Posts Tagged ‘Will To Power’

FLASH CRASH Of Civilization Risked. And Why.

October 9, 2016

CRETINISM, COMPUTER GLITCHES, WILL TO ANNIHILATION, & OUR SATANIC LEADERSHIP

Are Our Idiotic Leaders Playing With Computer Fire? A Financial “Glitch” Last Week Is Most Telling: 

In the famous Terminator movie, a worldwide automated defense net takes over and launches strategic missiles all over, annihilating much of humanity and nearly all of civilization. Science-fiction? Not at all.

In 1979, the strategic command of the USA saw on its screens a Russian attack by 200 intercontinental missiles, enough to annihilate the USA. There were only minutes to launch a counter-strike. Panic ensued. Bombers were scrambled. The presidential plane took off, without the president. And so on! A smart general found that a training tape had been inserted by mistake. Alleluia! Nuclear Armageddon avoided this time.

The financial system has been riddled with “computer glitches”. Except they are not really glitches, but part of the war hyper rich financiers are waging against We The People.

Here is what happens when computers and plutocrats rule: 

In Minutes, The British Pound, Hence Great Britain, Lost Up To 8% of Its Value, Thanks To Robots In Common

Friday October 7, 2016, The British Pound, Hence Great Britain, Lost Up To 8% of Its Value, In Minutes, Thanks To Robots In Command

The robots we have put in charge do not have to respect Asimov’s First Law Of Robotics, which is that a robot should not hurt a human.

Ok, let’s give more details of this latest example, Friday October 7, 2016, as described by the Wall Street Journal:

Computers Seen as a Culprit in Pound’s Plunge

Unusual intraday move of 6% triggers concerns about automated trading

By Mike Bird and  Saumya Vaishampayan (Updated Oct. 7, 2016 6:44 p.m. ET)

LONDON—For a startling moment on Friday, the British pound crashed. In just three minutes shortly after 7 a.m. Hong Kong time, the pound sank 6% to as low as $1.18, according to Thomson Reuters data. Some electronic platforms recorded scattered trades near $1.15. For the currency markets, where moves are recorded in thousandths of a penny, it seemed that currency traders were all hiding under their desks. The most accepted scenario was that computers, not humans, were the ones that refused to buy. Coming at the most thinly traded moment of the global trading day, the latest “FLASH CRASH” once again showed how algorithmically driven trading programs have rewired the global finance game.

The pound’s gyration Friday was the second largest intraday move from its highest to lowest point in the past nine years, according to FactSet. The biggest move came when sterling swung down by as much as 11% the day after Britain’s June vote to leave the European Union.”

So why do we have hair-trigger systems all around the planet, with malevolent robots in charge?

The basic trick is this: hyper rich individuals, employing armies of physicists, mathematicians and programmers have set-up automatic systems to trade faster than individuals can. That’s called “high frequency” trading. High frequency trading is made possible by NOT taxing the sort of transactions the hyper wealthy are allowed to do. Normal people get taxed, the financially wealthy do not.

Flashback on 10,000 years of civilization: when the hyper wealthy does not get taxed, one has an aristocratic system: that is both the major cause, and major symptom.

Taxing small financial transactions would limit their speed, hence re-establish the notion of causality (that fact comes straight from knowing the fundamental physics which is deeper than the Theory of Relativity).

We are led by cretins. Russia and the USA have produced magnificent examples of complete cretins, put in command to instill deeply flawed strategies. And no, I am not just thinking of Trump, Clinton, Putin, Obama, etc.   

Let me go back on my question earlier, and generalize it a bit: Why do we have hair-trigger systems all around the planet, with malevolence in charge?

At first sight, it is because we are led by cretins, who do not see the danger. That certainly is partly true, but it’s not the whole truth: how could they be that dumb? Indeed, the danger is surely obvious, from the financial markets to nuclear war. Then what? We are led by people who do not mind the danger that they inflict to humanity and civilization, because, meanwhile they satisfy their greed, or will to power. In a way, to help engineer a giant catastrophe is surely a way to satisfy one’s ultimate will to power. As the French King Louis XV used to say:”Apres moi, le deluge” (“After me, the flood”).

An even deeper question is why did it come to this. Societies have moods. Those moods are caused by (imaginary or not) facts, habits, experiences, hopes. In the end, they influence hormones, not just in the masses, but in the individuals. Those hormones, some of them neurohormones, in turn change the logic individuals are capable of. When he was still facing some opposition inside Germany, Adolf Hitler sneered that his opponents did not matter because “we already own the youth”. Hitler knew that he had molded  the minds of German youth by creating an emotional ambiance which had turned into a mass driven hormonal, not just logical, Nazi setup. It was a case of mass procreation of Nazism.

After Thatcher and Reagan came to power, they imposed the mood that greed and the will to power was the ultimate motivation of human beings. (The Nazis were all about the will to power AND race; except “race’ does not really exist, as the Nazis found out all too soon, and the SS was forced to employ elite soldiers from all over!)

That Thatcher-Reagan-Neoconservatives mindset forsaken by humanity, propagated around the planet: France, Russia, fell to it later, with catastrophic results . That mindset focused on greed as the ultimate motivation is why Obama, a great admirer of Ronald Reagan, setup Obamacare the way he did, articulated by private companies looking for profits.

