Posts Tagged ‘Republic’

Why Didn’t Roman Emperors Reestablish The Republic In Full?

April 10, 2020

Augustus won the last Civil War. But then he didn’t bring back the Republic in full, but only partially, and not at the top. Why not? Because of a particular web of complex causalities. One doesn’t choose history, history chooses you.

The prominent Roman historian Suetonius (who died around 125 CE) said the following of Augustus on his book De Vita Caesarum:

He twice thought of restoring the republic; first immediately after the overthrow of Antony, remembering that his rival had often made the charge that it was his fault that it was not restored; and again in the weariness of a lingering illness, when he went so far as to summon the magistrates and the senate to his house, and submit an account of the general condition of the empire. Reflecting, however, that as he himself would not be free from danger if he should retire, so too it would be hazardous to trust the State to the control of more than one, he continued to keep it in his hands; and it is not easy to say whether his intentions or their results were the better. His good intentions he not only expressed from time to time, but put them on record as well in an edict in the following words: “May it be my privilege to establish the State in a firm and secure position, and reap from that act the fruit that I desire; but only if I may be called the author of the best possible government, and bear with me the hope when I die that the foundations which I have laid for the State will remain unshaken.” And he realized his hope by making every effort to prevent any dissatisfaction with the new régime.”

A first problem with internal constitutional reform was that the Roman empire was at war to secure a safety zone around itself after 29 BCE, when Augustus became “Senatus Princeps“. In other words, Augustus augmented (hence his title of Augustus) the empire, pursuing his great uncle and adoptive father’s work. Marius and Sulla had saved Rome from annihilation at the hands of a coalition determined, hell-bound Germanic tribes, not even a century earlier… by the skin of their teeth.

Extent and expansion of the Roman Empire under Augustus; the yellow legend represents the extent of the Empire in 31 BC, the shades of green represent gradually conquered territories under the reign of Augustus, and pink areas on the map represent client states. (High Resolution!)

Basically, if Augustus had given up power, to whom, or what would the power have gone? The Roman oligarchy, its global, international plutocracy, was immensely more influential, because of its wealth and patronage, than the Roman People. Augustus knew it would have gone back to them. This is basically what happened after Sulla.

To reestablish the Republic, Augustus would have had to weaken both the prerogatives of the military and of the plutocracy, simultaneously, and delicately, while restoring the powers of the Roman People… which, after a century of butchery, had become more interested in pax rather than libertas. All the more as Augustus profited from the aura of populism of Caesar. And, considering what had happened to Caesar, a good bodyguard was in order, everybody had to admit. Under Tiberius a new actor came on the scene, a powerful Praetorian guard, strong enough to rule the City of Rome all by itself (as the guard got used to kill and install emperors, or sell the throne, it got dissolved by emperor Septimius Severus, 200 years later…)

Indeed, there was a precedent for the restoration of the Republic: after a horrendous civil war, with more than 100,000 young men killed in combat, Sulla exerted his dictatorship. However, still middle aged, he retired from public life, without any protection, after reestablishing the powers of the Tribunate of the People. Sulla died, from natural causes, soon after getting to enjoy his country estate. He was given a national funeral (although so many had been his victims, in the end most celebrated him after his death!)

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So what of Augustus? Why didn’t Augustus, such a learned young man, with much philosophical inclination, reestablish the Respublica, as Sulla had done? It was a question of character and convenience, or maybe simply the flow of history, the sum of all histories, just as in Quantum Mechanics (Feynman way). Octavian/Augustus life was incredibly adventurous and bold… But Sulla’s life, which was quite comparable, was even more so. Appian said Sulla renounced power, because, after his astounding adventures, from Africa to Gallia, to Asia, and conducting a civil war in Italy he was sated with power.

Augustus may have thought that to renounce power, and reestablish the Respublica as Sulla had done would just relaunch the civil wars. Also Sulla renounced power, soon after having acquired absolute power. Sulla was middle aged. Augustus instead acquired absolute power when he was in his twenties. By the time Augustus was middle aged, he had been in absolute, not to say outrageous, power, for thirty years: he was used to it.

Another event happened. Once after Sulla became an ordinary citizen without any bodyguard a young man followed him all day, ostensibly bombarding him with insults, and provocations. However the once hyper violent special ops agent, general, imperator and dictator passively received the abuse all day long and then pointed out, “This bully will ensure that no-one else will ever relinquish supreme power.”

Also Octavian/Augustus was immensely shocked by the death of his adoptive father Gaius Caesar. It was not just that he loved and admired Caesar, who was launching his military career, and treated him as a son. After Caesar’s death, Octavian himself had to fight back, not just to save his inheritance, but his life. It’s likely that, if he had done nothing, and had never risen to the occasion, he would have lost his life.

Caesar had tried to pull a trick similar to Sulla… Dictating, but then acting normal (except Sulla didn’t mix both genres: when he ruled, he ruled, when he retired, he retired). Although dictator, Caesar was going about Rome and attending dinner parties as if he were an ordinary citizen. Caesar ostensibly trusted the Senate, entered it all alone, unarmed… And was stabbed in return… After what had happened to Caesar, all could only be understanding of the precautions taken by Augustus. Besides, nobody could seriously disagree, those who had agreed to assassinate Caesar were dead.

Augustus awarded himself with the tribunicia potestas, or tribunician power, which enabled him to: propose laws to the Senate whenever he wanted, veto any laws he wanted, grant amnesty to any citizen accused of crime… There were other tribunes, but because Augustus was Senatus Princeps (First in the Senate), had stuffed the Senate only with obedient Senators, and because Augustus was endowed with the most powerful imperium, other tribunes were of no consequence.

Overall, both the Roman elite and the Roman People were exhausted of the horrendous civil wars which had killed so many. The wars became a memory under Augustus, and economic prosperity came back, as never before, while local elections were held in the quasi confederacy which was the empire.

The fundamental reason for the civil wars had been the rise of a hyper powerful plutocracy. Although Augustus and his fellow triumvirs had killed thousands of their prominent opponents, the plutocratic system was still in place. Only some names had changed and some families had been eradicated. The Republic couldn’t come back, because the plutocracy was still in power.

Moreover, as the Civil Wars developed, because of the military reforms of Caesar’s uncle Marius, men without property to go back to, as in old times, became soldiers. Those soldiers made their careers as followers of their own generals. Their careers was their generals, it was not the farms they didn’t have. Starting with Caesar, the army realized its powers, and developed political acumen. What the army understood is that it had only one interlocutor: the plutocracy.

By the time of Diocletian, an Illyrian native, the army had deprived the Senate of much of its power, and reduced the non-military plutocracy to being its own instrument…

In any case, the empire became a dialogue between plutocrats and the military, and then god was added to the mix, to justify the rule of a “Dominus”, Diocletian’s practice of “Domination”.

Sulla’s restoration of the Republic failed soon after his death, because the Roman plutocracy was the enemy of the Roman Republic and its once all-powerful Plebs. Just re establishing the Republic was not enough. Plutocracy was a cancer. The patient, the Republic, had passed out because of its cancer. Reanimating the patient , without operating on the cancer, could only have an ephemeral effect. So Augustus would have had to reestablish the old Absolute Wealth Limit of the Republic and its “Sumptuary” laws, which prevented the top families to become too powerful, and too vile.

By the time of Augustus, nobody in the elite wanted to see such limits to their power and debauchery to be erected again. Everybody in the elite wanted a good time, et, as French king Louis XV put it:”Après moi, le déluge!” Besides there independent military powers a few hundred miles from Rome and her delicate trading communication networks…

When too few people, their families, descendants, followers, helpers and hanger-ons, in particular if military, have too much power, the only thing which can divest this power from them is foreign invasions. And this is exactly what happened to Rome.

Could it have been different? Those who understood the situation best were a handful of extremely well educated and intelligent courageous aristocrats, most prominent among them the Gracchi and the leader of the “Populares”, Caesar. They understood the need to redistribute wealth, at least to soldiers (they passed wealth redistribution laws; Caesar’s was in 59 BCE, when he was Consul; the Senate never forgave that). The plutocrats (who called themselves the “Optimates”) hated the Populares optimally, assassinating them as well as they could, but not enough (some of the progressive laws survived the assassinations of the reformers).

The Gracchi and Caesar were too isolated from the rest of the elite (although thousands of followers of the Gracchi were assassinated with them). What was missing in the Roman intelligentsia was an understanding of how debilitating the plutocracy would prove to the society in all ways. To achieve that understanding, the Greco-Roman society had to fail first. Now, two thousand years later, we have recovered in all ways… and we should be endowed with that understanding.

Patrice Ayme

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P/S: The causal system which made Augustus act as he did relative to the Republic is an example of a CAUSAL WEB… complete with nonlinear self-acting, exponential loops…

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P/P/S: Quora, in its latest harassment, informed me (6/20/2020) that they removed a version of the essay above for “plagiarism” (without telling me what was “plagiarized”… just the usual threat that I may be banned). There was no plagiarism, whatsoever, and the main anti-plutocratic drift is clearly mine. But somehow Quora has decided that I better be “banned” (as they threatened me of this for various reasons). All I see is one more entitled monopolistic corporation out of the SF Bay Area with secret black lists…

 

Plutocratic Media Hates Wealth Tax, Censors Critics, Ignores Theft Of Intellectual Property By Monopolies. Save the Republic, Tax Pluto!

October 3, 2019

Too Much Corruption makes worlds collapse:

Forgive them, for they don’t know what they do. 2,000 year old wisdom from the crucified, completely obsolete nowadays in light of, say, Nazism. The first thing miscreants do, nowadays, is to make sure that they know nothing.

The swamp has investigated itself, and found itself clear as a mountain brook. Studying the Roman Republic shows the corruption was all over. Caesar’s main assassins, Brutus and Cassius were astoundingly corrupt. More than a decade before the assassination, Brutus and Cassius were exploiting to death (literally) Greece, Asia.

Thus now we have the world similarly teetering on the verge of collapse, in great part because of the corruption of our political leaders, who are in hock with the world plutocracy.

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The New York wrote an article critical of the Wealth Taxes proposed by Warren:

… and now Sanders. It contained gems such as:”Progressive Democrats are advocating the most drastic shift in tax policy in over a century as they look to redistribute wealth and chip away at the economic power of the superrich with new taxes that could fundamentally reshape the United States economy…

But the idea of redistributing wealth by targeting billionaires is stirring fierce debates at the highest ranks of academia and business, with opponents arguing it would cripple economic growth, sap the motivation of entrepreneurs who aspire to be multimillionaires and set off a search for loopholes.”

… as if there were no loopholes now! The IRS code is a vast loophole, hundreds of pages long… 

What is hidden behind this graph. The wealthier the family, the more augmentation of wealth and income it got.

1,500 comments were authorized, my first and main comment was censored (as it alluded to precisely what happened, namely the Pluto media don’t like anti-Pluto comments, when those comments are not of an officially authorized type). This New York Times article had no content, except for the hare-brained cliché always evoked by plutophiles, namely that taxing wealth kills innovation. Actually it’s the other way around: plutocracy kills thinking, hence innovation. 

