Posted in war, tagged abstraction, Benny Thomas, Cluster principle, collateral damage, economic sanctions, low tech vs hi-tech, Russia, technology, Ukraine on May 6, 2014 |
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Some 70,000 Iraqis died as an indirect consequence of the 1991 war in the Persian Gulf and a Harvard University study determined that another 100,000 people, mostly children died in the following year.This high incidence of infant mortality was caused by economic blockade against Iraq.
When questioned about civilian casualties General Tommy Franks seems to have said, “We don’t do body counts.” When war goes hi-tech civilian death becomes an abstraction. In the evolution of war we see in Ancient Greece the concept of glory held certain personal ability, courage and character essential for challenging man in eyeball to eyeball confrontation. In this combat dying constituted glory for soldiers. No wonder we read of Alexander of Macedon hurling himself into the thick of battle to set an example for his men.
In the First World War heavy casualties of men in the trenches was so high both Germany and France shrank from such a strategy. Technology of co-ordinated attacks using armored tanks and infantry moving quickly with air power to pulverize anything that stood in the way. Blitzkreig showed technology very useful.
In our century technology of warfare is such it is more hi-tech versus low tech. It is same story of rifles against bow and arrows that determined in the Americas. Colonialism was ushered in with the help of technology. In these days war would mean imposition of a culture with claims to ‘liberal and democratic’ values over another less endowed culture and belief-systems. For this purpose human casualties are merely an abstraction.
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Posted in history, tagged Austro-Hungarian empire, Benny Thomas, Cluster principle, history, Karl Marx, Kossuth, Louis Philippe, parliamentary reform, Rights of Man, the Communist Manifesto on March 17, 2014 |
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The year 1848 can be considered as the beginning of the modern Europe.
In an obscure German paper Karl Marx published
the Communist Manifesto. It was a challenge to the entrenched order
that was at best benevolent but despotic and exploitative.
It all began with violent
changes across the channel. In England was the Chartism and in Franc
Louis Philippe had been removed from the French throne in February 1848,
were soon to convulse other European capitals.
In early 1848
none of the greater states of Europe
functioned as democracies. Britain, where
about one-in-five adult males (in England) had voting rights,
and France, where voting rights
were allowed to very wealthy men, amounting to about
of all adult males, were the least undemocratic.
The other greater states
of Éurope – the “Austrian” Habsburg Empire, Prussia and Russia
operated as absolute monarchies
where such Assemblies of Notables, Congregations or Diets,
authorised to convene were understood
to have administrative or consultative roles
rather than political or legislative powers.
The European Revolutions
of 1848 represent a widespead emergenc
across much of Europe, where populist
human aspirations variously sought constitutional,
liberal, nationalist or socialistic changes
in society often at the cost of
traditionally influential dynastic
or religious authorities.
In February 1948,
the British historian Lewis Namier (1888–1960) delivered
a lecture commemorating the centennial
of the European Revolutions of 1848.
In this lecture Namier presented facts
about the historical developments and themes evident in 1848
and reached the conclusion that:-
“1848 remains a seed-plot of history. It crystallized ideas
and projected the pattern of things to come;
it determined the course of the following century.”
Heartened by the French example
a national revolt under the legendary Lajos Kossuth
demanding a parliamentary government for Hungary
and constitutional government for the rest of Habsburg Empire.
As a result number of revolts sent Metternich out of power
and ripples as far as Italy. The movement for Hungarian Independence
lost by two reasons.
Austria and Prussia despite their long running feud
closed their ranks
to protect the divine rights of their rule,
Secondly the Czechs ,Romanians and Serbs
within the empire resisted thus proving the ethnic minorities
were the Achilles heel in the body of Nationalism.
Cluster principle shows how impossible
Nationalism is at heart. How can one divide mankind into labels?
If Nationalism goes about
to create a nation instantly there shall be
cluster of divisions by the same argument
that shall be on ethnic, sectarian lines.
Here we see a paradox that works even this day.
Hungarian nationalism of Kossuth was generously liberal;
in combating the national feelings of the Slavs and other minorities
in their midst the Hungarians were as illiberal
as nationalists elsewhere.
the Enlightenment and the French Revolution
had declared the rights of man.
“Men are born and remain free and equal in rights.”