In other words, the ultimate good motivations of humanity, are supposed to be greed, and the closely related, and more general, will to power. The ultimate motivations are not supposed to be the will to care, or love. (Whereas, in truth, without love and care, there can be no humanity, to start with! Greed and the Will To Power are secondary motivations, sorry, Friedrich Nietzsche).

So here we are with more and more hair-trigger system. What is the interest of hair trigger systems, holding the entire civilization in its cross-hairs, or cross-hair systems making society ever more unjust, with some having all the power? The interest of hair-trigger systems as gods is that it tells everybody, deep down in their bones, at the deepest level of the emotional system, that greed and will to power are the ultimate good: they are worth going back to the Middle Ages, in a flash, with massive inequalities, or even back to the Stone Age (for the few survivors). Hair trigger, total destruction systems do not just celebrate will to power in its ultimate form, extermination. Having everything, from liberty, to equality, to fraternity, and even survival, at the whim of computer glitches is an expression of the will to collective suicide, and mass mayhem.

Some will say, such desire for appalling destruction is surely not an instinct? Quite the opposite. The will to appalling destruction is the ultimate human, all too human, instinct. Let me sketch the explanation. It goes deep in the bowels of evolutionary psychology, in its all too human variant, which no other animal has to that extent.

For millions of years, humanity has ruled the Earth, and increasingly so. The enemy of humanity was humanity itself, too much humanity, way too many humans. (At some point, a bit more than a million years ago, there were 14 humanoid species in East Africa alone.) To re-establish an ecological balance, humanity had to be culled. Now there are thousands of times more humans, so we need industrial means, computer glitches, nuclear war, and massive inequality.

However, understanding this will to collective suicide and mass mayhem logically will unbalance our stealthy collective subconscious, and the pernicious topology of its emotional ways. Something excellent philosophy has always done.

It goes without saying that all too traditional humanism has nothing to say about the preceding. And that is why it has become so irrelevant to what seriously matters, and why ‘progressives’ are so adrift. Humanism is not static. As technology progresses, our humanism has to become ever more subtle and powerful, just as, and because, our technology does so. Ever more power is what has defined ever more humanity, but all that ever increasing power, can only be managed with ever more intelligence.

Patrice Ayme’  

The West: Hong Kong In Reverse?

October 5, 2014

In Hong Kong, students are demonstrating. Beijing plutocrats are throwing at them what they can: professional politicians, popular singers, and professional gangsters from the renowned triads.

This is what happens when you educate your youths too well: they get ideas, and contest the rule of the alpha male, in this case the omnipotent president Xi (who claims an official right to rig elections by choosing the three candidates to lead Hong Kong; in the West, the process is the same, but behind closed doors).

Cynics will sneer that this was the whole idea about degenerating the educational system in the West since the (world) disturbances of 1968 (which topped in the USA, France, and Prague). Precisely to avoid what is happening in Hong-Kong now.

How come the left in the West is a right? The answer is obvious: “democracy” is just a sham.

Let’s nevertheless waste a few minutes to describe the right that calls itself a left…. Now that France has a so called “socialist” government which governs on the right of the official French right, this burning question comes back to the fore, six years after Obama sold himself, body and soul, to the greediest financial sector in the history of civilization.

In the last 20 years, the self-described “left” came to power in the USA (twice: Clinton, Obama; moreover Reagan had to govern with a Congress controlled by democrats), in Germany (Schroeder, and now an union government of CDU and SPD), in Britain (a decade of Blair, Brown). France is the extreme of that: she enjoyed decades of “socialist” rule (Mitterrand, Jospin, Hollande).

The result is everywhere the same: plutocracy has kept encroaching (as depicted in Piketty’s “capital). There is even worse: the educational systems have collapsed, all over the West.

Indeed, in 1900, the West had, by far the best educational systems in the World. Now the results are eloquent. They are established by PISA, a subdivision of the OECD (the Organisation De Co-operation Economique et Development, in its original French; it was founded, and is based, in Paris).

France, Britain and the USA completely fail their new generations. Refined tests on problem solving show that the youngsters of these nations are three years late in their mental development on Asian students.

Apparently, the mental retardation has set quite a while ago, because present date politicians do not understand the problem. It’s simple, though: these countries made a huge effort in national education a century ago. Not so much anymore.

To get a good education in 1950, one went to public school. Now one goes to private school. The quality of education is just as abysmal, studies suggest. But the networking is everything

Valls is a theoretician of greed: he can’t imagine anything else as a human motivation. At least that’s what he said as much about GPA.

It’s a bit like Lenin’s apology of dictatorship. Lenin could not imagine a more effective government than dictatorship.

Valls is not pecuniary greedy, or let’s say he can wait, as the greed for power is even more direct than the one for money. My tolerance exhausted itself after he made Macron economy minister. Macron’s career is a short resume’ of the genetics of the cancer that infects the West most: a know-nothing, made into a top finance inspector who teaches the world’s most notorious bank how to evade taxes and financially conspire, thus putting himself into orbit for highest rule.

