Posts Tagged ‘sexism’

Civilisation Sénégalaise

April 12, 2012

AFRICAN PHILOSOPHY CAN BE SUPERIOR IN IMPORTANT WAYS

Abstract: The republic of Senegal demonstrates that many of the conventional wisdoms are as wrong as wrong can be. Sénégal is a country with a very old civilization, even its own secular civilization (some of it disguised as the local Sufi Islam).  

That Senegalese civilization,  is more advanced, on many important markers, than the Euro-American block. So say Senegalese philosophers, including yours not so humble servant (now flaunting his African hat).

The West ought to support and defend Sénégal, because it’s about supporting and defending the essence of the West’s civilization. Much can be done, at little cost, while bringing enormous gain. The first of which being to gain great African wisdom.

Oh, and did I mention my dad led the team which found lots of very thick oil off Casamance? It was too expensive to extract at the time, but will be profitable some day. That ought to interest the West’s plutocrats.

Last, but not least. Readers may think I am “Islamophobic”, but, besides being afraid of nought, what I truly despise is the myth of Abraham: tying up a child, telling him one will cut his throat, just to please the “jealous” boSS, who glorifies in his “jealousy” (see the Second Commandment in the Bible).

As it turns out, not only I do not have a problem with Islam, Senegalese style, but I even approve of it, as it has great social virtues. (I also fear that Saudi Wahhabism, propelled by oil money, and the feudal conspiracy born out of world plutocracy will succeed to kill Senegalese Islam, which has been gaining adepts throughout the world.)

African philosophy has two main advantages:

1) It is closer to the original main philosophical operating system Homo Sapiens operated by, and evolved under. In full. It has not be led astray, constrained, mutilated, put into a box.

2) People raised in Africa have, close at hand, a cultural jump that spanned 3,000 years of history. So they can not just compare diverse cultures, but diverse places in history.

***

Sénégal is bounded on the north and east by the river with that name. To the west lays the Atlantic ocean. Three quarters of the country is in the Sahel zone, which has been heating up, and drying. The country had only one significant resource: fishing. However international trawler fleets have been devastating the ocean, ruining the diet of the Senegalese.

A country such as France would send gun boats (as she did against foreign fishers in the last ten years). But now Sénégal is independent… Of France.

Sénégal did not ask for independence from France, France just wanted to make economies, as one of the ministers involved admitted… 40 years later: it was too expensive to maintain a full hospital every 100 kilometers, so France threw independence at much of black Africa, to get rid of it ASAP (and open Africa to plutocrats).

Some have said it’s better to die standing up, rather than to live on one’s knees. But, if Sénégal runs completely out of fish, Senegalese will not been able to do either, as they will lay in the dirt, dying of hunger, or, at least lack of proteins.

Reading this, armies of vegetarians will utter that one can survive with plants alone. It is true that West Africa has its own rice, evolved there, and it is grown in southern Sénégal. However neither beans, nor potatoes can be grown in lowland equatorial Africa (too warm). And milk is not a possibility either: local cattle gives meat, not milk (nor has cattle a realistic future as the country is strangled by a slow and steady, terminal drought).   

Sénégal is the most democratic country in Africa: not only the country has been independent for longer than Kenya or Tanzania, but it has been continually ruled by universal suffrage. (By contrast, most other African countries were not only dictatorships, but nationalistic to the point of racism, racist (South Africa, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe) or theocratic (Egypt), monarchies, etc. )

So Sénégal is a democracy, in spite of being one the poorest countries. This shows that democracy and wealth are independent notions. One does not need to be well off to have the People in power. Democracy is not a luxury.

Sénégal is very poor, but also very smart in its own special ways. Some of these ways are on the forward edge of global civilization. For example Sénégal is less sexist in some ways than its ex-administrator, France. This shows that anti-sexism is not exclusive to Western civilization. This also shows that not having sexism is not a luxury.

Democracy and having no sexism are no luxury, because they are natural states of Homo Sapiens.  

Anti-sexism in the West originated from the Etruscans and the Germans. The Greeks and Romans, let alone the Jews (who originated the Abrahamist disease), were awful sexists.

France, a merger between Gaul, Rome and Germania (“Inferior“) pretty much invented a lot of anti-sexism: Merovingian queens could reign, and at least seven did as much as any king did (one of them outlawed slavery for the Franks, and everybody had been a Frank for a century). The Salic law allowed girls to inherit fully, just as a man, including the throne, as long as no brother was left (hey, Salic law was written 17 centuries ago).

By contrast in England, for another millennium, husbands appeared in court in the stead of their wives (however they were not roasted in their place).

While in France noble women studied more refined ways of handling inter-gender relationships in the “Courts d’ Amour” (that gave birth to “common courtesy”, as we know it), much of French culture, as the rawness of the Franks got diluted, returned to the old demons of Roman sexism (for five centuries from about 1320 CE to Napoleon’s infantile sexism, and grotesquely misogynistic  legislation).

Thus one sees that sexism has a long and complicated history in the West. In non sexist Crete, girls with very little clothing fought bulls, for a profession, but thirty centuries later, Jeanne d’Arc was condemned to burn alive, for having worn pants in jail (to avoid rape, she said). This shows that erroneous mental systems have huge inertia.

