The Story of Philosophy, 8

Aristotle and Greek science

 

Under Plato he studied eight—or twenty—years; and indeed the pervasive Platonism of Aristotle’s speculations, even of those most anti-Platonic, suggests the longer period. One would like to imagine these as very happy years: a brilliant pupil guided by an incomparable teacher, walking like Greek lovers in the gardens of philosophy. But they were both geniuses; and it is notorious that geniuses accord with one another as harmoniously as dynamite with fire. Almost half a century separated them; it was difficult for understanding to bridge the gap of years and cancel the incompatibility of souls.

On the same page Durant adds that Aristotle

was the first, after Euripides, to gather together a library; and the foundation of the principles of library classification was among his many contributions to scholarship. Therefore Plato spoke of Aristotle’s home as “the house of the reader, ” and seems to have meant the sincerest compliment; but some ancient gossip will have it that the Master intended a sly but vigorous dig at a certain book-wormishness in Aristotle.

After an unquoted paragraph Durant writes:

The other incidents of this Athenian period are still more problematical. Some biographers tell us that Aristotle founded a school of oratory to rival Isocrates; and that he had among his pupils in this school the wealthy Hermias, who was soon to become aristocrat of the city-state of Atarneus. After reaching this elevation Hermias invited Aristotle to his court; and in the year 344 b.c. he rewarded his teacher for past favours by bestowing upon him a sister (or a niece) in marriage. One might suspect this as a Greek gift; but the historians hasten to assure us that Aristotle, despite his genius, lived happily enough with his wife, and spoke of her most affectionately in his will. It was just a year later that Philip, King of Macedon, called Aristotle to the court at Pella to undertake the education of Alexander. It bespeaks the rising repute of our philosopher that the greatest monarch of the time, looking about for the greatest teacher, should single out Aristotle to be the tutor of the future master of the world.

You can imagine treating white women like barter today? But it was healthier than Western feminism.

Philip had no sympathy with the individualism that had fostered the art and intellect of Greece but had at the same time disintegrated her social order; in all these little capitals he saw not the exhilarating culture and the unsurpassable art, but the commercial corruption and the political chaos; he saw insatiable merchants and bankers absorbing the vital resources of the nation, incompetent politicians and clever orators misleading a busy populace into disastrous plots and wars, factions cleaving classes and classes congealing into castes: this, said Philip, was not a nation but only a welter of individuals—geniuses and slaves; he would bring the hand of order down upon this turmoil, and make all Greece stand up united and strong as the political centre and basis of the world. In his youth in Thebes he had learned the arts of military strategy and civil organization under the noble Epaminondas; and now, with courage as boundless as his ambition, he bettered the instruction. In 338 b.c. he defeated the Athenians at Chaeronea, and saw at last a Greece united, though with chains. And then, as he stood upon this victory, and planned how he and his son should master and unify the world, he fell under an assassin’s hand.

Durant ignored what I know about psychoclasses: different levels of childrearing from the point of view of empathy toward the child. It is disturbing to read, for example, that according to Plutarch, Olympias, Philip’s wife and the mother of Alexander, was a devout member of the orgiastic snake-worshiping cult of Dionysus. Plutarch even suggests that she slept with snakes in her bed. Although Oliver Stone’s film of Alexander is Hollywood, not a real biography, the first part of the film up to the assassination of Philip is not that bad as to provide an idea of the unhealthy relationship between Olympias and her son.

“For a while,” says Plutarch, “Alexander loved and cherished Aristotle no less than as if he had been his own father; saying that though he had received life from the one, the other had taught him the art of living.” (“Life,” says a fine Greek adage, “is the gift of nature; but beautiful living is the gift of wisdom.”)

But was it wisdom? The real ‘wisdom of the West’ only started with a politician like Hitler and, on the other side of the Atlantic, a white supremacist like Pierce. Ancient philosophers ignored the dangers involved in conquering non-white nations without the policy extermination or expulsion.

On JFK and the prolefeed

Gregory Hood’s nice article on the American left’s chutzpa about John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and the fact that in the current System “you are allowed to say that everyone killed Kennedy except the person who actually killed him (a Communist),” moves me to say something.