The Romans had the Cursus Honorum, we now have the Cursus Damnarum. In the Cursus Honorum, would-be politicians, after a top education, became first top officers in the Roman army. And then, only then, would go back to politics.

Because Rome had strict term limits, politics was spread among the many. For example a Consul had full power for just a month, and then, after his one year term, could not be re-elected for another year.

Here, of course I am talking of the full Roman Republic, not the diseased system which agonized for centuries after Augustus came to power. Conventional historians prefer to talk about the latter, because they are the Gibbons of the plutocratic system we have the dubious honor to enjoy.

How could the so-called left not be a right?

It’s all about how politicians are selected. First, they are most greedy. They are all about the Will To Power.

Second, if not 100% greedy, they are somewhat deranged: they really believe that, with their puny minds, and extravagantly modest propositions, in these most alarming circumstances, they will really make a difference.

Third, they give themselves what scientific psychologists, the ethologists, call “moral license”. That’s the idea that, if one has made what one perceives as a good deal, or has the right to trample others, somewhat.

Indeed, the leaders of the West now, in their collective, have rights not really different from that of the omni-president Xi and his colleagues. It is for example against the law in France to insult one of the goons of the government. The powers that the top politicians in the USA have, are awesome.

And forget about checks and balances, as the presidency of W. Bush demonstrated! The entire USA was committed to a war crime course in 2003 with as much ease as Nazi Germany in 1933.

And please don’t tell me that’s ancient history. The present war against ISIS/ISIL/ “Caliphate”/Daech springs directly from this. The essence of the power of that organization is that the tribes that the USA struck against in 2003 are now sitting on their hands at best (when they are not outright helping the Islamist insurgents).

This entire political system of the West rests on greed and delusion. It’s a system of thoughts and moods, where greed, sugar-coated with the appearance of altruism, rules.

Blossoming plutocracy is a consequence. And the more it goes, the more education, reflection and civilization, degenerate.

The type of remedy needed can be observed in the streets of Hong-Kong.

It is easy for the Hong-Kong protesters: they want what the West already has. In the West what is needed has to be invented. Looking around (Switzerland), or learning history (fully Republican Rome, Athens), will help the imagination.

The real problem is that there is no progressive guidance. A proof is my struggle in philosophical circles right now to impose the correct view on Aristotle. Aristotle was first and foremost, the greatest architect of plutocracy ever. That’s how, and why, he got to be viewed as the greatest philosopher ever.

Everybody drank the poisonous cool-aid, ever since.

Something similar is happening now, live: Krugman’s position of Quantitative Easing (giving money to the largest, most powerful banks) is (still) viewed as highly progressive… And so apparently, is austerity.

And where is the money found to fund all this austerity? Some of it is found all the way into the bone. Fundamental education (That’s now called the “Common Core” in the USA), and fundamental research.

Obama is urging schools to teach the Common Core, and that’s good. (It’s even better that it costs him nothing, as the Federal Education budget is just 1%. Always this 1% thing.)

Maybe, if he had been taught the Common Core, Prime Minister Valls would be able to logically determine he stands on the right of the National Front’s Marine Le Pen, in several dimensions.

Maybe, if he had been taught the Common Core, Obama would fund fundamental research: unbelievably, he has been cutting into the bone there… Just when everything is becoming possible, the leadership of the West is trying to make the impossible possible, by closing the future to progress.

Patrice Ayme’

WILL TO EXTERMINATION

October 27, 2013

[Dark Side I; the squeamish is invited to read something else.]

Jane Goodall, the fanatical Christian and do-gooder, was the leading chimpanzee ethologist. Her lesson number one, as she always insists, is that “chimpanzees are very much like us“. Paradoxically, the greatest discovery Goodall made was what I view as the deepest pillar of the Dark Side. The WILL TO EXTERMINATION. Roll over Nietzsche, and even Sade!

Nietzsche’s Will to Power should be controversial. Because, not only the likes of Caesar or Napoleon had evoked it, but there are other “Wills“. Obviously. And the most important “Will” had not been uncovered by Nietzsche. Or, come to think of it, by any major philosopher, so far. The Will To Extermination is the very core of the Dark Side. It has been ignored at humanity’s own peril.

War is Business. On the Extermination Path.

War is Business. On the Extermination Path.

[Chimpanzees are four to five times stronger than human beings; the latter surrendered power for dexterity, allowing to terrorize chimpanzees with superior weaponry.]

Sade had achieved a much better understanding, and he warned fellow revolutionaries that it was unwise to push the French revolution onto Europe by the force of arms… That it would all turn into what it turned into. Sade had a point one has to keep in mind (say in Syria).

Understanding that the Will to Extermination is a dominant emotion is a must for making progress in humanism. Keeping it in mind would have led humanity to question early on what the German “Reichs” were up to, or Lenin, Stalin, or Hitler, or many of today’s mass homicidal dictators. Or, more generally, what all plutocrats are up to. The Will To Extermination is the main interface of true plutocracy with the world.

Is that all there is to the Dark Side? Oh no. There is the “Will To Power”, sitting on the side. And there is more: emotional, not just rational, pointillism.

