Saturday 15th of August 2020

generosity of spirit...

generously shared

In the chapter  “What the Enlightenment Got Wrong” in his book Humankind, A Hopeful History, Bregman makes some assumptions that are full of shit.



Okay, Gus is a satirical bastard, not a philosopher, with only a degree in street fighting and versed in natural deceit analysis through many years of advertising employment. Bregman still dreams of the “noble savage”...

What Bregman says represents the wrong basis for his whole book, which is that human nature is "kind, generous and peaceful"... He even refers to this at the beginning of the book. Lovely. We wish…

So without any references he becomes an anthropologist relating the peacefulness of who we were till about 10,000 years ago, when according to him “the trouble began”… Bullshit!

Yep, for Bergman, as soon as people started to abandon the hunting and gathering in favour of settling in one place and cultivating crops and owning property, “our group instinct was no longer innocuous … It became downright toxic.
Er… What? WHAT?  

So this toxicity is the basis of civilisation? Yes, actually Gus says that deceit is at the core of what has happened and still happens, but in many ways, our systems have tried to minimise its effect and help people be better, even if they are individually and collectively deceitful... But the trouble started way before the 10,000 year mark.

Then Bregman mentions the down side of “Enlightenment", especially Hobbes’ and Hume's… Here we must be careful… The English “Enlightenment” and the European one (of mostly French origin) are two different beasts. We have explained this earlier. The Poms might have espoused “greed” (“private vices, public benefits”) to the point it still runs in the veins of the English/American hegemony, but greed was not so unleashed in the French/European context of Enlightenment. Adam Smith lived in the “Enlightenment” period but, according to Gus, he was not an “Enlightenment” philosopher per se. 

This is why the stats are clear. Hum... Bregman deign to tell us this is why "the Enlightenment has been a triumph for humankind, bringing us capitalism, democracy and the rule of law… Our lives are exponentially better and the world is richer, safer and healthier than ever before…” Thank you Bregman.

Remember the Cathars...

God lost his job to bureaucrats” Yes "Denmark and Sweden have the largest concentration of atheists… [countries] with the most robust rule of law and most trustworthy bureaucracy…” But Gus is pointing out that this is why there is some latent “racism” in regard to Muslims in these countries. In fact, this is not racism, but culturalism, as explained on this site. There is a major difference. Some of the imported social practices (sexism, religious brainwashing, under-age forced marriages et al) are contrary to the spirit of our civilisation in its present status. It’s a rejection and education to make.

Yes, Rutger... Adam Smith wrote: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.” 

But see picture at top. Altruism or opportunism? My vote is altruism... Thank you, Thai Riffic... 

Opportunism had been going on since 10,000 years ago, but in fact, had been going on since humans fell from their tree. Even in the shared survival of the species, there would be a hierarchy of whom would get the singed best part of the Aurochs.

It is part of the concentration of civilisation hubs that Empires such as the Roman one could grow. Stealing and sharing the spoils comes with the monkeys. Building aqueducts and sewage system 2000 years ago comes with the territory of civilisation. Meanwhile, watch seagulls fight over a single potato chip! Or little birds chasing the big ones… Please do not say that humans were more noble than other species before civilisation came to spoil the noble savage spirit!

The aspect of being generous also comes with nature as well in some species inasmuch as civilisation birthing out by some necessity of having more mouths to feed and working at generating the food source and making shelters where there was no cave to hide into. Generosity of spirit has been at the core of civilisation as well as the need for deceit. It’s a complex mix in which nothing is perfect, but has protected us away from etching a living from hunting and gathering, still… Whether this is a plus for the planet or not, the jury has to come hard on us for being ignoramuses on planetary dynamics. We need more sciences and less politics...


Experiments, observations and inventions were at the source of using flint stones, of making bronze tools, iron tools and discovering steel-making. Because the French had had their “revolution” and a few to-and-fro missteps from there, including the Napoleons, led to a far better Enlightenment in Europe than in England. The French State was officially cut from the Church in 1900, in the English/American hegemony, the state is still dependent of its religious roots, despite the “freedom” of religion in the US constitution. 

Ah, and this is the crunch… "Enlightenment has a dark side"… “Capitalism can run amok, sociopath can seize power and a society dominated by rules and protocols has little regard for the individual.” 

Yes this is why Karl Marx came along to prevent all this (mostly British) crap that has tainted civilisation. Others like us are keeping a keen eye on the sociopathic bastards... and exposing their bad deeds. 

Sure, we need less deceit and more sharing. Try to tell this to Scotty of marketing and his “sports rorts”...

Not a tuba player presently...

we need to be kind to the planet...

Global sport faces major disruption from climate change in coming decades, according to a new analysis.

By 2050, it's estimated that almost one in four English football league grounds can expect flooding every year. 

