who was dabbling in philosophy behind closed doors, put his biological son in charge (making him an early version of Khadafy; although Marcus Aurelius was much less plutocratic, differently from his rotten son).

By the same token, regimes giving prominence to a particular superstition are part theocracies, thus partly stuck in the Middle Ages (that’s an allusion to Muslim regimes).

The Middle Ages invented many institutions to allow expertise in a democratic context. An important type were the self governing cities (some under the theoretical supervision of some distant king).

Another important type of institutions, invented in the Middle Ages were the guilds. They still exist today. Many are called unions. the Nazis tried to break them, and they failed. Let me quote Krugman in extenso, since he brings some fuel to keep my fire burning.

…”contrary to what you may have heard, public-sector workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere are paid somewhat less than private-sector workers with comparable qualifications, so there’s not much room for further pay squeezes.

So it’s not about the budget; it’s about the power.

In principle, every American citizen has an equal say in our political process. In practice, of course, some of us are more equal than others. Billionaires can field armies of lobbyists; they can finance think tanks that put the desired spin on policy issues; they can funnel cash to politicians with sympathetic views (as the Koch brothers did in the case of Mr. Walker). On paper, we’re a one-person-one-vote nation; in reality, we’re more than a bit of an oligarchy, in which a handful of wealthy people dominate.

Given this reality, it’s important to have institutions that can act as counterweights to the power of big money. And unions are among the most important of these institutions.

You don’t have to love unions, you don’t have to believe that their policy positions are always right, to recognize that they’re among the few influential players in our political system representing the interests of middle- and working-class Americans, as opposed to the wealthy. Indeed, if America has become more oligarchic and less democratic over the last 30 years — which it has — that’s to an important extent due to the decline of private-sector unions.”

One is often condemned to repeat some ideas, until most people in the target audience get it, and revolution can click. In this case the audience is the world, with its seven billion people, augmenting quickly, and using the planet’s resources as if it were 50% larger than it really is, time is of the essence.

Michel Bréal introduced the word sémantique in 1883, from the Greek semantikos “significant”, from semainein “to show, signify, indicate by a sign“. Semantic is an integral part of any logical system. Exactly how that works has not been figured out yet, in my opinion (I am aware of the “Semantic Theory of Truth” of the famous Polish(-American) logician Tarski, or later pertinent objections by the US philosopher Davidson).

Basically the logic gives cooking recipes, semantics tells you what the ingredients are, allowing you not to prepare your Coulis de Framboise with red mercury, or trying to use frozen nitrogen for fuel. Precise logic needs precise semantics. Euphemisms pollute semantics.

A good example is the habit of using “oligarchy” where one truly means “plutocracy”. This clearly what Krugman means above, as he gives a near textbook definition of plutocracy, without giving its name (God used tio be the one with “no name” in the old Hebrew religion).

Just as Ley could not utter the word “war criminal” about himself (instead he stuttered so much, the word never came out), the honorable Krugman, Johnson, Stiglitz, do not dare utter the word “plutocracy” about the USA. So how come the private bankers got 5 trillions in the USA alone (trillions in Europe too)?

(OK, Krugman has claimed that giving money at 0% to the private banks so that they could place it with the same government at 4% was not a subsidy, because one was short, and one was long, a distinction without a difference if there ever was one! So what one sees here is that a reluctance to call plutocracy plutocracy, that is calling a cat a cat, leads to view a cat’s meal as a short term phenomenon, even, when, long term, one shares the same cage, and there is no place to go, except between those teeth …)

The (contemporary) Greeks have to suffer because rich private European banks, and the likes of Goldman Sachs, conspired to lend money to the government, which could not be paid back. How did that happen? Because the rich private banks greased the paws of the cats and rats (to recycle Khadafy’s poetry). So why not prosecuting those who got greased and those who greased? Well, because this society of deciders is a plutocracy, not an oligarchy: money rules, and that means many got greased, so many that they form a class, a solidarity, an union of the malfeasant, and they demonstrate their determination every day more, as they not build further fortune, but work to escape justice, and thus jail and restitution. As Madoff said, there is no way the banks did not know.

Of course they knew, but they were doing the same, exploiting a pyramid scheme, so they were not going to denounce pyramids, especially tiny ones. (Madoff’s pyramid was about 60 billion, the banks’ pyramid is in excess of 10,000 times bigger: such is the size of the derivatives’ markets, more than 600 trillions, and don’t believe anything the banks say about it; the only thing you need to know is that last time they went down because of derivatives, and they are the main investors’ therein.)

Thus, in an important sense, the plutocracy works precisely because it’s not the rule of the few. But, instead, it is the rule of the many who have money, so precisely plutocracy works because it’s not an oligarchy.

