Posts Tagged ‘Nihilism’

Real Civilization Does Not Confuse Civilization and Superstition.

May 23, 2017

Another day, another Jihadist attack aimed at children. The Islamist State has long given instructions to kill children. Twenty-two killed, 60 maimed in Manchester at a concert for children. A 22 year old cultural Libyan exploded himself. The “multicultural” assassin was technically, but not culturally, a Brit. Time to face reality.

An eight year old little girl died, among others. Who is responsible? The  savage who exploded himself, according to Islam, or those who, misleadingly, call Islam a “civilization”? Excited, nihilistic maniacs, or those who, in the philosophical establishment, call their religion civilized?

Here is a Sword Verse, one of a great many in the Qur’an, Surah 9, verse 59:

“But when the forbidden months are past,

then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them,

and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)…”

[Partisan Muslims whine that this is out of context; actually the context is much more terrible than that: all sorts of people are supposed to be killed, according to Literal Islam, for example homosexuals, just because they are homosexual, following explicitly the Bible, are supposed to “rain stones on homosexuals”. By the way, that’s ironical, as Muslim societies are INTRINSICALLY homosexual!]

Islam is not a civilization, it’s a superstition, and it has been highly successful precisely because this superstition gives a lot of pretexts to kill all sorts of people, while claiming warriors will be pals with god. Islam is not a civilization. How can we take seriously those who confuse “civilization” and superstition? Instead, indeed, Islam is just a superstition. And a pretty nihilistic one at that. “Nihil” means nothing in Latin, it’s related to annihilation. Muhammad explained from the beginning that Islam aimed at annihilating the Greco-Roman and Sassanid (Persian) empires.

Islam orders that society and superstition should not be separated. Said otherwise, Islam orders society to become a “theocracy” (power of god).

Tenochtitlan, Sixteenth Century. This is a civilization. It separated governance and superstition, because a civilization has to separate reality from fancy.

This is primitive. Serious civilizations separated, and separate, superstition and political governance. In Japan the Shogun heading the government was no priest. Nor was the Chinese empire a theocracy. An even more enlightening civilization was the Mexican one. The (more or less central) Aztec government separated the religion and the government: the emperor had diverse titles (including “speaker”), but he had no religious title. The Aztec emperor was not a priest. The two top priests of Tenochtitlan were at the head of the Aztec Church, a completely distinct hierarchy from political governance (which comprised war, justice, commerce, finance).  

Make no mistake: I don’t mind the devil, if, and whenever, it serves civilization: for example, I do not condemn the massive bombing campaigns against the populations who had supported the mass murdering fascist regimes of Germany and Japan. It was the cheapest way, by a very long shot, cheapest not just economically and militarily, but also, overall, in human lives, to win the war.

The Aztecs distinguished completely their superstitious religion from governance, That reflects, and encourages, the ability to distinguish reality from a fiction “above” it. Governance has to be grounded in reality, thus divorced from fiction.

The “West” did this, and did it all along, under the Roman Republic. The separation of church and state was re-asserted formally when (all too Catholic!) emperor Justinian ordered a (“Pagan“!) law professor to head a commission to refurbish Roman Law (by then nearly 13 centuries old, and full of obsolete considerations). Justinian gave just one instruction: to separate secular from religious law. Justinian’s refurbished law was immediately made law in the empire of the Franks (Imperium Francorum), which held (most of) Western Europe.

Thus, both Aztecs and Western Europe separated superstitious church and reality-based state.

A real civilization does not confuse civilization and superstition.

A civilization is the ultimate achievement of humanity. A superstition is a butterfly’s dream. And when a superstition is just a dressing for nihilism, it’s nothing to be proud of. Nothing. Not that nihilism is nothing, far from it.

Where does nihilism comes from? Nihilism is a characteristic of human ethology. The greatest enemy of man is not just man, but the enormous destruction which man can bring to terrestrial ecology. Thus, the enemy of man is man, squared. Including oneself. To destroy that ecological destruction man brings, it’s best to destroy men. That’s where the nihilist instinct comes from. When there are more people than the ecology can stand, people have to die. Thus more so in the desert. Thus the nihilist essence of Islam! Thus the attachment of Islam to the regions with a difficult, unforgiving, ecology.