I had a dream. A rescue helicopter was landing in the thick forest next to my home. I had to recover my solar powered camera to immortalize the scene. However it was on the south side of the overhang of a giant cliff I knew very well. In my haste to recover the camera, I overlooked the fear that the cliff ought to have inspired, overshot the device, and found myself hanging from weeds above the enormous void. At that point, waking up seemed the only reasonable option left.

Lesson? People act on reduced emotional sets. In that particular case, the urge to get the device was the only thing considered. Similar reduced emotional sets were at the origin of the German attack in 1914, or the rise of the United Stasi of America, or Obamacrap Obamacare.

Thus, it’s not enough to consider e-motions (what moves), but also which emotions are operationally in command, in any given course of action.

Nietzsche explained in “Beyond Good & Evil”, that he wanted a unified cause, a Theory Of Everything psychological (are modern physicists taking themselves for Nietzsche?). That’s why Nietzsche promoted the Will To Power. That was rather a bid for infuriating oversimplification. Indeed, he himself admitted people thought with their guts, or stomach.

Indeed there is a Will to Drink, or one to fill one’s stomach. Or, more basic of all, there is a Will to Breathe (people can’t commit suicide by refusing to breathe; even under water, end by trying to breathe water).

Nietzsche himself also admitted that there was a “Will to Knowledge”. As it’s well known that curiosity killed the cat, it’s hard to see what kind of power, but for self destruction, the cat was after.

In other words, the silly Nietzsche himself had to admit that there is more to a brain than the desire to turn power on. Studies on Aplysia have confirmed this. Far from being the way Nietzsche thought, the essence of brains is non locality. That’s precisely why consciousness was evolved.

What is usually said is that Goodall discovered that chimpanzees made war. What I point out is why they make war. Here is a recent (2010) study in “Current Biology”:

Chimpanzees make lethal coalitionary attacks on members of other groups [1]. This behavior generates considerable attention because it resembles lethal intergroup raiding in humans [2]. Similarities are nevertheless difficult to evaluate because the function of lethal intergroup aggression by chimpanzees remains unclear. One prominent hypothesis suggests that chimpanzees attack neighbors to expand their territories and to gain access to more food [2]. Two cases apparently support this hypothesis, but neither furnishes definitive evidence. Chimpanzees in the Kasekela community at Gombe National Park took over the territory of the neighboring Kahama community after a series of lethal attacks [3]. Understanding these events is complicated because the Kahama community had recently formed by fissioning from the Kasekela group and members of both communities had been provisioned with food. In a second example from the Mahale Mountains, the M group chimpanzees acquired part of the territory of the adjacent K group after all of the adult males in the latter disappeared [4]. Although fatal attacks were suspected from observations of intergroup aggression, they were not witnessed, and as a consequence, this case also fails to furnish conclusive evidence. Here we present data collected over 10 years from an unusually large chimpanzee community at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda. During this time, we observed the Ngogo chimpanzees kill or fatally wound 18 individuals from other groups; we inferred three additional cases of lethal intergroup aggression based on circumstantial evidence (see Supplemental Information). Most victims were caught in the same region and likely belonged to the same neighboring group. A causal link between lethal intergroup aggression and territorial expansion can be made now that the Ngogo chimpanzees use the area once occupied by some of their victims.

So what the authors suggest is that chimpanzees behave like little Hitlers, plotting an expansion of their “Lebensraum” (vital space).

Maybe. However, is it how chimpanzees feel it? Certainly not. Inter-chimpanzee violence is extremely brutal and cruel: parts are torn away, bitten off, until death occur from shock and blood loss. (This happens in the wild, and in captivity.)

One can describe a murderous chimpanzee rampage only as motivated by unbounded hatred. When moved by that sort of emotion, chimpanzees are not in the spirit of just making smart real estate investments.

Nietzsche tried to explain everything with the Will To Power: “Suppose, finally, we succeeded in explaining our entire instinctive life as the development and ramification of one basic form of the will–namely, of the will to power, as my proposition has it… then one would have gained the right to determine all efficient force univocally as–will to power. The world viewed from inside… it would be “will to power” and nothing else.” (From Beyond Good and Evil.)

Well, Nietzsche missed the big picture, the one that explains Auschwitz. Trying to do, finance, economics, sociology without the Will To Extermination, is to try to reason out of a reduced emotional set, missing the most important ingredient.

There too, contemplating chimpanzees’ behavior help. the art of extermination with chimpanzees consists into having the many surprise an isolated individual. So chimpanzees go on the war path. They make a single file, they become very silent, strongly bounded by… the perspective of committing murder. And they murder at a stupendous rate, much higher than that of hunter-gatherers. Thus war is a force that provides chimpanzees with the strongest meaning.

Verdict? To defeat the Will To Extermination, we need a higher form of war, just as to fight a disease, we need to understand, and use its essence against itself, as vaccines do.

***

Patrice Ayme

Will to Knowledge

September 10, 2013

 

Physics is nature: what we observe. Metaphysics is what we suppose beyond what we observe for sure. All logical discourses come with a metadiscourse. It’s Logic 101.

In its generosity, the New York Times decided to make the preceding statement one of its “pick“. And, yes, it is really Logic 101 (I could teach a basic class in Logic at a prestigious college; the “universe” one has to attach to a logic is essential to Model Theory).

