Posts Tagged ‘rage’

Rage Can Be Good: Reflecting On the Iliad’s Achilles

May 20, 2018

WISDOM: IT ENCOMPASSES OF ALL EMOTIONS, EVEN RAGE CAN BE DRAFTED AS AN ENGINE OF CREATION:

Achilles’ rage is the engine of Homer’s Iliad, it makes the story much more interesting, including the tragic figure of Hector, who does everything right, just to be dragged around the walls, as a piece of garbage. A frequent mistake is to identify rage, the engine of creation of the Iliad, with the cause of much unhappiness among the participants.  Actually, Homer attributes a cause to the rage, and, it’s… forgetfulness. Thus Homer condemns, ultimately, not a basic emotion, rage, but the erroneous logical processing of Achilles: Achilles forgot what he was there for.

What is the nature of wisdom? How all-encompassing is wisdom? Some want to clip wisdom’s wings, consign it to something tame, with few emotions. This is completely erroneous. Wisdom should encompass, and work with, all emotions. Including rage. Homer’s work and the Vedas,the Knowledge, (1700 BCE!? to 500 BCE),  teach us this.

That rage is sometimes optimal, the episode of the 1930s, appeasing the Nazis and other fascists, should have taught us. But many are still the subjects in history which justify our ire, and it should motivate us to explore them. For example why the criminal Louis XIV of France could get away with expelling all Protestants of France, and torturing the rest, or why slavery was re-introduced by Europeans in the Americas… a full millennium after being outlawed  in Western Europe (by the Franks who ruled most of it). This is one of the reasons why anger is good.

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No Achilles, No Iliad:

Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are Europe’s oldest literature (India’s oldest wisdom in writing, the Veda, is older). That oldest work from the 8th century BCE can still move us today is a testament to the genius of old thinking, and, in particular Homer (whoever he, or they, was/were).

Both works are full of larger-than-life figures, among them Achilles in the Iliad, and Odysseus in the homonymous epic. As Massimo Pigliucci discussed in the past, Odysseus was considered by all the major philosophical schools, each interpreting his story to serve their mentalities. For the Stoics, Odysseus was a role model.

Greco-Macedonian Phalanx, Ready to Promote Civilization, Gender Equality and Democracy

Massimo says: “But what about Achilles? I must confess, I never liked the guy. All brawns and no brains (exactly the opposite of Odysseus), he never appealed to my nerdy self. And I always thought his treatment of Hector’s body after their epic battle was irredeemably shameful. More recently, though, I started thinking about him specifically from a Stoic perspective. Particularly the pivotal episode near the beginning of the Iliad, when Achilles gets pissed off at Agamemnon, the head of the Greek expedition to Troy (and brother of Menelaus, the husband that Helen left for Paris, thus allegedly triggering the war itself).

It’s worth recounting the episode in some detail. Agamemnon has taken a woman named Chryseis as his slave. Chryseis’ father, however, is a priest of Apollo, and he asks the god to return his daughter. Since Agamemnon refuses, Apollo sends a plague to the Greek camp to make a convincing case. The prophet Calchas diagnoses the problem correctly, but refuses to speak up unless he secures Achilles’ protection. When the hero grants it, Agamemnon is forced to return Chryseis. Petty as he usually is, he takes revenge on Achilles, demanding the latter’s battle prize, Briseis, in reparation for the loss of Chryseis. It is now Achilles’ turn to get pissed off and petty: out of spite, he goes on strike and refuses to lead the Greeks into battle. Hence the famous opening lines of the Iliad:

“Sing, Goddess, of the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles,

the accursed rage that brought great suffering to the Achaeans.”

(Sounds better in Italian, I think: “Cantami, o Diva, del pelide Achille / l’ira funesta che infiniti addusse / lutti agli Achei.”)

That rage quickly leads to the death of Achilles’ intimate friend, Patroclus, who had donned Achilles’ harmor to lead the Greeks in a desperate attempt to push back the advancing Trojans, and was killed by the Trojan prince Hector (who will later, in turn, be killed by Achilles).