The civil war in Syria followed a spectacular drought which starved Syrians massively. War in Syria has displaced at least 25% of the population, solving the ecological problem in a way few will find amusing, soon all over reproducing, if the greenhouse keeps on getting worse, as it will.

Nihilism of Islamism: religions for a devastated and devastating future?

Patrice Ayme’

Blame Obama’s Nihilism For Syria’s Destruction

December 17, 2016

Pontificating Pseudo-Leftists Destroyed The Better Values, Including Care and Rationality, By Claiming They Were Not Worth Fighting For, Nothing Was. From This Obscene Nihilism, Of Slimy Souls, We Will All Suffer All Too Practically.

The Economist has woken up, from its Trump Derangement Syndrome, to the reality of the catastrophic moral abyss known as the Obama administration. Subtitle of The Economist: The war in Syria: The lessons from Aleppo’s tragic fateWHEN INTERESTS TRIUMPH OVER VALUES TERRIBLE THINGS CAN HAPPEN. (Dec 17th 2016.)

The interest of whom, dear The Economist? Not just Putin’s, Assad, and the plutocratic circles in London which professionally love the Assad family’s billions. One speaks here also of the interests of prima donna Michelle Obama and the US Democratic Party elite presently still in power, and the interest of those who feed them all, the globalocracy and the worldwide plutocracy, especially the one of financial type. That interest goes beyond profiteering from those who support massacres. It goes as far as destroying the values which make civilization possible. Let me explain.

Aleppo Barrel Bombing By Assad Regime Summer 2015. What the Joint Franco-American Intervention Was Supposed To Stop

Aleppo Barrel Bombing By Assad Regime Summer 2015. What the Joint Franco-American Intervention Was Supposed To Stop

The joint French Republic USA attack on Assad after Assad killed thousands of civilians in gas attacks, would have taken out the entire Syrian Air Force, including helicopters dropping barrel bombs.

Obama’s last minute loss of nerves, and calling off the attack while French bomber pilots were already strapped in their seats, was a moral failure of Auschwitzian proportions. Of such moral failures was the road to World War Two and Auschwitz, paved. (And it did not take too many of these failures, barely more than a couple, before the insane moods had set-in, and world war was unavoidable.)

Says The Economist: GROZNY, Dresden, Guernica: some cities have made history by being destroyed. Aleppo, once Syria’s largest metropolis, will soon join their ranks. Its 1,000-year-old Muslim heritage has turned to dust; Russian aircraft have targeted its hospitals and schools; its citizens have been shelled, bombed, starved and gassed (see article). Nobody knows how many of the tens of thousands who remain in the last Sunni Arab enclave will die crammed inside the ruins where they are sheltering. But even if they receive the safe passage they have been promised, their four-year ordeal in Aleppo has blown apart the principle that innocent people should be spared the worst ravages of war. Instead, a nasty, brutish reality has taken hold—and it threatens a more dangerous and unstable world.”

A mood that political leaders and dictators can get away with mass murder for all to see has set-in. This has happened many times in the past:  that change of moods is always necessary before great wars. Just as it did in Germany before 1914 (after massacring hundreds of thousands of Namibian Natives, the Herero and Nama, as if they were rats, or game animals, offering money for their heads, hunting them for sport). Just as it did happen worldwide in the 1930s (Japan attacked China, Italy attacked Ethiopia, US plutocrats and the Nazi dictator attacked the Spanish Republic, and all made like bandits, getting away with anything, including the biggest lies they could imagine, etc.)

Encouraged by these profitable pursuits, Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany constituted the “Axis”, in 1936, while US plutocrats helped make the Axis all it could be. The Axis was a series of diplomatic treaties. But, more importantly, the Axis was a sharing of satanic values. Shared satanic values which the leaders of the Axis believed was the best way to success. And for a while, for them, it worked. In the end, it worked only for the Deus Ex Nachina, the USA itself. (However, because that this Machiavellian strategy worked in the past for the USA is no guarantee that it will work in the future. Actually, it won’t because Kim’s nukes will soon be able to reach the USA; in WWII, nobody hostile could even get to the US mainland!)