Although true, and purely “scientific” the preceding statement is charged with consequences, very practical consequences. Because it means there is really nothing very special about people “of faith”, with so called “believers”. We all have to have faith, and we have to be believers, just because we use… logic.

Sorry to rob “believers” of the monopoly of respect they feel ought to be directed at them. We are all in the same metaphysical boat.

Little ideas, shattering little ideas… Shattering:

Assad's Damascus, September 9, 2013

Assad’s Damascus, September 9, 2013

French experts think it could take ten years to locate and dispose pacifically of Syrian chemical weapons. Why? It may be the world’s largest arsenal thereof. Special factories will have to be built to b urn them safely (something some warheads can do).

As Paul Krugman observes: “One of the things you have to get used to if you want to debate…is that people will make arguments that leave you floored with their sheer dumbness. The first time you pay attention, you find it hard to believe.”

(Nota bene: I generalized Paul’s thinking a bit by omitting the mutilating precision he adorned his discourse with…)

An example of abominably acute stupidity was the suggestion, by self glorifying people who clamor to be “anti-war”, that the rebels gazed themselves, and their children. That ought to floor anyone by the sheer dumbness. Or does that mean the anti-wars view as natural to gas oneself, and one’s own children? Or does that mean they have such a feeling of racism against anti-Assad rebels, that they feel anti-Assad rebels are that sub-human, that killing their own children is just a tactic for them?

Stupidity is common, genius exceptional. It has to do, in part, with economics. Brain economics. All and any trait of genius always starts with The One, hated and vilipended.

Most brains are organized on the cheap, by just duplicating what other minds proffer. To make one’s mind a center of creation is an expensive habit to have.

New idea accepted means brain reorganized, hence huge energy spent for deconstructing erroneous neural connections, and for building new ones. Thus, when a new idea shows up, commoners interpret it as a potential aggression, or, at the very least, a costly proposition.

That’s one of the reasons why breakthroughs in understanding are always met with hostility.

Without breakthroughs in understanding, all and any economical system, and then society, or even civilization, will collapse. Why? Because there is no steady state: for millions of years, all and any society has exhausted resources, while confronting the hostiles. As the opposition adapts and the world’s old exploitation schemes get old, old ideas lose grip. Or relevance.

Depressed economies tend to recover, for the simple reason that, if they did not, a civilization sized catastrophe would incur. One cannot crash a civilization every few years, so depressions tend to pass. When they don’t, we have what happened when the Roman Imperium crashed, or what happened in the 1300s, or the 1600s… In the West. Or what happened in the  600s in the Orient, or to the Mayas after around the same date, or what happened to China in the 1200s, or 1800s…

Another reason why is The One, The Genius, is hated and vilipended? Because the human animal feel the importance of ideas. It can be described as the Will to Knowledge. It’s an instinct that even Nietzsche recognized as distinct from the Will To Power he was obsessed by. Human beings are technological, otherwise even dogs would eat them. It started with sticks and stones, and improvement thereof. It went on with fire, which allowed to conquer temperate latitudes and vegetable foods. Technology means knowledge, wisdom.

Hence those who can produce the wisdom come to dominate society. Hence the importance of elders all over durable societies. Be it Native American society, China, or the Roman Senate (Senate, from senens, old.) In Sparta, to be elected to the governing council, the Gerousia, one had to be at least 60.

Thus, with humans, the Will to Power and the Will to Wisdom are mixed. They are entangled. The danger is that the former messes up the later. And that was one of Socrates’ main complaints, the one he directed against Sophists (he basically accused them to be prostitutes). This is also the reason of my contempt for for-money universities (Harvard, etc.). The same complaint extends to for-money scientific publications. On that later point, a movement towards ‘open publishing’ has progressed. Some now claim that about 50% of scientific publishing is “open”.

The Will to Knowledge is human. It’s even the essence of man. In the case of Hitler, or Assad, the majority of people did not, does not, want to know. That made them inhuman morally, but also in essence.

If one wants a human civilization, the only that can, and deserves, to survive, the Will to Knowledge has to be preserved as a power in its own right, beyond and above the Will to Power.

***

Patrice Ayme

WILL TO VICE.

January 23, 2012

Power Is One Thing, Cruelty Another. Willing Them, Human All The Way. Something Civilization Cannot Ignore Anymore.

***

 Questions: Nietzsche made the “Will To Power” famous. Is it enough to explain the Dark Side? I claim it’s not.

 Indeed, why is there a “Will To Power”? Is it because there is, in human minds, a natural state of tranquility, and power is not a low hanging fruit, but it has to be willed? People have to decide to acquire power, first?

 Why not a “Will To Love”? Then? Does not the fact that there is a need for a Will To Power, but no need for a Will To Love, show that Love is more primordial than Power?

 And is the “Will to Power” enough to explain all the vice found in history, or is there something even more terrible, something the great religions all guessed? Yes, there is! So roll over Nietzsche!

 And I say: What about The Will To Vice? (In French: Volonte’ de Nuire, which is actually better because more encompassing.) Power gives the ability to deploy force, thus to act. Vice is the desire to hurt. And, if there is such a thing as striving to inflict pain, why is vice so alluring?

 We have to dig deep in the psychobiology of the genus Homo to answer these questions.