This also shows one of the interests of Black Africa. Differently from North Africa (which is fundamentally Western Eurasia, culturally and genetically), Black Africa is philosophically independent. Black Africa, by staying out of the convoluted history of the Middle Earth, was able to stick to a more fundamental philosophy, which, per its fundamental nature, is often more correct.

Sexism in the Middle Earth is very complex. But complexity is not veracity.

Until very recent times, not only Senegalese women did not cover their face, but, whenever working, or exercising, not much of their body either. Why? Well, why not? Ah, and a little detail: temperatures can reach 50 Celsius, 120 F in the interior.  

One can compare the Senegalese tradition of women dressed like the Olympic athletes of old, with that of the Middle East. There, traditionally, women have been turned into tents. Thus they are unable to go outside much, or to do any significant work there. Thus they stay inside, turning stupid… And not turning the children they bring up inside into the brightest bulbs, either. 

Sénégal has its own version of Islam. Something crucial about Senegalese Islam is that it is non sexist. In some ways, it was significantly less sexist than anything found in Europe or America (for example, women did not have to be more covered with more clothes than men).

Overall, Senegalese society is less sexist, because it worships less at the foot of the difference between genders. Or let me rephrase that; coming out of Sénégal, and watching the Euro-American circus of civilization pretense, I was struck by how much was contrived to increase differences. For example Western men are enticed, and train themselves, to avoid high pitch sounds. It’s something that is pretty obvious when one lives in West Africa.

Why that fear of having European men pass for women?  Is it because European men are supposed to be terrifying, and terrifyingly serious all the time? Is it because the roar of a low growl fills the inferior ones with dread? Thus, is the lack of high pitch related to empire?

Were African-American  musicians subversively undermining the Western empire by going high pitch occasionally? If Obama had exhibited early on his high pitch capability (which he discreetly showed to Mick Jagger recently), he would never have been elected president.

Indeed a few pop stars, since the 1960s, have neglected the interdiction against high pitch squeaking, and feminine voices. But certainly, many were not completely mesmerized by empire (and thus some were decorated by the empire to cover-up that fact).

In Sénégal, men have kept fuller voices, and are less afraid to pass for women (probably because, well, it’s hard to confuse a big strong Senegalese with a woman…). In Sénégal, the gender gap is viewed, in some important ways, as less important to society than in it is in Euro-America, and it is also viewed as something impoverishing society, because it puts both men and women, each, into their little box (and then Euro-Americans have all these rather comical gender identification problems).

A lot of contemporary music originated in West Africa, where the main instruments are obvious direct ancestors of those of jazz and rock.

Another important activity of Senegalese society is talking and debating. OK, at about 12 degrees of latitude, the most productive thing to do, mid-day, is to rest in the shade and talk. But talking is viewed as so important in West Africa that an entire caste specialized in it exists, the griots. Griots are in charge of talking, storytelling chanting, and no doubt incarnate the origin of what came to be known as rap.

Debating and talking was viewed as essential in a lot of European civilization at its most famous. This is another case of convergence between Sénégal and the best Europe ever offered.

So what is it about Senegalese Islam? Well one can put it in a rather striking way: Senegalese Islam is secular (!).

After hysterical laughter from those who do not know the meaning of some words die down, I will explain what secular means. “Secular” means living in one’s age. One can be to some extent superstitious, and secular, at the same time. Indeed, everybody is a bit of both. Even the most fanatical of fanatics has to live, to some extent, in his own time, be it only to be effective in his nastiness.

Thus Osama bin Laden studied civil engineering. (So one can see bin Laden was completely steeped in the world he had when he was three year: he believed thoroughly the superstition of his ancestors, he studied the knowledge of his father, an engineer, founder of the Binladen group.)

Senegalese Islam is viewed as “Sufi“. That means that Senegalese Islam has an important, even domineering, philosophical component.

The Wikipedia article on Sufism I linked to emphasizes the mystical character of some types of Sufism… as if Sunni Islam were not mystical; it is true that some forms of Sufism are very mystical… But it’s just the opposite in Sénégal. Senegalese Islam is a philosophical machine.

So what is the metaprinciple of Senegalese Islam?

One can put it this way: to inject into secularism the spirit that habitated Muhammad. So it’s not just about the Qur’an (which was written long after Muhammad’s death), nor is it about all what Muhammad was supposedly heard saying (Hadith), or supposedly seen doing (Suna). It’s about being inhabitated with the same spirit Muhammad had.

And what do we see in the spirit that habitated Muhammad? A strong will to change secularism by improving civilization along the lines of science and new possibilities. Thus in Senegalese Islam, wise religious figures can rise as high, or even higher than Muhammad himself… thanks to more knowledge and more possibilities.

That was the case of Amadou Bamba. After opposing (pacifically) a rather obtuse French administration (which deported him far away), this Senegalese holy man came to terms with it. Amadou Bamba understood that it was important to help France defeat racist Germanoid fascism. So him, a pacifist, help send an enormous number of  Tirailleurs Sénégalais. 200,000 saw combat in World War One, and 30,000 died, thanks in part to Amadou Bamba.

A few years ago, the Constitution of Senegal was changed to limit presidential mandates to two terms (as in France, itself following the lead, for once, of the USA). President Wade chose to interpret this as meaning that he could do a third term, as the change happened during his second term. The Senegalese were not amused, and demonstrated massively. Wade impressed on the Constitutional Court that his point of view was right. However, he was defeated by one of his own past Prime Ministers (initially an agronomic engineer), now president Macky Sall. One can compare with Russia, where Putin just said he envisioned to be president until 2024!