In an orgasm of dishonesty, an article in the NYT pretended that two university professors said the opposite of what they truly said in their original paper, by careful sampling of them… quoting others. That’s a type of dishonesty which should be publicized. Professors Sarin and Summers actually proposed to tax wealth more broadly than Warren and Sanders proposed, and thus, even MORE!… The exact opposite of what the NYT pretended. I agree with broad taxation of wealth (and there should be no cpaital gains tax on little guys, just like in Switzerland… which has a wealth tax, BTW… The Swiss economy is the best functioning in Europe.) 

Here is my comment censored (or delayed so much nobody would read it) by the plutocratic New York Times (I repeat, New York Times, pay attention, such censorship should be illegal, it breaches the US First Amendment, and you fiduciary duty as official press):

“Elitist US universities depend upon plutocratic money, and extreme inequality: this is what pays tuition and advertises them as the “best” schools on Earth. So one would expect wealthy economists therein plutocratic universities, feeding at the rich trough of plutocratic flattery, are all for extreme wealth and against taxing it

Plutocratic drift sucks society into a dark hole where not just the wealthiest individuals, but the basest, most cruel instincts, come to rule. One can already see this in media owned by plutocracy: an effect is Brexit. Wealthy British based plutocrats wanted to keep paying no or little taxes, they knew the EU’s new law that it is illegal to do so becomes effective December 31, 2019, so they made it so to create a cognitive bias against the European Union thanks to their control of British media.

People are not going to stop wanting to be even more wealthy, just because 2% of their wealth will be taken out above 50 million (if Warren proposes 2% it will probably end with 1%). Whereas right now small inventors cannot, thanks to pro-plutocratic, pro-monopolistic laws, exert their Intellectual Property rights in the USA. Instead, they have to file in the EU, or China! Indeed, they now have to prove they were economically injured by the stealing of their IP by powerful monopolies. So, right now, monopolies make it difficult for inventors to become millionaires. That is really a huge problem for the innovation system upon which a growing economy depends. This violation of IP and Patent Laws happened at the behest of present plutocracy, thus blatantly all too powerful already.

When billionaires reinvest billions in their own enterprises, they should be allowed to do so, after said enterprise have been determined to be of “public utility” (so part of Bezos wealth going to his rocket company, or energy investments of Gates, should be exempted, case by case, year by year).”

That was it. Hateful and racist comment of mine against the established order and its plutocrato-philanthropic, Trump hating class, was censored. Let me repeat with more detail: tech monopolies, that is, billionaires friendly with the NSA and Deep State, and Bush-SCOTUS-Obama-Biden, made it difficult for inventors to become millionaires (so that they, and only them and their friends and servants would become filthy rich, and inventors such as yours truly, dirt poor). The Supreme Court Of US decision of 2006 was the beginning of the end, but Obama is the guy who came out fiercely against little inventors, calling them “TROLLS” and “NON PRACTICING ENTITIES”. (He would know a troll, being the biggest of them all!) Only those who gave millions and services worth even more to the Biden-Obama families, and their puppett masters are “practicing entities” (I observed).

Just to compare, having sent my enlightened comment in the dark bowell of its Pluto conspiracy, the NYT got very excited by insipid remarks, the following one by “Ned” from Truckee being typical:

“Ned”, from Truckee, Times Pick:

“If an entrepreneur or inventor creates a huge amount of value for society, they deserve rich rewards – billions if that’s what it is. But, you can’t take it with you, and ultimately, external rewards are meaningless.

Warren and Sanders ought to refrain from vilifying the ultra-wealthy, and instead extol the virtue of those who create wealth and then return it to society, either through philanthropy or by paying workers more.”

Ned has spoken! In his gutter wisdom! And except the latter “extolled virtue” is not happening (without the threat of revolution).

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Wealth in California augmented, but not as much for REAL INVENTORS as for plutocrats…

In truth, the REAL INVENTORS started to be shut down in 2006, and the Obama presidency finished shutting them off:

… big time, with Obama attacking IP “trolls” on TV. Ignorant semi-wits such as “Ned” don’t know little guys Intellectual Property has lost value, enormously, thanks to the pseudo-left, SCOTUS and super troll Obama. Nor does he know that most entrepreneurs are highly fungible: if Zuck didn’t exist, another 1,000 Zucks could rise. Same for Jobs, Gates, etc. All these guys exploited other individuals’ inventions. The guy who invented optical pumping, hence the laser, Kastler, got the Nobel, but that was it. Others, many others, made billions from the laser.

Under Bush (starting in 2006) and Obama, the Intellectual property system got gutted in the USA, thanks to the enormous tech companies and the Deep State’s little plan to connect them to intelligence/surveillance agencies: to prove that they had been wronged, small investors needed not just to demonstrate that they had been stolen. Now they also had to demonstrate to have been economically injured (which they couldn’t, as they made no money from their stolen inventions). Such laws were passed under the influence of tech monopolies. I am personally familiar with a case were a federal judge decided of a very important case in the morning, and then resigned and accepted five million dollars from Facebook in the afternoon (names can be provided on legal request).It was the case of a small electronic company which had won, thanks to a jury, yet its enormous legal fees from its defense were not paid by its giant attacker, thanks to the 5 million dollars judge.

Now Zuck, head of Facebook, and minder of the world, art expert banning Middle Age art, declares he will fight Senator Warren’s wealth tax OK, another time!). I declare Zuck has too much power. He is just a glorified high school drop-out, and the fact that he drops in presidential palaces, worldwide, aggravates his case… I replied to @Ned:

Ultra wealth kills the Republic. Money is power. Too much money in too few hands means too much power in too few hands.

Ultra wealth wants to gut the country of employment and and any other power from We The People (Demos-Kratia = People-power). Because removing power from We the People prevents revolution. This is exactly how the Roman Republic went down, and it was said at the time (read the Gracchi brothers). This is exactly the scheme in place today: ultra wealth has escaped taxation and law, by going overseas (“China”). Then it got so wealthy it can mold the minds of entire countries.

An example is Brexit. The plutocrat owned media in Britain wanted out of the EU for (new) tax reason. So it made it so that people would hate “Brussels”. That some people have a thousand times more power than others can be tolerated. But a million times? At some point, in Rome, the hyper wealthy started to own not just judges, but armies…

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Obama’s guru Summers has evolved: he is now FOR taxing wealth and lobbying, BROADLY:

I read the article from Larry Summers and Natasha Sarin which the New York Times refers to. It doesn’t mainly say what the NYT claims the article mainly says, just the opposite (the article sort of says it a bit, but it’s not its main point). What professors Summers and Sarin mostly say is the opposite.

The best way to reduce power from oligarchs and plutocrats is by first broadening the tax base. Indeed. Sarin and Summers want to close tax loopholes for the rich, first. Basically the professors point out that the wealthiest and powerful can invest, tax free into all sorts of consultancies and foundations (let alone universities) which are used to influence voters, media and politicians (they give the example of the mighty NRA). If taxation doesn’t strike this system of influence peddling first, a wealth tax will have the opposite effect: the mental control oligarchs exert through these tax evading loopholes will drive public opinion against taxing the wealthiest!  

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Summers & Sarin truly said: “We have sympathy with complaints that economic policy decision-making gives too much weight to the interests of affluent elites. But we are skeptical that large rate hikes or wealth taxes are the right way to address this problem.

First, these proposals do not get at the main ways in which the wealthy exercise influence. The whole apparatus of think tanks, research institutes, advocacy groups — organizations like the Federalist Society, which has transformed the judiciary — are supported by tax-deductible contributions that tax hikes will not discourage. Indeed, increases in tax rates or broad wealth taxation would make it cheaper in terms of forgone personal spending to support advocacy efforts or to create elite enclaves.

Second, even draconian tax hikes will not have a major impact on the ability of very wealthy Americans to be politically influential. For a few tens of million dollars, an individual or interest group can become a major political player. Even if you took away half the wealth of a billionaire, that person would still be able to invest $50 million a cycle in political activity without dipping into capital…

Third, many of the areas of special interest concern that seem most serious do not involve players who would be substantially impacted by recent tax proposals because they are not hugely wealthy. Think about the way the NRA distorts gun control debates or how community bankers resist consumer financial reform.

If the concern is with the excessive power wielded by wealthy elites, there are more effective strategies. Consideration should be given to limiting the deductibility of lobbying expenditures; restricting the ability of political organizations to have allied 50(c)(3) organizations that can receive tax-deductible contributions; and tightening the rules on donor-advised funds that enable the wealthy to get essentially all the benefits of foundations without any of the requirements to pay out resources or provide any public transparency.

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So Summers and Sarin, far from criticizing the principle of a wealth tax as lowering the innovation and animal spirits of society, advocate a generalization of the concept of wealth, and of taxing that first, instead. They say this guarantees thrice the tax revenue, and will avoid the backlash from the wealthiest by cutting first the very organs they use to transmit their influence on society. 

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The next day, the NYT allowed my comment (safe: nobody would read it now!) and then ran later an article saying: “A Wealth Tax Is Pro-Growth. Don’t believe the scaremongering.” (By David Leonhardt.)

Well, more importantly, only with a wealth tax We The People can afford to have a republic. The Roman Republic lasted five centuries, in full, because it had a wealth tax. And it was confiscated, when the army had enough of civil war and inequality caused by the ultra wealthy.

Patrice Ayme

 

Warren: Progress, Survival of the Republic. Biden: More Plutocratization, Death.

May 29, 2019

Biden and other “democrats” in the 1980s voted Reagan’s anti-democratic laws (called by some the “New Jim Crow“). Then, in 1990s, those “Neoliberal” [1] democrats went further than even Reagan did, but in the same spirit, putting millions in jail, and then daring to unravel the banking reform of 1933 (passed by the Democrats of 1933, headed by FDR: the “New Deal“). Much of this extravagant return to the roaring twenties needs to be reverted.

One can’t have democracy and plutocracy at the same time. That’s why the Roman Republic put a cap on wealth: above some high level, Roman millionaires were taxed 100%. Yes, a margin tax rate of 100% (similar rates existed in the 1950s, when clean economic expansion was at its maximum: not a coincidence).

Also the Roman Republic taxed ostentatious wealth (“sumptuary” laws; an equivalent today would be to tax private jets; instead private jets are subsidized, while they contribute 1% of US CO2 emissions!).

More than 130,000 families have wealth above 50 million US$. Those should be taxed into extinction, Roman Republic manner. It is a question of survival of life as we know it on this planet. Why? Those 130,000 families worth more than $50 million, own roughly ALL WORLD MEDIA, which control cognition, hearts and minds. And they control the fossil-fuel-financial plutocracy system, which controls the world economy and the political class (truly their obsequious servants).

All this taxation of hyper wealth enabled the Roman Republic to last 5 centuries. However, because of the globalization the Roman empire brought, those anti-extreme-wealth laws became inapplicable, and the Roman rich became so wealthy, they could buy all politicians.,, and laws, or prevent the application of existing laws. When plutocracy took over Rome, the Republic collapsed.