What would the Stoics think of Achilles’ behavior? One clue is in the word “rage” used by Homer: as we know, the Stoics thought that anger was the most devastating of the pathē, the unhealthy emotions, to be avoided at all costs. But we don’t have to speculate much, as Epictetus addresses the episode directly:

“And when did Achilles come to grief? When Patroclus died? Far from it. But rather, when he himself yielded to anger, when he wept over a young girl, when he forgot that he was there, not to acquire mistresses, but to make war. These are the ways in which human beings are brought to grief, this is the siege, this the razing of the citadel, when right judgements are overturned, when they are destroyed.” (Discourses I.29-24-25)

The “citadel” being razed here is not Troy, but the very same one so often mentioned by Marcus Aurelius in the Meditations: our ruling faculty, the hêgemonikon, a term closely related to Epictetus’ favorite one, prohairesis (our capacity of judgment). Achilles’ true loss did not occur when his friend was killed, but when he himself lost the way of reason (assuming he ever had it, since there is little evidence of that).”

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Achilles: the Wrongs and Rights of Rage:

One can live big now. Yes, it requires sacrifices. Yes one can die from it like in old times. Yes, that’s how really new, bold and deep ideas appear, and otherwise they will never blossom.

Rage can be bad, rage can be good. It depends upon circumstances: how the rage arose, if it is justified, what it will achieve. As all human emotions, it is present, because it has evolutionary value. All revolutions were propelled by rage, and without them, there would be no advancing civilization.

Achilles increasing rage is an example of the wrong sort of rage, which scrambles a proper consideration of reality. Yet, Achilles’ problem is not so much rage, than having a wrong hierarchy of motivating factors in his logical processing: he “forgot”. Consider the revealingly truncated quote of Epictetus:

when did Achilles come to grief? …when he forgot that he was there, not to acquire mistresses, but to make war. These are the ways in which human beings are brought to grief, this is the siege, this the razing of the citadel, when right judgements are overturned, when they are destroyed

Basically, Achilles came to Troy and then engaged in the wrong activities: that shaped his mind wrong, “overturning right judgements”.

Achilles forgot that, when one makes war, one makes war, not love. Love making scrambles his war logic, his hierarchy of motivations, and cautions, he overlooks the fact that his absence will force his friends to take desperate measures endangering them. (After the death of his friend which he caused, Achilles further compounds the problem by directing further rage at the stoic Hector, whom he uses to hide his own culpability… from himself!)

Conclusion: our logical systems are shaped by our experiences. Examining one’s logic is not enough for the wisest: the logic can be perfect, and still wrong in a more general setting. One has to examine one’s entire mental input, that is, one’s entire life, to find out where one’s logic comes from… And judge it optimally.

Some will sneer that I spoke of rights and wrongs of rage, and then just mentioned wrongs.

But, of course, Achilles is famous, and awesome, because of his rage, and how destiny changing rage is: Achilles’ rage wins battles… Achilles, the Iliad, is a poem about how rage is the maker of destiny, thus, how Greece won… and how the West, in more than one sense, was won… From anger, not just meditation. Accursed rage, yes, but then there is rage of the other sort!

 

Massimo

May 10, 2018 • 1:58 pm

“Rage can be bad, rage can be good. It depends upon circumstances”

Not according to the Stoics, there are no circumstances under which it is good to shut off reason, which is what rage does.

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Patrice Ayme:

Massimo: Thanks for the answer, it made me think. As often in matters philosophical, semantics is at the core of the debate.

I would suggest that rage doesn’t shut off reason, necessarily. Instead, it switches reason to the combat mode, a form of reason which enabled the human genus to survive, when it sustainably invaded and occupied lion territory. The real question is whether combat is justified. Any reasonable human would say that, quite often, there are situations where combat is justified. Socrates, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius said so, explicitly.

There are many ways to use a brain. There are many forms of reasons, and many reasons, and even forms of reasons, used by working brains. If I drive a car, while making an impassioned discourse about Rome’s Second Triumvirate, two sorts of reasons are at work: one quasi-automatic driving, the other, historical. However, the part of my brain operating the vehicle works flawlessly: otherwise I would have an accident.

When in combat, reason is still there, but it mobilizes the full combat brain: after a Greek phalanx uttered the Alala or a Roman legion the Barritus, shaking the plain, terrifying the enemy, the only “reason” that’s left is the reason of combat. It is akin to rage: consider the furia francese, the “berserker” Viking, the “amok” Malay or Indonesian. A human being in full combat mode is an awesome sight which makes even lions think twice (when lions see a Masai warrior, they take to flight).

