Posts Tagged ‘Rome’

How Civilizations Go Down. Why There Is Hope

January 2, 2016

Gloom and doom go only that far. A number of commenters, or authors such as Machiavelli, entertained pretty abysmal considerations on humanity and its future.

In the case of Machiavelli, pessimism was understandable: he rode two horses condemned to decline and fall, namely the Republic of Florence (which was turning into a plutocracy), and Caesare Borgia, Cardinal at 18 years of age, who later resigned his church position in an attempt to seize power in Italy, a place where Spain had invaded the south (freed centuries prior, by the Franks, from the Muslims), France was trying to hold onto Naples (but lost because the Spanish general in command was too good). Most of the peninsula was covered by forts and domains which had feuded for centuries.

Nowadays, we have grounds to be optimistic. I will explain why below. However with a caveat: history is now flowing extremely fast, as we are approaching a technological and computational, thus theoretical singularity.

We Already Have A Better Understanding Of What Brought Rome Down The First Time, We Can No Doubt Avoid It, The Second Time, With Even More Understanding

We Already Have A Better Understanding Of What Brought Rome Down The First Time, We Can No Doubt Avoid It, The Second Time, With Even More Understanding

There are three reasons why civilizations collapse: invasion, ecological collapse, plutocracy.

I use all the time analogies with Rome’s Decline and Fall, yet on a much grander scale than Edward Gibbon. I root firmly the Decline and Fall as starting in 200 BCE, with the rise of plutocracy. There are a lot of deep analogies between what happened then, and what is happening now.

Yet we also enjoy major differences with Rome. To avoid Rome’s fate, we have to cultivate these differences. (And our gaze turns towards the European Union.)

Rome was a quarter of humanity, and Roma was ALL the civilized, and Republican influence zone. Yes, China, India, Persia, and well before Egypt, were civilized. But only the only drowned and expired Sumerian cities could pretend to have a high Republican index: Sumer invented the bicameral system still in use today. Persia did not, China did not, and, as far as I know, neither did India.

But Rome, like the top Greek cities, was a Republic. However, most Greek cities crashed and burned within a century or so. Rome built a huge empire, and lasted so long, it’s not clear it ever stopped. Although it declined, and fell, it got up again, as the Franks engineered and observed. Thus Rome founded the present political system

Persia was advanced enough to seriously bother Greeks and Romans, it was only or equal civilizational level for a fleeting moment under Darius, and in the late Sixth Century (thus, 1,000 year later). (This is my own observation/theory, sure to rile up some out there!)

All the neighborhood of Rome was vastly inferior. Although the Celts were superior in ocean going ships and metallurgy, and even captured Rome in the Fourth Century BCE, their abominable religion was quite a drag.  Actually, it was such a drag, the Celts embraced Greco-Roman civilization even before Julius Caesar showed up with his ten legions.

The Persian religion, Zoroastrianism was very advanced, arguably more so than Christianism (which copied many of its elements, in particular the obsession with truth and the logos, thanks god). The Middle East got tied down by the instauration of “hydraulic dictatorships” all over. The Persian/Iranian/Mesopotamian ensemble was a vast military mess which never recovered imperially, thus politically, from the People of the Seas invasions.

Now the situation is quite different.

First, the USA is a EUROPEAN COLONY.Rome was not a colony; it was initially occupied by Etruscans, themselves one of the People of the Sea. But, at the same time, the Etruscans civilized Rome. Rome also got civilized by the “Magna Grecia”, the Great Greece of Southern Italy, stating in Nea Polis (Naples).

Second, the mother ship, Europe, gave birth to a gigantic empire. It’s not just that European colonies control the Americas and Australia. France, the USA and Britain Exclusive Economic Zones, EEZs, covers much of the world’s exploitable oceanic depths.

Although weakened by its own crazies (Prussia/Germany/Nazis, Mussolini, Franco, Lenin/Stalin and their subordinates), plus major American plutocratic maneuvering, and in a bad state presently, Europe not quite done yet. After all the good guys (French Republic and British pseudo-monarchy) won. Now the French Republican systems, and monarchies to the same effect, cover Europe. Germany is sister republic to France, in particular.

Third, the Roman Republican system spread way beyond Europe and her colonies. China and India, and most of the rest of the UN have actually adopted (and adapted) many of WESTERN civilization’s better sides. However, China is still a dictatorship, and (partly) India a mess.

Another difference with Rome starts with a similarity: Rome got in a huge ecological crisis, starting around 100 CE. The Romans could not understand what was happening. They said:”The world is getting old”. Well, what was happening is that Romans had exhausted the soils, and the mines. However we know what they did not: tremendous technological progress can enable to change exploitation regimes.

Thus, the fourth difference with Rome; a huge CO2, GHG, Climate Crisis is incoming, but everybody knows about it, and fixes are in sight. A crisis is an opportunity as the Chinese would say.

Hope? People have to learn from history, and that means, the real history. Hyper maneuvering by USA plutocracy happened in much of the Twentieth Century, and is still ongoing right now. People can’t understand that, as long as they don’t realize that, without American plutocracy, Hitler just won’t have happened. At least, not happened as catastrophically as he did.

But there is hope that people, thanks to the Internet, realize that they have been manipulated in both what they know, and what they can hope to achieve. In particular, Direct Democracy is in the best position to succeed ever. The Athenian Republic found difficult to achieve Direct Democracy, because it did not have the Internet. The average Athenian voter was one day’s travel away from the voting booth. Nowadays, the average voter has her, or his hand on the voting device, namely the smartphone. No more excuses.

Objections can be raised. The preceding was a partial answer to several commenters on this site, John, Aaron, GlouconX, Eugen… The latter jumped on Machiavelli to object to Direct Democracy; however, Machiavelli was not just an author and philosopher. Like Plato, and especially Aristotle, he was a vested ACTOR of the disasters he described, and thus deeply biased, all the way to the greatest depths of the human soul. People who have interest to be stupid, will be stupid. Be it only to forget the fools leading us by the nose. Direct democracy is the answer to stupidity.

However, there is snow outside and further comments will be delayed until enough snow will have been mastered by the imperialistic author of these lines. Hey, it may be the last snow ever, let’s enjoy a cold El Nino, while it lasts! Non-Linearity is ready to ambush us. Let’s build memories while we can, be it just to be melancholic later… being of many minds is what intelligence is about.

Patrice Ayme’  

Christian Civilization Never Existed

December 10, 2015

Many fanatics, Christian or Muslim, insist that there was a “Christian Civilization”. Well, no. It’s not because people with vested interest repeat always the same thing, that it is decisively supported by the facts. It is not because some aspects of a civilization are of such and such a nature, that one particular aspect defines the whole thing. The philosophical, legal and behavioral foundations of the West were not “Christian”. Christianism was the fig leaf thrown, by the Roman plutocracy, over the apocalypse it preferred to the taxing continuance of civilization.

Although something called “Christianity” contributed to civilization considerably, the Christianism of bishop (Saint) Jerome, a “Founding Father of the Church“, in 400 CE Milan, was very different from the idiosyncratic Pagano-Christianism of Consul (and king of the Franks) Clovis in 500 CE (who re-invented Christianism thoroughly).

As so-called “Christmas” approaches, it’s good to remember that the Winter Solstice feast was Greco-Roman, and preceded the displacement of “Jesus” birth to the Winter Solstice, by more than a millennium.

“Christian” Hatred Of The Body Was Rejected By The Popes Themselves

“Christian” Hatred Of The Body Was Rejected By The Popes Themselves

[“What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?” Michelangelo.]

Christianism initially hated the body, in opposition to Greco-Roman civilization: love the body, and soon you will love the mind, and will want one of your own.

So Christianism closed and destroyed the baths (thus promoting devastating, civilization destroying, epidemics among the 99%) and longed for the Apocalypse (generously provided by the telling collaboration of Roman plutocrats and invading barbarians: the analogy with Islamism now is uncomfortable! Our plutocrats have been busy plotting with Islamists ever since before the Great Bitter Lake Conspiracy!)

Although some lunatics tried to force an authentic Christian civilization, it became, literally, a Non Sequitur: it’s now called the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”. When one wishes for the Apocalypse as Christians and later Muslims, wished, it should be considered synonymous to the decline and fall of civilization, society, population, reading skills, security, economics, and all and any standards of sophistication.

See Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen… (And yes, Somalia, Sudan, and more specifically Yemen, can be compared to say, Ethiopia, which is doing incomparably better.)

