Posts Tagged ‘Systems of Mind’

RELIGIOUS IRRATIONALITY RATIONALE

April 11, 2016

Ruling Classes Subjugate Opposition With Irrationality, Not Just Human Sacrifices (And Their Variants: Killings, Jihad, Signature Strikes).

Say you are a tyrant, You want Your rule as absolute as possible. You may have ecological problems, and you may need to decimate your subjects, or make them work harder. What is the best way to do this? Controlling your subjects’ minds, and not just with fear. Notice the sheep: they follow the pastor who milks them, and occasionally, cut their throats. What is the difference between flock and pastor? The pastor is much more clever, much more rational. The pastor is endowed with reason. Actually more than one. The pastor is full of reasons. The sheep is deprived of reason. Irrational. So, as a tyrant, irrationality you shall preach.

So how are you going to turn simple folks into a flock deprived of reason? Well, human sacrifices are a way to do this. Notice the king in the drawing below, sitting under an umbrella, just like a US president under his White House. A study published in Nature, in April 2016, explains that “Ritual human sacrifice promoted and sustained the evolution of stratified societies”.

Sacrifice Of The Annual Customs At Dahomey. Drawing By Foulquier, 1776. Engraving In “Le Tour Du Monde, 1865.”

Sacrifice Of The Annual Customs At Dahomey. Drawing By Foulquier, 1776. Engraving In “Le Tour Du Monde, 1865.”

The “Annual Customs” in Dahomey were also tax day for the free citizens of Dahomey (only war captives and criminals were sacrificed). The massive (several thousands) sacrifices stopped when the slave trade became too irresistibly profitable (the empire of Dahomey provided roughly 20% of the transatlantic slaves).

Honored European guests were allowed to attend the Annual Customs, as Dahomey had guns made locally, a professional army, and was perfectly capable of defending itself against the white man (as the British army found out, in Ashanti next door, suffering a terrible defeat where all soldiers were killed, but two, and the Anglo-Saxon commander was eaten, cooked like Cook).

But the outrages of superstitious religion go well beyond just roasting people alive, and are otherwise subtle in their deepest forms. The Bible evokes the Golden Calf, and rejects its cult. But that may have been a red herring. What upper classes need to rule best is for the lower classes to:

ADORE IRRATIONALITY!

Adore irrationality, reject reason. Rejecting reason, makes one the master’s slave, because one becomes so stupid, one gets feeble-minded. Thus all enslaving religions trample reason, as reason is the weapon which could destroy them most. Reason, not love.

This is why all religions which help enforce plutocracy train their followers to obey senseless orders, such as not eating pig, crustacean, and only eating animals who were agitated by spasms, while experiencing anxiety and suffering as their throats were slit, etc.

Jared Diamond gives more examples in his book “The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies?”:

Virtually all religions hold some supernatural beliefs specific to that religion. That is, a religion’s adherents firmly hold beliefs that conflict with and cannot be confirmed by our experience of the natural world, and that appear implausible to people other than the adherents of that particular religion. For example, Hindus believe there is a monkey god who travels thousands of kilometers at a single somersault. Catholics believe a woman who had not yet been fertilized by a man became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy, whose body eventually after his death was carried up to a place called heaven, often represented as being located in the sky. The Jewish faith believes that a supernatural being gave a chunk of desert in the Middle East to the being’s favorite people, as their home forever.”

One should not forget a Prophet who flew to Jerusalem on a winged horse, before ascending to heavens, just like that other guy had done before.

Superstitious religions sound very stupid, but the cult of unreason has its reasons that only the masters understand. Some of these orders are not just irrational, they are lethal: if they can claim you insult(ed) their little godly doggie god in the sky the excellent Judeo-Christiano-Muslim authorities could, or would outright order you killed.

Hence irrationality did not just rule, it killed, and demanded the utmost respect, doing so, lest it would have another irrational reason to kill you.

Let me insist: the very irrationality of religious commands enables the authorities to exert power whimsically. So it is the reign of Sharia, not Human Ethology (the later been approached by Roman law).

In the third century BCE, Chinese administrator Li Bing eliminated the sacrifice of young maidens to a river god during the conquest of Sichuan by the First Emperor. He called the bluff of a local racket in which families rid themselves of unwanted daughters while getting rich on the compensation they received. Thus “irrational” rituals bring all too rational, very prosaic gain.