Combat thinking is particularly important for philosophical, or any sort of mental, moral, progress. It is no accident that so many top philosophers were combat ready, or otherwise obviously unafraid, although they faced enormous threats, including, of course, death. Socrates came first to fame through his military exploits. And, as many a philosopher, he pursued his work, confronted to threats on his life:

…”take Socrates and observe that he had a wife and children, but he did not consider them as his own; that he had a country, so long as it was fit to have one, and in such a manner as was fit; friends and kinsmen also, but he held all in subjection to law and to the obedience due to it. For this reason he was the first to go out as a soldier, when it was necessary, and in war he exposed himself to danger most unsparingly. (Epictetus, Discourses, 4.1)

Combat mentality, akin to rage, enables, motivates, mental breakthroughs, because any mental breakthrough is, if formidable enough, something that tramples other minds, forcing them to reorganize, a form of ultimate aggression. The entire Iliad and Odyssey is there to tell us, first, that the deepest understanding only blossoms out of turmoil. Because a higher, more optimized mental order can only arise, after destroying the one before. To cut the Gordian Knot of obsolete reason, violence is the only way, whether we like it, or not, as Alexander pointed out.

Even Christ knew this: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. [Matthew 10:34]

***

Massimo, on May 12, 2018, replied:

Patrice, two objections. First, we are not often in a combat mentality. Arguably, outside of actual combat, we shouldn’t be. Hence the idea of not relying on rage.

Second, Seneca rightly says that sure, an angry soldier is braver. So is a drunk one, but we don’t want our soldiers to be drunk on the job, because it would impair their decision making. So does rage.

Intrigued, “Chuchu” intervened, May 13, 2018: Is rage necessary for combat?

Massimo interestingly observed that:

Chuchu, Yes for Aristotle. No for Seneca. Seneca says that an angry soldier may be courageous, but he is also going to act rushly [sic] because of his rage. He makes the parallel with being drunk: that also gives you courage, but it impairs your judgment. We wouldn’t want drunk soldiers in the battlefield, right?

[Yeah we surely should use Seneca, a giant plutocratic vulture, Nero’s teacher to tell us right from wrong…One of the very wrong aspects of present-day Stoicism: all too busy justifying moral monsters…]

***

Patrice Ayme: 

Massimo,

Top mental creation is in combat always. That’s nearly its definition. A really new idea, especially if true, requires mental reorganization of those submitted to it, so it will always be perceived as an aggression… be it only because it requires work, either to repel it, and even more, to accept it.

Also top thinkers tend to walk their talk. Thus, many of the most famous thinkers found themselves in combat situations: after the Vatican imprisoned and tortured Giordano Bruno for seven years, he was tortured in public and burned alive (1600). That persuaded Galileo to submit. Those two were among dozens of intellectuals killed in that generation, just between France and Italy. And it keeps on going: hundreds of intellectuals and artists are listed in Wikipedia as killed in the period 1940-1945. So, whether they want it or not, top intellectuals often find themselves cornered like Cicero or Boetius. Milder forms of combat exist: the US physicist Bohm was out of a job (at Princeton), thrown out of the US where he was born, and denied the Nobel Prize (he experimentally demonstrated the Gauge Field importance in quantum physics)… just because he refused to collaborate with Senator McCarthy.

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The Human Species Would Not Even Exist, Without A Proclivity To Combat, & It’s Neurologically Deep:

Not to say it has to be approved. It’s just a fact, a major one, and we have to consider it.

Rage is not necessary for combat, but an even worse state is. In real combat, or in situation where one’s life is in extreme danger, the ideal state is a total neuronal commitment to survival. So the perception of pain (of oneself, or others) disappears, completely. The mental concentration mobilizes the entire brain, enormous strength appears, dedication to the task at hand is the only thing that exist. I have myself experienced this more than once, either under attack, or engaging in solo climbing or deep-sea apnea diving. This is why dangerous thrills are addictive. it is also why and because reason shrinks in combat, and forms a lance to pierce the enemy.

Unwarranted rage is a state derived from maximal combat ardor, a neurohormonal and brain state which is such that the combatant doesn’t fear death, at all. Thus rage is combat readiness, without the release of actual combat. In that state, hundreds of thousands of soldiers have stormed walls on top of wobbling ladders, pierced by arrows, drenched by boiling liquids.

Human brains are pickled with reward centers. Hatred, rage, combat, risk taking, life endangerment (of oneself and others) are all behaviors which come with rewarding neuronal mechanisms. Once engaged in these behaviors, they are, all too often not perceived as evil by the perpetrators.

Avoiding hatred and anger at any cost brings an opportunity to do it much more, for those whose good pleasure is to so indulge. As one gets killed by a cruel tyrant, pitying said tyrant with all of one’s might, doesn’t redress the situation, it makes it way worse, it even enables evil, as Hannah Arendt courageously observed (she was pretty much hated for daring to point that out…)

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Massimo

May 13, 2018 • 4:26 pm

Patrice,

it is simply not true that rage is the only way to get people focused. While it is true that rage has all sorts of negative side effects, especially on one’s moral judgment. Which is the point of the Stoic criticism of anger.