By American standards, massive demonstrations against the guys in power is too awful to contemplate, it’s not part of democracy as United States citizens are supposed to understand it. However, the Senegalese, just like the French, and, increasingly, other Europeans, view civil disobedience as a form of free speech. Yet, the Senegalese although friendly to great verbal energy, and even confrontation, are overall extremely pacific.

In general, there seems to be a complementary relationship between verbal violence, and real violence. And it’s understandable: verbal violence can address problems that, if left untouched, only physical violence can otherwise fix.

I was raised in Sénégal. Once after more than a decade, a taxi cab driver was assassinated. Something never heard before. It turned out that the assassins were two white French tourists!

There has been a secession war of sort in Casamance, in the equatorial south, separated from the rest of the country by (the English speaking country of) Gambia, religion, way of life (villages are full of black pigs). But the situation there is easily explained by the unfolding anthropogenic ecological disaster, some of which just arose from making roads through the giant mangrove forests, destroying them, with the teeming life they brought.  

Basically the problem with Casamance, or, in general, with the catastrophic turn of Senegalese ecology is too big for Senegal to solve alone. I was aghast when I saw recent photographs of entire regions that went from lush with towering trees, to moon like dried mud, from horizon to horizon.

In any case, let’s revert to the positive. How come is the  civilisation Sénégalaise so advanced? How does that fit with my Middle Earth centric view of the world? The Middle Earth is composed of the Indo-European ensemble plus North Africa and Arabia.

The Middle Earth centric view claims that the Middle Earth (in the middle of which is the Middle East) that most human inventions arose there, because the Middle Earth was the forum of the world. It is bordered to the west and north by the ocean, and to the east by the nearly completely impassable giant mountains of the Himalayas, Karakorum, Tien Shan, and their associated deserts.

Right now Black Africa is separated from the Middle Earth by the Sahara desert. But it was not always so. The Sahara was wonderfully wet at the very birth of Egyptian civilization. The Egyptians had to take refuge along the Nile and associated lakes, as the Sahara finally desiccated. That was about 7,000 years ago. But trade routes remained.

In the last 3,000 years, Carthage re-established the relationship between Middle Earth and Black Africa (so did Morocco later).

How come Europeans could not repeat in Africa what they did in the Americas? Steel. Africans had steel. Steel arrowheads would have been enough to stop Europeans. As a child, I saw some native hunters train with bow and arrow, and I was impressed. The penetration of arrows deep in solid tree trunks was astounding.

Africans had, have, developped their own steel technology. So who invented steel? It’s not clear. The Dorians showed up with it, and conquered Greece, thanks to it (killing all the men, causing a Dark Age). The Dorians came from the north, but I believe possible that steel technology actually arose in Black Africa first, and came to Greece in a circuituous route.

So was Sénégal part of the Middle Earth, in some ways? Of course.  First Senegalese, those the French were in contact with, had French citizenship, already in the seventeenth century (curiously, under the sectarian fanatic Louis XIV, probably desirous to make us believe he was not how he truly was). In the Nineteenth century, the French conquered all of Sénégal.

That meant that 5,000 Tirailleurs Sénégalais, armed with guns, led by ten French officers, yes, only ten, conquered all of Senegal, and beyond.

Senegal was thus created as a country. Senegal did not exist before that because it was actually made, at the time, of at least six different nations, each with its own language. These six “regional” languages are recognized officially: Wolof, Soninke, Serer, Fula, Maninka, Diola. (In a similar fashion, before Caear invaded gaul, three main languages were talked there… Latin became the new lingua franca, would I say, trying to be funy…).

The national language of Sénégal, of course, is French. One should not forget that France and Sénégal were long united. There were French Members of Parliament, or Senators, Senegalese born. Leopold Sedar Senghor,  Sénégal’s first president, was a prominent member of the French constituent assembly after World War Two. 

Senghor was a major French poet and philosopher. With other prominent French thinkers of non white skin, he thought one had to be proud of the word “niger” (the Latin for black). The fact that Americans think that “niger”, mispelled, is an insult means that the USA has not yet graduated out of racism 101. Senegalese make a lot of paintings where black dominates, it is unique, and extremely beautiful.

One can go back much earlier than the European period. Before the Europeans showed up on one ridiculously tiny volcanic island off the Senegal to trade slaves (and where I nearly got killed in an accident), Sénégal had, twenty century earlier, been in contact and trade with Carthage. Carthage, as a Phoenician colony, was fully a Euro-Mediterranean power. Although Rome hated and annihilated Carthage, Rome absorbed many of the Punic colony’s ways, from naval and agricultural engineering to other, more subtle moods.

Carthage got destroyed by Roman plutocrats, because they had come to fear its democracy. But the democratic ideal of that giant city survived (although those it inspired in Rome itself were destroyed in the next few generations, well, here we are, confronting the bankers and their ilk).

Civilization is not just about books, or even oral knowledge. It is also about moods. Long ago, may be as they traded with Carthage, and allowed Carthagenese to install a settlement, the Senegalese learned to be more open minded, and laugh about it. The West, and especially France, can do better than mildly forget about Sénégal, which incarnates so many of the good ways of the West, and sometimes does it better than the West can yet understand.