What do I mean by the non-existence of “Christian Civilization”? Consider the tyrannical, self-obsessed, much adulated cretin, Louis XIV of France, the self-described, self-adoring “Sun-King” (a bloody dictator much celebrated in France this year, as he croaked 300 years ago, justly covered by gangrene, from his toes, to the top of his head. Louis’ painful and disgusting three weeks of gangrene is the only indication from his reign, which I can discern, that there may be, after all, a God).

Louis XIV tried to make France into a Catholic society, by revoking the Edict of Nantes of his excellent grandfather, Henri IV. That was more than weird: a century earlier, under Catherine of Medici, queen of France, a similar episode had been launched, the Massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy. Not only did that surprise assault in the middle of the night, killed immediately 30,000, and most of France’s intellectual elite (which could only condemn and despise Catholicism), but it launched no less than seven religious wars in 36 years, bleeding France, killing up to more than 20% of the population (so Syria has a way to go! By the way, those who wonder where the French hostility to Abraham’s god comes from, should study this).

I repeat: in less than 40 years, wars among Christians in France, killed more than 4 million people (and terrorized everybody).  Nor was it the first time: more tan a million Cathars, and all their works were annihilated by Christians around 1200 CE. And, in the Fifteenth Century, Protestants were hunted like wild beasts by Catholics (to the point Louis XI had to intervene, reminding all that killing people for religious reasons was against the law, and sending the army!)

How civilized is all that Christianism? When Rome was far removed from Christianism, no such massacre ever happened.

So here was that bloody imbecile, Louis the Blood King, trying the same trick all over again, all by himself (and his fanatical wife). It is still a great disease that such a creep is revered abjectly, by the French elite.

Thus Louis The Pervert threw out and abominably abused millions of Protestants. Many Protestants fled (that’s why there is winemaking in South Africa, and why so many Germans have French names). As protestants tended to be smarter, their flight made France much more idiotic, and thus more hospitable to Louis the Pervert and his vicious entourage of ill disguised monsters. Thus obnoxious critters make an environment hospitable to themselves

There is something in common between that so-called “Sun King” and the unfortunate fiction of Camus, Mr. Meursault, who kills an Arab, just because he can, and got too much sun, and could not care less. Louis XIV was the real life Meursault, and Camus channeling unconsciously that abomination of French history. Louis XIV killed the Protestants, just because he could, could not care less, and had too much sun.

Too bad Meursault and the Sun-King are still revered: it’s a sickness of the mood.

Christian propagandists always insisted that there was such a thing as “Christian Civilization”. But there was not.

The West was NOT A CHRISTIAN CIVILIZATION. It looked like one twice: around 400 CE, and around 1400 CE. But, in either case, although an attempt was made, the basic law was NOT Christian, but Roman (or the Salic law of the Franks, which was Roman written).

The attempt around 400 CE, a government of bishops, petered out right away. True Milan’s Saint Jerome, the most prominent “Founding Father of the Church”, had emperor Theodosius begging forgiveness (for some massacre). But then the Roman State, short in cash, put the Franks in charge of defending the North West “Limes” (frontier).

A century later, having established a huge “Imperium” (= Roman military command), the Franks sort of converted to Catholicism, modifying it extensively in the process, and submitting the Popes, for centuries to come.

The Franks re-established Roman (Late) Republican tolerance for ALL religions.

In other words, the empire of the Franks, the “Imperium Francorum” of 600 CE, was much more civilized than today’s Saudi Arabia. Arguably Arabia of 600 CE was more civilized than today’s Arabia, in the sense that Christianism, Judaism and the Cult of the Moon in Mecca, were all practiced without known religious massacre (the first religious holocaust was Muhammad’s personal annihilation of a Jewish tribe, a bit later; Muhammad is on the record as of the opinion that whoever insulted him should die, a tradition Muslims are keen, to this day, to carry forward, in the name of their Rophet; don’t ask me what a Rophet is).

The tolerance was extended to much more than Jews, Pagans (the Franks were de facto Christianized Pagans for centuries), Muslims, etc. By 800 CE, the “Renovated Roman Empire” led by Charlemagne, was at peace and the world’s richest

The “Final Solution” was Nazi (although I have accused many times Christianism to have inspired it). The “Manifest Destiny” was not particularly Christian (Founding Fathers and their preceding generation were very anti-Christian, and for “Nature’s God”). The Crusades were, mostly, a counter-attack (although I am very anti-crusades, that’s what they were in first order).

The annihilation of the Natives did not have to be a consequence from the Christian nature of the invaders. A very good example is the French, who never eradicated a population of Natives (and that’s why they lost America!)

“Secular ideologies” may have been by far the biggest mass killers…. Because they suppress everything else. In primitive societies the kill ratio is more like 50% (or at least 25%), whereas the two World Wars killed rather around 2% to 4% (at most, directly and indirectly, through famines and diseases they contributed to)

The preceding has to be kept in mind when inanities about Islam, and an “Islamist Civilization” are proffered, just because people are conditioned to mouth them, and believe it’s the truth, because everybody says it. It’s not because all the sheep bleat the same, that bleating is the truth.

This being said, because of the insistence of raw Islam to apply Islamist Law, instead of secular law, made “Islamist Civilization” much more of a reality. Islam wants to be everything, leaving no space for anything else. Islam wants to be all of society, and even to occupy visual space. Islam wants to be more than a civilization, it wants to be an obsession.

However, an inspection of history shows that all period of really shining civilization under “Islam” seemed to have involved see through dresses more than niqab, chador, and other attempts to make women into something that should be hidden.he vast body). Contributions by non-Muslims (Jews and Christian) tend to dominate (they were the majority for centuries).

Regimes which interpreted the Qur’an literally were highly successful, especially initially, thanks to ruthless surprise: initial conquest, from Spain to Central Asia, assaults of India, Indonesia, conquest of Anatolia by the just Islamized Turks, and a reconquest of Spanish Caliphate by savage, Fundamentalist Muslims from the desert. It ultimately backfired (except in the case of the Turks, arguably). For example the re-reconquest of Spain, made the “Reconquista” by the Catholics much more savage and thorough…

Many supposed “characteristics” of “Christianism” were established centuries before Christianism was imposed on the Greco-Roman world by emperors from Constantine to Theodosius, in the fateful Fourth Century. For example welfare and scholarship for worthy students was established by 100 CE (under emperor Trajan).

The Roman world kept on going, even, and especially after the Decline and Fall of the Roman imperial state. When Saint Louis, a Christian Fundamentalist and Jihadist (“Crusader”) of the Twelfth Century expressed, in writing his burning desire to “plant a knife in the belly of a Jew or Unbeliever” (“nothing would please me more”) he recognized he could not do it, because, well the (Salic and Roman) Law forbid him to do so.

Sharia Christian, or not never ruled the West very long (although, sometimes, it made sparks: see Bruno being burned alive). We are not going to start now.

Patrice Ayme’

Vice Has Many Parents, It’s Not Just Mothered By Ignorance

July 19, 2015

Vice has many parents, INCLUDING KNOWLEDGE, And Thirst Thereof:

Doctor Rabelais said, five centuries ago: “L’ignorance est la mere de tous les vices.” That naivety was a social, civilizational and juridical error well known to the Romans, which Sade corrected stridently. The broadly educated professor Rabelais wanted to foster knowledge. That meant to destroy the power of the Church (to which Rabelais belonged, as a Franciscan monk).

The Church, the Bible, Jesus, Mohammed, the Qur’an all insist that disobeying (Allah) is the source of all vice. Rabelais said: no. Instead, being brought up affectionately by ignorance is where viciousness comes from.

Rabelais Made The Church Grotesque

Rabelais Made The Church Grotesque

However the truth is more sinister: ignorance mothers most vices, in otherwise good people.  Yet, there are also plenty of bad people out there, motivated not by ignorance, but by knowledge.

Those cognoscenti can be motivated by Vengeance, Imagined Victimization, The Will To Power, the Will To Extermination, Cruelty, Sadism. Those emotions are not the children of ignorance. Far from it. They are children of knowledge.

That was a point of the Marquis De Sade. This is one reason why many of his anti-heroes are politicians: they know human nature, and, during their vacations, torture people, to foster this knowledge some more. Far from protecting from vice, knowlege, and the thirst for knowledge, can attract vice.

Sade’s heroine Justine, is more successful, the more wicked she gets, thus demonstrating that viciousness rules not just logic, but apparently the universe (the point the Cathars had already made, on a grandiose scale).

Many people will whine that such moral turpitude could not possibly be. Sade had got to be a very bad person for just having such an idea to tarnish all of humanity with. The idea that knowledge can be criminogene, and vicious is intrinsic to man. Napoleon agreed: he imprisoned Sade, for life, because the philosopher had caricatured the dictator and his countess of a spouse (the plutophile creole Josephine). Yet those ideas were the central principle of the Roman Republic, and the religion it brought forth, Christianism.

