Showing posts with label Leviathan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leviathan. Show all posts

Monday, 21 November 2016

The Whirlwind

"If all the little fuzzy, warm [New Age ]people who go "Oh, I want my own little angel..!" could actually see an angel, they would run, screaming from The Space...."

Vincent Bridges

Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.

Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?

"This is a self-sustaining plasma storm the size of a nebula, reaching one little tendril down to talk to us...

If all the little fuzzy, warm people who go "Oh, I want my own little angel..!" could actually see an angel, they would run, screaming from The Space.

Angels are huge, self-organising plasma creatures, that are enormous, they are the size of a nebula.

And they're Eternal.

If you can get your plasma organised into a tornado like this - you would never die."

Vincent Bridges

Job 37
King James Version (KJV)

1 At this also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place.

2 Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth.

3 He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth.

4 After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard.

5 God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.

6 For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.

7 He sealeth up the hand of every man; that all men may know his work.

8 Then the beasts go into dens, and remain in their places.

9 Out of the south cometh the whirlwind: and cold out of the north.

10 By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened.

11 Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud:

12 And it is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth.

13 He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.

14 Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.

15 Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of his cloud to shine?

16 Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?

17 How thy garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south wind?

18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?

19 Teach us what we shall say unto him; for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness.

20 Shall it be told him that I speak? if a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up.

21 And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them.

22 Fair weather cometh out of the north: with God is terrible majesty.

23 Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.

24 Men do therefore fear him: he respecteth not any that are wise of heart.

38 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?

9 When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,

10 And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,

11 And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?

12 Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;

13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?

14 It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.

15 And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.

16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?

17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?

18 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.

19 Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,

20 That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?

21 Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?

22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,

23 Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?

24 By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?

25 Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;

26 To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;

27 To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?

28 Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?

29 Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?

30 The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.

31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?

32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?

33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?

34 Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?

35 Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?

36 Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?

37 Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,

38 When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?

39 Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,

40 When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?

41 Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.

39 Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve?

2 Canst thou number the months that they fulfil? or knowest thou the time when they bring forth?

3 They bow themselves, they bring forth their young ones, they cast out their sorrows.

4 Their young ones are in good liking, they grow up with corn; they go forth, and return not unto them.

5 Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass?

6 Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings.

7 He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver.

8 The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing.

9 Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?

10 Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?

11 Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?

12 Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?

13 Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?

14 Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust,

15 And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.

16 She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not her's: her labour is in vain without fear;

17 Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding.

18 What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider.

19 Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?

20 Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible.

21 He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men.

22 He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword.

23 The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield.

24 He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet.

25 He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.

26 Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?

27 Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?

28 She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place.

29 From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.

30 Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.

40 Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said,

2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.

3 Then Job answered the Lord, and said,

4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.

5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

6 Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.

8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?

9 Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?

10 Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.

11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.

12 Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.

13 Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.

14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.

15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.

16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.

17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.

18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.

19 He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.

20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.

21 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.

22 The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.

23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.

24 He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.

41 Canst thou draw out Leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?

2 Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?

3 Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee?

4 Will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant for ever?

5 Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens?

6 Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants?

7 Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears?

8 Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more.

9 Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him?

10 None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?

11 Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine.

12 I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion.

13 Who can discover the face of his garment? or who can come to him with his double bridle?

14 Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about.

15 His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal.

16 One is so near to another, that no air can come between them.

17 They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered.

18 By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.

19 Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out.

20 Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron.

21 His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth.

22 In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him.

23 The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm in themselves; they cannot be moved.

His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone.

When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves.

The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon.

He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood.

The arrow cannot make him flee: slingstones are turned with him into stubble.

Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear.

Sharp stones are under him: he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire.

He maketh the deep to boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment.

He maketh a path to shine after him; one would think the deep to be hoary.

Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.

He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.

42 Then Job answered the Lord, and said,

I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.

Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.

Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the Lord commanded them: the Lord also accepted Job.

And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.

So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.

13 He had also seven sons and three daughters.

14 And he called the name of the first, Jemima [ Goneril ]; and the name of the second, Kezia [ Regan ]; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch [ Cordelia ].

And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. [ Lear - NOT Normal. ]

16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations.

17 So Job died, being old and full of days.

Daniel 39-40

39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.

