Posts Tagged ‘Montaigne’

Aphorisms, 11/11/2017

November 11, 2017

Montaigne invented the genre he called “Essays”, from “essayer”, to try. His essays are all over the place. So is his logic, or logic in general. And knowledge. And species. All over.

We are nothing, if we are not rich in mental possibilities.

“Essay”, the way Montaigne had it, was a new usage. Pseudosopher” is outright a neologism (from Greek“pseudein”, deceive, cheat by lies). It’s more elegant than “fake philosopher”.


Differently from pseudosophers, real philosophers don’t need friends.

One way Camus resisted to the “Absurd” he perceived all too readily, all over, was by having plenty of various groups of friends. Nights with Sartre, when they were still friends, sometimes ended at 4am. After Camus published the “Revolted man” (mistranslated in English as “The Rebel”; “rebel” in French is “rebelle”), Camus discovered that his critique of fascism a la Stalin and (death) camps, Soviet style, exposed him to loathing from friends… who had never been truly friends, he observed, dejectedly.

Now, of course, friends are not necessary, to us philosophers: we have the Internet, where critter annihilation is one click away. 

More than ever, physics is rich in metaphor, and even methods, which enrich our global wisdom: we have progressed a lot in knowing the world for certain, since Montaigne


Want Plutocratization? Start with Stupidification!

Foucault wanted to explore unusual mental states. So he tried (thus he pretends) drugs and “eroticism”. However, Nietzsche did it better: he climbed mountains, solo. The latter activity, full entanglement with nature, with bare hands, and bare mind, reveals what the human mind is fully capable of. Sex and drugs are just crutches for minds handicapped by the perspective of nature itself, and how to endure it.

Tellingly, even the pathetic Foucault was much more entangled with life than the pretend phantoms of “linguistic” and Anglo-Saxon pseudosophy.

Camille Paglia had total contempt for Foucault: he was a liar, she screamed (correctly). Foucault was in more way than one, a noble predecessor of the likes of Tariq Ramadan. Part and parcel of the general stupidification program. Not to say he said was stupid. Far from it.


Oxford Preaches Abuse of Women:

Tariq Ramadan had prestigious teaching positions in more than half a dozen universities. He is adviser to the British government. He has been all over French TV for decades. He had two “don” position at Oxford (one in “Oriental Studies” the other in Islam).

Ramadan has been accused of violence against women, for many years. Never mind: he was proclaimed, again and again one of the planet’s top thinkers. Apparently, it requires top thinking to justify the stoning of women (as Ramadan does). As the weasel Ramada is, he long presented abuse and violences against women as a sort of provisional state..

Mr Ramadan, a well-known figure who has been affiliated with Oxford university since 2005, was seen “walking and laughing in the halls as if nothing had happened”, the Oxford student newspaper Cherwell reported. Even though more than 2,000 had signed a petition to have the propagandist of abuse removed, after it surfaced many women accused him explicitly of violence (some of these women are Jihadists). The rape evidence have long been in police labs, but Ramadan is sacred, after all, he is an islamist, so no judicial examination was started, even in France, especially in France.   

The term “Don” derives from the latin “Dominus” (Lord, used in the late empire starting around 300 CE to qualify the emperor). Because priests got called that way, what became universities in England used to be ecclesiastical.

For decades, Ramadan has gone around the world, being asked point blank, yet never condemning the stoning of women for behaviors which were already not criminal in the Roman Republic 2,100 years ago. Instead Ramadan has always called stoning “unimplementable”.

The only thing which can be implemented is Islam fanatics preaching in the top universities, to make us all stupid. When Darwin and Lyell were young, they had to go to Edinburgh to learn evolution theory (Lamarck’s theory). Evolution was not taught in England, because it contradicted the cult of God/Allah. In a similar vein, Ramadan was an adviser to the British government (one of several he so advise). How to rape women and get away with it?


Plutocratic Magazine The Economist fires another broadside “cover story” at Trump, loaded with boiled carrots:

The Economist is led by a 50 year old woman, Zanny Minton Beddoes, who was apparently given the task of keeping Trump Derangement Syndrome up and running (“America’s global influence has dwindled under Donald Trump… America hurt itself and the world by turning inward”). I replied:

Many facile viewpoints are in the silly, silly category. All what is, is not what meets the eye, or the ear.

1) Trans Pacific Partnership Treaty was monstrous: it proposed to override democracies. The excuse for it was that it was an alliance AGAINST China. Trump destroyed that anti-democratic plot. Even Clinton had turned against it. (And of course Sanders!)