Jared Diamond observes that embracing irrationality is the greatest divide between the fanatics and the rest (fanatics means: coming out of the FANUM, the temple):

“No other feature of religion creates a bigger divide between religious believers and modern secular people, to whom it staggers the imagination that anyone could entertain such beliefs. No other feature creates a bigger divide between believers in two different religions, each of whom firmly believes its own beliefs but considers it absurd that the other religion’s believers believe those other beliefs. Why, nevertheless, are supernatural beliefs such universal features of religions?”

As we just saw, “irrational” beliefs are something else reason to get ahead. Pure irrationality is rare. Searching the reasons behind apparent irrationality, what’s hiding in the Dark, oft reveals causality in full.

Jared Diamond rejects the explanation that believing in irrational things is just due to ignorance. Instead he views it as necessary for identifying in groups. There is no doubt that this is a factor. But one does not need sheer absurdities to identify in a group. Middle Age Muslims for example requested Jews and Christians to wear clothing which could identify them. So dressing in a special way can work.

In conclusion, Jared Diamond claims that “it’s irrational to be religious. Supernatural beliefs might not make sense, but they endure because they’re so emotionally satisfying.”

Well, sorry Jared, that’s mostly missing the point. There is a higher reason for imposing (the religion of) irrationality. The point is that irrationality makes people brainless, and thus easy to rule.

However, humans are naturally rational. So irrationality has to be taught, and preached. Some may sneer and ponder what’s in it for We The People. Why would We The People be so easily seduced by their own subjugation?

It is not as if the subjugation was a secret: Christianism brandishes “The Lord”, and compare people to “sheep” to be led (to slaughter?). Islam literally means: “submission”, from root of aslama “he resigned, he surrendered, he submitted.”

So what We The People get in exchange is… irrationality, a rest from the human condition. And just like the Lords themselves, brandishing irrationality to generate fear, cruelty, submission… We The People can do the same.

In almost all societies, killing “legally” within a tribe or clan is granted only to those with great authority. Thus ritual human sacrifice serves power structures—who sits at the top of the social hierarchy.

In a study published in Nature, Joseph Watts, a specialist in cultural evolution at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and colleagues analysed 93 traditional cultures in Austronesia (the region that embraces dozens of thousands of islands in the Pacific and Indonesia). The key was to analyze them before they were influenced by colonization and major world religions (generally in the late 19th and early 20th centuries).

Ethnographic records, show that the prevalence of sacrifice increased with increased social stratification: it occurred in 25% of cultures with little or no stratification, 37% of those with moderately stratified societies, and 67% of those with a pronounced hierarchy.

Mapping the evolutionary relationships between cultures, the researchers found that human sacrifice and social hierarchy co-evolved. Social stratification can change over time. However,  societies that practised human sacrifice were less apt to revert to milder degrees of stratification.

In other words, human sacrifice seems to bolster stratification: it helped to stabilize hierarchy, and conceivably, therefore, had a common role in the development of highly stratified societies that generally persist even today.

I hold that extremely lethal Jihadism is a form of human sacrifice, so this analysis carries to Literal Shia or Salafist Wahhabist Islam directly, and explained why these Muslim societies were unable to progress.

Human sacrifice is the privilege of priests or those who claim religious authority. Watts and colleagues say that this discloses a “Dark Side” to the social role of religion. (They have previously shown that belief in supernatural punishing agencies in Austronesian cultures encouraged moral observance, and thereby promoted the emergence of stratified, complex social structures).

Watts’s team reveals that human sacrifice wasn’t conducted for ostensibly religious reasons alone. Taboo violations, demoralization the underclasses, imposing class boundaries and instil fear of social elites, all build and maintain social control. In India, Untouchable touching higher caste individuals could suffer what are nowadays unimaginable punishments such as amputation, sitting in a red hot metal seat, etc.

Here is the conclusion of Watts and colleagues:

“Religion has long been proposed to play a functional role in society and is commonly claimed to underpin morality. Recent evolutionary theories of religion have focused on the potential of pro-social and moral religious beliefs to increase cooperation. Our findings suggest that religious rituals also played a darker role in the evolution of modern complex societies. In traditional Austronesian cultures there was substantial religious and political overlap, and ritualised human sacrifice may have been co-opted by elites as a

divinely sanctioned means of social control. The approach adopted in this paper demonstrates the way causal hypotheses about major transitions in human social organization can be tested by combining computational models and language phylogenies with a wealth of cultural and historical data. Unpalatable as it might be, our results suggest that ritual killing helped humans transition from the small egalitarian groups of our ancestors, to the large stratified societies we live in today.”