But it was another principle that spurred the Nationalism.
“The principle of all sovereignty resides
essentially in the nation. No body or
individual can exercise authority, if it does not
take its origin from the nation.”
This is what Hitler as der Fuehrer demanded
from the Germans and got.The exaltation of nationalism had set
a conflagration in order to create great catastrophes.
Shall Putin treat Ukraine as Hitler did in his time?(ack: age of the sage.org)
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When Libya’s dictator for more than four decades fell victim to the Arab Spring, Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s influence didn’t end. It is now contributing to increased attacks by rebel groups, the arming of terrorists and a hunger crisis in other parts of Africa.
“This is a setback for the international community which has invested so much money in the past decade in democracy, peace, and security in Africa,” said Dr. Mehari Taddele Maru at the Institute for Security Studies based in Pretoria, South Africa.
After Gadhafi’s fall, thousands of his soldiers left the country with stockpiles of weapons, including machine guns, ammunition, and shoulder-fired missiles. Maru says at least 2,000 of them were mercenaries who returned to their native countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and Nigeria. . Many have already returned to fighting.
In the West African country of Mali, when ethnic Taureg fighters returned from Libya well armed, it encouraged Taureg separatists to launch a new rebellion against the government in January. While Gadhafi’s weapons were no match for the NATO forces that came to the rescue of Libyan revolutionaries, they were far superior to the weapons of the impoverished Malian army. A mutiny by Mali’s out-gunned and frustrated soldiers turned into a coup d’etat when they stormed the Presidential Palace in March, erasing more than two decades of democratic rule.
In the chaos that has ensued after the coup, Taureg separatists in Mali have had more success than ever before. On Sunday they seized the last government holdout in the north, the legendary town of Timbuktu. There is now concern a Taureg victory in Mali could inspire another rebellion in neighboring Niger.
“The Tauregs in Niger got funding from Gadhafi. The government of Niger has been able to negotiate with them for peace, but for how long? That is questionable,” said Maru.
Gadhafi’s fighters and weapons also streamed into other nearby countries in the Sahel region bordering the Sahara desert. It is an area where a major Al-Qaeda affiliate has announced it acquired thousands of Gadhafi’s weapons.( Abc News of April3,2012)
This is a classic example of Cluster Principle I wrote in a number of posts in the past. West helping the rebels was part self interest, part idealism and in keeping with democratic traditions of the west. But it often cuts into the interests of the west ( as in the case of Iraq) and it underpins inversion principle. Cluster principle explains how this is brought about.
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Lord Siva is the third of Trinity. He is the god of destruction. One day he got somewhat upset by his consort Parvati and went off to think things over. He went through cities where people lived and at one place he saw a small crowd. He drew near. He was shocked to see a fellow talking about gods. ‘What does he know about me?’
The fellow said,’You know why Lord Siva has got his third eye?
The crowd was egging him on. ‘Tell us, and entertain us, Paro!’ Paro continued,’Siva cannot trust his eyes.’ The crowd of course laughed. And Siva didn’t know what was going on. He felt black. So angry he became he opened his third eye. Naturally the fire consumed the whole city. He walked on.
Thinking over the extraordinary incident he went to the stream and looked at his reflection.He heard the stream gurgling with pleasure and murmuring,’man has invented laughter. It must be fun now onwards.’ Lord Siva thought he was in a strange world. When he returned he conveyed to other gods in the godhead what he experienced. Brahma the creator said,’Didn’t you notice? I just thought man could have a lighter side to his existence. So I sent him laughter as a gift.’ Vishnu who keeps the cosmic order nodded,’I too thought so.’
Siva didn’t say further and he brooded over what he did. He vowed that he would go back among them and see for himself. ‘Did laughter make him better?’
He found where he had torched it was business as usual. There were more tents and in each men were gathered so he could not get even a seat. Inside they were listening to number of fellows, standup comedians all, vying with one another to make audience laugh.
‘Strange’he muttered and he moved on. He could not even move through the knots of men who were making merry. In another tent Comedy Central he heard customers waiting in anticipation. The comedian came much to the roll of drums and fanfare. He launched into jokes. At one point he asked,’Know why god Shiva has a snake around his neck?’ The crowd all in titter,’Because he could not think of anything better.’ The crowd went berserk.Next he said with a droll face,’Lord Siva is here!’