Italy, Japan, Germany conquered, and, or came to control  huge swathes of territory, through the nastiest, most satanic ways. The success of these Plutonic values led countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Yugoslavia, the USSR, Thailand, Iraq, etc., to join, de facto and through treaties, the Axis. And of course, this further success encouraged plutocrats to help the Axis (just as Putin’s and Tehran’s success will encourage others to join them… such as Turkey’s Sultan). It all snowballed, until the French Republic, followed by the Commonwealth, declared war. France, though, got overwhelmed through surprise, bad luck, an uncautious head of the army, reason…

And also France came down in a few days in May 1940,  because the French (and British) Air Forces had not enjoyed enough practice. The French Air Force and the RAF took a few weeks to learn the tricks the Nazis had learned and refined in air combat in the preceding four years, say, while bombing Guernica and attacking ground forces, in Spain. If you want peace, prepare for war, by practicing war.  

If you can’t beat them, join them in fighting, you will improve.

The brains of many present world politicos, such as Vladimir Putin, Assad, Xi, Kim have set-in into a more aggressive mindset. Thanks to Obama’s incompetent childishness, and holy-than-thou attitude. Maybe their epigenetics, not just their neurohormones, emotions, feeling, reconstructed memories and  ideas have installed in their heads operating systems which toy with millions killed and displaced as if it were a chess game.

A small, but telling example? China just seized an US military underwater drone, while the civilians manning an US vessel a few hundreds meters away watched in disbelief. The US made a demarche to recover their stolen robot.

Trump’s reaction: “China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters — rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act,” Mr. Trump wrote in a Twitter message. His original tweet on the subject on Saturday called the seizure an “unpresidented act,” but a replacement message corrected the spelling error. Spelling error? Assuredly, a judicious one.

Many of the best ideas have started as errors. The USA has been “unpresidented” for eight years, indeed.

We are feeling what not having hope feels like,” Michelle Obama told Winfrey in response to a question about whether President Obama had achieved the “hope and change” he promised while campaigning in 2008. ” The self-absorbed Michelle did not mean Aleppo. She obviously meant she has to give up on that big presidential plane in 4 weeks. Hey, no more vacation in the billionaire’s palaces anymore, with the media moguls? Otherwise her husband’s presidency has been abysmal on all what can be measured: poverty (eight million more!), food stamps (13 million more!), employment rate (not the UNemployment index known as U2!), home ownership, cost of health care, cost of education, etc. The Obama presidency was pretty much a sham, organized by spoiled, ignorant children, but hundreds of thousands have now died because of it, and everything indicates that this is just the beginning:

The Economist says: “Britain’s parliament voted against taking even limited military action. As millions of people fled to Syria’s neighbours, including Lebanon and Jordan, most European countries looked the other way —or put up barriers to keep refugees out.

PARTICULAR BLAME FALLS ON BARACK OBAMA. America’s president has treated Syria as a trap to be avoided. His smug prediction that Russia would be bogged down in a “quagmire” there has proved a historic misjudgment.

Throughout his presidency, Mr Obama has sought to move the world from a system where America often acted alone to defend its values, with a few countries like Britain riding shotgun, to one where the job of protecting international norms fell to all countries—because everyone benefited from the rules.

[Or when naivety becomes criminal, murderous idiocy!]

Aleppo is a measure of how that policy has failed. As America has stepped back, the vacuum has been filled not by responsible countries that support the status quo, but by the likes of Russia and Iran which see the promotion of Western values as an insidious plot to bring about regime change in Moscow and Tehran.”

Entirely correct, The Economist. Barack Obama has proven to be very far from a progressive, or a defender of the better values (as one would expect from somebody financed by Goldman Sachs more than any other entity). Instead, Obama has proven to be a right-wing terminator of people. He let the massacre in Syria happen in slow motion.

Obama also spurned and terminated the better values as something worth defending (and thus Obama served Goldman Sachs and its ilk, lack of better values). Obama taught us all to be moral slime. To avoid “quagmires”, Obama became one himself. Obama should have given war a chance (if John Lennon had been around, he may well have concluded that!) Invertebrates never had a chance. Invertebrates like Obama.

In truth, Obama, like all pseudo-leftists, is a poser without values much beyond greed (such as the ravenous greed for power or Nobel prizes). A nihilist. Western progressive values, or the better values of humanity itself, under the pseudo-leftist doctrine, cannot be imposed, because they are viewed as imperialism itself.