But tennis, rugby, athletics and winter sports will also face serious challenges from the impacts of rising temperatures, the author says. 

The study finds that sports leaders are, in the main, failing to address the issue seriously.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted sports as much as any other aspect of social life, many experts believe that this is just a dress rehearsal for the long-term impacts on sport of a world that's way too hot.

Extreme weather events, related to rising temperatures, have already disrupted some of the world's most high-profile sports in recent years.


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Kindness, generosity and peacefulness NEED TO BE LEARNT... This could be our new "realism"...



See also:



of civilisation and CHAOS...


of democratic civilisations and tweaking cheeks...


"The Age of Deceit"

survival of the fittest in the bush...


Queensland farmer Edwina Robertson said she saw a major difference between the assistance offered to millions of people during the coronavirus pandemic and the help given to farmers during times of drought.

"This money is so accessible with no red tape," she said.

"It's a kick in the guts to people in rural Australia who've done it tough for so long."

All too often, Ms Robertson said, farmers were criticised for not saving their money for a "rainy day".

"There'd be plenty of people who've lost their jobs now who wouldn't be able to survive even two weeks without government assistance," she said.

"[But] that's what's expected from country people."

Ms Robertson said the hoops farmers are forced to jump through to get assistance has driven many off the land altogether.


New South Wales Farmers association executive councillor Bruce Reynolds said most support made available to agriculture was loan-based, while coronavirus assistance was a direct grant that did not have to be paid back.

It could take several years to even qualify for drought assistance, he said, with some producers waiting up to 18 months for the Regional Investment Corporation to process those loans.

"Farmers can be financially haemorrhaging before they are eligible to receive drought assistance," Mr Reynolds said.

Ninety-seven per cent of businesses were receiving JobKeeper payments within three business days of applying, according to Treasury.

Mr Reynolds said the nation's reliance on farmers should have sunk in when shelves were stripped bare.

"But you get a couple of good seasons, then people forget about the drought or forget about COVID and supermarket shelves being short of commodities," he said.


Sport administrator Elle Carroll, 21, lost her job in Newcastle when indoor sporting venues were ordered to shut down.

When she went to apply for the JobKeeper allowance she realised she was ineligible, and was left uncertain of when her next pay cheque would arrive.

"I remember thinking a few years ago … it's not the government's job to bail farmers out," Ms Carroll said.


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a few billionaires on the list?...

Millionaires for Humanity’
Sign On Letter

To Our Fellow Global Citizens:

As Covid-19 strikes the world, millionaires like us have a critical role to play in healing our world. No, we are not the ones caring for the sick in intensive care wards. We are not driving the ambulances that will bring the ill to hospitals. We are not restocking grocery store shelves or delivering food door to door. But we do have money, lots of it. Money that is desperately needed now and will continue to be needed in the years ahead, as our world recovers from this crisis.

Today, we, the undersigned millionaires, ask our governments to raise taxes on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently.

The impact of this crisis will last for decades. It could push half a billion more people into poverty. Hundreds of millions of people will lose their jobs as businesses close, some permanently. Already, there are nearly a billion children out of school, many with no access to the resources they need to continue their learning. And of course the absence of hospital beds, protective masks, and ventilators is a painful, daily reminder of the inadequate investment made in public health systems across the world.

The problems caused by, and revealed by, Covid-19 can’t be solved with charity, no matter how generous. Government leaders must take the responsibility for raising the funds we need and spending them fairly. We can ensure we adequately fund our health systems, schools, and security through a permanent tax increase on the wealthiest people on the planet, people like us.

We owe a huge debt to the people working on the frontlines of this global battle. Most essential workers are grossly underpaid for the burden they carry. At the vanguard of this fight are our health care workers, 70 percent of whom are women. They confront the deadly virus each day at work, while bearing the majority of responsibility for unpaid work at home. The risks these brave people willingly embrace every day in order to care for the rest of us requires us to establish a new, real commitment to each other and to what really matters.

Our interconnectedness has never been more clear. We must rebalance our world before it is too late. There will not be another chance to get this right.

Unlike tens of millions of people around the world, we do not have to worry about losing our jobs, our homes, or our ability to support our families. We are not fighting on the frontlines of this emergency and we are much less likely to be its victims.

So please. Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. It is the right choice. It is the only choice.

Humanity is more important than our money.