Instantly silence. Not even a titter. ‘What! did I say anything wrong?’ He asked his manager. No answer.
Lord Shiva went off in high dudgeon.
Moral: One joke begets a thousand and some shall fall flat and yet what does it matter?
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Cluster Principle explains what determines the advance or falling back of man and enterprises. From whence did come all that energy needed for our universe to expand and be a nursery for trillions of stars or recycle the debris from a supernovae for new galaxies?
This fecundity of our cosmos requires this principle. Just seconds after the Big Bang a rapid exponential expansion of the early universe took place by a factor of at least 10 raised to the 78 in volume. Similar to cosmological inflation theory we see in the affairs of nations also this principle at work. After Germany sued for peace at the end of the WWI President Wilson demanded that he will only deal with a democratic government that doomed the fate of Kaiser Wilhem II. But a cluster of events had vitiated the Weimar government from dealing with the post-war chaos at home. These clusters paved the way for Nazis to seize the initiative and in 1933 the former corporal Hitler was sworn the oath of the Chancellor by Field Marshall von Hindenburg. It was reported the ageing Marshall abhorred the very idea but had no other choice. The cluster principle creates conditions where a spiritual misanthrope like Joseph Stalin to beat back every opposition in his path to be the arbiter of the destiny of Soviet Russia. Under his regime some 22 millions would have perished.
This principle creates and governs rapid intervention of events creating uncertainty of direction history will ultimately take. ( uncertainty principle) Especially war brings this principle into sharp focus. Remember the proverbial four horsemen of the Apocalypse? Famine, Plague Inflation and Death are clusters and these have had free run from the first war ever fought.
Does not even a Cause create clusters, which in effect may run like thus: ‘For King and Country?’ The WWI was a war fought to end all wars as was declared in the Versailles?
What connects McVeigh, the Oklahoma bomber to Thomas Jefferson?
Jefferson believed that each individual has “certain inalienable rights”. That is, these rights exist with or without government; man cannot create, take, or give them away. It is the right of “liberty” on which Jefferson is most notable for expounding. But what was his remark concerning the Shays Rebellion after he had heard of the bloodshed? Jefferson wrote to William Smith, John Adams’s son-in-law, “What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” Several anti-government groups have pointed to these words of his to justify their movement. Timothy McVeigh was wearing a T-shirt when arrested bearing the words, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” No man or nation can escape the connection that an idea holds whereby Jefferson is connected with a terrorist or a party that is for the rich.
Cluster of ideas create bonds that are murky and drag even the very principles of individuals and organizations as supect.
The Republican Party holds Thomas Jefferson as its godfather. It denies any meaningful role for the Federal government and also supports tax free incentives to the super-rich. If such a party creates a climate for the irresponsible risk-taking under the Bush administration (father and son) leading to as we had seen prior to the 2008 meltdown what should we conclude?
No wonder those who create history invariably seem like a butcher who is all thumbs and wields his sharp cleaver as though stricken with dts.
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Posted in Aesop, fables, history, Aesop and the Ass, modern fable, tagged American Dream, Cluster principle, criminal collusion, finance, Greed, the Inside Job on December 8, 2011 |
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The land that Yahoos lived in their humdrum way extended from the range of mountains to the seas and they never thought they would live to see any one who enjoyed life as they. But one night a wave of brigands came and occupied vast spaces. When morning came they were right in their midst. The Yahoos wanted to know what was the idea. One Red coated brigand said, ‘The air is free; so is the rolling sky. ’
‘Meaning?’ The Yahoos had some difficulty in understanding them.
The Red-coated brigand standing on their toes said their mission was to make them civilized as they.
‘But we haven’t seen it yet.’ The brigands laughed so much at their simplicity, ‘You must pledge your loyalty to the Big Man Across the Sea.’
The Yahoos for all their plainspeaking was fair in giving it a try. Thus Red Swallow Tail, the chief of the Brigands made them take their oath. Directly they learned all the tricks and they formed armies and they went on raiding parties. What a haul they brought! It was a flood of silver ingots and gold by pack mules! The brigands knew where to keep them. They dumped them in a fleet of ships that sailed away.
