Monday 11th of December 2023

the virtues that hide greed, wars and highway robbery...

treasure at the end of...

In the ordinary picture above, Gus captured a messy electrical network that transmits energy, a spaghetti of cables designed to supply our entertaining artificial delusions (called NBN in Australia), a sign telling us not to do something (no parking), roofs that protect us from the weather and some now useless chimneys that were the old way to keep warm, until councils stopped the usage of wood or coal fireplaces, mostly to minimise pollution.. 

These items are (were) based on our needs to survive which were improved upon over the ages by various mechanisms of social trial and error, mostly through availability of materials to burn, merchandising of wants and coaxing to be on the grid. These are our interpretation of this survival into a bourgeois lifestyle, including beliefs, here represented by a natural happening — a rainbow — that we often interpret as “hope” at the end thereof… 

In an essay on our "flourishing human life", we are invited to see virtues in what we’ve done so far — and why we've failed these ideals. But one of the major problem of this dissertation is that it avoids the reality we all come from different views about how to acquire comfort.


We, the toiling dorks, are doing all we can to stay within the limits of virtuous decency while our rulers are often pliable to the demands of inventive entrepreneurs whose main aim is to make money — often using sociopathic techniques and payola under the furniture (see: reviving the ugly past at the new york times...) … Here we go:

Life’s primary colours: How humanity forgot the seven principal virtues
By Deirdre McCloskey

The case can be made that a flourishing human life must show seven principal virtues.

The case in favour of four of them ― the ‘pagan’ or ‘aristocratic’ or ‘political’ virtues of courage, justice, temperance and prudence ― was made by Plato, Aristotle and Cicero. In the early thirteenth century, St. Albert the Great summarized Cicero’s claim that every virtuous act has all four...

In sophisticated ruminations on the virtues until the eighteenth century, these four persisted ― as, for example, in Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments.

The pagan four are the political virtues in many senses ― for example, in the ancient sense of contributing to the survival and flourishing of a polis containing political animals. A hoplite in the phalanx of the polis needed courage, prudence, temperance and justice ― all four. So did a politician speaking to the Athenian assembly. When Athens ignored any of them ― for instance, justice in its treatment of Melos or prudence in its expedition to Syracuse ― the results were distressing. Vices undermined Athenian flourishing, as they will do.

The other three virtues for a flourishing life ― adding up to the principal seven ― are faith, hope and love. These three so-called ‘theological’ virtues are not until the nineteenth century regarded as political. Before the Romantics and their nationalism and socialism, they were thought of as achieving the salvation of an individual soul, as achieving the City of God, not a city of humans. “The theological virtues are above the nature of man,” wrote St. Albert’s student, St. Thomas Aquinas around 1270 CE. “The intellectual and moral virtues perfect the human intellect and appetite in proportion to human nature, but the theological virtues do so supernaturally.”

Excellent… Hard to know when humanity forgot its virtuous colours: today, yesterday or a million years ago? And what has “supernaturality" got to do with it?
So the Greek philosophers defined "courage, justice, temperance and prudence" as social virtues which would have been good moral drivers for individuals to believe in themselves, while their rulers were doing the shenanigans. These elevated civilisations bit the dust, often due to other less civilised people wanting to rob them, AND to individuals from within, robbing the others by giving up on the social virtues through greed.
 Faith, Love and Hope were also used as smokescreens by previous governments under various guises. The "divine right to rule, love thy king and hope we win the war" was the way Western societies were run — from the 5th Roman century onwards till about five minutes ago.. 

In between the nobility and the peasants, the bourgeois developed their comforts…:

Her latest scholarly book again from the University of Chicago Press, Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World (2016), was the final volume of the Bourgeois Era trilogy. It argues for an “ideational” explanation of the Great Enrichment of 3,000 percent per person 1800 to the present in places like Britain and Japan and Finland. The accidents of Reformation and Revolt in northwestern Europe 1517–1789 led to a new liberty and dignity for commoners—ideas called “liberalism” in the proper sense—which led in turn to an explosion of commercially tested betterment, “having a go.” The second book in the trilogy, Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World (2010), had shown that materialist explanations such as saving or exploitation, don’t have enough economic oomph or historical relevance to explain the Enrichment. The alleged explanations that do not focus on the new ideology of “innovism”—her name for the ill-named “capitalism”—are mistaken. And the Enrichment did not corrupt our immortal souls. The inaugural book in the trilogy, The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce (2006), had established that, contrary to the clamor since 1848 of the clerisy left and right, the bourgeoisie is pretty good, and that commercially tested betterment is not the worst of ethical schools. In short, the trilogy looks forward, if populism does not spoil the prospect, to a world of universal dignity and prosperity created by liberal innovism.