 The meta-psychology of power and vice are actually born from the most practical considerations, evolutionary speaking: one can see them at work in many a place in the Middle Earth, where the two largest continents, Eurasia and Africa meet. All and any of the combatants fanatics and other occupiers will tell you that they fight for excellent reasons, and they are right. Such is the Will To Vice. Always right. Greed is good, and so is cruelty.

 Power and vice arise for reasons, thus causes, that one can understand, it turns out. They are even deeper than evolution, because they inflected it. Some are exposed below. The need to effective leadership, and to do what is necessary, ultimately rule, and animate those reasons. Understanding this will go a long way to steer civilization correctly. 

  I know people have little time. Those who want to cut to the chase, can avoid the preliminaries on the domination of cruelty in all religions, and the section on how the Will To Power grew in primates from evolutionary pressures. The meat of the essay are the sections HUMAN IS TO BE LOVED and WILL TO CRUELTY. 

*** 

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WISDOM OF THE AGES HAS INCORPORATED VICE (However Poorly):

 Viciousness is prominent in all the great religions. And not just to condemn it, but to advocate it: after all, if the gods do it, why not us? I am not just alluding to the Aztecs and their industrial cannibalism and the Incas, and their propensity to spill the blood of virgins on top of volcanoes. The Celts, and Carthage, which were most advanced civilizations, also practiced human sacrifices (even the Romans dabbed in them).

 Viciousness is fully obvious in the old Norse religion, or Hinduism, which were prone to burn young women alive on the slightest pretext. The old Babylonian religions made the universe into a giant arena for the fight between light and darkness, truth and lie, Ahura Mazda and Ahriman. Of course in the Abrahamic religion, the genocidal god is so much into his criminogenic and megalomaniac “jealousy”, that he wrote a few books to advertise them proudly. One of the Abrahamic sects even made a torture instrument of death its very symbol, and then called it love (OK, it worked. Charlemagne would point at the crushed Angles and Saxons and Hungarians…)

 Buddhism, although milder at first sight, does not escape the vice of vice. Buddhism is so obsessed by viciousness, that it throws the world out with the bath. Buddhism claims that nihilism (“nirvana”) is better than living in the world, by the world, for the world. Instead, to flee that horror, the world, it promotes detachment from it (but not so much detachment that its priests do not go begging in the streets !)  

 The mildest of the great religions may have been the Egyptian one, and may be that is why it lasted 4,000 years. But it is also why it found itself unable to resist enemies with more ferocious, extraverted gods, starting with the Libyans, the Achaemenids and finally the Christians, thoroughly rabid from god as they were.

 So can one safely say that old wisdom has fully integrated the Dark Side, the set of behaviors and knowledge associated withhell”?

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TO BE HUMAN IS TO BE LOVED (At Some Point): 

 Maybe one should ask first where the expression “Dark Side“, as incarnated by the tenebrous Lord of the Underground, comes from? OK, it fully belongs to the Greek and Babylonian mythologies. The idea is at least 4,000 year old. But that does not explain what it is.

 In truth, it’s very simple, and that causal relationship reveals the hierarchy of emotions within Homo Sapiens. One speaks of the “Dark Side” because one does not like to look inside at what is lurking down there. A fortiori one does not like to talk about that Dark Side. 

 Why such reluctance? First, man is a social animal, and the social group holds together from love. It’s a bit like the nucleus of an atom held by the strong force. The strong force in human groups is love. It is needed, or there would not be a social group. (At a far distance, love does not reach anymore, thus huge social groups cannot be held by love, except if the state manufactures a form of love which carries far, and that is how nations hold together.)

 Understanding promotes love, whereas hiding one’s true brainwork promotes the opposite, misunderstanding, hence conflict. So what is in full sight is appeasing, whereas the ambush from the dark, just the opposite.

 Another reason to eschew the Dark Side is that, man is anywhere, and always, born out of love. [See the note on the errors of Christianism.]

 How does love come first? Simple. Nearly all and any baby, anywhere, and always, is loved, for quite a long period. Years. The first years, the ones during which one gets imprinted. Without enough love from enough people around the baby, the baby would certainly die. The same holds for young children. 

 Human children brought up by wolves prove the point. Certainly they would have been devoured, had some wolves not been overwhelmed by love (that wolves become more loving at some point during their massively fluctuating hormonal existence is a case in point; even in wolves, love can overwhelm all; human beings do not have such huge hormonal fluctuations and are more permanently loving).

 So love comes first. It is the base layer, emotionally. Vice comes first as a transgression (later it can become a habit, in individuals or a culture in countries, something some Germans try to mask by accusing Hitler of all the vices old style German culture infused him with).

 The Dark Side is thus condemned to be a second order effect. But, in some cases, it is the only ensemble of behaviors and knowledge that will provide with a solution (an obvious reference: the Bible, when the Chosen People comes onto the previous occupants of the Promised Land, and has to eradicate them, to occupy it in turn; this is the scheme reproduced throughout the (ex) British empire, allowing to eradicate indigenes from a godly portion of the Earth, hence the importance of the Bible throughout the Brutish thing).