Say You are a tyrant, You want all to understand that Your rule is absolute, global as the plutocracy you lead with relish. So You order “Signature Strikes”, thus telling the world that any wedding You can kill, if such is Your good pleasure, as long as it happens in a far away land.

Were the killing by drones in “signature strikes” personally ordered by president Obama for all to see a form of ritual killing, of human sacrifices for all to see? Certainly. The scariest part is that ordering kills for all to see is something that even Chancellor-President Hitler, a solid reference for human sacrifices, was careful not to be associated to! This means that the Obama administration developed momentum to change the public’s mind about human sacrifice.

Human sacrifices violate human ethology, the evolution-given morality humans come equipped with. In the small groups in which humanity evolved for millions of years, human life was most precious, because the life of others was necessary to pursue one’s life.

So this means that the rise of civilization and its accompanying religions comprised a violation of human ethology.

The main theme of this essay is even more general: it considers not just the violation of evolution given morality, by “stratified societies”, but the violation of reason itself. Violating reason itself compounds the preceding moral problem: human ethology does not come just from “instincts” (whatever that means), but also from the usage of rationality (within a culture, or the individual).

The superstitious religions associated to the rise of demonic upper classes, plutocracy, have attacked reason itself. They are as inhuman as one can get, and survive. They enabled war maximally, annihilating their competition fully (although secular Rome and Literal Islam have unfinished business). Superstitious religions come short, for the future. Their carefully engineered irrationality and willingness to kill at the drop of a hat, will decapitate us, if we do not decapitate them first.

Make no mistake: irrationality has its uses, it allows to jump out of mental boxes. However, irrationality in a religion is different; it creates a common box, and create common, shared respect for irrational elements. Adoration for the Golden Calf is itself a particular case of irrationality. Making irrationality itself an object of adoration is a generalization of the cult of the Golden Calf, to the point of adoring the whims of the satanic masters themselves.

Collective adoration of senseless ways is collective adoration for the mania of the crowd, intellectual fascism at its worst. It’s a moral duty, moral from the ways of Homo, moral to go back to the free ways of our genus, which have made us what we are, the crown of the creation of reason, by enforcing reason, and not its exact opposite.

Patrice Ayme’

Happy New Year, Pluto!

January 1, 2016

Pluto is glad to inform you that 2016 is going to be an excellent year for Him, and that’s all you should care about. Pluto is extremely pleased with the three candidates to the presidency who have a chance to (formally) “lead” the USA. Instead of an obsequious servant from Kenya, once removed from little black boys conditioned to please wealthy white masters, anxious to please the powers that be, we are going for full bloodied plutocrats to “lead”, once again. Instead of an uneducated schmoozer from Arkansas, Pluto is happy to renew with unabashed lovers of the Dark Side, to lead you all, clueless, sport scores and celebrity obsessed losers! Remember when (Prescott) Bush and Hitler were friends? No, you don’t! Very good.

To see you all squirm uncomprehendingly while the waters get too hot, will be most pleasing. To augment your discomfort, Paul Krugman published: “Privilege, Pathology and Power”. Nothing of what he wrote, or my comments below, will surprise regular readers of this site, but it’s all worth reiterating. Krugman:

“Wealth can be bad for your soul. That’s not just a hoary piece of folk wisdom; it’s a conclusion from serious social science, confirmed by statistical analysis and experiment. The affluent are, on average, less likely to exhibit empathy, less likely to respect norms and even laws, more likely to cheat, than those occupying lower rungs on the economic ladder.

And it’s obvious, even if we don’t have statistical confirmation, that extreme wealth can do extreme spiritual damage. Take someone whose personality might have been merely disagreeable under normal circumstances, and give him the kind of wealth that lets him surround himself with sycophants and usually get whatever he wants. It’s not hard to see how he could become almost pathologically self-regarding and unconcerned with others.

So what happens to a nation that gives ever-growing political power to the superrich?”

Well, we have a glaring example: the Roman Republic, which started to get a fatal disease, 22 centuries ago.

