A lot of talk went through the media about the Greek crisis. Yet most of it is how to solve, or not to solve the problem of Greek debt, which is in its essence a monetary problem, that can be solved relatively easily by monetary tools, that as were shown can be very effective if implemented correctly. But as it happens to be, monetary policy influences the physical scenery too, mainly if it is all about greed, deception and theft, and for very long time, like in the case of Greece. The mounts of loans that the Greek politicians took, since they entered the Eurozone based on false statistics, where used mainly to enrich the Greek plutocracy. To be able to do so undisturbed, they corrupted the whole Greek nation by enabling to them standard of living of Germany, without to be productive like Germany. This policy not only did not prepared the Greek economy for the D-day, when eventually the creditors will ask for loan repayments, but in contrary. The wages, the pension system, the business environment, were all formed not on economic achievements but on protective incorporation of employment associations, to protect those who are members of the incorporation from those who are not. These incorporations could be workers or profession unions or association of drivers, etc. When the hangover day came, all this associations and their members, will stuck together even more tightly than ever before. 50% youth unemployment is direct result of this situation.
These phenomena evolved in decades and there is no monetary policy, which can resolve it. So even if most of the Greek debts would be erased it couldn’t help to create a long term sustainable Greek economy.
Economics is not just about curves and numbers. It is also about people, their intentions and their acts within an economic, political and social system. If certain senior employees created in an organization where they are employed an union, which prevents from more talented new employees to bring positive changes to the organization (and I am not against the unions as principle, only if it fights for self destructive policy ) its damage to economy can’t be quantified. If certain entity becomes a monopoly and increases the prices of the products, it’s negative influence is also not measurable in the GDP. If highly educated young Greeks can’t get jobs, because the senior less educated and less effective Greeks are protected by laws, unions, professional guilds, etc. the negative impact of this state on the GDP is also not measurable.
So if Greece wants to overcome its problems, reduction of its debts is not enough. Somehow this economic train has to be relocated to a different track.
One other issue, there are commentaries in the media, where “professional economists” pointed out, that at 2008, Greece debt was “only” 100% out of the GDP, and now with the shrink of the GDP, even after its reduction it became 170%. This claim is worse than a lie, it is professional deception, done intentionally our out of ignorance. Before the crisis, the Greek GDP per capita was close to that of Germany, mostly financed by loans. The GDP can be sometime a very sleazy measure instrument, since it measures the short term economic performance calculated out of national income. Out of definition General Domestic Product equals to General Domestic Income. But this income doesn’t makes difference between income generated out of merchandise or service production an the income created by financial operation which creates indebtedness. So the Greek GDP did not represent real values, but values generated by debts, which became the very core of all the economic problems of Greece.
The problem of body and mind is one of the major questions the human intellect tries to cope with since the down of the humanity, either in religions or in philosophical terms. So what can be added to this subject after more than two millennium of intellectual activity with the subject? Few decades ago with the development of brain research, computer sciences, quantum physics and understanding the material behavior on the smallest sub-sub-atomic scale of individual electrons, the hard sciences joined the philosophers and started to ask the question, what is consciousness, what is this “I”, who is always with me, what is mind etc. To start to answer this question we have to try to go to the very start, and probably begin with a provocative “well chewed problem; “To most of the people it seems obvious what human body is, but they have no clue what this soul…
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War is more than a hell. It is a crossroad, where choices have to be made, without a way of return. In the war in every moment a decision has to be made and every decision can have catastrophic consequences. In the war you never really know what the outcome of the war will be. In war are no winners only losers. At the end someone will come out victorious, and most probably it will be the most evil and the notorious one ( viz. Gingishan, Atila, Sparta, the early Muslims, but also the more recent Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, etc.). And if it is not enough, also when the ” good” wins the evil, you never now the long term outcome. Lets not forget, war is about gaining political power, and every political power corrupts on the long run. i try to think about cases of political leadership, that ruled for more than a decade and still continued to act out of righteous moral codes.
Yet, sometime a war has to be fought, when the enemies ideology is about your cultural annihilation. This was the case when the Nazism and the Communism implemented policy of cultural annihilation. But war is about doing acts of cruelty and injustice. Many times you can’t spare the innocent, because the innocent of today will be your enemy tomorrow, or because to save them while fighting the enemy would cost to many lives of your own. There are no nice wars, only cruel ones, there is nothing noble in war and in dying on the battlefield. Yet if a war has to be fight, better if you and your soldiers know and believe in the cause of the war. And this ability lost the West after WWII, when it exposed its criminal past. It is relatively easy to endorse faith in the necessity for cruelty among the hungry and the uneducated people, but hard and almost impossible among the full-fed educated ones. And I don’t remember when in the recent history last time the war winners where the well feed armies. Not in Vietnam, not in Algeria, and not even in Afghanistan or Iraq.
The Romans had great respect to ancient religions and cultures, like the Egyptian and also Jewish, even if it was less impressive at the time. Probably it was because they had no ancient history of their own at beginning, and had to invent it out of Greek mythology. Culturally the Romans adopted mainly the Greek and partly the Egyptian culture. Only later after the Jewish war the Jewish culture became influential because of the Christianity.
- Patrice Ayme Says:
February 21, 2015 at 4:17 pm | ReplyThanks to eclipses, stories and archaeology, the founding of Rome by Romulus has been very precisely dated. I don’t remember the details, but they fit exactly the official Roman date of 753 BCE.
Greek mythology was old by then. So it spread in the West. As I have explained, it had penetrated even Celtic lands.
Romans did not tolerate human sacrifice religions. Both Christianism and Judaism, in my opinion, were playing around with the notion.
Jewish mythology obviously came from the monotheist Pharaoh (Akhenaten) & queen Nefertiti.
By 311 CE, the rule of too many fascist emperors made the empire ready of theocracy, and it got implemented, starting with the Balkan-British Constantine, in the next 70 years (Spanish Theodosius). No more tolerance then: only the Jews survived, even the Samaritans got near-exterminated.
- EugenR Says:
February 21, 2015 at 4:42 pm| ReplyThe Akhenaten theory is only one of the possibilities how Monotheism was created. The bible definitely has both sumerian and egyptian influences. The diety name Yahve most probably comes from norh Saudia, close to modern city of Akaba. If to believe to the story of Exodus as describing certain historical event, (check the story of hixos) this is the place to where the bible puts Moseses first accounter with God, and some of the modern scholars place to the same place the mount of Sinay.
- Patrice AymeSays:
February 21, 2015 at 6:39 pmThis part of history is poorly known. What is known is that it was incredibly messy. It started with the invasion of the “People of the Sea” (Egyptian semantics). Some have even suggested that the ancient Israelis were ONE of the Peoples of the Sea, barely defeated by the Egyptian army, and then enslaved.
So some have suggested, for this and other reasons, that the Israelis came from present day Kurdistan (then powering up).
As you show, cultural elements came from all over.
In a more general way, let’s point out we all have Middle Eastern origins, to a great extent, as confirmed by recent (2014 genetic studies). Our Middle Earth origins are political, cultural, racial (so to speak), and economic…
February 21, 2015 at 8:38 pmThe people of the sea attacked Egypt and the Hettitian Empire which they destroyed. They were not people of the region and probably did not speak Semitic language, otherwise they would be recognised by the two leading empires, who left about them writings, and also in Ugarit they find tablets about them. They also attacked Creets, Greece and even Sicilia. The historians think their decendens were the Plishtinians or the Greeks. There are also theories that they were some kind of rebels of different nations. After they destroyed the Hettitans and weakened Egypt, new nations appeared in the region like, the Hebrews, Greeks, Phenicians and the Phlistines. The Hebrews occupied the montain regions of land of Israel and the Phlistines were mainly on the sea shores and in the valleys.
By the way, the most probable theory about the origin of the Hebrews according to the new archaeological findings is, that they were the common Kennany people, who rebeled some city states like Hazor and newly setled in the mountain regions. There they adopted new monotheistic religion brought to them most probably by some priests from Egypt.
- Patrice AymeSays:
- EugenR Says:
Answer to PatriceAym https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/our-impotent-self-glorifying-leaders/
Dear Patrice, your blog of frontal attack on plutocracy exposes a certain political phenomena present everywhere, and the time came to explain what plutocratic phenomena means. To my understanding it is all about the rule off the few, who happened to accumulate economic wealth (capital) and political power. As contrary to it, the French revolution, and similarly the Russian revolution was about giving the chance to the people to take over the leadership. As it happens, none of these political systems was successful to secure decency, integrity, righteousness and fairness to the quiet majority of the society, those called the middle class. My definition of the modern middle class is “professionally skilled people, with no access to capital”.
As to the post revolutionary regimes in France or Russia, (but also Iran, Chine, South east Asia etc.), the failure of these political experiments was so colossal, that there is no need to speak about it in this forum. On the other hand, the “liberal-democratic” political system, introduced since WWII to the “West” is a different story. While still under the threat of Soviet dominance, it nourished the well being of the middle class, (more in Europe and less in US). But then with the collapse of the USSR, there seemed to be no alternative to their political system (Fukuyama, End of history). But the plutocratic forces immediately had loosen their previously self imposed reign. The result is a process of impoverishing of the middle class. With the new technologies, with its capacity supplementing most of the highly skilled work, the middle class lost its negotiation position against the ruling elites. The natural ruthlessness and plutocratic tendencies of the ruling elites, left out the self-imposed restrain from their political process. Very soon the impoverishing of the middle class started, with the international corporations practices of, tax sheltering, out sourcing of work to China and India, and introduction of modern technologies in many new professional jobs, previously occupied by highly skilled engineers and equivalently educated people, who in the one hand did not reach the top of the ladder in their profession, and on the other hand did not succeed to accumulate capital.
In the heart of this process are the international corporations, with publicly traded shares, that in one hand lost their connection to majority share holders, and are ruled by dominant minority stake holders and their emissaries, who exploit the position they gained, and stopped to play a fair play. Let me remain you that laissez-faire is not only about free trade, no government regulations, etc, but it means; “let it be fair”. So without fairness, meaning with monopolization of financial and political power, the so called capitalistic system is destined to be doomed. The 2008 economic collapse, was a direct remainder of what it can mean.
But the 2008 collapse resulted re-allocation of financial resources and change of capital flow within the capitalistic system. But there are other more major threats that put in danger the whole global social and economic system due to the collapse of postcolonial state-hoods in most of the Muslim countries, and Africa. These countries more than quadrupled population since their independence and their population still continues to grow. This happens when they are not able to create politically, socially and economically functioning statehood. The result is, population at such a despair, that parts of it are ready to endanger their and their children’s life to escape the misery in their homeland. Yet when reaching the secure shores of Europe, they bring with them the same cultural values, that brought their communities and states to this despaired situation. As this young, hungry population settles, it is in natural conflict with the wealthy older original European population, who holds most of the wealth and has cultural values so different to this largely Muslim immigrants. Yet these values enabled them to create the successful post WWII Europe.
On the other hand these new emigrants, continue to live according to their inherited culture, fueled by religious mysticism and conspiracy theory fairy tales. They are ignorant about the European history, cultural values, social and political arrangements. Add to it the destructive tendencies of degenerating the woman position in family and their right for education and equal social position to that of man, the conflict is inevitable. So they start actively to oppose the cultural values of the European population and try to crumble their society. But these European cultural values of endorsing rationality, mutual social guaranty, moderate solutions to political conflicts, are necessity to maintain the European welfare state. Without it we would see the same political phenomena that is destroying the political-social fabric of the Muslim and African world. Let me remain you, that the pre-WWII Europe, in spite of its achievements in science and technology, politically was not very different from the today’s Muslim world, even if got rid of the religious and traditional social values. So these destructive tendencies (fascism, communism, nationalism, etc.) still strongly prevail among many of the original Europeans.
To add to the problem of population dislocation due to the failed statehood in the Muslim and African countries, a new wave of ecological emigrants, as it is expected to come from the regions destroyed by the political in-activism in the environmental issues, and you have a perfect scenario for a new Hollywood disaster move.
On the other hand, humanity is on the threshold of many technological breakthroughs, that will bring us to the point of singularity, when the superior position of the humans on the globe is not automatically secured. It is easier than ever to imagine, that a transcendent being will take over the globe, to prevent from the humans to destroy all what they had culturally achieved.
Human existence came to a crossroad, where choices have to be taken.
You describe very clearly the agony of Greek people after 2010, who after all can’t be blamed for the fault of Greek plitical and economical elites of the past. Yet, EU is not only Germany, nation whose historical responsibility for the misery in many places of Europe prevails until now. Take country like Poland or Czechoslovakia, countries who vere the first victims of Nazi Germany. Then after the war they were victimized by the Stalinist USSR, and 25 years ago slipped out of this reign of evil with tooth and eye. And let me to remain you, these countries before WWII were economically among the most advanced nations in the world, as contrary to Greece of those days. Today, 25 years after the fall of Berlin wall, and after investing enormous effort to rebuild their economies and even more their society crippled by 40 years of despotism, humiliation, imposed policy of systematic destruction of local elites in every field, where these countries are? People in these countries until now had never tasted the welfare created by the post war western Europeans. Their standard of living is still under that of the post 2010 Greece. And lets not forget, as contrary to Greece, they are not victims of cynical local elits, but of two big European nations, they happened to be located in between.
The avoidance of scientists to inquire about morale questions scientifically leaves all the space in question of morality to religious or non-religious preachers, politicians and other kind of falsifiers. Education and scientific training seems to create people with higher integrity than any other activity of human intellect. It is probably caused by scientific method that doubt in everything is in its essence. Yet morality is about being right without doubt. The major question to be asked is, how to bridge between these two methods of thought.
You know yourself out of social reflection this opposes the Descartes idea of absolute loneliness of you, what he called the only certain thing that you can know for sure. As you meditate about yourself, you know yourself. The mind can also dream, day dream, self reflect inwardly. It can’t have senses directly without using the body. social interaction is also a body act.
You cannot think about two sentences at the same time, while you can make two acts of body at the same time and even speak in parallel .
Your mind consists of senses, memory, thinking by using words. Do you need words to be able to think? Can you think without words? The act of speaking definitely needs words. From where you pull out from your memory words without knowing upfront which word to use next?
If you look in the mirror after long time you haven’t do it, you get a feeling a stranger is looking at you? If so, isn’t the perception of I just a learned phenomena, while without looking on yourself in the mirror you may lose it? What about feelings? Pain, emotions attached to sensations coming from your senses, memories coming up to your mind arising emotion? logical structures that come from memory? Are all these learned phenomena?
Logical structures that are suddenly created-eureka kind of experience, are they a result of learning? Act of calculation in your head is it in words? Yes and no. If you make calculation on paper? in the moment of calculation do you understand the essence of the number, its relative value or you just remember the multiplication table ?
The thoughts come with the expressed word. expressed vocally, in written form, or just in heart. Can be a thought without words? Meditation is a technique to stop not the thoughts but flow of words.
Can you know pain, without to call it pain? Can you know beauty, disgust, sorrow, fear, love, tenderness, green, red, nice, fast, hard, noisy, quite, noisy, all words of description, without to call it so? Can you know tree, grass, land sky, words of material, without words? Yes the answer is yes the same it will be with an act, if you are familiar with the act.
Can you know complete, partial, comprehensive, sequential, words of concept without knowing the words? The answer will be NO.
If no free will exists then do we exist? All this feeling of I is based on the concept of i want this and that.
You can look on the world from outside in or from inside out. From inside out it is rather observing than feeling, while from outside in it is rather feeling than observing.
What do we know about the One who is in charge of the mental I? Not too much.
The problem of body and mind is one of the major questions the human intellect tries to cope with since the down of the humanity, either in religions or in philosophical terms. So what can be added to this subject after more than two millennium of intellectual activity with the subject? Few decades ago with the development of brain research, computer sciences, quantum physics and understanding the material behavior on the smallest sub-sub-atomic scale of individual electrons, the hard sciences joined the philosophers and started to ask the question, what is consciousness, what is this “I”, who is always with me, what is mind etc. To start to answer this question we have to try to go to the very start, and probably begin with a provocative “well chewed problem; “To most of the people it seems obvious what human body is, but they have no clue what this soul or what we call consciousness means”. Yet if you think about a question, how do you know about what you know, how do you know at all about anything in the world around you and about yourself, you will come to the conclusion that it begins with receiving through your senses data in form of sight (eye), voice (ear), smell (smell), taste (tongue ), touch (whole your body, when parts are more sensitive to your touch like tongue, hand, fingers, and parts are less sensitive your back). This data the senses transfer to your brain, and there it creates a complete meaningful picture, noise, feeling, etc. All this may be a deception. Maybe it represents a hallucination or phantom reception of the senses (phantom limb) or maybe it can be a deception because we all know when you see on a table a glass of water, that looks to you as glass of water, when what actually you have on the table is certain crystal form of silicon atoms containing H2O molecules.
If you would be a blind human whose sight miraculously healed or a new born baby just borne with perfect eyes, still you couldn’t comprehend what I see. But if you, or any living creature, who is thirsty, you and every creature would know perfectly well, that the water is there to eliminate the thirst. So what every living creature sees is not the molecules in the micro scale and not the bowl filled with water on the human scale, but the mental concept of water in a bowl perfectly fine to help you with the thirst. This idea of water is an idea not learned, but inherited in the genetic code. Viz. the example of new born turtle in the lonely island who immediately after is born runs with all his strength towards the sea. Yet when first time in my life i went to an Eastern restaurant I wondered what taste this water like sup with all these lives in it will have. Then my colleague washed his fingers in the bowl and my perception of the reality, what is in the bowl changed. I was cultured. It means some mental concepts are cultural.
So what we have here? In the turtle case the water is obviously an inherited idea about the function of the water. As to the new born baby, he was born with an inherited idea of water too, but later he will acquire the capacity to learn different function of the water, like its composition, etc. Exactly like me in an eastern restaurant, when i had to learn the new function of water in the bowl.
The conclusion is, our perceptions, even if seems to be perfectly coherent with the reality, it represents a partial reality, that can change according to the situation and can’t be seen as an absolute objective reality.
So if we don’t see the objective reality what exactly do we see? We see a comprehensive complex perception of a familiar object that fits into a preconceived idea of the object with all its attributes, character and functionality. These preconceived ideas, stored in our memory we can arrange in a way, that we can at need find and use in a new concept whenever it is needed. This stored memory, always present in your mind, ready to pump up when needed, to create a meaningful thought, feeling, new understanding etc. is the conscious mind.