40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Diogenes : Pre-Modern, Post-Modernist Deconstructionist and Complete Dick

"Deconstructionists are like the cynics and skeptics of the ancient world in that they, like Diogenes and Pyrrho, refuse to profess or affirm a doctrine of their own, but only negate the ideas of others. " 

- Tarpley

“Plato had defined Man as an animal, biped and featherless, and was applauded. Diogenes plucked a fowl and brought it into the lecture-room with the words, ‘Here is Plato’s man.’ In consequence of which there was added to the definition, ‘having broad nails.’

 Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers in Ten Books, Book VI, 40, page 43 of the Loeb Classics edition, vol. II

"Derrida is the sort of philosopher who gives bullshit a bad name." - Foucault

"Deconstructionists are like the cynics and skeptics of the ancient world in that they, like Diogenes and Pyrrho, refuse to profess or affirm a doctrine of their own, but only negate the ideas of others. " - Tarpley

No mo' po-mo.

Challenge to Deconstructionism by Webster G. Tarpley 
[Excerpts, from the August 9, 1993, issue of "The New Federalist" ] ^^^^^^^^ 

Currently, education and intellectual life in the United States and many other countries are being destroyed by the triple plague of political correctness, postmodernism, and deconstructionism. After the collapse of Marxism in much of the world, the forces of evil in philosophy and epistemology are now increasingly arrayed under the banner of deconstructionism, which offers a place of regroupment for fascists, communists, irrationalists, and bankrupt ideologues of every sort. If you were wondering what the face of the enemy looked like after the fall of the Berlin Wall, this is it. 

The leading purveyor of deconstructionism, the Frenchman Jacques Derrida, is now unquestionably the most celebrated and influential academic philosopher in the world today. As I will try to show, the continued intellectual hegemony of deconstructionism in schools and universities amounts to a death sentence for human civilization as we have known it. Deconstructionism in the academy and in government is a direct threat to the lives of a very large portion of the 5.3 billion human beings now inhabiting this planet. 

1. The modern campus is now the bastion of euphemism and absurd circumlocution. Karl Marx had demagogically promised that his philosophy would change the world; the deconstructionists only want to change all the names. There is no more right or wrong, good or evil, only appropriate and inappropriate. 

Language is supposedly being purged of ableism, ageism, borealocentrism, ethnocentricity, Eurocentricity, hegemonism, heightism, logocentrism, lookism, phallocentrism, racism, sexism, scentism and smellism. 

Nobody is fat; they only possess an alternative body image. 

The bald must be called "follicularly challenged" or "differently hirsute." 

To be dirty is to be "hygienically challenged," to be tall is to be "vertically endowed." If you're old, you become "chronologically gifted." 

It will be noted that this supposed rebellion afflicts language with all of the horrors of the worst Pentagon bureaucratic prose. Think of "collateral damage" when targets were "serviced" during the Gulf war, killing innocent civilians. "Ethnic cleansing" is a politically correct term for genocide. 

Thus, political correctness offers no hope to the homeless, but it demands they be called "underhoused," "involuntarily undomiciled," or "houseless." The jobless become "non-renewed." 

Political correctness is radical nominalism, in which the verbal signs take the place of ideas and things. As always, this radical nominalism is never very far from paranoid schizophrenia, where the victim believes that by changing the name or sign, he has altered reality itself. As the experience of Baroque Europe (Lyly, Marino, etc.) shows, such ways of talking go together with the collapse of civilization. 

2. Political correctness insists that everything in human affairs can be reduced to race, sex (or "gender"), socioeconomic class, and choice of sexual perversion (sometimes called "sexual orientation"). 

*The New York Times* now recognizes a minimum of five sexes - yes, five - the coprophiles and sadomasochists are insisting on their rights. 

The pessimistic P.C litany is all strictly determinist, denying humanity any freedom: You are, they say, what your race, sex, class, and [sexual orientation] make you. 

You are a slave to that; there is no freedom... Here there can be no imago viva Dei to express the creative faculties that all human beings share. 

3. Countries that permit deconstructionists to assume power over the government (and this has gone quite far in the U.S.A.) are not likely to survive. 

Political correctness attempts to define a "canon" of what is to be studied, seeking to purge the Dead White European Males (DWEMS) in favor of Rigoberta Menchu, Franz Fanon, Jean Genet, or Antonin Artaud 

[BR -- Note, Artaud wrote an interesting essay titled "Van Gogh, the Man Suicided by the Society," which I previously posted in 2 parts. I may do a rerun of the Artaud essay in the future]... 

