The Masking of the Obvious

An Eastern monarch, of whom we know the existence but not the name, kept an officer in his house whose employment it was to remind him of his mortality, by calling out every morning at a stated hour, “Remember prince that thou shalt die.

Indeed, the contemplation of the frailness of our present state appeared of so much importance to the famous legislator Solon of Athens, that he left this precept to future ages, ”Keep thine eyes fixed upon the end of life.” Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Putin, Macron, Biden

caligula and hore“One, no-one, one hundred thousand” is the title of a novel by Italian author Luigi Pirandello.

‘One’ refers to the image that everyone has of himself, ‘no one’ refers to what the protagonist decides to be at the end of the novel. ‘One hundred thousand’ refers to the images that others have of us.
As the plot of the novel unfolds, the protagonist discovers that he does not know who he really is, leading him to realize that he is an instinctive intellectual chameleon, one person wearing a thousand masks, one for each person he knows. Continue reading

Posted in Amusing Shakespeare, Elegant Shakespearean Quotes, Historical Quotes, Philosophical, Psychological & Historical Considerations | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Curious History of American Exceptionalism

illustrate postFrancois Mitterrand, the longest serving president of France (1981-1985), not long before he died (1996), made this quite extraordinary statement:

“France does not know it, but she is at war with America. A permanent, vital, economic war, and only apparently a victimless war.
Yes, the Americans are inexorable, they are voracious, they want undivided power over the world… It is an unknown war, a permanent war, a war without apparent deaths and yet a war to the death.”
Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ukraine, The Fumes of Madness

In about 50 BC the Latin poet Publilius Syrus said, “By knowing nothing, life is most delightful” (In nil sapiendo vita iucundissima est.) And in 1788 English poet Thomas Gray rendered the idea in English, “Where Ignorance is Bliss, It is Folly to be Wise.”

The preamble is necessary, I think, for two reasons. I do not pretend to be exempt from ignorance, but some among the readers may disagree with the ideas herewith brought forth. If so I will suggest to him/her to keep in mind one of Marc Twain’s best pronouncements, “In all matters of opinions our adversaries are insane” and apply it accordingly. Continue reading

Posted in Elegant Shakespearean Quotes | Tagged | Leave a comment

Revolutions Then and Now

 

cartoon of revolutions

Plutarch wrote his Parallel Lives, biographies of famous men, arranged in pairs to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings. In a more modest imitation I will draw a parallel between our current historical moment and the phase of the French Revolution called ‘Jacobinism.’ Then I will review some overlooked background of the French revolution proper and corresponding and relevant aspects of the Bolshevik revolution. From all of which we may derive analogies with the current historical moment and, perhaps, parallels with the long predicted and obscurely anticipated New World Order revolution. Needless to say, though the evidence is often compelling the future is ever an enigma, for, to quote Julius Caesar, “What can be avoided whose end is purposed by the mighty Gods?” (1)

To start, because it is necessary to shorten in order to remember, in the collective mind, the French Revolution happened because the people were hungry and the spiteful queen Marie Antoinette told the Parisians that if they did not have bread they could as well eat cake. Whereupon the crowd became angry and cut the heads of both king and queen.

Of course, the matter was somewhat more complicated, and in this episode I will outline some lesser-known historical threads that may cast a different light on the French Revolution as a historical phenomenon. A perspective that may also give us some clues on how to interpret the history of our times.

Today – at least as far as America is concerned – we could say that America is living through the equivalent of the Jacobin phase of the French Revolution. The Jacobins constituted the faction that came to power during the extreme and bloodiest phase of the Revolution, and signaled the beginning of its end. Where the end product of the revolution turned out to be Napoleon Bonaparte.

It was during the Jacobin phase of the revolution that the guillotine was most active. A point that may have given some reason to Margaret Thatcher – who, otherwise, is a sufficiently hateful figure in British history – to say that all the French Revolution produced was a heap of headless corpses and a tyrant.

To give some anecdotal background about the Jacobins, during the relatively short time of their ascendance, they changed the name of the 12 months, to reflect the agricultural aspect of the seasons. For example January was “snowy”, February was “rainy”, March was “windy” and so on.