It so happened later the Yahoos needed money for building cities and harbors. The brigands in their fine red coats hemmed and hawed. At last it dawned on the Yahoos they were almost bled white by the Red coats and the BMAS across the sea.
Yahoos with infinite cunning and patience knew how to pay them back in their own coin. They formed their own militia and threw them back into the sea.
One Yahoo who showed most skill in the war was chosen to lead them.
The Headman chose his Council and first they thought was to make their land fit for them. ‘How shall we know the citizens are behind us? Of their loyalty?’some asked. The Head man answered, ‘Make each citizen put part of his wealth with us.’ Thus the Yahoos founded the National Bank where every citizen put his savings.
They knew the money would grow in time. They counted money and dreamed in gold and the promise from the Bank CEO was, ‘When you feel the pinch, bring a wheel barrow along to carry interest.’
The Headman and his cohorts having money immediately sent it out of their country, just as the Red coated brigands had done. They put all the wealth to work they told the citizenry.
They also create an elaborate labyrinth of checks and balances. How many departments and fancy titles thus were created! They hired some clever accountants of BMAS for fat fees to make the system foolproof.
But in a decade the Yahoos found their wealth had disappeared! Naturally.
Cluster Principle in wealth Management explains where conflict of interest occur in individuals their risks of being exposed of fraud or criminal negligence shall be scattered through various clusters set in place precisely to prevent it.
Inversion principle goes hand in hand with cluster principle.
Here is a piece of news that explains the Job partly.
WASHINGTON – Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation that would have regulated and trimmed the mortgage finance giant and its sister company, Fannie Mae, three years before the government took control to prevent their collapse.
In the midst of DCI’s yearlong effort, Hagel and 25 other Republican senators pleaded unsuccessfully with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., to allow a vote.
“If effective regulatory reform legislation … is not enacted this year, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole,” the senators wrote in a letter that proved prescient.
Unknown to the senators, DCI was undermining support for the bill in a campaign targeting 17 Republican senators in 13 states, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The states and the senators targeted changed over time, but always stayed on the Republican side…”
(Pete Yost-Associated Press 20 Oct, 2008)
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Posted in history, tagged ayans, Cluster principle, inversion principle, Osman Gazi, Ottoman Empire, sharia, Sick Man of Europe, Turkish emirate, İbrahim Müteferrika on December 3, 2011 |
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The role of religion in the political history of the Ottoman Empire is discussed here.
If one examines the rise and fall of Islamic Empires, one finds the same old stuff in the case of their history. These had a beginning a middle part and end. Timurid Empire died a quick death after Timurleng’s demise while the Ottomans suffered a lingering death after Suleiman the Magnificent left the fate of his empire to the harem politics. No dynasties could prevent the march of events and their bad governance reverberate even to this day. The Arab spring perhaps may prove a change in the muddled state of affairs.
Let us examine the course run by the Ottoman Empire. It was melded out a number of Turkish principalities, or emirates, many of which were led by gazi warriors. Out of a gradual collapse of central authority in Asia Minor rose one such warrior, Osman Gazi. His small emirate was closer geographically to the Byzantine Empire than any other, and thus he had many chances to prove his abilities as a gazi warrior against them. His continuous forays proved successful which brought other gazis from neighbouring emirates to take part in these victories and obtain their share of the spoils. Plunder was their motive and sword their language. Their political wisdom did not go beyond the power that they could wield over their subjects. In 1301, with the victory of the Ottomans over the Byzantines at Nicaea, the former Byzantine capital, the Ottoman emirate established itself as a powerful military force.
The Ottoman Empire reached its peak by 1600, after which time it fell into a gradual decline, as a result of both internal disorganisation and pressure from its external foes in Europe and Asia. Inversion principle points to the fact: greater speed with which they annexed territories seeds of its destruction grew at faster rate. Power was surrounded by self interest and corruption which the interest groups could exert.
No dynasty can survive in a vacuum or on faith alone. Their religious law called sharia (TR: şeriat) was supplemented by royal ordinances and customary law and such governance stood in contrary to the wishes of subjects who were Greek Orthodox Christians, Armenian Gregorian Christians and Jews. The millet system of communal self-government gave the Ottoman state a multi-ethnic character but the rise of nationalism swept through many countries in the period after the French Revolution put pressure on the Ottoman Empire.