***  

Patrice Ayme

Hysterically Bad Pseudo Feminism

July 5, 2011

BAD WOMEN EXIST.

REAL FEMINISM, YES, HYPOCRISY & GOLD DIGGING, NO.

***

FEMINISM IS NOT ABOUT CALLING MEN MONSTERS, AND WOMEN SAINTS:

Real feminism treats girls and boys, women and men, as equally as genetics allows it. And enjoys the differences of whatever cannot be reconciled.

Pseudo-feminism consists into taking advantages of some feminist appearances to further the same old sexist agenda, where women, instead of being the direct agents of power, manipulate men into what they want. Thus the viper is made to look like whatever it is crawling upon. Pseudo-feminism is not just an hindrance. It is outright hurtful to true feminism.

***

CHARGE FIRST, THINK LATER:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn (“DSK”) has been charged with seven felonies in New York. A plotting, organized crime character accused him of a sexual aggression. Implausibly, he is small, old, weak, overweight, she is big, young and strong, and the silent (!) deed took less than 20 minutes. The punishment for inventing it all is a misdemaneor (as small a crime as possible). How convenient.

Everything indicates that the lady was in the habit of servicing clients, on a very personal basis. However, in this particular case, she deviated from the usual script. “Don’t worry, I know what I am doing, this guy is full of money“, she would have told a boyfriend in jail in Arizona, the next day.

The aggression was completely implausible, and the IMF head was protected by his diplomatic immunity. The IMF head  is one of a handfull of world public servants elected worldwide, and protected that way, when on official business (which DSK was).

However, the DA in New York breathes together with the fat cats on Wall Street, and, like a well meaning housecat, was anxious to bring back an interesting catch for his masters, who, he knew (what are cocktails and dinner parties and fund raisers for?) had long suffered from the macho aggression of Dominique Strauss-Kahn as director of the IMF, and even before that, many times. A little known example: when the cruel DSK saved the Hungarian currency from the New York based speculators. The fat cats on Wall Street and their servants have to be dirty, or they would not be.

Let’s notice in passing that the IMF head is a public banker, not a private one, like the fat cats in the fat, for profit banks. True, the IMF used to be at the beck and call of private banks (as the U.S. Fed is). But that changed under Dominique Strauss-Kahn. That made him into a convict. Convicted to have crossed the plutocracy.

***

QUICK, PLUTOCRATS, LET’S ROLL OUT ANOTHER CRAZY:

Now the rumor has it that a French woman, another pseudo-feminist, will accuse DSK of attempted rape, nine years after the alleged (he-said-she-said) “facts”. As there is a quickly rising probability that DSK’s hostage situation in New York at the hands of the corrupt government will come to an end, it was possible that DSK could, after all, run for the French presidency.

Thus it was of the essence that this French woman, who writes for… Sarkozy, complains about DSK’s greedy, and magical hands (he unhooked her bra below her black “col roulé”, she claimed, while admitting that said turtle neck “turns on guys” and laughed!)  

That woman, who made a joke of the little fable she recounted, hilarious, on a TV show, is suing Strauss-Kahn for “attempted rape” (instead of just sexual aggression). More than eight years later. She looks anorexic, so not all is well with her. It’s pretty obvious she is affabulating and lying, listening to her various interviews.

For instance, just one of many, she gloats that she knew all about DSK’s reputation as a “chimp in rut“. Proof of that? According to her, only a “nearly 60, overweight secretary” could resist DSK (so Banon is not just gloating about turning men on, but she is ageist!) Then she goes to interview DSK, holding hands, then arms, etc., in a secluded apartment? Supposedly knowing very well what would happen, because she is writing a book, just about that?

In 2004, on another TV show, she accused somebody else of sexual aggression. And she forgot to mention DSK! OK, that was in Morocco, with a (male) maid of her mom. So many sex aggressions to remember, so many TV shows to be filmed because one is the youngster Tristane Banon, with nothing to show except being the daughter of Ms. Banon, another (financially) well endowed politician and, of course, that polo neck sweater which drives “mecs” crazy…

Verily, Banon is an example of the celebrity culture, famous for being famous, and well connected to TV show hosts, so she can be seen a lot on TV. Verily, there is not much to look at, another reasons to claim all the chimps are excited, I guess.

If that accuser of DSK is laughed out of court, what next? DSK sexually aggressing unwilling aliens, who, traumatized, fled to another galaxy, so we have no proof, as New York prosecutors cannot get there since Obama cut the space budget?

I am not particularly in love with DSK, but I am in contempt for outrageous stupidity and aggression masquerading as feminism. I lived in many countries, and saw the law being used for aggression, routinely. That is what happens in banana and baboon republics.

***

SORRY, HYSTERICAL PSEUDO FEMINISTS, BUT BAD WOMEN EXISTS:

 Even after the accuser against DSK had been exposed as a gold digger, and a liar who, at the very least, engaged in multiple criminal activities with the help of organized crime, enough to send her to the slammer, Maureen Dowd, one of the editors of the New York Times, called DSK a “predator” (“When a Predator Collides With a Fabricator“, July 2, 2011).