The conscious mind is a huge reservoir of words, symbols impressions feelings, shapes, or any other information or concept we as humans, continuously absorb as pieces of information when interacting with the world external to our consciousness. These pieces of information are stored physically probably in very disordered way, yet they can be reached easily. It appears this information preexist in certain meaningful form before it is expressed.
The big question is; can we prove pre-existence of meaningful thought before it’s expressed and the second question is, in what mental form is this information stored. Is it in form of emotion, picture, smell, voice, etc?
To my understanding the stored memory is not in form of concrete words interconnected, but rather as a general idea, that has not been translated yet to verbal expression. So what form this general idea has? Does it have a form at all? Or is it kind of blurry feeling, that takes shape at the moment when the idea and words are expressed?
I have personally a problem to recite a poem, I can’t memorize poems at all, even not those that I wrote myself. But still I do have in my memory one small German proverb, my mother thought me at my young age. “When this wort when nicht were, jeden armen were millioner”. (If this word if were not, every poor were millioner). I have to admit my German is very poor, since haven’t spoken this language for decades. Still when I try to express this sentence, it pops out as words. Now if I try an other proverb “Morgen morgen nur nicht heute sagen alle faule leute” (Tomorrow, tomorrow, just not today, that’s what all the lazy people say.) It is enough for me to express in my mind the word Morgen, even without to make out of it a vocal expression, and the rest of the sentence just pops to my mind. In this case the idea behind the sentence comes out after a few seconds of act of cognition. I have to think what is exactly the meaning of this sentence. “Ah that?”. Since German is far from being my strongest language, i use on daily basis four other languages very different from German, it could explain my need to make a process of cognition after expressing the sentence and before perceiving its meaning. Now i have to ask what about single lingual person? Does he perceives the meaning of the words, sentences ideas in the same way as multilingual person? Does his mind have same properties as a multilingual? If he recites a poem out of memory, does he perceives its meaning at the moment of the recitation? A singer when singing a song, does he perceive its meaning, or rather he just feels the meaning or even not that? I believe, definitely there can be technique of reciting poem without to be attentive to its meaning at all. Probably a singer a piano player, an actor does do sometime its performance out of his subconscious mind.
Now when I decide to write the next sentence, which I hope will be meaningful, before writing it down, do i have to think about the next word I am going to use, or maybe it is pre-deposited in my mind before expressed. But do I have in my conscious mind the sentence I am going to write? Definitely not. So what do I have? A general concept, meaning a complete comprehensive idea. No words no sentences. Just a general idea. It has no form of words, letters sentences. Does it have a shape at all? Or it is rather a certain form of feeling, intuition, etc.
So who writes the words sentences that come up to a meaningful structure, when I don’t know what will be the next sentence or words I am going to write? From where it comes? How ideas get their shape, out of sentences. Are those phenomenon coming from the territories we call feelings? But we, self conscious humans with capacity of critical thinking know perfectly well, feelings, good or constructive ( love ) or bad or destructive ( hate) are out of the reach of our will. So can we speak about conscious mind with capacity to compile free will?
Your physical brains controls your body most of the time unconsciously. The only aspect of conscious control of your body is when you use your hands, mouth, eyes, and legs, or in other word all your instruments of senses. The rest of your body is acting autonomously. But if most of the times your thoughts and your material body are autonomous from your will , your will has only very little to do with your behavior. Then if not the will of the “I” is the manager or the big boss, who is the boss? Is there any? At the end someone has to control our behavior, otherwise it would be just too chaotic or what we call mentally disordered. And if in normal state of our mind we do act out of order, or in other words we are under control, then who is in control? Who is controlling the boss
Hate is strongly related to the feelings like fear, or desire for. And these are not rational unconscious processes. To try to explain this feelings on rational terms, like territorial fight, would need a big rationale decision maker, the ultimate Will of the I. Is there any? We know very well, that our subconscious mind activity governs our metabolism. The brain has direct connection almost to every cell in our body. Otherwise we could not feel pain, whenever foreign material penetrates or body. Conclusion, most of the cognitive activity of our brains is autonomous to the will of the I. Then who is in control of our mind if not us? Is it something some people like to call God?
The ideas, sentences, words can be predefined before expressed, or can pop out from nowhere. This pop out of ideas phenomena i like to call EUREKA. The idea can pop out from nowhere, can be also result of long process of collected and converted data, either as separate units of information, in form of words, pictures, smells, voices, touches, that are joined together to a meaningful sequences of experience, that later pup out as sentences, feelings, ideas. These sequences when joined together create complete systems of ideas, understandings and believes. The ideas as they develop become ideologies, and believes become faith. On the other hand understandings become new forms of perceiving the material reality in the world.
This process started with collecting words, impressions, feeling, etc. then hierarchically joined to more and more complex ideas, until synthesized to ideas that are in coherence to the belief system the individual adopted at certain stage of his intellectual development. Consequently this individual will filter the ideas contradictory to his faith. So is created a complete comprehensive system of ideology, faith, or understanding.
At the substance, ideologies, faith and understandings, (in other words knowledge) are based on axiomatic sentences, and the following structure of the knowledge can exist only if these axioms are commonly believed. And here we come to the differences between the two different forms of knowledge, the one, that makes the axioms to a dogma and these are the ideologies and faith against the other form of knowledge the understanding. Those who are creating knowledge out of understanding, are always ready to accept a process of verification of the basic axioms, and when the findings and evidence of the verification contradicts the previous understanding, they are ready to change it to a new axiom and new understanding. As contrary to them, those who generate knowledge based on faith in a dogmatic axioms, be it faith in extra-anthropic power, like myths, spiritual connections, mystical experiences, will always oppose data in form of words sentences or ideas that evidently contradict the axioms that lay in the foundation of their belief.
We may think that the beliefs are all based on irrationality, but it is far from the truth. Most of the modern ideologies and conspiracy theories are rational systems of thoughts based on dogmatic axiom foundations, out of which they derived rationally the conclusions. These theories always base their claim on some partial information, perceived its meaning in a very deformed way and using it out of context.
The major difference between those who follow the knowledge system called religion and knowledge system of modern ideologies is that the religion has in its substance a belief in an extra-anthropic, extra-terrestrial power, to whom they voluntarily submit their will. The religion in its core accepts this extra human reality power as supreme and in control of all or most of the human existence. This makes the religious process a process of submission, in a very fatalistic way. As contrary to it, the modern rational ideologies are based on illusion of human capacity for full control of human destiny, particular events and reality. The human need of controlling the events, be it daily events or destiny is universal and comes out of the need to overcome the fear, that the homo sapience lived with from the very beginning of his existence, since he was completely at the mercy of the nature. The illusion of control is connected to human need for perfect order, where everything has its exact place, and familiar character, feature, etc.
The conclusion, while the religion is looking for submitting the control of the human destiny to ex-human power, the modern rational ideologies look for human control of the destiny. This modern ideological approach of putting the human into the center of the control system, has in it core the arrogance, that was applied in political systems of modern era. The historical consequences of this arrogance had catastrophic historic consequences in the case of the two major dogmatic modern ideologies the Communism and Fascism.
Those who can perceive the reality only as material one, I have to ask, “do you feel you fully control your thoughts? “. Most probably if you think sincerely about it, you will have to admit that the answer will be not. Most of the time not only you don’t have control upon your thoughts, but you are not conscious of them. The words you are saying are not words that exist in your mind before they are expressed. They come to the mind as if by themselves and find their place in the general context of the speech. With written words it is very similar. Only from practical point of view, you can correct the written form by reading and rereading it and put the right wording into the context, while the spoken word can’t be corrected. The context is the only thing that has pre-existence, before it is expressed. Not the exact wording. Then where is this concept stored? In your brain, in your memory? Is it exactly and perfectly formulated? In what form is it stored?
The thoughts are autonomous from the will and the body. The thoughts before expressed are in form of preconceptions. When expressed they charge to words explaining the concept. Some people have difficulty to translate concepts to words even if fully understand the concept. These are the worst teachers, with no capacity to explain the concept even if they can very successfully implement it while in act. When a sentence is said, it is not pre formulated before said. So it doesn’t exist in the consciousness before expressed, it usually also disappears after it is formulated, unless special effort is taken, like writing down the idea, recording it. Some people may have talent to memorize words and sentences, many times they use special techniques to do so, like rimes, music, tempo, etc.
There is a difference between memorizing words and memorizing concepts. Computer can perfectly memorize world, but not at all concept. To memorize concept, human has to compile it through the process of understanding. Understanding is tool for memorizing concepts.
What’s the difference between understanding and memorizing words? Understanding process of putting words or pieces of information in whole concept, or connecting any other form of information to its network of pieces of information that together they create a concept. The concept can be preexisting in the consciousness or be created by gradual processing, and sometime in one moment of comprehending the whole as one. This is the case of Eureka that in some well know cases brought big leaps in human knowledge. But the Eureka phenomena is not such a rarity as it may appear. Every student experiences from while to while such experience, that for him is an Eureka, even if not for the humanity.
Eureka is not just prerogative of scientists, composers, painters and all other kinds of creative people. Their eureka or what is commonly recognized as the capacity to create completely new concepts, that have evidently strong connection to the reality external to them. But exists Eureka that is common to every self conscious human being and this is the consciousness. Consciousness is the ever present eureka that propels continually the mind and makes us conscious about our surrounding and ourselves. It is the self-ignited continues process of conceptualization. This what makes the humanity different from the rest of the animal kingdom. (There are some who claim certain animals do have capacity of conceptualization. Probably they are right, but it will be a limited forms of conceptualization.)
To be conscious of yourself means understanding the I, as an interconnected being networked with the surroundings. The surroundings is observed by the I from inside out but almost never from out to in, (except if meditating). This is why usually the human is more aware of the world out of the mind, than the in.
Cognition is conceptualization, while the senses act mechanically. The computer science successfully coped the capacity of the human to gather information, but it has no tool for self creating cognition. The algorithm is a tool of cognition implanted by human into the computer. Yet the algorithm even if will have capacity for creating algorithm, will it have the will to do it? Can we think about possibility that one day the computer wakes up with a cry EUREKA.
Response to the essay:
where is writen, “….. Napoleon was a criminal against humanity ought to be taught.
To my opinion Napoleon was much more than that. First he was child of the French revolution, and as such he was penetrated by the ideas of the Revolution. French revolution was not only about politics of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and was more than Robespierre, Marat, Fouche and other murderers, it was also about letting new scientific ideas to enter the major stage of the history. Why would Napoleon invade Egypt, if not because of his intellectual interest in antics. The result of his invasion was establishing Egyptology, a whole new science and of course the Rosetta Stone. Also his attitude towards statehood management and military was rational and modern for his time, full of new initiations, courage, charisma and military skill. He was in a way unlucky that the steam power was developed ausgerechnet in Great Britain and not in France. If opposite, most probably he would recognize the great potential of this media and utilize it.
If to characterize Napoleon, he was in first place a military adventurer, who was ready always to risk all, to try to achieve a victory. His victory in Austerlitz has lot to do with his extraordinary skill to have a right perspective of the battle field, but also with luck and incompetence of the old style military leadership.
He changed for ever how wars are fought, what it means military power and how a state should be governed. After Napoleon the statehood couldn’t remain to be a private estate of few aristocrats, who for generations inherited their Plutocratic position, without any contribution to the society. He brought ideology of nationalism, (for good and for bad), as an idea that can recruit people under one flag and as a force to be reckon with. Also it is important to mention that Naploen is after all man of his time, and of eighteen, beginning of nineteen century, and couldn’t resists the temptation of entering the human history on the waves of fairytales.
Europe and consequently the world would be very different without Napoleon. What Napoleon did not know, is that political power corrupts, and absolute political power absolutely corrupts. (or maybe he knew, but felt to be above it).
Napoleons fall started with his coronation by the pope, which was in a way act of his attachment to the history. He in a way saw himself as the modern Charlemagne. Ironically his downfall started with the great victory in Austerlitz. There he started to see himself as a being destined to govern the world. Or maybe it was earlier? Maybe with his coronation? Hard to say. Anyway he had the chance to do it right path but he has chosen the wrong one.
Of course he was as inhumanly criminal as anybody else in his position at that time. And after Austerlitz he thought that nothing can stop him. This is when he lost his right tactical but also strategic vision and made many unfortunate mistakes. His focusing in trying to decimate GB as competing superpower, his invasion to Spain, and finally of course his invasion to Russia were huge mistakes and devastating. Not to speak about selling Luisiana to Jefferson for nuts, and enabling him to fix the slavery as a wide spread economic tool in the southern states of US.
You can say, it is easy to criticize him now from the perspective of 200 years. But i think, if he would be more attentive to the advise from other people, let them freely speak out, like Talleyrand, some of his main strategic mistakes wouldn’t have to happen.
His continuous urge to be involved in new wars, could have been satisfied with a different strategy. For example, if he could focus his efforts in Balkans and freeing the Greeks, the Bulgarians and Serbs from the Ottoman rule. These nation would adore him for it. He could weaken the Ottoman empire, and threaten this way the British, if he had such a big urge to do it. He could even occupy the eastern and northern parts of modern Turkey, (including Constantinople- Byzantine- Istambul), at the time with great Christian Greek and Armenian population. This would probably change the curse of history for better. This could unite Europe. Balkans was at the time, very much as in these days too, sphere of Russian interest. The Russians saw themselves as patrons of the Eastern Christians in their essence. Maybe they would even agree to strake a deal with the Russians to let Poland to be part of Bonapartic European Union, and not part of the Russian Eastern-Byzantine kingdom. Of course all this is only speculation about alternative history. What if. (Wenn das Wörtchen wenn nicht wär wär mein Vater Millionär). Yes, i was swept away with my fantasy. Napoleon could have done the world to a better place, but instead he made it to a worst place. Hitler, Stalin and even the rise of militaristic Islam are all results of his strategic mistakes.
This is the very best definition for culture, is published in
even if to my opinion insufficien:
Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts.
Human culture in wider definition is shared pattern of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs and understanding that are learned by socialization. Thus, it can be seen as the growth of a group identity fostered by social patterns unique to the group.
Other definition of culture i found in https://www.tamu.edu/faculty/choudhury/culture.html
• Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.
• Culture is the systems of knowledge shared by a relatively large group of people.
• Culture is communication, communication is culture.
• Culture in its broadest sense is cultivated behavior; that is the totality of a person’s learned, accumulated experience which is socially transmitted, or more briefly, behavior through social learning.
• A culture is a way of life of a group of people–the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next.
• Culture is symbolic communication. Some of its symbols include a group’s skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, and motives. The meanings of the symbols are learned and deliberately perpetuated in a society through its institutions.
• Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other hand, as conditioning influences upon further action.
• Culture is the sum of total of the learned behavior of a group of people that are generally considered to be the tradition of that people and are transmitted from generation to generation.
• Culture is a collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another.
All this definitions relate culture only to humans. Yet well known phenomena is existent culture in animal kingdom, especially among primates or other intellectually higher skilled animals.
As to response to the following essay the next discussion occured:
April 13, 2015 at 6:22 pm | Reply
To my opinion there should be made differentiation between cultural phenomena that is not transformable to other group, because it has no universal tools of communication, and cultural phenomena that can out reach to other social groups by universal communication means.
The first type of culture distributes itself only within the unique social group, and propagates by missionary persuasion, sometimes peacefully, but many times using force on individuals or social groups to join the group. The basic atom of this culture is usually faith. Such a culture, if it has higher propagation rate, tends to annihilate other cultures, and usually replaces them. It is usually very intolerant to other cultures.
The second type of cultural phenomena is rather supplementary cultural phenomena, that can live side by side of any cultural phenomena. It propagates by its own attractiveness, like junk food culture, clothing, generally pop culture. Usually this kind of cultural phenomena is harshly opposed by the first type of cultural phenomena, because it sees is as penetrative to its purified cultural values. (The Communistic opposition to jeans or western pop music )
As to the money, it is a very unique and interesting cultural phenomena. It is on one side voluntarily adopted cultural value, but still it has the power to enforce itself upon the members of any cultural membership. Money has universal power of penetrating into any cultural type of social grouping.
• Patrice Ayme Says:
April 14, 2015 at 1:06 am | Reply
One aim of the Royal Society paper was to explain that “Memetics” had no standing. For reasons I explained in the past.
So “Faith” can’t be a meme. Anyway, I don’t like “faith”. We all have faith to function.
Islam, Christianity, are superstitions. Not a problem with the latter; it’s just a mask on Western Europe. Islam, though, claims to be everything. That’s a problem for the societies thus affected.
• brodix Says:
April 14, 2015 at 2:47 am | Reply
There is top down and bottom up. Top down is naturally dictatorial and only seems not to be when it is providing purpose, direction and sustenance to the people, that the majority of them don’t feel oppressed by it.
Meanwhile bottom up are those influences which garner support from large numbers of people naturally, though they then tend to become commercial items and strategies.
Money is a collective promise and everyone likes to think everyone will support them. The problem is that it tends to displace more informal relations between people and then can be used to take value out of those relations. Think of it as the corner store, versus Walmart. Walmart might be cheaper and more efficient, but the larger strategy is to drain more value out than it puts back in, while the corner store tends to help keep more of the value in the community. Money is a communal contract and all communities will have some form. Colonialism functioned by moving in and replacing local currencies with the colonizers money. Remember the slogan that started the American Revolution; No taxation without representation. Of course we were an implanted culture, but in Africa, and the far east, native cultures were controlled by controlling their medium of exchange.
Islam is the most doctrinaire monotheism and it shows. Judaism is much more tribal and Christianity has strong pagan elements, most notably represented by the trinity and how it was used to mirror original belief systems, as it spread. Islam is much more focused on the singular nature of the theory of God, so there is little motivation to see two sides, or shades of grey, etc.
They even blocked my attempt at a comment in this latest post, about walking;
“I am fairly lucky in this regard. Having spent my life in the horse and farm side of the horse racing industry, when I’m not out walking or working around the farm, I’m riding horses around it.
It is, as my sister likes to say, a good life, if you don’t tire. When I do tire, I’m more inclined to read, then socialize with other horse people, given I’m not much good at small talk and have an aversion to alcohol.
