Parisians, and those who roam the streets of Paris to take upon themselves the Frenchness of things, will no doubt know or remember the elegant, historic and fashionable Place Vendome.
There is a history in all men’s lives(1) and in what they built. In the instance, however, I only refer to the Duke of Vendome, (1654-1712), in whose honor the square is named.
He was a Marshal of France and a successful general, notably in the Nine Years’ war (1688-1697) – a global war of sorts, featuring France against a proto-coalition of the willing that included Austria, the Holy Roman Empire, the Dutch Republic, Spain, England and Savoy.
The Duke, as expectable in a successful general, had a reputation of directness in interpersonal communications, as we would say today.
One of his secretaries was Cardinal Alberoni. During an exchange with his master, the Duke became upset. He told the cardinal, “Kiss my ass,” and proceeded to remove trousers and underwear to make the feat possible. Alberoni duly obeyed and on completion of the command exclaimed, “Truly, the ass of an angel!”
The episode sprung to memory when first I watched that simulacra of a woman, whose tongue more poisons than the adder’s tooth (1), and who goes under the name of Theresa May, current prime minister of England. Watching her flashing wrathful glances at an invisible enemy, and hurling fantastic accusations at Russia for the Skripal affair. She belongs to a long strain of individuals whose qualities are purely negative, and whose whole art consists in avoiding compromising oneself by deviating from the will of the master. It is servility beyond the boundaries of servility.
And the Vendome-Alberoni incident suggested almost an actual re-enactment when hearing a host of back-benchers expressing their compunct “indignation” at Russia, and consensus with Theresa May for her words of condemnation. It was as if the British Parliament had fallen into a “vacio de pensamiento,”, a vacuum of thought – an actual example, reflecting the era of the post-real, post-industrial, post-democratic, post-modern and posterior in every possible way.
This was also displayed in the handling of the arguments presented by the Russian ambassadors in the UK and at the UN. For the abusive and obstinate opposition made to the logical and polite confutations by the Ambassadors, shows that some dormant, assumed and unchallengeable privilege had been attacked.
Equally demonstrating with how much industry subterfuges and evasions are sought, to deflect the pressure of resistless argument – and how often the state of the question is altered, how often the antagonist is willfully misrepresented, and in how much perplexity the clearest positions are purposely confused by the enemies of what, at one time, was called truth.
Without even mentioning Boris Johnson, a character inherently comic in demeanor, appearance and language, more suited to a burlesque theater than to the British parliament. Though, as we well know, with powerful backing, even incompetence becomes a resource.
The same who, on the occasion, made an ass of himself by declaring “beyond any doubt” true what was patently false. And, shortly later, by refusing to acknowledge his lies by the extremely worn-out, but ever-in-force method of affirming that ‘yes’ means ‘no’, and ‘no’ ‘yes’, depending on interpretations. And who, Johnson, further increased his ridicule by making a half-assed reference to Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment,” showing, as the Russian Ambassador noted, that he never actually read the novel. And proving, with his pseudo-literary performance, the truth of the adage that “it will come to pass that every braggart shall be found an ass.” (2)
Boris Johnson, each and all, are but shameless ass-kissers of not-so-hidden masters, unknown only to those who refuse to know them. They have shown themselves quick in conjecturing their masters’ desires, flexible to their present humor, active in supplying their wants, and dexterous in intercepting paradoxes and inconsistencies before they approach near enough to disturb their masters’ will.
Altogether, May, Johnson, the backbenchers and the servile media, generated the rankest compound of villanous smell that ever offended nostril (3)– just not to say ‘bullshit.’
The facts and the aftermath of the event have been reported so extensively that to repeat them would equate to say that day is day, night is night, and time is time,(4) therefore wasting night, day, time and the patience of my 25 readers.
Regrettably, or fortunately, Theresa May and her cohort of talking parrots assume to have great talent for make-believe. Maybe they do, who knows. However, by a fortunate, though illogical dispensation of providence, those who delight to hoodwink others are themselves, as a rule, most easily hoodwinked.
And, not to leave the generalization unproven, most of us may recall Colin Powell’s showing a vial of milk at the United Nations, stating it was poison produced by Saddam Hussein. With the same Powell, years later, regretting the event as “a blot on my conscience.” No doubt a great comfort for the 4000 plus Americans killed in the Iraqi wars, the countless wounded and maimed, let alone the millions died among the ‘enemies.’