The very fact that the 99% do not want to understand what Sade pointed out, that vice was a central part of human nature, and that having plenty of knowledge could make someone more, rather than less, prone to vice, enables the banksters to own the world, and to claim that all the problems with finance have to do with their victims, the … Greeks, and not at all with those bankers who stole, with a little bit of help from their plutocratic friends, all the money.

Ignorance enables the exploitation of the 99% by the .1%. Cruelty, Will to Power, Metaphysical Denial, the rage of the Dark Side, explain the motivation of the .1%. Denying the latter, the vices which motivate the .1%, enables to deny the former, that there is an exploitation by the .1%, that we are all Greece. It’s a sort of religion of cluelessness.

Among the sheep, there is happiness in congregating around simple, time honored ways.

Patrice Ayme’

No Force, No Republic

February 27, 2015

Humanity is force. This is what vegetarians, often, want to forget. It is no coincidence that Adolf Hitler was a fanatical vegetarian, at the cost of his health (too much pea soup, I am not kidding). Hitler was out to project a sensitive image of himself. Thus the Nazis passed laws against cruelty to animals, and instituted a policy of strict protection of nature.

When the Public goes together to form a republic, a Public Thing, force is what that thing is made around, just as in a baboon troop.

Forgetting force is forgetting the Republic. Marcus Aurelius, chosen future emperor when he was just 17, outright taught stoic philosophy (some thought it was conduct unbecoming an emperor).

However, Marcus Aurelius went over the Dark Side when he forgot that’s;

Stoicism without force is only ruin of the Republic.

This has always been true, and is truer now than ever before, because, now, it’s not just a matter of nations, religions and civilizations going down in flames. It’s a matter of the biosphere going down.

It will take some getting used to: the drought in California in 2014 was the greatest in at least 1,200 years. The latest modelling is much worse.

Eradication, Final Solution to Abomination

Eradication, Final Solution to Abomination

Israel used force to prevent the construction of nuclear reactors: in 1981, a raid by eight F16s and eight F15s, dropped 16 tons of high explosives on Osirak, a French made reactor (the site was flattened again by the Americans, ten years later). Israel repeated the performance in 2007, annihilating the Syrian nuclear reactor.

If Israel does not use force, Israel will die. Rome was so strong that it could afford to go catatonic on fascism, theocracy and terminal plutocracy… And still not die. (Rome is very much not dead, as all historians who have paid attention will tell you).

The Roman Republic grew, for five centuries not so much because it was greedy, but because it had to react to exterior aggression (I basically do not know a case where Rome really instigated the aggression, the war… Except for the Third Punic war, the Carthago Delenda Est war… But, when the Roman Republic went to war, it won’t let go.)

Marcus Aurelius poisoned the empire, because he did not use force where it mattered, close and personal.

True, Marcus Aurelius spent eight year on the battlefield, trying to prevent the Marcomanni and other German savages to cu the Roman empire in two.

However Marcus Aurelius was weak in more important respects.

He forgot that emperor Hadrian, the predecessor of his predecessor, decided to choose him and Antonius Pius as future emperors, while passing over his own two sons.

Instead, Marcus Aurelius would heap all possible honors, including Consul and Emperor on his own son, before he reached the age of 16.

Instead, Marcus Aurelius would have not enough money to pay for the army, and decisively defeat the savages. Why? Because the plutocrats, heavily taxed under the great emperor (an ex-general) Trajan, were not taxed enough under Marcus.

First the Republic has to be strong.

At this point if one is on the danger list of Israel, France, or the USA, one gets disposed of.

That does not rile up my democratic instinct. Our leaders should be elected mostly to execute the “basses besognes” (= )

In the past, determined assassins and the like could only kill a few, although, as most societies wee organized according to the fascist model, there was such a thing as striking the head, and changing it.

In Switzerland, with a rotating presidency of seven (soon to nine), there is no great change to be expected by killing one (but for augmenting an ambiance of terror).

The Islamic State does more by destroying antiquities which prove that their religion is junk.

So the only justification for so much power in so few hands in the leading democracies is that they do what is necessary.

One thing they did not do was to change the financial system. There is certainty (in the case of Obama) and a high probability (in the case of Hollande) that the gentlemen will be out of power in two years. So they need them, and all their cohorts of camp followers, to make sure that they ingratiated themselves with the powers that be.

Obama was again in San Francisco, begging for money and making deals, a week ago. Some of the most influential locals (such as Brown, an African American long mayor of San Francisco) are begging him not to come anymore (the ambiance of corruption is not improved by the traffic jams Obama causes).

Obama should stick to assassination, like Hollande, or Netanyahu.

Meanwhile, the Greeks won an important victory. Although it was more symbolic than anything else, as France (still protecting her giant banks) had been forced to win the battle for the Greeks, earlier.

***

AUSTERITY IS SYNONYMOUS WITH PLUTOCRACY:

When he ran for his presidency, Hollande, the present French president declared that “Mon enemi, c’est la finance” (My enemy is High finance). People elected him on this basis, instead of voting for the other one, whose obvious friend was High Finance.

However, Hollande behaved just the opposite, deciding, after all, not to tax the hyper rich, and finally choosing a hyper wealthy young 30 something investment banker as finance minister.

Hollande went down ever more in the polls, while the French economy kept on diving from being, to nothingness. Hollande’s polls approval reached 11%, the lowest ever for a French president.

Finally France reversed course.

The mighty French Republic finally decided to declare in advance that it would run a deficit fifty percent higher than the limit imposed by the law instituting the Euro, and this for two years in a row.

This had a number of consequences: bringing the Euro down, and also solving the Greek problem: if France was going to run a 4.5% deficit, why would Greece have to run a 4.5% SURPLUS?

(The greater demand imposed by France can be qualitatively evaluated, considering the relative sizes of economies and deficits: it is as if France was going to run (15)x(1.5) above the limit, when Greece was looking only for 2x(1.5) relief. So the French violation is much greater… and was agreed to… a day or so after the Greeks won).

Paul Krugman agrees that the Greeks won. In “What Greece Won”.

As Krugman explains:

Well, if you were to believe many of the news reports and opinion pieces of the past few days, you’d think that it was a disaster — that it was a “surrender” on the part of Syriza, the new ruling coalition in Athens. Some factions within Syriza apparently think so, too. But it wasn’t. On the contrary, Greece came out of the negotiations pretty well, although the big fights are still to come. And by doing O.K., Greece has done the rest of Europe a favor.

To make sense of what happened, you need to understand that the main issue of contention involves just one number: the size of the Greek primary surplus, the difference between government revenues and government expenditures not counting interest on the debt. The primary surplus measures the resources that Greece is actually transferring to its creditors… If you are angry that the negotiations didn’t make room for a full reversal of austerity, a turn toward Keynesian fiscal stimulus, you weren’t paying attention.

The question instead was whether Greece would be forced to impose still more austerity. The previous Greek government had agreed to a program under which the primary surplus would triple over the next few years, at immense cost to the nation’s economy and people.

Why would any government agree to such a thing? Fear. Essentially, successive leaders in Greece and other debtor nations haven’t dared to challenge extreme creditor demands, for fear that they would be punished…“

Let’s not forget greed, either…

Plutocrats are those who use power, generally through the money they command, to achieve satanic aims. Generally self–aggrandizement by commanding more is a primary obsession.

Central to this strategy is the tactic of making money ever more expensive, and reserved to the hyper wealthy. The less money We The People have, the richer plutocrats have.

Instead, to operate an economy effectively, one needs enough money to conduct all and any transaction that benefits the society at large. That’s a necessity.

Rome failed in that respect in the Third Century, because it ran out of precious metals, and also of enough internal force to impose a FIAT currency. The Franks remedied both problems.

The Franks  got the precious metals in Eastern Europe (a place the Romans had not conquered, per order from Augustus, and lack of oomph from not taxing plutocrats enough, thus having too small an army).

The Franks mixed the silver they mined with less valuable metals. and enforced the value of money: faux-monaieurs, the counterfeiters, were boiled. Alive.

Who are today’s counterfeiters? Who else but the money changers? The banksters.

All this because those who have power abuse it. And not using it is also abusing it. So when the inheritance of humanity is destroyed by Islamists, and nothing is done to stop it, not enough violence is used. Obviously.

So surrendering to the austerity is not just a weakness and a madness, it is a system of thought to submit societies ever more to the plutocratic madness, a much worse prospect.