This is why Obama put Putin, rather than the French Republic, in charge of Syria: because Putin, or the theocrats in Tehran, or the plutocrats in Beijing, have values which are just as valuable, Obama implicitly, yet extremely repetitively, said. (The reason for this is that the main financier of Obama’s first campaign was Goldman-Sachs: thus the superior values of Goldman-Sachs were transmitted to Obama in a superior way: greed, self-advancement, navigation, etc. Financial manipulators are dictators behind the stage friendly to those dictators who take the stage)

Politics select for self-obsessed slime. Obama has none of the higher values higher human beings are, whatsoever, but he is good at faking ennui and a loftier stance. A comedian. What is his motivation to do so? Obviously a world without redeeming values fit those who breathe greed perfectly. So Obama, by refusing to defend values, manu militari, is actually making the plutocratic mood progress, thus making those who will pay his bills in a month, richer, more powerful, and more generous.

The plutocratic ideal is fundamentally nihilist: it replaces the better angels of our nature, which humanity absolutely need to exist, with low and vicious aspects, and neurohormones, like greed, power onto others, cruelty, etc.  

And what of the little pseudo-leftists who feel that Obama is the best thing since whole wheat bread, and have been clamoring for more of the same, hundreds of thousands dead, millions of refugees full of Islamism? Many of them have elected. not to defend values, but on hating those who have them. Because hatred is a strong emotion.

Also, most of the pseudo-leftists are just ignorant, and ignorance is not just comfortable, but easy to acquire.

By refusing to act against hatred, Obama has refused to defend the better angels of our values. Instead he has left open the road to irrationality (inventing excuses for not defending said better values) and hatred itself.

Thus Obama contributed to making a much bigger war more likely. Indeed, Obama has told us that to see half a million people killed in what used to be the richest part of the Roman empire, is no concern of his. Nothing that motivates him. Half a million people dead, dictators, some nuclear armed, reinforced, and Obama congratulates himself for having avoided a “quagmire”.

Obama’s powerless UN ambassador, ironically named Power, complained to Russia that it had no decency. that Power chick does not know that, when one has the power of extermination, decency is irrelevant. She and her boss, Obama, are that ignorant. Obama did not just unpresident himself, he was never really president, just taking orders from his (plutocratic) minders. Doing so, not realizing that only military force imposes and preserves civilization, puts us,and all the better values, at risk of being ruled by the spirit of Pluto, at the hands of plutocrats. And the proof is the powerlessness of Obama’s pious declarations on what constitute decent behaviors, the exact behaviors he violated. Now the jerks are compulsively talking about Russia’s sofware prowess, after letting Putin and Assad ravage Aleppo, and Syria.

Might is not necessarily right, indeed. However, right without might, cannot be. Ever.

Civilization is fundamentally about force. The force of the highest human values reorganizing nature, including human nature, for the better, fighting adversity, and winning.

And to do that, to win, we need not just smarts as Ulysses, but also might, like Heracles.

Slime is cool, indeed, but it could not possibly invent civilization. Only entrepreneur could, and did. That’s why we have hands, big hands. Give us that world which we shall mold, for the better; the empire of humanity, this is what us humans make, and always made. The divine primate. Slime, those who will not defend the values which make us the most human, we have to wash out at sea, before their impotence exterminates us.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Classical Nihilism: Shakespeare & Qur’an

January 5, 2016

Is life a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing? Shakespeare evoked the idea. He created a mood. Out of it Bush, massacring all the Natives? Shakespeare, the Master Thinker is much admired in the Anglo-Saxon world, and beyond (perhaps in the hope of seducing Anglo-Saxons by loving where they come from?) The Bard was gifted with words, but some of the terrible ideas he lent to his characters have seeped into the world consciousness, as we must approve of them. Maybe it was no accident, not all Islam, when a Jihadist from London executed many, for the camera, in the name of the Islamist State. (That assassin was executed by an American drone, a good usage of the technology… for a change!)