Warren’s suggested heavy taxation of extreme wealth follows logic and history: otherwise the republic will die. So Warren’s candidacy is not just a matter of getting an experienced woman in power, it’s a matter of survival.

It is a woman with full power, queen Bathilde of the Frankish empire, an ex-slave, who, in 655 CE, outlawed slavery in Europe.  We need more of the feminine approach. Vote Warren, forget about the eternal return of the same, with Biden.

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The preceding was a published comment to the New York Times. Then surfaced a history challenged Californian:

Cold Eye, from Kenwood CA, However, slavery in Europe was prevalent through the 19th Century.”

What is happening to the schools? The New York Times was kind enough to allow me to post the following answer:

@Cold Eye

You mean this figuratively in Western Europe. Russia was a different case, where serfs were often little better than slaves. It is true that, during the first century of industrial age , workers were treated very badly.

However, none of this is true slavery. In true slavery, people are bought and sold, as they were things. Those “things” performed like robots, enabling the colonization of the “New” World. For example, tobacco cultivation became very profitable in the English colony of North America, thanks to the massive utilization of slaves.

The colonies were far removed from Europe, and European law enforcement had proven illusory during the Spanish Conquista (in spite of determined efforts). The French colony of Canada imposed French law pretty well, it didn’t allow slavery, but the price paid was that the anything-goes English colony won the war, and ultimately conquered French Canada.

So I repeat my statement: queen Bathilde of the Imperium Francorum, ex-slave from Kent (England) outlawed slavery in 1066 CE. When the Franks conquered England in 1066 CE, they immediately freed all the slaves (explaining William’s popularity). Slaves coming from the Americas or Africa were immediately freed upon setting foot in Europe, for ever after (except in places under Muslim jurisdiction).

By the way, there is still slavery in some African countries. In the Kaye region of Mali, individuals who disagree too much with local slavery get killed. In Mauritania, there is at least half a million slaves. These two countries are next to each other. In Nigeria, Muslim Fundamentalists practice mass slavery, and so on. The reason is that the Qur’an takes slavery for granted:”those that your right hand posses” being the euphemism therein…

Who said progress doesn’t exist?

Outlawing slavery on most of the planet and formally at the United Nations was great progress, an extension of Saint Bathilde’s work (the foremost saint I recognize, if not the only one…). But all will come to nought, if plutocracy is able to progress and corrupt cognition, hearts and minds ever more. As I pointed out, we could start losing the oxygen making mechanism soon… And that comes from the fact a very small elite has perverted the planet mental system, by owning much of what matters.

Time to revert it.

Vote Warren.

Patrice Ayme

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P/S: And for new European Commission head? A woman, once again!

Margrethe Vestager, the powerful EC competition commissioner ticks many of the boxes needed for a righteous candidate: she can get things done, she is acceptable to the centre-right EPP and the S&D. She is championed by the Liberals and now more powerful Greens, whose votes will be needed to make a majority.

Ms Vestager has served as education, interior and economy minister of Denmark. As a EC commissioner since 2014 she has applied both a liberal sense of consumer rights and an interventionist commitment to regulating technology giant monopolies. She has taken on tax dodgers, infringers of personal privacy and market distorters. Thrusting macho hare brained bullies from Silicon Valley have turned up in her office berating her and come off the worse… So she can operate with the French who have long wanted to tax those financial and tech bullies whose main business model is monopolization and tax evasion. 

The EU in 2019 faces an array of security and economic threats. It needs a powerful, efficient, undaunted leader with experience of the European Commission and a sense of how the world is changing (for the worse). Europe needs a leader who can stand up for Europe and suggest legislation defending its citizens. It needs someone acceptable to left and right, north and south. Europe has to chose Ms Vestager.

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[1]: “Neoliberal” often seems little more than “neofascist”….

 

 

Enraged Stoics (Fall Of Rome, Part V)

March 5, 2016

MARCUS AURELIUS, REVEALED FOR WHAT HE WAS, HIS ENRAGED “STOICS”, and related context.

[One of my readers told me to remove a more offensive title which depicted better how I felt about Marcus Aurelius and his clueless critters. Otherwise she won’t read the essay!] Yes, I know, it is curious that people who call themselves “stoic” would actually be enraged. Yet, they are. How they were led to rage, under the guidance of your truly, is instructive, and reveals much on human nature. Basically, I revealed them the truth, knowing full well, they would explode (that makes little different from Daech, aka ISIL).

And, yes, I know, Marcus Aurelius is one of the most adulated celebrities, viewed as a top intellectual, a great stoic philosopher, a towering right of life and death emperor, etc. However, my word is stronger than his sword, the true philosopher knows.

There is nothing which enrage liars more than the truth, to all revealed.  By revealing to them the truth, namely that one who, to this day, is one of their greatest leaders, is a piece of mental trash, who led humanity astray, I brought them to the abyss, where, lemming like, they jumped passionately.

Rage permeates the human condition, and reveals its nature. It’s a failing of traditional humanism that it has not yet enlighten the causes of why this happens.

Emperor Antoninus Pius Ruled For Twenty-Two And A Half Years. Pius, A Stoic, Was The Immediate Predecessor of Marcus Aurelius. Yet, A Truly Wise Leader, Following Republican Tradition, He Nominated None Of His Numerous Male Descendants Successor-Designate (“Caesar”)

Emperor Antoninus Pius Ruled For Twenty-Two And A Half Years. Pius, A Stoic, Was The Immediate Predecessor of Marcus Aurelius. Yet, A Truly Wise Leader, Following Republican Tradition, He Nominated None Of His Numerous Male Descendants Successor-Designate (“Caesar”)

Just as the Buddhists had Buddha, the Christians love Jesus, and the Muslims venerate Muhammad, the Stoics are overwhelmingly psychologically dependent upon Marcus Aurelius, a Roman emperor, and their hero. (They have an even worse anti-hero to adulate, Seneca!)

Today I will demonstrate further why Aurelius was garbage. (Do I look enraged myself? Not really, but against Nazi-like cultish methods, only the strongest answers are appropriate. The case against Aurelius may be more serious than the case against all the monarchs of the Middle Ages, as second only perhaps to Aristotle, he generated them all. As I will show below.)

Stoics, in their admirative folly, tell a lot of (traditional) lies about Marcus Aurelius. That these lies are traditional does not excuse them, or transmogrify them into the truth. Confronted to the details making blatant that those lies, however much repeated on the Internet, are lies, would-be stoics use the traditional methods deriving from what I call “intellectual fascism”. (At least that’s coherent, as Marcus Aurelius described, one could say, invented, and sang the praises of that mental method I call “Intellectual fascism”.)

I have attracted the anger of bankers, Muslims, Christians, American fanatics, and many other critters such as “Antisemites”. Unfortunately, apparently overwhelmed by a mountain of evidence and scholarship, bankers and Muslims have become exceedingly quiet.

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The Fascist Instinct:

The ancestors of human beings for many million of years were primates pretty much exposed, far from a thick tree cover. The survival of the genus depended upon adopting with gusto the  following behavior: when confronted to danger the whole group gathering together behind a leader, and acting as one. We will call that the “fascist instinct”.

(This depends upon a piece of mathematics observed in the wild: when two groups of predators fight, the side with the greatest total mass generally wins; by acting as one, a human group could overwhelm any predator; predators cannot afford injuries, so they avoid any potential prey potentially all too injurious.)

We do not know how a behavior, necessary for survival, becomes “hard wired”. (I have just argued against simplistic ways of doing so.) However, I think the “fascist instinct” (for want of a better phrase) is “hardwired”, whatever “hardwire” means.

I also think that the next big progress in humanities will consist in admitting that various “hardwired” traits of the human genus are actually demonic. So, instead of denying that they are there, we should recognize, own, manage, mitigate, domesticate, and civilize them.

Intellectual fascism is such a trait. Celebritism, the cult of celebrities is an aspect of it. It brings forth the confusion between knowledge and hero-worship. For example the discovery of gravitational waves was attributed to “Einstein”, a content-empty concept. In truth, gravitational waves should be attributed to field theory: any moving field source generates an energy wave radiating outwards (that can then be explained further; ironically, Einstein vacillated on the waves, for years, so he had not understood how simple they were).

***

Roman Emperors Were Generally Nominated by The Senate or Adopted By Their Predecessor:

An example is Tiberius, top general in the Roman empire, adopted son of Augustus. After Augustus died, Tiberius retired in the country and waited many weeks, until the Senate begged him to become Princeps (Tiberius was de facto already head of all Roman legions, thus imperator, from his long top military command).

Marcus Aurelius was the first emperor with a son. That’s completely false. For example Tiberius, the second emperor, had two full grown sons. Both followed the cursus honorum, and became famous generals: Germanicus reconquered the part of Germany lost by Arminius’ treachery, and in particular the locale where three legions had been lost in an ambush.

What was new, is that Marcus Aurelius used a logic that brought him to make his son a “Caesar” at age five. It is not that Marcus did not know right from wrong. He did. And what he did was obviously wrong. But, somehow, Marcus found a psychopathic LOGIC to justify his perverse action.

It was psychopathic logic, because it explicitly contradicted the explicit wisdom to choose the next emperor very carefully, if possible among the most meritorious youth after they received the best education (as Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus had been selected, and educated by the famous Grammaticus Fronto).

***

Even With An Imperator Cum Princeps, Rome Viewed Itself As A Republic;

Indeed, the truth has been in plain sight, so many can’t see it:  Why? One has to know first this striking fact: until after Diocletian’s rule, around 300 CE, the Roman Imperium was actually a Republic.

Historians have come to use the word “Principate” to qualify Rome until 300 CE. Because the Imperator was also “Princeps”, the first man in the Senate. Right now in the USA, the Vice-President is first man in the Senate: as President of the Senate, the vice president has two primary duties: to cast a vote in the event of a Senate deadlock and to preside over and certify the official vote count of the U.S. Electoral College. The distinction between “president” and “prince” is that between “sits first” (president) and “takes first” (princeps/prince).

The Republic was supposedly going on, and “imperator”, supreme military command on a set of legions, was a military title from centuries of Republic. There were cases, during the Republic, when imperators saluted each other, with the “imperator” title.

***

A Professional Philosopher Makes A Correction:

“Patrice,

once more, your statements are incorrect. It isn’t that Marcus was the first emperor to have a son reach adulthood, but he was the first emperor of the Nerva–Antonine dynasty dynasty who had that opportunity.

And one more time: drop talk of fascism and psychopathy, it is adding nothing to the discussion.”

Well, dear Massimo, if you want to dine with the devil, you will need a longer spoon. I replied this:

During the Nerva-Antonine dynasty, an important qualification to become emperor was to be a stoic.

Emperor Hadrian adopted in 136 CE one of the ordinary consuls of that year, Lucius Ceionius Commodus, who took the name Lucius Aelius CAESAR. Lucius did not look the most qualified, and historians suggested he was Hadrian’s natural son. After another successful consulship in 138 CE, Lucius died (of natural causes).