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THE WILL TO POWER IS HOW PRIMATES MARRY LOVE WITH COMBAT:

 Nietzsche talked about the “Will to Power”. Why would this be? Why a “Will”? Does one talk about a “Will to Thirst”, a “Will to Hunger”? (OK, a “Will to Sex” exists among those who purchase aphrodisiacs, but that is a recent perversion, with no evolutionary meaning.)

 So is there a “Will to Love”? Most of the time, and more prominently, not at all. When love is there, it is overwhelming. One does NOT need to will it. A normal parent does not will to love her child. The parent just loves. Love is fundamentally an hormonal state. The strongest love is not something one decides to engage in. One can decide to love, true, but this is a secondary, weaker form.

 Nietzsche is correct that searching for power is a conscious decision, something one wills. It’s not as natural as love.

 Wolf packs are led by alpha couples: other animals in the pack are not just subservient, they just don’t get to eat first, and the best parts. They also don’t have sex. They are subservient, otherwise they will be attacked with lethal force.

 However, primates are not wolves. Primates are less on a war footing than wolves. They don’t need to live in a fascist state with absolute rule all the time, as wolves do. In primates, although sex is the object of conflict and impacted by hierarchy, (most of) the whole group reproduces. Thus not only primates do not need to be leaders, but they can perfectly reproduce without brimming with the utmost domineering characteristics. Thus primates do not reproduce domineering characteristics in an overwhelming manner. They also reproduce other sorts of manners.

 In wolves, those who reproduce have been selected, by the struggle for power, to be particularly domineering. So baby wolves tend to have the power drive genetically engineered, because only the dominant ones reproduce. Only domination to death reproduces. Wolves are born as topmost domination machines.

 Baby primates are not genetically pre-selected for so much domination, since non domineering members of the group also genetically contribute. 

 However some primate species need leaders. Why? Because they have evolved to live in primate hell, namely the savannah park, where trees stand among grass, as if they had been planted in a park by a divine gardener (most of Africa was endowed with that landscape, in combination with a web of narrow forest gallery where water and predators lurked). 

 The savannah park was, historically speaking, ten million years ago, no place for primates. Primates evolved in the trees, in the age of dinosaurs, from ancestors we probably have in common with squirrels. In the forest, monkeys have few competent enemies. After primates left the equatorial trees, and their huge juicy fruits (up to 50 kilograms), though, primates became dependent upon sources of fresh water. Moreover, primates were the object of gustative desire of a magnificent panoply of carnivores, from dogs, to many species of hyenas, giant cheetahs, leopards, lions, and saber tooth cats, let alone giant carnivorous baboons, boars, and bears. 

 Primates, to be present in the savannah, had to develop military psychobiology. It was a necessity, not an option. Primate sociobiology evolved into the sociobiology of armies. That is blatant when one observes baboons in the wild, as I had the good fortune to do as a child. Baboons need water once a day, so they have to organize a military expedition to get to the water hole, everyday. Stealth does not work. What works is military organization, and terror in the heart of all and any potential enemy.

 A baboon army on the march is a terrifying spectacle of sound and fury. They shake trees. They bark furiously in unison. Lactating females and their children are inside the formation. In front, demonic big males flashing their eyelids and giant canines, brimming with the threatening insanity of their obvious will to tear into whoever or whatever would dare stand in their way, proceed irresistibly towards their objective. Lion prides rise, and decide to go somewhere else sniff the grass. Leopards disappear in the darkest bushes.

 Armies function because they are the many acting as one: “E Pluribus, Unum“. Forming an army allows to constitute a super beast, with just one mind (that of the leader) and the total mass of the individuals which compose it (total mass matters: in combats between lions and hyenas, the group with the largest total mass generally wins).

 That primate army is endowed with the spirit of the leader. That leader has to be domineering enough to be accepted as the mind of all, and combative enough to look towards combat, when there is no choice. And that leader has to pretend to love combat enough to make the group it leads appear dangerously insane to third parties (thus making way, as needed, the way baboons have to do it, to exist).

 To become a leader, one has to fight, to get to that position which has obvious advantages. This has the interest that not only fighters get selected to lead, and lead into combat, as needed, but the very process of selection develop the leaders into ever more aggressive minds. Evolution found the trick that if the groups were led by individuals more aggressive that the common members of the groups, the groups would battle better, and how to develop a process to increase the combativity of the leaders. 

 So here is the picture: primate groups in the savannah can exist if and only if they are large enough, bound by love. While at the same time, primate groups need to be led by particularly aggressive individuals, capable of leading the group into combat, and making other animals believe that the groups they constitute are the most dangerous thing on earth.

 Thus savannah dwelling primate species have developed, had to develop, a psychobiology which favors the “Will To Power”. Primates are rendered more ferocious by undergoing the power struggle to reach power, and that is obtained only after “willing” it. “Willing it” transmogrifies soft individuals in the loving groups into the hard edge tyrants needed for the victory of the group.

 Some scientists have determined that most of the large animals’ mass, for millions of years, was made of lion sized carnivores (as lions can take down a giraffe and survive on rabits). It’s no more the case now, thanks to the great primate offensive for savannah park supremacy. The war between monkeys and lions has ended with the victory of the monkeys, thanks to the militarized fascism of the latter, as needed.