With the internet, now I even get to opinionate on what I read.
Walking is not just about balance, but motion as well. Plants are extremely balanced, but as they don’t move, have no need for a central nervous system to generate ever more complex feedback from the different environments that are encountered by moving.
The problem of motion is that it generates reaction from the context and the more motion, the more reaction. Which is of course, another expression of balance! So, to a very real extent, this manifestation of thought we are all expressing, arises from instabilities. Perfect stability is a flatline.
The question then is as to how we act in and react to our environment, both to propel it in presumably positive directions, as well as to counterbalance the more destructive actions of our fellow beings.
Which might start to involve opinions not focused on the topic at hand, so I won’t go there.
Though it is safe to say, reading the news of late, things appear to be getting more and more out of balance on a global scale and the resulting instability will both remove and generate options we can only guess at.”
I’m suspecting I probably won’t be around there much more.
o EugenR Says:
April 14, 2015 at 6:53 am | Reply
Dear Brodix. There are many important issues in your response. So let me react one by one.
Top – bottom management, is one way to look on culture. If to speak about monotheistic religions as cultural phenomena, to my understanding only the Catholic Church is top bottom managed. This is why it had historically made so many fathalic mistakes like inquisition, corrupted papacy, etc. The other monotheistic religions are less bottom down, that’s why probably frome personal faith point of view are more successful in the modern era of individualism. Still the Catholic church has many effective marketing tools. (Michelangelo, Raphael, st Peter square, you name the rest ). But as any marketing tool, it is just surface, without truth beneath.
Money, is the new universal God to believe in. At 2007 this God almost failed. But the cardinals of the money reacted very swiftly and efficiently, and saved the idol. Yet this idol as any other is false. The todays economic system, I use to call “Capital-Market system “, necessarily has to be doomed, otherwise the humanity with all its good and bad culture will vanish. I am writing now a whole book about it, but here I will put just a small hints about it. The need of accumulated money to make more money, what is called in economic jargon yield and interest, forces to impose an economic policy of unrestrained and non selective economic growth, that has to bring eventually to a total collapse of humanity, you hinted also about in your response.
Any religions, including the monotheistics have in their core a story you have to believe in. The stories from modern perspective are not very impressive, ( Shakespeare impresses me more ), scientifically are many times idiotic, even if occasionally right, ( like correctly describing some long forgotten historical events). Yet many people have a need to belong and believe in some force above them. Until this mental phenomena will not be explained and cured, you will have religious belief systems around, with all its devastating effect we see around us.
As to small talk we are on the same boat.
Central nervous system, as it appears is far from centrally managed. In contrary, the brain apears to be a perfectly harmonised collaboration system. I wish human societies could addopt some of its systems. Many historical catastrophes could have been prevented. But as it seems human societies have difficulty to act harmoniously if there is no central power above them. Patrice likes to mention in this issue the Swiss political system as example that could work. I think, unless most of the people will have deep understanding of the realities, as contrary to the understanding the world of marketing lies as the reality, no social harmony can be established.
I think that with lots of things, there is feedback between complex environments and basic processes feeding through them. When you have hundreds of millions of people interrelating, it’s as much physics, as politics. I think that since we exist in this physical environment and the primary dynamic describing it is thermodynamics, that if we consider human activity in such terms, it might explain a lot. The more notable features in thermodynamics are the vortices. Think about those Hadjis swirling around that rock in Mecca and pulling a quarter of the world around with them. Think of Switzerland as the eye of the storm that is Europe.
Then there are lots of other behaviors. Waves. Bubbles. Heat and cold. Storm fronts.
Then you get into how thermodynamics functions geologically and there are earthquakes, volcanos, mountain ranges, plains.
Then think of how people move around, both pulled and pushed by forces larger than they. Heat building up. Energies building and dissipating. Fronts and storms.
The poles of attraction and repulsion of hope and fear.
Sometimes even nice days, where everything is calm and stable.
We go through those periodic bouts of pushing each other around and after the energy dissipates, settle into boundaries and customs. Then the pressures start building again and the powers that be direct them as best as possible, eventually drawing the circles ever tighter and more and more are left outside. Then that pressure builds, breaking down more walls and soon a big storm comes along again.
- EugenR Says:
April 15, 2015 at 9:27 am | Reply Dear Brodix, thanks for the poetry of physics and social behavior you wrote as a response. I really enjoyed it. What i lack in your metaphoric poetry is intentionality of the social phenomena and the emerging properties of physical ones.
The hadji is not just quarter of world population circling a black stone, it is also a social movement with a flag representing faith, with intentionality to enforce this faith on the other three quarters of the world population.
The second law of thermodynamics means that in every dynamic process you have to pay more than you can gain out of the process. The emerging property of this law is that the accessible world resources are limited, and these limitation will be imposed on us either gradually or in one big lash.
To my opinion the “Arab spring”, is an emerging phenomena out of the social networking. These emerging events are unpredictable, since they are by definition not part of the system itself that ignited these emerging states, but jump out of nowhere due to the system. Of course the best example of emerging states is consciousness, but also unexpected social-political events can be seen as unpredictable emerging states coming out of social systems, created with entirely different intention.
Israel started its existence in 1948 with Jewish population of about 700,000. Today’s population of Israel is about 8 million. This unprecedented increase in population was mainly due to Jewish emigrants. The Jewish immigration was continuous since establishment of Israel, but also characterized in several big waves, that substantially changed the demographics of Israel. The main waves were immediately after the establishment of the state, when hundreds of thousand Jewish survivors of concentration camps entered the new state. This wave was immediately followed by Jews from Arab and Muslim countries, mainly Morocco, Iraq, Yemen and Iran. By the way, the number of Jewish emigrants from the Muslim countries exceeded the number of Palestinian refugees estimated at about 700,000 expelled from Israel in 1948, .
This emigration wave ended in early sixties, bringing Israeli population to about 2 million, out of which about half originated from the Muslim countries. Almost all these emigrants came to Israel as refugees, without personal capital, bringing with them only their cultural heritage, that even if based on long Jewish tradition, was very diversified. A new wave of rather lower emigration wave started again in the early seventies, but mainly due to natural population growth the Israeli population at eve of Soviet Union collapse was about 3,7 million people. The new and probably the last big emigration wave came to Israel with the collapse of USSR and increased Israeli population by 20%.
In-spite of all these above mentioned circumstances, Israel not only successfully absorbed the Jewish emigrants, integrated them socially and economically, but created a relatively well functioning modern democratic state, comparable to any European country. At 2013 the Israeli GDP per capita was above that of France and just under that of GB and Japan. This was achieved without the impact of the newly found gas resources, expecting to add few additional percents to the GDP per capita. This development is comparable only to some Asian Tigers like Taiwan, South Korea etc. It has to be remembered that Israel since its creation had to fight at least 5 major and several minor wars against the neighboring Arab countries.
What i see not less impressive, is that Israel also created an unique cultural and intellectual hub, where many unique high quality things are happening and not only in the high-tech sector. For example less known is the Israeli film production, which in the last years are almost annually represented on the world most important international documentary and feature film festivals and are nominated for first prices.
Yet all these achievements cannot cover the basic fundamental problems which continuously exposes Israel to threat of extinction. The well known is the external threat, that comes from the Arab and Muslim countries, mainly from the Israeli neighborhood (if Iran and Iraq is considered neighbor). The Arab world never excepted Israel as a legitimate entity in the middle east and continued its revanchist policy toward it. If in the near past Israel had to cope with countries of large population and resources, since the Arab revolution it has to cope with even larger uncertainties with the collapse of countries as Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. I don’t mean to go into details in this article about the subject of the Arab world and the Arab Israeli conflict, that is well documented in other places. All i want to add is that the Arab world supported with the lefty European intellectuals, never excepted legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state. Until this problem of legitimacy is not solved there is no solution for the Israeli-Arab conflict. I would add, that if at the first years of Israeli existence, majority of Israeli, who were immigrants and had wider world perspective as to the Jewish state, today, most of the Israeli population is Israeli born and brought up there, and sees itself belonging to the region on the same level as anybody else. Their perception of being and living in Israel is not mixed with confusion. They belong to Israel, this is their home, with their culture and language and anybody who wants to take this from them, they will fight until the last drop of their blood. No one can moralize them that because they are militarily much stronger than their enemies, they have no right to defend themselves with all their military might.
The less known facts about Israel are their social and political structure, that may cause problems on the long run. Out of population of 8 million about 6 millions are Jews, 1.5 Arabs and the rest others. But the 6 million Jews are also divided to subgroups, mainly according to their religious believes. About 50-60% of the Jewish population are secular, like in any other country, about 25% are religious in orthodox way, and the rest have certain positive traditional inclination to religion. The religious groups are subdivided to three communities, the Ashkenazi (European origin) religious orthodox community (about 5 % of the population), the Sephardic (mostly Arab country originated) orthodox community (about 10% of the population) and the modern orthodox community (also about 10% of the population), who are mostly identified with the settlers on the occupied west bank. The remaining 75% of the population is divided between population with conservative-traditional tendencies and the population with liberal tendencies. Politically because the conservatives, whose representative is Mr. Nathaniahu, are closer to the religious parties, he is the one who has more chances to create government, and the liberal fraction with almost 50% of political representation stay mostly in the opposition. It may look perfect to Mr. Nathaniyahu, but he has a problem. Because the Israeli intellectual and economic elites, to whom he naturally and socially belongs, due his family roots (His father was an important historian) are opposing him, his political support originates mainly from the less educated and the more religious parts of the society. So he has to feel very isolated in his political existence.
This social fragmentation to different social groups is not only political but also social. There is almost no interaction between the different religious social groups i mentioned and the secular Jewish population, and even less social interaction between the Jewish and Arab population. They have separated education systems, with different curriculum, live in separated enclaves, and even not always share the same working places. Even if many Israeli Arabs are highly educated, the intermarriages are very rare, practically nonexistent.
As to economic integration the Ashkenazi and Sephardic orthodox population and the Arab population, who are together about 35% of the population, are not fully integrated into the economic activities and also don’t take part in the military service, so important to the Israeli identity. The birth rate of this social group is much higher than the other social groups, so their political influence growth with the years. As the result of it, the secular, mainly liberal population feels its way of life is threatened in the future. This of course creates increasing social tension.
As to your question, to where all this is heading, i would have to say hard to predict. In one hand the today’s events do not give too much reason for hope, and the trend within Israel and out of it is continuous strengthening of the religious irrational, non liberal forces. On the other hand it seems there are things happening within the religious communities as well. In the Islamic world the main stream Muslims start to understand that as contrary to the slogan, Islam is not the solution. As to Israel, with increased confidence in the ultra orthodox Jewish communities, they start to understand, that segregation from the main part of the Israeli society in materially poor life, and trying to make living by milking the Israeli social system by political means has its limits and can create a boomerang effect.
As to the future, there is an old saying the prophecy was given to the fools. So i don’t want to try it.
Answer to Patrice Aymes article
The major economic problem the humanity faces at the beginning of the 21 century, is the limited capacity of world resources to sustain the existing trend of world population growth together with increasing demand for ever growing consumerism, that is spreading gradually to most parts of the world. When speaking about limited resources, usually people tend to think about limited energy resources or other row materials. But the technological development trend showed us, that when such a problem occurred, the science and technology found its way to solve this problem within reasonable period of time. So when I speak about limited resources I mean the world itself, as a living organ, where interlocked ecological processes created a certain balance that enabled life on earth to evolve, until reaching todays point, when human consciousness and cognitive processes gave to humanity tools to thrive and farther develop toward higher level of consciousness. On the other hand the same development gave to humanity tools to destroy the delicate balance on earth that enabled all this to happen.
The other very important economic problem is the uneven distribution of the wealth between different regions and cultures. The uneven distribution of the wealth is not only a problem of participation in the welfare the modern states are capable to create, but also diversion of the population growth from the developed rich world, with developed education systems, to poor countries, with very limited education system, or education system that opposes the modern values, of openness to diversity in cultural, ideological, and belief values. Your article about Pickett’s book is focused on the uneven distribution of the wealth in the modern developed world. I would say this is a local problem and less a global one, but still an important one, since we all live in this local region 🙂. The unequal income distribution of the wealth is a direct result of capitalistic system, that tends by its nature to prefers the yield income upon the income out of work. This phenomena of “yield economy”, gets positive impulses when there are no events to interrupt it, like, war, revolution, dramatic change of leading elites, etc. Without these only public political intervention that interrupts the natural flow of the capitalistic system, like progressive taxation, social security, well focused public spending can make some difference in the natural trend towards growing uneven distribution of the wealth.
I have difficulty to believe, that any major change can be done within the existing economic system, so much focused on ever growing need to increases the yield on capital. To me seems almost inevitable that we are heading towards a new economics paradigm change, its nature is unpredictable. The phenomena of global unrestrained money printing, called “Quantitative Easing”, has to have at the end of day some major consequences on the global economy. No one, (not even Krugman) knows what consequences will have this economic policy to the world monetary system. I don’t want to be the new Roubini, (the doom day economist), but see my statement above as a prediction to some kind of catastrophic event in the future.
Back to the issue of yield driven economy, this system has to be changed and better in some organized way than as result of some catastrophic event, like world war, revolution, world ecologic collapse etc. I personally focus most my spare time to come out with some idea of an economic-political system, not based on yield and not on centrally managed economy, that potentially could cope with these major problems.
January 31, 2015
Answer t o PatriceAyme
The Greek economic problem is more a moral problem than an economic problem. The moral question is what responsibilities has an individual to take regarding the decisions of leading elites of community they belong to. Community that gives them identity to identify with, gives them protection and certain level of welfare and care. Then the other moral-political question is, what responsibilities shout carry the leading elites, who implemented, short sighted policy of greed, personal enrichment and deception and if they are punishable for their crimes.
Answer to the following article;
1. The term Antisemitism is a European term, naming the European anti Jewish sentiments and people. As you claimed the Arabs are semitic nation also. Sometimes i am surprised, how close are the features of some European Jews to those of Arabs, even after 2000 years of separation. So to claim that Arabs can’t be antisemitic is playing with semantics and not with the substance. The substance is that generally speaking the Arabs did adopt since the creation of Israel deep rooted anti Jewish racist ideology. The reason is theological as well psychological.
a. The Arab Theological-Nationalistic reason is, their loss of national confidence, after hundred millions strong Arab nations couldn’t militarily overcome a small nation of less than one million at 1947.
b. Other problem is, that Islam has no tools how to cope theologically with situation when certain Muslim land and nation,(Dar al Islam) losses its ground to a non Muslim nation and becomes a non Muslim land. According to their believe they are in continues state of war against such a country (Dar al Harb).
c. The psychological problem of most of the Muslim world, is their difficulty to adopt modern ethical, social, and epistemological ideas, that are the basis and condition of progress to the modernity. Just to mention in headings some of these ideas,
-ethnic, racist, gender, religious, cultural pluralism,
-free and critical approach to ideas,
-reduction of the role of political authority to social and economic responsibilities without right to interfere in issues of belief, ideas, ideologies, etc.
-Adopting modern family structure, where woman have the right to education and productive life according to their choice. Where there is space for family planning.
Even if the success of the countries adopting these modern, post WWII post Communism world are attractive to most of the Muslims, and they like the leisure-pleasure of this world, they still oppose the ideas behind it.
2. You wrote; Judaism gave us Christiano-Islamism. It’s supposed to be a great gift……..
Yes Judaism is the source of the Monotheistic faith in Christianity and Islam. More than that, Christianity started as a Jewish movement, believing the Messiah have finally come. For Jews it is not a unique phenomena that someone or some followers of someone proclaim that the the Messiah has come. The most famous self proclaimed Jewish Messiah was Sabbatai Zevi.
A more resent Messiah phenomena is Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died at 1994. Since his death and also during his life time many of his Jewish followers claimed that he is the Messiah.
I can understand your claim that the monotheistic religions in their essence are violent, war provoking, intolerant, initiating extremism etc. The history proves this is the case. Yet i would like to make one big differentiation between Judaism and the Christian-Islam political agenda. While the Christian-Islam faith has in its essence the need to implement their belief system on every human being all over the world, and therefore their political agenda is missionary and intolerant to other faiths, Judaism is self reflective and not widely opened to everybody. It doesn’t mean that Judaism is racist as some may claim out of ignorance. After all anybody can become a Jew, only the conditions to become a Jew are rather difficult. A new convert to Judaism has to prove to the Rabbis, that he means sincerely and seriously with Judaism, what means he must prove better knowledge about the Jewish belief system, than most of the ethnic secular Jews have.
The same idea just postponed 2.5 years
I really don’t get it what’s so difficult about to understand where Greece and Europe are heading too.
– Greece GDP is about 240 milliard Euro.
– Greece debts after write offs are about 400 milliard Euro, mostly external. The interest payments are about 20 milliard Euro 8% of the GDP.
– Greece annual current account deficit is about 30 milliard Euro or 13% of the GDP. There is no way to finance this deficit unless someone is willing to give them new loan.
– All what IMF &ECB &Others are ready to do is to change the old loans for new ones, with prolonged expiration date and reduced interest rate.
The general Greek public is surprised that non of all the write offs and restructuring of loans goes to their pockets, but in contrary it increases their economic misery.
The Greek people said what they want, they want to…
View original post 285 more words
To speak about colonialism as one historical event is maybe in fashion (mainly among the lefties) but it is far from truth. You have to differentiate among different kinds of colonisations. To start from the beginning, the Portuguese started their colonisation for commercial reasons, and remained so quite long until the Dutch overtook them. This kind of colonisation I would call the soft colonisators. The Spanish on the other hand from the very first moment exposed their cruel and arrogant intentions. As said first they come to plunder with sword and cross, but very soon understanding the richness they have in hand, they abandend the cross and stayed with plundering. The English and French started to colonise other countries as a by product of the war and competition between themselves and with the Spanish. Their intentions were not always criminal as in the case of the Spanish. The prove of British intentions as colonisators can be seen in America, where the British wanted to protect the American Indians, and created border between the settlers and the inland territories. This was one of the reasons why the American settlers started the war of independence ( not the tea tax as many may think).
A very different story was the Belgian story. Their colonisation adventure was all about plunder, rasism and deceit.