Emperor Antoninus Pius, predecessor of Marcus Aurelius, had two natural, recognized sons: Marcus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus and Marcus Galerius Aurelius Antoninus. However, the emperor Antoninus Pius did not name them Caesars during their childhood or adolescence. That would have been… unwise.

Antoninus’ two sons died young without issue. However, their sister Faustina the Younger had thirteen children, and their descendants are attested in the Fifth Century. As Antoninus had the longest reign since Augustus, he could have named a direct descendant Caesar (as Marcus would do). Antoninus was a stoic.

Marcus Aurelius differed from his numerous imperial predecessors in two ways: he did not adopt a qualified, adult heir. He also nominated a very small child as heir (a royal habit which would reappear in the Fifth Century, and thereafter through the Middle Ages).

This is not a full case against Marcus Aurelius. His attitude against Christians was also a disaster.

***

If You Want Civilization To Survive, Reject Celebritism, Intellectual Fascism, etc., & Embrace Direct Democracy:

Marcus Aurelius sank the Roman Empire, just as surely as the Captain of the Titanic sank the Titanic. His designation of the baby Commodus as Caesar, heir-designate, at the grand old age of five, tells us he was no wise man. However much he repeated like a parrot in Greek what Greek philosophers had said before. Thus he covered his tracks for 19 centuries, but as Donald Trump would point out, here I am, to say the obvious.

The rage of the professed ‘stoics’, confronted to my naked truths with whom I crush them, tells volume. First it says that Stoicism falls short. Half of humanity lives in East Asia, and should not scoff too fast. East Asia is permeated with Buddhism and its variants and fellow travellers (Confucianism). One can viewed all these as forms of stoicism. Or, more exactly, forms of stoicism a la Marcus Aurelius. (It’s not that Aurelius influenced them directly; it’s more that to the same problems, the same solutions.

Marcus Aurelius, as world dictator, devised a system of mind compatible with his elevated role as fascist-in-chief. Many a ruler in East Asia, and their obsequious servants, such as Confucius, were drawn to the same broad conclusions.

Thus (much of) Stoicism-Buddhism-Confucianism can be viewed as an overall mentality (there are variants of the three of them which differ wildly.

As long as We The People do not admit that individuals are prone to failure and demonicity, always, we will not progress to the sort of perfection we now need for survival as a genus of mind.

That packs of stoics can exhibit the ugly side of man, reminiscent of an angry pack of hyenas, is no wonder. When a pack of hyenas of roughly equivalent mass confront a pack of lions, they attack. However confronted to one of a few humans, they flee. Why? Even hyenas know that humans are the worst of the worst, in some most important ways. And that’s why stoics love Marcus Aurelius: because he was the worst of the worst, under Stoic guise, he was ready to lead them, straight into the Middle Ages, and its hereditary absolute power, from father to new-born babe.

Marcus Aurelius, the first hereditary king? Yes. A philosopher? No.

Patrice Ayme’

State Religion Unavoidable. Now Republican Secularism. Or Die

December 2, 2014

Give Me A State, I Will Show You A Religion:

Any state needs a way to tie up its citizens together again, after whatever trials and divisions they have been through. Trials and divisions there always are.

Said otherwise: having a state means having a religion. As the regime changes, so will the religion.

A clear example is Rome. In the five centuries of continual regime change, from the collapse of the Republic, to the establishment of the Frankish Empire in 507 (defeat of the Goths), Rome continually changed religions. There was the Imperial Cult, and later the cult around “Sol Invictus”. The Nicene Faith of Constantine (325 CE) was not the “Christian Republic” of the Franks (although both were outwardly “Catholic”).

Real Revolutions Need, And Are, New Religions.

Real Revolutions Need, And Are, New Religions.

[Demachy, Fete de L’Etre Supreme.]

In the USA, the de facto religion has been a mix of secularism and obsequious reverence to “Jesus Christ”, a guy supposed to say good things, whom one is supposed to love, to prove one is so good, one can go shoot the Indian heathens in full good conscience, and religious justification. Amen.

Thus, not believing in “god”, or Jesus-love, in the USA, tends to show one is not looking for justification to dispose of Indians and the like (Saddam Hussein), and thus one is treacherous to the nation.

The necessity of a state to have a religion is why, after a revolution, or serious change of regime, any really new state that fought a previous state (of things) dominated by a previous religion, establish a new religion.

An example is Henry VIII, establishing the Anglican Church, or what happened throughout German speaking lands after Luther appeared, and many local lords opted to play a game with the new religion, Reform, to further their own power. Even the French Revolution introduced the “Culte de l’Être suprême “.

This is why all significantly new regime, such as the “Socialist/Communist” regimes establish “Personality Cults”, which are religions by another name.

The vanishing of the old religions in Europe is directly related to the progressive political changes there: the Nazis hid behind “Gott”: “Gott Mit Uns” (God with us) was the motto of the SS. All other old regimes were tied to Christianism. As the regimes lost power, because of the rise of the European Union, if not outright apocalypse (Germany, Austro-Hungary, Italian monarchy, and countless smaller empires… in the “imperare” sense), the old religion lost its reason for being.

It has been replaced by a mild version of the Republican religion, which was very strong in France, ever since 1789.

The Republican religion was actually strong before that, throughout the centuries, simmering below the surface. Thus, even during the Middle Ages, republics were allowed within the Renovated (Roman) Empire. Venice was the most famous, and Charlemagne let it be (although Venice had a gigantic fleet, and the Franks very little).

This underground Republicanism is why King Louis the XVI decided to create the American republic. Yes, create: without massive French support the pathetically weak American Revolution would have failed. Louis was told by his advisers, his cabinet members, and his own brother, that he was creating a Republic, and that he would be next. He was explicitly told that he had lost his head, and that this decapitation would be made public all too soon. His brother kindly hanged the famous painting of the decapitation of the English monarch, upon Parliamentary vote (the exact same mechanism that would cost Louis his head). Louis shrugged.

Why? Louis, a deeply religious man, deep down inside himself, having tried everything else, had clearly deduced, subconsciously, that it was time for a new religion. A new way to tie the People together again. So Louis convoked the “General Estates”. The “Third Estate” (namely not the aristocracy and the Catholic Church) promptly proclaimed itself to be a Constituent Assembly (similar to the one then sieging in the USA).

Louis indeed lost his head. But he went to death very calmly, in full respect, in full faith, of the new Republic that he had contributed to create. Louis was a sort of real Jesus Christ, dying from his own mechanism.

A lot of the trouble of the European Union have to do with not having enough of a common Republic, to have faith in it. Let’s have enough faith in the Republic, for the European Union to become a new religion. Otherwise, it will fail.

And this true, worldwide.

Secularism, living in one’s age, is not new: it has been around for millions of years, for the most successful, precisely our ancestors: others died off. Secularism, living in one’s age, is part of human ethology. Fighting secularism is fighting the essence of what it means to be human.

Secularism is another word for accepting science and technology. Those have never changed faster. States which don’t adopt and create them swiftly will be left behind: China has understood this very well.

Yet, to create significantly new science and technology one needs intelligence, thus enough democracy to be called a Republic. Absent the preceding, states who are not Secular and Republican enough, will have a higher probability to lose the next big war (when push comes to shove, and the seas rise big time).

We are in the age of Republican Secularism. This is all the religion we need. But we need it bad.

Patrice Ayme’

P/S: To broach a subject I generally avoid: does the preceding mean Israel will die, as the Crusader States did? Well, any regime comparison is relative to its environment. But it sure means that “Orthodox Judaism” is a deadly danger for Israel. It certainly means the EU will die, lest it accelerates progress and democracy enough to look better than the alternative.

Multibrain: Republic, Democracy

July 29, 2014

Some brainiacs such as the philosopher Michel Serres (of “France decapitated”), make a big deal that France is a “Republic”, and the USA a “Democracy”. It’s the sort of mock sophisticated distinction that those who want to look intellectual embrace. Serres has taught in plutocratic universities of the USA, he should know better. Or, maybe, he knows better how to serve his masters than yours truly. The distinction is without merit.

First it blows up the differences between France and the USA. In truth, both Republics are much more similar to each other than they are, to any other regime in the world (including the United Kingdom).

Differently from Rome and Athens, the USA and France were born as entangled republics. Both Republics have recent imitators, namely dozens of modern states.

Second, the main difference between “Republic” and “Democracy”, as it happened 25 centuries ago, was just a matter of language and esthetics. The beauty of how the concept sounded in Greek did not translate in Latin (‘Populus-Imperium” has six syllables).

Athens called itself a “demokratia”, because demokratia was a Greek word. Greek spoke Greek, Romans spoke Latin.

Too Big For Debate Killed Respublica

Too Big For Debate Killed Respublica

But democracy was not exclusively a Greek concept. It was as strong, if not stronger, in Rome.

Indeed, the “rule of the People” is how human societies have always worked best (except during war): distributed intelligence, creating the super-brain effect, from the many brains debating. TheMultibrain effect. Whereas, indeed, I do not believe in the “Multiverse”, the human brain, and, even better, any human society, is a multiverse onto itself.

Democracy allows to tap in this multiverse of the multibrain. Democracy is a multiverse. For real.

So the Romans spoke Latin. They had two words for “power” in the sense of “rule”. “Potestas” for lower magistrates, Imperium” for higher magistrates (Consuls, Proconsuls, Praetors; “Censors”, although higher magistrates, did not have the “Imperium”).

It would have been all too long, thus awkward to make a single word with “populus”, “potestas”, and “imperium”. Thus the romans instead used the Thing Public (Res Publica). Later the Demos-Kratos of the Greeks, Latinized into “democracia”, was used.

But that does not mean the Romans did not practice democracy. They did. Real democracy, that is, direct democracy. In practice, there was little difference between direct democracy as practiced in Athens, and that practiced in Rome.

(But for the fact that Athenian democracy lasted two centuries, and the Roman one, around five. Also, even under the Principate founded by Augustus, many Republican functions kept on going, and it was not clear that the Republic had stopped, as the weird transition between Augustus and Tiberius amply demonstrated.)

The various Roman “Magistrates” were masters of diverse functions, and represented those functions. They implemented People Power, they did not displace it. They did not represent people, just functions.

Rome, or at least the Roman Republic, which lasted five centuries, ignored that oxymoron, “Representative Democracy”. SPQR, the Senate and People of Rome, lasted so long, precisely because the Romans refused to be represented in some theater, by professional liars. (For those who don’t know, oxymoron is Greek for “sharply stupid”.)

Athens’ democracy failed, because, as Demosthenes pointed out, the Greek city-states refused to make the tremendous war that was required to get rid of the fascist plutocrats from Macedonia. In the end the war came to them, and Antipater, one of Philippe’s senior generals, took Greece over thanks to enough torture and execution to terrorize the Greeks into submission (130 years later, the Roman Republic freed Greece, and the legions were then withdrawn).

If it was so good, why did Rome quit Direct Democracy?

I have argued that it was because of the rise of plutocracy. That’s entirely correct, but then the question occurs of what allowed this rise.