In 1984, a program of reintroduction of Golden Lion Tamarins brought nine of these heart melting primates from the Washington Zoo to a reserve to Brazil’s Mata Atlantica. At the time no more than 200 were left in the wild. However, Western zoos had their own populations, some dating several centuries (the cuties were popular at the French court).

If Shakespeare Feels Life Is An Idiocy That Signifies Nothing, Does It Mean We Have To Die? Oder Arbeit Macht Frei?

If Shakespeare Feels Life Is An Idiocy That Signifies Nothing, Does It Mean We Have To Die? Oder Arbeit Macht Frei?

The Washington tamarins had been specially trained, for months to life outside. Logically enough, within weeks eight were dead. So much for Anglo-Saxon training (too much Shakespeare?). Subsequently, the Brazilians trained the tamarins themselves, with great success. (Now there are 2,000 in the “wild”. A “wilderness” full of freeways and high tension lines…)

The brutality, witchcraft, lethal ambition, and madness of a play such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth leaves images, and phrases, ideas and moods which pervade the Anglo-Saxon universe, and what it influences, namely the rest of the world from New Delhi to Beijing, Tokyo, even Moscow.

Who does not know “To be or not to be?”. It’s the opening sentence in Hamlet. The character is pondering suicide.

A new commenter on this site, Robin, subscribes to the Shakespeare cult, and quotes The Bard as an authority on my own idiocy. First Robin quoted the very last sentence of the following passage in MacBeth Act V scene 5::

LIFE’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

Robin kindly explains that I am the idiot, by quoting me: “So on the eve of yet another disastrous day of tragedies, to read: “The more powerful we humans become, the more perfect our government has to be. Thus, the more We the Citizens have to be perfect. Thus, the keener we will have to be to find the truth, and impose it, when lives, or the future, are at stake.” made my blood curdle.

Yet another clarion call to humanity composed of rhetoric, but absent of meaningful content.”

Robin took a sentence from The Bard, and made it into an aphorism. I have several disagreements here, both with the method (Shakespeare did not talk about me, but about life), and with the aphorism itself.

Shakespeare seems to believe that a tale told by an idiot signifies nothing. Quite the opposite. Idiots and madmen have much to tell, that’s the all idea of Shakespeare, come to think of it.

I replied that Shakespeare here is in total contradiction, not just with humanism, but humanity itself. Humanity’s task is to give meaning to life. Shakespeare may have been an idiot full of sound and fury, like Hitler. As, indeed, the Nazis agreed fully with Shakespeare’s preceding quote. So they were destroyed by those who give meaning to life. May reciting Shakespeare literally be quite a bit like reciting the Qur’an literally?

Reading Robin, one see analogies: “As for Shakespeare, well, he pretty much stands alone – a man who invented 27% of our language… It is the ACTIONS, not the form, which produce results of good or evil.” Similarly, some doctors of the Islamist faith will say the Qur’an invented Arabic. And they would be mostly correct about the written form! As far as English and Shakespeare in concerned, it’s pretty grotesque to say he invented English. 85% of English is mispronounced Franco-Latino-Greek, and of the remaining 15% much is in common with Old Dutch, the language of the Franks…

So Shakespeare obsessed about “form”, and “Action” (see extract of Hamlet below). What happened to thinking? Is thinking in Shakespeare? Yes, “Conscience does make Cowards of us all”. (Hamlet below, again.)

Modern law has started to discover that THOUGHT CRIME is a real problem (notwithstanding that it was made fun of by the fashionable Sci-Fi author, George Orwell).

French and German law punish Nazi holocaust denial with prison. They have been imitated with a number of countries (including Hungary after 2010, where a would-be Nazi was since condemned to several years in prison suspended when he agreed to visit a number of sites where Nazis perpetrated holocausts, and to write a reports about what he learned after each visit).

Here is the beginning of Hamlet; we can either suffer, or commit suicide. Forget about political change:

To be, or not to be, that is the question:

Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer

The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,

Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep

No more; and by a sleep, to say we end

The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks

That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep,

To sleep, perchance to Dream; aye, there’s the rub,

For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause. There’s the respect

That makes Calamity of so long life:

For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of time,

The Oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s Contumely, [F: poor]

The pangs of despised Love, the Law’s delay, [F: disprized]

The insolence of Office, and the Spurns

That patient merit of the unworthy takes,

When he himself might his Quietus make

With a bare Bodkin? Who would Fardels bear, [F: these Fardels]

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death,

The undiscovered Country, from whose bourn

No Traveller returns, Puzzles the will,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have,

Than fly to others that we know not of.