Meantime, during the re-enactment of the Vendome-Alberoni episode by the UK establishment, the European media announced and confirmed that London has currently a higher murder rate than New York City, for the first time in contemporary history.
Which is meaningful. For one, England has a complete ban on private ownership of guns, and knives are the most expedient method of assassination.
The London’s murder rate and the Skripal story may appear unrelated – except that drugs (military or otherwise), and a drug culture, are fertile ground for violent crime and depravity.
Whatever the poison that affected the Skripals – some even suggested bad Sushi consumed in a restaurant nearby – street narcotics are the most widely diffused chemical weapons in the world. And from what we can gather from various publications, most man-produced narcotics are chemical compounds that trigger an aggressive and bellicose state of mind.
We have read of the meth epidemic in the Philippines, which created waves of unimaginable violence, as drug users are transformed into violent creatures whose residue of human nature has been literally sucked away. Whereupon President Duterte (whatever politically-correct liberaloids may think of him), decided that diseases desperate grown, by desperate appliances are relieved, or not at all (5).
Similar problems exist in the US and elsewhere, even if the media ignores what is politically unpalatable.
Western militaries and intelligence agencies have long been involved in the development of chemical weapons that we now call “drugs”. In the 1950s and 1960s, the drug commonly known as LSD was invented by the US military and the CIA. It was first tested on soldiers before being released to the public, where its effects, as a so-called “recreational drug,” were monitored closely by the intelligence agencies.
As an aside, contributing to the popularity of LSD in the “revolutionary” climate of the 1960s was the school of so-called “Cultural Marxism.” Namely, a cluster of philosophers, mostly belonging to one sect, who predicated that races do not exist (except for one), sexual orientation is an option, family is a patriarchal anomaly and civilization is rotten – plus promoting homosexuality, casual sex, transgenderism, multiculturalism, globalism, miscegenation and limitless immigration – and recently even pedophilia.
During the Vietnam war, soldiers were given strong amphetamines and other drugs to increase aggression on the battlefield. Which, in turn, contributed to the unusually high cases of psychological illness among veterans returning from the war. How much the effect of drugs contributed to the notorious mass-massacres and physical extermination of entire Vietnamese villages by the Americans, is unknown, or if known, not made public.
In the 1980s, journalist Gary Webb exposed how the CIA aided cocaine smuggling into the United States, and used the profits of the notorious narcotics trade to fund the Contra insurgents fighting the legitimate government of Nicaragua.
Meanwhile in the US, people who supported the Contras, orwellianly named Nicaraguan Democratic Force (NDF) managed to alter the smuggled cocaine into what became known as crack, before selling it on the street using their drug dealer associates. This fueled a dangerous epidemic in major North American cities, and is responsible for much of the urban decay associated with the era. Complemented by turning American factories into relics of rust, while moving productions to countries were labor was almost a euphemism for slavery.
As it can be regrettably expected, the master-servile media, instead of applauding Webb’s work, showed its hatred in full colors, with relentless and merciless attacks, eventually driving Webb to suicide. On fait-accompli Hollywood, never leery about making a buck out of everything, made a movie out of Webb, titled, “Kill the Messenger.”
Currently, terrorist organizations across the world run narcotics smuggling operations. Apparently, or allegedly, in secret alliances with the CIA – which may seem questionable only if the doubter wishes to ignore the diabolic history of the organization. And terrorists themselves are known and documented users of chemical stimulants.
Given this background on chemical poisons and weapons, the Skripal affair cannot but seem a massive distraction, fueled by enormous coverage. Coverage that ignores the easily available chemical weapons, orwellianly referred to as ‘powerful narcotics,’ possibly to shield the powerful forces behind their development, production and distribution.
No one knows how long the Skripal business will continue to polarize the attention of government puppets and media trumpeters. For the information industry has conditioned the mind of its followers to ever expect new sound bytes and stimuli. So that any possible pause, required to reason on the information received, is clouded by the intervention of other novelties. Probably Skripal will swiftly fade to a vague remembrance.
Meanwhile…, in the Dantesque Inferno of Gaza, Israeli sharpshooters amuse themselves by killing the inhabitants of Hell, guilty of demonstrating for the right to return to the land stolen from them.