This [elimination of DWEMS] is a demand to wipe out the progress made by science in western continental Europe, especially Germany, France, Italy, Holland, etc., since the Italian Golden Renaissance of the 1400s. 

If Nicholas Cusanus, Leonardo da Vinci, Kepler, Leibniz, Monge, Gauss, Pasteur, Riemann, Cantor, and other Platonics were wiped out, we could no longer maintain the survival of the 5.3 billion human beings of today. Without the scientific achievement of these DWEMS, the relative potential population density of the world would fall back to the levels of the 1300s, to the time of the Bubonic Plague. We might go all the way back to the Roman Empire. Most of the 5.3 billion who manage to hang on today would be doomed. 

-+- Postmodernism -+- 
Many people who observe the lunatic pageant of the modern campus may conclude that the professors and administrators are all crazy. So they are. But there is a definite method in the madness, a philosophical system or doctrine which dictates the specific policy demands of political correctness. 

One generic name for this is postmodernism, which claims that the raving irrationalists Voltaire, Rousseau, and the rest of the enlightenment were the Age of Reason, but that now the Age of Unreason is upon us.

[Deconstructionism] began its triumphal march through American universities in 1966, when Derrida appeared at Johns Hopkins University to tell American academics that the structuralism of Levi-Strauss was dead and that the future belonged to deconstruction. Derrida is now stronger in the U.S.A. and the Anglo-American sphere than in France, and dominant in much of Ibero-America, Francophone Africa and the Middle East, and eastern Europe. If you want tenure, an endowed chair, a foundation grant, government financing, you have to learn to talk the pedantic deconstructionist gibberish. 

Deconstructionists are like the cynics and skeptics of the ancient world in that they, like Diogenes and Pyrrho, refuse to profess or affirm a doctrine of their own, but only negate the ideas of others. 

Deconstruction is very eclectic. Derrida's world of ideas can be compared to a great sewer into which empty the various gutters and waste waters of the past two or three centuries. Each of these channels contributes to the great Cloaca Maxima of deconstruction. Note that we are here reviewing the disastrous state of human knowledge as we go towards the year 2000. 

-+- Hatred of Reason -+- 
Deconstructionism is an attack on Judaeo-Christian western European civilization powered above all by rage. Derrida hates and resents reason and creativity, which he identifies with the "epoch of Christian creationism and infinitism when these appropriate the resources of Greek conceptuality." (*Of Grammatology*, p. 13). Western European culture is guilty of logocentrism, says Derrida. The western cultural paradigm always aspired to be based on reason. 

This must be rejected. 

The western cultural paradigm also gives priority to speech, to the spoken word, with most literature made to be read aloud or even sung, from Plato's dialogues to Dante and Chaucer to Shakespeare and Schiller. This is the hated "phonocentrism" which Derrida also wants to get rid of. Derrida delves into Plato in an attempt to show that the overtones of the Logos are exclusively paternal and male dominated, giving rise to the further charge of phallologocentrism, which soon enough gives rise to the notion of "phallocentrism" assailed by the maenads of feminist literary theory. 

[Derrida concludes that] the real problem with the West is that our culture is entirely permeated by what he calls "metaphysics. "... For Derrida, metaphysics evidently means anything that cannot be boiled down to sense certainty. Derrida sees "metaphysics" as the principal enemy to be destroyed. Under the heading of metaphysics he lumps God, the self or soul or individual, causality, substance, essence, action, and most other concepts of any importance. They must go, for reasons that are never remotely explained. 

For Derrida, the author is dead, by definition. He never existed. The human self and ego have collapsed into an X marking the spot where they once were... 

All that Derrida will talk about is a text, a written text of black on white, with punctuation, type faces, paragraphs, margins, colphons, logos, copyrights and so forth... 

Everything is a written text in the sense that every thought, utterance or "discourse" is a story that we tell each other about something which exists in the most detached way in a written form. Therefore, says Derrida, there is nothing outside of the text. Everything is a text. There are no more works of art. All black writing on white paper is a text -- Shakespeare, the telephone book, Mickey Mouse, the racing form... all are texts, each one equivalent to the other. 

-+- Deconstructionism's Targets -+- 
Deconstructionists can target any of the written documents which are constituve of civilization itself. Take theology... Deconstructionist theology is quite a feat, since the ban on metaphysics means that this will be a theology without God. 

