Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 21st, 2010

Aristotle attended Platon’s Academia for 20 years before his instituted his own school in Athens 25 years later.  Platon’s Academia lasted 900 years and was closed by political decree of the Christian Church in Constantinople, and not by lack of disciples.  There is this mania among scholars to opposing Aristotle’s teachings and positions to his teacher Platon, as if it is urgently necessary in order to comprehend Aristotle works on their own values. For example, you read: “The concept of knowledge to Platon is acquired by rational dialog, while Aristotle privileges demonstrations and experimental methods for gathering facts.”  How can anyone believe that Platon could deny demonstration methods and observations?

A professional in a disciple has a toolbox of techniques and methods relevant to his profession; he is familiar with this toolbox (among many other relevant toolboxes) for demonstrating or experimenting and gathering data and observations.  I don’t have to be proficient in a particular method in order to accepting the validity of what has been proven as true or how a phenomenon behaves.  I do have to be proficient in the method if I have to critique a peer-reviewed article and discover the errors in the design and manipulation of the experiment.  That is called dissemination of knowledge, and dialog is one method transmitting knowledge.  Fact is, professionals, especially scientists, rely on dialog by sending letters and documents to one another and attending conferences.  Scientists receive most of their ideas and concepts from communicating their research topics and difficulty facing demonstrations.

Another point that scholars permitted the two philosophers to come in a face-off challenge, is how ideas are generated? Are ideas produced by transcendental ways or by experimentation? Many scientists would claim that they had the idea in a dream or a form of transcending method; fact is, most probably, the idea or method was stored in their deeper layers of memories, in a different form, resulting from dialog, reading, and communication. How and when the idea was registered in memory?  Is not recollecting the idea or concept another way of agreeing in the transcendental approach?

Most philosophical debates are not on the proper scientific methods of comprehending the universe and living creatures but mainly siding to powerful institutions at specific periods:  The powerful classes (clerics or aristocrats or middle classes) that have vested interests in opposing the dissemination of a particular concept that they view will prejudice their status-quo privileges.

Collecting data or observations from haphazard experiments lead to no where:  It is only when a reasoned method or a proper design of the experiment is contemplated, run, and analyzed for interrelations among the independent variables or controlled factors that data make sense.  Adopting abstract logical deduction from a set of axiom cannot result in anything meaningful if the theory is not submitted to experimentation for validation.  A single advantage of mathematicians is that their discipline encourages development of abstract theories, even if no scientist cared to test any of them.  Thus, scientific methods in the various philosophies do not contradict the essence for reaching truth.

Mathematicians never claimed to be scientists, and scientists know that their work will not go far unless a mathematical law is generated from data collected. Scientists may spend years categorizing and classifying samples gathered in their research and this task is intrinsically a rational method otherwise, how links can be found if no implicit or explicit hypotheses are generated to compare among samples?

Note:  After the German Hegel exposed his theory in the 18th century that “human civilization has developed by historical dialectic or the historic process of thesis, antithesis, and followed by synthesis”. The theory meant that at one period, scholars and philosophers agree on a consensus of propositions to comprehending the universe and mankind (I think due to political pressures of religious institutions and the power-to-be).  The next period witness an opposite current agreeing on contrary propositions.  The following period necessarily work out a synthesis of the two previous periods for a consensus on equitable propositions that reflect new knowledge.  This cycle begins again with a new set of propositions, transformed and modified from the initial propositions in period #1, strong with acquired new scientific facts; and civilization advances in that historical fashion of thesis periods, followed by antithesis periods, and rearranged by synthesis periods.  Since then, most philosophers and philosophy critics think they are obliged to considering opposing sets of propositions before delivering their own synthesis.

Badge of honor to Foremost Indian “seditionist”: Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy has published in 1996 “God of the little nothing people“; it was translated in 40 language and earned the Booker Price.

The following book was “The End of Imagination” after India tested its first atomic bomb in 1998.  Arundhati Roy is now labeled “rajdroh” or the seditionist by both the State and opposition party medias.  The Hindu word droh means hostility and raj the monarch; and thus, Arundhati must be viewed as the hostile leader to the current Indian political trend. Why?

Arundhati got too bold to demanding the independence of Cashmere: it does not historically belong to India.

Cashmere is this naturally beautiful cold northern region, with vast majority of Moslems, that both Pakistan and India want as territory and is currently partitioned.  Cashmere witnessed the worst flood of the Indus River last years that crosses Pakistan; over 3 million people were displaced and international aides were shy and delayed. As if poor overpopulated areas deserve the fate of frequent displacement and transfer and the life under tents and unhealthy living conditions.

Arundhati Roy got involved in approaching the sticky and major problems in India, such as construction of gigantic hydro-electric dams, expropriation of lands for extraction of raw materials, savage industrialization, privatization of essential public utilities, counter-terrorism tactics, Hindu nationalism, the newer US imperialism meddling in internal India affairs, the Maoist or communist rebellion of the poorer tribes in the southern provinces who have been forgotten by the central government.

In October, 150 women from the Indian nationalist party BJP attacked Arundhati’s house.  Fact is India is experiencing a dangerous, close minded, feverish nationalist period.

Sedition allegations were leveled by colonial England against Mahatma Gandhi several times

In 1922, Gandhi wrote in “Young India”:  “I must say to the British court why I admit encouraging deliberate seditions against a government established in India by law.  The penal code in paragraph 124 is prime among the laws that tends to suppress citizens’ liberty.  We have no affection or sympathy for this penal code or the British government and I must be free to express my disaffection forcefully, as long as my conducts are non violent.  Many popular Indian leaders were accused under the sedition paragraph and I consider myself honored for the same accusation.”