Most white nationalists don’t have the IQ of Magnus Carlsen and in addition to the silly 9/11 conspiracy theories, along a nation of sheeple they also swallow other theories for the retarded.

All of these people remind me a passage from Orwell’s 1984 where the proles were under the impression that they were reading forbidden porn when actually that porn together with superficial literature, movies and music was prolefeed deliberately produced by Prolesec: a section of the Ministry of Truth to keep them content and make them feel different when in fact they were mere sheep.

Following is part of an article-interview authored by Robin Lindley, a Seattle attorney and writer:


Dallas, Texas. Fri., Nov. 22, 1963. President John F. Kennedy died after a sniper attack on his motorcade. For many, the assassination remains a mystery. A 2003 poll revealed that 75 percent of Americans believe there was a conspiracy behind the killing of President Kennedy.

Jackie Kennedy catches a photographer’s eye while riding in the presidential limousine on Nov. 22, 1963. This picture was taken 2.5 seconds before Lee Harvey Oswald fired the bullet that killed President John F. Kennedy and wounded Gov. John Connelly, seated in the front passenger seat.

In his massive 2007 book on the murder, Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, former Los Angeles prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi concludes that an unstable Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy, and incisively dissects every conspiracy theory: the CIA, the FBI, the KGB, Castro, the mob, LBJ, and others.

This weighty, 1600-plus page book—with a CD ROM of more than one thousand pages of endnotes—has been praised for its comprehensive narrative and its presentation of conspiracy theories, exposing selective use of evidence and flawed logic. The Los Angeles Times Book Review called Reclaiming History “a book for the ages.” Critics agree that it will be a starting point for future researchers.

Bugliosi worked from 80 too 100 hours a week for the past few years, drafting Reclaiming History by hand on legal pads. He concluded that Oswald acted alone, and said, “All of the conspiracy theories and beliefs turned out to be ‘moonshine.’ ” Bugliosi, 72, recently discussed the JFK case from his Pasadena home.
 

Did you agree with the Warren Commission report in 1964?

I was so immersed in trying one murder case after another that I had no opinion. I [assumed] they were decent, honorable men, and they certainly were.
 

You conclude that Oswald shot JFK and acted alone.

Everything pointed toward Oswald’s guilt. All the physical evidence, all the scientific evidence. Everything he said, everything he did. Fifty-three separate pieces of evidence point toward his guilt. It would not be humanly possibly for him to be innocent. Quickly, five pieces: Oswald’s Mannlicher-Carcano rifle was the murder weapon. Oswald was the only employee at the Book Depository Building who fled the building after the assassination. Forty-five minutes later, he shot and killed [Dallas Police] Officer J. D. Tippit—the signature of a man in desperate flight. Thirty minutes later at a Texas theatre he resisted arrest, [and] pulled a gun on the arresting officer. During his interrogation, he told one provable lie after another, [showing] a consciousness of guilt.
 

And you find that Oswald was not part of a conspiracy to kill JFK.

I am convinced beyond all doubt that Oswald killed Kennedy, [and] that there was no conspiracy. There’s no credible evidence that the mob or the CIA, the KGB, the military-industrial complex, [or others] were behind the assassination. All we have is naked speculation.

There’s no evidence that Oswald had any connection with any of these groups. Even [assassination researcher Harold] Weisberg conceded that the FBI checked out every breath [Oswald] breathed from the moment he arrived back to the States from the Soviet Union on June 13, 1962 to the day of the assassination. They found no evidence after 25,000 interviews [of a] connection with any of these groups.

Assuming one of these groups wanted to kill the President, Oswald would have been one of the last people they would have gone to. He was a good shot, but not an expert. He owned only a $12, mail-order rifle. And he was notoriously unreliable, extremely unstable. He defect[ed] to the Soviet Union, tried to become a Soviet citizen, [was] turned down, [then] tried to commit suicide. Just the type of guy—I’m being sarcastic now—the CIA or mob would rely on to commit the biggest murder in American history.
 
bugliosi
 
What motivated Oswald to kill President Kennedy?

No one will ever know for sure why Oswald killed Kennedy. But there are pieces of circumstantial evidence from which we can draw inferences.

Oswald had delusions of grandeur. A squad mate of his in the Marines said that Oswald wanted to be something that 10,000 years from now people would be talking about. His wife, Marina, said he compared himself to the great figures of history.