[Deconstructionist theologian Mark C. Taylor overcomes this difficulty as follows:] 
"One of the distinctive features of deconstruction is its willingness to confront the death of God squarely if not always would not be too much to suggest that deconstruction is the 'hermeneutic' of the death of God." Taylor calls for "the death of God, erasure of the self, and [an] end to history." 

Since deconstruction sees all writing as the same, it can also be unleashed in the field of law, with devastating effect. Listen to Clare Dalton of the Critical Legal Studies group at Harvard Law School: "Law," she writes, "like every other cultural institution, is a place where we tell one another stories about our relationships with ourselves, one another, and authority."... 

Sanford Levinson, professor of constitutional law at the University of Texas at Austin, chimes in: "The death of 'constitutionalism' may be the central event of our time, just as the death of God was that of the past century..." 

The Clinton White House is redolent of deconstructionism and political correctness. The Clinton Cabinet is dysfunctional, but it certainly respects the distributive requirements of race/sex/class/sexual [orientation]... Donna Shalala of HHS helped to promulgate a code on offensive speech at the University of Wisconsin... 

Vice President Gore's favorite book is reportedly Thomas Kuhn's *Structure of Scientific Revolutions*, which has become a manual for New Age paradigm shifters. We appeal to all of those who share our regard for the potential of the human mind to join us in exposing and defeating the deconstructionists.