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Massimo has a 3 day reply limit, let’s we get too deep in a subject, so I didn’t reply. I have been in combat situations, or situations akin to combat, more than once. I have also been angry more than once. The neurological statuses are related. Refusing one totally, is refusing the other. All revolutions were based crucially on rage. Refusing revolutions is refusing evolution, and getting rid of parasitic elements in society, such as plutocracy, and the more organized the plutocracy, the harsher the, necessary, revolution.

All stoics were plutocracy compatible: the invention, blossoming and thriving of Stoicism coincide with the Hellenistic dictatorships. Seneca was a terrible person. Had a Nuremberg like tribunal been held after Nero’s destruction (on order of the Roman Senate), Seneca would have been condemned to be hanged (hopefully as slowly as Von Ribbentrop, Keitel and their ilk). I am not angry, or enraged, writing this: the fact is, examples have to established better paradigms. Had such a tribunal been held, the Republic, a more democratic Republic, could have been re-established. Instead what we got is more of the same: Vespasian and Titus were correct emperors, but Titus died within two years and was succeeded by his brother Domitian, who reigned for two decades of terror, in particular, philosophical terror. Under Domitian, Epictetus  and his “Stoicism” thrived in Rome…meaning “Stoicism”, revered by Massimo, was Domitian compatible (Domitian was very aware philosophically, he knew very well how and why to kill most philosophers and philosophies…)

Now, of course, it is easy for me to say all of this, because “Stoicism” is not my tax-deductible business… So I am free to see it for what it is: like rage, stoicism is sometimes indispensable. Yet, as Socrates correctly raged about, conflating teaching and income leads to very poor wisdom, and thus the fall of the City… The deer eaten by the wolves has to be stoic, yes. But then, we shouldn’t be deer.

Achilles’ rage is the engine of the Iliad, thus of history, and a good story. Yet, it’s not rage which drove him astray. It is forgetfulness. That’s Homer’s wisdom, in full. Without rage, and his amazing combat performance, which is related to it, Achilles simply would not have been, and the Greeks would not have defeated Troy, 12 centuries ago.

Rage is here, it is around, peoples, nations, governments, not only experience it, they compute with it: watch the recent exploits of Hamas and Israel, which got scores of civilians, down to an 8 months baby killed: Hamas computed that rage would break the fence. Israel replied that its own ferocity was too great for Gaza’s rage to overwhelm it psychologically…

Considering humanity without considering rage, is to miss the biggest picture… The first hominid who got enraged against lions, tried to do something about them. We would not be here without her (or him)…

Patrice Ayme

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Note: “People are unjust to anger – it can be enlivening and a lot of fun.” Philip Roth, famous US author.

Summers Summits Summits of Hypocrisy

March 8, 2015

Some people all they want is power, and will do whatever it takes to get it. Larry Summers is the ultimate example of this. Summers version 2015 just found that the mood is changing, and condemns 100% Summers, version 1990s, when he was Secretary of the Treasury under that class act, Bill Clinton (from dirt poor to dirty rich).

Two immediate family members of Summers were Nobel Prizes in economy.

Summers was part of a clique of young PhDs in economics who studied how to get rich and influential at MIT and Harvard around 1979. Paul Krugman, one of them, lauds them all the time. I sent a scathing comment on the whole mood of economics as the golden calf. It did not get published.

FDR’s Powerful Family Crest: Who Plants, Preserves

FDR’s Powerful Family Crest: Who Plants, Preserves

FDR planted a mighty tree, the separation of money creation from financial conspiracy. Larry Summers uprooted it.

Here is my suggestion for Larry Summers’ Family Crest: Who Uproots, Destroys. Summers uprooted the financing of the real economy, and thus destroyed it. As corruption went up, innovation (true innovation, science based) went down.

Corruption is a barrier to innovation, warns Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, in Nature. Greater scrutiny of public spending is needed if science and technology are to fulfil their potential, she intones. However, there is more pernicious than that: when private spending and practice is deregulated by government.

After, deregulation of private practice is how, around 1620, slavery was made lawful in the future USA.

Another of the Harvard-MIT economist conspirators was Mario Draghi.

All these plotters literally knew each other, saw each other, talked to each other, learned form each other… How to please their masters. Mario Draghi got his PhD from MIT, in 1979. Later Draghi became vice chairman at the financial conspiracy outfit Goldman Sachs, and “trustee” at various USA plutocratic institutions of high repute (Brookings, Princeton, etc.).