The very worst big scale colonial power was the Russian empire, and also the most prolonged one. It started with Ivan the terrible in 16 century and was partly dismantled 20 year ago. The Russian colonialism built on brute power, brought to all the lands they occupied all the ills of their own criminal regime.
Yet the very worst colonial power of all were the Muslim occupants, whose policy of enslavement of local non Muslim people was maybe even more cruel and devastating than that of the Belgians. They imposed not only their discrimination based rule on the occupied nations, but have done all in their power to annihilate the local culture and faith. As a result of it, you have almost no Christian population in any of the previously Christian lands of north Africa and very few leftovers in the Middle East, no Zarathustrians in Iran, no non-Muslim population in big parts of East Africa, no Budhists in India, no Hindu or Budhist population in Bangladesh and Pakistan, or even Indonesia etc. (As contrary to it in India thrive today 200 million Muslims among the non Muslims).
This islamization of huge teritories happened out of power off sword and not the power of submission or peaceful persuasion. Even today in many Muslim countries converting from Islam to other religion is a criminal offence punished by death.
It seems when militant group of people, indoctrinated by totalitarian religion or ideology appear in the scene of history, liberal political and juridical system has no tools to oppose it, unless it adopts less liberal policy. And here we have conflict between two wishes, the first-to sustain liberal society and the second-personal security.
At eve of second world war, France and partly England had the same problem with the Nazi Germany. At 1935 they could easily solve the German problem by deposing Hitler who openly and provocatively broke the Versailles agreement. They did not do it, even if they had clear indication about psychotic- aggressive intentions of Hitler, and his and his regimes murderous character and acts where openly exposed to all.
Other problem is that these totalitarian religions or ideologies have wide support among people who live in a collectives in crisis. This crisis may be economical, social, or cultural, which is accompanied by collective subjective feeling of injustice inflated by conspiracy theories. The Muslim population, living in the Muslim countries (except of few exceptions) definitely live in situation of political, economical, social but also cultural crisis of identity and self confidence. It seems their cultural crisis continues in some among them, even when they live in a non Muslim liberal-democratic country.
a. Political failure of Muslim state politicians is so colossal that there is no need to add any comment on it.
b. Social crisis is also phenomenal. Phenomena as slavery that still persists in some Muslim countries, the intentional intellectual and social subordination of women to man, practically non existent middle class, no tolerance and no respect towards the other, be it other gender, other religion, or other sect in the Muslim religion all this persist in the Muslim world.
c. Economically none of the Muslim countries could cope the economic success of the Asian Tigers. Even the oil exporting countries with huge income and accumulated wealth also failed to create functional economy based on skilled and educated labor (except of Malaysia and Indonesia). Most of their working population are foreign workers without any basic rights, just one step in a better state than slaves.
d. The last but not the least is the cultural failure. The Muslim fundamentalists, (according to the results in free elections following the Arab spring it seems the majority in the Arab world are religious fundamentalists), who are stuck in their religious cultural values, try to fight the modern, liberal values that are based on rationality, scientific research and critical thinking by force and violence, since they have no tools and no intellectual arguments to oppose the so called Western view of world. viz;
Islam, as all the monotheistic religions is based on dogmas. This by itself wouldn’t be devastating, if not the need of every faithful Muslim (and this applies historically also for Christians) to be a missionary and try to spread their faith among everyone, and if necessary by force. The Muslim missionary failed of course, since more Muslims, mainly the educated elites leave the faith than join it, (if they are not forced under threat of severe penalties to stick to their religion).
I wonder what will be the response of European politicians to the last events in France. I believe, if even now no action will be taken, and as always they will sweep the problem under the carpet, the more radical politicians will take the power, and we have experienced already what they are capable of.
בו אף לך יש מקום להיות נאהב,י
בו מוחלים על טעויות, ולא מאנישים על כשלונות.י
בקיצור מקום,.. בו מותר לך לנוח ולהתרווח.י
רגש זה כמו פרפר, אם לא תופסים אותו הוא עף רחוק, אם תופסים אותו הוא מת בכפות ידיך.י
ככל שעובר הזמן,י
שערותי הולכות ומלבינות,י
והפדחת הולכת ונפתחת אל קריאות מהשמיים, י
כך נשברים המנעולים הנועלים את ארגז הזיכרונות,י
לתוכה נדחסו ארועי העבר,י
בעודי חוטר ללא לאוט קדימה;י
פחד שלא הכרתי בו בעיתו,י
בהלה, שדחקתיה לפינה שכוחה,י
הזדמנות שלא ניצלתי,י
בושה שלא העזתי להודות בה,י
צער שביטלתי במחי יד של אדישות לכאורה,י
טעויות, שכו טרחתי לדחוסם לתחתית הארגז,י
שינא שלא הצלחתי להרפות ממנה,י
אהבה שלא ידעתי לממשה.י
As response to the above essay;
The tragedy of Europe was caused by its two major rivers, the Rhine and the Danube. Since The Roman times it divided the Continent. Charlemagne was the first to unite Europe across the Rhine. Unfortunately it was not long lasting. The next one who could try to do it was Napoleon. But he was to eager to fight wars. Unfortunately at the time did not exist bungee jumping, that could potentially pacify him.
The 20 century brought three unification experiences, the WWII of Hitler, then the Soviet- Stalin ( SS ) experiment, and the last one, the EU. Fortunately this one was the only successful one.
Let us hope that this time the unification will thrive in spite of all those short sighted, petty minded but loud speakers.
As response to the above links i wrote;
To turn a page in the discussion i would start a new point of view. History is more than a story. It should teach us what causes disasters and collapse of sometime very advanced and front running culture, as it happened to the Roman empire. So what caused the collapse of Rome. To my opinion definitely not Augustus, who in spite of his many mistakes, including his German policy, but even more of letting his evil wife Livia ( by the way expert on poisoning ) to kill his own children, to pave the road to the top for her son Tiberius. After all Augustus created the government system that worked pretty well for another 300 years. To my opinion the major cause of Roman collapse was the policy of staying behind the ” secure borders”, created by Hadrian, that gave to the Roman citizens feeling of false security behind the walls that divided between the civilization and barbarism. This feeling of security destroyed the commitment of the military and the politicians to defend their civilized world. They became very easy going as to the needs of defending their civilization. Adding to it the Christianity 200 years later, and their military weakness became so deep, that a few days of frozen Rhine were enough to let the half starved barbarians to invade the empire.
This phenomena I call the weakness of the well fed against the strength of the hungry.
Isn’t it very relevant right now, when hundreds of hungry Africans, Syrians and Somalians have drowned and still other thousands are waiting in the desert of Libya and Egypt to board the same shabby boats, that are probably destined ti sink?
As response to the above comment i wrote;
The truth is the political system Augustus created had a major default, the system of life long dictators elected by the previous dictators. Even if this system was better than the later feudal system, where the oldest living male automatically get the reign, while the Roman dictator could chose and adopt the next dictator. This system brought too many mistakes, when many chosen dictators like Tiberius, Caligula and Neron seemed at the time a perfect choice, but all of them, became crazy when taking the reign of power. The feeling secure behind the static border was only part of the problem. The other problem was a psychological change of abounding the unprecedented drive of the elite Romans for honor, towards reluctance and decadence. This brought reluctance about the military problem.
This change of abounding their unprecedented lust towards military and political honor happened because no Roman could even imagine that the Roman territory could be destroyed by some uncivilized, unorganized military force. It had to seem to them probably unimaginable that the Roman empire could be destroyed in a way that instead of Roman empire, some form of fractions of mini knight-ships will come, who will almost destroy the Roman civilization.
Rejecting the previous lust towards military and political honor was caused probably by adaptation of Christianity, but even more by living conditions of relative plenty, as contrary to the barbarians hunger.
The same phenomena can be observe in Europe of today. By the way later on , Christianity became very militant, and this created the new European civilization, while today, there is no faith in Christianity and also all the secular ideologies failed and disappeared, except of the ideology of empty consumerism.
The Scotish referendum for seperation from Great Britany, it has to be understand as a historical process. The recorded European history started with the Roman empire. (Before that it was rather a east Mediterranean Sea history).
The Roman Empire was followed by medieval feudal political structure. If characterized with one sentence it was the rule of Mafioso kind of lords, who looked at their statehood as their private property. At certain time, mainly for the purpose of war, these lords joined their forces and subjected themselves and their holdings to the King, who was the first among many. Then the system was stabilized, and the kings became rulers, who got their blessing from the local clergy and the pope.
Later on, the residents in these kingdoms developed culture with certain uniqueness, that made them different from the residents of the neighboring kingdoms. This kind of uniqueness became more and more relevant when it became the basis for national identification. The Napoleon wars started a process of national states, that on one hand created unification in case of Italy and Germany, and on other hand separation in case of Austria-Hungarian empire. But also much later to dismantling of USSR.
And finally, the political leaders following the WWII had no choice but to learn from the history, and were unwillingly wrapped into a new state formation, the European Union. By the way it was not initiated by some important politician but by Robert Schuman, a Frenchman with German name, (that probably played role too at the time), who came up with a very humble proposition, if we see what came out of it. Creation of European Coal and Steel Community, whose members would pool coal and steel production. I feel it is necessary to add here a link about him since no one speaks about him and all the credit for creation of EU went to more senior political figures like Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle. http://europa.eu/about-eu/eu-history/founding-fathers/pdf/robert_schuman_en.pdf.
Since the collapse of USSR, the trend in Europe is on one hand towards unification. It is a rather slow and tiresome process, due to some narrow minded local politicians, who oppose the necessary process of losing their grip on the decision process in their “Home Land”. Another political-social trend in Europe is a slow process of accepting the fact that political entity’s main and almost only task is to create and economically and socially prosperous environment to its citizens. No one things anymore that state is created to fight wars for some self nominated Political-Gods or for some idea created by some half witted self-nominated prophet.
And as to Scotland and Catalonia, they just don’t want to share their riches with those to whom they don’t feel they belong too. Its not surprising that the richest parts of Spain and also Great Brittany (Not so great and not so Britain) want the separation. Scots believe that as part of Euro Zone, with Euros in their pockets and their petrol will do economically better than with the GB and the pound. The Barcelonians just don’t like the Madridians, and why should they share their wealth with them and the Andalusians.
And anyway lately FC Barcelona is better than Real Madrid so who cares about Spain.
Time can exist only when there is motion. Motion is possible because of energy. Energy is motion. It can be a potential or an actual. If everything would freeze in the cosmos and there would be no energy-motion, the time would stop to exist.
Motion-energy needs space. If there is no space there is no time either. So the time-motion-energy-space are one.
Description of Entropy as a process from order to disorder is misleading. I would say Entropy is a process from diversity to unity. The point is that the word disorder in relation to Entropy is very confusing expression and reflects subjective feelings. Entropy is a nonreversible process heading from certain unique structure towards absolute uniformity. To make it more wordy, i would use a metafore of dissolving rivers carrying different solutions into the ocean where they create a uniform solution of the ocean waters. This process is irreversible without additional energy.
Greenhouse gas fear over meat eating http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29007758
Every economic policy tries to cope with three major economic problems, stability of prices, economic growth which is needed if the policy is to achieve full employment due to continuous increase of efficiency in the economy and the last “Fair” distribution of income and wealth. But who will tell “What is Fair???”. To those, with less skill to generate wealth, who are on the lower level of the economic income, fair is more even distribution of income. On the other side, those skilled, who are also more sophisticated to cover their real intentions, see just fair, that they are rewarded much more than the lower classes.
Public deficit, sometimes wrongly called budget or government deficit, includes government deficit but also deficit of not governmental institutions, whose source of income is certain kind of non-governmental taxes. Such institutions are for example the national social security institution, with high propensity to deficit mainly in pension insurance and medical insurance, due to increase in the life expectancy. These institutions even if legally independent are managed by politicians, who naturally are not to interested in insurance risks calculations of some actuaries. Other institutions are the local or municipal institutions, who have the right to collect taxes too, and have tendencies to create deficits. Why so? Because it is generally believed, that the government at the end of the day will not let them down, and will cover their deficits. The reason for this believe is a subject to a whole essay if not a whole book.
But then how can the government cover these deficits? Of course by printing money. If government needs money, first it takes loan from the central bank, then the central bank issues securities against this government loans, and sells these securities on the market. If too much securities are issued, their price tends to decrease and with it the interest rate increases. This is not very good for investments and subsequently for economic growth. No economic growth, no profits, no profits no taxes, and subsequently the deficit growths even more. So this kind of spiral can’t go forever.
Alternatively the government can intervene in the market, to purchase its own securities at high price and not to increase the interest rate, or even decrease it as it happened under the policy of quantitative easing. But then will it not decrease the value of money? The deficit itself means more money printed and more abundance of money. It is well known everything abundant has less value than something scarce. Take diamond jewelry against glass one. To me they both look just the same, except of their price. This price decrease of money can come in form of inflation, but also in form of new taxation, or long term process that degenerates the value of the savings connected to money relatively too other forms of holdings.
But printing of money doesn’t necessarily mean more money circulating in the economy. The government and central bank have many instruments how to decrease the money in circulation. Just to remain you, most of the money in circulation is created by the commercial banks and not by the central bank. Policy change of central bank towards the commercial banks can have bigger effect on liquidity than new money printed due to public deficit. The very best example is the Basel III accord, that unfortunately for the banks is about equity credit ratio. This ratio can be improved only by increasing equity or decreasing credit. But increased equity can come either from profits or from new investors. But how can the banks increase profits if they must reduce their borrowings? And as to the new investors, who wants to invest in a risky business with reducing profitability? The result is the credit squeeze of the banks exceeds the central banks capacity to print money.
As to the distribution of the wealth and income, the deficit is not neutral. Most of the public spending, (except of military) goes to the lower level of the society. But also the biggest purchasers of these securities are those who have money and “hate risk”. The pension funds are the biggest among them, where are deposited most of the savings of middle and lower income segment of the population.
Conclusion; If the value of the money goes down, so does the value of the assets connected to the money. Public deficit is good for those who enjoy most of the public money, and not so good for those who live on wealth accumulated in the past. This are mostly rentiers, and pensioners.
It is long time i am fostering the idea of need to change the paradigm of American style of life, which unfortunately became the golden standard of good life all over the world. If to characterize the American style of life in one sentence, it would be “consume more than you can afford to pay for and immediately, now”. To this life style belongs the suburb cottage and the daily two hours each direction ride on a big car, driven by sole rider rushing to his work and from it. The other phenomena of American style of life is that more value is invested in the wrap of the product than in its content. Significant part of the product value is advertisement, which in its essence is forced by very aggressive means on the people, and intends to spread disinformation in many different forms. If in the “economic prehistory” adds used to bring relevant information to the potential consumer, not any more. They had evolved and became more and more sophisticated and tricky. As side effect of this trend, is that there are more students in the universities in different economic and administration studies than in all the other sciences together, and many of them are studying “Marketing”. (Maybe because of no need for sophisticated mathematics).
This American style of life is very appealing to certain kind of people whose main intellectual, spiritual and cultural occupation is SHOPING!!!. And these are the vast majority of the people in the US, but unfortunately also in other parts of the world. All this could left us indifferent, if not the new phenomena of unprecedented long-term high economic growth in the two most populated countries in the world, India and China, where live 40% of the world population. Suddenly the Chinese also discovered that they want to ride to work on their private car, and let it be as big as it just can be. Since last year the Chinese car market preceded the US car market, and it is only at the beginning. Already now there are more than 1 billion cars running the roads of the world. Can you imagine that this number will be 3 times more? All the green forest will become black roads. And let’s not forget, people that ride in their private cars to work, they also live in the suburb cottages in the so called “Nature”.
I was born in Europe and my roots are Europeans. So, even if being a victim of European history i feel sorrow for its almost inevitable decline. Many speak about demographic, economic decline, but i see mainly the moral decline of Europe.
The barbaric Europe that was born out of the wracked Roman empire, could not forget the greatness of Rome against the wretchedness of the barbaric kingdoms. Charlemagne only added to this memory additional impulse and so you had Europe of continuous civil wars, which from time to time changed from local wars among warlords to global wars of European powers. The only way to create cooperation among these kings was by sending them to fight the neighboring Muslims, who themselves were not more peace loving than the Europeans themselves
Then suddenly and totally unexpectedly, when it seemed that the Ottomans are going to conquer the hart of Europe (they reached Vienna), the western kingdoms discovered America and their delicate colonial experiment until then, made a major shift toward full scale colonialism with all the cruelty we know about.
The racism, Euro centralism, and Colonialism resulted criminal European policy of arrogance and unrestrained aggressiveness towards everything that is not authentic part of the Christendom.
As the European achieved technological advantage upon the rest of the world, used it immediately for world dominance, subduing even such ancient cultures as China. (By the way the Japanese were lucky they were encountered at beginning by the Americans and not by the British or the French as the Chinese.)
When no more non Europeans were left to subdue, they turn on each other and couldn’t stop until destroying themselves.
Oh yes, now I got it, your algorithm you borrowed from Lenin “The end justifies the means”. Did you find already your follower, Mr. Stalin? If you are right, it is time to leave Europe, where destructive, self-imposed Gods, always found the way to mobilize the mobs for their cause, just to bring to them next day the worse atrocities and abuse of power, that with all the imagination of the humanity, nobody could even think of. Welcome to the gulags and the concentration camps. If you have to express yourself, why not sell some good lie about nice future? I hope that the mobs of today are much more sophisticated than you think, and will have the wisdom not to listen to this kind of revolutionary apocalyptic thoughts.