The War of the League of Cambrai, Paolo Sarpi and John Locke

Against Oligarchy
Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
From ICLC Conference panel titled: “The Axioms of the American System,” Feb. 18, 1996; appeared in New Federalist, March 18, 1996
Every person, whether he knows it or not, is a philosopher. Each of us necessarily develops a theory of how the world works. This theory is expressed as a set of axioms. The axioms are self-evident ideas that are recognized and accepted by everybody in sight. The axioms define human nature, the content of history, the workings of economics, the purpose of government, the goals of life. Today’s American population operates according to axioms which are false, oligarchical – and suicidal. A dictatorship or a monarchy can get by with slaves or subjects, but a republic demands educated and capable citizens. Without citizens, a republic cannot survive. The most dangerous force in American life today is public opinion itself. In today’s crisis, public opinion rejects out of hand all the urgent measures needed to promote national survival. This public opinion is stupefied by television and spectator sports and crassly manipulated by the news media. This depraved public opinion reflects not so much the admitted failure of political leadership as the degradation of the intellectual life of the average citizen. In the face of this kind of public opinion, world civilization as we have known it cannot long survive.
Is there a remedy? It must be to uncover the false axioms, uproot them, and replace them with the truth. History and philosophy are two powerful weapons in this fight against false axioms. The crisis of the citizen needs to be seen in a long historical perspective – we need to look at the five hundred years since the Italian Renaissance opened the modern era.
Before the Renaissance started about 1400, there was a discouraging sameness in most known forms of human society. Some were better, some were worse, but they were generally two-class systems: ruling elite and mass. The mass made up 95% of the population. They were peasants, serfs, and slaves, almost always laboring on the land, almost always illiterate and benighted. Their lives were nasty, brutish, and short. Over these peasants and serfs commanded a feudal aristocracy. Monarchy is bad enough, but most of the pre-Renaissance societies were something worse: they were small ruling classes called oligarchies. The aristocrats had military retainers, priests, scribes, and lackeys, making up at most 5% of the population. Under these conditions, world population potential was measured in the hundreds of millions, and even these were decimated by frequent plagues and famines.
Now and then a good ruler might appear, and did appear, along with excellent philosophers and scientists. But the oligarchy was always present, waiting to drag the society down again. Usury, constant warfare, slavery, racism, Aristotelian philosophy – these are the trademarks of oligarchy. Oligarchs come in many forms: the Roman senate, the barons of the dark ages, the Russian boyars, east European magnates, the French frondeurs, the princes of the Holy Roman Empire. Most of these feudal aristocrats were very ignorant, brutal, and crude. The medieval feudal aristocrats were easily manipulated by the Venetians, who had inherited the methods of Babylon, Rome, and Byzantium. From about 1000 AD until about 1600, the leading center of oligarchy in Europe and nearby Asia was Venice.
The first sustained breakout from this 2-class model came with the movement starting with Dante and Petrarch and culminating in Cusanus, Leonardo, and the Italian Renaissance of the 1400′s. The high point of the early Renaissance was the Council of Florence in 1439, convened under the sponsorship of the Medici rulers of Florence. In addition to briefly re-uniting the Christian world, this council embraced the theology of the filioque. In political terms filioque meant that each and every human being is made in the image of God, similar to God, by virtue of possessing God-like qualities of intellectual creativity in the form of a human soul. Therefore the dignity of the human person had to be respected. The human mind was capable of scientific discovery, and also capable of creating the modern nation-state.
The impulse from the Council of Florence reached around the world with Columbus and the Florentine Amerigo Vespucci, the Medici envoy who gave his name to the new continents of the Americas. The same impulse of human progress reached into France, where King Louis XI used Florentine methods to create the first modern national state. This was a matter first of all of breaking the power of the turbulent feudal aristocracy. This was done with taxation, which also financed the beginnings of the modern administration. Louis XI had a social base in the commercial and manufacturing classes of the cities and towns – the origins of the modern middle class. As King between 1461 and 1483, Louis promoted industry and commerce, protected the rights of labor, enacted public health statutes, built infrastructure, drained swamps, and built up a national army. The population and prosperity of France increased accordingly. France was the first nation to reach the take-off point into the modern age.
French military power also grew. This was soon noticed by the new Tudor regime in England, as well as by the rulers of Spain. It was clear that the future belonged to the larger nation-states that were smart enough to imitate the methods of Louis XI. If the Louis XI model were to prevail everywhere, there was the hope that the oligarchs as a class might be crushed. The momentum of the Renaissance art, science, and statecraft might overwhelm all resistance and become unstoppable.
The Venetians, who had been waging their own war against Florence and the other Italian Renaissance states for a century, studied events in France carefully. Venice was essentially a city-state with an inland empire in northern Italy and a marine empire in the Mediterranean. At first the Venetians thought they could survive as a great power by playing off the new nation-states one against the other. As soon as Louis XI was dead, the Venetians invited his unworthy and inferior heir Charles VIII to conquer Milan. The French conquered Naples, Florence, and Milan, but their presence also drew in the forces of Spain. It was a time of rapidly shifting alliances. Before long, the main powers had all been antagonized by Venetian perfidy and geopolitics. For the Venetians had been filching territory on all sides, grabbing for every fly that flew by them.