Draghi is now in charge of giving money to giant private European banks. So they can become richer: then the money will trickle down to European pigeons, and they can thrive, eating the crumbs.

American plutocrats know and trust Draghi. Europeans don’t know anything about him, except they believe he is European (I know better: plutocrats belong to Hades, not the real world).

Larry Summers was put in charge of removing all regulations that this traitor to the plutocratic principle, or, more exactly, trickle down, Franklin Roosevelt, had instituted in 1933.

What had FDR done?

Basically banks create money. So they are agents of the government. Thus they ought not to intervene all over the economy, and, in particular, finance, without important limits to their powers.

Summers removed these limits.

The effect on High Finance was absolute power, thus absolute corruption.

The green light given to bankers to corrupt all of society had an effect on other mighty economic actors.

Those worthies felt a green light had also been given to them, implicitly: if the bankers could use their money creation capacity mandated by the government, to enrich themselves and their friends to infinity, why not the same for all?

Why could not fossil fuel plutocrats corrupt scientists and the media, and claim it was totally OK to augment CO2 in the atmosphere by

The democrats were in power in Congress starting in 2006: they did not stop Bush. The democrats were in absolute power just after Obama got elected: they pursued the program of rescue of the plutocracy, complete with tax cuts for the hyper rich.

Obama, to get elected, needed to mobilize those who do not usually vote, because they do not believe that whatever they do will change anything.

Nowadays so-called “democrats” in the USA are in a bind: to get their champion elected, they need the champion to mobilize those Obama mobilized, and who got very little in exchange.

Moreover, the plutocracy got entrenched in the meantime. To change this would require a revolution. Re-evolving.

Re-evolution is something the People may support, if it believed in it. To avoid it, it’s called “Populism” (sounds like Nazism, Socialism, Communism, Liberalism, Nationalism, Islamism, all pejorative notions).

Fast forward to the New York Times. A long ode to Summers called “Establishment Populism Rising.” by Thomas B. Edsall. Here is how it starts:

Larry Summers, who withdrew his candidacy for the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve under pressure from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party in 2013, has emerged as the party’s dominant economic policy strategist. The former Treasury secretary’s evolving message has won over many of his former critics.

Summers’s ascendance is a reflection of the abandonment by much of the party establishment of neo-liberal thinking, premised on the belief that unregulated markets and global trade would produce growth beneficial to worker and C.E.O. alike.

Summers’s analysis of current economic conditions suggests that free market capitalism, as now structured, is producing major distortions. These distortions, in his view, have resulted in gains of $1 trillion annually to those at the top of the pyramid, and losses of $1 trillion every year to those in the bottom 80 percent.”

One has to pinch oneself. Summers has of course zero credibility. Trusting him on economics and social questions would be trusting an enemy. Summers put the entire planet on the wrong trajectory. He is part of a coterie mainly centralized on Harvard, which insisted on raping, pillaging, and letting Russia being devoured by plutocrats created ex-nihilo, because, for Harvard types, plutocracy is an absolute good, just as for Saint Louis Catholicism was an absolute good worth killing the world for.

The destruction of the Russian economy (more exactly a lowering of Price Purchase parity, within Russia, of at least 40%) was just one facet of their maelstrom of destruction these USA based public-private plutocrats visited on the world.

The result, in the case of Russia, is the rise of Putin, someone who advocates using nuclear weapons on Warsaw if his conventional attacks get in trouble. Why? Because, as the entire West propaganda and governments lauded, for more than twenty years (time flies), the Rubin-Goldman-Sachs-Summers-Clinton-Greenspan view of the world, Putin just got mad with rage. Rightly so.

But the damage is not confined to Putin. All over the world, from Xi to Assad, to all and any politicians in Brazil, Larry Summers and his ilk preached. They preached that corruption and plutocratization ought to have no limits, as long as the gullibility of We The People went along.

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”

— President J.F. Kennedy.

The elite is fearing the hatred, which is growing. Even in the naturally rich USA. The rapacious elite wants to marshal the anger, to drive it to a safe place. Safe for itself to keep on enjoying Earth a little bit more, as its feudal domain. It is a race between knowledge and folly.

Patrice Ayme’

Why Big Money Hates France

May 25, 2014

One trait that never ceases to amaze is the hatred for “France” in much of the political, financial, and economic related media in the Anglo-American world.