The week was converted from 7 to 10 days. And the weeks themselves were no longer called weeks but decades. Which meant, by the way, that while under the ‘repressive’ monarchical regime workers had to work for 6 days and rest on the 7th, now, after the Jacobin liberation, they had to work for 9 days and rest on the 10th.

The days, instead of being called Monday, Tuesday etc. were to be called first, second, third etc. or rather in French ‘primodi, duodi, tridi.. etc.

A group of 4 years ending in the leap year was called a “Franciade” which we could translate as ‘a French thing’. This to commemorate that it had taken 4 years since the start of the Revolution in 1989 to arrive at the establishment of the French Republic in 1993.

The Jacobins even tried to decimalize time, 20 hours per day instead of 24, but it proved too complicated and they didn’t succeed. And finally God was turned into a Goddess, the Goddess of Reason.

A character not usually remembered or associated with the Jacobin phase of the French Revolution was the Italian astronomer and mathematician Giuseppe Luigi Lagrange, then naturalized French as Joseph-Louis Lagrange. He was actually from Torino (Turin) in Italy, where a prominent street is dedicated to his name. As an aside, in Lagrange’s times, only a short time had passed before the capital of Kingdom of Savoy had moved from Chambery (now in France) to Turin. The Piedmontese language had the same relationship to French as the Ukrainian language has to Russian. The Piedmontese, now relegated to the role of a dialect, still resembles more French than Italian 250 years later. But I digress.

The Jacobin phase of the French revolution did not last long. Eventually the reaction was such that the Jacobins themselves lost their heads at the same guillotine that they used proficiently and profusely during their time.

A long introduction, but there is a reason. It could be said that we are now in the Jacobin phase of the current American revolution. For, just as the Jacobins wanted the French to believe a number of things that were not true, Americans (and really the Western world at large) are asked to believe lies or, as Shakespeare would say, “lies that are like the father that begets them; gross as a mountain, open, palpable.” (2) Where in the instance the father was the notorious bon-vivant Falstaff.

Some examples – that there are as many sexes as we can imagine, looting is acceptable as reparation for previous oppression of the looters. In fact, at least in California, many have suggested that ‘looting’ is a term loaded with racism. A better word proposed is “civil assets forfeiture.” Al Sharpton, a very questionable ex-drug dealer and now respected spokesman for the minority community has actually said, “You are liberators, not looters”.

And continuing with few out of many examples of the current Jacobin phase of the American revolution – the family is an old structure reminiscent of authoritarian impositions, a paternalistic approach to life inhibiting liberty, freedom and development. There are no races except one that cannot be mentioned. That the only reason why humans are still alive is because of corporate medicine and thousands of different (not to say harmful or deadly) pills.Furthermore, as we all know, this is the reality inculcated into the mass-mind by the monopolistic media, supplemented, fed, maintained and supported by an equally monopolistic, academic, intellectually racketeering system that retails ridiculous fields of study and idiotic ideas detrimental to society at large.

Which should not surprise the mass at large. What is reality after all? As the recently departed and totally un-missed Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defense during the Bush 2’s Iraq war said, “We create our own reality” – in response to a journalist who questioned Rumsfeld explanation of an event that openly contradicted the actual physic material reality of the event.

Had the journalist been aware of the exhilarating British series, “Yes Minister” he could have answered, “…the precise correlation between the information you communicated and the facts, in so far as they can be determined and demonstrated, is such as to cause epistemological problems of sufficient magnitude, as to lay upon the logical and semantic resources of the English language, a heavier burden than they can be reasonably expected to bear.”

But I digress. Altogether this ‘Jacobin-American’ culture contributes to create a well-defined mass-mind and to feed and maintain an essentially racketeering society where, out of the chaos, as many leeches and looters as it can accommodate make money by any possible dishonest means.

Afghanistan is but one good example, which we may consider a latter day appendix of an updated Jacobin revolution. In this respect I would agree with Biden that Afghanistan was actually a success. It does not matter how many people were killed in 20 years. Just consider how many people have grown immensely rich through the trillions thrown at Afghanistan to keep up and maintain the machinery of appearance.