רגש ולא המעש, י
תוכנו ולא בת קולו, י
גם לא הטון, אלא פשר דיבריא, י
בקיצור, לא המילה, אלא החבוי תחתיה. י
מילה נאמרת, מביאה כעס, י
טון עם עוצמה, מעורר זעם, י
דעה נטרפת, על תנועה לא מדודה, י
ייאוש ומהומה, על לא מאומה. י
כעס, פחד, יאוש, יחד ישורו, י
קדימה נדחקים, לא מסודרים, י
ימים עוברים, את סיומם לא יודעים, י
רק פצעי העבר, לעומק נפרמים. י
צלקות העבר, תרופה לא יודעים, י
על כאב ישן, חדש נערם, י
זעקת שאו, אוזניים סתמה, י
נפש דואבת… נדיבות לא תדע. י
Dear Patrice, to start with, your historical interpretation about history of Franks, English etc. i would say is slightly misleading. The Roman British citizens, left unprotected, after the Roman garrisons left Brittany at begging of the fifth century, afraid from the Scottish “Barbarians”, invited the Saxons, a other German tribe, to protect them, who pretty soon took over the kingdom. Then from 8 century as the Saxons get “cultured”, the Viking invasions started, and in the nine century they almost took over the whole country. For a while Alfred the Great, who lived in the tenth century, (he was the first Saxon king who knew not only to read but also to write), drew them out. But the Saxon success did not last for very long time and in the early 11 century the Viking Canute added Britain to his wast kingdom. When at 1066 the Norman William II, (himself a descendant of vikings) invaded Britain and killed Herold II, he started a long line of Norman English kings. Since the Norman kings claimed sovereignty not only upon England but also big parts of France, this ignited the 100 years war, which lasted actually for more than 800 years, and ended with the treaty of Entente Cordiale signed at 1904. In all this description i don’t see any Franks, whose empire actually fall apart after the treaty of Verdun at 843 that created all the problems Europe had to face for the next 1200 years. So not everything what the Franks had done was perfect.
As to the French achievements in science, modernity etc. i don’t think any educated person would underestimate their achievements and contribution to the modernity. Yet the French screwed for themselves that they did not become the leading nation and culture in Europe, and subsequently in the whole world. When they made Revolution, they created the first political modern terror state. Then to end with the turmoil, the French came up with Napoleon, who created the very first fascistic state. Then instead of investing his talent and the opportunity the history gave him, to unite politically and modernize whole Europe under French enlightened leadership, he continued the French tradition of war against the English, (the pretext for the Russian invasion was Russian commercial ties with England). If instead he would dismantle the Hapsburg Empire and together with the other German mini-states, and probably even with Prussia, he would create a whole European entity, we would probably exchange our opinions in French and not in English, language i don’t speak, yet just by its sound it seems to me superior to English. Maybe even the tragic twenty century, wouldn’t had to be so tragic, etc. So if you look for the cause of whole European decadence, that started 100 years ago with outbreak of 80 years war, (WWI, WWII and all the revolutions) its roots go back to France and the French revolution, that couldn’t copy the American revolution, because Jean-Paul Marat was not Thomas Paine, Maximilien Robespierre was not Thomas Jefferson, Fouche was not Hamilton and Napoleon was not Washington. I know you don’t like Jefferson, as he was one of the causes of American slavery, and i agree that not forbidding slavery in the territories he bought from Napoleon he committed a historical crime and evil, but i like to judge Jefferson during his years before his presidency.
- Patrice Ayme Says:
July 16, 2014 at 6:35 am | Reply Dear Eugen: I fail to see how my “slightly misleading” history differs from yours. You present facts that are completely compatible with mine. In general, I deliberately present facts that seem deeper, and from a different angle, in all of history.
For example, Caesar crossed the Rubicon. All books have that one. Why? Natural to attribute it, to raw ambition. But in truth, the Senate was out to get Caesar, he had little choice (my angle).
Guillaume (William) of Normandy was French (descending more or less from Viking, partly so). A very big guy. His mother was a French tenturiere. She was not noble, and owned a firm that cleaned and prepared animal skins, among other things. That’s why he was called “The Bastard”. He was touchy about it, even executing famously 35 prisoners who had taunted him with skins in a siege.
You described lightly the mess Britain became after the legions left. In the Seventh Century, the Franks even intervened: that’s how Bathilde, a high society British girl became a slave of the Franks (and, a few years later, after at least one evasion, their queen and leader!!!!!!)
Fact is until the Normands/Franks/French established a sturdy government making a direct alliance of Crown and People, with a strong parliament, Britain was a mess. Brittany is named after the British army had to flee there in the Sixth Century, creating a Duchy that served as a model to Normandy. (Before that it was Armorica.)
- EugenR Says:
July 16, 2014 at 7:39 am | Reply Dear Patrice, what we are doing here in your blog, is trying to understand the Human animal as a creature, being aware and acting in the flow of human history. As we see many times the human history is a result of a particular act of an unique person. Let us take the act of crossing the Rubicon by Julius Cesar. He could as well turn back and create a new kingdom in Gaul, probably then France wouldn’t be France now, and everything would be different. I could imagine that he would try to conquer Spain, and maybe even Germany, and would marginalize Rome to Italy and Greece. But all this is just speculation, and it could be otherwise too. The historical fact is that he crossed the Rubicon.
History on one hand is influenced by particular acts of individuals, like J.Cesar, but also many times it creates predictable deterministic situations, when the trends and developments are given and decided by the circumstances.
- If we stay with the Roman history as an example, it seems to me, that after Rome adopted the highly sophisticated Greek culture, philosophy, ideas and scientific thinking, that nothing similar was in the surroundings, and combined it with Roman stubbornness, ruthlessness (as seen with the Carthaginians) adaptability and political organization skills (Republic and Roman law), it was inevitable that they created an empire, that ruled at the time almost all the civilized world between the Atlantic and Middle East, (except Persia). Yet a civil war between Augustus and Antony could end all this, but haven’t. Why? Probably exactly because of limited sophistication of other potential empires, like the Persian empire, whose leaders were hardly aware of the historical trends, and for this reason couldn’t grasp the opportunity, opened to them during the civil war between Augustus and Antony, which happened few years after they destroyed the Roman army of Marcus Crassus.
What killed Rom is the civilization itself, that had no more the ruthlessness needed to fight back the barbarians, who at the end dismantled the whole empire, even without to be aware of it.
You are in France now, i wonder if you can feel there the bit of the history.
- EugenR Says:
- Patrice Ayme Says:
July 16, 2014 at 7:13 am | Reply The “Normans” kings did NOT claim sovereignty over France. It’s not what happened. What happened is that the French monarchy got total direct control of England, for a number of reasons and in various ways, and that led to a Franco-French fight, misrepresented as a Franco-English war. I wrote many times on that, including in:http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/joan-of-arc-roasted-too-late/
Henry V of England, descendant from Philippe IV Le Bel of France, was the legitimate king of France. Joan of Arc was bin Laden, just worst.
- EugenR Says:
July 16, 2014 at 7:53 am | Reply Agree, but all this claims of legitimacy of kings and kinsman look to us from the modern perspective, very folly. Politics then and now is about how to pacify all this alpha males, who subdue others, many times with extraordinary cruelty and usually devastate what other people built. (Built i mean not only physically but also socially and culturally). Why are this “Alpha Males” needed, because the ignorant masses are sometimes even more devastating than them, as it can be seen in front of us in Egypt, Syria and some other Arab countries.
- EugenR Says:
דברים מזעזעים קורים בארץ
הטירוף משתולל בחוצות
לרשע חיים משלו והוא מרים ראשו
ברור לי, . . . קשה לכולם
אפילו מנסים לחזור לשגרה
לא להרגיש הוא מושג שלא קיים בשפה
הרגש הוא עצמאי בשטח
אף לאיש יכולת שליטה בו
בראש עומדים שוב השקרנים, גנבים, שודדים ורוצחים
והקהל עומד על רגליו, מוחה כפיים
The politics of macro economy is based on two opposing theories, one is a theory emphasizing the demand as a major drive to economic growth and lack of demand is considered as major cause to economic crisis, and the other theory emphasizing the supply as a major phenomena influencing economic growth. Both these theories agree that economic growth is necessary for economic stability, since the capital invested into equities and loans, demands positive yield.
The Demand side economic theories claims that any kind of increased demand will always be satisfied by increased supply, what means economic growth and they neglect the possibility, that the supply can run into difficulties of limited resources. This views go so far that their followers praise the Fukushima disaster as a positive event for economic growth in Japan. They just don’t take in account the positive economic impact, accumulated assets create on the volume of economic activity and on the general standard of living. They judge economic activity only from point of view of the recent and near future economic current activity. According to this view also the WWII is sometime praised as a positive event that ended the 1929 world economic crisis, though even in US it took years until its economy, as a tool to create standard of living, returned to its prewar level. Of course, the damaged infrastructure and social-political disruptions the war caused, depressed the economic activity focusing to improve standard of living in the US, not to speak about Europe. There is no need to explain that this economic view supports macro-economic policy with a very short term goals.
On the other hand the supply emphasizing economic theory sees as the major obstacle to economic growth the limited resources and limited supply capacity.
Non of these economic theories try to create an economic model, where there is no necessity for infinite economic growth. It would of course force them to thing about economy in a completely different dimensions.
To my opinion without to be observed, we are heading toward a new economic model, in which money will be inter-mediated without the traditional financial institutions. The very best example is Bitcoin, which still exists, even if the banks try to disqualify it as a trustful financial instrument. Other example is kickstart which opens a direct channel between the entrepreneur and the investor, without need for inter-mediation.
An other important economic phenomena is the growing number of products available free of charge, that annihilate whole range of services as paid services, and as such doesn’t appear in the GDP statistics. As example for such a service i would mention the availability of academic level education free of charge on the web. We can speak also about films, music at.c. Truth is all this are virtual services, but also products from the real material world are already knocking on the door to enter the markets. Just try to imagine you have a 3D printer at home, and for the evening gala party you want to wear some costume you saw on the web. All you will need to do is virtual instruction how to print the dress. I am sure the instructions will be available on the web free of charge. And here you have a product created just in time.
Another monetary theory suggests, that a prosperous economy needs a currency anchored to basic row material item, like energy resource, or other raw material, that seems to be limited and the human civilization can’t do without it. Scarcity of currency is very important, but it has to be stable scarcity. What if some new technology makes the anchor raw material abundant? Then inflation will be inevitable. And the opposite way, meaning too limited energy resource can cause deflation.
If you ask my opinion what should be the currency anchor, it has to be “SOMETHING”, just in right volume, meaning the right quantity in circulation multiplied by its price that is equal to the volume of products in circulation as explained in my book, viz:
In today’s system the anchor is created artificially by the central banks, while they manipulate with the interest rates, rules imposed on commercial banks, their regulations and interventions in government security markets. This system has several disadvantages. The main is, it is a very undemocratic system, that gives to much power in hands of too few, who are elected God knows how. They may be clever and even honest, but still very far from being Goddesses. The other disadvantage is the limited effect these monetary tools have. As an example, the interest rate cannot become negative, or the limited possibility in today’s “Western”, financial system, to force commercial banks to increase lending when deflation prevails, and decrease it when everything seems to run towards prosperity. In Chinese non democratic government system it can be done.
From my point of view a virtual anchor, based on an algorithm with unbreakable code (if exists such an algorithm) and honesty, could be a perfect tool. Yet this Googlisation phenomenon, I mean free of charge services, make these products very attractive to potential consumers and the consumption will lean more and more towards these products. It means the other products will have to compete with them. Take for example the mass tourist industry. If Google Earth will become a 3 dimensional tour experience, will this mass tourism survive with sometime stupid guides, repeating again and again the same jokes, and telling the same shallow stories? Or people will stick to their chairs and have the tourist adventure right from there?
I recently experienced in Portugal a tour made free of charge (income of guide is based on tips) of an unemployed teacher, a historian, giving us a detailed 3 hour history lecture, without compromises and without mentioning Michael Jackson and some other scandalous superstars.
If my prediction is correct, bigger and bigger part of economy will become virtual and free of charge, and the significance and hopefully also the arrogance of the whole financial system will decline.
Once upon a time existed a city surrounded by mountains on them stood majestically castles called Castros, and they looked like this
And it actually looks more like this
But who built it? Of course the government
With the help of the municipal hero
And who occupies the building if not the police.
And who stands behind all this?
Yet on the other side of the hill I found this
But at the top I found this
So no wonder they crucified even Him
Aristotle the great got it all wrong about the physics because the common sense and pure observation, and commonly believed “facts” where not sufficient to explain the substance behind the physical being. The Epicureans got it much farther, but their knowledge was almost wiped out by the Platonist-Aristotelians and mainly the Catholic church for more than 1000 years. The Greeks were very close to the scientific and technological breakthrough, yet they did not do it. If they would, we could have been by now maybe out of our galaxy. Interestingly the Muslim Arab world, that uncovered the old Greek knowledge and preserved it, did not find way to develop it to the modern science. I wonder why was it. Probably it had to do something with their strong belief in Monotheism.
• ianmillerblog on May 8, 2014 at 10:20 am said:
In my opinion, Aristotle got it wrong in physics because he did not use his own methodology. He believed in experiment, he had developed this concept of contraries, he worked out that dark was the absence of light, he knew about wind, so he should have realized that very light things might have resistance. But he never tested the concept of friction, and he never thought to drop two objects of different weights, but where wind could be ignored. In my ebook, Athene’s Prophecy, I fictionally show how someone might have done it, but nobody actually did.
o EugenR on May 8, 2014 at 8:54 pm said:
But what about the Epicureans? Why they did not make the breakthrough? And the latter intellectuals from Alexandria? Wasn’t Roman Empire opened to technological changes?
• Ian Miller on May 8, 2014 at 11:47 pm said:
EugenR, I think the problem is partly psychological. Once you think someone with a great reputation has solved a problem, and the solution looks reasonable, most people do not think any more about it, on the grounds, “That is solved, move on!” Roman science, in my opinion, tended to be constrained first to making things that worked, in other words they focused on applied science, and they made some wonderful devices, but they also generated the attitude that, if you could not use it, it was not that important.
Also, I am a scientist and have made some proposals that challenge existing theory or assumptions. If you do not have a big name, you tend to get ignored. This is a much worse problem now, I believe, because when scientists have to go for funding, the last thing they want to do is to annoy whoever will read their funding proposal, so the system is designed to make them fit in.
• EugenR on May 9, 2014 at 3:39 pm said:
Yes, but it seems Epicureans where kind of mainstream in Rome. The prove are the scrolls in Herculaneum. Most of the scrolls discovered where Epicurean. And the library get funding from Julius Caesar’s wife’s father.
o Ian Miller on May 9, 2014 at 11:18 pm said:
The most famous Epicurean was probably Lucretius. One of the problems of Lucretius was that he seemed to be more interested in writing good verse than in clearly explaining things, but from what I can make out he was only peripherally interested in cosmology. Again, it seems he was reasonably convinced that the Earth was fixed, but he also proposed a vacuum in space, and argued that the bodies moved in it. He was mainly interested in atomism, and came pretty close to proposing a genetic code, arguing that the characteristics of animals were determined by the array of atoms joined into some unit carried by the egg. Again, I think the answer to your question was that they believed the issue was closed, so they did not try.
• EugenR on May 10, 2014 at 11:18 pm said:
The Greeks since the fifth century b.c. had the tools and capacity and philosophical sophistication to introduce scientific revolution. All we know about their knowledge is probably only a fraction of what they knew in reality.
Why Archimedes couldn’t be the ancient Galileo? Archimedes did not have problem to fight church to distribute his knowledge. He knew mathematics at least as good as Galileo. And he has done many technological inventions. Was it because of lack of printing machine that Galileo used so successfully? Even if murdered by Romans, they were interested in his knowledge, and most probably he had followers who were aware of his findings and his books where in their disposition. If Eutocius of Ascalon wrote about his work more than 700 years latter, his work had to been far from forgotten. And it is well known, he was not the only great mathematician and inventor of the classical world, far from it.
Lucretius poem of “On the Nature of Things”, amazing as it can be, may be only fraction of what the Greeks discovered by system of meditation and deductive reasoning. And yet they had not done it into the modernity.
The claim that in society of slaves there is no need for technological inventions seems to me folly. If not for economic reasons, the Roman war machine and probably also the Greek one needed military technology as much as we do. In contrary, Roman society, was free enough to support technological initiative, definitely more than the renaissance society in western Europe.
If there is any answer to the question why the Greeks and Romans did not do it to the modernity, even if they had almost 1000 years from the first philosophers until the Christianity closed on their knowledge, it seems to me modern scientific technological development was a pure accident. Several factors came together in the right time, somewhere in the mid thirteen century, which started with the black death plague decimation of European population, that brought huge social and economic upheavals. Then the Mongol invasion weekend the Muslim world and reduced the military pressure from the Christian Europe, at the same time the classic philosophers following the christian conquest of Spain was rediscovered. Exactly in these years Fibonacci introduced mathematical revolution partly imported from the Arabs and partly developed by him. Some importance played probably the fact that Italy was a country of competing city states rather than one autocratic statehood, as was the Roman empire. Add to it the new Gothic architecture just recently introduced, invention of perspective and some more major events that i haven’t mention and you have completely new tools to judge the reality of the being. The result is new European perspective of understanding the earthly reality and the way to the new knowledge was opened for the scholars and intellectuals, Yet these new discoveries could go easily down of the drainage of the history, if not the patronage of Medici and some other Italian rulers, who competed with each other on prestige, but non of them had the absolute power to overcome the others. Probably without this, these very first discoveries wouldn’t continue to thrive.
Many start the modern way of thinking with Copernicus. I don’t agree with them. The idea of heliocentric world was probably quite widespread in the classical world. Even if Copernicus ideas helped to shake the dogmas of the church, it couldn’t make a scientific revolution by itself. To my opinion after Galileo and Kepler, who both connected mathematics to empiric data, the road to the modern scientific method was paved. So the question remains, how come, the Greeks did not succeed to produce within a whole millennia, what the Europeans had in few hundred years? And lets not forget that the renaissance scholars needed to overcome the burden of religious dogmatic thinking tradition, the classical Greeks did not had to cope with?
As to the findings of Kepler, they happened because of several fortunate sequential events. Brahe Tycho had to die, so Kepler could inherit his observations. If not he would remain probably with his esoteric theory of perfect spheres of planet movements. Also he needed a crazy king like Rudolph II, who was rather strange for a catholic emperor of holly Roman Empire. Then you had the accidental discovery of telescope, Galileo copied and redeveloped. There had to be such an arrogant self possessed man like Galileo, who so strongly believed, that the circumstantial evidence is verified proof for heliocentric planetary system, that he opposed all the Catholic establishment. Someone less self possessed wouldn’t do it all the way.
Modern science is based on connection and verification of philosophical (mainly ontological) understandings derived from rational reasoning with the empirical evidence, translated to practical technological achievements. The Greeks did not make this two necessary step far enough, and this is the source of their failure. Why they have not done it, this still has to be answered.