So what is innovism? Good question...

“What matters is human creativity liberated by liberalism,” McCloskey concludes. “Innovism, not tricky proposals for utilitarian nudging, should be the focus of economics. Economics should become ‘humanomics,’ that is, economics with the philosophy, history, literature left in… We need to honor scientifically, both in our hypotheses and our scientific practice, the liberal world of human creation.”

This is pure deception… unless McCloskey really believes in this shit. The last thing the bourgeoisie wants is equality.

In all of this, the author forgot three essential items that have “enriched the world” (the Western world): slavery, war and the destruction of nature, all driven by greed. 

The bourgeois virtues only work when there is a form of slavery or some exploitation of "other people” who of course are rarely seen since they are kept in the city sewers, in sweat shops or become “refugees” because their homelands have been raped — for resources and growth of the bourgeois virtues. Super-greed drives human nature, while the virtues are designed to hide or excuse this dangerous success.

The destruction of nature has unfortunately become an essential parameter to progress. And we’re going to pay for it in a big way unless we stop this innovism (capitalism) and replace it with sustainable innovations, which thus requires temperance and prudence. Back to the top — and forget faith, hope and do not love nature — unless you keep your air conditioning running for your killer cats.

War has been an important parameter of this growth and only economic professors tend to dismiss this important aspect of managing the glory of the quietly settled bourgeoisie. After many years of warring, presently the US admin places sanctions on other countries and forces other “friendly” nations to commit to the same shit. This is trade war...

There is nil virtue in this, but this is actually the engine room of the empire. The virtues as told by Deirdre McCloskey are the colourful paints that hide the real engines: greed, wars and highway robbery — including conning workers to do more for less, in a subform of slavery.

As well, most of the information channels (news outlets) also conspire to deliver a false narrative that suit the virtues, but are corrupt as all get out in order to glorify wars and sociopathic bullshit. That the system works is not because of the virtues, but because of the con tricks, such as credit, patriotism and insecurity (cultivated fear) that makes us tighten our butts and believe...

Gus Leonisky
Ordinary photographer of rainbows...

welcome to the future...

At 8.30 every morning, an announcement is piped though a speaker in the ceiling of Kim Jong-won’s apartment, barking the daily bulletin in a high-pitched voice. The disembodied broadcaster details new parking measures, issues with the pneumatic waste disposal chute and various building maintenance jobs to be carried out that day.

“There’s no way of turning it off,” sighs Kim’s wife, Jung-sim, as she prepares breakfast. “I hate technology but my husband is an early adopter. He has to have everything first.”

It was Kim’s love of the latest tech that prompted him move his family to the future, or the nearest thing to it – Songdo, South Korea’s self-styled “smart city”, built on a 600-hectare parcel of artificial land dredged from the Yellow Sea near Seoul’s Incheon airport. It is a place where the garbage is automatically sucked away through underground pipes, where lampposts are always watching you, and where your apartment block knows to send the elevator down to greet you when it detects the arrival of your car. Sensors in every street track traffic flow and send alerts to your phone when it’s going to snow, while you can monitor the children’s playground on TV from the comfort of your sofa.


Read more:


Meanwhile in Europe:



Seven French firefighters’ unions called for a strike this summer to denounce the difficult working conditions and lack of funding. 

The situation risks affecting not only extinguishing fires – firefighters in France also serve as paramedics. In 2017, firefighters respond to 400,000 more fires than in 2012 despite the fact their resources haven’t increased.

Sputnik discussed the French firefighters’ demands with Rémy Chabbouh, Secretary General of Sud Solidaires SPP, and Frédéric Perrin, President of SPASDIS-CFTC.

According to firefighters, they are victims of fiscal tightening, which has been applied for several years in France. “More operations, fewer staff, closing or merging barracks… The system is out of breath. All this leads to longer response times,” Rémy Chabbouh says.

“It’s all interlinked. Hospitals are closing everywhere; some areas lack doctors etc. All this concerns us. During flu season, people quite often call firefighters to help their coughing kids. This is de Noémie Syndrome (syndrome de Noémie), named after this girl who died last year after an ambulance (SAMU - Service d’Aide Médicale Urgente) didn’t respond to the emergency call. The scandal was so huge that everyone is afraid now. Today, you can call firefighters to help any child whose nose is running,” he adds.