Plutocratic Collapse Was Made Explicit 3 Centuries Before The Goths Took Rome. Same Exact Mechanism is At Work Today, For All To See, But Celebrity Obsessed Critters

Plutocratic Collapse Was Made Explicit 3 Centuries Before The Goths Took Rome. Same Exact Mechanism is At Work Today, For All To See, But Celebrity Obsessed Critters

[Plutarch was a Greek historian who died 19 centuries ago; the Greeks were smarter than the Romans; yet six centuries of Roman plutocracy, capped by mad, apocalyptic, Death Cult  Christianism hobbled them enough to make them lose the war with Islamism, an even more degenerated form of Christianism.]

We also have other, more subtle, examples of plutocracy killing civilization: several in China, at least one with the Baghdad Caliphate (which the Mongols and their Georgian, Armenians and Frankish Christian Allies killed, while asserting, loud and clear that the plutocracy had been the cause of the war, and the loss).

Detailed examination of the collapse of American societies under the Conquistadores also showed that plutocracy played a major role: the Aztecs had the major military power, 200,000 soldiers, dwarfing the Castilan’s 2,000 soldiers. However, the Aztecs’ plutocracy was hated by all too many of the Natives (who provided Cortez with a 80,000 men army, at some crucial point).

Krugman:

“Modern America is a society in which a growing share of income and wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small number of people, and these people have huge political influence — in the early stages of the 2016 presidential campaign, around half the contributions came from fewer than 200 wealthy families. The usual concern about this march toward oligarchy is that the interests and policy preferences of the very rich are quite different from those of the population at large, and that is surely the biggest problem.

But it’s also true that those empowered by money-driven politics include a disproportionate number of spoiled egomaniacs. Which brings me to the current election cycle.”

Krugman then gives explicit examples: “Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas gambling magnate. Mr. Adelson has been involved in some fairly complex court proceedings, which revolve around claims of misconduct in his operations in Macau, including links to organized crime and prostitution… What was surprising was his behavior in court, where he refused to answer routine questions and argued with the judge, Elizabeth Gonzales. That, as she rightly pointed out, isn’t something witnesses get to do.

Then Mr. Adelson bought Nevada’s largest newspaper. As the sale was being finalized, reporters at the paper were told to drop everything and start monitoring all activity of three judges, including Ms. Gonzales…. O.K., but why do we care? Because Mr. Adelson’s political spending has made him a huge player in Republican politics — so much so that reporters routinely talk about the “Adelson primary,” in which candidates trek to Las Vegas to pay obeisance. Are there other cases? Yes indeed, even if the egomania doesn’t rise to Adelson levels. I find myself thinking, for example, of the hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer…

Krugman could have spoken about the countless billionaires friendly to Obama, and who became front and center in the society and economy of the USA. But he chose not to. That limits him tremendously.

Krugman finally concludes: “Just to be clear, the biggest reason to oppose the power of money in politics is the way it lets the wealthy rig the system and distort policy priorities. And the biggest reason billionaires hate Mr. Obama is what he did to their taxes, not their feelings. The fact that some of those buying influence are also horrible people is secondary.

But it’s not trivial. Oligarchy, rule by the few, also tends to become rule by the monstrously self-centered. Narcisstocracy? Jerkigarchy? Anyway, it’s an ugly spectacle, and it’s probably going to get even uglier over the course of the year ahead.”

I sent comments, which were published (my comments, when sent to Krugman, have been published again… The (supposedly leftist) Guardian keeps threatening and censoring me, though, rest reassured…). Here they are below. And let me go skiing, after an epic in the snow yesterday, to feed many a philosophy…,

Plutocracy Is Bad For Soul And Horrible For Intelligence:

So what happens when these bad people have the power? Well, the god of hell, Pluto, rules (It was known before as “Hades”, and later as “Satan”, in Christianism, or “Shaitan” in Islam). Oligarchy means “rule of the few”. Plutocracy means rule, not just of wealth, but viciousness. (Christ, following Greek philosophers, asserted both are basically the same.)

Those who have so much power cannot justify it, except by saying, and first saying to themselves, that they are exceptionally good (and thus the others are relatively bad, as demonstrated by the fact that they are less able).

This is why plutocrats call themselves “philanthropists”. Just as polar bears are white as snow, to hide the fact they exist, plutocrats claim their souls are innocent, and actually examples of all what’s best about humanity. Indeed, one of the attributes of Pluto was invisibility.