Patrice Ayme’

Dear Muslims, about Muhammed cartoons

January 19, 2015

Here is an essay from a scientist who, per the nature of his activities, physics, astrophysics, mathematics and searching for exoplanets, planets orbiting stars in our galaxy, is forced to keep his mind wide open on a lot of questions of deep and burning interest.
Professor Coel Hellier shares my general approach (not just about Islam, but in much of science). However, he is from Europe, so he does not abide by the European bashing the leaders of the USA engage in. (And American academics know they are supposed to partake in, to earn the respect that brings them money and a nice career!)

Generally European bashing is practiced by the USA in a fashion covert enough that paid-off European leaders can claim they don’t have the faintest idea about what is going on.

An example is energy policy: Twenty years ago, the USA with Vice-President Al Gore (later made a Nobel Prize, of course), started a big noise, mirror, smoke and fury about “climate change”. The European Union bought it, hook, line, sink, and now even the European boat attached to all this is sinking.

While Europe was doing extravagant efforts to reduce its greenhouse gases emissions, the USA augmented its own (counting everything, something USA propagandists will not do for you).

Result? Right now the price of energy in the USA is half of that in Europe, the European economy is sinking (surprise, surprise), European unemployment is colossal, Europeans are rioting, and the President of the USA tells Europeans to their faces that this is all happening because Europeans are racist (more smoke and mirrors).

However, today is Martin Luther King Day. Who was MLK? Somebody who wanted Americans “of color” to have the right to sit where they wanted in a bus. (Most Americans are “of color”… with the one drop rule!)

That is a right, sitting where they wanted, that the Romans already had. OK, Romans did not have buses, but they had an imperial throne, and Spaniards, inhabitants of the Balkans, French and British born sat on it. More interestingly, African born and Arab born citizens also sat on the imperial throne.

Emperor Septimus Severus, a Libyan, was, indeed of African “blood”.

So the Martin Luther King craze, and sanctimony, is not something that Europe ought to look up to, but something to look down on. MLK was very courageous, but only as an example that one does not get anywhere good, but by telling the truth.
Anyway, let the sedate and wise Coel have a go at Salafists.

Not that the top propagandists of Salafism do not know what Coel is saying: they all do. Their (meta) aim is just more power for themselves and their masters, this is always how the Islamist game has been played.

coelsblog

Islam star and crescent of person who would draw a Mohammed cartoon, if I could draw, which I can’t, and if I was good at satirical cartoons, which I’m not. Yes, we do understand that you find cartoons depicting Muhammed offensive. We understand that you value the reputation of Muhammed more than that of your own family, and that Western cartoons about your prophet are, to you, utterly disrespectful and blasphemous. We are not drawing cartoons just for the sake of being insulting, nor because we hate you. We draw cartoons because we regard doing so as important for a free society.

Over human history many ideologies have been totalitarian. The Christian religion used to burn people at the stake for heresy. The Soviet Communists sent people to the Gulag for any dissent from communist ideology. The Nazis murdered millions to further their fascist ideology.

All totalitarian regimes control what people can say, and…

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Geo-historical Civilizational Logic

September 15, 2014

Abstract: Geography can dominate history. Examples abound. Civilization cannot just clash: it has to be defended by the sword, and by ideas which are even sharper than steel. Unfortunately plutocracy hate to see force, physical and intellectual, in command of We the People. This betrayal from class interest is how top civilizations go down: when plutocracy gnaws into civilization as the gangrene it is. The death blow is then given by the savages who are sure to come circling like hyenas. The latter is a symptom of the former.

Such hyenas brought down the Roman and Chinese state. Lest we be careful now, the Union of Savages and Thugs, with big titles, like president of Syria, or Russia, or the “Caliphate”, will engulf civilization. Let’s crush them when we still can (the “Caliphate” is only 20,000 strong, so could be literally exterminated, at this point). But we will crush them better if we also extinguish our plutocratic form of government.

Not Conquering Germania Magna Was The Proximal Cause Of Rome's Failure

Not Conquering Germania Magna Was The Proximal Cause Of Rome’s Failure

THE TEUTOBURG FOREST DISASTER:

The plutocratized Roman republic (aka “Principate”) suffered a psychologically shattering defeat at the Teutoburg Forest in 12 CE (just left of the G in Germania above).

Rome, as a real republic and democracy, had suffered much worse, even terrifying, defeats. However it was then, being a direct democracy, of a much stronger, much clearer frame of mind, and it rebounded with astounding efficiency.

Instead the Teutoburg defeat marked and accelerated an irreversible decay, as the Roman polity was taken in a pincer between exterior enemies and interior plutocrats. An army led by “princes” is much less effective than an army by the people, for the people… As the conquest of Germany required.

Some will object that the Franks, who conquered Germany after 507 CE, were led by kings. Right. But those kings were elected (more or less by the people). Nobody elected Augustus. Moreover, Frankish society was submitted to the equalitarian principle: the richest Frank was often elected king, but there was, or ought to be, no “nobilitas” notion among them; that point was made to the Pope around 740 CE by the son of Charles Martel, Pepin Le Bref.

Notice that the traitor (he had been a Roman officer) Arminius and his German army chose the location and time of the battle (which lasted three days). The miserable rain hindered the usage of Roman artillery; a swamp and a rise, the Kalkreise, prevented the maneuvering of the legions.

The treachery of it all (the legions were trekking back to their winter quarters) took Varus’ army was complete surprise.

GEOGRAPHY IS HISTORY:

The steppe which goes from Manchuria to Hungary allowed the Mongols to spill at least three times, in nine centuries, all the way to Central Europe (thus, having gathered immense power, they were able to build a giant empire, all the way to India, Japan and Indonesia).

Isolation from the Afro-Eurasian hyper continent, or, should I say, cesspool, meant that the Americas were not going to win the biological war between the former and the later. And so on.

I explained that a lot of the effervescent mentality which has festered around the place presently known as France has to do with the three giant trade routes between Southern and Northern Europe. The Alps and Carpathians, mighty mountain ranges, extend to the east over a thousand miles, blocking the way. Until the crisscrossing of wide rivers in the Ukraine-Russian plains. That, also blocked civilization’s penetration until the Vikings (“Rus”) used the waterways to enable profitable trade between Scandinavia and “Rome” (meaning Constantinople).

Nowadays, we are confronted to an old fashion modern Genghis Khan, Vladimir Putin, playing fast and loose, in a calculus where human lives are nothing. Putin has said a great number of things which should be taken literally: that Kazakhstan was not a state, that the Baltic countries had been a gift to the West, that the disappearance of the “Big Country” (USSR) was the “greatest tragedy of the Twentieth Century“, etc. His agenda is clearly to reconstitute the empire of the Czars at it maximal extent: he said as much, he will keep on coming for as much as he can get. This is not the “Cold War“. This is not a drill, either. This is war.

HISTORY AS A STAB IN THE BACK:

Scotland’s push towards independence from the London plutocracy is related to the struggle of Ukraine against the age old, vicious mentality in Moscow. That viciousness is how Moscow grew against, but also thanks to, the occupying Mongols (aka “Tartars”, or “Golden Horde”). Now that viciousness needs to be destroyed, as it is only compatible with a world war.

As facts of preceding centuries, even millennia, determine the flow of psycho-history, looking forward, it’s important to find out what those facts exactly were. In particular the exact history of the giant Greco-Roman republic-empire and its innovative successor, the “Imperium Francorum”-Renovated Roman Empire, is paramount.

Exactitude reveals that things could have turned completely differently, from small details: that’s known as the butterfly effect. From the flapping of a butterfly, a hurricane started (that’s probably impossible, for Quantum reasons, but let’s ignore that).

Out of the many penetrations by sharp objects which put an end to Julius Caesar’s life, only one was lethal, said his personal physician. Had Caesar survived, the history of Europe, and, probably, the world, would have been very different. Caesar had been on his way to a very ambitious military campaign which, knowing him, and his army, the best Rome ever had, may well have succeeded. The anticipated result was the extension of Rome over Persia, and all of Europe, west of the Caspian Sea.

THE MORE EXACT HISTORY, THE MORE FASCINATING:

Here is Eugen R Lowy, commenting on my site along these lines:

“The tragedy of Europe was caused by its two major rivers, the Rhine and the Danube. Since The Roman times it divided the Continent. Charlemagne was the first to unite Europe across the Rhine. Unfortunately it was not long lasting. The next one who would try to do it was Napoleon. But he was too eager to fight wars. Unfortunately at the time bungee jumping did not exist, that could potentially have pacified him.

The 20th century brought three unification experiences, the WWII of Hitler, then the Soviet- Stalin ( SS ) experiment, and the last one, the EU. Fortunately this one was the only successful one.

Let us hope that this time the [European] unification will thrive in spite of all those short sighted, petty minded but loud speakers.”