In a necessarily limited space, my intent is to demonstrate that there is a general trend among revolutions and upheavals, a trend towards not just solving local problems but towards creating a new world order altogether. With the French Revolution the new world order eventually halted at or with Napoleon. Who, in turn wanted to create a new world order based on French exceptionalism. The plan advanced pretty well until it crashed at Waterloo in 1815. I omit the other 2 failed French revolutions of 1848 and 1871.

The Bolshevik revolution equally aimed at creating a new world order, in the thought of Lenin and Trotzky. As we know and broadly speaking, the goal was deflected when Stalin decided that before establishing a new world order, it was necessary to establish a brand new domestic order. And we know how the whole thing ended.

However, before the current western revolution in progress – aimed at a new world order, of which many believe that the pandemic is an integral part – there was another one, whose trigger was the totally unnecessary explosion of the 2 atomic bombs in Japan, in 1945. They were to signify the beginning of a new world order. This aspect of history is usually neglected or overlooked. Suffice to say that Ben Gurion, one of Israel’s founders predicted, after World War II, that by 1999 there would be no nations and the world capital would be in an Israeli Jerusalem. So far it has not happened yet only because only the witches of Macbeth can look with precision into the seeds of time and say which grain will grow and which will not.

Back to the French revolution and to some related and generally overlooked aspects. We associate the 18th century with the age of enlightenment and with the resurgence of a new freedom of thought, thanks to the efforts and production of the great philosophers or philosophes, especially the French Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot with his encyclopedia etc. Therefore it would seems befitting that the first revolution embodying these principles would occur in France. Except that it didn’t.

For this we must refer to what is today Holland or the Netherlands. Where, in 1783 a rebellion broke out against William V, called the Stadtholder, for simplicity the equivalent of a king. On one side there were the supporters of William V called the Orangists and on the other the Patriots, the revolutionaries, who wanted a more egalitarian society.

William V even had to flee his palace as the troops did not want to fight the patriots, who had gathered a militia themselves. But at that point Frederick II of Prussia sent an army of 20,000 soldiers and the revolution of the Patriots ended. Prussia was an ally of England. Which caused a Dutch patriot to say, “The English endeavor to enslave everyone and keep themselves free.”

The point is that, strategically and politically, the objectives of England were to promote revolutions in Catholic countries but suppress it at home and in countries ruled by Protestant allies, as it was the case in Holland. Which does not mean that there were no rebellions or riots in England. One particularly notorious went down in history as the Peterloo Massacre, shich took place at St Peter’s Field, Manchester, Lancashire, England, on Monday 16 August 1819. It was called ‘Peterloo’ as a reference to ‘Waterloo’, the battle that occurred 4 years before. Shelley’s poem “The Mask of Anarchy” gave the riot a place in English literature.

How is a revolution organized? Though some idealists may think otherwise, no revolution can happen without money. The best peaceful revolutions can muster are demonstrations that, in the rare cases when they threaten to galvanize public opinion, are put down either by force or starvation, or denigration or a combination of the three. A very example of denigration is shown, as I am recording this episode, by the attitude of the Canadian government, and the insults directed at the truckers who drove to Ottawa to demonstrate against the Covid restrictions.

Trudeau may have got inspiration from a page of Gibbon’s ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’, “When a government puts down a demonstration with a heavy hand … fortitude is intimidated and wisdom confounded; resistance shrinks from an alliance with rebellion, and the villain remains secure in the robes of the magistrate or politician.”

With the French revolution both money and organization came from or thanks to Freemasonry. This is not conspiracy theory. Among those who proved it, was Augustin Barruel, a writer and historian who wrote a history of the French Revolution.

But along with money a revolution should have a religion. And the French revolution had its ecclesiastical hierarchy and organization in the order of Freemasonry. In fact Freemasonry was instrumental in establishing numerous societies or clubs, which provided the practical and theoretical basis for the revolution. The French clubs were the link between the then famous masonic Lodge of the Nine Sisters, established in the 1776, and the revolutionary government, after the fall of the old regime. The clubs were the churches of the new religion.

As an oddity, a crucial role in the passage from the masonic clubs to the revolution proper was – one would have thought – the most unlikely imaginable character, namely Philippe, the Duke of Orleans, who later renamed himself as Philippe Egalite’. A cousin of the king, he was the inspirer of underground agitations and intrigues that have never been completely unraveled.