I have written detailed essays pointing the finger at the Second Punic War, the rise of the war profiteers, the death, or dilution of the really noble Patrician families’ spirit (whose ancestors had conducted the Roman Revolution in the Sixth Century BCE). I also pointed out to the fact that the Roman Republic became, thanks to that war, around 200 BCE, a global power.

All too many rich, powerful families were then able to do what is now called “inversion”. Namely rule from abroad (where Roman Law did not apply). So they escaped confiscating taxation that was meant, precisely, to decapitate the plutocratic effect.

But there was another pernicious effect of the vastness of the Roman Imperium.

Athens had met it already. In the Athenian Assembly (of the People), important decisions needed a high quorum. That meant distant farmers had to travel to Athens for a few days. That was expensive, so the Athenian Republic paid for distant farmers to come to vote.

The situation was much worse in Rome.

The Athenian City-States ruled Attica, which is about 100 kilometers long. The Athenian Imperium extended at some point to the Black Sea (to insure the wehat supply). Moreover, all Athenain dependencies could be quickly reached by boat.

Not so with Rome. Cities such as Numance (Numentia) sat in the middle of Northern Spain, weeks of travel from the sea.

Rome was physically incapable of maintaining communications fast enough to maintain direct democracy (in any case the old democratic set-up in Rome depended of the detailed status of citizens within “tribes”, and would have had to be severely modified just to extend to Italia).

Very slow communications was the deep down root killer of Roman direct democracy.

We don’t have this excuse. Not anymore.

Quite the opposite. Whereas Rome experienced a loss of opportunity as the empire extended, modern technology, the Internet, offers us the ability to do as the Romans did under the Republic: vote all the time, about anything.

We don’t need no stinking representatives. Freedom is a mouse click away.

Patrice Ayme’

Pandora’s World

September 4, 2013

Abstract: More reasons for attacking Assad beyond what I wrote two years ago, “Force Works, Syria Next?“, and more recently (“Syrian Red Line” and “Peace From War“).

Three original points in the dialogue below: 1) there is -nearly- a right of ingerence in the United Nations, that allows to override the Security Council. The French Republic used it many times. This is such a case again. An occasion to teach most of the world’s countries about human rights.

2) Dictator Assad has threatened Israel and the French Republic. So now the self defense clause of the UN Charter can be used against him. In the latter case, that activates NATO.

3) An exclusive argument shows that the West has jurisdiction over Syria (as it had over Yougoslavia). The transfer of power from Rome to Islamist invaders in 636 CE was illegal, unconstitutional, uncivilized, and has proven irresponsible. Time does not make wrong right.

Fascism Is Always Personal, Decapitation Best

Fascism Is Always Personal, Decapitation Best

***

The French President wants to overthrow Assad’s regime. Is not that going too far?

No, it’s perfect. Assad, a criminal against humanity, equipped with weapons of mass destruction, has threatened France, so, to insure French security, that regime needs to go. The United Nations’ charter allows self defense, so now that Assad has threatened the French Republic, the latter has to right to strike. French strikes ought to specifically target the mass murderous dictator.

Assad is roughly in the same position as Hitler got in. Hitler did not surrender. Neither will Assad. Hitler ought to have been destroyed. By the same token, Assad ought to be destroyed. It’s not just a question of striking the VX factories, killing the neurotoxin scientists, their installation, and the specialized military units.

You see no ethical problem in attacking the Syrian government?

There are risks in engaging in action, any action, even going to the movies.

To check how fool proof my logic was, I dressed in pink (mimicking thus the “Code Pink” anti-war activists), and searched potential contradictors. I found them resting their wisdom on ill-information (I am much more “left”, whatever that means, than they are). Slogans (USA atom bombed Japan!) do not a logic make. (Self) glorifying peaceful thinking does not bend psychopathy. Quite the opposite; psychopaths smell weakness, an easy kill.

Fanatical pacifists bleat about non violence, to keep wolves away. They don’t understand biology. Let them munch grass. Fiercer ones save the world. Always have, always will.

Of course, when attacking Assad, countless things could go wrong, and will. A French SCALP missile could stray off course and flatten a school (but they will come at night and their precision is one meter). Assad put people that he would rather see dead, such as some of his own Suni troops, in harm’s way.

In 1944-45, American strategic bombing over France, even Paris, killed many thousands of French people, and flattened entire cities (Brest, Saint Malo, Toulon, etc.). Some, including myself, consider that some of these bombings were motivated by weakening France. Yet, if you ask the French, they shrug, and use a well know expression:“C’est la guerre.” (“It’s war.”)

Assad turned peaceful protests against his plutocracy into a butchery: more than 100,000 dead, more than two million refugees (UNHCR numbers: one million more refugees in 6 months).

The Syrian dictator has violated International Law  by using lethal chemicals in a mass attack on a civilian population (inside his own capital city).

Doing so, the dictator also committed a crime against humanity by killing hundreds of children, knowing full well that the gas would sink in underground shelters where women and children had taken refuge. That does not make him legally different than the worst Nazis.

(Klaus Barbie, who had personally tortured to death around 5,000 people, was condemned to life detention by a French court for the murder of 34 children. Why? Because killing children as a hate crime is a crime against humanity. No prescription. That’s just one thing one can demonstrate Assad just planned to do, assassinating 462 children, at least.)

Chomsky has called an intervention in Syria a war crime.

Chomsky’s indignation against imperialism is so parody, it has no bite. The real problem is plutocracy, not imperialism. There are empires all over. I condemn Bush’s attack against Iraq in 2003 or Carter’s attack against Afghanistan in 1979. Posing as anti-establishment, while being part of it, as Chomsky is confusing.

Chomsky claims that the usage of neurotoxins by the Syrian government is not credible. He thus contradicts the evidence put forward by the French and American governments, and common sense. (The French government web sites have more than 100 shocking videos of gas poisoning in progress.)

I expect no less from someone whose scientific reputation rests on a silly theory of language (“innate grammar“; a theory that someone familiar with varied languages, can only smirk about).

This being said, Chomsky does a nice job as crazy, well meaning uncle in the attic.

Why can’t you embrace non violence?

Non violence contradicts the essence of man. Those who practice it religiously deny reality and invite moral disaster.

Gandhi embraced violent non violence that made him the self declared friend of Hitler, and caused the partition of India along superstitious lines, killing millions. So he was a disaster, although an icon to the fanatical non violent, and that makes sense.

By contrast, Mandela, also a lawyer, embraced violence when he saw no other effective way. By using bombs, Mandela earned the respect of his racist enemies, to the point he was able to change their minds.

Homo Sapiens Sapiens is an extremely violent species. Quasi by definition. Be it only violence in the noble sense of using force. Homo SS has never been as violent as he is now, when he is threatening the entire planet, by his mere existence. Yet, non violence is not an option.

Because technology itself is violent. Yet, without it, most of humanity would die. Moreover, solutions to the dilemmas at hand, like the CO2 poisoning of the atmosphere, will involve great force, great imperium (say putting international flying, or even much trade, out of reach of the commoners).

The key to survival, of the humanity we have, is not to lie supine, but to call for ever more violence, or, if you prefer that semantics, force, while channeling it where it will do necessary good.

Politics is about making the lesser of two cruel choices always. Those who do not want to impose, or suggest, the application of cruelty, should stay out of politics.

Is not that too radical a position?

No. Take the CO2 poisoning of the planet. Obama proposed, in the same style as Obamacare, a host of regulations, all over. At best that would make for a police state, with a huge bureaucracy, a sort of Stalinism without executions. At worst, it will be costly and won’t work.

Instead the free market solution is just to change the playground ground rule, by imposing a carbon tax. Just as the free market solution for health care is Medicare For All.

You have lost me completely there. What’s the connection with Syria?

To do the right and moral thing in politics, one has to take often tough and cruel decisions. Just as Obama has long been reluctant to do. Until Libya, and now Syria. The boy is growing up.

A good politician has to take decisions that, at first will feel tough and cruel to some. Sure, it will be tough to kill Assad and his butlers. However, if one had killed Hitler and his butlers in a timely manner, more than 70 million people would not have died, and huge suffering would have been prevented.

Certainly, as a politician, it’s sometimes bad to be too good. Chamberlain thought he was good by refusing war as a solution in Munich and leaving Czechoslovakia to the wolf. That proved a disastrous decision, as the French republic and Czechoslovakia, per se, could have held off Hitler.

The planet is hurtling towards destruction at this point. The correct ideas to save the planet will feel tough and cruel to many, if not most. Because they will be so much out of what they are used to, their comfort zone. That should be explained to the naïve masses.

The Iranian president, says he is “a lawyer, not a colonel”. Is not that reassuring?

Rouhani is president. He gives orders to colonels. Or would, if the Grand Ayatollah did not pull the strings. He “strongly & completely condemns chemicals in Syria”.  Yet, if he does not want to do like USA president Roosevelt in the 1930s, who argued with Hitler, but then helped him as much as he could, Rouhani should help do away with a man who gases his own capital city.

The best way to avoid serious wars is to show to fanatics, and persuade them, that violation of International Law and crimes against humanity will be met with the Wrath Of God, right away. A language they understand.

Don’t you think that spurning the UN Security Council is ill-advised? Chomsky said that was a war crime.

Chomsky barks, history will forget him. The French Republic intervened many times, and got retrospective approval of the United Nations. The 1930s have taught the French that they should trust their instincts about human rights, and not pay too much attention to two tendencies:

1) International plutocracy’s influence (its moods, its plots, both adverse to democracy).

2) The global anti-Republic mood (one of the aspects of the anti-republican mood is the claim to cultural equivalence, aka “multiculturalism”, a mood that makes, for example Islamism equivalent to the secular democratic republic that is constitutional, and the most advanced stage of civilization, and has been, for 3,000 years).

Why Are You Pushing For Regime Change In Syria?

If one just “degraded” Assad’s capabilities, the danger is to undershoot.

1) One does not just wound a bear. Assad has engaged in terrorist acts in other countries (Lebanon). If he survives, he will feel empowered.

2) The likes of Kim have to be shown that, beyond the Red Line, there is no hope. A clear example has to be made. If we do not, Pandora’s world will open, and all evil contained therein will escape and spread over the Earth.

[Part Two Tomorrow.]

***

Patrice Ayme

Peace From War

August 25, 2013

WAR TO RIGHTS, RIGHT TO WAR.

Synopsis: Non violence against infamy is infamy.

By not striking down someone who kills children with gas, the Republic becomes an accomplice. By not destroying a little contemporary Hitler, the Republic encourages  the propagation of a mood of contempt for the Public, and Human Rights. We have seen enough. It’s time to take out Assad, and strike terror in those who think they can trample the Republic under foot.

Indeed, no need to repeat the experiment of the 1930s. On this small planet, only regimes compatible with the Republic can exist. After Libya, and Mali, the time to illustrate that principle anew has come again. The Syrian Red Line is crossed.