Eugen has it right, at least as far as the conclusion is concerned.

But the devil is in the details. Napoleon was tough: he charged at the head of his troops when his plan against the invading British was enacted at the siege of Toulon (1792), and was severely wounded in hand to hand combat. Later, as self proclaimed “emperor”, he took great risks, and had horses killed under him no less than 19 times.

Real history is often all too different, from what legends have it: the Romans were established across the Rhine, for centuries. As the Salian Franks were from one of the zones the Romans controlled (more or less), one could argue that they never left.

But, indeed, the (lack of) junction between Rhine and Danube was a huge military problem (especially as it extended the “Fulda Gap”: go ask Putin what it is, he knows!).

The Franks, three centuries before Charlemagne, had already united most of Franco-Germania, across the Rhine. What Charlemagne did was to mop up the last resistance in the most distant part of Germany, among the Saxons, and to push the frontier of Europe as far as (much of) the present European Union to the East. That made the European frontier short and defensible, stopping indeed Genghis Khan’s Mongols (the Central Asiatic invaders penetrated Poland, and Hungary, but collided there with united European forces, and, although they won in memorable battles, suffered unsustainable losses).

Calling WWII and Stalin “unifications” is farfetched: they were standard occupations and not the nicest. The situation with Napoleon was more complicated. Although he was a scum, he did not get the catastrophe started. Even greater scums, such as the pseudo-philosopher Burke, got the ball rolling.

WHY DID ROME NOT EXTEND MUCH INTO GERMANY?

The first Roman to cross into Germany was Caesar. He build a bridge across the Rhine, and went in to punish the Germans for having raided Gaul. He did this twice. However, the perpetrators tended to flee deep inside the immense forests.

Caesar thought about it, and rightly deduced it would never end. So he decided to catch the Germans from behind. A conspiracy of corrupt, idiotic plutocrats inside the Senate decided otherwise. 300 years later, the Goths were at the gates of Roma, the city of Rome herself (they finally conquered Roma another 160 years later).

Caesar’s grand-nephew and heir, Augustus, went back to the unimaginative method of the slow grind. The Roman penetration extended well beyond the Rhine, and even Danube. When three legions (18,000 elite legionaires, plus the supporting army) were annihilated by Arminius (“Herman”), they were going back to their winter quarters, and that trek back, along a narrow path, was in extreme Northern Germany, exactly were the hills met the immense swamp which preceded the North Sea. Over three days, in very bad weather, hindering Roman artillery, and a geography that prevented their maneuvering, the legions fought, until they met a final trap. Those survivors who had not escaped or committed suicide, were assassinated in human sacrifices.

So what happened after that?

Three things:

1) Augustus plunged into a nervous breakdown, losing his composure completely. He butted his head on the wall of the palace, begging general Varus to give him back his legions (Varus died at Teutoburg).

Against all common sense, Augustus counseled his successors to not try to control all of Germany. Yet, Germanicus (grand nephew Augustus, nephew and adoptive son Tiberius) knew better. He overruled the recommendation of Augustus to stay on the Rhine. Beyond the orders he got, he drove deep into Germany, with eight legions, and defeated Arminius for years. However, Germanicus was poisoned (by Sejanus; that was revealed only 15 years later, although widely suspected at the time, making Tiberius the object of hatred).

2) Increasing plutocracy in Rome meant ever less power for the army: that was evident by Marcus Aurelius’ reign (180 CE), when new German nations tried to break through the Danube towards Italia. Soon pieces of the army, starting with the Pretorian Guard, behaved increasingly like occupying and plundering bodies: this was the situation after the demise of the Severus dynasty (“Barrack emperors” period).

That enfeeblement, in turn, made the Germans ever bolder. By 250 CE, the Franks were raiding from ships, Viking style, throughout not just Gaul, but Spain and even North Africa, where they struck the populations by their appearance of blonde giants.

At the same time, the Goths commandeered a fleet of non-sea worthy ships, and rampaged for years all around the Euxine Sea (Black Sea), and even all the way down to Athens (which they plundered and burned).

3) Why were there so many Germans? Obviously agriculture in the North was getting more and more productive, allowing to support more and more people. At the same time, exposition to the Greco-Roman empire had partly changed, and militarized the German savages, and they yearned for civilization and the wealth of Rome. Spectacular victories over the Roman army inside the empire persuaded the Germans that the empire was richer, and weaker, than expected. The Persians deduced the same simultaneously, invading Mesopotamia and Armenia.

***

WE ARE ALL ROMANS NOW:

It’s nice to philosophize about the demise of the Greco-Roman fascist plutocracy known to itself as the republic. What is the morality of all this, looking forward? Two main things:

1) The strength of Rome was its republic, its direct democracy, before the lamentable Augustus tinkered with it to transform it in a military dictatorship. The real, original republic, was a direct democracy.

2) Vladimir Putin is much more dangerous than the Europeans realize. Not just because of himself, the quickly expanding forces at his command, and the will he has proclaimed to establish a much larger empire all over Eurasia (which he calls the “Eurasian Union”). But also because he demonstrates to the world that Europe is much richer, and much weaker, than it was thought to be. And it makes the entire world, including the Europeans, used to this idea.

Fortunately some in Europe understand this vaguely: the French sent to the Kurds very effective, easy to use armor piercing weapons, that were used very effectively by the Peshmerga. French military advisers are on the ground. The Americans, who were not exactly born yesterday, are in the lead this time (differently from the Saturday when Obama made an about face about bombing Assad, while French pilots cooked in their cockpits).

A question is what can the USA do to help rise the bellicose spirit of Europeans?

The answer is to advantage the French Republic and loudly cooperate with it, for all to see. When the Germans and other neutrals realize that France is getting rewarded because of her effective role in defending civilization, they may be keener in following suit.

There is also no way that France can play an important military role while being held back by the 3% deficit Eurozone spending rule (the USA turns around the deficit through Quantitative Easing, a stealth nationalization of much of the economy that does not augment the deficit, technically, while having the same effect, under another name, balancing the Fed’s books).

Ultimately, who decapitates whom at will, is what history is all about. Facts don’t have to be nice, they can just stand there, impervious.

It will be European Unification, under a superior philosophy, or it will be war, under superior barbarity: Putin knows this, and opted for the latter. That’s how professionally trained assassins tend to be.

One may ponder why it is that Augustus took the wrong turn. First he wanted peace and control. Second, he did not have a grand plan (as his reaction to the Teutoburg massacre showed).

Institutionally, Augustus decided little besides making Tiberius his heir (under (one of his wives) Livia’s influence). That was informal, and for many weeks which dragged by, after the Princeps’ death in 14 CE, nothing was done about the exact status of the Roman Republic: a nervous Tiberius, although the top general did not dare say he was taking command (“of the Senate”: Princeps), before he was begged to do so by an official delegation.

Some historians have suggested the obvious: the (informal) Roman Constitution was made for the City of Rome, not an empire with a fourth of humanity. The only way for the empire to go on was to militarize and dictatorize the Republic as much as necessary, as Augustus did.

That’s not true. The empire actually morphed in a galaxy of local cities and provinces which were rather free. The central Roman administration was very efficient. However, when the central state could not pay for the armies, trouble ensued (and this was true by 150 BCE). The armies did public works, not just defense. Augustus did not fix the problem of paying for a Republican army, instead he instituted a moral decaying dictatorship.

That moral decay presided the fall of Rome is not just my opinion: emperor Decius, in the Third Century held it, and asked the Senate to re-establish the office of censor: Valerian got the job (Valerian became emperor later, and made history by becoming the first and only captured Roman emperor; he was rumored to have become the stool Sasanian emperor Shapur I used to mount his horse).

FREE AS A PEACEFUL BIRD:

On the positive side, the strength of Rome was local self-determination, and the ensuing peace: before the Goths rampaged in the central empire (Illyricum, the present Balkans, and Greece), the region had known three centuries of peace.

This is why letting local nations (Scotland, Catalonia, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Kurdistan) being free is important: it was one of the ingredient of the Roman success. Notice also that the Franks duplicated that regionalization later. Yet, the Franks did the latter to excess: regionalization got so extreme, that it led to alienation, nationalism, and finally, war.

This is what the European construction wants to correct: a millennium, or more, of alienation. But it will not happen without weapons. Intellectual weapons, but also, against thugs such as Putin, real weapons.

Intellectual weapons are the most powerful: when Bush’s USA destroyed the Iraqi republic of Saddam Hussein, it fostered the sort of thugs that now reign there (the expression “Iraqi republic” is similar to the one, “republic”, that the Greco-Romans used to qualify the Greco-Roman state for centuries after Augustus). This was highly predictable for anyone with enough of a brain.