Is Independent India about to bring up colonial penal codes for accusing India intellectuals, authors, and activist journalists?

Has the Indian government accused the Nobel committee for extending prizes to the Turkish/Kurdish Orhan Pamuk, the Iranian woman lawyer Shirin Ebadi, or the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo?

Wars: Uncanny connections to Sovereign public debts 

The direct connections among exorbitant levels of accumulated public debts and wars have been recognized for centuries, on black and white.

We witnessed that war is one of the preferred defaulting mechanisms on outrageous contracted debts, particularly when the creditor nation is weaker militarily.

In the last two centuries, the world witnessed 320 defaulting decisions by debtor nations.

Is it a coincidence that the last two centuries experience as many wars?

If you compare the two graphs of dates on defaulting and the timing of subsequent wars then, you realize that there are direct interrelations between the two factors.

1. In 1770, (England sovereign debts amounted to 140% of its GNP)

Adam Smith wrote: “At a level of accumulation of national debts, there are no examples that the debts have ever been repaid.  Public revenues were always freed to be spent, but never to paying off any debts. Governments prefer to default, occasionally admitting the debts, occasionally pretending to have paid off debts, but always incurring a real debt.”

2. In 1716 France, after the monarch Louis 14, was totally bankrupt:

The Scottish John Law convinced the French Regent to issue paper money covered by gold for easy circulation of money and internal trade.  To entice the public into accepting paper money, interests were added, secured by a special perpetual fund called the “General Bank“.

This bank was to be supplied by financial resources converging from the America’s colony of greater Louisiana.  The Mississippi Company, (later renamed the “Western India perpetual company“), was collecting indirect taxes for France.  Speculation by French nobility transformed the central bank into a machine for printing worthless paper money and the collection from Louisiana stopped to converge to France.

In 1748, Montesquieu in  “Of the spirit of laws” wrote:

“There are a few financial specialists disseminating the concept that public debts multiply wealth and increase circulation of money and internal trade.  Facts are, the real revenues of the State, generated by the activities of industrious citizens, are transferred to idle classes.  The consequences are that we make it more difficult on the industrious citizens to produce profit and worst, extending privileges to the passive classes.”

In 1781, Jacques Necker, France minister of finance, proclaimed that “There can be no peace in Europe unless public debts are reduced to the bare minimum:  Public debts are sources for increasing the military capabilities designed for destructive activities; and then more debts are accumulated for the reconstruction phase.  A devilish cycle that is anathema to prosperity and security.

Necker was the first financial official in France to present a transparent statement sheet of all the revenues and expenses for the budget and he encouraged the French monarchy to emulate England by submitting complete budged so that investors and lenders be informed of the financial situation and be encouraged to considering France as a viable country to invest money in.

At the time, England had replaced Holland as the financial center of the world and the central Bank of England was already established.

All indicate that trends in growing sovereign debts in the richer and developed nations are not going to change till 2014.

In that year, it is expected that Japan public debts (mostly internal) will reach 250% of its GNP, Italy 130%, England 100 %,  the USA 100% (or $20 trillion, the interest alone representing 400% of its fiscal yearly revenues), France 95%, and Germany 90% of GNP.  The US will have to reimburse $850 billion in 2012 and finance one trillion.

The emerging States and most of Latin America countries are experiencing steady drop of their public debts to an average of 40% of GNP by 2014.

My question is:  If almost all States have incurred public debts then, who are the creditors?  

China economy has saved 2.5 trillion and Brazil and Turkey less than 500 billion.  All these savings cannot cover the amount of necessary public debts required by the debtor nations.

Fact is, world finance is functioning on worthless paper money and other financial tools transmitted here and there to give the illusion that the system is functioning.

So far, the IMF and the World Bank are controlled by the G8 who can withdraw at will from these supposed to be international financial institutions.  This situation of relying on magical financial illusions cannot persist for long.

A third World War will be created intentionally by superpowers in order to starting from scratch before establishing sustainable financial institutions, rules, and regulations.

If you carry a credit card at an interest rate of over 20% then, you know that the principal could never be paid since the credit limit is 50 times your real annual income  in order to finance a purposeful inflationary policy to give the illusion that the ratio of public debts to GNP is being reduced.

Not only 20% interest rate is exorbitant, but adding unpaid monthly installements to the principal is what all ancient customs forbade.

For example, if people of “independent means”, called rentier in French, could invest in a productive businesses generating profits of over 20% they would not have lent their money.  It is imperative that payments on interest should not last more than 7 years and further monthly payments automatically directed to paying off the principal.

Thomas Jefferson recommended, and then imposed his view when he became President to the new Independent America, that loans should never be contracted out by States for longer than 19 years so that future generations do not have to suffer decisions of the living ones.

As life expectancy is increasing, I suggest that Constitutions should force governments and official institutions to restrict the life of any loan to be 5 years shorter of the lower number of the average life expectancy or the age of retirement of citizens in the creditor nation. 

Anyway, if the loan is a private one, the lender should be able to enjoy his placement while alive and not suffer from defaulting decisions.

Note:  Reviewing the history of public debts since antiquity, the consequences of incurring huge public debts are the same:  Whether the dept is contracted out to a person (the monarch) and the debt is cancelled once the individual is dead, or the public debt is shouldered by a sustainable “immortal” entity such as a State, the weaker creditor will be punished.

The militarily weaker creditor will suffer now or later; it is a matter of delayed punishment for loaning a more powerful debtor whether voluntarily or after coercion.




November 2010

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