Getting more specific, Oswald revered Fidel Castro [and] was an ardent supporter of the Cuban Revolution. In late September of 1963, [he] tried to get to Havana to help Castro, and was rejected at the Cuban consulate in Mexico City. He got very, very angry. I agree with the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations that Oswald’s love for Castro played a part in the motivation to kill Kennedy, thinking that by killing an enemy of Castro he somehow was furthering the Cuban cause.

Oswald wrote that he had lived under capitalism and communism, and that, “I despise representatives of both systems.” My background in the Manson case definitely played a part in the words meaning more to me than perhaps the average person. Manson did not know the people whom he had killed, but he knew they were members of the establishment, and he hated the establishment. These were representative murders. Oswald did not hate Kennedy. He hated the United States of America. Oswald may have used Kennedy as the quintessential representative of society. When shooting at Kennedy, he was shooting at the United States of America.
 

Oswald failed in many pursuits. Did he kill JFK to show some effectiveness?

He had been a failure everywhere. He was a failure in the Marines, [and] was court-martialed. He was a failure at work: he would get fired, or couldn’t get a good job. He was a failure with Marina, his wife. He had been a failure all of his life, and all of a sudden he had done something successfully.
 

You also conclude that Jack Ruby acted alone in killing Oswald.

Some argue that Ruby silenced Oswald for the mob, and that presupposes Oswald killed Kennedy for the mob. The Warren Commission and the FBI found no evidence that Ruby was ever a member of organized crime, or had any association with them.

He would have been, like Oswald, an extremely unlikely and bad hit man. Ruby was extremely close to Dallas law enforcement. He also was a blabbermouth, [and] a snitch to the Dallas Police Department. He was not the type of guy you would [use] to commit a crime and be silent. Also, Ruby was very mentally unbalanced. He had a violent temper, fighting all the time with customers. He had organic brain damage.

People say he silenced Oswald for the mob [but] who was supposed to silence Ruby? He lived a normal life. He died in custody, but died a normal death three years later.
 

Why did Ruby kill Oswald?

Ruby literally idolized John F. Kennedy. His psychiatrist said Ruby loved this man. He took Kennedy’s death very, very hard. And he hated Oswald. But another reason [was that] Ruby thought that he was going to become a hero, [and] there was going to be a big book and a movie about him. He thought he would just get a slap on the wrist, and in a short time he would be back at the Carousel Club greeting people wanting to shake the hand of the man who killed the man who killed the President.
 

How did the single “Magic Bullet” kill JFK and wound Gov. Connelly?

In their sketches, [conspiracy theorists] place Gov. John Connelly [directly] in front of President Kennedy in the presidential limousine, and then argue that a bullet coming from the right rear, passing through Kennedy, would have to make a right turn in midair and then a left turn to hit Connelly. That is wrong. Connelly was not seated directly in front of Kennedy, but the left front in a jump seat a half-foot in. So the orientation of Connelly’s body was such that a bullet passing in a straight line through Kennedy would have nowhere to go except to hit Connelly.
 

A story just appeared on bullet fragments from the Dallas scene.

That’s an old story. These former FBI agents came up with this statement and people are asking about this new story. Here’s how new it is—it’s already in my book.
 

To put it mildly, you were displeased with Oliver Stone’s movie JFK.

This silly Oliver Stone came up with 10 groups that had a motive, and he’s got all 10 groups involved in the assassination. I present 53 separate pieces of evidence pointing irresistibly to the guilt of Oswald and poor Oliver in his three-hour-and-eight-minute movie could not put in one of those 53 pieces.

Stone’s movie stresses how JFK’s head snapped to the rear, indicating a shot from the front.

People saw [the Zapruder film] for the first time in 1975 on national television. The [president’s] head snapped to the rear [indicating a] shot from the front, the grassy knoll, not from the rear where Oswald was.

But if you look at the individual Zapruder frames—you can’t see it by looking at the film—at frame 312 the president’s head is okay. Also, a high-contrast photo of frame 313 [shows] this terrible spray of blood and tissue all to the front, indicating a shot from the rear.