Republics work, but only when they can strike in their defense. Nowadays, whether know-nothing Americans, and half boiled Europeans realize it, the republic has no borders, it’s all over the planet.

It’s easy for Germany to be tired of the French deficit (4.4% predicted, whereas Germany is at 0%). Germany’s fate, and course correction, was determined by bombs, not deficit.

Work works, but, in the ultimate cases, war is irreplaceable.

Consider the invasion of China by the Mongols over 60 years. The Jin dynasty, Western Xia, the Dali Kingdom and the Southern Song (which fell in 1279 CE) worked hard, and were on the top of civilization (the Xia was the most powerful Buddhist state ever). Their successive defeats were not caused by lack of industry, but by lack of military skill caused by the asinine stupor a lazy plutocracy prefers in the People they subjugate (that observation was made by Mongol generals themselves, again and again).

That, in turn, was caused by the wrong ideas all over.

Wrong ideas are all over nowadays. Examples: the fact that children should be less educated in the West than in Shanghai; that the Qur’an is a book of peace; that international law does not apply to Moscow (or George Bush), and that’s not a civilization threatening event; that we are not at war with Putin; that there are (military) borders; that banks are not public utilities, that the fractional reserve system is not a subsidy to plutocrats; that Quantitative Easing is not communism for the wealthiest; that greed will solve everything; that Earth’s biosphere is not in the greatest crisis in 65 million years; that the parliamentary system in most of the West can be called “democracy”. And so on.

All these very erroneous ideas need to be beaten into shape.

Without getting the right axiomatic first, we won’t know where, or even why, to strike. This was the problem Rome had after Augustus. This is why most of Europe is supine, as threats add to injury. That’s why Obama admitted he had “no strategy” in Iraq and Syria.

That was, at least, honest. Let’s give him a hint: hit the enemy in Iraq and Syria, while extending peace feelers to the ex-supporters of Saddam Hussein’s regime (thus splitting the enemy). That’s the most moral thing to do.

The most moral thing to do, is always the best strategy.

Patrice Ayme

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’

Demonic Empire & Bliss

June 27, 2014

Traditionally, there are those who are for empire, and those who are against it. Also there are those who distinguish good empires (the Athenian empire, the French “mission civilisatrice”; English Commonwealth) from the disgusting ones (say UK’s anti-Boer South Africa), to the very bad ones (plutocrat Leopold II’s Heart of Darkness Congo), or the outright demonic ones (the Kaiser’s holocaustic Namibia).

However, Manicheism goes only that far. I am going to suggest a completely different form of analysis, and approach, to the concept of empire.

An empire has subjects, just as a predator has preys. This is the conventional view. And, yet, it contains its own overcoming. Indeed, just as there is a mathematical entanglement between predator and prey, there is a philosophical entanglement between an empire and its subjects.

Good Empires Rest On Holy Wisdom; Ἁγία Σοφία, Constantinopolis

Good Empires Rest On Holy Wisdom; Ἁγία Σοφία, Constantinopolis

“Imperium” depicted initially the absolute, life-and-death ordering capability from top Roman generals. (Roman “emperors” inherited that capability, as they were always the commanders in chief, at least on paper.)

To this day, an empire is supposed to be all about a few ordering the many (thus, intrinsically “fascist”). Yet, even this Roman military root is endowed with subtlety: imperium does not reduce to fascism.

Why? The semiotics of fascism is, fundamentally, not just about the many being strong by tying up together. It’s about the law, and the law is absolute: Dura Lex, Sed Lex (Law Hard, But Law).  So the many are tied by an absolute.

Roman generals were obeyed absolutely, only when they inspired an aura of absolutism, that only vertiginous respect could confer them.

A professional special force killer was sent to assassinate Marius (seven times Consul, who triumphed in Africa over Jugurtha, and Gaul, Piedmont over invading Germans). He found the elder Marius in a room. Marius, unafraid, addressed the would be-assassin with his stentorian voice: ”Soldier, are you going to kill your general?”. Trembling, excusing himself, the assassin fled, and Marius’ enemies gave up on the notion of killing their all too respected foe.

In other words, imperium worked best when the soldiers loved their generals. After all, soldiers were armed to the teeth, trained to kill, and not to fear death. Generals need to be loved, the law does not. So imperium is an intrinsically milder notion than fascism.

Thus it’s not enough to say there are good empires, and bad ones. More generally, there are good empire-subject entanglements, and bad, unjust ones. It’s not all about just about the empire, it’s also about the subjects, and it’s also about the interactions of the one, with the others. Moreover those entanglements can be asymmetric.

Let me give an example. The Roman empire was the ultimate empire. Arguably, it’s going on, stronger than ever, 27 centuries after its founding (long story). For at least a millennium, the Romans interacted with the Celts, Jews, Egyptians, Greeks and Mesopotamians.

It was the same Roman empire, however, the outcomes were very different, and drastic differences are reflected to this day: the West became Rome, and Mesopotamia is still wrecked by war without end. By far the most complex interaction was with the Celto-Germans. It was pretty much antipodal to what happened with the Jews and the Mesopotamians, and, one can even claim, with the Greeks.

In Mesopotamia, and against the Iranians, Rome and its successor regime (“Constantinople”) struggled in vain for seven centuries. Nothing came out of it, except so much morbidity that, in the end, the Arabs overwhelmed both Persia and most of Rome.

The Jews, or rather, domineering Jewish fanatics, who made no sense whatsoever, in two formidably suicidal wars, rejected Rome. The first of these killed a million Jews, much of the population of Israel, then. It started by the cold blooded killing, inside Jerusalem, of 600 legionnaires of the Roman garrison. The strategic objective was unclear, and soon at least three Jewish factions were fighting each other, to death besides engaging the Romans.

The Romans had a sense of humor, and catapulted thousands of pig heads inside Jerusalem (I presume that they let them rot carefully first). On the less amusing side, the legions devastated forests throughout the region to build gigantic works for the siege of the holy city.

Egypt did not care about Rome one way or another. That mood of pragmatic indifference was contagious: while the titanic struggle of the Judaic War unfolded, just over the horizon, the hundreds of thousands of Jews in Alexandria did not raise the smallest protest.

Greece had been severely mistreated by the plutocratic Roman Senate, by 146 CE: Corinth was destroyed as a warning that republican independence of Greek City-States will not be tolerated. That was mass terrorism, and it marked Greece for centuries to come, as intended. Greek democracy did not recover, until the EU chased out the pro-Washington dictatorship, 21 centuries later.

And then there were the Celts and the Germans.  Those were not united, they relished their complicated world. They had adopted many traits of Greek civilization, even before the Romans showed up. Their metallurgy was second to none, and a major export to Rome. Ultimately, after 16 centuries of tragi-comedy, and all sorts of happenstance, the Celto-Germans became Rome (officially, in 800 CE).

It’s actually a curious thing: after a terrible war when Caesar intervened (Caesar was accused by some in the Senate and some historians, to have caused much of the problem), nothing anti-Roman ever happened again in Gallia. Even when the so called Gallic Empire ruled, later, it was not to reject Rome, but to improve it.

Differently from what had happened in Greece, the Romans did not rule Gaul through terror (although the war with Caesar had killed and enslaved millions, it had been a very complicated, messy affair, nothing like the cold blooded holocaust at Corinth) . Far from it. Even Latin was not imposed. In the Fifth Century the bishop of Lugdunum (= Lyon) preached in Celtic. Latin replaced Celtic completely, well after the legions were gone (that happened in 400 CE, a decision of Rome, taken when, for budgetary reasons, Rome put the Franks in charge of defending the two Germania and Gallia). Phasing out the three Celtic languages happened when the Franks, who came to rule Gaul completely in the early Sixth Century, completely gave up their own Low Countries German for Latin.

The Celto-Germano-Greco-Roman civilization became a symbiosis ruled by the Franks. Why a community of minds there, and not with Israel, or Mesopotamia? It’s obviously an explanation that involves many factors. The Celto-Germans and the Greco-Romans had a very long story, with fair intellectual trade, in both directions: by the time Caesar showed up, that intense trade was at least a millennium old. The Roman army was equipped with Celtic metal works for centuries.

Celts and Romans had important principles in common, like a quasi-religious dislike for kings, and, certainly, hatred of tyranny. This dislike was so strong that Armanius (Hermann) a once-Roman officer who treacherously annihilated Roman general Varus and his three legions (plus supporting troops, and fellow travellers), was later killed by fellow rebels for behaving, it was alleged, like a king.