The hub, link and connection among the revolutionary clubs, cafes, brothels and publishers of the revolutionary material was the Palais Royale, the princely residence of Philippe. From this palace where the desire of reform moved through revolt to revolution, Philippe tried to create a kind of British island in Paris where French anglophiles would imitate the debate of reforms as they were debated in English coffee-houses.

In fact, the original French radicals wanted to create an English style political class in France where the liberal nobility would collaborate with the enlightened bourgeoisie. And the Palais Royale, was the heart of this movement.

Another influence, in examining revolutions, from the more extreme protestant revolutions of the 16th century to the French and the Bolshevik revolutions is that the lure of sexual liberation is a essential ingredient for the establishment of political control.

The French radicals turned the Palais Royale into a center of low pleasure, specializing in political pornography, with publications such as “The national bordello under the auspices of the Queen.” In fact this was a campaign of gross disinformation before its times. Marie Antoinette while no emblem of humility, had genuine charitable instincts toward poor people. After all she was the daughter of empress Marie Therese of Austria and had been strictly brought up, as was the rule for royal princesses destined from birth to become queens of other countries through marriage.

But after 1789, her opposition to the French Revolution made Marie Antoinette one of the most hated figures in the country. Misogynistic journalists depicted her as a murderous, hedonistic, sexually insatiable lesbian plotting to betray the country to France’s enemy.

The duke of Orleans hired as his personal secretary Mr. de Laclos author of “Les Liasons Dangereuses” , the story of two noblemen and narcissistic rivals who use seduction as a weapon to socially control and exploit others. Another hire was the more famous Marquis de Sade, from whose name, we have derived the adjective ‘sadistic’. Incidentally, de Sade is a figure that well represents a distinct spirit of the French Revolution as a whole and of the liberated pornography that flourished during the Revolutionary era.

The Palais Royale became notorious for its prostitutes, the most notorious being Madame de Genlis, the mistress of the Duke. I am quoting from a chronicle of the time, “The prostitutes who gathered in the gardens of the Palais Royale made sure that every form of sexual gratification described in the pornography produced there, in the palace, was available in the cafés and departments of the palais complex.”

Providing the intoxicating atmosphere of an earthly utopia – the undeclared objective of great revolutions – the cafés also incited those who frequented them to act on the “politics of desire”, and to bring down the government that inhibited their pleasures and their political fantasies.

If distinctions of rank were obliterated in these cafés and men were free to exercise a sexual as well as political freedom, then the Palais Royal, the Temple of Voluptuousness, was destined to become the birthplace of the revolution.

The association between revolutions and unrestrained sexual passion branded as freedom is as old as Plato. At the Palais Royal the French Radicals, clouded by sexual passion and the pleasures of drugs and alcohol, mistook fantasy for reality and the ideal of total secular happiness began to seem credible as well as desirable.

150 years later in the context of the Bolshevik revolution the part played by Philippe, Duke of Orleans was played by a woman called Alexandra Kollontai. Kollontai, on the trail of Marx, Engels, and the Utopian Socialists of the XIX century saw marriage and the family as an essential part of the capitalist system of ownership and exchange. According to this view women were but property, and morals were simply a system whereby women were kept under control for the benefit of their exploiters.

Religion, by reinforcing morals, reinforces the unjust exploitation of the worker. It followed that women were especially susceptible to exploitation through their religious feelings and superstition. The socialist solution with the abolition of property would lead to relations between the sexes based on love, which for the Bolshevik theoreticians was but a natural instinct.

It followed that with the abolition of property a new system of sexual morality would be established, based not on property but ‘spiritual affinity.’ This meant a completely new moral system based on the subjective states of mind that determined the morality of all sexual actions. A new metaphor defined love: a subjective state of mind called ‘spiritual affinity’. If a man suddenly lost ‘spiritual affinity,’ then he was no longer married and free to seek sexual vacations elsewhere based on a new ‘spiritual affinity.’

Concurring with this mode of thought was Engels’ idea that women liberation could become possible only when women were enabled to take part in industrial production on a large social scale – meaning that women could only become liberated by working outside the home.