The Signers

Frank Arthur (US) Richard Boberg (US) Dr. Mariana Bozesan (DE) Bob Burnett (US) Ronald Carter (US) Xandra Coe (US) James Colen (US) Cynda Collins Arsenault (US) Richard Curtis (UK) Alan S. Davis (US) Pierce Delahunt (US) Abigail Disney (US) Tim Disney (US) John Driscoll (US) Karen Edwards (US) Stephen R. English (US) Andrew M. Faulk, M.D. (US) Rick Feldman (US) Mary Ford (US) Patricia G. Foschi (US) Blaine Garst (US) Molly Gochman (US) Jerry Greenfield (US) Karen Grove (US) Ron Guillot (US) Catherine Gund (US) Christina Hansen (DE) John Michael Hemmer (US) Wei-Hwa Huang (US) Diane Isenberg (US) Ross Jackson (DK) William H. Janeway (US) Frank H. Jernigan (US) Kristina Johansson (UK) Richard (Ted) LaRoche (US) David Lee (US) Kristin Luck (US) Amy Mandel (US) Ané Maro (DK) Patricia Martone (US) Thomas McDougal (US) Gemma McGough (UK) Marie T. McKellar (US) Judy L. Meath (US) Terence Meehan (US Frans Meijer (NL) Diane Meyer Simon (US) John O’Farrell (US) Gary Passon (US) Morris Pearl (US) Judy Pigott (US) Stephen Prince (US) Sophie Robinson Saltonstall (US) Bonnie Rothman (US) Michael Rothman (US) Guy Saperstein (US) Cédric Schmidtke (DE) Eric Schoenberg (US) Robert Schram (NL) Antonis Schwarz (DE) Stephen Segal (US) Djaffar Shalchi (DK) Charlie Simmons (US) Barbara Simons (US) Gary Stevenson (UK) Karen Stewart, PhD (US) Julia Stone (US) Sandor Straus (US) Mark Thomas (US) Arthur Strauss, MD (US) Ralph Suikat (DE) Alexandra Theriault, MD (US) Sir. Stephen Tindall (NZ) Sidney Topol (US) Claire Trottier (CA) Sylvie Trottier (CA) Dale Walker (US) Scott Wallace (US) Diana Wege (US) Terry Winograd (US) Carol Winograd (US) Bennet Yee (US) Amy Ziering (US)

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and our idiot wants to cut taxes for the rich...


Cutting taxes for the wealthy is the worst possible response to this economic crisis

Australia’s response to the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is rightly considered one of the world’s best. At their best, our federal and state politicians have put aside the sterile games dominating politics for decades. 

It seemed possible these efforts might last, as politicians sought to find common ground and make real progress on issues such as climate change, industrial relations and inequality as part of the coronavirus recovery.

But as soon as the virus seemed to be receding, politics returned to the old “normal”. Policies are again being put forward on the basis of ideological reflexes rather than an analysis of the required response to our new situation. 

There is no more striking example than the federal government’s reported plan to bring forward income tax cutslegislated for 2024-25. The idea apparently has backbench support.

Those cuts will benefit high-income earners the most. They include replacing the 32.5% marginal tax rate on incomes between A$45,000 and A$120,000, and the 37% rate on incomes between AA$180,000, with a single 30% rate up to A$200,000

This is being proposed while the government begins to wind back income-support measures, such as free child care, with much more serious “cliffs” fast approaching.

This economic crisis is different

One of the most striking features of Australia’s initial response to COVID-19 was the speed at which the Morrison government abandoned a decade of rhetoric denouncing the Rudd Labor government’s response to the Global Financial Crisis. 

In mid-March the government was floating the idea of a tightly limited response with a budget of A$5 billion. By the end of the month this had been abandoned in favour of the JobSeeker and JobKeeper schemes, estimated to cost A$14 billion and A$70 billion respectively. Other schemes brought the total to A$133 billion.

Despite the close resemblance to the Rudd stimulus packages, there was one crucial difference. 

The GFC caused a collapse in the availability of credit, potentially choking off consumer demand and private investment. This was the classic case needing demand stimulus.

By contrast, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a shock to the production side of the economy, which flowed through to incomes. Millions of workers in industries such as tourism, hospitality and the arts were no longer able to work because of the virus. 

The crucial problem was to support the incomes of those thrown out of work, and keep the businesses employing them afloat until some kind of normality returned. There were problems with the details of eligibility and implementation of the JobSeeker and JobKeeper programs, but the response was essentially right.

Have cash, will buy luxury car

The primary rationale for early tax cuts is that they will stimulate demand. But the economy’s real problem is not inadequate demand – particularly not on the part of high-income earners. 

On the contrary, the problem for high-income earners is having a steady income even as many of the things they usually spend on (high-end restaurant meals, interstate and overseas holidays) have become unobtainable. 

Among the results has been a splurge on luxury cars. Compared to June 2019, sales of Mazdas, Hyundais, Mitsubishis, Kias, Nissans and Hondas last month were all down. But Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Lexus were all up.

As Jason Murphy notes, this rush to buy fancy cars isn’t definitive proof the wealthy are looking to ways to spend all the money they’re saving. “But it is suggestive. Eventually the money has to go somewhere.”

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a few billionaires on the list?...