That Dozens Of Children Were Simultaneously Killed By Gas, There Is No Doubt

That Dozens Of Children Were Simultaneously Killed By Gas, There Is No Doubt

The French Republic has threatened a unilateral military strike, overriding the United Nations (that has happened many times before). PM Cameron, two days later, moved by the pictures of dozens of gazed little corpses, spoke about addressing an ultimatum to Assad. The USA needs to join France and Britain. (Yes, I know, the People of the USA is against it; it was also against hurting Hitler in 1939.)

With nuclear weapons around, it’s time for the Republic to show resolve for tackling hard cases.

***

OUR LEADERS SET THE STAGE FOR DISRESPECTING THE WEST:

The West was taken flat-footed by the events in Egypt. Perfidious Western leaders had naively self hypnotized with the theory of “Islamophobia”. According to this grotesque, illogical, insulting, racist and viciously manipulative theory, it’s racist not to respect Wahhabist Islam.

Well, I don’t respect religious cannibalism, either, so let them call me racist twice. I will call them inferior twice.

Wahhabist Islam said that Sharia, the Islamist so-called “law” ought to apply.

Women ought to be kept inside, wear tents, not travel unaccompanied by an adult male from their family (a provision the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to legislate in Egypt).

Individuals once called “Muslim” and who are deemed behaving in a non-Muslim way are to be put to death (that’s why Syria is such a massacre), etc. Depending upon the place, the local Sharia forces various degrees of sexual mutilations (mandatory on males).

This sort of arbitrary terror has never been tolerated much in the West. But the West wanted to impose it on the Middle-East, in the name of Islamophilia.

As general George Washington said when he was president:“The USA has nothing to do with Christianity”. It should have nothing to do with Islam, either. Washington would have certainly supported the Egyptian generals, as far as cracking down on Islamists.

Now the Egyptian generals, supported by Israel, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia’s wise king Abdullah, have constituted the “Axis of Reason” as a high level Israeli official with an excellent sense of macabre humor, put it.

***

DISRESPECT FOR REPUBLIC IS CONTAGIOUS:

How can the erratic Western leaders beg for forgiveness?

Give an ultimatum to the mass murderous plutocrat Assad. The West has nothing to do with Christianity, or Islam, but the West has everything to do with Human Rights. The West was founded when the secular Salic Law of the Franks put an end to Christianism’s violation of Human Rights, and when it outlawed slavery.

Indeed, the way Western leadership by plutocracy was set-up, it helped the mass murdering Assad.

The Egyptian generals treated the Western leaders as they deserved, as vulgar allies of Al Qaeda.

Visualize this: Assad laughing, while Western leaders parroted Al Qaeda’s Zawahiri. Everybody got distracted by the revelation of the sordid instrumentalization of Islam of the Western leadership. Assad obviously thought it was a perfect time to use the neurotoxic gas Sarin massively in the suburbs of Damascus. 355 were killed by neurotoxins according to Doctors Without Borders (MSF). 3655 showed symptoms. This, in only three hospitals MSF collaborates with.

Meanwhile, Erdogan, the Islamist Sultan of Egypt, had dozens of top academics, including ex-university heads, condemned to prison, under charges of high treason. Yes, he can! Change the Sultan can believe in! Erdogan has also been riding the Western leadership’s affected love of Salafism.

***

WE DON’T WANT TO DUPLICATE THE 1930’s:

It’s one of these times, as in the 1930s, when democracies get no respect, Human Rights get trampled underfoot. The danger is that that disrespect gets completely out of control.

It’s like the “Rim Fire” west of Yosemite: to make economies, no VLA (Very Large Aircraft) were sent in the first three days. When the jumbo jets were finally sent, dumping swimming pools on the fire, they were very efficient. But, by then, the fire was already gigantic.

The obvious analogy is with what happened in the 1930s. Then only the French Republic was deadly opposed to the Hitlerian dictatorship. The most senior German generals wanted to make a coup against the Nazis, but, with the United kingdom and the USA apparently to Hitler’s side, they were nervous to make a coup, as if they were France’s allies.

I am not making these things up. The Anglo-German Naval Agreement of June 18, 1935, was viewed by the Germans as an anti-French Anglo-Nazi alliance. And the support of American plutocrats for Hitler was decisive, not just in creating Nazism, but in making its early military victories possible.

The story of the 1930s was the complicity of much of the Anglo-Saxon plutocracy, and a Non-Violence-Is-The-Only-Way approach to evil, with the ultimate rule of Pluto.

We want to avoid the same mistakes. Chop it down as soon as it shows its ugly muzzle.

How to re-establish respect for Human Rights and the Republic? Respect was re-established the hard way in the 1940s, and the work was only partial (as Hitler’s accomplice, Stalin, was given half of Europe).

France, Britain and the USA should simply give an ultimatum to Assad, and get ready to attack. For real. Enough talk.

Some will lift an eyebrow and wonder how the republic could find itself allied to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Erdogan? don’t I usually rage against them? Well, yes and no. The 89 year old king of Saudi Arabia is an excellent man, not corrupt at all (an anomaly among Saudi princes).

Well, that’s basic Machiavellism. We want to co-opt Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The best way to co-opt is to instill respect. The best way to instill respect is to make an inspiring show of unstoppable force. Roman style.

***

DO AS THE ROMANS DID: PROPAGATE THE REPUBLIC:

The Roman Republic, as it grew, and was then very democratic, did not hesitate to make unsavory allies, with the idea of changing their minds towards the Republic. Most ended siding up with the Republic, in depth.

The annihilation of the capital of Bosnia, Sarajevo went on, until French guns applied radar guided counter artillery fire, knocking off Serbian artillery. Although the French military loved the Serbs since WWI, they had enough. At some point, “qui aime bien, chatie bien.”(“who loves well, chastens well”.)

The Kosovo bombing campaign was decided unilaterally by NATO, over Moscow’s vociferous objections. It was thorough, ferocious. At some point USA’s B52s surprised gathering Serbian troops in the open, killing thousands in seconds. The air war worked splendidly.

Now a chastened Serbia is thinking of better things, like being a republic, and applying to European Union membership. Kosovo is also learning the same.

The French republic, ever since attacking unilaterally Adolf Hitler’s garden of the beasts in September 1939, knows very well that, confronted with unspeakable evil, attack is the only way. And the earlier, the better.

So give an ultimatum to Assad. First, to allow international inspector to go anywhere in Syria and inspect immediately all and any apparent chemical attack (Assad pretended the “terrorists” brought the chemicals). If he refuses, or it’s confirmed he used neurotoxins, he should be ordered to leave power, and to surrender to the International Court of Justice.

And if Assad accepts continual, open monitoring? Well, then he would have submitted to the rule of the Republic. A lesson for all.

A lesson, not just for the generals in Burma, but also for the plutocrats all over: force can be, and ought to have been used already, against them too. It turns out the financial plutocrats (Summers, Geithner, etc.)  were engaged in more than a conspiracy, but a worldwide plot to take over the world (thanks to Jennet for informing me of this!) Maybe banksters don’t use gas, directly, just like Mafia bosses don’t go around directly shooting people. They use soldiers to do that.

And, indeed, the Assad family was part of the global plutocratic network. The mood of violence against the Public is global, and self encouraging. Regretfully, only the usage of force by the Republic will subdue it, and break the cycle.

The Romans used to say: “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.” (If you want peace, prepare for war.) Yes. However, in the most dreadful cases, war is the only way to peace.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Note: Let me repeat, the aim is behavior modification. Technically, a little bombing raid on Assad’s palace may do wonders. French Rafales with American cruise missiles could do it, Lybian style. Guernica in reverse: public saved, fascists bombed.

Some military men will say it’s too late to intervene in Syria. But it’s not a question of invading Syria, but just punish Assad (be it only by degrading his military capability; for example by imposing an embargo with no fly-no ship zone).

I am all for cracking down on the Salafists Assad opposes, but he is greatly the one who created them (in the style of Western support for the Muslim Brotherhood/Al Qaeda). He actually release thousands of Islamists, a bit like hunters release phaesants. What is intolerable is that he would keep on using Weapons of Mass Destruction, although he had warned not to do so.

French War In Mali

January 11, 2013

Finally! Friday January 11, 2013, Paris, Élysée: “Mali is confronting an aggression of terrorist elements coming from the North, with a brutality and fanaticism that the entire world knows” said the French president “I have therefore, in the name of France answered the demand of help from the Mali president, which is supported by the Western African countries. In consequence, the French armed forces have brought this afternoon their support to Malian units to fight against those terrorist elements.”

And, presto, France is at war again. This is the second military intervention of France in Africa, in one week. (The preceding one stopped an insurrection in the Central African Republic.)
And at least the FOURTH major French combat intervention in two years (Ivory Coast, Libya).

French Strike Mali [From Terrorist Video]

French Strike Mali [From Terrorist Video]

For those who are naive in these matters, historically, in the fullness of time, France is the primary military interventionist in the world. Ever. This started when the Roman empire put the Franks in charge of defending Germania and Gallia in 400 CE. After some initial difficulties that caused the fall of the Occidental part of the empire, the Franks annhilated the Huns, the Goths, the Lombards and various other critters. (The Franks also intervened in Britannia for centuries afterwards, before conquering the whole thing in 1066 CE).

The nations French military intervention created constitute the essential of the West: Germany (starting in 500 CE), much of Europe (by 800 CE), all the way to Eastern Europe, and including Catalonia and the reconquista of Spain (Charlemagne), England (1066), the reconquest of much of the Mediterranean from the Muslim invaders (South Italy, Sicily, etc.)… even the Netherlands is, to a great extent, a French creation (a 75 year war part of a 120 year French war against Spain)… And finally, of course, the USA.

Without gigantic French help, and even… incitation, the American rebels would have all been hanged by the authorities, end of the story. Nearly all their cartridges were even made in France. Even while being created, the USA defaulted, and refused to pay back even a cent to the French Treasury for the enormously expensive war that had given birth to it. Thus default presided at the birth of the USA. (Louis XVI was advised to follow suit, and default too; but he refused, as he was hell bent on making nobles pay taxes, something that the National Assembly of 1789 finally imposed!)

That’s one problem with war. When made out of principle, it can only pay back with principle. But that does not mean it should not be made.

It’s not just that the Franks (or the Gauls before them) are slightly demented supermen in search of somebody to fight. The very position of France at the crossroads of the three main trade routes of Western Europe, since the Neolithic, condemned any people thriving there to be pretty aggressive and open minded. That is why the occupants of France may have changed quite a bit, but the mentality persists.

Frankish intervention led to the unification of Western Europe under the body of Roman law and the Roman language, and a version of civilization (and weaponization!) that they called Christianity. Achieving what they called in 800 CE “the Renovation of the Roman Empire”. The Franks, were Germans who civilized Rome, while learning the proper way of making war, a state, and a melting pot, from the Romans.

War is inseparable from democracy, be it just because plutocracy hates democracy. Plutocracy tends to blossom all over, all the time, and one of its main variant is “theocracy”, where (mass) criminal acts are ordered by god(s).

The French government declared that the invaders of Mali are “terrorist” and “criminal”. Differently from December 31, 406 CE, when the Vandals, Alans and various others crossed the frozen Rhine by surprise, France was not surprised that the terrorists decided to invade the rest of Mali, in the hope that the international community would take months to get organized after Susan Rice lifted her veto against France at the UN, and the Security Council voted to allow armed intervention as needed.