Left unsaid was that liberation for women meant transferring the benefits of women’s labor from their immediate family to the benefit of factory owners, be they the capitalists or, as in Russia after the revolution, the state.

Kollontai served as People’s Commissar for Welfare in Vladimir Lenin’s government in 1917–1918.

However, five years later, in 1922, sexual liberation was no longer very popular. Birth rate had fallen dramatically, there were 7 million orphans, over 11 million dead, rampant venereal disease and more prostitution than under the Czars. Kollontai was sent to Norway as ambassador of the Soviet Union. She still clung to her ideas and anticipated that by 1970 the family would have died out throughout the world.

Her prediction did not materialize. Yet, here is always some distance between the birth and maturity of folly as of wickedness. In fact, there are curious echoes of a parallel mode of thought in some developments of contemporary life.

The exaltation, for lack of a better word, of various forms of what once was called sodomy is an example. Along with the idea that race is a colonialist construct and sex attribution is optional. With the unobjectionable consequence that a man may declare himself a woman and thus compete with obvious advantage in sports reserved to women by pretending that he is one of them. Or, if a criminal, by choosing to be jailed with women so as to be able to rape them.And, though at the moment it is officially branded as a conspiracy theory, the Great Reset is an expression become familiar partly due to the Covid phenomenon, and partly to its creator, the somewhat ambiguous figure of Karl Schwab, master of the so-called world economic forum. According to current theory the Great Reset is the global elite’s plan to install a communist world order, by abolishing private property while using COVID-19 to solve overpopulation and enslaving what remains of humanity with vaccines.

Anyway, even Lenin who had chosen Kollontai as Commissar for Welfare declared that “the present widespread hypertrophy in sexual matters does not give joy and force to life, but takes it away. And in the age of revolution this is bad, very bad.”

In a trial of fifteen students who had raped a girl in St. Petersburg, the defendants were accused of perpetrating “petty bourgeois debauchery” and “sexual chaos.” Five of them were condemned to death. Which is curious, because the Communists, appalled at the implementation of their own theories, now found it convenient to label them as ‘petty bourgeois’ and ‘capitalist.’ One may be prompted to say “Shame, where is thy blush?” Or maybe their fancy was cooled after the anticipated raptures of ‘spiritual affinity’, and the glare of novelty had ceased to dazzle the judgment.

But returning to the French revolution it began on July 12, 1789 at the Palais Royal of the duke Philippe, which, as I said, was a privileged sanctuary for intellectuals who could turn speculation into organization. Besides, the Palais provided a living link with the underworld of Paris and with the new social forces that had to be mobilized is for a revolutionary victory.

The minister of war of King Louis XVI, had ‘indisputable evidence’ of the intrigues of England and Prussia, who gave money to the Duke d’Orleans. And English money was found on the first rioters, and Englishmen were seen mingling with the mobs during the first days of the revolution.

For, according to some historians England was worried because King Louis XVI was enthusiastic about the Navy and by opening the port of Cherbourg was threatening England’s domination of the seas.

Anyway, in September 1789, Lord Dorset, England’s ambassador to Paris wrote that the chaos from the revolution meant that it would be a long time before France could return to any state of existence that would make France a subject of uneasiness to other nations. He did not anticipate Napoleon but the theory was clear.

To conclude this remarkably scanty comparison of revolutions. For the mass-mind, revolution means change through widespread violence. I think it is a simplistic view. The Covid phenomenon is a revolution, except that the necessary and preliminary subversion, in this novel case, came from the top down rather than from the bottom up – and it was of long incubation, as even a short perusal of the evidence shows. Which proves how remarkably easy it is with fear, money and media monopoly, to promote subversion and to create the mass-mind required to install any order, even a new world order.

Incidentally, the connection between so called sexual liberation and revolution had been brought into evidence (in the US) as far back as 1954, when a governmental commission was set up to investigate the source of the funding of Kinsey, the author of the Kinsey reports promoting unrestrained sexual license. Who, Kinsey, was a Freudian and like Freud, a pervert.