As I have explained at length, this rage against the country that views herself as the home of human rights, ever since the slave trade got outlawed there in 655 CE, is not surprising coming from plutocrats, and the media they control (which is pretty much all of it). If the Franks could impede business in the Seventh Century, what is there not to hate?

That anger is directly related to the failure of the left to address the 2008 crisis and the outrageous way it was “solved” by profiting some more those who had fabricated it, thuggish financiers.

Imaginative Satanic Thrust Through Ardennes Then France

Imaginative Satanic Thrust Through Ardennes Then France

[The Nazis got very lucky in mid may 1940, as they sneaked in their entire army, undetected by the French and British until it was too late to avoid a tremendous defeat.]

Recent examples of anti-French rage are articles against the business of the French military-industrial complex with Russia. While the much larger relation of the USA military-industrial complex with Russia is enjoying the charms of devoted silence.

The the sale of two ships by France is the occasion of a deluge of racist comments against France and the French. Why not try the same racist frenzy against Blacks, or Jews?

Paul Krugman wrote an ill-conceived editorial: Crisis of the Eurocrats. Semi-education is best to bolster the violently ignorant. Weirdly, Krugman, who is on the right of Marine Le Pen about Europe, is a self-declared “conscientious liberal”.  And naturally a hero of the left. The ignorant left. Even in Europe.

Krugman’s anti-Euro trash brought up racist anti-French comments.

France’s Jews are leaving en-masse today, after waves of antisemitic activity, with violence attached“, opined in support of Krugman “New York Times trusted commenter” Rima Rigas. In truth, 90,000 French have migrated to Israel, between 1948 and 2014. Most of them came initially from North Africa. That’s much fewer Jews emigrating than from the USA to Israel.

It’s well known, in the Anglo-American world, that France exterminates Jews. As France has special laws against Nazism, as do Germany and Austria, to exert great vengeance and retribution against that hated current of thought, that’s viewed, by the millions of anti-French racists in Anglo-Americana, as a proof that the French, left to themselves, massacre Jews, and are ‘anti-Semitic”.

The truth? Scientific and other studies show that probably half the French population is somehow Jewish or Semitic related. Being Jewish was no problem in France, for more than seven centuries, or until the monsters Saint Bernard and Saint Louis agitated their fanatical Catholic snouts. (Monstrosity helps to become a saint.)

In truth, France was stuffed with hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Central Europe when she was invaded in May 1940. The USA had refused to admit any.

That only 75,000 of these Jews, most of them refugees, died from Nazi action, is testimony to the courage of millions of French civilians who sheltered the rest. My own family saved of the order of a 100 Jews. To their great discomfort (food was rationed), while living in terror for four years, in cramped quarters, at the risk of their lives, and then they were chased around by the Gestapo like vulgar rabbits through forest and mountain.

But back to the essence of the problem.

World War Two started when Britain joined France to declare war on Hitler. The Commonwealth followed. Still, the brunt of the fighting was suffered by France until a (provisional) cease-fire was called at the end of June 1940.

The USA helped Hitler in 1939. Stalin was allied to Hitler in 1939. The French military had bad luck in May 1940 against the USA-Nazi-USSR coalition. Yet the Battle of France of 1940 was the deadliest battle in the West during WWII: more than 200,000 killed in 5 weeks. Only in the USSR were there more terrible battles.

How does this relate to the crisis of 2008, that we still enjoy?

It is very simple: those helping Hitler the most were plutocrats from the USA. Hitler was pretty much their thing. Not only they financed it from scratch, but they even provided him with crucial ideas.

Henry Ford brought the malfeasance of the International Jew to the fore, while giving Hitler a fortune. JP Morgan brought Dr. Schacht. Lord Keynes forcefully explained why the Versailles Treaty was an economic disaster, and a fabulous injustice caused by the manipulative French. Even PM Lloyd George told Hitler, at length, in person, that the Kaiserreich (Germany) was on the verge of victory in 1918, when it was stabbed in the back.

Hitler was like a drone, a remotely operated device, with hundreds of American plutocrats pushing the buttons. Even Hitler understood this. Only in 1941 did he half understand that he had been played: some of his wealthy friends turned into fiends, as it suited their interest better.

This was all passed under silence, and ignored. Still is.

Nobody points out that the plutocrats were playing both sides, while gathering ever more power. Their influence was occulted, in appearance after 1945, when the more than 20 million trained soldiers of the West (16 million were actively serving in 1945) had to be reintegrated in civil life, with nice social programs. To prevent them to make a revolution.

However the Dulles brothers, who were as tight with the Nazis as imaginable, before the war, pretty much controlled the USA in the 1950s. One headed the State Department, the other, the CIA.