The French Air Force has already conducted bombing missions. This is excellent. In the West Africa of my childhood, one had to fear only spiders, horribly poisonous snakes, crocodiles and furry predators. The danger presented by man was inexistent.

Western Africa was way safer than Europe. Shockingly, once, a taxicab driver got killed for his money. That had never happened before. It turned out, and it was pretty telling that, a young French tourist had done it.

Black Muslim faith was not distinguishable from Western secularism in most ways, and was distinctly more progressive in some important ways (having to do with socialism, nudity, and… even the position of women in society).

The “Muslim” faith of the fanatics in the middle of the Middle Earth is a “different religion from mine” declared Abou Diouf, a Wolof Muslim, ex-president of Senegal (and General Secretary of the 70 nations strong francophonie).

Of course such a version of Islam, islam with a progressive, human, civilized face, is intolerable to a lot of bad actors.

Wahhabism, the faith of Saudi Arabia, is perfectly compatible with terrorism, gangsterism, drug trafficking, and, first of all, extreme concentration of wealth (in other words, the exact opposite of Senegalese style Islam). Thus extremely well financed bad actors, armed by the feudal oil powers, tightly connected to Wall Street, of Arabia, keep on financing it. This constant war agaisnt a self made enemy, serves as a justification for the feudal, fascist regimes in the Middle East. That’s why they keep on secreting what we are supposed to fight.

The usual professional pseudo-leftist whiners are sure to surface and accuse France of having interests in Africa. Well, there is something to the notion of empire. Originally, it simply meant command, order.

Under the British Raj, there was no danger that the Muslim dominated regions would engage into a thermonuclear war with the rest of the subcontinent. Had the British Raj evolved as Canada, that would still be an impossibility.

Whereas, as it is, after Gandhi’s pathetic circus, the existence of that Pakistani theocracy (see the connection with plutocracy, above) which he contributed so much to create, does not just threaten India with a few hundreds of millions of dead, but also could ignite a world war.

The old argument of the French in Algeria was that they were back, as the successor state of Rome, after a hiatus imposed by Arab Muslim invaders. This was also the basic argument of Napoleon in Egypt. And there is something to it.

After all, Rome had African, and even Arab, emperors.

So how does this compare with Libya, Syria and Afghanistan?

Well Qaddafi was a horrible dictator, who even raped young girls industrially. he had a deal with those plutocrats, Blair and G.W. Bush. As long as he was in place, an atrocious plutocratic symbol was in place. The difference with North Korea is that, as Qaddafi found out, Libya was only an hour flight out of European bases. Similar reasons brought JFK to a tough line about nuclear capable missiles in Cuba.

Syria is a mess. The only correct line of the West is to draw lines for Assad not to cross, and support the secularist opposition (even with weapons)… while trying not to help the genuine Islamists supported by the feudal regimes.

I have been opposed to the war in Afghanistan for, among other things, strategic reasons. The first one is that, when democracy fights, democracy ought to be pure. In Afghanistan the USA has been as impure as possible, and that had direct strategic consequences leading to the unavoidable defeat we are now experiencing.

During its great war with Sparta, Athens was not ethically pure, far from it, and that is why she was ultimately defeated by a coalition of enraged city states (led by Sparta, financed by Persia). Athens was impure because Athens used the defense funds of the Delian League to build itself pretty buildings still observable today, because Athens destroyed an entire island, Milo, just to show it was a superpower, and because Athens attacked Syracuse, there again, just because she could, as an undefeatable superpower. Athens aggravated her case by boasting of her great democracy and Open Society, while practicing the opposite for all to see.

(Analogies with the present USA, while regrettable, are not a coincidence, and fully intended.)

When the French Republic gave an ultimatum to Hitler, on September 1, 1939, the Republic had been ethically pure (Britain, that France dragged behind, had been much less pure, and its compromising with Hitler had a direct effect on its military preparedness, which was so insufficient, as to leave mostly France fighting, by a ratio of 1 to 20 in soldiers deployed!)

The first big mistake in Afghanistan is actually that the USA attacked the REPUBLIC of Afghanistan in the 1970s. It would seem that the USA (or some influential people in the USA) were after the mineral wealth that the republic of Afghanistan intended to develop with French (and probably Soviet) help.

A dirty war resulted, with the likes of the CIA instrumentalizing the likes of Bin Laden. Then there was 9/11. The West invaded Afghanistan, as was its right.

But then a tragic, and strategic mistake was done: that one of NOT enforcing a SECULARIST state in Afghanistan. Instead the west did what it should never do, put a theocratic republic, Iranian style, in power. Hence NATO fought for Wahhabism light. Thus the Afghans, including those in the army and police, got completely confused, and felt NATO ought to be supporting Fundamentalist Islam, and became crazy, observing otherwise.

Hence the famous “green on blue” and “green on green” attacks. It’s a hopeless situation, and too late to fix it. Better next time we invade Afghanistan from scratch.

Mali is completely different. Mali is a secularist republic. A natural ally of Western civilization, an emanation of it. Not supporting Mali would have extremely adverse consequences, because not just of its location, but because it would be not supporting civilization.

Fortunately precision bombing on armed columns have happened on Friday January 11. There is no doubt the terrorists were taken by surprise. Moderation in the support of civilization is no solution.
Patrice Ayme

No Law Up High, No Republic

December 22, 2011

ULTIMATE AUTHORITY OF THE REPUBLIC RESTS ON THE LAW.

Is Government Too Separated From The Authority That matters Most?

***

The planet we have is increasingly ravaged by several conflating crises. Burned by the carbonic acid created by excess carbon dioxyde absorbed by the oceans, young fishes die, go blind or become crazy, as bees do on land. The plancton, which fabricates the oxygen we need, is dissolving in the acid bath we used to call a sea.

But the fossil fuel polluters’ crimes are not even fiscally discouraged. Instead they are allowed to also spew lies, and persuade everybody that there will be plenty of air for ever (see the financing of the Tea party in the USA by the Koch brothers).

Meanwhile, the grip financial pirates have on the world has become obvious since 2008. After they seized the world economy, they asked for a ransom. And then again, And it was paid again. Now the serfs are asked to pay for distant banks by allowing themselves to become destitute (and this is happening even inside prosperous Germany, where old retirees discover they have to go back to work!)

Ever since the amazing financial crisis which grips the planet came to everybody’s attention in 2008, it has become obvious that a handful of men in suits take all the decisions with the money, and even the fate, of the public, allowing their class to thrive ever more, while, and because, the public deperishes.

The spirit of the law, if not its letter, has been denied.

I claim that this comes directly from the fact that the executive branch has eluded its responsibilities in implementing the spirit of the law. This is not just a question of the present leaders being plutophile  (lovers of Pluto, thus, wealth). Institutionally, the way executive powers are presently set-up, has less to do with wielding justice than it had under the Roman republic.

Western democracy, led by the English, American and French revolutions of the preceding centuries, consists of representative democracies with three branches of government: the legislative, the judiciary, and the executive. Legislation is established by a bicameral parliament of elected representatives (an inheritance from 6,500 years old Sumer).

In a purely parliamentary system, parliament also elects the executive. In the USA, France and Russia, a powerful president is elected directly (by a college of a few hundred special electors in the USA, by the people in France or Russia).

In any case, the judiciary is supposed to be separated from the executive. It is not clear what this exactly means: after all, most judges are nominated by the executive in the USA, and confirmed by the legislative. In other countries (e.g. France) the judiciary self nominates.

So the judiciary is a bit more independent in France: see the Dreyfus affair, where the independent judiciary forced the executive, the army and the anti-Judaists to eat crow. What I will contest here is not the independence of the judiciary, but its power: an ant may be independent, but it is easily crushed by a plutocrat.

In the USA no judge is powerful enough to judge the obvious, namely that the Federal reserve has no right to transfer arbitrary amounts of “monetary base” to the same old crooks, year after year (although a judge recently blocked an all too comfortable accord between the government and a major bank).

The difference in judicial independence between France and the USA shows: the popular Chirac, 12 year president, and Prime Minister before that, was condemned to two years in prison (suspended). For allowing City Hall finances as Paris mayor to provide supporters with somewhat fictitious jobs with real salaries. The offense is so puny, it would not really register on American radar.

The Roman republic was not organized this way. In Rome, the top executives, the two Consuls, were also viewed as the top judicial officers. Why so? It is very simple: the republic rested on the law.

No law, no republic. That had to make the law more important than anything else, including the army. Military power could be used if, and only if, it was legal. The law was the highest value, and thus the highest authorities took care of it. The founders of the Roman republic saw this clearly. Justice was not a department, it was the foundation.

The superpower of the Consuls was compensated by the shortness of their terms: just a year. But they could be re-elected. Gaius Marius was elected seven times Consul. Ex-Consuls were called proconsular officers. They were frequently nominated governors of provinces, and had many prerogatives, including being protected by lictors, special trained bodyguards carrying the axes of the fasces representing the union of the Populus around the power of the law.  

When there was war, it was made in the name of the law, under the eye of the law, as the Consuls often personally directed the operations of the main armies (many Roman Consuls died in combat, over a millennium).

Let’s remember that a mostly functional Roman republic lasted about 5 centuries. And arguably for much longer: after all, there were Consuls, and a Roman Senate, for more than 11 centuries! The founder of Francia, elected king and imperator Clovis, was also Roman Consul. Stretched to the max, a Roman state existed for 23 centuries (753 BCE to 1453 CE).

So where does the system we have presently come from? How come justice got separated from the executive? The break happened around the 13th century. In England, the French barons limited the power of the king through the Charter of Liberties (1100 CE) and the Magna Carta (1215 CE): their ancestors had joined William The Conqueror, a Duke, (that is a high commander in the Roman army of the Late Empire), to invade England, bringing with them most of the (French) army that invaded England. William had been recognized as first among equals, and the descendants of his acolytes intended not to forget that fact.

In France the break came later. Elizabeth de France, the ferocious intelligent and domineering daughter of Philippe IV Le Bel had become reigning queen of England (having visited an unspeakable end to the father of her four children, a Plantagenet, Edward II). When her brothers all died, she ought to have become (absolute) queen of France too. She, and her son, the war like Edward III, were blocked by lawyers (her father had already rested heavily on lawyers, in his hunt for popes and Templars: his closest executors were lawyers). This is how the 475 year long “100 years war” started.

So parliaments rose, ever higher, taking judicial power away from the executive. By the time of the French revolution, England, France and the Netherlands had long seen the judicial system become nearly completely autonomous of the executive. The Bastille was stormed in France to take away from the king the last shred of Roman like power the executive had on the implementation of the law.

After the English, American and French revolutions, too much of the new system has still more to do with the monarchies that preceded it, than with the Roman republican system. The chief executive was elected for longish terms, as if it were a monarch, and directly from the legislature. In other words, the parliament now elected the kings (and queens).