• Ian Miller on May 10, 2014 at 11:53 pm said:
My response to my initial topic is that the Greeks and Romans could not prove the heliocentric theory because the only way they could was through the tides, and where they lived, the tides were trivial. In the more general sense, I think you are correct in that they had got about as far as they could with what they had. They needed some serious advances, and in my view the two biggest problems were first their number system, which made calculations somewhat difficult, and secondly they had not, for some reason, thought out algebra. The ability to replace a sentence with a symbol is critical. Thus I argue that Aristotle actually discovered discrete mathematics, but because everything is written in sentences, most people do not recognize that.
With those, it is still difficult, and in some ways I think Newton was critical to establishing the scientific way of going about things. But his work could only arise through the astronomical data available to him, which, as an aside, was not as robust as we might think. Luck certainly played its part. Had there not been a plague at the time, newton would not have gone to the country and with nothing else to do, have started thinking about physics. Newton actually spent more time during his life on chemistry than physics, and he made almost no progress, and there is some evidence that he took teh inverse square law of gravity from Hooke, but it was his mathematics that made it believable. I guess the reason the ancients could not advance any further was they hit a road block that needed further tools to get through, and there were not enough of them interested to hit on the key parts.
• EugenR on May 11, 2014 at 5:46 am said:
You say the problem was that they did not know Algebra,and i would add zero, the Hindu-Arabic numeric system, etc. Of course they needed to discover these things to make farther advance in sciences, but this is exactly the point why they did not discover them? And then there is the other question, why the Arab scientists did not do the scientific breakthrough to modern sciences? Hard to believe to the claim that it was due the Islam. After all, faith in one God and the Bible did not prevent from Galileo or Newton to make their scientific breakthrough.
• Ian Miller on May 11, 2014 at 7:50 am said:
You are quite correct that assigning zero into the number system is important. For the Greeks, the problem, in my opinion, was their theory of contraries. Had they recognized that the contrary was the same thing, only negative, they would presumably have realized they needed a zero, which represents neither. Certainly, Islam was not the problem for making discoveries. I think that the heliocentric theory is critical, because it leads to developing a correct theory of mechanics, and the scientific method. The most advanced Islam astronomical facility I know of was due to Ulug Beg, who built a most impressive observatory at Samarkand. (I have seen what remains of it, and it must have been impressive.) But again, the easiest way to prove the heliocentric theory requires observing tides, and Samarkand was not well situated either. As another aside, under the reign of Timur the lame, you did not harass scholars, unless you wanted your head to be added to a pile of skulls. In those days, the scholar was respected. There was actually another way of proving the heliocentric theory, and that involved Ptolemy’s equant. Essentially, Kepler’s data showed the way, but only by focusing on teh orbit of Mars. Had he focused on anything else, it would not have worked. Ironically, it was the Roman catholic church that eventually proved Ptolemy’s equant produced results out by a factor of 2. But I think that was too much to ask of the Greeks because there simply were not enough of them thinking about this problem.
EugenR on May 11, 2014 at 11:23 am said:
Lately i started to think, maybe there is a system of thought we have never discovered, which is based rather on different elements than numbers, geometrical shapes or words, that if discovered it could uncover us completely new knowledge. Then i asked myself in what field of knowledge we failed to find sufficient useful rules which could help us to overcome the most important problems of the humanity. My conclusion obviously was the political and social sciences. It is enough to remain to ourselves, that the democratic US could easily decide to start in the last decade two wars, but it couldn’t make decision on reduction of energy-consumption, in-spite of the danger, that the current state of economic development trends and energy consumption obviously endangers the human civilization.
It is obvious also, that the democratic political system, its basic ideas were created by Greeks, and today is perceived as the most efficient political system, has no answer to the problems of modern world. Today’s democratic system is based on competition between political fractions to be in favor of intellectually the lowest level of population, whose perspective and memory is short term. But the problems of the modern world, are all long term and need certain level of sophistication to be understand.
And how all this is connected to the subject of Greek failure to cross the Rubicon of scientific knowledge?
I wonder, maybe there is some kind of a-priory analytic system of knowledge, that is beyond our understanding, that if we would be aware of (just like if the Greeks knew Algebra, Zero and Hindu-Arabic numbers), we could find the essences of the rules that govern the societies, human behavior and politics. If we would find this tool, it could maybe help us to solve the most acute human problems of today, the social-political problems, just as mathematics helps us to uncover the essence of the physical world.
This analytic a-priory system of understanding the reality, has to have its autonomous existence and principles without any connection to the physical reality, yet it has to have the capacity to define the character of connection between different events, just like mathematics helps physicists to explain these connections in the physical world.
The major defaults of the economic system called “Market economy” or “Capitalism” is that it enabled on one hand to pour into the economy too much financial liquidity at times of boom and overheated economy, by investing too much money in wrong and too expensive assets, and on the other hand at times of bust, when the economy needs liquidity to sustain employment, the system is rather greedy with helping investments in the same or similar assets for even very reduced price. This system a-priory has to cause bust and boom, situations.
The economist since the great depression of 1929-1933 which had disastrous consequences learned from the lesson, and the governments and the central banks took as their major task in economy (and be the price whatever it takes), to act as anti bust and boom instrument. This is why they made the economic stimulus of trillions that saved the banks and financial system from total collapse (luckily the collapse came during the time of republican presidency and they couldn’t resist this decision), and the quantitative easing that poured liquidity of government money into the economy as alternative to the private money from banks who stopped to borrow.
So if it is so easy to solve the economic crisis situations, what is the problem? Let the economy run on the waves of bust and boom, and whenever the bust comes the government interferes, and at the times of booms let the boys play and enjoy themselves. If economics would be only about mathematical formulas, probably it could work, but the truth is all the economic decisions have their moral-political aspects. And here lies the problem. Because it is morally and politically very hard to neglect the principle of punish those who do wrong and give tribute to those who has done good. And this is actually what happens when the government comes to rescue the “credit boomers”, the bankers who created a distorted financial system, that channeled the financial and material resources to wrong places to invest in wrong assets, and when the D day came, they did not have to pay the price for their wrong doings. The same happened to those who took the loans, without to ask themselves if and when are they going to pay them back. These Financiers and their creditors, who get loans of other peoples’ money enjoy free lunch twice. Once when they give and get these loans with knowledge that it will never be repaid, and second time when they enjoy the debt reduction, when the governments come to rescue them.
On the other hand those who use the wealth generated at times of boom to accumulate reserves for the bad times have to pay twice. First time when they restrain their activities during the times of prosperity and reduce by it their profits, second time at times of bust, when still they have to fulfill all their obligations, and get no praise for their responsible behavior in the times of boom.
Of course this system of Boom and Bust causes with each wave a major shift of wealth from one sector to the other, and generally from the decent and responsible entrepreneurs to the irresponsible gamblers, who happen to make bid on other people’s money. This is one of the reasons why the pension systems are all in deficit, the wages stagnate why the profits and mainly the rewards of corporate managers of publicly traded companies surge.
Isn’t it just unfair?
The existing financial and political system is in deadlock situation. It’s main problem is concentration of financial resources that most of it belongs to general public in hands of few lucky ones (definitely not the most capable) and this damages the competition, since all the financial system gave preferences in its credit policy to certain kind of activities and not to others. It is not accident that most of the banks followed before 2008 financial policy of fools, purchasing unworthy trash bonds like the Greek bonds and very little money went into real investment initiations. Other problem of the financial system and it includes the government and the central bank the main institutions responsible for printing the money, is that it also failed to channel enough economic resources into the main economic problem of today and probably even more tomorrow, which is the CO2 emissions, that according to some scientific studies will have devastating effect on the world economy within 10 years. And this means it is almost a short term problem if you take in account that anything you do today will have effect only within many years, and what’s going on with the earth heat up is result of acts done many years ago. The existing democratic political system that is managed by politicians whose perspective of existence is 4 years at most (Except in France) and who are elected by some very temporary mood of margins in the society, who change their voting behavior from election to election, cannot cope with the real long term problems, that had become within the years a short term problem. (Most of the leaders in the democratic world are elected with marginal difference of votes. Bush the son in his first time period, was elected with margin of 50,000 votes.) Another problem of the democratic political system is that it failed to incorporate in the decision process the experts and the intellectuals, and in contrary the existing trends are to exclude them from the process.
Other problem of the existing financial system is that most of its players in the so called private sector entities, i mean legal entities with publicly traded shares, like banks, insurance companies, investment and pension funds, but also the largest holding companies like GE for example or GM before its bankruptcy, have managers who are self nominated and self managing and who are not really responsible to anyone for the results of their acts. They also remain in their position for years, unless their acts bring directly to colossal failure, (viz. example of Enron). If they are successful in some kind of short term act, they take reward, and if they fail they also rewarded helping with the rescue of the company from the mess they created.
It is a well known fact that every management system that doesn’t have to cope with the two ultimate improvement generators of the capitalistic system, the Competition and the Risk, will rotten at the end. This is what happened to the whole socialistic system, but the same happened to the US auto-industry that became marketing and leasing companies that forget their primary task, how to produce good cars. By the way Ford did not go to bankruptcy only because it sold at the price pick some or most of its valuable real-estate before the crisis.
So to conclude my claim, there is a basic problems in the existing corporate legal system, but also in the political system, to which i don’t see anybody came up with some solution, but what is even more disturbing i even don’t see real intellectual talk about these problems among the leading economic intellectuals. To my opinion the first seeds of the change that will have to come in the political and financial systems are the experiments like bitcoin, kickbox, university lectures in the internet, but also some kind of referendum system that would bring the experts and intellectuals into the decision process back.
The CO2 is not only about electricity generation. It is also about that most of the people in the world are becoming meat eaters, about transportation systems (cars and airplanes) based on hydrocarbons, etc. If the catastrophic scenarios of overheated planet had to be prevented, the very first step should be CO2 tax and consumption tax in US, while all this additional tax income should be channeled into development of alternative energy resources. If US is not ready to do this sacrifice by adopting less wasteful way of life, nobody else will do it.
If there is even one reader, who can find the way how to bring the US political system (democrats or republicans) to this kind of decisions, i would be happy to hear about it.
An other remark; Keynesian economics not only have no answer to the environmental problem, but it dangerously adds to the consumption overdose, that is an additional push to the environmental problem and helps to bring the world to the edge of the brink.
נדמה לי שמדינת ישראל יצרה חברה בה הקושי לתקשר בין היהודים חילוניים ודתיים הולך ומחריף. אני מזהה זאת אצל חברים שלי בארץ, כל פעם שאני באה למגע איתם. אל תשאלי מה הם אמרו לי, כאשר סיפרתי להם שאני תורם לחב”ד בפרג. והיחסים האישיים הטובים בין יחידים המשתייכים למגזרים השונים לא יעמדו במבחן, כאשר הדברים יגיעו לכדי עימות אידיאולוגי. התופעה של שנאת החרדים על ידי יהודים חילוניים אינה חדשה והייתה קיימת גם בגולה, כאשר יהודים חילוניים, והיו כאלה רבים גם בגולה (כך שלא רק הדת שמרה על הקיום היהודי, כטענתם של הדתיים) ייחסו לחרדים פרימיטיביות וראו בהם סיבה עיקרית לאנטישמיות. לעומת זאת המגזר שנקראה בפינו כיפות סרוגות, זאת היא תופעה ישראלית נטו, ובמיוחד כמובן תנועת המתנחלים. בכל אופן הוויכוח בין החילוניים ודתיים לדעתי הוא לא רק על אורחות החיים, אלא האם מדינת ישראל תהיה מדינה ככל המדינות בעולם, או מדינה מיוחדת שמטרתה שמירת ייחדה הדתי, אתנו- תרבותי, וגזעי של העם היהודי, תוך פסילת צורת חשיבה מודרנית, כולל פסילת זכות לחשיבה ביקורתית, ופתיחות רעיונית. מפעל ההתנחלות מעורר שסע בין “תל אביבים” ו”הדתיים” לא בגלל בעיית הסכם שלום עם הפלשתינים. הרי כל אדם בר דעת מבין שלא הגיע העת לעשות שלום עם ערבים, שמתקשים לחיות בשלום בינם ובין עצמם וזאת לא תאונה מקרית. הרי התנאי ליצירת שלום הוא לזנוח את צורת חשיבה של העבר, שבנויה על אמונה בדוגמות שמיחסים להם קדושה, ולכן הם לא ברי בחינה ואימות עם המציאות. האמת היא שכל זהות אתנו-תרבותית שבנויה על אטוס דתי-לאומי היא דוגמה שעל פי טיבעה מושתתת על בידול מהאחר, ויצירת קונפליקט עם האחר רק מחזק את הזיקה לאותה זהות אתנו-תרבותית. לכן גם הקונפליקט הוא חיוני וחיובי כדי לשמר זהות האתנו-תרבותית. מבחינה הזאת היהדות האורתודוקסית הרבה יותר קרובה לאסלם הפונדמנטליסטי מאשר ליהדות החילונית. י
היהדות החילונית, שהקימה את המדינה, מרגישה איום קיומי לא רק לאורך חיים שלה, אלא גם על עצם קיום המדינה. לדעתי כל אדם חילוני מאמין שאם האורתודוקסיה תשלוט במדינה, המדינה לא תוכל לשרוד אפילו ליום אחד. ברור לי גם, שהיהודים האורתודוקסים מאמינים שרק בזכותם קיימת מדינת ישראל והעם היהודי, ובלעדי האמונה לא היה לה שום צידוק.
על פער כו עמוק בעמדות של שני הצדדים לא ניתן לגשר, והם ילכו ויתעמקו, ככל ששתי האוכלוסיות יתקרבו יותר ויותר לכדי שוויון. אין לי שום ספק לגבי השאלה לאן יפנו בעלי כיפות הסרוגות, כאשר האוכלוסיות יתקרבו לכמעט שוויון. אגב המחאה החברתית של קיץ 2011 , הייתה הירייה הראשונה של המאבק שהולך להתחולל בארץ בעתיד הקרוב בין החילוניים והדתיים, ואפילו שיוזמי המאבק בחכמה רבה ומסיבות טקטיות נמנעו מלכנות את מאבקם בשמו הנכון והרימה את הדגל החברתי. עם זאת לא במקרה אוכלוסיית כיפות הסרוגות מיעטו להשתתף במאבק זה, למרות שהם בעצמם מתמודדים באותם בעיות כלכליות חברתיות כמו יתר האוכלוסייה. י
בחירתו הגורפת של יאיר לפיד היא תוצאה של התופעה הזאת, במידת מה הרגיע את הרוחות, והיא לא תהיה תופעה זמנית. הברית האופורטוניסטית בין לפיד לבנט היא תופעה זמנית. בטווח המידי בנט הוא זה שניצח בה לכאורה, אולם הוא במו ידיו סיעה בחיזוק הנציגות החילונית האנטי דתית, שמטרתה העיקרית לבלום את חיזוק ההשפעה הפוליטית של הדת. בשלב זה הוא מכה בעיקר באוכלוסיה חרדית, דרך הכסף ודרך דא-לגיטימיזציה חוקתית של עורך החיים והשקפה חרדית, שמצד אחד נהנית מסיוע כספי המדינה ומצד שני אינה נושאת בעול יצירת המשאבים הלאומיים. (אני לא מדבר על קבוצות שוליים שאינם מכירים בלגיטימיות של השלטון החילוני בכלל). י
Dear Patrice, in your article you compare Putin’s acts to those of Hitler and William II and see danger of war. Let me add here the links to articles i wrote about these dictators;
Even if Putin do has tendency to become a fascistic dictator I still would see him more like Napoleon than those two. Napoleon as Putin took over his country in time of huge crisis, when people became tired of revolutionary changes and looked for stability, And both leaders due to their success became immediately heroes. But then the inevitable happened, they became victims of their own success, and did not know when to stop. The result of Napoleon losing the unnecessary war against Russia was loss of France dominant position in Europe, the France revolutionary ideas lost their legitimacy and momentum, that enabled continuous reactionary autocratic regimes in Germany, Austria, Russia and France itself at least until 1848.
On the other hand judging Putin’s act in Crimea it seems to me rather an act of despair, while everyone understands, that when Khrushchev gave Crimea to Ukraine, it was an administrative act, while no one thought about possibility that it will become a non Russian territory, Yes with the collapse of USSR and rediscovery of the crimes of this regime against Ukrainians, Georgians, Chechens, Jews and you name the rest, new nationalistic feelings dominate the region and they became the dominant political idea also in Russia. But Russia today is not France in 1800, or Germany at 1914 or 1939. Its population is about 140 million but about 30 million are not Russians but mostly Muslims, Tatars etc.Other big demographic problem of Russia is far east, where half of the population and almost all the business activity is in Chinese hands. Russian sovereignty of these lands is only political, and with very gloom perspective from the Russian point of view.
Its GDP is about 2.5 trillion US$ compared to 3.5 trillion of Germany and 15 trillion of EU. Above all its economy is not produced by its population but out of exploiting its natural resources, and it leaves its economy very vulnerable and dependent on its main market, the EU.
Yes you can rightly say economic interests were never an obstacle to start a war, and the Russian vulnerability can make them nervous and aggressive, as it happened in Germany before WWI. But i don’t see Putin has mood to defend Russian position as superpower, but rather trying to continue its recovery and modernization to become one of the main European nations taking part in the political game in European level. To my opinion Putin has to understand that Russia as Europe, with their declining and aging population is in process of marginalization, while Russia on its backyard has to try to cope with the new emerging China, and better if it have the support of Europe than its enmity.
But what about Ukraine? To my opinion Europe has a lot to do about it. The most obvious act would be to invite Ukraine to EU membership. This act would help not only to Ukraine but also to Europe, its economy is stagnating due to luck of investment opportunities. By the way i suggested few years ago, viz my article;
I know this idea will have many enemies among those who look only on their short term interests, but the only alternative for Europe to stop its slow but steady degradation is expanding to the east, and not only to Dnieper but even farther to the east. One day the nationalistic sentiments and Putin will be gone and most of the post USSR countries will understand that the best solution for them is to join the EU, and so it is also for EU. Russia was always part of the European civilization, and wanted to see itself as such. I believe the advantages for Russia and EU from joining forces are to obvious not to let it happen.
aranse היקר, תרשה לי לחלוק עליך באי אלו דברים שלך. אתה כותב;
….המדעים המדויקים ספגו תבוסה שאין קשה ממנה מידי מדעי הרוח עם הופעת מכניקת הקוונטים (הצופה משפיע על הנצפה, אין אפשרות לקביעה מדויקת של מאפיינים שהיו הכי נחשבים עד אליה לצורך מדידה,מה זה ? זה פיזיקה הוא שיעור ספרות מחורבן ?)