Plutocrats also hide the obvious in plain sight. Through the media they control all over, they claim that the private moral system they use, founded, as it is, on greed and a high idea not just of themselves, but also of greed itself, should be the template of world morality. Thus Obama, following Nixon, made health “care” a profit center. Some more.

It’s not just ethics which is affected. Intelligence itself also is, as the top decisions are taken only under the influence of a few brains (the brains of those who rule). Actually, the main interest of democracy is that, when The People (demos) rules, all minds rules, all ideas get debated, and all these debates create new ideas. When only a few brains are allowed to take part, much fewer ideas appear.

Historically plutocratization has been the greatest enemy of civilization. The Roman Republic knew this, and came equipped with tough anti-wealth laws. Wealth above some limit was simply outlawed.

However, the Second Punic war caused havoc; Hannibal roamed Italy for more than a decade, winning tremendous battles, and the Roman elite got killed on the battlefileds, while a new elite of greedsters acquired wealth (mostly by renting space inside fortifies cities which Hannibal could not take, to impoverished peasant refugees).

After the war, in a few years, Rome lashed back at Hannibal’s allies, and carved a global empire. Globalization led to plutocratization: the wealthiest could escape Roman law by gathering wealth overseas. They quickly became so rich, they could pass laws friendly to extreme wealth. There was a civil war. The private armies of the wealthy killed those who wanted to crack down on plutocracy (notice that the anti-plutocratic leaders, the Gracchi were of the highest Roman nobilitas; still they were killed like dogs, in spite of tribunal immunity; at some point 5,000 of their supporters were assassinated in street fighting).

This is how Rome went down. After that, efforts of various leaders of the Populares (Marius, and certainly Julius Caesar) were unable to reverse the power of the Senate (through which plutocracy organized society; the Senate lasted more than 12 centuries in Rome, dying sometimes around the late Seventh century, when the Franks took over).

When a plutocracy rules, not only depravity reigns, but so does stupidity. Thus as plutocracy overwhelmed Rome, the people was made stupid by the passions it was conditioned to have: “Paenem unde Circenses” (Bread and circuses), as Juvenal put it in 100 CE. The increasing stupidity of the fascist empire made it increasingly unable to take the right decisions not just financially or in economics, but also in education, health care, or even military matters.

All the West is experiencing the same syndromes now. It’s not happening just in the USA. Plutocracy is global, legislation is local. We are at the stage where the plutocrats are imposing legislation friendly to them, through the Supreme Courts, or private tax systems.

According to the charity Oxfam, in 2013, the 92 richest multibillionaires had as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent of world society. In 2014, this dropped to 80 billionaires. A bunch of individuals who can fit into a bus control more wealth than 3.5 billion people. Three and a half billion people is equivalent to the combined populations of China, India, the United States and the European Union.

One has to realize that the influence of this 80 people gets leverage well beyond their wealth as all “elected” “representatives” are anxious to please them so they can prosper beyond their own, generally short, tenure in office.

Let’s cap it off by a few quotes from our elders:

“We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”  George Orwell

“Men are so simple of mind and so dominated by immediate needs that the deceitful man can easily find those ready to be deceived.” Machiavelli

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one… credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality. – Shaw

What’s life for? It depends if you are a master, or a slave, and whether you want to be a master, or a slave. Entire populations can be taught to love to be whipped into submission by princely plutocrats: just contemplate Saudi Arabia. And that state of sadomasochist metaphysics can last more than a millennium: contemplate the entire Middle East, which, for millennia prior, had been the world’s most advanced, a cradle of democracy, and the richest place we are still indebted to. But now it’s all gore, and Cult of Death. Verily, Pluto has much to thank for!

Patrice Ayme’

For Our Creator, Evolution

October 3, 2015

Mammals we are,

Milk we need.

Or we won’t even be.

Thinkers we are,

Love we need.

Or we won’t even think.

Love tells us,

What to feel.

Love:

Milk for the soul.

We, bodies and souls

From a tangled web blossom.

Not just the quantum web,

Holding the universe together,

But even the web,

Of the highest values,

Holding minds together.

Values we learned to become

While other minds,

Gave us,

What we are.

No Love, No Chipmunks. No Heart. No Mind. And No Cuteness.

No Love, No Chipmunks. No Heart. No Mind. And No Cuteness.

 

Patrice Ayme’