Yet, as Rome became a fascist dictatorship, the Germans became more sympathetic to fascism, and kingship. Clovis, elected king of the Franks, his father, Roman imperator Childeric I, and his grandfather Merovius. Thus, Western Europe (or, at least, the elements if Western Europe which came to re-establish an empire) was pretty much evolving as one mental unit.

Such bliss of a common spirituality was not shared in the Middle East. The Jewish God symbolized tyranny made divine. Persians and Mesopotamians needed to kneel abjectly to all the plutocrats they could find. Lack of water had led the civilization of the Middle East to dictatorship. The hydraulic dictatorship (Fernand Braudel) implied “Oriental Despotism” (Karl Marx).  Fascism, cruel and demented, the “Right of Sword”.

Darius, who fought from Ethiopia to Ukraine, exhibited a clear case of the “Right of the Sword”. That existing mood was embraced 11 centuries later in the Qur’an. Unbelievably, the Sword is still festering today: arguing for the Right Of The Sword, Arab plutocrats are agitating, in 2014, to have Justinian’s Cathedral, Ἁγία Σοφία, “Holy Wisdom“,now a museum, been converted again to a mosque, so that the depiction of the real world represented therein be covered up again, as reality offends Islam.

This is an example of the persistence of moods and systems of ideas. Cynics will also point out that their genesis, namely the desert, only got worse.

Well, whatever: if we understand the situation, we can probably fix it. No empire, no law. Thus it remains to make the empire good.

Today the European Empire’s 28 heads of state approved Jean-Claude Junkers as head of the European Commission (the EU’s executive branch). The European Parliament is widely expected to elect Junkers next week. The 28 elected chiefs used the occasion to sign on the Free Trade and Association Treaty with Ukraine and Moldavia. Justly unsatisfied by this slap to Putin, they also sent Vlad the Impaler, back in Moscow, an ultimatum. Yes, an ultimatum. Electing the head of the EC is a furthering of democracy in the European empire. But democracy is naught, if it can’t bite.

The 28 EU leaders demanded that separatists return border checkpoints, release hostages and start talks to implement a peace plan drawn up by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko by June 30. Failure to do so will result in “further significant restrictive measures” against Russia.

Vlad The Invader has three days to obey. It may be time for him to remember what happened when his preceding supporter of minorities through annexations, Adolf Hitler, refused to obey. Unbelievably, France persuaded Britain to declare war.

Wisdom without doom is only gloom.

Patrice Aymé

Rome Did Not Fall

January 1, 2014

Happy New Year To All Those Worthy Of My Affection And, Or, Consideration. (Such as those kind enough to comment on this site!)

The tradition of celebrating the Winter Solstice as the start of the year, complete with cut fir trees and gift giving goes all the way back to Ancient Greece, and thus, by osmosis, to Rome (Zoroastrians, thus Iranians, celebrate the New Year in Spring). The Romans were a bunch of dung plastered peasants educated by the Etruscans to the north and the Greeks of Magna Grecia to the south. In the end, Rome got “renovated” by the Franks.

The Franks Renovated The Empire, Wiping Out Other Invaders.

The Franks Renovated The Empire, Wiping Out Other Invaders.

Early on, Roman peasants learned to learn. The first thing the Romans learned was that big time plutocrats such as Etruscan lords and Tarquinus Superbus, the last formidable king of Rome, were the ultimate enemy.

The Romans also learned that much less rich aristocrats (“the best who rule“) could be crucial to a revolutionary public-thing (res-publica). The natural conclusion was to make a “mixed” constitution, where the People would make the laws and the Senate (held by the aristocrats) would give “counsel” (“Senatus Consulte”). To avoid plutocracy, kings were strongly hated in Roman culture. Moreover, wealth was confined to the equivalent of a few millions dollars. Having more was, just, unlawful.

All this changed completely when, after the catastrophe of the Second Punic war, when much of the old ethical aristocracy was killed in combat, avaricious plutocrats broke down the anti-hyper wealth law, and took over. Under the Principate (=Early Roman empire, the weird contraption set-up by Augustus, officially a republic, but also a dictatorship), a Senator with a yearly income of only two million dollars, was viewed as poor.

In truth the Decline and Fall of Rome all started when the Gracchi tried to force the plutocrats to obey Rome’s anti-plutocracy laws from the Fabian era (around 380 BCE). Rome suffered horribly from plutocracy after more than 5,000 Gracchi and their supporters got killed. This was followed by Sulla’s dictatorship, two generations later.

The horror went on, until it turned into full degeneracy, civilization and population collapsing. Finally the Franks got control in the West, between 400 CE and 507 CE, and put an end to the collapse… Where it is more important to end it, that is, militarily. The Franks, being German, were much more equalitarian, so they stopped the plutocratic implosion of civilization.

However Frankish control was quintessentially Roman control. The Imperium Francorum was just a rebirth of the early principles of Rome. It’s not just that the Franks, or their law, spoke Latin. Or that  they were put in charge of the defense of a huge chunk of the empire in 400 CE. Quintessentially, the Franks lived like the early Romans, like farmers, albeit on a much larger area. This facilitated the anti-plutocratic spirit of the Imperium Francorum. To boost their numbers, the Franks showed even more tolerance than the Romans. By 600 CE, everybody was a Frank. A few decades later, slave trading was made unlawful.

By 800 CE, the Roman empire had officially been “renovated” (Renovatio Imperii Romanorum, and had just one emperor, from Northern Spain to Northern Germany, and Armorica to Constantinople: Carlus Magnus, Charlemagne (Constantinople was under a local regency at the time).

This is the simplest fact. Yet, for ideological reasons, it’s ignored. What are those reasons? They have to do with the exploitative spirit of the “West Country Men”. Admitting that the Franks reconstituted Republican Rome, complete with public government imbued with public service, and were astoundingly successful that way, is the exact opposite of what (Wall Street inspired) plutocrats want people to believe.

After being “renovated”, the empire fragmented. It became an empire of fragments. Yet, even in this highly fragmented state, the empire proved impossible to conquer (differently from say Ancient Rome, Oriental Rome (“Byzantium”), China, or India)… To this day.

Indeed, look for example at the Huns: they got to Orleans and Toulouse. However, in both cases, they were severely defeated for this insolence. Their descendants the Mongols got to Hungary, and even the Adriatic. However, they suffered heavy losses, and, by fear of the Franks, went no further. Tellingly, they made a long term alliance with said Franks.

By comparison, the Mongols conquered China, and established a durable dynasty, the Yuan, after toying with the idea of … eradicating China. Similarly the Manchus conquered China.

Observe the contrast between the Imperium Francorum and Late Rome: by 400 CE, the Franks were put in charge of defending the limes (= frontier) in the North West empire (Gallia, Germania Inferior, Germania Superior). However in 406 CE, a huge Germanic coalition galloped across the frozen (!) Rhine, surprising the Frankish army that had mauled them in years prior.

The consequence of that invasion was that the Western empire fell militarily, and, from there, demographically and economically (the Vandals cut off the Western Mediterranean, and Rome’s food, after conquering Africa).

The Franks though, had lost a battle, but not the war. By 507, at the battle of Vouille’, the Franks, army of Rome, destroyed the Goths, something the Romans had been unable to do for the previous 250 years. The same Goths that had humiliated conquered and devastated the city of Rome itself, 97 years earlier.

The regime that the Franks put in place reconstituted Rome fully by 800 CE (and more). By 1204, the Franks actually broke the “Oriental Roman empire”, by conquering Constantinople (that was the real fall of Constantinople: 1453 was just the final nail in the coffin).

By 1066 CE, the Franks had reconquered Britain. French (and thus, English), is little more than degenerated, simplified and Germanified Latin. The basic framework of law, in the West and at the UN, is technically Roman, but in the spirit of the Lex Salica of the Franks. So we can safely say this: the Greco-Romano-Franco-German imperium is still in power, and that power is worldwide.

What of the Hebrew god, in all this? I was reading a 2013 book by an American historian, who claimed that the Hebrews taught the West… equity, equality. Thus that clown demonstrated that some historians had paid for the grossest propaganda.

In truth, it’s the Greeks, the Romans and the Germans who came up with these concepts of equality and justice. Social policies, like welfare, were invented, and implemented, in Athens, and especially Rome.

Verily, it is rather the other way around: the Hebrew god’s monstrosity was a huge part of the Decline and Fall of Rome. Don’t look at me funny: I did not invent the idea. The Cathars (from the Greek catharos, pure: the original Puritans!), came up with the idea in the Twelfth Century (probably building up on the ideas of Abelard and his admirers and students). It was their main idea. The Cathars considered that the Hebrew god was, actually, the devil, and the Old Testament even worse than Hitler’s Mein Kampf (if you will forget the anachronism).