At [frames] 314 to 321, you have the head snap to the rear, caused by a neuro-muscular reaction. The bullet entering the president’s brain caused the back muscles to tighten, which in turn caused the head to snap to the rear.
 

At more than 1,600 pages, your book is the longest yet on the assassination.

It’s the only book that settles all questions about the assassination once and for all, and the only book to take on all of these conspiracy theories.

There are two realities in this case. One, this is a very simple case. Within hours of the shooting in Dealey Plaza, virtually all of Dallas law enforcement knew that Oswald had killed Kennedy, and that he had acted alone. But the second reality and the main reason for the length of this book is the unceasing and fanatical obsession of literally thousands upon thousands of Warren Commission critics and conspiracy theorists who have investigated every single conceivable aspect of this case for close to 44 years. This simple case has been transformed into the most complex murder case, by far, in world history.
 

What’s your next project?

A series of essays on all types of things. It’s not going to be a 1,600-page book. With the Kennedy case, I learned there is absolutely no bottom to the pile. It’s a bottomless pit.

_______________________________

A note for those who still swallow the prolefeed manufactured by the Prolesec: Unless you have read Bugliosi’s book, don’t bother to take issue with us in the comments section of this thread. You will be shunned. (Also, you can read the whole Robin Lindley article here.)

Satanic Ritual Abuse

I don’t get Greg Johnson. Yesterday I tried to post the following comment in the most recent piece published at Counter-Currents (CC). The subject? Jewish ritual murders of cute, gentile kids!

I’ve not read much about blood libel, speciously called here “Jewish ritual murders,” but I was pretty involved in editing Wikipedia’s Satanic Ritual Abuse which I studied thoroughly some years ago: a clear case of moral panic where many innocent American adults were indicted in the 1980s as in the Salem trials.

The “About” page in my blog has me as a researcher and debunker of the famous “wall face,” paranormal appearances in a house in Spain. One thing is clear to me now that I’m starting to see that many white nationalists religiously believe in retarded theories that blame the Jews for everything (e.g., 9/11). Unlike me they have not subscribed the Skeptical Inquirer, attended the conferences of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), or read their Prometheus Books that debunk not only paranormal claims but blood libels as well.

And no: the CSI founders—I’ve met Paul Kurtz twice in the conferences and corresponded to Martin Gardner before he died—are not Jews.

Johnson deleted my comment. Why? Is he mad with me for my criticizing those homosexuals that post featured articles at his webzine (see my recent entries here and here)? But in my above comment I was not criticizing these guys. Nor was it another criticism of Johnson’s musical and movie tastes, about which I posted here quite a few entries by the end of the year.

I wrote the above comment because, due to my experience with CSI, on these subjects—claims such as the ritual murder of children and adults—I am far more knowledgeable than the common nationalist. And extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Just to give you a bit of the flavor of the mendacity of these claims, this is what I wrote in my book Hojas Susurrantes, which precisely deals with child abuse, the subject I’ve researched most in my life:

Satanic Ritual Abuse

The confusion of my feelings about [Lloyd] deMause—lucubration such as [the above] are psychobabble but deMause’s authentic discoveries are the great lighthouse for the humanities—moved me to annotate each cognitive error I encountered in his legacy.

In 1994 deMause devoted more than a whole issue of his journal to one of the scandals originated in his country that destroyed the reputation of many innocent adults: claims of multiple victims, multiple perpetrators during occult rites in daycare centers for children, known as “Satanic Ritual Abuse” or SRA. I was so intrigued by the subject that, when I read deMause’s article “Why Cults Terrorize and Kill Children” I devoted a few months of my life to research the subject by reading, printing and discussing in the internet: material that would fill up the thickest ring-binder that I possess. I also purchased a copy of a book on SRA published by Princeton University. My objective was to ascertain whether the man whom I had been taking as a sort of mentor had gone astray. My suspicions turned to be justified, and even worse: by inviting the foremost believers of SRA to publish in his journal, deMause directly contributed to the creation of an urban myth.