Quoting from that 1954 report,

“Subversion does not refer to outright revolution, but to the promotion of tendencies that lead, in their inevitable consequences, to the destruction of principles through perversion or alienation. Subversion, in modern society, is not a sudden, cataclysmic explosion, but a gradual undermining, a persistent chipping away at foundations upon which beliefs rest…, It is no exaggeration to state that in the field of social sciences many major projects which have been most prominently sponsored by foundations have been subversive.”

That report could have been written yesterday, or today. Consider the current ‘cultural’ movements, funded at the tune of millions of dollars. Where the ‘sexual revolution’ has reached what, at least until very recently, unthinkable, the freedom to physically change one’s sex through drugs and surgery.

I believe that even Shakespeare could not have imagined the unimaginable when he wrote in a sonnet, “The expense of spirit in a waste of shame is lust in action”…….and… “All this the world well knows yet none knows well how to shun the heaven that leads man to this hell.” (3)

References:
(1) … Julius Caesar
(2) … Falstaff
(3) …Sonnet 129

 

 

Posted in Best Shakespeare Quotes, Education, historical political issues | Leave a comment

Germany, Russia and Remembrance of Things Past

image incapsulating content of postHegel the philosopher demonstrated that all partial truths are falsehoods. For partial truths are all the infinite half-truths that, stated without context and without qualifying their limits, become outright manipulations.

Wherefrom it follows that great historical movements and events share, at their root, dynamics quite similar to those involved in the birth of great religions.

Continue reading

Posted in Best Shakespeare Quotes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Covid and the Magic Power of 3

Illustration for article "Covid and the Magic Power of Number 3"The recent and still boiling controversy about the nature, choice, type, assortment, variety, disparity, quality, benefits or dangers of available Covid vaccines shows clearly that the approximation of ideas cannot abate the vehemence of passion. And passion leads men to display behavior remote from the precincts of reason.

The whole bears some similarities to fundamentalist evangelists, proclaiming fantastic religious beliefs to eager ears and unreasoning minds, or missionaries exposing a metaphysical creed to illiterate shepherds. Continue reading

Posted in Elegant Shakespearean Quotes, historical political issues, Philosophical, Psychological & Historical Considerations, Psychological Shakespeare | Leave a comment

The Mystery of Things

Illustration for article "The Mystery of Things"There is a certain satisfaction, however idle, in finding the seeds and weak beginnings of social phenomena that affect the world at large. And in understanding the orientations and critical directions of the historical process we live in. Even if most of us remain helpless and impotent spectators of public calamities, or witness the vanity of conjecture and the inefficacy of predictions. Continue reading

Posted in Best Shakespeare Quotes, Education, Elegant Shakespearean Quotes | Tagged | 5 Comments

On Medicine and Dr. Knock

Image for article On Medicine and Dr. KnockHowever it might be varnished by imagination or sophistry, the Covid pandemic is one of the most extraordinary phenomena of our times – but it is also the culmination of a mode of thought gradually developed through a long historical gestation. For what originally was (and still is), the natural and necessary need for assistance by him who is sick or in pain, has evolved into assigning to the ‘other’ the responsibility (and the knowledge) of what constitutes our personal physical well-being and health.

Even in antiquity there were voices saying for example that “a man after thirty must be the physician of himself.” Others (few) expressed similar skeptical ideas throughout the centuries, especially when the purported benefits of the then current medicine clashed with frequent contrary evidence. Continue reading

Posted in Amusing Shakespeare, Best Shakespeare Quotes | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Zeitgeist or Spirit of the Times

image for article Spirit of the Times, representation of the idea of the ZeitgeistTo understand Hegel (the philosopher) the reader must be in perfect health, though sometimes the minds of geniuses deliver compact nuggets of wisdom, understandable by the rest of us. One such instance is the idea of ‘Zeitgeist,’ the spirit of the times.

Pedantically speaking, Hegel preferred the form ‘Geist des Zeit.’ It was English poet and literary critic Matthew Arnold who introduced the term ‘Zeitgeist’ into the English language in 1848.

‘Zeitgeist’ gives a habitation and a name (1)  to a range of concurrent, palpable and often-irrational phenomena observed by many, and yet not immediately traceable to their source. Continue reading

Posted in Amusing Shakespeare, Best Shakespeare Quotes, Education | Tagged , , | 1 Comment