מכניקה קוונטית איננה טריטוריה של מדעי הרוח אלא של פיזיקה, כלומר מדעים המדויקים. זה שבעולם בקנה המידה תת אטומית התופעות הנצפות אינם עולים בכנה אחד עם התופעות הפיזיקליות של העולם העל אטומי, לא אומר שלמדעים המדויקים אין כלים להתמודד ולהסביר את התופעות האלה. לעומת זאת מה שאתה קורא למדעי הרוח וכפי הנראה הכוונה למטפיזיקה, אין הסברים לתופעות העולם אם לא משתמשים בכלים של מדעי הטבע.
באילו כלים מדובר? בכלי מחקר בה נערכים ניסויים מבוקרים, שבאמצעותם מנסים לבחון אמיתות של טזות המנבאות התנהגות של העולם בין אם בקנה מידה של העולם שלנו, בקנה מידה של תת חלקיקים, או בקנה מידה של היקום כולו. כך לדוגמה לפני כ-30 שנה התנבאו פיזיקאים לגבי קיומו של תת חלקיק היגנס, אשר היה צריך להיות בעל תכונות X ולא אחרות. ואומנם לא מזמן נצפה החלקיק בניסוי שנערך בשווייץ.
בהמשך אתה כותב;
….אבל מבט ששואף ומבין את נחיצות הסינטזה בין הגוף לנפש….
החלוקה הפילוסופית של המציאות לרוח ולחומר עברה מהאופנה. היום המדע מנסה להתמודד עם תופעת התודעה (רוח) באמצעות מחקרים בתחום מדעי הטבע (החוקר את החומר) כולל ניאורולוגיה ואף פיזיקה, microtubuls וכו’, כמו כן בכלים פסיכולוגיים ופילוסופיים, וכולם משתפים פעולה להבין את התופעה הנקראת תודעה. חלקם נוטים להסברים יותר פיזיקליים, בעוד אחרים ליותר פסיכולוגיים, ויש שמחפשים תשובות במודלים מתמטיים, לוגיים, לינגוויסטיקה וכו’ ואף אחד לא פוסל בזלזול את גישתו של האחר.
מכאן אני מגיע להערה האחרונה שלך;
ישמח על כל זליגה של תפישה מתחום אחד לתחום שני,לבבון הטריטוריאלי זליגה כזאת נתפשת כאיום קיומי, ורוב המדענים הם לא יותר מבבונים משודרגים, בדיוק כמו כולנו, והם הרבה יותר נטועים בתפישת החברה שסביבם, ברוב הזמן, ממה שהם היו רוצים להאמין, אם זה לא היה כך היה לנו מדע אובייקטיבי, אין לנו כזה, וגם לא יהיה בזמן הקרוב
אם אתעלם מכך שאתה קורא לכל אנשי המדע בבונים, שאין באמירה הזאת דבר הראוי להתייחסות, אתייחס לאמירתך, “מדע אוביקטיבי”. ואשאל אותך מה כוונת המשורר? האם הכוונה שהמדע מיצר אמיתות מוחלטות אובייקטיביות? לדעתי אף איש מדע רציני לא יומר לך זאת. לכל היותר יאמר שהממצא הזה תומך בטזה הזאת. אם מחר ימצא ממצא שיסתור את התזה, המדענים ישמחו לנטוש את הטזה הלא תקפה וינסו למצוא תחתיה טזה חדשה. כך פועל המדע, וכך הוא הגיע להישגיו, שמאפשרים לנו לקיים חילופי דעות זאת על הבלוג של אלכסון, דבר שלפני עשרים שנה לא היה אפשר אפילו לעלות על הדעת.
ער, הרשה לי להציע לך עצה פשוטה,תנסה קו דם כל לקרוא, ולהבין, את הדברים שעליהם אתה מגיב, כי אתה הרי מתפרץ לדלת פתוחה ומטיף דווקא לאדם שכתב כאן בשבח הסינטזה בין מדעי הרוח למדע הטבע על נחיצותה.
התגובה שלי כוונה למי שכתב שמדי הרוח הפסידו כי הם משתמשים בכלים ממדעי הטבע, ועל זה עניתי לו שגם לשיטתו מדעי הטבע נחלו תבוסה הרבה יותר חרוצה כי התיאוריות הכי בסיסיות בפיזיקה שואלות כבר יותר ממאה שנה מונחים וגישות הנטולים מתחומים “רכים” יותר כמו אמנות ומדעי החברה.
אני כשלעצמי לא מאמין במציאות עימותית, בסימון מנצחים ומפסידים אלא שמח באפשרות לזליגת המונחים והתפישות מצד אחד לשני, לכן לא ברור לי למה אתה מתאמץ כל כך להוכיח לי בדיוק את מה שכתבתי ולמה נדמה לך שאתה חלוק עלי במקומות שבהם אתה בעצם כותב בדיוק את מה שאני כתבתי.
בכל מקרה, עובדתית אתה טועה, בגדול, למדעים המדוייקים אין כלים שיכולים להסביר וליישב כהלכה את מה שעולה מהתצפיות והתיאוריות של המכניקה הקוונטית, וכל זה למרות מאמצים שנעשים כמעט כבר מאה שנה גם על ידי הענקים שהגו את התורה וגם על ידי ממשיכי דרכם המוכשרים לא פחות מהם,
תפישת הזמן והמרחב שלנו לא מסתדרת עם מה שעולה מהמכניקה הקוונטית,יש לשער ולקוות שעם הזמן הדברים יפתרו, עד היום, בניגוד מוחלט למה שאתה כותב זה טרם קרה, כנראה שיש עדיין למה לצפות גם בתחום המדע.
כמו שניכר גם ממאמר זה וגם ממגוון הדעות והגישות בספירה האקדמית וגם מחוץ לה אז החלוקה הפילוסופית, והאחרת, בין רוח לנפש ממש לא עברה מהאופנה, רחוק מאוד מכך,הבעייה הפסיכו-פיזית רחוקה מפתרונה ולא רק שאין לאף אחד שום מושג לגבי המרחק שלנו מהאפשרות לפתור אותה אלא שהדעה השגורה אומרת שאינה ניתנת לפתרון כלל (אני כשלעצמי מאמין שהיא פתירה אבל אני מתבסס כאן על אינטואיצה ותחושה ומעט ידע על ההיסטוריה של התפתחות הרעיונות ופחות על מה שנחשב כמידע מדעי מוצק ) נכון שאפשר לזהות מגמה לרב תחומיות, ונכון שהמגמה הזאת מצביעה על שיפור בגישה, אבל לדעתי זה קצת מופרז לקבוע משום כך שהבעייה הזאת כבר מאחורינו, זה קצת אפילו קצת שחצני,הבעייה הזאת נפתרת לאיטה בקצב משלה וזה לא משהו שגילינו אתמול ולא משהו שנפתור מחר, במקרה הטוב עשינו עוד צעד אחד קטן.
אני קורה לכל האנשים בבונים,וגם אנשי המדע הם אנשים, ולפי עוצמת הרגש והתשוקה שהם מפעילים על מנת לגדר ולשמור על הטריטוריה שלהם הייתי אומר שכנראה רובם קרובים יותר לבבון מלאדם הממוצע,
לא צריך לקרוא את המאמר שהובא כאן בשביל לדעת את עוצמת המשטמה והזלזול והביזוי בין אנשי מדעי הטבע לאנשי מדעי הרוח, כל מי שדיבר אי פעם עם אחד מהם או קרא מעט ממה שהם כותבים מכיר אותה,ולעוצמה זאת אין שום קשר למדע, יש לה קשר רק לשורשיו של האדם בשימפנזה.
ברור שהמדע אינו מייצר אמיתות אובייקטיביות,
בדיוק כשם שברור שזו שאיפתו העיקרית של המדע,
לייצר אמיתות אובייקטיביות,
ומכשלון לכשלון הוא מצליח קצת יותר,
זו אינה אפשרות כיום אבל זו המטרה האולטימטיבית,
ובלי לדעת את האופק אי אפשר לדעת לאן אנחנו הולכים ולמה.
ולדעתי, וזה גם מה שכתבתי בפירוש, ככל שהסינטזה בין התחומים ה”רכים” יותר של מדעי הרוח והחברה לתחומים ה”קשים” יותר של מדעי הטבע תהיה יותר טובה ככה נתקרב יותר לאפשרות של הכרת האמת האובייקטיבית, והמהלך הזה, לסינטזה,מתקיים, למרות הנטייה המובהקת, גם ובעיקר בשדה המדע, להתנגד לו.
ממה שאני רואה ומבין אז כל הצלחה, ולו חלקית וקטנה, ביצירת מרחב לא טריטוריאלי, מאפשרת יותר צמיחה לכיוון הלא עימותי, הלא מלחמתי, והרשת היא באמת דוגמה לכך, למרות שחלק מהאנשים שתרמו רבות לאפשרות לקיומה הם אנשים שבכלל לא הצליחו להבין בשביל מה צריך אמנות וספרות ופילוסופיה (קראתי לא מזמן את הביוגרפיה של דיראק,הבן אדם באמת לא הצליח להבין מה זה אמנות וספרות ובשביל מה זה טוב בכלל,לא שהוא שנא את זה, מנטלית, כמו הרבה מאנשי מדעי הטבע, הוא לא היה מצוייד להבין דבר ממה שהתקיים מחוץ לטריטוריה של המתמטיקה והפיזיקה)
arnse היקר. אם תגובתי הקודמת הצליחה להביא אותך לכתוב את תגובתך החדשה המלומדת והמלמדת אז כמו שאומרים, דיינו. הרשה לי הפעם לא לחלק לדבריך ואף להצטרף אליהם ולתקן הרושם שתגובתי הקודמת עוררה;
אני אחרון שיזלזל בתרומתו של מדעי הרוח להתפתחות הידע האנושי בתחום המדעים או מה שאתה מכנה מדעים קשים. ללא פתיחת אופקים באמצעות אומנות המדע לא היה יכול להתפתח. הדוגמא הידוע ביותר היא גילוי הפרספקטיבה בציור, שפתחה עיניים להוגים וברבות הימים אפשרה לראות דברים מזווית שונה מהשכל הישר, או הפיסיקה האריסטוטליאנית. אבל יש הרבה דוגמאות כאלה וודאי יש משכתב על כך, רק אני לא מכיר ספר כזה, ואם טרם נכתב ספר כזה, יש כאן רעיון מעניין לעבודת דוקטורט למי שבתחום התפתחות הידע האנושי. אגב דיראק ידוע כאוטיסט חברתי, ואין לשפוט מדענים אחרים לפיו.
בהמשך אתה כותב; …….בכל מקרה, עובדתית אתה טועה, בגדול, למדעים המדוייקים אין כלים שיכולים להסביר וליישב כהלכה את מה שעולה מהתצפיות והתיאוריות של המכניקה הקוונטית,…………
מצד אחד אתה כמובן צודק, מדעי הטבע ומדע הפיסיקה רחוקים מלענות על כל השאלות שבמהות הקיום הפיסיקלי. אם לא היה כך, לא היה עוד מקום לכל מוסדות המחקר עם תקציבי עתק, שהגדול בהם הוא ההדרון קולידר בשוויץ שעלה נדמה לי 7 מיליארד יורו. עם זאת אני חולק עליך שלפיסיקה אין כלים להתמודד עם תופעות הקוונטיות. אולי התופעות עצמם הן נוגדות מאוד את שמוכר לנו בפיסיקה העוסקת בתחום האטומי והעל אטומי, וכמובן נוגדות את הכל שאדם מסוגל להבין בשכלו הישר, אבל הכלים להבנת התופעות שפיתחו מדענים מאפשרים היום ליצור טכנולוגיות רבות שבלעדיהם לא היה לנו. לדוגמא ננו טכנולוגיה שהיום יוצרת טכנולוגיות והגדרת חומרים שימושיים שדומה ואף עולה על ההתפתחות של המצאת החומרים הפלסטיים שבאה בעקבות הבנת התהליכים בכימיה אורגנית. כבר היום לא ניתן לחשוב על העולם בלי ננו טכנולוגיה כמו שלא ניתן לחשוב על עולם ללא פלסטיק. (אני מקווה שננו טכנולוגיה תנקה גם את העולם משאריות הפלסטיק שהצטברו במזבלות בחמישים שנים האחרונות, ומקווה שלא יצור זיהום חדש אף מסוכן ממנו).
לכנות אנשים בבונים לא מסביר דבר. יכולתה לכנות בני אדם אבוקדו והיה לזה משמעות זהה. זה לא מוסיף הבנה לכלום, ומפחית מערך טענותיך שלטעמי דווקא ראויות להתיחסות.
בהמשך אתה כותב;
…..ברור שהמדע אינו מייצר אמיתות אובייקטיביות,
בדיוק כשם שברור שזו שאיפתו העיקרית של המדע,
לייצר אמיתות אובייקטיביות,
ומכשלון לכשלון הוא מצליח קצת יותר, …..
אם כוונתך שמטרת המדע היא ליצור אמיתות דוגמטיות כמו בדתות המונותאיסתיות אז אתה טועה. המדע לא עוסק בזה. לדוגמה יש מעמד של קדושה, לכן אסור לבחון אותה, בזה היא שונה מאקסיומה שאומנם גם היא אמיתה שעליה מושתת ידע מערכתי שלם, ובכל זאת ניתן לבחון ולנסות לסתור את אמיתותה. הדוגמא הטובה היא הגאומטריה הלא אאוקלדית שהתחילה להתפתח במאה תשע עשרי.
אשר העימותים והסכסוכים בין מדעים ומדענים שונים, זה רק מוכיח שגם הם בני אדם (ולא בבונים). הרי נאמר כבר מזמן, קינאת סופרים מרבה בינה.
,אהבה בת חלוף, גרועה מבדידות
אהבה חפצת שליטה, גרועה מאדישות
,אהבה לרגע, היא הבזק בזיכרונה
אהבה הרוצה להכחיד, משולה לשנאה
קנאית, הרוצה בו לקניינה, מולידה שנאה
? ואני תוהה ומשתאה, הקיימת אהבה לשמה
Jews as a Nation and antisemitism
Christianity as any other belief system that is based on dogmas, expects that everyone excepts it as the final truth. When opposed it has tendency to become violent againt any phenomena that doesn’t fit to these dogmas. And the very existence of Jews was exactly about this. Saint Augustine solved the Jewish problem more humanly than Luther. He pointed on them as wretched people, whose suffering is a proper punishments for their refusal to recognize the truth about the Savior. But as compared to Luther , he was for continuous Jews existence, just not to let them thrive. But then Augustus lived in the fourth century, at times when the Vandals and Visigoths threatened the very existence of his community.
Luther lived more than thousand years later, before the European religious wars of the 17 century, that his own ideas woke up, on the other hand was an extreme example of Christian theologists, who had problem to cope with the very existence of Jews, who as it appears stubbornly refusing to except Jesus as the Messiah.
As contrary to some apologetic claims of some Christian scholars, Saint Augustine is the very prove that the antisemitism didn’t start with the crusaders but is derived from the foundations of the Christian faith itself. But then let’s not forget, that Augustus lived in times, when it seemed that nothing will stop the destruction of Christian Roman empire, (he died when the Vandals besieged his city). Naturally his approach had to be more mild than that of Luther, who lived when Christianity looked as the superior faith.
The Christianity based on Luther’s ideas is as dogmatic and vigorous as the Catholic Church, if not more than that. Yet the Reformation movement made an U-turn from its dogmatic anti culture and education position, yet not due to spiritual but rather material reasons, mainly colonialism and renaissance in arts and sciences partly supported also by the Catholic church. The truth is, the Catholic church was a very corrupt organization at the time, but as to my view, corruption of any autocratic entity is the good news, because it give hope that the autocracy is close to collapse. The bad news are when the autocracy succeeds to keep its zealousness popular and murders all its real or imaginary opponents. An other urban mythology is the intellectual openness of the Lutheran movement that brought to enlightenment and scientific revolution of 17-18 century. France was Catholic and its achievements were comparable to that of protestant English. The English were more lucky because they had a rather gradual and not revolutionary political change to non autocratic political system. Then they invented the steam engine because of need of coal to heat the cities, but above all because North America became rather a protestant English country than a French one. And it could easily be otherwise if not the stupidity of the French kings and dictators. Yes the English King Gorge III was disastrous too, but he had the parliament that eventually forced him to come to reason (or rather to lose his reason).
The theological foundation of Judaism is the intensive God-human-God relation loaded with tension and activity based on recipe prescribed in the Five Books of Moses the Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy or in other words the Pentateuch. This books of stories and law prescribe to Jews many complicated rules God ordered to follow. Most of the laws have no human to human consequences, and it is almost impossible strictly to follow them without to fail. This creates a constant relation of sin and guilt, to which the all mighty God reacts with continuous punishment, threats for the future, but also consolation and promises.
One of these promises is to help the Jews to create an independent statehood under a king directly appointed by the God, the Messiah. (Messiah in Hebrew means one who was anointed, or greased, which is the part of act of ceremony of apotheosis of a king.) The best known Messiah was of course King David (Who according to last archeological findings was rather a local chieftain between the mountains of Jerusalem and Hebron than a great King). But since David times, for thousand years of Jews living in the Levant the “Holly Land”, the Jewish statehood had only very few years of real independence. In the eighth century b.c. came already the Assyrians, followed by Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and finally the Romans. All these empires of the region left very little gap for Jewish independence.
After 1000 years of God’s not fulfilled promises for independent Jewish Kingdom ruled by king Chosen by God how could the Jews cope with this frustrating situation? And on top of sll this, the Promised land was again ruled by a Roman dictator, who was not only non Jew, but claimed that he and his horse are God. To a Jewish believer like Jesus, his followers and many other Jews it had to be a shocking experience to see, that God allowed these people to rule the Promised Land, and it seems it is not going to change very soon. But you can’t go to complain to your all mighty God and claim your promised kingdom, viz. what happened to Job in the Book of Job.