The collective hysteria known as SRA originated with the publication of a 1980 sensationalist book, Michelle Remembers. Michelle claimed that Satan himself appeared to her and wounded her body, but that an archangel healed it. In the mentioned article deMause wrote credulous passages about other fantastic claims by Michelle, and added that the people who ran certain daycare centers in the 1980s put the children in boxes and cages “as symbolic wombs.” DeMause then speculated that “they hang them upside down, the position of fetuses” and that “they drink victim’s blood as fetuses ‘drink’ placental blood,” in addition to force children to “drink urine” and “eat feces as some do during birth.” DeMause also referred to secret tunnels that, he wrote, existed beneath the daycare centers: “They often hold their rituals in actual tunnels.” In fact, those tunnels never existed. In Evil Incarnate: Rumors of Demonic Conspiracy and Ritual Abuse in History, published in 2006, professor David Frankfurter wrote about deMause’s article: “In this way a contemporary writer can assemble a theory of ritual power to explain rituals that have no forensic evidence.”

This is the sort of thing that, in Wikipedia’s talk page about psychohistory, culminates with rants like the one that I rescued before another editor deleted it: “Don’t ever listen to this lunatic!” (deMause). It is true that Colin Ross is another gullible believer of SRA, as seen in a book in whose afterword Elizabeth Loftus disagrees with him. But since the mid-1990s the phenomenon was discredited to such degree that sociologists, criminologists and police officials recognized what it was: a witch-hunt that led to prison and ruined the lives of many adults. The movie Indictment: The McMartin Trial, sponsored by Oliver Stone and based on the most notorious of these hunts, sums up what I mean. Using invasive techniques for adults in the interrogation of little kids, therapists of the McMartin case and other kindergartens obtained confessions full of fantasies: that the children had been abducted and taken through a network of tunnels to a hidden cave under the school; that they flew in the air and saw giraffes, lions and the killing of a rabbit to be returned to their unsuspecting parents in the daycare center. Kyle Zirpolo was one of the McMartin children. A twenty-nine in 2005, several years after the trial, Zirpolo confessed to reporters that as a child he had been pressured to lie:

Anytime I would give them an answer that they didn’t like, they would ask again and encourage me to give them the answer they were looking for. It was really obvious what they wanted… I felt uncomfortable and a little ashamed that I was being dishonest. But at the same time, being the type of person I was, whatever my parents wanted me to do, I would do.

In its heyday in the 1980s and early 90s, and in some ways similar to the Salem witch trials of 1692, SRA allegations reached grotesque levels. Proponents argued that an intergenerational group of families raised and kidnapped babies and children in an international conspiracy that had infiltrated the police and the professions of lawyers and doctors. Conspiracy theorists claimed that the FBI and the CIA were involved to discredit the veracity of the phenomenon. The allegations ranged from brainwashing and necrophilia, kidnapping, sexual abuse and child pornography, to black masses and ritual killings of animals and thousands of people every year. In the McMartin case they talked about children washed away when the perpetrator pulled the toilet chain taking them to hidden rooms where they would be molested; orgies in carwash business, and even flying witches. Needless to say, no forensic evidence was found to support such claims.

After the legal catastrophe that McMartin and several other cases represented, small children have not been questioned with the aggressive techniques that led them to fantasize so wildly. Nowadays there is no witch-hunting going on in the U.S., UK or Australia caused by coercive techniques of fanatics that induce either false memories or outright lies (like Zirpolo’s) to please therapist and parent. However, despite the consensus in 21st century’s sociology and criminology—that SRA was a case of moral panic about which there is no forensic evidence—, deMause did not change his view. The work that describes his thinking more broadly, The Emotional Life of Nations published in 2002 and recently translated into German, contains a brief passage where he still regards SRA as something real.

Is my criticism of homosexuals who, in my humble opinion, ought not be featured at CC enough reason to suppress legit commentariat on unrelated subjects, such as SRA or the so-called “blood libel”?

Suppose that a causal visitor hits CC today and, erroneously, gets the impression that all white nationalists believe in these literally medieval rumors about the Jews. Wouldn’t this automatically disqualify CC to the eyes of our skeptical visitor? Wouldn’t this turn out into a psychological stumbling block for our visitor to become familiar with the more sober, legitimate criticism of the Jews, such as the work of Kevin MacDonald?

With my single comment I tried to balance a bit the gullibility of the editor, author and commenters. No kidding: I was trying to do some good public relations for CC after reading that ill-researched piece.

And this is what I got.