The state would gradually lose its control over the Empire’s territories. On one hand, Ottomans were forced to allow the European powers to intervene on behalf of the Empire’s Christian subjects, which meant increasing foreign influence on Ottoman internal affairs, and on the other hand, in a time when feudalism was weakening elsewhere, the Ottoman Empire saw the rise of local ruling notables, called ayan, in the provinces. These local rules were able to exercise almost absolute authority, collecting taxes for themselves, thus depriving the Imperial Treasury of an important financial source. The Cluster principle explains the various power centers that flexed their muscle- and the ayans were power within the imperial power while clerics had their own interests to follow.
It was the people, of all ethnic and religious groups, who suffered most. Their situation worsened by a large population growth in 16th and 17th centuries accompanied by a decline in food production. Landless peasants began to flee to the cities in the hope of making a living. Those remaining in the countryside joined rebel bands, which further weakened the central governments power in the provinces.
The Ottoman rulers failed to identify the real causes of the decline, since they were completely isolated from developments outside. European powers were exercising mercantilist policies promoting local productivity and favouring a national bourgeoisie. They were advancing in industry, science, technology as well as political and military organization. The powers that be were lulled into inertia by interest groups who saw little need to change the status quo from which they were benefiting.
How backward were they can be judged from the following fact: it was not until 1727, three centuries after Johannes Gutenberg, that the first printing press was set up in Istanbul by a Hungarian convert called İbrahim Müteferrika.
There were some attempts at reforms which were done to change the traditional Ottoman system based on theocratic principles to that of a modern state. However, they reforms did not manage to reverse the decline of the Empire. Yavuz wrote: “The reformers were handicapped by a lack of sources and trained staff, besides a tough opposition by conservatives who argued that the reformers were destroying the Empire’s fundamental Islamic character by following the Western modes”.
Do we not hear the same arguments even these days? Libya has got rid of one dictator for another? There is a talk that liberated Libya must follow Sharia law. For whose benefit, for the good of the people or for those who fatten themselves on religion?
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Development path of man is like a plant in which organ system carries visible signs of progress that can be quantified. The shoot system indicates level of scientific knowledge achieved by a society, which drives technology and standard of living that each individual can afford. There is a hidden system that supports their progress from beneath. In the duration a society has achieved it has created a cluster of nodes that can absorb shocks of reverse in trade and commerce and many other eventualities. Such clusters that can sustain growth and maintain a society from collapse are far reaching than what readily appear to the eye. In falling back from the mainstream of civilization a society may show signs of carrying on but it has lost the vitality to grow or contribute to the common fount of human experience. One example will suffice. The west has grown past the tribal mindset long ago. Whereas Libya still propped up effete and bloodthirsty tyrants like Moammar Gaddafi for more than 42 years. In Bahrain you see a minority family running roughshod over majority Sh’ia population. In a society still bound by religion and affiliation of clans is a reflection of what is lacking. In the age of time and motion where efficiency is imperative in the middle east you see irresponsible leadership at its worst form. Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Tunisia are other examples that reveal the recidivism of Islam still echoing among the Middle East countries.
Cluster principle governs the lateral web without which no progress of any society can be sustained. In a consumer society every consumer is a hidden factor whose purchases nurse the health of such a society. The lateral web for example is giving the consumers the economic viability so they indirectly maintain the consumerism What if the consumer confidence or security is shaken?
For an amoeba digestion is simple and straight forward. Similarly lichens growing on a rock can draw nutrients straight from it. Whereas for a man his complex physiology lays premium on division of labor. Each organ has a specific purpose and digestion is done in the stomach. Cluster principle in the case of anatomy points to the division of labor that can support the complexity of man.
When Robinson Crusoe was left on a solitary isle he was cut off from the civilization that the larger world represented. He could not avail himself the service of a doctor if he had developed some sickness. In case he wished to meet people and chat with them in convivial atmosphere there was no tavern. Everything that made him a civilized man was taken from him. He was almost in danger of falling back from his station and of becoming a savage. Cluster principle that made all the facilities that a civilized world could offer him did not work in his case.
Recidivism of Islam similarly cut off the fruits of progress from them.
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