So what could the Jews do in their frustration? Leaving the belief in Torah was not an option, so some of them tried to find new definition for Messiah. Not anymore an earthly creation, but a divine creature, who’s promised kingdom is not on earth but in the heaven. All I wanted to say is that Christianity is a understandable development of Jews theological concept, of Jews living in the first century under Roman governance.
So why had it become the major source of anti-Judaism? First, because in the Canonical gospels when the general public heard about Jesus crucifixion ceremony, where the mocking audience are called Jews and not just “the audience”. The second and even more important issue is, that when Christianity has become the dominant political religion in Rome, they tried to destroy every hint, that could shake the foundations of their obscure belief, and every thought that is not compatible to their expansionist intentions. So they destroyed all the gospels except of the four canonical gospels. They persecuted the Arians and many others like them, and of course the Jews, who happened to have the copyright for gospels, yet they themselves or at least some of them refused to except the ultimate truth, the truth of the official Christian church.
Zion is a hill but also became in late eighteen century a symbol. Symbol of Jews who believe that the Jews have the right for homeland at least as much as the Albanians. This need for homeland at beginning of the Zionism seemed to be a rather spiritual need than material so not many were interested. Then around the turn off 20 century, with rise of neo-antisemitism the need became material and more Jews became interested. The Holocaust unfortunately proved how right they were. The remaining left overs of European Jews believed that they can secure their physical and cultural survival only by establishing a independent Jewish state. And then the world community feeling ashamed of its own deeds agreed to it. The Jewish state proved its competence as it successfully absorbed the Jews from the Islam world and most probably saved them from a new holocaust.
But since the seventies and eighties started again the “old new” voices continuing the tradition of St. August, Luther, the Russian Czar, you name the rest who worked very hard to de-legitimate the very right of Jews to exist as a separate culture, with all its anomalies for good or bad. This voices started under the cover of internationalism orchestrated by the imperialistic intention of the post WWII bastion of evil, the USSR. After the collapse of USSR, it’s agents who lost their directive, out of confusion continue until today the crusade against the Jewish culture, under the pretext of anti Zionism. I wonder for how long they can nourish this internationalism pretext until they realize that the enemies of Israel the Muslimo-Nazis are not exactly partners for internationalism, unless it will be an internationally imposed fundamental Islam on the non Islamic world.
As to the question is Judaism just a religion or also a nation, we have to ask what it means nation. Once I read somewhere that Stalin wrote “nation is group of people with common language and common land they occupy”. From this perspective the Jews in diaspora are not a nation while the Jews in Israel are. But who really cares what this primitive butcher has to say about the subject.
My opinion is very different from his. To my opinion nation is a group of people with joint cultural heritage and a joint epic story or history they identify with. From this point of view of course Jews are a nation even if without a common land. The oddity about the Jews is that their epic story is more than a tribal-national story, it is a theological epic story or in other words a religion.
What’s more their theological story became the basis for theological epics of the Christians and Muslims as well, and this annoys them a lot. ” How come such a wretched nation claims the priority upon our epic story?”
It may be interesting to compare the Jewish identity with that of the Greek national identity. The Greeks have a very long history with a influence on western civilization that is comparable with the influence of the Judaism. But the modern Greeks are hardly connected to their ancient culture. They are orthodox Christians and don’t believe in their ancient myths. Their language is very different from the classical Greek etc. Yet they claim they are the rightful descents of classical Greece. Viz how they opposed the usage of name Macedonia. So what are the Greeks? nation? culture? an epic story? it just shows to you that the definition of what is nation is more complicated than what Stalin thought.
Jews as a Nation and antisemitism Christianity as any other belief system that is based on dogmas that have to be excepted as final truth, become violent against phenomena that doesn’t fit to these dogmas. And the very existence of Jews was exactly about this. Saint Augustine solved the Jewish problem more humanly than Luther. He pointed on them as wretched people, whose suffering is a proper punishments for their refusal to recognize the truth about the Savior. But as compared to Luther he was for continuous Jews existence, just not to allow them to thrive. But he lived in the fourth century, at times when the Vandals and Visigoths threatened the very existence of his community. Luther who lived more than thousand years later, before the European religious wars in the 17 century, wars his own ideas woke up, on the other hand was an extreme example of Christian theologists, who had problem to cope with the very idea of existence of Jews, who stubbornly refusing to except Jesus as the Messiah. Saint Augustine is the prove that the antisemitism didn’t start with the crusaders as contrary to some apologetic claims of the church, but is derived from the Christian faith itself. Lets not forget, that he lived in times, when it seemed that nothing will stop the destruction of Christian Roman empire, (he died when the Vandals besieged his city). Naturally his approach had to be more mild than that of Luther, who lived when Christianity looked as the superior faith. Not due to spiritual but rather material achievements, mainly colonialism and Renaissance in arts and sciences partly supported by the Catholic church, that due to Reformation made a U-turn in its pro culture and pro education policy. Truth the Catholic church was a very corrupt organization at the time, but as to my view, corruption of any autocratic entity are the good news, because they give hope the autocracy will collapse soon. The bad news are when the autocracy succeeds to keep its zealousness popular and murders all its real or imaginary opponents. An other urban mythology is the intellectual openness of the Lutheran movement that brought to enlightenment and scientific revolution of 17-18 century. France was Catholic and its achievements were comparable to that of protestant English. The English were more lucky because of gradual and not revolutionary political change to non autocratic political system, invention of steam engine because of need for coal to heat their cities, but above all, North America becoming a protestant English speaking country rather than a French speaking Catholic. And it could easily be otherwise if not the stupidity of the French kings and dictators. Yes the English King Gorge III was disastrous too, but he had the parliament that eventually forced him to come to reason (or rather to lose his reason). The theological foundation of Judaism is the intensive God-human-God relation loaded with tension and activity based on recipe exactly prescribed in the Five Books of Moses the Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy or in other words the Pentateuch. This books of stories and law prescribe to Jews many complicated rules God ordered to follow. Most of the laws have no human to human consequences, and it is almost impossible strictly to follow them without to fail. This creates a constant relation of sin and guilt, to which the all mighty God reacts with continuous punishment, threats for the future, but also consolation and promises. One of these promises is to help the Jews to create an independent statehood under a king directly appointed by the God, the Messiah. (Messiah in Hebrew means one who was anointed, or greased, which is the part of act of ceremony of apotheosis of a king.) The best known Messiah was of course King David (Who according to last archeological findings was rather a local chieftain between the mountains of Jerusalem and Hebron than a great King). But since David times, for thousand years of Jews living in the Levant the “Holly Land”, the Jewish statehood had only very few years of real independence. In the nine century b.c. came already the Assyrians, followed by Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and finally the Romans. All these empires of the region left very little gap for Jewish independence. After 1000 years of God’s not fulfilled promises for independent Jewish Kingdom ruled by king Chosen by God how could the Jews cope with the frustrating situation, after again having the Jewish statehood was ruled by a Roman dictator, who claimed that he and his horse are God. To a Jewish believer like Jesus, his followers and many other Jews it had to be a shocking experience to see, that God allowed these people to rule the Holy Land, and it seems it is not going to change very soon. But you can’t go to complain to your all mighty God and claim your promised kingdom, viz. what happened to Job in the Book of Job. So what could the Jews do in their frustration? Leaving the belief in Torah was not an option, so some of them tried to find new definition for Messiah. Not anymore an earthly creation, but a divine creature, who’s promised kingdom is not on earth but in the heaven. All I wanted to say is that Christianity is a understandable development of Jews theological concept, of Jews living in the first century under Roman governance. So why had it become the major source of anti-Judaism? First, because in the Canonical gospels the general public when hearing about Jesus crucifixion ceremony, where the mocking audience was called Jews and not just “the audience”. The second and even more important issue is, that when Christianity has become the dominant political religion, they tried to destroy every hint, that can shake the foundations of their obscure belief, and every thought that is not compatible to their expansionist intentions. So they destroyed all the gospels except of the four canonical gospels, they persecuted the Arians and many others like them, and of course the Jews, who happened to have the copyright for gospels, yet they themselves or at least some of them refused to except the ultimate truth, the truth of the official Christian church. Zion is a hill but also became in late eighteen century a symbol. Symbol of Jews who believe that the Jews have the right for homeland at least as much as the Albanians. This need for homeland at beginning of the Zionism seemed to be a rather spiritual need than material so not many were interested. Then around the turn off 20 century, with rise of neo-antisemitism the need became material and more Jews became interested. The Holocaust unfortunately proved how right they were. The remaining left overs of European Jews believed that they can secure their physical and cultural survival only by establishing a independent Jewish state. And then the world community feeling ashamed of its own deeds agreed to it. The Jewish state proved its competence as it successfully absorbed the Jews from the Islam world and most probably saved them from a new holocaust. But since the seventies and eighties started again the “old new” voices continuing the tradition of St. August, Luther, the Russian Czar, you name the rest who worked very hard to de-legitimate the very right of Jews to exist as a separate culture, with all its anomalies for good or bad. This voices started under the cover of internationalism orchestrated by the imperialistic intention of the post WWII bastion of evil, the USSR. After the collapse of USSR, it’s agents who lost their directive, out of confusion continue until today the crusade against the Jewish culture, under the pretext of anti Zionism. I wonder for how long they can nourish this internationalism pretext until they realize that the enemies of Israel the Muslimo-Nazis are not exactly partners for internationalism, unless it will be an internationally imposed fundamental Islam on the the non Islam world. As to the question is Judaism just a religion or also a nation, we have to ask what it means nation. Once I read somewhere that Stalin wrote “nation is group of people with common language and common land they occupy”. From this perspective the Jews in diaspora are not a nation while the Jews in Israel are. But who really cares what this primitive butcher has to say about the subject. My opinion is very different from his. To my opinion nation is a group of people with joint cultural heritage and a joint epic story or history they identify with. From this point of view of course Jews are a nation even if without a common land. The oddity about the Jews is that their epic story is more than a tribal-national story, it is a theological epic story or in other words a religion. What’s more their theological story became the basis for theological epics of the Christians and Muslims as well, and this annoys them a lot. ” How come such a wretched nation claims the priority upon our epic story?” It may be interesting to compare the Jewish identity with that of the Greek national identity. The Greeks have a very long history with a influence on western civilization that is comparable with the influence of the Judaism. But the modern Greeks are hardly connected to their ancient culture. They are orthodox Christians and don’t believe in their ancient myths. Their language is very different from the classical Greek etc. Yet they claim they are the rightful descents of classical Greece. Viz how they opposed the usage of name Macedonia. So what are the Greeks? nation? culture? an epic story? it just shows to you that the definition of what is nation is more complicated than what Stalin thought.
Patrice Aim in her essay http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/luther-hitler-unelected/#comment-20127
says, „Martin Luther, a famous religious fanatic, remains of great ideological importance to the established order. A good reason to sink him. Luther is central to the ideology that praises “market” superiority, and “Reformation”. These are actually their true meaning, plutocracy and exploitative reformation into barbarity, no holds what Luther was really preaching flows from his 65,000 words treaty. As a few quotes below demonstrate, it is full of genocidal threats against Jews (and thus, as Luther’s reasoning makes clear, it is also genocidal against all and any minority, and those who do not believe that he, Luther, is not a friend of “Jesus”, whatever “Jesus” is the name of… apparently another homicidal maniac.
EugenR Says: Luther was an extreme example of Christian theologists, who had problem to cope with the very existence of Jews, stubbornly refusing to except Jesus as Messiah. Christianity as any other belief system that is based on dogmas, that have to be excepted as final truth, become violent against phenomena that doesn’t fit to these dogmas. And the very existence of Jews was exactly about this. Saint Augustine solved the Jewish problem more humanly than Luther. He pointed on them as wretched people, whose suffering is a proper punishments for their refusal to recognize the truth about the Savior. But as compared to Luther he was for continuous Jews existence, just not to allow them to thrive. But he lived in the fourth century, at times when the Vandals and Visigoths threatened the very existence of his community.
gmax Says: I remember reading, both directly and indirectly genocidal stuff from Saint Augustine about Jews. Genocide ain’t just about killing people. Aussies down under set up a genocide against Bushmen in the 1960s, by stealing their kids. Saint Augustine wanted Jews out of Israel, their home. That’s genocide.
EugenR Says: Dear gmax, agree, i intended to be ironic about Saint Augustine. He is the prove that the antisemitism didn’t start with the crusaders as contrary to some apologetic claims of the church, but is derived from the Christian faith itself. Lets not forget, that he lived in times, when it seemed that nothing will stop the destruction of Christian Roman empire, (he died when the Vandals besieged his city). Naturally his approach had to be more mild than that of Luther, who lived when Christianity looked as the superior faith. Not due to spiritual but rather material achievements, mainly colonialism and Renaissance in arts and sciences partly supported by the Catholic church, that due to Reformation made a U-turn in its pro education position.Truth the Catholic church was a very corrupt organization at the time, but as to my view, corruption of any autocratic entity is the good news, because they give hope the autocracy will collapse soon. The bad news are when the autocracy succeeds to keep its zealousness popular and murders all its real or imaginary opponents. An other urban mythology is the intellectual openness of the Lutheran movement that brought to enlightenment and scientific revolution of 17-18 century. France was Catholic and its achievements were comparable to that of protestant English. The English were more lucky because of gradual and not revolutionary political change to non autocratic political system, invention of steam engine and above all, North America becoming a protestant English country rather than French. And it could easily be otherwise if not the stupidity of its kings and dictators. Yes the English King Gorge III was disastrous too, but he had the parliament that eventually forced him to come to reason (or rather to lose his reason).
Gmax Says: Dear Eugen: Ah you’re joking about Augustine? I feel better already. I feel Christianism has had a terrible effect: the dark ages, as Patrice always say.
Patrice Ayme Says: Dear Eugen:The difference space between England and France has several ignored dimensions: The French peasants owned their land. That made them less prolific. The “West Country Men” a set of very nasty plutocrats, dominated English politics, and made it viciously expansionist. They used liberal amounts of human fodder, especially from vagrants in cities… that had to be rid of. So they were offered the rope or the boast. They took the boat. By contrast, the French felt that going to America was a great honor. (The French were also exterminated by Philippe II: they were the first to settle the present USA.) Since Roman times, England has had readily exploitable coal. Interestingly, it’s a French professor in Germany who invented the first serious steam engines we know of, and the first steam boat (destroyed by monks). All this in… Germany.
EugenR Says: The steam engine was invented by Heron the Greek almost 2000 years before the industrial revolution, but for what usage? The important thing was not its reinvention but the usage. The English needed coal, and it forced them to make the steam engine a practical tool and the rest came because of some smart people around. One of them was Brunel, a French living in England.
Patrice Ayme Says: Dear Eugen: The Egyptians, early on, used the steam engine to open temple doors magically. That’s where the Greeks got it from, and it was used similarly.(Whenever looking at the Greeks, look all the way to Egypt, and don’t forget Crete!). As far as the Romans were concerned, they had absolutely all the engineering, potentially, to make steam boats (paddle powered: they invented, and used massively the paddle mechanism, to measure ships’ speeds). But, of course, under the Principate, new ideas, even in tech, were officially the enemy. Denis Papin crossed the Rubicon, as he traveled more than a 100 miles with his steam boat. Everybody knew this, and could see how useful it was. As everybody knew deforestation was an acute problem (it became catastrophic in 1300 CE). As I said precedingly, Edward III took anti-pollution edicts in London around 1325 CE, because of the heavy coal burning. Coal developed more in England, because there was more of it, and fewer forests. Another French engineering team made the first (steam powered) cars… Or, rather, tanks. The program was paid by the Ancient Regime military, and the idea was the idea of the tank: go cross country. The first car accident, duly notified quickly resulted in Paris.
EugenR Says: I read what I wrote above…………”the antisemitism didn’t start with the crusaders as contrary to some apologetic claims of the church, but is derived from the Christian faith itself…….”, I got a strong urge to correct myself.
The theological foundation of Judaism is the intensive God-human-God relation loaded with tension and activity based on recipe exactly prescribed in the Five Books of Moses the Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy or in other words the Pentateuch. This books of stories and law prescribe to Jews many complicated rules God ordered to follow. Most of the laws have no human to human consequences, and it is almost impossible strictly to follow them without to fail. This creates a constant relation of sin and guilt, to which the all mighty God reacts with continuous punishment, threats for the future, but also consolation and promises.
One of these promises is to help the Jews to create an independent statehood under a king directly appointed by the God, the Messiah. (Messiah in Hebrew means one who was anointed, or greased, which is the part of act of ceremony of apotheosis of a king.) The best known Messiah was of course King David (Who according to last archeological findings was rather a local chieftain between the mountains of Jerusalem and Hebron than a great King). But since David times, for thousand years of Jews living in the Levant the “Holly Land”, the Jewish statehood had only very few years of real independence. In the nine century b.c. came already the Assyrians, followed by Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and finally the Romans. All these empires of the region left very little gap for Jewish independence.
After 1000 years of not fulfilled God’s promises for independent Jewish Kingdom ruled by king Chosen by God how could the Jews cope with the frustrating situation, after again the Jewish statehood was ruled by a Roman dictator, who claimed that he and his horse are God. To a Jewish believer like Jesus, his followers and many other Jews it had to be a shocking experience to see, that God allowed these people to rule the Holy Land, and it seems it is not going to change very soon. But you can’t go to complain to your all mighty God and claim your promised kingdom, viz. what happened to Job in the Book of Job.
So what could the Jews do in their frustration? Leaving the belief in Torah was not an option, so some of them tried to find new definition for Messiah. Not anymore a earthly creation, but a divine creature, who’s promised kingdom is not on earth but in the heaven. All I wanted to say is that Christianity is a understandable development of Jews theological concept, of Jews living in the first century under Roman governance. So why did it become the major source of anti-Judaism? First, because in the Canonical gospels the general public watching the Jesus crucifixion ceremony was called Jews and not the audience. The second and even more important issue is, when Christianity has become the dominant political religion, they tryed to destroy every hint, that can shake the foundations of their obscure belief, and every thought that is not compatible to their expansionist intentions. So they destroyed all the gospels except of the four canonical gospels, they persecuted the Arians and many others like them, and of course the Jews, who happened to have the copyright for gospels, yet they themselves or at least some of them refused to except the ultimate truth, the truth of the official Christian church.