How does she know? Did she conduct a jury trial in her head? Is she a fellow predator in the know? Or does she, as racists do, know because of genetic factors tied to DSK? (DSK is a man, born in Africa as a French Jew, and Dowd always crow about her Irish origins.)

According to her colleague Nocera, a man, at the same through of Manhattan high finance as Dowd, and most of New York high society, the American justice system is right to ethnically discriminate against the French, as he explains in an article July 4, 2011. And he adds that “for the life of me” he sees nothing wrong with that. He patriotically concluded he much prefers to live in the USA, than in France. Indeed in France, he would be probably viewed as an overweight racist, eerily reminiscent of Goering, and his facile verve. Nobody would have anything to do with his craziness.

So it is with Wall Street and its mignons: racism is cool (another article in the New York Times, July 3, basically said that all French complaining about anti-French racism are anti-American, since apparently anti French racism is All-American). But let’s go back to the pseudo-feminists.

***

I SCREAM, THEREFORE I AM:

Some self declared feminists seem to consider that, when a woman screams, some man, somewhere, is a criminal. And that whenever a woman accuses a man, she is a victim. Well, that remains to be proven. Those who have studied in primary school know the difference between “accuser” and “victim”, even if New York Times editors do not.

I am an extreme feminist myself. Actually I know no one as extremely feminist as myself (this is a challenge!)

As Ms Parisot, the head of the larger employer union in France puts it: “Sexism is racism” (New York Times, July 2). Thus I know that this sort of absurd imbalance, where women are viewed at the outset as victims, and men as predators, can only hurt feminism. Actually it is sexist, thus racist. All those screaming after DSK, just because he was a man, and they were legions, were racist (and doubly so, when they added anti-French sentiment to that!)

There are criminals who are women. By telling everybody that, whatever a woman says about a man, he is a “predator”, and she is a “victim”, criminally minded women are encouraged to act up, and those who are into a quick and dirty buck are encouraged to follow suit. Hence pseudo feminism encourages the debasement of women, and prepares a backlash (which could be tremendous). One may guess that this is what the pseudo feminists want, as they prefer a sexist world. They are traitors to progress.

***

SOME OF THE GREATEST CRIMINALS IN HISTORY WERE WOMEN:

Pseudo feminists tell us that women are sheep, and men are wolves. Reality is nothing of the sort.

Countess Elizabeth Bathory of Transylvania, killed, with horrible tortures, more than 650. (OK, the king owed her lots of money, so things were a bit complex; she finished her life, imprisoned in a set of rooms; her closest accomplices, all women, were executed; two were burned alive.) I do not know of a man who tortured to death, one by one, 650 victims. Even emperor Tiberius, a notorious sadist, comes short.

Catherine Deshayes, “La Voisin”, a central figure of the “Affaire des Poisons” in France in the 17C, recognized the murder of at least 2,000 children. She was burned alive, and did not like it a bit, I am pleased to report.  She struggled so much on the way to the stake, and vituperated so foully during her fiery dissolution, that the public was stunned into silence by so much vindictive viciousness.

Nor did several of her wealthy female accomplices who jumped from one fire to the next liked it very much either (as the Marquise de Sévigné put it; 34 were executed, and the inquiry was stopped because many of the wealthiest and closest plutocrats to Louis XIV were involved, such as his lover, mother of four of his children, the Marquise de Montespan).

Amusingly the well deserved punishment of some of these criminals is sometimes presented as a proof that poor witches were victimized in 17C France, and it is alleged to be a sexist crime. It was nothing of the sort. Under Louis XIV, witchcraft was knocked out as a crime; I don’t like, and even often despise Louis XIV, but facts are facts; sometimes he acted well.

In truth, the main story of the “Affaire des Poisons” was mostly about young women who wanted to inherit the fortunes of their older husbands by sending them to Hades, ASAP. It turned out that there was a huge demand for these services, and La Voisin became very rich, while diversifying in other criminal activities, such as child killing witchcraft, the old fashion way (spilling the blood of the innocent during a “black mass“)..

Louis XIV would have acted better if he had let the inquiry of the Affaires des Poisons” proceed further, and charge La Montespan, and her extremely high class ring. A famous writer noticed at the time that:”The enormity of their crimes protected them from prosecution“. Too big to jail. The same can be said of the financial scam artists which control the USA nowadays. It’s useful to know history.

(Cynics will say that, if Louis XIV had allowed the inquiry to reach higher, the monarchy itself would have been wounded, maybe fatally. This is what happened with the “Affaire du Collier”, a century later. The People of France then realized how rich and corrupt the plutocracy was. Result: the revolution of 1789… which happened in the world’s most powerful country… Then.)

***

HORRIBLE ROMAN WOMEN:

Messalina was emperor Claudius’ wife. No outrage was high enough for her. She slept and conspired all over Rome. In the end, not content with living the life of a “august harlot” (Juvenal) by spending nights in brothels, “offering herself to all comers” (Juvenal), she led a conspiracy to kill and replace her husband.

Claudius was weak with women, so they were emboldened to abuse him: after Messalina’s decapitation by an army officer, he betrothed Agrippina the Younger, who poisoned him (with mushrooms, say the antique sources) so that her own previous son, Nero, could become emperor (instead of Britannicus,  Claudius and Messalina’s son).

Conniving, self pitying women have existed before. Shortly before her execution, Messalina was moaning and weeping, and her own mother had to tell her: “Your life is finished. All that remains is to make a decent end“.