The uncooperative and disruptive Kennedy brats were promptly assassinated, and it has been a home run ever since.

The rage against the French Republic has gone on ever since, because plutocrats control it less well than the rest, ever since 1789. True, the Nazi spearheads cut the French best armies and the British army from behind in May 1940. However, that was incredible luck. The French high command made incredible mistakes (sending the mobile armor reserve to help the Netherlands), and a succession of lucky draws of the dice favored the Nazis. When a Spitfire pilot said he saw the entire Nazi army on a leafy road in the Ardennes, he was thought to be deranged, as this was too crazy an idea to conceive.

Most of the military re-runs of May 1940 show the French and British winning a crushing victory. The very nature of the Nazi Panzer thrust exposed it to be cut from behind. It was a close thing. Had the French command being less foolhardy, and the Nazis a bit less lucky, it would have happened.

The plutocrats vaguely perceive that: how dare the French have attacked Hitler in 1939, and, in the end, prevented them, and Hitler, to exploit Eastern Europe and Russia, as had been the plan? (This is what the British-Nazi treaty of 1935 had anticipated.)  And the French could have won, clean? And they had an atom bomb program? What would have happen to the “American Century”? Still born? Is the European Union an attempt to achieve the same result, through a more devious route?

How to fix the plutocratic madness that’s taking over is simple in theory: first, determine property worldwide with a cadastrum, as Thomas Pikketty suggests. Because most of it is hidden.

And then tax wealth at 95%. And go all the way: put a cap on wealth commensurate with the one the Roman Republic had. That’s what I say.

Yet we are still in the midst of a coup by the few against the many. How? The few control the media, including the universities, the politicians, and other celebrities. To the point that bleating is the sheeple’s highest calling.

And, in Anglo-Saxon countries, raging against “the French”. Those who attacked Hitler in 1939, while the USA’s big money leadership, to its eternal shame, but well in line with its racist, exploitative past, helped the Nazi dictator to the best of its ability.

When accused later to have plotted to launch the USA into World War Two, president Roosevelt said he did not do it. What proof did he roll out? Franklin Delano Roosevelt boasted that he had been instrumental in limiting the percentage of Jewish students who could attend Harvard University. In other words, he was so spiritually close to Nazism, that he could not be suspected to have plotted against it. I rest my case.

Patrice Aymé

Plutocrats: Adulation A Must

September 27, 2013

PSYCHO PLUTOCRATS

Plutocrats are embodiments of psychopathology unchained. Plutocracy is in no way a recent phenomenon. The success of republics such as Sparta, Athens, Rome, was entirely caused by the ferocity with which they made plutocracy unconstitutional..

Similarly the beyond-Homeric war between the free poleis of Greece and fascist Persia, was fundamentally a war between democracy and plutocracy. The battle of Lepanto, between Western fleet of free men and the slaves of the Sultan, can also be viewed as a similar clash of civilization.

Democracy & Gracchi Murdered Together

Democracy & Gracchi Murdered Together

The Gracchi Brothers explained the problem thoroughly, and tried the radical remedies necessary against the fascist/plutocratic cancer that was devouring the Roman Republic. We have the same problem. And we have two major, civilization crushing examples of what will happen if we do not eliminate the criminality of hyper wealth: we will be poor, we will have to live on our knees, and our survival will be compromised.

Krugman ponders in Plutocrats Feeling Persecuted the psycho psychology of plutocrats. Well, as their name indicates,  if some ought to be psycho, that would be them, plutocrats. Let me quote Krugman’s conclusion:

“Well, I have a theory. When you have that much money, what is it you’re trying to buy by making even more? You already have the multiple big houses, the servants, the private jet. What you really want now is adulation; you want the world to bow before your success. And so the thought that people in the media, in Congress and even in the White House are saying critical things about people like you drives you wild.

It is, of course, incredibly petty. But money brings power, and thanks to surging inequality, these petty people have a lot of money. So their whining, their anger that they don’t receive universal deference, can have real political consequences. Fear the wrath of the .01 percent!”

Although I respectfully salute Krugman’s effort, and I do agree with what he relates, let me help with an abstract of my own, much more general theory.

Christ said rich individuals would find it harder to get to heavens, than a camel through the eye of a needle. Why? Plutocrats put greed, for money and power, above all other human values. Thus, they belong to hell.

Let’s be a bit more explicit: human beings, even those most reviled, and most abandoned, are born out of love. Indeed, so fragile they are that, for many years, they are completely dependent upon caregivers. If one gives care, one gives love. Thus love, not hatred, is the most basic instinct. Hence the remorse pulling plutocratic minds asunder.