2) Trump didn’t pull the US out of the Paris Climate Treaty: he just said he did. In truth it can’t happen before 2020. Meanwhile, last Saturday, the US government produced the most alarming climate warming alert ever, saying 2.1 Celsius rise was guaranteed by 2100. And the rise could be as much as 4.7 Celsius (= apocalypse: poles melting, 70 meter sea rise, world hypoxia). Obama posed as an enemy of coal and pipelines: he did both, massively, stealthily. Trump poses as the opposite. Pay attention to what he does. By letting his scientists predict that the climate situation is going actually to become hyper catastrophic, Trump is working deep on the climate skeptics…

3) Obama named as ambassadors his hyper wealthy friends. Trump fired them on day one, while Obama was still in the air carried by Air Force One (relabelled!) to visit in Palm Springs the billionaire he had named ambassador to Spain.

Machiavellism consists in doing what one is doing in such a way others feel it is the opposite. Trump surrounded himself with experienced generals. Obama surrounded himself with experienced gold diggers… While doing to the letter the exact program concocted by Goldman Sachs under Bush. When Obama left the presidency, inequality had never been higher in the history of the USA.   

Meanwhile the monopoly system set-up under Clinton-Bush-Obama starts to get noticed. Obama did, in the average, one “fund raiser” (= conspiring with the world’s wealthiest people, in exchange for money) per WEEK, during his 8 years of presidency. That’s around 420 fundraisers. One of the pillars of that corruption was Alwalid Bin Talal Al Saud, grandson of the founder of Saudi Arabia, now under arrest, and the controller of Citigroup… It’s entirely possible that the can of wiggling worms is finally going to be open…

Obama was the best friend of global plutocratic monopolies. This era could come to an end, as enemies of Trump such as Al Talal are exposed. It could indeed happen that the arrangements behind the scenes to help those plutocrats made by Obama and his minders, come to the light. Is this what the Trump Derangement Syndrome organizers are afraid of?

Michael Jackson used to babysit Trump’s children (!): as this is increasingly known, the accusations of racism against Trump have become less prominent. Other facile accusations should also be discontinued.

Trump Derangement Syndrome victims will find a racist angle, as maniacs  have answers to all. Trump kneeling to his friend’s greatness


Jacques Attali, Verified account @jattali #signesdufutur: il faudra bien,d’une façon ou une autre, mettre un terme à la divergence entre l’économie allemande et celles des autres pays européens, qui la financent par leurs importations de produits allemands …[“One will have, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, to terminate the divergence between the German economy and that of other European countries, which finance this divergence by their imports of German products“, says Attali, correctly!]

Atlantico on Twitter: “Les 5 sages de l’économie allemande alertent sur “sa surchauffe” et mettent involontairement le doigt sur…

Patrice Ayme added: The US economy, with 3% GDP growth (second quarter in a row) is not “overheating”. What Berlin wants is supremacy. A prolongation of the present German economic & political supremacy. Germans should be reminded that’s uncomfortably close to a dreadful past, persistently engaged, ever since Prussia thought that, thanks to British financing, it could afford racism and exploitation of Jews, Poles and others. That mentality lasted from mid Eighteenth Century until May 8, 1945. What we observe now is a full resurgence thereof. Let’s cut the crap.  

Abuse is abuse, a form of sustainable violence. Sustainable violence can only be broken by wisdom triumphant, or greater violence, irresistible.  In any case abuse is the seed for a storm, mental, or otherwise.

November 11: Time to remember again what the Germans did in 1914, and 1939. The time for excuses is over. The time for explanations is needed.  To avoid the time of another replication.

Patrice Ayme’


Good Faith, Moods, And Truth

February 3, 2016

Little miseries, and even big ones, are all part of what is needed to present wisdom with occasions for progression, by changing the mood. It’s also a good time to re-read Montaigne’s Essays. Not to say that pluripotent, well balanced minds are superior in all ways. We know the opposite to be true: all sorts of unbalanced brains can perform superbly, even irreplaceably, in the restricted dimensions they are obsessed by. (This is particularly true in mathematics, and with many a sublime artist: consider van Gogh.)

No obsession, no progression, where (what’s still mostly) illusion is (much of) the motivation. Obsessiveness is the point which pierces obscurantism. with dedicated will

Thus civilization depends upon mental specialization for progression in the establishment of mental connections ( a piece of really new art creates new mental connections). And so it is inside every mind. Thus, how do minds specialize? By changing moods. For example, by changing to an… obsessive mood (for the aforementioned reason). Authenticity is also a mood. It generates truth progress, true progress, the progress of truth.

The fuel of mental progress is authenticity. There have been significantly different versions of what it is to be truthful, or authentic, in the last 24 centuries. Here are a few (I found only a panel in French, but French seems to be misspelled English, or vice versa).

Is Truth True? What Truth Is, Is Still A Matter Of Debate, Even In Pure Logic, Mathematical, Or Not.

Is Truth True? What Truth Is, Is Still A Matter Of Debate, Even In Pure Logic, Mathematical, Or Not.