Pseudo-feminists need to be told the same: you cannot live as you used to, playing damsels in distress, while asking for equality. Can’t have the cake, eat it, and throw it in the face of the cook. Too many wishes spoil the dish.

***

PSEUDO FEMINISTS & THEIR MESSALINA TRICKS:

Nowadays what we hear from pseudo-feminists everywhere is that, each time a woman screams: “rape!”, she is a victim. Well, maybe she is a victim: that remains to be proven. The only thing which is sure, is that she is an accuser. Being an accuser is not free of charge.

Pseudo-feminists always come and whine that rape is a most unreported rape. Well, reporting crime is never easy. For some reason, I appear to have well determined enemies, and I was several times the victim of crimes which I did not report to the best of my ability (including a near lethal attack in which my neck was partly broken from behind, and a bomb attack).

The reason is that I knew who my assailants were, and they were mighty; having a judicial fight is not as efficient as removing oneself from the area, if survival is the objective. In these cases, I could remove myself, so I did. Trying to involve the police and the judiciary, as much as one could, sometimes make things more difficult, or even backfires. I agree that this is not a very heroic attitude. But heroism is not always the most pacific way to resolve a conflict. (These crimes did not happen in the USA, by the way.)

Right now, for example, some nasty types seem to have taken control of my computer and use it to send what I suspect is unlawful material (I know this from MAIL DAEMON returns). I am in the mountains so replacing the computer, or cleaning it from the offensive virus inside, is not easy. However, if what is sent is child pornography, I could have trouble with the authorities (unlawful material planted in a computer is the 21C equivalent of planting drugs in someone’s luggage). But I don’t even know who to report the crime to. (So I will report it on the web to start with.)

With all due respect, pure rape, in the absence of any other violence, is not, in general,  the worst of crimes (although it is very severely repressed, in France or the USA). Pseudo feminists will howl, reading this. But it’s the truth. As Jack Lang pointed out in France (bringing howls, as intended):”Il n’y a pas mort d’homme” (“No human being got killed”… Not “No man got killed ” as it got mistranslated in the USA).

Pure neck breaking is incomparably worse than rape. One cannot put everything having to do with rape in the same bag. Crimes committed with weapons, or against children, ought to be repressed with the utmost ferocity. But injury-less, he says-she-says sexual scenarios between roughly equivalent adults, ought to be dismissed by justice, in the name of feminism, and privacy.

In the name of feminism? How so? Indeed, much of the hysteria about rape assumes that a fully grown woman is intrinsically an easy prey for a man, thus it assumes explicitly that women are inferior, helpless creatures who need to be defended by the authorities. People holding that sort of drift, ought to consider immigrating to Saudi Arabia, where men with guns will take care of them.

Rape hysteria cultivates the inferiority of woman, and even imposes it, as it says to all little girls: oh, if a male attacks you, don’t defend yourself, play victim, and then tell it all, people in black robes who take themselves very seriously will take care of you. Just like in Saudi Arabia.

When the mediocre Maureen Dowd (who had rushed to judgment against DSK, and insulted him gravely) interviewed Christine Lagarde (new IMF head, the French answer to the plot cum conspiracy against DSK), she asked her if she was ever assaulted by a man.

Lagarde answered she was too tall (5-10), too muscular, and too fierce. Any man taking liberties would be slapped or punched. And men knew that, so they left her alone. That was the correct answer. Dowd, in her stupidity, did not realize that Lagarde was implying that DSK did not do it, in view of the formidable physique of his accuser. If a towering Tyranosaurus Rex tells you that, in 15 minutes, it was forced to provide sexual service to a small overweight old panda, something is amiss. (Lagarde announced all along that she would meet with DSK, as new IMF director, whether he was in jail or not.)

As I just alluded to, I have a great expertise as victim: I lived around the world, and people come to readily hate me for my ideas. Some of the countries I lived in were official dictatorships at the time. I have a practical philosophy that assaults come readily in situations like that (I received some threats, on the phone, last week, and it bothered me for a few days; the threat was not of bodily harm, but of putting a number of people together who would accuse me of something; the threat did not originate in the USA, but in Europe.)

Looked at it another way, I am a mountain climber, and I had several close calls (once I survived in a way I do not understand to this day, and would never believe if someone else told me the story; it was the very definition of “miracle”). I lost many friends to the mountains.

However, I am not going to accuse the mountains. We got too much of what we played with. I like to play with fire, too. Once, over confident by a campfire, I got severe burns. A lot of “rape” is a bit like that. The Banon case is typical: from what she was saying, she was pretty sure that DSK (whom she had already met) would try something. And she wanted to put that in her book. That’s why they held hands, then arms, then… (She says.)

I face my music, as a philosopher at war, and all real feminists should face their own music too. One cannot want to be like men, and not be ready to assume the occasional bruise, or to engage in combat.

If rape, or sexual aggression or disrespect, is really a problem, then fight back, as Lagarde said. If he touches you, and you don’t want it, then slap back: the police will have something to look at. If one is too small, too weak, too sick, too old, then it’s something else. But, in the case of DSK, that was precisely the converse: the accuser is an enormous gorilla (for want of  a better word with a less racist connotation). However, she brought the DA to tears, we heard from Nocera, because, in his addled mind, the DA saw her as a tiny victim, just because she was female, instead of observing the towering inferno she is (later when she rolled on the floor, doubts appeared).