An image appeared in the Israeli paper “Daily Sabah”, showing a group of young Israelis, sitting by the Gaza border installed in a make-shift observation tower, as if they were in an outdoor cinema. Cheering and applauding the Israeli soldiers launching bombs at the Palestinians, and sharp-shooters firing at the unarmed demonstrators as if they were practice targets. See also here
As I am writing this, at least 35 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds severely wounded… Showing that the murder of 35 human beings and the maiming of other hundreds are less significant than the illness and expeditious recovery of the Skripals, convenient human pawns on the chess-board of international politics.
But not all is lost. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the brutal killings of Palestinians by the Israeli military, and has called for an independent investigation to hold those responsible for the killings accountable.
Which means less than nothing, for “accountable” and “unacceptable” are adjectives of no value whatsoever in the circumstances. Their use helps justify the presence of the aforesaid “High Commission for Human Rights,” where “high” refers both to the high salaries of its members, and to the high disregard for the Commission at large, and in particular by those whom it may (but it won’t) investigate.
I will conclude these reflections with a lexical consideration on the whole business, the Skripal pantomime, the drugs, the crime rate, the false flags and the ignored Palestinians – borrowing the thoughts from a witty and anonymous Italian writer.
We, who happen to live in a so-called neo-con, neo-liberal, market-economy climate, where high-crime is a good deed, chaos is order and war is peace, need courage to show the nakedness of the emperor. Alternatively, we need unawareness and unjustified optimism, to coat with fancy lucubrations the bare, barren and brutal reality.
But the courage required and needed is not what is actually expressed by the word itself. ‘Courage’ refers to a kind of passionate mode of action. This meaning derives from a semantic twist in the Indo-European word formation. It connects the root of the word (courage) more to the ability to suffer than to the will to take the initiative in the name of an ideal.
The root of ‘courage’ is the Latin ‘cor’ meaning ‘heart,’ along with its derivatives, added to the language of the decadent Roman Empire, at the brink of its extinction. The new words (based on the root ‘cor’ = ‘heart’), reflected, in some way, the impotence, the powerlessness of the Romans, and the act of their sheltering within the shrinking boundaries of the empire.
In classic Latin, ‘courage’ as we think of it, was expressed by the words ‘animus’ (referring to strength of soul but also to ‘action’, ‘animation’, ‘initiative’.) As well as by the word ‘virtus’ whose root is ‘vir’, that is ‘man’, his strength and (hopefully) ‘virility.’ But also by the word ‘mos,’ which came to mean ‘habits, costumes,’ but originally it referred to ‘will’ and ‘desire.’
In turn, the Indo-European root of ‘mos’ is also found in the German words ‘Mut’, ‘Mod’ that stood for ‘aspiring’, ‘creating’ – the same root, by the way, of the word ‘Mutter – mother.’
‘Mod’ is also the origin of the word ‘mood’ in English. For, after William the Conqueror took over in 1066 AD, the original German meanings associated with ‘mod’ were replaced by the word ‘courage.’
In essence, what we express with ‘courage’ was something different. I was will, conviction, vision, determination, rather than the meaning of ‘acting passionately’ or ‘without reflection.’
The same German root is found in the Latin verb ‘mactare,’ which, among its meanings includes, to celebrate, to consecrate, to have strength. In fact, the interjection ‘macte’ corresponded to current expressions as “Come on,” “Fight on,” “We won” etc.
In summary, what was originally meant by ‘courage’ had to do with creation, will, action, less tied to emotion or to the capacity of overcoming fear. It meant the strength to question the established order of things, to create something new, or conversely, to use strength to prevent something evil from occurring.
All this to say that the sterility of ideas and the impotence towards the current flow of things, are not a free choice, but the servitude to a courage that we have not had.
Courage that does not mean (or at least is not limited to) demonstrating in the streets, defying the batons and the tear-gas of the police. Rather, it means a vibrant refusal to transform man into goods, as prescribed by the market economy. For when man is but goods he is also a pawn to be moved at the beck and call of self-appointed, undeserving and despicable masters.
Unfortunately, the courage displayed in a street-brawl or demonstration, cannot match the courage needed for a revolution.
** (1) King Henry IV, p1
** (2) All’s Well That Ends Well
** (3) Merry Wives of Windsor
** (4), (5) Hamlet
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