What followed was the War of the League of Cambrai, the great world war that marked the opening of the modern era. If Venice had been destroyed in this war, the European oligarchy would have been deprived of its command center and is likely to have perished. Without Venice, we would have been spared the wars of religion, including the Thirty Years’ War; we would have been spared the British Empire and most of its wars, including the American Civil War and the two world wars of this century. The same goes for most of the depressions and economic crises of these years.
At the heart of the League of Cambrai was the joint commitment in 1508 by King Louis XII of France and Maximilian, the Holy Roman Emperor, to divide the territory of Venice between them. The King of Spain joined in because he wanted to take Venetian possessions in southern Italy. A little later Pope Julius II della Rovere also joined the League. Julius II della Rovere was a professional soldier and an oligarch. He was called the papa terribile; his portrayal by Rex Harrison in the movie The Agony and the Ecstasy is much too kind.
But now the Venetians, the masters of geopolitics and encirclement, were faced in 1509 by a league of virtually all the European states with the exception of Hungary and England. In Venice, the Council of Ten assumed emergency powers. The program of the League of Cambrai was to expropriate all Venetian territory except for the city itself in its lagoon. By this time Venetian wealth derived more from its land possessions than from its ocean trade, so a loss of the land empire, or terrafirma, would have been a fatal blow. Among the French there were those who wanted to go further: the French general Bayard, whose courage is proverbial in France until this day, proclaimed his desire to destroy the Venetian oligarchy because of their opulent contempt for God and Christendom.
In the spring of 1509, a French army of 20,000 soldiers left Milan and crossed the Adda River into Venetian territory. On May 14, 1509 this French force met and destroyed an evenly matched Venetian mercenary army. The Venetians gave up Verona, Bergamo, Brescia, Vicenza, and even Padova, retreating into the natural fortress of their lagoons. The entire Venetian land empire had been lost in a single day. In one battle, Venice had dropped off the list of European great powers. The Venetians called it a “second Cannae.” The Florentine secretary Machiavelli exulted that in one day the Venetians had lost the fruits of 800 years of aggression. The Venetians were able to retake Padova, but had to defend it against the German Emperor and 100,000 troops. The modern era had indeed begun.
Only twice before had the Venetians been in such dire straits. They had been besieged in the lagoons in 810 AD by King Pepin of France, the heir of Charlemagne, and again by the Genoese during the war of Chioggia in 1379.
To multiply the catastrophe, a few months before, the Venetians had received news of the naval battle of Diu in which an Egyptian fleet supported by Indian princes had been wiped out by the Portuguese navy. The old Venetian monopoly in the spice trade with the east was now a dead duck.
At first the Venetians, now under siege in their lagoons, were totally isolated. Then it turned out that they did have a friend: the new King of England, Henry VIII. Advised by Cardinal Woolsey and the Cecils, Henry VIII urged Pope Julius to betray the League of Cambrai, and ally with Venice. When Julius first found that Henry VIII was supporting Venice, he was furious. Julius told the English ambassador: “You Englishmen are all scoundrels.” But soon it was clear that Julius was not so far from Henry’s position. Henry also offered the Venetians a loan, and signed a friendship treaty with them.
Julius II della Rovere now switched sides, and by February, 1510 Julius was the ally of Venice in exchange for territorial cessions and some bribes. In the summer of 1510 the French and Imperial forces reached the lagoons a second time, but their flank was attacked by Julius, and Venice was preserved. Julius II must bear the historical responsibility of permitting the survival of Venice and thus of oligarchy into the modern world.
1511 brought a third Franco-Imperial offensive, which once again reached the shores of the lagoons. Now Spain followed Julius and joined the Venetian-Papal alliance against France and the Empire. Henry VIII also joined this Holy League as a pretext for attacking France.
In the spring of 1512 came a new shift: the Emperor Maximilian decided to join Venice, the Pope, and Spain against the French. The Venetians took advantage of this, re-occupying their battered land empire for the third time.
In February, 1513 Julius II della Rovere, who had made possible the survival of oligarchy into the modern world, finally died. About a month later the Venetians, desperately maneuvering to avoid being despoiled by their nominal allies, sealed an alliance with France. Venice now faced the attacks of the Spanish general Cardona. From the top of their bell towers the Venetians watched as the Spaniards burned the towns along the edge of the lagoon, and fired their cannon toward the city itself. Venice was on the verge of perdition for the fourth time, but Cardona had to retreat.
The war dragged on through 1514. In September, 1515 the French and the Venetians finally won the key battle of Marignano. After that only Verona remained in the hands of the German Imperial forces, and Venice and the Emperor Maximilian finally signed a peace in 1517. In the same year of 1517, a desperate Venetian wartime operation masterminded by Gasparo Contarini bore fruit when Luther nailed his theses to the door of Wittenberg cathedral. From this point on, religious conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in Germany and elsewhere would begin to relieve the immediate pressure on Venice. Venice was 5 million ducats in debt. For 8 years Venice had been devastated by the endless maneuvers of huge armies. Only the wars of religion, reformation and counter- reformation, saved Venice from being finally crushed.