An oligarchy is the rule of the few. A plutocracy is usually defined as the rule of the wealthy. Hence, usually, the rule of the few. Thus any plutocracy is an oligarchy. Except when the corruption has spread so far, and  wide, and deep, that it is a matter of the many. That is what we have now. That is why there was no prosecution of the persecution.

This has happened many times in the past. The Persian empire that Athens fought was such an international plutocracy.

Here is another famous example. As Edward Gibbon observed in his “Decline And Fall Of the Roman Empire”:

“The lands of Italy, which had been originally divided among the families of free and indigent proprietors, were purchased or usurped by the avarice of the nobles; and in the age which proceeded the fall of the republic, it was computed only two thousand citizens were possessed of any independent substance.”

Well these people, mostly of the senatorial class, were often immensely rich. they used their wealth to manipulate Roman society. They could field private armies, like Adolf Hitler in 1923, or the sons of Khadafy, in 2011.

Cutting taxes on the very wealthy augments quickly the possessions of the hyper wealthy because of the nature of the exponential function. So the present policies, in the spirit of Reagan’s “trickle down” may start with an entire class profiting, but will end up (or down!) with plutocracy where only very few are maximally profiting.

Knowing this, since the beginning of the neolithic, sustainable societies have taxed the wealthiest enough to insure that the exponential function would not take over. Societies which did not do this were not sustainable, and left little behind.

I understand that many economists of note prefer to use the word “oligarchy”, to sound less controversial, and not irritate the masters, as the word “plutocracy” no doubt would.

However, why is all happening? Out of not just the will to Power, but also the Will to Mayhem. When speculators make money out of food stuff, and people die from the resulting famines and troubles associated to them, we are talking about the worst behavior mankind is capable of.

Killing others out of hatred is terrible. Killing others out of greed is worse.

And this is happening now, and those perpetrators wear the most expensive suits. Shall we call them “special interests”, and wear an expensive suits too? And then read whatever they put on the teleprompter?

Those who impose the rule of money are not just doing that in a vacuum. In Greek mythology, the universe had been divided between Zeus, Poseidon, and Pluto underground (another name for Hades). The great philosopher Heraclitus made the keen observation that: “If they did not order the procession in honor of the god and address the phallus song to him, this would be the most shameless behavior. But Hades is the same as Dionysos, for whom they rave and act like bacchantes.” This reminds us of the source of the Ganges, of the Shivling, and Shiva, the supreme Hindu god, which has a wild, crazy, and destructive side. And indeed Shiva and Hades are related: the Greeks and Hindus communicated big ideas to each other, and that is one of those which went through. The worst part of that Hades-Pluto-Shiva is that it is, not all bad, and, thus, much more seductive.

Mythology, like semantics, did not grow out of the blue, but out of time honored wisdom. The world of plutocracy is also that of craziness, bacchantes and destruction. So plutocrats are motivated by evil, and they serve evil. That is why those “oligarchs” need to be called by their true name, plutocrats. Pluto is their master. And the word “plutocracy” should be generalized to mean the “rule of Pluto”, not just the rule of wealth.

The plutocrats do not just want us to venerate the Golden Calf. They want to crush us with it. It is the oldest instinct. But we, the seven billions, have better alternatives than the time honored holocausts they propose, once again. Shiva destroys, Shiva creates. But this time, Shiva, after destroying will have run out of a world. Einstein used to say that the fourth world war would be fought with sticks and stones. But that was wildly optimistic, since it supposed a breathable atmosphere would still be around.

Evil is sourced in the most noble necessity of sustainability. But we can find a better god. We are that clever. And have no choice in the matter. It’s this, or extinction of all we hold dear.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Note1: The importance of semantics. In a way, mathematics is more about semantics than about logics. As the great mathematician, physicist and philosopher Henri Poincare’ put it: “Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things.”

*

Note2: So when can one use correctly the concept of “oligarchy”? Well, when the few who are ruling, are not using money to rule. A military junta, when it is still materially poor may qualify (not the Khadafy clan, though, since it became immensely rich as seen above).

Indeed an army can function as a democratic institution (as it claims to want to do in Egypt, now that it has seen the blinding light). But since it holds the big guns, it is always tempting for generals to stray. The situation is a peril in any democracy. Even in France and the USA generals have come close to high treason a few times, and hanging an admiral occasionally as Great Britain did in the 18C, maybe a good way to remind the military of whom it is supposed to get its orders from.

Plutocracy is all too often hiding. Just as the mythological Pluto is often invisible, so it is with money. The USA is crisscrossed by “foundations”, “institutions”, “think tanks”, and “research centers” which are well financed and pose as Very Serious sources of ideas, when in truth they are just propaganda outfits. One could talk of a socio-economic oligarchy servicing the plutocracy.

***


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Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

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Patterns of Meaning

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in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

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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

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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

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Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

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