According to Le Monde, the Ministry of the Interior is thinking about easing the workload of firefighters: “Working groups are thinking about ways to reduce pressure at the level of reception people in need. such as the reconciliation between the ARS (Regional Health Agencies, Agences Régionales de Santé) and the SDIS (Departmental Fire and Rescue Services, Services Départementaux d’Incendie et de Secours), or the reduction of firefighters’ waiting time in emergency departments.”

“We are on the right track. But a big problem still remains. Firefighters don’t decide where they will take the victim; it’s SAMU that decides. Thus, there’re absurd situations. For example, a pregnant woman calls the fire department at 2 a.m. because she is about to give birth. Imagine she lives near the clinic of Rieu, in the Lyon region. The hospital is perfectly capable of taking care of that woman. However, if she was examined at another hospital, a few dozen kilometres away, the firefighters will be forced to take her to that clinic. At times of digital patients’ clinical records, this still raises questions,” Rémy Chabbouh comments.

Frédéric Perrin agrees with Rémy Chabbouh:

“The Ministry of Health is playing alone. I’m totally against this situation, even though I am not here to hit on our colleagues, who are also striking. Still, I have been a trade unionist for 20 years; and for 20 years these health people have been doing what they want. Firefighters no longer want to be under the SAMU. We have never been able to objectively and specifically discuss these issues with them. The reality is that today we are doing the job we should not be doing. Beyond the vital emergency responses, we perform a number of tasks that are not our duties. For example, an isolated rural barracks has only one ambulance. Due to the lack of funds, the SAMU asks the firefighters to provide transportation for a person who is not in danger of death. While the firefighters take care of this person, another person suffers a cardiac arrest; but there’s no ambulance to take them to hospital.”


Read more:


they don't trust your virtues...

If you’re traveling outside the United States this summer you might want to rethink taking your electronics along. Government agents have been detaining American citizens without arrest, searching, and in some cases downloading the entire contents of phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices. And this all happens without a warrant or access to an attorney.

“The border has become a rights-free zone for Americans who have to travel,” Senator Ron Wyden said in a statement to TAC. “The founders never could have imagined that the government would be able to sift through your entire digital life, from pictures to emails and even where you’ve been, just because you decide to take a vacation or travel for work.”

Border searches of electronic devices have exploded at an exponential rate in recent years: in 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) searched over 33,295 smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices; up nine percent from fiscal year 2017 and over six times the number searched in 2012. And that’s just the statistics from CBP; Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not maintain records of the number of electronic device searches it conducts.

“The government is accessing all your private data,” Sophia Cope, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), told TAC. These “deeply intrusive” searches of electronic devices “reveal a lot about you: your emails, contacts, bank history, internet searches, medical history, social media usage, and political beliefs.”


Read more:

a step towards the common good?...

Almost 16 years ago, my first piece for TAC chronicled a bad breakup then unfolding between conservatives and their libertarian allies over the Republican president of the United States.

To a great many libertarians, George W. Bush’s “freedom agenda” seemed like anything but: it consisted of the Patriot Act, increased spying on Americans, torture of foreigners, new deficit-funded federal spending on guns and butter alike, and above all a disastrous war in Iraq. Bush’s variant of conservatism exiled budget hawks and elevated national security hawks, threatening the fusionist project linking traditionalists and libertarians under the banner of the American Right. Libertarians saw no place for themselves in the “new fusionism” of neoconservatism and the Religious Right.

Bush’s dominance turned out to be short-lived and so was the crisis of the libertarian-conservative alliance. What came after in the form of the Tea Party brought together fiscal and social conservatives in defense of the Constitution, often aligned against the Bushies who brought us the Iraq war. At its peak, this new movement helped elect two important skeptics of military interventionism, Rand Paul and Justin Amash. With fellow traveler Mike Lee and such later additions as Thomas Massie, they outnumbered more hawkish newcomers like Marco Rubio, even if they remained a minority among congressional Republicans overall.

It looked like a free market populism could take hold of the GOP. Instead populism without the modifier took over via Donald Trump and Amash is now out of the party, declaring his own independence on the Fourth of July. While Amash’s frustration with partisan politics had been growing for years, it was his break with Trump that made this move seem inevitable. To some extent, we’re witnessing a fight between those who want conservative leaders to be good and those who want conservatism itself to be less individualistic and more oriented toward the common good.


Read more:



Read from top.

exposing the propaganda of greed, wars and highway robbery...



Read more:



Read from top.

the living reality of our time...