Venice had survived. There remained the question as to how this small and weak state could hope to impose its oligarchical axioms on future humanity. Part of the answer was the metastasis of the Venetian oligarchical cancer to take over a large modern state. For this the Venetians eventually chose England, the power that had been most friendly during the late war.
But the roots of Venetian and Byzantine influence in England were much deeper. The Danish Viking invaders who opposed Alfred were instruments of the Byzantine Empire, whose influence reached Scandinavia along the Varangian way through Russia. The Norwegian army that invaded England in 1066 was commanded by a Byzantine general, Harold Hardrada. During the 1200′s Henry III of England was bankrupted by loans masterminded by the Venetians. When Edward III started the Hundred Years’ War against France around 1340, he was an instrument of Venice, since the Venetians wanted to prevent France from interfering with their wars against Genoa. The Wars of the Roses had been fought by factions manipulated by the Venetians, who viewed Wat Tyler’s rebellion and Wycliff’s Lollards as a dress rehearsal for Luther. Venetian factions were dominant at the court of Henry VIII. So the Venetians moved their family fortunes and their characteristic world outlook to England.
But the move to England and the creation of a British Empire were only part of the answer. As long as the forward motion of Renaissance science continued, the Venetians, the British, and all the others would be forced to imitate it and duplicate it, on pain of being militarily defeated. But the irrational domination of oligarchs could not coexist with continuous progress in science and technology. The Venetians could not simply attack science from the outside. They needed to seize control of science and corrupt science from within.
This task fell to the Venetian intelligence leader Paolo Sarpi, who lived from 1552 to 1623. Sarpi became one of the most famous persons in Europe through his role as Venetian propaganda boss during the Pope’s Interdict against Venice in 1606-1607. Sarpi authored the assassination of King Henry IV of France in 1610. And, with the help of his assets at the court of Frederick V in Heidelberg, Sarpi was decisive in starting the Thirty Years’ War, which killed half of the population of Germany and one third of the population of Europe as a whole.
Yet, Sarpi’s most lasting achievement is the launching of the European Enlightenment, including both the Bacon- Hobbes- Locke- Newton- Berkeley- Hume English empiricism and the Descartes- Voltaire- Rousseau- French Encyclopedia school. Sarpi was one of the greatest corrupters of science and philosophy.
Sarpi was a Servite monk of modest origins who rose to be number two in his order. Early in life, he became an admirer of William of Ockham, one of the stupidest of the medieval nominalist philosophers. Sarpi was also a follower of Pomponazzi, the Venetian professor who argued that man has no soul.
Sarpi lived in Rome and knew the main personalities of the Counter- Reformation, including Carlo Borromeo, Roberto Bellarmino, Pope Sixtus V, and the future Pope Urban VII. Sarpi soon became a creature of the Contarini and Morosini families, who were committed to the Venetian metastasis into northern Europe. The Contarini- Morosini faction, called the Giovani party, became dominant in Venice during the 1580′s. Sarpi became, in the words of the papal nuncio, the boss of half of Venice, and ran a salon for Calvinists and libertines which the Vatican attacked as an “academy of errors.”
The leading British authority on Sarpi is H.R. Trevor-Roper, now Lord Dacre, who calls the friar an “indefatigable polymath” or master of all the sciences. In reality, Sarpi was the chief corrupter of modern science, the greatest charlatan of all time. It is his doctrines which are taught in the universities today.
In astronomy and physics, Sarpi was the case officer who directed the work of the Padua professor Galileo Galilei. Galileo wrote that Sarpi was a mathematician unexcelled in Europe, and contemporaries recognized that Sarpi had been the adviser, author, and director of Galileo’s telescope project. Galileo’s observations were done from Sarpi’s monastery. The telescope itself had been invented by Leonardo. Galileo was until the end of his life a paid agent of the Sarpi group.
Sarpi also tried to build up a reputation as an expert on magnetism, which fascinated him because of its magical overtones. In this he was praised by G.B. della Porta, the author of Magia Naturalis. Sarpi was also famous as a mathematician, and probably wrote a treatise of mathematics which was lost when his monastery burned in 1769. Sarpi had studied the French mathematician Francois Viete. In anatomy, the Venetians attempted to prove for many years that Sarpi had been the first to discover the valves in human veins, and even that he had been the first to describe the circulation of the blood, well before Harvey.
Sarpi wrote A History of the Council of Trent, and his influence on historiography has been immense. John Milton is the English author who praises Sarpi at the greatest length. Milton used Sarpi as a major source, and praised him as the “great unmasker” of the papacy. Edward Gibbon, the author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was the leading historian of the British Venetian Party during the eighteenth century. In his great tome, Gibbon wrote: “Should Rome and her religion be annihilated, [Sarpi's] golden volume may still survive, a philosophical history and a salutary warning.” Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay, the Venetian Party historian of the nineteenth century, was also an admirer of Sarpi. For today’s Lord Dacre/Trevor- Roper, Sarpi was simply the greatest among all Catholic historians. So Sarpi was indeed a prodigy among oligarchs.