The Church of Jesus Christ and the latter days religious terrorists took that very badly, and killed millions of innocents to eradicate Protestantism (and Judaism too). So much for the Hebrew god.

Jesus was born sometimes in Spring, the early Christians believed. Yet, when the “Founding Fathers of the Church” a trio of fascists flourishing by 400 CE discovered that there was no way that they could eradicate the Greco-Roman Winter Solstice celebrations, they moved Jesus’ birth to the solstice. (In the same spirit, much of Christianity was just stolen from other religions). Now Christianity survives mostly in the religion of the Saracens (that Islam was a form of particularly dangerous Christian cult was the diagnostic of the Frankish intelligence in the Seventh Century, when the Franks got ready to stop the fanatical armies that had embraced that cult).

Rome never fell. Rome just metamorphosed into the most advanced form it needed to survive.

Patrice Ayme

***

Note: It is amazing how ignored the Franks are, because they are the direct junction between the Greco-Romans and us. There is no other junction. No just this, but the Franks surpassed Rome around 1,000 CE in some crucial ways (food production: heavy ploughs, better agriculture, beans, sustainable energy from wind and water mills, etc.).

The Franks (meaning free or ferocious) were actually a confederation, a sort of mini EU of the time, armed to the teeth, that appeared among Germans in a zone of heavy Roman influence. Unknown Romans(?) or other intellectuals had a heavy influence on them, as their Latin written law was much more advanced than the Roman one (more lenient). Initially they talked a sort of Old Dutch. Then switched to Latin.

The fact that the Franks are ignored by conventional historians is a testimony to their lack of scholarship, and servitude to a plutocratic agenda with a twisted mind of its own.

Equality, Innovation, Civilization Sustained

December 14, 2013

Civilization is technological, or is not. Civilization is progressive, or is not. Why? Because resources get exhausted: sustainability is always unsustainable.

Some will laugh, and point out at their new renewables: the sun, the wind, sea currents. However, all would die in a full run-away greenhouse we are pointing towards. (How that could be was exposed in some of my essays, long ago, and will be left as a question, to motivate the students! After all, that’s the way I used to teach math and, or, physics!)

We need bigger solutions. Or we will keep on sinking.

When God Humbled Plutocrats

When God Humbled Plutocrats

[Roman Emperor Henry IV left out in the cold on the left; head down on the right.]

Speaking of students, Krugman is progressing in his awareness of the socio-economic situation. So is Obama who made a confused discourse about inequality (in Obama befuddled brains, the solution to inequality is more free market, Obamacare style, as he reminds us in his incoherence… and then joins stupidity to insolence by asking us if we have a better solution; well all advanced countries, but for the USA, have a solution: public health care).

Obama is a piece of flotsam moved by the tsunami of plutocracy unchained. He mentioned innovation, correctly. However his administration has made strides against it. As always, in the name of the so-called tech giants (truly plotting monopolies). As nearly always, implemented reality is the opposite of Obama’s lenifying discourses.

Intellectual Property (IP) has been seriously gutted out for the little guys (aka the inventors) since 2008.

The Obama administration has engaged in a war against “trolls“, an ill-disguised campaign for the largest corporate actors (ignoring that IP is fungible, the very principle of patents and copyright).

The Federal Circuit came up with a weird decision, AGAINST “injunctive relief”.  Large corporations can infringe in peace.

Moreover the Supreme Court decided recently that large damages amounts are more difficult to prove. NOW, if a corporation infringes on a patent, “apportionment” has to be effected.

This is a three-pronged attack against innovation.

But the pawns march on. March of the drones, all lined up behind the drone-in-chief.

The best way to get to get to Greece or Zimbabwe, as a society, is through rising inequality. Because tremendous inequality is what characterizes these societies most. In turn, it generates other ills of an overwhelming nature.

Economic inequality, at some point transmogrifies and changes dimensions, becoming fiscal and then political inequality (as presently in the USA). In the next step, even the appearance of democracy erodes (see Bush versus Gore, when a correct recount in favor of the on with the most votes was… outlawed).

Aristocracy and fascism arose from economic inequality. This was known for 26 centuries, and acted up by the creators of Greek democracies and the Roman Republic, through redistribution of wealth, or out-lawing the rise of hyper wealth.

There was a law in Rome blocking great wealth; the non-respect of this law brought civil war between the People and the plutocrats; the plutocrats won… until the Franks took over, 650 years later.

If we go full paleolithic, we will worry about food on the table, and energy. Both are under threat. Human organizations have to rise to the challenge. The distinctions between public and private, when a crisis gets strong enough, are irrelevant (look at WWII when Britain and the USA adopted economic command and control).

As we are threatened by several crises, of never seen-before severity, which are already having an impact, the time may come to avoid the self-reflective reflector jargon about neo-Keynes, post counter-counter neo Hayekism, etc…

The economists have failed to understand that, inasmuch as too much central planning is bad, so is too little. Part of economic theory ought to address the part of the economy that is public, not just the “free”-market, for profit part.

We do need governmental projects, not just government money (especially not just money sent to private banks). If Inertia Confinement Thermonuclear Fusion could be made to work well enough, for example, all our energy problems would be solved.

Fusion break-even was just achieved at LLL national laboratory; the only other project that way, worldwide, is from the French government. That sort of huge project, with potential giant, civilization changing impact, is only made possible from the largest economic entities around, governments (or even union of governments, as with the LHC, and ITER; these are not just science projects, but economic enterprises of incalculable cost… literally). The stupid sequester had an impact on thermonuclear fusion: researchers were ordered not to even reveal the breakthrough they had achieved.

The fascist plutocratic Roman imperial government was adverse to real scientific innovation (as ideas threaten plutocracy).  However, its barbarians enemies caught up with Rome technologically on the battlefield. That resulted, not just into defeat on the battlefield, but in the permanent outright replacement of Roman Army by the Franks (after experimenting with the Goths, and even the Huns).

Contemplate the Chinese dictatorship trying the first soft landing on the Moon, Luna, in 37 years; contemplate the fact China can access space at this point… But the only way Americans or Europeans get to space is by paying mentally unstable KGB dictator Putin.

Another factor in the fall of the Greco-Roman world was the exhaustion of resources. This had started early on, when, for military reasons (building the Athenian anti-Persian War Navy), Athens had eradicated the forests of Attica (500 BCE). Seven centuries later, the crisis was major, and multi-dimensional.

By 1300 CE, a similar crisis was affecting Western Europe. Half of the population died in short order (even more did during the Dark Ages). Yet, this time, innovative solutions were enacted swiftly, and civilization barely missed a stride (although, soon, horrendous religious and plutocratic wars wrecked the West).

The powerful kept supporting the loftiest intellectual ventures (just the opposite of what happened in Rome, when fake, mediocre intellectuals were supported; mediocre intellectual advice is worse than none).

Innovation is not just a central to the economy, but to the survival of civilization. But to have innovation, one needs the People experience enough equality to push for it. Although it humbles me to admit this, the Christian Church, with its strong socialist tendency (thank you Jesus), limited plutocratization: after all, kings in good standing washed the feet of the poor.

Not just this, but the Church, whatever its insanities, was viewed as of unimpeachable advice, even by the mightiest.  That’s another safeguard that has ceased to exist. The rumor has it that Pope Francis, by taking strong positions against organized crime and hyper wealth, also known as plutocracy, is endangering his life.

Even in the darkest of the Middle Ages, this was inconceivable (forgetting the special case of Philippe Le Bel). Once a (German-Italian-) Roman emperor, Henry IV, was forced to humiliate himself on his knees waiting for three days and three nights, naked below a shirt, fasting, before the entrance gate of the Pope’s castle, while a blizzard raged in January 1077.

Nothing can humiliate our plutocrats as much nowadays. It’s in our hands.

Let’s make laws. Let’s make a worldwide register of all properties. Then we can tax the pirates and profiteers, let alone run of the mill, .01% plutocrats.

Representation without taxation is a bad joke plutocrats played not just on us, but on civilization itself.

Patrice Ayme

***

Note: China just made the first soft landing on the Moon in 37 years. Well, Obama is already there! OK, the Franco-American robot “Curiosity” on Mars is more sophisticated with its (French Thales) rock blasting laser. Yet, a warning: the Jade Rabbit is supposed to look for Helium 3 (a thermonuclear fuel).


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SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

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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

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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 Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

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

ianmillerblog

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

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

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 Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

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

ianmillerblog

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

Defense Issues

Military and general security

RobertLovesPi.net

Polyhedra, tessellations, and more.

How to Be a Stoic

an evolving guide to practical Stoicism for the 21st century

Donna Swarthout

Writer, Editor, Berliner

coelsblog

Defending Scientism