Thus Conscience does make Cowards of us all,

And thus the Native hue of Resolution

Is sicklied o’er, with the pale cast of Thought,

And enterprises of great pitch and moment, [F: pith]

With this regard their Currents turn awry, [F: away]

And lose the name of Action. Soft you now,

The fair Ophelia? Nymph, in thy Orisons.”

Be all my sins remembered

The fact remains that believing that “LIFE’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing…”

Is as bad as nihilism goes. For people like that why does killing children mean anything? Is it what they mean?

Why not engage in various inanities and murders, then, to give life some spice, more meaning? Was then G.W. Bush’s presidency straight out of Shakespeare, fretting on a stage, heard of it no more,  “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”… In other words, was G. W. Bush’s presidency straight out of Shakespeare, something classical, natural, a normal way of behaving?

It obviously was.

Shakespeare is a double edge sword, and the handle itself is a blade too. By grabbing it, as if it were a well of wisdom, one cuts all tendrils of wisdom.

Kudos to Obama for crying at the White House when evoking small children cut down by automatic weapons’ fire. And why were those small children killed inhumanely, tortured to death? Just because idiots telling furious tales, full of sound and madness, have decided life means nothing as long as it cannot be cut down by automatic fire.

Reading Shakespeare, just as reading the Qur’an, should be done very carefully, under advanced philosophical supervision. Lest it feeds the idiots with the mood that life signifies nothing, and thus may as well be welcome as a tale told by an idiot (Hitler, or some other “Prophet”?), full of sound and fury.

Wisdom is not just blossoming with sophisticated ideas, it also avoids reeking of foul, dangerous, sadistic, cruel, nihilistic, vicious moods.

Patrice Ayme’

ECONOMIC NIHILISM DECRIED.

August 10, 2008

DEVALUATING TO DEATH IS NO PANACEA.

Overview: The USA has used a devaluation of the US Dollar to help the US economy by increasing exports. This is an attempt to rob Jeanne (d’Arc) to feed (Uncle) Sam, and the exact sort of attempt to claw out some unfair advantage, that ignited the Great Depression that led to World War Two. This is not just injust and immoral, it’s grotesque, immoral, and very dangerous. Instead the USA should proceed with its long delayed drastic economic overhaul.

Currency devaluation to gain a short term economic advantage leads to political, social and moral devaluations. Ultimately it is the most guaranteed path to fascism and war, and defeat, history is very clear on that, all the way back to Rome. The USA cannot use its old devaluation trick to re-launch its economy anymore, because the rise of the rest of the world, and, in particular, of the colossal European Union, has deprived it of its special status. Obama is now talking about (part of) this, and it’s excellent news. Putting the US back on track involves first a rise of the Dollar, and since that’s done with the mouth, and a few clicks of the mouse, it can be done right away.
***

A lot of the rise of commodity prices, measured in dollars, has been caused by the devaluation of the US Dollar. In the last eight years, as oil went from 20 to 150 in US Dollars, the relative rise in Euros was only half of that.

As Barack Obama puts it:.”If we had a strengthening of the dollar, that would help” reduce fuel costs, (he said, according to Reuters). Instead, Fed Officials and the Bush administration blame high commodity prices on supply and demand, despite falling demand due to slower global growth. Meanwhile, they pursued what the Wall Street Journal calls “their destructive and all but explicit dollar devaluation strategy” (WSJ, August 8, 2008).

The recent lowering of the dollar was a competitive devaluation (ever since it breached parity with the Euro). In a competitive devaluation, a country (call it X) lowers its currency, to make its products cheaper. This is supposed to bring up the economic activity inside the country. There are several problems with this though:

1) In the very first stage, other countries get irritated because they then sell less of their own products, lowering their own activity, making them lose long term market share to X, etc.

2) Simultaneously, inflation of imports inside X is proportional to the lowering of the currency of X. This is what is happening to the US right now with oil and commodities. The lowering of the currency of X can lead foreigners to not invest in X as much as they should, because they wonder where it will stop (the USA is at this stage where foreigners are starting to pull away).