But what of Sarpi the philosopher? Sarpi never published a work of philosophy, but the Venetian archives were found to contain his philosophical manuscripts, the “Art of Thinking Well” (Arte di Ben Pensare) and the “Thoughts” (Pensieri), which were published in 1910 and again more fully in 1951. Here we find that Sarpi created the basis of modern empiricism. His method was to assert that scientific truth was to be found not in Aristotle, but rather written in mathematical characters in the great book of life. The way to get this truth was to use sense certainty, exactly as Aristotle had recommended. Many of Aristotle’s specific conclusions could be junked, but his method and thus his overall domination could be preserved.
Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes both understood Italian. They and their protector, the Earl of Devonshire, corresponded with Sarpi and his group, with Hobbes doing the translation. Hobbes visited Venice in September, 1614 and probably met Sarpi. Bacon’s inductive method is simply a bowdlerization of Sarpi.
Hobbes belonged to the Sarpi networks all his life. The plan for Hobbes’ career as a writer emerged from his meeting with Galileo in 1636, when Galileo suggested that Hobbes write a book of ethics according to the mathematical- geometrical method. All his life Hobbes went around blathering that motion was the only thing that mattered. One of Sarpi’s Pensieri reads: “From the weakness of man derives his characteristic of living in society, but from man’s depravity derives the need to live under a supreme authority….” [405] This, along with Sarpi’s favorite theme of church-state conflict, is the substance of Hobbes’ Leviathan. When Hobbes lived in Paris during the English civil war, he rubbed elbows with Venetian assets like Mersenne, Descartes, and Gassendi. Hobbes and Descartes quarreled, but also partied together.
Then there is the question of Locke. Lord Macauley and other English writers treat Sarpi as one who anticipated Locke. In reality, Locke was a plagiarist of Sarpi. And for this we have the testimony of no less a personage than a mid-eighteenth century doge of Venice, Marco Foscarini. The doge writes that Sarpi’s “Art of Thinking Well” is “the original from which Locke copied.”
Locke’s first book argues that the mind is a blank slate without any inborn or innate ideas. This meshes exactly with Sarpi, who with Aristotle and Pomponazzi tries to show that nothing enters the mind except through the senses. The corollary of this is that there is no human soul.
“Every body which moves operates on what it touches,” is Sarpi’s point of departure. Sarpi “shows how external objects operate on our senses, distinguishing between the object which creates the sensation and the sensation itself.” The sensations we feel are not qualities of the objects, but phenomena of our intellect. The senses deliver the sensations through the nervous system. Then discursive reasoning or the active intellect comes into play with ideas of number and size. The discursive reasoning orders, combines, and compares sense-ideas which have been stored in memory.
This is all closely parallel to Locke’s second book. In “Art of Thinking Well,” Sarpi writes that “knowledge by experience is of greater certainty than knowledge through reason, and no reason can ever manage to equal experience.” Locke’s second book states that all our knowledge is founded on and derives itself from experience. Experience comes from sensation or from reflection, reflection on the sense impressions already stored in the brain. Sarpi also discusses reflection, distinguishing between cognition and later reflection on that same cognition.
Sarpi admits compound ideas, made up of more than one simple sense impression, and so does Locke. Sense impressions in general do not err, says Sarpi, although sometimes impaired vision and the like will cause distortions, and discursive reasoning can become confused. Locke’s second book has similar remarks, with a discussion of color blindness. Both devote space to methods for fixing mistakes in processing sense ideas.
Sarpi argues that the intellect orders ideas according to notions of genus, species, and essence. For Locke, “all the great business of genera and species, and their essences… amounts to no more than this: That… men… enable themselves to consider things in bundles….” [II.31] From these bundles, Sarpi goes on to definitions and then to axioms (ipolipsi). Locke prefers to address axioms as maxims, and he argues that they are of limited utility, serving mainly to win debates. Sarpi is even more pessimistic, asserting that knowledge is actually harmful, and that animals are better off in their natural ignorance than we are.
Sarpi and Locke also agree on the value of syllogisms, which they also consider to be quite limited. Sarpi warns that syllogisms can often be perverse in form. Locke, wanting to show that he is fully modern and in no way a scholastic or schoolman, also denies every claim made for the syllogism – although he hastens to add that this does not in the least diminish the prestige of Aristotle.
Sarpi ends with some notes on language, saying that words were invented not to identify things, but rather the ideas of the speaker. Locke reproduces this argument in toto, stating that “…all words… signify nothing immediately but the ideas in the mind of the speaker.” [II.32] Sarpi regards words as sources of confusion and errors, as does Locke.
Most of Locke’s modern editors and biographers make no mention of Sarpi. But the catalogue of Locke’s library shows a lively interest in the Venetian. Locke owned Sarpi’s works in 6 volumes, Sarpi’s histories of the Council of Trent and of the Inquisition, Sarpi’s Italian letters, his history of Pope Paul IV, plus Micanzio’s first biography of Sarpi, for a total of 13 books
Sarpi uses 22 pages, while Locke requires just short of 1000. But there is no doubt that Sarpi, whatever his obscurity, is the founder of modern British empiricism and as such the chief philosophical charlatan of the British Empire and the English- speaking peoples, including many Americans today. In this way, Sarpi has become the most popular and influential thinker of the modern world. The dead hand of Paolo Sarpi is reaching out of his sarcophagus once again, threatening to throttle world civilization.