Here a comical aside. The USA elects its president as if he were the Roman emperor. The Imperium Romanum officially re-established by Charlemagne in 800 CE, made Holy under Barabarossa (German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, Latin: Imperium Romanum Sacrum) indeed elected its head from a college of “grand electors“. Thus in 2001, the People elected Gore president, but the plutophile Supreme Court selected Bush, instead. (Perhaps the point when, in the future, the USA will be seen has having given in to the Dark Side!)

The representative democracy, separation of powers system is viewed unanimously as fine and good. (Although Switzerland, the oldest democracy around, uses less representation, and more direct rule of the people.)

But the question remains: when a massive injustice arises, quickly and powerfully, who can handle it? Who is going to deliver maximum power in the name of the law defending the People? In other words, when executive power is needed to re-establish the law, how can the meek executives we now have, thoroughly checked and balanced, exert the required power? America’s Founding Fathers were obsessed by checks and balances, but, although Founding Father Washington became filthy rich (317 slaves in his Mount Vernon house!), the Founding Fathers had no idea what real plutocracy was like. The only plutocrats they knew were in England, and that was judged to be an ocean away.

President Andrew Jackson, one the fiercest generals ever, had a better idea. He hated the Rothschilds (great practitioners of fractional reserve banking, who considered themselves the real power behind the thrones in Europe). Jackson prevented their implantation in the USA. Next he disintegrated the Bank of the United states, and considered that, on his deathbed, to be his greatest achievement. If he was around, as chief executive, he would probably occupy Wall Street and Congress with twenty divisions, the next day.

There are still remnants of the old Roman power the Consuls had: Obama, executing Ben Laden, for example. That was well accepted, because that was overseas (and even below the sea).

Besides Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Roosevelt Teddy, and FDR, another one who took himself for a Roman consul, was, of course, Abraham Lincoln. But all those powers they grabbed, as needed, were not really the appanage of the presidency of the USA. The water was boiling, so the frog jumped out. Right now, the temperature is slowly rising, and normal powers, in normal circumstances are not enough to address the various problems. That is made plenty clear with the European banking crisis, the on-going financial crisis all over the world (even… in China!), and the ecological crisis (which the USA resolutely refuses to consider, thus undermining everybody).

In the present financial crisis, and in the ecological crisis at some point, overwhelming power will be needed. The only question is to know if the power will be military, and extraordinary, Lincoln style, or civilian and legal.

The spirit of the law has to be defended. For example against the financial derivative universe (which has no collateral, which means the unsuspecting public is the collateral; see lower down).

Too many checks and balances for the power of the People, and all you end with, is the power of the plutocracy.

The arch-example: Geithner and Bernanke directed untold trillions of dollars towards the banks which had caused the crisis, but asked for nothing in return. At that point a strong executive ought to have stepped in and declare that this fabulous gift violated the principle of the law, which is that the republic does not make gifts to private parties, without compensation. Especially when the beneficiaries are the perpetrators.

(The gifts had started under Paulson and Bush II, when the daemon Dimon was offered 30 billion dollars by the fed, collateralized by what he was buying (!!!) to help him swallow Bear-Sterns, the “Jamie deal“. Thus, Dimon is viewed as a genius. When the state gives in to the daemon, crepuscule of goodness!)

The financial crisis has been allowed to roll on because a general laxity about the law. The laxity is fed even by videogames.

The Red Cross pointed out that in the world’s most popular, most sold videogames, the Geneva Conventions rules were not just violated, but gamers get rewarded for violating them. A whole generation is being raised, feeling that one gains 50 points by shooting on ambulances. The Red Cross wants to change this. The Red Cross is right. The plutocrats and their corporations facing them, making billions from a bloody obsession with an alternate reality, will beg to differ. Not only they make a fortune from violating the most basic morality. But those daemons know quite well that the games they sell preach violations of the law, and also violations of civilization itself.

The acceptance of barbarity, as a way to get ahead, the plutocrats meekly hope, will bring more of the abject world in which, and by which, they thrive.

The mood of the times is important: pathetic plutocrats have gone around, requesting the respect they have come to expect. Meanwhile the law is symbolically stepped on. In the last three years, both the French and American presidents, both trained lawyers, violated in public, the very first thing about the law, namely the presumption of innocence (this is not a good example for the inchoating republics of Ukraine and Russia, where the law is obviously used to hunt the loyal opposition!)

The presumption of innocence says that even suspects are innocent until proven otherwise by a proper legal procedure. The presumption of innocence protects freedom, every body’s freedom, not just the freedom of suspects or criminals.

President Sarkozy claimed that former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin was “guilty”… although Villepin was later found completely innocent. President Obama, having maybe talked to Sarkozy too much, declared that soldier Bradley Manning, who is accused to have shown the truth to the public, had “broken the law”, as his trial started.

However, as commander in chief, Obama is the ultimate authority for the military tribunal which judges Manning. Constitutionally, he cannot pose as judge and accuser.

(Let’s note in passing that the Nazi government had given orders to not prosecute soldiers who had refused to obey orders, on the ground of violations of human rights. The Nazis were afraid that any official prosecution would shine a light on their violations of human rights, the Geneva Conventions, and German law! It is rather curious that the government of the USA is too arrogant to even be as wise as that…)

Methinks that it is not that Sarkozy and Obama have early Alzheimer, and forgot the very first thing about the law.

Instead I believe that they feel they live in times where anyone up high can get away with everything (witness the enormous transfers of wealth to the hyper rich under their reigns, transfers which threaten the very thrones on which they sit, but the establishments upon which they rule feel they could get away with it, and that there is no other way… Although Sarkozy may soon understand his error, especially when, after losing the next election, French judges start to investigate him in earnest…) 

Is a new age of connivance upon us?

Justice without the determination, or capability to impose it, is no justice.

We just had a beautiful example in Italy: Berlusconi, highest judicial officer of the Italian republic, if one looks at his job in the fullness of the authority inherited from Rome, as one should, refused to prosecute the Mafia energetically. He failed to arrest top mafiosi. Berlusconi was barely gone for a few days, replaced by Mario Monti, a former university president, that the head of the Camorra was arrested (after 15 years living in a bunker in Naples).

It cannot be otherwise according to the spirit of the French and American constitutions: the highest authorities of the state are, have to be, first of all, the highest judicial authorities. It is no accident that leech known as finance is so strong in London, where the Prime Minister has fewer powers (not being head of state, to start with; and according to Rothschild, circa 1820, not the real power in Britain.)

Such disregard for the basics, for the strict letter of the law, I suggest, comes precisely from a general mood which tramples the basics of republican civilization. Or then from having a plutocratic agenda. But to believe that, in the age of the Internet, plutocracy can win over democracy, is itself fiction of the highest order. As people get more and more informed, the transition to a military regime will have to take just a generation, and not five, as it did in Rome. 

To re-establish democracy fully, it will be primordial to realize that the highest authority of the republic is the law, or, more generally the spirit behind it: WE THE PEOPLE.

And the highest officials of the republic have to incarnate it. Maybe we want to have a second look at the institution of consul. Shorter terms of the higher officials (as in Switzerland), with more of a judicial mission may help in blocking the plutocrats. France is also going to imitate Switzerland and California, and make referenda possible, upon popular request. Switzerland has imposed on its banks twice the Basel III reserve requirements. And it is said that the Fed with impose Basel III to its financial daemons; that sounds technical, but, when the banks have not enough reserves, they find them among the unsuspecting public, and then the economy tanks. (It is amazing that not imposing Basel III on American banks was contemplated!)

The derivative markets use enormous leverage (say 25 trillion of net positions out of a notional 700 trillions total, at least that is what the industry claims, giving a leverage of about 30!) But the institutions using them have no collateral. Thus, in case of failure of one, the entire world financial system will come down (as exactly happened when AIG was 200 billion short in 2008). But nobody has had the authority mental, judiciary or political to stop the non sense.

How did Rome fall? The republic faded, Rome became increasingly a fascist empire where justice could not be visited on the mightiest. An intractable financial crisis developed. Its fundamental cause was the refusal of the plutocracy to pay taxes to the Roman state, while its agents were busy disempowering Rome and Italy (to avoid a revolt back to the republic). Since the plutocracy ruled, there was no way out.

Emperor Septimus Severus, a general of at least half Libyan ancestry born in Libya, knew the problem well, and hated the Senate (headquarters of the plutocracy). But he could not fight it.

A man, even an emperor, cannot fight a mood. Only philosophers can do so. But, by the time of Septimus Severus, it was too late for philosophy. All this, because it had become a self serving habit of the mighiest to not apply the law to those who had become too big to fail, too big to flail.

Ultimately, it was a new people’s philosophy, from Germania, which was to transmogrify the ruling mood, and the empire, three centuries later. In the new ruling mood, plutocracy and slavery were out. So the entire economy rested again on small farmers, just as it did in the early Roman republic (those new, northern farmers cultivated the rich heavy soil of the colder, wetter oceanic climes with the new technology of heavy steel ploughs pulled by oxen… or horse).

It would take a few centuries for Western civilization to reach higher than Rome ever did.

But we don’t have that kind of time, we don’t have centuries to change moods, and rebuild on a more sustainable basis: remember the methane bubbling in the arctic. And plutocracy is not that ingrained yet: it is nothing that a 90% tax on the very rich, Eisenhower style, cannot fix.

(In Rome, using the Trojan Horse of foreign wars of choice (around 146 BCE), the plutocracy was able to acquire private armies which were above the law. Right now, it is just short of that. Only its business practices are above the law, and the states have been captured to allow them. But a nasty war or two (say, starting with Iran) could fix the problem.)

Applying the law can change the world. As I said for years, mercury pollution from coal burning, kills tens of thousands of lives every year and causes birth defects, learning disabilities, and respiratory diseases among millions of survivors. And this in the USA alone (compare with the civilian nuclear industry, which did not kill one member of the public yet, in the USA: is the hysterical anti-nuclear crowd paid by fossil fuel polluters?)

Finally Obama, apparently remembering some of what he is supposed to do, has unleashed the EPA onto the coal burners. It remains, though, to do the same worldwide (worldwide carbon tax, worldwide mercury tax). And if the polluters in China can’t adapt fast enough, let’s tax them into extinction! Why should they be allowed to put mercury vapor in the air, and ruin our brains? Is not that a casus belli?

The mercury pollution is just a small example of the following. At this point justice, the republic, and the spirit of the law, is not just a matter of taste, but a matter of survival.

***

Patrice Ayme


Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

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Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

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in truth, only atoms and the void

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Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

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

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For The Best Thinking Possible. Morality Needs Intelligence As Will Needs Mind. Intelligence Is Humanism.

Learning from Dogs

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

ianmillerblog

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

Defense Issues

Military and general security

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an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

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Writer, Editor, Berliner

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EugenR Lowy עוגן רודן

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Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

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

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For The Best Thinking Possible. Morality Needs Intelligence As Will Needs Mind. Intelligence Is Humanism.

Learning from Dogs

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

ianmillerblog

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

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism

EugenR Lowy עוגן רודן

Thoughts about Global Economy and Existence