Liberalism emerged as the most enduring philosophy of the enlightenment era but since the dawn of the 21st century, it seems dying in a vault.

‘Philosophy will not be able to effect immediate transformation of the present condition of the world. This is not only true of philosophy, but of all merely human thought and endeavours. Only God can save us’. 

These are the famous words of Martin Heidegger during his famous interview with Der Spiegel, in which he openly expressed his views about the crisis of liberal modernity and his contempt towards liberal dystopia.

The moral and capitalist adventure of liberalism has destroyed the very philosophical foundation of enlightenment. Basically, it is not the gangster-style authoritarianism that is threatening liberalism rather the co-opt resistance from the liberal elites, which betrayed the passion and shattered the hope of ordinary masses. 

According to famous American writer Adam Gopnik’s definition, liberalism can be defined in two broad contexts: one is called ‘Fallibilism”, which refers to uncertainty in the domain of empirical knowledge and the other is called ‘Imperfectability’ that mainly emerged from the consumer hampered liberal capitalism. Indeed, these two ills severely damaged the philosophical foundation of liberal altruism and morality.

Is liberalism dead? The answer is yes, because as a philosophy and as an ideology, liberalism died a long time ago. It was the illiberal mantra of Capitalism that maintained liberal dystopia on the political surface while crushing its principles at the base. 

Today, people are living in a hyper-delusional world, where people are confused with ideological underpinnings, civilizational cleavage, cultural disruption, anthropological idleness, sociological collapse and political chaos. 

What is the way out, the people don’t know. Ordinary masses are suffering from the schizophrenia of their identity and communal miscarriage that gave birth to the perpetual crisis of essence and existence. 

This is what we call a neo-identity crisis that supersedes communal politics over liberal national politics. The very ‘being’ of communities feel threatened by the fallible liberal mantra of openness and unpretentious individualism. It was the lack of dialectical thinking of liberal elites that brought liberalism at the cross-road of identitarian politics. 

When Russian President Vladimir Putin during his recent exclusive interview with Financial Times said; “the liberal idea has become obsolete”.Basically, he was referring to the rising anti-liberal hysteria across the west, where identitarians are staunchly opposing immigration, assaulting multiculturalism and rejecting neo-liberal capitalism. 

President Putin’s response has been widely misinterpreted by the western media because what he said is the living reality of our time.


Read more:


Trade has been a sore point. It has forgone the human virtues which were never there in the first place, and the lot has been replaced by greed. wars and crap which are at the core of human behaviour as Drew Barrymore tells us she dropped 11 kilograms by doing something with sculpting... And god has nothing to do with our rotten behaviour. From now on, blame Trump and his acolyte Boris...



Read from top.

illusions of "having been" virtuous still fog our understanding.


The experience of cultural change that has occurred frequently provokes a widespread and persistent feeling among the more conservatively minded, that the warp and weft of the social fabric have altered  that the culture is broken  and in ways that are often discomfiting and unsettling.

This sense of cultural displacement is one of a number of important factors that help to account for the rise of nationalist-populism, and of the challenge it poses to mainstream politics. As Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin have argued, supporters of populists are driven by a desire to restore to the political agenda a broader set of principles and “to reassert cherished and rooted national identities over rootless and diffuse transnational ones.”1

Defenders of such change say the culture is not broken at all, but is evolving in response to evolving sensitivities and understanding. And, indeed, an increased awareness of the need to combat behaviours that discriminate on the grounds of race or gender is one example of ‘good’ cultural change that has occurred during the past fifty or more years.

However, many are concerned that this cultural evolution has not stopped with the correction of aberrant behaviours. The assertion of rights has been weaponised and anti-discrimination laws are increasingly used to stifle the expression of conservative opinion rather than simply combat behaviour.2 Nowhere is this more evident today than in the tension between religious belief and sexual identity.

Take as an example the Morrison Government’s proposal to introduce a religious discrimination bill in the new parliament. Religious discrimination is to be made unlawful and a new position of Religious Freedom Commissioner in the Australian Human Rights Commission is to be created. This will establish religion as a protected category just as race and sexuality are already protected categories.

Will Labor support the passage of this bill through the parliament? It remains to be seen. Even though religious freedom featured prominently in the election campaign, the ALP is going to be wedged by the Greens. The Greens’ position is that any action to bolster religious freedom is nothing less than “a barefaced attempt to write a blank cheque to discriminate against LGBTI people.”3

This tension is one example of cultural shift, marked by two related features. The first feature of cultural shift is a move away from the communal — and with it, a diminishing civic readiness to live with difference — towards the individual, and a concomitant demand that threats posed by difference must be eradicated so that any behaviour deemed to harm individual dignity be proscribed by law.