Or rather: the DA thought he could get away with pretending that an aggression was plausible, because of the gender of the alleged victim and tried to use that to ingratiate himself to the authorities on Wall Street who financed him. Instead, they are going to be embarrassed, and take a wide berth.

The fact remains that Americans do not see the problem of a racist justice financed by fat cats. (The DA is elected, thanks to Wall Street money, at least in New York, will I repeat slowly, to make it very clear.)

*** 

SEXUALIZING PURITANISM: AN EXERCISE IN FUTILITY:

Screaming wolf, wolf, wolf, each time one sees a man acting as a man, is a mental disease. Moreover, it often turns out that, the louder individuals denounce a behavior, especially in sexual matters, the more they secretly engage in it. Reading Maureen Dowd’s violent obsessions of victimization, one gets the impression that she wants to be grabbed by men with big hands, thrown on the floor, and violated in ways she will find delicious, until she can complain about them in her next editorial.

Pseudo feminism tends to claim that men are always ready to metamorphose into “predators”. It vilifies male behavior, even when it is very healthy. So doing, pseudo feminism accentuates gender differences.

Real feminists, instead, would refuse to acknowledge the gender of people, except in privacy. Glorifying  male behavior, just as we glorify female behavior is OK. Nevertheless, anti-sexism will also require a dose of anti-sexualism. The systematic sexualization which has happened in recent decades, when lots of noise is done about sex and when groups claim that some sexual practices make them “gay”, whereas others, presumably are sad, is beyond grotesque; it is offensive, and promotes sexism. What to do with over active seducers (such as DSK allegedly is) is not clear.

I personally despise sexualism. Sexualism consists into viewing other people primarily as sex objects (it’s a neologism of mine). Thus sexualism tends to make the other gender into (sexual) objects, and goes hand in hand with sexism (which views the other gender as inferior). That’s why I don’t like it. 

In a similar vein, it is highly offensive that the depiction of nude cherubs, which was viewed as innocent for centuries, is now viewed as a sexual offense by those who presumably use this sort of distraction to avert their eyes from the delirium of the plutocracy. As a famous king of England (and France! It was Edward III) said:”Honni soit, qui mal y pense!” (“Shamed be who evil there think”).

The human eye sees a lot with what it sees inside. The evil eye mostly sees inside, and paints what it found there, onto others, as Edward said. Suspecting other people of evil, just because one imagined it, condemning them without proof, this was exactly what was so nefarious about the worst mass criminality of the Twentieth Century.

***

ANTI-SEXISM IS SUPERIOR, IDIOTS ARE INFERIOR:

Feminism is important: it repairs the injury that millennia of imperial civilization caused to the natural mental equivalence between males and females. Pushed too far, though, it will invite masculinism. A warning occurred when, under Nazism, women were suddenly subjugated back into baby factories. The irony is that there were a lot of fanatical Nazi women (remember Ms Goebbels assassinating her 6 children, so they will not have to live in a non Nazi world?)

Some will say that this is impossible. Well, the only thing that is impossible is the impossible. What has happened before, clearly is not. The subjugation of women would have sounded incomprehensible to paleolithic hunter-gatherers. But it happened, worldwide, in the Neolithic. And women became relatively stupid, from the subjugation they were submitted to.

The situation corrected to some extent, as the less sexist societies had more clever women, who educated smarter children. This was perhaps the main secret of the West: more equal, thus superior, women. This came from the German tradition rather than the Greco-Roman one (and the Franks nailed that point heavily).

A drastic example was the Dark Ages of Greece, when women carried the entire Greek civilization to the children they had with the invaders who had killed their husbands and raped them.

This phenomenon has been amplified recently: most countries know that the road to smarts go through smart mothers. Thus sexism is ever shrinking. But ongoing progress depends upon women rising to the occasion. Instead of using it to make a fool of themselves. As so many did in the DSK affair.

Scratch the surface, find the worst: so it is all too often with human beings (see the characters above, oozing with racism and villainy).  OK, maybe they did not examine themselves very carefully before (as Socrates would say). Or maybe, simply, they did not have mothers who were sharp enough. Feminism which wants us to be all stupid is just another form of prostitution serving the established order. Serious women, and there are many in close orbit around DSK (such as the head of the socialist party), will take a wide berth from hysteria.

Hysteria has its uses. However, hysteria is traditionally viewed as the major problem of females, as its etymology indicates. Thus hysteria is precisely the sort of behavior the modern female brain will be careful to use with parsimony.

***

Patrice Ayme

FRANKLY FREE.

July 25, 2008

WHEN FREEDOM FRIED FASCISM.

“Freedom” fries or “French” fries are synonymous. Indeed “Frank”, a word that gave “Imperium Francorum” abbreviated as “Francia” (modern “France”), meant FREE. Ferocious and free. The initial Salic law of the Franks gave more rights to them than to plain Roman citizens, reinforcing the meaning of “Frank” as free.

It was hilarious to see ignorant members of the US Congress submitting to their leader, the self described “Decider”, by trying to escape the concept of France while using the very conceptual root, freedom, which gave rise to the word French.

Talking without knowing is like breathing without air: an ominous fate.