3) In the preceding stage, if the rise of exports’ worth does not keep pace with the rise of imports’ cost, the situation of X can get worse (this is not yet the case in the USA presently: the trade imbalance is going down). That stage is often facilitated if other countries take, in response to (1), corrective measures, not to say outright retorsion. Should the rise of exports not keep pace, other countries and investors lose trust in X’s currency, and, in a first stage, pull their investments out, making a bad situation way worse (the USA is approaching this stage: the big European countries receive much more Foreign Direct Investment than the USA, increasing the gap; the UK gets about three times more FDI, relative to its population).

4) In the final stage, X becomes so cheap, foreigners swoop in, and exert undue influence (this happened to imperial Rome, just before it transmogrified itself into a fascist “Catholic Orthodox” theocracy: it was easier to teach the rudiments of civilization to barbarians through a superstitious religion, than by sending them to school).

Competitive devaluations are therefore economically destabilizing and lead to civil unrest, fascism, and war. The textbook examples are the Weimar Republic and Argentina in the twentieth century. Britain, France, and many Mediterranean countries used competitive devaluations on a regular basis, creating havoc. Meanwhile Germany, (remembering that after using a massive devaluation to annoy France in the early twenties, she ended up with Nazism), became obsessed, come what may, to insure the value of the Deutsch Mark. The result was a flourishing economy, and that strategy was so good, it was even adopted by France within a generation, resulting ultimately in the creation of the Euro (after the Franc and the Mark got locked together for a decade, one may as well have called them the same, indeed).

This is not the first time the USA indulges in a competitive devaluation. In the past, though, the US Dollar was the world’s one and only reserve currency. So, when the US Dollar was going down, US exports would become cheaper, but payments of oil and commodities would not go higher (because they were all in US Dollars). The USA could engage in competitive devaluation without punishment, so it did. Now, for the first time, it’s being punished.

Indeed, the European Union’s sixteen trillion dollar economy has become much larger than that of the USA’s, and it has its own currency, the Euro (the British Pound , Swiss Franc, and various critters are more or less locked to it). Thus, the US Dollar should not be the world reserve currency anymore, and it is in the process of losing this status. Many countries are building reserves of Euros, and following Saddam, are asking for payments in Euros for oil and commodities. (As a confirmation of the economic, financial and increasing rise of Europe, world’s British Pound reserves are now larger than the reserves in the Japanese Yen… A telling forecast of what the world thinks of the future of open Britain and semi closed Japan.)

When Saddam Hussein decided unwisely to switch to oil payments in Euros, the USA replied by invading and destroying Iraq. That method, though, cannot be duplicated easily. Many countries are now switching to Euros, and when oil and commodities have prices in Euros, as the US Dollar goes down, their prices in Dollars go up. The USA is now approaching the sort of infernal descent into an inflationary spiral Argentina was destroyed with, nearly a century ago. The only saving grace is that the US debt to foreigners is, so far, in US Dollars (so it goes down with the Dollar; Argentina had a lot of its debt in foreign currency).

Barack Obama is right to call for a rise of the US Dollar. When the Euro was created, its value was found by looking at the long term average of the French Franc relative to the US Dollar over a century (around 6.66 Francs for a Dollar). That fixed the Euro-Dollar parity, and we are presently more than 50% above it. The present imbalance has been caused by deliberate short term neglect of the Dollar and US economy, and long term erroneous civilizational strategies. A correct US administration would point out that this is over, and that the US Dollar will regain its correct value right away. The turn around will be signaled by turning the Dollar around. This can be done tomorrow morning: the European Central Bank will be delighted to have an opportunity to ambush the speculators, it has been chomping at the bit, and is tired to intervene alone). This would bring capital in the USA immediately, helping to reverse the part of its economic decline which is caused by a dearth of modern investments.

Whereas, if the present situation perdures, it would do so because of the persistence of disastrous economic policies inside the USA, and the failure to even talk as if one wanted to turn things around. Ultimately, a catastrophic loss of control over the US currency could occur if a clear signal does not come that US authorities have decided to stop the decay of their country. Not a good way to go. Remember Argentina.

Patrice Ayme.