Being stuffed with antibiotics, hobbled by pneumonia, puts one in a meditative mood quite different from other meditative moods. To be stuck in bed, forces the brain into a completely different mode from, say, running down a mountain. The general wisdom emanating is drastically different. New perspectives, among other things, are generated.

To the left, tall trees are gently swinging in the breeze, on the right, above other tall trees, in the clear blue sky, extremely high white clouds are streaming across the sky, well above a hundred miles per hour, illustrating vividly the power of the Pacific polar jet stream. Such a spectacle of our atmosphere alive, is as astounding as as the Northern Lights: from massive storm to clear blue sky in about an hour, now with the occasional high white cloud streaking across. Our planet, our gigantic spaceship, is truly amazing.

I am occasionally accused to be an anti-American French philosopher. This is true, yet unfair: it gives only an incomplete picture of my fiendishness. I am also an American anti-French philosopher. As an African philosopher, I have also: Africans have seen a lot. Very recently.

Does the concept of “Mood” translate in (modern) French? (The question was asked to me by Dominique Deux, a faithful commenter on this site.) Africans can learn perfect French in Africa, and I can really tell you, “Mood” does not translate much into modern French… usage (I intent to correct that). It is all the more curious in that the French are… full of moods. It’s important to strike a mood in France. Especially for philosophers.

Montaigne’s essays start with Montaigne striking a mood: “This book was written in good faith (“bonne foi”), reader. It warns you from the outset that I have set no goal but a domestic and private one. I have set no goal of serving you or my own glory. My powers are inadequate for such a purpose. I have set it up for the convenience of my relatives and friends so that when they have lost (as they soon must), they have recovered here some features of my habits and temperament, and by this means keep some of the knowledge they had of me more complete and alive. ”

The fundamental mood Montaigne is brimming with? He says it himself: “BONNE FOI”. (It is exactly the opposite mood from that of the electable politician, ever since we caught that plague, “representative” democracy, which seems to have everything to do with lying… In contrast to what the system the Swiss selected, seven centuries ago, when they declared their independence from those well-known plutocrats, the Habsburg…)

Why is “Bonne Foi” so important in philosophy? For the exact same reason as it is fundamental in science: it embraces truth.

The point of view I will propose on this site for what “truth” and good faith” mean could be useful in pure logic, by switching from language to metalanguage. Too tech to explain right now, but I will later.

Montaigne starts his essays with a flurry of examples from… war. This is why Montaigne is deep, and Gandhi (say) shallow. Montaigne, a soldier (he viewed himself as a soldier), knew all too well that men show their true nature when existence, in particular their own existence, is at stake. One’s existence, plus those of others, giving and taking, everything: this potent cocktail is that of war.

(And if war is presently obsolete, or, let’s say more precisely, subdued, it is because bellicose forces, led by the USA, and France, keep it that way. War is keeping war in check. Each smart bomb exploding with high precision in Syria is a vaccination against a worse, much more violent disease… Not to say Russian bombs are precise: they often are not. But the West bombs precisely, after exquisite intelligence).

By considering examples from war, Montaigne is considering what focuses minds the best: the prospect of death, receiving it, or giving it. It is virtually certain that the most frequent cause of death of male human beings over the last few million years was combat, or some other violence, such as fighting a wild beast. Thus the human brain is best equipped to keep record of combat, and, indeed, we know better why and how the Aztecs or the Romans fought, rather than what they ate.

Hence  military records present with a wealth of human experiences, a rich mine Montaigne prospects. Daring to be Politically Incorrect (PI), rather than Christian Correct, Montaigne naturally used this vast record of exploits, some admirable, some repulsive. And indeed, in his first essay, Montaigne roils out some famous examples of both. Montaigne points out, implicitly,  that Alexander (so-called the Great) was repugnant: he gives two examples why (Thebes and Gaza; I know a third one: Tyr.).

Interestingly, Aristotle is the one who proposed the notion that omission was a lie. Montaigne was more cautious. However, after promising to depict himself all naked if need be, the first thing personal he admits to, is that he does not like to be seen peeing in public (which, he admits, considering his profession, soldier, was a bit of a problem…)

I will propose something even more demanding for what Good Faith consists of: a full exploration of what one should know about the subject at hand. And that includes the truth of moods. Kant, there, who apparently wanted to tell the entire truth (see the green panel above), would have come short: his real mood was racism. And he obviously did not want to flaunt that, but be discrete about it.

So when the Nazis got inspired by Kant, they got inspired by the same attitude: tell their truths, all their truths, but don’t reveal what their real moods were. Quite the opposite: Hitler went all around. claiming to be in the mood of defending “peace” and “minorities”, whereas he wanted to kill both. Same with Kant: he wanted to enslave other “races”, but, knowing how ugly that was, he kept his real mood.

Patrice Ayme’