The Greek “Pluto” depicted a 2,000 year old psychological complex elucidated in Mesopotamia in the religion of Ahura Mazda (later boosted by the most ancient philosopher known, Zarathustra). The ancients understood the vast entanglement of obscurity, the underground, riches, invisibility, lying and dissembling, with all other horrors of the Dark Side.

The antidote to this hell was truth and light. That, too was in the old philosophy of Zarathustra.

For plutocrats, to pose as victims is essential. They want to be adulated. Adulation allows not just to satisfy their greed, and also to increase their power (and be called “philanthropists” and thus pay no tax).

But there is more. Adulation goes beyond vanity and greed. Plutocrats do need adulation, if they just want to be.

Plutocrats know, deep inside, that they are very bad people. Once again, it has to do with the fact that the first interaction with the other is love. Even the worse plutocrats, some day, have been babies and their emotional system’s dawn was called love. Adulation allows them to rekindle vaguely that basic emotion. Love is the ultimate judge, the ultimate god.

The adulation of others, that fake love, compensate that lack of love plutocrats have for themselves, deep inside, as they know all too well that they are the bottom of the barrel of humanity.

Adulation thus allows plutocrats to feel good enough to go on with their abysmal lives. When that adulation is refused to them, only the Will to Power, greed, viciousness, the values they thrive by, are left to inhabit the universe they know. Everything is pain, torture, gloom, dissembling, impossible to ascertain.

No wonder plutocrats hate those who deprive them of it.

But their wrath goes beyond this. Plutocrats are motivated by one of humanity’s oldest instinct, that of man as the greatest enemy of… man. Where did that come from? So it has been for many million years, ever since hominids became the greatest predators.

Then, when too many men exhausted too small an ecology, the only solution was war, and extermination. Even chimpanzees live by that feeling: they go on the war path, to eliminate the chimps in the valley next door, just to make sure.

Typically plutocracy rises when a society becomes too prosperous, too numerous, too undemocratic, wealth concentrates, and fascism starts to peak. Hence the causes of its rise bring further excess, and the need to diminish all this humanity that smothers the ecology (it was no accident that the Nazis were so ecological, and so obsessed by the Lebensraum).

Hence the more power plutocrats have, the more they will use it to satisfy that instinct of destruction. It has happened many times in history.

The longevity of the Roman Republic’s democratic system is entirely attributable to its anti-plutocratic laws, which imposed a limit on the wealth of individuals. The failure of those laws brought the Republic down at the time of the Gracchi brothers. (That was known, and made explicit at the time; there was a direct shock between those, such as the Gracchi brothers, who wanted to impose the existing laws and their spirit, and the plutocrats, who wanted adulation and ever more control.)

Interestingly, the USA’s first billionaire, Carnegie, wanted taxation rates of at least 50% on the wealthiest, and close to 100% on inheritance. Thus, during the first century of its existence, the republic of the Union of the States of America had no real plutocrats. (At least none in the sense of using wealth to deflect the policy of the republic.)

Later, Theodore Roosevelt took direct measures to limit the power of the wealth of individuals on the economy (with his anti-monopoly law.)  American based plutocrats went around all this like their Roman predecessors, by going global (and Germany was the first, and most suitable, victim).

Reinstituting the Roman Republican laws limiting wealth would make the Republic viable again. And we would have to succeed where the Gracchi failed, by limiting wealth and power, globally.

Otherwise, it’s going to be all the way down, and, just as happened under the plutocracies that flourished under the Roman autocrats and in the Middle Ages. If we do not affect to love our oppressors, if we do not kneel and kiss their toes, we will feel their wrath.

Plutocracy, the rule of Pluto, is intrinsically, an insult. At some point, blossoming plutocracy makes it so that it comes to be called “aristocracy“, the rule of the best. Only then do plutocrats get the adulation they need.

There is plenty enough evidence of the sociopathy of adulation blossoming in the USA, and in Europe. The thriving austerity is not about prudent accounting: if we were truly prudent, we could easily avoid austerity by making the wealthy pay just part of the taxes they avoid.

Yet, that’s not even tried. Instead the poor and the public are made to pay for the crimes of the wealthy with austerity schemes. So what is austerity about? Unhinged hatred of the wealthy for commoners.

And this is just the beginning: in both Rome and the Middle Ages, extreme plutocracy ended with not just poverty and debasement, but also the death of most of the population, and direct causation can be demonstrated.

***

Patrice Ayme