 By the way, this may be why Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary, from his ferocious debate performance: the voting primates perceived in him a greater warrior, the product of a greater Will To Power, promising a harder edge to solve the problems the country confronts, and that too “cool” an attitude of the seducer in chief, with his huge smile, cannot address.

 Let’s recapitulate: love is a necessity, a fundamental imprinting. Ferocious leadership is obtained in a contrived way, through the constructive “Will to Power”.

 But what of the cases when combat is not enough? Say the enemy has been defeated. But now the enemy needs to be eradicated, because there is not enough food to go around, or simply because not eradicating today, means being eradicated tomorrow. Just as chimps do in the valley over there. 

 Genocide of his own species has been, historically and evolutionary speaking, one of the characteristics of the genus Homo. Genocide is what the most domineering hominids have had to do, and did, for millions of years.

 Is the “Will To Power” the answer to impose eradication? No. It is more oriented towards combat. The “Will to Power” wants to overpower, not massacre. The “Will To Power” is about exerting power on others. Will To Power needs the continuation of others to be exerted. And indeed, although baboons kill baboons in power struggles, sometimes (their canines are like small daggers), power struggles among baboons do not result in extermination in the famed chimpanzee-human style.

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THE WILL TO CRUELTY:

 Thus the interest of the Will To Cruelty. The Will To Cruelty is what motivates the ultimate, all too human activity, genocide.

 Genocide: when man becomes like the legendary god of Abraham, ready to want the worst one can possibly imagine, and turning it into a religion (what is worse than asking a parent to kill his child, out of love for one’s superior, as the Abrahamic god does with Abraham?)

 Omitting the presence of the Will To Cruelty is one of the greatest failures of conventional humanism. It is also a failure of standard economics, and, in particular of the free market fanatics. And a failure of all of those who deify some of their superiors. All human beings have potentially Pluto inside. But those who have the greatest power in their hands have fewer checks left to restrain them, and thus are more inclined to transgress into vice. Thus, admiring leaders is fraught with ethical peril. Leaders, threatened by temptation, ought to be viewed with suspicion.

The only transgression left to those who have most power, the only challenge left, is to cultivate the Will to Cruelty, so they do. It attracts them irresistibly. So they informed their academic servants that it would be best never to evoke the subject.

 Indeed, some of these observations are not really new. Sade was first.

 That grotesque cruelty motivated leaders all too much was de Sade’s main point. They were not keen to hear this, all the more since the People was listening carefully, at least in France. This is why king Louis XVI, and the dictators Robespierre and Napoleon kept Sade in jail for decades. Sade was saying that Robespierre and Napoleon were… sadistic brutes motivated by inflicting pain, they had to be, that is why people like them did what they did… and sadistic brutes they, indeed, were!

 Funny how many busts of Napoleon there are, with rabid Napoleonophiles on their knees lauding that cruel monster, considering most of what he did was to bust the great revolution for human rights, in general, and the republic, in particular, besides ravaging Europe, all the way to Moscow, while destroying his great European army, and killing, among others, millions of Frenchmen… Do they admire the cruelty? The arbitrary assassinations? Keeping Sade in jail?

 Why is genocide so central in the evolution of hominids? Because hominids represented, for millions of years, the ultimate power, and had to use their ultimate power on that ultimate power to keep humanity in check. Only terminal force can master terminal force.

 Left to themselves on (parts of) South Georgia island, reindeer devastated the ecology to the point their population, after booming, having run out of vegetables and lichen to eat, starved, and crashed by up to 90% (in parts).

 But it does not work this way with human beings. Human beings, just like rats, are sociable, and help each other, when their populations are at sustainable densities. Beyond that, the worst enemy of man becomes other men, and there were plenty of thousands of centuries to select for human beings who could get the job of culling of other hominids done. Actually, they self-selected. Not only human beings have an inclination, a will, to cruelty, but they selected themselves this way, because that was most advantageous, evolutionary speaking. So the cruel ones reproduced, and the sweet ones did not. A consequence of this has been the (semi-demented) love for tribalism and nationalism (with major inconveniences such as Nazism, and now neutralized in modern times by team sports).

 The Will To Cruelty, ultimately, protects an optimal version of the planetary ecology. It is timely to remember this, as the greatest attack against the ecology is proceeding ever more. Logically, and evolutionarily speaking, it is only a matter of time before cruelty comes to the rescue of the biosphere.

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 Patrice Ayme

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 Note on some fundamental errors of Christianism: Christianism made a big deal of love, as if Christ invented it. Well love is clearly a necessary pre-condition to human life. The fact that Christ had such an unloving relationship with his own father, should not lead us astray about the necessity of that pre-condition.

 Thus Judeo-Christianism was wrong with its theory of original sin! Men are not born bad, quite the opposite: they evolve that way. Such an egregious error can only have been committed deliberately. The manipulators of the Dark Side probably felt that “original sin” made common people feel bad about themselves, thus weakened their resolve. Moreover, if man was born bad, the leading plutocratic miscreants were excused to do whatever nasty stuff they wanted, since they were born that way! 

 Of course Christianism was not chosen by the Latter Days Tyrants of Rome because it was right, but, precisely, because it was wrong.