The second feature of cultural shift is related to this emphasis on the sensitivities of the individual. Emphasis on the primacy of the individual away from the communal is evident in the eclipse of the moral language of virtue by the language of values. And this is important because, as this paper will outline, values language cannot successfully serve as a language of morals.

As a result of the cultivation of virtue having given way to the expression of values, when defenders of cultural change engage with those who resist it, their exchanges are invariably passionate and ardent because they are committed to a notion of the primacy of individual and personal dignity.

And the term ‘culture’, itself, is a term tossed about casually enough; but often without attention to what it is and why it matters. Given that ‘culture’ has a complex range of meanings, it is important to clarify what is actually meant when talking about culture before turning to the failure of virtue. 


Read more:


Our virtues were (and are) actually fed by the teats of war, greed, slavery and god… Read from top.

the pillars of our social construct: politik als beruf...


The tension between political responsibility and personal conviction (or even individual virtue) goes back at least as far as Cicero. But it is perhaps only since Max Weber’s justly famed lecture, 'Politics as a Vocation', delivered a century ago in 1919, that this tension has been widely discussed and debated. Weber never thought that politicians shouldn’t or needn’t be virtuous individuals, but he was acutely aware that the peculiar demands of political responsibility might outstrip personal conviction, and, moreover, that virtue itself could be 'put on' or used as a form of electoral appeal.

No doubt, purely performative personal rectitude, often concealing a deeper complicity in injustice or even outright corruption, has been a problem for democracies in a mass-media age. But the more recent trend in a number of democracies (not all of them liberal) is even more troubling — namely, the flagrant throwing off of even the pretence of virtue. Think of Donald Trump in the United States, Boris Johnson in the UK, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, Matteo Salvini in Italy — each enjoying high levels of popular support.

There is another trend in liberal democracies that has accompanied this, and indeed may well be related to it: the politicisation of morality itself. In other words, increasingly, the only moral convictions that seem truly to matter are those that can be mapped on an ideological spectrum — those that mark out one’s belonging to a particular political tribe. On both fronts, any concern with the kinds of virtues that are needed, from members of the demos and from political representatives, in order for that political community to be healthy, is squeezed out.

The promise of liberal democracy was that it could be, by means of the strange alchemy of self-interest and disinterested institutions, a just and fair political order irrespective of the moral character of those that comprise it. If these democracies are now ailing, maybe even failing, what might a recovery of a politics of virtue look like?


Read more:



See illustration above.


Please note:

"Politics as a Vocation" (German: Politik als Beruf) is an essay by German economist and sociologist Max Weber(1864–1920). It originated in the second lecture of a series (the first was Science as a Vocation) he gave in Munichto the "Free (i.e. Non-incorporated) Students Union" of Bavaria on 28 January 1919. This happened during the German Revolution when Munich itself was briefly the capital of the Bavarian Socialist Republic. Weber gave the speech based on handwritten notes which were transcribed by a stenographer. The essay was published in an extended version in July 1919, and translated into English only after World War II. The essay is today regarded as a classic work of political science and sociology.

Read more:

a mea culpa on your behalf by the NYT...

The New York Times Has Abandoned Liberalism for Activism

By Andrew Sullivan


“Our democracy’s ideals were false when they were written.”

I’ve been struggling with that sentence — the opening statement of the introductory essay to the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project on the legacy of slavery in America — for a few weeks now.

It’s a very strange formulation. How can an enduring “ideal” — like, say, freedom or equality — be “false” at one point in history and true in another? You could of course say that the ideals of universal equality and individual liberty in the Declaration of Independence were belied and contradicted in 1776 by the unconscionable fact of widespread slavery, but that’s very different than saying that the ideals themselves were false. (They were, in fact, the most revolutionary leap forward for human freedom in history.) You could say the ideals, though admirable and true, were not realized fully in fact at the time, and that it took centuries and an insanely bloody civil war to bring about their fruition. But that would be conventional wisdom — or simply the central theme of President Barack Obama’s vision of the arc of justice in the unfolding of the United States.

No, in its ambitious and often excellent 1619 Project, the New York Times wants to do more than that. So it insists that the very ideals were false from the get-go — and tells us this before anything else.


Read more:


Read from top. It tells of how ideals are failed by our clumsy attempts and deceiving tactics. 



Our democracy’s ideals became subjects to a bourgeois whitey construct as soon as they were written.