The Franks were so free that they insisted their ancestors had escaped from the burning Troy. That made them as prestigious as Rome (supposedly founded by a Trojan). More importantly, it made the Franks born critiques and adversaries of the Greco-Roman civilization.

The Greco-Roman civilization was not conquered. It collapsed under its own errors, in the same way, at least three times. Three times it saw fascism rise, and was unable to stop it. Why? Because it was too fascist to start with. And it was too fascist because it had subhuman populations: the slaves and the women (today the US has the poor, those without health insurance, etc…).

The Franks would shatter the Greco-Roman founding principles of slavery and sexism. Troy was attacked by Greece because a woman had used her freedom of choice. To choose Troy rather than Greece as model and inspiration was to chose women as equal.

Indeed seven Merovingian queens soon ruled. One of them was one of the handful of the most important head of states civilization ever knew. Perhaps the most important, period. Her statue is in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. Bathilde outlawed slavery (~ 660 CE). A US president, Lincoln, discovered that was a good idea around 1863 CE. Excuse us, we are the slows: not enough freedom on our fries…

Thus the Franks proclaimed themselves to be free of the Greco-Roman erroneous preconceptions that were too friendly to fascism, right from the start. Those preconceptions had perverted the Greco-Roman valuation system. That made the purely Greek version of that moral system weak and unable to overwhelm the rough fascist values of the Macedonians. And then unable to persuade the Roman elite either.

Rejecting sexism and slavery allowed the Franks to launch civilization with the very best foundations. They had not been seen since Crete (Crete was very anti sexist, with its female toreadors, and Crete was very equalitarian, as shown by its lack of walls and fortifications; instead archeology finds plenty of the crushed blend of materials characteristic of tsunami debris, followed by civil strife).

The concept of freedom for all had eluded both Greeks and Romans, and its absence ultimately caused their social, economic, and technological demise through mental stagnation. The remedy the autocrat Constantine, his son Constantius II and their successors found, the ultimate fascism they called Catholic Orthodoxy, brought the apocalypse of total mental fascism. The Dark Ages.

Aristotle claimed slavery was needed, because they, the ancient Greeks, did not have robots. But they sure had luxury.

Look at the Acropolis. Pretty, but it may have destroyed Athens (she diverted the Dorian League defense funds to build it, causing serious resentment that old fascists in Sparta used to their advantage).

Charlemagne lived very modestly for someone at the head of a giant empire of more than 300 counties (many dozens of times larger than the Athenian empire at its ephemeral apex). So it had long been, and would long be for all the Franks: they lived well, but without excess. That was the “cost” of freedom for all (Buddha would have said that was not a cost). We are far from the armies of slaves of the early Christian bishops, and the extravagance of the Roman urban centers of old.

But then there were millions of free Franks who were motivated to try to improve their conditions through technology. The Carolingian epoch was characterized by great advances in biotechnology (new breeds of horses, invention of nutritious beans), and engineering (deep furrows, and plenty of horse related tech, water and wind mills; by 1,000 CE, the Frankish economy was the most energy intensive in the world, etc…).

The Franks’ meta principle of more freedom for all thus (re)founded Western civilization as a hotbed of technical and philosophical innovation. That allowed civilization to advance again, by freeing it from social and ecological constraints that had bogged down the Greco-Romans.

So now we know the founding principle of Western civilization, FREEDOM, and that it gave its very name to the people who imposed it on Europe.

What was the founding principle of English speaking America? Some will say it did not need any, because, after all, it’s a descendant regime of the Franks (as is all of Europe, even Russia, when the main cultural flows are carefully traced back). So freedom would also be America’s founding principle, and indeed, US citizens often speak of their country as the “land of free” (in other words, the land of the Franks).

But is that truly true? We will see. Doubts are fed when one is reminded of the two groups that truly founded English America, and thus the fundamental principles of its mentality. Real freedom implies to be mentally fierce. It means not aspiring to be submitted to God or man. The Franks were neither. The Franks knew the Bible very well (Carlus Magnus’ nickname -and excuse for his Pagan and creative behavior- was “King David”). But, as would be descendants of the Trojans, they claimed to be of older mental stock, and they did not submit to that amusing, but much newer story book. Instead, they submitted the Bible to them. They embraced all of life to dominate it, and wore extremely colorful clothing.

 

***

Patrice Ayme.

***

P/S: 1) The immense mass of the Roman urban population was fed (by giant agricultural businesses owned by the hyper rich senatorial class and manned by slaves), but it did not direct its own fate. So it was not motivated to improve it in any way. Apathy dominated all mental realms. By the sixth century, in Constantinople, the masses, the demos, were only excited by watching spectator sports. Truer democracy existed only in the West among the Franks (and that is why emperor Justinian left them alone as he reconquered the Western empire). 

2) The Greco-Roman civilization had subhuman populations: the slaves and the women (race, although exceptionally a factor (Sparta, that died off) was not dominant as a criterion of sub humanity: it was about how they talked, not the color of the skin). Today the US has the extremely poor under class, those without health insurance, etc; this has followed a tradition of exploiting various sub populations… Rome used torture only against slaves. Recently the US leadership proposed to use it even against citizens. What counts is using the principle of “sub humanity”. Not only does it make society unfair and fascist, it makes it mentally lazy, because those on top stay there, not because they are there because they strove to be better, but because they were born there.


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